The steel-tiled room only held one oil-burning lamp. It flickered as it swung back and forth through the muggy air above the operating table. Sorian narrowed his eyes and bit back a grin. He could not let the men surrounding him know how excited he was to finally achieve this goal. Such a rare test subject had been very difficult to obtain, but it was the only one strong enough to truly push the boundaries of his experiment. The personal emotional triumph was just a bonus.
The slim man on the table had finally begun to stir. The captive flexed his fingers, but they were bound securely above his head with leather straps. Blinking awake, he lashed out with his legs, but Bohren and Vendelain held them down. He yelled something, most likely profane, but it was muffled by the cotton in his mouth. Sorian had the foresight to gag him before he woke up. Rivek had the tendency to talk too much.
“Hello,” Sorian looked down at his prey as he slipped on a pair of leather gloves. They squeaked as he rubbed his fingers together. He took a needle from the other table at his side. He prepped it by tapping it with his finger, taking great care to ensure no air had mixed with the serum. “If you cooperate with me, this won’t hurt.”
As he leaned forward with the syringe, Rivek broke Vendelain’s hold and landed a swift kick, square on his jawline. Sorian howled. That would bruise in the morning. He retaliated by striking the rebellious prisoner across the face with his free hand. “Insolent beast!”
He panted, massaging his aching jaw, as he set down the needle. The experiment would have to wait until after he taught this dog its place. Rivek locked Sorian’s gaze with his golden eyes. The outlines of feathers began to appear on the dark-mage’s skin. Sorian was smarter than that. He knew better than to let his prey shift forms and fly away. He gripped Rivek’s ankle. “What must we do to bad animals? Well, first, we beat them.”
Rivek writhed against the bindings, twisting out of Bohren’s reach and freeing his other leg, but Sorian was ready this time. He knocked Rivek’s thigh down and punched him in the stomach. He doubled over with a groan. For good measure, Sorian hit him again. He grinned when heard the wind rush out of the other man’s lungs.
“Eventually, we must break them.”
He grabbed the bird-man’s face and slammed his head against the steel table. Rivek’s limbs dropped in a spasm, any previous fight drained from them.
“Finally, we brand them.” Sorian cut through the fabric of his shirt. He reached for a second knife Vendelain offered him. Originally meant for cauterizing wounds, the blade glowed white hot. He pressed it against Rivek’s panting chest..
No energy left to scream, Rivek twitched as the blade burned through his skin. He convulsed as it seared through sensitive nerve endings, rendering them permanently useless. His head fell backwards, eyes rolled back to their whites, and a line of saliva dripped from the edge of his mouth.
“Stop.” Bohren reached out and placed his hand over Sorian’s. He tried to pull his hand away, but Sorian’s grip was too strong.
“Are you challenging me?” Sorian knocked Bohren to his knees, causing him to crash into the operating table. Rivek, unconscious, did not stir. Sorian grabbed Bohren’s hair, and pressed the smoking knife against his exposed throat.
“Your Highness, I only want to remind you that you need this man alive.”
Sorian let the blade hover for one more second. He glanced at Vendelain, who nodded and motion for him to put the knife down. He growled and dropped it with a clatter, but not before throwing Bohren back against the floor. As the Brennan man climbed back to his feet, Sorian once again reached for the needle. He dug it into Rivek’s neck and released its contents into the unconscious man’s bloodstream..
“Exa to provokaro men
.” Are You Challenging Me?
- 074/100 Themes.
Normally, Rivek has the capability to fight back. However, in this case, he doesn’t, resulting in what is probably Sorian’s most sadistic scene in the entire story.
It’s heavily inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York
when Bill the Butcher tortures Amsterdam in the theater. Such a good movie! Other Work Featuring These Characters:
Bohren Tabirian, Sorian Aljannsen, and Rivek Ailinar belong to Grace Fong,