Chapter 18 - Caged

Guile found himself surrounded by species he didn’t know. Though he was the only one separated from them by metal bars. He lay within a cage looking out, light from a fire guiding over the distant darkness. Humans mingled around only steps away from his prison, speaking with one another.


Why was he the only one caged up? Was it because he was the newest Higher Being that had been caught? And what happened to Tynun, Neyr, and Cylor? They should have been here with him. That much time hadn’t passed that would have had all his friends sent away, right? He wanted to converse with them and explain his reasoning for why this could be a good thing and wanted another chance to calm all their nerves. Surely from talking with The Voice in the Parti Tabs they’d already recognize some benefits to this new life. Even if they didn’t understand the full complexities of what Guile intended, someday they would.


This was the only way to gain actual power.


Chya had explained it about a month ago when he first met her. Fighting for humans helped gain experience and boosted energy within one’s body, but that energy couldn’t be used unless it was processed through a Parti Tab converting the energy to Parti. And with that, Higher Beings’ bodies could grow bigger and stronger, as well as other things that Chya wasn’t quite particular about. Once Guile’s friends felt the power surging through them from their new environment, there would be no doubt they would grow to thank him. This was the only way they could return to Jalla as actual heroes. No one would dare mess with their village after this.


It might take a while, but it would be worth it.



“Guile, your buddy Sarby ruined me. You should have given us all a warning about him.” Chya shook her head, staring at Guile from outside his cage, firelight casting an ominous shadow.


“How was I supposed to know he was capable of that? Since you said he came from your species originally, you should have known what he was capable of.” He leaned back against the bars, trying to give himself more distance between them.


“I don’t know all about Elnoas, but surely that was why we Charthu distanced ourselves from the liquid that the crystals produce. It’s nothing but bad news. Now I’m going to have to grow my plant again. At least it’s finally scabbed over now and stopped bleeding. Took long enough.” Chya patted her head.


Guile shrugged. “I wonder where Sarby ended up… and what about my other friends? I thought they’d end up here too, well maybe not Cylor…”


“The Bakkons were probably sent to the mines, and that Dhasum was a rare one, doubt you’ll ever see any of them again.”


“You’re joking. This isn’t what was supposed to happen. We were supposed to stick together and grow stronger as a team!”


Chya laughed. “You’re so naive. I debated telling you that things wouldn’t go as well as you planned, but then I wouldn’t have got such a nice reward from Stark. You lot earned me a top spot on his team now. I’m getting treated to the best food, and I don’t even have to fight much lately. I’ve proven my worth to him now, thanks to you.”


“Didn’t your human laugh when you got the leaf ripped from your head though?” Guile snarked.


“So what? I’ll never understand these fiends, but as long as I’m treated well, I don’t really care about what they do.”


Guile sighed. “Fair enough, I guess. So now what? How do I get out of this cage? How long until I earn the trust of the human?”


Chya walked up and down the width of the cage. “Took me a few days. I’d say it’ll probably be the same for you. Stark is very thorough in making sure the Parti Tabs work properly. If they end up with a malfunctioning one, then we are able to defy them freely. And of course they won’t stand for that. Takes a while to make sure everything works properly. Plus‌, they won’t let you out unless you complete all the tasks they assign you. If you can’t do that, well… let’s just say you don’t want to find out what the consequences are.”


Even if Guile got strong enough from working under this human, would he be able to escape and return home? Surely these devices couldn’t be that strong forever. There had to be a way around it. He remembered hearing from one merchant that frequented the Gurden village speak about someone who escaped. Guile even had to pay the merchant to hear such a story. He better not have been scammed.


All that was left to do was stare out at the vastness of the human establishment he now resided in. Far in the distance were many more tents and disgusting bipedal creatures walking around, furless. Other species roamed freely, seeming to help the humans with whatever they were working on. Many unfamiliar creatures, all doing the humans’ bidding. Did they gain extra points outside of fighting too? Chya only had mentioned that they could get stronger from fighting, but it was possible there could be other ways. How did that even work in the first place? Parti Tabs could convert any energy made into Parti? Or was it a particular energy?


“So, what am I going to have to do for these humans, exactly?” Guile asked.


“You went through the trouble of being captured and never once thought about it? I was wrong about you, there is nothing guile about you.” Chya spat in his direction. “Oh well, you’ll prove useful, I suppose.”


Guile paced around his enclosure, taking in the views all around him once again. Higher Beings carried things, used their abilities, and a few just seemed to exist, enjoying blissful outdoor life. Perhaps only the most loyal get a free pass to relax. Chya didn’t seem to do much either.


After a few hours of sitting in silence, a human walked up to Guile’s cage holding a Parti Tab. He unlocked the cage and slowly opened the door.