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Korrideene -- Shaman of the Dex by dtyler99 Korrideene -- Shaman of the Dex by dtyler99
A wet, woody stick had the misfortune to fall near me and in the rain. I picked it up and started vindictively tearing it to shreds. That is, until I felt the unmistakable presence of someone looming over me. I glanced up with a scowl. It was the interpreter and a man, middle aged and mid-height, with an abo's ruddy skin and dark eyes. An untrimmed black beard jutted from beneath his hood.

I grunted and tried to lever myself up against the trunk, but the interpreter pushed out an open hand and I was happy to follow the universal instruction to stay. I looked up again, saw Trak several paces behind, and the woman with the face paint saw my eyes drift to her left, then sharply turned before issuing a welter of angry words, motioning Trak away. He only became nonplussed, wanting to stay and wanting to go, and retreated a handful of steps. Then the bearded guy slowly turned as well and even though he said nothing and I had no idea what his expression was, Trak startled, and then ran into the forest as if the hounds of hell were on his sweetcheeks.

OK then. A private conversation. I didn't know if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

After several breaths, the interpreter asked, "Domains?"

I was able—barely—to understand her rough accent. "Domains. Kyon orbital yard."

"K-kyawnn?" I nodded and after a querulous expression, she turned to her partner and spoke several words in their language. He replied and they had a short exchange before she addressed me again.

"Kyawnn knowing Dex?"

I shrugged, snorted unkindly. "Lady, I had no idea who the Dex were when I had to put down and I like you guys a hell of a lot less now that I do, being leashed outside for nearly forty days. Spannicol pirates sabotaged my tug. I'm just trying to fix my ship so I can get out of here."

She spoke again to the beard and they engaged in a lengthy conversation.

"Look, I lost my translator dot. I have another on my ship and would have to think it would make this process a little easier, n'est-ce pas? All I was trying to do was find a certain Shadewalker. Maybe you—"

So far throughout this chronicle, it must seem to you as if my neck has some unavoidable magnetic attraction to knives wielded by women. I mean, I'm a nice guy, polite, respectful, chivalrous, so I don't think it could possibly be what I say or how I say it but in any event, my ability to continue speaking was preempted by the decidedly uncomfortable and potentially fatal pressure of the interpreter's bone blade at my windpipe. I've got to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

"Say more!"

I thought I'd already said quite enough, thank you, and kept silent.

"Again!" She convincingly drew back my head for a more efficient killing angle.

"S-shadewalker. I'm looking for—"

"Rim man? You? Rim man?"

I would have laughed if I could breathe. As it was, I could barely hiss, "No. No Rimstalker. Jeff Miller. PX Transport. Tug pilot."

"No Rim man?"


Whether she believed me or not, the woman had the magnanimity to remove the knife. She stood and spoke rapidly with beard-o, paying me no further attention. They left. Still the rain fell and I gracelessly leaned back, made myself as comfortable as I could, and scratched another notch into the bark.

Text from The Fifth Circle, Volume 3 by Don Tyler. Art by Dejan Delic
sohighlydubious Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You certainly put your hero through the wringer!~
dtyler99 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018
To paraphrase an old joke:

Titus as Job to God: Dear Lord, why do you make me suffer so? Set so many trials for me? Make my life miserable?

God: I don't know, Titus, there just something about you that pisses me off!
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Submitted on
June 8
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