Under a new sky – chapter 10

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 ten.

Our small group walked for a while inside the fortress. There was a soldier, the old Hunter and me. Once again I was left without drugs and after a few minutes I started to shake uncontrollably. I was playing a desperate move, to fake myself as far more ill than I really was. So I walked very slowly, keeping my eyes down and showing a submissive attitude. Chaining my hands in front of me was their first mistake, all I was waiting for was an opportunity to strike. The soldier was armed with a short sword and a knife, the old bastard ahead of us with a knife. More than enough to start a little mayhem. While walking I caught a glimpse of light in a corridor. Sunlight. That was perfect.

We reached a great two-panel wood door, guarded by two Hunters. As they opened it wide I got the first big surprise of the day. Inside there was another set of doors. Steel doors. Both of them engraved with the words “Lab Module 01”. With a low hiss the doors opened, showing a very large ambient.

Inside there was a world of wonders. Some darker than the others.

Walls, ceiling and floor were made of steel. Furniture was made of steel too, painted in black and white. That place was bigger than a basketball court, the walls ridden with machinery of all kind. The second surprise of the day was nicer, there was Kellan too in that laboratory. She was dressed like me in a very poor way but she was in a far better shape, she even managed to flash a little smile in my direction. Halkan wasn’t there, another good thing for me, Kellan was escorted by another soldier. To my right there were four steel tables, each one equipped with an half sphere painted in red at the top. To my left there were four steel racks, one was loaded with my equipment. The real show was in front of me. The opposite wall was a giant screen, full of many different symbols. It took me a moment to understand that was a map of this planet, a projection of the northern hemisphere. It looked like a real-time simulation.

“Hello Howard.”

The voice caught me off guard, it took all my concentration to go on with my performance.

“Welcome to Zeranta.”

A life-sized hologram took form about five yards to my right. It looked as a old white man with a long white beard.

“You already experienced the hospitality of prince Halkan, now it’s up to me to examine your body.”

That shiny simulation of a man could smile. Not a good thing to be seen.

“Put him on the first table and the girl on the second. Surgery will be done in eighteen minutes.”

Surgery? That word was the green light for me. When the soldier to my left started to push me toward the tables it was time for me to show how much I liked their company. I kicked him on his right knee, it gave way with a crude sound. The old Hunter was on my right side, a step forward. When he turned back I punched him straight in his face with my bronze cuffs, a blow powerful enough to broke his nose and some tooth. The other soldier was trying to overcome Kellan, who jumped at his back like a wildcat. I kicked him in the groin, that was enough to put him away.

We smiled to each other, even a small victory was enough for a while.

The hologram smiled too.

“Both of you will be killed for that. Was it worth it?”

Kellan ripe off a short sword from the nearest soldier and stabbed him in the chest. I was doing the same with the other.

“Prince Halkan will not forgive this madness. Please stop.”

I had another idea in my mind. I’ve noticed that the blood of our enemies, when in contact with the steel pavement, started to bubble and I’ve had some score to settle with my guardian. I got him by his hair, forcing him to stand up and walk to the nearest table. Then I smashed his face against one of the corners, more than enough to put steel in direct contact with his flesh. It took him a couple minutes to die, his screams were loud enough to force even the hologram to silence.

“What now? We have to run away from here.”

Kellan of course was right. I got the keys for my cuffs from the body of my last victim, that nice girl was more than happy to help me.

“We will escape from here or die trying, there’s no way back. Gimme a minute.”

I checked out my stuff from the rack. My Bowie was missing and my BDU has been shredded to pieces. I got my boots back and in a hurry I put my helmet and my body armor on Kellan. Then I picked up my ticket to freedom.

It’s always nice to have a WP grenade at hand.


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