“Taren, launch the anti-spades,” said the voice.

“But my liege, we are not undersea. Why waste the resource?”

“Not a waste at all. John thinks we are undersea. If we don’t respond with countermeasures, they will learn sooner rather than later that we are elsewhere. Now launch the counter attack.

“Yes, my liege.”

“Dr. X, how is our little null doing?”

“Better than anticipated. Let’s just say glowing blue, such an amazing biological adaptation, really quite remarkable, but forgive me for my digression. We are getting a much better response than any of my research indicated would be the case, as, I believe, is evidenced by our opponent’s confusion. She is paying off in spades, no pun intended.”

“Excellent. I have big plans for our little friend. Now what is the update on Calfuray?”

“Fully recovered and, if I might humbly say so, stronger than before. She is itching to redeem herself, as you might imagine.”

“So much good news dear doctor, I hardly know how to contain myself, no pun intended either. Have my dear girl come for a visit. I have an assignment I think will make her very happy. And by the way doctor, please refrain from any itching metaphors, which reminds me, how is our friend Shen?”

“Humble, my lord, humble.”

“Good. Have him come see me with Calfuray. Never hurts to have a little insurance, especially the disposable kind. Now, dear doctor, tell me more about this glowing blue adaptation.”

“Hmm, where to start, where to start . . .”

Categories: Story, Taren, The Voice, Dr. X