Under a new sky – chapter 8

Note: this is a work of fiction, with all the usual stuff about copyright and permission. It’s also a work in progress and a way to develop my knowledge of the english language. So feel free to correct, debate, laugh, ask about it in the comments. Help appreciated.

You may find the index here.

Chapter eight.

I don’t know how much time it takes for me to recover after my blackout. When I wake up I was chained again, still naked, inside a wooden box just a bit bigger than a coffin. The box was wrapped in black cloth, loaded with a lot of other supplies in a wagon. I was tired, thirsty and hungry but there was a worst problem. I was in the middle of an abstinence shakedown, that godblood stuff was a real hit. I tried to call for help with no avail. After sunset two warriors got me out of that damned box, I could barely walk then. They gave me a bit of water and a loaf of black bread. A few minutes after I’ve had my meal I puked everything out. They gave me more water and forced me to sit down.

“Brown man, you look awful. Is this planet too hard for you?”

My captor was back, with a little group of civilians. One of them kept K by a leather leash. She was cuffed and dressed with a grey tunic full of stains.

“Man, what do you want from me?”

I wasn’t in my better shape but I never had the common sense needed to keep my mouth shut. My reward was a blow to my head from one of the soldiers.

“You really have to understand your place here. It’s easy, even for a man from another world. I’m a prince, you’re nothing but a big dog. Look there.”

One of his companions got a black vial, loaded with that damn drug. I could almost smell it.

“You want it. And every time you get it you will be more and more mine.”

With a small gesture he gave way to his minion and after a few moments I was trying to get the last drips from that vial. Just before collapsing again I heard the prince again.

“His body needs time to adjust to our food. Keep him to water and bread, I want him alive.”

I passed out.

I think that we travelled for five or six days, following the slow pace of an army caravan. Each day was about the same. From the third day I was able to digest the bread and the fourth day I was forced to wash myself a little. By then I was completely devoted to godblood, the moment when somebody get me my dose was everything for me.

hands-with-blood-on-hands

I didn’t get to see Kellan in those days, she was kept with other prisoners near the officer’s tents. I found other differences between  Earth and Zeranta. What passes here for an horse was nothing short of a monster, they look like a chimera between an ox and a horse, more than two yards tall at the withers. Local dogs are even uglier, beasts bigger than a Great Dane on steroids. I was desperate, every now and then I got awful hallucinations, the worst moments of my past and creatures from my nightmares combined to strain what was left of my mind. Prince Halkan, I finally got his name from the Hunters, had something in his mind for me and every day we were getting closer to his fortress.

There was just a word in my mind, the last straw for what was left of my will.

Payback.

Halkan was in my black list, due for the biggest payback in history of this poor excuse for a planet.

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