Chapter 5- A First Kill
Jack awoke somewhat startled, finding himself hanging from a wall by his arms, which had been bound over his head. Looking down, he saw that not only had his feet also been bound, but his captors had left him only his pants for clothing. As his vision came back to him, the blurred screen in front of his eyes slowly lifting, he decided that he was definitely in prison of some sorts, but where he did not know. The room was encased by stone walls, a door with a barred window stood at one end. There were a few decomposing corpses along the far wall, producing a nasty stench. The dirt floor completed the prison. Numerous torture weapons lined the far wall, but no one was around to use them. To Jack's right, Sarah was also bound in a similar manner, but Aragorn was no where in sight. They had at least left Sarah with the commodity of a shirt.
"You awake?" Jack asked his seemingly unconscious partner. Sarah lifted her head and opened her eyes.
"Yeah," she said quietly. "I guess so." She tried to move, but found all of he limbs bounds. "What happened?" she asked, a little dazed.
"I think someone broke into our inn and took us hostage, but I don't know why." Jack mused in the thought of the past happenings, worrying now about escaping from here rather than getting back to 1999ad at the moment. "I don't think that we're just going to be left here though. No one takes people captive like that for the hell of it."
"I guess so," she said, trying to move again. "But I'd rather not wait for someone to get us. Anyway, those things over there don't give me a good feeling," she motioned her head toward the torture implements on the far wall. "Let's just use a little Force Tech and get the hell out of here." After saying this, both of them tried to concentrate on drawing whatever energy they could, but were surprised when they found that there was little energy to be had.
"What the?!" Jack said, trying again to make a draw, but failing. "There's nothing! Nothing at all!"
"This room is filled with death," Sarah said morbidly. "All of the natural life force in the room is dead. We can't use it." She slumped back down to her original hanging position. "We're stuck."
"Damn it!" Jack shouted. "So now what? I guess we just wait."
"I guess so." Sarah muttered. She looked at Jack, who was still trying to draw some energy. "Hey, I never knew that your underarm hair was blue also," she said, trying to change the conversation. Jack stopped struggling with the Force Tech and turned to Sarah.
"If it's blue up there," he rolled his eyes up towards his scalp. "It's blue everywhere," he said with a grin.
"Everywhere?" she said, directing her line of sight towards his loins.
"Yup, everywhere." Jack's skin started to turn red in slight embarrassment. "I thought that you would have known that."
"I guess I did, I just never actually remember seeing blue hair anywhere besides your head. I've actually always thought it was a kind of cool statement. It makes you original."
"Yeah, but do you remember back in freshman year of High School and all those kids who didn't know me thought it was hair dye and that it was so cool. I must of heard about a hundred people ask me 'where did you get that hair coloring, it looks so cool.' I think about half the grade dyed their hair blue for a while, but no one could really ever match my shade."
"Yeah, I remember that, I always thought it was kind of funny, everyone looked kind of weird since they had blue coloring that never really looked right." The two were just starting to enjoy reminiscing of old times when the door to the chamber suddenly swung open. A large mystic, about six and a half feet tall walked in. His green skin was covered with many scars. Both of the captives attentions turned to him.
"Looks like you're up," the Mystic said. "The name's Golrath and I'll have the pleasure of being your interrogator slash torturer for this evening." He walked over to Jack and looked him up and down. "We'll start with you," he said menacingly.
"Interrogator?" Jack said with disgust. "You decided to knock us out and chain us up so you could ask a few questions? You gotta be kidding me. Just because you were so rude, I'm not going to tell you anything."
"Quite human!" Golrath made a fist and slugged Jack in the stomach. Jack tried his best not to flinch. He had been taught in resisting torture back in SSAF training. "You'll answer my questions, everyone caves eventually, or else they die. Anyway, maybe I should tell you your situation before you get to much confidence. This is the Denadoro Mountain mystic base camp. You're miles away from your precious king and his army. The bridge is still down, so unless your a really good swimmer, and can avoid the sharks native to that area, escape is futile. Now, how do you feel about your situation?"
Jack gritted his teeth and sneered at the mystic. "I feel like I'm not getting the courtesy I deserve." The mystic slugged him in the stomach again and started asking questions.
"How are those magic swords of yours constructed? How many do you humans have? How do they work? Tell me!"
"What are you talking about, I don't know a thing about any of that stuff!" he said while Golrath kept yelling questions. "Wait a minute," Jack said under his breath, 'magic swords?' He must mean the my TAG. Great, Sarah and me have landed plop in the middle of the mystic war, and now the mystics have control of a weapon that could change history if they figure out how to make it. Not like that's gonna happen, but I can't give this guy any information. "You can suck it if you think I'm gonna talk to the likes of you!" he spat at Golrath.
"Jack, is he talking about the TAG's?" Sarah asked.
"Oh, so it looks like you'll be an easier nut to crack," Golrath walked over to Sarah. "Tell me what you know about the magic swords." Sarah then thought through what Jack had just thought of, coming up with the same theory.
"Yeah right! Like I'm going to tell you anything." She remained completely composed, remembering back to her training.
"Fine then," Golrath wound up to hit Sarah when Jack intervened.
"I swear to god," Jack eyed Golrath viciously, "that if you lay one finger on her, I'll kill you four times before hit the floor," he said in his most menacing voice.
"Oh really?" Golrath played with that thought and the chances of the puny human killing him and then just laughed. "Well then human, try it!" he nailed Sarah as hard as he could in ribs. Sarah tried to not let the pain get to her but she flinched at the contact. Jack let out a yell and tried to break his bonds, but it didn't work. "Is that it?" Golrath mocked. "I kind of like this game!" Golrath let out a wicked laugh and punched Sarah again, this time she let out a yelp.
"You worthless pig," she said, trying to fight back, but she couldn't break the bonds.
"Oh, name calling huh," Golrath then started to punch Sarah repeatedly in the stomach, when Jack decided that he had had enough.
"Son of biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!!" he screamed as he became surrounded by a blackish blue aura. "I'll kill you!!" Then, seemingly without effort, Jack snapped open the bonds on his hands and leapt at Golrath, breaking his feet chains in the process. Caught off guard, Golrath was hit in the head by Jack's jumping side kick and was sent rolling on the floor. As Golrath tried to get up, Jack blasted him with a roundhouse across the face and then a crescent heal kick to the temple, sending his large opponent flying sideways.
"Insolent human!" Golrath screamed, drawing a sword from the torture tool wall and running at Jack. With perfect timing, Jack nailed the side of the blade with a spinning roundhouse, sending the sword flying to the wall. The blade had so much speed on it, that it ricocheted off the wall and flew back towards Jack, who caught it by the handle. Golrath watched in a state of stunned amazement. "Who the hell are you?!" He said in shock. Jack ignored the question and jumped up, flipping over Golrath and stabbing the sword into his shoulder blade. The mystic screamed as he struggled to get the sword out, Jack slowly walked away and then launched another jump kick, hitting the pommel of the sword, sending the sword through Golrath up to the hilt. The force of the blow was so great that Golrath was sent flying at a wall whereupon the blade of the sword embedded itself in the wall, pinning the helpless mystic up. The blackish blue aura around Jack then subsided, as he walked up to his previous captor, ready to ask some questions of his own. He was panting, but other than that, uninjured.
"Okay, mister interrogator, now I'm asking the questions." Jack leaned over Golrath's shoulder and spoke directly into his ear. "Now aren't you sorry someone never taught you how to treat a lady?" Jack slugged the big mystic in the ribs which was followed by a scream of pain from Golrath.
"Umm, Jack?" Jack turned to see Sarah hanging from the wall. Little worse for wear but no broken bones. "Could you cut me down?"
"Oh, sorry," Jack walked over to the far wall and grabbed another sword and also a bottle of some vile smelling liquor that he found in a corpses hand. Then he walked over to Sarah, put down the bottle and cut the chains with the sword. "Sorry for the delay."
"No problem, but I thought there wasn't any Force Tech energy," Sarah looked at Jack suspiciously.
"I guess I just found some," he said with a shrug, "now, let's find out how to get out of here." Jack picked up the bottle that he had put on the floor and walked over to the still whimpering Golrath. "I'm going to assume that you have the keys, so why don't I take them," Jack started to search the mystic's bloody clothes when he started to struggle and reached down to grab Jack. Jack was about to defend himself when Golrath let out another scream of pain. When Jack looked up, he saw Sarah twisting the sword that was imbedded in their captive.
"Can't have you doing that, now can we?" She said with her teeth gritted. "Now I'm going to ask that my friend here show you the same courtesy that we've been shown. Jack?" she looked down at him.
"Found them!" he said triumphantly, holding up at a set of keys. He handed them to Sarah. "Figure out which one gets us out of here while I retrieve some information from our new guest."
"Gotcha," she said, walking over to the door, starting to try a number of different keys. Jack got up and decided that class he got in interrogation would actually come in handy. Not really a barbaric person by nature, he was sort of grossed out when he saw some of the stuff that he was supposed to do with a captive that refused to give the info he needed. The last thing on his mind during that class was actually performing some of the procedures he learned, but he was still mad at this particular mystic and so he decided that he wasn't going to be very nice.
"Now as for you," Jack said as he lightly hit the top of the bottle against the prison wall, knocking off the neck. He put down the larger portion, which still had some of a vile smelling liquor in it, and picked up the bottleneck. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way."
"Why don't you explain my options in more detail," he said mockingly. Jack grabbed the handle of the sword and twisted it again. Golrath let out a scream of pain. Jack then ripped off the already torn up shit the Golrath was wearing.
"You keep that up and I'm gonna make that the easy way," Jack said bluntly. "Now, I've got some questions for you. There was a swordsman with us in the inn. Where is he?"
"You think I'd tell you something like that so easi..." he was cut off by his own scream as Jack stabbed the broken end of the bottle neck into his back and dragged it across his skin. The dark red blood started to drip down his back.
"Let's try this again. Where is the swordsman that was with us?"
"We dropped him off somewhere on the road when we found that he wasn't one of the people with the magic swords," he said, obviously in pain. "He wasn't any value to us so we decided to stop carrying him."
"What do you want with these so-called magic swords?"
"Fuck you, ass hole," he spat back. Jack took the bottle-neck and stabbed him again, dragging it along his skin in a similar manner. Golrath's back was now covered in blood. He screamed and then started to spill the information. "Magus wants them to try to mimic their creation. Also, he's afraid that you humans have a lot of them already and wants to even the odds," he said, almost whimpering.
"What about our equipment? Where is the stuff that we came with? Where are our 'magic swords?'"
"You can suck my..." before Golrath could finish, Jack picked up the rest of the bottle and slowly poured it's contents over the mystic's back. He screamed in agony and the liquid entered all of his new wounds. "You're ruthless aren't you?" he moaned. "They're in the room next to this one, accessed by the hall outside of the door. All the stuff we found in your room is there too."
"Okay, you're getting good at this. Not many more questions left." Jack dropped the empty bottle and the bottleneck to the floor. He thought of his next question. "Now, so how do we get out of here?"
"You can't," the mystic said in a sick laugh, spewing up blood as he did. "You'll be killed as soon as you set foot outside of that door." Ironically, Sarah found the right key just at that time and it swung open. Upon inspection of the outer hall, there were no guards.
"I'm gonna check the next room for our stuff," she said. Jack gave her the okay with a hand signal and she left the room. Jack directed his attention back to his new friend.
"You let me worry about that," he said bluntly. "Now, how do we get out?" The mystic laughed again.
"Just concentrate on going up and you'll find the ground level."
"Good. Now, what about your boss? Where is this Magus guy?"
"Are you a fool? He's not here, he's at his castle. I wouldn't worry about him if I were you." Jack paused and thought to himself about what to do with his captive.
"I think I'm done with you now," he said. The mystic just laughed. "But I do remember something about killing you four times before you hit the ground."
"What?!" the mystic said, struggling to get free again but just screaming more when he ended up moving the sword blade around inside of him. "I've told you all you wanted! What more do you want from me!?"
"I'll bet you're wishing you never touched the girl now huh?" Jack picked up the sword that was on the ground.
"No!" Golrath screamed in a last minute hope for mercy. Jack ignored it and drew the sword that was pinning Golrath up out of him. As fast as he could, he stabbed Golrath in the stomach, lifted the blade up into his lung, pulled it out, stabbed him again in the heart and as the mystic started to fall, pulled the blade out again and then lopped off his head. As the Golrath hit the ground, Sarah walked into the room and stared at Jack's handy work.
"Wow," she said, almost whispering. "Four potential death blows all before he hit the ground." He did that just because that guy touched me? She thought to herself. Then just as if Jack was coming out of a trance, he started to shake and dropped the sword he was holding. Soon after, he crumbled to his knees. Sarah watched in shock. "Jack!" she yelled, getting down to help him. "What's wrong?"
"I…I've never," he couldn't get the words out. "I've never killed anyone before." Sarah tried to help as best she could.
"It's okay, Jack. It's gonna be okay," she spoke very softly.
"It was like I was a machine," he said, sounding disgusted at his own actions. "I wasn't even thinking, my mindset was just to get what I needed from him and kill him. I've never felt that way before. I don't remember ever having a problem hurting anyone that deserved it. I always thought that if they had it coming, than I shouldn't worry about it, but…" he paused. "What I did to that mystic was horrible. I think I'm gonna be sick when I think about that. I didn't even think when I did it…"
"Jack," Sarah said, trying to calm him down. "You can't freak out on me like this. I can't do this without you. You need to snap back to reality. That's how it works. In this world, in this situation, you kill or get killed. That's the law of the jungle, and this is just about as close to the jungle as we've ever been."
"I know," he said in a whisper. "But, I've still never killed anyone before. It makes you sick. It's like, you want to die but you can't, and all you want to do is throw up when you think about what you did. To take a life…is that ever right?"
"Jack, do remember when you asked Sean why we had to go through all that training every day. You asked him sort of jokingly, but when he looked at you, he got real serious. Do you remember what he said?" Jack slowly nodded his head. "He said that 'the training is for you instincts Jack. When you go into battle, you don't have time to think. If you think, you die, and if you die, that's one life that SSAF invested too much time in. You have to react on instincts, instantaneously, almost like a machine. It's not my rule Jack, that's just the way life is and you have to except that if you want to survive.' Now look at you. What would Sean say if he saw you like this? I know to kill is something that hard, but I remember someone once saying 'killing is one of those things that gets easier the more you do it.' I don't remember where I heard it from, but it makes sense. Now are you ready to get the hell out of this place?" Slowly, Jack climbed to his feet and Sarah handed him his combat vest.
"Yeah," he said quietly. "I'm okay now. Now let's get out of this hell hole." They started for the door, then Jack spoke again. "And Sarah?" she turned to him. "Thanks."
"No problem. Let's not do anything else that might make Sean laugh at us. Let's at least make him proud, wherever he is."
-Authors Note- Yeah I know that Solid Snake said that whole thing about how killing gets easier the more you do it so don't anyone say you stole that. I'm not taking credit for it. Maybe I'll do a quote for each chapter where I can think of one that applies. That might be harder than it sounds, but anyway, I'll say that's my quote for this chapter.
"Killing is one of those things that gets easier the more you do it" -Solid Snake
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