The Job

“Easy money,” Quake said.

Quida rolled her eyes. They stood before the vault, unguarded and seemingly secured with only a picto-lock.

“Your favorite,” Quake said. “I’ll bet…six seconds this time.”

Quida snorted, kneeled before the rotating combination lock, licked her lips then spun the four segments. Each had a series of hieroglyphics that would make up the code.

With sharp eyes and an oddly acute sense for patterns, Quida stopped each spinning segment on a picture till it clicked open.

“Five seconds,” she said smugly. “Now put your gloves on, Sir Cadric was persistent about the merchandise.”

The vault unlocked and it took all of Quida’s strength to push it. On the other side, a strange light pulsated.

“Quida?”

Stepping forward, Quida was both horrified and awstruck. It was beautiful yet disgusting all at once. A misshapen thing, something half formed, no bigger than a small child.

The flesh swam with a marbled muscle and veins that pulsated gold. Valves moved like tiny mouths and half formed appendages grew like little roots near the bottom.

The top of it had jeweled warts forming. Inside the head of it was swirling liquid. Quida imagined the gem like sores spouting shiny pus.

“Gods…what is that? Is that…it, the art? Why does is move like that?” Quake said.

“I think…,” Quida said, “It’s alive.”

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