<<WARNING - Just in case.>>
The screaming got old. Adults were like babies, they could just keep screaming.
Shut. up. He thought, sneering. "I'm trying to work...." He grumbled, turning over another page in the parchment deck, the sheaves rustling and adding a note of punctuation to his request.
"Khaz. Khaz-al-a-khan!" The human male screamed. "Khaz-al-lakhala-Khan!"
Nathandiel rolled his eyes, and for a moment, buried his face in his hands, exasperated. He pulled his palms down his face, stretching the skin, and then turned, his eyes narrowed and fixed on the man who laid supine on his table. The man shook his head from side-to-side, his large, full lips wet and his saliva foamy in some places. His dark eyes were focused on the ceiling of the dank chamber as he recited that demonic nonsense.
"Really?" He asked. "Really?" He stood, his lab coat had become stiffer in some places and it softly crunched around his elbow joints.
"Khaz-al. Khaz-al-a-kahn!" The man decried with all the fervour of a street-corner prophet.
"Khaz-ala-blah-blah-blah!" Nathaniel cried back, holding up his hands, fingers splayed and waggling as if to offer some razzle to the man's demonic dazzle. He hissed at the man who continued, but was grateful that he lowered his volume. Nathandiel drew himself up as he approached the table, gesticulating smoothly with his hands like a time-seasoned academic lecturer. "You would think, that with all the human meat that comes through this place that I would get one that actually spoke my mother tongue." he said.
The man's dark eyes flickered towards him, his long lashes wet, and his chants became more like prayers as the eyes flicked away.
"Yeah. I miss the sound of these words." Nathandiel said slowly, letting the syllables slide off his tongue, the contact with his palate natural and free from the need for him to assert conscious attention. "Cellar door." He said. "I had a literature professor once that said that was one of the most beautiful compositions that we can say; cellar door." He closed his eyes and drew himself up straighter, his hands lowering easily to his sides as he basked in the aftermath of the spoken words.
"Khaz-ah-" The man continued in a hushed tone.
Nathandiel opened his eyes, his mouth curling into a down-ward horseshoe of disgust. He turned to look at the man slowly. "...really?"
He was at the head of the table in a flash, pulling a metal cart up as he reached above the man and adjusted over-head light. Tools and vials clattered in their metal dishes as he lifted his mask to cover his lower face with on hand and felt for the tools he desired with the other, making sure they were all there. He tied the laces at the back of his head as he spoke. "You know, I don't often try to have conversations with the poor saps that end up on my table - most of you don't have anything interesting to say." At this he let out a clipped bray of laughter. He leaned over the man and looked down at him past the upper edge of his mask, their images inverted to one another. "And you know...that's really my job here - to get you to talk and say interesting things, things the upper tactical minds are interested in."
"Khaz-al-a-khan-al-kah..." The man continued, but his dark eyes were focused on Nathandiel's.
"I don't really believe in demons." Nathandiel whispered to the man, as if this were a secret. "But I do believe in the divine and if I were you, where you are now...." He gestured with one finger to the man's general state before snapping on gloves. "That's who'd I'd be talking to, not Khaz-allah-ballah-wan or whomever you are appealing to. Demons ask you to do a lot of bullshit to gain their favour. As I understand it, the kinder deities usually just ask you to acknowledge them and then reward you with all sort of good things like eternal happiness and forgiveness."
Nathandiel tilted his head in the opposite direction, eyes widening slightly as the man became silent. Nathandiel was also silent, only blinking, one hand hovering over the tens-blade on the tray next to him. They regarded eachother like that for some time, Nathandiel's breathing slow and deep, but his heart rate quickening as the anticipation grew. The man was going to say something and it was going to be profound.
The shriek of frustration the rose from Nathnadiel drowned out the man's pleas as his face contorted behind the mask. "Raaaaaaaggggggh!" The sinew of his jaw stretched and his lower lip split on the surface where it was dry as he pulled his lips taut over his teeth. He brought his free hand down on the flat of the table next to the man's ear and the blunt sound of flesh on metal, contrasted by the sting, was paradoxically sharp in the silent room. He shook as he looked down at his fare - who no longer looked at him - and tried to calm himself.
"Fine." He snarled. The man had resumed his chanting prayers - if that's what they were.
He got up and wandered to the phonograph. He plucked a sleeved record from the nearby basket, turned it over and lifted a brow at the title. Elven script was flagrant and ran together. It was far more visually appealing than effective, in his opinion; it was a bitch to learn. He slid out the large disc and set it on the turn-table. "I've always liked music." He said slowly, guiding the needle to surface. He wasn't really talking to the blabbering fanatic on his table anymore. This was his time; when the occupants checked out mentally there was little else to do but amuse himself.
He held his hands together loosely at the level of his belt as he watched the record spin and the needle find its groove - much as he did for himself. The man's chants were not at all of the same cadence as the music. He didn't mind classical Elven music, some of it was very powerful, some was hypnotic - both characteristics that he valued in the ambiance of his workplace.
He moved back over to the table, calm now, and smiled down pleasantly as his 'patient', taking on the demeanor more of a physician than an interrogator. "I think you're just playing me." He said gently. "I think you're pretending to be a devout patron of whomever you're praying to and that you've committed to a role that will lead me to underestimate you."
The man continued and gave no indication that he was listening.
"I can understand that." He said. "My training was the same. People always say 'expect the unexpected,' but really they never do - you can't. That whole motto is a fallacy. 'Expect nothing,' at least then you're never disappointed. " He sighed as he looked down the form of the man; he was still dressed in his prison greys.
Nathandiel reached over him, their bodies connecting a moment, as he stretched his arm for the bandage scissors on the tray. He began to cut at the crucial seams of the patient's pants. The gown was fine, but the pants, those would get in the way.
"I'll tell you a story." he said. "I've always appreciated the interrogators that told me stories. I mean I didn't ask to meet you and you didn't ask to meet me, and I can at least entertain you while we get down to good stuff." He punctuated with this with a tear of one pant leg, pulling the fabric up and away as he cut. "It's my job to do more than just cut you." He stopped and looked up at the man with a pitying smile. "Too bad for you." He popped his brows for effect.
The man's prayers had become more silent and his hands balled into fists at his sides, shaking his restraints.
"I know these people." He started. "Decent but mediocre people. And with them, I'm just silly." He explained as he bared the man below the waist line and tossed the tattered sections of fabric that had made up his pants away. "I play the part well, I play it to a fault, and the only one who knows it's a 'part' I keep in line through more creative measures. You see, I don't want to hurt these people, that's not my task, so I simply am around them and I am a certain way - a way that wont alarm them because it shapes their expectations." He moved around the table so that his tray was within reach and pulled the patient's IV pole closer so he could adjust the flow rate.
"No one expects the village idiot to be the one to bring it all down." He said slowly, surveying the pale landscape of the man's thighs. "And no one thinks twice when the village idiot finally leaves."
He ran one gloved hand up the man's legs, his pupils dilating as he felt the skin pucker under the barrier of synthetic material. As his hand travelled he didn't realize that all he heard then was music and not the man's chants - they were gone. His hand found the man and there was an instant reaction of fright. A smile spread across Nathandiel's lips and his eyes move up to the man's face.
The man swallowed and no protuberant apple bobbed in the neck. The neck wasn't the only place the 'man' was missing round objects - or objects all together.
"Clever girl." Nathandiel said slowly.
Either the nurses had missed it or he'd read through the file too quickly, either way the patient nearly passed for their opposite gender. Her dark eyes found him finally. "Please." She said, her voice deep and gravelly. "Please no."
It's not just a disguise for this one. This one's caught between the poles.
"Please. Not that." She begged and swallowed again, and now, he could see the largeness of her eyes and the fullness of her cheeks. He could see it was a 'her'.
"Don't flatter yourself, honey." He said as he took his hand away and pulled her gown down her thighs. He picked up the tens-blade, tossed it expertly from one hand to the other and then buried it in her thigh, through the fabric, pinning it in place and sealing off her modesty as an instant tattoo of red stained the fabric and the table below.
"See." he said, surveying her again and deciding where to begin. "Expect nothing. You won't be surprised."