We were booked for first class; my parents had always traveled first class. First class afforded us luxury as well as a certain amount of isolation, and, as expected, our shadow showed up as part of the crew.
We hoped that the same thing would happen to us as happened to my parents, and then we hoped that I could get us out of whatever predicament we would find ourselves in. I thought it was a real shitty plan, but I couldn’t think of anything better. A lot would depend on my magic. I’m quite sure that Pip had yet to realize how much my magic depended on my surroundings.
Our destination wouldn’t be reached for six weeks so I took advantage of all the entertainment the ship had to offer. Not only was it in keeping with my rich kid front, but I was bored. Even when I took to using my magic to work the exercise machines, it wasn’t enough.
As I grew increasingly snappish, (I just couldn’t help myself), Pip took to keeping his distance from me as much as possible and I’m sure the crew grew to hate me. It was almost a relief when the trap finally sprung.
I returned to our stateroom after a long session in the weight room to find Pip sprawled on the floor. I looked him over but couldn’t find any damage, so I did what I knew I should do. I called the infirmary.
Two men came in with a stretcher and loaded Pip onto it, then in a sly move I almost missed, one of them fired at me. I’ve heard of punch guns but I’ve never seen one operated before. It took me quite by surprise and knocked the air out of me. While I was doubled over trying to make my lungs work again and trying not to use my magic on them, one of the men grabbed my arm and jabbed a needle into my neck. That took care of the magic part.
I woke up a little while later in complete darkness. I couldn’t move; I couldn’t even open my eyes. I was packed tightly inside of something, probably a big box. I was reminded of the box I had seen being carried off that other ship that had the body of the crewman in it. It was a reasonable assumption that I was in something similar. I hoped Pip was still around even if it meant that he was in a similar box. I hoped they hadn’t just shipped him out of an airlock.
It was very difficult to breathe since the packing was so tight. It would have been impossible if I hadn’t had an air mask over my face. My magic would have allowed for it but . . . .
We still had almost two weeks to go before landfall. I hoped that they would feed us. I hoped there was still an ‘us’. I worried about that a lot.
As I’ve said more than once already, I’m not very good at waiting and that didn’t do me any good here. Not only was I forced to wait; I was forced to do it without being able to move a muscle.
After what seemed like an eternity, someone came around and opened my box. On the assumption that I was still supposed to be drugged, I lay perfectly still.
“He’s not awake yet. Should be any minute now though, so you better hurry,” said someone who was standing directly over me.
A hand roughly grabbed my chin and turned my head from side to side, and then he lifted the mask from my face. The movement told me that my neck was stiff and I couldn’t help but grimace.
“He’s coming around. Give him another shot.”
I felt a needle prick my arm and before I slept again, I felt the hand force my mouth open and something shoved down my throat. I remember gagging, but that’s all.
I’m pretty sure that I woke only a few minutes later because I’m certain that I heard the latches on the outside of my box being locked again. My magic was working faster and faster at countering the drug. It was comforting to know this little fact, but I soon wished that I could just sleep. It would have made the wait so much easier.
For the rest of the trip, I was shut in this box. Every once in a while - I can only assume that it was once a day - someone came and did something with the end of the tube that was down my throat and shot me full of drugs again. I kept my eyes closed because I wasn’t supposed to be awake and I was determined to lie there and play along until they took me to my parents, despite the humiliation of being forced to soil my fine satin pants. They were feeding me through that tube. I could have taken care of it with my magic, but I needed to play along. Someone would pay for this, I promise you.