P R O L O G U E
They both stood over her, watching her unconscious state.
At first, they had been curious. Too curious in fact. This human –the future Lender- was a perfect specimen; healthy, tolerant, aware. It was exceptional among its kind.
Facedown on damp concrete, she felt nothing but a heavy, forced sleep. Honey brown skin now showed nothing of the unfortunate accident of her Harvesting; they had seen to that.
They moved quickly and in silence, fixated on perfecting her, while the dark of the alley hid them.
A bony hand, resembling nothing human or animalistic, reached out to tug away locks of ebony hair that spread limply across the female’s neck.
The other, mangled face in an eternal scowl dragged a scalpel along the exposed flesh at the base of the subject’s skull. The skin parted. Warm lifeblood oozed over their fingers.
They exchanged looks of happiness and hope for a brief second, though their facial expressions were poor.
Everything depended upon this.
The scalpel was tossed into the dark, and the copper box brought. In hushed whispers, the pair continued. The box was placed beside a puddle of muddy water; the lid lifted. Inside, the soul pulsed.
Once, twice... for the fifth time. The pale, triangular soul was snatched up. It was the purest of untainted beings, by nature all things good. Perhaps the Joining would alter such purity.
Four intense eyes stared, enchanted by its innocence. The moment dissolved.
The fissure was widened by once professional hands, no longer careful to avoid harming the human’s nerves and muscles. The pale bones above the spinal column were exposed.
The little soul pulsed inside the grip of a twisted hand; its brilliant flicker of light cast shadows from the alley for a moment. The draw of the steady heartbeat beckoned it closer. The second pair of hands thrust the precious life before the wound.
Like a living ribbon, slowly, moving in delicate, graceful twists, the triangle delved into the human, stretching deeper, past nerves and veins and bone and into the alien anatomy. Her attachments wound tightly into place along the nerve centres, stretching and reaching deeper into the human where their eyes could not see. Up, carefully, to the brain, the optic nerves, the ear canals.
The movements of the soul were quick, decisive.
With rushed movements of a hand, healing dust was slapped onto the skin.
Casually, the wound joined, leaving only a red welt upon skin. Soon, it would be only a fading scar. After that, it would be invisible. As if the Joining had never taken place.
The beings stepped backward from the human body. They did not speak. It was done.