The Prison

The first thing I noticed was that I was in a tight space, could see nothing, and I could barely breathe. I was lying on my back, and when I tried to move around, I collided with what felt like a glass wall that was in front of me, no, on top of me. My discomfort quickly transformed into terror as the wall in front of me refused to budge, and I realized that I was trapped. I tried to brace myself against the bottom of my prison and push against the wall with my knees and hands, but it still wouldn't move. In desperation, I began to beat on the glass with my fists when the wall suddenly gave way and light came into my prison.

I sprang up like a released catapult arm and sat for a few moments while gulping down precious oxygen. The world was blurry as my eyes took their sweet time adjusting to the sudden change in my environment.

"Well, it's alive, are you satisfied?" an inhuman voice chittered, not too far from me by the sound of it.

"Almost," an effeminate human voice replied. "Let's get her out of there."

Just as my vision began to sharpen enough to become functional, tentacled hands wrapped around me and lifted me into the air before placing me feet-first on the ground a moment later. The hands did not leave me until I caught my balance.

As I caught my breath, I tried to take stock of my situation. A slightly concerned-looking human woman with short, dark hair stood in front of me, and next to her stood an insectoid alien. Behind me and a little to my left was the alien that had moved me, who was bulkier than he or she was tall.

"Do you have a name?" the woman asked.

"I do, it's... it's..." I frowned. For some reason, I couldn't think of my name. I tried to think back to where I was before I found myself here, but I couldn't for the life of me recall how I had wound up in that box. Then, to my horror, I realized that I could not recall anything at all. I couldn't recall my parents' names nor faces, nor anything about my childhood and upbringing.

"I have all of my slave cargo mindwiped," the alien behind me declared. "My clients have reported that this makes them much easier to re-educate."

"This is definitely true," the insectoid alien confirmed, "and that is one of the reasons why Twoso here is my favorite transporter."

"Y-you mindwiped me?!" I gasped, a mixture of rage and terror beginning to fill me. That was a lot to grasp, but I could I sensed that I was in terrible danger and that I would receive no sympathy from anyone other than perhaps the human.

"Of course the slaves will still remember how to eat, walk, breathe, speak their native language, and maybe read or write if they were educated," the stockier alien hastily explained, apparently seeing the dark look that had crossed the human woman's face. "I don't turn them into babies, I only dispose of their old baggage and make it easier for them to embrace the future."

"I see," the human woman said, her face becoming an unreadable mask.

"Now are you satisfied?" the insectoid asked impatiently.

The woman looked at me, and our eyes met for a moment. Then, she looked down and mumbled, "I suppose..."

The insectoid creature nodded, glanced toward the alien behind me, then gestured her head toward me. I detected motion from the other alien, and I turned to see him reaching for me. I stepped backward out of his reach. "No, I'm not going back in there!" I protested.

The stockier alien said nothing and instead lunged toward me, arms outstretched...

What happened next surprised me almost as much as it did the others in the room. Before I even knew what I was doing, I stepped to my left and ducked under one of the alien's arms while lifting my right foot. I quickly grabbed the wrist of the arm I had ducked under with my right hand and grabbed further up the same arm with my left hand while simultaneously lashing out with my chambered right foot against the lower part of his closest leg. As I knocked out said leg out from under the alien, I yanked his arm toward the open box that had been my prison, twisting my hips after I planted my foot in order to maximize the amount of force my emaciated body and atrophied muscles could generate. It wasn't much, but it was enough to pull the alien's center of mass far enough away from his center of balance that he had no choice but to go down. I guided the alien toward my prison as fell by continuing to pull his arm, causing his mouth to collide with the edge of the box. The weight of the fall against the thin but sturdy edge of my prison was enough to stun him, but to make sure he stayed down, I delivered a vicious kick to the back of his head. This all happened in a span of about three seconds.

My mind still operating mostly on pure instinct and adrenaline, I knelt down and pulled a firearm out of one of my fallen foe's holsters. Although the weapon was clearly not designed for human hands, I was able to grip it well enough, and I promptly slid off the safety. I saw the insectoid alien reaching for a weapon, and I quickly brought my acquired gun up and fired a warning shot (the recoil causing me to nearly hit myself in the face with the gun) before (s)he could bring her weapon to bear against me. The alien promptly dropped his/her weapon, which I noted appeared to be a stun baton.

"Hey, is everything alright in there?" another alien voice called out from my right. I whirled toward the intruders, improving my grip on my weapon as I did so, and discharged three shots toward the two aliens, who I assumed were guards. The first shot missed, but the second two caught the front-most guard in the chest, dropping him. I adjusted my aim, but by the time I got off another shot, the remaining guard dove behind cover.

All things considered, this had gone far more swimmingly than it really should have, but now that I was up against an entrenched and prepared foe and two additional potential hostiles, as well as other possible threats that I was unaware of, I realized that the brute force method would likely get me killed. It was time to adjust my strategy to something a little more diplomatic...

Only a little bit, though.

"Put your gun down and step forward with your hands up!" I screamed, waving my gun at the insectoid alien and the human woman. "If you don't, I will blow away your boss!" I wasn't sure which one of these people was actually the guard's boss, so I guessed that I needed to threaten both of them until I figured that out. I noted that the human had retreated a bit while I had been engaged with the guards, while the insectoid had edges ominously closer. I backed away from her by stepping toward my left, making sure to keep all three of my standing captors in view.

"Do what she says!" the dark-haired woman shouted, earning a venomous look from the insectoid alien.

"Fuck no! That bitch killed Ralix!" the guard yelled from behind a desk.

"I'm not dead yet," a voice croaked from the floor.

The insectoid alien sighed. "You heard the boss, Zek. Stand down. Besides, I'd prefer to avoid getting any unflattering dents in my carapace if at all possible."

I sighed in relief as the guard angrily threw his weapon to the ground and stepped forward. Before I could take control of the situation, however, the insectoid growled, "Okay, creature, we have done as you asked. Now how far do you really expect to get with this, whatever you're doing, before you get put down like a rabid animal?"

"However far I need to," I replied grimly. "I'm not going back in that box."

"Would you prefer that we put a bag over your head and dragged you to my brothel?" the insectoid chirped angrily. "Then again," (s)he mused, "this one has more spunk than I appreciate my workers having. Well, 'boss', do you think this tiger we have unchained for your audit would perform satisfactorily in the pits?"

(OOC - a sudden, jarring end, I know, but I will let Cass decide my character's fate, since she is, after all, the new boss.)

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