“How do I open it?” Sabian asked, rolling the metal orb over.
“Drop it,” Elianas muttered, staring fixedly at the sphere.
Sabian dropped it.
Torrullin stepped away a pace, a mask slipping over his face.
The petals appeared as expected and there the green sparking commenced.
Sabian leaned over it. “Intriguing. My experience tells me of wisps of white smoke, sometimes colourful flower designs, but a moving sphere is quite rare. One cannot usually see souls; it is more a sense of sight. This one is pretty established.” He looked up. “It is either long held, in which case, innocent or not, it will be most unhappy, or it is newly harvested and therefore still maintains clear presence.”
Neither man said a word in response.
Sabian shrugged and kneeled. “I shall now breathe on it.”
Torrullin cleared his throat. “Breathe? As simple as that?”
“My ancient breath was not given me via simplicity, Torrullin.”
“True.” Torrullin swallowed. “Go ahead.”
Sabian leaned in close. Elianas abruptly hunkered to see more clearly, while Torrullin remained unmoving. Sabian blew on the swirling emerald orb. Torrullin became as stone. He understood he now guarded his heart against whatever came next. The kneeling man opened his mouth wide and exhaled forcefully.
The spinning ceased.
Sparks snuffed out.
Elianas braced with hands flat on the ground beside him.
The circular shape curved outward and then elongated into an impossibly thin thread reaching into the sky. Green sprinkles erupted as if exploding, and then they vanished. The metal device disintegrated, until only dull glitters remained.
“Direct to Aaru,” Sabian murmured, sitting back.
THE MASTER MECHANISM