Febuwhump Day 20: Caged
Warnings: Imprisoned, Caged, Non-consenting Touch, Sold
The cage was small. Too small for him. It hurt. His shoulders. His feet. His whole body hurt. He was crouched down, hunched over. Hungry. Thirsty. Tired.
And the worst thing was, he had no memory of how he got there.
No memory of how he got here, no way of being traced without his clothes. No idea what he had been doing or where his brothers were.
There was no way he could get to the latch on the cage either. He was helpless. Nothing he could do, so the wisest cause was to do something he could. He needed to keep what little energy he could.
Scott closed his eyes and went to sleep.
He didn't get much sleep before the door to the room opened and the man who had been in previously. Scott looked him over. Nicely turned out, with a smart cane and a flashy ring on his middle finger. The man stared at him for quite a time and he stared right back, not moving or speaking at all.
This staring competition was the usual routine. The man's eyes narrowed and he used the tip of his cane to bang on the cage, the sound ringing in Scott's ears.
'Are you going to speak this time?'
Scott stayed silent, staring straight back. He watched the man's nostrils flare and the frown of anger he'd gotten used to seeing before the man viciously jabbed him with the cane. Still Scott said and did nothing.
Snarling, the man put his face as near to the cage as he dared, recognising that Scott could reach him if he was too close.
'It is going to be your turn tomorrow, and you better speak when you are spoken to. Buyers want to know what they are getting, and you, my friend, you are a very rare sale and are going to get me a lot of money.'
Still Scott stayed silent. At least he knew now why he was here, even if he didn't know the how. Or when, or even where. Where…it was obviously somewhere black market and seriously shielded otherwise his brothers would have rescued him by now.
His brothers. The thought hurt his brain. Something wasn't right…damn, he wished he could remember how he came to be here. It wasn't like him to be alone, and the thought that one or more of his brothers could be here panicked him. Panicked him because he couldn't do anything as he was.
He couldn't even stretch out. Couldn't reach the lock. All he could do was more waiting. Tomorrow. Tomorrow was the only time he might get to flee. Scott had no idea what the 'sale' was going to be like, but there might be an occasion to be released from the cage, and he would take it. He needed to rest, needed to keep his energy up. He hadn't been given anything to eat or drink for at least a couple of days and if he was to escape he better sleep.
This time he slept for longer. Enough to feel a little bit refreshed. He was awake when the man came back. And this time he wasn't alone. Two large men and one smaller, nervous-looking male.
His captor grinned at him, and stood back from the others, but he made sure that Scott had seen the gun pointing at him. So much for an escape attempt. Scott kept still as the cage was opened and man carefully helped him out, holding him tightly.
Scott was escorted to another room, one with a sink and worktops. And another cage. One bigger than the one he'd been kept in so far, but still too small for him. He began to struggle, but, although skinny, the man held on tight. His captor left them, and it was just the three men and Scott.
Skinny attached some kind of leather cuff to his ankle, with some braided leather thongs that went through the cuff and was fastened to a fixing on one of the work surfaces…and there went any ability to get out of this situation. Water was running and with the realisation of what was about to happen, Scott struggled harder. But Skinny held tighter and just let Scott wear himself out. It didn't take long in his weakened condition.
He didn't think he'd ever been so humiliated. Skinny was talking quietly away to him, but he'd closed his eyes and just waited for it all to be over. The water was warm as the man bathed him. Skinny was gentle, and he was shaking, and Scott realised that he was just as much a victim as he was.
He was wrapped in a large, fluffy towel and Skinny gently patted him dry. Scott could feel the man still trembling, and he forced himself to relax so that he didn't hurt him. Skinny pulled the towel away and stepped back, cleaning up the station. Scott took the opportunity to stretch out while he could, he didn't know when he would get another opportunity. The rope around his ankle pulled tight.
Eventually Skinny turned back to him, grasping him firmly again and pushing him into the cage, tying the braids to the small platform in the cage. At least there was a little room for movement in this one. There was water for him to drink and he drank greedily. The two goons stepped forward, but Skinny held his arm out, making them wait for Scott to finish drinking before dropping his arm.
Their eyes met and the man mouthed 'I'm sorry' before stepping back completely.
A large cover was thrown over the cage and the sudden whooshing feeling told him they were on the move. The cage jostled from side to side and he waited patiently. He had an idea where he was heading. His captor had mentioned selling him.
And as he contemplated what that could mean there was the change of volume from just the muted footsteps to what sounded like a room full of people quietly talking, a sound he could easily identify from years of TI meetings.
The room fell quiet as he was carried through. The cage was carefully put down and the cover removed. Scott looked around.
He was in what looked like an auction house. There was the rostrum where his captor stood, cane in one hand and gavel in the other. He was smirking. It seemed that Scott was their prize sale.
'Ladies and gentlemen, here is the main attraction. A unique opportunity to obtain one of the rarest creatures of all.'
There was an appreciative murmur from the crowd. Scott stared ahead, looking to see if there was anyone he recognised. No one. He supressed a shudder.
'Who will open bidding at $1 million?'
There was a flurry of bidding. Scott listened as the price moved into eight figures. As the bidding petered out the auctioneer turned to him, raising the cane and tapping the cage. Scott just kept staring ahead, not moving or speaking.
'Speak, damn you!' the man hissed. But Scott said nothing. 'You'll pay for that.' But the man fixed a smile to his face and turned back to the crowd.
'Ladies and gentlemen, please! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! There is one of a kind, you will never find another like this. Look at his size, far larger than any other on record. Look at those sky-blue eyes. This is a mutation of the rarest kind. There has never been any documented with blue eyes since records began.'
Another murmur rippled through the crowd and bidding picked up. Finally the gavel went down on a sum so obscene it made Scott wince, but the cloth was thrown back over the cage and he was being moved before he had much time to process what had happened.
'Ma'am, thank you. Your purchase will be ready shortly.'
He was taken back into the room he'd just been taken from. Skinny was still there, but instead of being taken to the sink Scott was placed next to one of the other surfaces. There were tools laid out beside him that he recognised and a jolt of panic ran through him.
His captor seemed delighted. He turned to Skinny and handed him some paperwork. Skinny busied himself typing on the laptop in front of him before picking a ring up off the table and examining it and then typing more in.
The auctioneer leered as one of the goons reached into the cage and grasped his arms, drawing him out despite Scott's frantic struggles. He was being grasped too tightly, and it was making it difficult to breathe.
'Hey! Not so tight or you'll hurt him!'
'Good. He deserves it, he wasn't at all helpful during the auction.'
'If your man doesn't loosen up he'll constrict his breathing and all your efforts will be for nothing.'
'Ah. Point taken.'
The man motioned and the goon's hold loosened slightly. Scott sucked in a breath, but he didn't stop struggling as he was dragged closer to the work bench. He just wasn't strong enough to get free.
'You need to stop struggling and hold still otherwise I could miss and hurt you.'
Skinny held up a metal band in one hand and what looked like a specialist riveter in the other, something similar to a tool he'd seen Virgil use. As the goon pulled Scott against him Skinny grasped his free ankle, placing the band around it and riveting it closed before Goon put him back into the cage.
Then there was a final humiliation. He was hooded. No matter how he shook his head he couldn't dislodge it. Panic was building and he didn't know what was going on.
Clipped footsteps – heels – entered the room. The cage swung, making him feel a little queasy. He could feel the change as he was handed over to someone else.
'Madam. Your sale is all prepared, he's been banded and hooded. Well done for buying the rarest Bald Eagle in history.'
He was carried for quite a while before a door opened and closed and the cage was placed on a surface. The door was opened and the hood removed. The first thing he tried to do was move, but his ankle was still tied to the large branch he was perched on.
She stared at Scott and he stared back.
'That auctioneer was right…and stupid,' she breathed. 'Right because you are the most unique Bald Eagle I have ever seen.' Scott noticed that her pupils were dilating. Her breathing was light, like she was excited.
'Stupid because he had no idea what you really are. But I do. We're going to have so much fun together.'
The grin was feral.
'So much fun.'