In the portal room, the mélée had gotten quite out of hand. Jaraswat, Gyovanth, and a rather perplexed and rather proud Vaareng were biting chunks out of each other and crushing each others’ bones in their fangs. I have not gotten a specific report on the battle — or rather, I got seven different specific reports, agreeing neither with each other nor with the verified results of the battle. Jaraswat came off somewhat the worst in it, having half his forepaw bitten clean off. Both other drakes claim credit for having bitten it.
Sjojarn, dismayed at the destruction of equipment, had magnified the interior of the hangar, so that the dragons had grosses upon grosses of yards to brawl in. This had the good effect of saving such equipment as had survived up to that point. It had the bad effect of utterly decalibrating the hhejŝṧhyant, which, as a sensitive device of space-magic, could hardly be expected to endure the sudden tsunami of space-distortion of such a bumptious and hasty spell.
Evrath, who had faced the Mintwall Shield before, poked at it, and struck it with his vô, and did all the things that he had done before that had not worked before and did not work now. “Last time, we roasted small people alive inside of it. This time, what is in there? Roroku, who cannot be roasted, and the portal and hhejŝṧhyant, which we hardly want to roast. The power of the shield lasts only for so long, a matter of hours, and after that — what? Roroku will come out, and we shall ask her what she meant by all this fight-mongering and insulting of her husband.”
“Roroku is a vile adulteress, a stinking shit in dragoness form, a waste of scales and flame!” proclaimed her husband. “I may withdraw a fraction of my approval from her for a time, that she may be duly chastised!”
There was general assent to that plan. Even Itharieth and Evrath, who generally thought well of Roroku, found her actions of the moment to be incomprehensible, overdramatic, unnecessary.
But they were purposeful, tactically dramatic, and well-calculated towards a simple end.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.