Messenger From the VoidBy Lady Harken
Darkness was the only thing that was there when he opened his eyes. Ingram blinked a few times, not sure if his eyes were open in the first place. He figured they were, even if he couldn't see a thing. He was lying down somewhere that felt familiar, but with the way his head felt, he couldn't think clearly enough to remember where exactly he was. He shook his head and tried to get up, but he felt too dizzy to do so.
"Gah..." He opened his mouth to say something but found himself unable to speak. It didn't matter too much as he couldn't figure out what he would have wanted to say in the first place. He felt someone's presence nearby, and while he couldn't see who it was, he was certain he knew who.
A familiar male voice asked something, but all Ingram made out of the words was "Aleph." Hearing the name made him frown, and he tried to say something to object only to find himself incapable of doing so. It wasn't even his inability to speak, he realized - it was because something kept him from rejecting the use of the name. He gritted his teeth and swore in his mind.
No. Ingram. I am a Time Diver, and my name is Ingram Prisken. He glared at the someone whom he couldn't see and clenched his hands into fists. He made an attempt to get up but gave up a moment later, feeling too weak. He lay still and considered his position, and it dawned to him that like with his incapability to speak, it might not have been his own weakness that kept him from moving. It was all done by something around him, and this something made his head hurt. He knew it was that something that was trying to force him to obey, and he shook his head in an attempt to fight it.
"Calm down, Aleph," the familiar voice told him, and Ingram turned his head in the direction of the speaker. He closed his eyes for a moment then opened them to see that the darkness around him had faded a little, although his vision was still blurry. The place he was in had dim lighting in general, and he couldn't make out the ceiling or the walls in the darkness. "Your heartbeat rate is too high," the voice continued, and Ingram managed to make out enough of the person's outline to tell that he was looking at something.
I am not Aleph. My name is Ingram. He struggled to say the words but found himself with no voice. He opened his mouth and tried again, but the words never left his lips, and the headache seemed to get worse momentarily. He closed his eyes and tried to deal with the pain which seemed to get worse the harder he fought it.
There was a soft sound of clothes rustling as the person near him moved around the place where he rested, and Ingram opened his eyes to try to look at whoever it was. Somewhere in the back of his mind he still knew who he was looking at, even if he couldn't recall the name. It was a man, one he knew, but looking at that man turned out to be too hard with his vision blurred, and he slumped back where he lay, defeated.
He tried to relax and found that giving in helped his senses, and he felt a little better than before. The man stopped what he was doing and studied him. "Ah, that's better," he said, his voice pleased. "You need to stop doing that to yourself, else you'll end up hurt."
Giving in also meant he suddenly felt like he was losing himself, and Ingram scowled at the man. There wasn't much he could've done to fight it, but if the intention was to break him, he wasn't about to give in without a struggle, no matter what it cost him. He took a moment to gather his thoughts and wondered how he knew all this in the first place. What was going on?
"What is it? You look bothered," the man said, and Ingram glared in the direction of the voice. He had to blink a few times as he couldn't focus to look at the man, but he noticed he could at least see clearly enough to make out something about him. The first thing he noticed was that whoever it was didn't look human at all, but he then realized that whatever covered the man's face was a mask, one that appeared awfully familiar, although Ingram couldn't remember from where.
He concentrated on the attempt to see the man and after a moment, he got his vision clear enough to make out the details of the mask. It was gray, somewhat oval-shaped, with four eyes and something green in the middle. Ingram slumped back and closed his eyes, the attempt draining him of the little strength he had.
He felt like he did know where that mask was from and who it belonged to, but as he tried to figure out said details the headache got worse again. It made him dizzy enough to want to throw up, but as that man called to him again, using the cursed name "Aleph", Ingram raised his head as much as he could and made an attempt to curse at him. No sound left his lips, and he gave up and pressed his head against whatever it was he was lying on. Ingram! He yelled in his mind, the words never reaching that mysterious yet familiar man. Do not call me Aleph!
The pain took a turn to worse and he strained and struggled before the dizziness won, and he wasn't sure if he passed out for a moment. Nothing had changed when he opened his eyes, and he drew the conclusion that if he had indeed passed out, he hadn't been unconscious for too long. The masked man was still there as well and stood beside him, arms folded.
"Aleph," he said, the words taking a scolding tone. "Are you listening to me at all? I don't wish to force you to listen, but you're not giving me a choice." He leaned closed and placed his glove-covered hand on Ingram's face. "You're hurting, aren't you? That's entirely your own fault. Come now, give in." The man caressed him with his fingertips, and Ingram wanted to turn away from the touch.
The feeling of weakness took over again and he lay still, just to see if it did make things any better. It didn't seem so, but the man turned to pick up something then did something to him that Ingram wasn't entirely sure of. It did ease the headache, though, and he found his vision returned to normal. He took the opportunity to study the man, finding the details on the mask a lot more clear. It was too familiar, and he raised his head a little in an attempt to find it out. Again, he failed to say the words, but he made the question anyway.
Who are you?
"Hmm?" The man looked at him then raised his hand to caress Ingram's face again. "But Aleph," he said, then laughed. "Don't you recognize your creator anymore? Shame on you, child." He moved his hand lower and traced his fingers over Ingram's chest, and it was only then, when he felt the texture of the gloves on his skin, that the Time Diver realized he was naked. It didn't matter as he wasn't one to worry much about decency, but the touch still made his body tense, and he wished to escape the caress.
Creator? Ingram frowned as he tried to remember what the man was talking about. No, that man was correct. Ingram knew he wasn't a human; his body was a creation made for a single purpose, to serve that man, and the man had given him a mission. This man was also the one who had created the shackles that held control over him.
"Perhaps I need to remind you," the man said, and Ingram shook his head. He remembered now; he knew who it was and didn't need a reminder of how much control that man had over him. His creator's full name still escaped him, but he wasn't sure if he knew it in the first place. He did know a name, though, a name that belonged to that man. Gozzo.
It bothered him that he couldn't see the man's face, although he knew he had never seen his creator wearing anything else than the same robes this man was wearing at the moment, and the mask. The features of the thing reminded him of the thing that kept control over him, and he glared at the man. His creator? More like his captor, Ingram thought bitterly. All right, so 'creator' worked as well since this man of the Gozzo family had created his body, made this husk he called 'Aleph Balshem'.
But I am Ingram Prisken. Ingram continued to stare at the man who had again turned to study something. He then looked back at Ingram and tilted his head. "Aleph," he scolded him again. "You would still continue that insolence after I told you to quit? Have it your way. I will remind you who you belong to if necessary, and you will remember your place." He leaned over Ingram's body and looked at him closely while he brought his hand to the Time Diver's face and took a hold of Ingram's jaw. "You do tend to cling to that ego, Aleph. You should remember who your master is."
Ingram disliked the tone of the man's voice, but he couldn't turn to look away. Ego? He almost laughed at the ridiculous thought. What was his creator thinking, saying such things? He was Ingram Prisken, not some mindless puppet which probably was what that man would have preferred. He gave the man an arrogant stare, tired of being treated like he had no sense of self.
He was rewarded with a sharp slap across his face, and the masked man pulled away, displeased. "That's enough, Aleph. If you still refuse... Hmm." He chuckled, and Ingram found himself shivering just from hearing it. He opened his mouth to say something but the pain he'd felt earlier returned unexpectedly, although it was different and stronger than before. This time, he found himself screaming.
"Ah... argh..." He slumped against whatever he lay on after the pain passed, his body weakened again. He had to admit the control that man had over him was strong, and there was little he could have done to fight it. He cursed his own helplessness, but as much as he hated it, he had to give up the resistance.
"Very good," his creator said, his voice amused, although it was also almost malicious. "Fight if you want, but you must realize you can't escape from Judecca's grasp. You are mine, Aleph. Now, accept it. Accept that your body is but a weapon I made for my own purposes, and this weapon of mine will do as I wish." He placed his hands onto the Time Diver's chest and drew his fingers over Ingram's skin, fondling him lightly, and Ingram shivered again. The touch wasn't unpleasant; on the contrary, he found himself longing for it.
No. He shook his head in disgust. It was all in his head, all because of that man's control. He didn't want it, and whatever that man was making him think was not real and not him. He knew he couldn't break free from the control, but that wasn't about to stop him from trying. He gave the man a sharp glare, his lips forming the words he couldn't say. My name is Ingram Prisken. Stop calling me Aleph.
At that particular moment, the headache chose to remind him of its existence, and he gritted his teeth. The pain was sudden and sharp, and it caused him to nearly lose consciousness again. It was quite easy to see there was a connection between the pain and resisting that man's will. Any resistance would only make him suffer more, but Ingram knew he couldn't stop, else that man would win and would get to use him for anything he wanted. Besides, he figured, a little longer and he really would pass out.
The pain got unbearable and he closed his eyes, thinking his body couldn't take more. However, he soon found out it wasn't going to be that easy; just when he was sure it was over, the pain went away and was replaced with soothing calmness. Or was it pleasure? He opened his eyes, surprised by the sudden realization, and looked at the man standing next to him.
"Aleph?" The man asked in a soft voice. Ingram felt the man's hands on his body, caressing him again and making him wish he had lost consciousness. Why did he find it so pleasant anyway, he asked himself, even if he knew the answer. The reason was that his body - the body called Aleph Balshem - had been programmed to do so.
"...Ghh..." He attempted a reply but was again unable to do so, and even finding the words was suddenly too hard. He knew what he wanted to say - that his name was not Aleph, but coherent thoughts were difficult and he ended up just watching the masked man. He couldn't help the way his body reacted to the touch as he was pleasured, finding himself aroused by it.
What? He raised his head a little to look at himself then slumped back down and turned to look away. He cursed himself and the lack of control over his body, and he could only wonder what kind of perverse game that man was playing with him. No, this was how Aleph Balshem felt. That bastard of a scientist who had made this shell he called Aleph had probably done this just to have more control over him. Ingram gritted his teeth, wishing to fight it but he could do nothing as that man moved his hands lower on his body.
His creator laughed as he placed his hand over Ingram's erection. "There we go, Aleph. Do you realize it yet, or do you need to be reminded more why you're mine? A puppet has no need for an ego, and that defiant personality of yours is not acceptable. Now, submit to me."
The pleasure took over his senses and a weak moan escaped from his lips. Ingram hated himself for it, but he couldn't help it. He hated the fact that his body submitted to that man's caresses so easily and he couldn't stop himself as he pressed against the touch. The man chuckled and wrapped his fingers around his captive's manhood and fondled him more.
Don't do this. Ingram wished he could have said the words, but he figured that the man somehow knew what he was trying to say anyway. Still, being actually able to voice is disapproval would have mattered to him somehow, although he was sure the man wouldn't have cared or stopped. His consent did not matter, and that man was going to have his way, one way or the other.
The man laughed. "What, Aleph? You don't want this?" He leaned closer, so close that his mask almost touched the Time Diver's face. "Why do you lie to yourself?"
Because you made this body want it, Ingram thought, glaring angrily at the man. Who was lying to who again, when he was quite well aware that this man could make him think whatever he wanted? No, he couldn't allow it, even if his body shivered from pleasure. That man could have the body, the body he had created. The mind, that Ingram was not about to lose to the man's control.
The moment he made up his mind on that, he felt something in his mind again. He cursed mentally for forgetting that thing even for a second; that thing the man had called Judecca. The presence of that thing was there, and he was well aware of how it sought to possess his mind, to remove what control he still had over himself. He shook his head and cursed its existence, doing his best to fight it.
It was a losing battle he fought, he realized. It wasn't like his mind and body had been separate beings, and his attention went to the condition of his body as he felt pain all of a sudden. Was it really pain? It was caused by that man's fingers pressed between his buttocks, and he felt something slick on them, like a gel of some kind. It was irrelevant what the substance was as the digits were pressed deeper, and he couldn't stop himself from crying out.
"Relax, Aleph," the man said. "It'll hurt otherwise." His voice sounded commanding, and Ingram complied. He caught himself from doing so a few seconds later but the damage was already done. His creator pressed his fingers slightly deeper, and it was too late for Ingram to think about what was going on or to decide how to fight it. His body twitched, out of his control, and the pleasure made him forget anything he might have tried to think about. If it did hurt, he couldn't bring himself to care.
The man laughed, and even while beyond caring, Ingram hated it. That man had won this battle - or was there a battle to win in the first place, when the victor had been decided from the start? He couldn't even fight anymore, overtaken by the feeling that man was responsible for.
He let out a sigh when the man withdrew his fingers and moved away. Relief that he was left alone, or disappointment for his captor not finishing what he had been doing; which one it was, Ingram wasn't so sure of. He lay still, a fleeting wish that the man had left passing his mind although he knew better. The Gozzo was still there, and although the Time Diver wasn't sure what he was doing, he knew something was about to happen.
There was a sound, rustling of clothes or something similar; Ingram wasn't about to try figuring out what it was. He felt uncomfortable, as his body still yearned for the touch of that man. He hated the weakness and at the same time barely could gather his thoughts enough to hate what was happening to him. His skin felt hot, and he found it unnatural, although knowing the sick bastard who had made this body called Aleph Balshem, it was no wonder.
That man moved closer to him, and Ingram looked at him in an attempt to glare at him although he was too out of it to actually manage a proper glare. The attempt did mean he got a good look at what the man was doing, and while he could see it quite clearly, he realized what was going on way too late.
"You really should relax now," the Gozzo told him, but for that moment Ingram managed to keep himself from giving in to that man's will - a bad move on his part. The next thing he knew was that the man drew him closer, pulled his legs open and pressed into him in a rather violent manner. Ingram couldn't keep himself from crying out in pain again, and he writhed in a weak attempt to get away.
It hurt, Ingram told himself - or rather, lied to himself, as he could not control his own body. If he was in pain, he was not crying out in pain, and the sound that escaped from his lips indicated pleasure. The man who made him react this way reached to touch his face and laughed as he did so. The touch, while devoid of feelings, was enough to make the being called Aleph Balshem press his face against the touch willingly, and Ingram despised himself for that.
His creator wasn't being considerate or gentle, and his movements were calculated, as if he wasn't really seeking pleasure out of the act but rather wanted to see how his subject reacted to it. He did appear quite pleased though, much to Ingram's chagrin. That man being pleased meant things were going as he wished, and there was nothing the Time Diver could've done.
"You enjoy it, don't you, Aleph?" The man asked. "But there's that look in your eyes. You still wish to resist me?" He paused his movements and leaned close, which caused Ingram to turn his face away as he couldn't stand the sight of that mask so close to him. "How quickly you forget whose property you are." He chuckled as he brushed his fingers over Ingram's face.
I am... Not... Aleph... The thought was weak and fleeting, and Ingram closed his eyes. It was the last willing choice he found himself making, and with his last sanity he realized it was a bad choice. Closing his eyes meant he couldn't concentrate, and he lost focus on anything else than the fact that that man pressed into him, and his body wanted it.
He hated that laugh and that voice, but the Gozzo had won and he submitted. That thing called Jucecca was ever present in his mind and he was under its control, and ultimately under that man's will. He found his own hand reaching for the man and taking a hold of his robes for support as he allowed it all to happen and that man claimed his body. He squirmed against the surface he lay on and wrapped his legs around the man.
"Good, Aleph," the man said, the voice so pleased that somewhere in the back of his mind, Ingram wished he had been deaf, if only to not hear that man's words. It was only too bad for him that Aleph Balshem was too out of it to react, outside moving against the man taking his body. He was too weak to even touch himself, which was not needed as the man paused for a moment to adjust his position slightly then wrapped his fingers around Ingram's erection.
It was nearly too much for him, but that man wasn't allowing him a release just yet. How he did that Ingram didn't know, but had he been able to ponder it, there was the perfect control over the puppet called Aleph to be taken into consideration. Aleph wanted it and pressed against the man's hand eagerly, lost in the pleasure that man gave him.
But I'm not... I am... Thinking was so hard, and Ingram felt lightheaded. He squirmed against the man's thrusts, weak but his body needing it, out of his control. I am... He grasped for the words, for the name to finish the thought, but what came to his mind was only one name. Aleph Balshem.
The man laughed. "Aleph. You understand after all," he said, reaching to caress Ingram's face with his fingertips. "You're a good boy, you should listen to your creator- No, I should say," he added with a chuckle. "Your father, Aleph. That's right, I'm your father."
The thought was disturbing enough to drag Ingram's mind into sanity if just for a moment, and he stared at the man, eyes wide. What was there that he could reply to that, he realized. Aleph Balshem was this man's clone, and it did make his creator his father in a quite literal sense. That man pressed into him again, and he couldn't keep his eyes open for long as he slumped against the surface he lay on.
His body couldn't take more of it, and he heard himself screaming, his mind too numb to register the pleasure of the release. That man's laughter was the last thing he could hear, and he couldn't feel a thing, and the only thing he realized anymore was that from the beginning that man had won.
There had not been a battle in the first place. He was Aleph Balshem, and he belonged to his creator.