“Nah, then, Moriba, my old nemesis. You have your pawns, and this happens to be one of mine, so I’d ’preciate it if you left it alone, what?”
She stopped with her fangs just touching the black-cloaked man’s skin and nearly exhibited alarm. The voice that had come from her victim’s mouth did not in any way match his appearance. It was older than he was, truly ancient, and the accent was certainly not that of a Sysaran. This, in combination with the content of his speech, allowed her to safely conclude that the voice did not belong to him. And she was fairly certain of to whom it did belong.
“Go back to your little hidey-hole, you old worm. The world has grown away from you; you have no chance of ever claiming it.”
The Serpent chuckled from within Dr. MacInnes’ body, its voice thin and reedy, scarcely even there. “Is that so? I’m afraid, m’ghel, that you fail to understand just how easily I can turn them against you.”
“Anyone,” it hissed lightly. “Everyone. All I need do is to plant—insinuate—an idea in their stupid little egotistical minds, and then…they’re mine. Shall I demonstrate?” Its voice changed suddenly, becoming deeper and rougher, transforming into what must have been the true voice of Dr. MacInnes, the black-cloaked man.
“Vampire!” he—or perhaps it—roared. “There’s a bluidy vampire on me!”
The sleeping horde suddenly came alive with the sound of of shouting and the clanking of metal. The Lady Raven sprang to her feet to find a crowd of peasants charging her with farm equipment, howling and screaming out battle cries. She heard the Serpent’s high, quiet laughter nearby, and stood frozen a moment in indignation before changing form and rising away. She may have been immortal, but she still had no desire to be stuck with a pitchfork.
Sulking a bit, she winged along back toward the bell tower, intending to alight there before making any further plans. She was distracted, however, by something much larger and much colder that swept past her in the air to land upon the infirmary roof.
“Mortua!” she cried, changing forms in midair and dropping to the roof a few paces away. “What brings you to these parts, sister?”