The English Holy Water Torture
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, not mine. If you don't, mine.New City, Same Enemy
Chapter 7: The English Holy Water Torture
“Chain him down.” Wesley told the two who had carried the vampire into this cell beneath Oracle Securities. Though the Black Courtier had struggled the entire way, and was still struggling, between the three of them, they managed to chain it down. First the arms and legs were chained to the floor, but then more chains were put tight around its torso, keeping it not only immobile, but flat on the cold stone floor of the cell. The three of them left, leaving the vampire there. Wesley returned a few minutes later with a large bucket of water and a small, flexible plastic tube that came to a narrow almost-point at one end.
Wesley put the bucket down and started fiddling with the tube, making sure the vampire couldn't see what exactly he was doing. “Tell me, vampire. Have you ever heard of the so-called Chinese Water Torture?” The vampire only growled in response. Apparently, it had recovered from the bullets, though its hand was still gone at the moment. Wesley carried on, as if holding a normal, pleasant conversation. “The name is a load of bollocks. It was first recorded by an Italian, back in the 15th century. Hippolytus de Marsiliis, was his name. He noted that continually dropping water on a stone in small drips would eventually create a furrow in the stone, as the water wore away at it. Apply the concept to humans, and you have the so called 'Chinese Water Torture.'”
“Of course,” Wesley stood up and strapped the tube to the wall. It was long enough that the top part of it hung down, the narrow end hanging just over the vampire's forehead, actually. “with regular water on a regular human, you really can't get the same effect as on a stone. But Holy Water on a Black Court Vampire – or a Red Court Vampire for that matter...well, you'll still be among the undead, rather than the dead, but you will be having something of a dent. Or, rather, a burnt through hole. Its one of the few good ideas the Watcher's Council ever came up with.” He paused. He twisted a valve on the tube, and a single drip of water dropped on the vampire's head. It couldn't help but yelp in pain. “I give you just a few hours.” He walked out of the cell.
“He's insane, isn't he?” A black haired woman said, watching what was happening through the security camera in the corner of the cell.
Mark raised an eyebrow at Abigail St. Pierre. “I thought you said you didn't have a problem with torturing vampires.”
“I don't. But talking to it amicably while you're setting up the torture device is just...wrong.”
The ex-marine just shrugged. “I'm not sure I agree, but yea, I think Wesley's more than a little insane. I don't really know much about the man – he was in L.A. for the better part of four years, fighting demons, vampires and whatnot over there – usually with the ultimate end of fighting Wolfram and Hart-”
“That's that demon law firm you told me about? The redundancy?”
Mark chuckled. It wasn't a particularly funny joke, given the number of times he'd heard it – and used it – but it was always a little amusing on a very basic level nonetheless. “Yea. He was with some group, and I get the impression they were tight, like family. Some kind of shit went down, and he had a falling out with the rest of them. I figure it was one of them that gave him that scar, on his throat. He's been through the ringer, and I something in him broke. Going just a little bit insane is sometimes the mind's only way of coping with life.”
“What were you, a psych major?”
“Never went to college. Went into the marines straight on graduating high school. You don't need a degree to see what I'm talking about in effect.”
“No.” Abigail said softly, “You don't.” She sighed and looked back at the security monitor, smirking as the vampire screamed in agony as yet another drop of holy water splashed onto its head.
“So you do magic, but it seemed pretty narrow.” Mark commented, a few minutes later. Watching the vampire writhe and scream as holy water occasionally and randomly dropped on its forehead, sizzling, got boring eventually. “I've seen Dresden in action,”
“Dresden? The Harry Dresden?” Abigail raised an eyebrow.
“Yea...you know him?”
“He's the Warden for half the United States – the half I happen to live in. Knowing who he is is an occupational necessity. I don't have the breadth and depth of power to qualify as a wizard of the White Council – all I have is my kinetomancy, manipulation and use of force. But the Laws of Magic still apply to me. I haven't broken any, since thankfully the whole 'not killing with magic' thing doesn't apply to killing Black Court. Only applies to humans.” She looked at him. “How did you find out about all this? You're just a vanilla mortal. Most of you – no offense – like to pretend this whole other world right in front of your eyes doesn't exist.”
Mark sighed, “Yea. I know. I was like that. But I saw things. I was in Somalia, during Operation United Shield. Vampires and demons love civil wars in third world, apparently – they don't need to hide the bodies, not really. Death, destruction, disorder, panic. Probably just what the abominations are looking for. I saw a demon tear its way through a village. Didn't really believe what I saw...I mean...it wasn't human...but it couldn't be real. Didn't tell anyone – none of us in my squad did. But that, I dunno, I guess it opened my eyes. When I got back to the States, I saw things. When you know what to look for – or even know the possibility is out there. I noticed. These things prey on us, like they belong at the top of the food chain. They don't. They belong in whatever Hell they came from, not here on Earth. Someone's got to do something about them.” He raised an eyebrow. “What about you? Just decide to take up vampire hunting because you have some power?”
She didn't answer for a moment, then nodded. “Yea. Someone has to, after all. There's only one Slayer in the world – and wasn't that
a design flaw? If you're unlucky enough to live on a Hellmouth that doesn't
have a Slayer, you're pretty much fucked.” She shrugged, “Frankly, you're pretty much fucked wherever – Vampires are fucking everywhere anyway.”
By the time Wesley entered the room again, the vampire was blubbering. The constant – in terms of that it was never ending, though not in terms of regularity - drip of holy water had burned a hole all the way to its skull, and was working at getting to its brain. Wesley ended the drip, and moved the tube from its position on the wall.
“Now. Will you tell me what I want to know?”
Through the vampire's whimpering and tears, he heard it say yes.
“Who sired you?”
“Natasha.” That name didn't sound familiar, but then he wasn't expecting it to.
“Who is the leader of your little group?”
“Some French guy.”
“Do you have a name? What does he call himself?”
“Gregory of Arles.” Wesley recognized that name. Nine hundred years of violence and bloodshed across two continents left an impression, after all.
“You came from Cleveland? Why did you leave the Hellmouth?”
“Some lawyers. They wanted us to kill things for them here.”
“How many vampires came with you, when you arrived here?”
“I don't know...like...forty, or something. But the boss talked about siring more. Said we were going to get some provided by the lawyers. Turn 'em into vampires, more soldiers.”
“Where is Gregory of Arles nesting?”
“I don't know. He moves around. He contacts his seconds – Natasha, some other guy, and someone named Franz – and they move around as well.” Wesley signed. That was all he was likely to get out of the fledgling. He pulled a stake and dusted it. He needed to do some research, maybe talk to Dresden about this new development.
Author's Note: Its short, yes. Shorter than any of my other chapters, but I end chapters based on what happens in it ending. This chapter is short, but its over. Most will be longer.