Slizbotron sat on the edge of the limitless veldt, his lizardine head sunk into his serpent hands. He knew that he would never be king. All of his bold questing and slick dealing had come to nothing, and his brother had finally cast him out as if he were some rebellious pauper with non-robotic legs.
But his legs were definitely robotic. The powerful, articulate, shining legs that marked the truest nobles, the legs that of all his brood of dozens only Slizbotron had been gifted with. The Plasticmen had chosen him, and him alone, as destined to lead his people to a new age of glory.
But now nothing could stand in the way of the rotten Zasbent, who sat the honeyed throne of Gorm in all his misshapen horror, terrorizing the people, taxing the eggs to the point of ruin, taking as fast as he could in what he must have known would be a very short reign.
Certainy, even if Slizbotron would never mount the Mammal Stairs to give to the people benevolently of the gifts so rightly spotted in the cresch, neither would the proud Narezeen suffer a wet monster like Zasbent to long exploit them. Not even if he had, in the depths of their broodfather’s weakened sickness, connived to change his destiny.
For Slizbotron alone knew that Zasbent had taken the skin of Panther Sequoia, and now, on nights when it pleased him, descended the Mammal Stairs and donned the skin. Then, in the darkness, he operated in the guise of the kingdom’s official punishment rapist, the most vile, hated, and feared creature in the land.
But even when the cloud-breathers did descend to rescue their children from themselves, it would not be for them to restore Slizbotron to his place. He was, he knew, truly lost. But still, he would fight.