Covered in Darkness
Chapter 4: Torture
by Quatre's Girl
edited by Aria, Shippouchan, Kate
Here it is, chapter four! ::commence waving of yay flags:: I'm quite proud of this. It's my favorite chapter so far. Special thanks go out to Aria, Shippouchan, and Kate (my older sis) for editing this! ^_^ They REALLY helped me out. I have to warn you all, this part may have a PG-13 rating, on account of violence. I try not to get too descriptive, but Shippouchan had some good ideas... ^_^ Anyway, I'll stop talking and let you read! ^_^ Enjoy!
The whip whistled through the air before cracking sharply into my back. I cried out and staggered forward from the force of the blow. It was hard to steady myself; my arms had been rendered useless after being chained behind my back. After regaining my balance, I stood still, waiting for my enemy to make a move, while trying to ignore the stinging pain in my back.
As I heard the eight legs clicking slowly over the stone floor of the dimly lit room, I could feel the fear build inside of me. It was unlike anything I had experienced before; this was raw, pure terror that gripped every inch of my body. Not the whip or even Archnemon inspired such fear in me. It was the feeling of evil, that horrid sensation of darkness clutching at me, trying to gain a hold over me. I was so deeply frightened of what I would become if I gave in again, of how many people and Digimon I would hurt. I knew Archnemon was going to do whatever she could to turn me back to darkness, and what frightened me the most was that I knew she could do it. I knew my will was weak, that I would break under the dark influence. And Archnemon knew it. She knew how vulnerable I was, how to exploit my greatest fears. That was what terrified me the most; I could be broken, and she knew it.
Archnemon crawled in front of me, looming over my prone body. She was quite fearsome in her Digimon form. Her body was larger and more rotund. She was at least three times my size, a deep red in color, with purple and white stripes lining her body and eight legs. Her face was more spider-like than before, with larger eyes, a more pointed structure, and long fangs. Her hair was a wild, untamed white mane down her back. Her hands were white, with spider-shaped gems on the backs. They were much larger than before, and ended in razor-sharp claws. In those hands lay her long, leather whip.
She took hold of my chin with one hand. I narrowed my eyes as she pulled up my face, studying it with disapproval. She clicked her tongue.
"So much potential. I don't know why you wasted it all. You know, Kaiser," she smirked as I flinched visibly at the name, "you and I could have gone so far."
"Don't call me that," I growled. I was not the Kaiser. I would never be him again. Never. Archnemon feigned innocence.
"Oh, why? I thought you liked being called that. Along with 'master', but that was only your pitiful Wormmon, wasn't it?" I glared at her with hatred in my eyes.
"Don't you EVER talk about Wormmon like that!" I snarled, anger rising in me. She didn't even seem to have heard me. She merely released my chin and sighed.
"Kaiser, why ever did you leave me? We could have accomplished so much together. If only you had stayed by my side, I would have made your dreams come true," she said sadly.
"What dreams? To cause pain and suffering? To have the blood of countless Digimon staining my hands? You told me yourself that you were just using me so I would build dark towers for you. Why would you care what happened to me?" I asked in an attempt to sound menacing. Fear still gripped my body, holding me captive as I tried to be defiant. Archnemon laughed.
"Of course I care about you. I've had a special interest in you from the beginning. I saw so much promise in you, not just as the Digimon Kaiser, but as one of the strongest possessors of darkness. If only you hadn't left us when we had progressed so far. But I guess we'll just have to fix that, now that you've returned to us. I was worried for a while that the dark influence had left you. But now you've come back and we can make everything right again. What do you think of that, Kaiser?" she asked, leaning in close to me.
"I think you're insane," I whispered. She smiled slightly.
"You're an intelligent boy. You'll soon come to see things my way, I assure you," she purred.
"Wormmon and Daisuke and all the others will come for me. They won't let you get away with this."
"Will they now? You seem to be putting quite a lot of trust in them."
"Why shouldn't I?" I growled. I was sure they were going to save me. I knew I wouldn't have the strength to withstand darkness if my friends left me.
"Ken, you know your friends aren't coming," she said. No. That wasn't true! They were coming. They were going to come and rescue me. They wouldn't abandon me. No matter what they'd thought of me before, they wouldn't leave me here... would they?
"They'll come for me..." I said quietly. She heard the blatant uncertainty in my voice.
"What if they think you've already joined forces with me? What then? Will they still come for you?" I didn't answer, only averted my eyes. I just didn't know. I wanted to believe myself, to be sure that they would stay by me no matter what, but... what if they did leave me?
"But... Daisuke... Wormmon..." I whispered. They were the truest friends I had. The others liked me, I was pretty sure of that... but... Miyako would only put her complete trust in me when Daisuke did, and Iori was out of the question. Daisuke and Wormmon were the only friends I knew I could trust. I knew they wouldn't abandon me. My mind flashed back to when Wormmon and V-mon had first jogressed. I had felt Daisuke's heart beating in my own chest. He was the first person who reached out to me after I had done such terrible things to him and his friends. He treated everyone he met as an equal, and offered me friendship when I had nothing. He wouldn't abandon me, not after all we had been through together... would he?
"That Daisuke friend of yours isn't worth your time. How do you even know if he cares about you? He could be manipulating you, using your vulnerability to his own advantage, and convincing you to have Wormmon jogress with V-mon. This 'friendship' he claims to have given you could be a facade, to use you for your crest and Digimon." My eyes widened with each word. The thought of Daisuke, the first friend I ever made, manipulating me felt like my heart was shattering. If I didn't have friends, who could I turn to? Who could I depend on? Who would be there for me?
Wormmon. Wormmon, who had stayed by my side, even after I had done such horrible things to him. Was I worth that much to him? That he would even sacrifice himself to save me? I was, because he had died for me. But I didn't deserve it. I had turned into a monster, had done such cruel acts that still haunted me in nightmares. I had been so heartless to all Digimon, but especially to him. He had tried to find the redeeming qualities in me, to hope that there was still kindness left in my blackened heart. I had called him worthless, useless, had kicked and whipped him. Yet, he had stayed by my side, never complaining, and had given me his love.
I realized, as I had done many times before, that he should have someone who was worthy of him. I knew he needed someone who would treat him like a living creature. I didn't want to believe it, but I just didn't deserve his friendship. I had done so many terrible things to him; he deserved someone who wouldn't hurt him for loving them. I wasn't worthy of his friendship.
"Do you realize it now?" she asked.
"I... I..." I didn't want to believe her. I didn't want to face her words, her accusations.
"You can't deny what you know is the truth. Your so-called friends aren't going to come and save you. Why would they want to? You're so tainted with darkness that you could never become one of them. And after what you did to them, they would never accept you as a friend." Each word cut into me like a rusty knife. With all my heart, I didn't want to accept what she said as the truth. But it was. I knew it was. Deep down, I knew they weren't going to come for me. Why would they, after everything I had done to them as the Kaiser? I felt tears form in my eyes, threatening to spill down my face. I bit my lip to force them back. I wouldn't cry. Not in front of her. Archnemon stroked my cheek, tilting my face up in the process.
"Poor, misguided child. Don't worry, we'll soon set you on the correct path." A shiver of fear passed through me. She was going to hurt me. I had to find strength, something to fight back. But the only strength I had was hope. And my only hope was my friends. I delved down deep inside of me, to try to come up with some reassurance that my friends still cared about me.
'They are coming. I know they are!' I told myself. I narrowed my eyes at Archnemon.
"My friends wouldn't leave me alone with such a cruel, sadistic witch! They're coming for me!" I spoke with defiance. I saw the anger on her face and my spark of courage was instantly replaced by terror.
"A witch, am I?" she asked softly. "Why... you... insolent little brat!" She yelled the last before drawing back and slapping me full-force across the face. My eyes widened and I let out a small yelp as I slammed into the ground. Momentarily stunned by pain, I lay there, my cheek burning. I heard Archnemon tighten the whip in her hands, pulling the leather taught. Again the immense fear of pain shot through my body. I tried to push myself up, to protect my open back, but failed miserably. With my hands chained like they were, it was nearly impossible to get any leverage.
The fear inside me intensified, a ball of solid iron in my stomach. Archnemon stood over me, cackling. I involuntarily trembled. It was so hard to hide how petrified I was. She knew it too; that was why she was enjoying it. She knew I was terrified, and that made me vulnerable.
"Poor, lost little lamb. You delude yourself so much. It's time you realized the truth. Your so-called friends don't care about you. They never will. If they did, would they let me do this to you?" I heard the whip whistle through the air before it sliced into my back, cutting though my shirt and into my skin like a million knives. I cried out.
"Well, Ken? Where are they? Your precious friends, coming to rescue you?" The whip bore down on my back, cutting into it again.
"They're going to leave you, alone and abandoned. If they cared about you, would they let this happen? Would they?" Again and again, the whip sliced across my back, cracking as it broke through the skin. My shirt was torn and soaked in blood. My muscles trembled from tenseness and the pain. I could only think about one thing.
My friends wouldn't let me get hurt. If they truly cared about me, they wouldn't let this happen. I felt the tears in my eyes, hot, painful. As the whip slashed across my back again, the tears fell. Once they began, they would not stop, and they kept falling as my body endured the fierce punishment. They fell to the ground, mixing with the pool of blood that was beginning to spread from under me, flowing from the gashes in my back. My heart ached. It felt like it too had been shattered by Archnemon's whip. My friends weren't coming. They didn't care about me. A sob was torn from my throat, strangled and painful. Archnemon's laugh filled my ears as she drove the whip into my back again.
"Ken, it's time you realized just how weak-"
"and alone you are." Pain had washed over my body, flooding my senses. The stinging throb of the lashes pulsed in every vein. My clothes were soaked with blood, my back torn open by whip slashes. Tears fell from my eyes, spilling my grief and pain. I shut my eyes tightly, to try and ward off the pain as an onset of new whippings sliced into my back. I sobbed in utter agony from the searing, burning pain that gripped my body.
Archnemon finally relented in her punishment. I opened my eyes slightly; that was the only action I had the strength to do. I felt her bend down over me and unfasten the chains that bound my wrists. My arms fell limply to my sides; I couldn't lift them. She threw the chains and whip to the ground beside me; the latter was covered in deep, red blood, splattering the ground with it as it landed. I shut my eyes again at the horror of it. I heard her slowly start to walk away from me, towards the other end of the room.
When I found the strength to open my eyes again, I gasped at what I saw. The five Chosen Children and Wormmon stood before me, staring down at me. I looked up at them with pleading, helpless eyes.
"Help me... please..." I whispered, my voice contorted with pain. Iori glared down at me with contempt. He slowly turned around, walking off with his back to me.
"I-Iori... no..." Miyako stepped forward.
"Please... don't... leave... me..." I pleaded with her. However, she too gave me a hate-filled look, and turned away from me.
"M-Miyako... why..." Takeru stood over me.
"T-Takeru... help... me... p-please..." Fresh tears were falling from my eyes. Takeru turned around with a cold glance and walked away. Hikari bent down to look at me. A spark of hope leapt through me, but it soon vanished, as her look was full of malice. She turned around and followed the others.
"H-Hikari... p-please... come... back..." I was getting desperate. There was no one who would help me. They must have seen the evil residing in my body, the horrible feelings and memories that stained my soul, making me impure and unworthy of their friendship. If only one of them would help me!
"D-Daisuke... please..." I begged. "Please... d-don't... leave... me... alone... I-I... need... you... to... help... me... p-please..." I felt my heart wrenching as my friend's features darkened into a contemptuous glare. Tears spilled down my face. They were all leaving me. They didn't care about me. The people I trusted the most in all the world were abandoning me, leaving me alone where I could be consumed by darkness.
My Digimon crawled up to me, his blue eyes staring into mine. I felt like a knife had been driven straight into my heart as Wormmon's kind and gentle face, which had never before shown any loathing, formed a look of pure hatred. Choking sobs wracked my body as the little Digimon turned his back on me and walked off with the others. I found just enough strength to hold out a trembling hand.
"Wormmon... no... please... no!" I cried. The six figures of my friends faded into darkness, leaving me alone. The last one I saw to fade was that of my Digimon, the one that had cut straight into my heart, into my soul, killing the last spark of hope that I had clung to.
"Wormmon... please... come... back... Wormmon... Wormmon... WORMMON!!!"