Book I: Chapter 27
The marathon revelation continued for me as I watched Alan’s torture from afar. When Dr. Ma’bus instructed his servant to take Alan to The Life Labs, even the loyal Iffat froze at the thought and I saw Alan visibly shudder at the thought…
[Note to Reader: This is Chapter 27 of Book 1 “The Pawns of Prophecy” – this is the LAST chapter of this book so if you missed the start of the book, click here return to the main page. ]
Not wanting to upset his master, Iffat quickly recovered and got to work — after further securing Alan to the bed’s frame, he adjusted the prison bed in such a way that Alan was raised fully upright. Then, after unlocking the wheels, Alan’s movable prison was ready to go.
Ma’bus nodded, “All set? Good. Iffat lead the way.”
I watched as they guided Alan through stark hallways, devoid of activity. Finally, after descending multiple levels, at last they stopped before an otherwise non-descript room – its only detail of note being the numbers on the door, which read Room 101.
(Hmm, makes me think of an Orwellian book I once read. Oh, sorry, guess I’m getting off track).
Ma’bus moved ahead to provide the security codes required to enter. Once finished, he opened the door, “Go ahead, Iffat.”
When his servant hesitated, Ma’bus chuckled, “Don’t worry, Iffat, YOU will be exiting again.”
Still frightened, Iffat cautiously pushed Alan’s bed forward.
Torch fires burned in sconces on the walls, swathing everything in stark brightness – an evil paradox to the deadly pall emanating from Room 101.
“One of my Life Lab rooms.” Ma’bus proudly stated. “It’s where I ply the task given to me by my father.”
“Which is?” Alan could not resist.
“Why, that of attempting to unlock the mysteries of Life, The Universe, and Everything.” Ma’bus replied in a deadpan tone.
I looked around. Against the rear wall I noted a steel cage – understanding at once that anyone who found himself in that cell would be facing a grim future indeed. For in the center of the room were three cold-looking, metal tables; beside each was a little push cart, filled with a plethora of cutting tools – flaying knives, bone saws, and hooks – as well as situational instruments like forceps, clamps and vices. Wash stands too stood at the head of each work area. And each table had raised edges on all but one side.
Seeing Alan also looking around, Ma’bus smiled, “Ah, you’re noticed my work stations. You’re probably wondering why the sides are mismatched? It’s simple really — whenever I have one of my subjects exposed on the cutting board, with their blood flowing freely – and it always does – well, I just can’t stand to lose even a drop. But with my tables crafted in this manner, I can ensure that my participant’s life-force will flow down the slope of the table, to run off into tiny troughs waiting below to collect that precious liquid. Clever, huh?”
Alan’s knees buckled, “Why are you showing me all this? It doesn’t matter what you do to me. I’ll never help you.”
Ma’bus overlooked that, “Prior to our tour, you asked how I planned to influence you.” And striding casually around the room, he explained, “Surely you were around during the so-called Dark Ages, right? Alas, how I miss those days. Yet, I digress. You will make a great candidate for Nail Removal. Perhaps I’ll pull off a few of your toes too. Of course, you can be sure that I won’t overlook my favorite method of all – Flaying.” And he demonstrated his delicate technique in the air with one of his knives.
(BTW, for an excellent feel for what it’s like to be flayed alive, read this article from Ranker – I can tell you from first hand experience, it’s pretty accurate!).
Meanwhile, seeing his words hit home, Ma’bus goaded Alan, “You see, that’s the beauty of it all — you CAN’T die! I torture you forever – until you break. And you WILL break, Lazarus.”
Alan gritted, “You can break my bones, but you’ll never break my spirit. My Lord will protect that much.”
“Even your master broke in the end.”
“Search your feelings and you know I’m correct. We had Jesus on the brink, ready to give up. You know he felt forsaken on that cross. It was his moment of truth and when he finally realized his own father abandoned him, you know what he wailed…”
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” Alan whispered.
“’My God, why have you forsaken me.’” Ma’bus translated in delight. “It’s true — your Master doubted himself and all he THOUGHT he was.”
“But in the end, God DID save his son.” Alan fought Ma’bus’ logic.
“Your God broke his promise to my father! The deal was that we could tempt Jesus WITHOUT him getting assistance from Above.”
Alan did not reply – seemingly caught in his own vision of what Christ must have endured while in the limbo of Hell without His Father’s protection.
(OK, I’ll admit, this was all news to me. Even though I said I don’t care, I’m not all that keen on doubting the power of God. I mean, it’s one thing for a child to complain about his parents, but the kid doesn’t usually like it when an outsider is doing the insulting, right? That’s kind of how I felt. Ma’bus was really starting to get my goat).
“Nonetheless,” Ma’bus calmed himself, “We are patient. My Father and I know the treacherous ways of The Cursed One. After Jesus’ death, when he descended to us, we had three good days with him – but there again your God broke his promise and forced us to give up his pitiful son.”
“This is insane. Jesus descended to Hell, overcame death, and rose again in victory within three days – just as The Scriptures said.”
“That’s not even worth a reply.”
“Believe what you will. But my point is this — your Christ did NOT defeat Death. And he certainly did not defeat my father. If so, why is this war not over? No, the FACT is that we let Jesus go.”
“Perhaps. Even still, I speak the truth. After all, in your own Scriptures, didn’t Jesus repeatedly say that your own generation would not pass away before his second coming? Yet where is he?”
(Now this was hitting too close to home. If I had any power to end my visions, this would have been one I sacked. But alas, I was locked in and, like Alan, forced to keep listening to this madman).
“I tell you the real truth!” Ma’bus said. “Your Messiah is a coward.”
Alan changed the subject, “I will endure anything you throw at me. And my Lord will give me all the strength I need.”
“I figured you’d say that. Which is why my plan is not really to torture you indefinitely, just to give you a taste of what your friends will feel.”
“What do you mean? Have you done something with Benedict?”
“Don’t worry about Joseph – evil men are snared by their own sin.”
“Then who are you talking about?” Alan played dumb. “What are you really after, Ma’bus?”
“Surely you know that I need all THREE Nails. And as to what I want, you know that too, Brother — I want to destroy you, I want to destroy your master, and I want to destroy all that ever was. I want to consume it all, to be ALL!”
OK, I have to admit, by this point I actually pissed my pants – and saying that was because I’m an old man is not really true – I was scared!
Thankfully, my vision finally ended, and I could get back to my bottles of Jack — yes, I said bottles – it was the only way I knew I could escape my fate… or so I hoped…