Chapter 35: Betrayal

Sangor asked to see Lem. Actually he just thought about seeing Lem. When Lem came to the compound to get Sangor, he came with shackles and chains. Lem was sufficiently intimidating that none of the other prisoners rose to block him or to interfere with whatever he intended to do. A few of Sangor’s friends felt sorry for what they thought the Rats were going to do to Sangor for trying to escape. They also thought they might be next in line to get whatever was going to be done to Sangor. Sangor walked glumly past Lem toward the glass wall. Lem turned around and walked after him, scanning the closed faces of the prisoners on either side of him with threat in his eyes.

After they had left the compound and were out of sight of the prisoners, Lem told Sangor to halt. He removed the shackles from Sangor’s wrists and ankles. Sangor rubbed his wrists and then his ankles where the edges of the metal rings had bitten into his flesh.

“Why did you want to see me,” Lem asked, knowing the answer, but also knowing that Saps had to say a thought out loud in order to be persuaded by it, even if it was their own thought.

Sangor said, “I do not want to return to my countrymen… I would rather cast my lot with you and your people.

Lem was silent for a long moment. Finally he said, “That is a very difficult decision for you… You would be lonely and depressed for the rest of your days.”

Sangor said, “It’s what I want more than anything, but first I must return home to fetch my wife and bring her back with me.”

Lem said, “That would be very dangerous for you both. If your friends or countrymen found out what you intended, they would certainly kill you both.”

“I am prepared to take that chance,” Sangor said.

Lem told Sangor, “You must betray us. It is the only way your compatriots will trust you and let you live long enough to escape with your wife.”

Sangor looked Lem squarely in his eyes and said, “I will never betray the Rats, even if my life depends on doing so.”

Lem answered Sangor softly saying, “You must do so, if you wish to survive. The Saps will learn all you know about us. They will plan an attack to overwhelm us at our weakest point… The attack will not succeed, you may be assured.”

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under Prose, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Stories and Novels

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