Chapter 22 - How it all Began

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Date and time unknown - The sound of wind droning through tunnels was the first thing Jason realised as he started to regain consciousness after his encounter with the Vorporin. He could smell the damp around wherever it was he was laying, but the lack of growls or snarls implied that he was not in immediate danger.

Opening his eyes for the first time his vision was blurred and everything around him appeared to be of various shades of greys merging together. It was reasonably dark but there were spots of artificial light which made him assume he was no longer outside. Had they managed to have been rescued?

Blinking rapidly seemed to help his vision eventually clear and it showed the rocky structure he was now prostrate within. As the rock structure towered around him, Jason assumed that they had now moved to a cave.

He tried to turn to look around at his surroundings but his body screamed in agony. His shoulder was especially painful which immediately brought back memories of it being pierced by the second Vorporin.

His whole body burned intensely on every slight movement like his blood was on fire. Looking directly towards the ceiling seemed to be his only comfortable option.

With a grunt, he resigned himself to his current state not knowing for how long he would be like this.

"You strong Jason Scharn." a deep broken voice could be heard from his side.

The realisation that he was not alone was somewhat daunting. Just a few feet away was his sworn enemy, sitting and staring aimlessly towards the cave exit. Jason could not move, he was at the complete mercy of the Ceti.

"How did we survive?" Jason asked knowing that Voshtek K'Or had every opportunity to be hostile towards him and chose not to.

"With great difficulty!" a small chuckle seemed to form after his comment. Jason couldn't help but slightly admire his adversary.

Warnings started to appear on Jason's HUD. Toxicity levels in his bloodstream were dangerously high, likely from the venom of the Vorporin. It would explain why he could not move from his current location. The positive note was the suit he was wearing was counteracting the venom so the worst of it had likely passed. It still didn't show how long he would be like this.

"Where are we?" he asked.

There was a quiet sigh from the Ceti's direction. "Unknown. Unable to find landmarks for identification." Voshtek responded.

Jason could hear the exasperation in his voice. They were both lost in a very untamed part of the planet. Unless their respective parties chose to rescue them, it would simply be a matter of time before they would both succumb to death.

"I believe I owe you my life?" Jason commented, more in awe than resentment.

A small chuckle could be heard. "Not necessary Jason Scharn. You man of honour, I see. You would do same."

Jason thought to himself. If he had to fight off three Vorporin to save this Ceti would he do it? Would he just run or would he do what he could to protect his enemy? "How can you tell?"

"Voshtek K'Or, Judicator. Trained soldiers for two hundred and seventy-six cycles. Soldiers come and go, signs of honour and dignity stay."

"Humans may be different to Ceti's when it comes to matters of honour." Jason commented.

"Jason Scharn speaks true, and also speaks false. Races are different, honour is same."

Despite his broken Terran language, his words made sense.

"Two hundred and seventy-six cycles, I wish I knew how long that was." Jason smiled.

There was a brief silence "Three hundred and twelve earth years."

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