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TitleThe Asylum - a short story
UserEthna
RankingRunner-Up
Post Date (Visible)April 2021
Content

"We're stuck."

The initial thought plagued the mugwump's mind like fleas on an aslaran - you knew they were there, yet they drove you crazy. How were you supposed to remove something so minuscule and bothersome to find that relief? You couldn't.

"There's no escape," the mugwump's thoughts rang out unbidden from his lips and that earned him a stare or two from his fellow prison mates. And that's what they were, too. They were driven insane and stuck within this institution run by the i'Xiia family of Magnagora. A family of scientists who claimed they could cure them of the insanity running through their skulls.

Was that all a lie, too? It had to be.

Adventurers came through here a lot. They would talk to others amongst the rabble that hid behind the automatic doors - doors that he could not open. They knocked and were simply let in. Was it programmed against them? Probably.

But he could hear them talking. He could hear the screams of the wardens and knew those who entered the asylum were attempting to help them or - and this was rare,- he'd hear the screams of his own blood and kin as they were slain and put out of this mortal coil.

Sure, death was the next adventure and in some cases, he would not see the same individuals, but.. there was no escape, not even in death. Every time he would breathe his final breath, he would awaken in the same spot - cursed to forever toil in the unsanitary conditions.

A giggle escaped him. He couldn't help it - it happened sometimes. And then, there it was.

Footsteps.

There was a bulking figure heading towards him - one wrapped in a tabard and looked like a ... he couldn't claim a kephera. Kephera were insectoid, yes, but this man looked like an oversized beetle. A.. stag beetle? He hadn't seen one of those in a long time and he wasn't sure what this man was.

"Ah, finally." The bug man said, shaking his head as he looked at the mugwump with disdain. "You've been eluding me."

Then the cold feeling of chains enclosed his wrists and he was trapped, more-so than he was before and he knew what was coming. He was to become another pawn in Alakar's experiments and.. could he do something about it? Most likely not, no.

The mugwump tried to ask but nothing came out except for a few garbled screeches and illegible words. He had been here for years and not talking for that long had done something to his sense of speech. No wonder the wardens would stare at him with absolute disdain when he tried to speak.

"Staff."

The mugwump flinched at the spoken words and the way the doors of the elevator slid shut. That was another obstacle that would persist should he wish for freedom - the damned elevator. He could not speak actual words if he wanted so how would voice-activated lift even move him to the lobby? It couldn't possibly be done.

He tugged at the chains holding him to the stag beetle kephera, the bulky man taking up most of the area in the lift and that only earned him a slap to the face with a jagged elbow. Was that on accident or on purpose? It was hard to tell in such a cramped space and he was more inclined to believe the latter - Nil, the wardens would enjoy a chance to inflict pain upon them.

Quickly they moved through the halls to a brightened section of the third basement level and it was horror that the insane mugwump would see a doctor covered in blood, and another, and another. There was only one and this one was holding some sort of device. He couldn't quite tell from the way light hit the man, but he was sure it was sparking - not fire sparking, but those electrical currents similar to the ones coursing through the puddle of where he inhabited.

"No," the word came out as a garbled scream again and the doctor just laughed.

"Excellent work, kephera," so it was a kephera. Maybe he was twisted by the taint and hailed from Magnagora. It would explain why this was happening after so long of just being put to sleep. "I will have my report ready for you as soon as..." Was that a smile?

The kephera merely waved his hand and waited.

"Ah, let's see," the doctor crooned, leading the chained mugwump to the bloodstained table in the center of the room. "Easy does it," and with that he was on the table.

Everything that transpired after was a blur - nothing more than a faded memory. The last thing he felt was the intense pain from the electrical device the doctor held and everything faded to black. He was reliving memories, walking through a hall that held tapestries of his own life achievements. And while he was moving through this ephemeral place, he only had one thought.

"I will have my revenge."

But... Would he?