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Dungeon 2 - Philip Jose Farmer

Dungeon 2 - Philip Jose Farmer

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Published by: Don Okello Anabouani on Jul 16, 2011
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01/27/2013

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"By falling into our home!" said Ka, as though it were a stupid question. "Eight of you
thrashing about over our heads, ready to die right in our living area. Some of us were
insulted, for it seemed very rude. But the Way Speaker determined that there was
neither fault nor intent to insult on your part. Only desperation. After long
consultation we decided to rescue you."

"Decided?" asked Clive. Ka ducked back into the water. Clive waited for the sea-man
to rise before finishing his question. "Why would you have to decide whether to
rescue someone who was drowning? Would you not do so automatically?"

Ka shook his head and frowned. "We have little to do with the people of the land," he
said. "For the most part they fear us, though for no good reason, as we nave never
intentionally harmed one of them. But if one of us becomes tangled in their nets, they
are as apt to kill us, or take us to shore, which is the same thing, as they are to free us.
Of course, it is very rare for one of us to get caught in such a way." He said this last
very fiercely, as if the idea of being caught was a great insult.

"We do not like the people of the land," he continued. "But the ancestors pointed out
that you were of a different place, and had done us no harm." He paused. "They also

indicated that someone among you had a role to play in the struggle that has overtaken
the Dungeon."

"What struggle?" Clive asked eagerly. "Which of us?" But Ka shook his head. "I have
said too much," he rasped. "We do not involve ourselves. The islanders come. I must
leave!" "Wait!" cried Clive.

But it was too late. Instead of merely ducking beneath the waves, Ka turned and
leaped, arcing over a wave and then disappearing into the blue-green water. When he
resurfaced, about fifty feet away, only his head and shoulders showed above the
waves. "Good luck, Folliot," he shouted. "Wait!" Clive cried again. "How do you
know my name?"

THE DARK ABYSS

141

But Ka was gone.

Clive turned to Annie. "I didn't even have time to thank him," he said bleakly.

She took his arm and began to speak. But before she had uttered two words she was
interrupted by an uproar from behind.

They turned and saw several hundred people standing at the place where the beach
ended and the grass began.

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Lightning Rod

The main group of people was small, even the tallest of them barely reaching five
feet. But they were beautifully formed, as if the Greek ideals of body proportion had
been re-created in miniature. They had dark hair, dark eyes, and glossy skin the color
of old pine cones. They were wearing loincloths and nothing else—even, Clive noted
with interest, the women.

Scattered here and there among the islanders were the kind of anomalies Clive had
come to expect in the Dungeon: a tall, blue-skinned woman with three breasts, a
towering creature who looked more like a praying mantis than a human, and a short,
round something covered almost entirely with lavender fur. Most striking of all to
dive's eyes, primarily because he was so abnormally normal-looking, was a rather

distinguished man of middle years. He had ruddy skin, thick, silvery hair, and a bush)i
mustache. Dressed in the proper fashion he would not have looked out-of-place in the
House of Lords. As it was, he gave a certain elegance even to the simple, one-piece
white linen suit he was currently wearing.

The distinguished-looking man nodded at Clive but said nothing. The diminutive
majority beat their fists against their breasts and cried "Hail, sky warriors!" several
times. Suddenly, as if on a signal, they began to surge forward.

Clive braced himself for a battle. But the people were smiling. Laughing merrily, they
lifted Clive and his friends to their shoulders and began to carry them away from the
beach.

• 142 •

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