“Doing what?” he snapped, quickly wakking over to her spot ont he floor.
Sylenn returned her gaze to the massive machine she’d spent the night studying. “Thnking.”
“Now is not the time to be coy, girl! What have you been doing in my laboratory? Eating up my subjects again, I suppose.” He crossed his arms, glaring down at her.
She shook her curly head, not looking at him. “Actually, I’ve been trying to figure a way to get more information from them. It’s been giving me more … glimpses lately, and that’s got me thinking.”
“Glimpses? And you haven’t come in to record them? Great stars, girl! Well, get over here so that we can take care of that. Yvenn! Get that recorder going!”
In no hurry, Slyenn rose from the tiled floor and slouched over to the table Demney’s assistants hastily prepared. Demney still angered her every time they crossed paths, but today, she had toher worries.
Demney watched her more closely than he watched any other Descendant, but not from any concern for her well-being. No, it was the alient thing that lived in her body, in her mind alongside her own consciousness, that fascinated him. They called it the Hunter for lack of any other name; Its mission was to hunt and destroy the enemies of the Ancients. The Gontozenels. The shapeless beings that took humans as unwilling hosts and used them to destroy Alluvia.
Of course, the Hunter was the reason the Gontozenels had begun taking hosts, earning the descriptive name of “Sukkers”. In Its original form (as modified by the Ancients), I thad ravaged the Gontozenel ranks, forcing them to flee and hide among the humans of Alluvia. The Hunter could not find them with any ease when they burrowed into the bones of humans. It had lost Its body long ago, but when It found another body (Sylenn’s), it had found a way to use her senses to continue Its desperate hunt.
She repressed a sigh as she levered herself onto the table and waiting for the assistnants to finsh their frantic preparations. More than a year had passed since she’d Awakened and become Fulenthen Sonelion and the HUnter had retreated, cowering before the emissary of Its long-departed Masters. Yet there were still nights when she awoke, drenched with sweat and fighting the memories of those horrible years when she had murdered people so that the Hunter might feed on the Gontozenels within.
If nothing else, Sylenn would gladly have gone with the Descendants just so she wouldn’t have to kill anymore. Wouldn’t have to let the HUnter use her mouth to consume the Gontozenels.
The thought brought her gaze back to the machinery agaisnt the far wall. Huge, complex, and indefinable, this was another part of the legacy the Ancients had left their human “children,” those people physically and mentally altered to fight the Gontozenels in their Drone hosts. This particular mass of technology held the energy of captured Gontozenels, thousands upon thousands of them. Until the HUnter had returned from wherever It had been the past millenia, the Descendants hadn’t realized (or had forgotten) that the purpose of the device was to store that energy for the Hunter to consume.
That was only part of the reason Sylenn had spent the night staring at it. The Hunter wasn’t hungry just now, since they had been out the four days previous, sucessfully tracking down and cantaining fifteen Sukkers. Only two of them had been added to the collection; two that might have something worth their lives.
“Finally!” Demney’s customary snap ni longer startled Sylenn. “Alright girl. Let us begin. Yvenn! Begin recording! Subject: Sylenn Jenfsen, also Descendant Fulenthen Sonelion, recording new information gleaned from Subject: Hunter. Go on, girl.”
Sylenn did not begin immediately, to Demney’s irritation. Much as she enjoyed seeing him confounded, she wasn’t delaying on purpose. “I– have had dreams of late that do not seem to be my own. From the feel of them, they may be memories of the Hunter from before It lost Its body. Most of the dreams are brief and chaotic, giving me only impressions and hints, but nothing I could actually describe.
“But last night–” Her mouth pressed into a line.
:Well, go on!”
“Demney, if you want to be the next host, by all means, we can do that,” she growled, whipping her gaze over to him. “But until then, you have no idea what this is like or how hard it is, so leave off!”
The Doctor almost snarled back, but something gave him the strength to hold back his retort. He settled for a curt, choppping motion.
He’d seen It in her eyes. He knew that It hated him, and, like the educated man he was, he really didn’t want to give It a reason to come after him again.
Sylenn dragged It back to the section of her mind where It was supposed to stay. In the past year, they’d come to an understanding of sorts. A partnership. In general, It obeyed her. In return, she fed it well. For the most part, the arrangement worked. But not always.
Especiialy when she wanted the same thing It did.