Monday, 14 November 2011

Chapter 21 - The opening shots

The door finally opens. I have no idea how long it has been. I have lost count of the number of times I have slept and woken in this cell. The stench is overwhelming and when the  door suddenly opens it releases just enough as it opens to provide some relief. I turn as best I can to face the open door, to see who is entering.

The Friar walks in, his black robes are a stark contrast  against the pale walls. He has a plastic cup with a clear straw in one hand, he watches me closely as he walks in. He takes care to step around  the puddle of piss. I know it is a wasted effort, but I still struggle at my bonds to try and reach this bastard. The little strength I have left is balled up and thrown at him. Just like before, I bounce off. I try to get a grip on his mind, but I just slip off. His mind is like wet glass, I can find no purchase.

He calmly crouches near me. While looking me in the eye he tells me that he is Friar Francis Magnus. I know motherfucker. I remember. He is part of the Dominican order, a fact that isn’t important right now, but will be later. He works for the Vatican as part of the Holy Inquisition. And I am now in their custody. The Vatican has secret agreements with most governments for the handling of special prisoners.

Now that is interesting.

Special prisoners that the regular authorities are not equipped to handle.  I was no longer in the UK and I could expect to never see the outside world again, unless I co-operated.

Another interesting thought, so they do want something.

He offers me the cup of water, I nod and he places the straw to my lips. I drink  deeply. The cool water is delicious as it trickles down my throat. The urge to spit it in his face is sudden, but I suppress it. I have not drunk in many days and I do not know how long they will torment me like this, so I must conserve the bit they let me have.

The Friar smiles that odd little smile of his as if congratulating me on my restraint.

That infuriates me, I almost rage again. With an effort I manage to restrain myself and just watch as the Friar leaves the cell. His time will come, but for no I need to bide my time.

It’s pissing me off a little, this biding my time, but I can bear it.

Again they leave me to my own company. I wonder how long they will leave me for this time. At least they have given me something ponder. Two things in fact. The first is that they need me for something. The second that there are others like me, others that they have to make special arrangements for to contain. Are they in this building? Is there someone like me lying in their own filth on the other side of the wall?

I let myself sleep.

The door opening wakes me. The Friar enters again.

I have been waiting. Gently this time I probe at his mind, looking for the faintest weakness. I receive another one of those odd smiles for my efforts. He gives me a drink, the water tastes sweet this time. He doesn’t say anything this time and leaves after letting me have another drink.

I’m left alone again. I sleep.

When I awake again I feel stronger, more coherent. I scan the cell again, probing the walls for weakness. As with the Friar’s mind I try gently, just feeling for any weaknesses. I still only find the same flaw, a small gap by the light. I tease at it, try to pry  at it. There’s no give. An idea blossoms and I try something different, I pour myself into that narrow space. I squeeze myself in and when I am all inside the crack I start to expand.

At first I can feel a slight give, something shifted and then suddenly stopped. I exerted again, with no reaction. I withdraw back inside myself and relax. The cell door opens again and the Friar walks in. He again lets me sip the sweet tasting water from his cup. I do not attempt to probe his mind.

He looks at me and asks if I am ready to talk. I respond by asking whether it meant getting out of this pool of my own filth. He smiles and says that I would. In that case I am more than happy to talk.

He leaves the cell, but does not close the door. Officer Hammond then walks in, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. He is not wearing the prison officer uniform, just smart casual trousers and shirt. He doesn’t look right not in a uniform, as if he belongs in a uniform. He doesn’t say a word as he unbuckles me from the straight jacket and helps me to my feet.

Hammond takes me from the cell, outside there is a corridor, at one end is a hefty steel door. Opposite the door to my cell is another, similar door. Beside that another door is open, Hammond takes me in there. Inside there is a shower and a toilet. The spray from the shower is warm and feels wonderful. I luxuriate in the water, soaping myself and letting the water sluice the crust from my body. My escort stands by the door, keeping me in his peripheral vision, but allowing me a modicum of privacy.

I let the water keep running after my skin feels clean, just enjoying the experience. I was tempted to peek into Hammond’s mind, see what was coming, but I could sense that my behaviour was being observed and now was not the time..

Finally feeling more human I exited the shower, Hammond passes me a large towel. My stomach growls as I dry myself off. I’m hoping that some food will be in my near future. Hammond takes the towel from me and then passes me some clothing to wear. The clothes are like linen pyjamas, loose and light on my skin. It feels good to have some clothes that don’t restrain me. He then gives me some slippers for my feet and leads me to the room next door.

The room is very similar to the cell, it is painted the same, but it doesn’t smell of bodily waste. There is a small table, with two chairs, each one opposite the other. I can see that both table and chairs are bolted to the floor. On the table I can see a bowl of soup and a plastic cup of fruit juice.

Hammond takes position by the door as I tuck into the welcome food and juice. They both taste great and I take my time savouring the flavours. As I finish the last drops of soup Friar Francis walks in and while Hammond clears  away the bowl and cup, he sits down and says.

“Let’s talk.”

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