Chapter one


The darkness crept up on me, stalking me like a fearless hungry predator. Curled up in a ball I pressed my back roughly into the wall behind me, trying not to think about the fact that I was trapped in a cold dank cell that smelled of rancid meat, baby food and sewage.

The silence burrowed into my head and the ghosts started coming back. Ever since my first mission I have been having nightmares, I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and sobbing into my pillow, I didn't tell Tom or Jack or anyone else about them; how every time I closed my eyes cold dead ones stared back at me. I told myself I could handle them; that they would go away. And they did, for a little while, but about a week ago, they came back, and now, in this dark room its worse, because now I am awake and I can't wake up and get away from the faces that haunt me, all the people who have died because of me. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to take deep calming breaths.

The door opens, I can tell because the backs of my eyelids have started to glow a fuzzy red.

Opening my eyes slowly, so as not to blind myself, I look up into the face of my captor.

A tall, heavyset man that reminded me of an ogre stood in the doorway, grinning down at me maniacally.

A flash back to when I was taken flew through my head. This man had beaten me pretty badly and as a flare of phantom pain washed over me, I cringed back instinctively.

It was not a smart thing to do, his grin got even wider, something I hadn't thought was possible.

He stepped toward me and raised his hand, swinging it back, teasing me, and enjoying the small flinches and the fear I couldn't quite keep out of my eyes.

He leaned down and grabbed me by the front of my shirt. It was a button down dress shirt that I had worn to dinner with Jack to celebrate my safe return home. We would have gone a week ago but I hadn't been able to move from my bed for the first few days and even after that I was still feeling weak.

I hadn't liked that, not being able to get up to defend myself, and I had gotten up the first chance I had (when Jack had left my side for more then a minute to go to the shop.)

With much grunting and pain, I had made myself sit up and throw my legs over the side of my bed.

It had been torture and by the time I had gotten safely to the edge of my bed I was out of breath and covered in sweat. Five minutes later and I tried to stand up.

I got to my feet and a split second later I was crumpled on the floor, biting my lip to stop myself from crying out in pain.

I shuddered at the memory of Jack finding me on the floor a couple of minutes later, and getting me back in bed, scolding me for pushing myself unnecessarily, all the while with a look of horror on her face.

I snap out of my flash backs when a sharp pain brings me back to the immediate problem: the big guy beating the shit out of me.

Rolling over in a sloppy commando roll, I wince as I feel the pain caused by broken ribs. I don't get very far and by the third strike, my already beaten and bloodied body shuts down. I slide into unconsciousness.

I wake up a little later in a different room, this one is pure white and I wonder if this is a deliberate attack on my eyes or if it's just coincidental, somehow I don't think it is an accident.

I am tied to a chair and the rope they are using to hold my ankles and wrists to the metal is cutting into my skin, making it raw. I feel the trickle of blood and hear the drops as they hit the floor, dripping from my fingers.

I can feel every inch of my body; it was like my senses have been magnified.

I can feel my dislocated left shoulder as the bone moved around in the socket, the broken bones in my other arm and the broken ribs, about three I guess. I was sure I had a couple of broken toes and fingers but didn't feel like bring more pain by checking.

Every little movement was agony and I try to keep as still as possible. It's not that hard I'm exhausted.

I don't know how long I stay, sitting limply in the cold, uncomfortable chair, listening to the steady rhythm of my blood hitting the floor before the door opens, but it seemed like an age.

I wait, apprehensive, wondering what was going to happen now.

The door swung open all the way and revealed a tall, painfully thin man with a sharp, angular face and eyes that were the dullest grey I had ever seen, a storm cloud of cruel, vain, selfish thoughts.

He walked forward; his stride was quick and precise. When he got to the chair where I was sitting, he stood in front of me and stared at me. He kept staring for a couple of minutes and I started to become uncomfortable under his gaze.

A minute later, he began talking in calm, melodic voice.

"You are going to regret the day you betrayed scorpia Alex. I am going to make you writhe in agony until either you beg for mercy or you go mad. I am not going to kill you because soon you will want to die and it would ruin all my fun to let you die, I want you to feel humiliated like you have humiliated scorpia. I want you to feel the worst pain you have ever felt and I want to watch you cry and plead for leniency. Leniency that I will never grant. I want to see the hopeful light in your eyes die."

He finished talking and stared at me for a moment longer before turning around and walking out of the room.

When I hear the door click shut, I close my eyes and fight against the tears that threaten to fall, and the despair that threatened to engulf me.

I try to wrap my head around the fact that I am trapped and in the hands of a very angry, vengeful terrorist organization.