Saturday, January 14, 2017

Page 1272

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The man had certainly gotten her attention. “Enlightening in what way?” she asked.

“For example, two horns are indicative of a predisposition for mammalian traits. Three horns are indicative of reptilian traits. Seven are indicative of avian. Ten, amphibian. Thirteen, I believe, are arachnid. And so on.”

Emiliana noticed the most obvious omission. “What do four horns indicate?”

“I was rather hoping you would be able to tell me,” said Germal. “The reason I broached the subject at all is because I have never seen four horns before.”

That figured, she supposed, her expression growing briefly bitter. “What about one horn, then?”

Germal smiled. “Alas, I am also something of a curiosity.”

How odd. Emiliana decided to take this man’s words with a grain of salt. Primarily, she wondered what kind of mutations he had subjected himself to. Aside from that lone horn, she could see no other obvious modifications. And from what she knew of mutation, the ability would activate itself if he didn’t use it for too long.

She considered asking him about it, but she wasn’t sure how to phrase the question, and Germal asked something else before she could figure it out.

“Has anyone given you the grand tour, yet?” he said.

Gohvis had showed her around a little when she first arrived, but only enough to know where a few things were. She’d seen a kitchen, a handful of bathrooms, a whole lot of locked rooms, and one immense observation deck at the top of a flight of stairs.

That place had been particularly informative. The encircling view of the world’s most notorious storm was something to behold. Bright as any cloud-covered day in one moment, dark as night in the next, followed by a string of lightning strikes that lit up the rocky and barren landscape like a strobe light.

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