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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/2003544-From-Lowest-Depths
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2003544
Eight ticklish heroes, a mysterious new world, and one hidden exit...
[Introduction]
Original Interactive:
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by A Guest Visitor


"It has been... Years. A time beyond knowledge, since the Programmer first began abducting unwary mortals and banishing them to this place where time rests only as a dusty memory. Labyrinthine, a prison beyond the ages. The Facility.

'Hundreds -thousands- of inmates made the fatal mistake of opening an intriguing email, only to pass -dragged- through the void to become stranded in this alien dimension: A massive network or corridors and rooms, punctured by courtyards that almost resemble a proper landscape, and filled to the brim with monsters and traps.

'In this hostile environment, the captives came together, determined to live out their lives as previously even as they searched for a way out. They organized and formed a great nation, the Republic of Resistance Against the Programmer, also known as the Republic.

'Headquartered in the capitol city of New Babylon, the inhabitants went about their lives, fighting off monstrous incursions and dispatching patrols to map and explore the seemingly limitless expanse before them. But soon other, more fearsome and numerous appeared-one another.

'Inevitably, people with similar interests met together to share their hobbies, and inevitably these groups shared the same color of featherblade. The most devout explores were Purple -the most militant activists and politicians, Yellow. Police officers determined to uphold the law and upstanding citizens had an unerring tendency to carry White swords. Greens acquired a bias as criminals, as well as sharing an enthusiasm for tickling surpassed only by the Blue and Pink. They were looked down upon in turn by the Reds, most numerous of all the colors and likely the least happy of all in their new home.

'As suspicion grew and a new breed of racism intensified, rumours -brought in by a typically mercenary Grey carrying swordsman reached the government of the Republic. Rumours of an escape rout from the Facility.

'With much fanfare, an expedition of 8 was organized, one member of each of the colors to represent their unity and determination to thwart the Programmer, their common foe. Together they set out into the scarce-charted wastes in search of the Exit, never to return. But behind them, the excitement of their expedition faded rapidly.

'In their wake, what had started as underground rings or the most intolerant racists grew into mobs and popular movements, threatening to tear New Babylon and the Republic apart. In desperation, the government turned to their police force to restore order, noting too late just how many were Yellow.

'Their ranks purged of other colors in one night of shattered barracks, the Yellows swept into the capitol, deposing the former authority and establishing their own military dictatorship. Defeated, the others scattered to the Air Conditioning, the largest groups setting up cities of their own in hospitable stretches and forcing out members of any other color who ventured near.

'This is the story of those 8 heroes and the unpleasant ends they met, of the Fall of the Republic and the rise of the Factions."

Notes: Every one has constant access to a private extra-dimensional space called a 'Pocket' that allows them to store goods. Food also appears here periodically. Inhabitants of the facility have a tendency to age towards their prime soon after their arrival and be cured of all diseases, as well as gain highly durable and athletic bodies.

The Inmates are divided by the colours of their feathersword, giving rise to stereotypes such as:
Yellow =orderly and militant.
Purple =independent and aloof.
Grey =uncaring and pragmatic.
Green =tenacious and untrustworthy.
White =selfless and narrow-minded.
Pink =easy going and empty headed women.
Blue =easy going and empty headed men.
Red =…What you make of it.
Adonis the Hero ran his hand down his feathersword slowly, feeling the familiar electric sensation that made his face involuntarily peel back in a smile. It was almost funny, his attachment to this thing. Sure, it could somehow kill monsters, but there were other weapons for that, better ones. Surely this was mostly dead weight in his Pocket. He should have dropped the fuzzy thing somewhere and forgotten about it ages ago. And yet…
It felt like a part of him. Like tossing it aside would have been less like shedding toenail clippings and more like shedding the foot they were attached to. And yet again on the other hand, despite the belonging, these things could cause such pain. Not in the tickling -Oh, that unbearable tickling!- that they produced, but by the stigmas that followed them everywhere. That so many were willing to fight each other for something so superfluous, even with the abundance of greater foes -it was unbelievable.

"That there's a feather sword," A dry voice from in between the air at his right said. Adonis twitched in surprise, noting with some pride how far he had come from the muscle spasms that Jain's sudden appearances had provoked in him. The purple stepped from the gloom now as if from a secret fold in the air itself.

"About time you got back, girly." Growled Marcus, the grey sword wielder hulking up besides them before he could respond. "What've you got for us?"

Jain rolled her eyes at his gruffness, while behind him two other members of their party- holding swords green and red- broke off their perpetual bickering to gather around. Seeing the return of their scout, a serious-faced woman stepped into a nearby closet, emerging back into the tunnel with a man and a woman behind them, red faced, giggly, and twirling their pink and blue featherblades nonchalantly.

"The tunnel splits into three up ahead." Said Jain after they had assembled. "We're at the Fork. The left will take us to Subteranea, and we could see if their are any further leads in the city. Middle goes down; we follow it, and we'll eventually come out at Waterworld. It's a bit more direct to where we're headed, sure, but that's assuming we can find a boat. The right one, well, it's the least explored on account that their aren't any notable Yards down there, just monsters. Still, I've got some old maps. Maybe there's as short-cut down that-a-way or something."

'That's it? 'Maybe there's a short-cut'?" Demanded Marcus. "And what's with all the advice? I thought you were supposed to be a cartographer, not a travel agent."

Adonis cut him off with a look. "Enough, Mark, leave her be. Good work, Jain." He made some hast decisions, speech never breaking stride. "We have time to find some more clues, so we'll see about getting to Subterranea before heading out into the wilds beyond the Republic. Everybody prepare to move."


The Facility. Such a fascinating, mind-blowingly complex place. A spatial paradox where the verdure of an exterior grew within the confines of an interior, an endless interior that networked in all three dimensions and stretched beyond where any of its current occupants dared to explore. Ducts that crisscrossed over oceans, closets which led to snowy forests, and stairs that led up into the bowels of a cavern were all common anomalies within the inconsistent depths of the Facility. Enigmatic it was to behold, but even the strangest abnormality encountered by those brought here only scratched the surface of what was possible in this contradictory world.

Due to the utility that the Pockets (anomalous marvels in and of themselves) provided, packing up what little the eight had brought out was simply a matter of dropping whatever they had into the extra-dimensional compartments that somehow remained unique and personal to each person. In very little time, they were on their way.

Jain was a poor guide, but only because of her natural affiliation. Her purple feather was not the only thing that faded in and out of the shadows cast by the stalactites, and the other members of their expedition had to follow close lest they lose sight of her - again. Adonis was naturally in the lead, while Marcus stood second and far to the side. The others trailed behind in whatever fashion suited them at the occurring second, which was bound to change in the next. Green and red bickered quietly, blue and pink wove in and out of the formation as they teased each other, and yellow walked calmly wherever she could find the space to be left in peace. Such an unlikely expedition formed desperately and without much deliberation was bound to not reach far, though it was everyone's hope that such an ending would not come to be.

"It is not far now," Jain announced suddenly from her perpetual silence. "We are nearly at the Fork. Let us hope nothing interrupts us between here and there."

Marcus sighed, amused. "Do not jinx us, purple. This expedition is unfortunate enough as it is."

"I," interrupted Adonis, before Marcus could get any further and before Jain could quip a reply, "do not believe that we should leave our expedition up to vague feelings and superstitions. Jain was stating a concern, and nothing more."

"Cool your head," Marcus replied gruffly. "I was only joking, trying to start some conversation up here. No reason to let those back there have all the fun. Jeez, leave it up to a blue to take everything too seriously."

Adonis' response was to not respond at all.

Fortunately, it seemed that they arrived at the Fork without incident, despite all the many creatures rumored to lurk among the stalagmites. The lights of the Facility were still bright, which usually fended off the worst of the fauna unique to this world, but they had been dimming for their entire journey and were already growing dark by the time the Fork was reached. "We must hurry," Jain said, picking up her pace toward the left turn of the crossroads.

The dim lights had let many a monster crawl out of its hole, and providence's smile seemed to turn away from them just as they were about to push through. From behind some large stalagmites along the path to Subteranea flitted some shadows, smaller than the travelers but much too quick for comfort. And judging by the size of the shifting shadows, there were far too many for comfort as well.

"We need to hurry," Adonis said to the rest of the group, beginning his run down the tunnel with Jain and Marcus beside him. The others followed quickly, but it may already have been too late for them to make it.
It was the skittering sound which first alerted Adonis to the fact that they weren't alone. The shadows seemed to shift and move as the group ran, now speeding up to avoid whatever threatened to burst out of the darkness. It wasn't long before whatever it was showed itself, thousands of tiny shapes coming out of the dark and swarming the ground, not unlike a flood as Adonis realised that they had been the shadows.

"Tickle bugs!" Jain called out, the fear in her voice evident as being one of the explorers, chances are she knew more than anyone else as to what they were facing "Just keep running! Don't let them swarm you!" She went on before speeding up in her run, the others following suit. Adonis had heard of the tickle bugs, a semi-common threat in the many corridors of the Facility. They travelled in swarms, overwhelming their targets as they rushed over them, their little legs tickling just by brushing over them, stiff and unrelenting as the person's entire naked body would be tormented by the little black bugs. They would leave eventually, but not before having spent some hours tickling every inch of their victim and leaving them a giggling wreck.

The thought of that was enough motivation to get everyone running as fast as they could, the bugs churning behind the group as they tried to catch up, only inches out of reach. All too soon though, fatigue started to catch up with the group as they felt the effort of running so hard for so long, but the bug swarm was as fresh as ever.

Wondering if they'd ever reach Subteranea, a cry was heard from the back of the group, Adonis risking turning his head to see what had happened.
Atlanta the pink sword carrier had stumbled on a stalagmite, the aggressive insects swarming over her legs and feet even as she crawled on.
"Oh shi-Ahahahaha! Ohgod! Help Ahahah!"
Adonis wheeled on the spot withtou hesitation and hurtled backwards to his downed comrade as she screamed in laughter, actions mirrored by Jacen the blue carrier.

"Keep going -we'll get her!" He called, and the squad needed no second bidding, only Titannia the yellow carrier even pausing to spare a back wards glance at them. They shared a look, and she sped off, trusting the white and blue to handle themselves.

Atlanta was crawling forward desperately, just ahead of the swarm proper, even as the bugs ravaged her feet and legs. Huge and beetly, with no visible mouth parts and covered in feathers and bristles serving no discernible purpose but to stimulate, they were mindless in all but their super human aggression. The front runners leapt on to her soles without hesitation, crawling torturous paths up her bare body.

She laughed crazily, too determined to crawl to swat at them, even as they skittered up past her waistline and began tracing their way over the curves of her belly and sides. Adonis leapt clean over her, whipping out his feather blade in midair and touching down in full swing on a stone untouched by the swarm, white blade blurring in a mystery of sword-work. With every swipe, insects by the dozens faded to white mist, dissipated by the power of the blade.

"Hold on I've got you!" Yelled Jacen behind him, seizing hold of both of Atlanta's arms and yanking her from the teeth of the horde, before sprinting off.
They both burst out laughing as they ran for escape, the insects who had made it onto Atlanta crawling freely over both their bodies, taking full malicious advantage of their inability to fight back.
The tickling soon became too much for the three to handle. The hundreds of bugs crawling all over their naked bodies weakened the trio into collapsing. Even Adonis' willpower crumbled as the bristly bugs crawled all over his naked skin, burrowing into his armpits and wriggling about in the back of his knees. As the three fell to their hands and knees, the bug washed over them, crawling up their limbs to get the rest of their bodies.

Laughing up a storm, Adonis let out an embarrassingly high shriek as the bugs reached his groin, the shock going through his body making him drop his feather-sword completely as he fell to the ground and howled with laughter. Atlanta and Jacen followed suit although Adonis ruefully noted that their laughter was more joyful than his. Whoever got the blue and pink feathers seemed to fall into enjoying their roles a great deal more than anyone else.

Overlooking this thoughts, Adonis struggled to get to his knees, failing as the bugs crawled over his naked body, almost covering him completely as he felt the tickling overwhelm him. He could only fall back to the floor, trying to bat away the bugs from his body and failing miserably as it just seemed to spread more bugs over his ticklish skin.

Soon, all three were rolling about helplessly on the ground, the bristles and feathers on the bugs' bodies brushing over their torsos, legs, feet and groins as moans started to break through the laughter. Arousal was an embarrassing side effect to the tickle torture for a large proportion of those in the Facility. The feathery attention on Atlanta's breasts in particular had her red faced and smiling in a way that was only mostly due to the tickling.

As the three rolled about on the floor, Adonis tried to look up, hoping for a rescue attempt from the others. If not, they'd be in for a long few hours under the tender care of the bugs themselves.
Adonis struggled to crawl forward, muscles twitching uncontrollably despite the huge masses of black bodies adhered to every limb. The bugs were everywhere, limbs poking and prodding in a blizzard of sensation. Feelers explored his navel, his arches, behind his ears and between his fingers, the tickling ricocheting inside him and building on itself, finding an outlet only in his lungs.

To either side, Atlanta and Jacen rolled and flailed ponderously, similarly beset. The insects were heavy, making any movement a chore in of itself, to say nothing of the relentless tickling. It was so tempting to save his strength exclusively for his laughter, to stop struggling and take the punishment until the swarm passed or he succumbed to the overload.

Like hell.

Laughing insanely, muscles aching, he flopped over, raising one arm overhead. Insects buzzed over his underarm, brushing legs and feelers everywhere. With a scream of concentration he reached into his Pocket, yanking forth a metallic white sphere. It flashed just once in his grip -a blinding light that pulsed through the chamber in their laughter's wake.

There were many varieties of monster in the Facility. Some could be reasoned with, most could not, and some only gave the pretense of humanity to get closer to their prey. But seemingly all were heavily affected by tickling in some way. Adonis's tickle-grenade worked to perfection. At the flash of light, insects dissipated to smoke by the thousands, their bristly bodies shielding their victims from the worst of the blast even as they perished.

"C-come on!" Adonis staggered back up to feet numb from tickling, lending an arm to the blue and the pink as the remnants of the swarm closed in behind. Giggling crazily as he bulled his way forward, yanking his allies to their feet and leading the human chain into a side tunnel.

Behind, the swarm scuttled over the stone like a vengeful river, closing hungrily. They were relentless on their prey once they caught it, but if the three humans could move far enough away, they should be able to throw the beasts off... Should. None of them could trudge much farther.
As the three slowly made their way forward, Adonis could hear the scuttling of the bugs as they rallied from the previous assault. They were getting closer and closer as the remains of the swarm could sense their victims and were coming in close to finish the job. Atlanta and Jacen giggled furiously as they moved behind Adonis, their own following of the yellow sword bearer a little more reluctant than his.

Tired from the tickling from earlier, the three stumbled forwards as the bug drew closer, now rushing forward to take them over and take them down. Adonis felt them nip at the heel of his foot, letting out a giggle as he realised that this was it, the group were going to get tickle swarmed and there was nothing they could do about it.

Just as it all seemed lost, an object zoomed past Adonis, catching him off guard as it went right into the swarm, bursting into a cloud of thick gas. Although Adonis and the others were close, it was the bugs who got it all, the gas vanishing amongst the swarm as they slowed down before eventually stopping entirely. They laid still as Adonis let out a sigh of sheer relief before turning towards their saviour.

"Couldn't let the bugs have all the fun." Jain said, the purple feather bearer showing a small glimmer of humour as she stood in front of the trio. Adonis gave her a weak smile as she nodded her head "The others are waiting, we need to hurry, I don't know how long the gas will keep them at bay."

With those instructions, the three started to follow Jain through the corridors to catch up with the others once more. Adonis hoped that the knock out gas would keep the bugs at bay. There were other threats deep within the Facility, and being distracted by them while other things would gleefully tickle them half to death was something he wasn't looking forward to.
"I thought I told you to go on ahead to Subterranea," Said Adonis, feeling the Facility's air reinvigorate him with supernatural speed. It wasn't long before they were jogging again. "Why'd you come all this way back?"

"You assumed that I had gone on ahead," The Purple smiled impishly, dark hair bouncing with each stride. "I for one didn't hear the order." She paused. "In truth, Titania insisted that I go back. Something it being embarrassing if we lost half the squad right out of the gate. Bitch's crazy, but I guess this time she was right, eh?"

"Don't listen to him -he's just embarrassed." Called Atlanta, still red-faced and giggly but seemingly little the worse for wear after their ordeal. "Really, that should be me. Thanks a lot for coming back, you two."

"No worries," Jacen smiled. "By the way, Jain? What was that purple mist you used? I haven't seen it before."

"Tickle Gas," Jain grinned over her shoulder. "Old Cartographer's trick. We're also the only guild that knows where the geysers are. Stimulates all nerves it comes into contact with, and it's toxic to the critters." She winked. "It gets really fun, though, when you breath it in. Did you know that in here, even your lungs have a sense of touch? One that's often as not completely virgin?"

Jacen wondered for a moment at what that would feel like- his chest cavity full to bursting with tickling sensations, like he was literally drowning in them even as he laughed. That had possibilities. "Remind me to mess with you sometime." He said playfully.
"You can try." Jain retorted with a grin before leading them onwards back to the others. Seeing them made Adonis give a sigh of relief, glad that everyone was back together at least and that they could move on from there.

"That took long enough." Titania said, frowning with impatience as Jain and the others arrived "We're badly behind on time and vulnerable. Don't screw up again." She ordered, resting her golden feather-sword on her shoulder. Despite her attitude problems, Adonis had to admit that Titania was a stunner. Rich, black skin with hair that fell down to her back in waves and brown eyes that seemed to sparkle at times. Her naked body also looked invitingly ticklish although he'd yet to put that to the test.

"Love you too." Atlanta replied with a giggle as she walked past Titania, blowing her and her bossy attitude way off.

It looked as if there'd be an argument over this so Adonis quickly stepped in "You're right, we need to get moving. Jain, how far are we away from Subteranea?"

Jain looked down the corridor, making some quickly calculations "Not too far. But there's a ring of defence around the city that might have been put on with all the problems around the Republic. And it's some heavy stuff, toe-teasers, belly-buzzers and fanny-featherers among other ticklish traps. You guys best be careful."

The list of such threats made the rest of the group pause and after a moment's rest, they followed Jain down the corridor towards Subteranea. The movement was quick to get out of the range of the tickle bugs and it wasn't long before they were in a wide, open corridor with nothing standing between them and the location of Subteranea.

"OK..." Jain said after the group had stared long enough "Who wants to go first?"
"You're the scout," Growled marcus. "So scout."

"Hmmph. I don't think that that's even a verb." Grumbled Jain, prodding at the floor ahead with her feathersword hesitantly.

"I'll go first, Jain. You've done enough already." Broke in Adonis, stepping forward confidently. They weren't going to check every square centimeter of the halls just to be certain they were untrapped. It would take too long. When a trap activated, his reflexes would have to be enough. "You all just step where I step, okay?"

"Hey wait a moment, you're important!" Called Oberon, and Adonis flinched at the sound of the Green's voice. He wasn't racist. He wasn't prejudiced. He would value Oberon as a loyal comrade until something intervened to suggest otherwise. Or so he told himself. Still, he found himself reflexively wanting to disagree as the Green went on.

"Make the Red go first. She's the most expendable person here!" Standing right next to him, Veritas scowled, looking away from him angrily.

"He's got a point, Chief." Said Marcus thoughtfully. "We can't wait hours or days for you if you get stuck in some kind of tickle-chamber. By risking yourself, you're slowing down our mission when we need to go fast."

"Your confidence is inspiring." Adonis impressed himself with how measured his tone was when all he really wanted was to turn around and slap these rebellious children silly. "Now pipe down. Oberon, you have rear-guard. If something big and hungry comes up, try and keep it entertained long enough for us to get away. Tell me Jain, is there anything in particular that I should be watching for up ahead?"

They set out again, slower now in the mine-field, taking a serpentine course between highly concealed traps that the Purple seemed always to detect just in time with supernatural senses inexplicable to the others. Or, of course. Thought Adonis idly. She's just saying that there are booby-traps so that we have a higher opinion of her skills than is really warranted. Wait a moment -just how paranoid am I? He shook his head, resolving to focus on marching instead.
The group made slow progress through the corridor, trying to copy every step the next person made exactly to avoid any of the traps littering the place. Behind Adonis, Jain kept her eyes on the floor in front of them, whispering in his ear anytime he got near a rather risky spot. When he asked why they were being so quiet, Jain pointed up towards the ceiling where a series of small items were stuck to it, circular black objects with blinking red lights. "Sound sensors." She whispered "If we make too much noise, they'll go off and the whole place will be flooded with tickle traps. They must be new additions to the place and it was lucky I noticed them."

Whispering this news back to the others, the group suddenly took care not to make the slightest noise, several keeping a nervous eye on the blinking devices as they made their way through the corridor. Step by step, they got close to the end of the corridor and, just beyond it, Subteranea. Adonis felt himself slowly start to relax as he considered the fact that they just might be safe once they reached the settlement.

This all ended when Marcus suddenly let out a sneeze right underneath one of the sensors. The blinking light suddenly shines all the brighter before the case opens up, a long, thin arm descending as it comes down directly in front of Marcus. At the end of it is a single feather which starts to stroke up and down his front, brushing over his stock and chest while it gets very close to his groin on the downswing.

"Don't make a sound!" Jain hissed at him "It's just trying to see if there's anyone there! Keep the laughter in for just a little while and it'll stop! If you make a noise it'll set off a bunch of traps!" The Ninja pleaded, hoping that Marcus would manage to keep it in. He just about managed, the Grey's face going red from the laughter he was keeping within him and his face contorted into a wide grin as he struggled to fight the ticklish sensations going up and down his stomach.

As this went on, Adonis looked behind him to realize that they were close to the very end of the corridor and Jain caught his eye as he turned back. Although she didn't say anything, he knew what she had in mind. They could leave Marcus behind, him being at the back of the line and get to safety before he broke. Adonis looked to Marcus, the Grey near breaking point it seemed as the feather swished over his naked skin, the fluffy plume making him shake with the effort to keep the laughter in. It seemed like a tempting plan but could he go through with it?
Adonis shook his head vehemently. There was no way he was going to leave a man behind, after all it could be any one of them next. And that kind of attitude would only dwindle the team as they went on. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Jain let out a quiet but resigned sigh, and Oberon glared at him, clearly hoping they would just make a run for it.

But, just as they were having this thought, the feather seemed to stop its meandering across Marcus's bare skin, and retract back up to the ceiling. Unfortunately, just as it was making its last drag up his body, Marcus reached his breaking point, letting out a burst of laughter as the feather was bringing itself up to the ceiling.

"GAHAHAHAHahahaha!" Marcus cried out as his knees buckled, the grey feather collapsing on the floor. Jacen and Oberon, being the closest to him, rushed to him to help. Well, Jacen rushed to help the man. Oberon seemed to run over just to clamp his mouth shut. The feather that had so tormented the man retreated back into the ceiling, and for a moment, everyone held their breath and hoped the team was in the clear. But seconds later a red light pulsed throughout the hallway, and some kind of laser-light seemed to be scanning the room.

"No one move!" Jain hissed at all of them. As the red beam swept over them, Adonis noticed that Jain had jumped into the shadows, pressing herself against the wall. She also appeared to have grabbed Veritas as well, yanking her into the shadows with her. Just as well, Adonis thought, of all people, Veritas was the least capable of dealing with one of these traps, and anything that could be done to minimize her tickle exposure, the better.

As everyone stood stock still, the laser scanner completed its survey of the room. As it ended, this time three long feathers descended from the ceiling. Well, at least it wasn't all eight of them, Adonis thought glumly. As the feathers lowered slowly, he realized what was happening. Jacen, Oberon, and Marcus were all on the floor, and weren't noticed by the scanners. Jain and Veritas were clinging tightly to the wall and had also avoided the beam. The scanners must be out of date to miss them so easily… but that still meant that Adonis, Titannia, and Atlanta were standing in full view when the visual scanner searched for them.

"You guys can't move!" Jain whispered at them urgently. "These scanners are based on movement. Stay still for just a little longer than Marcus did, and they won't know you're people!" Adonis realized that was easier said than done, as the feathers reached the three of them. He glanced around, his eyes darting as much as they could without moving his head. Titannia was standing tall, at an almost military attention. Her ebony body seemed completely vulnerable to the contrasting white feather approaching her… but at least her arms were at her sides, protecting her underarms. Atlanta was in perhaps an even worse position. Once the red light had turned on, the air-headed pink feather had covered her eyes with her hands. Not only couldn't she see, but her entire body was exposed. Hopefully, her enjoyment for this sort of thing would prove useful.

But that was all Adonis could think of as his feather loomed in front of him and slowly swept down his front. The thing was large, and broad, and tickled immensely. It was inconceivable that this huge feather came from any kind of bird. And if it did, Adonis never wanted to meet it. As the feather slowly and lazily dragged itself down his chest and belly, he was immensely tempted to let out a laugh, the ticklish sensations weakening his resolve. As the feather dragged still lower, it swirled over his nether-regions, and he almost doubled up right there. His body quivered, "Holy crap! I'm not sure I can take much more of that!" He thought. As if noticing his predicament, the feather lingered there, in an almost casual fashion, slowly swirling its length across Adonis's groin, sending the man's mind into turmoil.

Titannia wasn't doing any better. As her feather probed her, it seemed to quickly discover that the undersides of the tall woman's breasts seemed to elicit some kind of reaction. The curious feather swirled and explored, trying to determine if those flinching, quivering mounds of soft but firm material were in fact part of a person. A very ticklish, vulnerable person who happened to be trespassing. Titannia's face contorted into a wide, forced grin, as the woman was quickly succumbing to the incredibly powerful tickling of this rather intelligent feather, hunting for her ticklish spots.

Atlanta was perhaps doing the best of the three. While she was grinning just as much, if not more than the others, she also seemed to be having quite a bit of fun. To her, playing the statue against an incredibly inquisitive and tickly feather was some kind of game, and as it meandered under her arms and across her sensitive belly, the pink feather was doing her best to last as long as she could, perhaps just to feel the slow ticklish sensations for as long as possible.

But none of what was happening to Titannia and Atlanta was helping Adonis at all. Seeing the two slowly losing control to the devious tickling, he had to admit to himself that it was provoking quite the reaction to little Adonis. And since that feather was also attentive to that area, it found only more and more surface area to tickle, which became more and more responsive. Maybe the hero had some blue tendencies after all? No! Mentally, Adonis shook his head and cleared his mind. He realized there was no way to outlast these devious devices. If they were to make it, they'd have to make a break for it.

Bursting out into laughter, Adonis rolled out of the way and started running for the door. "Gyahahaha! Jain! Veritas! Grab Titannia! Oberon, help Marcus! Jacen, get Atlanta! We need to get out of here!" Adonis barked in as commanding a voice one could while giggling. It worked, as the others snapped to obey, the blue grabbing the giggling pink, the sadist assisting the recovering independent, and the two women lunging to help the Amazonian warrior get to safety. The red lights seemed to pulse angrily as the group dived through the door just as the emergency protocols were slamming it shut. Everyone had managed to make it though that terrible hallway.

"Well, you've done it now, fearless leader." Jain said, annoyed but more than a little amused. "They've scanned you, all three of you. That means they're going to start hunting us now, and they have data and just how to get us. Well… three of us anyway. They're going to try and exploit those weak points… Titannia's breasts, Atlanta's underarms, and you're… well, maybe at least you'll have fun, Adonis." The purple leered at him mockingly.

"Look, there's nothing else we could've done." Adonis said, trying to rouse the group again. "We're almost to Subterranea, and once there we can lay low until things calm down. We can find an inn, gather some intel, and hopefully rest up for the next step. Alright?" The group grumbling, unable to offer up any other ideas, a sense of ticklish foreboding threatening to kill morale if they didn't find respite soon.
(Note: Just checking on the Capitol here to introduce the Home Front)

"Another one!" President Jennifer Thresk sighed in exasperation, forcing herself to lower the report to her desk gently instead of slamming it down, as she'd have liked.

Instead she turned her attention fully to the bearer of the source of her chagrin; a large White standing at perfect attention on the carpet. "You mean to tell me, Captain, that there's been another Race Riot in this city?"

He nodded, eyes front. "Yes ma'am. At 23:00 Hours last night, in the North-East corner, Level 3, a group of apparently inebriated felons gathered and began to assault people and attempt to steal and destroy property. It was fully contained by Unit 34-X by approximately 1:00 hours today. We have 62 suspects in custody, and 8 of the victims are in a psychiatric ward." He might have been playing a recording for all the vitality in his tone.

"Was anyone injured...?" Thresk asked tiredly, already knowing the answer. People got injured here about as often as they got sick or ran out of food. They didn't. But all the same, it took some getting used to.

"No Ma'am. The victims are traumatized but they should recover soon. Trials will proceed for some time into the future, but most of people's goods have been accounted for and they should be reimbursed soon enough."

Thresk flipped a wayward strand of brown hair out of her eyes. The victims were 'traumatized'. They were being tickled with a bunch of big feathers, for god's sake. Red's couldn't handle anything.

"Would you tell me, Captain, why my orders were disregarded and I wasn't immediately informed of this outbrea- of this disturbance?" She wasn't going to call these incidents an 'outbreak'. They weren't the symptoms of some kind of disease, no matter how contagious they appeared.

"I had dispatched a message informing you of the issue soon after it's scale became apparent, Ma'am. I am sorry if it did not reach you quickly enough."

Thresk sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted, though an observer would never note it. "Fair enough. Thank-you for your report, Captain, and for handling it as well as you did. Over sixty crazed rioters -doesn’t sound like something I'd like to tackle. Dismissed."

He saluted, perfectly in form as always, and marched out of the room. The President slumped, toying with some other miscellaneous papers on her ivory desk. Of course she knew why she had ended up hearing about this on the morning news instead of through a personal line. She had been just going to sleep as it started, up all night after a long and ruthlessly dull council meeting, with orders not to be disturbed.

And where they had been trapped discussed the after-affects of the last Riot. She staggered over to the window, feeling the thick carpet tickling against her feet, keeping her alert. Below her, citizens went innocently about their business through the streets and the secured tunnels and passages beyond, little hinting at the violence that could sweep though them at moment.

And all just with tickling- not molotov cocktails, not bricks, just feathers. She looked at her own powerful Yellow featherblade in its case above the door, still feeling a supernatural attachment to the tool. Everyone got one, and everyone was constantly judging and antagonizing everyone else just because of their colours.

In an alleyway below, a Green ambushed a Red, tickling them to the ground for a few minutes before a pair of Yellows broke it up. Outmatched, the Green held up their hands defensively and backed off, leaving their target giggling and shaking on the ground.

Thresk shook her head again. The rioters would be tried and charged, and those guilty of theft and vandalism imprisoned. But what about the ones who had joined in just to use their feathers? Could they even be charged for assault, when nobody had ever been injured, and no one ever would be? Sexual harassment with a feather? Psychological abuse? It was, ultimately, only tickling.

Of course, even that can be effective. She thought. They hadn't made a special riot squad, Task Force 34-X, or the 'Hounds', as citizens called them, for nothing. Violent citizens -especially Greens, if she would ever allow herself to racially profile anyone- vented themselves using the only weapons they had, their feathers, and they had decided to fight fire with fire. Those 'Blades did look like swords, after all.

A pager on her desk beeped, a secretary chirping something about a guest here to see her.
"Send them in," Replied Thresk mechanically, moving to arrange herself, forgetting once again that not one person had been sent here with a scrap of clothing. Her thoughts were little more ordered than her appearance.

This city was falling apart. How could people be so petty when there were so many other things to worry about in this prison that that bastard Programmer had doomed them all too? That expedition they had sent out needed to find them as exit, and fast, before this place tore itself apart.
(Going back to the group)

Making their way through the corridors of the Facility quickly, the group were always on the look out for further tickle monsters or traps, Jain leading the way as the Ninja kept up her position as guide. It seemed as if they were in the clear for a while but soon, Adonis heard something far behind them. A steady deep sound that reminded him of scenes from movies that featured large animals and the foot steps they made.

The rest of the group apparently heard it as they all sped up, practically running before they came up to a large wall, seemingly no different than the others before Jain held up her hand to stop the group "This should be the entrance to Subteranea." She said, a lot less confident that Adonis liked before running her fingers up and down the wall, apparently looking for some kind of trigger.

The stomping sounds got louder and louder as whatever it was got closer "Hurry up with that!" Titania ordered, apparently less than eager that whatever was coming would get a hold of her ticklish breasts. The others got into a defensive pose as they waited for the creature, a darkness coming from the corridor as it got closer. Adonis looked over to Jain, whose fingers had sped up as she was desperate in her search for the switch to open the entrance to the city now.

Would she make it in time?
Adonis darted his eyes between Titannia and Jain. The ninja woman's searching was growing increasingly frantic, and for the first time, Adonis saw real panic in her eyes as she searched for the trick to open the door to Subterranea. Meanwhile, it was obvious that Titannia's goading wasn't helping, and that the group had to be ready for whatever monstrous thing was coming at them.

"Titannia, let Jain figure it out!" Adonis barked at her. "Take up a defensive position. Oberon, Jacen! Stand with her. Atlanta, Marcus, both of you guard Jain. Veritas, stay with me." Adonis issued his orders, realizing that if he didn't give each member of the team something to do, the tension was going to start a panic.

Everyone wordlessly arranged themselves, eager to accept a command for the illusion of control. Titannia, Oberon, and Jacen stepped forward as a vanguard, guarding the group. Marcus and Atlanta were at either side of Jain, nervously keeping their backs to her as she tried everything she could think of to open the door. Meanwhile, Adonis and Veritas occupied the middle. Adonis didn't think Veritas would be able to do much to help, but it was best that he keep the red close. And from this position, he could be heard by everyone.

Just then, the thumping object finally came into view from the shadows. It was… a walking plant! It was as if a willow tree and a venus fly trap had some kind of demon child… the thing barely fit in the passage, as it moved slowly, one root moving forward, then the next. Long, leafy vines descended from the trunk, and seemed to move about with minds of their own. Closer to the center, venus fly trap style pods lay, and Adonis was very sure he didn't want to get pulled inside, which seemed to undulate menacingly. Vines also moved amongst the tree-thing, and from here they almost seemed… fuzzy somehow.

Adonis eyed the group. Marcus looked grimly determined to defend his position and Jain. Atlanta looked at the thing… almost with admiration. Maybe with longing. Jain didn't even turn around, still frantically trying to figure out the door. Glancing at Veritas, Adonis could see her green eyes open wide in fear. Looking at the forward group, he couldn't make out anything, except he might have seen a shiver run up Titannia's spine. It was too hard to tell.

"How close are you to opening that door, Jain?" Adonis said to her, a nervous strain evident in his voice.

"I've almost figured it out!" Jain said quickly. "I just need a little more time. Don't let that thing near me and I'll get it!" She didn't even slow down as she said this, and Adonis knew they'd have to give Jain her chance if they even had a hope of getting out of there.

"Veritas, stay back with the others." Adonis said, and moved to join the forward group. "Alright everyone, we need to keep that thing distracted until Jain opens the door."

"Hmph." Oberon grumbled. "Easy for you to say." Despite the sadist's reluctance, he obeyed his orders and stayed in position. By now the longest vines were within striking distance, and one lashed out. It darted across Titannia's ribs, just below her breasts, dragging its length in a quick back and forth before receding again. Titannia doubled up from the quick tickle attack, snickering behind clenched teeth. Those vines must really tickle…

"Titannia!" Adonis shouted, turning to her. But just as he did, a second vine reached out for him, this one snaking across his lower belly in a quick, whip-like motion. As it dragged across his skin, Adonis noticed the vine seemd to have hair-like bristles attached to it, and they tickled incredibly! As it brushed across his skin, the tickling sensations caused him to leap backwards and let out a surprised flurry of chuckles. This creature was much more dangerous than he'd initially thought.

Stepping closer, the creature reached out a vine yet again, but this one wrapped itself firmly around Titannia's waist, not only causing her to start to giggle softly but constantly, but start to pull her towards it. Would Jain be able to open their escape before this plant-creature tickled them into submission?
Another meaty wet thump sounded, as the creature edged closer, backing them against the wall. Slaver trickled from the teeth of's bulbous section as it edged in, tentacles accelerating into an animalistic frenzy as it sensed their numbers.

Giggling almost incoherently, Titannia swung her feathersword in an overhead chop, hacking off the tentacle holding her captive. She fell to the ground, rolling backwards, squirming and struggling against the tendril gripping her even in death, every movement introducing more bristles to her tender flesh.

Atlanta and Oberon moved to cover her as the monster lashed out again, only for it to present its huge and toothy maw instead. A thick mixture of watery sap sprayed form the orifice, deluging them both, hardening with unbelievable speed even as they crumbled.

Marcus dodged a flurry of whipping vines, slashing back at the questing appendages with his broadsword, grunting as the wily whips struck home. Adonis anchored the line, trying to remain at his feet as the creature, advancing like a glacier, threatened to bury him under its weight. Below him, Atlanta and Oberon struggled and moaned, completely dependent on their comrade's victory, the slime covering their mouths and seizing their limbs in a rictus. Out of the corner of his eye he was distantly aware of Veritas standing dumbstruck, red blade hanging at her side.

A monstrous limb snaked around his defences, winding about his leg, tip boring into his foot even as it yanked him down. Fleshy green arms snatched at his limbs, lifting him off the air and stretching him out, even as other assailants probed at his torso. Behind him, Marcus and Titania pressed the line, only to be beaten back time and time again by the flurry of bestial counter-attacks.

He laughed and flailed helplessly, struggling as the thing's monstrous jaws opened wide in a smirk of pure hunger -and yet boasting of a vague appearance of triumph far too human.

With a flash of light and smell of ozone, the meaty thing melted, actually hissing and falling back one ponderous step.

"Get them inside!" Someone shouted, as more blasts of white light slammed into the monster, throwing it back, tentacles waving defensively.

Adonis was thrown to the ground, rolling onwards and springing to his feet in a fighting stance, though he almost toppled over again as the ticklish-after shocks wracked him.

Half a dozen people with similar featherswords coloured predominantly gold and white darted around the group, hauling away Titannia, Atlanta, and Oberron, ushering the others inside on their heels. Other stood with guns levelled, volleying into the creature relentlessly, driving it back.

"Everyone in!" Another voice yelled, and Adonis didn't resist the arm tugged urgently on his, pulling him in through the door.

The portal definitively slammed shut behind him, and he allowed himself to collapse against the wall, breath coming hard.
"About time you guys got here."
"We thought you could handle a simple bit of foliage." Came the curt reply as the group that had rescued them turned their weaponry onto Adonis and his companions. The move took Adonis off guard until he noticed that the majority of it was focused on Jain and Oberon, the Purple and Green.

"Hey! What's this about?!" Oberon demanded, being smart enough to end his objections with words and not moving towards the two dozen tickle guns aimed right at him. Jain herself remained quiet, but there was a tenseness in her body that showed the Purple was ready to flee the moment things got worse.

Despite that instinct though, Adonis could tell that there were few options available on the flee front. While they were indeed in Subteranea, they were in a thin corridor that led to the city itself. At the end of the corridor, Adonis could see several buildings through the gap but there was the large group standing between them and the city that made things awkward to say the least.

"There have been... disturbing reports from the Capitol." A gold feather said, a tall woman with fiery red hair and skin that was dappled with freckles. She had piercing green eyes and carried herself in a similar manner to Titania "Some groups have proven themselves untrustworthy and we could do with making sure that those who enter Subteranea are those who won't try to attack us. They will be taken into custody for questioning should we feel the need to do so."

"I can vouch for Jain and Oberon, they won't cause trouble." Adonis spoke up quickly, not wanting to lose any members of their group. He took umbrage with the fact that anyone was instantly under suspicion just because of the feathers they carried although he had to admit some personalities he found less than appealing went to certain coloured feathers more than others.

Adonis was relieved when the rest of their group joined in, vouching for Oberon and Jain, although Titania seemed to do so with some reluctance. After a minute of this, the gold feather who seemed to be in charge turned to her group to give the order, whether to let them all go free into Subteranea or take Oberon and Jain into custody, Adonis had to wait until she spoke to find out.
The red haired leader of the guards grimaced, but slowly lowered her feather sword. "Stand down." She commanded her troops, which they all noticed were a slow to let down their guard.

"So are we free to enter the city?" Adonis asked her, looking around at their saviors and captors. The group close to Oberon were glaring at him in open disdain, and Oberon wasn't being subtle about glaring back. Meanwhile, the group of guards near Jain kept a careful distance and weren't taking their eyes off her, their expressions wary. They almost looked afraid of her. "If we make it into the city, I'm going to have to keep those two close." Adonis thought to himself. "Jain can get mischievous when she doesn't have anything better to do, and Oberon… wouldn't take long to give them and excuse to arrest him."

"We will let your group into the city." The yellow feathered captain said curtly. "BUT! You will be give an escort to make sure you do not threaten the city's order. You will be allowed to stay in the city under escort for seven days. If you do not like these conditions, you're welcome to go back outside." The captain's lips turned upward in a grin at her cruel little joke. Obviously, the party had no choice but to accept the captain's 'escort,' which would make it even harder to plot their next move. Even worse, there's no way Jain would be allowed to scout around on her own.

"Lucilla! You will be the escort for these eight. If they step out of line in any way, you have full authority to arrest them." The captain said, turning to another yellow feathered guard. This one, Lucilla, was on the shorter side, with a very serious expression on her face. She had straight, jet black hair that ran down to her shoulders, above what appeared to be a very athletic body. It was hard to hide these things when no one wore any clothes. Steely grey eyes darted to each party member with a piercing gaze. This one might be trouble, but if they could get her alone, it would be eight on one. Surely their escort couldn't be able to take them all on at once? Especially with Titannia's strength and size; Jain's speed and elusiveness.

"Yes, captain!" Lucilla answered to the red-head, bowing her head obediently. This seemed to satisfy the captain, who turned and took her guards back to their posts, leaving the eight of them (now nine) to enter the city proper. "There will be no funny business while you stay in this city." She turned to the group and spoke to them, although her eyes locked onto Adonis, correctly judging him to be the leader of the group, even if she didn't know their intentions. "The green and the purple will at no time leave the group. Clear?"

"Very clear, Lucilla." Adonis said, sighing inaudibly. This woman was already stressing him out, and they needed to find information in the city, and quickly. "Alright guys, let's head in." Adonis looked at his group, trying to figure out who to send out to scout with Jain locked with the group. Titannia? No, she might be the only one Lucilla might be friendly towards, considering this town judged everyone by their swords.

"Marcus, Veritas, look around the city, see what you can figure out. The rest of us will head for an inn, I think we're all close to exhausted." Adonis told them. Marcus nodded wearily and started heading off, realizing he was likely the best choice left. Veritas was about to say something, but realized Marcus was leaving without her and trotted after the grey-feather, probably with more energy left than anyone else in the group, having avoided most of the tickling from earlier. Adonis caught Jain's eye and motioned her to come closer. "Jain." Adonis whispered, hoping Lucilla couldn't hear. "Stay close to me while we're here."

The ninja grinned impishly at him, and walked along side him. "Aw, you should've just said so!" Jain sidled up next to Adonis and wrapped her arm around his in an overt display of affection. Adonis rolled his eyes but said nothing. If embarrassing him got the ninja to behave, he'd allow it.

"Strange to see a white and a purple together, not to mention a grey and a red…" Lucilla said curiously, again judging everyone by their type. "What business do the eight of you have in Sanctuary?" Adonis stiffened, hoping no one but Jain would notice. He couldn't tell her what they were really doing, but he had to think of a cover story quickly.
(Author's Note: Please recollect that these are ostensibly the best 8 soldiers available in the Facility. They... just haven't had a very good start)

"We're here on official government business, from the capitol in New Babylon." Adonis flourished a suitably official-looking document, just quickly enough for the yellow to see the important signatures at the bottom.

"I hope your milita has good severance, 'cause I don't think that you'll be holding onto your job for long after this." Growled Marcus over his shoulder. "Arresting random visitors discriminatorily, letting monsters walk right up to your doors, a faulty trap system- I'm surprised to see that you actually carry weapons!"

"Calm down, Mark." Said Veritas. "Sorry about that -big guy doesn't like walking plants. He's just unsettled." She punched him in the arm, smiling innocently, and with a visible effort the outraged yellow resumed her walk.

"Well, let's go see what's new around here." The grey said after a few more moments took them out of the fortified anteroom an into the main city nexus. "Hey, White boy," he called over his shoulder. "What should we be looking for?"

Adonis thought for a moment. "Signs of violence. I want to know why these people are so riled up by the sights of purple and green featherswords."

"Because they've been causing trouble!" Broke in Lucilla at last, as the duo marched off and the main group strode into the square. A proper Yard, Subteranea almost had a fresh blue sky, with illusitory clouds drifting and a breeze of AC air gusting like clock-work.

"Less than a week ago, a group of greens broke into our main administrative office building. They tickled a secretary and receptionist senseless while they tried to forge things and mess with official files. It took us hours to break in- mostly because another group, mostly purples, had snuck into the armoury in our barracks and taken as many weapons as they could carry. We caught them in the act, and are interrogating two even now, but most of them got away. We still don't know where they are or what they intend to do.'

'And that's why we hesitate to trust them," She jerked a thumb at Jain and Oberron in turn.





"Oh, you don't need to worry about me." Oberon said with more than a hint of sarcasm "If I decided to try and take over a building and tickle everyone inside, you'd be the first person to know."

Adonis brought his palm to his head and groaned at how stubborn the Green feather wielder was being. They did not need to antagonise anyone right now. Lucilla glowered in response and it seemed as if there would be another argument before Jain stepped in between them, trying to defuse the situation "OK, so a few of those carrying purple and green feathers haven't been polite and obedient. We'll be different. We won't cause any trouble."

"I'll be here to be sure of that." Lucilla retorted, apparently happy with it finishing like that "You said you needed to find an inn? I can lead you to one that'll allow you to freshen up and get some rest. It's called the Feathered Bed down on the Street of Follicles. I'll lead the way, but any trouble and I will bring you down."

With that order, Lucilla walked several steps ahead, but made sure to turn back now and then to make sure the group were following her, although she failed to notice Atlanta sticking her tongue out at her. Marcus and Veritas bid their brief goodbyes after taking note of the address of the inn and going about their investigations. Walking through Subteranea, Adnois admired the neat buildings and the warmth of the place, the Facility always happily providing comfortable places to stay, when they weren't full of tickle traps or monsters that is.

Despite the pleasantness of the place, there was a thick tension in the air that put Adonis on edge. Groups of same-coloured feathers could be spotted with the only two groups mixing being the Blue with the Pinks and Yellows with the Whites. As they got closer to the inn, Adonis felt as if this place was on the edge, much like the Capital had been before the recent chaos had hit it.

The Feathered Bed was a rather large and comfortable looking building at least, with wide windows and fresh, bright paint decorating the locale rather nicely. From one of the open windows, the sound of laughter could be heard, it being rather loud and desperate "Ah, someone tried to skip on their bill again." Lucilla commented pleasantly before making towards the door "I do hope you've got something to pay for the place, we shan't be covering you."
Marcus and Veritas walked through the streets of Subteranea, eyes open for a map, or some way of learning about the routes that led out of the city and farther away from the capital. While people in New Babylon new about Subteranea, few made the dangerous journey to the town, and none ventured beyond its walls into the untamed areas beyond. At least, no one spoke of it.

Marcus's shoulders slumped visibly as they walked, his exhaustion showing. How long had it been since they'd been able to rest? But he didn't say a word of complaint, grimly going about his assignment. He predicted he'd fall asleep the second he hit the pillow back at the inn. What was it called, The Feathered Bed? A shiver ran up Marcus's spine as he hoped that didn't have any sort of sinister meaning.

Meanwhile, Veritas still seemed unfatigued, maybe even energetic. She had managed to avoid all of the tickling so far. Which was for the best, as they all new she was the most ticklish of the group. Although Marcus had never seen her tickled, and he doubted any of the others had.

"Look." Veritas said, pointing to a signpost at the next corner. "This road leads to a gate on the far side of the village." The two of them walked to the corner, looking up at a worn sign pointing to a heavily barred gate at the edge of town. Despite the fact that the sign clearly hadn't been replaced in a while, they could make out "To Vine Forest."

"Vine Forest, huh?" Marcus asked gruffly. "I don't like the sound of that. This can't be the only way out of town… let's try heading th-AH!" Before he could finish, Marcus let out a cry and fell over as some of net fell on him. As Marcus tried to throw the net off him, the net started vibrating rapidly, sending a strong ticklish sensation through his body wherever it touched him. The man, taken off guard and already tired from the tickling and fighting earlier, fell to the ground in a fit of laughter, as each movement to free himself only made him more entangled in the net, exposing more body parts to its ticklish touch.

Just as Veritas whirled around to see where this net came from, a woman holding a long purple feather jumped down from the nearest building. She was a head taller than Veritas, with short, dark hair, brown eyes and pale skin. The woman looked from Marcus to Veritas. "Hah, that thing was worth stealing from the armory. He'll be as weak as a kitten by the time I get him back. Now…" the woman pointed her feather sword at Veritas. "I know how ticklish you must be, Red. Come willingly, and I promise we'll be… gentle." The ninja woman smiled predatorily.

Veritas glanced at Marcus, writhing on the ground as the net made contact with his ribs, stomach, thighs… the big guy was having a terrible day. Looking back at the ninja, Veritas noticed the woman's stance: leaning forward, a little hunched over, the off-hand guarding her midriff… her belly must be her weak point, Veritas realized, quickly analyzing the situation.

Veritas leaped forward, surprising the ninja who was expected another meek red. Veritas's red feather stabbed behind the ninja's own, darting under her breasts and brushing quickly along the sensitive skin. The ninja let out a ticklish yelp and tried to shield herself with her purple sword, but before she could, Veritas wiggled her own down the woman's belly, circling her navel. She was quick and relentless, and before the ninja woman could even retaliate she had fallen to the ground in a fit of giggles, losing the fight before it had even begun.

"I may be more ticklish than you," whispered Veritas to the woman. "But don't think I still can't out-tickle you." Veritas kneeled over the woman, still twirling the feather sword over her midriff, but much slower now, keeping the woman just off balance enough that she wouldn't fight back, but still able to talk. "Now I need some information. Tell me about the route to the Vine Forest. Where does it go? If I don't get answers, I'll just have to figure out how ticklish this navel is…"

"Hehehe no! NO! I'll talk-hehehe, quit that!" The woman gasped, trying to talk while still being slowly tickled, the feather now dragging up and down her left side, from hip to rib and back again, making her squirm. "Ok, ok! Hehehe… that road used to lead to Amazoni. It was a colony set up by a bunch of pink feathers who didn't want to take orders from New Babylon. But no one's heard from them in years. The vines in the forest got too thick, no one can get through without being ti-hihihiickled! Stop! I'm telling you-hohoho what you asked!"

Veritas thought about what the woman was saying. The route seemed very difficult, but if there was a settlement farther out, they could know more about the outskirts there. But Veritas could ask about other routes, that couldn't be the only way, could it? Or she could ask this woman about that net she threw on Marcus, and what else her group stole from the armory. Knowing that would improve the group's standing with the city guards. Then again, maybe she should just get Marcus back to the inn, in case this woman had compatriots nearby. As her mind raced trying what to do next, her feathersword still idly twirled over the hysterical ninja woman, keeping her weak and giggly.
Veritas rose to her feet gracefully and kicked the discarded blade away, leaving the pale purple to curl up into a fetal position. It was impressive, the way she had snuck up on her like that, so quiet, just like Jain, come to think of it... Like a Ninja. Too bad for her, she hated it when people tried pushing her around for being a Red, like that stupid Oberon character.

"On your feet," Veritas ordered, a few flicks of her blades making the purple hasten to comply, panting, giggly and looking at the Red with less respect than Veritas would have preferred. "Get that net off him!"

Marcus lay still against the binding in question, red-faced and panting through his teeth, limbs stretched out to keep most of the material form his body. He flinched as the dark-haired girl tapped a piece of round metal in the nexus of the chords, giving one last bark of laughter as the bindings retracted, slithering over his flesh like alarmed snakes.

His formidable stamina asserting itself, the Grey slowly rose to feet, albeit shakily, glaring at the defeated purple the whole time. "I know that that Yellow bitch would want you for assault, and just for a chance to nail a purple, but I don't see why we ever have to tell her." His eyes flicked calculatingly to the dense tangle of vegetation that opened like the mouth of a hungry bird nearby, twitching faintly in a non-existent breeze. "Looks to me like there's a garbage-chute right here."

"Before we left the group, I overheard that a bunch of purples had committed a crime here earlier." Said Veritas, taking an instinctive step closer, noting that the Grey looked like he'd fall over then and there. She gestured at their weary assailant. "And I don't think she got that net by- Oh, crap."

She dropped like a rock as the net flew over again, the enraged purple flying after it, feather held high. Forewarned, Marcus thrust one arm into the flying netting to catch it, laughing as tickling blazed up his arm. His other hand neatly intercepted the girl's neck. He brought the two together smoothly as she came up short, wrapping a thick tangle of netting around her sword arm, binding it tightly to her body as he held her aloft.

She burst out laughing as the vibrating cords pressed against her vulnerable belly, kicking and struggling in the grey's grip, panicked. "Shouldn't have done that." Noted Marcus, wrapping more of the mesh tightly around her torso and legs before dropping her.

Screaming and cursing, the purple bounced on the concrete, completely uninjured but rapidly tearing up, as Marcus seized the tail end of the net in both hands. He smiled as he started hauling her away, mouth twitching as the cords vibrated against the palm of his hand.

"Very, would you mind shutting her up?" He shifted his hands, pressing more of the net against their captive's bare stomach, smiling as the resultant screaming reached a new height. " A netted fish ought only to gasp, after all."

Veritas crouched next to the purple, pulling out a glossy black ball-gag and matching eye-cover.

"Ahahahaha! Lethehthet me goghohoho! Ahhahahah I'hihihahahill kill you! Ahahahahh-mmhmhmhmhm-phg! Hehahe Mmphg!." Eyes already screwed shut, the pale girl didn't even notice the gag until Veritas had jammed it in, neatly sliding the eye cover on after it.

" 'Very' ?" She asked as Marcus started easily dragging the delinquent down the street, the Grey privately glad that Subteranea was so sparsely populated and that the few other pedestrians seemed occupied with business of their own.

" 'Well, Veritas' is too hard to say." He shrugged. Behind him, the purple made an odd moaning, sobbing noise into the gag, drooling freely. He shook his head in faint revulsion. "I wonder what Adonis will make of this scum."








Flopping down on the bed, the sigh that escaped Jain's lips was well earned in Adonis' opinion. The Ninja had guided them to their location and had done a lot to keep them safe from traps. True, it hadn't always worked out as well as hoped, but she'd done as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

Having taken up refuge in the Feathered Bed, the group had broken up, some to bathe, others to eat, while Jain and Adonis had gone to see to their room. Living up to the name of the inn, the beds were thick, comfortable and just what was needed after the day they had. Jain smiled widely as she let the comfort wash over her, lying on the bed and spreading her limbs out, toes curling in delight at being in such a spot.

"Glad to see you're enjoying yourself." Adonis said with a grin as he sat down on the bed beside Jain, letting the strain leave his body a bit as he tested the bed for comfort, liking what he found.

"Most enjoyable part of the day." Jain replied before opening her eyes and then looking over to the White Feather wielder "Maybe not as much fun as you had earlier." She teased, causing Adonis to go red.

"I... Don't know what you mean." He denied lamely, trying not to look Jain in the eye.

"Uh, huh. So that feather teasing you earlier didn't have the impact on you that I know I saw?" Jain teased, causing Adnois to go an even deeper shade of red while the Ninja got off her bed and crossed over to Adonis with a glint in her eye "You sure you're not a Blue?" She went on, enjoying making Adonis flustered "You certainly seemed to enjoy it..."

"I couldn't help it!" Adonis retorted a little hotly "How would you react if someone started tickling and teasing your nipples?!"

"Hm... If it was you doing it?" Jain asked before giving Adonis a wink that made the White Feather wielder just give up in embarrassment and turn away. This left him vulnerable to a quick tickle down below as Jain's fingers suddenly flicked the underside of Adonis' shaft, it having grown somewhat during their conversation and the memories of the feather teasing said area earlier.

Yelping at the sudden tickling, Adonis glared at Jain and her teasing, partly out of annoyance, mostly because he knew she was right "C-Cut that out!" He ordered, trying to grab onto her hands but Jain proved to be too quick, her hands latching down to Adonis' thighs and tickling away with constant squeezes that left him roaring with laughter and falling back onto the bed. Taking advantage of this, Jain leapt onto his knees, trapping Adonis where he lay as her hands moved up to his groin to start a fresh tickle attack there.

The sudden sensation of fingers scampering up and down his erection, teasing his shaft with ticklish strokes on both sides of his cock made Adonis howl and thrash about on the bed. The tickling there was overwhelming and he twisted about on the spot, unable to do anything to resist it aside from make several ineffectual attempts to grab at Jain's hands. Whether the tickling was weakening him too much to make a better attempt, or he was enjoying this more than he was letting on, even Adonis wasn't sure.

As the tickling further aroused and tormented him, Adonis found his salvation as the door opened and Oberon poked his head through the gap "Hey, we've got..." He started before seeing the situation as the two froze at his interruption and gave a grin "Should I come back later?" He asked in a suggestive tone.

"J-Just sp-speak now." Adonis gasped, using the distraction to shove Jain onto the bed with a squeak, both grateful and annoyed that the tickling had ended.

"Marcus and Veritas have come back." Oberon went on, not stopping his leering "They've brought us a gift as well, wanna come see or would you rather come down later on when you're... finished?"
"I'll be downstairs in a moment!" Adonis barked, trying to gain some semblance of authority. It wasn't easy, lying on his back with a full erection, his face flushed, and Jain lying next to him with an incorrigible expression on her face. "Is there a problem?" He asked Oberon, annoyed.

"A problem? Noo…" Oberon said, still grinning at him as he moved to leave, closing the door. Before he could, Adonis stopped him, getting his attention.

"And Oberon? …Keep this to yourself." Adonis said, sighing, as the green-feather laughed and shut the door, heading downstairs, hopefully to make an excuse on his behalf and not spread any rumors. Adonis brought his hands to his head. His hard member was difficult to ignore, and Jain had done a damnable job of bringing it to attention. He tried to think unsexy thoughts. He didn't want to walk downstairs like this. Then he turned his head, and saw Jain lying next to him on the bed with a wide, feline grin on her face. "Are you done?" Adonis asked her, trying to avoid another bought of mischief.

"I think part of you wishes I wasn't…" Jain cooed, eying his shaft with amusement and more than a little lust. "But I am finished. At least for now." She gave him a sultry glace. "After all, you're the one who paired us up in here. We're going to have to share this bed eventually." She was right, and he knew it. While the city guard could know their mission, he hadn't wanted the whole town spreading stories about them. So Adonis told the innkeeper they were couples fleeing from the unrest in the capital. It was an easy enough story to believe, even if the rainbow variety of feather swords was more than a little odd to parochial eyes. He had paired up with Jain to keep her out of trouble, even knowing that might bring the ninja's energies on him. He glanced at her furtively, noting her lithe, athletic form lying next to him on the bed, her soft pale skin, the way her dark eyes sparkled with energy… crap, not helping the situation down below.

Adonis sat up and tried to change gears. "You asked if I was a blue earlier, but you were acting like a pink just now, you know." He told her, standing up and starting to get control over his baser instincts.

"Well, maybe there's some flecks of pink in my sword. We have plenty of time to find out tonight…" Jain told him suggestively, before hopping off the bed and heading for the door. That little comment also wasn't helping… "C'mon, fearless leader, let's see what's going on downstairs!" Jain said, and bounded away. Adonis moved a little slower, but realized he'd better head downstairs before the rest of the team really started wondering.
The squad had neatly staked out one corner of the sumptuous common room to talk in, Marcus and Titannia easily deflecting any tenants looking for an encroaching seat with a specifically measured look. The yellow gave Adonis a sharp glance -almost a glare- as he strode in on Jain's dainty heels, flushed and determinedly ignoring his own arousal. Curious.

Next to her on another couch, Oberon just kept on chatting with her, seemingly oblivious to her break in attention, though he too clearly was occupied with a fixation of his own.

A tall woman with dark hair and smooth pale skin rested on the couch, face oscillating between scowl and resented giggle as Oberon casually teased over her silky soles, fingers skating and crawling as if possessed of a single-minded conscience all of their own. Adonis could only wonder who she was or why she seemed to angry, and why she tolerated the green ministration's despite her obvious ticklishness.

Across the diamond of furnishings from her, Veritas and an exhausted-looking Marcus talked quietly, while comparatively far less subdued were Jacen and Atlanta, the latter lying back with her arms around a cushion, flushed with pent up laughter as the blue kneaded and squeezed her ribs.

Adonis pulled up a chair to the table in the middle of the diamond, the flat object fashioned from a single immense nautilus shell. He gave Titannia a questioning glance, from her to the tall newcomer and back, and the yellow seemed to be quelling a reflex to salute as she clipped neatly back despite her previous anger.

"Marcus and Veritas were looking for a way into the deep wild, in the Free Quarter, when this purple attacked them. They brought her back here, and believe that she is one of the felons that Lieutenant Lucilla said the police are still pursuing." Next to Adonis, Jain gave an exaggerated yawn, as always irked by the yellow's perfectly metered speech, inevitably sounding as if she had rehearsed her report beforehand.

"She was carryin' this." Added Marcus, pulling a thick length of netting out of his Pocket. "I think that it's one of the weapons her gang stole from the armoury." Across from him, the purple flinched as the instrument was produced -and Adonis noted a glint of manacles under her back, fully concealed by her body but restraining her nonetheless. That explained a bit.

"She was trying to kidnap us said something of taking us back and our making fine prizes." Said Marcus, giving her a glare, mouth twitching as she squirmed nervously. "But we haven't told the Guard that we've got her, yet. We wanted your go-ahead first."

"Thank-you, Marcus. I appreciate that." Said Adonis, shifting to regard their prise.

She glared back defiantly -at least until Oberon gleefully raked his hands down one sole, breaking her stoic face in with a smile and an undignified snort of laughter.

"Would you like me to ask her what she and her friends were playing at?" Asked Oberon eagerly. Adonis noted with no small disgust the way the green looked on the verge of drooling as he looked over his toy's shapely alabaster torso. "I would only ask politely, of course." He smiled, giving her knee a squeeze and grinning all the broader as she tried to throw off the groping hand and give him a hateful look.








Not liking how Oberon was leering at the woman with almost undisguised glee, Adonis decided to step in "Jain, see to our prisoner." He said, earning a glare from Oberon "I'd prefer it if the person interrogating actually remembered to that we'd be asking her questions." He went on with an expression that brooked no argument in the slightest.

After a few tense moments, Oberon simply scowled and got off his seat, allowing Jain to take his place, the Ninja practically skipping over to her feet and starting to lightly brush her fingers up and down the bare soles, earning a few giggles that turned to yelps as Jain leaned over and squeezed the woman's thighs, pinching the soft skin lightly to make her scream.

Adonis raised his hand slightly, making Jain stop before looking at the panting woman, someone who was obviously more used to dishing out the tickle torture than receiving it "OK, I want you to start by telling us your name and the reason why you attacked us. If you don't, my friend here might not stop at your thighs next time." He threatened, earning a frightened look from the woman while Jain wiggled her fingers, looking hopeful that the woman wouldn't break right away.
Despite the imminent threat, and the fact that the group was clearly willing to tickle the prisoner for while, the captive woman stayed silent. Adonis nodded at Jain, who gleefully made another trip up the woman's pale body. Jain lightly scritched her nails over the woman's souls, and after a few seconds of tense resistance, their captive burst into laughter, as Jain gradually dialed up the intensity of her tickling. Adonis simply glared at the prisoner, letting Jain continue as she eventually started her way up those fit legs. As Jain stroked and teased the woman's thighs, her laughter increased in intensity. Jain's nails began to curl over the woman's inner thighs. She howled with laughter and shuddered visibly, weakly struggling in her bonds.

After what must have seemed like an eternity to the woman, Adonis held up his hand and Jain stopped. However, her nails rested menacingly on the woman's thighs, their tips barely touching the soft skin. "Name. And why you attacked us. Don't make me have to ask again." Adonis said, anger in his voice.

"Hehehe-ok, ok! My name is -hehehe- Erika. We were t-testing out the equipment from the weapons cache before we were going to use them for real. It was nothing personal-ah! Ahahahahaha!" At the last comment Jain started up again, digging into the woman's thighs, stroking higher and higher to great effect. It was an obvious weak spot on the woman. She laughed and struggled and tried to protest, but Jain's ministrations were expert, and she always kept her just to giggly to say anything coherent. At least until Adonis made her stop again.

"Right. Nothing personal. You just wanted to abuse and capture some of my team." He said, and Erika whimpered at this, fearful now that she was just going to be tormented for what she just said. "Then you were going to 'use them for real.' What do you mean by that?"

"I can't tell, I can't… AH! Ahaahahahaha… plehehehease, I cahahahan't! Dohohon't mahahahake mehehehe!" The woman broke off into forced laughter and Jain made her way up to the woman's waist, finding the taut flesh of her lower belly just as sensitive as her thighs. Erika contorted and twisted, but Jain was always two steps ahead of her. Watching how effectively she teased, Adonis almost felt sorry for the woman, as well as a little anxious about having to spend the night in the same room with an energized Jain. The short ninja played with the other woman like a cat with a mouse.

Jain continued on, and was just about to slip a nail into Erika's navel when she shrieked and begged to talk. Adonis stopped Jain once more, and once Erika caught her breath, spoke again: "We… hehehe… we heard about what's going on in the capital. Everything is falling apart. Some of us wanted to take over, restore order, make it new again. We… hehehehehe…" She couldn't say anymore as Jain started toying with her again, but now Adonis had had enough.

"Alright. Titannia, turn our prisoner over to Lucilla and tell her what we learned. I'm sure she'll appreciate the information. It might even get her off our backs." Adonis told her. The tall woman nodded. She walked up to Erika and picked the woman up, carrying her over to Lucilla. Titannia's strength continued to impress. "The rest of you, rest up for tomorrow. I get the feeling we shouldn't be staying in this town for very long."
-Meanwhile, in the Capitol.-

"Coochie coochie coo, little Red. Doesn't this tickle? What's the matter -cat got your tongue?" Whispered Puck the Sadist lovingly, exulting in the feel of her fingers tracing and clawing over the warm flesh in front of her. "Laugh for me, Red. Laugh! Ah, there we go... I love how you are just so, wonderfully, helplessly ticklish. How even the slightest stroke along your belly -like this!- will make you curl up, submissive like a good little Red."

"MMPH-MMPH! Mhhhggphh-" The victim before her protested, trailing off in a despairing moan. Her gag held firm, as did the thick cables pulling her into an 'X' where she stood. Arms already shaking with strain gave the restraints yet another tug as her tormenter's hands squeezed below her beasts, kneading and squeezing the bottom of the shapely mounds. Her entire body, glossy with sweat, shook under the exhaustion and nervous energy as Puck's hands played over it, caught in an indecisive bout between more exacting tickle spots.

The Sadist loved the feel of her victim's soft, sensitive skin, the swish of an auburn braid against her cheek as the Red threw her head back uselessly, the sight of her eyes rolling beseechingly, the sensation of her muscles clenching in protest -even just the aesthetic appearance of the tendons and veins standing out in her arms as she tried to break free of her tormentor's maddening touch for the millionth time. It was beautiful; a work of art.

"But -oh!- you know where I know that you're really ticklish?" Puck whispered, right in her captive's ear. Slowly, but one finger touching at a time, both hands began their walk down her captive's curvaceous sides, nails poking into one muscles after another as they began circling on the soft curves of her belly.
She made a pleading sound, eyes rolling back in panic, beseeching the green to let her go- as one delicate nail slid neatly into her navel. Red-brown hair bounced and shook as she verily screamed into the gag, head bouncing back and forth as her previously clenched belly sucked in, arms going an even deeper shade of red as the muscles pulled for all they were worth.

The chords didn't so much as twang on their carabiners in the wall, remaining firmly taut as the red herself. The dark vault was quiet save for Puck's teasing, peaceful and private. At least, until a blue-blade came padding up out a darkened access corridor.

The green jumped, as a questing blue feather teased against her buttocks, swinging about to confront the interloper angrily.

"Hey! What gives! Can't you see I'm working here, Theseus?"

He shrugged, nonchalantly reaching around to tease against the exhausted Red's sides as she slumped in her chains, panting and sobbing. He was to be disappointed; the nerves were too frayed by this point for the Red to do more than twitch at the touch to her bare ribs.

"So I can see." Said the Blue, smiling faintly. "Be that as it may, the Dogs are all pulled up outside and they're looking particularly hungry today. I think we both ought to leave."

Puck's eyes widened as she leapt at a monitor embedded in the stone-work nearby, face darkening as a selection of security camera feeds showed the infernal white-feathered troops in question taking up their positions outside the building. The elite militarized-police darted to and fro on every successive screen, shutting down alleyways and taking cover behind their vehicles as if there had been an actual possibility of someone getting hurt.

She paced back to Theseus, one set of fingers spider-crawling down to her prisoner's left under-arm by way of a nervous twitch. For once, even that fleshy shudder -more due to a by now deeply ingrained horror of the Green's touch than any actual stimuli- failed to calm her

"I have to admit, this is fast even for them." Puck said, basking in the relief as at last one monitor showed a clear escape route. "This makes the -third?- meeting house they've raided in a week." Without further ado or fanfare, she crossed over to a large man-hole set in the corner, grunting as Theseus helped her to prise open the heavy aperture.

"We won't have much time before they lock down the tunnels," He put in, letting her drop down the iron ladder ahead of him. He gestured at the exhausted Red behind him. "Do you want to leave her?"

"I know it's a shame to see that soft skin go un-exploited for even a moment," Called Puck from below. "But what can you do? We've got to move!"

They touched down in a low, cramped cylinder, stretching away into utter blackness in either direction, a fact that barely slowed the duo as they slammed the covering down and began their sprint along it.

"Have any of the others gotten out?" Asked Puck, worming her way through a rock-fall on her belly some meters ahead, hardly decelerating to negotiate the obstacle.

"The senior members know the drill and should all escape to the rondevu," Said Theseus, gracefully scrambling through the tiny gap after her. "But the novices probably won't be able to find the exits in time." Unseen in the shadow, his mouth twitched. "Actually, I told most of them to stay put and try to hold off the Dogs while we went for reinforcements from the rest of the Society. Letting them prove their devotion, as it were."

Puck giggled. "Oh, you didn't! You know, Thesis, I might make a Green out of you yet. It's too bad though; I liked that safe-house, and that was a promising batch of recruits. Ah well, at least this way, no one important will get caught this way."

"My thoughts exactly."

They ran on in silence, following the drill with almost instinctive reflexes as the corridors branched, intersected, and branched again, turning into a lightless maze in the dark. It was some time before they arrived at another ladder, which they shimmied up, pausing just long enough for Puck to pronounce the coast clear.

The fugitive pair calmly crawled out of the man-hole, walking casually off down the alley away from the distant wail of police sirens and the laughter of would-be Society members resisting arrest.

"Leave it to the President to make tickling a punishable offense." Puck grumbled after a few more blocks, glad to see that the streets were mostly empty. A factoid no doubt abetted by her group's tendency to abduct people walking alone after dark -or, increasingly, in broad day-light.

"Well, what did we expect her to do?" Asked Theseus. "Those Reds were squawking like crazy at the mere sight of a feather. If nothing else, this was actually a helpful move, since banning all tickling will only drive more of my fellow Blues -and the Pinks and the Greens- to our side to try and indulge themselves covertly. What she's done has helped us to radicalize lots of otherwise mild-mannered civilians."

"I know, I know." Agreed Puck, waving her hand vaguely. "I just... Wish that we had a place where we could tickle people openly. Constantly, relentlessly, and be stopped only if they were stronger than us."

The Blue shook his head. "I know what you mean, but I don't think that that'll ever happen, a society where people like us could tickle with impunity. But there are just too many Whites and Yellows."

They shut up as a police patrol sped by, the armoured transports fast becoming a common sight in the city.
"Of course, if there weren't any Whites or Yellows..." Added Puck thoughtfully, seeming to find something interesting in the middle distance.





(Back to the main group)

Adonis was somewhat regretting the layout of the rooms he'd chosen. While Jain had been the best guide they could have expected to get them to where they needed to go, as well as being an able fighter, her flirty nature was just the right kind to get him flustered and her giggle whenever she saw him blush both embarrassed, and excited him a little. Sharing a room together wasn't exactly what he needed right now, although a small part of him was pointing out that he certainly wasn't hating it...

Trying to drown out that voice, Adonis looked to the facts, that Subterenea hadn't been the refuge they'd been hoping for. The Capitol breaking apart with the various factions was leading to other settlements also falling into different conflicts, seemingly based around the coloured feathers each person wielded. It was enough to make Adonis wonder if the orders they were following were still going to be any good before too long. If the conflict spread, then all of the Facility could soon be split up.

And where would that lead his group? Adonis wondered whether or not, push came to shove, he could trust some of them to actually stay on with the mission rather than join their respective factions. It was an unpleasant thought, one that Adonis couldn't shake.

He was brought out of it though, when he felt two hands squeeze his sides suddenly. Having been sitting on the bed, Adonis had forgotten that Jain had gone out for some air before coming back in. He had been expecting her to come through the door, not the window which the Ninja proved all too skilled in getting through. The sudden shock to his body made Adonis momentarily forget his problems and fall down on his side, laughing up a storm as he squirmed against the sudden tickle attack.

"You should be on your guard a lot more!" Jain called out over the laughter, her fingers running up and down the sides rapidly, tickling and teasing each new spot to find a good place to make Adonis howl. She wriggled her fingers right above the hips, keeping the White Feather wielder pressed against the bed and unable to mount and effective defence as she squeezed and tickled his sides faster with each passing second.

"Good thing I'm not an enemy, or you'd really be getting it rough!" Jain teased with a giggle, adding to Adonis' embarrassment as his naked body thrashed about on the bed and he was forced into ticklish laughter. He struggled all the hard though, trying to find the co-ordination to fight back before Jain went back to the same spot as before...
Adonis struggled to wriggle out of Jain's grasp, realizing this was quickly turning into Jain's Funtime part 2. But then she surprised him, sidling up to him and wrapping him close in a hug, although her hands were still poised suggestively in ticklish positions at his stomach, prompting him to twitch and stay on his guard. Adonis froze as she whispered in his ear.

"Hey." She whispered huskily into his ear. "I know about the long odds this mission has." As she continued to speak into his ear, Adonis relaxed, realizing Jain had turned serious and had something to say to him. "And I know that it’s a huge weight on your shoulders. Leading this group isn't easy. Everyone is good, but we're all pretty headstrong."

Jain shifted again, spooning against Adonis a little more, and he was suddenly very aware of the feel of her breasts pressed against his back, the softness of her skin. "We're heading out tomorrow morning, and who knows the next time we're be able to rest in comfortable beds like these. So, while we have the chance, I just wanted to say how much I appreciated you, Boss. We wouldn't have gotten this far without you."

Jain's serious outpouring of support was touching, and Adonis relaxed in her grip, her words giving him the strength to move on tomorrow. It had been an exhausting trip so far, and it definitely wasn't over. But then he noticed Jain's fingertips gliding across his lower belly, down to his groin, gliding ticklishly and prompting him to flinch and giggle.

"So tonight I'm going to give the Boss a little reward." Jain whispered into his ear. "And I'm not going to take no for an answer." With that, she stopped talking and began nibbling on Adonis's earlobe. One of her hands trailed down to his shaft, stroking it lightly and causing the hero to snicker under his breath as his manhood responded to her touch. The other went to still lower, playfully tickling his balls. The combination was incredibly ticklish, but also undeniably pleaserable. Jain was pulling out all the stops. All Adonis could do was wriggle in her tight grasp as she goaded and teased him into building ticklish pleasure, his length enlarging and his body responding.

"That's it, captain. Just let go tonight, I got you. I won't say a word about it to the others." She said, between licks to his ear. "Besides, you couldn't hold out on me if you wanted to…" That little taunt was the last straw, as she stroked and teased him to a laughing bliss. With his last lucid thought, Adonis wondered what was going on in the other rooms. What was happening with Marcus and Veritas, Altanta and Jacen, or even Titannia and Oberon...
From one of the four rooms, faint laughter echoed freely, intermittently accompanied by distant crashing noises like a base drum thrown in with violin music, as Atlanta and Jacen tickled each other silly. In the next room over, Jain and Adonis were fast progressing to another step, in sharp contrast to Marcus and Veritas, the former at least far too tired to do anything other than sleep for some time.

And, in the fourth and final room, some quieter play.

"What are you?" Whispered Oberon, hands sliding and squeezing at the marvellously toned musculature beneath him. The sweating form, gleaming in the faint light of the room, giggled and stirred, moaning as his hands played over her breasts, teasing the firm mounds. "What are you?" He asked again, tone quiet but forceful

She giggled again, squirming as she mumbled something out between gulps of laughter, the sadist's hands still fondling and tickling over her. Unflinching, unhesitant, merciless. She burst into laughing in earnest when his hands squeezed at the hollow at the base of her breasts.

"Louder!"

"Ahaha t-t-tickle toy! Ohohahahakakahahay! I'm ahahahahaha a little tickletoy!"

"Now, that's better." Oberon grinned, as she bucked against him, rubbing him hard under his teasing and probing. "And ...how astute. You really are just a little tickle-toy. Nothing more than a play-thing, a laughing bundle of nerves for me to stimulate," He returned to the sweet spot at the undersides of her breasts, pressing in, keeping his voice authoritarian even as his lips smiled. "As I will. All. Mine. Forever." As if to demonstrate the point, he ran his fingers down her taut body, revelling in the different pitches of laughter produced as he contacted differing nerve endings on the sensitive flesh.

She thrashed under him as his hands ran from her ribs to her belly, hips grinding as she managed to actually lift him off the bed for a tenth of a second. Howls turned to moans as they ran on, breaking into chortles as he leaned back in to blow an undignified raspberry on her stretched and inviting navel.

As she laughed, shuddering and flexing, he pulled back, each hand reaching into his Pocket, smoothly producing a concave pad with each hand, fitting them over her breasts in one continuous move.

"Ahahahahahah! Ahah-ho-ho oh..." She groaned, and Oberon went for her underarms as the machines gradually activated, vibrating, hundreds of feathers gradually stirring, tickling hellishly even as they pleasured her. Titania rocked with laughter, muscles standing stark on her sculpted arms under the duo assault as she strained with the bindings. The green thrust his face in hers, knowing the blindfold would conceal him but trusting the volume as he rubbed against her, faster and faster.

"Who is your master?" He snarled.

"Ahahahahha! Youhwhowowhoo are! You! Hahahahahahahhahahahhahahaaaaaaa-mmmm!" The ballistic Yellow seemed ready explode at any second. Her wild, crazed laughter broke off as they joined, machines and hands alike winding down as he thrust his mouth against hers.

Some time later, Titania, panting and tingly and minus the restraints, pleasuring devices, and blindfold, lay on her front, feeling the green's hands rubbing into her back. On her stomach, eyes closed in bliss, she didn't see his smirk.

The luck! That Titania -strong, proud Titania, who seemed to take her inferiority to Adonis alone as given and was always unloading orders on them all- should be a sub! He hadn't known that that was even possible for a Yellow. And, to be so much fun in bed, as well...

Of course, he thought as he alleviated a knot below her shoulders, making her sigh and practically melt into the sheets, this was only an informal affair. Brought about as much by the Programmer's failure to pack them all with dildos for their extra-dimensional kidnapping as much as anything else.

And if he was correct, the person she really wanted to have massaging her right now was that idiot Adonis, but he seemed to be more interested in that little Purple sneak of his. That must gall; Titania's ability to hold her tongue was a testament to the military discipline that seemed to follow Yellows about, and of which she was assuredly an exemplary member.

Still, it made sense; what was a White but an extraordinarily stuck-up and haughty Yellow? In any case, he didn't bother to examine how that guesswork could be used to aggravate the White in question -though a worthy end in of itself- as he moved on to Titania's feet, rubbing out the residual tingles from quite a lot of prior teasing. Now was the time for pleasure, and that, at least, was working out well.

Still... The only one who could defeat Adonis alone was probably Marcus, and only just. That annoying walking, talking, Red-feathered fleshlight of his would be of no help. Reds. Why did anybody even keep them around? He couldn't remember the last time he had seen one fight a marauding monster or scout for traps effectively. Of course, he shouldn't be so hard on them. What was a Green, after all, but a Red who had spent to much time around a fetisher? He had been there himself once.

It was an odd thought; had the Programmer abducted him to this place but a few years previous, he would have doubtless been a Blue, like Jacen. And, only a short while before that, a whimpering, whingeing Red, cringing at the very sight of a feather, completely assured of his superiority as compared to all those who embraced the Programmer's unique vision and methods. The thought!

But, ah, tickle a Red long enough, and they would learn to love it, longer still, and they would learn to love to share their unique pain with others, to try and punish the whole world at once for the torment it had visited upon them, one victim at a time.

A lovely sound -Titania's giggling- echoed in his thoughts, and he realized that he had gone from rubbing the aches (Or, rather, as near as it was possible to 'ache' in the Facility) out of her feet, to aggressively tickling the curvy soles, making the girl stuff her head in a pillow as she tried to hold still. He felt himself growing hard again as the beautiful laugher, seeing her whole body shake. Trading glances at once sly and eager with the chuckling Yellow, he reached again for one of the silky ropes.

Dark and early the next day, eight ticklish heroes set out for the darkest depths of the Facility, harbouring a multitude of secret thoughts as they marched parallel to the Vine Forest. Behind, war-torn settlements, gang conflict, and racism. Ahead, a strange and dangerous new world of un-explored wasteland, infested with monsters and stuffed with traps... And harbouring, in turn and deep within, one hidden exit.
Thank you all for coming, everyone! I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed participating in this activity; your work has been a pleasure to read and you time has been invaluable.

Despite that (and in light of how busy many people are at this time of year), I would like to designate this Campfire as the first chapter, mostly due to its length. Depending on interest, we could always perform a sequel, particularly with so many currently unresolved issues. Until a later date, however, this singular piece is to be considered 'Extinguished'.

-Thankful Regards, JD

The End!


(Edit: Pt 2 can now be found at...
 ....To Greatest Heights  [13+]
Our Heroes approach the elusive exit- but is it too late for the Republic?
by jdstephens

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