Ten dragons — Itharieth and Evrath having added themselves to the party — confronted Jaraswat. Tultamaan took the offense, as often. “Jaraswat! You claim to be Extremely Educated. Wherefore we have a few Questions to ask you.”
Jaraswat, who had been berating Wo Awo over flaws in the hhejŝṧhyant, turned to look at the massive army facing him. (Ten being a massive armu — it doesn’t take ten dragons to conquer a whole world.) “It seems that I am about to be brought to justice.”
“Precisely,” said Tultamaan. “I am looking forward to conducting another Kangaroo Court within the hour. Would you care to make a Complete Confession?”
“Oh, certainly,” said Jaraswat, swishing his tail. “I demanded precision and energy! She responded with carelessness and laziness! A thousand blorrub incidents present themselves. You should know: you were a witness to many of them.”
“I believe you are referring to Roroku. Please make a different confession concerning a different person,” said Osoth.
“Why, of course,” said Jaraswat in an oily voice. “I have trespassed against everyone in all sorts of zenziz ways, have I not? Oh, let me see. I have attempted to extract the greatest skill and focus on the purposes of this expedition from Itharieth, and as a part of correcting him, broke his forelegs. I confess that the treatment was wholly ineffective, and the wyrm still wriggles about, full of frangant futility.”
“That is not the Incident under Question,” said Tultamaan. “Cease these evasions, and explain what transpired Last Night.”
“I refuse,” said Jaraswat. “In any case, it is hardly a crime.”
“Refusal will not engender Judicial Mercy,” snapped Tultamaan. “And destroying Valuable Members of the Expedition is certainly a crime!”
“Nobody was destroyed. There may have been some moaning, but, I assure you, we do not lack for survivors,” snapped Jaraswat.
“Someone was Impaled,” said Tultamaan.
Jaraswat flicked his tail. “Yes.”
“By You,” added Tultamaan.
“Describe the Circumstances, Jaraswat,” said Tultamaan.
“Prurient little lizard, aren’t you? Well, the circumstances were thus. So-and-so exhibited feminine tendences at me. I chose to honor the matter. We sought privacy in a remote spot. The dragoness — I prefer to use the term ‘dragoness’ considering the circumstances — presented. I impaled her upon each of my male members in turn. You have been on a mating flight, you understand the general concept, though in your case the memories are surely few in number and the dragonesses less than satisfied. Afterwards we returned to the expedition camp separately, wishing a degree of privacy which you are now violating with determined rudeness.”
“That’s all? No small people were involved? No fatalities?”
“What do you take me for, Tultamaan? No small people! No fatalities! Simply a drake and a dragoness disporting themselves in primordeal ways — private ways!”
Osoth raised a wing. “The matter is quite serious. You may wish an alibi.”
Jaraswat snapped, “Fraxtseng, then! I twined with Fraxtseng! Why is it that every other instance of copulation on this expedition may be masked in suitable privacy, but mine may not?”
“Because there is murder and wicked sorcery about, and a valuable small person is dead!” said Osoth.
“Seek them elsewhere! I had nothing to do with them.”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.