22 April 2007

Saskia's Trials - Chapter 4 Part 1

John quietly opened the door of the room where he had led Saskia and the Doctor. He saw the Doctor was looking at him expectantly and nodded. The Doctor shook Saskia awake. She sat up stiffly and the Doctor gently rubbed the back of her neck for a moment. "OK?" he asked.
She nodded.
"The Council will be reconvening shortly," John said.
"Thanks John." The Doctor smiled at him.
Saskia had a look of resignation on her face as she stood up and stretched. "I think this prison uniform is the most uncomfortable thing I've had to wear since I was at school," she observed.
"It's certainly the least flattering clothing I've seen for some time," the Doctor answered, taking her hand as they went to the door.
Saskia stopped him by the door. "Before we go back, I just wanted to say thank you for everything. I've enjoyed travelling with you."
The Doctor looked at her in surprise. "Anyone would think that you believed our travelling days were over," he said. "Whatever sentence they give you, I'm not leaving here without you."
Saskia gave him a steady look. "You might not have a choice," she said, letting go of his hand and walking briskly out of the door, leaving him standing by the door, a look of surprise on his face. He swore under his breath, then followed John and Saskia back down the corridor to the trial room. He crossed the room to sit next to Jeff and Dr Karg as the Council members filed back in. The President banged the gavel on the arm of his chair, although everyone's attention was already focused on him.
"This court is now in session. We have reached a decision concerning the case of Saskia Scolere."
The Doctor found himself crossing his fingers and was annoyed with himself for being so foolish.
"We have decided that the accused must undergo testing to determine the extent of the effects of the telepathic alien’s attack on her personality and behaviour. We will sentence her on the basis of the results of these tests. To that end, this court is now in recess until one o'clock on Thursday." He banged the gavel on his chair arm again as several whispered conversations broke out around the room. The Doctor looked at Saskia who had sat down with a bump on hearing the President's announcement. John was hovering solicitously at her side. The Doctor turned to Dr Karg.
"Did you expect that?" he demanded.
Dr Karg shook his head. "I've never heard of them asking for such testing before," he said. "I presume that they felt that the evidence was insufficient to prove the matter one way or the other."
"So what happens now?" asked the Doctor, his frustration clear in his voice and his stance.
"I'm afraid we'll just have to spend the next day and a half waiting," answered Dr Karg, who sounded almost as frustrated as the Doctor.
"Who will do these tests?" asked the Doctor. "Not you?"
Dr Karg shook his head again. "They will ask some of the other Elders to do the tests, fearing I might be biased in Saskia's favour."
The Doctor turned away, intending to go and speak to Saskia, but she had already been led away. He growled in frustration, clutching at his hair until it stood up wildly.

Saskia was still feeling too surprised by the Council's decision to request that she be tested to notice anything until John abruptly stopped walking, their path down the corridor blocked by Captain Wachter.
"I'll take it from here, Centinela," he said, smirking at them both.
Saskia felt as if someone had emptied a large bucket of freezing water over her head.
John looked angry as he asked "Why?"
"Orders from the Council," answered Wachter smoothly, and Saskia knew that he'd found out that John had been bending the rules in her favour, and was planning to punish them both for it. She swallowed hard, determined not to speak until she must.
John looked from Wachter's smug expression to Saskia's fearful one, and decided that he wasn't going to hand her over that easily. "I'm coming with you," he said firmly.
"Are you refusing a direct order?" asked Wachter, a hint of gleeful malice in his voice.
John straightened his back and stood to attention. "Yes sir."
"Why?" asked Wachter, genuinely curious for a moment. "She's not worth losing your job over."
"I'm just doing what I think is right sir," John answered.
Wachter shook his head in disbelief. "I doubt you'll find it pays very well."
"Not everything is about money sir."
"Oh very true, Centinela, but money makes the world such a nicer place, and allows me to have some fun." He nodded to someone over Saskia's shoulder and she suddenly found herself in the grip of two strong pairs of hands. She bit back a cry as John looked around, surprised. Wachter's guards had shielded their thoughts so well that neither of them had realised anyone else was in the corridor with them.
John started towards her. "Don't," she called, seeing Wachter raise his arm, but she spoke too late, and could only watch helplessly as Wachter punched John, knocking him out cold. The next moment the two guards hustled her away and she found herself being half led, half dragged down the corridor. Wachter strode ahead of them, swaggering with the confidence of a man who had just got his own way and intended to continue getting his own way.
Saskia was bundled into the back of another black van and manacled to the seat. The two guards went around to the front of the van, one getting into the driver's seat, the other getting into the passenger seat, leaving her in the back with Wachter. She stared at the floor, biting the inside of her cheek yet again.
"I hear that Doctor friend of yours scared Luca shitless yesterday," Wachter said in a conversational tone. "Sadly he's not here to help or defend you this time."
Saskia wondered what Wachter was planning to do and if she'd know what he was doing to her if she went mad. Then she wondered if it was possible to go mad all at once, or if it only happened gradually over time. She was trying to distract herself from thinking about what he planned because thinking about it would make her throw up, and whilst she wouldn't care if she threw up over Wachter, she knew very well he would punish her for it.

The van stopped with a jerk and Saskia looked out of the window beside her, but all she could see was a stone wall. She had no idea where she was since she'd failed to keep a look out. The two guards got out of the van and came to unlock the back doors. Wachter got out and waited whilst they unfastened her manacles from the seat before attaching them to their own wrists. They led her through a door beside which the van had been parked and followed Wachter down a cold, damp, poorly-lit passage, then into a white-painted laboratory. The air in the lab was even colder than out in the passage and Saskia guessed that the air conditioning was on, although it wasn't warm enough outside for it to be necessary. The lab was also better lit than the passage, too well lit for Saskia's comfort as the overhead lights were almost blinding.
"Over there," Wachter said, pointing to a trolley bed not unlike the one to which she had been strapped in the basement of an Oxfordshire house two days ago. She cringed inwardly and wondered if anyone besides these three men knew where she was at this moment. The two guards dragged her across to the bed. Saskia knew she shouldn't try to resist them, because Wachter would delight in punishing her, but she couldn't stop herself from trying to hold back.
"Strip her and strap her down," ordered Wachter, a lascivious look on his face as he gave the order.
I'm not going to beg, I'm not going to beg, Saskia chanted to herself. She knew that begging would only give Wachter greater pleasure.
The two guards ripped the grey jumpsuit off her and tossed it aside. One pulled off her shoes and socks whilst the other pulled off her underwear. She began to shiver uncontrollably as they pushed her onto the trolley, then fastened straps to her legs and arms, pulling her legs and arms uncomfortably wide to do so. Then they attached to her head a metal helmet device that was similar to the one in the trial room. Saskia almost choked on the sobs that were threatening to burst out of her, her eyes screwed shut in fear and misery. There was a click and hum as some machinery was switched on.
"Right then bitch, let's see what you're really made of." Wachter's snarl by her ear made Saskia start in involuntary surprise. "Oh and if you're thinking of sending your Doctor friend an SOS, think again. This room is designed so that no telepathic thoughts can get in or out."
Saskia did cry then, unable to stop herself.

No comments: