Smo'dis knew something was wrong.
He found he had trouble keeping up with the exceptionally-strong "cubbie" he was trying to clomp. Usually, he'd be so quick that he could cut in front of the runtee, but for some reason he was lucky to keep up with the beefed-up little one. Finally, the cubbie stopped, and Smo'dis delivered two quick lusk blows to leave him out of breath, than finished the job with a third swing.
On the way back, he reached for his bottle of Tash anti-slowness medicine. . .
"GAH! SMO'Z TASH AM GUNE!!!" he exclaimed.
Ur'ug snickered as he suggested, "Girm prububli teef'd id!"
Smo'dis chuckled, but knew that Girm didn't know of the secret hiding spot where he kept his Tash. Nobody did; that was why he never lost it, even when humies clomped him. This was the work of someone else. . .
"Gah, me feelin su tiurd!" Smo gasped, back in the Surjin hut.
"Gug'ye Smo," Ur'ug said, as Smo found his way downstairs.
He lay on one of the beds, and tried to fall asleep. All of a sudden, he felt horrible. Nausea, coughing, stomachache. . . it was as if every disease there was had decided to attack Smo at the same time. Finally, everything went black. . .
"Gah!" Smo exclaimed, when he realized who was talking to him. It was the Wargod!
"LAT GRUK WHI LAT HEER?"
For the first time in his life, Smo had no idea how he ended up in the Wargod's chamber. It wasn't humies, or shardies, or even a clomp game - so what happened?
"LAT HEER BEKUZ ME WAN LAT HEER, DAT WHI!!!" the Wargod exclaimed, seeming to read Smo's mind.
"Bud whi?" Smo'dis asked.
"LAT HAB BEKUM BUBHOSH AD KUTTIN TWEEZ!" the Wargod exclaimed. "DAT MAKR LAT BUBHOSH AD TAKTIK-MAKRIN, ZULTIN, ANADUMI, AGH TWEE-KUTTIN!"
"HOOWAH!" Smo'dis shouted.
"BUD LAT FURGEDDIN LATZ RULE IN DA SHADUWCLAN! LAT AM BEKUMIN TUU INDEPENDUNT! LAT NEEB TU REMEMBUR DAT LAT AM PARD UB TEEM!!!"
"Nub uh!" Smo'dis argued. "Me still heeli uddurz in baddul, agh - "
"NUB ARGYU! LAT CLOMP INSTED UB HEELI NUW! LAT FURGED DA BIKTURI AD DA DEDDI UZG, SU LUNG AGU, WEN LAT LEED'D ASH GRUUP UB RUNTEEZ AGINZT LOTZ UB HUMIEZ, AGH NUB LUUZ'D ANIASH?"
"Yub, dat wuz bubhosh baddul! Bud uz nub clompd ani ub dem - "
"BUD LAT KEEB'D EBRIASH ALIBE! IB LAT AM DED, NUB KAN CLOMP DEM EEDUR!!! LAT HAB FURGOTTUN LATZ SENZE UB TEEMWURK!" the Wargod shouted.
"Me surri. . . " Smo'dis mumbled.
"SURRI NUB GUUD ENUFF! LAT GUIN STAI HEER AGH GRUK TU BE BEDDUR ORK! ME GUIN GIB LAT ASH WEEK! IB LAT NUB GRUK BEDDUR ABTUR DAT WEEK, DEN LAT AM NEBUR GUIN BAK TU DA UZG!!!"
"GAH!" Smo'dis shouted. "NUB KEEB ME HEER! PWEEZ, ME WAN GU BAK!!!"
"SHADDAB!" the Wargod shouted back. "ME MITE SEND LAT BAK FRUM TYM TU TYM, BUD UNLI IN SPIRUT FURM! LAT KAN CLOMP AGH TINGEEZ, BUD LAT NUB KAN BLAH WIF ANIASH! IB LAT TWI, ID SOWND LIKEE GOSTI BLAH!!! AGH, LAT AM GUIN BE SLUW WIFOWD LATZ TASH!"
"Yub sur!" Smo'dis knew when it was hopeless to continue arguing.
"NUW, GED TU LATZ TWAYNUN!"
Smo'dis scampered off through the chambers of the Wargod's uzg.
Smo'dis lay on his back, watching the pillars of smoke rising from the fire pits. He had just lost all feeling in his legs, which seemed to complement the numbness in the rest of his body. He struggled to moan but no sound came out of his mouth.
The Wargod had told him why he was brought here, but seemed to pay no more attention to him after that. Obviously, he had more important things to do, like preparing new cubbies for birth, greeting old grunts after death, and drinking lots of cider. So Smo'dis spent his time training.
"Az lung az me am ded, me mite az well trayn until me drob!" he thought. And so he trained, trying to make himself stronger. The fierce heat and lack of food or cider was a bit much for him, however, and he passed out at regular intervals.
Finally, he just lost all feeling, and he lay on the ground, staring upward and thinking. He thought of how the clan needed more reliable healing skill to keep each other alive, and how many battles he had watched fail because someone had run from being healed. He then thought of how many times he himself had run from a heal, to chase a weak humie or to get away from mojo. He made a mental note to stop doing that.
Just then, he heard the Wargod's booming voice. "SMO'DIS!!!"
Smo'dis had no idea what the Wargod wanted, as he had lost all track of time and not realized that a week had passed since his arrival in the Wargod's domain. He tried to find the energy to stand up, but couldn't even move. Just then, he felt a weird energy surround him, and he found himself lying on his back, staring up at the Wargod. Next to him was a rather small cubbie, who seemed a bit nervous about going to the fort for the first time.
"ME GED BAK TU LAT, KUBBI," the Wargod bellowed. "SMO'DIS!"
"Y-yub sur?" Smo asked from his pathetic position on the ground.
"ME BEEN WACHIN LAT! LAT WUZ SUPPUZD TU FIGYUR OWD HUW TU WURK AZ TEEM! LAT NUB DU'D GUUD ENUFF, SU LAT AM NEBUR GUIN BAK TU DA FURT!!!"
"NUUUUUUUUUUB!!!!" Smo shouted. He managed to pull himself to his feet. He grabbed a charred rag and started bandaging himself up.
"AGH TU PAI FUR LATZ FAYLYUR, DIS KUBBI AM GUIN GED FRID!"
"Bud dat nub fare! Im nub du aniting rong!" Smo'dis gasped.
"ME NUB KAYR!!! IM GUIN GED FRID ANIWAI!" The Wargod started chanting mojo words. "KAL VAS FLAM!!!"
Smo'dis instinctively jumped onto the poor cubbie, taking most of the magic attack. Sneezing and coughing, he dropped a couple of dirty rags into the cubbie's hands, and then started bandaging the small orc.
"L-lat suppuzd tu heeli me tuu," he said to the cubbie.
"Bud me nub gruk huw!" the cubbie answered.
"CORP POR!!!" the Wargod shouted, and Smo'dis screamed in pain. He started bandaging himself, when he looked at the cubbie again, and saw the pain he was in.
"Juzt du wud me du," he said, and started bandaging the cubbie again.
"VAS ORT FLAM!"
"POR CORP WIS!"
"KAL VAS FLAM!!!"
Smo'dis had just finished bandaging the cubbie up again when the mojo overwhelmed him and he lost consciousness. He slid slowly to the floor. . .
The smell of fresh air and cooked food found its way into Smo'dis's nostrils.
He slowly opened his eyes to find himself slumped over a stool by the ghaash pit in the fort. A gruntee was cooking some horse meat over it, and two more were playing some sort of hide clomp game. A grunt was screaming out orders, but nobody was listening.
Smo'dis smiled to himself. It was life as usual. Life.