Saturday, January 31, 2015

The perfect robotic slave

I've had golems on the brain for a few years, thinking about the mind control possibilities associated with an utterly will-less slave. In fact, if I ever get around to writing that Tenpack of Trixies sequel I once hinted about, it's going to feature a woman turned into a golem.

I guess most people know what golems are these days, although they were pretty esoteric "monsters" when I was a kid. I only knew about them because I was into horror stories and supernatural stuff in general. But if you don't know what they are, I'll tell you: they're basically robots made of clay that have been brought to life by rabbinic magic.

At the moment I'm reading a damn good book called The Golem and the Jinni. I'm telling you how good it is right up front because even if I weren't writing about it here to highlight the MC element, I'd still be talking about the book somewhere just to recommend that people read it. It's just a great story, period. But since this is a blog about mind control, I'll focus on that MC element like I know you want me to.

In this book the golem is female and looks completely human (both of which are unusual traits among her kind). She was created to be the wife of a man who dropped dead almost the moment he "woke" her, and since then she's been masterless...sort of. You'll see what I mean in a minute. The golem is living in 1899/1900 New York City, where she's become friends with a masterless jinni. The jinni was freed from a flask in which he'd been trapped for about 1000 years, and he has no memory of how he got in there. He just has an iron band around his wrist that limits his powers, and a vague memory of a wizard clamping it on him - which enslaved him. But the wizard is apparently long dead and the jinni is mostly free. He's not bound to anyone now, but he's stuck in human form and has other frustrating limitations.

Now here's a passage where the golem and the jinni talk about their pasts, the attraction and horror of being someone's mindless slave. I think you'll like it.

She shook her head. "You misunderstand me. Each golem is built to serve a master. When I woke, I was already bound to mine. To his will. I heard his every thought, and I obeyed with no hesitation."

"That's terrible," the Jinni said.

"To you, perhaps. To me it felt like the way things were meant to be. And when he died - when that connection left me - I no longer had a clear purpose. Now I'm bound to everyone, if only a little. I have to fight against it, I can't be solving everyone's wishes. But sometimes at the bakery where I work, I'll give someone a loaf of bread - and it answers a need. For a moment, that person is my master. And in that moment, I'm content. If I were as independent as you wish you were, I'd feel I had no purpose at all."

He frowned. "Were you so happy, to be ruled by another?"

"Happy is not the word," she said. "It felt right."

"All right, then let me ask you this. If by some chance or magic you could have your master back again, would you wish it?"

It was an obvious question, but one that she had never quite asked herself. She'd barely known Rotfeld, even to know what sort of man he was. But then, couldn't she guess? What sort of man would take a golem for a wife, the way a delivery man might purchase a new cart?

But oh, to be returned to that certainty! The memory of it rose up, sharp and beguiling. And she wouldn't feel as though she was being used. One choice, one decision - and then, nothing.

"I don't know," she said at last. "Maybe I would. Though in a way, I think it would be like dying. But perhaps it would be for the best. I make so many mistakes, on my own."

There was a noise from the Jinni, something not quite a laugh. His mouth was a hard line; he stared up beyond the trees, as though he couldn't bear to look at her.

"I said something to offend you," she said.

"Don't do that," he snapped. "Don't look into me."

"I didn't need to," she retorted. An unaccustomed defiance was rising in her. She'd given him an honest answer, and apparently it had repelled him. Well, so be it. If he didn't want her company, she could find her own way home. She was no child, whatever he thought.

She'd half decided to turn back toward Broadway, but then he said, "Do you remember what I told you before? That I was captured, but have no memory of it?"

"Yes, of course I remember."

"I have no idea," he said, "how long I was that man's servant. His slave. I don't know what he made me do. I might have done terrible things. Perhaps I killed for him. I might have killed my own kind." There was a tight edge in his voice, painful to hear. "But even worse would be if I did it gladly. If he robbed me of my will, and turned me against myself."

Now go buy the book. You know you want to.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Point to ponder

art by Hajime Sorayama
I've noticed a trend among some of the people who talk to me by blog and email: an unusually high number of them say they have Asperger's Syndrome. I have it too. I finally got diagnosed last year, after at least two decades of trying to convince people that I should get tested. My symptoms aren't always obvious, so no one believed me. I didn't entirely believe myself. And AS is a hell of a thing to live with even when you know you have it. It's a lifetime of offending people without meaning to, of not understanding what people really want or need from you, of shame for screwing up again and again when you know you're too smart to keep making the same mistakes.

Do you see where I'm going here? This isn't a "poor, pitiful me" post; it's an explanation for why I developed a mind control fetish - and perhaps why so many other Aspies are into it.

If you're an Aspie and a sub, fantasizing about being totally controlled means fantasizing about being unable to screw up. If you can only do what your controller wants you to do, you can't offend or disappoint. You're perfect.

Or if you're an Aspie and a dom, (I assume) you can fantasize about the people you control being unable to take offense. They'd be totally accepting - loving - no matter how socially inappropriate you were with them. You could do no wrong in their eyes.

I have no data to back up my theory, just a few conversations; and I know there are lots of other reasons for people to develop an EMC fetish: feelings of inadequacy, revenge fantasies, lust for power, lust for surrender.... (Some of those could apply to Aspies, too. I won't say I've never written revenge into my stories; and looking back from the other side of my diagnosis, I realize I was taking revenge on the bullies who mistreated me because of my difference.). But I have a hunch that there are more Aspies among the EMC fetish ranks than among most other fetish ranks. And since Aspies are obsessive by nature, we might be some of EMC's most devoted fans.

That's a nice thought, isn't it? As long as none of you go all Annie Wilkes on me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I need a beta reader ASAP

I'm putting "Couples Skate" in the next erotica anthology from the Kinklectic group, and they're requiring a beta reader. The deadline is coming up very, very quickly; and the person I thought was going to be my beta reader apparently isn't, so I'm turning to you fine folks.

I need one volunteer to read a gay male MC story with a lot of humor, a charmingly quirky MC'er, and a great big red herring. The first person to respond in the comments section gets the job - and a free copy of the ebook. You don't have to put your email address in the comment, either. Just email me right after you're sure your comment posted and tell me you're the one who posted it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

And now for some hot MC

As promised, here are three of the best scenes so far from a novel I'm still reading, Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons. It's a mainstream horror novel in which the villains are pseudo-vampires who feed by using mind control to manipulate their victims. One of these villains is Melanie Fuller, a Southern spinster who seems like a nice little old lady until you get inside her head. Simmons writes the book from several characters' point of view, but he gives Melanie's sections in first person; and the longer you spend with her, the more she disgusts you. This is a horror story, so if you're thinking of reading it, you should know ahead of time that it's pretty brutal. But I've found a few scenes from Melanie's point of view which will tickle an MC fetishist's fancy.

In the first scene, Melanie has just taken on two new long-term slaves, a murderous young hitchhiker (the only person in the book so far who deserves his fate) and another little old lady who can provide Melanie with money and shelter while Melanie is on the run. This is her describing the process of "conditioning" her slaves:

If one has the Ability, it is relatively easy to Use someone, much harder to successfully condition them. When Nina, Willi, and I began the Game in Vienna almost half a century ago, we amused ourselves by Using others, strangers usually, and there was little thought given to the necessity of always having to discard these human instruments. Later, as we grew older and more mature in our exercise of the Ability, each of us found need for a companion - part servant, part bodyguard - who would be so attuned to our needs that it took almost no effort to Use them....Such conditioning takes time, although it is the first few days that are critical. The trick is to leave at least a hollow core of the personality without leaving any possibility of independent action. And although the action must not be independent, it must be autonomous in the sense that simple duties and daily routines can be initiated and carried out without any direct Using. If one is to travel in public with these conditioned assistants, there must also be at least a simulacrum of the original personality left in place.

The benefits of such conditioning are obvious. While it is difficult - almost impossible, although Nina may have been capable of it - to Use two people at the same time, there is little difficulty in directing the actions of two conditioned catspaws. Willi never traveled with fewer than two of his "boyfriends," and before her feminist phase, Nina was known to travel with five or six young, single, handsome bodies.

Anne Bishop was easily conditioned, eager for a subjugation of self. In the three days I rested in her home, she was thoroughly brought into line. Vincent was another case entirely. While my initial "teaching" had destroyed all higher order volition, his subconscious retained a riotous and largely unrestrained tangle of surging hatreds, fears, prejudices, desires, and dark urges. I did not wish to eradicate these, for here were the sources of energy I would tap at a later date. For those three long days on the weekend before Christmas 1980, I rested in Anne's slightly sour-smelling home and explored the emotional jungle of Vincent's dark undermind, leaving trails and leverages there for future use.

Now here's the second passage. At this point Melanie is in a hospital and seems to be comatose, but in fact her mind is fully functional and her powers have actually grown now that she doesn't have to control her body. She's in the process of gathering more catspaws and has already enslaved Howard. Now she's using him to get to a thug named Culley:

Howard had told Culley that there was a unique employment opportunity open to him, although he had used simpler words. Bringing him to the hospital had been my idea.

"This will be your boss," Howard said, gesturing to the bed that held my husk of a body. "You will serve her, protect her, give your life for her if you must."

Culley made a sound like a cat clearing its throat. "That old bag still alive?" he said. "She looks dead to me."

I entered him then. There was little in that pinched skull except basic motivations - hunger, thirst, fear, pride, hate, and an urge to please based on a vague sense of wanting to belong, to be loved. It was that final need that I enlarged upon, built upon. Culley sat in my room for eighteen consecutive hours. When he left to help Howard with the packing and other trip preparations, there was nothing of the original Culley left except his size, strength, quickness, and need to please. To please me.

I never found out whether Culley was his first or last name.

And here's one more passage, painful to read in context because of the victim's identity (I'm just calling him "X" here to avoid spoilers, and I'm calling the other person in his house "Y"), but hot to read out of context. Melanie, still comatose, is almost ready to go home to Charleston; but she has one last thing to do. She sends Howard and Culley to find someone:

"Can we talk outside?" asked Howard.

X shrugged and followed us outside despite the darkness and freezing wind. The door closed on Y's protests. He stared up at Culley and then stepped closer to Howard. There was the slightest flicker of animation in his eyes, as if he knew what was coming and almost welcomed it.

"We're offering you a new life," whispered Howard. "A whole new life..."

X started to speak then, but from ten miles away I pushed and X's mouth fell slack and he did not finish the first word....

I never would have been able to do what I did that evening before my illness. Working through the filter of Howard Warden's perceptions, while simultaneously controlling Culley, my doctor, and half a dozen other conditioned catspaws in as many different locations, I was still able to project the force of my will so powerfully that X gasped, staggered backwards, stared blankly, and awaited my first command. His eyes no longer looked drugged and defeated; they now reflected the bright, transparent stare of the terminally brain damaged.

Whatever had been the sad total of X's life, thoughts, memories, and pitiful aspirations, was gone forever. I had never done this type of total conditioning in a single blow before, and for a long minute my almost forgotten body twitched in the vice of total paralysis on the hospital bed while Nurse Sewell massaged me.

The receptacle that had been X waited quietly in the freezing wind and darkness.

I finally spoke through Culley, not needing the verbal command but wanting to hear it through Howard's awareness. "Go get dressed," he said. "Give Y this. Tell her it is an advance on salary." Culley handed X a hundred dollar bill.

X disappeared into the house and came out three minutes later. He was wearing only jeans, a sweater, sneakers, and a black leather jacket. He brought no luggage. That is as I wished; we would prepare an appropriate wardrobe for him when we moved....

I could not leave Philadelphia without bringing home a souvenir.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This is a tease. This is only a tease. In the event of an actual post...

I'm almost exactly in the middle of a very long, very intense horror novel with pseudo-vampires who feed off the violence they cause by mind controlling other people. Until a few chapters ago, it seemed that there was nothing supernatural about the villains' powers; they were just humans with mutated, super-strength "dominance" genes. But now it looks like there's probably more at work - maybe ghosts, maybe zombies or revenants or liches, maybe something else. Time will tell.

Once I finish the book I'll post some of the more fetish-friendly scenes here. In fact, I might not even wait to finish it because I really doubt I can get through 400 more pages before next Sunday. I don't have anything else in mind yet to post next weekend; so if nothing occurs to me, I'll give you at least one passage I've already bookmarked as blog-worthy.

But what can I tell you in the meantime? Well, the book is called Carrion Comfort, it's by Dan Simmons, and I found it on a Goodreads list of the best mainstream books centered on mind control. But I have to warn you: this book is mainstream horror. In fact, Stephen King called it one of the three best horror novels of the twentieth century (I haven't yet found out what his other two are. I should Google it.). And Carrion Comfort really does read like a Stephen King novel, right down to the trademark Unlikely Band of Heroes who join forces to stop the monsters. There's also a King-like amount of gore and a very high body count - including one body I expected to keep breathing until the big showdown, at least. But if there really is a supernatural element to the story, then maybe the character I'm talking about will be back. If that happens, the circumstances under which s/he comes back and what s/he is like afterwards will be very interesting. But I'm just speculating here. I have no idea whether or not X will return.

I'm sure at least some of you out there have already read Carrion Comfort, so you know who I'm talking about. Well, as always, I welcome your comments - but please, no spoilers.

And as for the rest of you, you have some juicy mainstream MC scenes to look forward to soon.