The next melcey you run into gives you quite a shock. This melcey is about the size of Cu. She looks completely normal... except for the fact that her eyes rise above her face on flexible eyestalks.

"Hello," she says, her voice quiet and reserved. "I am Miki Aj'Patrona, but I prefer to be called simply Patrona."

"Umm, err, nice to, umm, meet you," you fumble. You can't help but stare at the strange creature. She tilts her eyestalks at you, examining you.

"I suppose you wonder about my appearance," Patrona says, sighing. "I am a melcey of the Halloween Litter. All sorts of strange creatures came out of my group. I am just one in their number." Her eyes move around as she speaks, seeking to keep every area around her observed. She keeps one eye on you at all times, however. Once you have gotten over the initial shock of seeing her eyes, you realize that her coat is quite pretty.

"What is your theme?" you ask, curious.

"I am a graphite melcey," she says. "My coat is very pale, however, making me quite different from your average graphite." She raises her head proudly, stretching her eyestalks so that her eyes meet yours. "Though my theme may be minion-oriented, do not be fooled, for I am no one's minion."

"I have no doubt," you say.

"This theme does provide some obstacles, however," she continues. "I am always affected by other melcey themes around me. Here, I am surrounded by genial and generally friendly melceys, but when other melceys enter the mix, I am often swayed to completely different behavior." She frowns at this, and you can understand how frustrating it must be to constantly be changing to fit your surroundings. You can understand why she is so reserved all the time. As though reading your thoughts, she says, "I am careful to keep myself under strict control at all times."

"That must be tiring," you say, trying to be sympathetic.

"I consider it liberating. As Frank Herbert once said, 'Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.'"

You nod to her, thinking that the philosophy must help her to fight against becoming a slave to what surrounds her. Patrona suddenly snaps her eyes off the the right. You don't see anything, but it seems that she has better eyesight than you.

"I will leave you now, traveler," she says, turning to go. At the last second, she turns her head back to face you. "Beware of the south, traveler. There are worse things than carmors and dragons in the dark places of the Refuge."

With that ominous statement, she leaves you. You shiver against the light breeze and decide to head away from the edges of the Grove, northward to the center.

View Miki Aj'Patrona

Faidian creatures from Arborwin Adoptions

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Last Updated: June 18, 2004