I saw Celeste running past me shortly after, looking panicked.

"Sher! Sher, we have a problem!"

"Check the third frequency!" Celeste demanded to the unheard reply.

After a few seconds she spoke again, sounding much more composed.

"If you're sure. No, I know you can fix it. I believe in you."

She touched her comm. device, presumably changing signals.

"Mercy, Uriel, Maidie get to the zip lines. Tell any civs you see to keep their heads down. What? It'll only take a few seconds, do it on your way out. Actually, I'll do it, I'm already in the sector."

Celeste turned, ran towards me and gestured to the ground.

"Get on your knees, Mr. Smith, your execution's been moved up the schedule."

I started to protest but Mercy appeared out of nowhere and forced me to kneel.

The muzzle of a weapon pressed into the nape of my neck shortly after and I braced myself for the pain.

None came.

"Is there something wrong with this?" Celeste asked, holding up the device.

"No." Mercy replied, a strange tone to her voice, "There's something wrong with him."

"You don't mean...Jesus."

"We can't leave him in a village of civs, and Sher would get pissed if we made things messy."

"Tranq him, put him in a pressure bag and drag him along then," Celeste said hurriedly, "I'll wait for you at the lines."

She kissed Mercy roughly before running off, her ponytail bouncing each time her feet lifted off the ground.

I felt a sharp pain in my neck and quickly fell over, paralyzed. Mercy threw my body on top of a dark fabric and zipped it up so that I was completely blind, and I had to experience the unpleasant feeling of being slung over her back and jostled about.

The End

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