At three in the morning as he slept in Harry’s guest room, Hannibal’s dreams turned very bizarre and troublesome. The throne room he saw in the vision oozed into his dream that viewed everything from above. The Emperor sat on his skull throne surveying the room as two figures were brought before him. In an instant, Hannibal saw himself being dragged in chains before the tyrant by several burly guards. The guards also brought forward in chains a feline woman of exquisite beauty with long dark brown hair, silver fur, and deep bluish-green eyes dressed as he was…in tattered combat fatigues. As Hannibal watched the dream from above, the guards threw him down in front of the Emperor with the feline woman. The Emperor walked off the dais, grabbed Hannibal by the chains, and beat him senseless with his fists. Hannibal jerked in his sleep as the Emperor pummeled him in the dream. The dream abruptly faded away into something much worse.
When the dream solidified again, Hannibal found himself sitting in a strange metal chair in heavy restraints completely nude and barely conscious. The chair appeared to be in a high-tech lab of some kind that remained vague and blurry. This time, the dream took a first-person view and not the passive aerial view. He gradually came around in time to see a huge mechanical eye hovering over him with dozens of large six-inch thick mechanized tentacles touching him all over his body…from his feet to the crown of his head. Each tentacle had a needlelike protrusion on the end that acted like a hypodermic needle. Hannibal felt the needles of the mechanized tentacles poke him and he felt something like liquid fire fill his body and mind, eliciting a shriek of agony from him. A crunch at the base of his skull from one of the tentacles sent him careening into darkness, which slowly resolved into a view of the same chair from above. He stared in numbed horror as he watched a giant mechanized eye six feet across hover over his body, which remained restrained in the chair while dozens of mechanized tentacles pulse with every heartbeat. Hannibal watched his body physically change slowly from male to female; his immobilized body screaming in primal agony while the tentacles remained connected to him. His vision wavered as he watched the transformation proceeded, apparently caused by the strange machine with the tentacles and Cyclops eye. Sensations of tingling followed by fiery pain filled him as the nightmare faded away with the chair holding his mutated body just before the mutation finished. The Black Prince’s haunting maniacal laughter echoed in Hannibal’s mind when the darkness swallowed him the third time.
The fourth time the darkness lightened, Hannibal discovered he couldn’t move. He also noticed that he floated high above a vast chamber where women of every size, type, and race were being tormented physically and sexually in every possible way by the same mechanized eye and the tentacles that mutated him. Hannibal saw no men in this chamber, only the machine using any and every mechanical means to torture the women. A cacophony of moans, shrieks, and cries of pain mixed with pleasure assaulted Hannibal’s ears as he witnessed acts of extreme degradation being committed on the women by the monstrous machine. Seconds after seeing where he was, Hannibal noticed not only that he was a mutated woman with moderate-sized breasts, but that also his arms were cut off just above the elbows and his legs were gone sixteen inches below the hips. Straps around his severed arms and legs, one around his neck, and one around his abdomen fastened his mutated body to a mahogany table that resembled a trophy plaque. Horror flooded his mind as the nightmare became unbearably real to him. He had been mutated and mounted alive as a trophy as if he were some kind of animal. He tried to reject what he saw and felt, but couldn’t deny it. The realism of what he experienced caused him to question if it were real or just a hideous nightmare. “Oh god,” he whispered, tears spilling from his eyes until he tasted the salt of them. “What in heaven’s name is going on here? What’s happened to me? This cannot be real. There’s no way I can be a woman trapped in a place like this. I’m not a woman. I’m a man. I know I’m a man. I can’t be a woman trapped in this infernal place.” Hannibal paused a moment, watching the indescribable tortures of the women below him on the floor endured, their cries of despair, pleasure, and pain echoing in his ears. He closed his eyes and cried, “This is inhuman! What am I seeing? These girls…oh god, these poor girls! They’re being ravished in ways I never thought possible. Oh Lord…please Lord, no more; I can’t take this! It can’t be real! No one should be treated like this ever! Why am I seeing this? Please let me out of this nightmare!”
The machine eye with the tentacles suddenly dropped in front of Hannibal and looked him in the eye as one tentacle gently caressed his cheek. In a distinctly soft feminine voice that had a pleading quality, the machine eye declared, “There is no escape from this mechanized hell for us, my Lord Beowulf. Please free us from this place and this everlasting torment inflicted by the infernal Emperor upon us.” Hannibal gasped as the image of a beautiful woman with snow-white hair and hazel eyes appeared in the giant machine eye. “Please free us, milord,” the image murmured, “and know the power of a completed soul that resides within you. Please free us!”
A gigantic image of the Black Prince’s head and torso above the waist appeared in the machine eye behind the woman and devoured her as she shrieked, to the utter horror of Hannibal. Blood gushed from the image of the woman as the hideous maw of the Black Prince bit her top half off, leaving the lower torso and legs standing as the beast chewed the woman, blood spurting from his infernal mouth. The demon then ate her lower half with great relish. After swallowing the ghostly woman, the Black Prince glared at Hannibal as blood dripped from his demoniac maw. “She is mine, as you are, Beowulf,” the demon hissed. “You cannot stop your destiny. You shall be mine and hang as my trophy for all eternity. No one defies me and gets away with it, least of all an insignificant maggot like you who has betrayed us.” The Black Prince then roared and swallowed Hannibal whole, sending Hannibal plunging into darkness with a shriek.
Hannibal felt as if he were falling into the depths of hell. Cries of despair escaped his lips only to be swallowed by the darkness around him that was so dense he couldn’t see his own body. His descent slowed as the darkness lightened for a fifth time. When he touched down, the darkness fled, showing he was lying on top of an unknown mountain in a crystalline Stonehenge-type circle that spanned five hundred yards. The crystal monoliths surrounding him stood fifty feet in height and glowed softly as if energized by something. He felt strange and abruptly looked down at his body, immediately noticing he was still a woman with moderate-sized breasts, but now wearing a plain gray dress. A gasp escaped his lips as he felt his face and chest to confirm his horror. As he stood up, Hannibal noticed a large crystal monolith ten feet tall by five feet square just to his left in the center of the crystal circle. The translucent crystal monolith made a perfect mirror, reflecting everything around it, including Hannibal. He looked into the crystal mirror, seeing what could be considered his female counterpart in the reflection. His beard was gone and his black hair streaked with gray reached to his waist as a pair of breasts covered by the gray dress looked back at him in the reflection. He also noticed that the woman looking back at him in the reflection seemed to have slightly feline characteristics in the face and eyes. “Oh no,” he moaned. “What in heaven’s name is this insanity? Why am I still a woman? I know I’m a man. I can’t be a woman. This can’t be happening. I must be having a nightmare because that can’t be me. What does this mean? Why do I see my female counterpart when I look into this thing? I know I’m a man.”
No answer came; only the mocking laughter of the Black Prince echoing from every direction. A noise from outside the crystal circle attracted Hannibal’s attention. His face paled when he saw a horde of hideous alien creatures defying description outside the circle, slavering, and testing the perimeter they could not breech with their claws and tentacles. “You cannot escape your destiny,” the Black Prince’s voice echoed in Hannibal’s ears from beyond the darkness beyond the alien horde. “You are mine. You cannot escape me, and a worse fate than this will befall you if you dare to challenge me. I’ll devour your soul myself and feed your rotting mutated corpse to my old friends here from the abyss beyond. They hunger once again for human flesh as they did in the Days of Darkness. They shall feast upon your kind. It’s the inevitable destiny of your pathetic species to be their food. None of you can escape the damnation and extinction of your species. The mistake of your creation will be purged from this universe.”
The ground inside the circle suddenly gave way and Hannibal fell into a hole with a desperate cry. A different, yet loving voice whispered in Hannibal’s ear as the darkness swallowed him yet again, “Do not fear, my son, for I am with you even if this nightmare mutation comes true. Even the smallest person can change their fate and the course of history, so do not be afraid.” For what seemed an eternity, Hannibal fell in utter darkness until it lightened enough for him to see his body lying in Harry’s guest room. The speed of his fall increased until just before he hit.
Hannibal woke with a start, bolting to a sitting position in the bed and kicking off the blankets. Sweat soaked his pajamas. He looked around wildly and quickly pulled off his t-shirt, throwing it aside. Hannibal felt his chest as he looked down at it, confirming that he was still a man and not a woman. “Oh god,” he moaned, slouching as he held his head in his hands. “What a terrible fucking nightmare. What’s going on, Lord? What does this hideous nightmare mean?” When no answer came, he sighed and looked at the clock. It read 10:50 AM. Outside the window, the sun blazed high in the clear blue sky, making it warm morning with a slight breeze. With a groan, he got up, grabbed a change of clothes, and went to the bathroom to refresh himself despite his throbbing head and stiff muscles.