10 ii) “This does not appear to be working,” Cang observes

“This does not appear to be working,” Cang observes. Shyan twitches on the floor.

“She’s got a mighty battle in her head,” Old Mossy replies.

Catching Abia’s eye, Cang says, “And have you put it there?”

“Golly, of course not. Haven’t got that kinda tech,” says Old Mossy.

In Waiiaz, Shyan completes a beautiful arcing Mesis Cut with her fists. The man in the linen demands another, then another. On the third, her foot skids in her pivot, and the sharp sound of stone on stone cuts through the jungle clearing. As birds fill the air, fleeing their trees, Shyan takes a humbled stance. “I apologize, Master Davit,” she says, her chin on her chest. It takes all she has to will her hands out of the fists she’s made.

Davit squares up against Shyan, his eyes cold. His voice a command, he says, “Strike.”

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