Soulless- 1063 words
From- Interrogator Svik Leighten
To- Inquisitor Aethel
Subject- Report, Subject 14: Terr Bronsen
Thought for the day: Happiness is a delusion of the weak
Subject 14 is a young male, aged between thirteen and sixteen years. Shows signs of malnourishment- skinny, small. Face cadaverous, eyes sunken deep into skull, broken nose. The clothing provided him hangs loosely off of his shoulders. His hands and arms are scarred, with fresh cuts bandaged. The cell is kept dim; at my entrance, the light from the door caused him to cringe away.
It is difficult to be in the same room as the subject. It is difficult to look at him already, due to his appearance, and even in the corridors outside one feels uneasy. Upon entering the cell, one cannot help but feel disgusted and nauseous. I had thought that I would be prepared, but I was not. I am told that the subjects in the cells immediately to either side of his have been pleading to be moved, and that one of them, a minor heretic, broke down and confessed to her crimes in an effort to be moved. After experiencing this for myself, I have no doubt that the death she was given was preferable to being confined next to this for days on end.
The subject regarded me with fear. It is clear that his experiences with Inquisition personnel prior to meeting myself have not been positive. If the information provided me on his background was correct, the subject’s entire life has been similar. I feel as though I should have some pity for him, but it is nearly impossible to do so after having experienced his presence. In any event, after a few moments, the subject appeared to come to terms with my presence.
I waited a moment to begin my interview. The effect of his presence is… profound. I found myself lost for words for a significant period of time, although I had prepared questions. It took great willpower to stop myself from becoming violent with the subject. Once I had calmed myself, I began the questioning. Included below is a transcription of the interview, with my notes.
Interrogator Leighten- What is your name?
Subject 14- Terr Bronsen.
Leighten- Do you know where you are?
Leighten- Do you know why you are here?
Leighten- Do you know who I am?
14- [Subject motions to the rosette on my coat.] You’re an Inquisitor.
Leighten- I am Interrogator Leighten. Tell me how you came to be here.
14- I was involved in a fight after stealing food. The local Arbitrators picked me up. And then a big man came and injected me with something. I woke up here. [Subject detained after a fight- which later escalated into a minor riot- over stolen food. Taken to this facility by order of Inquisitor Aethel, after reports of unease and suspicions of witchery from Adeptus Arbites jailors.]
Leighten- Why do you think that you’re here?
14- Because they think I’m a witch.
Leighten- Who thinks that you are a witch?
14- Everybody. They wouldn’t sell me food. They beat me. Ever since Mum died...
Leighten- When did your mother die?
14- Two years ago.
14- She… killed herself. [At this, subject seems to be holding back tears. For some reason, I experience a barely-controllable urge to strike him. Information is consistent with what I had been told already- mother died two years ago, suicide by way of knife.]
Leighten- Why do they think that you are a witch?
14- I don’t know.
Leighten- Are you a witch?
14- No! [Subject appears indignant.] No I’m not!
Leighten- Then why do they think that you are one?
14- [Subject begins crying, still angry.] I don’t know! I’m not a witch!
At this point, I ceased the interview for a moment. The subject was becoming hysterical, and prolonged close contact with him was having an effect on me. I left the cell, walking out of the detention wing to clear my head. After several minutes, I returned to the subject’s cell to continue the interview. When I reentered, I found the subject striking the wall repeatedly, no doubt in an attempt to self-harm. His knuckles were bleeding severely, and I realized that this was how he’d gained the injuries to his arms that I had observed earlier. He heard my entrance and looked at me. Interview resumes:
Leighten- Stop that.
14- [Stops striking the wall and slumps against it.] Why do they all think I’m a witch? I never did anything to them...
Leighten- Because you make them uneasy.
Leighten- You have no soul.
14- What?! [Subject is visibly confused. I decide that it would be difficult to explain.]
Leighten- Do you want to serve the God-Emperor?
14- [Subject wipes tears from face, but smears it with blood instead.] More than anything.
Leighten- Do you pray to Him?
14- Every night. He keeps me strong, through all of… everything.
Leighten- Would you die for Him?
Leighten- Show me. [I draw my laspistol, click off the safety, and hold it out to the subject. He takes it after a moment of hesitation, eyes wide. I do not think that he has ever seen such a weapon before. After looking it over, he glances up at me.]
14- What do you want me to do? [I say nothing, instead keeping eye contact with him. It is still difficult to do it, but I am becoming acclimatized to the sensation of wrongness. After a few seconds, he looks back down to the pistol, and then slowly brings the muzzle up to the side of his head. With a deep breath, he closes his eyes and presses the trigger. It clicks- the power cell is depleted.]
Leighten- Good. [I take the weapon back and holster it.] Terr Bronsen is dead. I will return.
Having concluded the interview thusly, I left the cell. The subject performed as well as could be expected, in my opinion. Out of all the blanks I have been assigned to interview, this subject was the strongest, the most… disconcerting. Although his background is similar to most, I find it notable that he was brought to our attention this young. I would recommend taking this subject for further study and training- he could be of some use.
"You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man."
Last edited by HonorableMan; 04-26-16 at 04:59 PM.