Your brothers will come after them and make it right.

You’d done the biblically stupid thing of going in for an operator who’d put himself in the danger zone. No way you’d ever do that stoopid thing but you did it anywhy. You got him out but now you’re in a situation yourself. He got away and you’re the one who got nabbed. A hard row to hoe.

We will hurt you and keep doing that because we’ve got all the time in the world and you’ve already been forgotten by your people, your supposed comrades, nobody will know, nobody will even care. You’re dead already. The people you thought were your friends are busy forgetting about you. Nobody gives a damn. You’re a stupid manipulated politically innocent fool nobody cares about. As far as the world knows, you’re already dead.

You’re alone, isolated and gone. Left behind. You’ll never get home. Forgotten.

We get to hurt you.

It all ends for you here and it’s going to be ignoble and grubby. I’m your only and last best chance, he assures you as you surface out of the latest session. You can taste old metallic blood in your mouth through smashed teeth and what’s left of you thinks fuck you, but you know they’re whittling you down, shaving by shaving, little by little. You don’t have much else left, you really don’t.

He’s working hard to be your best friend, the only one of them who never hurts you in person. He’s pretty good at it too, but you still remember he’s the one who waves in the next round of pain when you haven’t responded to his ass wiggling.

Never forget that.

There’s a message there being hammered home – he’s the one who has absolute control over your pain. Reward me for being nice to you. Give in to my niceness. I’ll be your Mommy, I’ll kiss it better and make it all stop. Mommy will take all the pain away.

He gives you the small sympathetic smile as if you were a naughty boy while with regret he waves them back on stage again to get to work on you, but you do the grey man unresponsive thing, you know the smart move is to let him stroke your vulnerability. If you get a break, some water or a mouthful of food out of it, fuckit, that’s alright. You can’t start talking though; you do that, and you know you might not be able to stop yourself. They’re hurting you and he’s the oh so comforting Mommie they’ve provided. That’s his speciality, and he’s bloody good at it.

Your gob stays shut. It hurts. You’re alone. You just have to fight that corner on your ownsome lonesome.


You look at them and realise they’ve got all the moves, all the power. You’ve got nothing. There’s just you hanging on in there. They have all the power, they can make you scream, beat you, whack you down. They can make you whimper, writhe in pain, cry like a little child, all that shit and no matter how big or hard a fucker you think you are, they’ll beat that crap out of you in the end. They pulp you down. You scream a bit, you scream a lot, they work on you a bit more and the thing just grinds on.

It’s a work in progress sort of thing, Everybody seems to be up for it.

They get pissed off bringing you back to consciousness or there’s something else more important they’ve got to get to for the evening, a bloody soccer game, so your day ends finally. It’s not as if you’ve achieved anything big that day, it’s just that they’ve lost interest in you for a few hours, when the whole thing will start over again. There’s teams of them and they’ve got all the time in the world since you’re a captive audience.

There’s that image of yourself in your head as a tough guy who could take it and the reality of being the writhing figure on the dirt floor resisting the need to whimper for mercy. You can almost taste it. Don’t hit me any more because you’re just so bloody tired out, but you can still see how much they’re enjoying their handiwork and that’s their weakness. It helps you out. Fuckem. You will not do it. There’s that last little morsel of you they can never have. That single inner grain of hard, dried rice kernel within you.

You’re swapping over control, you realise how sadists need someone like you, a person who will suffer but never quite give up.

They’re enjoying you.

You’re the gift-wrapped present dropped from Heaven into their hands, the one who always gives back. In a subtle way, the submissive becomes the dominant and they don’t realise they need you, but that exhausted acceptance of your role in their pleasure is the final seductive barrier you have to fight against. There’s only half of one per cent of you left but shitty and destroyed as it is, you’re not going to give them that. No Sir. I’m still me. That awkward bastard you still own. It’s me, all me.

They can’t kill you, can’t destroy you, can’t chop off your man bits because if they do that, you’ll probably just give up and die on them. Hey, no more fun with this one. Once the nuclear button has been pressed, the threat can no longer be used. They’ve been told, have some fun with him but keep him alive. You can’t show it, but in a subtle way, you know you’ve got them.

An out-of-body experience occurs. You’re back boned, arched over staring upwards into some rigid ecstasy of flight in a sky that only exists in your head. You ache with the sheer beauty of it. You’re gone John, long gone. They’ve pretty much done a job on your body, but it doesn’t matter – you’ve left them far behind. You actually don’t care in the end. It’s not a macho thing, far from it, it’s more like coming home. You’re content to end it now, just do it and stop fucking around with me.

You’ve accepted that they’ve beaten you to pulp and you’ve given them some stuff, but you’ve held out for just long enough to give other people a decent head start for cover before you gave out a few details. A few were just burn through things, lines of defence you already knew they’d get though, lies and inventions, but it’d keep them running around for a bit. Fucking literal wankers.

It’s a last miserable shred of dignity, but that’s about as good as it gets in some situations. The honour is hanging on in there for just another minute or so, mebbe just one more. Help me Jesus, help me.

You’ve done your duty, a full miserable forty eight hours of it, a sort of rough honour has been served and you’re really tired, so bloody tired. You’re so pulped, they back off because they know anything more is pointless. They’re already thinking swapsies, because belatedly they’re looking for some way out of a fuck up, any way out. Glienicke bridge stuff.

You were a mistake, an outcome of some idiot trying to curry favour with their masters who are not best pleased. You can kill the agents but never the case officers running them, otherwise complete bloody chaos would ensue. Nobody would be safe, and already their legal residents are complaining about surveillance teams all over them like a rash and not too bothered about being subtle.

They’re not tailing them discreetly anymore, they’re walking on their heels. A point is being made. Everybody is scared they’re going to get hoiked in retaliation. All the old rules are suddenly off, and everybody is doing the high anxiety thing.

The thing is – they haven’t beaten you. You don’t care about them, they’re not your people, they’re irrelevant, which means you’ve really got them. You’re part of something so much better than them, that’s your abiding faith. You know they’re just a bunch of savages anyway.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, your brothers will come after them and make it right. That is your abiding faith. They’ll get you out of there.

Related articles by Pointman:

Click for all stories in the Berlin series.

Click for a list of other articles.

2 Responses to “Your brothers will come after them and make it right.”
  1. plodinec says:

    As a former interrogator, I’m afraid you’ve got it just about right.


  2. A.D. Everard says:

    That’s powerful, Pointy. Brilliantly written, as is your style.


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