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View character profile for: Cassandra Jones
We went to the “games” today
Well, I say games where wholesale slaughter would probably be more accurate
Ulhurath wore a new headdress that she’d had made for the occasion, incorporating my hair
I miss it so much
I keep moving my head and expecting it to be there
All those little affectations and mannerisms I had with it, they’re all useless now; and even if I grow it back it’ll never be the same – It’ll just be long hair as oppose to the hair I hadn’t cut since my mum died
And yes, I know I never really had a mother, but these memories are all I have, okay? They're what makes me who I am, and I feel them no less keenly for all their mere verisimilitude
Perhaps if Brittany had died during the process, I wouldn’t feel like I do; but she didn’t, and so here I am: Little girl lost, with barely an identity to call her own
I’ve seen enough of the house now
I know how I’m going to escape
Even I'm not watched all the time, although I worry what consequences my actions will have for my fellow slaves
I’ll have to dwell on that over the next few days
The visit to games was enlightening – It was an interesting opportunity to see more of the city and how the other Ssala and Haruk live outside the cloistered sanctuary of the House of Ulhurath; and for the most part, I’m almost glad I’m forced to live where I do, because the alternatives are frankly appalling
Almost everywhere you look, you see the evidence of violence and oppression
Life is so cheap here it’s shocking
Gibbets line the streets in some districts; the dead and near dead swaying noxiously in the pestilent breeze - As I trudged past these behind Ulhurath’s litter, my eyes wide with horror, I near jumped out of my skin as one of the Ssala corpses suddenly jerked in its cage to reach an imploring hand out towards me
How and why do the Ssala tolerate what is being done to them here?
Surely there must be at least some seeds of discontent, or some collective revulsion of this hell, steeped in the blood and suffering of so many innocents?
Maybe I’m missing something
I mean, sure the Haruk are big nasty bastards, but other their superior size and strength, I’m at a loss to understand how they maintain their grip on power - The Ssala easily outnumber them and are by no means stupid, so there must be another reason why things are as they are
Perhaps I’ll find out in due course?
This cultures secrets are slowly opening up to me, so like I learned what the EM fields were all about yesterday, maybe...
That’s it isn’t it?
Those nanoswarm’s aren’t dead are they? – They’re only dormant!
I’m no gambler, but I’d bet almost anything that the Haruk maintain power with the threat of deactivating the generators and allowing the nanoswams to begin killing out in the jungles again!
That’s... really smegging scary
I hope that I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am - The Haruk here have figured primitive electric lighting out, Ulhurath had that handheld terminal... Who’s to say what else they have managed to work out?
I want to help the Ssala, but dormant nanoswarms would ...complicate things
Where was I?
The spaceport's part-ruined departure terminal curves lazily around one half of the perimeter of the main launch pad; a wide, ten metre deep, oval shaped blast pit, excavated from the bedrock with the sort of inhuman level of precision that only we humans can manage
This is the arena
The terminal itself seems to serve as a combination of city hall, temple and arena seating - It’s not the biggest I’ve ever seen, but it’s by no means the smallest; and while fully one third of the building lies in ruins, what remains towers high above the rest of the city, its height matched only be the monorail towers, dotting their way across the metropolis in curvilinear formations out into the jungle beyond the city limits
Probably the most gloriously noticeable thing about this ruined spaceport, is the solitary shuttlecraft abandoned, further distant on a neighbouring launch pad – A hulking, dark mass, lurking just out of reach, offering the tantalising possibility of a way out of here - a ticket home
Of course there’s probably a very good reason it was abandoned, but maybe, just maybe it might fly, or perhaps it could be repaired?
Can I even get into the thing?
That’s a few too many uncertainties for my liking
Is it worth risking everything and chancing my life on this?
Like I say, I’m not a gambling person, but my position here is so precarious, I might have to jump and take the risk- If all else fails I guess I can still flee into the jungle
With the nanoswarms...
The other news of the day was that I saw Alex and Plisken together in the arena, giving me immediate cause for concern for their safety - Especially since Plisken seemed to be drugged or delirious or something
The games are violent in the extreme
From my position, waiting in attendance at Ulhurath’s side, I saw beheadings, amputations and executions; slaves fighting slaves, Haruk fighting Ssala, and Ssala and Haruk battling a variety of vicious-looking dinosaur-like predators
Over the course of the day, the sand on the floor of the arena slowly turned into a wet mire, befouled with the sheer volume of blood that had been spilled - to the point where, on several occasions, fresh sand had to be spread so the professional gladiators were able to fight at their best
Alex and Plisken, I’m pleased to say, both survived their ordeals; the events they had been entered in, seemingly designed to entertain the audience rather than to actually kill them, although the metal spheres they were in didn’t seem like any fun at all when they let the dinosaurs into the arena!
As the day wore on I have to admit, I was expecting to see some sign of the others – If Alex and Plisken had been captured, where the hell was everyone else?
Where was Jay?
I hope he’s safe
I hope Max is too – He’s only three and this really isn’t any place for a child
Given the lifestyle we all lead, I sometimes wonder what even possessed Jay and Katrina to want to spring him from stasis in the first instance – I mean, even the place we call home, the ‘Dwarf, is bloody dangerous!
It’s really not for me to say (and I never would), but isn’t it a little ...selfish?
He needs to be around other kids and not in mortal peril every second of his life
Oh, what the smeg do I even know!? - It's not like I have kids!
Maybe if I did, I’d understand
Not that I can see that happening any time soon
Now I’m getting maudlin
I'm getting out of here
If I need to kill every last Haurk in the house to do so, I will