Aquilus came to with a splitting headache, the bruise on his jaw throbbing relentlessly. Suppressing the temptation to groan he stayed still and listened. Apart from the constant dripping of water, the room sounded empty.
He cracked an eye open and satisfied he was alone, sat up and took a proper look at his surroundings. The room was small, square, with a high ceiling. The concrete floor rose and dipped beneath his feet. He jerked his head upwards as a drop of water landed next to him and found that a maze of pipes lined the roof, leaking water that was pooling in large puddles along the floor. The only light filtered in from a small window set in the dilapidated door. The room smelt stuffy and the wallpaper, cracking and peeling, had passed its prime a long time ago.
Out of habit his hand reached for the dagger concealed in his boot and then withdrew, empty. He snarled and struck the wall with a clenched fist. Whoever had searched him had been annoyingly thorough. He walked around the room, nursing his hand as he walked. The door contrasted strikingly with it’s dilapidated surroundings. Solid and unyielding, it resisted all his efforts to make it budge.
Satisfied he wouldn't be leaving the room anytime in the immediate future, he slumped against a wall, pressing his bruise against the cold wall. It still throbbed but it had reduced in size and transitioned from an ugly purple to an angry red.
The scrape of a key turning a lock broke the long silence. The door swung open to reveal a grim faced boy in combat fatigues, laden with a tray. He set down the tray in a corner of the room. Beyond him lay the door, slightly ajar.
“Don't,” the boy talked for the first time, halting Aquilus in his tracks, “There are more outside.”
“You can speak,” Aquilus observed. The boy said nothing and retreated back behind the door. Bored and satisfied that escape was impossible, Aquilus's hands wandered across the floor, gathering up shards of concrete as they went. Then he flicked them at walls, counting how many times they ricocheted.
After the first few shards pinged off the wall, the door shook as someone pounded it doubtless, telling him to stop the noise. Aquilus grinned. Encouraged, Aquilus redoubled his efforts.
How long the guards tolerated the noise he couldn't tell, yet it seemed an age when the boy suddenly reappeared, two legionaries following in his wake. The boy saluted the pair and then left the room.
"Get up," the bigger of the pair demanded. Aquilus shook his head. They had kidnapped him and he’d be damned if he was going to co-operate. Instead he shook his head and threw a shard at the boy’s helmet. It connected and bounced off with a loud ping. The pair seized him by the arms and dragged him outside, footsteps muffled by the chequered carpet. Demigods cracked open the doors to their rooms and peered at them, fixing Aquilus with hostile glares.
What did I do?
Tired of being dragged he dug his feet into the carpet, refusing to move. Several...