Inspirations: At the end.
Robin forced the issue when they passed the hill—Keever’s Bluff?—with its pleasantly-creepy gnarled tree.
It was the last hour of their last day driving cross-country to install her at the Abbey. Her mother had fallen silent again, and it was putting the pre-homesick lump back in Robin’s throat.
When in doubt, kick over the table.
“OK, Mom. So what if it all goes Pete Tong after all? I attend the Fledging and do everything you taught me. But, I lose.
“I walk out of the pavilion, hypnotized crosseyed. Total Stepford. All Falcons are goddesses, I must kneel and obey, yada yada.”
A glance at how Christine Weyler grasped the wheel showed this table was well and truly kicked. Excellent. But her mother just kept driving.
“So how bad it is it? I mean, SUG—submissive until graduation. Abbey alumnae succeed, whatever they were before.
“I mean, you spent all four years hypnotized, and now you own an entire—”
“I do not want that for you.”
Robin relaxed after a moment. The Weyler mother-daughter pilgrimage had precluded bringing the chauffeur or anyone else, and she’d belatedly realized the unwisdom of freaking out the driver.
Carefully, she reached over and covered Christine’s free hand.
“I know, Mom. I remember everything you told me. I understand exactly how you feel, and why.
“I also know how much it hurt you, just telling me all that.”
Christine’s hand tightened but stayed in hers.
“Even when I was little, Mom. Even when it was just funny stories about how silly Mommy was when she was at school. All the silly-willy things she did. How they made her want—”
Robin growled playfully. “I mean I won’t let you down, Mom. You raised me right.” She grinned. “Heck, you programmed me.”
Christine smiled bravely. “Someday, Robin, I need to apologize for that.”
“Oh, pfft.” Robin released her arm.
“Did I raise my child to swear?” Christine managed mock-outrage, before they laughed.
“Pfft, I say! It’s not like it even hurt. And how many girls my age can say they’ve been hypnotized every day?”
Her mother looked nervously at her.
“Of course, if anyone said anything. To anyone. About, you know, anything.” Robin mimed shock. “Oh, and, like, there wasn’t even a posthypnotic suggestion to tell no one?”
“As if.” Christine smiled at the road. Robin felt proud getting her this happy, this close to the Abbey.
She knew the landscape from her mother’s descriptions but she’d never seen it for real. Christine Weyler, ‘87 (Dove), never brought her daughter to visit her old school, even after they’d agreed she’d attend. While Robin had been curious, the Abbey’s detailed virtual tours—bullshit-hype aside—had been comprehensive.
The whole school was like one fucked-up sorority, locked in a four-year hazing. But alumnae from both castes did thrive. And most seemed to . . . enjoy it.
But seeing entranced Doves obey Falcons, spending more time in the Eyrie than their own dorm, Robin knew why her mother hated the place.
Later she’d re-suggested visiting, less in the spirit of inquiry and more in that of field intelligence. Walk the terrain, get a feel for the fighting ground.
“By the time you’re exploring the ground,” her mother’d said, “you’re holding a leash or on one.”
And thrilled damp, either way.
“I should apologize.” Christine was still watching the road. “I tried hard to teach you to think for yourself, and god knows you’re—”
“A bitch?” Robin raised an eyebrow, in the spirit of inquiry.
“More than I ever was,” Christine smirked.
“I never got you to get me a pony, though.”
“That again.” But the old joke didn’t sustain Christine for long.
“Robin, all those years putting you into trance—I must have misused that, sometime, to make you do something or stop. When I didn’t think I could persuade you.” Her voice dropped. “Even this, attending the Abbey—”
“Mom. Please. You didn’t hypnotize me into this. I’ve really liked the idea of beating them in their house.” She tapped the window. “There’s nothing you’ve done in my life that I don’t—freely—agree with.
“Well, aside from naming me after a bird, with all these Doves and Falcons and Toucans. Aren’t there Toucans also?”
Robin twisted awkwardly in the seatbelt and grasped her shoulder. “Mom, for god’s sake! I’m not your puppet. Think of arguments just this year you wish we hadn’t had. Pick just five.
“Or even this one.” She leaned to the dashboard, getting into Christine’s field of view. “Overall, Mom, do I seem too—I don’t know—submissive?”
Her mother lost it and guffawed.
Robin straightened, stared. “Yes, Mother. You are correct. You are always correct.
“Your thoughts are superior to my thoughts. When I hear the chime, I will stop thinking my—”
“Not funny!” Christine was horrified, but she was still laughing. Probably horrified at that, too. Robin wondered whether this was real progress.
“Mom. You were teaching me. The Abbey’s a weird place and those hypno-games are the weirdest part. Anyone going there without survival skills could end up—”
“The way I did,” Christine said.
Yikes. “Um—sure. Anyway, if you were grooming me for, say, MIT, then yeah. Brainwashing your only child for that would be a little wack.”
“This is guilt, not amnesia.” Her mother rolled her eyes. “I do recall four years as my enemy’s hypnoslave. Most of it, anyway. I just had to ensure you’d succeed, where I failed.”
Robin reclaimed Christine’s hand. “Mom—you did not ‘fail.’ You endured. All the way to B-school and founding your own freaking company thank you very much.
“Libby Kern Pearce couldn’t make you her chambermaid.” Robin blazed through the silence the name invoked. “You won, Mom. When she was done, you were still you. You could succeed, and hate her guts.”
“That wasn’t me, Robin. It’s the rule. RUG—release upon graduation.”
“It was more than that, Mom.” Damn. Mom had to know her daughter understood. But the mood was dropping.
“Then—you prepared your vengeance-weapon!”
Christine had to look.
“Or actually, I suppose a real V-waffe would say Ich.”
Christine laughed, nodding. Score! Mom was another history nerd.
Then the Abbey loomed, dominating the forested hillside. Whistling in the dark seemed like fear, now. They discussed Registration, and where they’d meet before Robin went to be Fledged.
At the gate, directing traffic in little more than white gloves and blank eyes, Robin saw her first Dove.
In the Eyrie’s second-floor portico, Christine stared helplessly at the Floating Pendulum. It was as real as the one Libby had shown her months ago. After that one captured her mind, Libby had magically put it inside, to appear and bewitch her whenever Libby told her to see it.
“Jennifer . . . where are you, tonight?” Annie Lennox wondered, through someone’s open door. Her lost-soul voice seeped into Christine’s mind. If the Pendulum’s swing hadn’t owned Christine, she’d have been Annie’s.
“What are you doing tonight, Dove?”
Libby’s voice had controlled her since she’d fallen asleep to it, being Fledged back in August. Unlike Eurythmics, the stronger-willed freshman knew she could use it to make Christine obey.
“I thought I’d work on my History paper, Mistress.” Doves could make plans but never knew what they’d be doing until a Falcon told them.
“Focus on the Pendulum, Christine.” Libby’s voice slid into her mind, right where she’d trained Christine to let her in. Christine stared at the illusory brass and went deeper.
“Tonight, you need to write my papers. You want only to write my papers.”
“Yes, Mistress.” Christine smiled loosely. Falcon-will, thrusting into her mind, was better than riding her vibrator.
She loved putting Libby’s priorities over hers. Libby had trained her to think about that when she masturbated, and programmed her to masturbate a lot.
“I want only to write your papers.”
“. . . under-neath the wa-ter . . .”
She held pose but turned her head attentively to the lovely Falcon who’d just hypnotized her. “Do you need me, Mistress?”
Libby just grinned at her.
“Because I—need—to get cracking on your papers.”
“Already waiting for you, Dove. Please me.”
“Thank you, Mistress!” Christine pranced off, crossing the quad to the Dovecote. Her conditioning drew her to approach the submissives’ dorm facing the great mural.
She gazed reverently: a small white dove asleep below a red spiral, the word OBEY in shining iridescent letters. “I obey,” she whispered, and bowed.
In the lobby she checked back in with the glassy-eyed desk monitor, then trotted up to her room. There was no sign of Patsy, who’d spent autumn falling under the spell of three different Falcons. They kept her busy and lubricated. Dylan was perched crosslegged on her upper bunk, staring at what might be her own Floating Pendulum, silently repeating something her Falcon had her brainwashing herself with.
Ellie was at the PC, wearing only pink panties and glasses that reflected the glowing green text. “Finally, the History?” she tossed to Christine as she entered.
Christine made shooing gestures at the idea. “If I have time.” She sighed blissfully. “Mistress Libby has chores for me!” The papers were already on her bunk, dropped off by another Dove that Libby’d accosted and “reassigned” as her messenger.
“Oh, Christine.” Ellie glared up adorably, all dark nipples and black-bespectacled eyes. “You might still squeak by, but that’ll kill your QPA if you—don’t—” She blinked, hands sliding away from the keyboard.
“Mmm-uhh.” Her eyes rolled up. Some Falcon had implanted a thoughtstopper, and her little spasm of dissent started it uncoiling in her mind. Staring into space, she nodded as it rewrote her recent beliefs.
“Nooo,” she mused. “You must obey her.”
Christine wanted to watch Ellie succumb, but Libby’s work waited.
“You must help Mistress Libby succeed,” her roommate moaned, all focus gone.
“I must,” Christine agreed, half to herself, scanning the papers to see which needed doing first. She was actually better at history than Libby, but the Floating Pendulum in her head told her that was neither proper, nor beyond fixing.
Her pussy moistened as she peeled off her top and shorts, then sprawled on her bunk to fix it. She was already calculating how far below Libby’s her own mark should be.
After she’d obeyed Libby, she’d call to report Ellie’s disobedience. Ellie would too, of course, later, begging to be entranced and corrected. But reporting a friend always made a Dove more aroused.
Christine stopped thinking about that and started thinking about history. By the time she needed the PC to type it up, Ellie was up on her bunk wearing nothing but her Walkman, curled around her fingers. Sometimes whispering she bop! as her hips thrust.
Christine wanted to stop and fuck her, but both of them had commands to obey. Besides, Ellie’d somehow kept her glasses on, and she looked delicious just like that.
All the papers went in on time the next day.
Some time later, Christine came out of meditation and found an envelope slid under the door, addressed to her. Inside, a notecard from the Associate Dean of Students summoned her to a meeting tomorrow.
Next morning, Christine found the Dean’s receptionist was a work-study Dove, who seemed to be under a posthypnotic command to moisten for every second of bright-eyed welcome. When Christine came in, she turned and beamed as if Christine stopping by were her heart’s desire. Christine fell helplessly into her bliss, and for a moment the Doves almost tranced each other.
But both were in the Dean’s thrall now. Presently Christine was seated, and the other girl gazed dreamily back at the door. The chairs all faced a poster of the OBEY mural, and Christine sank into its dark swirl until the receptionist woke her and sent her in.
Dean Beyle’s power-suit lacked trendy shoulderpads, but she could still mesmerize Christine without lifting a finger. She motioned Christine to a chair.
“We need to discuss your recent performance.” She reached across her desk to the inlaid globe, and seeing Christine follow her gesture she paused, then spun it.
She’d trained Christine with it, and Christine’s mind blurred with the continents. She was barely aware of the questioning.
Then she was awake.
“I’ll speak with Miss Kern.” Dean Beyle frowned. “And I’ve reprogrammed you not to obey her if it threatens your academics.”
“A thoughtstopper, Ma’am?” Christine thought of Ellie writhing on the bed.
Dean Beyle seemed to read her mind. Suddenly Christine wanted to ask permission to jill off in front of her.
“No. You’ll simply fall into automatic trance, then recite a warning I’ve implanted. All the Falcons know it. Miss Kern will be on notice that I’ve also programmed you to stay in trance and report her.
“The Abbey does not condone abuse.”
Christine stood and bowed. “Yes, Ma’am. But . . .
“Some of us want . . . to be abused . . .”
Dean Beyle just looked at her as she left.
Robin decided greeter-Doves were chosen for their creepy obedience. As an incentive, maybe—each freshman saw what she’d become, if she lost.
Dove submissiveness was palpable. Knowing they were conditioned to like being hypnotized was different from having Shane, the sophomore assigned her, just being such a happy zombie. Their uniform was phys-ed via softcore porn: skintight tank-top and booty shorts in white, and Grecian sandals.
At Registration, a silken-mannered senior Falcon named Arianna took charge of new arrivals, describing what many already knew, and distributing the competition leotards that equalized everyone in Fledging.
The guests—mostly mothers, though not all alumnae—would wait in Founders’ Hall, where they’d meet their freshmen again briefly. A Dove would lead each girl to her ordeal, which by tradition had no audience but the judges.
Then, the Fledging: enthrall or be enthralled. Hypnotizing two other girls hatched a Falcon. Succumbing once meant kneeling for good. Maybe beside your first conquest, as obedient as she. No credit for taking her—or memory of it. Just another Dove.
Walking along now, Robin listened in case Shane told her anything new. She found herself interrupting her, making demands. Shane just responded as if Robin were already a Falcon.
I’d better not enjoy this too much. She imagined her mother, asskissing some bitchy freshman back in the day.
Robin kept her killer-instinct on. In the pavilion, she couldn’t see an opponent as her mom.
They avoided the main quad. There was some woo-woo initiation lore about how they weren’t “worthy” of that sacred precinct until they’d faced their destinies.
More incentive: everyone saw the sumptuous Eyrie they’d enjoy if they were still awake this afternoon, and the austere Dovecote where they’d crowd blissfully, if not. This path went past the Dovecote’s exterior OBEY mural, and three Doves stood spellbound before it, for every freshman to see.
At the pavilion, on an athletic field behind Founders’, Shane found Robin a curtain-cubicle. Donning the revealing leotard was weird enough. Surrendering her clothes to this glassy-eyed slave really hit home. I may not be wearing these when the sun goes down.
Shane’s hands were soft as she smoothed the adhesive number-tag over Robin’s left breast.
They turned in her clothes. Falcon-Robin would reclaim them, after Fledging. Dove-Robin—
—wouldn’t need them. Or maybe even remember them.
Robin considered winning, instead.
The pavilion would offer her, and her opponent, plenty of tech, which she’d studied for years—strobes, subsonics, wave-phase emitters. Vintage mechanicals—beautiful working antiques from the Abbey’s collection. Mirrorboxes, metronomes, early hypnodisks.
Libby had hypnotized Robin’s mother with an 1890s clockwork-pendulum. Christine didn’t remember—she’d read it typing up the academic award Libby won for using it.
Some girls relied on only voice and gaze. A few of those were even reputed to walk out awake.
It was almost time. She found Christine by the wall above the sculpture garden.
Christine stiffened, seeing her in the leotard. Robin embraced her.
“See, if I’d had a pony, I’d have learned how to train another girl properly—” In the shadow of Eyrie and Dovecote, their old joke dissolved.
“I promised you, Mom. I promise again. Whoever I hypnotize, now or afterward—I won’t hurt her. Or make her ashamed when she wakes up.”
Christine’s eyes welled and she squeezed Robin tightly.
Then pushed her away, reabsorbing the tears with willpower that really impressed Robin, as she turned.
“Your daughter is very beautiful.”
Libby Pearce. Robin knew her from photos online. Another alumna-achiever.
“And self-disciplined.” Libby didn’t gloat. She just looked Robin up and down, clearly assessing how she’d look naked, and in bed. She seemed pleased.
Robin tried assessing her right back, ignoring how exposed the leotard made her feel. It was hard to filter out her tutored hate, but Robin didn’t begrudge her mom an atom of that.
Libby had well-toned legs under that skirt, but Robin kept seeing a younger Christine—or any other Dove—kneeling between them, stripped of will.
Pointless. Libby turned to the softly-pretty brunette beside her, whose cloud of hair spilled toward the scoopneck of her own leotard.
“Kendall. My classmate Christine—Weyler, now. And her daughter.”
Kendall nodded regally. No one was offering to shake hands.
Robin considered the Pearces’ calm, wondered if they had any idea how thoroughly her mother had readied her, or were so far up their own asses they just didn’t care.
“You were my mother’s own Dove, weren’t you, Ms Weyler?” Kendall could give silken Arianna lessons in disdain. “You still look lovely.”
Christine didn’t even twitch. Just smiled. Robin wanted to hug her.
“Your mother doesn’t seem to have changed either, dear.” Christine smiled. “The world has, but so what, I suppose.”
Though Libby smiled, Robin could imagine her eyes glowing killbot red. Score, Mom!
But Libby didn’t blink. “You’ve bred a true beauty, Christine. Robin will please whoever hypnotizes her today.”
Her gaze grew franker. Robin’s leotard felt briefer and tighter. “Though whoever does that, I doubt she’ll keep Robin all to herself.”
“I wouldn’t.” Kendall smirked, fishing for provocation, finding none.
Libby kept looking. “Don’t pout, Robin.”
Robin just smiled, deciding the hazel eyes flickered doubt.
Libby forged on. “Susceptibility’s in your genes, dear. Your mother couldn’t resist, and today one of these girls will hypnotize you in turn.”
Robin let her smile widen.
“You could always submit now.” Kendall’s knee dimpled as she toed the grass. “I can put you to sleep right here.”
Christine had described girls not even chancing the pavilion. Just giving up their wills and getting it over with. Robin hadn’t come here for that, but from sheer perversity she contemplated Kendall’s smooth thighs, what four years between them might be like.
“I promise, Robin, I’ll pass you on to someone nice.”
“Bravado much?” Robin stared her down, jazzed when Kendall’s eyes widened nervously. “You should relax.
“Tell you what, Kendall. You don’t even have to spend your last free minute kneeling. Just stand there, look into my eyes—just like that—and I promise whoever I give you to, you’ll believe she’s nice no matter what she’s like. Want to?”
Kendall snorted. Robin admired not being able to tell whether it was derision or fear.
“Whomever, Robin. When you’re proofing your Falcon’s work, you’ll need to have that grammar down.”
Then Kendall’s Dove was beside her. Conversation stopped, and Kendall hugged Libby before turning away to follow. Libby nodded to the Weylers and walked away, not deigning to observe their parting.
Robin kissed her mother, and held her until Shane came for her.
Cupping the votive candle, Christine crossed the quad toward the sacred catacombs. The Abbey’s lights were dimmed, and the glow of votives stood out in the relative gloom.
Each marked a Dove in trance, doing the Cult’s bidding.
It was spring break. Most Falcons and many Doves had left, mainly for the Abbey’s private beach resort. A few stayed, boosting sagging grades, watching MTV—and if they were Doves, soon stripping to it.
The Cult was different. It was a special way certain Falcons could enjoy their favorite Doves. Better than the beach.
To her left, the Dovecote’s plain walls made Christine ache for her bunk. Just a little sleep. She didn’t remember when last she’d slept.
The hypnotic voice in her head told her she wanted this. To serve the Cult without sleep or question. She’d been selected for the special assembly before break, and after she and the others had stared at the spiral and listened, she’d done nothing while the rest departed.
But she was so, so sleepy.
A disused maintenance building, a squat garage, had been unlocked to give the girls access to the old utility tunnels. The Falcon priestesses had their own secret ways, but Dove-acolytes like Christine knew only this servants’ entrance to the sacred catacombs.
Another Dove emerged with her own votive, as blank-faced as Christine. Meeting the evening breeze, the candle flickered, flashing in her glassy eyes.
“We worship.” The girl wore nothing but straps and chains.
“We obey,” Christine chanted back, feeling the breeze on her own bare pussy and nipples. They passed, and Christine entered the garage.
At the top of the stairway she halted, letting the flame’s wavering glow against the grimy wall soothe her. “Each step down deepens my trance. Down. Deepen. Dazed. Dove.”
She descended, and it happened. By the time she reached the tunnel, her mind was dimmer than the faint bulbs along its walls.
The sacred catacombs—where every Dove in the Cult was helplessly drawn, when summoned. The darkness and odd smells, mold and incense and girl-arousal, pressed on her. The candle in Christine’s hand flickered, throbbing in her head.
She wanted to sleep. The Abbey, classes, even padding along hypnotized to obey some Falcon—crumbled like dreams. Even before the break, the Cult-chosen had pulled all-nighters in their own or Falcons’ backlogged studies or toiled to prepare the tunnels or gone from one Falcon to another . . .
Never sleeping. Always reporting to a Falcon when she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Being hypnotized instead of sleeping. Adoring each Falcon who kept her awake.
Christine was walking down the tunnel without realizing it.
At the end, by the door, a taller girl stood sentry. Kat, the star setter from the JV volleyball squad, wore chains at her waist and biceps and a thicker-linked one around her throat, with her kneepads and elbow guards like kinky armor. She looked silly, and insanely hot, and totally brainwashed.
Her eyes, red-rimmed with fatigue, reflected Christine’s votive without blinking. Or the slightest sign she recognized Christine.
Kat’s body tightened further. She swung up a plastic lightsaber fast enough for the diaphragm inside to make the whoOOH noise. “Halt, infidel! Who defiles the sacred catacombs?” Her sweet fanaticism rang from the tiles.
Hummed through Christine’s head. “No infidel, loyal sentinel. Only an unworthy slave, to worship the Falcons. Slay me in their name.”
Kat’s pale skin was still red and welted from the straps. Yesterday she’d been teamed with a couple of other athletic Doves to pull Falcons around in a cart.
“It is well, obedient slave. Pass, and adore them!” Slapping the lightsaber down against her long, firm thigh, Kat snapped to attention and stared forward.
Christine drifted through the door, wanting vaguely to kiss the bigger girl, or kneel and lick her. But the votive’s flicker and the summons owned her, and she kept walking.
On the left, music pulsed from behind a closed door, in cadence with flashes through its window. Christine glimpsed Doves dancing naked under lights, Falcons watching.
One of the swim team warded this door. She looked even more robotic than Kat, through wearing even less—only a thick tinfoil-covered collar and gloves. In the metallic swimcap and reflective goggles Christine couldn’t tell who she was or even if her eyes were open. Her left glove pointed a brightly-colored raygun waterpistol at the floor, but it didn’t move as Christine passed.
Her eyes must be open. She was a Dove—strong body and weak mind both belonging to the Falcons. And no Doves slept, while they served the Cult.
The door Christine felt drawn to was unguarded and open. The large room seemed familiar—she might have helped clean it earlier, in trance—but she ignored that.
Along one wall, naked Doves knelt on tumbling mats. One was bent back, eating out the Falcon who straddled her. Another Dove knelt nearby, carefully holding the Falcon’s skirt in her teeth.
Christine put her votive with the others, by the door. She found an empty mat, knelt, bowed in thanks to the Falcons—knelt upright before she could fall asleep.
“We worship. We obey.” It took only one chant before the Floating Pendulum appeared. Christine stared and fell deeper.
The Pendulum swung.
It solidified into Libby, crouched close by to savor Christine’s trance. Libby’s eyes snared hers, and Christine followed them up as the Falcon stood.
“Do you want to sleep, Christine?”
Christine had sagged against Libby’s legs before she knew she’d lost her balance. Libby’s eyes kept hers chained.
But she needed something more than sleep.
“I want what you tell me to, Mistress.”
“Why don’t we let you sleep?”
Christine fought the drowsiness from just hearing sleep, in a voice that could grant it.
“Answer, Dove. I know you have a brain; it’s been so useful to me. What’s dripping down your thigh is your free will.”
Christine’s head cleared slightly. “Deprivation. Brainwashing.” It sounded erotic. “You’re—you really are brainwashing us.” Everything sounded erotic, at Libby’s feet.
“Mmm-hmm. Taking over your minds.” Libby brushed her pussy across Christine’s face. Christine’s needful mew almost tempted her again.
“By now you’re such perfect subjects. Conditioned to believe, and obey. Helpless to resist.” Her grin was evil enough to make Christine orgasm where she knelt. Almost.
“Look into my eyes. Deep into my eyes. Surrender your freedom. All you want is to obey me.”
“Obeyyy yyyouuu . . .” Christine looked, falling upward. Libby’s voice was inside her mind, now.
Was becoming her mind.
Was her mind.