Shredder 42

“The Seeming,” Anibel replied, “You’re serious.”

“I am,” Gerard said, “It’s the best way to be sure if that Shredder was a fluke.”

A resonating slurp turned all eyes on Merinde.  The woman continued sucking on her spoonful of stew for a few seconds longer.  She then smiled at them.  “I’m going to do that, or something equally annoying, every time you assume I know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“Merinde’s not from around here,” Gerard said to Anibel in mock smuggery, “In case you hadn’t noticed.”

“I gathered,” Anibel replied in similar tones, “Such an odd, hairless creature.”

Merinde’s feature’s darkened.  She was not in a place of power, after having nested in one for over a year.  She didn’t much care for the tactics the Halfling pair mustered, but she began to understand that she needed to switch gears.  She was not accustomed to working with others.  Here, she would need help.  “My apologies.”

Both Halflings nodded.  “In truth,” Gerard said, “We should be more informative, but I’ve never actually met an outworlder.  It’s a little difficult to wrap the mind around.  Just ask questions when you have them.”

“Nor I,” Anibel added, “And I will endeavor to educate as time permits, though we all seem to be adjusting fairly well to our current difficulties.”

A shared moment of respect grew between the trio before Gerard spoke again.  “A Shredder is a construct from the lost era we touched upon earlier.  A killing machine.  All blades and weapons and senseless destruction.  I’ve never seen one before the other day, but the description did it enough justice.  That’s the first sighting in—”  He looked to Anibel.

“Several decades?” she said, “Though my memory is somewhat cloudy yet.”

“And you think this thing is the precursor to invasion?” Merinde asked, “Invasion from what?”

“That is what I hope to uncover,” Gerard said.

“At this Seeming.”  Merinde fit the pieces together with ease.  “So where is it?  How far?”

“Correct,” Gerard said, “Though I would say it’s more of a what than a where.”

“It’s madness,” Anibel said.

Shredder 43

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