The Overton Window: Chapter Forty-Five

[Trigger warning for torture.]

The best thing I can say about chapter forty-five is that there is no dialogue. So that's nice. The bad news is Noah gets waterboarded. It's all part of the three chapter arc detailing Noah's torture at the hands of ... whomever. I don't know. Darthur's PR firm? It's kind of like that final section of Nineteen Eighty-Four, except, you know, not good.

It could have been most of the night that they worked him over. It could have been days for all he knew. All sense of time had left him while he was still out there on the road.

The questioning had started in one place, and at some point they'd satisfied themselves that the worst they could do wasn't going to be good enough. There'd been a dark ride in a car, and then a flight somewhere. At the new place they'd started in on him again.

They (whomever they are) have determined Noah gave access to "classified files and information" to the terrorists teabaggers. Powerpoints at PR firms are classified? Then he helped one of them sneak through security at the airport. The terrorists stole two nukes and set one off. The other nuke was still missing.

They (whomever they are) waterboard Noah. Of course, Noah doesn't have much to tell them. Noah is, as we've all kind of gathered, largely clueless. Great hero though, excellent character for a novel.

In the course of their work they told him a lot of things to encourage him to break his silence. They told him that Molly's mother, under similar questioning, had revealed the entire plot, including the depth of Noah's involvement. They said that Molly herself had been apprehended and they described in excruciating detail the particular techniques they had employed on her. She'd given him up almost immediately, they'd claimed, along with all of her co-conspirators.

After all they'd put him through, Noah would have gladly believed almost anything they'd said, but even to his clouded, brutalized mind these last two assertions didn't ring true—those two would never betray their cause. If Molly was going down, she would go down swinging and silent. Knowing that gave Noah the first bit of hope that he'd had in a long time.

Ummm... Noah's spirit is lifted because perhaps Molly didn't vaporize after all, but instead was captured and tortured? Huh? That's ... well, it's shitty, to be honest. That is, again, assuming she wasn't killed in the explosion. If I had the choice between a loved one dying in an instant, painlessly, without even knowing it, versus them spending their last hours, days perhaps, in complete physical and psychological anguish, I'd choose the former. But that's just me.

They (whomever they are) continue to torture Noah, "and then they stopped." The torture squad briskly exits the room, thought they "made it clear that they'd be back if necessary after this brief interlude."

A number of dark plastic surveillance domes were distributed across the ceiling. The chief interrogator looked up at one of the cameras and made a gesture to those watching to indicate that the subject was now ready to receive his guest. On that cue, the tiny red lights of the surveillance cameras winked out in sequence.

A few seconds later, a figure appeared in the open doorway.

Oh, brother.

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