The wagon came to a halt and Merrie’s stomach rolled with fear. She wasn’t sure what she would experience, but the dread of finally getting to Abbinkey Prison was too much. She groaned and curled up.
The door rattled and she perked up. They had always made the prisoners wait almost an hour before getting to them. Now, they were opening the door within a minute of arrival.
The door opened and sunlight streamed in. She felt the agony against her skin, searing against the pale flesh. With a scream, she threw herself into the back and burrowed into her blankets. Around her, the smell of sake and smoke flooded her senses.
Ginny flashed past the door and slammed it shut. “Sunlight is fatal to one of the prisoners!” she snapped.
There was a muttered voice.
Then the wagon was moving again. It only went a short distance before stopping again. The door opened, they were inside a dark warehouse of some sort.
A new guard stuck his head in and looked around. “Get them unlocked and out,” he ordered.
Hore crawled in with a glare. He unlocked each of the four prisoners and pushed them toward the door. Then he reached Merrie’s cage. He sniffed and pulled a face. He started to unlock it and realized it was open. With a sigh, he yanked it open. “Get your cunt out there.”
Merrie, stomach twisted in knots, crawled out of her cage and out of the wagon. The warehouse was blissfully dim but there was enough light to see ten white squares next to the wagon. The other four were already standing in each one so she crawled over and sat down.
A burly man came around the wagon. “Prisoners, stand at ready!”
He started to walk past Merrie and then jerked. He stepped back and looked down in surprise. “What the hell?”
Hore held out a bundle of papers. “Traitor to the crown. The, um, the naked girl.”
“Where are her clothes?” He turned on Hore. “What the hell did you do to your charge!?”
Hore flinched and stepped back. “N-Nothing, sir! She doesn’t wear clothes!”
The burly man looked down. “Stand up.”
Merrie held up her wrists.
“You don’t need your hands to stand up. Now stand up!” He reached down and grabbed Merrie by the shoulder. He wore a metal gauntlet and electricity surged through her body, setting her nerves on fire.
She screamed out as she was yanked to her ankles. Then he slammed her down.
Her legs collapsed underneath her.
Reaching down, he grabbed her again. More electricity slammed into her, setting her body on fire.
She cried out as he lifted her off the ground.
Just as he started to set her down, he look at her legs. His eyes widened. Merrie jerked violently in his grip as the man turned slowly to Hore who cringed.
“She doesn’t… have feet either… sir.”
The man made a disgusted sigh and released Merrie.
She crumpled to the ground as the lightning continued to surge through her body. Her arms and legs jerked for a moment before she could get her limbs under control.
“What’s your name, girl?”
Merrie looked up to see the man leaning over her, his face centimeters from her own. His breath smelled surprisingly fresh. He had a neat beard but a number of scars along his chin and throat.
“She, um, can’t talk. She barks.”
The man slowly looked at Hore. “No hands, no feet, no voice? Get your captain here. Now.”
Hore gasped. “Yes, sir!” He turned and ran.
The guard straightened. “Are the rest of you deaf also?”
“No, sir!” came the chorus of replies.
“Have all your feet and hands?”
Another round of agreement. They were frightened and answered quickly.
“Which one of you has a problem with sun?”
All four of them looked at Merrie.
A groan. “Of course she would be the one. Snare, Docent!”
Two guards came up. They wore tight uniforms with a large “A” with a keyhole in the center, the symbol of Abbinkey. “Sir!”
“Take the normals and get them processed. I’ll deal with Princess Puppy myself.”
Merrie watched as her four companions were taken away. Soon she was left alone with a glowering guard.
The guard scratched his beard. “Are you a joke?”
Her ears flattened against her skull as she shook her head.
“Ears too? What are you? Let me guess, a tail?”
Merrie twisted to show her tail which was pressed against her thigh. “A naked puppy girl in the nastiest prison known in this country. You are going to get raped and murdered in seconds.”
Her pussy clenched at the thought. The flutter of excitement and anticipation rose and she squirmed for a moment.
Ginny came running up. She was out of breath as she came to a stop. “Sir, you summoned me. Sorry, I didn’t know my way around this place.”
“You the captain?”
“Captain Ginny Racir, at your presence, sir.”
“Racir? Gorn’s girl?”
“Yes, sir. I started this run a few years ago.”
“I really need to get out here more often.” He pinched the brow of his nose. “Maybe you can explain the princess here?”
Ginny looked at Merrie. “That is Merrie Golddotter, a traitor to the crown.”
“This princess is a traitor?”
“Yes, sir. Convicted of at least twenty crimes including killing tens of thousands when she summoned two shadow lands, one in the middle of Franome City and the other in Blood County. She also… um, here is her report.” Ginny handed a thick envelop to the guard. “It’s rather detailed. She also destroyed the Royal Court. Almost everyone inside died.”
The guard’s grip on the envelop tightened, folding it in half. “She has the Justice Mark?”
“Of course, sir.”
“Fatal and torture. The courts demand that she remain in darkness when in our control.”
“We can’t control her once she’s in the prison.”
“We know. As long as she is in custody, we are charged to keep direct and indirect sunlight and other bright lights away from her body.”
“She better stay in the tunnels then. Why is sunlight a problem?”
“Something about her made of shadows. She starts to… melt in bright light.”
The guard glared at Merrie who cringed. “You are a damn princess, aren’t you? Anything else you require? Glass slippers? A handmaiden?”
Merrie whimpered and shook her head.
“Someone to wipe your ass?”
She cringed as a flutter of memories came back.
“No matter,” he said. “It will be dark in a few hours, we’ll do processing then. Loyal to me!”
Merrie winced as the air exploded around her. An armored knight in green landed next to her. She didn’t need her magic to know there were thousands of attack and defensive spells in the heavily powered armor.
“Loyal Zurl, this is a threat to Franome. She is not to move from that spot on pain of death until I personally come to process her tonight.”
“Loyal Zurl obeys!” The loyal had a powerful mechanical voice, distorted through the heavy helmet he wore. He snapped his hand down and a large blade slid out from his gauntlet. It hummed with killing power, the air distorting from the sheer energy inside it.
Spinning around, Zurl stood in front of Merrie. There was a heavy weight as Zurl stamped his feet, the ground shaking from the impact.
“While you’re at it, scan her. I want to know if the princess has any other surprises.”
Merrie blanched. A loyal was going to analyze her abilities? He would know that she could still use magic. She whined and tensed, waiting for the immediate killing blow.
The guard grunted and pointed to the door. “Come, let’s get the rest of the prisoners into processing.”
Ginny gave Merrie one last look before she joined the captain.
As they walked, he started to ask questions. “How is your father doing? Retired? When did that happen? I really need to get out more.”