The meeting didn’t go unnoticed by my owner. He visited me in my cell that night. He looked around and said, “You know your problem Hal? You’re not appreciative. I’ve given you a place in this galaxy, one where you could be great, remembered for more than just being a false prophet. You give away your sponsors presents and arrange for secret meetings with other fighters. Just ungrateful.” He made a tisking noise and continued, “You could be on some distant Trans-Neptunian mining asteroid, but I took pity and bought your crime from the Venusians. You weren’t cheap you know.”
“Sorry?” I asked.
“You’re damn right you should be sorry.”
I let him ramble about my ungratefulness and tried not to laugh. He might think he was doing me a great favour but I was here on a mission. I was caught on purpose but he would never believe me.
“You’re so smug. I can’t wait to watch you get destroyed in the arena. Actually let’s make it easier on your next opponent.” He snapped his fingers, walked away, and two burly guards stepped into my tiny room. As he left he said, “Make sure he knows what we think of false prophets here on the Mederei!”
The two large guards walked into my cell. One had a large scar across his face and the other was scowling in order to look as tough as the first one.
Scowl-face grabbed me by my shirt and lifted me off my feet. “Don’t struggle,” he grumbled, his voice like two rocks grinding together. He held me up for the scar-face, who poked me with his index finger.
They both chuckled as scowl-face put me down. “We don’t like false prophets.”
Scar-face tried to smile. It was terrifying. He said, “If you see any let us know.” The two just turned around and walked away. I was still trying to process what had happened as they turned the corner and Scowl-face winked at me.
“Ok. I’m never winking again.” It seemed Aly was right and I had friends in both the gladiators and the guards.
A full out revolt would mean a lot of dead people. I didn’t want people dying for me. I had to find another way. I was thinking of different ideas when a messenger brought me a package. It was a bar of Earth Chocolate.
I opened the package and was dismayed to find a piece of plastic and small sticky patch. I put the patch behind my ear and the micro-vibrations permeated into my skull as sound.
“Hal. Can you hear me?” I recognized the voice of my engineer and friend Adric.
“Hey Sunny! How’s the black?”
He chuckled, “You never get tired of that joke do you?” I had named my ship “Hey Sunny” for cheap laughs.
“Nope. Great timing by the way. I need to learn how to hack the anti-teleport devices on here.”
“You see the second sticky? Place that on a computer terminal and I’ll do the rest.”
“I thought you said you couldn’t hack the computers on the Mederei?”
“You wound me Hal. I said I couldn’t hack them remotely.”
“Sorry for doubting you Adric. I need you to hack them and install some new software. It’s in our main memory banks under, ‘I have no idea what this is but I’m sure it’ll be useful someday’.”
“You have a gift with names Hal,” he replied sarcastically before asking, “You ok?”
“Aren’t I always ok?”
“I’m fine. I’m dealing with it. What’s the news on the Venusians?” I had tried to save the royal family during the revolution but they had disappeared.
“No word on the royals but the church has taken control of the military and the parliament. The new Sun-Speaker is now as good as a King.”
“What aren’t you telling me?”
“They’re shooting down anyone who’s trying to leave Venus or the Empire.”
“We need to help them. Run the hack and go do what you can. I’ll join you in a few days. Good luck my friend.”
“Don’t die!” was the last thing he said before cutting the com.
With my new found business contacts and mini-army it was easy to get someone to slap the sticky on a computer terminal. I had a plan and it would take everything falling exactly into place. Thank Sol I could see the future.
I decided to make my move at the grand melee. It was just me and ninety-nine other combatants. The idea was that a hundred fighters went in and only one came out. Everyone rushed into the arena at the sound of the bell. I sauntered in, trying to project confidence and mischief. I suppose it was a normal entrance for me.
The floor rumbled as the hundred combatants ran towards the large weapons cache in the middle of the arena.
If you like this story, why not read the rest of the stories in the Sun Speaker Universe ?