Published on September 16, 2014

Rachel pulled Heather’s arm across her shoulders and steered both of them towards the forest. Heather staggered along quite well considering she’d been pulled out of a re-education pod ten minutes ago. Ideally, Rachel would’ve preferred to spend a couple more days learning the patterns and routines of their captors but by then Heather wouldn’t be Heather anymore. She was beginning to succumb to the constant indoctrination. This time tomorrow Heather might not even want to leave. No, if both of them were going to escape, it had to be tonight. She waited behind the big cedar for thirty-eight seconds, then hurried both of them across the lawn.

Rachel knew the slave-spheres had found them when she caught the first hints of their disembodied musical tones. The first one whizzed by then circled around them, humming pleasantly. Three more descended on them a moment later, harmonizing in a strangely compelling, atonal dissonance that warbled and thrummed through the evening air. They spun into a tight orbit before Heather’s face and she stopped moving.

Rachel reached up to swat them away and the first orb struck her wrist, nearly hard enough to break it. She yanked it back and held it up in the half-light. A moment later, three orbs cruised into her line of sight and began to spin and sing to her. She moaned desperately as she struggled to escape the whirlpool they opened in her mind. She heard the footfalls of boots on grass getting closer as Heather recited the words the pod had been feeding her mind. Rachel felt a sting on her thigh and knew no more…

Director's Commentary

This manip holds the record for longest completion time. Started originally in 2008, I chipped away at it for years but was never satisfied with the results. I finally finished by throwing all that work out and starting fresh.

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