“What I want to know is—”
“—who thought this was a good idea?”
Gil winced as the klaxon blared. “Well, given the -ah- intense emotion, and the fact that this town’s had enough battle…”
“PENALTY FOR KNIFE THROWING!”
“…I thought this was slightly more rational.”
One competitor had not bothered attempting to sabotage the competition. She had knives flying, all right, but they were chopping, slicing, dicing, julienne-ing and otherwise preparing food. The grim determination in her face spoke a lot more than any of the commentators did.
Yes. Sara had a lot to hide…
“After how much ‘special’ coffee?”
Gil glared at Tarvek. “I haven’t touched the stuff. But I am keeping some in reserve for… ‘special’ guests.”
“You mean the ones that argue too much and won’t listen to a sane word?”
“Cruel beyond reason? Strange and unusual? Poetic?”
The watching crowd oohed as several pans caught artfully on fire.
“I thought so, too. They’re much more willing to at least listen.”
“Pity your little green girlfriend had her biochemistry altered by a madman,” Tarvek noted. “You could have made her… talkative.”
“Have you seen her on normal coffee? Or even substandard coffee?”
“Well, she’s what happened to the Gallery of Misery after one small cup.”
“Needless to say, I forbade further experiments in that field.”
“Five!” the audience cheered. “Four! Three! Two!”
All competitors stepped back from their trolleys.
“Why are the judges sweating?” asked Tarvek.
“I told them it was this or the coffee. And when a Jaegermonster is one of the competitors…”
“Ah. Of course.” Jaegermonsters not only ate things that could fell a mere mortal, but relished them as delicacies. It added a certain… edge… to the competition.