Hey, I’m back. Sorry about that. You’d think with all the help around here we’d have plenty of time to get to know each other. Where were we? Right. So, Mom came home, and that killed that evening. We were....we were close. She always insisted we ate dinner together and then watch TV as a family. It wasn’t until late that night when I was able to resume my first read. Using a small flashlight and tucking under the bedspread, I was able to covertly continue.It was about a year after I found the book when Mom got sick and....well let’s just say after that I had a lot more time for my studies and my collection. My foster parents were more than happy to leave me on my own. Now, the school loved me...I was winning science awards left and right. I was considered quite the prodigy.Anyway, throughout the lonely years I would always come back to my collection. It was my refuge. Especially, “Stella Stryker #23”. By the time I left for Harvard at the tender age of sixteen, my original was replaced by a photo copy I had painstakingly made on the library Xerox machine. The Hypno spiral on the cover didn’t come through on the copy so I used a magic marker to reproduce it. I loved that book that much.
The next chapter was a favorite.****************************************CHAPTER 3
STELLA FINDS THE TRUTH
After Stella finished with the Director, she read the briefing report. She then found Lindsey and the two headed to “Field Wardobe.” Stella chose a surfer look with a white halter and denim cutoffs that went well with her long blonde tresses. She caught her partner staring at her legs. Misunderstanding, she lifted her right foot and wiggled her long, toes.
Agent Lindsey smiled. “No.. you don’t need shoes.....that’s one thing you’re going to like about the Society.” Lindsey had chosen a more demure look, a blue polo shirt and white capris pants. Flat sandals adorned her feet. She wore her black frame glasses.
Stella allowed Agent Lindsey to drive so she could evaluate her new mission partner. She listened as the younger woman nervously prattled on about her investigation.
“Remember the ‘Diamond Cathedral’? You know the church that pervy televangelist operated until the scandal? The Du Maurier Society bought it just after the good Rev. declared bankruptcy. That’s where we’re headed....there’s a recruitment rally today and it’s a good intro for you. I’ve been to two.....it seems innocent enough, typical New Age self improvement crap.....but I can’t help feeling there’s something darker...just under the surface.
”Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Agent Lindsey.....it’s going to take a lot more than your circumstantial leaps to convince me this some sort of ‘Manchurian Candidate’ cult.”
The younger woman seem to gather her courage.
”Uhmmm....you know...you could call me, Laura, Stella.. maybe afterward we could go back to my place and compare notes.”. Her voice had a flirty undertone..
Stella looked at her and understood now why the girl had been looking at her long, tanned legs. The brunette was certainly pretty enough, in a sexy librarian kind of way. Stella was very liberated, especially in bedroom matters. But, they were on a mission, and she avoided entanglements with fellow P*O*W*I*E* members.
“Sometime, during the session, I’m going to sneak out and look around. You need to be ready to cover for me, Agent.
Lindsey blushed at the rebuff.
“Affirmative, Agent Stryker.” She dryly answered and turned up the radio volume for “Afternoon Delight.”
After a few awkward minutes, they pulled into a large parking lot and got out of the car. They were surrounded by other arrivals, all attractive women ranging from 19 to 35. After a moment, Stella noticed, like her, about one out of twenty of the ladies were barefooted. Like her, they seemed to have no problem crossing the hot asphalt surface. Also each of the unshod ladies had a yellow ribbon tied around their right ankles.
Lindsey noticed Stella’s gaze. “Yeah...I call them the Yellow Bow Girls. They’re all fully initiated members and help out during the meetings. It’s kind of a rank systems, Yellows are above us Initiates but are below the Pinks, who answer to Cynthia, who wears a Blue Ribbon.
”In your report, weren’t all the hijackers barefoot?”
Agent Lindsey nodded.
”Maybe you are on to something here.” Stella grudgingly admitted.
They entered the huge, former church.. Lindsey headed towards a line, saying. “I have to check my shoes......they’re not allowed in the hall.” She slipped off her sandals and headed off to a long line of Initiates.
While she waited, Stella saw a woman in a business skirt and jacket approach with a clipboard and shoulder bag. Despite her more formal wear, she wore no shoes and had a ribbon tied around her ankle. Her ribbon, though was pink. She was a pale, pretty brunette with her hair made up in a bun. She wore black rimmed eyeglasses and appeared about thirty years old. She was pointedly looking at Stella’s feet.
“Don’t tell me....you lost your ribbon. That will not do.” The lady had a real busybody tone. Stella realized woman had misunderstood her lack of any footwear. She decided to go along with it.
”Uhmmm yeah...my poodle kind of munched on it....sorry.”
The woman shook her head and kneeled, producing a yellow ribbon from her bag.
“You really need to be more careful. The ribbons are important sign of your place in the Du Maurier Society.” She tied the ribbon around Stella’s ankle. “Now get yourself to the Parlor of Peace for the pre-meeting.” Her task done, the woman scampered off to scold someone else.
The problem was Stella had no idea where she was supposed to go. She then noticed the other women with ribbons where headed for a door to what had been a separate chapel. She made eye contact with Agent Lindsey who was still in line. The younger agent slightly nodded her head, Stella headed into the chapel joining the women there.
They were a happy crowd, hugging and otherwise greeting each other. A young Asian woman in a miniskirt came over to Stella.
”Hi...I am Olivia Chong....I don’t think we’ve met. I got my ribbon last May. Isn’t the turnout great? So many girls get to learn the Truth today! I brought my best friend Mitzi and.....”
Her words were interrupted by a buzzing sensation that seemed to come through the floor, through the carpet. Olivia’s face drained of all expression, and her arms fell loosely to her sides. All conversation in the room died as all of the other women fell into trances.
Stella felt the throbbing sensation on her soles and thought how wonderful it felt. Her eyes drifted closed. Then, in her mind’s eye, she saw the image of her nijistsu sensei, Mistress Yamasawa, frowning.
”Silly, worthless girl....succumbing so easy to enchantment. WAKE UP!”
Stella gasped, and pinched her right thigh and was able to emerge from her trance.
****************************************NO! The dreaded “the heroine by virtue of strong will resist mind control “ trope. The book had been so great up to then. Stella, a perpetually barefoot bombshell, so close to being a hypnotic slave. I don’t think I’ve hated any real person as much as the book’s phantom Mistress Yamasawa. I almost stopped reading, my disappointment that fierce. But, the book had so many other unshod beauties under hypnosis, and so much of it was still unread. I’m basically an optimist. That, along with my natural talents, propelled me first to Harvard at the age of sixteen, and John Hopkins Medical School three years later. Yes, my optimism was rewarded. Mom and I had an impoverished life, the foster homes the same but without any love. But I had prevailed over all of that. By the time I had both my medical degree and my doctorate in neuroscience, powerful employers vied for my services. But money for its own sake didn’t appeal to me. I went to to work for the Government.But, I digress. That first night owning the book, I kept reading despite my disappointment and was eventually rewarded.*****************************************
Stella shook her head and opened her eyes. All of the other Yellow Ribbon Girls stood silently with their eyes shut, each with blissful smiles. After a moment, the woman with the clipboard entered. Though her eyes were open, it was obvious she was also deeply hypnotized. She mounted what had been a raised altar and faced the assembled ladies. Stella realized she needed to play along, so she closed her eyes and assumed a relaxed posture. As she did, she saw Mistress Yamasawa’s face, who appeared to approve.
Clip Board Lady began speaking
”So deep in bliss....So deep in the Truth now. You will obey the Truth.”
”We will obey the Truth” murmured the Yellow Ribbon Girls in unison.
”Soon, the meeting will begin. Each of you will study the new girls. You will apply the criteria you have been taught. Each of you will select a candidate for Advance Enlightenment and bring her to the Enlightenment Section. Now, remaining deep in the State of Bliss, enter the Great Hall and find a seat. Now, open your eyes and obey.”
Stella opened her eyes, keeping a blank expression. She the saw the others had sensual smiles. She mimicked them and joined as they filed out of the chapel into the Great Hall. She sat in the Yellow Ribbon Section in front of the stage, facing the assembled new recruits. As she did, she saw Agent Lindsey seated near the back.
The Yellow Ribbon Girls all sat with their hands folded on their laps and with placid smiles on their faces. The rest of the ladies filled the Hall with the buzz of expectant conversations. Then, the din suddenly subsided as the lights dimmed. A spotlight shown on center stage, illuminating a beautiful woman with golden hair. She wore a gold mu mu like gown, her bare feet poking out from the hem. She wore a blue ribbon around her ankle. She looked to be in her early thirties, but her regal manner suggested she was actually older. Once she was in the spotlight, she spoke. As she did, the pulses again rose from the floor.
”Welcome to you all, especially to you Initiates, my new seekers of the Truth. I am Cynthia and I am so happy to see you all here. I look out and see so many strong beautiful women, beautiful in body and spirit. Successful women in professions and in life.
Yet you’ve come to the Du Maurier Society. Why? What can the Society do for such beautiful, successful women?”
Stella had to admit this Cynthia was good. Something about her voice and how it was being amplified by the Hall’s sound system made her utterly hypnotic. All of the ladies present raptly listened to her. Stella wondered how Agent Lindsey had managed to resist the powerful induction at the previous meetings she attended. Even Stella had to occasionally close her eyes and summon the image of Mistress Yamasaki to help her resist the hypnotic pulses and sounds.
Cynthia went on, her words falling into rhythmic pattern. “I’ll tell you. You all live in the World of Men. Men who stifle you......tell you you are less than you are. Here we get you to shed all of that, just as we get you to shed your uncomfortable footwear. You are all barefoot sisters now, open to the Truth. Feel the Truth rise from the Earth..into your soft soles.....into your open, receptive minds....helping you to shed all your cares and worries....focusing now totally on my voice.”
Stella again felt the throbbing pulses emanating from floor. Again, she felt her eyelids growing heavy. But her mind’s eye image of Mistress Yamasawa again kept her from becoming fully hypnotized. She squeezed her fingers until her nails dug into the flesh of her toned thighs.
The recruits were all slumping in their seats with either their eyes closed or staring vacantly out into space. The Yellow Ribbon Girls sat straight in their robotic trances. She worked hard between staying awake but blending in with the entranced women surrounding her.
Cynthia continued her sing song patter, until it was clear everyone in the Hall except Stella and her were in deep, hypnotic trances.
”Now, amongst you Initiates, some will be chosen for special enlightenment. If you are honored to be chosen, follow the instructions of the Yellow Ribbon Sister who chose you.” She turned to the women around Stella. “You may begin, sisters,” she commanded.
As one, the ladies around Stella stood. She tried her best to mimic their movements and expressions. They marched into the audience, looking for the best candidates. Stella made a beeline to Agent Lindsey, who appeared as entranced as the others. Stella, bent down, and whispered: “Earth to Agent Lindsey......Laura?”
”Am I chosen, Sister?” The younger Agent sleepily murmured.
”Great.....I guess you weren’t able to resist. Uhmm, stand up and follow me.”
Agent Lindsey opened her eyes and stood. Her purse still swung from her shoulder. Stella saw the other Yellow Ribbons were filing out with the chosen recruits out a side door near the stage. She and her mesmerized partner followed suit. Soon, they were in antiseptic white hallway. The chosen all stood in a single file line, and the Yellow Ribbons went back into the Hall. Stella looked around. There was no obvious surveillance cameras. She leaned close to Agent Lindsey and began to whisper:
”Look...I’m wearing a yellow ribbon.”
Agent Lindsey slowly looked down as she was bid. Stella continued:
”You’re supposed to obey me, right? Well, wake up then... wake up now, Laura.”
It worked. The younger woman blinked, then shook her head.
”What the Hell....how did I get here?”
Stella smiled. “Good to have you back, Agent. Looks like I owe you an apology. You were right about this place. We are going to have to work on your hypnotic resistance, though. C’mon....let’s get out of here.” She turned to leave. Stella walked two steps when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned her head, and saw a small black aerosol can pointed at her face.
All went black.
********************************You can imagine how I was filled with new found hope. I mean the book was already pretty great. But the main chatacter’s resistance to hypnosis had been a major cold shower, if you know what I’m saying.But, in addition to its prurient value, the book had sparked an idea in my head. I never could get the idea of stimulating the peripheral nervous system of women to induce extremely deep hypnotic states. Using money from various government “Black Budgets”, I began exploring the idea. As it it turned out, the female sole has many nerve endings that could serve the purpose quite well.If there was any fairness in the world, I would pay the author, Matt Gunner, or whatever his real name, a million dollars for giving me the idea.Of course, it isn’t a fair world.***************************
Mistress Yamasawa glared at Stella.
“Baka......stupid girl. You knew Agent Lindsey was compromised......but you turn your back on her? Did I not teach you better. Open your stupid eyes and assess the tactical situation. WAKE UP, GIRL!”
Stella took a deep, cleansing breath. She did not feel any injury, nor much side effects from the sleep aerosol. Slowly, she opened her eyes and saw she was restrained at the wrists and ankles on a black leather, reclining chair. Her soles were propped up on a foot rests. The room was a featureless white room, and she was alone.
She was in the process of testing her wrist restraints when a door slid open to her right. The Clipboard Lady with the pink ankle ribbon pushed a wheeled cart with some sort of double projector device. She pushed until the twin tips of the cone shaped projectors were pointing at her soles of her fore feet.
”Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve already had a pedicure this week.”
The woman ignored her and busied her self with the wheeled machine. Stella quickly realized the woman was in a deep hypnotic trance, and attempts to talk to her was useless. Clipboard Lady then placed two quarter-sized metallic disks onto Stella’s soles. Their backs had some sort of adhesive, and stuck to her soles on their own. Clip Board Lady then worked so that each projector cone was perfectly pointed at the disks.
Cynthia, still in the golden gown she wore on stage, regally strode into the room.
“I see our newest sister is awake. Good...I always enjoy a little talk before the Initiation.”
Stella sneered. “I’m not looking to join your club, Lady, and I think you’ll find me more formidable than the housewives and secretaries you usually prey upon....”
“Prey upon? I assure you, not one of our barefooted sisterhood sees themselves as being victimized in any way. They are all joyful that they have been given the Truth.”
Stella, despite herself, found Cynthia’s tone and cadence compelling. She closed her eyes and was reassured to see Madame Yamasawa’s face. She spoke with renewed will.
“And what Truth is that, Cynthia.....that they ought to be your zombies? That they should slavishly do your criminal bidding?”
”That we free them of their slavery to the male oppressor. To do that....harsh actions are necessary. Even the strongest among them are victims of centuries of male brainwashing.......the hypnosis is the only way our Sisterhood can reach them....to enlist them so we can create a new, female world.” Cynthia paused her speech and padded over to the wheeled device. “As for your remarkable ability to resist our hypnosis.....well...you’ll find we are well prepared for the strongest willpowers.” She began flipping switches, and Stella could hear the device warming up to full power.
“My father, misguided male that he was.....developed the principles that lead to his great invention.....the Svengali Device.”
“You....you’re the daughter of Stanislav Manx...”. Stella gasped.
”Yes....indeed I am. After your Director humiliated him....drove him into professional exile, he secretly continued his work..though he barely had any resources. I followed his footsteps, first medical school, then a PhD in neuroscience. I was as brilliant as him...maybe more...but continually I saw males get opportunities closed to me. I joined the Women’s Liberation Movement, but soon grew frustrated. None of those women were open to the radical action I knew was necessary. I knew I had to find a way to persuade the worthwhile ones.
Then, I found my father’s papers, and the crude prototype of the Svengali Device. How ironic....I would take his creation designed to enslave females, and I would use it to free them.”
”Yeah....you’re a real Abealina Lincoln.....don’t you see you’re making these women trade one kind of slavery for another?”
”Once we have won, I’ll wake all of them from their trances....and submit myself to their judgment. I’m confident they’ll see I acted in their best interest. Now...as much as I’d like to continue this little talk, I see the device is ready.”
Stella slammed her eyes and Madame Yamasawa was there for her. The Japanese phantom spoke urgently to Stella
“Stella Kun.....you are strong.......you can fight this bewitching... you were my greatest disciple...you can.....”
Suddenly, her Senseii’s image was obliterated by a blinding white light. The disks on her feet emanated the hypnotic pulses she had experienced before....but amplified by a million. Her toes curled in orgasmic pleasure, and her back arched off the seat. The light faded to nothingness, and Stella’s back and feet relaxed. Her eyes slowly opened, and she saw Cynthia’s face hovering over hers. The cult leader bent down, and kissed Stella’s unresisting lips. Soon, both women’s tongues were intertwined, Stella submissively returning the kiss. Cynthia broke off and asked:
”Sister Stella, now you only hear my voice...listen to and obey my voice. Tell me, are you now ready to receive the Truth?”
Stella could only nod in response.END PART TWO