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A Brief Moment of Insanity Ch. 06

All characters are 18 years or older. What follows may answer some questions. It may also raise a few more as you will see. A few more installments of this story line and then I will return to the Iron Bitch series. It is time to resolve things once and for all I think. After that... I don't know, I guess only time will tell. I hope you enjoy and as always vote, comment and tell me what you think of this story.

Bian Rong - literal translation Hidden Dragon


Emergency Exit:

Quickening led me to the nearest exit of the Maze. She wished me the best of luck and I thanked her for everything. Precious had taken on a rather mundane appearance and I agreed a low profile was probably for the best. The two of us walked down one of the thousand alleyways that bordered the Maze towards our exit. I had woken up naked, alone and confused. So why did this alley seem familiar? As it ended I saw the emerald green wall and a singular scarlet door. Guarding that door was a face that was all too familiar to me.

"Crusher," I said as I approached the ogre.

"No Sir, I get that a lot," the ogre said smiling. "He's my cousin on my mum's side. My name is Splitter. Was your visit to the Maze a pleasant one?"

"It was... interesting," I replied and he smiled.

"I am sure it was. Welcome to the Hotel Diabolique. Shall I call ahead or do you have reservations?"

"Just passing through actually," I said trying not to show any shock at hearing the name of the hotel.

Splitter stepped aside and the crimson door opened and we entered the lobby of the Hotel Diabolique. It was as I remembered from my last visit with Loki. The staff of the hotel greeted me as they had the goddess, with great difference and displays of excellent service. I asked them for a limo for pressing business I had. I glanced at the scarlet door and my jaw almost dropped open. There was a white wooden border around the door but it was the curious knot work etched into the wood that caught my attention. It was obvious to see the pattern of a maze carved into the border.

Less than a minute later I was being escorted to the exit and there was a sleek brand new town car waiting for us. The driver asked for the address and I told him where home was. He opened the door and we slipped into the back. As we drove back to the estate I pondered a cover story for my near two day disappearance. The limo took another path away from the hotel. I noticed as we exited a narrow alley the demonic forked tail spray painted on the brick wall. I began to see a pattern.

'Warren,' Jeannie chimed in.

'Yes Jeannie,' I asked.

'I know this is going to sound odd. But I just tied into the local satellite network and I triple checked the data.' She said and then fell silent.

'What is it?' I demanded.

'The time, the current time is less than fifteen minutes since we entered the Maze. Some sort of temporal dilation has occurred.' She said her voice shaky and unsure.

'Why am I not surprised. Just accept it and we can ponder it later. All I want is to get home and climb into my bed and try and forget this day ever happened.'

The limo dropped me off at the gate of the estate. I paid him via electronic transaction and keyed in the security code to open the main gate. The driver whistled when he saw the mansion lording on the top of the hill. As he drove off I felt a sensation that I will call a psychic twinge. I actually flinched and turned in the direction of the source. The girl was short, maybe five feet but I highly doubted it, and dressed in a myriad collection of solids, stripes and flannel. She staggered up the street and she was mumbling as she approached.

"The Thanatons are dreaming..." she intoned in a kind of dull hopeless voice. "The Thanatons are hungry..."

I stood at the open gate and stared at her. My keen night vision allowed me to pick out details others might have missed. The first and most disturbing thing was the sickly green radiance spilling from her eyes, nose and mouth. The condition of her skin and hair told me she hadn't seen a bath or shower in quite some time. The stench coming off her confirmed the latter. But it was the power that couldn't be seen by the human eye that was most disturbing. She was possessed by something, something old and terrible. My reflexes kicked in and I lashed out trying to sever the connection. It must have worked. She crumpled to the ground and fell still. The verdant light no longer shone from any orifice. I picked her up and carried her to the estate. Precious watched all of this in utter confusion.

"Why did you help her," she asked as she walked next to me.

"Why did I help you," I replied.

"Because you wanted to fuck me of course," she said without hesitation or any hint of remorse.

"No, I helped you because you needed it. The sex was just a bonus... a really great bonus by the way."

She laughed and opened the front door. Charles, the number two guy on the night shift, stared at me with what could only be described at complete and utter shock. He backed away when he caught a good whiff of the street urchin. I called for the maids and told them to run a hot bath, a very hot bath. They raced upstairs and by the time I got there the tub was half full. They added bubble bath and helped me strip her. I carefully lowered her into the bath and she never moved. Precious and I scrubbed the girl clean and after washing her hair half a dozen times pronounced her clean. We transferred the girl to the shower for a quick rinse while the tub drained.

Precious dried her off while I studied her features as well as her body for any clues to her identity. Jeannie ran facial recognition as I looked at the tattoo on her inner right wrist and the brand on the back of her neck. I began to suspect human trafficking when Precious smiled and left for a few moments. She returned with shaving cream and a brand new razor. I gave her a questioning look and she just grinned. Precious sprayed the foam over the girl's genitals and shaved her hairy region with precise strokes of my razor. She muttered something about me not liking pubic hair.

"What are we going to tell her when she wakes up?" I asked Precious. "Oh sorry, I really hate a tangle of pubes so my friend here shaved you bald."

"Oh come on," Precious responded with a giggle. "Look at that cute little pussy. You have to admit it looks much better like this."

I just shook my head and carried the girl to one of the spare bedrooms. Precious wandered the second floor and picked out her own room. Isabelle arrived and helped me dress the girl in pajamas and sat with her until she woke up. I sat on the edge of the bed for an hour or so looking at her sleeping features. She was very cute and young. I thought she might be eighteen, early twenties at the oldest. Her complexion was a mystery to me. Her smooth skin had an odd pigmentation to it and I guessed that she was part Asian and perhaps part American Indian. Her eyes had the right shape and tilt to them for either Thai or maybe Vietnamese. There were strong prominent features that spoke of Sioux or Iroquois. Her small breasts were full and topped with dark nipples and tiny areoles.

She was in good shape despite living on the street. I looked at the tattoo on her wrist and it appeared like a Kanji character but I couldn't be sure if it was Chinese or some other nationality. Jeannie was running it and her face for clues. The character's meaning was much easier to discover than her identity. It represented the Mahjong piece, the silver king. This symbol was used by white slavers that worked out of Hong Kong. The brand on her neck was another matter entirely. I thought it might be another ideogram like the tattoo but it wasn't. There was a circle at the center of the symbol and just above the circle connected by a very shot line was a crescent moon. There were also five lines radiating from the circle, four of them were of equal length while the fifth was twice as long as the others. The longer line ran due south; the other four were west, southwest, southeast and east respectfully. The brand looked like it had healed so it might be as much as six months old.

My heart went out to her as much as it had for Precious. I told Isabelle that if she needed anything just ask and I wanted to be woken up when the girl had finished resting. I was off to sleep. I checked on Precious and she was naked and enjoying the Egyptian cotton sheets on her bed. I smiled as I closed the door to her room. The walk back to my room was short and sweet. It wasn't until I had looked at my bed that I realized king sized mattress or not, there was no room for me the way my family was spread out on it. I guess it is back to one of the other guest rooms. I stripped out of the uniform I had gotten in the Maze and hung it up in the closet. I climbed beneath my sheets and was asleep in no time at all.

I don't normally remember my dreams. It is usually a jumble of images and some song or another that got stuck in my head earlier that day. But I remember this dream. To my dying day I remember it clearly. The world was black. The blasted landscape was ebony sand as far as the eye could see. The dunes were broken by stony hillocks and shattered remains of massive stones that had been hurled by some kind of titanic force. They lay like fallen heroes of old flung to the earth by gods and demons. The air was cold yet dry and a crescent moon rose over the horizon. The sight of it filled me with a dread I had never experienced in my entire life. I took a few steps back and hit something. I turned and looked. My screams woke the nearest staff as well as Willow, Janine and my mom. They all came running in to see if I was alright. I was upright and covered in night sweats. I looked at the clock and even though I had only slept for a few hours I was fucking done.

"I'm up," I said and began to get out of bed.

"Hey, are you okay," Precious stumbled in naked, hair askew and stretching as she yawned.

My family turned on me like a pack of wolves. There were a dozen questions and I just held up my hand. I told them that this was my new live in bodyguard. She was here to protect me and would not be any sort of hindrance in my schedule. My schedule was a reference to them getting laid. The relief on their faces was clear and they asked me if I was alright. I told them I had a nightmare and I was going to take a shower and get some coffee. Mom and Janine raced downstairs to make my coffee while Willow returned to my bedroom and ran my shower. Precious and I followed her in.

"Who left the tub like this?" Willow asked clearly annoyed. "Warren, whose pubic hairs are these on this towel, did you shave your pussy and use my towel?"

"No and yes," Precious replied smiling.

"What the bloody hell does that even mean," Willow growled.

"No, it wasn't my pussy and yes I was the one that used the towel." Precious purred as she took in Willow's scent. "Oh you are something..."

"WARREN... what the hell is going on?" She asked as she made the mistake of turning her back on Precious. The other pounced on Willow by cupping her naked tits from behind and sliding a large cock just below Willow's naked sex. "What the UNNNNNN... Warren... oh god what the hell is going on?"

"Relax and let her handle everything," I said as I got into my shower.

"UNNN... UNNNN... UNNN..." Willow moaned as Precious slid into her soaked cunt from behind and began thrusting.

I could see their outline against the frosted glass of the shower's wall. Willow's tits were smooshed against the glass as Precious pounded her hard and fast. I lathered up and listened to the delightful sounds of a surprised sister and a pussy hungry bodyguard. I slid the door open and stuck my head out.

"Can she stay Willow?" I asked but Willow's eyes were half closed as the massive cock drilled the hell out of her. "I'll take that as a yes."

I knew how my sister felt. Precious' touch was a level of intimacy that was unlike anything normal people every experience. I watched for a little bit and then returned to my shower. A muffled cry escaped Willow's lips as she climaxed. A moment later both of them staggered in to continue their encounter. Willow was bent over by Precious so that she could suck my dick while my bodyguard continued fucking the living daylights out of her. I was surprised I didn't feel any jealousy at this point. Perhaps it was because it wasn't happening because of Loki or some other external force at work. I was okay sharing with Precious because... it felt okay. It felt right for some reason that I couldn't put my finger on.

"Damn Willow, slow down my cock isn't going anywhere," I whimpered as she began deep-throating me. "You like her touch don't you?"


"Her pussy feels amazing," Precious groaned as she worked on her own climax. "So damn close... almost there... UNNNNNNN Fuck!"

I watched as she ground her hips against my sister's backside. Willow was mere seconds behind her as her second orgasm crashed into her. She nearly choked on my dick it was so intense. Willow withdrew and stood up leaning heavily against the shower wall. Precious turned around and grabbed her ankles. Her cock was gone and now a single soaked slit presented itself to me. I slid into her and grabbed her ass cheeks for leverage. Willow watched in amazement trying to reconcile what she had experienced with what her eyes were telling her. I hammered Precious just as she had done to Willow. I was relentless and swore that her pussy was tighter today that it had been our first time around back in the Maze.

"NNNNN god damn you're tight," I said through clenched teeth.

"I better be I made some adjustments," she cooed.

"Warren, is there something I should know?" Willow asked as she watched me fuck the newest member of the household staff.

"Are you up for an explanation," I asked and she shook her head. "Damn, I am so close already!"

"Fill me up Master," Precious begged as she thrust her hips against me. "I can feel it building inside of you. Just a little more... come on and fuck me... that's it... just... a little... YESSSS!"

I shot my load deep inside of her and I held on to maintain my balance. Once I caught my breath we all washed up and went downstairs for breakfast. Mom and Janine produced food they had been keeping warm for our eventual arrival. Janine gave mom that look and I knew they had been wagering whether I would fuck just Willow or both of them. We all had that freshly fucked glow and Janine conceded the bet. We all ate and I reintroduced Precious to the family and they welcomed her with open arms especially Willow. There was no shop talk during a meal that was a house rule, so I had to wait until after the dishes were done to tell them all about Miranda and the Maze.

I think mom took it the hardest. When I told her that Miranda was in fact Loki Sutekh she nearly fainted. She had been intimate with the entity that the Family knew as the Dark One. They all had in fact shared some quality time with the goddess. Willow was more impressed with my new bodyguard and I had to explain to them all about her talents.

"Have any of you ever heard of a place called the Maze," I asked and Willow shook her head but mom and Janine shared a knowing look. "I ran into Precious there and hired her as my personal bodyguard."

"I take it you interviewed her?" Janine said with a wicked smile.

"A few times actually," Precious volunteered with an equally naughty grin.

"That's our Warren," mom added.

"You need to know something about Precious. She is a Telempath and can shift to meet a person's um needs." I said and saw the understanding in Willow's gaze while Janine and mom were clueless. "How to put this delicately..."

"I can fulfill the role of either or both sexes at any given time," Precious plowed right into it.

Mom and Janine looked at her and then at me and then at Willow. Now they understood my sister's radiant expression and who had put it there. I could see the wheels turning as they processed the possibilities. The Harrower girls were grinning like idiots after a minute or so. They were making plans and I realized my afternoon had just opened up. They wanted to test drive the bodyguard and see how she performed. I was about to ask if Precious was okay with that when she eagerly volunteered. That gave me time to spend some one on one time with Willow.

Now that the haze had lifted I was feeling a lot more possessive of her. Willow and I put our jackets on and took a walk out back. She clung to my arm and I told her how happy I was to be home. I was happy that the crazy had been put on the back burner for now. If I was lucky things might actually return to normal. I wasn't lucky. Willow and I were just stepping back inside when one of the security guards informed me that two men and a woman were here to see me. They had been searched and were waiting in the game room. I had a bad feeling about these unscheduled guests and sent Willow upstairs. I told the guard to stand outside the gaming room in case things got ugly.

The guard and I approached the game room and I felt a tingle in my head. Whoever it was the guard would be of little help if I was right. I was praying that I was wrong. I opened the door and saw my guests for the first time. The men were using the pool table while the woman watched. They were all impeccably dressed and groomed to perfection. I began to wonder if they were members of the Family but that didn't make any sense. As head of the Family they would have contacted me for an appointment. So who the hell were they?

The older of the two men appeared to be in his late fifties early sixties with gray hair and a neatly trimmed goatee. I was guessing that he was Slavic, perhaps from Russia or the Ukraine. He was tall and despite his age was quick on his feet and worked the pool table with ease. His opponent was around thirty years of age with a long woven ponytail of jet black hair. His green eyes were bright and vibrant. I took another guess and placed him from either the U.K. or perhaps Canada. He had wide shoulders and looked a lot more imposing physically than the older gentleman. The woman was in her mid-thirties with round framed glasses, her hair worn up and in a severe style. She was nice and curvy but her expression and overall demeanor screamed off limits. She had her arms crossed and other subtle body posture confirmed the closed off attitude.

"Welcome to my home. Who the fuck are you people?" I asked and watched them intently for any signs of hostility.

"You were right Uther," the younger man said. "We should have called ahead."

"If we did, we would be waiting for weeks to see him," the woman added testily. "We need to recover it and leave."

"I told you Gwen, chances of recovery are low, very low," Uther told her as he set his cue stick down and faced me. "We came because we received a sort of signal telling us that property belonging to our order is in this house."

"What sort of property are we talking about?" I asked. As if in response the three of them were suddenly wearing uniforms that were quite similar to the one I had been given in the Maze by the tailor. "Oh, that property, it is hanging upstairs in a closet."

"Where is the staff," the young man asked.

"I put it in one of the pouches that was hanging off the silver belt. Seemed like a good idea at the time."

My response was not what they were expecting. They huddled up and spoke in whispers. Normally that would have been an issue but not for me. Things had gone from difficult to impossible it seemed. The woman used the words bonded and staff as she looked over her shoulder at me. I winked at her and she went crimson. Uther restrained Gwen with a light touch on her shoulder. I looked them over and while the basic concept of their uniforms was similar there were clear differences that seemed to fit their personalities. Uther's garb was more finely made and appeared of a higher rank than the others. He could have been their leader or commanding officer. The nameless guy was more about flash and eye catching flares decorating his duster. Gwen was the most subdued and it showed in spades. There was next to no piping or trim on her uniform and it had a more utilitarian design to it.
"Shall I go upstairs and get it for you guys," I offered as they continued to discuss me and the gear.

"You are willing to hand it over," Uther asked almost shocked by my words.

"It is obvious that the uniform and staff belong to your order. I am not a thief. It was given to me as payment for a slight done to one of my friends"

"Who gave it to you?" Gwen asked obviously intrigued.

"A certain tailor in the Maze," I said.

"What of the previous owner?" Uther asked his color fading from his cheeks.

"Enslaved," I replied and the trio bristled with anger. "The spider looking thing had placed some sort of black metal mesh on her head."

The next emotion radiating from them was fear; no it was far more intense. It was terror. They were terrified of the tailor and what she could do. I described the woman I had seen and they all nodded and Gwen actually wiped tears from her eyes.

"Let's get this over with," I said. "I will get the uniform and the talking staff."

"Hold on, the staff spoke to you?" Gwen asked shocked by those simple words.

"Well, it's not like it was a conversation or anything. It just said two words, candidate accepted."

The young man's face flushed with rage and he lashed out with something like an electrical charge. Before his companions could stop him he attacked but somehow remained unharmed. I looked down and the jeans and t-shirt were gone. Instead, I was somehow wearing the uniform. It had simply appeared of its own accord. Uther smiled, Gwen stared at me and the young man took a step back as if he had been bitch slapped. The old man laughed and shook his head. He told the other two to meet him outside. They did as he asked and a minute later I was alone with him. Before I could voice a single question he held up his hand.

"Congratulations, you have been accepted into the world's oldest circle of mages. I know this is a lot to handle. We are a very loosely knit group. You will very rarely see more than two or three of us in any one nation at a time. You owe us no allegiance and we expect none in return. We do not go around harming other members of the circle unless the Arch Mage judges one of us a threat to the others." He reached into one of his pouches and produced a small crystal. "Your staff can access this crystal and it will explain our ways and what it means to be a mage. If you have any questions just contact me and I will help anyway I can."

"Magic... real life magic?"

"We have a saying in the circle. Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. I have to go and inform the Arch Mage that the position has been filled. Best of luck my boy and keep in touch."

I took the crystal from his hand and he left without another word. Loki... I growled in my chest. No wait; this could be Odin's work. I had seen my features on that pawn on his side of the board. Damn it, I was so fucking confused. I looked at the crystal and it looked unremarkable on the outside. Jeannie scanned it and it must have been equipped with some kind of installation protocol. There was a burst of data and the entire content of the crystal was in my head. I needed to lie down, so much for normalcy and getting back to good old boring.

The bedding had been changed and my bedroom was empty. I guess everyone else was busy, good. I stripped down and crawled under the sheets. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and overdoing things in the shower. It had been fun but very tiring. I closed my eyes and prayed I wouldn't dream. I did but the imagery and words were more about magic as a force of nature than anything else. My unconscious mind was processing the information the crystal had passed onto me. It beat the hell out of that nightmare. After a while I drifted into true sleep.

My dream reminded me of a virtual reality game where I was playing the Sorcerer character. Like any good game it had a tutorial on how spell casting worked. There were three parts to each spell. The first was the hand gestures that represent the written rune at the core of the spell. The second is the spoken aspect that calls on the mana to cast that spell. Lastly, there is the mind or mentally forming the rune in my thoughts to embody the spell and give it form. Not all spells possess all three but they do have at least one. The more powerful the spell the more required to unleash it. Simple spells can be cast with only a gesture, a word or a thought. I was going to like this dream.

I woke up several hours later and I wasn't alone. There were two warm bodies with me. I assumed it was Janine and my mom, I was wrong. It was Precious and the girl I rescued last night. The Telempath was spooning my left side while the very petite Vietnamese girl was lying on top of me. I was amazed that the very first thing I noticed about her was that someone had brushed her hair and braided it into one long ponytail. I placed an arm around her and she murmured in her sleep. When I looked over at Precious her eyes were open and she was smiling.

"Two more refugees," she whispered. "That is what your mother told me as I drilled her ass from behind. Strange what people say at such intimate times, huh?"

"I take it you are popular now," I replied in a low voice.

"Pshaw, I am their new favorite toy," she said with a wink and a grin. "You'd think they hadn't had sex in months."

"Try a year, I was gone for a year," I said.

"It may take me a week or so to get rid of all that nasty frustration that has built up. I won't let you down, I promise."

"I am sure you will do your very best." I told her with a giggle that ended up waking up the girl on my chest. "Morning... well afternoon actually..."

"You saved me," she said in perfect English. "Isabelle told me all about it. You carried me in even though I stunk to high heaven. You bathed me, washed my hair and um apparently shaved my pubes while you were at it."

"That last one was all me," Precious said taking the hit.

"Why the hell would you do that?"

"My Master doesn't like a gnarly bush on his sex partners."

"You are assuming quite a bit there sister," the girl said giggling.

"Says the naked chick on top of her savior," Precious fired back and laughing now as well.

I watched this entire exchange silently and wondered how this was going to end. I didn't want her to feel obligated but if she were grateful who was I to turn down such a lovely offer? If she changed her mind she was free to leave and I was fine with that too. The girl looked really serious as she looked into my eyes.

"You saved my life," she purred and clung a little tighter. "I don't have much but if you want anything I will give it to you."

"Your story," I said. "Tell me what happened to you and who are these Thanatons."

She nodded and steeled herself as she faced her nightmare. Her name was Bian Rong and there was the lovely sing song way she pronounced it, bee-ahn rong. I loved the way she rolled her R's when she spoke. Her dad was an American soldier, a marine, he had gotten her mom knocked up but had left before Bian was born. Her entire family lived in poverty and struggled to survive. She had learned early on to take nothing for granted and accept each blessing with as much gratitude as possible. Bian had been eighteen when the slavers caught up with her and sold her to an American pimp. She was shipped over and worked the streets for the last five years. It was the nightmares that had freed her but also left her destitute. She was an illegal alien after all. So she fled the West Coast and did whatever she had to, to survive. But each night the dreams got worse and worse until she could no longer differentiate between being awake and the ever present nightmare.

"That was until last night," she said as the tears came. "You gave me my life back... I can never repay you."

"I didn't do it expecting any kind of payment," I told her and I held her tighter. "I saw a soul in need and wanted to help."

"It must be nice to grow up with all of this," Bian said wistfully.

"Oh, I didn't grow up rich. I inherited all of this. My family was average I guess. We did well compared to what you went through. But I never had anything like this until my grandmother dropped this in my lap. It has been a real roller coaster ride to be honest. The funny thing is all I ever wanted to do was to go to college and get a job someplace. I was saving up for my tuition when everything changed. What is that look for?"

"It is funny really. You are going to find this strange but over the last few years I have been listening in on classes at the university. That's why I was in this neighborhood. The university is just about a mile away."

"I know that is where I was planning on going. So you've been eavesdropping eh? What sort of classes?"

"Anything I could," she said a finger tracing along my chest. "During the nice weather I would be under the windows of the science building. If it was raining there is an overhang by the math wing. There are a thousand places to keep out of the weather and still hear what is going on. I used to imagine myself in class, taking notes and getting my degree. But nothing works out the way you plan."

"What kind of degree were you planning on?" I asked and her eyes lit up.

"I couldn't decide between art and philosophy." She said. "I used to think I would sculpt out my philosophical ideals, crazy huh?"

"Not at all, let's do it," I said and she looked up confused. "There are a few out buildings on the property here. We can turn one into a studio slash apartment for you. What do you say?"

"Oh I couldn't put you out like that... you're serious aren't you?" She said and made a face that made me laugh. "What do you get out of it?"

"Exclusive rights to promote you in my art gallery," I said.

"Do you even own an art gallery?" Bian asked.

"Not yet," I said. "Yet being the optimal word, I will start looking for a spot right after I eat."

"Speaking of something to eat," she purred.

Her hand snaked around my dick and began to stroke it lightly. I started to argue when she disappeared beneath the covers and took me into her mouth. I looked over at Precious and she just smiled. I gasped when the petite minx took me down her throat in one smooth action. I cursed as her head moved up and down like a fucking piston. Precious mouthed the words 'no gag reflex'. I nodded and enjoyed the ride. The street urchin knew her way around a cock like few others I had been with. Just combine survival skills and an eager oral fixation and you have Bian. I was amazed at how fast she had me on the brink.

"God damn girl... I'm gonna... OH FUCK!" I cried out as I blew down her throat. She swallowed and only then did she reemerge from the depths of the covers.

"Oh by the way, I suck a mean cock. Just thought I would warn ya..." She said with a hungry look in her eye. "Oh good you look like you could go again. I am a huge fan of foreplay and all but my pussy needs a cock in it like... right... now... UNNNNNN Yeah!"

While she spoke she straddled me, took me in her hand and guided into her warm wet depths. She leaned back and showed me my cock hilted inside of her. With a wink she began to rock her hips and fuck me nice and slow. Precious unable to hold back any longer planted her pussy over my face. My hands went to her ass as I pulled her cheeks apart and began lapping at her cunt. The psychic link was established and I felt her insatiable hunger and that made my cock harder still inside of Bian. The former street urchin leaned forward and fondled Precious' tits and the circuit was complete. We all felt each other's hunger and it made every movement of her hips, every lick of my tongue and fingers pinching nipples ten times more intense.

I began to wonder if too much of a good thing was a bad idea. Bian began squeezing her pussy muscles around me and I tossed that thought to the curb. She was going to milk my second orgasm in record time. But as I got closer and closer so did the others. I knew what was going to happen and welcomed it. I buried my tongue in the Telempath's cunt and that set off the chain reaction. She came and that surge set Bian off. When I felt her pussy clamp down on me I fired my load deep inside of her. We separated and lay on the bed panting covered in sweat. Bian lay on her back with her eyes squeezed shut. I felt a queer sensation and looked over at Precious who was smiling. I looked down and saw the sensory net as it spread over my body much quicker this time. It blending over my skin and vanished from sight.

"Time to raise this game to a new level," Precious cooed. "Unless you want me to leave you two alone..."

"Shut up and get over here," I ordered.

I grabbed Bian by the ankle and got her where I wanted her. Precious climbed on top of her and using the sensory net I slid into both of them at the same time. The girls groaned as I began thrusting. I forgot how good it felt wearing it. It was like a lens for sex, focusing the simplest pleasure into a whole new experience. The psychic circuit did as Precious had wanted, raised our love play to a whole new level. I hammered them harder and faster now and I could feel when they were close. I could slow down and drag out teasing all of us in the process. Bian was shaking, Precious was begging and I was hanging on by a hair's breath. When we passed the point of no return I slammed into them as hard and fast as I could. I saw lights burst behind my eyes when we came. I shot my load into them and they both gripped my cocks with their pussies like twin velvet fists.

"I'm done," I panted as I lay on top of Precious.

"Best sex EVER," Bian cried out wheezing as she caught her breath. "...And that is saying something."

"Holy fucking shit," Precious purred.

I pulled out slowly and ordered the sensory net off. Reluctantly it pooled itself into my right hand. I placed it in one of the pouches of my new uniform. Never know when it might come in handy. Precious got dressed and went down to fix some food for us. Bian lay there still panting and staring at the room's ceiling. She was muttering about seeing god in her orgasm. I knew how she felt. My first time with Precious had been so new and amazing it still haunted my thoughts. Seeing my cock sliding in and out of her through her transparent skin was a level of kink I had never imagined. The fact that she was so eager to fuck at the drop of a hat made it all the more addictive.

I helped Bian up and then helped her clean up. While she had a slight build and smaller boobs than most of the women in the house her ass was world class. We dried each other off and I took her to Willow's room to 'borrow' some clothes until I sent her out with the girls to go shopping. We went down and the entire family was present and they were all smiles. Mom and Janine were almost blushing as I sat down. I glanced at Willow and looked to see if she were okay with Bian borrowing some of her clothes. Sis was oblivious but appeared to be in a good mood.

"I need a favor," I said breaking the strange silence around the table.

"We are here for you son," Mom replied.

"Bian is going to be living in one of the out buildings. She wants to work on her art. I would like somebody to take her shopping. You know clothes, art supplies, furniture..."

"I will..." they all replied in a single voice, all but Precious she remained silent.

"Thank you," I said and we ate in a queer environment of giggles, smiles and an air of daydreaming.

What the hell was going on? Was it Precious? Is that why they were so damn loopy? Bian seemed to be okay but I had to fix this. My family couldn't walk around like a bunch of stoners all damn day every day. The girls left the kitchen to get ready. Precious offered to do the dishes and I told her I would be right back. I talked to the driver and told him to go in with the gals and watch their behavior and report back to me. I was concerned about their health and left it at that. I returned to the kitchen and stopped in my tracks. Precious had stripped down to wearing only an apron and reverted to her original form. The sunlight passed through her transparent blue skin and left scintillating rainbows across the floor.

"I heard a rumor you wanted to punish me for misbehaving," she purred. "Be honest, you know you want to jackhammer that glorious cock of yours into me."

"That is true," I said as I walked up behind her. "Before I reward you I need some answers. Why is my family walking around like they are drugged?"

"It will pass," she promised as she ground her bare ass against my jeans. "I give it maybe a week at most before they build up a tolerance. Humans are unaccustomed to what I offer. With any new situation there is an adjustment period. I promise you they will be fine. I would never hurt you or anyone you cared about."

I had touched her mind while she spoke and I found no hint of deception. I looked down and her pussy was soaked. She had adjusted her form and was now sporting a puckered little asshole now. I should walk away. I had a conference call this evening with the elders of the Family. I bit my lip as she ground her body against mine. Damn it all to hell! I tore my shirt off and lost my jeans seconds later. I grabbed her by her hair and pulled her down so she could suck me off. Precious never said a word, she was being completely subservient. She opened wide and I used her mouth pussy first. As I grabbed either side of her head and began thrusting she licked and sucked. I could see my cock through her skin as it sunk deep down her throat. She could do things that no one else could and I think that is what had me hooked. After a few minutes I pulled out and bent her over the sink. I eased into her as I teased her asshole.

"I knew you'd like my new feature," she growled. "You are going to sodomize me right?"

"Yep," I grunted as I fucked her cunt. "Damn you are tighter than usual!"

"I thought you might prefer a more virginal feel Master," Precious panted as I fucked her harder. "You can fuck me harder than that. You can't hurt me Warren, don't hold back."

She was right of course. My newfound strength would hurt or seriously injure Willow or the others. I growled and cut loose. What would have brutalized anyone else just drove my cock deeper into the resilient Precious. Our link made our encounter short but sweet. I bit back a scream as I fired my load deep into her pussy. I could see the cloudy spunk quickly vanish as her body absorbed it. I caught my breath and felt the energy she fed me.

"You promised," she purred. "You are going to do my ass right?"

I pulled out and pointed the head of cock against her sphincter and pushed. The muscular ring relented but reluctantly. Precious whimpered as I took her anal virginity. The head popped in and she gasped but urged me to continue. I pushed my hips forward and watch my cock sink deep into her ass. If her pussy had been snug her ass was incredibly tight. What a sight! I began moving and was grunting as I fucked her. Oh damn it felt amazing and her expressions were so damn lewd.

"MMMMister, is that your cock in my ass? Oh god I love it... you are going to break me in two!"

I thrust harder and faster as she continued to talk dirty to me. I was amazed at the voices she was able to pull off. She squealed like a virgin as my cock swelled inside of her. I knew it was an act but I didn't care. I dug my nails into her sapphire skin and pounded her so hard I thought she would cry out in pain. I was covered in sweat as I howled and filled her ass with cum. Precious smiled and then winked at me. A moment later my family and Bian were clapping behind me. They had watched the entire thing without me noticing.

"That was one helluva show son," mom said smiling.

"Damn, that was intense," Janine added.

"Me next," Willow said as she hugged Bian.
"Wow..." was all Bian could say.

I pulled out of Precious and stood there recovering from my blissful ordeal. I slowed my breathing while the gals waved and headed off shopping. Precious leaned against me and pressed her tits against my back.

"Want me to wash your back," she asked.

"If you do, I'm pretty sure we will end up fucking again."

"And this is a bad thing..."

I let her wash my back, my front and anywhere else she wanted. My prediction came true and while I was taking my conference call I was also taking my pleasure from her in the shower. I finally had to send her away because it was getting too intense for me. I was beyond sensory overload after my shower with Precious. I left the estate and started looking for a spot for Bian's gallery. I knew I was going overboard but I had to do something to clear my thoughts.

"Facial recognition is complete," Jeannie replied. "I now know the identity of the man you call the Black Pawn. You should know him too. He's been on the news off and on over the last few years."

Jeannie displayed the news footage and by god there he was. He was that archaeologist guy that went to China and helped out with some sort of minor natural disaster. Though, how any disaster could be called mild is beyond me. So is he my opposite number or just another pawn on the board? I didn't want him as an enemy. Maybe we could work together and step off the board together. I was tired of being manipulated.

"Ooh there's a nice location and it's for rent." I said letting my ADHD kick in. "Let's see if anyone is at home."

I called the number on the realtor sign and talked to the gal at the office. She seemed pleasant enough and would send someone right over. Jeannie pulled up the plans of the building as well as a full workup on its rental history and anything else attached to it. The A.I. let out a whistle and displayed a series of articles regarding the property. Six murders, three suicides and apparent paranormal activity were just the tip of the iceberg. The property had a bad rep since there was a town here.

"You're not thinking about moving in there are you?" A voice called out and I looked over my shoulder.

"I was thinking about renting it for a friend of mine," I said to the old man sitting on the stoop next door.

He was tipping back a bottle of something hidden in a brown paper bag. Did people still do that anymore? The man appeared to be in his sixties but I suspected the alcohol had aged him prematurely. His skin was dark and weathered by not just the sun but a very rough life. His clothing was tattered but cunningly mended by a gifted seamstress. His shoes had suffered the worst and appeared no mending in the world could manage that.

"I could buy you a new pair of shoes," I offered. "If you share what you know about this building."

The man lifted his right foot and glanced at the perforated sole that had cardboard inside to keep the drafts out. He made a face and nodded. As I walked the man down the street told me his story. His story was the story of the building. His name was Max. He had been born in what he called that god forsaken place. His parents owned the building. They had gotten it from a relative that had perished in a house fire. The place had been pretty normal at first. That was until his mom got pregnant and that seemed to wake up whatever had been sleeping there.

He paused as we entered the shoe store and he picked out the brightest white sneakers they had in his size. The salesperson looked at me and I nodded. It took her three tries to find the perfect pair but I felt it was worth the investment. Max hopped up and down in them once he had them laced up and tied. That brought back a memory for me when I was a kid and getting new tennis shoes. I always felt lighter, faster and uncatchable. I smiled and Max had tears in his eyes when we walked out of the store. He kept the old pair and if he sold the new ones that was up to him.

He continued his story as we walked back towards the apartment building. He said that there were queer noises in the basement and strange shadows the entire time he grew up. It got so bad his parents sold the building and they moved away. They heard about the murders and the suicides but they had done what they could for their family. Max sat down in his spot and just then the realtor showed up. The bright blue Pontiac parked in front of the building and a tall brunette got out and put on her best game face. I couldn't help but smile.

"Louise Fisher," she said offering me her hand. I shook it and she produced a key to unlock the front door. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long Mr. Harrower."

"Nah, I had Max to keep me company." I told her and the color drained from her face. "He's a nice guy underneath the shabbiness."

"That's not it Mr. Harrower, Max has been dead for over twenty years now."

I spun around and sitting there on the stoop were two brand new sneakers. They were still laced up and tied with two neat bows. I smiled and walked over to the steps. I reached out for the shoes when one of the bricks shifted beneath me. Curious, I bent down and lifted up the loose stone. There was something wrapped in a rotted rag. I stood up and turned to face the shaken realtor. I unwrapped the object and there gleaming in my grasp was a silver drinking flask. It was elegantly carved with the initials MM. The flask was untarnished after all these years, how strange. Of course it was no stranger than Max's ghost sharing his story with me. I placed the flask in my back pocket and gestured for Louise to continue on.

She unlocked the apartment and we stepped inside. It was what they call it in the real estate business, a fixer upper. The woodwork appeared sound enough but the paint and plaster was a disaster. It did have potential. It was turn of the last century and built during the 1904 World's Fair. There were hints of multiple cultures throughout the building. We did have some trouble unlocking the back door but in the end my shoulder won out over tricky lock. The backyard was overgrown but huge. The grass hadn't been cut this year I suspected. The far end of the backyard was bordered in a six foot brick wall. The center of the wall was broken up with wrought iron gates and an arched running above it. The peak of the arch was decorated with the Green Man on one side and a stylized design on the other.

"What does that look like to you?" I asked the realtor.

"That is the Green Man," she said automatically.

"No, on this side, the side that faces the alley, what does that look like to you?"

"I never really noticed that to be honest." She said as she got up on her toes and squinted. "I suppose it looks like a sort of hedge maze or something. Is that important?"

"I'll buy it," I said.

"The owner is only renting it," she said. "But I think I could convince her to sell."

"Call her and we'll negotiate," I said.

"No need," Louise replied smiling. "She lives across the street. But I must warn you she is a bit eccentric. She is what you would call the old cat lady."

Louise closed the Iron Gate behind us and we walked around the building so I could see it from the alley. The owner lived opposite the apartment building. Her house was in immaculate condition. The three story Georgian stood out from the more modern homes that had sprung up around it. There was of course the pride of domestic cats that made the front yard their home. I counted twelve as we walked up but suspected more. The front door was a thick oak door and the brass knocker bore the likeness of Bast, the Egyptian goddess of cats. Louise knocked with her knuckles telling me the image of the goddess was for adoration not announcements.

The door opened and a slender elderly woman stood there. Her silver hair hung long and free. It contrasted the black dress she wore and despite her years she was still quite attractive. I took note of the fierce blue eyes that regarded us as she asked us to enter. Louise and I entered the house of the cat lady and I began to agree with the realtor. This gal had cats on the brain. Every kind of statue, plaque or carving of cats that existed was present and prominent. The rest of the hoard were inside and either sleeping, cleaning themselves or watching us intently.

"My friends like you," the woman said. "Have some tea, I grow it myself."

"That would lovely," I replied and she smiled.

"You have fine manners young man," she said and led us to her living room. "Please have a seat and I will return shortly with that tea."

I sat in a comfy looking high backed chair while the realtor took a spot on the couch. There were a dozen or more felines in the room and they were each of a different breed. One silver and white Siamese stared at me from the floor. It cocked its head to one side as if taking in my measure.

"I am a friend of Sutekh," I said and the cat leapt into my lap and parked itself there purring like a fiend.

"Who is S..." Louise began but was cut off when the lady returned with a silver tea service.

"Mr. Tinkledon what are you doing in that young man's lap," she asked as she set the tray down. The cat let out a series of yowls and meows in response. "You don't say that is a bold claim."

She poured our tea and fixed it according to our liking without ever asking. I thanked her for the tea and sipped it without saying another word. As we sat there in silence a large black tom entered from the rear of the house and rubbed against the woman's ankle. He too, after a moment or two, launched into what could be construed as cat speech. The old woman nodded and then looked at Louise with what appeared to be suspicion. She took another sip of tea before she turned to stare me down. I locked eyes with her and smiled. The whisper of mental contact was brief and went almost undetected. The psychic tendril brushed my consciousness and I replied with a polite but firm slap. The cat lady giggled and smiled.

"Bartholomew tells me you want to buy the building across the street Mr. Harrower," she said after a short pause. "I like you. What he doesn't tell me is why you want it."

"I want to restore it. Then I plan on turning it into a kind of art gallery and studio for a friend of mine."

"You are very generous. It won't be cheap fixing it up." She replied and paused again. "I will send an opening proposal to Louise. I don't expect you to accept my initial offer. I expect a bit of negotiating for a place with so much history."

"Max didn't seem to like the place. I want to find out why." I said and that had the old girl leaning forward in her seat nearly spilling her tea.

"You saw Max?"

"I bought him a pair of shoes. You can still see them on the steps if someone hasn't stolen them that is."

"Bullshit," she snapped. "I call bullshit. Max doesn't talk to anyone anymore!"

I reached into my back pocket and produced the flask. The old lady cursed and then smiled as if I had missed out on some private joke. She agreed to a fair asking price on the property if I promised to let her cats have free run of the back yard. I nodded and the deal was struck. The lady dismissed Louise so that she could have one last private word with me. Louise just smiled and left the room. The lady leaned forward and whispered in a conspirator sort of fashion.

"You said you knew Sutekh," she said. "Where the hell did you even learn that name?"

"From her," I said as I got to my feet. "Though, she does prefer the name Loki around me."

"Oh, I know you now Red Pawn," she smiled and clapped her hands together.

"Last time I checked I was White." I admitted.

"Pish posh... pieces get swapped all the time. Though, if you were smart you'd stay clear of that pawn of Black's. He is a right piece of work."

"What do you mean by that?" I asked.

"You two are about equally matched for now. I think Red is trying to keep you and him on equal footing as it were. But who am I to judge. I just maintain parts of the board, best of luck and all."

I walked out and found Louise standing on the sidewalk. She glared at the cats and shivered. I think the old lady scared her a little. Truth is she scared me too. I closed the front door behind me. I walked up to the realtor and we exchanged numbers. Once the paperwork was ready I would get a crew together and get to work. I was eager to see how this property would work out. I walked back to my car and saw that the tennis shoes were unmolested. I guess I wasn't the only one to be scared in this neighborhood.

Red Pawn Takes Silver King:

I meant to walk back to the car, I really did. So why did my feet walk me back to that house? Before I was aware of it I was standing beneath the stone arch. I looked at the image of the hedge maze and felt the surge of energy behind me. I turned and there was Max. There he was living and breathing all proper like. He was dressed differently and was sporting an acoustic guitar. It was a wicked looking instrument with a night sky design on the body, a solar flare running along the neck and what appeared to be Hebrew letters on the frets. Max was sporting dark jeans, white sneakers and a pristine white button up shirt topped by a black leather jacket with fringe.

"You look good Max, real good," I told him and he smiled. "Where the fuck am I?"

"Back in the Maze Warren, where you belong," he replied as turned to leave. "Follow me. I have another story to share with you my friend."

"Story... whose story..." I asked as I followed him into the heart of the Maze.

"Why your story," he said and another brilliant smile graced her lined face. "You have so many questions and I am here to explain."

"Well, that's all you needed to say."

We strode through the twisting turning alleys that bordered the Maze proper. The strange thing about the alleys is that they were all alleys from all times in the history of the Earth. Some were quite familiar while others reminded me of some ancient city long dead and buried beneath the sands. Still others were technological wonders that were gleaming strips of shimmering metamaterial. Then there were the towering anchors that held, supported and maintained the very fabric of the Maze, as I understood it at least. Honestly, I had no fucking clue.

Max strummed his guitar and sweet blues riffs drifted from the strings as he told me my story. The part that I played in the grand scheme of things as it had been passed onto him. I could never pry who told him these things but he told me the stories felt true. We found a spot in the open market where a comfy chair waited for him. He sat down and I sat across from him as he collected his thoughts. The crowd settled down and fell silent as Max began to speak.

"Stories come down to us from the past. Whether they are true or not doesn't really matter. They are there to teach, to entertain and maybe even make us cry. This story is a very old one and the entirety of it is not known. The Earth is old by our reckoning but it hardly the oldest world and surely not the greatest that hangs in the heavens. But it is ours and that makes it special.

The beginning of my tale goes back many thousands of years. The old gods walked invisible upon the face of the land, swam beneath the waves and soared high in the heavens. They did this since there was no thinking life besides them. So with the help of the First Ones that came from beyond, the gods fashioned life in their own image. So attractive were they that the gods had offspring with them. These people were called the Althan. They appear much like the humans that crowd the world today but with many subtle differences.

The Althan grew wise and strong and laid their thought upon the world. Where they dwelt the dragon lines surged with power and they commanded great energies. Over time two new races arose from the progeny of the Althan. One took after their physical continence while the other their spiritual. They became known later as the Atlanteans and the Nephilim. The Atlanteans were cunning and always sought out new mysteries to unravel. The Nephilim hungered only for the power and perfection of the moment.

The Althan withdrew from the world and let their children do as they would. The Atlanteans built many great cities but called only one place home, the Isle. The Nephilim grew ever more base over time and became like animals in the wilderness. When mortal man awoke they became the favorite prey animal of the Nephilim. This angered the Atlanteans and they offered protection to the first of man. A rift sprung up between the Children of the Althan. The rift broke out into all-out war. The Atlanteans were no match for the sheer numbers of the Nephilim. To save man they sacrificed everything and wrought the Great Flood and drowned most of the Nephilim as well as their own people.

It is believed at this time that the Althan perished with the Nephilim. The Isle survived the flood but its master in an act of madness saved the last of Nephilim and sired children with her. This new race was calmer, cunning and carried the wisdom of both the Nephilim of Old as well as the Atlanteans. The Twelve aided young man and built for him cities and taught them the artifices they would need to survive. They took to their beds the most attractive of men and women and a new breed of humanity was born, the Family. They were the offspring of Nephilim and humans and would serve as the kings of all nations.

To this very day the unbroken bloodline exists. What is only recently been revealed is that among the Family the Althan blood has reemerged. What has slept for uncounted millennia is awoken once more. The Lords of Essence are reborn!"

Max set down his guitar and looked at me smiling. He got up and I followed. We went into one of the taverns on the main road. He ordered two pints and paid for our drinks. The background noise would help conceal our conversation.

"So now you know," he said smiling.

"That is why Lo... she picked me. She somehow figured out that I had the potential to become something more." I replied and he nodded.

"I am supposed to give you this now. I got it from the Librarian. He takes care of the sacred texts."

"What is it?" I asked taking the blue crystalline cube.

"From the way he danced around it when I asked. I believe it is an Althan spell book."

"This stinks of more manipulation," I growled.

"Of course it is," he said laughing. "You are the Red Pawn. If you don't learn this stuff the Pawn of Black is going to wipe the floor with you."

I stared down at the cube and cursed. I looked at Max and I nodded. He was right of course; eventually this archaeologist is going to come calling. If I was unprepared it would end in misery. I felt like a rat in a maze, literally. In my hand was the piece of cheese for a job well done. Now what the hell did it do and what was it for? As if to answer my question the cube melted in my grasp forming a tiny pool of liquid in the palm of my hand.

"Am I supposed to drink you? Am I Alice and the Maze is Wonderland? Oh what the hell, what have I got to lose?" I said a brought my hand to my mouth.

I never had the chance to swallow the liquid. The moment it touched my tongue it stopped. The liquid had a mind of its own and as I learned very quickly an agenda. The blue liquid acted more like a gel now and pressed itself against the roof of my mouth. Instant ice cream headache, I cried out as I felt the liquid pass from my mouth to my sinus cavity to my brain. The bone numbing cold a clear marker of its progress and when it hit my brain it dropped me like a rock. I grabbed my head and screamed. A moment later I was somewhere else. I stood on the overlook of a cliff and floating in the ocean beyond a gleaming city of spiral glass and shimmering metal. The towers of the city reached skyward and caught the sunlight and reflected it like a thousand mirrors.
"Beautiful isn't it," a voice said behind me.

"Who are you," I said before I turned and looked over my shoulder. "OH... you are an Althan."

"I am a construct they fashioned for a very specific business. I am here to show you how to harness your gifts Warren. I have accessed your memories and I will answer what questions I can as well as instruct you on the powers dormant within you."

"I guess we should get started. Do you mind giving me a rundown on the basics?" I asked as I got to my feet.

"I believe the single most telling item you should understand is your hands. The reason the Althan adopted a six digit configuration is for a greater mastery of fundamental forces. This gift they kept for themselves. That is why their children do not possess it. Let me show you the first of the basic finger positions for elemental mastery..."

The Althan book was designed so that anyone meant to be able to read it could. All books I had ever read were dependent upon my interpretation of the author's words this one allowed the book to adapt to me. My progress was slow at first. I loathed the change in my hands and was awkward at the beginning because of this. The dexterity six digits provided was astounding really but I saw them as ugly and different. I lost that train of thought quickly enough. I was shown how to take full advantage of them in all things. Where I had been reluctant at first now I was an avid pupil of everything the book had to offer. I had learned how to rejoice in my difference.

The impact the six digits had on spell casting was nothing short of epic. Not only could they generate a shit ton more mana, the power that fuels spells, but fine tune spell effects down to the minutiae. That is why Uther said that magic and tech could be interchangeable. I began to suspect that the reemergence of A.I. had been more apart of ancient Althan influence than Nick's genius. There were just too many similarities. I'm not taking away anything from him he changed the world. But why was he the Blue King? There was something else at work there and in time I'd figure it out. I wouldn't rest until I uncovered his secret.

Nick Shaw wasn't the enemy and neither was the archaeologist fellow. They were just other players on the same board as far as I was concerned. But Odin and Loki both feared the impact of the black pawn. If I knew why I'd have a better understanding of what the long game was. But now that I had finished my tutorial it was now time to put those skills to work. I had an agenda and involved a little payback for an individual that called himself the Silver King. It was off to Hong Kong then. I was going to not only shut down this slave trade and teach those bastards a lesson. I couldn't do anything about what was going on in the Maze but I sure as hell could in my own backyard.

Max had gone since I had entered the 'learning trance'. I was hungry as all hell so I decided that before I left the Maze I would try some of its cuisine. I was once more garbed in the uniform of the Circle. It had changed as much as I had. It now had gleaming silver piping and the cut of the duster was definitely more my style. I found a burger joint and I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted their product. The fries needed a little work but the burger was very tasty. I paid with some of the coins in the first pouch and the server was nice enough to show me how much each coin was worth. I gave her a healthy tip for her honesty and her help. Before I knew it I was shopping for the girls. I found clothing unique to the Maze and purchased an outfit for all of them. By the time I was ready to go I had two arm loads of clothing. I was going to get some serious attention when I walked through the door. I hoped they liked what I picked out.

"Jeannie, we are heading home," I said as I headed to the alleys that bordered the Maze.

"You spent enough, but I think you are correct. They are going to eat you alive when they see that you actually shopped for them."

"Unless of course Precious has fucked them all into submission," I said as we reached our exit. "Splitter, how are you doing?" I said greeting the ogre.

"Welcome back Sir," the doorman said with his patented nightmare smile.

The Hotel Diabolique was the same as ever. The only thing that changed was the staff on duty. Speaking of the hotel staff, the manager behind the front desk gestured and a swarm of women took the bags from my arms settled them onto a cart for me. I called for a ride from the estate and awaited its arrival. I sat near the outside windows when the sultry Djinn I had seen on my first visit offered me a complimentary drink. She sat down next to me until my ride arrived. I asked her how she liked working for the hotel and she smiled.

"I love working here. You get to meet some of the most influential and interesting people the worlds have to offer."

"Worlds, you mean Earth and the Maze," I replied and she nodded.

"Those too," she said. "There are others as well. Some only come in conjunction with the earthly realm every decade or so. Others, like the Maze, are accessible all the time. I have to tell you I've never actually met a Circle Mage before. It is a great honor."

"You were the first Djinn I ever met and it was a very enjoyable experience." I told her and she blushed. Okay, I think she blushed. Her coloring went from a sky blue to a deep sapphire. "I hope I didn't embarrass you."

"No, it is just such kind words," she replied and her color darkened even more. "If you are ever, not passing through, I would love to give you a proper tour of the hotel." The Djinn frowned as she looked out at the front of the hotel. "Your ride is here... next time sailor."

With a thought I changed back into my street clothes. The Djinn helped me out with my bags and even loaded them into the trunk for me. The driver eyed the blue skinned woman and he smiled. I touched his thoughts and he believed there must be a masked ball or something going on. I settled into the back wondering if I should cover my ears when I walked in carrying clothes. I decided to enjoy the high decibel screams that were likely to ensue. The bags were marked with their names but I suspected a lot of swapping would occur.

We reached the estate and once the trunk was open I filled my arms once more and let the driver open the front door. This trip to the Maze had cost me about six hours. I stood in the main hall and shouted upstairs.

"I went shopping," I hollered and like kids at Christmas they came a running.

All except Precious and Bian, they hung back until they realized I had bought things for them as well. Then they joined the jumble of bodies as Janine, Mom and Sis removed the bags from my arms. Willow handed Bian her bag while Mom gave Precious hers. The mad dash continued as they went into the living room and took turns taking an item out of each bag. There were Oohs and Ahs and that is going to look so good on you. Once every item had been displayed the swapping began. Mom got up and walked over to me and gave me a huge hug.

"Well done, you make me so damn proud," she said as she kissed my cheek. "OH WAIT... I wanted that top!"

She was drawn back into the hustle of activity and I smiled as I called up the Family representative in Hong Kong. I apologized profusely for waking him but when he saw who it was he prostrated himself on his floor. He actually thanked me for calling and waking him. I told him why I was calling and Uncle Chang went pale and began stammering. He told me that the Silver King was quite ruthless and should be avoided at all costs. I replied with an offer of some sweet stock options if he got me all the information he could on this person. Uncle Chang smiled and bowed as he told me he would call when he had everything.

I returned to the girls as an instant fashion show erupted. I got into my comfy chair and Isabelle brought me a light snack and some white wine to go with it. Bian was the only one who was too self-conscious to join in. While she said she was too shy in fact she was just uncomfortable about getting naked in front of my mom and sister. Janine didn't seem to bother her for one reason or another. I know it was wrong to read her surface thoughts but my time with the book had honed my telepathy to an almost unconscious ability. It was just another sense like vision or smell. If I glanced at someone I would instinctually glean their surface thoughts.

"I think mom likes you," I said. "You might hurt her feelings if you don't join in."

"Well, it's not like it's some kind of orgy or anything," Bian replied as she smiled and began to strip.

"Not yet," I whispered. "But the night is still young."

The tailors of the Maze had clientele that belonged to some of the most attractive races you could encounter. The garments I had chosen would accentuate in subtle ways no earthly seamstress could ever hope to duplicate. I had to admit I really enjoyed watching the girls play dress up. As I watched them disrobe, bend over and put on a new piece of clothing it was quite arousing. But in the back of my mind I was working out how to dismantle, crush and removed from existence this Silver King and his network. Certain vices I turned a blind eye to, but this was personal. I wanted to send a message that this will not be tolerated anywhere.

"You look so serious," Willow said as she straddled my lap. "Would you like a hand job? I know how much you enjoy me jacking you off."

"Well... maybe," I said and smiled.

"That's my boy," she purred in my ear. "I have a favor to ask." She said as she unzipped my jeans. "I want to play with Bian tonight. She seems a little nervous around Mom."

"How... MMMM... can I possibly say no to you," I whimpered as she began to stroke my cock.

"Come on Bian, you can play with us," Willow said in an almost child-like voice.

Mom, Janine and Precious went upstairs while Willow and Bian stayed down with me. The girls took up kneeling positions on either side of the chair. While Willow slowly and gently stroked the shaft Bian licked and sucked the tip. It was good to be me. I moaned as Willow's hand moved faster now and Bian's cheeks caved in as she applied some serious suction. They alternated their speed and even stopped once or twice when I got real close to climaxing. They were intent on teasing me as much as possible. They switched it up and as Willow sucked me off it was Bian that was lightly stroking the shaft.

"I am okay with a three-way," Bian said as Willow took half my cock between her lips. "I like Willow a lot."

"MMMMMHHHMMMMM," Willow moaned around my dick.

"Oh shit girl," I cried out as the teasing took its toll. "Get ready, I'm gonna..."

The rest was lost as I cried out and Willow swallowed my first load. Bian didn't seem to mind. I guess she figured we had all night and she'd get her chance. She was right and she did get her own. I set down the wine glass and began to undress. Willow and Bian followed suit and were naked in no time. I placed Bian on the coffee table belly up with Willow kneeling above her. As I slid my cock into Bian I lowered my lips to my sister's cunt and began lapping away greedily. The dissonance if their whimpers and moans was music to my ear. I fucked one slowly while I suckled the other's clit. I knew most of Willow's buttons and was quickly learning what Bian liked.

'Harder... god I wish he would slam that fat cock of his into me,' Bian mentally begged.

I pulled back and gave her what she craved. I heard her gasp of pleasant surprise. Willow leaned down and kissed Bian and the tangle of erotic thoughts almost made me blush. As I hammered the hell out of the Vietnamese Willow ground her pussy against my face. Bian moaned into my sister's mouth as she got close to climaxing. Willow took that moment to reach down and pinch the other's nipples. That did it, the girl broke the kiss and howled as she climaxed.

"You two are wicked," Bian gasped. "I think I am in lust."

"You hear that, we are wicked brother dearest," Willow purred. "My turn... give me that cock of yours."

I eased out of Bian and teased Willow with the tip. She growled but played along. She twisted the other's nipples and listened to the cry of pleasure. It was her way of saying I have a toy to play with. I gave in and slid my cock into Willow as slow as I could manage. Bian used the slick surface of the table to rotate her body 180 degrees. This put her head near the business end of what was going on above her. She lifted her head and began licking Willow's clit and teased the shaft of my cock. I took advantage of this. I gave Willow only half of my cock at a time and let Bian's tongue trace the vein that ran beneath my dick.

"Damn, I am getting close again," I growled and tried using the same connection that Precious was so good at.

The link was tenuous at first but the longer I held onto it the stronger it became. We reached synchronicity in no time at all. We could feel each other and I was surprised at how close Willow was to losing it. Bian was another matter entirely she had just climaxed and was thrilled just to be helping us along. So I focused on Willow and listened to her body as it cried out for what it needed. I gave it to her without hesitation. She was close to breaking and I was moments behind her.

Bian licked her lips in anticipation to getting that load she wanted so bad down her throat. Willow's pleasure crested and I slammed into her one last time to push her over the edge. I yanked my cock free and Bian swallowed me to the base and I howled as my second load was swallowed that evening. Without Precious I was wrecked, panting and drained to the core. My knees actually gave out and I kneeled hard on the carpet. Willow lost her balance and landed on top of me. Bian, not wanting to be left out, rolled off onto the carpet and joined the puppy pile.

With a little adjustment we had a good thing going. I was on my back, Willow on my left hand side and Bian on the right. We cuddled for a while and Willow's stomach growled. We laughed and I informed them I would fix a late night snack. I didn't bother putting on clothes since the night was still young. Willow and Bian seemed to be bonding. I was glad. She had been on the street and deserved a fair shake for once. The sounds drifting down from upstairs sounded like the trio were still at it. Precious had a way of fulfilling every need her partners needed. I smiled and opened the fridge. I set out food as Jeannie told me the email I had been waiting for had arrived. Uncle Chang was quick. I looked at the information and frowned. The more I read the less I liked what I saw.

"Did I do something wrong," Bian said clinging to Willow.

"No, that is his 'I just got bad news' look," Willow assured her. "Trust me girl you rocked his world. Warren what is it?"

"I have to leave for Hong Kong, tonight, I am sorry but I have a king to dethrone and a relative to teach a lesson to."

"Hong Kong, you don't mean... wait you don't have to do this for me," Bian said throwing her arms around me.

"I am not doing this just for you," I said and I hugged her tight. "I am doing this for all those other poor souls that this fucker has bought and sold."

Willow smiled and nodded. I kissed Bian and she let go. I took Willow into my arms and kissed her so that she knew who the center of my world was. She gasped and blushed. Jeannie was already getting a plane prepped as I went upstairs to pack a bag. I walked into my bedroom where Mom and Janine were on top of each other while Precious fucked them both from behind. I paused long enough to watch their fuck faces as the Telempath screwed them senseless. I was doubly mad now. I wanted to play with Mom and Janine before I left.

"God damn it all to hell," I growled under my breath.

" where are you... UNNN UNNN UNNN going?" Mom tried to ask.

"Fucking Hong Kong..." I said as I packed a bag and donned my Mage uniform.

"Why," Janine managed barely.

"One of the Family is dealing in slave trafficking," I cursed.

"OH SHIT," Mom cried out.

Whether she had just cum or was upset I never knew. I turned heel and left the three of them to their own devices. I was downstairs and Willow was by the front door. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me. I touched her thoughts and asked her to stay away from Precious. I didn't order it, just asked nicely. She smiled and nodded. I let out a sigh of relief and left in a little better spirits. The car was out front and the driver had the back door open. He was the same man that had picked me up at the Hotel Diabolique. I got in and he closed the door behind me. We were on our way to the airport in record time.

I tried to calm down but the rage was burning hot. Jeannie told me the jet was prepped and ready. That was fast maybe someone else backed out last minute. I let the matter drop and refocused on the target of my rage. I couldn't help but think about the four sided chess board in the Tower of the Raven. The colored pieces were white, blue, black and red. There was no silver. Did this person know about the Maze? That couldn't be ruled out. I had learned that limiting my scope usually came back to bite me in the ass. Jeannie chimed in and brought up what she had learned from her search of the chess pieces.

'I have run facial recognition on the pieces. I was able to identify sixty percent of the individuals. They comprised the pawns of white, red and blue. The only black pawn I identified was the archaeologist. The others are either off the grid or in places such as the Maze. The higher level pieces I expanded my search to works of art and literary references to minor deities and heroes. There were a few matches. There is something you should know. Odin is not the White King. I don't know who he is but it is not the All Father. I suspect that Odin is instead the White Player if you follow my train of thought.'

'I understand,' I said. 'Excellent work, so if Odin is the White Player who are the other players?'

My first thought was that Loki was either blue or red. I was leaning towards red since I was that color now. So if Nick isn't the Blue Player, who is pulling his strings? I still shuddered when I remembered the images of the black pieces, those hideous things that defied logic and sanity. Why would Louis side with beings like that? Stop, who said he had sided with them. Maybe, like me, he didn't have a choice. He was a black pawn after all. Did he even know he was being manipulated? Perhaps I could bring him to my way of thinking. Maybe I could find the right mental leverage to steer him at black instead of working for them.

We had reached the airport. I stepped out and the driver carried my physical baggage aboard while I lugged the much heavier mental along in my head. I stepped into the cabin and nodded, it was nice, really nice. The flight crew closed the outer door as the airplane pressurized for the flight to Hong Kong. The takeoff was smooth and I sipped the champagne as we gained altitude. I stared at the fluted glass and it felt unreal for a long moment. What the hell has happened to you Warren? Where was the kid that looked forward to going to college and then finding a nice quiet job? I stared at my perfect nails and my extravagant lifestyle. When did I lose touch with reality? I hadn't I growled to myself. My reality was a much larger picture now. I wasn't jousting at windmills I was fighting gods and demons.

The pilot came over the intercom and informed me that we had reached cruising altitude. I closed my eyes and began practicing basic level spells. I figured it would help me in two ways. First, it would help me hone my craft. Second, it would take my mind off of what was to happen. After I ran through the basic spells I worked on the intermediate and stopped for a while to recover the mana I had spent. I was being groomed for yet another position on the board. I had taken over the Family and grown in the process. I was not only managing my own affairs quite nicely but I had derailed plans to destroy me financially. Now I had learned the ancient art of manipulating fundamental forces that had shaped our universe.
"Could he be a mage too," I stammered aloud. "Was that why they had given me this god damn uniform? Oh you filthy fuckers, you need a mage to handle a mage. God damn you all to fucking hell!"

"I have run the numbers based off what I have been able to glean about the entities on the black side of the board. Many of the cultists that follow the Great Old Ones were mages of great power. They were able to open gates to other dimensions and even other worlds entirely. I think you are correct. The archaeologist is a magician of some kind. I have tracked his movements and over the last few years there have been some unexplained deaths in the cities he has visited. He was never questioned since the women apparently died in their sleep."

"Okay, that is just plain creepy. Pull up the reports and see what you can find. That can't be a coincidence."

Now it made sense. Loki was leveling the playing field by giving me the uniform and sending Max to give me the Althan crystal. Then I paused and let the logic work to its final conclusion. If red and black had mages it only made sense that the other two did as well. I would have to delve into the background of the other pawns and see what threat, if any, they posed to my family and me. Normally I slept on long flights like this but not this time. I was way too wired with thoughts of Hong Kong as well as the archaeologist.

The jet refueled in Hawaii and after a brief layover I was back in the air. By the time we landed in Hong Kong I was tired and jittery from a mixture of energy drinks and soda. I was eager to get this business done and settled. Uncle Chang met me at the airport with an entire entourage of his closest relatives. Chang was a spritely man in his early sixties. He was of average height with long silvery white hair that fell to his belly and mid back. He was a little portly but moved with an agility that was surprising for his age and robust figure. He was always smiling and reminded me of the laughing Buddha. But behind the smile there were mannerisms that hinted that all was not well. It was the nervous ticks that told me he was happy to help but feared the backlash that might ensue.

The stretch limo was packed with people. I had changed from my uniform into an expensive suit including a tie. I hated ties. While Uncle Chang sat opposite me he had two of his most attractive nieces sitting on either side of me. Jeannie became my life saver and interpreter. She flashed subtitles in front of anyone as they spoke so I could get the gist of what they were saying. She even provided me with phonetic dialogue to give the impression I was at least trying to be civilized.

"Your Mandarin is appalling Primarch and we all appreciate your attempt," Uncle Chang said at last. "Everyone here is quite fluent in English."

"I am sorry for butchering your language Uncle." I replied and we all enjoyed a good laugh. "Please forgive me but I need to get some sleep, I wasn't able to relax on the plane. After that I would like to sit down and discuss business."

"A very wise thing to admit your limitations Primarch," Uncle replied. "As for relaxing I am sure Ling and Ting can help you um unwind."

"We would be honored to help," they said in perfect unison.

I looked at one and then the other. I was so damn tired I didn't realize they were twins. Their dresses, hair and makeup were different and that had thrown me off. The drive to Uncle's estate took about a half hour and I was eager for bed. The sprawling estate was gorgeously lit in the traditional paper lanterns and according to Jeannie it dated back to the colonial era. There were armed guards everywhere. Apparently the Tong and the Triad were still quite prevalent even after mainland China had taken Hong Kong back.

Ling and Ting took me to my room. A third girl carried my bags. Once in the huge bedroom all three helped me get undressed. When they saw the Great Seal on my chest they fell to the floor prostrate before me. They were shaking with fear. I knelt down and took each of them by hand and brought them back up. I told them there was nothing to fear from me. I was hardly displeased with their conduct so far. They finished disrobing me and the twins followed suit. The third girl opened my first bag and put my clothing away. She tried to open the second bag but I told her it was locked for good reason. That was enough for her to set it in the closet and left it alone. She took my suit to have it pressed.

Ling pulled the silk sheets from the bed and patted the mattress. The bed was not dissimilar to a Japanese futon except with one huge difference, the elaborately carved cage surrounding the bed. The four walls of the cage was the work of artists and the panels depicted the wealth and prosperity of the lord of the manor. I climbed into bed and the twins flanked me. They were stunningly gorgeous and chosen no doubt for their looks and consummate skills. I just wish I wasn't so damn tired.

"I should have slept on the damn flight over," I cursed and the twins giggled.

"There will be plenty of time for play tomorrow Master," they said in twin speech. "We aren't going anywhere."

I closed my eyes and felt them as their warm bodies snuggled close. Despite caffeine and other stimulants I was asleep in no time at all. I had placed Jeannie on guard mode just in case. The dreams rose up out of the stygian abyss and drug me down screaming. The blasted landscape of the dead world was all too familiar. It was the same place I had visited the night I had rescued Bian. The black sand dunes were everywhere. They were only broken by the cyclopean stones strewn across the landscape like some dead god's forgotten toys. The sand shifted under my weight as I explored the blasted ruins.

"Where the hell am I?" I asked as I looked up to see the alien constellations above me. "What the holy hell is that?"

There in the north eastern quadrant of the sky was a scarlet ribbon of stellar clouds. They seemed to be moving in a slow lumbering motion across the heavens. I squinted and could see that there was movement within the ribbon. The blood stained nebulae that stretched lightyears across boiled and swirled as if it were alive.

"It is a tear," Jeannie said. "It is mentioned in the Keystone. It is a tear in the very fabric of space-time. The ancients called it the Eye of Terror. It is said that all evil and all calamities come from that terrible place."

I shivered and lowered my gaze to the ground. I felt drawn in a particular direction. In dream fashion a few steps took me vast distances to the ruined hulk of a black step pyramid. The skull designs were quite prominent as was another sign, a sign I knew all too well. That mark it is the same as the brand on the back of Bian's neck. The verdant hell glow erupted from the heart of that place. It vomited out from the top of the structure and spilled its sickly radiance everywhere.

"The Thanatons are hungry... The Thanatons are waking..."

I screamed as I woke and felt the gentle but forceful hands of Ting and Ling. I was covered in sweat and they looked alarmed when I opened my eyes. I was gasping for breath and they soothed me with gentle touches and light kisses.

"It was just a dream," Ting purred.

"Just a nasty old dream," Ling mewed.

"Let us make you forget it," they said as one.

One of the twins straddled my belly and kissed my nipples. The other tugged the covers aside and cried out as she wrapped her fist around my morning wood. As the twin on my belly gently rocked her hips and ground her coin slot pussy against my stomach her sister began to lick and suck my erection. I looked up at the eager girl with her sun kissed skin, dark nipples and perky breasts. She licked and nipped at my sensitive skin. Her twin had half my cock down her throat and was gently massaging my balls in her free hand.

"I suspect you've done this before," I moaned.

"Uh huh," Ting said from above me. "We prefer this to that stuffy old office of Uncle's."

"Yes-yes... much prefer going down on a huge cock like yours Master," Ling purred. "So damn big sister, I don't know if it will fit."

"It will fit," Ting growled. "It must fit! My pussy is so wet and in need of a good fucking yes-yes."

"Shit, I think my cock just hit bottom," I cried out as Ling succeeded in deep throating me.

"Yes-yes, Master's cock all the way down sister's throat now," Ting said as she looked over her shoulder. "You must be a good Master and reward her with much cum soon."

Ting turned around and continued grinding her wet pussy against my belly. I felt a hand wrap around the base of my cock and begin stroking. They switched to Mandarin and thanks to Jeannie I was able to understand what they were saying.

"Don't be just a greedy bitch Ling, I am the older sister. I will fuck him first!" Ting snapped at her twin.

Ling didn't reply. She was too busy pushing me over the edge. I howled as the little cocksucker swallowed my load. I was panting again but this time I was okay about it. I felt Ling lift her head from my cock.

"Fine, but he will split you in two," Ling continued in Mandarin. "I told you he had a massive cock. Even for a round eye he is hung like a horse."

"Good god," Ting said as she lifted up her hips and lined up her slot to the head of my dick. "Here goes nothing... UNNNNNNN oh god you were right... so fucking big!"

I felt the ultra-tight cunt slowly wrap around me as her hips sank down. Ting cursed until I was hilted inside of her. I am sorry Willow but damn her pussy was the tightest I had ever had. Ting was breathing in quick short gasps now.

"Need any help," I asked and Ting looked over her shoulder and she shook her head.

She began to move very slowly. It took her a good thirty seconds to lift her hips up so that just the tip was inside of her. Her body was shaking and then she simply dropped down. She cried out as she came. I could feel her orgasm from the mental shout she let out. I growled and lost patience. I rolled her onto her knees and took charge. Ling went pale and I grabbed her sister's hips and began thrusting. Jeannie couldn't keep up as poor Ting begged me to stop.

"Oh shut up and take it already," I said as I hammered her hard and fast. "Tightest pussy ever..."

"Is he going to do that to me," Ling asked in Mandarin.

"UNNNNN god I hope so," Ting cried out. "I am coming again... he is tearing me apart... oh god... I think I am in love...!!"

I pummeled poor Ting until she literally passed out after her fourth climax. I eased out of her and had to chase Ling down. I caught her at the door, turned her around and lifted her off her feet. I pressed her back against the wall of the room and eased into her cunt nice and slow. Like her sister she protested but it was useless, I was going to fuck her until I was satisfied. Her pussy was as tight as her sister's. I moved slowly at first but once again I lost patience and began slamming into her from below. Ling's eyes rolled up in her head as orgasm after orgasm crashed over her petite body.

"I... can't take any more..." Ling whimpered as my cock swelled inside of her. "UNNNNN... fill my pussy with your cum Master!"

I cried out as I shot my load into poor Ling. When I could breathe I lay Ling next to Ting and looked around for a shower or bath or something. I found a pair of comfy looking black silk trousers and slipped them on. I went out into the hall and looked for a place to wash up. I heard voices and went in that direction. I ended up in the kitchen. The cooks were preparing the morning meal. The girls cried out when they saw me and with Jeannie's help I asked for directions to where I could bathe. One of the male cooks grinned and led me to the bath house attached to the eastern wing of the estate. It wasn't very far from the room I had slept in.

The bath consisted of two parts. The first was used to actually soap up and wash off the dirt or in this case bodily fluids and sweat. The second was for soaking and easing tension. I was just finishing washing up when Uncle Chang walked in. He seemed confused and asked about Ting and Ling. I told him that they were resting after our little morning exercise. He laughed as he washed up. I slipped into the sunken pool and let the heat work its magic. My uncle joined me a little while later.

"Your advice has netted me quite the profit in so short a time. I do not know how to thank you." He said after an appropriate length of silence.

"I only need one thing from you Uncle," I said and his eyebrows rose in curiosity. "Do not take any of your cousin's phone calls in the next say seventy two hours."

"It will be as you say Primarch," he replied. "He and I haven't always seen eye to eye but he has been ill as of late so I would plead a certain amount of leniency."

"Ill, he is only twenty three," I said. "His last doctor's visit he was healthy as a horse."

"Speaking of a horse," the twins said as they entered the bath. "Uncle, can we entertain you two?"

"Girls, this is hardly the time," he said and then he saw that look. "Fine, but behave yourselves, the Primarch and I are discussing business."

"Thank you Uncle!" They said as they washed up and slipped into the pool with us.

"That may be, but the last two weeks he has been weak and lethargic." Chang continued as if the twins had never entered.

"I am going to need a few bodyguards," I said. "Just in case things get ugly..."

"I will assign my best to watch over you," he replied smiling.

We dried off and got dressed. I liked the wardrobe I was offered waiting in my room. It was traditional Chinese shirt and pants with the Great Seal woven into the shirt's design. As the family ate the twins were never far from my sides. I think this amused Chang to no end. I took the locked suitcase with me as the limo pulled up and the driver opened the door and the twins plopped into the back with me. I stared at the open door but then the driver closed it and we were off. I looked at Ling and then Ting and made a quizzical face.

"You are Uncle's best?" I asked and they smiled.

They explained as we drove. The twins had always shown an inherent connection and the Master Assassin trained them to utilize this gift. Once they were old enough they had been protecting Chang from any and all threats. They had never failed. I was impressed as all hell and told them so. When I asked about the Master Assassin they clammed up and changed the subject. I respected their silence. Besides by the time they had given me their back story we had arrived at Cousin Tsun's compound.

The high walls were crawling with guards and mirrored Chang's paranoia perfectly. The reinforced steel door was guarded by two very impressive specimens. The limo stopped and the twins exited first. The rapid exchange in Mandarin was loud, crass and downright awesome to hear. Ting offered to disembowel the larger of the two guards when I got out of the limo. While seven guards both above and below trained automatic weapons on us I held up my hand.

"Everybody, calm the fuck down," I said and the silence fell. "My name is Warren Harrower. I am here to see my cousin."

"We had no warning of your arrival," the closest guard said his color going pale.

"I know, now be a good man and let me in," I said.

There was a loud metallic click as the mag-lock released on the main door and it swung outward. The twins entered first and I followed being flanked by four guards from the interior compound. The two outer guards returned to their post. My cousin Tsun met me at the massive double doors that let into the estate. The bright red doors swung open and he and a lady friend of his greeted me.

"Primarch," he said bowing very low. "Welcome to my humble home. What brings you?"

I paused and took in his pale continence and Chang had been right, he looked like hell. I couldn't help but stare at the woman at his side. She was a jaw dropper and that was no fucking lie. If I were to rank her on physical perfection she was a notch below Loki. She blew the twins stunning looks out of the water. I looked back at Tsun and with Jeannie's help scanned him from head to foot. He was deathly ill.

"Cousin, let us go inside so that you can sit down. I didn't realize how sick you were." I said and he smiled.

"You are as gracious as rumors say," he replied.

The once young and virile young man had been reduced to a pale husk. I kept looking at the girl by his side. Who the hell was she and what was her part in all of this? Paranoid I brushed her surface thoughts and didn't like what I found. I delved deeper and she knew something was wrong but I doubted she understood the nature of the intrusion. The more I experienced the less I liked this woman.

"So who is this lovely creature," I said choosing my words carefully now that Tsun was seated and able to rest.

"This is... my wife," Tsun said gasping for air.

"No its not," I replied and the woman, Shu by name, narrowed her eyes at me. "She couldn't be. I never received your request to marry her."

"That is true," Tsun replied. "I assumed since you were, well, occidental that you wouldn't hold to such stringent traditions."

'Thallium poisoning,' Jeannie whispered in my mind. 'If he is to survive he will need immediate treatment.'

'Get me a doctor, one that Chang trusts and get him here NOW,' I sent and she complied.

"Call the magistrate," I ordered. "As far as I am concerned this marriage is null and void."

"You can't," Shu shouted breaking protocol and tradition. "We love each other."

I walked over to her and locked eyes. Her entire life story was mine to know and while I pitied what she had endured, murdering my cousin was not going to pass without punishment. I turned to face Tsun and he appeared genuinely sorrowful. But he wouldn't go against me on this, he knew better.

"I want this woman stripped and in cuffs," I ordered.

"Cousin please, I knew I made a mistake but..." he said and he stopped since he couldn't breathe.

"I am doing this because I care about you Tsun," I replied as Ting and Ling stripped Shu and handcuffed her hands behind her. "I am not going to allow an assassin to harm one of the Family."

"Assassin," Tsun gasped and looked at her. "Shu tell him this is a mistake."

"She has been feeding you Thallium," I said and Shu's eyes widened in shock. "That is bad enough but I came to Hong Kong on business. I was going to strip you of your lands and bank accounts Tsun but now I know the real villain's identity."

"I don't understand," he wheezed. "What villain? Why are you really here?"

"I discovered that someone in the Family had been connected directly to a slavery ring. I thought you were the Silver King cousin. But now I understand that it has been your dear sweet wife the entire time. She has been undermining your position from within. I am sorry."

"You are insane," Shu cried out. "You have no proof of any of this."

I stood silently staring at Shu. The minutes ticked by and she nervously shifted in the twin's grasp. The double doors opened and the doctor and magistrate arrived at the same moment. The doctor began treating Tsun for heavy metal poisoning as they prepared to take him to a private clinic for the rest of his treatment. The magistrate stood and observed what transpired next. As Tsun was wheeled away on a stretcher and into an ambulance I faced down the Silver King.

"Actually I do have proof," I said and listed off one of the many bank account numbers that could be directly tied to the sale of women brought in from Europe and the Middle East. "I have used your password and funneled all your proceeds into Family accounts. If Tsun survives I will give him a good portion of those moneys as compensation. The rest will go to the families you've destroyed."

I told the magistrate to annul the marriage and I would be taking her into my custody for punishment. He nodded and stared at the naked Shu and shook his head. He told me I would have the paperwork in a few days. I scanned the minds of the entire complex and found those loyal to Shu and had the guards take them into custody. I would let them deal with the others however they saw fit. I stood in front of this impossibly gorgeous sociopath and smiled. I had expected a man. She really had fooled so many for so long. Ting handed me the sealed case and I held it up for Shu to see.
"That is a diplomatic seal," I told her and she nodded. "These don't get x-rayed or searched. Can you guess what's inside?"

"A weapon," she whispered. "Are you going to kill me now?"

"I was," I said as I handed the case back. "That was before I learned that the Silver King was a crazed bitch that had been through so much for so long."

"Does that mean you are going to set me free?" She asked smiling.

"No... I cannot forgive or condone your actions," I said. "You sold women from all over the world as if they were animals. You tore them from their families, tattooed and branded them like cattle... and you poisoned my cousin."

"I never branded anyone," she snapped. "Tattooed yes, but I never branded anyone that I swear."

"If you didn't, then who the fuck did?" I asked and she smiled even wider.

"Wouldn't you like to know," she laughed. "Now for a price... wait... what are you doing?"

I tore the information from her thoughts. I was not gentle and she felt every neuron that I scanned and she screamed by the time I had all the information I required. Those watching only saw Shu flinch and try to fight the twins as they held her in place. I just stared at her as I raped her mind. If I let her go she would just do this to someone else. But if I took the pistol from the case and shot her, it would cold blooded murder. I've never killed anyone before. I couldn't do it. I am not a murderer. But there was something I could do. It was tantamount to murder but she would technically be alive.

"Leave the room," I said to everyone. "That includes you two. This won't take long, wait for me outside and close the door behind you."

Shu knelt on the floor pleading for her life. The room emptied quickly and the dull clang of the double doors closing was final and sealed her fate. I told Jeannie what I required from her and she was apprehensive at first.

"Can you do it or not," I asked and Shu looked up puzzled and afraid.

"Yes Warren I can do it," Jeannie replied. "Copying files to back up crystal."

"Good," I said as I opened the new wrist device on my left arm. "This is a data crystal for an artificial personality." I told Shu as I plucked one of the three crystals from the watch-like device. "The technology is based off of ancient science that has been forgotten for a very long time." I said as I grabbed her by the hair. "This particular crystal houses a copy of an A.I. named Jeannie. I am going to drive this crystal into your skull. Then I am going to liquefy said crystal and allow it to infiltrate all of your brain's higher and lower functions. That will in effect erase you from existence. I just hate to see such a gorgeous creature such as you go to waste."

"Kill me... for the love of god, just fucking kill me!" Shu begged.

"I wonder how many of the women you sold have said the same damn thing," I said as I thrust the crystal into her skull with a soft crunch. "This won't take long."

I sent the mana into the crystal as a thin line of blood trickled down her face. Shu fought me for the first few minutes but as the crystalline poison coursed through her brain her entire life was deleted one memory at a time. As the minutes passed the process sped up, more and more of the glittering nanites were created and spread to ever corner of her mind. I watched as the tears streamed down her face. There were subtle hints as Shu faded away. Her once keen stare became a blank unblinking gaze. Her mouth opened by no words escaped. I watched as the light went out and there was nothing of the Silver King left. Then she blinked and her lips began to move slowly. The tears stopped and I licked them away.

The minutes ticked by as the empty expression faded and a childlike fascination took hold. Her eyes looked left and then right. She blinked and took in a deep breath. A small smile spread over her lips and she shivered. I glanced down and saw that her nipples were erect from the chilly atmosphere. I looked over her shoulder and saw that her fingers then toes began to wiggle.

"I'm alive... I am alive, Warren," Jeannie said as tears flowed down her cheeks again.

"Well done my boy," Loki's voice echoed in the chamber. "I knew you had it in you."

I spun to see the divine perfection that was Loki Sutekh sitting in Tsun's high backed seat. She was as glorious as ever and her eyes twinkled with star light as she looked at me. I gestured and the cuffs fell from Jeannie's wrists with a metallic clang on the stone floor. Jeannie remained prone on the floor while I stood up.

"What do you think of my solution," I asked the Trickster god.

"I approve," she grinned. "Clever, ruthless and justified, she was a monster that needed slaying. What now?"

"I don't know. I will stay to see if Tsun is going to be okay I guess."

"He will make a full recovery," Loki said. "He is Family after all. What about the twins? Are you going to bring them home with you? You broke them after all. No other man's cock will satisfy them now."

There was something about the way she said cock that had me stiff despite the situation. I smiled and thought of how Willow would react to three more women in the house. How would I feel if she brought home three guys?

"Tut-tut... is that the way for the Primarch of the Family to be thinking? You are the conquering hero. You just destroyed a multinational slavery ring. Don't you deserve a reward?"

"I suppose," I said as I felt Jeannie's tits press against my back. "About these nightmares..."

"Soon Warren my pet soon," Loki smiled weakly. "Enjoy yourself while you can my Red Bishop. War is coming and it will be like nothing this world has ever seen. Take your trophies and savor them."

Between the blink of an eye she was gone. Loki Sutekh vanished and left me with a newborn Jeannie and a thousand questions. I turned to face her and she kissed me as her arms slipped around my neck. As her tongue invaded my mouth I wondered at the political correctness of fucking her here in my cousin's estate with him fighting for his life. I was about to say something when Jeannie stopped and pulled back a little.

"We still share a connection Warren," she purred in my ear. "I coexist in this wondrous gift you have bestowed as well as in here." She said tapping the side of my head. "I can wait until the flight home. Then boyo you are mine!"

"Agreed," I said smiling. "Now let's get you dressed and see if we can find a passport."

It took Jeannie a few minutes to get used to walking. She had never done it before. I watched as she looked at everything. Sniffed the air and touched me everywhere. She frowned a few times when we entered darkened passageways. We stopped and she closed her eyes. A few minutes went by and then she opened her eyes again.

"Much better," she said and I looked at her.

"Your eyes," I said noticing that the once mahogany shade was gone and replaced with a gleaming silvery blue color.

"I tweaked them," Jeannie replied. "I am so used to seeing from your eyes that I felt inadequate. By the time we are home I will have finished tweaking all of my biological systems."

"Not too much," I said in warning.

"Agreed," she giggled. "We are almost to Shu's apartment."

It was a series of interconnected rooms that Tsun's former wife occupied when her husband was busy. He had lavished her with the finest things. What he didn't know was that Shu had added a few things since she moved in. Some of those things were hidden wall safes and one secret chamber. Jeannie knew where all of these things were. She revealed the three safes and opened them. One was a treasure trove of false identities and various stacks of different currency. A second was an emergency evacuation kit that held an American passport and two million dollars' worth of Bearer Bonds. The third safe held jewelry and large cut stones adding up to another two million or more.

Jeannie opened up and disarmed the security within the hidden chamber. This held stolen art and artifacts from all over the world. I saw things that could only come from the ransacking of Bagdad after the fall of Saddam Hussein. I hated to admit it but many of these objects had me scratching my head. But there was one thing I did recognize instantly but couldn't rationalize it. There at the very center of the room was a pharaoh's death mask and what looked like matching silver bracelets. Yes, the mask was wrought in gleaming silver. The other and most astounding part is that the image on the mask wasn't a pharaoh at all but the god Anubis. Why was the Jackal god here? Why the hell did he require a death mask?

"Jeannie," I asked and she lifted up her right hand and a violet beam shot from her palm and scanned the mask.

"I am detecting multiple layers of metal, alloys and metamaterials. This is no funerary mask Warren. It is some kind of device. Do you remember the object that Richard Sterling dug up in Egypt? The artifact they are calling a cold fusion device. I believe whoever crafted that device also fashioned these as well. Yes, the bracelets are also made of the same configuration of alloys."

"What do they do?" I asked and she shrugged. "I guess there is only one way of finding out."

"Be careful Warren," she said and I could feel her concern.

I walked over to the pedestal and took off my wrist device and tossed it to Jeannie. She caught it easily enough. I placed one of the large ornate bracelets on my left wrist but nothing happened. I shrugged and then unbuttoned the shirt sleeve and pulled up the material. The moment the bracelet touched my naked flesh it warmed to the touch and closed around my wrist. I looked for a seam or way of taking it off but there was nothing. I looked at Jeannie and she looked worried. I held up the mirror bright device to my face and looked it over. There were what appeared to be Egyptian hieroglyphs on the surface of the bracelet but they were tiny and carved with the precision of a laser.

"No guts, no glory," I said as I rolled up the other sleeve and slipped the other bracelet on.

It also sealed itself and showed no signs of even the tiniest of cracks. I wiggled my fingers and nothing happened. I looked at the mask and felt fear boil up from my stomach. I swallowed hard and took off my shirt. I hoped this was a good idea. What is the worse that could happen? An entire list of bad things scrolled past and I almost balked. This was my chance to take control of my destiny. If this device could offer me power then I could step off the chessboard once and for all. I thought of Willow and a fairly simplistic life with her. I snatched up the helm-like mask and placed it over my head. Its weight settled onto my shoulders and for a moment nothing happened. I was about to remove it when it awoke. There was no pain really but as it grafted itself to my flesh I felt dizzy and dropped to my knees.

I was staring at the floor when I came around. I looked at my hands and saw all six digits that was a good sign. Wait, the bracelets were gone and in their place a series of runic tattoos. I looked up at Jeannie and she was staring at me. Her expression was one of curiosity and uncertainty. I reached up and touched my face. What my fingers encountered was definitely not my face. It reminded me of my pet dog Schmitty and the soft furry coat he had. I rose to my feet quickly and looked around the room. There in the corner was an antique silver mirror. I raced over and looked at my reflection. The face as my fingers had warned me was not my own. It was the visage of the guardian of the dead, Anubis. The fur was the color of jet and when I opened my mouth to scream I saw the brilliant white teeth within. It was the scintillating scarlet eyes that were the most alarming. It was as if there were no eyes in those sockets but raw ruby power instead.

"Willow, I am so sorry," I said and lowered my head. "I just wanted the power to protect you."

"WARREN... look!" Jeannie cried out.

I looked up into the mirror again and there was my face. That handsome sometimes awkward face of mine, I was me again! I noticed the jackal glyph located over, what Jeannie told me later, was called the suprasternal notch. It is that crescent shaped spot between your two clavicles. All it took was a thought to change back. I took a deep breath and thought very hard, Jackal. The change was instant with so signs of alteration at all. I looked at my wrists and the silver bracelets were there as well. I looked around the room but didn't notice any change in light sensitivity or a dip or increase in my hearing or sense of smell. I shrugged and willed myself back to what passed for normal these days. I put my shirt back on and told Jeannie to get dressed and I would gather what valuables I thought worth taking.

I filled Shu's escape bag with the cut stones, jewelry, fake passports and the cash. You never knew when this sort of thing could come in handy. Jeannie returned wearing one of those silk Chinese dresses that zipped up the back, clung to cleavage and showed a lot of leg. The sapphire colored silk accentuated her eyes nicely and the flowery design was quite lovely. I zipped her up as she slipped on some matching flats and we were off. We strode out and I informed the guards that Tsun would make a full recovery. I was taking Shu into custody and would let the Family decide her fate. That was only a little lie.

Knowing that Tsun would recover was a huge relief to me as we returned to Uncle Chang's.

"Master Warren," the twins asked in a single voice. "What about us?"

"I don't understand the question," I said as we drove to Chang's.

"You aren't going to do that to us and then leave are you," Ting asked.

"Seriously, you broke us, both of us, beyond repair remember?" Ling added.

"Did I," I said and they nodded. "So what do you want me to do?"

"Take us with you," they pleaded. "We can serve you as protectors."

"Aw crap, mom and the others are going to flip," I said. "Fine... FINE... but be it on your own heads I say!"

The trio laughed in the back of the limo and I dreaded when the jet touched down. I glanced at the twins and then at Jeannie and something didn't jive. Hold on a second, why were they being so nice to her unless...

"Oh you little shits you," I growled. "You never left the room did you?"

"Nope, we saw the whole thing," Ling replied.

"That was fucking epic," Ting added with a flourish of hand gestures. "Defeat the bad guy without killing them, crazy cool."

"You had better get used to calling her Shu," Ling continued. "I am not sure your family would understand what you did. We do, don't get us wrong, we get it. But uh, we are trained killers and all."

"The doppelgangers are right," Jeannie said. "From now on call me Shu."

"So no more Jeannie at all," I asked and she nodded. "Okay, I guess... Shu it is."


The Tower of the Raven is situated near the very center of the Maze but not the actual center. That honor belonged to the ethereal construct known as the House of Glass. It hovered at the very core of that extradimensional space and was home to the Arch Mage. It was this mysterious entity that ruled over the denizens of the Maze and passed final judgement on any infractions that were severe enough to warrant his attention. The House of Glass is fashioned of thousands of triangular pieces of translucent glass. These windows, as they are called, form a perfect pyramidal shape that houses among other things a portal to the infamous Black Library. The Arch Mage rarely appears in public but when he does a celebration usually ensues and the entire Maze is filled with music, dancing and a festive air.

The Arch Mage looked down from his lofty apartments and frowned. He wasn't the first man to hold the title of Arch Mage but he feared he just might be the last. Why now, he asked himself. Just a decade or two more and he would pass on his title. He had already narrowed it down to three possible candidates. They were all young and brash but damn it they all had such potential. He twisted his platinum ring of office around and around on his finger nervously. He could abdicate early and be on the other side of existence before the shit hit the fan. No, he couldn't, he was Arch Mage and that meant he had to take a stand and soon.

"God damned Thanatons," he cursed. "Why did you have to wake up at all?"

He turned away from the city below. The old man faced the creature held in place by unbreakable bonds and cringed as it incessantly recited the same words over and over again.

"The Thanatons are waking... the Thanatons are hungry..."

The blast of mystical energy reduced the man to ash. The Arch Mage snarled at the remains and spat on them.

"Yeah, I fucking know... I fucking know..."

moment   insanity   brief  

Aug 5, 2018 in anal