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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
This is R, guys. Torture, basically.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1668 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Life’s Too Short- Part Fifteen
Author’s Note: WARNING: This has torture, and references to sadomasochism. If this offends you, DO NOT READ! But, keep in mind, I swear I’ll bring us through this relatively safely.
Mal was aware of the moment he woke up, his body tensing with the effort of making not a sound. Men. Jumping out of nowhere. Gorrammit, that was his fault. Should have- ‘Nara. He opened his eyes to a squint. He was lying on a table that was eerily reminiscent of Niska’s torture table. To the right, he could make out a door and a counter beside the door, but the light was too dim to see anything more. Inara was nowhere to be seen. In fact, the room appeared to be empty.
Mal tried to sit up, but his head pounded and his muscles wouldn’t respond. Also, there was the little problem of his being strapped to the table. Metal cuffs around his wrists and ankles pinned him to the steel. There was also a metal band around his neck, preventing him from craning his neck around to see more of his prison.
There was no sound, save for a soft and steady dripping noise. He couldn’t place the source, though it sounded as if it was coming from the walls behind him. The feeling was coming back to his muscles, and the pounding in his head was going down. He wondered how long he’d been out.
“Hell. This’s perfect. All I need is Wash,” Mal muttered darkly. That dripping was really starting to get to him. Steady. Steady.
He arched his back, trying vainly to wiggle his wrists out of the cuffs. No such luck.
“Hello? Kidnapper-people? Anyone?”
Mal forced himself not to yell again, knowing that that was what they wanted. Who the hell was ‘they’, anyway? Alliance? Didn’t seem to fit. If they knew where Mal had been, they’d know where Serenity was. Maybe they already had Serenity. No!
Maybe they’d taken the ship while he and ‘Nara were playin’ at that fancy party. Maybe the others were all dead.
No. Couldn’t be. No reason to hire mercs to jump out and drug a man. Wasn’t Alliance style.
Still, there was a niggling dread in the back of his mind. Not the dread of what was to come or of the Alliance, but the dread of knowing that you’re missing something, some key thing, and it’s too late to find out why all the clowns are laughing at you. He’d always hated clowns. No, gorramit, don’t think about ruttin’ clowns! Jennings. There’d been something about the way he’d looked, the way he’d sounded. Hell, about the way he’d * stood *. Something weren’t right.
*If they’re dead, you killed them. * Mal fought the inner voice. In the silence of his prison, unable to move, unable to drown out the guilt and that horrible, inexorable dripping, he fought. Kaylee. Think. They wouldn’t just kill her, would they? They’d do things to ‘er. Rape her. Hurt her. Zoe too, after they broke her arms an’ legs. They’d have to break her, bloody her, cut off her air. And River? His albatross? What would happen to her?
Mal shook his head. No. They were fine. Serenity was still flying. Zoe and Jayne were probably already looking for them. They weren’t dead, gorramit!
Suddenly, a light burst into stars and Mal cried out. Then, his eyes adjusted and he saw a woman leaning over him.
“Hello, Sergeant Reynolds.”
“Captain,” Mal managed.
“Right. Captain. Of course. I’m Ellen Lorry. I work for a man named-”
“Jennings. Where’s Inara?”
“Yes, Jennings. You know what I’ve been hired to get, right?” Mal didn’t answer. “Information. The whereabouts of a certain River Tam. We’ve found your shuttle, but not your ship. So far. So. Tell me what I want to know, and things’ll go easy on you.” Now, Mal laughed in her face.
“Nice try,” he said. “The nice-girl routine is a good one for you, but don’t think for a minute I can’t see right through it.” Lorry’s face hardened.
“All right, Captain. Let’s get started.” Mal tightened himself in preparation, but Lorry didn’t touch him. Instead, she cranked a lever and the table he was strapped to tilted up at an angle so that he was half horizontal and half vertical. Then, she grunted with the effort and turned the table around.
Mal’s heart seized up, his stomach convulsing as his eyes met the sight before them.
Inara, against the wall. Two stakes pounded in beneath her armpits, twin leather straps attaching to another pair of stakes just above her shoulders. Like a harness, holding her to the wall. Arms outstretched like wings, like Christ on the crucifix, that symbol of all he’d forsaken and all he’d cursed forever. Wrists lashed to a board, also nailed to the wall. Wrists lashed so tightly that blood was running down her limp palms, red like wine, red like the fake noses on laughing clowns, red that drip, drip, dripped and threatened to drive him mad.
Her head rested against her shoulder, hair falling across her face. Limp. Motionless. Lifeless.
Not lifeless, though. Breathing. She was breathing. Mal strained against his bonds, but couldn’t bend them. His heart was breaking there, in the cold.
“Wake up, Miss Serra,” Lorry said softly, reaching out and cupping Inara’s chin. When she touched her, Mal grunted as he jerked against the cuffs, his own hands damp with sweat and trickles of blood from the cuts he was making. Inara didn’t wake. Lorry, moving with a hand like lightning, slapped her hard across the face. Somehow, she left no mark save a slight reddening of the skin, but Inara’s eyes flew open. She gasped at the sight of a strange woman standing so close to her, eyes alight with a terrible darkness, and at the sight of Mal bound to a table, jerking at his cuffs.
“Tell me what I want to know,” Ellen Lorry said, ignoring the woman hanging from the wall.
“Inara. Oh God, let her go. You ta ma de bitch, let her go!”
“Tell me what I want to know,” Lorry said again. She reached for the counter Mal had seen by the door, and picked up a pair of flechettes. Dragging the razor-sharp edge of one of the knives down Inara’s bare arm, she smiled.
Inara, seeing the two thin blades, could not contain a shudder of horror. When she felt the honed edge trail down her skin, not yet breaking the flesh, she bit back a scream. She knew flechettes. They were often used in the more twisted side of the sexual act, valuable tools for dominance games and the ‘pleasure chambers’ she’d heard of in her training. Torture, bondage, sadomasochism… things Inara had never wanted anything to do with. But she had learned all the types of pleasure, if only the theories for this particular brand. Flechettes were used for making small, light cuts that wouldn’t bleed much and would leave no scars. They were not for killing or for show. They were for inflicting pain, and slicing down barriers to leave a mind open and defenseless. They were for utter control.
The first cut came, the blade so keen she barely even felt it split her skin. Then, the sting. Blood trickled down her arm. Mal was breathing hard, ragged. Another cut, this one on her breast. Inara cried out, not wanting to make it harder for Mal, but unable to keep silent. Tears were coursing down her cheeks.
“Tell me what I want to know! Where is River Tam?!”
“No, no, no, no, no,” Inara whimpered as the blades parted her flesh again and again. Never deep enough to scar. So many small pains, though, that they molded together and turned her entire torso into a mass of throbbing agony. “Don’t tell her! Mal, don’t!”
“Take me,” Mal was saying, his voice harsh. “Don’t- don’t hurt her anymore! Take me! Damn you, take me!” His wrists were covered with cuts, and his ankles as well. A line of bruises lined his throat beneath the band. Lorry traced the flechette blades across the slopes of Inara’s breasts, the points leaving thin traces of red.
Mal couldn’t breathe. The pain was so intense that he wanted to throw up. His fault. It was all his fault. He deserved to die for what he’d done to Inara. He wasn’t even thinking about the others, now. All he could see was her face, so beautiful still, her dark eyes so filled with fear and sickness and that awful bravery. A courage like a shining thing within her, glowing through her pale, pale skin.
“Where is she? Where is she?”
Lorry put the flechettes back on the counter and picked up a cat-of-nine-tails, the leather straps dotted with shards of glass. Inara bit her lip so hard that a new explosion of pain filled her mouth, blood trickling down the corner of her lips. Mal shouted, but Lorry reached out and tore Inara’s top down the middle, leaving her bare to the waist except for a black brassiere. She reared back and brought the whip down across Inara’s midsection.
Inara screamed, convulsing, her white, flat stomach suddenly a smooth canvass of red. Mal screamed too, falling into a gasping sob.
“Don’t,” he cried, “Don’t hurt her!” Lorry spun and backhanded him across the face. Inara, through a haze of pain, heard his nose break. Lorry brought the whip down across his chest, harder than she had with Inara, and Mal stiffened with agony as the glass shards bit through his shirt and his skin. Four more times did Lorry whip Mal with her special cat-of-nine-tails, leaving his chest and abdomen a bloody mess. His shirt hung in shreds, and a stream of blood was drying on his mouth and nose from where she’d hit him.
“Tell me, or I’ll kill her,” Lorry whispered. “We don’t need her. She’s not a practicing Companion anymore, is she. Tell me, Captain Reynolds, or I’ll cut her until she’s dead.” Mal didn’t answer. Lorry grabbed up one of the flechettes and dragged it down his cheek, laying it open almost to the bone. Mal screamed, but somehow managed the energy to spit in her face. The mixture of blood and sputum slid down her cheek and Lorry’s eyes narrowed. “You fool,” she told him.
“Ain’t never been known for my brain,” Mal said through the corner of his mouth. The left side of his face hurt too much to use. He hoped he could keep her mad at him, keep her occupied with him, for as long as possible. He didn’t care what she did to him. He could take it all, as long as it kept Inara safe for at least a little while.
* * * *
“Ahh! God, oh, please God, no!” River leaned over the edge of the mule and, before either Zoe
or Jayne could reach her, threw up. She sat back up, wiping her mouth. Jayne felt sick his own self at the terrible look in her eyes.
“What is it,” he asked gruffly, fingering his trigger.
“Got to hurry. Captain Daddy needs us. Needs me. Inara, oh, the pretties, she hurts so bad!” Zoe was worried. River was reverting to her little-girl persona, and that wouldn’t do.
“River, stay with us. Gonna be okay. We’re gonna find them. We’re gonna bring them both back.” River hissed out a breath, one hand clutching at Jayne’s. He held her hand, and winced at the strength of her grip.
“She’s hurting them! The bitch is hurting them! Oh, Inara, don’t go! Don’t go, it’s not over!” River was rocking back and forth, and her words sounded oddly gutteral. “Stay, stay, stay! Captain! Mal! Daddy!!!” Suddenly, she was quiet. “Zoe?” Zoe looked at her uneasily.
“What are flechettes?”
TBC: Next: rescue is possibly at hand, and more truths come out.
Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:16 AM
Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:18 AM
Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:20 AM
Saturday, May 06, 2006 12:34 PM
Saturday, May 06, 2006 1:31 PM
Monday, May 08, 2006 12:06 PM
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