“Is everyone alright?”
Teekay struggled to get up. The air was frigid and damp, the walls frozen to the touch. Last thing he could remember was passing out after falling from a pretty damn high building.
Lying around him were his fellow K-Class Ksa, all slowly regaining consciousness. Out of habit, he did a head count.
“One, two… Ten… Eleven… Twelve… Thirteen…”
Teekay’s heart skipped a beat. Arksi was supposed to be on holiday with his partner. Arkay was supposed to be in hospital, recovering from a myriad of illnesses. Yet there they both were, lying on the cold, stony ground with the rest of them.
“Where the hell are we?” Enkay shouted as Teekay helped him to his feet.
“Kryan Catacombs…” Itakay immediately answered. “They’ve thrown us in here. As punishment.”
“What for? Failing to protect the Vice General? They’d have to put us all on trial first, and before that, we’d normally be placed in a secure location!” Psiksi gasped. “It’s like… no one bothered…”
“Exactly, brother. No one bothered!” Teekay growled. “No one cares. I nearly caught the monster who did this and you know what they did? The Astynom shot us down. The R-Class accused me of being behind it all. And they tied you all up into it?”
“Why?” Enkay asked. “You’re the most loyal Ksa here!”
“I don’t know… But our desires for freedom… The recent changes we’ve tried to make… We fucked up, failed to do our duty and now we’re stuck here. They’ve left us here to die.”
Most of the Ksa sat up, but remained silent.
“So uh, why is Arkay here?” Thitaksi suddenly asked, breaking the silence. “I thought he was retired now?”
Teekay didn’t have an answer. Instead, he rushed over to Arkay’s side, to check and see if he was alive. Thankfully, he was. Just about. His breathing was incredibly shallow.
“This is just… cruel…”
Eskay joined Teekay by the sleeping Rethan’s side. He’d always been the Class’s main medic, so he knew what he was doing.
“Hm. He’s been heavily sedated… No, my mistake, he’s under the effects of an anaesthetic. That recently stitched up cut on his stomach suggests he recently had surgery. Most likely a stomach pump since it’s so small. Probably really hungry…”
“Speaking of hunger,” Geekay interrupted. “I’m starving. And craving salty things. Did they give us quick-fixers?”
Enkay glanced at his arms. “They must have done. I remember being shot. Fucking anti-telepathic weaponry! They must have given us a lot of quick-fixers to get us healed before they threw us in here. I think they gave us a ton of power dampeners too.”
“They shouldn’t have,” Eskay growled. “They are incredibly addictive. And if you take too many for too long, they make your stomach rot, so your stomach acid leaks out and slowly kills you. Power dampeners aren’t so bad, but they still have nasty side effects.”
Deekay shuddered. “That sounds nasty. But if we’re all healthy, why did they throw us in here and not just leave us to die?”
“To make an example of us, probably…” Teekay sighed. “But we have to work out what to do next. These Catacombs are huge and full of predators that avoid normal Rethans but see us Threan-types as snacks.”
“And we need to find a way out of here, or at least a way to survive down here…” Enkay added. “Brother Veekay, you are awfully quiet…”
Veekay, who had been sat on his own the entire time, seemed lost in thought.
Finally, Veekay spoke. “General Elkay is still alive…”