“I take it you went to Ploosnar?” Agent Brzko had just returned home to Misko. The Muse of Mischief was at the kitchen table eating lusimis, drinking espidrun and reviewing correspondence.

“What makes you say that?”

“Because it looks like you’re a few espidruns ahead of me.”

She grinned at him. “You’re right. Here.” She offered him her glass. He gladly took it and poured another, taking a seat at the table.

“Did you hear what they found in Traphus?”

“Yes, I was just talking to Zri about it.”

“I wonder how many portals there are leading to, or from, akenn kote.”

“Me too.”

“I also wonder if they’re all on Jinn.”

“I have a feeling we’ll never know.”

“Will Nalau be back in time to leave for Clyrea X9 tomorrow?”

“Yes, they’ll be back later today. Having the jump drive technology from Dragona is really helpful.”

Brzko sat down at the table. “I agree. Did you hear Xiix’s house is finished? I think he’s settling  in now.” Brzko said, refilling her glass and keeping it for himself.

“Oh I’m sure. Did you see the size of his greenhouse?”

“I know, it’s the biggest part of the house.”

“Luckily for him, Ferocity lives right next door. He won’t have to venture very far for philosophical conversations.”

“Philosophical conversations? What have they been talking about?”

“They seem to be having a great time when I was over there earlier. They were in the midst of a deep conversation – debating the origins of Ploosnarian opera. Xiix thinks it sounds like the melody of a bird found in the forests there, and Ferocity thinks it sounds like screams of a dying Koblenipi.”

Brzko was laughing so hard that espidrun came out of his nose. He put the glass down. “I don’t even know what a Koblenipi is, and I find that hilarious.”

“It’s basically a wild boar, found on Ploosnar.”

“So then Ferocity is not a fan of opera?”

“At least not Ploosnarian opera.”

“Did you see the thank you that Princess Cluthea sent?” M asked, getting up to get another glass.

“Briefly, is it here?”

M slid something that looked like a folded note across the table to him. Princess Cluthea had written a note to them on a leaf from a Neter tree.

“I’m glad to hear that she was able to reconnect with her parents. It sounds like Queen Eyjdra was serious when she threatened to leave the King if he didn’t accept their daughter’s marriage to a Blenia.”

“Sometimes the females just have to put their foot down.” M winked at him.

“Ha! Like you ever have to do that with me. This leaf is really amazing, it seems dry but it’s still flexible – and I love the color. How do you feel about framing it?”

M didn’t answer, she just shifter her eyes to the perfectly sized, empty frame leaning in the corner.

“Always a step ahead, I love that about you M.”

“Yeah well, I’m female… not feeble.”

“That you are. I was thinking about checking on Ferocity and Xiix, want to go?”


Ferocity. Are you up for some company?” Brzko reached for his dragon telepathically.

Yes please Lord Brzko. Xiix and I discovered something that you should probably see. We’re in the library.

Brzko looked at M to see if she had picked up Ferocity’s answer. She had – they both went to Ferocity’s library.

Xiix was sitting on a stool, he was slumped really. Since they both had tails, the furniture that Ferocity had selected also provided comfortable accommodation to a Suus.

“What’s wrong with Xiix?” M walked over to him, thinking there must be something seriously wrong with him. “Xiix, can you hear me? Are you OK?”

Fine, fine, fine. Oh my.” He projected back.

What’s wrong, are you ill?”


She turned toward Ferocity. “He’s a Suus, how could espidrun have an effect on him? He can’t drink it.”

The blue steam is basically a vapor.” Ferocity projected.

“Oh shit, he’s drunk!” M’s hands flew up to cover her mouth.

Ferocity and Brzko both laughed.

Xiix, are you OK, do you need anything, how do you feel?” M asked.

I feel marvelous! I see why you drink espidrun now. But… But… four is too many for me. Next time I want to stop at two. Wait….” He grasped the edges of the stool he was sitting on with his lower arms and sat up straight. “If Ciic finds out what I’ve done, there won’t be a next time. I don’t know what she will do, I’ve never heard of a Suus misbehaving to this degree, I just wanted to celebrate my new home with Ferocity. Oh no, I’m doomed. I will be banished.” He slumped again.

Agent Brzko stepped forward to handle this, projecting calm as he spoke telepathically. “Xiix, that’s not how we do things around here. We’re a tight group and we watch out for each other. Ciic won’t hear about you from us, what you tell her is your business.

Xiix sat up straight again and looked at Brzko, blinking his eyes a few times. He stood, and extended all four of his arms, intent on embracing all of them. “I love all of you. I finally feel like I belong here, I’ve found my home.” They shared a momentary group hug. “OK, Xiix sleep now.” He turned and headed to the guest room without another word.

Whotov appear right away, “Do you require anything master Ferocity?”

“No, thank you Whotov. I’m going to leave for Dragona soon.”

“Very good then, I will be here to help Xiix should he require any assistance.” Whotov turned around and headed for his quarters.

We’ll see you when you get back with Nguvu.” Brzko projected as he and M left.

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