Body and Soul I: The Body Snatcher

Chapter 2: Crawling from the Ruins

Part B

An hour later he was in an interrogation room at the police station, seated across from a plainclothesman behind a desk. As interrogation chambers went, it wasn't terribly threatening; there was a window and they didn't even have the stereotypical bare light bulb, instead using a circular fluorescent tube for illumination. His hands and feet were free, but there was a uniformed officer standing behind him.

"Look, Lisa. I want to help you." The plainclothes officer had apparently been assigned the role of Good Cop. He was youngish, in his mid-thirties and fit looking. "I can tell that you're in some kind of trouble, and I want to help you out here." How remarkably observant of you, Erik thought, desperately fighting the urge to scratch the rash on his legs. Perhaps the bare, swollen feet and the torn blouse had finally given these apes a clue? "But I can't if you don't cooperate."

"I've told you eight times who I am, and I'm rather tired of you insisting that I'm lying." He hadn't been told one way or another, but he assumed the Western Union cashier must have recognized him as Lisa Davies, that that was why she'd been so surly and why she'd called the cops on him. Clearfield did not seem to be a very large place. He regretted, now, not having used Lisa Davies' name in the first place. But what if they'd called her home to verify his identity, or something? Well, no, that didn't seem too terribly likely, but... it had just seemed dangerous to use her name, too likely that it would get back to her. Who could have predicted he'd be arrested, and on a ridiculous charge like this?

The man sighed. "Lisa. We fingerprinted you on the way in. You remember that, right? Now, why do you think we wouldn't match the prints up to verify who you are?"

He hadn't, but he had hoped the body snatcher had been clever enough not to be fingerprinted in the past. "All right, since you insist I suppose I must use that name. But why have you arrested me? You know as well as I do that 'wire fraud' is an absurd charge. If I dislike my name, why is it fraudulent to wire my own money to myself under a name I prefer?"

The policeman behind him loomed menacingly, hand on his shoulder. Erik was once again painfully reminded of how very small and delicate the body he now occupied was. "If you didn't have anything to hide, why'd you be using a false name and lying about it? You wanna tell me that, miss smarty pants?"

"Don't, Stevens," the plainclothesman said. It was Good Cop, Bad Cop all right. Did they get this script out of a bad movie? The police shows the New Mutants used to watch had less transparent playacting. "I think it's obvious Miss Davies is in some kind of trouble." He leaned forward, clearly trying to look sympathetic. "Boyfriend trouble, maybe? You afraid the guy at your place is going to beat you up worse if you tell us what's going on? Lisa, we can protect you, but only if you cooperate."

No, Erik thought, you cannot. It was almost tempting. "There's a powerful mutant who's been holding me prisoner..." But what could that accomplish? Erik himself had already called the X-Men; these people would call in the Avengers or the Fantastic Four or SHIELD, all people Erik very much did not want knowing that someone who looked just like Magneto was holding helpless women prisoner. If Charles had a brain in his head, the X-Men were on their way, and they'd handle this with outlaw discretion, taking Davies down and giving him a shot at his body back without ever letting it get out into the superhero community that "Magneto" had somehow turned into a homosexual rapist and serial killer. He was willing to put up with a lot more annoyance from these clods before he let things go that far.

He hadn't demanded a lawyer when this farce first started, hoping he could simply argue his way to reason. As suspicious as wiring money to himself under a false name might be, he was quite sure it wasn't really illegal, and if he'd just been able to talk them into calling Aaron and verifying his right to the money he'd thought they'd have to let him go. But they weren't really interested in the money. They seemed to have cooked up some scenario, based on Lisa Davies' habit of disappearing for days or weeks and being replaced by a man who drove her car and spent freely, and based on his current abused appearance, that Davies was involved in prostitution or drug smuggling or was a con artist or something, and that the big spender she was currently living with was some sort of criminal big dog. How big, they had no clue. At least the name "Magneto" hadn't come up in conversation yet, for which Erik was grateful. But the wire fraud had been nothing but an excuse to take him in for interrogation, and he wasn't interested in trying to feed their fantasies. "I wish to speak to my lawyer."

"That's fine," the plainclothesman said. "You can call your lawyer. But you won't mind if we pick up your boyfriend and ask him a few questions while you're talking to your lawyer, would you?"

All the blood drained from Erik's face. The man probably had no idea how effective a threat that was. Horrifying visions rose to his mind of the police going to the body snatcher's home, confronting her, telling her "We have your girlfriend..." and thus revealing to her exactly where he was. Nothing in this tiny town could stop her from coming in here, causing wholesale slaughter, and taking him back, and the X-Men might very well not arrive in time to stop her. "No," he said, his voice a hoarse whisper, angry and humiliated that he'd been forced into playing their game, but without any choices. "No, don't. Please."

The plainclothesman smiled, undoubtedly convinced that now he was getting somewhere. "Are you afraid of him, Lisa? He can't hurt you if you press charges against him. What's he into, drugs?" He did the sympathetic look again. "We can protect you from him, but you have to give us something to go on."

"He's not involved with anything."

"Then why are you so scared that he'll come after you if we pick him up for questioning?"

"You don't have anything to question him on! I haven't done anything, and you have no evidence that anyone I'm associated with has done anything, either. So what right do you have to question anyone when there's been no crime?"

"You got money wired to yourself under a fake ID," the cop behind him growled. "You don't think there's anything suspicious about that?"

"Suspicious enough to warrant arresting me, keeping me without legal counsel, and arresting everyone associated with me? I think not!"

"You can have legal counsel. That's no problem," the plainclothesman said. "And we wouldn't be arresting your boyfriend. Just asking him a few questions. I think the situation warrants us asking him a few questions, don't you? Especially since you were found with no shoes and a ripped-up shirt and no ID. It looks like you were trying to run away from someone or something in a big hurry. You think that doesn't warrant us asking your boyfriend a few questions?"

"You have no idea what you'd be bringing down on yourself. For your own sake, for the sake of everyone in this town, I beg of you. Don't go there, don't ask him questions. And he is not my 'boyfriend'."

"Then who is he? And why shouldn't we question him? Lisa, I want to help you here, but you've got to help me out some first. Right now, the way it sounds, the guy's abusing his girlfriend-- or sorry, you're not his girlfriend-- abusing the woman he lives with, and you're terrified of him. I mean, I can hear it in your voice. This guy scares you completely, Lisa. I can tell." Was it really that obvious, Erik wondered, or was it just a guess based on what the plainclothesman thought was going on? Not that it wasn't true. The body snatcher frightened him more than anyone had since Zaladane, or perhaps even the Shadow King. "If he's beating up on you, that's a crime. You have the right not to get beaten. You have the right not to have to run away from home in bare feet and have money wired under a false ID so he won't catch you." He leaned forward again. "Maybe you're trying to protect him because you're afraid of being prosecuted? Lisa, if you're in something over your head, we might be able to cut some kind of deal with you. You don't have to get nailed for his crimes, if he's involved in something big and you help us. But you've got to help us."

Erik didn't know whether to be grateful that the policeman was so far off the truth or offended that the man thought he would be silent out of fear of retribution. "You don't understand the smallest fraction of what's happening."

"Then tell me. Help me understand."

"If I tell you what I can, will you refrain from trying to go after him and question him?"

"That depends on what you tell us."

"But if I told you nothing, you'd go seek him out."

"You wouldn't be leaving us much choice, Lisa."

Erik took a deep breath. He did not want to be doing this. Not with the X-Men hopefully on their way. But he couldn't take the risk that they'd go to question the body snatcher and thus let her know where he was. He couldn't endure falling back into her hands again, X-Men or no X-Men. So, no choice. "All right. This much I can tell you. He's an enormously powerful mutant, one who has killed before. I've already contacted one of the New York superhero teams-- I did that as soon as I got away from him-- and they're on their way. If you try to question him, you're signing your own death warrants, and mine as well-- he can't afford to leave witnesses who might tell the superheroes where he is. Right now he doesn't know where I am, but if the police come to question him, he'll guess I'm in custody, and nothing you have in this town can stand against him."

The plainclothesman had listened intently throughout the statement. When Erik finished, he shook his head sadly. "Lisa, do you really expect me to believe that?"

"It's true!" He had feared they'd insist on calling in the Avengers or the FF, or-- god help him-- X-Factor, the governmentally sponsored team Pietro was on. It had never occurred to him that they wouldn't believe him at all. Fear boiled over, and he tried to stand up, only to have the ham hand of the policeman behind him push him back down into his seat. "I swear to you, the man you've been calling my 'boyfriend' is a mutant criminal. For the love of all you hold holy, I beg of you, don't make contact with him. Don't let him know where I am. I beg of you."

"I'm not disputing that you're scared of him, Lisa," the plainclothesman said. "But really, a mutant supercriminal here in Clearfield? Doesn't that strike you as just a bit unlikely?"

"He was in Philadelphia when I met him."

"Uh-huh. Plenty of mutant supercriminals in Philly this time of year."

"It's true!" Why wouldn't they believe him? He'd always used the blindness of humans toward the superpowerful ones in their midst toward his advantage-- Lisa Davies had been the first person outside the superpowered lifestyle to recognize him as Magneto in civilian guise in years-- but they couldn't be this dense, could they? To disbelieve that Magneto walked among you was one thing-- an effect he'd carefully cultivated with his costuming and his aura of power, to make people think he could not possibly have an ordinary life-- but to refuse to believe that there were superpowered people in Philadelphia was ridiculous. "I swear it!"

"Yeah, and you swore you were Michele Roth, too," the man holding him in the seat said.

"Lisa, why would you need to fake your name if you were merely the helpless victim of a mutant criminal?" the plainclothes man asked in a tone of long-suffering patience. "And why wouldn't you have told us right away?"

Erik took another deep breath. Don't call them fools. Whatever you do, do not lose your temper and call them subnormal imbeciles, no matter how obvious they make it that they are. "I falsified my name because I didn't want him to find me," he lied. "If I had money wired to Lisa Davies, he might have found out about it. And I didn't tell you because I didn't want you risking your lives, or summoning extraneous superheroes when I've already called some."

The plainclothes man shook his head. "That's really thin, Lisa. You just aren't a very good liar, are you?"

The ironic thing was that the real Lisa Davies was a brilliant liar. But Erik was not, unfortunately, and especially not in an improvisational situation under pressure like this one. "I'm not lying," he said stubbornly, concentrating on the fact that the body snatcher really was a powerful mutant criminal and so that part wasn't a lie at all. "Believe me or not, as you wish. But if you go there and try to question him, you'll kill us all. Do you truly wish to take that risk?"

At that point, the hair on his arms stood on end, harbinger of magnetic charge that he could sense even in this body, and the power flickered and went out. The room, lit now by only the tiny window, plunged into semi-darkness.

"What the--" a policeman started.

Erik knew what, too well. Wild, immediate terror surged, and drove him out of his seat. He ran for the door, aware of nothing but the need to get away. She was coming, she was here, had to be here with a power surge that strong, she'd take him again and he wouldn't let her have him, never again. Angry shouts echoed behind him. He skidded out into the corridor, running for the back of the police station, where hopefully there'd be a back door and safety, someplace to hide from her. Someone tackled him, bodyslamming him into the floor. He screamed, struggling madly. "Let me go, let me go, damn you, she'll kill you all to get to me, I won't go back, I won't let her have me, let me go!"

In his own body, even without powers, he would have had a chance. In this one, berserker or no, he didn't. Several of them took his limbs while the one who'd slammed into him held him pinned to the floor with superior weight. They forced his hands into cuffs behind his back, held him hand and foot as he struggled and kicked wildly, and put him back in the chair, where they locked his wrists and ankles to the legs and sides. By now it was useless to keep fighting, but he couldn't make himself stop. The touch of hard strangers' hands on his body, the uniforms, the cuffs, all overloaded him with a torrent of memories, the body snatcher's brutal games and the Nazis and the secret police who'd beaten him and beaten him as Anya burned and he couldn't save her, couldn't save her... He howled with rage and pulled against the cuffs with all the strength left in the small body, scraping his skin raw, but he didn't even notice the pain. "Let me go! Damn you all, let me go, I'll kill you, won't let her have me, I won't!"

Distantly he was aware of the lights coming back on, though he could hardly see for his haze of terror and rage. Every time a large male shape moved in front of him, he was sure it was her, and pulled harder, as if he could free himself of the cuffs by simply breaking every bone in his hands and feet through his struggles. Concerned voices spoke rapidly, and someone was being hustled into the room, a slim blonde someone who knelt in front of him and spoke in a female voice. "Lisa, calm down. Calm down. No one's going to get you. It's all right. We aren't going to let anyone get you, all right?"

Female voices had always comforted him. Though the body snatcher was a woman, she spoke in his stolen voice, and though there had been enemies like Zaladane and Selene and bright terrible Phoenix, they'd been far, far outnumbered by the men who'd done him evil in his life, and the women who'd done him good. The voice, gentle but firm, penetrated through the berserker haze across his mind, sinking in. He stopped struggling, giving in to it, his whole body slumping with exhaustion as the adrenaline rush wore off. If the body snatcher was here in the building it was already too late, and if she wasn't, his best hope lay with his current captors. "i'm telling the truth..." he whispered hoarsely, head spinning, so exhausted he could hardly form the words. "get some superhero team... in here. avengers or someone... please, don't let her take me..."

The woman's eyebrows rose. "Her?"

The shock of his mistake and the fear of what it might do to his credibility jolted him, another pulse of fear giving him a bit more strength. He'd said "her" many times in the middle of his fit of terror; he could only desperately hope that if he corrected himself now, they'd let their preconceptions color their memories, and assume they'd misheard him. "Him. The man... living at my home."

"We won't let him get you," she assured him, which made him realize precisely what he was doing. He was so terrified of the notion of falling back into the body snatcher's power that he was actually pleading with ordinary humans, and police at that, to save him. The humiliation made his face flame, and he tried to draw himself upright in the chair, to sit straight and proud and draw his dignity back about himself, but quite aside from the physical exhaustion he felt, the cuffs were still holding him in a vulnerable position.

He gathered strength, wanting to do this without any chance of his voice breaking or the helplessness and fear he still felt showing through. "Could you remove these, please?" he asked, gesturing with his head at the cuffs.

The policewoman-- he assumed she was that, though she was in plainclothes too-- looked at him hard. "You just tried to make a break for it, Lisa, and then you had a hysterical fit while the officers were trying to restrain you. It took three of them to do it, and you almost broke Officer Detweiler's nose. I'm not sure I can trust you."

"I... It was a momentary lapse, I assure you. I thought-- the power going out-- I thought it meant he was here. Why did the power go out?"

"No one knows yet. Just one of those glitches. So you going to be all right now?"

"Yes. Yes, I believe so. I won't try to run again. Please, could you release me from these?"

"In the light of what you've been through, I'd like to do that, very much. But can you do something for me?"

He tensed, warily. "What?"

"I'm going to have to search you. It's procedure. Now, I'd like to be able to do it without having you restrained in any way. I think you've been hurt enough, don't you?"

"What do you need me to do?" he asked tiredly.

"I'm going to take off the restraints, and we're going to shut the door. It's just going to be you, me, and Officer Bierlein--" she gestured at another woman, with short dark hair, wearing a police uniform and standing by the door. "No men. I'm going to need you to take off your clothes so we can search you. All right?"

The exaggerated care the plainclothes woman was taking with him was starting to infuriate him, all the more so because, after his panic attack, it was clearly justified from her point of view. In her eyes, he was a pathetic loser of a woman, some small-time criminal who'd gotten involved with an abusive man into bigger crime. It was better than being recognized as Magneto, but still it enraged him that they'd see him as someone so small and pitiful... and yet, when he opened his mouth to voice his outrage, to say something cutting that re-asserted his status as a powerful person who just happened to be having a bad day, he found he didn't have the strength. He was too drained to do anything more than nod and mumble, "Very well."

"Good." The plainclotheswoman released him from the restraints. He stood up slowly and shakily. "I'm sorry to have to do this, but it's procedure with a prisoner who's been violent or tried to escape."

He removed the blouse and bra as quickly as he could make fingers numbed by exhaustion work the buttons and snaps, wanting to get this over with. When he undid the skirt and dropped it, he drew an involuntary sharp breath of surprise as he saw his legs. The paper towel he'd put into the underpants to absorb the blood had apparently either shifted in the hours since he'd done it, or been overwhelmed; small amounts of blood dappled his inner thighs, and the underpants were wet with it. "I'm sorry. I seem to need some sort of menstrual pad as well," he said, his tone clinical and utterly devoid of the humiliation he felt, as if he could push it aside and not feel it if he didn't let it into his voice.

"We'll get you something. I think we can probably get you new clothes, too."

Erik wondered why the woman was trying so hard to be kind. Guilt? Was she afraid her comrades could be indicted for police brutality for their treatment of an abused woman?

The search was brisk and clinical, thankfully-- he was amazed at how badly he wanted to hit the woman touching him to make her stop. When they tried to do a cavity search-- procedure, again-- he screamed involuntarily with pain. "I think we should send you to the hospital to have that looked at," the policewoman said. "It looks like you're in a lot of pain. Are you having your period? Is this normal for you when you do?"

He had no idea. "I don't know, and I don't think so," he said weakly. "A hospital is a good idea."

She nodded. "Let's get you some new clothes. We can take these away."

They got him shapeless, well-worn and overwashed, baggy sweatclothes two sizes too large-- he felt like a small child playing dress-up-- and new underwear in a plastic package. No new bra, but he didn't really care; the shirt was loose enough that if he pulled it out a bit there was no cloth rubbing against his sore nipples or the abrasions and welts on his breasts at all, and that was blissful. They also got him a menstrual pad, some lotion for the rash on his legs, a can of Coke and a vending machine package of cheese and crackers. It wasn't very substantial food, but he'd specifically requested something filling and non-sugary, and it was probably the best the vending machine had to offer of that type. As he ate, the blonde plainclotheswoman sat down in front of him.

"I'm going to get the paperwork filled out to have you transferred to the hospital. But I do need to ask you a few questions, is that all right?"

Not this again. His gut clenched. "I said I wanted a lawyer."

"Not those kind of questions. It's obvious to me that you're the victim here, Lisa; I just want to ask you a few questions so I can get you properly taken care of, all right?"

If this was Good Cop, Bad Cop again, this good cop was putting up a much better performance. Intellectually he guessed it was likely an act on her part to get cooperation, but emotionally he was having a hard time not responding. She had given him food, and drink, and itching lotion, and new clothes that had none of Lisa Davies' taint on them, even if he did suspect the sweats had been worn by dozens of female victims before him. And she was female, perhaps the most important point in her favor. His instinctive fears of people had been honed and trained in a place where there were no women; the sexes had been segregated at Auschwitz, and although Magda had spoken of evil women guarding the women's camp, the only women Erik had ever encountered there had been fellow victims. Men were harsh words and boots kicking him; women were gentle soft voices and delicate hands stroking his hair. He knew women could be as great a threat, but the visceral fear wasn't there. "Ask what you like. I'll answer what I can."

"Some of these questions may make you a little uncomfortable, but I hope you can answer them, because they'll help us to help you. Did he rape you, Lisa?"

Someone else using the word, someone else knowing his nightmare, his helplessness, and the rage welled up again. "What do you think? I told you I wasn't bleeding from menstruation; did you think I accidentally managed to cut myself there? I should think it would be blatantly obvious!"

"We just need to ask. I'm sorry. I saw you had a lot of bruises on your body. Did he beat you?"

He glared at her. "Shall we cut this short? Yes, I was raped. Yes, I was beaten, repeatedly. Yes, I was tortured, and fed dog food, and held prisoner in a basement, and forced to perform nearly every degrading sex act you can imagine, and had everything I own taken from me, and--" He cut himself off, breathing hard. He had not meant to do that, hadn't meant to tell her half of that. What was wrong with him? Where was his distance? He'd been through worse than the body snatcher had inflicted. "Does that answer your questions? May I go now?"

"I'm sorry." She put her hand on his, gently, not pinning it. "It must have been awful for you. And then to be brought in for questioning like that... well, I'm going to have to talk to the guys who were questioning you before. It's just terrible that you've been treated like you have."

The words mollified him, loosening the knot of rage just a little. "I-- thank you. I haven't done anything-- I was only trying to escape he-- uh, him, and they've treated me like some kind of small-town hoodlum."

"Well, that isn't going to happen anymore. We're all really on your side, Lisa. We want to see the man who did this to you pay for it."

I can take care of that myself if you'd just let me go. "So I am free to leave?"

"Well, you're hurt. I think we should take you up to the hospital, don't you? And we'll need to get some evidence to really nail this guy, especially if he's a mutant like you say. Obviously we can't risk going out there to pick him up until we get one of those superteams down here, but we'll need something for them to go on, don't you agree?"

He was so tired, and he hurt so much. The words washed over him, and he only caught about half of them, but he did note "hurt" and "hospital." He had desperately wanted to flee this place since the pulse of EM disruption had hit, yet he'd been here for at least half an hour since then, and she hadn't shown. Maybe she hadn't been on her way after all. Maybe that had been her fighting off the X-Men, and the fact that no pulses had occurred since meant that they'd taken her down. Medical attention would be very nice right now. And he'd caught the policewoman talking about mutants and superteams, too. So they believed him. They weren't going to send a team of powerless humans out to deal with the body snatcher; they'd call in the non-mutant superheroes, or perhaps X-Factor. At least they would be open to the concept of body snatching, and they knew him well enough to know he'd never be involved in crimes like this. Some of the sick fear eased. "Yes, all right."

"Officer Bierlein and I'll drive you up to the hospital, and I'll stay with you until the examination, all right? I'll make sure you get the care you need. If you want me present during the examination, I can stay then too. Is there anyone you'd like to call to come with us? Friends, family, anyone you might want for emotional support?"

"No." He frowned at the plainclotheswoman. Why was she bending over backwards for him? "Who are you?"

"I'm sorry. I introduced myself while you were too upset to hear me, I guess. I'm Detective Karen Devoe. I'm the head of the sex crimes division."

"Oh. Why did they call you in? I wasn't brought in because I was raped; they arrested me. For no good reason."

"Yes, I know. I told you, we needed to search you after you became violent, and since we suspected sex crimes might have been involved, that's why they brought me in. Would you like me to call in a volunteer from the rape crisis center to help you instead?"

"No. I want this over with. Quickly."

"I can understand that. Let's go."

He immediately hated the hospital. He never liked hospitals much at the best of times; the antiseptics couldn't conceal the smell of sickness and death, and his associations with hospitals were unpleasant ones. But a large man got treated far less dismissively than a small woman; the last time he'd been in a human hospital, he'd been the bane of the nurses because he kept trying to push himself to get well and get out of there faster, but at least they'd shown him respect. Here, the moment Devoe told the emergency room nurse that he'd been raped, he could see himself being redefined as a pathetic, useless victim in the woman's eyes, and one who was wasting her time at that. "We deal with real emergencies here," the nurse said loftily, when Devoe demanded that Erik be given immediate access to a doctor.

"Look, this woman's been traumatized. She doesn't need to spend four hours waiting around for a doctor. I want her at least set up in a private area while she waits, so she can lie down while your doctors deal with their 'real emergencies.'"

The nurse allowed that she could do that, and so, rather to his annoyance, Erik was left with Devoe in an examination room that was currently not being used. He would have preferred to get rid of the policewoman entirely, and get some sleep. She seemed insistent on interviewing him, however.

"I'm sorry, but I do need to take a detailed statement about what occurred. I thought we could use the time while you're waiting for the doctor to do that, so you don't have to be concerned about anyone at the police station overhearing if you were worried about that."

"I wasn't, particularly."

"According to the statement you've already given, you were in Philadelphia when you encountered this mutant. Can you tell me what happened then?"

He was far too tired to lie convincingly. "I don't want to talk about it."

"All right. We don't have to talk about what he did when he captured you. But you say he held you prisoner in the basement of your own home for a month, is that correct?"

"Yes." He lay on the cot and considered the merits of closing his eyes, rolling over and ignoring Devoe completely. However, she was probably his gateway to immediate medical treatment. The bleeding wasn't life-threatening, but there was no way he wanted to try to go to one of his bases, and the high-tech medical equipment he kept there, before it had been stopped. The only base he had right now with the good stuff, the Shi'ar tech he'd gotten off the X-Men, was in Antarctica. The rest of the bases had the equivalent of emergency kits, things he could use to patch himself together until he could get to Antarctica, but he admitted to himself that he knew so little of proper gynecological medicine, he hadn't the faintest idea if any of his emergency kits would work for internal vaginal bleeding. Most involved applicators with flat surfaces, to be pressed against wounds; what he had for internal injuries were drugs to slow blood flow, which would hardly work if he was going to have to trek to Antarctica. His base was in a mountain range, inaccessible by any means but climbing and super-powered flight; no vehicle could negotiate the treacherous air currents and narrow spaces between outcroppings that a flying person could easily slip through. He needed, essentially, to be at peak health before he chartered a flight there and tried to make his way into his base. Which meant using ordinary humans' medical tech.

"What sexual acts did he perform on you besides vaginal penetration? Was there oral or anal intercourse?"

He rolled over and stared at her. "Why the devil do you need to know that?"

"The physician is going to need to know, to properly examine you for injury. And we need the information in order to be able to charge the perpetrator."

You won't need to charge the perpetrator. Leave her to me. "I already answered the question. What part of 'every disgusting sex act you can imagine' did you not understand?"

"I'm sorry. I know this is painful for you to deal with--"

"No! It isn't painful, it's annoying. It's annoying, and very, very tiring, and I am very tired. I want to sleep, Detective. I ran through the woods for four hours today trying to evade the madman who'd held me prisoner, and just as I was about to get my money, get something to eat and go rent a hotel room to sleep in, you people took me captive, interrogated me, and you haven't left me alone since. Interrogate me about my experiences after they examine me, if you must. But please, I am very tired..."

"Of course. We'll talk after your exam. There's just one thing I need to know, first, and I'm sorry. Have you taken a shower since the last time he raped you vaginally or anally?"

That question struck him as even more absurd than all the others, but he was really too tired to protest. If answering that one would buy him peace and quiet, so be it. The last time she'd raped him had been this morning, before bringing him upstairs to do the chores. He hadn't had a chance to shower since. "No. Not vaginally, anyway. The last time for... for the other, was five days ago, so yes."

"All right. That's actually a good thing. You go on and get some sleep now."

Body Snatcher: Chapter Two Part C

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