|“||Slink I could count on to be quick and deadly and as morally reluctant as a spear.||”|
Slink was a sworn brother of the Black Company holding the rank of corporal in Water Sleeps. He was Jaicuri (from Dejagore), married, and an observant Vehdna with noticeably bad teeth. Despite being an avid gambler, Slink was a sly killer who loyally helped Sleepy and Ky Sahra conduct at least two major guerrilla operations: one at Semchi, and another at the Grove of Doom. And, although it was not explicitly stated, it is very likely he was a veteran of Sleepy's Kiaulune wars which took place prior to Water Sleeps.
A devout Vehdna, he managed prayers at least once per day, and temple several times per month. Some of his family had been miners.
Like all members of the underground Company at the time, Slink worked diligently at a day job, and handled Company affairs during off-hours. Slink's day job was a laborer for Banh Do Trang, their Nyueng Bao collaborator whose warehouse was the Company's secret headquarters. The local Vehdna thought Slink was simply a Jaicuri refugee.
Slink is first mentioned in the Annals playing tonk with the Gupta brothers and the Company's new captive, Willow Swan, whom he might have helped kidnap. Swan was the leader of the Greys, the police force of Taglios, who answered directly to Soulcatcher during the Protectorate. They played while Sleepy interrogated Swan for details about the Protectorate, and Slink won at least one hand. Slink and Sleepy both warned One-Eye, a notorious cheater, that if he wanted to join the tonk game, he would be prohibited from dealing and would need to show his money up front. When Swan learned that the Captured were still alive, he swore aloud. But Slink, a devout Vehdna monotheist, snapped at him not to take God's name in vain. Sleepy departed the game after ordering Slink to bring a "kill team" to the the village called Semchi. His mission would be to stake out the Bhodi Tree, the holiest shrine of the Bhodi disciples, and ambush the men Soulcatcher was sending to destroy it.
Ambush at the Bhodi TreeEdit
As ordered, Slink led his group of Company men to the Bhodi Tree. He arrived there before Soulcatcher's larger group of Protectorate thugs and waited. Both groups were observed by Murgen in his ghostly dream-walker form, who regularly reported his observations to Sleepy via the mist projector. Slink and his team quickly ambushed Soulcatcher's men just as they began to pitch camp, cutting them off from their weapons. Sleepy was initially disappointed that Slink struck too quickly, that is, before their enemies could do some damage to the Bhodi Tree. But One-Eye criticized her, reminding her that she did not specifically order Slink to do that, so his chosen actions were appropriate for a soldier who was trying to minimize risk. Sleepy made certain that one of her people would link up with Slink to inform him where he would rendezvous with the rest of the Company, which turned out to be the Grove of Doom.
Ambush at the Grove of DoomEdit
Slink and his band at Semchi received Sleepy's message, and moved south to covertly penetrate the Grove. They ambushed and killed at least 6 or 7 Stranglers, and left the dead men's rumels where the Company could find them. When Sleepy arrived later with her larger party, she did not initially see any sign of Slink, and feared that perhaps the Stranglers had killed him. But Iqbal Singh soon discovered the rumels that Slink had planted and showed them to Sleepy, who was relieved. Slink remained hidden outside the Stranglers' temple in the Grove, where Sleepy was situated, and carefully covered the main group in case more Stranglers arrived. He and his men finally rejoined Sleepy after she acquired the golden pickax from Narayan Singh. Sleepy congratulated him for a job well done at Semchi. But Slink criticized his own performance, stating "if I'd thought about it, I'd've waited till they damaged the Bhodi Tree, then we'd have been heroes instead of just bandits". This echoed Sleepy's earlier private criticism.
Slink remained with the rest of the Company as they continued south and approached the bridge at Ghoja Ford over the Main. Sleepy sent Slink forward to scout the crossing. Although they expected a big trap engineered by Soulcatcher and her Protectorate forces, Slink returned only to report that the soldiers guarding the bridge were loafing around and simply enforcing the toll. The group passed along with the rest of the heavy traffic during the ongoing rainy season.
After they crossed the Shadowgate, they all carefully traversed the lethal glittering plain until they reached the fortress with no name. When they discovered a large crack in the structure's wall, Slink recommended that they bring more lights, to see if shoring would be necessary to stabilize the wall. He revealed that there had been miners in his family.
After Sleepy rescued 5 of the Captured from the cave of the ancients, they all left the fortress, marched across a different stretch of the plain, and finally entered into the world of Hsien. There, Sleepy ordered Slink, Kendo Cutter, Riverwalker, and their subordinates to cover the band's cautious entry into the strange new world with both fireball projectors and conventional weapons. The Company would transform the spot into a fortified town called Abode of Ravens, where they rebuilt and trained for 4 years.
Slink, like Kendo Cutter, did not appear in Soldiers Live, so his fate is unspecified. He presumably participated in the creation and training of the Company's new army, recruited from Hsien. He might have been among the unspecified Company dead or wounded at the very costly Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery, as Sleepy stated: "there isn't anybody left for me to trust... name a name, almost everybody is dead or injured".