Rattling the Cage (Hollow Earth Expedition Ssn1 ep.22a)

This is an ongoing story about a lost world of hungry dinosaurs, sinister villains, and non-stop action. If you’re new to Hollow Earth Expedition, I suggest starting at the beginning.

They told Jack that he would get into the cage or he would be shot, but Jack refused. Then they told him he would get into the cage or the girl would be shot. Begrudgingly, he climbed inside and allowed them to chain the door shut. Gripping the bars, he found that the cage had been constructed from some kind of wood that looked like black bamboo but was as strong as iron. There would be no escape for him, not until they let him out.

His cage was wheeled out of the command post by Sergeant Schmidt, a heavily muscled man with a flattened nose and the kind of eyebrow-scaring that can only come from a lifetime of boxing. His long arms, massive chest, and slightly stumpy legs combined to make him look like a shorn gorilla in an ill-fitting gray uniform.

Schmidt may have been a brute, but he was also one of the few members of the German expedition who spoke English. The trouble was that he only used his language skills when his words might cause discomfort to his prisoner. When Jack demanded to know what they were planning for Celeste, the big man’s only answer was stony silence. When Jack asked if any other members of their expedition had been found, Schmidt was continued to ignore him. Only when Jack asked where he was being taken did Schmidt crack a crooked grin.

“You go someplace fun,” he said in broken English. “Fun for us—not fun for you.”

Jack grabbed his bars again and gave them a test shake. They didn’t budge. Then he looked up at the worn path they were taking through the ancient cobbled streets. They seemed to be heading towards a large, domed building the size of Rome’s Coliseum. Along the left-hand side of the street, a chain gang of men in loincloths labored to move stones and rubble away from an intersection. A single Nazis guard oversaw their efforts.

Jack looked up at his Schmidt’s ugly face and decided that if he couldn’t rattle his own cage, he could at least try to rattle his guard. “Hey,” Jack said to him. “Looks like you’re going to have a slave rebellion on your hands.”

Sergeant Schmidt snorted derisively.

“Really. Look. You’re outnumbered twenty to one. I’m amazed they haven’t turned on you yet.”

Schmidt kept pushing the wheeled cage. “Zey belieff Commandant von Wartenburg to be a…” he paused, evidently searching for the right word in English. “…a sorcerer. Zat is vat zey belieff.”

Jack needed a minute to puzzle through the thick accent, but then decided he didn’t see how slaves believing that the German commander was a sorcerer would really hold off a rebellion. Yet before he could ask another question, a flash of motion caught his eye.

Thirty paces away, the group of road-workers turned on their captors. At some unseen signal, they scooped up the stones that they had been clearing and rushed their guard.

Jack wouldn’t need to ask any more questions about how the Nazis kept their slaves under control. He was about to have a ringside seat to see it in action.



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Hollow Earth Expedition was created by Jeff Combos and is property of Exile Game Studio. For more Hollow Earth Expedition action, check out ExileGames.com

About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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