It was suffocating inside the base, people was fearful, worried, and the dark thoughts were still attracting the attention of the dark spirits, on the bright side, the amulets the old lady had given us were keeping the spirits at bay. The strength of the spirits had decreased, they weren’t feeding like when I had arrived, still, I couldn’t ignore them, I could feel them watching. To make things even worse, it had been raining since before dawn, painting the day a depressing gray, that only increased the feeling of despair around us.
“I’m afraid we won’t be able to leave today. The rain won’t allow us to fly out. We will need to stay another day, or until the storm passes.” Kimball said from behind me. He stood there, watching the rain with me, mesmerized by the sight.
“I’ll survive another day, don’t worry.” On the other side of the window we could see Kimball’s people preparing the airplane so we could leave as soon as the rain stopped.
“Is anything I can do to help you?”
“No, but don’t worry, I can still see them, but they are not attacking anymore. Whatever the old lady did, it’s working.” I turned to see Kimball and was surprised by how tired he looked. “Are you alright?”
“Just tired, I think that all these days of hard work finally caught up with me. I can’t wait to finish this mission so I can relax for a couple of days.”
“You know you can trust me, if I can help you in any way, just tell me and I will.”
“I know.” Kimball took my hand and landed a kiss on my palm, one of those gestures I loved about him.
It was a couple of hours later, while we were having dinner, that the feeling of foreboding filled me. I knew something was going to happen, something bad. As the dinner progressed, I started to notice something wasn’t right, people around me was acting weird. Most of the people at my table were part of the Elders Council, so I wasn’t immediately suspicious when their movements were slow and their demeanor tired, but I noticed that it was the same with everyone, even the young warriors. I moved my hand, trying to grab my glass of water, but my hand wasn’t responding. I tried to get up but couldn’t move, and when I tried to call for help no words came out of my mouth. I closed my eyes, and couldn’t open them again, I passed out.
When I woke up again, I was lying on the floor, looking around, I saw that I was in a room with many of the warriors that had been in the dinning room with me. My throat was on fire, and the need for water pushed any other thought out of my mind. I found an ice chest next to the door, I grabbed a bottle and emptied it. Once my thirst was quenched, I started to think about the situation. All the others in the room were asleep, and no matter what I did I couldn’t wake them up.
I decided to get out and try to find out what was going on. The door was locked, a clear sign that something bad had happened, but with the help of my powers, it was easy to unlock it. I opened the next door and found a room almost the same as the one I had exited, sleeping people on the floor and an ice chest with beverages. I realized what a fool I was when I saw the ice chest, it was clear that it had been left there for a purpose.
I kept moving, searching the rest of the rooms, but as I moved I started to feel sleepy, which only confirmed my fears, the beverages were drugged, and the drugs were already affecting me. I knew that I needed to find help, I needed Kimball. I moved as fast as I could, but my movements were slowing down and no matter how much I willed my body to move, soon I was too tired to keep going. Just a few feet from the room I could go no further, I rested my body against the wall, trying to keep focused, but I needed to rest my eyes, and as soon as I closed them, I fell asleep once again.
I was lost… confused… I couldn’t feel a thing, I couldn’t even feel my own body. I knew my eyes were closed, but I couldn’t open them. I was hearing noises, but I couldn’t understand what they were talking about, they were reaching my ears as if from the other side of a tunnel. After a while I could open one of my eyes, but my vision was blurry, it took my some time to finally focus the person in front of me, to realize that it was Kimball seating in front of me, but he didn’t look well. Why was he crying? His face was frozen, but his eyes were expressing everything his face wasn’t, I could see so much pain, despair, and fear that I wanted to cry as well. As my vision cleared I saw he was tied up to a chair, and that an IV was connected to one of his arms. I got a feeling of déjà vu, but couldn’t think of why.
As my body started to wake up and feeling returned to it, I wished that it would go away again, my body was in so much pain that I felt like screaming, luckily my voice wasn’t working yet. I felt my arms above my head, I was tied by the wrists and hanging from the ceiling, my feet weren’t even touching the floor, I felt like I was back in Agmong’s room, bleeding and hurting after one of his torture sessions. I couldn’t help but sobbing, part in pain, part in fear. I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t, I was sure I was trapped in a nightmare, none of that could be real, but Kimball had never been in my nightmares, and neither the woman that was moving behind him, adjusting something in his IV bag.
“I hope you understand the price you will pay for denying us the information we need,” a man standing behind me was talking. “You said that we could do nothing to make you betray your people, I disagree, I think we have found just what will change your mind.”
“The new drug will take a while to take effect. But I have to warn you, he could recover more than his speech, if you know what I mean.” The woman behind Kimball said.
“His restrains are strong, even if he can recover some of his movements, he won’t be able to break free. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I have learned not to underestimate him, but I think it’s unlikely. While the drugs are running in his system, it will be hard for him to escape. We will be safe.”
“We don’t know exactly how the drugs are going to interact with his body, the truth serum didn’t work, there’s a chance that the drug won’t keep him immobilized for long.”
“If he couldn’t break free from the drugs while we were beating his woman, then I doubt he will be able to break free while we interrogate him.”
“It was fortunate that we found her, she is just the bargain chip we needed,” a third person said just outside my sight field. “I have to admit I was surprised he chose another woman, after what happened to the last I would think he wouldn’t risk it.”
“You have to admit, a woman like this is hard to resist.” The man behind me said.
“You’re right, I wouldn’t mind a piece of her.”
“If Kimball decides not to cooperate with us, I think it would be fair to take her instead. It would be a pity to waste her.”
As the men talked between them, I realized that it wasn’t a nightmare, we had been captured by them, and they were using me to hurt Kimball. They had done something to him, the drugs in his system were making him unable to move, but letting him stay alert, and aware of everything happening around him. His eyes were breaking my heart, so much guilt and pain was showing there, I wanted to go to him and comfort him, to let him know that I didn’t blame him for what was happening to me.
“It will be a while before Kimball will be able to speak. Do you want me to sedate her again?” The woman said.
“No, it won’t be necessary. Let her feel the pain. I think that once the last of the drugs leaves her system she will be screaming in pain, it will help us convince our friend here to cooperate.”
“Of course, as soon as Kimball tells us what we want, we could give his woman a new dose to ease her pain. Just another incentive for his help.”
“Are you sure we need to do that?” She asked.
“Of course, but if it’s too hard for you to watch this, you are welcome to leave.” The man behind me offered, and she left as fast as she could.
“Do you know what would help?” The man behind me asked. “Let’s strip her, let him see her battered body, it would help him make up his mind.”
“I agree, that’s a good idea. And we would be able to watch a preview of what we will have if our friend keeps being difficult.”
“Nooo…” a pathetic voice, that I recognized as mine begged. The nightmare was more than I could face, it was too much for me to resist.
With feeling returning to my limbs, I was able to feel their hands on my body. I could feel the man getting closer, until his chest was touching my back. The contact between our bodies was painful, the bruises on my skin protesting his contact and making a whimper escape my lips. His arms got around my body, and he grabbed my shirt by the neck, tugging until it ripped apart. The other man moved in front of me, he grabbed my pants and pulled them off, tugging and making my arms scream in pain because of the added weight. I was naked in front of them, totally vulnerable.
“How can a guy like you, get a girl like that?” One of the men asked Kimball.
“I want one like her. I’m really hoping that he remains stubborn, I would prefer to take her, we could find other ways of getting the info we need.”
“Our main goal is to get that information, nothing else matters, we need to know where their bases and strongholds are. Remember what King Fakhir and Queen Emily said, we are running out of time, we need to take control of Mzansi. Come on, let’s give the lovebirds a few minutes alone, let Kimball decide what’s more important to him, his woman or his country.”
I could hear them laughing as they left the room. It took a while, but finally I could hear them no more. The sounds of the machines connected to Kimball and the sobs I couldn’t contain were the only sounds in the room. I wanted to scream in fear and frustration, I thought that I would never have to face a situation like that, that I wouldn’t lose control of everything again. It had been a long time that I had felt so defenseless, that I had been a victim. There was not an inch of my body that wasn’t hurting, and I knew from experience just the kind of beating my body had sustained for my injuries to be so bad. The pain kept increasing as the drugs continued to lose effect, I knew that I had at least a couple of broken ribs and my face felt swollen, which would explain why I couldn’t open one of my eyes. I felt something running down my arm, and I guessed my wrist were bleeding, I could feel my bindings digging into my skin. My throat was burning, as if I hadn’t taken a drop of water in weeks, my lips were parched and broken.
But the worst part was having Kimball see me like that, to have a witness to my weakness, knowing a part of me that I didn’t want him to know. And I hated being a witness to his weakness, to see his pain and frustration and defeat, to witness his inability to break free and help me. I could see him fighting his own body, willing the drugs to get out of his system even as new drugs were pumped in. I knew how he felt, how painful it was to be a prisoner of your own body. And no matter how much I wanted, there was nothing I could do to break free, with my powers being blocked and my body too broken to use it, I was completely helpless. I felt the last traces of the drugs leave my body, and I had to use all my energy to stop myself from screaming. I needed to be strong, what little I could do to ease Kimball’s pain I would do, even if I had to act like I wasn’t going crazy from the pain.
“I’m alright.” I managed to say, but it was an obvious lie, my voice was too broken and my body was trembling.
I closed my eyes, I couldn’t stand watching his pain, and with my eyes closed I could pretend he wasn’t watching me at my worst.
An eternity later, or maybe just a few minutes, I heard the door moving and opened my eyes to see what was happening. I managed to see one of Kimball’s hands twitching, maybe the drug was finally wearing off.
“Are you ready to talk?” Asked one of the men that had been there earlier. I saw Kimball’s lips moving, but no sound got out. “It seems you are not ready yet. That’s a pity, the sooner you give us what we want, the sooner you and your woman will be ok.” The man moved closer to me, blocking me from seeing Kimball. “Why is someone like you with someone like him?” He was too close to me, I could smell his nasty breath and I felt sick. “The Mzansiers will be under our control sooner than you think,” he was whispering in my ear, “they will have nothing to offer you, but I will. Just say you will be mine and I will spare you from further pain, even if Kimball decides not to cooperate, I can keep you safe.”
“I… belong… to… no one…” I managed to say.
“But you will,” he threatened. “Sooner or later you will be mine, Kimball’s cooperation will only buy you time. You can come with me the easy way, or the hard way.” He grabbed me by the crook of my knee, pulling my body closer to him, his other hand started to caress my body, from my neck to my legs.
As his hand moved over my body I started panicking, dark memories assaulted my mind and I wanted to run and hide, it was just too similar to my time with Agmong and for a second I thought I was back there and I was terrified. I tried to move, I wanted to get away from him, as I struggled I found myself outside of my body, watching the man molesting me. Everything got darker, but the darkness around me had weight and form.
‘I can destroy your enemies for you.’ I felt the voice around me, speaking to me from inside and outside, it was a weird experience, not quite telepathy, but something similar. I looked around and saw the same spirit that I had seen getting out of the man my first day in that place. It was the same spirit that had attacked me.
‘What do you want in return?’ I knew that he wouldn’t give me anything for free, that thing wanted something from me.
‘I want you.’ I didn’t want to agree, but watching the man playing with my body changed my mind, I knew what future was waiting for me if I let him win, and I didn’t want to repeat that experience.
‘Deal.’ I let my fears cloud my mind, I didn’t think about the consequences. ‘Kill my enemies.’
I saw the spirit moving into my body and getting inside it. While he was getting into my body, the darkness surrounded me and trapped me until I couldn’t see anything around me. I was trapped and cold, and alone.