The Room

December 14, 1965 - Baltimore, MD

Despite his arrival only four weeks before, the small apartment given to him was already a cluttered, chaotic mess.  Ocelot couldn’t be bothered with the simpler aspects of keeping house, not when there was so much work to be done.  There were people to track down, places to find, business to attend to.  He had no love for the shudder of of the vents or the laziness of the wallpaper as it slowly curled away from the wall like a blooming, sickly flower.  It was a place to sleep, a tiny room with a bed on one end, a kitchen on the other, and a denim couch occupying the space between them.

Ocelot had spent the entire day at the Agency before catching a train back into Maryland.  His head still throbbed from the noise of traffic, city, and the screams of unruly children.  Leaving himself clothed only in trousers and his revolver, he had stripped away everything despite the cold.  He flopped onto the couch, took a deep breath, and stared at the ceiling for a moment.  There was time to kill, and it was idly creeping by him.  His blue eyes fell to the side and settled on a stack of books, files, and journals on the coffee table.  Halfheartedly, he took the first magazine he saw, flipped it open, and brought it to his face.

“A seldom-used method of torture that seems to be particularly useful is total sensory deprivation. It is effective at breaking the victims very sense of time and place.  In short doses and alone, victims experience disorientation and hallucinations.  All senses appear to be skewed, with some reporting noises or the feeling of being wet.Many report seeing faces or feeling a ‘demonic’ presence…”

Forcefully, Ocelot tossed the reading away.  Not again.  He had been mulling over these reports, these true accounts, of torture for weeks.  For just one night, his mind asked that he not occupy his thoughts with these sickening images, these tales worse than death.  It was not something a sane man did.  Snake Eater hadn’t changed him like it changed the rest of them.  He came out swimmingly.  He came out sane.  Those papers strewn about his apartment were not things he should look at.  Ocelot was above that.

Still, the thoughts droned on like a broken radio, buzzing in the back of his head. His diaphragm lurched downwards, draining the blood from his chest, making him feel as if his body had fallen away from his head.  It was a sensation that had been following him for over a year now.  His mind dove into a pool of terror, only to hit the shallows.  Then the feeling rose, growing lighter, bringing a gum-bearing smile to his face as he broke the surface and could hear the screams of the world’s most hardened man as he bled out, as the reality of his pain barreled down on that soldier.  Euphoria?  No. It was like discovering Shamballa and finding an entire universe beyond it, a universe where pain begets the most enchanting of pleasures.

Then he was back — back in his tiny apartment with the rattling heater and floral walls.  Ocelot eyed the stack of journals on his coffee table once more, wondering if he should dare to open them again.  The memory had passed, leaving him empty and unfeeling, his smile falling into his usual scowl. Now that his mind had settled, he could justify it.  Once more, he opened the thinnest journal and resumed reading.

“The most extreme case on record involved a patient who had been subjected to sensory deprivation for nearly three years.  During this time, the subject was locked in a room with no source of light, sound, or ability to keep track of time.  When interrogated by his captors, they often utilized shrill noises and pulsating lights to disorient and torture him. Once rescued, he was unable to function without wearing heavily-tinted goggles and noise-cancelling headphones.  In addition to hypersensitivity, the subject exhibited ticks and random eye moments.  His mind was so shattered after the event that he believed his rescuers to be in league with his captors…”

Ocelot sighed, a gleeful grin seizing his face.  Shattered.That was a beautiful word.  Carefully, as if it were a treasured story book from his childhood, he shut the magazine and placed it back on top of the pile.

He thought he was better than this.  Still smiling to himself, he stood, crossed the room, and shut off the lights with a gentle click.

18/3/2012 . 4 notes . Reblog