Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 143.06

He held the door open for the golem – he couldn't get his mind to call it 'Dill' since the name Dill was attached irreversibly to the zombie and former student he'd grown fond of in the past week – and followed it through, leading it into the Great Hall.

It wasn't so great, if he was honest with himself. It was three stories high with a glass roof which gave it the impression of a well of light (except for now, since it had gone dark outside) and was painted white with a dark oak staircase rising up to the first floor where an open landing cantilevered around the walls and up to the second floor. The walls were covered with weapons dating back to the fifteenth century. If they ever managed to perfect the cloning of human tissue, there was enough DNA on these old relics to repopulate Laverstone with civil war soldiers and conscripts, though since the Manor had been a coaching inn in those days, there might well be a large number of peasants present.

He tried to hurry the golem along past the huge, nine-foot front door (used only once in his lifetime for the funeral of his uncle Frederick, since they'd interred the old man in the mausoleum on the grounds) but Dill had other ideas and seemed fascinated by a suit of Negroli armour. He pointed at it and Harold had to think for a moment to remember the details.

“It's the ceremonial armour of Guidobaldo II Della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, made by Filippo Negroli in the mid-sixteenth century. Priceless, actually. Jasfoup had the pieces shipped from four different museums in the fifties. My grandfather was into all that sort of thing. It's quite pretty, isn't it? I like the demon head motif and all the toothy bat-wing additions. It was my favourite when I was a kid. I always thought it was Dracula's armour.”

The golem reached out to the armoured gloved. Each hollow finger was exquisitely constructed in fish-scales of dark steel. The golem became still.

“What are you thinking?

He almost had a heart attack when the armour jerked into life.

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