1. There was one man still alive within the city’s crumbling ruins and he’d only come back to help her die.
2. The dragon was little more than an immense serpent, coiled around the castle walls in ropes of shimmering crimson and gold. Melody was rather put out at the lack of wings and claws, but if she was going to be a dragon slayer she supposed she shouldn’t confine herself to a single phenotype.
3. It only took the survivors a week to realize that birdsong was better at forecasting the weather than their battered instruments.
4. They were a race that had been bred for war; self-selected winnowing that carved out whatever softness that remained. And when they reached the stars in search of divine conflict… they found no opponents worthy of a fight. So they went home again, confused, and tried to find a way to rig a fairer fight.
5. In the end, the first spaceships were more flora than fauna, wide-leafed pods that caught the interstellar light and floated along its winds.