Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Dec 23, 2007

Cold Blood: Sheen's New Job

Sheen opened the door to the Hands of Time a little hesitantly. The shop was busy and the proprietor seemed to have his hands quite full. The small living construct spotted her and hopped down off its shelf again, waddling quickly across the floor to bump into her feet insistently. Not knowing what else to do, she bent and picked it up.

“Peep!” it announced.

“You shouldn’t go running around,” Sheen told it severely. “You might get lost. I saw a cousin of yours not long ago, but it wasn’t very talkative.”


“Ah, it’s you again,” a voice said behind her shoulder. Sheen jumped. The proprietor reached out and took the little construct from her again. “That’s truly fascinating. It seems to have become attached to you. Yet they’re not supposed to be able to feel emotions.”

“I’m sorry to bother . . .” Sheen started, but the man held up a hand.

“Don’t apologize. We didn’t have a chance to talk much, before, but you don’t seem like the thieving type. My name is Pranav Rhasmanayet . . . Dr. Rhasmanayet, actually, if we’re being formal.”

“I’m Sheen.” He waited a moment for her to add more, then raised an eyebrow inquisitively. “That’s all the name I have.”

“The dwarves didn’t give you a patronymic?”

Sheen smiled. “You have a good memory. They did, but I gave up that name and adopted a new one when I was changed.”

“Changed into what?” Sheen’s lip twitched. “Ah, forgive me, we’ve just met and I’m being rude. My curiosity gets away with me sometimes.”

“Do you know what an elan is?”

Dr. Rhasmanyet’s eyes brightened. “Yes! Psionic human, correct? That’s wonderful, you may be able to help me out!”

“Um, really?” Sheen said, perplexed.

“Yes, yes, do you know anything about working with crystal and ferroplasm? A customer recently brought me some, and I’ll be deuced if I can figure out what to do with it. Here, I’ll get you the specification sheets he provided . . .” the Doctor said, and began rummaging through stacks of paper.

“It’s not difficult to work with,” Sheen said, “just like metal, really, if you have psionic power. I don’t know how to work it otherwise, though, so I’m not certain I could teach you . . .”

“Then you’ll just have to work it yourself. I’ll hire you. I really need to get this job done immediately. It’s not complicated, but I don’t know anyone else that can do it. Most psions don’t seem to like working with their hands for some reason.”

“How much?” Sheen asked, smiling slightly.

“Whatever the customer paid for the work, as soon as I can find it . . . minus a small finder’s fee and a charge for using the shop. We’ll work out the details later. Here, let me show you the forge.”

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