Spald arrives at the business of his potential employer and is hired to find and destroy a creature interfering with the operations of a lucrative mine. He doesn’t take too seriously the doomsday stories of almost a dozen hunters already killed by the beast, but he does take seriously the opportunity to recover eleven pouches of gems. As he explores the mine, though, he can’t help but face the truth-this is no fanciful fear brought on by superstition. Instead, an all-to-real native beast threatens the colonists who lost touch with Earth decades before.
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Were it not for the smell of death, which had grown considerably stronger over the last hour, Spald still would have believed there was nothing here. The stench had grown powerful and strong, and he checked his coordinates over and over to ensure the air was still breathable and safe. Finally, for comfort he pressed the button on his suit and the visor came back up over his head. In moments, the stale recycled air, filtered and flat, replaced the stench.
He saw the body on the floor of the cavern seconds before his machine would have run over it. He stopped the machine, glanced around, saw nothing, and stepped out. He walked over and shook his head sadly. He knew this man. It was Reiyncan. The two of them had worked together on similar quests. In fact, if Spald was forced to decide who the greatest of his kind were, he would rank the man in front of him in the top.
Reiyncan’s visor was shattered and half of his face was gone. By the looks of it, the violence had occurred a month or two prior.