He reaches, straining. His molecules are not exactly stable, and he must do this quickly.
Suddenly, a crunching noise behind him.
And strong male arms breach the precipice, caressing his back, pushing their strength into his.
Yes, sudden. And yes, he knows who it is.
“You figured it out, I take it?” he murmurs, smiling with half a mouth on a melted doll’s head. “Good… on you… old friend. Help me with… this, would… you?”
A white mushy tooth pops out of his drooping, holey gums, plopping on the ground in a pile of runny white ooze.
“Yes, moron,” an adult male voice grumbles from boy-lips hovering just behind his left ear. He himself has no hair anymore, and the back of his head is more the waxy remains of a candle than anything living.
“Yes, quite so.”
And together they reach.
Longer, outward; the Master holds the Flesh avatar out toward the branch.
In the distance back the way they have come, the shuffling of feet through brush becomes a deafening roar.
The Flesh can feel his torso creaking, but something else, too. This little outcropping, so much weight…
But the Artifact, it’s just a little further… a fog begin to swirl now, thick and bent around the place, heavy with light and the sound of so many footsteps. He does not remember it having such a lovely tinge- it’s silver and tarnished and dented, like mercury glass.