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keen to make itself known to one amongst them this chilly night. It pierced concrete, metal, and bone, the divine calling raced to its mark, old Gerald Leto. He, unsuspecting, tripped to a halt grasping his chest. The old man, large as a walrus and dressed in a charcoal three button suit with matching heavy wool overcoat froze on the spot. The tone struck like a blow and resonated profoundly, it was audible honey to his soul, licking his mood clean and mind blank of all other tasks. “By Athal,” he muttered, turning towards the direction it came from. “Did you hear that too? Or was that you my other?” But no one was waiting for him, just a stretch of empty sidewalk. “Someone must have arrived,” he concluded. Changing direction from the hotel, he headed across the street to the Lincoln Park Zoo, a block and a street away. Once there he soon found the source of the melody and for the second time that night halted in surprise. “Nay," he uttered, drawing the word out like a sigh. It was as he suspected but not what he imagined. Something had indeed arrived, but what it was certainly had no business being here. Yet there the tree stood and it was like none around it. Where they were slender, arms to the sky and void of leaf, this one was stumpy, the trunk as thick around as a cow and its limbs curled and twisted out low to the ground like an amber octopus. “Look at this," Leto proclaimed. “I scarcely believe it; the Kasvir Tree, it is here!” Stepping from the path he approached it, arms outstretched. He hugged the trunk, pressing his body against it, cheek to the bark. “Delightful old friend.” He smiled. “Oh what impossible joy to see you again.” With his left hand Leto searched and let out a grunt when he discovered the mechanism he sought. “Vreindschap,” the old man commanded, then activated the dial. The tree rumbled in response. Leto stepped back and watched as the truck shifted. Before him in the recesses an opening took shape and within it a door, with a large silver knocker at its center, emerged. The old Ambassador put his hand to it and it clicked, then swung inward. There was light and heat within. "The days and hours I could have counted, but then still I would not know how long it has been since I entered here." Leto said and crossed the threshold. "Will you be who I find? Is this of your doing, my other? Have you finally sent for me?"
The color of his complexion was doing all the talking he needed to convey his meaning. she left on that stupid quest for Otto. I am positive. but then lost his speech at the sight before him. then inhaled through his nose before slowly exhaling. all had black inscriptions burnt into them.” “In my youth!” Leto boomed. “It smells like home. He also held a TV guide in his right hand and a box of Peanut Butter Patties Girl Scout Cookies in the other. not I. None should have to bare witness to such a blasphemous display.” he comforted himself. He looked at this hands. But now. “Oh. “Godiva!” Tommy shouted again but with more urgency and a hint of wonderment. it was impressive to watch how deep of a red the old man's face could change to. “Steady on old man.” He waited for a response and when there was none he sighed.” .” he whispered. the doors and the molding. “Hey. “Godiva!” The young man yelled without looking up. “I feared that such unabated disrespect may injure the brain. “Can never figure out how to read these program charts. It should be you. “Which channel is showing Starius’s jump again?” He rotated the TV guide. Leto startled by the movement made to apologize preemptively for entering so unannounced. “So sorry you had to miss this Leto. they were shaking. which had little Bugs Bunnies printed on them. but continued to ogle intently. Gerald Leto remained silent. Be glad you have missed this my other. and everywhere slender roots crept and crawled.” He was about to reach in the box of cookies when he became aware of Leto who stood five yards ahead with an expression of confused horror. as you might expect from a room inside a tree. startling Tommy to attention. but Leto gave them little heed. The man wore only white socks and boxer shorts. Leto breath trembled at the familiar sights. There was a multitude of polished wood. in addition to the one he had come in through.He took three steps into a hallway and it was exactly as he remembered. granted this gift. that's right. then slowly fished out a cookie and placed it in his mouth.” The door to his right opened and a young man with wild strawberry blonde hair stepped out. “Did you leave the front door open again? Because a very angry looking man has wondered in. A pentagon shaped space with four doors. the beams. the floor.” Tommy Adams remarked.
“I knew but moments ago.” “Isn’t it just so. Consider where you stand. Hold dear to that so it would scrabble the brain to see it harmed. as you someday surely will. pointing the open top at Leto along with a look that implied he should hold that thought for a moment. Its has all become very confusing.” Leto looked up at Tommy.” Tommy crossed his arms. “Blasphemous display? That’s a little harsh. “Your appearance Sir. Well they all do find my door eventually.” Leto caught Tommy’s eye with a glare. How can you justify such insult? Have you no propriety lad?” “Propriety? Really?” Tommy raised the box of girl scout cookies." “Well. “Better?” Tommy asked with a nod then bit down on the cookie. “But when you grow up boy. then I say you might care for a thing or two.Tommy looked down at himself. he’s eyes shifted from left to right.” His voice was softer. "I also doubt that I'll secrete salt under pressure. giving his gaze the briefest of similarities to a wolf staring into lights. "It's nearly like you are falling apart. “All I know. put the coat on. but now I hardly know.” he responded looking back and blinking a few times just to make sure this wasn’t some strange game his mind was playing on him. “I’m afraid I cannot put it more clearly.” Tommy reasoned to himself. a spark of golden light in his eye. most holly of sanctuaries. He placed the cookies and TV guide on a side board." Tommy gestured with his hand at himself. Leto looked away. “I take that something. it has discombobulated my personality. boy.” . perhaps your feelings may be different from his. when I entered here. but that only shows that you haven’t found yourself so yet. which did happen from time to time. just at present I am unsure. and grains of salt fell from his face. “Sir. “Who exactly are you?” he contested.” Tommy quipped and took a final bite of the cookie. Some of the color drained from Leto cheeks." “Ah you mock." “Oh goody! A crazy.” A little color bloomed in Leto’s face. Here. grabbed a cookie then returned to where he stood. " about my appearance is bothering you?” “Right you are. He munched and analyzed the unwelcome guest with stern regard. I am sure. it feels queer to me now. I should think then you’d feel a little what I do now?” “I doubt it. He then crossed the floor to the door on the left of the one that Leto had come through and from it he produced a long black military style coat with red trim.
“What was I talking about?” “You were about to tell me why you are here?” Tommy explained. It's all leaking from my head. do you not?” Leto mumbled. people.” “What kind of things have slipped from you?” Tommy's eyes were drawn to the spill of salt on the floor. “The ill dressed hunters? The vested interests? The divine prospectors.” “Perhaps that is true.. they are who I seek. the tree's song I still knew. There is still his work to do. His work must be done. “Names. picking up on a note of the sincerest near desperate tone.” “The hunters city. “But know of the things that have slipped my mind. it that why your in Chicago?” “Yes of course. “You should heed my words. All that remains now are half thoughts.” .” Leto articulated. finding his voice again. “The tree. The hunters city is what he wants me to expose. that includes you young friend. years. rubbing a hand over his face.” “There is something very circular about this. The secrete place they trap from and keep. They stood in silence for some minutes. They hunt all our like. no doubt about that and her army of invisible vested interests forage for our kin and. boomed.” “It sung?” Tommy repeated. store and otherwise detain. I smell magic on you lad..” Leto frowned. staring at his feet. sir. Or rather their lair. They both watched the grains as they bounced across the floor.” Tommy answered flatly. What else for but them damnable waistcoats. “As odd of a place I know this to be. “Who the hell are you?” Tommy’s eyes flared again with butter white light. Leto drew himself up and.” Leto stopped and grains of salt fell from his face.” “You are making less and less sense?” Leto gave Tommy a wobbled glare. He stood with his mouth open for three seconds. I never heard the tree sing. His plan must unfold. a little more salt fell from Leto.“Queer to you?” Tommy snapped. “You know of them. it lured me to it with her song. half images but there is no time to gather wits. “I think you ought to tell me who you are first. “Know who?” Tommy responded in equal tone. “These men of horrid taste.
" Tommy narrowed his eyes." "Hmm indeed. I do have other things to do than to run the globe for the professor.” “Good. Always one to lean on a friend. “Oh dear. Now what were we talking about? I heard you mentioned something about an Otto? That wouldn't be Otto Bear would it?” “How remarkable you caught that. the ambassador to earth for the royal court of Arbbratterra. is it? ‘cause then all of this would make more sense. "No finer land is know. not in the world of men.“Who's plan must unfold?” Tommy asked a spark of interest growing in his eye. Once more it runs. his eyes watery. "I was Gerald Leto the second.” “Good heavens no." Tommy interrupted. it was clear something had changed. Is it far?" "Very." The ambassador’s eyes glazed." Leto confirmed. behind the castle on the floating isle. once. but it must be sixty years since I saw him last. It should not be here. at least to me. "I have never made it to Arbbratterra. Then it stood in the silent garden with its brothers. but yes it would.” Leto’s expression become more lucid as he recalled. more gains of salt fell. We were friends once. "Stay with me Ambassador. “Tell me more about his plan?” Leto looked up. I knew it as the Kasvir tree and it was the property of the royal court or it was last when I saw it.” Tommy frowned at Leto. “Floating isle." "I think you need more than chain. "This plan you spoke of earlier it isn’t his. This tree in which we stand. An old friend of .” Tommy encouraged. I fear I may need a chain as I can sparsely keep my mind from wondering. I haven’t spoken to old Otto in quite some time now. that sounds interesting.” “Silent garden?” “Yes." "That does sounds like him. "And always too far for some. sir. as if a part of his brain had just become active again. "Are you thirsty? Could I offer you a cup of tea or coffee? I was about to settle in and watch some TV. He’s already got me set to fetch some magical bread from England." Leto answered with absolution.
" "Coincidence. I didn’t see that before.” Leto began to leave. with a hint of command. We could talk more. but what about yourself? How well do you know fate. That could be more trouble more than the glimmer I had seen circling Starius. a vision of a new fate was coming to focus." Tommy responded. You being here has altered fate. enough to know that you being here is because you wanted to be here even if you didn’t know you did.” “That made inherently no sense to me. You can stay and watch with me if you like. “Some how you have changed things. “That’s strange. But that was before but you. Leto turned back. "No more then the next I'd say." Leto frowned..” “I think it best we be on our way. In fact that’s him on the box of cookies over there. And if fate wants you here there is a reason for it. "I beg your pardon?” “There still is the matter of why you showed up here. “Not so fast. "I don’t follow. I meant no harm by coming here." “What do you know about fate?” Leto stance stiffened.mine is about to jump the Grand Canyon on a motor bike." "A coincidence I assure you. you never have to visit to see what there up to.” Tommy pointed to the box he placed on the side board earlier and was about to say more but his attention was caught by the box. You can just watch them on the tube. Not on this night. no his agent that for sure” he said narrowing his eyes.” . "That is very rarely the case. it will only give you a headache and me a parched throat. The tree's song caught my attention.. Which means fate lead you here.” “Don’t worry it usually doesn’t but please don’t ask me to explain." "Quite intimately.” “I beg your pardon? Did you say television? There’s a television in the Kasvir Tree?” “Its great having famous friends. and she wanted you here. Well. “But trust me I know a thing or two about fate. he gave Tommy another look over.” Tommy called after him. I was on my way back to the hotel.. I’ll see myself out. Very smart though. As I said." Tommy smiled. “but the little witches want to use his image for more than selling cookies. Who wold suspect the girl scouts were up to something. An image crossed his mind.” Tommy pointed to Leto.
.” “That’s a shame."You are an odd fellow” Leto expressed his conclusion. Your name wouldn't be Tommy Adams would it?” Leto guessed with some confidence. since fate has seen it fit to guide you to my door this night.” Tommy opened the door to his living room. You're the new head of the Majitoirum of Fate.” Tommy smiled and followed Leto in to the room.” “In that case. That will make things easier. You know making sure that things stay in balance and all that." Leto rubbed his a hand over his mouth. "I’ll take that drink now." "I’ve know of you. I am more into event management and fate counseling these days. “Though I think I can place who you are now. but I do hope you have something stronger than tea though. perhaps we do have something to discuss.” “Not really what I do anymore. "Good that you know me. body and soul. I may be inclined to make an exception. I am in fact all that is left of it. “This thing you are seeking.” “I think I can oblige." "Head.” “But." “I have also heard that you are good at locating items and such. is it some hidden place guarded by hunters with terrible taste?” “How did you know that?” “Just one of the joys of being me I suppose.
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