The sweat trickled into his eye, awakening him from his sleepless sleep. He squinted, resisting the urge to rub it for the umpteenth time. It continued downwards, infusing itself into the open wound formed near the bridge of his nose under his right eye. It is a wound yet to heal given it was born a mere number of hours ago.
Or was it more than that? You lose count after the first few.
Kye opened his eyes, but it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Everything is pitch black, denying him even the chance to hazard guesses. How big is this space? How many of them are there? How much longer will he be here? Much like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that as well.
And the day before that.
Actually, I lie: it’s not completely pitch black. Kye Toran, a renowned fighter of the Confederation, and recipient of two galactic war hero medals, is under a hot light, shining down on him mercilessly, allowing him to be seen without being seen. He is chained from above, his arms outstretched and raised high enough, leaving him a sitting duck in a standing position.
It is the heat emanating from above his head that precipitated the sweating. In retrospect, and in the years to come, he would be grateful for this, for it is one of the few indicators that tells him he is alive. Of course, he would not truly appreciate that fact at that moment; when you mind is unable to even tell the vagaries of time, logic doesn’t really come into it all that much.
This, though, was what he had sought after. Tracking down near invisible traces of a mysterious warrior tribe, his research turned up the horrific transfiguration underwent by those who did find what they were looking for.
For decades, this tribe remained as little more than rumours, a relic retained from the lost annals of history. Words of the wind, however, blows far and hard across the galaxy, the grapevine a stronger source of credibility than any prime time holographic news programme.
He had come here of his own volition, aware of the risks in such an endeavour. Yet he persevered, believing that this is the only chance for him to truly gain an advantage in the war. It had not been turning for the better, at least not for his side. They need an advantage, someone to think outside of the box.
He is that someone.
In the process, he is staking not only his mind and body, but also his soul, an altogether more transient and spiritual sense of being.
He is a prisoner, but one of his own choosing. He is powerless, but in choosing to be so, he has become more powerful than those enslaved to it.
“Why are you here?”
The voice boomed from the darkness. It didn’t sound like it came from very far, but again, his ability to tell right now is lacking.
It repeated itself every once so often. Sometimes they came at him relentlessly for hours and hours on end until he could no longer count. At other times, they peter our quickly, leaving him alone in the eternity of his chains.
And always, it was the same question.
It is a pertinent one, though. It’s a tricky question to answer, but not so difficult to understand. Kye had his motives, his reasons and drive, but the one thing an enquirer had sought is to be denied.
Why? Information is power. Knowledge is power. The sharing of this information is the giving up of power. Allowing yourself to be named by others is to give your tormentors power over you.
Letting them know why he was there? Giving away the house for a song.
In reality, he suspected that they knew. Those who came are from a certain ilk; this is not a quest for the faint hearted. Those who had received them are likely to lack hears to begin with. Neither are they stupid, and intelligent guesses are as good as any.
To not know for sure, though? That is a small measure of some power he had at that moment, perhaps the only thing he is in possession of, a transient concept many is a slave to, but few are able to put their finger on.
He was a prisoner, but it is of his own free will. They are free, but, driven by their own desires, are still enslaved to them; Kye is helpless, but he is not without power.
He felt another drop of sweat trickling from the top of his head.
And the beat goes on.
*Read Galaxy: An Evening to Remember.
*Read Galaxy: The Fighter.
*Read Galaxy: Red Mist.
*Read Galaxy: Room With A View.
*Read Galaxy: Revelations.
*Read Galaxy: Masks.
*Read Galaxy: Goodbye Darling.
*Read Galaxy: Love Letter.
*Read Galaxy: The Last Stand.
*Read Galaxy: The Sixth Sense.
*Read Galaxy: Homecoming.
*Read Galaxy: Vs.
*Read Galaxy: The Journey.
*Read Galaxy: Tears of the Son.
*Read Galaxy: Across The Stars.
*Read Galaxy: The Prodigal's Return.