Mikko (Stolen Warriors #2) - Ella Maven
I was familiar with pain, but this agony was on another level. I was dizzy with it, my head spinning as blood dripped to the floor of the cage.
“You could have been something,” the Pliken guard sneered at me as he tightened the chains across my chest. “You could have had the crowd cheering for you every rotation.”
I should have ignored him, but I’d never been good at keeping my mouth shut. “You think I want your filthy kind chanting for me? Fleck off.”
“Suit yourself, Drix.” He took a step back and hooked his thumbs on his belt which had two long sabers. “You only had to do what you were told. With those weapons of yours, you would have won every fight. Now you’ll be thrown into the Pit and forgotten. No glory for you.”
I wished more than anything I could lash out at him, but I was chained to the back of the cage with my arms crossed under my chin. If I ejected my machets I’d only spike myself in the neck. So, I hurled the only thing I could at him—words. “Only a Pliken would think pitting slaves against each other to the death has anything to do with glory.”
That insult hit. The Pliken visibly flinched, and then his eyes narrowed. I braced for more pain and got it when he drove his fist into my side. I felt a rib crunch. My breath left my lungs and for a moment all I could do was gasp as I fought to inhale.
“You’re not on your safe planet anymore.” The Pliken said as he leaned down to snarl into my face. “This is Vixlicin where we make the rules. Here, you’re nothing. No one cares about your stupid Drixonian honor. You’re only worth what you can do for us. And you, well you didn’t want to play that game.”
He was flecking right I didn’t want to play that game. I killed my owner, and I would have killed more if the pain of ejecting my machets hadn’t brought me to my knees, giving the guards enough time to subdue me. I’d have to fight through that pain in the future. I could get used to anything.
“So now you’re here,” the guard said. “The Pit. It’s where we throw away the worst of the worst. There’s no way out. You’ll spend the rest of your life there, and for your sake, you better hope that’s not much longer.”
Sputtering, still struggling to breathe, all I could manage was a raspy, “Fleck you.”
The guard laughed, a creaky sound which grated on my nerves. “One by one, you Drix will die out. No more females. No compatible breeders. And you, well you can live the rest of your short life knowing your family line dies with you.” He straightened up and gave me a cracked tooth smile. “You should have followed the rules.”
I didn’t get a chance at the last word. The chain holding my cage began to lower, and I could only stare up at the evil smile of the Pliken guard as he watched me descend into the Pit.
I vowed then and there I’d do the impossible. I’d escape the Pit, and then I’d make everyone pay who was responsible for what happened to me. The first person I’d start with was that flecking guard.
I didn’t mean to kill him. Well, I wanted to, but I didn’t think I was actually capable of doing it. I fought him because that was what I always did when backed into a corner. I fought back. But apparently the four-eyed alien with six arms had an Achilles heel. Using the pipe I’d managed to wrench from the bed frame, I’d smacked him right in the jaw, and he’d gone down like a ton of bricks.
Clutching the pipe like a bat, I’d stood panting over his body in anticipation of round two. But round two never came. Instead, his furry minions had run in and chattered in horror as I stood chained to the wall of the docked spacecraft.
After that, well, there wasn’t a second chance to be sold to a nicer alien in this galaxy. I’d been hauled away by a squad of the caped aliens called Plikens and thrown in the back of a dune buggy-like vehicle.
We’d raced across a red desert as sand stung my skin and filled my mouth. My hands were chained to the roll bar, so I was stuck, and eventually just closed my eyes and mouth, hoping