Rise Of The Godking 27 Arriving/
Rise Of The Godking 27 Arriving
Daneel blinked at Reese, still digesting what the old healer had just said.He watched as the man rushed to a different cupboard nearby, one he had not opened until now to heal Daneel's wounds. Inside lay only a few small bottles, their contents gleaming even in the darkness of the pit.He took out one of them and made just a drop fall on his palm, before forcing it in front of Daneel's nose.He breathed in inadvertently, and right away, a wave of drowsiness swept over his mind.His eyes opened and closed like someone just woken up from a deep sleep, and his lips opened and parted, yet no words came out."The way will be treacherous. You need this. Just sleep… and you'll wake up at your destination. Just remember one thing: you departed a day ago. All the preparations have already been made.""Mm…meat…"Daneel's childlike mumbles were met by a small smile from Reese."Yes, meat… I reckon if you're lucky, you'll find some there, but that's up to the person you're going to. He can be… difficult. Good luck. I'll be waiting to see what you do."And that was the last thing he heard. As if silence somehow had the power to amplify the strength of the drug he had breathed in, drowsiness overpowered him and send him into a snoring slumber.He only remembered bits and pieces, after that. He knew, vaguely, that he was being jostled a lot, but there was nothing he could do about it except swat it aside like a fly and continue his dream where he was the one sitting on the gigantic chair in the dwarf city, while all the dwarves were singing him a lullaby. Mostly, he had a pleasant time, but once, he thought he saw a glimpse of a cart filled with feces, and a whiff of an incredibly horrible smell reached his nose. Thankfully, the drug was still powerful enough to keep him under, so when the image disappeared, Daneel put it out of his mind. He could also have sworn that a bag was put over his head, but in his world, he was free, free as anyone could be so he really didn't care.After what felt like a long, long time, he woke up reluctantly, as he was loath to leave the wonderful world he had drowned in until then. Only… reality was oddly insistent, so he departed and arrived back in his body, and back to a lot of new details that were so surprising that he blinked groggily and looked around, wondering whether this was a dream within a dream.There was light, blazing light coming through the window right in front of him. The room he was in was small, with a mattress he was lying on that was comfortable. He was wearing a clean, black tunic with a red sash around his waist, and there was a small nick on his chin which was now smooth.All of the sources of pain that had been with him before he was drugged were still there, and there were also new ones that were not as intense, but still prominent. His back hurt the most, mainly. It felt as if he had been hunched over for years, resulting in just the simple act of getting up becoming a ch.o.r.e.
He got to his feet and stretched his arms. His bones clicked and popped as if they hadn't been moved in a long time, and despite the pain, it felt great.Spotting a small mirror nearby, he went to it to look at himself… and gasped, as he saw an almost alien face looking back at him.He had only seen this face once before, in that pail of water when he had arrived in this body. This was the second time, and unlike then, where his head had been matted with mud and his face filled with grime, a clean man was visible in the mirror, his hair combed back neatly as if he was a student getting ready to go to school."Ah, you're awake! Come, enforcer, you can ask him yourself, if you wish. I'm still teaching him what he needs to do, but he looks like a quick learner… its to be expected, of course, from someone who got an education on the surface."A wizened voice reached him from the only door in the room. It slowly opened, and for an instant, Daneel panicked, wondering whether he should hide.Then, suddenly, the words Reese had whispered before he had been sent into that slumber returned to him. His mind working quickly, he folded his hands behind his back and stood there confidently, as if he was not the man who had just killed a slave and fled from the Pit.A hunched-over old man with not a wisp of hair on his head appeared first. In the brief instant where the one he was with hadn't stepped in, yet, he shot Daneel a warning look and then turned around graciously.He was followed by a middle-aged woman with hard features. Her face seemed to be set into a perpetual scowl, and her clothes were familiar: they were those of the enforcers of the Pit. This was the first time he was seeing them clearly, without the gloom of the Pit to obscure their features, but those white rags that were not much better than what the slaves wore were unmistakable.Daneel kept his face steady. It was somehow already… easier to do so in a situation like this. He knew that if this was happening to him a few days before, he would have made a fool of himself… but he had grown in such a short amount of time, and it showed.The old man was dressed well, although nowhere near as well as the members of his former family. He wore an old, baggy suit that had obviously been worn so many times that it's original color had faded quite a bit, but it had been taken care of well, with no holes to be seen anywhere. His skin was extremely wrinkled, his mouth almost toothless, but his eyes were steady and calculating, with far more presence and strength than one would expect from someone so old.The enforcer grunted, and looked Daneel up and down."You've been here for a day? Then you should have no problem telling me the biggest landmark of the Refinery."The old man's eyes widened ever so slightly. Yet, Daneel's mind was a clear pool that seemed like it couldn't be disturbed, so an answer came to him quickly, as if this was a test he had studied for before."No, enforcer, I'm afraid that I cannot. I've been holed up here, studying what I should do, so I've had no time for sightseeing."He was almost satisfied with himself… but the next question stumped him."Oh? And what is this job that you are here for, anyway?"He felt dread creeping around the corner of his mind, threatening to arrive and make it go blank… but he clung onto his newly-found serenity, knowing that it was his only salvation.There was also a table in the room, with a book on top of it. He hadn't had the time to see it… but didn't he have a friend?'System, what does the book say?'[Responding to host. t.i.tle of the book: Register of Refinery Input and Output. There is also a piece of parchment beside the book on which sets of numbers have been added and subtracted.]The answer became obvious in only a moment, and he blurted it out just as the enforcer began to squint suspiciously."To help with the bookkeeping of the Refinery!"The enforcer raised one eyebrow and held his gaze, as if intending to break him, but he just looked back innocently. Finally, she humphed and turned around."Everything looks in order, here. It is a small matter of a dead slave… but she had connections, and there are some who want the murder to be solved. I don't usually fraternize with the enforcers down below, but this was a request from someone I knew very well. Apologies for the intrusion, Mr. Accountant. I'll be on my way, now. You don't need to see me out."Throwing the last line back over her shoulder, the woman departed, and the old man humbly kept looking in her direction until a door closed, far away.Then… he rounded on Daneel with a red face, his eyes almost popping out of their sockets and his mouth spewing spittle as he exclaimed, "That was close, too close for comfort! If you had already seen the book and paper, why did you pause? You almost gave this old man a heart attack, d.a.m.n you! I swear, if it weren't for the fact that I'm still proud of my two sons despite them being slaves… I wouldn't have taken this sort of pressure on myself, no, sir! Now, come with me! You better see that landmark before someone else comes asking…"Daneel paused, working out what the man had said. When he realized that this was Reese and Sebastian's father, his eyebrows rose, as Reese had looked like an old man, himself.'Well… the Pit does age people a lot, prematurely.'With this thought, he strode forward, curiosity arriving again as he wanted to see where he had come.They were in a moderately sized house, with two more bedrooms present around the hall and kitchen. Shambling to the front door, the old man opened it and stepped out, and after Daneel followed him… his jaw dropped, and he froze.There was a road in front of him with other houses nearby, but his eyes had latched onto a building that rose in the distance. They were definitely underground, but the entire place was brightly lit as if they were on the surface… due to the artificial sun that floated above this large structure. It was a lonely tower made of dark stone that dwarfed everything else around it, and as Daneel took it all in, he heard the old man mumble beside him."Welcome to the Refinery. What you're seeing is the flame that melts crystals. No one knows who made it… but it's beautiful. Enjoy it, young man, because it is probably the only thing of beauty you're going to see around here. Now, then, time for a tour!"