The Book of Night with Moon
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Rhiow seems a perfectly ordinary New York City cat. Or so her humans think--but she is much more than she appears. With her partners Saash and Urruah, she collaborates with human wizards, protecting the earth from dark forces and helping to maintain the network of magical gateways between different realities.
Truth was more than looks, though. Rhiow took a few moments to prepare herself, men reached out a paw, as she had done in Grand Central, extended a claw, and hooked it into the wizardry's interrogation weave. The question, as always, was who was interrogating whom. How you put Me into a wizardry, a bodiless thing made of words and intent, Rhiow wasn't sure, but if Aaurh had indeed set the gates here, that was explanation enough. She had not invented life, but she was the Power that had implemented it, and the stories said that, one way or another, life got into most of what she did.
But many would be ready and able to answer an emergency call, and these were arriving and being briefed, either by other wizards or by their Manuals, on what was going to be required of them. Tom saw Rhiow and the team immediately, and headed over to them through a crowd of other ehhif wizards. "I got you your override," he said to Rhiow when they had moved a little over to one side, where they could talk. "I'm afraid it wasn't cheap. " She knew it wasn't. The Whisperer had breathed a word in Rhiow's ear while they were setting up the circle for their short transit—confirmation that her demand had been accepted, and the price set—and the news had made her lick her nose several times in rapid succession.
He sees something, Rhiow thought. Something in his own future, I bet. And he thinks that if he doesn't talk about it, it won't happen.... "For the time being, you just do the best you can," Rhiow said at last. "Though I admit I'd be happier if I knew you were coming to some kind of terms with your Oath. " "I said the words," Arhu said after a little while. "Yes. But will you hold by them? " "Why wouldn't I? " The voice was completely flat. Rhiow swung her tail gently from side to side. "Arhu, do you know what entropy is?
Saash said, with the greatest reluctance. "I don't think so," Tom said. "I'm pretty sure I would know. " "Oh, come on, Saash," Urruah said, "you're nuts. Have you ever heard of a Advisory dying in the line of duty? " Tom looked at Urruah fairly gently. "Urruah," he said, "all Advisories die in the line of duty. Any exceptions are accidents or misperceptions on the part of the living. It's within the job description: we accept it. " "That said," Rhiow said, "Advisories are also tough and smart. Maybe not as powerful as they would be if they were younger; but who is?
He didn't say anything for a long time. And then, abruptly, he looked up at Rhiow again. "... What does Saash say? " Rhiow looked curiously at him. Arhu looked at the floor. "Well," he said, "she washed me. I must have tasted horrible. And she held me, even when I kicked, and called her names. " So it's going to come down to her, Rhiow thought Why can I not surprised? "She's angry," Rhiow said. "She doesn't want to go down there again, and she hasn't made her mind up. " He switched his tail indecisively.