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The dragon Arkuda shifts into the next platform of er gateway stair. Here, different thoughts along different avenues. Things stretch in the direction of one’s direction, such as they might. The order of things within orders of things can be glimpsed as the way forward and through. Unlike the dragonroads, the gateway stair runs along a different conception of place – more like transmutation than travel, though it is transporting. Each dragon goes by their own Stair, a process sometimes referred to as sublimation.

While many dragonroads are closed to some, this way cannot be shut. Every dragon alive may reach Tabula Rasa, but whether any others will be present nearby depends greatly. One may be impossibly far from others on the Plaine, yet still find or read the effects of glyphwork carried in the grains. Thus was it known, during the long time of exile, that some kindred were not dead. Their existence was still part of existence, known because there was a mark left in somewhere in Tabula Rasa, evident to those who checked.

It’s time to refine the Phasing, keep the emittance well-constructed and boisterously robust. Factor check: song, strength of song, bond of song to trees, frequency of hearing, times when heard, physical records, content and relation, memories accessed between phenomena, etc. How best to balance and defend? Unanimous participation doesn’t have to mean unending burden. This Councillor is readjusting to military matters; such things happen. So far, there have been no new attacks by the Red Nexus former exiles. Arkuda must check among the participants who may be vulnerable, and figure out how to interface with the peacefully abstaining. The Tabula Rasa has answers! ‘E comforts erself with that assumption.

Arkuda hopes to see some of the dragons no longer visiting Imperium locational space due to non-participation in the Viridian Phasing. ‘E also wants to know more about the recent disturbance in the phasing lattice which left energy signatures and an image of the Princess in command of an unusual vehicle. Arkuda feels an excited nervousness – that of a teacher hoping their pupil will remember all they’ve been taught, and wishing for them to be even greater than that. Had that really been all the time ‘e’d had to teach her? ‘E thinks Soleil would make as good as, or better, a Queen than many. The rearrangement in her absence is less comfortable, lacking familiar presences (especially that of Queen Ascendant Charlotte). The royal line is down two engines, when sometimes there are only two. It’s like losing a dragon: the entire universe has to readjust, and it changes everyone.

The Queen withdraws often to self-counsel on her own chosen matters. Her doings are not Arkuda’s concern, though they exchange niceties almost daily. Arkuda reads each greeting, but not too deeply. Celeste has been looking somewhat fearsome: hair flat and swept into a bun, simple garb lacking only the armor. Her civility remains fully composed as she carries it round the halls.

The Dragon Councillor has been relearning. Redefinition, reassessment, recognition; the return of distant relations; proper guardianship. Re-examining the traces of time, records and stories. The landscape redrawn. Arkuda’s spirit gazes over the brink of a familiar and limitless abyss. This looks to be a dragon conflict. When dragons are at war with each other, everyone suffers; the seas boil.

Lines, thoughts, paths, stretch, intersect, bend, form, terminate, begin; iteration after iteration in due gate-stair process. Stepping through thought-being like the undoing of a puzzle lock. The opening of the gate transforms it into the next, along with the self in the gate – integrative decompression with a steamy hiss.

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