St. Benedict dropped the snake,
letting it fall across Malachi’s keyboard while the tech was working heedless of the world around him.
“Holy Hell!!” He screeched as he jumped up, his desk chair slammed to the ground. The snake’s body went up into the air in a panicked rush as Malachi backpeddled ten feet. St. Benedict was laughing himself stupid.
“Aw, you don’t like the new toy I go you?” The Saint said, “I’m crushed.”
“You’re an ass!” Malachi shouted, between panted breath.
“Oh God!” St. Benedict cried between bouts of laughter. Getting no sympathy from his tormentor wearing the face of his friend, the tech came back and picked up his chair, slamming it back onto it’s wheels hard.
“What the hell is that?”
“I have no idea,” the Saint actually wiped tears from his eyes. “I got it off a brownie.”
“A brownie.” St. Benedict picked up the snake from the ground and laid it on Malachi’s work table.
“Like a dessert?”
“No, like the Faerie. This thing was trying to eat their friend until they jumped on it’s neck.”
“The brownies did?
“But you said they.”
“This brownie is genderless.”
“Then wouldn’t it be an ‘it?’”
St. Benedict shot him a reproving look as he took off his maintenance guy hat and slid on the smooth security of his fedora.
“How’s the feed for the cameras?”
Malachi leaned over the table and tapped a keyboard, bringing to life a darkened screen. “Looks fine. You are now officially a stalker.”
“I suppose so,” he responded dispassionately as he pulled out a cord from the work station.
“Really, no argument? No protestations?”
“Why would I protest?”
“Wait… wait… are you saying… or rather are you confirming the possibilities that you have romantic nature feelings for this woman. Like actual feelings?”
“No,” St. Benedict popped open a knife, “I’m saying I am confirming that I am stalking her.” He stabbed the knife into the body of the snake.
“Man! What are you doing?
You’re going to get guts all over my equipment!” Malachi howled, before stopping and staring at the back of the snake. “Oh wow. It’s a cybo-snake!”
“So you have seen one of these?” St. Benedict peeled back the skin to examine the mix of guts and electronics housed within the reptile.
“Yeah. FederoCorp project, produced about a thousand of them as an answer for urban infestation problems. Smart Snakes. Total fail. They were all decommissioned; it’s so cool that you found one.”
Nodding absently, St. Benedict rooted around for a hook up in it’s spin and connected the cord to it. On the screen, broken data lines began to appear.
“When this is done I should probably take it to an Aura Reader,” St. Benedict murmured.
The two men met eyes for one long moment.
Malachi’s went wide with silent comprehension.
“You don’t think…?”
“I don’t, but it might be a clue. This thing was targeting Faeries which means could they were attempting to collect raw magic and trying to collect it with a machine.”
“Is that possible?”
“People have tried worse. But if they have a piece of the Masterson Files… maybe?”
“Man,” Malachi shook his head, “we got to find Masterson’s files soon. I can’t even imagine the technical revolution possible when things like that could actually cast magic.”
“Sure,” St. Benedict said neutrally.
“I’ll set up the personnel requisition,” Malachi said, returning to business.
St. Benedict nodded and refocused on the snake as Malachi left the workstation to do as he said.
Was this snake a piece of the puzzle or another dead end? Probably the later, but he had followed less before. Reaquiring his knife, he set to work disassembling the blood, ignoring the blood that came with it.
The End for Now…