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Chaos - Denial then Acceptance Part 1/5

Summary: Hallucinations and reality merge for both Billy and Rick as they face their worst fears. Capture and torture.

A fanfiction written based on the characters from the cancelled TV show, Chaos. 

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I seek no financial gain. Just hope you enjoy the story. You don't have to be a fan of the show.

Part 1:

Sad to say, this wasn’t Billy’s first go around the block with capture and torture. Risk of the profession he would always say.

After surviving, some admittedly by the slimmest of margins, he’d regale how he had endured a new method of physical abuse, another notch in the belt of his collective experience as a spy as if survival was a medal to be worn.

And there he was once again thrust into being a captive at the hands of people with deft training in inflicting excruciating pain, finding the most effective pain centers possible. Billy wondered if they had academies for such kinds of learning or if they weed out the particularly gifted psychopaths. His wandering thoughts to such questions were as much about deflecting the pain, as they were legitimate curiosities that he had floating in his head at the time. He had some control over what flittered across his mind, but most of the time the randomness of them would find him laughing aloud, a reaction that often brought puzzled looks and on some less forgiving of such outbursts, anger, usually inviting more pain in a defiance to silence his perceived audacity.

At first it was the pedestrian methods. Water boarding, electrocution, slow deliberate slices across his skin, no deeper than paper cuts yet when applied with just the right mixture of antiseptic the inflicted stinging and relentless pain could be worse than a deeper gash. Then came the creativity, injections of various chemical formulations, some burning from within his veins, muscles, and nerves others causing uncontrollable spasms, still other chemical cocktails took pleasure in implanting hallucinations that seem so real that he couldn’t discern fantasy from reality.

Those were the worst for Billy.

Perhaps it was because there was such a reservoir of guilt to mine from.

Memories, regrets, loss, they were all worse than any physical abuse because in the end, physical pain, if he survived it, healed, and given enough time, the wounds just fading scars barely there to remind him of what had caused them.

The psychological tortures were far more insidious because they never left you, the events there to replay like some sadistic rewind on an endless loop.  Short of brain damage, selective amnesia, or permanent memory loss they were always with you, to haunt you, to taunt you with past failures or the helplessness that comes with the inability to change the past. Under controlled circumstances, they could be easily suppressed, buried deep where even copious indulgences into alcohol couldn’t lubricate them loose, but under someone else’s deft control, they could be dislodged once again, bringing with it a pain that lingered, that could find a person literally trying to physically run away only to fail miserably because they weren't things you could run from. They were a part of you. Always.

He could endure much, perhaps never equaling the endurance of Casey Malick, but Billy had never claimed to possess the stoic center needed to achieve such control, still, he would come a close second.

As the days melted into each other, time becoming irrelevant once again, he felt his pain receptors flare like fire, unbidden tears streaked his face, screams, moans, and struggling breaths were all a part of his existence as he hoped and waited for rescue.

He always hoped for rescue. Even when he didn’t always believe it would come. Even when his normally positive view of life questioned whether rescue would be at hand. He had never succumbed to the acceptance that he was doomed, that death was all he had to look forward to.

Not yet anyway.

He would quip back answers his torturers weren’t looking for or in the mood for and they would respond in kind by exerting pain with maximum prejudice.

“Tell us what we want to know!” The torturer would bark with the power he knew he possessed over Billy, his life, with the weapon his hands held, this time a blunt instrument to bludgeon effectively.

Whack! Thud! Groan. As flesh and bone collided with a solid block, resembling a bat, pain roared like thunder through his nervous system as he heard and felt a rib, maybe two, crack inside him and he couldn’t remain defiantly silent.

“If you tell us –“

“I’ll be just as dead. You’re talking to someone who could write your script there, mate. So I’ll give you the next line, yeh? You can just forget about getting anything from me.”

Another swing of the bat pummeled into his back this time and he had the presence of mind through the pain to wiggle his toes as if to check if his back had been broken.

“I must have the name of your masseuse. You have quite the delicate touch there,” he taunted. It was all he had left to him at that point.

Billy tried to clear pain and sweat from his eyes to keep watching everything that was happening around him. Captured didn’t mean he wasn’t still on assignment. If anything, it was even more important. Anything he could glean and survive to tell the tale was intel that was valuable.

Another man, hiding in the shadows, out of Billy's line of sight, produced a hypodermic needle and handed it to the torturer. Billy sensed it was that man who was calling the shots, who was holding his fate in his hands.

“Ah, so we’re now moving on to the pharmaceuticals, are we? Excellent! Could there be something in there for my cholesterol? It runs in my family you see.”

He felt the needle being unceremoniously jabbed into the crook his elbow. Precision wasn’t the goal. Expressing whatever drugs were in the mix as quickly as possible was. Billy grimaced. He then watched as another needle was produced. The torturer then walked over to the front of Billy, undid Billy’s belt and pulled on the waistband to expose his hip.

“While I appreciate the gesture, I’m afraid, I just don’t find you all that attractive –“

The needle, again, was plunged with maximum force as if to drive home with authority by the gesture that Billy’s insolence wasn’t being tolerated. Billy arched with pain.

“Take him back to his cell,” the man in the shadows commanded.

Billy had a feeling that he should know the voice, but his ability to bring forth the identification was being hampered by pain and the confusion brought on by the drugs.

Billy wished that he could pass out, but all he was able to manage was fogginess as he was being grasped by the arms by two other men and escorted back to his cell. It was more like being dragged as he was in so much pain, planting his feet to stand brought fresh wave after wave.

Once they reached his cell, they threw him in and locked the door behind him. It was then that Billy allowed himself to grunt and groan in pain, not knowing what hurt the most.

Everything hurt and for now, he couldn’t tell what, if anything, the drugs that had been injected into him were doing to him.

The only question that ran through Billy’s mind at that moment was the inevitable one of when would they tire of his resistance and rid themselves of the irritation he had become to them, whether they would feel he was worth keeping alive. Obviously, having survived previous such postulations, rescue had been achieved to avoid that question from being answered. 

But this time, this time, he wasn’t so sure.

He tried lifting his body up to a sitting position but he was struck back down with ripping pain through his chest, taking his breath away. He groaned long and whimpered with the agony. He crawled over to a nearby wall and used it to brace him up, resisting the clenching pain as much as he could. Once upright, he closed his eyes and tried to continue breathing which were more long, deep sighs without the lovely release and relief from pain that usually came with them.

Maybe this was the end after all.

Even if it had only been a couple of days, time had lost all context for him, the way the torture was progressing along with the new methods, he didn’t think that he’d make it this time.

“Since when did you become a quitter, aye?”

A voice said through the haze of his pain. He opened his eyes and searched through his cell. He was startled by the presence of a person from another lifetime ago.

“Right, then, the drugs are kicking in I see,” he said to himself.

“You think this is a hallucination?” The man said.

“Can’t be anything else, mate. You’re dead.”

“Perhaps I’m your Marley’s ghost then?”

“Right, just my luck, you’d come back to haunt me,” Billy joked surprised at the ease he was slipping into the hallucination. He knew it wasn’t real and yet, he couldn’t help, but “participate”. Perhaps it was a part of him too tired to resist it.

“Nice thing to say to your old partner, aye?”

“What do you want from me, Eddie?”

“You got me killed, so the least you can do is play along.”

Billy smiled. There it was, the painful truth, literally and figuratively. He clenched in pain on queue.

“Are you just going to rehash the past and point out the obvious? Because if you are, then this is going to be easier than I thought.”

“Right, so you’re telling me, you’ve come to terms, have you?”

Billy breathed heavily, his expression turning grim.

“I’ll never get off that easily, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’ll never come to terms with what happened, Eddie, but I can’t change the past. I live with what I’ve done every single day.”

“I seriously doubt it if you’re this calm about betraying a friend, of selling out –“

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, but I didn’t betray you, mate. I could never betray you.”

“What would you call it then? When you handed me over to the Russians?”

Billy arched with a spasm of pain.

“You were a double agent, Eddie. It’s you who did the betraying. I don’t care about me…but you sacrificed everything, your alliance to Queen and Country, other agents died at your hand. I had no choice.”

“We were mates and you let me die in enemy hands. Nothing you can say can change that fact.”

Eddie’s visage then transformed as blood stains drenched the front of his shirt and his coloring went grey with death.

Billy started awake, unable to catch his breath, the pain just as bright as in his dream.

Billy lay back against the wall.

“Right, now the real torture begins.”


They brought him back again and again. Just when he thought he’d drawn his last breath, they would stop just shy of unconsciousness. He would gasp and cough wretchedly only for them to string the noose back around his throat, the chaffing from the fibers were making his neck tender and raw, bleeding.

“You know, you really can take a man’s breath away,” he rasped, hands tied behind his back, leaning on his knees.

“You know that your friends are not coming for you. They’ve left you for dead so why remain loyal?”

Billy laughed, each intake of air past his enflamed throat bringing stinging pain.

“You really think that matters, mate? I admit to having many insecurities, but that’s not one of them. I hope they don’t…and I won’t betray them. Do what you want to me.”

“This? This is for amusement’s sake, to hone our skills and I have to admit, you have quite the will.”

“Now, you’re just leading me on with flattery,” Billy breathed. “But it will get you nowhere. I’m not easy.”

Billy smiled, but it transformed back to a look of determined defiance.

“No, you’re not so I think other measures are in order.”

Billy watched as the same man still hiding in the shadows as before entered with two more hypodermics.

“Ah, yes, enter the psycho-trophic drugs…” Billy said as he tried to address the shadowed figure. "The least you can do is show yourself so I can face my executioner, aye? A coward is what you are."

For each injection, Billy began to feel his skin and his veins becoming hypersensitive, anywhere where the needle plunged. He closed his eyes and hissed as each touch felt searing.

He was then thrown back into his cell.

The hallucinations were becoming more vivid and it was becoming harder and harder to distinguish reality from fantasy. Truth be told, it was also becoming more tempting to surrender to them, to escape the pain through them even though they weren’t safe havens, if anything, they were reminders of how much he had failed, how hypocritical he felt he had been, somehow fading into them felt…comfortable…appealing perhaps it was a way to suffer in a self-imposed hell with all of the self-flagellation without the fire and brimstone. He suspected it was exactly that effect his captors were hoping for, that at some point he would break in the midst of the illusion, revealing a secret. On that, they were giving him little credit.

They didn’t know him very well at all.

The attack of pain seemed different every time, as if the alchemists working for his captors were fine-tuning the formula depending on his reactions. Perhaps he was their guinea pig? The pain was getting more severe and harder to come back from with each injection. It had begun to feel like he was always in pain, that there were no more breaks in between to recover and rest. The hallucinations seemed to also contribute to the pain, the memories more and more vivid as well as the suffering that had originally come with the events more magnified in the recalling of them.

Billy knew they weren’t controlling what memories he was recalling and perhaps it revealed more about how truly self-torturing his character was, but it was if he were trying to remember the most painful of his memories as if attempting to resolve them somehow and for each failure to do so, it whittled away at his will.

He was tired; exhausted, drained of energy and he felt his body slipping away from his control. The physical toll was finally settling in. He was no Casey Malick, he reminded himself again. His stamina, his very human endurance was far from limitless.

He lay on the makeshift bed in his cell, having no strength to even sit up now. Occasionally, he’d curl into himself with pain, but in that moment, he was too weak to even do that.

“Come on, Billy. You can do it. We’re almost there, buddy,” Carson’s voice filtered into his mind.

“You can’t be here, mate. You’re in prison.”

“Yeh, you put me there.”

“No, you were already there in your heart, mate. We just moved you into the brick and mortar variety to finish the prison you were already in once and for all.”

“Still being so moral, aren’t you? Like that kid, Rick, wasn't it?”

“You leave him out of this. He’s a better man, better than you or I will ever be,” Billy spit out in bitter anger.

“Maybe so, but his moral principles won’t keep him alive, now will it?”

“It will, if I have any say.”

“Well, now, that’s…what would Shakespeare call it? The rub, isn’t it? Looks like you’re not going to make it out of here, you limey.”

“Perhaps not…perhaps this is just what it has to be.”

Billy was then startled awake, hearing a large explosion, smelling acrid smoke fill his cell. Was this a dream? Or had he finally been broken?

“Billy? Billy?” Called out a friendly and familiar voice.

Billy couldn’t focus his eyes, couldn’t latch on to whom the voice belonged.

“My God…” said another voice, younger, vulnerability laced in the shocked timber of his declaration.


But he couldn’t find anything but pain, his recollection fuzzy at best, nonexistent at worst. He felt someone trying to lift him from his bed and he heard himself scream in pain, yet it felt distant, like someone else was doing it.

“Let’s get him out of here. We have to get him to a hospital.”

He should know that voice. Why was he having such a difficult time coming up with the name?

He had no strength left, he couldn’t fire any impulses to his muscles and so nothing was moving and yet he wasn’t unconscious. He heard everything around him, felt people grabbing at him, understandably trying to help, but causing him excruciating pain for every grasp and every movement they forced upon him.

He then found himself stiffening as if being stretched like a rubber band; his mind blank, the only awareness was pain then nothingness.

“Damn it! He’s posturing! He’s having a stroke or a brain hemorrhage. Someone get him on IV TPA STAT!”


Billy roared back into consciousness against his will, but fighting his body and mind were useless endeavors. He felt like he was on fire and ice simultaneously, pain was everywhere and he couldn’t stop groaning. He flashed glances at everyone around him. Voices everywhere shattering his nerve endings with the cacophony. He tried pulling away, but his body wouldn’t move, he tried pushing away and the agony from the rebellion punished him.

He closed his eyes, trying to both focus and also drown out what was assaulting his senses.

“Billy? Say something! Please!” That younger man’s voice he had heard earlier beckoned. He still couldn’t retrieve the name.

“W…who are you? W…what’s happening?” Billy finally was able to eek out.

Rick stiffened, looked towards Michael who shook his head as if to say to play along.

“You’ve been hurt, we’re getting you to the hospital,” Michael said to set the tone for everyone. “Just relax.”

“Pain’s everywhere…” Billy trembled and jerked even though by doing it, he just caused more pain.

“I know and I’m sorry, but EMS needs to find out where your injuries are. You scared us earlier, but you’re going to be okay.”

“Not so sure about that, mate.”

Michael swallowed nervously.

“Just let us help you.”

“I don’t remember…I’m afraid, I don’t know who I am,” Billy said, his voice a mix of pain and humor as only Billy could mix the two.

That question froze everyone.

“Don’t worry about that now –“ Michael said.

Suddenly, flashes of memory bombarded Billy causing him to clench, stiffen and grimace.

“Billy? What’s wrong?”

“Get away! STOP!” Billy yelled and thrashed at something no one else could see.

EMS struggled to get consistent vitals on Billy.

“We’re going to have to sedate him. I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself further and pull out the IV line,” one of them said to Michael and all he could do was nod. “Can one of you hold him down?”

Rick swallowed hard, but without saying a word, Casey immediately volunteered and applied all his strength to bear down on Billy’s shoulders, his barely contained stoic center holding for the moment.

One of the paramedics produced a needle and when Billy saw it, his eyes went wide with terror. It was an emotion Rick had never seen on him.

“No! No! Get that away from me!” He yelled. Casey had to increase his hold, but he was able to hold him steady.

“Billy, it’s okay,” Rick tried to comfort. “It will help you.”

“No, no, if I go under, I might not come back!”

All three men gave each other grim expressions.

The paramedic injected the fluid into Billy’s IV line and it took effect almost immediately, quieting Billy down until finally he went limp. Casey let go, but he felt exhausted.

Once Billy was stabilized, the ambulance took Billy to the hospital leaving behind three shell-shocked men.


Despite the sedation, Billy still stirred restlessly, pain etched on his face, as if dreaming, none of them good ones, nightmares more likely from the moans he was making.

A week. He had been missing a week.

It had taken them a week to finally find him and to Rick's mind, it was too many days at the hands of his sadistic captors; too long subjected to unspeakable tortures and poisons into his body until...

Even Billy Collins, born and bruised in North Edinburgh, wasn't immune to that kind of cruelty; wasn't strong enough to withstand such heinous disregard for his will, his life for one whole week.

Rick had seen the track marks along the crux of Billy’s left arm...so many of them...and it had made him physically ill.

The doctors said that they'd never be able to determine what chemicals had been injected into Billy.

They had said he had sustained extensive internal injuries. The list was mind numbing and yet it was miraculous that Billy was still alive and a twinge of pride was there for his resilience and will to live.

Billy had a long road ahead of him and for now, Rick was grateful that Billy didn’t know that. That knowledge could drain whatever will he had left.

And still, all Rick could think about was how it had taken a week to rescue him and the nagging feeling that if the roles had been reversed, Billy would have found him sooner.

After all the many surgeries, Billy looked like he was enduring yet another kind of torture. More IVs going into his arm, casts that were on his right arm and around his torso for his broken ribs, a bandage around his head for the head injuries, Rick was overwhelmed by it all.

The doctors had deepened his sedation to keep him from thrashing around from the nightmares. Still, seeing him so motionless was jarring because Billy was such an animated man, speaking with flourishes and colorful abandon.

Billy had gone through hell and Rick wasn’t sure that he was fully back or would ever recover whole again. No one, not even him, could survive all that he had and not be permanently scarred and Rick feared that most of all, that the Billy who was the ebullient man he knew had died back in his prison, had been driven out by unrelenting pain and suffering. The physical damage was obvious and would eventually heal if slowly, but what wasn't obvious was the damage to Billy's mind, to the spirit that made Billy who he was.

Consciousness would be the only way that damage would finally reveal itself and Rick felt cowardly for being so afraid to see that emergence and questioned whether it would be the cruelest cut of all for Billy if he came back as less than the man he was.


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The torture and pain in this is so exquisitely done -- I can practically feel it. Poor Billy. I love his brave and brash dialogue in the face of it all, and then the way the psychological toll impacts him. And then the angst of his team when they find him -- possibly broken. It's so very amazing to read!

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