"Ohhhhhh...nooooo..." Zac... Could... Not... Move. Every time he did, his entire body felt like some one was pushing burning hot pokers onto anything and everything. Concentrating, he opened his eyes to see where he was, foolishly rolling over onto his back.
Tears sprang to his eyes when he started to turn over, but they spilled over the edge as soon as his bare back touched the rough bedding.
"Help me! Some..some body!! Pleaaase." Zac started sobbing helplessly, laying in bed hoping some one could help him to his stomach. With that thought in mind, he forced himself to stop crying and concentrate on rolling over gently, which he succeeded in doing, despite his pain. He had to smile at his accomplishment. His joy was short lived however, the door to the slave quarters opened, revealing a large figure in the doorway.
"Please, don't..don't touch me! I'm sorry, I won't..."
"Zac, shhhhh. It is alright. I am here for you now. Do not worry."
Zac moaned and held his arms out to Nilot, his sarogate mother-figure since he was first brought here. His childish action of reaching out to Nilot struck a chord in her, reminding her of her young child on her home planet, rushing her to Zac's side.
"Tell me what happened. Who hurt you my love?"
"Tyto.he.he lashed me because I spilled some raqua. It didn't spill on anyone. He didn't need to whip me!" Zac's bravery flew straight out the door as he relived the fear-filled moments in his mind and he started crying.
"Nilot! He didn't have a friggin reason to beat me this time!"
Frowning, Nilot left the room to get some first aid and bandages for the welts along Zac's tender back. She sighed as she tore through her belongings, which were few, and found her ancient first aid bag. Walking back to her 'child', she bent over to examine his back, meanwhile Zac had fallen asleep. Gentle probing brought a sharp yelp from the now awake boy.
"OHHH, quit, please! Get off!" Zac's face started turning dark red in anger as Nilot ignored his pleading, and soon started to layer his back with indestructible bandages all along the welts. Quickly, his complaining stopped and he started moaning with relief as the pain lessened.
"Now my young Zac, tell me what happened."
"I was thinking about how dumb it was for the aliens to steal us from Earth. I got mad so I threw my rag down and knocked over the raqua . Just like that. I didn't hurt anyone and I was about to clean it up when Tyto screamed at me to get to the wash room and wait for him. I got in there and foun...waited for him to come and lash me. I had my shirt off and he threw me against a wall and started lashing me."
Zac wouldn't meet her eyes because he knew she would disapprove if she knew he wanted to run away.
"What was found young Zac? Do not hide things from this old one." A firm finger in his face was accompanied with the reprimand.
"You are so not old! How could you even say that?" Zac tried to veer Nilot off subject. Luckily it worked for the time being.
"*sighs* I am very old I am afraid young Zac. I do not know if I can protect you for much longer. I am sorry."
"No, NO! You're okay. Don't worry. You aren't old!"
Panic stricken, Zac tried to reassure himself that she would be all right. Tears created small streams down his cheeks when the realization struck him. She was right, her people could tell when they're time alive wasn't going to come. She wouldn't be able to keep him safe. He had no choice... he would runaway soon.
"Do not have fear my child, be very careful around Tyto, he looks for any small detail of bad behavior to beat his slaves. Once I am gone I will no longer be able to save you a beating. Promise me you will behave. Do not give him a reason to hit you. Zac? Zac!?"
"Huh! What?" "Oops...listening helps smart guy! Dang!" "Sorry, I missed that last part." Zac stated smiling innocently.
"Do not run away again, you must not! Promise me now!" Nilot started to get enraged that her normally smart 'child' wouldn't listen to her.
"I...I can't. I'm gonna wait for awhile to see how he deals with me. I can't promise anything after that."
Zac looked up to his 'mother' with tear filled eyes, praying to himself that she'd understand. She of all beings should understand why he so desperately wanted to get away. Tyto hated him. What had Zac ever done to him? Nothing, except for being defiant, but how bad was that? He had no right anyway.
Disappointment was easy to read on Nilot's wrinkled old face, but she chose to say nothing but...
"Tyto told me to come into the slave quarters only to tell you that you are going to the slave convention." With that said, she stiffly got up, threw a look over her shoulder at her 'son', and walked out of the room.
"I'm sorry Nilot." Zac whispered, fear plastered on his face.
"Wait..what the heck is a slave convention!!?"
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