Friday, 8 July 2016

The Prince of Exiles, 30

I'm sitting on an inactive conveyor. Around me the slaves, those who can, are preparing for a fight.
Mostly they're Rmoahals, too tall and broad to don the stripped armour of the dead guards. But this is an arms factory; the means of defence may be sparse, but the tools of death are fresh, new, abundant.

"You're Gideon."

I was lost for a moment. Moh is standing before me. His arms are folded. "That's right."

"You killed many of them, for us."

I nod.

"Why?"

"I suppose that it was right."

He nods, licks his lips. "I'm going to ask you a thing."

"Ask."

"There will be a fight now."

"There will."

"Stay out of it."

I look up at him, taken on the back foot.

He looks down at me, his expression frank. "It is ours. Whether we win or lose, it is ours. You have done much for us, and we are grateful, all of us. I am grateful. But now you must not fight, you and your friends. Do you understand? I mean no harm by it. Far from it. But this is for us now."

"All right."

He turns, and is shouting orders, gesturing, before I even have time to respond.

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