A Brief Pause
Key: Freeze, MC, FD, OD,
Eve walked into the massive warehouse and flipped on the light. “What a mess…” she commented to herself as she started to move through the aisles. She had been hired by the local Police Department to help them catalogue an old evidence warehouse that was going to be closed soon. They needed to know what was still a part of active cases, what could be returned or what, in the case of several items of the more unusual nature, should be turned over to the proper authorities for study.
Many of the items hadn’t been looked at since they were put into storage, although several of them had just been dropped off a few weeks earlier. She set to her task diligently. Most of the boxes contained what you would expect to find in an evidence locker, file folders with pictures and documents upon documents. It was the more unusual things that caught her eye. There was an entire shelf dedicated to these strange dream catchers that had been popping up in the city. Multiple people had ended up missing several work days in a row, and a clever cyborg police officer suspected that a succubus might somehow be responsible. However, they hadn’t figured out how the dream catchers were related yet. There was another shelf full of strange weapons; guns that would fire energy beams that could hypnotize, or immobilize, or shrink, or even petrify the person that was hit by it. You’d think these things would be in a weapons locker or something, but no, they were just out in the open on a shelf. Gun safety is a myth apparently.
After several hours of cleaning she came upon a large item that was under a tarp. She carefully tried to pull the tarp away, her own clumsy nature always foremost on her mind, but she was pleasantly surprised when the tarp came away without incident. As she was folding the tarp she examined what was beneath it. A large glass cylinder with an opening large enough for a person to step through. There was also a small set of controls on the side of the tube and two buttons on the inside.
Eve couldn’t help but examine the tube as she finished folding the tarp, but as she was looking at the tube she slowly moved past one of the shelves and reached her arm out to set the tarp on the shelf. She missed. The tarp fell to the ground with a thud which scared the poor girl. She jumped and looked back at the tarp and giggled, but then tripped over a cord on the ground and fell right into the giant upright tube. She managed to catch herself in such a way that she stayed standing, despite tripping into the cylinder. She felt proud as she stood up just in time to see the tube slide closed and seal her inside. “Crap…” was her only response.
She looked around, trying to figure out how to get out. There were of course two buttons on the control panel in the tube. “Clearly one of them … must… open the door” she thought to herself. “But which one… Oh well, what's the worst that could happen?” She reached out and pressed the top button. As soon as she did her entire body was sprayed from both the top and bottom with a cryogenic mist. She didn't’ even have a chance to react before her body and mind were put into deep cryogenic stasis.
Ten years of bureaucratic bullshit later….
Trisha turned on the light to the warehouse and walked in with an overwhelmed look in her eyes. She had been trying to decide on what to do for her semester project, but nothing had appealed to her. But her professor had told her about a large supply of devices having been recently shipped to the university from overseas. She hoped she would find something in the mess that she could use for her study project.
It was an odd assortment of devices big and small, the smallest seemed to be about the size of a laser pointer. “Ok….I don’t know why anyone would need to study that…” she said with a sigh as she moved on. The largest Item in the room was what looked like a large cryogenic tube. Trisha moved towards the tube as she brushed her blond hair back behind her ear and adjusted her glasses. “This shows promise” she thought as she started to examine the pod. “It’s an early model from the looks of it.” She moved her hands along the glass to try and clear the dust off of it only to realize it wasn’t dusty, it was full of cryogenic mist. This was a bit odd since once the test subject was covered in the mist it was common practice to drain the mist to save it. She sighed as she powered up the control panel “whomever shipped this like this was careless as hell, if the pod had broken it would have leaked gas out all over the place. Who fills it with gas empty anyways?” She realized she was talking out loud and shook her head “I’m getting stressed, I need to relax. Alright, Trisha” she said to herself “Let’s see if this is usable.” She fumbled with the controls and activated the suction on the cryotanks to empty the tube of the gas.
Once the gas was removed from the tube she looked up and screamed out of shock. Inside the tube was the perfectly frozen Eve. Standing with her finger extended out to the button on the side of the tube, a look of clumsy embarrassment on her face. The only way you could tell that she was in stasis was that there was a very fine layer of crystalized ice on her skin. It took Trisha a moment to catch her breath from the startle and she finally examined the situation. “Why did they send us…. “ she started but cut herself off as she realized the person in the tube had activated the cryogenic process from inside… “a person. They didn’t know you were in here, did they?” She said, asking the frozen Eve.
Eve did not respond. Obviously.
Although this was an interesting find, Trisha had no real interest in studying a cryogenically frozen young woman, but figured leaving her in there would be rude. So she walked out of the warehouse in a huff to get some help. About 20 minutes later she walked back in with a smiling curly haired blonde. “See…” she said pointing to Eve “she managed to freeze herself. Who does that?”
The blonde looked in at Eve and then over at the controls “I’m not sure but we need to get her out of there, who knows how long she has been in stasis.”
Trisha waved her hand at the blonde dismissively “whatever that's your thing, I’m busy. Hey what's this?” she said moving over to a group of boxes with a strange spiral logo on them. She picked up the manifest on the first box and read it aloud to herself. “Spirals Nightclub?” She started to shift though the boxes, she was hoping to find something she could use in her apartment for parties. All thought of her grad school project completely forgotten. The technology seemed a bit dated, but there was a lot of electronics in the box. What caught her eye first was a flat screen monitor. She reached and pulled it out “wow” she thought “I forgot how heavy first gen flat screens were…” She set up the monitor on one of the shelves and started to fiddle with it.
Over at the cryotube Laura was engrossed in her own little project. “It appears that this tube was decommissioned, it had a faulty motion sensor that would trigger the hatch. This poor girl must have gotten stuck in it and accidentally turned it on.”
Trisha just dismissively commented “whatever” and kept working on her screen. “I think I got it!” she shouted, excited, as she flipped the power button on and the screen came to life. What displayed was a rather simple, black and white, spiral on the screen. “Ah man…” she said “I was hoping for something cooler, at least in color, not some simple…. Stupid…. Black and…. White… “ with each word her face started to go more and more slack as the subliminal messages on the screen sank into her subconscious. The screen had been designed to hang on the wall in the old Spirals Nightclub, and was designed to be viewed from a distance to put the guests in a relaxed and trancy state. But being less than a foot from the device, Trisha was pretty much overloaded by it. A few seconds after she turned it on she was standing slack jawed with her arms limp at her sides. Slowly wobbling on her feet and staring into the spiral on the screen. Hypnotized.
“I think I got it…” the blonde said as she flipped a few controls and hit the activate button. A cloud of gas filled the cryotube and swirled around the frozen young woman inside. A few seconds later the hatch opened with a hiss as the thawing gas spilled out of the cryo tube and a very confused Eve stepped out, waving her hand to get the gas out of her face. Her cheeks were red with embarrassment. “I’m so sorry… did I break it?” she asked the blond.
The blonde put her hands on Eve’s shoulders to help steady her, “no, it was already broken.” she assured her “I’m Laura, are you ok?”
Eve finished waving the mist away from her and nodded “I’m fine, just a bit embarrassed. I tripped and fell into the pod. I’m guessing, since the last thing I remember was pushing a button and then being surrounded by gas, that I accidentally put myself in cryo. How embarrassing. I’m Eve, thanks for getting me out.” she said with a genuine but still embarrassed smile. For the first time Eve looked around and noticed she was no longer in the old warehouse. “Where are we?” she asked, even more confused than before.
Laura explained that they were in New Chicago University’s Psychology department storage area. “Wait we’re where?!” Eve asked rather confused “New Chicago… but I was, I was in Japan a few seconds ago how did I…” the realization washed over her face. “I was shipped her in that cryo tube. Didn’t anyone check this before shipping?”
Laura shrugged her shoulders “I’m afraid not, but we should figure out how long you were in the tube. What is the last day that you remember?”
Eve sighed and thought for a second “Well it should have been February 3rd 200X, that was the day I was working at the Police warehouse. What day is it now?” She asked curiously.
Laura did a visible, nervous gulp “whoa boy.” she took a moment to calm herself down before gently sitting Eve down onto a nearby pile of boxes. “Honey, I don’t know how to tell you this, but it’s March 15th…”
“I was in there for more than a month!” Eve shouted rather angrily
Laura didn’t respond to her comment, but finished her own original statement “...20XX”
Eve’s mouth dropped open in shock. “20… 20XX?!” She stared in shock at Laura as the blond nodded her head in response. “I was in that tube… for ten… years?!” she shouted.
Laura moved to her and hugged her tightly “I’m afraid so honey, I’m so so...sorry.”
However when she pulled back the look on Eve’s face was not one of sadness or frustration but one of excitement. “I’m in the future?!” she said getting a big grin on her face. “Do cars fly yet? Do teleporters exist? How big is your cell phone? Have we met aliens yet?” All of these questions came out rather quickly and in a massive excited jumble.
Laura looked a bit confused at Eve and answered a bit surprised “no, no” to the first two questions as she reached into her pocket and pulled out her smart phone “about this big, and no.” Pausing to think if she answered all of the questions. She was about to ask a few herself, but her cell phone disappeared from her hand as Eve snatched it to look at it.
“Gadget!” she shouted excitedly as she turned on the phone and her eyes instantly went wide and her mouth dropped “it’s… so… pretty! So many colors and it’s so clear! Look at the resolution, it’s…this is like a small computer! Oh my god I love it! It even has a camera!” she rambled off excitedly pushing random buttons on the phone then looking up at Laura a bit confused. “Why is the camera facing the user?”
Laura got up with a smile and grabbed the phone then got cheek to cheek with Eve “It’s so you can take a selfie!” she said excited taking the picture of her with a giggly smile while Eve just looked at her confused.
“Why would you do that? That seems dumb?” she asked looking at Laura standing behind her. It was at this moment that she noticed a blank faced Trisha staring at a screen. From the reflection in her glasses she could tell that the screen was displaying some kind of spiral pattern. “Who is that?” she asked pointing to Trisha.
“Huh?” Asked Laura turning around to see the entranced Trisha staring at the old computer monitor. “Oh thats Trisha, she’s a bit engrossed her new toy I think.” Laura got up and reached a hand over the shelf that the monitor was sitting on to try and shake Trisha awake. But all she succeeded in doing was to cause Trisha’s hair to sway softly against her cheeks. “Trisha? Trish? Hey, you awake in there?” she asked, about to walk around in front of the screen.
“Wait!” shouted Eve as she grabbed Laura by the shoulders. There was a lot of hypnotic equipment in that warehouse, she may have stumbled on to one.”
Laura looked at the back of the monitor then up at the relaxed, slack jawed Trisha and agreed “Ok, well we can just turn this off then.” She carefully slid her hand along the bottom of the monitor until she found a button and pushed it. The screen went dark but there was no reaction from Trisha. “Hmmm… Trisha…. Wake up!” she shouted snapping her fingers in front of the girls face.
Trisha seemed to jump to life all at once and look around confused. “What? What did you do that for I’m right here!” she shouted rather upset at having fingers snapped right in her face.
Laura gave a laugh “yeah you were… completely hypnotized by the monitor, you should be careful with the stuff from that old nightclub. You know that!”
Trisha was about to protest when Eve asked “nightclub? You don’t mean Spirals do you?”
Laura nodded at Eve “yeah, it closed down about five years ago, all of the equipment got shipped here for research. Trisha here is not the first grad student to open up the box and end up glazed and dazed.” Laura gave Trisha a playful poke in the arm as she said it.
Trisha, however, was not amused. “Hey! If this stuff is so dangerous, why did you leave it in a box in the middle of the store room! Isn’t it your job to keep this place tidy?”
Laura folded her arms across her chest “It is tidy, you had to remove the sign that says ‘do not open’ in order to get into it!”
During the argument both girls completely ignored the fact that Eve was examining the monitor. She turned it around to face herself trying to see if it was also future tech, but was disappointed to discover that it was simply an old model flat screen. She went to slide it back to the direction that it had been facing but clumsily pressed the power button as she did. The screen flashed to life and the black and white spiral started to spin on the screen. Eve paused in surprise for a second. The spiral was quite pretty. She could easily see how it could have drawn the attention of the other girl, Trisha. But, she was so engrossed in the spiral that she completely forgot about the effects that it had had on Trisha. A few seconds later and she started to forget about a lot more than that. In fact she had forgotten about everything, everything except the spiral. Her hand slowly slid from the power button down to her side. Her posture relaxed, and her shoulders visibly started to slump. Her lips parted like she was about to say something, but nothing came out except for a soft, relaxed sigh.
As soon as the monitor had come on both Trisha and Laura noticed and looked over towards Eve. Laura was about to say something but Trisha stopped her. “Wait…” she said “look at how fast it affected her. That seems like it got her a lot quicker than it did me… what i remember anyways. What do you think?”
Laura, although annoyed by being grabbed by Trisha had to nod in agreement “It’s kind of impressive yeah, the tests from a few years ago showed that most people took ten seconds to go completely out. She was hypnotized in less than two. She must be super suggestible.”
Trisha’s face lit up as she started to wave her hands excitedly “That’s it!” she shouted.
Laura gave her a confused look “whats it?”
“My semester project! I’ll test suggestibility to different stimuli and see if there is a correlation between methods or people or both!” She shouted excitedly “She can be my first subject!”
Laura rolled her eyes at Trisha “You can’t do that! The poor girl just got out of a cryotube. She lives on the other side of the planet, and has been missing for ten years!”
Trisha brushed off objects as she looked over Eve realizing that she was kind of cute. “Oh not to worry…” she began as her voice just started to trail off a bit “She can stay at my place. I’ll take good care of her. Good care.”
Laura raised an eyebrow and followed Trisha’s gaze to notice her looking over Eve in a much more predatory fashion than before. “Yeah, I’m gonna have to say no to that one as well. If this girl is as suggestible as you think, that would be a bad, bad thing for her to be alone with you in your apartment. Sorry Trisha.”
Trisha snapped out of her ogling of Eve and glared at Laura “What do you mean! You don’t think I could handle myself? Are you saying I would lose control! Why… how…. rude!” She shouted and literally stomped her foot on the ground. She then moved to Laura and grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her next to Eve.
“Hey!” Laura shouted “Take it easy here, I’m just… hey, the spiral is still… spinning over here… you should…. Turn that… off….” her posture started to relax as the spiral took a hold of her mind and relaxed her down completely. A few moments later she was standing with her arms limp at her sides, mouth open and staring ahead at the spiral on the screen. Just like Eve.
Trisha smiled at Laura and started to look her over just like she had Eve a few moments ago. “There we are, that’s better now don’t you think?” She asked Laura not really expecting a reply.
“...Yes…” came a soft reply slipping out of both Laura and Eve.
Trisha squealed in excitement as she slid her hand along the monitor and turned off the spiral. “Good girls” she started “you can see the spiral even though it’s off, you can feel its effects. And you can let my words sink into your mind now, can’t you ladies?”
Another soft “...Yes…” slipped out of both entranced girls.
Trisha slid behind Laura and let her hands glide along the young woman's legs, then up her stomach. She had never really paid much attention to Laura, she was a junior in the psychology department but other then that she hadn’t really had much contact with her. That would have to change. “Laura, you find my idea of studying suggestibility in people to be perfect for my project. And you’re going to do everything you can to help me. Even help Eve get settled in my apartment. Isn’t that right?”
Laura’s “Yes” response came out with a bit of gasp as Trisha had finally reached the entranced woman’s breasts and started to massage them as she waited for her reply.
Trisha giggled at the response and kissed Laura on the cheek “Good girl.” She slid away from Laura and up to Eve, using one hand to move the brunettes long hair away from her ear while her other hand slid right to the young woman’s left breast. “And you, my dear” she softly whispered into Eve’s ear “you’re perfectly happy to help me with my project…and to accept my, gracious offer to stay at my place while we get you situated here at the university. Isn’t that right?”
Eve sighed “yes” as Trisha’s hand slide down her stomach and gently along her inner thigh.
Trisha smiled and kissed Eve’s ear as she slid her arm from her thigh and turned to wrap it around Laura’s shoulder. Bringing the two girls closer together she whispered through an evil grin. “Let’s have a little fun here before we get settled shall we…”
The End... For now.
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Characters: Eve, Trisha, Laura
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