As I started to consciously feel things again, nothing stood out more than groggy lethargy, somewhere between a deep sleep and the comatose state I'd suffered through before.
A voice calling out to me lightly touched at the lethargy, spread over me like a heavy winter bedspread. I was content to leave it there, even if something felt wrong. But something felt wrong enough, more than that annoying voice trying to shake me awake.
Once it came to me that that voice was calling me Half, consciousness told me I should identify with that name, and recognize Copula calling desperately in my head.
"Yeah!" I screamed back in my own head, finally able to metaphorically kick the covers off me and come back to wakefulness, only to realize that worse than that blanket, my physical body was suspended in some kind of chamber. Entombed from flat on my back, every limb and body part was barely able to move more than an inch in any direction. A small square tinted visor told me we were in some kind of dark room, probably some lab. I started to try to shake myself loose, to try to push myself out, but nothing was working.
"Don't panic," she tried telling me, as a sudden tinge of claustrophobia started developing in me.
"What the fuck is going on?"
"Hierguild got us, and now I think we're in some kind of deprivation chambers."
"Where are the twins?"
"Nearby, but they're totally out."
I'd suddenly realized through most telepathic communication, the visiting voice would be clear in my head as if speaking from a few feet away. Copula's voice was faint, and seemed to be growing fainter; she obviously read my mind with her next words.
"I think the deprivation chambers are dampening our powers too, besides movement and senses. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to talk like this."
The urge to keep panicking was clamped down by reason and looking for smart ways to escape.
"What do they want with us?"
"I don't know. Some said earlier that we were to be tested on. They tried interrogating me, asking about Epsilon info. Didn't give them anything, and they expressed how hard they might go on us if we kept refusing."
Baring my Hier-half making an appearance, I couldn't think of any way we were getting out on our own.
"Any exit strategies?"
"All I've got is to give my powers a rest, and then maybe have enough energy to reach out and use the next guard or scientist that comes around. Just try to stay calm until then."
"Easier said than done," I told her before her presence left my mind.
Resting my head against what felt like hard foam, I sighed, trying to pull non-existent options from thin air. Either that or sleep would keep me from going insane through boredom. The bright idea to reach out to Meredith didn't yield anything either. There was a warm sensation somewhere in the back of my mind I could tell was her, but it remained low enough that she wasn't looking to reach out; I wondered if she even knew where I was. Eventually I got drowsy enough to fall back to sleep, waiting for something to happen.
A knock on the front of my visor woke me from a gentler sleep. I opened my eyes, surprised at first to see someone towering over my container; it took me a moment to sigh in realization.
"Hey Tovarisch," Mountain smiled down at me.
"гора," I replied back, slightly annoyed, but relieved to see the friendliest face possible.
"Never thought I'd see you laying down on the job."
I irkedly asked him in Russian to guess which finger I was holding up, after mentioning how he nearly flattened me the last time we met.
"I didn't ask you to climb up my back like a monkey, though bravo to you for almost getting the better of me. Almost."
Narrowed eyes through the visor got him to laugh.
"So are we doing this interrogation in Russian or English?"
"You're not doing it with me. Some not-so-nice people will be coming to see you soon; it's in your best interests to answer them. If you do, they'll probably let you go soon."
"Let us go?" I asked befuddled.
"If we're feeling generous."
Mountain, in my experience, really wasn't one for lying or deception, and I doubted he would've started then.
"Why take us in at all just to let us go?"
"No idea. Someone wants something from some of you; they don't bother me with such details."
"Just fair warning; honest answers could get you out of spaces making me appreciate old solitary confinement in reinforced broom closets."
Hearing his loud footsteps walk away, I had to give them credit for their approach of buttering me up, giving assurances that sounded so good that I wanted them to be true.
By the time they sent whoever to question me, I just hope I wouldn't break in any significant way, struggling futilely again against my cruel prison.
I'd fallen asleep at some point, through either sheer exhaustion or the only other option to going insane in that kind of confinement. I barely stirred, and was able to play it off like I was still sleep as I sensed footsteps approaching me. Mountain's words still lingered about cooperating for the sake of being freed, but I also relied on Copula finding a way to get to the interrogator that was getting closer and closer towards me. The footsteps seemed as unhurried as I was to start, and all I kept wondering was what questions were worth asking before letting us go, how my comrades were holding up, and how much resistance I should keep up with this whole process.
The phantom feeling of being felt up in my crotch produced an sharp intake of breath and eyes opening wide in surprise, just in-time to stare past the tinted visor into burning eyes. With the exception of leaning up as far as restraints would let me, I was frozen in arresting, lusty heat, surprised Maelstrom's gaze didn't melt through the glass like she was melting thoughts. The awkward predicament of being so aroused in enemy territory caused more friction against her control than expected, realizing that she would be the perfect person Hierguild had to interrogate anyone; she snuffed that quickly with a sensation of a sensual earlobe tug from phantom teeth, a familiar whisper of "worry not, little moth; I am in-control." I sighed in uncontrollable joy, eyes rolling back into my head, slingshotting consciousness into depths similar to the meditative waters, and into a space that felt unfamiliar, yet not.
The next time I, or someone opened their eyes, I could see again. I was standing upright, staring at the deprivation chambers we were kept in. Through an orange tint, I could see my face with a dumb smile on it, succumbing to my lover's spell, feeling what I saw until the orange tint dissipated.
"W-Wha...." my only thought, trying to process what was going on.
"Welcome to my head officially, Byron." an echoing voice spoke to my confusion.
"Not currently in that stuffy coffin? More or less yes. Figured you'd appreciate being trapped in a much nicer space while you're a guest of ours. You're welcome, by the way."
"I'm actually inside you?"
A lusty chuckle surrounded me as she lightly caressed my chamber.
"I mean, my head, my consciousness or whatever is in you right now?"
"Yes, another neat trick I learned I can do. Physical you is going to take a little nap while I give you the grand tour."
"So, you're not here to interrogate me?"
"Like I'd need to. And as fun as it'd be to watch whoever will try to interrogate a guy having wet dreams about cray-crayola, it's probably not best to be around to give any impression that the feeling is mutual."
Bewildered and not sure what to think, I just rested in the strange comforts of being a literal passenger in Meredith's head, feeling weird shades of everything she was doing while lacking the motor control to affect anything. Walking through the Hierguild facility, I was immediately struck by how dark it seemed. The hallways of Epsilon were well-lit, while Hierguild seemed almost intentionally diametrically-opposed, as if someone wanted this place to have a sinister feel. The ceiling seemed higher, good for a guy like Mountain to walk around, and everyone in or around her path stayed out of her way, without fail. I could feel Meredith's face wearing an almost annoyed scowl, the kind of face all the guards and personnel saw daily. Her walk throughout the facility was a serious one, yet there was a hint of sauntering to it, something intentional in her hips, much more pronounced when we were alone; how tempted every man must've been to stare at her fantastic ass in leather, I figured most wouldn't take that gamble, with the thought of what she'd do to them if caught. It felt so funny how the world saw and knew rainbow death, and what I knew of her.
As we walked through the corridors, the one thing I couldn't help but notice was how familiar everything looked. Like were it not for the ceiling height and lighting, I'd swear I was walking through Epsilon. The further she walked through the place, the more I became convinced that Hierguild was almost the exact structural likeness of Epsilon. The path to the sickbay, the security lounge, the breakroom, training rooms and offices, all the same. The gears in my head turned to disturbing thoughts that shook the hell out of me, but those went aside as she brought us to the one place that looked wildly different - her quarters. Compared to Epsilon's, and probably Hierguild's rooms, she had a suite of her own, bigger than a few Epsilon dorms put together. A comfortable bed, shelves of books of all kinds to read, her own fridge, lots of amenities to keep their secret weapon satiated. I felt the comfort well up in her as she arrived in her place of solace, away from everyone, except her special, hidden guest.
"Guess it would make sense, you getting a palace compared to the rest."
She just smiled at that, as she went into her fridge to retrieve a yellowish, milky energy drink. Couldn't make out the exactly what it said, but as she took a long sip from the straw, the taste hit us both.
"Banana split-flavored? Really?"
"Are you really complaining about that?"
The flavor was so strong and pleasing to my mouth, my mental avatar inside her gulped loudly, much to her satisfaction.
"...I guess not, though the diner shake is much better. But it's passable."
"If you're a good little moth, maybe we'll take another trip there soon."
Disrobing from her Hierguild black leather, she reached for a book from her shelf to read as she sat on the bed, enjoying leisure time. The book was of little concern with me, until I noted hypnosis somewhere on the title; my soft mental gasp was still enough to produce a chuckle out of her, that didn't stop as she sensed my inner-self trying to look away as she whispered out loud to herself on concepts of how deep a subject can go under hypnosis. The teasingly-lewd whispers reading aloud clinically-sterile hypnosis notes drove me nuts; through the avoidance, I became aware that my avatar was seated, reclining in a theater-like seat, appropriate for the huge screen showing me the words she was reading. I felt her lips speaking the words, and was wondering why I was fighting being aroused by this. It certainly didn't help when her lips stopped to take a sip of her liquid banana split, reaffirming the flavor of these sinfully-good feelings.
"You don't ever stop, do you?"
"Stop? Who said we even got started? I've got you all to myself, on my own turf for once, something I don't think even I saw coming. I should probably give serious thought as to what I will do to you."
Putting the hypnosis book aside and finishing her drink, she pulled her legs up to begin meditating, much like the same way I did at Epsilon. Feeling exactly how she reached out to communicate with me from a probably long distance gave me, and by extension her, a shared smile reflecting on our bond.
"Mind if I do a little light interrogating?" curiosity got the better of me over the silence, taking advantage of the opportunity.
"Weird question with you already in my head, but ask away."
"Do they really figure you're mute?"
"Not really, but they often forget I speak, as little as I speak to them."
"So you really do live inside your own head."
"Safer than the alternative, for my sanity and their well-being. You'd be doing the same extra hard here, with the position your body is currently in."
"You didn't know they were planning to bring us here?"
"No, I didn't. And it certainly gives me incentive to take full advantage while I have you here."
"No one...no one knows what you're capable of, right? No one knows what you're doing with me right now?"
"They have no clue. I'm sure I'm under observation right now, even here. My behavior to them as far as I know, is something they can't fully pin down. I cooperate to an extent and go on missions, but I'm still unpredictable in their eyes, and I much prefer it that way."
"Do they know about your affinity for hypnotizing?" I asked pointedly, gesturing towards the book lying next to her, and the few others stacked together on the shelf.
"They know I have many interests. Most books they supplied me with have to do with my powers. Lots of theories on forms of telepathy, many abilities ending with -kinesis. Maybe they think me knowing helps me understand and increase my own power. Maybe it scares them that I could develop hypnotic powers."
"Scares the shit of out me, that's for sure."
She literally laughed out loud in her room, stopping it short and clearing her throat. She glanced around at where she thought the cameras were, hoping that didn't arouse suspicion and left whomever was watching with confusion.
"Thanks for that, Byron. I rarely laugh around here."
"I'm here all week."
"Keep it up, pyro-slut; I can make that a reality."
"I wish I could say 'don't threaten me with a good time' to that. But I..."
I took stock of everything that had gone on since I woke up, and took the deepest sigh of memory.
"Tell me, Byron."
"I'm...." The sincerity in her voice got me to open up. "I'm just taken by a lot of surreal stuff, all at once. I never thought I'd be here, seeing...fucking everything I'm seeing. I should be on high alert, here of all places. And yet I'm more relaxed than at the place I'm forced to call home now. This is more than crazy, it's impossible."
"One could argue that 'impossible' started the day we met."
She smiled deeply at how easily and helplessly I conceded to that fact.
"And it must make you wonder, with the standards of 'impossible' being shattered constantly by me, what can I do next that would defy what's logically possible and what isn't?"
I noticed the effect of her voice echoing around me getting stronger, until it was wafting over me, drowning me in it, her words invisibly flowing over my skin.
"What's my next move that would make you say 'impossible'?"
It was like she was speaking right to my face, the sound of her words bouncing everywhere, the meaning of her words still going at me. The effect went into overload, swallowing me, until I woke, feeling sluggish transition into control of a body I thought I knew too well.
Looking around, I saw I was still in Meredith's room, no longer looking at it from a theater screen, but literally there. I looked down to notice not only to a naked body, but also an anatomy that wasn't mine, a body I'd covered in submissive kisses at several points. Hands roamed all over, appreciating the smooth skin with her smooth fingers, stopping just short of her back to begin hover over parts I wanted to touch out of boundless curiosity, but speechlessness and shock kept me still.
"What's the matter, pyro-slut? Afraid of a little moth mode?"
The last two words echoing inside the brain we shared triggered the need to turn and face the full-length mirror in her room. As I turned, vision became tinted orange again, and looking into the mirror made me realize why; her eyes burned into mine, or ours, and had me move closer. Waves of hot pleasure washed in our brain over and over, and I imagined my reclining self in her heat drowning in fiery waves that burned off my clothes and made it hottest between my legs. She was controlling me, controlling her body; my mouth hung open at the impossibility, the naked curves pushing arousal, and the heated, mesmerizing stare.
"I haven't forgotten about our slowing down rule, but I wonder who's technically breaking that rule if restraint becomes as useless as control is ambiguous," the devilish smile she uttered saying that leveled any chance I would've had in insisting against this. Control of her hands shifted towards obedience to her will, feeling them move towards her ample cleavage, and the folds of her sex; wide eyes took in more flames, feeling the waves of pleasure more than just in the head, reflecting knowing what it felt like to be an aroused woman, to feel myself tweaking nipples and exploring a wetness I could comprehend.
"I-i-is thi-ssss...is this..w-what it f-mmmm-f-feels like?"
How I'd misjudged the female anatomy and how pleasure worked, I felt...blessed to have someone like Meredith controlling me to maximize her pleasure, and teach me about the depths and tides of her pleasure in the strangest of satisfying ways.
"Yes...B-Byron, but don't....mmmmm...don't you d-dare stop. It'll feel soooo much b-better."
It was comforting to know she was as shaken by this as I was, continuing to explore what I understood and appreciated more than ever before. Everything arousing felt like it was flowing into me, from the mirror reflection, to Meredith's eyes, into the body that knew how it wanted to be worked, and hands unable to resist giving her the pleasure we wanted. The rhythm and pull of how she wanted it, how her arousal worked, became like a favorite song, a song I needed to appreciate, analyze, and memorize to show her what I've learned. I wanted to toss us over to her bed to writhe in unimaginable rapture, yet eyes kept the body in-place, in a masturbating mind-fuck that left me wide open. Her power, her essence plunged deeper into me than the last time it tried, edging closer to a deeper part of myself I still knew I was keeping cut-off from anyone. Somehow, I managed to short-circuit efforts I felt going too far by reaching points inside her genitalia that drove her particularly wild, fingers moving at high-speed to turn the flow into a tidal wave, sooner than her probing self wanted, but not lacking in satisfaction.
The staring spell was broken when I made her eyes roll up in her sockets, dropping us onto the bed nearby. Her body, her essence, and my avatar all came simultaneously, forcing her powers to cease and just ride the first orgasm in all it's glory. And after getting breathing under control, remnants of the fire still burning, I used her fingers to start the waves again, making the next few climaxes as glorious as the first, sharing a wide grin on understanding pleasing her much better than before.
I'm not sure how much time had passed, but the next time any light came back, I was back in my own body, muscles feeling residual relaxation for all the "touring" Meredith put me through. But noticing one significant change since I was last myself, I had enough strength to force the deprivation chamber open. Hier-half had enough to break the hinges, but not make the lid fly open. Pushing the lid open gently, I ignored evidence of a literal wet dream from earlier, and carefully lower the lid back to make it look undisturbed. Creeping through the room, hoping I wouldn't trip any sensors or arouse any suspicion, I checked on my teammates, hoping I could help break them out and we could attempt escaping together, but they were all unconscious. Rather than try to carry three bodies to whatever exit I could find, I instead decided to use the touring schematics unintentionally supplied by Meredith to find a way out.
"Hey, thanks for accompanying me earlier; so nice to have someone I want to be around, instead of everyone at this boring meeting. Nearly everyone's here, so if you want to take your own little tour around, there wouldn't be many to stop you."
Resisting a chuckle of confirmation that it was intentional after all, I moved out of the room we were confined in. With the exact same layout as Epsilon, it was rather easy to sneak around the hallways, catch one of the armed guards off-guard, and stick him in a closet while I took his uniform to blend in, helmet and all. Walking through the facility like I belonged there, I could lightly feel Maelstrom in her Hierguild meeting, with a lot of security and scientists staff present. From her perception, Mountain, Toxic, and Driver were present too; she stood against the wall, arms folded, looking uninterested and perturbed, putting off anyone wanting to address her. They seemed to be going over details of the shipment of Hierarchs Epsilon didn't intercept when we were ambushed.
She was right as the halls were pretty much empty, making it easy to get to the security hub, using the knocked-out guard's ID, bypassing a magazine-reading guard "watching" all the monitors. I made myself some coffee, pretending that was all I'd come in for, hand slipping by access cards meant for science offices. It was nearly infuriating how similar Epsilon and Hierguild seemed, like one group could take out the other just by knowing the layout alone. Looking for an exit around a science office didn't make complete sense, but that's where I ended up, getting to what had to be their head scientist's desk there. Bringing up his computer screen, something reached inside the memory parts of my brain, and I was using access codes I didn't know I had in me to get in. Instead of looking for exits, curiosity got the better of me, and looked for more information about Maelstrom while I was already in their system.
Most information there was passcoded, which seemed to be no deterrence with codes that weirdly came from my light espionage at Epsilon. Everything luckily opening without issue, pages and pages of data became accessible to me. In terms of information everyone was looking for regarding Megarchs, I'd hit the motherlode; dates, formulas, notes, subjects, testing sites, everything was comprehensively, conveniently there to read. My mind felt like it was on overload, trying to take commit everything I was reading to memory, especially locations listed by latitude and longitude, but it didn't stop until it parsed what seemed like the biggest finds. Before I could look around for some kind of flash drive to download, I came upon images and videos of what it took to make a Megarch, and it nearly made me sick to my stomach.
Graphic surgeries that look like horror movie scenes than medical documentation flashed before my eyes. Picture after picture, video after video, it suddenly made so much sense why Megarchs might not survive being what they were designed to be for long. More worrying than the images of Maelstrom being created and maintained were the dates showing how often she was worked on; nearly a dozen surgeries within a short span of months. I felt anger, bordering on seething for what I was seeing; I had to suppress that feeling before Maelstrom tried to reach out and see for herself why I felt the way I did, before she might make the place literally explode in anger like I might.
One photo in particular made my stomach turn, a pic of her suspended, and the skin of her back open, and showing how scarred her back already was. A forgotten memory I'd only realized was hidden from me surfaced, cognizant of why I was never cognizant when it came to her back; seeing it, feeling it, my senses purposefully glossed over when it came to her sorest spot, where they did most of the work to make her the only living, operational Megarch.
I was wondering why I was suddenly hearing Dr. Kasdien's voice in my head, as if remembering something related to her surgeries. But as I paid more attention to it, I found that it was his voice speaking to the meeting at Hierguild. Full-body shock halted me from doing anything at that moment; Epsilon's resident doctor didn't look fatigued, threatened, under stress of any kind; he was calmly giving a briefing like he would at Epsilon. The son of a bitch was playing both sides, and I was filled with a sudden urge to face down all their forces, head to their conference room and rip his off.
The click of a weapon cocked behind me shook me back to reality, and I deftly turned, grabbing the pistol before a shot could be fired. The guard, whoever he was, was quick enough to get around me and hold me from behind, trying to choke hold me to unconsciousness. Hier-half wasn't there to help put a stop to it, but I had enough strength and motivated anger to break out of it. Turning to land a solid punch to his face, he easily anticipated that, catching my arm and using my momentum and weight to launch me against the nearest wall. He quickly followed up with a strike to the throat and a few hits to the solar plexus, the combination making me double over in pain. Rage got me on my feet to grab and pin him against the wall; I punched hard enough that his helmet almost flew off, but not before he headbutted and kneed me in the balls.
Struggling to breathe on one knee, he continued to show no mercy, kicking me to the floor and putting his knee right where it made breathing totally unlikely. Fighting to get him off or force Hier-half back wasn't working; Hierguild had much better guards, whoever they were hiring, I assumed. I could only force him up a bit, only to get a good look at his face; as if I hadn't had enough shock for one day, I looked up at Radio's face, firm, stoic, and no longer struggling to make his legs work.
"Rad-io...Jav...ier..." I struggled, none of the words registering to him. He pressed his knee tighter against me, and I blacked out after, wondering why my world was spiraling down the drain.