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“Hello, Kamen, you’ve done well so far to avoid The Hand. How long do you think that will last?
Kamen glares balefully at this man, the most dangerous man Kamen has ever encountered.
“They’re sending Retrieval Units out to hunt you down. You do remember them, don’t you?” The man continues with his slightly refined accent, and deep, if somewhat nasally, voice.
Kamen nods his understanding.
“I’m not here to force you to come back, I’m here to convince you to come with me.”
Kamen detects a trace of worry in this man’s softer demeanor. He doesn’t seem as hard as he used to be. Kamen thinks to himself. What’s happened to you?
Kamen looks the larger man in the eyes, not backing down. “That’s not going to happen. I think you know that.” Kamen says in a soft, but flat and toneless voice.
“Very well,” the man goes on. “If you will not see reason, go back down stairs, and talk to the wizard.”
“What does he have to do with any of this?” Kamen asked, somewhat incredulously.
“More than you know, I need you to trust me…”
“And why should I do such a thing?” Kamen interrupted, knowing this man hated that very thing.
The man frowned at Kamen, and said, “Listen boy, I may have omitted certain truths, and let you make assumptions based on what little information I chose to share with you, but I have never lied to you outright.”
He studied the other man for a moment, scrutinizing every feature in his face. After his brief observation, Kamen knew he spoke the truth.
“Alright.” Kamen replied, “What’s my in?”
“If you must,” he let out a slow sigh. “Tell him a man with the initials, V.R. sent you to him. He’s and intelligent man and can be an asset to you. I believe a working relationship with him would prove mutually beneficial to the both of you.”
Something seemed to have this man on edge. Kamen wasn’t sure what it might be, but he had a few ideas, and none of them were good.
“Fine, I’ll do this, but you owe me some answers.”