Chapter 3: The Price of Evil
Parry had not even thought to ask if Jolie was present before, so was surprised to see her enter the scene. "Jolie! Where have you been?"
Jolie smiled and touched his arm, her incorporeal hand nontheless feeling solid. "That is what I will tell now, if you will allow me."
Parry leaned back into the soft couch. "Very well, I am very interested to hear why you left Orb when she was attacked by Atropos." His voice was stern and reproachful.
Jolie continued to smile, though it was strained. "Well, then, it happened like this..."
Jolie spoke to her host, regarding the comment that Niobe, Orb's mother, had just said. "She wasn't talking to you."
Jolie strained to see Niobe was talking to, knowing it must be one of the other two Aspects of Fate that resided in her. Suddenly Jolie was not alone, another feminine conciousness pushing into her with great force. "Hello, Jolie. May we speak?"
Jolie heard the conversation Orb was now having with Atropos, but only dimly, as if from very far away. She focused on the source of the voice and could feel more than see the outline of a woman. No, two women who were one woman. It hurt Jolie's mind to stare at and so she stopped trying to make out more detail.
The voice was clear now, and Jolie could almost place who it belonged to. "We could hear your side of the conversation as well, but noticed that you thought we could not. We do appreciate that you made no outstanding effort to interrupt a family concern, but we also understand that this matter is equally important to you."
Jolie felt the name come upon her of whose melodious voice this must be, as she thought of who associated to fate she must be speaking to. "Clotho? How did you come to be in Orb's mind? I thought the three Aspects of Fate could not seperate?"
Another voice spoke, and Jolie recognized Niobe immediately. "We are not in Orb's mind, we have pulled you into ours. You were questing for the source of our thoughts, so we figured this may simplify things. While Atropos explains what must be done to Orb, we answer your questions."
Orb! Jolie threw her awareness on the interaction between the crone and Nature and saw that Atropos had Orb over her knee, spanking her in a manner that left Jolie stunned. "What is this?" she asked numbly.
If a spiritual equivilent for clearing one's throat nervously could be made, Jolie was certain she heard it now. Clotho spoke first. "Well, Atropos has her own style of dealing with issues of discipline. It is best that you are here for this part."
Niobe put in, "Orb can be stubborn to the point of ignoring reason, but we know that is not the case with you, Jolie. Certainly you understand that while your own mission to reunite with Satan is not evil in of itself, using Orb for that purpose can lead to evil ends."
Jolie was quiet for a long moment. "This is very important to you, all three of you, not just Niobe."
Jolie felt more than saw Niobe and or Clotho nod her head and or heads. "And more than that; all of the other Incarnations, save God of course, are deeply concerned with the most powerful of our number courting Satan."
Jolie took a long deep breath and closed her eyes, though neither activity had a point as a spirit. "I understand, but if this is the case, then why did the Incarnations, and especially yourself, not come between them before they fell for one another? Why wait until now so that such a division is that much more cruel?"
Niobe/Clotho gave her a mournful look; at least Jolie felt it was a mournful look. "You know as a good woman who was also married to Evil that things are rarely that simple."
Jolie was silent again for a while. "Let us assume that you all only did what you had to then, for the betterment of our world. I know you all personally, after all, and believe you to be good people to the person. Then now we ask what further is required for Fate's tapestry to align with God?"
Jolie sensed relief, and Niobe's voice was warm. "You are very sharp. We can only guide Orb onto a new path that will in turn aid her husband."
Jolie raised a spectral eyebrow. "And what is that?'
No answer for a moment. "We can't tell you now. We are unsure of your part in this, yet. What we can say is to let Orb and Satan make their own choices and react to those choices in the manner of the good friend you are to them."
Jolie was irritated. "You promised to answer my questions but are vague when I ask them? How do you expect me to assist you when you won't tell me your plans for the future?"
Niobe answered quickly. "It is for this reason that we do not. You lack faith, and while you are a good person, the fact that you do not trust me and the others over Parry and Orb makes you a liability to us. We hope you understand."
Jolie took another deep breath of nothing. "I do understand, but am no less vexed by your..." Jolie paused; she had been about to say 'meddling', but that was what Fate did, wasn't it?
The mental voices chimed almost in chorus. "We may not be able to tell you our plans, but if you will remain with us, we shall show you their execution, and allow you to decide where you stand in this way. Only you must promise not to interfere until we return you to Orb."
Jolie eyed the shifting mass of Fate's conciousness warily. Niobe had been known to beat Satan in a game of deception before. "And if I come with you, I may decide when I am to return to Orb?"
Jolie nodded. "Very well. I'll go with you, and see what you have in mind... I mean, beyond what I see here..."
Laughter filled the plane they resided in and Niobe's voice caressed her again. "This will only take a moment."
Jolie felt a shift in the environment surrounding her and the personality she was looking upon changed, became older and younger at the same time. Jolie was confused, then realized Atropos must have returned, as the Aspect who cut the threads of life was older physically but younger mentally than Niobe, who was actually her senior in years due to holding the position of Fate twice; each time a different Aspect.
Jolie focused her thoughts outside, and heard Niobe soothing her daughter. "I know, my love, but you must do this, even if only until a viable solution can be orchestrated. Do you understand?"
Atropos addressed Jolie now, her words like a strong breeze, powerful and direct but with soft and subtle tones. "She'll return soon. We'll warn Satan to mind our words, and if he listens to us or Orb there won't be any more to see."
Jolie could hear from Atropo's inflection that the Aspect did not think Parry would be warned off, and Jolie could not agree more; Parry was a willful person, and would likely not be thrilled with any plan that involved him losing the close company of his wives.
Jolie thought on this. Technically, they were only threatening to take away his right to sleep with Nature, but since Jolie would unlikely be unable to find another host capable and willing to visit Parry in Hell, they were denying her, too. She frowned. Perhaps that was another reason Fate did not trust her.
Jolie was broken from her thoughts by the sound of commotion outside, and saw that Atropos had traded with Niobe once more, and was using her powers to tie Parry to a chair. "You can't do that to him! I thought you were just going to talk?"
Niobe's words were soothing. "We are, it's just that Satan is difficult to deal with at best when angered, and we want him to hear our warning clearly, despite his duress. He must know how serious we are so that he has the best chance possible to avoid a less favorable fate."
Jolie's voice was edged. "Less favorable than being tied to a chair? If this is a mission of mercy, why do I feel like you are guiding him into something dangerous?"
Atropos was back as suddenly as she had left, and it was she who responded. "We ain't gonna hurt him really. He'll be fine either way, but I'll tell you he's in for more rough love if he doesn't quit."
Jolie was quiet, watching as Niobe warned Parry one last time. "Goodbye, Satan. Do not cross me."
Fate shot a web from seeming nothingness once she had exited the room with Parry and Orb, rocketing along the strand at incredible speeds. Jolie watched, fascinated to see this mode of travel. Niobe herself seemed transluscent as she moved, as it seemed the thread made her intangible as she passed unhindered through the walls of Gaea's castle.
The destination she had in mind revealed itself to be her abode in Purgatory, a massive cocoon that hung on impossibly infinite webbing. She approached the door, stepped through, turned and shut it from inside, simply standing there.
"Now we wait," said Atropos within the mind setting. "If he has an inkling of sense he won't come knocking on that door, but since we've had a chat with Chronos..."
Jolie was surprised by the simple answer to why Fate seemed to nkow how events would play out. "You actually asked him of future events? I thought Incarnations avoided doing that because of the anomolies that could occur from anyone other than Chronos attempting to use that information?"
Clotho answered, sounding abashed. "Actually, that's complicated, but the end result is that he came to us and told us something that we can't tell you for the same reason you just stated."
Jolie was frustrated with all the secrecy, regardless of how well justified. "I really just wish everything with you people didn't have t be so complicated!"
Niobe chimed in from her position of control. "I feel him stepping on my threads outside; I'm going to try and guide him away, I promise, Jolie, but if I cannot, Atropos is going to do what must be done."
Jolie started to get a hint of what they intended now, and as she watched the conversation Niobe had with Parry, it escalated to Parry standing and beligerantly shouting, "I have no choice? I am Satan, the Incarnation of Evil, and I will not be balked by you, lesser Incarnation!"
Atropos took over shortly after that, but Jolie was already bracing herself to watch what she knew was coming. She had promised Niobe she would not interfere, and though she could demand to be brought back to Orb now, perhaps botching Atropos' discipline of her husband, she could not bring herself to do so.
Jolie thought on it and realized that though she was pained to watch Parry humiliated like this, Fate had information she did not on a sound reason for all this. Jolie thought a lot of less than kind things about Niobe, especially now, but she did not believe Fate was a liar.
Once Parry had stood and taken his leave, albeit shakily, Jolie asked to be returned to Orb. She had seen enough.
Parry let out an angry exclamation. "You watched the whole thing and didn't help me?" His face was flushed crimson and he shrugged Jolie's hand off of his shouder as he gritted his teeth and worked his hands together on his lap furiously.
Jolie gave him a sad look, "I'm sorry, but I had made a promise. Like you, I always keep my word, you know that."
Parry nodded, seeming to calm himself but still blushing. Having Orb hear this must have been doubly embarrassing, so Jolie clarified that as well. "Orb already knows of this, I told her everything I witnessed when I returned to her."
Parry looked to Orb, shocked. "Why didn't you say anything?"
Orb frowned at him. "I did not wish to embarass you with my knowledge, because when I gave you the chance to tell me back at the shipyard, you avoided doing so."
Parry felt guilty for the deception now, but his mind quickly acclimatized to the new information. "So Jolie was already back with you at the docks?"
Orb nodded and Parry whirled on Jolie. "It was you! You disarmed the charge I placed on that boat!"
Jolie gave him an angry look. "Do you seriously think we could knowingly allow you to hurt so many people like that?"
Orb piped in, her own voice rife with anger. "And the animals and plants would have been ruined, too! You did not even stop to think how your plan would cause problems for me as Gaea!"
Parry stood and pointed at Orb. "Why did you play the innocent when I asked about the carrier, then? How high and mighty you sounded, harping on about being truthful, when you..."
Jolie cut him off. "I stopped the bomb alone. At best, Orb only slighted you by not stopping me when I told her my intention."
Parry shook with rage, feeling betrayed. "So it is true! Niobe has turned not one both both of you against me!"
Orb raised a hand, her face calm, "We aren't against you, Parry. You can realize this from thinking on the story we just told you."
"Bull shit!" Parry shouted, "You led me to Niobe because your mother's commands matter more to you than my own well being, and you, Jolie, went along with her despite her aggression against the both of us, then balked me when I had the chance to bring her down a peg!"
Orb opened her mouth to speak but Parry raged on. "She has had you both wrapped around her finger this entire time, you ignorant fools! Perhaps it would have been more fitting if she had my office, seeing how easily she has pulled the wool over your eyes!"
Orb stood and snatched Parry by the wrist, bearing him down to the couch while he stared in surprise. "You were right after all, Jolie, I never should have argued."
Jolie nodded serenely and Parry glanced over in confusion as Orb pulled him over into a position that made him reflexively cringe. Orb's grip was powerful, though, and Parry realized belatedly that here in her castle her strength knew no equal. "What does she mean, what...?"
Jolie answered the unfinished question. "I have told Orb that I agree with Fate's methods of bringing you to face your mistakes, and have my own plan, which I believe is what Niobe wanted us to find: our own way."
Parry was livid, especially as Orb pulled his britches back to reveal his posterior to both women, raising her hand in a familiar fashion as he began to struggle furiously, panicked by the implication, the bruises still upon his ass seeming to sing with expectant horror.
He screamed at Jolie in a rage, his sense of betrayal growing, "You sided with Niobe? Both of you? I can't believe..."
Orb piped in as she planted a solid slap on Parry's underside, and Parry realized exactly how sore he in fact was. Already her swats began to send agonizing bolts of pain through him. "No. We are seeing to it that you side with us."
Parry tried to scrabble free of Orb's lap frantically, and blushed crimson in embarassment at how he must look to both girls as Orb calmly held him in place as if containing a small boy. "I was already on your side! What you are doing is further humiliating me!"
Jolie nodded. "Both are true, but what you must consider is your own implied meaning when you asked Orb to choose sides. You secretly meant 'do as Niobe tells you or do as I tell you'. What we are suggesting in counter is that you instead do what we tell you."
Parry gasped as Orb quickly brought his ass to a reddened state, his legs kicking as she solidified her grip on him so that she and the couch kept from from interfering with the spanking. "This is some sort of play for power? You are driving against me, and in doing so you will ruin the purpose of Evil!"
Orb shook her head, "No, we only demand you follow our lead concerning our relationship; what you do for your office we shall not intercede. In fact, we encourage you to not show us favor if your office demands you move against us."
Jolie added, "For we will not show you any such favor, as in this case." She watched with a raised eyebrow as Parry yelped at a painful slap, noting how much his tolerance for this kind of thing had seemed to weaken. Perhaps it was repetition that lowered his defenses?
Parry held onto his anger nontheless, balling his fists where Orb held them and shouting at the two of them. "Then you have declared war on me! Just like all of the others..."
"No." Orb scolded him, hiting him hard enough to interrupt his tirade. Parry squirmed at his helpless state as Orb showed him she could hit him harder still. "This arrangement benefits peace between you us and the others. Only if we have command of you rather than the other way around, and can prove that command, will they accept us as lovers."
Jolie rubbed his back, "This whole thing is to allow us to be together. As Incarnations sided to Good, you and they can rest assured that we will keep our promise and allow you full sanction over everything associated to your office, because we understand your place in existance is important."
Parry's mind reeled at what they were telling him, but one particular point stood out and frightened him, and he asked worriedly, "You said you must 'prove' your command... what do you intend to do?"
Orb shifted to pull him tighter into her lap, both so that he would be more comfortable and so that she had easier access to his now bright red cheeks. Parry wriggled as she moved, but if he entertained any hope of escape while she adjusted, it was not realized.
After swatting Parry a few times in rapid succession to punish him for fighting her so hard, which evoked a strangled yell from her husband, Orb went on to explain. "We must let them know that we have reined Evil, that you will listen to us explicitly when it is important for you to do so."
Parry's face paled at the thought of anyone else further knowing of his shame here. "No..." He grunted and twisted at the stinging in his rear, letting out a strained sound. "How can you not then use that power to tip the balance toward Good when situations press you to do so? What happens when it is do so or I win?"
Jolie smiled tartly, "Then you will win. We honor are promises, that is an ineffible part of Good. Also, we really are on 'your side'."
Parry gritted him teeth but yelled out sharply regardless as Orb caught him no the seat of his ass. "This is all doomed to fail, though, you must know this; I am a greater Incarnation, and as soon as I leave here, which I must, I will be free of your limited control!"
Orb smiled now, shutting out Parry's short-lived sense of victory in the face of adversity. "We have thought all of this through; your going to have to trust us. You know we have your best interests in mind."
Parry barked out furiously, reaching the limits of his endurance. "To hell with your plans! You are a fraction of my age, Orb, and I made you into who you are, Jolie! You are both severely underqualified to rule me!"
Jolie frowned. "I know we are from a different age, but you are being closed-minded." She glanced over to Orb. "Show him how we feel about closed-mindedness."
Orb lay into Parry as never before and he inhaled hard as her hand became a blur of driving slaps. Parry screamed now, losing himself in the pain and unable to hold onto a composure of any sort. "No, stop! Please!"
Orb's mouth was a line of concentration as she focused on the discipline. "We will stop when you admit defeat to your wives."
Parry glanced at both women in turn with wide eyes, knowing from looking that neither would stop this until they had what they wanted. Orb had always been willful, and Jolie had overcome her own lack of self-confidence long ago and grown an iron will forged by centuries of experience.
So they continued in relative silence, the only sound that of the punishment Orb doled on him, and Parry knew that he would have to say it. He resisted despite the horrible burning in his ass, despite how much he wanted to stand and stop trembling upon Orb's lap.
He resisted because even if he lied in such an admission, the fact that they had forced it from him would be a sort of proof of their dominance over him. He shook, his muscles tired from spasming and flexing to the beat of the spanking.
At long last, though, his bruised buttocks unable to weather his conviction anymore, and his conviction unable to lie against the simple fact that he had lost, Parry gave them their victory, tears already running the length of his cheeks adding to his obvious loss and humiliation. "Fine! You have won! I will do as you ask in all things pertaining to our relationship."
Jolie brightened. "Excellent! I shall tell them he is ready." Jolie disappeared abruptly, leaving Orb and Parry alone on the couch.
Orb pulled Parry's pants back up with care, aware how much it could hurt to scrape the tender flesh beneath, then she helped him to sitting, though he pulled away from her once upright, looking away in muted fury.
They both sat in silence for all of a moment before Parry's eyes met hers in belated shock, "She said she would 'tell them I'm ready'. Who?"
Parry tried to stand, but Orb grabbed his wrist and pulled him sitting again, which made him wince. "I'm sorry, love, but we are not done yet, and require your prescence a bit longer. I understand if you hate me, but I know you can you can believe it when I tell you I know what you are going through, and that the goal is worth it."
Parry folded his arms across his chest and looked away again, not wanting to show off his tear-stained face. "And what makes you think I would want to be with you, either of you, after this?"
Anger burned like a deep core in his voice, and Orb frowned. "Despite what we do here, I hope when you think things through later that you can admit to yourself that it was all for the best."
Parry made a dismissive sound, and at that moment Jolie returned, except not alone. Thanatos, War, Fate, and Chronos all stood with her now. Parry growled at the sight of them, wiping at his eyes in a vain attept to hide that he had been crying. "So, you have all come to laugh and mock me. Again."
Niobe was the one to speak up, then. "We are all sorry that our predecessors treated you cruelly on your first day in office, but please rememeber that it was not us; we promise not to deal with you in such a way."
Jolie stepped forward, adressing Orb. "There's no need to draw this out, let's show them why they are here."
Orb nodded and Parry let out a surprised exclamation as she pulled him back over her knees once more. "We are going to let you all see that Jolie and I have the power to enforce a bargain with Satan, and that should he ever try to slip that bargain with a technicality, we can... correct him."
Orb pulled down his breeches again without further ado and began to pummel Parry's still sore cheeks once more with the flat of her hand.
Parry screamed out in shocked rage at the others all observed this already marked and upturned exposure. "Unhand me! You just swore to do nothing of this sort!" Parry glanced over to see that they were not laughing or jeering, but watching silently with a serious air, and somehow this only served to shame him worse.
Jolie spoke before the others could field the accusation. "This is not their doing, but mine and Orb's. I only told them that they would all be needed here when I summoned them. That is all."
Parry bucked violently as Orb swatted him, but her hand found him unerringly, and no amount of kicking either freed him or caused her to so much as slow. If anything, she smacked him much harder for his efforts, and eventually his attempts became more feeble as he realized this.
Parry regarded Niobe with a hateful stare. "This is all your doing! You played them into thinking it was their idea, but you are behind everything!"
Jolie looked about to speak again but Niobe held up a hand to silence her, then shifted to the Clotho Aspect. "Actually, all of this is my doing."
Parry stared, confused, but the next stinging slap broke him of his reverie and he howled. "No! I heard Niobe with my own ears, and have heard of how she manipulated both her daughter and Joile!"
Clotho shook her head no vehemently. "Niobe was acting as we all were the part I assigned her. It was I who in several weeks time will convince Chronos..." she looked at the Lord of Time and he glanced down, abashed, Clotho blushing herself, "...to tell us two weeks past of something that has yet to occur."
Parry was only more perplexed by this, and almost forgot the rythmic jolts of pain for a moment. "What? But how would you have known to ask him?"
Clotho waved off the notion. "Technically it is paradox, but fortunately since he was directly involved in the matter, and immune to such, it all somehow works. The important reason though, was that I wanted to help you retain your relationship with Orb, so two weeks hence I shall seek him out."
Parry could not keep his voice steady despite his best efforts, and heard the waver caused by his pain there, which in turn made his face flush with embarassment. "So you were calling the shots all along? Why would you care about our sex life?"
Clotho gave him a compassionate look. "I've always believed that two people should be able to be together when they were in love. The details of this are not mine, but the concept, yes."
Parry snarled at her as the pain reached a creshendo, "I don't care what you believe, you cunt! How dare you meddle in my affairs! I'll see to it that you rue this!"
Jolie sighed and waved off Clotho's worried look. "Regardless how we came here, we fully intend to carry this out. Orb, I have the document if you will provide the persuasion."
Orb began to spank Parry with renewed fervor, and he arched his back in desperate pain as he screamed loudly, tears welling immediately from the feeling engendered by his now total lack of control. He could only twist helplessly while she whacked him in a way that he could only assume was as hard and fast as she could.
Jolie, for her part, produced a slip of paper, which even in his heightened state of agony Parry knew had to be magical since she could lift it. "This is a contract binding you to follow our every word concerning the romantic and or financial and or political side or sides to come in our future relationship.
Parry raged at the tears that flowed openly down his face for all to see, and tensed against the continuing onslaught of Orb's hand. "I will sign but this counts as duress! Not to mention that you would be lucky if any sort of relationship continued bewteen us after this!"
Jolie nodded. "You have points there, but this is no mortal court, and this blood agreement binds regardless of the terms in which it is signed. Let me tell you that and this in good faith so that you may know the full exent of this before you sign it: the agreement also says that we alone have the right to change it, and it mentions how your signing it now has reverse implications."
Parry frowned. "Reverse implications?"
Jolie nodded. "Yes, as in, it will also affect the past."
Parry screamed against the pain and found he could keep up the bravado no longer against this sort of punishment, a whimper escaping his lips. "Please, I no longer care, just allow me to sign it, you bitch!"
Orb reprimanded him, "It's not nice to call your wife a bitch." Parry once more found that Orb had considerably more strength to apply to his tortured ass, and he scrabbled greedily to take the pen proffered by Jolie. Anything to escape the pain.
Jolie gave one last statement, "Before you sign, remember that this is an act of total defeat, and you are agreeing not only to us but to all the others that you have been bent to Gaea's will, rather than the other way around.
Parry cringed at the words, but no longer cared, sobbing as he scribbled his signiture as fast as he could, cursing the day he had met this woman.
Chronos stepped forward. "I will handle things from here. Well done."
Parry smirked, one eyebrow raising, "You make it sound as if you intend some calamity for me."
In response Gaea used her powers on him and Parry was thrown into a frenzy of lust more powerful than he had ever felt, his stiffening member sorely demanding release. His wife slowly unwrapped him, taunting him with sultry lips. "I do plan on taking this with or without your permission," she purred.
Even as her tongue flicked out teasingly on him, she drew a strange document from seemingly nowhere and held it aloft for him to see. "But just so you see, I do have your permission. You are officially my love slave, Parry."
Parry's brow furrowed in confusion and he fought back the dizzying lust that sought to control his thoughts. "What? That is my signiture, when did I?"
Orb's voice was soothing in response, "No matter; trust me, there are far worse things to suffer than my love."