Better Feared than Loved
Sleeping with somebody is considered to be the most intimate act to perform. Torturing them comes in a close second. In the light of this, Miss Cuntling and I were one step away from being fuck mates.
Kendrick might have been technically right about the abuse my fellow fillies and I were subjected to not being torture in that it wasn’t meant to extract confessions or information. He had applied a rather narrow definition, though. The purpose of interrogative torture may differ from the one of punitive torture; the underlying methodology stays the same. Pain may be inflicted for the sake of pain, but in the long run it is a means to an even more diabolical end.
In school I’ve read the autobiography of Sophia Borr, a young idealistic lawyer and human rights activist in a country not so far, far away from here. She was arrested by the resident secret police, mistreated and threatened with rape in a non-descript cellar room, and then transferred to the Bulenskú, the infamous headquarters in the heart of the capital. During her two-month incarceration she had been tortured on seven separate occasions, on the last one to the point of catalepsy.
If any traces of titillation had remained, they vanished from me at the descriptions of her mental ordeals: The helplessness, the powerless to put an end to her suffering, the panic when her gaolers came to drag her out of her cell, the permanent anxiety throughout the days they didn’t come. How her self, her being tried futilely to escape the torments, to retreat into a shell deep within, finally tried to separate from her body – a state I put in close proximity to madness.
Long chapters she dedicated not only to the pain, but also to the impact of it. For this the author utilised a memorable example: As a teenager she had broken her arm in a bicycle accident, an experience that used to be the source of a bunch of anecdotes, including how a friend had written dirty jokes on the cast. But after her detainment she would collapse into a crying fit the second someone so much as mentioned broken ribs (hers had snapped during the count- and endless beatings). Postulating that the pain from a broken rib roughly equals that from a broken arm, it becomes clear that torture is not reducible to the sole physical hurt. Torture aims deeper, buries itself into the soul, haunts one for the rest of their life.
As day after day the same merciless routine was applied to wear us down, I developed my very own set of trauma triggers. Kandrin’s whistle and the clonk-clonk of hoof boots. The smell of leather and the taste of metal in my mouth. Of course my anguishes didn’t end there. I fell asleep and woke up with the knowledge that I would inevitably feel the whip again, that I once again would be bridled and have my body controlled by heinous contraptions.
Miss C.’s own personal sensitivities didn’t help much, either. After us having won toilet duties yet again, she let things escalade during the little fall-in the following morning.
“Your general fitness level is appalling, the morning runs nothing short of an embarrassment!”
That second part might have revealed more than Kandrin had intended to. From a girl who had been eavesdropping in the staff’s barracks I knew the other group leaders had taken to nickname us “toilet crew” – not exactly an accolade for aspiring Miss Cuntling. Young, female and secretly insecure, she was hell-bent on proving herself.
“To whip you into shape”, had been her exact formulation. “As of today, we will be employing additional training.”
True to her word, come 06:35 we were introduced to the questionable pleasures of pyramid running sessions. I had done them in the past (gruelling ones, I may add, back when I had run track). Ten, who was fucking quick, knew them in all likelihood. Maybe a couple more in our group did, too. For the rest Miss C. outlined the basics.
“We start with a 100 metre sprint…” she pointed down the long straight along the northern fences. Small traffic cones had been positioned at strategic spots.
“After that, one minute rest, then a 200 metre sprint to the next mark. One minute rest. 300 metres back to the starting point here. Rest. 400 metres to the last mark.”
With already two kilometres on the clock from our morning run, this was gonna be good…
“One minute. Then the same pyramid steps down again back to 100. Questions?”
1301 raised her hand, and I knew we were in trouble.
“When we have finished the 400 metres, we then run the steps in reverse, ma’am?”
“That’s what I said ten seconds ago.”
Just leave it be, ginger…
“Will we do the 400 metres again, or will we jump to the second 300 metres, ma’am?”
“The idea was 300-400-300; but given your evident eagerness, we will be going with your proposal.”
So, instead of 1.6 kilometres we ran two kilometres. A 25% stupidity mark-up, courtesy of Zero-One. Needless to say she had a rough time in the showers that evening. With some distance one might find humorous qualities in episodes like this, if they weren’t revealing a sinister pattern: Everything we inmates did or said was used against us. No incident was too petty, no excuse too far-fetched. I was spark-sticked for an undone shoe lace. A Twoer-girl had to do push-ups in the mud to the point of muscle failure because she had come moments too late to a fall-in.
Borr wrote that no human being was ever capable of torturing another one. Back in school I understood it as torturers being non-human monsters. Since playing dress-up with a steel bit between my teeth and a horse tail locked in my arse, other interpretation came to mind: The one who tortures does not recognise the victim as a human being, only as a source, a processible element to be formed or made confess. No name, nothing to connect to. In systematic torture dehumanising always comes first, only then the fun can begin.
It has been worst when she was tortured by several interrogators at once. They would cheer each other on over her screams. No-one wanted to show weakness or be the one under whose ministration she was begging the least. Not being able to destroy a mere woman would be an affront to their masculinity and profession. I myself am no stranger to the mechanisms of group dynamics. Many of my escapades had friends or “friends” involved adding fuel to the fire. The DACC staff was great in showing how it was done, too. As soon as there were more than one, and especially with nothing else to do, they turned into some sort of hobby vigilantes.
“I will borrow this one for a minute.”
The statement came from a guard who had entered the barn after one of our pony stints. We were in various states of de-tacking, and I witnessed the scene whilst waiting for my harness to be removed. The soon-to-be borrowed one was the curvy girl 1308. As it turned out, she had made the grave mistake of picking up a coin from the ground in front of the mess earlier on. Clearly a suspicious behaviour. But questioning her back then and fully clothed wouldn’t have been fun. Now that Zero-Eight was totally nude safe for her tail, the incident needed immediate investigation. Upon being informed of her misdeed, our group leader too deemed further measures necessary, as long as they would be swift and not colliding with the schedule. Her handler hooked a finger in Zero-Eight’s nip ring and led her to the area in front of the barn. He was the fat twat that had all but shredded my rotator cuffs in preparation for my initial tailing. He wasn’t subtle or discreet now, either. So wasn’t his new boyfriend. In plain view of the rest of the group handler and guard went to work on 1308.
Zero-Eight answered the guard’s unnecessary question with a stomp. Formally she was still in pony mode.
They had her bent over, fingers interlaced behind her head, feet about a metre apart. Being dragged out and having her envy-inducingly feminine body put on display was taking her down another few notches. Now she wasn’t even a ponygirl amongst ponygirls anymore.
“Up on your toes!”
She rose onto the balls of her feet, a position that would become more stressful by the second.
“I can’t see a damn thing!”
With a little encouragement from the handler her hands went from her head to her buttocks, spreading them wide. The guard got a good hold on the plug’s base and yanked it out a couple of centimetres. The way Zero-Eight winced told me that the widest part had come to a stop right at her sphincter. A mean little trick that worked every time. He pulled the intruder out completely, so he and fatso could comment on her “sexy gape” and outline that they were making it their “project” to “train” it into her permanently. I could hear the buxom girl whimper and snort. Those spicy allusions to incontinence had triggered tears.
As Zero-Eight was debasing herself with quivering calves, the guard used a pen light to flash into her anal tract. He performed this travesty of a cavity search for several minutes, drawing 1308’s misery out to the point of transcendence. As a final act of humiliation he spat into the body orifice so neatly presented to him before forcing the plug back in with sadistic slowness. His colleague assisted in this needless act by yanking at Zero-Eight’s arms to make her spread’em wider still. Here we were seeing two men who enjoyed their work.
Sexual torture offers effectiveness to a degree that it has become a must-have in any regime’s repertoire. The popular crotch straps or Ten’s underreins were prime examples for casual variants. From the other end of the spectrum were hailing police-sanctioned rape squats, which according to Sophia Borr’s book had proven themselves to be a frighteningly powerful tool of oppression. You think you are a tough guy? That you can take anything they are throwing at you? What if they’re coming for your wife instead, huh? Having a little fun with your sister? Gives you some second thoughts, doesn’t it?
Borr denied having been raped, but her genitals had been the targets of various coercive techniques. Electricity is a classic in that area, so are beltings and cigarette burns. To be on the safe side style-wise, one is well-advised to have an old gynaecological chair at one’s disposal – or, in case of the Bulenskú, its metal skeleton. Stripped down to be even more menacing and conductive, it had been bolted to the floor near the far wall of what had cynically been called an “Equipment Room”. An, not the. She oddly remembered how small the room had felt; four by five metres had been enough to house all horrors known to mankind. The chair came last, always last, after hours of everything else a twisted mind could come up with (they would usually start a session with the traditional beating in suspension and the ever-same questions, just to break the ice). Afterwards, and only with the absolute minimum of medical attention to keep her alive, she was thrown back into isolation.
I didn’t know whether the DACC practice long-term solitary confinement. I doubted it. Not because of Warden Navier’s ethical enlightenment, but because of the more “hands-on” approach to correction I had encountered so far. Take that ridiculous incident with the picked up coin, for instance. During tack duties the following day I couldn’t help but notice one pony plug being distinctively bigger than the other sixteen. The set of tails belonged to my group, and the one in question sported the rich dark colour of Zero-Eight’s hair. Which testified not only to the fact that the embezzlement of two cents was an anally punishable offence, but also that her handler hadn’t been kidding about her “gape training”. I tended to the intimidating arse opener with servile speed to stow it away as quickly as possible. No need to give anybody ideas about how to enhance my own rear ornament anchorage.
Not that it even took creeps like Zero-Eight’s handler or that guard to create the all-engulfing climate of fear. Literally all staff members paid their tribute to the oft-cited Triviality of Evil, and be it only by watching the gates.
One of the most haunting parts in her autobiography was the second to last chapter, which dealt with Borr’s meeting one of her former tormentors a few years after her ordeal. By then the political situation had changed, and she had been granted access to the records of her interrogation. After agonising about the possible outcomes for some time, she finally decided to confront Number Four, as she referred to him. Borr chose a public place for their dark reunion, the café inside the splendorous Art Nouveau hall of the capital’s central station. One can see the old headquarters through the glass façade. And indeed he showed up, a polite lad two years her junior. Unscathed by his past, he had recently started a family and accepted a position within the all-new and all-cleansed administrative organisation. Number Four seemed somewhat reserved in his statements regarding his former profession, though. But it didn’t take him too long to conversationally muse about the greater good and how he had been morally obligated to investigate any alleged acts of subversion (“Acts of Subversion” became the book title). In passing he also enlightened her on the reason of not having been subjected to rape. Number One, the “good cop” chief interrogator who’d never touched her and with whom she’d only ever had contact in a normal interview room, had called dibs on her.
I was wondering whether Miss Cuntling had called dibs on me in some form, too, or if I had just lucked into her grace. How would she argue if we were to meet on neutral ground somewhere in my post-DACC life? That I’ve had it coming? That I should actually be thankful for having been straightened out? And that all the mortifications and punishments have been purely symbolic and not that bad after all?
Nobody considers themselves truly evil – and all those techniques of neutralisation help to keep that illusion alive and well. Once adopting this mind-set, one can justify anything, including the chair, or hanging a woman by the wrists cuffed behind her back and scourging every square centimetre of her bare body with a split extension cord. The acts of subversion Borr had been accused (and been guilty) of had been the defence of basic human rights: fair trials, freedom of justice, protection against arbitrary and cruel treatment by the authorities. In our modern society those ideals hover somewhere between free Wi-Fi and access to organic soy latte, but in many elsewheres and back-thens their sole mentioning are bound to bring oneself and their loved ones into grave danger.
Sophia Borr ended her book with a reproduction of her signed confession. A short epilogue accompanied it, emphasising that nobody “suddenly” wakes up in a police state. You cry for harsher laws without realising what laws are at hand, you get harsher laws without knowing the consequences. You want a strong leader to tell you what’s right, you get fear mongers telling you “just right” isn’t right enough. Easily the first ripples are ignored; a demonstration broken up under some pretence; a curfew “only until everything is back to normal”. Police and justice are encouraged, maybe even urged on to cut corners, to deliver quick results. And beating a confession out of a suspect is so much more convenient than doing proper police work. Borr described herself actually as a firm believer in law and order. “But,” she closed, “making crime disappear must never lead to making people disappear.”