Finale – Now Available!
“So, what are we talking about, here?” ejects Tycho, trying his best not be impressed by what was, by any reasonable measure, a truly incredible entrance. “Krouli? Haute-ghast?” He takes a couple steps toward her. “What. Stitchling?”
“Why?” she laughs, incredulous. “So you can try and banish me? Don’t be stupid.” Her legs are off the table now and on the ground, or near it; the height of her doesn’t entirely make sense. She has a presence that extends beyond her literal shape. “You are in my house, without invitation. Generally, The Society has common cause with any mortal being. The Brahes are the rare exception.”
“I’m not a Brahe,” says Gabriel, taking a wide lateral step from his associate. “I’m a Gabriel.”
“Is that what they’re calling you, now?”
“...Maybe?” Now, Gabriel didn’t know. They did call him that, right?
“And your friend,” she says, moving closer, enveloping Gabriel in her nimbus of light. “Does he always speak in this way to his betters?”
“Basically,” is his reply. Finally, someone who understood.
“I know of your Long Project, Tycho Brahe, perhaps as well as you.” A subset of a smile, the barest hint of a curl sets up shop in the corner of her lip. “You and your little patrilineal cult; what an inefficient sort of immortality.” She clicks her tongue, or what would have been a tongue, against the roof of what would have been her mouth. “What middle name did they stick you with?”
“Erasmus,” replies Tycho, a little taken aback.
“I knew one of the Erasmi,” she says. “A jack-ass of the first order.”
He doesn’t respond to this. At least, not with language. His blood responds, by rising to a hundred million degrees centigrade.
“Tell me, Scion of Brahe. Are we at cross-purposes?” She says this with genuine curiosity. “Do you follow every tenet of your clan’s long held faith, every grim verse of the Quartet?”
“How so?” he replies.
“I would have thought it obvious,” she says. “Do you have, as your express and implicit purpose, the end of all things?”
“Oh, that,” he says. “No way. Existence is the best.” He threads his middle and pointer fingers together. “Me and existence are like this.”