(The story begins here.)
[Since it's been a while, you might want another look at the previous chapter.]
The Better Angel Foundation was a complex of buildings as labyrinthine in its way as the approach to Dvorak Manor. Dr. Fleming negotiated the maze just as swiftly this time, and he soon pulled the car up beside a long, one-story structure. He smiled at his companions: Darren’s interest switched from the doctor to the destination, and Lassiter finally emerged from his nap.
“This is where Dr. Newman actually works. If we had tried one of the more obvious buildings we would have been passed from functionary to functionary for hours, but a little-used man door should…”
Darren switched his attention from the building to the doctor’s face, then adjusted his own gaze accordingly. A man had seemingly just emerged from the wall itself a little way off.
“Even with his sense of hearing,” Dr. Fleming muttered, “I’d have to shout to attract his attention at this distance, and he appears to be in a hurry as usual anyway. Pity. I’d have liked his opinion as well.”
“He wasn’t that far off,” Lassiter remarked.
Dr. Fleming chuckled. “He’s a giant, but so well proportioned you have to see him alongside someone normal to realize it. No doubt he just stopped in to check on some of the patients before heading off for some remote and exotic trouble spot. Who knows? If Better Angel fails, perhaps he can help me clear this up.”
Lassiter grunted quietly, and they left their machine for a sidewalk. Dr. Fleming led the way to an inconspicuous door in the wall and pushed briskly into a small reception area guarded by an efficient-looking brunette. She looked up in mingled surprise and annoyance, only to change to a professional smile.
“Dr. Fleming! Dr. Newman will be most gratified at your visit. Shall I call him for you?”
The doctor nodded, and she pushed a button and announced his arrival. A door slid open at the far side of the room, and a booming voice bade them enter. Darren found himself wondering which form the wizard would take in meeting the party: ball of fire? Beautiful woman? He dispelled the thought brusquely, then realized that the décor was green, after all.
No wizard awaited them beyond the doorway. It was a giant. Darren remembered his friend’s description of the strange bronze figure they had seen moments before: this too was a remarkably well-proportioned entity, yet the size was still obvious and probably would be at any range. Though he hadn’t seen the other man up close, he felt that the normalcy there was normal: the result of natural processes carefully managed. This proportioning seemed unnatural in nature if not in form, yet like John before the angel Darren felt the urge to fall down in worship. Unlike the apostle, he resisted successfully, and a quick glance around suggested that they had each been tried and released.
Setting his jaw defiantly, Darren looked up into the face of Dr. Adam Newman.
Next: Peccatum Adae
1 year ago