The crowd gathered below Rahl Weyr muttered angrily and stamped their feet. Last night's Threadfall had destroyed hundreds of acres of prime farmland; the small band of gar-riders had tried their best to slow the fall with their bloodflies, but they had been hopelessly outmatched without their leader. The horrible collectivist Thread had fallen unchecked, killing bunnies, ickle babies and saintly grandmothers, and had left melon-sized holes in any number of noble goats. Even worse, it had caused millions of dollars' worth of damage to the Northern Pern economy, and the industry leaders had assembled at the weyr to demand an explanation. But R'chard, the weyrleader, was nowhere to be found. Where could he be?
"But why don't you want to fight?" pleaded Kahlessa. Her sky-blue eyes wandered around the mountain cave where she was staying with R'chard and his gar Teruth. "Don't you agree that Thread must be stopped?"
R'chard growled as he tried to restrain his anger. "Those industry leaders simply don't understand! It's not enough to hate Thread, you have to hate all that it stands for!" He touched his sword to access the Thesaurus function. "A pernicious, virulent pestilence, the homogenous spores of a fungoid parasite that will assimilate all individuals into one collective mass! Until they fully appreciate the danger and agree with my every word, I'm staying in this cave and not coming out!"
Teruuuuuuth luuuuuuug R''''''' chaaaaaaarg said Teruth.
He turned his back, and instantly Kahlessa was kidnapped and almost raped.
Luckily her gar, Confeth, appeared and rescued her in the nick of time, and she flew off with her white dress billowing behind her. She arrived back at Rahl Weyr in time to see R'chard's half-brother, M'chael, make a moving speech.
"I'm an orphan!" he sobbed. The crowd went ahhhhhhhhh. "My mother was killed! Killed before my very eyes! She choked on... CELERY!"
The crowd gasped. "Oh no!" they said in horror. "Ban celery now!" They took up the cry and stormed off to the celery fields carrying burning torches and pitchforks. M'chael smirked evilly, then stopped when he saw Kahlessa watching. She knew she had to let R'chard know that his celery plantation was in danger. Using the powers of her mind, she summoned Teruth from the cave, and he came flying at once.
"STOP" shouted R'chard. The crowd stopped. Quickly, R'chard grabbed a boulder and whittled a statue of celery. The crowd fell to their knees and wept at the beauty of it.
"Don't you realise that celery is our only hope against the Threads?" R'chard asked, his voice gentle now that everyone was agreeing with him. "No collectivist fungus can destroy such a noble plant. We must arm ourselves only with moral celery and individually we can defeat this menace! We'll start by going to the Red Star and attacking the Threads' families and servants. Then, when they are completely disheartened... well, I'll work out the rest of the details later."
Something seemed wrong, but no-one was about to disagree. "R'chard, you're a genius!" said the crowd. "How do you do it?"
"Well," said R'chard, "I am a Weyrleader, you know!"
Kahlessa laughed. M'chael laughed (evilly). Then all the men laughed.