So, of course at this hour, when insomniacing, the only thing to do is pretend to be Anne McCaffrey. I mean: it just wouldn't make sense to do anything else. Certainly not start texting some ex-House Guest and tell her I miss her. Because I have no desire to do that. Just so we're clear.
Anne McCaffrey was a fantasy writer, and I'm reading her trilogy The Dragonriders of Pern because all my kids are reading Eragon, which is supposed to be derivative of McCaffrey. Only I don't think the dude who wrote Eragon did a very good job of imitating her. This is where I come in, providing a more acceptable (if brief) imitation. At 4:00 am, no less! Am I a hero, or what? I don't know what you people were using for Anne McCaffrey poser scenes before, but I know you're sure glad I showed up to fix it.
McCaffrey did this neat future/past thing, in which humanity on Earth is hundreds of years in the future and has launched a colony in a different galaxy. The genius part is that the people who are in the colony slowly lose touch and lose their technology and, over the course of many generations, forget they came from Earth, forget how they got there, forget all sorts of shit, until they are running around with swords instead of lasers, and mythologizing all the science. I don't know what happens to their space ship. Erosion, perhaps? Or maybe they just think it's some weird kind of rock.
The people on Pern also keep forgetting this thing that happens every 200-400 years and almost destroys all life on the planet (because that's not important to remember). They write ballads and stories and shit to try to remember it and how to protect themselves, but as more time passes, they begin to think their crazy grandmas made the whole thing up. This happens again and again.
Anne McCaffrey evidently thought we are a forgetful race, would lose our heads if not attached to bodies, etc. Also, she used IKEA names, and there is lots of political intrigue that makes no sense, and the whole thing reads like a Harlequin romance. Here is my version:
Bronsk evaluated T'haan's hold, deciding quickly that its defenses were significant. No matter. It would all be solved with a bit of dragon fire. The time was not right for such obvious conflict, though. T'haan had not yet insulted Bronsk outright.
"Your east-facing gardens are a violation of the traditions," Bronsk said.
His eyes flashed dangerously.
"I see," T'haan's expression was unreadable. He turned his face to the sky.
Bronsk chaffed at the scandalous insult, his hand floating towards his scabbard. There was a hush between the men, for a moment.
"Your women are quite beautiful," Bronsk continued. "But they speak as if they have been made meek."
T'haan bristled at this assessment. "I am sorry they are not to your liking," he countered. "Please, stay until the next moon phase, and we will make ourselves more hospitable to you."
"Thank you," replied Bronsk, impulsively deciding to call T'haan's bluff, "I will." He smiled amiably.
T'haan colored. He led Bronsk back into the hold, his steps pounding out his rage.
When they arrived at the chambers where Bronsk would stay, C'fir arrived, whispering something to T'haan.
"Please excuse us," said T'haan. "We hope you enjoy the sunset." He turned to go.
Bronsk was appalled at this egregious insult. Enjoy the sunset, indeed! His temper surged. He knew, in that instant, that waiting longer would be foolish. He drew his sword. C'fir leapt back, and the other two began to circle each other. T'haan was larger than Bronsk, and struck first. But Bronsk had been more thoroughly insulted, and his fury leant him strength.
And so on. . .