JksAccount said:
Even in that case, it might just be that Melody is a closet hypnofetishist, and she just wants us under to do lewd things.
Rich, beautiful, hypnofetishist who gets shitfaced and fistfights pirates in seedy bars? Literally too perfect. Nah Tessa's the only hypnofetishist in the story so far. In case you hadn't picked up on it.

Anyway wow the last time I checked the poll it was like 5-1 in favor of closing our eyes, now it's tied. I'm calling it early in favor of watching the spiral because I really want to write that scene lol.
Alien said:
Rich, beautiful, hypnofetishist who gets shitfaced and fistfights pirates in seedy bars? Literally too perfect. Nah Tessa's the only hypnofetishist in the story so far. In case you hadn't picked up on it.

Anyway wow the last time I checked the poll it was like 5-1 in favor of closing our eyes, now it's tied. I'm calling it early in favor of watching the spiral because I really want to write that scene lol.
Curse you pepole!

And I do't blame you for calling it early I do that myself sometimes. I wonder how many votes you lost over in my maze.
... Just wondering, am I the only one curious to know just how she's doing this? The setting's technology isn't advanced enough, and magic is supposed to be exceedingly rare... and I honestly can't think of a way to use alchemy to make spiralling lights appear at the snap of a finger...

Seems to me that the answer could very well be more telling than everything else we've learned about Melody put together...

Blazer said:
If we manage to get visually tranced, and we have a photographic memory, how screwed are we?
More likely we'll just have to replay it in our head over and over until we learn to resist it, so, not very screwed, I say...
Welp, I guess we get tranced a little then... I'd complain, but one: What's the worst that can happen? and two: Subby lewdness.

Rotem_Dishon said:
Seems to me that the answer could very well be more telling than everything else we've learned about Melody put together...
You're saying she's a time traveller, right?
JksAccount said:
Welp, I guess we get tranced a little then... I'd complain, but one: What's the worst that can happen? and two: Subby lewdness.

You're saying she's a time traveller, right?
Call me paranoid but I'm a bit worried about us getting tranced, cause of the island game..and mine.

Also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CYDgezeQas
Rotem_Dishon said:
... Just wondering, am I the only one curious to know just how she's doing this? The setting's technology isn't advanced enough, and magic is supposed to be exceedingly rare... and I honestly can't think of a way to use alchemy to make spiralling lights appear at the snap of a finger...

Seems to me that the answer could very well be more telling than everything else we've learned about Melody put together...
That's a good question! Maybe we should hang out with her more and become her subbie girlfriend/fucktoy! I mean find out more about her!
Imasuky said:
Call me paranoid but I'm a bit worried about us getting tranced, cause of the island game..and mine.
I don't think she'd make us bow out of the game, because that's low and I think we could probably resist that. I'm more worried that she may try to turn us against Kat, which could be pretty bad...
I will say there will be no choices that result in Tessa being forced or choosing to resign from the competition to become Sophia's apprentice. This is why, waaay back when Melody tried to bribe us to quit, we only got a choice on how to refuse, not whether or not to do so.

Now, if we fuck up in a big way in certain events later on, the contest itself could potentially be disrupted/cancelled, or result in Sophia choosing to reject Tessa. But those will be pretty clear bad ends and give plenty of opportunity to back out.
Alien said:
I will say there will be no choices that result in Tessa being forced or choosing to resign from the competition to become Sophia's apprentice. This is why, waaay back when Melody tried to bribe us to quit, we only got a choice on how to refuse, not whether or not to do so.

Now, if we fuck up in a big way in certain events later on, the contest itself could potentially be disrupted/cancelled, or result in Sophia choosing to reject Tessa. But those will be pretty clear bad ends and give plenty of opportunity to back out.
Well, that's a relief.
Alien said:
That's a good question! Maybe we should hang out with her more and become her subbie girlfriend/fucktoy! I mean find out more about her!
As a Switch, I'm not all that opposed to this plan.

Still voted for resisting, since it seemed like the thing to do at the time, though. ^^
Now, considering what happened when we subbed in Memeshade's fantastic CYOA, I'm expecting somewhat of a meltdown in the aftermath of this next installment. Something to the extent of "OH FUCK WE LOST IT'S OVER FOREVER" (I don't know if you're reading this, but I'm looking at you crazyman lol). At the very least, there are going to be some disappointed and disheartened readers. I'm going to repeat (i.e. copy/paste) what I said then, in hopes of raising your spirits a little:

"I don't know why some people don't ever want *Tessa* to lose, or hit any bumps along the road. Personally, I want to see more of these kinds of defeats, since they're what keeps a story interesting. If you know the protagonist is always gonna win, then there's no suspense and no reason to root for them. I think part of it is that they're treating *Tessa* as more of a self-insert than her own character, which is a dangerous trap to fall into. Just look at the average fanfiction writer for an example, they tend to write in a self-insert Mary Sue who is near perfect, and no real conflict ever arises because no one can touch the main character. That's boring."

I think the circumstances are a bit different in this case, because some stakes have already been set and we aren't exactly the hypnotic alpha bitch here like we were in Shed's story, but my point still stands. It's good for our protagonist to struggle and falter, and we get an extra sexy scene out of it too!
I think we have some paranoid participants who really REALLY don't want to lose (I'm looking at you this time Imatsuky and JksAccount), and I can understand that to an extent. But this isn't a video game, it's a story, and there are no simple win/lose states in stories, just what the author writes. We can't really "lose" when our fate is ultimately determined by whatever Alien wants to write. If he wants us to lose and for the CYOA to suddenly end, then he will do just that. However, I know those aren't his intentions at all and I think, somewhere deep down, you do too. He wants to write a story that we will enjoy and get to participate in. I repeat: this isn't a game, it's a story, so you should really feel free to vote on whatever makes it more interesting rather than what makes Tessa "win" faster.

/end lighthearted rant

Now let the sexy subby times ensue...
Any complaints I make are purely in jest, even if I would like to stay in charge this is still fun.
nitonito said:
I think we have some paranoid participants who really REALLY don't want to lose (I'm looking at you this time Imatsuky and JksAccount)
Ooo err, you're looking at me? Are you under my bed!?

Seriously though, much as I like to win games, CYOAs are more like a story than a game, and losing sometimes adds to the fun! Also, I'd say I'm more inclined towards sub options anyway, I just don't vote for them because, uh, I want to win...

Guess you've got me there.
JksAccount said:
Ooo err, you're looking at me? Are you under my bed!?

Seriously though, much as I like to win games, CYOAs are more like a story than a game, and losing sometimes adds to the fun! Also, I'd say I'm more inclined towards sub options anyway, I just don't vote for them because, uh, I want to win...

Guess you've got me there.
You are good at winning over in mine so feel free to lose here.
I hate waiting for a story update don't you? and i do not mean to sound rude sorry if i do.
love the story so far
The_Fool said:
I hate waiting for a story update don't you? and i do not mean to sound rude sorry if i do.
love the story so far
I know, all writers are just lazy and suck at everything...I made myself feel bad.

That joke was far to good to pass up.
Imasuky said:
I know, all writers are just lazy and suck at everything...I made myself feel bad.

That joke was far to good to pass up.
yep your right and i laughed
Something was... wrong. This was strange. What was Melody doing? I... I should close my eyes. I fought to, but the spiral kept pulling them open, drawing me deeper and deeper into it.

"Watch the spiral, Tessa," Melody said. Her hand was on my face, her thumb gently stroking my cheek. When had she moved it? I was... "Sinking deeper and deeper..."

The spiral drew me back in. My eyes clung onto one particular strand of green light, following it as it whirled inward. It was... "So pretty," I mumbled. Or did I think it? I wasn't sure, and I couldn't manage to care.

"That's right. It's so pretty, you can't look away. You don't want to look away. You want to watch the spiral and sink deeper and deeper, letting your mind go clear, letting the spiral fill your mind."

"Yes..." I sighed. Melody's words sounded so right, I wanted to sink into the spiral and let it fill my mind and stop thinking.

"You're so relaxed, it's hard keep your eyes open. It's hard to keep standing too, but you can trust Melody to keep you up, right?"

"Trust... Melody..." I managed to say, and her thumb stroked across my cheek again. I could feel her other arm around my waist, holding me upright as my body relaxed and went limp. It felt really pleasant, but I couldn't think too hard on it. I was fighting to keep my drooping eyes open, to keep my eyes on the spiral.

The spiral glowed brighter, the lines accelerating their spinning, drawing me in more and more. "Good girl, Tessa. It's so hard to keep your eyes open, isn't it? They're feeling so heavy, you just want to close them and drift away."

"Mmm... but... the spiral..."

"It's okay, Tessa. I'll tell you a secret, so close your eyes for me, okay? Just for a second. Just let those pretty eyes of yours flutter closed."

It was so hard to think... I wanted to watch the spiral, but Melody was telling me to close my eyes. I... I wasn't sure what to do, but... I could trust Melody...

Slowly, I let my eyes close, darkness falling over my vision and cutting off the view of the spiral. Immediately, my thoughts began to speed up, coming clearer and faster-

"Good girl, Tess, closing your eyes for me. Now I just need you to do one more thing for me, okay? I want you to imagine the spiral. That way, you can keep watching it, and keep your eyes closed, letting yourself relax so much, all the resistance draining out of you..."

For just a moment, the spiral flickered behind my eyes as I remembered how it had looked, and that was all it took. My thoughts went spinning away as I held the image in my mind, my body going limp as I sunk into a deep trance.

"Good girl, Tess, such a good girl for me," Melody praised me. I felt warm and safe and happy. "How do you feel, Tess?"

"Mmm... Happy..." I murmured.

"That's right, Tess, you're happy like this. You like sinking down into the spiral, feeling so relaxed and content and free to enjoy yourself without any worries. You want to feel this way again."

"Mmhmm... want to feel like this more..."

"Good girl, Tess. I'm going to tell you how you can feel like this some more, but you have to sink even deeper for me, okay? Sink all the way down into the spiral, feeling it drain your thoughts away, until there's nothing left in your pretty little head but my words."

Melody thought I was pretty? I... my thoughts rose a little out of their sluggish stupor, but then she brushed my cheek again and the spiral inside my eyelids sucked me down into its depths.

For a single, perfect moment, I was utterly thoughtless.

Then Melody's sweet voice broke into that blankness, carving words into my mind. "You want to feel like this again. But you can only feel like this when it's safe, okay? It'd be dangerous to let you control it. So let me control it instead."

That... that made sense...

"I'll control when you sink into this wonderful, sleepy state. When I say something in particular, that'll act as a trigger for the spiral to fill your mind, to let you drop back down, okay? I know it's hard for you to think, to speak, so just nod your head if you understand."

Slowly, I managed to nod.

"Good girl. The words that'll let you drop back down are, hm... 'Tessa's dreamland'. When I, and only I, say the words 'Tessa's dreamland', you'll drop back into this state. You'll always remember those words, but they're buried so deep you don't need to try. They're carved deep into your mind, always with you, you don't need to think about them until I say them. Okay? Nod if you understand."

Automatically, I nodded. I didn't try to, I couldn't manage to think that much, it simply happened.

"Mm, you're such a sweet girl, Tess. I'm sorry to do this, but I need you to wake up now, okay? I'm going to count down from ten to one, and when I reach one, you're going to wake up. Can you do that for me? It'll be for just a minute."

I nodded again. I didn't want to wake up, to rise out of this wonderful dreamy state, but...

"Okay," Melody said. "With each number, you're going to feel yourself rising up, coming back to your senses. Ten, nine, eight... waking up just a little, feeling so safe and warm... seven, six, five, four... letting the spiral fade away, your thoughts coming back... three, two, one, awake."

I pulled my heavy eyelids open, and found myself staring into Melody's eyes. They were bright green. She had one arm around my waist, the other hand on my face, her thumb caressing my cheek gently. I enjoyed her embrace for a moment as my thoughts trickled back up to speed.

"...huh?" I managed, coherently. "What just... what did you... I... l-let go of me," I started to struggle in her arms. I could feel a damp patch in my panties, probably from being so close to her.

"Tessa's dreamland," Melody said, and the spiral sucked away my thoughts. Instantly I was sinking deep into that peaceful state, my thoughts flooding back out, my body going limp again. I think I moaned softly at the sensation.

"Good girl, Tess, such a good girl for me," Melody praised me again. "You love feeling like this, don't you?"

"Mmhmm... love it..." I mumbled.

"And I can make you come back to this lovely state whenever it's safe to. So what does that mean, Tess?"

It was... so hard to think like this. I just wanted to relax and let Melody's words sink into me. "Dunno..."

"It means you want to make me happy, doesn't it, Tess? Making me happy makes you feel good. Repeat that for me, Tess, so I'm sure you understand."

"Make Melody happy... feels good..."

Melody's arm tightened slightly around my waist, pressing our bodies together. Her voice was slightly breathless as she went on. "That's right. You're such a quick learner, Tess. Making me happy makes you feel good. Just like your trigger, you should carve that fact deep into your mind. You don't need to think about it or remember it, it's always with you."

I let the thought sink deeper and deeper into my mind, until it was set immovably in place. "It feels good to make Melody happy," I murmured.

"Perfect, Tess. You're doing perfect. I bet you'd like to just stay in this spacey, dreamy state all day, wouldn't you?"

"Yes... please..." I'd never wanted something so much as what she'd just said.

"I'm sorry, Tess, but you're gonna have to wake up in a little bit. I just need you to do one more thing for me while you're like this, okay? Then we can do our business and go home and I can put you back in this wonderful state, if you want me to. But you need to do something for me first."

There wasn't anything I would or could refuse her like this. "Anything..."

"I need you to forget, okay? The awake-you doesn't understand how good this feels, she'll try to stop sinking into your dreamland. So you need to forget what's happened since we came into this room. Can you do that for me?"

I... wait... I... I didn't forget. Not anything. I just... didn't. So why was she asking me...

My thoughts stirred a bit, shaking off their torpor, but it was still so hard to think... I wanted to make Melody happy... but I... I remember everything... but...

Ngh...

http://www.strawpoll.me/12561722
By the way this was my first time writing an induction-y scene so I'd appreciate feedback on it!
Well, I'm not great at providing critique, but I certainly enjoyed reading it. spoiler

But yeah, I'd say best not to forget, if we can. Much as it probably won't allow us to resist the trigger, at least we'll know what to look out for.
I have to say that induction was pretty good, the kind that could probably trance a few people if they are vulnerable enough.

Also I say we do not forget, we do not forgive!
It should be noted, if we don't forget Melody is going to want to know why, and Tessa isn't really in a state of mind to smoothtalk. The secret of her memory would probably come out.

On the other hand remembering will be nice if we want to dom in the future, having firsthand experience with an induction instead of purely reading about them.

Basically this isn't a good thing/bad thing choice, either option has tradeoffs.
Alien said:
It should be noted, if we don't forget Melody is going to want to know why, and Tessa isn't really in a state of mind to smoothtalk. The secret of her memory would probably come out.
I was worried you might say that. Welp, too late to retract my vote now!
I had not considered that possibility...
Imasuky said:
I had not considered that possibility...
I had, but decided that, in her current state, Tessa wouldn't have the presence of mind to be calculating about it. So I picked the first option (seemed more honest)
Well you guys overwhelmingly voted for DRAMA (and potential future domming) instead of fun sexy subby things. I hope you're happy with yourselves.
Alien said:
Well you guys overwhelmingly voted for DRAMA (and potential future domming) instead of fun sexy subby things. I hope you're happy with yourselves.
I'm never happy.
Ugh... I wanted to make Melody happy... but I couldn't forget. Not anything. I just didn't.

"N... no..." I said softly.

Melody's beautiful face took on a startled expression. "What? Why not, Tess?"

Her asking that made my thoughts flow a little better, helped me regain my senses. I was slowly surfacing from the pleasant, relaxed state she'd dropped me into, but I wasn't quite awake yet either. "Don't forget anything. I remember everything," I mumbled, too dazed to lie.

"Huh?"

"Since... I was a kid... don't forget anything..."

The spiral was slowly lifting off my thoughts, letting them come faster and clearer. Melody didn't notice, maybe she was too distracted by what I'd said. She stared past me, even as I became more aware of her arm around my waist.

With an abrupt transition, I... woke up, I suppose. I rose out of the sleepy, blissful state into a world where I had to be suspicious of everything and constantly on guard. Even as I felt anger flaring up at Melody, I wanted to go back down.

Melody finally noticed, maybe because my eyes had refocused or something. She opened her mouth, "Tessa's dream-"

Without consciously thinking about it, I slapped her and cut her off.

The sound of my hand meeting her face rang out in the small room, and the force of my blow made her head twist to the side. I'd hit her as hard as I possibly could, and I'd put on some muscle in the last month of combat training. Oh, she could still probably overpower me if it came to that, but she must have felt it. I certainly did.

Can you break the palm of your hand? I felt like I had.

I shoved her away from me. We stood a couple steps apart, staring at each-other for a few long moments. A bright red handprint took shape on the pale skin of her cheek.

"Tessa-" she started.

"Shut the fuck up," I snarled.

"Tessa-"

"I don't know what the hell that was," I spoke over her, "but if you try it with me again I'll... I'll..."

I'd do what? I had no idea. I knew she could manhandle me in a serious fight, a couple times sparring with her had shown me that. I could go to Sophia and say... what? 'She does this thing with sparkly lights that makes you really relaxed and comfortable and horny as hell'? Oh, how terrible, run along now Tessa.

"You'll regret it," I finished weakly after a long moment.

"Tessa-" she tried again.

"Shut it! I don't want to hear any more of your bullshit! I- I really thought you liked me, you know?"

...How did that slip out?

Suddenly I was aware of tears running down my face, and I was making an ugly sobbing noise, and oh god I was a mess. I turned away from Melody, still self-conscious enough to not want her to see me like this.

"I wouldn't lie about that," she said softly, so quiet I could barely hear her over the sounds I was making. "I'm sorry, Tessa."

"Shut up," I said, except it came out with an awkward hiccup.

"I really am, Tessa. I just wanted to... I'm an idiot."

"Shut up!" Somehow, it was worse that she knew she'd done something wrong. I just... I couldn't handle this. I was mad at her, and sad, and confused as to what the fuck had even happened, and I just- I had no idea how to handle it. I needed to get away.

"Tessa!" Melody called after me as I flung the door to the changing room open and bolted. I caught a glimpse of Claire's startled expression, but by the time I reached the shopkeeper the tears had blurred my sight too much. I was moving mostly on memory of how the place had been arranged, rather than actually seeing anything.

I barged out through the door to the street, slamming my shoulder into it. I was in too much of a hurry and I probably couldn't have managed to work the doorknob anyway.

Once out of the street, I ran aimlessly for a while, just needing to get away. It was a blur of crying, trying not to crash into people, just frantically trying to put distance between me and Melody.

I clearly remembered the path I took, like I remembered everything, but everything else was blurry and dreamlike, distorted by my emotions. The next thing I really clearly remembered was finding myself sitting on a short stairwell, sobbing and feeling like shit. It was even worse because I could clearly remember how I'd felt twenty or thirty minutes ago, blissed out in Melody's arms.

Eventually, though, my tears dried up. More because I ran out of water to cry with than because I'd come to terms with anything, I was pretty sure. I was left somewhere in a strange city, dishevelled and covered in tears and snot, with my panties still uncomfortably damp. The only good thing about the situation was that, at worst, I could retrace my steps and find my way back to the tower, so I wasn't utterly lost. Just... mostly lost. And deeply miserable.

What should I even do now?

http://www.strawpoll.me/12590485
I think time alone is best right now.
Imasuky said:
I think time alone is best right now.
I still want answers.

Plus, it's not like we have a moral highground to build our outrage on after the mandrake stunt...