Coming Clean

Jevol was looking more casual than I’d ever seen him. His tie was actually loose around his neck. And there was another sign, even more telling, that I’d never witnessed: he looked tired.

“How – how did…?” Kathy started. As usual, she cut to what was likely the more pertinent observation.

Jevol strolled into the brighter light of the living room. His smile was the usual all-teeth, however worn it looked around the edges. “I know more than just necromancy, my dear lady,” he said. “Quite a bit more.”

Since we had no plans to throw him out, my southern host instincts found this a good time to kick in. I stood and waved him to the recliner across from the couch. “Uh… have a seat. Can I, um, get you anything to drink?”

Jevol sat with his usual grace. “No. Thank you, Philips. I won’t be here long. In truth, I shouldn’t be here at all. However, there are a great many things moving right now. I thought you deserved to be aware.”

Kathy was leaning forward intently, her eyes wide. The stance she reserved for engaging lectures and especially tense moments in anime. Neither of us asked any questions, but it was clear their were dozens hanging in the air.

“When I said the rest of the industry is scared,” Jevol continued. “I mean it quite literally. There is a great deal you don’t know about how our system works. There are those… higher up who manage things. They have let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that you are anathema.”

I shook my head. “And they don’t say why? I mean, I think you at least would be owed an explanation, right? You run one of the largest necromantic service companies in the world. Are you saying you just listen and don’t ask questions? That… that doesn’t really seem like you.”

Jevol smiled again. “It isn’t. But these aren’t the sort to give tolerance to questions nor would they answer them if I tried.”

“Sterling,” Kathy said, her voice shaking, “I don’t think he’s talking about a board of directors.” I turned to look at her. There was genuine fear on her face.

“Then what?” I asked. Jevol cleared his throat and nodded to Kathy.

“He’s talking about the old gods.”