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Buffyverse, perambulated

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Summary: A drabble that grew into a full ficlet that _may_ be continued...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-CenteredDmitriFR1815,1300263027 Mar 0927 Mar 09Yes
Buffyverse, perambulated...

Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, all belong to Joss Whedon. The Perambulator belongs to Alan Dean Foster. Material from the D&D™ world was used to some extent.

Through the night, something was moving.

Well, ‘moving’ was a relative term – it was more of a gently floating on the current of air, twinkling and flashing here, there, and anywhere. ‘It’, incidentally, was on the smallish side of size – roughly 30 cm. in radius and slightly more than a kilogram in weight. And though it generally kept its’ shape constantly round, it just as constantly shifted its colour from yellow to white, from red to green. And every once in a while it would release a shimmering discharge of its own energy.

Floating, the unpredictable sphere passed the road sign that said “Welcome to Sunnydale” and the metal contraption just melted like a piece of ice in the sun...



* * *



“Good morning, mom,” Buffy said as she sauntered downstairs into the kitchen, intent of having some sort of breakfast. “Slept well?”

Joyce hesitated, and then she looked at the almost-smug face of her eldest daughter (Dawn was still asleep upstairs) and decided to confront her eldest daughter about her night-time activities after all.

“Buffy, look,” she reluctantly began, and the younger woman immediately whirled around, ready for the confrontation:

“What, mother, what?”

Suddenly, there was...something, a shift in the air or something, unnoticed by either woman, as far overhead, unseen against the light of the sun, the perambulator had unleashed its latest discharge, with the Summers’ residence and everything (and everyone) else behind them, down to the horizon, was changed in a very specific way...without anyone noticing anything changing at all.

But change dramatically the world had.

“...Buffy,” Joyce spoke in a different tone, completely unaware that everything was different scant moments ago, “do mind your tone.” Her pincers clacked dangerously loud against the cavern’s stony floor.

Buffy immediately took-on a submissive pose, an almost instinctive gesture for her now. “I do beg your pardon, high priestess, but I am afraid that I am not at my very best this morning at all!”

Her poise and body language were respectful, but the tone of her voice and the look of her eyes were anything but – and only Joyce’s greater experience and self-control prevented the older scorpionfolk from groaning. Banned from the clerical status due to her too-short size and semi-albino pigmentation, Buffy was to be a temple guard in service of Joramy, one of the patron deities of the scorpionfolk, unlike her younger sister Dawn, who even seemed to be perfect for the role.

Unfortunately, it appeared that Joyce was not as successful in quelling out her eldest daughter’s competitive nature as she had thought – and to make matters worse, the bigger and (locally) more powerful temple of Set also had several such semi-albino scorpionfolk, with one of them – Darla was also of stature similar to Buffy’s and a consort of the new high priest of Set, Angelus. Clearly, in Darla Buffy saw her own future – and she didn’t like it.

It was also becoming obvious to Joyce that rather than submitting to her fate, her eldest daughter may actually have began to seek ways to thwart it for good – and the charismatic presence of the other deity was not helping any matters either. Consequently, as much as Joyce treasured the idea of her daughters and her becoming a templar dynasty even in such a small place as Sunnydale, it may have become the time to dismiss this dream before some sort of tragedy struck first. But for now...

“Buffy,” Joyce smiled as motherly as she could, already trying to start defusing the future problems that lay ahead, “I do believe that your friends have requested a meeting with you today, this morning, so shouldn’t you be going already?”
``
“You’re right,” Buffy said calmly, as she got back into her normal – non-subordinate position – and began to skitter her way to the front exit of their home. “I have. Thank you for reminding, mother.”

“What am I going to do with her?” Joyce muttered, as Buffy’s retreating backside vanished in the distance. “And what can be done?”



* * *



“Faith, I think we need to talk.”

“Xander. While I agree that meeting you – or Willow – is a pleasant surprise, you have to agree that there are some things this early in the morning that a girl got to do first before talking to a guy.”

“Since when do you care about etiquette or whatever?” Xander countered. “Look, Faith, what I am asking you to do aren’t so bad – all you have to do is to try to be nicer to Buffy than how you currently are.”

“Xander – I am being nice to Buffy.”

“But not as nice as you could be!”

“Xander, Buffy isn’t a human, and neither are her kin. She doesn’t care if I am nice or not – not like you or Willow would.”

“Says you... but come on, give her a chance. She can be upbeat if you try with an open heart and mind.”

“Xander, it’ll take something more than a corny speech or two to change my mind.”

Floating high up in the air, the perambulator heard a challenge – and responded to it. A shimmering ray of light struck the cheesy hotel that Faith and Xander were arguing at, and went on down towards the Californian coast – but it didn’t stop there. Instead, it went around the world in a vaguely Plutoescue orbit, until it connected Boston with Sunnydale in one shimmering ring of power – and it changed the world once more.

“...Guys? Where are you? This better not be a trap!” Buffy shouted as she carefully made her way from the underground corridor to the inland bay. “I’m here!”

“Hey, Buff,” Xander – the smaller of the two, a local male with the usual red-spot markings on his scales waved droopily from his usual spot. “Hey, Faith – Buffy’s here!”

If Xander was never considered much of a threat – the local merfolk were never dangerous if you were big enough and stayed far enough from the water’s edge – the Northron Faith was another story. She was quite a bit longer and stronger than her partner, and the various tattoos that covered her humanoid torso indicated that she knew how to fight even if breached. Put more simply, Xander was mainly a smuggler and a runner – and Faith was the fighter.

Of course, there were other differences too; all stemming from the fact that Xander was a member of the local merfolk population while Faith was a Northron migrant, treating this piece of Californian sea coast as a haven of some sort, until she was ready to leave back for the open ocean waters.

“Hey, B – did you eat something that was past expiring date or something?” Faith shouted, breaking Buffy’s musings that the only thing that Faith had that Buffy was actually jealous of was that Faith could easily travel around the world, while she would only travel back to Los Angeles proper, or some other nearby city, or – if her mother’s dream came true – not at all...

“No, I’m just having a bad morning so far,” Buffy said, her pincers clicking angrily against the stones of the shore. “No offense, but can you just get to the point?”

The two merfolk exchanged looks, Xander a worried one, Faith – of a more neutrally curious nature, but for some reason Buffy decided that she cared little for either one. “What is it?” she de-manded, her apprehension growing stronger. “Spit it out!”

“Red – that is, Willow Rosenberg,” Faith began, still watching Buffy with a mixture of wariness and curiosity, “has talked to Xander some time ago about Cordelia Chase and Harmony Jones. You know them, Cordelia Chase and Harmony Jones?”

“I know Cordelia Chase,” Buffy said with a snap of her jaws. “She’s the local princess, isn’t she? And the human who is most interested in your merchandise, right? As for Harmony Jones, she’s the human albino, right?”

“Yes, and Harmony Jones made it known through Red that she’ll be now supplanting Cordelia Chase as that human,” Faith said, her Northron accent noticeably noticeable, suggesting that she was more interested in verifying the truth of this information than her body language suggested. “Do you know anything about it, since you and Cordelia Chase are in something like competition?”

“I buy your merchandise for the glory of Joramy,” Buffy said stiffly, “while Cordelia buys it because she’s a spoilt arrogant not-so-little-“

“We got it, we got it,” Xander hurriedly said, “so you don’t know anything about it?”

“No, but will Willow come here or will I have to meet her later?” Buffy said, ignoring Xander’s tone (with Faith around it was the wisest course to follow, anyways).

“I don’t know,” Xander shrugged, and then turned to his partner. “Faith?”

But the Northron had something else on her mind: making some sort of a signal gesture to Xander she soundlessly slid into the water, leaving just some foam in her wake...and a dark shadow that quickly slid in one direction.

“Anyways,” Xander continued without missing a beat, “why don’t you take a look at some of our current bargains? I’m sure that you would like to get to it first, before the competition does.”

“Fine,” Buffy nodded, as she kept a wary look in the direction in which Faith had left. “Let me see.”



* * *



Willow Rosenberg nervously stood at the water’s edge, feeling very worried – she wasn’t all that sure that she wasn’t making a mistake...but what could she do? Harmony’s voice clearly indicated that she meant business, and since Willow was much lower on the local totem pole than the other girl, she had to comply and tell her Xander-shaped friend about the upcoming changes of his and Faith’s clientele. And since Buffy was also a part of that clientele, it would natural that she would be interested in learning that too.

‘And what part of you having confront Buffy and Faith at the same time did Harmony convey in her interlocution with you?’ some hidden part of Willow whispered to the rest of the girl. ‘Faith could drown you without breaking a sweat if she deemed it necessary, while Buffy could tear you in two if she got angry enough. Couldn’t you have tried to talk to them separately instead of together?..’

“It’s not fair!” Willow suddenly wailed, trying to drown (metaphorically speaking) this inner voice of hers. “The only way this thing would be worse if there were frogs involved!”

Up in the sky, the perambulator felt the air tingle with words of hidden longing. Without understanding – not that it could understand considering that it wasn’t sentient in the conventional meaning of that term – it discharged once again down onto the ground, once again spreading its power around the world, but this time in a more conventional, horizontal ring, as it eventually connected Sunnydale and a small Texan town in its grasp.

“...and as usual, you want coral and pearls, right?” Xander’s voice sounded dimly from beneath the water’s surface, as the bullywug swam towards him and his interlocutrix. “You sure that you won’t like some nice bones for carving as well? I am positive that with some work they could be very tasteful and unusual decorations for your temple-“

“Which would lead to a number of misunderstandings, like the ones Willow’s people are dealing with,” the scorpionfolk replied, her voice distorted even more so than Xander’s. “And besides, speaking of gods, your-“

As the bullywug began to surface, a face appeared in front of her, and a pair of strong arms grasped her neck and pulled her towards the surface.

“Gah!” Xander exclaimed, as he saw Faith breach with her grasped prize. “Faith, that’s just Willow!”

“I can see that now – she shouldn’t try to sneak up on us,” Faith replied with nary regret in her voice. “Hey there, Red.”

The bullywug just glared balefully at the Northron merfolk and swam the rest of the way still convoyed by the other female.

“Why does she call Willow ‘Red’?” Buffy meanwhile asked Xander. “Bullywugs are actually green in colour.”

“Yeah, but it’s all that red ochre that she uses on herself, see?” Xander countered. “Faith’s people put great stock in such things, so-“

“Faith’s people? Since when are you two are separate?”

“Well, for that we would have to be together in the first place, don’t we?” Xander said, with slightly bitter undertone, but at that moment the other two reached the discussing pair and the tone of the discussion changed.

“Hello Willow,” Buffy waved in a friendly way towards her amphibian friend, “sorry about Faith roughhousing you a bit – guess you are getting better at sneaking up.”

Willow glared. As bullywug, she was slower on land than humans or scorpionfolk, while the water the merfolk could outmanoeuvre her, just as Faith did moments before. Consequently, she had to be sneaky, and practiced it whenever she could. Unfortunately, Faith had her own opinions about Willow’s sneakiness and often responded in a certain painful way, which meant that Willow usually got in pain.

“Oh, she is sneaky enough – just not strong enough,” Faith said in an offhand remark, keeping a careful watch at Willow. “Isn’t that right, Red?”

Willow glared at Faith with her bulging eyes, her fleshy but lipless mouth opened slightly in a silent snarl.

Faith matched Willow glare for glare, snarl for snarl, and while her teeth weren’t as numerous as Willow’s, they were also larger and thicker than Willow’s as well.

“Girls, please! Buffy needs to know about Harmony!” Xander quickly spoke up before the posing turned to blows. “Willow, please!”

Only self-control kept Buffy from sighing: it was obvious that after their business with her was done, Willow and Faith will do some underwater combat training exercises; in fact, the reason by Faith called Willow ‘Red’ was not because ochre, but because bullywugs bruised red, and since Faith was the more experienced fighter between the two, obviously Willow turned ended up plenty red and sore after their tussles.

Buffy sighed. Right now it wasn’t the time to muse how the only combat opponents were the worshipers of Set, Darla and Spike, right now there was something more important to learn.

“Yes, Harmony came to us earlier this week, telling us that now her family was in charge, not Cordelia,” Willow spoke in her croaking accent.

“You know, her relatives did come to our temple and talked with mother,” Buffy put her two bits in. “I don’t know what had happened, but they did not come to an agreement. Fascinating.”

“Speak for yourself!” Willow croaked. “We are free people! We do not care what humans do to each other-“

“Willow! This isn’t one of your political rallies and we’re not your compatriots!” Faith snapped again.

“Uh, Buffy, I think you better leave,” Xander said nervously, as Willow and Faith slowly began to slip into the deeper waters¸ apparently intent on solving their differences in a more physical way. “Because unless you want a list of what Harmony had requested that we sell to her-“

“Yes please,” Buffy said, as she gingerly accepted a waterproof scroll container, obviously passed on to Xander and Faith by Willow. “And thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Xander said, as he also slid into the deeper water. “See you at the regular times?”

“We’ll see,” Buffy said, as she – somewhat sadly – skittered back down the corridor into the subterranean domains of the scorpionfolk. She knew that she didn’t fit-in with those aquatic creatures, but this abrupt dismissal...somehow hurt.

Will she ever experience such friendly camaraderie with anyone at all?



* * *



“Miss Chase, this is such an mark of respect that you came down here, to our little temple,” Joyce Summers did her best to smile in human fashion, but her lipless mouth wasn’t really designed for such gesture, and so the results were mixed, to say lightly.

“Don’t mention it,” Cordelia said rather meekly (for her), as she viewed the large tauric female with something like trepidation. “I’m, uh, sure, that you know that this is a business meeting.”

“Of course,” Joyce Summers nodded in agreement, her eyes attentively observing the much-slighter built human. “You want to know on whose side Joramy will be?”

“Yes please,” Cordelia nodded, trying her best not to look intimidated. “It is quite important to us, you know?”

“Of course,” Joyce Summers nodded in her own understanding.

As Joyce Summers and Cordelia Chase were embraced in their ceremony, and Buffy Summers was scuttling up their entrance through the corridor, the perambulator discharged once again, released more of its pent-up energy in a general circular wave, changing the reality even further without even truly understanding what it was doing. (Not that ‘understanding’ was a proper turn, as it was said above, the perambulator was not sentient in the conventional terms to begin with.)

“...Mother! I’m back!” Buffy Summers said loudly, stopping the elder woman in the middle of the monologue. “I brought back what you asked me to, too.”

“Glad to hear it. Cordelia!”

“Yes, ma’am?!” the human acolyte jumped up in a hurry. “What do you want?”

“I want for you to continue to clean the paraphernalia, and not listen-in on our conversations,” Joyce Summers said, clicking her pincers angrily against the floor. “Do you understand my meaning?”

Cordelia understood, and began – or rather re-started - to frantically clean the paraphernalia in question. Joyce, for her part, nodded in satisfaction and trotted off, followed by her elder daughter.

For her part, Cordelia was sure that she would not have risked turning her back to the younger scorpionfolk woman: she had seen some of the glares that Buffy had given her mother even face-to-face, and so she was sure that it would be only a matter of time before Buffy and Joyce came to blows over... any excuse, actually.

Of course, the question was whether Cordelia herself would be around when that happened. As the showdown with their opponents at church of Set loomed ever closer, the tensions in the Summers’ family were rising, as Joyce’s little escapade could testify: the chief priestess of Joramy was usually much more even-tempered than her elder daughter. More fair and reasonable too.

‘And what will happen,’ whispered a tiny, apprehensive voice deep in Cordelia’s mind, ‘when they will lose? The church of Set is stronger, even with Heinrich Nest gone due to Darla’s manipulations of others, including Joyce and Buffy. Face it, Cordy Chase, you’re about screwed!’

As Cordelia was thinking this, she didn’t notice a shadow falling over her. When, however, Buffy Summers asked her about what she was doing, then she came to her senses, sort of.

“I’m, uh, doing your mother’s bidding?” she managed to say weakly, because it seemed to her that Buffy was rather eager to express her displeasure on practically anyone convenient – i.e. Cordelia herself.

“Of course you do,” Buffy echoed, as she towered over the smaller humanoid’s body. “Everybody does, in these parts herein.”

“Even you,” Cordelia muttered, but Buffy ignored her as she abruptly shifted her tauric bulk and skittered off down another corridor to the room of the last Summers’ female – the youngest daughter, Dawn, and this caused Cordelia to gulp, for when mother and both daughters were in one room, the tempers would be running high and fraying quickly, and that made Cordelia’s chances of surviving such an encounter very slim indeed.

Fortunately – but rather unexpectedly – Mrs. Summers re-approached Cordelia once again, sur-prising the young woman once more: she wasn’t used to such attention from her rather monstrous superiors, and she wasn’t so sure that she liked it now either.

“Yes?” she asked in a somewhat squawky voice, aware that she wasn’t sounding as innocent as she would’ve liked to sound.

“Cordelia Chase,” the priestess of Joramy said calmly, “I am giving you the rest of the day off to do as you would like.”

There was a pause as the two just stared at each other. “Say what?” Cordelia said, forgetting all about her respect for the moment.

“I am giving you the rest of the day off,” Joyce Summers said, her voice rising slightly, and her claws clicking against the floor. “I believe that you have heard me the first time already.”

“I have, I have, I am... just overwhelmed – this hasn’t happened to me... ever since I began to work here.”

“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” Joyce Summers said with a wan smile. “Feel free to go now – I hear my daughters are coming to talk to me about our future now.”

Cordelia got the hint, almost tripped over her eagerness to get away, and fled. Mrs. Summers and her children could solve their problems by themselves, she had time to herself at last!

Now, however, how to use it – properly?

Suddenly, Cordelia smiled. She knew of a place where she would not be unwelcome, and where she could spend the rest of her day without getting into trouble or worry about her superiors seeking her out.

Smiling slyly to herself in self-appreciation of wisdom, Cordelia was off and away, ignoring and unheeding the sounds of the quarrel that began to develop behind her, as Joyce Summers and her two daughters went off into in-fighting yet again during those days and nights.



* * *



“I still think, dude, that being musicians in this cantina, which serves humans and non-humans is a bad idea,” Devon muttered to his second-in-command, Oz. “I mean, we do not mix well with either bullywugs or scorpionfolk, and-“

“Neither specie care much for this place,” Oz shrugged. “It’s too humane for them or something like that.”

“Hmm, perhaps, but I still think that-“

Devon never finished expressing his original opinion, for high above him and Oz and the rest of their musician comrades and their working place and the surface of Earth, etc, the perambulator had unleashed its latest discharge, changing imperceptibly the reality starting at the cantina and beyond – all the way beyond the horizon itself.

“...All I’m saying is that is that it suspiciously looks like you wanted to come with me,” Cordelia Chase was saying as she and Buffy Summers approached the doors to the bar. “I mean, I leave-“

“I left because my family had clerical things to discuss and I’m not a part of it,” the scorpionfolk female was saying bitterly, “not because of you.”

“Yes, and the fact that I am currently-“

“This is the fastest way of transportation for both of us: I didn’t want for you to lag behind and get eaten – I would be just blamed for it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous – I wouldn’t have been eaten-“

And then Buffy and Cordelia were inside, with the earlier visitors – mostly lizardfolk, with some humans mixed-in as well – stared at them, as the very human Cordelia rode, albeit side-saddle, the very irate Buffy.

As they came inside, Cordelia nimbly jumped and quickly walked into a nearby booth, followed by Buffy, who still looked plenty angry. That fact – that an angry scorpionfolk is a nasty opponent even at an internal, close-quarters melee – kept the comments to a minimum, which was obviously for the better: Buffy was still subconsciously looking for a fight, and a lizardfolk would’ve been a fine opponent in her view for such a confrontation.

Fortunately for Cordelia at least, very few of the lizardfolk present at the bar thought the same thing about Buffy in return. This was a stroke of good luck, seeing how a fight between the two monstrous humanoids could have left Cordelia the loser instead, and that would be before Mrs. Summers had her ways to deal with Cordelia’s choices of watering holes.

“Cordelia? You’ve pale. Is something the matter?” Buffy spoke up with as much concern as she could muster for her interlocutrix.

“What? Oh no, I’m just thinking privately,” Cordelia said in a dismissive voice, “please never mind me and order something to drink instead.”

“I don’t think that drinking right now is a good state of being for me to be,” Buffy muttered thoughtfully. “Drinking does horrors to my self-control.”

“Then why did you come with me?”

“I didn’t have anywhere less political to go to.”

Cordelia bit her lip. Joramy and Set had split the local scorpionfolk community rather hard, with Joramy being the underdog in the struggle; in fact, at one point it had been so bad, that the Summers’ family had to come here from the big coastal city of Los Angeles to re-establish the worship of Joramy here in the first place. Since then, it was an uphill struggle all the way for Joramy’s congregation in Sunnydale – and that was exactly how Joramy liked her congregation to be: in an uphill struggle to win her favour.

But then again, for Buffy Summers this struggle was probably a lot less rewarding than for some other scorpionfolk. Being somewhat shunned for her smallish stature and semi-albino colouration, the best that she could achieve was a high-ranking position in the temple guard, and that, for an eldest daughter of a high-ranking priestess, was a step down the scorpionfolk social hierarchy.

To make matters worse, Buffy’s younger sister Dawn was perfect from the scorpionfolks’ point of view, even more so than even their mother, and clearly the idea of serving not only under her mother, but under her baby sister as well rankled Buffy something fierce.

For her part, Cordelia knew that she could only partially understand those feelings and attitudes of Buffy’s, but the fact that they were sharing a drinking booth made her feeling like she should attempt a friendly bonding of some sort instead.

“Well, don’t you have some options instead?” she asked bravely, as she took a tentative sip of the local beer – the tastes of the lizardfolk were different from those of humans.

“I could always work for my family under their guidance,” Buffy shrugged, as she looked over her own booze with a sceptical eye, “but my mother probably finally understood that that wouldn’t be such a good idea, especially once she is gone – she and Dawn were discussing it as I left. I daresay after the temple of Set is defeated – again – she’ll send me back to Los Angeles so that I would serve there, away from Dawn and her.”

“And you raise no objections?”

“I am not asked...nor do I have any. Contrary to what Spike or Darla may think, I am not joining them over at the temple of Set. Family differences are one thing, and betrayal is another.”

“So, you’re caught between what your family wants and what you want,” spoke a new voice, as its’ owner – a lizardfolk male – walked over to the two females. “Tough choice, but it looks like you already made it.”

“If you’re talking about me following my mother’s guidance, then yes – she probably does know what the best is for me,” Buffy said with a look that was both flat and frowning. “And moreover, I do not remember asking you for advice...or even for an introduction.”

“The name’s Oz... and I just wanted to tell you that if you ever want to have a career move, we here are always looking for a bouncer,” the male lizardfolk said cheerfully.

“Gee, it sounds so better than serving in Joramy’s temple,” Buffy said with a wan smile even for a scorpionfolk.

Oz shrugged, clearly not offended by Buffy’s reaction. “Nothing offered, nothing gained,” he shrugged. “Still, I just wanted you to know about the offer,” he said before leaving.

As the lizardfolk male departed, Buffy and Cordelia exchanged a look.

“You aren’t really thinking of following on the offer, are you?” Cordelia asked.

Buffy didn’t say anything – but she did look rather wistful. This just made Cordelia more wor-ried about her own future – but there was nothing that she could currently do.



* * *

It was getting dark. The sun was setting, and as it did, its’ fading light had obscured the departure of the perambulator, which, as it left, unleashed one last discharge, mixing it with the sun’s fading illumination. Thus the world had changed one last time without anyone being any wiser at all.

Certainly not Amy Madison the phanaton nor the rest of her colony, as the small, monkey-like critters carefully observed the proceedings of the bigger beings down below on the ground. A pair of smaller scorpionfolk (still more than twice as large as Amy or her mother or the rest of the phanatons) were fighting each other ritually, one using a spear, the other a quarterstaff. Several other of these large creatures were obviously cheering on either of the combatants, as the two – scorpionfolk being what they are – went at each other not only with their weapons, but also with their claws and stingers as well.

Still, the spear-wielding combatant was clearly the one with advantage, as her weapon allowed make not just bludgeoning blows, but slashing and piercing ones as well. When Amy pointed this to her mother, however, the older phanaton just scoffed and told Amy just to wait and see and not make any predictions before hand, especially since she still lived with her mother and- Amy just ignored her mother beyond that point: Catherine did like to ramble on whenever she got her wind.

Down on the ground, other beings had joined the scorpionfolk – humans and lizardfolk as expected, but also several bullywugs, who were not. Most of them were on the quarterstaff-wielder’s side, which wasn’t surprising, again: the haughty and too-powerful for its’ own good church of Set had alienated too many of the locals, especially of the non-scorpionfolk variety, and it was from that church that the spear-wielding combatant came...

As Amy Madison mused about these politics and stayed out of sight from the ground-based audience (the lizardfolk especially could hunt phanatons on occasion), there came a shift in the struggle, as the quarterstaff-wielder managed a rather dazzling manoeuvre to knock the spear from its’ adversary’s hands and then hit the other monstrous humanoid on the head, knocking it unconscious – the bigger (and better) part of the crowd went wild with joy or enthusiasm at that sight, the rest beginning to slink away defeated.

“It’s over now,” Catherine Madison told Amy. “The loser will now be left to those terrible lizards, great dinosaurs, to be devoured, and unless we want to get caught in that feeding frenzy, we better leave for the night.”

And so the clan of the small creatures left the ‘back seats’ of the fighting arena, as cries of vic-tory and defeat still echoed in their ears...



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