The Chameleon
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The Chameleon

Tao: Itís mica. Shiny, isnít it? Ancient cultures believed that its light would cast demons out of the shadows. But itís the shape that really got me. A circle. It can be used for so many applications as Podo has now demonstrated.

Tao: Is it all right?
Dar: It seems all right.
Tao: What it seems is not what it seems. I know of lizards who have this ability to change their colors. I certainly havenít heard of any children.

Tao: Itís from Samaria.
Dar: Whereís Samaria?
Tao: Itís on top of a hill at the edge of the forest. Itís a village full of artists and craftsmen.
Dar: And strange children.

King Zad: I kill. I do not get killed.

King Zad: Iíve sent men to bring every young boy and girl here. Iím keeping them nearby.
Sorceress: A good idea. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
King Zad: Iíve also offered a ransom. Anyone who delivers a child to me shall be rewarded with shiny stones.
Sorceress: And do you think this will work?
King Zad: The rabble of this earth value shiny stones over whining infants. One can always make another child, but the opportunity to become rich is more difficult.

Tao: You know, if I had another one of these and something in between I could transport his basket much easier, or anything for that matter.
Dar: It would have to be stronger.
Tao: Definitely. Iím just playing with the form. Oh, if you had a rope and put it over the top, another one over there and wound it around there, you could lift heavy objects into the trees.
Dar: Like what?
Tao: Rocks, logs, bits of wood. Any heavy object.
Dar: Why would you want to do that?
Tao: Well, great thinkers theorize. Itís often someone elseís job to make that idea practical.

King Zad: Itís very nice, but itís a toy for a child.
Sorceress: Yes, but appearances are never the truth. If it were, the world would be so boring. There would be nothing beneath the skin, no surprises. Like this one.

Dar: Are you trying to tell me donít do this?
Tao: No, in this case I insist even if it means going straight to King Zad himself. No one should be allowed to harm children. No one.

Ancient One: Tampering with Fate can be a very dangerous game.
Sorceress: What do you mean?
Ancient One: If Zad manages to murder the child, then Fate and Death will both have been cheated with help from you.
Sorceress: Not entirely. In your own words ďCreate. Release. Create. Release.Ē Iíve created the shadow of death. What King Zad does with it is his own problem.
Ancient One: You try telling that to some of the personalities I have to deal with.
Sorceress: Donít tell me it worries you.
Ancient One: It certainly does.
Sorceress: How could Fate and Death possibly bother you?
Ancient One: Enemies can be made, animosities created that can last longer than this earth and well into the next.

King Zad: I want that child and I want it quickly. Iím a man familiar with getting what I want.
Sorceress: Anger and demands rarely succeed in getting what human beings want. The virtue of patience has far more success.
King Zad: Patience! Patience is for fools.
Sorceress: Then you are no fool.

Tao: The babyís not in the basket.
Dar: It has to be there. Somewhere.
Tao: Itís probably camouflaged.
Dar: For its own protection.
Tao: Weíd better be careful. We may step on it.

Ancient One: I think Zad is a better person under a spell. Quieter, much nicer. Certainly a more attractive personality than the one he normally shows. Do you suppose when he wakes up this particular ďcalmĒ could be permanent?
Sorceress: Yes, but somehow evil thoughts and a bad temper fit him.

Ancient One: Itís a dangerous game.
Sorceress. Dangerous games can be won.
Ancient One: At a price. Fate can fight back. Believe me. I know.

Tao: For every power there is an opposite and equal power. Itís the balance of the world.

King Zad: Iíve cheated Death and Fate!
Sorceress: Be careful not to cheat them too much.
Ancient One: It is you who should remember that, my dear.

Ancient One: No matter what tyranny King Zad performs, Fate will have the final word as it always does.

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