Completely deserted wastelands are usually safe.
Stupid magic traps.
Completely deserted wastelands are usually safe.
Stupid magic traps.
The magic trap triggers, and the world wavers around her, and when it resolves she's somewhere else.
The room she finds herself in is medium sized, cubical, and brightly lit by some sort of magical glowing tiles set into the ceiling. The floor is made of extremely well-crafted planks of wood in a smooth surface, running up against the cream-colored walls. Several chairs sit up the walls of the room, unusually shaped and made of metal and some kind of black fabric. The walls are dotted with colorful paintings of magical-looking locations, except one wall which instead has a couple of windows spaced evenly, the windows covered with white curtains. At each end of the room is a door made of wood and white glass, both of which are shut. One wall of the room has a set of tall bookshelves, lined neatly with books of various colors and sizes.
And at one side of the room is a desk, with a couple of magical devices on it, which the woman sitting at the desk seems to be staring at intently. She's wearing some kind of white outfit, perfectly clean and smooth, which does very little to hide the shape of her unusually large breasts, and her dark hair is pulled behind her head revealing a surprisingly beautiful face.
The woman looks up from her device, and jumps with a start. "Oh!" She says, surprised, and starting to stand. "Sorry, ma'am, I didn't hear you come in!" She pauses, staring at her, confused for a moment, and then stands up and heads towards one the doors in the room. "Excuse me, ma'am, let me go get the doctor for a moment, please, he'll be right with you."
Well she has no idea what this woman is saying.
"Beg pardon, I don't speak that language," she says in Easternish, then, if the woman doesn't understand her, tries a handful more languages popular in swathes of cosmopolitan areas.
Maria doesn't know any of these languages. Or even recognize them. Admittedly it could be something she doesn't know, but all of them sound like nothing she's ever heard before. The doctor told her to fetch him if anything strange happens, and pretty clearly fits the bill. She knocks on the door, and opens it a crack. "Excuse me, doctor?" She says. "There's a strange girl here, and I'm not sure how she got here and I don't understand anything she's saying."
Elodea attempts to leave. Her legs give out from under her. She sighs and gets up and sits in one of the chairs, arms crossed and one knee over the other, looking cranky.
...She gives the woman a considering look.
A well-groomed man, in a pair of blank pants and a white collared shirt with black buttons down the front opens the door the rest of the way, and looks outside, his eyes widening in surprise and confusion and interest. And if Elodea is paying enough attention, a tiny, well hidden hint of lascivious appraisal. He steps out of the room, and motions with his hands. "Why don't you come in, ma'am," he tells her, smiling helpfully at her.
She considers this.
She looks at the woman again.
She unslings her bag from her shoulder, and pulls out a stick. After a moment it begins emitting a laser pointer-like beam of white light. She sweeps the beam over to the man; it turns red and rhombus shaped while it's pointed at him. She purses her lips and sweeps it over the woman. It fails to react to being swept over her at all. She purses her lips and narrows her eyes and stands up and strides to the woman and lays a hand on her face and casts.
"Protection from evil."
James looks at her, extremely calculatingly. He's not sure what exactly what powers she has but she seems to be doing something, and it could be dangerous. All the more reason to get her in the room as soon as possible. Now even, before she can do anything else. He turns to Maria. "Be careful, I'm not sure what she can do, but grab her and help me get her in the room."
James walks towards the strange woman, to grab one of her arms. Maria stands there, and doesn't move.
"Maria, what are you waiting for, grab her!"
Maria stands there, face twisting as the fog lifts from her mind. Whatever the woman did to her, she's herself again. And everything she's done, everything that's happened to her, all her memories wash over her in a torrent, and it's all she can do to keep standing. The things he did to her. The things he made her do. The things he had her do for others, the way the women came out of his room again and again and the way the men treated her and she was all smiles and then she went into the room and the doctor, no, the man would change her again and... it was too much. It was all too much. But she was free. Free and she could escape. Escape and get this man, this asshole, this monster arrested.
"You horrible horrible monster," Maria says, running as best she could in her twisted and misshapen body. Fuck him. She reaches the door before the asshole has a chance to react, and opens it. "You stupid fucker, you're going down." And she runs through the door, to get away, away from him and his horrible powers and to find the police and to get the fuck away from him, forever.
"Shit," says James. "What the hell did you do." This is going to be a rather large problem. He reaches out and grabs the woman by the arm, pulling her up and clamping his other hand over her mouth, knocking her bag away with an elbow. Whatever she did took something from her bag and speech. With any luck whatever the woman did could be reversed once she was his and if not he had his safe room in his house and could run away with a new magical slave who would hopefully be able to protect him until he could make another room. James begins to drag her, regretting not making himself stronger when he had the chance, towards his room.
She goes completely limp in his arms.
Well that's really annoying but much better than some magical effect keeping him from dragging her into the room. It takes a bit of effort, and he's out of breath by the time he's in there, but he manages it.
And the very first thing he does after catching his breath for a moment is change her. Nothing too major at the moment but enough to make her look and act appropriately in case they have to run, which there is a very good chance they might have to do. His eyes glow pink-red, and she lifts into the air, and a light of the same color passes over her body, starting from her extremities and moving inward, changing her. Her clothing transforms into something that doesn't look like it came out of a fantasy novel, nothing too racy but still appealing -- a knee-length pleated skirt and a low-cut (but not too low!) top that showed off her newly enlarged breasts. But her mind is the most important part, here, and he doesn't have a lot of time to work with, so he makes sure she gets the most essential parts. She won't want to cause him harm, and she will obey every order he gives, and she wants to please and serve and protect him. He almost forgets the language, but remembers at the last second that Maria had told him she couldn't understand her, and makes sure she knows English.
And then for good measure, he changes himself into one of the people in his fake ids, giving himself a little extra strength and stamina, and leaving himself feeling much less out of breath than a moment ago.
And then he turns to her and asks, doing his best to keep his frustration and anger out of his voice, "What exactly did you do to Maria? Can you reverse it? Quickly, please."
Hmm. She wants to please and serve and protect him...but she probably shouldn't. And she wants that because he just mind-controlled her, so want definitely doesn't overpower should.
But...he doesn't have to know that.
And he didn't order her not to lie to him.
"I'm sorry, Master," she says, putting a thousand years of dealing with assholes to work. "I didn't understand what was going on, so I set her free. Nobody can touch her without her wanting it for a year and a day," the spell will in fact wear off in seventeen minutes but she'll still be better off if this guy isn't after her, "I think we might have to run." She droops just this side of theatrically. "I didn't know, I'm so sorry..."
James is not currently in the mood to particularly care about her theatrics at the moment, or really notice if they are or aren't theatrics. "Shit. Well, hopefully she won't be able to convince the police of anything before we get to the changing room at my house. I can do some more fine detail work there and get the fake ids and we can go somewhere else. The money should be secure enough, they won't be able to get to that, but it'll take three days to set up another room. Damnit." He starts walking quickly towards the door. "Follow me, and do your best not to draw or attract attention." He pauses in the doorway. "Actually, wait, do you have some way to get us there faster? Tell me, quickly, what do you do? What kind of magic do you have?"
She considers this. "I'm a wizard," she says after a brief moment. "I have a spellbook, and I can prepare a certain number of spells per day. I have spells that will get people places faster, but I don't have Flight prepared today and I can't use Teleport to get somewhere I don't have a good mental image of. Not...reliably, anyway."
Strange and peculiar magic, but James supposes he isn't one to talk. And the only magic he's seen so far besides his own was the strange man who gave him his powers in the first place. "Alright then, then follow me, quickly and quietly and without drawing attention." He starts walking, quickly, towards the door.
"Shouldn't take much longer than ten minutes to get there by car," he says, speaking his thoughts out loud, "especially in the middle of the day. She might remember where my house is though but I expect the police will take a while to convince and they'll probably come here first anyways. I should have some time to change us both properly when I get there. Shit. Going to have to find a different city and make another room. Shit." He gets to the elevator and presses the bottom and waits and thinks. At least he has more magic than he had before, and he has her now. And she could be useful. Hm. "What do you have, prepared, was it? What do you have prepared anyways? And for that matter, what's your name?"
"My name is Elodea," no point in lying about that, "and I mostly had miscellaneous wilderness survival and monster-defense spells today."
"I'm not really personally from anywhere, my people are nomads, but I was in the Ikrthar Wastes when a plane shift trap caught me."
The place doesn't sound like anywhere that James has heard of. And he's not entirely sure what plane shift means, but given everything he's seen and heard from Elodea, he can guess. "You're not from around here, are you," he says, stepping into the elevator and motioning her to follow. "How common is magic like yours where you're from?"
"I don't know where I am to guess," she replies. "It's not very common, the stuff that lets you become a wizard is a scarce resource."
"I bet it's even more scarce here, since I've never heard of it, and I doubt anyone else has either. Well, lucky for me, I suppose, even if you have caused me quite a bit of hassle."
The door of the elevator opens into the lobby, high-ceilinged with tall marble columns and artsy paintings on the walls. James always thought it gave his business an air of legitimacy, though that was hardly on his mind at the moment.
"Is everything all right, doctor?" The security guard asked as he hurried by. "Maria just ran past looking like something horrible had happened to her. Is there anything I can-"
"Don't worry about it," James said, cutting him off, and pushing open the glass doors to head for his car. He needed to get home, change himself and the girl with a much finer eye to detail, what with the hack job he'd done on her, and then get the hell out of town with her. And only then could he relax. At least his new acquisition was hot, and would certainly help him relax once they had a moment
Certainly! After all, she does want to help and please him, and...helping him relax...won't get anyone else hurt, and even once she's not mind-controlled anymore she's not going to be more upset about this than about a normal iteration of getting got by the curse.
"Should I ask questions as I have them, or speak only when spoken to, Master?" she asks deferentially once they're in the car and nobody else can hear her.
James would be happy to hear that, but he's going to more than make sure of that anyways. Very sure of that, given that she has strange magic that can apparently break his control like that. Extra especially sure of it.
James isn't used to the people he changes having all that much initiative, and turns around back in surprise when she speaks. Still, he's hardly had time to do much of anything to her yet. "Feel free to ask," he tells her. It might help him figure out a little more about her, and right now he's a little too panicked to ask questions of his own, and it'll give them something to do for the ride. And once he changes her properly it won't matter what she knows, and he'll feel calm enough to find out everything she knows, properly.
"What is this that we're riding in? What's the local magic like? Wizardry can do some interesting things with Celestials, so I might be able to help you better if I understand this plane's magic."
James laughs. "As far as I know, there is no local magic. Or at least if there is, I don't know anything about it. As far as I know, and I've looked, the only people I know with magic are myself, the strange man who gave me magic, and now you. You're a truly excellent find. I don't know how I lucked out such that you landed right on top of me, maybe you were drawn to magic? But even if you're making my life a bit more difficult at the moment, I expect you'll be doing a lot more good for me in the future. Depending on what you can do, I could certainly expand my little operation quite a bit."