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Rikki

Rikki nearly skis to keep her balance on the heaving carpets, but somehow the Hioliphant stays gyroscopically still: this strange moving tent orbits around him.

“I got this far,” she says, trying and failing to keep the yelps out of her voice. “You know that means I’m worth hearing.”

A brazier crashes down, then rights itself, ridiculously. The Hioliphant keeps writing.

Rikki gambles: “A name,” she says, “Rakshasa’s mistress.”

The floor’s suddenly still, and the Hioliphant’s brown eyes are on her, big and impenetrable. Rikki can see the sharp triceratops shadows outside. She licks her lips: the ride’s not over yet.

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