"Major Chang." I heard Colonel Li's voice at the end of the hall and immediately responded. He didn't wait for a salute or offer a greeting when I entered his office.
"I am about to receive a call. I told the telephone operator that I must know the caller's reason, and the caller told her that it is about a meeting of some of Chiang's generals. I want you to hear this with me to make sure that we miss nothing. In case it is valuable information, which I doubt it will be."
The Chinese military, under Mao Zedong, had been battling the forces of Chiang Kai-shek now for many years, and was finally making great progress. Before the end of 1948, Mao hoped to drive Chiang and his forces into the sea. I had enlisted in Mao's army two years earlier, and it had been a wise move. Mao accepted everyone who vowed allegiance to him, even women. And, since I had been one of the first women to join, and had the good fortune to perform well in several battles, I was now one of the higher ranking women in his forces. Of course, knowing how to cross my legs and please my superiors with more than my military prowess had been at least as helpful in that rise as my battlefield actions. But I viewed it as a fair exchange -- I made it hard for my superiors, and they then made it easy for me. You might say that we rose through the ranks together.
There had been rumors that the generals of four of Chiang's scattered divisions, realizing the necessity of joining forces, had planned a meeting to make the necessary arrangements. Colonel Li's spies had reported the locations of these four leaders during the last week, and they seemed to be converging in a manner that would lead them all to a meeting place no more than four miles from Colonel Li's base. He knew that he should report this to his superiors, but he figured that, if he could capture or kill Chiang's generals on his own, it would be a great coup, a great victory for Mao's Communists, an action worthy of his promotion to general, and a reassignment to a more prestigious post.
And Li figured that this would not be as difficult as it sounded, or as it would appear to his superiors after he accomplished it, since the reports that he received indicated that each general was traveling incognito with only a single assistant accompanying him.
"Don't be so certain that the information will not be valuable, Colonel," I responded positively. "The people love us. They are all so grateful as we liberate them from Chiang and his oppressors. One of them may indeed have important information to share with us." I was surprised that Li did not wonder how the person also had the good fortune to have found a phone from which to call. While the military had telephone communications between its outposts, very few others did.
The phone rang. Li placed its receiver to his ear. I moved toward him, placing my ear on the other side of the receiver. The voice at the other end sounded faint to me, but quite understandable. It belonged to a woman. "Is this the person in charge?" she began.
"Yes," Colonel Li responded calmly.
"This morning, two men walked into our village. They were dressed poorly, but their faces did not match their clothes. I asked if they needed anything, and they said only confirmation that they were headed in the direction of the old yellow barn, which is about a
mile west of here. I pointed out the path to them."
"Yes?" Li wanted to know if the woman had any more information.
"But they did not continue, and were still eating lunch in a field by the path when I came to call you. But that is not all."
I saw Li shift in his chair. So far, the information was worthless and he was getting impatient. "What else is there?" he replied.
"About an hour later, two more men walked into the village. They spoke with a neighbor of mine, and, after they walked away, I asked her what they had wanted."
Li turned to me, then realized that he needed to turn back to keep my ear on the receiver. "Yes?" This time his inquiry was more eager.
"She said that they too had asked for directions to the yellow barn. No one has asked about the barn in many years. And she also said ..." I could see Li's eyes widen. He realized that this was indeed going to be very valuable information. "... that she recognized one of the men as the son of a neighbor of one of her cousins from the north, and remembered that the neighbor had told her that the son had joined Chi-ang's forces."
Colonel Li broke into a broad smile as he replaced the telephone receiver on its cradle. "They are meeting this evening no more than five miles from here. At a yellow barn. Go find someone who knows where that is to lead a mission there."
"No need. I know where it is." I had grown up in the area. "It is on the outskirts of the village. And it could hardly still be described as yellow. It was abandoned years ago, and, with the holes in its roof and sides, it provides little shelter from the cold or rain."
"It is a strange place to meet," I continued, seeing that I had the Colonel's full attention. "It is in a clearing surrounded on three sides by hills, so it is an easy place to surround to set a trap. And to walk into it with only a few men. Lightly armed. It is too crazy an idea to believe."
"But that is why they have chosen it," Colonel Li remained smiling. "We can have it surrounded in two hours. Well before sunset. Thirty soldiers will be more than enough. Gather them. You are in charge. No prisoners. Dead opponents are the safest. Bring back only the bodies of the four generals. Before tomorrow ends, I will be a General. And you a Colonel. Colonel Eda Chang. How do you like the sound?"
I saluted, exited the Colonel's office and walked down the corridor to my own office, then directed my assistant to summon Lieutenant Wei. [see Wei pic] Wei was newly-arrived at the base but I had known her before our military service. And I was pleased to have her with me. Especially when I grew tired of so many fawning men. Fortunately, Wei's philosophy matched my own -- why rule out half the population as potential lovers?
"Thirty," I said when Wei entered. "In the courtyard in 20 minutes." Wei saluted and exited without a word. It was important to maintain decorum with others around.
In the courtyard 20 minutes later, I found three rows, each with 10 soldiers, waiting at attention. Wei stood at the end of the front row. I saw that she had selected 30 of our best troops, including three other women.
"We march five miles north to a place outside the next village where between four and eight of Chiang's men will be holding a meeting. Our orders are to kill them." I looked around the group and saw no reaction. That was what I wanted to see.
"I, Lieutenant Wei and you three," I pointed to the three soldiers -- two men and one woman -- standing in the front row closest to Wei, "will approach from the west. The others will ring the hills overlooking the barn on the other three sides. The five of us will kill them or flush them out and you will kill them. No prisoners."
I nodded to the three sergeants standing at the far ends of the lines. "You each will take your squad separately. Two minutes apart. To the east, north and south." I pointed to each of them in turn. "Different paths. Keep your distance from each other. You have all studied the maps?"
"Yes, sir." I heard three distinct voices. I could never get used to being called "sir," but the army wasn't going to have them call me "ma'am."
"Good. The five of us will move last. We attack at 1800 hours. Begin operations."
I walked over to Lieutenant Wei while her squad was waiting to move out. "This is it, Lieutenant. Things will happen quickly now. And don't think that this won't be dangerous for us, no matter how carefully we've made our arrangements." She nodded. She reminded me of myself in some ways. Medium height, short black hair. Sexually "creative." I never liked the word "kinky." But she was also similar in what she believed about how to survive the war. I put my arm around her shoulder and walked with her out of earshot of the three others in our squad. "I have to tell you. I'm nervous. A lot could go wrong."
"It could," she said quietly, "but it won't. You're too smart for them."
We didn't see the other squads in our platoon on our trek to the barn. That was the idea. The villagers would not become suspicious of a squad of eight or ten soldiers, even if they saw two of them. That was not unusual. But a platoon of 30, that would be different. With the four squads approaching from different sides of the barn, though, it was unlikely that any villager would see more than one. The summer sun was high enough in the sky that we would be ready to attack while there were still several hours of daylight.
Private Zhou was the other woman in our group. I didn't know much about her. She was slight of build, no more than 5' tall, 100 pounds. I knew from her file that she was 25 years old, just three years younger than I. But she would lucky to be a corporal in three years. Too meek. I wondered if Wei had a different impression of Zhou than I had. [see Zhou pic]
The two men were Corporals. Although our base was not large, I did not remember their names. Neither had been with us for very long. With the constant turnover from troop movements, desertions and deaths, I learned early that it was not a wise investment to learn everyone's name.
I first saw the barn when we were about 50 yards behind it. I looked up to the surrounding hills. I could see nothing. No villagers. No soldiers. No movement. I looked at my watch. Ten minutes to attack time.
I motioned to the others. Following our training, we moved one or two at a time, diagonally to the back of the barn, until we all stood against its back wall. I peered through a small crack. I could make out four men seated around a small table in the middle of the barn, which was otherwise empty.
Our plan was simple: break in the dilapidated door in the middle of the back of the barn with guns blazing. If we didn't kill the four generals and their aides in the barn, they would flee out the front, where our surrounding men would finish them. They should all be dead within a minute after we began firing.
We moved slowly and silently to the back door. After a silent count of three, I stepped back, and the two Corporals easily kicked it down. I charged in first, believing that a leader should do just that -- lead. I fired at the men at the table, moving down the side of the wall so that the others could enter behind me and join the barrage. [see Chang pic] Hundreds of rounds from our automatic weapons tore into the men and the table. After 10 seconds, with no reason to continue to fire, I gave the order to stop.
But I continued to hear firing outside the barn for 15 or 20 more seconds. "We got the generals, I bet," shouted one of the Corporals, as we moved toward the bodies of the men lying on the floor, "and they got the aides. I'll bet the aides were watching the front door and fled as soon as we started to fire."
But as we reached the dead men, we could see that they were not the generals. Or the aides. They were villagers. Villagers who had been gagged and bound by their wrists and ankles. No doubt tied to the chairs also, but, with the chairs and tables now totally shattered from our fire, it was impossible to know.
"It's a trap," I shouted, and raced to the window at the front of the barn and peered outside. I saw no bodies on the ground. No dead generals or aides. Instead, I saw small clouds of dust rumble down the hills from all three sides of the barn. And what caused these clouds of dust soon became obvious to me.
Each was caused by the body of one of our soldiers rolling down from the top of the hill to the clearing below, where it flopped, motionless, limbs splayed on its front or back. I counted at least 15 to 20 balls of dust. The enemy's trap had destroyed my entire platoon.
By now, Wei, Zhou and the Corporals had joined me at the window, all of us staring, none of us speaking, looking in all directions. The firing from the hills was not from our soldiers killing Chiang's men. It was from the enemy, positioned above our soldiers, massacring them. We, not Chiang's men, were the ones who had fallen into a trap.
Within a few seconds after all of us understood what had happened, we heard a loud voice, which must have been aided by a bullhorn, coming from directly in front of the barn, but a distance away. "Those of you in the barn must surrender immediately or we will set the barn on fire and you will be incinerated. You have one minute."
"We fight," said Wei. The others nodded. I looked at them. "That is senseless. They will send no soldiers to fight. They will just set the barn on fire and we will die horribly. Probably before we die, we will have no choice but to flee outside to escape the heat and smoke and fire."
"We will die, too, if we surrender," Wei countered. "You think they will take us prisoner? Our orders were to take no prisoners, remember? Theirs are probably the same. They will kill us as soon as we show ourselves to them, I suspect. Or first torture us and then kill us. I'd rather die as a soldier than a coward."
"One way death is absolutely certain. The other way it may still be likely, but it is not certain. My duty is to protect those under me. I say we surrender. We have prisoners. We may be exchanged."
I was surprised to hear Zhou speak. "Major, you are in charge. We will do what you say."
I looked at the others. They seemed unconvinced with my argument, but slowly nodded agreement that they would do what I commanded.
"All right. I will surrender. If they kill me, then your orders are to fight. If they do not, then your orders are that each of you is to make your own decision. I will not command you to certain death nor to do what you may believe is cowardice."
I walked to the barn door. Wei and Zhou opened it, and I walked out alone, hands raised. As I took a few steps forward, I looked around to see my dead soldiers in every direction.
"Keep your hands raised and walk into the middle of the clearing." The same voice. It was about 50 yards to the foot of the hill in front, and I could see a small group of soldiers, about six, one of them holding the bullhorn.
I obeyed. I could now see movement in the hills. Twenty or thirty of Chiang's soldiers moving down from high above where my soldiers had been. We had not had a chance, having yielded the high ground in order to get within firing range of the front of the barn.
I started to hear hooting and shouting from Chiang's soldiers as soon as they realized that I was a woman. "We're going to have fun with you, Mao whore." "We're going to hang you by your tits." "You'll soon think your dead friends were the lucky ones." I shuddered, but forced myself to maintain my composure as best I could.
I should have expected the next order, but it was still frightening. "Remove your clothes so that we are sure you carry no weapons." More screams from Chiang's men. "Yes, let's see that bush of yours." "You're going to have the biggest cocks you ever had. About two dozen of them."
Again, I knew I had no choice but to obey. Slowly, I pulled off my left boot and then my right, tossing them in the direction from where the voice had come. Next I tugged out my green camouflage army shirt, unbuttoned it, and opened it to reveal that I was wearing nothing underneath it. The hoots grew louder, now so many that I could not separate them into understandable words. Perhaps it was better than I could not.
I pulled off the shirt and tossed it toward my boots, then reached down to loosen my pants. I lowered and stepped out of them, throwing them into the growing pile about ten feet in front of me. Now wearing only my formless black panties, I raised my hands again over my hand and waited. The jeering around me continued, as a man dressed in a private's uniform stepped out from the group and walked slowly toward me until he stood directly in front of me. He pulled a knife from his waist band. "When you are ordered to strip, it means that you are to strip." He slashed the knife through the right side of my panties, nicking my thigh in the process, probably intentionally, grabbed the panties as they wrapped around my left leg, and then cut them off completely. He put them in his pocket and returned to his group without another word. I stood there, unable to keep myself from shaking, looking up and seeing all the men staring at my total nakedness.
The jeering grew still louder and, to the extent I could again hear separate words, more vulgar. But when the voice again came through the bullhorn, the jeering immediately stopped.
"Your friends inside now have 30 seconds to join you or face immediate and painful death. My men will start counting." I heard the numbers begin in loud unison. I knew that Wei would come out. Zhou would probably follow. I had no idea what the Corporals would do. "Ten ... eleven ... twelve." I dared not turn my head to see, but continued to stand in the middle of the clearing, naked, arms raised, knees shaking.
When the counting was replaced by shouts, I knew that someone had exited the barn. I suspected that it was Wei, and, a few seconds later, I saw that I was right. She walked to a point about 10 feet to my right, her arms raised as mine. When the men realized that here was yet another woman soldier, their jeers resumed, now with even more variety, hate and vulgarity. "Show us that your body is better than hers." "We're going to suck those tits so hard, and then you're going to suck us."
Without waiting for the voice from the bullhorn, Wei, having seen the routine, began to strip. Boots. Shirt. The men were disappointed to see that she wore a green undershirt as well, which made them wait a few more seconds to see her breasts. They were not disappointed, though. While I loved my nicely-proportioned body, Wei had large breasts and a small waist. While I may have thought that Wei reminded me of myself, Chiang's men made it clear that they saw at least two differences, and they preferred her. "Love those titties?" "You put that first one to shame." "We're all going to want you. Hope you're flexible." I imagined that this was the first time in her life that Wei wished that her body was not as nice as it was.
Wei removed her pants and panties and then again raised her hands above her head, leaving no need for any soldier to assist her. She looked out at the group of men more defiantly than I did. I was proud of her, knowing that she had to be as scared as I was.
In my focus on Wei, I did not immediately notice that Zhou too had exited the barn and was now standing on my left. She raised her hands, but made no movement to undress. This time two men separated from the group and approached her. Without a word, one jammed the butt of his rifle hard into her stomach. Zhou doubled over in pain, then sank to her knees. "Strip," both men shouted, standing over her. Zhou struggled to her feet, arms crossed in front of her chest. She made a movement to remove her shirt, then hesitated.
"Strip," the men again screamed at her, and she started to sob, looking at them, pleading with her eyes. The men turned toward the man with the bullhorn, who was obviously their leader. He nodded, and they turned back to Zhou. The same one hit her again in the stomach with his rifle butt, and again she feel to her knees. This time, however, both men dropped their rifles, lifted her to her feet, and, as one held her arms behind her, the other violently tore off her shirt, then reached for his knife and cut off her pants and panties, leaving her wearing only her boots. They then held her arms above her head to indicate how she should remain, and moved away. Zhou struggled to keep her arms over her head, now standing, sobbing, in the same position as Wei and I.
Zhou's small breasts heaved in absolute terror. I looked at Wei and she at me. Zhou was not a strong soldier. But who would be under these circumstances?
"Are there any more in the barn?" came the voice. Both Zhou and Wei looked at me, although the question had not been specifically directed to any of us. I hesitated. If I said "no," they might set the barn on fire without further questions or warning. If I said "yes," I might be betraying the Corporals. I decided that, in our current situation, it probably would be best to tell the truth.
"Yes, there are two more soldiers in the barn."
The man who had been holding the bullhorn now put it down and started walking toward me. He was a large man wearing the uniform of a Captain. More than 250 pounds, I imagined. Average height. His most noticeable feature, aside from his weight, was a deep scar running from the middle of his right cheek down the side of his neck until it disappeared under his uniform. As he approached, he immediately saw that I was staring at his scar. He probably had grown used to people staring it.
"From one of Mao's men," he said matter-of-factly, reading my mind. "So you can understand that I don't like Mao's men very much." He fingered the scar. "Or his women."
I moved my eyes away from his scar, to his eyes. They were cold. I shivered. The sun was now moving behind the hill. It was starting to grow colder. But that was not why I shivered. His eyes. His hatred. I wondered if we all should have stayed in the barn.
"These two men you mentioned," the Captain looked at me and gave a nod behind me and to the right. I turned my head to see that the Corporals had joined us in the clearing, apparently deciding that dying like Joan of Arc did not appeal to them. The Corporals moved into the line that Wei, Zhou and I had formed, one on my right between me and Wei, the other on my left, between me and Zhou.
The Captain signaled his men to search the barn. Half a dozen men raced around it, moved inside, then reported back within a few minutes to confirm that it was empty. I caught the Captain's eye with a look that tried to remind him that I had told the truth.
Now there was no need for the men to remain in the hills, and they descended into the clearing, half of them forming a ring around the five of us and the other half dragging my dead soldiers' bodies to the backs of two open trucks. It appeared that our numbers had been equal to, maybe even greater than, theirs. But they had known about our plans, and, as a result, only five of us now survived. Five of us standing with our arms raised, surrounded by the enemy.
"You have seen the routine," the Captain looked at the Corporals, who, for some reason I could not understand, looked surprised that they too would be ordered to strip. But after a moment's hesitation, perhaps remembering how Zhou had paid for her hesitation, they complied. Boots. Shirt. Pants. Underwear. I tried to keep looking straight ahead, but I glanced to the sides enough to see that, while I still did not know their names, the Corporals were now more distinguishable than before. In my mind, I named them Corporal Substantial and Corporal Adequate. I wished that I had known earlier that Corporal Substantial was exactly that.
"You knew that our generals were meeting here in the barn," the Captain resumed as soon as the Corporals had fully complied with his order and were standing naked with their arms raised. "You knew the time. You knew, or thought anyway, that they traveled without protection. We need to know how you knew. Turn around."
We did so, and now faced the barn. About ten feet in front of it were two wooden hitching posts, one on each side of the front door. Each was made of two vertical posts about two feet high and fifteen feet apart, with a long wooden horizontal rod, about eight inches in diameter, running between the vertical posts. The workers no doubt wrapped the reins of their horses and mules around the horizontal posts.
"To make sure you tell us all you know, we will first give you some ... encouragement, yes, that's the word. Encouragement." Two soldiers were now standing directly behind me. I glanced to the side to see that there were two soldiers behind each of us. "Whether all or some of you survive our encouragement depends on how completely and quickly you tell us the truth." I felt a push in my back from a rifle and began to march toward the posts, my arms still over my head.
When we reached the post, the order was simple. "Bend over." It didn't take a genius to figure out the kind of encouragement the Captain had in mind. At least for starters.
Each soldier held a set of iron cuffs. The first set went around my left ankle and left wrist, the second around my right ankle and right wrist. My body was now arched over the horizontal wooden rod, which pushed against my lower abdomen, my left ankle and wrist chained to each other, about two feet from my right ankle and wrist, leaving me totally open and exposed to my captors. My hands and feet could reach the ground, though only barely, but this did take a bit of pressure off, allowing me to breath without too much difficulty. Zhou, however, was shorter than I and Wei, so I did not think that Zhou's limbs would reach the ground. The pressure on her stomach from the rod was likely causing her much more difficulty.
Three of us -- Wei, Corporal Substantial and I -- had been chained to the post to the left of the door as we faced it, while Corporal Adequate and Zhou had been chained to the post on the right. The Captain walked down the path between the posts and the barn until he reached me. He lifted head by my hair as far as he could, so that I was forced to stare up at him.
"You do not look comfortable, Major," he told me, as if it were something I did not already know. "And I'm afraid to tell you that the encouragement that I have in mind, well, it's going to make things a lot more uncomfortable. But I'm sure you understand that otherwise it wouldn't be very effective encouragement, now, would it?"
I heard Zhou scream, and knew its reason even before I could see. Because no more than a few seconds after she screamed, I smelled the hot breath of one of Chiang's soldiers near my neck and felt his hands reach for my hanging breasts. After a few more seconds I felt his body press against mine, and he began to try to push inside of me, at the same time squeezing my breasts much too hard. I was not ready for him, and I too screamed in pain, which only encouraged him. Encouragement? Wasn't that the word the Captain had used?
By now, Zhou's screams were drowned out not so much by my own, or Wei's, but the two Corporals, particularly Corporal Substantial to my left. I hadn't thought that they would be included in this same violation, and, to them, of course, this was far more humiliating than it was to me. Women were violated in so many ways in our society, not only sexually, although the nature of the violations was generally not as direct as those that we now were suffering. I also hadn't thought that the Captain would find men willing to
engage in this type of behavior with the Corporals. But, of course, it was not a question of willingness for his soldiers. Just a question of giving an order that would be immediately obeyed. Although it did not seem that the Captain's men were simply obeying orders. They were humiliating Mao's soldiers, male and female. And enjoying it.
It certainly could not have been more distasteful for anyone than it was for Corporal Substantial. I turned to him, and saw the soldier behind thrusting into him, his arm wrapped around his waist, one of his hands fondling his penis and scrotum. Before I could turn away, Corporal Substantial turned to look at me, hatred in his eyes. I knew that if he were not now restrained, he would strangle me in an instant. If I were lucky. "You!! You!!" he screamed. "I wanted to fight it out in the barn. But you said we should surrender. Look what you've done!! You God damned fucking piece of shit!!"
I turned away, as the soldier behind me kept pumping himself more deeply into me, his pace quickening. He soon would be finished, I knew. But I didn't know what would happen next. I expected that there would be more. How many I had no idea.
My question, though, was answered even before the first soldier finished. The Captain, still standing in front of me, announced loudly, "After a second soldier gives you all further encouragement, we will see what you have to say."
My muscles tensed, which brought the first soldier quickly to climax. But I was not trying to please him. I was trying to steel myself for my second invader. I had allowed a few lovers their pleasure in taking me anally. But I had not liked it. Not at all. And now, sure that this second soldier, this enemy, would choose to take me that way, I was terrified.
I felt the first soldier's final thrust, and knew that it would just be a matter of seconds before the second soldier took his place. I looked to my right, and could see that Corporal Adequate was being pushed like a rag doll. He slowly turned his face toward mine, sensing that I was looking at him. His eyes were half closed. I saw him mouth the words "fuck you" at me, then turn away. I looked farther down the post. A very large soldier was on top of Zhou. I could barely see her body under his, he was wrapped so tightly around her. I heard no screams from her. I wondered if she had fainted.
And then I was forced to focus again on my own situation, as I felt my second attacker grab my shoulders, hold me still, and find his target. He seemed so large, I knew that his violation was going to be slow and very painful. I tried to relax, but I could not. It seemed like forever before he was securely in place. It felt like his entire body was trying to crawl inside me.
I looked down to Wei to see how she was doing, to try to take my mind off my own pain. She seemed to have resigned herself to her fate, as had Corporal Adequate and Zhou. But with one big difference. Her eyes were closed as her body was thrust back and forth. And her mouth was open enough that I could see that she was running her tongue along her lips. I knew that Wei was kinky ... I know that I don't like that word, but Wei was kinky ... but could she actually have put herself in a state of mind that she was enjoying this? Or had she been able to close her eyes and imagine that her partner was a former lover? Whether kinkiness or great mental control, she seemed to be handling the situation better than the rest of us.
Just before the second soldier reached his climax, I was certain that I was going to be split in two. That I was going to see his prick coming up and out of my throat. There was now not so much screaming around me. In fact, I could only hear him and me. I realized that the other soldiers had already finished.
Thankfully, a minute later, so had mine.
"Now," the Captain wasted no time before speaking, "have we been encouraged?"
He walked down the line to my right to stand in front of Zhou. One of the soldiers grabbed her hair to force her to look up at him.
"How did you know our generals were meeting here?" Zhou tried to turn toward me, to let me know, I assumed, that she was sorry about what she was going to say. But the soldier kept his firm grip on her hair so that her face remained turned to look up at the Captain's.
"We were just ordered this afternoon to meet in the courtyard. We didn't know why. Then we were told to march to the barn. I was assigned to the group entering the barn. That's all I know."
"You didn't know why?" the Captain asked.
"I was told there would be men in the barn and we were to kill them. That's all. That's all I know."
"And who were the men you were to kill?"
"I'm a private, sir. They don't tell me. I didn't ask."
Zhou had told the truth until the last statement. She had known at least that they were Chiang's men. I had told her that much. Not that it really mattered.
"And who gave you your orders?"
"Major Chang. The first one who left the barn. And I was in Lieutenant Wei's squad. The second one who left the barn."
"The two other women," the Captain muttered, walking down the line to Corporal Adequate. "Is that right? These two women are your superiors?" It seemed a strange question. The Captain could see the insignia's on the uniforms that we wore ... or had once worn. He knew that I was the leader of the platoon.
Corporal Adequate looked up at the Captain on his own. "I have nothing to say to traitors to Mao."
"Oh? Really? Brave but foolish. We'll soon see whether you have anything to say. And how about you?" The Captain walked past me to Corporal Substantial. "What do you have to tell me?"
"Name and rank. And you have them all from my uniform."
"Nothing else? Not even confirmation that Major Chang here was the one with the knowledge about our generals?"
"Name and rank." Another brave but foolish Corporal, I thought. The Captain already knows all you know. Why not tell him?
"All right, then. It seems we have two reluctant Corporals. I think that I only need one of them to talk. Maybe I don't really need any. But let's see if either of them would like to change his mind."
The Captain nodded, and one of the soldiers ran back to a jeep in the middle of the clearing and grabbed the end of a long spool of metal wire, then walked slowly toward Corporal Substantial, as the wire unrolled along the ground. When he reached the Corporal, he fashioned the end of the wire into a loop, and looped it around the Corporal's hanging penis and scrotum, then tightened it. I could see that another soldier had moved to another jeep and done the same to Corporal Adequate.
Men in the jeep then turned the handles of the spools until the wire was taut, pulling the men's testicles further under and behind them. I could see both of the men look down between their legs to see what was happening, and then back up at the Captain in horror, shaking their heads in disbelief.
"Now," the Captain spoke, "one of you is definitely going to lose something that you love, because I'm only going to listen to he first one who speaks." One man in each jeep began to turn the handle on the spools, a click sounding after each half turn. After the first three clicks, both Corporals were screaming in pain. "Oh, yes," the Captain continued, "the inside edges of the wires have been sharpened. And as the wire is pulled, the loop begins to close. So it's hard to predict whether your prick will be pulled off or cut off. In case that makes a difference to you."
I was surprised that Corporal Substantial immediately revealed himself as the weaker of the two, as he began to struggle between screams to tell the Captain anything and everything that he thought might save that extraordinary piece of manhood that had no doubt pleasured innumerable women. Of course, he wasn't thinking of their lost pleasure in the future if the Captain carried through on his threat.
Turning his face between the Captain and me and back to the Captain, Corporal Substantial pleaded that he knew nothing more than Private Zhou, so why was he being tortured so much worse than she was. "Major Chang just gave us our orders. We were just obeying orders. That's all we know."
"I see. So you're ready to tell me more than name and rank, then, huh?"
"Yes, yes," Corporal Substantial screamed, his screams growing louder as, in response to a nod from the Captain, the soldier holding the spool had given it two more clicks. "Whatever you want to know. Anything. Please." Men were so weak compared to women, I thought. I guess that's because women were made to bear the pain of childbirth. Although I myself had never experienced that.
"How about the truth, then?" the Captain brought his face to the straining face of Corporal Substantial. "Who is the traitor in my camp that revealed the generals' meeting to you? How did Major Chang find out?"
"I ... don't ... know," Corporal Substantial gasped. His screaming became hideous as he saw the Captain begin to nod once again, knowing what that meant. I knew that there must have been at least two more clicks, but the Corporal's screams drowned out their sound entirely.
I turned away, and now saw that the soldier holding the spool connected to Corporal Adequate's testicles had been clicking at the same time. Corporal Adequate's face was contorted in a manner similar to Corporal Substantial's, and his eyes were wide and glazed. Blood was running down the side of his face and neck. I figured that he had bit his lip hard to try to help withstand the pain. One difference, though, was that Corporal Adequate was not screaming, not yet at least, although he had to be in more pain than Corporal Substantial. Because, well, since he was only adequate, the wire loop had to be digging much deeper into him already.
The Captain now walked between the two Corporals and stood directly in front of me. I gritted my teeth and spat my words at him. "You know that they don't know anything. They're Corporals. They just follow orders."
"You confirm that they know nothing?"
"You know it already. You don't need my confirmation. But just to satisfy you, yes. I confirm that they know nothing."
"That is good to know," the Captain smiled and then raised his voice above Corporal Substantial's screams to direct his comments to the soldiers holding the wire spools. "The Major has confirmed that these two men know nothing."
The Captain continued. "Which means that these men take orders from these women," he nodded in my direction, then in Lieutenant Wei's, "while these women, no doubt, provide their bodies only to much higher ranking soldiers." He was right, I thought, but only because I had not known about Corporal Substantial's equipment, which was now in danger of being lost forever to all women-kind.
"That makes these men cuckolds," the Captain's voice dripped with disgust, "and cuckolds have little use for anything between their legs."
Both Corporals quickly looked up at the Captain, searching for any indication that they had not heard what they thought they had heard him say, or at least that he was merely enjoying a laugh at their expense.
They found neither. Instead they saw the Captain give a longer, slower nod in the direction of the soldiers behind them.
And then I heard the sound .... click, click, click. Slowly, regularly, more clicks than I could count. Soon the screams sounded in stereo to me, as Corporal Adequate could no longer suffer in silence, but joined Corporal Substantial in a horrible duet.
Then Corporal Adequate's body suddenly lurched forward, as if shot from a cannon until it was restrained by the wooden bar. His body leaped against it, then over and around it, until he was hanging from it by his chained limbs, his back brushing the ground below him. And what I saw between his legs ... well, what I saw between his legs was nothing. The wire had made a clean incision, and he had been thrust forward when the pull of the wire released after fully closing around and cutting through the base of his testicles. I could hear Private Zhou retching on his other side.
I forced myself to turn toward Corporal Substantial. In a matter of seconds his body too was thrust over and around the wooden bar. The size of his organ had allowed him to keep it for only a few extra seconds. My dreams of being invaded by that magnificent equipment would remain forever unfulfilled.
After an initial burst of more intense screams, Corporal Not-Substantial-Anymore's mind snapped, no doubt trying to protect him from the realization of his loss. His body went limp, as the ground below him soaked in his blood. I turned back to Corporal Inadequate to see that his body had found the same defense mechanism. I could not tell if they were dead. I knew that they wished that they were.
To the Captain the question was not important. He directed his soldiers, "Unchain them and throw their bodies with the others." The Captain's men had now finished piling the bodies of my dead soldiers into the backs of two jeeps. I did not know what he intended to do with them.
"Wait!!" I screamed. "These men are not dead. You cannot discard them with the others."
The Captain turned to me with a strange look.
"They will survive. You cannot just throw them away!" I continued to scream at him.
The Captain took out his pistol, cocked it, and pointed it at my head. I closed my eyes, as my body began to shudder, waiting for the last sound that I expected to ever hear. When it came, my body jumped instinctively, but I felt no pain. Then I heard a second shot. Again, I jumped, then opened my eyes.
"Major Chang," the Captain's face was now close to mine. "May I discard their bodies now?" I looked to my left to see that one of the bullets had entered Corporal What Difference Did A Name Make Anymore's head between his eyes. I didn't have to look to my right to know where the second bullet had gone. I shrieked, as the soldiers added the bodies of the two Corporals to the piles. Only three of us from the platoon of 30 that began the mission now survived. Three of the five women. None of the 25 men. I would like to believe that this was because women were stronger. But I knew that it was only because the Captain had chosen who would survive. Who would survive so far.
"Major, now that you no longer have any objections to my treatment of the men, I suggest that you concentrate on your own circumstance, since I intend now to grace you with my attention. As you appear to be the only one who has the information that I want."
"I know nothing more than the others, I'm afraid," I tried to keep my voice steady, but I could feel it shake. "I just received my orders from Colonel Li."
"If that is true, then you should be very afraid. Because only the information that I seek will save you. And even that will only save you if, after you provide it, you are very, very good to me." He gave me a wry smile and rubbed his hand between his legs.
"I can't tell you what I don't know," I repeated.
"I'm sorry to hear that," the Captain offered, but he did not sound the least bit sorry. By now I knew that he more enjoyed the torture than the sex. He nodded -- by now I hated his nods -- and two of his soldiers approached me, one on each side. I could soon feel their hands on me.
"Let me tell you what is going to happen to you, and then I will give you a short time to think about it before I ask you one last time for the information that I want." He paused, as if the pause could increase my tension beyond what I already felt.
"My men are looping the same two wires that separated your friends from meaningful parts of their bodies around your breasts, only the wires are being run around the posts so that, as the wires are tightened, your breasts will be pulled to opposite sides of your body. You should have a very good view of what is happening to them as the wires tighten." He paused and closed his eyes, no doubt thinking about the sight that he would enjoy as I suffered a fate not dissimilar to my Corporals.
"At the same time, as cartoonish as it may sound, we are going to plug your cunt with a stick of dynamite with a long fuse. It should take about 15 minutes to reach your body and set off the dynamite. We haven't tried this before, at least not in combination, but the plan is to have your breasts removed about a minute before the explosion. We'll do our best, we promise, but we can't make guarantees. Still, it would be a shame if you were still wearing your breasts when you exploded."
"You're insane" was my unimaginative response. My mind was certainly not feeling very creative.
"Thank you, Major," he smiled. "Thank you."
The Captain shouted over me to his men who had filled the jeeps with the bodies of my soldiers. "You have your orders. Back to camp. The three of us," he nodded at the two men looping the wires around my breasts and running them to the side and around the posts, "will finish things here. We cannot remain together in case a villager has gotten brave enough to report what has happened back to the Major's base. If they send reinforcements, we will be outnumbered. We will not be long, whether the Major has a change of heart or a change of breasts."
I heard movement behind me, and knew that, as they always did, the Captain's men were quickly obeying his orders. Only the six of us left. Three against three. But not exactly a fair fight.
I heard the first few clicks, and felt my breasts slowly pulled apart. Not yet painfully, but that would just be a matter of time, I knew.
One of the men moved behind me. I think that I would have preferred being raped by a flesh and blood organ, but I knew that that was not what he was pushing into me. A few seconds later the unmistakable smell of phosphorous from a lighted match filled the air. I knew its purpose.
"I will give you men a choice," the Captain had walked over to Wei near the end of the post, then waited for his men to finish the preparations of me that he had ordered. "If you would like to take this one inside with me for a little pleasure, you can set the movement of the spools on the timer, one click per minute. We'll make sure that we're back a few minutes before the excitement begins."
The two men didn't need a second invitation. After a few quick motions on the two spools, they walked briskly to the chained Wei. "But first make sure she is not in a condition to put up any resistance." The Captain walked into the barn and out of sight.
While one of the soldiers unhooked the chain holding Wei's ankles to her wrists, and then unhooked the wrist and ankles cuffs, the other leaned his weight on top of her, so that, even after she was freed from the chains, she could not move. When the first finished with the chains, the other took a step back, pulled Wei up until her feet were off the ground, took another step back, encircled her waist with his arms, and squeezed all of the air out of her lungs. Wei's struggles were futile. The other soldier then moved around the post to the struggling Wei, and, after his cohort lowered her back to the ground, kicked her hard between her legs. Wei's knees buckled, and the two soldiers lifted her off the ground, and, together, dragged her into the barn, closing the door behind them. It was just a few more seconds before I heard her scream. I had no sympathy for her. I would have readily traded being raped for being disfigured and then blown into a thousand pieces. Here, my last lover was going to be my hottest, but I was going to have only a split second before ... I shuddered.
I turned to Zhou. "Can you free yourself?" Zhou tested her bonds, then shook her head sadly. I heard another click and felt the loops tighten and pull. Fifteen minutes, the Captain had said. That was either the fourth or the fifth click, and, although the wire did not feel like it was yet cutting into me, only pulling, it meant that, absent rescue or escape, the attachment of which I had grown so fond during my 28 years would end in 10 minutes, and I had even fewer if I were going to avoid irreparable damage to them. Not to mention the pain. Oh, yes. And only a minute or two longer until I was blown apart from the inside out. I could smell the burning fuse, but refused to look back to see its progress. Not that I could have looked back without quickening the destruction of my breasts.
Wei's screams had turned into a series of grunts, making it quite easy to imagine what was happening to her. But then, without warning, there was a shot. Zhou gave out a loud wail, fearing its meaning, but the first shot was followed by another. And then a third. Three shots were not a guarantee of what had happened. All three could have been fired at the same helpless woman. But maybe ... somehow ...
And then the barn door opened, and Wei, naked, staggered out, holding a pistol, its barrel still smoking. "The Captain was so eager ... for his turn ... he forgot ..." Wei did not need to finish her sentence, or express herself coherently, for us to imagine what had happened.
Another click. This one pulled painfully. And felt like the first that may have cut. "Wei, please, hurry."
Lieutenant Wei moved behind me, and I felt her remove the dynamite. No doubt she had also pulled the fuse from it, rendering it harmless. And then another click. This one hurt. "Lieutenant!!" I screamed. What was she doing taking her time? She had heard the Captain explain my situation. She had seen what the wires had done to the Corporals.
Then I suddenly felt a tug in the wrong direction, and I knew that the wire must have cut into me this time. But I hadn't heard a click. It had been too soon. What was Wei doing? Had she decided to speed my demise for some unexplained reason, rather than rescue me?
But the tug was followed by a complete release of the pressure from the wire, both to the sides and around my breasts. The wire loops dropped to the ground. "Sorry, Major," Wei finally spoke. "I had to pull the wire tighter on the spool to undo the catch mechanism. It took me a few seconds to realize that there was no other way." Wei now appeared in front of me, bending down to unhook my chained ankles from my wrists. I noticed that she had put on her pants, shirt and boots, also. I hoped she had done that after she had released me.
Once my wrists were unhooked from my ankles, Wei moved over to Zhou, while I lifted myself off the horizontal rod until I was standing. I saw that Wei had released Zhou, who also was trying to regain her balance and her strength.
"Are you sure all three are dead?" I asked Wei.
"I will be in a second," Wei replied, and then raced back into the barn. Three more shots. She seemed to take a lesson from Chiang's Captain. She was back outside within 15 seconds. "Yes," she said. "I'm sure."
I walked over to my pile of clothes. In their focus on our nudity, Chiang's men had left them exactly where we had dropped them, not even bothering to remove our pistols from our waistbands. I dressed quickly, though without my panties, which had been cut off of me. Zhou found the pile of her clothes, but they had been cut and shredded when the soldiers removed them after she failed to act quickly enough in response to the Captain's demand. "You'll have to wear ... the Corporal's clothes," I yelled over to her, nodding to the next pile. I realized that I had almost called him Corporal Adequate, which was not a way to speak of the dead. Especially not the dead who had died so horribly. "You can pull his pants right over your boots." Unlike the rest of us, had things gone differently in the barn, Zhou would have been the only one of the five of us to die with her boots on, although only her boots, since the Captain's soldiers had not removed them when they had stripped her.
Once dressed, we hurried away from the horrible scene. I had no idea how long we had been there. It was now past sunset. How far was it back to the base? Five miles, if I remembered correctly. Two hours if we walked quickly. Although I was not in much condition to walk quickly.
When we reached the road, we saw that Chiang's soldiers had dumped the bodies of our soldiers over a quarter mile stretch along the side. No doubt to let the townspeople know what happened to those who showed allegiance to Mao. Zhou ran ahead to get past the bodies as quickly as possible. I shouted to her to continue to the base to let the Colonel know what had happened and that the Lieutenant and I would be back a few minutes after she was. How she had to strength to obey that order I don't know. But then, she hadn't been tortured to the same degree that I had.
Wei and I were now left alone. As soon as Zhou was out of sight, and hearing distance, at least half a mile ahead of us, I turned to Wei. And laughed nervously. She returned the same nervous laugh. And then we hugged each other.
"Can you believe it?" Wei was the first to speak. "We did it! We actually did it!" Her voice was excited but she kept it low lest case some unseen villager overhear us.
"I was never so terrified in my whole life," I responded. "So terrified and so excited. I didn't know what they were going to do to us. And I certainly wasn't sure that they weren't going to kill us. No matter what the arrangement had been. What happened in the barn?"
"The Captain and his two men were sitting by the far wall so that we would be out of sight from the door. I walked over to the Captain, sat down on his lap facing him, and wrapped my legs around him. He was very good, and, as he was about to climax -- too soon for my taste, but we couldn't take forever -- he nodded down toward the gun in his belt. I took it out, fired one shot in the air, turned and fired two shots above the heads of the other two. And then staggered out of the barn. Pretty convincing, no?"
"I'm sure you convinced Zhou, yes. You were terrific. And when you went back in to make sure?"
Wei smiled broadly. "They were all already gone. Out the back door. The barn was empty."
"You know," I was thinking back to the experience, to the excitement, "I knew that they had to make the torture look real, and I knew that we could not be told in advance what was going to happen, so that our reactions would be realistic. I figured we'd be raped. Was actually hoping. It's so exciting not to be in control, not to know what's going to happen to you. But I hadn't counted on what they did to the Corporals."
Wei shuddered. "No. For his men to obey him without question when they were ordered to bugger them. I don't think our soldiers would have obeyed so immediately. And that torture was more brutal than I could ever imagine. I thought the arrangement was that everyone but the three of us were going to be killed quickly. That torture ..."
"Helped convince Zhou that the torture that we faced ... mostly me ... was also going to be very horrible. So it was necessary. And I confess that when they hooked me up to the spool, I was terrified, even knowing that I was supposed to be rescued before I suffered any real damage. Of course, all you had to do was trip in the barn and bang your head and I would have been blown into a thousand pieces. Right after my breasts were removed. Don't think I didn't worry about that."
"Oh, and by the way," I continued, "why the fuck did you have to take your sweet time after you left the barn. Those last few seconds felt like you were going to finish what they started."
"Sorry," Wei offered, but I could tell that she didn't mean it. "Just knowing how kinky you are, I thought I'd make the most intense experience of your life just a bit more intense for a few seconds longer. And I could swear, standing there behind you just before I released the spool, that I saw you orgasm."
I said nothing for a minute, then brought us back to our present situation. "All right. Our story is that the Colonel sent us into a trap. We lost our entire platoon, significantly depleting our base strength. We obviously have a traitor in our midst."
"Two, actually," Wei laughed, then turned serious to make sure that her understanding and mine matched. "The only people who knew about our plan ahead of time were you and the Colonel. The traitor couldn't be you because you were nearly a victim yourself, tortured brutally into within an inch of your life. Zhou will vow for that."
"So the Colonel must be the traitor," it was my turn again to continue. "He must be removed. Then I, as second in command, will take over control of the post. And, at the right time soon after I take over, the post will fall to Chiang's men in a vicious battle in which everyone else will be killed ... except you and I will be taken captive and brought to Chiang's headquarters. Where we will receive the sizable price that Chiang has agreed to pay. Including the military promotions for both of us."
Wei was obviously proud of her role in our plan. "The two smartest soldiers in the entire Mao military. Who are soon to be the two smartest ... and richest ... soldiers in the Chi-ang military."
We would reach the base in about an hour now, I figured. An hour for us to steel our minds in preparation for the completion of our plot. If stage two went as well as stage one ...
When we arrived, the entire base was buzzing, despite the late hour. As we walked to the Colonel's office, soldiers separated to make a path for us, and we heard shouts of "Do you know who the traitor is? Is it the Colonel?" Zhou had obviously let word out to all what had happened, and most of the soldiers had already drawn the conclusion that we wanted them to draw.
We found the Colonel sitting in his office behind his desk, surrounded by the other three senior officers -- all of them Captains -- and Zhou, seated in a semi-circle facing the Colonel. The Colonel rose when we entered. "Private Zhou told us what happened. Lieutenant Wei, you heroism in saving the three of you will be rewarded."
"That's not the question," I snapped at the Colonel, who seemed to feign surprise at my outburst, but he certainly had had time to figure out that a confrontation was coming. "The question is ... how did they know we were coming? How did they know how many of us there would be? My soldiers were slaughtered. We had no chance. Who did you tell about our plans? I thought only you and I and the soldiers on the mission knew."
"I told no one," the Colonel tried to sound calm. "Did you?"
"No one. So the only ones who ever knew about our plan ... and are still alive ... are four people in this room. And three of us were stripped, raped, tortured and nearly killed. So who does that leave?"
The Colonel's voice remained even. "You need to watch your accusations, Major. You've been through a very harrowing experience, so I will forgive you them this one time. But, if you were thinking straight, you would realize that it leaves all of the villagers, also. Who may have seen your movements."
Wei immediately spoke. "No, Colonel. We divided into four squads and took separate routes, so no villager would have seen anything out of the ordinary. Just what they see every day. A few soldiers patrolling the area. And, even if a villager did figure out somehow what was going on, how could he have relayed that message back to Chi-ang's forces, and how could Chi-ang's forces have formed and executed their plan so quickly. No, Colonel. It was not a villager. Chi-ang's men had advance warning. Hours warning. They probably knew of our plan before our own soldiers did."
I noticed that the Colonel's eyes had suddenly widened as he focused on Wei's words. "Major," he rose slowly, still looking directly at Wei, "I think that I may have an answer to our dilemma." I could read his mind, as he walked around his desk, reached into his waistband and removed his pistol. As he did, I reached for my own. The Colonel moved within three feet of Wei, and pointed his pistol in her face. "Lieutenant, please repea ..."
I did not hesitate. I fired. A single bullet that struck the Colonel in his left temple. He was dead before his body hit the ground. The other officers looked stunned.
"Accusations against those of us who risked our lives for him and suffered horribly," I screamed. "When it is so obvious that none of us could have betrayed our cause. Only he. Do any of you have any doubts?"
Wei and Zhou shook their heads. The others then slowly shook theirs. The fact that I was the only one in the room holding a loaded pistol in her hand, and had just used it on the commanding officer, probably had some influence on their reaction.
"Good," I began. "You are all loyal. As the senior officer, I am now in charge." I looked to the most senior of the three Captains. "Captain Mito, arrange for the disposal of the traitorous Colonel's body, and inform the soldiers of his treachery and fate. Since we are now weakened by the loss of 30 men, and Chiang's forces know it, we must prepare to defend ourselves from an immediate attack by Chiang, and reconfigure our positions. Begin the work immediately. Private Zhou, I am recommending you for promotion. All dismissed. Except the Lieutenant, who will join me in my office to assist me in our preparations."
Once back in my own office with Wei, I closed my door and spoke quietly.
"You, Lieutenant," I could feel that my teeth were clenched, "are a fucking idiot."
Wei looked at me, but she knew I was right. "I'm sorry. I should just have shut up. I'm sorry."
"The Colonel figured it all out as soon as you began to speak."
"I know." Wei hung her head.
"I had about three seconds to decide. Let him accuse you, maybe even blow you away right there, or blow him away. And don't think I didn't think about it for all three of those seconds. But I figured that, if the others in the room learned that you had placed the call to the Colonel about the yellow barn, they might figure out that I had to have been in on it to, and that the torture was not as real as it seemed and that Zhou was not a reliable witness to it. So I was safer stopping the Colonel from letting the others know the truth of your involvement. And I did. But only to save me, not you."
"I'll make it up to you," Wei said matter-of-factly.
"I'm sure you will," I replied coldly. "Dismissed."
Wei moved to the door. "Don't forget that we did this together. And we can finish the job together." She opened the door and left.
That had been a very close call, I thought. But I had rescued things, and we were back on plan. But what now? Could I safely carry through the next phase? Or should I abort it? Either decision had its dangers. Especially since I realized that I was dealing with idiots. Fucking idiots. Damn that was a close call. I let my mind consider my alternatives for a long time. And then I made my decision.
I walked across the hall to Captain Mito's office. He rose to attention and I motioned him to sit. "I want your opinion on something," I told him.
I explained in detail what had happened at the barn. How the other four who had entered with me, and therefore survived the initial onslaught, had all pointed the finger at me as the only one who knew how we had learned that Chiang's generals were planning to meet at the barn. And when. And how, as a result, it was I who was the focus of their torture. The severity of my supposed fate before Chiang's men was proving valuable to convince others that I could not conceivably have been involved in the traitorous act that led to 27 deaths.
"But, Captain," I looked carefully into his eyes to gauge his reaction to what I was about to say, "the Lieutenant and the Private, they were not really tortured at all. Yes, they were raped, not pleasant, but surely, if they were involved in the betrayal, they could not expect to avoid some form of torture. But compare their treatment to mine and the Corporals." Mito said nothing, but he seemed to be considering my words.
"And then the Lieutenant suddenly escapes from her three captors and shoots them all dead. Then returns to make sure. But I never saw the bodies. We were too busy trying to escape, in case any of the other men returned. A bit too convenient, no?"
Mito tilted his head, which seemed to indicate that he was not ready to nod yes, but he certainly was not ready to shake his head no, either. I continued.
"I think that the Lieutenant and the Private were involved with the Colonel in the scheme. I'm more certain about the Lieutenant than the Private, since I think the Colonel was about to silence the Lieutenant in his office so that she could take the entire blame and not reveal his own involvement in the scheme. I shot him first, though, because, at that time, I was sure that the Colonel was guilty, but I hadn't thought that others, like Wei and Zhou, might also be involved. But now ..."
I stopped and stared at Captain Mito long enough for him to know that I wanted his reaction. Finally, he nodded slowly. "Private Zhou seems very weak to me. I think that Lieutenant Wei had the power to convince her to join her plot with the Colonel. Which is why Wei selected Zhou for your squad of five. So that she too would survive and assist Wei's story if she needed her to."
"Why don't you find out all you can about the plot?" I paused, then added, "By the usual means."
"Yes, Major," Mito smiled wryly. He understood.
I left Mito's office feeling that weakness could not be rewarded. And that my own future could not rest on a hope that a stupid person would not again act stupidly. No, this was a much safer course of action.
I spent most the next morning meeting with my Captains and talking with the soldiers, explaining the need for us to protect ourselves in light of the anticipated threat from Chiang's men. Many expressed their sympathy to what had happened to me the previous day, although I think that they probably were hoping to hear more details than anything else, to satisfy their own kinky thoughts. But, although I let others expound upon what had happened, no doubt with a great deal of inaccurate embellishment, I concentrated
solely on consolidating the troops under my command.
I was not surprised that I did not see Mito, Wei or Zhou that morning. At lunchtime, I walked across the courtyard and into a small stone building. I descended a long flight of stairs, then walked down the narrow hall at the bottom until I reached a heavy wooden door at the far end. Rather than open it, I slid the wooden handle attached to it at eye level to the left, creating an opening in the door about two inches square, enabling me to see clearly into the room when I put my eye up against it.
I saw a female positioned on my left, in a manner that did not allow her see door or who might be watching behind it. But, then, even if she could have seen the door, her attention was completely occupied by more immediate concerns than whether she had a greater audience than the three men who were also in the room -- Mito and two of his torturers, whose names I could not remember. How come I had trouble remembering men's names, I wondered. First the Corporals and now the Torturers.
I had seen the same three men work in this room once before, on an AWOL male soldier. His torture, I remembered, had been as brutal as that suffered by my two Corporals the previous day. With similarly fatal results. Although he had the good fortune to suffer a heart attack while his testicles were still attached to his body. Of course, he had been hanging by them at the time. And, once he was dead, they had used the quickest way to cut him down.
Now, as before, Mito was dressed in full uniform, while his torturers wore military pants and boots, but were naked from the waist up. One had an incredibly muscular chest. I wondered if the rest of him matched. The other would have turned heads, too, if he wasn't standing next to The Hunk.
The woman's attention was occupied, entirely, by the fact that she was hanging from a wooden bar by her spread ankles, the front of her naked body clearly visible from my vantage point. She had been gagged, and her arms wide apart to a lower wooden pole. Her body was shuddering and I could hear her groans of pain even through the heavy door. I imagined that Mito had arrested her in the middle of the night, and that, by now, she had undergone at least 12 hours of isolation, interrogation, sexual abuse and torture. It was hard to imagine that the meek Zhou would not have told everything that she knew -- and a lot that she didn't know -- at least five times over by now. Unfortunately for Zhou, of course, she knew nothing. Nothing at all. I guessed that I might not need to fill out that paperwork for her promotion after all.
Mito and his men were still not finished with her. Within a minute after I had opened the slide in the door, The Hunk placed himself in front of her, blocking my view. But I saw him remove her gag, and, judging by the height at which she hung, and the movement of his pelvis, I knew that he was now taking a break from her torture to relieve some of his own sexual desires. I hadn't noticed whether he had placed a ring gag in her mouth, but I expected that he had no need to provide himself with such protection. This woman was not going to cause him any problems. I wished that I could get a better view, to get an answer to my question about the rest of The Hunk, but I could not.
Poor Zhou must be wondering why both sides in this civil war had decided that she should be the object of their torture and sexual abuse, especially the Maoists, to whom she had always been loyal. For that, of course, she had only one person to blame. Me. Sure she was just a pawn in my plans. But so were the other 27 soldiers who had gone on the mission. And Zhou had fared better than all of them. Well, at least temporarily, she had. For one day. Probably at the moment, though, she was wishing that she had suffered their fate, rather than her current one.
The Hunk now grabbed the back of Zhou's head and forced himself deeply into her throat, holding the position for as long as he could. I knew that my hand had moved down between my legs and I felt my body shiver. He finally released his grip, replaced his still mysterious unit in his pants, reinserted the gag and walked away. [see Zhou2 pic]. I could still see the remnants of his work dripping down ... or rather up, given her hanging position ... Zhou's face, at least the portion that did not lodge in her hair falling toward the floor below her.
Now the questioning continued, as the three men surrounded her, each shouting questions. "Now tell me again how it is that you were picked to enter the barn to kill those in it?" "How did you manage to survive?" "Why weren't you tortured like the Major was?" Mito moved his face close to hers. He had his doubts about her involvement, he had told me. By now he must no longer have any doubt. He must know that she was totally innocent. Still, he screamed into her face. "Tell me or I will have my men continue their work on you until you do. Do you want that?"
Zhou twisted her body and face, indicating as strongly as she could that she did not, and then protested, her voice though sounding resigned that, once more, her words would not be believed and that her torture would continue. "I've told you. I've told you. Over and over. Everything. No. Please. No more. I've told you."
"You've told us nothing," Mito's face was now within inches of Zhou's. "Nothing but lies. I will give you a few minutes to think about it before things get serious for you." Zhou whimpered loudly at the thought. Mito nodded to The Other One, who removed a short wax candle from his pocket, lit it and bent down to hold it in front of Zhou's face. "You know where this goes, don't you?" he sneered at her, then stood up and thrust it securely between Zhou's spread legs. "It is designed to burn very slowly and will take about 15 minutes to burn down, I would guess. Then we'll see if you have more to say. The wax will burn. But not like the flame will burn when it moves inside you."
Remembering my own treatment at the hands of Chiang's men, I wondered why men seemed so much to enjoy this particular type of torture of a woman's body. It must relate to their own feelings of inadequacy. And they seemed to enjoy removing a captured male's testicles. Another indication of their feelings of insecurity. A need to fill a woman, but fear that they couldn't satisfy her themselves, so, rather than risk failure and criticism of their performance, they chose an alternative means. And fear that another man could satisfy her, so a need to eliminate the competition. I should write a book. "The Psychological Motivations of Torturers." My understanding of how people think will help me stay in control now that I have gained power, I thought.
My eyes followed Mito and his men as they walked passed my position to the other side of the room. There I noticed for the first time another spread-eagled woman, her wrists secured to chains hanging from the ceiling, her ankles to chains in the floor, in a manner that left her body leaning forward, hanging at a 45 degree angle to the floor.
This prisoner was hooded and wearing a white t-shirt and white panties. It didn't take much imagination to know that this was Lieutenant Wei. Apparently, Mito's minions had not dragged her from her cot until much later in the morning. In light of her ordeal, I had generously given Wei permission to sleep late, just for this purpose, so that she would be alone in the barracks when Mito's men came for her. I wasn't certain whether Mito had intentionally waited to begin his interrogation of Wei until I had arrived ... or if he even knew that I had arrived. But now it was time.
I watched as Mito approached Wei, raised the side of her hood and whispered in her ear before lowering it again. Wei immediately began to pull helplessly at her bonds. Mito walked behind her, and reached one hand around her stomach, then under her shirt and up across her breasts, while his other hand circled her hips, then under her panties and between her legs. He pushed his body close to hers, and began to massage her, kissing her gently on the neck. Wei tried not to react, but it took only a minute before I could hear her muffled sounds of pleasure, which grew louder and more intense as Mito began to rub against her most sensitive parts harder and deeper. It was soon evident that the shaking in Wei's body had a different origin than the shaking that I had seen in Zhou's body.
Mito stepped back to allow The Other One, who, after all, had not had his turn with Zhou -- at least not while I was watching -- to take his place. The Other One pulled the crotch of Wei's panties to the side. She was by now totally ready for him, and he entered her firmly and deeply. Then he pulled her shirt over her head and behind her neck, her firm full breasts that I had seen exposed the previous day to Chiang's men confirming her identity, as if I had had any doubt. Finally, he wrapped his arms tightly around her, grabbing her right breast with his left hand and her left breast with his right. Her uncontrollable groans of pleasure grew louder as he thrust himself even deeper into her, squeezing her breasts hard. I could see that her body now glistened in sweat. She was going to be totally exhausted before her interrogation even began, though I doubted that was Mito's purpose. Well, certainly not his sole purpose anyway.
When he finally pulled away, I could see Wei's chest heaving, her body still shaking. Her moment of ecstasy, however, was quickly shattered by the sound of Mito's cold voice. "Now it is time for you to return the pleasure that we have just given you by telling me the truth about your plot to betray us to Chiang." He walked slowly over to Wei's hanging body and pulled the hood off her head. Under it, she was gagged.
"Nod your head," he ordered her. When she failed immediately to obey, The Hunk sent his whip crashing down on Wei's back. "Nod your head," Mito again ordered. This time Wei quickly obeyed.
"That's what you will do when you are ready to talk, do you understand?" Wei again nodded her head.
"Confess that you betrayed Mao."
Wei shook her head violently to the side.
"Very well. We will see how long your obstinacy lasts." Mito took out a cigarette and lit it. Wei took in a deep breath. I could see that her nipples were already hardened in fear. And I could feel that mine were as well. I rubbed my right hand against my left nipple and moved by left hand again between my legs.
"Have you ever been burned with a cigarette?" he asked. Wei pulled at her bonds, which held firm. "There are so many sensitive places on a woman's body, aren't there? Beautiful sensitive places that will not remain beautiful for very long if they suffer the attentions of a lighted cigarette."
I could see Wei's body tense as she tried to prepare herself.
But her efforts were unavailing as Mito jabbed the tip of the cigarette just to the left of her navel. Wei screamed through the gag. Before her scream died, Mito jabbed the tip a second time, just to the right of Wei's navel, and then continued to jab it into her as she continued to scream. Into the inside of her thigh. Between her breasts. Just above her left knee.
"Of course," Mito's voice was still soft, sounding even more so in contrast to Wei's now gurgling, hoarse screams through the gag, "there are even more sensitive parts of a woman's body." He jabbed the cigarette tip into the underside of her right breast in two places, then twice into the left. I could not hear his next words, only Wei's ever increasing screams. But I saw Mito move the tip up between her labia, pressing it first to one side, then the other. And then, though I could not see, into the one spot on a woman that is the most sensitive, since I had no doubt that a person of Wei's size could not possibly scream any louder. Fortunately, her screams drowned out my own moans, as I had the wonderful mix of seeing the pain and imagining it as my own without actually having to suffer it. And without it deforming my body. I opened my eyes, not realizing that I had closed them or for how long. After a few deep breaths, I was ready to watch more.
Mito returned the cigarette to his lips, and asked Wei again, "Do you have something to tell them that I want to hear?" Wei frantically nodded her head. "Good," Mito responded, "very good."
Mito removed Wei's gag. She gasped for breath, finally regaining enough after about twenty seconds to speak four or five words at a time before needing to gasp for air.
"Major Chang ... Please get Major Chang ... She knows that I am loyal to Mao's cause ... Please. Ask her. Please."
"Lieutenant, the Major has left to visit the General and will not return until the day after tomorrow," Mito lied. "So your attempt to stall will not work. Now I ask you again ..."
"Stop!! Stop asking me the same question. I've told you. Send a message to Major Chang. Tell her what is happening. She must be told. Please. Now."
"You do not give the orders, Lieutenant. So we will resume. But I will not replace the gag. I will let you scream even louder, if you are able."
Mito moved to the wall nearest the hanging Wei, and gripped a handle in the wall. "Something very interesting will happen when I pull this handle down, Lieutenant. Would you like to know what happens?" Wei shook her head hopelessly.
"Let me explain," Mito continued. "Your wrists are chained above your head. The chains run through hooks in the ceiling and then are tied to a bolt in the wall. We are going to unhook the chain from the wall, and your friend here" -- Mito nodded to The Other One -- "will hold it in his hands. When I give the signal, he will let it slide an inch or so, before grabbing it again." Mito gave a nod, and Wei felt her body fall several inches, reducing its angle with the floor, before it jolted to a stop. "But that by itself is rather boring, wouldn't you say?" Wei gave no response, waiting.
"So ... to add some excitement ... well, excitement for us, but terror and, more importantly, incentive for you, if your stubbornness forces us to drop you all the way to the floor," Mito pulled the handle part way down, and a series of thin metal spikes rose from the floor below her, about an inch apart and half an inch high. I guessed that there were perhaps ten rows of eight each, "then you will find your body ripped from shoulders to knees by these sharp little devices."
Wei was now pulling on her chains with such force, in such helpless desperation, that I could see ugly red rings form around her wrists and ankles as the blood rose to the surface. Her eyes widened and she shook her head back and forth in disbelief. An incomprehensible guttural sound escaped from her lips, but no scream. She was too exhausted to scream. Instead, she started to sob.
"Oh, dear Lieutenant, do not cry." Mito feigned an offer of comfort. "Things are not as bad as they seem. These spikes. They may tear your body. They may cause incredible pain. But they are only half an inch each, and that will not kill you." Wei continued to sob.
"Of course, they are adjustable. I can raise them to an inch just by pulling further on the handle. And an inch, well, that might kill you. But you're going to tell us what we want to know before we get to that, now, aren't you? And, if you do, I promise that I will not raise the spikes to an inch."
Wei's eyes were now darting around, trying to find something, anything, that might give her hope. She blinked hard twice, giving the impression that she was trying to awaken from a horrible nightmare. She twisted her body to try to see the other end of the chains holding her wrists, but The Other One had positioned himself directly behind her, out of her sight. She moved her gaze down to her burned breasts and stomach and thighs. And then looked at Mito.
"Now, my little Lieutenant," Mito grabbed her chin between his thumb and forefinger. "Just tell us what we want to know. How did you come to conspire with the Colonel to betray us?"
"I've told you," Wei weakly shook her head. "I did not conspire with the Colonel." Well, that was true, I knew. She had conspired with me. But she was guilty. She knew it. I knew it. And I had made certain that Mito strongly suspected it. Enough that it did not really matter to him whether she was guilty. He knew that Zhou was innocent, but that would not save her. No, Wei, like Zhou, was in a hopeless situation. And she must know that by now. The only question, really, was how much pain could she take before Mito tired of the game.
"Please. Please. Contact Major Chang. She will tell you." Yes, I had told him. But not what Wei thought, hoped, prayed I would tell him. And soon the only witness in Mao's entire army to my treachery would be silenced. That's one of the troubles with conspiracies. Even when they succeed, there is the danger that a conspirator will talk. So friendships formed in conspiracies -- like mine with Wei -- can never last too long. A regret. Wei had been necessary and helpful to the plot. I would remember her fondly. But when two conspirators live, neither lives well.
"Nothing but lies." Mito released Wei's face and stepped back, then nodded. The Other One released the chain and Wei's body arched down another two inches toward the thin metal spikes below her. She screamed, then gasped as her body jolted to a stop, as yet unscathed by the spikes.
Mito again moved toward her, pulling her hair to force her to look at him. Her eyes pleaded. "There are more than six dozen spikes. They tear breasts more than anything else, especially large firm ones like yours. First when your body pushes your breasts into them, and then again when the spikes grab at their flesh when we pull you up off of them. They will deform your body everywhere from your shoulders to your knees." He nodded, and The Hunk moved to Wei and yanked her panties down to her ankles, removing her last, if only symbolic, vestige of protection and honor. "And I mean everywhere. But they will not kill you. So your torture may continue even after."
It was cruel of me, I knew, to force Wei to undergo such torture. But I had to remove the danger that her stupidity brought to me, as displayed in the Colonel's office, although I likely would have had her removed anyway. And I had no choice but to remove her in a fashion befitting a traitor. By torture. Severe torture. Any lesser disposal might lead Mito to suspect that I had doubt about Wei's traitorous role. Or that I had sympathy for her. Or, worse, that I too had been involved in the plot. So poor Wei now must pay the price for her treachery. And for my safety. For choosing the wrong person with whom to conspire.
"So, one last time, Lieutenant. Confess your treason."
Something seemed to come over Wei as she stared back at Mito. Maybe it was her acceptance of the hopelessness of her situation. I mean, she was guilty, just not in the manner that Mito thought. So she could hardly confess that it was I with whom she had conspired. Well, she could, but that would not save her. Under the circumstances she would not be believed. Again I prided myself on my knowledge of human reasoning.
But after all her pleading and sobbing, Wei suddenly summoned her remaining strength. "Why don't you go fuck yourself, Captain? If you've got a dick, that is," and she spit in his face.
I expected Mito to react instantly and to signal The Other One to release the chain. But he did not. Nor did he wipe the spit off his face. Instead, he released his grip on Wei's hair, stepped back to make sure that she did not again spit on him, and smiled. "Lieutenant, in about 15 seconds, I will have your spit on my face. And you will have my spikes in your body. It's a fair trade, I think."
Mito slowly raised his arm. Wei stared at it, waiting. He stared back at her, enjoying her panic and uncertainty as to exactly when she would plunge downward. And this time her body would crash all the way down to the floor, the metal spikes digging into their targets. Finally, her moment of strength gone, Wei started once again to scream and plead and sob. Mito allowed her to continue for a few seconds, and then dropped his arm.
Wei's body quickly arched downward, the angle of her body to the floor reduced to nothing in less than a second. The spikes dug into her flesh from just above her knees to just above her breasts, as Mito had promised, embedding more deeply higher up on her body, which had farther to fall and hit the spikes with more force. Her dangling breasts hit first and then were squeezed by her body, taking the full force of at least ten to fifteen of the spikes, but protecting her heart. Her beautiful breasts. Well, once beautiful breasts. Breasts with which I would no longer have to compete for male attention.
Wei gave one short scream followed by low grunts of pain. Mito left her to writhe and flail on the spikes for about 10 seconds, then ordered her body lifted back to its original 45 degree angle. As The Other One pulled her back up, Wei gave another short scream, and I could now see that the front of her body was one mass of blood flowing down from her shoulders and breasts. I looked back to the spikes and could see where they had grabbed and held Wei's torn flesh. Mito had told Wei that, set at half an inch or less, the spikes would not kill her. That could not be true. While they might not have killed her immediately, I could see no way that she could survive the loss of such an amount of blood for more than a few hours. Which, for Wei, might mean more hours of torture, depending upon Mito's whims. Whims, not humanity. I had already learned that Mito had no humanity. Which was a good part of his value to me.
Mito approached Wei's convulsing body, her head slumped to her chest. He pulled her t-shirt back over her neck and draped it to cover her bleeding breasts. He then reached down and pulled her panties up from her ankles so that she was again clothed in the manner in which she had been when I first arrived. Within seconds the shirt and panties reddened and clung to her body, soaked in blood.
I didn't need a watch to know that this had taken only 15 minutes. Because, just as Mito finished pulling up Wei's panties, a horrible scream came from the other side of the room. I turned to see that hot wax now covered Zhou's hips and stomach and had dripped down to her breasts. But she had born this pain without whimper. Well, without whimper enough to distract anyone from Wei's interrogation. Now, though, with Wei temporarily silenced, Zhou's screams filled the room. No part of the candle was visible between her legs. Only the flame.
Mito turned to watch Zhou's twisting, struggling body. He laughed as he saw Zhou try futilely to bend upward from her waist to blow out the candle. Finally, he signaled The Hunk, who walked over to Zhou, stood behind her, moved his mouth directly over the candle flame -- I could feel my sharp intake of breath at the thought of having The Hunk do that to me -- and sucked it out, the way flame-eaters do without burning their mouths, I thought. Once again I noticed that my hand was between my legs. I was suddenly sure that there must be more traitors in our midst, and, now that I was in charge, this room needed to get more use.
"This one has told us all she knows, I think," Mito offered what was certainly obvious to all. "Her role was minor. She deserves no more pain." The two others nodded.
My eyes followed Mito as he walked back toward Wei. Before he reached her, though, I heard two quick "pops" and looked back toward Zhou. The Other One and The Hunk had each fired a single shot into her hanging torso, one into the middle of her stomach, the other between her breasts. As I watched her body jolt outward as much as her bonds allowed, and then fall back, each pumped a second shot into her, this time one into her throat and the other through her left breast into her heart, carrying out Mito's order. Poor innocent Zhou would suffer no more pain.
When I looked back at Wei, Mito was throwing a bucket of cold water over her hanging body. The water washed away some of the blood from her body, but it was quickly replaced by fresh blood from her still open wounds, and her shirt and panties still clung tightly to her.
The cold water, however, revived Wei from her blessed unconsciousness, and she struggled to raise her head. "Your confession?" Mito did not need to waste words. Somewhat to his surprise, Wei nodded.
"Good," he replied, "but no more lies."
Wei shook her head. "No lies."
"You are guilty?"
"Yes," Wei offered weakly.
"You plotted with Chiang's men?"
"Yes," Wei admitted. "But ... the Colonel ... the Colonel was ... not involved."
"No lies!" Mito shouted at her. "Who made the call to the Colonel?"
"I ... I did," Wei stammered. "But it was Major Chang who told me to make the call. Not the Colonel."
"Really?" I expected, but was still relieved, that Mito's question indicated his total disbelief of Wei's claim of my involvement. "I think not. I think that you know that the Colonel is dead, so implicating him would be of no value to us. But you think that implicating the Major might save yourself, and, even if not, would get back at her for not being here now to save you, as you claim she would. So, if you must suffer, then you think that she should, also."
"No, no." Wei's voice was weak. "The Major ..."
"The Major was tortured to within an inch of her life by Chiang's men," Mito now raised his voice to protest Wei's claim. "And I think that you also want to get even with her for being your superior officer, the highest ranking woman on the base. If not for her, it would be you. Your jealousy is unbecoming. But I will not allow it to lead to your treachery."
"You have to listen ..."
"I've listened. I was there when the Colonel drew his gun on you. And we all know why. You had revealed your treachery and the Colonel was hoping to remove you before you implicated him. But the Major saved you. Had you and she been collaborators, she would have let you die right then to protect herself."
I might have, I thought. But in the few seconds that I had to decide, I concluded that it was more dangerous having the Colonel alive, because I could take care of Wei later. As I now was. If the Colonel, however, had been allowed to transfer to Wei the guilt that I had placed on him, he might have decided to get rid of me next. And it would have been easier for him. He would still have been the commanding officer. This way, though, had turned out just fine.
"If you have nothing more to say ..." Mito walked to the handle on the wall and pushed it down farther. I could see the spikes in the floor rise another half inch.
"But, but you promised you wouldn't. You promised." Wei's scream indicated that she had regained at least some strength.
"I promised that I would not if you told the truth," Mito replied.
"I have told the truth. I have," Wei pleaded.
"Well, even if you have ... what I promised, if you remember, was that I would not raise the spikes to one inch ..." Wei looked at him confused as he gripped the handle on the wall and pushed it all the way down. The spikes now rose to at least two inches.
"And I will keep that promise, as you can see."
"No ...." Wei's scream was long, as Mito walked back to her and grabbed her hair once again. At the same time, The Other One let go of the chain, so that the only thing that kept Wei from falling onto the spikes was Mito's grip on her hair. He held on for a second, then leaned over, turned her face toward him, and kissed her hard on the mouth. Her eyes widened, as he nodded. "Yes, all traitors deserve the Kiss ..." Mito released his grip on Wei's hair. Again, within a second, her body plunged onto the metal spikes, now at four times their previous height. " ... of Death." Mito confirmed the obvious. Wei's bounced once on the spikes, and then back down. She writhed for no more than five seconds and then grew still.
Mito walked over to the door and opened it. He looked directly at me. "I hope that you approve of my handling of the traitors, Major." So he had known. I wonder if he had in any way been performing for me.
I entered the room. I was now the only survivor of the betrayal at the yellow barn. The only survivor of the phone call to the Colonel. The only one who knew of my participation ... worse, my instigation and leadership ... of the plot. I could feel the tension leave my body. With the deaths of Wei and Zhou, I had recaptured by freedom.
"Yes," I responded, moving to the right side of the room. "Severe torture to the confessed traitor. More moderate torture to the other who was lesser-involved. Or perhaps not involved. But even if not involved, no chance could be taken. Necessary to err on the side of caution. Quite appropriate treatment of both." I stopped when I reached Wei's body. I could see that several spikes were long enough to penetrate entirely through portions of her breasts that had been squeezed out the side of her body. Poor loyal but foolish Wei, I thought. I did not bother to bend down to check her pulse.
"You know, Captain. In my focus on your work on these two, I forgot to check that you had done with the Colonel's body what I asked."
"Yes. In the far opposite corner."
I turned toward Zhou's hanging body and then glanced to her right. Yes, there is was. The Colonel's body. Chained in the very far corner of the far wall. Wrists overhead so that it remained fully upright, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Naked. I walked over to it, calling back to Mito, "Chain these two next to him. I want you to select ten soldiers to bring here this evening to see what happens to traitors to our cause and to spread the word among the others."
I stood in front of the Colonel. His head hung down. I wondered if I should put a bar around his neck to hold up his head so that the soldiers could look into his dead eyes. No need. Mito would just instruct them that were free to touch any of the bodies if they wished.
I looked down at the Colonel's manhood. It would probably be overdoing things to have that removed before the soldiers came. So little. Obviously, the Colonel had not risen in rank by sleeping his way to the top. I fondled his limp penis in my hands. It might have been at least a bit more interesting had Rigor Mortis set in. But no. The Colonel was not to be blessed in that regard even in death.
I stepped aside as Mito and his men dragged the bodies of Wei and Zhou next to the Colonel's, and chained their wrists above their heads so that all three were lined up in similar poses along the far wall. Forcing the soldiers to view these bodies, particularly the women's after their brutal treatment, would help me control the soldiers.
And I had reached a decision. While the plan had been for me to sell out the post to Chiang's men for a good price and a military promotion in Chiang's army, Chiang's men might never trust me. Having sold out Mao for money and power, how could they be sure that I would not do the same to Chiang? Once one has proven that she has both the temperament and the ability to betray, there must be a fear that she will do so again if the right opportunity presented itself. Like the mistress who must know that, if her lover really does leave his wife for her, he will likely do so again when she is his wife.
So I had decided to remain with Mao, now that I was the leader of the base and would soon no doubt be promoted to Colonel, maybe even directly to General. I had as much here as I would have with Mao. And here I was not a former traitor, but a hero. And here I was already firmly in control.
I was also ... no need to say it delicately ... horny as hell after watching all of this excitement without my own active participation in it. "Captain, why don't you and one of your men," I nodded toward The Other One to make certain that Mito knew to which I was referring, "make arrangements for the soldiers to learn their lesson about treason. Have them come back with you beginning in an hour. And you are excused until then."
"Yes, Major." When the two of them left the room, the heavy door slamming behind them, I was left alone with The Hunk, who had been re-setting the floor and cleaning the equipment that had so well served its purpose.
"Soldier," I saw him turn to me. I moved to the middle of the room, then backed up until I felt my thighs hit a long table near the wall directly opposite the door. "I need a favor from you." He began to walk toward me. "Yes, Major." I reached down and removed my boots.
"You did your work today so well," I began to unbutton my shirt, my eyes staring at him, "that I seem to find this room very hot. Too hot." I pulled the shirt out of my pants.
The Hunk knew how to obey orders. He walked straight to me, moved my arms behind me so that he could slide my shirt off -- again, I wore nothing underneath it -- and kissed me hard, his tongue entering my mouth deeply. I sat on the table, fumbled for and undid his belt, and pulled his pants and shorts down sufficiently for my purposes. He reached for the waist of my pants, moved to the side while I wriggled upward, and, in one motion, pulled my pants and panties down to my knees. He then moved back in front of me, lifted his foot, moved it between my legs, and stepped down on my pants and panties until they reached the ground and I stepped out of them. As soon as I did, he lifted me off the ground, and I locked my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck. His arms encircled my waist, and his mouth moved from mine to my neck and face and back again to my mouth. Even after all of the recent activity, I could feel that he was already hard. The Rigor Mortis I expected to find in the Colonel must have somehow found its way to The Hunk, instead.
I felt him begin to enter me, and then, with one hard thrust after another he began to bounce my body up and back down on him. He certainly deserved the name I had given him. I might even rename him in memory of the departed Corporal Substantial.
With each thrust I felt that he was going to impale me. It took me a minute before I realized that I was screaming "Hunk" louder and louder. Finally, he moved his arms to press down on my shoulders, and I shuddered as he drove himself even deeper into me, and held himself in. I won't say that he was the best I'd ever had. But, if he wasn't, he certainly was the best that I'd had in a very long time. And if he continued to obey orders this well, maybe I could retire my left hand.
My legs released their grip on his waist, but I continued to wrap my arms around his neck as I stood with my back to the table. "You carried out your orders flawlessly," I cooed in his ear. It paid to tell your subordinates when they were doing a good job. "I think that I have an opening for a personal aide, an opening that you seem very qualified to fill."
"I don't think that I've finished my work, yet," he whispered.
I couldn't believe it. But it took me only a second to decide that, if he wasn't done, then neither was I. "Oh, yes" did not really sound much like an order, but he understood.
"After all," he continued, "you don't toast bread only on one side, now, do you?" He gently turned me around so that my body was between his and the long table. He bent my body over the table, his hands under my breasts. I stretched my arms across the table to grip the other side, moved my feet farther apart, and closed my eyes. He pushed his body against mine, and leaned over to kiss the back of my neck. I could feel that he was not yet ready, but I didn't mind a few minutes of foreplay. Well, could it really be called "fore" play? More like "I'm going to get you ready again" play.
"There is one question first," his lips were near my left ear.
I was still breathing hard. "No need for questions. Just carry out your orders," I smiled but kept my eyes closed, hoping that he would soon be ready.
"It is related to my orders," he again whispered.
"Oh. Then ask." I guessed that he wanted to ask if I'd done it this way before, probably afraid that I couldn't take it, that he would be too much for me. Well, I would answer that I was hoping he'd be too much for me.
But that was not the question.
"You defended Lieutenant Wei in the Colonel's office yesterday. Why?"
It was not only the question that startled me. It was the voice that asked it. It was not The Hunk's voice. It was Captain Mito's. I opened my eyes and turned my head. Mito stood next to The Hunk, grinning. I tried to stand up, but The Other One was there, too, across the table, holding my outstretched arms by their wrists.
"I instructed the soldiers as you requested, and have returned to complete my orders," Mito answered my question before I asked it.
"What are you talking about?" My voice was harsh. "You have completed your orders and you were told not to return for an hour. Now leave at once. You obviously can see you are interrupting and are not at all welcome here." I seemed to be finding myself naked before so many men in the last two days that maybe I should just march outside and let them all see.
"No, Major," Mito smiled. "My orders were to find out all I could about the plot. I still have one more witness to question, don't I? And, as I recall, my exact orders were to find out ... by the usual means."
I felt a hand cross my mouth and turn my face until I was looking straight at The Other One, who continued to hold my arms. And then I felt The Hunk push himself into my anus. He had had more time than he needed. I screamed, even though I was getting exactly what I had wanted just a few minutes ago. But my excitement was replaced by humiliation at having been such a fool as to allow myself ... I felt The Hunk push even deeper into me, and could not stop myself from grunting loudly. Not in pleasure but in pain. From the suddenly changed circumstances under which I was now receiving it.
How quickly things can change. One minute I was choosing whether to attain wealth and power in Chiang's army or Mao's. The next ... I was naked, restrained and being ass-fucked before, no doubt, being tortured by a subordinate officer whom I had allowed to put me into this helpless position. And I had seen what these same three men had done to Zhou and Wei. Torture led by my second-in-command who, like me, no doubt wished to be first in command. The Hunk pushed still deeper into me. And I screamed uncontrollably.
"You screamed like that the first time, too," I heard Mito's voice, "so it seems that you are still enjoying yourself." So he had been watching for a long time. And this had been the plan all along. After Zhou and Wei it was to be my turn. Whether he had to find me in the cafeteria or the barracks. Or right here in his dungeon. "I think that you'll enjoy the rest of what we have in store for you a bit less, though."
The Hunk's body was now practically on top of mine, and I heard him grunt, signaling that he would not take much longer. So even the great Hunk had some limits on his sexual prowess. When he finally pulled himself off me, I could feel my knees buckle, but, with my arms held by The Other One, my body remained draped across the table.
Then I felt myself lifted onto the table, and my limbs spread-eagled and chained to its corners. I looked over my shoulder to the top of the table. With my focus on the middle of the table during my sexual encounters with The Hunk, I hadn't even noticed what I should have noticed right away ... and normally would have noticed ... At the top of the table was a roller that held one end of the chains around my wrists. This was a room for torture. A dungeon. Dungeons had no use for tables. They had use for racks. And this rack now had its victim. Me. Major Chang. Naked and spread-eagled Major Eda Chang.
"Now, once again, Major. Why did you come to the defense of the confessed traitor Wei?"
"How could I know that she and the Colonel had plotted together? She had saved me, I thought. I knew only that he was guilty." As convinced as I tried to make my words sound, I knew that they would fall on deaf ears.
"I don't think so," Mito responded. "Just before you shot him, the Colonel was about to ask the Lieutenant to repeat something she had said. And you knew right away what it was. Which is why you shot him. To protect yourself."
"Is that your evidence against me? Because if that's what it is, then, if you do not immediately release me, I will see that you are hung before the day is done. Soldiers, as your senior officer, I order that you immediately release me and arrest Captain Mito for
"Major, we are treating you no differently ... in fact, better for the moment ... than you treated your senior officer, the Colonel. In case you've forgotten. When it comes to questioning about treason, no one is immune. You showed us that yourself."
"Now, let me save us all some time." Mito looked impatient. "What the Colonel was going to ask the Lieutenant, I think, was to repeat her statement about Chiang's forces. You see, I noticed when the Lieutenant spoke that she had a peculiar way of referring to Chiang. She referred to him as 'Chi-ang.' Two syllables. I've never heard anyone else do that. Maybe she did that because you had known her before she arrived here. Maybe she spoke that way to make clear when she was speaking about Chiang and when she was speaking about you, Major Chang. But regardless of why she did it, the Colonel, I think, noticed it, too, and realized that the caller had spoken the same way. So that it must have been Lieutenant Wei who had placed the call to him in the first place. The call that you also heard."
My body tensed. That was precisely why she had shot the Colonel. And why Wei was a fucking idiot who had to die. Mito continued, "If she were the one who placed the call, then you must have known it, you must have recognized her voice, because you knew each other well from before. But you never told the Colonel that you recognized the voice. Which could only mean ..." Mito nodded and I heard a click as the chains holding my wrists tightened slightly. Those damn clicks. I remembered them from the day before, but then, at least, it had all been staged, all for show, and I had an ally who would rescue me. Of course, that one ally could not rescue me again. She was now dead. At my order.
"... that you were in on the plot from the beginning. Or, if you were not, you had decided to protect your friend at the expense of your loyalty to Mao. It doesn't really matter which, now, does it?"
I lifted my head and stared down my body to the foot of the rack, where Mito now stood. I saw that he too was looking up and down my body. I said nothing, then again lowered my head.
"Actually, Major. I recognize that there is a third possibility as well, and that is that you are completely innocent. The fortuitous sole survivor of a plot that involved the Lieutenant who rescued you. But should that change anything? Did it change anything for Private Zhou? No. What were your exact words?" My own words again. I wish I had chosen them more carefully. Or that Mito hadn't listened to them so intently. "'Necessary to err on the side of caution.' Isn't that what you said?" I heard another click, and felt even the little movement that I had had in my limbs disappear.
Mito walked to the middle of the rack, climbed onto it, and sat on my stomach facing me. Even without another click, it was hard for me to breath. His hands reached for my breasts. "Here's what's going to happen, Major. The ten soldiers you ordered here are going to begin to arrive soon to see the bodies of the traitors. There will be three hanging on the wall over there, and a fourth -- you -- stretched here on the rack. They will be told that, if they would like, they may rape you, but, before doing so, they must turn the roller one click."
My body immediately stiffened. There would be more men than there were clicks before my body was stretched to the point of dislocating my shoulders and knees and hips and ... I could see that Mito was enjoying looking at me as I began to comprehend what he was saying.
"Then, whether or not you are still alive, we will move your body to the wall. As you can see ... oh, wait, you cannot, can you? ... there is room on the wall for the body of a fourth traitor."
"The soldiers will not obey you. I am the senior officer" I shouted at him. "They will not participate in your treason. They do not wish to be hanged." I searched about to find The Hunk and The Other One. Each just stared back at me. And then smiled slowly.
"We'll just have to find out, Major, won't we? Either I'll find myself at your mercy. Or you'll remain at mine. And since, presently, you are at mine ..." He squeezed my breasts much too hard. I screamed. The Hunk immediately thrust a ring gag into my open mouth and secured it. I saw Mito smile as he slid his body up from my waist until his knees straddled my face. "There is no reason why I should not be the first, is there? Now what was the price of enjoying you? Oh, yes." I heard the click.
Mito unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis. It was small solace to see that my naked body had excited him. Although it likely was my helpless situation rather than my body. He moved his hands up to the side of my head, and thrust himself down into my mouth and throat. Mito knew that I was not Zhou, and, if I had the opportunity, I would make him pay. But the ring gag did its job.
Mito was not The Hunk, and soon I could feel his liquid in my mouth and down my throat. I could not breath. Then he pulled himself out, and I gasped for air, coughing and choking and gagging, trying to clear my throat of the portion of his offense that I had been forced to swallow. Mito's pleasure, I could see, was in his abuse and humiliation of me, not in his own physical satisfaction.
While I continued to try to clear my mouth, The Other One stuffed my discarded panties through the ring and then tore a strip from my shirt that he secured around my neck to hold the panties in place. No more questions, I could see. Well, certainly no more answers. Or pleas.
The Hunk then took The Other One's place and slipped a black hood over my face. I wondered if it was the same hood that Wei had worn. Wei. The only loyal soldier I had. What a stupid bitch I had been.
As soon as the hood was in place, the room became quiet, as if the men seemed intentionally to take away as many of my senses as they could. No sight. Now no sound. At least no clicks. The only smell and taste were both from the remains of Mito's fluid. The only one of my senses that remained acute was my sense of touch. More accurately now, my sense of pain. I could feel my stretched knees and shoulders and hips against the wooden table. I could feel the chains around my wrists and ankles. And I could feel the chill over my naked body.
I could not judge how much time passed. It must be close to an hour since Mito had given the soldiers their orders. How many had I said? Ten? Shit. Ten clicks would certainly dislocate my joints. I couldn't imagine how I could survive ten clicks.
What was that? I heard something. Or did I? It must be an hour by now. I could feel my stomach muscles shiver as I tried to prepare myself for my body's next invasion. But nothing. I was breathing harder now. Fear. Of course I was afraid. I had seen what happens in this room. Mito and his men were probably just standing over me watching. Maybe the other ten soldiers, too. Staring at my chest as it heaved, as I sought breath through the hood with my mouth gagged. Still nothing. How long now? How much longer would it be? I couldn't hope that it wasn't going to happen, that other soldiers were going to honor my rank and rescue me from this usurper. Why would they? What did it matter to them who was their leader? It hadn't saved the Colonel, why should it save me? I had destroyed the Colonel, and now Mito was destroying me. With more reason, true. The Colonel had been innocent. So had Zhou. And the 27 soldiers who died at the barn. And the four villagers inside the barn. Not Wei. Small consolation.
One day at the top. I had had just one fucking day at the top. And that one day was going to cost me forty years or so of my life. For what? One good fuck from The Hunk. That was all I had gotten out of it. And I thought that I was so smart. Such an expert in human nature and psychology. I had been nothing more than a greedy, arrogant bitch who was now paying the price. More than the price should have been. Well, maybe not. Not with responsibility for more than 30 deaths on my shoulders.
This time what I felt was real. Wasn't it? It was so hard to tell what was real and what I was imagining in my dark world. It was so hard to tell. How was I ... shit, that was a click !! I felt my body stretch, and then pressure. Yes, this was it. This was the first. Damn. Hands on my breasts. Violated. Can't breath. This guy must be 300 pounds. I can't breathe. Damn. Oh, he's done. That's how it's going to be. Fast. Fast and painful. But that was one. How long a break is there going to be between ...? Click. Damn, no!! My shoulders. Get off me. I need to arch my back. I need to ... get off me. Shit. Can't breathe. Oh. Damn. He's off. Arch your back. Arch your back. Take the pressure ... Click. No, no, no, no. Get off me. Your weight is stretching me more. My shoulders. Get off. Hurry up. How many is that? I've lost count. Did I miss any? I can't even tell anymore when he's on me or in me or not. Just pain in my shoulders, my hips, my knees. That's all I can feel is the pain in .... Click. My shoulders!! Ah, son of a ... my shoulders. I heard that pop. My shoulders. I know they've separated. Dislocated. I can't feel my hands. How many? Is that 10? No, can't be. Is it at least eight? Maybe I can survive two more, but that's .. I hope that's at least eight.
Click. No!!! Ahhh!! Are they going to draw and quarter me? I can't feel above my shoulders. I know they've dislocated, separated. If I can't feel my arms, why is there so much pain? It's like my arms have been removed and fire stabbed into the sockets. Am I screaming? I can't tell.
I can't push my body up anymore. No strength to arch my back upwards, to relieve the pressure. Uhhhh. I could feel that between my legs. This guy's rough. Shit. Why do you have to squeeze my breasts so hard? My knees. Is he still in me? Isn't that 10 yet?
One mass of pain. That's all I feel. I don't know where my body begins and where it ends. Just pain. Swirling in my mind. It's all in my mind now. Fills my mind. My body isn't there anymore. It doesn't work. It has no parts. I'm consumed. In pain. It must be ten by now. But what if it is? So what? That just means that I'll be chained to the wall next to the others and my naked and deformed body put on display for the soldiers.
I know my joints are all dislocated. How can there be both lack of feeling in my limbs and such pain? And what if he lied? That guy who did this to me. I can't remember his name. What if it's more than 10?
Light. Is that light? Close your eyes tight. Slowly open them. How did I get here? I'm not on the rack anymore. They moved me. Am I on the wall, next to Wei? Damn Wei. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be in such pain. Why couldn't she just have let them blow me to bits yesterday? I wouldn't have been teased with the thought I'd succeeded, that I'd taken over, that I was powerful and soon to be rich. Then so quickly have to face the fact that I had not succeeded. And sacrificed everything in the process. Such pain. How can there be such pain. Why isn't there any pain left for anyone else? Why me? Fucking Wei deserved what I gave her. But she isn't in pain anymore.
How do people like Mao and Stalin stay in power for so long? I couldn't last to the second day. I had the nerve to try. And now all my nerve-endings ...
I can't see anyone in the room. At least no one else alive. Wait. That's right. I'm blindfolded. But I can see The Hunk standing right in front of me. How'd he get there? I can see through blindfolds. I must be gaining power. But I can't hear him. Who's he talking to? Why can't I hear him? It's the noise in my head that's drowning him out. How'd The Other One get there next to him? Stop noise. I want to hear. Quiet down, head.
"... still alive...." "just a few minutes ..." "what should we do?" "another group ..." "we have our orders ..."
Another group? No. No. Just go away. No. Don't go away. Stay. Stay. End this, please. Can't you hear me? I'm not talking, am I? Say it out loud. Why can't I say it out loud?
I can't feel anything. Wait, no, I feel everything. Am I screaming? Pain everywhere. I must be screaming. Did I just piss myself? Don't look down. I know I did. I pissed myself. I think. Am I awake? The pain. I must be awake. Did I piss myself? I don't know. I don't know what's real anymore. Except the pain. The pain is real. Or is this already hell? Is this my fate for eternity? To be in this horrific pain?
Why is he nodding? What's he doing? What is he holding? It's a pitchfork. Shit. He's going to deform my breasts after all. He's going to jab that into my breasts. No. Don't. My breasts are still beautiful. Not like Wei's. Don't ruin them. Don't ... wait, that will end the pain. That will end the pain, won't it? That's all that matters. End the pain. Do it. Do it, Hunk. End my pain.
The Hunk. He's really going to ... he's really going to ... The pain. It's going to end soon. It's going to ...