Torture M7 ATF AU

"Ah hell, there it goes again!" moaned sniper Vin Tanner as he covered his ears with his hands to try to drown out the incessant high-pitched sound that reverberated around the room the seven miserable agents occupied.

"I believe they are deliberately tryin' to make us collectively loose what is left of our sanity with that infernal racket. It's gone on for hours now!" ground out Ezra Standish as he rested his aching head in his hands. "How much more must we endure?"

Even JD Dunne, the youngest and usually most upbeat of the group, was sitting with his head on his arms in abject defeat.

"Shit, I'd tell 'em anything I know just to get that horrible beeping to stop, but there's nobody to even talk to." he muttered disgustedly.

"It's inhumane, that's what it is. No one should have to put up with hours of this torture!" growled Buck Wilmington as he wrapped his woolen scarf around his head to try to muffle the ache-inducing noise.

"Amen, brother! I'd rather be beaten than have to listen to any more of that nerve-wracking din!" agreed Josiah Sanchez as he caught the ibuprofen bottle that Nathan Jackson tossed to him.

The medic threw the small bottle, then plugged his ears with his fingers once more, for all the good it did. The high beeping sound still filtered in and made him feel like he had bees in his brain or something. He honestly didn't know how much longer they could stand the sounds without all cracking. Even Chris was gonna snap any time now if this kept up.

Larabee could be seen hunched over, rubbing his forehead with one hand and pinching the bridge of his nose with the other to try to control the pounding headache the noise was giving him.

The sound would stop just long enough for the men to think it was over, then without warning, the shrill din would start again and continue for what seemed an eternity. Everyone had given up any pretense of doing anything else, and all their energy was directed toward just surviving the assault on their senses. Hopefully with their sanity at least somewhat intact . . . .

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Suddenly Chris sat upright as a thought occurred to him. Standing, the tall blonde almost staggered from his chair and headed to the nearby door. The other six watched with a mixture of dread and hope . . . prayer that the leader had a solution to their misery, and fear that he'd finally been broken by something so subtle and sinister as a noise.

Striding into the nearby room, Larabee began rummaging through a series of drawers, flinging all sorts of bits and pieces out of his way when they didn't meet his requirements for what he was seeking. Finally with an almost unheard "ah ha" he grabbed a handful of small plastic packages.

As the rest watched in curiosity and rising anticipation, the lean form ripped open one of the bags and took out two small pieces of foam. Sticking them in his ears, he grabbed the rest and hurried to the others. Tossing each man one of the tiny containers, he watched smugly as they realized what they were.

"Aww, hell! I should'a thought 'a that!" mumbled Tanner disgustedly as he hurriedly pushed the round pieces in his ears.

"Ear plugs! Shit, they've been in the gun locker all this time while we've been sittin' here goin' outta our minds." groused Wilmington as he too stuck a pair of the foam protectors in place.

The rest just shook their heads as they followed suit with the tiny articles. The plugs didn't totally block the noise, but they did muffle it to a more bearable level.

Chris looked around, then grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and started writing.

"We use these the rest of the day, then I'm gonna e-mail Travis and tell him we're working remotely until they get that frickin' parking lot paved. Those back-up alarms are pure torture!"

By DMA