Chapter 7:


Castiel regarded Alastair with the kind of unguarded, sullen resignation of an oft-abused animal. The kind of resignation that came with the knowledge that they were unable to stop what was happening to them...the kind that foreshadowed loss of all hope. The once bright intensity that shone from his sapphire eyes… eyes that could burn and pierce through a mortal soul and see the truth hidden away inside, were slowly becoming shrouded and dull. This had been the second day of torture. The second day of pain so unimaginable to the faltering angel that he had tried repeatedly to crawl away inside and hide from the torment. It never failed though that Alastair would come at him with some new, twisted horror and that all his carefully crafted walls would crumble and he would be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the moment as the agony swept through his devastated system.

His mind returned to the moment he had awakened for the day. He had been hoping perhaps it had all been a dream, a nightmarish dream. He knew of their existence from his human charge, Dean Winchester, who had been plagued endlessly by them. He had thought, just maybe, he had somehow found himself undergoing the harrowing experience for himself. He was crushed to find that he was caught in a nightmare that was set in reality. No dream state for him, just the gripping terror of brutality and depravity that had found form in the evil presence he was held captive by.

Castiel had wallowed in the darkness of the drug-induced stupor. He had taken what small relief he could in the small reprieve he was thrust into. His host's whole body burned and ached and throbbed. He alone felt the pain. He had promised himself that Michael, his host body's rightful owner, would never be allowed to feel the pain being wrought upon his form. Castiel used as much of his angelic energy as he had left to him to bind and shield the man from awareness deep inside himself. When the man had given his form to be used by God, he had never signed on for this. And thus it was that he, Castiel, took all the punishment upon himself. He prayed, though he knew not if his prayers were even heard, that he could hold on long enough to die in the form and release Michael without him ever having felt the ministrations that Alastair wrought so skillfully upon him.

Castiel had awoken to the shivering spike of a needle penetrating his nakedly exposed inner thigh. For a few long moments, the foggy haze that pervaded his tremoring mind remained. Soon enough, though, he felt the potent stimulants pulsing through the host's body…Before long, he found himself hyper-aware of every single hurt and throb. He felt the blood positively tingling through his body as everyone of the undamaged nerves sparked to readiness. The damaged nerves flickered on and off, burning out under the strain, or spiking painful surges through his overwrought system. Castiel moaned as every sensation amplified under the inducement of the drugs. Alastair watched from a short distance away, a bemused sort of grin playing on his stern features. He looked on in fascination as the angel came to full and utter awareness. Alastair closed in on the wayward angel's pinned form. He strolled amiably around the prone man, the only outward sign of his awareness of the angel was an occasional tilt of his head as he regarded a plane of body unscathed by his manipulations or as he pondered on how best to elicit the screams and piteous whimpers that were as the finest caliber of music to his ears. Castiel's eyes tracked his movement, his chest heaved as he writhed under the disturbingly intense gaze of the man Alastair possessed.

Alastair studied his newest toy at length. After all, he had no need to hurry. He hated to hurry. It denied him the full pleasure of the experience and it also denied him the ability to truly break his subject under his will. Sure, some broke easier then others, but he did so love the satisfaction of watching that moment…that singular moment, as they lost their last reserve and gave into his will. It was an exquisitely delicious pleasure to him. Each was a delicacy to be treasured, a rare and glorious gem to tuck away in his bountiful vault. He pressed his index finger to his lips, absent-mindedly tapping the digit in thoughtful repose. He decided, finally, what he would like to focus on for the day. He smiled his jackal-like grin as he set to wrapping himself in the full-length white apron and tucked himself and his array of implements close to the former angel's cringing form. He leaned in, gripping the angel's throat, ripping the tube harshly from within his trembling lips. Castiel gasped as the plastic scraped painfully along the delicate tissue of his throat. Alastair detached the leads to the lines from plasma and fluids and nodded to the demon minions to take them away and to leave him to his work. Once they had slunk from his sight, he was able to turn his full attention to his unwilling subject. "Ah…Castiel…I do so hope you enjoyed your rest. I believe it's time we got started, don't you?"

Alastair had started with the blades. Their terrible, sharp planes raked over and through Castiel's body over and over again. He screamed out hoarsely as he was besieged by the thrumming, over-amplified sensations each newly pierced inch of flesh was subject to. Tears poured heavily from his burning eyes as Alastair patiently waited for each racking sob and heaving shudder to die down before continuing to the next expanse of flesh. At long last, he tired of the blades for the moment. Though he favored them heavily, as he felt they could produce the most acute pain he could want to apply, he had other tantalizing options to choose from as well. He lifted a heavy leather and canvas glove from a table behind him. He struck out towards the small blast furnace in the corner of the room. The furnace kept the unnerving chill of the squalor-laden plane of existence he was stuck upon for the moment at a bearably warm level. He levered the heavy cast-iron door open and sighed deeply as the blazing warmth struck him full force. As the exposed flames licked away inside the metal sheath, he thought …'Almost like home'. He reached within the confines of the heat and lifted the metal poker from the flames. It glowed defiantly, as if it held contained within itself the burning embers of flame. Alastair tilted his head thoughtfully for a moment as he regarded the teeming surface of the metal. It brought him back to the good old days. The days he had spent as a human. It really had been a long time ago, but…time was relative. He loved his worked. It never got old. It never got boring. He hummed quietly to himself and he strolled back to the wilting angel, all the while he pondered on the memories that stirred inside his mind.

"You know…I was human…oh, what is that saying…ah… yes…once upon a time, in a land far, far away…" he snickered wickedly for a moment before continuing on "I was a priest, actually." He said as he reached the angel's side. He raked his gaze over Castiel's barrowed body, deciding just were to strike the first blow…his eyes lit up as his gaze played upon the perfect spot…he drug the pulsating metal slowly across the skin of the angel's side and over the ribcage. Castiel's body bucked violently, arcing up against the restraints, the shuddering screams bursting out in pantingly expelled cries. Alastairs lips twisted in a terrible smile. He lifted the metal away from the skin and let the sobbing man's body subside back down to the table's surface. His eyes fluttered closed as he absorbed the whimpers, breathed in the moans…he sighed contentedly before opening his eyes. He picked up where he had left off, stalking gracefully around the table.

"I had my humble beginnings as a priest, slowly working my way up the ranks with in the Church. I came to a suitably high position just in time for the Inquisition…ah….those were the glory days…I was placed in charge of wringing out the confessions of the accused sinners. Lead torturer, as it were, though that was not the official name of the position…I tell you…the Church could rival even Hell with all its politics and squabbling and red tape…Bloody nightmare at times…" he paused as he spied another suitably tender bit of flesh to work on. He drug the burning metal along the jut at the hip, where the side abdominal muscle ended and the pelvic bone began. He slid it down the divot to the inner thigh, grazing the unguarded flesh in a teasingly slow stroke. Castiel arched up, unable to even scream, the sound ripped from his lungs as the flesh seared and burned under Alastair's pleased gaze. He lifted the fiery spike of metal away again, waiting patiently as Castiel collapsed back to the table, eyes and jaw clenched tight as he rode out the white-hot stinging burn. Alastair regarded the metal for a moment. Its glow had subsided since he had plucked it from the blaze. He tsked softly under his breath as he strolled back to the furnace gate. He replaced the metal rod into the flame and withdrew another to replace it…"That's better…" he murmured quietly to himself. He returned to the angel. "Hmmm…now where was I…oh yes…" he said as he paced around the angel again, "I remember now…You see, I was very good at what I did…I took torture to new heights, thought up new, inventive ways to elicit their confessions. As with all things though, too much of a good thing can be bad…I began to crave the things I did…I took immense pleasure in my position. I pushed harder and harder, torturing well past the moment they uttered their confessions. It was then that my colleagues took it upon themselves to condemn me to suffer the same fate…" he paused for a moment. He depressed a lever and the table surface began to retract and was replaced with a widely spaced cage construction that exposed Castiel's back. He depressed another lever and Castiel felt himself tilted forward, the restraints digging painfully into his body as all his weight was deposited more heavily on them. Castiel was now propped upright, his position seemingly a mockery of Da Vinci's Vetruvian Man. "Such toys these pathetic beings have come up with since I last visited!" Alastair said delightedly. He walked around behind pinned body, contemplating the newest pieces of fleshy canvas made available to him.

"As I was saying, I was put to the rack, tortured as I had tortured. Oh, I put up a good fight, but, eventually, Hell came to claim me for its own. I was put to the rack there as well, and for all my carefully honed skills, I was humbled by the pain they could bring me…" he paused to stroke the glaring, seething metal down the exposed length of spine, the nerves that sit so close to the surface there screamed in agony under the onslaught. Castiel flung himself forward in an attempt to get away from the maddening torment. The stench of burning flesh crept into his mouth and nose and he felt the host's body reacting, his stomach roiling and writing inside him. He felt the bile rise, clawing its way up and out of his body. Alastair withdrew the metal and watched with detached interest as the angel shuddered through the sickness. When he stopped heaving, he sunk down, his body slumping against the restraints as he rode the dry heaves into low, moaning pants.

"One day, though I am unsure how long I was down there because, as you know, time plays by its own rules there, but still, one day, my torturer asked me a question. If given the chance, would I pick up the blade and torture other souls. Well…as if there was any question. He seemed pleased at how readily I took to the task. All my earthly skills and all the skills I absorbed under his ministrations, I applied now on the souls set before me. I relished my work. As I had on earth, so it was below. I steadily rose in ranks as my renown for torture grew…" he stroked the rod down the expanse thigh and down to the crook of the knee, thrusting the rod hard into the flesh, until it butted up against the back of the kneecap. Castiel screamed, the pain radiating throughout his body. Alastair withdrew the offending metal and applied the same torment to the other leg. The screams ringing out from the angel's tortured throat became all the more desperate. He withdrew the metal and went to place the rod into the flame once again. He was done working for the day, he decided. The angel wept, unable to quiet the moans pouring from within him for what seemed like an eternity.

Alastair levered the machine down, allowing the table to slide in beneath the angel's body. Alastair set to cleaning himself up as he listened with relish to the angel as he whimpered and wept behind him. Finally the angel began to subside, the drugs starting to fade from his system. Alastair closed his eyes and mentally sent a message to the demon's that stood in wait in the other room. They wheeled the carts in and set to reattaching the leads and tubes under Alastair's watchful glare. Once they completed their task, they took their leave and left Alastair alone with the harrowed angel once again. Castiel regarded Alastair with lethargic, resigned eyes as Alastair prepared the sedative once again.

"Well, now, you can guess the rest of the story…I am the king of the mountain, so to speak. I have been for quite some time. No one has even compared to my quality and craftsmanship in a good long while…that is, until I broke Dean Winchester…ah…now there was a quick study…" his words broke off as his eyes shifted away to assure there was no air in the needle tube, once satisfied, he continued "I think if I could have had a bit more time I could really have brought him along quite nicely, who knows…someday, I might even have had him sharing my position…but, alas, you went and ruined that. Well, at least for the time being…all goes to plan and I might just be able to reclaim him after all…" He slid the needle home into Castiel's throat, piercing the vein with precision and depositing the sedative into his system with succinct skill before removing the thin metal blade in a quick, deft sweep of his hand.

Alastair brought his face close to the angel's, whispering menacingly into his ear…"Rest up while you can…we're going to have some real fun tomorrow…After thinking about my beginnings, I just have this…craving…to bring out some of the oldies but goodies…" his laughed wickedly, leaning back to watch the angel succumb to the drugs. Alastair's jackal-like grin faded slowly from view as Castiel let himself sink readily into the night-dark blackness of oblivion.