(The story begins here./Le conto comencia hic.) As an added feature, mouse over anything you want translated below.
Antonin did something to shut off the security system; then he ran, not to Dvorak but to the desk-like controls, leveled his pistol, and emptied it into area where the cards were held and read. “Murdering machine!” He turned to the others. “I told the master not to trust these things! Organism and inorganism must always be at war. Only organic tools and slaves can be trusted.”
Dr. Fleming was already at his friend’s side. “He’ll live. The wounds are relatively superficial, but that’s a nasty-looking dagger on the floor.”
“Dagger?” Antonin asked.
“Yes, the kind organisms use to kill each other. I wonder where it came from? Karel never carries a knife.” He paused and glanced at Darren. “Attempted murder in a locked, windowless room. I suppose you’ll say this is the work of demons.”
Darren thought very briefly—even prayed—and replied, “No, I don’t sense anything here beyond human evil.”
“Excellent. Then this is a job for physics.”
“So you admit there’s more than physics?”
“Everything is physics; it’s just that some things are more obviously physics than others. Step outside and commune with your God; Antonin and I will take care of Karel. He wouldn’t want you standing around here praying for him.”
Darren bowed stiffly and departed.
He did in fact step outside. Dr. Fleming’s brusqueness was no doubt the result of stress, but Darren hoped for some uninterrupted prayer. He also wasn’t sure that Lassiter would be any help; let him stew a few minutes longer.
Darren hadn’t gone very far when a shadow and breeze came on him, and he found himself facing the edge of a forest that was new to the area. It took him less than a second to assess the situation: he was not carrying a gun, not even one with normal bullets, but he didn’t sense the previous effluvium of evil, either.
A voice hailed him from the trees. “Veni a me, filio. Io te monstrara le via a…” The voice broke off, and the speaker, a robed figure, looked around as if puzzled. “Io senti necun periculo…necun malo.”
“I don’t sense any danger or evil either,” Darren said. “Do you understand English? Or—”
“Io pote comprender English—anglese—mi filio, sed io non pote parlar lo. Un dictionario nos adjutarea, sed apparentemente nos comprende le un le altere sin illo.”
“It would probably be a few decades before such a dictionary could be produced anyway. But why is there no evil here—no wolves or enchantress? I thought these phenomena were basically evil with a little good sometimes mixed in by the grace of God.”
“Generalmente, si. Sed le gratia de Dio importa multo: le malo appella al malo, e le bono al bono. Evidentemente un grande bono se trova in te, e solo le bono appare.”
“There is no good in me, Sir; I am a sinner.”
“Sed claro tu ha acceptate le Bon—le Filio de Dio—in tu cordie. Su bonitate supera cata malo in te e in iste mundo tenebrose. Isto es un nove sperantia.”
Next: Un Nove Sperantia
1 year ago