After quashing a plot by the Azure Flame to take over Seaside City, Tempest returns to Selene City to hopefully take a break from all the action. But the supervillain assault continues. Only this time, the shapeshifter Castor is caught up in the crossfire.
Castor and Tempest must work together to ensure that Selene City survives the coming storm but neither have realized that not everything is as it seems.
Tempest and the response team, Captain Cryo, Lady Vein, Wild Peter, and the Seabeast, had managed to thwart the Azure Flame’s move against Seaside City faster than anyone had anticipated. It was a good thing, but there was still a great amount of confusion as to the villains’ true intentions.
For all of the nervous whisperings in the Hall of Heroes about the Azure Flame, Tempest was having trouble seeing the fuss. The cabal of supervillains, involving some of the most infamous individuals of recent history, seemed to be having teething problems. No one could figure out what the supervillains had really intended in attacking Seaside City.
As he made the long trip back home, Tempest couldn’t stop thinking about his two days at Seaside City. Those supervillains, who were so often begrudgingly praised for their intellect had been… Well, there was no other way to describe it other than stupid.
And he didn’t like using the word. It made him feel like he was underestimating the enemy. But there was just no avoiding it. The villains really should have known better. What he and the team had managed to uncover was a tangled, dysfunctional web of plans instead of a single cohesive operation.
Some of the plots he and the others had discovered had run contrary to one another. It was like the entire thing was self-defeating. Some of the villains’ plans had, in Tempest’s opinion, been deliberately designed to sabotage the others. The entire thing had been a house of cards waiting for the lightest breeze to knock it down.
Even though he wished he could ignore the evidence, the data was there. The conclusion was practically foregone. The nail in the coffin was the way that the entire thing had unraveled with minimal input from the heroes.
It was clear. The villains didn’t get along with one another. It was to be expected, given that there were very big egos involved in the Azure Flame. But the rifts were painfully apparent. They had come to a head during the showdown the heroes had managed to force at the dry dock. The highlight of the evening had been Lady Ironfist bodily throwing Count Carmine into the path of one of Wild Peter’s stampedes after the would-be-vampire told her that she needed to watch her flank.
Tempest knew that it was better for the Hall that there was infighting in the Azure Flame. The sheer devastation that those minds put together could accomplish was something that TEmpest shuddered to think about. Sure, the Hall could probably stand toe to toe against the Azure Flame, but if the enemy was weakened, they wouldn’t have to pour nearly as many resources into combating the threat.
By any indication, Tempest should have been happy about the state of things. But he felt like he was missing something. Like they were missing something. Something wasn’t right. He was sure of it. He just couldn’t put a finger on what.
Seaside City had felt too easy. Like the villains were making amateur mistakes that they should have known better than to commit. It was one thing to have a disagreement on how to carry out a goal, and another entirely to deliberately sabotage allies for doing it the wrong way.
He had expressed his concerns to the other heroes after the fight, but everyone had just been too confident or too drunk on their recent victory to put much stock in his misgivings. They had reassured him that he was just being paranoid. He might have actually believed them, but the foreboding just refused to go away.
For whatever reason, Tempest just couldn’t shake the feeling that they had committed a grave mistake. But he couldn’t know for sure. He had no evidence. He could be wrong. They could have done exactly what they needed to do. But he still felt like they had missed something big.
He felt that Seaside City was just a distraction. From what, he couldn’t possibly know. To his knowledge, nothing major had occurred during the two days he was away. Still, he supposed that if he was right they would find out what the supervillains had really been planning sooner or later. He could only hope that they would be ready to face the threat, if and when it reared its ugly head.
Maybe there was a way he could get ahead of it. Last he heard the Black Augur was still in Selene City. Maybe the seer could help him figure out what was causing the feeling of impending doom in the back of his mind.
But that was a job for tomorrow. Right now, Tempest was only interested in resting. He was tired. He was more than ready to be Corey Cooper again, even if for only a few days.
Truth be told he was more exhausted than he had expected to be. And after only two days, at that. He had exerted himself more than he anticipated during the battle between the team and the villains. Despite their dysfunction, the villains that had been on the playing field at Seaside City had been extremely powerful individually. If not for their infighting, Tempest wasn’t sure that he and the team would have managed to beat the group on their own.
Still, he had managed to demonstrate the new and unparalleled heights of his power. Apparently he’d shown that he had the stuff of the big leagues by managing to knock out the near-invincible Telmoc with a single lightning bolt. Granted, he’d nearly taken out Seaside City’s grid in the process, but he was still proud of it.
Tempest shook his head. He didn’t want to think about villains anymore. He didn’t want to think about Seaside City anymore. He wanted a break. He had already wasted a month of summer vacation languishing in an Azure Flame facility of some description, which he still couldn’t remember, and he wasn’t getting any of those days back.
What he deserved was a proper vacation. But that was not possible for superheroes like him. The next best thing was getting to crawl in bed and hopefully staying there for at least the next eight or ten hours. Unfortunately, it seemed that bed would have to wait as he noticed that someone was in it as he clambered in through the window.
Tempest sighed. It was him. Or rather, his body double. What Castor was doing in his room this late at night, he didn’t know. But he was too tired to actually care.
As soon as his feet were back on solid ground inside his room, Tempest peeled back the hood of his super suit and sighed. His brown locks were plastered to his forehead by the sweat that he’d worked up thanks to flying all the way home to Selene City from Seaside City; he’d been too impatient to wait for the shuttle service.
He fumbled with his fingers to find the seam of the skin-tight suit, eying Castor every now and again. He grunted as his fingers failed to catch on the flap for a second time. He couldn’t wait to get out of his suit.
Even though it was supposed to self-regulate and wick away moisture, there was only so much it could do, especially considering the amount that he sweated during long-haul flights.
When he finally got the suit off, Corey sighed with relief. The cool air felt so good against his skin, especially against his bare ass. It was so refreshing to be out of the suit, which he unceremoniously tossed into the laundry basket.
Too tired to give a shit about his current state of undress, and knowing that Castor had most likely been staring at and playing with his naked body over the last two days anyway, Corey crept over to the bed and lightly shook the shoulder of his double.
As Castor turned over, it became apparent that he wasn’t wearing anything under the blankets. His erection was readily apparent thanks to the tent in the fabric. Corey hoped that it was a coincidence that Castor liked to sleep naked because he didn’t want to think about how Castor would have come to know that he liked to sleep naked. "Castor. What are you doing here?" he whispered.
A bleary voice responded. "Hmm? Oh… Hey…" said Castor. The shapeshifter sat up and rubbed his eyes sleepily, the blankets pooling around his waist. He looked around, eyes darting to the clock on the nightstand. "Jesus… What time is it? I didn’t know you were coming back so early…"
"Glad you’re safe, man," said Castor, weakly giving Corey a thumbs-up. His arm fell back on the bed with a thump. "You know… I just thought I’d try and get away with spending an entire day as you… I wanted to see how it felt like to wake up and go to sleep as Corey Cooper."
Castor scratched the back of his head. "I have to say… I’m a bit disappointed. I didn’t really have much to do all day other than sulk in your room and jerk off."
Corey rolled his eyes. Here they went again. Castor was always poking fun at his lack of a social life, as if that were some major failing on his part. "Seriously, man. What do you do here all day? It’s like there’s nothing interesting in your room to pass time with. No sex toys. No cable TV. No nothing.
"Tell me there’s at least something saucy on your computer," said Castor. "I couldn’t get into it, but that’s your last hope, man. Or do you really just spend your time here studying and working out to keep your reputation?"
"Fuck off, Castor." Corey had meant to put more of a playful note to his voice, but the words just came out as tired. He walked to the TV and pressed his fingers into a wall panel nearby. It folded open to reveal a small games console. "For the record, I play video games just like everyone else. And if I really want to have fun, I go out. A dorm room isn’t the best place to go wild, you know."
Castor’s eyes widened. "That’s where it was!" he said. He seemed genuinely surprised. Corey raised an eyebrow. "I spent an hour looking for your PlayMaster! Here I was thinking that you were one of those kooks that uses a PlayMaster controller for computer gaming." Castor explained. "Why the fuck do you have it in a secret compartment?"
Corey sighed. He didn’t have the time nor the patience for this conversation. "Do you have any idea how expensive these things are these days?" he said. "I’m not going to leave it out, just asking to get it stolen. I locked it up the moment I heard someone in the building was apparently missing some stuff."
Castor blinked. "Fair enough," he said, with a shrug. "Anyway, how did Seaside City go? I guess we’ll hear all about it on the news tomorrow, but I’d really like to hear more about it from the horse’s mouth. The dirty details and all that stuff, you know?"
Corey just looked at his feet and shuffled uncomfortably in place. He really didn’t want to have this conversation. "Look," he said. "Castor, I don’t mean to be rude or anything… But could you just go home? I’m tired… and I just want to go to bed."
He scratched the back of his head apologetically. He felt somewhat bad for telling Castor off, especially since he owed being able to keep a secret identity to the shapeshifter, but then again it wasn’t like he’d asked Castor to spend the night and sleep in his bed.
"Oh…" said Castor. In the dim light streaming through the window, Corey could see a faint tinge of pink on Castor’s cheeks. If he wasn’t imagining things, there was also a hint of disappointment in Castor’s voice. "Sorry," said Castor. "I’ll get out of your hair… Just let me get dressed."
"Thanks," said Corey. "I really appreciate it." He stifled a yawn with his fist and scratched his butt. "You know the way out, I hope."
Castor had scarcely rolled off the mattress when Corey crawled into bed, pulling the blankets over his body. As a result, he got an eyeful of his own bare bottom, but on another man. He was too tired to think anything of it, though.
He reached down and shimmied the jockstrap down his legs, burrowing his face into the pillow as his eyes slowly drifted shut. "Oh…" he said, turning over to face Castor, "Thank you. For everything. Maybe we can catch up about what I missed around here over coffee tomorrow…"
Corey was already half-asleep when he felt a hand on his shoulder. "You’re welcome…" Castor murmured. "I’m sure you did a great job in Seaside City, Corey. Coffee would be amazing. Goodnight, sleepyhead."
Corey chuckled. "Fuck off," he mumbled, as he drifted into the land of dreams.
Corey was somewhere dark and cramped. There was something hard on top of him, something hard on either side and behind him. He only barely fit where he was.
He shivered. The air was cold against his bare skin. He was naked. He should have been scared, or at the very least concerned, but somehow he knew that it wasn’t his place to be any of those things.
He didn’t remember how he got here, or what he was doing here. But he didn’t want to think about it. He couldn’t think about it. Thinking wasn’t for him. Things didn’t think. And that was what he was. A thing. Other people were supposed to do the thinking for him.
It occurred to him that he wasn’t really a him at all, either. He was an it. And maybe in the past it had been a Corey. Maybe in the past it had been a Tempest. But now it wasn’t any of those things. It was just an it. An object. A thing. It had no name. It needed no name. Just like it needed no thoughts.
It shivered again in the cold, its mind returning to the familiar, comfortable emptiness that it should have always been in. It didn’t understand where this fear emotion came from. Or where these Corey thoughts came from. Things were not supposed to have emotions or thoughts.
As it affirmed the facts of its existence, that it was merely a thing, that it did not have emotions, that it did not have thoughts, and that others were meant to do the thinking for it, it felt a wave of arousal wash over it. It felt the cock attached to its body swell and strain against the bars of a cold metal contraption wrapped around it. It felt something in its ass. And it felt the weight of a cold metal collar around its neck.
It was a thing. An object. Nothing more. It opened its eyes and saw in front of it a pair of legs clad in deep blue cloth edged with gold. It recognized the colors of its master. Its lord. Its god. It felt a deep desire to please.
Though to classify what it felt as desire would be inaccurate. Desire implied volition. No. What it felt was a drive to complete its purpose, an emotionless compulsion to do precisely what it had been made for.
It crept forward on its hands and knees, using its fingers to pry open the fold of cloth that restrained its master’s glorious cock. It was a beauty to behold, even in the dim light of the thing’s current location. Its mouth watered, not out of desire, but out of necessity as its master liked to be sucked sloppily.
It wrapped its plump lips around its master’s cock. All of its resistance, all of its will, had already been eroded away. Even the small part of it that would have reveled at the taste of its god’s pre-cum on its tongue had been silenced. Instead, it did precisely as its master expected, swirling its tongue around the sensitive glans.
When it felt that it had done so for long enough, it choked down its master’s cock, forcing its face down the thick, throbbing shaft until its nose was buried in its master’s bush. It held the position for a minute. Then, it fucked its face with abandon on its master’s cock, on the center of its universe.
It slobbered, and drooled, and gagged and choked, but only because its master liked to hear those noises. Snot dribbled from its nose. Its eyes watered. Slime from its throat coated its master’s cock as it mercilessly fucked its throat on its master’s cock.
It locked its lips around the base of its master’s cock when it felt the thick member swell and pulse on its tongue. It sucked hard to coax the cum out of its master’s nuts. It swallowed obediently, as it was supposed to.
It needed no reward. No recognition. It was only a thing. It was an object meant for its master’s pleasure. But still its master let it gaze into those deep blue eyes that held eternity. Its cock strained from uncontained arousal as it lost itself in the gaze of its god. It moaned and whimpered, squeezing its hole around the plug buried in its ass. Until at long last its master looked away.
It knelt there. It made no noise. It made no movements. It was an object. Its purpose was done. It was merely meant to exist. It was aware that its master was talking. But it had no concept of language. An object didn’t need any intelligence, much less knowledge of words.
Its master said "Put yourself away," and it knew that it was being addressed. It recognized the tones of its master’s utterance, knew that they were words, knew the command that they bore. But it did not understand the words themselves. It had no such concept. It was only an object. Language was for people, and it was not a person anymore.
It crawled out from under the desk and out of its masters office. It went down the hallway and down the stairs into the basement. It had no awareness of the layout of the house. It only knew where it needed to go.
Dim lights flashed in the darkness. From the maintenance pods of the other objects. Objects did not sleep. Objects did not eat. Objects did not drink. Objects were merely maintained. And these pods maintained them when they were put away according to the master’s wishes.
The thing that had once been Tempest crawled into its pod. It rested its chest against the raised cushion in the center and placed its hands and feet in their designated areas. Metal restraints clasped them into place.
A vibrating wand was placed against its cock cage. Its body hummed with arousal. Arousal and desperation were the only emotions allowed for objects, and those only in the safety of their maintenance pods. They were important to the maintenance of the objects’ mind states.
The thing that had once been Tempest was filled with both. It groaned as it rapidly approached the edge. It would never cum. But its arousal continued to climb. As it opened its mouth a thick rubber dildo slid between its teeth and down its throat. It pumped a trickle of water and nutrients into its stomach.
The plug in its ass was removed, replaced by a flexible tube that cleaned out its insides. Then, the tube was replaced with another dildo, this one leaking aphrodisiac to drive its arousal to ever greater heights.
A headset dropped on top of its ears, playing the familiar droning sounds of static mixed with subliminal messaging. Its eyes widened and glazed over. Its jaw went slack. Drool trickled from the tip of its chin, gathering on a collection plate positioned under its face.
A screen turned on, revealing an image of its master’s eyes, flashing intermittently with its mantras. With its purpose. It would watch the video until it lost consciousness.
Corey woke with a start. He was drenched in sweat. His crotch was sticky with cum. It had been a while since he’d had a wet dream, but ever since getting back from the Azure Flame it was like every other night he had one. He only wished he could remember what sort of filthy hot sex made him cum in his sleep.
He always remembered dreaming. He always remembered how vivid, how real the dreams felt. But he never remembered what the dreams were about at all. Not even the faintest flashes or dregs of memory. It was disappointing.
"Are you serious?" said Castor. His laugh was infectious. Thankfully, Corey hadn’t yet succumbed. The two of them were seated across from one another in a corner booth at Madeline’s, a small coffee shop that Corey liked to visit whenever he wanted to get away. From being a superhero, being a student, being a quarterback. Whatever it was that was causing him stress.
"Jeez," said Castor. "They just don’t make today’s villains like they used to, do they?" Corey shrugged. He wouldn’t know. He was young. He supposed he could take Castor’s word for it since he was around back in the day when the villains were actually competent.
"Seriously, though," said Corey, "you should have seen the look on Count Carmine’s face when Lady Ironfist picked him up by the scruff of the neck. Turned red as a tomato, he did."
Corey shook his head. "I know we’ve had some pretty bad junior teams at the Hall, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them be as dysfunctional as the villains were last night. And that’s saying something."
He glanced at his communicator. SIBYL indicated that the privacy field was about to go down. It was a lifesaver. It would have been an unmitigated disaster if anyone had overheard his conversation with Castor over the last few minutes.
It was just as well that they wouldn’t be able to carry on, though. He had already run out of stories to tell about his trip to Seaside City. Besides, there were other things that he wanted to talk about. Things that didn’t need such a level of secrecy. "Enough about Seaside City," said Corey, taking a sip from his steaming mug of coffee. "Tell me about what happened while I was away."
Castor raised an eyebrow. Corey rolled his eyes. "Okay, fine, you got me," he conceded. "I want to know how the date went. Did you see his eyes? Aren’t they just… amazing?"
Corey didn’t remember the last time he’d been this excited for a guy. Ever since his fantasies about Imperious, all of his dates had been disappointing for one specific reason: because they weren’t Imperious. But for whatever reason, Marcus stuck out. Marcus was just… Well, Corey didn’t really have the words to describe him.
Castor sighed dreamily. He looked out the window, at the people passing by on the street. His eyes had taken on a glazed, faraway look. A small smile had crept into his lips, and a faint tinge of pink had colored his cheeks. "I envy you, Corey…" Castor murmured. "Where did you find this guy? He was… the perfect gentleman. You know, I wanted to jump him right from the start."
Corey shivered. Hearing that made him happy. He felt fuzzy and warm all over. He was glad that Castor thought Marcus was amazing, too. He did kind of envy that Castor had met Marcus before he had managed to meet the guy. But the negativity just slid right off him. He couldn’t blame Castor. He could sympathize. He was sure he would be acting the same way once he actually met Marcus face to face.
Under the table, Corey’s cock twitched to life. He looked over at Castor and noticed how he surreptitiously adjusted himself in his pants. It was nice that he had someone to talk about Marcus with. Someone who obviously felt the same effect that Marcus had on him.
Maybe Corey should have been more concerned. Maybe he should have felt angry that Castor was clearly lusting after Marcus after meeting him for the first time. But Corey understood. He knew the feeling. Castor falling hard for Marcus made sense. It felt justified. Because Marcus was just… beyond words to describe.
Truth be told, Corey didn’t really remember how he and Marcus had gotten into contact initially. He vaguely remembered that it was through someone he had known, previously. But that was it. What did it matter anyway. The only thing that mattered was that he knew Marcus now. And that Marcus knew him. That Marcus liked him.
Corey smiled, feeling even fuzzier and foggier in the head. Marcus made him happy. He grinned as he remembered those bright blue eyes, so deep and so beautiful that he could just fall into them.
He glanced across the table. Castor had his face propped up on his fist. His jaw was slack. Drool was trickling down the side of his face. Corey wondered if he was thinking of Marcus’ bright blue eyes, too.
They were just so hard to miss and even harder to ignore. Whenever he talked to Marcus, he just felt like he was falling deeper and deeper into those blue eyes, losing himself in them, tuning out the entire world around him. But that didn’t make any sense. How could he have seen Marcus’ eyes. They had never met.
Then, it occurred to him. He giggled. He was such an airhead. He forgot things so easily. He faintly remembered having some video calls with Marcus. Some of them had been innocent. Some of them had been naughty, involving "performances" for the blue-eyed man.
Corey’s cock hardened in his pants. It pressed up against his thigh. But his recollection was interrupted by Castor. "I told him I wasn’t really you," said Castor. "When he asked me who I really was… I told him I was just covering for you while you were away… I couldn’t lie to him, you know?" said Castor, with a dopey grin on his face.
Something wasn’t right about what Castor had just said, but Corey couldn’t put a finger on why. Well, surely if he couldn’t figure it out right away, it wasn’t as important as he felt it was. "I told him all about secret identities and how we keep them secret at the Hall of Heroes…" Castor slurred, giggling into his hand.
"But don’t worry!" said Castor, eyes wide, as he giggled again. "We can trust Marcus! We can tell Marcus anything. We should tell Marcus everything."
Corey nodded, feeling like he was floating on a fluffy, warm cloud. "Yeah…" he mumbled. "We should tell him everything."
Castor giggled again. "I… I hope you don’t mind Corey… But he wanted my number… We were texting each other all of last night. He made me call him. And…" Castor giggled. Each time he did, he sounded stupider, more vapid. "And I fucked my hole with a dildo for him."
Corey grinned. For some reason he felt like he should have been angry. Jealous. Furious. But he just couldn’t think of why. He couldn’t blame Castor. He understood the effect that Marcus had on people. Hell, he’d experienced it firsthand. He couldn’t possibly hold it against Castor. If anything he was glad someone could relate.
Even though he’d always thought that he was the monogamous type, Corey found no problem whatsoever with the idea of sharing Marcus with anyone else. Because he didn’t really own Marcus. If anything, Marcus owned him. As long as he could spend time with Marcus and stare into those bright blue eyes, Corey would have been happy.
"It’s okay…" Corey slurred. He giggled. He felt fuzzy. Horny. He could feel his cock leaking pre-cum onto his thigh. Across from him, Castor was rubbing himself through his pants. "I don’t mind…"
Corey blinked. He picked up his mug of coffee. It was cold. He made a face and saw Castor making the same one. "What the hell?" he said. "These were hot just a minute ago." He shook his head. That was weird. But it was no cause for concern. It was just coffee.
He looked down at his wrist, his communicator, to check the time. But it was off. He didn’t remember turning it off. "W-What were we talking about?" Castor mumbled, holding his head in his hands.
"Shh," said Corey. There was an alert on his communicator when he turned it on. "What’s going on, SIBYL?" he said. He had to try not to slur the words together. He was finding difficulty speaking for some reason. He chalked it up to being tired.
"Are you okay, Corey?" said SIBYL. "I detect some confusion. Are you aware that you turned your communicator off half an hour ago?" Corey blinked. It had been half an hour? He rubbed his temple. Wow. Time really did fly when out with friends.
Still, he felt like he was missing something. He tried to think back on the last few minutes. It was hard. He couldn’t really remember them properly. He shook his head and let it go. It was easier to just not think about what had happened. He had probably just lost track of time.
"I’m okay, SIBYL," he said. "I just wanted to have a private word with Castor… Uh… Tell me what’s going on."
"CODE RED at the corner of Buzz and 13th," said SIBYL. "Supervillains Temblor and Pyroclast have entered the Tether Building and are threatening to bring down the entire structure, allegedly with a machine developed by the Azure Flame.
"Authorities are already on the scene, but they are severely outclassed. Other heroes are currently tied up in Tranquility, battling Shatter. We suspect that this is not a coincidence. You and Castor are the closest available heroes to the scene."
"We’ll be there, SIBYL," said Corey. He glanced across the table at Castor. "Please tell me you have your suit on you," he said.
"Never leave home without it," murmured Castor. He looked up from his cold mug of coffee. He seemed miserable. "I haven’t seen action in decades, Corey," he said.
"Well, guess what? Today’s your lucky day, Phantom. You get to prove to the world that you still have what it takes," said Corey. He chuckled. He leaned over the table and clasped his hand on Castor’s shoulder. "Don’t worry. I’ll be right there with you. We can do this. Together."