With trepidation Mwenye heard the general sending Mzama off on his errand. Sending for tazers. On top of everything else. How much was this poor soldier supposed to take? How long could Mwenye last out?
Scott had endured a lot .. masterfully. Like he was born to taking shit like this. Incredibly he was still showing signs of fighting back. But zap him? Let Mzama on him with tazers? That sadist .. knowing every zap into Scott’s muscled belly was one in the gut for his old rival.
A glance at his buddy told Mwenye he couldn’t let that be. Scott had had his strength beaten out of his backside .. could hardly stand. Brutally punched and beaten while Mwenye was made to watch. Guilt at this brave young soldier taking it for him.
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Tough as it sounded .. but probably best Mzama overdid it. Got carried away. Blasted the poor sucker out of his skin. Heart give in .. after so much strain. Take poor Scott out .. tough to think that. But it’d save the poor sucker more suffering. And it ‘d certainly deal with Mwenye’s guilt.
But would this general let that? Mwenye suspected not. Lose his ace? Lose the leverage? He reckoned Mwenye was too valuable to hurt. Maybe he saw Scott as just some hired help. Dispensable. Useful just for getting at Mwenye. But let Mzama kill the poor sucker off? Leverage wasted with Scott’s life? Mwenye doubted he’d let that. Some leverage was better than none. So …. tough as it looked, poor Scott was still gonna get tortured out of his sweat-drenched hide.
Mwenye couldn’t let that happen.
“All right. Let the kid be …..”
Instantly Scott reacted. His head shot up. He glowered across the stinking humidity at Mwenye.
They’d strung him up again. Stretched to the full. Made to stand on tiptoes. Every battered muscle stretched and hurting. Every bruised tendon trembling with pain. Strung-up and the tazers on the way.
“Shut the fuck up, Mwenye.”
Scott’s head was up. Blinking through bleary eyes. He bawled across the heat.
“You tell ‘em nothing. You understand me. NOTHING.”
Mwenye hadn’t been planning to. He wasn’t offering intel up. All he’d wanted was somehow to take Scott’s place.
“You give ‘em SHIT! UNDERSTAND?”
Mwenye saw the general freeze. Worryingly he saw him frowning. The general’s eyes passing back and forward. From the naked Scott strung up. Over to Mwenye still guarded, sitting opposite the torture victim. And back again.
He cocked his head. A deep frown was creasing his brow. The general was thinking. A knot twisted in Mwenye’s gut. Fearing Scott had blundered.
Mwenye could see the computations flicking over the general’s face. Scott’s outburst .. the tone of voice .. not the way some hired hand acted. Not some white private just doing a job and caught up in a load of shit above his pay grade. Scott’s outburst had come with authority. The tone had been demanding. A private giving orders like that to a captain? The hired help ordering the client around?
And Mwenye saw that the general had spotted that. Not some hired assassin. This young punk .. what he’d taken .. how he’d taken it .. not some ordinary hired help. Not some ordinary grunt with a shooter. The punk had taken all this .. beaten till he could hardly stand ….. And still this solider had the guts to order Mwenye silent. Still he was tough enough to keep taking it. Knowing the tazers were on the way. Putting himself up to take more? What hired assassin did that?
The general looked interested, curious. Eyes passing from the stretched muscle-head private that fumed at his superior officer .. over to what was the general’s real target .. captain in the enemy army with intel to give. But who was really in charge?
That hadn’t been a plea for Mwenye to keep quiet. The private had been ordering the captain around. Orders from the hired assassin? And a hired sniper offering to take more .. taking on the tazers? Not likely.
It was like this young sniper wasn’t fazed by getting worked over. Nothing new to him. Had this punk trained to cope with this? Had he gone through beatings this bad before? It was like he knew what he was letting himself in for. And accepted it. What kind of soldier was like that?
A sniper? A sniper only? Or ….. was this young punk something more?
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