Thursday, August 18, 2005

190. The omniscient narrator

As Wayne slept on the hard cold kitchen floor, he dreamed of life back in Strange's cage. He dreamed he'd never left, that weeks--months--years had passed, and he was still the captive Object X. The time he'd spent in Strange's possession now far outweighed the relatively brief period he'd spent as Batman, and he understood at last that his entire career as "Caped Crusader" had only served to prepare him for his true purpose: to cater to Strange's every whim. He would grow old--he had grown older, in fact, and weaker and thinner and more pathetic every day--in this living hell. There was no way out.

He knew beyond a doubt that Bruce Wayne had been declared dead long ago. Alfred, following Wayne's own orders, would surely have constructed a tragic tale by now to explain his extended disappearance. He mattered to no one anymore except this one man, who treated him like a clump of dirt at best. He had no life except this meager caged existence. He was a laughingstock to himself and to the only two other men who even knew he was still alive: Hugo Strange and Robin, the former Dick Grayson.

Yes, Robin--or rather, Object Y. He was there, too, only his fate was rather different. Strange had taught him to hate his one-time mentor--and for good reason, too, since Batman was solely and directly responsible for Robin's presence in the mad doctor's clutches. "You destroyed me," the younger man would say as he stood outside Batman's cage, pointing at him. "But He saved me. He remade me. I am his now. All because of you." Bruce turned and saw Strange embrace Robin. The two men kissed and laughed and gazed affectionately into each other's eyes. The two of them mocked the prisoner ruthlessly. He was nothing but a joke to them. A joke which had grown old and would soon pass into nothingness...

"GET UP," a voice said. It belonged not to Robin or Strange but... Gustavus. Bruce wearily returned to consciousness. Opening his eyes one at a time, he saw a pair of black dress shoes and dress pants standing before him. Gustavus had changed into something more formal than his earlier attire. "For god's sake. Have you smelled yourself lately?" Bruce took a whiff of the air around himself as he rose to his feet: he hadn't bathed or removed his clothes since Gustavus' arrival over a week before, and he reeked of sweat, cum, dirt, and food.

"Come with me," his Master demanded, and Bruce followed into another room. This one--a closet of some kind?--was empty and dark. The floor was concrete, and in time Bruce was directed to kneel for a familiar routine. Gustavus snapped his fingers, and Wayne--like a trained animal--began to jerk himself off again. There was no conventional pleasure in this act anymore, only physical pain and a vague awareness of how humiliating it was to be reduced to this state, day after day, at another man's command. Even if he had chosen all of this for himself: what did that say about him, anyway?

Wayne had no trouble selecting an image to reflect on while he did his duty: he replayed the material from the dream he'd just have, one element at a time... The cage. Robin/Y scolding and berating him. Strange's utter and irreversible victory. His own unthinkable failure...

He was on the verge of shooting and then stopped himself, knowing this was surely just the beginning of another punishing ban on erotic release.

"Keep going," Gustavus barked. "I didn't tell you to stop, did I?"

"N-no sir," Wayne replied, resuming his assignment. He pictured himself at the very end of his life, having spent decades in that damned cage, forgotten by the rest of the world, his entire existence a complete waste of...

"Let it out," Gustavus prodded. "NOW."