They were all over the place. Writhing masses huddled in the corners, fat coils covered the expanse of the floor, flashes of green and brown climbed the columns and formed a gruesome tangle on the ceiling. A group of rattlesnakes circled Cye. All kinds---in the dimness he could make out black and grey diamonds, reddish blotches, brown and black crosses, sandy light-brown and grey. Though their scales were quite colorful, what riveted him was the bright white of their wide open jaws.
Suddenly greenish light flared. Cye looked up, all too aware of his nakedness.
The deep voice, already firmly embedded in his nightmares, carried across the room. "So, you’ve met my little pets." Sekhmet was in his subarmor. Cye was not quite expecting the shock of green hair. His beady eyes stared back at him, and at once Cye wished he had entered in full armor. Those eyes seemed more fitting for the monstrous helmet, rather than this pale, unearthly face.
He stepped into the fray. The snakes uncoiled and slithered away in his wake. Cye took a ragged breath; perhaps he would banish the rattlers. He preferred being nose to nose with his mortal enemy than another moment of the snakes, all ready to strike. Instead, Sekhmet stopped just behind the line.
"Cye of the Torrent. So nice of you to come."
The enormous black and grey snake suddenly raised its head, curving its neck into a tight S. It struck. Cye jumped back just in time. Had his reflexes not taken over, it would have buried its fangs in his leg. He hadn’t even seen it move.
Sekhmet began to laugh.
Something incredibly heavy dropped onto Cye’s shoulders. Swallowing a shriek, he staggered under the weight. What felt like smooth ropes caught his ankles and he toppled to his knees. The fall might have broken bones had the huge snake not tightened painfully around his neck. It laid him down gently even as it coiled around his torso, locking his arms against his sides.
The warlord loomed over him, still laughing maniacally. "I should have made you dance, Torrent. Except I don’t think you’ll be so lucky the next time they strike."
"What do you want," Cye got out, as snake scales pressed against his face.
"My Master wants your armor orb," he answered. "But somehow I don’t think you’ve got it."
Chuckling, Sekhmet waved his hands, and the big snake pulled his head to the floor as the smaller snakes tugged his feet forward. "Unless of course you’ve hidden it... somewhere."
In perfect synchrony, the snakes arranged him so that he was spread-eagled on the floor. The rattlesnakes were still close by, so Cye didn’t make any sudden moves.
"I’ve never seen you without your subarmor, Torrent," remarked Sekhmet. It was as though he was commenting on a new hairstyle. "What’s the matter? You don’t look very happy to see me."
Suddenly his hand whipped out. A flash of dark yellow, and something landed on Cye’s stomach. It was a cobra, hood flared, fangs exposed. Cye screamed.
Sekhmet’s laughter reverberated through the chamber. Cye ignored him, trembling with fear as the snake swayed just inches from his face. His struggles were stilled as the large snake tightened its embrace. He’d faced the warlord’s poison enough times, but this was an animal, driven by pure instinct. And I really don’t want to die this way.
"That’s better. Yes, you look very happy to see me."
Despite the situation, he felt himself blush. He could feel his member stiffening slightly. Sekhmet made a gesture, and out of the corner of his eyes he noticed some movement. Suddenly he felt something crawling between his toes. The snake was small, about the girth of a pencil. It was quite ticklish. Still mesmerized by the cobra, Cye tried not to move as the snake flicked its tongue along his skin. His legs twitched, trying to close, but the other snakes had a firm hold on his ankles. The creature slowly traveled up his legs. It was like a tightly bound rope... or a whip. He cringed as it slid along the sensitive skin of his inner thigh. The tiny thread of a tongue flicked his balls, sending a spark of fear and pleasure down his spine... he almost forgot the cobra... Abruptly the small snake slithered away.
Sekhmet chuckled. "Didn’t like the taste of you, Torrent." Before Cye could protest, the large snake lifted him off the floor. The cobra’s hood relaxed a little, but it wrapped its tail around his waist.
"Don’t resist!" snapped Sekhmet. "Raise your hips."
Disgust seethed beneath Cye’s paralyzing fear. You’re insane! He wanted to yell, but he was sure Sekhmet already knew that.
The cobra was resting its head on the other snake’s coils, still staring at him. Watching the snake, Cye pulled his feet under him. Sweat poured off his skin, and his face felt terribly warm. He flexed his abdominals, trying to raise the combined weight of himself and all the snakes without the use of his hands. Sekhmet, a smirk on his face, gestured again. Another large snake wrapped around his hips to help.
Panting, Cye looked up over the expanse of scales and skin. He was utterly exposed, with his penis warm and half-erect in the cool air of the room. Sekhmet’s eyes were examining him like he was a prize head of cattle. Or a new boa constrictor. The large snakes seemed to stir at the thought.
"Come," Sekhmet said. For a hysterical moment Cye thought he meant him. But instead the cobra uncoiled and slithered off him.
"Flip him," the warlord ordered. Quickly the snakes obeyed. Cye found himself off his feet and rotating. Gods, these snakes are strong! He realized they could have suffocated him at any time. There was a lot of power beneath those scales, but also a finely honed control.
When the snakes stopped moving, Cye was staring at the stone floor. Somehow his arms had been pinned behind his back. The two larger snakes supported and trapped his torso, though the smaller snakes on his ankles had disappeared.
A whimper escaped him. He could just feel Sekhmet gazing at his exposed back and legs. Oh shit. Just... get it over with!
The warlord circled him. "Don’t worry, Torrent. I’m not going to rape you." There was an unspoken ‘yet’ in that statement. Sekhmet dropped to one knee in front of Cye, who avoided the beady eyes. Cye could smell his shallow breaths; not putrid, but a sickly sweet which made him gag all the same.
"I’m just looking for your armor orb."
Cye stiffened as the two large snakes holding his torso lifted him up like a series of pulleys. A cold sweat broke over him. Yet Sekhmet did not move from his side, as expected. Instead he slapped the floor with his armored palm. Immediately a long, smooth-looking snake was at his side. It had a small head and two dark beady eyes.
"You know what this is?" Cye just stared at the snake, whose unblinking eyes seemed to see right through him. "This is a mamba. Even those who handle venomous snakes on a regular basis are killed by their bites." Sekhmet drew out every word, making sure Cye was hearing him. "It is an extremely painful death."
He set the snake down in front of his face. It was just sitting there in its coil, but Cye was frozen by its unwavering gaze. Sekhmet leaned in and whispered in his ear. "Spread."
A long, lithe body slid between his tightly shut legs. It felt smooth; Cye was momentarily reminded of the feel of a hand in subarmor... Rowen. At his hesitation, the mamba stirred in front of him. Humiliated, he spread his thighs until the strange friction brushed his opening.
Just this once. You’ll be all right if he touches you. He’ll satisfy his insane idea and he’ll be finished with you.
He was unprepared for the ice cold pressure, forcing its way in.
"Nnoo..." he groaned. The snake was medium-sized; it was like some large wriggling worm was inside him. Except he could feel the tiny belly scales gripping the skin, agonizingly pulling itself deeper, all too slow. The muscles undulated---an odd sensation of fullness without being filled. Cye gasped and cried out again in shame. His body was responding to the pressure.
The snake, alarmed by his movements, shivered its body as though it had a rattle. No, oh stop. Cye realized his eyes were tightly shut. He hoped Sekhmet hadn’t noticed his arousal.
At last the movement stopped. It was as far as it could go. Cye opened his eyes and tried to adjust to the presence. The snake seemed to be doing the same.
"What were you doing without your armor orb, Torrent?" Sekhmet asked plaintively. "Hn. I was right all along. We should have attacked when I took you. By now those other rodents will have discovered your absence and will be mounting a counterattack. But if we had attacked you then, you wouldn’t have had the Inferno! But nooo, that idiot Cale---"
At that moment the snake shifted within Cye, with enough pressure to brush the point deep inside him. He shuddered, trying not to cry out.
Sekhmet grunted in surprise. "What’s this? Little Torrent’s been taken?" He crouched next to Cye. With a hand gesture, the snake inside him began to withdraw. "Which one was it, Torrent," he hissed in his ear. "Halo?" The large snakes were moving again. "Wildfire?" Sekhmet slipped between the moving coils and felt the skin of his lower abdomen. "Hardrock?" He said with a little laugh. The snakes loosened their hold, and Cye could feel the cool air on his erection. "Strata?"
Before he knew what was happening, Cye felt himself harden at the mention of Rowen.
"Or do they all take turns using you?"
A growl grew in Cye’s throat. The warlord made it sound so obscene. You’ve no right to talk about them like that, if you’re doing this to me! But he kept silent. Angering Sekhmet meant angering the snakes.
Then a cold hand grasped his face roughly. "You must be a sweet little fuck."
Cye shook the hand away and leveled his gaze on the warlord. "Go to hell."
"Oho, so Torrent’s got some spirit after all." Sekhmet was practically drooling. "This is going to be entertaining." He made no motion, but the entire room seemed to come alive with activity.
Sekhmet grabbed his shoulders and lifted Cye to his feet. His scaly captors shifted. Their bodies gripped him like hundreds of fingers. Reptiles pooled at his feet in a writhing mound of scales and rattles. The chilly hands grew warmer, stealing body heat. Sekhmet kept Cye’s chin up, beady eyes inches from his own as snakes coiled around his wrists till he couldn’t feel his hands. He couldn’t think. He could barely breathe. This couldn’t be happening.
His arms were being lifted. Glancing up, he saw the two snakes who had previously been wrapped around his torso. They were climbing a living ladder of bright green snakes, his wrists in tow. Securely coiled on the rafters, the pair looked down on him with a frightening intelligence. There was a hint of red in their gazes---
Sekhmet’s hand jerked, and Cye found his mouth being devoured. He could taste the sweetness now, like overripe fruit. He tried to bite the wildly flicking tongue, but Sekhmet squeezed his face painfully. Just as suddenly he drew away. Cye gasped, barely registering that the warlord had raked a bloody trail on his cheek. He stared at his nemesis as snakes wrapped around his arms. Sekhmet seemed to be searching his eyes for something.
Whatever he was looking for, he stepped back. What probably passed for satisfaction crossed his face. "Anaconda," he growled.
Cye swallowed. Oh, Rowen. Torrent. Ancient. Please help. Please let me get through this.
Sage opened his eyes. "What?"
Rowen leaped up. "We need to find Anubis."
"What makes you think he’s still alive?" Ryo said.
Rowen’s speech was speeding up. "Well, we’re alive, snake butt is alive, he must be alive. Maybe he’ll have---"
Suddenly he collapsed to the floor, holding his head. Ryo crouched next to him. "Ro? Dude, are you okay?"
"Fuck, no." Rowen looked up. He scrubbed at his watery eyes. Ryo could feel him trembling. "I can feel Cye. He needs us, now!"
"But how are we gonna do that?" Kento said.
Rowen glared at him, as though it was his fault he couldn’t think of something.
Sage stepped forward. "Since our armors are all part of a whole, there’s a chance---"
"What? What is it?!"
"I may be able to contact Anubis if I meditate."
Rowen closed his eyes, nodding gratefully. "...hurry..."
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