*Continued from The Scheherazadi, Part I
I'm dreaming of a green world. A wonderful world full of life and lots of naked women. I know, I know... I can be a tad perverted. But, hey, it's my fucking dream.
Of course, it's all a crock of shit. These types of dreams are common when unplugging from a golem. The last thing I remember is getting hit by some sort of missile. I guess my tech-djinn deactivated my brain in time. I owe it my life, sure. But I'm still gonna smack it in the face.
Or I would, if I didn't just wake up surrounded by a group of strangers. My eyes are blurry, but I don't recognize any of the voices and I'm tied to a metal pallet. I'm guessing these guys don't like me.
Don't worry. I don't know what's going on, either. Better get some sleep.
They're talking like I'm not in the room. Which is a little rude since, you know, I'm tied to a metal pallet. They don't realize I speak French, so their attempt at keeping me ignorant is falling short a bit.
"I think we should kill this one and find another," one says. I think his name is Rashid.
"Why do you say that, Rashid?" a woman asks him. So, yep, his name is Rashid. These people are ridiculously tall. I clock in at 73 inches, but everyone else in the room - the women included - have me beat by at least four more. They're also rather dark... every hue of skin from heavy bronze to deep brown. No pale bodies in the group.
"He's an irreverent asshole."
Seriously, what did they expect? I wake up tied to a metal pallet and then they interrogate me? And I'm supposed to be polite? Fuck 'em.
"No," the woman replies - for a tall chick, she's gorgeous... Hell, for any type of chick, she's gorgeous. "There's a chance his djinn transmitted a signal, so our tactic will likely be recognized the next time."
Rashid frowns and almost pouts. This guy called me an asshole?
"Besides," the woman continues, "this one didn't even shoot at us. I doubt we'd be so lucky again."
"Perhaps he's incompetent." Fuck you, Rashid. Really.
"No. I believe quite the opposite. The shock of seeing humans on the surface must have registered quickly."
Yeah, that. I'm really starting to like this broad. Of course, I'll probably be ordered to kill her at some point.
"Where am I?" I ask, tiring of their exchange. I speak in English, not wanting to give away that I speak their little fruity tongue.
She looks at me, her eyes - not naturally piercing - manage to stab at me. "Somewhere under the Russian Ocean," she answers, absent any discernible emotion.
Well, that's a long way from home. Fucking wonderful. She nods at who I'm guessing is a medical technician and the jerk sticks something in my arm. I'm passing out... again.
It's the green world. What it looked like centuries ago. It wasn't all green, of course - desert was still around and there was plenty of blue - but it looks like a chia pet in my dream. I can hear voices, so I'm probably not completely asleep. French voices, too. Sound like scientists, because they're explaining how the nuclear fallout over the Arctic isn't what fucked Mama Earth... it was the Antarctic melt that really caused problems. Oh, and some massive secret project to create more water using nuclear fusion that didn't quite pan out. Some angel in my dream who's a drop-dead gorgeous brunette with an accent - British, maybe... can't really tell - talks about how the coolers failed at the worst possible moment, exacerbated by a terrorist attack on the secondary coolers. Kaboom went the man-made glacier machines and splash went the planet.
The desire to survive instituted a global feudal system and that's pretty much been the preferred form of government since the flood. Only no Noah's Ark this time. Yeah, some animals survived - dogs and cats, mostly... people and their pets, let me tell ya - but this extinction event took care of most our four-legged, eight-legged, no-legged, and winged friends. Humanity's stubbornness and a brief (as existence goes) adoption of cannibalism saved what was left.
The voices are disappearing and my angel fades. Damn, she's beautiful. I hope she revisits me again some night. Her voice does me in. The last thing I hear her say throws me for a bit of a loop.
"Save the planet."
Me? What the fuck am I supposed to do? I'm just a dumb grunt who lost his golem.
And I'm waking up... again. I'm getting real sick of these hangovers. At least this time only the woman is in the room with me.
"My name is Morgiana and you're probably wondering why you're here."
I didn't notice it before - strange, I know - but she's not wearing very much clothing. Topless, in fact. Then again, I'm drowzy... maybe seducing me is the next stage of the interrogation. And, trust me, I'd let this one seduce me. It's at this point during my morning arousal - if it's even morning - I realize how hot it is here. I should say something snarky, but I keep my mouth shut and nod.
"We need you."
Nice and vague. And probably a lie. "How'd you get my body?"
"We assaulted your home dune the same time we attacked your golem. Your tech-djinn is dead, along with all of the other inhabitants of your dune. For that, I apologize. We could take no chances at being discovered or reported."
Djinn's dead? And all of my friends, even the ones I didn't really like. Yeah, this upsets me a little. And pisses me off a lot.
"So why not kill me?"
"I told you. We need you. We're not interested in your wars over land. We have a much larger goal."
She's starting to sound like one of those over-the-top villains from an old spy movie.
"And what's that?"
"Saving the planet."
For some reason - no doubt an imaginary brunette - I believe her. Now I'm intrigued. Whether by the concept, by the dream, or by Morgiana's beautifully smooth and supple nipples, I've no idea. But I'm intrigued.
"Yeah, fine. When are you going to untie me?" Perhaps I should've toned down the defiance in my voice a little bit.
"When I decide to trust you."
Great. I might be here a while. Judging from the syringe she's holding, I'm gonna have a lot of headaches, too.
*Continued in The Scheherazadi, Part III