An archeologist in search of a lost temple finds both it, and the goddess within, much to his reget.
This is the first of three very loosely connected stories that I've been calling my Lost Gods stories.
A lone backpacker slowly made his way up the steep mountainside, grunting with effort as he pulled himself up along particularly rough areas. Finally, he stopped after what had seemed like an eternity of climbing, turning to look at the endless South American jungles which stretched before him.
"Great view," he announced, feeling slightly in awe of the sight, though he knew that it had been a real pain to make his way through.
Dave McCormic pulled off his fedora and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He stared at the hat for just a moment, knowing that it added somewhat to his resemblance to Indiana Jones, the character who had played a part in inspiring him to become an archeologist himself. The choice of hats and playing up the resemblance had been intentional as Dave liked the image it presented. He had even frequently joked to friends that he should start carrying a whip.
At the moment, Dave was on an expedition, though a fairly poorly funded one at that. He had found rumors and even faint evidence of some sort of ancient temple that was supposed to exist along that mountain range and had come all the way to look into it. However, like some movie, his native guides would only lead him part of the way, abandoning him to his own devices at the foot of the mountain two days before. Apparently they didn't know where any temple was, but had a number of superstitions about the 'cursed' mountain. It was those very superstitions which had directed him to that specific mountain as the most likely destination for his goal.
After taking a break for several minutes to catch his breath and have a quick bite, Dave unfolded one of the maps that he had brought with him, making several notes as to where he was with the pencil. Then he looked up from that and along the mountainside, trying to spot any sign of ruins or human construction. However, he saw none.
"I wish I had some help," Dave muttered to himself as he folded the map back up and took a drink from his canteen. Unfortunately, there had been very little funding available for his search, or much belief. But that had been expected. He was taking something of a longshot on that expedition and knew it. Dave also knew that success could do wonders for his career.
Several seconds later, Dave returned to his climbing, and his searching. There was no particular destination in mind, only a whole mountain to examine. However, Dave held onto hope that he could find some evidence at least before he ran out of food in his pack and had to return to the base camp at the foot of the mountain.
It was much later that day when Dave was making his way along the bottom of a particularly tall cliff, looking up towards the top in amazement. It was an impressive sight and Dave wished that his camera were a little more accessible, instead of at the bottom of his pack. But then again, this wasn't the type of thing that he'd brought it along to take pictures of.
Then as Dave was looking at the cliff, he noticed something. He moved closer, surprised to find the beginnings of a narrow walk way up and along the cliff, hidden by all the rugged edges so that it was quite easy to miss altogether. In fact, he thought that it was largely luck that he'd managed to find himself in the right position where he could even notice it at all.
"Is this it?" Dave asked excitedly, his fingers itching to grab his notebook and make an entry. However, he decided to wait until after he'd checked it out a bit more first so that he didn't waste the effort writing.
Once Dave began making his way up the narrow pathway, it became easier to see and follow, though he knew that it would remain perfectly camouflaged from below. Each step raised his hopes that this was it, but at the same time, made him increasingly nervous. The path did not leave much room and there was an increasingly long drop to the bottom if he somehow fell over the edge. Still, it was thought of the possible success at the end which drove Dave to continue.
And then, about three quarters of the way up the side, Dave saw it. There was a cavelike opening, hidden by a large stone outcropping on the side. From the ground below, and even from above, it would probably have been invisible, perhaps looking like a small patch of shadow at the very most. However, it didn't look like much so Dave felt rather skeptical, hesitant to believe that it could actually be anything at all.
Dave frowned and carefully moved closer, having to catch himself against the cliff wall as the path beneath one of his feet threatened to crumble. His heart raced as he remained frozen for a moment, realizing once again the danger of not being careful. If he fell... Then he shook his head and finished going to the opening.
"Oh shit," Dave gasped as he stood there, staring at the carefully cut stone work that was now visible within the opening.
It had a flat wall that went inside, far too smooth and flat for there to be any chance of it being natural. Dave peaked around the corner and gasped even louder, seeing the cave going in about 15 feet, then there being a large open doorway. It was framed with large square stones and covered with symbols of some sort that Dave didn't recognize, though suspected was some form of writing. But it looked like no kind of writing that he had ever seen.
However, the strangest thing about the doorway was the fact that there was light on the other side of it. Several possibilities immediately came to mind, largely considering an opening to the top of the cliff and possible light being reflected from the sun. Still, the sight left him in awe.
"I found it," Dave whispered to himself, feeling somewhat stunned.
Dave remained where he was for several more seconds before carefully placing his pack beside the entrance, taking out only the things that he thought he might need inside for his initial look around. Then he took a long, deep breath and made his way to the almost inviting doorway.
As soon as Dave's feet had both passed the stone doorway, he froze, his mouth dropping open as he looked about the large room he found himself in with shock. The floor and walls all seemed to be made of marble, along with several columns in the middle. Red curtains and drapes hung around various parts of the walls and room, giving it a bit more color. And everything looked absolutely spotless, as well as brand new.
Then, just when Dave thought that things couldn't get any more unbelievable than they already where...he saw them. He let out a gasp at the sight of a man and woman walking on the other end of the room. The man was tall, ripped with muscle and having long black hair and well tanned skin, though his features were quite different from the natives that Dave had seen on his way there. The woman had similar coloring and was extremely beautiful looking. Both were wearing nothing more than long white loin clothes.
"Oh man," Dave gulped, realizing that this was far more than he had ever imagined. A faint smile started to form as he realized that this could indeed be a huge discovery.
Dave was trying to decide whether or not to introduce himself, when suddenly the choice was taken out of his hands. There was another man standing off to his other side, looking enough like the first man that they could be brothers. And this one was staring straight at Dave.
"Um...," Dave started in surprise as well as some nervousness. He had no idea if he might have stumbled into something that the people would be willing to kill in order to protect. For the first time, he wished that he had taken another hint from his inspiration and brought a gun along. "I don't mean any harm..."
The man stared at Dave with an oddly calm, almost blank expression, then turned and started to talk to someone off to the side, in a language that Dave had never heard before. It had a strange lilting sound to it that he didn't recognize, which piqued his curiosity even more. A moment later, the man turned back towards Dave, looking a little more firm. The other man whom Dave had seen first was back as well and moving towards him.
"I didn't mean to intrude," Dave told them, holding his hands open to show that he was unarmed and hoping that they understood. However, they didn't seem to, which made him more nervous. "My name is Dave..."
To Dave's relief, both men paused a short distance from him, then one of them gestured for him to follow. The other one remained motionless, though giving the impression that he might stop Dave if he attempted to do anything else. And he looked strong enough to do that with little difficulty as well. Deciding that he didn't seem to have any other choice, Dave gave what he hoped was a reassuring smile and went along.
After saying something more in that incomprehensible language, one of the men led Dave around towards the other side of the room, with the second man following behind. Then just as they went around one of the columns and the silky red curtain that was spread on the side, Dave was startled to see something that he hadn't been able to from where he had been standing before. Specifically…someone.
Right in front of Dave, was a woman, stretched out languidly on some sort of cushion covered couch. His first glimpse of her was enough to make Dave gasp in amazement, suddenly thinking that she had to be the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen. The strange woman had long black hair and pale creamy skin. Her body seemed to be shaped to voluptuous perfection, which was barely hidden beneath scant clothes, which were little more than several loose veils. The only things that she was wearing which looked solid were the strange golden necklace and arm bands.
At first, the woman wasn't even looking at Dave, in spite of the fact that he was staring at her. Instead, she was looking at one of the two women who were at her side, seemingly massaging her. Then she finally turned to look at Dave. Her face was gorgeous, though it was her eyes that immediately drew his full attention. They were so dark as to look black, threatening to pull him into them.
She stared at Dave for a just a moment, with a strange expression on her face. There seemed to be curiosity and amusement, as well as, at least he thought, a hint of lust. However, for the most part, she seemed to be both extremely relaxed and aware at the same time, as well as radiating an aura that indicated that she was not only in control, but expected everyone else to know it as well.
Finally, the woman spoke. Her voice was lovely, both sexy and firm at the same time. However, it was in the same language that the man had spoken in, leaving him with little idea of what she said. She said something else, looking annoyed while Dave just shook his head and tried to indicate that he didn't understand.
"I'm afraid that I don't understand," Dave said slowly, then asked, "Do you speak English?" The look was blank so he tried again in Spanish, then several other languages that he had some familiarity with. The response was little more than an annoyed look at each of them.
Then the woman sat up a little more and gestured for Dave to come to her. There seemed to somehow be both an invitation and a command in that gesture at the same time. Not needing anything more, he did as she desired, surprised when she put two of her fingers up and touched his forehead. There was a slight shock, as if from static electricity when she did so.
"Aw," the woman mused with a faint smile, "This is a new language."
Dave was startled that she responded in perfect English after having seemed to not understand it a moment earlier. His first thought was that she had been pretending, but then again, he knew that there was something strange about this woman. He could feel it.
Taking a deep breath, Dave announced, "I am Dave McCormic," he started to introduce himself, glancing quickly at the two women and two men who all stood there impassively.
"I know who you are," the woman cut Dave off, shifting her position slightly to sit up even more before announcing, "I am the goddess Pandallas." She said it as though she expected Dave to immediately recognize the name.
"Um...," Dave stammered, not sure what to say to that. He sure didn't want to insult the woman. "I am pleased to meet you."
Pandallas sat up all the way and stared at Dave in surprise. "Do you not know who I am?" She stood up at that, putting her hands on her hips and staring at Dave with enough intensity that he automatically took a step back. He was startled at just how tall and intimidating she was, just a little over 6 foot. Then before Dave could respond, she continued coldly, "No. I see that you do not."
"I'm sorry," he apologized, not sure exactly what he was apologizing for. She seemed to take it so personal that he didn't know who she was.
"My siblings not only imprisoned me for millennia," Pandallas hissed, a gleam of pure fury in her dark eyes, "but they have robbed me of my rightful worshippers as well."
Suddenly, they room exploded as pillars of fire shot up out of the floor all around, making Dave jump back in shock and even terror. He could feel the heat from them against his skin, though none of the pillars seemed close to him, even as they were beginning to spread over the floor. Then, just as quickly as they columns of fire had appeared, they vanished, leaving no trace that they have even existed.
Dave gulped and looked at Pandallas, who was calming down, then at the two men and two women who seemed to be her servants. None of them seemed to have been phased at all by the sudden outburst, even though one of the women had nearly been burned.
"Oh shit...," Dave squeaked out, realizing that something had just happened. Something big. Something that just didn't fit in with his world view. And at the same time that he was standing there in stunned amazement, the logical researcher in him was carefully taking in everything and making mental notes.
Then Pandallas stared at Dave with a different expression, one closer to that which she'd first worn. "You are far beneath my normal standards," she mused, "but I have not been with a mortal in untold ages..." With a seductive smile that nearly made Dave melt, she gently put her hand on the couch beside her and said, "Come mortal...and accept this honor I give you."
There was little need for words at this point as her intentions were more than obvious, with Dave willingly surrendering to her seduction. Questions as to her identity and the strangeness of the whole situation were pushed away as her lips pressed against his own. All that mattered at the moment was that this incredibly gorgeous woman wanted him now, just as he wanted her.
A minute later, Pandallas led Dave through a curtain of red veils, revealing a massive bed, which was little more than a huge pile of silks and soft pillows spread about an area of the floor. Still, it proved to be extremely soft and luxurious as they laid down it and began to work their passions in earnest.
It was after a number of hours that their lovemaking was finally ended and Dave remained motionless on the bedding, too exhausted to continue. Pandallas had been incredible, better than any woman he had ever slept with before. She had been extremely skilled, seeming to know more about sex than any woman had a right to. And the woman had been insatiable. Every time Dave had finished, or at least thought that he had, she had touched his penis and immediately brought it back to life again. She had continued with this until Dave was too tired to continue, and then left him on the bed, seemingly both pleased and disappointed at the same time.
Just before Dave finally gave drifted off to sleep, he overheard Pandallas telling one of the women, "Mortals. I had forgotten how little endurance they possess."
When Dave awoke, he was startled to find himself lying on the soft bed of silk, then gasped as he remembered the events that had led to it. They seemed so unbelievable. He had found the temple he was looking for, found it occupied and found some strange woman who claimed to be a goddess. Probably a high priestess or something of the sort, he told himself silently, smiling as he thought of just how nice she was in bed.
After several seconds, Dave noticed that one of the women servants were standing beside the bedding with a tray full of fruit. As soon as she noticed that he was up, she lowered the tray in front of him and then stood back patiently.
"My name is Dave," he introduced himself to the woman who was watching him. However, she didn’t respond, so Dave decided that she probably didn't know English and turned his attention to the breakfast instead.
Once Dave had finished eating, he was surprised when the woman abruptly announced, "My goddess requires your presence."
Giving a weak nod, Dave reached for his clothes, mentally taking notes of everything that he'd seen so far since finding the temple. Nothing really added up and his discovery had only left him with a thousand more questions than he'd had before, while answering few of those. He still had no idea of what was going on, and blushed faintly in embarrassment at how easily he'd been distracted. Then again, he rationalized, getting close to these people was the first step to getting answers.
"This should about do it," Dave muttered to himself once he was dressed. He even picked up his camera, feeling stupid for not thinking of taking any pictures yet. Without that evidence, his discovery would hold little weight.
A minute later, Dave was led back to where Pandallas was once again reclining comfortably on her cushioned couch, looking just as beautiful as when he'd first seen her, but this time somewhat thoughtful. She turned to Dave, a strange look in her eyes, then gestured for him to come closer. However, she made no sound for a moment, instead gesturing for her servants to back off.
"I have been imprisoned within this chamber for untold ages," Pandallas finally said, seeming to talk to more to herself than Dave, though he knew that it was meant for his ears. "Bound to never leave these walls or walk through the door. And I have long since grown weary of this condition."
Dave just stared at her, not at all sure what to say. And after the explosions of fire that he'd seen earlier, he was no longer completely sure that she wasn't really who she claimed to be, as impossible as it actually seemed. There was something about her, something...ancient. Something very powerful.
Suddenly Pandallas turned her full attention to Dave, her dark eyes seeming to stare straight through him, to pull him into them. "And you, mortal...," She raised her voice in fierce determination, "You have provided me the means to finally escape this eternal prison."
Just then, the darkness within Pandallas eyes seemed to increase even more, which Dave hadn't thought possible until that moment. He was lost within their depths, losing himself and all sense of his own body. The world was gone and nothing existed, nothing save the eyes that peered into his very soul. Dave felt himself being pulled out of his very being and absorbed into her dark eyes.
Whether it had been a mere second which passed, or an eternity, Dave did not know. All he knew was that when his senses returned, the whole world had turned inside out. He could feel it with every fiber of his being, even without the added proof added by his physical senses. Those just filled him with even more confusion as he found himself laying on something soft and starting at a man with very familiar clothes, and an even more familiar face.
"What?" Dave gasped in confusion as he sat up, nearly falling back over as his whole body felt strange to him, including his balance.
Confused as to what was going on, Dave looked at himself and let out a loud gasp, it being all he could do to keep from screaming. A single glance was more than enough to tell him that it was not his own body that he was within, but that of Pandallas. He had her firm, creamy breasts, covered with only a thin layer of translucent fabric. And of course, the rest of the body that went with them, including the soft black hair which he felt tickling his shoulders.
Then, the man with Dave's face started to laugh, patting his body as he did so. And after several seconds of this, he turned his attention to Dave. It only took a single look into his eyes for Dave to recognize the ancient presence contained within. There was no doubt that Pandallas was within his body, just as he was within hers.
"At last!" she laughed out in his body, "At last I shall be free of these walls. I shall be free to see what has become of the world of mortals since my imprisonment."
Dave gasped, "What did you do to me?" He held his feminine hands in front of him in shock.
Pandallas just laughed, then she turned and started slowly walking towards the chamber's exit, saying, "Perhaps I shall discover another way to breach this prison so that I may return and reclaim my body. But until then," she turned and smirked at Dave, "I shall leave you in my place."
"You can't do this," he cried out, jumping to his feet and going after her.
"Foolish mortal," she laughed, just before turning again and walking out the doorway, "I can do as I wish. I am a goddess." Then she was gone.
For a long moment, Dave just stared at the empty doorway, feeling completely stunned by the exchange, and the odd sensations coming from his body. Then he grimaced and ran after her, determined to make her put him back to normal. However, just as he ran through the doorway, he suddenly slammed into an invisible wall and was thrown backwards.
"What the hell?" Dave demanded, jumping back to his feet and cautiously walking to the doorway again. He put his hand out and felt a shock, pushing his hand away. There was nothing there, or at least nothing he could see. However, a few more attempts proved that he could not go through the doorway. It was as if there was an invisible wall blocking his way. "That's why she couldn't leave...," he whispered in realization.
Whatever force it was that had kept Pandallas imprisoned, prevented her from walking out the door, even though it looked wide open. And as Dave stared at his hands, which had failed to pierce the invisible wall, realized that it was obvious. It was designed to keep her body from passing, but not his. That was why she had needed his body...so that she could walk through as though nothing were there.
"And I'm trapped," he growled, punching at the invisible wall that kept him inside.
After staring at the doorway for another minute, Dave slowly turned and walked away, the reality of his situation beginning to weigh on him. He frowned as he walked his way back to the couch that Pandallas had been laying on, it being the only place to really sit down that he'd seen since being in the chamber. Then he slumped onto it and let out a long sigh.
"Does my goddess wish a massage?" one of the male servants asked, bowing down in front of Dave. He had barely even been aware of his presence, or of the other three servants who were standing before him as if awaiting instructions.
Dave stared at the man for a moment, then at the other servants, feeling slightly confused. They were there...they saw what had happened. So how come he was treating Dave like Pandallas? And the man showed no real emotion, except a faint eagerness to serve. The same with the other man and the two women.
"Um...no," Dave told them uncertainly, "Please leave me alone right now."
Without a word, the man gave a faint bow and then turned to leave, as did the other three servants. None of them showed the slightest reaction that they had thought anything odd. That only made the whole situation seem even odder to Dave, though he didn't really see how it possibly could be.
Once he was alone, Dave looked down at himself again, gulping at the sight but forcing himself to look anyway. He knew that he was going to have to face this sooner or later, so chose to do so sooner. It was a beautiful woman's body that met his eyes, the very one he had admired so much and so personally just a short time earlier. And now, it was his.
Dave took a deep breath as he ran his hands over his smooth, creamy flesh, amazed at just nice it felt. His new breasts were firm beneath his hands, feeling even better than touching the rest of his skin did. It seemed as though his sense of touch...as if all of his senses were much stronger than they were before. His whole body felt alien, but at the same time, so aware...so alive. He could almost even feel a tingling energy flowing through him, as though he was sensing everything around him in some unknown way as well.
"Weird," he whispered to himself, staring at the long, fingernails on his feminine fingers. They looked very sexy, feeling so as well as he ran them over his breasts, being careful not to poke himself.
When he finished with his self-exploration, at least for the moment, Dave stood up, pausing to realize for the first time that he was bare foot. He quickly shrugged that off and walked across the marble floor, carefully looking at the chamber around him. There was only so much that he could see at one time due to the red veiled curtains which were hung up, so he decided to get a closer look at the rest of it. After all, Dave thought to himself, trying to be practical, it looked like he might be there for awhile.
As Dave walked around the chamber, he was aware of the servants there, remaining just out of his sight, as though waiting for something. However, he ignored them and carefully examined his surroundings, finding that it was indeed only a single chamber, with only the one door. Over half of it was open, with the rest being obscured with curtains and split into smaller rooms. One of which was the bedroom area that he had already seen, though he found another one much like it, though much less luxuriant. Probably for the servants, he decided. There was a storage section, filled with countless items, including treasures that would more than make any museum proud and any treasure hunter drool.
"Talk about vain," Dave exclaimed when he was on the opposite end of the chamber from the door. In front of him stood a huge statue that reached from floor, almost to ceiling, looking exactly like Pandallas. It seemed identical to the body he now wore, which made him feel somewhat uncomfortable. "But she is gorgeous..." He frowned at that, deciding to continue with his explorations.
Then Dave came to curtained section that contained an extremely luxurious looking bathtub, easily large enough for 10 people and seemingly made of a similar smooth marble as the rest of the place. And to his surprise, it was already filled with a warm, scented water. Several crystal bottles of what appeared to be scented oils were positioned about the tub.
At that moment, one of the two female servants stood there, dressed only in the same draping loincloth that all of them wore. She bowed her head, looking humble as she asked, "Does my goddess desire a bathing?"
Pausing for a moment to look at the inviting bath, and then somewhat suspiciously at the servant who seemed almost too willing to please him, Dave responded, "Maybe later." She nodded her head and backed out of his way.
After Dave had finished with his examination of the chamber, he returned to the couch and sat down, frowning as he did so. The chamber itself was rather large, but he realized just how small it would have to seem after being trapped inside of it for who knew how long. And there was little idea as to how long Pandallas had been locked within, especially since he had never even heard of that particular Goddess.
Suddenly, Dave bolted upright as something else just occurred to him. He had looked around the entire chamber...but had seen absolutely no sign of either a kitchen, or a place to people to relieve themselves. It was a strange question that weighted on Dave's mind as he sat there in silent thought.
It was some time later and Dave had no idea how long he had been within the chamber. It could have been a great number of hours, though he suspected that it was closer to several days. Without a clock or a way to actually see the sun rising and setting, there was not much way for him to tell. All he knew was that he was bored.
Dave had spent quite a bit of time thinking about his situation, alternating between fury and depression as he did so. Then he had tried napping, without much success. For some reason, he seemed to have trouble actually going to sleep, though he did come very close. He had even walked around the chamber several more times, looking for something that he may have missed the first time. Perhaps even another exit or a secret passage that would give him a way out.
"Damn this," Dave whispered to himself in frustration, having just failed to find another exit though he had looked as carefully as he could. He suddenly realized that if he was this frustrated after such a short time, how much worst had it been for Pandallas? The very thought made Dave shudder, as well as grow more determined to find a way out. Somehow.
Yet, after several more hours of useless searching, Dave slumped in defeat. He frowned as he sat back on the couch, trying to think of something that he had missed but not being able to do. With each passing hour, he was becoming more and more convinced that perhaps there was no way out, except perhaps for the one that Pandallas had used. And it wasn't like he could use the same method to escape, either the chamber or her body.
"Damn," Dave muttered again, glaring at his breasts, which didn't feel quite as alien on him as they had at first. However, they still didn't seem as though they were really a part of him.
Feeling oddly calm, Dave ran his hands over his breasts for what had to have been the hundredth time. He'd examined his body over and over again, still unable to accept that it was now his. At least until Pandallas returned and gave him back his own. And there was no telling when that might be.
Finally, Dave shook his head and sighed, "I wish I had a mirror."
"As my goddess wishes," one of the women exclaimed from the side.
Dave turned and looked at her in surprise, noticing that the two men were rushing off. Oddly enough, he realized that he still didn't know any of their names. Then again, in spite of their physical differences, they hadn't shown any signs of individuality or personality. A moment later, they returned, holding a huge oval mirror that was framed in gold. It had obviously come from the storage area. Neither of the men said a word as they set it down in front of Dave and then stood back, waiting impassively.
Hesitating for only a moment more, Dave moved to get a closer look at his reflection in the mirror, nearly gasping at what he saw, though it was exactly as he had expected. It was exactly the same unearthly beauty that he had first seen sitting on the couch, that he had even slept with. It was the goddess Pandallas, whose body he now occupied.
Dave gestured for the servants to leave and remained in front of the mirror for some time, examining his body in every minute detail. Eventually, the wisps of cloth that covered him were removed and he examined even his new sex again. He had already done so several times, but it still seemed a somewhat alien sight on him.
As he stared at his reflection, Dave was filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, he felt somewhat in awe of the woman in the mirror, but on the other... Dave growled quietly, a sound that seemed strange coming from such a beautiful woman. He couldn't believe that she had done that to him, that she had trapped him in her prison and her body. Everything about it felt...wrong. The face might be beautiful, but it certainly wasn't his. And as he glared into the mirror, Dave grew more and more frustrated by his situation.
"Damn!" Dave finally lashed out, suddenly slamming his fist into the mirror, sending shards of glass flying.
For a long moment, Dave just remained frozen, still furious though the edge had been taken off with his outburst. He was sobered further by the realization that he had been cut by the mirror shards, both on his hand and where the flying shards had hit him. But to his surprise, the cuts were uncomfortable...but they didn't really hurt. It took another few seconds for Dave to notice that there was no sign of blood either.
Dave blinked, "Weird," he whispered, knowing that with that many deep cuts, he should be bleeding all over the place. But there wasn't even a drop. Several seconds later, Dave was even more surprised as he watched the cuts on his knuckles closing up, healing right before his very eyes, until there was no sign that they had ever been there. "Fascinating," was all he could think to say about that at the moment.
However, as unexpected as the strange healing had been, Dave almost immediately realized what it meant. He was in Pandallas' body, and this just proved that in spite of appearances, it was not a human body. It was the body of a goddess and obviously still retained some of her powers, even without her soul being present. That just made Dave suddenly wonder what other abilities might be left as well, bringing to mind the strange sensations that he'd been feeling ever since ending up in it.
"Not now," Dave took a deep breath, finally turning away from the mirror.
After only a moment, he started for the bath area, deciding that he probably needed it. If nothing else, it would help him relax. And he was not even surprised to find that the water was still nice and warm, exactly as it had been the first time he'd seen it. Before he had even climbed into the water, the servants stood around him, obviously intending to help him bathe.
For several seconds, Dave looked at them, strangely not feeling that self-conscious being naked in his body. He absently decided that it was because it wasn't his body, not really. However, he still couldn't get over how they treated him as though he really was Pandallas, and he was becoming more and more convinced that they didn't know better. That they really thought that he was Pandallas. With a shrug, Dave decided to just go along with it and settled into the water, letting them scrub his back, among other things.
It soon proved to be both the most luxuriating bath that Dave had ever had, but also the most intimate. He couldn't believe that the servants had actually cleaned his most intimate spots, and even more, that he had actually let them. At the moment, he had been so relaxed that it hadn't seemed worth the effort to stop them, especially when it felt so nice.
Afterwards, Dave left the bath, barely noticing that all of the water ran off of him, leaving him completely dry, even his hair retained no water. New veils were wrapped around his body, though they could have been the old ones for all he knew. He didn't bother worrying about it as he moved back to the couch, feeling much better than before.
"First bath in how long?" Dave mused to himself as he stretched out, absently deciding that the couch really was rather comfortable. Hiking through the jungle hadn't provided a lot of opportunities. Then again, he frowned and wondered just how long it had been since he'd eaten or gone to the bathroom either. He hadn't felt the need to do either since becoming trapped in the chamber. "In this body," he corrected himself, remembering the cuts.
Thinking about this for several minutes, he realized why there was no kitchen or toilet. It didn't look like Pandallas needed either. However, that did leave another question. "Where did you get the food," he asked the nearest servant, thinking about the meal he'd been served shortly before the exchange. The woman just gave him a blank look so Dave had to explain what he meant.
"You created the food my goddess," the woman responded with no trace of curiosity as to why he was asking that question, "Just as you create all."
"Create?" Dave mused thoughtfully, shaking his head as he reminded himself that she was a goddess.
At this point, Dave gestured for the servants to leave him alone and then leaned back on the couch, trying to remain calm and think things through. There were too many strange things going on, things that by all logic should not be. Ancient goddesses and stolen bodies just weren't possible, or at least he hadn't thought so before so painfully encountering both.
Some two hours later, Dave was still trying to figure a way out of his imprisonment, feeling even more frustrated than when he'd started. If a goddess couldn't figure a way out other than stealing his body, what chance did he have? However, Dave couldn't quite bring himself to quit just yet.
"You're an archeologist, damn it," he told himself firmly, "Think like one."
He was trained to think logically and with his long experience at researching clues, he should be able to find an answer to his problems. However, he silently reminded himself that this time he didn't have libraries or anything else to aid in his research. Then he slapped his head, suddenly feeling foolish as he realized that he had completely ignored some obvious sources of information.
"Come here," Dave ordered impatiently, gesturing for the servants to come to him. They were immediately there and he continued, "Tell me what you know about this chamber." After all, they'd been living in it for awhile, so if anyone knew a back way out, they would.
However, it didn't take long for Dave to realize that the servants wouldn't be of much use in helping him find a way out. Not only did they not know of any way out of the chamber, but they almost seemed to think that there wasn't anything outside of it. They even claimed that they had always been there, which made Dave shake his head faintly in disappointment.
"Let's try something else," Dave snapped in annoyance, moving to the doorway and glaring at it for several minutes. He even tried to put his hand through it again, to no effect. That had been what he'd expected though. Then Dave gestured to one of the men, "Why don't you try going through?"
"As my goddess wishes," the man announced, already stepping through the open door. Or at least attempting to as he was thrown back, just as Dave had been before. But without a word, he quickly got back to his feet and tried again, with the same results. "I have failed my goddess."
"Not your fault," Dave told him with a scowl, then having the other servants all attempt it as well, though none could pass. "Damn! Why?"
Dave glared at the door in frustration, wondering how come the servants weren't able to go through either. He'd been sure that Pandallas was the only one blocked from going through, that it was a prison just for her. Or at least for her body. His own body going through with ease seemed to have proven that, but that didn't explain why the servants couldn't go through.
Suddenly, the pieces all snapped together in Dave's mind. He stared at the four servants, letting out an audible gasp as he did so. There had been a number of clues. They acted more like robots than they did like people, seeming to have no real souls or wills of their own. Only the desire to serve their goddess...or at least who they thought was their goddess. And their shared view of the chamber being the entire world... Maybe they were robots...or at least something of that nature. Dave was beginning to believe that Pandallas had created them the same way that she had created the food that he'd eaten.
"That might explain it," Dave whispered weakly, realizing that if they were really created from Pandallas' power, then that would be the reason why they couldn't go through. The gate might register them as actually being a part of her. "There goes that idea," he growled in frustration, realizing that he wouldn't be able to send the servants out for help.
Then Dave just remained standing there, his frustration and anger over the situation building. His hands were clenched in fury with the nails cutting deeply into the palms of his hands, though he didn't care. Just when he thought that he was making progress.... Just after he had made the greatest discovery of the century...of the millennium, everything goes to shit.
"DAMN!" Dave cried out as he slammed his fist into the marble wall with everything that he had.
At that very instant, the room suddenly exploded into flames. The servants were thrown back by an invisible force, just a moment before a burst of energy rushed out from Dave, sending a wave of fire along the marble floor. It only shot out fifteen feet before abruptly ending, then burning for several seconds before slowly dying down.
All that Dave could do was stare in stunned confusion, wondering what the hell had just happened. At the same time, he realized that it had come from HIM. He had actually sensed the energy radiating from his body, just like he could sense almost everything else around him in a strange sort of way. Dave just didn't understand how it had happened, or why. And it left him feeling confused and even a bit scared.
"This is...," Dave whispered to himself, "very...very strange." There was no doubt in his mind that this was an understatement.
Dave took a deep breath as he looked around the floor where the fire had raged just a few seconds earlier. A chill went down his spine, though it certainly wasn't from any cold or wind. It was from the realization of what had just happened, and more importantly, of what it meant. After seeing the injuries heal on his hands, he thought that he shouldn't have been too surprised, but he was.
"Pandallas," he sighed, staring down at his feminine hands. It was now apparent that her body did more than just heal injuries. He now wore the body of a goddess, and obviously retained at least some of her power. There was a strange feeling in his gut, that it was more than just a little bit. A lot more. "What have I become...?"
However, the answer already echoed in Dave's mind. A goddess. At least physically. And then he thought, that with her body, and the way he'd healed, did that mean that he was...immortal? The idea seemed just as preposterous as being turned into a woman, which didn't give much of an answer considering the situation. But after thinking about it for several minutes, Dave began to slowly suspect that it did. All of the clues pointed in that direction.
"Then," he whispered to himself weakly, "I really am trapped here....forever..."
Dave remained motionless for several very long minutes as the realization slowly sank in. The idea of remaining trapped in that room for all eternity was...nightmarish. Suddenly, he felt a lot of pity for Pandallas, beginning to have a faint glimmer of what it must have been like. An eternity of loneliness, frustration and boredom was not a pleasant fate to even think about. That pity was quickly reduced though as he reminded himself that this was what she had left him to.
It was with a heavy heart that Dave slowly made his way to the bedding area, throwing himself onto the silks with a loud sigh. His thoughts were filled with confusion and worries, and he knew that they were likely to remain that way for some time to come. There were a lot of things that he needed to think about, but if he was right...he could have a VERY long time to think about them.
Dave sat crossed legged in the middle of the chamber, a cushion from the bedding beneath him and his back against one of the columns. He had his eyes closed as he took several deep breaths, trying to ignore his still somewhat uncomfortable body. At the moment, he was more concerned about remaining calm and focused.
Though Dave had no way of measuring time, it had been a week since the incident with the fire. At first, he had been in shock, but quickly realized that this strange power he had received along with Pandallas' body, could very well be the only way for him to get out of his new prison. And with that realization, he had set to practicing the use of his new powers, trying to discover what he could do with them.
At first, he had worked on the strange new sense that seemed to be tied to his power, and then on gaining control over the power itself. Dave had worked slowly, trying to be careful as he started small, making small fires and extending his manipulations from there. And with practice, his ability to influence the world around him steadily grew.
"Now I'm ready," Dave told himself, concentrating on the marble floor a short distance in front of him. He stretched out his strange new senses and focused the power that came from his new body. And then, he finally attempted the biggest, or at least most complex thing that he had done since discovering his powers. "There," he whispered as a can of beer suddenly appeared on the floor in front of him.
Letting out a deep sigh of relief, Dave carefully picked up the beer, feeling disappointed that it wasn't cold. He briefly considered using his new powers again, but decided against it for the moment. First, he wanted test it. Dave popped the top and took a hesitant sip, deciding that it wasn't too bad, though the taste was definitely off.
"Need more practice," he told himself, still feeling pleased that he had succeeded as much as he had.
Ever since Dave had discovered the power, he found that he could do things like create fire and move things with his mind without too much difficulty, though it still required work to control. However, the more complex uses of his new abilities meant that he had to give more even more effort. And trying to actually make something out of nothing with no more than his memory of it proved quite a bit more difficult indeed.
After enjoying his success for a minute, Dave looked around at the items that were spread out around the chamber floor. Practicing with his newfound powers wasn't the only thing that he'd spent his time doing since discovering them. As an archeologist, he had been unable to resist the lure of all of the things left in the storage area. They were remnants of some unknown civilization, with writings on a number of the items that looked to be from the same language as that written around the doorway. It had been an exciting discovery, though greatly diminished by the circumstances in which he had found them.
"To think," Dave sighed as he looked around, "this find could have made me famous." At the moment thought, that hardly seemed important.
Shaking his head slightly, Dave took another sip from his beer, thinking that it might not taste right, but it was a whole lot better than nothing. Then he moved over to the couch, noticing that the servants were standing around, waiting for instructions...as always. They sure weren't good for any kind of real conversation, which he'd already found out while trying to kill some of the boredom.
Dave absently gestured for the servants to leave him alone as he sat down, one of his hands already moving over his smooth skin. He closed his eyes and sighed at the sensations, reminded as always just how much more sensitive his new body was over his old one. And how much more easily aroused. Dave had already discovered that his sex drive seemed to be a bit higher as well. Though he had already masturbated to some degree in his new body, he couldn't bring himself to get too involved with that, knowing that the servants were always close bye.
Putting the beer down, Dave began to put a little more attention to his 'self-exploration' as he still thought of it, though he had long since explored every inch of his new body. And though Dave felt vaguely guilty, he couldn't really stop running his hands over his body. It felt too good at the moment, and was an especially nice distraction from the consideration of being trapped.
Several minutes later, Dave headed towards the bedding area, not sure if he was going to do more 'self-exploration' or just sit back and try to relax. When Dave stepped into the bedding area, he saw one of the female servants adjusting the bedding, apparently trying to make it look neater. He smiled at the sight, feeling even more turned on. There was no doubt at least that both of the female servants were extremely hot. So were the guy's, though he didn't swing that way.
Feeling impulsive, Dave put his arms around the woman and gave her a kiss, excited by the tenderness of her lips, then half surprised by the fact that she was kissing back. He pulled away from her and blinked, suddenly feeling a little guilty.
"Sorry," he told her uncomfortably.
However, the servant woman didn't look the least bit offended. "I serve my goddess in all things," she announced, the meaning clear in her voice.
Dave just stared at her for a long moment while she awaited his next move. He licked his lips with desire, suddenly thinking about how long it had been since he had been with a woman. And the one in front of him was not only extremely attractive, but quite willing. There was almost no consideration of turning down the opportunity and several seconds later, they were both starting to go at it, quickly moving the action to the newly neatened bedding.
Once they had finished up some time later, Dave leaned back with a smile on his face, deciding that it was certainly a pleasant way to kill some time. He frowned at that, knowing that he might have a lot of time to kill in the future. But the girl had definitely been very skilled, and more than likely, very experienced. There was little doubt that Pandallas had made similar use of all of the servants.
"What a day," Dave sighed as he ran a hand over the girl's breasts, then he paused wondering for a moment if it might not be night instead. "The first of many," he muttered, feeling depressed at the thought, "Just the first of many."
The next several months passed painfully slow for Dave, especially with no way to tell how long he had been trapped in the chamber and his new body. He quickly exhausted what he could do with the artifacts he had discovered, and there seemed no chance for escape. That left very few options for how he could spend his seemingly endless time.
Other than continuing to practice with his powers, Dave soon found that there was little to interrupt the growing boredom except for sex. That came more and more often as he realized that it was an extremely pleasant way to pass the time. And finding pleasant ways to pass the time slowly became more and more important to him. Anything that would ease the boredom was welcome as Dave drifted into a life of hedonism.
At first, he would only have sex with one of the female servants at a time, then he started to have it with both at the same time. Neither seemed the slightest bit jealous or to find it odd in the least, which didn't surprise Dave. Though the male servants had indicated that they would be just as willing to serve what they thought was their goddess in the same way, Dave had shuddered at the idea. He might have been trapped in the body of a woman, but that didn't make him one. He had absolutely no interest in men, magical robots or not. At least not at first.
Eventually though, sheer boredom and curiosity had led Dave to try sleeping with one of the men. He had been hesitant at first, but willing to try something else that might be interesting, that might take his mind off of his imprisonment. By that time, he had been in his body for over a month and no longer found the idea of sleeping with a man quite as alien as it had once been. Once Dave had done so, he was delighted to find the experience to be extremely pleasurable. From that point on, he neither looked back nor hesitated in sleeping with the men as well. He was soon trying nearly every sexual position he could think of, involving one or multiple partners. Orgies became frequent, with some even lasting for days on end.
All of Dave's concerns and inhibitions faded more with each passing day, crushed under the weight of boredom and frustration. His restraints were eased by the knowledge that his companions were not even human, having been used in the exact same way for centuries at the very least. And as he realized that he himself may face an eternity of imprisonment, he grew determined to make it as pleasurable a prison as possible.
Dave leaned back on the pile of bedding, one of his hands resting on a servant girl's crotch. His other hand was spread upon his own breasts, a faint smile decorating his lips as he thought of the latest bout of pleasure. It was with an almost dreamy expression that he looked at the servants, all spread out round him on the bedding, exhausted from their latest marathon session of sex.
"Too bad," Dave mused with a sigh.
Though the servants had superhuman endurance, lasting far beyond what any human was capable of, he had still outlasted all of them. He had long since discovered that with his goddess body, he gained an apparent limitless sexual endurance, as well as a rather large sexual appetite. Once he had started cutting loose and feeding it, it had been like a dam being opened. There seemed no end to the desires and sensations that his new body was capable of.
After considering the idea of waking the servants and putting them back to work pleasing him, Dave decided not to. He slowly climbed off of the bedding, deciding that he could use the brief period of privacy that their exhaustion would provide him. Without a word, Dave strolled to the couch, sitting on it with only the faintest consideration that he was completely naked. Clothing had ceased to be very important in the prison for anything other than decoration.
Without a word, Dave helped himself to a donut from a huge tray of Hostess treats and other pastries that he had conjured earlier. There was no thought to the calories or fat as he had long since discovered that his goddess body resisted any form of change, including changing weight, no matter how much or how little he ate. And since he no longer needed to eat or felt hunger, he now ate solely for his own pleasure. This occurred nearly as often as the sex.
"Let's see," Dave sighed, glancing over at the large mirror, having repaired the cracks he had made in it some time since. And as he had expected, nothing had changed. "Damn Pandallas," he growled to himself, cursing her more for the imprisonment than the body. He had managed to get somewhat used to her body, though suspected that he would never get used to the imprisonment. At least he hoped that he wouldn't.
Taking a deep breath, Dave looked at an ornate knife that he had pulled from the storage section. His frown deepened as he picked it up, remembering how he had attempted to use it to cut his imprisonment short during one of his worst periods of frustration. However, it had done little good as his self-inflicted injuries had almost immediately healed back up. Even suicide had been ruled out as a way to escape his prison.
Then Dave reached for another donut, muttering, "At least I can eat all I want." That wasn't much of a consolation though, nor was all of the sex, as incredible as it was.
A moment later, Dave got up and started to slowly walk around the chamber, feeling like a lion pacing its cage at the zoo. That was what he felt like at the moment, an animal at the zoo. Or at least an animal in a cage since there were no visitors watching him.
Just before Dave returned to sitting on the couch, he conjured some new clothes to cover himself, sexy and skimpy things similar to what Pandallas had been wearing. He had rather liked the visual effect and they made him feel sexy as hell. That was a feeling that he had come to enjoy, though he wasn't sure that he would admit it to anyone else. Even if there was anyone else to admit it to. The servants didn't count.
As Dave ran through the mental list that he'd made of the things he missed, he exclaimed, "I'd kill for some decent conversation." The servants had long since proven that they were about as good at holding an intelligent conversation as a wall. Nor could any of them even play a halfway decent game of chess. "Or even a TV." Though Dave had tried, he had been unable to conjure one. But whether that was because of limitations with his powers, or just his lack of control and understanding of them, he did not know.
Dave shook his head, then continued to binge on junk food for the next several hours, one hand being used to feed himself and the other alternating between playing with his breasts or rubbing his crotch. It was a pleasant enough way to pass the time as he waited for the servants to recover on their own.
When the servants had come to, they immediately returned to their efforts of attempting to please Dave. He had two of them give him a sensual massage while the other two had sex in front of him. He smiled at the sight, feeling almost as though he were watching a porno movie. But even better, he could direct it and even become a part of it with just a gesture.
However, Dave's mind could not remain on the scene in front of him as he started thinking about his prison again. He scowled, clenching his hands in frustration as remembered his failed attempts to go through the door. Even all of his attempts to try making a new exit through the floor and walls had fail, as the marble itself seemed to be impervious to his power...or anything else that he had available. It had been quite some time since he had come to the conclusion that he was deeply and truly trapped, with no way out. But that didn't make it any easier.
"Damn," Dave growled in frustration, suddenly throwing the tray of pastries at the mirror.
Jumping to his feet, Dave ran over and punched the wall with all of his strength, though it had no more effect than throwing a donut against it. That only made Dave feel even more frustrated and angry, silently cursing Pandallas for putting him in her prison. Then he cursed himself for going on the search for the temple in the first place.
Trying to calm down, Dave glared in the direction of the door told himself, "Maybe I'm just missing something." There was almost no hope of that though. Then he paused, remembering that there had been more than one time that he had searched and searched for the clue to a problem, only to find it right under his nose.
While trying to think things through, Dave conjured a glass of scotch in his hand and took a sip, knowing that he couldn't get drunk, though it did make him feel a little calmer. It was almost a ritual that he had developed to go along with late nights doing research. And at the moment, the touch of familiarity from his old life helped Dave shake himself out of the hedonistic mindset he had slipped into and start thinking logically again.
Finally, Dave turned to the servants, remembering that they were a source of potential information that he had been neglecting. Of course, previous attempts to question them had been rather useless as they seemed to have little real knowledge of what was going on, or even any curiosity about it.
"Tell me about this temple," Dave commanded, "This chamber."
"As my goddess commands," the nearest servant, one of the men responded with a bow. However, he only told Dave the obvious, the things that he could see with his own eyes.
"Enough," Dave sighed, then looked at the others, realizing that they did tend to be extremely literal. Perhaps if he rephrased his question... "Do you know how the room keeps me inside? How come I can't walk through the doorway?"
The nearest girl responded with a bow, "My goddess, you once told us that you cannot pass the threshold of your own power."
Dave frowned at that, muttering, "Just great." Obviously using his own feet was considered trying to leave by his own power. And since the servants were all created by Pandallas, they were counted as mere extensions of that power. It was just a repeat of what he had already figured out on his own. "Just great."
He downed the rest of the scotch in a single gulp before returning to the couch to sulk and forget that he had ever felt the flicker of hope. However, he could not stop thinking about what the servant had said, even as he drank several more glasses of scotch, being massaged at the same time. What she had told him was certainly nothing new, though there was something in the way that she had phrased it...something that nagged at the back of his mind.
"I can't leave of my own power," he sneered. But what other kind of power is there in that place? And with that, he threw the glass, watching it shatter against the wall some distance away and spitting, "Damn!"
Then, just as Dave decided not to think about it anymore and started to pull one of the women close to him, it suddenly came to him. He gasped in realization, pushing all of the servants away from him and jumping to his feet. His eyes went to the distant wall with the shattered glass sprinkled about the bottom, a cool calculation returning to his thoughts.
"No...," Dave whispered to himself, shaking his head. It couldn't be that easy. No way. Pandallas would have figured it out ages ago. "It'll just be a wasted effort."
For the next several minutes, Dave remained frozen where he was, thoughts running through his mind. Fears and concerns that he had tried to ignore came crashing upon him, though for the first time in awhile, he felt something else. He felt hope. There was no doubt that he had to at least try.
With that, Dave began to smile faintly and hurried towards the doorway. He stood and stared at it for another minute, carefully trying to push his hand through, with the same effects as the last thousand times he had tried. It was like trying to push his hand through a wall. But that didn't make his smile fade. Instead, it only grew a little deeper.
"Come on," he ordered the servants to come closer, then told them, "This is what I want you to do..."
Soon, the servants were standing beside Dave at the doorway, holding a long but short table that they had pulled out of another corner of the chamber. It reminded Dave of a low coffee table, though he suspected that this one was made for eating meals at. However, that was the last thing that he had in mind for it at the moment.
Once the table was positioned, Dave sat down on one end of it, grabbing the edges with his hands and holding on tight. He took one long look around the chamber before announcing, "Do it."
"As our goddess commands," all four servants responded.
At the same time, the servants started to lift one end of the table off of the ground, with the other end pressed against the sides of the doorway to keep it from sliding. And as the end Dave was sitting on was raised higher, the table surface started to form a steep slope.
Taking a deep breath and mentally crossing his fingers, Dave whispered, "Now," and let go. Dave quickly slid down the ramp made from the table, eased by the extremely smooth and waxed surface. And almost before he had even realized it, he was at the bottom of the table...then through the doorway.
Dave remained frozen in stunned disbelief for what seemed like an eternity, then he slowly got back to his feet, staring in awe at the doorway that he had just passed through. It had been far, far too long since he'd seen that side of it.
"It worked," he gasped. He couldn't go through the doorway of his own power, but there had been another way. Another power. And all that he had to do was sit back and let gravity do all of the work. All that he had to do was let go...and let the power of gravity pull him through the gate. "IT WORKED!" Dave exclaimed again, this time with more excitement as the reality of it began to sink in.
Then Dave looked through the open doorway, a cocky grin on his face as he watched the servants putting the table back down. Suddenly, he realized that he could no longer 'feel' the other side of the gate. The strange awareness of his environment that he had gained since his change no longer felt the chamber, though it still felt everything else. Just as it hadn't felt anything beyond the doorway while he was inside. Obviously it was still blocking his powers from passing, even though he was already outside.
"Let's see," Dave giggled as he looked towards the exit, pausing as he remembered the servants. Glancing back at them, he gasped in surprise, seeing that one of the women looked transparent. It took him several more seconds to realize that the others were all looking transparent as well, and getting...fainter. "What the?"
"My goddess...," the second girl whispered just before she faded out completely, along with the other three.
Dave just stared with his mouth opening before demanding, "What's happening?"
However, the answer was already obvious. The servants had been created by Pandallas and were an extension of her power...of his power. And obviously, they could not continue to exist now that they had been separated from that power by the force that had kept first Pandallas and then Dave imprisoned.
"Too bad," he sighed with mixed feelings. They were little more than robots, but they had been all he had since being imprisoned. And even though they had been created by the same power that now coursed through Dave's body, he had no idea how they had been created in the first place...or how to recreate them. A part of him was really going to miss them.
After taking one final look at the doorway and the now empty chamber within, he turned and hurried to the cave exit, pausing at the entrance and taking several deep breaths. It was the first fresh air that he had smelled since his imprisonment. It was the first glimpse of sunlight that he had seen as well, both of which brought tears of joy to his eyes.
"I'm free," he gasped out, holding his arms up, then shouting it again, "I'm FREE!" Dave didn't think that he'd ever felt happier in his life.
He started out onto the narrow ledge that he so clearly remembered, making it several feet before one foot started to slip on a crumbling section. Dave easily caught himself along the wall, then looked down, thinking that it would be a long fall down that cliff. Then he let out a gasp as he saw something down below at the base of the cliff. Something that immediately drew his full attention.
The eyes in Dave's new body seemed to work much better than his old ones as he was able to clearly make out the scene at the bottom of the cliff, even though it was such an incredibly long way down. There was man laying down there, or at least what had been a man. Though the body was too far gone to make out the details, from the clothes...from his clothes, Dave was absolutely positive that this was HIS body.
"Damn," Dave exclaimed in surprise, thought that was quickly followed by the pronouncement, "Pandallas."
As he stared over the edge, Dave realized what must have happened. Pandallas had tried leaving in his body, but was probably just as uncoordinated in it as he had been originally in hers. And when she tried going down the path, she hit the loose area, lost her footing and fell...to her death. Dave didn't know if her body could possibly survive a fall like that, but there was no doubt in his mind that his couldn't.
"She's gone," he whispered in disbelief.
He remained where he was, unable to tear his eyes off of the body so far below. A thousand thoughts filled his mind at the sight, and one thundering realization. Dave could never return to his own body now. He was stuck...stuck in Pandallas' body. Stuck as a woman for the rest of his life...however long that might be.
Dave gently ran one of his nailed fingers over his smooth breasts, then started to cup them in his hands. Strangely enough, the prospect of being stuck as a woman didn't really seem all that horrifying. After wearing that skin for such a long time, it had become familiar...even comfortable. Pandallas' body was no longer alien, but almost...home.
However, as Dave finally tore his eyes away from the sight, he knew that it meant one more thing. It marked the end of his old life. That didn't bother him quite so much as it once would have as he had already accepted that he could never return to his old life in his new body. But now, Dave McCormic was gone for good. As apparently was Pandallas.
He was someone else now. She was someone else now...someone new. She looked down at her sexy body and gave a faint smile, not exactly sure who that someone was just yet. But she was confident that she would enjoy finding out. And as she continued on her way down the narrow path, and towards that discovery, she smiled deeply to herself. All that she knew for certain was that she was free...and that was more than enough.
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