Body and Soul I: The Body Snatcher
Chapter 1: The Fall of the Tower
In fact, she was not demanding about the second feeding -- the position of the sun indicated it was perhaps 4 or 5 PM when the door opened, the tray with empty cereal bowl levitated up the steps, and a second tray levitated down, to set down on the floor of the cellar. Two open cans of dog food, stale and petrified Italian bread, and half a bar of moldy cheddar cheese constituted his lunch. The intent was probably to humiliate him, but it failed miserably; Erik could still remember when a chunk of bread this size was a prize to be coveted and meat, any meat, was a delight unheard of. The dog food tasted terrible, of course, but that wasn't the point. It was meat, and under circumstances like this, he couldn't take meat for granted. The bread became edible, though still not tasty, when he got a cup of water from the bathroom and soaked pieces of the bread in it until they became soggy, and after he used his fingernails to scrape the moldy parts off the cheese, the largely intact interior was actually very good. Overall it was actually a better meal than the sugary cereal, satisfying his hunger more, although it didn't taste as good. Something his wealth had largely managed to conceal from others was that, although he enjoyed good food and ate well whenever he could, which was most of the time, in fact Erik could and would eat anything that wouldn't make him ill if he had to. It was impossible for him to entirely take food for granted.
There was little to do in the cell-- more exercise, more napping, more useless exploration, and somehow he managed to kill time until the body snatcher came down the stairs with what appeared to be dinner, around 9 PM. He tensed immediately. The food was something he was looking forward to, but he was already conditioned to expect pain and humiliation when she entered his cell.
"Din-din," she said mockingly. "You hungry?"
He didn't answer, watching her face, not the food. He might have to give in far more than he wanted to, but he didn't need to play along with obvious attempts to verbally humiliate him.
"Well, if you're not hungry, I can always send it back," she said, and the tray started floating up the stairs.
He'd have let it go, but he needed the food. He could have disregarded the hunger-- he'd gone hungry before-- but that same experience had taught him not to go without food needlessly, and he needed to keep his strength up. "I'm expected to beg for my dinner? Is that it?"
"That's a start," she said.
"Then yes, I'm hungry. Please give me the food."
"I don't know. I don't think that counts as begging. I want to see some serious groveling here."
Erik forced down his pride, hating her. And himself, for giving in to her. "Please. I beg of you. I need food, please." And she had better be satisfied with that, because he wasn't going to do any more than that. He could go without one night if he had to.
"Let's see quite how badly you want it," she said, as the tray lowered to the ground. She knelt, took off a bowl of canned mixed vegetables, and dumped it upside down on the floor. "Eat that, and I'll give you the rest of it."
Again, a transparent ploy to humiliate him. Like the dog food, this bothered him less than it might have. He sat on the floor, folding his legs Indian-style, and picked the vegetables off the concrete with his hands. At some point while he was eating, he realized that the position he was sitting in allowed her to see his crotch, and that she was staring at his underwear. He shifted uncomfortably, suddenly painfully aware again of what she would probably do to him when he was done eating, and changed the way he was sitting so he was more kneeling on the ground. That hurt, but he didn't like being stared at and vulnerable.
After he finished, she grabbed his arm and dragged him to his feet. "You can have the rest of your dinner later," she said, pushing him toward the bed. "This time if you try kicking me in the crotch again I'm going to shock you senseless and then fuck you with the shocks again. I wouldn't try it if I were you."
He was still in a lot of pain from the assault this morning. The idea of enduring another one was almost unbearable, bad enough to make him consider bargaining. "Wait. Please."
"Why should I?"
"I--" His mouth had gone dry. This was sickening him, but he had to do it. He'd been bleeding slightly all day from the injuries he'd received this morning. He had to try to protect himself from worse damage, whatever it took. Erik swallowed and forced the words out. "I have an... alternative proposal."
The body snatcher's eyes widened. "You've got my attention. Go on."
"I... am aware, now, that it's pointless to resist you. I didn't intend to fight you... but I'm--" No. His pride would not allow him to admit that he was still hurting from this morning. He couldn't give her that much satisfaction. Instead he took a deep breath and skipped the justification entirely. "I was wondering if you would accept... an alternative."
She was not going to make this easy. In fact, she was clearly enjoying his humiliation. "I could perform oral sex on you instead," he said, trying to hide how deeply it bothered him to offer.
"Don't you ever use words like 'blow job'?"
"Well, I want to hear it. No more of this prissy 'perform oral sex' shit. Make your offer again, but I don't want to hear these faggy weasel words anymore."
"Very well. I could give you a blow job instead. Is that what you wanted to hear?"
"Instead of what?"
"Instead of..." He realized then what it was she wanted him to say. Well, the hell with it. His preferred sexual terminology was less earthy than what she wanted, but he knew the ruder words in English well enough. "Instead of fucking me."
She smiled broadly, her face a little bit flushed. She hadn't yet learned how to use her magnetic powers to hide how ridiculously fast skin that fair would blush or show any sort of excitement. "Still all bruised up from your stupid stunt this morning, huh, poor baby?" The body snatcher laughed. "Sure, I'm game. But no half-assed jobs. Give me a really good blow job, and I'll leave your poor little cunt alone tonight. Do a shitty job, and I'll still fuck you. That sounds fair, doesn't it?" Her voice hardened. "Take off all your clothes first, though. I want you naked."
He obeyed, and did as he had said he would. It was not the first time he'd performed that particular service on a man, though it had been many, many years ago. Since then, he'd acquired considerable experience doing the equivalent for women, and being the recipient himself. Since the body snatcher was in his body, he knew exactly what she would like, because it was what he had liked when women had done it to him. At least, he assumed that was how it worked, and her reaction seemed to bear the hypothesis out. Remembering her warning, he set out to do as good a job as possible, ignoring the nausea and the part of his mind that screamed in horror at what he was doing. He managed to make her cry out, more than once, and by the time he was done she was gasping, sated.
"Well." She ran a hand through his hair. "You even swallow. I'm impressed. You get a reprieve tonight, sweetheart." As she pulled up her pants and stood, she grinned mockingly at him. "Where'd you learn to do that? Your sexual history a bit more checkered than I guessed?"
He shrugged, dully. He hadn't moved from his kneeling position by the bed. "You have my body. I know what I like."
"Good point. Well," she ruffled his hair again, "you're never going to get what you like again. So I suggest you learn to like what you get."
On that note she left the room again. He remained where he was for several long minutes. Eventually he mustered up the willpower to go over to the tray. There was an empty bowl where the vegetables had been, cold macaroni and cheese, and a slice of steak, burnt on the outside and incredibly fatty inside. He ate, chewing the steak methodically, welcoming the taste of cheese and burnt meat and slightly congealed blood to drive out the foul taste from his mouth. He'd completely forgotten how bad the taste was-- when he'd tasted himself by kissing a woman who'd just pleasured him, it hadn't been nearly as rank-tasting as this had been. Maybe circumstances had a lot to do with it. He'd probably have been a lot more inclined to find anything pleasurable while lying with a woman he loved than while being degraded for a captor's enjoyment.
He had to get out of here. The thought that he could fall so low, that he could willingly offer to degrade himself like that to avoid pain, disgusted him beyond all measure. He had cast aside the person he wanted to be, the person he had built himself into, to be the person he had left behind years ago, but his emotions were still Magneto's. Erik had eventually learned to shut off most of the horror and disgust, to accept what he had to do to survive and not to think about it much. Magneto had forgotten how to do that, a persona created by pride. There were things he had done as Magneto that horrified him, but they were crimes against his current moral standards, not bendings of will and pride. And he didn't want to relearn how not to be horrified, didn't want to have such familiarity with degradation that he barely noticed it anymore.
The next few days passed with the kind of non-time one felt when one was a captive with nothing to do. Erik exercised frequently, showered or bathed twice a day, and slept a lot. The body snatcher fed him three times a day, mostly leftovers, dog food, and the stuff in the cans, and demanded sexual favors at least twice a day, sometimes more. As long as he obeyed her demands, she didn't torture him. It was more bearable a captivity than Auschwitz had been-- no hunger, no forced labor, little risk of death. If it weren't for the rapes, his situation would be almost tolerable, and even they were easier to deal with when he cooperated-- when she didn't bind him, he could shift his body to minimize the pain.
"Not as bad as Auschwitz" did not by any stretch of the imagination constitute "good," however, and thoughts of escape occupied his every waking moment. An inch-by-inch examination of his cell turned up a somewhat rusty nail file, half-buried between the baseboard and the tiles of the bathroom floor. He tried the file on the bars of the cell, but it was softer than they were-- all that happened as he sawed away was that the file itself wore down.
However, the nail file could help him implement a different plan. He had been reluctant to start digging, because it would be obvious. The nails this body had come with were not long by female standards, but certainly longer than his had been, and the extra length made them useful as digging utensils and possible weapons, so he hadn't bitten them short. However, if he'd used them to dig, he'd get enough dirt under them that the body snatcher, if she had any powers of observation at all, would probably notice and ask questions he wouldn't be able to answer. Having a nail file would enable him to get around that. So he rearranged the cans in the back so that they were no longer flat against the wall; instead, they allowed a slender passage behind them to a region wide enough for him to kneel down and dig in the dirt floor, using his hands and an empty can he'd stolen off his dinner tray one night. After digging, he'd bathe and use the nail file to eliminate all the evidence of his activities.
It was slow going-- he couldn't risk being back there when the body snatcher came down the stairs to feed him or demand sex, and her schedule was erratic. Breakfast could occur anytime between early morning and noon, dinner came between late afternoon and long after sunset, and she brought him lunch whenever she felt like it. And sometimes she demanded sex between feedings, so even that wasn't a reliable guide. The only time he knew she would not be coming in on him was an hour or so directly after the rapes. So instead of showering directly afterward, as he had before, he would eat if she'd brought food, and then, without dressing, channel the rage he'd had to force down during her assault into attacking the dirt floor for an hour and a half or so. It usually hurt to kneel on the hard floor and dig after his body was cramped and sore from the acrobatics she demanded, but his motivation to escape was at its highest then, and the shower afterward to wash the dirt from his naked body cleansed her touch away as well.
Still, he couldn't fool himself. At the rate he was able to dig, he'd have a tunnel to the outside of the house in several months, and he was sure he'd go stir-crazy before then. He needed to get outside. He could live in an Antarctic wasteland, or in space, or any number of other hostile environments with recirculated air and somewhat claustrophobic quarters, as long as he knew he could leave any time he wanted. Being trapped in a basement with no fresh air, his only exposure to the outdoors a pair of narrow windows overlooking the dirtline, was driving him mad.
Erik broached the subject with the body snatcher one night, while she was still lying in the bed after raping him, stroking him as if she were trying to pretend he was her lover rather than her victim. "I was wondering if you'd consider a request." He hated asking her for anything, but it was clearly the only way to get what he needed, and at the moment he would rather do a bit of begging than remain trapped here.
"Maybe. If it entertains me to grant it."
"I'm going insane from being trapped down here. Please, could I be allowed outside to exercise on occasion?" If he didn't beg, she wouldn't grant it. His only hope was to entertain her. It didn't make the sound of his diffident plea any easier to bear. "It's not as if I could get away from you, I understand that. I don't expect to escape, I only need fresh air and some free space to run for a little while. Maybe an hour, half an hour, whatever you can manage." Whatever she could fit into her busy schedule of spending outrageously on his credit cards, he thought sarcastically. She'd bragged to him about how his money was financing a complete redecoration of her house. Fortunately, since he'd had a habit of accidentally denaturing his cards, he'd only kept two on his person at any given time, and he was wealthy enough that she could spend to the limit on those cards without significantly impacting his finances, but on principle it galled.
She laughed. "You know, just about a week ago you told me you'd never grovel to me, and now here you are, begging to be let outside like a doggie on a run. Who'd have thought?" There was nothing he could say to that. The body snatcher levered herself up on an elbow and looked at him, running her free hand over his knees and inner thighs. He held himself still, tolerating it. "What do I get in return for this favor?" she asked, grinning.
He stared at the ceiling, not looking at her. "I'd assumed sexual services," he said quietly.
"Nice idea," she said, her hand slipping between his legs, fingers exploring his sore female parts. It was very uncomfortable, but he forced himself not to squirm. This was what he'd bargained for, after all. "Trouble is, you already bargained that away. I can fuck you whenever I like, however I like, and you already do whatever I want because you know I'll hurt you if you don't. So you actually haven't got that to bargain with anymore." An involuntary gasp escaped him as she pinched a particularly sore spot. "No, you'll have to think of something else."
He hesitated. "I could give you the number of one of my other credit cards. One of the ones I wasn't carrying."
"Thanks for the offer. When I run out of what I've got, I'll consider it. But that's not what I want." She withdrew her hand abruptly and rolled onto her back, gesturing with one hand. Several cans rose into the air-- fortunately, not enough to expose his digging work. "I can play games with metal objects until the cows come home. But there's a lot about these powers I don't know. I want you to teach me."
As if he would do anything to help a murderer and a rapist become more powerful. "No."
"Then you don't get to go outside." She smirked.
He sat up, folding his arms over his chest. "Then I withdraw my sexual cooperation."
She looked at him hard. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I can't stop you from raping me. But I can refuse to cooperate. You seem to get a lot of pleasure out of the fact that I'd more or less voluntarily try to please you. I do that because it makes my life easier, not because I quake in terror at what you can do to me."
"If you don't, then you're an idiot," she said dangerously. "Maybe you need a little reminder of last time you defied me?"
She put her hand on his knee and shocked him. The leg kicked convulsively, without volition, but he refused to cry out. "I don't deny that I fear what you can do," he said hoarsely. "But I have never let fear rule me. You are not the first to threaten to torture me. Do what you will, but remember that if you cripple or kill this body, you'll be trapped in that one forever." She had admitted that to him one night, perhaps unaware of what a weakness she was revealing-- the reason she was keeping him alive was that when she was in a foreign body, the only body she could switch to was her own. "I am over 60 years old. I'll guess you are under 30. As well-kept as my body is, it's not going to last as long as yours could. Kill me, and I'm free of your tortures, but you have just lopped 30 years off your own life." This wasn't strictly speaking true. After Mutant Alpha had made him an infant, the Shi'ar agent Davan Shakari had restored him to adulthood at a physiological age of 30 or so. Physiologically, his own body wasn't much older than the body snatcher's own. But if she didn't know he'd been in the death camps of the Nazis, she probably didn't know the rest of his history either.
"Who's talking about killing you? All I need to do is hurt you."
"Which will, eventually, kill me."
"Not for a good long time."
"It doesn't matter. I will resist until then if I must." Her casual possessiveness toward him, the way she made free with him and expected no objections, her gloating over his degradation and his willingness to beg, all had boiled over and left him with a furious determination. If he died under torture in order to prove that she could not own him, that all she could do was make it worth his while to obey, so be it. He was terrified, and some part of his mind was screaming that challenging her was impractical and stupid, but none of that mattered now. She didn't own him, and she never would, and he would die to make her understand that if he had to.
"All right," she snarled. "Let's see you put your money where your mouth is." She shoved him back down against the bed, pinning him with her weight, straddling his chest with her legs crushing his arms and her genitals thrust toward his face. "Suck me."
The charge went through him where her legs and groin touched his body, and shot down from his chest to his feet. He screamed, bucking.
"Ready to suck it yet?"
"Guarantee... that I can go outside... and I'll do whatever you ask."
"You're not going anywhere. Suck it or I'll hurt you."
"Then hurt me," he gasped defiantly.
She did. Again and again. At some point his struggles became frantic enough that he was able to buck her off him. He rolled for the edge of the bed, blindly seeking freedom, but he was uncoordinated and weak from the shocks, and it was no effort for her to capture him and bind him.
This time she suspended him in midair over the floor, the cables around wrists and ankles pulling him spread-eagled as if he were stretched on a rack, almost upright. She raped him in the anus, shocking him there while her hands roamed the front of his body, delivering shocks and cruel pinches to sensitive places. He screamed, stretched too tightly by her power and the cables to even writhe with the pain. Over and over she shouted in his ear, asking if he gave in, promising she'd stop hurting him if he'd agree to suck her. When he had breath and presence of mind to do so, he cursed her in reply. The rest of the time he just howled. By now he no longer cared about going outside, but the fact that she would do this to him enraged him. He hated her so much. He would never give in. Repeatedly Erik screamed for her to stop and repeatedly rejected her offer to stop if he'd give in, sometimes in the same pain-wracked breath.
As she became too excited to concentrate on the cables, he fell to the floor, and she threw herself on top of him and finished in a few grunting thrusts. By then he was crying with the pain, hating her all the more for that. He hadn't cried with physical pain since he was a child. Even Zaladane hadn't been able to make him cry, not with physical pain, anyway. Someday she would pay for this. Someday. Oh dear God he hurt, he hurt so much.
For several seconds she lay on top of him, panting. The shocks had stopped, but he was still sobbing weakly. After a moment, she got off him and flipped him onto his back. Through the tears he couldn't control, he glared up at her with as much hatred and rage as he could put into a look.
"Still refuse to suck me?" she asked.
It took a few seconds to understand the question. When he did, he nodded furiously. Yes, he still refused. "Don't... own me," he choked out past the sobs and a voice too hoarse from screaming to talk. "Never... own... me..."
"Let's see about that." She lifted him with the cables and stretched him out on the bed. With her sexual arousal at his pain satisfied, she was able to focus all her attention on torturing him, and did so. Eventually he blacked out. She revived him the first time it happened. The second time, he thought he was dying, and welcomed it. He had won. She could kill him but she couldn't own him. He was free.
Body Snatcher: Chapter One Part E
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