The world was dark. The last thing I remembered was being stuck behind a large stone door. My hands went out to help feel my way around. There were animal pelts and sand. No longer was I stuck, no longer was I about to die. Was I dead? I rose to my feet and parted the tents opening. Greens were on the horizon, no longer were we in the middle of a desert we were on the edge of a large jungle. The idea of seeing green shocked me so much that I just about fell to my feet.
I began to walk around the camp. Everyone I walked by smiled at me, that was new. Usually they had been at the nicest neutral towards me. I went to seek out Hawk.
A lot of tents were missing. The amount of people in our band must have been cut in half and the remaining people were mostly the warriors of the group.
Hawk was nowhere to be found. I decided to head back to the tent. It bothered me that I saw not a single women or child in the camp at all. “What the hell happened to them?”
An energetic man, who was skinnier than a newly planted pine, had overheard me talking to myself “Hey there partner! What happened to whom?”
“You understand me?”
“Of course, I do. What’s not to understand? I mean your saying things I’m answering things. Its general communication!”
I then recalled the ordeal with Jehmundi. What the hell had happened there. Maybe Hawk knew. “Have you seen Hawk around?”
“He’s off hunting in the jungle. However he should be returning soon! Hey aren’t ya gald we got teamed up” The man was very excited about that.
“We getting fresh meat or something? Teamed up?”
The mans head spun towards the jungle and violently spun back “Yeah!” apparently that was all he was willing to talk about because he quickly left. Pivoting my head towards the jungle I noticed what he had. A small group of men coming back holding a big shishkabob with some forest creature on it.
The camp burst into movement and soon a large fire had been set up in the middle of camp. I made my way over towards Hawk.
He spotted me instantly. “Hey there buddy, you gave us a scare!” Yeah I gave myself a bit of a scare as well.
Still not entirely sure why I wasn’t still in the ground I asked “How am I alive?”
“When you didn’t return I went back to the door and sure enough you were just on the other side doing nothing. What happened down there?”
I had to be careful. I had killed the leader of this merry band of travelers, I highly doubted they would be very happy about that. “I honestly couldn’t tell you. All I remember is walking down, then waking up.”
“Must have been some party, what did you and Jehmundi drink down there? Whatever it is you should bring some for me next time! Speaking of the old devil where is he? We searched the area for three days trying to find the old hound dog.”
Crap, this conversation was getting uncomfortable very quickly. Time for some quick smart thinking. “I really have no idea. It was all a big blur.” Feigned ignorance would have to do.
“You sure? You didn’t leave him with a big hole in his chest or nothing?” Damn he knew what I had done and that I had been lying to him. I reached for my sword. It was gone.
Hawk noticed me groping the air. He gave me one of those damned smiles and said “Hey, don’t get so riled up. This stuff happens. Actually the old fart wanted to go out. He handed the reigns to me before you guys went down there.”
“What? You? Since you’re the new boss can ya tell me what the hell is going on?”
“Nope, I can tell you that your going to be getting some added responsibilities now though.”
“Like what? Honorary person that retires old leaders or something?”
“No, you’re the new linguist.” His face remained serious all of two seconds before he exploded in laughter.
Blood rushed to my cheeks. What an ass. “Yeah, thanks. Seriously though what am I doing.”
“Ya see that skinny stick of a man over by the tree?”
Sure enough a stick skinny brown man was standing next to a tree. In fact it was the same ball of energy I had spoken with earlier. “Yeah I see him, you want me to off him too?”
“Wow hold on there eager beaver, no, I don’t want you to ‘off’ him. I just want you to be nice to the guy. He doesn’t really fit in with most of the guys.”
For the quick second I had met the tiny bastard I had wanted to wring his neck. “You want me to what? Why the hell would I do that?”
“Because he is going to be your scouting assistant.” He paused, mulling something over in his head. “I really need to find a better name for that position. Something more official like recon buddy, or espionage twin, oh wait maybe duo memb-“
“Your kidding me? I have to basically live with that guy? Not to mention that I doubt he shuts up. You basically signed my death warrant.”
His face went from day to night in a heartbeat and stayed there. “First off you’ve done nothing but eat our food and take my time up, so if you want to stay with us quite your bitching.” He seemed to relax after that. “You have two choices, either you treck it alone, or you go over there and make a new friend. However this is your last opportunity to leave us, if you stay, you’re here for life.”
Well shit, he didn’t really leave me with much of an option but there was no need for him to be so rude about it. “Okay. Not that it’s much of an option but I’ll stay.”
His shoulders moved down a good two inches and a sigh escaped his lips. “Good, glad to have ya for the haul! Now go over and meet your new intelligence assistant.” I turned and headed towards the little man. Intelligence assistant, well it was better than recon buddy.