There was no sleeping in a cage in the jungle, but, eyes shut, he focused on breathing and lowering his heart rate with pressure on the vagus nerve. In this calm state he searched his senses. A slight rustle. A brief breeze. A whiff of a strange stench. A blast of flame on his face. His eyes popped open. Only the bars that were trapping him stopped the dragon-like creature twice his height from slapping him.
As the beast’s tail flicked up to the roof of his cage, there was a click and a jiggle that formed a small gap in the structure. It was then that he noticed the latch was up there, way out of reach. It opened from the outside of course, but if he could get up there, he could reach through the bars. The creature stuck a limb through the bars and rolled one of the stacked fruits towards itself. Looking at the size of the cage and the creature, this trap could have been intended for it. The thought lightened his mood. If he wasn’t the intended target, escape should be very possible. If only he could get up to the still partially latched door.
On the side away from the creature, Woon grabbed a bar and pulled himself up. Promptly, he slid back down. The bars were as slippery as a slide. Meanwhile, the creature had failed to get fruit, as it was too wide to go through the bars. It spun and flicked its tail right at Woon. The sixer leapt and rolled to the side. He stood and pulled out his Shocker 2000. The small, light pistol with six barrels was easy to carry. Something larger and more powerful would be better, but hopefully a well-placed shot would do. By default, it was loaded with shock bullets. He hoped he didn’t have to switch to lethal ones.
As he was aiming, a volley of tiny spears flew at him. Instinctively he turned his face away and tucked in his limbs. Barbed projectiles similar to porcupine quills littered the floor of the cage as a heavy barrage bounced off his zap suit. Thank the galaxy for the tough nano-fabric. As soon as the volley stopped, he turned and fired. His aim was good. A shock bullet to the brain made the thing’s eyes roll up. It crumpled and collapsed. Woon felt a flush of horror rush to his brain as he stared at the still beast. Had he killed again?
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