Posted Mar 25 2012 - 07:28 AM
Review Topic***Chapter 1Sentreth Vetma fell to his hands and knees, the pain of being whipped by his female overseer causing a few tears to be squeezed from his eyes.“Come on, on your feet, ya lazy bum!” Lapsi Flumen roared at him after a little shove with her foot.“Please...” Sentreth moaned, “I need rest... Food...”“No food till lunch. And don’t start moaning about how long it is till lunch. We females worked hard to make that food for you, be grateful.”Sentreth was not grateful in the slightest, but he’d take all the food he could get. Unfortunately, all the ‘food’ they were given was just a bowl of a watery blend of soup and porridge. It tasted like dirt, despite the ‘seasoning’ (rumour had it that it was just sand, but Sentreth was too hungry to care). They were fed once a day, in late morning. If they were lucky, they’d be able to scavenge something from the bins outside the female’s sleeping quarters, but that usually ended in a fight.Being a male Vortixx on Xia was not an easy life. While the females duped powerful organisations overseas and researched new technology in the science district, the males were beaten, abused and forced to work in less than stellar conditions in the factories. Many of the Vortixx lost fingers or other body parts to the factory gears, and it wasn’t rare for someone to collapse from exhaustion or even get beaten to death by the females if their work was unsatisfactory.As for Sentreth, his life could be considered more comfortable than most, but that would be very optimistic. He considered himself to be in the higher class of the lower class, which he was very glad about. He had two eyes and all his limbs, and that was enough for him. Most of the time.Today was the last day of the week, and he was completely exhausted, even after three hours sleep (possibly the longest it was possible to sleep if you were treated like the smeared guts of a Hoto Bug on the bottom of someone’s foot), and despite begging for a scrap of food from various passer-bys, was denied even that.Lapsi, his overseer, seemed like a merciless tyrant, but when compared to some of the more famous female Vortixx, became a simple pawn. Now, she forced Sentreth to his feet and set him back to work fixing the gears over a precarious drop.***Later that day, Sentreth was sneaking round the back of Lapsi’s house, searching for scraps of food. Traken, his best friend and self-declared brother, was taking a larger risk, trying to get clean food from inside the house.It was in moments like this when Sentreth discovered a lot about the lives of the females. They had enough food that they could just toss it away, even if it was perfectly edible, even though their underlings would literally kill to eat it, as was what happened from time to time, and although Sentreth didn’t know it yet, today would be one of those days.Several of the higher class males (meaning their overseers were kinder; it had no effect on their lifestyle, they just tended to be snarkier and more spoilt) were marching down the street in a gang. Half of them cared not for whatever crazy excuse for this kind of behaviour their ‘leader’ had come up with, they simply felt comfortable in a group, the heat of the moment sweeping them away from their senses.They were lucky Lapsi was out, or she would probably have come and scared them off. As it was, no females were in the vicinity, and Sentreth was trying not to be noticed as he cowered in the shadows, engulfed in his scavenging. His vain attempt at stealth only lasted a few seconds before one of the gang members pushed him to the ground and stood over him imposingly.“What do you want?” bellowed the far-tougher-looking-than-Sentreth Vortixx.“Nothing... I was just looking for-”“For a fight? You got one.”“No, I just wanted some food...”“How ‘bout a nice fist in the jaw? That good for you?”“Not particularly.”The other Vortixx raised their foot up to stomp Sentreth into the mud, but was grabbed by the shoulders and thrown to the ground by Traken, who appeared to have scavenged some clean food and, if they were lucky, water, in the sack on his shoulder.“Come on, brah,” he smirked, holding out his hand to his brother, “Let’s get out of here. Got us some food.”Sentreth took the hand and got to his feet, just as the moronic gang member sped off back to his fellow cronies. Traken gestured for his friend to follow, sprinting off down the street, Sentreth closely following.The roars of the gang could be heard behind them, and seeing as they were better fed, the distance between the pair and the pack was covered shockingly quickly. Sentreth didn’t dare turn his head, but Traken spared a quick glance over his shoulder to see that many of the Vortixx behind them were brandishing knives and other weapons in their anger.“Split up!” Traken called, and the two Vortixx went down alleys on opposite sides of the street. The gang members split up into two groups of five in pursuit.***Sentreth’s lungs were burning, his head spinning and his legs beginning to give way, yet the furious pack of savages behind him didn’t show any signs of giving up. One of them threw Caltrops below Setreth’s feet, but he vaulted over both the brutal equipment and a wheelie bin, followed by darting up and over a fence at the end of the alley. This move had put some distance between him and his pursuers, and allowed him to get lost in the crowds further up the street before he set off to find Traken.Although, Traken had taken a very different approach to his friend, somehow finding himself in five-on-one combat against his pursuers. Two of his opponents were on the ground with broken limbs, but all this did was enrage the other three. One lunged at him with a knife, but a swift sidestep and dislocated jaw brought them to the ground. One down, two to go. Both charged at the same time, allowing Traken to clothesline both of them at the same time, breaking both noses.It wasn’t long before the pair of them reunited outside the factory where they slept. They shared the food Traken had stolen with their fellow workmates in celebration of their victory.It had been a good day, a rare occurrence in the slums of Xia. But, unbeknownst to the satisfied Vortixx feasting on clean food for the first time in weeks, this was the best it could get. For from this point forth, it would only get worse.
Edited by Wotsiznaim, Mar 25 2012 - 07:30 AM.