“You’re the first to rise,” says the voice at the intercom, surprised. Brother Bell thinks this may be Brother Fesu, judging by the slight northern twang to his voice, though he can’t be certain. There are too many monks to memorize by face let alone by voice. “Demons in the dreams?”

Brother Bell tucks his hands into his opposite sleeves, the metallic fabric catching a moment on a hangnail, but he ignores it. “Memories of my father, is all,” he says softly.

“Ah, well, someday—soon I hope—you’ll find yourself rid of such distractions,” says the presumed Brother Fesu.

“Gods be it,” replies Brother Bell automatically.

“If you will, we’ve got a new arrival we were hoping you could take care of.”

“Monastery or Asylum?” asks Brother Bell.

There is a pause, the sound of the surveillance equipment beeping, then says Brother Fesu: “We aren’t entirely sure yet. A bit of a puzzle. Arrived just ten minutes ago—I had thought of waking Father Altercan, but seeing as you’re up—”

“Of course,” says Brother Bell. “Gods be it.”

“Gods be it indeed. Your passcards and directions should arrive momentarily.”

“Thank you.”

The slot in the wall near the sink buzzes, and then prints out two plastic passcards and a data sheet. The cards he slips into the deep pockets at his waist, and the data sheet he holds, pressing his thumbs into the boxes at the corners. It’s a paper-bioplastic, so that as soon as it reads his print, the writing swirls into appearance, followed by pictures and background on the new arrival.

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