What's all this barmy stuff?
Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
Not enough barminess for you?
Oh Yes, More Torture Please
Dis Gatehouse: Interrogation Room
Mr. Pokey pulls out a pointy from a drawer and says "Aha!"
Scum's eyes widen at the pointy object. "Excellent! It's been far too long with that one."
Mr. Pokey turns and peers at the door. "Who's there! New people to play with?"
Scum strains his head to look, but is held in by the leather strap around his neck. "Jolly good! The more, the merrier!"
Mr. Pokey nods at Scum, straghtening its glasses with a little claw. "Jolly good! Yes! Guests are alwasy good. Just strap yourselves in, we'll have a merry time!"
Spiny drops the rilmani with the gnome in it's pocket, sneers and permits himself some evil laughter, and walks back out to his post... muttering about 'this being the most excitement I've had in decades'.
Merj whipes dirty Cornugon underarm sweat from his robe, and peers around the room, taking in the sites. As his view passes over Scum, he giggles, but when he see the Kocrachon, he starts to scream. It reminds him of old Runny Ronnys flea circus at the gatehouse, which got loose and had acrobatic acts going in his rags for weeks.
Looking at Mr. Pokey, Merj sees; Big, blue, beetlish and Baatezu, this bumbling bug wears a tiny pair of spectacles over his beady insectile eyes. In a little pouch slung over one arm, he has a soup spoon, a dessert fork, and a butter knife.
Smoat pokes out of Merj's pocket, and hops to the floor... thinking he's back in his old cell, ignoring present company.
Mr. Pokey mutters, "I'm flattered! truly flattered! But I havn't done anything yet. Come on now, scoot." Skittering over to the one barmy and his pocket-pet he gives them a little shove. "Come come on, just lie down, we'll have lots of fun, truly. Right, Scum?"
Scum nods enthusiastically. "Right-o, old boy! The key, fellows, is to conentrate on the pain, and let out the most bloodcurdling scream you can. Then try to top yourself! That one," he says, looking at Merj, "wasn't bad to start. Keep working on it!" Scum lays his head back down, awaiting further punishment.
Merj stops screaming, eyeing the baatezu warily, watching out for any sign of it putting on whitewash makeup and bouncing around cheerfully. A shudder gos through him at the thought.
Smoat wanders around the room, examining table legs and chair bottoms. He turns to Merj, "Hey, Merjie, deez is new. When I was here, dey only had ledder straw-eight-jack-its... nonnadis newfangly steel stuff." He looks around, and notices a gigantic bug in his cell. "Hey, what're yez doin'? Dissis my room!" he yells.
Mr. Pokey stands upright-ish, rubbing three legs together. "Nonono, my room. So, what are you two here for? Picking Dis' flowers? I do know he gets upset over that. Especially the daffodils, my, my, the last fellow who did that.. well." Reaching over to pick up the wee gnome, he peers. "I don't know how you'll fit.. maybe just the legs?"
Scum perks up. "Speaking of flowers, Pokey old friend, when was the last time you used greenery? I do so long for the Posey Treatment again... those were good years."
Merj giggles at Smoat hanging from the baatezu's claws, mommentarly forgeting his fear.
Smoat wriggles his arms free and manages to put his hands on his hips. He taps at the kocrachon's exoskeleton, and decides it's not worth biting. Idly swinging his legs, he quirks an eyelid at the fiend, and says, "Listen. Dis is my room. I dunno how long me an' Merjie was gone, but dis is mose deaf-in-ately my room. If yez would be a goowt flea an' put me down, I'd be happy." he turns to Merj. "Mussa been meatloaf day when we was gone, lookitdersizeadisbug."
Mr. Pokey straps Smoat's legs to one of the tables with idle Big Blue Bug strength.. looks up the table, looks down the table.. and shakes a claw at the gnome. "How did you get so small? Bel sit on you? Oh well, you'll just have to hang on... Customer service is such an annoyance! Hey! Hey you, Rilmani! Get back over here... er.. I'll give you a shiny." Mr. Pokey dangles the shiny pointy device from his fourth leg. "See? Very nice. Tell him, Scum."
Scum once again struggles to see what's going on, and catches a glimse of the instrument. "Oooo, yes... that one's not one of my favorites, but it's still up in my Top Ten, most definitely. Just you wait," he says to Merj, "after a month, you'll be screaming for more! Simply delightful." Scum grins blissfully. "Ah, speaking of which, AAAAAGHGHAA!!!!!!"
Merj blinks, the shiny thing catching his attention. A bit of drool escape his lips, and a shine comes to his opaque eyes. As the shiny thing dangles and spins it catchs the light, something triggers in Merj's brain, and he starts doing a little funky dance over to the Kocrachon, oblivious to all but the music in his head.
Smoat muses, "How did I getso small... I was born dis way. A true gnome, short to de core. Hey, whatsdis yez'iz strappin' me into here? Dis gonna hurt?"
Smoat frowns, "Yez better not be givin' me a shot. Lass nurse who came into me cell dressied up as a big bug tryin' ta stick me wiv a shot gotter finguhs bitten right arf."
Smoat sits up, "Merjie, member whatsername did dat? Wandered arown dressed as a bug? Dirty Mollie de nurse? What a hag, eh?"
Mr. Pokey sidles along as Merj approaches, leading him by the shiny lighht of the shiny pointed object. "That's right, come on over. Just stayin' alive, stayin alive! Ah ah aha ahaaa..".. and pushes Merj onto the table, strapping him down, breaks into an evil cackle of the appropraite sort. "..ahahaAHAAAHA! Oh, did I do that right? I really need to practice the cackle more." Looking at Smoat, he adds, "Gonna hurt? gonna hurt? My dear fellow, this is /more/ than hurt! It's.. art!"
Scum, trying to be helpful, says "It's more like this, Pokester. 'MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!'" He then starts twiddling his fingers, rocking his head back and forth, humming and mumbling something like "Stayin' alive... ah ah ah... Say, that's pretty catchy."
Scum begins gesturing with one finger, alternately pointing up to his right and down to his left.
Merj struggles agianst the straps, trying to get free. Images of all the horrible things the kocrachon could do to him go across his mind. Spray water in his face, or make amusing tumbling actions in his general directions, or, shudder, honk a horn at him.
Smoat makes slight honk-honk noises, "Yeziz tinking too loud, Merjie," he giggles. He turns to regard the kocrachon, laying back down with his arms folded behind his head. "Art, is it? Mussbe pretty bad art if'n it hurts. I dunno if I wants ta see it. I'll juss be goin' now.... say, yez wouldnknow der way ta Freedom, would yer?" he asks, as he wriggles his feet out of the clamps and stands up, brushing himself off.
Mr. Pokey picks up Smoat and tucks him under an arm, scuttling over to the drawers. "Oh, but it's a good hurt! Scum's been here for, what, 30 years? And he likes it! Now, let me see. Whip? No, too messy for this time of day. Vices? No, no, out of style nowadays. Too tacky, even the thumbscrews. Aha!" Mr. Pokey pulls out of the drawer.. three feathers! Oh no! The dreaded.. tickle-torture!
Smoat harumphs, crosses his arms, and mutters, "I aien't ticklish."
Scum pouts, and twists his head towards Mr. Pokey. "Hey! You never gave me the tickle torture! What makes him so special?"
Merj struggles a bit more, then turns his head over to Scum, giving a slight grin. He fails completly to notice the baatezus new torture devices.
Mr. Pokey makes a rather pathetic attempt at a cackle again, and notes, "This is the benefit of having more legss. Or arms. Whichever, I always get confused myself." Taking a feather in each of three spare arms, he begins ticking Merj's and Scum 's and Smoat's feet in a quite professional way!
Scum says, "Now, that's more like it!", and collapses into hysteria, every now and then interjecting a blood-curdling scream, just because.
Merj giggles madly, the feathers bringing cool fanned relief to his tortured Dis-blistered feet.
Smoat turns bright red and tries not to move, but shortly starts kicking and screaming madly, laughing like a barmy. A stereotypical barmy, that is.
Mr. Pokey harumphs at the other two (although Smoat's reaction seems okay) "You're not supposed to giggle lke that! Scream with feeling this time! Louder! I can't heeeeear you!"
Scum takes a deeeep breath, and screams at the top of his lungs, while trying vainly to escape the dreaded feather. Without much success.
Merj draws in a deap breathe, opens his mouth wide for a scream, then giggles madly agian.
Smoat says, "I..." laugh, "Aien't..." laugh, "Ticklersh!""
Mr. Pokey harumphs again, dropping Smoat. "Didn't anybody ever teach you sods how to be tortured? Some people.. you go and put your ichor-dripping heart into your work and then some sod goes and messes it all up! Humph! I say!"
Smoat starts crying he's laughing so hard. "Keep..." laugh, "going! Izgood, yes!"
Scum tries vainly to break through the identical tears streaking his face, "That's it..." chortle, "that's the spirit!" titter, "I think he's got it!", scream.
Merj giggles still, looking around at why the feathering has stopped.
Smoat stands up on the ground and yawns. "Well, I enjoyed dat, nursey. Yez can come in my room anytime, if yez'iz gonna give me such a good time. And ta tink yez said dat wouldna be fun!"
Mr. Pokey flails his arms around. "That's it! I have no more respect for you people! Nobody wants to suffer for art anymore. Go on, get out! Shoo, say I!" he exclaims, unstrapping Merj and pushing the two barmies towards the door.
Scum says, "Say, old bean, do you suppose old Dispater sent these to you to torture you, teach you more ways of doing it, and such?"
Smoat struts around brightly, "Perhaps yez can show us out?"
Merj blinks, standing on his swollon feet agian. He looks crestfallen, and trys to sneak back onto the table.
Smoat stops abruptly. "Wait. Dis is my cell, yez have to leave if yez'iz done."
Mr. Pokey hits a level by the door with a foot, opening up a waste disposal chute. He picks up Smoat and Merj, with some difficulty, and tosses them down with another quick, "Hrmph. Some guests! What say we go back to the classics, Scum? Have another go at the rack today?"
Scum smiles up at Mr. Pokey. "Good show! Haven't had a good spin in decades, at least! Cheerio, chaps!"
A brief flash emits from the shoot, as Merj and Smoat slip through a portal to wherever the Kocrachon dumps its waste.
All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.