“The Key to winning a case, whether it’s a criminal trial or an ADA Civil Suit, is to command attention. Keep that jury and those judges locked in on you and your case and direct their thinking. Your argument doesn’t have to be logical, it just has to sound like it is. People like to be made to believe they’re smart so you gotta let them draw their own conclusions after you’ve made it seem like the only conclusion to draw is that your client is innocence. A good lawyer is a master manipulator, right? They’re the ones that know exactly the right thing to say, and the right fact to bring up to plead their case. A good lawyer could persuade a child to turn on their parents, could turn friends to enemies, or enemies to friends,
… or maybe even lovers. That’s a joke by the way. But yeah a good lawyer is honestly a master of mind control, you know what I mean. Almost. And some of us just naturally have that charisma, and some of us don’t. I just like to say that I HAVE had that charisma all my life you know. Even when I was a kid growing up everyone seemed to like me, ya know? Everyone seemed to like me just because of the way I said hi to them, or the details I remembered about them. I made so many people think I was their best best friend, without even meaning to. Hell I had guys I couldn’t stand, ya know, complete frikkin’ losers come up to me and be like ‘Ryan, you really are the only guy I can trust. You really are my best friend’ and I’d be like… ‘Oh! Really? Interesting.’ And I’d grimace thinking they were waiting for me to respond with ‘your my best friend too’ or whatever but that expectation never came across. But yeah, that’s my secret really, ya know? It’s charisma, it’s getting people like you, getting them to pay attention to you and getting them to trust what you have to say.”
Ryan Masters looked around the room at his colleagues, who looked at him in stunned drunken silence. They were all a bunch of well-dressed lawyers, each with their own uniquely tailored suit, but Ryan knew that deep down they were a bunch of overgrown frat boys in their confidence and drinking habits. Hell some may have described him as that, but he liked to think he was above all that.
Finaly, Cooper Braskins, who had orchestrated this get together after Ryan had helped their firm to win a pivotal case and had been invited to become Partner, began a slow clap. The two other guys, following Coopers lead joined in. Aaron Schlotke, who was probably the nerdiest of the bunch, with thick horn rimmed glasses and red curly hair, let out an awkward cheer, causing the other three to turn to him awkwardly. Brett Thompson, a black guy with close cropped hair that frequently joked about being the “token” of the firm, cleared his throat.
“Well Ryan, oh master manipulator, you’ll have to teach us your ways some time, so that we might aspire to become Partner as well some day.” Having navigated spaces white spaces for a long time, Brett himself had mastered the art of polite sarcasm. Only his closest friends would have noted the slight mocking tone in his voice.”
“Yeah! I’d be happy to help you. I mean what’s good for the firm, is good for us, am I right? Bigger holiday bonuses and all that.” Ryan, took off his glasses to clean them, revealing piercing hazel eyes. He was good looking, if a bit generic, and unlike Aaron, his glasses demonstrated a level of style and sophistication the ginger simply had not mastered, that was demonstrable in the rest of his outfit. Ryan was brunette, and his long time frenemy and former college roommate Cooper, was blonde, completing the hair color trio.
Cooper had a puckish smile on his face. If not for his invitation and his relationships with the three other lawyers, this particular combination of gentlemen would not likely have gathered for drinks on a Friday evening. However if all went according to his plan, the three would get to know each other intimately by the end of the evening.
“So tell me Ry, are you a hypnotist or something?” Cooper said, piercing the awkward tension.
Ryan chuckled? “Am I a what? Oh no, not this again! Come on, Coop, don’t embarrass yourself.”
“Look I’m just saying, manipulation? Make someone think something was their idea when it’s your own? Convincing people you’re their best friend? It all sounds like hypnosis to me.”
“Very funny, Coop.”
“I don’t get it” Aaron said, looking from Cooper to Ryan and back like a kid watching his parents fight.
“Cooper had a little hobby in college, one he always tried to get me into, thinking it would make us both great lawyers. But it’s all very silly, I don’t want to embarrass him.”
Cooper chuckled to himself. “No, Ryan, go ahead and tell them.”
“You sure? You’ll just make a fool of yourself.”
“Alright why don’t I tell them. In college, I fancied myself a hypnotist.”
“Ooooooh! So that’s why you got us all together!” Aaron burst out, then quickly covered his mouth.
“Hypnosis, you say!” Exclaimed Brett, betraying an air of faux ignorance, again almost undetectable by those not in the know. “Now I gotta hear about this!”
“Well like Ryan said, it never really worked.”
“Aww come on, you must’ve figured something out. Otherwise how’s your end up here with Ryan?” Aaron whined.
“Cooper did always have a habit of following in my footsteps,” Ryan said smirking fiendishly.
“Well it’s like you said! You do have a habit of getting people to like you. I did think you were my best friend. But we both know now you just needed someone to help you study.”
“Aww don’t be like that, Coop. That’s not it at all.”
“No don’t worry, there’s no hard feelings! I’ve come to terms with it over the years and I’ve come to respect it. Still though. I’ve always wanted to try it again.”
A silence fell over the room. Ryan took a sip of beer.
“Hypnotizing you. See if the great master manipulator has a weak spot. Just think about it this way, if you do have a weak spot, Better to find it when surrounded by friends, am I right?”
“Is that what we are? Friends?” Ryan said, looking around the room.
Aaron, always the eager one, remarked “Well I think we can all be friends. Like a secret alliance like they do on that show big brother!”
“An alliance? I can dig that!” Brett said, nodding.
“Whaddaya say, ol’ friend?” Cooper asked.
“Well what are you gonna make me do if you do hypnotize me? Cluck like a chicken?”
“Well I mean, there can be benefits right?” Everyone looked to Aaron.
“Like what?” Ryan said, a bit too mockingly.
“Well we can make you like super focused! Or help you with learning new skills!”
“I don’t think I need help with that, thanks Aaron.”
“What about getting you into the mind set of your opponents. Helping you to think like them, do you can beat them easier.”
Cooper chuckled. “I like the way you think, Brett.”
“Yeah me too!” Ryan said nodding. He down the rest of his beer and said “Alright fuck it. Cooper, hit me! Give me your best shot.”
Cooper smiled. Got him. He looked to Brett and Aaron. “Alright boys, watch this,” and then looking directly in Ryan’s eyes, he said “Hypno Boy Toy”
The effect was almost instantaneous. Ryan’s entire body relaxed and his face went slack. Something inside his mind tried to cling to consciousness, baffled that he was going under so easily. “Whuh, what” he muttered, but Coop did not relent.
“HYPNO. BOY. TOY.”
He remained standing but his mind had gone to sleep. His conscious mind anyway. Cooper walked over to his creation, eager to show it off after so many years.
“So which of you men want to take a piece of Ryan Masters first?”\
Chapter 2 now available on Patreon.com/chrispyre! More coming this month!