The Gladiator's Confinement

Suddenly a hot, wrenching pain in my thigh—like an arrow, but more forceful, and when I look down there is no shaft. I collapse to the ground, try to scramble back up even with this blindingly painful wound, knives twisting inside my flesh. I was shocked at how atrophied my body was—but no, it was my mind that was atrophied, unaccustomed to the mortal corpus corporis. Pluto warned me of this, I thought as metal clasped my hands from behind. But she’s too important to quit.

Three days later, I sat bandaged and bound in a small room, gray and bright with a small sun. I stared at it until spots came.

The door in front of me groaned and a man in strange blue clothes came in—public servant, my mind told me. He looked startled at the sight of me, but sat down and spoke.

I stared.

He spoke again. I said, I do not understand your language.

Lingua, lingua, I repeated.

His mind seemed to make some sort of connection, and he left the room.

This was going to be harder than I thought.

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