“Mr. Fateshifter is the lab down the hall fifth door on the left.  Good timing he just got back from Moonglade.  I’ve already let him know you’re coming.”


The tall grey elf nods smiles and thanking the receptionist for her help.  He makes his way down the hall way dodging and shifting around various workers carrying all sorts scientific oddities.  He could only wonder about what sort of work was being done at this company.  After reaching the door he moves to knock and the door slides open on its own. 


Zen frowns and scratches his chin as he studies the holo-images of the information he had gathered during the interrogation of the captured avatar creature.  Through use of provocation he had gathered some tidbits of information.  The creature is a shaped Fire Elemental summoned from the Firelands.  It fears being contained.  It has some capacity to go against its owner’s will.

“There’s something here… I can feel it on the edge of my mind.”

His leg hurt… quite a bit in fact.  The constant burning sensation of the Fire seed implanted into his leg caused him pain and distraction to no end though at the moment this out of reach realization commanded most of his attention.  He shifts his gaze to another bit of floating text.  ‘Relant upon Fire Seeds to live’, ‘Fuel source? Ran out’, ‘Returns to Firelands if killed’.


“Come on Zen think… what am I mi—“ is interrupted by a buzz of his Com-link and the voice of the front desk receptionist.  “You have a visitor sir, a Mr. Swiftclaw.”  The Druid is momentarily confused then has the realization.  “Lanasia’s father.”  He activates his Com-link and replies.  “Please send him in.”  A few moments later the door slides open.


“The science Elf and his friends thought they destroyed me.  I’ve laid here in waiting in his wretched machine.  I lost much but I still linger.  I understand his ‘scanning’ he can’t detect me if I’m spread thin enough.”

Set on a table and forgotten for a few days the appropriately named Probe-zoka sat with the smallest sliver of the Sha creature extracted from Sylvina hidden within it.


Zen turns and greets his guest.  “Come on in Mr. Swiftclaw I’ve been looking forward to meeting Lanasia’s father.”  The elder elf greets Zen in turn as he steps inside taking a moment to look at the strange ‘needle cannon’ device on the table.  “Ah you must be Lanay’s Shan-do Mr. Fateshifter.”  The Druid chuckles “Call me Zen.”  The Elder elf nods “My friends call me Shadowblaze or Shadow for short I trust you received my letter?”  Zen nods “Yes the request for the cloaking device.  I think I can provide you with something similar to the one you used during your service…”


“They prattle on and on.  I need anger, I need energy…”

The Sha subtlety reaches out to the minds of the Elves sensing their emotions. The elder elf is utterly calm and totally useless.  The science elf is on edge due to the pain from the elemental thing.  He was more on edge, closer to anger when he was looking at his light words thing.  The Sha focuses on the elder elf trying to influence his behavior to make science elf look at the light words again.


“… the device should be ready in a few days.”  Shadowblaze nods looking rather pleased, it seems dispute what others have said about this Zen’s unusual mannerisms he is rather kind man. Their business was now concluded and he could leave but the lights what are they?  The elder elf pauses a moment and turns to look at the holo-images.  “Your notes from talking to that flame creature Lanay told me about?”  The Druid nods as he turns to the images.  “Yes I’m trying to uncover something.”  Shadow raises a curious eyebrow.  “Oh?  What is it exactly you’re attempting to decipher here?”  Zen shakes his head. “That’s the thing I’m not sure.  I know there’s some fact here that I should see but don’t.”  It annoys you.  “It’s driving me nuts… we have the creature locked up it fears containment but killing it would only set it free back to the Firelands why doesn’t just …” The Druid groans loudly and slaps his forehead as the realization dawns on him. 


“Why doesn’t it self-terminate!”  He exclaims as the elder Rogue merely gives him a confused look.  “I knew there was something important here!”  The Druid is a bit of frenzy now pacing around the room limping on his right leg.  Shadow notes the limp with a concerned frown as the Druid exclaims “How could I have been so stupid not to realize this!”  His anger is a dull roar I need more.  “The creature is trapped here all of its threats are in vain!  It lied about being able to go back to the Firelands if it's killed because if that was true it would have just killed it's self.  It's just pretending to be rebelling against it's master!  It's a total farce!  He's probably just following some part of Bairne's grand scheme!  How did I not realize this?!”  They held you back.  A flash of anger flies over Zen as he thinks back.  “That little idiot Gnome!  If she hadn’t been distracting me with her idiotic yelling….”  Yes it’s her fault.  “If that little bi—“ Shadow gently lays a hand on Zen’s shoulder.  “Zen calm down.”  No stay mad I need more.  “You’re ranting, and you have a nasty limp there.  Sit down relax a moment.”  The Druid almost turns his anger on the Rogue but the elder Elves expression of calm and concern pushes the rage away.  With a nod he has a seat and takes a deep breath.  “I’m sorry Shadow… this damn seed in my leg and everything else going on, and my foot has been numb and getting worse…”  Shadow’s medical training kicks and he starts assessing the Druid.  “Hmmm… might I examine you?”


At first Zen seemed reluctant but with concerned encouragement Shadowblaze convinced him to allow him to examine his foot.  “The tissue is starting to look cyanotic and pulse in your right foot is far weaker in your left.  Can you wiggle your toes for me?”  With a concerned expression the Druid attempts to comply but is barely able to move his right foot at all.  Fear this can be useful.  “That… that’s not good is it?  I can barely feel anything in my foot.”  Shadow keeps a calm neutral expression.  “Stay calm.  My guess is that seed is blocking the artery cutting off the blood flow to your foot.  This is… concerning.  It could be a site for platelets to stick and that could lead to a thrombosis.”  Big scary word!  “Thrombosis… like a clot?  If that goes to my heart or brain it could kill me!”  Paralyzed useless “Or worse leave me permanently paralyzed… I might never be able to hug my kids again!  Oh by the Light…”  The Druid looks to be ready to go into a full panic.  Keep fearing!  I feed I grow strong!


A strong vocal tone from Shadowblaze grabs the Druids attention.  “Zen you need to calm down.  Stress will cause tachycardia that will make this worse.  I’m going to teach you a mantra it’s something Inshala Sehti taught me.  Take a deep breath and repeat after me.”


“I trust in the process of life.”

            “I trust in the… process of life.”

                        No NO! Fear! hate!More!

“My curses will become blessings.”

            “My curses will become blessings.”

                        “Damn this Old Elf!  There was so much to feed on.”

“And I will release the things out of my control.”

            “And I will release the things out of my control.”

                        “A taste to brief, but I have enough to grow now…”


“Better now?”  The rogue inquires and the Druid nods in agreement.  “Yeah… thanks.”  Shadowblaze stands dusting himself off.  “I’ve finished my assessment, I recommend taking you to the Blue Guardians right away.  If the seed isn’t removed right now you’ll lose your foot.”  Zen nods in agreement “Jonah Forde he can help.  He’s made some sort of bacterium that he thinks can remove the seed safely.”  The elder elf nods and activates his radio.  “Blue Guardians this is Shadowblaze I’m bringing in a patient in need of immediate assistance.  Please call in Mr.Forde and have thrombolytics ready.”


A short while later…

“I can rebuild now but I need a host…”

The door slides open again and two Gnomes, Fateshifter industries interns enter one of them is speaking.  “He just left all the sudden looked really worried.  Some other elf was helping him walk.  It seemed serious.” 

“They will do.”

As the two interns converse one of them picks up the Probe-zoka.  “This should have been put in the de-contaminater days ago.”  As he carries the device out of the room the Sha slithers out like a snake and attaches its self to its new host.


Author Zenru
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