clys

Blood of Time

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Feleena stood and wrapped the towel tightly around herself. She nodded, shifting on her bare feet. "Are we done then? I'd like to get back out to the Barrens if you don't mind."

Before Clys could answer, Feleena looked dizzy and fell back, catching herself on the table. "Oh, I think I may be a bit tired...Perhaps the blood loss is affecting me."

She looked around, rubbing her eyes for a moment. "I think I'll stay here for a bit if you don't mind."

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Clys put a supporting arm around Feleena.

"As I said, a day of rest is recommended," she said. "You want me to have Smurch set up a guest room for you? Get some sleep, have some good food."

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Feleena nodded and caught her breath. "I'd like that. It will be good to stay in House Nex'Cruor...Thank you."

She went with Clys, happy to be family, and delightfully unaware of anything Clys had planned.

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Clys smiled inwardly. She had what she needed, and Feleena was none the wiser, nor Skafloc. It was nothing that would hurt Feleena anyway, just a tiny vessel, inserted there into her abdomen. A time tracker, of sorts, it would broadcast Feleena's whereabouts and other information to Clys' recording station. Probably nothing would come of it, but if it did turn out that Feleena had innate time-shifting abilities, as Clys thought might be the case, the recorder would pick that up, and the data would become part of Clys' knowledge base. But it had to be secret, for obvious reasons. The vessel would dissolve on its own, leaving no trace, doing no damage, once its job was complete. A week, two at the outside.

"If I can master time, as I have mastered the workings of life," she thought to herself. "That would be really...excellent."

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Skafloc kept a discrete distance during the examination, glancing over once in a while to see what Clys was doing. There was an awkward moment when he saw her position herself at the foot of the examination table. He observed with curiosity until the realization of what Clys was about to examine hit him with a wave of embarassment. Turning around swiftly he occupied himself with studying some of the laboratory intruments on a nearby table.

"Everything looks absolutely perfect, my dear," Clys was saying. "I just need to draw some blood, and take a quick biopsy, and we're all done. You just relax there a few more minutes."

Skafloc turned back to face the table, a strange tool in his hand that resembled some sort of stainless steel mechanical duck. 77-0918-s.jpg

He absently toyed with the thing as he watched Clys retrieve an impossibly long needle from her intrument tray and proceed to insert it into Feleena's abdomen. He was about to ask what that was for when he heard Clys comment on the ovary biopsy. Once the needle was removed and the blood taken Clys turned to Skafloc.

"I'll let you know if the bloodwork turns up anything, but I'm not expecting it to. She looks perfectly healthy in every way."

Skafloc nodded, playing with the knobs on the metal duck. Clys glanced at his hands with a curious look on her face then with a hint of a sparkle in her eye she turned back to Feleena.

"Oh! I nearly forgot, Feleena, are you sexually active?"

A clatter of metal on marble filled the lab as Skafloc dropped the steel duck in surprise. Muttering an apology he snatched up the thing and placed it back on the table alongside something that looked like a pair of salad spoons and a very long pair of scissor like tweezers. Walking nonchalantly to the far end of the lab he fixated his attention on a strange apparatus that consisted of a network of glass tubes sprouting out of several large globes of some bubbling amber liquid. He watched the bubbles travel along the tubes while he fought within himself with the desire to hear what Clys and Feleena were discussing, while not appearing to be eavesdropping.

He nearly choked at the mention of hands and mouths.

" Well if we are done," said Skafloc, " I will go see to getting some food and juice into Feleena."

With a reassuring smile at Feleena and a nod to Clys he left in search of the cooks.

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Feleena awoke with a start. It was silent in her guest room at House Nex'Cruor, and the air felt strange to her. She sat up in the bed, looking about and letting her eyes adjust to the darkness.

Curious as to the time, she glanced at the clock. It was dead, the hands having stopped at 2:37 am. She sighed, wondering how late it really was, and slipped out of bed, throwing a robe over herself for warmth. Her bare feet padded out of her room and into one of the large hallways, which seemed so silent. It was unusual for it to be this quiet. Usually the yowls of the ape-bats outside echoed into the house quite frequently, but they seemed to be quiet again.

She walked quietly down the hall and down some stairs, looking at the grand oaken clock in the front hall. It was also stopped at 2:37 am. Raising an eyebrow, she went to the billiar parlor. 2:37 am there also.

This was strange, she thought. What could have caused all the clocks to stop at this time?

Then she saw him. Smurch. He stood in the doorway to the kitchen, a bowl of porridge in his hands. A spoon near his mouth, but not moving an inch. He was frozen in place!

Feleena gasped. This could not be! She moved toward Smurch, waving her hands in front of his face, and finally taking the spoon from his hand. She watched as the porridge stayed in the spoon, even if she turned it upside down. This was incredible.

Taking the spoon, she attempted to fling the porridge across the room. It left the spoon, but as soon as it did so the porridge stopped in mid air. Feleena blinked at this, unable to believe what she was seeing. She was dreaming. She had to be.

Slipping the spoon back into Smurch's hand, she walked outside the castle. The effect was out here as well. Animals frozen in midair, even insects such as flies and gnats...The whole things was insane.

Feleena decided to explore this. She pulled a sword from one of the castle guards and walked to the front gates, opening them and stepping outside. It was happening here too. Was the entire world frozen like this?

Glancing about in the darkness, she thought she saw a figure. She walked casually up to it and looked down. Sure enough, it was a gnome. He wore black, and had two blades at his sides, and was looking at the castle with a spyglass. Probably a spy or an assassin sent after Mistress Clys. No matter, this phenomena would work to Feleena's advantage.

She took the blade of her sword, carefully cutting away every inch of the gnome's clothing. Once he was nude, she took one of his daggers and carved some letters into his forehead. In Thalassian, she had written the word "SPY" with his blood, and then drove the dagger through his foot, impaling it to the ground. She gathered his clothes and carried them back inside, locking the gate.

Feleena walked around, exploring the castle, but careful to respect the boundaries that Clys set for all guests. Certain rooms were off limits, and she stayed clear of those. After another 2 or three hours, she grew tired. This was obviously all a dream anyway.

Feleena climbed back into her bed, trying to shake off the bad dream. Seconds after she fell asleep, a gnome screamed. Smurch put an empty spoon into his mouth, wondering why his porridge was spattered across the wall, and a guard was curious as to where those clothes came from, and why his sword was missing.

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A harsh scream from somewhere outside awakened Clys, and she rose from her bed, moving quickly to the window to look through it.

"That sounded like a gnome!" she said to herself. "Gods, I love how they scream. But I don't have any gnomes in the playhouse right now. Are they flinging themselves at my door, now, begging to be my toys?"

She waited a few moments, but there were no further sounds. Shrugging, she went back to bed.

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