THE MELDING OF TWO EVILS
silence slowly whispered through the fleet, and a wind, if possible in space,
calmly filtered through the stars. "Sir, we now have a full inventory of
the fleet. Emerald class ships: Emerald. Enchantress
class ships: Labyrinth, Nemesis, Phoenix, and
Troubador. Scimitar class ships: Cutlass, Spectre,
Corona, Cygnus, Ambrosia, Sphinx, and
Centaur. Susan Smith class ships: Alone and Act.
Pacemaker class ships: Cambridge Bay.
The time is right. Have the Labyrinth and the Nemesis come with
us for Project T'smear. The rest of the fleet continue homeward."
**T. G. Taft**
crickets chirped softly above Yorkshire; their humming exemplified the
unwillingness of the mama bird. Deep inside the mansion, Adena, Iffley, Dion,
and Jonathon were just waking up in the midst of SOL's light. Dion slowly rose
out of bed, unaware of the importance that this day would have on the rest of
her life. She slowly dressed, planning in her heart some evil plan on how to
rescue Iffley from that terrible Adena. "I wonder if she likes turning
his heart cold. Yes. She must love ice cream..."
she noticed a twitch in the corner by her dresser. She stood in the middle of
the room, yet not fully dressed, staring, unwilling to move. Nothing. She
would have sworn she had seen something move. Slowly she inched closer to the
corner, and saw the outline of a man. The next thing she felt was a
handkerchief over her mouth, and ether making its cruel path into her
**T. G. Taft**
Enchantress signaled the Xanadu. "Emergency! Repeat! Same
enemy ships. Still bearing down on us."
Xanadu raced. Silently its commander realized that, if Richard had
chosen to break the treaty, T'mir had no defense. "We're almost there,
Enchantress. You know that we're leaving a hole in our
**T. G. Taft**
stared at the sleeping figure on the couch, longfully looking into her eyes.
Only once in his life had he seen a figure this beautiful. Memories floated
through his head; memories of his life on Furanose; memories of the girl that
he had seen only once and yet held close to his own heart. Could this be her?
He closed his eyes and turned around. Could it?
he heard a voice behind him. He wondered if he should turn around. If this
wasn't who he hoped... he did, however, with reticence, and looked into her
know... you..." Dion said with a look of perplexity.
Nobowitz!" She suddenly recalled triumphantly, jumping to her feet.
she was too weak. Her feet buckled beneath her, and she crumpled to the floor.
Richard jumped to her side immediately, but her head had received a bump near
the eye. It started to bleed. He kissed the bruise and replaced her body onto
the pedestal from whence it came. He turned around and faced the wall. It
looked just like the wall in Furanose where they had met before....
turned around as he heard a moaning behind him. Dion had pushed herself into a
sitting position and her hair had fallen into her face. Richard stooped to her
side to see if he were needed. Dion glanced up quickly in alarm.
you all right now? That was quite a fall you had and straight onto the hard
floor, too. Please accept my apologies for capturing you so. I have this plan
to take T'mir, you see, and...~,'
looked at him with confusion, "How did you know where I was? Very few
know the mansion well."
guess, I guess. We wanted Iffley..."
mind began to whirl. Iffley? She couldn't let them get him. She looked into
Richard's eyes again. Or could she?
like to stay." She motioned for him to sit down beside her. "It
won't heal like that."
took his shirt and rubbed it against her sore. The blood stopped as he touched
it; perhap1s, she guessed, her heart needed it more than her head, and was
using up the excess.
she said. "Where did you get the name 'Richard'? I personally prefer
name just sort of came about. No other good reason. You can call me by what
you prefer though."
hope I haven't insulted you. I didn't mean to," she asked, biting on her
at all, Cameo," he answered calling her by...
middle name!" She looked downward. "I would prefer if you would not
call me by that."
looked down at her. "I'm... sorry..."
looked back up. "It's okay. It's just that it brings back bad
smiled and turned around. "Lay down. You'll need your rest. I have some
work to do..." With that he left her alone. She sighed and fell asleep
**T. G. Taft**'
operation T'smear." Richard's voice floated throughout the chambers of
the building; their headquarters were in an old abandoned playhouse not but
half a mile from Yorkshire. "I want a company of three guards to assist
me in confronting Iffley. Time: 1900 hours." Richard coughed, remembring
he was not aboard the ship. "7:00 PM."
Richard went off to the corner of the room and thought to himself. Yes. This
was the girl that had created hope in his heart. He remembered it fondly. That
had been one of the few shifts that he was working where he could have seen
her, and the talk that they had had created in Richard a sort of need for
independence that he had carried on since then. He hit himself on the leg.
Last time he was powerless and had to let her go; she was an upperclass girl;
Richard was but the servent of one. Oh, how, he had cried that night...,
**T. G. Taft**
was being served as normal in Yorkshire; but a strange sense of weariness
permeated the group. Very little was said; especially from Jonathon. Near the
end of the five-course meal, the doorbell rang. Iffley, after motioning for
one of the butlers to answer it, began to talk. "A very good meal. I must
say, this sure beats ship chow...."
used to make meals like this." Jonathon turned his head down, and pushed
the plate away from him. He let out a small whimper.
looked up. He wanted to somehow say "I'm sorry," but he just
couldn't find the words. Where had Dion gone? Had she left? Had she been
taken? His thoughts quickly flew as he looked up to see the incoming visitor.
Adena had already acknowledged him.
everybody. Long time no see, huh, Iffley?"
immediately replied. "What are you doing here? How did you get
waited a moment before answering, sighed, and began. "Surely you detected
the Labyrinth and the Nemesis coming in, did you not? Did you
not consider the fact that we were trying to create a hole in your defense
shield, just long enough for the Act to come close enough to T'mir to
transport a couple of troops?"
nodded a bit. "Richard, we had a deal. You signed a treaty...."
Iffley was rudely interrupted by Adena.
knew you weren't any good ever since we were kids. I told my mother
turned his attention away from Iffley. "That what? Huh? Yeah, I know.
That Richard was bad. That Richard didn't belong. Let me tell you something,
Babe." He took a couple of steps closer and glared into her eyes. "I
respected you. I really did. But you never liked me. You never gave me the
it's not! Who got the late night dungeon shifts? Was it Bill? Bill Cumference?
No. He got to be messenger for Little-miss Enchanter-iss. It was Richard
Nobowitz that was left alone, down, deep... and even when I did get to see the
sun I never had time to play. You hated me ever since your family took me
how could I single you out from the hundreds of centurions that worked the
took another step closer. "How the heck do I know? But I can still
remember that first day.... We were only five, most of us, when the bus
brought us in. All orphans. Funny. That's the only way your family could get
slaves. As orphans. And you truckloaded in as many of us homeless dogs as you
could. To be your slaves. To serve you. To improve your lifestyle and to
worsen ours. And let me tell you something: From day one you hated me. Who was
the first one to shine your shoes? You betch'a. Richard. Your slave. Your
Hah! If it wouldn't have been for me you would've been a homeless
couldn't stand it anymore. He reached over to Adena and grabbed her by the
neck and pulled her out of her chair. Iffley stood up. "Let her
looked at Iffley, and, as if reminded that he was getting out of control,
threw Adena into her chair. Adena stared in disarray. "I don't
understand. My Amulet..."
nonchantly took his position back as he had been before the argument.
"Getting back to the point, anyhow. My plan was to destroy
sat back down. "Then why haven't you? Apparently you have us completely
I feared one thing. Your Keys. I, as you know, do not own one. And, heaven
knows what I might face if I got too close to one. So I devised a plan to rid
you of all of your Keys. And then, after I had the Keys, I could utterly
walked around to the other side of the table. "But, you see, I have
changed my mind. I do not wish to utterly destroy you: No. I wish to give you
each gifts of friendship and truce." He looked stubbornly at Adena. You,
Adena, shall be first. He reached into his pants pocket and threw her the
Amulet of Wisdym and the Ring of Ranet.
**T. G. Taft**
reached down into her lap, amazed at this sight. Richard began to speak again.
"Since it is past your mentality to figure it out by yourself, I will
tell you that you are now wearing two wooden fakes so much like the originals
that even you can not tell the difference between them. Unless, of course, you
try to use them. You see, Adena, we, the Domainites, have mastered atomic
transfer. I had someone enter your bedroom last night, from the Act
above, and, after drugging you, take the Amulet and Ring. I planned to do the
same to Iffley, but it seems that I made a mistake and transfered into the
Dion's room!" Jonathon stammered, standing up, and feeling the blood
begin to fill his cheeks for the first time today.
ignored him. "But Iffley, I have changed. You are right: I signed a peace
pact, and I intend to keep it. And, to prove this to you, I will give you two
of the ships that I tried to decieve you with: The Nemesis and the
Labyrinth. Let them continue to strengthen our trust."
about me?" Jonathon screamed, pacing around to Iffley's side.
gave him a side glance. "You don't even deserve a gift, you filthy
pig." Jonathan pulled himself back, not expecting such a hostile
in the interest of equality, I will give you one." He snickered beneath
his breath and pointed towards the hallway leading out of the dining room.
bounced in, and, after doing a little jig, settled down into Jonathon's happy
eyes. She immediately changed her style, and paced quietly over to his
you." Said Jonathon to Richard beneath his breath.
still don't understand why you have changed your mind." Iffley said with
a glancing stare. "Richard, there has to be a better reason why did you
not 'utterly destroy' us."
will be explained in time. But, you see, I have still not given one last
gift." He motioned to Dion, and she stepped over.
took, from his shirt pocket, a tiny ring with an onyx stone set in gold.
Richard began a story. "It was made from a man's ring that I had found
inside of Taft's desk when I took over his office."
said Adena, after staring at the very expensive ring, "It seems we've
been used to present Dion a gift of ultimate worth to Richard."
guess you owe him something now, don't you?" Asked Jonathon. "Will
you repay him?"
said Iffley, "what are you giving him in return, Dion?" The words
thundered out of Iffley's mouth before he could catch them: He assumed a
far-away look as his memory played back an unhappy image. No, could it be?
timing is dreadful, but my gift is my troth," said Dion.
thundered Jonathon. "You can't have that! It's mine!"
anymore," said Richard, taking his fiancee's hand and holding it next to
looked out into space, while Iffley stared at the table in dismay. He had gone
through this twice too often, now. Jonathon quietly whimpered out of the room.
Iffley listened to his footsteps pound through the hall. Iffley knew
Jonathan's pain. Yes. Iffley knew it just a little too well.
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|