The Burnt World of Athas - Untitled Story from the UDSP

Orginially from the Unofficial Dark Sun pages Untitled Scarab grimaced as he looked at the giant-hair rope that bound his arms and legs to the wall. He couldn't believe that he had been so careless that he allowed that silt-sucking Templar Dark to catch him. As he stared at the mekillot ribs that formed the bars of his holding cell, he thought back to the reason that he was even in this predicament. As one of the high masters in The School of Thought, one of Scarab's duties was to keep the Senior Templar of Security informed of any new powers that are developed in the school. Normally Scarab did as he was expected and completely informed Dark of the new discoveries that he or one of the other masters at the school made. Recently however, the mind-bender had been developing a highly powerful and highly secret ability that allowed him to temporarily divide his body into two separate copies of himself. All of the masters of the school knew that he was researching a very difficult power and word leaked out to Dark that he wasn't being informed of all of the goings on at The School of Thought. He confronted Scarab about the lack of information that he was receiving on the matter, and Scarab denied that he was even researching anything. The truth is that Scarab had just recently finished researching the self-altering process. When the spell that Dark had enacted to detect any falsehoods Scarab might tell during the questioning did not alert the Templar, he was infuriated. The feeling passed quickly after Dark remembered that as a Senior Templar he didn't need any evidence to convict a citizen of a crime. An evil grin crept onto the Senior Templar's face, and soon Scarab found himself in a cell awaiting his execution. Scarab knew that he had to do something soon. In less than an hour he was scheduled to be burned at the stake. Dark had accused him of practicing the art of defiling. If Scarab escaped, he knew that Dark would hunt him down mercilessly. He could only be free if he let Dark think that he was burned at the stake. Somehow he had to let Dark burn him at the stake and escape at the same time. It occurred to Scarab after little contemplation that this would be the perfect time to truly test his new power. Scarab closed his eyes and concentrated on the spot in his body where all of his spiritual power resided. He released some of the power from his nexus and allowed it to flow through his body. He concentrated on the image of his body stretching apart into two separate images of himself. As the two psionicists became completely separate, Scarab felt his consciousness enter completely into only one of them. The other psionicist also felt as if he had just split himself in half and had his consciousness sucked into only one of the bodies. Scarab had become two separate entities. The two psionicists discussed their plans and drew straws to see who would be burnt at the stake. The other Scarab once again focused on his nexus and imagined his body becoming an insubstantial mist. He then bid his clone farewell and walked out of the cell to freedom. Later, when the doomed Scarab was marched out to the middle of a large crowd and bound to a large mekillot bone pole, his free counterpart watched from the shadows with mixed feelings. He was glad that he might finally be free from Dark's interference, but he also felt guilty for leaving his clone to die such a terrible death. As Dark's half-giant guards lit the wood stacked under the doomed Scarab's feet, his twin walked slowly away. With each step Scarab took, a little of the guilt drained away, and a faint smile eventually crossed his face as he heard his counterpart's death scream. To Scarab it was like a bell signaling his freedom.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at