By Dave Freer, Eric Flint

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The juicy morsel was instantly plucked therefrom and began disappearing into Private Ariel’s maw. ” Fitzhugh heaved a small sigh. “But what’s below him is worse. Blutin’s a bumbling idiot whose rich relations put him here to get him out of the way, back when there was no reason for an army. ” The last term came with a ferocious scowl. General Cartup-Kreutzler was Conrad Fitzhugh’s ultimate bête noire, in a menagerie of sooty beasts. Ariel belched and began scattering quail bones on the polished floor.

What had once been fertile fields dotted by the occasional farmhouse had been completely ravaged—first by the fighting, and then by the typical Magh’ methods of expanding their scorpiaries. The party of Maggots that were closest and had to be ambushed were foragers or scouts. Probably scouts, because there was nothing left to forage. This area had already seen intensive work from the foragers. Not so much as one blade of grass survived. The Magh’ always removed any organic material and stowed it somewhere in their scorpiaries.

These tunnels! ” “Fluff! ” he asked. She was at a loss. “I suppose . . ” “The Maggots might spot that. I scratched little marks. I just found them hard to . . ” “Did . . ” There was pride in the galago’s reply. ” “And a drink . . ” The galago was silent for a few moments. “Yes. Although . . short of bringing it in my cheeks . . ” Chapter 8: We who are about to die give you the finger. NATURALLY, MAGGOT-MOUND construction played havoc with existing watercourses. And stripping the ground bare did not make for gentle runoff.

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