12: Visiting Hours
Jeff opened the bag from Martin while riding the train back to Brooklyn. It contained a pair of condoms and a small bottle of lube. He snorted. Thanks for the thought, Martin, but you have massively misjudged me if you think I’m going to need these. He stuffed the bag back into his backpack.
It was after 1 AM by the time he got home. Bill’s score continued to slowly drain away, which meant that he wasn’t “entertaining any visitors”, which Jeff had figured out was a very sophisticated-sounding euphemism for “being tortured and fucked by strangers”. That was probably for the best because Jeff was completely beat and wouldn’t have been able to stay awake long enough to go start his rescue attempt. Besides, according to Nightmare, he needed to plan… but that could wait until morning.
He woke up a little after 8, definitely earlier than he would on a typical Sunday. He checked in on Bill, who was up and pacing around his tiny cell again. His score had fallen to 204.
First thing he did was buy some points. The exchange rate was right about where the CO had said it would be – for $25 he bought 265 points. If the CO’s estimates had been right, Jeff should be able to transfer twice that amount and hopefully more to Bill, so if Bill’s next “visitor” left him with at least 500 points, Jeff should be able to get him up over the 1,000 mark. And if not, he’d happily shell out for more points. One way or another, this was going to end today.
The next thing he did was load up his backpack with the headset and gloves. He tossed in a set of clothes for Bill, who probably didn’t have any, with some money in the pocket of the pants. He added a charging cable for Bill’s phone – might as well charge it up while the scene was going on because he was going to need it once he was out of the suit. A couple of miscellaneous props for the various scenes he had planned.
Then he planned his strategy, which turned out to be easier than he had feared. He had been worried because he was not a gay sadist and therefore didn’t have a clue what sorts of gay-sadist activities the game would reward, but then he recalled the film festival down in the Terra Nova dungeon. That helped greatly because he didn’t have to come up with any original ideas on his own. People who made movies had plenty of ideas and it wasn’t too hard to borrow a few of them. Writing programs for the suit turned out to be not too difficult as well, and soon he had four scenes lined up and ready to go. Hopefully he wouldn’t need all four, but better to have them ready.
From time to time, he checked in on Bill. Food arrived (-10 points) and Bill ate. But no visitors yet. He fiddled around with his prepared scenes a bit, but there was really nothing else that needed to be done. He toyed with the idea of going for Bill now, but it would definitely be easier if he already had a higher score to begin with. Might as well wait. To pass the time, he read more about this “Prisoner On The Edge” VRealWorld site that was providing the video feed of Bill’s captivity.
That might have been a mistake because his blood pressure slowly crept up with every word he read. The site was dedicated to seeing how long Bill’s unnamed captors could hold him there in that grimy apartment dressed up as a stone prison cell, dangling freedom in front of him only to yank it away over and over. The site issued an open invitation for anyone at all to come by, let themselves in, and have their way with him. “Make sure you keep an eye on his score – don’t let him get to 1,000!” That was the “edge” that the prisoner was being kept on. The tantalizing promise of a thousand points that he could never reach.
Jeff visited the profiles of a few of the men who had visited the cell. No one else’s score was openly visible like this, as far as he could see. That must have been part of whatever agreement Bill had consented to, allowing them to publicize his score so that his torturers would know when they were pushing too close to the limit that would end their fun. And it let them plan their visits, spacing them out so that Bill wouldn’t accidentally be set free by two visits too close together.
Jeff felt his stomach twisting itself into knots. Not only were random strangers physically torturing and fucking his brother, they were fucking with his head by making him think, over and over, that maybe this time would be the last. But it never was. It was meta-torture, torture about being tortured. Oh, Bill…
There were videos of past scenes. Jeff scrolled through a few but found he didn’t have the stomach to watch them. The comments posted on the site were bad enough:
“me and a bud naled him to the wall then naled him from both ends 848 pts lol” – Kckz Leatherman
“turned my fingers into whips raked som nice canions on is back, got him to 870 but no exit 4 u :sad-tuba:” – Writcher Leatherman
“962 record!!!” – FurLuvr Leatherman
By the time he stopped reading, his blood pressure couldn’t possibly get any higher; he was more incensed than he had ever been. He could feel the blood pumping in his neck and his face flushing hot red. This was going to stop. This had to stop.
He grabbed the backpack and headed for the door.
By the time he was sitting on the train and had time to check the app, he saw that Bill’s score had gone up and now stood at 313. Someone was there with him. There was no video – perhaps visiting leathermen got to decide whether they wanted to make the events of their visit public. Jeff couldn’t decide which was worse: being able to watch some dumbshit hurting his brother, or knowing it was happening and not being able to watch it. Every time the train stopped it was all he could do to not get out and push it, or just forget the train and run all the way to Elmhurst. But no, this was the fastest way to get there, even if it didn’t feel like it when he was just sitting still. He kept glancing at his phone: 378 points, then 430, then 489. He consoled himself with the thought that if the asshole was still there when he arrived, Jeff could at least have the satisfaction of beating the shit out of him.
Never mind that Jeff was about to do the same thing to his brother. That was for a completely different reason. The opposite reason, in fact. Jeff was going to hurt him to set him free, not keep him locked up. Both to take his mind off the frustration of not moving and to ensure that this private matter stayed private, he found the setting on the programs he had written that controlled their visibility to others. He locked them down completely so that no one else would be able see what he and Bill did. No sick fucks are gonna beat off to this scene, no way.
In the end, he missed his chance for some ass-kicking: Jeff took a last look at the app as the train neared his stop and watched Bill’s score drop from 526 to 525. His guest was very likely gone. Jeff ran the last few blocks and jogged up the stairs to number 513. Sure enough, it looked exactly like it had two days before – empty and silent. No one was here.
He ran to the bedroom and there was Bill, sitting with his back against the wall and his head resting in his arms. “Bill, oh man, c’mon let’s get out of… shit.” Right. Bill couldn’t hear him. Or see him. Time to go virtual.
Jeff pulled out the headset and put it on. Stone walls appeared around him, the same walls he had seen on the screen of his phone… right! The phone! He dug in his backpack for the charging cable, which had fallen under the package from Martin, fished the cable out and plugged it in to Bill’s phone, still lying forgotten in the same corner where he had last seen it.
OK, interface menu… messaging… there. Bill’s balloon label said “edgeprisoner rubberlad”. Message to edgeprisoner… “Bill, can you hear me? I’m going to get you out of here.”
No response. Bill never looked up from his knees.
“Bill! BILL!” Shouting evoked no response either. Jeff tried one more message: “AvengingTurtle requests control of edgeprisoner’s suit.” Still nothing. What was going wrong?
Time to get physical. He nudged Bill’s arms, then nudged a little harder until Bill was knocked off balance. Bill shot to his feet and it was just like the last time all over again. “Get out of here,” he called to no particular direction. “I mean it, get out, now!” He started reaching out blindly with his arms again, just like before.
“Dammit!” Jeff shouted. Bill still couldn’t see him. And apparently the interface wasn’t transferring his messages, either accidentally or on purpose. Why?
Time to get out and regroup. He tore the headset off and headed back out to the living room, leaving Bill to fumble around his now-empty cell.
OK, there had to be an explanation. He paced a bit and thought. Why wasn’t it working? The headset had worked flawlessly back at Terra Nova. Batteries? No, that couldn’t be it – it showed him the stone cell walls just fine. Some kind of connectivity problem? And yet Bill’s suit clearly had no trouble connecting. So what was different?
He put the headset back on and was startled to find someone standing right next to him. He jumped backward, took the headset off and looked – no one. Whoever it was was purely virtual. He put the headset back on and added the earphones and gloves as well.
It was another prison guard, dressed in the same outfit as the CO from the Pocket Prison. He was standing, looking bored, staring down at a desk that didn’t exist anywhere else. Why would there need to be a guard here, when from Bill’s perspective there was no door to guard? That seemed pretty useless. Jeff glanced back toward the door to the bedroom. It was now covered by a solid stone slab. He walked toward it and put his hand up to it, wondering if he would be able to feel it through the glove. But before he could touch it…
“Visiting hours are over,” the CO droned. Jeff spun around.
“I need to get in there,” he said.
The CO didn’t even bother shrugging. “Come back later.”
Yeah, fine, maybe a fake stone wall could stop someone in a suit, but it couldn’t stop Jeff. He walked through it and found himself back with Bill, who was still searching the room for someone who wasn’t there, not noticing Jeff at all even though they were standing face to face about four feet apart.
And that’s when Jeff realized what the problem was: he still wasn’t there. Or rather, his body was physically present in the room, but as far as the game was concerned, his AvengingTurtle avatar was not. He could stand here all day and try to get Bill’s attention, but it wouldn’t work because he wasn’t playing by the game’s rules.
He stepped back out through the stone. “Visiting hours are over,” the CO droned in exactly the same tone as before, as though seeing Jeff for the first time.
Visiting hours. Of course. The previous visitor had just left. The point of the guard wasn’t to keep Bill in, it was to keep guests out, at least until Bill’s score had sunk to a suitably low level. He glanced at Bill’s score again: 519. Dammit.
Jeff walked over to the guard. “Hey, pal, what’ll it take to get in there?”
“Visiting hours are over. Come back later.”
“Yeah, I know they’re over. But isn’t there any way to, you know, make an exception for family? That’s my brother in there. I really need to see him now.”
“Visiting hours are over. Come back later.”
“Aw, come on, man. Please? I’ve gotta see him, and this is my only chance.”
“Visiting hours are over. Come back later.”
“I’ve got something he needs to have, his medication. His insulin. For his diabetes, you know? Come on, I really need to get in there and give it to him. Just two minutes, OK?” Lying to a prison guard, whether real or virtual, was not usually a good plan, but better ideas weren’t exactly springing up like daisies.
“Visiting hours are over. Come back later.”
Fuck. This was a bot, not a human. Trying to reason with a bot, even with lies, wasn’t going to get him anywhere. So what, then? Bust down the door? With what? How do you break open a door that doesn’t exist? A magic hammer? Maybe he could spend some of his VRealWorld points conjuring one of those up.
It turned out to be not too expensive: 2 points. He could spare that. A Thor-sized hammer shimmered into being. Jeff would have struggled to lift it had it been real, but his Turtle avatar hefted it with ease. It was weird – he could feel the handle in his gloved hands, but it had no weight at all. He headed for the cell door, mumbling “thanks anyway, asshole” under his breath. The guard either didn’t hear or didn’t care. He lined up, took a massive swing, and crashed the hammer into the stone. The vibration of the impact made his palm shudder. Nothing on the door appeared to change, so he lined up for a second swing, surreptitiously checking behind him to see if the guard was going to do anything to stop him. Nope – the bot stood at his desk, as bored as ever.
Jeff took a second swing, then a third. He must look like a nut, doing some sort of calisthenics in an empty apartment. It was very real to his eyes and hands, though. He pounded the door a fourth time, a fifth. Still nothing changed. He took a step back and then forward, adding the momentum of his body to the hammer for the most powerful blow yet.
The hammer struck the door… and shattered. The door was not even dinged.
He dropped the handle of the ruined hammer, furious. He was so close! Bill was right there just a few feet away and Jeff couldn’t figure out how to get to him. It wasn’t even a real door! Everything about it was fake, there was no reason he shouldn’t be able to get himself to the other side of it. And yet there it stood, thwarting him, blocking his path with no handle to open it, no keyhole… no hinges… no visible way at all for it to…
Well that was odd, come to think of it. How could this door ever open, even under “normal” circumstances? He looked more closely – it wasn’t really a door at all. It was more like a wall. It couldn’t open in any normal sense, so prying at it and banging on it would never do any good. The guard must open it somehow, just like the way the CO at the Pocket Prison had dissolved the bars by putting his hand on a scanner.
The CO at the Pocket Prison… who had given him…
Jeff stalked back to the guard’s desk, fiddling with his inventory as he did.
“Visiting hours are over. Come back later.”
“Yeah, fuckwit, I know. Here, does this open that door?” He snapped the Get Out Of Jail Free card out of his inventory and into his hand, holding it out to the guard, breath tight in his lungs. The guard reached out a hand and took it. He inspected the card, holding it close to his eyes and peering intently at both sides, then slid it into a slot in his desk.
With no change in expression, the guardbot said “Welcome to Prisoner On The Edge. When you’re ready to leave, simply message Warden@PrisonerOnTheEdge” – the address appeared in Jeff’s headset – “and request an exit door. Enjoy your visit.” Jeff looked over at the door to see that the stone had vanished.
Yesss!!! “Thanks, pal, it’s been a pleasure.” Jeff rushed through the door before it could seal shut again.
13: Hooray For Hollywood
It would have been too much to ask for Bill to be able to piggy-back off of Jeff’s Get Out Of Jail Free card and waltz out through the open door. Sure enough, the stone wall re-materialized into place behind Jeff as soon as he walked into the cell. Besides, even if Bill left the room, he’d still be locked in the suit. No change in the plan, then. It was time to get this film festival rolling.
And Bill could see him! As soon as Jeff had taken a few steps into the room, Bill turned toward him and did the dick-graze thing. Man, if Jeff hadn’t known to expect that, it would have been way too weird. Then Bill dropped to his knees and held up his hands just like the rubberlad in the dungeon had. Jeff blinked “Yes” to the prompt that came up in his headset asking if he wanted to take control of the suit. There needs to be a ‘Hell Yeah’ button. This was actually working!
According to Jeff’s thinking, Bill had been locked in the suit for something like two weeks straight. By now, he was probably pretty good at telling the difference between what was real and what wasn’t. He was probably getting a little bored, a little jaded even. For all the wonders the suit could perform, it was only capable of altering sight, sound, and touch. It could not alter gravity, or reshape Bill into a dog like Hunter, or change smells or tastes or affect the inside of his body. By now he knew what was and was not possible. As per the prison CO, repetition led to fewer points, and Jeff had been doing pretty much the same thing with variations for a lot of days in a row. It was time to change things up.
As Nightmare had demonstrated, there were ways to get the subject disoriented, to make him more receptive to suggestion. What reality and the suit couldn’t deliver, Bill’s own mind could. The trick was to get him disoriented as soon as possible, to make him undergo something that he knew the suit couldn’t possibly do. That would get him doubting himself, questioning his beliefs about what the VRealWorld was capable of doing to him, maybe even questioning whether what he was experiencing was VRealWorld-generated or not. And then he’d be more willing to believe whatever came next.
Jeff glanced at Bill’s score: 512. OK. This was doable. Time to cue up scene 1. If anything was going to cast doubt on the suit’s limits, this should do it.
AvengingTurtle Leatherman took control and Bill watched his score stop falling and start to rise again. Not that it would do any good. He’d get lifted to 700 or 800 or even 900, but then it would end and the points would start draining away again. But what other choice did he have?
The cave faded out. Wonder what it’s gonna be this time? Is an AvengingTurtle anything like a ninja turtle? Maybe I’m heading down into a sewer. But it was not a sewer that he found himself in. Instead, the dank stone walls were replaced with sleek lines and planes in white and black, grey and silver. Very futuristic-looking, though kind of industrial. Bill’s rubber suit was gone, replaced by a set of generic blue coveralls. He looked around to see what Turtle had become, but the leatherman had vanished altogether.
He walked around a bit, appreciating the light and the illusion of space. Unfortunately, the room he was in was just like the cell in that it had no door, but it was larger and brighter than his usual cell, so that was something to enjoy while it lasted. But where had Turtle gone?
He caught a glimpse of a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye, but by the time he had turned to look more clearly at it, it was gone. Some kind of animal? Couldn’t have been an actual turtle, it moved way too fast. Maybe his eyes were playing tricks on him. Or maybe the tricks were coming from the suit’s optics.
Whatever. His score was going up. Great. Bill didn’t mind waiting.
There it was again, something moving, almost too fast to see. He went over to look behind a rack of shelves, where whatever it was had gone to hide. Here, turtle, turtle, he called, but only silently in his mind – he knew well what the penalty for speaking out loud to leathermen was. This guy wanted to play hide and seek? Sure, why not.
Bill reached the shelves and peered behind them. The light was dim back here and it was hard to make out what the vague shapes were. There was definitely movement, though… something clinging to one of the shelves… something that had waaaaay too many legs…
Bill had just started to back away with a growing sense of unease when the thing came flying toward him at incredible speed. He only had time to think Holy fuck! and then it was on him. It wrapped an arm or a leg or something around his throat and Bill felt it start squeezing, hard. The rest of its body was plastered right up against his face, covering his nose and mouth and – shit! – there was something in his mouth and it was blocking his air, both his nose and his mouth were covered. Bill stood up and started clawing at the thing on his face.
It was on his face! His mouth and nose were the only part of him not covered by the suit and they were blocked! Whatever this thing was, it was not VR, not digital trickery, it was real and it was preventing him from breathing. He thrashed around, trying to dislodge it, but the thing clung to him just like that face-hugger thing from…
That’s what this was. This was the Alien, and it couldn’t possibly be real and yet it was. He could feel its multiple legs wrapped around his skull, squeezing tight just like its tail was squeezing his throat, and it was sticking some vile appendage down his throat, injecting him with some ghastly larval parasite that would eat his guts from the inside out. He bit down on it as hard as he could, but the thing had a hard shell, too tough for his teeth to crack, and meanwhile it was strangling him and clinging to his face with its horrible crab-like legs, and with the ferociously strong tail wrapped around his throat and the thing’s body smashed up against his nose and mouth he wasn’t getting enough air, not nearly enough.
He gave what he thought was a mighty heave, but he could tell his strength was ebbing. His arms were feeling heavy, far-off, distant. His legs didn’t want to hold him up any more.
He felt the room spinning, fading, going black…
Ha! It worked! Just like when they were kids horsing around. Stupid kids who didn’t know chokeholds were dangerous because they always recovered from it, didn’t they? Jeff had the suit squeeze Bill’s neck while he covered the mouth and nose openings with his hand, one gloved finger inserted between Bill’s teeth. Good thing he had brought that hard plastic tube to put over his finger – Bill had bitten down hard!
As soon as Bill stopped struggling, Jeff let him go and lowered his head to get the blood back into it. In the few seconds while Bill was out of it, Jeff laid him out on the ground and had the suit freeze him in place. (And now the steel plates on the walls and floor that had puzzled him on his first trip made sense – they were there to give the suit’s magnets something to latch on to.) In the VRealWorld, Bill was up off the floor on the surface of a table, but since there was no actual table present, the floor would have to do. Jeff got rid of the blue coveralls as well, the better to provide an unobstructed view of what was coming next, leaving Bill clad in just a pair of grey boxer shorts.
Bill woke up and gasped. Now it was time to just sit back and wait. One thing Nightmare had taught him: don’t underestimate the power of suggestion. Bill was now disoriented. Something that couldn’t exist had just made him pass out; who was to say what other impossible things might come true next? His rational mind would tell him that what was about to happen to him couldn’t possibly be happening… but a little bit of suit-induced churning in his belly would soon have him questioning himself. And time was on Jeff’s side – the longer it went on, the more opportunity Bill would have to doubt. After a while it wouldn’t be hard to nudge him into believing just about anything Jeff wanted him to believe.
And Jeff didn’t have to do much at all. Just like the Pocket Prison CO, he could sit back and let the points flow to Bill while conserving his own stash. If necessary, of course, he’d buy more, but it made sense to make effective use of the ones he had.
He kept Bill frozen for fifteen minutes. The suit would resist any movement he tried to make, and Bill definitely tried. Jeff saw a point when he succeeded in bending his legs a bit, but the relentless pressure of the suit forced him back in the position Jeff wanted him in. God, what a sense of power! He could definitely see the allure of this VRealWorld. If it weren’t for the whole gay thing, he could actually maybe get into this. Maybe.
The whole time Bill lay frozen, the suit would occasionally squeeze his waist or his chest. If a little squeezing worked to make Nightmare’s victim think he had a four-foot-long, 12-inch wide dick up his ass, it could probably make Bill think he had a little baby alien scooting around inside him. Sure enough, Bill moaned and tried to thrash more and more as time passed and the suit ramped up the sensations. His suit-enforced paralysis prevented him from moving, so all he could do was lie there, helpless, trying and hopefully failing to convince himself that all this really was just an illusion.
Jeff waited until Bill’s score reached the 600 mark – and a time when Bill’s attempts to struggle intensified – and then triggered the end stage of the scene. More squeezes around the belly, then a couple of electric shocks because when you’re primed to expect a creature eating its way through your abs, you’re going to convince yourself that any pain you feel is the pain of alien teeth shredding your guts and skin and muscles. And sure enough, Bill redoubled his thrashing and even choked out a muffled scream when he saw the fist-sized worm-like head emerge from beneath his ribs and poke its blood-soaked head out into the air.
Here’s where things diverged from the original film’s plot, but Jeff needed a way to transition to scene 2.
This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening, it isn’t real not real not real but as much as he repeated it, as much as he wanted to deny the evidence of his eyes and ears, he couldn’t deny the evidence from inside his belly. He caught one glimpse of the horrifying creature rising up from the bare skin at his waist, heard the ear-piercing shriek it let out as it emerged into the air all covered in his blood and intestines, then shut his eyes. Not real. He couldn’t shut his ears, though, but most of all, he couldn’t stop feeling the agonizing pain of his guts being ripped apart. This can’t be happening…
The high-pitched keening suddenly deepened in tone. Bill squeezed his eyes open, unable to resist the urge to see what was happening. No! What was NOT happening! The small, worm-like creature had grown in the few seconds since he had last looked at it, and was continuing to grow even as he watched. The head expanded, the body lengthened. Soon it loomed over him and leered down, its jaws dripping. It stretched its mouth open wide and suddenly Bill’s paralysis ended and he could move again… but it did him no good because the creature’s jaws came lunging down over his head. The world went black and he felt himself lifted to a standing position by the pull of the thing’s teeth lodged in his shoulders. Suddenly instead of the creature being inside him, he was inside it. There was no light, no sound but the rushing of his blood in his ears. He felt himself shifted from side to side as the thing that had eaten him moved around. He pressed against it, the fleshy walls of his prison giving way grudgingly to the force of his arms and legs and then returning to enclose him tightly again once he stopped pushing. Once again, his airway was blocked, though only partly this time, by warm flesh. He could turn his head to pull it away from the confining flexible wall around him, but it constantly reshaped itself to conform to his body’s contours. He fought to pull in every breath, clawing at the membranes around him and making no progress at escaping them.
There was a sudden searing pain over his entire body, taking his breath away. He stopped struggling for a moment, all his attention taken up by the sensation. Time stood still as he fought to pull air back into his paralyzed lungs. Then, at last, with a heave, his throat opened once more. When he had recovered a bit, he started pawing once again at the slick black walls that surrounded him on all sides.
This time his fist passed through the wall as if it were tissue paper. Light leaked into the darkness and he could see again. This was so unexpected he didn’t believe his eyes. Half-afraid the effect wouldn’t happen again, he dared to move his other hand out to the far side: same result. His hand tore the flimsy skin apart. The creature was falling apart around him. It emitted a high keening noise as it disintegrated… and he found he could breathe clearly again. What the fuck? There was no way the suit should be able to do that to him. So… maybe it wasn’t the suit? He no longer knew what to think, he could only react, running on instinct.
The alien collapsed further and Bill stepped out through a hole suddenly large enough to walk through. He spun around to watch it dissolve into grey mush and sink into the ground. Ground… there was ground underfoot, grass-covered soil. He was barefoot, wearing only the grey shorts from before, standing in a small sunlit green meadow surrounded by dark trees. OK, this was more VRealWorld-ish. Sudden changes of background scenery were to be expected… but that bit with his airway was too freaky.
He stood a moment, catching his breath. Then, without warning, a man appeared in front of him dressed like a samurai and armed with a huge sword. Bill had just enough time to put his hands up and step back from the surprise, but the sword was already in mid-swing. In less than a second, it had severed both hands at the wrist. They fell to the ground and lay there; the swordsman vanished.
What the fuck???
Blood was pumping out from the stumps at his wrists. He could feel it dripping down his bare arms… but he couldn’t feel his hands. Not real not real not real he repeated to himself as he sank down to his knees, but it was getting harder and harder to believe. He tried clenching his fists. Nothing happened to the hands lying on the ground, and he couldn’t be sure if he felt anything from his fingers. Were they still there? He was about to close his eyes to cut out the distracting illusions, but then he noticed that the ends of his arms were… changing…
As he watched, the severed stump grew skin, which quickly scabbed over, then bulged and swelled. His wrists itched… no, his fingers itched. He could feel them again because they were re-growing right in front of his eyes. In half a minute, there were two brand-new hands at the ends of his arms, looking just as real as the two lying on the ground. He laughed, a barking sound of relief. Okay… it’s okay… He climbed back to his feet.
The swordsman reappeared, metal blade already in motion. Bill had no time to scramble out of the way; he barely had time to blink. This time the target was his foot, which was cleanly separated from the rest of him. Once again, the sword wielder disappeared.
And Bill fell over. His “missing” foot refused to support his weight. That should not happen! There was NO WAY the suit could really take his foot off and make him actually fall down! But it sure did hurt… only at the ankle. He couldn’t feel his toes. Fuck, how was this possible???
Before he had a chance to think clearly about it, just like his hands had done, his foot began to regrow from its stump. A short time later, it was restored to perfect condition and he could feel it again. He climbed unsteadily to his feet, gingerly testing whether the rebuilt limb would support his weight. It did.
No way. No way, not possible, not happening. Bill looked around for a way to escape, but the trees surrounding the meadow were impenetrable. He raced around the edge of the clearing searching for any gap, even trying to will his way through where there was no gap, but he was trapped.
The samurai appeared a third time and took off his ear before vanishing once more. Bill felt the swing of the blade as it carved the air, felt the trickle of blood down the side of his neck. “STOP DOING THAT!” he shouted to the empty air, but the grass and trees sucked up his voice.
Over and over it happened. Bill lost hands, feet, arms, and legs repeatedly, occasionally his ears again and once, his nose. He reached a point where he stopped reacting, stopped trying to escape and simply lay there enduring as his tormentor flicked in and out of being, littering the small clearing with severed limbs that regrew on Bill’s body as fast as they were removed.
He curled up into a ball and whimpered.
God, it hurt to do this to his brother, but the increase in score was worth it. Jeff had gotten Bill up to 750 points now, halfway from where he started to his goal. This scene, a combination of Deadpool’s regeneration ability and an old samurai movie he saw years ago, was hopefully not something Bill would recognize. If Jeff stuck too closely to any given movie script, Bill might figure out what was going on.
All Jeff had to do was kick Bill’s foot out from under him whenever the samurai sliced it off, and even that wasn’t needed once Bill had collapsed in a heap. His own mind would supply the rest of the details, making this movie all too real for the actor starring in the show.
Unfortunately, the system’s “sameness detector” was already kicking in – Bill was getting fewer and fewer points for each limb lost. It was time to shift to the next scene. Hopefully Bill wouldn’t recognize this one either; the giant-spider segment wasn’t a huge part of the Lord Of The Rings films, so it wouldn’t be obvious where the next Halloween horrorfest creature had stemmed from.
While Bill was lying huddled in a ball, Jeff triggered the scene change. The result wasn’t too different from the original cell walls – dark grey stone walls and floor. There were a lot more pale silk strings lying around, though, and clinging to walls and dangling from the ceiling, enough that someone might start to wonder what had produced all those strings. Jeff waited for Bill to notice the difference and picked up his backpack to find the supplies he would need.
His hand landed first on the package that Martin had given him. Man, that thing kept pushing itself to the top of the heap somehow. Sorry, Martin. Not gonna happen. He pushed it to the side and found what he was looking for: a packet of waxed dental floss, unflavored. The simplest things…
There, Bill was stirring. He stood up shakily, checked his appendages to verify they were all there, and looked around. Nothing to see here… yet. Jeff watched as Bill looked around seeing only the cave and not the other person in it – how nice that Jeff could be the one to decide when to become visible to his brother!
There, a shadow on the wall. Bill didn’t see it yet – it was behind him. But he did see the web fragments lying around and bent to inspect some. He poked at the mass of strands with his fingers and the stuff came away clinging to his hands. He shook his hand to try to dislodge it, then must have caught a glimpse of movement. Jeff could see the spider clearly from where he was standing… what a monster. He might be having nightmares for weeks, and he wasn’t even the one it was going after! Bill spun around and the spider flicked across the ceiling far faster than anything that size could actually move. It would tease him for a bit, staying just out of his sight and plucking at his nerves until they were taut strings ready to snap.
Jeff backed away so Bill wouldn’t stumble into him. Nervous now, Bill was dodging back and forth, looking frantically over his shoulder. Somehow, the cave managed to always adjust itself so that Bill didn’t run into any of the walls of the room without making it obvious that he was still confined to a space the size of a bedroom. Whoever built this system did a good job, Jeff had to give them credit for that.
Suddenly, it was right above him, dangling an obscenely hairy black leg down. Bill shrieked and jumped, but the spider had a leg down behind him as well and he plowed right into it. Then it was on him. This was Jeff’s cue to get involved again. He grabbed Bill and tackled him to the floor, then rolled him over and over, back and forth, keeping his eyes shut while he was doing it because it was too distracting – OK, and too disturbing – to be seeing the spider’s legs passing near and even through his own body, not to mention knowing that its massive-though-virtual bulk was right over the back of his neck.
Jeez, if it was this bad for Jeff, what was Bill thinking?
Bill’s body was steadily disappearing under strands of silk, layer upon layer immobilizing him and shrouding him in formless grey-white. It saved the head for last, for when Bill had been rendered helpless. As soon as it started wrapping there, Jeff opened the packet of floss. He lifted Bill’s head, held one end of the sticky string in place, and started wrapping, just around the mouth and nose area. As soon as he got the second loop finished, there was enough tension that it could stay in place on its own. In less than a minute, Jeff’s mouth and nose were both covered, though not completely, by several strands of “spider silk”. One more little touch to keep him off balance.
Bill, for his part, had gone catatonic, not even whimpering now. Jeff watched as the spider hoisted him up to the ceiling, which meant that from Bill’s point of view – if he had his eyes open – the room sank around him. Jeff, who was standing on the floor next to Bill, had the odd sensation of floating in the air with his feet on solid ground. He glanced under the headset to confirm his feet were still firmly planted on the room’s dingy floor, as was Bill’s body, then went virtual again. There was no way to have it both ways – he couldn’t be standing next to Bill (though invisible to him) and standing on the floor of the virtual cave at the same time. Those “flying fuck” guys must have felt this same way, he mused. It was disorienting for him; how much worse must the enhanced illusion be for Bill?
The spider had disappeared, off in search of other prey, perhaps, or just waiting a bit until its fresh-caught meal was sufficiently tenderized… but actually to give time to let Bill stew in his bondage, immobilized by the suit and racking up the points. Jeff glanced at the display: 827. Not bad, but still a while to go. Gotta keep plugging away…
Perhaps ten minutes in, he checked on Bill. He was still lying there (of course), still covered in spider silk that pinned his limbs tightly to his body, legs together stretched out straight, one arm curled against his chest, the other down by his waist, where there was an odd-looking lump. It took Jeff far longer than it should have (though it was only a few seconds) to recognize the lump for what it was.
Holy shit. He’s got a hard-on.
The shape was unmistakable, the location conclusive. The only way the imaginary spider silk could be tenting out like that was if something was pressing it from inside the cocoon. And the only thing that could be pressing it from that spot on the inside was…
Well dang, bro. I guess you really do get off on this shit!
He checked reality once more, but all he saw was the black rubber of the suit, no lump to be seen. He checked closer, not really eager to but needing to know what was going on, and found that the crotch of the suit was a solid, hard cup, like an athletic protector. Nightmare had mentioned something to that effect, hadn’t he? Jeff had been absorbing a lot at the time and hadn’t really thought about it, but Nightmare had been talking about how he couldn’t get his rubberlads off during their sessions together. Because the suit wouldn’t allow it?
Damn. The suit trapped its wearer’s dick in a tiny space where it couldn’t grow, couldn’t get hard. That had to be awful! And Bill had been wearing this thing for two solid weeks. The only erections he had been permitted during all that time were virtual ones, rendered by the VRealWorld system while his real dick stayed locked up and soft.
Unless the erection was an illusion? Maybe the hard-on was system-generated and Bill wasn’t feeling a thing. How could he know?
Well, there was one way to find out, but…
Nah. He really didn’t want to do that. Not a bit.
But on the other hand, it was all fake. He wouldn’t really be…
OK, it had to be done. He had to know. He dropped the headset back in place and reached out with a gloved hand. He pressed down on the silk at Bill’s crotch and felt the unmistakable sensation of a blood-stuffed cock under his palm.
Bill moaned. It wasn’t a moan of discomfort. He thrust his hips upward, pressing the imaginary cock into Jeff’s hand. Jeff pulled it away; Bill continued to hump the air in frustration.
Well, then. Question answered. In a way, this made things easier. Jeff found it hard to inflict this kind of stress on someone he cared about without feeling guilty about it. It had to be done, there was no other way to get him out of the suit, but it was still tough to do. The fact that his brother was getting off on it? That sure helped ease the guilt. Man, to think he had known this guy for 23 years and had never once had a clue about this side of him…
A look at the score showed that it hadn’t changed much in the last few minutes… time to change things up again. He was about to cue the return of the spider, but was suddenly struck by an inspiration. The next scene was going to be the flogging scene from Mutiny On The Bounty, which would be fine, and which Bill would probably continue to sport wood from. But Jeff had a different idea of where he wanted to go next. Nightmare had said be willing to improv. Well. This would certainly count. He set about making the necessary alterations to the scene and writing a quick script. The VRealWorld interface wouldn’t allow him to speak real-time to a rubberlad, but it would let him dictate lines which the suit would then read aloud and play in his ears in a synthesized voice. That was good in that he wouldn’t have to worry about Bill recognizing him by sound. He definitely didn’t want Bill to know about his involvement now.
It was time to go meta.
He was about to restart the spider, then decided on one last tweak, altering the location where the returning spider would deliver its bite, the bite that would end this scene by making Bill’s world fade to black. Might as well go all in…
He restarted the spider. Bill’s view through the filmy webbing that surrounded his face would be of a dark, menacing mass growing larger as it neared. He began to twitch and writhe in the cocoon, seeking an escape that did not exist. The monster reared up, fangs the size of a forearm raised and dripping with venom and digestive juices… man, this had seemed so cheesy when Jeff had been composing the scene! He had expected the spider to look like something out of a black-and-white B movie from the 50s with clay-mation special effects. He had actually worried that Bill would laugh at what he had come up with. But this was not laughable, not corny at all. This was terrifying. This was fucking intense.
The fangs came down… right on Bill’s still-stiff cock. (Sure, if this were a physical spider, there’s no way fangs two and a half feet apart could both have plunged into one six-inch-long dick. But real-world physics didn’t matter here.) The suit delivered an electric jolt, the strongest one Jeff had given him so far. Bill exploded, his back arching and his limbs actually overpowering the suit’s restraint and tearing through the enclosing silk, so strong were his convulsions. Once more with the blackout and sound shutdown, and then Jeff used his pocketknife to quickly cut away the strands of floss from around Bill’s face.
A quick lift then… damn, it was tough to move a body that was totally limp, not cooperating at all. He pushed Bill up against the metal-covered portion of the wall, spread his arms and legs out, and activated the suit magnets to glue him in place. Even the back of his head got stuck to the wall. Jeff stood back and waited for Bill to come around.
God, the pain. He had never experienced anything like that, never. Even the suit’s anti-tamper jolt wasn’t that intense. He could still feel the aftershocks pulsing in his dick, making it twitch and spasm. He tried to move his hands down to cup himself. They didn’t move. Where were his hands, anyway? Did he even have hands? No, that was before… wait, was he still in… the spider had… hadn’t it… no, but… why couldn’t he see anything?
So confused… he was standing up… maybe… but how, he had no idea. He didn’t feel like he had enough strength to sit, let alone stand. Yet here he was. Somehow.
There was no light, no way to tell where he was. It felt like his arms and legs were stretched out, but again, that could be wildly wrong. Maybe he was lying down. Or maybe his body was curled up in a ball. Or maybe he didn’t have a body any more.
Bill didn’t have the strength to do anything but stand and wait. Lean and wait, hang and wait, whatever, there really wasn’t a clear distinction. If something was going to happen, it would happen. If not, well, he wasn’t actively hurting at the moment, and thinking about things was such hard work. Much easier to just… not.
White noise sounded in his ears, the faint carrier-wave sound of an open phone connection that no one was speaking on. It hummed faintly in his ears, pregnant with possibility. Then, a voice, low and soft, sounding halfway between human and synthesized.
“I have taken control of your suit.”
Bill floated, waiting. He had not been given any instructions, so there was no reason for him to respond. Better to just float. Besides, so what? He’d lost count of the number of guys who had taken control of the suit recently.
“No,” the voice continued. “Not like you’re thinking. I mean completely. Totally. Your suit has been hacked.”
This got Bill’s attention and was enough to pull him back from the comfortable floaty abyss that he so earnestly wanted to return to.
“I own you now.”
Bill forced himself to focus. He pulled the suit interface down, checked a few controls, looked at his score: 872. Tantalizingly close, as always, though after so many disappointments he didn’t even bother hoping he’d reach the 1,000 mark. Everything seemed to be working as it always had. What did the voice mean, “hacked”, then?
“Everything will appear as normal to you,” the voice continued after a pause. “But make no mistake: I have complete control, not only of your body. But also your mind. Using the sensors in the hood, I can read your thoughts.”
Bill relaxed a bit at this, though just a bit. This was somebody messing with him. Very effectively, but messing with him all the same.
“You will not believe this at first, so: a demonstration. Your name… ah, there, you see, I only have to say the words and you start thinking of the information I want. Your name is… Bill.”
No fucking way.
The voice went on. “There, I see it now in full: William… Henry… Carcarini. Though you hate the ‘Henry’ and sometimes tell people the H doesn’t stand for anything.”
This was impossible. There was no way someone could be reading his mind!
“Your birthday is…”
Even as the voice spoke, he couldn’t help but think of his birthday. It came to mind unbidden, reflexively.
“… March 8th, making you twenty-three years and a few months old.”
Bill felt the walls closing in around him. There was still no light and he still couldn’t move, but he felt them closing in all the same. How could this be happening?
Wait. His phone was here in the room somewhere. This AvengingTurtle guy had gotten hold of his phone, had gotten his name and other identifying information off of it and was now using that to fuck with his mind. Yes. That had to be it.
But then how had they known that he hated his middle name?
“You were brought up in…”
No. Don’t think it. But he couldn’t stop himself.
“… Bensonhurst. At your parents’ home on… 74th Street. Any brothers or sisters?”
Think of cows, think of daffodils, think of anything except…
“Yes, one of each, I see. Both older. A sister named Lynn and a brother named Jeff.”
OK, this was stretching the limit, but that was still searchable information, not impossible for someone to have looked up while Bill had been immobilized earlier.
“Any pets while you were growing up?”
The question was not one he had been expecting, and so of course he was unprepared to try to not think of the answer. An image and a name rose unbidden in his brain.
“Hmm, very unusual. Not the typical dog or cat but a bearded dragon named Spike. You had him from when you were six years old until he died when you were 13.”
No fucking way! No one could have looked that up about him! “How do; he started to say, forgetting his weeks of training and speaking aloud. The suit immediately jolted his nuts and flashed red letters across his field of vision: DO NOT SPEAK TO THE LEATHERMAN! He fell silent.
“One more. Your best friend as a child was…”
Bill tried to make his mind a blank. It shouldn’t be hard, he was nearly a blank already.
“…Mark Holland. When you were ten, you and he went to a park where you found half a cigarette that some older kids had been smoking and had discarded. It was still lit. You and Mark hid and took turns puffing on it. It tasted terrible and you coughed every time you inhaled. Your parents never found out. Mark and his family moved to Colorado when you were 14. You traveled out to see him as an adult but found that the two of you had grown apart and there wasn’t much of a connection any more. You were sad about this for days after your return.”
Bill was beyond awed, beyond stunned. No one knew about that, no one except Mark. He felt naked, exposed, spread wide open not just in his splayed body but in his soul. He was an insect in a collector’s display, a dissected cadaver hanging in an anatomy classroom, bones and blood vessels and organs all visible, all neatly labeled. His very thoughts were laid out in the same way for his captor’s perusal, each one neatly cataloged and filed away and indexed for easy retrieval.
He felt more helpless than he had ever known was possible.
Jeff had to hope this was working. It seemed likely – the fact that Bill had tried to speak and had clearly been punished for it suggested that Jeff’s campaign to blow his brother’s mind was having the desired effect. The smoking-with-Mark story should really put him over the edge. Jeff – age twelve at the time – had overhead them talking about it afterward and had considered using the information for blackmail, getting Bill to take over a chore like bathroom cleaning, for instance, in exchange for not ratting him out. But time passed and Jeff could never decide what price he should demand for his silence, and then all of a sudden too much time had passed and the information lost its value.
Until now. As far as Jeff knew, Bill and Mark had never told another soul about the incident, which meant it should really be blowing his mind to be hearing about it now. Jeff smiled – what a power trip this was!
But the score wasn’t going up as fast as it needed to. He was going to have to break out some more pain.
Might as well play it up for all it was worth. He cued up the next line of the script. The voice sounded in his ear as well.
“You are probably wondering what it is I want from you, rubberslave. I think you can guess. I want you… to suffer.”
Jeff blasted him with a lightning bolt that caught him in the upper right arm. Bill flinched but did not cry out. The next one hit his left thigh and this one did cause him to shout, a quickly-bitten-off grunt. The next got him on the left palm at a moment when his fingers were spread wide. They instantly clenched in on themselves and Bill twitched again. Jeff found himself actually having to exert effort to keep control of himself. He had not expected that conjuring imaginary lightning bolts out of thin air and hurling them like some Greek god would be so much fun. He needed to keep reminding himself that that was Bill over there that he was using for target practice, and that there was a purpose behind all this. He checked the score. 920… 925… It kept climbing, but not enough. And the rate was leveling off! 928… 930… This needed to work, it had to…
After a while Jeff dropped down below 50 points. He needed to give Bill another 70, which should be doable, but clearly the system’s sameness-detector had decided that despite all his creativity in setting up the mind game that Bill was now swimming in, it wasn’t different enough. Maybe it could only recognize the physical stuff he did? But no, Nightmare had definitely said that the rubberlad’s mental state was a factor in his scenes. So… why wasn’t this working?
He was going to have to change things up again. But he was seriously running low on ideas. He could try the mutiny-flogging scene he had originally planned, maybe?
Or… maybe he could enlist Bill’s help. The moment he thought of the idea, he knew that was the way to go. Bill, after all, was much more likely to know what kinds of things would work, for two reasons. One, he’d been doing this for almost two weeks and two, hard as it was for Jeff to believe, he actually enjoyed this kinky shit.
Jeff released the suit magnets and Bill crumpled to the floor. He quickly composed another note to be read by the system’s not-quite-human voice.
“Now, rubberslave, time for you to try reading my mind. What is it you think I want from you now?”
Bill almost spoke again, then remembered not to. Jeff saw him subvocalizing for a few seconds, and then a message appeared in his display. It read:
The rubberlad requests permission to worship you.
Jeff found that to be an odd reply – it didn’t quite answer the question that was asked, but maybe the VRealWorld communication system didn’t allow for complex thoughts like “I think you want…” Maybe such thoughts had to be expressed more simply as “I want…”?
Whatever. He could work with that. He blinked “Yes,” waited a bit, wondering why Bill wasn’t doing anything, then realized Bill was still trapped in the dark. He brought up the room lights for him. Bill would be finding himself back in his original cell, just as dingy and depressing as ever. In the cell with him he would find Jeff, or rather AvengingTurtle, whose avatar was now no longer the default but a splendid specimen of Homo Leatherdude-icus that Jeff had dug out of the VRealWorld archives, tall and muscular and showing a whole lot of golden-bronze flesh studded with black leather trimmings. Jeff took a quick look at himself in his phone as Bill crawled toward him. Damn, if he actually looked like this, he’d be having to beat the rubberlads off him with a stick. Or maybe not – the sick fucks would probably enjoy that and swarm him all the more!
Bill crawled over to where Turtle was standing and lowered his face to Jeff’s feet. Only then did Jeff realize what “worship” meant in this context – Bill wanted to do the tongue-polishing thing from the Renaissance castle right here on Turtle’s already-perfectly-shined black boots. The only problem was, Turtle was wearing boots, but Jeff was wearing sneakers, and they were pretty grungy ones. “Punishing” Bill to give him points was something Jeff could grudgingly accept as necessary; letting his brother get a mouthful of Brooklyn street grit was going too far. He quickly drew his feet back. Bill, fortunately, didn’t chase them, which gave Jeff time to dictate his next lines.
“So close, but: no. Wrong guess. Try again.”
There was another pause while Bill thought up a reply. Jeff checked the score again… 928??? It had fallen by two since his last check. Dammit, was this going to be one of those impossible challenges, where it would let Bill get closer and closer to the limit but never let him actually reach it? What was it going to take?
The rubberlad requests permission to worship your cock
Aw, shit. Here it was again, the central core of the gay thing. The peripheral gay stuff was tolerable: hanging out in a gay bar, talking with gay guys, even playing in this virtual game where half the bodies he saw were flawless hyper-masculine musclemen not unlike the costume he was wearing himself. That stuff was OK, even kind of fun. But all that stuff was trimmings, decoration. The real essence of gayness was dicks and what gay guys liked to do with them, and here it was, front and center, and Jeff was just not willing to take that step. How could he ever look his brother in the face again knowing that the same mouth he was talking to had once been wrapped around his cock?
So, no, that was a non-starter. He blinked the “No” button and told Bill to try again. But even as he did, a thought that had been circulating deep in his brain started edging its way to the surface.
You don’t seem to be able to push the score any higher with pain and restraint and mind games. So what’s left? It seemed Bill knew the answer and was feeding it to him. Jeff could pretty much predict what the next suggestion was going to be; he just didn’t want to accept it. And dammit, even Martin had known in advance, hours ago! He had sent him in prepared in a way Jeff would never, EVER have done himself.
Well, maybe it was time for him to get over his hangup. He would be able to look Bill in the face afterward without imagining his dick there if the mouth was not the hole that the dick had gone into. If the dick went somewhere else, somewhere neatly out of sight during casual conversations and future family get-togethers, Jeff wouldn’t have any reason to remember this incident at all. Besides, it wasn’t like anyone was ever going to find out – not even Bill. Especially not Bill.
The more he thought about it, the more it seemed to be the only way forward. Martin’s handy package more than anything else confirmed it. And then, as if in further confirmation, the next message from Bill came up.
The rubberlad requests permission to accept you into itself
“Accept you into itself?” The game couldn’t just come out and say “fuck me up the ass?” Fine. Whatever. Jeff blinked yes and started digging around in the backpack.
As if it were drawn to his hand, the bag from Martin was the first thing he touched. He pulled out one of the condoms and opened it. He was most definitely not feeling even the slightest bit aroused, but if there’s one thing a 25-year-old body is good at, it’s getting an erection on short notice. A minute of gripping and squeezing and yanking had his cock standing upright enough to fit the latex sheath over it.
He looked at Bill again and saw that he was down on all fours on the metal plate, waiting. Jeff activated the suit magnets and then conjured some chains into existence around Bill’s wrists and ankles – might as well add some restraint, that could only help the score. Bill would find that his hands and knees were glued to the floor, but because there wasn’t much surface area for the magnets to grip with, he would be able to pull free, with effort. The moment he let his hand or leg touch the floor again, of course, it would re-stick itself. Loose chains seemed like a good visual to go with that arrangement; the feeling of having to force his hands to move would be similar to what heavy steel would feel like. Jeff decided to vanish Bill’s suit as well, leaving Bill’s avatar naked. If you’re gonna get fucked, you might as well dress for the part.
Jeff realized he was stalling. He knelt down behind and started exploring the ass area of the suit. Nightmare had said something about a zipper… ah, there. He pulled it open. The smell that emerged was of two-week-unwashed body and stale ass, but fortunately the opening was small and the odor wasn’t too overwhelming.
Jeff took some of the lube Martin had provided and slathered it over his dick, stroking it a few more times to keep it good and hard. He drizzled a bit into the target, trying not to touch it or think too much about what he was doing.
Then there was no further reason to postpone. Here goes…
Finding the hole was, surprisingly, a non-trivial task. The suit made it tough to see anything and Jeff did not want to explore with his hands any more than necessary. Once he found it, he then had more difficulty managing the insertion than he had expected to encounter. There was resistance. Even when he knew he was lined up at the right spot, he couldn’t seem to get the thing to go in. Bill seemed to be trying to help, but it was possible those were grunts of agony rather than ecstasy. He kept tossing his head back and shifting his hips around.
Oh! Right! Something else Nightmare had said, about giving the rubberlad a buzz. Jeff found the setting for that (once more distracting himself and losing a bit of his hard-on) and turned it on. Bill immediately began moaning even more, and these moans were definitely weighted more toward the “feels so good” side. Jeff stiffened himself back up and began probing again.
Then, at last, something gave way and Jeff’s cock sank in as deep as it could go. Bill resolved any lingering ambiguity as to whether he was enjoying this with a long, satisfied-sounding hmmmm coming from deep in his throat. If Jeff had had any doubts left about where Bill’s preferences in the romance department lay (which he did not), that sound all by itself would have dispelled them.
He pulled out, though not all the way, then pushed back in again. Soon he had a rhythm going. Not too different from what I’m used to. His dick didn’t seem to care much – it found itself enveloped by a tight, warm embrace and that was enough to keep it happy. He pumped a while, then thought to check Bill’s score.
965. Bingo. This was indeed the way to get the job done. But the brief distraction was enough to mess up his rhythm and he even found himself softening up just a bit. He needed to stay focused.
He looked down at Bill’s naked, chained virtual body. While the muscles and hair didn’t work for him, he found that the chains somehow did. The idea of being bound like that, of having heavy steel weighing down his limbs… that, for whatever reason, was appealing, even erotic. He had never known himself to have any interest in such stuff. Never…
… maybe not never. There was that visit to the Pocket Prison when he couldn’t help imagining what it would be like to be stretched out in “the hole”, hands and feet cemented in place, no escape, no relief…
OK, yeah, this was working for him. definitely. He risked a peek at Bill’s score once more – 979. Suddenly his major concern was not of being able to reach the end point at all, but of reaching the end point too quickly. He slowed his rhythm down because if he hit the peak and went over it too soon, then all of this effort would have been totally wasted. He could hang in there for 21 more points, definitely.
He let his mind wander, determinedly not looking at the steel shackles or the flesh secured by them. It was tough, though, because every time Bill shifted position, the chains made a very realistic jangling sound, which drew his attention back to them. And Bill was apparently not in a comfortable position because he kept shifting a lot, lifting his hands up against the weight of the steel and setting them back down with a heavy thud.
A little more… a little more…
Jeff kept his eyes mostly shut, trying to stretch the fucking out long enough to reach the prize. Every so often, he squeezed one open to peek at the number: 986, 993, 998. Getting close now, he could do this. Better to go up above 1,000 a bit because there was no telling how quickly the score would start dropping again once this was over.
There, one thousand. Keep going, just a bit longer…
His knees were starting to ache, which actually helped keep him from reaching the precipice and thus allowed the score to climb a bit more. 1,008… 1013… 1020.
That had to be good enough. Jeff opened his eyes and looked at the chains, the relentless, implacable way they gripped comparatively-frail human limbs, holding them in an iron-tight grasp. What would it be like to feel that grip, that unyielding weight for real? Ohhhh, oh yeah, something about that image was definitely working for him, very, very much so. How had he never known this about himself?
He lost the rhythm as the orgasm rose up and overwhelmed him, lost any sense of concern for Bill, of the ache in his knees on the hard metal floor, lost awareness of anything else at all but the wave after wave of pleasure shooting down his spine and out his dick. He just pressed himself there, buried deep in the warm fuckhole, savoring each jolt of his climax as it washed over him.
Then, at last, as it always did, the moment passed and the feeling started to fade. Bill’s score stood at 1,027… then dropped to 1,026 as Jeff pulled himself out. He released the suit magnets and vanished the chains. Bill collapsed onto the floor, pressing his crotch into the metal plate, no doubt desperate for an orgasm of his own but unable to reach it due to the suit’s enforced chastity. Come on, Bill, now’s the time, do it, do it…
But Bill didn’t seem to realize that freedom was within his reach. As Jeff watched, taking the condom off as he did, the number dropped again to 1,025. Bill was losing points at the rate of one every fifteen seconds or so. At that pace, it would take only five minutes and the window of opportunity would close. And all Bill seemed to want to do was grind his crotch into the floor, seeking release that he wouldn’t be able to get unless he unlocked the fucking suit come on, Bill!
Another point gone, and then another and Jeff was frantically trying to figure out a way to get through to his lust-consumed brother. Shouting didn’t work, as usual. He tried to pass a message through the interface, but was informed that his message “Unlock the suit!” had met with a delivery error. Down to 1,021.
As his own cock shuddered with a satisfied aftershock, he suddenly remembered: Bill’s buzz stimulation was still on. Jeff had gotten rid of the chains and the dick up Bill’s ass, but the suit was still sending a constant erotic rumble to his groin. Jeff couldn’t know what that felt like, but it was clearly enough to keep Bill’s mind from focusing on anything else. He navigated through the interface, found the setting, blinked it off.
Bill deflated like a punctured air mattress, sagging on the floor as all the energy drained out of him. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon… He lay there for half a minute until Jeff lost patience at the steadily-declining score – 1,016 – and nudged his brother with his foot. Bill stirred and sat up. Jeff had turned all enhancements off except the basic environment of the cell, so Bill appeared as a faceless, anonymous rubber creature with no eyes to read expressions in, no ears to feed instructions into, just a slack-jawed mouth.
He yanked on the lock – not too hard, just enough to draw attention to it. “OPEN THE LOCK,” he called out, enunciating each word as though that would let the sounds squeeze past the suit’s blockade and spark understanding in his brother’s brain. “Use the menu and request an unlock, come on Bill, you gotta do it, I can’t do it for you…”
And whether it was the words, the tugging, or something else entirely, it worked. Jeff felt the lock twitch in his hand and suddenly it was open. He flipped the headset up to make sure that what he felt was not just more VRealWorld trickery, an illusion in both his eyes and his gloved fingers. But there it was: real. The lock hung open. Quickly, before Bill could do something stupid, Jeff tugged the lock free of the zippers it was fastened around. Bill was starting to fumble with the hood.
Time for AvengingTurtle – and Jeff – to get the hell out of here. He grabbed his charging cable, noting that Bill’s phone was up to a healthy 55% now, and stuffed it into his backpack. Then he realized that the clothes he had brought for Bill were still in the pack, but he did not want to be in this room once Bill got that hood off his head, so he rushed out through the open door into the next room, quickly dumped out the shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes, set the small black suit lock on top of them, and bolted out the door. If Bill needed to return the lock along with the suit, he’d find it… and if he wanted to lock it right back on, well, then Jeff had done everything he could do.
Down the stairs, out the door, down seven blocks to the train where – amazing for a Sunday – he was able to hop right on one that was just ready to depart, thus averting the situation where he was standing or sitting, waiting, waiting, and then Bill strolled in to spot him and wonder why he was there. Pulling out of the station, he breathed a sigh of relief at last.
Oh. Right. One more thing to do. He pulled the headset back on and called up the messaging interface. He found the note KingstonTop had sent him and blinked “Reply”.
From his home on Staten Island, Martin Druizend called up his folder of archived scenes. There were nine sub-folders already, each organized by name and sequence number:
Surely, this was one of the best yet… but how to categorize it? Up until now, his little puppet shows had only involved one victim, so the scene numbers and victim numbers corresponded one to one. Now… was this one scene, or two?
He decided it counted as a single episode. A long, convoluted, very involved one that had required a great deal of planning and research and logistics to set up, but that had been so, so worth it. He created a new folder and gave it a name:
- Bill and Jeff
He would definitely be reviewing the video of these scenes over and over, especially that deliciously piquant grand finale. To think – he had arranged for a straight guy to torture and rape his own brother… and the guy had actually come by and thanked him for it later when he returned the gear to the bar!
Although… was “rape” really the right term? Unlike other rapes, in this one it was the ass that was willing and eager and the dick that had to be… coaxed… into delivering a performance. Well, whatever the term, one thing was certain:
Damn, he was good.
When he had first come up with the idea for the VRealWorld, it was clear that most of the revenue was going to come from the gay players who would use it willingly. But it was never about the money, not for Martin. It was always about the world itself, the construction and population of a space where men like him could let their imaginations soar. The money was just a mechanism to make that construction possible.
As founding architect and developer, Martin had unlimited access and control over the system. It had been a fairly trivial task to include back doors in the programming years ago, back doors that would let him, for instance, adjust the point-awarding algorithm on the fly, adding or deducting points according to Martin’s whim. Or giving him the ability to charge virtual points for real-world rent and meals. Or to spy on and record supposedly private, offline scenes. Once things took off and he had hired on extra staff to handle the day-to-day work, those back doors remained, buried deep in the system’s core code where only he could take advantage of them.
He had to give Jeff props, though, for his inventiveness. For a straight neophyte, what he came up with very good. Martin had been expecting something more run-of-the-mill, a generic flogging or an immobilization or some such. He thought he would have to tilt the point algorithm toward the high end to get Bill’s score up enough to make it possible to reach the goal. Instead, Martin had found himself having to put his thumb on the scale in the other direction, keeping Bill under the threshold enough to nudge… OK, to force Jeff to take the only action that had any chance of succeeding.
Ah, good times. This was definitely one to remember. He closed the folder and sat back, arms behind his head.
Now what can I possibly do next to top that?
Early October, a bright but windy day at Aunt Joyce and Uncle Hugh’s place in Ronkonkoma, about halfway out Long Island. The Columbus Day weekend family gathering was usually smaller than the summer beach picnic or the Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Year’s get-togethers, but there were still over two dozen people packed into the house and spreading out into the yard.
Jeff had eased his way to a spot where he could take a break from the clamor of the kids. Lynn’s twins were 6 now, and his cousins’ kids were aged 5, 7, and 8, and when they all got together it felt like there were about fifty little imps running around, not five. The side of the house was a good hiding place, away from both the front porch where people kept shuffling in and out from their cars with more food and the back yard where the imps kept trying, in their high-pitched voices, to convince some adult or another to let them go into the above-ground pool even though temperatures were only in the 60s.
“Hey, Turtle.” Jeff started at the sound of his brother’s voice – he had not heard anyone coming up behind him. Then he did a second double-take at the name Bill had called him by.
“Wait… you… what did you say?” This had to be a coincidence, it had to be.
Bill sat down on the grass next to him. “I owe you a big, big thank you,” he said. “And until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know it was you I needed to thank. So… thank you.”
So it wasn’t a coincidence. Jeff sighed. “How did you find out?”
“Your phone. You left the app running. After I got out of the suit and saw that rathole I’d been stuck in, I found the clothes and the money and the charged-up phone – thank you for thinking of those along with everything else, by the way. I ran out hoping to find whoever it was who had done me such a huge, huge favor. But he was out of range. All I had was the name.
“Anyway, I kept an eye out for him every time I went back online – not in one of the suits again, don’t worry! A headset and gloves I can afford to rent every now and then, and the phone app is free. So one day in September I was in the old neighborhood and thought I’d see if there were any leathermen nearby, and bang, there was AvengingTurtle. I zoomed in to his location and was very surprised to see that he was in Mom and Dad’s house. So I headed on over there not knowing what I’d find, and I saw that it was just you and Dad hanging out in the living room, watching the Giants game. Remember that afternoon?”
Jeff had to admit, he did. It was the first time he had seen Bill face-to-face since setting him free and he had been expecting awkwardness. There had been surprisingly little – Bill didn’t say anything about his summer absence and neither did anyone else. Just another case of Bill flaking out again and then reappearing without a word of explanation. Jeff recalled keeping the conversation minimal, not trusting himself to say something stupid or unnecessarily revealing.
“So you may also remember me pulling my phone out at one point. You might have thought I was checking a news feed or texting with someone, but I was looking at you and Dad on the screen, because I still wasn’t completely sure which one of you it was. I mean, I had my guess, of course, but I had to know. And I was right. The phone showed Dad as his normal self, but it showed you sitting in the blue recliner, only you had your Turtle body on.”
He held his phone up. Jeff saw a screen-shot of his parents’ living room and an impossibly muscle-bound, leather-bedecked stud sitting in the well-worn chair, beer in hand.
“I gotta say,” Bill went on. “That Turtle is one hot brother-fucker.”
Jeff’s eyes expanded like saucers and he was rocking onto his ankles, preparing to stand and explode when Bill held up a calming hand. “Whoa, whoa! Come on, I’ve been saving that line up for three weeks, you gotta let me use it!”
Jeff’s outrage dissipated into amusement. It actually was a pretty good line, he had to admit.
“So you gotta realize… I was as mortified when I figured it out as you’re probably feeling right now. I’ve just had a couple more weeks to process it. And after I processed it, I realized: you went way out of your way to save me when I needed saving, but not only that, you hid your tracks so I wouldn’t feel like I owed you for it. I’m really, really grateful for that.”
“Ah. Well, you’re welcome,” Jeff said, finding his voice at last. “I’m glad it worked.”
“And if you want,” Bill continued, “we can never speak of this again after today. But I had to thank you. At the risk of making you uncomfortable, that scene with AvengingTurtle was by far, hands-down the best I had during my whole time there. Looking back, all you did were recycled movie scenes and cheap tricks and sleight-of-hand, but it was really, really effective. I was absolutely out of my mind, just blown away. That bit at the end when you convinced me you were reading my thoughts? Fuckin’ incredible, what a trip! And clearly the system thought it was worth points, too.”
“Yeah. Not enough of them to avoid the part at the very end though.”
“Ah. Yeah. On that topic, I’m planning on coming out to Mom and Dad soon. Before Thanksgiving.”
“That’s probably a good idea. From what I’ve heard, the closet isn’t a healthy place to live.”
Bill looked up quizzically, as though not expecting such words to come from his brother’s lips. “No, you’re right. It’s not,” he agreed, turning his gaze back down to the ground.
“Soon would be good,” Jeff said, aiming for an idle conversational tone and hoping he was hitting it. “Before Thanksgiving gets too close. You don’t want to get that news mixed up with the general holiday fuss. I’m sure they’ll be fine with it.”
“You think? I’m not so sure.”
“If they’re not, I’ll make sure they know I’m cool with it. They’ll come around.”
“Thanks.” Bill looked up from the ground sideways toward Jeff, not quite meeting his gaze. “I, uh, don’t suppose there’s any chance that Turtle, uh, might…?”
“No,” Jeff said flatly. “Absolutely not.”
“Yeah,” Bill nodded, appearing neither disappointed nor relieved. “I figured.”
Bill cocked his head, looking toward Jeff in puzzled expectation.
“While there is no chance, ever, of Turtle wanting a repeat of the last bit of his adventure… there were… other parts… that he definitely enjoyed. The non-gay parts. He might be willing to do a few of those things again. Someday.”
Bill nodded, not speaking. Jeff continued, “After all, I’m your big brother, and one of a big brother’s jobs is whipping his little brother’s ass into shape!”
That got a smile from Bill. The sound of high-pitched voices started to increase in volume. Young Carcarinis were approaching from the direction of the backyard.
“But in the meantime,” Jeff went on. “There’s a bar you definitely want to check out. If you haven’t already. Terra Nova, it’s called. It’s in the city, in Chelsea.” He checked the calendar on his phone. “In fact, you should go… next Saturday. One week from today.”
Bill kept nodding, head slowly bobbing and down. “Hmm. Okay, I think I just might do that.”
“HERE THEY ARE!” a young voice shrieked, rounding the corner, followed by a hundred and seventy-two others. “UNCLE JEFF, UNCLE BILL, COME SEE WHAT ANDY FOUND it’s so cool do you think he still has it I wonder where it came from he better not drop it!” It was like listening to Howie the Terra Novan Triplets, only Dougie-sized and with chipmunk voices. The two men were hauled to their feet and shepherded toward the backyard by several thousand tiny, grubby hands.
“One thing I haven’t been able to figure out,” Bill said above the clamor. “How did you know about the smoking thing? With Mark?”
Jeff took a moment to decide whether he wanted to answer honestly or continue messing with Bill’s head. He settled on the latter and was about to say, “What do you mean? I read your mind, that’s how!” hoping that since Bill was behind him, he wouldn’t be able to see the dopey grin he was wearing.
But instead Bill called out once more over the din. “You know what? Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know!”
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Disclaimer: The story above is a purely fictional account. Any relationship to any real person living or dead is coincidental. The narrative contains semi-consensual male-on-male sex and pain. It is intended for mature readers who wish to view such material, and for whom it is legal to do so. The author in no way condones or promotes such acts in real life.
Copyright © 2020 by POW. For spam prevention, an animal name has been added to the author’s e-mail address. Remove the animal name to get the actual address: POWauthor zebra at yahoo dot com. This story may be freely copied and distributed so long as it is copied in its entirety, unchanged, including the author credit information and disclaimer. Other POW stories are available at https://powauthor.blogspot.com. The author welcomes feedback.
Metal would like to thank POW for sharing this story!