ii) Shyan, back on her feet

Shyan, back on her feet, hobbles over to the prone snake. It seethes at her, tries to thrash its bulk, but its core temperature has been dropped such that the enormous creature can scarcely move at all.

“We need your tear duct,” Shyan says.

The ugobok murmurs around the rope that holds its jaws shut. It sounds like “meany mouses.”

Cang shakes his head. “Nothing cruel about it. We have need of a chemical produced inside your skull.”

Fassn listlessly kicks the flared head. “If you’d just give it to us we’d be on our way.”

“I fear we will have to cut it out,” Cang says.

The ugobok’s big eyes stare up at them. They seem almost ready to well with tears. Its frigid body has slowed to a gentle, pathetic squirm.

“I’m starting to feel a little bad about this,” Shyan says.

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