Origins #12 Max

I was lead through a portal at gunpoint into a dark and coppery smelling corridor. The second the portal closed, someone behind me kicked my legs out from under me, and pressed the barrel of his rifle to the back of my neck. “Take the guns off your arms slowly. Make one dumb move and I’ll blow your head off,” he commanded. I did as he asked, and he congratulated me on my job well done with a kick to my side. The suit stopped most of the blow, but I could feel his steel toed boots dig into my ribs through the armor. He definitely wasn’t a vanilla human. Great, I thought to myself. The chances of my escape have dropped even further. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I heard the mouselike man call out “Gamma! I need a wee bit of help cracking a can open. C’mere,” and in a blinding blur of white light my worse fears were realized.
 

In front of me, stood an unrealistically tall and thin man in a white suit with a green tie. He had platinum blonde hair, a Robert Downey Jr. mustache, and his eyes were a brilliant white. It was THAT Gamma. The evil speedster who could control lasers one. The Sadistic Brit. EZ enforcer. Torturer and mass killer. He had gone up against our resident speedster, Relativity, multiple times, and due to their near identical powers every single fight ended in a draw. He raised his right index finger, smiled, and white light formed into a blade around it. He knelt next to me, and used the blade to cut through my armor like a hot knife though butter. Once my helmet was off, something hard and cold smashed into the back of my head and I lost consciousness. 

When I awoke, I was strapped down on a white operating table. The room was all completely clean and of course, all white. In front of me stood Gamma, the rodent-like man a few feet behind him on his cell phone. I immediately tried to play possum, but it was too late. Gamma smiled, than instantly appeared an inch from my face leaving a white blur behind him. 
“Good Morning Max,” he purred. I forced myself to look him in the eye. 
“H-how do you know my name?” He grinned again. “My associate here is a telepath. Don’t worry, he can only read the surface parts of someone’s brain, so all of your secrets are safe. You also need not worry about any mental damage either, for all he can put in someone’s brain are false memories, for example, a memory of the files being stored in a heavily guarded warehouse instead of here, in a certain dragon man I’ve heard you met. Only with their consent, of course. Implanting memories in unwilling subjects is…messy. Anyways, your mind will remain as clean and pristine as the day you were born. In regards to your body however, I cannot promise a thing. It all hinges on whether you be a good guest or not. Can you be a good guest little Maximum?”  

I nodded as if to agree, but I knew he was lying. I wasn’t getting out of this alive. If I was lucky my death would be quick. I really didn’t know how about that. I felt too young, I thought, but then again kids die all the time right? At least I accomplished something with my life. I never got to go to the Caribbean, which stunk. Dying a virgin sucked a lot too. If only I got more than a year over the legal age. I could have done away with the secret identity thing altogether and live as a Superhero Playboy like my brother. Poor Harry. He’s gonna blame himself. I wish I could tell him it wasn’t his mistake. I just got unlucky that’s all. I wondered if my identity would be made public, or if my body would even be found. I really hoped there was an afterlife. Then again, oblivion would be better than hell. Oh god, it would suck if hell was real. Wait, wasn’t Jack Fate magic? Didn’t he summon demons? Yeah, The Prince did too. I should have asked Ja-

“Hellooooooooo! Anybody home? Don’t tell me you’ve gone mad already? We’ve barely even started!” 

Gamma slapped me. It hurt, but the pain grounded me. It brought my thoughts back to earth. “Now I’m betting you’ve heard my reputation right?” 
I stared him in the eye, unblinking. The mouse-like man looked up from his phone. “My friend asked you a question,” he growled, “Are you gon answer it?”
 I tried to spit at him, but my mouth was so dry that almost nothing came out, and the bit that did didn’t even reach his foot. Gamma’s smile faded, and an instant later he appeared next to me, a laser covered finger impaling the center of my right hand. At first I didn’t feel it, but an instant later it hit me with its full force, and I screamed in agony. I spewed every single obscenity in the book, and probably created a few along the way. It felt like being stabbed, except every single bit of the blade was hotter than anything I’d ever felt before. “White hot burning pain” didn’t even begin to describe it. The flesh  burst into flames, and it wasn’t just my outer skin. The white fire spread through my muscles and bone as if they were kindling, but mercifully it stopped at the wrist. The worst part was that the blade felt like it was expanding after the flame had spread, incinerating the already burned flesh. I vaguely remember wondering why my nerves weren’t dead yet, until I saw the telepath grunting, as if he were lifting something heavy. After almost five minutes of this Gamma began to twist the blade, wiggling it around the inside of my hand, turning the already ruined appendage into a nearly shredded hunk of charred meat, barely hanging on to the charcoal that used to be bones. 

I don’t know how long this single act of retribution lasted, but by the time it was over I had fallen unconscious from the pain twice. Each time my host graciously woke me up by stabbing me in different parts of the hand. Even after Gamma withdrew the bland from the near charcoal falling off my forearm, and the fires died, the pain burned bearly as strong. I kept screaming, which seemed to annoy Gamma, who appeared in front of me and forced my mouth to close with both hands. “Shut up. If I hear you talk without being spoken to, I’ll start cutting off toes,” he growled, without a shred of the politeness he pretended to have just a few minutes ago. I forced my mouth shut, clenching my teeth together as hard as I could to try and alleviate some of the pain.

 “Now back to what I was saying, I have a reputation as a torturer. That is true. Some say I’m a very good torturer however, which is just plain false. I’m very good at inflicting pain of course, but pain isn’t always what breaks a man. You are a fantastic example. I could cut you up all day, which would just make you resent me more, and less likely to talk. But, Christian here,” he said pointing to the mouse-like man, “is special. He can get inside people’s heads! Finding everything out, without even laying a finger on anybody! Fancy that! Thing is, that wretched bitch,” he spat probably referring to Meg, “set up a couple a walls keeping him away from all the goodies. He can still see your surface mind, but it’s more like looking through a window than kicking the door in and having a peek. That’s where our teamwork comes in. He looks around till he finds some sort of pain your afraid of, I torture you till the answer were looking for bubbles up to the surface where Christain can see. Kapiche? Now I’m giving you one chance to avoid all this unpleasantness. Tell me every security code you know. The ones for your secret base, all your weapons systems, the database, communications, even your fucking lunch number. I want them all.”

I bit down another scream as the pain stabbed at me again, and began to tell him what I knew.

“I don’t have the codes on me for security reasons. All of them are changed every forty-eight hours, and the way you can find out new ones is by going to the pharmacy on Washington Ave. You go up to the cashier, say twelve three eighteen, ask for a little blue pill called viagra and use it to go fuck yourself you sadistic cousin fucking cunt.” I spat on him again, this time hitting him square on the cheek. Gamma smirked, wiped the spit off of him with a handkerchief, knelt down to my left shin, and began cutting bits of flesh off.  
The torture lasted what must have been two days. After the first one, they stopped cutting and stabbing me, and started water boarding and sound torture. I’m still proud that the only two words I said during that period were fuck, and you. Exclusively in that order. When they took meal breaks, or went to bed I stayed up, working at my bonds with my good hand. I was making some real progress, but early in the morning of the third day Christian and Gamma walked into the room, holding nothing but an ice cream scoop.
“Good news Maxy! You’re an incredibly tough nut to crack. Last night when we were brainstorming things to do to you, we came to the conclusion that nothing was going to work. We’ve cut, stabbed, burned, flayed, water boarded, hell, we blasted the meow mix song as loud as we could into your ear for hours, all while keeping your hand dunked in salt water. Christian said that you’d die before telling us anything, and I’m betting he’s right. So, we were going to put a bullet in your head and dump you in the ocean, but that’s kind of wasteful isn’t it? Just then I had a great idea. Are you aware of the phrase ‘Sending a message?'” He twirled the scoop in his hands, absentmindedly as I continued to free my hand, “I’m letting you go, but you’ve got to pay for your stay here. I’ll go broke if I let people stay here for free! That’s no way to run a hotel. I say, since you stayed two nights, I take two things.” He held up the ice cream scoop, and touched the tip with a laser sheathed hand. I furiously wiggled my hand, and managed to get it halfway free. The scoop heated up, the grey metal turning bright orange in his hand. Oh my god, I thought as I freed my hand, He’s going to- My train of thought was interrupted by the loss of sight in my left eye, followed by the worst pain I have ever experienced, including the last two days of torture. It was like had carved my eye ou- oh my god, I thought as I saw a bloody hunk of meat and ooze bubbling and boiling in the scoop. He did. He flicked his wrist, sending my boiling hot severed eyeball flying onto my face, which burned almost as badly as his knife. Gamma laughed at my screams and moved in for the other eye, this time moving at normal speed.
The last thing I ever saw was his crazed grin.

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