Insane Pirate vs Determined Spy!
Dread threatened to overwhelm Xellos when Kudious strode back onto the command bridge. The pirate lord’s step was haughtier than usual, and his confidence appeared high when he glanced Xellos’ way. Caught spying for his world, Seti-Cronus, he’d refused to reveal military information regarding his world despite the vicious beating Kudious had inflicted on him. His lack of cooperation in the less-than-successful interrogation hadn’t dissuaded the bastard. The pirate lord boasted he’d break him while he laughed in his severely-damaged face.
Kudious sneered. “Oh, how I’ll enjoy brutalizing you until you do break.”
Xellos had spat in his face. Kudious hit him with his fist so hard he’d knocked him unconscious. He’d lost track of time, with no idea how long he’d been out cold. He shivered. Now he was awake and Kudious had returned to his command bridge.
“Soon you die, spy.” Kudious laughed callously. He stepped up to the prisoner restrained on the magnetic torture table set in a special, darkened corner of his bridge. Kudious sneered, leaning maliciously close. Xellos’ pain didn’t sate the pirate lord’s seditious blood lust. Instead, the gleam of his cruel, dark, and furtive eyes betrayed his true nature. “Tell me what I wish to know, and I can make your death…quick.” Xellos doubted Kudious would keep that promise if he revealed any information, but he wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Xellos hung limp, his weakened appearance deceptive. His breathing while a prisoner of the complex persecution device looked slight and labored. Pain racked his sweat-drenched body stuck on the advanced device like a bug on the forward window of an in-atmosphere plane. However, death wasn’t as close as Xellos allowed Kudious to think.
“I’ll see you in hell…pirate…before,” he coughed, “I betray my world,” Xellos wheezed in labored words.
Kudious struck him with his fist instead of using the more advanced forms of persuasion the table offered. Xellos’ stomach roiled. A sudden knot twisted his insides when Kudious’ fist knocked the air from his lungs. He coughed, growling at the obvious enjoyment the feel of striking him gave the pirate, but he couldn’t keep the look of surprise off his face. Kudious snickered, smearing the warm blood trickling down the spy’s chin gently with his knuckles. Kudious then brutally snatched a handful of Xellos’ long brown hair, wet with blood and sweat, and held his head up.
“Look out at the stars and your home system. Beautiful, isn’t it? Draws your gaze right in. Soon it’ll all be mine,” he promised the captured spy with a self-assured sweep of his hand. “I vowed to my people at my coronation I’d give them a world of their own.”
“By steal’n another peoples’ world? You’re a tyrant, Kudious. Your people think so too.” Xellos coughed, clearing his lungs, bruised from the mechanical beatings he’d endured. The table’s robotic systems were set to inflict pain and injury at a controlled level. It was a clean method of torture. The operator didn’t have to touch the victim, unless he enjoyed it, and Kudious did. Xellos spat blood onto the gleaming deck just missing Kudious’ worn, but polished boots.
“They don’t understand the harsh measures I’ve implemented are needed to accomplish the goal,” Kudious rationalized. His face fixed into a harsh, grim expression emphasizing and reinforcing the severity of the traditional royal tattoo of the poisonous Thorn of the Primosa flower. The brilliant purple, mono-color ornamental icon decorated his face from the squint of his soulless black eyes, over his cheek and down to the corner of his thin lips hidden beneath a black mustache to serve as a visible reminder of his ruthlessness. “My measures, over the years, have kept my people together.”
“Your people hate you, pirate…” Xellos rasped and braced to be stuck again. “You explain yourself to me? Trying to elicit sympathy…” His weak laugh caused another cough; he gasped for enough air to finish, “for more information since torture don’t work?” Xellos’ body slumped, drained and sweating in the cool air of the command bridge. Now the pirate lord was trying psychology. Xellos knew from Kudious’ tone of voice, his anger and bitterness went deep. He’d turn that knife a little more to learn all he could, then escape and get back to Seti-Cronus.
“My actions are necessary to sustain my fleet’s discipline and protect the remnants of my people. Those who threaten my rule receive a heavy hand, and a brutal fist.” A small tic of his facial muscle drew the thorn tattoo into a sharper image emphasizing his displeasure just before Kudious’ fist ground into Xellos’ gut, again. “As you just found out yourself.”.
Xellos coughed. Kudious turned to scan his command bridge, lit in low light during battle stations. Before Xellos was discovered as a spy, he’d watched Kudious punish crew members in this spot. It seemed to give Kudious satisfaction to humiliate his errant crew before the others but now, he seemed to find nothing on his bridge to lighten his foul mood.
He blinked the blood out of his eyes from an earlier blow, raised his head and made note of the soft, colorful glow of violet and fuchsia lights haloing each crewmember’s face indicating the ship’s current alert status. The low lights served to highlight the anxiety on their faces. His vision had grown accustomed to the light level. The crew efficiently, yet with nervous actions, scurried about their tasks. He saw Kudious narrow his scrutiny. Their efforts weren’t competent enough to please him. His stare seemed to mark each person, judging their proficiency, or lack of it. Despite the diffused light, Xellos observed each member cringe when their lord’s analysis found them.
Kudious turned back to him with a smirk. “Each knows what punishment incompetence affords. They know it’ll not be tolerated, and why.” Kudious shrugged. “The lacking will pay for their ineptitude.” He marked two; one, an attractive female, with his cold stare. “Her discipline I just may enjoy allotting myself—in private.”