"Henh, henh, henh", Tiek Rotcorp laughed his annoying laugh. The chinless man
grinned, exposing gnarled teeth, covered in that sticky, smelly, white-green
film that epitomized his lack of hygiene.
While he had no chin, he sure had an oversized adam's apple... at least
grapefruit sized. His neck was so skinny, it almost looked like a snake
swallowing a fat mouse. In fact, the man was so skinny, Flametoungue thought he
must have been malnourished for years. His face so bleach-white, one would have
thought him to be an albino, except for his jet-black hair. The hair made such
a contrast, it appeared his eyebrows were charcoal marks smeared on a white
"How much farther?", sniveled Tiek. "I'd better get the other half of my pay,
even though we didn't find anything."
Flametongue hissed, he could hardly stand the mutant, but they had to get back
across the wastes, and there was safety in numbers. He projected his thoughts
into Rotcorp's mind. 'Half to start, half on completion. We were just hired to
look in places they had not searched yet. It's not our fault nothing was there
to find. Don't worry, you will get what you deserve. They have never broke
faith with me, through many dealings.'
"Maybe we will get the other half of T'Nerb's share.", whined Tiek.
Flametongue didn't bother answering him. That had been bad business, he
thought. When they first set out for their quest, he felt he had been lucky to
hire T'Nerb Nitram, a very capable fighter, skilled in martial arts and
stealth. While returning from their fruitless search, however, he had begun to
suspect T'Nerb of thievery. One night, he noticed some things were missing from
his pack. After conferring telepathically with Tiek, he found the humanoid
was also missing some things.
At first, T'Nerb had been a killing machine in the battles they had fought with
denizens of the wastelands. About halfway home, however, T'Nerb had disappeared
while they fought some giant mutant scorpions. Once they defeated the
creatures, they found T'Nerb had apparently already been into the cave-lair of
the scorpions and looted the bodies of the beast's previous victims.
Flametongue secretly read T'Nerb's thoughts that night and found festering
greed. T'Nerb meant them no direct harm for the next few days, for he planned
on using them to help him get back across the wastes...safety in numbers. He
did, however, plan to kill them just before they got back to Jonah's Point.
Flametongue had a quick mental conference with Tiek and they decided that
they would subdue T'Nerb on their next available opportunity. The man was so
dangerous, they would have to strike first, and without mercy.
A day later, they found a cave 4 meters off the ground in the side of a rocky
ravine in the wastes. They felt it worth exploring. T'Nerb used his skill to
climb the rock wall face and tie a rope for them. They climbed up to join him
and began investigating.
Not 10 meters into the cave, they found a 5-meter square pit (covering the
entire width of the cave) blocking their way. The pit was about 6 meters deep
and the floor was covered with wickedly sharp, wooden stakes.
T'Nerb said he wanted to proceed. He felt there could be much loot if the cave
was protected this well. Because they resorted to traps, he reasoned, they may
not have enough personnel to guard everything. He would climb across and carry
one end of a rope with him so they could get across too.
That was ludicrous, thought Flametongue. Anyone who took the time to carve a
pit 6 meters deep out of the natural rock floor was serious. Flametongue read
T'Nerb's mind and found his true intentions. They were a day closer to Jonah's
Point now, and T'Nerb thought to get rid of one of them. He planned to use a
frayed rope he had and make one of them fall to their death on the stakes.
T'Nerb began his climb across the natural cave walls. It was amazing, the man
was very skilled. Flametongue had to admire how his hands and feet found the
tiniest of grips where there seemed to be just sheer wall. He was about halfway
across the wall, above and beside the pit.
Flametongue quickly gave Tiek the mental message of what T'Nerb planned, and
they decided they had to strike now, while he was vulnerable.
Flametongue prepared to attack, but before he could act, Tiek Rotcorp amazed
him. Tiek began concentrating and pointing down at the bottom of the pit,
creating a strong magnetic field. The studs on T'Nerb's leather armor, the
steel shield slung across his back, and his sword in its scabbard became too
attracted to the field.
T'Nerb was suddenly yanked from the wall and flung violently down to the pit.
He was impaled on several stakes at once and began writhing and screaming.
After letting T'Nerb twist and bleed for a minute, at the bottom of the pit,
Tiek then created a field up on the cave floor and ripped T'Nerb from the
stakes, depositing him at their feet. Tiek released the field and immediately
began clubbing him. Flametongue began rending T'Nerb with his claws.
Just then they heard the shot of a slug thrower. A projectile whizzed by their
heads. The commotion they had created had finally attracted the denizens of the
Several mutated weasels stood on the other side of the pit, leveling firearms
Flamtongue picked up the corpse of T'Nerb and flung it out of the cave entrace
where it bounced down to the ground below. He and Tiek made a fast getaway
down the rope.
Flametongue didn't know how long it would take the weasels to get across the
pit, but he was sure they had some sort of moveable bridge (a log or something)
on their side.
They quickly looted T'Nerb's body of all valuables and ran off across the
wastes, where Jonah's Point awaited them in another day.