tagSci-Fi & FantasyTwin Suns of Atlantis: Dorgon

Twin Suns of Atlantis: Dorgon


Author's Notes:

Many thanks, as usual, to my lady love for inspiration and last-minute transmogrifications and bikoukumori, for an editing job rivaling any gladiator's finishing blow.

All participants in sexual activities are adults.


Awareness crept back, gently and stealthily like a cheating lover returning from a midnight tryst. At first, his entire universe was dark and devoid of anything but, one by one, his senses returned. Something cold and unyielding pressed against his naked back. As a curious contrast, sticky and warm liquid clung to parts of his body. The smells came next, the coppery odor of spilled blood and another; pungent, bitter, sickening. Dorgon couldn't place it. A wet, bubbling wheezing reached his ears, in time with each heave of his chest.

Am I dying? Or is this already the afterlife? The thoughts sparked through his brain like incandescent shooting stars. Or did he say them aloud? His ears only picked up a weak moan.

There was more, though. A low, raspy murmuring. Ritualistic inflections butchering the trade tongue into obscurity. Sibilant hisses.

"Suture, suture, disinfect.

Sow shut the gash.

Suture, suture, disinfect.

Bury deep the mesh.

Mend the bone and knit the flesh."

Then a hideous, dry laugh. Fluttering touches, soft pinches and more wet, fleshy noises.

Was it inside my body? By the gods, why can't I see anything? Moving his hand proved to be futile, for his limbs were fastened to the metal slab he was on, held in place by unmoving metal clasps and braces.

"Shh, shh, lie still," the voice hissed. Scaly fingers, tipped with short, pointy claws patted his head, leaving behind more traces of warm liquid. The stench of blood and of acids and herbs intensified tenfold and Dorgon fought not to retch.

"It should be dead, with a broken spear in its lung," the voice chittered on. "Good thing God-Emperor does not want it dead. Good specimen for arena combat, God-Emperor said."

Dorgon again tried to speak but there was only more weak moaning and horrible wheezing.

With titanic effort, Dorgon forced his eyes to open. Hair by torturous hair the lids moved and his vision returned. At once he dearly wished it hadn't. He could see his chest, folded open like a grotesque pair of skin-wings. Only, instead of the fair skin he once had, it now was a weird, metallic grey. The ribs had been folded out as well and a bizarre armature, whirring arms made out of metal, with clicking claws and pointy things and glowing things was dipping into the gaping cavity, plucking bloody splinters free and dropping them into a metal bowl near his hip. His arms and legs had indeed been fastened to a metal table and he could see tubes and hoses disappearing under his skin, which threw off odd reflections caused by the dozens and dozens of candles arrayed around the butcher's table.

Presiding over this horrendous operation was a tall, wizened being wrapped into a green, blood-spattered robe; clawed, four-fingered hands gently caressing his tortured flesh and guiding the metal arms to do their butcher's work. A triangular snout protruded from under a hood inscribed with protective runes. Short, pointy teeth glinted in the candle light and orange eyes, slitted like a serpent's, darted this way and that. My impending death is playing tricks on me, Dorgon thought, fighting the first gentle twinges of madness.

"We will make it better even," the being chirped, a long, forked tongue tasting the air between words. "More muscle mass. Tensile strength. Harder skin. Stamina. It will amuse the God-Emperor and we will be rewarded with more test subjects. Ah, here it is."

The being turned away from him as a second robed figure, as malformed as his torturer, entered his field of view, carrying a large metal container coated in frost. Through a round, glass-covered hole Dorgon could see something red and fleshy inside. Gently, as not to damage anything, the newcomer pulled the lid off the container and lifted the fleshy thing from inside. It was a new pair of lungs.

"Make sure it does not move," the being holding the lungs ordered. The other one nodded and picked up a long, menacing syringe which it swiftly plunged into Dorgon's right arm. What few sensations he could feel were washed away by a tide of cool nothingness.

* * * *

Dorgon awoke with a scream. His hands flew to his chest. Rough, scaly skin greeted his questing fingertips. Agitated, he clawed at his face. A hood, made from coarse fabric, covered it. It was very hot around him.

"Better take it slow," a male voice nearby cautioned. "You don't want to hurt yourself again."

Dorgon worked his mouth until he could move his tongue. Even then, his voice was hoarse and raspy from disuse.


"I saw your bleeding carcass carried past the Pits, towards the witch's abode," the voice said. Dorgon clearly heard the deep-seated disgust from the stranger's words.

"Why the hood?"

"To protect your eyes from the sun. It's very bright out here."

Dorgon closed his eyes then pulled the hood off his head. He could feel the sun on his face. It burned much, much hotter than in his homeland of Nothria. Careful, as not to strain his eyes, he squinted through half-closed lids. He sat in a circular pit, the walls towering a good twenty feet above his head, broken up only by a wide portcullis recessed into the wall. A small rivulet of water dripped from a spout next to it and drained into a floor grate. He wasn't alone. Five other men, most of them bronze-skinned, with short, curly black hair, sat in what paltry shade the walls offered. They all were stark naked and each of them looked like a capable fighter with well-toned muscles and barely an ounce of fat.

Dorgon looked along his own body, as if seeing it for the first time. His skin was of an odd grey hue and hard to the touch, not unlike a coat of scales. The sun threw an odd reflection off the skin, as if tiny metal slivers were embedded in it. Despite the unsettling dream he had, there was no visible scar along his chest. How could that be? He pulled a fistful of hair in front of his eyes. It was an inky black, long and thick, his black fingernails blending in. Where were his golden tresses? His beard? There was nary a hair below his eyebrows. What had happened to him?

"Where am I?" Dorgon asked, looking at the men. One of them, a bald, scrawny fighter with a criss-crossing set of tattoos all over his face and upper chest, bared a set of pointed teeth.

"You're in the Fighting Pit of Atlantis. Ring a bell?"

Dorgon opened his mouth to answer. Atlantis? But then his memories stirred, like a turgid leviathan in primeval sludge. He had been on a ship, hired as a guard for a Huan trader. Then there was a storm. Sharp cliffs, outlined by maddening strobes of lightning. A world-shattering crash as the ship impaled itself on the rocks. The sensation of weightlessness as his body was borne by the icy sea. Then-

The beach. The looters. Or were they soldiers? He remembered an armored giant trying to ram a spear into his chest. He had fought that giant.

"Did I win?" he asked aloud.

"Dunno," the tattooed fighter said, grinning viciously. "You got dragged into the witch's abode while a couple of dead guards got dumped into the beast pens. A few days later and they dropped you in here. What happened?"

Dorgon shook his head. How could he articulate what he himself barely could comprehend? They had... changed him. Somehow they had turned him from a tall, lanky Nothrian warrior with blonde hair and beard into a smooth-shaven, black-haired, scale-plated... abomination. He could feel the added weight on his limbs and his shadow told him his shoulders were broader too.

Dorgon got on hands and knees and tried to stand. His balance was off and he dropped into the sand again, to the mirth of the other men. He tried again and managed to stand, unsteadily, by the third try.

"He's not much good in a fight," a shaggy-haired man, broad and heavy, remarked. "Not much good standing either." The men around him snickered.

Another, with a bushy beard going to his navel, clicked his tongue and caressed his dick. "Maybe he should be face down, ass up in the sand for our amusement, eh?" Raucous laughter erupted. Only the tattooed fighter kept quiet and eyed Dorgon intently, gauging his reaction. When none came, he joined Dorgon and led him towards the water dripping down the wall. "Drink. Maybe you'll feel better after."

"How could you see me get carried around from down here?" Dorgon asked, cupping his hands and splashing water into his face. It smelled metallic but at least it was cool. He drank greedily.

Silently, the tattooed fighter pointed upwards. Shading his eyes against the glaring sun, Dorgon followed his pointing finger. High above, he could see cages dangling from skeletal-looking contraptions.

"The arena proper. And the place where the miscreants go to dry out. I had a spectacular view." Again he flashed his pointy teeth. Then he jabbed a finger at his chest. "Karas."


Karas clapped his shoulder. "Feel better?"

Dorgon righted himself. "A bit. What are we doing here, Karas?"

Before Karas could answer, the man with the bushy beard joined them. Clicking his tongue again, he placed his rough hands on Dorgon's ass. "We wait. Until then, why don't you and me get to know each other a bit better, huh?"

Dorgon turned on him and pushed, hard. The bearded man fell, rolled and nimbly came back to his feet a few steps away, his grin wiped off his face. With open malice, he glared at Dorgon.

"I will kill you with my bare hands, you snake-eyed freak," he growled, dropping into a low brawling stance, hands distorted into claws.

"Save it for the Pit, Vokesh," an authoritative voice barked from above. Dorgon looked up. The sunlight reflected off polished armor, the metal a rich honey-like gold in hue. White cloth was draped over the chest plates and helmets of a quintet of men, all armed with bows. Four of them had their weapons at the ready, arrows pointing at the men threatening Dorgon and Karas while the fifth made a sign with his free hand.

Three more naked men appeared at the rim of the pit, carrying a rope and basket. Under the watchful eye of the guards, they lowered the basket into the pit.

"You know the drill. One after the other. If I see even a tiny scuffle, we shoot."

The men collected in the pit grumbled. Vokesh was the first to saunter over to the basket. He dug around in it and pulled forth a piece of bread and some meat. The others, one by one, plucked food from the basket until it was Dorgon's turn. He approached the basket and looked inside. What little food remained wasn't really appetizing, some small bits of bread, a squashed tomato and a smelly bit of cheese. Shrugging, he grabbed what was left and stepped back from the basket.

"Good. I've heard the God-Emperor plans to entertain some guests in a few days and he wants his newest toy to perform. So... play nice," the guard ordered, malice dripping from his grin.

Dorgon could feel the eyes of everybody on him. Karas' were full of sympathy. Vokesh and the others eyed him with barely concealed hatred.

"What have I done?" Dorgon muttered between bites. Tomato juice dripped from his fingers but it made the dried bread a bit easier to eat.

"You just got picked to fight for the God-Emperor. Most of us need to fight, and win, in the Arena for a chance to do so. You just got chosen. The veterans won't like it one bit."

"What's so special about the God-Emperor?"

"If you can impress him, they say, he will grant you any wish. Anything. Gold. Women. Or men, if you that's what you like. Fame. Land. Or freedom."

Dorgon nodded, comprehension dawning. "What's your story?"

"Me? I killed a man and they offered me a choice. Work in the mines or fight." Karas shrugged. "I'd rather hit people than rocks. Much more satisfying." Again, his pointed teeth glinted in the sunlight.

"So, Vokesh," Dorgon asked, head jerking in the direction of the bearded man and his cronies.

"He's the current champion. Mean bastard. Broke my arm twice, just because." Karas winced. "The witch healed me then it was back here."

Vokesh laughed, a ghastly sound. "You squealed like a little girl when I hurt you. The crowd loved it." The men surrounding him roared with laughter. Vokesh grabbed the shaggy-haired man sitting next to him and pulled his head down to his crotch. "Relax me," he ordered. To Dorgon's amazement, no protest came, even though the shaggy man was taller and heavier than Vokesh.

"A shame, really. I liked Nicos before he turned into Vokesh's whipping boy," Karas whispered as the slurping began. "Listen. Tonight... will you watch my back?"

Dorgon nodded. He knew he needed any allies he could get. Four against two wasn't remotely fair but better than all against one.

* * * *

The room was large and airy, a domed ceiling held up by four ornate pillars, with a huge window leading to a wide balcony overlooking the glittering marvel of Atlantis. The setting twin suns reflected off an untold number of domed and slanted roofs, turning the sky itself into a sea of scintillating colors. Looking towards the north, one could see the deeply recessed Fighting Pit; according to legend once the crater of an active volcano now turned into a blood-soaked coliseum. Beyond it, Jendayi thought she could glimpse the immensely deep blue of the ocean.

She stood naked in a shallow basin, the cool water lapping at her calves. Two slave girls, beauties from the northern realms, were washing her, gently soaping her up and pouring water over her dusky skin. One of them had short hair like spun gold, the other coppery tresses hanging almost to her shapely behind. Jendayi barely noticed their gentle ministrations, her mind was elsewhere, trying to flee the golden cage she was in. She wasn't here by choice, oh no. Her father used her as a bargaining chip to spare his land the wrath of the Atlantean armies. The God-Emperor accepted the truce, took Jendayi as his wife and annexed her homeland, after having her father publicly executed once the vows had been said.

"I cannot risk leaving such a valuable province in the hands of a man who willingly sacrifices the freedom of his people," the God-Emperor, Xevex, had explained to her. "Who would he betray your kin, and me, to next?"

Jendayi hated Xevex with every fiber of her being, not only for the murder of her father, but-

Oh no, not again! Gnashing her teeth in frustration, Jendayi opened her eyes and looked down, to see the red-headed slave girl kneeling in front of her, mouth fastened to her nether lips, tongue deftly flicking against her most sensitive spot. The slave girl looked up, her glazed-over eyes meeting Jendayi's, her face distorted in a mask of confusion and lust.

He's doing it again!

Much more gently than she thought she could be Jendayi cupped the girl's face and took a step back, distancing herself from the furiously licking slave.

"Stop it," she hissed. "You're not yourself!"

The girl whimpered, one of her slender hands wedged between her own thighs and rubbing furiously. Sighing, Jendayi slapped her cheek, hard. The slap echoed obscenely loud through the room and a pained "ow" could be heard both from the slave girl and from a curtain leading into her bedroom proper.

Wet and incensed, Jendayi stormed into the bedroom, throwing the curtain wide. Sitting on the bed, his splendid gown wide open, showing his sickly grey skin, sat Xevex, gingerly touching his cheek. He wasn't even close to handsome. His head seemed far too big for his frail, gangly frame. He only had four fingers on each hand. His eyes were black, pupil-less and devoid of all emotion, and he wasn't even a real man! With disgust, Jendayi looked at his crotch. All his other deformities combined couldn't instill as much revulsion as a quick look at the hideous mass of twitching protrusions and small, oozing holes where, on a healthy man, a sizable rod should be. Bile rose in her throat and Jendayi fought hard not to vomit onto the priceless carpet. She focused on the red-hot anger clawing at her insides instead.

"You did it again! How often do I need to tell you-"

Xevex looked up at her, his mouth a thin, furious line. Her tongue stopped moving and breathing became difficult.

"I am trying to make you happy. We are not able to consummate our marriage like man and wife, so we need to find other ways. I thought after the guards-"

Jendayi could hardly breathe, let alone speak, but she could still walk. They had danced this particular dance before and she knew how to make him listen. Two steps brought her to the side of the bed and she lashed out again, her hand connecting solidly with his cheek. As if it had never been there, the invisible claw pressing her throat shut vanished.

"Being forcibly taken by two guards, with you watching no less, is not the way to make me happy," Jendayi gasped.

"I thought you might prefer women," Xevex said mildly, rubbing his face. "I wanted to find out."

"Ambushing me will get you nowhere," Jendayi hissed. She pulled a long, white robe off the foot of the bed and wrapped herself in it, to shield her body from his leering stare. "Is this the way your people court each other or is it just your own perverted sense of fun?"

"Tell me then. How should I pleasure you instead?" Xevex snapped. For the first time since she knew him, his stoic voice had changed. Exasperation? Anger? "It is expected the God-Emperor will produce an heir eventually. So far, I'm no closer to it than 200 years ago when I took the throne from my predecessor."

"If you have treated your previous mistresses like you treat me, I can see why," Jendayi snarled, leaning against the wall opposite the bed. Distance was meaningless when Xevex was concerned but she felt better knowing he could not lay his hands on her without her noticing. "Maybe you should have wed one of your own people instead."

Xevex laughed, a dry, humorless sound.

"Let's just say it is not an option, otherwise I would have taken it into consideration already. There are other factors than physical compatibility I have to consider. So, tell me, dear wife. How would you like to be courted by me?" He almost sang, his words carrying a soothing undertone. Xevex looked deep into her eyes. An icy trickle crept up her spine, spreading through her head then down to her limbs. Jendayi's anger melted away, leaving her pleasantly light-headed. All she could see was the infinite blackness and she was losing herself in it.

"What are you doing?" she whispered, leaning against the wall, pinned there by the sheer force of his stare alone.

"I am trying to engage in a civilized discussion between husband and wife. I want you to be happy, dear Jendayi," Xevex murmured, each word a silken caress. "How can I make you happy and make an heir with you?"

"Would siring an heir make you happy, dear husband?" Jendayi asked. She felt incredibly relaxed, more at ease with her odd husband than ever before. Just his voice and the infinite black-

What? I should be angry! He forced my bodyguards and now my maid on me!

But here she was, pondering the idea of spreading her legs for him. Her last little bit of reason fought valiantly but in horror Jendayi realized she had as much control over her own body as she did over the movement of the twin suns in the heavens. Her hands moved over her body, at first caressing her curves through the fabric of her robe then, as the need became greater, she shrugged out of the fabric entirely. Sighing in pleasure, she resumed caressing herself, cupping one of her firm breasts, pinching her nipple with one hand while the other traveled down over her flat stomach, brushing against the fine golden chains she wore over her hips. Her fingers slithered over her shaved mound, aiming straight for her center.

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