Suite 101

Part 3, Chapter 5

At each stage of his imprisonment he had known, or seemed to know, whereabouts he was in the windowless building. Possibly there were slight differences in the air pressure. The cells where the guards had beaten him were below ground level. The room where he had been interrogated by O’Brien was high up near the roof. This place was many meters underground, as deep down as it was possible to go.

It was bigger than most of the cells he had been in. But he hardly noticed his surroundings. All he noticed was that there were two small tables straight in front of him, each covered with faux gold leaf. One was only a metre or two from him, the other was further away, near the door. He was strapped upright in a chair, so tightly that he could move nothing, not even his head. A sort of pad gripped his head from behind, forcing him to look straight in front of him.

For a moment he was alone, then the door opened and O’Brien came in.

“First of all, it’s great to be with you,'” said O’Brien, “You asked me once what was in Suite 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. Just read the polls. Suite 101 is the greatest suite, it’s really, it’s a beautiful thing. And they all agree, millions of people that I represent.”

The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set it down on the further table. Because of the position in which O’Brien was standing. Winston could not see what the thing was.

“We are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in Oceania,” said O’Brien, “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, I’ll do a whole lot more than waterboarding. It varies from individual to individual. It could be buried alive, or burned up, or drowning. Waterboarding is some quite trivial thing, not even fatal.”

He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or four meters away from him, he could see that the cage was divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there was some kind of creature in each. They were rats.

“We’re going to have the best rats, the biggest rats,” said O’Brien. ‘These rats are gonna be so great that you’ll actually get tired of how beautiful they are.”

One thought on “Suite 101