And then the color of the the old man’s aura changed from white to yellow and then to red. He screamed a scream of pain and ecstasy and the girl, knowing fear for the first time, looked away. When the light died down there was only a puddle of a clear liquid.
The girl opened the door and came to her siblings. “Did you do it, Nology?” said Auric. “Did you distill his memory?”
“Yes. But I fear he did not survive the process.”
“So he’s dead?”
“Perhaps. Or perhaps he has passed on to the next stage of the Great Work. We will all know eventually.”
“How can you be so cold like that!” said Perma. “Our brother died in there.”
“We can mourn Spherule later,” said Strialis. “The King’s men are coming soon. I must remember the machine.” She was by far the least intelligent of the survivors of the house of Hermes, but her gift was memory. She had a perfect memory of everything she had ever seen. They would have to destroy the machine, but when this was over they would build it again… she hoped.