Written by HendrixLives :: [Thursday, 06 February 2020 07:28] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 08 February 2020 11:31]
[Editorial Note: This story is an alternative ending to Graham Masterton's The Hymn or The Burning. Other than Otto, the characters in this story do not feature in the book.]
Mitch Daniels watched in horrified attention as the naked figures walked towards the furnace. They moved without hesitation showing no fear as they approached the fate that surely awaited them.
"Rachel, no!" he screamed, desperately smashing his hands against the glass-like fence of the structure in which he was enclosed. A guard struck him in the stomach with a baton, and he slumped to the ground trying not be sick.
Rachel gave no sign of hearing him. The figures stopped before the furnace; each seemingly in a lane to themselves. Above the furnace were eight lights, seemingly one for each person. There was also a timer, set to count down from 60 seconds.
Otto's voice came over the speakers. "It is time. The master race will be born. The rest of you are here to observe. Slaves to the new master race; existing only for them to play with, toy with, or kill. But even if they permit you to live, you will know what they are and believe." Guards, leave them in the pen. They can’t stop anything now."
The guards left the enclosure, beating down any resistance. Eight normal men and women looked at each other, mixtures of grief, hate and rage etched upon their expressions.
Mitch had only a limited recollection of he had got here. Otto and the woman had arrived at his house and indicated they knew what had happened to Rachel Danvers, a woman who had, in the distant past, meant a great deal to him. Rachel had disappeared six months previously, and no-one had uncovered any trace of her. Mitch had invited them inside, in part because he was slightly inebriated, but mainly because the woman was terrifyingly attractive. She was comfortably taller then his own six-feet, with a flawless face ringed with platinum-blonde hair, and a deep tan that seemed all over. The tan was, at least, on display in her sculpted arms and the depths of her spectacular cleavage. Mitch was under no illusion that there was any real chance of a relationship with her, but the uninhibited part of his mind still wanted to try. Leaving the pair outside wouldn’t help.
Inside, Otto had rambled, claiming that some people were gods trapped in the bodies of ordinary people. “Tribal mysticism - yes!” He had then laughed, an unpleasant sound that seemed to have traveled from the primordial mist of time. “But you are educated Mr Lawson - yes! DNA. Trigger something cataclysmic, and it mutates. Apply fire, and the power of your Rachel will be revealed, ” He laughed again. Mitch had felt a cold sweat on his back. The man was insane, but also evil. Evil, perhaps in a truly biblical sense. He hinted that perhaps Otto and the woman should both leave, and Otto’s expression had changed. “You doubt us, Mr Lawson? Very well” He nodded in the direction of the woman, who had been reclining on a couch, languidly stretching her impossibly long legs. She had moved, quicker than humanly possible, grabbing Mitch’s neck with one hand and lifting him to her own eye level. Mitch had struggled, his feet dangling uselessly off the floor. The woman inspected him, as if he were a cockroach about to be crushed. He never saw the casual blow with the other hand that rendered him senseless.
He had woken in the enclosure only hours before. And now this.
Otto spoke again, this time addressing the figures standing with their heads bowed before the furnace. "Andrew", he began. The man closest to Mitch raised his head. "Benjamin, Jennifer, James, Kara, Alicia, Michael." Each raised their head when addressed, responding to their name robotically, but looking straight ahead. And then "Rachel."
Mitch looked at her, and felt an overwhelming sense of loss. Her face was still achingly pretty, seemingly unchanged over the 20 years he had known her. Her figure, slight; perhaps too slight, from excessive distance running. Her breasts, which when they had been an item, embarrassed her due to their small size. Mitch realised how strongly he had loved her, and he felt waves of guilt course through him. Why did they break up? He didn't really know. He thought, though, that if they hadn't then maybe the pathetic end at the hands of Otto would not have happened. He cried noiselessly.
"Eternal. Invulnerable. Irresistible." Otto continued his oration. Otto was also naked, and as he spoke, Mitch could see his erection. Mitch felt nauseated; Otto believed his delusions and was becoming deliriously excited as the ceremony's culmination approached. "Unimaginable power. You can't be hurt. You will break, crush, anything, anyone, that gets in your way." The speech was unfocused now, and Mitch thought Otto might pass out in his feverish excitement. "One last test though. To be reborn, you must be pure. To be pure you must be burnt. From your ashes, you, the progenitors of the master race, the new gods on earth, will be reborn."
Hysteria, Mitch thought dully. It didn't really matter. Rachel was effectively dead. The others, too.
"Now my chorus of salamanders - fulfil your destiny!" Otto shrieked his last words out, and then collapsed, his energy at once expended.
And then, simultaneously, the eight naked figures stepped into the furnace.
At first there was nothing other than the sound of heat, the same as, but magnitudes louder, than the sound of an open fire. The heat of a summer bush-fire, destroying everything. The heat and power of the sun. And then, unsurprisingly, a scream. It was an animal, primal sound - and then it ended. Mitch noted that a light above the furnace blinked off. Another agonised scream, and another light faded. Mitch saw Otto's face, drawn. Perhaps some sanity was piercing his madness when he realised the people, his chorus were actually dying. Another scream, and then Mitch realised that the clock above the furnace had almost completed its circuit. A fourth light blinked off, and then suddenly the sound stopped.
Four lights, including the light above Rachel's lane were still on.
Otto had regained some composure. There was disappointment, but also exultation. "So long I have waited," he said, his words sibilant like a serpent's hiss. Then he spoke to his audience more directly. "To some of you, I apologise. You will have guessed that only half my salamanders have survived. It seems that only the women are pure enough to be reborn. No matter, for me, but for you - well."
Otto then pressed a button on the wall next to him. The furnace reopened. A haze of heat emerged from it, black, the ash of combustion, flesh, and bone. Through the miasmatic fog though, Mitch could see four figures - insubstantial, but real. Mitch now wondered whether he was delusional. The fog lifted, and the figures become more distinct - women obviously, taller, and somewhat intimidating. He couldn't tell which one was Rachel, of if any of his perceptions were real. Nothing made sense.
"To the stage, my chorus" Otto said, and the ash-coloured naked women moved away from the furnace, and closer to Otto's audience.
Otto continued speaking, almost an academic lecture. "At this time, they are most vulnerable, emotional, and subject to death before the process is complete. In the past, our experiments have failed because there has been too long between the first stage, the test of faith you have observed, and the infusion of the sun's power. Stage two is best undertaken when the sun is at its zenith - the solstice. As you know that is today."
Otto smiled, and pressed another button. The ceiling opened, and a projectile that looked somewhat like a laser dropped down over the arena.
"In 14 seconds, the sun will be at its most powerful."
Otto said nothing else. Mitch, to his horror, realised he believed what Otto was saying. No-one could emerge from that furnace, but, yet, four people had. And he knew that they must be already biologically different from when they had entered.
Suddenly, a beam emerged from the laser. Dazzlingly bright, and Mitch had to avert his eyes for a moment. He couldn't look directly at the beam, it was as bright, if not brighter than the sun. However, he could see the light reflecting around the stage's enclosure, and passing through the members of the chorus. As it did, their bodies pulsed with light, and with each vibration they seemed to become larger, stronger, somehow more dense and powerful. Their skin changed too, passing from ash, to fiery red, to dark brown, to black, back to red, before settling on a reddish bronze. A skin colour almost normal, but preternaturally healthy.
Mitch recognised Rachel now; her face the same, but the change hadn’t just increased her muscle tone. Mitch thought Rachel was now taller than he was, and her physique, to give Otto credit, was in fact god-like. He could see the smooth muscle on the long legs, the wider shoulders, and the breasts he would give anything to caress or suckle. He tried not to focus on her tits; it seemed so uncivilised. They were, though, awesome. The other women were equally magnificent, but it was Rachel who held his attention.
The light finally faded, and he was able to look at her face. The same face, pretty as before, but somehow better. His eyes found hers; she seemed to look through him. Mitch felt insignificant before her gaze, and he had an inkling that Rachel, and the other "Salamanders" no longer had regard for normal standards of humanity.
Mitch heard a whimpering sound, and realised it had come from him. His shock had made him able to process rationally how unbelievable Rachel now looked; subconsciously, though, he had reacted. Looking down. he realised one of his hand was desperately stroking his cock; which was larger than it had ever been, and aching for release. He gasped again and came, thick ropes of cum erupting with geyser-like force. He looked up; Rachel had observed him - her expression seemed totally disinterested as Mitch's personality disintegrated before her outrageous physique.
In the background, her heard Otto again. "It is complete."
And then it began.
The chorus entered the cage as a group. The audience parted before them, neither Mitch nor anyone else knew what to do. The woman were clothed now, their flawless faces exposed, but their fabulous physiques concealed by shapeless coats. Nonetheless, their movements were graceful, sinuous. They remained intimidating, however. No emotion was displayed in their countenance and they seemed to exhibit a casual indifference to their surroundings.
Otto entered the cage behind them. He seemed to have overcome any disappointment that he had felt at the demise of the men within the group. He cackled excitedly, and it was that horrible sound which unnerved the prisoners most, and made many of them think that, perhaps, they were going to die. Although the chorus gave the impression that they could simply walk through any obstruction, the prisoners tried to move away from them as they made their way through. Eventually, however, some were cornered, and Mitch realised that, probably by design, he was face-to-face with Rachel.
At close proximity, her physical magnificence was irresistible even though her body was concealed. Her face was perfect, and any lines which had emerged as she had grown from a young woman into middle age were erased. She looked at Mitch wordlessly, and smiled at him. It was an unsettling smile, her mouth remained closed, and the expression seems to be one exuding superiority rather than human warmth.
Otto was hopping around excitedly. He grabbed his crotch obscenely, clearly excited as to the extent of the atrocities that would follow.
“Begin!” he screamed, his voice octaves higher in his hysteria.
Rachel leaned in to Mitch and whispered in his ear. Her voice had familiar cadences from that which he remembered, but was more sensual. The sound promised unearthly delights, but also had the timbre of power and authority. "Obey me," she said, "and your existence will be unimaginably pleasurable. Disobey me. Fight me. Resist me. Any of those things, and your life will be one of continual agony.” She paused before continuing. “You are one of the lucky ones. You are all toys, but you will live to remember and acknowledge our superiority."
Rachel smiled again, and pulled Mitch closer to her. Despite her clothing, he could feel the unimaginable firmness of her body. He was aroused, incredibly hard again, and he was terrified. The combination was exhilarating. She looked at Mitch, and again, it appeared that her gaze went straight through him. Mitch was unable to move his head to even the slightest degree. Her will compelled him to face her.
"We know everything," Rachel said. "For example, Jen knows what Jonathan and Debbie have been up to in her absence." She indicated to her left, and Mitch’s gaze followed. She had allowed him to do so.
A man and a woman were standing before one of the blonde members of Otto’s chorus. They seemed as enraptured by her as Mitch was by Rachel. They were unable to move, petrified by her gaze like mice before a cobra.
Rachel spoke again, and Mitch reflexively faced her once more. "You're going to watch what Jen does to them,” she said. “I expect that you will find it horrifying. You won't want to watch. However, you will also find a simple demonstration of her power so intoxicating that you won't be able to look away. Then you’re going to beg me to fuck you."
The bluntness of her words startled Mitch slightly. "Don't look so surprised," Rachel said. "You never would have betrayed me while we were an item, and that makes you well suited to serving me now. Be under no misapprehension though. You are a slave. You will do what I want you to do, either of your own volition or because I make you. Your will and independence are meaningless. Resist me, and I will break you. Now, watch Jen."
Mitch obeyed wordlessly. Jen, the blonde woman, had grabbed Jonathan and Debbie and guided their mouths to her breasts. Mitch felt himself stiffening already. Her breasts were amazing. For the moment, he wanted to do nothing else than suckle them himself. There was no resistance from either of her two pets. As he watched, Jonathan alternated between squeezing one of Jen's breasts feverishly, and stroking his cock. Debbie was hardly less affected. Within 10 seconds, both of them had orgasmed. Jen's face seemed to be in rapture, but it was apparent to Mitch, even in his own near delirious state, that it was anticipation causing her arousal, rather than the feeble ministrations of Jonathan and Debbie.
This was confirmed when a few seconds later, as Jonathan and Debbie orgasmed helplessly again, when her expression changed. It was no longer beatific, but severe, calculating, hard and looking to cause pain. Her hands moved behind Jonathan and Debbie, holding each one against her breasts. So full and round, so tanned, why would anyone want to resist, Mitch thought. Microseconds later though, both Jonathan and Debbie began to struggle, and Mitch could hear them gasping slightly. He could also see Jonathan beginning to beat his hands against Jen's body, and then his fingers scrabbled against her breast desperately trying to free himself. His efforts were futile, he could not make the slightest indentation against the tanned skin.
Mitch felt himself becoming harder as it was apparent that Jen was effortlessly dominating the two people before her. And then he realised what was happening. At one level, both Jonathan and Debbie were still overcome by her magnificent appearance. But then some truncated sounds of agonising pain were heard. Mitch realised that she was somehow burning them. Effectively, her nipples had heated up to an incandescent temperature while Jen rubbed her victims faces across them.
Rachel cooed in his ear. Mitch had no idea how she could see what was going on, but her own body moved slightly, reminding him that the creature holding him was equally as powerful as the God indulging herself with Jonathan and Debbie. The thought of such exhilarating power was overwhelmingly intoxicating, and Mitch began to move against Rachel. He could barely do so, but the folds in her baggy clothing allowed him some limited movement. As he did so, he realised he had lost the battle. Still unable to take his eyes of the scene unfolding in front of him, he jerked violently and spasmed, another enormous orgasm. As he did so, the scene reached its climax; the screams from Jonathan and Debbie stopped abruptly and their entire bodies stopped moving Jen released her grip on the back of the heads and stepped back, leaving the bodies to slump forward lifelessly onto the ground. As they did so, Mitch can see that their faces were charred beyond recognition. Despite the horror, he orgasmed again.
Rachel now turned his head ack to face her, her expression showing her own exhilaration at what had occurred. As Mitch’s gaze met hers, her expression changed. She looked hungrily at him. Mitch tried to escape her embrace, but Rachel ignored his efforts, and kissed him. Mitch’s resistance ended instantly; he thrust against her desperately, and shuddered to another orgasm. Rachel released him, and he slumped against her, lacking the energy to stand on his own.
Rachel smiled. “I’m going to brand you now.”
Her words startled Mitch, and he briefly fought her again. Rachel was no longer interested and forced him to his knees. “Do not fight me, mortal,” she hissed. “Look around, and count yourself lucky.” She then twisted his head to the side.
Another woman, Alicia, had forced a man into the wall. “Thought you’d fuck me did you?” she said, her voice commanding obedience. “That’s not how it works.” She had grabbed the man with one hand. She held him off the ground, and he flopped around like a rag doll. He was ridiculously out-matched. “No, I fuck you.” She smashed his head into the wall to punctuate her words. Still holding him off the ground, she wrapped one leg around the trapped man, holding him still. She then began to thrust into him, and Mitch assumed for a moment she was wearing a dildo. The man screamed instantly, piercing cries, and arched his back against Alicia, desperate to break free. Alicia put one hand over his mouth. The hand seemed to grow brightly, and the man struggled more frantically, obviously in unimaginable agony. His screams were muffled though, as Alicia had effectively fused his lips together.
After a few more thrusts Alicia’s eyes glazed over, and then she came. The man’s body collapsed, and then incinerated, heat obliterating it into ash in moments. Alicia laughed, a sound of contempt and utter power. She stepped back and laughed, rubbing her hands over her own tits, equally as fabulous as those of the other Salamanders. She then put her hips and roared, a terrifying sound of power. Her abdominal wall undulated, rippling cobblestones of tanned muscle. Her eyes glistened and she turned towards a man knocked to the floor from the shock-wave her voice had generated, and then she stalked towards him, a lioness hunting down new prey.
Rachel gasped, a sensual sound of pleasure, and she forced Mitch’s head to face her again. “Now it’s your turn.”