Watts began the fight with a blaster in his hand. He was only able to take down one of the huge lizard like beasts before it was yanked away from him by one of the Hydra’s long whips. The huge beasts were extremely accurate marksmen with their whips and very strong in hand-to-hand combat. Watts managed to sidestep one over seven feet tall that was after him. He grabbed Lucas out from under a flying capture net and dragged the boy behind him away from the lizards.
There was nowhere to run. No means of escape. The shuttle that dropped them off here was the only form of transport. There were no planet runners. No cruisers. You could only hide in the caves so long without water. It wasn’t in Watts’ nature to give up, but frankly he couldn’t see any option.
He knew about the hydra. They were the slave traders of the verse, descending on any unprotected population they found, they captured them and sold them in the markets of Galla II. There would be better opportunities for escape on Galla - more resources at hand for a man of his talents. They just had to live through the capture and transport.
A net fell over Lucas. The kid struggled to get free. One of the hydra’s whips snaked out and took a bite out of his shoulder as it emerged from under the net. Watts reached out and grabbed the whip as it snaked back for another blow.
He wished to God he had a universal translator. He never owned one of his own. They were damned expensive so he always took jobs where they either spoke English, would loan him a UT or he had Arr with his incredible language skills along for the ride. If he had a UT now he could talk to the Hydra and surrender.
“Don’t,” Watts yelled to Lucas over the bedlam of the other miners being taken captive. “Give up. Don’t give them a reason to kill you.”
Watts’ had heard of captives being killed just because they had made themselves too much trouble to keep. Arr was captured by them once and almost died before Jake was able to save him.
Watts put a restraining hand on Lucas’ shoulder. “Let them take us. We’ll have better luck escaping where they are taking us. I’ve been there.”
It did not go unnoticed by the hydra that the black man had interceded to keep the young white boy from being hurt. Nothing escaped the hydra concerning leverage with their prey.
“Just back off,” Watts yelled in anger at the hydra.
It was pushing him and Lucas into a cage the size of a shoebox. Lucas bulked at the sight of the dead body slumped in the corner. Watts reached around the kid and grabbed the foot of the dead guy, but before he could yank him out the Hydra pushed him again with the butt end of his whip handle.
“Back off,” Watts hissed as he turned on the hydra. “Let me get the body out.”
They would have to practically sit on each other’s laps to both fit in this cage. He agreed with Lucas. He didn’t want to make the trip with a corpse beside him. This cramped space was going to be agony enough.
The hydra reached in and with incredible strength yanked the body out onto the floor. Then he laid into Lucas with the whip handle. Watts tried to block some of the blows until the kid could crawl in. Lucas wedged himself into one corner to make room for the mercenary’s much larger frame.
Watts hesitated as he looked down to the corpse at his feet. The guy has a hole in his neck about the size of a pencil. Damn! There was a driller lose in here somewhere. The poor bastard had been on Tuldavia without a set of nose plugs. Dumb, Dumb!
The hydra pushed him again.
“Get off!” Watts yelled and punched the beasts’ hand away.
A driller! Shit!
The huge green monster reached past the mercenary into the cage and yanked Lucas out by the hair. The boy hollered in pain and fear.
“Stop!” Watts screamed at their captor. “Let him go.”
The hydra pointed to the cage to indicate he wanted Watts in now – not later. Watts crawled in. He tried to make himself as small as a six foot four man could.
“Put him in,” he said gesturing to the hydra for Lucas to be released. Driller or no, the kid was still better off with him then without him.
To Watts it looked as though the hydra actually smiled as he shoved the boy in and slammed the door shut. It must have been a trick of the poor lighting down here. Lizards didn’t smile.
All things considered, between that weird smile and the possibility of driller infestation, he sure as hell wasn’t going to get any sleep on this trip.