Discovering a New Reality

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Note: this story has a pretty long buildup before any erotic parts, though I hope the reader’s patience pays off in the end. It’s got a minor science fiction flavor to it and a small bit of fantasized non-consent, but nothing overwhelming if you’re not into that sort of thing.


“Who here has experienced sensory deprivation?” The distinguished professor scanned the audience, tilting her face slightly to look through the correct part of her trifocals.

Out of a conference hall of 300 people, a handful of people raised their hands. Hillary was one of them.

“Of those who did, who enjoyed the experience?”

Twenty-five rows up, Hillary kept her hand raised and glanced around. Only three hands were now up.

Dr. Mullaney’s sharp gray eyes bounced from one to the other before landing on the attractive brunette. “You,” she announced, gesturing politely up at Hillary’s row. “Would you please stand up and tell us your name and where you’re from?”

One of the professor’s assistants, a cute young woman of Asian ancestry, hustled up the steps with a portable microphone, while Hillary obediently rose. Once she had the device in hand, she answered. “Hillary Beyer,” she announced. “I’m a grad student at McAdams State, studying human-integrated robotics.”

“And why did you practice sensory deprivation?”

All eyes were on Hillary, but she scarcely noticed. Two years as a teaching assistant made her comfortable in front of a crowd, and even besides that, she was used to people staring. It happened a lot with her face and figure. “I was at another conference, and a vendor made the opportunity available. I couldn’t resist.”

“And you liked it?”

“Very much so.”

“Did you experience any claustrophobia?”

“No, ma’am.”

Dr. Mullaney nodded approvingly. “The perfect candidate,” she smiled. “I need a volunteer. Would you mind helping us in a display of this new device?” She gestured toward a huge white sphere with which she shared the stage. The device was roughly eight feet in diameter, yet somehow still low key with its matte, dull finish.

Hillary shrugged. “Sure.” She was used to this; she was always getting plucked out of crowds. Again, such things happen when you’re an attractive woman. And regardless, despite her polite speech, Mullaney had an air of authority that was difficult to disobey.

The assistant gestured discreetly for Hillary to follow, and bounced lightly back down the stairs. As Hillary followed, she continued listening.

The professor, a tall, lean woman whose dark blonde hair was moderately touched with silver, swept an arm toward the sphere. “What we have here is something entirely new, and I think you’ll find it intriguing. I asked about sensory deprivation, and this device works in much the same way. However, it’s ironically quite the opposite. It’s a sensory creator, and it’s the first of its kind in the world. It reads mental stimuli and through the use of a new intelligent gel we’ve developed, it transforms those mental stimuli into physical stimuli. It therefore creates an actual physical experience from an experience that is being imagined by the occupant. We believe it has all sorts of uses from physical therapy to video games to occupational training.”

Hillary wanted to hear the rest of it, but had to follow the assistant backstage. Once they were out of the public eye, the petite young woman turned. “Hi!” she said cheerily, offering her small hand. “My name is Lynette. I’m Dr. Mullaney’s chief research assistant. Thank you for volunteering!”

Hillary shook her hand. Lynette was a cutie, perhaps 23 or so, and with impressive curves that were unexpected on a woman of her heritage. She was attractive in a very different way than Hillary, a compact bundle of energy and wholesomeness, whereas Hillary liked to think of herself as more smooth and sultry. To each her own.

“So here’s how it works,” Lynette said. “It’s really neat. You’re going to be lowered into a vat of our new sensory gel. We’ll then have you imagine experiences, and the sensory orb will create those experiences for you.”

“It’ll create experiences?”

“You’ll see. It’s amazing.”

She motioned for Hillary to follow her into a small room. It contained a couch, a hanging curtain, and a table with what appeared to be a heavily modified scuba mask, along with a neatly folded white bathrobe. Hillary’s eyebrows rose slightly.

“I’ll explain what happens once you’re in the gel, but we have to get you ready quickly. We only have about five minutes. First off, the reason she asked about sensory deprivation is that you’ll be completely submerged in the gel. I’ve done it, and as long as you’re not claustrophobic it’s an amazing experience and the gel washes right off when you get out.”

“Completely submerged?”

“It’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it’s incredible. You’ll love it.”

“And what happens when I’m in the gel?”

“You just let your imagination run wild. The gel will pick up your brain waves and casino siteleri transfer them to the computer, which will read them and then send orders back to the gel. The gel is autonomous and can form into any shape or consistency on the surface of your body, so it generates a sense of touch that is real – pressure, temperature, anything.”


“It’s virtually limitless. However, we do have some overrides. If you imagine yourself getting stabbed, for example, the gel will create that experience and stab you. We don’t want that, obviously, so we’ve manually overridden a number of obvious dangers. Just to be safe, though, don’t think about dangers. Think about things like walking on a beach or dancing in a night club, things that have lots of sensory input. It’s also fun to remember past events and recreate them.”

“So it creates a sense of feel with the gel?”

“Yes, but that’s not all.” She picked up the helmet. “This helmet produces a virtual reality based on what you’re imagining. It creates sights, sounds, and smells. No tastes yet, because that has all sorts of complications. And the sounds are created by vibrating your skull, which lets us leave your ears exposed to the gel. But for the most part, you get four senses.”

“Amazing. I can’t wait to try it.”

“It’s fantastic. Dr. Mullaney has had me in the gel for over 200 hours so far, and we’ve done everything you can think of.” She motioned to the curtain. “Now, other than the helmet you have to be naked, so jump behind that curtain and take everything off. There’s a locker in there and you can put all your clothing in it and lock it up. Put on this robe and I’ll keep your key for you.”

“Wait,” Hillary interjected. “I’m going to be naked?”

“You’ll be naked inside the vat, but there’s no way to see in from the outside, and even if they could, the gel isn’t transparent. No one can see a thing.”

Hillary frowned. She certainly had no desire to be naked on a stage, but this was a scientific conference after all. All of the protocols for propriety would certainly be followed. “You’re sure?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Lynette laughed. “We’ve got a system for this. We’ll get you in and out very privately. It’s no big deal.”

Naked on stage wasn’t a big deal? Hillary hesitated a moment, but this experiment sounded too interesting to back out. She stepped behind the curtain with resolve, took a deep breath and began removing her clothing. Shoes and tights first, then her blouse and sweater, and finally her bra and panties. She quickly put on the robe. The whole time, Lynette stood on the other side of the curtain, discussing various technical details of how the gel and the sensory generator worked. Hillary had to admit that it was fascinating, and she was looking forward to trying it out.

” – so essentially, you imagine a scene and the gel picks it up through your brain waves and transfers it to the computer that’s embedded in the shell. The computer then gives the gel instructions on how to behave, and it creates sensations on your skin and sensory inputs in the helmet exactly how the imagined scene would play out on your senses.”

“Do you put sensors or wires on me?” Hillary examined herself in the robe to be sure there were no gaps. It was a plush knee-length terry cloth like one would get in a resort.

“That’s one of the great things about this. We don’t. The gel is intelligent in that it picks up and distributes everything just via contact. It more or less reads your mind just by enveloping you and picking up your brain waves. Are you about ready?”

“Yes.” Hillary stepped out behind the curtain, and the small Asian woman looked her up and down. “You look great,” she smiled, winking with a grin. “I hope you won’t distract the men from the exhibition. Now, let me fit the helmet onto you, and I need to tell you how the orb reads and displays data from your session. This is very, very important to know, because -“

“Lynette!” A voice called from outside the room, and another assistant ran in, a smallish young man with good hair and a slightly effeminate vibe. He gestured behind him in the vague direction of the stage. “The lower right orbital froze up again. Mullaney needs you to reset it – stat!”

Lynette rolled her eyes. “When are we ever going to get that thing to work right?” She looked at Hillary. “Don’t move. I need to fix something real quick. James, can you get her helmet on? And I need to tell her how the data displays. Don’t let me forget!”

As the female assistant hustled from the room, James picked up the helmet. “Let’s get this on you and adjusted. Once it goes on, it won’t come off until we’re done.” Hillary ducked slightly and he put it over her head, carefully fitting it over her eyes and nose like a traditional scuba mask, though this one had a very large frame around it and was quite heavy. “You’ll just see blackness right now because the system’s not on. But once it starts you’ll hear sights and feel sounds. It’s heavy here, but it won’t weigh anything once you’re in the slot oyna gel.”

The helmet sat heavily atop Hillary’s head, almost enough to throw her off balance, and sure enough, she was trapped in complete blackness. The helmet came down from her eyebrows to her cheekbones in front, then wrapped around above and below her ears in two big loops around the back. James carefully placed it to avoid trapping her hair underneath to the extent possible.

Then she felt a very fine tickling on her cheeks. “We have a very light foil that comes down over your mouth,” James explained. “We want the gel to contact as much of your skin as possible, and the foil gives you the sensations without letting you eat a bunch of gel if you open your mouth. It’s one of 67 different patents we’ve got on this system.”

Outside the room, Hillary heard applause. “Uh-oh,” James said. “That’s our cue. Let’s go!”

Barefoot and blind, Hillary stepped carefully as he led her back through the hallway, guiding her from behind with his hands balanced on her hips. She could hear the noise and discussion get louder. They waited for a moment, and then she heard Dr. Mullaney say, “Oh, I see that our volunteer has arrived. Bring her out, James!”

Hillary hesitantly stepped forward to the applause of 500 of her professional colleagues, and realized that she was now on stage. She reached for her robe to be sure it was closed, and sincerely hoped so since she had no real way of knowing.

“Let’s thank this young professional for volunteering, shall we?” Dr. Mullaney led a round of applause, and Hillary offered a curtsy. It drew some laughs and she smiled inside her mask.

“I’ve explained the process to the audience, and you should have received the same briefing backstage. Are you comfortable with the process? I realize you can’t talk with the helmet and foil on, so you can just nod or shake your head.”

Hillary nodded.

“And you know how the data display process works?”

Hillary remembered Lynette mentioning something about it, but then had been distracted. She didn’t want to disrupt the process, so she just nodded. She didn’t need to know the technical details.

“Okay, let’s get started. Step up on the back of the orb and we’ll close the curtains for just a moment.”

Hillary heard the rolling clack of stage curtains closing, and Dr. Mullaney’s footsteps approached.

“James, out. Scat! Give this young woman some privacy. Where’s Lynette?”

“She’s still working on the orbital, I guess.”

“Well, I hope she gets it reset. We have 500 people out there.” Hillary felt a touch on her wrist. “It’s nothing of concern to you, my dear. We just lose some data if it doesn’t reset properly.”

James’ footsteps withdrew, and after a moment Mullaney spoke again. “It’s just you and me now, dear,” she said. “We’re behind the curtain where no one can see us, and we’ll put you in the orb now. There’s a little set of steps on the back of it, so let’s climb up to the top. I trust that Lynette briefed you and you’re still comfortable with everything?”

Hillary nodded and even offered a thumbs up. She was ready to get this process going.

Mullaney stepped behind her, and arms wrapped around her as a slender body and smallish breasts nestled up against her back. “Lynette usually does this part, but she appears to be busy, so I’ll take over.” Mullaney murmured in her ear. The professor guided her to the back of the orb, and then the two of them slowly climbed step by step until they were perhaps seven feet off the ground. Uncomfortable with the height and her lack of sensation, Hillary gripped the professor’s arms tightly.

“Okay, we’re at the top now, standing on a 3 by 3 platform, so don’t move. This is where it gets fun. I’m going to hook you up to the oxygen system now, which comes down into the top of the helmet. There’s a panic button on the tip of your nose, and if you touch it, the system will shut down. You can do it for any reason you want, whether there’s an equipment problem or you just don’t like what you’re feeling. Understand?”

Hillary nodded.

After some fumbling and pulling on her mask, Mullaney said, “Okay, I’m going to take your robe off now, and I’ll do a last-minute check. When I say go, just step forward and you’ll drop into the gel. It’s neutrally buoyant, so you’ll sink until you’re submerged but you won’t go to the bottom. Once you’re in, just start imagining scenes and sensations, and when the sights or sounds or smells start, the demonstration is underway. We’ll keep you in here for ten minutes and then we’ll bring you out and interview you about your experience and review the data. Understand?”

Hillary nodded.

Mullaney stepped to her front, and authoritative hands pulled her robe open, then down off her shoulders. Hillary chafed at the process, as it meant that the researcher now had a full frontal view of her nudity, but it was too late to protest. There was silence for a moment as the robe fell to her feet, and with her women’s intuition she knew canlı casino siteleri – just knew – that Mullaney was giving her a good gaze as the professor reached down to whisk away the robe. She was either a lesbian or just someone who liked to look at pretty girls. Hillary swore that she could even feel a warm breath on her bare pubic mound, but nonetheless stayed still.

A hand trailed lightly over her shoulder, almost erotically, and Mullaney made a full circuit of her. “I’m just doing a last-minute check of your helmet,” the older woman explained. Fingers ran through her hair, examined her ears, and lightly traced over her forehead. Body parts brushed her derriere, hips, and breasts in the process before Mullaney pronounced herself done with an approving mm-hmm.

She once again positioned herself behind Hillary, and two hands grasped her ribs, just behind her breasts. Mullaney leaned in, her breath warm on Hillary’s ear. “Okay, ready? Go.”

Hillary stepped forward, and dropped.

She dropped, but she didn’t fall. She was enveloped in something that was almost invisible to her senses. It was neither hot nor cold, neither light nor dense. Much like her time in the sensory deprivation tank, she was floating weightless in nothingness, unable to see, hear, smell, or feel anything. Far from being frightening, it was actually comforting, like floating in the womb. She smiled.

Subconsciously, an image appeared in her mind, an image of another time where she was comfortable and embraced. She was three years old, and her mother was hugging her, embracing her. It was so subtle, so automatic, that she didn’t even know she was having the thought.

Until it happened.

Someone was hugging her inside the tank, and the blackness lifted. It was her mother, right there, hugging her. She was a vibrant young woman, and in the background was the living room of their home back in Michigan, all of the details right down to the unusual gypsy design on the table lamps. Hillary gasped.

It wasn’t a memory. She was there. And as she remembered her mother stepping back and saying, “I love you, chickadee”, it happened. It wasn’t a memory. It was happening. Her mother’s hands were on her shoulders, her smile warm, her eyes loving. She could feel the warmth of that summer day, see the sunlight playing on the carpet…

It was happening.

Hillary’s eyes teared up, her heart bursting with pleasure. It was as good as the time when …

She was at her sister’s wedding now. The smell of lavender was strong, with a whiff of ozone from the rain that had miraculously cleared up right as the ceremony started. Someone was holding her hand. Her mind knew that no one was holding her hand, but … someone was holding her hand. She could feel it. She looked down, and his hand was holding hers, contrasted against the emerald grass and white folding chairs. She followed the arm up and it was Britt, her once-forever boyfriend and first love. He was there beside her, smiling that crooked smile of his, back when they were so in love.

And it was real. It wasn’t her imagination.

Or was it?

Hillary’s mind reeled. What was a memory and what was real? She knew that she wasn’t at the wedding. She knew that she was floating in some sort of high-tech orb. Her mind knew that. But her body told her something different, and it was informing her mind of very real sensations. It felt as if her mind and body had separated along parallel arcs, reality bending around some undiscovered corner of her mind.

What did this mean? Was it just about memories? Could she just create scenes and not just memories?

She imagined a giant pink flamingo at the wedding, and there it was, twenty feet tall, perched on one leg. Its giant magnificent eye trained on her, and she and Britt smiled at one another as the other guests gaped in surprise, exactly the surprise that Hillary would expect and imagine in such a situation. Britt leaned in and kissed her, which had never happened on that particular day, but she had wanted it oh so much. Her lips felt the pressure of his – or of something – and she felt the pressure of a firm hand in the small of her back, pulling her close. She melted. It hadn’t worked out, of course, but that man could kiss.

The giant flamingo took flight. A wing beat pulsed air onto her, and she and Britt looked up. The flamingo was flying majestically over the ceremony, as reality mixed with memory which mixed with imagination.

The pressure of the wingbeats. The breeze blowing her hair.

She was now on a sailboat, skimming silently over the water. Her hair waved behind her, and it was a perfect day on the lake. No, make that the Aegean. No, the South Seas. Each time she changed her thoughts, the scenery changed in front of her eyes, the smell of the saltwater evolved, the firmness of the seat beneath her adjusted. A hand grasped her arm as she imagined a hand grasping her arm, and when she turned it was a handsome gondolier. Her mind tried to tell her that there was no hand, but her body felt the touch as the magical gel congealed and tightened around her. Maybe it wasn’t a gondolier. No, make it a pirate. A handsome pirate. Her mind clicked through scenarios as she found the one she wanted.

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