time and silence like glass

A voice in his ear: "Who the fuck are you?"

Sil squirms, but Marcel is strong enough to lift him from the floor. That doesn't say much; Sil isn't exactly tall. Sil bites down, but Marcel only squeezes Sil closer until his vision blurs.

"Are you going to cooperate or will I have to kill you?" Marcel asks.

Sil coughs, trying to form words. The other loosens his grip, but only marginally.

"He--he wouldn't--" He wouldn't like that, Sil tries to say.

"Who?" Marcel asks.

Mistake number one. Sil bites down again, but Marcel tightens his grip before any blood can be drawn.


Sil gasps, wondering whether the sporadic blinking lights of the ressurrectionist's electrical room are going to be the last thing he sees.

Marcel takes a few steps back, making sure to maintain a tight grip on Sil, who can almost feel bruises blooming across his neck. Light flashes across Sil's eyes as he's dragged into a hallway. When he blinks a majority of the spots away, he can see the veiny orange and red stone of the Canyon on one side and a metal wall on the other.

"So, no answer?"

Sil says nothing. The spots come back, but this time they're not from the sudden light.

"Alright. Let's go make you comfy, then." He drags Sil further down the corridor, until they reached a doorway crowded with a softer light than the main hall. He releases his grip and pushes Sil into the room, closing the door behind them. Sil careens forward, into off-white the carpeted floor. Head still pounding from a combination of the fumes in the electrical room and near-strangulation, he slowly lifts himself into a sitting position.

"Up," Marcel says. Sil looks over his shoulder to find that Marcel has pulled a matte grey pistol, etched with some design that might be a vine of some sort, from the dark blue holster at his hip. Slowly, Sil pulls himself off the floor and stands to face Marcel, who points the gun to the to Sil's left, at one of the three chairs stationed around a low red table.


Sil looks from the gun to the empty corridor, but Marcel is too close for a good escape. So he sits in the nearest chair, a black blocky thing. He can feel his heart beating in his throat as he tries to keep his face impassive. He hopes his tan skin--grayish due to lack of sunlight--can disguise the heat that rises to his face. Five or six minutes stretch into a decade before he sees the large form of the ressurrectionist hover in the doorway.

The ressurectionist--pale, paler than Marcel, and about the same height, but much wider--huffs as he sits in the chair across from Sil. He holds what looks like a gun with a thin metal rod protruding in place of a barrel.

Marcel closes the door.

The ressurrectionist coughs, scratches his dark beard, and then starts: "You're not alone."

Head down, shoulders slumped forward, Sil glances up at the bigger man.

"You're not alone," the ressurrectionist repeats. The gentle tone he used for the distraught woman was gone. "Who are you with?"

Sil mumbles a reply.

"Speak up."


The ressurrectionist almost smiles, but instead his blue eyes narrow as he holds up the device in his hands and makes a gesture to his assistant, who sweeps up behind Sil, gun in hand.

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say that this is part of the grid schemes that've been wrecking 990 in the past few months. Yeah?"

Sil takes a breath, considers replying, but he can feel Marcel press the nozzle of the pistol to his temple, wet with sweat. He desperately wishes there was a clock in the room.

After another moment of silence, the ressurrectionist sighs. "Fine. I see how it is. Pity someone as young as you has to be involved in these things, but you chose this. Tell me, which hand do you like better? Let's go with...right." He gestures to Marcel again, who grabs Sil's right wrist and pins it to the table.

The ressurrectionist sees Sil's eyes widen. "Should've gone with a trade, boy. Shouldn't've involved yourself in this mess. But here we are, and I can't have your boss thinking I'll put up with this shit. So tell me, now, which finger do you like the least?"

Sil tries to free his hand, but Marcel's grip only tightens.

"Here's how this is going to work," the big man says, flipping a switch on the device. It lets out a hiss. "This here is a cauterizing scalpel. For every question you don't answer, you lose a finger. And when we're done with your fingers, I'll start on your toes. Sound fair?"

Two thoughts: He's bluffing and What time is it?

"So I'm going to ask again: what are you doing here?"

He's bluffing, Sil thinks again.

"You have to the count of one. Three."

Why isn't there a clock in here?


He's not bluffing. Sil opens his mouth to say something, but all he can think of is the burning scalpel and the hissing and Marcel's cutting off the circulation in his wrist and--

"One." Before Sil can react, the ressurrectionist takes his hand from Marcel and the scalpel swoops closer and--


Sil screams.

White-hot pain, spots in his vision. The putrid smell of burning flesh.

He screams again. There's no blood; the wound is burned shut. Through a haze of tears, Sil sees his pinkie fall atop the red table and roll to the edge.

"You ready to answer?"

Whattimeisitwhattimeisitwhattimeis...? He starts to shake.

"I don't do this because I think it's fun. This is self-defense." The ressurrectionist picks up Sil's severed finger and places it in the middle of the table. "Now, tell me--"

Bang. The ressurrectionist straightens up and exchanges a brief look with Marcel, who removes the pistol from Sil's forehead and slinks toward the door, back to the wall.

Silence. The ressurrectionist is completely still, back straight, but Sil watches the rapid expansion and collapse of Marcel's bony ripcage as adrenaline takes hold.

A pounding at the door. The silence breaks like stained glass as pain overtakes Sil's vision again.
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this is like...a 'for fun' thing, so it's not my best work but whatever