You know that scene in The Princess Bride where Westley’s in that secret place, hooked up to the death machine that sucks the life out of him, and the guy who’s torturing him says that he needs Westley to be honest about how the pain feels because he’s writing a book about pain? Yeah, well, if I were there, I could just tell him about Allaketo’s antics, and everybody’s days would be better for the labor saved.
Allaketo was holding a mirror above me, one of his servants preparing some sensors or whatever the little pads were that they were sticking to my bare chest, my shirt having been discarded to the floor a while ago for the added amusement of the king and whatever subjects had rushed into the room, although it probably would have been taken off against my will now for the pad things, anyway. I could see bruises forming all over my face and shoulders- I’d been group-slapped with wooden paddles that were probably intended for a different context in a different place, made to listen to Allaketo rant about how my bisexuality was an abomination and how I apparently was destroying families in Zorphia by example, and threatened with a knife against various parts of my skin. “So, Emma,” he began, making sure my neck brace was still secure, “we’re going to try something different today.”
“Something other than your pitiful attempt at torture?” I whispered in response. “I mean, I’ve been here for a week now, and you’ve barely gotten started.”