Celyz extends her tendrils to receive the egg from her Queen. I wait with unease and impatience to be shown the shape of what they’re going to implant in me to replace my arm.
The exterior appearance alone won’t tell me much but it will be a relief if the thing doesn’t have any teeth. I watch as Celyz turns towards me.
“Remember when I said we didn’t have brains in our heads?” She asks.
“Sure.” I reply shortly, my eyes fixed on the egg.
“Well, we don’t have a brain organ at all.”
“That explains a lot.” I quip.
“Instead, we think with our entire nervous system.” She continues while ignoring me. “My Queen will communicate with the arm to teach it to recognize and obey your orders. The arm will be connected with your nervous system, it will be able to both receive and send signals.”
“I don’t like the idea of having an arm that thinks on its own messing with my brain.”
“It will listen to you as long as you feed it and it will be much dumber than a worker. I assure you that it won’t even be capable of interpreting your thoughts, much less affect them.” Celyz tells me with a soothing voice. “It might take a while to get used to having a left arm again.”
“I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t have one, I still feel an ache coming from the one I lost.” I point at my wound. “How are we going to do this?” I ask.
“You’re going to enter the water and I’ll crack the egg open. It will rush towards the blood I left inside your shoulder wound on its own.”
The Queen moves a good hundred of her tendrils just above the lake’s shore, they then wrap around each other and start pulling until rips appear on the surface of their rubbery skin. Grikyz leaves her bleeding tendrils hanging over the lake’s surface and a large amount of viscous brown blood drops from the wounds into the water.
The Queen then starts injecting her flow into the blood pouring out, the viscous brown substance takes a black glow. The water starts swirling around the brown cloud in the water, the new current quickly concentrates Grikyz’ blood in a tiny area that is just large enough for me.
“Is that necessary?” I ask, remembering the feeling of my flesh being pulled apart the last time I had Rykz blood on me.
“It’s for my Queen to have more control over the process. The blood will also be useful to keep the parasite’s hunger in check until my Queen can bridge with it.”
“Parasite, huh.” I repeat the word.
“The Rykz society is sustained by the fact that all of its parts willingly cooperate with each other. I assure you that we feel as much distaste as you do about our ancestor’s methods.” Celyz replies in a tight resounding voice.
“Let’s do this, then.” I take a deep breath.
“Right.” I slip my shirt off. “Here we go.”
I take two more deep breaths and enter the lake. I make my way towards the viscous pool of blood. I have water up to my waist when I cross the current of water swirling and trapping the blood in. Celyz follows just one step behind.
“Do me a favor and show me the thing before you let it eat me.” I tell the Princess over my shoulder. She nods in agreement.
I stop at the exact center of the pool and let myself fall backward. The mixture of water and blood carries me enough that I can keep my head above the surface without effort.
Celyz lifts the egg held within her tendrils and starts squeezing the shell. Small cracks appear on the egg’s surface and a transparent liquid leaks out. The shell shatters, Celyz’ tendrils flash and take hold of the squirming brown limb that falls out.
The parasite resembles a miniature Princess’ leg, it has string like muscles and brown rubbery skin dripping with the transparent liquid that was held inside the shell. There are five root-like fingers at one end and a dozen small tendrils at the other.
“That’s not as bad as I imagined.” I mutter.
I smother my doubts when Celyz approaches closer with the thing and grit my teeth. I force my eyes to look away from the limb and stare up at the blue sky.
I hear a splash in the water. An excruciatingly long moment later, I feel the parasite’s dozen tendrils brush against the flesh of my wound. I wince as they make contact with the open wound, my flesh is still in the process of growing to cover it. A second later, the tendrils suddenly pierce my flesh at a dozen different points like so many large needles.
“Oh fuck, that hur.” My jaw’s muscles seize and I become unable to utter another word.
I lose the ability to move my arm soon after, my legs follow without much delay. I start panicking a little when my lungs refuse to obey me but my chest lifts up reflexively and takes a deep breath on its own.
I feel a light floating cloud expand inside my head, my brain starts swimming in it as a sensation of euphoria overtakes my thoughts. The limb’s tendrils then suddenly jerk inside my wound and infiltrate the wound even deeper.
I try to scream in reaction to the dozen spikes piercing through my flesh but my tongue is completely paralyzed, as is the rest of my body. Some of the tendrils wrap around my clavicle while others squirm their way around my ribs by pushing the muscles aside.
The pain of having my flesh torn and punctured is so intense that even the euphoria affecting me isn’t enough to get me through it on its own. My thoughts blur and my mind wanders outward to escape the agony.
I lose track of my surroundings and the present. A sharp drilling pain shakes my bones and I mentally extend my hands out for help since my physical body isn’t responding anymore.
A blurry figure with straight dark hair takes hold of my left arm with both hands. No, not you! Go away! I rage at the hallucination. I don‘t need your help! I don’t want it!
The hazy vision ignores me and I see it plunge a hand into my left shoulder, fingers melding with the piercing pain. I would have laughed if I could. That’s all you got?! I barely felt a thing!
My entire left side around my wound starts feeling like it’s being melted by acid. My paralyzed muscles seize and my heart stumbles. I’m not too worried about it because it’s been through worse than just that. My heartbeat accelerates and grows more violent, so much so that my arteries send painful signals after each excessively powerful pulse.
The hallucination’s light gray eyes move to stare at my chest. Its other hand suddenly flashes forward and plunges through my left breast. I feel the hand’s fingers move and start slowing tearing my breast apart.
I won‘t surrender to you! Never again! I grasp the most coherent part of my mind and assemble a healing construct with all of my available flow. With the last of my strength, I target and anchor it to my left side.
Come on, more! I can take it! I’m not running away from you. You won’t frighten me with just this much. You’ve already hurt me so much more, why the step down?! Hahahahahahahahahaha…
— — —
I startle back to consciousness when my entire body starts convulsing. The flow I put inside my healing construct is burnt away within a split second by the shocks coursing through my muscles. My body feels scorching hot, parts of it are screaming at me with voices of terror and accusation.
I feel a weak heartbeat shake my chest and then another, weak irregular pulses of a heart that seems to be barely hanging on. I despair a little when I fail to find even a droplet of flow energy to support me.
“It’s breaking just like the others. It won’t be able to hold on until the damage heals.” The loud voice originates from far above me. “You said that it would be able to handle the pain better than the previous subjects.”
“Her name is Jessica, my Queen. She’s already lasted much longer than they did.”
I can vaguely recognize Celyz’ voice but my brain feels like it was shattered and put back together in a hurry. My headache is so harsh and pervasive that the words escape my attention before I can make sense of their meaning.
“I don’t care how long it lasts, Celyz, the specimen is only of use to us alive.”
“I can try one last thing.”
— — —
My eyelids snap wide open but the only things I see are shades of darkness. I don’t feel like I am floating anymore but my body is still yelling at me, breaking down.
My most intimate place between my thighs feels wet, and not from water. A memory containing her blurry figure flashes through my mind, that answers that question. Parts of my left side feel like agony while I only sense other portions just enough to know that they’re muted, disassociated from the rest.
A figure enters my field of vision. Her hallucination hasn’t left me yet. She was always persistent when hurting me after all. A hazy arm separates from the shadowy figure and brushes against the surface of my right breast, passing over my nipple that immediately hardens in excitement.
I try to fight back the wave of lust that her touch awakens but it is a pointless effort. I already feel my sex flood itself with desire for her. Her figure keeps playing with my chest until I get so moist that a drop of my ardor trickles down along the side of my left thigh.
My heartbeats gain strength as passion fuels my heart. My clenched muscles relax by themselves to welcome her hands, to allow her to do as she wishes with me. An uncontrollable warmth arises from the depths of my very being. No, I can’t let her…
“Uhm.” I moan as a new finger touches the inside of my thighs and make a pass along the wet slit of my most intimate place. The fingertip starts exploring my inner lips and gently circling around the mound of flesh that it soon finds.
“Hu.” I make the sound as I inhale a sharp breath. An almost unstoppable eagerness to be touched by her directly overwhelms me. The hallucination pinches my right nipple.“Ah.” The thrill of it makes me yelp.
A second finger joins the first one between my thighs. They take hold of my hard erogenous bit of flesh between their tips and start rubbing it, provoking small sensational shocks that course through me. I lose all capability to resist.
“Uh.” I gasp while pain and pleasure mix together inside my body. My mind screams in anger at the betrayal of my body. I‘m not letting you get away with this, Lance. Hallucination or not, I‘ll make you pay!
The finger playing with my right breast starts traveling down towards my sex, brushing against my flesh on the way there. An electrifying tickle shakes me as it slides over my outer and inner lips to tease the opening in between.
“Don’t!” I manage to grunt at her blurry figure between two sultry breaths. I’m not giving her my virginity after she refused to take it!
The fingertip changes direction to circle around the inside of my lips while the other two yank on the mound of flesh. A blazing wave of heat fills my most intimate place in reaction to the jerking and teasing, the hot warmth spreads all the way up to my chest.
“Oh, fuck yes.” I shout at the top of my lungs as a blissful ecstasy takes over and embraces my mind inside an all-encompassing felicity. The fingers keep massaging my erogenous zones to help me along while I come.
— — —
I awaken on a sheet mattress, unconsciously making my right hand move between my thighs to pass my trembling fingers over the still moist lips of my sex. A clear image of her immediately materializes and pushes itself at the forefront of my thoughts. I sigh with both spite and lust. I want more.
I pull my hand away from my thighs. I’ll need to find a way to remove this emptiness she carved in me or it will consume me as surely as that limb tried to. I move my gaze towards my left side to take a look at it.
My eyes stop when they find a flat expanse of scarred skin where my left breast should have been. There is a fresh wound passing over the spot that my nipple previously occupied.
“Fuck me.” I spit out in anger.
I really hoped that wouldn’t happen. I pass my right hand over the flat flesh of my left chest and feel the limb’s tendrils present under the skin, anchored to my bones. My body looks as ruined as my mind is now.
I turn my eyes to glare at my new arm. I try to move it but there is no reaction to the signals I’m trying to send it apart from a slight tremble of the string-like muscles.
I feel drained but the devouring hunger that I feel pushes me to get up and find something, anything, to eat. I carefully hop over the bed’s frame, dragging the limp limb along with me. I really hope this thing is just sleeping because I’m not going through with this again.
I’ll get her back for this. She left this void in me so it’s her fault that I think of her every time I get horny. I hope I don’t dream of her like that again, I’m not sure I could handle it.
I exit the building, naked, and find Celyz waiting outside. A furious blush takes over my cheeks at the thought that she can probably sniff out exactly what I did during my sleep.
“I don’t want to hear a word about my vivid dreams, Celyz.” I warn her in a threatening tone.
“I would never dare to comment on the smell of it.” She chuckles.
“Ugh.” I grunt. “Would you have said something if I didn’t mention it?”
“I wasn’t going to.” The Rykz Princess makes a shrug with her tendrils.
“How much time passed since I passed out in the lake?” I ask.
“A little more than a day, you spent most of it in the water.”
“I need to go get cleaned up.” I grumble. “And food.” I add.
“I’ll have a worker bring you food.” She replies. “Join me on the lake’s shore once you’re done and don’t get dressed. My Queen wants to start calibrating the limb to your nervous system and you need to enter the water again for that. Clothes will be ready for you once you’re done.” Celyz explains.
I make my way to the lavatory, enjoying the feeling of the wind brushing against my naked skin. At least my fantasy of her didn’t have an issue satisfying me, unlike the real one who wouldn’t even give me a kiss.
I quickly go through the motions to fill a copper basin with fresh water at the well. I take my time cleaning up. I rinse the remnants of my ardor from my sex, rub the rest of my body to get rid of the prickling feeling that my sweat left behind when it dried. I even throw some water over my new limb but it remains unresponsive.
A worker shows up with a basket and I quickly finish washing my messy hair to get the food. My hunger has only grown larger since I woke up. I devour the five bowls of mushroom grub and the four slabs of amber-red grub meat that I find inside the basket, thanking Celyz in my mind for her generosity.
I make my way back to the lake, naked like the day of my birth and feeling even less shame about it than I ever did before. I still have all my faculties as far as I can tell. My behavior is relatively normal… for me at least. Getting off feels so liberating.
I walk up to Celyz on the shore, nodding to thank her for the clothes she’s carrying in her limbs.
“I tried watering the limb already, didn’t work.” I tell her with a mean smile.
“We’re not plants, Jessica.” The Princess replies with an offended resounding voice.
“Could have fooled me.” My grin widens.
“Get into the pool before my Queen loses patience.”
I shrug and enter the lake, ignoring the huge intimidating Queen. I push through the water towards the brown swirling pool. It is still glowing black because of the large amount of flow the Queen injected into her blood.
The Rykz Queen extends a tendril as thick as my arm and touches my immobile left limb with it. A few moments later, I detect a flow construct being assembled inside my left arm, surprising me since I can’t even move it.
It must truly be part of me now if I can feel flow inside of it. The construct spreads to encompass the entire arm, it stops growing once it includes my shoulder.
I don’t try to copy it, I’ve been warned enough about the dangers of messing with internal constructs without knowing exactly what they do. But I do keep my entire attention focused on it.
“Try to move your new limb.” The Queen speaks up in her rumbling voice.
I do and a small shock makes my spine twitches while my left arm shudders strongly. Since I kept observing the construct, I couldn’t miss its activation when it amplified the signal that entered my left shoulder.
I try again. Another shock makes my back jerk. I keep trying while my mind remains focused on the construct. After a while, I notice that it doesn’t just amplify my orders but also interprets them for the arm.
I wouldn’t have noticed the additional underlying signal if the construct wasn’t inside of my body, inside my sphere of control which allows me to observe everything it does in detail.
I stop trying to figure the entire construct out and focus on only the portion of it that sends signals to the arm. It feels like I am learning how to speak again but with much fewer words to memorize.
I make some progress in ordering the arm to move through the day but since I only have to try to move it, I can dedicate myself to deciphering my own orders and remembering what exactly each of my orders corresponds to.
As night falls, I am confident enough in what I’ve learned of the signals that I copy the portion of the Queen’s construct that allows her to directly send signals to the arm and leave it idle, anchored to my left shoulder.
My last attempt succeeds in making the arm move as I intended for three full seconds before it stops and falls back to my side.
“We’ll continue tomorrow.” Celyz tells me from the shore.
I walk out of the lake and she hands me a rectangular piece of cloth that I use to wipe the water off my body. She then throws me fresh clothes.
“I should be more tired than this.” I note while getting dressed up. “Arm thing?”
“No, I simply used nourishing and healing human constructs on you while you were unconscious.” Celyz explains. “This new limb is actually going to be more draining since it requires more food than your natural arm did to function.”
I nod and make my way back to my sleeping quarters. I might not be as tired as I should be but that doesn’t mean I’m not dead exhausted. I crumble on the bed and fall asleep as soon as my eyes close.
— — —