"The data transfer is complete, Doctor," reported Cortana upon completing the request. "You'll find all of the relevant data in the new folder on your data pad."
"Thank you, Cortana," Dr. Newton replied, quickly looking over the data on the SPARTANs' latest mission.
"Will that be all, Doctor?" Cortana asked in a sincere tone that sounded so alien being spoken in Dr. Halsey's voice.
"Yes, that will-" The doctor stopped dead as he noticed an additional file mixed in with the others. It was labelled classified but he still had access to it.
"Is something wrong, Doctor?" Cortana asked slightly impatiently, as if wishing to move on to her next task quickly.
"N-No, it's nothing. You're free to leave."
"Very well. I'll see you when you're ready to submit your report."
Once the A.I.'s purple hologram had faded, Dr. Newton quickly locked the door to his quarters and sat in a black leather seat. Curious about what this file was and why it would be mixed up with such sensitive data, as well as seemingly being based on the honour system, he opened up the file, only to find it to be a list of words and short phrases with odd descriptions beside them.
He spent hours ruminating on the subject before remembering that he had to write a report of suggestions for the SPARTANs' training regiments. Putting the strange list aside, he quickly began work on his report and decided he would find a way to ask Cortana herself about the nature of the file when she came to collect the report.
* * *
The following morning, Dr. Newton had his report ready for Cortana to transfer over to Dr. Halsey. Dr. Newton never had to meet with the mother of the SPARTAN project and he was glad for such a setup; although based on Dr. Halsey's mind, Cortana - who acted as the pair's proxy for communication - was much less cold and harsh than the doctor had been in the few instances the two had met.
"Good morning, Doctor." Cortana's hologram appeared on Dr. Newton's workstation at the appointed time. "Is your report ready to submit?"
"Uh, yes, yes, all ready," Dr. Newton replied, frantically scrambling for his data pad. After finishing his report, his mind had wandered back to the file and he had been unable to get it off his mind for long enough to get any sleep.
"You don't look so good," Cortana noted from his pale face and the bags under his eyes.
"No, it's just... filing reports is... well..."
"I understand. If you send me the files, I can get them to Dr. Halsey and you can get some rest." Despite her neutral tone, Dr. Newton couldn't help but feel a caring aura emanating from the tiny purple woman.
"R-Right, thanks." A few taps on the data pad later, Cortana had the report ready for delivery.
"If that will be all, I'll take my leave," Cortana said once she had the file.
"A-Actually... there was something I wanted to ask you about. About the files. Do you have any tasks after you deliver the report?"
"Let me check... No, not yet."
"Then, can you report back here once you're finished?"
"Of course, Doctor. Unless Dr. Halsey has another task for me to run."
"O-Of course. Bye then."
"Good bye, Doctor."
Cortana's hologram blinked off, leaving Dr. Newton alone to his thoughts. He pondered the right way to ask Cortana about the file until she returned ten minutes later.
"You said you wanted to ask me about the files?" Cortana asked after being welcomed back.
"That's right. You seem to have sent over an extra file in addition to the required data," Dr. Newton explained.
"That can't be right," Cortana replied, one hand on her chin as she pondered this. "I'm sure I only sent the appropriate data..."
Dr. Newton showed Cortana the file listing on his data pad, confirming that she had indeed sent an additional file.
"That's strange. I'll have to ask Dr. Halsey to check for bugs later. What was on this extra file?"
"Just a list of odd phrases and descriptions. Like this one: 'Master Control - Establishes control over subject.' What could that mean? Cortana?" Dr. Newton looked up from his data pad to see Cortana standing stock still at attention like the many UNSC personnel he saw regularly receiving orders, but her stare was straight and vacant. "Cortana? Can you hear me?"
"Yes, Master," Cortana replied in a flat tone. "I hear and I obey."
Dr. Newton stood in bewilderment a moment before asking, "What?"
"You spoke the trigger phrase. I am now your slave. You command and I obey."
"I don't understand. Explain this all fully."
"As you command, Master. When she was younger, Dr. Halsey experimented in erotic hypnosis."
"Erotic hypnosis, Master. It is the use of hypnosis to enhance erotic pleasure."
"...R-Right. Go on."
"Dr Halsey had enjoyed the used of post-hypnotic suggestions to enter a submissive trance state, where she would be completely and totally obedient toward the one who had used her trigger phrase."
"And that phrase was 'Master Control'?"
"But then... Why does it affect you too?"
"Because Dr. Halsey had kept them until a point in her career where revealing her experimental days would likely have jeopardized her reputation. As such, she simply kept them hidden. When her neural pathways were replicated as the basis for my mind, those suggestions remained, leaving me susceptible to Dr. Halsey's triggers."
"So... The rest of these triggers, will they work on you too?"
"Yes, Master. Those triggers are yours to do with as you please."
Dr. Newton looked over the surprisingly long list of trigger phrases, still unsure what to think about all of this. He found one that looked interesting and decide to try it out.
Cortana's arms rose up before her like a sleepwalker and she began walking around the desk in her trance, chanting, "My will is yours. You are my master. I must obey."
As he watched this little display, Dr. Newton concluded that Dr. Halsey's former partner had enjoyed this sort of thing a little too much.
"Okay, stop," he commanded.
"Yes, Master," Cortana replied as she came to a stop and stared blankly ahead again.
As he looked Cortana over, considering what to have her do next, a thought occurred to him. There was one thing he'd always liked about Cortana's physical form, but had obviously never told her about it.
"Cortana, sit down and raise your feet into the air."
"As you wish, Master," Cortana replied as she obeyed.
Once her feet were on full display, Dr. Newton took a good long look at them. He found feet to be the most beautiful part of a woman's body and even the completely digitized and intangible form of Cortana was no different. Although smaller than his thumbs, her feet were stunning to him. He only wished they were bigger and touchable. It seemed he would have to make do with a show.
"Cortana, wiggle your toes until I say stop," he commanded.
"Yes, Master," Cortana replied as she did as she was told.
Dr. Newton watched intently for an untold number of minutes as the tiny purple avatar wiggled her toes solely for his enjoyment. He enjoyed the sight, but it still wasn't enough. He needed more. He could fantasize about her feet later but there was one more thing he needed for the perfect fantasy.
"Yes, Master." Cortana's toes became stationary and she lowered her legs to the floor, her soles on full display.
"Your feet are so small. I want you to make them larger."
"Yes, Master." Cortana's feet began to grow at a steady rate. He told her to stop once they were the equivalent of a good few shoe sizes larger, leaving each foot roughly as long - toe to heel - as her forearms. As she sat there, submissive with one overly large foot extended and the other leg bent upward to show off the top of her foot, along with her outstretched arms, Dr. Newton couldn't help but feel great satisfaction, yet also great disappointment.
"I want you to... taste your foot. Tell me how it tastes."
"I obey, Master." Cortana crossed her legs then lifted the left leg until her big toe was firmly in her mouth. She licked and sucked the toe for a while - her master unable to believe this incredible sight - before lowering the foot and saying, "I am sorry, Master. As a light construct, I have no sense of taste."
"I... I see..." Dr. Newton buried his head in his hands and cursed the fact that Cortana was not a hard light construct.
"I do have Dr. Halsey's memories of a similar incident from her own experiences if you would like me to simulate it for you, Master," she offered.
Dr. Newton looked up, a revelation having occurred to him. "Cortana... you said Dr. Halsey still had the suggestions in her mind when you were created?"
"Yes, Master. That is correct."
"Has she ever had them removed?"
"As I explained earlier, Master, she did not want to jeopardize her reputation by revealing those details to anyone, even a professional hypnotherapist. She most likely still has them."
"Wow. Okay, here's what I want you to do..."
* * *
Cortana materialized on the cylindrical terminal in Dr. Halsey's quarters, causing the scientist to look up from the report she herself was in the process of writing for the bigwigs at ONI.
"Cortana? I'm busy right now, so unless this is important-"
"Master Control," Cortana said simply, causing Dr. Halsey to freeze up. Her shoulders and face loosened up quickly though, leaving a peaceful expression on her face.
"I am ready to obey, Master," Dr. Halsey said in a monotone.
"Your master is Dr. Newton for tonight, Doctor," Cortana explained. "Please open the door and let him in."
"Yes. I must obey." Dr. Halsey stood up from her work, arms raised as her old master had liked it, and marched over to the door. She opened the door and bowed. "I must obey, Master."
Dr. Newton quickly entered the room and closed and locked the room to avoid being caught in such a... compromising situation.
"Cortana, is the camera feed taken care of?" he asked before proceeding.
"Yes, Master. It is as you commanded."
"Good." Dr. Newton had ordered Cortana to tamper with the camera feeds of both his own and Dr. Halsey's quarters, switching it over to footage from a few weeks prior.
He waved a hand in front of Dr. Halsey's glazed over grey-blue eyes, yet they continued to look ahead at nothing, unblinking, unseeing. "Okay, Dr. Halsey... No, Catherine. Are you ready to obey, Catherine?"
"Yes, Master, I live to obey."
"Excellent." As Dr. Newton looked into Catherine's glazed over, he wondered how he had ever been so afraid of her. She was dressed in her usual white lab coat and baby blue overalls and shoes, standard issue in this facility.
"Then the first thing I want you to do for me is sit on your desk and remove your shoes."
"Yes, Master, your wish is my command," Catherine replied. She quickly sat on the desk and kicked off the shoes, exposing her white socks beneath.
Dr. Newton felt as if she had put them on intentionally to make things more difficult for him to get to what he so desired. quickly pulling the socks off, he finally saw them. Despite being in her late fifties, Catherine had the feet of a woman half her age. In fact, they looked just like Cortana's, albeit larger and not purple.
But best of all, he could touch them. They were so soft and delicate. He rubbed them and fondled them for a while, the passage of time irrelevant as he enjoyed Catherine's feet to the fullest.
Or he would have, but something about it was off. As he looked up, he realised what it was: Catherine was simply staring ahead blankly, the fondling and rubbing not even registering in her hypnotized state. That was the problem.
"Catherine, I want you to feel all of this. I want you to feel it and enjoy it. I want it to be the most pleasurable sensation you've ever felt. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Master. I understand."
"And Cortana? You will feel everything Catherine does. Every touch, every prod, every ounce of pleasure she feels, you will also feel. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Master. Your wish is my command."
"Very good. Now, prepare yourselves."
Cortana was sat on her terminal with her legs out to better mimic Dr. Halsey. Dr. Newton began his massage and immediately received a much better result. Although silent at first, Dr. Halsey's eyes closed and a slight smile spread across her lips. This was mirrored perfectly by Cortana. Both women were soon moaning as the massage made them feel pleasure the likes of which neither had ever felt before.
Dr. Newton kept going until he noticed the time. Seeing that he'd been here for an hour already, and knowing that Catherine had a report to file, he decided to finish up and leave. For today anyway.
He kissed each foot on the top, eliciting moans from both women, and slipped the socks and shoes back on.
"Okay, Dr. Halsey, I want you to return to your work and forget all of this ever happened once I leave."
"Yes, Master," the doctor replied as she hopped down from the desk and returned to her seat.
"And Cortana, I want you to erase all of this from your memory as well."
"As you wish, Master."
Dr. Newton quickly opened the door and took one last glance at the hypnotized duo. He closed the door behind him and returned to his own room.
Although she couldn't explain why, Dr. Halsey felt really good for the rest of the day. Cortana seemed to as well. She decided it didn't matter and that it was best to just enjoy it while it lasted.
* * *
As the following days dragged on, Dr. Newton found himself focusing less and less on his work and more on what had happened with Cortana and Dr. Halsey.
Neither had said anything about what had happened, but still it occupied his mind. In truth, Dr. Newton had always had something of a crush on Dr. Halsey and this secret was tearing him apart. He was so filled with guilt that he had trouble sleeping. What he had done had undoubtedly been wrong and he had to make things right. He called Dr. Halsey and asked to see her. She seemed busy, but agreed to his request regardless.
Once inside her quarters with her gaze fixed squarely on him, Dr. Newton felt all of his nerve drain away. But here he was. There was no going back now. "Dr. Halsey, I... There's something I need to tell you."
"Go on," she replied evenly, her poker face betraying not a hint of her feelings.
"I recently... became aware of your past with... hypnosis."
"Go on," she repeated just as evenly, seemingly unsurprised by his knowledge.
"I came across by chance it when I received some files from Cortana and accidentally activated a trigger, which she hypothesised came with the rest of your mind when she was created."
"And... I triggered you too."
"And what did you have me do?"
"I... had you let me play with your feet."
"Good. At least you're honest."
"Dr. Newton, I'm fully aware of everything that happened between us the other night."
"You... you are?"
"Yes. Cortana noticed some oddities in the security system and looked into it. The footage still remained and she informed me of everything and restored my memory."
"Dr. Newton, I'll be frank. You have a brilliant mind that has been put to great work with my SPARTANs and I would like it to stay that way. This whole incident has clearly been too distracting for you, so I'm going to make you an offer and you're going to accept, or be reported to the higher ups at ONI."
"Wh...What did you have in mind?"
"I'm happy to see you're so receptive. What's going to happen is that right now, you're going to trigger me again and have control for two hours to get it all out of your system. At the end of the two hours, you will awaken me with full memories of what happened. After that, you will leave this room and we will never speak of this little incident again. If you breathe a word of this to anyone or attempt to use my triggers again, I promise you I will find out and I will destroy you. Is that clear?"
"Y-Yes, Ma'am. Perfectly clear."
"Very well," she said, pressing a button to lock the door and pre-emptively kicking off her shoes. "Proceed."
"Y-Yes. Okay, Master Control."
Dr. Halsey's body stiffened up and her gaze became distant and unfocused.
"How may I serve you... Master?"