The Theeon Saga - Chapter 01
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CHAPTER ONE We were trapped down here. Enslaved by the Theeons. Human-like in appearance they were; but under the flesh lay something darker; something much more evil. The lower ranking breed of Theeons were set to work in the mines with the humans, but not alongside us; oh no. They were here to keep order; keep us working - by any means. They taunted us, whipped us, and spat on us - like we were mangy animals. And anyone who opposed them - anyone stupid enough - would soon meet a violent end. If not by their hands, then by the toxic dust, which filtered down into our lungs, slowly constricting our chests like a snake suffocating its prey. Atop their sentry catwalks they paced, small grimaces marking their faces as they went, whips in hand; looking for any excuse to lash out. Each area of the mining sites consisted of a compliment of lower rank sentry Theeons - to keep an eye on us - and also a higher rank Theeon, to keep an eye on them, and to guard the main door leading to the upper levels of the catacomb. 'Oh fuck it!' He spits, throwing down the drill. 'I've had enough of this horseshit. They can fuckin' well shoot me!' He turns his back against the gritty dirt wall and slumps down, taking a rusty flask from his threadbare inner pocket, flicking open the cap, gulping greedily at the rancid contents. Some of it escapes his mouth, running down the corner of his lips, and pooling in the dirt at his side. The air suddenly felt thicker with a humid gloom at the inevitable that was to happen. The other men paid him no attention, keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the work in front of them. From atop the catwalk the sentry looks down with a grunt. He stops pacing, placing his hand on the rail, he leans out looking down at the man slumped against the dirt wall swilling from the flask. His free hand unraveling his whip; it impacts with a sharp crack on the catwalk that echoes through the mine. It causes everyone to freeze, but only for a moment before continuing work at a feverish pace. 'Back to work!' The guard's voice was as hard as the rock face itself. The man doesn't move, almost seeming as if he heard nothing at all. He stays sitting, slurping away at the flask, and seemingly unaware of what is to come; although he did know. The sentry grunts in disapproval, and in a fluid motion, flicks the whip down an inch away from the man's toes causing the dirt to puff up in a small cloud. He twitches at the whip cracking, his first sign of fear, before taking one last sip from the flask, casually replacing the cap, and looking up at the sentry with a nervous laugh. 'Well that was bloody close mate; fancy giving it another go?' He jests, slowly standing. 'Look, I'll even take a step closer for you.' As he steps forward, he hurls the flask at the sentry, his aimt was good, glancing off the side of his face. 'Well; if I can get you from here, no reason you can't get me. Ah hell - and you're the one with the whip!' he exclaims, letting out a bellied laugh. The sentry Theeon thumbs the side of his face; wiping up the blood. He looks at it, and slowly rubs it between his thumb and index finger, before putting each finger in his mouth one by one; tasting his own blood. A maniacal smile crosses his face, and again in a fluid motion, he flicks the whip down at the man, this time slashing along his thigh. In quick succession, he lashes again, along the other leg, causing him to fall to his knees, blood running freely out of the deep gashes, the blood pooling at his knees. He looks down at the blood with a quiver. 'Well,' the agony was now clear in his voice, 'it appears you got me this time...' He falls forward, bracing himself on his hand, breathing heavily. The blood running freely through his tattered clothing into the dirt and onto his grime covered hand. He pushes himself back up onto his knees with a quiet anger filled groan. 'Still took you a second go; and I got you in one, you piss ant!' The sentry Theeon grunts in disapproval, and readies himself to lash out at the man again, but stops abruptly, almost frozen, as the higher ranking Theeon guarding the door steps out from the shadows. He walks, heavy footed, along the catwalk, the solid metallic under sole of his boot clanging, sending out an echo through the mine. He approaches slowly, cracking his neck as he does. He stops, looking down at the man kneeling before him with a slight nod of his head. 'You know that I have the ability to shift, correct?' he asks, turning his head to the side, pointing out a marking on his neck, the mark tattoo-like in appearance. The man slowly looks up; noticing the mark. To him, it looked like two parallel, thin, strokes. The Theeon turns his full attention back to the man, the blood pool now deeper at his knees. 'We Theeons are a special breed; we are tested at birth for our abilities. This determines the level we achieve, and the marking we will receive. Your little friend up there,' he says, with a flick of his head towards the sentry, 'he was born with no abilities, so was branded with one stroke, like all the sentries you see about this place. They have no ability to shift, and therefore are inferior to myself, and are armed a whip'. He begins pacing back and forth, hands behind his back. 'So.., so.., wha-,' the man's voice was a murmur. He swallows hard, and tries to carry on. 'Wha.., what does th-' He struggles to take in a breath; his face growing paler from the loss of blood. The Theeon stops and holds up a hand, turning back to the man. 'But even still, I myself am inferior to the higher ranking Theeons that grace the upper levels of the catacombs. But down here, I am everything. However, to answer the question you were trying to ask?' He grins suddenly, mirthlessly 'Well; instead, I'll just show you.' He steps closer to the man, and flexes his arm, the veins bulging out, his arm shaking violently. He clenches his fist hard, and then thrust it open, his forearm transforming - from human-like flesh, to a sharp silver lance. 'So; here is your answer.' He laughs, before thrusting the lance through the man's chest. The man's eyes widen suddenly in agonizing pain. He reaches up with weak trembling hands; placing them around the lance - trying to pull it out. He coughs, a small amount of blood seeping from his lips. He tries again to pull the lance out, but it's in vain. 'Let that be a lesson to you all. We will tolerate no disobedience from any one of you. Now work!' The overseer spoke loudly, his voice booming in the sudden silence. Hundreds of eyes stared in terror. Before he had even spoke then last word, the mine was again busy with work. The Theeon smiles to himself, as he lifts the man up on the lance with inhuman ease, and hurls him against the wall opposite. The man coughs hard, and gasps for air, before falling silent. The Theeon tilts his head up and closes his eyes, relaxing, his arm shifting back to a human state, before walking back, taking up his position again by the main door.
+++++Arven kept his head down and kept working, he had seen this kind of thing happen before and wasn't about to be caught up in it himself. He was so disconnected from the happenings around him he didn't even notice the worker beside, him till he spoke. 'Psst... Psst.' He said, as he moved beside Arven. Arven glanced out the corner of his eye, but kept his head down, and kept working. 'The names Tar...' Arven cut him off, speaking in a whisper, but making sure to be direct. 'I care not, for your name. Now leave me alone' The worker paid no attention to his words, and continued. 'The names Tarkell. Are you Arvin?' 'It depends; on who is asking.' His reply was blunt. 'I heard you have a plan to escape from here; is it true?' His voice grew louder, with a hint of excitement. Arvin cautiously stopped working, and turned towards Tarkell, punching him with no warning, causing him to stumble backwards. Tarkell spat into the dirt and stepped forwards, to hit back. But before he could he was cut short, as the sound of a whip hitting the catwalk rang out above them. 'Tarkell, or whoever you are; meet me in the bar quarters tonight. We'll speak.' Arvin says with a small laugh.