Mirrortac is captured
He blinked into the darkness and saw the wretched form of a Petros of the Shadow. It bore two horns and its skin was pale against the sands. The creature snarled at him again and flashed its eyes.
‘Walks with Wa-Ku does it? That is no excuse. Where is Wa-Ku now? We have no care for Wa-Ku! What a fool it is. I will have it for my feast.’
The petros lowered his head and aimed his horns at the erfin. Mirrortac dived into the sand and dug into it to escape.
‘It will not be safe there, stupid Mirrortac! I will stop it in its digging,’ the petros shouted.
Then Mirrortac felt the terrible numbness and was unable to move. The ‘whispering speech’ was paralysing him and his breathing began to falter. He gasped and lost consciousness.
When he awoke, the arms of the dread petros were around his neck, clasping him with the strength of ten erfins. Above, in the sky, Wa-Ku had begun to win his battle against the terrible darkness and light was again emerging into the premature night. The petros looked up and grunted.
‘Wa-Ku is strong. It wins but the battle is yet to begin! Beeble-Zub will get it. My master will get all of it!’ the harsh voice of the petros warned.
The warning given by the spectre of Merftac flashed in the erfin’s mind – ‘When the fire of Luma is snatched from the sky its power will be at its greatest!’ This petros did not observe Proper Talk. It defied and cursed Wa-Ku. Mirrortac withdrew Moongleam in a lightning movement and the sword gleamed as he swung it into the clutching arms of the petros. The blade sliced through the skin with ease, exposing sinews and blood. The creature let out a bellow of pain and turned its horn towards him. Mirrortac swung the sword around for another attack but was struck by the ‘whispering speech’, and dropped his sword as his hands went numb. The petros slid up to his side and grasped him within the grip of its good arm. Blood seeped out of its wounded arm but it took no notice. When the numbness passed, the erfin was powerless and Moongleam dragged in the sand behind him, attached to him only by its snerk-skin binding.
‘I ought to kill it but Beeble-Zub wants it. I hate it! It stings me with its rod. It is vile and furry!’
The creature muttered on as it dragged Mirrortac across the last few erfin-lengths to the Dome of Shadow and into the entrance to the cavern.