A Glimpse of Hell
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters in the show are no creation of mine.
Author’s Note: Big warning. This chapter contains disturbing mentions of torture and rape, also some m/m. If you can’t stand reading about stuff like that, you might want to avoid this chapter. Much thanks to my beta, DreamsofSpike, who has a nice strong stomach for it. ^_^
The warm water was soothing to Buffy’s tired muscles and weary mind. Everything just seemed so exhausting to her – even just staring up at the bathroom ceiling and thinking.
The shock of Durrak’s claims had taken her for a long ride down the highway of moral dilemma. There were never-ending questions running through her head over and over, as to what she should do about what he had told her – not to mention whether or not she even *could* do anything at all.
She needed a break.
She needed a good – stress reliever. Unfortunately, her own hand was not proving to be a very good substitute. Arching her hips, she stroked herself harder. As her fingertips teased her body, she tried to imagine that the stroke against her clit was made by a cool, skillful tongue.
How was it that he could make her body sing like a musician on a familiar instrument, while she herself struggled to bring about her own release?
She no longer pretended to imagine that it was Riley with her – or even Angel. In her mind’s eye, it was always a lean, compact, but muscular body that she saw. Blue eyes, dark with lust, watched her as she squirmed. Soft lips, the bottom one full and inviting, curved into a wicked grin of pleasure. Usually, there was also a deep voice with a cockney accent, teasing her with dirty whispers.
“Cum for me Slayer, I know you’re close…love to watch you cum. Want to taste you…”
This time, there was no voice. Without warning, the dream came rushing back to her in full force. Those lustful deep blue eyes were suddenly pleading and betrayed, over sharp cheekbones shattered and bruised, mouth wide open in a scream of pain that for the life of her, Buffy couldn’t hear.
A knock at the door had her sitting up straight with a startled yelp. Swallowing hard, her eyes searched the bathroom, as if expecting Spike to pop up out of nowhere.
The knock came a second time, more urgently “You alright, Buffy?” Willow asked.
“Um…y- uh, yeah! What’s up?” She pushed wet strands of hair off of her face, trying her best to sound as if everything was normal.
“Xander and Durrak are back…Xander says Durrak just walked away from the truck a little ways, then disappeared into thin air. He came back a couple minutes later, and he says he’s got our proof on Xander’s ancient video camera.”
The tape took a few seconds to actually play. When it began, all they could see at first was a long, dark corridor. As the picture came into better focus, they could see that both walls were lined with cells. The hall looked filthy, the shadows filled with slightly darker shadows scuttling back and forth – shadows that looked suspiciously like rats. Two guards patrolled up and down the corridor, stopping only occasionally to peer into a cell here or there.
“Vampires are not that difficult to break in preparation for becoming slaves,” Durrak remarked in a quiet, solemn voice. “Usually, acquiring the soul does the job quite well all on its own.”
The camera was now pointed into one of the cells. A male vampire was huddled naked inside, curled up against the wall and whispering to himself. His skin looked even paler than it normally should have appeared, his body thin and haggard.
“In mild cases, these vampires must be watched for any makeshift weapons they might harm themselves with, or even be force fed their blood. In the more severe cases – “
The screen went blank, before lighting up again to show another cell. Blood splattered the walls in chilling streaks obviously left by desperately gripping fingers. A female huddled in the center of the room, now looking afraid to go near the walls. Her hair was matted and dirty, and in some places pulled out. She was weeping and raving uncontrollably, her filthy fingernails tearing jagged marks down her face, streaking it with more blood and grime.
She was attempting to scratch out her own eyes.
Darkness mercifully filled the screen again for a few moments.
“Those that are not broken simply by being ensouled…” Durrak began, before falling silent again – allowing the video to tell the story for him.
On the screen, a new corridor led to a small stone chamber. Inside this chamber was a small wooden table against the wall, with a female vampire seated on top. She had been forced to sit up against the wall, with her legs bent and spread wide. She was naked and trembling, whimpering with tears streaming down her cheeks as thin needles were forced into her body. Two needles had already been put through her nipples, two through her feminine folds, while one each was forced underneath all of her fingernails and toenails.
Her torturer had just begun inserting more needles, these ones into her gums, right above her fangs.
“Physical tortures such as these are often used. But these slavers have discovered that psychological tortures often bring the best results.”
Another room. A male vampire was strapped down to a table, being force fed a clear liquid while he tried his best to struggle against his unrelenting bonds.
“The ensouled vampires are often fed poisons and hallucinogens for weeks, until they can no longer tell the difference between reality, and the images created by the poisons in their minds. It is then that the psychic creatures and shape shifters are employed…to rip images from their minds – to find their greatest pains and fears to use against them.”
A beautiful woman had walked into the room. The male vampire suddenly stopped his struggling, staring at her with wild-eyed hope. The woman had dark hair trailing down to her lower back, a warm smile and light green eyes. Her delicate features lit up like the sun when she saw him.
Recognition was obvious in the expression of the vampire being held down. His torturers had stopped forcing the liquid down his throat, and even untied his arms, allowing him to sit up on his own to greet his guest.
The strange woman tilted her head, not seeming to notice the blood that was suddenly pouring down it. When the vampire’s eyes widened in alarm, she reached a hand up to her forehead. She looked down at her blood-soaked fingers, just as skin seemed to peel away from her face. When she looked up at him again, her body was falling apart, piece by piece.
Screaming in terror, the vampire tried to back away from her. He shook his head vigorously, trying to deny what he was seeing. He lashed out at his demon captors, who were once again holding him in place, unable to retreat, as the rotting woman continued to approach him.
The room was silent as the screen went blank again. No one had said a word, so Durrak continued.
“After they are properly broken -- slave training begins. As I’m sure you all realize, this is not a brothel of *labor* slaves.”
The next scene to come across the screen was of a literal dungeon of horrors. Demons stood along each wall, watching the center of the room impassively. Six other demons stood in the center of the chamber, all of them naked. A door was opened to a cell containing dozens of vampires, packed in impossibly close together.
A female vampire who couldn’t have been more than nineteen years old when she was turned was carelessly tossed into the middle of the group of male demons. They immediately shoved her trembling body to the ground, as she stared up at them fearfully through wide eyes, half-covered by her long, tangled blonde hair.
As she was commanded to put on her human guise, and her fangs and eye ridges receded, all at once, she looked like nothing but a trembling, terrified girl.
The demons then commanded her to get on her knees.
“Oh goddess…” The soft cry interrupted the perverted show and tell. Tara was trembling hard, a sob torn from her lips.
Willow, her recent nervousness around her recently estranged girlfriend forgotten, gently wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. Her hand guided her head to rest on her shoulder as she murmured soothingly, “Don’t look, baby…”
The girl on the screen didn’t bother to beg. Her watery brown eyes remained on the floor, not daring to look up at her trainers, as she brought herself up on trembling hands and knees. Her hair was suddenly grabbed and jerked back, and she bit back a cry of pain. As one of the demons positioned himself behind her, she began to shake her head. She whispered softly, inaudible words, as she shook her head harder in denial – as if in utter disbelief that such a thing could be happening to her. Her hair was jerked again in a pitiless command to still her movements.
Her taking was hard and brutal.
The demon dug his talons into the soft flesh of her hip, drawing blood, as he pulled her back against him, forcing her into a more and more submissive position before him, before slowly forcing his raging member into her trembling body. He thrust himself into her completely, and she finally screamed out in pain.
She was slapped by one of the other males gathered around her for her outburst. She quickly choked back a sob, being as still as she could while her body was used without mercy. Another male knelt down in front of her, stroking her body at his leisure. He then positioned his cock at her lips, and she opened her mouth without having to be commanded.
Once they had finished with the wretched girl, a male vampire was brought out, one with short black hair and dark eyes. He was pulled forcefully from the holding cell and shoved into the center of the room. The demons closed in on him and forced him to the ground.
He fought back.
The punishment was swift and severe. His hands were taken and held above his head, where chains dangled from the ceiling. Once his wrists were manacled, the chains were pulled until the vampire was lifted off of the ground, his legs kicking in protest.
The stick they used was far thicker than a cane, heavy and strong enough to be a formidable weapon. They struck hard, aiming the first blow for one of his knees. The vampire screamed in agony as the sound of his kneecap shattering was clearly heard.
They aimed the next blow at his back, leaving a massive welt. He stopped his kicking, obviously in fear of more pain, his body trembling and his head bowed in submission -- but still they beat him. The sound of ribs breaking could be heard above the menacing snarls of the demons that surrounded him.
When he finally hung limp and unresisting, they took their turns using his body, taking him hard, as if trying to make sure he bled and suffered as much as possible, leaving him hanging by his wrists when they were finished with him.
“Please…stop…” The plea came from inside the Summers living room.
All eyes turned to Buffy, who was huddling further and further against the arm of the couch. “Just…stop this,” she pleaded softly.
Durrak spared her only a brief glance, insisting firmly, “We are not finished yet.”
Already, the scene on the screen had changed. In a drastic change from the settings of the previous sequences, this scene took place inside a lavish room, where a female demon with soft brown skin stood with her legs spread wide. A male vampire with dusty blonde hair knelt at her feet.
Willow blushed and looked away from the screen. “Oh, goddess…we shouldn’t be…”
“The slaves are taught to give pleasure on command -- usually while enduring pain,” Durrak explained, in barely adequate explanation for what they were about to see.
Each of the Scoobies tried to pretend that they were not morbidly curious, as they watched the vampire’s tongue explore the demon’s feminine folds, stroking and teasing.
In the demon’s hand was a bottle of holy water.
She licked her lips as she watched the slave service her, keeping a tight grip on the chain around his neck. She pulled tightly on it, making sure that he could not struggle too much before tipping the bottle, watching the deadly clear liquid move down her slave’s back.
He muffled a sharp cry of pain, obviously with some effort. His body went rigid as the smoke rose from his back. The skin bubbled in a straight line down, all the way to the top of his left buttock. Still, he obediently continued the teasing strokes of his tongue.
“That’s enough,” Buffy whispered softly, but with an edge to her voice that had not been there before. Something about the scene was suddenly striking to close to home for her comfort.
“No, it isn’t,” Durrak said. “You have yet to see the worst of it.”
Static returned to the screen, as the tape came to an end. The first tape was ejected, and another put in its place.
“You have only witnessed the breaking and training of these vampire slaves. You have yet to see the punishments these creatures suffer for disobeying the strict rules they are trained to obey.”
He paused before continuing his explanation.
“These slaves can be sold to individual owners, or put out for public use. Either way, they never leave the brothel. Masters and Mistresses may give their slaves pain for the amusement of it…but true punishment is another matter. They can be punished for many things -- not kneeling to proper authority -- running, hiding from their owners -- for speaking out of turn, especially. If a slave was to resist his Master, or deny him in some way…that would merit one of the most severe punishments.
The most common of these punishments is simple public beating. Another popular punishment is the burnings, which was later made into a popular public game, and also used for some executions. The slaves are put into a pit, thirty feet deep. The walls of the pit are covered in crosses, and the ground is drenched in at least a foot of holy water. If any of the vampires make it out of the pit, they are allowed to live.”
Durrak was silent for a moment before adding grimly, “It is possibly one of the slowest deaths a vampire can suffer – yet there are some slaves that do not even bother to try to escape.”
The Scoobies listened with growing horror and disgust, all of them looking pale and sickened – all but Anya.
Static was once again replaced by horrific images that filled the screen. This time, it looked like the set of a gruesome snuff film. The camera had been taken into a torture chamber that seemed to stretch on for a mile. Instruments from every nightmare imaginable lined the walls.
Slaves were on their knees, chained by their necks and wrists, when they weren’t being dragged farther into the room by heavily armored slavers. Those few who had previously been allowed some small amount of clothing, were now stripped and forced onto tables or metal chairs, or bound to poles.
A tall, almost Amazonian looking female vampire was forced into a metal chair. Metal spikes were put through her hands and feet to hold her in place while in the background of the scene, several hot pokers were taken out of a blazing fire.
“Please…p-please, Master, please!”
The sobbing voice coming from the television sent chills down everyone’s spines. The sound of the sizzling flesh and the desperate scream of pain was the last they knew of that unfortunate female vampire. The camera had moved on, deeper into the chamber.
“This is commonly called the obedience chamber. It has many names, but all slaves look to it with dread. This is where Slaves are brought when they’ve shown great disobedience to their Masters -- when they seem too rebellious, or when they dare to strike out, whether verbally or physically. Verbally -- that sort of defiance is punished more severely than you might think. It is thought by the slavers that if a slave believes he can speak freely, he may believe he can maintain freedom in other ways, as well.”
“There are two ways to punish a slave that speaks rebelliously. For the serious offense, their tongues are ripped out by the root. It normally takes a month or two for the tongue to grow back completely. For those in almost constant service, who cannot afford to lose their tongues, a more discreet method is used. Their throats are cut open cleanly, so as not to damage the flesh for too long, and then holy water is used to burn away the vocal cords…”
Buffy placed a hand over her own throat, closing her eyes tightly in denial of the horror of his words.
The screams on the screen suddenly reached a peak of terrifying proportions. All eyes were riveted to it, as a demon put a heavy metal clamp over the jaw of a helplessly restrained vampire. The clamp was then slowly forcing the jaw open, until there was a sickening crack of broken bone.
The slave flailed desperately in agonizing pain and wild panic, watching as his torturer brought a wicked looking instrument slowly closer to his mouth. The instrument closed around the base of his tongue, and then there was a wet tearing sound and a flood of blood poured from his open mouth…
“Oh god!” Xander rose suddenly from the couch, pushing Durrak right out of his way and running out the door. The sound of his retching outside could be heard by everyone still in the house.
“That’s enough!” Buffy’s demanding voice was nearly a shout this time, as she rose from the couch and stormed towards the television, grabbing the old VCR and yanking it away from the cords that connected it to the wall. With vengeful force she threw it down onto the ground, heedless as it shattered.
Tara was sobbing outright by now, holding both hands over her mouth as she buried her head against Willow’s chest. Willow stroked her soft blond hair tenderly, even as she stared blankly at the screen full of static. She did not even notice the twin trail of tears moving down her cheeks.
Durrak remained silent as he watched the group of humans. Each seemed shaken to the core by the horror of what they had just seen.
Buffy’s entire body trembled. She looked down at her shaking hands, unable to think of anything to do with them. She stumbled back from the VCR as if it were a disease, the bile rising in her throat without warning. The Slayer fought it back, turning and running out the front door to join her friend.
The fresh air was a shock to her system, and it gave her just enough strength to keep the contents of her stomach down. She breathed in deeply, closing her eyes and trying to center herself. When she heard heavy footsteps on the porch, she opened her eyes to find a still somewhat green looking Xander staring back at her.
“We have to stop it, Buff.” Xander spoke first, surprising her with the determination in his voice. “No one deserves that. Vampire or not – soul or not – there’s not a person or creature in this world that deserves that. Quick dusting – yeah, I’m all for it. But – not that.”
Buffy nodded, her body still trembling. She wrapped her arms tightly around herself as she stared out into the front yard. For some reason, her gaze seemed drawn to the tree that Spike always hid behind when watching her house. “I’m just glad that I sent Dawn to her room…if she’d had to see that…” she shook her head helplessly, lost for words.
Xander nodded. “Yeah.”
“We’re stopping this.” There was deadly venom in the blonde Slayer’s voice, as she made her declaration of war. “We’re stopping this, now.”
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