Archive-title: Bluebox, The - 1
"I knew it," Jeffrey muttered to himself. "One letter in my
INBOX, and it had to be this one." In the past three years of his
dealings with the government, they had always used private couriers to
correspond, or more often the telephone. But when the message came
via MCI MAIL, he knew that his three-year project was at an
From: George F. Frankel MCI ID: 213-9164
To: * Jeffrey Landers MCI ID: 150-1060
Subj: Final Project Decision - Confidential
Dear Mr. Landers,
It is with great regret that we must inform you
that your proposal to refine, and implement the
use of, the device we have discusssed has been
denied. Unfortunately with budget cuts applied,
this department does not have the resources to
properly administer programs which consist
primarily of research and development. I will
personally keep the proper information on file so
that, if the situtation changes, we might be able
to continue work on what could be a valuable tool
to our society. I also commend your work and
thank you for your efforts to this point. Formal
notification will be sent to IDT shortly along
with cost recovery information.
Gen. G. F. Frankel
He switched the terminal off. Government Imbeciles. Not only
did they make any sort of effective demonstration impossible, but they
had to break the news through MCI MAIL.
Strangely, he felt little anger. He had a good time working on
the project, excellent pay, at the mere expense of his social life.
His time had been devoted to endless revisions, modifications, and
testing of the Device. It wasn't his fault that the Federal people
who came to test it were just too-- too-- boring to use it.
Unfortunately he'd never be able to prove that. He wasn't sure of the
situations that caused the tests to fail. It worked for him, he felt,
because he had a good imagination. Good enough to think up the device
in the first place means that one must be good enough to use it.
The Device was a thought amplifier. Bred from some licensed
Japanese electro-encephalographic technologies that never saw any use
outside some experimental psychiatric clinics that (giggle) were now
being sued for some sort of fraud, the Device was a miracle more
stunning than the space program, the new light-speed superprocessors,
or Ronco's solid-state IR laser turkey carving set. It started out as
a device which could clarify thought patterns for analysis by trained
therapists, for use in mental hospitals. The Feds got involved when
the NSA wanted to know if it could be used to read minds. Even if
Jeffrey could have spent a few years researching that application, he
wouldn't think of it-- because certainly he wouldn't be ALLOWED to
think of it if the device became a reality. But Jeffrey's employer,
Interactive Device Technologies, liked the idea of lucrative
government contracts and encouraged him to continue with the
development. Three years later, Jeffrey and IDT had finished the
thought amplifier, but this last MCI letter meant that there was
NOBODY, and that meant nobody, interested in continuing with it. Now
that IDT had no hopes of a $12 billion contract, Jeffrey would
probably be out of job.
*** Chapter 2 ***
Cheryl walked into the Lab. "Is that the TA-12?" she queried,
pointing to the metallic blue box on the counter, without even saying
Jeffrey knew at that instant he was being set up. Cheryl never
had anything to do with the technical staff. He had seen her around
the building often enough, but learned quickly of her distaste for the
techies, and had properly ignored her ever since. Undoubtedly one of
the IDT managers got a carbon-copy of the MCI letter and sent Cheryl
in to cheer Jeffrey up, rather than stopping in themselves. How
unthoughtful. He didn't want to be cheered up. Cheryl was still
standing there, though, and Jeffrey racked his mind to remember what
she had asked him.
"Yes, that's it."
Cheryl didn't waste a second. "It doesn't work, huh?"
Nice cheering-up job, Jeffrey thought. He answered in a tone
normally reserved for when you lose your best friend. "It works fine.
It just doesn't work for everyone, that's all. All the government
people who tested it were so skeptical, so narrow-minded it couldn't
have possibly worked." He wondered if he was rationalizing it or
Cheryl continued her insistent questions as if she had a list of
them. "It works for you?"
"Yes. And most other people can use it too."
"Oh." It sounded like she just ran out of questions. "Sorry to
be ignorant. I just don't pay much attention to what our experiments
do, that's all."
Jeffrey reached behind him and picked up the Device. "Have a
seat", he said, pointing to a chair across from him. Cheryl sat.
"All it is, primarily, is a thought amplifier. It looks to what
you're thinking, and retransmits it so that you can see it more
clearly. But the big advantage is that it transmits to others within
a few feet. Want a sample?"
*** Chapter 3 ***
Cheryl nodded without saying a word. Jeffrey started his long-
rehearsed demonstration speech, required so that the visitors would
know what's going on and would have some margin of safety should
something go wrong.
"Touch your finger here for a second", he said, pointing to a
small metal circle on top of the Device, which was in his lap. Cheryl
did. "All you did was allow the device to calibrate itself to
your..." (he hated the oversimplification)... "'wavelength', so you
can participate. You know what the Device does, and it's easier to
show you it's abilities than to tell you. All you have to know is
this: This box cannot reproduce itself in this color in your mind.
It's a safety device that took almost nine months to install. If I
were to try to fool you into thinking that the demonstration was over,
you'd notice that the box was red, not blue, because it won't let you
see it any other way. There's a timer on the top that will end the
demonstration in..." (he set the timer) "about ten minutes. That's
another safety device in case for some reason I can't turn it off.
It'll also turn off on any sort of sensory disturbance, so you have to
be comfortable before you can start." He elected to omit the usual
comment about using the rest-room first. "The final safety device
limits the amount of pain and suffering you can feel no matter what
happens to you. In the image that the box presents, you could stab
yourself with a knife and would feel only momentary discomfort. And
of course, you wouldn't sustain any real-life damage. That prevents
the Device from being used to torture someone, for the most part. Now
just clear your mind for a moment, and relax."
He looked up at her. She closed her eyes. He stole a quick peek
at her uncrossed legs and the space between them, that had crossed hi
mind many times before. Why didn't she like the technical people?
Such a waste. Oh well. He leaned back and pressed the switch to
start the demonstration, then put his hands at his sides.
He opened his eyes. "Cheryl?" She opened hers without saying
anything. The box was red, instead of blue. It was incredible-- she
could have, by any other measure, been actually sitting there staring
at a red box there with Jeffrey. But no, the box was blue, and her
eyes were closed. It just SEEMED that way. She moved her arms. They
moved. Fingers too.
"Everyone always does that", Jeffrey giggled. "Obviously it
works with you. Yes, everything seems normal. Your fingers wiggle.
And no, they aren't really wiggling in real life. But, for now, they
might as well be."
"Incredible. You did this?"
Jeffrey smiled. "Yup. Three years for this. But you haven't
seen anything yet!"
They both got up. Just as they got to their feet, the walls and
ceiling of the building vanished, revealing the trees, sky, clouds,
and such outside. It may have been 41 degrees on the outdoor
thermometer 5 minutes ago, but it was a comfy 70 or so now.
"How did that happen?"
"Easy. I just decided that the walls should go away, and even
before I imagine it happening, it does. The Device reads what I'm
thinking, and makes it seem like it's happening. It was all so simple
once we got the basic theories straight. Notice how there's no detail
Cheryl looked around the room (what was left of it) and nodded.
Jeffrey continued. "In actuality, that's not true. For all we
know, none of the things we're not looking at this second exist. But
once we go to look at anything, the image gets filled in from our own
thoughts. For the most part, what we see, hear, smell, feel, or taste
depends on who looks at it first-- it fills in the detail from that
person's memory. The other person sees that as the first imagined it.
But the person who's holding the physical box has the ultimate
authority. Watch." A small metal box appeared on the counter, with a
lid that was closed. "There's an index card inside that box with a
four-digit number on it," he said, "but I don't know what it is
because I haven't decided on one. Why don't you open the box and see
what it says?
Cheryl walked over to the box while Jeffrey looked around
outside. It was mid-afternoon. Some birds flew nearby, something not
"It's 9601, the last four digits of my phone number", Cheryl
reported. How did that happen?"
"Either because you wanted it to, or because the Device decided
that it was the most likely thing to put there. I don't know your
phone number and couldn't have put it there. See?"
Again, Cheryl just nodded. With that, the numbers on the card
changed to 2066, Jeffrey's office extension number. Jeffrey
explained. "You might create something out of your imagination... but
if there is a conflict, the box-holder gets his way with reality. The
problem with the tests was that the people who tried it either didn't
have the imagination (faith if you like) to make the device work for
them, in which case the only effect they ever saw was the box changing
color, or they couldn't mentally lock on to the signals from the box,
which meant that even THAT didn't happen." Again, did he really know?
Maybe not. It could take years of research. Oh well. "Come on,
*** Chapter 4 ***
Cheryl wheeled around and discovered that Jeffrey had sprouted a
perfect pair of wings, feathers and all. It was one of his favorite
diversions, which he had developed after weeks of testing. He picked
Cheryl up from behind; his arms fitting into the somewhat innocent
space below her breasts. She was very light because he had decided
that she should be, at least for now. She didn't complain about it.
In an instant Jeffrey cringed down, and leapt into the air.
It was too fast for Cheryl, who felt that the exciting part had
been rushed. They were already fifty feet above the ground, coasting
over the trees towards downtown. With a few flaps, Jeffrey lifted
them both to several times that altitude. "Nervous?" he asked.
"No, I'm fine." It wasn't convincing. The only other person
he'd ever taken on this tour couldn't take it too well. Jeffrey
pitched upwards a little bit and slowed down, then gained some more
altitude, and generally swooped around a bit. The scenery was
breathtaking, and the feeling was unparalleled.
"Afraid of heights?" Jeffrey remembered how he had thought of
the Device as a tool to eliminate such fears, the last time he asked
that question. Cheryl didn't answer.
With nothing to lose as far as Cheryl's opinion of him, Jeffrey
did the only thing he could think of to remedy the situtation. He
dropped her. Cheryl screamed, fell a few feet, and stopped in midair
at Jeffrey's command. She couldn't have done that herself. He
stopped in midair and had her float up to him, facing him. "You see?
There's nothing to be afraid of. You can't get hurt here. And I
wouldn't let you get hurt anyway.
She didn't look resentful. She looked down at the streets below,
then reached down as if to see what was holding her up. It always
seemed to take a while for people to get "the idea"-- that the
constraints of reality no longer hold.
"It can be like an amusement park-- thrills without danger, or
whatever amuses you." Cheryl was now smiling. It was time for
Jeffrey to try and promote that idea. It was no fun here with someone
that didn't understand, and it looked like Cheryl was beginning to.
Jeffrey continued. "Take my hand," he said. "I think you've got the
She did. Jeffrey's wings disappeared. A moment later they
started falling, from the five thousand feet (funny, we weren't that
high up a moment ago) to the town below. Jeffrey looked straight at
Cheryl. She looked up at him. It had worked! She felt enough
confidence in him to be able to take her eyes off the approaching
Earth. He couldn't keep his feeling to himself.
"I'm impressed, Cheryl. You've got more inside than I credited
you for. Congratulations." He pulled her to him, and held her tight.
She wrapped her arms around him, and looked down.
Just before they reached the earth, a large pool of water
appeared below them and they splashed harmlessly into it, coming to an
almost instant stop. Cheryl, who had let go just as they reached the
water, paddled back over to Jeffrey and grabbed onto him again. He
liked the feeling where she was pressing against him.
Finally, she spoke up again. "Can we try it again? Not the
fall, I mean, but flying around? I'd like to try it out for myself."
Jeffrey nodded. A moment later, they were both in midair, and
Cheryl had developed some nice orange feathers. Jeffrey followed
Cheryl as she flew back towards the company, swooped down over the
trees, and shrieked with excitement. "I want to try landing", she
said. "Will you go first?" Jeffrey agreed, and lined up in front of
her, feet down, heading for the flat roof of IDT's main building.
Then he was sitting in a chair, with the blue box on his lap. He
looked at the top of it. "Timer's... No, there's still time left,
must be..." He looked towards the door. His supervisor had walked
in, and the noise had tripped the sensory-monitor device, ending the
"Good night, you two. Lock up the lab when you leave, OK?"
Jeffrey and Cheryl both nodded. Jeff added a "Good night" as the
supervisor was on the way out the door. As the door closed, he turned
to Cheryl once again. "Always happens that way... There were only
about 30 seconds left anyway."
"That certainly seemed like more than four and a half minutes!",
"It always does seem longer," Jeffrey agreed. "It would be
impossible to test, though, right? A simulated clock would go just as
fast as you would imagine it to go. Everything else could speed up
too. It just seems to be the way people think."
Surprisingly, although it was a few minutes after five, Cheryl
wasn't leaving like Jeffrey expected her to. Did she really feel like
spending time with Jeffrey? Maybe her opinion about techie types had
changed a bit.
"Can we try it again? Everyone's gone now and I just had so much
fun with you...?
*** Chapter 5 ***
Jeffrey couldn't get his mind off the words 'with you' very
easily. "Sure, I'm in no hurry tonight." He started to reach for the
timer controls again, and Cheryl interrupted.
"Could I do it this time? You did it last time, and..."
Jeffrey nodded and handed the box to her, touching the circle on
the top after setting it in her lap. "We just set the timer for as
long as we want-- maybe ten minutes would be better this time, and..."
Cheryl didn't wait for the explanation. She set the timer for
four hours, sat back. An instant later, the box turned red. Jeffrey
got up, startled, and noticed the timer was set for 4:00, not 0:10.
"How come you--"
"Because I don't want to be interrupted again. I can turn it off
anytime before four hours runs out, right?"
"Yes-- you just IMAGINE you're holding the box, and are turning
it off, and it does. Maybe we should do that, and fix the timer--"
Jeffrey reached for the box, but it vanished from Cheryl's lap before
he could reach it. She had made it disappear. She could bring it
back, but he couldn't. He felt uncomfortable at the prospect.
"I just want to play a while. I'm SURE you won't mind. You said
you weren't going anyplace." Pointing to her lap, she added: "Pretty
"Um... Yes", said Jeffrey, obediently staring at her lap. "OK,
then, let's see what you can do. Want to go flying again?"
"Not right now. I was just thinking how you can do anything
here-- like flying before. Anything." She looked straight into his
eyes. "Must be pretty good when your company's getting horny, huh?"
At first, Jeffrey thought she was talking about him. After all,
the thought had crossed his mind since they first started the
adventure. But no, he hadn't expressed that thought. Then maybe she
was just being hypothetical. But the tone of her voice was telling
him otherwise. He didn't know what to say.
Cheryl stood up, and wrapped her arms around him, pressing
herself against him. "Remember? In the air? It was your idea, not
mine. I don't know whether it was all the adrenalin, the thrill, or
you personally. And I don't know how you felt, but it got me
positively wet between the legs. Even if I was just imagining it."
Jeffrey restrained himself at the thought of that wetness. He
had felt a little something, but at the same time was worried about
being a little too forward. But he had to say something. "Isn't this
a little... fast? I like you a lot. But two weeks ago you wouldn't
have given me the time of day, much less admit what you just said."
"Maybe. I never really thought about you at all until about two
weeks ago. I don't know why. I guess I started feeling guilty about
the reasons I DIDN'T pay attention to some people. So, it seemed like
the perfect opportunity when Dan asked me to see how you were doing.
And..." (she ran one hand across his bottom) "...what a better way to
meet? Perfectly romantic." They were standing on a boat, facing a
setting sun, with a violin playing in the background. "Or however
else it should be." The corny sunset-boat-violin scene disappeared,
leaving total darkness except for themselves. "Much better than
meeting in a laundromat." Sounded rational.
Of course, rational was the last thing on Cheryl's mind. Jeffrey
had his arms around her. He slid his hands down across her derriere,
feeling the soft fabric of the jeans she was wearing. She seemed to
approve. But she let go of him. She stood back a foot or so.
Slowly, and tauntingly, Jeffrey's clothes began to fade away.
First his shirt, then his slacks, and without any hesitation, his
underwear began to become transparent, revealing everything to
Cheryl's eyes. He couldn't bring his clothes back. The awkward
situation made him lose what erection he had.
"Neat", Cheryl exclaimed. "I just have to imagine it starting--
your clothes disappearing-- and unless I stop it, it happens by itself
without me helping".
At first, Jeffrey though "Neat" was referring to his naked body.
But then he realized that he was an unwilling accomplice to Cheryl's
vanishing-clothes trick. She had never seen him naked before, and so
the vision that she now saw was constructed from Jeffrey's own
thoughts. He was beginning, more and more, to feel like the student
in this environment, when before he was only the teacher. He'd never
done anything quite like this in the demonstration--
Cheryl's voice interrupted his thoughts again. The sexy tone in
her voice had returned. "YOU'RE neat TOO, you know." She was
staring, unashamed, at his previously private areas. She walked back
up, still dressed, and touched his penis. He didn't complain. She
looked at him straight in the eyes, and made her own blouse disappear,
slowly like before. No bra-- just two very nice tits were now
visible. She still looked straight into Jeffrey's eyes, watching them
sweep down her body, hesitate, then look back up into her eyes. "I
want to see you get hard. I want it to happen right here. Bigger,
harder than you ever have before."
Jeffrey obliged her. He felt himself starting to stretch right
in her hand, growing, getting warm, and longer. Her grip tightened
around him as he grew. He ran his eyes over her chest freely now,
using the stimulation to carry out Cheryl's request. Finally he
reached up and touched her breasts, which somehow seemed to excite him
more than her. Her attention was on his growing member. He rubbed
his fingers, then hands, then both hands over her tits, watching her
nipples grow erect at his fingertips.
She let go of him. It felt cold now, but his penis didn't
wither. Cheryl stood back, again, and this time revealed the rest of
herself to him. Jeffrey's eyes, as one might expect, focused on the
little patch of brown hair between her legs-- as his mind focused on
the infinite pleasure just beyond.
At this point Jeffrey's mind was so fixed on the impending
copulation, that even the unnatural absence of background didn't seem
unnatural anymore. This wasn't imagination; it was reality. There
was Cheryl, and Jeffrey, and that was all. Nothing else. And Cheryl
had decided, apparently, that there was only one thing to be done--
and it was just minutes away. He was impatient-- knowing that those
minutes would seem SO LONG -- until he finally reached his goal.
*** Chapter 6 ***
Cheryl's voice was the sexiest he'd heard yet. "Touch me. Touch
me all over. You know what I want. You know what to do so I get it."
Jeffrey slid one arm around her, pulling him to her. Her bosom
pressed into his chest again, and he could feel her nipples stiffening
against him. He wrapped his other arm around her, and slid his hands
over her buttocks. It was something he never thought he'd be doing.
A few seconds later they were both floating, weightless.
Cheryl kissed him, sliding her tongue into his mouth, exploring
it. Her hands went to his bottom also, one hand between his bowels,
rubbing the area around his anus. Nobody had ever done that to
Jeffrey before; he liked it.
Jeffrey's hands approached her pussy. It seemed warm even before
he touched the hair around it. He could smell her wetness. The scent
was making him lose what little control he had left. He hesitated for
a moment, giving himself final clearance to proceed, then probed
through her pubic hair, touching the skin between her legs. He rubbed
the area for a minute before one finger felt her pussy's lips. It was
wet inside. He spread them apart, and touched it. After a few
seconds he knew what was where... She clenched him as one finger slid
by her clitoris; and when a finger finally discovered the opening into
her vagina, she grabbed his hand and pushed his finger inside. He
slid it back and forth. His other hand was now on her breasts.
Cheryl came after just a few seconds. She pushed his hand
against her. He felt a ripple inside her as her muscles contracted.
She held him there for a moment, then let him slide out.
"Lick me," she demanded. "Learn what I taste like."
Jeffrey wasn't bothered by that prospect. He floated away from
her for a second, then she floated towards him, aiming her pussy
towards his head. As he started to slide between her thighs, she
locked her legs around him, squeezing him, locking him in place. Sh
was getting him wet. His tongue instantly found its target, first
sliding across her clitoris, and then inside. He swallowed her
juices. She came again, squeezing with her legs so hard that, for a
minute, he couldn't breathe. Her pussy surrounded him. He felt
another surge of liquid from within her. As soon as it was over, she
released him, and they floated alongside each other. She had regained
some of her control; yet now her pussy was aiming towards his
previously ignored cock. She held on to him, and pulled him towards
her, keeping a careful eye on his navigation.
Jeffrey seemed to have some reservations. He hardly knew her,
really, and that thought was starting to surface. That thought got
through to Cheryl, who knew better-- that they both wanted the same
thing and there was no reason not to have it.
"You have no choice now." The distance between their pubic areas
continued to reduce. "Besides, I know what you want. You wouldn't
have gone this far. You're not getting away now. You want me as
much as I want you." She was right.
Jeffrey insisted, though, not because he was unwilling, but
because he was afraid that she'd regret it later, and would blame him
for it. "It's too fast. Why are you rushing? I want to learn about
you... get to know you..."
Cheryl didn't listen. Jeffrey's penis touched the hair around
her pussy. Then he felt the warmth at the tip of it. His cock still
had some flexibility to it. In a short time-- almost too fast, Cheryl
took him inside. The heat made him grow very hard, conforming to her
shape. She started to wrap her legs around him, and to slide against
him. He grabbed her body, realizing that it was the last chance to
save his rational self, and stopped her from moving. He concentrated
on everything but the fact that they were now mating.
She resented the fact that he was forcibly interrupting her
pleasure. But it did return her faculties to her, long enough to
realize once again that this wasn't really happening, and that she was
in control of things. She hadn't heard what Jeffrey said, but this
time decided quite consciously to continue. She could show her anger
now without Jeffrey being able to do anything about it. Besides, she
knew that he was struggling to hang on to his mind, while her pussy
did its work on him, her breasts and body draining his willpower.
"Shut up. It's too late. I'm screwing you and there's nothing
you can do to stop me." The words, she figured, would send him over
the edge and he'd stop resisting. Jeffrey never thought he'd ever be
in the situation of resisting a beautiful woman's advances, unless she
was married or had some disease or something. But neither was the
Her words were a temptation of defial. He placed both hands on
her hips, and started to push her away, hoping she'd forgive him, and
even be thankful that he gave her a chance to think rationally about
her actions. His penis started to slide out. The tip was swelling
inside her, though, at Cheryl's command. Jeffrey felt his skin
stretching. He didn't know how big he was, and he wouldn't feel much
pain as long as the Device was working.
Cheryl's orifice tightened around the base of his cock. It had
grown inside her, and she was growing tighter. He pushed harder
against her hips, but couldn't slide out. He was locked inside her.
He slid back in to try again, and this time the sensation of sliding
into her warm flesh pushed him over the edge. Her words had come
true. He lost his last reasons for stopping it, and his thoughts
faded with only one intense purpose remaining. He started sliding in
and out, making no further attempts to escape.
Cheryl giggled once. "That's it, animal. Fuck me. Then, maybe
I'll let you go." It was all a game, Jeffrey and Cheryl both knowing
the rules quite well. Each word, each motion, could do nothing but
stimulate desire. Jeffrey's attempt to "stop" her was played
perfectly. He probably knew it would excite her. And now, he was
hers, undulating against her, and pulsating inside her. She giggled
again once more, watching Jeffrey turn into the animal she wanted,
before her own thoughts turned again towards the act of mating. She
grew hot inside as the excitement increased.
Cheryl was approaching her climax, but still had a handle on what
was happening. Her words came one at a time, with each breath and
each of Jeffrey's thrusts. "I.. want.. all of.. you... inside..