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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Chapter 10 - Leader of the Pack

The prisoners were returned to the cells, their minds filled with the horror of the death of their comrade. No talking came from them that night, not even for discussion within cells as was allowed.

The following morning (at least, it seemed to be morning), Torture came around banging on the cell bars with a human leg bone.

“Get up, slugs! Get up or die, like his who’s leg I hold!”

It was obvious from his inflection that the leg that he held was from the man who had died only last night. He stopped in front of the cell holding Tyra, Krynn, and Relik. He motioned down the tunnel where the three prisoners could not see. In just a few seconds, a man with a set of keys appeared. He unlocked the bars and slid them to the side, and then unlocked each of the prisoners.

“You'll be coming with me today, since its your first day here. Tomorrow you'll settle into your spots as the vermin that you are, but today you'll get to meet Leader. Say nothing to him unless he gives you permission, or we might have to re-enact last night's events.”

The three followed Torture down the tunnel, walking past what seemed like countless cells, all full of emaciated and tortured people. Finally, the came to what appeared to have once been another station in the subway system. A room was there, its windows long smashed in and replaced with metal sheets. The door itself was locked, as evidenced in the fact that Torture had to unlock before he opened it.

The door swung open, and a steady light came out. All three prisoners marveled at the light. They had heard from Survivor that in the pretime there was the existence of a light that was steady and did not flicker, unlike that of torchlight.

And from within the room came a voice. It was impossibly deep and baritone, so low that if it was any louder they would have felt its vibrations. And it did not speak the tongue of those around it, but another tongue, the strange tongue they had heard Slaver and Torture speak.

Torture put a gun behind the prisoners. “Enter,” he commanded, his voice faltering, as if he himself was scared of the one within the room. He pushed Krynn in the back, who in turn pushed Relik and Tyra, and all three stepped into the room.

On the wall was a map. The text was not that of the common tongue, but was a flowing script, and was decorated with strange sigils and accents, and the text curved into a fractal at every location at which was written. This text was alien indeed.

And then they saw the one Torture had called Leader. At first glance he looked like any other man. Upon closer inspection, however, it was clear that he was not. His hair was the color of burning embers, and seemed to give off a similar glow. His eyes were not blue or brown or green, but silver, and a faint light radiated from them. But most striking was his height. The man was easily seven and a half or more feet tall, taller than any they had seen before.

He spoke in the common tongue to them. “My name is Leader,” he said, his eyes slowly turning to each prisoner in turn. “You are my prisoners. You will not speak to me unless I give you permission, or I will let Torture have his way. And in case you haven’t noticed, Torture is a sadist.

“Now, about myself. I am not human, if you could not have figured that out already. Nor am I kryon, as you may have assumed. I am a mix, as my mother was raped by a kryon warrior during the invasion, and survived. I was the result of that. I wish that my birth had not been like it was. I wish that I had been born human, for humans are the superior race.

“This organization is to help my purpose. It is for my vengeance against the kryons. People like you are my bane – people who were devastated by the kryons and yet do nothing to stop it. And so I enslave you and use you as labor to raise my own armies, to take the fight to Kryon.”

He went over to the map against the wall. He looked at it, and pointed at a small island off one of the continents.

“You have probably never seen a map of our world. This island is where we live. And this city,” he said, pointing to a city on the far continent, “was demolished by the kryons, destroyed completely to the ground.

“My mother was from that city, though her people were not from that nation. It is because of the kryons that it now lies in ruins, and because of me that it shall be rebuilt.”

He banged twice on the metal that now was where windows likely once were. Torture entered the room.

Leader spoke again, this time in the strange tongue – likely now a kryon tongue, judging by his heritage. Torture motioned to the prisoners again, and they left the man in his room as they wandered back through the tunnels of the subway system.


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