Book III Chapter 29: Legends of the Rose I
The Seaside Inn
"Ah, cheers! Come on in."
As the weary young woman pushed her cart into the hotel room, her eyes naturally fell upon the man seated upon the bed, casually lighting a cigar as he listened to a radio show.
New stubble dotted his chin, and a silver chain worn just under his shirt caught the fading light of the twin suns through the half-open window, proudly displaying a picturesque scene of Axl from a bird's eye view.
Hidden from view, an S-class dreamshard was suspended from the chain.
This was Doc Samson, an SRO oldtimer, though no one of particular interest unless you were one of a few small groups of people.
Certainly, an innocent lass like her had no reason to know so much as his name.
Samson flashed her a tired smile, which she returned in full as she poured a hot cup of tea for him and sat his meal upon the nightstand.
"Yer a far way from Main Branch, sweetie. Business or pleasure?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," he admitted, glancing down to check that his dreamshard was out of sight; perhaps she'd made it out under his vest somehow.
"I'm just here for the view... I've heard it's lovely in Axl this time of year."
"Sure, sure. Sorry-- didn't mean t' frighten ya. What d'ya think so far, then?" Her Faerwethr accent rang in her own ears; it was harsh and jarring, a curious twang for a human girl to carry.
The oddity was far from lost on the senior doctor.
"It's... not bad on the eyes. A bit rough and tumble in parts for my liking, but it's a change of scenery. What's your story, then? You don't look much like a silisk," he laughed.
"Ah, nah," the serving girl admitted.
"Jus' grew up around 'em, thassal. Y'know the story... Faerwethr orphan, got sent off by me folks to find a livin' around m'own kind when I was old enuff. Y'dun mind, d'ya? 'Ere's yer tea."
"Oh, no, no. Just not something you come across every day, back home. Is it common here in Dreamsong?"
The Doc gratefully accepted the teacup, setting his cigar aside to take a slow sip.
The serving girl waited patiently for him to finish; as he pulled the warm liquid into his mouth, her eyes seemed to darken to an uncanny shade of red, her lips pulled towards the side of her face like an ugly gash.
Startled, Samson dropped the cup; it shattered, splashing ceramic shards and tea across the carpet as he flung himself backward onto the bed.
The girl was atop him faster than he could urge his muscles to move; his mouth had already begun to prick and tingle; whatever drug the tea had been laced with was swift, but meant only to subdue.
She glowered down at him with her magenta eyes and a smile full of daggers, one foot propped hard against his chest, her hands gripping his collar with frightening strength.
"Doctor Carlisle Samson," the demon-girl hissed in a smooth, male voice with a perfect Laps accent, "Did you truly believe we wouldn't find out what you were up to? Did you think you'd get away with it? So messy, so clumsy for a rose, and risky, too. Making deals... with Renatus?"
Samson was a Vital Doc-- specializing in research of life-energy, mirajin's effects upon it, and vice versa.
An uncommon field of study in the SRO, Vitals were prized members of Chimre's scientific community-- most people interested in such topics were found in the Firestarters or similar groups, for obvious reason.
Samson's work was not his own by any stretch; he collaborated with several other docs from various fields, including Bio, Cosmo, and even an occasional Correctional Doc.
Regardless, he had been part of the Organization for many years; moving up through the ranks, he had access to classified information reserved for high-tier members.
Some of which he had recently seen fit to share with the Renatus Purifico.
"Ho... how did you find...?!" Suddenly, cold realization gripped the doomed man.
"N...no! Y-y-you... can't be," he gasped, short of breath, scrabbling against the bed with curled, numb fingers.
The creature opened its mouth, a long, terrible black tongue curling from it, claws sharp and dripping with venom that resembled honey in both appearance and scent.
"I am, Doctor.
I am Anderson, and you've breached your contract-- I'm afraid this is your termination notice."
Next Chapter: Book III Chapter XXX
Category: Book III | Story