Sandra groaned and rolled over. The afternoon sun was getting in her eyes, and not helping her headache. If this was what a hangover felt like, why did people like to go drinking?
Or was this some sort of hazing ritual that her friends had cooked up for her? That made just as much sense. Why would you want to give your friend a hangover for her birthday? Though she had to admit that she’d been as eager to try some of the diﬀerent drinks as anyone… Chalk it up to not knowing what she was in for, and the lure of new privileges.
Though the headache wasn’t as bad as it had been, and her eyes were adjusting. She was also starting to feel hungry. Another groan, and she rolled to her feet. Might as well face part of the day, though now she was on her feet she had a more urgent concern than food.
After the immediate issue was dealt with, she debated a moment taking the opportunity for a shower. A moment’s thought though decided food ﬁrst.
She stumbled though gathering everything together, but once she’d actually eaten she was feeling much better.
It wasn’t until she was actually in the shower that she noticed the headband on her head. “Shit!” She jumped out of the shower the moment she identiﬁed it, and starting drying it oﬀ. “I hope this thing’s waterproof.” All the visible water oﬀ it, she got back into the shower to rinse the soap oﬀ, then dried herself and went hunting for the manual.
She skimmed past the warnings not to use the Knowledge Imprinter while intoxicated, for more than 10 hours at a time or while sleeping, and found the operating parameters. Weatherproof: It could take getting rained on. She sighed and relaxed; that thing had been expensive, but it had really helped her grades. Retrieving it, she set it back on the base and checked it out just to be sure.
Everything looked ok, though it looked like she’d allowed one of her friends to clear out all the stuﬀ she’d been putting into it for classes, which would mean a lot of work going back over her notes. Oh well. She tried to remember what they’d been doing, and dragged up some vague memories of a game of ‘Truth or Dare’.
A couple of clicks were enough to pull up the current dataset. There was only one entry: ‘I need to be a slutty nympho porn star.’ Ah, yeah, Sandra remembered now: This was something Nadia had dared her to do — wear that for the rest of the night. Just like Nadia to come up with it too; she was constantly joking that Sandra had the body for it.
Sandra ﬁgured Nadia was just jealous, not that she didn’t have a point. Even in a minimizing bra, her bust tended to draw the eye. All in all, Sandra felt it usually was more trouble than it was worth — sure a lot of girls would kill for her ﬁgure, but it meant she always had trouble being taken seriously.
Which, now that Sandra thought of it, was what had brought up the dare: She’d been complaining about it, and Nadia had said she should appreciate what she had more. Oh well.
She’d used the knowledge imprinter enough to know it wasn’t magic: You had to actually use the information while wearing it for it to do anything. You could pull up anything you had input into it as if it were something you’d spent years studying, but that was only while you were wearing it. Some of it would linger, but if you hadn’t used it, it would be gone again in a few hours.
Still, it’d probably aﬀect her thinking for a bit. How long had she had it on? They had started at the bars at six, and been back to her apartment by 10… She thought most of the girls had gone home by midnight. So she’d put it on sometime in there, and it was 2:20 now…
So, thirteen-fourteen hours or something like that. A bit longer than recommended, but any lingering eﬀects should fade by the morning, she ﬁgured.
Time to get some chores done; her friends could at least have picked up last night…
The headband was still in her bathroom as she got ready for bed. Sandra picked it up, chuckling at the joke, and stopped to admire herself in the mirror. “I deﬁnitely have the body to be a porn star.” She looked down at the metal band in her hands. “But no desire. If I don’t put this thing on soon, the need will fade and I’ll go back to getting my degree.”
Absently, she slipped the headband on and went to bed.
In the shower the next morning Sandra paused as her ﬁngers ran over something metallic in her hair. She pulled the headband oﬀ and looked at it. “What the? I don’t even remember putting this on.” She stared at it a moment while water ran down her back, then shrugged and set it aside: She had class soon and needed to get moving. She could think about it later.
Sandra actually managed to forget about it until it was time to do homework. It was part of her homework system at this point to put it on, and that was the normal use after all. So when it wasn’t in it’s normal place she remembered taking it oﬀ in the morning, and where she’d left it.
Which brought up the puzzle of why she’d been wearing it. She checked, and yes it was still set to make her need to be a slutty nympho porn star. Which had been ﬁne as a joke, but this wasn’t being a joke anymore.
Homework could wait; it wasn’t due for a few days anyway. Instead Sandra picked up the manual again, to see if anything in there could give her an idea.
This time she paid attention to the warnings, and realized she’d broken every one of them. Which didn’t explain anything, but it at least opened up something to look at. She headed online to ﬁnd out more.
A half-hour’s browsing uncovered that most of the time those warnings didn’t really mean much: Wearing it while sleeping meant it messed with your dreams, which had occasionally caused complaints, mostly about nightmares — people being chased by huge tomatoes chanting “Nix versus Hedden.” was the example. The dreamer in question had apparently been studying law at the time. Both being drunk and wearing it for extended periods had been shown to cause changes in how the brainwaves interacted with the knowledge implanter, but there were no known problems — just general precautions that it wasn’t working exactly as designed. More the manufacturer covering their butts than anything else.
So it was likely that anything it had done to her thinking would fade out just ﬁne, no long term damage. She only needed to wear it to make sure she became a slutty nympho porn star.
Sandra was watching how she thought enough to recognize that was phrased oddly, but it took her a moment to realize why.
It was set to make her need to be a ‘slutty nympho porn star’. And she knew that if she didn’t wear it, that would fade out. So — because she ‘needed’ to become that — she needed to wear it. She’d worn it again last night in an unconscious attempt to make sure she became a slutty nympho porn star.
She looked at the headband, and realized she wanted to put it on right now to make sure that need set in further.
Ok, this was a problem.
She’d worn it two nights in a row, and didn’t remember any dreams. Of course, she often didn’t remember her dreams, and it didn’t always cause complaints in the studies. Just enough to make it onto the warning label. Still, two nights, one while drunk, and over the recommended time limits… This thing could well have seriously messed with her brain.
She should talk to someone. The college had doctors on staﬀ, didn’t it? Or someone in the psychology department. Then they would try to ﬁx her and she wouldn’t become a slutty nympho porn star. Or she could tell her friends at least; they’d try to make sure she didn’t let this get too far.
She probably couldn’t make herself reprogram it to remove the instruction, though maybe if she put it away and turned oﬀ the inductive charge station it’s battery would go dead. If she did that, and forgot to check the batteries, she might let the programming lapse.
So she’d have to check the batteries regularly.
That thought stopped her, and she replayed the past little bit in her head again. “Oh great. I’ve just listed all the ways to free myself from this, so now I can be sure to avoid doing them. Maybe my friends will notice… Shit. I’m doing it again. Now I have to make sure to act normal enough they don’t notice any changes.”
Of course, it wasn’t actually set to make any changes, just to make her need to be a slutty nypho porn star… And it wasn’t like she was going to get any opportunities to become that as she was now.
The unbidden thought that she would need to change to make sure she got those opportunities made Sandra realize she’d done it to herself again. Her mind was focusing on what changes she would need to make to become what she needed to be.
To avoid double-thinking herself into a new trap, she pulled out a new piece of paper and started to work on it logically.
There were actually three parts of the need: To be a nymphomaniac, to be slutty, and to be a porn star. The ﬁrst and last parts were fairly obvious in what they meant, but ‘slutty’ was a bit vague.
A couple of hours online, and it was more vague, but in a more detail. Sandra had never thought of some of the things she’d seen.