Follow Your Nose

The Dwarfers slowly, and reluctantly, followed Belvedyr into the labyrinth. The place was musty and moist. Pretty much everything that told most people not to go in. However, of all the monster-infested slime holes Tanaka ever wandered into, this was one of the nicer ones.

"Ugh, the smell is getting worse!" Jamie winced.

"Fllggugk fleegmacgherg." Tanaka warbled. This was worse than being a rooster. But all things considered he didn't mind the smell. Maybe being a semi-rotted corpse made him less sensitive to it. Still, he couldn't help but think that he knew that smell. Horrid. Unspeakably horrid. But familiar.

They reached an intersection in the mine and paused.

"Which way?" Cass asked.

"I think we should go straight." Thomas suggested.

"Why?" Dick turned to him and frowned. "Got a gut feeling?"

"Nah, just smells better this way." Thomas said.

"If we're gonna make decisions like that then going left would be just as valid." Cass said.

"I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion. But I say we follow the smell." Jamie said.

"That... actually makes sense." Cass nodded. "Wherever the smell is coming from, no doubt we'll find this creature."

"Chgughhhk." Tanaka nodded and hobbled over to where the smell was strongest. Even he could smell it with his half-dead senses. Again, so familiar. He knew it from somewhere...

"I hate this plan." Dick said.

"Lead the way, Belvedyr." Thomas said with a gesture.

"Yes, Mister Plisken, sir." Belvedyr said and continued to light the way with his gloriously bright nipples.

Following the increasingly nauseating aroma, the Dwarfers soon found themselves, oddly enough, in a lavishly furnished chamber complete with a sofa, plasma screen television, a jacuzzi tub in the far corner, and a cocobolo desk. And lastly, a very fine rug that tied the room together nicely. On the far wall was a shelf adorned with a myriad of snow globes.

"This wasn't what I was expecting." Jamie said.

"Yeah," Cass nodded. "Not so much a lair as..."

"A man cave!" Dick finished for her.

"Where is the god awful smell coming from though?" Thomas asked.

As if on cue, an eight-foot tall creature entered from the bathroom on the opposite end of where the dwarfers were. He was slimy, with enormous bat wings protruding from his back. His head was an octopus with beady eyes and it sloughed unspeakable slime and goop.

He was also dressed in an expensive button-up shirt and slacks, and wearing wingtip shoes.

The well dressed Lovecraftian horror saw them and cocked his head in surprise. "By Jove! What the devil are you doing in my home???" The creature reeked of the unholy smell. He was covered in it. And suddenly, Tanaka knew where he recognized that smell.

It was Aqua Velva.

Meanwhile, inside one of the snow globes on the shelf, O'Malley sat in front of a small cardboard cutout of the Seattle Space Needle and nibbled on a protein bar he'd been saving for just this sort of situation.

"O'Malley! I see Tanaka! I see him and the others!" Pickman exclaimed.

"Don't be daft!" O'Malley grumbled. "Tanaka and the others are probably being tortured by some horrific alien in some horrific alien prison."

"No, really! He's out there! They're out there!"

"For the love of Pete!" O'Malley stuffed the protein bar back into his lab coat and was about to go over and smack Pickman over the head when he saw the Dwarfers. "Oh! Thank Stephen Hawking! Try and get their attention! Hurry!" They started to bang on the plastic globe and shout, inaudibly to their comrades.

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