The Thunder of Nautilus

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Part Four

THE DISCIPLES OF HADES

This time when he regained consciousness, he was feeling pain in every part of his body. He wasn’t lying down, but hanging with his arms above and his feet below, chained to a cross. He let out an agonized scream and kept weeping until he saw somebody in a black hood and covered from neck to toe in a dark garment descending the stairs into his torture chamber. The Gestalt came towards him and said with an unnerving voice, “You are the fortunate one, for you have been selected to take part in the ritual we, the children of the soil, have followed through the ages to give the one true God the sacrifice of blood.”

“You are fucking insane, you kookoocloxfucking clan shithead in some weirdo outfit. Let me go. I got nothing to do with your shit-soiled children. Fuck you. Let me go!” Jack screamed as the voice went on.

“You, insignificant worm, shall be sacrificed and thus your profane body will be consecrated.”

Jack kept screaming. “You fucking asshole. I killed a woman and buried her in the woods. I’m not somebody you can sacrifice, you Jesus freak, because I’m a killer. I’ll kill you and bury you with your elephant-man mask over your freak-show face, head down.”

For a time his anger made him forget about his pain, but the agony was relentless and he’d done himself no favor by hurling abuse at somebody even crazier than himself, more cracked up than he could imagine.

“You have killed a woman?” the voice said.

Jack shouted back, “Yeah, I killed the bitch. She’s a prosecutor from London. She’s buried in the godforsaken woods, you inbred swine fucking crazy fuck.”

“This must be the woman who went missing around the time we detained you,” the voice said evenly. “Tell me, where have you buried her?”

“I’m not going to tell you, you freak, unless you let me go,” he shouted.

“Oh yes, you’re going to tell me, because believe me what you’ve suffered so far is nothing in comparison to the pain you’ll experience if you don’t tell—so speak!”

“Take me down and I’ll show you where I buried her,” Jack said petulantly. The torturer, instead of complying with his demand, took a hot poker from burning coals Jack hadn’t noticed before. All of a sudden he knew this meant more pain than anything he’d experienced so far, so he said, “All right, but it would be easier to show you”—and the poker came closer to his face—“but then again, maybe I’ll just tell you where I buried her.”

“Speak!” the voice said impatiently.

Jack, thinking he still had a chance to come out of his alive, gave directions to the shallow grave where he’d buried his victim, and when he finished, the hooded figure walked over to a table and picked up a syringe. The figure then injected his prisoner with a dose of heroin not big enough to kill him, but to keep him alive—for the time being.


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