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Virgil came back to consciousness on a groan and nearly blacked out again as pain enveloped his body. Biting back the bile that threatened to tear up his already tattered throat, he clenched his eyes shut. Turning his brow to the cool, damp floor he forced his lungs to work, the cold contact to his fevered skin causing a reactionary shiver.

Gasping in a breath, he coughed as fine dust caught in a too dry throat and he nearly lost what little still remained in his stomach. Forcing his body to still, minute micro seizures of muscle spasms told him that he was in serious trouble and he desperately clawed at the fog that blanketed his battered mind.

Today had gone from good to horribly bad in very short order.. Or was it yesterday? He’d lost all sense of time and the room he was currently confined to offered little help or point of reference.

Concrete surrounded him, dust mottled the air, dampness sunk into his bones and the silence was all pervasive.

Rolling, he hissed as the agony coursed through his shoulder and dark edges of unconsciousness threatened to take him once more. The pain was all encompassing and his breath caught on a rasped, guttural curse.

He was bound and chained, arms wrenched behind his back with strong rope bindings. Ankles shackled and chained to a loop of rebar protruding from the floor. Locked away who knows where and shivering in the cold, his uniform gone. Completely cut off and alone.

His skin scraped against the rough-hewn floor as he tried to curl into himself. Knees tucked up awkwardly to his chest in an attempt to conserve what little remained of his body heat. Muscles quacking as his life blood dripped out onto the dirty floor beneath him.

The details of the room swam about him as he tried to focus on details. Skittering away out of grasp the moment his eyes settle upon them. Nausea burning up his esophagus. Thick saliva pooling in his mouth.

Pure force of will pushed him to stay awake, to take inventory of himself. He pushed the blazing pain of his dislocated shoulder out of the way, that injury was obvious and its cause well and truly known. A sick mad man with a vendetta of epic proportions had wrenched the limb with a stomach-churning scrap of bones and twist of sinew from its socket. The nightmare of the abuse was not something he wanted or needed to dwell on except for the numbness in his left hand that gave him pause.

Furrowing his brows as he tried to feel out his body, he couldn’t tell if the lack of sensation in the affected limb was cause for concern or in part due to the unyielding double braided rope lashed without mercy around his wrists. The tight corded fibers cutting into the soft flesh and grinding his bones.

After the initial and sharply felt surge of pure torture he’d lost all sense of what had occurred. The phantom whisperings of a rancid breath over the shell of his ear only vaguely recalled through the haze of his misery. Words but a blur amongst a sea of sensation.

He swallowed as indistinct images played through mind and clenched his eyes tightly against the welling moisture. The aches in his body and ghostly echo of whatever had transpired afterwards nearly causing his undoing but he bit back on the compulsion.

His body bloodied and beaten but still his assailant had not succeeded in breaking him. Yelled and cursed at, whipped and punched, ground down and pushed to the edge of the abyss but still he held firm. He could not give or his family would fall. Under no condition would he let that happen. No torture, whether physically depraved or emotionally destroying would make him betray those that he held most dear.

The sound of a key turning in a rusted lock was like gunshots through the dank, deathly stillness. Muted light spilling into the gloom and over his pallid, bruised flesh caused his eyes to burn with its sudden intrusion. The naked bulb swinging from the water stained ceiling quickly cut off from view by the heavy form that crossed in front. Menace filling the doorway and Virgil whimpered as he curled in on himself.

His family would come for him, that he knew with certainty. He just had to endure a little longer.