Doctor Tovalekh, or How I Learned to Love the Bell

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Trazyn peered at the large bell, its incessant racket having disturbed his thoughtful musings over his Vostroyan display. He figured this was important somehow, but if it was, it-

CLOONNNG

The eleventh ring shattered Trazyn's concentration. He glared at it. While the Bell of Saint Gersthal had been a fine display piece until now, it was rapidly becoming more trouble than it was worth. If only he could find some way to stop-

CLOONNNG

"OK, thats it!" Trazyn exclaimed to no one in particular. He gave the order, and a dozen warriors filed into the large display room. He quickly had the bell unfastened and slung with cable and looked around to find some way to dispose of the thing- THERE!

CLOONNNG

"Oh you think you're pretty cool, huh?" He goaded the inanimate object. At least, he was pretty sure it was inanimate. The circumstances of its sudden resuscitation were suspect, but... Oh well. It made its choice. The bell was hurriedly dragged over to the relic webway gate (Dating the before the birth of Slaanesh! Probably) and Trazyn activated it. It sputtered a few times, and Trazyn came to the sudden realization the bell had not chimed again. "Thirteen times," he mused. "I wonder if that number is important somehow. Oh well, into the webway!"

The warriors gave a mighty heave, and with a slurping sound, the bell was sucked in. He paused a moment to make sure the thing was really gone, then happily brushed his hands together (despite having done no actual work) and deactivated the webway gate.

"Well, now that that's over with, I have a Salamander artif-"

He received an alert that his crownworld was receiving a priority signal.

"Is it Anrakyr again? Tell him I'm NOT giving him the Silent King's wife, no matter HOW good of leverage it would be!"

His Lychguard attendant responded, "No, my lord, its-"

Trazyn had already picked up the signal.

"Anrakyr I told you already I'm not going to give you Sharsa. She's an important part of my War in Heaven collection, and also I'm pretty sure she'd die if I took her-"

"Trazyn!" was the response, in a shrill but definitely female voice.

"What? You aren't Anrakyr. Are you? I mean, if you are, well, I never knew you were... Well what I mean is, I don't judge, more power to you. You go, Phaerekh!"

There was a moment of silence. "No, Trazyn, I'm not Anrakyr."

"What?" Trazyn looked taken aback. He turned to his attendant. "You told me this was Anrakyr, right?"

The Lychguard tried its hardest to remain stoic. "No, sir, I did not."

"Huh. Well who is this then?"

"I am Tovalekh, Cryptek of the Kherevier Dynasty." the voice responded, slightly annoyed.

"That name sounds familiar. Wait a second, you're the guys with the Eternity Calculator, right? Did you change your mind on my offer? Because my offer still stands." Trazyn replied excitedly.

"No, Trazyn, we're not selling you the Eternity Calculator." Tovalekh hissed.

"But The Silent King's WIFE!" Trazyn responded desperately.

"We don't want her! Won't she die if you take her out of stasis anyway?"

Trazyn was silent for a moment, then folded his arms across his chest indignantly. "Well if you don't want to sell the Eternity Calculator, then what's all this about?"

Tovalekh sighed in relief. Finally, she was going to get somewhere. "Look, do you still have that bell?"

"Do you want the bell in exchange for the calculator?"

"NO!"

"Because if so I don't have it any more."

"What happened to it?"

"I threw it into the webway."

"Why?"

"I was hoping it would annoy the Eldar."

"What?"

"It kept ringing so I figured it would annoy the Eldar!"

"...What!?"

"You know I'm beginning to feel this conversation is becoming a bit much for you. Perhaps you should get your bearings and call back?"

Tovalekh stared at the communication panel in a mixture of horror and unyielding rage. "I should have just called Imotekh."

Kherevier chimed in from behind her, "Doesn't he hate us? I think he hates us."

"Don't worry, he hates me too," Trazyn consoled them.

Tovalekh stood silently for a moment, pondering how aptly the statement 'I have no mouth yet I must scream' fit the situation.

"Are you still there?" Trazyn inquired curiously.

"Yes. Yes I am." Tovalekh sighed.

"Because if you want to trade it I can probably try and go get the bell-"

"I don't want the bell, Trazyn. I just want to know, what was it doing? You said it rang?"

"Thirteen times, yes. Is that important?"

"It might be. The Eternity Calculator just went haywire." Tovalekh said, her mood improving markedly with this newfound progress.

"Is it broken?" Trazyn asked concernedly.

"That was our first thought as well, but our wraiths combed the whole thing and nothing is actually brok-"

"Because if its broken that makes the price go down. I mean I'll still buy it but Sharsa is off the table."

Silence.

"I'll still trade the bell though if you really want it," Trazyn continued.

The sound of something breaking came over the communications.

"Are you still there? Is everything all right?" Trazyn continued, worried.

"ITS NOT BROKEN!" Tovalekh shrieked.

"Well you don't have to yell!" Trazyn retorted, hurt.

"Look, the Bell of Saint Whatever just rang thirteen times and the Eternity Calculator just went on the fritz, which it only ever does when something warpy is in the immediate future, and never, NEVER does it shut down on us THIS HARD. All it says is 'Too many warp variables, no hypothesis'. We can't get into the Celestial Orrery on Thanatos because we're banned, but something is going on and its big, so if you could go take a look..." Tovalekh said, all in one long string as to avoid Trazyn's interruptions.

"No can do, I'm banned from there as well." Trazyn sighed.

"Of course you are, but the difference is we actually care about the fact that we're banned." Tovalekh replied dryly.

Trazyn thought for a moment. "I'll do it, for a price."

"I'm not giving you the Eternity Calculator."

Trazyn huffed and glared. "Alright, fine I'll go, play hardball then. If you ever change your mind, you know how to get in touch."

"If that ever happens, sure." Tovalekh growled, eager to be done with the subject.

Trazyn perked up at this. "So you're saying you might change your mind then?"

Tovalekh shook her head in disgust. "We should have just called Imotekh."

"I told you, he hates us!" Kherevier interjected again.

The line went dead.

"Hello? Hello?" Trazyn plied hopefully. "I think they hung up!" He exclaimed.

His Lychguard, still struggling to remain stoic, replied. "I'm sure it was just a communications failure." Through great effort he managed to leave off the second half of the sentence, 'much like the rest of the conversation'.

"Oh no, I know what this is. She's getting me all tantalized with that last statement then wants to leave me hanging. Come, lets go to the Orrery and see what all the fuss is about. I'm not decreasing my price."

"Should we go get the bell just in case?" the Lychguard asked sarcastically, then froze in horror when he saw Trazyn stop to actually ponder it.

"Nah. Who knows how long she'll make me wait for this trade deal, and then when she asks for it again, I can tell her that its gone because she didn't jump on the deal. That should put negotiation in our favor," Trazyn responded slyly.

Relieved, the Lychguard sent word to get Trazyn's ship ready.