How to Kill a Superhero: World Without Daylight by Pablo Greene will be available exclusively on Amazon and in the Kindle store June 30, 2014. Join our mailing list for updates. Please enjoy this selected excerpt from the first chapter.

HOW TO KILL A SUPERHERO: WORLD WITHOUT DAYLIGHT
BOOK 2 IN THE GOLD APOCALYPSE SERIES
BY PABLO GREENE

Chapter 1
SEX, DEATH, AND SUNSHINE

 

I tasted freedom in this lost edge of the world, and the shadows cast by the sun reminded me that I hadn’t seen another human being in these hills for weeks.

My journey threatened to destroy my body, but I enjoyed its hardship and how it toughened the skin on the soles of my feet, how it built calluses in places they had never existed before.

At the beginning of my trip, I had frequented the small towns that dotted the landscape. During the day, I hitchhiked into small towns to buy groceries and supplies, and at night, I hiked, sometimes for hours, until I found a clearing.

It was always safest for me to travel at night.

After a few days, I decided to skip the towns altogether.

Today, I was so deep in the Australian outback that I hadn’t spotted a single dirt road or hiking trail. The desert-like vastness of this land engulfed me, put me in my place.

If I were still my earlier self, Roland from Kansas City, I might have been scared for my life as I journeyed alone.

But I was not the same as when I had started.

With each mile that I walked, my mind, my body, and my consciousness moved into new planes of being.

This is what scholars and philosophers from long ago had called “The Process”.

My pungent sweat stained my white t-shirt, and the radiation from the sun scorched my skin. I ran a hand over my beard, enjoying the prickle of bristles on my fingertips. Though my hair was as black as a raven’s feathers, my beard glinted with gold and copper. Like many parts of my body, it changed, often against my own will.

In my travels, I constantly looked over my shoulder, because I did not like being followed.

I could not afford to be followed.

I crossed several valleys. Each time I entered a new one, I sank deeper into the land.

At the bottom of an open field, I spotted a small cabin painted in white, its weathervane whistling in the breeze. In all my hikes through the Australian towns., I had seldom seen buildings like this one. It was completely out of place, like an American relic in the middle of nothing. A cabin, white and harmless.

I knew that a villain lived there. His crimes left a trail I could follow, and they had led me to this location. I found the house on GPS when I had started my trip in Perth, and I knew that it lay surrounded by nothing but wilderness. Even the postal service couldn’t reach this tiny corner of Australia.

The villain that lived in that house fucked and blackmailed executives for money, and he brought them out to this cabin to humiliate and hurt them. It was here that he extorted large sums of money in exchange for his useful silence.

Behind those doors, that villain committed terrible acts of mental and physical torture.

I made sure to keep my movements calculated and furtive as I walked down the hill, wiping my forehead with a bandanna, my muscular legs breaking out in a deep sweat as gnats buzzed near my face. Summer in Australia was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Nature—the hot air, the blinding sun, the bug bites—crammed itself into my skin, my flesh, and my thoughts.

I walked, silent as a panther.

In the outback, I felt less freakish. It offered me a protection, almost like a disguise. In the outback, I could hide from people. Out here, I resembled not just the panther but also the wombat, the snake.

The small animals of the outback noticed me, but they kept their distance. But beneath the trees and inside the caves, larger predators tracked me, too. I hoped they kept their distance too. After all, I enjoyed the solitude of these plains in the middle of the night. At a height of 6’4” and weighing in at about three hundred pounds, I had no easy way to camouflage myself, but at least I wasn’t in much danger of being picked off by a predator.

Not the small predators, anyway.

I knocked on the front door. I was not a police officer, but my approach would be as simple as that of a cop. I would apprehend the criminal as straightforwardly as I could. No tricks.

Men with my type of job were generally nicknamed “Cleaners”. Nameless, we came in undetected, and we dealt with situations that needed dealing with. Cleaners took care of men who owed many debts, they kidnapped those who needed kidnapping, and in some cases, cleaners were there to remove men who needed removing.

Cleaners worked underneath the legal and the law enforcement, and many mafia organizations and intelligence operations had used cleaners to keep things tidy in all matters of war, espionage, and crime.

Cleaners were the law enforcement of the criminal underground.

In this case, I had been paid lots of money by a government official to apprehend the man who lived in this house. I wasn’t hired directly by the senator. Of course not. An agency called me for the job.

The agency who hired me knew I was the best cleaner. I was the only one on their roster with superpowers, and they only used me for the most complex of jobs.

I rang the bell, and steps shuffled.

He answered the door. At first, I thought he might be under the delusion he was an astronaut. He was covered head to toe in a thick white suit, with a metal ring circling his neck. I was stunned by his outfit.

“Good day,” he said. “You caught me as I was going out to check on my girls. How can I help ya?”

“I’m looking for Stefan Pendley,” I said. “Is that you?”

His face matched my own records of the criminal. Chiseled features, a dimpled chin. Handsome in a movie star type of way.

“Oh, no, I am only employed by Stefan,” the man said. “He drove into town a few hours ago. Why don’t you follow me out to the side? I can show you the farm. Don’t worry, you can keep your distance if you’re unsure. You won’t get stung as long as you follow my instructions. Come along.”

A beekeeper. How quaint.

My file on the criminal Stefan Pendley had not mentioned beekeeping, but then again, the file had been thin. The task at hand was the real directive: subdue and capture at all costs. The handsome face in muttonchops before me matched that of the criminal I had tracked in the small tablet in my backpack, no doubt about it.

He thinks he’s going to trick me. He’s going to pretend the real Stefan is away for the afternoon. He’ll try to make a move to escape. But I have this fucker by the balls.

I’d let him play this game for a moment. I had to admit I was amused. I would handcuff him when we got out into the open air. Seeing him bound on the ground under the hot sun would be much more of a turn-on for me than in the shadows of his house. I’d enjoy his capture, and I’d use the orange soil of the outback as my stage.

We walked down the steps of the white house and out of its shaded porch. Light blasted my vision. Even though I used my hand as a visor, I relished this white heat from the sky. In the past few months, I had grown to crave the sun. Nighttime made my bones ache, while days drenched in sun gorged me with energy.

Grit crunched under my boots. We passed through a chain link fence crowned by barbed wire, and when we were both inside the perimeter, Stefan locked it with two padlocks.

“Can’t be too sure,” he said. “We’ve had problems with poachers in the past.”

The side of the property lay mostly barren, except for a few trees in the distance. As we approached, I saw white shapes emerge from behind the edges of the trees. These were his honeybee hives. I counted at least thirty, but there could be many more farther into the tree line.

Stefan stopped a good hundred yards from the hives and put his open palm in front of me. I stopped in my tracks.

“Stay here,” he said. “That’s about as far as you should go.”

Despite my muscular frame, my fear of all things with six to eight legs had remained as strong as when I had been a kid. My rational mind assured me that a bee sting would hardly kill me, especially now that I was as strong as I was, but the fear inside of me was stronger.

My bosses—the men who gave me the directive to capture this criminal—never warned me about the bees at this compound. Cold sweat stained my shirt.

I loathed bees, and I hated all their cousins, too. Wasps, ants, and mantises, all the way to spiders. If I could keep my distance from the hives, I would gladly take the beekeepers’ advice.

Besides, I’d give Pendley a few more moments of freedom before his capture. I wanted to see him at work and appreciate his last minutes of open air before I delivered him to the senator that wanted Pendley’s head.

Stefan walked off into the distance, and he lifted the lids off several of the boxes. Black particles hovered around his white suit and the netted helmet that protected his face. These were his “girls”.

The buzz of the insects filled the dry air with a musical hum, and for a fraction of a second, an explosion went off in my brain, sending me into a vision, flickering in and out like the world’s most powerful strobe light.

In the vision, I floated in a vast sea of darkness, governed by no laws of physics. Out here, I didn’t need a body, because the vacuum that enveloped me was more important than corporeal feelings.

This darkness was a familiar place.

In this dark was where I most often encountered the visions that had driven me on my journey east to Australia—through many of the countries and territories of planet Earth.

The darkness spread itself apart, like two slabs of stone sliding away from each other, and inside the cavity that it made, light blinded me. When it softened, I saw a city made of hexagons, each one perfect in its six-sided symmetry. These hexagons pulsed and swelled like a human heart, or a clitoris, gorged with blood, or like the carotid vein, pumping, diminishing, growing, diminishing and growing again.

Inside the city of hexagons I spotted small figures, humanoid in shape. Each hexagonal cell contained a single being, and in that moment of the totality of the city of hexagons before me, I knew each cell was a prison and that the tiny humanoids inside each one would never be free.

Then fear exploded in my veins, and a hard sound like thunder blew out my ears. My temples and ear canals burst in pain.

The vision flickered away with its strobe light rhythm, and I was back in the outback, where not a single second had passed. My feet were still planted in a bee farm, and my shirt was soaked with sweat. The beekeeper was still lifting lids on the hives, and I stood there, motionless, reeling from the vision I had seen.

I often wished I could donate my body to science to test and understand these visions. They were not migraines, and as far as I knew, they were not hallucinations. But giving myself away to science could mean I would lose my freedom. It was better to hide myself and make money by contracting for men who wanted to keep things secret.

I knew these visions meant something.

The clues about the nature of these visions came from a dusty book I kept in my backpack.

The Golden Man: A Gay Bondage Manual by Salvatore Argento was perhaps my single prized possession on my travels. I carried other things in my backpack that I would hate to lose, such as my passport, my fetish gear, bondage toys, and my lengths of rope, but I had always known that they were expendable.

Except for the book.

Except for The Golden Man.

The book had kept me awake for nights with its nightmares and poetry of the damned.

The book had helped me understand the monster I had become in the course of a year, and what the future might mean for someone with the curse that I carried in my mind and in my flesh.

It was in the pages of The Golden Man that I learned how The Process worked. How the Process could take an ordinary man and use the raw materials of his flesh and mind to create living architecture, to give him superhuman qualities and strength.

The Process could create a being called The Golden Man.

I would never let go of that book.

The book told me to become a grunt for hire as a way to get some cash in the underground as I traveled east. Become a mercenary, it said, and I did so; I was a goon to scare men a little or, in some cases, capture them and bring them back to the authorities.

This is how I ended up hunting Stefan Pendley.

Stefan Pendley thought he could buy himself time by pretending to be someone else. The idea made me laugh.

Within seconds, I would release my cunning and strength, and I would capture him.

I was thirsting to see Stefan’s body writhe in lengths of white rope, and I wanted to stuff his mouth with a bandanna. I wanted to see him seethe in rage and fear when I dialed the police using his own phone from inside his house. They would arrive within an hour, and I would be gone by then, ready to collect my fee from my employers.

He pulled out several slabs of honeycomb, inspecting with care. Stefan was taking too long with the white boxes. If I let him continue, I would be late in delivering him. I looked at my watch and realized I had to move quicker.

My job was to apprehend the wrongdoer, the man without ethics, and though I felt afraid of the thousands of bees that were living in the white boxes, I knew it was time. I dug into my pocket and fingered the taser I used for occasions like this one.

The man kept his back to me, focused on the work at hand and humming to himself as he worked. A human might not hear that soft melody he hummed to himself, but my ears could identify these smaller sounds. He liked old musicals. “The Continental,” an old Fred Astaire number, rang from his lips.

This motherfucker was joyous and carefree. He had no idea how lucky he was.

I flipped the taser on and felt its familiar warmth as its metal end warmed up. A purple bolt danced from tip to tip. I advanced one step in silence, and then another. I took my time, like a good sentinel.

On my third step, I felt a hard nub under my hiking boot, and I distinctly felt a mechanism shift underfoot, making a very familiar “click”. Immediately, a shadow whooshed at my sides, like a whip ripping through the air. Though my reflexes were sharp, the shadow slapped and whipped at my arms and legs, disorienting me. I straightened my back to attune myself to the sound, but it was too late.

I had fucked up my ambush, and the object under my foot had given me away.

Two thick membranes slapped my body with a smack, and I felt a strong force knock me off my feet, as if a hard object had punched me in my back. I fell forward for a moment and the world spun, then the membrane whipped me inside of it, and my legs crumpled under me, forcing me into a fetal position while doubled over. Then another click and a very loud whipping sound and the scream of birds above me as they flew away from the trees. I rose into the air toward the tops of the trees.

I roared, and I found myself staring upward toward the branches of the tree, with my back suspended in the air, my heart racing like a rabbit’s, and a thick, wiry mesh enclosing my body.

I had not been wise enough to think ahead of Stefan Pendley.

Normal netting would have been easy for me to break out of, but this material tensed and flexed like liquid metal.

He won with this single gesture, and now he had me vulnerable and caught in a net, suspended above his property. I struggled inside the thick net, but the more I kicked, the more tangled I became.

Stefan approached me with slow steps, his face hidden by the mesh, but his gait was steady, full of confidence, like a veteran rock star crossing the stage.

“Visitors out here don’t get this treatment very often,” he said. “Welcome to my farm.”

Stefan slapped my ass through the net, and even in my cargo shorts, I felt the humiliating sting of his hand. My cock grew thick with blood after he spanked me.

Stop it, I reminded myself, wishing I could will my erection away. Stop it.

“I’m not a man of many words,” Stefan continued, and he gave my thigh a squeeze. “But I can say this: You’ll do.”

Stefan walked over to the open hives, and he removed rectangular slabs from one of the boxes, as if he were searching through a card catalog.

“There she is. Her Highness,” he said, and he reached into a recessed pocket in the slab that teemed with worker bees. He pulled a mound from the slab, and he held it with both palms open, like a tribute. He walked over to the net that held me, and though I had to crane my neck, I could see dozens of bees hovering around the object in his hand.

Stefan opened up his palms to show me the queen of the hive. She was fat and long, rich in her beauty and her fertility. Her compound eyes shone under the sun, a honeycomb of black cells that seemed to multiply into infinity through fractals. She made my skin crawl, and my stomach felt like it had crossed itself over into twelve knots.

“Let me down,” I said.

He knew how to work the mesh of the net, and he pushed his hand through an opening with speed, like a bullet puncturing a wall. Once his free hand was inside, he groped my body.

He laughed as he yanked the waistband of my shorts through the mesh. He balled up the hand that held the queen, and he brought it into the netting and close to my shorts. He tucked the queen into my white briefs. Immediately, I felt the tickling movement of the bee as she crawled over my pubic hair and the skin around my cock.

I screamed into air of the outback, and blooms of sunlight exploded around my field of vision as a few of the workers surrounding the queen began to sting me. They knew she was inside the net with me, and they came to protect her. I screamed again, and my throat took in gulps of air.

I wriggled in the net while Stefan walked back to the white boxes.

“Let me out!” I screamed.

Stefan continued his laughter, cackling and giggling as he pulled out another queen from another hive. He placed this queen again in my shorts, giving my cock a quick tug. His white suit bulged in the crotch with pleasure.

When he had placed five queens in my shorts, he was no longer laughing. His eyes became flints, and he relished my suffering.

He took several trips to the hives. When he was done, I felt eight queens in my briefs, and the hives erupted into chaos.

Within minutes, I was covered in bees that stung me on my arms, my legs, my back, and through my clothes. My eyelids burned with pain as they stung the fold of my eyelid, and they punctured my lips with their dead ovipositors. They found openings in the net easily, flowing inside to prick my body. They stung my neck, my legs, even my prick and balls, finding the openings in the fibers of my clothes through sheer force.

The screams that I made came from the deepest part of my diaphragm. This was my worst nightmare come to life.

I had dreamt of being netted for many years, craving the fantasy of control and bondage, but I had never thought it would turn out quite like this. After all, I was on a mission to nab this criminal, and now I wondered how much venom from this many bees could kill a man of my size.

I writhed and bucked inside the net. The black fibers gripped my thick shoulders, my wide back, and my thick legs. As much as I screamed, no one was going to hear my cries for help in the outback.

“Motherfucker! Let me out!” I said, hoping the fear wouldn’t show up in my voice. “I have a warrant for your arrest for extortion and blackmail. Let me out!”

Stefan approached the net. He removed his face shield, and his handsome face emerged from the white suit. Bees explored his face, but none stung him. Instead, they attacked me, sending waves of pain through my body. My legs and arms were going numb, and I let out several grunts as I tried in vain to rip through the net with my hands.

“Scream the animal screams,” Stefan said. “First there is the sting, then the toxin, and then the deep sleep of those who dare disturb a queen from the hive. We’ll see you six feet under, SUPERHERO.”

With that last word, I knew Stefan knew my identity, my real self, my truth. He knew I had been sent here to apprehend him, and this knowledge had given him the upper hand.

He punched me hard in the kidneys, relishing my pain, and bees covered my field of vision. The toxins in my blood blurred my vision and sent me into darkness.

 

***

 

I was born in Kansas City. In adulthood I traveled west to California and became a nurse, but I returned to my city of birth because I loved my city.

On the night of my twenty-eighth birthday, unseen attackers jumped me just steps away from my apartment. Alcohol ran in my bloodstream as a poison, a poison I had voluntarily drunk. My reflexes were dulled, and when my attacker stabbed me through my back and in my ribs, I fell into a dark void, where golden shapes and lights danced in perfect unison.

I didn’t die that night. I survived.

But perhaps I got close to death, because in the dark, I saw gold lights and shapes I couldn’t describe.

Ever since that night, I underwent many changes. I fell in love with a man who betrayed me, and I found a book whose mysteries spiraled out through my imagination. The book haunted me without mercy.

Ever since that night, I grew bigger, stronger, and unlike other men.

And in the void, I felt my transformation grow as large as a planet, engulfing me.

My name was Roland.

***

I was the pig awaiting slaughter.

Breathe in, breathe out. I had to remind myself to do it; otherwise, fear would choke me.

Breathe in, breathe out, Roland.

If you breathe, you’re still alive; you still have a chance.

I was bone and I was flesh. I was blood pumping in my vessels and I was electricity firing through my nerves.

I was prey.

How wasn’t I dead?

I grunted into a rubber ball, but its firm, round mass dissolved my screams into grunts. I tried flexing my chest and my shoulders in the hopes of freeing myself, but nothing happened. My arms ached from the ligatures that held me down on this altar of white marble. Its flat surface felt cold on the skin of my back, my buttocks, and the back of my thighs.

I lifted my head, but my neck only gave me an inch or two of play. It was enough to be able to see my body before me, wrapped tight in a full bodysuit.

I shifted inside the black rubber suit, expecting burning pain from the welts I would surely have endured after being stung by thousands of bees. But there was no pain.

The pressure on my neck was making me dizzy, so I let myself fall back on the table. I stared straight up.

From the ceiling, a blade swung on a hinge. With each pass, the blade swept across the room, and its razor edge would inch closer to my belly. The blade was made of black metal, and it swept into the blackness of the room, whose walls and ceiling had also been painted in black.

My body filled every square inch of the white marble slab. I was a tribute and a sacrifice. The rubber catsuit sheathed every inch of my physique, molding my overdeveloped muscles and forcing me to sweat inside the black skin. Ropes and chains crisscrossed my legs and arms. I shifted again and realized that the pressure on my neck was not my imagination: A thick collar encircled it, preventing me from turning. I had no choice but to look up, toward the blade. The collar put pressure against my warm skin, like the caress of an anaconda.

The only thing that was free was my cock, which pointed straight toward the ceiling, emerging from the crotch opening of the black catsuit. It throbbed, swelling with pain and pleasure. A droplet of my own pre-cum rose to its tip, and it slid down my length as I reminded myself to take deep breaths. My balls ached with pleasure.

The blade swung past my belly, crested, then swung back. I could hear the electric mechanism lower the blade with a hum.

I was nameless and bound to my master’s control.

This is what my captor wanted me to believe.

From a corner of the room I couldn’t see, he spoke.

“Here, there are no names, slave. You’re mine. And this is where superheroes come to die,” he said. He walked on hard boots that echoed through the torture chamber. He turned toward me and leaned over.

Stefan Pendley’s gray eyes bore into me.

He spat on my face.

He ran his hands over my restraints; he had bound my wrists tight with medical rubber tubing. He had done this while my vision had been fuzzy and my body weak, the bee toxins invading my bloodstream.

I remembered being attacked outside, as thousands of bees ravaged me, pain flooding my nervous system. I had awakened in this room.

There was a very tight pressure all around my skull, brow, temples, and neck. I smelled latex.

He had hooded my head in black rubber, but he used a hood with eyeholes so I could see his every move.

Now I knew he was not just a criminal who turned the tables on me. He was also becoming my master.

There was an undeniable truth about my master: He was beautiful. He was wiry, sleek, elegant like a fox. His body held no body fat; it was carved with precision. His skin was smooth, hairless, except for a trail from his sternum that dove into the waistband of his red jockstrap. He preferred not to wear a costume in this dungeon, and though I would prefer to see him encased in the sleek body-hugging lines of black latex, he denied me this pleasure. Two muttonchops crept down his angled cheeks.

He leaned over and kissed me, his jawbone hard and solid, his lips wet. His eyes locked on mine, and my black eyes lined up with his gray irises like planets in motion.

“You’ll never leave this slab alive, hero. This is the last kiss before you meet your maker.”

Stefan Pendley jabbed me in the gut, once, twice, then many times over. My abs tightened and took the punches, my cock harder each time.

Just hours ago, this Greek god had not been anything more than a villain on my radar. Now I was another animal he kept in his farm.

I wondered how Pendley had stuffed me into this black rubber suit. A man his size could possibly do it, but not easily. Everything had felt like a blur as I came out of a chemical haze.

Or had it been the bee toxin that knocked me out?

“This black suit will neutralize all your powers,” Stefan said.

He was right. I felt ordinary and weak in this second layer of slick black skin.

He took my cock in his mouth, and he worked it over, swallowing its full length. His mouth gave me pleasure, and I tried to arch my back as best I could under all that rope and tubing. All my superpowers were now gone. Any notions of my former superhero life had vanished, and now I lay imprisoned in black rubber. He had taken away my superhero identity and all of its strength.

I was nothing but a nameless body.

Immobilized, and ready to cum.

Stefan’s fair-skinned body cut through the black walls of the torture room like a blade. His pec muscles flowed in an unbroken curve, meeting his chest and their single dividing line cutting across and upward toward his throat. His ass was compact but firm, like that of a marathon runner. His cock bulged in the red jock, and his shoulder muscles bunched up as he brought me closer to climax. He blew me with mouth and hands, the way I liked it.

I felt a wave build up in my lower abs, then a rush of energy in my balls and a hot surge up the shaft of my cock. I came with fury, spraying Stefan on his forehead and sending semen into the air and over the marble slab. My moans came from a place deep in my torso, and I felt the sweetest rush of release.

Stefan had been careful all this time to avoid the path of the blade, which now hovered just two inches from my chest. He wiped my cum off his face and using his index finger, he rubbed it off on my thigh.

“Now you’re drained, and your end looms,” he said. “Don’t worry. Cleanup is easy in the outback. The wild rats in these parts will clean your body down to the bones, and I’ll bury your belongings in a safe place.”

This villain is deranged, I thought.

And there was the issue of my belongings.

I couldn’t let Stefan have the book of The Golden Man. I struggled against the restraints. The blade swung lower, and it made a thin incision on the black rubber, just above my nipples. Its proximity felt electric.

And inside of me, no powers left.

I screamed as hard as I could, careful not to buck, so that the blade wouldn’t come any closer. The gag blocked my scream. I didn’t feel ready for this.

The legend of the Golden Man said that a transformed man like me could be powerful, strong as an ox, but he could also be killed by certain methods.

Like mutilation. Or beheading. I had seen it in person myself.

The smell of my own cum and sweat flooded my nostrils, and I implored my captor.

“Pleeetthhh” was the sound that crawled out from my gagged mouth.

He laughed again, and his eyes rolled back into his head.

Finally, the blade came down one more inch, and I prepared for its sawing action. If its motor was as strong as I suspected, it would slice me like bread. First would be my pec, then my ribs, finally my heart, and then it would grind out the job to sever me in two.

How to Kill a Superhero: World Without Daylight by Pablo Greene will be available exclusively on Amazon and in the Kindle store June 30, 2014. These best-selling books are a new kind of erotic book: they blend the erotic with adventure stories set in a fantastical universe created by Pablo Greene. Join our mailing list for updates.