A Lesson In Brutality

by scg
The Inquisitors

A Lesson in Brutality

Droplets of rainwater slid along metal stairwells and mouldering brickwork alike, whilst in the skies above thick clouds obscured the moon and stars from those below - and, simultaneously, hid those in the gloomy alleyway from the heavens above.
Whimpering, the old man collapsed to his knees, clutching a shattered arm.  With a malicious smirk, his assailant drew back an arm, preparing to deliver another crushing blow with his black baton, which gleamed darkly from the rain.
"Enough."
At the hard and curt command, the bulky man with the baton seemed to freeze as if admonished.  Then he took two sharp steps away from his groaning victim, and seemed to shrink within the robes that swathed his figure.
The speaker, who had previously remained hidden from the old man's view by the thick form of the thug, was dressed in similar attire.  The robes were a dull grey, unremarkable save for the blue edging of the hood and the tiny badge on the left breast - a badge that was clearly depicting a human eye.
Reaching out with an arm shapeless within the cloth, the speaker seized the still-groaning man by his shirt collar and hauled him upright.  Within his second arm, he shoved his captive's face up towards his own.  The old man refused to look him in the eyes, however, immediately dropping his head again, snivelling.
His captor showed no anger.  He took a firm hold of the old man's head, however, forcing the man to stare into the depths of his hood.  The captive, blinking back tears, saw the harsh face within and choked back another sob.  This was a face apparently hewn from stone - a face expressionless and cold, unlike the sadistic grins of the pasty-faced street trash yob.  And unlike the old man"s face, which was stained with tears and blood, mixed together by the still-falling rain, it remained clean and somehow terrifying within that hood.
"Do you know who we are?" Whispered the hard-faced man.
The old man nodded slowly.  He sniffed once, before drawing together his limited reserves of inner strength to reply.  "You are alien haters.  You are a so-called priest-"
His captor briefly released the grip on the old man"s head to deliver a slap, before forcing his eyes into his own once more.  "I am a deacon of the Inquisition, and I am proud of my position within our order.  Neither defiance or mockery will be brooked from the likes of you"
There was a pause as the "deacon" glared at his prisoner, pathos drawn from him at last.  Then he spoke again:
"You know who we are.  You know what we want.  So I shall waste no further time before sending you on your way to purgatory."
The Inquisitor released the captive, shoving him as he did so, so the old man stumbled and fell to the ground once more.  Before he could stand, the brute was closing in, baton again raised.
Gazing in horror at the approaching murderer, the old man raised his voice in a desperate appeal to the watching deacon.  "Wait!  Wait!  I was X-COM... we fought the aliens... I don't under-"
The baton descended, and the appeal was cut off in a last shriek of pain, before the pathetic figure of the old man collapsed.
"The Eye is always watching.  May this one join his kind in purgatory," whispered the deacon, touching the badge on his breast.  The thug glanced at the Inquisitor's cold face briefly, before dropping his eyes to the ground - in respect or perhaps fear.
"Let's go," snapped the deacon, his brief monologue completed.  "Others may be here soon.  Leave the corpse."
The pair, clinging to the shadows, slid away from the alley, sodden robes gathered tightly around themselves.