“Parts! Get up here! I have a job for you.”
“I’m here Sir, what do you need of me?” Parts asks, his voice a beautiful symphony of musical chords. As he glances nervously around the laboratory, Part’s apprehension increases visibly at the sight of the alien body lying on one of the operating tables, a hooded figure leaning over its open chest cavity.
“You’ll represent me in discussions with the A’anooye. I made some of their clan leaders ageless a few hundred years ago in exchange for their submission and future services,” replies the hooded figure without looking up.
There are quick flashes of light as the figure uses an extraordinarily sharp tipped scalpel to inscribe glowing runes and lines of power, linking all the major nerve pathways of the body to a black, metallic, bezel mounted on the body’s spine.
The figure continues, “They know me as the Lifegiver, not the Necromancer. Do not confuse my titles.”
“Yes Sir, is that the body I’m to wear?” queries Parts.
“They live on a wet, heavy world, you’ll require a form that can withstand the stress,” the Necromancer responds absently, focused on his work. As he finishes, there is a burst of fluorescence, briefly outlining the body’s nervous system in brilliant neon green.
“Open up. It’s time for the transfer”, he commands.
Parts steps forward, reluctantly opening the seam in his chest to reveal a shining, blue gem. Life drains from Part’s eyes as his body becomes motionless. The Necromancer removes the gem with practiced ease and secures it in the bezel.
A short time later the body, now Parts, rises from the table and looks around cautiously, eyes taking on a shocked expression
“Sir! What happened to my voice!” Parts exclaims with concern, his query devoid of music.
“It will be safe here, where it is unlikely to cause any… complications to your task. Hurry along, there is some urgency.” the Necromancer replies, leading the way down a long hall.
“Where am I going, Sir? And what is my role in these discussions?” Parts squeaks, staggering drunkenly in the unfamiliar body as he tries to keep up.
“You will be going to the world of O’ooryu, as I said before, it’s a wet, heavy, world, but the form you’re wearing is from a local. The A’anooye clan wishes my assistance in the extraction of Lifespring, what we would call Dream-source, from the carcasses of the local aquatic megafauna. They’ve lost the skill to do it themselves and there is some opposition to the practice from the currently dominant culture,” the Necromancer explains as they pass a series of dedicated workshops and holding cells.
“They have petitioned me to provide the wherewithal to perform the work in exchange for a share of the power harvested. You are to finalize the arrangement on my behalf. All the details are in this form’s hippocampus. Review them and make sure the A’anooye comply fully. If necessary, remind the ‘elders’ that their extended life is at my convenience.”
Reaching the end of the hall, the Necromancer lets out a shrill series of whistles and squeaks. A dim green glow begins to emanate from a circular structure at the back. About a dozen disembodied heads hang at the center of the portal, mounted to a framework constructed from bone and sinew. At the Necromancer’s approach their slack faces slowly animate, their eyes warily tracking his progress.
The Necromancer looks over the cluster of heads and vigorously taps one with features quite similar to Part’s new form. It slowly animates and looks around dazedly.
“While you’re there, tell Odronosco that he’ll need to provide me with another guide. This one is almost spent.”
After a few more quick raps, the enervated head’s awareness seems to meet with the Necromancer’s approval. He emits a few more shrill notes and the cephalic display vanishes in a bright swirl of sickly green energy.
“Do not delay. This guide is not capable of holding the path for you.” urges the Necromancer.
On still unsteady legs, Parts rushes to do his bidding, the portal snapping closed behind him.