+Taren, I consider myself a patient lump of flesh with, perhaps, a fair amount of compassionate understanding, although I suspect Shen would take issue with my presupposition. Let it be said, however, I honor my threats.+ Laughter within anomalous cognition created a strange sensation within the receiver, an intention the voice used with skillful intent to effect disproportionate orientation. +How is our friend doing by the way?+

+Recusant to the last,+ responded Taren, unnerved as always in the presence of the voice, his mind tingling like a tooth ache from the telepathic waves of mirth as if ice water lapped at the very shore of his raw throbbing skull.

+Status update on the girl. Where are we?+

+Dr. X is inside her mind as we speak. First breakthrough was easier than anticipated. We should know more within the hour.+

+Good. And Calfuray? How is my dear sweet child?+

+Convalescing, although we are not sure how long she will remain in shock. The doctors seem to think her catatonic state is a mental reaction to defeat as much as any physical infliction. Prognosis is for full recovery, although her albugineous flesh, especially around the eyes, is causing some concern.+

+First time for everything Taren. Nothing lasts forever. As my father often said, better enjoy the fete now, for the suns of Tyrus rise faster than the backside of golden goblets toasted to marital bliss on a cold winter night. What he knew of that, well . . . , another subject for another urn. Have the Tearacs been released?+


+Bring the slate over here. Where my violaceous darling has failed my sleek beasties will feast. Been awhile since I’ve allowed them to run free. How are our two friends progressing? I do so admire their ingenuity.+

Von stared into the oscillating beams blocking their path. “Mmm . . .”

“Care to translate that for me? asked Kyra. Before he could answer they both turned in unison to a rising murmur carried on the wind like cool air preceding a storm.

Categories: Story, The Voice, Taren, Von, Kyra