So, um... Inquisitor came back. I woke up with him standing over me, and he definitely wasn't happy. He dragged me out of bed by my hair and wanted to know what I was doing in the basement. I guess the Creeper was telling tales just like I figured he would. Bastard.
"No one knew where you were. I was worried!" I shouted, curling up into a ball as he kicked me. First rule of enduring a beating, preserve your squishy bits.
"You were worried about me?" He sneered at me, like it was the stupidest thing he ever heard. Yeah... I'd have to agree with him there. Won't catch me looking for trouble twice. "Up."
Inquisitor grabbed me by my hair again (I should really keep it short), and I had no choice but to get up or have it ripped out. He didn't let go and proceeded to drag me down to the basement. A few people came out of their apartments to stare, and that only made him angrier. "Find something to do, or I will be back for you when I am done with her."
They didn't need to be told twice.
Creeper was back in his chair when we passed, and it looked like Inquisitor had been busy replacing the lights. If anything, it was brighter down there, each bulb giving off tons of light and heat. They looked like outdoor spotlights rather than regular bulbs. I guess that's where he's been, collecting the bulbs and new sockets and maybe even borrowing the technical knowledge of how to replace the old lights. Inquisitor may not be able to keep a person alive if his tortures go too far, but he's hella-good at getting into people's heads. That's why he has the job he does.
The basement was hot and humid like a swamp. Only the light directly over Creeper was out. He looked absolutely pissed about it. Not even my predicament lightened the scowl on his face. Though I guess after the things Inquisitor said, Creeper was probably more upset about my predicament than I was.
Inquisitor threw me into the chair and tied down my hands and feet so I couldn't struggle, not that I would. I'm not that stupid.
"You went out last night without permission," he said, his back to me as he examined his tools.
"I was with Whistler..."
"Liar! Whistler is dead. A darkling ate her a year ago."
I don't remember exactly what I babbled at that point, but Inquisitor slapped me hard enough to make my ears ring. "But I did see her..."
"You little idiot. You let him get into your head. He could have made you do anything. A few more days, and he would have had you unlocking his cage and helping him slaughter us all." I started to cry, and he slapped me again. "You're weak. Everything about you is weak. You should never have been allowed out of your cage."
And then he started to torture me... really torture me, like he was trying to break me like when I was first brought into the Family. I really tried not to scream. I hate when they scream. I didn't want to be weak like he said. I tried to be strong and not scream. It was Whistler who got to me. I could see her standing in the corner, watching Inquisitor hurt me and I started to cry again, and then Inquisitor got angry and put away the knives. And brought out the acid.
My screaming brought Liger down... sometime later. I don't remember. I don't remember anything after Inquisitor dripped acid on my face. I'm sure I must have kept healing myself; otherwise I'd probably be dead. At least Whistler was gone when I looked around. A darkling ate her. A darkling... probably Creeper. Why else pick her to mimic? But then I could just as easily have filled in the blanks myself, recreating my friend who I missed. Inquisitor is right. I am very stupid and useless.
Liger... hit Inquisitor... just once. He knocked him into the table and knocked a lot of his tools on the floor. He leaned down as Inquisitor scrambled to pick them up, and Inquisitor froze where he crouched. Then Liger unstrapped me and carried me upstairs, past Creeper in his cage. He muttered the whole way up to our apartment, about Inquisitor being jealous and overstepping himself, about him being careless and putting us all in danger out of selfishness and that keeping the darkling prisoner was asking for trouble. And he said other things that I won't repeat because they were kind of embarrassing and... now I feel awkward.
I don't think he would have said any of it if he'd known I was awake.