Prisoner of the Red Star
"What is your name?"
"Why do you want to know"?
"Because my colleague and I have the right to know."
"Who gave you that right?"
"We gave it to ourselves."
One of the two Kestora in the shadow-filled room laid his clawed hand on the shoulder on the prisoner. The newcomer, whose hands were restrained by chains to the back wall of the room, had suddenly appeared days ago. His body had been severely damaged from what appeared to be a fierce battle. The Kestora managed to heal the prisoner of all his life-threatening injuries, but they left the nonfatal ones alone, so that he would be easier to subdue in case he decided to tried to attack someone.
"Tell you what," the Kestora went on. "If you answer our questions, we will treat all of your injuries and make sure you fully recover. Of course, you most likely know that they alone will not bring you death...."
The Kestora smiled. "But I assure you that they will cause you great pain until they are completely healed if left to themselves. So what do you say?"
The prisoner looked up at his captors, knowing deep down that they were telling the truth. And he did remember others of their kind treating his fatal wounds a day or two ago...
"The name's Gaardus, if that truly means anything to you," Gaardus said quietly.
"Good," the Kestora said flatly. "Now, exactly what are..."
"Before I answer any more of your questions, you will answer some of my mine," Gaardus interrupted. "Like who or what are you two? And where am I? And how exactly I'm still alive?"
"You don't have the right to ask us questions," the second Kestora said in a offended tone. "Here, only we have that right."
"But... I remember dying!" Gaardus cried out in frustration. "I died! I remember lying on the ground after being attacked by my enemy. He had used a Cordak Blaster to blow a hole through my chest! I remember...pain, anger, resentment against that monster! And then he walked up to me, aimed the blaster at my head, and pulled...."
"Okay, that's enough details," the first Kestora said, clearly a little sickened by Gaardus's graphic details of his final moments. "But to satisfy your curiosity, my colleague and I call ourselves Kestora. And you, my poor friend, are in the Red Star."
"Hey!" the second Kestora suddenly snapped. "Why did you tell him that! That information is only for chosen residents to know!"
"There is no harm in quelling his curiosity," the first Kestora replied. "He's trapped here, same as the others. And as long as our home is offline, he won't be going anywhere."
"This makes no sense," Gaardus said, more to himself than to the Kestora. "How did I end up here? Am I dead, or was I pulled here before I passed on?"
"Oh, you did die, my friend," the first Kestora said. "In fact, just about every being that has died in your universe has arrived here after death. Or at lease, all the ones that actually arrived here..."
The Kestora snapped the first behind the head, bluntly showing his disapproval of Gaardus learning more about the Red Star.
"Wait, so does mean that I'm..." Gaardus started to ask, but the second Kestora raised his hand to silence him.
"Enough." he stated. "As I said, we have the right to ask the questions. Now tell us what exactly are you?"
Gaardus slightly tilted his head, as if to taunt his captors. "And if I don't?"
The second Kestora leaned in close to Gaardus and spoke into his ear in a frightening whisper. "Well, my fellow colleagues need to know if you're someone who plays nicely with others, or if you're someone who doesn't. If you don't answer this question, or any of the following questions we have, we might come to the conclusion that you fall in with the latter group, and toss you in their cage with them. And trust me, they will make your currently nonfatal wounds fatal."
The purple and black armored creature took a few steps away from Gaardus and gave him a friendly smile. "But if you do answer them, we will keep our word and treat you. So ask yourself, what do you have to lose?"
Gaardus led his captor's words sink in for a moment. He didn't know his captor was telling the truth or was bluffing. But even if he was lying, Gaardus knew he was in no condition to defend himself. And if they could help him recover, then maybe...just maybe...
"Well, I used to be a Ta-Matoran," Gaardus said after spending a few moments in thought. "Though I wouldn't call myself that now."
"And what would you call yourself?"
Gaardus looked into the eyes of his captors and simply said "An Abomination."
Gaardus then went on and told the two Kestora his tragic history. He told them about his previous life, which was the only time he had known of the concept of peace. He told them how a group of exiled Nynrah Ghosts kidnapped him and performed experiments on him to make him a 'living weapon.' He even told them how he had broken free of the Ghosts, and had been hunting each of them down and killing them for their actions.
"The being that killed me, the being that I spoke of earlier, was the last one," Gaardus said, not even trying to hide the rage that his story had re-awoken in him. "He is the reason that I stand before both of you now."
Both Kestora now stood in front of Gaardus, going over his answers to their questions in their minds. Finally, they both retreated to the other side of the room talk privately among themselves.
"There are no lies in his story," the first Kestora stated quietly.
"Agreed," whispered the second.
"So, what do we do with him?" asked the first. "He has not only openly admitted to us that he has killed other beings out of revenge, he has stated that he is a living weapon! He also clearly has some mental issues, though who wouldn't after what he went through?"
"That shows that he could be a danger to our kind, as well as the others here," the second added. "We may need to keep him with the more savage residents that we keep here. He clearly doesn't sound like someone with the best intentions to me."
"We will inform the other Kestora what we have learned," the first said. "And together, we will decide what his fate will be. For now, we will keep our word and treat him. We are civilized beings, after all."
Their private meeting done, one of the two Kestora knocked on the door that led into the room. A second later, three more Kestora entered the room with a stretcher just big enough for Gaardus.
"We thank you for your honestly," the first Kestora said to Gaardus. "We will now release you from your chains and take you to be treated for your injuries like we agreed on. Will you comply and not give us trouble?"
Gaardus nodded his head. Satisfied, the Kestora freed him and helped him onto the stretcher. The other Kestora then lifted the stretcher up and began to transport the weakened Gaardus to their infirmary. There, he would be treated for his injuries and restored to full health. And after that, his placement in the Red Star would be decided by the Kestora.
At least, that is what the Kestora planned to do with Gaardus. The former Ta-Matoran, however, had his own plans....
He would show the Kestora that he was someone with the 'best intentions' and obey their requests, doing wherever they asked of him after healing him. He planned to do this until he got a better idea of what this 'Red Star' was, and where it was located. He would use his enhanced senses and teleportation powers, which he had not told the Kestora about, to get this information. The former power, which gave him enhanced hearing, had already allowed him to be able to overhear the two Kestora in their private meeting in his cell. He could definitely use it to overhear the Kestora talking at a distance when the need arose for it.
He could also try to befriend one of these Kestora creatures. One of them had already proven to have an open mouth. He could try to learn more about them, like what their strengths and weaknesses were, and learn more about what happened to himself after 'dying' in his universe.
Of course, these were all just plans. Long shot plans at that. Gaardus was definitely uncertain if he would be able to pull them off. But he was going to try regardless. He had to. For in his mind, there was no other option.
There are two things I do know for certain. Gaardus thought as he and the Kestora reached the infirmary. One is that I'm somehow still alive, for I would not be needing treatment for injuries if I was dead. The other is that, despite what these creatures say, there is a way off this star. There has to be. And I will find it, return to my universe, and get my revenge on that Nynrah Ghost!
Thanks to everyone who reads my story. Comments and criticism are welcomed!
Edited by Toa Smoke Monster, Oct 25 2012 - 05:45 PM.