Book IV Chapter 18: Leash
Seated upon an overturned and long-abandoned kiosk, a chimaera ran his fingertip over the sleek body of a wasp lodica, its wings slowly spreading and turning.
In the deep shadows of the cavern-city, he could see shapes shuffling to and fro down the otherwise empty streets; mechanical beasts dragging carts full of comatose forms away for shipping.
The bioluminescent shelf fungus that thrived in this environment was the only light, as it had been since the Amol had run them out of their home months past; it glowed a soft blue, imparting a ghostly look to their surroundings.
From the backs of one of the carts, a massive, clawed hand reached slowly into the air.
The automaton pulling the load stopped immediately and turned; a flash of violet light and the harsh buzz of energy, and the creature fell still once more. Satisfied, the automaton continued along on its way.
The chimaera sighed. They would have their city back soon, without a doubt, and perhaps the vermin who took it from them would have second thoughts before striking again, now.
They had sent diggers down into the tunnels that led into the city, and now the amol were being subdued and taken away. Alive.
He didn't know why.
He didn't wish to know.
As the last of the carts rumbled away into the distance, he turned his lodica's recorder on, speaking to it in hushed tones.
"Soril City is clear. I repeat, Soril City is clear. Thirteen amol have been captured and are in processing as I record this message. One automatonic unit was damaged during recovery and is being returned for repairs.
"Awaiting further orders. Over."
Sending the robotic insect away, he reached into a pocket within his vest, withdrawing a tiny syringe full of milky white liquid.
He leaned his back firmly against the sandstone wall, sliding the needle into his forearm between the scales.
Slowly, his vision fuzzed, then faded away to black.
Vale Danse, Chimre
Something pinged repeatedly against the glass of the office window; with mild irritation, she slid from her overstuffed office chair, placing her fingertips under the pane to slide it open.
The creature darted inside, buzzing incessantly as it alighted atop her desk; she slapped her palm over it, and it grew silent.
Picking it up by a wing, she pressed the button and listened to the gruff voice as the recording played.
"Soril City is clear. I repeat, Soril City is clear..."
She sat the lodica down again, scrawling quick notes into a book as it continued. Satisfied, she tucked her auburn hair back behind an ear, settling into her chair once more.
"The sooner Soril is running again, the the better. You all know we can't sell our entire miracrystal stock ourselves, or things would look suspicious. I want that city repopulated before the month is out-- we'll send along a new shipment of seed crystal, as well as enough other goods to pick up the slack. But get yourselves situated, first. I'll update the Grand Rajiin."
She all but hurled the little lodica back out the window before returning to her notebook. The chimaera made such good little pets when they were selling their stock instead of sitting on their asses and mewling.
It'd be her head if those underground markets weren't up and running again soon.
Next Chapter: Book IV Epilogue
Category: Book IV | Story