"God, help me." Paqi looked through the iron bars and slid his scrabbly hand through them, desperate for a taste of freedom. He had been locked in the dungeon for how long now... five months? Five years? Five centuries? Time didn't matter to him anymore, and all he wished for was a day of freedom, a day of being out of the disgusting cellar. He longed to be back out, fighting for his homeland where he belonged.

"Silence, miserable worm." a low voice hissed. A man came out of the darkness and kicked at Paqi's outstretched hand. "No matter how much you long for it, you will never see the light of day again."

"Forget about the Resistance," Paqi pleaded. "Please.. I have a daughter. Sir.. Please."

There was a dark hiss of laughter. "Forget about the Resistance? You foolish man! That's the very thing that is still fighting against us."

"My daughter is merely six years of age!" Paqi started to cry helplessly. Oh.. all he wanted was to see his precious child again and shelter her from the monsters that lurked outside. "She has no family left, her mother was killed. You have tortured me to your hearts content, stripped me of my dignity and starved me of every nutrition! I have learned, I have learned!"

"You have learned nothing." the man spat.

Paqi sobbed helplessly, giving up his last strand of pride. He balled on the floor in fear, his tears spilling onto the stone floor in small puddles. The man watched him with cold eyes, his mouth turned up with the smallest hint of amusement. There was no mercy on his scarred face. He leaned in closely and grinned, showing off his yellow and blackened teeth.

"Ye learned nothing." he whispered hoarsely, his foul breath spilling over Paqi. "I have done everything to make you pay, yet I still see the look of Resistance within yer eyes."

"No, you don't underst-!" Paqi started to plead.

"Death sentence still stays, worm." the man got to his feet and grinned again. "The Valcons will never surrender ye homeland again. Tis ours now."

Paqi remained silent for a moment, wiping the tears from his face. He watched in disgust as the man walked over to the dusty window and peered out of it, sighing contently and muttering to himself about how well the Valcon soldiers were doing on this fine day. Paqi let his mind drift to his daughter, Gena: who was going to turn seven years of age on this day. He prayed desperately that wherever she was, that she was safe from harm. That she had not been a victim to the Valcon soldiers on the streets. He stared at his scarred hands in fevered attempt to send her a message, but he knew it was fruitless. There was no magic left in him anymore. Every remnant of spells was gone, beaten out of him.

"Ye quiet now, maggot." the man said softly, staring at him cruelly. "Very strange behavior fer the infamous Blue Mage, yea?"

"Just you wait.." Paqi said angrily, grabbing at the iron bars. "I may not be powerful now.. but just you wait until I get a chance-"

"We wait for nothing. You have been defeated, and without you, the resistance will crumble." the man's smile grew bigger. "And everyone you know and love will die. You will watch as they are tortured. And then you, my friend, will be next."

Paqi gulped back fear and crawled back into the corner, the Valcon soldier sneering at him the entire time.