NPC Log Four: The Pain of Torture

"If you just cooperate, you'll get out of this alive," he hissed into my ear as he bound me to a chair.

"You're lying," I hissed through my teeth. "But that's okay, I expected you to lie."

He pulled the rope tight in irritation, and it bit into the freshly healed skin on my wrists. These bindings, I knew, were special. It felt like the dissonance bind, without needing the dissonance.

I felt his skin brush against mine. He believed the blindfold kept me from sensing his Needs, but he was wrong. The hot rush of sensation filled my mind, his urges beating in rhythm to the blood beating in the veins on my head. Must destroy the Evil. Must kill the unbelievers. Must destroy the dishonorable. Must further the Glory of Heaven. Must kill the demons. Must hurt the demons, must make them feel pain, must feel their hot blood rush over my hands. Must kill for vengence, for the glory. Need to experience death and death and death...

"But if you kill me, you'll owe me," I whispered as I leaned back towards the direction I believed was his ear. "And it will be a large favor, my friend."

He emitted a strangled cry, and I felt the sharp blow across the back of my head. Pain exploded, and for a moment my black world was effused with a red glow. I heard myself yell involuntarily as my head rocked forward. I felt blood trickle into the col lar of my shirt.

"You will do no such thing," it said breathing hot wet breath into my ear.

"Oh, I so never want to be like you," I said, still tauting, still true to the Impudite I privately worship. I felt like I was just gearing up to be a smart ass. What the hell, I had already lost the fight. "To be bound forever by my own Oaths, to never be Free. I never want to Fall..."

He clipped me across the ear, and I felt the sharp pain and more of the warm flow of my own blood. "You evil stinking dishonorable son of a bitch, I will enjoy ripping your limbs apart."

I heard off to my right the clapping of hands, and an amused voice. "Now, now boys, play time is only beginning." I turned my head in the voice's direction. A strong hand gripped my chin in it's grasp, and I felt it again, the hot rush of Need flowing into the slow pull of my subconscious. I am the Judge. I make the Law. I dispense the Judgement. Those who do not conform to my Laws will be Punished. I Need to punish. I Need to feel the blood of the unbeliever flow across my hands. My Law is the Law, the only Law to be followed. All will bow down and worship my order. I Need the world to conform to my rules, my game, my reality...

I started to feel real fear. Not that I hadn't been feeling fear before, but this was a different fear. The feeling, the urge to ratify his lies was maddening. I prayed he would let go of me. I could manipulate the Malakim to keep it from killing me, I was fairly sure. This other being, now...

I felt his warm hand stroking my hair. I flinched. His Needs were making my head spin. I prayed for the cool, simple Needs of Star. I felt his warm breath on my face. "Oh, little Daimonique, had you cooperated before, we wouldn't be in this position, now would we? We could have dealt with this little... situation you've caused like civilized beings. But you've dragged so many people into it, that I now have no recourse. Oh, the humiliation. This is your punishment for your heresies. Of course, a ll demons are heretics, who have rejected the Glory of God. You'll understand and repent, right before I destroy you. I am quite certain."

His words, his lies, I was trying not to believe that I needed to be punished. To internalize my own Needs would be disasterous. I bit my lip. I said nothing to him.

And then the game began.

It felt odd, at first. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation, his hands on my hair, the world seeming suddenly silent around me, like it was only myself, lonely, trapped in an unending universe of blackness. And then I suddenly felt disjoint, like the en tire world was completely out of wack in a way I couldn't quite describe. Those disjoints started to seperate, and my conscious mind was replaced by a universe of pain. I heard myself scream, although in a detached way it didn't feel like it came from m y body.

His voice was filling my head, my vision filling with stars. "So where is he, Daimonique? Where did he go?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," I yelled out between clenched teeth.

"Oh come on now, we've only just begun. Really, don't be childish."

"I don't..." I screamed, "I don't know what you are talking about!"

The disjoint in my soul became a little wider, and I screamed louder. I strained against by bonds.

"Look, you know what I want," he said to me like he was admonishing a child. "All you have to tell me is everything you know about the ArchAngel Eli, and your little fieldtrip to the Marches I know you took, and I will quickly put you out of your misery. I won't even make your little girlfriend watch. Now really, my child," he said, stroking my hair. I wished I could see him, even through pain filled eyes. "I will kill her too, she is an unbeliever who will never conform to the new order of things, b ut I would rather you cooperate. This way I will kill you first, and you will not be forced to watch. So tell me, where is he, Daimonique?"

"I don't... I don't..." I screamed. I felt like someone was driving a wedge in between pieces of my soul.

He chuckled. "Your loyalty is impressive. You would have made a good... whatever it is you are becoming. But I'm afraid, its effect is lost on me. You do know, anything Eli has ever told you is a lie."

"No... not a lie... he would not lie... not like you..."

He hit me. My head rocked, and filled with static. I felt new blood flow, and a new scream elicit from my lips.

"Now," he said, in a very matter of fact way, "I'm becoming a little annoyed with your lack of cooperation. I've been playing nice until now. I'll ask you one last time. Where is he? Even one tidbit of information and I will go easier on you."

I bit my lip, sucked in a full breath of air, and screamed into his face. "Go fuck yourself, you demented demonic motherfucker!"

My world exploded.

A piece of me was watching with curiosity, distant intellectual interest as my soul shattered into a million tiny shards of light and fell around like the patter of light rain. It was some sort of detached amusement as the part of me which was still cons cious watched the hallucinations as he burrowed into my brain. Each moment, each thought, crystalizing and giving off it's own little bright white energy. I hallucinated, while his voice burrowed its way into my mind, stripping away layers like an onion . I was helpless, watching little bubbles of my life float up and explode around me, as he analyzed every bit, every nit, every facite of my being.

So where is Eli?

And I stood in the San Francisco rain, my hair clinging to my neck.

So where is he, Daimonique?

"You're going to suffer," he said, "so eat your pizza."

Where is he? Tell me.

I searched the crowded streets of Damascus, to no avail. I started to cry.

Do you really not know? He didn't tell you?

"You're going to change, I'm afraid," he said. "Don't be scared."

What is it he told you? Tell me. Tell me the words of the Prophets.

"The words of the Prophets are written on the subway walls."

He told you something. What did he tell you?

"You're a good fuck," he said, with a sparkle in his Impudite eyes.

"I don't know."

You must know. What did he tell you?

"That the time has come."

For what? What has the time come for?

"You've accepted bonds that were not from me?" His screams were punctuated by the whip.

"I don't know."

You are a liar. All demons lie.

"No, only certain demons lie."

I will not accept this. Tell me what Eli told you.

"I will love you forever," Jelial promised. It sounded so sincere.

Why will you not cooperate? This is a simple matter.

"This movie is like all of mine, Boss. Sex, lies, and lots of leather." I grinned.

I will ask you one last time. Tell me what Eli is up to. Or we will destroy more of his servants.

"'How can you say we are wise, for we have the law of the Lord, when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handed it falsely?' From the Bible, I believe."

My patience, demon...

"I will do what you ask, father.... Master," I said to the floor I knelt on.

Let's try a new subject. We'll come back to the old one. Tell me about the Marches.

Matthew said, "Are you sure? You really aren't permitted."

"Okay, let's talk about the Marches."

Raphael. Tell me about Him.

There were stinking bodies everywhere.

"I changed my mind. I don't want to talk about the Marches."

But you must. I will reduce the pain if you do.

I was lost in my own haze of madness. Discord discord everywhere...

"That strikes me as a good trade."

I'm glad you can be rational after all. So tell me.

Erlithan looked confused. "Those are odd Geases..."

You are not making any sense, child. Rotting corpses?

"Why, I'm your very own Succubi," I said in perfect Latin.

Explain, child. Answer my question. What did you see in the Marches?

"Death. And pain."

"Good day, Daimonique," my mother said.

I'm becoming afraid that your mind is going to be beyond repair. You won't enjoy your death at this rate.


And I wish you won't scream quite so loudly. You are upsetting our audience.

Jael panted beneath me. "Oh Daimon, oh God..."

"Go to hell."

Oh, I will, be assured. But it will be with the army of the Host.

"I had to flee somewhere from Dominic, you see," he said.

Let's return to Eli...

I woke in the morning, and he was gone. I felt odd that I actually felt bad about it.

Interesting. There are blocks on your mind. Did you place these here yourself?


The plot does thicken, then.

Terry laughed. "But it'll be fun! Trust me, man."

You do know that Eli is a False Messiah. He will destroy what we have built.

He looked upset. "You're to be traded for three lesser Demons."


Trust me, I have the backing of many an ArchAngel on this one, my child.

"Another lie."

"I love you, big sister!" Malik yelled across the road.

Hardly. The War must go on, you understand.

"And your Word will be..."

"The War is a Lie perpetrated by Liars. You only justify your own existance."

And my patience is being stretched to its limit. I'm going to tear those roadblocks in your mind down, now, and take what I want for myself.

Rigziel, Angel of War, shoved me into his back seat. "Let's talk," he said.

"Go for it. I'd like to know what's there, too. Probably alot of porno."

I have no interest in your Word.

The universe exploded into another haze of pain, and I screamed and screamed and screamed.

The world swam slowly, and I could, for the first time in a very long time, feel the ropes cutting into my wrists. I heard him yell in denial and anger. The chains in my mind had held fast. And I don't even have that great of a willpower, either.

Rough hands, pushing my head back. I could feel a coarse cloth being rubbed across my face, wiping away tears and blood. I could feel the blood drying on my face, the coppery taste in my mouth. It had trickled out of my ears, and two steady streams wer e pouring out from beneath the blindfold. I dimly wondered if my vessel was now blind, and faintly surprised I was alive enough that I could think that far.

Ah, yes, madness, my old friend. Come to sleep with me again. I started to giggle. I felt the Needs from the hands, as it brushed my face. This being makes me ill. I Need to kill it, rid the universe of this stinking hellhole of lies. I Need to let this be finished. It's not me he needs to kill, thank God. Not me at all. I Need to be given the order to finish this, to destroy these crazy evil goddamn fucking creatures, and take it to the Hyena himself...

Rigziel's other, fainter heartbeats of Needs were familiar to me, even if I had only been able to detect them once or twice. The Need to destroy all his enemies, for one. I was not counted among those enemies. We had determined that long before.

The voice was speaking, the one that still lived in my mind, faintly off to the side. "Now you see here, Joduthun, why you need time and patience with these unethical evil beings..."

"Drink this," was hissed into my ear, as a cup was held to my lips. "A little water. Come on kid, don't make me force it down your throat." I felt the cool liquid as he wiped the last of the blood from my face. I sucked some of it down eagerly, not realizing how parched I was. I wondered how many hours had passed. "That bastard," he hissed in my ear, "that bastard, I won't let him kill you, I hope."

"Oh, come on. The pain was just starting to get good. I was really getting a hard on."

I could hear sounds, soft conversation, weeping from somewhere far outside my range of being, soft muttered phrases muted by the walls of the warehouse. I wondered if they had just chopped Terry off at the knees, and decided not to concern myself with him. He was a survivor.

My remark was dismissed. "Your little girlfriend won't need to find a new boyfriend," Rigziel whispered as the cup was taken from me. And he was gone.

I sat there in an land of darkness and fear, feeling the blood soak into the blindfold and listening to the conversation. I don't know how long I simply sat, a few minutes, an hour, it was impossible to tell. The pain come in mind numbing waves, aftersh ocks of feeling which were soon to be accompanied by the sensations of new, interesting torture. I knew it would be intellectually stimulating, to say the least.

I felt the Symphony disturb, new soft hushed voices added to the others, a declaration of someone's disgust. Jered, I believe his name is. Disgusted in finding out what I already knew. The Ofanim declaring that he had already gotten what needed to be k nown without resorting to such measures. But the Ofanim had only gotten me to betray those people I had managed to care about.

The hands returned to my hair. The voice in my head had returned. "Still conscious, I see? What a wonderful development. Well, we're going to take some time to break you, unfortunately. It's going to be a very long, and very painful process. Had you cooperated, well, this would have been simpler. You would already have been dead. But now it's not so simple."

"Fuck you," I managed to get out, and spit out some of the blood which was pooling in my mouth from my split lip.

"Have you ever been broken?" he asked, like he was asking a small child about a toy. "I assure you, it is an interesting process. You will enjoy analyzing the process while your will dissipates." He was stroking my hair soothingly. "The Malakim assure s me that he will enjoy it as much as you, from a completely different standpoint."

"Oh, I definitely will enjoy this," I said. "I'm into pain. You're making me want you even more. Do you like to be paddled? I know I do."

I was hit from the side. I flinched. I lied, I really don't like pain.

"Well, then, let's begin, shall we?"

He lay his hands firmly upon my head.

I could hear myself screaming again, with almost no conscious effort. My brain was manifesting the nightmares, born of what lives hidden in my subconscious, things I refuse to acknowledge. I strained helplessly against my bonds, tears coming from my eye s, praying to a God I didn't believe existed for release from my body. Out of essense, my soul chained fast into a vessel that was rapidly disintegrating, there was nowhere to go, nowhere to run. I could only buck and scream.

My mind fashioned a solid hallucination, a nightmare I could grab onto and hold.....

My hands scrabbled for purchase as I hung on the edge of a bottomless Abyss, I dreamed. I looked down, and there was nothing but black, although I could hear anguished yell of pain and fear wafting back up to me from the tortured souls down below. I could feel the heat of the Inferno coming up to me on the updrafts.

I tried to climb out, tried so hard all alone, with that Marilyn Manson song going through my head. "Oooooooh it's a long hard road outta helllllll...." I looked up to see a few friendly faces standing at the edge, some I even recognized, offering me hands and false smiles, telling me how wonderful it was to be standing up there with them instead of dangling where I was. They were so eager to help, all holding out those plastic gag hands, where you take one and the hand comes away in yours and they laugh and laugh and laugh as you look confused.

I tried with all my strength to pull myself over the edge, to get my feet anchored in such a way that I could push up and over. But as I got that footing, I looked down into the Pit and saw black chains streaking up towards me. I screamed and tried to climb faster, believing if I could just get over the lip I would be safe.

I couldn't climb fast enough.

The chains entwined around my limbs, linking themselves in a way I couldn't dislodge, and pulled. With the tumbling of a few stones, I lost my handholds, caught in the large snake like ropes of iron, and it pu lled me down and I screamed and the people on the edge laughed...

Flaming edge graphics from Our Domain Gallery of Graphics
The "In Nomine" and "flaming feather" graphics are
(C) 1997 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
Used with fnord.