(PLEASE NOTE: This is part two of the story. Part one is available here http://www.republibot.com/content/original-fiction-bob-and-allegory-cave... )
There were dozens of them, some very old, all very odd looking. The ones that seemed youngest seemed the most alien, like a hairless gorilla painted by El Greco, only much taller. They had huge, limpid eyes that I was pretty sure were blind. They twitched and sniffed around. Their legs and - I assume - arms seemed dangerously thin, almost like pipe cleaners. The old ones were obviously human, though bent and gaunt, and with a strange aspect to them. The remaining ones were humanoid, but much too tall, with long, distorted faces. One of the hairless gorillas was singing quietly to itself, and stroking the hair on a tattered Raggedy Ann.
“Aliens!” shouted Tweedle-Dum, and one of the old ones shot at him. The aliens startled and brayed around nervously, but the old man had been a bad shot, and merely took off a big chunk of Dum’s helmet. Chastened, they hauled us out of the drink, tied us up, and debated what to do with us.
And debated and debated and debated and debated. It went on long enough that Dum and I both started getting bored.
“Since when do aliens speak English anyway?” Dum asked.
“Pretty much only in Science Fiction TV shows,” I said.
“What’s Science Fiction?” Dum asked.
Pretty much our lives are, I thought, but instead I spoke to our captors: “Excuse me, hi there, uhm…”
The oldest of them shouted “Silence, spy! You are caught!”
“Temp-” grunt “-orarily” Dum said.
“Wrong!” the old man shouted, then went to a fake-sounding low voice: “Permanently. You have failed! Do you think your friends on the freighter can help you now? Now,” he said to the guards, “Take him outside and get rid of him!”
Freighter? What the heck was he talking about?
Someone else said “But sir, aren‘t you going to question him?”
He held up my compy, my wrist-computer, and said “When we decode the plans, we will have all the answers we need. Do what you’re told, fool!”
The aliens - the hominids and the less-hominidish ones seemed upset by this, they brayed about uncomfortably, like nervous children on the edge of fear, or skittish horses.
A dozen old men and women with guns untied us and took us into the next cave, which, I guess, counted as “Outside” for the locals.
A way-too-tall scratchy-voiced old woman said “Name, Rank, and Serial Number.”
“Fine, my name is Robert Anthony Wilson; I’m a Captain in the Confederate States Space Force; uhm…we don’t have serial numbers. Why?”
“Silence! Prisoners may only tell their name, rank, and serial number. If you don’t tell us your serial number, we will torture you until you do.”
“Uhm…that’s not really how it works…” I said.
“Now are you going to tell me, or am I going to have to gouge your eyes out?”
“Oh, for gosh sakes…Fine,” I said, and rattled off the first numerical sequence that came into my head, “It’s 1.7724277136176809...” and on it went. One of them scribbled furiously with a pencil - a pencil! - trying to keep up. I said “It’s really easy to remember because it’s the square root of Pi. Now, If you can please tell me…”
“Kill them,” said the scratchy-voiced old giantess.
“That’s it. I’m completely sick of this. Dum, you’re supposed to be my bodyguard, right?”
“Yeah, boss,” he said.
“So guard my body.”
And so he did. Dum looked small compared to his late sidekick, Huge, but he was actually my size, and vastly more fit. His arms were like bricks. In the low gravity, he was superhero-strong. He abruptly lifted both of his arms - and the little old men who were holding on to them - and then clapped them together, instantly knocking the both of them out. As they fell slowly to the ground, he lept - almost flew - into a gaggle of gun wielding geriatrics, none of whom had time to even process what was happening. There was the loud sound of bones breaking, and I knew none of them were his. Bodies hurled through the air. The aliens - who’d followed us into the chamber - panicked and ran every which way. I heard shouts coming from the other cave.
I slapped the scratchy-voiced old woman out of the way, and felt her ribs crumple as I did. These people must have been here a long time to have osteoporosis this bad! A stocky-looking man took aim at Dum. I threw myself at him,