The moment I felt solid ground beneath my feet again, I twisted out of Judas' grip and leaped sideways, reaching for the sword I'd hidden in my pocket the day before the voyage, ready to slice and dice my way out of whatever dark, dingy prison we'd ended up in.
Unfortunately, I never got that far. The moment I realised where I was, all I wanted to do was run for the exit.
We were in the dungeon of the Van Helsing Manor. Four black stone walls rose around us, festooned with evil-looking instruments designed to extract pain from their victims. From the ceiling hung long sets of manacles, all dripping with mould and a sticky substance that I tried not to think about. All through my childhood this had been the place I had been threatened with should I misbehave. They used to say they'd string me up by the ankles and beat me until I was black and blue, or lock me up in the hole at the corner of the cell for a week.
They had done so as well on several occasions.
Seeing the look on my face, Elektra tittered and gave me a condescending smile:
"Don't look so shocked Ash. Aren't you glad to be home?"
Of course I am. I'm simply euphoric at the prospect of returning to this Alcatraz! I wonder if you're going to torture me first, just to make the sense of homecoming even better than before, because that would just make my day you know.
Sick minded sadists.
Judas laughed, a sound that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Then, suddenly, his face set in a look of grim determination.
"Now then Ash. Are you going to tell us what madness posessed you to run away? Explain yourself boy!"
I glared at him, keeping my mouth clamped shut. There was no way I was telling him anything. Besides, he already knew why I'd run away. Judas narrowed his eyes and asked again, lower this time and full of unsaid threats:
"Come on boy. Don't make me do this the hard way. Tell me what you've done, or this will get very painful indeed."
Again I said nothing. He sighed and looked at me sadly:
"So stubborn. Very well, if you won't speak, I shall just have to find out for myself."
I opened my mouth to snap a vicious retort, but the next thing I knew a huge force had flung itself against my conscioussness and was trying to batter it's way into my mind. I flung it off vehemently, but it just kept coming back again and again.
This was going to be one heck of a fight for both of us.