Maestro is the second-published Dreams of Control story, first published on Amazon in September 2011. It is a novel of approximately 65,000 words. It is an independent work although it is set in the same universe as Awakening and the later Dreams of Control books. The book has several musically-related themes, and its sections are titled with Italian phrases traditionally used to describe musical movements in operas and orchestral performances.
The book opens with a man sitting alone in a basement laboratory, having just completed the compilation of some kind of computer program. In a series of intermittent flashbacks, the reader learns that the man was a prodigy and a student of neuroanatomy who discovered a new principle regarding consciousness. The principle makes it possible to permanently adjust a person's conscious mind by means of induced microcurrents. The man spends ten years in obscure poverty secretly building this machine, which he calls the Pitchpipe. (After the small instrument, shown on the cover of the book, which a choir director uses to set the key of a choral performance.)
After completing the machine, the man - known at this point only as the Maestro - uses a portable variant of the device he calls the Lullaby box to render a young woman who lives in the same apartment building unconscious as she comes into the lobby late at night. He then hooks her to the full Pitchpipe and uses it to make her a helpless love slave (and greatly enhance her desire for sex.)
After having sex, the Maestro (who reveals that his name is David) and the girl, whose name is Dana, converse. Eventually he learns that she works at a large bar/lounge which has a Bondage Night once a week. The girl's amazingly positive response to being enslaved is partially explained by the fact that while she had always been afraid to particpate, she secretly found the idea of dominance, submission, and having a master extremely arousing.
There is a short passage in which two mysterious men in some kind of monitoring facility discuss the fact that they have detected an unusual electromagnetic signal which confuses and worries them. It is located somewhere in New York City, but the signal is very weak and doesn't last long: they are unable to triangulate its position before it stops. It is clear that they have seen the emissions of the Pitchpipe, although it isn't actually the sort of thing that they are apparently looking for.
The Maestro goes to Bondage Night and after an unpleasant encounter with a jealous Domme by the name of Mistress Demona, with Dana's help uses the Pitchpipe to enslave another woman, an East Indian immigrant named Maya. Maya, it turns out, isn't a natural submissive and doesn't participate in Bondage Night either. However, the Pitchpipe still works to good effect and Maya goes home with the Maestro and Dana.
In another short passage the two men detect the second usage of the Pitchpipe, but are stunned to realize that it has moved: whatever it is they are looking for, they expected it to be very large and require a dedicated facility and emplacement. Because it isn't where they thought it was, they are again unable to pinpoint its location. They increase their monitoring equipment in the New York City area so that if it happens again they will be sure to detect its location precisely.
Upon returning to Bondage Night, this time with both Maya and Dana, the Maestro is confronted by Mistress Demona. A sort of contest of dominance is entered into which the Maestro and Dana - who literally cannot disobey the Maestro - win easily. The humiliated Demona loses her temper and then runs out of the club.
The Maestro, Maya, and Dana (who he refers to as his "instruments") begin to explore their relationship. Meanwhile, Demona, who is very influential in the Bondage Night scene in New York, sets up a trap for the Maestro: upon learning his real name and address, she confronts him again and tells him that she wants to know how he seduced Dana and Maya so effortlessly and if he doesn't tell her, she will use her wealth and power to make him and the instruments miserable.
Seeing that Demona will not be dissuaded, the Maestro agrees to "teach" her, but demands in turn that he be allowed to demonstrate his methods privately. The Maestro and Demona - who takes reasonable precaustions which turn out to be inadequate in the face of the Pitchpipe - have a private meeting in her home where the Maestro manages to use the Pitchpipe on her and learns many surprising things about why she acts the way she does. Afterward she eagerly offers him the support of her large fortune for use in his research.
While everything appears to have turned out well, in a final chapter the Maestro begins more serious research with the Pitchpipe on a small estate that Demona provides for him. Since he has finally used it multiple times in the same location, the two men find him. They appear at the estate, present government ID and a special warrant, and demand to search the place, claiming they are looking for artificial intelligences. This mystifies the Maestro, but he allows them to search. They find nothing and leave, telling the Maestro that if he is doing anything with artificial intelligences, he is to stop and never start again, or he will be imprisoned for life under a secret law. The Maestro realizes after they leave that what they are detecting is the Pitchpipe, and is outraged at the idea that he may never be able to use it again . As the book ends he is considering options as to how to address this state of affairs.
The chapter headings in the book are traditional Italian phrases used to describe to the conductor and the orchestra the tempo at which a piece of classical music should be played. They translate as follows:
Overture: molto misterioso / Overture, very mysteriously
Movimento Primo: appassionanto / First Movement, passionately
Interruzione, Prima / First Intermission
Movimento Secondo: allegro / Second Movement, quickly
Interruzione, Seconda / Second Intermission
Finale: trionfante / Finale, triumphantly
Epilogue: mondo misterioso / Epilogue, mysterious world (not a musical term)