Thorpe’s Last Run – Part II

1 05 2017

Waiting in isolation was not as bad as he had remembered, partly he believed, due to his wife’s work. Technicians were now able to isolate which type of bacteria would be harmful to an environment and with a blood draw could isolate any damaging organisms within a matter of hours. Most of the wait he supposed, was bureaucratic, since scans existed which could provide preliminary results within minutes. In this age of technology and enlightenment, he had no fear of disease, and since he was visiting a space marine, the least of his concerns were pirates.


Feeling very groggy upon awakening, Thorpe could barely keep his head up. He could see bright lights, but did not feel quite like opening his eyes, He could hear a voice, loud, commanding, and droning at the same time. But was not inspired to look. He lowered his head and continued to sleep. When he next awoke, he raised his head, looked around in the cold bright room, and realized he was no longer in the bar that he last remembered. He was just beginning to wonder what had happened, when he saw a motion in the corner of his eye, a blur, a star, and blackness.


The voice again, metal clanging and restraints on his wrists and legs. As he came to, he wondered why the others on the chain gang were looking at him with such hostility. He could tell the chains would begin to chafe and cause bruising from how tightly they were clasped. Though no training was needed to use restraints, intention and cruelty were behind the pain he felt in his wrists.

‘More’, another voice through a bullhorn shouted.

He felt the chains pull and stood up with the rest of the captured people. His sense of direction told him they were moving down, and his experience as a builder let him know they were deep underground in a mine. The stairs they used were very rough, nothing more than dirt steps and a type of plywood, as they wound down, following a set of tracks, the rails of which at times looked new or used; Thorpe concluded that since tracks and carts were one of the most cost effective ways of moving minerals underground, that it would also be a good way to keep purchases for an illegal mine away from the suspicion of law enforcement. The larger spaces were walled with a type of metallic alloy, which looked much like corrugated cardboard and gave off a blue green hue where it had been polished and occasionally other a fuller rainbow would reflect as they trudged from level to level with the lights shining here and there on the tracks used to move the ore. With the combination of the noise, the hustle and bustle, and the obvious drilling, the work site almost looked legitimate, except for the lack of safety equipment, and the sound and sight of the shackles. The first voice was continuing to blare through the loudspeaker at random intervals, he supposed to distract from thoughts of slavery and rebellion which must have been occurring to everyone in chains (since there was no need to incessantly broadcast brainwashing slogans to captives.) As his faculties returned, he slowly gained awareness of what might have happened, and from his beard and fingernails could determine how long he had been unconscious.