For a while I couldn't hear anything. It was peaceful, calm, and painless. Was I in heaven?
A very unmanly shriek woke me from my slumber, the sound piercing through my skull and rattling around in what little semblance of peace I had left. The sound kept coming, an unending form of agony only I seemed to suffer. With this sound, my recent injuries revealed themselves to me as well.
"Get it away! GET IT AWAYYYYY!"
I've gone to hell, haven't I?
"Seriously, Cade, it's getting closer! Ahhhh! It's forming a barrier! WE HAVE NO ESCAPE!!!"
I tried to speak, but my torso's sudden sharp stab of pain kept me from uttering a word. I instead opened my eyes and gave my leader, Fai Aiken, a harsh glare.
"Aw, 'cmon K-Dee!" The redhead looked at me, fear in his amber eyes. "Look at it! IT WANTS TO KILL US!"
I gave Fai a look. I glanced down, and sure enough, there was a spider crawling across the cell's cold stone floor. I looked back up at Fai, not believing him.
Fai started to say something, but he instead let out another shriek as the spider started moving again. "AHH! CADE COME ON!!!"
Fai cursed as the spider kept creeping toward him, but I soon got lost in my own thoughts. Why were we here? Hadn't the both of us died when-- No. I couldn't think about that now. But it was very hard to not think of something when the reminder was right on your chest, the torn shirt you were wearing showing the blood-soaked bandages wrapping themselves around your torso instead of covering it.
"Fa--" I tried speaking again, and while this time I was able to make sound, I could barely form a full sentence. But the terrified man heard me, and decided to shield himself from the arachnid by making me a wall between him and the spider.
"Don't worry little buddy, I won't let the monster kill you!" I looked at Fai, utter disbelief in my eyes.
'I'm shielding YOU from the spider!' I glared at the redhead, my unspoken message seeming to get to him as the other man smirked at me. I then realized that Fai was holding something in his unharmed arm: a golden retriever puppy.
'The heck?!' I mouthed to him, unable to make noise. 'Where did you find a dog?!'
"He was here when we got here," the redhead replied. "I found him laying on my chest when I woke up." Fai patted the dog's cream-colored fur. "I decided to name him Edac, after you, since he looks so much like you." The dog opened it's eyes, and to my disbelief it had green eyes, same as mine.
'My name backwards? Really? And it's just a dog, it's not like it's a dogification of me or something,' I sighed. This was going to be a long day.
The dog--Edac, I suppose--yipped at Fai, the animal looking like its brows had been furrowed. Fai let Edac go, and he trotted over to the spider--"NO, EDAC, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU'RE GOING TO DIEEEE!!!"--and crushed the arachnid with his little paws.
The idiotic redhead was nearly hyperventilating. "Edac! You could've DIED! What if it was a poisonous spider?!"
"Sh-shut up already..." I had finally been able to form a sentence, my torso not as full of pain. "It was just...just a spider."
"Just a spider? JUST A SPIDER?! WE COULD'VE DI--"
A guard banged the hilt of his sword against the bars of out cell. "Cut it out in here! You're making enough noise to wake the dead!"
Fai flinched. The memory of all of our friends dying was still fresh in his mind. Edac padded up to his hand, nuzzling his nose into it. Fai smiled sadly at the action.
"At least we were able to save some people," the redhead whispered as the guard went back to his post. "I suppose I shouldnt be overreacting about dying, not in this situation." Fai looked at Edac. "But still, spiders are ninjas!"
I sighed again. I seem to be doing that a lot today. "Can we please get on the topic of how we got here?" I had gotten used to the dulled pain of my torso, the large slice on a diagonal down my chest no longer bleeding. I tried not to think about how I now had an 'X' on my chest, a warning symbol, a sign to drive people I cared about away.
Fai nodded, "Oh, right." He picked up Edac (keeping the paw that crushed the spider far away from him) and sat cross-legged by my side since I couldn't sit up. He placed the dog on his lap and fiddled with his floppy ears.
"My injury--" at this Fai pointed to his bandaged left shoulder, "--isn't as bad as yours, so when I fell unconscious, I only did so momentarily. Marion--" Fai winced, "--ette didn't want to kill you. I don't know why she didn't kill me after you became unconscious, but I do know that we're in a Kyranese cell. A cell in the dungeons of Cerin's castle."
I had a nightmare again. My hands and feet had been pierced by fishhooks, the wire strings they were attatched to going all the way up to the high ceiling's shadows. My limbs were pulled taut, the sharp hooks embedded in them scratching and bloodying my hands and feet.
"It's not fair," a voice who's owner I couldn't see called out from the darkness of the room. "I shouldn't have died," the voice continued, fear and unbearable pain shoting down my spine.
The person who owned the voice stepped out of the darkness of the room's edges and my eyes widened in fear.
"You shouldn't have lived," Kole, Fai's right-hand man in the rebel organization, murmured. The wire strings pulled themselves tighter.
Kole looked up at me, his blind gray eyes enraged. "You shouldn't have taken my life from me!"
Kole screeched as he raised a sword that seemed to come out of nowhere, planning to cut me in half. I looked away, gasping in pain as I moved my hands a little, the hooks in my hands flooding me in agony. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could, bracing myself for pain that I probably wouldn't be able to endure.
The pain never came.
I opened my eyes, my heart beating wildly in my chest. I saw the thick iron bars of the cell and saw that a certain golden retriever puppy had caught his head between the bars.
"Aww Edac, come on, you've got to stop that," Fai got up from where he was sleeping against the wall, and, yawning, helped the poor dog free. "There," the redhead yawned again, "that's better."
I didn't tell Fai about my nightmare.
A plan for escape eluded our grasp, as this dungeon was probably the most well-guarded one we had ever seen. Of course, this was the dungeon that was underneath Cerin's castle. the tyrant wouldn't have anything less than a soul-crushing prison.
"I say we try digging through the floor with spoons we stole from the dinner plates they give us," Fai mentioned. I put my hand to my face, sighing.
I got up (my scars had healed over; I heal quickly) and smacked the redhead on the head. "That'll take too long," I said. I rubbed my temples, the beginning of a headache forming in my skull. "How about we--"
I was cut off as a guard unlocked our cell door, and his next words sent icy fear down my back.
"Mr. Cade Dolan, Mr. Fai Aiken, you have been sentenced to death for the crime of committing treason against Emperor Cerin of Kyran."