Vixen: Learned books identify Twelve Keys for Experiment in the laboratory.

Dog-Head (mutters): A Devil's Dozen of abominations.

Vixen: Look within the Third Key, Missy, and you find my likeness, my Fox-form, both eating and being eaten.

Vixen: This is Cohobation … to process and reprocess in perpetuity … everlasting evasion by fire and steam.

… boil off the Vital Spirit, contain the vapor, condense it, return it to the matter in the alembic and … boil off the Vital Spirit, contain the vapor, condense it, return it to the matter in the alembic and … boil off the Vital Spirit …

Vixen: … continually, unceasingly, unremittingly. Nothing catches me, but I melt. Nothing holds me, but I vaporize. Death is sick with desire to have me, but I transmute in his embrace. I make myself that which is Hunted but never is trapped.

Clever (wonderment): You live forever!

Dog-Head (dismissive): She reconstitutes forever.

Vixen (wistful): I told you, Missy, I came first in our Story. Imagine Me in the Wide World, in the Alchymist’s laboratory, alongside his daily Work, sustaining my two chimeras … one, being a lover for the Alchymist and one, being an escapist from Death. Constant agitation! Extrication! Cohobation! Exhaustion! It became more and more difficult for me to project that face and form beloved by the Alchymist.

 

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Clever’s Road - 13: GB0063