Chapter 34: Taste Tests
Looking over the pantope, we notice there are lots of loose grenades
here, still unexploded despite the recent convulsions. (The majority,
which did explode, are responsible for the new crater over there...)
We gather them up before the dwarves arrive to take away the wreckage.
Now, what to do with them? We decide to offer them to Jonathan, over
the water, fighting the grey ninjas.
We gate into his camp, on the ridges in the Chaos Marches, causing only a little surprise. He is reluctant to take the grenades, feeling they would be unreliable this close to Chaos. A reasonable objection.
We offer other help. Could he use the pantope? He isn't sure. Tom offers Jonathan a calling card, to summon him if desired. Jonathan then asks if we could contact the nephilim and if any of them would be good at shaping chaos. We could certainly contact them. Desmond might be able to do something, as might Braeta. And Desmond knows lots of other people among the nephilim, as does Greywolf.
Alternatively, Robbie has contacts among the djinn, and the Djinnish Ambassador is coming to tea next week. Jonathan agrees that this, too, could be useful, though he doesn't say why. He did say they needed to shut the ninjas out, so perhaps that's it.
Jonathan remarks that this has turned from guerilla fighting into an intelligence-gather mission. Robbie therefore experiments with popping out extra eyes and trying to make them invisible, but without success.
Jonathan gives us a calling card back, to contact him when the Ambassador comes, and we part, not having really accomplished a lot.
Daphne was not in the group. She was back at Mr. Kaya's sweet shop, having a very nice brunch, which has turned into lunch and is drifting into tea. She goes back out to look at the celestial flowers they planted and notes that the Michael's Tears are dripping, as if really weeping. The liquid, Mr. Kaya notes, shines somewhat. In fact, it looks like Lightfall water, and tastes like it too -- Kaya and Daphne agree that Lightfall water has more zip and refreshment than the regular kind. Mr. Kaya says that some of the folk around here say it energizes, though that may only apply to fays.
Daphne is intrigued. At dinner that night, she surreptitiously adds some Lightfall water to Kate's glass. This gets noticed by Kate and Dafnord, though. Daphne explains and Kate is willing enough to try the water, but feels nothing special.
Soon, just about everyone at the table tries some. Tom gates Daphne up to the lake directly beneath the falls, so she can collect a good pitcher-full. Robbie finds it a bit zingy. Tom and Gannar notice nothing. Dafnord and Markel acknowledge a slight tingle.
Daphne tries watering the plants in the kitchen garden and, um, asking them how they like it. They like it a lot; much better than the plain stuff.
Next, she tries the dragon. Dragons aren't big on water. Certainly not cold water. So he heats it. He rather likes the way the steam glows when it vaporizes...
Back in the dining room, while we're sipping and trying to do the wine-connoisseur thing with water ("Nice, clean bouquet." "Good afterburn." "Tastes like camel drool to me."), Suliamon and Moranna come in just as Daphne is giving some to her pet bonsai tree, Russell. She has to explain him to them. After that, they remark that plants in general seem to like Lightfall water, perhaps as an alternate way of getting the sunshine that this place lacks.
They prefer the Lightfall water themselves. Seems there was a discussion about it a few months ago. Some folks preferred it to normal; others could see no difference. Daewen opined it was the "over-analytical ones" who couldn't appreciate it. (I see, Daewen, and it's the ones most like vegetables who could.)
What's next on the menu?
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.