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The Lieutenant looked at him for a long moment, considering that volunteered information for a moment before her eyes drifted down to his chest. Her mouth tightened and she swallowed, noticing a twitch in his body that wasn't his. That looked like whatever immune response was being surpassed and his body's intolerance was beginning to kick in. "[B Alright,]" she said, a long-fingered, scarred hand reaching out and curling around the item. Bringing it up off of his skin and depositing it on the little table with the rest. If he were going to fuck with any more of her methods, she would drive it right into his body, not just lay it on top of him this time. She was still not entirely certain if she had dropped any of the nails that had been in her hand before, having set what she assumed was still there back on the table. But he had vanished the rest. This was going to be a long, frustrating and possibly humiliating process with his prowess with illusion or what had he.
For now, however, she had summoned his resilience and his adrenaline, or some mix of both, she wasn't sure yet. Gweniviere was still getting to know him, the subject. Subject- she hesitated- had she gotten his name? She turned to him, brows quirking forwards, "[B Did I get your name earlier?]" Gweniviere asked, "[B I'm sure you would prefer me not referring to you simply as 'subject' yeah?]" she tried a smile at him, though it was crooked, due to the scar tissue on her mouth.
She glanced over the fae lashed to the table, her smile fading easily as she considered him a moment. She had seemed to have made a breakthrough, but she worried about continuing. He had been very fortcoming about the metal's effects on him, but she wasn't really certain how far she could go with him. They were all different, some fainting immediately or going into shock, others more resilient like him, strangely so- but that concerned her. Gweniviere couldn't be sure she wouldn't kill him, and with all the headway she had made just now with him. Her hands folded in front of her, one's fingers drumming on the knuckles of the other as she stepped forwards, her boot kicking something across the floor. The tinkle of metal as one of the nails careened however far under the table caught her attention, the German woman frowning.
The woman turned and glanced at the masked fellow behind her, arching her brows, he shut the door. She turned back to him, placing her hands on either side of his head on the table. "[B Listen,]" she murmured, coming up next to the young man. "[B I don't want to do this. I don't know your physiology and I could end up killing you on accident because I don't have enough time to study and figure out how not to.]" her head nodded to the side a bit, giving him a hiss through her teeth. "[B And I would rather not.]"
"[B We need to know how to harness, or use, or cultivate it, everything. Aesir magic is inaccessible and my [i only other chance] at this has fucked off to who knows where.]" Her hand came up, drawing her fingertip down the edge of his jaw as she softened her tone again. "[B So that leaves you. But I know your type, you are all hoarders of information and secrecy because us mere mortals cannot fathom or control or what have you... My dealings with magic users like you have taught me as such.]" Her hand closed gently over his jaw, clicking her tongue a little. "[B But I will tell you that if my methods don't work I will throw you to something much, much worse and let [i you] figure it out, see how you fare, see how a magic user fares against something we [i actually] can't hardly fathom how it works. Gather some more data. But then that leaves me, and you, having gone nowhere good.]"
Skye had closed his eyes again while the Lieutenant and the Good Doctor exchanged words. German. Sadly, he had never really taken the time to learn it. But it was a harsh language. He much preferred the musical sounds of Gaelic, of French, of Japanese. He knew the first, much of the second, and was only beginning to learn the third. They were always much softer, much more pleasing to the ear. Or, well, his ears. But with the return to English, with the Lieutenant returning her attention him, Skye slowly opened his eyes again. He was beginning to grow tired. To feel his mind slipping. He hadn’t really been exposed to such a large piece of iron in such a long time. Perhaps it was beginning to affect him. Well, affect him worse than it was already. His muscles were still spasming, once, twice, every few seconds, but now it was something he had come to expect. No longer was it drawing his attention.
Slowly, his eyes drifted back up to what the Lieutenant was doing. Perhaps part of his fuzziness was due to whatever they had drugged him with. There hadn’t really been enough time for it all to wear off. Or at least, he didn’t believe so. He blinked once, haltingly. To see him get to her, even if it were only the muscle in her jaw, was gratifying. At least, in some perverse way, it did. Until she took her irritation out on him, anyway. The pain wasn’t immediate. It was in slow motion, that Skye watched the Lieutenant bring the hammer down, felt the pressure of the tool on his knee. He had time to blink in surprise before the pain set in.
How to describe it? It was terrible. Almost worse than the feeling of the iron slowly poisoning him on his chest. The pain was intense, but short lived. Adrenalin took over, blocking out the pain and setting his senses into overdrive. Even when she grabbed the shattered knee and twisted, it was enough to create a sharp intake of breath, but the adrenalin continued coursing through his veins. Her questions were.... strange. They didn’t entirely make sense. She wanted to know if it could be...taken? If his Glamour could be harvested? He had....briefly heard of something like that. Something...similar to that. What was it?
It was hard to think. It became easier as the adrenalin began to wear off, but the pain, the hot, white, burning pain, began taking its place. That was enough to continue clouding his thoughts. A Faerie...selling Fey blood to mortals. It created... an almost psychedelic effect. Let mortals see and sometimes interact with the Glamour naturally found permeating the world around them. He had heard tales that it was easier to collect Glamour from those particular mortals, as their minds were all but swimming in it. But that could also be a lesser form of it, only to be collected by the Unseelie because it was subpar. But whether the Glamour could be harvested or not...?
[b “I don’t know how my Glamour works...”] Skye rasped quietly. [b “We have never really taken the time to find its... Mechanics, as you say.”]
And while that is true, what he didn’t say is that Glamour was collected from mortals, from artists and actors and musicians and writers, siphoned off from their creativity and in return, they would find inspiration. But that seemed irrelevant to what the conversation was currently about. But his mind was fuzzy and he couldn't concentrate on anything for any measure of time. The iron nails flickered back into existence.
Her look of amusement but spread as he shrugged at her a little, "[B [+slategray Ich weiß nicht. Du bist der Meister dieser Verhör.]]"
Gweniviere made a bit of a face, looking over at Skye, sneering in distaste. "[B Ich bin nur noch nicht sicher.]" The woman knew his type. Intelligent and bold- enough so to pla these agonizing games and claim innocence. He would sya she wasn't being clear, he would say she isn't trying hard enough, any number of things to try and work her up in any way possible to make her either forget the pursuit or to blind her with rage. Gweniviere was familiar with these types and knew to an extent how to handle them if she wasn't in a particularly sensitive mood.
She exhaled slowly and brushed her hand over her head, slipping her fingers through her hair. The Lieutenant wasn't enthused to do this even as her expression had lightened at his seeming submission, but it was short lived. It was not joy, it was relief, if brief. The prospect of having this over sooner had a certain appeal, after all. But it seemed, with his response, that this was not to be. How disappointing.
The Lieutenant gave him a patient looking smile, deciding to play along with him under the guise of thin manners as he so insisted. The glib type, as he was. "[B Then perhaps you and I can come to an accord regarding not handicapping you.]" the German woman said, "[B But you're going to have to work with me, then. Otherwise I'll treat you just as harshly as any other. Many, many people would [i prefer] not to have to relearn how to use your body, for what is left of it.]" The Lieutenant's eyes trailed over his form, landing on the iron spike she had left on the center of his chest. Williams' breath had become increasingly short since she had left it there. She wondered what sort of panic response he would launch into...
Gweniviere's mouth remained a hard line on her face as he spoke. "[B Oh no, yes you are. You're avoiding the clear inflections of my questions, and deciding to omit what I want from your answers, by which logic you aren't answering them.]" She looked at him with coldness, starting to feel the twitch of violent anticipation in her fingers, tapping on the wooden handle of the hammer. Much longer and she would shorn the civility she had been treating him with, to an extent, up until now. "[B Do not hide behind not speaking English as your birth language. You speak it well enough that that is bullshit as well. I am not stupid, sir, I would like you not to believe that that will get you very far.]"
She looked at him, waiting for his response, her eyes trained on him for those few moments as he didn't actually seem to... answer. The Lieutenant's jaw tightened a bit in shortening temperament. He was playing games with her. Sighing, taking rather a calming breath she tightened her fingertips on what was once the nail and felt nothing between them... Though the pads of her fingertips yet didn't press together somehow.
The woman looked at her hand, opening it in confusion. It was an instinctual reaction to do so with no stimulation, a muscle leaping in her jaw as her eyes snapped back to him.
"[B Oh. You think you're [i funny], do you?]" the woman asked, irritation tightening the line of her jaw as she looked at him. The hammer in her hand leapt as she tossed it in a twist in her fingers, reminding both herself and him that she had it. The Lieutenat was beginning to lose patience with his nerve to play with her. She walked over to him and in one quick motion used the hammer with as much force as she could put behind it and slammed it down on his patella. As a super soldier, her strength was boosted far above a normal human being's with the introduction of a synthetic hormone that had reformed her body into the tall creature she was now. He would, of course, know no different, and neither was Dr. Arndt familiar with her prior figure, save for in theory. But it had gifted her with monstrous strength- and one blow to his knee, unless his body was any sturdier than an average human being's somehow, would break it easily.
Her expression didn't change as her hand then clamped down on the spot she had punished, tisting it to the side. "[B I think I need to clarify somethig with you- I don't [i need] anything to still break your body if you make me.]" The woman's voice was tight and patient as she looked at him, her shoulders drawing a little tighter. "[B I don't care. I've seen this before, all you're doing is wasting my time and putting yourself in danger.]"
"[B I didn't ask of you had it to begin with, nor do I care what it can do. The only reason that anyone is even bothering is because no one could take it from an Aesir. It was a humor inherent to the body that had no physical form.]" The Lieutenant explained, "[B I know the nature of magics. I know what they can do, and what they cannot. I want to know of what [i nature]. How does the magic work mechanically.]"
He hadn't given her what she wanted, and as such she would inform him as such, despite what he wanted her to think, despite him trying to pick apart her rhetoric, or in his opinion lack thereof. "[B I don't care what you can do. I need to know if it be stolen, taken- is it a part of the body or a force to be siphoned that is static in the universe.]"
You are the master of this interrogation.
Skye’s face twitched a little as the Lieutenant turned to talk to Dr. Arndt. German was always such a harsh-sounding language. Not that he could understand a word of it. It was only that he recognized the sound of it. He really did have to admit that he preferred the soft musical tones of the Gaelic he was raised with. So much softer, easier on the tongue, more pleasant to listen to. Though, Skye’s thoughts wandered, English was worse than both of them. Such a strange and garish language to try to understand. To try and learn. It had taken Skye many, [i many] years of careful study and practice in order to even be able to understand proficiently, much less speak it.
But the Lieutenant’s response to his admission that magic was in all things. It left him... almost sad. It made him almost sorry for her. Anyone who lives without magic has been sorely lost in their life. If someone like him, a Faerie, were born without their magic, they have been sentenced to Ironside and live knowing of magic, but not knowing magic themselves. And that is truly a lonely existence. Skye could only be thankful that his exile did not include them striping him of his magic. He would not have survived long. And then she asked if he wanted the iron off his chest. Was she... being sincere? Or was she playing with him? Getting his hopes up? Especially since Skye could see the look on her face as she savored his pain. [b “If you’re offering, then I would very much like that.”]
[b “And yes, while I am no longer a member of my own society, I don’t particular care to have to relearn how to use some or all of my limbs again,”] Skye said simply. He didn’t mind scars so much. The idea of them was foreign to him, but nothing he couldn’t handle. [b “As for avoiding your questions. I am not. I am answering each and every one of them, quite truthfully, I might add. Regarding your next question, however...]
Skye looked directly at the Lieutenant, holding her attention as best he could. He blinked several times, not even needing to concentrate this time. All of the nails that he had previously avoided looking at were no longer in the leather case they had been before, and the one in her hand was gone as well. He could still feel the pressure of it on his hand, but no longer was it visible. No longer would she be able to feel it. If she opened her hand, neither the Lieutenant nor the good doctor would even hear the nail fall to the ground. Skye blinked again, watching the Lieutenant’s expression.
She gave him a mirthless flicker of a smile, "[B [i D'accord.]]" and glanced over at the roll of leather, taking account of the number of nails that she had at the ready before her gaze flickered back to Skye.
Dr. Arndt sat up straight, "[B [+slategray Oh! I'm sorry, I'm Dr. Arndt.]]" the slim man said, pressing his hand against his chest in a gesture and ducked his head a little. "[B [+slategray Apologies. Do go on.]]" He gesture dismissively towards the both of them and shook his wrist, pulling his sleeve down to look at the watch face.
Sher mouth tightened at the prevailing brightness in his voice, exhaling slowly. He was either skirting the issue, or honestly trying to antagonize her as she had suspected. Her eyes slid towards the scientist next to her and they exchanged a glance. "[B Ich verliere die Geduld*.]" the Lieutenant said with a sigh.
"[B [+slategray Vielleicht, ah,]]" he began, gesturing at Skye, "[B [+slategray sollst du das [i aggresiver].**]]"
The woman's mouth turned in an amused look, "[B Aggressiv. Bin ich zu sanft?***]"
Gweniviere swallowed, feeling a touch of discomfort but shook it off, her features growing still before she turned a mirthless touch of a smile towards him. "[B Well, I suppose that's why I'm unfamiliar, then.]"
Gweniviere noted the quicker draw of his breath the longer she let the metal lie against his chest. She gestured at it, "[B Would you like that off your chest, then?]" the woman asked, pointedly quirking a brow as a bit of brighter attention colored her expression at his notable discomfort. Here we go, then. So it begins. She fought the enthused turn of her demeanor,
Dr, Arndt sat up again, figurative ears perking, and tilted his head to the side. "[B [+slategray How interesting.]]" he mused, jotting that down in the margin of whatever was in his hand. "[B [+slategray A warrior culture based off of appearance of lack versus gain. Makes me think of China, actually, and such cultures.]]"
"[B You don't seem too bothered by that, however.]" Gweniviere said calmly, "[B You've made it clear that you hold very little concern towards yourself, I suppose marking your body as even less worth in your culture's eyes wouldn't be a problem.]"
"[B You're avoiding most of my questions.]" the woman said, shaking her head a little as she seemed to consider the placement of her nail. In the back of the hand, or through the finger, to keep it still, or straight underneath the nail for the better results?
"[B Let's try one more time.]" her eyes raised to him, "[B The Aesir call is seidr, a magic. Talents that are considered superhuman. Something that would convince these people that they want this from you. What is it? Is it a derivative?]"
*I'm losing patience.
**Perhaps you should be more aggressive.
***Aggressive. Am I too gentle?
Lieutenant, huh? With the way the woman carried herself, it did make a lot of sense. Skye watched her carefully, but he knew that this small admission would do nothing for him in the long run. It merely gave name to the person who was tormenting him. Be creative, she says. That does leave much open for him to play with. But he was not feeling particularly creative with the searing pain in his chest and the light tingling on the back of his hand. Instead, he merely gave a small grin and said, [b “Well, it’s nice to finally have a way you address you, even if it’s only the Lieutenant and the Good Doctor.”]
Speed the process? Of healing? He’d never thought about that. Some of his kind were able to, but he had never been gifted with the ability to spontaneously heal. And he had never tried using his gifts in that way before. No, mostly, he just used them to get him from point A to point B without much attention. The feeling of the nail dragging itself lightly down his arm made him twitch ever so slightly. In its wake, a red line shown angrily against his pale skin, but began to fade almost immediately. Skye blinked. His chest was hurting more. In fact, it was getting a little hard for him to breathe deeply anymore. That was never a good sign. [b “I have no knowledge of if there is any way to heal faster. If you know of one, I would love to hear, though! As for not believing in magic...”]
[b “Rarely is anything exactly as it seems. And magic exists, whether you believe in it or not. The blooming of a flower. The laughter of a child. The kiss of a loved one. It exists in so many ways, and no one thinks anything of it.”] In an odd moment of lost thoughts, Skye spoke without realizing exactly what it was he was saying, a faraway look in his eyes. But her next comment, about scars being a badge of honor, left him a little unsettled. Scars being a noble sacrifice. [b “Working under the assumption that, since you know my weakness, you also know what exactly it is that I am. Which really, if that were the case, you should have skipped your initial question entirely. But I digress. Knowing what you know of me and mine, you would know that mine is a society built stringently on power and beauty. The more beautiful is usually indicative of the more powerful. So to one of my kind, a scar shows weakness as opposed to strength.”]
Skye was quick to note to himself that he was becoming more talkative. This wasn’t good. But even him talking wouldn’t endanger the places he held dear. He was careful of the words he spoke, even if it didn’t seem like it. And he would protect the secrets of Faerie, taking them with him to the grave if necessary.
Dr. Arndt's featureless head nodded at him, pulling his hat a little more properly on his head with thin fingers that trembled just lightly. Gweniviere politely deferred to the Austrian doctor's question. However, a few moments passed and this seemed but to bring the Fey man into reflection, not answering him. Dr. Arndt made a dismissive sound of acknowledgment and his head tilted down again.
Gweniviere exhaled, looking somewhat impatient now. Fine. Be silent. The Lieutenant's only real concern was whether or not he died anyways. Gweniviere was feeling a press of frustration very gently now, wanting to skip over the preliminaries of this procedure. But even with the bare twitch of impatience that was in her fingers she ignored it as she brushed her fingers through her hair briefly, glancing over his supine form.
"[B Fair.]" she replied calmly with an offhanded shrug of one shoulder,"[B I'm a Lieutenant. I suppose you could refer to me as any variation of that.]" Her eyes moved over to him again, a faint twitch of a mildly amused smile pulling on her mouth, "[B Or you could always be creative.]"
Exhaling lightly the woman figured he was cooperating and hesitated on the punishment. "[B No, not about naturalness at all.]" the Lieutenat said, letting the tip of the nail glide down his finger until she tucked it underneath the lip of his fingernail, nudging it in against the soft flesh underneath. "[B Are you able to speed the process at all yourself? I've heard rumors about your kind, or is it simply an inborn, bodily instinct. You see,]" Gweniviere's eyes slid back up to Skye's, "[B I don't believe in magic. Believe I grew up a little early before I had a chance to, you see.]"
Scarring, god forbid she mar his appearance, the scarred woman thought. Scars on a man were often lauded as proof that he was such, as for a woman it was often a death sentence, expecially if it was on her face. Gweniviere would know, her lips twitching. It had meant for her that her worth as a [i Wundersoldaten] when she was initially implemented. Then, women weren't allowed on the front so the true potential of the serum hadn't been exploited until much later. That, however, didn't seem to affect her war crimes trials at the close of that war. "[B Aren't scars a sign of a noble sacrifice in warrior culture?]" She turned her head a little, arching a brow over which was a thin collateral scar.
[b “Do I believe any different...?”] He trailed off, leaving the question unanswered. It was a pretty thought provoking question. Maybe he hadn’t believed it at the time. Whether he believed it now? There were many occasions when he had come face to face with Mab. Many occasions where she had let him go to continue his job, watching with an amused smile. She had even come up to him once and caressed his face, telling him that she would allow him to continue what he was doing, but that he could only continue so long. And, Skye supposed, she had been telling the truth. So the crime he had been punished with... maybe he actually did commit it. No sense in worrying.
And now she was prodding about iron sickness. Heh. He really did have a habit of only giving the most enticing bits of information away. His only response to the push about his question was to let a smile edge onto his lips. He pointedly ignored her as she moved around the table. He didn’t think about the pouch she held in her hand, or the smell of iron as it became thicker. In fact, Skye refused to even look in her direction. But, as she responded to his comment about the lack of introduction, he did have to hand it to her. Most torture victims would want to know exactly who it was that tortured them. Whether to hunt them down for retribution, or to uncover who they were for the world to see. But he himself... being what he was, Skye had no need for revenge, and certainly not exposure. [b “Ah, yes, I suppose I really don’t care who it is that has decided I’m not needed running by store. I would like to know how I can address you, at least.”]
When she turned around with the metal spike – no, nail – in her hand, Skye felt fear arise in him. His breathing paused for just a moment, his eyes locked on the thin piece of metal. And then the hammer in her other hand. His gaze flickered between the two of items rapidly, before snapping to the woman’s face. She really was meaning business. But he would probably not tell her what it was that she wanted to know. At least, not exactly, and not in any substantial amount of time. He carefully watched her face instead of the nail as she set it pointedly on the back of his hand. He could feel the cold metal pressed against his skin, along with the faint tingling that came with steel. [b “Most times, yes, the skin does heal. Though, whether or not it will be without scars, I cannot say. I can’t even tell you if permanent damage has been done as of yet.”]
He was nearly certain that it would, but there was just enough doubt in his mind that allowed him to say that final sentence. As for this woman. What did she want? She hadn’t really... asked him anything specific. More that she was skirting around the edges of the conversation, trying to drag out of him the information she wanted without actually asking for it. The only thing she had asked for certain was what he was. And she already seemed to know very well what that was. So what was the point of this session? It was for information. But at the same time, Skye had a sneaking suspicion that it was about something more as well.
Gweniviere's mouth twitched at his response, neither here nor there save for specifically answering what she said. It was so interesting how he managed to say this much and yet so little at the same time. As for his odd comfort in the situation it didn't seem he was biding his time for anything as of yet he was simply... waiting, present. It wasn't frustrating just yet, but it would be soon. Gweniviere felt the press of obligation tighten slightly in her chest, trying to work around to getting something about him in the open. Abilities... magic. The German woman had dealt with Aesir magic before, in its intimidating power, but nothing more and would need to know how similar or different this was. What would Smear want to extract from him, youth? That secret? It would mean this is a niche sciences situation, likely funded by either Dr. Greenway, Baron von Strucker, the head sphere, any of them bitter creatures unwilling to relinquish their positions to the detriment of many. Things that humanity didn't need.
"[B [+slategray And do you think differently?]]" Dr. Arndt finally spoke up since his last check on the Fey's vitals. His pencil was poised in his thin fingers, arching a brow at the creature which went unseen behind the tinted glass of the mask over his face from which his quiet, distant sounding voice carried.
"[B Iron sickness,]" the woman prompted him with a straight face, waiting for an explanation of his terminology. Gweniviere was aware of the allergy, but she wondered if it was so caustic as to send him into something similar to anaphylactic shock or something of the like...? If so there was nothing she could do for him unless his body was similar enough to a human's to respond to antihistamines and such things.
"[B I've noticed,]" Gweniviere said, growing tired of the situation and sighing. She shifted her weight over to the counter again, gathering a roll of leather in her hands that jingled with interior metal instruments. bringing it over to a little, rolling table she set the thing down and unclasped it, the dark material rolling open and displaying an array of long nails. A similar, dark metal, but likely made of steel. She cared little of which. Skye Williams was still a physical being not immune ti pain.
She glanced up at his commendation calmly, her brow quirking in curiosity. Was he lauding her cleverness? What was this? More analysis of her methods? "[B You wouldn't have heard of me anyways. There's little point, I think, of becoming familiar.]" She chose one, long, straight, and brought it into her fingers, "[B I imagine if you survive this you wouldn't wish to remember me at all. So that saves us the trouble doesn't it?]"
"[B Interesting,]" she said, glancing over him as she stepped closer, her other hand drawing with it a hammer. The Lieutenant set the tip of the nail down on the back of his third knuckle of his ring finger. "[B tell me, then, are you able to, should I remove that metal there,]" the tall woman gestured towards the railroad spike on his chest, not burning black it seemed, "[B heal yourself of that nasty looking burn there?]"
Dr. Arndt had been becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the situation, his shoulders twitching and crawling up at his sides as he had been watching this happening, hoping to goodness this wasn't permanent damage- that it wasn't necrotizing.
When she was not speaking, Skye allowed his thoughts to drift. They would fly far away, back to the forests of his homelands. Back to a time when he was happy. Before he was called upon by his Lord and Lady and joined their war. Slowly, his mind turned towards thoughts of a more painful nature. He tried to keep them from it, tried to stay away to the thoughts of the battles and other missions. But the bloodshed and the death pervaded his thoughts. To the many other Fey he had slaughtered over the course of his service. Skye blinked slowly as the woman spoke again, silently thanking her for pulling him from this collection of thoughts. This is something he didn’t allow himself very often. Thoughts of his past and his sins. Usually because it put him in a state for several days.
[b “Glutton for punishment? I’m afraid I am not a glutton for much of anything. Least of all, punishment.”] He blinked rapidly a few times, bringing the world into focus again. The smile he had been holding drifted away as he continued to ponder her questions. What was he paying for? He had been a scape goat. Had been the reason for the ending of the war between the Courts. The official story that had been spread was that he had been working both sides, killing and murdering for both Oberon and Mab. And because he wanted it all to stop, he didn’t fight anything. He allowed them to drag him out in irons and sentence him to death by iron sickness. [b “According to my superiors, I am an insubordinate, double-crossing soldier with greed and murder at the top of my priorities. Their solution to my existence was to exile me until the end of time.”]
[b “Or until the iron sickness takes me.”] Skye really had very little reason to skirt around the edges of the topic. He was telling his past, but there was not much in it that they would be looking for. At least, he didn’t think so. And it was... surprisingly lifting to actually tell this all to someone. Even if that someone was a large German woman extracting the information through the use of poisonous substances. [b “It’s not surprising that others of my kind are resistant. We never did like telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Also, I commend you for not giving your name to me when I asked earlier...”]
[b “There is... much power in a name,”] Skye finished with another small smile. For slowly suffering through the iron placed upon his skin, he seemed to be smiling an awful lot. In fact, the pain itself had become ever so much background noise. It still hurt, and hurt [i a lot], but now it was a constant throbbing pain. Somehow, that was easier to manage than he thought it would. His muscles still trembled and twitched violently, and his breaths occasionally came in gasps, but it was... relatively easy to block out now. Her final question... he spent some time contemplating his answer. Did it burn hot or cold? An odd question, to be sure. [b “You know when you turn on the water in the sink and it can either be icy cold or searing hot, but it feels just about the same to your skin? It’s a little like that... It hurts either way, but there’s little distinction between the two feelings.”]
The Lieutenant waited patiently, eyes on him as she watched how he coped with his situation. It only prolonged his exposure, so she had no intention of hurrying him along- the intention to keep hi mind from being able to do such crossed her mind, but she decided against it. Best to let him stretch the ability, and then not be able to rely on it longer later. So she waited, eyes drifting to the doctor beside her. Oddly quiet this time. But this whole process has been rather abnormal as it was . But, relying on the vague framework of what she [i did] know of these things, the longer, the better. Soon she would hurt him and leave him alone for an amount of time. What was worse than the physical torture itself was the isolation and the inability to alleviate it, to communicate.
"[B A glutton for punishment,]" she said, unimpressed, and stepped forwards, leaning one hand on the edge of the table, the other coing up to run over the rough cast piece of metal, letting her fingernail make it sing dully, "[B and what are you paying for, might I ask?]" the German woman prompted. "[B Desertion? Malingering? Insubordination...]"
Her eyes slid up to him at his question, studying his face. Briefly she considered laying her intentions out. [i I need to know why they want you. I need to know if I need to protect you both.] But kept her words back, tilting her head to the side, "[B Well let's think about that.]" she said, letting her words take precious moments, drifting back down to the metal against his skin as his bod hitched against it. She wondered if it was actually poisonous for him and his kind... A pertinent question, of course, and was tempted only slightly to test that theory, but he was interesting. Intelligent. "[B We know what you are, and what I'm not. And your general brethren are rather unwilling to converse with me, so as a result of an average, I've decided not to bother with formalities as I've little patience for them.]"
"[B I'm actually quite curious,]" Gweniviere said, letting a touch of genuine curiosity color her words and bringing her eyes back up to his face, frustratingly calm in this situation. She'll have to try harder, an idea forming in the back of her mind that she took gently into her hands to preserve. "[B does this,]" she tapped it with her forefinger, "[B burn icily or fiercely hot?]"
He closed his eyes. Ignoring everything, Skye concentrated on simply breathing. First he focused on what he could feel. The burning of his chest. The chill in the air. The feel of his slacks pressed gently against the skin of his legs. The soft fall of his long hair down his head and shoulders. Another breath. Next, his thoughts turned to what he could hear. The soft scribble of a pencil on paper. That must be the weird faceless man. Footsteps approached and faded away. The hum of the air system above them. Another breath. He moved on, this time to smell. There was a distinct... antiseptic smell. And iron was quite prevalent. He swallowed, moving passed that one. Finally, to taste. Bleach. Ever so slightly, he tasted bleach. Slowly, Skye opened his eyes and allowed them to rest, unfocused, just existing.
When she spoke again, after a very long silence, his eyes snapped back into focused, keying in on her. Antagonize her? Was that what he was doing? Huh. He had never really thought that’s what he was doing. She asked questions and he answered them in the way that many of his kind would. He never once strayed from the truth. Not that he... not that he really could lie. Was he proud? That took him a moment of thought. Maybe he was, at one time. A proud soldier of the Seelie Court. But his feelings soon changed. Skye blinked, moving his thoughts forward. Did he enjoy this? “I suppose one might say that, in some perverse way, I might very well ‘enjoy’ this. It’s more... that I likely deserve this in one way or another.”
The muscles in his stomach twitched violently, reminding him acutely of just how much the iron was hurting him. He had managed to forget in the midst of his reverie. Horrible memories were good for something, it seemed. He took a sharp, shuddering breath and held it. Slowly, he let the breath out, counting to ten as he did so. Skye pointedly kept his eyes from the skin on his chest, which was now edging from bruised to black. It had been quite a while since he had dealt this intimately with iron. And it seemed whatever resistance his skin once had to the substance was now gone. He turned his gaze on the woman in front of him. He tossed a smile onto his face, again brightly asking, “So, why is it that you are prying information out of me at iron-point?”
Steeling himself against it yes he knew its sting intimately, the Lieutenant noted as she laid it against him. Dr. Arndt drew forwards this time and started jotting down what he could about Skye's response to the metal being laid against his skin. This was a different response to the contact than others had had. The Lieutenant's eyes were trained on his response as Felix made not of it. This wasn't the first time- clearly- he had been exposed to this before in his servitude as a soldier, if his words were true. Gweniviere didn't doubt them entirely. People didn't take that lightly. Especially those who had actually served, because no matter what war, people suffered. Perhaps not like she had- but it was as real, if different, to them as it would be to her.
The woman stepped back and watched him, shifting her weight evenly between her feet. She had dealt with stronger creatures without these inherent, physical disadvantages. Honestly it was simply a waiting game that began rocky, awkward sometimes, until she got a handle on the individual and would then stretch her skills to fit into the cracks in their armor. Everyone had them, even the young, innocent people. They were often the easiest, and yet the most difficult. Everything was new to them, and often it meant they would shut down and become difficult. It was always a balancing game. And it was only a matter of time until she found her footing with this one. Surface wounds were one thing, the beginning only. Gweniviere would go deeper, but incrementally.
Familiarize the subject with the process, through which they can work around you. Like a maze, giving them specific cause and effect basis. Cooperation vs. resistance meant either pain or something else.
Her golden eyes blinked calmly, detached form the situation currently. Her only concern with him was determining exactly what he could [i do] that would give Smear any interest in him. If they had wanted to indostrinate they wouldn't have given him to her, so it was physical then, or somewhere in between. Abilities were hard to define. The woman watched his skin grow irritated further and further, completely relaxed, glancing up now and again at his face. It wasn't that she [i liked] doing this, but it was an inevitability she was putting consideration of aside for now. Best to function at her best before she would deal with the psychic repercussions at a later date.
Gweniviere frowned at him, Dr. Arndt exchanging a glance of uncertainty at him with the point of this Williams being cheeky enough to make suggestions to the woman. His shoulders came up a little, discomfited, and backed away a bit from the situation, against the counter and continued making notes.
Gweniviere had determined that he wasn't [i human] by her actions, whether or not he understood that extent, and she hadn't brought forth her intentions so it was only natural masculine ego that was fueling him now at her seeming ignorance. Oh yes it was irritating, but she was trying to keep her head about this one. She swallowed hard, her mouth tightening and she sighed, sounding exhausted already, and rolled her eyes. "[B If you're going to pick at my grammar, I do hope you don't think this is going to go any better for you.]" the woman said in a hard, husky tone. "[B Why antagonize me? Are you just stupidly proud, or do you enjoy this?]"
The moment he saw it, the smell of the old iron spike filled the room. That was... enough to almost make his nausea worse. So she did already know what he was. Again, his thoughts turned not to the coming pain, but instead, the quiet contemplation of who sold him out. He supposed there were quite a few people who wanted him off the streets, human and Faerie alike. But the other Fey should know better than to give a Faerie to a human. The greatest fear of his Lord and Lady was that Ironside would tumble through the barrier between the realms. That it would infect everything that they protected and held dear. The table swinging suddenly to its former position tore him from his thoughts, and back onto the cold slab where he lay.
His eyes caught sight of the spike again, and he steeled himself. It wouldn’t be the first time he had been tortured with iron. In fact, it was quite the common practice. And Titania always took great pleasure in training her troops to withstand the torture of their enemies. Instead of watching the spike, he focused in on the woman. The way she held herself. The way she moved through all of her meticulous movements. She was a soldier, same as him. He had really grown tired of the pointless fighting. Maybe that’s why he did what he did. Oh well. He slowly drew in a breath as she set the hunk of iron on his chest.
His skin didn’t burst into flames. At first, nothing even happened. He kept his face neutral, not even allowing a twinge to present itself. Slowly, ever so slowly, the surface skin around the spike grew first pink, and then red. The skin puckered. Pulling and stretching, it blistered and bruised. Still, he schooled his expression. He continued watching the woman. Watching as she stepped back and folded her arms.
“You really should be more concise with your questions,” he said brightly through clenched teeth. The muscles in his stomach trembled involuntarily. The edge of his lip twitched, almost looking like a wry smile, but not quite. “Ambiguously asking what I am? That leaves openings for many answers. Though, I assure you, all of mine were very much true.”
[i Why in Oberon’s name was he giving her tips?]
The Lieutenant gazed at him, her brows coming together a bit, a twitch of response to his words. [i A veteran? Of what?] This was a new claim for them. Generally it was feigned confusion. All they knew was what they [i were], not what they did and that was why she was here. Was this claim a slight towards her? She gazed at him for a few moments as he seemed to sink into reflection. Ah, that was a familiar look. Gweniviere pulled that expression from those she knew- the hollow distance of the long-lived, and the traumatized. He was definitely what she thought he was.
Her expression fought irritation, hardening the stone mask over her expression. "[B Mhm. I thought so.]" the woman said, bringing her hand over to an old railroad spike lying on the counter. The dark metal in her hands, showing up sharply against her skin. The German weighed it as if it really held any weight in her hand. It was a rather large piece of metal that would have weight on any other person, even a faerie.
The super soldier tilted her head a bit and quirked a brow once more, "[B Then you won't mind much if I give this to you, would you?]" She carried herself over to the table and roughly pushed the surface Skye was bound to horizontally once more so that the item wouldn't slip from his skin whence she put it. She had seen it act as if a caustic metal allergy. It was much like the few films she had seen with traditional vampires in them- the skin crispening, brning right before the eyes, if not set aflame altogether. But it often looked angry enough as if it just could.
The woman then arched a brow, watching his reaction and rolling her other sleeve up to her elbow with her free hand. "[B Right then,]" she said, leering at him coldly as she looked down at the smooth surface of his chest and torso, contoured gently. "[B let's try this.]" Gweniviere then reached out over his stomach, breathing under her, and let the tip of it draw a gentle line down from his sternum to where she thought it should go between his pectorals. Enough of a slope to keep it in place despite how he struggled, and pulled her hand back, crossing her arms.
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