Tweet of the Day: Hugo’s Postmortem: 2015 Edition
“Group Captain Rodan Quintus, Batarian Expeditionary Force,” said Rodan.
The man kept the cold barrel of his gun pressed against the base of Rodan’s skull, “Gun.” Rodan slowly removed his machine pistol from its holster and handed it back. “Move,” said the other in a thick bass voice.
His captor led him through a maze of service tunnels, subbasements, and corridors that ran under the city. Rodan spotted signs of fighting, pockmarked walls, scorch marks, and collapsed entrances. The rumbling in his stomach turned into a dull, persistent ache, a reminder of the void within. Their journey ended in an empty room illuminated by a single neon strip light that hanged from the ceiling.
His guard shoved Rodan into the room, “Get in.”
He caught a glimpse of his captor. Four hallow angry eyes with deep dark bags under each stared back at him. Before he could speak his batarian captor slammed the metal door millimeters from his nose. Rodan surveyed the room. The bare concrete cube lacked any furnishing aside from the light fixture. He selected a corner opposite the door and sat down to wait. The harsh light eroded his sense of time. He tried to bring his omni-tool back to life but it rebooted then refused to restart. Sometime later someone shook his shoulder.
“Get up,” said the voice.
Rodan bleary eyes opened. He wasn’t alone. A batarian in heavy armor pulled him off from the floor and sat him down in a chair. Across a folding metal table sat another batarian, his face cloaked in the darkness beyond the reach of the harsh light from above. The sharp stabs of a headache radiated from the back of his skull to the front in painful spikes. Rodan blinked three times fast to clear the spots from his eyes.
“Who are you?”
Rodan’s tongue stuck to the bottom of his mouth, “Water.”
“Water, I need water,” said Rodan. Someone produced a bottle somewhere to his left. He gulped down the contents. A wave of cool pleasure ran down his mouth and throat but when the liquid reached his stomach it felt like a punch in the gut.
“Who are you?” repeated the man across from him.
“Group Captain Rodan Quintus, First Aerospace Wing, Batarian Expeditionary Force,” said Rodan.
“And what are you doing here?”
“I was shot down, four, maybe five days ago by an Oculi, big round eye thing that shoots red beams….”
“I know what an Oculi is. Why are you here?”
“Came looking for shelter, maybe a way to communicate with the BEF. Found…found a corpse instead.”
“Still doesn’t tell me what are you doing here?”
“Here, well you brought me here so…here I am.”
Rodan saw movement in the corner of his eye. His interrogator raised a hand.
“Mr. Quintus, what is a turian doing on this planet?”
“Oh, well I got hired to…,” he took a shallow breath, “to train and lead…to train and lead the BEF’s fighter force.”
“So you’re mercenary?”
“So this force is a mercenary force?”
“No, not really. The Batarian Assembly hired, ermm…consultants. Putting together an army to take back an entire planet from Reaper forces takes a certain set of skills.”
“Do you have any proof of what your saying?”
“My omni-tool is busted but you must have seen them, right? The Oculi, the Harvesters. We been fighting off their constant attacks for the past month. One of them shut me down. And you know, here I am.” Somebody grabbed his wrist, “Hey.”
“It will only take a minute,” said the interrogator.
They scanned his damaged omni-tool and let go of his wrist. The batarian guard pulled him away from the chair while the others left with the other pieces of furniture. The sunken eyes batarian then closed the door behind him. Rodan crawled to the same corner of the room the guards found him in. Later he woke to the sound of a heated argument on the other side of the door.
“He is severely malnurished.”
“Can you do something about it?”
“Of course not, he can’t eat our food. If we don’t get him back to his people he will die.”
“We are still checking out the data we took from his omni-tool.”
“Then you better hurry.”
Again, sometime later for Rodan had no idea how much time had passed or even how he sat at the same chair across the same table interrogated by the same person.
“Why are you here?”
“I told you, I was hired to-”
“What is the BEF mission on Khar’shan?”
“To liberate the planet…A Free World for a Free People,” Rodan said.
“Can you do it?”
Rodan smacked his lips, “We are doing it now.”
“And then what?”
“I don’t know, I’m not batarian, not up to me. But I figured if…if you can get me in contact with my people they can help you out. I mean how long have you stuck down here? But I’m no use to you stuck down here.”
“We shall see.”
Rodan returned to his corner. A swaying motion woke him. Something stuck out of his arm. He was too weak to move. Then a familiar face hovered over him. Gold flecks swam in a deep blue sea.
“You’re going home Rodan, you are going home.”