[mc, mf, fd, hy]
((I wrote this one in late 2003. It was the second piece dealing with erotic mind-control I devised, and the first of three pieces about the universe of the character that came to be known as The Black Queen. It was also the first enterprise of mine to ever receive some sort of positive feedback. The author known as Sleeping Beauty was the one responsible for that fact, something which will always be in my memory for as long as I live. Up until this date, The Black Queen is still my most famous character out there, something that surprises me, but for which I’m grateful as well.))
It was Saturday afternoon and the TV set was on for over three hours, but that didn’t bothered Sean Prescott at all. Aged 22, the young man who dreamed of becoming a worldly renowned biochemical engineer was deeply engaged on the one thing that could rival and even surpass his devotion to books and hard study: a videogame.
When it came to grab the control stick and lead a virtual humanoid on a dangerous mission to rescue all of mankind, he was usually on the front line for a bit more entertaining. He was quite a devouring machine of action-packed games whether he was fighting in a very similar world to ours or on some fantastic landscape governed by magic.
The game he was playing – and desperately trying to finish – was called The Black Queen: Impending Doom and kind of mixed reality and fantasy. The story was played on a parallel universe where witchcraft coexisted with the miracles of technology in a strange, yet balanced harmony. The peace that span millennia ended five minutes after the beginning of the game, when a young woman devoted to the black arts created a magic army to conquer and enslave the world. She entitled herself The Black Queen and only thing was certain: if she wasn’t stopped, everything would be reduced to ashes.
The main character was somewhat of a techno-mage, who wielded a vast arsenal of advanced weapons as well as a rather clumsy wooden staff whenever magic was required, and his job was to roam around the several locations of the game, destroying the Queen’s minions in state of the art laboratories or eerie, dark caves.
Sean had already done all that and now he was gazing at a superb CGI scene where one could see his character at the gates of The Black Queen’s domains. When the scene was over, Sean tried to open the gates but they were way too big to be moved with bare hands and magic was temporarily unavailable, probably due to the intense concentration of dark energy. A flashing blue icon appeared on the right corner of the screen. It was the game’s help system that activated itself every once in a while – pressing the Start button on those situations usually unlocked a special message telling him what to do next.
As he pressed the button, the inventory screen appeared and an old scroll opened. It said: “Find another way into the castle. Search the shadows and the path shall open…”
Sean returned to the game and tilted the camera to explore the surroundings. There seemed to be two black roads that circled the castle, but you could only see a few yards of each one. As usual, only one should be the way to follow, and the other a trap of some sort, but which one?
He saved the game before going any further and decided to try his luck on the path to the right. When he reached the point where darkness took hold of everything, he moved forward very slowly. He couldn’t see what attacked him, but it happened so fast that the character fell almost instantly to the ground and the most hideous words in videogames flashed before his eyes: Game over!
The left path was pretty much like the right one, but there were no invisible creatures to strike him down: it ended near a hole, big enough for the mage to crawl through. He entered it, followed a small maze of equally obscured passages and found himself inside the castle, more specifically on a huge hall where a feminine figure sat on a throne of bones.
Another CGI scene started playing. This one had voices. The main character’s was a bit rough, hardly exciting at all, but the Queen’s was a surprisingly well-achieved mixture of power and seduction. Sean felt aroused by that voice, and even by the pixelized shapes of the evildoer, but he knew it was just a game and by God, he was going to finish it!
The end of the scene brought about the beginning of the final fight. The Queen moved swiftly through the scenario, appearing and disappearing at her will. The modern weapons didn’t seem to affect her, and magic did little damage too. On the other hand, every time she attacked, Sean’s character health meter dropped a fourth and the blocking of such attacks was nearly impossible. He managed to last three minutes before seeing the wretched words again.
He tried again and again, always with the same results. At the sixth attempt, he eventually hit her with a spell, but he couldn’t repeat the process and perished once more. An hour later, when the machine was already extremely hot and the TV set was starting to flicker a lot, he decided to pause for a while.
Ten minutes later, he was calling his friend Bobby, another videogame addict and the person who had recommended him the game. He knew he had finished it. Now, he wanted to know how.
“Hello?” said a dull, boring voice on the other side of the line. Bobby always talked like that, like a computer, as if nothing really mattered to him, except games.
“Bobby? How are you doing, man? Listen, I have a problem, one I’m sure you can solve.”
“Is it about a game?”
“Of course it’s about a game, and we all know you’re the real expert around here.”
“That’s a fact. What game are we talking about, anyway?”
“The Black Queen: Impending Doom. Ring a bell, Bobby?”
“That’s a rather illogical question, considering I was one who told you to buy it. Let me guess, you’re near the end of the game but instead of kicking the Queen’s butt, you’re the one that gets kicked… Am I right?”
“That’s pretty much it. Nothing I do seems to work and I’m beginning to be a little fed up. But how did you know that?”
“I had the same problem, but I managed to solve it. There’s only way to do it, you know?”
“No, I don’t know. That’s why I’m calling. You have to tell me how you did it.”
“Have you been collecting the magic scrolls along the way?”
“Sure. Not all, but I have ten or twelve of them.”
“You need all twenty-four to activate the most powerful spell in the game. It gives you Ultra-Speed to avoid the Queen’s attacks and ninety percent accuracy when attacking her with the staff. Once you get that, it will be a breeze to beat her.”
“That means I have to go back all way in the game to find the other scrolls? That’s really the only way?”
“I’m afraid so, Sean. It’s a manoeuvre of the creators of the game, so that people are forced to squeeze it all even if they don’t want to. That’s why it says in the box that the game lasts about eighty hours. You need a third of that time to explore the areas once again and some of the scrolls only become accessible when you reach the Queen’s domains. Without them, you’ll never bring peace to the world of Alluria.”
“I see. Well, that means I’m not going to finish the game today. Do you happen to have a list of the places where the scrolls are hidden?”
“I really don’t know why you ask me those things when you already know the answer. I’ll e-mail it to you right away.”
“Thanks, Bobby. You’re a life-saviour.”
“So what else is new? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take care of an army of zombies…”
“Don’t tell me you’re playing Resident Evil again?!”
“A classic is a classic, Sean. But I have a couple of new games that might interest you as well. I’ll lend them to you when I’m done with the adventures, okay?”
“It’s a deal. Thanks again, Bobby.”
Bobby hung up the phone, leaving Sean both frustrated and disappointed. He really wanted to finish the game, but there was no way he could do it that day. He waited by the computer for the musical voice to say “you’ve got mail” and eagerly opened the message he had sent. Alongside with the list, his friend had included in the package a series of rough sketches of the main areas of the game, so it would be easier for him to locate the missing items.
That was clearly more than Sean had hoped for, and in his mind he couldn’t thank Bobby enough. The guy was really a genius at videogames, yet his brilliancy didn’t seem to work quite right in the real world.
After reading every bit of information without even pausing to breathe, Sean felt more reassured. He had already revisited in his head all of the scenarios referred by Bobby and knew for sure every corner of them. If he had missed the scrolls in the first place that was merely because of his anxiety to reach the end of the game, a tension which all videogamers feel when they embark upon a new quest. Besides, it is an obvious fact that, most of the times a game can indeed be finished without doing everything there is to do. Isn’t that what the concept of side-quests is all about? How could he have known that in that particular game, there was no such distinction and everything revolved around the main goal of destroying the Queen?
“Oh, well…” he thought out loud. “At least, now I know what is expected of me, and I’m going to make sure that Alluria is saved. Unfortunately, that task is going to have to wait until tomorrow…”
With these thoughts in his head, he shut down the console and went to take a quick shower. He had promised to take his girlfriend Amber out to dinner that night, followed by the latest Harrison Ford movie, which she simply adored.
She was known to tolerate just about everything except delays. In fact, she had dumped several guys due to their despicable tendency of keeping her waiting and Sean didn’t feel like being the next victim at all.
* * *
The following day brought along a whole new set of experiences, some of them with a striking impact in his life. As soon as he had the chance, Sean told everyone in the house that he was going to be extremely busy, and that he shouldn’t be bothered under any circumstance. With everything in order, he locked himself in the bedroom and began unravelling the final mysteries of the game.
It took him four and a half hours (and two fifteen minute breaks…) to assemble everything required for the creation of the most powerful spell of all. Quite rapidly, he reached the castle’s gates and followed the secret path into the chamber of the last Boss. By the press of a button he skipped the intro scene and the battle started all over again.
Wielding the magic staff, he conjured the spell and his character started moving at an alarming speed across the screen.
Whenever the Black Queen attacked, he would simply tilt the control left or right to avoid the incoming magic. If he was fast enough, he could easily sneak behind her while she was still casting her spells to strike her real hard.
After a few powerful blows, both her health and magic meters were already half gone. As the enemy grew weaker the speed and ferocity of its attacks also diminished. The end of the game was no longer an illusion, but an almost tangible reality.
Sean kept following the same pattern of running and attacking all of sudden. In two minutes, he depleted the rest of the Queen’s health and ended the fight with a blazing ball of magic. There was a sudden cry and the character fell over.
“Oh, yes!” he thought as he closed his left hand into a fist of sheer satisfaction. Now it was time to see the final CGI scene and the usual list of credits before moving on to another piece of highly addictive software.
The scene started with the victorious hero approaching the Black Queen. Then, the camera moved from his burning staff to the face of the enemy. Even though partially covered in blood, the Queen was not dead, yet. One could see her breathing and beneath her dark clothing, what seemed to be a heart was still pumping virtual oxygen through her computerized body. A sparkle of fury made her violet eyes look creepy.
The Queen’s face soon became the centre of the entire scene, as if the camera was seeing her from above. Sean waited for her to start talking, thus creating one of those usual speeches of revenge and so on, but the villainess did nothing of the sort. Slowly, the black tiles of the scenario she was lying on began dissolving into a mixture of colourful patterns. Blue spirals, red squares and green moving lines flashed combining themselves in an exotic dance of light.
At the same time, the digital face of the Black Queen underwent severe transformations. The more the image changed the more human it became. Her eyes grew bigger and that sparkle of fury intensified. It was now a mesh of pulsating live hatred aimed directly at him.
“What the hell?” Sean had already seen many bizarre end sequences, but all of them turned out to be coherent, unlike that eerie demonstration of special effects. What was the meaning of all that? And why on the earth had the Black Queen changed into a real woman, such a scary and beautiful woman altogether?
As the patterns continued whirling, a low sound infiltrated the moving picture. It started out as a low intensity buzz; then a bass line joined in creating a small, repetitive melody much like the ticking of a metronome in music classes.
Sean immediately absorbed the mechanical sound alongside with the moving objects around the woman’s face. Every time the light shifted, somehow it ended reflecting itself in her pupils, who seemed to be spiralling as well, or was that just another trick? He couldn’t really tell and as he looked more closely to the whole set of intertwined pictures, he started realizing that those thoughts weren’t important at all.
It would have been quite easy for him to grab the remote and switch off the television, if the images hadn’t been constructed in a special way that automatically froze the brain of the viewer. Their purpose was to induce a slight trance, a mere preparation for something greater, nothing more.
Sean continued receiving the subliminal information that glued him to his seat. His arms turned stiff, his eyes blank. He couldn’t move or even think of moving.
He was already completely addicted when a feminine voice was added to the set. It was the same voice that he heard during the game, the voice of the Black Queen… it had a message for him that went like this:
“Congratulations! You have finished my game. In order to celebrate your achievement, I’ve arranged a small surprise for you, but you’ll have to come and collect it. I’m at Dock 15, warehouse 3 waiting for you. The combination to the door is 19672. Come to me….”
The message had a loop attached to it. It kept starting all over again, invading Sean’s ears and lodging itself deep into his subconscious mind. The fascination of it all prevented him from realizing the danger of listening to that voice.
When the message played for the twentieth and last time, the hypnotic patterns disappeared from the screen, and the face of the Black Queen dissolved into a shamble of pixels. The repeating sounds were replaced by a powerful piece of orchestral music and the list of credits of the game dominated the TV set.
Slowly, Sean began feeling conscious again. Two minutes later, he could move at his will and was fully aware of his surroundings. Everything seemed normal, except for what went on in his head. He felt compelled to leave the house and do what that voice had told him to. He couldn’t shake the thought out of his head; when he tried, the urge would simply grow on him.
“Come to me…” the Queen said in that seductive tone, with her violet eyes imprisoning his senses. “Come to me…”
That’s exactly what he did.
* * *
Half an hour later, he was walking along the Docks. When he reached the location he had been given, he found a large metal door, and a number pad to the right of it. Upon pressing the right sequence of numbers, he heard a small rattlesnake hiss and the door opened wide into a corridor filled with fluorescent lights.
Sean walked in and the door immediately closed behind him. He had triggered some sort of motion detector carved in the wall and now he could only continue forward. The corridor ended in another metal door which was already unlocked.
Crossing this door, he found a small, square chamber. At its centre, a red circle had been drawn. Three out of the four walls were impregnated with sensors. The other one showed yet another door. There was also a pair of speakers next to it and the Queen’s voice was flowing through them.
“You have come to collect your surprise, have you not?” the voice asked.
“Yes, I have.” he replied without so much of a thought.
“Good. Would you mind stating your name for the records?”
“My name is Sean Prescott.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you, Sean. As you might have suspected, I’m the Black Queen. That’s right; I’m not just a character in a videogame. In fact, I’m quite real….” she replied maliciously. “Before I let you proceed to my quarters, I’m going to have to ask you to step into the red circle on the ground and be very quiet for a few seconds. Will you do that?”
“Sure.” What harm could that do anyway?
When he entered the circle, all of the sensors in the walls started working. Red and blue lights travelled throughout his body, scanning from top to bottom. Meanwhile, in another room, a hidden computer was processing all the information acquired.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Sean.” the Queen said shortly after. “The proceedings are now complete.”
That comment stroke him as really odd. Pulling himself together for a while, he had to ask:
“What sort of proceedings?”
“It is part of your surprise. Enter the next room to find out.”
Once more, forward was the only way because the door on his back was already locked. Sean grabbed the knob that opened the new path and stepped into a larger room. The walls were white and naked. On the ceiling, one could see four projectors and four more speakers, each one of them facing one of the walls. On the floor, almost invisible to the eye, stood a trapdoor, but there was no opening in sight.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
“Be patient, Sean. Just look at the walls to find out.”
All of the projectors went online as she said this, and the entire room was lit by the same whirling mixture of patterns he had seen on his TV. The image of that mysterious woman was there again, bigger and even more beautiful than before. The ticking sounds returned and the Queen spoke out loud:
“You have seen this before, Sean, and you liked it. That’s why you came here. Why you don’t relax and look at it again? Let the images fill your mind…”
“I don’t understand.”
“Only those who look at the images can understand, Sean. Look at them… it’s so easy to do it… you know you want to look and let yourself go just like before…”
“That’s not true. I’m getting out of here.”
He turned back at the door, looking down so he wouldn’t be caught by the mesmerizing power of those patterns again. As he touched the knob, a discharge of electricity made him jump back. It was so intense that he fell back helplessly, screaming in pain. He got up again, but this time he wasn’t fast enough to escape the hypnotic swirls. He only glanced at the Black Queen’s violet eyes, but the glance soon turned into a gaze. The pain became less and less perceptible, his brain started to freeze again….
He went into trance a lot faster than the first time, which was only natural since his mind was now more receptive to the conditioning. His world was easily reduced to that spectacle of light and shadow and the Queen’s voice rampaged through his free will.
“That’s right, Sean! You’re doing just fine. Soon, you will begin to understand. Keep looking… going deeper and deeper for me… falling deeper and deeper into my fantasies, enjoying the sound of my voice… letting me take control…”
Sean remained still, almost in the centre of the room, as his subconscious mind plunged into the ecstasy of oblivion and The Black Queen replaced his innermost thoughts with new ones, thoughts that were meant to please her, erotic desires of submission and utmost devotion.
Though the recurring patterns continued to be projected along the walls, new images appeared in and out of sight. Gradually, the face of the Queen merged with the background and a set of computer-generated images representing a man and a woman flashed in.
The virtual woman was another representation of the Queen, much like the one in the game, with her edges a bit more polished. The man had a polygonal face that matched Sean’s almost perfectly. It had been generated on the spot after the complete scan and was the final piece of the puzzle.
Sean’s replica kneeled in front of the Queen’s, only to get up and kneel again. While this was happening, the real woman was instructing:
“The Black Queen is power, the Black Queen is control. All men must obey her. You, Sean, must obey her. The Black Queen is power, the Black Queen is control. All men must kneel before her. You, Sean, must kneel… The Black Queen is power, the Black Queen is control. All men must worship her. You, Sean, must worship her…”
The same sentences were repeated during a whole hour, always with the same tone that numbed the listener. It was quite obvious now that it was a mere tape playing continuously. It was also quite obvious that Sean wasn’t going to resist the programming long.
The real Queen knew that, so she started preparing her entrance. While Sean listened passively to his new set of beliefs, the trapdoor in the room started moving.
It turns out that it wasn’t a trapdoor at all but a small elevator connected to an underground level. It could easily carry four of five boxes or a slender black-haired woman wearing a ceremonial black gown and a necklace of shiny amethysts and long, matching earrings. Her violet eyes shone with unnatural light.
This magnificent vision broke the poor male’s last shred of resistance. Sean’s lips formed two simple words as he knelt:
“Yes, Sean. I am your Queen and the Black Queen is power, the Black Queen is control…”
“All men must obey you, I must obey you…”
“Good. Now you know the truth. This is the surprise I had in store for you. You do like it, don’t you?”
“I like whatever my Queen likes.”
“You’re right once again. You are now my puppet, my slave. There’s nothing I cannot ask of you, there’s nothing you can deny me!”
“I would never dream of such. I’m totally at your disposal, my Queen…”
“In that case, listen to my story. You know, not so long ago I was merely a computer programmer working for a major software company, the one that produced the game that brought you to me. At the time, and even though my work was of superior quality, I was overshadowed by men who despite their inadequacy and poor planning solutions always ended with the best assignments as well as the promotions.
“One day, while I was experimenting with a set of luminous patterns, one of my co-workers tried to hack some files out of my computer but all he managed to do was to download that experiment to his own screen. It was funny to see his face changing. One moment he was laughing at me, the other he was paralyzed by what he had seen.
“I continued my research using him as a subject and eventually came to the conclusion that I was quite good at inducing hypnotic trances. I started toying with his mind, changing a few aspects of his personality until he was nothing more than a vegetable, unable to breathe without my explicit consent.
“Two weeks later, all of the computers in the division were playing my hypnotic patterns. I even enthralled other women, but the feeling didn’t seem right. I mean, all of us are superior beings, so I should only use my new skills to break down the weak and inferior, pathetic men just like you. I believe you agree with me.”
“Obviously, my Queen.”
“That’s when I had the idea of using a videogame to breed a new generation of submissive creatures. Think about it: teenagers who play videogames today will be tomorrow’s grown-ups. If they are properly trained at an early age, a great majority of the male population will grow up to become a population of slaves, my slaves, obedient servants of the Black Queen. You’re not a teenager at all, but nevertheless you are my property, now.
“There is only one problem worthy of notice: most TV and computer screens are very small and when my patterns play on them, the subjects just don’t go as deep as I want them to. I still need a projector in a room as big as this to finish the brainwashing. I will have to correct that situation but for the time being, it’s not so bad at all. For the moment, I’m only applying this conversion program locally but everyday I get two or three new slaves who finish my game and are drawn into my chambers. I started this little plan two months ago… you do the math.
“All of them are out there in the world, continuing their lives without any recollection of ever being here. I have their contacts and access to all of their finances to pay for my researches. I gave them specific instructions to become fully submissive again at the sound of my voice or when they receive an SMS or e-mail with the following phrase: the Black Queen is power, the Black Queen is control… and I will do the same to you before you leave this room.
“But before we get to that part, I want to play with you a little more. You can call it an initiation rite: all new slaves begin their life of servitude by stripping in front of me. Now, it’s your turn. Do it, now, Sean! I want to see your cock saluting me.”
Sean bowed and tossed his jacket to the ground. Then, he removed his shirt and his pants, by lifting just a little bit his knees off the ground, one at a time, so he wouldn’t displease her. Finally, he laid his socks aside and threw the boxers at the left wall. Completely naked and hard as a rock, Sean saw his Queen moving toward the most distant wall. In one of her hands, he noticed a small remote control which he hadn’t seen earlier. She pressed a green button and the wall started lifting just like a garage door, revealing another secret compartment, this one with shiny violet curtains and a velvet throne.
The Black Queen sat down and the bottom part of her gown fell to the ground. He saw her delicate pussy. It was calling him by his name:
“Come to me on your knees and taste my sweet nectar!” she ordered. “There is no greater honour for a slave.”
Sean listened and followed her bidding the way he was supposed to: happy… blindly happy….
* * *
He left the warehouse, still in trance. He only snapped out of it when he entered his bedroom and not a minute earlier. That’s what he had been instructed to do.
What he remembered of that day was very different from what actually had taken place. He had been with Amber at her house, instead of the Docks. The game had finished with an awesome cut-scene and the hypnotic patterns on his TV never existed in the first place. Only the credits were real, alongside with the satisfaction of playing such an adventure ‘til the end.
It was so exciting that all of his friends should play it, as well. He had to tell them to buy it, just like computer-wiz Bobby had told him. Sitting on his bed, he glanced at the plastic case of the game partially engulfed by darkness and smiled.
Everything was back to normal in his life again; at least until his phone rang or the computer announced with all the letters that the Black Queen was power, the Black Queen was control….