III: A Pleasant Discovery

Adz awoke to the smell of burning cloth and leapt back with a startled cry. He’d fallen asleep at the spinning wheel yet again. Yes, spinning. The- what he now called, Muka had been enslaving the ‘Cirrusians’ for centuries it seemed and had employed them- or more appropriately forced them, into working in labor camps and factories. Thus Adz was now in a cloth making factory and had just burned his thirteenth piece of the strange material on the primitive ‘fire-bender’ spinning utensil. They’d be sure to tan his hide for this latest offense.

He wondered how many others like himself were stuck here, never to see their homes again- never to see the light of a free day… He- Smack! He felt a sharp pain on the side of his head. A nearby guard had knocked him- literally, out of his daze. Taking the hint, he went back to work- planning and mulling over possible escape routes from the fortress-like factory he was imprisoned within…and trying to not burn his fourteenth piece of cloth, so as to at least avoid another ringing blow.

*****

At roughly the same time Dave was in a steadily degenerating situation. His fifth attempt at negotiations with the creatures he referred to by the Czechian word muka, or agony- as they caused a lot of it, had failed and he was receiving yet another beating and silent treatment. Thinking of happier and brighter times somewhat alleviated the pain but it was still in the far corners of his mind waiting for him to let his guard down.

Suddenly a sharp psst! came through the air! He slowly looked up, expecting his tormentors to be simply playing him for a fool- having been giving him false hopes of escaping already, but no!- they had not noticed. He had in fact seen their lack of attention to high sounds before so perhaps this trivial detail of their partial deafness and ignorance to his knowledge of it would be helpful later…

Again came the psst! and Dave nonchalantly glanced around while his captors’ backs were turned. There! In the shadows he saw a familiar face, one he was well acquainted with- his go-to-second in command Adz! Making eye-contact the two gave each other a knowing glance, a small wink, and continued doing their work in the cloth production line. Maybe tomorrow would bring a new fire to their plot surely soon to be made…

Revised Edition 7/1/13

Further Revisions as of 5/1/17

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