The Postmodern Prometheus, Part 2'At least we made the paper,' Ian said the next morning over breakfast. He'd picked up a complimentary tabloid newspaper to go with his fifth round of sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns: he was a firm believer that if a hotel offered a buffet breakfast, it was his sworn duty to take full advantage of this, and the headline had simply caught his eye.More Like This
'Shh!' Tessa snapped. 'Why not tell the whole goddamn room?'
Ian set down the folded paper beside his half-empty plate, examining the front page once more.
'Strange Suicide Perplexes Police,' the headline proclaimed. 'A middle-aged man was found in the early hours outside the Wollstonecraft Hotel in central London, having just jumped from the hotel's rooftop, terrifying and shocking the late-night onlookers. Dr. Ian Gore, former assistant coroner and guest at the hotel, confirmed the time of death, with the help of fellow guest Dr. Vitesse Stein; both were staying at the Wollstonecraft for a convention.
'But the surprising thing
The Postmodern Prometheus, Part 1Ian Gore was used to walking into rooms with dead bodies in them; he'd been a coroner until very recently, after all. What bothered him was that this was a hotel room.More Like This
As deaths went, he thought, at least it had been clean: the body was lying on the double bed with an overturned plate on the duvet beside it and the TV remote within easy reach.
Ian's current employer, Dr. Tessa Stein, did not share this analysis.
'Oh, hell!' She exclaimed, following her subordinate into the room. 'I told him not to order room service-- and look where it got him. Ian, what happened?'
Ian spent several minutes examining the corpse, and then thought to check the overturned plate. He lifted it to reveal several tiny, golden-brown fishcakes. Sniffing at one, he took a bite.
'Prawn,' he realised. 'Our donor was allergic to shellfish-- I guess we forgot to tell this guy not to eat any.' Finishing it and picking up another one, he continued, 'if it's any consolation, these are pretty tasty. As last meals go, re
Stoneseed, Chapter 2Acier was the first to surface, followed by Clay: Avis reluctantly joined them a few moments later, his eyes shut.More Like This
'Avis?' Acier asked. 'You okay?'
'You okay?' Clay repeated.
'I don't like it up here,' Avis said quietly. 'There's too much everything.'
'Too much everything.'
'Too much everything?' Acier asked, glancing around. There was a broad pit behind them, boarded over for the most part but with an open space containing the ladder they'd just taken. Around them were the foothills of Deeproot; the terrain was still relatively level, but steep, chalky cliffs were visible perhaps half a kilometre behind them; above these was Deeproot's great vertical bulk, filling the skyline. Turning around, he eventually found the trade road, half-buried beneath some surprisingly thick foliage. Apparently not many people used this entrance to the catacombs.
'Too much everything,' Avis said. 'I don't like it out here-- in the catacombs it's quiet and dark and it doesn't smell of anything but dust. Bu
Stoneseed, Chapter 1The catacombs served as a reminder that as long as there had been any history at all, there had been Dwarven history: the oldest passages were said to be as old as time itself, and even the newest dated from the late Old Age (or perhaps the early New Age-- it was often difficult to tell).More Like This
The catacombs also served as a reminder that as long as there had been Dwarves, they had had skulls. The walls of this region-- a forgotten tomb, perhaps, or maybe simply the favoured haunt of someone with a particularly morbid hobby-- were lined with them, floor to ceiling, five and a half feet vertically and already a kilometre horizontally, with no immediate end in sight. There were branches in the unlit stone passageway, of course, but these contained little of interest, in comparison to what Acier Faussaire knew waited for him at the end of this particular passage.
'How much further?' he asked, pouring a little more willpower into the light his Sorcery had created and smiling a little with relief