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SEAN WOODWARD lair, but tonight was different. He needed the reminders of home. The box appeared to be made of the strange wood that Henri had recently become acquainted with. Its bottom was hidden beneath N'Tarran by the layer of glowing dust that he lay in. It had come from his estate on his home-world, travelled the vast distances of space in the huge ships of his people until finally he had been imprisoned here, on this backwards planet. Earlier in the evening he had walked past the Byzantine splendor of St. Bartholomew's Church, unable to touch its steps or cross the acres of air above it. A man had lain dying in the alley that ran at the back of 51st Street. N'Tarran had not touched the ground until he was sure he was dead before feasting upon him. He had ripped the golden crucifix from his neck first. It still awed him how these people could find solace in a myth of regeneration that was millennia old even before the fairy tale of the Nazarene. All around him they were celebrating his supposed birth, with their trees and lights and gifts and attempts at niceness to the people they detested for the other eleven months of the year. It had somewhat tainted the flavor of this man. N'Tarran liked best the blood of the care-free dilettantes, of handsome young poets and those hungry for power. Their energies would not be wasted. But this would have to do and then he could sleep. His daylight hours were filled with the dreams of his home-world, of the wars of conquest eternally sating his people. They had spread across a whole quarter of the Rim in the ancient times, walked as gods and goddesses on worlds so alien from their own. Now he was confined to this earth with its light and its superstitious people. He detested it. He wondered how far out in the solar system his ship would now be, if its navigation systems would still be functioning after all these millennia, its Qube drawing sustenance from the very suns he despised. The dark matter drives would continue to propel it through the correct trajectories, coming to a halt at every solar eclipse so as to absorb more of the dark light. Every night he looked at the moon whose orbit held him prisoner here, every night he dreamed of new ways to disrupt her path and free him from this prison. Perhaps at last, after centuries of plotting he would have in his hands a power that would rip apart the very dust of the moon, so he could soar high and free from this world. Then he would gather his followers and bring vengeance to those who had betrayed him. "So Dr Muller, you thought you could just walk away with two million dollars?" The way Matterton phrased the words seemed casual, almost - 82 -

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

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