35. Broiled Long Pig
Posted on September 30, 2011
The word hung in Sweden’s mind like a rotting fish, forgotten in a mongers window. The stench enveloped him, suffocating and overpowering his senses. For a man used to the wide open steppes, the combination of extreme heat and cramped conditions within the dome was giving him a severe case of claustrophobia.
He had secured Antigua to a bulkhead with some tubing he had ripped from the wall. The point he had ripped it from had begun hissing alarmingly when he did this and had sent him diving for cover. It belonged to part of the domes cooling unit and he had effectively turned it into slow cooker. The automatic temperature control system detected the breach and adjusted the flow of coolant to compensate but Sweden and Antigua had roughly two hours before they became broiled long pig.
Once she had been firmly bound, he had scoured the dome looking for an exit. Since he was unfamiliar with the concept of an electronic sliding door and didn’t have the right finger prints for the access panel anyway, he was quite literally, trapped. He found his sword on a table and began sticking it in to every nook and cranny he could find, using it as a lever in an attempt to pry an opening in the walls. Sadly the archaic ironwork in his blade was no match for the industrial strength of the tempered steel and carbon fibre weave that made up the inner lining of the dome. The comparatively brittle sword snapped under the strain sending Sweden sprawling on to the floor.
He picked himself up, seething with rage and marched over to the bulkhead that Antigua was strapped to.
“WAKE UP!” he screamed, grabbing her by the hair and slapping her repeatedly across the face.
Antigua’s eyelids fluttered open, her eyes rolling drunkenly in their sockets.
“WAKE UP!” he shouted, shaking her head by the hair.
Everything snapped into focus and she was back in the room.
Sweden pulled her head up by the hair and held it close enough that their noses touched.
“How did we get in here?” he asked through clenched teeth.
She ignored the question at first as she fought to slow the spinning sensation that made it feel like the whole world was revolving around her.
Sweden slapped her again, the shock of the blow causing her to cry out.
“I want to get out of this infernal oven.” he hissed, “Tell me how or I will tear the flesh from your bones!”
Antigua looked at him in bemused befuddlement. She understood the words but couldn’t comprehend his meaning. She was struggling to remember where she was too. Sweden mistook her glazed look for impudence.
This time he clenched his fist.
The flash of pain that sparked across her mind as her lip split under the force of the blow pulled her memory back.
“There’s a control panel behind you.” she spluttered, blood streaming down her chin.
He was about to turn and take a look but he was interrupted by a sudden drop in pressure and the loud boom that heralded the arrival of the delivery pod.