artisticabandon: futuristic cityscape (atlantis)
[personal profile] artisticabandon
Title: Fracture Points
Recipient: [ profile] stella_pegasi
Word Count: 9,815/? (1,868 this part)
Rating: PG15 for this part, probably PG15 overall
Warnings: Somewhat graphic torture whump, and allusions to such.
Summary: A debriefing is a debriefing until its an interrogation. Or, the story about how to break and still stay whole.
Author Notes: I was asked for slice of life, team, Cam, and lots of whump. I hope this suffices. Full prompt(s) will be posted with final chapter, because, well, spoilers. Also a bit more rushed than I usually like, because well, deadlines. And a totally chaotic RL.
Note the second: Stupid migraines and totally stupid meds. And thanks again to [ profile] midnighta for the totally awesomely fast beta. :)

Part 4: Compound


So...what really happened was...not pretty. (Well, it was definitely messy. Does that count?) I guess that's why I keep avoiding it. There's a saying from somewhere that it's always darkest before the dawn. Yeah, well, I so totally get that.

Looking back, I guess that those two had a pretty good idea of what was happening, or going to happen. Anyone with half a brain (or was that half a brain between them?) would've run when we first started hearing the explosions, or at least when we first started seeing evidence of what was to come. But not these two. No. Not these two idiots. They stayed.

Ok, so to be fair, I don't really know if they stayed because they were under orders or if they really were that stupid. (Okay, so they probably were that stupid.) I guess now I'll never know.

What I do know is that they wanted to get some last good hits into me before it happened. (I'll get to it in a bit.)


"Actually, I have another question."


"Why do you call those two, well, idiots? Surely you could've come up with better names?" It was a basic technique, after all, to pick out a prominent feature of someone and use it to identify them -- if only to make writing the future report easier (or, as the case may be, to make the debrief easier to handle).

The question made Sheppard pause in his flow, in what he's mentally calling the Epic Info Dump From Hell. (Mainly for two reasons. One, it has a nice ring to it, and secondly, what happened on MKR-389 is as close to hell as he wants to come in this life.) (There are other reasons, but they're classified.) "Uh... Okay, so I had other names at the time. It's what happened later that makes Idiot so appropriate."


"I'm getting there. This is a tale better told chronologically." (Better for his mental health, at least.) (Because there's no way he's telling parts of this any more than once, so chronological it is.)


Have I mentioned before their interrogation technique? It wasn't all that different from A'tar's, really, just with harder hitting, more permanent damage. You know, question, reply, break a bone -- change it around a little for variety. The usual.

And so I'd change my replies to keep it interesting. No. Cursing. Silence. Given that I was building up to a 'break', I was also starting to favor more the cursing and panting. (And sweating. Don't forget the sweating.)

But nothing could've prepared me for what they had planned next. I don't know if they did it because they had any idea how important those bones were, or they were just that sadistic...or idiotically clever. Because even idiots can stumble across a good idea every now and then, and they were rather systematic in what they were doing. I mean, looking at it objectively, they were quite clearly slowly disabling my ability to fight back when I finally got out of that damn chair.

Unfortunately for them, I had some lines I didn't like crossing.

So they dragged me over them anyway, kicking and screaming all the way. Literally.

I think I said earlier something about how I couldn't move, but that they could move me, or at least a limb if they wanted. And that's how they did my hands.


"Like the arm."

"Yeah. Except where it wasn't." Sheppard shifted in the chair (and refused to look in the camera he knew was hidden in the corner of the room). On the one hand, he was sitting on a generic government chair, and he was as stiff as all hell. On the other, well, he knew he was lucky to be feeling this much through the painkillers the docs (and Cam, good old Cam) kept feeding him. Still, if this kept up much longer, he was going to have to get up and walk, and he was so not looking forward to it. At all. (The getting up bit, not the walking bit.)


I'm pretty sure they said something threatening or asked me yet another question, but I kinda lost that in the background haze when they moved my arm. The broken arm. That's when I found out exactly how bad they'd broken it. (Not that there's any such thing as a good break, but still...)

So. Remember how I promised myself that I'd scream on the next bone? So I could fake giving in?

Turned out that it wasn't so hard. To let myself scream, that is. And that was before they got to the breaking bone part. Just them moving the broken arm was enough for that.

So...this whole 'faking it' thing...was probably going to be easier than I'd ever thought. (Probably because there wasn't going to be as much faking as I'd expected, but that's another story.)

At first I thought they were just going to, uh, 'play' with the break, you know, given that I'd already shown that it was the first thing they'd done that had gotten a response from me. I didn't actually realize what they were planning to do until they moved the other arm as well so that my hands were right next to each other and then grabbed some...I don't know, looked like a bat or something from somewhere. I couldn't quite see it, but I knew right away what they were going to do.

Especially after they did a few false swings to 'tease' me.

In some ways, I immediately knew that what they'd already done was going to be nothing compared to this.

Not my hands. Please, God, not my hands.

To this day, I don't know if I said that to myself or aloud. Either way, they didn't stop. Because there really wasn't anything I could do to stop them. That had already been made abundantly clear to me from the moment I'd landed in this damn hostage situation.

The only saving grace I had was that damn chair. I hadn't made a deliberate movement in so long that the idiots kind of forgot I could, but one of the few things I could move was my wrists. I had just enough time to flick my left hand over my right before the bat-thing descended for real.

This time I made sure I cried out.


Cam looked up from where he'd been looking (that is, trying hard not to stare and failing) at the complicated splints on Sheppard's hands. "I guess then this would've been your line in the sand." His own hands were cramping from writing so much (why on earth did they insist on hard-copy instead of electronic?), but given the subject matter he figured it'd be totally insensitive to shake them out.

"Well, yeah. Absolutely nothing is worth losing my gun hand over," the other pilot replied, using a casual air as a cover for the serious undertone. "I'm sure I could'a come up with something to satisfy them. Not that I had much of a chance to try."

Cam just nodded and said nothing. Because they both knew the unwritten code drummed into them from SERE: you have to stay alive to escape. Or as their instructor had once wryly put it, you want to be able to shoot the idiots at the end of the day.


The end result was that my left hand was bloodied and rather useless, and the right hopefully only looked that way. Small mercies, and all that. It just looked pretty damn awful.

Which was my cue.

So, I started the whole fake out thing. I started smashing together phrases like, "okay okay" and "I'll talk" with "my hands, my hands," and "no more".

The heavies started bombarding me with questions, like A'tar had. "What were the Lao's plans?" "How many people are involved?" "What were the Lao's targets?"

I answered from old mission-gone-wrong files. MP8-391, or as Rodney calls it, Escape From Big Cat Planet. M4P-842. The Bug Thing. M1B-129. Wraith Hallucination Planet. M1L-439. Planet Waterfall. And that was just for starters.

Just because I had to do this didn't mean I couldn't have fun with it.

It didn't last long, though. Not because they didn't believe me or because I ran out of material. (Honestly. What does it say about my life that I had enough to keep going for hours?) No, the reason I stopped was got messy very quickly.

I'd say it was another thing we missed, but really, there was no missing this.

It was about that stage that we got the clearest sign yet of what was to come. I say 'clearest sign yet', because it was pretty hard to miss the not-so-distant crack-boom of an explosion and the subsequent chunk of ceiling that came crashing down right beside me. (I was just glad it didn't fall on me.) (And I said 'about that stage' because my time sense gets a little fuzzy around here, for soon to be obvious reasons.)

We all had a look at it. Well, okay, so they went over to look at it and I just turned my head (only because it was the only part of me I could move at that stage, but that's beside the point). In hindsight, I probably did the safer thing. (I mean, if the roof starts to collapse, and yeah ok the natural inclination is to look, but still, do you go towards it or away?) (Like I keep saying, idiots.)

We had a moment then that was like the silence before lightning and thunder hits. All around you. It was that kind of feeling of crackling tension. (And you instantly know what's coming is going to be bad.)

The tension broke when the rest of the ceiling caved in. Except for around where I was, strangely enough. (Or not so strangely, as it turned out.)

I closed my eyes as I heard the two heavies' screams get cut short rather drastically. (Thuds of falling rocks will do that.) There are some things I totally did not need to see, and that ranked right up there with them.


This time it was Sheppard who paused in the account. "I know what you're going to ask. How sure am I, since I never did see the bodies." And if there was one thing there was a rule about in the SGC, it was to never be sure someone was dead unless there was a body, and even then you'd Check Double-Check and Verify.

Cam at least had the grace to look guilty. "Well, it was on my mind."

"I have eyewitnesses."

"How many?" Because numbers totally mattered.

"Only about a hundred. Does that count?"

Mitchell coughed and did a mental double-take. "Right. Well..." He reached for the thick file folder for the first time in this entire process and rapidly flipped through it. "Uh...that's not mentioned in the reports I have."

"Of course not. That's because the building chose that moment to collapse on me as well."



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