Current WIP snippet (of many):
The sound of flesh hitting flesh echoed through the chamber. Elnor sagged, suspended by his arms between two stocky individuals in black. He shook his head, trying to clear the ringing in his ears, but was interrupted by another blow to the face.
“I asked you a question, Qowat Milat.”
Elnor spat green onto the floor, then looked up at the face of his interrogator— or where that face would have been had he been able to see past the limited ring of light cast by the spotlight directly above him. “I will not be providing the information you’re requesting. I don’t even understand what you’re asking me.”
“You are lying.”
The corner of Elnor’s mouth twitched almost imperceptibly downward. “I do not lie.”
A soft laugh chimed from the darkened alcove in front of him. His eyebrows furrowed as he tried to focus into the inky black, but a large blurred shape was all he could make out. He ran his tongue around the inside of his mouth again, feeling something coming loose on the right side. Too many hits from her left hand… That exoskeleton is taking a toll on my teeth. Think, qalankhkai, think. You’re not going to last much longer. You need a plan.
Another left hook came out of the shadows and collided with his right cheek, causing his thin frame to ricochet within the unyielding grip of his captors. You’ll have bruises on your arms later, a small part of his mind chimed in. The absurdity of this thought caused a small laugh of his own to bubble out of his mouth around the blood pooling there, before he spat again. A tooth bounced against the floor and rattled to a stop just outside the spotlight’s radius.
“We know your kind. All you do is lie, and kill. Right now you’re not in a position to do any killing, so that leaves the lying. But pain… pain is a very strong motivator to tell the truth…”
Elnor could feel his face throbbing — his eye was already swelling up, and his mouth was a mess inside and out. He didn’t know how long he’d been here, how long it had been since the explosion occurred and he had fallen through what felt like a malfunctioning force field only to land here, unconscious… wherever “here” was. He did know that when he’d woken up, it had been with a fist to the side of his head, and things had only gone downhill from there.
But he also knew that wherever he was, whoever was holding him, he wasn’t interested in helping them in any way. So when they started demanding information, he immediately resisted. None of the questions there were asking him made sense anyway.
What are the latest Qowat Milat troop assignments? There are no Qowat Milat “troops”…
Which garrison are you assigned to? Do you mean what temple? Were you interested in studying with us?
What is your currently assigned target? Well right now you’re the only obstacle in my path, so I suppose that means you are. That last one had earned a swift response — a foot to the side of his left knee, collapsing it, which is why he was now being suspended between two large persons.
The interrogator’s voice floated out of the darkness. “No one lasts against us for very long, little Qowat Milat. Everyone has their weakness. We will find yours soon enough.”
“Please…” Elnor’s tongue felt thick as he tried to force the words past it. “Please… choose… to live…” Even though he knew he was in no shape to win a fight right now, just saying the words aloud centered him, calmed him. So long as he could still say them, he was still himself. “Choose… to live…”
Another lilting chuckle from the darkness, this time accompanied by the rustling noise of someone standing up. Soft footsteps clicked across the floor towards him, stopping just outside the circle of light. A pale hand breached the light — a different hand from the interrogator’s, and a different voice. A male voice, somehow familiar…
“You are the one with the choice to make, sell-sword. Choose to answer our questions, or choose to die.” The hand reached for Elnor’s cheek, stroking it gently as he spoke. Suddenly, the man grabbed the Romulan’s chin in a vice grip, yanking Elnor’s head forward and up, as he simultaneously stepped fully into the light.
Elnor choked back a cry. The man leaned close to his face, still holding it tightly. His eyes — one brown, the other ice blue — roamed over his captive’s now-terrified face. He smiled, but the expression’s reach was limited by a long jagged scar bisecting his face.
“Resistance… is futile,” Hugh said.