The Pied Piper of Construction 2: The Pied Piper Strikes Again (hypno)

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Wally and Ryan walked into the umpteenth construction office and sighed. A sign on the foreman's door said he would return "soon," whatever that meant, and the young man behind the desk didn't look like he was in a talking mood.

Still, Wally thought, won't hurt to ask. He motioned to Ryan to sit down and walked to the desk. "Hello, do you know when your foreman will be back? We have an appointment. It's about the disappearance of our friend."

The male receptionist looked deadpan at them, then slowly shook his head and motioned to a seat. Wally trudged over to where his friend was already sitting and sat down himself.

"You sure about this, Wal?" Ryan asked. "We've been to 10 different sites, and none of them knew Kevin at all, or even have any record of him applying."

"What else do you think we can do Ryan? The cops aren't looking for him because they say he put everything in order when he left, so he just moved out when there were no job prospects. You and I both know he'd never do that, but we could talk till we're blue in the face unless we found where his new job was. If we can show them that he was turning back around, maybe then they'll realize that he's in trouble. So we look until we find him." Wally realized he'd gone from an angry whisper to a near-yell and calmed down.

"I know, I know. Sorry Wal. There's just something about this place that... makes me.. feel weird."

Wally could feel it too. It just felt almost like a lethargy that he'd felt when he walked in. Made it hard to think. He and Ryan sat in the anteroom waiting for a quarter of an hour when a large man walked in. "Hi, sorry for being late. I'm the foreman for this company. You said you were looking for a friend of yours?"

Wally's head snapped up as he tried to clear it. Something about the voice was familiar... he'd heard it before somewhere... it was important. He shook it off. "Yeah, I–"

The foreman cut him off. "Come into my office."

Wally thought that was kind of rude, but wanted to keep on this guy's good side, so he walked in. He hadn't seen his friend Ryan snap to attention behind him and march there with the same blank look on his face that the receptionist had when they came in.

"Take a seat," the foreman ordered.

"Look, sir, I know you're used to working with your employees, but we're not them. We're looking for Kevin–"

The foreman interrupted him. "It's not important what you were doing, kid. Only what I tell you to do is important."

Wally got pissed at that. "The hell you say! What the hell is this?! You're not our boss!"

"Your friend would disagree with you. Hold him in the seat, slave."

Wally suddenly felt pressure on his shoulders, putting him off balance. He fell back into a chair and looked up to see Ryan who was holding him down, all still with a deadpan look. "Ryan, what are you–"

"Ryan is it? You better tell me your name while you can still remember anything but what I tell you to do."

The last part of that sentence seemed to reverberate and eat at Wally's mind. He tried to resist the command in the foreman's tone to tell him his name, but those words bouncing around his head made it hard to think of anything else. "W... Wally," he said distractedly, still trying to fight the words.

"Just listen to the music, Wally, and you'll know what you have to do," the foreman said, still in a commanding tone, and for the first time, Wally noticed that there was music playing, from the moment he and Ryan came to the construction site. The music was playing low; he strained to hear it. But the order was hard to resist now, and the music seemed to make the foreman's words stronger. They started repeating in his mind even more, seeming to come from all directions with the music.

No, no, have to help Kevin and Ryan... have to stop this... have to break away. Wally tried to stand, but his addled brain couldn't apply his strength, and the mesmerized Ryan held him fast. No, let... me... go... Ryan... I have to... I have... to... to... obey.

"I have to obey," Wally said out loud.

"Excellent." The foreman smiled. He'd have to move to another location soon if more friends like Kevin's were getting suspicious. Eventually, he'd vanish someone with more clout, and he'd have to feel the police, so this stage was when he would move his company. But he'd always get a few more recruits from nosy friends like these. "First standing order, Ryan and Wally, is that, unless you are working with something that sparks, shirts off unless ordered."

The two boys both complied without hesitation; Ryan even tearing off his shirt rather than taking it off normally.

"Good, good, we can finalize your employment this evening." The foreman then pointed to a place on a map and told them, "Go here and speak with my overseer slave there."

They both turned and exited the office, walking through the music that kept them docile and obedient. They passed their friend Kevin on the way, but no longer recognized him as anything but a member of their new brotherhood of master's slaves...

Wally and Ryan

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