5 Know your place
Finally Tiradates intervened. When he judged any man would have had the fight beaten out of him. When this prick would have learned the error of his ways. Besides, his emperor would want this prince in one piece. Vologases himself would want to order this prince broken.
“Get the piece of shit up …..”
Maciste heard Tiradates’s voice sharp. His troops dragged a near-stunned Maciste up. Maciste felt the hands on his arms. Dimly his will felt itself being humiliatingly dragged but his body could not respond.
Maciste was wallowing in a swamp of thick slime. The ferocity of that attack had overwhelmed him, nothing would obey his will, struggling to see straight. Acid bile filled his throat. He could not get his head up as a gang of violent thugs dragged him, his feet trailing helpless behind. For no reason, a fist hammered him in the neck. A loud cry. His head already reeling.
The sergeant gripped Maciste by the hair. His hand stung raw across Maciste’s cheek.
“On your fucking knees.”
Tiradates looked down on him.
“Offer? Your freedom for the women>”
“What fucking freedom? Prisoners don’t have freedom”.
Maciste was furious. He shook his head to clear his vision. From this demeaning position on his knees, panting his wind back in, he glared back up at this Parthian. Attacked. Uncalled-for .. he had offered to surrender.
Maciste spat the bile out of his mouth. Then he answered more firmly.
“I am no prisoner. You forget this is my land …..”
Maciste was still getting his breath back. He was forcing the pounding of his heart under control. Anger battling with hurt making him lose his temper. Glaring back angrily he saw Tiradates look around himself. Taking in the guards, the troops, his soldiers’ tents.
“You looked around recently …?”
“Go about with your eyes shut?”
He scoffed. Shaking his head at this stupidity.
His tone was mocking.
“Don’t make me laugh!”
There was no humour to be found in Tiradates’s eyes, though.
“Not a prisoner, you say? Look around. Strikes me .. that’s just what you are. Arsehole.”
He stepped right up close. He grabbed Maciste by the scalp. Yanked his head back. Forcing him to look up at this captor. Lording it over him.
Maciste gasped out. Again the metal tip of the general’s boot had slammed into his belly. Even harder than before .. it seemed. Or was it after that kicking? He’d just got his breath back and this brute was again knocking the wind out of him. Still struggling to get his temper under control and Tiradates had stomped on him again.
The grip in Maciste’s hair yanked him forward. Tiradates got in a stunning blow. Elbow .. smacked across the top of Maciste’s head. He yelled out .. lights exploded in his brain.
Tiradates held his position. Letting the prisoner slump forward. Sprawled against his thighs. Gloating. Tiradates’s hard elbow-smack into his skull must have stunned the prick. Finished him off. Knocked the fight out of him. Testing, Tiradates stepped back. Helpless the torso fell forward. Landing front-down in the dirt.
Tiradates loomed over the prone torso. That deep-etched back was already squirming, muscular legs struggling to get back up.
“Not my prisoner, arsehole?”
He kicked out at the sprawling body.
“Then what-the-fuck are you?”