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Episode 4

After quickly leaving Rodrick’s piercing gaze, Maur’tion and Nazeel hurried off to find the alchemist’s lab. After making a few wrong turns and being shoved into the walls by some of the more senior constables, the pair finally came upon a door labeled Jundibar, Alchemist.

Not knowing what to expect of Jundibar, the rookies knocked on the door and slowly opened it. They were greeted by a dazzling array of test tubes, beakers, and cylinders, each with their own brightly colored liquid that bubbled or sputtered or fizzed or popped. Some had wooden spoons inside that stirred of their own accord, some stood with magical fires burning quietly beneath them, their flames as variegated in color as the liquids they heated.

A twitching, twittering elf of slight build came around the corner, giggling with excitement, “Ohh, hehe and who might you be?” he inquired of Nazeel and Maur’tion.

“Class 1 Constables Nazeel and Maur’tion, sir!” Nazeel said automatically.

“Ohh my, my, hehe, you sure are a proper lot, aren’t you? Hmm, yes, hehe.” The thin elf paused and stared at the two of them with his large, globular eyes.

“Well…” Jundibar started, “What brings you two strapping young lads to my lab, hmm? As much as I, uh, love visitors, I am not without my duties, after all, hehe.”

“Oh! That’s right!” said Nazeel, and he pulled the pipe from the pouch at his waist.

“We found a bunch of dead skoomaheads in a flat,” explained Maur’tion, “and they all had pipes either in their hands or next to them.”

“And we know skooma’s not that toxic,” added Nazeel, “so we figured we’d bring you a sample and see what you could figure out.” With that he handed the pipe over to Jundibar, who looked closely at the contents.

“You, heh, couldn’t find an unburned sample, hmm?” questioned the elf.

“Uhh…” replied Nazeel, “Yeah, is all we were able to find. Sorry.”

“Mm, well I’ll see what I can do with this, hehe. Come back and see me soon, boys, and I’ll, hehe, hopefully have some more information for you.”

Nazeel and Maur’tion nodded and thanked Jundibar for his help and left the lab. Finding the place took longer than they’d expected, so they hurried off to the Palatial Estates to collect the bodies.

Nazeel and Maur’tion were walking up the staircase to the flat when Nazeel suddenly stopped. After he’d gone a few more steps up, Maur’tion noticed his partner was no longer at his side and paused to look at him.

“What is it?” Maur’tion asked.

“I thought I heard something up there,” replied Nazeel.

“Probably more of those damn skoomaheads,” said Maur’tion irritably. “Let’s kick them out before they stink the place up again.” Nazeel nodded and the two continued up the steps.

“This is a crime scene, everybody out!” Maur’tion yelled through the threshold as he banged on the wall. The two stepped into the flat and were horrified by what they saw – one of the skoomaheads they’d left behind shuffled listlessly around the flat’s living room. His head snapped to attention the moment the rookies came into sight, and he moaned as his shuffling steps started toward the two.

Maur’tion and Nazeel leapt into action and pulled their weapons out. The reanimated corpse was no match for the two of them and it fell with only a few strikes from each of them.

“There must be more of them,” Nazeel said quietly. Maur’tion nodded and then paused, his head cocked to the side as he listened. More shuffling could be heard inside the apartments and the two moved cautiously down the hallway. They found another of the zombies inside the guest bedroom and quickly dispatched it.

Once again, the rookies paused to listen, and still more shuffling could be heard further down the hall. They crept to the master bedroom where they discovered two more rotting corpses that moved toward the rookies as they entered the room.

Nazeel and Maur’tion split up, taking one zombie each. They struck at the zombies, but without their combined forces, the battles weren’t so easy. The zombies slammed down on each of them in turn, knocking the wind from their bodies. But the rookies rose triumphantly and defeated these undead monsters with the might of their youth.

Nazeel looked over to Maur’tion as they both stood triumphantly over the broken, rotting corpses. Their eyes widened suddenly, however, as the same thought entered their brains.

“Brian!” they yelled in unison as they sprinted to leave the flat and return to the constabulary’s morgue.

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