by David Anderson
The rock smashed against Rodger’s face with a sickening smack as the mob continued to hurl stones at him, and the Chenku Class Vessel Captain lurched forward, almost passing out from pain as a dirt clod burst on his back, obviously being mistaken for a rock by one of the villagers. A soldier of Gomorrah stepped forward, picking the captain up by the arm and dragging him away to the quarters of the head city guard. The implant in Rodger’s inner ear automatically translated any speech to English, allowing him to understand the words of his captors.
“From what province or land do you come, stranger?” said a large tan man in a robe and armored sandals. He aimed the point of a sword at Rodger’s head, indicating that he wanted a response. Unfortunately, the translator didn’t work both ways, and he didn’t know how to talk back to them, a problem that was usually avoided by not talking to the locals on these types of expeditions. It was always observance-only on these safaris, as mandated by legislation back home. Nothing that could potentially alter the timeline was allowed.
“Perhaps you wish to suffer the same fate as your friend?” the head guard asked as he repeated his inquiries. Rodger wanted to answer, but he couldn’t. He spoke in English to the man, but it only confused matters.
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