Chapter 2: Awakening in Memories
Partisan moaned, her eyes fluttering as she found herself slowly regaining consciousness. She couldn’t recall when she’d fallen asleep, or what she’d been doing. Suddenly, after what felt like an eternity of mindless slumber, she was awake.
For the first time in what felt like several lifetimes, it wasn’t just her body regaining awareness. Her mind was functioning, too.
What’s… nnn… happening… Why am I… where… what’s… I… what…?
After so long, Partisan was once again was capable of thinking her own thoughts. When she fearfully tried to reach through her mind, it was easy for the curly-haired heroine to feel Runetress’s mantra close by, waiting for her to succumb to the familiar, to what had become her normal, but she managed to resist. It would have been so easy, and so comforting, but even with so little of her conscious thought awake and for such a short time, Partisan knew that walking down that path might mean she would never think again.
Runetress’s grasp over her mind had been so tight, so deep, and while she could still feel the echoes… It’s like it’s all… just… gone…? I don’t feel her runes… I don’t feel her power… I don’t feel… trapped…
Shudders coursed along Partisan’s body, powerful shudders that had her tightly grasping at her chair. When they ended, she gazed down to her wrists. There were no hovering runes keeping them in place, nor were there any down around her ankles. When they had gone, or why, eluded her. It had been so long since she’d seen herself unbound without Runetress arriving to send her off on some frivolous chore or another.
Sometimes, she’d been sent off to gather some magical reagents. Sometimes, she’d been sent to pick up a book the villain wanted to read.
Sometimes, Runetress had just wanted a snack.
Partisan shuddered, her arms rising up to squeeze tightly around her body. Her mind was full of so many similar instances. Each time, Runetress would arrive, play with her body like a possession, and then command her to achieve some goal that was so often far beneath her capabilities. Partisan wasn’t the sort of heroine that anyone would call an A-lister, but her magical polearm had granted her enhanced reflexes and speed, along with the power of flight. She possessed strength far beyond ordinary limits when she held her weapon aloft. She’d never met anyone more skilled with their weapon, though she’d encountered a few here and there of similar skill.
Being sent to steal a bag of chips from a convenience store was degrading even before considering the fact that it put innocent people at risk for no reason at all.
Runetress’s needs were all that had ever mattered to her, and Partisan’s every memory confirmed this. She was selfish. She was narcissistic. She was wicked and twisted and mad. The heroine’s pussy quivered, and her thighs clenched around it as though to demand its silence. Runetress was all of those things, and she was also incredibly sexy.
Freed from the woman’s control, Partisan could still feel the fire that Runetress made burning all through her very self.
But you didn’t have a choice… that wasn’t you. You didn’t want to be her little pet, her possession, her… her object… She forced that on you. Partisan shook her head, quietly whimpering as she slid fingers through her curls. Your name is Patricia Pendel. You’re not just some… obedient thrall. You’re a super heroine. You’re a woman. You’re… Oh… fuck… How long has she had me here… and why can I think again…?
Glancing side to side, Patricia slowly realized the light above her was now switched off. The room was dark, darker than she could remember it being any of the many times Runetress arrived to send her out for one task or another. The moments she’d spent lost in her mantra were a monolith, all so precisely identical.
For a moment, Patricia let herself remember one of those experiences a bit too closely, making her eyes turn glassy, her lips shudder. She could remember herself staring vacantly ahead, lost, repeating those same few phrases over and over again.
Her pussy remembered, too, and it twitched more insistently between her thighs.
No… no…! I’m not… I didn’t enjoy that. She made me enjoy that… That’s not the kind of woman I am…! For the first time in what felt like it must have been years, Patricia stood without being commanded. Her legs felt weak, trembling as they strained to support her weight, but after a minute she was able to rise to her full height.
It was a small victory, but every victory felt so important when she’d lost all sense of self-direction for so long. She could remember being ordered to break into electronics stores to retrieve some small toy for Runetress more easily than she could remember the last time she’d made a decision for herself.
Distant memories, like when she decided to use the arcane artifact she’d found to be a heroine, were still intact, but none of them were close enough to feel recent, to feel… fresh. Instead, they all felt like decisions made a long time ago, like remembering her first day of school. They were still her memories, but there was enough distance to feel so… disconnected.
If I’ve been here for that long… does anyone still remember me…? Did anyone even notice I was mis—
“Nnhaaa!” Patricia crumpled to her hands and knees as her legs gave out. Her focus had wavered, and her legs still felt wobbly and unused to the task. “Shit…! If I… if I can get my partisan… Whenever I held it, my body always felt stronger, healed quicker… if she had me here so long that I’m suffering from it, then it… ever since it bonded with me, it wasn’t able to go far, it should still be here…!”
Hearing her own voice speak for her own reasons felt so… strange. She could remember hearing her voice echo past quivering lips, repeating her mantra, but in all of those memories it sounded like a sleepwalker. Hearing herself in that moment was entirely different.
There was passion in her voice. There was conviction. Even when Patricia recalled speaking the words Runetress wanted her to speak, there was a lack of genuine attachment. It had been a script written through her deeply enough to supplant her very being, but it hadn’t been her. Using her voice for herself, standing for herself… both were small things, but they carried enormous importance.
After recovering from her fall, Patricia glanced behind the gold chair with the red cushions and let out a loud squeal of delight. Her partisan was there, hanging on the wall, its base a foot from the ground. Its long metal shaft looked as sturdy as ever.
“Just wait a moment for me, and we’ll try to figure this out together…” Patricia laughed at herself. It had been so long since she’d spoken to anyone that she was speaking to a spear. It was magical, but it wasn’t sapient. If it were, then Patricia would be upset it had helped her carry out Runetress’s wishes for so long without trying to free her. “We’ll… we’ll… What am I even going to do…?”
Patricia slowly crawled across the floor. Her arms felt as weak as her legs, and while her body still retained her slight build, that didn’t mean that the weight of her body wasn’t still too much for her. She was tall, nearly six feet standing, and every inch felt like it weighed a metric ton.
As she pulled herself closer to the partisan, Patricia’s mind filled with more memories. She could remember Runetress disabling bonds, pulling Patricia to her knees, and forcing her head between her thighs. Runetress’s pussy had already been so slick, nearly dripping, even before her tongue had first reached out to trace the shape of her folds.
It was so easy to remember the feeling of the nails in her hair, and the laughter that felt like it echoed around the inside of her empty skull. The runes inscribed inside of Patricia’s mind made it so easy to lick, to suck, to even moan. Being so simple and obeying her tasks felt so amazing. Nothing made her clit hum like obedience. Nothing made the whole world feel so simple in such a beautiful way like surrendering to her owner’s every whim.
She could remember the way the pressure built up inside of her, swelling higher and higher even as she came no closer to release. Lust dripped down the thighs of her memory, and the runes in her mind made Patricia ache for every chance to fulfill her owner.
On the floor, so close to the wall, Patricia shook her head and gritted her teeth. “Don’t… Don’t slip back into those memories. You’re free. Somehow. Don’t… don’t let her take you back there.”
Patricia forced herself to crawl forward. Shaking out of the memories was easy, but it was impossible to stop her mind from wandering. Her memories of Runetress’s domination were so much stronger than any others. They’d lasted for so long, and the entire time she’d been so wholly subjugated.
“From this moment forward…” Runetress’s voice, so low and self-impressed, was so easy to imagine. “Your arousal will simply be a tool I use to control you. You’ve just experienced your last orgasm, and from now on, all your body will do is make you mine…”
She shook her head to cleanse the immediacy of the memory, but she couldn’t chase away the woman’s distant presence. Runetress was nowhere to be seen, and her control seemed to be gone, but that didn’t mean she’d left Patricia alone. It’s probably going to take years, and a lot of therapy, to stop hearing her laugh whenever I let my defenses down. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to see a woman with blue hair without flinching. Golden eyes…
Remembering those burning amber orbs made Patricia’s thighs clench. They were so beautiful in her memory, and so powerful. They’d always stared so deeply into her soul while commanding her to surrender every time they met.
So beautiful… deep… powerful… like she could see into my soul, because she’d made my soul what it was… like she could control me from my deepest places… Nothing more than an object for her to use… Patricia’s expression slackened, her hand hanging in the air mere inches from the base of her spear. It was so… simple… to be… so… n… no…
“No…!” Her hand finally grasped the base of her spear, and Patricia felt a familiar energy flowing through her body. Wrenching the weapon from the wall, she slowly rose up until she was standing steadily on her legs.
Her body still ached, tired and unused to the exertion, but it no longer felt like standing was a hardship. She no longer felt weak and pitiful. All at once, Patricia felt like Partisan again—Partisan, the heroine who had stopped so many super-powered criminals before any of them had gotten the upper hand.
Taking a deep breath, Patricia concentrated all of her focus on the pole in her hands. It was full of so much power, so much magic, and in that former lifetime a friend had taught her a very useful little trick. She had no idea where she’d be able to find any clothing, but as a familiar warmth began to envelop her body, Patricia knew she didn’t need to worry about that. It wasn’t long before that warmth became a bright light, first forming a mask just around her eyes, and then a skintight, long-sleeved leotard. A moment later, her bare legs were wrapped up tight in thigh-high boots.
Runetress’s magic had stolen away Patricia’s life and made her a slave, but that didn’t mean magic couldn’t also be very helpful.
Glancing around the room, Patricia saw only empty cases and bare walls. It was hard to think of the room and not remember sitting placidly in her chair, mentally smoothed and without concern for the world around her, but she could vaguely remember the many times she’d entered the room, sent her uniform back into her spear, and taken her seat. The room had been full of so much, and now it seemed… empty.
“Did she leave and… leave me behind…?” An unsettling cold settled over Patricia, and she squeezed the shaft of her namesake tighter. “Am I… really alone here…? Did she really… is she really… Do I not even need to fight my way… free…?”
Excitement and fear mingled in her voice. She had been sure that, if she ever broke free, it would be a thrilling escape with her holding her own against the powerful magic-user, but that no longer seemed to be the case. Patricia made her way across the room, and prepared herself to break the door to leave.
It was unlocked.
The next room was empty, too. Just like the trophy room where she’d spent so many days, the lights were all off. There was no sign of Runetress, or any of her other possessions.
“She’s… she’s gone.”
It felt unreal. Runetress hadn’t just been the only constant of her world. She’d been the very center. Everything Patricia had done for so long had revolved around the other woman’s smallest desire being the most important thing in the world. To have that presence suddenly gone would have been terrifying, were it not so relieving.
As eager as she was to leave, Patricia couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be too easy to simply make her way out, going out the door like she had done so many times before to fulfill one of the many tasks she’d been given. Making her way from room to room, Patricia investigated every door.
No closet was too small. Runetress could hide so much power in a space no larger than a fist. Patricia needed to be certain that she was gone and that no sign of her remained. She had to make sure Runetress wouldn’t suddenly come looking for her. Until she was sure of that, she didn’t feel safe leaving. She didn’t feel safe turning her back on a woman who had made her so completely powerless.
Each new room Patricia entered was as empty as the last. There was no sign of a super villain’s lair, past or present. There were no runes, no books, nothing.
There wasn’t even a loose bag of her favorite chips.
“I’m… I’m really free…!” Partisan couldn’t stop herself from laughing. The relief welled up inside of her, forcing the sound from her lips. Tears ran down her face. “I’m… free from her control, from her manipulation, from her twisted desires… I’m finally… I’m finally truly free…”
A small voice inside of her tried to insist that she would never be free. It tried to stress the fact that Runetress was the mistress of all runes, of all magic, and there was no chance that Partisan, or Patricia, could resist power like that. It did everything it could to make Patricia scared, and to make Partisan feel like she should be making her way back to the trophy room. If she were sitting there when Runetress returned, then maybe her punishment would be gentle.
Maybe she could avoid the villain’s wrath.
It seemed a reasonable thought, but only for a moment. As Patricia dried her eyes, her laughs grew louder, and a grin stretched across her face. “I’m free… I’m free, and I need to get out of, to learn what’s happened since I was gone… I need to meet back up with my friends… I need to see Cuirass again…! I wonder if Clara still lives in the same place… I’m sure she’s still fighting the good fight, and now that I’m free… I should join her…!”
With no more reason to stay in the place that held so many bad memories, Partisan made her way towards a familiar exit. Unlike so many times before, she wasn’t leaving to procure a new Blu-ray player, or the latest album from Runetress’s favorite band.
She was leaving to be reunited with a good friend she hadn’t seen for so long.
Once she was outside, under a starry night sky, the heroine held her partisan above her head and held on tight as it lifted her up into the air. Clara’s home wasn’t far, and after being denied expression for so long. Patricia was vibrating with excitement. She was sure reacclimating to the outside world would be difficult, and there would be challenges to overcome, but she was too excited to be worried about those things.
All that mattered was that she was free.
All that mattered was that Runetress no longer controlled her life. Not anymore.
Partisan made her way to her longtime ally’s home, her mind excitedly recalling the many times she’d flown through the air in the pursuit of heroism. For so long she’d been denied the chance to fly through the sky under her own power. Feeling it again was like coming home, and it made anything feel possible. It made her long stay under Runetress’s power feel like a closed chapter of her life that she was happy to put behind her.
If she never saw another rune again, it would be far too soon.