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"Freed when?" Absorber asked, not entirely convinced of Slaryka's honesty.

"Soon," was all Slaryka said at first. After an uncomfortable pause, he continued. "Within a month, most likely in the next two weeks, my commander, Zalkatrex, the main muscle, Yaltrax, the second-in-command, Trallix, and several others, all of whom are the best of the Hokanuka forces, will leave this place to attack a fortress up above." Another pause, as Slaryka seemed to be listening to something. He began anew in a conspiratorial whisper. "I can arrange to be the last one out of the headquarters. On my way out, I will forget a bit of equipment back here. I will puncture your tank, leave with the bit I came for, and make myself scarce. Shortly after, you will awaken, and I suggest stomping a lot on your way out so you can just plow through all guards in your way."

Absorber folded her arms, gouging out parts of the door jamb with the action. Assuming I take your deal, how am I getting back in the tank in the first place?"

Slaryka smiled. "You allow Yaltrax, who is on his way here, to defeat you. Trust me, he'll find a way to get you in the tank." Another pause. Slaryka glanced behind him. "He's coming. Decide now."

Absorber's brow furrowed. She tapped her clawed finger on her arm in thought. The idea was mulled over, sought through for flaws, omissions, or questionable sentences. Finding none, she nodded. No words were spoken for Yaltrax's footsteps were audible to her now as well.

"Good," Slaryka mouthed. "Hit me."

This Absorber did, lashing out with a giant, three-fingered hand to smack Slaryka into a wall. I'm glad I met him. He's like a shining light or compassion in the darkness of heartless desire for knowledge and wealth.

The impact was not too weak for Yaltrax to pick up on. The eleven-foot tall monstrosity pounded around a corner just as Slaryka slumped to the floor. He was a little surprised to see that Absorber was in fact three feet taller than him, but nevertheless braced his legs and hurled himself at her in a flying shoulder tackle.Ah, yes, Absorber thought. Here comes the darkness, attacking and provoking, heedless to the fact that light has already won.

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