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Copyright ©2013 M. Raiya
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When I woke, I was on the floor beside the table. The bracelet still clasped my wrist. Smashing it hadn't done a thing except turn my flesh red and puffy and make the band feel ten times tighter. I struggled to my feet and then stood still, cradling my throbbing arm to my chest. Then I noticed new pain. I hadn't been left alone. Someone had pierced my nipples.
I groaned. Two small silver rings hung from me. They burned when I pulled at them. Like the bracelet, they had no obvious means of opening.
I did a quick check. Nothing else seemed to have happened. My body was healthy, fit, clean. My skin was light in color, I had very little body hair, but what there was looked dark and fine. I was clean-shaven, the hair on my head was short and wavy. My features felt -- average? I had no mirror and nothing to compare myself to, anyway.
I could rip the nipple rings out. But I would bleed, and I had nothing to staunch it with. Still, the idea of just sitting here and letting this happen to me was abhorrent. I could feel my temper boiling, lava beneath my surface. I suspected that being powerless was a new feeling for me.
Still, if I ripped out the rings, I'd draw negative attention to myself. Should I pretend to comply until I'd figured out what was going on, then take calculated action?
Yet whatever was going on seemed pretty effective. My chance might never come. My memory could be gone for good.
Gritting my teeth, I took hold of both rings. This was going to hurt like hell. But if I started acting passive now, it would only get easier until my drive to fight would be gone. And that would be the worst thing that could happen.
Just as I started to feel the pain, the door to the room burst open. The light went out at the same time. For an instant, I saw a tall, hooded, cloaked figure outlined in the doorway, but then the door shut and I couldn't see a thing. I backed into a corner, letting go of my rings and raising my arms in defense. I sensed the person approaching -- I could hear soft footsteps and the swish of the cloak.
I crouched, put my right arm over my head, and charged forward, hoping to ram the person in the stomach and dash out the door.
Instead, I hit the corner of the metal table, hard. Something snapped in my forearm. Agony lanced up to my shoulder as the force knocked me backward. I cried out as hands grabbed at me, caught me, held me, and then lifted me onto the table. My ears rang from the pain, and a darker darkness pulsed around me. Through it, I felt someone straighten my right arm. Bone grated on bone. I fought, struggling, kicking, writhing. Then something ice-cold shot outward from the bracelet. Numbness engulfed me. I couldn't fight what was taking me from the inside out, and after a moment, I found myself lying motionless.
I couldn't even scream. All I could do was lie there and pant, but I could feel pain washing through me, so intense that it swallowed even my fear.
"We are almost there," a voice said above me. It was male, cold and yet sensual, worming inside my mind. Instantly, I knew I had heard it before, and that I hated it more than anything.
"We have come a long way in the last few hours, my friend. You have not disappointed me. I knew from the first that you were material I could work with. Now that you have been stripped to your bare essence -- your troublesome mind is gone -- we can finish and you will serve me well. You know in your soul that this is true."
I drew a deep breath and said through my pain, "I may not be able to remember you, but I hate you!" He laughed, and the sound made me ten times colder. I began to shiver violently on the table.
"Exactly," he said. "I shall milk your strength until you have nothing left. And it will be beautiful," he added, his voice falling.
I felt a fingertip in a silky glove trace down the side of my face and across my throat. I shuddered.
He laughed again. "Oh, it would almost be worth it to restore your memory for a moment, so that you could see yourself lying here mindless before me, as I told you that you soon would be. You begged me at the end, you know. You were most pitiful, the things you promised me. Which was quite pointless, since you will do all those things anyway."
He was lying. I would never have begged this monster for anything!
"Oh, yes you did," my captor said, "when I took the one thing from you that you would have died to protect, if you'd been able to. But I digress. It is time to move forward."
He touched the bracelet on my arm. I ignored what he was doing. He'd given me one piece of information. He could restore my mind. How could I get him to do it? Comply? Fight? Beg? Everything at once? He didn't give me time to figure anything out.
"Sit up now." He gently pulled me upright. I was so limp that my head fell forward, and I didn't have the strength to lift it. Nor could I stop shivering. Cold. So cold. My broken arm ached, but nothing like it had even moments before.
"You should begin to feel relief soon," he said. "I just released drugs from your bracelet that will heal you. But before your strength comes back, I need to take a few precautions. How is your arm feeling?"
I opened and closed my hand, tried moving my arm. It worked, almost as though it hadn't been broken.
"Excellent." He took my arms and pulled them gently behind me.