Anyone with any level of sight at all could see that Crazar was desperately trying to control his boundless fury when Skrowtz reported his third defeat and the loss of the Acromortis.

"Well...there is some good news...," offered the poor Captain Skrowtz.

"Out with it, idiot!" shouted the infuriated emperor, visibly angry but a bit hopeful.

"Meet this pathetic little fugitive mouse. I captured him in the woods!" announced Skrowtz triumphantly.

"Skrowtz: Ninety-nine percent hot air, one percent success. Well," Crazar sighed,"I can still use that success." Crazar muttered. He stared menacingly at the intimidated mouse, Tweelo.

"Hear this, mouse. I will ask you a few questions. You must speak the truth. If you lie, I will make you suffer immense pain, and then execute you slowly. I can," Crazar stated ominously,"See if you are lying."

Tweelo slowly nodded.

"How much work have you done as a slave?"

"Q-Quite a l-lot, Lord."

"Why did you escape? Was it," Crazar asked, suspiciously amicably,"Cruelty? Bad living conditions?"

Tweelo knew this was a question where every answer was the wrong one.

"Not the right question?" Crazar continued in his friendly tone. "Then, where is the hideout of Ruzenpaw and the rest of the escaped slaves?"

Tweelo knew full well where their hideout was. However, he was not going to betray them to save his own skin, so he told a deliberate lie.

"They are on top of the clouds," replied Tweelo with a serious face. "You can reach them if you can fly," suggested Tweelo sarcastically.

Skrowtz and Crazar just stared, shocked. Crazar was the first to speak.

"Execute this little worm, Skrowtz." Crazar ordered. "Painfully, in front of all the slaves," he added.

Skrowtz smiled. Now he could restore his high position in the island with the help of fear.

                                      * * *
                      (Warning: Not for the faint-hearted)

"Hear this, slaves and soldiers! This slave, for trying to run away and for mocking the great Emperor, shall die a slow and painful death!" announced Skrowtz. All the cats cheered. What they didn't know was that Ruzenpaw was watching, horrified. There was nothing he could do to save Tweelo, but from also watching the interrogation, he knew that Tweelo would die a hero. Ruzenpaw looked away from the gory sight.

                                      * * *

There is no greater pain than the pain that manifests itself in the absence of hope- when one knows that no one can stop their death. Tweelo bore it all without even flinching. He had saved the lives of thirteen goodbeasts.

Skrowtz smiled viciously at the mutilated body of Tweelo. He had earned the respect of all his underlings.

Ruzenpaw looked after the execution was over. He gripped his javelin tightly as Bloodwrath saturated his eyes.

"Filthy cowards! You shall all pay for your evil ways!" yelled Ruzenpaw, poised for combat.

Just as soon as his rage began, it ended. A wooden club knocked the raging mouse unconscious, and as quickly as it appeared, the assailant grabbed Ruzenpaw and bounded into the trees.

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