03 Apr

TRIGGER WARNING: Themes of torture, gore, and interrogation ahead. Reader discretion is advised. 

It didn't even feel like a moment had gone by before an ice cold bucket of water brought my miserable ass back to consciousness.

My feet didn’t touch the ground. My arms were bound together behind me at the forearms, and given the way all of my fucking weight tugged against the skin rubbing up against those chains, I was tied to the ceiling. I flexed my shoulders to take some of the weight off of them, but it did little to ease my discomfort.

There was a loud bang as what I assumed was Tokar’s fist slammed into the ground in front of me.

“Wake up rodent, it's time to start your pre-execution torture. I thought we would start nice and early, several moons early.” I heard Tokar say, but it was hard to see between the water and grogginess. To me he looked like one big gray blob.

“Once im out of these chains my flames will pierce you like a newly sharpened blade,” I spat at him.

All he did was chuckle in response before smacking me with his stone hand. My head jerked from the force, and I swung back and forth as the chain pinched the skin on my arm even harder. 

I bit my lip to keep from visibly wincing. I wouldn’t allow him the satisfaction. 

Tokar walked away, presumably to grab something better to torture me with that was less likely to kill me.

To my right, Rak-li was chained up as well. He was dripping wet as if he’d been splashed too, yet he was still passed out.

Lucky him.

After a long time, Tokar finally returned. This time with tools: whips, hot coals, water and rags, hammers, the whole torture toybox. The increasingly large smile never left his face as he brought it over.

Man, what was this dude's problem?

Once Tokar had set everything down, he shouted at us. “Alright worms. We’re going to extract as much information as possible before we kill you. So you better talk!”

He then whipped Rak-li across his back, shocking him awake.

Not so lucky anymore.

Rak’s eyes snapped open as he screamed in pain. 

“What the fuck is wrong with you?! That stone somehow make its way to your brain?!” he exclaimed.

Tokar chuckled.
“Good one funny man. How's this for funny?” 

He whipped Rak several more times. Rak arched his back and pulled against the chains as hard as he could, trying to endure the sharp bursts of pain. It was hard to watch.

“Not very..” Rak whimpered.

“Oh, I think we will have to agree to disagree on that bottom dweller.” Tokar said before hitting him in the face.

“Tell me, where’s the rest of your buddies, huh? Rak-Li, prince of the fishmen. Where’s all your fishy friends?”

Rak looked like he was slipping out of consciousness. His head nodded to the side as the momentum of the swinging chain stilled. 

Tokar gripped his chin violently. “Look at me while I’m talking to you, prick!”

“Leave him alone!” I said in protest. He turned to me, a menacing gleam in his eye.

“Feeling left out over there, huh? Can’t wait your turn?” He tossed Rak aside, sending him swinging again. His breath was ragged as he whimpered again.

“Believe me, I haven’t forgotten about you.”

The pain was blinding. A lash to my thigh was enough to coerce a scream from my lips. Blood dripped from the now pink skin. 

“You two are obviously a part of the resistance. There’s no point trying to hide it, boy. So spill it, and maybe I won’t spill any more blood today.”

“The fuck are you talking about?”

I bit the shit out of my lip as his blow caught me off guard. Across my arm this time. The taste of iron filled my mouth.

“Who is your leader!” Tokar barked, his nose nearly up against my own. 

I sucked more blood into my mouth and spat it at him.

He gritted his teeth. This really lit a fire in him, a rage I was all too familiar with.

He reached up and unhooked the top of ym chain from the ceiling, and I caught the ground with my face. I was helpless as he dragged me across the room and bound my feet together with more chain. He tossed the end of the chain over a rafter and hoisted me up off the ground once more. Only this time, I was upside down. Hanging over a basin of water. 


It didn’t take long for the blood to start pooling in my head. My face prickled with warmth.

“Looks like we got off on the wrong foot, worm. Seems you need to cool off,” he said as he let some of the slack out of the chain. I fliinched and held my breath, but I stopped just a hair above the water. I let out my breath, taking several more as my own rapid heartbeat filled my ears.

Suddenly I was plunged into the water. Before I could even process I’d already tried to take a breath, and the icy liquid forced its way into my lungs. I struggled violently to pull my head up to breathe, but there wasn’t enough room in the narrow basin to do so.

I’d nearly given up when Tokar pulled me out again.

“I need names, magot.”

“I swear to the skies, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Its just me and Rak. Please,” I pleaded.

He plunged me into the water again.

The next couple suns and moons were much of the same: sleep, awaken with torture, probed for information we dont have, tortured some more, repeat. No food, no water, not even a bucket to use the bathroom.

Sometimes Tokar would switch out for one of the other bastards that kicked our shit in on the beaches of Rao. After some point, their faces all became a blur. I couldn't even tell where we were now.

After another sun and moon, Tokar arrived late into the night. His ridiculously wicked grin spread from ear to ear. Did he practice making it larger when he's at home? Who knows.

“Good news parasites, your time of fun and games has finally come to an end! Even better, you die tomorrow once the sun rises! Well, I suppose bad news for you- for me? It's a win-win! See you in the morning~” He clapped before walking back out.

Rak and I looked at each other in the glorified dark hole we were chained in. At this point, the both of us had become numb.

Rak coughed, hacking up a lung before speaking up. “Aku, if we die tomorrow. I just want to know, as much as you can frustrate me at times. There is no else I would rather face my last moments with. I’m glad to have met such a fiery soul as you. Together we made quite the mighty duo, if even for a brief time.”

I smiled for the first time since I had awoken here. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Looking back though, I do regret not enjoying our time together more. I was so focused on revenge. I hadn’t even stopped to try and enjoy life, only in small moments where I could reflect between battles.”

“Who are you kidding. Even in between you were miserable,” Rak said, a small smile adorning his face.

I chuckled dryly. “Ah, you’re always here to point out the truths I dodge. I’ll miss that.”

And with that, we both just sat there in bittersweet silence, glad that even in facing death we were not alone. 

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