Chapter 16 - Extraction

Ripped out from the comfortable Parti Tab, Tynun found himself atop a hill next to Neyr, looking down at unfamiliar infrastructure. Hundreds of Bakkons and another species walked in lines going in and out of buildings and out past the dirt path. A few of the Bakkons looked similar to himself and Neyr, but many seemed to be ones from other tribes. They were different colors with slightly unfamiliar shaped bodies, though they were all being used for the same thing. Mounds of rocks stood high in their backs as they struggled their way following the crowd back toward the buildings. Tynun glanced over to the empty fields where Bakkons with empty backs hurried their way along toward a large mountain.



A strange figure stood before the Bakkon brothers, its face and body covered by black cloth. Tynun looked at Neyr with a massive smile, but Neyr didn’t look as ecstatic. Tynun was reunited with his brother once again.


“You shouldn’t have come, Tynun.” Neyr looked at the ground. “Now you’re in the same position as me. For the rest of our lives we’ll be used by humans.”


“Don’t worry about it. There’s gotta be a way out.”


The human looked up from the Parti Tabs he held. “You two, this is our facility. You will join in with the thousands of other Bakkons to help make sure all the materials are extracted from the mines out there in Mount Dai. You will work together with the mining species of Zinnals known as Frakkals. They will break apart the rocks and minerals and dump them into your backs, and then you will take them all the way over there.” It pointed to a large building far away where the heavy loaded Bakkons were struggling to reach. “We expect proficiency in everything you do. And each one of you will be timed for your performance. There will be no slacking.”


Neyr bent low to the ground.


“It’ll be fine, Neyr. We’ll figure out a way out. For now, we have no choice but to listen to what they say. But look around, there are so many Bakkons. Ones larger than I even thought possible in our species. We will find a way to join together and escape. I know it.”


Neyr shook his head. “I don’t know.”


Tynun knew his words sounded hollow in the face of all that unraveled before them, but there had to be a way. Even with the Parti Tab having so much control over them. These humans weren’t as mighty as they appeared without the Tabs. There had to be a way to get back at them.


Looking out at the marching Bakkons, some crying, some glaring, Tynun knew they could do something about it.


“Alright, you two!” the human shouted. “Get in line with the others headed to the cave, follow their lead and do NOT return empty-handed, or uh—backed.” The human laughed at himself and walked away. It threw up its hands, shouting in the distance, “I’ve made arrangements for you once you arrive. You’ll each have a Frakkal partner waiting outside of the entrance to the cave. If you take too long to find them, you’ll be punished.”


Tynun and Neyr scuttled down the hill and shuffled into the never ending line of Bakkons and Frakkals. Some of the others turned their heads and looked at them, though Tynun didn’t recognize which tribes these Bakkons even came from. Being from Jalla, species and tribe had the same meaning. Though, as he had once been told before, other Bakkons had migrated all over the world, and in the greater parts of the planet, tribes referred to the slight differences within a species.


“I suppose we need to tell these others we are from the Jallan Tribe now?” Tynun said.


“I guess. Never figured we’d have to do that.” Neyr shrugged. “Makes sense though.”


They marched in line with the Bakkons of all shapes, sizes, and colors, gaining a footing of how to blend in. None of them paid any attention to them, even with the occasional missteps. All of their eyes pointed forward on the grueling path that could see no end. 


Tynun felt out of place. He and Neyr were quite smaller than the other Bakkons, even the fully grown Bakkons in Jalla were much smaller.


They stayed on the outside edges of the line as they walked, checking the scenery. How far away from home were they? Tynun couldn’t keep track of how many days he was trapped inside of that device. Was it days? Weeks? There would be no way to find out here. He looked out at the dirt filled grounds around him. Large burrows bored into the ground every so often, the holes large enough for Bakkons to explore. Another species of Higher Being peeked its head out from the holes, different from the Frakkals.


“I wonder how long it will take to get to where we are going…” Tynun said.


“I’m not sure.” Neyr said. “Do you see that over there?” He nodded toward something.


‘It reminds me of the Elnoa’s home? Wow, there are sure a lot of them.” Tynun kept his pace as neat as possible as he almost fell out of the uniformed line. A few of the larger Bakkons grunted and stared at him.


“Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think we’re anywhere near Jalla anymore.” Neyr mumbled. “Hopefully we can make our way back someday.”


Tynun almost brought up the possibility of meeting their father, but he didn’t want to even bring false hope to himself or his brother. Their father was captured by humans long ago. Would it be possible he was sent here as well? It seemed like it would be. Was this the only place Bakkons were sent? Or were there other places?


Tynun then pondered about his friends. Where were they all now? Were they being forced into doing work for the rest of their lives? What kind of work would Cylor have to do? Guile… well, that is what he wanted. Tynun loathed him for what he did, but in the end, at least now he got to stand beside his brother, so he let his hatred fall back for now.


If they had an outside source to help them, perhaps Sarby could find them? No, that was foolish thinking. Sarby alone couldn’t save them, but maybe if he gathered up the village and led the way? Tynun knew it was hopeless, and that the only way out was by his own doing.