They met in the highest tower of Raven Central.
“I’m glad to see you are adjusting well to Capitol City, Musician,” Lou spoke to begin the serious part of their discussion.
“Musician?” Philip replied, taken aback. “Believe me, I’m no musician. I’m tone deaf!”
“Nevertheless,” continued the pale, tall alien in her level manner, “you are. And it’s time to repay the favor we bestowed upon you.” She then explained how Philip’s metallic stigmata suddenly vanished about 2 weeks back.
“Oh,” he then said, understanding quite a lot more. “Transference, huh?”
“Yes. You were sucked in. It really wasn’t your fault. It is the fault of the designers of telescopes, microscopes, other artificial extensions of the naked eye. We, as a planet, were never suppose to see beyond Uranus.”
“It’s a tricky planet with the naked eye,” Philip replied, unable to resist astronomical trivia in the moment. “You have to know exactly where to look.”
“Right,” Lou said, steering the conversation back to the matter at hand. “About the repayment…”
“I’ll do it,” he quickly followed. “Whatever it is — outside of signing away my soul to The Devil — I’ll be glad to comply. I’m just so happy to be free of all that metal shite after, what, *10* years. 10 years ago that demon Jimmy operated on me, or what he *calls* an operation.” He paused, shook his head, then looked up again. “Transference… just like you said. Whatever you do, don’t confuse a physician with a physicist.”
Lou emits a small, lilting laugh here. “It’s not Jimmy’s fault either, though.” She sits further back in her wicker armchair. “Here’s the deal.”
Later that night, Philip returns to the home which Lou wants him to stay in after his “assignment” in Gaeta V has ended. But, good news, he can take Heidi and her shape shifting ways along for the ride.