At the centre of their new world, there was the shop of the butcher. He was the biggest entity out there and he was running the greatest firm around. It was not legal, but this was certainly not the Imperial Firmament. The man whom they called the butcher was a former right hand of Acheron who lost his left hand to one of his battles, and had it replaced by an older version of robotic hands which worked fine for a man who spent his time cutting meat. Noah and Jack knew that this might be the best option for them.
“Yes, thats all which we need” finished Jack.
“Are you both completely out of your mind? You have absolutely no idea what you are asking me. Do you have drugs and alcohol all the time?” asked the butcher as he cut the meat of a random creature into two.
“I don’t understand why you would think so. But we really need to get back there. It is a matter of life and death” remarked Noah.
“Yes, it is quite a big thing. To be frank, it is bigger than any of us” added Jack.
“I don’t care if you both of you die. Who are you? Where do you come from and why? What is your problem? One day, I see you here and now you don’t want to be here. Why did you need to come here if you need to go to the city? People just don’t go to the city from here. What is so difficult to understand here?” the butcher wondered.
“It is a long story. Can we just get to the city with your help?” asked Noah.
“Just like how you transport those illegal things?” asked Jack.
“I am the butcher, not your transporter. I am doing the only profitable business here these days. Well, we can still prepare all the meat which Acheron has banned right here and smuggle them. But smuggling people? Not my kind of thing. It might bring his troops here. Why would I take that risk? Am I dumb? I don’t think so, not as of now” added the butcher.
“They won’t know. Just let us in a packet” requested Noah.
“Or basket, may be?” asked Jack.
“It is a risk. Do you know that human flesh is not yet banned there? If it was banned, I could have just got you there with ease. There is only the demand for banned things, and there are so many of them. This ban is actually a positive thing for me. No, not in my box of banned items; it will annihilate my reputation if there was any”.
“I don’t think that you are coming to a point here” said Noah.
“You don’t have a reputation. You have been a merciless killer. You have killed more people for Acheron than all of his current guards combined – until he got rid of you” added Jack.
“Oh, yes. I won’t deny that. There was joy in it, but my products were all of top quality. Even as dead meat, both of you won’t qualify. There is a certain amount of minimum standards that I keep here. Are you of any use if dead? If not, you may move away from here because my knife needs a neck, and I see two of them”.
Noah and Jack wandered away from the butcher who went on dealing with the meat. His assistants were working hard to keep up with his work. It was a place full of blood, with different types of knives being hung on the walls. The place used to be a university long ago, and no sign of the same was remaining there.
“That didn’t go as planned” said Noah as they moved away from the slaughterhouse.
“We don’t have a backup plan” added Jack.
“May be we can ask someone else” said Noah.
“There is no other boat or ship that goes to the Imperial Firmament”.
“Okay, then lets not ask anyone at all” said Noah.
“I don’t like what you are thinking about. Have you seen the knives that these people use or the guns that await you on the other side? You want to go there as a corpse?” wondered Jack.
“I don’t think that we need to talk about dead people here. Lets just get into one of those packets and get out before the screened at the Imperial Firmament. If we can make out at the right moment at the baggage centre, it will all go perfectly”.
“What if we can’t get out at the right time?” asked Jack.
“Then someone else will have a perfect time period; Acheron and Bella can have the dance of death”.
“So, we are giving them the opportunity to get rid of us and have the final victory?” asked Jack.
“Yes, that is indeed the adventure part here” added Noah.
“Usually, people call it danger” remarked Jack.
“Here it comes. Have a look at the antique” murmured Noah.
The ship stopped on the side of the shop. It was a very old model of the heavy goods transport ships which were made for the Third World War. The advanced modes of transport were not allowed to stop there. This one ship was the only connection between the city and this part of the world. There was high security in the ship even though the soldiers having charge were of the lower class. There were many of them, as most of the troops had almost nothing to do in the city which was guarded by the elite group of Acheron’s military team.
To be continued…