«This angelic masquerade has its flaws,» Roroku grumbled.
«Geiranthu never recommended it over direct conquest,» I reminded her. Geiranthu, as should be obvious to anyone who had lived with either of us and approximately nobody else, was an old bachelor drake with regrettable historian tendencies, who had been regrettably hired to tutor both Roroku and I when we were very small and very easily bored lizards. “Easily bored” being the most important characteristic, and one which Geiranthu exercised to the fullest. History is not inherently boring — far from it. One cannot say the same about Geiranthu.
«Geiranthu can submit himself carnally to a rampant swe-swu,» Roroku replied.
«I’m not sure about that, since he would have to wind up in Kyspert — that is a kyspian thing, isn’t it? it sounds like one — and he hasn’t even gotten as far as Hove,» I said. «But if you are in a mood for such direct speech, you could tell me about the flaws in the angelic masquerade.»
«Prophasians and disphasians! Killing each other again! Or, when I absolutely forbid them to kill each other over fine points of ritual forms, they find a gross of forms of other violence. They wreck each others’ homes and shops! They don’t neglect the looting, either. They hurl shit-grenades into each others’ temples. They poison each others’ animals to death. They poison each other, too, though generally with the emitic vapors of burning dze-mwe nuts.»
That clearly called for sympathy, which I, draconically, did not provide. «We have a fair lot of that on Hove as well, mutatis mutandis. We are fortunate in that we are nohow required to be responsible for any of it.» That’s a carefully-worded truth: I have chosen to be somewhat responsible for the widely-despised ‘tappu’ religious and/or ethnic group on Hove, hated by nearly everyone. My involvement there is entirely Tarcuna’s fault: she keeps getting involved with tappu women. But that is another story, and no better than Roroku’s, so I did not tell her about it.
«Well, I’m a divine representative. Actually by now I am three divine representatives. I want my world tidy, clawrasp it, and the kysps aren’t cooperating.»
«Roroku? Why are you three divine representatives?»
«☇», she wrote. That’s how we write down a spark-full snort. «I have assumed the persona of the angel Thu-Zwy to the prophasians, and Kwe-Ma-Mwa to the disphasians, and given them entirely unambiguous prophecies that they are to stop fussing about the whole thing.»
«And what did they do?» I had to ask.
«Prosody! They did prosody, like a bunch of shit-breathing unmarriageable-girl bethrustards!» And on for a while, cursing and swearing with every wicked word in Grand Draconic. (There aren’t that many.)
«Prosody is the science of analysis of poetry, right?» (It is.) «I am used to it evoking snoring, not swearing,» I said.
«It is! They wrote down every word Thu-Zwy and Kwe-Ma-Mwa said! With accent marks! The prophasians noticed that the angels frequently slipped into trochaics or hexameters, and therefore were secretly explaining that the prophasians were correct and that they should have mercy on the benighted disphasians, correcting them to prophasian-ness! And the disphasians took the very same utterances — and found that neither angel ever used actual trochaic hexameter, so they’re obviously supporting the disphasians!»
«So they listened to the rhythm of your oracularities, and not the words?» I said.
«Yes! Exactly! And the two camps transcribed the words a touch differently, and I have no idea which one I actually said, since it’s all about emphasis on syllables and I don’t care about clawraped emphasis on clawraped syllables! So they’re a bunch of dishonest vul-dorffs using sacred utterances for their own puny and wicked purposes!»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.