10 05 2017

The guard who had spoken had apparently been held captive for quite some time as his garments or lack suggested. Dress clothes, not unlike earth wear. What had once been a suit looked more like moss and mud pressed together as a type of felt, the clay and dust from the mines melding with the original color of the suit.

“My name is Waite,” he said, “and you’d best start talking.”

“Why are you here?” Waite questioned.

“What did you do to be chained?”

“What about something for this knot on my scalp?” Thorpe retorted.

“Shut the hell up”, the other man suggested, and began to swing the shovel again when Waite stopped him.

“He can’t talk if you keep slamming a shovel into his skull.”  He cautioned.

The other man snorted and threw down the shovel, which clanged and sparked along the floor, catching Thorpe’s interest as he had not noticed the floor was also made of the metallic alloy.

“What the hell is going on?” asked Thorpe.

“The obvious” Waite replied, “We are prisoners, captives, slaves.”

“Of who?” wondered Thorpe.

“You.” Was Waite’s response.

“Well” Thorpe thought as he processed what Waite had told him, “That explains the looks I have been getting”

In retrospect, a lot of events were now understandable, no wonder he had been attacked so many times since being nabbed. His two guards had now taken him from the room where he had been questioned, into a small area off of one of the larger mines.

“The daily announcement will explain some things for you.” Said Waite.

Thorpe viewed, and for the first time, deconstructed the video as the voice began the broadcast.

“Today’s weather” began the voice, followed by what looked like commercials, almost non-sense to show them to a group of people in chains, yet it was happening, and Thorpe was a witness. The commercials stopped and the usual voice began.

“You are here because you are weak,” the voice intoned.

“You are weak, we are strong, we have numbers, we have knowledge, we have power, we are power.”

During these words, images showed varied colors being broken by a shadow of a hammer, built into a pyramid, then in a moment, gone to be replaced by a face. One, which Thorpe was startled to recognize, as his friend, Cole.

His short brown hair-cut, and craggy face immediately identified him as a space marine to those who knew the look. There was a scar below his left eye which had not been there in his youth and Thorpe recognized the glint of trickster in his friend’s eyes and saw also a coldness which must have developed in battle. His boxer’s square jaw and broken nose said ‘keep away’.