"What the hell are you doing!" I pulled at the handcuffs, shocked. I almost swung on the man, but two others had grabbed hold of me as well. I thought about using magic, but I wasn't certain I could get free. Besides, I had been parsing the power out a little bit all through the battle, I realized. "What is going on?" I demanded.
They had rifles aimed at me, and I saw far too many nervous faces. No, this was not the time to try magic.
"We have orders to arrest anyone who has magic," a man said, coming closer. He didn't wear a uniform, but I had the impression of someone who was in charge. "Others will deal with you."
I tried to look around. I saw Davis in handcuffs as well, but there were too many other people in the way. Where was Maggie? Was she alright? A roar from Lord Snow worried me -- but I didn't hear any shots, so I had to hope.
They escorted me to a metal box on the back of a truck. The box was barely four feet long and maybe five feet tall. I barely had time to look inside and see a chair -- no, a toilet -- and a water jug with a cup attached. They shoved me in. The door snapped shut. A small grill at the top meant that I would have fresh air, but I was not happy.
Did I hear other doors slamming shut?
I tried to call out to the others, but the truck had started and it was loud enough that they probably didn't hear me.
Maybe the others -- except for Davis -- had gotten away.
The truck gave a sudden lurch and I fell against the wall, bruising my shoulder. I couldn't see anything except for the light at the top of the box. Cage. They had caged me like some dangerous animal.
Why had I trusted the humans?
Those soldiers had seen what help they had been against the real enemy, but none of them had said anything in our defense. They were fools to let others take us away now because they had a lot more than just were- creatures wandering in the woods. Darman and Potilia had to be very pleased by now. Fools everywhere. This was not going to go well for them.
I yanked at the handcuffs and cursed. I could probably get out of them, but maybe it would be wiser to wait and see where we went and if I would need more magic? Should he make himself look helpless? Was he not helpless?
I sat through the day thinking about his friends. I worried about Maggie who had been injured. And what about Edmond? Was he out there alone in the woods? Would he know enough not to try and attack their enemies without help?
How far were we going to go? The sun was going down. We had already traveled so far that panic suddenly took hold of me and I found myself reaching for the cage door open, magic coming --
An electric shock bounced me away from the door. I hit my head on the wall and slid down with a moan, twitching slightly.
The grate above my head grew dark. Night had come. We stopped once for gas, but there was noise everywhere and no one heard me yell for help. Or maybe they knew what I was; a thing of magic, dangerous and not human.
We went on again. I went to sleep. There was nothing more I could do, except to grow enraged and probably do something stupid. Just rest. The next day I sipped water, studied the handcuffs some more, and tried to list all the things that had happened to me since the day I shot Tommy Creston. I couldn't get it clear in my head, but that might have been mostly because I was starting to feel weak and feverish. Or maybe not. I'd been through a hellish lot recently. I'd survived worse than being locked in a box for a while.
I slept again.
We were colder for a while. The truck labored up an incline and I had to brace myself sideways to keep from slipping up against the electrified door. It got very, very cold and I heard the wind howling past us like something alive. I thought I felt magic in the air then, but it was probably just the fever again.
Downward, upward, downward. I had no feel for where we were, expect the mountains probably meant the Rockies.
Down, down, down. I slept. I couldn't be certain of the days now. I was far from home -- ah, but I had gone much further of late, hadn't I? Different worlds, different realms. This was annoying, but I wouldn't despair.
It got warmer. Much warmer.
The truck stopped, the roar of the engine going silent and the constant shakes and rattles at an end. I heard something else mechanical and in a moment the box was lifted from the truck and settled, not very gently, on the ground. I thought I could hear voices, but I barely had time to take it all in before the door opened to blinding light. Someone grabbed my arm, released the handcuffs, and yanked me out. A hose washed me down and then the people just walked away.
I was on dirt. No, it was more sand than anything. The truck was already leaving, and as my eyes adjusted, I realized there were a few other people milling about not far away. What --
Then I saw the fences, the barb wire strung in lines across the top. Towers stood every few yards and in those towers were people with rifles pointed at me. At us. Beyond the fence stretched miles of desert.
They had put me in a concentration camp and I wasn't alone here, even though I didn't see any of my friends.
To Be Continued