The wadi, only a few moments before a bustling scene of packing up and tidying, was now a howling, shrieking sea of warbirds hissing and squawking, running and trampling on and over anything in their way as they jumped, and snapped at the apparition over their straining beaks. Chishiki for the first time in hundreds of thousands of years, had a warbird that flew.
“Are you endarkened joking? Dag get your enlightened bird under ferfekken control!” “DAG! OW!” “SILLY GET DOWN STOP IT SIT SIT!” “oWwwwwwww” “Rawk rawk rawk RAWK RAWK rawk SKREEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee!”
The stick had responded to Silly's tug on the guideloop and, untied by the bird pulling at its tether, soared almost straight up into the air.
Silly had crouched, clinging hard to the stick but without letting go the loop, and turned as he tried to look at Dag roaring towards her. She flung herself flat and her warbird on the loose broomstick had soared over her and over the edge of the cliff.
The warbird could have frozen up entirely but a heartbeat later screeched wildly around the beakful of guideloop and began madly flapping useless wings and twisting his head one way, then the other, as Dag scrambled to her feet, yelling after her warbird.
“Silly! Silly! Come!”
But Sillybird had seen the rest of the cuddle flock and clearly realized that somehow he'd learned to fly and began swooping and soaring in circles over their heads.
“Fedarkened! Draculi me and the bird you rode in on!” Sander's bellow was enough to almost snap the flock out of its chase fixation. “Someone get a rope on that thing!”
People ran out shaking coils of rope loose but couldn't stop to brace and throw them having to keep diving out the way so they didn't get trampled.
“Ilax!” Kyrus and Ky came tearing down the valley on foot from Bird Barn One and skidded to a stop. Werfas popped up on the cliff face a hundred feet down from Dag, next to the warmaster.
“Kyrus!” Ilax mimed spinning a rope over his head and suddenly, out of code, a chain appeared, materializing in his hands as he mandered it into existance, growing longer and longer. On the ground below the Emperor matched him. And as Silly wheeled around to buzz the flock again, ran right between the flying chains that both snapped aroundthe flying stick. Ilax's around the body of the stick itself and Kyrus's around one of the stabilizers.
Other zon and the zardukar added their mandered ropes and Silly began hopping and screaming on the captured stick.
Werfas drew water away from the burning end and as the fire died it began to sink down toward the ground, even though Silly flapped harder and harder with his stubby wings, and pulled hard enough on the loop that he bit right through the mechanism.
That killed the power flowing over it and Ky reached into code to help, calling up a weaving that settled over Silly's head to keep him from moving as the dead stick fell the last few feet and broke with a crack.
Silly crouched in the wreckage, making breathless meeping noises as the rest of the flock came thundering up to beak the damaged thing they'd been chasing. Dag slide down the last of the rope ladder and ran over to her bird.
Kyrus shook his chain, as Ilax did, and both tools vanished back into code. He blew a kiss at his husband on the top of the cliff before he turned slowly to the absolutely breathless and wordless Hive Lord who was supposedly training this flock. “It seems to me, Sander,” he said with a suspiciously deadpan face. “That you aren't going to have a huge problem getting them to fly.”