If there was anything to send a chill down Orakkus’ spine, the words Kaili just uttered would do that.  He had seen all manner of horrors, all manner of deaths, all manner of living, and all manner of gore.

But it takes a pretty twisted mind to think up something like the Blood Maggot ceremony.  And all slaves of the Blood Raiders have seen it at least once.

Blood Maggots aren’t a natural species.  In fact, they weren’t an intentional species either.  They were a product of an overly intelligent teenage Amarrian bookworm who thought it would be “really neat” to reshuffle the genetic code of some common housefly so that they could feed off of living flesh in their larval state.  The resulting science project made a maggot that feed on human blood.  The unintended side effect was that it also matured while in the blood, thus breeding repetatively before burrowing out through the soft parts of the skin… usually by groups of tens or twenties.

Then there is the ceremony aspect.  The “traitor” would be secured to an stone altar and a breeding group of maggots would be injected into his big toe.  To ensure that the traitor experienced the full sensation of the maggot infestation, the traitor was given a cocktail of drugs designed to dramatically increase the sensativity of touch, while at the same time, massively raising human blood production.  Watching someone go through the feeling of tens, then hundreds, of maggots crawling through your body, burrowing through flesh to get to blood, more than a little sickening.  The fact that it took almost a week for most victims to die made it that much worse.

The end of the ceremony is little more than just a prayer to God, thanking him for his “justice”.  Once all the blood was gone, the room was sprayed down with a simple insecticide and the body burned.  The prayer, of course, had to be done after the victim had died because you wouldn’t be able to hear it above the screaming and begging otherwise.

And this was going to happen to Teil, the one person who saved him from that eventual hell.

Orakkus leaned against the guardrail.  “Okay, what’s the plan?”

Kaili looked at Orakkus and let out a breath.  “I really don’t know…”

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