Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Sickening Plunge Part 1

by Jeff C. Carter

Lancet watched the other people in the bleak bare elevator with him.  Councilman Moab he already knew quite well.  The well dressed man with the dark skin and the easy smile looked familiar, but Lancet couldn’t place him.  He didn’t buy the vapid smile; not when he could feel the dark eyes above it assessing him in return.  The pale woman with the slack face framed by thick goggles and wild gray hair he had never seen before, yet he recognized her as a wizard all the same.

The elevator squealed open at a dim sub-floor below the Sheba Forced Labor Penal Colony.  The wizard wandered off without a word down a poorly lit hallway.  They did their best to follow but the passage was choked with mounds of battered old equipment.   The wizard stared at her feet as she walked through the claustrophobic maze, yet she managed to skirt every obstacle.

Lancet looked around and noticed deep gouges and dents on every surface of the hallway.  The wizard stopped at a row of pipes along the wall.

“Hang on,” she murmured.

Suddenly, gravity quit.  Lancet and the others quickly joined the wizard at the pipes.  The equipment in the hallway drifted and smashed into the ceiling.  Soon it was spinning out of control, careening off walls and colliding into each other. 

Lancet and the others bobbed for a moment in silence.  A hefty piece of machinery pitched towards them and Lancet gave it a sharp kick down the hall.  The recoil nearly scattered them into the chaos. There was a sickening plunge in Lancet’s stomach, which he knew from experience meant that artificial gravity was about to resume.  They landed amid a deafening thunder as heavy equipment crashed to the ground.

The wizard wandered onward, effortlessly dodging the machines as they bounced and tumbled into their new places. The well dressed man flashed a wide grin and sauntered after her.  Moab gave Lancet one of his infamous ‘unamused’ looks and followed.

They reached the end of the corridor and came to a single door. A small sign marked it as the prison morgue.  It was a fitting place to meet, Lancet mused, for they were there to plan treason.  Worse, in fact.  Much, much worse. 

Perhaps in time they would end up back where it all began.

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