The place claims to be a dragon breeding facility. While large dinosaurians might not be the first line of defence in such a place, using specimens that have been miniaturized by neutering, and, above all, the mutated chickens that they call the Dreagancirc - that shows an almost alien degree of lateral thinking.
That scrub could hide almost anything, in places.
There have been a number of confirmed casualties; the exact figure escapes me. However, at the moment a considerable number are missing in action. I would not have expected the smaller HSTs to leave no traces of their victims.
However, I have had an unpleasant journey at the end of a very long day. I should sleep while my body clock adapts.
I suppose I cannot avoid recording further. There must be some way to object to a device that records one's subvocalizations, in effect a thought-recorder, being trialed on an officer. The Vclar may well be unconstitutional, although it least it does not broadcast what it records - or so I was told.
The thing is so small that it is supposedly lodged in or near the ear, touching the jaw muscles and recording only those thoughts that are subvocalised. I assume that recorded material is collected when it is removed. I cannot ascertain precisely where it is and cannot quite perceive how something so small could store data.
Recorded material; I don't like any part of this mission. I don't like the damned Vclar, I don't like the place. I don't like their wretched chickenoids - they are not chickens; the brute that was in our custody was tested as comprehensibly as possible. "Dalma Dreagancirc" laid no eggs before it escaped. Normal hens lay eggs every day or two, and output appears to depend on diet rather than fertilisation.
That creature actually had higher semi-reptilian traces in its DNA than any recorded bird and a higher level of testosterone than usual in any female creature. (Note to self; do chickens undergo menopause?)
For some reason I keep remembering the characteristics of a cockatrice. They are supposed to be born of an egg laid by a rooster, a cock chicken, they are then incubated by a snake in the warmth of a dunghill. (Some books state that they are pathologically aggressive. I remember joking that, if so, they are probably motivated to attack by envy and embarrassment, unless their aggression is caused by being brought up in such a very dysfunctional family.)
Why would they be aggressive? In point of fact, since their gaze turns the creatures observed to stone the process would seem to be involuntary.
Interesting - they would have to be vegetarian, of course. (Fruit? Photosynthesis?? Or .. wait a minute; would they have digestive processes that break down stone into digestible forms?) How would they breed? Perhaps they can only be produced by the rooster-egg method, but why would a snake incubate ...? Snakes eat eggs. Snakes eat any eggs but their own ...
I heard that hinnies are useless, but mules ... Miles to go before I .... can hardly ask the soldiers to look for statues ... bad dreams lead to a hard bed ... no ... made it and must lie in ... officers lie... duty ... is ... a hard bed ... Pillow has lumps...
Dragons The barriers between the worlds have twisted/lifted/fallen/drifted/turned diffuse and turned dreams loose and fever dreams and so it seems and ...
Dragons are in the stories of almost every culture; their telepathic abilities are well known - notorious in some cases.
Nevertheless, some communications require a carrier wave, and the static set up by the Vclar was annoying to most of the dragons within range. That was easily solved by a pulse of energy that shifted the wavelength to a band that they could hear only by choice (and the Vclar ceased to broadcast to any human agency.)
However, minds still listened. Only the Rock Dragons could coexist with cockatrice and now this strange message suggested that even they could be at risk. (There had always been draconic legends about the origins of the Rocks. Just legends. Stories that hatchlings used to frighten each other - but even the heaviest of the Rockers had wings, and some dreamed of flying and grieved their loss of flight.)
Humans dread monsters under the bed. Hatchlings have ... other fears. Some of the dragons were listening to the Vclar with increasing attention.