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Friends in strange places

*A chamber in the depths of the darkest of cities. Neatly arranged flasks and jars
of all sizes line shelves above spotless, but well worn, benches. All is shadow. A
single light, slung low over a single slab, agonisingly white, is the source of these
shadows. In the blackness of the laboratory all is still. Only in the light is there
motion. Thrashing, screaming straining, a creature of talon and chitin shudders
with frenzied strength at its unyielding restraints. Looming over it another
creature, a shard of night, regards it with immortal patience. It is stillness itself.
The tableau persists for several moments.*
*A heavy metal door opens with a loveingly artificed creak.*
Master?
Ah, Cajal. Good of you to attend me at this hour. Join me, wont you.
Master I
Thats a nasty case of personal pronoun youve got there Cajal. Youll stick out
like sore thumb around here if you continue with that attitude.
Master, this one is here to serve.
Excellent. Hand me that bone saw will you? Not that one, the number 12. I must
say you are a fortunate one tonight, this promises to be exceedingly
interesting.
*The luckless creature on the operating slab jerks wildly as the superior portion
of its cranium is expertly removed*
You may have heard that I have acquired a new friend lately. You havent? Sure?
Good. Well lucky you Cajal! Tonight will be one of learning for you. Im sure
youre grateful.
Yes, Master.
Quite. Well this friend of mine is Archon Vyril Koi of the Bitter Irony. Heard of
them?

You dont get out much do you Cajal? I believe he was a nobody relative of
Vhigis, former Archon of the flayed mask. All that business with the Yllithian
Dysjunction appears to have rather changed his career prospects. As I hear it, in
the aftermath of the battle of AlzosQuerion Vha, young Vyril found himself in
command of a heavy skimmer squadron. Probably uncomfortable with the
prospect of having his face cut off by a sibling, dont knock it until youve tried it
I say, and rightly certain of Vects capacity for mercy he led a group of survivors
into the lower districts. No doubt Bolstered by absorbing other refugees of the
Dysjunction during their flight, his outfit seized control of a small spire

overlooking the River Khaides. You have to hand it to the lad, that probably took
some doing.
Just look at that prefrontal cortex analogue! Wouldnt credit it would you?
Ahem, where was I? Oh yes. So our young friend has some peculiar tastes,
nothing wrong with that, everyone should have a passion. He breeds specimens
of the kroot genus, just cant get enough of them apparently...
What happens when I prod this? Oh, interesting. Have a go wont you? Yes
thats the way...
His pets have been causing quite a stir in the local arena scene, refreshingly
brutal and they adapt so quick you see. Hes got a Syren from the Cult of Strife
training them, I dont know what she did to get pushed off on such a low rank
kabal careful with that scalpel! We dont want to cause a ventricular leak.
Anyway, our friend Vyril happens to need the services of a Haemonculus, and I
happen to need someone with a talent for capturing things like my darling little
IllMureead. A fine partnership dont you think? Im glad you do, because you are
going to help make it happen.
Me Master?
Hmmm?
This one means: This one master?
Yes you Cajal. Despite your considerable inelegance I have noticed that you do
good work on occasion. This will be one of those occasions. On that bench over
there is a letter of introduction from myself to Archon Koi that I wish you to
deliver. I dont need to mention that this is a private matter do I? Nobody needs
to know about a trivial little alliance such as this. Once the good Archon realises
the friendship we share you will be my emissary to the Kabal of the Bitter Irony.
Do not displease me.
*The wrack shuffles over to bench and retrieves the roll of skin bound with a
crimson ribbon, leaving the thin silhouette of its master gleefully picking the
brains of its prize. As the one named Cajal makes to leave the laboratory the
sibilant voice of its master hisses in chastisement*
Wash your hands!

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