Under the Steel Web

A Rush To Trade

Things are given, things are gotten

As they enter, Zulema’s people have a thing for them. A very valuable thing. It is a laser rifle, long and nearly perfect, but not working. Valentine trades for it, giving up all their spears and food in exchange for the massive thing. After, they head to Bernard’s chambers rapidly, and they find him cranky and ill prepared for that they are very early indeed. He insists they help him, a few to sort books, and Shula to use the think machine she has borrowed to scan those pages of books not intrinsically valuable enough to carry. Victor says he will hurry to make trades with the Huli Hulis, who he has gathered things for; and to the Steel Priests, who he alone is still eager to trade with. So off he goes, and comes to the Huli Hulis who are willing enough still to trade, for darts, and give him three vials of different toxins, each made of strange and uncertain fungi. And then he comes to the gates of the Steel Priests’ enclave, and enters, and is taken to Sister Steel. But it is obvious, quickly, that she does not care for the trading; she is seeking something from Victor, and perhaps using psychic powers to get it. And there is no real trade, and Victor is dismissed. While he is trading, there is a knock at Bernard’s door, and there is Sister Steel, perhaps, with some of her guards, and there is a fight, a terrible wounding fight for some of them, but she is driven off with a few of her followers, and then Victor returns, and then they realize they must soon leave, or there will be more trouble soon.


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