Day of Dread, Part One

Electricity coursed through A.L. Snyder, who was caked in blood and dirt and covered only in the shreds of what had been his best work uniform.

Dread laughed. “All you have to do is ask for it to stop.”

Fat chance I’d give you that satisfaction.

Dread slapped the shock fork on Snyder’s back like a branding iron. Involuntary screams sizzled in a stream of curses. Dread was sup-posed to keep the torture device five feet away from him at all times..

A voice came from outside. “Colonel, his lawyer wants to see him.”

Dread powered off the shock fork. “I guess that will end our session. Get some healing balm, and we’ll see you back for another exam-ination in three days. Hewitt, clean this mess up off the floor.”

Hewitt yanked Snyder up from the floor. “Lookin’ forward to our next meetin’ pal.”

He wouldn’t be saying that in a fair fight.

Snyder stared at Sergeant Hewitt’s hulk-ing frame. Or maybe he would. 

 Inside the infirmary, a holoframe showed rotating images of bloodied and beaten prison-ers. The bald, five foot two, female doctor whistled. “Hewitt did a good job on you, Snyder. Sit. I’ll get you some healing balm.” She pulled a camera out from her desk and took a picture of Snyder.

“It’ll be added to the end.” She grabbed a mirror. “You want to take a look at yourself?”

He groaned. “Why would I?”

“You’re beautiful. A work of art. Barely recognizable as human.”

Snyder groaned. Great, a sicko. “You’re not going to sell that picture. You know that’s illegal without my release.”

“Oh, I’m a collector. I wouldn’t dream of selling it. Hewitt does the best work. Look at the way he cut your face. He doesn’t even use a knife. Just a boot.”

Snyder sighed. “Lady, could you just get the healing balm?”

“Sure. Personally, he works too much. I wish I could get him interested in me.”

Snyder laughed. “You wouldn’t survive an hour of his interest. Now. Healing balm.”

The wacko applied the oily gel to Snyder’s broken nose, ribs, and bruises and left. He leaned back as the balm tingled over his body. The nanites in the balm repaired injuries on a cellular level, but couldn’t correct dislocated bones. Barring plastic surgery, no one would ever call him good looking again.

Continued Next Thursday

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