Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Deal or No Deal

"As I said to you before," the Leader replied disdainfully, "I owe you nothing.  I don't have to explain myself to you."

"Okay, fine," I said.  "But since I've got your new best friend in two pieces, perhaps we could arrange some kind of prisoner exchange."

"You want the psychic," he predicted flatly.

"I want the psychic," I confirmed.

He waved me off.  "Absolutely not."

"Don't you want Gavsot back?" I asked.  "Take it from me, dude, he's a useful guy to have in your corner."

"If I require him," the Leader said haughtily, "then I will take him from you."

I snorted.  "Now whose hubris knows no bounds?"

I was pleased to see how riled up I was getting him.  His chest was heaving and his enraged breath was whistling sharply out through his mask.  "If Zyzyfus's idiotic little mutiny hadn't interrupted me," he grated, "you'd be rotting away as a pitiful human in that dark tunnel I left you in while I ruled Hell the way it was meant to be ruled."

"Sure," I taunted.  "Blame it on bad luck.  Don’t blame it on the fact that you were too stupid to leave someone down there with me to stab me again in case I got my mojo back."

"It wasn't supposed to take that long," he insisted.  "Zyzyfus threw everything off track!"  He let out a long, frustrated growl of growing volume.  "Enough of this!" he shouted.  "I have better things to do than stand here and trade insults with the Abomination!  Next time you see me," he promised grimly, "I'll be drinking your blood and taking your throne!"

A statement like that could only mean he was preparing to leave.  I pounced on him and just barely managed to grab the hem of his robe as he teleported.   A moment later, I was on the dusty floor of yet another small cave.  Tithenai, bound with ropes a few feet away, looked up and greeted me, "Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?"

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