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a guest Jul 16th, 2018 790 Never
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  1. The two enforcers lead you down a dank, narrow flight of stairs that seems to go on forever. A cloth sack was slipped over your head as soon as they left the busy part of the district house preventing you from seeing anything at all, which only heightened the rest of your senses. The heavy scent of the stagnant air, the loud clonk of the footfalls on the metal stairs, and most of all the cold, oversized metal gauntlet tightly clutching your left arm, which is currently wrapped around your back. The enforcer's right hand (this one bare) is gripping your left shoulder to keep you straight and your arm properly twisted. Your left hand is free to blindly palm the walls since they didn't bother to restrain it -- though you suspect it has more to do with them sending a message of how little they consider you a threat than any sloppiness on their part.
  2.      
  3. After what seems like an eternity of turning around sharp corners and narrow passageways, you start to wonder just how far deep into the bowels of the precinct they are taking you -- you might as well be back in Zaun by now given how much you’ve walked. Before you can entrance yourself too deeply in your pondering, however, you're brought back to reality by your face smashing painfully against a metal surface.
  4.      
  5. “Sorry bud”, the enforcer guiding you says leaning in slightly on your ear, “wasn't paying attention”, as she releases the clamp on your shoulder to give it an apologetic tap. Though the mocking tone on her voice and the fact she clearly pushed you forward right before the crash don't make the apology feel particularly sincere, you nevertheless mumble something in acceptance as you rub your nose through the sack. You're clearly not in a situation where antagonizing her any further would help, and as the vice-like clutch of the metal hand that is gripping your right arm so keenly reminds you, you can get a lot more than a bloody nose if you don't play your cards right.
  6.      
  7. “Let me get that, dear”, the other, posh-voiced officer says as she passes you by towards the door. After some clangs and clattering, the door swings open with a heavy groan of metal hinges turning. You're pushed forward through the doorway several steps until the hand on your shoulders pulls you back to a stop. “And now lights...” You hear the click of a small lever being pulled somewhere, and moments later sharp pinpricks of bright light shine through the seams of the sack. “Alright, I think we're all ready to welcome our guest now. Vi, if you please?”
  8.      
  9. “Sure, Cupcake.” The woman behind you lets something between a snort and a giggle and her hands leave your shoulder to rest atop your head. “One, two, TAHDAH!” and the clothsack is abruptly yanked away. The sharp bright light floods your eyes and you're painfully blinded for several seconds. Squinting as hard as you can to block out the brightness you try to take an assessment of your surroundings. You were almost expecting some sort of surprise party after all that ceremony, but instead what you see is simply a bare, near empty room. Dark plain concrete on the walls, floor and ceiling, a few thick pipes covered in old chipped paint running on the ceiling and on the left hand wall, a metal grate fixed to the drain on the dead center of the floor. The only things breaking the “disused maintenance room” mood is an incongruously fancy leather chair on the far corner, a simple wooden sidetable next to it and a plain white china set atop the table. The dark haired officer sets her tophat on a hook by the wall and moves behind the chair, busying herself with what seems to be a small stove.
  10.      
  11. “I'm just about to fix some tea,” she informs you with a look over her shoulders, “would you care for some?”
  12.      
  13. Before you can even begin an answer the pink haired brute turns you around to face her. “He’ll be to busy answering me to drink anything, Cait”, she answers, talking to the other woman but looking straight at you. She eased the grip on your right arm when she turned you just enough to give you room to move, and as soon as you stopped the clutch re-tightened around your hands with a vengeance. The only way you could pull out from it would be if  your hands were severed at the wrists, which could just as well happen if she decided to close the gauntlets any tighter. You can’t help but to gulp at the thought if it. “In fact, I should be getting to it now.” The predatory grin on her face gets a bit wider as she leans in. “Here’s how it’s gonna be, bud. I’ll ask you a question, and if I don’t like your answer...” She makes a show of balling her right fist, “you won’t like like what I’ll do to you after it.” She lets the spiel sink in without breaking eye contact, and suddenly chirps up with an almost genuine friendly smile. “Alright, first question: what were you doing there at the docks tonight?”
  14.      
  15. You open your mouth to start our reply when she throws a sucker punch smack in the middle of your face, with enough force that would have sent you reeling to the the other side of the room, weren’t you still attached to her other hand. Instead you’re just thrown out of your footing and she hoists you up like a fisherman showing off a prized catch. Your already bloody nose became an actual mess now, and the metallic taste of blood floods your mouth. At first you think it came just from the inside of your lips being split open, but as you probe around with your tongue you notice a few loose teeth as well. She tilts her head slight and quips with a smug grin, “Wrong answer.” You half cough, half spit a fat glob of blood on the floor and protest that you didn’t even had time to answer anything. “Well, you see,” with the grin still on her face, she looks over you to the other woman like they were sharing some inside joke, before going back you, “we already know that whatever you were doing there was something wrong, so whatever your answer was gonna be, it was the wrong answer.”
  16.      
  17. You try to say something but the blood in your mouth went down the wrong passage, and you can’t help but to let a out a cough, spraying the enforcer’s stomach with bloody droplets. As soon as you see it, your heart skips a beat -- she just smashed your face for nothing at all, and now you just actually gave her something to be enraged at. You look up at her and when you see faux-friendly grin replaced by an undisguised sneer you realize just how deep in trouble you have gotten yourself in.
  18.      
  19. “He spat on me.” In a slow, deliberate pace she lowers you until you’re stable on your knees. “Caitlyn, this rat just spat on me”, never taking her eyes away from yours.
  20.      
  21. “Oh dear, you really shouldn’t have done that. A gentleman should never dirty a lady’s clothes”, between taking a sip of her tea. “It’s so unbecoming.”
  22.      
  23. “Yeah, I don’t think this bastard trash is a gentleman, Cait. I think he did that on purpose.” She leans into you, now almost whispering “I think I should teach him not to do that again.” And with that the pressure on your hand begins to increase to uncomfortably tight and then to genuinely crushing. Your free left hand darts to try and pry open the gauntlet’s fingers, uselessly of course, but desperately. You plead and beg, telling her it was an accident, but the grip doesn’t relent in the slightly. “Convince me.” You look up in doubt. “Convince me you didn’t mean to do it.”
  24.      
  25. Your brain scrambles to think of an argument that could placate her and sputter apology after apology, telling her how you cannot control a cough, but her face remains impassible and the ever-mounting pressure never slacking. With a final squeeze the inevitable happens and your hand gives in, the skin splits, the bones crush under the weight and the flesh squashes into a wet mess. She finally releases her hold and you crawl away to the far corner, putting as much distance between yourself and her as possible.
  26.  
  27. She follows you at her own pace, sashaying towards the little corner you claimed as your refuge. The clanks of her footsteps on the concrete floor stop when she’s right in front of you, and upon realizing you’re not about to look up she kneels down and leans in to force herself into your field of view.
  28.  
  29. “Okay bud, you convinced me,” she says with her terrifyingly friendly smile back on her face. “Why don’t we just put that behind us and go back to our interview, huh?”
  30.  
  31. You tear your eyes away from her gaze to look down at the mangled stump you’re nursing on your lap and nod, muttering how you’ll say whatever she wants.
  32.  
  33. “And what do you think I want you to say?”
  34.  
  35. With that your gut wrenches with dread as it begins to dawn on you she might just as well be leading you into another trap. Your eyes dart from your maimed hand to her face, and finding nothing there but her piercing stare and a cold grin, you move instead to the other woman, hoping that maybe her superior would be more reasonable.
  36.  
  37. As if sensing the intention behind your stare the blue haired woman puts her cup down with a gentleness disturbingly at odds with the gruesomeness of the whole situation. “Don’t look at me, darling,” putting her hands up in air in mock surrender. “I’m just here to make sure she doesn’t go overboard with the interrogation.”
  38.  
  39. “She’s just here because she likes to watch it,” the tattooed enforcer quips, placing herself back into your line of sight. “Now,” placing her gauntleted hand on your shoulders “you still haven’t answered my question.”
  40.  
  41. You shudder at the contact with the heavy metal gloves, your mind spontaneously reeling back to the ordeal just moments ago. When you fail to answer, or to make any reaction at all for that matter, her hands turn to grab your throat and push you down onto the floor.
  42.  
  43. “Is your brain on shutdown already?”, she snickers at you and raising her other fist. “Let’s see if some concussive maintenance can jumpstart your brain back to life.”
  44.  
  45. Her fists descends upon your face as if your smashed nose were a target’s bullseye. You try to twist your head away but the grip on your jaws has your face locked down as blow after blow after blow disfigures you to the point your own mother would recognize you anymore. You vaguely hear the other woman call out something but at this point you’re already too numb and dazed make it out.
  46.  
  47. “I said I think that’s quite enough now, Vi”, she repeats in a tone just shy of shouting to make herself heard over the noise of the punches caving your face in. The pink headed girl’s fist freezes mid-air and she looks over her shoulder. “Keep punching him and he won’t be able to open his mouth anymore, let alone answer anything.”
  48.  
  49. She stands up, puts her gauntleted arm across herself and taps her chin with her still bloody fingers, looking you down on you like a mason appraising a damaged structure. She gives your jaw a light poke with the tip of boots and it lolls open by itself. “Actually, I think we’re just past that point, Cait”. She leans down and grabs your leg, hoisting you up upside down. “Hey, still with us buddy?” she calls out in a loud voice like she were trying to catch the attention of someone from across a street. You try to open your eyes and the blood spills down onto them. “Can you hear me” she says giving your leg a small jerk. Receiving nothing but a groggy moan as reply she frowns and yells “Wake up!” as she slams you down onto the ground like a whip. Immediately you feel something snap where she was holding you, and a loud, wailing screech is wrung out from your lungs.
  50.  
  51. “Took a while huh, sleepyhead, I was beginning to th-” she begins in her mocking tone but the rest is cut off when she notices a sharp point poking up from beneath your trousers' leg. A mixture of a wince and a smirk appears on her face as she points a finger at it. “Uh, Cait, I don’t think shins are supposed to bend like that.”
  52.  
  53. “I’m fairly certain shins aren’t supposed to bend at all”, the other one points out, shaking her head.
  54.  
  55. “Yeah, I think this one’s done for, Cait” she says rotating her shoulders like she’s just finished with a strenuous working out. “Will you finish this for me, please?” The other officer raises a questioning eyebrow and she winks and gives an apologetic grin. “I really wanna hurry up and hit the showers now.” She rubs the blood smudge on her chin with her wrists as way of explanation. “It was a bit messier this time”.
  56.  
  57. “Fine, I’ll wrap it up this time” she answers as she stands up and takes something from behind the leather chair. “See you tomorrow then.”
  58.  
  59. “Thanks Cupcake, see ya.”
  60.  
  61. She watches the other woman leave and turns to you. “I’m terribly sorry for my partner’s manners.” As she comes over to into view you see she’s chambering a round into a long rifle. “She gets overly enthusiastic sometimes, you see, and then bored just as easily. She should at least see things through to end, though.” She cocks the rifle and takes aim, but stops herself. “Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever quite gotten your name.” You try so utter something, but only a wet gurgle comes out. “Well, no matter. It’s not like we will be putting this to record anyway.”
  62.  
  63. You chest fills with terror as you realize what’s about to happen. You try to push your legs out to squirm away, but the fierce spike of pain shooting from your split shinbone freezes you on the spot. You turn away from her and try to drag yourself with your elbows, the mangled lump that once was your right hand wiggling around lifelessly as you go.
  64.  
  65. Cait throws you a puzzled look and walks around to squat in front of you. You violently cough out the wad of blood blocking your throat and manage to sputter out a plea for mercy.
  66.  
  67. She raises up an eyebrow as your request. “Look at yourself. Your hand is already very much gone, your leg is bent like you’ve got a third knee, and look...” She points her finger between your left temple and your eye and pushes, her fingers sinking in until you reeled your head back in pain. “Even your eyesocket is caved in. There’s so much blood on the floor I could fill up a bathtub with it. You’re not making it out of here alive regardless, it’s just a matter of how long you’ll be there writhing. It’s quite impressive you’re still conscious at all.” She she shrugs and shakes her head. “Unfortunate, but impressive.”
  68.  
  69. As she stands up and readies her rifle again, you try one last time to appeal to her, to assure you won’t ever tell a soul about what happened.
  70.  
  71. “I’m not concerned about that at all, you know. No one would believe you even if you told them, and neither would they care even if they did. I’m just not one to leave things up in the air.” She takes aim. “Now, try to squirm dear, I’m sure we both would rather I don’t miss.”
  72.  
  73. You close your eyes and lean your head back. You never get to hear the shot, the bullet has already gone in and out of your skull, taking a fair portion of you brain matter along with it through the gaping exit wound it made on the other side by the time the noise reaches your ears. Caitlyn leans over to examine the splattered chunks and the dark red puddle pooling on the ground around your head.
  74.  
  75.  “It was a bit messier this time,” she echoes to herself before slinging the rifle over her shoulders as she leaves the room.
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