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Job Placement - Phweengee

Beethro’s head still hurt. The test had been two days ago, but the brain-fry lingered.

Seeing the crowd of classmates gathered at the end of the hall, he knew the final scores had been posted. Joining the crowd, he edged his way toward the front to search for his name.

“Dude, nice job,” Sleerf said to him. “I knew you’d pass, but you killed the curve! You must have really wowed the prof with that backswipe technique. I heard they only teach that in the graduate classes.” Sleerf smiled at him and patted him on the back. Relieved, Beethro edged back out of the crowd.

“I’m gonna head over to the Job Placement Office. I’ll see ya later,” Beethro said as he left.

---

Beethro sat down in front of Mr. Glunther, who had already pulled his file. Flipping through it, Mr. Glunther wrote a couple of notes, between making “hmm…” sounds.

Laying the file down before him, he said, “Beethro, everything looks great here. Your skills are top notch, and you scored well on the written exam too. Your thesis is fantastic besides: ‘Deterministic Serpent Behavior’ is one of the most in-depth studies I’ve ever seen. I’m going to put in a reference for you at Thorbdent’s Elimination Service. Thorbdent Vanshutenhivner runs a small extermination service on the upper-west-side. I know him personally, and I know he’ll really value your skills.”

---

Beethro slumped against the wall in a sweat. A tunnel system had been discovered beneath a Ms. Helzfedig’s garden, and Beethro and his assigned partner, Jurmunkel, had been sent to clear out the roach nest within. Angry, Beethro got up after catching his breath. “Are you crazy!?” He yelled. “What do you think you’re doing, hitting orbs like that without warning? I had three rows of roaches advancing at me with my back to the wall! I’m lucky one wall managed to break away.”

“I’m so sorry Mr. Beethro. I thought the orb would close those gates over there and slow the advance. But still, you did fantastic. Where did you get to be so good?” Jurmunkel asked.

“Exterminator runs in my blood, and I just got my bachelors degree from Dugandy Tech,” Beethro replied.

“That’s fantastic!” Jurmunkel exclaimed. “I hope to be as good as you one day. Will you teach me?” he asked.

“Nope. Go to school, kid. They’ll teach you plenty of stuff there. I’ve got a nephew who’s more helpful than you,” he said as they headed back towards the surface. Neither of them noticed the man hidden among the rocks, who was watching Beethro’s every move.

---

“Mr. Vanshutenhivner,” said Beethro, “I’m leaving your employ. I’ve decided I’m going to work for myself and run my own extermination service.”

“Beethro, I hate to see you go. What makes you want to leave? If it’s Jurmunkel and that incident with the orb, look, he’ll learn, just give him time,” Thorbdent responded.

“I don’t like being forced to have a partner, I don’t like your pay system, and I don’t like saying your name. It’s very difficult,” Beethro answered.

“Anything else you don’t like?” Thorbdent asked.

“Crème Brulee… but that doesn’t have anything to do you with you,” Beethro said, as he walked out.

---

A few weeks later, Beethro was getting steady work as an exterminator, and after a series of rather successful jobs, a letter came in the mail. It contained an odd seal he had never seen before consisting of a fancy crest, a sword, and some roaches. He suspected it was junk mail to get him to buy some cutlery for roach meat, but on a whim, opened it to take a look.

It read: “Beethro Budkin: You have been selected for membership into the illustrious Smitemasters Guild. Further instructions to follow.”

“I wonder if they have a dental plan….” Beethro thought.