"Ellis!" The Inquisitor slams a hand down on the table. "Wake up! We have more to discuss!"
Ellis groaned, and lifted his head up just high enough to peer at the Inquisitor through his swollen left eye. The orbit around hurt like the hell with which he had always been threatened. His right eye stubbornly refused to open, the crust of blood and mucus cemented it shut. He sighed wetly while his head dropped down again. The pain was hot, and the dizziness from the interrogation serums they had forced into his system made him want to puke. Ellis hated puking.
He sighed again, trying to get comfortable. A rope of drool dangled from the corner of Ellis' mouth, thick and bloody. Streams of it had stained his t-shirt, one of Ellis' favorites, the deep purple "Jesus Puppies" concert shirt from their infamous "Kibble Krucifix" tour of three summers back. The front had a gaudy monochrome outline of a mans' body sporting a dog's head. The creature was dressed in a robe and was holding aloft a cross made out of dog biscuits. At his feet lay a semi-circle of smaller dog-headed creatures, prostrate before the dog-man and staring up at the cross with tongues hanging out. The dog-man was breaking off a piece of the cross, hand poised to drop the tidbit in his mouth.
The images were disappearing under a layer of drool and dried blood. Ellis grunted in shock, filled with a surge of anger. The anger gave him the energy to look back up at his bald-headed tormentor. The Inquisitor sat vulture-like, perched on the edge of his chair. A faint sheen of sweat glistened on his shaved head, darkening the tattoos of rank placed there by the Regime. The optics in his eyes swiveled slightly, emitting a faint whirr as the Seeker of Truth studied the boy's face, so distorted by drugs and the "Hands of the Lord".
The slight sneer on his surgically enhanced lip inspired Ellis to spit at it.
The Inquisitor leaned back, with the economical slithery grace of a serpent, to watch the gob of bloody sputum hit the table with a wet smack. He smiled wearily and removed a rag from a box at the end of the table. Ellis noticed that the smile did not reach up to the onyx marbles of the Inquisitor's eyes, who slowly wiped the spittle from the table. He daintily folded the rag and tossed it into a nearby wastebin.
"Ellis. You shouldn't have done that. But I would expect nothing less than vulgarity from a blasphemer such as yourself. Tell me, young man, do look forward to your time in Hell?" the Inquisitor asked.
"It's Mephistophilis," said Ellis, thickly and with a small, twisted smile, "and this is Hell, and I'm not out of it. So don't threaten me with Hell, you tool. And you are going to pay to replace my shirt."
The Inquisitor's eyes widened, a flush sweeping over his head and neck. "Don't you treat me with impudence, little boy, I will MAKE you understand the meaning of Hell!" he roared, standing straight up with his palms flat on the table. The regime-issued black ballistic holy vestments clung to muscles honed by fanatical adherence to the Physical Vespers, and Ellis knew the Inquisitor could probably dislocate every joint in his body without cracking a holy sweat.
The Inquisitor leaned over the table, sneering, his modified ceramic alloy teeth just inches from Ellis' face. The young man leaned back, more to escape the Inquisitor's fetid breath, which reeked of eucalyptus and machine oil. Spit showered Ellis' face as the Avatar of the Regime growled "Don't make it worse for yourself, sinner. Just tell us what your were doing with that crate full of memory we found in the panniers on your zipcycle. You can still repent." Snake eyes scanned Ellis, recording, waiting. Ellis leaned back as far as he could go. He drew in a deep breath.
"I'm telling you nothing. You know why? Because you are a tool. And tools are useless and dumb in the wrong hands. The hands on you are very, very wrong." He lunged forward, swift like a adder, and drove his forehead as hard as he could into the Inquisitor's nose. The sharp crack of bone in meat echoed off the sweating concrete walls of the holding cell, drowned out by the scream of the Inquisitor as he fell back over the chair behind him. His body jerked and twitched, and as Ellis pitched forward in a blackout, he could only hope his strike had hit a control node.
Alarms blared in duet with the wet moans of the Inquisitor. Ellis sprawled unconscious across the table, a thin thread of blood oozing off the table edge to spatter on the floor. Not a single drop made its way onto the image of the dog-man and the puppy disciples eagerly awaiting their kibble.
To be continued...