The video feed clicked on, blurring, and then sharpening to perfect quality. It showed a single humanoid figure strapped down to a metal medical table that had been repositioned to sit nearly upright.
The overhead PA screeched and then crackled to life. “Day three, interview two. Subject 6648.”
The figure didn’t move.
“Are you ready to cooperate?”
Silence and an audible sigh over the PA audio. “The longer you resist questioning, the worse this will get for you.” There was a click and the restraints flashed with electricity, sending the figure into silent convulsions. “I can do this until you die on that table, Hamartia.” The current didn’t stop for another several seconds but left the figure loose-limbed and panting on the table, though still silent.
“We will get the safe house locations one way or another, you know that. You’ve seen what we’re prepared to do and you won’t get out this time.” The current started again, blood starting to drip from the figure’s mouth as he bit through his tongue to stay quiet. “We already made use of the others you were culled with. I hope they weren’t important to you.”
Just breathing in the dead air over the recording.
“If you don’t give me something, I’ll turn this up to max and leave you here to fry, you piece of shit. Do you know how many innocent people you’ve killed? Every facility you’ve burned down had thousands of staff members, most of them civilian. You think I care what happens to you? I should leave you to die here.” The voice over the PA took in a steadying breath that was audible. “But my bosses want information from you, so I’ll get it.”
In the cell, pale blue eyes opened, and bloodied teeth were bared in a grin that was almost a snarl. “You haven’t asked me any questions.” The current started again and he slammed back into the metal table with a painfully loud crash.
“I asked them two days ago, freak. I told you to think about your answers.” The current stopped again, a garish smear of blood marring the scratched surface of the table where the figure had cracked his skull on it. It continued to stain his hair dark as he leaned back against the surface, obviously trying to ignore the entire situation.
“Maybe we’ll get Apollo next. You’re the rabid dog and he’s the brains, after all. Maybe he’ll be worth ten of you in information. Maybe I should just put you down anyway.” The switch flipped again and this time there was a sadistic laugh over the PA. “But even mad dogs can be useful. I’m sure we have a few bitches down in our holding facility that you’d do quite nice crosses with. We could use something with your… talents at our disposal and I know it won’t be you.” He laughed again as it got a snarl from the subject on the table. “Hit a nerve, did I? Automation, save tape. I don’t need to film the rest of this.”
The screen flickered, code running across it before it continued, a default run setting.
“Now the tape’s off, why don’t we have a little more fun.” The man over the PA didn’t seem to realize the AV feed was still running. “We’ve hidden the tracker somewhere nice and protected this time. Something you’re not going to be digging out. We own you and we’ll make sure we get every last use out of you, now that we really have you. Blood, tissues, semen, scans. I want to know how you tick. I want to make more of you. Drones.”
Inside the cell, the current arced from the table to the walls and floor, explosions of sparks raining from the contact, and the voice over the PA swore. “What-” The table warped from heat and melted under the subject, the flaming straps crumbling to ash as he stepped out of the mess of ruined equipment. “What are you- Stay where you are.”
The bloody grin was back, wider this time, far from sane, and charred-looking fingers reached up to dig into his left eye like it caused no pain at all, tearing the eye out, tracker chip and all. Dragging nails down from the ruined socket and leaving lines of steaming blood in their wake, the subject closed in on the camera, his face a rictus grin of violent promise. “No.”
The view frame shuddered with the thunderous sound of rushing air, filled with fire, and went black, the audio clipping off just as suddenly.