Disclaimer: Not mine
A/N: This story is being revised and rewritten. Why? Because there were several problems with the first version, and it was annoying me. This version will be much better, and (hopefully) make much more sense. (If you're interested in reading the original version, go to Ashley Hammond/Astro Yellow's homepage.) Other than that, please read and review.
Somewhere far away
He'd lost track of the days soon after he'd been brought here, but he knew that it had been weeks, if not months already. He'd been captured by bounty hunters, but why he didn't know. It was fair to assume that there was some evil entity with a vendetta against him, but there was never any clue to who his captor was, there was only the days passing in what had become a bleak routine.
Most of the time, he was left alone in the pitch blackness of his small, cold cell. With nothing to do, he lay motionlessly on the hard metal cot, alternately plotting his escape and thinking of his fiancé. He was fed every few days, the intervals becoming longer and longer. Every day without fail, he was hauled away by the two guards to be beaten savagely. A punishment of some sort, he supposed, but he had no clue as to why he was here.
The door to his cell grated open, and he was blinded by the sudden light that streamed in through the door, big enough for only one person to occupy the doorway, a precaution against his escape.
There were two guards, both wearing long black cloaks draped over their heads. Niether of them had spoken a word to him in the whloe time that he had been in this place.
The one to his right motioned for him to stand. As he always did, he considered refusing, but in the end, he stood. He was painfully aware that they were slowly killing him, and he was determined to survive as long as he needed to in order for him to think up an escape plan that would succeed where all his previous attempts hadn't.
Now the guard was motioning impatiently for him to approach them. He did, sullenly, and could not help feeling disgusted with himself for obeying them. The fact that obeying went along with living did little, if anything at all, to make him feel better. He'd been a warrior much of his life, and he should not fear death. He never had before.
As soon as he was near enough to his guards, their hands lashed out and clamped down firmly just above his elbows. The speed at which they moved always startled him, and convinced him that he wasn't dealing with anything human.
Their grip on him painful now, the two guards dragged him down a corridor so blindingly white that it seemed a completely different world from the dark hole that he was forced to live in.
They stopped abruptly in front of a door, hardly distinguishable from the walls surrounding it. The door slid open smoothly, silently, the walls in the interior of the room it opened into the same bright white, and it took several moments for it to register that the door had opened at all.
When he looked past the walls, his heart sank at what he saw. This would be different than the beatings that he had received before, but he didn't try to delude himself into thinking that it would be any less painful. On the contrary, he had no doubts that it would hurt more.
The walls of the room were lined with various pieces of machinery and equipment that he would much rather not know the uses for, and several consoles that contained writing in one of the few languages that he had not managed to pick up at least a rudimentary knowledge of in his adventures.
In the center of the room, there was a cot, not dissimilar from the one in his cell, except for the straps that were attatched to it, and currently folded up neatly. Clearly, this cot had been designed to have someone strapped down to it. What would happen once they were strapped down was made just as obvious by the electrodes on the small table alongside the cot, although he wished that it wasn't.
His guards thrust him into the room, the door sliding shut as soon as they themselves passed through it. There was no audible clicking of a lock, but he knew that he could never open the door, and instead of wasting his energy on a futile attempt to do so, he braced himself for what was coming next.
Pride prevented him from resisting when he was forced onto the cot, and he simply lay back, letting himself be strapped down. The straps were drawn painfully tight around his wrists and ankles especially, although the binds on his chest and stomach were making breathing a challenge.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the door slide open again, and another figure entered. This one was not cloaked, and he could see the man's face clearly. He was old, far past sixty, with wisps of white hair scattered randomly across his otherwise bald head. His icy blue eyes were cold, and held a hint of excitement. Clearly, he enjoyed what he did.
"Well, Red Ranger," he said, his voice no warmer than his gaze. "It seems you are not as strong as you once believed yourself to be, and now you will pay for it."
Andros started as he was spoken to. He hadn't heard spoken words since before he'd been captured. Now that he had something to compare it against, he preferred the silence.
A thin bronze ring had been fitted across his forehead as he'd been ambushed. It was slightly too small for his head, something he didn't doubt had been purposeful, and he could feel it chafing against his skin every time he moved his head. Now, though, it was being torn off, and Andros clenched his teeth as he felt his skin tearing, no doubt drawing blood in at least one place.
Two electrodes were attatched to his forehead where the ring had been, and Andros did his best not to shudder as he felt the cold metal touch his skin, determined not to let them see his fear. One of his guards made a sudden movement, and then he felt the electrodes being ripped off, and the ring was jammed back over his head.
Too late, Andros realized why. His fear had been at the front of his mind, but in the back of his mind, he'd felt the telepathic senses that he hadn't felt in months. Berating himself for not being more alert, he wondered if Ashley had noticed anything, had sensed anything at all that might lead to his rescue.
He stopped thinking of Ashley as the electrodes were reattatched to his head, this time higher up on his forehead, above the ring. His head was already aching, but Andros knew it was going to get much worse than a simple headache.
Without any warning, or a chance to brace himself, he heard the flip of a switch. The pain that followed drove everything else out of his mind, and he screamed, his entire body flooded with agony.