psychocrystallization was initiated immediately after my capture
in the inner circle of the Psychocrypt on January 25th, 2087
(local time and date unknown) on direct behalf of the Queen of
the Crown. For information about the following events, see:
GRS5-group report #257-D-9.
and testimony of truth: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
clasped the wrist of his trembling right hand with his bionic
left and steadied it, applying enough pressure to nearly make the
light pen fall from his suddenly numb fingers. Just a couple of
hours ago, he had gotten his badge back, something he had never
expected after his crimes and the trouble he'd caused. Still, the
commander had done it, without the reprimand he deserved, even
without much of a scowl. He almost wished he'd been scolded.
Maybe he wouldn't feel so shaken about the whole issue then.
maybe that was why Walsh hadn't done it.
Maybe that was why
all he had to do was writing a standard report about what had
happened as if he had been on a mission – which he hadn't
been – and after he had some sleep – which he hadn't
gotten – before he would be sent to their next mission –
which he almost feared. And as a result he sat here now, trying
to steady himself enough to actually sign the report.
He desperately wanted to believe the shaking was because
of the lie. Unfortunately, he was honest enough with himself to
know that it wasn't.
It was the truth behind it.
grim line around his mouth, he positioned the light pen again,
and scribbled his name onto the dotted line:
apartment door slid shut behind him. He leaned briefly against
it, closing his eyes against the bright lights in their
apartment, and tried to find the strength to face his children.
They needed him. More than ever, now that their mother was gone,
and what did he do? He ran off to get...
thoughts stopped dead-still, shrank away from where the line led,
as if it were glowing red-hot and about to consume him. He
clenched his fist and forced himself to breathe. He'd known after
the dizziness of the depsychocrystallization had worn off,
returning the memories, that the first time to really calm down
would be the worst. And he was glad that they would blame the
psychocrystallization for it... most of them. In Goose's case, he
wasn't sure. There had been something in the look the ST had
thrown him after their flight back to BETA that was
disconcertingly close to sympathy.
was marked – in more than the obvious way – sporting
bruises in places no sane man wanted bruised. He knew it too
well, even before the Captain at MedoStat had raised a brow to
him in a silent inquiry he'd pretended not to notice. He just
hoped the physician turned out to be sensible enough to keep the
suspicion to himself.
felt dirty, filthy, and he'd already discovered that soap and
water didn't help. He didn't want to bring that filth home to his
children. He'd left them alone, abandoned them, betrayed them –
as much as he'd betrayed their mother. He got what he deserved
for that. He–
his son's uncertain voice cut into his milling thoughts. "Are
He forced the
bile from his tongue before he answered. "I'm fine, Zach,
just tired. It's been a rough couple of days this time."
well, love." Finally, the last of their doors closed,
allowing him to go into his own room. A room where nobody waited
for him, where only the memories lurked. He started when the
light suddenly dimmed, then realized it was only GV following its
preprogrammed bedtime routine as usual.
he didn't feel as usual.
on, GV," he ordered sharply, and noticed, annoyed, that the
fingers dealing with the buttons of his uniform were less steady
than they used to be. He ground his teeth. Now, some dreamless
sleep would change that...
him. I need to assess his responses."
voice cut into his throbbing head, called him back... to what? He
felt hard metal against his back. Rough-textured metal. It
pressed a pattern into his biological skin, and even a little
into the semi-artificial mix that marked the transition zone from
flesh to bionics. He blinked, tried to look at it, and noticed
broad openings in the plate left and right of his body in
addition to those he felt along his spine, and there were metal
bonds around his lower arms and legs and around the thighs, tying
him solidly to the plate.
tested their strength but even the ones clasped around the
bionics didn't give any way.
that," a female voice ordered behind him, seemingly amused
by his efforts. He twisted his neck to catch a glimpse, but to no
avail. Icy fingers reached through the openings next to his head
and clasped his cheeks, forcing him to look straight ahead at a
highly polished mirror-wall in front of him, immobilizing him
even more. "I said stop! We don't want bruises on you."
With a malicious undertone she added after releasing his face:
"At least not right now. Damaged goods gain no
appeared again. White, narrow non-human fingers brushed through
his hair and over his cheek, then wandered to his shoulder.
Purple talons scratched across the cloth of his uniform. Their
owner was still invisible, hidden behind the plate and
"Quite cute, the
dark hair and this incensed glitter in his eyes." A cackling
laughter emerged. "She'll be pleased this time." The
talons reached for his mouth. He tore his face away, only to find
himself grasped again. "I said, stop that!" his
torturess repeated icily, then scratched across the uniform
again. "This disturbs." Fingers snapped behind his ear.
you dare–" he flared as Crown troopers rushed towards
him to obey the order.
stun his vocal cords."
he sat straight up in bed, shivering violently.
are you all right?= GV bleeped from the wall screen.
he wasn't. He clearly and definitely wasn't. But he'd die before
he explained to a piece of... software how it felt to endure the
atrocities against him without even the chance to scream. He'd
wanted so badly to wake up from the nightmare at that moment. But
he couldn't, it had been real. And now it seemed he couldn't
escape even when it was really a nightmare.
thoughts involuntarily continued, recalling how a thick suction
pipe had invaded his rectum, had made him wish desperately that
the bionics weren't set to feel so natural, hadn't transmitted so
precisely the sensation of being violated by a metal snake
sliding segment by segment into him. He had known it wasn't
natural flesh through which it forced its way, had known it
couldn't cause injuries unless it reached the natural tissue
beyond the bionics, but it hadn't felt that way.
even that nightmarish sensation had been dwarfed by the female
alien approaching with a thin golden suction pipe spiraling in
tiny ringlets behind her to the wall. Fully immobilized, he'd
been unable to even squirm when she had deftly inserted his
manhood into a transparent plastic vise with an opening in the
top just wide enough for the gold cable to fit in. That cable had
slithered, throbbing, through very sensible, natural flesh from
the very beginning and...
now, alone in his own brightly-lit room, his face burned in
red-hot shame and humiliation, remembering the seneschal's "Oh,
yes! You will serve well!" before she had
clapped her hands and ordered the stomach evacuation to begin.
done, Seneschal." He froze. That voice was horribly
"Our aim is to
please You, Your Highness." The seneschal snapped into a
full-fledged bow. "Whatever you wish." The latter
gained her a regal nod.
of my consort. He's used up."
Horrified, his eyes darted to the Queen, suppressing a violent
shiver at the implication and the callous order connected with
it. He didn't know what used up meant in this context,
"After only two
nights, Your Highness?"
aren't what they used to be, Seneschal." The Queen made a
dismissive gesture and sauntered closer. He drew in a sharp
breath to hide his shaking, all too aware she'd use any reaction
Pressing a taloned
finger under his chin, she raised his face as much as the metal
he was strapped to allowed, studying him, appraising him. He
choked as she released his chin to run a sharp fingernail down
his chest, tracing the tattoo just as Eliza loved to do when–
"You needn't have decorated him for me. I know he's from a
was already there, Your Highness."
Queen arched a brow under her spiky crown and tilted her head in
amusement. "Already there?" She smiled in luscious
anticipation. "Ah, our Zachary..." she patted his cheek
with an expression of greedy assessment, "...always good for
a surprise," and continued her inspection of his body. Acid
from his emptied stomach burned in his throat as she reached for
the plastic vise still clasped around his manhood. Merciless
fingers palpated inquiringly. "Seneschal. What's the
condition of his functionality? Improved?"
fear not, Your Highness. Though that might not be true for his
pity. It might have proved interesting." Pulling the plastic
off, she clawed around his organ and the icy sweat that had fled
him earlier dripped down his bare skin. The Queen noticed. Her
grip tightened. Scratching a talon of her unoccupied hand across
his wet abdomen, she licked her dark purple lips in anticipation.
"Don't worry, Zachary dear." She rubbed the clammy
moisture between her fingertips and brought it to her nose,
inhaling the scent like a connoisseur tasting an exquisite wine.
"I love this natural spice. Your fear is such a wonderful
aphrodisiac. You will serve me well." A snap of
taloned fingers called the seneschal's attention. "Leave
now." Another bow with heels slamming together followed by
the staccato of metal spike heels leaving the hall faded away as
the Queen's malicious voice purred in his ear, "And now for
the two of us..."
tore his eyes open, and after a moment, realized he had obviously
drifted back into sleep and his dreams had replayed... He curled
up, fighting against the sensation of nausea the memory flash had
left behind, and noticed almost too late that he was going to
lose the fight this time, now that his stomach wasn't
mechanically emptied beforehand. He barely reached the toilet
before retching until only bile burned acidly in his
Back in his bedroom, he
realized with a shiver that QBall might have erased the resonance
between the bionics and the mindnet component used against him,
but that didn't affect the memories he already had.
face swirling in front of him, teasing, luring him, then morphing
into the Queen's, in the flesh or displayed on one of the
immobile slaverlords hovering around them. Blood on his lips,
bitten by his own as well as alien teeth, slime dripping down his
Eliza again, tenderly
stroking his hair, comforting him as he held her in his arms,
then she was suddenly the Queen jerking his head back against the
shackles that hold him into place while she thrust her bony hips
convulsive shudder of nausea, he abandoned the idea of sleep
rather than take the risk of more nightmares. He was already left
shivering violently by the memories. The psychocrystallization
hadn't been that bad afterwards. In fact, it had been a relief
after what the Queen had done to him. A relief, that added
considerably to his guilt now.
padding of bare feet walking across the living room towards the
kitchen, detected involuntarily by his sound enhancers, brought
him to his feet. He wrapped his robe tightly around himself in
addition to his all-concealing pajamas.
found his son in the kitchen getting a glass of milk. They both
acknowledged each other's presence with a nod.
small booklet on the kitchen table, somewhere between mud-brown
and sand colored, caught his attention. It was worn, slightly
torn, and he suspected the muddy brown was not its original
color. It looked shabby in a way no book in his family's
possession had ever looked: even the title wasn't readable any
longer. He picked it up suspiciously. "What's this?" he
asked his son.
Zachy looked up
from stirring cinnamon into his milk. "Sorry, Dad. I forgot
about it. It's for you. Goose brought it while you were still at
while Zachy gulped down his milk, wiped his mouth clean with the
sleeve of his night-shirt, and said he was going back to bed.
Zachy's awkward behavior remembered Zach with a pang of guilt
that it wasn't typical of him to stalk his own son on the way to
a midnight milk in the kitchen.
almost hesitantly opened the tattered booklet after he heard
Zachy's door closing behind his son. The first page with the
title and print information was also missing, leaving no clue
what the book was all about. But already on the first yellowed
and stained page was a passage marked with yellow marker:
_Always keep in mind: torture – in exercise as well
– is a matter of power and control over the
_victim, nothing else.
'nothing' was underlined twice.
_Whether it is carried out as a deprival of vital
administration, excruciation, exposure to extreme
_environmental conditions, inquisition, interrogation,
doesn't alter that fact.
the extent of destruction of the victim's will
primarily upon the victim's fear, self-accusation,
_guilt, and shame, not directly upon the stress put on
The voice from behind the door growled downright aggressively,
like someone who'd already been disturbed that night before.
After a moment, the door opened and a scruffy, not at all
agreeable Gooseman glared at him. "Yes?"
hesitated. The prolonged silence didn't do much to improve the
ST's patience. "Why?" The single word was all he
There was a
moment of silence while Goose intensely studied the opposite
corridor wall, painstakingly avoiding Zach's eyes, then: "Bodies
heal. Despite the sensations and awareness they cause, torture
injuries are ordinary wounds. But the mind is another matter."
Another long moment of silence, and just when Zach wanted to
break it, he continued, "Understanding how it works is the
only help – however small – I can offer." His
tone made it clear that he didn't want to go on with the
The ST stopped him hastily, hoarsely. "Believe me, you don't
understand." If Zachary expected an explanation of that, he
was disappointed. None came. All Goose finally said as he
attempted to close the door in his Captain's face was, "Don't
try to tell me that nothing happened. We both know that's
not the case."
hand quickly stopped the door from closing. "What gave me
thoughts off it saves you from Niko, not from me," the ST
growled. "You spent four times longer than usual in the
shower, kept the cockpit lights on, hesitated to take positions
hard to defend yourself from. Do you want me to go on?"
Controlling his temper, he added, "The pattern is obvious.
If you want to hide what happened, you have to change that. Good
night." This time, his door closed fast enough that Zach had
no chance of intercepting it.
was really a pleasure with you, Zachary." The Queen patted
his cheek leisurely. "As a reward," she straightened
and allowed her seneschal to drop a wide mantle around her
shoulders before she continued with gleeful satisfaction, "I
will send you to Earth as my most powerful slaverlord, in charge
of a battle fleet to crush the League of Planets." Snapping
at the Crown troopers the seneschal brought, she ordered, "Ready
in the morning he started again out of a shallow, dream-haunted
slumber, breathing heavily, and knowing with a tormenting
certainty that something dreadfully, tremendously important in
his nightmare had slipped his attention. But all he could recall
were black talons cutting into his flesh while she ripped her
pleasure from him...
month later, the Crown Armada appeared above Earth.
'Trivia' Blank for chasing the mistakes out of my story,
'fatima' Bales for yelling in time when I was about to "go
and K. 'Bruinhilda' Anderson for convincing me
to post it nevertheless.