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Po was led blindfolded down innumerable stairs deep into the earth. Two men stood at either side of her, gripping her arms to make sure she didn't stumble. She had no idea how many other people were with her; the pattering of sandals on the stairs behind her could have meant a dozen or a hundred. Her feet were bare and told her she was walking on some kind of smooth stone, but she had long lost any sense of direction and had no idea how much time had passed since she'd gone under that dark archway that led down and down into the blackness of the earth.

Eventually the steps ended and they walked on across a long flat expanse. The short, hollow echoes told Po she was in a tight space, probably a tunnel, and she guessed she was at last close to the end of wherever they were going.

Po's blindfold was removed. She expected bright light after the long darkness, but the light here was so dim even her accustomed eyes could pick out few details. She did know that she was in a large stone chamber, and the floor under her feet seemed to be a milky green. At her back, a thick stone pillar rose up into the darkness, and close to it, another.

A few seconds after her sight was restored, a light appeared in the tunnel which Po supposed she had been led through to get here. The rest of the procession came into the chamber, and by the light of their glass lamps Po saw the chamber was massive and circular, at least five acres across, with many, many pillars set close together around the edge. In the center of the chamber, looking gigantic despite its distance, was a wide round hole in the floor, bordered by an up-sloping ridge like the wall around a well. Po easily guessed no line could sound the depth of that hole.

When the entire party had entered the chamber they gathered around her, and the two men at her side came around in front of her. They were each dressed in a simple white cloth sarong draped over one shoulder and tied around the waist, similar to what she was wearing. Their heads were shaved and their foreheads had been ritually scarred with a sharp, angry-looking symbol- a crescent moon with its points upward, a horizontal slash beneath it and two lines curving outward at the bottom, resembling the forked tongue of a snake.

The man on her left took a knife out of his belt and stepped up close. He inserted his fingers under the shoulder strap of her garment, and made to sever it with the knife. Po panicked and tried to back away, but two people in back of her came forward and held her arms tightly. She turned her head away and her face burned while the man in front of her cut the strap and the top half of her dress fell away, revealing her bare breasts to the audience.

Po's face burned hotter as an appreciative murmur went through crowd. Her breasts weren't over large, but they were round and full, and had always been what she considered her best feature. However, had she had the choice she wouldn't have elected to expose them to a group of strangers.

The man untied the sash around her waist and the rest of the dress came open and slithered into a pool around her feet. She hadn't been allowed to wear anything underneath it. The two men at her sides took her wrists and began to lead her backward. Po's feet were rooted to the ground, but the men tugged roughly and she was forced to stumble back between two of the thick pillars at the periphery of the chamber. She noted, being close enough and having enough light, that each pillar had a set of rings attached, one a few feet above her head, and another at the base. They would be the perfect height to hold a person spread-eagled if they were attached by ropes.

Po began to weep silently while the men tied soft ropes securely around each of her wrists and then used a pole to loop the ropes through the high rings on the pillars. They pulled hard, and Po's arms were suddenly stretched up and to the sides, with no chance of slipping. The men tied off the ropes, and then, taking another pair, bent to tie them around her ankles. Po's quiet protests were ignored as the ropes were put through the low rings and began to tighten.

Awkwardly she was forced to step apart until her legs were spread wide and her position of vulnerability was secured. Po now bitterly regretted that she had shaved the space between her legs, as now there was absolutely nothing to prevent the large horde of strange men from viewing the pink flesh of her labia. The cool air of the chamber mocked her position and stroked her in that sensitive place.

The men who had tied her up stepped around in front of her again and their eyes joined the multitude of eyes that gazed on her nakedness. Po could not guess what exactly would happen to her but she had a feeling it involved servicing every one of these men. She wondered if she would survive, or if she would want to live after being abused so. But the men never approached her.

Instead they all seemed to breath in at the same time, and then they pronounced a word, softly and in perfect unison; "Khallah." The word seemed to echo around the huge cavern and the sound itself over and over again until there was a constant, steady whispering sound in the air.

All at once the sound cut off, and the men turned and began to file out of the chamber. They took their lamps and the remains of her clothing with them when they left. She was in darkness alone, and could see nothing. So, she was to be left here; for how long she had no idea, but it couldn't be forever, could it? What purpose would that serve? Were they hoping to break her will, so she'd agree to anything willingly when they came back to retrieve her?

The dark was beginning to give way as her eyes readjusted, and she could see again the great wide hole cut into the stone of the floor. Logically she shouldn't be able to see anything, because there was no visibly source of light in the chamber. The lamps were probably the only light that had been seen in this chamber in who knew how many hundreds of years.

Po realized suddenly that there was light, and it was coming from the hole. A very faint orange glow was radiating upwards, and was growing quickly more pronounced. A sound reached her ears, a low rushing sound like a long breath exhaled from a giant set of lungs. The light grew brighter, the sound grew louder, and the air around her was heating up noticeably. Po was wracked with trembles. Her mind couldn't wrap around what was happening, she knew only that she was terrified.

Po stared at the hole until her eyes stung, afraid to look away. Her muscles ached from standing stretched for so long, her wrists and ankles were sore, and she was covered in a cold sweat. Soon it would all be over. Something was rising out of the incalculable depths of the earth and coming toward her.

At long last something showed itself in the center of the ring of stone, and the fact that at least she would see what threatened her made Po sag in something like relief. It was not a relief to be close to death, but the wait was torture. She gazed at the hole in the stone as two pointy spires rose up and up, getting thicker and curving forward like a great bull's horns. The top of the head came into view next, and Po could see the source of the orange light was a brilliantly shining rune in its forehead, identical to the one on the head of the men who had brought her here.

Out the head came, and it seemed to resemble more than anything else a serpent, but the teeth, instead of curving down like fangs, curved outward like tusks. Broad nostrils flared and snuffed the air so loudly Po could hear it clearly from where she was. The thing came out and out, and kept coming as though there was no end to the long, thick body attached to the head. It was covered in an armor of scales, and along its sides sprouted countless legs like a millipede's, which fluttered and propelled it forward, the long body bunching up in the great space of the chamber which to it was almost confining.

As the great horned serpent-thing swung its head around, its giant eyes easily picked out the tiny form of Po helpless between the pillars. It began its approach across the floor towards her at a leisurely pace, as though it knew it needed not rush things. The great head swung back and fourth as the serpent side- winded across the floor, and as it came toward her it kept its eyes locked with hers. Soon it was right in front of her, and it reared up into the dark of the chamber and opened its mouth. A long tongue extended forward and tested the air.

Soreness, cold, and fear- all had fled Po's mind when the serpent came before her. All she could do was stare up in awe at the creature. Though she had never seen it before, she knew what it was. She had never expected to meet this thing face to face, much less so soon. Yes, she knew what it was. It was the lord Khallah. It was her god.

He inhaled loudly and then exhaled. The air blew past Po and ruffled her hair. Po inhaled and filled her lungs with the breath of her lord. She held it in as long as she could, and it made her giddy like a drug. At last she blew out, and Khallah lowered his head until he was level with her. Po found herself gasping as her pounding heart demanded more oxygen than she could get. Already lightheaded, she nearly fainted when she first heard Khallah's voice.

#State your allegiance.#

No sound reached Po's ears, but the voice in her mind was deafeningly loud. It boomed through her and settled in her stomach, radiating waves of heat to the ends of her nerves. Weak and panting, Po was too overwhelmed to answer. She was wrapped up in sensation, from the cool air on her skin to the tingling heat that was beginning to develop between her legs. She desperately wished one of her hands were free so she could rub her throbbing sex and relieve the tension there. But there was no relief and it was only growing hotter.

#State your allegiance.#

The voice ripped through her again, and it seemed even louder this time. Po threw her head back and cried, "Khallah! I belong to Khallah!" She gulped more air and somehow pulled herself together enough to chant,

"I belong to Khallah; My body is Khallah's; My mind is Khallah's; My soul is Khallah's; My life is Khallah's; I devote myself wholly to the service of Khallah; Use me until I am no more."

Finishing the mantra, she simply panted, growing more aroused by the minute, waiting for her lord to make some kind of move. Slowly his mouth opened again, and she saw the tongue slither out. It was thick, broad and wet, more like a lizard's than a snake's. It extended slowly towards her torso, and Po had time for a single gasp of joy before the tongue pressed itself against her stomach and slid up her torso, between her breasts and up her throat.

Po opened her mouth, hoping to get a taste, but it left her neck and instead, engulfed her left breast. Po's voice rose to the invisible ceiling of the chamber in a wail of ecstasy, and kept ringing out as the slick tongue of her god stroked her breast hard, lifting it and letting it fall, over and over again.

The tongue left a wet trail to her right breast and repeated the treatment until Po was nearly hoarse from screaming. She twisted and strained at the ropes, trying to press herself even harder into that magnificent flesh. Infuriatingly, Khallah removed his tongue from her skin for a moment and waited for her to lift her head and focus on him.

She was drenched in sweat and her wrists were bleeding profusely from the constricting ropes, and she had barely enough strength to remain standing. If not for the ropes she would have collapsed long ago. Her bleary eyes somehow met those of her lord, and she heard his voice once again:

#You will remain silent.#

Po's eyes rolled back in her head as the words caused her whole body to spasm, but no sound left her lips. Her voice was nearly spent anyway. Khallah's tongue once again snaked out and this time touched her ankle. It began a slow, thorough tour up her calf and halfway up the inside of her thigh, tasting the stream of fluid that had run down her legs while he'd been paying attention to her breasts. He repeated the action on her other leg, but never got close to her groin. The flesh between her thighs was red and so swollen that it emerged from her outer lips like an open rose. She would have given anything to be touched there, but she was too exhausted even to beg.

Khallah was plainly going to take his time getting there. He must know how desperate she was. But he had other business first. After he had lapped up the juices, he lifted his head a little and cleaned her arms of blood. He licked her face then, delicately scrubbing it clean of sweat and smoothing her hair back. For a brief moment she felt just as though she were back home again, being bathed and combed by her maids. She realized then just how much her serpent god would be to her then, not just her lover or her master but her mother and doctor as well. He was everything there was, and there was no room for anything else.

The god drew back when he was finished and finally, finally, brushed the tip of his tongue over her smooth mound, jolting her again. Po bit down hard on her own tongue to keep from making any noise. The tip of the god's tongue slipped down between the lips and teased the sensitive button there, just a little, and Po rocked back and forth, blood running down her chin. She felt no pain, there was nothing but her sex and Khallah's tongue.

Then all at once it seemed Khallah got tired of taking it slowly and let out the entire length of his tongue, snaking it between her thighs and pressing up hard against the bright red, swollen flesh. Lights exploded behind Po's eyes, and her teeth mauled her tongue. The thick, wet member curled under her and pressed into the crease of her buttocks, and began a slow, hard, torturous rubbing, back and forth, yanking Po's body along with its motion. She was practically riding it like a horse, which was just as well because that was the moment her legs chose to give out completely, and her hips rose and fell while her head lolled back and she nearly choked on her own blood.

Khallah sped up, while Po's mind seemed to leave her body and go floating up through the clouds. Faster and faster, while flowers opened and closed in front of her face, colors that didn't exist raced and swirled and multiplied and shattered, there were stars and suns comets as she went higher and higher into the sky and then�

Po was back in the chamber. Her bonds had been cut. She was lying on the cold stone floor, and it felt wonderful on her still heated skin. She tried to raise her head look around, but found she was completely drained of strength, and couldn't even twitch a finger. So she was content to lie here for awhile, and as she let the euphoria of exhaustion carry her to back to sleep, she heard dimly the voice of Khallah saying,

#You have passed the test, my child. You belong to me now.#

* * *

When Po awoke, she was lying in a soft white bed, her wrists and ankles were bandaged, and she was clean. She was back in the Temple of the Snake, the place where this had all started such a short time ago.

A spoiled, rich Hyperborean girl, she had gotten tired of a life without challenge, without devotion. So she had made pilgrimage to Khallah's temple and begun her studies as a novitiate priestess. She had known for awhile that she was to be subjected to a test of loyalty, but she was never told how or when. Then in the middle of the night, a year after she began studying, she was roused from sleep and told to follow where she was lead. The test had been the most excruciating, and yet the most delicious and deeply satisfying experience of her life.

Over the next few months, the cuts in her wrists and ankles healed up, leaving thin white scars which she wore proudly as a sign to all of her complete devotion to her lord. Her tongue was tender for awhile, but she felt the pain only as a reminder of the glory of that night. Her forehead was branded with the sign of the snake, completing her initiation. She was truly a member of the order now.

For the rest of her life, no one but her lord would touch her. Her maidenhead, intact when she went deep into the earth to be tested, would never be broken. There was no reason. A priestess of the snake was married to Khallah, and he saw to all of her needs. She would go to him when he called her, and sometimes when he didn't, as all of his children did. One night, as she lay stripped and spread out for him, he might decide to sink in his teeth and feed on her flesh and blood. When the night came, she'd give it up gladly, because the pain was nothing. Love was everything.

-end-


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