May 2, 103 PN
I'm not sure what awoke me first: the disgusting humidity in the room, or the horrible pain in my head. My mouth was taped, eyes covered by an itchy cloth. My hands and feet were tightly bound by a thin wire, digging painfully into my skin. My coat and boots were missing along with my gun belt; I could feel dried blood under my nose. I rolled to my side, the tips of my fingers the stone wall, my head rubbing against the lumpy mattress with little hopes of removing the blindfold.
The door opened, bringing in a chilly breeze. Two footfalls, a pause, then one more. I froze. There was a strike of the match, soon followed by the putrid smell of smoke. A chair scraped across the floor and bumped into the bed frame. Smoke was blown in my direction; I wanted to gag.
Fingers slithered up my arm and to my neck, grabbing my dog tags. "Edahsra, Alice L... Well, I'll be damned, you're Nicky's girl." The voice was male, older by at least twenty or so years.
"It's been a while since I saw his ugly face. Believe it was seventeen, eighteen years ago. I was two ranks his superior; he really didn't believe in kissing ass as much as I did, but he had charm. The kind of charm that makes you know who you're dealing with, you know? You don't want to show it, but inside, you're thinking, 'I better not mess with this guy'." His hand ripped the tape from my mouth, taking some skin from my upper lip. "You remind me a lot of him. Daddy's little angel, right?"
I said nothing.
"I'll take that as a yes. Hang on, let's get you a bit more comfy." He roughly grabbed me by the arm and jerked me upward, slamming my back against the wall. I bit my tongue to stop any screaming.
"Ah, there we go!" He slapped me on the shoulder. "Tell me, sweetie, how is Nicky? Did he finally get around to growing a beard? Last time I saw him... Oh-ho-ho, what do we have here?" He grabbed my injured hand and held it up. "Looks like your weapon exploded on you, am I right?"
His thumbs pressed into my hand, into an large wound in my palm. I let out a small gasp and gritted my teeth, but said nothing.
"Just like your old man, hm? Well, I hate to break it to you, but he's no stone wall, and neither are you. I will make you spill words, even if I have to snap every bone in your miserable body. And trust me, I will enjoy every... single... minute."
He pulled the blindfold off my head, and for a few seconds I could barely make out the man's figure as my eyes adjusted to the light. From what I could make out, I saw a small table at the wall opposite, a window with the glass broken, and an infestation of dust in the air. I groaned and looked up, my once blinded eyes wide with shock at who stood before me.
Alexander Wright, second-in-command to the Iron Brigade.
He walked over to the table across the room and grabbed a two-way radio. I shuddered as I heard him humming a tune my father once sung. He made his way back and sat on the chair. "Your father's channel."
I shook my head. The humming stopped. He grabbed at my bound hands and undid the coils, pinning my wounded hand to the wall. "I really don't like repeating myself. His channel."
I spat in his eye.
His hands wrapped around my wrist and he dragged my hand down the wall, tearing the skin. With my free hand, I screamed and slashed at him, tearing a hole in his shirt. He slapped me across the face and gave me a swift punch to the side. I tried kicking, but the wire around my feet was tied to the bed frame. Helpless.
He pulled me close. "Next is your teeth. Channel. Now!"
The pain ran up my arm and forced the words out of my mouth before I could stop it. "Eight... eight-one..."
Alexander smiled and ruffled my hair. "That wasn't so bad, now was it? I just need one more favor." He clicked the dial on the radio a few times, then pressed the talk button. "Talk," he mouthed.
My eyes were daggers at him. "No," I mouthed back.
He grabbed my hair and brought me close. His voice became low. "You better start talking, or I'll make sure the last thing you'll see is me using your son of a bitching father as target practice. Talk."
Panting heavily, glaring, I spoke. "D... Dad?"
"Alice? Sweetie, are you alright? Where are you?"
"I'm... I'm fine, Dad." I did what I could to stop my voice from cracking. "I'm just fine."
"Honey, where are you? I've been trying to contact you since last night."
Alexander leaned back in the chair, pulling the radio away from me. "She got held up. You know how easy missions can turn difficult."
There was a brief pause. A shiver ran down my spine when I heard my father speak. "You worthless bastard. What are you doing with my daughter?"
"Catching up, Nicky." He was sounding cheerful. "I want to see you again, and I thought about it. What better way to see an old friend than kidnap his baby girl? She's like you in a lot of ways."
"I wouldn't mind seeing you, either. Maybe this time I'll get around to blowing your head off."
"Come on, you know threats like those don't work on me. I know you too well."
There was silence on my father's end, then, "I'm coming to get my daughter, Alexander, and you had better leave when I do. When I find you, when I hunt you down, anything you have done to my daughter, I will do unto you ten times as worse. And when I do find you, I expect to hear you praying. Not to God. To me."
"I told you, your little threats don't work on me, Nicholas."
What my father said next made me smirk despite the pain.
"You know I don't make threats, Alexander."
The easy smile on his face faded. Tossing the radio across the room it became apparent that Alexander knew that my father wasn't joking. Unfortunately, he wasn't here.
Alexander towered over me. My smirk vanished.
"Might as well have some fun, hm?"