Mirrored from Sythyry.
Feralan: “Master, this is Wexiset, of whom I have told you some.” Feralan only calls me ‘master’ when he’s trying to emphasize that he’s my apprentice, and that doesn’t happen every year. Wexiset, please to meet Sythyry.
Me: “Welcome to my parlor, Wexiset!”
I have a lot of parlors. I haven’t counted them all, or even visited them all, but it must be thousands at least. This is because I live in my sky-yacht, Strayway, which (from the inside) is a quite large building, or (from the outside) a rather overdone silver candelabra some fifteen feet tall drawn by a pair of three-headed green metallic antelopes. The interior of Strayway, like the interior of Kismirth, was constructed automatically, by a barely-understood magical crystallization procedure, and I didn’t get the blends perfect. I did better — though still not perfectly — for Kismirth. (Sometime I may actually get the hang of the technique. Or perhaps someone else will get the hang of it. Nobody does it quite right yet.)
Wexiset: “Hello!” She was quite nervous. I was too, but fortunately feathers and scales do not show nervousness nearly as much as Rassimel fur does.
hCevian: [materializing suddenly by Feralan's head, in the form of a small spiky black ball.] “Hello, Wexiset! I will not hurt you!”
Wexiset’s tail flicked nervously. She glanced at hCevian with magic sense, in which he appears to be a small but very intense and quite highly structured vortex of space-distortion magics, as if his physical body barely exists and he is largely composed of magic. (In fact, his physical body barely exists and he is composed largely of magic — which is, at the finest level, true of everyone, but most of us have a few layers of reality between that and ourselves. (I have no idea if Wexiset was thinking about this. I certainly wouldn’t have been at the time, in her place. A more ordinary thought on meeting a Locador demon is, By what means shall I escape from this being of pure positionality?, a question whose answer is frequently quite difficult. (Oh, dear. I am babbling, aren’t I?)))
Wexiset: “Hello, hCevian. Where is your triangle?” She has evidently learned the meaning of hCevian’s name.
hCevian: “You three large and living peoples will represent the edges for this cozy social gathering!”
Wexiset: “Why don’t we represent the vertices instead?”
Feralan: “I bet because we’re all too rounded to be points. Wexiset especially.”
Wexiset blushed a bit and smiled a bit. hCevian, who understood the exchange, danced and sparkled like a black star. Feralan … I am going to have to have a talk with Feralan. Two talks probably: one to tell him that he was flirting with her and that she did not seem utterly displeased, and another to tell him what one does when one flirts successfully and wishes to follow up on it. I doubt that one can grow up in Castle Wrong and remain wholly unaware of the advanced forms of the latter topic. It’s the basic forms (e.g., inviting her out for snacks and conversation and a puppet show) that he needs to know — and needs to know he starts with.
Me: “When and why did you come to Kismirth, Wexiset?”
Wexiset: “Four months ago. We’re from Choulano. My mother’s in the Vepri there, she got very involved with them after my father left her and took up with Aunt Frutti. She got them declared to be scluds — and me too. My father’s a smart man, says he can infer the cliff from seeing the mountain, and we’d be better off leaving Choulano before the whole city went off it.”
Me: “I’m sorry, but my Ketherian is a century or two out of date.” It isn’t; I keep up quite well with the latest vocabulary and slang. “What is the Vepri, and what are scluds?”
Wexiset: “The Vepri’s this big important society or club kind of a thing; it’s got departments up and down Craitheia. It stands for Verified Primordeals — it’s all about what generation your first incarnation was. Primordeals are from the first few generations, and the Vepri thinks they’re very important. Scluds are people from late generations who are bad or something. I’m not very clear on all of this. Anyways, people who had been called scluds had been beaten up and lost their jobs and such, and then Aunt Frutti got attacked and had zir left antenna broken off, and we decided to leave for somewhere friendlier and newer. So we’re here.”
Feralan: “Not for being traff?”
Wexiset: “Yes, for being traff, for being an enemy of an important Vepri, for writing anti-Vepri articles, for being a late generation, all sorts of things.”
Me: “Well, that sounds painful and rude and unfortunate and sad. I’m glad we could provide a friendlier place than that! Though I daresay that the bottom of a scorpion pit would be a friendlier place than that.”
Wexiset:[shrugging] “We got the idea they didn’t want us.”
hCevian: “Sythyry, do you dare to stop interrogating Wexiset?”
Me: “Dare I? Why, I have dared far more dangerous and terrible things than that! Such as sitting in a comfortable chair and reading an insipid novel! Which, indeed, I shall do straightaway. “ (But of course hCevian was right.)
Feralan: “We’re going to use the big table in the seventh lab. Is that all right?”
Me: “I don’t see why not!” Indeed, I didn’t.