The thing's anger rose as it felt its main connection to the foolish one severed. There was no pain—the connection was not of that type, and the thing would not have risked such a deep bond between itself and the object in any case.

It did not need such a bond. It had another bond—one much stronger and more enduring—that could not be severed by anything short of the Master's order.

It did not think that the Master would give such an order.

The foolish one was showing more initiative than the thing had originally thought possible, and that disturbed and angered it. This was not supposed to have happened, and especially not so soon. According to its plan, the foolish one was to keep the statue, allowing its influence over him to grow with each passing day, until such time as no more will or volition was left except the desire to rid himself of the pain. A few more days and the foolish one would have done anything to avoid it.

Instead, that one had taken an unexpected turn from the path that had been laid out for him. The thing had never even considered the possibility that the foolish one might have taken his problem to the one being on earth who had been responsible for his succumbing to temptation in the first place—the object of his hatred.

Still, though, the thing considered—this new and unanticipated development was not without its possibilities. It merely had to adjust its thought processes a bit to cope with new variables. The inclusion of the young one in the equation opened up new opportunities that had not existed previously—

New opportunities with great promise.


Yes, this could even work out for the better, if the right precautions were taken against things getting out of hand. That the foolish one would lower himself sufficiently to bring the object to the young one—and that the young one would agree to provide aid—meant that now the young one had been brought into the web with no effort having been expended by the thing at all. That meant that, although they now had a clearer idea of the nature of the enemy they were facing, they were still children stumbling in the dark with regard to the totality of the Master's plan.

Come to me, little one. If you come to the Master of your own free will, then perhaps you will be of use to us after all.

All things considered, the thing decided, events were working out better than it had dared to hope. And as long as it held the foolish one's promise, the young one's cooperation was merely an additional advantage.

[Prev] [Magespace] [Inner Demons][Inner Demons] [Next]

Copyright ©1998 R. King-Nitschke. The Shadowrun universe is the property of FASA Corporation.
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission from the author.