Peace Everywhere Array
This is going to be boring, but I want to at least write it down. The Peace Everywhere Array is, ultimately, nothing more than some very big twistor ray guns, but a great deal of engineering and cleverness has made them very dangerous.
Twistor rays are the classic purple-beamed Hoven ray guns. They shoot torque. They make things spin. The work best on things with lots of little parts, which will spin independently and usually go flying off in all directions. They work worst on things like mountains which are one piece and anchored to something really big and immobile.
Here’s what’s special about the Peace Everywhere Array.
- Every point of Hove is visible from at least eight guns, out of the 82 (according to Ythac’s finding spells) currently active. They are expensive fancy tricky guns that can cross all of Hove — hand rayguns only go a few hundred feet.
- They are mostly concealed or protected. Some are under heavy stone domes; some are on train tracks and move around some are on very big boats moving around in a lake.
- Some of them have other tricks. Like mostly each gun has a huge torque battery — “huge” being “a whole lot bigger than me”. The battery is big enough for one shot. Then some very big machines roll the spent battery out and put a new one in, and that’s not very fast. One set of guns can hold seven batteries, though, and thus can shoot seven times in quick succession, so that’s a useful trick for something.
- Really the fancy thing about the Peace Everywhere Array isn’t the guns. It’s the thousands and thousands of cameras and other technology senses which give a pretty good view of all of Hove — when cloud cover and daylight permit — and lets the Tresteans point their guns at pretty much anything they want. Accurately enough to destroy one building of their choice, though it won’t be good for the buildings next to it either, or the brave cooks who live in them.
- Building new twistor guns which twist as hard as the Peace Everywhere guns isn’t that hard — fifty countries can do it, maybe more. If we destroy the Peace Everywhere Array, Trest could probably have it back as good as new in a year or two.
“Thank you, Tarcuna. That’s very helpful,” said Csirnis. “It saved us at least two hours of flight and library work. And I, for one, have a much better opinion of Tresteans, by reason of the dignity of your words.”
Tarcuna blushed. Csirnis could probably have seduced her then if he had wanted. (Me, too.) Well, or paid, if he’d wanted Tarcuna.
“First things first. We must destroy the Peace Everywhere Array,” said Ythac.
“The obvious, you are her master,” said Llredh. Ythac gave him a hurt look, so Llredh added, “My heart, you are his master, too.”
“I wish you’d stop doing that in public,” I muttered. The only one who didn’t ignore me was Tarcuna, who picked up a big stone and hammered on my muzzle. I gave her a hurt look, imitating Ythac, and she calmed down.
“I think you’re both right,” said almost everyone else, in one way or another.
“I think that Jyothky and I should do it. Finding them will be finding, and I’m best at that. Destroying them will be breathwork, and she’s the best of us at that,” said Ythac.
“I will come along! Lightning and storms will be very helpful,” said Nrararn.
“The lightning, the storms, they are not so helpful as all that,” said Llredh.
Quarrel quarrel argue argue quarrel bicker, went Nrararn.
“The fiancé points, Ythac no longer needs them, he has a better. The seduction of Jyothky, if he had ever wanted, long ago he would have made,” said Llredh.
Quarrel quarrel argue argue quarrel bicker, went Nrararn some more.
“The long trip with Jyothky, the common purpose with her, this is what he wants. The peace with the old friend, this is what he would make,” said Llredh.
“Right. I’ll go,” I said.
”I think that the Entire Situation has ceased to be Utterly Perfect. It now contains a Flaw. Possibly even Two. It is no longer what you might call Impeccable, or even Superb. It admits to the occasional trace of Imperfection. But I don’t suppose anyone could endure the shame of agreeing with me. Even when I am simply Stating the Obvious,” said Tultamaan, grooming his forewing.
Arilash sighed. “It’s pretty awful, you’re absolutely right Tultamaan. We are going to have a bit of work avenging Greshthanu, and making Hove safe enough for us to finish the mating flight in peace. Real pax draconica, I mean, not Peace Everywhere Array kind of peace.”
“You are still Missing The Obvious, Arilash. You have not Noticed the Most Salient Features of the Situation. Perhaps if you were to think with your Brain rather than your Claspers you might have noticed, but, well, y’don’t,” said Tultamaan. “Hovens Can Kill Us. This Is Troublesome, Or, Perhaps More Than Troublesome. We Should Not Allow Ourselves To Be Killed.”
“Csirnis, you have encouragement to thrash me if I start to kill one of my fiancés before we’ve dealt with Trest,” said Arilash.
“You are an exceedingly Fortunate dragoness, to have so many fiancés that you can kill one or two of the more Clear-Minded Ones and not miss them,” said Tultamaan. “Especially after losing three of the less Clear-Minded Ones in quick succession.”
“Csirnis, if I don’t kill Tultamaan as soon as I have the chance, could you remind me that I meant to?” said Arilash.
“I think that is quite uncalled-for. Of both of you,” said Csirnis.
“Nrararn, Osoth, could you keep an eye on Tarcuna and make sure that she doesn’t try to kill Llredh while his husband’s not here to protect him?” I said.
”If you have the courage,” said Tarcuna. Crazy hoven!