Nathan Can’t blame that on me. I do NOT do heat. Storms I’ll own up to, but not heat.
Catherine I can vouch for that. He’s a huge baby when it comes to being hot.
Nathan Hey! I am not! Nobody likes to be hot.
Alech I don’t mind the heat. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if you didn’t get yourself all worked up about it. That's half your problem, right there.
Nathan No one asked you, spark!
Alech You say that like it’s bad thing. How’d you like me show you why?
Catherine Now Alech, Nathan is simply jealous that you are naturally immune to heat.
Nathan I am not!!!
Alech And why wouldn’t he be? There’s so much here to be jealous of.
Catherine That’s so true. You can’t blame him for wishing he, too, was a spark.
Nathan Oh, gah!!! Stop it already, you’re making me sick.
There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. ~Washington Irving
Simon Now that had to be written by a spark.
Alech Why is that? Some people appreciate sparks for the wonderful folks they are.
Simon Yeah, sparks do.
Alech You tryin’ to pick a fight, mutt boy? Allow me to remind you that you have no appreciable skills that would gain you a victory against the likes of me.
Simon I don’t speak to dogs!
Nathan Now Simon, we’ve already established that dogs don’t speak to you. Get it right.
Alech Why would that be?
Nathan They have too much self respect.
Simon Who asked you Nathan?
Nathan Say thank you, Simon.
Simon What? Thank you for insulting me?
Nathan No, ‘thank you’ because Alech just went away without kicking your butt. When are you ever going to learn not to pick fights that are bigger than you are? Baiting sparks, of all people! Are you insane?
Simon I could’a taken him!
Alech Excuse me?
Nathan Oh, please, do go on. I’m dying to hear this.
Alech More to the point, he’s gonna be dying to in a minute.
Cullen Can you do that?
Nathan Not in my realm – no, you can’t.
Cullen Aw! C'mon Nathan! I've never hit anyone with a brick before. I'd like to see what it does - you know, a sort of healing experiment.
Nathan Oh, you've seen plenty of people who've been hit in the head with a rock! Extrapolate!
Cullen Do you even know what that word means? A brick is not a rock. Different mass, different continuity to the edges... c'mon, be my guinea pig?
Cullen Fine. Maybe we can get Simon to do it. He'll do just about anything after a soak at the pub.
Cristov Don’t you dare, Cullen Dahrvi! I’m just in the mood to shear you down to the collarbone!
Cullen Sheesh! It was a simple question. No need to snap.
Cristov Yes, well, questions of that nature are out of bounds. So don’t start anything or you’ll be sorry.
Cullen Right! Got it… sheesh. Crabby old goat.
Cristov What was that?!?!
Cullen I didn’t say anything! Miserable old crank.
Cristov I heard that, you little dafnit! How would you like…
Nathan So Cris! Weren’t you researching the cause and effect of magick transfer in Coubirigh clans? I believe you were very close to an interesting breakthrough last time we spoke. How’s that going? Beat it, Cullen.
Cristov Hmm… well, it turned out to be another dead end. They don’t group in the way I thought they might. They’re primarily solitary – if I could just catch the family unit during the nesting period... but they are so secretive! I just can’t manage it! It’s maddening!
Nathan Indeed! But you’ve learned more about them than anyone alive. I have every confidence you’ll find a family of them to observe quite soon. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you!
Cristov Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, Nathan.
Nathan I haven’t the faintest idea what you could mean, sir.
Thor I like ants. Ants is grand.
Simon Ants are stupid.
Thor They are not! How are ants stupid?
Simon Work, work, work! That’s all they ever do! Do they enjoy it? No, all they do is work!
Thor How do you know?
Simon How do I know? Really? Anyways, you never see ants enjoying a good pint in the pub, do you?
Cullen I certainly hope not.
Thor You remind me of that old story about the grasshopper and the ants. You’re the grasshopper.
Simon What’s that supposed to mean?
Cullen It means you’re all green and weird looking!
Nathan No, it means he can be the plague of your existence.
Jahx It means he jumps in your hair and annoys you!
Nathan That, too!
Simon What’d I ever do to you, Jahx?
Thor It means, if you’d all shut up a minute, that he’s lazy and expects everyone else to do all the work – that the world owes him. That’s how the grasshopper in the story was.
Nathan Excellent analogy, Thor. Well done!
Thor Ala-what? Is that a insect?
Cullen Yes, Thor. And it looks exactly like Simon.
Simon OK, you all can shut up now.
Jahx Is it too late to add shrill, irritating chirping to the list?
Nathan Almost forgot that! Well-spotted Jahx!
Simon That's a cricket, dafnit!
Nathan Close enough.
Simon You’re not funny, you know.
Cullen I thought it was very funny.
Nathan Hello Jahx. What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
Jahx I’m not sure what I saw.
Cullen Oh? What did it look like?
Jahx (shaking head) Uh, it looked like Rinda and Catherine and some of the other girls… sort of. I don’t know; they had sticks in their hair and this… this gook all over them. And they screeched at me like harpies when they saw me and drove me out with sticks and rocks!
Nathan Oh, that. Yes, best not to venture too close to those goings on. A man could get damaged.
Jahx What are they doing?
Nathan Trust me, you don’t want to know.
Jahx I think I do! I’m not sure if I approve of Arinda participating in such activities.
Cullen Like you have a say in the matter… HA!
Jahx I beg your pardon?
Nathan Cullen is right – you don’t have a say. They’ll beat you till you’re unrecognizable if you try to interfere.
Cullen Or worse – they’ll do it to you.
Jahx But what are they doing?
Nathan Honestly, Jahx! Why do you insist on knowing? Let the girls be.
Cullen Yes, that’s girl stuff. You stick to guy stuff like… oh, I don’t know… digging holes and building stuff with stones and beating sticks on the ground, and the like.
Nathan Really? Moron. Jahx, all they’re doing is beauty stuff, like it makes any difference.
Cullen As if any of them have aged a day since their crossing anyway…
Nathan I know, right? But the weirder it is, the more they swear it takes years off of ‘em, and makes them irresistible.
Cullen Funny, I have no problem whatsoever resisting a woman covered in mud.
Jahx You should mention that to Gwenn. She was there.
Cullen She already knows. Believe me.
Nathan Kinda makes you wish you had plenty of mud on hand, huh?
Cullen You can say that again, brother!