First, I'm more than a bit surprised at the attention this has gotten. Who knew that a story just about Darius being tortured would get considerable proportional readership?
This story was just something on a whim that I wanted to try out.
The rationale behind making this story was based on three main things. The first is that I was interested in writing the background about a certain class of individuals in Panem's society and the process they go through. The second one is to show just how screwed-up the Capitol was. Lastly, I thought Darius deserved some attention.
At the same time, I wanted to walk the fine line between being descriptive and informative, without falling into the torture porn trap.
Thing is, I did not think most of this stuff on my own; though I may have exaggerated and adapted it for the futuristic setting. Much stuff has historical basis.
Getting rid of someone's tongue was a common punishment in the past. As expected, it was a common punishment for people who were considered subversives. Of course, the removal is nowhere near the extent as depicted here.
The tongue isn't just important in talking and tasting (though you can apparently still taste without your tongue due to sensors in the throat); it manipulates food so as to make both chewing and swallowing possible. Hence the use of a feeding tube. Solid food is possible, but requires one to manipulate the food down.
The removal of genitals among servants is a very common practice in history; the most obvious example being eunuchs. The main purpose was pretty much to cut off the hormone supply, with no reproduction being a nice bonus. However here, the procedure in involves full emasculation instead of just castration. For females, internal fixing would mean no more menstruation. Though as can be seen, being left intact is a bitter blessing.
On that note, sex slavery is around to this day. The whole "absence fine" is based off of the concept of a "bar fine" which some establishments use in certain countries to get around prostitution laws.
Finally the subject of slavery itself. Like the "Ask the Capitol" segment, it's amazing the amount of rationalization that proponents of both chattel (what one thinks of in terms Antebellum South) and wage (pre-labor movement factories in the North) slavery used to justify their practices.
Is it Just Me or Does Suzanne Collins Hate Gingers?
Seriously, redheads seem to get a disproportionate amount of flak in the trilogy, even compared to usual level of angst. I can't think of one who manages to get out relatively unscathed. Let's take a look:
Foxface: Is unintentionally tricked by Peeta's legendary survival skills or commits suicide; latter assumes that she was starving. Also, nightlock poison is probably not as painless as Katniss' narration makes it out to be; nerve agents are fast, but not pleasant.
Finnick: Usual amount of Games trauma. Prostituted out by Snow. Goes into a deep spiral with Annie's absence. Gets torn apart by mutts and blown up.
Darius: Exhibit A. Also diced into little bits in front of Peeta.
Lavinia: Same as Darius. Back-story is someone she cares for being speared. Gets electrocuted to death.
Castor: Eaten by mutts.
Pollux: Also Avox but unlike the other ones we know, worked in a sewer and never saw the sun for a good chunk of his life. Probably sees his brother eaten by mutts.
In summary, being a ginger in Panem guarantees you an extra helping of suckitude.
I would like to thank all of you readers for going through and enjoying this story. The fact that so many of you found this to be unique warms my cockles.
Special thanks to my reviewers; you know who you are. Not to mention goes those who have favorited or followed.
If anybody has any questions, queries, comments, or criticisms, please don't hesitate. Same definitely goes for those who may have medical background and find anything impossible about my stuff.
Again, thank you, and I hope to see some of you in other stories.