"Still not a clue about Dr. Lamraall, right?" asked Nabriq Gushash.
"No, I actually found out everything about him and I’m just sitting here in this shitty Abbey looking pissed for fun."

 

Brother Gebalt Bellion was not the best Pantherian to have a conversation with. He was sitting at the head of the dark ebony table, in the centre of the dining room. It was also the biggest table they had in the abbey, with only a small chandelier with a faint light in front of him. The rest of the chandeliers and torches, that seemed to have been spread in the room only to be ornaments, were off. The whole place lacked light and it was very humid: it described a very depressing scene. Nabriq looked through the window just after stepping inside the dining room; it was raining awfully. 
 

Gebalt was a very peculiar Pantherian: a large black and oval furred face, a twisted and angular muzzle that was very asymmetrical, blue eyes, an almost curled set of whiskers and a very tiny mouth. You wouldn’t think he was an assassin of the Furlein Inquisition with such caricatured appeal, but, like the rest of the members, he was covered with a black clerical tunic, and now he was surrounded by a thousand of inked papers, contracts and letters, unorganized as always. On the other hand, his fellow Brother, Nabriq Gushash, was a far more common-looking Furlein villager - brown fur and brown eyes – and he had an outstanding intelligence. He was trying his best to work with him right now, but sometimes it was the hell of a challenge.
 

"You know that you don’t really have to be this sarcastic. A simple no would have worked out fine."


"I’m just extremely angry right now, get it, sem-ya? We spent literal weeks trying to find a goddamn clue about this 'Doctor' and what did we get? Nothing!" the assassin spat in a bucket right next to him. Disgusting.


"We know something, calm down. We know he’s not in the Coalition anymore. That is a very important clue."


"Yeah, we only have to check the rest of the world now."


"But not inside the Coalition."


"Oh, shut up, Nabriq."


Nabriq ignored him and went to the following room. Most of the members had not eaten yet, so there was no extra steam in the kitchen, which was relieving because he hated it.  He approached the bronze, metallic stove and heated a pot of black coffee.  He took a couple of minutes and carried a mug for both him and his partner. Gebalt sipped from it with disgust and just kept on shuffling through his million papers.


"You know," Nabriq resumed, professionally and elegantly as always. "That there’s a chance that he wasn’t always using the same name. What if he faked his identity in order to flee the country, and he just gave us one of many names he imagined?"


"That…that is a possibility..." Gebalt grunted, feeling a furball climbing his throat. "That gives us less than nothing, but it is indeed a possibility."


"Okay, but let’s recollect everything he have now. Let’s put it all together and think about it again.  For just a second."


"Sure, you start."


"Dr. Lamraall is a psychopathic doctor-"


"…with maniac tendencies." Gebalt held up a claw.


"With maniac tendencies," Nabriq made a pause after his brief interruption, before continuing.  "...and we have information from different witnesses that he kept a creature inside his basement, at his own place. He murdered it and then resurrected it… but reprogrammed its consciousness. And we know that the creature definitely didn’t like it was from the Coalition."


Nabriq felt disgusted right after mentioning these words. Through several technological processes, and a huge knowledge on engineering, it was possible to keep a body alive after death. Not his consciousness, he thought. Or that’s as much as he knew at the moment. Maybe the doctor did create an A.I., but in order to do that he had to remove his non-functional consciousness to insert it in the new body. Or maybe he removed the entirety of his brain. The whole idea was terrifying, not matter how it was analysed. A creature, a breathing and living creature, to be transported and basically tortured just to end like this…there were some things, Nabriq thought, that he would never get used to even after 20 years of working for the Coalition's Inquisition.


"Yes."


"And now he fled the country."


"Yes. Any other information about the creature?"


"People have mentioned seeing this enormous individual and claimed that it looked like an automaton - but it was not metallic. A farmer said that it looked like some sort of giant, made from rock."


"... hm."


"What?"


"That makes me think of something. Aren’t people from the Subterran Arcanica basically giants made from rocks?"


"I mean, they are not literal giants. They are made of rock, ice, crystals and minerals. They are bigger than us, yes, but they perform the arcane arts. Do you think the Doctor just knocked down a magical gigantic creature?"


"Not him. People that claim to be superior because of their intelligence don’t do the dirty job by themselves..." Gebalt grabbed a piece of paper titled Early Years. "He has stated that he never left the country. Maybe someone… hunted the creature by themselves and brought it to him.


"So far, then, we know that he operated from here, but we don’t know how many people were involved in this madness. Nor we don’t know if they belonged to the Coalition or were foreigners too."


"I think that only a very limited amount of people may have known about a living body being transported, but the rest could just be doing their job as usual."


"That makes sense. We should be able to find out who were the special individuals that the doctor chose to lie his trust on."


"Or maybe we could start with those who didn’t know, which would eventually lead us to the ones who did. And then, to the doctor’s current location."


Gebalt sighed, very annoyed. He was an impatient man and these long-term jobs were the ones he despised. He was intelligent, but he did lack the patience to be a good researcher.


"Do we know anything about his objective?" Gebalt asked.


"No more than he wanted to use it as a killing machine."
Gebalt pulled idly on his whiskers.


"To kill… what? Who is his enemy?"


"I’m not sure, Gebalt. I’m really not sure."

THE FURLEIN COALITION

MERCENARY ALLIANCE OF SILVER-TONGUED ASSASSINS

KILLING MACHINE by Maria Gabriela Orellana

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