"Behold the hour is late!" said the masked man in the doorway.
Willard stared at him for a long moment. "It is early evening, Aloysius."
Aloysius recoiled at that. "You are not supposed to recognize me!"
"Yes, but I know your voice anywhere," replied Willard leaning back in his chair. "Care for a drink? I have some of that fine Nightland brandy here. It really is quite excellent."
"A Voice of the Council must not drink on the job!" said Aloysius.
"I'm on the Council," said Willard with a sigh. "You could consider it an order."
Aloysius peered at him imperiously through the mask's eye-holes. "There are Ancients, and there are Ancients, Willard. You are most assuredly not a member of the second group."
"How do you know?" asked Willard. "They might have invited me to join them?"
Aloysius crossed his arms. "No levity! You are called to a secret council by the Voice! Come immediately."
Willard nodded, stood up and got a bottle from the wall. He poured himself a small glass.
"I told you I'm not having a drink!" snapped Aloysius.
"Yes, but I am," said Willard. He gulped it down, smacking his lips. "Ahhh. That satisfied." He turned to regard Aloysius again. "You sure you won't have one?"
Aloysius stared for a moment, and then entered the room, grumbling all the while. "Oh, very well. But a different glass."
"Of course!" said Willard with a nod.