Ceres approached the sickly Fatebringer Master and quickly opened her doctor’s bag while squatting by his side. She threw a quick look at Kiph and motioned for him to give her some room. She carefully checked his vitals, then studied the wounds he had received from the mutant horrors.
His wounds have become infected again, and there is vomit on his hands. He simply refuse to become better. It must be some sort of poison, but I know nothing of the G’Kraun, ‘cept for the fact that only Loett became this ill. Perhaps they are like ticks, in that only a few carries disease?
Ceres tried to make sense of the situation. Radiation poisoning could not be ruled out, for some of the symptoms were there; nausea, vomiting and infections.
Sighing she wiped a syringe; she did not have that many and reused the few she had. She always remembered to sterilize them though. A quick sting, Loett did not even grunt, and half a dose of healing nanites flowed into his body. Another sting and anti-radiation nanites followed suit.
Kiph and Riv were agitated and Ceres had to hush. Loett bolted upright, heaves racking through his body. All of a sudden he was vomiting everywhere, spilling some on Ceres’ pants and boots, on the silks he laid in, on his shirt, on the ground and even some on Kiphs comforting hands.
The concubines had carried away most of the equipment and Hertha had ordered Maliphene and Tiana to raise the grand tent in a secluded copse some thousand steps down and north.
Master Loett had been revived, though he looked like a thin ghost and positively reeked of vomit mixed with rose water and sweat. He whispered to Kiph now, the mad apprentice nodding eagerly and crying at the same time. Hertha looked hard on Kiph. The nervous maniac was a far cry from a charmer, actually very few men of the wastes were, but still Tiana seemed to have been smitten with him. She could not for the life of her understand why.
“I feel so weak, Kiph…” the master whispered, tiny droplets of spit escaping his dried lips as he did so. “I do not have the strength to move around. Believe me, those nights in the back of a moving truck was like hell for me”, Abak Loett had that look of resignation in his eyes, a look Kiph had seen before. He did not say it, but the Fatebringer Master expected to die, of that Kiph was certain.
Ceres saw it too, but she was not so sure. The nanites had helped him and might give him a fighting chance. What he needed now was quiet and rest, something she was sure the concubines would provide
“Here it is, Master”, Hertha said, bowing her head in deference to her master. She had handed him a bundle of hides wrapped around a couple of items she knew meant much to her master.
“It is time for you make do without me… I am not sure we will even meet again, Kiph”, Loett said as he handed the deerskin bundle to the crying Fatebringer apprentice.
It took a while and no one spoke, then Kiph opened the bundle with shaking hands. Inside was a pipe, a small tin box, a lighter, a small leather pouch and a stiletto in the black sheath of a Fatebringer Master.
“Kiph, here is what you will inherit from me, your master. My meditation pipe, a pouch of fine tobacco, a tin box with refined Angelic Juice. Not the cheap variant but premium stuff. You will find the side effects are far less severe. And Kiph… The stiletto I got from my master who got it from his. You must give it a name and thus it will become yours – a part of your very soul. When you kill with it, you will know that it is perfection”. The master coughed hard several times, and then looked up at Kiph again.
“You are young and not yet in your prime, but Kiph, you are now a master. Take my ring”, Abak Loett removed a fine golden ring from his inner pocket, “and travel with my blessing. The dagger and the ring will grant you access to the council of Nadeir, though you must find it first. There your voice will be heard, an equal in matters of the council. There you will find resources, allies and a place to rest”.
The master was nearly asleep, but after another bout of coughing he smiled wearily at Kiph and spoke one last time before sleep claimed him. “Nadeir cannot be found. Nadeir will find you. Just you keep the ring and the stiletto. Wear them proudly”.
Riv looked inside the cargo hold. Everything seemed to be in order. The cabin had been emptied quickly and now they were ready to leave. The booby trap was set, the master and his concubines in hiding and Ceres and Kiph seemed ready to depart as well.
The Smith triplets would likely be closer now. Perhaps even now their scout was nearby, approaching hidden and unseen.
What was his name again? Sev… Nev… Yes, Nev! That bastard follows Oldboy like a dog follows his master
But, as dogs go, Nev was good. He knew his trade and was an uncanny tracker and skilled at keeping hidden as well. If Nev died, however, the Smiths wouldn’t stand a chance of tracking him any further. Too bad Nev was cautious, bordering on the paranoid. That was what happened when you listened to the preachings of “Oldboy” for too long, for the firebrand pastor had almost gotten Riv watching under his bed with his tales of hell and eternal punishment. That did not stop the Smiths from wenching and gambling though. No, his preaches were more like visions of hell and the message was that everyone was going, except those that would find salvation at the hands of the lord. And it always came to be, that the lord handed out salvation through his mortal vessel; Oldboy Smith.
Ceres - Medicine: Success
Riv - Mechanical Repair: Not Revealed
Loett falls asleep, but of course: You all have time to ask a couple of questions in between his speech.