Interlude - Enhanced Interrogation

 

Enhanced Interrogation

 

By: Benjamin

 



 


The man watched as the sun sank, turning the sky a beautiful shade of red. From the top of the ziggurat he could see the entire city. A sprawling metropolis of dusty brick and packed earth roads stretched for miles in each direction. The royal district containing the palace, court, libraries and related religious buildings were separating from the maze of shops, residences and lean-to's by a long rectangular moat. Along the bangs of the moat palm trees swayed in the breeze. 

"Don't let the high priest catch you out here," a friendly voice called from behind. The words sounded strange in the man's ears, but he understood them without difficulty. The man turned to face the one who had spoken. A young man dressed in the robes of an initiate stood in the door way behind him, but before he could notice much else an engraving at the top of the portal caught his eye.  The initiate caught his gaze and looked up.

"What," asked the younger man in genuine confusion.

The man had seen the same image before. A man seated within a circle. On either side of the circle were the wings of a bird. Below were the tail feathers. Where had the man seen this symbol before? Suddenly he knew. The realization hit him like a bolt of lightning. 

 

"The amulet," Will groaned. His voice was hoarse. He had a feeling he'd just been dreaming, but he couldn't remember what the dream was about. It took him a moment to remember where he was. Hard, leather restraints dug into his forearms. They'd drawn blood when he'd strained against them. Will was strapped in a seated position. Electrodes covered his temples, the sides of his neck, and his arms. 

Across the room, seated behind a bright lamp shining directly into Will's eyes, was Clarence Townsend. The man, if he could be called that, who had singlehandedly ruined Will's life. Will couldn't make out his face in the shadows until Clarence stood. 

"Don't worry," the monster whispered in a voice full of gravel. "The amulet is quite safe." Clarence gestured to the amulet hanging from a small metal table. The table held an array of torture devices. Clarence had left the amulet in the room so that Will could see it. When Will had reached for it with his mind the electrodes kicked in and sent Will seizing into unconsciousness. Will had lost track of how many times he'd fallen prey to the electrodes. He had very little control over his powers on the best day, and this was far from his best day. 

Will's eyes wandered to the machine that the electrodes were hooked into. It looked like every heart rate monitor that Will had ever seen in a movie, but the display didn't correspond to a heart beat. Clarence followed Will's gaze.

"Lovely machine, isn't it? You're not the first psychic that we've ever encountered. Eden has developed several counter measures." Clarence stepped into the light. He'd abandoned any pretense of humanity. His eyes were black pools of ink with glowing, blood-red irises. His face, neck, and arms were massed with bulging, pulsating veins. When he smiled he revealed a mouth full of teeth. His gums had receded and were twinged with the same black as his eyes. 

Clarence grabbed will by the shirt and lifted him, chair and all, high into the air. Corpse-like blond hair fell across Clarence's face with the motion. "The machine is more for fun though, I think." Clarence growled. "You're useless without that." He jerked his free arm toward the amulet. 

Will's eyes rolled up to gaze at the mysterious artifact that had brought him nothing but trouble. Recognition surged through his brain. He knew that symbol, but why now? He'd spent weeks staring at that amulet. What had changed now? He was sure he knew that symbol, but there was more-

A fist smashed into Will's face, sending him soaring through the air and rolling across the ground still strapped into the chair. He finally slid to a halt with the chair on it's side. Will's mouth filled with blood. Reflexively he spit several teeth onto the ground. He hardly noticed the pain. His senses were locked on the amulet. It whispered to him. Clarence was screaming something, but Will couldn't be bothered with the rantings of a demon right now. The entirety of his being focused on the amulet. The whispers were repeating something. He couldn't quite make it out. 

A booted foot drove the air from Will's lungs, and send the chair sliding still farther. Will felt ribs crack with the force of the blow. Clarence was unhappy with Will's lack of respect. Will tried to break his gaze from the amulet, but it demanded his attention. It spoke to him without words. It beckoned without motion. What Will perceived as a whisper was so much more. Words were pale shadows of the meaning being conveyed to Will. 

Clarence stood the chair upright. He was yelling into Will's face as Will stared blankly at the amulet.

"Answer me," the executive screamed. "How many of them are there? Where is your base." The back of Clarence's hand crashed across Will's face. The young man's head hung. For a moment, Clarence thought he'd broken the boy's neck. Then he heard Will speak. It was barely audible, more of a gasp than a whisper. 

"Enlil," he said.

Clarence felt a current in his hands and pulled a way just in time to avoid sharing in Will's convulsions as the electrodes flared into life with more force than Clarence had ever seen before. Will shook violently in his chair. The restraints barely held. Bloody foam frothed from between Will's clenched teeth. By the time Clarence heard the rattle of the amulet's chain it was too late. The artifact flew from the table and into Will's convulsing grasp.

At the moment the amulet touched Will's skin the electrodes exploded from his body and fell to the floor. The lights and the room flashed and went out. Will's head hung. Every muscle in his body went limp, save for the hand tightly clutching the amulet. Clarence rushed forward and attempted to snatch the amulet back before Will could regain his senses. His arm froze in place, in fact Clarence found himself unable to move any part of his body. Even his eyes were stuck in place. 

 

Will's 6th sense illuminated his surroundings like a bright light. He could feel everything. He sensed the nature and location of every object in the room, and beyond the room. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced. He extended his awareness far enough to sense that he was several stories underground. They were in a large basement warehouse. The ceilings were nearly 20 feet high. Will zoomed his awareness into his present location. In the larger building, the room Will was in barely amounted to a closet. When he focused he sensed that he had not been the first person to come to harm in this room. After several minutes he realized that there was a force that he couldn't attribute to anything in the natural world, focused in front of him. It had a palpable tension, and it took the shape of a man. Clarence.

Will raised his eyes to meet those of the executive. Will noticed that he could feel Clarence's muscles straining against the force that held him. Will compressed the force field around Clarence. It was as easy as moving a limb. Clarence was unable to move his mouth, but a groan escaped from his throat. Clarence's internal organs were squeezed uncomfortably close together. He wasn't sure how, but Will knew that this was only a fraction of the force that he would be able to summon. 

A wall of force rose before Will, like a tsunami. Will's hair moved in the breeze it created as the air was displaced. He sent the torrential wall of force at Clarence with all the velocity he could muster. Clarence, along with most of the objects not nailed to the floor, careened into the far wall. Clarence alone was held there. Will's mind pressing on him like a giant fist. 

Clarence found his muscles free with the exception of the enormous weight pinning his chest to the wall. 

"You can't kill me. Whatever you do today, I'll be back. I will murder what's left of your famil-" Clarence's eyes went wide as invisible fingers gripped tightly around his tongue and ripped it from his mouth. 

Will watched dispassionately as the offending organ landed on the opposing wall and slid down, leaving a trail of blood. It occurred to him that he should have been shocked, or horrified. He wasn't. He was beyond any sympathy for the maimed creature in front of him. 

"I'm not sure how many times you're going to make me kill you," Will said. His voice was calm and level. He sent another bolt of force up under Clarence's jaw, shattering teeth and snapping the monsters head backward. "I think I'm starting to develop a talent for it, though." 

Will moved his fist slowly forward. Clarence emitted a blood-choked growl as the weight pinning him to the wall increased. Ribs cracked, lungs were threatening to collapse. 

"I'll save you some time, though. There's nothing left of my family. You killed them all." Anger finally crept into Will's voice and the telekinetic force he commanded responded to the flared emotion.

The wall cracked and collapsed. Clarence landed somewhere on the other side of the darkened basement. Will stepped through the hole he'd made in the wall and expanded his awareness once again. He found Clarence almost instantly, but his mind's eye was drawn to something else high up in the rafters. An object that didn't belong there. Will focused on the object, his 6th sense gave him a perfect mental image and texture of the device. More than it's physical attributes will detected the malice and murderous intent seeping from it. It was an explosive, a large one.

 Will squeezed the explosive with all the force he could muster. He doubted even this would be able to destroy the executive, but the building would certainly never recover. It was some small measure of victory. Volatile substances within the body of the device reacted and mixed under the pressure. Will wrapped himself in a protective barrier just in time to avoid the blast wave. Objects as far as Will could see were incinerated in a flash of light and heat. The sound followed a fraction of a second later. A deafening boom that threatened to rupture his ear drums, even as he used all of his power to stabilize the pocket of air within his barrier. 

Will looked up to see the ceiling falling towards him. The entire building was falling into an empty void created by the explosive. Will threw himself, barrier and all, into the air. He rose up to meet the ceiling and then reinforced his barrier to punch through it. He flew up through debris and bodies. It had never occurred to him that other people were in the building. The overwhelming majority were innocents in all this. Something told him that he should feel guilt, but it was an emotion utterly foreign to his mind at the moment. 

Will flew from the building and landed gently on the ground. The amulet loosened somewhat in his grasp. Unconsciously he slipped it into his pocket. He felt the power fading. The anger and strength of a moment ago were rapidly replaced with confusion and fatigue. Will was in an unfamiliar landscape. He took a step forward, and fell immediately to the ground. His body had nothing left to give. His eyes closed, the fatigue completely overtaking him. The sounds of the collapsing building, screams, and sirens filled his ears. He was vaguely aware of a dust cloud engulfing him as he drifted into merciful unconsciousness.

 

 

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