The Sting-tail Shuffle
Who: Lt Scott YorahWhere: Talax Quarter, SCV RelentlessWhen: 30 minutes later...Yorah sat in front of a round table. He in a small room in the Talaxquarter, after he was lead through countless back passages andbulkheads that he didn't realise the Dauntless had. The exits to theroom were all guarded by a large Talaxian, leaving Yorah to face hisfate. Gomez stood at the edge of the room, watching the proceedings.Gomez had filled Yorah in on a few of the details on their way to theroom. The "Sting-tail" was the name of an animal native to Talaxiawhose sting produced one of two results; either the person would gointo any intense hallucinogenic trance or die. The most usual resultwas death though, he informed Yorah with just a little bit morecheerfulness than was polite considering the situation Yorah thought.On the table was a bowl with two balls in it, one red and one blue.Guarding it was the most harmless looking creature ever, it had bigeyes and looked about as deadly as the Andrex puppy. Yorah supposedthis was the fabled "sting-tail". It had brown waxy fur and satlooking like it was asleep curled around the bowl. It didn't lookmuch but all the Talaxians gave it a wide berth standing at least 3metres away from the table and keeping a wary eye on the sting-tail.One Talaxian came forward and slapped a green hand on the table, thenwithdrew quickly keeping an eye on the Sting-tail. Yorah saw that hehad left a handful of credits. Yorah matched this with his own,putting them down opposite the Talaxians. The Sting-tail opened oneeye at Yorah's approaching hand, the puppy-dog eyes had been replacedwith a predatory glare, watching it approach and leave, calculating.At least that had what It seemed like to Yorah. He withdrew his handquickly.Yorah heard the voice in his head speak up in protest,
Just leave,walk out that door and leave, also punch that arsehole Gomez right inthe face.
Yorah shook this thought off, it came back stronger,
why do you never listen to me? You always do these things, just to prove youwill. All to keep your image. Well I tell you image won't matter whenwe are lying dead!
Yeah well, why don't you shut up? Yorah couldn'tthink of anything better to say, but the voice seemed to quietendown. Nevertheless Yorah started sweating nervously, a few beads ofsweat rolled down his forehead.The Talaxian across the table looked the same way. He nodded toYorah, Yorah nodded back. The Talaxian slowly stretched his hand outtowards the bowl in the table. The whole room watched him, hestretched his hand to the side of the table. The Sting-tail watchedthe hand with the same glare. The Talaxian got to within a foot ofthe bowl, then in the blink of an eye he shot in to the bowl andYorah saw why the Sting tail was called such. A thin barb shot outfrom under the creature, yellow and deadly sharp, dripping withvenom. For a second Yorah thought it had gotten the Talaxian but hesaw him pull his hand back. The red ball clutched in it. A cheer wentup for the spectators in the room, the Talaxian collapsed into achair, sighing with relief.The room quietened and Yorah knew it was his turn. He stepped forwardand began to stretch his hand out, quivering. Gomez steppedforward, "Yorah man, just leave it you've proved you would man Ibelieve you, lets just go." The Talaxian started smirking alreadystarting to laugh if the pink one chickened out.Yorah felt relief wash over him for a brief second, followed by thegrey, cloudy feeling he got when he knew he wasn't going to stop."No I'm doing this."
Why do you do this to me?
"I have to." Yorahsaid, "I'll have no bloody reeking Talaxian beat me and laughing."
No you don't you idiot.Yorah stretched out his hand as quickly as he could manage. The voicein his head screamed in protest but Yorah blocked it out. The Sting-tail seemed not to notice him and for a brief second Yorah thought hewould make. Yes! His hand was mere inches away from the bowl, Yorahcould feel the blue ball in his hand.Then Just in Yorah's moment of near victory, he felt a warm sensationcome over him. It started in his arm and then coursed through hisbody. Yorah looked at his arm yellow barb was protruding from it.Dripping with venom that he knew was now in his system. Death orinsanity awaited him.I bloody told you so. The voice said flatly in his head."Oh Smeg " Yorah muttered baely managing to get the words out, beforethe world started spinning, colours flew from everywhere and then itwent black.