“You are utterly whomulow; there is no other word for it in any language! The researches will proceed as I have ordered!”
They didn’t. Yarenton and Atharis flew straight to an airport and inspected airplanes, most of which were too boily with para-niobium to actually touch, even with the Hoplonton. But even from seven yards away they saw nozzles and tanks, generally bolted on after the plane was made, and the most intense of the radiation from them.
Inside the airport, where the radiation was simply fatal to unprotected small people and a constant grinding burr against the Hoplonton, they inspected the newspaper kiosks. The Word-Fox is a slow but diligent little vulpine, and let them translate the headlines: Sneak Attack from Fenesdumh; All Major Cities Dusted. Supreme Heirophant Orders Entire Reprisals Against Apostates. May the True Gods Protect Chumesdumh.
“I think I could write the fullness of the history from just this headline,” said Yarenton.
“Some days I look upon draconic rule of worlds like Mhel and Zelmary and even Hove, and think that we are simply greedy monsters who crave territory and slaves. But what I do not see is the Scorjerakian style: without the selfish and cruel, but war-quelling, rule of dragons, small people generally kill themselves off, and often the whole world with them. Yarenton, write your book for the rebels against dragons! Make them know the alternative!”
“There are more alternatives than just the two, I would say, but Scorjerak tells a clear and dismal story,” said Yarenton. “And so shall I.”
He did it without the newspaper, though. He asked Jaraswat to translate it, since Jaraswat the linguist alone had the powers to do so without access to any living scorjes, and without working the poor little the Word-Fox to exhaustion. But Jaraswat was administrator as well as linguist, and he burned it up and roasted Yarenton’s forepaw from the disobedience to his orders.
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