The hill was steep. The climb had been long. Blood coursed through his body, heartbeat in his ears as he wiped the sweat from his eyes. Brewski had reached the crest in the road where he could see into the valley. From here it would take several days of walking to get to the farthest point he could see. But he knew the rest of his trek would be easier. Glancing down to his right, the hiker sees Zim, panting and looking into the same valley. Picking up his staff and checking his inventory, Brewski continues down the road, looking for more plants that bear the ripe fruit. Under a muffled voice comes the lyrics of an old song, Misty Mountain Hop, matching the cadence of his walk. Finding the fruit, he collects about two hand fulls and puts the small orbs in his leather pouch. As he is kneeling next to the plant, he sees in the distance a group of men walking. He does not recognize their garb. Have they come to hunt our lands, take our women? Why are they here? Brewski checks his things again, slips away unseen. He returns to the others to tell of his trek, and the new comers. Finding Rotmistr Vasyl, Brewski tells his tale to the eyes of a man who is looking through him. A man who is listening intently, yet calculating, planning. Thank you, comrade, Vasyl looks around checking the crowd. Your information is appreciated. He brings his hand down on Brewskis shoulder and squeezes. Zim, the long-time four-legged companion to Brewski who is formally named Hoagy Erectus but is known to all as Zim, sees Vasyls hand move toward his master and grab his shoulder. The dog emits a low guttural growl and bares his teeth. The two men look at Zim and grin. Zim is silent, but does not take his eyes off Vasyls hand.