About The Laws of Space
The Laws of Space
Chapter Nine Continues
“Hey,” Webb called, running up beside his companion. Merchant followed and the girl trailed him in turn. “I didn’t mean to get riled up like that.”
“No, it’s okay. You made a great point. Sometimes you’re too smart for me, I think.”
“Yeah right. Don’t play with a simple L2’s emotions.”
“L2, L9, L5. The more time I spend down here, the less significant those numbers seem. One thing, though. You said you couldn’t get a sense of a man or woman…”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember.”
“Maybe when I look around places like these, I’m just reading epitaphs.”
Webb laughed. “Bastard. You always finish with a good one. I’d embrace you if it wasn’t weird and also life threatening.” Alder flashed a straight-toothed smile back at his companion, happy in the moment.
“Guys. We better get back soon. Tomorrow’s a work day.” It was Lerner, culling them out of their exchange.
Soon they started back to the Doms. It was late and they were a long way from home. Lerner mentioned that he’d never been so close to the border before. None of them had. They increased their speed to get back in time for curfew when Webb stopped. “You notice something?”
“The girl. She’s gone. Must be the first time in days she’s left us alone.”
“Maybe she went ahead,” Lerner said, doing his best.
“I think we would’ve seen her backside sprinting away from us, you knucklehead.”
“She’ll be fine, I think, but we better keep moving. Around that corner to the right and then it’s a straight shot back to the Doms.”
They sped up again, but only briefly. Making the turn, they were met by five men standing in their path. They were big like Alder, and none of them seemed to be in a hurry. Webb couldn’t define them except to say Trouble.
Before they could turn from danger, all three were being grabbed from behind. In their conscious lives they’d never once been handled. The sensation was insuperable—they were pitiable children in the grips of their captors. Some attempt to fight was made but they had the coordination of desert dwellers coping with ocean breakers. Why weren’t the villains getting vaporized? This was a serious problem.
“You’re coming with us.” It was a female voice—that was all Alder could make out. Bags were put on their heads and they were thrown into some sort of cart. The three men were buffeted against the walls of the machine as it began to move. Fear gripped them the same; it was all too much. Bound at the wrists, heads covered, chained to the cart floor, they bounced to the rhythm of the broken street.
“Tate, you there?” It was Travers muffled voice calling from beneath the bag.
“Yeah. I uh—”
Before he could finish his companion cut him off, screaming. “I knew this strolling bullshit was going to catch up with me!”