Following the events of The Tower, the lives of our heroes take a turn for the dark...
|Jake took a deep breath and closed his eyes, as the pain of multiple tattooing needles piercing his skin radiated throughout his body, causing him a not insignificant amount of discomfort. Goth had commandeered the entire staff of one of Citiville’s tattoo shops to work on him today, and his session wasn’t anywhere close to being over. Seven artists all worked on him at once, one on each arm, one on each leg, one working on his chest, another on his ribs, and the final one working on Jake’s abs. Goth had told him that she wanted him to look the part of her Raven now that he officially was hers, and that the symbols and runes she’d picked out would help protect him as he fulfilled her wishes. Jake didn’t know if any of that was actually true, but he also wasn’t one to ask questions of his Goddess either, not anymore. After his front side was finished, they flipped him over and began to work on the back and shoulders, covering Jake’s body with a variety of runes and symbols, along with several verses of scripture about Goth, and finally, across his chest, the words “God Is She” in Goth’s own handwriting. Jake examined himself in the mirror; he certainly looked strange, but if The Goddess thought he looked better like this, he wasn’t going to argue. Plus, Jake wasn’t dumb. He knew this was a way for Goth to mark her territory, and he didn’t mind it. He belonged to her now, and he had accepted that. It had been about a month since he handed himself over to Goth, and accepted his place as the Raven. His first month admittedly hadn’t been awful, he was starting to get used to various odors of his perpetually unwashed girlfriend, and despite her feet being absolutely revolting, Jake was finally able to indulge in his long repressed foot fetish. Sex took a lot of getting used to- Goth was a rough, viscious lover to say the least, and her ideas of intimacy often included various forms of hard BDSM- but ultimately, Jake felt like he belonged here, as if he was serving a higher purpose.
As Jake finished checking himself out in the mirror, his girlfriend crept up behind him and pulled him close to her, wrapping a hand around his throat as she looked at their reflection, practically licking her lips as she lightly choked her prized possession. “My Raven, you look absolutely delightful like this. If I didn’t have something for you to do for me, I’d have you bent over a table right now…” she kissed and nipped at his neck, and Jake gave a soft moan as she did. He turned to her and stood on his tiptoes to give her a kiss on the lips, before craning his neck upwards for her, so that she could wrap his collar around his neck. Goth giggled and tugged on his collar, before taking hold of the leash and leading Jake through her castle-like church, and back towards their private quarters. Many of Goth’s other worshipers, slaves, and students' eyes watched the two as they passed, many looking on with silent envy of Jake’s position.
Jake knelt down as Goth took a seat on their bed, and ran a hand through his hair. “My Raven, one of the alarms went off in one of my warehouses by the docks. I’m sure whatever it is, you’ll have no trouble dealing with it. Come back to me with the cause, and I’ll ensure you’re handsomely rewarded, handsome…” She giggled again and gave her Raven permission to stand, and he leaned down to kiss her boots before he did so. Just like that, Jake was suited up as The Raven, and off on another patrol for Goth.
Goth’s magic meant she was able to teleport Jake practically anywhere in the city within seconds, and this time was no different. On a quick lap around the outside, Jake discovered a broken window most likely being the cause. It was winter in Citiville, and this pointed towards a squatter. It would be an easy fix, just kick the invader out, and he could be back with his Goddess quickly.
Unfortunately, as Jake found out upon entering, it wasn’t going to be that simple. He found the squatter rather quickly, but the person turned out to be the hero formerly known as The Dart, albeit much much worse for wear than when Jake had known them. She was rail thin, and she shook as she looked up at Jake, dressed in black and purple as The Raven. Goth had been keeping Dart prisoner since The Tower, but about two days ago, she had managed to escape. Finding her had been priority #1, and Jake just did.
“B-BirdBoy, please… you have to help me… Goth’s gonna kill me when she finds me… or worse…”
Jake sighed, and shook his head. “Dart, I have to take you back…” Dart grabbed hold of Jake, and began to beg with a desperate look in her eyes. “BirdBoy, this isn’t you, I know the real you is still in there somewhere! You have to fight her control! She’s got you brainwashed! Goth is evil!” Jake reached into his pocket and produced one of Goth’s nastier looking socks. One could practically see the stench lines floating off the nasty, crusty fabric, and Dart tried to plead with him further. “Please! Don’t do this!” Jake took a deep breath and averted his eyes, as he forced the sock onto Dart’s nose and mouth, and waited until the stench caused her to go limp. Jake felt his heart drop in his chest a bit as he felt the last kicks of his former ally slowly stop beneath him, as she fell unconcious. Jake hauled the hero over his shoulder, before fingering his recall button on his suit. Part of him didn’t want to press it. Part of him wanted to go hide Dart back in that wearhouse, and lie to Goth that it was just a vagrant he kicked out… but ultimately, his loyalty to his Goddess won out. Jake pressed the recall button and was teleported back to the church.
Jake returned to the church in a brilliant flash. He stood in the main hall of the church with Dart's unconscious form still hoisted on his shoulder. He spared a glance around the room and took note of the many surprised and pleased faces he received. He felt a rush of pride well up within him as he approached his Goddess with his prize. He gently laid the broken hero down at her feet and knelt in front of her.
"Such a good boy," Goth praised and he felt his chest swell, "Not only did you quell the commotion at the docks, you've managed to retrieve our guest. Aurora, take her and show her what happens when you disobey the will of the Goddess."
Aurora stepped forward with a sadistic smirk on her face. Jake suppressed a shudder as the cruel woman neared him. He'd never like Aurora, she was by far more twisted than his Goddess. He'd spent many nights laying awake in fear after overhearing the ideas that Aurora suggested to Goth for new ways to 'play with him.
Aurora knelt down in front of Dart and her eyes began to glow an eery purple as she commanded, "Awaken!"
Dart snapped out of her stench induced slumber and looked around. Panic began to course through her she quickly realized where she was. Goth could sense it and drank it in eagerly. Dart looked to the malicious grin that Aurora wore and began to crawl away while pleading, "No, no, no please, please I'm sorry! Someone, anyone help me!"
Aurora clamped a strong hand on the girl's calf, successfully halting her escape. She hauled her frail form up and taunted her, "No one is coming to help you, little worm. Your own friend brought you back to us and now I'm going to show you just how sorry you really are."
Aurora roughly threw her over her shoulder, making sure to apply additional pressure. Jake swore he heard a crack followed by a pained scream from Dart. He felt a pang of regret as Aurora departed with Dart and her screams echoed throughout the room, "Please for the love of God no! Not again!"
Jake slammed his eyes shut to block out the feelings of regret that welled up within him. He reminded himself that he was serving a higher purpose and that the will of his Goddess came first. He let out a shakey breath as the screaming pleas for mercy faded. This new life wasn't always easy, but it was for the best. At least that's what he told himself.
The voice of his Goddess shook the thoughts from his head, "You seem troubled, my Raven. Tell me, does this bother you? Speak."
He looked up to her and replied, "No my Goddess I live to serve your will. Dart chose her fate when she made her escape, and now she must face the consequences."
Goth knew that he was troubled, but his response was pleasing and proof of his progress. At times she still doubted his loyalty, but he did return his former friend. She decided not to press him for now and instead focus on his next task. "How right you are, my love," she said, "Let her suffering be a reminder to all those who choose to oppose my rule. Now, on to more pressing matters. It is that time once again, I need you to go an collect my tribute. There are some who think that they are above my tithe, and I want you to show them what happens when they defy their Goddess."
He nodded and understood the silent cue to rise. He planted a kiss to her boots before rising and nodded his affirmation, "As you wish, my Goddess, your will shall be carried out," he said.
This was nothing new for him, and he knew that Pamela held the list of places for him to visit. She stood in the chamber with the rest of Goth's chosen and he crossed the room to her. The two never really exchanged words, and this time was no different. She offered him the list and he accepted it with an appreciative nod. He exited the chapel and released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.
It was time for him to once again be the instrument of his Goddess's will. He was, admittedly, good at his job and some part of him enjoyed it. He wasn't sure if it was because it gave him a chance to stretch his legs again or because he was serving Goth, but he was thankful for this freedom. He pulled out a grappling gun and fired it at a nearby rooftop before retracting it and soaring through the air.
Unbeknownst to him, this freedom couldn't have been farther from the truth. He believed that the runes he'd been graced with were simple markings of her territory, but in truth they were ways for Goth to control him further. Many were there simply to induce increased pain or pleasure depending on her mood, but another combination were Watcher's runes. With these there was no where he could go and nothing he could do that she couldn't see. She watched from her throne as her pet began his work.
Jake hit a small shop first. The man who owned the place didn't seem to want any trouble and quickly produced a large sum. He'd never counted the money before, but he knew the price of protection was steep. In truth, he knew that better than any of these men and women could ever understand. His next stop was a shady establishment ran by a local sect of what used to be mafia of sorts.
He banged on the door and was greeted with a kind, "Fuck off!"
He scowled and kicked the door in. A series of guns were pointed at him along with several threatening stares. It wasn't long before the men lowered their guns once they realized who had entered their establishment. "I'm here for your contribution," he said as he looked around the room.
One of the men stood and holstered his pistol, "Keep your guns down you idiots," the man said as he stepped forward with his offering, "This is the Goddess's personal enforcer and we don't want any trouble. Forgive our carelessness, sir, and please give our Goddess our warmest regards."
Jake accepted the offering and merely nodded as he departed. He left the place and shut the door behind him. So far, so good; it seemed that more and more people were beginning to understand the path to peace. He checked his list and took note of his next destination, a pawn shop that had been refusing to pay their tribute. He would have to show them just what happened when people defied the new order.
A silent figure stalked the rooftops as Jake soared into the darkness that was this cesspool of a city. Beth watched him from a distance as he made his rounds; she'd been worrying about him as of late and wanted to check on him. Some part of her felt a rush of fear come over her upon entering Citiville, but she pushed it down in favor of her friendship. She was quick to take off in chase so as not to lose sight of her former teammate.
She tailed him for a few miles before coming to a stop on a rooftop overlooking a rundown pawnshop. She activated her night vision to get a better view of the scene that was about to unfold. She watched as Jake entered into the building before exiting while dragging an older man out with him. She wasn't prepared for what came next as Jake proceeded to begin pummeling the elderly man. The man quickly fell to the ground, but was dragged back to his feet as Jake continued beating him. The man fell once more clearly pleading with him for mercy, but Jake didn't seem to care. She watched as he pointed a finger at the old man in a threatening gesture before taking his leave.
This was worse than she thought. Clearly Goth had gotten into his head if he was willing to beat on an old man. She swallowed her anger and reminded herself that she was just here to observe. The important thing was that Jake was alright, well to an extent anyways. She shook the thoughts away as she began once more trailing after her friend.
The next few stops were more of the same. Again and again Jake issued beating after beating. Sometimes the people would try to fight back, but she knew they were no match for him in hand to hand combat. Other times they would offer some money and others he beat them into unconsciousness. With each beating she witnessed she felt herself become more and more heated.
It was when Jake pulled a man out into an alleyway and a young woman came out to plead that she couldn't take it anymore. Jake looked as though he were about to strike the woman, so she abandoned her hiding spot and dropped in front of them. Her eyes held all of her anger as she stared her friend down. She turned back to the couple and said, "Go, run, just get out of here."
They didn't argue and quickly rushed back inside before locking the door behind them. Jake stared at her with wide eyes hidden behind his cowl and struggled to find the will to speak. "Beth," he started, "You shouldn't be here."
Beth looked at him sideways for a moment before bursting into a tirade, "I shouldn't be here?! That's all you have to say to me?! What the hell are you doing Jake?!"
Jake avoided her eyes, he knew when she got like this there wasn't any reasoning with her. "I'm carrying out the will of my Goddess," he said simply.
Beth balked at his response, "The will of-" she started before shaking her head and practically yelling, "You have got to be kidding me! What has that bitch done to you?!"
Jake looked up with a fierce glare. He wouldn't let anyone disrespect his love, not even Beth. Feeling a bit of fire well up in him he spat back, "Goth has given me new purpose! She hasn't done anything to me aside from care for me. She's a kind and benevolent Goddess and if you'd get your head out of your ass you might see that!"
"You're serious?" Beth asked in disbelief, "She has you shaking down shop keeps and civilians for protection money!"
Jake clenched his fists as he replied, "These people are just paying her tithe for her wisdom. Those that refuse to pay have to learn the cost of testing her will."
"And those people back there?" she asked, "They were just a couple of innocents! She is using you, Jake!"
He looked away as some part of him began to stir. Some part of him knew Beth was right, but he couldn't and wouldn't go against Goth. "You don't know what you're taking about," he finally said, "She's enlightened me and is kind enough to let me carry out these duties on my own. She trusts me."
"You're fucking delusional," she bit back.
"Look around you Beth," he said, "This city is crime free and it's all because of her!"
"Because she is extorting criminals and citizens alike!" she fired back, "There's no crime because the biggest villain here is in complete control!"
"She's not a villain, she's a Goddess," he said, "I think you should go."
Beth softened at that, "Jake I'm worried about you," she said, "This isn't you."
"I am the Raven," he said, "Leave now or face the consequences."
"You'd actually fight me?" she asked hurt seeping into her voice, "Jake, I'm your friend."
He raised a hand and pointed to the exit to the alleyway before saying, "Go."
Beth closed her eyes and fought back the tears that welled up. He was serious and she knew it. She didn't say another word and turned on her heel to leave. Jake watched her leave and sighed before continuing on his path.
What the two didn't realize, was that their little exchange had been carefully observed by Goth. She sat at her throne and quietly seethed with rage. Beth had broken the terms of their deal and needed to be brought in for punishment. She had expected her pet to know this and to carry it out. She would deal with him upon his return, and show him just what happens when he fails to anticipate.
She turned to Pamela who sat beside her leisurely reading from her scripture. "Pamela," Goth said, "We have an uninvited guest in our city that my Raven failed to apprehend. Elizabeth has dared to set foot into our sanctum, and I want you to retrieve her and bring her to me. Take some of our thrallls and some goons, but bring her to me."
Pamela closed her book and stood before bowing, "Your will be done, my Goddess," she said before departing.
Goth watched her as she left before turning to Aurora, "I believe you had some creative ideas for my Raven did you not?" she asked her friend.
Aurora stepped forward with a wicked grin as she replied, "So you're finally willing to take my advice? Good, I have a few ideas that I think would teach that worm his place."
Goth glared at her as she said, "Hold your tongue, he is still my Raven. He simply needs to be reminded of the consequences of failing his Goddess."
Aurora's grin faded and she quickly amended, "Forgive me, my Goddess, I simply have disdain for the heroic type. You are correct, as always, that he needs a reminder of his place among us and at your feet."
Goth nodded her acceptance of Aurora's apology. She knew her friend wasn't Jake's biggest fan and that she failed to hide it, but she did at least make an effort. "In lou of our friendship I will forgive your words against my Raven," she said, "Now, let's discuss these ideas of yours."
Aurora's grin returned as she said, "As you wish, my Goddess, it starts with…"
Pamela was on her way to the outskirts of the city with a gaggle of goons and slaves at her beckoning. She had long hoped for the chance to capture Elizabeth and issue some much needed payback. The opportunity was two fold as it also gave the chance to earn the favor of the Goddess. She would show her that she was more deserving than her pet. A sadistic grin graced her features as she thought of the sheer pain that would soon fall upon Jake for his shortcomings. The simple thought was delicious and she relished the image that stirred in her mind.
She pushed the thought aside in an attempt to focus on the task at hand. Tonight would be the night she turned the Cat into her Kitten and gave the little bitch new purpose in life. She spied her prey in the distance and signaled her men to circle out to cut off her escape. She ordered a few of the goons to approach first. She wanted to savor the surprise and shock that would come when her prey discovered her presence.
Beth had parked her motorcycle behind a billboard welcoming people to Citiville. She was more than a little disheartened by her interaction with Jake and more than a little angry. Which is why when she heard the footfalls of armed men approaching she leveled a glare at them. "Tell your Goddess and her pet that I'm leaving and won't return," she said with more than a little venom, "If you're smart, you'll run along and tell her. I've not had a very good night."
One of the men spoke up as he brandished a knife, "You ain't going anywhere girlie, the Goddess wants a word with you."
Beth turned to face the man and cocked her head as she said, "Is that so? Well feel free to tell her to fuck off."
The man lunged at her in an attempt to stab, but Beth was too quick for him. She side stepped his attack and locked her arm around his before bending it in a painful manner. The man howled in pain as the knife fell from his hand with a clatter, his arm now limp and useless. The second man pulled a pistol and opened fire, but she heard the familiar sound of the slide. She flipped to the side to dodge before rushing the man. She unleashed her claws and dug them into his leg before ripping them out. The man let out a yelp before a fierce uppercut struck his jaw sending him upwards and into a crumbling heap.
It felt good to get out some of her aggression, but really all she wanted was to return home and put this night behind her. A familiar and chilling voice caught her attention and her eyes went wide as it spoke, "My, my aren't we quite the little spitfire."
Beth turned her attention to the voice and her anger began to bubble over as she spoke, "Pamela."
"What's the matter, kitten?" she asked as she sauntered out of the shadows, "You seem distraught, did your little meeting really go that poorly?"
Beth felt the urge to lunge at the villain before her, but fought it. Jake may have given up on Metropolis, but she still had a job to do and a city that needed her. She turned to leave and said, "I don't have time for you tonight, and I'm really not in the mood."
Pamela let out a dark chuckle before she spoke, "Oh I think you have plenty of time, kitten, after all you made the time for our Raven. Tell me, how did it feel to learn that he is truly happy serving our Goddess?"
Beth ground her teeth before spitting back, "Fuck you and fuck Goth! You've twisted and broken my friend and I'm leaving."
Pamela smirked as she said, "You're not going anywhere, kitten, and if you think he's been broken just wait until Goth gets ahold of him after your little exchange. That boy should have known not to let you go, but he'll soon learn what happens when you disobey the Goddess."
A million questions ran through Beth's mind, but only one hit the surface: attack. Beth launched into a flurry of slashes at Pamela who easily evaded them. She'd heard that Goth had trained her disciples in hand to hand combat as well as magic, but she had never been sure until now. Pamela was dodging her attacks with ease, and finally issued a powerful kick to her gut that sent her flying backwards. She stood over her as she said, "You heroes are all the same. Your mercy makes you predictable, pathetic, and weak. You're not worth my time, finish her but don't kill her boys. I want her alive for what I have in store."
Pamela walked off as her goons began to appear from the shadows. Beth rose to her feet and mentally took stock of the group encircling her. By her estimation there were about ten armed men each with a malicious look on their faces. She felt a rush of rage run through her as she dropped to a crouch. She would make sure this wasn't a pleasant experience for these men, and then she would deal with Pamela.
As the men approached she dropped a smoke pellet to conceal herself. As some of the men coughed she sprang into action. She made short work of two of the men by taking out their legs and delivering a couple of quick punches to them to knock them out. The smoke began to dissipate as she finished the second one off and she charged the closest one. She caught him in a tackle and dug her claws into his sides as she lifted him up and slammed him to the ground.
The man groaned beneath her, but the sound of metal swinging through the air grabbed her attention. She rolled off of the man as a metal chain slammed down onto his chest. She looked to the chain wielding man and moved to take him out next. She dodged a series of successive swings he had before grabbing the chain and wrapping it around her fist to pull him in for a vicious headbutt. The man fell backwards with an oof and didn't get back up as he covered his now broken nose.
Her goggles had a bit of blood splattered on them and she wiped it away as the sound of gunfire filled the air. She took off in a serpentine motion to evade the gunshots and waited until the resounding click of an empty clip filled the night air. The man was a good distance away, so she pulled out her grappling gun and fired it for his ankles. The wire snagged around his feet and she retracted it pulling him down and straight to her. He cried out as he was drug across the ground and was silenced by her boot connecting with his face.
She snarled at the rest of the men and thoughts of rage filled her mind as she replayed the night's events. Everything from her interaction with Jake to Pamela's mocking created a burning fire within her as she dashed about the field. One of the men carried a hand are and swung for her once she neared, but she dodged and brutally snapped his arm before silencing his screams with a powerful sucker punch.
Six down, four to go then she could deal with that bitch. She dodged another round of bullets and made for her next target. A broad shouldered man who was trying to line up his shots with her erratic movements, but finding it increasingly difficult. She moved on all fours as she approached and went into a devastating slide to take out his legs. As he fell, she pushed her feet upwards and they connected with his jaw sending him rocketing upwards. He landed with a painful bounce and made no attempt to get back up.
She felt a seeking pain shoot through her shoulder as a bullet pierced her. She cried out in pain, but glared at her attacker. Without thinking, she grabbed the stray pistol from the now unconscious man and opened fire. She kept her aim low, but it seemed effective enough as two men cried out as bullets shattered through their knees. The pair fell to the ground in agony and she tossed the offending firearm to the side.
The pain began to set in and she winced at the sensation shooting through her arm. Distracted, she failed to notice a large man sneak up from behind and grab hold of her. She felt herself forced to the ground and when she tried to resist the man jammed his thumb into the bullet wound. She cried out in pain as she fell to one knee.
Pamela smiled as she approached the now subdued kitten. She had to admit, she was surprised and even mildly impressed with the girl's actions. She was always considered the weaker of the duo, yet here she had taken out a total of eleven of her men. Still, she would fall as all the heroes before her had. Perhaps her Goddess would allow her to keep her as her own pet.
She came to a halt in front of the wounded girl and knelt down with a cruel grin and said, "My but you're a fighter. I'm almost impressed, but you lack conviction in your actions. Let's have a peek in that head of yours, shall we?"
Her eyes began to glow a brilliant violet and she lifted Beth's head to stare into her eyes. Beth closed her eyes in an attempt to ward off the effects of the mind control, but was finding it harder and harder to resist. She hadn't come this far to fall here, had she? She spoke up defiantly, "Stay out of my head you sick bitch!"
Pamela scowled at her demand and grabbed a fistful of her hot pink hair. "It is that disrespectful attitude that has landed you in this exact situation. I can see in your mind and you know you're helpless against me. Would you like to know a secret before I take you home, kitten? You're presence here and your friend's failure to enact the will of our Goddess has sealed his fate. He will suffer, as will you until you each learn your place!"
Beth felt a surge of malice rush through her. She could feel the probing fingers of Pamela on the fringes of her mind, but she didn't feel fear. If Pamela was indeed telling the truth, and she most certainly was, then Jake was in trouble. She wasn't sure what hurt more, the feeling of her mind being invaded or knowing she had doomed her friend. She screamed in rage and defiance as the thoughts overwhelmed her mind.
Pamela felt a sudden pushback from Beth's mind. This shouldn't happen, she was Goth's prized pupil and she was far to strong for something like this. Still, she felt her powers get hurled back at her and she stumbled backwards at the unfamiliar shockwave that hit her. She snarled at Beth and spat, "You little-"
That was all she was able to get out as Beth sank her claws into her stomach. She coughed as the pain hit her and blood ran down her lip. Beth had used the sudden moment of freedom for a final and desperate act of resistance. She threw her head back and knocked the final goon out. She looked over to Pamela who was kneeling looking at her stomach. Her glove had come off when she withdrew her hand because of how deep she had dug her claws in.
Beth didn't waste any time as she stood and ran to her motorcycle. She had to get out of here and fast. She didn't think a simple wound would stop Pamela for long, so she gunned it and hightailed it out of the city. She felt like a coward for running, but she knew she couldn't do anything to save Jake. He'd made it clear that this was his choice and he believed himself right.
Pamela glared as Beth managed to escape her clutches. That little bitch had somehow managed to force her powers back at her and stab her. If she saw the girl again she would pay for her actions. She cursed herself for her failure and Jake for his. If he had only brought her in none of this would have been necessary. She uttered an ancient phrase and became engulfed in a glowing light as she returned to the chapel.
Jake had just teleported back the chapel. He had appeared in Goth's vault to deposit his collected tribute to his Goddess. He was still a bit shaken from his surprise encounter with Beth. The look and tone she held with him was haunting in its own right. He reminded himself that what he was doing was for the greater good, and that by serving Goth his home was safe from her grasp.
He was so caught up in his own thoughts that he failed to notice the imposing form of Aurora standing outside the vault. "The prodigal pet returns," she taunted.
He glared at her. Normally she struck fear into him, but tonight was not a normal night. "What do you want Aurora?" he asked as he continued his deposits.
"I just came to see you one last time before Goth gets her hands on you," she said with a shrug, "You really fucked up tonight."
"What are you on about?" he demanded.
Aurora let out a low and menacing laugh at his tone. She approached him and stared down at him as she spoke, "Watch your tone, worm. You may Goth's little pet, but you forget your place. You failed to bring in the cat and Goth isn't too happy with you right now. She's finally decided to take my suggestions to heart."
Jake stared back at her and felt himself shake out of fear. How could she know about Beth? Aurora had to be messing with him, she must have followed him as he made his rounds. Surely Goth wouldn't be that upset with him, at least he hoped she wouldn't be. He tried to steel his voice as he spoke, "Y-you're bluffing. You're just trying to scare me."
Aurora laughed at his stutter and said, "Maybe I am or maybe I'm giving you a warning of what's to come. Know your place and accept it."
With her final words she took her leave. Jake stood, now alone, in the vault and shivered as new thoughts raced through his head. Goth could be extremely cruel when it came to disobedience, but he technically hadn't disobeyed her. He was told to collect tribute and that was what he did; had he been ordered to bring Beth in he would have, at least that's what he told himself.
He exited the vault and made his way back to the chapel where his Goddess and girlfriend sat upon her throne in waiting. He tried to read her eyes, but he couldn't for the life of him discern anything from them. He came to kneel before her and his eyes locked on to her boots. "I have done as you asked, my Goddess," he said.
"You have collected my tithe?" she asked and he nodded, "Let us see just how things went then, shall we?"
He still hated this part, more so tonight than in times past. Goth made a habit of peering into his mind whenever he ran errands, particularly when she felt uncertain of his actions. A sinking feeling began to creep into his stomach as he felt the familiar touch of her powers take root in his mind. He had learned not to resist, for resistance only made the process take longer and hurt more.
The night's events replayed in his mind and Goth took careful note of every detail. She was well aware of what had happened, and this was merely a formality to keep her Raven in blissful ignorance of his new markings. She came to the scene she was searching for between Jake and Beth when he let her go. She decided to end it there and activated one of his new tattoos with a wave of her hand.
A sudden burning sensation shot through Jake as Goth spoke, "What is the meaning of this? You failed to bring me your sidekick!"
Jake fought back the pain as hard as he could and replied, "I was doing as you wished, my Goddess, apprehending her wasn't part of your orders!"
Goth rose from her throne to her full height and glared down at her pet as she spoke, "Your orders were to collect tribute to your Goddess. What better tribute than to bring me that little bitch?"
Jake was beginning to find it hard to concentrate as the burning continued to worsen. "She wasn't a threat to you!" he cried out more from pain than anger, "She said she wouldn't return. She tried to sway me from your will, but I remain by your side!"
"Such insolent ignorance," Goth said as anger welled up inside of her, "If she wasn't a threat then why is Pamela being treated by Dilatrix? You failed to anticipate the threat she posed and now one of our own is wounded, but what's worse is you failed to anticipate the need of your Goddess."
Jake couldn't believe what was happening, Aurora had been telling the truth. This would not bode well for him and he began to beg, "Please forgive me, I didn't know she would attack Pamela! Had I known that I would have brought her to you!"
"You should have known this would happen, but you will know for next time," she said coldly, "Come, my Raven, let us take some time together so that I may show you what happens when you fail your Goddess."
Jake wanted to protest, but knew better and kept his mouth shut as he felt the leash clip onto his collar. His breathing quickened as he was led down to the lower halls of the chapel. They passed Aurora who was grinning from ear to ear. She was delighted by the suffering that he was about to endure and he hadn't been so afraid since that night back in the tower.
The two descended the steps below and entered into a familiar chamber. Jake had been down here various times for Goth's unique sexual activities. He spied the familiar strap-ons and candles that she enjoyed using along with various other objects of her affection. He was to a stockade where Goth roughly forced him in and sealed it. He watched as she crossed the room to retrieve a familiar and dreadful tool. The bull whip from their first encounter dangled from her hands as she walked behind him. He could still see the blood from his first encounter on the damned thing.
The sound of her heels hitting the floor echoed throughout the room and filled him with fear. Normally, she would offer some kind words before they played as she called it, but this wasn't the case this time. He knew what was to come and all that graced his ears was the thunderous crack of the whip as it dug into his flesh followed by the sounds of his screams.
The pain was immediate and was amplified by the fresh tattoos he'd received earlier in the day. He made no attempt to hold back his wails of anguish as Goth reared back and struck him once again. The crack of the whip and the sound of his cries combined into a sadistic symphony that was music to her ears. She delighted in his agony and made sure to show no mercy as she continually brought the whip down on to his back.
It wasn't long before the skin on his back was exposed and the runes that were etched into his skin began to give off a menacing red glow. Jake felt a new sensation of pain well up from within and begin to mingle with the continued lashing he was receiving. His mind began to feel numb from the overwhelming sensations that began some terrible marriage in him. Tears began to well up in his eyes as Goth began bringing the whip down at a more frenzied and intense pace. He tried to focus on counting, but soon found even that simple action impossible. He prayed for mercy, but was given none as the strikes came again and again.
Goth had to admit that it felt good to show her Raven his place. Her joy was two fold as this would be a session to remember and one she would look back on with fondness. This was sure to be a stern reminder of what would happen should he fail her again, and with a little luck it would show Elizabeth the consequences of her actions. She spared a glance to the small camera that she'd set up before bringing her pet down here. She made sure to flash a malicious smirk at the camera as she struck her lover once again.
The punishment continued for nearly half an hour, and by the time it was done Jake was reduced to a bawling mess. His screams had died down to pathetic sobs and pleas for mercy. He relaxed when he heard the familiar click of her boots approaching. It was over and he could take solace in that at least. Her imposing form came into view and he looked up at her and said, "Forgive me Goddess for I have failed you. Thank you for your mercy, and I will not fail you again."
She cocked her head to the side and grinned as she took a fistful of his hair in her hand. She bent down and stared into his eyes as she said rather loudly, "You will not fail me again, my Raven, but your punishment is not over yet. No, we are only getting started."
A new wave of terror shot through him and his eyes went wide. His breath became ragged and panic filled his voice as he said, "W-what?! Please Goth I've learned my lesson!"
She stood to her full height as she released his hair and said, "Not yet, my love, but you will learn soon enough."
It had been almost a week since Beth's little adventure in Citiville. She hadn't dawned her costume since returning. The words of Pamela continued to ring out in her mind, and she couldn't shake the feeling of weakness and failure that swirled about her head. She felt like she had failed not only herself but Jake. She'd spent many sleepless nights wondering just what hell he had been put through. Unbeknownst to her, those wonders were about to be answered.
There was a sudden knock at her door and she rose from her couch to see who it was. She wasn't expecting company, but briefly wondered if it were one of Goth's underlings coming to finish her off. She opened the door ready to face whatever was waiting, but found only a small package at her feet. She furrowed her brow and picked up the package. There was a small note attached to the package that she read as she went back inside. The note simply said, "You did this to him."
She felt a wave of dread wash over her as she frantically ripped the parcel open. Inside she found a small case with a disk inside. She opened it and found nothing written on it, so she took it to her television and inserted it into her DVD player. She pressed play and was horrified at what she saw. There was Jake being led to a stockade with Goth escorting him. She watched as she crossed the room and retrieved what looked to be a whip.
She covered her mouth as she watched the sadistic bitch proceed to strike her friend repeatedly. This continued for some time, and she took note of the markings on Jake's back. Some sort of symbols that began to glow red as the punishment went on. When he began to cry and scream pleas of mercy she had to shut her eyes. Thirty minutes felt like an eternity as she watched her once strong friend become reduced to a sobbing mess. Finally Goth set the whip down and walked over to him. Beth had a sinking feeling that things were only going to get worse. Her fears were confirmed as she heard the brief exchange between the two.
She watched as Goth delivered a brutal uppercut to Jake that shattered the stockade and sent him flying backwards. Jake never made an attempt to rise or to fight and Beth slowly began to feel something inside of her snap. She watched as Goth sauntered over and began to stomp on her friend's prone body. She was wearing her heeled boots and after the third stomp she saw blood began to fly up. Again and again she delivered a series of trampling stomps that resulted in screams for mercy and help from Jake, but not once did he dare attempt to stop her.
Goth finally took hold of him and forced him to his feet before striking him in the stomach. Jake doubled over in pain, but Goth would have none of it as she took his throat in her hands with a vice like grip. She lifted him up and Beth felt sick as she saw his eyes begin to bulge. She was going to kill him, and she let this happen!
Before Jake passed out, Goth suddenly launched him across the room. His back collided with a stone wall and he fell to the ground in a coughing fit. Beth could hear his cries for mercy through the audio, "Please, please stop I'm sorry and I won't fail you again."
Goth's taunting reply caused her breathing to intensify as she felt her mind begin to snap, "You aren't sorry yet, my love, but soon you will be."
She had the audacity to refer to him as love when she was killing him! Beth began to grind her teeth as she watched Goth produce a large knife and slowly approach him. She watched in horror as she began to issue slices across his figure littering it in cuts and knicks. By the time she was done he was a complete and bloody mess laying on the ground. She raised her hand and a strange light began to emanate from it. Jake's body began to contort and his screams rang out once again as his body began to twist in sickeningly unnatural movements. This torture went on for some time before Goth lowered her hand and his body went limp.
She walked over to him and began to once again trample his battered and broken form. She stopped after maybe twenty blows and Jake lay there lifeless. Beth felt rage well up within her and a new emotion overwhelm her: hatred. She'd thought she knew hate before, but now all she could think of was revenge. It was amplified and solidified as Goth's face came into view of the camera and she said, "This is because of you Elizabeth. I hope you're happy."
She exited the room and the camera was left to roll on Jake's lifeless body for some time. Beth couldn't take it anymore and she launched her remote into the television effectively shattering it. Not satisfied with simply destroying her television she began to tear up her apartment. She flipped the couch and shattered her tables. She launched anything small across the room and more than once drove said items into the walls. She was lost in the rage and hate that flowed through her, and by the time it was done her apartment was a wreck. She'd had battles with less collateral damage than this.
She stood there panting before stomping off to her bedroom. She'd managed to grab a few things from Jake's lair after he turned himself over to Goth. It wasn't long after that, that the place was raided by her goons. She found a hood of sorts that he had been working on. It obscured the face and filtered out almost all powerful odors that their foes used. She looked down at the hood and caught a glimpse of her reflection in it. Gone was the wounded cat from earlier, and now there stood a being of pure hate and vengeance staring back at her. She would make them pay, she would make them suffer. She wouldn't stop until they felt the pain that she felt, or until she died. She grabbed the hood and set about making preparations for her first outing.