Rat in a Cage 1



My captors were so very inconsiderate. You know how long they left me in the back of that truck? According to the clock in my eyes, two days. They spent part of that time driving, but I couldn’t tell where. From the lack of responses to my banging sounds, either the Rejects didn’t come along on the ride, or I hit the wrong wall. Perhaps the guards were informed that if that cell is a-knockin’, don’t come half-cockin’.

So I lost track of where I was. Especially in the Northeast part of the U.S., it’s far too easy to get to another state by walking a few minutes in any direction. At the end of all the driving, they changed it up. They added some lifting to it. Then some turning, which left me sliding along an inclined side. They hadn’t turned things straight up and down, but they made it hard to hold on.

One of the walls slid seamlessly open, showing the empty portion of the semi trailer, which was also open. It created a chute to dump me in a square hole in the ground that fit up against the truck almost perfectly. Almost. I spotted a gap.

I attempted to maintain my stickiness through a combination of saliva and fingernails while I sized up the jump. Then, I strategically allowed myself to fall, and pushed off with my legs. I hit the side of the hole, scrabbling at the edge. I could’t get my forearms up on it and instead fell so that I held on by my fingers. On top of that, I felt an explosion of data streams all around me. It was like being locked in a perfectly-silent isolation chamber, then being thrown into a room full of people talking.

It didn’t help my concentration, but I focused enough on climbing to start to pull myself up. As anyone could tell you, doing that by the fingers and palms only is not fun. Fun levels plummeted even more once someone stepped on my fingers. I almost felt like giving him the finger, but that would have required letting go. Luckily, the pressure on my fingers helped hold them to the surface enough for me to haul my head up there.

Two guards stood back a ways, rifles pointed at me. Another stood on one of my hands. That one tried to smash the butt of his rifle in my face, but I swung to the side and grabbed at it. I almost got my finger on the trigger when the two behind him opened fire. Good call. If I worked with that dumbass, I’d want to “accidentally” shoot him too. They shot beanbags though. Nonlethal ammo.

Well, that’s a misnomer. Depending on the distance, beanbags or rubber bullets can be lethal. It’s like calling a shotgun shell nonlethal. It certainly would be, if you fired it from far enough away. If that guy above me shot me in the forehead point blank with one of those, he’d have turned me into the world’s least fun game of Tic-Tac-Throw.

I tried to dodge around the guys legs to provide cover while I wrestled with the rifle, but then he just dropped it and jumped to the side. The aching fingers of that one hand couldn’t keep me there, and then a beanbag fired smacked me in the head. Then the falling commenced. “Fuck you guuuuuuuuuuuys!”

It ended a short moment later with me getting the wind knocked out of me once I hit the floor of a very large cube. The top slammed shut overhead, leaving me with a beanbag, a rifle, broken remains of my armor…ooh, and indoor plumbing. I appreciated that. The walls and ceiling blocked any signals, though.

Then the cube started moving. I lost track of the turns and all, but I know it moved further underground. Then small lines opened in the top and something pumped in. A gas of some sort. At first it tingled. Then it didn’t tingle because my skin went numb. Then, despite having risen to a sitting position from which to better examine my kicked ass, I fell back to the ground.

I felt limp as a wet noodle. I’ve never had that problem before, I swear.

That’s when my captors decided I couldn’t hurt them. They entered in scrubs, masks, and surgical caps. Uh uh. Ever been incapable of moving but conscious while people walk into the room dressed for surgery? I have!

They took the gun and the beanbag, then carefully pulled my armor off me. They collected the last remaining bits and pieces, then pulled on dull brown set of tights with the word “prisoner” in big, black, block letters on the front. Once they finished dress-up, one of them stepped forward with a clear box and a tray full of surgical tools.

“Should we just take one?” he asked one of my molestors.

The one he asked shook her head. “Better take both so we don’t have to come in here again.”

Goodbye, my poor testes. I’m going to miss you guys. We had so much fun together. Remember that we climbed Mount Everst? We were so wasted, I didn’t remember a thing. We must have done it quickly, too, because the next thing I knew, I woke up at the top of the Washington Memorial with a pickaxe and a lantern.

Ah, fond memories with my balls.

Turns out, they weren’t there to pick my nuts. Nope, the pair they came for was my eyes. They had to yank, but the knives proved unnecessary. Instead, I watched as they walked out of the room. Then I watched no more.

At that point, I heard them leave, and then the sound of something else get pumped into the room.

After five minutes, going off an internal HUD I set up while my peepers were purloined, I felt capable of moving again. I would hardly say I felt better. I soon tired out, but not from exhaustion. My teeth chattered, the room felt way too cold, and I had no appetite at all.

Just great. The government gave me a disease. It made for an unpleasant first night.

By the second day, I felt better. I thought I even smelled food, but that could have been some weird aftertaste from all the gunk in my nose. I found the toilet enough to spray it in there, but the toilet paper eluded me. As did the sink. At least I couldn’t find any food to eat with those hands.

So I sat there thinking how I would get out. Already, ideas came to mind. I could bluff. After all, they knew I had my favorite chemicals around somewhere. I could lead them on a wild goose chase and hope to run off like a shot of Wild Turkey. I also turned over the offer of my services. For some reason, I thought it’d tempt the CIA more, but the FBI probably had some domestic threats they needed help with. Unofficial help. Help that couldn’t directly trace back to them.

And I sang. I’ve never been good at it, so I meant it to be torture for whoever monitored me. They got in on it too, though. I had to stop barely into “Friends in Low Places” because some voice spoke from the ceiling. “Do you know any Elvis?”

After belting out about a minute of “If I Can Dream” they really wanted me to stop. And then, since I killed Elvis deader than drugs and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, they asked for that “What Does the Fox Say?”

“We should get this on tape. Do you know how many hits this would get?” one of the people monitoring me muttered through his laughter. I moved around the room as I sang to make sure they hadn’t stuck someone in the room with me. Nope. They probably just had some means to see me and relay sound that I couldn’t detect. I didn’t even pick up any secured wireless signals.

“I think we should get him to do ‘Gangnam Style’ next.”

“No, I want to hear him rap.”

I ignored both and moved on to something I wanted to hear.

“Can you feel the fire? Can you see the cities burn? From the depths of hell I call your name! Can you feel the heat?”

“Hey, enough of that. We wanna hear some you sing that Slim Shady song, ‘My Name Is’. This’ll be a good one.”

Before I could start, a third, female voice cut in. “Cut it out, both of you. We just got this prisoner and you’re already acting like morons. This isn’t a joke.”

I switched over immediately to another song. “Hey, you’re a crazy bitch, but you fuck so good-“

“That’s enough!” she said, then a high-pitched noise stabbed into my brain via my earholes. I put my hands over my ears, but it did no good, and then my balance got all wobbly, so I gave falling a try. When they let up, I realized I could barely hear myself.

“You guys took my eyes and screwed up my ears. Why not try for my sense of touch? I’ll let you have my fingers.” I held up a pair of them as an example.

They said something, but I couldn’t make it out. Five minutes later, they said something else. Another five after that, I could finally make out what they said, “Can you hear us yet?”

“Yeah, I hear ya. Wait, are you the woman or the guys? I think you messed something up.”

“The only thing you need to know about us is that we are the overseers of your containment. Incidents like the one earlier were inappropriate. Much like that gesture you’re making now. Please refrain from humping the air. If you cause us enough trouble, we will be forced to administer the paralytic again. It is biological in nature, so you can’t hack it and it made you sick.”

I got to my feet, stumbling a bit. I tripped over something at waist level, smacked into a wall, and fell onto a raised surface.

“If y’all can hear this, is this my bed? It’s cozy, but I’ve slept on worse.”

“That is the sink. We can hear you anywhere in your cell but if you make too much noise pollution, we will completely ignore you. I normally have to seek special authorization for that, but Administration sent through preemptive authorization for you.”

I curled up on the sink. “Yeah, yeah. You have me in some underground complex for now, but y’all will get me on trial eventually.”

One of the male voices broke in. “Your legal status is still undetermined. The powers that be need to figure that out, then prepare a list of charges.”

I snorted, then tried to ge the water to turn on. Ah, motion-activated. I wanted it to help me sleep. “They could spend a few years just figuring the charges out.”

“Until they do, you don’t get a trial.” That was the other guy watching me.

“Don’t I have a right to a speedy trial?” I pulled up the archived information in my brain. “That’s the Bill of Rights, right?”

The woman spoke up against. “Only U.S. citizens get U.S. rights. If they say so, we’ll bury you somewhere so deep, everyone will forget you’re here. Nobody solves the Rubik’s Cube.”

“That sounds familiar…and I don’t think y’all mean the toy.” I tried to stay comfortable with my hand in the water, but then the sink pulled into the wall and dropped me on the hard floor.

“Sleep on your designated bedspace.” Fuckers could have simply pulled the sink out when they first saw me land on it. I dragged myself up again and felt around until I found the bed.

Still, I smiled as I laid there. I had two reasons. Mostly, I realized how I’d get out. “Don’t worry, I’ll be down here if anyone wants to talk,” I called up to them. That’s right. I’ll talk. Or at least, I’ll talk about how I’ll talk. They already have agencies fighting over who does what with me. I might as well sweeten the pot by mentioning my knowledge of Hephaestus base sites, Faustus base sights, the magical Basford conspiracy, and the secret identities of a few heroes. Like Max Muscles and Bulletproof Brian in New Jersey, or Raggedy Man and that Blackhawk guy in Paradise City. Or was it Darkhawk? Kittyhawk?

As long as I had that, I could get out. And as long as I still have that interdimensional transmitter installed in me, I’ll keep y’all updated.

The other, less-important thing I thought of was that no matter how deep they buried me, I know a hero who will make sure I see the light of day again. Oh Venus. I hate you and slightly tolerate you at the same time, with your do-gooder attitude in the face of reality.

Then something dropped on my face and interrupted my musings. Reaching up, I realized it was a tray with some food still on it despite my overseers’ aim.

“Stop smiling!” The trio called out in unison from above.

In the meantime, I think I’ll stick around here for awhile and have some fun with these bastards. Just until I kill them. Horribly. With their own eyeballs.

Eye caramba!



5 thoughts on “Rat in a Cage 1

  1. Pingback: Crapulence 4 | World Domination in Retrospect

  2. Arlysian

    Damn Gex you’ve really gotten yourself into quite the pickle now… Maybe you should have taken Venus’ offer earlier (you could always have betrayed them all later on)

    Btw I am finally up to date from reading through the entire story. Only took me over a goddamn month, Jesus Gex you really like to ramble on and on and on!
    but keep it coming I suspect you won’t run out of readers any time soon 😉

  3. Pingback: Rat in a Cage 2 | World Domination in Retrospect

  4. Miles

    No the 6th amendment makes no mention of citizenship. It applies to anyone who is accused. Heck, this particular one doesn’t even require them to be a person.

    1. Psycho Gecko Post author

      I find it’s a common interpretation of a certain nationalistic sort to claim that the rights enumerated within the Bill of Rights are reserved solely for United States citizens. It’s one of the justifications for certain procedures that involve the treatment of non-U.S.-citizen prisoners and the idea that some actions are perfectly ok so long as they aren’t done on U.S. soil. The second one should be pretty well known so as to not need an example, but the first part has been used to justify unconstitutional treatment of illegal aliens, terrorists, and refugees. The terrorist one in particular I find interesting because it wasn’t a big negative deal to many people to find out members of Al Qaeda were getting bombed, except for a few who were also American citizens. Their rights were violated, whereas the rights of the non-American terrorists apparently weren’t if we are to take people’s silence on the issue as evidence that they didn’t feel like speaking out against it.

      The Framers would have been aghast, naturally, as the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights was to enumerate a few human rights without regard to citizenship and make sure to point out that there are far more that belong to the people. Sadly, even though both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists made it quite clear what they actually thought, a lot of people, including so-called Constitutional Originalists, have not paid attention.


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