Duke's eyes fluttered wearily as he finally came to semi-consciousness. Where was he? What happened to his plane? He groaned shaking his head, freezing when he realized his wrists here bound tightly behind his back with a thick, itchy rope. Where had this come from? Duke shifted his shoulders to move his wrist, only gaining success in earning large raw rope burns across his poorly tanned skin.
Before the war, he had gone tanning. Fake Baking as Mojave had called it, she would always tease him about those kinda things but his reply always came back quickly and full of spunk. 'Just you wait Mojave...women will be falling at my feet, clawing at me just for a shred of my clothes.' He smiled weakly, Mojave had always been quick witted if a bit of a worrier. Though he was shocked at her soft spot for the new kid, Young.
Shaking his head, Duke dragged himself from his memories, he couldn't stay in his nostalgia if he wanted to survive. His eyes flicked about, trying to discern where the hell he was. The only source of light in the not so spacious room came from a small lamp that hung from the ceiling, occasionally rocked by a large explosions in the distance. The windows were covered with thick, with dirt and blood stains covering their surface. A single rusted wooden chair rested, not to far from his left.
"Damn," he muttered as a door suddenly burst open and and a small group of soldier's filed into the room. He stayed silent, biting back an angry snarl as he soon realized what all had happened to him. The memories rushed back with a painful intensity; flashes of his plane in flames, screaming over his busted radio, and the sudden ejection from his cockpit that had knocked him unconscious. Now he had just gone from Ace to Prisoner of war in a matter of hours.
The soldiers, wearing Chinese uniforms, circled round the room. Their assault rifles hanging off their bodies, Duke blinked, he knew something was up. Why weren't they pointing their weapons at him? Sure he was tied up, but he could still get free. He tugged at his restraints and then changed his mind, maybe he wouldn't be getting out of here as soon as he thought. The man who was obviously the leader moved to stand in front of Duke, leering and laughing with smoke filled breath.
"How unlucky for you, American," He jested in heavily accented English. "Allowing yourself to be captured by the enemy?!" the man grunted and stuffed a cigar back in his mouth, pinching it between his teeth. Duke grimaced, still trying to work his raw wrists out of the tight rope.
"How do you know I'm not just gonna kill you all?" The american retorted, letting his smart ass mouth do the talking. The leader turned and stared at Duke, slapping him across the face as he laughed and wheezed.
"You're going to be dead when I'm done with you." The leader flicked his fingers, causing his soldier's to scramble. Two lifted Duke, placing him on the chair and positioning him under the slowly rocking light. Another soldier moved a small black camera in front of him, Duke widened his eyes, already knowing his fate. He had seen enough of the AlQueda torture videos to know what came next. A small red light winked to life on the camera, making the bottom of Dukes stomach fall out. Before the Chinese leader could step in front of the camera, Duke said what he knew would probably be his last words.
"Mojave...I'm sorry. I know you've got to be worried sick about me...like you always are. Don't worry, after this...you'll at least know what happened to me." He gave a weak smile as he continued to speak, unhindered by his captors. "And Young, you sorry bastard. I'm just sad that we can't toss back some more shots, getting your ass wasted." He laughed softly. "Listen man, I know some how some way you;ll hear this. Hug Mojave when you see her, do it for me and for her. She's always fancied you....And don't you ever...EVER stop fighting against these sons a' bitches-" with that last word the leader cut him off, all the enjoyment that he had once taken was gone.
Stepping in front of the camera, the leader grinned, flashing his yellowed teeth and slick black hair. "You know america, we gave you a choice...a chance to keep this all from ever happening. We told you it would spare men like this pilot." The leader snarled and pulled his cigar from his mouth, jamming it into Duke's eyes so the camera could see. Duke, against all his will, screamed.
Writhing against the ropes and the chair as the tobacco burned through his eye and into the socket. Finally the cigar fell away and the leader returned to addressing the camera, nonchalantly. Duke, in the back ground bit his lip, moaning pitifully at the still burning pain. Tears dripped from his eyes and onto the floor, mixing with a growing puddle of blood.
The leader smiled, steepling his fingers and looking into the camera as if staring the world down.
"There are 206 bones in the human body. 8 pints of blood, 24 ribs, and 21 feet of intestine. So much to play with, so little time." He walked over to Duke, placing his hands on his shoulders.
"The ribs, are the easiest to start with, of course. they take so little pressure. A foot on the ribcage and the lungs are crushed, a moment of weak pain, the breathing...stinted." The man brought a heavy boot up, slamming it into Duke's chest and registering a satisfying snap.
"More pressure, and the oxygen levels decrease, the eyes dim, the lungs burn in longing... and the heaviness on the chest becomes so... unbearable. Bone grates against panting organs and then as weakness overcomes the body there comes the irresistable snap, muffled under layers of tissue. Searing pain as muscle parts from melded bone, the quiet muscular rip, and then the weight is lifted." As the man described it, he inflicted the tortures on Duke, smirking and even laughing as the American howled and cried against his will. His bleeding, battered, and bruised body just wanted to rest...to die.
"A constant struggle for air, sharp bone jammed against shallow, pounding flesh, the mind, desperate for sleep, dare not. Left in a constant state of daze, pain... and breath, are all that matters." Duke's pain hazed eyes blinked slowly as his breaths came in and out, painful and wheezing.
"Pain receptors in the human body are surprisingly... resilient. The flicker of a candle across the back of the hand makes little or no impression... but hold a candle to the palm, the heel, and you feel it." Another soldier, at the prompting of the leader, brought over a sword. The leader lightly tapped the sword on the skin of Duke's neck. The pilot turned his head away, the last thing Mojave need to see was the pain and crazed fear pooling in his eyes.
The Chinese leader beamed as he cocked the sword back and took the man's head off with one clean swipe. Blood burst away from his neck splattering the camera lens and ending the video on a horrifying note, the sound of blood squirting and the man's head rolling around in the back ground as the soldier's cheered like animals.