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Every inch of his body was in pain. Its intensity caused a numbing effect. The stench of blood, urine, feces, and burnt flesh permeated the room. The air was acrid and unbearably hot, making it difficult to breathe. The unfamiliar room was dimly lit, a single flickering bulb hanging from the ceiling. His newly awakened eyes had yet to acclimate themselves to the environment. His head was pounding like a sledgehammer against a wall. Over the clamor of confusion in his mind, he could hear the faint murmur of a sobbing woman.

"Name!" he heard a voice scream in his head. "Othello Greene," he answered.

"Rank!" the voice continued.

"First lieutenant," he mumbled, as his senses began to gain clarity. His heart sank like an anchor at the sight of the severed head of his longtime friend and counterintelligence operative Second Lieutenant Jack Strong. The cloud in his mind completely dissipated when he saw Jack's nude, mutilated body lying slumped over in a corner several feet from the head. Their termination mission, he realized, had gone terribly wrong.

Othello's unclothed body lay in a pool of his own blood. A fierce pain exploded through his torso as he stuck the severely burned stub where his right hand used to be into the ground beneath him. The failed attempt to get to his feet caused him to instantaneously collapse, quivering in agony.

He teetered between consciousness and death, staring into the face of his dead friend. Suddenly the eyes of the severed head opened and a menacing expression appeared. "This is all your fault!" it growled. "Look what the hell you got us into! You and all your guts and glory bullshit!"

"This is not my fault. I didn't put a gun to your head. I didn't make you do shit!" Othello screamed, blood and drool flying from his mouth. "Huh," Jack grunted. "Look at your dear sweet Ramirez over there. What a shame. They've been taking turns raping her for the last eighteen hours." One of the arms on the headless body motioned across the room. Othello was horrified to see his intimate friend and partner, First Sergeant Helena Ramirez, lying naked in a fetal position, brutalized and cowering in a corner. She was whimpering like a child. He felt helpless and ashamed, not for himself but for the team he had let down. "You're one self-righteous bastard. You knew she would have gone to hell to assassinate Satan with you. Now, because of you, she's seen more dicks than Kim Kardashian," said Jack with a sinister grin.

"Shut the fuck up, damn it!" Othello continued to scream. "This is not real! You're dead!"

"This is very much real, hero. But don't worry. You'll be joining me soon. And speaking of Satan, he told me to tell you that he's keeping your side of the bed warm, and that you and he are going to get real personal when you arrive," Jack responded with laughter.

"I am not paying attention to you. You are not real," Othello said, to himself. He tried once again to get to his feet. This time, using his still operable left hand, he pushed himself up but could not feel his legs. Turning over on his back, he was in shock to see both of his legs severed at the knees. The miasma of burning flesh was his own. His captors had burned the stumps to stop the bleeding. The hopelessness of the situation hit him like a pile of bricks. Despair set in as he collapsed, waiting for the moment of death.

Helena crawled over to him and gently kissed his forehead. The Latina beauty who could make any man risk it all for one night of passion was unrecognizable.

"Othello, I thought you were dead," she cried.

"Helena, I'm sorry," he replied, looking away, not able to look at her bloodied battered face and racked with guilt.

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