Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 3 –

– 3 –

“I can’t believe this,” says Lucy.

She walks back towards the dormitory. The underground fighting tournament of the Lethal Magnet School for Wayward Youth, where secondary school students do their level best to be badass, has not impressed her.

“Hand puppets,” she says. “Hand puppets. Prophets who can’t even see their own blindness. Four-armed apes. And you.”

She glares at Emily.

“Why are we even walking together?” she says. “You are a stupid human.”

Emily shrugs.

“I like to dance,” she says.

“You are a terrible dancer,” says Lucy.

“You’ve never seen me,” says Emily.

“It is transparently obvious,” Lucy says. She waves a hand dismissively. “Git. Go. I am going to the Konami Thunder Dance club to work off tension. I do not want it polluted with your human cooties.”

“That would probably be why we’re walking together,” says Emily. “I’m not interested in Max, you know.”

“Neither am I!”

“I just thought I’d say,” Emily says. “After.”

“I am the evil prophet of space.”


“Space does not like you,” says Lucy. “You people. You look outwards towards space. You make puppy-dog faces. You project onto space with your purposes and expectations. Space is confused and nauseated by this! Space is not your frontier. It is a cold bleak void! You need to stop hoping and dreaming towards it. So I am here to kill everyone in hopes that this will make you stop!

“I see,” says Emily.


“Well,” says Emily, “you’re going to have some trouble with that, on account of I bet I can take you.”

“Bah,” says Lucy. “I was not fighting seriously.”

Emily squints at her.

Then she giggles.

“I’m not into girls, either,” Emily says.

Lucy gives her a horrid look.

“Fine,” she says. “I like Max. Stop squinting and giggling at me like that. He will be the last to die. Or possibly the first to die. I cannot decide what order humanity should be killed in. You are all too irrelevant. But seriously, hand puppets? He is a disappointment.”

“He’d like you more if you didn’t kill humanity,” teases Emily.

“You seem markedly more equable about this than I expected,” Lucy admits.

Emily grins at her.

“Here,” she says. She pushes open the door to the Konami Thunder Dance club. “Let me show you what a svart-elf’s god-daughter can do.”

“You’re not a god,” says Lucy, uncertainly; only —

In those days, gods walked among us, courtesy of the Konami Corporation; and Emily, it turns out, over the course of their dueling, is very good indeed.

Lucy has tried to dance an expression of it —

Lucy has tried to dance before Emily the purity of it; the awfulness of it: the full dread hopelessness and pointlessness of humanity in the face of the wicked god of space. But woven through Emily’s music — flowing through her Symbols, through her dancing, in it and within it —

There are magical jaguars falling, endlessly, around the Earth.

Lucy can’t even figure out how that could apply, how that could be an answer; but it pierces through the wall of despair she tries to build for the other girl anyway. It shatters it, it circles around it; and in the end, Lucy’s thunder dance stands at 95% completion, and Emily’s gets a perfect score.



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