the chalk was running out already , and it was only day 15.
15 times he had woken up, and that was when the sun had risen. he was not even sure whether the burning light that shone into his occupancy was the same fiery ball that had guided him on the rocky path to Harefan.
the boys who had grabbed him by his limbs and dragged his drunken body to wherever he was now smelled of cheap perfume and newly pressed garments. a sandy floor stretched across the gaol, where it met with sturdy walls that were unharmed by the acidity of the rain and free from chipped blocks.
this must be a fresh one, he evaluated. people had told him he was good at that – evaluating. it came with experience he presumed. travelling the modern lands, he encountered creatures and wonders nobody could have imagined. yet in it all, he was forced to come to the conclusion that at the end of the long and winding road, humanity still was a stinking force of selfishness and greed.
there had been hope when the portals had opened. when the Futuremen had walked through into the era that was known as the “Past” , when to him it was only known as the present. the labels had been a source of migraine to many initially. the Futuremen brought with them only granules of the rainbow – multicolored particles that exploded in the mouth to form flavors not yet experienced. and yet that was enough to change everything.
the Futuremen insisted ,against the warnings and prophecies of the wizards of Past , that this did not change anything. they were merely in parallel universes… a butterfly so stepped on in one universe would not cause a typhoon in the other. or so it was theorized. yet everyone immediately become a heretic.
all was plodding along, as Futuremen and Pastmen strived towards coming towards some form of agreement. then, the Futuremen threw another wrench in the works. they had discovered a third age – the Modern age they called it. it was just another Future for the past , but they adopted the moniker nonetheless. the Modernmen were as surprised as the Pastmen had been , and yet they seemed more willing to discover more about these portals.
soon, commercial travel became available – at exorbitant prices. people sold children in order to travel to the Modern age. and then there were the mavericks – the rule-breakers. Kajan had been one of them. they traveled through pockets of soft-time – areas where one could see glimpses of the Modern or Future age, and scavenged for adventure and riches.
he had been good , he had believed. until now, when he was stuck at the whims of whoever was holding him.
he heard a screech. light yet confident footsteps made their way towards his cell. this man sounds like he comes of noble backgrounds. the steps got closer, but Kajan could not see anyone in the darkness. a figure started to form, and as it moved closer to the light in front of his cell, Kajan’s mouth dropped.
“good morning, dear sir. ”
it was a lady.
“this Modern age…. ” he whispered under his breath.
“yes, in this time, Women have as much power as Men. and we seem to use it much better than you lot,” the lady said with a smug smile.
“but onto the matter for which you are here, trespassing in my laboratories – it seems like you oldtimers need to learn how to be made an example of ”
Kajan tried to capture as much of her features as he could. her sharp yet twitchy eyelids indicated her authority, yet her struggle to maintain it. her fingers were shivering, and her lips quivered at the end of every sentence. this was a lady to be broken.
he moved in close , his face breathing onto hers – the intimate moment only separated by the bars in between.
“my name is Kajan, and I’m not an Oldtimer” he said
the lady stepped back. and then she smiled. this may get interesting after all.