interrogation fail

Interrogation as Torture

Interrogation is probably the scenario that comes to most Western people’s minds when torture is mentioned. The belief that torture can be used during interrogation is heavily ingrained in Western pop culture whether the story believes it ‘works’ or not.

I’m going to go over some of the most common misconceptions about what bringing torture to the interrogation table does and does not do.

Tell the Truth

‘Care must be exercised when making use of rebukes, invectives or torture as it will result in his telling falsehoods and making a fool of you.’ Japanese Kempeitai manual found in Burman 1943

The use of force often has the consequence that the person being interrogated under duress confesses falsely because he is afraid and as a consequence agrees to everything the interrogator wishes.’ Indonesian interrogation manual, East Timor, 1983

Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions concocted as a means of escaping from distress.’ CIA Kubark Counterintelligence Manual 1963

I can’t prove conclusively that in the history of the world torture has never ever once produced accurate information. Overwhelmingly often it does not. There are several reasons why.

Torture produces a lot of lies. Both people with information and people without information have a good reason to lie under torture. And they both do. The person with information does not want to give it up. The person without information needs to say something to make the torture stop.

Humans are bad at telling when someone is lying. When tested even people who think they’re good at spotting lies can’t do it consistently. It can be almost impossible to tell who is hiding something and who genuinely doesn’t know what’s going on. A person under torture might have already told the truth and started lying when the interrogator didn’t believe them. Which is exactly what happened to Shelia Cassidy when she was tortured in Chile in the 70s.

Pain and stress destroy the human memory. Experiments with willing volunteers have repeatedly shown that stress, pain and lack of sleep make it difficult for people to remember. A 2004 paper using US military survival school as the ‘high stress situation’ which simulated capture and interment as a POW (C A Morgan et al, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27, 265-279) found that between 51-68% of soldiers identified the wrong person as their interrogator. Interrogations had lasted four hours with the interrogator shouting at and manhandling the volunteers. The low stress group identified the wrong person 12-38% of the time.

Torture results in loss of public trust. Most police and intelligence investigations live or die on public support. People coming forward voluntarily with accurate information. People reporting on suspects. In the long term torture actively recruits for the opposing ‘side’. According to the IRA this is exactly what happened in Northern Ireland when the British used torture. It also happened in Aden and to a lesser extent Cyprus.

Torture in short produces more lies than truth and in such a mixture that it can be hard to tell which is which. Because of the pain it causes torture can make it impossible for victims who want to tell the truth to actually do so accurately. And because of the effect it has on communities it often makes it harder to gather accurate information through more reliable sources.

Accuracy in torture is so poor it is ‘in some cases less accurate than flipping a coin’. (No that isn’t exaggeration, that’s a quote from D Rejali who literally wrote the book)

The Ticking Bomb

The famous ‘ticking-bomb’ scenario is a fictional situation (it literally came from a novel, written by a suspected torturer) where a disaster (such as a bomb attack) is known to be approaching and in order to save innocent lives the characters need more intel fast.

So they start debating whether to use torture.

Depending on the story and the characters they sometimes do torture. Usually if they do it gives them information they then use to save lives.

There’s another problem, aside from the total lack of accuracy for information that comes from torture. Torture takes as long or longer than other interrogation techniques.

According to the CIA’s own records detainees were put through several days of sleep deprivation before interrogation. The Senate Torture Report (testimony from Ali Soufan) estimated that their torture techniques took 30 days.

According to British records and accounts from the IRA during the Troubles a single torture session by ‘walling’ (sleep deprivation, white noise and stress positions combined) could last between nine and forty three hours.

I’ve selected the following quotes to give an idea of the time frame for short tortures used in interrogation. Both are from Northern Ireland by Irish men detained by the British. Emphasis is mine.

‘One powerfully built RUC detective would keep me pinned in a position while the other one would hold my elbow then press back on my wrist. And that could last for an hour or possibly two hours. And it’s excruciatingly painful, to the extent that I remember after three or four days I would simply go unconscious-’ Tommy McKearney

When I was taken away from Girdwood to be interned, I thought I had been there for about eight days, but it was only three. I later realised I was only being allowed to sleep for ten minutes at a time.’ Joe Docherty

Interrogation always takes time. And that time is measured in days not minutes.

Sanitised Portrayals

‘NO useful information so far….He did vomit a couple of times during the water board with some beans and rice. It’s been 10 hours since he ate so this is surprising and disturbing.’ Senate Torture Report, from quoted emails SSCI 2014, 41-42

For me this is one of the most noticeable differences between torture in pop culture and torture in reality. Torture in films and books is always sanitised.

I don’t mean that it isn’t gory or isn’t gory ‘enough’. Blood seems to be a cinematic staple and seeing the hero beaten and bloodied in a dingy lit room has become standard in a certain sort of action story.

What I’m talking about are the body fluids and products we’re trained to think are less acceptable. Vomit. Urine. Mucus. Faeces.

I can think of several movies where a ‘good-guy’ gets beaten to a bloody pulp on screen. I can’t think of any where they piss themselves. But losing control of bladder and bowel function seem to be pretty common in real life. A lot of the eyewitness accounts I’ve read about systematic torture mention the smell of urine and shit.

Vomiting is something I don’t see mentioned as often in survivor accounts but I think it’s very likely to occur frequently because a lot of common methods of torture produce nausea.

The ‘Tough’ Interrogator


It may be only later, outside of that specific environment, that the torturer may question his or her behaviour, and begin to experience psychological damage resulting from involvement in torture and trauma. In these cases, the resulting psychological symptoms are very similar to those of victims, including anxiety, intrusive traumatic memories and impaired cognitive and social functioning.’ Psychologists Mark Costanzo and Ellen Gerrity.

Those techniques [CIA ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques] are so harsh it’s emotionally distressing to the people who are administering them.’ Dr James Mitchell, psychologist involved in the CIA’s EIT program.

We are where we are- and we’re left popping our Prozac and taking our pills at night.’ Anonymous torturer quoted in Cruel Britannia

There’s a growing body of evidence that torture has a negative psychological effect on the torturer.

The evidence is for the most part anecdotal, based on patterns emerging across interviews. Torturers, funnily enough, don’t show up in droves for psychological studies. But there is a pattern. One of substance abuse, addiction, PTSD and suicide.

The cause of these symptoms in torturers is the same thing that causes trauma in people who witness horrific things. It is well known that seeing violent attacks on others can cause trauma in witnesses.

Humans are empathic creatures.

There is a measurable, automatic response in the brain to seeing others in pain. We can not control it and we can not stop it. Even when we are told that the other person is anaesthetized our brains still respond to their perceived pain.

This, combined with the destruction of normal social interaction and dehumanisation, appears in a very real sense to harm torturers.

If you’re planning to use torture as part of an interrogation scene it’s worth noting that some torturers do believe torture is a useful way to get information, despite the evidence. Some of them cling to the idea that they had to torture, that what they did was useful and saved lives. Some of them seem to overplay the value of torture in order to justify their own actions and jobs.

None of that makes them immune to the effect of torturing another human being.


[Additional Sources-

‘Torture and Democracy’, Princeton, D Rejali (Only order this if you’ll be at home to pick it up, at over 850 pages it’s a monster)

‘Accuracy of eyewitness memory for person encountered during exposure to highly intense stress’, The International Journal of Law and Psychiatry C A Morgan, G Hazlett, A Doran, S Garrett, G Hoyt, P Thomas, M Baranoksi, S M Southwick, 2004 (This team have actually done a series on high stress situations and the effects on memory. Charles Morgan is the first author on this set of papers.)

‘Audacity to Believe’ Cleveland, S Cassidy

‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation.’ Harvard University Press, S O’Mara (Highly recommended, reasonably accessible for a layman)

‘Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture.’ Portobello Books, I Cobain (Very good history, although the author doesn’t seem to understand many of the techniques he writes about)

‘What are you feeling? Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Assess the Modulation of Sensory and Affective Responses during Empathy for Pain’, PLoS ONE, C Lamm, H C Nusbaum, A N Meltzoff, J Decety 2007 (The experiments in this paper include brain scans of people seeing photos of a needle and a hand in various different positions, some of which would be painful. There wasn’t much change in brain response if the volunteers were told the hand couldn’t feel pain.)]

everything stays

pairing: snowbaz
words: 2400
summary: baz and penelope try to surprise simon at christmas and on his birthday, but simon is the one who ends up surprising them. a story about the slow process of recovery and some thoughts on the nature of hope. (inspired by this song from adventure time.)
genre: mostly fluff, a touch of hurt/comfort and a little angst that (spoiler) turns out ok
notes: this is the first fic i’ve posted on this blog and it’s pretty important to me, seeing as i am firmly in the Simon Snow Salisbury Deserved Better camp when it comes to the ending of carry on, so here is my revisionist self adding post-canon simon angst (plus resolution to said angst) and snowbaz fluffiness.

Keep reading

swift-as-a-deer  asked:

How would you fix up the prequels in Star Wars? Especially with regards to exploring Anakin's transformation/arc, given that Anakin goes from preventing the (immediately required) execution of Palpatine to killing lots and lots of innocent Jedi children/warriors in about 10 minutes of screen time and a few(?) hours of in-universe time. Thanks

*cracks knuckles* Tagging @the-winged-wolf-bran-stark in this, as we’ve talked about it before. 

Big important change right off the top: let the actors improvise, experiment, and riff off each other with their dialogue, as often happened in the original movies. George Lucas is great (nigh-peerless, actually) with concepts and storyboards, but he himself has admitted he’s not great at dialogue, especially romantic dialogue. This was the #1 problem with the prequels, and I think the interesting, surprisingly risky stuff about this trilogy would’ve gotten more attention if the mediocre-to-awful dialogue wasn’t slapping everyone in the face every few seconds.

After that? For me, the #2 problem was how many intriguing ideas and characters didn’t get fleshed out while Lucas lavished time on stuff he didn’t need or just wasn’t working. For example, while the Gungans did allow Georgie to give us some lovely visuals…

…that alone doesn’t justify their existence. They’re tiresome and super racist in conception, as are the Nemoidians. In terms of non-humanoids to lavish more time on, go with Kamino, as that was easily my favorite part of AOTC.

That also leaves the primary antagonist role—and a lot of screen time—open in TPM. Use that narrative space to beef up Darth Maul’s role significantly and move up by a movie the introduction of the Separatist movement and Count Dooku (while changing that embarrassing name; low-hanging fruit, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less true). Position Maul as a mercenary working for the Count, while hinting that he’s really Sidious’ mole inside the separatists; start the PT with Maul kicking off the Separatist movement by attacking the Republic and the Jedi in some instantly memorable fashion, rather than something something trade dispute. Keep the whole “faction rebels against the Republic which is too schlerotic to respond properly” plot framework of TPM, but give the antagonists some real heft. Use their rebellion as a way to interrogate and investigate the failings of the Jedi and the Republic. Because that was, by far, the best idea in the prequels: the Jedi and the Republic didn’t just lose, they failed. Neither of them could handle the challenge Palpatine posed. 

This would also give the Separatist movement a distinct ideological tenor and dramatic reason for being other than just “swarm of droids and/or idiots to be manipulated by Palpatine.” The Count needs to genuinely believe that he’s doing the right thing, taking on the corrupt and shiftless powers that be both in the Republic and on the Jedi Council, with no idea that he’s being manipulated by the Sith. Indeed, build up the Count throughout that first movie as a dark mirror of Qui-Gon. That’ll make it more meaningful when Obi-Wan and the Count cross paths in AOTC–and you need to spend a lot more time on that dynamic. Cut half the Battle of Geonosis to make room.

Thus, when the Separatist movement is finally destroyed in ROTS, it’ll carry some weight: they saw the problems, but put their faith in the wrong people. And that, of course, dovetails perfectly with Anakin’s own story. To your question in that regard: his turn to the dark side needs to be seeded into his overall worldview instead of just his knee-jerk emotional reactions. There’s a little of that in AOTC (“then they should be made to”) but not nearly enough. Spend a lot of time on Anakin arguing with Senators and Jedi Masters about their approach to the war, politics, and life in general. Have him develop theories about politics and the Force that have a gut appeal compared to the older and not-actually-wiser heads around him while still being worryingly close to Fascism In Space. Stick with the original concept of Padme founding the Rebellion, and have this political schism be the cause of their relationship falling apart. She too is frustrated with the Council and the current leadership of the Republic, but is horrified and walks away from him when she learns he sided with Palpatine. Anakin hesitates for a moment, but then hardens his heart and turns on the younglings; Vader is born. 

So I was thinking like…why did Spider-Man Homecoming feel so familar to me. like something familiar I really liked and

how is it that Spider-Man Homecoming has so many similarities to Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle

-very earnest teenager becomes a superhero and his first superhero “friend” is an aloof older billionaire guy he is somewhat intimidated by (Batman in Jaime’s case obvs). 

-has a advanced technological suit he can’t quite control, who he talks to constantly and it talks back, that is constantly trying to convince him to go for the instant kill attack.

-Jaime literally did the “tried to imitate Batman’s interrogation tactics, failed spectacularly at it and being intimidating in general and had to switch back to normal voice” thing first, that’s why it felt so familiar. 

So yeah idk, if you liked Spider-Man Homecoming you might wanna try checking out Blue Beetle. Similar coming-of-age adorkable shenanigans and also some stuff the movie faltered on, like women talking to each other and Jaime’s family being fully fleshed out (he has a v. badass mom, dad and sis) etc. Also the added twist of Jaime just like. immediately telling his family he has superpowers. because why not.

A Fork in the Road Pt.2

Requested by an anon

Summary: Damian overhears Batmom talking to Harley over her personal phone and knows he has to tell his father.

Read Pt.1 Here

Warning(s): None

Excusing yourself from the breakfast table, you walked quickly into a vacant room, making sure to lock the door. Damian quirked an eyebrow at your sudden leave, though he was the only one to even pay attention to your quick departure. After he was sure no one else noticed he slipped out of the rather busy kitchen behind you and stood outside the room. Digging into his sweatshirt pocket he grabbed his ear piece to tune into what you were saying.

The vibrations against your thigh continued until you pulled your phone out to finally answer it. Quickly pressing the button you greeted the caller and nestled into the chair, completely oblivious to your youngest eavesdropping on you. You’d been talking to Harley for a few months at this point, unbeknownst to the rest of your family, including Dick and Tim. It was innocent though, strictly just both of you talking out problems, even you venting to Harley about Batman.

You both had a basic understanding of each other and your relationships. It helped conversation come easy and a bond to form between the two of you rather quickly. Most days Harley talked your ear off and today was no different, so you simply mumbled a few periodic “mhm”s and “yeah, okay”s.

Damian narrowed his eyes as he listened trying to determine who you were talking to every day. His insides boiled at the thought of you cheating on his father. Or maybe it was the thought of you not being happy with this family that you were searching for someone else that made him mad. Regardless, he wasn’t going to stand for it. He wasn’t about to let you walk away from all of them, from him.

Over the next few weeks he listened in on your conversations to gather up enough information. He wouldn’t just storm into his father and declare you were cheating on him without any evidence. It took more planning than he thought, or rather, it consumed him wholeheartedly more than he thought.

Somewhere inside of him he knew he wasn’t desperate to gather evidence of your cheating, he was desperate to gather evidence that you weren’t cheating. It was difficult for him to write down every time you ranted about Batman and how it felt like he didn’t care or how the kids seemed to never appreciate you. How could you be so stupid? So blind? His father loved you with every fiber of his being! And so did he…

Thankfully the twelve year old’s prayers were answered when you finally addressed your mystery caller. But by the name Harley? It was a male name and he froze until he heard you mentioned the Joker as the caller’s significant other. His body went even more ridged as it all clicked into place. Instead of being able to forget the whole mess he knew he had to tell his father. It just wasn’t safe.

The boy walked down into the cave with confidence, knowing his father was there, “Father,” his voice was stern, afraid if he let any emotion show at all he would falter and rip something apart.

Bruce pulled away from the computer and turned to face his son, relaxing back into the chair, “What is it?”

“It’s (Y/N). She’s been in contact with Harley Quinn every day for at least the past month,” his chin lifted up slightly as his jaw locked, just waiting for the go-ahead to track the female clown down.

But Bruce just turned back to the computer, “I’ll talk to her later.”

“Later?!” Damian’s voice inflated with anger, infuriated at his father for not taking action immediately, “Do it now!”

A silent pause fell upon them as Bruce processed Damian’s outburst of anger and turned to face him again. His son was glaring daggers at him. You knew that Gotham came before you in Bruce’s mind but that didn’t mean he had to act like it all the time and Damian was merely reminding him of that.

Bruce’s eyes narrowed and he set off towards the stairs, brushing against Damian as he did so. It didn’t take him long to find you spread out in some odd position on the couch watching Netflix. He picked up yours legs to sit down before placing them on his lap. Grabbing the remote from its place balancing on your stomach, he paused your show.

Almost immediately your head popped up to glare at him and purse your lips, “What was that for?”

His gaze fell to your legs, loosing himself in the rich color of your skin, “Can I talk to you?”

“Well yeah,” You tilted your head in slight confusion at him, mentally thinking of a way to get the remote back.

“You’re talking to Harley. Why?” His voice was gruff, as if he was trying not to be Batman interrogating you but failing miserably.

Your expression softened and you sighed while you pulled yourself up into a sitting positon, “Yeah, I am,” there was no use in denying it, he already knew.

“Why?” He repeated his question as he looked at you, his eyes stern and expecting an answer this time, not appreciating your avoiding the question.

“Relax, I’m not hiding anything, or at least not much. She just needs help,” You shrugged and looked to the floor, not really wanting to make eye contact with him.

“What if it’s a trap?!” His voice was getting deeper and his upper body leaned into you slightly.

“I’ve been talking to her for like five months Bruce, If she was going to do anything, I think she’d have done it by now.”

He fell silent, a million thoughts racing through his head. Mostly those of the wickedly disturbed things the Joker has concocted over the years. It made his mind go into hyper drive, thinking of all the things he may be planning with a long-term scheme like that.

“She left him, Bruce,” You knew exactly what he was thinking and tried to plead your case before he began scolding you, “That’s what she wanted my help with.”

“On your cell phone? What if she tracked you?”

“I’m the one who suggested I give her my number. I’m not stupid, I’ve been working the batcomputer long enough I know how to scramble a signal!”

He went to open his mouth again to bring up another ‘what-if’ before you stopped him, “Look, you’re out there every single night not knowing if you’re going to get killed while I sit in a cave. She wanted to talk to me - and she just needed someone there for her. I assessed the situation and made a decision. She wanted to leave him, Bruce! And now she has, because of my help! And it feels damn good.”

Bruce sighed and rubbed his face, keeping his hand on his forehead before dropping it. His eyes met yours and he stared at you. Your gut dropped and you didn’t know what he was about to do. Until he started reaching towards you and engulfed you in his arms. He pulled you to his chest and held you there while you blinked, trying to determine if he was mad or not.

“You’re right. You did well. I’m proud,” He ruffled your hair as if you were a child, making you pout, “Just don’t get any ideas about wearing a cape.”

How to Interrogate a Pirate (and fail) 101 - OUAT ff

Rating: Teen (just in case, but probably K+)

Summary: A missing scene from the hospital that fits into season 2. Questioning Hook in the hospital didn’t yield any answers, and now with Emma out of town and Cora still on the loose, time is tight. So Emma leaves it to David to try to question the pirate one more time…He learns a few things, but none of them to do with Cora.

Timeline: 2x12 canon

Spoilers: Probably none - it was so long ago.

Tags:  Season 2 setting | Missing scene | basically, anyway | Hospital scene | Captain Swan implicated | David and Killian don’t get along | baiting each other | pre canon relationship | David has dad worries | for good reason | Father-daughter feels (?) | David POV

Notes: I watched the entire series last August in about a week, just before season 6 aired. So I got the entire CS storyline in a flash, which was both wonderful for me because no waiting three years for them to get together, but also meant I was too busy watching them in canon back to back to stop and write fanfics in between. So this happened not long after and has sat on my hard drive for…well, a while.

The hospital scene was great, really, but I remember that part of the show and can’t help thinking that I wish Killian had found out exactly why Emma left town so easily - that it was because Rumple threatened him. He was too revenge driven for it to have changed anything back then, but the idea intrigued me and I find this stage of his character to be a fascinating one. So this happened.

My first real attempt at writing in the ONCE universe and with a lot of emotions bubbling away. Hopefully I didn’t screw them up, but feedback is always hugely appreciated.

–Read on AO3 HERE–

ps. If you like it, please consider reblogging. Likes mean a lot to me, but reblogging allows others to more easily find and enjoy it, too. Thank you :)

pomrania  asked:

Would you be able to talk about alternatives to torture, for gathering information? Like, you've made it very clear that torture does NOT work for that, so what are some things writers could have their characters do instead, to provide an example for people making real-world decisions, that wouldn't involve human-rights violations? (If this isn't your field of knowledge, would you know of things to look up, as a starting point?)

I’m happy to try but the proviso is that almost everything I’ve come across to do with how interrogations and investigations should actually be conducted has come up while researching torture. Which skews the information somewhat.

The main thing that needs stressing is something almost all sources agree on INTERROGATIONS ARE A BAD WAY OF COLLECTING INFORMATION.

A good investigation would rely primarily on evidence gathering and informants. For evidence gathering I’d suggest looking up books and blogs on forensics and perhaps ScriptHacker for computer-based evidence.

Informants are a little trickier. In a best-case members of the public actively want to help with information gathering. A good real life example is the London Bombings in July 2005. Members of the public were essential in the capture of the terrorists responsible.

These people included the parents and neighbours of the bombers. These people recognised the bombers from CCTV footage of the attacks, contacted the police and gave them a lot of essential information. This actually stopped another bomb from going off and saved lives.

Support and help from the public is essential to the success of any investigation. And having been in the UK at the time of those attacks I can also say that this sort of support is often also a sort of public/civic pride. Part of how torture hampers investigations is by making this level of public trust and cooperation impossible.

In situations where the public doesn’t necessarily support the investigation, such as in repressive regimes, people are often paid for information. The system doesn’t work as well but it still functions reasonably. It’s hugely expensive and not always as reliable.

In settings with informants it is highly likely the public is aware of informants. There’s an atmosphere of fear and the mistaken tendency to believe that people picked up by the police/government must have had some sort of information. The climate of fear may hamper investigations, making ordinary people hesitate to come forward for fear they might be arrested or implicated.

It’s also worth pointing out that even in repressive regimes there are cases that will get widespread public support. It is perfectly reasonable for the determined gumshoe in your dystopia setting to get help and support from the public when he’s trying to solve a child’s murder even if the same people ignored him last week when he was looking for political dissidents.

Which brings us to the stuff I can actually talk a little about the least reliable method: interrogations.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on interrogation and I’ve never conducted an interrogation. Most of what I’m putting down here is based on experiments on human memory rather than interrogation per say. These techniques are focused on trying to improve memory more then ‘catch’ lies, they spot inconsistencies they don’t show whether the inconsistencies are accidental or on purpose.

Get them to tell their story backwards.

If the story stays consistent when it’s told backwards as well as forwards then you can be reasonably sure that it is genuinely what that person remembers. That isn’t quite the same as it being true. Forcing someone to focus on their story in this way sometimes help people to recall additional details. It also makes spotting inconsistencies easier. It is much harder to keep a lie consistent when telling the story backwards, so lies are easier to spot. But inconsistencies may also be down to trauma or normal flaws in human memory.

Separate the people involved

This doesn’t just prevent suspects from coming up with a ‘cover story’, it also prevents witnesses from accidentally affecting each other’s memories. In group settings people often have agree with the consensus of the group. This can powerful enough to trigger alterations in people’s memories.

Build a repartee

Interrogators/interviewers should try and build up a connection with the people they’re interviewing. This takes time and patience. Speaking the interviewee’s native language is usually essential as is treating them with respect.

Avoid leading questions or pressure tactics

These lead to false confessions.

And that’s…..a pretty complete summary so far as I know.

The truth is that the backbone of investigations and information gathering is public support. Dossiers are built on people voluntarily supplying information about their neighbours, friends and family as well as strangers.

A close second is forensics and physical evidence, which given how much information about any one person is now digital, often includes a large amount of online and computer-based data.

Interrogations suck. The human memory is unreliable and becomes more unreliable under stress. Which affects innocent people who are nervous because they’ve just been arrested as much as it affects guilty people who are trying not to get caught.

If you want to write real-world information gathering my advice is avoid interrogations as far as possible. They just aren’t that useful.


S. O’Mara in ‘Neuroscience and Interrogation: Why Torture Doesn’t Work’ covers a lot of the points on memory.

Rejali in ‘Torture and Democracy’ covers how investigations are actually conducted in the absence of torture with a focus on public cooperation and informants.

The New Scientist has published several articles relevant to human memory over the years and one specifically on interrogation/interviewing.

Edit: You might want to also check out this blog that takes questions on forensics and investigations.


Sprained suspect.

Anonymous: Hi I love your account! I’m loving the hotch x daughter reader fics! There so hard to find! Please could you do another hotch x daughter reader where the reader is a suspect on a case where people at her school have been killed and her best friend has been killed and she tries to run from Morgan, prentiss and Reid and they do catch her but her arm sprains and when they fail to interrogate her hotch goes in and sees the reader and tell them that’s his daughter and it turns she’s not the suspect.

A/N: I didn’t quite do the interrogation part as I didn’t realise it said that until I had written it! I hope that’s okay <3

Originally posted by prettyboygoobler

Y/N stood, fearlessly, in the school hall in the middle of the panicking crowd. The double doors echoed as Derek, Emily and Spencer emerged into the school’s main hall. While their eyes flickered across everyone, the students cowered at their harsh eyes but Y/N stood tall, the sight of her best friend’s mutilated face piercing her empty mind. Noticing her odd behaviour, Derek began to walk over to the emotionless girl, hand hovering over the gun in his waist band.

Y/N was quickly drawn from her thoughts as the terrified students around her moved away at the agent’s determined movements. Y/N’s glance hovered over the muscular man, flickering to the familiar agent and doctor behind him. Derek’s harsh gaze inspected her unaffected form, scanning over her glazed eyes.

“Are you okay, kid?” He questioned. In response, Y/N scoffed, unable to believe his stupid question but she still disguised her raw emotions.

“Fine.” She spat but the flashing images of her best friend made themselves apparent in her clouded mind. However, her stubborn reply raised the agents suspicions.

“We are going to take you in for questioning.” Derek ordered but her chest begged for air as her mind raced at his statement. She began to walk away rapidly, chest heaving as she quickened her pace. However, Derek, Emily and Spencer quickly followed. Derek pushed her down, pinning her arms behind her causing her to scream out in agony.

“Get off of me, my arm!” She screamed, her defiant side dominating her struggling form.

“We’re taking you in on suspicion of murder,” Emily commanded causing the other student’s to back away from her.

“You think I tore up my best friend’s face like that?” Y/N scoffed, flailing her legs about as Derek and Emily tore her out of the building.

Derek pulled her through the BAU, her familiar voice drawing the attention of Aaron.

“You’re hurting my arm.” Y/N strained, trying to pull free from Derek’s tight grip. Aaron quickly approached her, eyebrows furrowing immediately.

“What’s she doing here?” Aaron muttered, pulling her from Derek’s harsh grip and undoing her tight cuffs.

“Hotch, what are you doing? She is a suspect, we’re taking her in for interrogation.” Hotch growled, glancing over at his trembling daughter.

“Y/N.” He warned, waiting for her reasoning.

“Dad,” the team gasped at the word, “They killed her, they stabbed Y/B/F right in front of me, Dad.” She cried, holding onto Hotch tightly as she sobbed into his chest. Derek frowned, now realising that the young girl didn’t do anything and that she was in fact afraid of her torturing mind.

“Y/N, I need you to tell me what they look like. You need to be questioned but it’s going to be okay, darling.” Hotch comforted, blocking out the gazes from his team as he rubbed her back and kissed her forehead.


please dear goodness somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I just realized, um, ouch, Nathan Hale. Nathan. Hale.

TURN gave the man an extra month to live, having him die in October instead of September. According to the opening text, Pilot took place in ‘Autumn’, which could be anywhere between Sept. 22 (Hale’s historical death date) and…about the end of October, most likely so:

Nevermind that had TURN not changed the date of Hale’s death, there’s a chance that said event and Rogers’ ambush would’ve been happening on the same day, but as it stands in Canon -

Depending what part of Autumn Pilot took place during, Ben either already knew one of his best friends was dead, or got to find out somewhere in middle of “Ah yes my whole troop is dead and I’ve been shot | spies we need spies | in extremely hot water with Gen. Scott | confirmed upcoming court martial oh joy”

I just - did he find out about this relatively soon after the ambush or was it not until after Simcoe’s failed interrogation? The stand-off with the Bascombes?

And for a little more misery I wonder if it’s still canon that Ben himself was largely responsible for convincing Nathan to join The Cause in the first place?

Does he ever think about the fact that he’s here recruiting spies, and most of them personal friends of his, when another best friend died in that line of duty?

Now obviously he’s not wallowing in angst, there’s hardly time for that, but geez.

anonymous asked:

I don't know if you're the right blog to ask, but how does brainwashing work? Like, if I have my character (an adult) kidnapped, and the characters who took him try to brainwash him to their side, could it work, and how does it work?

Brainwashing doesn’t work.

But people do try to do it anyway.

If you want to write this kind of ‘brainwashing’ scenario and keep the audience in suspense about whose side the character is on a realistic scenario is having the character pretend the brainwashing is working.

People lie under torture a lot. Sometimes they do it deliberately and consistently in ways that are supposed to undermine the enemy. An example would be Algerian armed rebels telling French torturers the names of people who supported the French instead of people from their organisation.

Your character would have a really difficult and dangerous task ahead. But this could be a very interesting way to get a double agent in with the baddies. Especially if this character’s friends think he has actually been brainwashed.

The regimes people use vary quite a bit. If this is what you want to do I’d suggest something a little like the techniques the Chicago police force used to force confessions: beating, sleep deprivation, relay interrogation (changing the interrogators so the prisoner is forced to stay awake for days at a time) and possibly (if it fits your setting) electric shocks.

The main thing would be sleep deprivation and relay interrogation. Relay interrogation is basically changing the interrogators regularly so that the victim is constantly being ‘interrogated’ for literally days on end without rest. Changing the interrogators allows them to rest. In this case the ‘interrogators’ would probably be repeating the core beliefs of their group over and over again. They’d be ‘arguing’ and trying to force the character to defend his beliefs for days on end without rest, when he hasn’t slept or eaten. This is often done while the victim is in a stress position, so they’re in considerable physical pain.

Fooling the guards come down to acting as though he’s in worse pain than he actually is and telling them what they want to hear. Which is that he agrees with them.

Sleep deprivation will make it difficult for him to keep a coherent train of thought. It also causes head aches, grogginess and mal coordination, slow reaction times, poor memory and a host of other effects. A stress position (could be as simple as tying him to a chair) would cause severe pain in his muscles and joints.

The routine would probably be something along the lines of 36-48 hours relay interrogation, sleep deprivation and stress position, followed by periods of rest (perhaps 10-12 hours), food and water. This would be repeated several times over weeks or months.

The character would have to convince his torturers that he’s a) in a lot of pain and b) sincere. B) is generally harder than a).

You’ll have to give some thought to whether this sort of hard-headed, risky decision fits with your character or not. If you don’t mind me making a comic book reference to illustrate the point- it’s not the kind of thing an upstanding, idealistic and highly principled character like Captain America or Superman would do, it would require them to compromise their principals too much. But it is the kind of thing a more crafty character like Iron man or Batman might try in order to take down the bad guys in the long term.

If it doesn’t fit with your character then you can still have them go through the ‘brainwashing’ torture regime. But be aware that it isn’t going to change the victim’s ideals at all.

I hope that helps. :)


The ABB was still active.  Even with their boss gone, they were more organized than they had been under Lung’s influence. But her interrogations had failed to get any details on why.

So Kayden doesn’t actually know that Bakuda is in charge now. That might bite her in the ass.

Even broken arms and legs hadn’t hurt or scared the thugs enough to get them talking about what was going on.

I guess Bakuda has successfully managed to scare them more.

This was the situation, usually, where Kayden would go to informants for information, resurrect old alliances and get help in squashing the ABB before they could get their footing again.

That would make sense, yes.

She had hunted down old buddies, contacts and teammates three days ago, and had been frustrated by the lack of response, the lack of enthusiasm.  Max, Theo’s father, was to blame for that.

That’s weird. What did you do, Max? You’re becoming less and less sympathetic by the minute, dude.

Just as she’d left his team a more broken person than she’d been when she joined, others had gone through the same experience.

Oh what the hell, fucking up your kid wasn’t enough, Max?

With charisma and a keen sense of people, Max had convinced people from across the country to join his team.  Just as easily, he’d tore them apart without them realizing he was doing it.  Confidence broken, wracked by doubts, paranoid regarding everyone except the one man that had caused the paranoia in the first place, they’d splintered off from the team.  Not that Max minded.  There was always a fresh supply of bright eyed recruits ready to replace anyone he broke.

Wow. Wow. Fuck you, Max.

Mental Institute: BTS 101

Originally posted by jjilljj

“She was special. She was dangerous. Her parents admitted her into an abandoned mental institute. Little did she know it was a place where they experiment on people like her. Inside this institute she meets seven other boys who aren’t keen on her arrival. They believe there is something off and that she can’t be trusted. As the story continues, not only does she discover their reason for their stay, but she’ll end up choosing the one who gets to live.”

Chapter 3: “Infires, babe!”

Genre: Angst

Word count: 4.270

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 |

It was evening. I was nervously pacing around in my room, after Jin told me that I would be meeting the others at dinner. I couldn’t help but be anxious. What if they don’t like me?
What if… What if…?

I bit on my thumb and felt the soft skin slightly tearing from all my biting. Tasting the blood, I pulled a face and looked at myself through the mirror. I wore a black dress the maid gave me earlier and matched it with black converse that I have brought with me.

Keep reading


I’m so tired of people using the interrogation scene in SNAFU as an argument about any of the male characters.   Whatever the men of the SSR thought about Peggy beforehand, at that point she is a hostile target for interrogation.  These men are good at their jobs, and they know her experience in the field makes her a hard target to interrogation.  Probably every step of their combined approach was planned before they even stepped in the room.  

TL; DR:  Um guys, these are spies and therefore not everything they say is rooted in truth… you have to take everything the characters say with a grain of salt, ESPECIALLY in interrogation.

Interrogation in general is really difficult–its hard to convince someone to tell you something when they have reasons against doing so.  Generally it’s accomplished by either finding leverage/ something the target wants and is willing to trade, or its about manipulating their emotions.  Keeping a target off balance makes that easier, and that’s clearly what they are trying to do to Peggy.

Dooley pays her compliments.  Whatever he thinks of her work until that point, or her ability as a woman to do it, he’s realized she wants to be of use, that she values her own skills.  So he gives her the approval she’s been looking for, trying to soften her up.  It doesn’t work because it’s too little too late.

Jack plays the good cop.  He goes soft.  Peggy doesn’t expect this – it isn’t his strong suit – she challenges him to go ahead and hit her.  He doesn’t do that.  he talks about how she saved his life, how he knows she’s a good person, absolves her of any guilt.  He tries to build rapport while she’s off balance.  It doesn’t work because Peggy interprets this as sexist: he won’t hit her because he’s a woman.  I don’t think he wants to hit her but that isn’t why he avoids it.

Daniel is the bad cop.  Why? Because she wouldn’t expect that from him either.  He did refuse to shoot her, watched her walk away with puppy dog eyes.  His insults are purposeful, not him working out his feelings but trying to push her off balance, provide a contrast to Jack’s good cop.  Yeah, he brings up Howard in a sexual context but he also brings up Krzeminski’s death.  Maybe he has a few personal feelings about these topics but he’s also realized something important about Peggy: she treasures her personal relationships.  He doesn’t accuse her of killing Krzeminski because he thinks she’s done it - he does it because knows accusing her of killing a coworker will insult her.  Just like he knows implying she’s only helping Howard because they’re screwing will also insult her.  He’s probably worried about it somewhere in the back of his head, but that’s not why he says it. Insulting someone is a classic interrogation technique to make them defend their actions, and spill something truthful in the process.

(Also he’s coming off a failed interrogation where he tried to build rapport with the bum and Jack swooped in and bribed him instead.  Of course Daniel would want to try something he sees as more effective.)

The pedestal/whore comment again is Peggy’s POV; her reaction to Daniel’s comments.  She has similar reactions for the other men.  There’s a bit of truth to all of them in her eyes but she’s also lashing out.  After all, she also accuses Daniel of turning her in because he wants the glory and the accomplishment and we know neither of those things are true – he’s doing it because he believes it to be the right thing.

The interrogation is successful to the point where they get her off balanced and angry; but it fails because they have no idea how much rage Peggy actually has.  She’s interrogated people - she should totally understand how they are trying to manipulate her - but they wind her up anyway, to the point where nothing productive comes out of the interrogation. Even though she wants to tell them about Dottie.  It’s not until she gets time to cool off and realizes something bad is imminent that she manages to tell them what they need to hear. 

Later, when Peggy spills her guts Sousa asks her why she didn’t tell them.  He means why didn’t you tell me? He is the most personally hurt but I think it’s because they were actually friends.  It’s not because he felt entitled to her interest or is mad that he didn’t get it: Sousa in S1 doesn’t actually believe he would get those either way.  She responds with the “no one looks at me” line, and he looks shocked at this.  You can see him replaying all their interactions in his head.

The really interesting thing is the parallel between the two of them.  They were both running their own investigation.  Sousa more openly - he shared much of it with Peggy - but it’s still a splinter from the main investigation.  I am sure her “no one looks at me” comment makes him reconsider why he didn’t notice sooner.  I just don’t know if he honestly 1) underestimated her for sexist or other reasons or 2) just assumed she would share because they’re friends, the way he does with her.

The fact that we’re still arguing about this scene a year later obviously means there was a lot of nuance in it; we’re all getting different things out of it too, which is interesting.  But c’mon, don’t forget these people are spies.  There are reasons above and beyond character that things go down the way they do, and those shouldn’t be ignored.

Thanks, anon! Don’t worry, you’re not spamming! I love questions like these.

I don’t know how well he had it hidden, either; but four ruddy suicide attempts. You’d think people would have clued in that wow, this guy got problems. (He did get taken to a mental hospital, but that’s not the point). I hope BSD Dazai gets explored more later on, but then I remember that one chapter where he threatened Kouyou ‘my interrogation methods never fail’ only for it to become a normal not-even-interrogation deal even Atsushi could have made later. I’ll still keep my finger crossed though, because he still has a lot of potential!

And my rant on Soukoku:

First, in the manga itself. Sure, Dazai annoys Chuuya to hell and back, but Chuuya is one of the only ones (beside Mori probably) who can push his buttons. Not make him smile and joke like Odasaku and the Agency; Chuuya knows how to make him apprehensive, how crying women who Dazai left behind are his weak point, has a vague idea that he’s planning something and actively goes to destroy it out of spite. In short, if you want to ruin Dazai’s plans (which is always nice) Chuuya is your best bet (even though he probably can’t anyway, the poor dear). 

Second, when Dazai interacts with Chuuya, he feels less like a Mary Sue. Suddenly Dazai is actually putting effort in something; he stays in that dungeon to wait for Chuuya (to spite him lol), he takes the time to banter around, explain his plans, and scare Chuuya into thinking he’s hurt. He’s less a keikaku doori wishy-washy clairvoyant and more like a child vying for attention, and it’s as if he could actually fail unlike his cut-and-dry plans. If that’s as human as he can get, then I’ll take it. 

Third, I like Chuuya probably to an unhealthy degree, and if it’s Dazai he wants (and oh boy look at all that suggestive underlying frustration) he can keep Dazai for all I care. Love him, kill him, whether it’s tsundere or yandere or absolute hatred Chuuya has for Dazai I will still like it. I’ll like Chuuya with Atsushi/Yosano/Higuchi/Akutagawa as long as it’s any of them he wants, but nooo. It has to be the bandaged life-ruiner. 

Let’s see, what’s next? I don’t care about whether they knew each other since childhood, it’s just one spread of chapter 31. Fourth, they work well together, have great synchronization, and is a supremely OP battle couple (even though one does nothing, fuck him). Doesn’t get much more squee-worthy than that. 

Fifth, real life. I’m aware that it’s not recommended to ship real life people and some people will consider you some kind of scum of the earth for that. Dazai Osamu and Nakahara Chuuya’s relationship in real life is reversed anyway; as I mentioned, Dazai was kind of a wishy-washy guy who was generally very timid, while Nakahara Chuuya was a genius poet and literary critic with a hell of a temper when drunk (normally he’s a very nice guy). But they have a connection, and I won’t lie, I love reading about how drunk Nakahara Chuuya screamed incoherent obscenities at a freaked out Dazai Osamu. In my defense, that kind of passive guy is really easy to bully and I have residual hatred for BSD Dazai. Even if it’s not shipping at all, it’s fun to see a dynamic like this as opposed to BSD for once. It’s like a comedy, though I do feel bad for Dazai. He just looked so crestfallen. 

Sixth, sometimes fanfic writers/artists portray Dazai better than the author does. And almost all of those stuff is Soukoku. In those Soukoku stuff Dazai is of an equal standing to Chuuya; in any other pairing he is superior just like every other manga scene he’s ever appeared in, and I have a severe aversion to that guy. Best just to stick to Soukoku, and it helps that the pair itself is cute. 

anonymous asked:

My character in this story has been captured by the enemy, who wants to get some information from him. What torture methods would be best to hurt him but leave him conscious so he can talk? I don't want any permanent damage or sexual torture, please. Thank you!

Well to start with torture for information does not work.

This doesn’t mean that your bad guys wouldn’t torture to try and get information, but they should not actually get that information. I have a Masterpost on why torture for information doesn’t work here, I suggest having a look for a greater understanding of why torture for information does not work and how you could have it fail in your story.

Outright steadfast refusal to talk is common, lying is common and being unable to remember information is common.

Going back to the actual question: it really depends on the setting you’re writing. Torture practices vary depending on country and time period. Usually I try to suggest torture methods based on the place and time the story is set in. I feel that adds an element of authenticity and basically helps to make sure everything fits the setting. As a result it’s……probably a bit harder to answer your question than you thought.

Generalising a little torture historically tended to be scarring whereas torture nowadays tends to be ‘clean’ or non-scarring. Non-scarring tortures are not necessarily less physically damaging and are definitely not less painful.

So…where to start-

In a modern setting sleep deprivation, starvation diets and beatings are ubiquitous. Stress positions are common but which ones are used vary with place.

The American ‘National Style’ favours electricity torture using Tasers or stun guns and waterboarding which is basically repeated near-drowning.

Falaka, beating the soles of the feet, is common in the Middle East and western Asia.

Pepper, the practice of putting irritants like chilli into mucous membranes (ie genitals, nose, eyes) is used in India and parts of western Africa.

China currently favours torture using restraints and stress positions.

England uses stress positions and forced exercise.

Some of these can have enduring physical effects especially if something goes wrong. Both waterboarding and electricity torture can easily kill. Falaka can break or fracture bones in the feet. The restraint tortures used in China can cause nerve damage, limiting mobility. Stress positions kill by causing kidney failure.

In a historical setting beating was ubiquitous but there was a lot of variety in scarring tortures. Whipping was common in Europe and burning or branding tortures were used over much of the world but beyond that I’d want a country and time period before saying anything definite.

I hope this helps, I really it’s probably vague but if you’d like more detail I’d really need more information to go on. It should at least serve as a starting point.

And if you have more questions feel free to ask. Take up as many asks as you like. :)



Originally posted by jung-koook

» jungkook x reader
» 2k
» Hi! Could you write an college!au …where your crush and classmate Jungkook lives 8-) A fluffy/funny scenario? 

You might not have been someone who got easily embarrassed, but it was hard not to right to be right now. Halloween was usually the day that everyone else would feel the same, but you just felt a step ahead of everyone else.

Factor in that you were basically half naked (the cat costume made barely from the spare nylon your textiles friend had made was efficient in showing all the wrong places) and that there was at least one police officer waiting for you outside, there was little left for you to still have some dignity.

Then there was also the fact you were laying, half naked with this police officer chasing you, on a stranger’s floor. But you had spoken too soon, because when you thought that it couldn’t get worse it really, really did.

Keep reading

Fear, and Other Related Emotions

This fic was written and submitted by @latent-thoughts. Thank you for sharing :)

A/N: This is my first Loki story. I’m thrilled to share it with everyone. This will be a multi chapter fic. I’ve tried to keep Loki as close to canon as possible. He’s menacing, creepy, and hot - a balance only Loki can maintain.

Warnings: Slight violence and light sexual content. Nothing too extreme, though.

PROMPT“I don’t even want to know why you’re looking at me like that.”

Pairing: Loki X OFC

Summary:Set during the Avengers, just after Loki’s capture in Stuttgart. Loki is in the cage and gets a visit from a psychologist. She tries to engage him in conversation, and he tries to… well, create mayhem.


When Tony Stark contacted Reva Anderson, a young psychologist, she was rather stunned. He had been cryptic about the reason, only telling her that he needed a ‘session’.

She immediately suspected that something was not being shared with her deliberately, for why would someone like Tony Stark contact someone like her, when he probably had the number of the best therapists on the Eastern Seaboard?

She wasn’t one of them. Not yet, at least. She had only begun her practice a few years ago.

However, her suspicions deepened when she was brought to a gargantuan flying machine, called a ‘helicarrier,’ and given a file that contained information about a Norse God-cum-alien named Loki. She was vaguely familiar with the name, thanks to her penchant for random internet surfing. He was the God of Mischief and Lies; that was all that she knew.

Reading the file, she soon realized that she wasn’t dealing with mere mischief. This man had recently launched his campaign for world domination in Stuttgart. And he was also really obsessed with making people kneel before him.

So much for first contact being peaceful and friendly.

Stark had promised a handsome paycheck to her for the job. He wanted her to engage Loki somehow, to get him to talk. All attempts at interrogation had failed so far. So this was Stark’s version of a last ditch effort—bringing someone non-SHIELD and try to ease him into conversation. Someone non-threatening would lower his barriers and perhaps, he’d let something slip about his evil plans.

Now, Reva did want recognition and a career boost, and working for Tony Stark would certainly earn her that, but did she really want to deal with a possibly psychotic space Viking?

Another thing, this whole operation was to be kept covert and no one else on the heliecarrier was to know about its details. As far as anyone else was concerned, Reva was Stark’s personal therapist and he needed some sessions to deal with the stress of the present situation.

“Am I supposed to know what SHIELD is?” she asked, baffled as she read about the details of the Stuttgart attack.

“Basically, they’re FBI on steroids.” Stark shrugged as he paced before her. They were in his personal quarters, the only place without bugs. “Don’t think you need more info than that.”

She nodded. The lesser she knew, the better.

“Do you really think I could make Loki talk? I’m not very confident. I don’t even have enough experience, I think.”

“The lack of experience is what makes you perfect for this. We need to make him feel like he’s in complete control. We want him to feel smug.”

“I wonder how safe this is.” She kept turning the pages of the file nervously. “It’s not like I go around chatting up criminals for a living.”

“Don’t worry,” said Stark, looking at her reassuringly, “we have him in a solid cage. It was built for something much stronger than him. He won’t be able to do anything, besides throwing some insults here and there.”

She nodded, thinking about that paycheck again. She could do this.

“But how exactly are you going to sneak me in there? You said it was going to be covert. Isn’t he supposed to be under constant surveillance?”

“Yes, I’ll help you with that,” he stated smugly. “I’ll disengage the cameras to his cell and will install prerecorded feeds. And I’ll be keeping tabs on the situation. You will have all the night to yourself.”

“The whole night? Does he not sleep?”

“He hasn’t shown signs of it so far.”

“Okay then, take me to him.”

She could do this. She was just going to have humdrum conversations with a psychotic space Viking. The night will be over soon and she will be let off. Hannibal Lecter, here I come.


Stark quietly slipped Reva into the chamber holding the reinforced glass cage and gave her a thumbs up. The door was closed on her face before she could even respond. She then turned her attention to the glass cage.

The captive was already observing her. His stare was severe enough to make her knees quake. He was tall, and clad in a strange costume-armor hybrid. His pale skin glowed under the fluorescent lights, giving him an aura of otherworldliness. Even his long raven hair looked menacing.

Suddenly, the urge to turn around and run away struck Reva hard. Oh, what the hell had she gotten herself into?

Very slowly, she made her way to the front of the cage and introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Raina,” She cursed herself as her voice wavered a little under his intense scrutiny, “and I’m here to give you company for the night.”

“Starting off with a lie,” he crooned, his voice like a dagger wrapped in velvet. “Why am I not surprised?”

His stern expression gradually gave way to a grin—possibly the most wicked grin she’d ever seen. It made her shudder, which didn’t slip his notice.

His sharp seafoam eyes roamed all over her body, from head to toe and back. Reva tried hard not to squirm. She realized then, that he wasn’t just scary, he was also strangely seductive in his mannerisms.

“Reva,” she said, with a lot of effort to keep her voice stable this time. “My name’s Reva Anderson.”

She had decided it was better if she didn’t lie to the man who was known to be the god of lies. He would certainly catch each and every one of them, making her job difficult in the end.

“Smart decision,” he said, as if reading her mind. “You understand that lying to me is futile.”

She nodded, averting her gaze from his for once as she perused her surroundings… or pretended to.

“You are to be my company for the night, and yet, you are so distant.” He tilted his head a little as he approached her, as if truly confused. “I don’t think the expression ‘company for the night’ holds the same meaning for you as it does for me.”

Reva’s eyes widened as she caught his inference.

“N-not that kind of company.” She tried to appear unaffected, but he was already getting to her. She could feel goose bumps forming on her bare legs. Damn, wearing a pencil skirt was a bad idea.

He laughed, a low, throaty sound that didn’t do anything to dispel her nervousness. The fact that he was immensely attractive was also messing with her head. If anything, it made him even more terrifying in her eyes.

“So, how do you suggest we spend our time?” he asked, coming to stand as close to her as possible, given the glass barrier. She had to tilt her head up to look at him. His height was intimidating.

Reva remained rooted to her spot, though the urge to back away was strong. “Umm, perhaps we can get to know each other better? The night will get boring very fast otherwise.”

She gave herself a virtual pat on the back for her effort at conversation, given that her calve muscles were really wanting to give out.

“Oh, trust me, it’s not going to be boring for me. I have you to play with.” He was grinning again, creepy and alluring at the same time.

That was cue enough for Reva to finally sit down on the chair in front of the cage. She felt worn out already.

Surprisingly, he did the same, gracefully folding his long limbed form to sit on the floor, facing her. Reva couldn’t help but notice that he had very well defined thighs. It was hard not to, with his leather pants hugging them so snuggly.

“So…,” she began, a bit hesitant in where to start, “you want to rule the Earth.”

“Yes,” he replied, giving her nothing new.

He was obviously an expert at evasion, having been interrogated before. So she decided to switch to a more sympathetic tone.

“It’s a planet in mess, I agree. So, do you have any plans as to how you’ll rule?” She genuinely wanted to know that, curiosity and all.

Loki seemed a bit surprised by the question. Reva took it as a small victory.

“As a benevolent God, of course,” he replied, folding his arms and looking at her evenly, the creepy smile gone for now.

“Would you hold court and listen to your subjects’ pleas and grievances?”

“After I consolidate my kingdom.”

“And how do you plan to do that? There are nearly two hundred countries in the world, seems like a tall order.”

Loki’s eyes seemed to soften as he smiled at her again. Probably the least threatening smile she saw him give so far.

“Fear is a great motivator and also a unifier.”

His words rang true and honest for once. She nodded in response. She briefly wondered if Stark was listening on through the receiver attached to the file.

“But to take over the world, you’ll have to deploy some serious firepower against our defenses.”

“What makes you think I don’t possess that?”

“I don’t see you commanding any army. You’ve been captured and put in a cage. Where’s the firepower?”

“Oh, believe me, it’ll come.”

She could feel that he was getting annoyed, so she decided to change gears.

“So when you take over… would you make everyone your slave? Or will people still have some control over how they lead their lives? Like, opting for careers they want to, taking vacations, things like that?”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “I’d say I’ll have to choose the worthy ones who will be in my service. They’ll be the most capable from your lot. The rest will be generally useless to me.”

“So… what about the useless ones?”

“Perhaps I’ll leave them be in their mortal lives, so long as they don’t create trouble for me. Their lives will be fleeting anyway.”

That response stung. How little he thought about human beings…

“Would you grant wishes?”

“Do you think me a Djin or a Fairy God Mother?”

Reva was shocked by his awareness of those terms. Suddenly, a slew of images popped in her head. Loki as a Jinnie. Better still, Loki as the Fairy God Mother from Cinderella.

An involuntary giggle slipped from her. Loki’s eyes narrowed to slits. She immediately regretted having a fertile imagination.

“Care to share what’s so amusing?” He looked and sounded like a pissed off professor reprimanding wayward students, with his jaw set in a hard line.

Oh, Professor Loki with spectacles… Somehow, that imagery didn’t engender a giggle. It caused a tingle down her spine.

“It just surprised me that you know about Jinnies and Fairy God Mothers.” That wasn’t a lie, so he let it pass, she assumed.

“I’ve been visiting this realm for a long time now. It’s why I’m present in the legends of the old.”

“How old are you?”

“More than a millennium.”

“Wow, you’re super old.” Reva honestly wanted to take that back as soon as it slipped past her lips.

He sneered at her. “Is that a bad thing? I have seen and experienced much more than anyone on your pathetic planet.”

She shrugged, trying to act casual. “I suppose living that long does give you a lot of experiences, and also, the creativity in how to spend your time.”

“Oh certainly. I am very creative, especially with magic at hand.”

She had read about his magical capabilities in the file. However, even Stark wasn’t aware of the extent of its power.

“I thought magic wasn’t possible. Were you always gifted in it or did you have to learn?”

“A bit of both,” he replied, his eyes twinkling. “Want to see some of it?”

She had a feeling she might come to regret it, but she gave him a nod nonetheless. Stark might find this useful.

“But you will have to stay still,” he murmured, looking at her with an unreadable expression. “The moment you move, the spell breaks.” He appeared to be conveying something deeper with those words as his eyes darkened.

“I don’t even want to know why you’re looking at me like that.” She tried to lighten the mood, seeing that his expression was beginning to look borderline psychotic now. “I mean, it’s just a trick, right?”

“Magic is more than tricks.” He brought his hands together and wiggled his fingers in some sort of pattern. A greenish gold spark seemed to emanate from them.

Suddenly, she felt a sensation on her knee. It felt like a cold hand. Panicked, she looked at her knee and back at Loki.

He was grinning like a Cheshire cat. Oh, this was bad… really, really bad. Reva considered moving her hand to stop it, but she wanted to see the extent of his capability. Stark would want that.

She gasped as the hand spread its fingers over her knee. How was he doing it? He was still inside the cage.

“L-Loki…” she started, but couldn’t even form a coherent sentence. She was equal parts terrified and curious… and even a little bit aroused. She quickly dismissed the latter.

Reva tried to get a hold of herself, breathing in and out slowly. Panicking would not help, this was new information about Loki that no one here knew. He could manipulate things outside the cage. It was a possible security threat.

“Tell me about yourself, Reva,” he crooned seductively, looking superbly delighted in her reactions. “We’ve been discussing only about me so far. Very unfair.”

The hand on her knee didn’t move, but its grip tightened.

“I—I am just a young psychologist in New York, trying to make a successful life for myself.”

“More.” He was looking at her avidly, as if hanging onto her every word.

“My parents are both doctors. They divorced when I was seventeen.” She spoke rapidly and tried to add as much random information about herself as possible. “I have a younger sister, studying to become a doctor as well.”

“I have no interest in your family of healers, tell me about yourself. What interests you?”

“You mean, like hobbies?”

He nodded.

The hand eased its grip and languidly caressed her knee now, sending jolts of sensation all through her body. Keeping still was becoming difficult.

“I like making art. Nothing spectacular, just sketching once in a while. I think I can sing decently, when the mood strikes. I also love the internet.”

She knew she was pretty much rambling now, just to please him.

“More,” he demanded, as she felt another hand on her shoulder, slowly creeping to her neck.

“L-Loki, what are you—”

“Tell me more.” Loki’s hands were still twiddling away, manipulating the invisible hands on her. Reva wondered if she should move now, feeling the hand fiddling with her shirt’s collar.

“I have few friends, most of them are scattered all over the mainland though. I want to travel when I have enough time and money. True vacation, in a sense.” She gulped, and then continued. “Presently, the only vacation I can manage is visiting an ancestral Victorian style cottage in the middle nowhere, in Oregon.”

Both his hands moved, the one on the knee crept up her leg, and the other one clasped its long fingers around her neck. Their touch was gentle and oh so sensual.

‘Move!’ her subconscious shouted at her, but she was suddenly frozen in place.

“I see,” said Loki, now whispering directly in her ear. An odd sensation crept up her spine while she listened to his silky voice. She chalked it as her response to being utterly terrified.

Her whole body gave an involuntary shudder. She tried to remind herself that this was just a trick, that Loki was still inside the cage, but it wasn’t comforting her.

“Do you have any suitors, Reva?”

She was taken aback by that question, and flustered. Her name on his lips was pure sin, sending jolts of pleasure right between her legs.

“What? No… No suitors.”

He laughed quietly in her ear, rousing both terror and lust within her.

“What a waste of time. A pretty woman should not be left alone for long.” Oh, his husky whispers were killing her now, so much that she momentarily forgot about his hands.

“I—I want to move now,” she said, mostly to herself.

The hand on her neck tightened a little, but not enough to hurt. “Then move, nothing stops you, little one.”

Loki, still inside the cage, stood up and watched her with hungry eyes as his magic working hands glowed brighter.

The hand on her leg began creeping up again, sliding beneath her skirt. She wondered how far he’d go, and just how far she was willing to allow him.

Another thought occurred to her—was Stark even listening? He should have stopped this long ago. The fact that she was relying on Stark to stop this… situation, was really pathetic. All she had to do was move.

Oh but she also wanted to see where Loki was headed. There was a morbid curiosity within her to see how far he takes the mischief.

“You haven’t moved,” he said, slipping his hand to her inner thigh and purring deeply. “So warm…”

“Your hands are cold,” she whispered, closing her eyes at the alien sensation of cold fingers rubbing on her warm skin.

“I’m always cold.” The hand was threateningly close to her panties now, and she wasn’t sure she wanted him to stop. Something had surely broken down in her brain.

“Because you’re a Jotun?” She immediately, instinctively knew that was the wrong question to ask as his grip tightened on her.

Her eyes flew open and met his. Loki looked livid now. His green eyes seemed to glow in the dimmed fluorescent lights.

“I suppose Thor has fed all of you everything he could about me,” he all but growled at her from the cage. “But even he doesn’t know everything there is to know about me.”

Outside the cage, his grip on her throat tightened further, almost painful.

“Loki, please let go. I didn’t mean to anger you, I—” she tried to placate him, but his withering glare was enough to silence her.

Gathering all her courage, Reva finally found the motivation to move her limbs. She grabbed at the cold hand gripping her neck.

“I haven’t even met Thor,” she groaned, trying to pry his fingers off. They didn’t budge even a bit.

“Doesn’t matter.”

“I moved! Let go!”

At that he laughed loudly, both in the cage and in her ear.

“I lied.” His hands still glowed with magic as he watched her struggle with glee. “You should never believe a trickster, little one, least of all me, the God of Trickery.”

Her eyes watered and she was sure her face was red with the effort of pulling at his hands.

“Loki, please!”

“Still want to chitchat with me?” From the cage, the challenge was apparent in his frenzied eyes. “No amount of casual or deep conversation will reveal my plans to you. But I already know enough about you to torment you for a long time. You have evidently bitten more than you can chew, little one.”

“Please, this isn’t personal. I was just trying to do my job,” she gasped, the words barely audible. His grip eased, but he still held her in his clutches. The hand on her thigh moved to her waist and held her down on the chair.

“Oh, but it’s personal now. You’ve spent more time with me than any of these imbeciles did.” He gestured as his glowing hands spread, alluding to the people inside the helicarrier. “I dare say that’s quite a record, and it’s left an impression on me.”

She whimpered, sweat breaking across her forehead now. Still, she kept trying to pry his fingers off her throat. He looked on keenly, taking pleasure in her struggle.

“Loki,” she moaned his name almost like a prayer, “I’ll leave immediately and not bother you again if you let me go.”

“But where’s the fun in that?” he whispered in her ear once again. She shivered in fear, hoping Stark or anyone else, for that matter, would come to her rescue.

Inside the cage, Loki sat down on the white bench and licked his lips, enjoying every second of her misery.

“I’m glad to be so entertaining,” she all but growled, digging her nails into the hand on her throat. She may have chipped one or two of them but his skin didn’t yield.

“Aha! I knew you had a feisty side, little one.” His laughed heartily. “Oh the things we could do together.”

Reva eyed the file, lying on the floor now due to her struggles. Where the hell was Stark?

“That receiver has been dead ever since our little magic trick began,” said Loki, following her gaze. “And Stark’s been trying to open the door to this chamber for the last five minutes.”

Reva gasped in shock, adrenaline rush hitting her with full force. Loki was so much more dangerous than any of them had thought. She was going to be so dead. Suddenly, her whole body jerked and she put all her energy into thrashing against the phantom hands.

If anything, Loki laughed harder at her feeble attempts.

 “S-Stark! Help! He’s gonna kill me!” she shouted at the top of her lungs.

“Kill you? You wound me, dear Reva.” Loki rolled his eyes, looking exasperated. “I only intended to play.”

The door to the chamber blasted open with a clang, Tony Stark bursting through it in his Iron Man suit.

Immediately, Reva was released. In that moment, she didn’t wait to thank Stark, she just ran, away from the cage, away from this chamber. She only wished she could jump away from the damned helicarrier.

But even as she ran, she could hear Loki’s evil laughter chasing her. She knew it then, it would be a part of her nightmares for a long time to come.

As she reached the deck, she saw morning sun rising in the distance. A blast reverberated through the ship, making her lose her balance. As she fell down on to the tarmac, she felt the helicarrier tilt sideways. There was no doubt in her head as to who the culprit was.

The heliecarrier was going down. She could feel it. There was commotion all over. People were shouting and screaming, running helter-skelter.

Reva tried to stand up, but shock of the situation was too much to bear, and she struggled to even sit up. Then came the nausea, making her eyes roll in their sockets. She fell on her back with a thud, looking up at the lightening sky as she contemplated about her impending death.

The helicarrier tilted further. As her disorientation increased, Reva knew she was about to lose consciousness. As her eyes fluttered close, she felt a pair of cold hands slipping beneath her and picking her up quickly.

And then she passed out for good.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Percival gritted his teeth as another boot connected with his ribs, a soft grunt forced from him without his consent. The burlap sack over his head gave him only the barest idea of his surroundings–several people surrounded him; wherever he was buzzed with activity and magic; the ground he lay upon was cold against the bare skin of his aching torso, grimy with blood and sick and who knew what else. The hexes, the beatings, the sleep deprivation–he was trained to withstand, and he did. Mostly. His psychological defenses weren’t as strong as they once were, and the Albanians knew it. 

Everyone knew it, really.

And Raphael Petrikov had warned him of it.

When seven of his aurors had been unilaterally captured by the Albanian mob, as Director, it was Percival’s responsibility to get them home. So when terms were issued on blood-stained parchment, Percival met with the group to negotiate the release of his people. He was well supported with no less than five different squads of senior aurors, and he imagined they could rescue their people by force if necessary. But no, all the Albanians wanted was him. Seven people in exchange for himself. Given the failures of the department in the past the redoubled training he oversaw upon his return, he had every confidence that if he willingly handed himself over, his staff and colleagues would rescue him within a day, two at most.

So the trade was easy.

And his captivity was as well, until the Albanians took pages out of Grindelwald’s book and began slowly chipping away at Percival’s sanity. When the usual methods of torture and interrogations failed, they fell into dark arts, into shredding Percival’s very mind. Despite the walls he’d built to protect himself how they bound him rendered them useless. The shackles binding his wrists behind his back and the collar around his throat were enchanted to mute his magic. He was utterly helpless, just like he’d been with Grindelwald.

In the darkness of the sack, in the darkness of his thoughts, Percival struggled to keep panic at bay. Were he to break, his captors would win, and there might not be much left to him to return to MACUSA when they were finished with him.

He flinched when the burlap sack was ripped from his head and squinted as his eyes struggled to acclimate to the light. After he was dragged to his feet and the filth was magicked from his skin, a scarred wizard took him by the jaw and tilted his face this way and that, then muttered something to his fellows. Percival didn’t speak their language fluently, but he caught the jist of the question–was this really him? And sometimes Percival asked the same thing of his own reflection.

But whatever answer the man got in return was sufficient enough, and Percival was shoved forward through a set of double doors and onto–a stage?

What the fuck?

A new sort of fear washed through him, cut him to the core and left him shivering. Another brutal shove sent him stumbling onto the stage, and beneath the blinding lights, he heard a roaring crowd. He tumbled into the rough arms of another burly man who cared little for Percival’s aching shoulders as he undid the shackles at his back only to relock them in front of him. At least they didn’t insist on dislocating his shoulders, because the next thing Percival knew, he was strung up by his wrists, just high enough so that his feet barely reached the ground.

He hissed against the savage strain on his shoulders, on his aching and surely broken ribs, struggling to fill his lungs with air. And it was with a sick sort of realization that, when a witch at a podium less than three yards from him rattled off a price, he knew he was being auctioned.

Two of the party members have been caught on an undercover mission and have been tied up for interrogation. The sorcerer is simply tied to a chair with rope, but the goliath fighter is tied up with chains anchored to the floor.

Fighter: *Intimidate check* “If you don’t let us go right now I will murder you and every single member of your little army.”


Interrogator: I am not afraid of you, you pathetic wretch!

Fighter: Oh yeah, six chains really screams ‘not afraid’.