Mirrored from Sythyry.
The insipid novel was Canticles of Sparrow and Grander. It was an episodic sort of thing, having originally been written by Orren and serialized in broadsheets. (Then, I believe, it was collected by Cani and bound for publication.) Sparrow and Grander are Orren who have a complicated romance, frequently beset by Complications. Complications generally come in the forms of people abducting Sparrow and/or Grander. Orrah Trissen (yes, that’s the name of the city — utterly unlike anywhere you may know of!) seems to have a kidnapping industry the size of the sun and twice as brilliant. Somewhat upsettingly, most of the the kidnappers in the first quarter of the book (I don’t know about the rest, I stopped reading) have been Herethroy or Rassimel with indecent designs on at least one of the pair.
My reading, and associated grackling and fuming as, yet again, Sparrow is catapulted into a pocket universe and a Herethroy both-female manifests and makes demands. (Sheesh, a both-female? Twice the transaffection in one body!), was interrupted by a sudden display of Tempador magic all around me.
Me: “What is that?” I had sudden visions of being abducted, myself, into a pocket universe where a Herethroy both-female would manifest and make demands. “Actually, that sounds rather nice.”
Me: “But it is not a Wrongfolk of Abduction! It is the laboratory’s time-hastening device.”
Me: “But Phaniet and I have done our work for the day already. Who else would use it? Who else could use it?“
Me: “… Feralan?”
Me: “Since I am not far from the lab, I am inside the time-hastening region, so I should go investigate…”
Me: “Wait a moment! A Rassimel boy, a Rassimel girl, a Locador demon, a need for privacy, a wish for time to run conveniently … this could signify but one thing! Viz, that Feralan’s romantic life is taking a turn for the existing.”
Me: “It is sure to end in a troublesome way. I do not think Feralan knows about the need for contraception in such circumstances. Wrongfolk talk about sex a great deal with him around — I have often tried to get them to be a bit more discreet — but they never mention accidental pregnancy, perhaps because it never happens in mixed-species couples. Hopefully Wexiset knows and is prepared.”
Me: “I could scry on them and make sure.”
Me: “That would be low, even by my admittedly-tawdry standards.”
Me: “I suppose it would not be inappropriate to check with Feralan immediately afterwards, and offer too-late-but-not-that-much-too-late medical help to Wexiset if the need arises.”
Me: “So I suppose I must wait, lurking, until they are done.”
Me: “But no more of Sparrow and Grander. I must have something else to read around here. Or … alas! I have nothing save technical books and reference materials on magic, plus certain advanced theoretical studies of Locador magic for a research project which I have not yet mentioned in my diaries! These are works which I am too antsy to apprehend and too perplexed to peruse!”
Me: “I must break out the Emergency Entertainment Material!”
The Emergency Entertainment Material, kept in chest of once-aromatic cedar wood, proved to be a small collection of mouldering pornography that I had last read while perched in Mynthë’s lap.
In despair, I turned to the wrapping materials of the skeropythrope I had recently bought. Four hours passed — or nearly no time at all, in the real world — as I finished up last week’s wrinkled and wrapped Howling Horn of Hressh-Huu, and embroidered lilac crabs on a silk scarf, and got more and more jealous of the stamina of the young.
hCevian danced through the parlor, his black spikes twinkling in the many lights.
Me: “Hallo, O Locador demon. Wexiset is keeping Feralan well-occupied, I take it? Or, more anatomically correct, the reverse?”
hCevian: “They are certainly having quite a fine time, Sythyry.”
Me: “You were in there watching them?”
hCevian: “Why, yes, in fact I was. But I do not have the joy in such matters as a Rassimel does, so I have come out here for a while so I would not have to watch this particular sequence.”
Me: “May I ask a rather embarrassing question?”
hCevian: “I cannot think of a good way of preventing you!”
Me: “Did Feralan use protection?”
hCevian: “Feralan is rather the aggressor, on the whole.”
Me: “Oh, my. Has he been treating Wexiset decently, or did he simply jump on her in an assaultulous sort of way?”
hCevian: “The latter is a better description. She was not ready when he pounced. She has been trying to drive him off, but without much success. He is persistent and forceful and penetrative!”
Me: “Oh, dear.”
I flapped down the hallway and threw open the door to Feralan’s usual workshop. “Feralan! You must treat Wexiset … um … ”
If I could have caught fire in embarrassment, I would have. They had set up a huge chess-ish board on a worktable, and were playing a game of Mega-Macro-Super-Large-Monumental-Diamon
Feralan: “Master? What is the emergency?”
Me: “An attack of stupidity on my part, again. But you shouldn’t use the time-hastener without asking.”
Feralan: “But we’ll never get this game of Mega-Macro-Super-Large-Monumental-Diamon