1. Strength And Weakness
Every strength is a weakness, and every weakness is a strength. And when the Strong start smashing each other's strength ... the Weak may turn out to be, instead, the Wise.
The strangers landed just before dawn, incinerating a good li of bottom land in the process. Their machines were already busily digging up the topsoil. The Old One watched, squinting into the morning sun. He sighed, hitched up his saffron robes and started walking down toward the strangers.
Griffin turned, not trying to conceal his excitement. "You're the linguist, see what you can get out of him."
"I might," Kung Su ventured sourly, "if you'd go weed the air machine or something. This is going to be hard enough without a lot of kibitzers cramping my style and scaring Old Pruneface here half to death."
"I see your point," Griffin answered. He turned and started back toward the diggings. "Let me know it you make any progress with the local language." He stopped whistling and strove to control the jauntiness of his gait. Must be the lower gravity and extra oxygen, he thought. I haven't bounced along like this for thirty years. Nice place to settle down if some promoter doesn't turn it into an old folks home. He sighed and glanced over the diggings. The rammed earth walls were nearly obliterated by now. Nothing lost, he reflected. It's all on tape and they're no different from a thousand others at any rate.