1,947, Part 17

She sat for a short while, trying not to think about Gyden or Lelhmak, trying to reason which of the items on the tray were drugged. It was difficult, since they all smelled vaguely tainted. She was reasonably certain that it was the bowl of sweet goop, but couldn’t rule out the sauce covering the meat. She wasn’t sure of the English name for either of them, so Lagos might have been warning her about one or the other.

In the end she shook her head, ate everything, and passed it through her digestive system untouched but for a steady trickle of bile. The sedative did not absorb into her system, although the food was uncomfortable once it reached its terminus. She would be unable to repeat the trick.

She wondered how much the Demon knew about Molran physiology, and the control they had over their internal processes. Her captors already knew she was not digesting everything they fed her, but there were still chemical compounds that she would have no choice but to absorb. Whether the art of creating such compounds had endured on Earth after almost two thousand years was anyone’s guess.

She let her pacing slow, eventually returning to the bed and sitting, then lying down. As she had when they’d brought her to Area 51, she relaxed and let herself enter a deep lull that was almost like unconsciousness.

Some time later, the door opened and she heard Lagos enter. She could recognise him, now, from the sound of his boots and the shuffling of the other soldiers in the corridor-

No, this time it was just Lagos, just the soldier’s hesitant tread unaccompanied by his fellows. The alarms and shouting had stopped, but from the human’s rapid breathing it was apparent that there was an ongoing emergency in the facility.

“Are you awake?” he breathed. “Did you eat the […]?” she heard him rattling the tray. “[…],” he muttered. “You ate it. […].”

“I’m awake,” she whispered as he leaned over her, and heard him start.

“[…],” he muttered again, “how…?” he leaned over her again, and she felt him lifting her arms. “Play dead,” he whispered. “I’m […] to tie you and put you […] to move you…”

While he talked, he was rolling her over, and binding her arms with more of the cloth bandages she’d been bound with on her arrival. Binding her … but not securely. The fastenings were loose, tucked away so they would look tight but be easy to wriggle free of.

He left for a few moments, and she heard him returning with a wheeled assemblage like a larger version of the trolley John pushed around. He grunted as he hauled her limp body from the bed to the wheeled bed.

“[…],” he gasped. “You weigh a […].”

He got her settled on her side, and then she was moving.

She heard more humans, running and shouting obscure orders. Some of them passed Lagos, and slowed and stared at the bound alien on the trolley he was pushing. They whispered questions, poked at her fearfully, and Lagos answered.

“Is it dead too?”

“What happened?”

“Is it alive?”

“Does it even breathe?”

“It’s warm.”

“Orders from […] Munroe and […] Fagin,” Lagos told them. “[…] safe location, […] on the base, […] lock down.”

Then Lagos was wheeling her into a smaller room, dark and secluded.

“Wait here,” he whispered, “don’t untie yourself yet. I’ll come back when […] clear. Have to […] the […] security.”

Then he was gone, and the door closed.

Predericon waited a few moments, then carefully opened her eyes and looked around.

The room was dark, but illumination snuck in under the door. She could make out walls, some boxes, and a trolley laden with cleaning equipment.

“Hey,” a voice hissed from a ventilation grating. “What are you doing in here? This is my spot.”

This entry was posted in Astro Tramp 400, IACM, Oræl Rides To War, The Book of Pinian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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