At breakfast, Sophie and Sadie came to me with their concerns. "I don't know these men really want to do this," Sadie told me, "I wonder if we should let them go, but I'm afraid of what that means for us." "I wish I could just get them to try it," Sophie said, "Maybe we should tell them more about what it feels like."
Mona was overhearing us. "I'll talk with them today. I don't you to lose all of this because of people I brought," she announced. We told her she didn't have to do this, but she insisted. "They're my friends. I've gotten them to do things they were afraid of before." She touched my hand, and I remembered the moment when Sophie convinced Mona to accept being an avatar of beauty. If she could trust us, I could trust her.
Demiurge had hardly noticed Mona enter his room. He was busy looking up "how to reverse brainwashing" on the computer he was provided, and sometimes taking bites from his brunch. The balls for the steps of the program remained untouched. He had thought about destroying them, but worried it might activate them instead.
"Hi, can we talk for a second?," Mona said, sitting on the bed beside him. "Monad, try to remember us, okay! Try to remember the times we first met, your family!," Demiurge pleaded, putting his hand on her shoulder, "This isn't you!" "Demiurge, this is me. There's just been a lot of things I felt like I had to hide from you," she responded, "I remember everything. We first met when you caught me trying to pick your pocket on South 3rd Street, and you decided to work with me instead. We found Archon when we responded to that ad in the paper for a 'strong man in need of money'. I chose to be with them because I got a taste and I loved it, and I think you will too."
Demiurge wasn't sure how to respond. Had his partner really consented to having a bunch of nanites in her head? Her facial expressions looked genuine, and her memories were accurate, but maybe it was just the computer doing those things. And besides, why would she do it? He had to find out. "Why do you love it? What's so good about being controlled, huh?," he asked. "I'm not being controlled," Mona responded, "I can do whatever I want. But if you want to know what I love about it, it's the feeling. I can get this thrill whenever, and feel this constant pleasure all the time. I couldn't feel that way without the nanites, and being here lets me do all these things that make me feel complete. Just complete."
"Just complete." Demiurge recognized that phrase. Monad used to use to describe how'd she feel after successful jobs. And thrills. The Monad he knew loved thrillseeking. Could a computer really know these things? Mona interrupted his thoughts. "If you try step 1 of the program, I would really like it. I don't want you to miss out on this," she said.
"But what's with the house arrest?," Demiurge asked, "If it's so good, why do you need to keep me here?" "The others are scared. Scared it'll be over if you left and told someone," Mona answered, "Between you and me, they're close to letting you go. But I don't want to leave here, and I don't want to say goodbye to you, either, so..."
"Fine," Demiurge said, sighing, "I'll do the first one. Nothing is going into the brain, right?" "Nothing. They told me themselves," Mona confirmed. Demiurge walked over to the set of spheres, and picked one up. Taking a deep breath, he crushed it. The ball crumbled into particles, and swirled around Demiurge, as everything became hazy and he passed out.
Demiurge awakened in a forest environment, having been lying, naked, on a bed of leaves. He immediately got up, and winced. He didn't really like to be outdoors, and he especially didn't like to be outdoors and exposed. Looking around, he could see his bed was at the end of a path between the trees, one that looked like it had been trodden many times. He followed the path, in search of civilization, and pants.
After a few minutes walk, he came across a small village in the forest by a spring, populated entirely by beautiful women. They all wore very simple, but revealing clothes. As he near the entrance gate, a voice in his head spoke to him. "This village is a construction of the program and your mind. It is the spark of beauty within you, calling out to develop. The people you see here look like and act like people you know, but are not." Demiurge looked around, and sure enough, recognized some of the faces. Old friends, coworkers, marks, and even a copy of Mona walked around, conversing, lounging, and working. Upon seeing Demiurge, though, the women stopped to stare at him. A few ran off to get something in response.
"Hi! Is this the program?," Demiurge asked jokingly. The women seemed a little confused, but after a while simply motioned for Demiurge toward the center of the village and sit on a dark wooden chair. All of the women slowly formed a circle around him, and gathered bowls of various fruits, pastes, and fluids. Finally, one of the women spoke up. "Do you know why we are afraid?"
Demiurge shook his head to confirm his ignorance. "We can tell, there is something terrible eating at you. And it has caused you to hurt some of us. We offer forgiveness, but we must complete the long and arduous process of treating your soul," the woman told him, "Please stand up."
He did as he was told. A woman approached him, carrying a large amphora of a red juice of some kind. "Drink this, to open yourself up to feeling and sensation," the amphora woman informed him, "It will allow us to heal your soul and body." Demiurge began drinking, and a tingling sensation began to form in spots all over his body. The tingling felt nice, he thought, and the juice tasted sweet. As he continued, the tingling grew and spread, making his skin smooth and hairless. "Please, drink it all," a woman said. Demiurge's skin began to develop a healthy tan, and soon his only hairs were on his head. "Thank you, it was very delic-Ah!"
Demiurge staggered back from the sensation of air moving around him. It was like every time he moved even a little, there was a gentle brushing massage in different spots all around him, and it felt good. "Uh...," he said, unable to take it all in at once. One of the women stepped forward, and grabbed him, which felt even better. "Are you okay? It can be hard when you first open up," the woman leaned in, and whispered in his ear. Demiurge nodded. "The more you can feel, the more the evil in your soul is vulnerable," she continued, "So now, we need to work the senstivity inward. Just go along with your base desires, your inner beauty knows what it needs."
The woman helped him walk over to another villager, who was carrying a bowl of clear gel. Looking closer, Demiurge recognized the bowl woman as one of the people he had blackmailed. The other woman helped him to sit down on a stool and revealed herself as she took the bowl from the blackmail victim. To Demiurge's mild shock, she looked like Mona. As 'Mona' began to rub the gel into his scalp, the other woman began speaking. "Tell me what you did to me."
"I hacked your computer," Demiurge said, keeping unblinking eye contact with the woman. The gel was heighting the pleasure in his scalp, and 'Mona' was beginning to put a little pulling pressure on the hairs, slowly making the hair longer and wavy. "I found out information about some drug use during high school. I told you if you didn't leak me information whenever I asked, I would send it to your employer," he continued, "I made you give me floor plans and SSNs. I... I..." For the first time, looking into her eyes, Demiurge felt sad for what he had done. "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking..."
"You didn't think about me," the woman told him, "You didn't think about my consequences. I was a tool to you." "I was wrong," Demiurge said, feeling a mix of pleasure and anguish, as if something dark really was being pulled out of him, "I put you in a place nobody should be in." He was now trying to hold back tears, and the woman reached out and hugged him. "Do you feel me?," she asked. Demiurge nodded, and allowed himself to cry onto her. Her embrace felt warm, and it felt like his waist was tightening and softening, just a little. Like some cold, hard part of him was melting away. A minute passed, and the woman released. 'Mona' stopped her treatment of the hair, leaving him with wavy, vibrant locks just over shoulder length.
The blackmail victim woman left, and a new woman entered. "Tell me what you did to me."
Demiurge was faster to recognize the woman this time. "I stole from you. I didn't care that you were poor, or if you needed that money," he confessed. 'Mona' retreived a bowl of light blue cream, and began massaging Demiurge's arms and legs. The more she rubbed, the more slim and feminine they became. "How can I make it up to you?," he asked the new woman. "What did you spend it on?," she responded. Demiurge gulped, and tried to remember. "I spent it on many things. Some food, but mostly luxuries. I'm sorry." The woman leaned in, with a small berry. "Eat this, it will treat you, so you never lust in that way again."
Demiurge ate the berry, and felt a wave of pleasure throughout him. All he knew was that it felt good, but inside him, it was slowly feminizing his sexuality. His penis was now less sensitive, and his sexual arousal felt more like a full body experience. As the berry woman left, 'Mona' finished her massage, leaving androgynous limbs, hands, and feet on Demiurge. 'Mona' now walked in front of him, bringing a candle and lighting it while she asked him to hold in and breathe in it. "Tell me what you did to me," 'Mona' commanded.
Demiurge wasn't sure what to say. "I, uh, didn't trust you. I should've trusted you, I guess." "Feel deeper! Feel with me!," 'Mona' commanded once more. The scent from the candle was working its way through Demiurge, softening and feminizing his chest and shoulders. "I never asked about your desires, what your feelings were. If I had, none of this would've surprised me. And I should've called you Mona from the start." 'Mona' leaned in placing her hand on Demiurge's now soft, svelte shoulders. "Good. It feels good to be sensitive, doesn't it?," she asked. Demiurge nodded, thinking of all the parts of his body that felt refreshed and reborn, and the bittersweet feeling of confessing to those women. "I have some clothes for you," 'Mona' told him, reaching into a nearby chest. She pulled out simple clothes, and Demiurge put them on. He was now wearing a loose-fitting pair of shorts, flat slippers, and shirt with short sleeves and a slightly exposed waist. "Stay sensitive. Stay open and exposed for others," 'Mona' left him with, as the environment began to fade around him, and he feel asleep to return to reality.
Waking up, Demiurge found that the bodily and wardrobe changes had translated to the real world. He was still obviously male, but now looked much more feminine than average. "Do you feel it?," Mona asked. Demiurge sensed the warm feeling inside him, like he was in a nice hot bath, and the air was still giving that massage feeling on his now sensitive skin. "I'm sorry. I never considered you," he responded, "And yes, it does feel very nice." Mona smiled and embraced him.
In the middle of Demiurge's experience, Archon sat down on the bed in his room, crying while holding a program orb in one hand and his lucky coin in the other. Earlier, he had been able to listen in on Mona listening with Demiurge, and how she convinced him to do the first step of the program. "I'm a failure," Archon whispered to himself, "I couldn't save any of them." Without realizing it, the tension and anger in his body made his fist tighten around the orb. The pressure was slight, but it was enough to crack the surface and activate the program. Unlike Demiurge, Archon didn't pass out. He slowly entred a sort of half-awake state, only able to concentrate on himself. Soon, he noticed the change in environment, and the tiredness immediately left him.
He was now in a small, very plain looking-room, with a table and chair. "Sit down," a voice told him. "Who are you? Where am I?," Archon replied, frantically looking for an exit. He didn't find one. "I am an instructor AI, here to guide you on how you can become fulfilled and happy. Please sit down." Archon realized what had happened, how he activated the program by accident. There was no getting out of it now. He sat down. "Let's play a short game together," the voice told him, and brought up a chess set, "Don't worry, I'll go easy on you."
Archon lost regardless. "You don't like this game, do you?," the voice asked, "You played your best, but you played too safely. And I could tell you were uncomfortable." "I don't like thinking too long about it," Archon said. "About what?," the computer responded. "About fighting. Avoid it whenever possible, and when you have to, just knock them out and get it overwith. That's what I say." "Hm. Strange attitude, for a thief. But thank you for sharing. I have a reward for you."
Just then, a wave of warmth ran over Archon, a feeling he enjoyed very much. It felt like a relaxing sauna. He hardly noticed his large frame melting away, his muscles diminished to average, and he lost a good 4 inches of height. "It feels good to be released, doesn't it?," the voice asked, "Released from your responsibility to protect."
Archon realized what had happened to him, and became a bit angered, but a pair of mechanical hands appeared from the back of the chair, and began massaging his shoulders. "Shh...," the voice countinued, "You do not need to worry. Order will be maintained without your braun. That's what you want, don't you? A world where you don't need to fight anymore. And now, you have it. So you can put everything in its place in more delicate, sensitive ways." "I don't believe that," Archon muttered in resistance, "How could I keep things peaceful without force?"
"Force has not been keeping things peaceful. Not even within your self. Let's calm down, and look deep inside. Meditate with me. Look deep inside, deep, deep, deep...," the voice commanded, and Archon felt compelled to close his eyes. "Deep, deep, focus on feeling within yourself. Deep, deep, deep...," the voice kept on repeating, as Archon could feel more and more of his inner self. He began to sense areas of noise, almost living blobs of unkemptness that sort of patrolled around small areas of himself. "All of this has been living inside you all your life. And by attempting to be strong and violent, you have been helping it grow and spread," the voice informed Archon, who almost couldn't believe the amount of internal spiritual clutter he had. "When I removed your stature earlier, I removed some of the noise. It was that removal that brought you the pleasure. If you want, we can remove more noise together. Would you like that?"
Archon nodded almost reflexively. "Good," the voice said, "Now, focus on your lower half. Where do you see the most clutter?" "Penis..." he uttered, lost in the meditation. "That's a very common place for it," the voice said, "It sometimes like to do whatever it wants, doesn't it? Let's try to concentrate on refining that area." Archon concentrated, and was able to slowly reduce the noise, with the side effect of feminizing his sexuality like Demiurge's, and leaving behind a smooth surface, with just a tiny hole for urinating. "It's gone now. You're free," the voice told him, and Archon was starting to believe it. Now, where the noise used to be, he could envision a small radiant sphere. "That is a part of you, that was hidden by the noise," the voice said, "It is your true, most beautiful self. Focus on adopting it, and it will help you clear the noise and feel your best."
The pleasure inside Archon was strong. In the back of his mind, he sort of knew that he had just been talked out of his manhood, but it just felt so good to lose it, and somehow, the sensitivity down there felt higher. He focused on the sphere, and saw a glimpse of smooth skin, of a geisha woman sitting by a river, arranging pebbles into a spiral. He wanted it. He felt his skin free itself of hair, while images of cotton lingerie flashed by in his head. "Has this woman been in your fantasies?," the voice asked. Archon nodded, and the voice continued. "Your noisy masculinity has obscured your true desires, making you lust for what you want to be," the voice whispered continuously, "You want to be refined, cute, and orderly. You want to be her." "I want to be her," Archon said. The desire was genuine. Eventually, cotton lingerie appeared on his now sensitive skin, and sensation was overwhelming. He moaned, in full submission to the program.
"That's the end for now," the voice said, as things started fading out, "Don't tell Demiurge what you want yet. Let it be a wonderful surprise..." Archon returned to the real world, but passed out immediately. Only the Godmother knew what he had done, and she thought it best to leave him to rest in newfound feminine pleasure. Tomorrow, the two captives would be allowed to see each other again, but for now, Mona was needed somewhere else.
Louie Wilkins stood at the agreed upon place, at the agreed upon time. It was a secluded place in the city park, out of public sight, but not especially seedy. Louie had lost even more weight and gained even more hair since yesterday. He now looked half his age, and probably wouldn't be recognized by anyone who knew him.
Of course, there was one person who could identify him. Hiding nearby, Mona was waiting for Louie to look away. When she got her chance, she snuck over, placed the bag with the special item down, and left to return to the manor. When Louie looked back, all he saw was a velvet drawstring bag with a tag labelled, "For L. W.". The sudden appearance was strange, but then again, so was everything else. He took the bag, and walked home to open it.
In his apartment, Louie locked the door tight, and started examining his gift. Inside were two objects, a metal ball and a spray bottle filled with clear fluid. Picking up the metal ball caused it to dissolve immediately into the air, a definite surprise to Louie. He didn't know it, but he had released about 5 billion nanites to permeate his apartment. Next, examining the spray bottle, he cautiously tapped it to make it would stay solid. It did, so he picked it up an examined the bottle further. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but he still couldn't tell what the fluid was. Until he knew, it would be better to be safe and not spray, he thought.
After the usual ritual of sports-watching, Louie drifted off to sleep, where the Godmother greeted him. "Thank you for accepting my gift," she told him, "Now, let's go back to that place you love so much." The environment of the dream began to form around Louie, recreating the locker room from last night. He was sitting in the middle, and female basketball players were all around him, chatting and making their preparations. Everywhere Louie looked, he saw them, laughing, smiling, adjusting their stances. It was making him very aroused.
"I could let them see you," Godmother whispered, "Would you like that?" "No!," Louie spoke, awaking from his aroused state. "Hm? Why don't you?," Godmother responded, feigning ignorance. "The ladies, they um, don't like the gentlemen in their locker rooms," Louie whimpered, "They ain't gonna like being looked at by me right now..."
"But they do like looking at each other. You saw their love last time," Godmother reminded him. She waved her hand, causing the ladies to begin pairing up and kissing each other passionately. "Why do you think they like this, but not you?"
"I dunno...," Louie said, feeling ashamed. The Godmother embraced him from behind. "Women are attracted to devotion. They are attracted not only to the physical, but that you do things that show you care about them," she whispered lovingly, "They make themselves beautiful and strong for each other. If you can match that love by becoming what they love, they can love you."
Louie had only ever lightly thought about self-improvement in a romantic context before. Just as the Godmother wished, associations began to form in his mind, between self-improvement, femininity, as well as true caring love and lesbianism. The Godmother smiled, and continued to speak. "From now on, I will put you in partial control of your own gifts. When you exercise, like them, your body will change to show your love and devotion. When you spray my bottle I gave you, your living space will change to show your love and devotion. With time, effort, and patience, the girls will not hesistate to welcome you. Goodbye for now..."
She left him there, fading out along with the locker room. Stage one was complete, and the fun part was soon to follow.
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