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Pieces of Eight:

Rescue Me


Suggested Pre-Readings:

Falling Sky: A Simple Discovery

A Simple Ending by Anthony Harte

Shades of Crey by Anthony Harte

Stormy Knight Errant by Anthony Harte

Collusions of Grandeur by Anthony Harte

Bound No More by Sean McDonald

At the Seams by D. Heikes

The Skulls Strike Back by T.W.

Not the Hero by Anthony Harte

Of Pain and Hate by D. Heikes

A Stitch in Time by Mike Valcarcel

From the Ashes by D. Heikes

& other Pieces of Eight



City of Heroes/City of Villains

Flash Fan Fiction By

Anthony Harte

The scent of a human barbecuing drifted across the grassland causing nearby summoned demons to daydream a glorious feast. Abandoning all hope of rescue once seemed insane, but the wrought iron spit twisted slowly in its rotation adding another layer of burnt blackened flesh to what was once his fair skin. Trying to scream only aggravated his abrasive parched throat that had long since become raw, the act causing him to cough up more blood. They would not let him die finding great pleasure in his torture. He attempted to heal himself once when he they first started abusing him. The demons gutted and castrated him for his insolence while groups of their mages furiously worked their magic regenerating enough of his wounds to keep him alive. Thinking of Earth, he recalled his guilt was like living in a Hell, but this world proved to be the real deal. He hated the Circle and would never serve them.

            “Remove him,” one of the various gathered Thorn Mages said commanding the orange and brown-skinned behemoth demon. The gathering here had lasted for the past few months to help break the intruder’s will and never once had they moved their proceedings indoors. The wide-open plains were secluded enough.

            “Just stab him and be done with it already,” a blue robed hissed growing disgusted with the colossal waste of time and sickening methods of torture. “He is a Mu after all.”

            The behemoth propped the man up and secured him to a rack fashioned from large fragments of broken shale and oak wood, all local materials. A red robed master of fire walked over to their prisoner and bent down to inspect his burnt swollen bulbous face. The skin on his body had been roasted and healed so many times now it seemed naturally charcoal black. He motioned to a lower ranked Soul Mage who began applying more healing magic.

            “The point of this exercise has already been explained,” the Fire Thorn said finally responding to the Air Thorn. “Our Liege wants this one to serve us freely as poetic justice. He is unaware of his heritage and his assistance will help bring about the destruction of his own people.”

            The Fire Thorn glanced at the behemoth nodding for it to summon a whip crafted of fires from the pits of Hades. Grabbing singed spiky hair, he forced the prisoner to acknowledge him. The hair had once been brown, but was now white, a symbol of stress from months of torture.

            “I beg of you. You must now see her death brought you power. When she died you became strong.”

            The bound man’s mouth trembled and tried to form words in defiance, but nothing was heard. He could not submit to them.

            “You enjoyed watching him die too. His death brought you to even greater power. It is okay to admit it. End your suffering. Acknowledge the best thing you did was to watch him die. Surely he would have saved himself.”

            He would have saved me, the prisoner thought. Wouldn’t he? Why haven’t they rescued me, yet? Surely, I have suffered enough.

            “Yes?” the Air Thorn said nodding his eyes bulging.

            The caster nodded to the behemoth and it smiled gleeful whipping the broken man searing his blackened flesh. The prisoner screamed struggling to break his physical and mental bonds. The gathered Thorns only heard gurgling. Again, the Fire Caster nodded to the Soul Mage who used healing magic to bring the prisoner back from unconsciousness.

            The racked man really tried to resist, but the pain never ended. Sometimes his mind just shut down from the pain, but the healing spells forced it from its protective measures. Reasoning out their argument, he could see their point. When he gave the girl to the Circle of Thorns by not acting, he was acting as his true self. How many people did he save after her death? Hundreds? None could have been saved, if he had attempted to rescue just her, a pathetic meaningless teenager. Without his transgressions, he would not have found his mentor. True power would be unknown to him. In time, he even crafted a telekinetic spell that could shatter the magical gates, specifically the one on this world.

            “You deny yourself and who you are by ignoring these basic facts,” the Air Caster said motioning again to the behemoth. “Please spare yourself further pain. We beg you.”

            Hesitating from fatigue and exhaustion, he did not respond. The torture had broken him and he was only now realizing it. He was ready for the pain to finally end.

            “Join us and our calling. Submit to your new destiny and enjoy new pleasures. You have already left those who you cared for to their fate. Now save yourself like you have in the past.”

            Thinking it was time for him to end the pain, he then wondered where is true allegiance lie. It was only with one person. The sense of betrayal he thought he would feel was absent. He felt suddenly felt free and the pain seemed to diminish when he finally gave in.

            “All right,” he spoke but a whisper.

            The mage smiled revealing jagged teeth and walked back to his circle. “Very well. Now we are getting somewhere.” He calmly gestured to the behemoth. “Take one of his eyes.”

            The behemoth grinned in anticipation of his torture.

            “Take it slowly for once; he will not be getting it back this time.”

The Fire Caster returned to his previous conversations with his companions ignoring the prisoner’s cries for mercy. In time, the prisoner would thank the Circle of Thorns for their lessons before being released from the rack. Maybe in a week’s time.

            In this entire alien world, it was hard to believe that a voice screamed louder then Brian Sutter’s, but it was that of an ancient Saurian god from a dead pantheon. At the end, all would serve the Circle of Thorns.

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