It was too dark to see her hand in front of her face. Piper was awake. She wasn't certain when she woke but she sat motionless. Listening. She tilted her head ever so slightly from side-to-side straining to catch even a meager strain of light. Nothingness greeted her. In her hell there was no concept of time: no day, no night. Piper wondered if she existed anymore. Was she really alive? It was sometimes hard to tell in her coffin-like tomb. She stifled a groan whenever she so gently tried to straighten her knees out before her. The fetal position was agonizing when she positioned herself in it for too long.
Involuntarily, Piper cried out when her hair was roughly grabbed and her head pulled back, exposing her throat. Cool liquid was poured into her mouth and she gulped at it greedily. She was so thirsty. Piper knew by now to swallow as much as she could, because the man-creature wouldn't be back again with more for some time. Piper could feel the brackish water dribble from the corners of her mouth. She couldn't breathe and still she continued to guzzle as much as she could in so short a time. The liquid was taken away far too soon. Piper made no protest, knowing she would be beaten for her insolence if she dared.
Next a piece of some kind of food was thrust past her lips. Her hair was released and she was left to chew and savor the morsel at her leisure. Piper had no idea what it was. Perhaps some kind of fruit. It had an odd salty taste and a somewhat leathery texture on the outside. It was chewy and it took a great deal of saliva to soften it enough to swallow without choking. Piper had no doubt the food wasn't from Earth. Regardless, it was nice to have something to occupy her time, at least for a little while. She made the slight ration last as long as she could.
Pronounced clicking sounds echoed in her small chamber as the being moved away. Long talons slid across the wall sending flying sparks that allowed frightening images of the creature's massive body. Piper knew the creature wanted her to hear it, hear how heavy it sounded, how deadly. She shuddered; the being could also be very stealthy and so quiet it could be in front of her and she would never know. Its cold face could be mere inches from her nose. Its fangs a hairsbreadth from her throat. For fun, it sometimes snuck up on her like that and then breathed in her face to ruffle her hair. Piper swallowed hard, with it went the last of her food causing a lump in her throat. Piper heard the swishing sound she associated with a door sliding open then closed. The being came and went through a door without ever allowing any light in.
The gray beings that had captured Piper from her dying world were hideous. Their bodies were complete colossal muscle and they stood near six and a half feet tall. They had an odd steely skin. Protruding bulbs were in place of eyes and had no color. A strange black pulsating tattoo shone on their cheeks. They sounded like men, their voices deep and harsh, but she had seen no sex on them. They were devoid of clothing and hairless. Long gray tails hung from their hindquarters and could twist around her legs tripping her. The night the beings had come Piper had honestly thought things on Earth couldn't get any worse. She had been sadly mistaken.
Eight women and ten men had been living, or rather existing, together in a small cave while their planet burnt around them. Meteors crashed with a vengeance, desecrating the soil and trees with explosions and craters. Geomagnetic storms disrupted global communication rendering the entire planet without contact. The sun was almost nonexistent. The air had been frigid and a constant drab gray hung in the skies with the occasional eerie orange brilliance to indicate yet another fire. Ash billowed often in the sky. The ground trembled beneath her feet more frequently. Food was becoming scarcer by the second. With most trees dead or dying, the air quality was pitiful.
Piper realized now at least the people in her cave had one another, even as bad as it was. There was suffering, but it was bearable when it was shared. Piper and the others had consoled one another, encouraged each other through the roughest parts. Now she had nothing and no one. Loneliness ate at her soul.
The beings called themselves Tonans. Long, razor-sharp talons on their hands had made short work of the human men. Piper had watched in horror as her friends were slit in half, gutted and disemboweled. Running had been useless, laughable really. The beings moved so quickly they had captured the women in seconds. Two older women were killed. Piper had pleaded for her life when she had hung upside down by the creature's tail, then lifted to his eye level and turned for inspection. The being had sniffed at her then laughed cruelly and told her he wasn't going to kill her--he had other plans for such a young tasty morsel. Piper had shaken with terror.
Piper blinked, she did it with exaggeration just to prove her eyes were in fact open. She then cocked her head and listened carefully. She did it often. There was no sound in the darkness. Sometimes her jailer would torment her with his claws clicking on the hard surface where she had been dumped into hell. The spaceship they had boarded was massive and gray like the creatures. There were higher levels, but she had seen no way to reach them. The interior floor of the vessel was spongy and it felt as though she were walking on moss. That was until a door had slid open and she had been shoved into a room all alone.
For the first little while Piper had cried out, demanded to be released, begged to be released. No one came, and no one had answered, not even to tell her to shut up. Fear had turned to terror as she had waved her hands before her in the nothingness, searching. Under her hands she felt hard-as-cement cold walls and floors. The room was small. She had been given no blanket, no food, not even water for the longest time. Finally she had dropped to her knees, then side. Piper had cried until there were no tears left.
Gingerly Piper stretched her legs further. She groaned in agony. For awhile she listened to herself breathe. She tucked one hand into the other and squeezed, pretending someone was giving her comfort. It was easy enough when she saw nothing--it really could have been someone else holding her hand...maybe. Her head rested back against the wall and she hummed just to hear a human voice. When something touched her cheek she squealed and jumped. Her right hand reached up and she tugged at the offending object and almost ripped her own hair out. Piper howled in pain.
From the darkness came a cruel chuckle. Piper turned her head in the direction. It hadn't really left; she should have known. She had come to the conclusion these creatures could see in the dark. The sharp tapping of a thick claw made her want to curl back into a ball and shut the noise out.
"Why are you doing this to me?" she whispered instead. Piper cringed at the defeat in her tone. She had always been so strong, even when the world was going to shit she had kept her head up. But after days--was it days--of seeing nothing and talking to no one she felt isolated and alone.
"Human females are so weak it amuses me. I like it best when your eyes make water. Our Castian prisoners will take one whiff of your female scent and tell me anything I want to know. I'm sure there will be many who will be panting to take you. It will be entertaining to see you struggle to survive the warriors' lust--many are in must. Their control is tenacious at best, others have none at all. Some women linger for months--others a few days. Part of the sport is betting. How long will you last, female?"
Piper swallowed hard. Her thoughts raced. She couldn't die like that. It took only seconds to come to what would no doubt be the final decision of her life. Piper jumped to her feet. Her body shook in protest after days of inactivity. She launched herself at where the voice had come from. Piper connected with the creature; he felt like a mass of muscle. She struck hard and pummeled the creature. She cried out over and over as her fisted hands hit at what felt like steel. The creature roared with laughter.
Something gripped Piper's legs and snapped her ankles tightly together. Piper would have fallen if the creature hadn't grabbed her arms and held her up. It lifted her off her feet. Piper knew the being had raised her to his height. She felt its breath slide over her face and she gagged at the noxious odor. She tossed her head back when the creature licked her throat and inhaled her scent. The creature's raspy tongue dragged its way up her cheek and Piper shuddered when she felt the cold hardness of its two long fangs against her warm skin.
"Make your eyes water for me," it whispered. "I smell your terror, and it's intoxicating. I feel your heart pounding."
The being's fangs were once more at her throat. Piper could hear her teeth chatter. She didn't want to cry because it amused him to demean her. The hands gripping her tightened painfully and it growled low in its throat at her defiance. To her horror she felt the creature's tail slide slowly up between her legs. Piper's breath caught and held. Higher it went, like a thick snake. Slithering around her like a demented lover. Piper began shaking. The fine hairs on the nape of her neck stood tall. When it reached her tattered jean-covered mound and fondled her intimately Piper couldn't contain her hysteria. Back and forth it rubbed against her trying to part her legs, until it succeeded.
"Noo!" The word was torn from her mouth. A floodgate opened and her tears ran like a river down her cheeks soaking them in seconds. She was certain she was about to die of fright. Her breath caught and held as her heart hammered in her chest.
Again the being chuckled. The vice-like grip on her arms loosened. The tail retreated. The being made a calming sound, like a growling purr. Piper felt fangs sink into her neck for an instant. Cool liquid invaded her body and Piper slumped forward. She was unable to move. Her body pressed against the cold solid creature feeling each powerful muscle. Her eyes fluttered closed and she heard him speak before she succumbed to oblivion.
"Good little female," the being crooned. "Very good."