Chapter 66:

Bandit Prison

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The captured trio found themselves promptly thrown into a cell by Flora. Rheba was already standing up while the door slammed shut and locked tightly. The keys were tossed onto a nearby table, a spot that was close enough to see but hopelessly out of reach. She helped Odell sit up and reached out a hand to Hal; the green-haired Netzian pushed her hand away and sat up on his own.

Flora chuckled as she looked at the three in the cell. Icarus and Savvy held the captive Needaimus tightly as they stood behind their calico Bentulousian ally.

“We should inform Grimes of what happened right away,” Savvy said in a low tone.

“He already knows we brought three prisoners here; it won’t hurt to try and get some answers first,” Flora said as she pulled over a chair and sat into it. The metal chair was simple and square. It had three bars that went up the back of it, which complemented the bars in the cell. Although the room was a simple grey square with metal bars, it appeared as if someone with interior decorator sense had selected the furniture to complement it.

Flora sat on the chair backward and leaned on the top of its back as she faced the cell. Due to her giant Bentulousian posture, she had trouble fitting, and the position looked more awkward than menacing.

“So, what brings you to this town?” she asked.

None of the captured trio answered. They stared at her with refusal clear in their eyes. Flora sighed.

“Go ahead and take those Needaimus away; this will be awhile,” she instructed the other two companions. Savvy and Icarus pocketed the cell keys and left without another word. Once the door had closed behind them, Flora spoke again. “It’s not every day a group all wielding Needaimus wanders into a small nowhere village. Is something going on outside? We’ve been here for a year or so now, and current events are hard to come by.”

None of the trio gave any sort of answer.

Flora sighed.

“Well, maybe when we capture one of your friends, we can get some answers from them. That is unless they don’t starve in the mines. They are quite unpleasant to navigate if you don’t have a guide,” she as she stood up from the chair.

Flora walked to the door and stopped only briefly to offer a small wave before ducking under and leaving.

It wasn’t until the door closed when any of the trio spoke. Odell was first to say something.

“What are we going to do,” he hissed in a worried tone to the other two. Hal simply gave a nonchalant shrug and stared at the grey wall outside the cell.

“We have two options, we wait, or we try to escape,” Rheba answered.

“Wait for what?” Odell said in a slightly louder tone.

“Either a rescue or the army to arrive. If our companions are tactical, they will get support before attempting to face these foes.”

Odell ran through the three that had escaped in his mind.

“I hope Harlan can talk some sense into the other two,” he said after his thoughts concluded.

“Those that are fools will live and die as such,” Hal said with a sneer as he stood up and wrapped a hand around one of the bars.

“I’m sure they would never consider doing anything too reckless… given the situation,” Rheba said.

Hal shook the bar he held. It made a slight creaking sound but no visible movement.

“What are you doing there, Hal?” Odell asked.

“A cell made to house Aqueenians cannot hope to contain those that are not,” Hal replied.

“Come again?” Odell asked.

Rheba reached over and grabbed a bar as well. With a slight twist, she felt the bar give way to her strength and large hand. It bent so that it bowed to the side but did not snap or make a hole of any suitable size.

“What good does that do? It barely moved,” Odell said.

Rheba examined the whole array of bars that made up their prison. They formed an equally spaced uniform grey grid with the spacing barely allowing her arm to pass through. The grid of bars was a single wall surrounded by stone walls on all other sides.

The Bentulousian warrior figured she could bend a bar slightly but not move enough to escape from an opened hole. In particular, her large stature meant a potential escape route would have to be much larger than needed for Odell or Hal alone.

She put her fingers to her brown furred chin and began to think to herself.

Odell looked around at the cell again. Escape seemed like a hopeless fantasy and rescue an impossible dream.