March 28th, 2020

_Warrior at Large_ Weddings in the Great Forest

Chapter Six

Wedding Bells

1 Rajab 1421yp

A long row of over-sized fence posts. Very over-sized. Paired tree trunks, standing erect on the rolling plain. Each double post far enough apart that a third tree trunk laid flat would fit between them, and reach the next double post, to fit solidly between them. Every other pair of double posts with the boles on the ground, then, in between, linking them to the next set, a tree trunk suspended, resting on those first ground trunks. The first two layers of what they hoped would be a brutally strong lattice stretching a thousand kilometers.

A fence built to withstand a rhino—which are hopefully locally extinct—and definitely capable of keeping the over-sized local bison out. And high enough to keep the antelope out.

"Damn that's going to be a lot of wood." Ice stepped back and shook his head. Overkill. Brute force.

"It's just like my grandmother described the fences around the villages." Benz Fumi was paler than most Trees, a quarter Grass, and no doubt some Oner in there as well.

Some of their memories have survived the destruction of the People of the Grass, as a society.

"Only a lot longer." Vashi Kunaya grinned. "We're going to be rich." A city Upcomer, but still with roots in the Pines. Ice didn't even know what the young man's Oner designation was.

"Until the burn runs out of dead trees. I'm talking to all the other tribes about thinning, and I think what I'll do is set a price for delivery to the staging point and let everyone figure out how much of what timber to cut."

"Oh, you tyrant! The brutal enslavement of the tribes . . ."

Vashi took a half-hearted swing at Benz. "You need to stop reading the horrible rag."

Ice snickered. "No, he just needs to also add some opposing views, not that I actually think he's naïve enough to believe half that line, but . . ." He broke off as his comm chimed.

"Ice! We're getting married! I, umm, I've been ordered to use up all my accumulated vacation, so I have almost six weeks to impress the Elders and, and . . . Do Trees have Best Men?"

"Not for the actual ceremony, but a hunting partner is usually expected to kick the love sick groom through all the forms."

Elders? Oh, Dog, the hunters are going to have to accept you first, else the Elders won't even give you a hearing. And if I told you how they were going to test you . . . Oh, this is going to be fun!

"You'd better get out here and practice your archery." Ice could feel the gleeful grin splitting his face. "Congratulations."