|The Pale Recluse|
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|The Pale Recluse AmyAmy Solo-F; M/f; lost; captured; bond; latex; catsuit; drug; enslave; gasmask; torment; torture; caged; F/mf; transform; MF2other; spiderlike; hunt; sex; reluct/nc; XXX|
Copyright © 2015 AmyAmy and all that stuff. All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced for profit or without this attribution.
Australia, the land of the Red-back and the Sydney Funnel-Web, is also home to huge “bird eating” tarantulas, but it does not have the Brown Recluse.
However, there is a spider in Australia with similar unfortunate habits to the Brown Recluse. The White-Tail is a non-native species that injects bacteria instead of venom. The bacteria may be completely harmless to humans, or they may, in some unfortunate cases, be the flesh-eating kind.
The despised White-Tail is a smallish, slow moving spider, often preyed upon by roving hunters such as the large and hairy Wolf-Spider or the even larger and hairier Huntsman. It hides under discarded clothes, amongst laundry piles, and behind curtains. Like the Brown Recluse, it is a shy creature that only bites humans when threatened.
How could such a simple thing go so wrong? She should have realised immediately that the taxi had abandoned her in the wrong place. After walking for hours, searching for the party or a phone signal, she could barely manage another step. Her shoes, which had seemed so cute when she’d picked them out, had turned vicious and were killing her feet. She hadn’t seen a single person, not even driving past. If only her useless phone would work. How was she going to get home?
She swallowed the last of the warm, stale water and put the empty bottle back in her bag. She should never have left the road. The paths between the buildings were like a maze. She mustn’t panic. Alright, she was lost and she must have been going around in circles. She had to get a grip. Sure, it sucked, but what was the worst that could happen?
The night wind carried a harsh chemical smell that made her want to rub her eyes. She choked back a cough. The air was hot and dry, clouded with grit blown off the dusty plains beyond the west of the city. Her dress was soaked with sweat, but even that was drying fast.
She’d been expecting an air-conditioned night-club, not this arid concrete desolation. The industrial park seemed to stretch on forever, utterly deserted, one drab grey warehouse after another, brooding like tombs. She’d never find where the party was supposed to be, but if there really was a party, it was nowhere nearby. There ought to be a stream of people and cars, a sound of thumping music audible from far away. Instead, everything was graveyard silent, devoid of any sign of life.
She massaged her temples, the blood pounding in her skull. She must be dehydrated. How long had she been standing here? She needed to get home, somehow. She went to check her phone again, but as she reached for it, from the corner of her eye she glimpsed movement, then a bright attractor, an open door, light flooding out. A shadow moved in front of it, then there was only darkness again.
Thank God. There was somebody over there. A night watchman, security guard, or whatever. Somebody with a phone, and maybe even a water cooler, at least a tap and a toilet. They could hardly refuse to help her, could they?
She mustered the last of her energy and limped in the direction of the door. Just her luck. There was a chain-link fence in the way. No. No. Nausea churned in her gut. She couldn’t backtrack on her sore feet. She just couldn’t. She’d get lost again in the maze of fences and never find the door.
There was no other way, so she moved along the fence, searching for a gate or a gap. Yes. There was a gate. She was in luck. Her heart sank. There has a heavy latch built into it, and if the gate was locked it was nothing but a cruel mirage. She took a deep breath and tried it anyway.
Slowly, the heavy gate swung open in welcome. She slipped through and it clanged shut behind her, the sound of heavy galvanized steel ringing with ominous finality. She turned around and checked if it would open again. Of course it wouldn’t budge, firmly locked – it mustn’t have been properly closed before – it was obviously impossible to shift it.
She had no choice but to carry on searching for the door that had so briefly revealed the promise of light and life. No worries, hadn’t that been her plan all along? But what if she couldn’t find the door, or it was a dead end? She pushed the thoughts aside, useless and paralysing as they were.
As she drew closer to the building, she could see a tiny crack of light gleaming from underneath a door. She tried it, but it wouldn’t budge, also locked. She looked around for a doorbell or an intercom. Nothing. This place was insane.
She was stuck, but the most basic approach might work. She hammed on the reinforced metal as hard as she could. It seemed as if she was making a huge racket, but could the person inside hear anything at all? Had they moved too far from the door, to another room, or to the other side of the massive building?
“Oh, come on!” she shouted at the door. There was no reply. She hammed again. And again. Still, there was no answer. Defeated, she collapsed against the wall next to the door and gave a long despondent sigh. Maybe she’d hammer again in a minute.
Wait… Was that a noise? Had she heard something? The sound of footsteps? Yes, it really was the sound of footsteps from the other side of the door, drawing closer. She prepared herself to greet whoever opened it, uncomfortably aware of what a mess she must look right now as she tried to muster up her sweetest face.
The door swung sharply open and she was blinded by the light beyond. The shape of a man was silhouetted against the brightness, and all the words that had been ready in her head had vanished. What should she say?
The only sound she could manage was a half-hearted “Uh…”
“Hello?” The man’s voice was low and hard. Unfriendly. “What’s going on? What’s your business? Do you have a pass?”
Cool air washed out through the doorway, a blessed relief.
“Oh. Sorry. Sorry. Can you help me? I got dropped here by mistake … need a taxi and I can’t get a phone signal. It’s so hot, and I can’t walk another step. Please…”
She could see now, the bulk of the man in a high-vis work-shirt. His hands, caught in the light from the door were wrapped tight around a giant mag-lite, grasping it like a baseball hitter about to swing, as if he expected all fifty-four kilos of her to launch at him. His face was hidden in shadow, his expression a mystery. He blocked the doorway.
“How did you get past the gate?”
“Sorry. It was already open. I just walked in.”
“Oh, did you now? And is there somebody with you?” His tone was sharp, suspecting, bordering on hostile.
“What? No. I’m… But people know I’m here. Obviously.”
He stepped back from the door. “You better come in then, if you want to use the phone.”
She darted through the door, immersing herself in the waves of cool breeze washing from the air-conditioner. Once inside, the room smelled of musty old carpets. Her eyes began to adapt to the light. There was a counter with a bell, a sign “couriers please ring”, a couple of brown plastic chairs and an old security-company calendar with a faded image of the Gold Coast from 2007. Most of the fittings were twenty years old if they were a day, but a pristine ultra-thin tablet lay on the counter-top, its brightly illuminated screen displaying a page from a seedy-looking web-site.
The man had already vanished through the opposite door and was holding it open for her. “Come on.”
“Sorry,” she mumbled and hobbled after him. Damn, her feet were worse than ever; the blisters must have burst.
Beyond the doorway lay a dark space, where the click clack sound of her heels got lost in the hugeness, returning as echoes that were as drained and attenuated as her enthusiasm. Far off, small and remote, betraying the merciless scale of the place, was the dim light of a green emergency exit sign. Close by, the droning roar from numerous fans drew her attention to a wall of tiny LEDs that flickered and twinkled like indifferent stars in the blackness.
The atmosphere was warm and close, but a trace of a cool draught played across her skin, chilling the sweat that hadn’t quite dried. The metal of the building groaned softly as it cooled in the dark. The man turned on his torch and flicked the dazzling beam here and there, too fast for her to follow. There were glimpses of desks, tall, grey metal storage cabinets, racks of computer equipment. She glimpsed the hint of something shiny and metal, some kind of industrial lift?
“There’s a phone here, right?”
“Of course. Just a minute.” He clicked off the torch and set it down.
There was a rattling sound, metal jangling.
“Here, hold out your hand.”
She blinked, staring uselessly into the darkness. What did he mean? Was he passing her a phone? She reached out her hand as he’d requested, palm upwards so he could give her whatever it was.
Something cold and hard closed around her wrist. What was going on? She explored it tentatively with her other hand. A bracelet. Something heavy dangling from it? A chain? It couldn’t be. It didn’t make sense. “Hey,” she said, her voice rising. “What’s this?”
The man gave a quiet snort, not quite a laugh and gripped her other wrist. His hand was warm and dry, his skin rough as sandpaper. She pulled away as hard as she could, but it made no difference at all. She might as well not be bothering. He was too strong for her to move. More cold metal closed around the other wrist.
“You should pay more attention to who drives your taxi you dumb cow. Don’t you even recognize me? Not worth noticing eh? Stuck-up bitch.”
She wanted to scream. No. It wouldn’t help her. She had to hold it together. She could reason with him, couldn’t she? Obviously, he’d made a mistake. If she could just explain, surely everything would be put right and he’d let her go? “I can’t see your face. What… What are you doing? I think you’ve got the wrong person. I’m not part of this.”
“You should have been here nearly an hour ago. When you didn’t show I thought I’d lost you. So, it turns out you decided to go on a little promenade around the park? Crazy fucking women. I dropped you right by the door here. Propped the gate open for you. Fer’fuck sake. Women. Always find a way to make a bloke wait, stringing him along. And then jumping to your conclusions.”
She shivered, frozen to the bone now, her stomach a ball of ice. Her hands shook. The chain jangled and rang, inappropriately melodious. Just the weight of it was oppressive, dragging her hands down by itself.
“What do you mean? Conclusions? Let me go please. I won’t say anything. This has all been a mistake. I don’t even know where I am. You could take me anywhere and drop me off… End it now. I’m not the one you want. There’d be no harm done. I wouldn’t get you in any trouble. I can pay. Please.”
He stepped around behind her. “No. I think you’re a keeper. Best to be sure though. Better check.”
His large rough hands grabbed her from behind, cupping and groping her breasts, pulling her against his hard, muscular chest. She tried to stop him but she couldn’t raise her arms. His fingers found her nipples and pinched.
He checked the monitor and adjusted the camera again. It had to be perfect. It was perfect. The lights were perfect. The subject was perfect. Mysterious. Enigmatic. Unknowable. The swell and curve of her soft body just like he’d dreamed, and everything in its place, and not a word… Not a word from her mouth. There was nothing she could say to spoil things. And one day…
The heavy, full-body, stretch-entry rubber catsuit glistened with the sheen of silicon spray. It was bad for the rubber in the long-term, but that didn’t matter now. Nothing else had the same kind of gloss. It was enough that she was beautiful, pinned on the massive vibrator fixed to the skeleton chair, a poem in stark black and white. So beautiful, it was enough to make a man cry.
Her arms were bound behind her and down the back of the chair, held perfectly immobile … perfectly … secured with turn after turn of strong black duct tape that allowed neither give nor slip. Her ankles were chained to the back legs of the chair, her ballet-booted feet held safely off the floor.
Her head was still uncovered, but that would soon be fixed. Just for now, her dark hair hung loose and wet, bedraggled with sweat. Her eyes glared impotent daggers at him, a façade of defiance. The massive orange foam ball-gag reduced her continuing protests to endearingly quiet little grunts.
He reached for her face, skin so soft and smooth. She tried to pull away but it was futile, she could hardly twitch her shoulders. Brushing the hair away from her eyes, he exposed the straps of the trainer gag. Beneath his gasmask he bit down on his lip and screwed his eyes closed. The sight of her was overwhelming. The fire of lust was roaring through him, consuming everything. Whoever he used to be was gone, burned up in this inferno.
He’d film her like this for a while and then step it up – exchange the ball for an inflatable penis gag with a heavy panel, air and feeding tubes. Once she was used to that, it would be time to shave her, add the hood, the outer hood, more layers or rubber, the cage, the bondage frame, the piercings, more layers, and so on, until she would eventually, one day, be completely entombed.
His hands were shaking as he adjusted his mask. He was jittering, on edge, he could hardly believe he would finally be able to use all the toys he’d been collecting and creating for the last decade. He’d planned for so long to get to this point and now it was happening for real. It was happening. His blood rushed too fast. It was all he could do to keep from shaking like someone pulled from a crash.
He reached down to his pants and unzipped his fly, struggled to get his rock-hard penis out. This was definitely no anticlimax. It was the biggest it had ever been and he had a good length of it. Nobody could call him small. Not now. Not today.
A few strokes and he was almost done, so keyed up… It didn’t matter, feeling like this, he’d be ready again in no time.
He moved into camera shot, his back to the lens, and finished off, spurting his load onto her. Damn. He’d missed her face. How had that happened? Not to worry, he’d have plenty more chances to get that right.
For some unfathomable reason, it seemed to agitate her, and she started grunting again. Her face turning red and blotchy.
He leaned in close and took a long sniff of her delicious sweat-soaked hair. It would almost be a shame to shave it all off. A sudden flash of inspiration. Why hadn’t he thought of it before? He shouldn’t’ shave it. He could pull it out by the roots, strand by strand, one at a time … depilated with tweezers. Better than waxing. It would take time of course, but he had time.
“You’ll love it when I pump the stink of my stale piss into the gas-mask. You’ll learn to cum from the smell of it. We’re going to have such good times together. It’ll be like we can read each other’s minds.”
She went crazy, grunting, squirming and tugging at the tape. Her eyes were wide, the whites a bright contrast against the beautiful-ugly purple of her face.
He grabbed her hair, looping it around his hand and wrenched her head back until she was staring at the ceiling, eyes wide and rolling. After a time, It seemed to quiet her, as if she found the firm grasp reassuring. He should say something threatening, but what would be best? He mustn’t disappoint. He had an atmosphere to maintain after all.
What was going through her mind? Did she really hate this as much as she was making out? Impossible. And even if she did, she would learn to love it because deep down they all loved it. He’d show her the truth she’d been hiding inside. He’d break her down so she couldn’t think of anything else but that truth that had always been there. She’d crave and beg for it eventually, just like she’d always wanted to. He was doing her a favour. She’d thank him in the end, if she ever had the chance to speak, though that was unlikely really. He didn’t anticipate there ever being a time when she’d be without a gag, or a tube, or a funnel, in her mouth.
It was a shame that he’d never know what was inside her head, unless, perhaps, they really did learn to read each other’s minds. While he worked, month-on-month to devise new confinements for her, new stenches, stimulations and indignities, she would be enigmatically silent. Her screams would be muffled beneath so many layers of rubber he’d never know for sure if they really existed or not. She wouldn’t ever get the chance to thank him, or curse him, for all his hard and diligent work. Without question, that was a crucial part of it. That both of them would know with an inner certainty that she could never be allowed to communicate anything with mere words… That assurance was a fundamental part of the bond they would create together, a bond of surety and trust. Absolute surety and trust.
Besides, even if he allowed her a voice and she said she hated her life, it would probably be a lie. Women said no when they meant yes all the time, didn’t they? She’d probably say she wanted him to let her go, even if she didn’t really want it. Obviously, he wouldn’t release her. That would be showing weakness. Women turned against weak men, betrayed them, trampled and destroyed them, ruined them with lies and spite. They couldn’t help it, it was just nature, and that was why you had to never show any weakness.
No. He wouldn’t be weak. He wouldn’t let them catch him. He was the hunter here and she was the one that was caught. Best to keep it that way. Law was society’s tool, and what had society ever done for him?
He tilted his head, looking at her sideways. Were those tears, or was it just sweat running down her face? He couldn’t say for sure, and maybe it was both, a beautiful mystery.
Sweat trickled down inside his mask. It was already too hot in here with the AC turned down. She could stew in the heat for an hour or two while he took a rest in the office and watched her on the other monitor. Later, she’d be thinking that it couldn’t get worse, and then she’d be ready for him to take things further. He had so many things he planned for her, so much in store. She was bound to appreciate it. Eventually.
She couldn’t tell how long she’d been in darkness. It might have been hours, or days since he’d put the mask on her. The lenses were blacked out, though she had the sense there was still a mocking light out there somewhere.
It hardly mattered that the lenses were covered. She kept her eyes screwed closed against the burning stink. He’d mentioned his stale urine, but this couldn’t be it, could it? This was a hundred times worse than any urine smell, ammonia mixed with rotten eggs and shit-tainted methane. She’d smelled a portable toilet at a camp site that was almost as bad once, but she’d only had to bear that for a couple of minutes. This went on for eternity, but it wasn’t the smell itself that was the worst of it, no, not at all.
Her eyes… Her poor eyes were sticky and watering at the same time. Even with them closed, it felt like the skin was peeling off her eyeballs, but even that was tolerable. What would she ever need eyes for now? Her nose would have blocked up with snot long ago if it wasn’t for the brutal tubes keeping it open, but the reek scorched her lungs so they filled with fluid and she could never breathe properly. Her throat had swollen closed, and coughing into the gag was terror itself. The moment of swallowing what came up was worse, filled with the grim promise of imminent suffocation that kept her heart pounding ten to one with unending, mind-melting panic. Each swallow brought an all-consuming headlong rush of fear that raged through her like a river in flood, sweeping away every other concern.
She was no longer certain if she was weeping. So tired, so stiff from immobility, her overheated body distant and detached, like it belonged to somebody else. In a way it did. Her breasts burned from some unknown source of pain. Clamps? Bindings? Caustic chemicals? What did it matter? The pain was so pervasive that she couldn’t pick one agony apart from another. But any pain was nothing compared to the unbearable dread – the feeling that this next swallow would be the one she couldn’t finish and she’d finally drown in her own mucus, retching and choking together at the same time.
The giant dildo vibrator had felt like it was tearing her apart when he’d first forced it in. It never got weaker, probably ran off the mains. Turned on and off. Off and on. Some malignant timer had control of it. She couldn’t say whether she preferred it running or not. Erotic pleasure couldn’t hold back the flood of fear. The vibrator was simply something that changed to tell her that time was passing, or a thing to remind her why she was here, to force her to acknowledge that this ravenous hell was, in some way, the perverse result of her being born a woman, and clearly, her gender was not something her tormentor would allow her to easily forget.
Sometimes, when the panic ebbed, there were periods when she’d been able to work up a little erotic tension and at least that had numbed the pain. It didn’t feel right though, accepting any pleasure from this violation. Learning to escape her pain through arousal was what he wanted wasn’t it? What would people think if they knew? Would he argue that she’d desired this all along? Consented to it? But if he promised to stop the panic right now, make her calm, ease her breathing, she’d do anything, say anything, be anything. Maintaining a façade of self-esteem or adherence to some set of arbitrary values was worthless when your every second was spent on the brink of drowning.
He’d never asked anything of her. She might as well be a doll as far as he was concerned. So what did this maniac want with her? From the things he’d said, he intended to keep her here as a prisoner for a long time. He probably had no intention of ever letting her go. Most likely, as soon as she become boring or inconvenient he’d kill her. She’d simply be discarded. A broken toy. She was as good as dead already. How long would she have to wait for it to happen? Days? Weeks? Years?
No. Not as good as dead. It didn’t matter what she did. She would endure, because if this ended, what else could lie in her future but an agonizing death and a shallow grave for her dismembered parts under contaminated dirt?
Death, it wasn’t clarifying to be so close to it. It simplified nothing, instead it complicated and tangled everything together, turned her thoughts into a clump of string, knotted and confused, and there was always the lurking suspicion that he might not let her die, and instead this misery would go on without an end. She couldn’t give up, because she had nothing to give up on. She had no choices, no options. Unless she dared to choke herself on purpose, there was nothing she could do, but there was still a thread of hope. He might even have a change of heart.
She had to keep believing it.
How debased would she have to be before she’d rather be dead than cope with being the person those things had happened to? Perhaps somebody else would come into the warehouse and help her escape?
What? Was that a sound? She couldn’t be sure. Her ears were blocked with wax plugs.
A pinprick pain in her arm. Nothing compared to the burning in her lungs. A needle... What now?
It had been weeks since he caught her. He still couldn’t think of anything but her. She filled his waking hours and his dreams. Damn the traffic. He had to get back to the warehouse soon. She was hanging in her close-fitting cage twenty feet above the ground, wrapped in three rubber suits and a sleep-sack. She couldn’t move a muscle. She couldn’t possibly get free. Could she?
What if she was choking? What if she’d thrown up, or she’d breathed in the piss that he collected from her crotch and routed back to her drinking tube instead of swallowing? What if she was having breathing problems, like that time at the beginning when she’d nearly choked. He’d almost lost her then. If it hadn’t been for the breathing and heartbeat monitor throwing an alarm…
Something had happened to hold everyone up. An accident on the freeway. There was always an accident on the bloody freeway. What was wrong with these people? It wasn’t his problem. It wasn’t even his business. Were they slowing down just to look? He had to get back as soon as he could. He had to check on her. It really felt like they were making progress together these days.
She was so eager and grateful now whenever he took her mask off and let her drink a liquid meal with the air on her face. Even if she was always gagged or silenced one way or another, he could see it in her eyes. So happy to see him – masked of course. Removing all her hair had been a good idea. She was prettier without it.
She was calmer now, and it wasn’t just the drugs he was giving her. Case in point, she was smart enough to have stopped struggling when he stripped off her suits to wash her down and disinfect her. Perhaps she was becoming comfortable with her life, though probably it was just that she’d figured out that misbehaviour earned her extremely nasty punishments? Obviously, she was supposed to figure that out. Even a dog would work it out sooner or later.
It was only a matter of time before she would need it as much as he did. Or maybe nobody could ever feel it as strongly as he did?
Ah… At last, he was back. He let himself in, his keys in one hand and the heavy bags of shopping in the other. He kicked the door closed behind him with his foot. Still carrying the shopping he backed through the door into the main warehouse.
The lights flickered on one by one. The old fluorescents plinked as they lit up. They were long overdue for replacement with something more up-to-date. He looked towards the roof. Yes. She was still there, the cage swaying gently as she struggled against the ministrations of the invading dildos.
She was fine. She wasn’t dead. It would be a terrible shame to have to start all over again. Besides, he was growing genuinely fond of her. You couldn’t study a person with such intensity and not grow attached, even if they were so far apart to begin with.
He let out a long slow breath, surprised at how much tension was leaving his body.
Dropping the shopping bags by the refrigerator, he moved towards the switches for the winch.
Was that a sound? It couldn’t be her. Could it?
He stopped. Looked around. He turned his head back and forth slowly, questing for the source. Perhaps it had simply been the chain holding her cage.
He span around again. There was nobody there. Was he going insane, hearing things that didn’t exist?
A glossy white figure stepped out from behind the cabinet next to him. The shape was feminine, with rounded curves of hips and thighs, and a narrow waist on a smooth white plastic mannequin. It moved in a strange sweep as if bending down and swinging.
The long metal torch, his own torch, smashed into his knee. An explosion of pain lit up his nerves.
He was on the ground. His knee… His entire leg was burning agony. He couldn’t move it.
His head span from the fall.
Can’t think. Can’t see straight.
Another swing and the sickening crunch of bones breaking.
He reached out.
Smash. The metal tube, weighted with batteries, came down on his arm and his vision filled with blinding bursts of black and white.
He curled into a foetal position, desperate to ease the pain by any means.
It didn’t work.
A sharp spike jabbed him in the side. A stiletto heel?
More laughter. A woman’s voice, cold and hard as a marble mausoleum. “Poor, poor little thing. You thought you were the hunter, but all along you were only prey.”
Her words barely registered. He had no reply. The pain in his legs was enough to rob him of any words. His arm was probably broken too. One good arm left. No, no. What did she intend for him?
He curled and flipped like a pill-bug. Agony shot through his limbs again but now he was facing his attacker. She seemed to be made of smooth white plastic. Was it some kind of suit? The only feature on her face was a laughing mouth, crowded with too many sharp, inhuman teeth. There were no eyeholes in the mask – if it was a mask – so how could she see?
“And you still have a juicy meal uneaten. Two for one. Ha ha. Two for one. Aren’t I lucky? Lucky. Lucky. Lucky?”
“What?” He wheezed. “What are you doing? Why? Why did you hit me?”
“Don’t ask why? You know that, don’t you? All the days you kept her prisoner, bound and tortured, suffering and helpless, I’ve been watching you watching her. I’ve seen all the movies you made. I’ve watched you wanking alone in the dark while she sat there unaware you were even in the room. In the depths of your heart you wished to take her place. You’re just so lacking in trust you couldn’t put yourself where you belong. Don’t worry. I am going to drag you there.”
“Oh for fuck sake. You’re bloody insane … woman. Look what you’ve done to me…”
“It doesn’t matter about your limbs. You won’t need them now anyway. I have much more interesting plans for you. Such marvellous plans. You’ll never guess what I have planned for you... and her. What a pair you’ll make.”
No. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t end like this. He’d planned so much for her. They were going to be together … no need for words … almost as if they could read each other’s minds. Now, it would never be. She’d be so disappointed at his weakness.
He was conscious again. How long had he been out? His memory wasn’t working right lately. How did he get here? There was nothing but a fuzzy recollection of waking up like this, over and over in the dark and silence to a sensation of indescribable burning pain. How many times had he woken up like this?
No. Not like this. This time was different. There were flashes of light and sound, something like wind. Even without being able to see there was the sensation of some wide open space, and the remote feeling of warm sunlight on his skin, leading him back to life.
He tried to blink but there was no answering sensation, though the flashes of light were brighter now, starting to resolve into a blurry image. He couldn’t feel his legs, or his arms, and yet there were other sensations that he couldn’t understand. Mercifully, not the ceaseless pain of the past. At least not yet.
There was no pain. That was wrong, wasn’t it? Just the absence of it was enough to make him anxious. There was always pain. There should always be pain. Pain was the only constant, the only way to know he was still alive. Perhaps its absence meant that he was dead?
Had there been a life before the agony that filled his memory? No. Probably not. There was only the pain, years and years of it. Days, unnumbered, uncounted, an endless repetition of directionless, meaningless hurt that turned into despair and then went beyond it into numb acceptance.
He shifted again. If he moved his arms and legs together, something seemed to happen. He could see a little too. Vague images. He was looking up at the sky. A blue, clear sky. He’d forgotten the sky even existed. It belonged in another time, another life.
“Are you awake my pet?” Terror! Terror! It was her voice. The Mistress voice. Punishment was coming.
He shuddered, trying to curl into a ball, his entire body quivering in fear and anticipation. A cold sick feeling of helplessness turned his spine to ice and his will to jelly. He couldn’t remember why that voice filled him with such dread. The lessons themselves had been forgotten, too sickening to remember but their effect remained.
“Oh. You are, aren’t you? Don’t try to answer. You can’t. Speaking… It’s not really in your repertoire I’m afraid. Well, what would you say anyway? I’m not sure there’s much of a mind left in there, and even if there were, what could we find to chat about? Nothing worthwhile I’m sure. You never were a very interesting conversationalist. So much boring shrieking and pleading.”
The blue, blue sky had seemed to be spinning above him. Now, slowly it came to a stop along with his stomach. It was simply nausea, disorientation. He would vomit but his throat didn’t seem to be equipped for it.
He tried to move again but his arms and legs weren’t answering him properly. Of course they weren’t. He remembered now how she’d cut them off, but kept the nerves attached, threading them around his body so he could still feel pain from them when she tortured him.
But it wasn’t like that any longer. Something had changed.
“Even with all those legs you probably won’t be able to stand yet. It could take days, weeks, even months for you to learn your new body map. But it’s said the human brain is a flexible organ, infinitely plastic. I’m sure you’ll adapt to your situation eventually. Don’t worry, I won’t let you starve before you learn to walk.”
Situation? What new misery had she dreamed up for him?
Where was the burning stench of piss, shit and rubber that he’d grown accustomed to? It was gone. Lost. There was nothing but dry wind with a faint chemical tang.
A creature moved into view, outlined against that bright blue sky. It was glistening black, a monstrous spider-thing the size of a horse. A pony anyway. Instead of a fanged head, its front merged into the slick black upper-torso of a curvaceous rubberized woman.
No. Not a woman. Though it had the voluptuous curves of an idealised human female sculpted in tight rubber, but the smooth black, featureless, head and face, with a proboscis-like protrusion were the stuff of nightmare. It tilted that grim head slightly, studying him, not with invertebrate indifference but with the high-strung predatory regard of a raptor.
The bright sun reflected off her skin with a shine as sharp as photo-floods glinting off wet silicon spray. The tips of her legs kicked up red dust as she navigated some kind of immense rocky crater.
“Oh look. Love at first sight… I think… Anyway, I’m sure that the two of you are going to be great company for each other, and a wonderful entertainment to boot. It’s like that old story of hell and the six-foot long chopsticks.”
The way the thing was looking at him made his heart pound, the breath fast and hot in his lungs … lungs that didn’t seem to be in his chest any longer. Every particle of his being wanted to squirm away and hide, but it wasn’t like the terror he felt at the sound of the Mistress voice. No. There was an ambivalence, fear and desire twisted together.
His vision was still confused and disorienting. Which way was up? It was as if he could see all around him. Not a full 360 degree panorama, but at least 270, yet everything was distorted and out of place, a fish-eye world where distance and position were difficult to judge.
He could have sworn she’d burned his eyes out long ago. The absence of darkness was probably what had him confused.
The spider-centaur was moving round behind him. Her legs moved with the horrible stutter-stop spider motion. There was something about her movement that made him want to run. Yes, he desperately wanted to run. Only he couldn’t.
“I let your old companion keep some of her human traits. It would be a shame to deprive her of all her feminine wiles wouldn’t it? And besides, I want you to be attracted to her as well as terrified.”
He tried to move his arms and legs again, and this time something happened. A mass of vile, pale brown legs twitched into his vision. The legs of an insect, a spider or a crustacean… They jerked and spasmed like the limbs of a massive crushed arachnid in its death throes. Something big moved across the front of his face. No. Two somethings, like crab claws, but one different to the other.
“She thinks she’s stalking you now. Don’t worry. I won’t let her have you. Yet. You see, if she catches you, she gets to fuck you from behind, and I assure you, she will find that experience as rewarding as you find it miserable. The pleasure will be incredible. For her. For you, the pain will be crippling. You would be advised to run like a hurricane while she’s incapacitated by her orgasm. It should go on for quite a while so you could get a decent head start. Unfortunately, you don’t seem able to move at all. It will take practice.”
She was right. Run? He’d barely even managed a voluntary twitch so far. Though it seemed impossible, there was no doubt those spider legs were his. What the hell had this monster of a Mistress done to him? If he was lucky he’d have a chance to try and work through it later, though the Mistress was not one for offering chances of any kind. But how had she changed him into this thing? How long had she been preparing this? This… Whatever it was. Whatever he was.
Perhaps he really was dead after all, and this was the first of many hells?
He tried again to move his arms and legs, this time with a little more success. He felt so weak. How long before he could stand? Minutes? Hours? Days? Longer?
“But it would be boring if it were all one sided. If you can catch her from behind, and get your little penis-palp into her, you can get yourself off and she’ll be paralysed with agony while you do it. Whichever of you gets the jump on the other has all the fun and the other gets to… well… suffer.
“Only she’s bigger, heavier and faster, and has more experience at using her body. I should think that for the immediate future it’s all going to be a bit one-sided. But that’s up to you. It’s not like you don’t have a chance. And there are compensations. I think she’s rather pretty like this, where as you are simply horrible, no trace of humanity left at all. The idea of a thing like you touching her must be revolting. So all in all, not much has changed from the way I found the two of you all those years ago.”
All those years? How long had it been? And no trace of humanity? At a guess, he had a more traditional spider form, instead of the half-spider half-human that the woman had. What had been her name?
He couldn’t even remember her name.
He couldn’t even remember his own.
It didn’t matter anyway. He just had to keep trying to move. It would only be so long before the Mistress got bored of keeping the female away from him, and then there would be suffering. Was there really any chance he could learn to move before she let the female have her way with him? It was more a question of how many times she’d have her way. And when he did learn, where would he run to?
The sentient plastic doll that had once, long ago, been Alexis Merriam lay in bed watching the screens. It had just got interesting. The tiny drones could show a perfect view of any spot in the arena-habitat. Over the last few months the male had learned to work his new body passably well. Even now he was descending on a thread, hoping to drop down behind the sleeping female and take her unawares. A dangerous manoeuvre, for though lighter and more resilient than he used to be, he’d certainly be badly hurt if he fell from that height.
The machines would put his broken body back together, and of course, they’d even grow new parts if they had to, but the pain would be real, and they wouldn’t trouble with anaesthetic unless the stress threatened to kill him.
The habitat was filled with tunnels, hidey-holes, ambush spots and dead ends. It was also becoming covered in webs. Most days the male would try and keep hidden from the more predatory female. He was a shy fellow most of the time. He had no idea that when sensor implants detected the female’s gaze on him, his adrenal glands and fear centres were directly stimulated. It took an awful lot of courage for him to dare try to ‘mate’ with her.
He had his motivations of course. Every day he didn’t satisfy himself, hormones would flood his modified body, tormenting him with needy anxiety. As for her, her overwhelming urge was to fuck him whenever she could, and the longer she went without a victory, the crazier and crankier she became. She really had an itch that needed scratching.
Their food supply, delivered by small “victim” robots was another part of the system designed to keep up an entertaining and dynamic back and forth of conflict between them. Both were more vulnerable to ambushes when distracted by the search for food, and the hunt forced them to visit the same places, so amusing encounters were sure to arise.
It had taken her years to devise the system. Years more to implement it. She’d had to wait for technology to catch up with her plans. Had Sam known all along that this was her destiny?
It would never have been possible at all if the unexpected loss of contact with the doll queen hadn’t released her from the controlling collective and restored her autonomy. The plastic queen had been lost for many years now. Most likely she was dead, somehow killed by the others in a mutiny. Even those that hadn’t hated her had craved their freedom, and the queen’s attention couldn’t be everywhere all the time. Or perhaps humans had done for her? It was academic now.
Her while plastic body had served Merriam well since she gained her freedom. She would have died of old age long ago without it, but now it was finally breaking down. More often now, the tremors came, more acute and longer with each fresh attack.
She’d been different people in her time. A naïve girl in love with the perfect man; a sexual adventuress; the secretive maid Number Eleven; the domineering psychotherapist Doctor Merriam; and a post-human plastic doll, a cog in the controlling machinery of a collective consciousness. All those lives added together were still a brief time compared to the years she’d spent since, free and plastic. Now she was dying, but she still had a year or two left in her. Perhaps the life-tree could still renew her, but it was too dangerous to return. She might be ambushed there by a new collective and enslaved again. Better to die on her own terms than serve a new queen for however long she lasted.
Out here in the remote desert, the system she’d built to keep her pets alive would keep on ticking perfectly for many more years without her intervention. If the world kept on spinning. But the weird lights in the sky did not bode well in that regard. The nets were full of speculation that the shields were under ever-increasing stress. Perhaps her arrangements would outlast what was left of humanity’s tenure?
Oh. The male had won this time. He was pumping his special palp into the opening on the female’s underside while she writhed and twitched in frustrated pain.
There wasn’t any spider DNA worth mentioning in them really. She’d downloaded the body patterns from a public repository and tweaked them with a few of her own special erotic modifications – reworked the body map and sensorium to suit her purposes – the female’s lower body was mostly about providing powerful muscles for her legs, while the male’s rounded abdomen housed his original, relocated human organs. Additional electronics wired into their brains provided the behavioural modifications.
The bodies were grown from their own cells, cultured and forced into new patterns, even the shiny skin – glistening black for her, dull natural rubber brown for him. Nerves had been re-plumbed and re-organised but nothing new added. Inside those arachnid-shaped bodies ordinary human brains struggled to control an array of limbs they were ill-evolved to manage.
Those problems had all been solved long ago by others, far more technically capable and deviant than her, people who had worked out how to turn a human into a spider and learned to work their legs by wiggling fingers they no longer had, or some other solution depending on the preference of the shape-shifter. Of course, spiders were the least of it. Freakish bodies of all kinds were commonplace now. Her own plastic form was a drab and unremarkable thing compared to some.
The male’s brain was probably a little damaged. She’d been quite harsh on him at the start of his conditioning, and the early cryogenics she’d used to preserve them had taken their toll on both subjects. It was surprising, really, how well he functioned considering his handicaps. Still, he didn’t win all that often.
In fact, more often than not, he found himself the prey. It would be interesting to see if his growing familiarity with his new body would allow him to turn things around. That would only be a beginning though. Neither of them had a human mouth or vocal apparatus. Unless they could learn to work together without the benefit of words, they would be trapped in the arena until they died of old age, the system malfunctioned, or the demon Empress purged all trace of humanity and their works from the planet in the name of conservation.
She pulled her proboscis from her meal, the last of the delicious liquid slipping down her throat. Oh, how she wanted to stab him with it, to plunge it into that gaping slit on his back and feel him writhe helplessly beneath her as she sucked in the special juice that only he produced – the juice that tasted so sweet and made every nerve in her body shine with ecstasy – it wasn’t fair that he had such a thing and kept it from her. It just wasn’t fair.
The little shit was hiding again. Always hiding.
Of course, she’d find him. She always found him in the end. Sometimes he caught her unawares, but even then, nine times out of ten she managed to overpower him before he got his filthy spider-thing into her.
There was nothing worse than having that fucking bug crawling all over her back, rubbing his little claw underneath her where it didn’t belong. Everything about him was disgusting, apart from the taste of him. The way he moved, with all those legs, just like a scurrying spider. It made her physically sick.
Spiders… Ugh. Was there anything worse? And that face of his, just like a spider, just a pair of little fangs fit only for stabbing the food-creatures. All those empty black eyes that had no soul behind them made her skin crawl. The touch of him underneath her turned her spine to jelly. At least his soft little fangs couldn’t even scratch her beautiful armour.
Why did he do it? Why couldn’t he just give up? He might as well creep out of whatever hole he had crawled into and let her have her way. Instead he had to make things difficult. He always made things difficult. Always had made things difficult. The Mistress always needed to punish him most often and hardest. What she’d turned him into was proof enough of that. Still, it suited him.
The Mistress… She hadn’t shown herself for a long time. Perhaps she had finally lost interest in them?
Maybe she ought to try and leave again? She could make it to the boundary easily now. Not like the first dozen times, when she hadn’t been able to get up to the edge before she got the fear and gave up, trembling in panic. Despite conquering the fear, her legs still turned to jelly and betrayed her, even on her most recent attempt. But that had been many moons ago now.
The little shit had used that chance to jump her, but he’d been paralysed by the boundary too, the idiot. The two of them had wobbled back down, nursing their mutual defeat. Then she’d caught him out in the open, cocooned him up and shown him his proper place in the way of things.
She’d had her way with him at her convenience for a few days until he’d cut his way free somehow. If she could just figure out how to stop him doing that, everything would be perfect.
He’d tried to do the same to her of course, but he was so clumsy with his webs. He’d never catch her like that in a hundred moons.
Obviously, the Mistress had originally made the boundary so that it was impossible to leave, but perhaps she’d changed her mind now that she’d gone away? Perhaps the boundary no longer existed?
She’d have to test the limits and check, just as soon as she’d caught that filthy little bug and shown him his place again.
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