Love as a Form of Binding Ch. 15byTaLtos6©
Maezou squatted down to look at Tereth's wound. The edges were already coming close to knitting themselves together under her direction. He hung a little limply in the grasp of Toby and Racephet.
"Don't move now," she muttered in concentration as his torn lower belly was illuminated by the glow of her eyes, "or you will regret this even more."
But Tereth had never been known to be much of a forward thinker and he strained once against the way that the two lords held him by his horns. "What are you going to do, turn me into a girl? Is that it? You're going to make me into a bitch like you?"
He hung very limply a second later after Toby's fist clipped the nerve in his jaw.
"A little care, Lord Tobias," Racephet joked, "This is my minion, you know."
"Sorry," Toby grinned.
Maezou closed the wound, and a second later, the last of the blood was gone, lifting away from him to disappear into the darkness. She looked at her handiwork and smiled at the featureless expanse of flesh punctuated now by only the exit of his urethra. With a little thought from her, his overall shape began to shift and much of his musculature evaporated to leave behind a more slender figure with just a hint of the swell of hips to it.
She stood up and regarded Tereth as he groaned a little while regaining consciousness. As his eyes opened, she reached for his face and repaired his scarred cheek, softening the features a little and emphasizing what was there to give him cheekbones that models the world over would kill to have.
"I'm not going to turn you into anything, Tereth," she said, "You turn yourself into whatever you want now, but that depends on what you do. You just can't be a dick anymore. I've just dealt with something that you should never have been equipped with for what you've done with it and how it's fucked up your little brain. You ought to be able to think a little more clearly now, at least.
What I've done here, besides repair the tear that I left, is more of a considerate gift to you. Without your nasty little package and the abilities that I've taken from you, you'd only turn into a round and unhappy capon if I left you as you were. Like this, you look a lot better. You might not ever get it into the dim brain there behind your eyes, but I've given you a far better than even shot at learning to be happy, instead of constantly wanting something that your ability to obtain only causes you to generate misery here on this world."
Maezou noticed her mother's wave. "I've got to go," she said. "Just so you don't piss anybody off within the first two minutes, Lord Racephet holds your soul. Try to be at least a little respectful, since I won't be here to repair you if you get this wrong."
Racephet hung onto Tereth's horn and began to walk away with a nod to Maezou and Toby. Tereth was forced to either try to keep up by walking in a rather crouched position, or he'd be dragged. Only a minute later, Tereth was looking at Megeara's dark splendor as she regarded him.
"We need to come up with a way to make a meal for everyone," she said. "It's my turn and you're my assistant."
But the changes in his hormone levels hadn't gotten through to all of his brain yet, and a minute later, Tereth was dropped down through a trapdoor in what had once been the dungeon of Tantallon Castle. He picked himself up from where he'd landed and looked up at the square of light that he'd fallen through. Megeara's lovely face regarded him for a moment.
"In case your eyes and hands don't work, " she said, looking a little bored, "you're not exactly equipped to do what you suggested that we do anymore. I'd kill you for it, but I think that Maezou's got some small use for you yet. So I'll make the meal alone, pea-brain, and you'll go hungry."
"How long am I going to be in here?" he asked.
"I don't know," Megeara shrugged, "This is an oubliette, after all. It's a place to forget about the one that you throw in. This is the only way in or out, and I'll ward it with a lot of pain for you if you try to get out."
She slammed the trapdoor shut and he heard it being barred and then he felt the tingle of the ward from where he stood. Tereth tried to sit down, but he found some old bones there. So he felt with his feet as he moved in the darkness. When he reached the wall, he sat down and leaned against it, feeling a little carefully over his body to see what had been done to him. He didn't want to actually look yet.
He had an idea, but even so, it still surprised him. His fingers slid lightly over the place where his maleness had been. Other than the tiny opening that Maezou had left him to urinate through, there was absolutely nothing there anymore, other than soft, smooth skin. Tereth wanted to weep again, until he noticed something. After a little thought, he knew that Maezou could have been a lot more cruel to him. She'd left him nerve endings. Sliding his fingers carefully and very slowly there, he found that he could feel some pleasure from it.
In the complete darkness of his little cell, Tereth began to masturbate in a completely new way. It wasn't what he had before, and it certainly wasn't anything like what any female had. He just hoped that it might be enough, that was all.
Mother led them away, and a moment later, they were joined by Zele.
"I foresee a pause now for a few days. Gorek will want to negotiate for some help. The other lords will be at least a little cautious, since that is their way. But when it is done, you ought to be prepared for the real test in this. With all of us together, there is much strength and power, but we are only seven and the two small ones, eight if I take part. What may come is a fight where each of us must face a few hundred each. That is not something that I want to do. It would not be good for the strongest storm demon to be seen taking an overt side in the rise of a new lord. The odds must be improved, and I believe that I know of a way. Sometimes it is an advantage to be as old as I am," she smiled.
"Follow me," she said, spreading her wings.
Their course took them high and out over the Orkney Islands as they began to descend, circling down toward the island of Eday. There was a storm out over the water and they flew through biting cold winds and the bone-chilling snow that the wind pushed. Toby and his consorts had little doubt that Mother had brought this to hide them. Before long, the four stood huddled close together, wrapped in their wings as the wind moaned around them.
"What does Mother bring us here for?" Zele asked, "The wind blows the cold snow under Zele's wings. She can feel it all the way to her little –"
She stopped there as a thought came to her and the end of her tail disappeared under the shelter of her wings. The others looked at her, but her reply was only a little sheepish.
"Nothing," she said quietly as she stood with her feet slightly apart. They all knew that she'd found another use for her tail then.
Mother's expression was grim as her long hair was whipped past her face. "We are here to help someone – if they still live at all," she said. Her featureless golden eyes squinted down to thin yellow slits in the biting wind. "I can feel little. The storm is needed to hide us. None of this can be seen by anyone else in the dark realms, or we risk having all of the hells come down on us at once. Come."
They walked in single file behind her as she led them to a small hillside. Each of them tried to sense for human life or anything else, but nothing much came to any of them. No human with a working brain would be out in this, Maezou thought as she looked off through the storm toward Calf Sound. She could barely see a very few lights in the buildings that she could make out using the sight of her kind. Without this ability, one couldn't see anything but darkness and snow.
Mother suddenly stopped in the opening of the entrance to a place inside the hill and led them inside. They were all thankful that the doorway sheltered them. Demons are not all that bothered by cold, but Mother had laid it on pretty thickly.
"This was built as a tomb," she said, "and it has been excavated and studied by humans. But tonight we are here to correct some mistakes. The humans built this and made their mistake when they did. It changed nothing, but it hid what was already buried here even more. Likely they chose the place because of the hill and for the way that the place felt to them, but they built their tombs on an even older mistake."
"One of the first of the angels was the Angel of Death," Mother said, "created on the first day, it's said. There have been many stories and almost as many names for the one. It seems the scholars get confused and fanciful now and then. Not such a stretch," she said with a scowl, "I haven't been safe from the hare-brains either.
But as a concept or an idea," she said, "the Angel of Death is really only an instrument, a being with no will of its own – no voluntary power."
She could see that Zele was wondering what any of this had to do with her freezing her nipples off under the protective covering of her tightly wrapped wings.
"You are not thinking clearly, Daughter," she said, "We all freeze too, and you are about to complain when you are the one who has the best shape for this to help us all."
They looked over a moment later at the huge hellhound standing with them now, lighting the entrance way with the dull red glow of her eyes. The rest were all suddenly thankful for the heat of her when she was like this. Out of the wind and sheltered now, the heat given off by a hellhound was most certainly welcome.
"Long ago," Mother whispered in the stillness a little of the way in, "it was seen to be desirable to maintain a sort of balance of the power between the sides, and so several dark lords sought to make a death angel of their own much like what the other side had. Only one was what had been envisioned. The rest were mostly failures.
The thing about these beings," she said, "is that they are beyond dangerous. Once directed – once one of them appears, there is no reversal possible from that anger. They are set to a task or into motion by an order, but take no action until they receive permission to destroy.
But once that is done," Mother said, "they make no distinction between what some might call good and evil. There were several created during that age long ago. All were at least somewhat successful, but they were more trouble than they were worth. Most were either controlled or they were destroyed themselves eventually, all but one, for it was not thought to be possible. Not long after the making of this one, it was seen that there was no real need for them at all, since the Angel of Death was not used for the purpose of attacking the dark realms and was only sent to Earth now and then from whence it returned once its duty had been done."
She looked a little thoughtful for a moment, as though remembering something." It is said that the Angel of the Abyss himself sired the deadliest one with a satyra. I knew her for a time much later but she never spoke of her child. She was known to men when she appeared on this plane as "she with the ass's legs." That is what we now seek, the fruit of that pairing - an Appolyon.
"That was when the second mistake became apparent," Mother said, "You do not cause an Appolyon to exist with the notion that you can erase it if you no longer want it. This one could not be controlled much and it could not be destroyed, so it was trapped and sent here to be imprisoned and forgotten until the end of time. On that day, the Angel of Death will be the last to perish, it's said, and so the thinking was that before that happens this one will have to be dealt with by him, if it may be done."
Her companions stood looking at Mother in silence for a moment as the bitter-cold night wind blasted past the opening in the gale outside.
"And you want to find this thing?" Toby asked in disbelief.
"Do you wish to live?" she retorted, "Do you want for your cherished females to live? How many of your small group are you prepared to lose in the fight against an army of demons, for that is what will surely come soon? The small ones will almost certainly perish, even if they are kept hidden. And if you lose, Toby, what would be left of the attackers will not go back quietly. Many would agree to fight only for the promise that they would be allowed to roam here free for a time.
This is not something that I have thought of without a plan," Mother said quietly. "I seek to use the threat of the being more than anything. An Appolyon cannot be summoned, and it cannot be stopped in its purpose by a command, other than one given by the one who controls it – and I have said that this one cannot be controlled – at least not easily, for this one does not need to bow to very many at all.
But I believe that it can be guided – if I am correct, and I have thought of this for thousands of years. Appolyons were made to a model, and that model has constraints. I believe that genuine acts of care – of consideration and benevolence will stay his hand and thereby give protection in a way."
She felt a little warmer now and opened her wings a little to fold them back. "There is danger in this too, I think, because it must be genuine and not contrived in an attempt to control.
If I am correct in this as well, then here lies a double–edged sword. The one that we seek here has known no love, no care, nothing. He was sired for a purpose and his sires had no need or want to even think of him as a child who needed care. Once trapped and cast here, there was nothing but time, perhaps to want for what he has never had, or, ... perhaps to grow a hate which knows no bounds."
She came back to herself and smiled at them. "But I do not feel this. I have been here before, but had no way to help anything. Right now, I have the power of myself, Maezou, and you, Tobias. I think that at worst, we can begin to correct a mistake, because there is something here which should not be and that has always angered me. At best, we might have some help. You, pretty Zele, will be needed too."
She turned to lead them farther in. "Come this way," she said, leading them down the corridor past the four rooms which had once held the earthy remains of humans.
At the end, there was only a wall, made of the same rough-hewn, but well-fitted stonework as the rest. Mother pointed, "See this stone, Zele. See the ones in this line, up and over and down again." Her long finger drew a rectangle, "Make them hot, but do not break them from it."
Zele nodded and she stared at the first stone. A second later, her red gaze lit the next, even though the light of her glare still remained on the first. One by one, the ruby light illuminated them all and the fine dirt between them began to sift to the floor as the stones expanded.
There were four stones set into the wall inside the eerie square of light from Zele's eyes. Mother nodded to Toby and he slid his fingertips into the spaces between them. A minute later, he was able to pull out the first stone and drag it back. The rest took him even less time, though they found three more walls with empty chambers between them.
As he looked at the dark opening, Mother laid her hand on his shoulder. "I feel that he still lives," she said. "You have a great task in this. He has no name. It is not because it was decided that he was not to have one, or was not to be named. It is because no one thought to give him one. He needs much; help right now that we can give, but later, Tobias, he will need much from you. You know the ways of the world today best of all, and another thing that he has never had was a male to guide him. He was perhaps twenty when he was thrown here, uncared for and alone. He has never had a friend."
Toby looked at the old demon as though for the first time, he had the thought that perhaps she'd lost her mind, but he nodded after a second and stepped carefully and slowly inside. One by one, they followed him into a featureless chamber and Zele assumed her more usual shape.
None of them knew what to expect, though Mother might have had a notion. The rest had all tried to picture what a being of the type which had been described to them might look like, someone who had been patterned after the Angel of Death, they had assumed. Well that was no good, since none of them knew what that one looked like. But they had all envisioned someone who might have made them wonder if the hole that they'd made in the wall was going to be large enough.
When they saw him, Toby and his consorts didn't know whether to feel disappointment or relief.
What they saw lying face-down on the stone floor of a small cell looked more like a boy of maybe sixteen or seventeen who had lain down to sleep. His long hair was utterly black and lay over most of his face. As Zele and Maezou stood in wonder, Toby stepped forward and knelt, carefully reaching to move the hair as he began to speak quietly."Hey... hey, kid, you in there?"
As the hair was moved from his face, Toby and the females gasped.
His blue eyes were open, as they'd been since he'd first felt that there were others nearby. It didn't happen very often, but sometimes humans came here. He never saw them obviously, but he knew it when they were close. He remembered when whatever lay outside of his prison was built. He hadn't known what it was that they were doing, but after a time, he'd just assumed that they were doing something to free him.
But it had been only another disappointment. Their purpose had only been to bury their dead and so he didn't even bother to call out to them. It hadn't worked all of the other times anyway.
But this time was different. For the first time since he could remember, there were others near to him now. He had a thought that he ought to feel his anger, but he had no strength for it anymore.
And so he began to weep.
Toby saw the first of the boy's tears and knew what drove it in an instant. He laid his hand on the thin shoulder and did his best to form a friendly smile. All that he was covering with it was the sudden concern that he felt for someone in a position like this. To be trapped here with nothing, ...
"Can I call him by a name that I know?" Toby asked, "He looks a lot like a close friend that I had when I was a kid his age – or, well, a little younger, I guess."
"There is no harm in it," mother answered, "He may be glad to be given one at last."
Toby looked at the odd chains that he could see, ancient things which bound the thin hands and allowed little movement. There were others from his ankles to the walls in several places so that he hadn't had much freedom of movement, other than to remain in the middle of this little room. Toby began to feel his own anger and was about to reach for the nearest one.
"Wait, Tobias," Mother said. "Do not break them. Look at the pins in the manacles. If the chains are broken, someone will know it as soon as it happens."
The forgotten one looked at the one who spoke and recognized her as someone who had come here before, but had never been able to reach him then. He knew why that was, having sensed her thoughts all of those times. The stones had to come out in a certain way or the place would collapse. He'd have had even less space then.
She stepped forward and took the large male's hand. "Here," she said, guiding him to one of the manacles, "We can do this together, and have a chance that it will be unnoticed. The pins must be rotted out, not torn or burned."
As she guided his thoughts, Mother caused the storm outside to grow in intensity to near hurricane state on the hill around them. The wind rose to a scream that could plainly be heard all of the way down the length of the hall. Here in the small cell at the other end, they heard the quiet click as the remains of the first pin dropped the short distance to the floor. Toby had the manacle off in another second.