Tuesday, July 8, 2008

a stranger here reborn it seems

It was a simple matter for Aleister to install my second eye. He avoided answering my questions about his past as he stretched a dermal layer across my face and fastened it down.

When I asked him where this workshop was located, he only said "a forgotten place."

He lifted my head in his hands and carried me gently to another table. My face was pointed upwards, and I felt a pressure under my base. The was a snap followed by a cascade of clicks. Renewed sensations of a physical form joyously greeted my longing receptors. Peering down at me, his pale, thin-lipped smile mirrored my own. "Und now you haff a body again." He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled my torso up to a sitting position. I was suspended silently against the threadbare ruffles and brass buttons of his jerkin. He felt as cold as I was, but he smelled of machine oil and polished wood, and a trace of that wonderful vintage that made my palate tingle just at the thought of it.

One hand left my shoulder. I felt the rod extending into my back when he gripped the key. His fingers I still felt cued me not to tense my shoulder blades when I felt the rod rotating in slow intervals. I felt my energy building with each series of ratcheting turns. My hands...my small synthetic hands that seemed to mimic both hard porcelain and human skin when needed for flexible joints, raised gently to reach as best they could around his sides.

He stepped back, supporting me by my upper arms and slid back to my hands as I proved I retained balance. His delicate fingertips brushed mine as he withdrew a step.

"Step down, und valk."

I turned to look behind me for a moment, The table had a square latch in the center where an open panel hinged down, allowing me to lie on my back with the key in place. My knees trembled when my bare feet pressed down on the cold wooden planks. Over the meager protest of my ankles and hip joints, I straightened my posture. I looked up to him, fangs exposed as he grinned and nodded almost imperceptibly in approval. He was very tall...twice my size. Or was it...I was the one who was small.

He gestured with a ruffled sleeve towards a full-length standing mirror in the corner of the workshop. With one hesitant step after another I stood before the mirror. I saw my own face, white as porcelain with painted makeup...at first I thought I looked like the Founder's visage of the Dragon, but then I recognized it as the pattern adorn a child's doll. My eyes were a deep green. My black hair was cut short, above the neckline. (I remembered from my first incarnation that getting one's hair caught in one's own machinery was never a good idea.) It desperately needed to be styled.

I scanned lower to what Aleister had wrapped my new body in. I wore a ruffled black and maroon dress with matching gloves. The color scheme which immediately reminded me of what was now my favorite food, and favorite color. My delicate feet were bare.

"Do you like it?" I turned my head to gaze back at him as he broke my distraction. "Ze hair und ze shoes..." he shrugged. "I cannot keep up vit two hundred years of fashion. I vill brink you a catalog."

I ran to him, and he knelt to accept my embrace. "Vat is your name now?" I stepped back, hinged eyelids blinking.

"My name is Qli..." I shook my head. It just didn't seem to fit me anymore. I tried to imagine myself as a taller construct, but all I saw was my sister in the modifications she made to my old form. "I...I need a new name."

"Close your eyes" he said, "tell me vat you feel."

I explored the darkness. I felt the hundreds of gears and miles of springs, and envisioned them. Neither of my first Creators ever built something this dazzlingly coomplex and beautiful...it must have taken a century to draft this clockwork geometry...

"Geomet..." My lips processed a responce. "Gem...Gematria!" The vampire smiled.

"Vunderbar! A perfect name! Und now, Gematria, you vill serve me as your new Creator."

There was a slight pang of regret as I nodded. He noticed my expression.

"Ze Founder is gone, mein daughter. Zere is only one of ze bloodline older than me. But ze Firstborn is defiant, and vill ,nezer take ze role as ze new Founder." I whispered the name of the being he referred to that had ever so briefly been reborn as my brother.


"Und after him, I am ze oldest...surviving...member of ze Mason line."

My eyes widened as his placid demeanor parted like the clouds to reveal the burning desire beneath.

"I AM ZE NEW FOUNDER!!" He roared with fangs bared.

I took several paces back until my key made contact with the table. I responded with a supplicative "Yes, Sir" as his bloodshot gaze turned back to me.

"After you pick out your shoes," said Aleister, "you vill return to Doctor Mason. You shall say nussink of zis. You vill be summoned vhen ze time is right."

He advanced upon me again, and ran his fingers through my hair as he looked down.

"Follow my directions...und you vill be a Princess of Hell...just as he promised you..."


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