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Aaron's Game
Chapter 16: The Grand Plan

by Redspkscott

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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: 18 Feb 2017

Aaron’s Game – Chapter Sixteen: The Grand Plan

Couldn’t have warned me about the hazing squads, could you? I said to the guys when I returned to the penthouse with a noticeable limp. The deep bruising from their heavy paddling made walking a chore. The guys all broke out into laughter. They all knew it was coming and decided not to tell me.

Even you, Max? I said, folding my arms at him. He smiled and shrugged.

I figured you’d like it that way, Max said in response. New and surprising experience, and all that. He wasn’t wrong. As painful as it was, it was also exciting to have a punishment experience I was completely not expecting and that was different from anything I had so far. Nevertheless, I grabbed Max by the back of the head and directed him over to the pool. I dragged him over my lap after carefully setting myself (and my sore butt) on a pool recliner and began blistering his big, submissive ass with my paddle through the seat of his football uniform.

Well, I’ll just keep myself occupied while I recover, I said as Max started yelping from the pain. Besides, the ass of yours needs to be a lot redder.

You sound like Coach Adam, Max said as I smacked away.

He’s right, I said.

He said the same about those two, Reuben said, wandering over, pointing to Jeffrey and Rico. I talked to him after the game. Says these guys actually run faster and hit harder when their asses are sore. Told me to keep up the discipline on them.

Oh yeah, I was supposed to tell you that, too, Max said. He looked over his shoulder at me and managed to smirk at me. I wiped it off his face with a few good, hard smacks.

He said if you can see that their asses are red through their football pants, that’s a good indicator, Reuben said. I looked over to Jeffrey and Rico, who were talking to Abel about what they wanted him to build for the penthouse. Sure enough, through the thin spandex of their white football uniforms, I could see that their butts were good and red.

Pain Pigs want to live up to their mascot, I said. I got to work on Max’s ass and watched it slowly turn redder and redder through his uniform. He kept his bottom raised up nice and vulnerable, even after he began to cry from the pain.

I’m gonna need this ass at our presentation, by the way, I said to him. Need somebody for demonstration purposes.

You know it’s almost time to pay the rent, Max said.

So it is, I said. After Craig and I give our presentations to the gladiator council we’ll spar again. Maybe you’ll do better this time. But I hope not. I enjoy helping your coach out this way. I continued blistering Max’s ass, thinking about our rental arrangement. In order to live in the penthouse, Max had to submit to me. But once a month as rent we fought for dominance. The winner claimed the title of landlord. I easily beat Max when he moved in. He was physically as big as I was, but he wasn’t born to fight, like me, Craig or Reuben were. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t learn. If Max ever won, our positions would be reversed. I would be giving up my ass to his strong arms and oversized cock. There was definitely a part of me who was kind of turned on at the idea of having to submit to Max, if only for a month. But he’d have to earn it, just like Reuben and Craig did when we fought.

You know, you missed out on your chance to torment me with the hazing squad, I pointed out to him.

They asked me, Max said. I hazed some of the other losers. But I wanted to earn your ass one-on-one. I smiled at him, but did not ease back on the swats at all. He understood me all too well.

We heard the ding of the elevator, and then Rodney stumbled his way in, rubbing his blistered ass. The tattooed rugby player had finally found his way home after losing his match.

Look who’s back, Craig said. The only guy who lost worse than Aaron. Let’s see it. Rodney turned around and dropped his shorts. He ass was dark red and blistered, covered with purple stripes.

The punks did that to you? Reuben asked.

They sure did, Rodney said. All of us look like this. I don’t know how many times they fucked me any more. It was just this big crazy orgy with loud music, punishment and rape.

We all looked at him for a moment.

You loved it, didn’t you? I finally asked. He kind of tilted his head back and forth, unwilling to say one way or another. We laughed.

In order to get the punks to release us, the coaches themselves had to agree to submit to punishment, Rodney said. Turns out the punks love tormenting executives.

Craig clicked on the televisions and found the channel for the punks. Sure enough, cameras were showing a small group of executives with their tight suit pants and boxer briefs pulled down. The punks were viciously tormenting their asses with switches and belts and wrapped up cords.

What’s interesting, Rodney noted, Is that when the punks dragged us off, commandos they came across wouldn’t bother them. As long as a punk had one of us tied up rugby players in tow, they let them be.

All rugby players have punk colors, right? Craig said. Rugby players were all gold, orange and blue for their colors. They probably saw it as an intramural thing. Not like they want to stop punks punishing punks. As long as anybody with the punk influence is getting his ass torn up is fine with them.

Yeah, Rodney said. The commandos don’t provide security for our matches like they do you guys. They don’t care if our games get out of hand and we all beat each others’ asses, unless it starts causing trouble for other folks.

We heard the ding of the elevator, and then the wrestlers and football players who tormented me earlier piled out. Their eyes were set on Rodney.

I heard the last of our losers had finally returned, said one of the wrestlers, waving his big, thick paddle.

What the hell is this? Rodney asked, still rubbing his blistered ass.

It’s the hazing squad, Craig said with glee.

Your punishment isn’t over, one of them said. There’s a price for losing here.

Shit! Rodney said as he backed away. As the hazing squad closed in he jumped into the pool to try to keep away. The wrestlers jumped in after him and surrounded him. They dragged him over to the football players at the edge of the pool. They forcefully yanked him out and dragged him, struggling, over to the guardrail on the edge of the balcony. Johnny and Kyle were still bent over the rail, with the baseball bats still shoved up their blistered asses. Rodney’s was already just as raw as theirs when they tied him up and forced him over the railing next to the other losers. Nevertheless, two guys stood on either side of his beefy ass and started slamming away with their massive paddles. Rodney’s howls of pain could be heard all the way down the beach across the street. WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! There were no breaks between swats for Rodney to get any relief.

I looked down at Max’s ass, which was a nice dark red now. I pulled his football pants down briefly to make sure. Smooth, round and crimson.

Why don’t you go join your buddies there with Rodney, I said. He clearly needs the discipline. Max grinned when I let him up, and went to add to Rodney’s torment. After a good hour of paddling, they all took turns raping him. When it was Max’s turn, Rodney howled just as loud as he had from the beatings as Max’s massive cock tore his ass up.

We left the three of them suffering on the balcony railing until bedtime. I dragged Max back to the bedroom this time and fucked him once more, again this time falling asleep on his back with my cock shoved deeply inside him.

Maybe it’ll bring me luck tomorrow, I said as we both nodded off.

Dawn came and we prepared for another day of fighting at the stadium. My ass was still a deep, dark red from my hazing yesterday. It buzzed with leftover pain and I felt stiff when I walked. I wondered how much it would affect my fight today. Reuben looked me over in the shower and just smirked. Clearly he was hoping I would lose again.

Levi once again joined us downstairs as we headed over to the stadium, even though he knew full well that Reuben would hand him right over to the commando guards to punish him before he’d be allowed in to watch the matches. He shrugged a little bit in resignation.

Maybe I won’t compose as good a theme song for you as I do for the other gladiators, he said as we walked.

What the hell are you talking about? Reuben asked.

It turned out Spike, the punk who helped the gladiators by organizing the fan clubs, and Victor, the producer, hired Levi and some of his buddies to start working on music for the shows and the web sites.

Fuck with me and your theme song will be a bunch of fart noises, Levi said to Reuben. Reuben responded by grabbing and picking up the struggling punk, carrying him under one arm, and beating his denim-clad ass with his paddle as we walked over to the arena. He ignored Levi’s cries and threats along the way.

Punks never learn, Reuben muttered. The rest of us laughed. When we got to the stadium, Reuben handed a crying Levi over to one of the commando guards without a word. The guard dragged Levi over a stool and started beating his ass some more, pulling his jeans down this time.

Inside the stadium, Craig, Reuben, and I all prepped for our new matches. We were not the center of attention this time. Instead there was a highlight on the green vs. the orange. Every single gladiator with orange as a secondary color was matched against one of the many gladiators with green. The pairings highlighted the growing punk vs. commando rivalry in the city, as well as within our own ranks. Reuben was matched up with one of the punk gladiators himself. Craig and I were both matched up with gladiators with gray secondary colors. Craig’s opponent had won his first fight. Mine, like me, had lost his, so we were both pretty sore. I hoped that meant he wouldn’t have too much of an advantage over me, despite my vicious paddling by the hazing squad yesterday.

The energy of the crowd today was huge because of the green vs. orange focus. The commando guards looked for any reason to punish the punks in the crowd, and the punks were more than willing to give them good reason as they got overly boisterous supporting their favorite gladiators. Fights broke out frequently during the matches and packs of commandos had to restore order via beatings.

Reuben, once again, won his match easily. Maybe not as easily as he beat me, but his opponent, Cal, ended up losing his second match in a row. Reuben beat Cal’s ass loudly to the cheers of the commandos in the crowd (and the boos of the punks) as he carried Cal over to the paddling machines for another 24 hours of torture.

Craig overcame his opponent, a guy named Chet, but just barely. The matches went 2-2 and both of them had beaten each other raw in the fight. Craig didn’t attempt his trick this time where he tried to keep drawing out the paddlings to weaken Chet in future rounds. He had a hard enough time keeping Chet down in the first place. It turned out Chet had picked some of the best wrestlers in the city as roomies and had become very good at breaking holds, even while he was being punished. The last round went back and forth several times, and they were clearly exhausted, but Craig finally got in the last 100 swats and was declared the victor.

I was facing Bruce, whose record as a gladiator wasn’t the best right now. Reuben and I beat him in our initial free-for-all when we first came to the stadium. Bruce lost his opening fight and ended up stuck right next to me in the paddling machines. We both needed a win, badly, and the announcers made note of it.

As we made our way onto the field I actually thought about Max and the Pain Pigs as I felt little jolts of discomfort in my glutes with every step. They (and the blue collars) channeled that pain somehow to be stronger. I needed to draw on the part of me that liked the way my ass felt after the punishment was over and that sexy warmth. I smiled and then reached back and smacked my own ass with my paddle. A nice hard sting. My cheek quivered, still sensitive from yesterday’s beating. But then I felt that warmth. I nodded.

The match with Bruce started and it did seem like he was in pain still. He was very wary about getting into a position where I could beat his ass and played very defensively. I took advantage of that and got very aggressive. We grappled, and rolled across the field to the audience cheers. I did something very risky and possibly very stupid. I essentially threw the round, squirming around with Bruce and letting him grapple me down and beat my ass. I had a reason. I had Max and the Pain Pigs in mind still. I raised my ass up and struggled just enough to make it look real as Bruce slammed his paddle across my ass 100 quick times.

Not a good start for Aaron, one of the announcers noted. Look how quickly Bruce took him down!

As I got back on my feet, face red from punishment, I focused on the pain and the arousal that came into play as it started to fade. Rather than resisting it or trying to work around it, I let the feeling flow into me the way I did in the morning after being punished the previous night. I could feel an erection starting to grow and felt a little stronger. Embracing the pain was encouraging the adrenaline and testosterone to flow. I smacked myself on the ass again and growled at Bruce as we started the next round.

That’s an odd reaction, one announcer noted. It’s like he doesn’t realize he lost the last round.

It turned out to be the only round I lost. I did not let the pain wear me down. I was all over Bruce, taking him down in the next three rounds. He was still trying to resist the remnants of pain from his last loss. But we are gladiators. We’re supposed to embrace our pain. I threw him around like a ragdoll and beat his sore bottom raw. By the time it was over, he was lying on the ground, clutching his battered ass. Before the adrenaline could wear off, I picked him up and carried him over to the paddling machine, strapped him down, yanked his cock out for extra humiliation, and beat his red ass some more while we waited for the other fights to finish.

So all three of us won our matches this time. Craig gave me a high five as we hung out by the paddling machines waiting to rape the losers and turn on the pain. I saw Max out in the crowd, pointed to him and winked. I’d explain to him what happened later.

For the rivalry that was the heart of this round of matches, the punk gladiators surprised the odds-makers, who had figured the more focused commando gladiators as the likely winners. Cal may have lost, but the other orange gladiators pulled through, winning two-thirds of their matches. The punks in the audience were thrilled, of course. They needed some good news given how the commandos had been treating them.

Once again patrons Derek and Brick were in attendance, and they again went down the line of losers, paddling all their asses before giving us permission to rape them. Bruce moaned in his gag as I fucked him. I grabbed his beefy, reddened butt-cheeks and kneaded them as I pounded away. It felt really good to be on top this time. I looked over the crowd and felt even hornier as they watched me. Even after I came inside Bruce, my erection didn’t want to fade. I just kept fucking him for awhile, enjoying the sheer pleasure of thrusting in and out of him. I even pulled all the way out frequently and forced my way back in to inflict more pain on Bruce’s hole. Eventually everybody else finished up and I reluctantly pulled out and stepped back. My semen dribbled down the back of Bruce’s thighs in the machine. Then a few moments later all the paddling machines were turned on, and I watched as the wood smacked hard against Bruce’s big bottom. He would be punished for yet another 24 hours. That was twice in one week. Losing streaks were going to be brutal for gladiators. That was by design.

We hung out for a bit to watch the beatings. Our roommates came down to join us as the stadium began to clear out. While we watched the losing gladiators getting their asses blistered, eventually Joss came by with another hunter. He was a beefy, deeply tanned man with shaggy black hair. He was wearing leather shorts, black combat boots, and a black H-shaped harness over a muscular, furry chest. He was chewing on a cigar, just like Joss. I nodded at them and noticed the newcomer’s hankies were black, purple and gold. He shared the same colors as Joss, Craig, and me.

Hey, boys, this is Miguel, Joss said. Figured I’d bring him over. He’s been helping me out with some of the technical stuff with the master plan and putting together some of the machinery blueprints.

That’s Craig, Joss said, pointing at the redheaded gladiator. If this plan is approved, the two of you will be getting to know each other pretty well.

Is that right? Craig asked, given Miguel a look-over. Strong arms on him. You get a lot of Golden Boy bounties yet?

No gladiators yet, Miguel said. But a couple of football players and wrestlers. Mostly I’ve been keeping Producers on their toes.

Yeah, Producers can get lost in the shuffle, Joss said. They work well with everybody, so sometimes we forget to make sure to light up their butts now and then. He drags them over to the Hall of Fear for me.

And I’ve gotten some entertaining items from your prank shop, Miguel said to Craig. I’ll make sure you’re doing going quality control when I get my mitts on you.

So you’re ready for our presentation tomorrow? I asked.

I’ve got your machine ready to demonstrate and lots of fancy computer animations to simulate our plans. And I recruited a hunter for each and every gladiator. All three colors matching.

What’s that all about? Reuben asked. He wasn’t part of the planning, so he had only heard bits and pieces of what our plan was when Craig and I brainstormed in the penthouse.

Patience, I said. I don’t want it all getting out to the gladiators until the council has heard it and approved it. They can change it all around.

Remember the name Amir, Joss told Reuben and then winked at me. Reuben shrugged. He’d find out soon enough.

We all headed back home, victorious. Lenny and Trip started planning another party for the evening. Max, Rico and Jeffrey headed out to collect the payment for Levi and his buddies to provide music. Just like our first party, Levi demanded they kidnap three commandos so he and his buddies can torment their helpless asses as revenge for how the soldier boys have been treating the punks.

In the meantime I was getting horny again from my win so I dragged Will over to the bedroom to punish his ass some and throw him a good, hard fuck.

Later, Max and the others dragged back three commando boys for Levi to torment and we had another wild gathering. We all got drunk and I wrestled down and paddled several other hot guys from the building. Reuben lined up his boys and paddled and fucked them each in turn. The party went on way longer than it should have for some of the boys, who had games the next day. They might well end up paying for it and paying hard for indulging themselves tonight.

I dragged Max into bed with me again when the party was over and again went to sleep with my cock up his perfect ass.

I should move my stuff in here, he muttered as we both began to nod off. I think I sleep in here more than my own room.

The next morning I fucked Max yet again and we quickly prepped for our meeting with the gladiator council. We found Joss already waiting for us in the living room, beating Abel’s ass on the couch.

Partied hard? Joss asked. You gotta beat these guys first thing in the morning to get them going. He was puffing away on his cigar. My own boys are already at the arena setting stuff up for us. You gonna bring this guy to help demonstrate?

No, I’m dragging Max along, I said. Abel’s got work to do here.

He won’t tell me what he’s going to do to me, Max said. I’m guessing it’s going to hurt? Joss responded by nodding at him while blowing out a smoke ring.

Let’s just say you’ll get to experience the life of a gladiator for a few minutes, I said.

Craig joined us soon and the four of us headed back over to the arena. There was a conference room where the Producers and Executives met to organize events and coverage. The seven gladiators from the council hadn’t arrived yet. A pack of Joss’s blue collar workers had set up his laptop to the big monitor so that we could give the presentation.

There’s your baby over there, Joss said, pointing to a contraption in the corner. I grinned. I tested it thoroughly with my boys, and it works exactly how you wanted.

That’s a punishment machine, Max said. That’s what you needed me for, isn’t it? I nodded and laughed. He didn’t resist when Joss escorted him over to the machine and strapped him in.

This is different from the paddling machines you’ve been using, Max said. I can move around in this. Is that what you want?

You’ll see, I said. The machine had a solid central pillar where Max’s torso was strapped down firmly and his ass raised up. There were paddles on metal swings ready to start beating when the machine was turned on. But his chest, head and arms were mostly free, as were his calves and feet. Instead of metal or leather cuffs, Max’s wrists and ankles were connected to the base by thick, strong industrial rubber bands. The reason why would come later. I patted his willing bottom and then pulled his football pants down to expose his bare ass, still a bit pink from yesterday’s punishment.

Landlord’s orders, I said. Also Coach Adam’s. That ass isn’t glowing any more like it’s supposed to.

Max was left there on display as the council gladiators started to arrive. We greeted them and they all gave Max a good look-over as they gathered around the table.

We were then surprised when a glow of purple light appeared on the far side of the room, and then Luis stepped out. He was the patron of the producers and any of us who had purple as a color. We are all a little surprised to see him.

Hey boys! he said, grinning. Everybody greeted the friendliest of the eight patrons, the man devoted to making sure punishment on the Painfather’s world was also fun and creative. Sorry, I’ve been missing out on what you’ve been up to. I know Derek and Brick have you boys covered, but I wanted to see what sort of fun my own gladiators and hunters had planned.

I think we’re going to do you proud, Craig said.

All right, carry on! Pretend I’m not here! We were not going to be able to pretend one of our own gods wasn’t sitting here watching us, but we had confidence that we had a great plan.

Fellow gladiators, I started. We have a lot to go over. We have several proposals we put together based on our own creative ideas combined with feedback from the other gladiators. We are here today to present a lot for you to chew over, make some suggestions if you want to, and then ultimately we’ll want to present the whole plan to all gladiators for a vote. Craig here with some assistance from Joss is going to go over how the fights themselves will be organized. Then I with some assistance from Joss and Max over there will talk about how punishment is going to play out. Max was able to wave to the gladiator council from the confines of his punishment machine.

Let’s start with the fight, Craig began. We really wanted to differentiate the gladiators from the wrestlers. We started by incorporating punishment into the fights with the three out of five falls system. We intend to keep that in the regular season. It is very popular with the crowd. It creates tension and really forces the gladiator to wear his opponent down. All the gladiators seem to agree that punishment and pain needs to be part of the fight, not just something the winner does to the loser. The gladiators all nodded.

That got me thinking more about the fight space itself, Craig said. There are other ways to create tension and introduce a little pain and suffering. Consider this: What if the arena changed each time we fought? What if there were unpredictable elements of the battlefield that could help an observant gladiator win or a distracted gladiator lose. What if we made each fight more epic?

What do you mean? Brent asked.

Who here has visited the Hall of Fear over at Patron Luis’s park? A couple of the gladiators raised their hands. Luis looked pleased.

Joss here is responsible for coming up with some of the traps and punishments you may have encountered in there. He and those engineering experts among the hunters can add some fun to the battle arena to keep us gladiators on our toes.

Joss typed on his laptop and brought up some videos of him demonstrating some tech on his poor blue collar boys.

We can incorporate things like traps and triggers in the arena, Joss said. So thinking about you boys, I know you want to be the ones to paddle each other’s asses, so we don’t to do anything that mimics actual spankings. But what if there were, for example a metal plate on the ground of the arena that was heated up scorching hot? He showed a video of a blue collar boy standing on a metal plate in Joss’s workshop. A metal pole attached to a rotor swung out at ankle level and tripped the guy. He fell down with a painful thud on his ass then began to yell. We could hear the sound of his ass sizzling after it made contact with the metal plate.

Ouch, Luis chimed in.

There’s a lot of tricks and traps we can incorporate into the battlefield that adds more pain, Joss said. Heat, electricity, chemical effects, falling or projectile impacts. The video showed his blue collar boys demonstrating all the different ways their asses could be tormented without using things like paddles or strops.

So the gladiator has to pay close attention to his environment as well as his opponent, Craig said. That really elevates our battles over anything offered by the other sports events. The battles have the potential to be truly brutal in scope.

How would you put these arenas together fairly? one of the gladiators asked. Wouldn’t you and Aaron have an advantage knowing what to expect?

We wouldn’t be involved, Craig said. Joss and his likeminded hunter buddies will design the arenas for us and won’t tell us anything about them going in. And they’ll change constantly. You’ll never fight in the same arena twice.

The gladiators nodded in thought. Brent gestured at Craig to continue.

For scheduling, we recommend a staggered schedule of matches throughout the week. A few matches every day, not the whole lot of us at once, Craig said. This does a couple of things. One, it keeps the buzz on the gladiators constant. There’s always going to be something to talk about. Two, it means that at any given moment during the season, there is a gladiator who lost his match being punished.

That will be a challenge for scheduling, but I think we can do it, Brent said.

One of the big feedbacks we got from the gladiators was that they – we – wanted to be a situation where some of us are were always being punished. But there’s even more!

Really? One of the council gladiators asked.

So we’re recommending a point system for wins and losses, Craig said. If you win your match you get five points. You lose a match and you lose two points. We wanted to make sure losses really mattered, besides the torture. But we also had an idea to for a second chance fan-involved fight to give a losing gladiator each week a chance at redemption. Joss threw up on the monitor headshots of all 120 local gladiators.

So, each week we’re going to have 60 losers, Craig said. Joss narrowed down the images to 60. We will allow fans to score the performance of each losing gladiator that week. The ten who get the highest ratings will be forced to participate in a free-for-all redemption round. That one will play like the demonstration matches Patron Derek put up for us at the very beginning. Joss narrowed the images down to 10 gladiators.

Though we’ll be doing some adjustments to the arenas for these, too, to keep it exciting, Joss said. They’ll find their opportunities cut short if they don’t watch out for traps.

The one left standing will get his two points back, Craig said. The losers won’t lose any more points, but they will get punished again, and I’ll let Aaron explain how that will work.

I hadn’t even thought of extra fights, Brent said. That will really fire up the fans.

And add to the fun, Luis pointed out. Craig winked at him.

For the end of the season, we recommend a playoff system for the guys with the highest points. Whether it’s eight or ten or sixteen or something can be up to you, Craig said. But we need a playoff system to make sure there’s competition all the way up to the end. The gladiators nodded in approval.

What happens when a crown a winner? Brent asked. What is his prize?

He gets to do whatever the fuck he wants to the other 119 gladiators for the entire off-season, Craig said. We will all be forced slaves for three months. The hunters have invented restraints to force our arms behind our backs and ball gags in our moths that can be locked on and made unremovable until the timer permits. Joss snapped his fingers and one of his blue collar boys stepped forward toward the conference table. He wrists and forearms were bound together high up behind his back and was attached to the back of a gag on his head. We could see that there was a timer counting down.

Until it hits zero, those restraints and gag can’t be removed, Craig explained. It leaves his ass helpless and vulnerable to punishment and fucking by anybody. There’s nothing he can do to stop it.

And it can be set for three months? Brent asked.

It could be set for whatever time you want, Joss said. Days, months ... years. Just like my spanking machines.

One winner can’t possibly be expected to keep all the other gladiators tormented for months, a council gladiator said.

He probably won’t do it himself, Craig pointed out. He can hand them out to fans to torment or folks from other factions. If the winning gladiator has a color in common with the punks or the commandos, just think of who he could hand his rivals over to. The gladiators nodded. Reuben would love to hand the punk gladiators over to the commandos for some torment.

If I beat Aaron, Craig said, He’ll be spending the off-season with his ass on display in my prank shop as a tester for my merchandise

Funny, I said. If I beat Craig, he’ll also be spending the off-season with his ass on display in his own prank shop as a tester for his merchandise. The others laughed. If I won, I planned to be spending all my off-season tormenting Reuben, obviously.

The winning gladiator will also take the lead position of the next season’s gladiator council and will therefore help shape any changes we might want to make next year, Craig added.

So that’s it for our recommendations for the actual fights and the season, Craig concluded. Talk about torment seems like a good way to transition over to Aaron here to talk about the kind of punishment gladiators will face.

Craig sat down as I addressed the group.

It was very, very clear to all of us that what gladiators want is to lead a rough, tough life where we would have to be on top of our game at all times to avoid punishment, I began. Craig already explained what will happen to the 119 losers of the season and the punishment they’ll face, but let’s talk about the torment losers will face during the season. I walked over to Max strapped into the punishment machine Joss put together.

One of the first things we wanted to do is make sure gladiators could stamp their own personalities onto the punishment dished out to the guys they beat. It’s not feasible for a gladiator to personally punish a guy for 24 hours straight, but there’s this. Joss made this punishment machine for me, designed to punish victims in a way I want them to. After introducing them all to Max, I gagged him and gave him a solid swat to his ass.

So a winning gladiator will get two hours to punish and fuck the loser as he sees fit, I said. After that, the loser will be put on a spanking machine for 24 hours of torment. But there’s no reason it has to be the same each time. Joss and his buddies can work with each gladiator to make a customized punishment machine for each gladiator. When that gladiator wins, he manages to personalize the punishment of his rival with unique spanking device.

What’s so different about this machine from the ones that have been used on us, Brent asked.

Glad you asked, I said. Before we crank my machine up, take note of the little nozzle down there where Max’s crotch is fastened to the bench. See how it’s facing Max’s ass crack? I bet Max didn’t even notice. Max looked over his shoulder, concerned, and shook his head no. I grinned at him. He hung his head, probably knowing what I was about to do to him.

Let’s set the timer for 30 minutes, I said. Give us a really good display of what this can do. Joss nodded and picked up a remote control. He pointed it at the spanking machine. A display on the front of the restraint horse showed 30:00. Then Joss pressed a button. The nozzle sprayed something into Max’s ass crack and then the paddles began to swing: CRACK! WHACK! WHACK! CRACK! Max’s ass bounced and began to turn red. He didn’t react much at first, but then he began to groan in his gag and squirm.

That was itching powder I sprayed into his ass crack, I said. If I keep the machine going, it will refresh every couple of hours.

The reasons for the unusual system of rubber restraints soon became clear. I wanted Max to be able to squirm, but to be unable to protect his bottom or block his punishment. I knew from experience that the itching power made its victims try to scratch the affected area. They couldn’t help it. So after a few minutes of punishment, Max began kicking his legs furiously and attempting to reach back to scratch his ass to relieve the torment. The rubber band restraints gave him enough movement to reach back to the side of his hips but no further. He couldn’t touch his own ass or relieve the itching. But he couldn’t help from trying. He kept yanking on the restraints and squirming without success. Similarly, while he could kick his lower legs backward in response to the punishment and itching, the restraints kept him from lifting legs up enough to try to block the paddles.

Wow, look at him squirm, one of the gladiators said.

Imagine that for 24 hours, I said. That’s what will happen to any gladiator I defeat. But others will be different. I suspect Craig’s, for example, will incorporate his love of tormenting our sensitive assholes.

You better believe it, he said.

The gladiators all muttered among themselves. They were smiling while they talked. They seemed to like this idea.

I have two more punishment plans to go over with you, I said, raising my voice to be heard over the sound of Max’s beating. The gladiators quieted back down.

Craig mentioned the fan-driven second chance fights, I continued. I figured we could perhaps incorporate the fans into the punishment for the losers. Joss pulled up an image of another of his blue collar boys strapped down on a punishment horse, again with his ass on display, but in a little bit of a different position from the ones we had been using for our matches. These were just restraints. There were no paddles.

These punishment benches put the victim in a position where his ass can be easily paddled, I said. But the victim can also be easily fucked, both in the ass and down his throat. Joss showed images of the blue collar guy being punished and then fucked on both ends by himself and Edgar.

So what will happen to the nine losers of the second chance fights is that they’ll be locked into these restraints for 12 hours in the various party rooms here in the stadium, I said. And then we’ll simply open the rooms up to the fans. They can torment the losers however they please as punishment for letting them down. The gladiators all looked surprised at the idea, but started to think about it.

Heh, Brent said, Oliver’s not going to like it. The commandos will have a devil of a time managing the crowds for that one.

I have confidence they can beat the ass of any punk getting out of hand, said one of the gladiators on the council who happened to have green as his secondary color.

Everybody seemed to like the idea of gladiators who lose the second chance fights after being voted there by the fans being tormented by the fans.

It really gives the fans a big stake in the fights, Brent said.

I’m glad you said that, I said. We have one last punishment plan, and it’s a big one. It also incorporates the fans and the Hunters again in a completely new way.

What, more punishment? Brent asked.

The gladiators made it clear that we want the life of a gladiator to be very harsh and challenging, I reminded them. It is supposed to be a struggle and we are supposed to use all our strength and skills to remain dominant, not just over each other but as the representation of the pinnacle of the Golden Boys.

Okay, so what have you got? Brent asked. I nodded to Joss. He typed away and a bunch of faces appeared on the monitor. They all had rough expressions and many were chomping on cigars.

These are hunters, I began. There’s 120 of them. One of them for each gladiator. I pointed out Joss among the head shots.

They are going to be hunting us on a regular basis, I said. Outside of the matches. Keeping us on our toes.

What? Brent asked. Don’t they need bounties for that?

Indeed, I said. Here’s how it’s going to work. These hunters will collect bounties on our asses from the fans. Only a registered fan of a particular gladiator can offer up his ass to the hunters to place a bounty on a gladiator. So Max here, who is a registered fan of mine, would be able to go one of these hunters and ask to be punished in order to contribute to a bounty against another gladiator. Perhaps a guy I’m fighting next week.

We’ll all be hunted all the time with a system like that, Brent said. We have so many fans that it will be mayhem. We won’t even be able to fight with the hunters constantly on our asses.

True, I said. So the way it works is that the hunters can raise the bounties on all gladiators at will, but only six gladiators will have their bounties activated at any given time. And they’ll be triggered randomly. So, let’s say we start the program and all the hunters start accepting bounties from fans. In a day, six gladiators at random will be selected. At that point the bounty will be active and the duration of the bounty punishment will be frozen. So maybe Max and some of his buddies in the Pain Pigs want to torment Craig. They offer up their asses to Craig’s hunter and build up a punishment bounty of six hours. And then Craig’s name is selected and his bounty becomes active. Craig’s hunter will then stop punishing the guys coming to him and will start tracking down Craig. If he gets his hands on Craig, he’ll punish him for six hours, the total bounty at the time he was activated. Then a new gladiator’s bounty is randomly activated. There will always be six gladiators being hunted at any given time.

We can resist, right? a gladiator asked.

Of course, I said. The hunters will have to bring their own game.

We’ll be ready, Joss said.

The gladiators all sat back and thought the idea over.

I have to think it over a bit, but I kind of like it, Brent said. We are all followers of Brick in addition to Derek. It makes a certain sense to incorporate our brothers in black.

Each hunter shares the same colors of the gladiator he’ll be hunting, I said. That makes them hot to beat our asses and probably rape us, too. Joss here is going to be my hunter if we follow through with this plan. Joss waggled his eyebrows and puffed on his cigar.

Okay, gentlemen, Brent said. We’ll look over your formal plan and get back to you with concerns or amendments. I’m just going to call for a soft vote at the moment. I just want to take the room’s temperature. Is there any gladiator here who thinks these ideas are bad? Nobody raised a hand. Anybody think it’s too rough? Nobody raised a hand. Anybody think it’s not rough enough? At this point a couple of them cocked their heads in thought, but ultimately nobody raised his hand.

I think that’s a good sign, Brent said. Aaron and Craig, the two of you were awesome with this. Much thanks to you and the influence of your patron, Luis. He gave a polite nod to Luis, who smiled and nodded right back to him. I don’t think we would have come up with so many different ideas on our own. I think this plan is going to be a hit. And I think there are some tough days ahead for all of us.

I wouldn’t want it any other way, I said.

Next: Return to the Hall of Fear

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