Jaraswat cornered Roroku in the Hangar of Science that evening. “Where were you today, when all true scholars were investigating Scorjerak?”
“My husband had need of me,” mumbled Roroku.
“Oh, did he, now?” snapped Jaraswat. “I suppose that you and he, our only remaining married couple, are unaware that the other drakes here have similar needs — methothiam needs, as the Brur-Chumb say! Needs that, in the decent cases, remain unsatisfied from year to year and duodecade to duodecade! Yet we set them aside! This is a matter of science! You and your husband must set your own ‘needs’ aside from hour to hour, if not day to day, for science, as well!”
“He said that Scorjerak’s radiations would be bad for my eggs,” mumbled Roroku, her ears so flat they would have been inside her skull if that had been possible.
“I was not aware that unlaid eggs were unusually fragile. They are, currently, protected by the entire body of a dragoness. This should be sufficient padding for nearly any purpose, even the xenotonx purposes that apply here! Oh, don’t look so stupid, Roroku. “Xenotonx” is from Ancient Classical Pre-Dordalian, from your own new homeworld of Hove — ah, you do not come from Hove, do you? But you were there plenty long to learn. You must have been distracted by something, perhaps some ‘needs’. ‘Xenotonx’ of course means ‘antithetic to foreign dangers’, as you should have guessed from the context, even if you didn’t know the word. Really, Roroku, you must be more incisive if you are to be counted among the scholars! Be bold, be clever, snatch opportunities and knowledges in your swift jaws!”
”… yes, Jaraswat …” mumbled Roroku, thoroughly ashamed.
“The day’s work is done. Samples have been retrieved. I shall expect you to perform suitable analyses upon them — and they must be kaperkonk analyses, every one! — and present the results to us before we-and-you venture forth to Scorjerak tomorrow! Anything less will diminish your already dwindling stature among the scientists of this company!”
”… yes, Jaraswat …”Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.