Key: MD, FD, MF, FF, MC, Freeze, Sleep
Description: The crew of Spirals is in desperate need of a break from one another. But when a mysterious tech thief targets the nightclub, they may find more than one way to get some rest and relaxation.
In a dark room of a small apartment on the north side of New Chicago, a figure stared at a computer screen. The sound of keystrokes filled the room as she slowly, skillfully, hacked into the mainframe of Card Industries. It didn’t take her long. It never did.
She carefully scanned the files at hand. Most were familiar to her, but as she scrolled through them, several new ones caught her attention. A new line of perfume that was being produced. Skip. Acquisition of a sports team in Seattle. Skip. Acquisition of a hypnosis themed nightclub in New Chicago. She was about to skip that file as well when she noticed an attachment at the bottom labeled “tech installation schedule.” “Interesting…” she said as an almost devious grin spread across her face.
With a simple click the file opened, along with various pictures of tech that had already been installed, and tech that was still scheduled to be installed. Subliminal speakers, hidden spirals, stage lights that would pulse in an unnoticed but hypnotic way. Of course there were plenty of more direct methods, too. Hypnotic projectors to be installed behind mirrors in the bathroom, stun batons and hypno-lasers for the staff. Last but not least was a gas piping system that was due to be installed in the coming months, it appeared to be designed to flood various types of gas into different parts of the club.
“Well,” she said, leaning back in her chair. The lighting in the room hid most of her features, except for the bright smile that was a contrast against her dark skin. “I think I know where I’m going tomorrow.”
Spirals Nightclub: The next morning
“Why are you like this?!” Nadia shouted at the top of her lungs, eyes blazing.
“Like what?” Xander retorted. Even though his tone was softer, the look in his eyes still betrayed his own anger.
“You’ve been here for two weeks and so far all you have done is get in my way!” Nadia continued.
“In your way?” Xander said with a smile. “Whatever do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean!” Nadia scowled. “I spent the last two weeks planning to get us a gig hosting the Food Consortium’s 50th Annual ball, and you canceled it to schedule the Swedish Bikini team! Do you have ANY idea how much I could have stolen from those shrubs while they were hypnotized?!”
“Boobs over bucks babe!” Xander said, laughing at his own joke.
“Before that you stole two of my potential marks, deflected a third, and drained a fourth's wife so she was too tired to come to the club. I could have drained their bank accounts!” It was pretty clear where Nadia’s mind was.
“She was a delicious meal, you should try it sometime. Oh wait, you can’t. You're just a human!” Xander bit back. Clearly the resentment that the two of them shared for one another wasn’t quite worked out.
“What the hell is going on?!” Celene shouted as she descended the stairs to the dance floor. She was in the club’s standard security uniform, a skintight jumpsuit that zipped up in the front and a large spiral over each breast. Today her hair was a dirty blonde with strands of golden locks standing out against dark brown patches.
Nadia and Xander both jumped in surprise and turned toward Celene. Neither had known the young woman was there. After regaining their composure, they both looked at one another and back to Celene…only to instantly resume their fighting at even higher speeds.
Celene rolled her eyes and leaned against the guardrail of the stairs. “Stop! I don’t care what you two are bickering about! You two have a club to run, learn to work together or quit. But I’m not going to listen to you two screaming all day! Take. A. Break!”
“I don’t need a break!” Nadia shouted angrily.
“Are you sure? A nice nap might help the bags under your eyes.” Xander said, smirking.
They were both cut off by the sound of electrical sparks coming off of Celene’s stun baton. “That wasn’t a suggestion.” The annoyance in her tone was more than enough to get her point across…although, really, the sparks from her baton should have done that.
Finally, Xander sighed and looked at Nadia. “Fine, I’m going for a walk.” He said as he headed toward the back exit.
“I’ll be in my office!” Nadia shouted, turning on her heels as she stormed off backstage.
Celene sighed and put away her baton before climbing the stairs. “Those two better get their shit in sync or I’m gonna lose it.”
Meanwhile, Xander let himself blow off steam as he made his way through the city. As he did, he began to realize that Nadia was right. He had been thwarting her plans since he’d found out that she was the manager of the club, leaving him as the assistant manager. But there was more to it than that. She was also responsible for him being incarcerated all those years ago, and being sentenced to wear a Depressor on his wrist. The device that kept him in an almost constant state of depression and, more or less, destroyed his life as he knew it. But Nadia had also done her time. Of course she probably shouldn’t have been planning a crime wave, but he wasn’t getting in her way out of a moral obligation. It was out of revenge.
He sighed as he realized it actually was, on some level, his fault and that he should stop. But he wasn’t ready to admit that to her just yet. He also realized that Celene was more than likely right, he needed a break and time to clear his head. And as he turned the corner he found himself smiling. Before him, just a slight walk down the street, was the famous New Chicago Aquarium.
As he walked through the exhibits one by one, watching the fish and all the other aquatic animals on display, he couldn’t help but slowly start to relax. There was something about sea life that was just soothing to him. Of course, there was more than just the animals that caught his eye. His tour guide was a lovely redhead who said her name was Katheryn. She was short, only about five feet tall, and her eyes were a pale blue that was a lovely contrast against her wavy red hair.
Of course this was a public group, so he couldn’t exactly make his move during the tour. Instead, he spent his time enjoying the fish and other animals around him. He also enjoyed watching another man in the group try to hit on the lovely tour guide, only to be completely ignored as she continued her memorized information dump on the various sea creatures around them. Which gave him an idea.
The tour came to an end in the center rotunda of the Aquarium, which housed an enormous circular tank filled with hundreds of different species of fish and even a sea turtle that had been rescued after being injured by a boat propeller. The group began to disperse as a few people stayed behind to ask questions. The last person to leave tried to hit on Katheryn one last time, taking a more blunt approach as he asked her out directly. She gave him a very practiced, professional smile before turning him down and turning in the direction of the main tank.
“Amateur.” Xander thought with a smile as he watched the man slink away. “That’s not how you get a girl like that to talk to you. You have to focus on her interests, not yours.” He pushed himself off of the pillar he was leaning against and slowly approached the lovely young tour guide.
“Excuse me, miss…Katheryn wasn’t it?” He said with a genuine smile.
“Yes, what can I do for you?” She said with the same bright smile she’d used the entire tour, at least while dealing with the patrons. The smile was fake of course, a rehearsed and refined show for the customers. It was different from the one that appeared when she looked at the animals. That was a genuine smile, there was an excitement behind it, an energy. An energy that Xander wanted.
Without so much as a hint of his true desires, he turned to the tank next to them and pointed at a small school of fish that was swimming past. “What are these called? The small ones with the bright colors on the side?”
She turned to look at the small school of fish swimming before her. They were brilliantly colored, mostly a bright green with strips of yellow and red that blended into pinks and purples that almost seemed to sparkle as they went past. Her smile changed as she watched them, the corners of her mouth curled up while her eyes seemed to sparkle. This was a real smile. “Those are Melanurus Wrasse.” she said with an almost adoration in her voice. “They are some of my favorites, I love how they sparkle when they swim by.” She took a few moments to admire the view before composing herself and looking back at Xander. “Sorry,” she said honestly. “I sometimes get a little distracted by them.”
Xander gave her a genuine smile. This was, after all, exactly what he wanted to hear. “I can see why.” He said honestly “The colors that they give off as they swim by, are just…gorgeous. It’s like you can almost lose yourself in the school. As your eyes are bombarded with the spectacle before you. The writhing mass of color and life just swimming so gently…so easily in front of you. It’s very easy to just get a bit…distracted by them. Don’t you think?”
Katheryn had turned to look at the school of fish again and her smile had returned. But the more she watched, the more the smile seemed to relax, although it never faded entirely. “Yeah…” she said with the most relaxed and genuine tone he’d heard her use all day. “I could literally just sit and watch them all day long.”
“I’ve found…” Xander said, slowly moving closer to her. “That when I find something as distracting, as this school before us…it’s it like, the school just becomes the only thing that I really notice. The world around us just seems to fade away. It doesn’t matter how many people are here, or what else is happening around us, but instead it just feels like it’s just the school…and you…and me…just standing here…watching the colorful display as they shift, and swim. Everything else fades away, just the school…and my words…and how calming and soothing you find yourself feeling now. You can see that to be true now…can’t you Kathryn?”
The young woman’s smile had almost completely faded as she simply stood there and watched the fish in front of her. Her arms had slowly started to hang limp at her sides as she just watched, and relaxed, in the image before her. The only audible response that she gave was a simple “Mmmhmm.”
Xander smiled and moved behind the young woman, gently placing his hands on her shoulders, and just letting them rest there for a while…letting her get used to the feeling. “So easy to just relax…to just let everything sink down. Deeper and deeper, as you just focus on the school…maybe you pick out a single fish…and just watch as its colorful display seems to shift as it swims, as it just flashes into your mind, and you feel your body slowly…easily starting to relax.” He continued while starting to, very gently, rub her shoulders.
To his delight, the young woman who had been professionally polite the entire day slowly leaned back against Xander’s chest. The height difference was just enough so that he could lean his head down and whisper directly into her ear. “Or maybe…you’d like to just pull back now Katheryn…and watch the entire school…simply let your mind focus on all of the flashes…all of the colors. Everything else just seems to fade away…just the flashes, and my voice. Sliding into your thoughts, sliding into your mind, it’s so easy to just relax with me here…to just let your mind slip away…and sleep…while you watch the colorful display before you. Just watch… and sleep.”
Katheryn sighed gently as her eyes slowly lowered and Xander felt the weight of her body increase against his chest. “That’s a girl…” he whispered into her ear. “Just watch and relax…and let me show you how nice it is, to simply…let go…completely for me now.” He grinned deviously as he moved her hair behind her ear and began whispering suggestions into her open mind.
To be continued…
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you have any comments I would love to hear them! You can follow more adventures at Spirals Nightclub! You can also find bonus content on my Patreon page! Including a file of my editor's response to editing these stories here: A Little R&R - Banter File
Featuring: Xander, Nadia, Celene, Abigail, Katheryn, Veronica.
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 1
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 2
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 3
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 4
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 5
A Little R&R - Spirals - Part 6
A Little R&R - Spirals - Banter File