Torture

This is by far the most horrific book I have written. It describes in detail the most hideous torturing imaginable. I did some research for this and I know that whatever you can possibly imagine has been put into practice numerous times in numerous places around the world.

People have a capacity to be cruel and horrifically brutal.

It makes me ashamed to be human. I cannot bear to read it so I have not rewritten it yet. I cannot bear to read it because I suspect it is true. Perhaps not in the West, in the USA, but somewhere on this planet, at this moment. It makes me feel sick. I am ashamed to have written this book and I intend to rewrite it and tone it down to an acceptable level.

The rationale for the book is that a group of Islamic extremists are plotting to assemble a nuclear device in New York. The CIA have discovered the plot but have not managed to find out the exact details. They have pulled in a bunch of suspects. Most will be innocent but one might well know what is going on. If they can prise it out of them they can save hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.

The Islamists regard themselves as being at war with the USA. They do not have missiles, planes and bombs to fight back with. Their country is being attacked. Their religion is being threatened. Thousands are being killed by the Americans. They feel perfectly justified in fighting back.

There is a camp where they specialise in extracting information. The techniques are designed to get results. The means justifies the end.

It is a race against time.

Here is an extract. I hope you like it. This first chapter is not too graphic.

Torture

by

opher

Phase 1 – Beginnings and setting up the board

Thou causest the night to pass into day, and thou causest the day to pass into the night.

Koran

I lie awake at night and I see those bodies falling – people throwing themselves out of windows and drifting down. There is a silent serenity to it all. I watch as they slowly tumble with their clothes streaming out. I do not see any sign of panic. They seem at peace with themselves. I have never witnessed such terrible calm.

As I lay awake I see those drifting, swirling figures falling and I do not get any sense of terror.

I cannot comprehend the desperation that has engulfed them. I cannot imagine what they are thinking as they fall.

If I imagine myself in their place I would not have jumped.

Perhaps it was bravery. Perhaps it was belief.

If I imagine myself falling I could picture myself screaming and clutching at the air. I can see myself consumed with the horror of the inevitable impact. Yet these figures are like mannequins serenely and elegantly dancing through the air in some slow motion waltz.

How can this be?

It is an illusion brought about by scale and distance.

Yet I am bemused. There are things here I cannot comprehend.

My mind skips to the surrounding concourse littered with body parts, rubble and unidentified twisted bits of metal, everything showered in glass, with thousands of sheets of paper drifting on the wind like ticker tape. I have not seen this in person yet it is as vivid as if I had been standing there watching it happen. I have heard the survivors describe it. I have seen the pictures and television coverage. My mind fills in the background to the pictures.

I lay in the dark replaying those voices on the phones of those trapped in buildings or planes who had realised that there was no way out. I hear the bravery, love and defiance. I hear the fear. I also hear a coming to terms with the inevitable. I hear the terror in their voices and can feel that they understand what is about to happen and yet, already, before it has happened, there is compliance. How can that be? I cannot get my head round the idea that someone can come to terms with death. Surely you do not give up hope? Surely you fight it? Like those guys that brought the plane down. I can identify with that. That was heroic. Yet it wasn’t heroic at all because there was no choice. The alternative was to go meekly to your death like those placid lines of Jews filing into Auschwitz. It is incomprehensible. You must surely fight it? You have no choice. But then I am not there in their shoes. I do not experience it. How can you know how you will react until it is happening to you? What we know of ourselves is the surface. I know that. That is my job. How you would react in the same circumstances is an unknown.

What a senseless waste of life.

What a brutal, savage, barbaric act of uncivilised, primitive butchery. May God cast them into Hell for the evil scum they are? They are not worthy of the name human. Human signifies a degree of sentience and compassion, intelligence and understanding. History and intelligence has enabled us to crawl up from the cruel past into a civilised present. This barbaric scum deserve to live in the sewer back in the Stone Age where they belong and aspire to be, along with their cretinous verses that hold them back from becoming human.

All those victims of such subhuman Neanderthal superstition; those poor civilised people falling to death; perhaps they were serene because God had already plucked them from the air?

But they are not the only victims; I can imagine the impact on those who love them.

They are never coming home.

Why?

It does not make sense. How can it be that one-minute everything is ordinary and mundane and the next it is changed forever? How can the world change so much in a second?

How can it be that your wife walks out of the door with a peck on the cheek and a cheery goodbye to disappear into a beautiful sunny day and never be seen again? How can that happen?

She has done that a thousand times and come back at six the same as usual. That same bus stops at that same bus stop at the same time and yet she will never ever be on it again. She has ceased to exist.

Fortunately I have no wife, at least not quite yet. I have no children. I would not know how to come to terms with it if something like that had happened to me. I have a fiancé. It is not quite the same. I have not lived with her. I have not got used to her being there. We are not yet a family. We have not built our home together. Somehow a wife is something more than a fiancé. Yet if my fiancée Cheryl had been one of those falling through the air that day I know I would never have gotten over it and I would never have forgiven them. They would have stolen a good deal of my future.

I can imagine how those people felt.

Those bastards punched holes in tens of thousands of lives. That is as bad as killing the thousands they did, if not worse. They can never be forgiven for that. I do not see how even God can find his way to forgive people who deliberately do such things. I certainly cannot.

I hate them.

That is not enough.

I hate, loathe and despise the cowardly, stinking Neanderthals that live in their own shit and piss in their little mediaeval world with their stinking shitty fucking beliefs right out of the Stone Age and want to knock us back down there with them. I hate every stinking thing about their existence from their flea-ridden stupid robes to their stupid bowing and scraping in the dirt and garbage of their tawdry mosques.

As a Christian I should turn the other cheek but sometimes we have to recognise that we are only human. Besides it is written in the bible that there should be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That is how I feel about it.

They are too fucking lazy, stupid and brainwashed in their little time warp to raise themselves up out of the sewage of their lives. We give them cars, planes, electricity and all the luxuries of the twentieth century and they want to live like fucking dirty animals.

I fucking hate them.

As you can see the thought of it makes me quite agitated.

Every night I go to sleep fantasising about wiping them off the face of the earth; ignorant, barbaric subhuman beasts that they are. We should nuke the lot of them and have done with it.

Rats and pigs have more humanity than the scum of Islam.

I think of those poor children and women on those planes and in those buildings and my mind scorches the inside of my skull with hatred.

I know that God is testing us. God has given us the power.

We will be avenged and our vengeance will be awesome and we will make those fucking desert apes wish they’d never encountered us. They have dared to arouse a benevolent giant. They have taunted and pricked us. Now is the time to take action.

Be in no doubt; we will destroy them. History proves that! Whenever there’s been a clash between the superior and inferior cultures the stronger has always won and we are the stronger. It’s like pitting Western 20th century technology against mediaeval know-how – no contest.

Fuck we’ve tried!

We’ve given then education, hand outs and technology.

It makes me furious!

We’ve given them stuff. We’ve helped.

They’d rather live in fucking mud huts and mumble their fucking mumbo-jumbo instead of pulling themselves up into the 20th century. Well fuck ‘em. If they can’t become fucking civilised then they can get on with it and live out their lives in squalor and deprivation; they can prostrate themselves to their superstitions and fix time to never move out of the barbaric Dark Ages. That’s up to them and God. God will separate the sheep from the goats and idolaters will find themselves rewarded with hellfire. That’s something God will keep for judgement day. I wash my hands of them. But if they think they can take out their envy on us and attack us then they will find out exactly who’s got the fucking smart bombs and nukes.

They can bow and scrape in the shit and mutter all their heathen garbage to their fucking mighty Allah but let’s see what difference that makes when there’s a fucking great mushroom cloud over that fucking meteorite at Mecca. Ha. Such a fucking god as that! Know ye by the fruits! If Allah is so powerful how come that they’ve got fuck all, stomping about in the shitty desert with swords and camels while we’ve got nukes and stealth bombers.

They can buy a few with their stinking oil money but when the time comes we will blow them dune apes back through the Stone Age into the fucking carboniferous. They will learn which god is the superior god and which culture is blessed.

I loathe them.

I hate everything their little devious barbaric minds have ever thought. I hate that shitty squalid existence that passes as their culture and I hate that fucking horrible set of words that fuels that ignorance and hatred. Above all I hate their stupid attempt to dominate the world.

One day they will pay.

Those bodies, voices and memories that were cruelly destroyed that day will be avenged.

16.9.03

 

Allah is holy.

They have come for me. I put my faith in the one God. Allah be praised.

31.10.03

 

I knew that I had made it when I was ushered in to see Major General John Surtees. I still get chills thinking about it. It was the ultimate honour. It’s one thing doing your best but it’s quite another being recognised for it; finally making the grade – hitting the top.

The guy was a two star Major General for fuck’s sake. They don’t get much higher than that. It made it all worthwhile.

You see when you are different you have something to prove. You have to be twice as good as the other grunts. You have to be single minded and prove it every day. Whatever they do you have to do more, be twice as willing and go that step further. You hone your mind and body into steely tools. You make them strong, unbreakable and your finest weapons. You concentrate your will into a fine laser beam capable of cutting through every barrier. If it’s possible to do you make sure you do it. You don’t do it to show off or compete, nor to gain respect. You do it because you can do it. You set your own goals and seek out your limits. Physical, mental, emotional – it does not matter. There are things to be overcome and you set about solving the problems so you can push those limits back further. Pain, terror, fatigue, hunger, fear and sympathy were things to be conquered. I conquered them and in doing it I gained control of myself. Unlike the others I know this is no game. For me this was my life. There was no existence outside of this? There were no hobbies or entertainments to distract me. I lived it one hundred percent. My only aim was to make myself the best I could possibly be. Even the toughest American kids had no chance. They knew they would emerge into a different life and go back home. This was my home.

Grunt camp was simple. You kept yourself to yourself and let your body do the talking. It was easy. The best of them were pussies. I signed up for the 101st Airborne Division. That was tougher. We were ‘The Screaming Eagles’ air assault. We did our training out at Fort Campbell Kentucky. I loved it. You can’t beat the rush of jumping into that void and feeling the air whipping at you. But I didn’t just do the physical stuff. That would have been too easy. To be a good soldier you had to hone your mind and emotions as well. You had to be in total control of yourself. It was a discipline. I was good at it all and excelled at most everything, especially the intelligence side of things. You see I always believed that you could not only make your body and mind hard like steel but you could crystallise your soul into a diamond that would shine out with the Lord’s strength. That gave you an edge. God gave me my strength. I got transferred to Special Operations and I guess I must have impressed with all the tests. They gave you a lot of psychological testing, I.Q stuff. They must have seen what I knew I had inside me. It was what they wanted.

They transferred me to Intelligence.

I learnt stuff I couldn’t believe existed. I was a fast learner.

‘You love your country son?’

‘Yes sir.’

‘I mean really love it, boy? Love it enough to die for?’

‘Yes sir.’

It was the standard bullshit. You got used to it. It was part of the American way like pledging allegiance to the flag. There was a ceremony to it – a symbolic gesture. Yet, for me, there was also something more, something more profound, and something that we as modern people have maybe tended to underestimate. I would not call it brainwashing because I’m not sure that it was; it was something subconscious and primitive certainly but not brainwashing. There was a tribal element to it. We were buying it to a small elite tribe. It awakened a primordial urge; a need for belonging and defending that lies dormant in all of us. At rock bottom that tribal element is fundamental to human nature. We all have to belong. It certainly fuelled something in me. I loved America and all it stood for. I loved the freedom and opportunity. I loved its wild maverick energy. Those were truly things that I felt were worth fighting for and, if necessary, dying for. That is what he was searching for in my eyes. He peered into your soul and saw that I had it in trumps.

Major General John Surtees was a two star general. He must have been over fifty but you could see he was in shape. He was a big imposing man even stuck sitting behind a desk. He may have been fronting Intelligence now but he still put himself through it on the assault course and still jumped regularly. I don’t think he did that to impress the men or even prove anything to himself; he did it because he needed to. He was a soldier. The crew cut was grey but the eyes were piercing blue and they held you in a paralysing grip when they fixed on you. You could imagine that his leathery skin was carved and solid as polished wood – if you ever dared to touch it.

‘You love your country enough to put your very soul in jeopardy?’

‘Yes sir.’ I was not quite sure about that but you learnt to respond instantly, without any trace of doubt. This was a ritual you went through. You trusted that nobody was ever going to put you in a situation where your soul might be put in jeopardy; this was fucking America. We were the good guys.

‘You believe that a man sometimes has to make sacrifices for the greater good?’

‘Yes sir.’ I could vouch for that.

‘You prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice?’

‘Whatever it takes, sir.’ There was no doubt about that. If needs be I was ready to die. I put my faith in God. When my time was up he’d call me in.

His eyes screwed up in intensity as he peered into my soul. ‘You a God fearing man, soldier?’

‘Yes, sir.’

He nodded earnestly. This was a charade because he already had my file and it was pretty detailed. Those Intelligence guys didn’t miss much. They had to know I was kosher. The only doubts they would have had would have been regarding my family.

‘Soldier I’ve been watching your progress. I’m particularly interested in your psychological profiling. I think we can use you.’ He studied me. ‘It takes a special man to work in this field. You have to do things that most men could not stand.’

I knew what he was talking about. I’d been doing the course, hadn’t I? I was ready.

‘Do you believe that sometimes you have to do evil things in order to achieve the greater good?’

‘I understand what has to be done, sir.’ This was like being back on the course answering the psychological questions. Every aspect of life was a philosophical dilemma. I could hack it.

He nodded again.

I got the impression that things were going well. He’d already made up his mind before seeing me. This was a formality. He had to meet me face to face in order to see for himself. You could only really tell about someone when you met him or her face to face and watched him or her closely. A person always said a million things more than the words themselves. A trained person was able to read all that. An intuitive person felt it. I know. That’s what I’d been trained in.

‘Son, I’ve looked into your background. You are a naturalised American but you were born in Saudi. Your family are not naturalised. Are you a true American?’

I did not have to think. ‘Yes sir.’

‘If I gave you an order to nuke Saudi Arabia, would you question it?’

‘No sir.’ He must be joking; I dreamed of it.

‘If you had to turn any member of your family in for terrorist activity would you hold back?’

‘No sir!’ A chill went through me. This one was a bit too near the mark. Christ – I had doubts myself about Hassam. I’d been sweating on it. What if they’d come up with something on him? Perhaps I should already have revealed my suspicions. I vowed right there and then that if needs be I’d turn him in. Fuck. This was tricky. I’d already revealed the tension there by the emphasis. I thought I detected a certain narrowing of his eyes that showed he’d picked up on it. But he let it go.

‘Hmmm. That’s what the psych-boys tell me too.’ He studied me as if weighing me up for a decision he’d already made. ‘We need interrogators who speak Arabic,’ he stated. ‘You’ve been trained and passed with distinction. I believe you are the man for the job. It’s a messy world. We’ve been charged with clearing it up.’

That’s how I started working in the practical side of intelligence gathering.

29.10.2003

 

Perhaps it is not me they come for, Allah the merciful – will it so.

But I knew that it was.

I have waited on this day. I have seen it coming.

I have thought through my options and lived through this moment a thousand times. I am in the hands of Allah

31.10.03

 

We made sure they could all see. That was the point of it. You had to sacrifice a few for the many. In the long run it would pay off.

I had passed my apprenticeship. Though I am ridiculously young for the post, God has smiled on me and answered my prayers. My understanding of language and culture had given me the edge and the Lord had placed me in the right place at the right time so that I could be plucked out from the throng to assume my rightful place.

Batch 13 was all mine.

I was charged with getting them to talk. I had to apply the tools I had mastered and make them realise that there was no future in holding any information back. I had to break them. I had to break them utterly, completely and above all, quickly. Every second that passed was potentially fatal.

That’s why, terrible though it was, it had to be done.

This was what I had been charged with. This is what I excelled at. This was the career I had assumed for my country. We were charged with cleaning up the world.

29.10.03

 

‘May Allah be with you.’

‘There is but one God.’

‘I am pleased to inform you that the components you have ordered have now been purchased. They were not easy to come by and they have not come cheap.’

‘That is to be expected but Allah has been kind to us. We are not short of funds.’

‘It is the constraints that have created the greatest difficulties.’

‘I am aware of this but this is no ordinary operation. This is the biggest enterprise we have ever entered into. It is necessary that we operate in this way. All the normal channels are infiltrated. They must not get knowledge of what we are planning.’

‘I can assure you that they have none. All that is now required is that your operatives collect the components and our business is concluded.’

‘Thank you my friend, may Allah go with you.’

‘May Allah go with you as well.’

23.12.03

 

I am not a bad man. I believe that the world is a battle between good and evil and in that battle I am on the side of good. On this God is with me.

War is a terrible thing. In war one has to do terrible things. I have done terrible things. I will do much worse things. But I do them for a reason and that reason is for the greater good. In order for evil to be defeated it is necessary that we fight with all our might. This is a cosmic battle between forces of titanic proportion. They war within us and around us. We are mere instruments.

I am an instrument of God. I feel his breath within me. The Lord speaks to me and I am a vessel for his love. He plucked me from my family and culture and showed me the true way. He instructs me. He loves us so much that he always suffers us to come to him and never turns his back. We are all fallen and in need of Jesus’ intervention to raise us up to heaven. He sent his only begotten son to die horribly on the cross that we may be saved from eternal damnation. I believe that. This is what has saved me.

I cannot understand how my family fail to realise this. We live here in America and are surrounded with ample evidence that God smiles on this culture. America is blessed. We have everything. Surely this is proof enough?

I was brought up a Muslim like my father, mother, bother and sister. But I went to American school and I opened my eyes and looked around me. This land wasn’t full of poverty and ignorance. The only poor here were the fools who were too lazy to help themselves. This was the land of plenty and opportunity. I listened to what was being said and I learnt about God. As a child I began to realise that Jesus Christ was truly the way and God blessed this land. I listened and it made sense and the scales fell from my eyes. It was a revelation to me spoilt only by my inability to get my own family to understand. They stubbornly refused to see what was clearly right there in front of their eyes.

I went to church and I listened to the preachers and I understood.

God is real. This world is his creation and it is us that have opened Pandora’s Box to release evil into the garden. That evil is what all this is about. It is personified in Satan who delights in all that is heinous. Only Jesus can intercede and save us. The Lord requires that I engage in the fight against evil and that it is necessary that I use all the force of my mind and body to defeat Satan. That is the only thing that is worth doing with ones life.

I am not a bad man. God demands sacrifices and blood. I am a soldier of the mighty Lord and he has called upon me to save the lives of the innocents. I keep their image before me as I seek to overthrow the evil ones. God’s bidding will prevail!

I am not a bad man.

12.10.03

 

It was dark but it was going to get a lot darker. I must get used to the darkness. My training will help but Allah will be my strength.

Their hands were on me and I was held. I protested loudly. I acted indignant and afraid. They ignored me and went about their business. My mouth was stuffed full of cotton, my arms wrenched behind my back and rudely cuffed as I was frisked. I was not handled roughly considering. Nobody spoke. They found nothing despite their thoroughness. I make a point of carrying nothing. The lethal weapons I have are in my head. They are ideas.

They chose their moment well. There were no eyes to see and no tongues to tell of my fate.

I cursed while continuing my wild-eyed act of terror. I am practiced at acts of terror. Another twenty-four hours that was all I had needed. But then perhaps not. Things had progressed far enough to sustain their own life. But one day more and I could have rested easy. I had information to pass on – instructions. They were crucial to the success of our venture. Yet I knew there were contingency plans. Others would carry on the struggle.

My role in this was over.

Allah be praised.

31.10.03

 

Major General Surtees wanted me. You could see why; I had all the attributes. Above all I was fluent in Arabic. You see I am of Arab extract and was brought up in a largely Arab culture. My family are from Medina in Saudi Arabia and still carry on the old ways. In the house they talk Arabic and live as Arabs despite the fact that they are intelligent and living and working in the heart of America. I am American but my parents are desert bunnies and proud of it. My whole family still crave sandalwood smoke and desert skies. They live a millennium in the past and wish it was still so.

I spit on them. They are not worthy of a country like America.

Surtees had been looking for someone with my skills and fluency. He had, unknown to me, had me observed and fast-tracked me through. I had worked as part of a three-man team, which he had personally selected, and now I was in charge of my own team.

I was determined to reward him for his faith.

29.10.03

 

‘Saad?’

‘Yes my love.’

‘Do you love me?’

‘Cheryl. You don’t have to ask that. You know the answer.’

‘How do I know it when you never say it? You never tell me I look beautiful. You never say you love me.’

‘Cheryl I love you. I love you more than blood, more than life itself. I want you to have my babies.’

‘Oh Happy – I love you too. So does that mean we are getting married?’

‘Look I don’t know about that. I want to. God knows I want to. I don’t know if I can just yet. You know that. There are problems with my family. They would not be happy with me marrying outside Islam. It is important to me that they give up their stupid ways and embrace the Lord. You know all this.’

‘But it never seems to get anywhere, Happy. I don’t think they will ever change. I don’t think we will ever get married.’

‘Yes we will. Just give me a little more time. That’s all. You’ve got me sugar. I promise you that if they don’t come round soon we’ll go ahead anyway. What’s the rush, Hon?’

‘I can’t wait for us to be together. I love you. I want you with me. I don’t want us ever to be apart for a moment. I want to have our own house and be having your babies. I can’t waaaiit.’

‘Sure you can honey. I love you, baby. We can wait just a little bit longer. It’ll be alright. Now come on here and let’s play that little game again.’

‘Mmmm, what little game’s that then?’

‘I think it’s called ‘I lick – you moan and go crazy.’

31.10.03

 

‘Good morning Mr Sarman, I trust Allah brings much happiness to you and your family.’

‘Allah always favours believers.’

‘Is this phone private?’

‘Yes. We are as secure as it is possible to be. I am confident.’

‘Good. I have concluded transactions with all those parties involved. Everything went  accordingly.’

‘You have the plutonium?’

‘Yes, I have the plutonium. Our Chechen friends have liberated the plutonium from our Georgian friends. There is a lot to be had if you have the right contacts and the dollars to hold their interest. You must have some powerful friends with plenty of clout and no cash-flow problems, my friend.’

‘These are not problems for us.’

‘I think our Chechen friends were impressed with both the calibre of your credentials and your purchasing power. Everything went smoothly.’

‘And security?’

‘That was foremost in our minds for all parties. You can be sure that nothing will be traced from our side. The rest is in your hands.’

‘I will arrange to have it collected. May Allah go with you.’

‘May Allah bless your children’s children.’

23.12.03

 

Camp X does not exist. You will not find it on any map or described in any documentation. It does not exist. We, that is myself and my two assistants, Larry Ellis and Joe Semo, complete with our entourage of fifty highly trained and armed to the teeth automatons, called it Camp X because X marks the spot. We were the garrison. We were the law around here. We had been given powers that put us outside of the normal laws of the land and we knew it. All we were charged with was getting results. To that end we were equipped with the most incredible array of modern equipment and left to our own devices to deploy our training to its maximum effectiveness. Anything we wanted we got. All we had to do was ask and it arrived special delivery. Money was no object. No questions were ever asked, and this was a situation that would continue just as long as we continued to deliver the goods.

Camp X was deep in the Mojave Desert East of Los Angeles. There were no roads to it. Your only way in was by our own specially commissioned choppers flown by our own guys. Air space was off limits for fifty miles in all directions. You could not have got a higher security clearance if we were twisting bugs or designing chemicals for the next world war. There are secret nuclear research establishments that would swoon for our budget and high security status.

I was in command.

That was one hell of a responsibility and I can’t say that it didn’t give me one hell of a buzz.

My assistants had been specially trained, like me, and selected for this mission. The three of us were then decommissioned and to all intents and purposes lost. We were officially no longer in the employ of the United States of America, despite the hugely inflated salary that materialised into our bank accounts from unspecified, and I am completely sure, untraceable sources. I am also sure that all records of us ever having been in the U.S. army have been thoroughly expunged. Like Camp X we also, as far as the army was concerned, had never existed. I was in no doubt that in the event of our ‘work’ being compromised we were entirely expendable, as were our garrison of guards and fellow interrogators. We would likely disappear along with our whole establishment in some unexplained explosive disaster that just happened to destroy every last shred of evidence. I am sure that the charges were already laid in the foundations of the buildings and a red button existed in a drawer in Major General Surtees desk. As far as the army was concerned we did not exist and neither did the place we worked in. If push came to shove this place was likely to become one huge unrevealing crater. Not that it worried me. That scenario was never likely to happen. The Lord had placed me here for a purpose. I had a job of work to do for both God and my country and he had not placed me here to be pointlessly blown to oblivion before it was done. That was not even worth thinking about.

You seemingly did not get much for your millions of dollars, a bunch of huts, some admittedly quite large and extensive, in a convenient hollow in the desert shrub. But appearances can be deceptive. A lot of our facilities were underground and a great deal of the budget went on invisible security measures that extended out into the desert and involved a host of guys working back in Los Angeles who probably did not even know what it was they were monitoring. The bulk of what was visible being the accommodation and recreational facilities erected for the goons and us.

It was unfair of us to refer to the men as goons but that had developed into a bit of a tradition. These guys were as highly trained and efficient as ourselves and would have no trouble in taking over and running things. I guess it was the nature of the work with all its stress. You had to keep some distance and that meant not letting anyone get too close. It was definitely a ‘them and us’ scenario. We were in charge and they did as they were told more so than in any other military establishment that I’ve worked in. We called them goons and kept them in their place. That was the way it was. It was probably best for the both of us. They followed orders. We applied the process as trained. This was not any old job. It involved stresses that went well beyond the normal. You had to maintain a distance.

It is surprising how expensive it is to keep something secure. All those Tax Dollars disappearing into a hole in the dessert. The actual equipment we used was quite cheap and basic. In our line of work we did not go in for a lot of sophistication. Drugs and electricity were cheap; techniques were learnt and could be applied without much cost. The scientific evidence was in and it appeared that the old proven methods were still as effective as ever. There was a process that had to be applied along with, admittedly, a little of the personal touch and intuitive insight. You had to know when to change the game plan and what to look out for. But then all that had really progressed was the systematic way in which they were to be administered. Seemingly there were limits to the way the body was capable of registering pain and the capacity of the brain to remain sane. There was a science to breaking the mind down to complete compliance.

That was all we were after – compliance. The only problem being that we had to be sure that the information we were getting was genuine and that we were not being set up with a few false trails to keep us occupied while the real villains went on undisturbed. It had been known. Not that we had any real way of knowing whether they were talking truth or not; that was a judgement call. We applied the process to the point where training and all possible human control broke down. Only then could we be fairly certain that what poured forth was not an implanted story or a blatant construction. Even so all we were able to ascertain was that the interrogated clients themselves believed that what they were divulging was the gospel truth. That did not make it true. Still, that was not our concern. If the intelligence boys were doing their job properly then they were providing us with the correct sources. All we had to do was empty the containers of their elixir. If we did our job correctly then we passed on our information and the heavies mopped it up to lance the infection and cauterise the wound.

We were in this together creating a better world.

The first row of huts was the garrison and in the middle of the row was our living quarters. Rarely in the history of any army has such lavish quarters been provided. There were entertainment rooms, sport facilities, and training facilities. Individual rooms were quality – both comfort and food was out of this world. The food in particular rose to the heights of gourmet productions of the quality you might come to expect at a top restaurant, which on our salaries we had ample opportunity to compare. The whole place was air-conditioned with extensive libraries, movies and alcohol on tap. All that was lacking was the female interaction but I suppose you have to make sacrifices, besides you got ample, regular R & R. When we were not working they wanted us to be able to relax. The last thing they wanted was for us to be doing was sitting around mulling over the rights and wrongs of the work.

Below the second row of huts were the holding cells. We put them underground because of the light and security. There was something oppressive about being underground. The dark was darker. The despair was greater. It was purely psychological. We did not want any connection to the world outside. We wanted them to feel they were being taken below ground into hell without end, without hope of the resurrection. Not only did we not want windows we wanted them to feel the millions of tons of rock pressing claustrophobically in on then all the time, that there was no light striking the other side of the wall, no air, no freedom and absolutely no hope of rescue. There were no security issues here. No one was going anywhere. We had the highest security possible. There was no need for crude barriers, walls, barbed wire etc. The prisoners were kept manacled at all times. They were locked up in their cells and they were implanted. In the unlikely event of an escape we simply activated the device and blew off a leg to see how far they got on a ragged stump. If that didn’t slow them down enough then we took off the other. Our satellite homing device tracked their progress and we picked them up. We’d tried it all a few times and it had proved very effective.

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