Clever (impertinent): And what is the Greatness in your work?
Dog-Head (shudders): Efficient, purposeful cruelty. Hateful magic.
Vixen (grins so her fox teeth show): The Great Work is to know by experiment the one unified secret of nature.
Dog-Head (shouts): And use it to unnatural purpose!
Vixen: Immortality is indeed unnatural. The living are made to die. But what secret makes them live? Chymistry seeks that wind, that flame which animates earth and water. What vigor stirs cold mud to rise up and be alive? What is that vitality which abandons us at death, sheds our body so flesh disintegrates back into cold mud?
What is the vital essence? Identify it — trap it, cage it, sustain it. Use it. Immortality. Divinity. Perfection.
Clever (confused yet hostile ): I can see that your experiments failed. You are neither immortal, divine, nor perfect.
Dog-Head (a nervous, startled, scoffing laugh):
Vixen (benign weariness at the girl’s innocence): Ah, missy, I ran out of time. Death came calling. Death had no patience for my experiments. Death would not wait. But in my studies I discovered a simple trick, a useful process that buys time. I endowed myself with its power. It allows for never-ending escape. It is the formula for perfectly hunted.