~~Jump to Part 7~~
~Part 8: Torture
I stood up slowly with what little strength I had left and turned to face Marki. He was beaming now. He thought he had won. I shuffled towards him.
“I’ll comply,” I said again. I was now inches away from him and stared at him. I clenched my fist and punched him sharply in that smug mouth of his. He fell back against the wall and slid to the floor, his conceited expression now replaced by surprise and outrage. “I’ll comply when space is no more, when the stars explode and leave nothing but ashes in their wake, when there is nothing left in this universe for you pathetic pirates to steal. I’ll never give in to you, le’Fleu. Now get out of my cell, you bastard.”
It felt good to rant, but it took a lot out of me. I was woozy and started to sway slightly. It came as no surprise when the guard who was standing outside rushed in and began beating me. I crumpled into a heap on the floor and endured the blows that fell over me. Thankfully I passed out within a few seconds.
When I came to, I was in a new room. It was stark gray—the same color as the outside of this facility. I was glad for the change in color and the switch to dim lighting, but this room was smaller than my last and had no furnishings other than the uncomfortable metal cot I was strapped to. The scant clothing I had when I was in the first room was now gone. I was naked and slightly embarrassed.
The cot I was fastened to was positioned vertically so that I was standing up against my will. Iron slabs were drawn across my forearms, shins, waste, and throat, making it impossible to move anything other than my head. The far wall directly across from me was made up of two metal doors that met together from right to left. I had no idea what this room was for, but I knew it wouldn’t be very fun. A door opened behind me and I heard powerful footsteps approaching. Marki le’Fleu walked around my cot and stood directly in front of me. The right side of his face was swollen and bruised. I took some pleasure in the fact that I could still deal out a strong punch in my weakened state.
“Ah, I see you’re awake,” began le’Fleu.
“And I see the welt I gave you didn’t improve your appearance very much,” I fired back. “Pity, I’d love to give it another shot.”
“Always quick with comebacks, aren’t we? Let’s see how you feel after this little exercise.” The mischievous grin he flashed me before taking his leave made me feel more than a little uneasy. I heard the door shut and then—Nothing. A few minutes passed and still nothing happened. Le’Fleu’s a moron if he thinks just strapping me here is any more troublesome than that white room.
A red warning light suddenly went off in the ceiling above me, accompanied with a raging siren. The red glow cast by the alarm gave the normally dim room a bloody appearance.
Movement on the far wall pulled my attention away from the light. The two doors began to move away from each other. What waited for me beyond this wall, I could only guess. I didn’t have to wonder long as all of the oxygen quickly began to vent through the small opening. Space?!
This was the worst way a pilot could die, by the cold grip of Space. All of my earlier rage drained from me along with every last bit of breathable air. Fear seeped through my body, along with a chill, deeper than any I had ever known. My thoughts grew frantic. What do I do? I can’t die like this! I… I……
I awoke to a cold splash of water hitting my face.
“Don’t! Stop! I can’t,” I stopped shouting as I realized the doors were closed and oxygen had been pumped back into the room. I was still strapped to the cot, and le’Fleu was now standing in front of me. He was relishing in my pain. I had no strength left to care. I couldn’t even muster up the will power to hate him. I was too shaken up by my brush with icy Death.
“Unnerving isn’t it?” Le’Fleu continued to speak, but I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. I was drenched in sweat despite the cool temperature of the room and the water that still dripped down my body. I was visibly shaking, even though my bonds held me tightly. I couldn’t even form a coherent thought. I just wanted to escape this room at all costs. I snapped out of my reverie as Marki slapped me roughly across the face.
“Pay attention when I’m speaking to you!” he shouted. That brought back some of my fire. He must have noticed the spark in my eyes, for he took a step back in surprise. Le’Fleu quickly regained his composure and continued his petty rant. “Now then, I’m willing to forgive your stubbornness. Do you submit?” I looked fiercely at le’Fleu and spit at his face. He dodged it easily and threw a punch into my abdomen.
“So be it.” He left quickly, and soon the red warning light began to flash again. My heart began to race and Panic was soon gnawing at me. The doors opened once more and the air was soon gone from the room. I blacked out sooner this time, but the fear took longer to leave me. Le’Fleu no longer entered the room after the second episode. He let panic consume me for a short amount of time before again opening the doors. I lost count of how many times he repeated this torture.
This had become my new holding cell, my new hell. Food was brought in periodically and force fed to me. I was given more food than earlier, presumably to keep my strength up so that I was not accidentally killed during one of the torture periods. This process was repeated for days and days, with multiple episodes each day. There was no bathroom in my new room—all waste was sucked out into space during each session.
At first, I yelled like a mad man every time the red warning light came on. I screamed from sheer terror. My voice finally grew hoarse and gave out. Time once again left me. I don’t know how long I endured le’Fleu’s punishment, but eventually I stopped feeling altogether. Pain became a normal standard for me, as well as fear. I accepted them without question. Soon, my existence became a blur of red lights, shrieking sirens, and an empty chill. It was at this point that I despaired the most. I lost touch with my reality and retreated to the far confines of my mind.