Nap Lapkin gets taken hostage (preamble)
There was nothing particularly pressing on his schedule for the next week so he decided to let the terrorists take him hostage.
Nap Lapkin had been aware of them for some time, shadowing him clumsily as he strolled through the streets of Mazar-i-Sharif. He did not know what their plan was, but he was curious to find out. Suppressing his natural instinct to kill them all as they finally made their move was difficult, and he practically had to put the black bag over his own head, but eventually he was loaded into a beat-up van and off they went.
After a few hours of the van bouncing violently up and down, any hope of the shock absorbers absorbing any shocks was just a distant memory, he was hustled into one of the many bunkers that littered the surrounding mountains.
He was punched and kicked along the journey from the van to his holding cell and overall the mood of the terrorists seemed downright celebratory. Guns were fired into the air and “Death to America” was happily chanted. Nap felt a surge of pride that his presence could generate such enthusiasm among his sworn enemies.
Eventually he was tied to a chair and the hood was removed. He found himself sitting face to face with the man who was apparently leading the jovial band of hostage-takers. He was disappointed that he didn’t recognize the man seated opposite him. This meant he wasn’t a major player.
“You are CIA, are you not?” asked the turban-clad man.
Nap grinned. “It sounds like you came dangerously close to using a double negative in that sentence. Not a good idea to start off by confusing your prisoner. All that stuff about differentiating in the possessive or genitive case, frankly I’m not sure whether you’re asking if my name is CIA or if you’re referring to the Central Intelligence Agency.”
The terrorist looked confused for a moment. Then anger swept over his face and then, ever so briefly, confusion returned, but he must have come to the conclusion, as Nap did, that confusion wasn’t a good look for him at such a critical juncture, so he again went with the anger. He backhanded his prisoner with everything he had.
There was a small crunching noise in his hand. If he thought confusion was a bad look, imagine his disappointment when he realized that he’d just broken a few small bones in his backhanding hand (the irony that he would have loved to take back the backhand was lost on him).
“Mr. CIA!” he yelped, “we’ll see how amusing you feel when we start the torture.”
Nap, his cheek burning slightly, decided to extend to him another warm grin. “You know, nobody is immune to the effects of torture. That’s why I try to never know anything that might be important to national security. Certainly nothing classified. Even when I go on missions, I typically don’t even read the dossier. Although I must admit to loving to say the word. Dossier. Hard to believe it ends in an R right? Give it a try.” Nap nodded at his captor, encouraging him to say the word. “Dossier. Come on, try it. You’re really missing out if you don’t say it out loud.”
The man in the turban started to raise his hand to deliver another backhand but thought better of it. Instead he decided that it was time to describe how he planned on torturing Nap Lapkin.
A few sentences in, Nap shook his head and said “Let me stop you right there. We both know the best part of torturing someone is hearing them scream. You can tell a lot by how someone screams. Eyes might be the window to the soul, but that’s only if you don’t have a set of pliers handy. Is the scream all high-pitched and girly? Is it guttural? Will they whimper or be stoic about the whole thing? Let me end the suspense right now…”
With that Nap let out a roar. Half lion and half everything Walt Whitman had in mind when he wrote “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
The color drained from his captors face and he abruptly fled the room.
“God I miss this” Nap said to the empty room.
A few hours later the terrorist returned, the color once again populating his bearded face. In fact, he seemed to have regained his chipper outlook. His cheeks were downright rosy.
“Mr. CIA, I have a quote for you. From a very famous philosopher that you in the West seem to have a great deal of affection for.” He then went on to badly mispronounce Friedrich Nietzsche. “He said “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” The terrorist seemed rather pleased with himself, believing that this was exactly the type of psychological warfare that was needed to break the man sitting before him.
The demeanor of the man sitting before him changed. His face clouded over and teeth were clenched. He raised his eyes to meet his captors’. “When the abyss looks into me, it sees something much darker. Much blacker. The abyss you speak of, it turns the fuck around and walks the other way. I was born a monster.”
The terrorist turned and walked the other way, Out of the room. Out of the bunker. He didn’t stop until he was back in Mazar-i-Sharif and filling out an application at the local Macroyan Showarma Burger.
Later that night Nap started to get bored. It did not appear that his friend was coming back and he wondered if there was going to be anyone to take his place. Exasperated, he then escaped, killed the seventeen men who had been tasked with guarding him and began to try and figure out how he was going to get out of the bunker.
As he rummaged through facility for the ingredients he’d need to build an explosive device powerful enough to get through the seemingly-impenetrable front door he thought to himself “They just don’t make abysses like they used to.”
Lost inside my head, I open up the doorStep right off the ledge, into the abyss
–The Abyss Three Days Grace
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