Spy by Jeri
Mei slowly let herself down the rope to the balcony of the Ambassador's office, trying not to make a sound. She slipped once, but the guard standing in the courtyard directly below her didn't hear her. Once on the balcony, she pulled out her picks and unlocked the door, keeping low so as to stay hidden by the railing.
Mei had been in the Ambassador's office many times, as she was a member of the staff. She had been hired as a clerk by the American Embassy here in China years back. Most of the staff was Chinese, so she fit right in. But unlike the rest of the staff, she was working as an agent for the Chinese government. Her task was to get any information she could about the happenings in the Embassy. This had led directly to her current assignment.
Mei did not fit the popular image of a secret agent. As with most spies, she was just a gatherer of information. At the Embassy, she was a minor clerk, an assistant, who did the job she had been hired for competently. She passed on any information she got to her contact, whom she surmised passed the information on to those who would correlate the information with information from other sources. She had been trained physically as an agent years back, but had not used any of her training since then. That is, until tonight.
This morning, she had overheard a conversation between two of the Americans about some papers that were being reviewed by the Ambassador personally. When she spoke with her contact after work, she was informed that she was to go back that night and take photos of the papers, as they were highly important. This was the first time she had done any real spy work. But she knew that the Ambassador was lax in his security, and kept anything he was working on in his locked desk drawer, trusting to the security of the Embassy to protect it.
It was not unusual for one of the clerks to go into the Embassy even late at night. There was a constant coming and going at the Embassy at all hours, especially since America was awake while China was asleep. So, the guards didn't more than glance at her and wave her through.
After she was inside, Mei walked up the narrow stairs to the top floor with a sheaf of papers in her hand. She passed several other workers, but other than brief nods, she was ignored. There was a metal ladder going from the top floor landing to a small hatch to the roof. She had a start while she was climbing up the ladder when someone came onto the stairway one flight down. Fortunately, they went down the stairs without looking up at her.
The hatch opened easily, as it was locked from the inside with a simple deadbolt. On the roof, she shed her dress and shoes, and changed into a jet black jumpsuit and rubber soled slippers to hide her from any casual glances during her climb down the facade to the Ambassador's office.
Inside the office, she went immediately to the desk. The desk was littered with papers of all kinds, some of which were hanging over the edge of the desk about to fall off. She ignored these papers, as she knew the ones she was after would be in one of the drawers. She again used her picks to open the drawers of the desk. As she had surmised, the papers were in one of the drawers, the last drawer she tried. She took them out and turned on a small desk lamp to provide light. She pulled the miniature camera out of the jumpsuit from between her breasts and took pictures of the papers, one sheet at a time.
She was putting the papers back, aligning them precisely as they had been when she had taken them out of the drawer, when she heard a small rustling behind her like one of the papers finally falling off the edge of the desk. She closed the drawer with the lock clicking into place softly and turned to pick up the fallen paper.
Mei woke up to a splitting headache and the smell of heating oil. She tried to look around, but her neck and head hurt with the slightest movement, and all she could see were little shooting stars against a black background. She knew she had been unconscious. She figured she had been discovered in the office and had been knocked out. Those Americans were all technocrats. She had probably tripped a motion alarm, a heat sensor or some infrared electronic beam somewhere. She had not heard the guard sneak up on her, except for that little rustling she had foolishly ignored. He had probably knocked her out with one of the batons they carried. The pulsing pain in the side of her neck tended to confirm her hypothesis. When she tried to reach out to rub her neck, she made another discovery. She was bound.
In a rush, her sight came back, even though any movement of her head sent more of the stars shooting through the images she saw. The basement was only dimly lit with a couple bare light bulbs. Parts of the floor were slick with spilled heating fuel oil, what she had smelled earlier. It was also very hot, which was an advantage in her current predicament.
Mei was mostly naked. They had obviously taken off her jumpsuit, but had not taken the time to remove the net stockings and armbands she was wearing underneath. They had not even taken off her Sumo-style *******. But except for those parts of her clothing, she was naked, her stomach and breasts glistening from perspiration in the damp heat of the basement.
Mei was tightly bound and suspended upright. Her ankles had been tied with strong rope to two metal loops in the floor with her legs spread wide apart. Her wrists were tied just as wide apart to a wooden beam, and the beam had been pulled up tightly by a rope in the middle. The rope went through a pulley attached to pipes in the ceiling and was solidly tied to a pipe on the wall. Her body had been stretched out by the pressure of the ropes, but not painfully so. In all, it looked like they had bound her with whatever they had handy. She didn't think they made a habit of trussing up spies like this.
A door opened behind her and she heard someone approach her. It hurt too much to look around, so she let the person come into her field of view.
Mei had never seen the girl in front of her in the embassy before. She was an American, that was sure. But, she was dressed in a blue Chinese style dress that reminded Mei of the dresses of the fighting girls from the video games in the arcades she frequented. She was sure that the girl before her had copied her dress from one of those games, she just couldn't remember which one. But she was sure that the game character wasn't named "Holly," the name embroidered on the girl's right breast.
Mei looked Holly over carefully. She was sure she had been sent to try to get information out of her, as she had been taught that's what is done to spies who are caught. Her current condition, bound up like that, indicated her schooling had been right.
Holly was not tall as Americans went. She was about Mei's height, maybe just a little shorter, and about Mei's build, maybe not as thin. Mei didn't know exactly what kind of body she had, as her dress both hid and accentuated her build completely. Only Holly's arms were exposed, showing some muscles in her biceps.
Holly walked up to Mei and pulled a little on her ropes. Then, she went to the rope end tied to the wall and pulled it up tighter. Mei was stretched painfully out, her joints and muscles complaining from the increased pressure. Fortunately, the rope slackened a little after it was tied off, relieving most of the pressure on her joints and the pain in her muscles.
Holly again walked up to Mei, and drew back her right fist and shoulder. Mei saw the punch coming, aimed at her exposed, stretched tight, upper stomach, at her solar plexus. She felt a shock of pain throughout her whole body, and blacked out.
Rats! Mei was surrounded by rats! She could hear their squeaking
That was the first thought that came to Mei's mind as she regained consciousness. Once again, she had those stars swimming around in her vision. Once again, her vision cleared, but slower this time. When she could finally focus her eyes so she wasn't seeing double, what she saw brought her around in a sudden rush. Holly was pushing a small table toward her, the wheels squeaking loudly from lack of grease.
On the top shelf of the table were various unusual instruments. There was a billy club like the ones carried by the guards. There were two hammers of different shapes. There was a large double handed sledge hammer. There were a pair of brass knuckles. There were various other heavy tools and blunt weapons, obviously meant for her. There was even a large wooden baseball bat with "Louisville Slugger" printed on it. But what was on the top shelf had not been what had shocked Mei to crystal clear consciousness.
The second shelf held an array of sharp knives and pointed objects. She recognized several surgical scalpels and dental picks a**** the shiny steel instruments. She saw pointed and sharp kitchen utensils. She also recognized pointed and sharp hardware tools, such as awls, thin screwdrivers, punches and probes.
Mei had been in good shape when she had entered the Chinese secret police. She had kept up her conditioning with aerobic exercises three times a week, though her being knocked unconscious by one punch showed her she needed more work on her conditioning. But the sight of those blunt instruments on the top shelf didn't frighten her half as much as the thought of what those second shelf instruments could do to her. No amount of conditioning could save her from those.
Mei was tall for an Asian. She had a slender body. Her aerobics had built up some of the muscles of her body, and at the same time kept her in condition and free of most fat. Her muscles were usually not visible, even when she wore those tight, clinging silk dresses she liked or when she was in her American bikini in the Embassy pool. In fact, even though her body was stretched out tight from the ropes, her muscles were still not pronounced.
She would have to do something about that, she through. She would have to build up her body and especially her stomach muscles so they would be harder and more pronounced. After all, it had taken only one punch to her stomach to put her out. Only one punch to her tender stomach... Her stomach.... Her STOMACH!!!
Mei screamed loudly from the pain coursing through her stomach, and almost blacked out again. The pain had been patiently waiting until it had her undivided attention before it asserted itself. Mei started a second scream but stopped short when the pain of tensing her stomach to scream stabbed at her, changing her scream into a series of gentle whimpers. She tried to bend over a little to relieve the pain on her stomach, but her bonds didn't allow her any movement. So she just stayed upright, trying in vain to find a position where the pain went away a little.
Slowly the pain died down to the point where she could think again. While still in pain, she could now identify the location of the pain. Mei methodically examined herself mentally. Much to her surprise, her stomach ached all over, from her upper stomach just under her ribs, all the way to her lower stomach just above her crotch; from the left side of her stomach all throughout her stomach to the far right side of her stomach. There were even pains in her back, in the kidneys. Evidently, Holly had continued punching her in the stomach even after that first punch when she had blacked out. Obviously from the pain, she had punched her hard all over her stomach, and in all the soft regions adjacent to it. Mei had gotten a thorough beating.
"Now that she has beaten me up," thought Mei confidently, "Holly will start interrogating me to find out what I know. It is my duty not to give any information to the enemy, so I won't answer any of her questions. I've been trained for this."
Holly had been re-arranging her weapons, presumably to make the ones she would be using easier to find. Also she obviously was waiting for Mei's pain to sink in. She picked up the billy club from the top shelf and approached Mei holding it like a knife to stab.
Mei saw Holly aiming the billy club at her stomach. She stabbed Mei in the lower stomach, with what appeared to be a mild blow. Mei grunted a little, but did not cry out. Holly continued to stab her with the club all over her stomach with varying degrees of success. Mei didn't know what Holly doing, but since the blows were obviously mild, she couldn't be trying to beat her up. Finally, Holly put down her club and walked up to Mei.
Mei thought, "Here's where she will start questioning me." But to her surprise, Holly didn't say a word. Instead, she drew back her fist and threw a hard right to Mei's stomach just above the navel.
Mei gasped in pain as the punch compressed her sore stomach muscles. The punch had landed right where her stomach was most sensitive, given the beating it had taken while she was unconscious. Suddenly, Mei realized what Holly had been doing to her with the club. She was testing her stomach to see where it was the most tender from her beating. And Mei, not knowing what Holly had been doing, had shown her exactly where the best spot to punch was by her body's reactions to the stabs.
Before Mei could react to the punch more, Holly punched her again in the same spot with her other fist. She kept pounding away at the same spot in Mei's stomach with hard left and right blows. Mei had no choice but to accept the blows as she could not move in any way to protect her stomach.
The pain in Mei's stomach built up with each blow. Each blow penetrated further into her stomach. Finally, her stomach muscles broke down completely. Each succeeding blow crushed her stomach muscles against her spine. She was not able to draw a breath, the punches were coming so fast. Eventually, she just stood there with her mouth hanging open, exhaling a little puff of air with each blow. Just as she was starting to pass out from the pain, the blows stopped.
Mei took a long time recovering. She was gasping for breath for a couple minutes, and groaning in pain for minutes more. The pain in her stomach seemed like it would never go away. But eventually it tapered off, leaving a dull ache that spiked into shooting pains whenever she moved in the slightest.
Holly went back to her table, presumably to select her next weapon. Mei called out to her, "I'll never tell you anything!"
Holly smiled a little smile and thought, "Good, she's starting to crack." Then, she turned back to Mei, but without the smile.
Mei saw Holly had the baseball bat in her hands. She thought, "This'll hurt! But it has to hurt less than her punches."
Holly stood next to Mei and wound up the bat behind her. She swung it in a fast, level swing, hitting Mei right at the navel, flat across her stomach. It was a perfect swing. Any lower and she would have hit Mei's hip bones. Any higher and she would have hit her ribs.
The impact of the bat drove the air from Mei's lungs in a burst. As Holly drew the bat back for the next swing, Mei decided to ignore the pain and lack of breath and concentrate on tightening her stomach muscles as hard as she could. Her stomach muscles screeched at her, but the next hit didn't sink into her stomach to do as much damage. The third hit was even less painful then the second one.
Evidently Holly sensed the lack of success, as she stopped and went back to the table to put down the bat. She then returned to Mei without any weapons, and started punching her with her fists again, but this time to the side of her stomach.
Holly punched Mei in the side of her stomach with a roundhouse punch, just under her ribs. Mei jumped from the pain, as this was another sensitive spot. But this area was sensitive not because it was still sore from the first beating, but because it was generally a weak spot. Mei had found that she could take pretty hard punches to the middle of her stomach. But she didn't know her side muscles would be so soft. They didn't offer much protection from Holly's punch.
Holly's punch was aimed not at the front part of the stomach, but at the side. The punch came in from the side, and penetrated a little into Mei's muscles there before being stopped. This punch didn't have the stinging impact of a punch to her abs. Instead it had a much more prolonged and deeper pain that didn't want to go away. The blow also transmitted a shock wave to the interior of Mei's stomach, causing her muscles to involuntarily harden and contract, and doubling her over on that side. The muscles at the point of impact burned after the punch, or would have if Holly hadn't stepped to her other side and delivered a twin punch with her other fist.
Mei was in trouble. She could feel the punches penetrating into her weak side muscles, deeper with each punch. She didn't know her anatomy too well, but knew there were several sensitive internal organs being affected by each punch. She wasn't sure how many blows like these they could take before rupturing, sending their contents into her abdomen.
Holly continued her punching alternately to each side of Mei's stomach. Each punch penetrated deeper and deeper into her stomach from either side She could feel the pain increasing. She knew the pain would only get stronger with each punch. And worst of all, she was still conscious and alert. There was no chance of relief from the pain. Her mind was remaining clear, so as to let her appreciate the pain that much more. She knew she would not be blacking out this time.
In the midst of the pain, with her mind sparkling clear, she heard a peculiar sound. It was a kind of gurgling and sloshing sound. She puzzled about it for a little while, until she realized the sound accompanied each of Holly's punches. If she had been able, she would have screamed again. It was her internal organs sloshing around. From the sound and the pain, she knew they had already burst. She could only think about the internal bleeding that was occurring. She knew that unless she got immediate medical attention, she would die a slow, painful death. She didn't know the details, but she had seen it in the movies.
Mei knew she had only one chance to live, She must co-operate with her captor. But in her current state, with Holly still pounding away at her stomach, she couldn't even speak, and almost couldn't breathe.
Holly continued to pulverize the sides of her stomach for several more minutes. Mei would have liked to tell her everything, but could not. Eventually, Holly stopped her assault, breathing heavily from the exertion. Mei hoped she would stop for good, or at least so she could catch her breath. Holly went back to her cart to look over the weapons again.
Mei concentrated on trying to speak. Eventually, she was able to say something in a low, halting, raspy voice. She said, "Wh... What do you... What do you want me to tell... to tell you?" But Holly seemed not to hear her.
When Holly turned around, she had a heavy iron crowbar in her hand. One end of it was bent into a hook. But the other end of it was pointed. Mei froze. She could imagine Holly ramming the pointed end of the heavy crowbar deep into her stomach puncturing it, or at least bursting any of her internal organs that were not already leaking their contents into her abdominal cavity.
Holly approached Mei, carrying the heavy crowbar easily in her left hand. Mei could only close her eyes tight in horror as Holly swung the crowbar over her head.
But the expected blow didn't come. Instead, Mei felt little tugs on her wrists. She looked up to see Holly testing the tightness of her wrist ropes. Then Holly walked away.
With Mei looking on perplexedly, Holly walked to the pipe where the pulley rope was tied off, and twisted the crowbar into the rope. She kept twisting the rope with the crowbar. Suddenly, Mei realized what she was doing. She was using the crowbar to tighten the rope!
As Holly twisted the crowbar, the rope tightened, increasing the strain on Mei's whole body. Mei felt it in her sore stomach first. Her stomach muscles were being pulled tight, causing them to send shooting pains throughout the rest of her body again. But this time the pains continued, as her stomach was stretched so tight her navel was only a thin, vertical slit. Her stomach was stretched almost completely flat, with her stomach muscles stretched to their limit, and beyond. She thought her stomach muscles could not take any more stretching without tearing, but Holly kept proving her wrong by turning the crowbar, stretching them out further. Finally even Holly was convinced the ropes were tight enough, and she hooked the hook end of the crowbar in the rope to prevent the rope from slacking off.
Mei's stomach muscles were burning from the pain of their being stretched beyond their limits. Added to this was the pain from the previous torture her stomach had endured.
Mei thought about what this might be doing to her insides. With her stomach stretched out like this, any internal organs that weren't completely in tatters were probably tearing apart from the new strain put on them, pouring their rancid juices and blood into her stomach cavity. She could not move except to breathe shallowly. But with every breath, she could hear gurglings in her abdomen.
She came to the conclusion that this stretching was the worst pain she would ever endure. She was wrong.
Holly returned to stand in front of Mei, and looked up and down her taut body. She poked her index finger into Mei's taut stomach at several places, causing Mei to whimper in pain. Mei would have cried out loudly, the pain from this minor prodding was so great, but she didn't have the strength to even take enough of a deep breath to scream the scream she wanted to let out.
When Holly stopped prodding her, Mei, in a raspy, weak, halting voice said, "I'll tell you everything. I'm a spy for the Chinese government. My contact is ... AHHUUUKK...!!!"
In the middle of Mei's sentence, Holly had punched her a hard left in the middle of her taut, straining stomach, right into the thin slit of her navel. Holly followed up with another, harder punch with her right to the same spot. Holly followed this with a third punch to her upper stomach. Then, she started working on Mei's lower stomach with hard left and right combinations. She continued working Mei's stomach over with hard punches all over, not concentrating on one place for long.
Mei screamed the scream she thought she couldn't. That first punch had been totally unexpected. It had sunk deep into her stomach, penetrating all the way. It compressed and bruised her taut muscles, crushing them against her backbone. The pain of that blow was almost more than she could endure. A second, more intense wave of pain hit her when her body jerked from the first pain, stretching her fiery muscles further beyond their limit.
The second punch, while harder, had a different reaction. She had completely lost all ability to scream, or even react to the pain she was receiving. She just whimpered and gasped a little. She had lost any control of her stomach muscles. So, she just hung there in a daze, absorbing Holly's punches like a slab of meat, with no more reaction than that slab would have. She had just enough wits to wonder what was happening to her insides from this new assault, and why Holly had stopped her from talking. Eventually, Holly stopped the latest round of punches, and sauntered over to the cart again.
It seemed that Holly had been very careful in her punches. While this last round had been the worst pain Mei had received, she was not punched into unconsciousness. Slowly, Mei was able to breathe again, though only in shallow, fitful gasps. When she could talk, she told Holly with slurred speech more of her mission and more details of her life as a spy.
Mei would have told Holly everything right there, anything to get her to stop the torture her stomach was receiving. Anything to get Holly to release her, so she could get to a hospital to have them at least try to stitch her ruptured internal organs back together, to give her at least a slim chance of living. But as before, Holly stopped her confession with more punches.
Over the next several hours, Holly continued this cycle of beating Mei's stomach, tightening the ropes when they got slack, and letting Mei tell a little more of her confession each time. Eventually, Mei told Holly everything she knew. Eventually, Mei's stomach was beaten into blissful unconsciousness.
Mei awoke to the smell of medicine and alcohol. She looked around, and saw she was in an American hospital. Her pain was gone, replaced by a fuzziness in her head and a loud buzzing in her ears. Her first reaction was to reach for her stomach, to see what had been done to it. She was expecting at least large bandages covering surgical scars. She was shocked that her stomach was bare with no coverings on it. She was further shocked when she discovered she had no sensation in her stomach. She could feel her stomach with her hand, but she could not feel her hand on her stomach. Her hand told her her stomach was distended and puffed up quite a bit, and had some quite pronounced lumps on it.
Just then, a nurse came in. She learned from the nurse that a woman had brought her in to the hospital. The woman said she had found Mei in an alley. She said Mei had been attacked and beaten up quite severely.
Mei asked the nurse why she couldn't feel her stomach, and how extensive her internal injuries were. The nurse chuckled a little, and told her they had injected her stomach with a local anesthetic to relieve the pain from her beating. But, she said, there were no internal injuries. She told Mei that her stomach, while it may have felt otherwise, was fine; thoroughly black and blue, but fine. She said the stomach was not as delicate as most people thought. It would hurt like the dickens if it was punched, but its construction protected all of the internal organs from major damage if it had any muscle tone at all.
The nurse told Mei she would be out of the hospital in a couple days. She said that Mei would probably have a sore stomach that would remain sore for a few weeks, but even that pain would eventually go away. She said she would give her some pills to relieve the pain.
Mei never went back to the American Embassy. She knew she would not be welcome there. She tried to reach her Chinese contact, the only one she knew, but the phone had been disconnected, and he never showed at their usual rendezvous spot.
She never was contacted again, by either side. Once in a while she thought she saw someone following her, but she was never sure if it was real or just her paranoia surfacing again.
But for the rest of her life, she was continuously looking over her shoulder, to see if Holly was there.