The Mind Bender
Updated: Aug 2, 2021
The Mind Bender is what they call it. The most famous torture chamber in all of Adrastea. But what makes this chamber so unique is that they inflict no physical pain, hence the name “Mind Bender”. They mess with your mind until you do one of two things. Give them what they want, or lose your mind past the point of no return.
I have been an undercover spy in Adrastea for the past three years, working as the secretary for the NSU (National Security Unit). I’ve been assigned here to gather information and make sure Adrastea doesn’t do anything rash without us knowing. But ever since I left my home country of Zorina, The Mind Bender has been haunting me wherever I go, as if to say “see you soon”.
I have been at my desk all day listening to phone calls, reading my coworker’s emails, and other activities I do daily as part of my job. But today has been different, everything seems scripted. All the calls, emails, and conversations have a hint of formality and structure that is unusual for everyone here. I have decided not to let my guard down until the day is over….something doesn’t feel right here. My hunch was proven correct when a government official asked to see me in his office and I walked into four guards waiting inside. I thought about running, but one glance at the guards told me I would never get away. They didn’t bother reading my charges or even saying anything at all, they just handcuffed me and took my compliance as an admittance of guilt.
As we left the building, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, but I sensed no shock coming from my coworkers. Meaning they knew about me, but my question is how long have they known? I don’t know for sure where they are planning on taking me but the extra guards out front tell me they didn’t expect me to come quietly.
When we arrived at what I can only assume is the building that houses The Mind Bender I felt myself starting to sweat. Anyone who has been inside The Mind Bender has either been completely sworn to secrecy for fear of their life or went crazy inside the chamber and has been unable to tell anyone.
The guard to my right gave a slight smirk when he saw my nerves starting to show, but I shrugged him off. My mind was occupied elsewhere. The guards led me up a ridiculous number of stairs to the front of the building and stopped.
“Turn around and take a look,” the slightly melancholic voice of the guard on my right broke the silence as he nodded toward the empty street we just left, “depending on what happens in there, this may be the last time you ever see the outside world for what it is, I’ve seen it happen time and time again.” I looked at the guard, I knew what he meant. That my brain would be too scrambled to see the world normally, but I was confused why he was being almost...sympathetic? His tone wasn’t tinged with the slightest hint of sarcasm or taunting in it, so I was truly at a loss. I shuddered and went inside.
I was surprised to find a grand entry hall. Marble floors, towering columns, everything you would expect from a mansion, not a torture center. The guards have started walking behind me at this point rather than next to me, so I took it as a sign we were close. They herded me toward a door and down a long cement hallway. There was nothing special about the hallway, except for the large copper door at the end of it, which I could only assume was The Mind Bender. One guard stopped a few feet from the door and nodded at me, while the other stayed farther back smirking. I knew there was no way I could fight them, so chances of escape were very slim. I took a deep breath and opened the door.
The room would have been pitch black, but the hallway illuminated the room through the doorway, and I could make out a single metal chair in its center. The door closing left just enough time and light to make my way to the chair before the room went dark again. As I sat down I noticed the chair was bolted to the floor, but nothing else too special about it. A few minutes passed and I was growing nervous. Nothing was happening, I couldn’t see anything, there was no one in or outside of the room that I knew of, and the room was dead silent. I debated getting up from the chair, but I knew if I did I probably wouldn’t be able to find it again without hurting myself in the process. So I stayed put.
A few more minutes passed slowly when suddenly the room lit up. I don’t know where the light was coming from, but then again I didn’t bother to look. I was too mesmerized by the copper, organ-like pipes lining all four walls of the room. The pipes reached floor to ceiling and seemed to loom over me waiting for me to do something. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t understand how this was considered a “mental torture chamber”. I looked around and saw no cameras, no lightbulbs, and...no door. The door had completely disappeared from where it had originally been, and in its place stood those pipes. I heard a soft gurgling and whipped my head around just in time to see a little grey bubble emerge from one of the pipes. My first thought was poisonous gas but the bubble was so small I didn’t think that amount of gas would have much effect.
I watched the bubble float around, mesmerized. I tensed in anticipation as I watched it gently float toward the cement wall, knowing it would pop. But as the bubble popped, the gas inside dissipated. I thought that was it until I heard a faint whispering that disappeared just as quickly as it had come. My confusion was immeasurable at this point. This couldn’t be it. There had to be more, no fog bubble was going to make someone insane. However, I realized I spoke too soon as I heard that gurgling come from the pipes again and I saw three more bubbles emerge from various pipes. They floated around for a bit but when they popped it was the same thing. Fog and faint whispers.
I would say I was floored, this was it? The infamous Mind Bender is just some bubbles and creepy whispers? There had to be more. There was no way this was it. Master criminals went insane in this very room, the strongest of men and women gave up their precious secrets in this room. There had to be more…
Endings: (coming soon)
NOW YOU WILL BE GIVEN A CHOICE, YOUR DECISION WILL AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE STORY. CHOOSE WISELY.
Choice 1. Stay seated in the chair and wait
Choice 2. Get up and inspect the pipes