All right, fine, the rat can come. It can't be worse than Pickle and Falcon, surely?

Kal got to one knee just so he could get a closer look at the rodent. For a creature that proabably didn't have a lot to live off down here it was fatter than a troll with an adventurer's legs sticking out of its mouth. It stood on it's hind legs pawing the air. It appeared to be grinning.

"Name's Rufus and I'm a tre'sur hunter!"

"You're a rat."

"Wot's wrong wiv da world is dat rats can't be advent'rers. I've bin livin' 'ere in da Hidden Caves since I wuz a littl'un I knows where all da tre'sur is!"

Kal looked perplexed.

"The where?"

"Well yeh not much ov an advent'rer if yeh dunno where yeh are.
We'z in da Hidden Caves we is."

Kal threw a threatening glare to Pickle.

"Is we?!"

The mage looked scared.

"We're in the wrong dungeon aren't we? Erm ... I got us close."

Kal felt his hands stiffening into fists.

"We could be anywhere you idiot!"

Falcon picked up Rufus and put him on his shoulder. This was good enough for Kal who's knees were starting to ache. The little fellow nibbled Falcon's ear and he started laughing, apparantly oblivious to the fact that Kal was berrating Pickle again.

"I'll deal with you later." The warrior hissed looking back between Falcon and Rufus.

"What do you think Falcon? Do we ..."

Before Kal could even finish what he was saying Falcon cut him dead with that ever sickeningly happy tone he spoke in.

"Splendid idea! The more the merrier I say. He'll be very useful in the long and arduous journey to come. I can already tell he's a right little trooper."

Kal was doing everything he could not to commit homoside and breathed a few words to himself.

"Shut up or I start killing ..."

The ranger moved in closer as to hear the warrior better.

"What did you say old boy? Sorry hearing's not what it used to be."

Kal forced cheeryness.

"I said that sounds absolutely thrilling. Let's go then."

Rufus bounced up and down excitedly.

"Yay! Lotsa tre'surs in ere. Lotsa dem!" He squeeked happily, "I'll showz yeh! First lot is on da uver side of da big hole in da wall just ova der."

The rat pointed to a pile of rubble at the base of the ledge. If there was a hole it was hidden.

"I can move all that out of the way." Said Pickle obviously attempting to redeem himself.

"No you can't." Whispered Kal softly.

"No I can't." Repeated Pickle looking despondantly at the ground.

Falcon and Rufus looked at the mage confused.

"You can or you can't?" Said Falcon scratching his head.

Kal chimed in with a grin on his face.

"He can't. He hears voices in his head and talks to them sometimes. He gets very confused poor soul. Don't you Pickle?"

"Erm ..."

"Don't you. Pickle."

"Oh yes, yes I do ... terrible problem really." The mage grumbled thumbing his robe nervously with his finger tips.

Kal and Falcon spent the next ten minutes clearing rubble to reveal the massive opening Rufus was talking about. There was certainly and opening. At it was certainly massive. If you were a rat. The other problem was that it was the only way out of this caven. The walls around where they stood were to sheer to climb back up.

Kal was getting a headache.




The End

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