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Aaron's Game
Chapter 17: Return to the Hall of Fear

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: 16 Mar 2017

Aaron’s Game – Chapter Seventeen: Return to the Hall of Fear

The Gladiator’s Council headed off to discuss any concerns or possible changes for the plan Craig, Joss, and I put together. We had to wait around a few more minutes for Max’s punishment in my paddling machine to finish before we could release him. His butt was nice and dark red. He was bawling his eyes out and still trying in vain to scratch his itchy bottom.

I have to say, boys, that is a stellar plan, Luis said to the three of us. I may not be your primary patron, but I’m just as pleased at you guys as Derek and Brick will surely be once they see they see all these ideas in action.

I certainly hope so, Joss said as he shut down his computer.

Did you tell these guys what happened while you were working on this, Joss? Luis asked. Much to my surprise, Joss looked a little startled.

Er, what do you mean, sir? Joss responded.

Joss got his very first punishment putting all of this together, Luis said.

What, really? Craig asked. Joss, amazingly, started to blush and wouldn’t look us in the face. How did that happen?

I don’t want to talk about it, Joss said.

I’ll tell them, Luis said, grinning. Brick requires his hunters to beat a guy’s ass until he’s crying every single day, no exceptions. And blue collars and pretty boys who work for the hunter don’t count. If they fail to do so, Brick visits them in their dreams and paddles their asses raw all night.

And that carries over into the real world, I said. Brick had previously demonstrated on my own ass.

Right, Luis said. Joss here got so tied up getting all this together that he forgot to hunt and punish somebody yesterday. He got a visit from Brick last night. Show them, Joss!

I really don’t want to, Joss said, still blushing.

Don’t argue with one of your patrons, Joss, Luis said. Show ’em. I promise I’ll make it worth your while.

Joss sighed and rolled his eyes. Then he unbuckled his belt holding up his jeans and leather chaps. He lowered them to show us his ass. He wore a jockstrap as underwear, just like us. I thought that was interesting. His butt was not quite as large as ours, but nicely rounded and also a little bit furry, just like his chest. It was also very dark red with some purple blistering from Brick’s metal paddle. I winced.

How did you manage to sit through that presentation? Craig asked. Joss simply shrugged as he pulled his pants and chaps back up.

Don’t either of you get the idea that you’ll ever get the chance to do that yourselves, Joss said.
We’ll see what happens with those hunts, I pointed out.

Since Joss here suffered for your project, Luis said, It’s only fair for you to repay him. It’s time for you head back to the Smacktacularium and visit the Hall of Fear again.

Smacktacularium? I asked.

That’s what they decided to name the park, Craig said. Kind of fun and silly, but also about punishment and stuff. The workers there all voted on it.

And you guys did promise to come back, Joss said, folding his arms.

All right, it’s a deal, I said. I wanted to see not just the Hall of Fear again, but what they had done to the whole park.

By this point the paddling machine had stopped tormenting poor Max. The timer had ended and we were able to take his restraints off and remove his gag. He immediately started scratching his ass crack because of the itching powder torture. His face was red and slick with tears.

Twenty-four hours in that would be hell! Max whimpered.

That’s the point, I said. Max, run back to the penthouse and get all our buddies and meet us at the Hall of Pain. We’ll all go through together. Max obediently pulled his spandex football pants back up and headed back home, scratching his ass crack while he walked away.

Great, Joss said, showing some enthusiasm. Groups are much more fun than just a couple of guys.

Fun for whom? Craig asked. Joss responded with a wicked grin. Oh, of course. I’m betting Brick will have no reason to punish you tonight, will he?

Luis insisted on giving the three of us big hugs and a sharp smack on our butts (despite being so friendly, he was still superhumanly strong and my ass stung like hell from the swat) before thanking us again and disappearing in another flash of purple light.

Only having two of you in this group worked out well, Luis said before he left. There are groups in other cities that have several more purple gladiators. They all have way too many ideas and are having a hard time narrowing it down. You guys are on the right track!

Good to know, I said to Joss and Craig. We all headed over toward the amusement park – Smacktacularium my mind corrected. I noticed that Joss didn’t even limp when he walked. He was very intent in making sure nobody could tell he had gotten his ass beaten. And I’m sure Brick demanded his boys look tough at all times anyway.

When we approached the park, we could see it had embraced its crazy name with a giant lit-up sign over the front gates .There were murals all in front that were extremely well painted, showing guys on various rides and playing games in the park, rides and games in which their bared bottoms were being punished or molested in some fashion. Guys from all eight factions were illustrated in the images. Tellingly, a Golden Boy was being tormented by a robed Hunter in the Hall of Fear.
Who did all these murals? I asked.

Punks worked with the producers to put them together, Craig said. They’re really good.

We made our way inside. Carnival music played loudly throughout the park, but you could hear the unmistakable sounds of men crying out in pain and the loud pop of swats across somebody’s ass underneath that.

Everything was in working order now and the construction was over. We passed by swings where riders were restrained and strapped as they spun around the base. The riders of the carousel were emitting pained whimpers as the horses with their dildo-topped saddles fucked them as they slowly moved up and down. A drop tower had seated guys in restraints were carried up 10 stories. At the top, the base of the seats retracted, exposing their quivering butts. Then the entire set of seats plunged down slamming their asses hard on the cement ground. The seat fixtures were attached to thick rubber bands that stretched and bounced them back up in the air and slammed them back down again. Their butts thumped very hard against the concrete and everybody limped out with bruises on their asses, whimpering with pain, but also laughing.

Oh, we need to get you guys member cards for rides and purchases, Joss said.

What does that mean? I asked.

I know, Craig said. So here’s how the park works: You earn points for going on rides that inflict pain on your ass. The more pain, the more points.

The Hall of Fear gets you lots of points, Joss said.

I bet, I said.

And then, Craig continued, You spend those points getting stuff at the shops or to ride on the roller coasters or other rides that don’t cause pain.

So the stuff at Craig’s Pranks and Spanks aren’t free any more? I asked.

Nope! Craig said. But I bet our visits to the Hall of Fear will keep you in itching powder for a very long time.

Oh, yes indeed, Joss said.

That’s a brilliant plan, I said. Gives guys that might not voluntarily get on those things, like commandos or executives, a good reason.

Yup, Craig said. Turns out there’s some fun stuff in these shops that are only available here and nowhere else in the city. You want the itching powder or the fire oil? You gotta come to me.

Whoa! I said as we approached the midway. All the special games where you bet your own ass were nice and busy, and a full contingent of blue collars and pretty boys were serving as prizes. But the shooting gallery I had seen the Cody and the commandos testing out had found some new life and size. The shooting gallery now took up one whole side of the midway.

That’s amazing, Craig said as the three of us walked down the length of the gallery. There were more than a hundred guys stuck in the gallery, their asses on display as targets. And every single one of them was a punk. The seats had been cut out of their tight jeans, but they were left dressed. We could see their hankies wrapped around their thighs, indicating their colors. All though we couldn’t see their top halves through the back wall of the gallery, we could hear them crying and demanding to be let go on the other side. Targets were painted on the center of each cheek and on their asshole just as we had seen before. As an interesting touch, their legs were not tied down or restrained. This allowed the punks to kick and struggle. This made their asses harder to hit with the rubber bullets shot from the guns, thereby increasing the challenge for the players. They could kick their legs up and get shot on the bottom of their boots rather than their butt.

Needless to say, these guys aren’t here by choice, Joss noted. The commandos snagged them after they finished doing all the art for the park. Said they’d make sure they always have work for the punks to keep them around.

I went looking around for Cody, but I didn’t see him. I did notice that it wasn’t just commandos taking up the guns to shoot at the punks. Hunters, golden boys and executives were also pelting the punks’ butts with rubber bullets. Once we reached the end of the shooting gallery there was the prize redemption area, where victorious shooters had bound punks bent over horses for additional punishments and forced fucking. Once the winners were done with their victims, they weren’t freed like in the other midway games. The producers operating the shooting gallery (their colors were purple, green and black, I noticed), dragged the punks right back to the gallery and forced the protesting guys right back into position to be targeted yet again.

It’s interesting how the commandos are offering up the punks to others to torment as well, Craig said as we continued on to the Hall of Fear.

Cody said community outreach is part of his job duties as a commando with purple as a secondary color, I said. I wonder if he thinks letting us all torment the punks they capture will keep the other factions from messing with their game of conquest.

It might actually work, Joss said, pointing back at all the men lined up to have a turn at the punks.

Finally we made it back to the Hall of Fear. The massive building was still jet black, covered with balconies and windows that opened and closed to reveal the punishment within. The base of the building was now decorated all along the front with a line of black-robed men whose faces we couldn’t see, all holding paddles that looked like they were glowing yellow.

Those are unusual paddles, I said.

You’ll see, Joss said. Then he grinned at me.

When we walked up to the main entrance and waited for Max to arrive with our roommates. There were still the loudspeakers playing the sounds of guys being punished inside. There were hunters in their black robes dragging men onto the upper balconies and beating their asses raw. The men’s wrists were bound behind their backs as usual, but I noticed they were no longer wearing blindfolds. I wondered what had changed inside. A trio of blue-collar boys were dumped unceremoniously outside the exit on their blistered asses by some monks.

You failed the challenges of the Hall of Fear, a monk said as he untied them. Your pain will serve our master well. Come again if you dare another challenge. The three of them slowly climbed up to their feet. The drop seats of their overalls were all down. They examined each other’s extremely blistered asses, their faces red and tear-streaked. Then they fished their special member cards out of their pockets and brought them over to a producer behind a counter by the exit to collect their points.

Has anybody beaten the maze yet? I asked.

Nope, Joss said. Maybe you boys will be the first?

You’re not going to let us beat the maze, Craig said. Joss just shrugged.

Finally, Max arrived. Much to my surprise, he had all of our penthouse roommates, including Reuben’s tenants and even Reuben himself. The entire household was here.

What, you all decided to come? Craig asked.

Reuben sort of half-shrugged.

Last time I didn’t get to actually try it out, Reuben said. Edgar just dragged me in there to beat my ass for a bounty.

I nodded. I had to remind myself that above our rivalry, Reuben was a golden boy just like me and Craig. He lived for challenges and competitions. He wanted to see if he could beat the Hall of Fear. And if not, the Hall of Fear would beat him. Macho posturing aside, he’d accept his fate just like me, Craig, Max, and all our roommates. He was the one who pointed out to me that when we lose, we psychologically feel a need to be punished.

You boys wait here while I suit up, Joss said. Since you’re my guests, I’m gonna throw my weight around and let you skip in front of the line.

Can you handle a group of 12? I asked.

Absolutely, Joss said. Plus, we’ll see how long you actually last a group once you get inside.

Joss headed into the entrance to put on his robes and prep to torment us. After a few minutes, a couple of robed hunters came over to us with restraints to bind all our wrists behind our backs.

Move your asses, boys, one growled at us. The robes didn’t completely conceal his face and I could make out that this guy was Miguel, the hunter Joss had introduced to us yesterday. If our proposal for the gladiators was approved, Miguel would be handling Craig’s bounties. I suspected that Craig might get a taste of what’s to come today.

How intense is this place? Johnny asked.
Depends on how well you do with the master’s challenges, Miguel said. And how slippery your ass is in the maze. He gave Johnny a sharp smack on his bubble butt as he restrained the baseball player’s hands behind the back.

Another group of guys left the maze, this time a mixed group of producers, pretty boys, and golden boys. They were all bawling their eyes out and rubbing dark red butts.

There’s no mercy in the Hall of Fear, Miguel said. But we also know what makes you golden boys tick. You lose, you expect punishment. So if you fail the challenges, expect to get your asses tormented even harder than any of the other factions.

We all nodded without even really thinking about it. This whole experience was obviously designed for golden boys. It wasn’t an athletic competition, but it was nevertheless a physical challenge that could be won or lost. There was a reason we all wanted to try it.

Another monk came out, and I could immediately tell it was Joss, just from his stride. Even in the hood of his robe he could make eye contact with me and subtly dominate me with that stare of his.

Come, he ordered. The Hall of Fear awaits the next tribute. We all followed him in, our wrists all bound helplessly behind our backs.

Once you pass through the entry to this damned place, he warned, You will have no choice but to find you own way out. There are no words that you can say that will stop us servants of the Hall of Fear from extracting a price for your trespass. This is your one chance to turn back.

We all just looked at him. He nodded and pointed us through the entry door.

I was curious as to what we’d see this time. When Craig and I came through before, we were blindfolded to keep us in the dark. We walked down a narrow corridor and into a large round, black-walled room. It wall tall enough for there to be a balcony about ten feet up circling and overlooking the room. Once we were all inside, the door slammed shut behind us and we were plunged into darkness. It looks like they figured out how to control the lighting inside. They no longer needed the blindfolds.

A human-sized monitor I didn’t notice on the way in lit up, but not so much as to let us see more than deep shadows. An image of Brick, the vicious patron of the hunters, appeared on the monitor, sneering at us, gripping his large metal paddle.

Intruders, he growled. You are not of my tribe, yet you dare set foot in our sacred halls?

I wouldn’t have pegged Brick as an actor, Craig whispered.

I should have my Reapers of Pain torment your asses until midnight falls, Brick said. But I’m feeling ... generous. Where are my reapers?

We heard some doors open above us and saw pale yellow light. A dozen men in black robes filed out onto the balcony above us. The light was coming from their paddles. They were all holding Lexan paddles like Joss favored, but they were somehow lit up to glow a pale yellow. They drew the eye to them in the darkness, practically hypnotizing us.
Feed these men into the maze and prepare the gauntlets, Brick said. My reapers wander the maze tormenting any men who cross their path. But the maze also leads to the many secret chambers of my gauntlet. In each chamber there is a puzzle to be solved. Solve the puzzle and you are one step closer to finding yourself free from my labyrinth. Fail and suffer the consequences. If you manage to make it through the maze and challenges without falling into the Reaper’s clutches, you will leave victorious and with your bottom intact. That has yet to happen. If you fail three challenges, my reapers will decide how much your asses will suffer before they expel you from these halls. That includes punishment and rape. And yes, if they choose to, they may indeed torment your asses until midnight falls. I looked up and one of the men pointed his paddle directly at me. Joss, sending me a warning. I was not surprised. I felt my bottom quiver at the idea of being punished for the rest of the day.

Release them into the maze! Brick yelled. Too late, I remembered that the floor dropped out in this room. Sure enough, rather than passing through any door, we felt the floor disappear beneath us. We all plunged downward into the darkness a good distance before we each landed on our beefy bottoms with loud thuds and grunts of pain. It was pitch black, even without the blindfolds.

Ouch, we can’t even rub our butts, Rodney said. We all carefully made it to our feet.

What now? Lance asked.

We’re in the maze, Reuben said. So we have to look around for those challenge rooms while avoiding the reapers.

We all felt our way around the darkness with our bodies, since we couldn’t use our hands. We found the walls and determined there were three exits from this large, dark room.

We should maybe stick together, Craig said. I don’t know if they still have all the traps they used to have.

I’m sure they do, I said. Remember, Joss and Edgar both love their traps.

We all decided on one exit. Lance led off down the corridor, followed by Rico, Reuben, and Will. But then before the rest of us could make our way out with them, one of them stepped on a trigger in the hallway. A door slid down, blocking entrance into that tunnel. The four of them were separated from the rest of us.

Can you step on the trigger again? Max called out to the four of them in the corridor.

I’m trying, but nothing is happening, Lance called back. Looks like they were on their own.

Joss did warn us, Craig said. They want to separate us to make us easier targets. Can the eight of us get through one of the other doors without triggering anything?

We were very careful choosing one of the other corridors. We lined up two by two and rushed abruptly down the hall a few feet. We heard the same click and the sliding of the door, but we all made it out the same side.

Good work, guys, I said.
We slowly began making our way down the dark corridor, we began to see flickers of light off in the distance.

These walls are actually clear, Kyle noted, but it’s all dark because there’s no light.

What are we seeing then? Rodney asked.

I think those are the lights from the paddles, Max said. We can kind of see where the hunters are in the maze.

Then we can avoid them? Rodney asked.

We don’t know all the paths through the maze, Craig said. But these guys do. It will help us see when they’re close to us, but I’m not sure it will save us.

Way off to the left I could see one of the lights start flailing around in the darkness. Immediately we all heard the WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! Of somebody getting his ass paddled. Looks like somebody had been caught. We had no way of knowing whether it was somebody in our lost group or some other guys.

We stuck together, trying to keep track of the glow of the paddles as they wandered around the maze.

This is causing us to pay more attention to the wandering hunters than actually look for these challenges we’re supposed to solve, Craig pointed out. I wonder if they stay close to the entrances to these challenge rooms to try to keep us away.

Careful guys, there’s one straight ahead that looks like he’s coming straight for us, Hayato said. Everybody stopped in the darkness and watched as the yellow glow approached. It stopped about 20 feet in front of us and just stood there. We could barely make out the shape of the robes of the man holding the glowing paddle.

Should we back up and look for another path? Max asked.

Then we heard a tap, tap, tap sound. The monk was tapping on the wall with his paddle. There was actually a wall between him and us. He was just teasing us.

He’s loving this, Craig said. We slowly approached the guy. I wondered if there was an easy path from him to us and he was just luring us over.

We’re going to regret this, Kyle said.

Yes, you are, said a voice to our left. Before we could react we saw the glow of another monk’s paddle. He grabbed one of our guys and dragged him off a side route. We tried to follow but we heard the telltale sound of a door closing. As we thumped against the door we could see the victim through the walls being pushed against the side of his maze. The monk’s glowing paddle rested against his ass. Then, WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! The paddle started slamming against his ass.

OW! FUCK! he yelled in pain. From the sound of his cries, we identified Johnny as the victim.

Sorry, Johnny! Max yelled over to him.

Maybe there’s a trigger to open the door back up to free him, Craig said. That’s what happened last time we came in here. Look around but don’t go far.

As Johnny whimpered and cried we stomped around looking for triggers on the floor.

Um, has anybody noticed that the other monk is gone now? Hayato said. I stopped and peered around, looking for the telltale glow of his paddle. Nothing was near to us besides the guy tormenting Johnny.

I think he’s gone, I said. His job was to distract us so that one of the other hunters could grab a victim.

I’m afraid you’re very wrong there, said a voice, right behind me. I spun around as a pair of muscular hands grabbed me in the darkness. But there was no glow of the paddle! I tried to dig down and get my center of gravity lower, like a wrestler, to keep him from yanking me away from the others. But hunters are strong, and I had little balance with my arms bound behind me. He yanked me away from the other down another side path and I heard a door close behind me.

The paddles hide nicely in our robes, the Hunter said as he pulled out his glowing tool of torment.

Fuck! We have to get out of here! Rodney yelled. They could be anywhere! I heard the thumping footsteps of the rest of my group scattering into the maze.

My hunter laughed as he pushed me against the wall and rested his paddle against my ass. They’re so fucked, he said. I didn’t recognize his voice. He wasn’t a hunter I had met or been punished by before. For a little while we just stood there with him pushing me against the wall and holding his paddle against my ass. My shorts were still up, but I knew they’d provide almost no protection from these paddle swats.

I’m waiting for you to stick your ass out like a good golden boy who knows he lost, he finally said. The longer it takes for you to surrender, the longer you get your ass beat and the harder it will be for you to find your friends again.

I grimaced, but slowly surrendered. It’s not like I could resist anyway. It was almost out of my control as I arched my back and stuck my ass out in a show of submission. He caught me fair and square. He tricked me, too, which kind of turned me on a little bit. The admiration was short-lived, though. KRACK! He smacked the paddle good and hard against both cheeks. They quivered, but I kept my ass sticking out perfectly as I yowled in pain at the blow.

The monk/hunter said nothing as he went to work beating my ass. I tried to focus through the pain and try to peer out through the wall I was pushed up against. Here and there I could see lighted paddles flailing around in the darkness, and I could hear others crying in pain. I tried to listen to a voice I could recognize and thought I heard Rodney yelling. Or maybe Lance. It wouldn’t be any of the football players. They’ve learned to take their licks pretty well, thanks to me, Reuben and Coach Adam.

I had no idea how long the swats lasted. They were much more intense than in my first visit, given we were punished by producers that time. This hunter knew his business, and the fact that I was pretty experienced in taking hard paddlings by now did not stop me from tearing up a bit.

That’s a nice warm up, he said eventually, stopping the swats. My ass quivered in place. I felt the buzz of heat that I knew would make me feel a little aroused, until at least the next hunter got his hands on me.

You’d better find a challenge before another monk finds you, the man said. Our master is insatiable.

I’ll get right on that, I said. He smacked me once more in response to my sarcasm.

Oh, and if you catch up with your buddy, Reuben, he said, tell him Amir is looking for him. I can’t wait to meet him.

With that, he let me go, slid his paddle back into his robes, causing the darkness to overtake us, and I heard his footsteps as he padded away, leaving me to recover from my beating. I thought for a moment and remembered that Amir was the name of the guy Joss had picked to serve as Reuben’s Hunter. He would be the guy to claim any bounties against Reuben.

I grinned to myself, imagining what would happen when Amir got his hands on Reuben, while I wandered back off through the maze. As expected, my ass felt a nice warm heat after just a bit, and it aroused me. But the Hall of Fear was designed to keep building more and more punishment to push that pleasure away. The next time was bound to be harsher.

I wander through the maze for a while, keeping a close eye on the glows of the paddles, but knowing that they could conceal them from me. So I listened for footsteps, too. I stopped short when I heard somebody coming and pressed my ass against the wall. Was it a monk or somebody else?

Who’s there? I heard somebody say in a low voice. I recognized it.

Rico? I asked.

Aaron, he said, sounding relieved. We all got split up, too. Will got snagged, and then we stumbled onto a spinning floor and got separated.

I got snagged, too, I said. You get your ass beat, yet?

Not yet, he said as he slowly approached in the darkness. But I’ve been at the mercy of Reuben, Coach Adam and even Max. My ass can handle it.

Yeah, I said. But you still want to win.

Heh, yeah.

The two of us wandered down corridors until we saw something strange up ahead. There was a soft white glow on the floor. We approached carefully. On the floor was a pair of lights in the shape of footprints. They were glowing faintly white so we could see them, but didn’t illuminate much.

That looks like a trap or something, Rico said.

Well, what other options do we have? I said.

You’ve already gotten your ass beat once, he said. I’ll risk this one. He stepped forward and stood on the footprints. After a moment, a doorway opened in the wall and there was a dimly lit room beyond. I guess not all the walls were glass. The darkness cleverly concealed rooms hiding within the maze. We carefully made our way inside.

The room inside was lit very softly by three large cubes sitting on the floor. They were different colors. There was a dark monitor on one wall that had Please stand by shown in simple white text. And there were three men in monk’s robes standing next to the monitor holding their glowing paddles. I flinched reflexively, but they made no move toward us yet.

You’ve found a challenge room, one of them said. Congratulations. This room requires three participants, so wait, wonder, and worry.

I wonder what the challenge is? Rico asked. I suspected the blocks were involved. Three blocks. Three challengers. Made sense.

Eventually we heard footsteps and could barely make out a shape of a person stumbling through the doorway. It closed automatically behind him. In the dim lighting we were able to see that he wasn’t part of our group but was a beefy, brown-haired blue collar boy.

Another challenge room, he said.

Indeed, said one of the monks. This is your last chance to earn your way out of the Hall of Fear, isn’t it, Ren? The boy nodded in the dim light.

You have ten minutes to figure out the challenge, another monk said. Then the monitor text changed to a timer. Begin, he said. The timer began counting down from ten minutes.

Wait, you didn’t tell us anything about the challenge! Rico said.

They never do, Ren said. You have to figure it out yourself. That’s what makes them so hard.

After the timer began we noticed three glowing squares appeared on the floor on various parts of the room.

Obviously something about the blocks and the squares on the floor, I said. I walked over and stepped on a square. The light flickered and went out, reappearing elsewhere in the room.

Maybe we need to step on them in the same color order as the cubes? Rico suggested. Ren walked over to a square of light that matched the color of the first glowing cube. He stepped on it and it reacted the same way as when I stepped on it. Ren sighed. As we adjusted to the light, I was able to see that the drop seat flap on his overalls had been pulled down and his ass was looking pretty sore.

We tried stepping on all three lights at the same time. No good. They all just moved again. Rico walked over to one of the large cubes and carefully stood on top of it. Nothing happened. Ren and I joined him on the other two. Nothing happened. When I jumped off the cube back to the floor, I felt it rock slightly.

The cubes, I said. Can we move them? I tried pushing it with my foot, but it just budged slightly. The three of us were all very strong, but we didn’t have the use of our hands. How much did the cubes weigh?

Think we’re supposed to get the cubes on the matching lights? Rico asked.

That seems like a possibility, I said. Ren got down on the floor, sitting on his butt right next to a cube. That must have hurt, given the blistered condition of his ass. I heard him groan as he pushed with all his might against the side of the cube. He got it up a few inches to tilt it over, and then it slammed down.

I think that’s it, Ren said, But these things are heavy! We only had a couple of minutes left on the clock. Rico, Ren and I each positioned ourselves next to a cube, sitting on the floor, and each pushed hard with our bound arms and back trying to tip a cube over. We all struggled like hell. Rico managed to get his tilted over and moved by a foot, but the light he needed to set the cube on was on the other side of the room. I looked at the clock. There was less than two minutes left.

We tried like hell. Ren managed to do the best, getting his cube just a couple of feet away from the lit square. But then the buzzer went off.

You have failed the challenge, a monk said. The timer disappeared and the words PUNISH THEM appeared on the monitor in red letters with another timer that counted down from thirty minutes.

Ren, you have failed to escape the Hall of Fear yet again, the monk said, approaching him. To the balcony to feed the master’s lust for pain.

Dammit, Ren muttered as the monk walked over roughly pushed him out of the room through a different door. Looks like I’m limping home again tonight. Good luck, guys! Blue collars see punishment as an inevitable daily requirement for them to function, so he wasn’t exactly filled with fear. He would probably nevertheless get a lot more punishment than he would from wherever he worked. Maybe that was what he needed.

The other two monks grabbed Rico and me and directed us over to the cubes. They were big enough so that they could push each of us over a cube to beat our asses. Both Rico’s football pants and my shorts were yanked down for this one. We were going to be beaten on our bare butts.

Begin, said one of the monks. The time began to count down, then WHACK! WHACK! The two monks slammed their paddles against our bare asses. They relentlessly beat us both for 30 uninterrupted minutes, hard, and across both cheeks. We both surrendered without prompting, raising our butts up to take the pain. We did fail the test. We deserved to be punished. I tried to focus on how we might have solved the puzzle better for our next visit to the hall, but I was in too much pain to concentrate.

After the beating was done, they pulled us back off the cubes. That’s one failure for each of you, one monk said. Fail two more and you’re ours for as long as it pleases us and our master. With that, the monks dragged us to two separate sides of the rooms and forced us back into the maze at separate locations. We were back on our own. My shorts were still pulled down, my bare ass exposed for any future punishment.

For the next few hours I wandered the maze, occasionally encountering my roommates, and occasionally getting found and punished by the monks and then getting separated from them again. One pushed me against the wall and actually raped me right in the middle of the maze. Hunters don’t believe in using lube, so it hurt like hell for almost all of it. There was a touch of pleasure toward the end, but that was it. Will told me that Max had actually solved one of the challenges, but when I found Max it turned out that wasn’t the case. Max and I ended up in our second challenge together, along with Johnny and three guys we didn’t know. This one involved a bunch of glowing glass dildos that we had to ... use somehow. There was a set of color symbols that appeared on the wall that we figured corresponded to which dildos we were supposed to sit on in which order. But as with the cubes, we weren’t able to figure out the order in time. Even trying to solve the puzzle was a little bit of punishment, as it hurt like hell each time we sat on the fairly large dildos. And without our hands, we couldn’t exactly ease ourselves onto them. We just had to brutally sit ourselves down and endure it. We were punished further, and one of the other guys was led away as a failure. Then we were all separated again back into the maze. I had one more chance—then my ass would be Joss’s to play with.

After more torment in the maze (I ran into Reuben but decided not to tell him about Amir), I found one more challenge room. I ended up in this room with Craig, Johnny, Hayato, and a couple of others. It was the last chance for both Craig and me. The room had a bunch of footprint lights on the floor and symbols all along the walls and on the ceiling. The timer even gave us 15 minutes this time, but we were all baffled. We were certain that we were supposed to stand on the footprints in a certain order, but we could not decipher the patterns on the wall. Hayato pointed out that all the symbol colors matched one of the factions except for the punks. There was no orange in the room. But before we could figure out what that meant, time ran out. Two monks came over to grab Craig and I to our final destination and punishment.

Really, neither of you solved a single puzzle? said the monk who grabbed me. I immediately realized it was Joss. He must have been tracking me in the maze and made sure to show up at my third effort in case I failed.

The Painfather made them the strongest, not the smartest, the monk who grabbed Craig said. I recognized his voice as Miguel’s.

Let’s get your sorry asses situated so we can make them even sorrier, Joss said, leading us out of the room. We ended up being dragged down several halls in the maze for a few minutes. Then Joss tapped his paddle on a wall and a door opened. We were lead into a dark room that had some tables and stools in it. I looked around and realized the walls here were glass, too. We could look out and see out parts of the maze.

One-way glass, Joss said. We can watch what’s going on out there but it’s tinted on the other side. He pulled off his robe, as did Miguel.

We’re just waiting for one more before we get started, Joss said. He sat on a stool and dragged me over his lap. I won’t get to use my stare on you in here, but that’s okay.

Miguel pushed Craig over a desk and set his paddle down. Then he pulled out a glove of some sort from his robes and pulled it over his left hand.

Is that from my store? Craig asked. One of my metal heat gloves?

Yup, Miguel said. I love these guys. Heat and burning is my specialty. He took out his cigar and pressed it briefly on Craig’s right ass cheek. Craig quivered at the pain, then moaned.

Press it against his asshole, Joss said.

That’s Craig’s thing, I said. Tormenting the asshole. Miguel parted Craig’s cheek and careful pressed his cigar right against his asshole. Craig howled in pain, but it turned into a moan when Miguel pulled the cigar away.

I bet he’s getting an erection, I said.

Yup, Miguel said after copping a quick feel.

The two of them then fell into silence for a little bit. I was stuck over Joss’s knee with my ass up and ready. Craig was bent over the desk. There was a slight glow coming from Miguel’s glove as it warmed up to be nice and scorching hot when he would eventually spank Craig with it.

How do those paddles glow? I asked.

It was a producer’s idea, Joss said. They have wood handles, and there’s a light bulb inside at the top of the handle where the Lexan paddle starts and a battery inside, like a flashlight. It makes the paddle look like it glows, but it’s just light traveling through it.

Cool, Craig said.

Looks like Reuben flunked out, too, Joss said. Here comes Amir. Watch this, guys, so you can see why I picked him for Reuben.

We looked up through the glass into the darkness. We heard slow footsteps and saw dim light. Then we saw Amir and Reuben walking down the corridor right next to the room. They were walking very slowly because Reuben’s shorts were pulled down and Amir had three fingers shoved all the way up Reuben’s ass. Reuben was suffering the same humiliation he loved to inflict on me and Craig. As he walked slowly, his ass bounced up and down and he was relentlessly finger-fucked. He moaned and winced as he walked. We watched as Amir tapped on the invisible door and Joss let him in.

The gang’s all here, Joss said. Amir forced Reuben to walk very slowly over to a stool, finger fucking him all the way. He pulled his own robes off after bending Reuben over into punishment position.

Reuben, this is Amir, Joss said. Amir, this is Reuben. In the dim light I could see that Amir had golden skin and a head shaved smooth. But he had a brown chinstrap beard. Under the robes he was wearing the same denim and chaps combination as Joss, but a leather vest instead of a strap harness. His hankies were black, green and gold, the same three colors as Reuben.

Tell him what your deal is, Amir, Joss.

I love punishing guys who think they’re the dominant ones, Amir said as he patted Reuben’s bared bottom. Reuben winced. I wondered how much he had been punished in the maze. And I love doing exactly to them what they like to do the guys they dominate.

Fuck, was all Reuben had to say.

If our proposal with the gladiator council goes through, you’ll be getting to know Amir very well, Joss said. He’ll be handling any bounties against your muscular butt. So we figured you should get to know him.

Amir grabbed his paddle out and pushed Reuben down bent over the stool. Joss positioned me better over his knee. And Miguel pressed down on Craig’s back to make him stay in place.

They were all silent for a little bit. I felt my ass slowly rise up to show submission to punishment. There was no escaping this. I had lost. I deserved to be paddled.

Aaron has surrendered, Joss said.

Craig has surrendered, Miguel said. I looked over to see Craig had arched his back to raise his butt up as a show of submission. We were just waiting on Reuben. I looked over and watched him. Slowly, slowly his back arched just like Craig’s and he stuck his ass out.

Reuben has surrendered, Amir said.

Let’s get started, Joss said. You boys are about to see how long we can beat ass on our own. No relays, no mercy. Then WHACK! The paddle slammed down across my ass, causing my cheeks to bounce and for me to yelp with pain. Amir similarly began to paddle Reuben’s ass.

Miguel smacked Craig’s ass while wearing his heated glove and we could actually all hear a brief sizzling sound as he connected with Craig’s left cheek.

It’s a long way to midnight, boys, Joss said. Enough time to think about what you’ve gotten yourselves into with this plan of yours.

The three of them were relentless and ruthless. Joss didn’t make me stare into his eyes, but he did pull his cruelest trick: He did not swat around my big butt with his paddle, reddening me all over, but focused on one single spot, the strip of ass right where I sat down across both cheeks. He hit me in the exact same spot every single swat, and I was bawling in minutes, wishing he’d spread the pain around a bit so it wouldn’t be so intense.

I’ve only done this to you and Craig, Joss said. Seems appropriate to keep it to the two of you. It’s too cruel for anybody else, but perfect for you.

All of us were bawling and hollering before long, but our asses remained in the perfect positions for beatings, even Rueben’s. There weren’t true breaks from the torment, but occasionally Miguel would stop spanking Craig to take a burning hot finger and press it against Craig’s tender hole. His screams when Miguel did this probably terrified anybody left in the maze. Amir would occasionally finger fuck Reuben with one hand while swatting his ass with the other.

Then occasionally there would be rape breaks when they were horny enough. Again, they didn’t use lube, so the fucking hurt about as much as the paddling. Craig in particular had it rough thanks to those burns, but he liked it that way. Miguel noted the raging hard-on Craig had after he raped him, despite Craig’s wailing and tears.

Then they went back to punishment. The point, it seemed, is to demonstrate to us that they could each handle the kind of huge bounties that the fans would be calling for us after the season started. They could paddle non-stop for hours and not appear to get tired at all. Joss’s pace never slowed and it never got any easier for me to bear. I imagined the same was the case for Craig and Reuben.

The hours crawled by. Occasionally I would notice guys wandering by in the maze. They could hear our pain but couldn’t see us. I saw Max wander by and look directly at the wall in confusion.

Aaron, is that you? He called out. Unfortunately he didn’t notice the monk sneaking up behind him. He grabbed Max and pushed him against the wall and began beating his ass. I could see him (barely; my vision was blurry from tears) but he couldn’t see me. He handled his punishment a lot more calmly than I did, because, of course he hadn’t been tormented for hours. At least not yet. I couldn’t really see what condition his ass was in the dim corridor.

And so the butt blistering (very literally in Craig’s case) went. There was another round of rapes later in the evening. Another monk would occasionally come around with new cigars for them to smoke while they punished us. Eventually midnight rolled around the punishment finally came to an end. Even after Joss stopped, it felt like my ass was still being swatted.

So since the three of you live together, I figure the three of us will form a squad to handle you guys together when your bounties come up, Joss said. None of us can take you guys one-on-one, but three of us should be enough to tackle any of you. Then your assigned hunter can be the one to collect the bounty.

What have you fuckers gotten me into? Reuben said hoarsely, through tears.

Yeah, we still haven’t filled Reuben in, I said, trying not to laugh. We just gave the presentation this morning!

Do it on the way home, Joss said. I have a pretty good feeling your plan is gonna pass, so no point in keeping it a secret from him.

What happened to the other guys? I asked.

They all failed, Joss said happily. Everybody fails the first time through. Max and Johnny very nearly solved one challenge, but didn’t. We beat their asses for a while on the balconies and then told them to come pick you boys up at midnight. You’re gonna need them to help you walk home.

The three hunters carefully helped us back to our feet. We could barely stand. Amusingly (at least to me), Amir reached down and shoved three fingers roughly back up Reuben’s beaten ass. He whimpered in pain, but had no choice but to lean on Amir for support.

We were led back out of the maze. It was dark outside and the park was closing down now. All our roommates were waiting for us, grinning from ear to ear.

I gave Max your cards for future visits, Joss said. The good news is that with the amount of pain you suffered in the Hall of Fear you can buy just about anything here and ride anything you want for a good few months.

I am not going to be riding anything for the next few days, Reuben said. Except maybe Johnny’s ass. The boys all laughed. The hunters released us from our bondage. I wrapped an arm around Max’s broad shoulder so he could help me limp home. Craig did the same with Lance and Reuben with Jeffrey.

Looking forward to next time, Amir said as we all limped away.

I’m sure the fuck not, Reuben growled. Amir laughed and headed back into the Hall of Pain with Joss and Miguel.

Next: The Pain Pigs

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