(Warning! Beginnings of a gross/weird kind of torture, and vague implications of rape!)
The interior of the base seemed to go on forever.
Annette casually pulled at the petals of one of the flowers in the bouquet she now held. The bouquet itself held a confusing mishmash of various flowers.
Next to her, Horse-Face’s earlier partner sat pulling at his hair. Once in a while, he turned his head as though to look at her.
“Hey,” he said, to which Annette just ignored him. Still, Ox-Head persisted. “Hey. Hey, blue lady.”
More ignoring, and he responded by poking her in the arm. Knowing he wasn’t going to let up, she acknowledged his presence at last.
“What is it?” Ox-Head just froze, as if he forgot what he wanted to do. His poking finger then reached up to scratch his head.
“Can I ask you something, blue lady?”
Rolling her eyes, Annette pursed her lips and groaned. “Ask away, I suppose.” He paused again, before actually asking her a question that seemed rather specific:
“Are you a demon?” This question, asked so innocently, caused her to drop her bouquet. Ox-Head sat there, seemingly oblivious as to what he just asked her.
When Shark awoke, it was to completely obscured vision. There was also the horrendous stink of what might’ve been paint thinner, or cat urine. He couldn’t say for sure what exactly he was smelling. He just knew it was making his nostrils burn.
“Wha…?” He began coughing. Out of nowhere, some unknown liquid was thrown onto his face, only aggravating his problem.
“Oh, look! The prisoner woke up!” This was followed by juvenile snickering.
Shark tried getting to his feet, only to discover his arms were bound around a stone column. His struggling to break free was futile.
“Nice try, moron. You aren’t getting out of this one,” he heard someone else say. Another dose of the liquid from before was thrown onto him.
It was then Shark could actually figure out what kept getting splashed onto him. Smelling the strong resemblance to ammonia, and he wondered one of if his captors had a health problem.
Last he checked, human urine wasn’t supposed to smell that strongly.
By the time Moony walked in with Sunny, Ox-Head had already taken to the newest member of their group. Both kept quiet as he followed Annette around, seemingly interrogating her.
“Hey! Hey, you didn’t answer my question. Are you? Because, it’s all right if you are! If you are, then I am too! I’m what The Builder calls a…Calls a…”
Ox-Head looked over to see the other two assistants, and waved to them. “Moony! What’s that thing The Builder calls me? Filthy something…Cabaret, Couch Potato…?”
“Cambion,” Moony stated. “Now get. She don’t want to talk to you, so go find Horse-Face or something.” After Ox-Head left, Annette finally relaxed.
“Try not to let him get to you, darlin’,” he spoke in an accent that Annette could’ve sworn she’d heard before. “Ox-Head just has problems, is all.”
To this, Annette just scoffed. “That’s an understatement. He also needs to learn about personal space-”
She was then interrupted by The Builder shouting from a floor above them. This was followed by Ox-Head’s ear-splitting howling.
Annette didn’t even dare speak again until the screams subsided. By the time they did, Moony and Sunny had taken seats on the table near her.
“So when this ceremony is done, is whatever that was going to happen to me?” She inquired, while pointing upwards. She’d become fearful of the answer.
Moony just shook his head. “Nah. But you might be forced to watch it happen to one of us.”
Staring at the uneaten bowl of American goulash before him, Sinbad anxiously poked at his own serving of the makeshift dinner. It had been hours since Shark had gone off somewhere, and he’d yet to return. No doubt his food was ice-cold by now.
On the floor, Sagebear sat watching the empty chair. Every so often, she looked over at the door. When it did open, it was for Dennis and not Shark.
She got to her feet and greeted him anyway.
“Oh, well hello to you, little puppy! Did you miss Grandpa while he was at work?” Dennis knelt down to pet her, the whole time letting her lick and snuffle his face.
“Did you see Shark on your way home?” Sinbad waited for Dennis to finish petting Sagebear before he continued.
“The boy? No, I can’t say I have. Why? How long’s he been gone?” It was a bad sign if Dennis had no clue where his son was. Sinbad’s blood practically ran cold from the questions.
“So what kind of names are ‘Sunny’ and ‘Moony’, anyway?” Annette followed the two other assistants now, scattering the plucked flower petals behind them.
Moony groaned. “They’re names The Builder gives you in exchange for your original. It’s…”
Annette waited for the start of his story. “Formally, we’re known as ‘assistants’. Though technically speaking, we’re actually slaves. You’re kind of a special case.”
“Special case? How so?” Having pulled all the petals off her flowers, Annette just threw the stems down to the floor.
“You’re more valuable than we are. So there’s no chance of getting a knife shoved up any of your orifices. But the rest of us are fair game.”
Sunny and Moony stopped in their current hallway. “The fact you haven’t lost your real name and free will, that hasn’t confused you at all?”
“I didn’t realize that was the case with you-”
“It’s the case with all of us, lassie!” Moony snapped. He then slumped against the nearby wall, with Sunny next to him. He then pressed his hand to where his forehead would be. “Sorry. It’s just that what with everything that happens here…”
Now Annette was just dumbfounded. “Like what? Exactly what am I going to get a front seat to?”
Moony blew air out his mouth. “All I’m gonna say is that when you end up here, you forget everything except what you want to forget.”
Trembling, Shark could hear footsteps as his assailants came forward.
“Check it out,” one of them sneered, “He just got here and he already pissed himself.” Shark knew the real reason was because they just threw it on him. There didn’t seem to be any reasoning with them, though.
He swallowed, trying not to get any piss in his mouth.
“Why am I here?” He croaked out. He was answered with a hard knee to the stomach.
“You’re a prisoner,” one of them said, “We don’t have to be nice to you. And we know you had something to do with Bill’s death. So out with it!”
Shark honestly had no idea what this person was talking about. All he knew was that it had to be some sort of cruel misunderstanding.
It was at least cruel enough to land him in this dilemma.