Hamilton had been in many tight spots over the course of his life, but never quite as tight as this one- figuratively, but also literally, as he could not move an inch, restrained and compressed in his cage. He could not speak, either, with his mouth muzzled. The cop hadn't wanted to listen to his ranting when they took him away, and they never bothered to take it off.
Piece of shit robot. He would show him anti-social behavior. They'd emptied his pockets and scanned him, but Hercules had a way of hiding things in clothing that could only be called genius. All he needed was a moment.
That moment would be slow to come. Folded and cramped, he was forced to relieve himself while he waited for processing. He had a little bottle of water strapped to the grate, like a hamster cage. The noise of the factory floor was loud. They must have no need of his eccentrically shaped ear drums.
Heart, liver, kidneys, bone marrow, skin, eyes maybe- they would take almost everything if they could. He watched as a conveyor belt took waste material away for composting. Muscle. Brain. Bowel.
The drones didn't spare him a glance. Some distance away he spied an overseer. Wriggling his arms around, he reached the seam of his coat and scratched at the stitching through those infernal mittens they'd put on him. A kitten in mittens. The cop had laughed. There was a little knot, fiddly to undo, but he had time.
He felt better with a weapon in hand. He waited. There was nothing else he could do.
The bright light over the operating table hurt his eyes, burning even as he closed them. He marshaled all his will power not to hyperventilate, to lie there with an almost perfect stillness.
It wasn't until the knife was almost over him that he could act- everything was automated, but not the butchering. For that they needed a surgeon. Human butcher. Or mostly human, in his case. He had only moments.
The surgeon died far too quickly, gasping with the shock. Hamilton licked the blood from his finally unsheathed claws, thrilling, not sparing a moment to feel ashamed at his thrill.
Useful, having all the tools there already. He made quick work of the hand, wiring it to the device sown into his collar, attaching blood vessels to his own veins. He gave a quick thanks to his steadfast friend, and ran. Corridor, corridor, lift. Lucky. His breathing was short now. His lungs struggling and weak.
The doors, to his stupendous relief, opened when he pressed the butcher's hand to it, twitching with the current running through it. He had to lean against the frame while he waited for the lift, feeling a light-headedness as the stimulant he'd grabbed from the surgeons toolkit started its work. His foot was jiggling. He hoped he hadn't taken too much, only they wouldn't operate while he was drugged, and he needed time. And energy.
He didn't know which level might provide him an out, but he did know one thing: the organ master was holding a party that night. Top level. His finger hovered over the button and he found he could not resist. Better the devil you know, he told himself. That's not why he did it. His mind and body had begun to thrum with anticipation.
There were bathrooms in the organ master's quarters of course- he was no cyborg. Even in here there was what he could only guess were wooden furnishings. He ran his fingers over them in wonder before turning his attention critically to his appearance. He would try for sexy street kitten, for lack of any other options, but he still needed to wash off the blood and stink and grime.
He could smell the food already, tantalizing and delicious. He closed his eyes. If this was a test of resolve, freedom, or a moment of pleasure, he might well fail.
He blinked at the sight of the gathering before him. It was magnificent. It felt unreal. He shook his head and tried to focus. The severed hand and all its trappings felt heavy at his side. He wasn't sure if he would need it, but he'd brought it just in case. He could see a way out.
Of course, a natural consequence of infiltrating a certain kind of party as a plaything was that certain guests might expect to play with you. There were many guests between himself and the door. He did not try to stop to gather information, as useful as that might be, though he listened carefully to snippets of conversation around him as he passed. Not much of interest was being discussed anyway. His ears were down and his head low as he flitted his way through the hall, trying not to catch anyone's eye, but inevitably he heard a cry. 'Oh, what a sweet creature, look at its tail!'
Said tail instinctively bristled in alarm, robbing him of the chance to pretend he had not heard her. He tried not to hiss. Not the time. He turned around and came face to face with the famed Eliza Schuyler. Dumb for only an instant, he tried to flash his most charming smile. He wasn't quite sure how to act- he had in fact little experience of being the plaything, despite his mods- so he winged it. He took her hand and kissed it. 'Pleasure to meet you,' and for good measure he purred a little.
He was relieved to find it had the intended effect. She blushed with surprised pleasure, head cocked to one side. 'Likewise.'
Another lady joined her, another he recognized from the screens. Angelica. He blinked as she looked him over. Well.
Funny how he'd spent much of his life fighting to be anything other than a common whore, only to find himself here, thinking that he could enjoy this.
He could enjoy this a lot, actually. He licked his lips.
'I think the cat would like some cream,' Angelica laughed, and both he and Eliza flushed.
To his mingled relief and disappoinment they didn't keep him long, their petting innocent for the time being. He was surprised to find he felt a fuzzy warmth as they wondered off, Eliza sparing him a smile over her shoulder with a promise to find him later.
Shaking himself he scurried onwards, only to collide with an imposing figure.
George Washington, General of the armies, in the flesh, frowning down at him with his firm and steady hand on his arm.
This time he truly was stuck dumb.
'Is that a cat splice? Haven't seen one of those in a while,' the General remarked without much interest.
Hamilton's ears flattened against his head. He'd had many a fantasy of meeting this man, and this was most certainly not how they went. He raised his chin and stood as tall as he was able, straight backed and proud. 'Bred for stealth, sir.' It wasn't entirely untrue. He had soldier stock.
'Oh? Unusual requirement for a whore.'
His words felt like ice. Of course. He lowered his eyes and simpered this time, 'Bred for your pleasure, sir.' He curled his fluffy tail around him, showing it off. It might have gone out of fashion a long time ago, but that just made it fresh again. Retro.
The General snorted and he burned with it. 'I see,' he replied as inscrutably as ever, but Hamilton fancied he was no longer bored. 'And what can I call you, kitten?'
Not kitten. 'Alexander Hamilton,' he replied without thinking. 'But they call me the little lion,' he amended hastily. Playthings didn't have real names.
'Whatever mongrel blood you've got, it's not lion.' He sounded amused. Hamilton's head jerked up to glare.
'I suppose you know all about lions in the military, do you?' He wanted to claw his face.
But the General laughed. 'Yes my boy, I do know what lions look like. Wrong sort of tail.' He stepped closer. Hamilton fought the urge to step back. 'They're not so ready for a fight either. Lazy and cowardly things. I don't think you're lazy or cowardly, are you?'
Hamilton swallowed, blood rushing to his face. 'Absolutely not, sir,' he said fiercely.
The General smiled. 'Such an unusual pet. You weren't bred for just pleasure, were you?
Hamilton froze. The General was close and emanated power, and he was regarding him now with real interest. His own thoughts were in disorder before him, his footing gone from under him. 'Yes sir, I was. Yours.' His voice croaked a little.
The General's fingers on his cheek startled him. 'I suppose I can ask you for the pleasure of a drink then. Distract me from this tiresome party of Jefferson's.'
In something of a daze, Hamilton nodded and followed.
To his surprise the General did actually take him to a table loaded with drinks and food. He'd been nervously anticipating a very different sort of setting. Then his back was turned, speaking briefly to some other guest, and Hamilton realized halfway through a nibble of sushi that he was quite close to the exit and could make his escape.
And yet, staring at the General's broad frame, he hesitated.
And just like that the moment fled from him as he should have from it. That hand took his arm again. He could smell the General's breath. He shivered. Okay, so he was doing this. He couldn't pretend he wasn't excited.
'I always wanted to be a soldier, you know. Ever since I was little I dreamt of being under your command...' he babbled nervously, his heart beating a staccato.
Again that indulgent smile. 'Shall I call you ensign then? Stand at attention, soldier,' and he did, to the best of his ability, but his tail was curling.
He wanted to keep talking. 'I tried to get in once, snuck into training...' Washington's eyebrows rocketed upwards and Hamilton swallowed his tongue. That kind of borderline criminal attempt at class-hopping was absolutely not something he should be admitting to.
But Washington merely looked intrigued, and the finger he trailed under Hamilton's chin, bringing his gaze back upwards, made him shiver. 'Did you now? Whatever happened?'
For all his quick thinking, pinned under the gaze of the man he admired, Hamilton found himself unable to lie. 'The medical. I failed the medical.'
Washington did a double-take. 'You made it as far as the medical?' He leaned in, taking Hamilton's chin with force this time, examining him from every angle, his penetrating gaze reaching an intensity that made Hamilton gasp with a sharp pain through his skull.
'Yes sir,' he whispered as the General stood back and looked him over fully with new eyes, no longer with that lazy lust, now with his full attention. Hamilton felt utterly bare before it, and could only wait for judgment.
There had to be some powerful mod in that gaze, he realized as he regained his balance. Something that encouraged this compliance- something he couldn't lie before. Washington had been surprised, but he hadn't doubted him. Hamilton had been unable to lie to him properly from the beginning.
The realization was a terrible one, for he could sense the questions coming, and if he knew...
'You really are not a play thing, are you?'
Hamilton closed his eyes. He had to fight this. With an effort he looked the General head on and said, 'Of course I am sir, what else could I be?' It felt wrong and strange. The general's gaze made his eyes water; he could not keep it. He tried for demurely seductive instead, blinking his lashes and pressing flush to him. 'At your pleasure, sir,' and in his fear his hand went straight for the General's cock, thankfully remembering to keep his claws sheathed.
For his trouble he was pushed away. 'As interesting as you are, little lion, I'm going to need to know your registration. Or should I bring you directly to the scanner?'
And there it was. He had nothing to say, no clever lie prepared. No way of fooling the scanner. Washington gave him a measured look and waved over security, taking him firmly by the arm. What had enticed him now filled him with fear.
'Sir, please, I-' he was cuffed before he could think of an excuse, and Washington simply patted him, unmoved. 'Wait here,' was all he said, and then Hamilton was left there. A few of the guests in the vicinity stared, talked, but his ears were like fog.
He was there for hours, bound to that wall, tugging fruitlessly on his cuff. Occasionally people came over to him, some taunting, others curious. He did his best to charm them until his frustration won over, and then he cursed them, earning a sound strike and a zap that left him close to vomiting. Once a guest put lecherous hands on him, but his friend warned him laughing that he'd heard the toy was contaminated. The guest had pouted but left.
He was quickly bored.
It wasn't until the gathering was ending that he heard the General's rumbling voice and stood to attention like a soldier might. Seconds later he heard the organ master's reply and his stomach dropped.
The General's face was as inscrutable as ever. Jefferson looked annoyed, giving him a critical once over before turning to an attendant. He could not hear what was said, as the music that still played rang in his ears, but he could smell the fear from here as the attendant no doubt informed Jefferson of who and what he was.
He was utterly doomed. He looked to the General again, though it was unbelievable that the man would help him. He licked his lips. Take me with you, I'm yours, he thought. The General's brow raised and he wondered wildly if he could read his thoughts. I can be so good for you, so useful, I've always loved you.... He stopped. Of course he couldn't read thoughts, that would be ridiculous. Hamilton had studied the extent of their powers. That couldn't be one.
Good thing too, for his next thoughts turned venomous. The General had turned to listen to Jefferson- Jefferson who looked thoroughly put out by the report brought before him.
'I'm sorry about this, Washington,' he said with a drawl that made Hamilton's skin crawl as they drew nearer. 'This doesn't happen- we'll need to investigate. He's here for the butcher, anti-social behavior, says here. Poor quality, but some of it might be useful...' His face was pinched as he scowled, clearly not enjoying the humiliation of such a thing being public. 'Thank you bringing it to my attention.'
Washington looked over at Hamilton again. He could say nothing now. He turned to Jefferson again. 'I can interrogate him for you,' he said mildly, but Hamilton could already sense that it was no mere suggestion. It was a condition he expected to be met. Shit, Hercules. He couldn't give his friend away. He'd cut out his own tongue first.
Jefferson bristled. 'That won't be necessary-'
'And I'd like to keep him.' Hamilton froze. What?
'What? Why?' Jefferson was too confused to be outraged.
Washington shrugged. 'I always need cannon fodder. I can requisition such things. You said yourself he is of poor quality, anyway.'
Jefferson leered. 'Oh I see, took a fancy to him? Well I'm sure he'll make good fodder for your cannon-' He stopped at Washington's hard glare, coughing. 'Of course, you're welcome to him- once we know how he got up here.'
Washington stepped over to Hamilton and released the gag. 'You have a device to re-animate a hand. Where is it?'
That was safe. Perhaps if he handed it over they wouldn't worry too much where he got it.
'My pocket, sir.'
Washington took it out and handed it to Jefferson without fanfare, who looked comically disgusted as he passed it on to the attendant. The flesh dealer didn't like to see the flesh, apparently. 'There you have it. My man will take him now.' He clapped a hand on Jefferson's shoulder as he opened his mouth, interrupting him. 'I really must be going now. Thank you for an excellent evening.'
He couldn't believe his luck.
Jefferson spared Hamilton one last black look before he agreed. Giddy, Hamilton stuck out his tongue.