Behind Enemy Lines

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Psychedelic, Oct 14, 2013.

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  1. What they say about redheads and their temper is unbelievably far off the mark. In the case of Tamsin, it would be more accurate to state that redheads got so much fire out in their hair, they had no temper left to fight with. Of course, stereotypes don't really matter, and certainly Miss Willoughby had no thoughts on the subject at all. What she did care about was the war.

    Two nations had been warring for generations, and she was fairly certain that no one quite knew why anymore. All she knew (and was permitted to know) was that the lives of the ones she loved depended on her cooperating. At the age of thirteen, the gifted among them had been plucked from ordinary schools and placed in specialised academies, where soldiers were trained. The average lifespan of these was little over the mid twenties mark, which was where Tamsin came in.

    Her healing abilities did at least enable her to avoid actually fighting, something that had never sat well with her. There had of course been ocassions, and those haunted her. There was often a touch of guilt in those usually strong green eyes, though in her psychological health interviews Tamsin did her best to skate over these cracks. Healers were natural targets for the enemy, and few and far between, and so it was paramount that the twenty-three year old remained in action for as long as she was physically capable.

    Unfortunately for her, during one skirmish into enemy territory, heavy casualties had been recorrded. During the mayhem that had ensued, the healer had been incapacitated by the age old technique of a crack to the head.

    Upon waking, Tamsin found herself in a dingy room, a cramp in her neck where she had been laying oddly, and a throbbing headache. She made no attempt to fix this. The sensible woman was not the type to waste her talent on minor inconveniences. Right now she only needed to focus on attempting to negotiate her release. "Hello? Is anyone there?" Making contact was the first step.
  2. There was a flash of light in the darkness, and a groan of pain. Another flash, and this time a scream.

    "Please, have mercy on me! I don't even want to be a soldier! I was drafted!" Sobs broke the silence. There was another flash of light, and then, finally, the man broke down and began to spew out all of the secrets that they had been trying to get from him. The door open and lighted upon a terrible scene. An older man, emaciated from a week of not being fed, was on the ground, his face hidden behind shaking hands. A spasm rocked his body, the aftereffects of being shocked. Standing beside him, a tall, built twenty-four year old man who could easily be mistaken for a soldier, an exhausted look on his face.

    "Another job well done, Jax. You may go." It wasn't an offer as much as a command.

    He nodded, saluted the sergeant, and shuffled out of the cell, barely able to lift his own feet. This man had been tough. He had lasted twice as long as most prisoners did, and now that Jax was done, all he wanted to do was go into his small, claustrophobic room that he had been assigned nearly ten years ago and sleep. Using his gift drained his energy. He would prefer to fight in the battles that the prisoners were captured from, but that was a pipe dream. No matter what gift you had, it was put to use.

    He looked about him, his electric yellow eyes piercing the dusk around him. In his exhausted state, he hadn't even realized that he had wondered outside. Nor did he notice the small, wiry messenger running towards him until it was right in front of him. He accepted the piece of paper that was handed to him without a word, waving a hand at the child to dismiss him. He opened the folded paper and read the scrawled words on the paper: "Female prisoner. Suspected of being gifted. Cell 11C." He let out a sigh, and started back into the cramped building, running a hand through his mop of jet black hair.

    He found the cell quickly and nodded to the guard standing outside the door. "Has she been talking?" It was usually a good sign that it would be a quick session if they were already talking and willing to share the secrets that his superiors were looking for.

    "Yes. But she has not been talking about what we would like to hear."

    Steeling himself for another session, he opened the door and slipped into the small room.
  3. Without any form of clock on show, there was no way for the prisoner to know how long she had been here. All she knew at the moment was that it had been a while, and her thirst was growing at an ever increasing rate. This was a concern, but what anyone could identify with was the creeping boredom and frustration at being trapped in this box. Even for someone as level headed as Tamsin, it was difficult to remain calm. She was struggling to keep her anger at this injustice contained, and was progressing from sitting on the cot sulking, to pacing back and forth in the tiny cell.

    Once or twice a guard would come and ask her some seemingly inane question, which was inevitably given one relatively neutral response. "I'm no one, I don't know anything." That was mostly true, as healers were inevitably low on the political ladder. They were frontline troops, though unlike most they were not nearly so expendable. It was this little nugget that she kept back, knowing full well that revealing her particular talent would not be a good move. For a start, there was what these people would do to her, and then there was the fact that revealing her identity was treason, and would most likely recieve a death sentence anyway - or perhaps worse if they viewed her valuable enough to keep alive.

    It must have been hours later when Tamsin was stopped in her tracks. She paused, turning to the face the door, her stance already defensive. A man of a similar age to her own came through the door, and without permission from her conscious brain, she felt compelled to back away from him. "I've already told you, I don't know anything." It was a defence that would inevitably fail, hence the clenched fists that formed regardless of any intention from their owner. She was not known as a violent woman, but she would at least attempt to defend herself against this man, should he advance further on her. Unfortunately for her, he was a good head taller than her, and undoubtedly stronger.
  4. Jax was having trouble believing what he was seeing. A woman, smaller than he was, and small enough that she could have been handled without his assistance. Usually they at least attempted to get answers out of the prisoners like this one. She looked breakable to him. He was nearly positive that he wasn't needed for this one. And yet he knew that there was nothing to be done. He would be punished if he were to say as much. That's how it always went. If he didn't follow their every order exactly as they wanted him to, they made sure that he knew how unhappy they were.

    He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to let the anger out of him before he was completely drained of energy. When he was angry or upset, or feeling a strong, negative emotion for that matter, he had a tendency to lose control of what he could do. Even as he stood there, trying to get his mood in check, he saw the light flicker a few times behind his eyelids. He took a few deep breaths. He couldn't afford to lose control now. He had blacked out for nearly a week the last time that he had pushed himself too far. He didn't want that to happen again.

    After a few moments, Jax opened his eyes again and forced himself to meet the prisoner's gaze. "We have reason to believe that you are hiding something. To avoid making us force you to tell us, I would recommend telling us what you are hiding," he said, his tone matching his stiff stance. He was positive that she knew what was coming if she wouldn't tell them what they were looking for. He just hoped that she would have enough sense to avoid it.
  5. Defiance and fear occupied her facial expression in equal measure. Tamsin was not a naturally confrontational person, but in her current predicament she had no choice but to meet this man head on. She did have an ace up her sleeve, but it would not do to reveal it unless it was a truly dire matter of life and death. For the time being she would simply have to endure the pain - physical or mental - that was sure to com her way. At least her superiors had prepared her for this, as they did all the new recruits.

    "I have nothing to say, and even if I did, you know I couldn't tell you." Judging him to be a grunt like her, Tamsin attempted to appeal to his rational side. He knew what the punishment was for betraying ones allies, and so perhaps he would understand this argument. "Whatever you plan on doing to me, I swear it isn't necessary. I know you've no reason to believe me, but please, human to human." It was a desperate attempt, but her only hope. It seemed that in this war it had been forgotten that human lives were being lost left, right and centre, but maybe reminding this one of that fact would help her cause.

    Once this little piece had been said, the pale young woman became slightly more passive in her posture. She had nothing more with which to work, and so she would just have to take this fellows decision as it came. She was certain that her words wouldn't have made a difference, and so prepared herself for the pain. She had no desire to become a quivering wreck - at least not without holding back a little dignity to begin with.
  6. Jax had to press his lips together to keep a bitter smile from appearing on his face. She hadn't picked up on it, then. Otherwise she wouldn't have used the word 'human' when referring to him. Though for all he knew, maybe her side actually thought of people like him as human. His side certainly didn't, though. Over here, they were referred to as 'mutant', or the ever better 'freak of nature'.

    "I don't believe that you have an option at this point. I will give you one last chance." It's not like he wanted to hurt her. He had morals. Before he had been discovered, he had told himself that he would not use his gift at all, though especially not to hurt anyone. He had learned quickly, though, that what he thought didn't matter. He was simply another weapon, one that could be used at his superiors' leisure. If they wanted him to do something, he did it. He was given no other option.

    Jax looked the woman over, trying to assess her strength. She looked pale, as though she was already panicking about what was to come. That was typically a good sign. And yet he had a feeling that just talking was not going to get him anywhere. She looked stubborn to him, and that only strengthened his thought that she was hiding something. He focused his eyes on her chest, where her heart was. He let a small stream of energy run down his arms and off the tips of his fingers. It followed his line of sight, and when it touched her chest, he knew that she had most likely felt a little shock. He had kept it light, but he had also made sure to make it clear what was coming. If she hadn't already suspected him as it was, he hoped that she had figured out what he was there to do.

    He raised his eyes back to hers and lifted an eyebrow, giving her a questioning look.
  7. Yes, there was no option, but it wasn't the one he was hoping for. Tamsin was resolute and determined to see this through to the bitter end. Her healing abilities might help prevent any lasting damage, though there was no way of preventing the pain that was sure to come. Remaining silent for the time being, the woman worked on steadying her breathing, knowing that relaxing now would help her remain in control for at least a little longer than she might do if she began to panic.

    It was only moments later that she noticed the shift in this mans eyeline, and subsequently felt a minor jolt run through her heart. Instinctively her hand swept up to rest over her chest, as if to protect. That hadn't exactly been painful, but it was certainly uncomfortable. Her own gaze lowered, her mind spinning with the idea of what was to come when this interrogator really got into his stride. Had she not had that rigid bravery innate in her, Tamsin might have given way right then, but that cord would not allow her to do so.

    "I'm not lying." Tamsin turned her eyes back up to the man, unwavering, "Do what you have to do." Rather than end up in the foetal position on the floor, or perhaps collapsing in a heap, she chose to sit down in preparation of her impending torture. She focused on a random point on the wall, trying to lose herself in the imperfections that inevitably occurred there. It would be best if she didn't think about the pain, or at least attempted not to. The effectiveness of this strategy remained to be seen.
  8. Jax sighed and pursed his lips. She was going to remain stubborn, then. He stepped forward, hoping that being closer to her would lower the amount of energy that he had to use, and hoping that she would give in quickly. As he did, though, the room span, and his legs collapsed from underneath him, too weak to continue to hold him up. He landed on his knees and remained there for a moment, too stunned to try and move from the spot.

    Once his vision stopped swimming, less than a minute later, he scrambled to his feet and stepped back towards the door, leaning against it for support. He stared at the woman, trying to hide his shock. How had just giving her a small jolt taken that much energy from her? He averted his gaze after a moment and quietly studied the floor instead, trying to think.

    This had happened on several occasions, but it only ever happened when he was put to use punishing others like him. He continued to think for a moment, a piece of knowledge dancing around in his brain, avoiding his grasp. In his exhausted state, it took him a moment to put two and two together. Once he did, though, his back stiffened, and he raised his gaze back to the woman.

    "Are you positive that you are not lying?" he asked, his voice quiet.
  9. At the moment that her potential assailant stumbled, Tamsin instinctively began to rise, scrambling to help before she could stop herself. She only regained control of her movements by the time she was on her knees in the middle of the cell. She didn't move any further, aware that her sudden lurch towards him could easily have been seen as an attempt at escape or attack. In truth, Tamsin likely would have attempted to heal the man, an urge that seemed to transcend almost any other part of her existence. She was the epitomy of a good samaritan.

    For longer than was usual for a truthful answer, Tamsin paused. A part of her did consider telling the truth, but then the threats of her superiors flashed back into her mind. She remembered the one they had made an example of. He had been burned alive, of course kept conscious for as long as possible. Even if the screams of the dying hadn't been disturbing enough, the smell was the sort of thing no one would ever forget. It was commonplace on the battlefield, but in the quiet of the compound it had been able to penetrate far deeper into the psyche of all present.

    This memory kept her from the easiest course of action. "I already told you. I'm telling the truth." She met his eyes carefully, attempting to portray her honesty. She never had been a great liar, as the goody two shoes she was, it just wasn't in her repetoire. The silence as she waited for an answer was like a dull ache, and not pleasant to experience, though she supposed it was just the beginning.
  10. Jax's gaze turned into a glare as he realized that she was going to stick to her story. He could feel himself teetering on the brink of blacking out from the lack of energy in his body. The thought of being punished, though, kept him from just closing his eyes and letting himself fall asleep. He pushed himself away from the wall and took a few stumbling steps to her side. He leaned back against the wall and let himself slide down until he was in a sitting position next to her.

    "Here's what's going to happen. You're going to stop being stubborn and just tell me what you are, and I'm going to walk out of here and go sleep. We both know what you're trying to hide, and I don't feel like playing this game. If you just admit to hiding what you are, we can both go on with our lives. You will be forced to work for the same people that I have to. But you will also be protected by us, and you will have enough food to live a decent life. That doesn't sound that terrible, does it?" He kept his gaze on the wall across from him during his little speech, but as soon as he was done, he turned his gaze back to the woman, an expectant look on his face.
  11. Tamsin briefly wandered back through her memories, thinking about the kinder days of her childhood. Although her life had not been easy, seeing as her parents were both poor and unloving. But despite this, it had been a happier time than this. The girl had not been subject to too much violence, and had usually managed to escape such things when necessary. But now it was different. Now she was between a rock and a hard place with no conceivable way out.

    The mans proposal was a slightly attractive one, but that didn't change the fear Tamsin held for the consequences of her actions. Even so, it was at this point that her resolve broke. In part, she just wanted to be left alone. To stew or sleep, whichever came. And so she asked for just one caveat. "Just promise me you're telling the truth." It was a stupid request, and yet she offered him the truth anyway. "I'm a healer. That's all." Playing it down wouldn't really help, but there it was.
  12. Jax blinked, opened his mouth to reply, and closed it again. He leaned his head back against the wall and stared at the dingy ceiling, thinking for a moment. Of all the things that she could have said, that was the last thing that he expected. Healers were rare, and on his side, they were almost always killed because no one wanted to risk them getting in the hands of the enemy. He had been telling the truth for the majority of people like him, but when it came to her and other healers, he didn't think that he would be able to keep his promise.

    He closed his eyes for a moment, thinking about what his next step of action would be. His instincts battled with each other. Logically, he should go tell his superiors because this information was what he had come in for. But though he had taken them for their word and believed that she was gifted, he hadn't thought that she had that particular gift. And because of that, he had truly believe that she would be fine, and she would just be forced to work for the same people that he had to.

    Now, though, he felt as though he would be delivering her death sentence if he went out their and repeated what she had said. And while he didn't feel any attachments to her, he still didn't feel as though she deserved to die. Unlike the 'normal' people in the world, he knew that they weren't born with a choice. Who would choose to live a life where you're an outcast before you even have a chance for people to learn who you are?

    Jax opened his eyes and sighed. Even though he knew that he would be killed if they discovered that he had lied to them alongside her, he couldn't bring himself to be the reason that she died. He injured people, sure, but he had never killed anyone or been the reason that someone was killed, and he didn't have any immediate plans for that to change. He moved his head away from the wall and looked at the woman again. "I know that this contradicts what I just said, but you can never say that again while you are here. No matter what, never repeat that." He spoke quietly, so that he was not heard by the guard that was surely still outside the door, with a grim look on his face.
  13. She couldn't understand why he suddenly changed his mind. It was a bit of a leap from 'you'll be fine' to 'keep you mouth shut or something terrible will happen'. The only reassuring part of this was the fact that the man was at least aware that he had royally contradicted himself. Had he not realised that, Tamsin would have been far more frightened of him. As it was, the girl was beginning to think about trusting this interrogator, although she was of course fearful of the organisation he happened to serve. She knew how brutal her own superiors were, and by the sounds of it, the higher ups around here were just as unforgiving.

    "Aren't you going to tell them?" It wasn't a massive liberty to assume that he was no longer going to serve his masters, given what had just been said. The redhead was careful to keep her own voice low, just as well aware that any discovery of this would result in the deaths or severe pain of both of them. "You can't risk yourself on my account." She was not the sort to protect herself over another, and it was probably this that had got her into this mess in the first place. Throwing herself under the proverbial bus came naturally, something that really wasn't all that healthy.

    Tamsin stared at her palms, considering whether she would ever see the light of day again. "At least think about it, you're obviously not thinking straight." He was exhausted, as had been demonstrated previously. Maybe after a good long sleep he would have come to his senses and would be prepared to turn in the healer. She was happy to wait for her fate to be revealed, although she still feared the outcome. She might have been altruistic to the point of fault, but that didn't mean death didn't scare her.
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