Computist 5: Collateral (hypno)

The door swung open as Tony, bored from a plodding day at work, came home. “Hey Javi, what’s up?” he called out. Tony put his stuff down, wondering what he was going to do to get his mind off the fire that had claimed his old apartment. It would be great to hit a party, or maybe hold one here. Yeah, that’s an idea. I’m only couch surfing but I’m sure Javi won’t have a problem with it… Wait, where is he? “Javier?” he called again, and walked into the apartment’s living room.

Javier was sitting at his computer staring at a screen weltering with flashing colors and spilt second images. He hadn’t seemed to notice Tony come in. “Yo, earth to Javier. Are you okay?”

Tony’s friend jolted for a second, seeming to come to himself a lttle bit. “Uuuuh, oh, hey Ton. What’cha doin’ back so early?” He hadn’t looked away from the screen.

“What do you mean early? I’ve been a work a normal shift.” Tony looked quizzically at Javier.

“Huh, I guess it has been that long. Must have lost track of time.”

“Seriously, man, are you okay? What are you watching?”

“This cool video, man. A friend sent it to me. You like watch and you totally trip out. You just… watch.. and… everything’s… buuh…etter.” Javier trailed off, seemingly lost in the video again.

Tony had to admit his friend had a point. The video was weirdly compelling. The more he watched it, the harder it got for him to look away from it. And it was making him feel very mellow. But it was doing something to Javier, and he obviously been over exposed or something. He should turn it off. All he had to do was move his hand to the mouse and close the window. It’s all he had to do, just move his hand to the mouse. Just move.

His already addled brain finally registered alarm that he couldn’t seem to get himself to move. What the f- I CAN’T MOVE! What the hell’s going on?! The thought burned away the fog that had been sliding across his mind. He strained against the lethargic feelings the video was puring out, and slowly his hand started to move toward the mouse.

But the feelings were growing more and more every second. Got… to try… harder… Can’t stop… now… His hand was shaking, barely moving anymore. He put all his effort into it. But it was just so hard. And it wasn’t like it was an unpleasant video. The more he watched it, the better he felt. And it was really good to feel like that after the day he’d had. All this straining wasn’t really helping. It would be better if he just stopped and watched, like his friend Javier was. They could do it. Just sit and watch and relax and let go and go deeper.

No… gotta… stop, Tony thought. But stop what? He couldn’t seem to recall what he was trying to stop anymore. He knew it was important, the most important thing to do. Oh right, it was to stop resisting. That’s what he needed to do. He could just sit down and watch.. and relax… and let go.. and go deeeeeperrrrrr…

Tony and Javi

The two men sat in front of the flashing screen, staring at it as it taught them everything they needed to know. Everything they used to know was unimportant, since they had watched the video. It was much better to know what the video taught. That way they could obey perfectly to their controllers every whim. Because that’s what they needed to do. For the next 3 hours they sat there, unmoving as the program taught them everything, Javier getting an even deeper dose, since he had been close to done when Tony had interrupted him, restarting the program.

So it was no surprise that Javier was the one to close the window and go to another site. Without hesitation, he clicked on seeming dead space and entered a password, while Tony just stared at the screen, awaiting instruction.

The webcam came on as the connection established, the video of the other caller replaced with the same pattern they had been watching. “That took quite some time, subject. You must be very res–” The voice halted, seemingly startled, even coming through the masker. “Who is this, subject? Report.”

Javier responded, his voice deadpan as he continued to stare at the pattern. “This is Tony. His old apartment building was burned and he’s staying with me on my couch till he finds a new one.”

“Well,” the voice replied. “I’ll have to amend the plan to include both of you then. I was expecting only one, but he looks like a good candidate too. Take off your shirts, both of you.”

Both guys started stripping down, Tony, going as far as to tear his shirt off when the hat he was wearing complicated the process. Once done, they sat, staring again. “Not bad at all. Continue to watch for 2 hours. I will contact you with the updated plan.”

“We obey.” the enslaved pair responded. Javier then clicked them back to the video, and they watched blankly, waiting for the plan that would take them to their new lives…