Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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Maria doesn’t bother charging the gun. She just fires it, again and again. The red light blinks infra-red, then ultra-red, then finally a furious gun-wroth carmine. Her umbrella fumes with its agonies. A beeping sound arises from it, escalating ever higher in pitch until it is an unholy shriek to counterbalance the spiritual glory of the holy setting of the gun.

“No!” cries Maria. “No! I will not! I will not be the space princess assassin that never killed anybody! Die! Die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, why. won’t. anybody. Ever. Just. Die?”

“There were all those people in the other houses in our neighborhood!” says Tom.

“It’s all your fault, Jane!” cries Maria. “They will come for you. They will kill you. They will raze your world, Jane! The Fan Hoeng will destroy you. You, you, you. This world, all to end you!”

She is howling. She is broken. She sinks to her knees. She holds her umbrella up above her head. Then, even though it is indoors, she opens it.

The gun explodes.

There is dust, and there is rubble, and the ceiling falls.

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