Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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. . .

. . .

Tom is weak, but he recovers.

“I’d thought I’d cut off half your face,” Bertram says, “and put it over mine. But it turns out I’m almost as bad at being awful as I am at being good.”

“That’s amazing, sir,” says Tom. “You must’ve shot all snake-eyes in the great craps game that is life.”

“Ha,” says Bertram. He shrugs it off. He goes out to stare at the endless surf.

The NHS does not cover hospital bills for recuperation facilities on private islands, even for complications arising from having ophidian DNA unexpectedly swiffed off of one’s genome or having half of a golden face. Eventually the debts become staggering and a coalition of savory health care interests and unsavory criminal bank-lords confiscate Bertram’s island with a mercenary fleet.

“You’re welcome to stay, Tom,” says chief doctor Miriam Clepper, but he shakes his head.

“You’d just run endless experiments on me to better understand the nature of humanity’s ophidian successors,” sighs Tom.

“That’s so,” admits Dr. Clepper. “But we’ve got cake!”



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