Saturday, 3 November 2007

(3) Rude Awakenings

Tarkath awoke, abruptly this time, his face was stinging, he could tell he hadn't been woken gently. The room was dark and he still couldn't see anything around him, his vision was coming back to him, but slowly. Just as he tried to shout again, his head wrenched backwards as somebody struck his face,

'Wake Up' ordered the voice.

He could feel the blood starting to run from the corner of his eye and his entire upper body felt numb, he'd obviously been unconscious for some time. As he moved his head dirt around him entered his bleeding and swollen eye, the pain hit him like a thousand pins in his temple.

'Stop. Stop. I'm awake. Stop.' He desperately shouted,

'Finally, I was just starting to get bored of this' said the voice.

A light came on overhead, it didn't help Tarkath to see anything around him, but he knew what was there, and from what little feeling he had left in his body he knew he'd better listen to what it said. 'Well mister! What the hell were you doing here?'

Tarkath was just a pilot, he'd never had any formal training for anything like this, he felt like breaking down and crying but he'd learned enough from the pros in the core that wasn't gonna get him anywhere.

'I don't know. I don't know, this is where I was told to come. Where am I? Please?' he pleaded. He could feel the blood dripping down his face, the oil on his skin felt like it was eating into him, the pain was making it difficult to speak but he managed more

'Who are you? Please, don't hurt me, I don't know anything. Please,' He sat waiting, listening, cringing, expecting another hit.

'I'm one of the guys who has thousands of friends left floating out there mister.' At this point the strangers voice sounded almost sad, but that was to be expected

'Please, I was only doing what I was told to do' said Tarkath, his voice shivering from the mixture of pain and fear.

'And you are?' inquired the voice.

'Interceptor Pilot 3147, Tarkath Aloirun, I was only ordered into the core three weeks ago,' in desperation he added 'please don't hurt me.'

Through his right eye he could see the shape of a man in front of him now, he was big and broad. He was so close he could smell the man, a mixture of dirt and metal. The voice replied 'hmmm, I think we can keep you here for now, expect me to be speaking to you again, and make sure you wake up faster next time'.

A sense of relief came over Tarkath like he had never felt, he certainly didn't relax, but he could tell from the man's voice that there was good in him somewhere.

He heard heavy footsteps walking away, the clang on the metal deck with the echo that can be heard in any large ship. A voice came back down the corridor

'Crewman, get that prisoner cleaned up, I want that bleeding stopped.'

At hearing this Tarkath relaxed a little. The pain in his eye was terrible, but he could tell he would suffer no more for now. A stronger light came on above, he could now see some of where he was, it certainly didn't look bright, and it wasn't going to lift his spirits. He bowed his head as a ragged crewman entered his cell with clean water and a cloth.

'What now?' he whispered quietly to himself.

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