Conclusive Chasm II


We pushed deeper into the murk, forgetting about the floating mountain tops overhead. Just one fall from one of those and we could practically say good-bye to our troubles. I suppose that’s why I favored the deep overhangs down those deep valleys–my subconscious telling me to find cover. I have no idea if my vampyric curse could save me from being pulverized, but if it did, we are talking at least a century of regeneration under those boulders.

The purple tentacles become more of a feature than an exception. My bodyguard called them “Mindflayers,” but I think aberration fit them best. Skilled in the use of psionics, they were adept at mind control, and the shield I erected from my mind to Shav’s was just enough to make their attempts bounce off our confused brains.

We exterminated handfuls down there in the belly of the valley, sure to pick up the trinkets as relics of proof so we would be paid. The damnedest thing was the arrival of other hunters. Seems as though others topside were keen on knowing what the devil was going on down here.

I gave the order to leave when a squabble broke out between Shav and another fighter from above. Humans are nothing but fish squabbling over the last shreds of meat from a floating cadaver once the last nibble is apparent. I have no problem in killing humans, however it should be noted that killing nobles brings trouble. I could not tell who was noble and who was not down here in this murk.

The portals sifted us up topside. Moments of oblivion as your body zipped through netherspace and then poofed out in a momentarily unrecognizable environment full of intent and purpose. Seconds later the “Ohu, this is me. This is reality” settles in.

“Good lord,” the sergeant, our shady employer, said. “I asked for a sample and you brought half a sack. This went better than I thought.”

“Sounds like a bonus is due for my employer,” Shav said, stroking his beard.

“There were other down there,” I added, “which you never mentioned.”

“Others,” the sarge said.

“Humans,” I replied,” spies, gathers, whatever you want to call them.”

His eye closed slowly, only to pop open again. Something I said spooked him. “That will be arranged. My man will find you at inn, I trust?”

“If he comes with payment,” I said, sending out a bit of my own psionics, lacing my words with peril.

“It is late and the bank is closed, but by dawn he will find you and payment will be bestowed.”

“I should hope so, good captain,” I taunted, “else we will have to find it ourselves.”


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