Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dark World: Council of War

(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)

“The first order of business,” Dr. Fleming said, “is to pool our experiences and determine our goals. Or are we satisfied with the stories we swapped in the Shiny One's lair?” A quick glance at the others confirmed this, and he continued, “Enemies and problems, then. By my count, excluding people we've merely annoyed but who aren't likely to harm us, we have the dark witch, assorted Nazis, whoever tried to kill Dvorak, possibly Dr. Newman, and some Tehros—at least until they realize that Lassiter isn't changing to a werewolf anymore. It seems to me that the witch is the worst threat, since she can appear without warning practically anywhere and overcome even an armed force.”

“You should leave her to me,” Clio said. “I could deal with her easily.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I lack your masculine weakness for women.”

“That doesn't matter,” Darren stated. “Her power is not sexual, at least not primarily, and it would affect you as strongly as any man.”

“What do you mean?” Lassiter demanded. “Of course it's sexual.”

“Spoken like a former wolf,” Dr. Fleming said. “Nevertheless, Darren is right: despite her striking appearance, her attraction is primarily...well, psychological, really, though I'm sure Darren would call it spiritual: she appeals to any perceived void or desire. A little careful introspection will confirm that.”

“And she's the only one on your list that really scares you.”

“She's the only one worth being scared of, except perhaps the murderous mastermind of Dvorak Manor, and we haven't heard from him since he tried to kill us with perhaps the world's largest fragmentation grenade. The other threats we can guard against without much difficulty.”

“None of that matters to me,” Clio stated flatly. “I just want to find Father and bring him back.”

“I doubt you can bring him against his will,” Darren said. “And anyway, we have to deal with at least some of these enemies like it or not.” He glanced back into the dining room toward the entrance and continued casually, “Lassiter, call the waiter over to refill your beer, and examine the man by the door as closely as you can without especially noticing him.”

Lassiter did so, and when he turned back to the group, he frowned with puzzlement. “He looks familiar, somehow, but I can't place him.”

Darren smiled. “I think I can. Remember when you thought you saw Shafer and I thought it was someone else? That's the man I saw.”

“Hardly Shafer's twin,” Clio commented.

“He was concealed by trees and dim light.”

Dr. Fleming studied the man carefully yet inconspicuously for a moment. Then his eyes grew widen and he forced himself to look away. “Edward Henry?” he murmured.

Next: New Nemesis or Old

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