Paradox Metaphor
Chapter 16 -- Interrogation Part II
by Steve Donohue

The ork’s meaty fist slammed into his face again and Moros found himself wishing he’d just lose consciousness so they’d leave him alone. He’d been brought here after being surprised by a half dozen orks. He was now in the company of an ork "priest" whose job it was to get the truth out of him. Unfortunately, he didn’t know anything about the truth the ork wanted so he couldn’t tell it if he’d wanted to.

"How did you move our caves?" asked the ork again. "Was it some sort of Elven trick?"

"I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I haven’t seen an elf in months," lied Moros. He really didn’t know anything about their caves, but he didn’t see any point in mentioning the elf he’d spotted at the inn earlier. Maybe the elf did have something to do with it, but if he did, it was fine by Moros. He’d rather have died than helped these cursed orks.

"Enough playing," said a new voice. "What is your name human?"

"I am called Moros."

"Well Moros, perhaps you have heard of me. I am Telrik One-Eye of the Red Eyes tribe."

"Doesn’t mean anything to me," he lied. He had heard of Telrik though, and his reputation was not a good one. He was considered brutal even for an ork and he had a quick mind. He had been the one who defeated the dwarfs at Durin’s Gate. If he were here, that was definitely a bad thing for the people of Westvale. He hoped he’d get free in time to warn them.

"It will soon," laughed the ork. He stepped into Moros blurred vision and began laughing. "Bring me my irons," he cried, "and start stoking that brazier. Now then ranger, what can you tell me of the people of Westvale?"

"Only that they will never surrender to the likes of you," spat Moros. "They will fight until either you or they are dead."

"Good, good," said Telrik, "for we are 500 strong. I doubt they can match that number."

Ugrek watched the whole incident with a mixture of awe and fear. He watched with morbid curiosity as Telrik began heating his irons for the interrogation. He also knew that if he hadn’t found Moros, it could just as easily be him on that table. He shuddered as the human screamed with the pain of the first burning. The smell of burning flesh filled the air with an acrid smoke, and he turned away.

"Does it scare you Ugrek?" asked the ugly ork. "For my irons may not be done yet. We still haven’t found out what is happening, and that failure is all yours."

"Yes sir," said Ugrek, "I know that. That’s why my men and I are preparing to return to the surface right now."

"Good," said Telrik, "and perhaps that wound in your chest will remind you to be more careful in the future."

Ugrek cursed silently, realizing that he would not get any help from these priests. He bowed deeply and left the impromptu torture chamber. He headed up to the barracks and checked the time. It was still full daylight; there was no way he was heading out into that. He woke up Pok and Kern and sent them out to relieve Dahj and Rel, then settled down for some sleep himself.

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