Maura wondered how much penance it would take to save her soul from forgotten sins. She could only wonder about the sins, because her mind had been wiped clean. Like Pandora's Box, she had been wrenched open. All of her evils had flown away, leaving only one thing trapped inside. Was it hope? No. It was a bio-interface processor that had been left behind in her revised brain.
The device still throbbed in her head when she arrived on the colony that first day. Those were her first memories. She didn't have words to describe her impressions of the colony. It was so hard to think of the words.
"Calm yourself, Maura," said Hiroshi. " It will get easier with time."
Hiroshi was traveling with her, and had introduced himself when she first awoke.
She had to concentrate to understand what he was saying.
"The mind is resilient. When your memories and identity were removed, it took away your frame of reference. It is hard to understand the meanings of the words which are no longer attached to any image in your mind. As you form new connections, speech will come easier."
Hiroshi held her by the hand as he led her off of the transport vessel. She looked around the terminal with wide eyes. There was so much activity here.
A woman in a costume approached. Costume? Was that the right word? Maura tried hard to think of a better description. Habit. That was the word. The woman was a nun.
"Listen to me, Maura." It was Hiroshi's calm voice again. " I will be leaving you here with the Sister. I know that everything is very confusing for you right now, but you must listen carefully to what I'm about to tell you."
"Your mind has been wiped clean. You will have no memory of your previous life. All traces of your former self have been removed from the Universal Records. These were your instructions to us, and we've carried out your instructions to the letter. Your new life is your penance for past acts. Your sins have been erased from your head, but your soul is yet unclean. This innocence of mind is the final gift from your former self. You will remain here and humbly obey the wishes of the Sisterhood."
Maura soaked in the information, but struggled to understand the meanings of his words. They would haunt her in the coming days.
"One last thing, Maura. To insure that your new life turns out according to your wishes, we have installed a device in your brain. Not only will it help to block any residual memories of your life, but it will insure obedience and humility in your new life. I hope that you find the peace that you were looking for."
That's how she began her time at the convent in the New Holland colony. This planet had been chosen because the climate was suitable for agriculture, and amongst Maura's first tasks was learning to tend the gardens of the convent. It was difficult physical work. The Sisters of Eternal Service didn't believe in using modern equipment. Unlike the wondrous automated glass houses of the neighboring properties, the gardens of the convent were worked with hoe and shovel.
While she worked under the hot sun each day, she struggled to understand her new life. Why would anyone do this to herself? The questions tortured her. What sins were so horrible as to warrant the removal of all memory? How could she bind herself into servitude in the remote New Holland colony?
She didn't know anything at all about herself, or about the kind of person she was.
When she had first seen herself in a mirror, she was surprised to see that, like Hiroshi, she was at least partially Asian. She couldn't tell her age from the reflection. Over twenty? Surely. Thirty? Closer. It was so difficult to tell. Her body was thin and athletic, with smallish breasts, a firm belly, and long legs. She looked herself in the dark pools of her eyes. I should know you, she told the stranger in the mirror. I should recognize that face.
Sister Mary Frances was Maura's spiritual advisor. She had been given the controls for the device in Maura's head. 'Obedience and humility' is what the device would insure, Hiroshi told her at the beginning. Damned right. On her first day at the convent, she'd had a taste of the way the device worked.
On the first morning after arrival, Mary Frances had awoken her with a bucket of cold water. Maura's first instinct, to her surprise, was to strike the nun hard across the throat. Before her arm could react, though, the device did its work.
"Oh Jesus, my head, " she had screamed, as the device began to buzz. Pain. Shame. Sorrow. It pumped the feelings relentlessly into her head.
The nun grabbed Maura by the hair.
"I'll teach you not to take the Lord's name in vain, filthy girl."
Maura wanted to resist as the nun pulled her across the room, but the device fought her every instinct. For each thought of resistance, there was more pain. Mary Frances bent Maura over a wooden bench near the door, and bunched Maura's wet night gown up past her waist.
"You will learn to follow the rules of the convent. You will now receive ten lashes for the blasphemy of taking the lord's name in vain."
Maura had to fight down her own instincts. Everything within her told her to fight back, to do some serious harm to this woman. As each of these feelings emerged, the device punished Maura. She struggled to fight her instincts. A flood of relief poured through her when she was finally able to control the emotions. She remained there, gasping for breath, as Sister Mary Frances retrieved the strap.
'Obedience and humility', she remembered Hiroshi's words. She tried to think only of these words.
When the strap came down on her behind, there was certainly pain, but the device rewarded her for accepting the punishment. Even as her body jerked forward from the blow, the device delivered tingles of pleasure through her body. The message from the device was simple: obedience equals pleasure, disobedience equals pain. Maura stayed there, bent over, until the nun had finished abusing her ass.
When she was out in the fields, those first few days, Maura had a lot of time to think about the device.
It was insidious, really. It often had Maura second-guessing her own emotions without having to apply any 'correction' of its own. Maura resented the device, but she quickly learned the limits it imposed. She found that it would only react if she contemplated a direct challenge to authority. As long as she obeyed any direct commands, the device would leave her alone.
Working in the calm of the garden, Maura also had plenty of time to reorganize her head. Hiroshi had been right about her language skills. A few days of practice had returned them to her. The words were still in her head, she discovered, they were simply disconnected. Not only was there English, but she realized that her brain held the vocabulary of several other languages.
There were other skills too, but each of them was free of context. Every time a shuttle passed overhead, Maura absolutely knew that she could fly the craft. She could almost visualize the control panel. There was no indication of how she had learned the skill, but it was there nonetheless.
Despite the effects of the device, her heart burned with curiosity about her vanished life, and she longed to be free of this place.
"Sit still, girl, while I adjust the device."
Maura watched Mary Frances carefully as the nun began to manipulate the hand-held control pad. This was the second time this month that she had adjusted the strength of the bio-interface processor. After the first adjustment, Maura had found the device more sensitive, even to her most subtle thoughts of rebellion Now she sat here helplessly as the nun prepared increase the strength again. Maura shuddered at the thought.
And she watched closely the face of Sister Mary Frances.
Was there a slight bit of hope left in her soul after all?
There had been a moment during the last adjustment, just a moment, when Maura thought she had felt something strange. Mary Frances had looked up nervously at that moment. Now, Maura watched the face of the nun for that same expression.
Then it happened. Mary Frances looked up nervously, and Maura felt it happen. The device was off. It was just for a moment, she knew, but it was enough.
The nun didn't have a chance.
Maura launched herself out of the chair with a quickness that surprised even herself. One quick strike to the hand knocked the control pad away before Mary Frances could re-establish control. No pause. A jab to the throat stifled a cry for help before it could begin.
The device was off, and a rush of forbidden emotions crowded into her head. Excitement. Freedom. There was another emotion, but she didn't stop herself to think about it. Maura watched as the nun choked for breath.
'Immobilize the subject', something inside of her instructed. Maura struck the nun again, this time across the side of the head. She was down. Maura knelt down to the limp body and checked for a pulse. The woman was alive. She took the time to tear a few strips of cloth from Mary Frances' robes, and used them to tie the woman's hands and feet, and to gag her mouth.
Before she left the room, she slipped the control pad under the front of her overalls. She forced herself to be calm as she walked through the corridors of the convent. As far as any of the other nuns knew, she was just going outside for another day of work in the gardens. She did nothing to betray her excitement. This is the last she would see of this colony, she promised herself.
Ann/R/K sat back wit her feet perched precariously on one of the tiny tables of the food court. Despite all the wonderful designer drugs that her friend Rasta-Dan had helped her to sample, there were still times when she liked to have just a good, old fashioned sugar high. Today, her sugar rush was courtesy of a couple of outrageously sweet drinks from the Orange Julius. The fact that there wasn't anything in this star system that even remotely resembled an actual citrus fruit didn't bother Ann at all. Reality is highly overrated anyhow, she reasoned.
The edgy high of the carbohydrates rushed through her veins. She couldn't help but smile.
Her vision blurred for a moment as Audrey kicked in.
"You have new data," the voice said gently. Ann always found the English accent of her AI soothing.
Ann allowed the search results to scroll down through her line of vision. Her own internal hardware allowed her to access her home terminal from anywhere on the station.
She scrolled through the incoming and outgoing data traffic of the station. Junk. Junk. Junk. There was nothing of interest to Ann, nothing that it would pay to steal. There hardly ever was in a backwater station like Suzuki IV. She couldn't wait until she could get back to a real data hub, like Macau Colony. For now, though, she had to lie low until the authorities stopped looking for her.
There was nothing of interest in the cargo manifests; mostly just raw materials for the colonies. She scanned onwards. Personal communications within the station rarely provided anything useful, but Ann/R/K went through them quickly anyhow. Beggars can't be choosers, she reminded herself.
Finally, she checked the security system. The station security system was the first thing Ann broke into when she arrived at the station. With the assistance of the security scanners, Ann could see anywhere in the station except personal quarters. It was the best way to keep track of what was going on. Which, in this station, was almost nothing. She was just about to shut Audrey down, when something caught her attention.
The security array routinely scanned new arrivals to the station for hidden weapons. Ann had been able to modify these same arrays to check out the internal hardware of anyone coming onto the station; sort of checking out the competition.
"What the hell is that?" she asked aloud when she saw one of the new scans.
"Pardon me?" asked Audrey.
"That last security scan, Audrey, who was that?"
"I'm sorry Ann, there's no identification on record."
Ann was puzzled. She went back to the scan and looked again. It wasn't often that she saw hardware that she didn't recognize, and this stuff was totally unfamiliar.
"Audrey, " she commanded. " Find out everything you can about this passenger. I want to know who she is, where she came from, and where she's going right now."
Every day of freedom since leaving the New Holland colony had given Maura new confidence in her abilities. She stowed away on a transport vessel to the Vegas Moon Base. Once there, she found that she was quite skilled as a pick-pocket. She spent an afternoon in the glittering casinos, collecting funds for her future travels In the evening, she bought herself more appropriate clothing, and treated herself to dinner in an Indian restaurant.
Her first instinct was to place a bit of distance between herself and the New Holland Colony. She scanned the displays at the central terminal. The place names were unfamiliar. Finally, she decided at random on the Suzuki IV station. The money she had stolen was enough for the ticket.
She spent the flight socializing with other passengers. She found that she could communicate, with little difficulty, in at least four languages. Her confidence grew with every encounter. By the time she arrived at the station, two days later, the stifling life at the convent seemed a distant memory, and she was more driven than ever to discover her own place in the universe.
Maura had used those conversations with the other passengers to learn about her destination, Suzuki IV station. It was a small station, with less than a hundred thousand residents. It was a part of the outer ring of space stations, and thus served as an access point for the more remote colonies. It would be a further week of travel to reach the central colonies, or any of the major stations.
When she arrived at the station, it was a relief to be off of the confined quarters of the shuttle. She took her time to walk the wide corridors of the station, and orient herself to her new surroundings. She found that with each new surrounding, her mind automatically planned two alternate escape routes. It made Maura wonder about the kind of work she had done before the 'wipe'.
Her speculation was cut short. Something was wrong.
From the pack where she carried her belongings, there was a noise. She remembered the noise from when Sister Mary Frances was adjusting the device in her head. It was the sound of the control pad. Maura tried not to panic. She walked over to one side of the corridor, and took a seat at a vacant bench. From her pack, she fished out the thin black control pad.
The black screen had been blank since the convent, but now it was alive. Maura hadn't tried to activate the pad herself, for fear of enabling the device again. Besides, she didn't have the access code.
"ACCESS DENIED " was displayed in brilliant green letters across the middle of the black screen. Nonetheless, at the prompt above these words, a series of random numbers and letters were flying across the screen at an increasing tempo.
Maura felt sick. Someone was hacking in. Fear stopped her from doing anything drastic. To destroy the control panel would be folly. There was no way of knowing how the device would react. It would probably revert to some default mode, and Maura didn't want to guess what that might be.
Presently, the " ACCESS DENIED " was replaced by a series of menus and screens, flashing quickly across the thin black pad. The code had been cracked. Whoever had broken the code was now sifting through the contents of the computer, and learning how to use it. Then, after a few second, the screen turned blank again. But the damage was done; Maura could feel the bio-interface processor stirring from its dormancy.
She just sat there, staring at the blank screen. Her hands were trembling, and tears welled up in her eyes. Freedom had been snatched from her grasp, she knew. The only question remaining was who had taken it.
The young woman approached from across the corridor. One look in the girl's knowing eyes told Maura that this was the hacker. The girl was barely out of her teen years, and still wore the trappings of rebellion. Her hair was a wild red, with black tips. Her facial features were dotted with the silver jewelery of at least a dozen piercings. Her clothing was definitely retro. She wore black military style boots, and loose fitting camouflaged khakis. Her thin waist and stomach were exposed by the short black top she wore.
"Who are you? " Maura asked the girl.
"Funny, I was going to ask you the same question."
"I wish I could tell you."
Ann/R/K couldn't wait to get her new equipment home. The fact that the hardware was attached to a human was only incidental. This was the most interesting bit of technology that Ann had set her eyes on since arriving at this shit-hole station. Once she had hacked into the control panel, and realized that the hardware had sophisticated behavior control capabilities, she knew what she had to do to get the equipment home. The woman was just an interesting bonus.
It almost seemed too easy, but she wasn't going to complain.
The two women worked their way through the inner corridors of the station, to the rental living quarters.
"Audrey, open up, " Ann commanded. The door to her quarters slid open.
The place was a mess today. Actually, in Ann's apartment, the same could be said any day. The floor was littered with food wrappers and clothing. Against one wall was a graveyard of discarded computer components. The stuff was outdated, but Ann just couldn't bring herself to part with any of it. Dominating the opposite wall was Ann's current computer system, a patchwork of hardware from various origins, all strung together by the AI, Audrey. The single room served as her work space, kitchen, and bedroom. Only a small bathroom was detached.
"Have a seat, Maura " Ann said. The name was all the information she could get out of the woman. She knew the device would insure full co-operation, so she concluded that the woman truly didn't have any other information.
Maura took a seat on the bed.
"Here's the deal, " Ann/R/K explained. " My name is Ann. Since you can't tell me anything about that piece of hardware in your head, I'm going to have to break further into the system. I can already see that there is a ton of data stored in there, but it's under some fairly heavy security. It might take me a week or two, but I'll break it open."
Ann paused, and then gave a cruel little smile.
"Now, I'm not too sure what that will do to you. The way I figure it though, I hacked my way into that hardware fair and square, so it's mine. The hardware controls you, and I own the hardware, so I guess you come with the package."
Ann had spent much of her life in self-imposed isolation amongst her electronic equipment. She was actually much more comfortable dealing with computers than people. Certainly she had friends, but the only common thread between them was their enthusiasm for technology. Here, alone with her hardware, she felt powerful. Her commands were followed without question, and without thanks. Everything in this room was centered around one thing: Ann/R/K's instant gratification. The way she figured it, this automated woman, Maura, would fit right in with her collection.
Life around here was certainly going to be different than the convent. Every act of her new captor was a further demonstration to Maura of just how different things were. While the Sisters of Eternal Service would spend their days in self denial and discipline, Ann/R/K was the picture of self-indulgence. The girl would order food at the slightest pang of hunger, spend hours connected to her machine, playing games, or chatting with friends, and when she was tired, she just flopped into bed, regardless of the hour.
Maura had a hard time knowing what was expected of her. The device was on a very strong setting, and was constantly reminding Maura to obey her new roommate, but for the first day, the girl all but ignored her. She did spend a little bit of time trying to hack her way further into the control system of the device, but she was distracted by a new message from her computer, and lost interest for a while. All in all, Maura got the feeling that Ann viewed her entirely as a piece of hardware, and not as a human at all. The idea was a bit frightening.
The following day, the hacker awoke in a foul mood. She had done some drinking in the evening, and was no doubt suffering from a hang over.
"Get the fuck out of my way, " she said, kicking Maura in the side. After a restless night, Maura had finally been able to fall asleep on the floor near Ann's bed. Ann stomped her way into the washroom.
Maura could hear the girl emptying her full bladder in the next room. " Make me something to eat, " she yelled through the open door.
This was the first of a long string of orders that the hacker barked that morning while her head recovered. Maura did her best to comply, all the while, stifling the urge to teach the younger woman a lesson in manners.
Ann/R/K was more tolerable once she began to work on her computer again. She even allowed Maura to finish off the leftovers of breakfast, and when Maura asked if she could take a shower, the girl just nodded distractedly and mumbled something while pointing at the washroom.
The washroom was almost as much of a mess, and Maura just about reconsidered showering in the filthy room. Nonetheless, after sleeping on the floor in a heap of dirty clothing, the warm water of a shower was inviting.
When she returned to the main room, Ann was immersed in another computer simulation. She guessed that the subject matter was somewhat erotic, as the young girl had her hand down the front of her khakis, and was rubbing her crotch. Maura shook her head. The girl just had no restraint at all. Whatever whim struck her mood, she didn't pause in indulging herself.
Upon noticing that Maura had returned from her shower, the cruel little smile came back to Ann's face.
"Make yourself useful, M. I want to see how well you use your tongue."
She told Audrey to pause a moment, while she stood and pulled down her khakis. Maura couldn't believe what the hacker was asking her to do. Her eyes were drawn down to the girls patch of pubic hair, which, unlike the hair on her head, was light brown.
"C'mon, I haven't got all day, " Ann continued. She sat back down, but this time, she brought her bare feet up onto the desk and spread them apart while she slouched into the chair. This left her pussy open and pushed forward to the front edge of the chair.
The thought of servicing the girl sexually was repulsive to Maura, but the device reminded her to obey quickly. She crawled under the computer desk, and turned herself towards the chair. Ann's pussy was directly in her face. She looked up at the girl, who was now immersed back into the virtual world of her computer. Her eyes were glazed over while her mind received the images directly. Her pussy glistened from the stimulation her computer was providing.
Maura moved her head forwards, and had her first taste of Ann. As she did so, the device in her head rewarded for her humiliation. The pleasure moved back and forth through her body, and urged her to continue her submission to the girl. Her tongue instinctively teased the puffy outer lips of the hacker's pussy. She could hear a sound of approval from above.
As she continued her ministration, her technique improved. Somehow she knew that this was another one of the skills that her forgotten self had left behind. More than the artificially created pleasure of the device, she could feel her own body responding to the sexual situation. She savored the taste and the smell of arousal, and the feel of the sensitive flesh against her tongue and lips.
Ann's body was responding to Maura's skilled tongue. Her hips gyrated gently while the feelings intensified. Her mind, however, was a million miles away. Only when her orgasm approached was she wrestled back into reality for a moment. Her right hand dropped to the top of Maura's head, and pushed it further into her crotch. Her body bucked up and down in the chair, and she moaned loudly as the her pussy began to contract. She raised her ass off of the seat of the chair, supporting herself by her feet and elbows, as her body shook and went rigid.
"Oh, fuck yeah, use that wonderful tongue, " was Ann's only acknowledgment of Maura's efforts. She shook for a moment more, and then relaxed back into her chair.
The feelings of pleasure were intense for Maura too. When she lapped up Ann's freely flowing juices, the device gave her one last burst of artificial pleasure that almost triggered an orgasm. She stayed there, between the girl's legs, and licked gently around her pussy until it was clear that Ann wasn't interested anymore.
That was only the first of many times that Maura was made to please Ann/R/K sexually. Maura knew from the very start that her role was not that of a lover, but rather that of an appliance or toy, which was to be cast aside Ann was finished. She knew that she was only more interesting than Ann's other appliances because of the hardware in her head, and because she was good at using her tongue. The feeling was degrading, but she tried not to think about it, because every time she felt humiliated, the device would reward her with wicked little tingles of excitement.
In the next week, Maura learned to use her tongue to please Ann in a variety of ways. Sometimes Ann would be online, chatting with friends, and just enjoyed the gentle stimulation of Maura worshiping her body. Other times, she took great pleasure from having Maura tongue her rear hole for hours on end, while she lay face down on her bed, drifting in and out of a drug induced stupor. Maura became very accustomed to the taste of the girl's ass. And, of course, there were still the quick, intense sessions under the desk while Ann visited her computer generated fantasies.
After the first couple of days, Ann ordered her new slave to stop wearing clothing around the apartment, even when she was performing other tasks, such as cooking and cleaning. Over the course of the week, Maura was able to improve the cleanliness of the place to some extent, although it was really hard to keep up with Ann/R/K's abilities to create a mess wherever she went.
Occasionally, Ann would take another look at the hardware she that she had acquired with Maura.
"What the fuck do I have to do to crack this thing!" Ann slammed her hands down on the desk. She had been working on the control pad for over an hour.
Maura sat on the edge of the bed, trying to hide the fact that she had the same predatory feeling as when she saw Sister Mary Frances toying with the device on the day she had freed herself. So far, though, Ann/R/K had been too careful to let Maura get out of control for even a second. The systems she was trying to crack had nothing to do with the behavior modifications.
She stood and walked over to where Maura was sitting. She tapped Maura's head playfully.
"I don't know what the fuck it is that you're hiding up there, but I'm going to break into it, even if it means I have to pull off your fucking head to do it. It's be a shame to screw up a piece of work like you, but I'm so close to breaking into that data, I can almost taste it."
Maura wondered what it was in her internal hardware that had the hacker so excited. Hiroshi had only told her that the device was implanted to control her behavior. Nonetheless, Ann continued to work on the control pad for most of the evening.
"Fuck it! " she yelled, tossing the black pad into a pile of clothes. " I wanted to do this myself, but I'm gonna have to bring in some friends on this one."
"You heard me, M. It's a big day tomorrow. I'm gonna introduce you to my crew. But first, I think I need to relax a while."
She popped a couple of pills from her desktop into her mouth, and washed them down with a coke. Then she stood, pulled down her shorts, and flopped face down on her bed.
Maura knew what she wanted.
In all, the hacker invited three of her friends over. The first to arrive was Rasta-Dan, Ann's main supplier of her chemical amusements.
"Holy fuck, Annie, who the hell is this? You've been holding out on us."
The tall hispanic man was soaking in every detail of Maura's nude body. She felt a bit ashamed at being displayed like this, and the device compensated with a brief surge of pleasure.