70.3 \ 252

“There’s something else going on with them, isn’t there?
“This isn’t all they’re here to do.
“Did you see any of them?
“The electricity – it was a complex and powerful spark, live yet controlled.
“This was a feat of technology and elemental engineering.
“The chamber, did they spark the primal elements?
“What could then form those elements and create a physical body of a tree we know?
“What do they have to do with the signal attacks, in the cities?
“And the fleet attacks, did the energy signature seem familiar?
“We’ve been barely involved, it’s hard to know.
“What do the trees tell us?
“They can’t catch up with everything and everyone at once, they have to grow too.

“What do we do? We need the Vedani.
“They’re part of a complicated allied conflict against the society of our citizenship.
“It’s hard to know what we’ll do.
“We will have to learn more.
“This changes the way we relate.
“Moments ago, it did not seem that we had a future. But we do again, or still.

“We will reform the way the worlds work to protect our teachers and rebuild our lineages.
“This is the way it is.
“Did anyone see them?
“We saw humans, child humans controlling the meksuits.
“Are Vedani related to Humans? The Symbias are hinting.
“They’re related to us, now.
“We will have to solve the problems that come with it.

“We are communicators, we’re connectors of planets.
“We learned that with the Symbias, who have always taught our generations.
“Flex your tendrils friends, stretch out your manes.
“We are going to have to communicate clearly, in such a way that the peoples will understand.
“We must not lose our families again, these friends who speak with the voices of our ancestors and hold our memories.

“Do we have enough skilled artisans to nurture them?
“Yes, we have enough.
“We have a lot.
“Lots of people want to spend time with them.

“Everyone with power pendants and focus pieces should activate and wear them.
“It’s time to expand our crescendoes.
“We’re going to want to give this everything we’ve got.
“We will put our worlds back together.”

36.3 \ 218

He sensed as far as he could along the Viridian network. Blended strains of music were the subtle matter trod by his awareness, a solidity of spun fiber. Distance was only a matter of perspective, and range was a factor of will. This is an aspect of space to Dragons, though of course this wasn’t physical space. Humans are not usually able to experience the dragonroads as travelers. Their usual interaction is from within formulas of physics.

Draig Claymore found the frontier, an obvious roiling edge. There was nothing between things – there was this, and then beyond it there was that. That was something very like this, but different in mood and substance. That, over there, was billowing and hotly active against flowing tension. He sent his eye to face it directly, and it spoke directly to him.

you thought we
need never be
seen again

These were Dragon voices too, creaking with unfamiliarity yet sizzling with renewed vigor. Ulphos, Magneu… who else could he hear? General Claymore had taken the trouble to learn their names. They traded off and spoke the same words. They’d been alone together for a long time.

we had no
no seekers for
too long
the old hunger
calling for
its rightful due
we will
find it
we will
take it
where you
keep it
in your home
we want
what is ours

The General reached out to set senses upon the threads of matter in this opposing force, and they parted to allow a clear glimpse – like curtains revealing a battle table, composed of real images as seen through real eyes. This force that seemed so distant, at bay along the far edge, had created its own vantages. They were staring directly at strategic payload.

33.1 \ 215

“First, we want to show you this thing we worked on together. Before we talk about anything else important. Because none of it will make sense unless you see this.” Vanessa Udar had been appointed elder (teenager) spokesperson of the kids group on this walk with all guardians present. They were gathered at the mouth of a Vedani-style bent opening which obscured the chamber beyond without requiring a barrier. “We had some help, and our idea works really well now. So, here we go.” Like many of the kids, Bassel took his mother Mirya’s hand and the group went forward through the wide, right-angled curved hall to obtain a platform view of a gigantic hold.

They were received by a bunch of the familiar young Vedani at the edge of the view. A population of personnel was scattered beyond that, and around the project. Literally standing multiple stories high in the center was a mechanical humanoid form with powerful limbs, topped by an empty dome. It gleamed, and the place smelled of new manufacture. Mirya’s default-level response to one of her son’s creations tumbled out of her haltingly. “Wow, you… made this?”