On the Futility of Primes and Monsters Living Together (Nendrai Version) [14 Hispis 4385]
Kazrie quirked her ears at Vae and the spatulas, as the taptet ran around trying to put the bowls and cups and plates onto level spots on the inistella's scale. "You are, if I am not mistake, travelling with the healer and zir entourage...?"
Vae looked a bit cornered. (It's never wise to corner a nendrai.) "The Strayway is my home for the year and the next year, yes."
"So, is it not the case that you, yourself, are living with some primes?"
Vae grudgingly admitted that she was.
"I am no Cani to instantly understand all the fine points of the social dynamics, but you seem a bit protective of your companions, and they seem comfortable in your presence. One might even be so bold as to describe your relationship as 'apparently amicable'," said the doomed philosopher.
"The yes, the yes, that is all true," said Vae.
"So, one might be inclined to speculate that you, yourself, are an instance of precisely the sort of social organization that I am investigating."
Vae turned one of the spatulas into an inside-out capybara, speared it on a claw, and took a bite. "Not further should you investigate. The social organization is a terrible social organization."
Kazrie shuddered at the nendrai's snack. "Yet it is the way you organize your current society."
Vae bit off half the capybara's brain. "The saving-from-me we are giving to Vheshrame, as a gift. The cursings and hideous transformations I perform will all be on the wrongfolk. They are saving their home city from my depredations and my wickednesses, by luring me away with them."
Arvaky asked, "Wrongfolk?"
I answered, "Many of us are from an estate in Vheshrame called 'Castle Wrong'. Hence, wrongfolk."
Arvaky nodded sagely. "There must be a story there."
"There is," said Jyondre, "but perhaps the should not interrupt the battle of nendrai and philosopher."
Kazrie was well ready for the battle. "Well, I should imagine that if you live for any great length of time with primes, you will come to regard them as friends and allies. Muot -- the nycathath who is your voluntary hostage -- found that he was perfectly able to take us under his protection, so long as there were a suitable number of non-primes as well."
Vae took another bite of capybara, and turned the rest of it into a false memory of being tortured with red-hot copper needles by puppets. "And think you that every monster is like a nycathath? The friends and allies I travel with: yet I cannot protect them from the vilest danger they face. The I cannot even understand that I have been a danger to them, until after the injuries I wreck and torments I inflict have been repaired. The better protection for them would be if they were not my friends and allies; I might be less inspired to be helpful to them." One of the perdithornes got entangled in the memory, and was quite perplexed.
I explained, "Vae is happy to use her mighty magic to help primes in need. She is unable to tell what the need is, or whether she has been helpful or harmful. That must not reflect poorly on her general intellect and morality, which are quite worthy. Gnarn made her to be troublesome, and troublesome she is, despite herself."
Kazrie flicked her tailtip. "Accomodations must be made for the wickedness of the creator gods. Indeed, on the back of Doöaru, we have made some: no Cani live here, for perdithorne cannot endure the presence of Cani."
Vae snapped, "Not a bit should I live with primes, then, for I cannot trust myself around primes."
"You simply need to figure out what sort of mental tricks to do to be safe around them. Perhaps, remember to never help anyone without consulting an expert first," said Kazrie. In a calm and reasonable voice, considering that her tail had gone quite bottlebrushy.
"She can't remember that either. She is a well-designed monster," I said.
"The magic earmuffs that keep certain words from my ears help somewhat," Vae added. "Not always! The poor Quendry-child got his hideous magnification just the other day. The earmuffs knew what he meant by saying 'when I get bigger', but I was unable to know."
"Well, perhaps you are a special case," admitted Kazrie. "Though, even for a special case, you do seem to be an excellent illustration of my point. But special cases are, by their very nature, special. Most nonprimes are common cases."
"The nonprimes were built to be a doom and a trouble on the primes! The special cases are we all, each and every one. The dangers I bring include blatant ones, for I am a vast and huge monster. The dangers that taptet bring are all more subtle! The potions they brew are appealing but perilous. The small and enslavable servants, also, are what taptet appear to be, but they crave freedom and will take the most alarming risks to acquire it. The slower perils for you are taptet, but they are still perils."
"Nonsense! The taptet who dwell on Doöaru are friends and respected companions!" snapped Arvaky.
Grinwipey looked as innocent as a Khtsoyis can. "So how come you're the ones sittin' your grombuses on the comfy chairs stuffin' twiffish fruit treats into your yawning esophaguses, an' they're the ones carryin' the comfy chairs 'n bringin' the fruit treats?"
"Because we're the ones who were very sick an hour ago," snapped Kazrie.
"Yeah? Usually you wait on them with two hands and both noober-lapping feet, right?" said Grinwipey with a smirk. The Rassimel philosophers looked a bit embarrassed, and the taptet looked a bit annoyed.
"The venom-spiked fist of the gods is the fist that you are begging to have rammed into your faces and your bellies," said Vae. "The Strayway too -- but at least the crew of the Strayway know that they are asking."
"And wearing protective gear," I added, because I am proud of the protective gear, even if it doesn't work perfectly.