The Blister Boyz
Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 01 Jun 2008
The Blister Boyz
Ch. 30: Walter's Secret
Troy Manning – Heat Blister
Jason Klein – Ice Hazer
David Mercer – Smaqdown
Dennis Lowder – The Humiliator
Walt Hemingway – Major Fry
Brian Tannon – Murky Menace
Jorge Vasquez – Poison Punisher
Keith Grady – The Sticking Point
Most of the Blister Boyz were getting to know the caverns of Oranbega (though technically, Brian was getting to know its floors), talking to the monks and asking questions.
Walt though, had questions only one man could answer. He hadn't paid that much attention to the Augurer's explanations during the walking tour. He understood what he needed to understand. Instead, he made note of site tunnels and caverns that seemed to lead to important areas not on the tour.
After a few wrong choices (including one that nearly put him in Circle of Thorns territory until he noticed the wizards off in the distance were wearing a different color of robes), Walt found the room he was looking for. As he suspected, Andrew spent a lot of time down here, but still had an empire to run above-ground. One large cavern had been turned into a business office, full of conference tables and file cabinets and a large executive desk. There was also one of those floating red scrying crystals in the corner that allowed the mages to observe punishments inflicted throughout Paragon City. There were two monks guarding the entrance, but Walt told them Andrew said to meet him in his office. They waved him by.
He peered around for a few minutes, thumbing over paperwork on the conference table. Andrew appeared to be working on a plan to make a discipline-themed television network. That made sense, based on his comments to Jorge earlier. A quick glance showed an emphasis on talk shows and game shows where players put their asses on the line for prizes. He had also moved his wrestling program to the network. After looking the documents over for a few minutes, Walt arrogantly took over Andrew's desk, relaxing in his chair and putting his feet up while waiting for Andrew to return. He tapped his fingers on the desktop, the metal gauntlets he wore making a clicking sound.
After about thirty minutes, Andrew wandered in, casually removing his suit jacket and hanging it before acknowledging Walt sitting at his desk. Andrew nodded nonchalantly at him while rolling up his shirtsleeves, exposing his hairy, muscular forearms.
"Even if the monks hadn't told me, I expected you'd come looking for this place for a chat," Andrew said. "Would you like a drink?"
"Suit yourself." Andrew poured himself a small glass of scotch from a mahogany liquor cabinet near the conference table.
"If any other frat boy had talked to you and the Augurer the way I did tonight, what would have happened to him?"
Andrew looked over at him as he downed his drink.
"I would have busted his ass so hard he would have thought his cheeks had melted."
"Why didn't that happen to me? Even now, I'm sitting at your desk like it's mine." Andrew sat down in a chair in front of the desk.
"You're a very smart young man with an eye on the big picture," Andrew said. "Why don't you tell me?"
"You know who I really am, don't you?"
"You're Walt Hemingway. Your parents were killed in an unfortunate car crash when you were a small child. You were raised in a series of foster homes until you were emancipated by the courts at age 16."
"That's not true."
"That's what your court documents state, though, don't they?"
"You know who my real father is. Whose genes I'm carrying. You know how I really grew up."
"Yes." Silence spun out. Walt struggled with what to say next.
"Were the Adepts of Discipline watching then? Do you know about my brothers?"
"Yes and yes."
"Were you responsible for our rescue?"
"Indirectly. We are not powerful to stand against your father on our own. We did, however, provide the appropriate information to a local superhuman paramilitary force, who then broke you boys out of the facility."
Walt struggled not to show emotion.
"Are my brothers okay?"
"Can I see them?"
"No. We know vaguely where they are. They aren't motivated by pain the way you are, so we can't track them here. But we did keep tabs on them through various government systems. I can't tell you any more than that, I'm afraid. We can't risk your father tracking you boys down. The only reason you were kept in Paragon City was because we recognized Oranbega's pull on you."
"You've been watching me all this time. Before I even got powers."
"Yes. We saw you standing up to your father to try to protect your brothers, even though you were abused terribly for it. Your pain energy came to us mixed."
"What does that mean?"
"When you were punished at the institute, you produced both abuse and discipline energy. Generally that means the victim has a strong belief in receiving discipline, but was getting much more than he believed he deserved."
"That's for sure."
"All the other boys felt nothing but abuse. We saw, based on your behavior even as a teenager, that you would become a guardian."
"Why didn't you tell me anything?"
"Because you have the right to decide the man you want to be, don't you believe that?"
"With all my heart."
"All the decisions you've made for yourself are yours. You understand? You're never going to be like your father. I understand the effect words like 'destiny' have on you. I know what you and your brothers had beaten into you. I expected that you would react strongly to Oranbega. But Oranbega didn't make you suffer. Oranbega didn't create your need for discipline. It's all you."
Walt nodded. "I was hoping that I'd be able to go through life never having to explain who my father is."
"If the Blister Boyz progress the way they have then, you're bound to face him again one day. Even now he still plots against the city. You're going to have to tell them eventually."
"They're going to be upset with me for not saying anything."
"I bet they'll be very understanding. They all care deeply for you. Especially Keith. Let me ask you something? Did you hear anything that actually made you unhappy about your identity? About who you are?"
"Not really, no," Walt admitted. "I ... actually ... do like all of this. It fits me. I understand. But ... I just don't like finding all this out all like this. That there's a magical force that draws power from me. That you guys have been watching me. That I owe you my freedom." Walt's eyes welled up at that last statement but he blinked them back. Andrew nodded at him.
"So then, now that we have an understanding about each other, what do you want to happen?" Andrew leaned toward the desk to look at Walter. Walter stared back at him.
"I want to be treated like all the other Omega boys. It's all I ever wanted."
Andrew smiled at him. "Okay then. If you would be so kind, since you're sitting in my seat, to open the desk drawer on the bottom right." Walt did so.
"It's full of paddles."
"Yes. Pick out the one you believe you most deserve across that tight ass of yours as punishment for your behavior tonight." Walt looked in his eyes again, but then glanced down in a sign of submission and nodded. He looked through the selection and settled on an inch-thick round wooden paddle that was fairly hefty.
"That one's quite the bruiser; you'll be feeling it in your deep muscle tissue when you try to sleep. Let's go then." Andrew stood up and then walked over to a standalone cabinet and pulled out a fairly tall bar stool. Walt could immediately understand Andrew would put him over his knee and the height would keep his arms and legs from touching the ground. Just like a little boy being punished.
"I'll ask the guards to gather the others to witness. Follow me."
"Witness? What do you mean witness?" Andrew turned to look at him.
"You said you wanted to be treated like the other boys, right?"
"Yes, but ..."
"You were rude to your frat elders in public. Any other boy would be punished in public. As will you be." Walt blushed and looked down. Andrew walked over and put an arm around his shoulder. "I know that you've tried hard not to put yourself in situations where you were publicly punished. That guilt and fear is part of your past. It's time to let it go. Tonight is the night."
Walt, feeling uncharacteristically nervous, followed Andrew out into Oranbega. Andrew decided to bring them back to the scrying room – "the scene of the crime," he said – for Walt's punishment. The Augurer, Dr. Pete and the other Blister Boyz had gathered. Jacob Brass and Brian had just completed their penny pushing and limped over to the room, rubbing their heavily beaten bottoms, to see what was going on.
Walt stood at attention as Andrew set down the stool and explained what was happening to the small crowd.
"As you all witnessed, Walt here behaved in a fashion that was inappropriate and unbecoming of a senior frat brother during our meeting this evening. His demeanor was rude to both a ranking frat elder and the frat's international president. As such, he is to be punished here in front of you all so that you see that he is appropriately sorry for his behavior." The Blister Boyz all murmured among themselves. This was very unusual.
Andrew sat down on the tall stool and gestured Walt over. Walt stood stiffly in front of him.
"Walt, you understand exactly why you're being punished."
"I behaved childishly this evening and was disrespectful to you and to the Augurer and made the Blister Boyz look bad. I deserve to be soundly paddled."
"Because you have behaved like a child, you will be punished like a child." Andrew reached over and began to unfasten the belt of Walt's fatigues.
"Well, this is cool," Brian said. "Here's something we don't see every day." Jacob wisely reached over and covered Brian's mouth.
"If you two would rather do another penny push instead, that can be arranged," Andrew warned. The two of them shook their heads no.
Andrew slowly pulled Walt's fatigues down, exposing a hard, firm bottom. A water polo player and martial arts enthusiast, Walt had a tightly built muscular body that gave very little. Still, like most jocks, his ass had a decent round shape, highlighted by Walt's jock. Andrew pulled Walt down and positioned him over his knees. As Walt had expected, the stool was tall enough that his arms and legs hung freely. Andrew pulled Walt's white T-shirt up to give full, clear exposure of his lower back and bottom.
"I know, son, that you are used to private discipline in your quarters, not public punishment. But discipline absent a sense of humility breeds arrogance. Everybody makes mistakes. Discipline is to keep you on the right path, but everybody strays now and then, am I right?"
"This punishment is to put you back on that path. You have a lot still to learn, Walt. Take this punishment as a lesson in humility."
"We will begin." He raised the paddle up high as Walt closed his eyes to prepare for the coming blow. He was paddled by David every single morning, but he knew that this would be different. CRACK! The round paddle came down hard on his left cheek. Walt let his breath out with a loud gasp. Andrew quickly smacked the paddle back down on his right cheek. SMACK!
"OW!" Walt bucked his legs. The eyes of the gathered Blister Boyz widened in surprise.
"He never says 'OW,'" David muttered.
"David, you of all people should know," Andrew said as he began paddling Walt in earnest, "A sense of guilt creates a certain sensitivity to punishment." Sure enough, as the thick paddle cracked down across Walt's cheeks, he began to whimper and squirm, despite his tough guy reputation. He tried to keep from kicking his legs, but found he couldn't stop himself. His arms waved helplessly and each hard swat caused his fingers to spread in surprise.
"Oh God!" He whimpered. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Andrew came down even harder on his ass.
"I'm sorry, what?" Andrew growled.
"I'm sorry, sir!" Walt wailed.
"That's right!" Andrew said, wrapping his left arm around Walt's torso to keep him from flopping off his lap. "Don't think I haven't noticed you avoiding that word most of the night. Keith has been showing us more respect than you. From now on, I expect you to address both me and the Augurer as 'sir,' when you speak to us."
"Yes, sir! Mmph!" Walt clenched his teeth to keep from letting out a sudden scream at the pain. Andrew rained down swats quickly, alternating cheeks. The hard wood and Walt's hard bottom collided with loud cracking sounds. Andrew was right; this punishment would leave Walt with some deep bruises that would take all night to heal.
"Any more slips of the tongue will result in another punishment just like this one," Andrew said. "For that matter, when you're in costume as Major Fry, I expect you to refer to all civilians as 'sir' or 'ma'am' and Heat Blister here as 'sir' as well. Am I understood?"
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! "Yes ... YES SIR!" Suddenly, to everybody's surprise, Walt took a deep breath and then burst out into loud, heavy sobs. His legs and arms were completely out of his control. He shook his head back and forth. His whole face was red and tears streamed down. Just like Troy did in the limo earlier, Walt was letting go of a significant amount of internal frustration through punishment.
And just as with Troy, Andrew continued the punishment unfazed. Walt bawled his eyes out for fifteen full minutes as Andrew mercilessly wailed on his backside. The boys all watched in amazement. They had never seen a sign of vulnerability from Walt before. He bucked and flailed on Andrew's lap just like a child. Eventually he started begging for Andrew to stop.
"PLEEEEASE!" WHACK WHACK WHACK! "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! SIR! I'm sorry, sir!" Eventually, Andrew slowed to a stop with his beating, leaving Walt to tremble across his lap. His bottom clenched and unclenched on its own, the sign of a thorough punishment.
"Mr. Lowder, would you please step forward," Andrew asked.
"What, me, sir?" Dennis asked. He worried that he might have done something wrong and would be next over Andrew's knee.
"Yes, Dennis." Andrew smiled at him to put him at ease. "As the new equalizer for the team, I'm going to ask you for a favor. I'm asking you to be responsible for Walt's punishment, just the way you have become responsible for David's and Keith's. What you are seeing here is the result of Walt getting only half of what he needs. He will still get his morning discipline, of course, but I want to rely on you to give Walt a good dose of humility when needed. Humility and humiliation do come from the same word origins, right?"
"Yes, sir," Dennis said. "But I would ask for Walt's consent in the matter."
"Walt?" Andrew asked, patting the dark-haired military stud on the bottom. He winced, despite the light touch. He was still a little dazed from the punishment. "Walt, do you agree to turn to Dennis to provide you with punishment when he deems necessary?"
Walt worked to calm down the gasps. He wanted to be treated like the other boys. David and Keith both got punished by Dennis. Those two men were the ones he was closest two in the fraternity.
"Yes, sir." Walt turned and looked to Dennis, nodding through his tears.
"Walt seems to prefer some formal guidelines, if you don't mind me observing," Dennis said. "I think, once he's recovered from tonight's punishment, we'll sit down and come up with a written list of expected behavior and consequences if he strays. Your orders tonight will be on that list, of course, sir."
"Sounds about right," Andrew said. "What do you think, Walt?"
"Sir, yes sir!" Walt said.
"Excellent. What have you learned tonight, Walt?"
"I'm the man I choose to be, sir, and I choose to learn and grow, sir!"
"And to not be an arrogant jerk, sir!"
"Good boy, Walt. I have faith in your ability to continue growing and becoming stronger, and developing stronger ties with your brothers here." Andrew helped Walt back to his feet. Although Walt's ass was no worse for wear than when David paddled him every morning, he still rubbed his bottom and winced as he pulled his pants up.
"Keith, why don't you lead Walt to a room the two of you can share?" Andrew looked Walt in the eyes and held his gaze, then gave a barely perceptible nod toward Keith. Without saying a word, he sent Walt a message: "Tell Keith."
Keith led a limping Walt to a large private bedroom while Brian and Jacob showed off their savaged bottoms to the others. The two young men peeled off their fatigues and lay down on the bed in their jocks, side by side, letting their sore bottoms get a good airing.
"Are you okay, sir?" Keith asked after a few minutes. "Everybody seemed a bit surprised by your punishment. I don't understand why myself. I holler like holy hell when Dennis paddles the crap out of me."
"I'm okay, Keith. They're just not used to seeing me punished. Most of them haven't even seen me get disciplined by David. I haven't actually been punished like this in years."
"Mr. Porter seemed to think you were long overdue."
"Yeah, he was right. I've been really arrogant with the frat and the hero group and even with you."
"With me, sir?"
"I'm not some master at understanding discipline. That's Jason, not me. I don't even know why I decided to start ordering you around or why it worked."
Keith leaned over and started rubbing Walt's shoulders, to help get the stress out. Walt moaned quietly.
"Sir, you understand me because there's something similar about us. I don't know what it is, but we both know it's true. You understand what I've gone through. You knew I needed to focus on discipline because it helped you and that's why you're so devoted to it, sir."
"Hmmf. Maybe I'm the one you're supposed to redeem, not the other way around," Walt said.
"What do you mean, sir?"
"Do you know who Nemesis is?" Walt asked.
"He's one of Paragon City's oldest enemies, right, sir? He has a secret army out there, and steam-powered robots, and he wears battle armor. He wants to take over the city and then the world."
"Yeah." Walt sighed deeply. "He's my biological father. I was 'destined' to lead one of his armies, but I fought back." He began crying softly again. Keith responded by hugging him loosely from behind and enveloping Walt in his wings.
"It's okay, sir," Keith said, slowly putting the pieces together in his mind that explained Walt's behavior tonight. "You're your own man now. We'll all make sure you stay that way, sir." The two of them lay there silently for an hour until Walt calmed down again. Without another word, they fell asleep in each other's arms.
Next: Looking toward the future
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