Curse of the Snake

Chapter 9: Queen of the Chained

By Narroch and Sapphire

Sasuke figured his hand was probably infected by now. His bleeding thumb was covered in sand, and turning a dark puce around the over used cut. He'd moved onto other fingers, which produced worse summonings and reduced sensation until his fingertips felt like numb stumps. There were summoning circles of blood scattered throughout the room's large floor. Once, when he'd placed his hand within the radius of another circle, the whole thing had exploded, leaving nothing but a scorched snakeskin and a blinded, singed Sasuke.

The summonings were generally improving, but the snakes seemed to be working together in their own little dimension, making sure to teleport right back after being summoned. The summoning smoke had barely cleared when they willed themselves to vanish in another cloud of smoke, before he had the chance to grab it or otherwise restrain it. Apparently, signing the contract only gave him access to the snake dimension. Actually controlling the summons depended on his personal ability, something that the snakes apparently weren't very impressed with.

Sasuke narrowed his blazing eyes in anger at the spot where the previous arrogant little snake had vanished with a warning hiss and flash of fangs. How was he supposed to control them when they instantly disappeared? Servants do not play games with their master! He was going to gain their respect through fear, if through no other way.

Forming a grin over clenched teeth, he pricked a new finger with the kunai, while focusing on forming a Chidori with the other hand as soon as the Kuchiyose occurred. He'd never seen anyone else perform a Kuchiyose while using a different jutsu, so he decided not to charge it up before.

Slamming the bleeding finger on the dirt, he grasped the emerging snake as it appeared. Immediately forming a small Chidori current in the other hand, he sent it charging through the small, still blinded snake. It writhed and hissed, and finally glared at him, smoke rising from its skin. He stared straight into its slanted eyes.

"Where are the others?" he demanded.

"They're hiding from you, stupid. None of us want a second master. One Orochimaru-sama is enough." the snake began twisting its body around Sasuke's arm as it hissed, unable to do anything else since Sasuke had it by the neck, too close to its head to attempt biting him.

"I am NOTHING like him. How many others are there?"

"What am I, your personal spy? Leave me alone!"

Sasuke glared and sent another Chidori current through it, grimacing when the voltage was partly transferred to his own arm through the snake's scales. It hissed and dangled limp for a moment before re-tightening its coils threateningly saying,

"There are no snakes that you can summon that will ever agree to serving you, even if you can threaten them. Not even the weakest snakeling would consent to serving anyone else. Orochimaru-sama would kill any serpent not loyal to him."

Sasuke's grip tightened considerably, and he was tempted to throw the snake against the wall and watch it burn. If what he was saying was true, this entire exercise was just another trick, another pointless exercise in futility. Orochimaru knew none of the snakes would listen to him no matter what he did, because they were all loyal to him! Orochimaru was probably laughing at him even now, knowing he would never succeed. His anger erupted at the thought that he was being used, that he had already wasted so much time!

He turned back to the snake writhing around his arm and trying to keep his voice level asked another question.

"So, what you are saying, is that summons can't be used simultaneously by two different people."

"You can summon us all day and night, but we would rather bite you than be caught obeying you. We will always default to the stronger summoner, which obviously isn't you. The only way we would ever listen to you, would be if Orochimaru-sama told us to."

Sasuke suddenly understood and the meaning made him nearly sick. The snake also seemed to catch on when he saw Sasuke's blanched face and began to laugh, a whistling hiss that pulsed around Sasuke's captured arm.

"Hehehehe, you foolish boy! I see what's going on! You can keep summoning all of us! Keep it up, we can jump back and forth all day, and then when you are finally out of chakra, you can crawl back on your knees and beg Orochimaru-sama for a snake since you are so incompetent on your own! Hehehe, the proud Uchiha on the ground licking Orochimaru-sama's feet, or maybe...licking something else..."

At this point, the snake released a coil, bringing it's tail up towards its mouth and began flicking its forked tongue out to lick at it and insert the tip into its mouth in a surprisingly convincing mockery of fellatio. Sasuke threw the serpent away in disgust and anger, as if it had burned his hand, unable to control himself. The snake hit the wall hard, and slipped to the floor in a pile, obviously hurt but still laughing at the vulgar taunt.

Sasuke was beyond angry at this point. It was one thing swallowing his pride and allowing Orochimaru to deride him on a daily basis, but he would be dead before he let a snake disrespect him like that. He strode forward pulling out a kunai, ready to cut the reptile in half with it.

The snake gathered itself up, took a defensive strike position and glared at the approaching ninja.

"Go ahead and kill me, it won't change your position! No matter what, you are still going to have to be his bitch if you..."

The snake wasn't able to finish his sentence as a kunai suddenly pierced his skull and he imploded in a puff of smoke.

Sasuke fell to his knees with an enraged cry, slamming both fists into the ground in his frustration. There was just no way to win it seemed! He couldn't control any of the snakes because Orochimaru already did! He would probably expect Sasuke to give up eventually and then beg for help, just as the snake had said. And even if he could control a few snakes after that, they would still be under Orochimaru's control, liable to betray him at any time if he did something that displeased the Sannin. He needed his own summons, ones that weren't possessed by Orochimaru, but unfortunately, he did not know of any, or how to find them on his own. Summoning another snake and asking would be pointless, it was quite clear that they had no desire to help him.

Then suddenly, realization dawned on him as he remembered that he did in fact know of a snake still free from Orochimaru's influences. The huge psychotic female, Manda's youngest daughter.

Would it be worth the risk to summon her? Even Orochimaru himself had to use a spell to suppress her, and she didn't seem like the type to talk...

But, there was no other way it seemed, this was the only loophole to Orochimaru's cruel game, and Sasuke was tired of playing; he was willing to take it.

He had analyzed every detail of the blood-red snake when he had summoned her before, and his Sharingan could recall the image perfectly in his mind. He pictured her now, huge, red, powerful, and allowing a generous amount of blood to pool in his hand, he slammed his palm down.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"

The smoke filled the room completely, and for a moment he wasn't sure it worked. But after a few seconds of coughing, he looked up and could see her coiled up, filling most of the underground room.

She glanced around, hissing angrily, raising her head till her spiky eye ridges touched the ceiling.

"Who summoned me into this tiny wretched hole!"

Sasuke took a small step backwards, overwhelmed by her anger, and she suddenly whipped her head around sensing even that tiny vibration through the floor.

"Ah, so it's you again, little mouse." She slithered forward, coils undulating until she had stretched out enough to encircle the room with her dark striped body, leaving Sasuke trapped in the middle.

"I never did thank you before for calling me out to face my brother. Unfortunately, our battle was interrupted, and I was SO hoping to face him..."

Her head now raised contemplatively, inching closer and closer to Sasuke.

"And so, when I felt your summon this time, I was certain I would be getting a rematch. Instead I find myself in this tiny dirty hovel with nothing to amuse me but a weak insignificant man..."

She flicked her tongue out, thick as Sasuke's forearm, and then snorted.

"Oh, I'm sorry. You're not even a man, just a scared little boy."

And it was true, Sasuke was scared, he was terrified. She was pouring off such an intense bloodlust, and every time he glanced into her eyes, the gem on her forehead flashed and he could feel her prodding his mind and coating it in fear. But Sasuke had an advantage in that he had already been victim to the most powerful mind jutsu several times, and he was able to stand up to her diluted probing. He activated his Sharingan to help ward off her internal advances.

She paused as soon as she saw his red eyes. This helped encourage him, and he forced the tremors to die down in his stomach. He knew he would have to use all of his will to control her.

"I summoned you, therefore I am your master."

She immediately puffed up and hissed, drawing her head back in the typical 'S' striking pose.

"No mere human can be MY master! Especially one who looks so helplessly edible. However, I would be willing to have a pet perhaps. A toy maybe...with such pretty red eyes..."

Without any other warning, her body tightened, drawing the circle closed around Sasuke and tightening the coil until he was gasping in pain, unable to move any of his limbs.

"Such a beautiful color, I wonder how a little mouse like you got those eyes..."

She slowly flicked her black tongue out, extending it slowly until the tips were poised right over his eyes. He squirmed, trying to back away from the slimy appendage, but it did no good, so instead he tightly closed his eyes even if it meant losing his vision for a moment. She rumbled in displeasure, and suddenly tightened like a vice, until Sasuke's bones creaked and he felt like his eyes would pop from his sockets. His eyes were wrenched open by the pain and he was suddenly assailed with a stinging wet tongue caressing his naked eye.

"Agh! Get off me, you fucking snake!"

He violently shook his head, Sharingan flashing dangerously. The snake chuckled, and Sasuke felt every tremor squeeze his body. She opened her jaw, fangs bared and dripping venom. Sasuke immediately stopped moving, aware of how dangerous those teeth were.

"I wonder... Will you survive if I do this?"

She lightly pressed the tip of a hollow fang on his chest, the venom dripping out instantly burning a hole through his shirt. He took a shallow breath, twisting back as far as he could.

"Ah, no I suppose not... Humans are so frail after all."

Sasuke had enough of being beaten up by snakes. He was still scared, still trapped, but despite the situation he knew he had to stand up for himself and prove himself if he wanted to be master. With the only option available to him, he opened his mouth wide and bit into the snakes scales.

She jerked and gave an indignant scream, instantly releasing him and flinging him across the room to smack into the stone wall. She whipped her tail out and slapped him across the face, so hard that he was slammed to the floor.

"Get up..." she hissed, her tone losing its playful taunting edge, now angry and dangerous.

Sasuke, grunted, tasting blood in his mouth and struggled to stand on his feet. As soon as he stumbled upright, she slammed him down again.

"Get up!"

Sasuke stood. The snake struck. He stood again, she struck again. And again, and again, and again.

"What do you want from me?" she shrieked as he stood up once again, trembling and dripping blood like rain.

"Obey...me..."

"FUCK that!" she thundered, baring fangs.

"I'm...your...master..."

"I have no master, especially not YOU!"

She struck like lightening, Sasuke didn't even realize he had been bitten until the deep burning of venom filled his arm.

"I have no master, because no one can survive me! Now die like the rat you are, weak, alone, in darkness..."

And with that, she vanished. Her smoke and psychotic laughing lingering in the air long after she had gone. Sasuke slumped over, vision swimming until everything went black.


Author's notes: (Narroch) Happy St. Patrick's Day, guys.

(Sapphire): Guys, thank Narroch for getting this chapter up and complete! I just had a few crazy ideas about Manda's daughter, and some of the stuff at the beginning, but she really tied it together and made it this awesome. Most of the dialogue is her awesome writing. So, thanks to her, I'm over my writer's block, and now we can finally move on to the venom chapter!

Now, before anyone complains, I know there's another story, "The Art of Being Used", by Phoenix Elentari,and there's a chapter where Kabuto falls under the influence of hallucinogenic compounds, so I'm going to try to avoid any similarites between that fic and the next chapter of this.

Also, last and not least, I'm sorry for taking so long with this update. Writer's block, we've all experienced it, right? Finally, thanks to all my reviewers:

Tsukiko Yamshita, Felidae131, Leon, brightgreenskribbles, -Bista-, Shadow Lunis, Octavia Andrea Tucker-Harrison, Kaira-chan15, LostForever06, TheGypsyGirl, SpacePirateGirl, Kakashis-First-Kiss, and livinglife

Much love and green cookies and St. Pat's day beads to you all!

PS: To any fellow Anne Rice: Vampire Chronicles fans, the chapter title, "Queen of the Chained", is a rip off from one of my fav books! It just fit somehow. :)

-Sapphire and Narroch