Minra walked into the tent, throwing the flap aside. It was a relatively large tent, and had a relatively large number of people. The prisoner was in the center, tied to his chair and forced to inhale the smoke rising from the embers beneath him. Around him were no fewer than nine guards. The tenth stepped inside shortly after Minra.
The guard began to explain the prisoner’s presence. Policy was to kill Galan soldiers, but this one was different. He had surrendered, but before surrendering he had extended his mind, probably accidentally.
Minra held up a hand and cut the guard off. That was plenty of information. No need to ruin any surprises. He asked how long the prisoner had been drugged. The guard said two days, and unconscious for most of that time.
Minra frowned. A fellow mindspeaker, from Gala no less, would be fascinating to talk to. But the drugs would prevent that. He’d have to use a more… barbarous method.
He strode forward and crouched before the prisoner. The prisoner stared at him with hollow, empty eyes. He spoke something aloud, but of course in his native tongue. Minra shook his head.
“Can you understand me?” he asked.
The prisoner stared for a moment, then shook his head.
“I thought not.” Minra sighed and rose to his feet, shaking out his hand in preparation and placing it on the prisoner’s head. “I’m afraid this will not feel pleasant.” He fished a small, polished stone from his pocket with his other hand. Then he purified it, commanding it, reducing it to base energy. The energy, the magic, flowed through his body, a hurricane of force bludgeoning his veins and his bones. Holding the torrent for a moment, he called forth all his knowledge of the Tongue and placed it “in front” of the energy.
When he released the energy, it shot out and blasted the Tongue into the prisoner’s mind. He screamed and thrashed, and several guards had to hold his head still for Minra to maintain contact. For many seconds he stood with his hand on the restrained prisoner’s forehead, ears shut to the shouts.
Finally done, he pulled his hand back and crouched down again. The guards released their grips and the prisoner slumped forward against the ropes, panting and whimpering.
“Can you understand me now, foreigner?”
Wincing from the pain, the prisoner raised his head and looked Minra in the eye, croaking out his answer. “Yes.”
“What is your name?”
“Shi….ver….” He stopped and groaned, clenching his eyes shut for a moment. “Shiver…. Annul.”
Minra sent mirth. When Shiver didn’t react, he remembered that foreigners conveyed mirth with a smile. So he smiled. “Excellent. This will be fun.”