Avon had just been brought back to his cell after a full session in one of the interrogation rooms. He was curled on the platform, with his back facing the cell door. Almost every inch of him was bruised and there were several additional breaks which were now healing. He closed his eyes and tried not to move, unfortunately breathing was considered a movement.
They normally did not subject him to more than four hours while he was still in a work cycle, but he had made the mistake of provoking one of the interrogators and they had decided to teach him a lesson. When they were angry with him, they preferred using physical torture. It was much more personal for the torturers.
He wished he could find other less painful forms of defiance, but there wasn't anything they left him with which didn't result in pain of some kind.
Avon heard the cell door slide open, someone walked in and sat down on the chair next to the sleep platform. He didn't even have to guess who it was. He turned slowly and painfully to face the psychostrategist.
"She must be bored again."
Sester smiled. "I'm sorry about the interrogation session, the interrogators are under orders never to give you more than four when you're working."
"Are you ready to talk to me now?" the psychostrategist asked.
It was always the same question, and he always gave the same answer.
"I did not break the agreement."
Sester sighed. "You're a stubborn man Avon. I'm going to send you to her without any rest this time, she's not going to be happy with you."
The strategist got up and signalled for the guards.
Servalan was angry, she was in her bedroom in Residence One waiting for Avon who was finishing off the two hours of isolation in her office below. The last few days had been particularly frustrating and it had culminated in a disaster this morning. The Federation had been poised to take over a mine rich in a new energy crystal which had raised interesting possibilities in the area of weapons research, but the foolish miners had proven extremely stubborn, even more stubborn than normal for miners. They had threatened to blow up the crystal supply and themselves rather than allow the Federation to get it's hands on the resource.
Reports were that they had done just that this morning. Servalan was furious. The new weapons research would have been very beneficial to the Federation, not to mention personally lucrative to herself.
Negotiations had been going extremely well for months when for no apparent reason, the miners had become stubborn. Servalan had authorized the use of the techno-virus on the miners in order to regain their cooperation. But instead of cooperating, they had destroyed themselves and the mine. The Federation President did not like being denied. She had not even had the satisfaction of ordering that they be destroyed for defying the Federation.
Servalan was always the model of icy self-control. Nothing ever rattled her polite façade even when she was plotting the most heinous revenge but it meant that she had a lot of pent up anger and she still needed to take it out on someone and unfortunately for Avon, Sester had informed her that he was now ready for her.
It's going to be a very bad night for you Avon.
The state he was in did not please her but she understood Sester's reason for doing this; Avon was still not cooperating and things were being escalated. The psychostrategist wanted things to be even harder for the analyst than it normally was with her.
As usual she used him until he had nothing left, but tonight, when he reached that point, she injected him with a mild stimulant and forced him to continue. By the fourth time, the injection was no longer enough, he was shaking from pain and the overtaxing of his body, but she was merciless.
"You will have to do better than that." She held him, refusing to let him move away.
He rested against her, trying to regain his strength, his breathing was laboured. His jaw clenched as he struggled with the pain.
She traced along one of his ribs with her fingers, found what she wanted and without warning pushed hard against him, the rib cracked, it was one of the ones which was barely healed from his last beating session from the interrogators. He cried out in pain.
"Try harder," she demanded.
He tried, but with the addition of the newly broken rib, it was even more impossible; she knew that. Servalan found another barely healed fracture and broke another one.
This was what she had been waiting for; using him for physical pleasure was enjoyable, and pushing him when he had nothing left to give was cruel but did not satisfy her anger. She needed someone to suffer, she needed to hurt someone badly; what was required was a target for her anger and frustration.
"I think you need a lesson," she remarked.
I think I`ve had enough of lessons today, Avon thought as she released him and sat up. He closed his eyes and tried to rest, it was obvious she was not done with him yet.
Servalan took a different bio-injector from the drawer in her night table, this one contained a special cocktail of stims and other drugs used by the Centre interrogators. She gave him a large dose; energy flooded into his system.
Servalan took another tool from the drawer, this one was also from the Centre, it was a sonic manipulator. The interrogators had used this tool to cause the original injury to his knee and to torture him with it.
She put one hand against his chest to hold him still, with the other she reached down and touched the manipulator tool to his injured knee. She switched it on, Avon arched in pain and cried out as he felt the already damaged ligaments tear. Grabbing the hand holding him down, he tried to free himself, and he tried to move his knee away. While he did this, she turned the manipulator off, but continued to hold him down.
Because of the current level of injury the attempt to move his knee only resulted in more pain, and no movement; and his attempts to free himself from her were useless, he did not have the strength. After allowing him a few moments of ineffective struggle, she took hold of his wrists and held him down until he stopped fighting her. When he stopped, she applied the manipulator waves again. This caused a cry of agony and an automatic reaction to get away from the pain. As before, while he fought, she turned off the manipulator, then after a few moments, she would overwhelm him until he stopped struggling. Then it would start all over again. It was a vicious cycle.
Servalan took great pleasure in holding him down, and feeling him struggle against her, only to fail. After an hour of this, he was breathing heavily and was totally exhausted. She was enjoying herself immensely.
She applied the tearing pain again, Avon cried out in agony. He now lay unresisting as she held him still and continued to torture him, causing greater and greater damage. His moans of pain filled the room. With her hand over his chest she could feel the rapid beating of his heart; it told her when she needed to back off before he passed out.
Before they started, she had activated the noise dampener normally used for secure private conferences, else everyone in the Residence would have heard him.
In previous sessions, when torturing him, she had only caused pain, never additional damage. By the end, a lot of injury had been done. With one final application, she finally allowed him to lapse into unconsciousness. She removed her hand from his chest and touched his face gently, he was dripping with sweat. She contemplated him fondly as she caressed the body which had given her pleasure on so many levels. She was satisfied, her anger had passed; he had served his purpose.
She put the manipulator down and gave him a mild stim to wake him up. He moaned as the pain intruded into his consciousness, he started retching.
"Not on the bed," she told him and rolled him over. He cried out as the movement caused more pain. She held his head over the edge of the bed until the heaving stopped, but nothing came out. She let him lie back down.
"They must not be feeding you again." She sounded annoyed. "I do hate having to tell people things twice. But you did well tonight and I'm in a generous mood, I will speak to them again to feed you when you're working."
She felt his knee gently, examining the damage. He stiffened at her touch.
"Relax. I'm not going to hurt you, unless you don't cooperate."
The knee had swollen to twice it's normal size. He would have to be given time in the healing tanks, but not too much. Keeping his knee damaged was proving very useful.
She traced the broken ribs, they would make breathing painful but had not punctured the lungs; they could be left untreated. After the examination, she filled a glass of water from a pitcher on the nightstand.
"You need to replenish your fluids." She held the glass to his lips.
Until she had mentioned it, he had not realized how thirsty he was. Thirst was a condition he had learned to ignore at the Detention Centre, along with hunger and cold.
He tried to raise his head to the glass, a sharp pain from his ribs reminded him of the additional injuries. He started coughing violently and this in turn aggravated his knee, causing him to moan in pain.
Servalan put the glass down and put a hand against his chest, "You need to relax Avon."
He continued to cough and moan.
"Avon you have to focus and stop coughing, you're going to cause damage if you continue. Don't make me hurt you."
He tried hard to concentrate, to control the coughing but it was no good, he had nothing left.
Servalan saw his effort and his failure. She knew she had hurt him badly, both with the torture and from the use of him earlier. What she wanted had already been achieved, Sester's goal to escalate things had also been reached, nothing else could be gained from torturing him further tonight. She picked up the bio-injector, changed the setting to his normal sedative mix and applied a strong dose it to the side of his neck. As the drug took effect, Avon finally stopped coughing and slept.