You would poison a dying dog! Not the heir to Saint Peter!

Rodrigo rose from his recuperation. He pushed aside the golden drapes that surrounded his bed. He paused as he swung his legs onto the floor. He allowed his gaze to focus on the red bull embroidered onto the golden drapes as he slipped into thought. The wound hadn’t been a mortal one, and given his assailant, he had no illusions that it must not have meant to be. Therefore if must have been only to delay him. He stood, and absently unscrewed the cap from a pipe that protruded from his fine plaster wall. Willing himself into a cloud of darkness, Rodrigo slipped through the pipe and travelled some distance, emerging as a shadowy form into what was once his study. Without a doubt several explosions had occurred after his retreat. He allowed his incorporeal form to drift through his haven, finding both his laboratory and sitting room to have met the same fate.

What lies beneath?

There is nothing we like to communicate to others as much as the seal of secrecy together with what lies under it. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Michael awoke from the second night, still in pain. Looking around quickly, he saw that he was still strapped to a chair. Slowly, blurred memories came to him through the silvery fog. Vaguely he recalled the events of last night. Through the pain, the veil of the pain induced fog, was burnt away from his mind.

He looked about the dimly lit room again, as best he could from his position, seated, and still facing a corner. Still bound to a tall steel chair, by metal cables; at wrist, elbow, shin, thigh, and neck, his field of view was limited. Last night he had tried to call upon his blood to reshape his flesh, but all of his efforts resulted in an open wound that would not close. It seemed that the cables also had strands of silver woven into them.

He turned his head as best as he could, the IV bag had been replaced with a fresh one. At least now he fully grasped the origins and the limitations of his powers. Having brought this to mind, panic began to set in. The question dominated his mind, “Was Vykos insane enough to inform him of his history while poisoning him to death? He couldn’t be. He kept saying that his blood was the key.”, but he remained wise enough to leave it unspoken.

“Comfortable?” a purring voice asked. There was no doubt that it was Vykos again, but she had traded her chorus of mouths for a throaty, almost animal like purr. “Last night we spoke of your pedigree, my love. Tonight I shall tell you the tale of an old agreement, made between a failed ruler, and a magician.”