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The Eye of the Snake

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Please read "Pearls of Lutra" before reading this. Thank you.

Prologue

A stoat cheerfully walked along through the shrubbery, picking berries here and there. The vermin on Samptera were starting to learn a peacful life. They farmed, used their weapons to collect firewood, and were friends with all the woodland inhabitants. However, it would not last. He fell with an agonized cry from a blow to his neck. He looked up, and gasped in terror as cold and reptilian eyes stared into his. "Zo, how'z it going, Dreg?" He gulped in fear. He remembered this monitor lizard only too well. "C-c-captain Zarg, p-please don't hurt me!" The monitor's claws sank into his neck, and he laughed cruelly at the stoat's screams. "You have all gone too zoft. However, I will repair thiz. Look!" The paw wrenched the poor creature, causing him to look forward. There were hundreds of eggs on the ground, shaking and rattling. The stoat shook with horror. Zarg leaned closer to him, and malovently whispered, "What? Didn't think that monitor lizardz mated, did you? Oh, look, they're about to burzt!" Even as he was talking, the eggs began to pop. Hundreds of little monitors began crawling towards them. "Thoze Redwallerz will remeber uz, oh yez!"


Chapter 1

A family of squirrels sat in thier little cottage. There was a father, a mother, a son, and a little girl. This night, when it was particurlarly cold and snowy, they couldn't have been having more fun. The mother was baking treats, the son was reading a book, and the father was out, chooping wood for the fire. Their daugther was sitting there quietly, staring into space. No one noticed as a window was pushed open. Suddenly, the girl felt a weight around her shoulders and something squeezing her stomach. She looked up, straight into the eyes of a large serpent. She nearly screamed, but something in those eyes stopped her. A sibilant voice came out of the creature's mouth. It facinated the little girl, lulling her into a trance. "Sssssleep little girl, clossse those pretty eyes of yourssss. Sssleep, and everything will be all right. Sssssleep." When the father got back home, he found not a trace of his family, but a cold, empty home.

                                                     ***

Grath shook with pain and fear, staring at the vast emptiness beyond her. She was chained to a metal slab, and was covered with cuts and bruises. "Scary, isn't it?" Her head whirled around so fast that she cricked her neck. There was Inbar. He leered down at her, then brought a dagger into her chest, laughing cruelly. Grath shot up, snatching a dagger next to her bedstand. Bedstand? As she slowly looked around, she realized she had been dreaming. It had been a dream, nothing more. But her dreams had an annoying habit of coming true. She shuddered and brought her legs up, remebering the cruel look in his eyes. Suddenly Winniegold barged in, startling Grath out of her stupor. "Inbar is missing!"

                                                     ***

He wandered through the streets of the town, looking around warily. He was payed for his work, but it would all be ruined if he ran into a vengeful dagger. He quitely slipped into a tavern. The ferret saw several beatiful female operatives at work, fishing out secrets. He would of waved to them, but he was too nervous. He entered into a secret room, and was immediately knocked down, stunned. A pair of rough hands dragged him to a chair and tied him up. A hand grabbed his chin and made him look up. He recognized the face. The face, but not the person. It was one of those elegant thugs who would torture you and enjoy the sounds of your screams. They came in dozens in this town. The hand was removed. He cried out in pain as a dart hit his shoulder, then cried again as another one hit his rib. This was followed by a succsession of sharp darts. Then a cruel voice laughed and he heard the sound of walking.

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