Overnight in the pit .. hunger clutching at his guts .. Maciste had worked out why Yothin had changed tactics. He was increasing his demands, cocksucking was never going to be the end of Yothin’s humiliations. Yothin needed Maciste’s will broken. Looking for signs that Maciste’s obstinacy was breaking down bit by bit. Sucking cock …. that was just the start.
That trick of spraying cum in Maciste’s face .. surprising him .. punishing him for twisting away in shock …. probably just some excuse to lure Maciste into making a false move. Ambushing him. Counting on him whipping his face away from his master’s “gift”. And earning himself a night of hunger.
Now this contraption had turned up. Maciste was starving hungry. Hauled back out of his hole, he’d been hoping to tear his teeth into some piece of stale flat bread. But he’d got shoved over to this contraption. Maciste knew the move for what it was. Yothin again upping the stakes. Maciste’s next test.
Pass the test, so it seemed. Better rations would miraculously appear.
“I call it the emperor’s ladder.”
After a long night of gut-clenching hunger, a fresh surprise had greeted Maciste on the surface at first light. He was stood by this horizontal thin tree trunk, firmly fixed on trestle legs about thigh-height.
“Your chance to climb into the lord emperor’s esteemed grace. A prisoner’s easy way of winning his favours.”
Maciste scoffed to himself. As if he wanted to do that. As if Vologases was interested in that. But he did need to eat. To keep his strength up. As if reading his thoughts, Yothin’s eyes sparkled with cold greed.
“For the lord emperor’s favours …. you can read better grub.”
Overnight again Maciste had persuaded himself he’d not survive his time in Hellgate on bread and water. Yothin knew it too. Starving himself meant Maciste would lose the strength to cope with the intense physical demands of his slave labour. Starving himself, he was making himself vulnerable to Yothin wearing him down. Physically. But, worse, the greater risk was mentally. Losing the fighting spirit he needed to keep going.
Better food meant Maciste kept up his strength of will .. he needed a body that was capable of keeping going. Not giving in to the unrelenting pressures. Break him in body .. starve himself into weakness .. pretty soon his strength of will would follow on. And the Parthians would have won.
Maciste needed decent grub. Whatever demands this contraption made on him .. Maciste was going to have to play along. Underground in the cold, his starving body shivering with weakness …. still he reminded himself. He was NOT giving in by seeming to cooperate. He was playing them at their own game.
Whatever humiliation Yothin threw at him, Maciste would catch the ball. Pretending he was caving in. He was fooling the sucker. He needed to eat a decent ration of body-fuel. Sucking cock hadn’t meant he was giving in. And whatever this contraption was …. climbing “the emperor’s ladder” wouldn’t be caving in either.
He wasn’t bending the knee to the Parthian yoke. He was playing the prick for a fool. He just had to give Yothin the right impression. Let him see what he wanted to see. And get decent food in his belly.