© Copyright 2009 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: Other/mf; kidnap; bond; wrap; bandages; cocoon; gods; encase; stuck; mythical; reluct/nc; X
It was another cold, dark night in the city. The hour was late, reflected by the all but empty streets, devoid of cars or people. At this time of night, only the homeless, the desperate, and the predators could be seen, the outcasts of society, but even they kept to the shadows, having no desire to be seen.
There was an abandoned building in the far edge of town where few ever went, and fewer even knew existed. This night, as with many other nights, it was deserted, save for the rats that made their home here. They stopped. Sniffed the air. Then they turned and tore away into the night, fleeing the building.
A brief flash of light filled the air, but only for a moment before vanishing. No one saw it, and thus no one thought to investigate. They would have found nothing but a man inside the building. He was difficult to make out from within the shadows, but he was tall and extremely well built, his physique stocky enough to ward off any predators, or at least make them think twice.
The man stood for a moment before investigating nearby trashcans and boxes. Just like last time, a few rags and cloth were found, leftovers from the building's last occupants. They were quickly formed into crude clothing that was disgusting and threadbare, but it would suffice. He wouldn't be here long anyway.
With well practiced expertise, the man left the building and quickly walked down the city streets, sticking to alleys as he went, leaving no sound or footprints as he went. He was ignored by the outcasts of the city, and in turn, he ignored them. They reeked of alcohol and drugs, making them unsuitable in any case. They would not do.
In due course, the man reached the end of an alley that stretched into the red light district of town. It was here that the man stopped, quietly stepping into the shadows and vanishing… waiting.
An hour passed. A few cars drove down the street, but the man paid them no heed. He was more focused on those wandering the streets… or rather, how there didn’t seem to be any. For once, the streets were empty, even of the outcasts. Perhaps it was the brutally cold night, but it seemed that no one was going to be out tonight.
The man grew impatient. He had always had luck here. This was the first time nobody suitable had gone by. And with time running out, it seemed as if he was in for an empty night.
The thought aggravated him to no end.
Movement across the street. Stopping, the man peered out of the shadows. Someone was walking down the sidewalk, bundled up in a thick trench coat. From the looks of things, someone who was either lost, or lonely and wandering the streets with nothing better to do.
With little time left, the man edged towards the side of the building. He was going to have just one chance at this, and he intended to make it work.
The person in the trench coat walked along, pulling his coat tighter against the icy air. Whistling a soft, mournful tune, the person walked on.
The trap was sprung the moment the person crossed the entrance to the alley. A pair of hands sprung and grabbed him, one going across his neck, the other over his mouth, both clamping down as if made of steel. With his prey caught, the man grinned as he walked back towards a dumpster, ignoring the frantic, panicked struggles of his prey, who was doing everything it could to escape. That was expected, but the effort was futile.
The man muttered several words. Even if he was seen now, it was of no concern. He was only going to be here for a few more seconds. As the bright light appeared and began to swirl around them both, the man wondered what his prey looked like. She had been very well hidden inside the coat, but now he could look at her… reaching down, he tossed off her hat…and looked into the face of a terrified man.
The man was caught completely by surprise… but before he could throw his prey away, the light swirled higher and higher. And then with a bright flash and a burst of air, both of them were gone.
Robert's last memory was of the light. That, and of the incredibly strong arms holding him tightly, though not in a friendly embrace. The light had been unlike anything he had ever seen… it had lasted a moment, and then everything had gone black.
Now, he awoke. And if he had been terrified before, it was nothing compared to now.
He was naked, his clothes and trench coat gone. The room was unfamiliar, the walls made of obsidian, or some other hard, shiny stone that Robert didn't recognize. It was very cold, the sound of howling wind coming from somewhere nearby. The air had a thick, hot smell to it.
Was he in hell? No, it couldn't be… he was still alive. His flesh was cold and he was shaking. His wrists and ankles were also sore and raw from the steel that gripped them tightly, unyielding. A quick glance revealed manacles holding him in place, preventing him from walking or even moving. Robert struggled against the restraints, but they refused to give even an inch. They were rusted and ancient, that much was clear, but age hadn't taken away their effectiveness.
What the hell was going on?!
Think, calm down, Robert thought to himself. You can't do anything if you're panicking. Though difficult, he managed to slow his breathing and relax his muscles. No use wasting energy if he couldn't free himself. When he was fully calm and relaxed, he starting thinking about his situation. Perhaps this a dream? Alcoholic drinks did things to the mind, he had found that out the hard way. Perhaps this was a repeat. No… it was too cold, too real. No amount of pinching was going to wake him up.
A soft, cold, chill went through the room.
Robert suddenly felt dread spreading through him. The panic he had fought to suppress was coming back.
Footsteps. Heavy ones. They were coming from beyond a doorway that Robert couldn't see. Who was it? A terrorist? A sadistic kidnapper? Drug barons? Robert didn't know, tried to brace himself for the worst.
A fair looking man came in, a far cry from the sadistic brutes Robert had feared. The fact that there was only one of him was surprising as well.
"Who are you?" He asked, trying to make himself sound calm and confident. "What am I doing here?"
The man eyed Robert like a man looking over a loathsome insect. The effect was very unnerving.
Then, incredibly, the man began to change.
His skin color darkened, limbs lengthened and grew thick with muscle. Impossibly, his head began to change as well, shifting and morphing, the mouth, nose, and ears growling bigger. Robert watched in horror, convinced that he had overdosed on something and that he was having the hardest trip of his life.
The man's clothes fell to the ground in tatters, replaced by what appeared to be white Egyptian robes, complete with jewelry and ornate rubies. But the man's head… it had become that of a dog.
"My name is Anubis." The man said. "And you are now mine."
Robert stared at the thing, mouth open in shock, brain unable to process what he was seeing.
"You're not real." He whispered, frantically trying to come up with an excuse, a reason for what he was seeing. "You're imaginary, you don't exist!"
Anubis walked over, eyeing him in an offended manner. "Does this feel imaginary to you?" He ran his fingernails, now tipped like claws, over Robert's skin ever so slightly. Not enough to cut through, but enough to leave red lines. "Just because you don't believe in me doesn't mean I don't exist."
"This can't be happening! It can't!"
"Oh yes it is mortal man." Anubis said with amusement. "This is very real."
"I'm hallucinating. I'm on drugs, I'm…"
"Stop doing that. You're annoying me. You do not want to see me annoyed." Anubis ran his claws over Robert's skin once again, a little harder this time.
Robert gasped as he felt the claws start to cut. "What do you want?!"
Anubis stopped. "I'm not sure yet," He said. "I haven't decided." Lifting his fingers, he snapped them. "But where are my manners? I'll give you a tour of this place while I decide your fate."
The manacles binding Robert to the wall loosened, then detached. But just as quickly, chains appeared between them, drawing the manacles close, limiting Robert's arm and leg movement.
Robert stared at his bindings, both surprised and terrified at what he had just seen.
"Come along," Anubis said, starting towards the entryway. "Unless you care to feel the wrath of the gods."
Robert, still stunned, slowly followed. Whatever was happening here, he had no desire to make things worse then they already were.
"You are in the realm of the forgotten." Anubis said. "Though humans very rarely come here, all the elder gods, the ones who used to be worshipped and paid tribute to, now live here… in this wretched wasteland where we spend eternity."
They walked out onto a long hallway, where the walls were actually cut outs, full of arches that gave view to the surrounding area. When Robert saw them, he gasped. They were on a small bridge between two massive complexes, fortress like castles with temples, walkways, stone walls and towering obelisks. In the distance, huge pyramids could be seen, and beyond them stretched a desert that went on to infinity. It was like a compressed version of Ancient Egypt, only it seemed empty. There were no people walking in the streets, no sound of children laughing or business being done in markets. There was only the sound of the wind passing through the empty buildings.
"This is my home… a wretched and disgusting place." Anubis growled. "I did nothing to deserve coming here. When your species no longer believed in me, I was banished here. It is unfair, do you not think?"
Robert didn't answer, too caught up with the view.
"Isn't it?" Anubis asked again, his voice sharper.
Realizing that it was unwise to stay silent, Robert nodded quickly. "Uh yeah, it is. I guess so."
"You guess so," Anubis said. "How appropriate. Tell me, little human, how do you think I deal with eternity here?"
Robert didn't answer, too afraid to do so.
"I seek followers… worshippers… playmates."
Anubis started to walk again. Aware of how this being was not in a good mood, Robert nervously followed.
They reached the end of the hallway, where Anubis put his hands to two enormous swinging doors. They opened at his touch, where Anubis walked in, Robert following. They entered a towering room, the ceiling easily thousands of feet high, thousand of torches lining the walls, unlit at the moment. But there was something else about the room… it was filled with huge beds, lined with all manner of blankets, sheets, and throws. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of pillows were strewn about, giving the impression of the world's comfiest bedroom.
There were people here too. But unlike Robert, they were clothed… in of all things, bandages. Each and every one of them was wrapped up head to toe in linen bandages that tightly compressed the body, yet allowed movement. Judging by the numerous breasts, they were all women. All of them, upon seeing Anubis entering, immediately bowed and cowered before him. He ignored them, walking on. Robert followed… and the women looked up at him. Not out of reverence, but in surprise. Every one of them seemed surprised to see him.
"These are my most loyal subjects." Anubis said. "But before I show them to you, I will show you those who are not loyal."
There was a narrow room at the end of the hall, barely big enough for two people. Anubis walked in and waited. Robert knew fully well that he was expected to come with him. The thought of not seemed absurd… and dangerous. He walked in and stood next to the Egyptian god as he spoke something, a word that Robert couldn't understand.
With a shudder, the room suddenly dropped, revealing it to be some kind of elevator.
They traveled down for nearly ten minutes. Once or twice Robert was tempted to ask when it was going to stop, but he figured that was not a wise move. He wouldn't want to say anything to upset a god… especially someone who didn't seem to be a benevolent one.
The elevator finally came to a stop. Anubis stepped out, leading the way. Robert nervously followed.
The chamber they were in was dimly lit, with only a few torches lining the walls to give brightness. But it was enough to illuminate a terrifying sight.
Thousands, if not millions of caskets lay propped against the walls of the chamber, stretching on into the darkness. Each one was open, and nestled inside each casket was a fully wrapped mummy.
Robert stared at them in shock. There were so many…
"You may look," Anubis said. "And touch if you wish."
Robert found himself mesmorized by the sight. Almost unable to control himself, he couldn't help but walk up to the nearest casket and peer at its occupant. There was a thick layer of dust that settled on the casket, showing that this had been here a very long time. Yet, there was no dust or wear on the mummy's wrappings. By all appearances, it had been put in here just yesterday.
Reaching out, he cautiously touched the wrappings. Like they appeared, they were smooth and firm to the touch. Expertly wrapped as well, they hugged and compressed the body buried deep within.
The mummy twitched.
Yelping, Robert leapt back almost three feet.
The mummy inside the casket twitched for several seconds before being still once more, apparently overcome with exhaustion at fighting it's wrappings.
"Is there… someone in there?!" He asked, horrified at the thought.
"Indeed." Anubis said with a hint of anger. "She is one who is no longer loyal."
"My god… she's still alive?"
"But… how long is she going to stay in there?"
Anubis waited several seconds before answering. "Forever."
A chill went through Robert as he had never known. His legs almost threatened to give out beneath him.
"Those who do not remain loyal stay in this chamber. There is only one way in, and only one way out." Anubis walked back towards the elevator. "And no one in thousands of years, has ever escaped this hall." Getting the message loud and clear, Robert quickly hurried back to the elevator, hoping that the god wasn't going to just suddenly head up and leave him down here… more frightening was the fact that he was the sort to do it. But he didn't go up, and waited until Robert was on before muttering the word once again, and the elevator ascended, leaving the tomb behind.
When the elevator reached the main hallway, Anubis exited and snapped his fingers. Instantly, several of the bandaged women walked up to the god. Unlike the unfortunate souls below, these women still had use of their arms and legs.
"These are my loyal followers," Anubis said, walking towards one of the luxurious beds, his harem following closely. "They serve my every whim and pleasure me."
Once back in the main hall, Anubis led Robert out. "So you've seen your choices. Serve me, or join the others below. I promise you won't enjoy being there, but I can promise other things…"
"These are my masseuses. They serve my every whim and pleasure me… but I also have them pleasure those who serve me well. They will do whatever I ask… including pleasing others."
Some of the women looked at Robert, eying him over.
"They need only wait for my command. But if someone should desire more, there are those who are… more treasured then the others."
Anubis snapped his fingers yet again, this time bringing forth another mummy. But she was different from the others. While still wrapped head to toe in bandages, her arms were wrapped to her sides, buried under layers of wrappings, making them useless. Only her eyes remained uncovered. They were deep, mournful eyes that ached with sorrow beyond measure.
"This one is my favorite concubine," Anubis continued. "She alone is one of the most skilled, and one of the most experienced. She can bring hours upon hours of untold pleasure to whomever I direct her to."
It didn't take a genius to figure out what Anubis was leaning towards. "What are you trying to say?" Robert asked.
"And why is that?"
"I have sought companions for thousands of years, always choosing the females among your species. Once every year, I briefly come to your world and take those who would not be missed. I take those who have nowhere to go, who have nothing to live for. Though I take them without their permission, I give them purpose, for I seek entertainers, tellers of stories, concubines, companions. But you… you were the only one I could find on my most recent journey. You are the first man who has ever walked these halls."
Trying to think of a way out, Robert hastily said, "So why don't you just send me back and get someone else?"
"You mean you do not wish to stay?" Anubis said, amused. "And even if I wanted to return you to your world, you would have to wait… I can only gather enough energy to go to the mortal world once a year. So until the time comes, you receive the privelage of being my first male follower, an idea I find intriguing."
"Look, Mr. Anubis," Robert said quickly, running out of ideas. "With all due respect, I just don't want to be here. I really don't. I'm not a follower of you or anyone else. You just came out of nowhere and snatched me off the street. That's not exactly a good way to get someone's loyalty."
Robert had figured that the words would tick the god off, but surprisingly, Anubis didn't seem all that upset.
"You speak your mind." He said. "I admire those who are honest. So while I do know your opinion, let me ask you this… do you have anything to go back to? A family? A job? A loved one? I only take those who have nothing to live for, and I offer them everything."
For the first time since he had arrived, Robert was dead silent.
"If you stay with me, you will experience pleasure and bliss beyond anything you could ever hope to obtain in your little life on earth. I can, and do, offer so much more. All you have to do is reach out and accept it."
Robert was silent as he thought. It did not go unobserved.
"Because this is much for you to take in, I will leave you for the night to think it over."
Raising his fingers, Anubis aimed them at Robert. Bandages shot out. Before he could even let out a shout of surprise, the bandages had enveloped Robert's upper body, cocooning his chest, arms, shoulders, and neck into an inescapable cocoon of bandages.
"Hey!" He shouted, struggling against his bindings.
"But I cannot leave you to simply run around unattended."
Walking over, Anubis took hold of Robert and single handidly lifted him up. Carrying him towards one of the beds, the god put him down, but not before putting an iron collar around his neck.
"All those in my favor spend their nights restrained." Anubis said, closing the lock. "You will receive no favors for being new."
Stunned, Robert looked down at his tight fitting collar as a chain was threaded through it and into the wall, where it too was locked in place.
With Robert secure, Anubis left him to his thoughts as the god walked towards his harem, all obediently lining the walls near their own beds.
Night soon fell, and with it, the lights of Anubis's complex went dim, save the torches that lined the wall, giving off the only illumination, just barely enough for Robert to see his surroundings. Though he was able to lie down on the bed and turn however he wished, he could pull himself no further then four feet away from the wall. Being partially mummified, he still struggled against the bandages enveloping him, hoping to wiggle free, or perhaps loosen one of his arms so as to try and work his way out. It was very unnerving being restrained like this because Robert was so unused to it. It was a frightening feeling, not being able to use his arms, rendering them useless. To not be able to use part of his body was something he was not used to.
But despite all his efforts, he was unable to even wiggle his arms. Anubis knew his mummification techniques, and had wrapped Robert expertly, ensuring that while it was comfortable, he wasn't going to be able to budge. Robert eventually realized that he was going to stay this way no matter what he did, and that he would be better off conserving his strength and waiting for morning.
Still, it wasn't easy accepting that he was a prisoner, and that he had little control over his situation.
Lying down on the bed, he stared at the ceiling, illuminated by hundreds of soft glowing torches. He was helpless here, completely at the whim of a forgotten, but still powerful god. That wasn't good. Though not specifically stated, he was going to be given a choice tomorrow, that much Robert was sure of. The choice to stay here, or go back. That was easy… he would head back. The thought of becoming some eunuch, or worse, for a half man, half dog like god was absurd. But then again… what were the odds that Anubis was actually going to allow him to head back?
And did he even want to go back? Anubis hadn't skimped on his choice of words when it came to describing those he took, for all those words had matched his life on Earth. Lonely… alone, with not much to live for. And yet… here he was being offered pleasure beyond his wildest dreams.
"You're not sure what to do, are you?"
Robert turned, saw another mummified woman walking up to the bed. But unlike her fellows, her face was completely uncovered, allowing her to speak.
"Who are you?"
"My name is not important," she said. "I am Anubis's oldest servant, sacrificed to him when I was a child thousands of years ago. He trusts me enough to allow me to walk around unfettered at night… with some restrictions." Her wrists and ankles were still manacled with steel and iron.
"Any reason why you came over?"
"It has been forever since I have seen a man… the last one I ever knew was my father, before he took me to the temple of the priests. In all my time here, I have never seen another man. Anubis is the only male here, and I serve him everyday."
"In whatever way he wishes. That is the only way to survive… to avoid joining the lost ones."
"The ones below?"
"You catch on quick. Anubis made you the offer. And now you're wondering whether to stay and accept it, or to try and head back."
"You choose yes."
"To some degree, yes. But despite all the pleasure, all the carnal pleasures…it just isn't worth it. Anubis only gave you the brieftest glimpse of his dark side."
"Back when he was still believed in by the people of your world, Anubis was power hungry, his ego boasted by how slavishly he was worshipped. But when his time was over, he was no longer needed, a relic no longer worshipped. So he became what anyone becomes when they loose everything. Fearful. Afraid. Desperate. He began to forcefully take worshippers… And when they refused to become his toys, that part of him that is terrified comes back," The woman shook her head. "And then he does the most horrible things…"
"I have only seen it once… he made me watch, so that I would know what would happen if I ever betrayed him. He took a woman who had tried to escape, took her down to the dungeons. She knew what was coming. She pleaded and screamed and begged for mercy. But Anubis is not a forgiving god. As I watched, he mummified her. Wrapped her in bandages, layer after layer. She struggled, fought, cried and tried to escape. But he kept winding her up, kept wrapping her until she couldn't move. And yet he still wrapped her. Wrapped her until the only thing left was her eyes. And then he covered them too."
The woman paused. "What a horrible thing, to be mummified like that," She said quietly. "Knowing that you will never be released, never be freed. Knowing that you will never be free again, knowing that you'll spend eternity entombed in a coffin miles beneath the earth…. the last thing you will ever see is his cruel, sneering face before he covers your eyes and seals you in darkness." She sighed. "She is still down there… that was seven thousand years ago. She hasn't moved… unable to die, spending eternity as a mummy."
Robert's blood turned to ice. "Why haven't you tried to escape?"
"This is the realm of the lost." The woman said. "There is nowhere to run to. There is only endless sand. Those who run have never been seen again. Everyone else who tries to escape is entombed. There is nothing Anubis fears more then being abandoned and alone. He will hold onto his slaves forever. To tell the truth… I've put a few there myself."
"When I fear that I am about to be discarded, I have sometimes whispered to others, learned their secrets, their ways of pleasuring Anubis. Then I encourage them to run, knowing full well what's going to happen to them. It is because of me that they are entombed. But can you blame me? Fear does horrible things to people. I have feared being entombed, so I do what I must to avoid it. This woman, Aalyia,"
The woman who's arms had been bandaged shuffled over, shackles clasped around her ankles.
"She followed in my lead. She was my apprentice, of sorts. I took her in, taught her all the tricks I knew. Together we worked to please Anubis, to keep him satisfied, to save ourselves. It worked for so many years, for so many centuries. But paranoia began to creep in. We began to grow afraid that Anubis was favoring one instead of both. We began to turn on each other. Finally, she told a lie about me. Anubis almost entombed me, when I told him what she was trying to do. For my honesty he spared me… and mummified her. Because she had been so good, she was spared entombment, but is now his concubine forever, never again to speak."
Aalyia stayed still. She would have cried, but she had run out of tears long ago.
"She has become so desensitized to Anubis's taunts and cruelty that she will follow any order, do whatever anyone asks, to avoid punishment." The woman looked at Aalyia. "Pleasure him."
Immediately, Aalyia climbed onto the bed, maneuvering towards Robert, her wrapped legs spreading apart, revealing a hole in the bandages.
"Hey!" Robert said, scrambling back.
"Anubis has her so under control, has put so much fear into her that Aalyia cannot control herself. She fears that I'll tell Anubis about her disobeying, and will do whatever I say." She sighed. "Stop Aalyia. Sit on the bed."
Aalyia immediately did so.
"I look at her every day and feel shame for what I did." The woman said sadly. "The most unbearable shame." She looked at Robert. "You are still deciding what to do. I tell you this… despite his claims of mercy, Anubis is a frightened being, and a cruel one. Everyone who serves under him eventually ends up entombed when he tires of them."
She got up from the bed. "Choose carefully what you will do."
The woman slowly walked away from the bed, leaving Robert and Aalyia by themselves. Robert watched her go, then lay back on the bed, ignoring Aalyia's gaze.
He didn't get any sleep that night.
When morning came, soft light shone in through the windows, landing on the others chained to the walls, waking them up. But Robert was already awake and lying on his bed, not moving. Knowing what was coming, he didn't have the will to move.
It wasn't long before his foreboding was confirmed, as Anubis was prompt to enter the room, releasing each concubine from the wall with a snap of his fingers. Robert was the last one he came to.
"Have you made up your mind mortal?" He asked. "Have you considered my offer?"
Robert looked at the god, then took a deep breath. What he was about to say could lead to the greatest torments he had ever known, but he had to take that risk. "Yes," He said. "Even though you offer me great things, I cannot take them. I do not belong here. My place is back on Earth, even if it is among the gutters."
Anubis thought for a moment. Robert looked at the god's face, but Anubis was careful to keep his emotions in check. "Again, I admire your honesty." He said. "But I must again give you a choice. You may return to earth and have your old life back… but if you do so, then I shall entomb my concubines, one a day, until the day you die. Deal?"
The concubines in the room looked up in sheer terror, a few trying to scream through their wrappings. Robert felt the air leave his lungs. "What?! You' can't do that!"
"This is my realm," Anubis said smugly. "I may do whatever I wish."
"You sadistic bastard!" Robert said angrily, "No wonder you're forgotten. You're one of those asshole gods that people hated!"
No sooner had the words left his mouth then Robert knew that he had made a horrible mistake. Anubis's eyes turned red, the veins in his body bulging.
"I was not hated!" He roared. "I was loved! I was cherished!" He grabbed Robert and lifted him up in an iron grip. "You know NOTHING of me!" Anubis squeezed tighter. "Be glad that I do not torture you here and now for your blasphemies! Now I shall ask one last time, and it will the be last time… Earth, or me?!"
Robert struggled, his mind racing. He looked around, saw the terrified expressions of the concubines and slaves around the room. The choices were painfully clear. Choose earth, and know that he was responsible for these people being entombed for eternity. Deep in his heart… Robert knew that he could never live with that, no matter the consequences.
He went limp in Anubis's grip, surrendering to the inevitable. "I'll stay here." He said quietly. "I'll stay."
Anubis's anger instantly faded. "I am pleased to see that you have chosen reason." Loosening his grip, the god dropped Robert onto the bed. "So you freely choose to remain here and serve me?"
Robert slowly nodded.
"Then it is done."
Raising his hands, Anubis clapped them. "Now that you are mine, you will wear that which I deem fit."
The bandages encircling Robert's upper body fell away, but as they went, the bandages also stripped off Robert's clothes as well, leaving him completely naked. Before he even had the chance to realize what was going on, a new set of bandages flew from Anubis's fingertips and began to envelop Robert, winding themselves around his body, wrapping his feet, legs, torso, chest, and arms… anything and everything was wrapped up, swaddling him.
He didn't try to resist. It was useless. Best to just be still and let the inevitable happen.
Anubis grinned throughout the process, enjoying the sight of Robert being mummified.
In less then a minute, it was done. Robert's entire body was wrapped, swaddled, and covered. Only his head was unwrapped… everything else was wrapped away. His arms, though bandaged, remained loose, though his fingers were immobile and useless. He looked down at his body, tried moving his legs. Sealed and wrapped together as they were within multiple layers of bandages, all he could manage was a slight wiggle.
"You will be my first male slave." Anubis said. "Consider it an honor. Now we will test your sincerity. Lie down."
Robert instantly knew what was coming, but also knew that to defy this god would only lead to pain, and worse. Shuddering, he slowly lay down on the bed.
His heart skipping a beat, Robert began to sweat as he turned himself over, his arms threatening to fail out of fear. Yet he somehow managed.
Anubis climbed onto the bed, knelt down. "Arms by your sides."
Robert did so, then felt the god taking hold of his left wrist, clasping a heavy steel shackle around it. Then his right wrist was pulled behind his back and put in a shackle as well, forcing both arms in place so as they would not interfere with what was about to happen.
Another wave of Anubis's hand, and a hole appeared in the back of the wrappings, near Robert's buttocks.
"Now then," Anubis muttered to himself. "I admit, I have never had intercourse with a male before. This should be a most interesting experience… but why am I not stimulated?" He thought for a moment. "Ah yes. Aalyia, come and pleasure me from behind."
Aalyia silently came up behind Anubis and hopped onto the bed, readying herself. From the bed, Robert couldn't see what was happening. He only heard the sound of bandages rubbing against flesh, and a content hum from the god behind him.
"Ah yes… that is good indeed."
Robert didn't look back as he felt something long and moist touch his own wrappings, slowly maneuvering its way towards his buttocks. Though his instinct was to fight and struggle, the chains didn't allow his arms any movement, and the wrappings around his body kept his movement to a wiggle.
"Oh yes…" Anubis hissed, readying himself for the plunge.
Anubis stopped, turned. "Who dares stop me at the moment of pleasure?"
Robert glanced over, saw the woman whom had talked to him last night. She looked upset and angry.
Anubis was surprised. "Ava? You? Why?"
"Because I tire of this life. It is nothing but the pursuit of trivial, meaningless pleasure at the expense of others. That's all you ever do Anubis. Day after day, you force your pleasure from others without giving them any thought. You care of nobody but yourself."
Anubis rose from the bed, knocking Aalyia to the ground, where she lay helplessly. "Watch your tongue Ava. It is only that you have served me well that I allow you to speak."
"I don't care what you'll do to me. At least someone will have the guts to do what's right and tell you that you're a bully! You don't deserve to have followers! You are scum!"
It was as if Ava had set off a raging volcano. "You ungrateful welp! I took you in, raised you, and this is the thanks I get!?" He ran over and grabbed her, hoisting her mummified form up. "Your betrayal will not go unpunished."
Ava glared back, hoisting a candlestick she had kept behind her back, and jabbed Anubis in the eye.
The god yelled and dropped her. Faster then anyone could follow, Ava reached up and grabbed a key from the god's waist slash, and ran over to Robert, where she quickly undid his manacles.
"Go, run! I'll keep him busy."
“Take Aalyia with you. She doesn’t deserve to live like this.”
They looked at each other in the eyes for a moment… but the moment was interrupted when Anubis rose again, grabbing his eye, glaring at Ava.
"You will suffer as no one has ever suffered!" He roared.
"You will have to catch me first." Ava said. Then she was off, running down a side corridor. “Go everyone!” She yelled back. “Run!”
Anubis was so enraged that he completely ignored everyone else in the hallway and chased after Ava.
Robert watched him go. Ava had freed him and the others… but at what was very likely her freedom. But there wasn’t time to mourn that now… he and the others had a chance now, and they couldn’t afford to waste it.
As the other concubines began to flee, Robert tried to get up, but discovered that with his legs wrapped up, he couldn't anywhere. He couldn’t even hop, for the bandages were too tight for him to flex his legs. There had to be another way.
Looking around, he realized that there was only one chance. Leaning down, he grabbed onto Aalyia’s shoulder. "Aalyia," He said. "Get up." She obeyed, struggling, but managing to get back on her feet. "I'm going to climb onto your back. When I do, you run out into the desert."
Aalyia didn't move as Robert struggled onto her back, wrapping his arms around her neck. It was tough hanging on, but it was the only way to get about. He hoped her legs were strong enough and up to the challenge.
Aalyia started off. But she was slow, much too slow.
"Go faster, as fast as you can!" Robert said. He could hear Anubis’s angry roars from somewhere deep within the palace.
Bandaged feet pounding against the marble, Aalyia ran out of the room, down a few corridors, and down a set of stairs, out into the desert. Once off the steps, Aalyia took off across the sand, but her progress was much slower. Even when running at full speed, her feet kept sinking into the sand, Robert's heavy weight slowing them both down.
"Keep going." Robert urged. The further away they got from the palace, the better.
Aalyia did her best to oblige, continuing on as best she could over the sand dunes. But progress was agonizingly slow. Robert had no idea how long Ava could keep Anubis busy, but when it came down to a god and a mortal, the god had the better chance.
For ten minutes Aalyia ran on, going as fast as her legs could take her. From her back, Robert held on as tight as he could, trying to ignore the fatigue setting into his arms.
They eventually got far away enough that Anubis's complex was a small speck on the horizon. But even then, Robert still didn't feel safe. They had to keep going.
"You holding up?" He asked.
Aalyia gave a weak nod, but it was obvious that she couldn't go on much further. Not without a break.
"Stop." Robert said.
Aalyia did so, immediately kneeling over in the sand, exhausted. Letting go, Robert slipped off her back and landed in the sand, but at an odd angle, making him roll down a dune. He tried to stop his roll, but his bandaged fists were useless when it came to grabbing sand. He finally came to a stop at the very bottom of the dune.
Grunting, he rolled himself over, looking up at the black clouds that filled the sky. It took Robert several minutes to work up the strength to try and get back to Aalyia. But with his legs wrapped together, he had to drag himself though the sand using only his arms, an exhausting procedure. It took over half an hour for him to reach Aalyia.
"You all right?" He asked, finally reaching the peak of the dune.
Aalyia was lying in the sand. Looking at him, she gave a brief, weary nod.
"You up for more running?"
Aalyia looked at him nervously.
"Just say… uh, indicate yes or no."
After a moment's though, Aalyia shook her head.
With that, Robert collapsed in the sand, utterly exhausted. Aalyia did the same, too worn out to continue.
Robert had no idea how long he lay on the ground, only that Aalyia began to nudge him, as if trying to get his attention. That got him looking around.
"What? What is it?"
Aalyia was looking behind Robert, indicating that he should do the same.
Not really sure if he wanted to see what was behind him, Robert cautiously turned and looked.
But there was no angry god pursuing them. Instead, there was only an enormous stone doorway stretching into the sky. Between the pillars was what appeared to be a shimmering mirror of some kind, reflecting the desert. Even from here Robert could see himself in the reflection.
"What is that?" He asked, looking at Aalyia. She shook her head. Apparently, she had never seen of it before.
"Well, I think I'd rather see what's in there, rather then finding out that…"
Aalyia suddenly went still, like a spooked animal.
Robert turned around.
Far in the distance, he could see a small form running after them… looking very, very pissed off.
"…he's coming after us."
Anubis's howl of anger could be heard above the howling wind.
"Go!" Robert yelled, trying to grab onto Aalyia. "Run!"
She did exactly that. Pulling herself up, Aalyia quickly started towards the door, Robert only barely managing to grab onto her shoulders and hang on.
“Go, go, go!”
Aalyia ran down the slope towards the mirror, going as fast as she could, fueled on by a quick burst of energy. But despite the short distance between them and the mirror, Anubis was catching up to them at frightening speed. They had a minute, maybe less.
"Go, go, go!" Robert shouted, terrified. They were only going to have one chance at this…
They reached the base of the mirror just as Anubis reached the crest of the sand dune. Seeing his prey made him roar and come charging down after them. There was no look of mercy in his eyes.
Robert quickly looked at the mirror, trying to figure out what it was, or more importantly, where it led. But there was no way to tell what was beyond the mirror. It was completely reflective, bouncing everything back, offering no hint as to what lay behind it. It could be a heaven, it could be a hell. The only way to find out was to go through. And faced with the unknown, or a furiously angry god, the choice was simple.
“Through!” Robert said. “Go through!”
Aalyia looked back towards Anubis, her eyes widening at seeing his enraged face.
“Now!” Robert yelled. “This is our only chance! Go!”
Aalyia looked at the god… then at the gate…
…and jumped through the shimmering mirror.
Anubis reached the gate just seconds later. But where Robert and Aalyia were able to sink through the mirror without problem, Anubis slammed into it and fell down as if it were made of steel.
He got up and tried again. But all his strength was for nothing as he banged it again and again, unable to penetrate the mirror.
His howls of anger were lost to the endless desert.
When they had first entered the mirror, all was silence and darkness. But the darkness soon gave way to a long tunnel with a bright light at the end. There was a pleasant glow about it, something that drew Robert and Aalyia towards it. And when they reached the light and entered it, it became brilliant, overpowering, yet it didn't hurt to look at it.
But the light faded… and what was before them was unlike anything the two had ever seen.
They were standing in a large, grassy field. Huge mountains lay in the distance, with small gold temples and pillars scattered throughout the land, lying among fields of flowers and grass. The sky above was a psychedelic mix of green, pink, yellow and blue, unlike anything Robert had ever imagined.
"Well…" He said, relieved. "This doesn't seem too bad."
The two took a moment to simply look around and bask in the light and warmth of the place, enjoying it.
There was movement from a nearby flock of trees.
Instantly, the two looked over and saw the trees part as an enormous being came through. Like the surroundings, it too was something fantastic, a hybrid of a snake and with human arms and a goat's skull, but it was impossible to tell if it was a male or female.
It was also impossible to tell if it was friendly.
Slithering over, it knelt down, so that its eyes were level with Robert and Aalyia, for it was truly a huge creature. "Just as I thought…" It said, voice gender neutral and soothing. "I knew that more had come, but I did not know how many."
"Who are you?" Robert asked hesitantly. This thing seemed more easygoing and kind then Anubis, but he didn't want to let his guard down.
"I am one of the forgotten. The old gods who are no longer believed in by any upon your earth. From the looks of things, you had somehow gotten away from my brother."
"Anubis? Anubis is your brother?" Robert asked, surprised.
The being shook its head. "No, not in the sense that you are accustomed to. All the gods in this place consider ourselves brothers and sisters. Where he was one of your old Egyptian gods, I am one of the old pagan gods from the north."
"And…who exactly are you?"
"You may call me Xesex. I was a god of sex and affection, and you are in my realm."
Robert looked around. "It's really… funky."
"It reflects the pleasures and delights of the senses. But come, let's get you cleaned up. You both look exhausted."
Reaching down, Xesex picked both Robert and Aalyia up. Robert would have normally objected to being picked up by a large god, but to his surprise, being touched by Xesex made him feel… good, in a warm, tingly sensation with a deep feeling of peace. From the looks of it, Aalyia was feeling it too. Neither objected as they were carried towards one of the gold temples.
Once inside, Xesex put them both down on thick, purple beds. "I am glad you escaped from Anubis's realm… he is one of the more stern and brutish of us… in fact, you are quite lucky to have gotten in here at all. While I send some of my messengers out to look for escapees in the desert, there were none out when you arrived."
"Wait, what do you mean, look?" Robert asked.
"When I was no longer believed in, I came here," Xesex explained as it got a wet rag and began to wipe the sand and grime off Robert's bandages. "For the longest time I was alone and depressed, but one day I decided to offer my realm as a refuge for the human souls who somehow, one way or another, got lost. So now I spend my time looking for those who are lost and bringing them here… a harvest, if you will."
"And what do you do with them afterwards?" Robert said, almost too afraid to even ask.
Sensing that fear, Xesex smiled warmly. "I provide them with a haven, for as long as they wish. I keep them company, and in return I have companions. It works both ways." Finished with cleaning Robert, Xesex turned to Aalyia and began to clean her. She flinched under it's touch. "Anubis did not treat you well, little one." It said remorsefully. "But I assure you, I mean you both no harm." It only took a few moments to clean her, upon which Xesex lifted both of them up and sat them on the edge of the bed. "There we go. Good as new."
Robert looked himself over. His wrappings were like new, being warm, fresh and almost glistening in the warm afternoon sun. It was quite a pleasant feeling… in fact, he wouldn't have minded wearing the wrappings a little longer under ideal circumstances, but after all he had been through, he was ready to have them off.
"I don't mean to be a beggar," he said. "But can you help get these wrappings off?"
Xesex was quiet for a few moments. "I am sorry," It said. "But I cannot."
"Though no other gods may enter my realm, the effects of their magic remain. Those bandages were wrapped around you and carry Anubis's charm within them. I cannot remove them. Only he may do so."
The words cut deep. It took Robert several moments to realize the implications of what Xesex had said.
"You mean… they can't come off?"
Xesex nodded sadly. "If I could remove them, I would." It said. "But there is no way for me to do so… the same for your friend."
The consequences of those words was becoming all too clear, in a horrible, crystal like clarity.
"You mean… we're going to wear these…"
"Forever," Xesex said softly. "For the rest of eternity."
Robert was silent. Aalyia's eyes began to mist up, the hope of finally being free at last dashed to pieces.
"I am truly sorry." Xesex said softly, trying to comfort them both. "But my realm is a peaceful one. There are no dangers here, only peace, compassion, and affection. We will do all we can to make life here comfortable for you both." It pointed towards a nearby field, where other people were coming towards the small temple, with all manner of skin, race, and faces. There were even a few wrapped up as Robert and Aalyia were. There were dozens of them, hundreds. But all of them seemed to glow with an inner peace that radiated outwards. They were keeping a respectful distance, aware of letting the two have some space.
"You will never be alone here, unless you wish to have that. There is love here, and you are welcome to join it, to feel it."
"What about the others?" Robert asked quietly. "What about everyone back at Anubis's temple?" He was thinking of Aya, of the other slaves and those entombed.
"We shall keep trying to save as many as we can." Xesex said. "Hopefully, Anubis will come to his senses and realize the evil he is doing, but until that day comes, we'll have to just keep rescuing those who run away." Then, sensing that Robert and Aalyia were still overwhelemed, Xesex added, "I shall leave you to yourselves for now." With that, it quietly slithered away. Those in the field, sensing that the two needed time to think, left as well.
Alone now with Aalyia, Robert sat on the bed, thinking. Every now and then he would look down at his body and the bandages wrapped around it. He would try a kick, but the bandages remained firmly in place each time, as if they had only been freshly wrapped.
They were going to stay like this forever. The fact was obvious, but it just wasn't sinking in. It was like a dream, something that didn't feel real at all. Then again, nothing about all this felt real. None of it did. But no amount of wishing was going to make things change.
He looked out towards the fields and the mountains. This place didn't seem all that bad really, far better then anything Anubis's realm had offered. In fact, it seemed like a nice place to stay, possibly live in. Forever? He could think of better places, but this wasn't a bad choice either. It was certainly better then his life back on earth, that was for sure. As far as he knew, no bills to pay, no job to go to, no taxes. A pretty sweet deal. And if they were both going to be like this for the rest of time… well, Robert figured that he could manage. It would take time, especially seeing as he would never walk again, but he supposed things could be managed.
But Aalyia… he looked at her. She was taking the news hard, for tears were coming out of her eyes, streaming down the bandages. While she could walk, she couldn't use her arms or talk… and would never be able to do so ever again. The thought of Anubis undoing their wrappings was all but impossible. It would clearly take a very, very long time for her to adjust to this place.
Then again… maybe he could help make the transition a bit easier… he had never had a special someone in life… perhaps this was the time to fix that.
Reaching out a bandaged hand, he lay it on her leg. Aalyia noticed, turned to look at him.
"Look, I know this may be hard," Robert said, trying to sound as soothing and understanding as he could manage. "But this is a lot better then Anubis's place, and I think, given time, we'll fit in just fine. But like that thing said… we don't have to be alone. And I don't know about you…" Robert continued. "But I think you're kinda cute."
For the first time since Robert had met her… Aalyia's eyes drooped slightly in a relaxed state, the kind someone gets when someone surprises, and flatters them, at the same time.
Not bad, Robert thought to himself. A good start.
Xesex slithered around the corner. "Are the two of you well?" It asked.
"As well as we can be, given the circumstances," Robert said. "But I think it will be a while before we're fully settled."
"Understandable." Xesex said, gliding over. "Perhaps I can help you both make the transition better."
"What are you going to do to us?" Robert asked.
"It is the nature of all gods to want submission and reverence," Xesex said, picking both of them up. "But the benevolent gods are happy to give love and affection in return… along with certain… pleasures."
Bringing both Robert and Aalyia close to its chest, the god began to slide away from the small temple.
From where he was, Robert looked around, taking stock of things. They had escaped Anubis, and while they would be mummified forever… they did have a peaceful realm to stay in, a benevolent host… and perhaps an endless supply of pleasures of the flesh.
Robert gave a small smile. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad after all.