Monday, July 14, 2014

February 21, part 3



Finiuld and I kept contact, right into the containment where Oses paced back and forth like a caged tiger.  Seeing his worry for me, right there in the open like that, closed my throat.  The big brute truly cared.  It meant so much, especially when I’d failed to find the answer to our escape.

Finiuld bowed to me before we parted ways.  “I will make up for my stupidity, Shalia.  You’ll see how I wish to serve you now.”

With that, he stepped away.  As soon as I no longer touched him, he disappeared.

Oses thundered over to me like a stampeding buffalo.  “Shalia!  Are you all right?”

“Fine, no thanks to Finiuld,” I said in my haughtiest tone, speaking fast to keep Oses from interrupting me.  “Would you believe he got drunk and fell asleep?  I had to wait for him to wake up all that time.  The nerve!  How dare he treat me that way!”

Oses’ eyes sharpened at my bizarre rant.  His next comment let me know he understood my worry that the Little Creep remained nearby, unseen and spying on us.  “Shameful.  I would never do that to you, my Matara.  Nothing pleases me more than your happiness.”

I lifted my chin and looked Oses over, as if evaluating my personal property.  “Which is why I keep you around.  I told Finiuld you know how to treat a woman.”

“Let me tend to you now to make up for what you’ve been through.”

With the Nobek’s prodding, I sat down on the ground.  He commenced to rubbing my feet, which at any other time would have set me off giggling.  Oses was the last person in the universe I would expect to be playing the slave boy part.  After a few seconds however, I was in heaven.  That man knows how to massage.  I practically melted under his touch.

After some time of that delight, Oses cocked an eyebrow at me.  In a tone so low I had to strain to hear, he said, “The containment shimmered about two minutes ago.  I think we might be safe to speak now.”

I leaned forward to get as close to him as possible.  He moved so that my lips brushed his ear.  “My collar is turned off,” I whispered.

Oses turned his head to look at me.  His deft fingers froze on my instep for an instant before continuing to rub.  “How?”

I quickly related the whole story to him.  I finished by asking, “Did I fuck up by not killing him when I had the chance?  Or by not turning off everyone else’s collars?  Or at least yours?”

He considered for a few seconds before slowly shaking his head.  “Considering you couldn’t make the phase device work, I think you did the best thing under the circumstances.  Excellent work, Shalia.  Excellent.”

I warmed under his praise.  I was relieved to know I hadn’t messed up.  And then Oses asked the question that let me know I had fucked up after all. 

“My Matara, did you attempt to transfer control of the phase gadget using that collar control panel?”

I stared at Oses.  After a moment of stunned realization, a billion ugly names to call myself erupted in my head.  Why had I not thought of that?  WHY?

Apparently, he saw the answer on my expression and how I felt about it. Oses was quick to assure me, “It’s all right.  At least we know it might be the means of making the phase controller work for us at the next opportunity.”

“Fucking stupid, idiotic, of all the moronic—” I muttered, wishing I could kick my own ass back and forth across our cell.

“No, Shalia.  You were panicked in your desperation to get to me.  That’s all.  You really did do a good job.” 

I didn’t believe Oses for a second.  The means to our escape had been right there!  Okay, so I didn’t know that for sure, but it seemed likely.  I can’t even begin to describe the self-loathing I felt for myself in that moment.  How could I have overlooked the possibility?

I'd been too desperate to even think about that. Plus the remembered conversation between Finiuld and his friend had kept me from thinking along those lines. They'd said the other Ofetuchan had been killed, his phase controller taken, and the prisoners escaped from their containment in that fashion. I'd zeroed in on that information, never thinking for an instant about other avenues to make the device work for me.

Stupid!

I should have killed the Little Creep while I had the opportunity. Sooner or later I would have thought to try to gain control over the phase device using the computer in his room. We could have taken control over the ship and been flying it right at that moment!

Tears threatened as I had to come to grips with the fact that I’d blown our best chance for escape.  I swallowed them back with difficulty, telling myself that it was too late for regrets.  We had to concentrate on what we could do with the little bit I’d managed to accomplish. 

“Now what?” I asked.

Oses spent several more seconds massaging and thinking.  At last he said, “It all depends on Finiuld and what he does next to impress you.  That’s assuming he doesn’t notice your collar is turned off.  The first priority is that if you get the opportunity, you must escape.  Forget about the rest of us; if you can get the hell off this ship, go.”

I scowled at him.  “I am not leaving you, Oses.”

“Don’t be stupid, pet.  Your life and your child’s are worth more to me than mine.”  He grabbed a handful of my hair at the back of my head and snarled so close to my face that our noses touched.  “You will save yourself and the babe if you get the chance.  That is your one and only priority. If you don’t obey me in this, I will take it out on your hide.”

I snarled back, “You are an asshole and I will do what I think I need to.”

“I am an asshole, but you should know your welfare is all that keeps me alive right now.  Do not fuck with me on this, Shalia.  If you and the unborn cannot be saved, then I have no reason to live.”

I didn’t understand how Oses could think like that, but I could tell he meant every word.  Maybe it’s a Nobek thing.  Since I didn’t want us to lose sight of the possibility of escape for everyone, I gave him the acquiescence he seemed so desperate for.

“Fine.  If I get my chance, I’ll cut and run.  I’ll curse you the entire time too.”

Oses relaxed.  He let go of my hair, eased back, and smiled.  “Good.  That’s perfectly fine with me.”

“What else?” I prodded.  “What can we do that might get us all out of here?”

Oses glanced around at our fellow prisoners.  “It could be one of these would tell Finiuld if they knew you were not susceptible to your collar.  They might do it for favors or to escape punishment.  Don’t tell anyone.”

“Okay.  I take it I should fake being punished if the Little Creep decides I should be?”

“Absolutely.  Also act that you still fear being punished if it seems right to do so.  Meanwhile, I need to figure out how that phase gadget might work just in case you get the opportunity to grab it again and the collar control system isn’t tied to it.”

I had an idea. “Oses, if Finiuld comes in here with both of us present and awake and we can see him, should we try to get it off him then?  I realize he’ll still be able to order your collar, but if he follows through with giving me control over you, maybe I can countermand his orders.”

“Which he could negate immediately.  I may have to kill him instead, if you can remain in control long enough.”  Oses mused for a few seconds.  “Plus we’ll both have to be hanging onto him if he decides to phase, and you know that’s going to render me nearly senseless with pain.”

He thought on it, and I stayed quiet to let him do so.  In the end, he sighed.  “It’s got a lot of problems, but it may be our only chance. If we can get our hands on him, I will have to do my best to fight through the pain.  Barring a better opportunity, I think we’ll have to give it a try.”

4 comments:

  1. Oh I feel escape is closer and closer and yes I'm twisted and want little shithead to die a long and painful death. Can't wait for Thurs.

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  2. Oh I soooo agree Vickie he needs to suffer, maybe there is some way to render him speechless with out crushing his throat, then they can put world of hurt on him. Let each prisoner have their turn and end it with tossing him to the tragoons as they escape. I admit to being worried about them, seeing as how vivacious they are, hmmm unless they get control of them with the collars, to keep them controlled until everyone else is free. In any case can't wait until Thursday!!!!!!

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  3. I get where Oses is coming from but dang if I could just cut and run from him. Thursday is soooo far away. :•(

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  4. Marcy, I feel the same way. Leaving him behind would be incredibly hard. Plus he would just commit sucide as soon as Shalia left.

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