|This article, Foundations/Enslaved, was written by UnggoyZealot. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|Date Published||March 7, 2018|
Enslaved is a short story in the Foundations collection that that focuses on the Unggoy Hugpy's life before his induction into the mercenary gang of Oru 'Vanuxee. It is the first of six short stories that will be written for the series.
Hugpy sat in the cold room, shivering with fear. Bugo was huddled up with the other two Unggoy, barely keeping warm. Hugpy could hear the voices outside, yelling and bargaining about his price. Hugpy was a slave now, even worse off than the Covenant's cannon fodder. At least I had own life. Almost like being slave, but not exactly. The withered Unggoy thought back to his forced service in the Covenant Empire. He still had to answer to his masters, but at least they were Sangheili. Those creatures were good masters. The Kig-Yar were not. Hugpy tried to remember exactly what happened, but his body was wracked with pain. Too much pain. I think I remember...
|98th Unit // Cycle 87 // Ninth Age of Reclamation
Location: Aboard a Covenant Warship
Hugpy and Bugo trotted around the generator, keeping their masks on tight to prevent oxygen or the produced carbon from entering their lungs. Hugpy waddled over to compactor. It had a loose screw. The Unggoy didn't know what to do. He kicked it, and immediately regretted it, a jolt of searing hot traveling through his foot. That did nothing to shove the screw in. Maybe Bugo knew how? "Hey Bugo, you know how fix generator? If not, we screwed!"
No response. Hugpy did not like that. He wandered over to the other side of the generator. Hugpy looked down and screeched. Bugo was lying on the floor, struck in the head. Who would do this? He heard a footstep and turned around, only to be whacked himself. Hugpy fell hard, and gazed up at his assailant. It was a Kig-Yar, holding a taser. Hugpy tried to gasp, but it was too hard to with the throbbing in his head. With extreme effort, Hugpy managed to squeak out the words, "What you doing?"
The Kig-Yar chuckled and reached into a sack Hugpy had not noticed before. They reached in and retrieved two collars, striding over to Bugo and fitting one on his unconscious form. He went over to Hugpy next, and the bewildered Unggoy could only watch as the Jackal tightened it around his neck. Suddenly, the collar squeezed on Hugpy's neck, nearly choking him as the Kig-Yar stood up. The avian's eyes darted around the chamber, and now satisfied, the Kig-Yar finally spoke. "You don't know, as always, Unggoy. The Great Schism has begun, and the Covenant is broken. The Elites and Jiralhanae are at each other's throats, and the humans are taking advantage of that. I figure I should too, so you two will be my slaves. The Jiralhanae are backed by the Prophets, so I should just sell you to them at a reasonable price."
Hugpy could not believe it. One moment he was a member of the Covenant Empire, the next a slave. Hugpy tried to say more, but the Kig-Yar drew a rifle and hit him with it's butt. Next thing Hugpy knew, the world went black.
Hugpy remembered, at least that much. He could still hear the voices outside, picking out the one belonging to the Kig-Yar. "I've got Unggoy, good condition, good cost. Who will take," The Kig-Yar was bargaining, that was what he was doing. "who will take, ah, you there! You want them? Okay then, I'll grab 'em for you."
Hugpy heard footsteps, growing nearer by the second. He gazed up at the door, and stared blankly as the lock clicked and the door swung open. The Kig-Yar bustled in, a delightful look on his face. He grabbed Bugo by the collar and tried to hoist him up, but to no avail. The Kig-Yar moaned in exasperation and ran over to Hugpy- This couldn't be good. The Kig-Yar seized Hugpy's collar and straightened him up, muttering curses under his breath. Hugpy, now standing for what felt like the first time in years, tried to stretch out his legs, but the Kig-Yar batted them down. The Kig-Yar guided the Unggoy to the exit and Hugpy looked back to see face-to-face with his friend Bugo for the last time.
Hugpy tried to reach for his friend, but the Kig-Yar shoved him along outside of the compound. Hugpy was ushered out into the brightness, temporarily blinding him. When his vision cleared, Hugpy found himself looking straight into the belly of a large beast. Looking up, he realized that this no beast, this was a fearsome Jiralhanae, berserk warriors of the Covenant that fought in packs. The behemoth was clad in golden power armor, unarmed, yet still fearsome. Desperate, Hugpy looked around for a way to escape, only to find his path blocked by the Kig-Yar trader and a pair of Brutes standing to the sides of the golden one. "So, my thousand credits?"
Hugpy glanced behind him to see the Kig-Yar looking expectantly at the Jiralhanae. The giant snorted through his nostrils and laughed- A big hearty laugh, but loud enough to scare a Sangheili out of their combat harness. "You think I'd pay that much for this mangy thing? Ha! I boast enough Jiralhanae breathen to make Unggoy look like they have a small population! And this is my trade center, so my rules! I'll pay you five hundred."
The Kig-Yar hissed. "Seven fifty."
For a second it looked like the Jackal wanted to pull out his weapon on the Brute. But after a quick look at his bodyguards, the Kig-Yar wisely submitted. "Fine, take the gas sucker," Said the Kig-Yar. They turned to Hugpy. "Unggoy, meet your new master. The all powerful Chieftain Jagratius."
Jagratius puffed out his chest, apparently content with the compliment. He barked to one of the Brutes, and they took Hugpy by the collar again. Jagratius strode over to a large freighter, equipped with every weapon Hugpy could imagine. The second Jiralhanae went to the ramp, and pushed the opening button, causing the platform to descend. Once contact was made with the ground, the lug stepped onto the ramp, followed by the Chieftain. Hugpy anticipated what was coming next, and steeled himself as the stinker holding him tossed him into the ship as if he was a sack of narcotics. Hugpy tried to stand, but was grabbed once again and flung into another room. Looking up at his surroundings, Hugpy heard a click behind him and turned in time to see the door lock. Great. I'm locked in second room. Hugpy willed himself to stand, despite the pain, and started to examine his surroundings. He had barely anything in this cell, only a cot and business hole. Hugpy sighed and trotted over to the cot, thinking of the little comfort it offered. He knew that he was doomed, but before he could think any longer, the little Unggoy was fast asleep.
"Get up, Unggoy."
Hugpy could hear a voice, but didn't consider it's owner. "I said, get up, Unggoy!"
Hugpy rolled over on the cot to find himself kicked in the gas nozzle. It fell off, and Hugpy scrambled for it while staying well out of the way of the Jiralhanae. Tightening it back on, Hugpy's eyes went up to the Jirahanae's face. Hugpy heldin a scream, but the Brute grabbed him and lifted him off the ground with ease. Hugpy hesitated, then spoke. "Anything me can do, your excellency?"
The Brute growled and flung the door wide open. Hugpy could see an exit, shining clearly in his vision. Without thinking, Hugpy tilted his apparatus upward and held his breath before biting the furry beast. The Jiralhanae roared and dropped Hugpy just like expected, and the Unggoy ran towards the exit while fixing his mask's position. He could hear the lug roaring in pain behind him, although it could have been anger maybe? Hugpy sprinted towards the doorway, and with all his strength bounded up to reach the door control, smashing it in. Hugpy turned towards the door and could already smell freedom when he heard something peculiar. A sucking noise was coming from between the hinges, and Hugpy leaned in to expect it. Suddenly it hit him- This wasn't an escape, this was an airlock. Hugpy tried to run, but the void was sucking him in, as if it beckoned and he couldn't refuse. He knew this surely had to be the end, when the airlock sealed shut. Hugpy dropped to the ground in exasperation and looked up to see his rescuer.
It was Jagratius, the fury in his eyes burning through. He barked at the Jiralhanae, and they stepped over to Hugpy, obviously gleeful for vengeance. Jagratius sniffed the Brute, and recoiled, teeth bared at the ready. "Go, rid yourself of that methane stench," Ordered Jagratius, turning to his other cohort who had just arrived. "And you, teach this Grunt a lesson. I can't have him like this when my Shadow convoy is ready to travel, especially if he does that to one of the Slavemasters."
The Jiralhanae grinned, and clamped his furry paws around Hugpy's throat. As he was being dragged away, Hugpy's thoughts drifted to the convoy Jagratius mentioned. This could be another chance to escape, and this time I will try harder. Indeed, as Hugpy was brought into his cell, he promised himself that he would try to escape from this life at every chance possible, and would try harder every time.