Friday February 22, 2002
Book 2: The Teraport Wars — Quest for Second Sight
Note: Ornithologists might be hard-pressed to positively classify any of Ghanj-Rho's harblewheezers (the common harblewheezer, duffle-downy harblewheezer, eastern harblewheezer, puck-freckled harblewheezer, or the elusive slandy-juicing harblewheezer) as 'birds,' per se, given their complete lack of that peculiar cellular buckling structure that gives rise to proper feathers. Even the duffle-downy harblewheezer is not so much 'downy' as it is 'hairy.' Still, as far as most of the rest of us are concerned, they lay eggs, fly, and defecate whilst airborne, so birds they must be.

Harblewheezer eggs have a curious protein lining inside the shell that serves to make the harblewheezer hatchling quite smelly and offensive to the taste of even the most indiscriminating of Ghanj-Rho's omnivores (that means amorphs). Thus, having a broken harblewheezer egg in your mouth would lead you to hurl pretty much involuntarily (assuming you were an amorph, which some readers have expressed a wish to be [and this phenomenon continues to baffle the sociology staff here at Schlock Mercenary]). Yuck.

It's interesting to note that the names for the various (we'll go ahead and call them) birds of Ghanj-Rho have the same sort of absurd, 'did-you-sound-that-out-before-writing-it-down' naming as birds elsewhere in the galaxy (hairy woodpecker, or tufted titmouse, anyone?). This is easily explained. The sort of people who go out of their way to spot birds and draw pictures of them in fieldbooks are just plain bent.


Kevyn: I see the problem. It's got an extra hole in it.
Schlock: I had it in my mouth during the live-fire games. It must have gotten hit.
Frapp: That gives me a great idea!
Frapp: We each swallow three rotten Harblewheezer eggs, and then we play wargames. When someone gets a 'vital' hit, the shell will break and he'll start spitting out harbleyolk.
Schlock: Oooh, fun!
Kevyn: Awright, you two. Stay focused.