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Challenge Five: The Game Master
It all happened so fast, Archbaroness thought bitterly, brooding alone in a small prison cell. One moment everything was fine and then… Then we were attacked.
The “fight” had been over nearly as soon as it had begun. She’d woken up in the small cell, disoriented, confused, and feeling weak. When her senses had returned to her she found she was dressed in a fresh copy of her costume. Before she’d had time to wonder about where the costume had come from and who had dressed her in it she’d noticed the metal device clamped tightly around her neck.
I don’t need to think about what this is, she thought. It’s clearly a power dampener. It’s why I feel so weak.
She’d begun to wonder if she was once more a prisoner of The Game Master but the dampener around her neck made her abandon that theory. He’d never seemed to need such technology and the cell she was in didn’t look like it was part of any facility of his she’d seen in between her challenges.
So who has captured me and why? And what have they done with Pinkbaroness?
The small cell had an open wall that was filled by a semi-transparent energy field. She’d assumed it served as a doorway into the cell and when she saw the shadowed outline of a being walk in front of it she stiffened, wondering if her captor was about to reveal themselves.
A moment after the figure’s arrival the energy wall shifted, becoming nearly as clear as glass. The figure revealed was not what she’d expected: it appeared to be a human man. Assuming Pinkbaroness had told her the truth and that this was her reality only far in the future she realized the scared man standing before her probably WAS a man.
The tall man was dressed in an outfit that seemed part futuristic supervillain and part space warlord. The dramatic red and gold-lined cape he had draped over half of his body left his right arm exposed. She could see his left hand was encased in a high-tech gauntlet, but the fully exposed arm was bare and covered in thick scars as if the entire limb had been severely burnt.
Black plating covered the man’s neck and ran up to encase his chin and jawline, running up around the frame of his face then encasing the lower half of the rest of his head. Half of his face was heavily scarred in the same manner as his arm, leaving the impression that that entire half of his body was so scarred.
Archbaroness could not tell what age the man was. His short white hair and the stern expression on his face gave the impression of weariness from advanced age but the unscared half of his face seemed to suggest a much younger age. He looked as though he could have as easily been thirty as eighty.
She rose to her feet and stood, staring the man down. She tried to show none of the fear she felt, hoping the man would soon speak and reveal something of himself.
“Do you recognize my face?” he asked her.
The question caught her off guard. “Should I?” she asked.
He smiled in return. “Perhaps. I was not certain of the exact point in your life The Game Master had snatched you from. He’s spent a long time perfecting his technology to move contestants between dimensions but until you he had not reached back in time for them. You were a test run of that technology and it will need more use before it can be perfected.”
“How do you know so much about The Game Master’s technology?” she asked.
He ignored her question. “Look at my face more closely,” he said, stepping closer to the transparent field between them and turning the unscared half of his face to her. “Do you recognize this face? If you’ve seen it before it would have been before it was scared.”
She tried to imagine the face without the scars. “No,” she said a moment later, “I’ve never seen you before. Yet…” She paused, brow furrowed.
“Yet my voice sounds familiar,” he replied, smiling again.
“Yes,” she said, realizing he was correct. “I just… no!” She took a step back. “No, you can’t be.”
“Can’t be what?” he asked, his expression making it clear he knew what she feared but wanted to hear her say it.
“You can’t be The Game Master. No human could be responsible for the perverse games I’ve been made to endure!” She looked around the cell then back at him. “No, I don’t believe it. This place looks nothing like one of his facilities. The technology is advanced but not THAT advanced. And I can feel it, this is the same reality I was in with Pinkbaroness. His facilities between realities felt… different. You’re just some villain or warlord from the future who wants me to believe you’re The Game Master.”
Her face hardened now that she’d decided who the man before her was. “Where is Pinkbaroness? What have you done to her?”
“I’ll show you,” the man said, holding up his gauntleted arm and activating a wrist-mounted computer. The energy field between them turned off. “Come with me and I’ll show you.”
“But I warn you,” he added, his expression suddenly stern, “not to try and escape.” His eyes suddenly began to pulse with glowing green energy. The same energy began to show in lines running up his scar-covered arms, as if the energy ran through his veins. His hand glowed with green power that steamed. “I can easily keep you in line even if you somehow get that collar off. Please don’t make me, I’d prefer this time be spent in a more civilized manner.”
Archbaroness nodded, seeing there was no chance of escape. At least not yet, she thought, knowing she’d keep an eye open for any chance that might prevent itself.
“Come with me then,” he said. “As I take you to Pinkbaroness I will explain where we are and tell you who I am.”
“So you’ve given up trying to make me believe you are The Game Master?” she asked. “I don’t know why you thought I’d fall for that. Aside from this place not being as advanced as his interdimensional base you’ve none of his… showmanship. You seem too serious, too gloomy.”
He chuckled, glancing at her and flashing a mischievous grin that made her question what she’d just said. “Any good showman keeps his true self hidden from his adoring public. The Game Master never shows his face and the voice he uses when broadcasting is but a persona he adopts for the public. The Game Master is a character, not who he really is.”
“You’re neither denying nor claiming you’re him,” she said, defiantly. “Why play games?”
“Because games are fun,” he said a bit too quickly.
What was that, Archbaroness thought. A flash of anger? No… something more complex.
“This is not how I wanted this to go,” he said, suddenly sullen. “I’ve spent… well, a great deal of time building to this moment. Simply telling you the number of years wouldn’t do that time justice.”
“Then explain,” Archbaroness replied, wanting to keep the man talking as she looked for an opening to escape. For the moment she saw none, the facility they were walking through was cold and empty and reminded her of a military base. Every door they passed was closed and there were security devices everywhere, cameras and automated weapons. “And start with where we are.”
“As you wish,” the man said. “And you are right, this facility is not as advanced as the other facilities The Game Master has brought you to. This place was made long before he’d even begun to imagine his great games. Back then I was a kind of warlord. I’d long ago conquered Earth and had expanded out across the galaxy, striking where I wished then returning here to this base, hidden deep in empty space where no one would ever look for it.”
“Yes… Yes, of course. I need to begin earlier. When one has lived as long as I have memories of the past blend together. You see, I am human and just like you I have an active P-Gene. It gave me powers that at first seemed unimpressive when compared to others but over time grew stronger. They also made it so I was immortal, and with the ability to live forever my powers had the chance to grow ever stronger.
“With time I was able to master every technology Earth had to offer and then, as humanity left Earth and spread to the stars, there were even more advanced technologies for me to master. I returned to Earth and conquered it, living as its king for a while. But I grew bored of that… so I returned to the stars and conquered other plants. But eventually I’d grow bored of each of them.
“Eventually I’d mastered enough technologies that I was able to conquer the entire galaxy and from there our entire reality. But even that grew boring. Soon it was other realities I was conquering. But as with everything else I always grew bored. Every thrill I found, every bit of fun I discovered always lost its allure before long.
“There had only been one time in my life where the fun hadn’t died and I’d stupidly let myself grow beyond that simple life. I thought about it all the time but knew I couldn’t simply stop being what I had become. Every living being in nearly every dimension feared the Great Conqueror. If I wanted to relive that time in my life when I’d been most happy I’d need to disappear for a time and return in a form that others would not recognize.
“So I did. I disappeared, taking the technology of countless conquered dimensions with me between realities where I perfected them further. I then returned as The Game Master and began my games. And oh how I enjoyed them. They’ve provided fun I’d not experiencing since those early days, the ones I wanted so desperately to relive.”
Archbaroness had stopped looking for an escape. She was listening closely, beginning to believe what the man was telling her. “You were a supervillain,” she whispered.
His face lit up. “Yes! That’s how it began. I was little more than a common powered thug in the beginning but oh the fun I had chasing after and fucking superheroines.”
He paused, looking at her and smirking. “The fun I had chasing after and fucking YOU. The games I’ve run till the one you’ve stared in, it’s all been practice, all leading up to the moment I reach back in time and grab YOU. And now that I’ve tested the technology to go back in time to grab you I’ll be able to do the same with every other superheroine through Earth’s history.”
“Madness,” she gasped. “Someone will stop you!”
“Who?” he asked. “You? You were a challenge when I first faced you but I’ve conquered entire realities between then and now.”
“If not me then the superheroines of NOW. Superheroines like Pinkbaroness, THEY will stop you!”
The man who she now believed was The Game Master chuckled. “Oh, really?” He stopped and looked at something over Archbaroness’ shoulder. “You think she has a chance of defeating me?”
Archbaroness turned to look where he was looking, fearing what she’d see. In a small cell was Pinkbaroness, naked and restrained in a terrifying device.
She was upright, her torso strapped tightly to a narrow platform, her arms were secured behind her back with thick power dampeners around her wrists. She had a purple ball gag shoved in her mouth and had something that looked like a virtual reality headset attached to the top half of her head. Electrodes were attached all over her naked body, with half of them attached to her breasts. Wires ran from the electrodes to the machine the platform she was strapped to extends from. Extending out from the machine was a curved metal frame her body was positioned over, terrifying devices extending from it and attached to the helpless heroine’s pussy and asshole, pumping in and out of her body and making her moan and wiggle in a vain attempt to escape.
“It’s a device that once saw a lot of use,” The Game Master explained. “It can be used to torture a woman or it can be used to brainwash her.”
“Which is it being used for right now?” Archbaroness asked, shaking with anger. This woman was only here because she’d tried to save her. She had to find a way to free her…
“Neither,” The Game Master said lazily. “It’s just keeping her entertained and weak.” He then turned to Archbaroness, his face lighting up with joy. “But it WILL be turned on and I’ve decided YOU get to choose which way it gets used. If it is used to torture Pinkbaroness she’ll be released when it’s done, free to return to her life as a superheroine. But she’ll need to remain in the device for a full year first.”
Archbaroness gasped, horrified.
“If you find that too horrible a fate for your pink friend then I’ll use it to brainwash her. She’ll only need to remain in the device for a day or two before she’s released.”
“What will the brainwashing do to her?” Archbaroness asked. “What will it turn her into?”
“Well, you see, that’s where the fun comes in for me. I will not tell you what it will do to her, what it will turn her into. But if that is the choice you make I will ensure you get to SEE the results.”
“But there is no need to rush to your decision,” he said. He turned and used the computer on his wrist to open the energy field of a cell across from the one Pinkbaroness was restrained in. “You will spend the night here, able to see her and contemplate her fate. I’ll return in the morning for your answer.”
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