My cellmates looked at each other with confused glances then back at me.
“Uhh, kid, what are you doing?” Muscles said.
“Drawing a deity-trapper,” I responded simply.
“A what?” Mack said. Yeah, I decided to call him something that sounded cooler than his ridiculous full name. I mean Epex isn’t the greatest name in the world but that’s beside the point.
“A device that normally negates the power of a god for a short time,” I continued, voice still nonchalant. I did stop for a second to enjoy the shocked looks on their faces.
“How will that help you here?” Muscles said, skepticism palpable in his voice. “It’s not like the prissy fucks are stuck down here like us.”
“The normal negation isn’t what I’m going for,” I said. “I once used it on the surface when I was weak and just regaining access to essence. Took me almost eight years to charge the son of a bitch, but upon contact with someone strong, it forced an explosive ascension to the human world.”
“Yeah but what good will that do you, here? Not to be Debbie Downer, but unless you can get the warden in here, you’re fucked.”
“Not trying to get him in here,” I said. “Although that is a pretty good idea. Negate his immortality and.” I paused letting the guard walk by. “Anyway, it’s done for now. I made a few upgrades. I’ll be testing them later.” I tore off a piece of my shirt and wrap it around my hand. My natural healing was much slower in the depths than anywhere else.
About a few hours of lounging around, talking, and making jokes, the guards came back into the main facility. Prisoners from other cells were complaining, beating their bars, and demanding things. The Goraus ignored them. Accent cleared his throat.
“Quiet, ya buffoons!” he barked. “You wiz be taken to mine. Betta make ya quota or else.” One by one, the guards opened the cell doors. One pointed in a direction that led outside. I covered the trapper with a pillow then followed the others.
We were led to a mine in an open rocky area with mile-high cliffs and blood-red sky. The ore came in the form of orange diamond-like substances the size of boulders scattered in ten-feet intervals all over the place. Mining this shit would take an eternity. Ah. That’s why it’s the Infinite Prison.
The veteran prisoners (I think they are) had already grabbed their pickaxes from a giant container in the center and started hacking away at the stones. Some shattered six-inch pieces at a time then tossed them into a bucket next to their feet. I followed everyone’s lead. Grabbed a bucket, a pickaxe, then headed to a random ore spot to hit away.
HOLY SHIT this was backbreaking work. If my soul body could sweat, I’d be drowning in it. We kept at it for roughly nine horrendously boring hours. No breaks other than our own periods of rest. I concluded that labor like this was another form of torture—just less stabby, except at the ore. It took an exceeding amount of effort to get even one piece broken off. We weren’t even allowed to stop if ten was reached early.
A couple of newbies from afar learned that the hard way when the Goraus whipped them a few times on the spot. There were a few schemes too, which involved bigger prisoners setting up suckers then stealing their ore. One almost had me but I blasted him away just in time. No one bothered Muscles. Mack simply outsmarted the thugs, refusing to leave his ore unattended, then dismissing them. He applied his own use of force to get rid of stubborn scam artists. All and all, the ore activity sucked. Really sucked.
After the nine hours, we got the two hours of free time, surprisingly, but no one was interested in the basketball court. I doubted some of the demons even knew anything about the human sport. A few female demons, the ones who weren’t yet forced to the warden’s pleasure chamber, were sitting together speaking among each other. Most of them were in humanoid form, one way or another. Surprisingly no succubae though. Normally I wouldn’t give a shit about demons—still don’t—but I could use that anger to start a riot.
I’m pretty sure demon women didn’t enjoy being violated, especially if they’re the hell bound species that would like something to gain such as power or whatever elevated demonic politics. The only obstacles were the guards. I hated to admit that they were powerful. If I could manifest a weapon, I’d stand more of a chance. There’s got to be a way.
At the end of the two-hour break, I still had yet to come up with a solution to this problem. The Goraus sent us back to the cells. I went back to work on the deity-trapper.
“So, how about that eternity,” I said to my cellmates. Muscles glared then shook his head. Mack simply sighed.
“How long will it take you to finish your witchcraft.”
“It’s not witchcraft,” I said. “It’s just about finished. But I’ll need chaos.”
“A classic and pointless riot that would get us nowhere,” Muscles said. “We’ll get swept by the guards, sent to the torture chambers, and then when we get back, after you.”
“After me? I won’t put a gun to anyone’s head and force them to join the riot. Anyone who agrees to help will know the risks, unless they’re naïve and stupid,” I said. “You’re welcome to just stay here. The idea is to fill this circle up to the brim then detonate it. We get one shot at this because circles on the ground tend to burn up after one use. In the meantime…” I shut up when the guards entered the main facility.
“To the coliseum,” one of them said. “Some of you are about to be entertainment for our dear warden. I hope you know something about battle.” The cell doors were opened and once again, we were hauled off to go do their biddings.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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