Zek, Cloud, and Kitten

Tammy: 1. Zek. I don’t think marmosets would refuse to mate if their previous mates were no longer around. In any case, Daine wouldn’t be able to track down his previous mate and children. While she isn’t forbidden to return to Carthak, and Kaddar doesn’t exactly bear her any ill-will, well, it’s kinda hard for people to forgive the person who trashed an entire palace and killed (to all intents and purposes) an emperor, not to mention a bunch of soldiers and staff. She isn’t really welcome. Instead she helped the staff at the menagerie find Zek a new mate, and they took care of the babies themselves.

2. Kitten. Kitten is very much still with Daine and Numair! She was present at the naming, but I couldn’t exactly identify her by name because it was a vision I was describing (and it was Aly’s story, not Daine’s). Moreover, she can’t always keep up when Daine or Numair have to move fast–she doesn’t care for being jounced on a galloping horse at all, and if Daine has to shape-shift, Kit gets left behind, because she won’t be able to fly for a few centuries yet. She has her own friends when the Salmalíns aren’t around, and her own things to do. She was under the table at the dinner where Aly and Nawat said goodbye to the Tortallan delegation, talking with the darkings. Just because I can’t fit her in (my editors will ask me to cut, because my story has to be about my main character–unless she interacts with Kit, I can’t mention her because it’s too confusing without an explanation) doesn’t mean she isn’t there!

3. Cloud is also very much around. She hasn’t slowed down or mellowed much, either. She has had a few foals, but they’re grown and doing her proud. And soon she’ll be teaching a new generation how to act around ponies!

Daine’s skill can heal when she gets sick or chewed up, and her influence has made Cloud smarter in human terms, but neither she nor Daine would want her life expectancy extended beyond what a healthy pony is due. Don’t forget, they’re a lot more bound to the cycles of nature than we are. And Cloud has plenty more good years yet!

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