Captain Leighton Saunders was already bored of the girl. After he had hog-tied her to the bed and whipped her young body until it bled he found that the screams of terror did not even give him an erection. This had been happening a lot lately and was becoming something of a cause for concern. Saunders was only fifty-five years old; he planned on being around for a good few years. Surely the change wasn’t due yet?
Saunders caught sight of himself in the full-length mirror as he dragged the girl to the floor by her long hair. His big hairy belly was hanging over his unresponsive genitals; Saunders felt suddenly guilty and a little ashamed at what he had become. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” the girl kept saying, although Saunders really didn’t know what she had to apologise for. There was no disputing that she’d kept her side of the bargain – and more. Saunders, as he liked to remind his underlings, was a sadistic bastard whom you crossed at your extreme peril. He was not, however, an unreasonable sadistic bastard. This one would live to fuck another day. Probably.
The mews house that Saunders rented in Soho was one of three residences in which he split his time. Unlike the apartment in Little France and the villa in Sheffield, this one was cheap and private. While the other two dwellings, with their lofty reception rooms and offices filled with private dossiers and maps, represented the public face of the Bunker’s chief of security, Saunders’s Soho abode fulfilled other needs. Saunders went there two or three times a week. He’d pick up one of the Soho girls along the way and take them back for an evening’s entertainment. He enjoyed their shocked expressions when they saw the blood stains on the walls as he eased them through the door. It wasn’t quite what they were expecting from the big, harmless looking man with the generous smile and the generous wallet.
Although nobody mentioned the way in which Saunders chose to entertain himself when not in uniform, Saunders’s habits were well known to his men and only served to enhance his reputation as a cruel and merciless sadist. Saunders might have worn the uniform of a soldier but he could not be described as such. Not really. Although he had drawn plenty of blood during his ten-year reign of chief of security, Saunders had never done so in the heat of battle. Enemies of Saunders did not usually carry weapons when they died. Saunders liked to hold all the cards when he was torturing and killing.
Saunders gave the girl a hefty smack across the cheek with the back of his fist and stood back to observe the results. This one was very young – sixteen… maybe seventeen. She was undernourished and her complexion was matted with acne scabs. She lay face down on the floor and sobbed.
“Don’t cry, baby,” said Saunders, still feeling nothing in his loins. “There’s just a couple more things I’d like for you to do and then you can go home.”
“Please mister,” cried the girl. “Please let me go – I’ve never done this before. Sob. I’m sorry. I just want to go home.”
For a moment Saunders found himself almost believing what he was hearing. It was true that he’d not seen the girl around before and it was also true that she didn’t much resemble the other girls. There was something about her that was fresher, not so fucked up as the others. Perhaps, she was telling the truth. If so, then maybe his luck had changed a little.
Saunders once more took hold of the girl’s hair and pulled her to her knees. The girl yelped and looked pleadingly into his eyes. She was actually quite pretty. Saunders slapped the girl again and realised that he hadn’t noticed this before.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
The girl sobbed again before managing to answer. “Lena,” she said.
“Lena, eh? Lena pretty ballerina.”
Without warning Saunders began to laugh. His voice filled the room. “Your first time,’ he sneered. “If this is your first time I’m the Queen of Sheba.”
Saunders raised his hand again but heard a noise elsewhere in the room. The sound emanated from the pile of discarded clothing at the foot of the bed. It was Saunders’s communicator. Someone was trying to contact him. Saunders found the device in his shirt pocket and checked the readout. It was one of the plebs from A-Wing.
“This had better be good, ” he said, discarding the girl and flicking the communicator on.
“This is Morton,” said a voice. “We got a situation developing here, Sir. I thought I’d better inform you.”
“Well inform me,” said Saunders.
“It’s Nathan Philips.”
“Phillips? Are you telling me that you’re calling me to talk about Phillips? What’s that geriatric old fart been doing now? I hope for your sake that you’re telling me he’s dropped dead.”
“He’s gone missing, Sir. Ray Moore, too.”
“What do you mean, ‘gone missing’?”
“They’re not in the Bunker, Sir. We’ve had people out looking for them for the last three hours. There’s no trace of either of them.”
“Three hours? Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier, you little shit?”
“We thought it was a false alarm, Sir. We didn’t want to disturb you without good reason.”
Saunders bit down hard on his upper lip and thought for a moment. He hated Nathan Phillips more than he hated anyone. Ever since Saunders had become chief of security Phillips had been a constant thorn in his side. Even though Saunders was technically Phillips’s superior in rank, the old man had many high-ranking friends in the Bunker. This was why Saunders had resisted the urge to have him killed; it would have been too obvious.
“There’s one other thing, Sir,” said Morton.
“Somebody’s jumped. Sorry, two people have jumped, Sir.”
Saunders’s voice suddenly became a crescendo of rage. “Whaaaaattttt!” he screamed. In the corner of the room, the girl began to cry.
‘We think they’ve both jumped…”
“Jumped? What do you mean they’ve jumped? Jumped? Where have they jumped?”
“We don’t know yet, Sir. We’re trying to find out.”
Saunders punched the wall in anger. Shards of cheap plaster fell to the floor. “You’ve got one hour.” He said. “Do you hear me? One hour – or somebody is going to be very, very sorry.”
Saunders brought his fist to his lips. The knuckles were bleeding but he realised with some surprise that he had the makings of an erection. It was true that every cloud had a silver lining. He looked over at the girl. “Tell the men that I’ll be back at A-Wing in one hour,” he said, licking his lips as he eyed her up and down. “And I’ll be wanting answers.”
Saunders turned the communicator off and hurled it on to the bed. He caught sight of his reflection in the mirror once again: his big, fat, naked, white body. It was an almost comical sight – even he could see that. “Lena,” he said. “Lena pretty ballerina. I’m not quite finished with you yet.”