Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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A long time ago, when evaluating the Earth, the space princess assassin Lucy Souvante identified two key threats; two key opponents — two individuals capable of playing rock-paper-scissors at her level. By the time she’d got there, one of their signatures was gone, missing, disassembled and put into boxes; she could not track it down or even identify it.

The other was a goat, crawling its way upwards from under the surfaces of things.

It was no ordinary goat. It was, rather, an extremely sharp goat. In a way, it had started it all.

It has spent millennia sharpening itself.

Even its softest, most gentle of sentiments could slice through a diamond now; its fuzzy underbelly can split atoms, or conceptions, or light; the touch of its teeth can kill empires: they are singularities, and what knows them is never thereafter the same.

Even so —

It used to be kind of a dull goat.

It used to be the kind of goat that would stick around for a fight with Jeremiah Clean, thinking, if it were just sharp enough, it could cut him, and then it could move on to sharpen itself against the continents, the oceans, and the atmosphere, before finally slashing up the screaming fire of the mortal sun.

It isn’t that dull. Not now.

It has become a goat sharp enough to recognize a losing battle when it sees one.

It is sharp enough to see Jeremiah Clean, and be sore afraid.

So it cuts its way down an alley into freedom.

When nobody is looking, it slips the city. It shatters into images. It clip-clops away to the south, to the wastes of Antarctica, where it imagines it will fatten and wait.

It will deal with the janitor when it is a little bit sharper, it thinks, or he a bit duller.

When the world’s just a little less clean.



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