To start the month off, we have a fresh new update for Ozymandias. Though they’ve escaped the feeders (for now), Adrianna and Harper are still trapped on an inhospitable wasteland, hundreds of kilometers from civilization and are now in an even worse position than they were after surviving a shuttle crash. Today is not either woman’s day. Tomorrow is not looking good, either… mostly because there might not be a tomorrow for either of them.
Luck has been on their side so far, but they’ll need more than luck to make it through the night. At least, for the moment, the sub-zero temperatures aren’t a concern, but what they’ll find down beneath the roots of this alien world could change the face of the galaxy…
…if they survive.
Below is a snippet from the linked chapter; Harper and Adrianna have a bit of a breather to try and recover. Neither woman is in the best condition, and every moment’s recuperation is a victory. For Harper, it brings her one step closer to turning the tables on her captor…
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The women made it to a small engineering level, populated by empty mining suits and lifeless worker drones. This part of the facility had still been under construction when the Baheil died and much of it was unfinished. Ten thousand years ago, alien souls had gathered here as they carved their way through solid rock, warmed by the heat oozing up from a volcano that had been sleeping even longer than that. “Where do you think this is headed?” Harper asked, trying to get some answers out of her captor. They’d had to stop for another break, their fourth so far. “You have to have more than a theory by now.”
“And you don’t intend to share it, do you?”
“I can tell you this, agent. We’ve gone where no one has gone before. None of the research my people acquired even suggested a facility within the Stone Eye. There’s nothing in the region around it; as far as the authorities are concerned, this is all dead space. Judging by the size of that air tunnel, whatever is down here is huge. I think… I think this… well,” she cut herself off. “We’ll see.”
Harper ran her lips over her tongue, accepting a bottle of water from Leblanc. She took a few measured swallows. They’d have to ration the water even more than the food. “You’re excited,” she observed. It was slipping into her voice. Whatever was down here had captured the Red Queen’s attention. That might be Harper’s opening, if the other woman got sufficiently distracted by this place, if she let her guard down just enough…
…and if I didn’t feel like I’d been run over by an IFV. Harper was careful to keep her lips pursed. The concussion was still affecting her, and she’d let slip another random thought earlier.
“I might be if I wasn’t a prisoner, being hunted by Triarchs-know-what in the dark.”
Leblanc snorted. “I promise you, agent Catros, the Triarchs have no idea what is happening on this planet.”
“Are you going to pick at every figure of speech I make?”
Harper handed the water back. “We should have just shot you.”
“That’s what you get for wanting a show trial.”
“A fair trial. Just because you’re guilty of more than we’ll probably ever know doesn’t mean you don’t deserve that.”
“Four thousand years ago on Earth, there was a nation called the Roman Empire. After they defeated one of their foes, they’d bring their bodies back to the capital to parade in front of the citizens. It was called a triumph. You may have wanted a fair trial, Agent Catros. Your superiors wanted a triumph.”