Bruna has gone. She was but an artefact, of my devising, although she would have hated to be termed so. Somebody, carried on the wind, is reading us an interminable poem, called ‘Michael Scott, the Magician’. I am not sure I can stand it. It appears to be in a vogue, which was stable on the planet X-Zog for about thirteen years, known as alt-antique-mod, which was rapidly succeeded by post-alt-antique-mod and therefore sank without trace. Anyway, it cannot seduce me from my terrors (they are, delightfully, all my own). Down the side of this endless gorge which we now approach, there seem to be some beasts descending, and as in all such cases, there are decisions to be taken. Shall I attempt to speak to them (Fabor tried that approach, and his bloodied bones remain still, as far as I am aware, on the mountainside); shall I suggest to them that I might shoot them with my toy rifle; or shall I invoke the powers of my mighty fathers, unknown of course to you, and dislodge the very stones upon which they prance?

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