Salvation - Claudia De Bella

Texto en espeñol en Axxón: "Salvación".

Traducido al inglés.

Dislocating. Dismembering. Flaying. It’s in your blood and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I’ve been an executioner since I got to Salvation. Back on Earth, I was hunted, locked away and drugged to prevent me from relapsing. Here, I get a government salary. And, more important, I’m completely happy.
I’m asked to kill them slowly, but sometimes I can’t. Some of them whine and beg for mercy, and those are the most annoying. I look at their faces and I only want to crush them—their eyes popping out of their skulls, their jaws broken in three parts. I can’t wait to smash their ribs. I want to see them dead. Then excitement makes me hurry and they don’t get the proper punishment, the suffering quota established by the Law. But the Court Head is satisfied with me. I do my job very well. I’m useful to society, he always tells me.
The crime they’ve committed doesn’t matter. Father Alfonso says that any action against the Doctrine is an equally serious offence and deserves the highest penalty. Here in Salvation there’s no difference between insulting a workman and murdering a priest. You are pure, or you’re not. You can’t damage the Creator’s work in any way. Except for me: I’m an executioner, the armed hand of the Divine Justice.
So they come to me. The ritual is very simple. Once they prove to be guilty, which they always do, they’re quickly removed from Court and brought here. There are no prisons in this planet, just waiting rooms. I wait for them a little uneasily, with that tickle of enthusiasm and anticipation I always feel when work is coming.
The iron door opens and I see the convict for the first time. I immediately start to consider the method. If they are big and strong, much better. There’s a lot to do before they give up. The weak need more subtlety. A powerful, well applied blow can kill them at once, and that’s not the idea. Men, women, young, old… each requires a special, customized treatment, adapted to their bone structure, their more or less rebellious personality, their will to fight the punishment or to submit themselves to it.
I’ve developed my technique to such a point that I can plan the whole procedure in a few seconds. A quick look is enough to diagnose the sequences which guarantee the longest hours of pain with the deepest possible damage, yet keeping them alive. The Law orders they must die at least a week after the verdict. I’m proud to say some of them last as much as three weeks. I’ve been awarded for making them last that long.
When we’re left alone, the first thing I do is remove their cuffs. It’s funnier when they’re loose, running around the dungeon like frenzied rats, thinking they can escape. Other executioners use tools, but that’s not very manly. I think my hands are there for a purpose, and so are my feet, my shoulders, my elbows. No weapon is more sacred than this body the Creator has given me. Knuckles hitting flesh until blood sprays out. From both of us. My colleagues don’t know what they’re missing.
It’s just a matter of hitting and punching and piercing and pulling hair off and dislocating members and tearing skin open and breaking mouths until they can’t scream anymore. When they’ve turned into a bloody mess you apply different punishments, less frequent but more insidious. And on and on, until one pain or another destroys their last resistance and they let themselves die. That’s mercy, Father Alfonso says—giving them enough time to be purified by suffering and to regret their sins.
I’ve never understood why Salvation es excluded from the usual navigation routes. There’s so much holiness here, so much attachment to the true precepts of harmonic cohabitation, that everyone should spend some time on this planet and learn and follow its example.
When the Earth jailers dropped me in a field near New Bethlehem, hoping that I, unable to restrain myself, would soon go back to my old tricks and be arrested, judged and executed by the Salvation Courts, they never imagined I’d become an executioner myself. I’m eternally indebted to them. Thanks to those jailers, I discovered my real vocation, the mission the Creator had set aside for me since I was born. I only had to find the place where my particular skills were needed, not considered a perversion but an exceptional gift. People here appreciate my real value, and I enjoy every single day of my life as I serve the only true religion, doing what I like best.
How many sinners have I redeemed? Two hundred and thirty-seven, according to the ecclesiastic records… two hundred and thirty-seven souls that finally admitted their mistakes thanks to me. I know I’ve already gained my place in Heaven. But I’m not eager to get there yet. My paradise is here, in Salvation, in this dungeon I’ll never leave because Father Alfonso says I shouldn’t be blemished by the impurity from outside. That’s why he protects me with the padlocks securing my door.
But who cares about freedom? As long as that door keeps opening, as long as there are sinners who challenge the Divine Law, as long as I am the one who leads them along the path of forgiveness and, above all, as long as I continue hearing their bones shatter when I throw them against the stone walls, I’ll always think I’m the luckiest man in the universe and I’ll thank the Creator for the pleasures He has bestowed on me, which I’m certain I rightfully deserve.

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