Sudenjah took in his reflection, framed within the portal of his cell. His orange eyes with slitted pupils studied his features carefully, ignoring the stars as they trailed past. Eddies showed at random in the fabric of space, a phenomena common this particular galaxy and often referred to as worm-holes. Pulling his lips back, he worked his mouth, annoyed that his inch long fangs were beginning to discolour, but at least the guards allowed him to have a brush. Like all Efelverons, his grey, hairsuite face was only interrupted with his pointed ears and openly flared nostrils.
“How much longer is this going to take,” complained Jiopin.
The image of his cell mate suddenly blotted out the swirl. Sudenjah had manipulated the guards into placing him in the same cell, although he found his company boorish, but foresaw Jiopin as coming in useful.
His eyes shifted to the left to take in the reflection of the guard passing in the corridor.
“We’re still weeks away from the prison planets,” he said in a soft but gravely voice. “But then that is to be expected. It wouldn’t do to have criminals too near the civilized planets. Also, in this sector, one must navigate very carefully so as not to enter one of those,” he said, pointing a taloned finger at one of the spirals. “Enter one and there is no telling where you will re-emerge, or even when.”
“Wormholes,” Jiopin grunted disgustedly.
Sudenjah smirked at his ignorance.
“Incorrect my learned friend, they are Trilaterates.”
“Ohhh; well what are trilaterates,” Jiopin sneered angrily.
“They are a natural conveyance with three points of entry. When first you enter one, it will collapse behind you, then where or when you re-emerge is uncertain. It will then collapse again behind you again. It then becomes a two point conveyance, but only one door.”
“What do you mean,” demanded Jiopin.
“When the door closes again, it reopens in exactly the same position a hundred years later, allowing either a person or object from the future to go back in time.”
“Ohhh,” said Jiopin sarcastically as the image of the guard passed in the glass again.
“I would suggest that you read one of my books to pass the time. Added to your incessant swearing, you may even raise your vocabulary to four words,” said Sudenjah.
“You white collared crims,” shouted Jiopin, making Sudenjah’s lip curl into the faintest of smiles. “You think you’re so superior to us common thugs!”
“Yes,” Sudenjah said, not turning from the portal.
The predicted taloned fist of his cell mate collided with his cheek. He half rolled with the blow, dropping onto his bunk with his hands covering his face. Blow after blow rained on his head; pain rippling through his entire being.”
“Help; get him off me,” shrieked Sudenjah.
The tromping of feet announced the guard at the cell door. His hand slapped down on the scanner as Sudenjah continued to be assaulted. A high pitched suspended beep sounded and the door slid open. The guard sprang through the door and fired his laser-rifle into Jiopin, making the huge Efelveron silently roll to the floor.
Sudenjah groaned loudly, dangling his arm over the side of his bunk and feeling the coolness of one of the supporting struts.
The guard slung his rifle, leaning over him to inspect his injuries.
“Are you alright,” he asked gruffly.
Sudenjah’s battered face split into an evil grin.
“I am better off than you,” he said, tearing the support strut free and swatting the guard into unconsciousness.
He quickly dressed in the guard’s uniform, took up his rifle and flicked the safety catch off the stun setting, before stirring Jiopin. The big Efelveron blinked open his bleary eyes, obviously surprised that he wore a guard’s attire.
“You mean you did all this on purpose,” he asked incredulously.
“Yes,” Sudenjah said simply, “I was merely acting.”
The time to motivate the big Efelveron was now, but he had no time to convince him with winsome words. Sudebjah pressed the muzzle of his rifle under his chin, and slowly clicked the intensity switch all the way to full power.
“I am in charge now,” he whispered.
“Ohh,” said Jiopin fearfully.
“We have five hundred prisoners on this ship; use the guard to unlock all the cells. Carry him if you must,” he said promptly, leaving the cell, assured that Jiopin would do as he was told.
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