Afreet—also spelled ifrit, efreet, ifreet, and afrit are supernatural creatures in Arabic and Islamic cultures. They are in a class of infernal djinn, spirits below the level of angels, noted for their strength and cunning.
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The night of the Ifrits
Infinite and capricious grains of sand danced around the two imposing figures that stood face to face within the dunes. They had been there for some minutes, hours perhaps, speaking in the divine language of the demons, challenging their surroundings and appropriating them as their own. Were they there to play with the mortals, to twist their fates so viciously that at the end their poor miserable lives would break like the last string of a lute?
"Are you sure all the intel is in here?" one said, tall but with his shoulders slumped, holding a quadrangular object within his hands, shivering in sin.
"I already told you it is," the other one said, equally tall and with the sharp wings of a demon protruding from his back. "The locations of all the explosives and the hour of the detonations are specifically detailed. I can count, I suppose, on one hundred percent clearance?"
The wingless ifrit, the tormented one, nodded slowly. "That's what I promised you, and that's what you'll have."
"Excellent. Make sure to keep your comrades away. If uncomfortable encounters occur, be aware that you'll be on your own."
"I know, I know, slag it! Look, just… just take care of your part of the deal and I'll take care of mine."
The winged creature sneered. "And keep an eye on your insufferable brother. My reports indicate that he has been sneaking around closer than my diplomatic demeanor is able to tolerate."
"I'll keep 'Sides off your back, don't worry… make sure you keep your insufferable brothers away."
"I have no brothers," contempt spoke.
"Wingmates, or whatever slag you call them… Just remember what happened last time."
"That was only because your brother doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut. Besides, it was him who crossed that border, now didn't he?"
"Leave Sideswipe out of this! He doesn't know anything about this and I intend to keep it that way."
Arms folded across a golden glass canopy, another sneer… "As you wish. As long as you honour our agreement, I don't care a slag about your brother or any other of your dearest comrades in arms."
"I am one who honours my agreements, and I hope I'll be able to say the same about you when all this finishes."
"You have no reason to doubt, Autobot. It's a double win here. Your kind will arise once again like the heroes, saving this filthy piece of planet from the tyranny of the Decepticons."
"And you will arise as their new leader…"
"Nothing but a fair reward for my services."
Two shining, blue optics focused on his counterpart. "What about the humans? I have very little sympathy for the flesh bags, but still, I want to keep the casualties as low as possible."
"Typical Autobot philosophy… you are aware that's the reason why you are losing this war, aren't you Sunny?"
"Don't you dare call me that! And answer my question, you megalomaniac slaghead!"
"Mmh, no need to get rude here… And no need to worry about the fleshlings either. I have them covered. If you provide me the clearance I require, I guarantee that not even one of them will end up with their brains smashed, at least not by my hands. Is that enough?"
A heavy pause followed. When the silence ended, several seconds after, the wind had stopped playing god with the sand. "What about Megatron?"
A screeching and maniacal laugh increased its intensity, coming from the throat of the winged ifrit. "Oh, you don't have to worry about him! I have that inconvenience covered too, and in such a way… You will give his head as a present to your righteous leader. And if I know Optimus Prime as well as I think I do, that will be a sight that won't entirely displease him."
A grunt was the response, filled with the kind of discomfort that happened after shaking hands with the demon. "Just remember, as soon as it happens, you and the rest of the Decepticon scums will flee from this place, got it?"
"As we agreed," the winged ifrit said as he removed his right hand and allowed his divine purple blood to moisten the sand. "Now, to bind our agreement, we shall partake in the most sacred of Cybertronian rituals: the rite of oneness."
The other one didn't move, perhaps caressing that fleeting moment that defined a hero from a traitor. He eventually did the same thing as his companion. "To symbolize the strength of our agreement, we each contribute a portion of our fuel, and let our contributions mix and join as one," he recited, like a machine.
Both voices spoke together afterwards in perfect synchronization. "Now, with this sacrifice, so shall our bond be sealed. Whosoever breaks the bond gives his life in forfeit according to our Cybertronian law."
Thus the pact was sealed, blood above promises, sworn enemies sharing a fleeting but unique loyalty.
"What now, Starscream?" the defeated one said.
The other one smirked. "Now we create war."
"Tell me where it hurts."
The footsteps sounded almost musical, as if they were following a tacit music sheet. Distant lights at the end of the street announced more loneliness, with the exception of two stray dogs searching for food in the garbage cans. Despite the darkness, Adara could see their ribcages protruding from their skin, a reflection of her famished people.
"There… it hurts there… please don't stop, Megatron… please hurt me…"
She felt as if she was walking in her dreams, but that didn't detach her from reality. Those steps were hers, the raspy ground beneath her feet challenged the fine sole of her shoes, the smell of dust and cold air entering a nose that was used to very different fragrances… But there was one sensation that eclipsed the others, that would have eclipsed anything the night could offer; the touch of the hard but warm metal against her bare thigh, threatening to melt her clothing with the devastating force only lust could produce.
"Describe your pain to me."
She didn't try to repress the moan that escaped through her lips, her breath painting the air with pleasure. Pain still showed itself in every step she took, but so did pleasure. Familiar wetness, overwhelming fever… but it was the realization of one of her biggest fantasies that was driving her insane during that impossible nocturnal walk.
"It's… it's… grey… and red… Aaaaah… please go deeper, Megatron… don't mind if you kill me this time…"
Adara reached the fountain at the center of the deserted square, dry for the lack of rain but more importantly for the lack of life. Streets were abandoned those days. Only vice dared to open its way through the soldiers and the metallic monsters, but still, it did it with fear.
She sat on the edge of the fountain. The pain between her legs a constant reminder of the previous hours, the warmth on her thigh overwhelming…
"This is the place," she said, adjusting the veil around her face, already molested by the wind. "Ifrits used to gather in this fountain to decide the fate of those mortals who were fortunate or miserable enough to have been chosen as their toys. You see, they could grant them wishes… but also nightmares."
"Why are you smiling?"
"Ah… isn't it obvious?"
"Your madness is disturbing."
"You are my madness… Please don't go, Megatron. Stay with me tonight."
"I thought I had made it clear that I didn't want to keep hearing your stupid requests."
"You did, but you will keep listening to them, nevertheless… Please don't look at me like that, my Lord. I have a proposition that you may find interesting… even amusing. It's a millenary tradition that my ancients, the Sultans, passed from generation to generation."
Just one hour later, and there they were, master and slave, although any foreign eye would have seen nothing more than a lonely figure sitting under the light of the full moon.
"The ifrits must be wandering around, they always do it on nights like this."
Something like a grunt could be heard beneath her tunic. Megatron expressing his contempt… She was not impressed.
"I wouldn't have taken you for a superstitious creature. That sort of foolishness doesn't suit you, human," he said, his voice perfectly clear even when he was transformed into what he had called his "alt mode."
Adara smirked beneath her veil. "Are you suggesting you have some respect for my intelligence, after all? I can't tell you how much you flatter me, my Lord."
"If I ever had such respect, I assure you it is rapidly vanishing."
"Just because of what you call my… superstitious foolishness? I already told you, Megatron, ifrits belong to legends. They are part of the fascination we humans have with the impossible. But what's impossible, anyway? Just look at yourself. One hour ago you were a giant alien robot fucking me to the point of bleeding, and now you are a gun that fits so perfectly in my grip… Are you or not, my love, a carrier of what yourself consider impossible?"
"Don't call me that."
Megatron's voice had been colder than ice. Adara knew how much he hated to be reminded that she had feelings for him, but causing him that discomfort only increased her amusement, not to mention her lust.
She lifted her tunic and exposed the perfection of her legs. Her hand seized the Walther P-38 gun secured against her thigh with a leather band, letting her fingers caress the living metal.
"Don't you ever mix among your soldiers without letting them know who you are? Being able to change your appearance so drastically, I'd say you would have… My country has a long tradition on the matter. Countless Sultans disguised as simple merchants and walked among their subjects like this, like common and anonymous citizens… That was the only way in which they could really get to know them. It's something that I started to do when I was very young, I could call it my only touch with reality."
"I don't need to hide my presence from my soldiers, even less to know them."
"Mmmh, you are really a tyrant, aren't you Megatron? I can see why your enemies fear you so much… it must drive you crazy that fear is something you could never impose on me."
Adara lifted the gun and removed the veil from her face. Even in gun mode and with most of his mass displaced, Megatron was too big for her delicate hands, but still it seemed as he belonged to her grip. Adara had the feeling that Megatron didn't allow many to carry him in gun mode.
"Don't you feel vulnerable like this?" she said, bringing the gun to her face.
"Nothing and nobody can hurt me in this mode, especially in this size."
"What about this?" Adara said, putting the barrel of the gun against her own temple. "Would this hurt you?"
He didn't reply immediately, increasing the intensity of her smirk. He could be the master, but she would always be a relentless slave. You care… you care about me, Megatron, and that's killing you…
"You cannot shoot unless I allow you to," he finally replied.
Adara didn't need to hear more. Her finger pressed the trigger.
"You didn't answer my question," she said, more alive than ever, her heart beating so fast that it was painful.
"What the slag do you think you are doing, you stupid human?" he roared. Even though in that small mode, his voice exposed his anger.
"You said I couldn't shoot unless you allowed me to. I wanted to see if that was true."
"Obviously it is, or your putrid protoplasmic self would lie splattered over the ground at this very moment!"
"I trusted you wouldn't allow that to happen, and I wasn't wrong. It would hurt you, my Lord… my death would hurt you. How much, on the other hand, is something that I'm afraid I can't figure it out by myself."
Megatron grumbled something unintelligible. Adara guessed he was talking in his own screechy language. That only aroused her more.
"And it's something that you won't be so kind to clarify, or course…" she finished her train of thought, feeling something related to sadness for the first time in the night.
Guttural laughter at the distance broke the magical moment. Adara was sure they wouldn't see ifrits that night, but instead her contemptuous eyes were greeted by the insult of ordinary life in the shape of three men that were crossing the square, staggering. Even over the distance, Adara could feel the sore odor of alcohol.
"Are those your magical creatures, Queen?" Megatron said, emphasizing the last word with contempt. "There is no wonder why the dominating race on your planet is one that begs to be conquered."
One of the men noticed the lonely woman and signaled her. Open mouths and words of obscenity welcomed the image, an oasis of beauty within a devastated land.
"No," Adara replied quietly as the three men approached her. "They are not. But perhaps we are, Megatron. Ifrits could turn a blessing into a nightmare, they played with humans as if they were their puppets… Please allow me to be the puppeteer tonight. Please allow me to pull the strings."
The gun in her grip increased its warmth. Adara smirked, feeling a wave of pleasure between her legs.
That was all that Megatron said. That was all she needed to hear.
Firm feet stood, steady hands tightened around the gun, their grip extremely passionate. A part of Adara was trembling, but fear was not her motivation. The moment suddenly turned magical, like one of those thousand and one nights in which Sultans had walked their cities disguised as plebeians, covered by anonymous mantles.
She pulled Megatron's trigger. This time something happened. She didn't see the first body disintegrating, she didn't see the other two twisting horribly and turning into viscous pools of blood and burned flesh, she didn't see the walls behind exploding into countless pieces, as countless as the stars… All she saw was Megatron's power released by her hands, one single shot that sealed the ultimate communion between two lovers that were challenging every code dictated by logic. They were above the Universe, and they both knew it.
The fog and the cries of horror that the chaos had awakened hadn't yet dissipated when Adara was already on her way back to the palace, eager to be possessed again by her metallic master, already pleading him to relieve her desire, aching like a burning wound between her legs.
And he listened. And he delivered. In that night of ifrits, they both gave to each other with a passion that neither of them dared to recognize, too afraid, perhaps, to give it a name.
To be continued.
I'm infinitely thankful for the awesome and insightful reviews that you, my dear readers, left for the previous chapter of this story, so I did my best to give you a faster update this time.
Why Sunstreaker?, some of you may ask. I was influenced by the 'All Hail Megatron' saga, and by the fact that Sunny was never a human lover and didn't follow an honour code as strict as other Autobots. I thought about using Prowl, since in the canon he made a couple of very, very unethical – not to mention treacherous – actions against his own comrades, but I don't think he would have ever made a deal with a Decepticon, even less Starscream.
One of the things I loved the most about 'The one thousand and one Arabian Nights' was the continuous apparition of ifrits. I couldn't continue this story without mentioning them at least once, and also the fact that the Sultans used to wander in their cities during the night disguised as merchants or peasants.
The ritual of oneness happened in the Marvel comics between Megatron and Ratchet when they reached a temporary truce.
Also, this chapter was inspired by one dialogue line in particular – the 'Tell me where it hurts' one – which I used in another fanfiction I'm currently writing in a different fandom, but my beta reader and sista iratepirate influenced me to use it here, so I accepted the challenge and I dedicate this chapter to her very bad influence ;o)
The dedication goes to all of you too, who have followed this story and enjoyed it beside me. Your opinions and support mean everything to me :o)