|Chapter 8: The Elohimfest|
"All right!" she flamed, daring Infelice to respond in kind, though she knew the Elohim had the might to snuff her like a candle. "Forget it. You can't do anything about the venom." A sneer twisted her mouth. "You can't give Seadreamer back his voice. All right. If you say so. Here's something you goddamn well can do."
"Chosen!" cautioned the First. But Linden did not stop.
"You can fight the Despiser for us."
Her demand stunned the Giants into silence. Covenant swore softly as if he had never conceived of such a request. But her moiling passion would not let her halt.
Infelice had not moved. She, too, seemed taken aback.
"You sit here in your clachan," Linden went on, choosing words like items of accusation, "letting time go by as if no evil or danger in all the world has any claim on your hieratic self-contemplation, when you could be doing something! You're Earthpower! You're all made out of Earthpower. You could stop the Sunbane--restore the Law--defeat Lord Foul--just by making the effort!
"Look at you!" she insisted. "You stand up there so you can be sure of looking down on us. And maybe you've got the right. Maybe Earthpower incarnate is so powerful we just naturally seem puny and pointless to you. But we're trying!" Honninscrave and Seadreamer had been hurt. Covenant had been denied. The whole quest was being betrayed. She flung out her sentences like jerrids, trying to strike some point of vulnerability or conscience in Infelice. "Foul is trying to destroy the Land. And if he succeeds, he won't stop there. He wants the whole Earth. Right now, his only enemies are puny, pointless mortals like us. In the name of simple shame if nothing else, you should be willing to stop him!"
As she ran out of words, lurched into silence, voices rose around the eftmound--expostulations of anger, concern, displeasure. Among them, Chant's shout stood out stridently. "Infelice, this is intolerable!"
"No!" Infelice shot back. Her denial stopped the protests of the Elohim. "She is the Sun-Sage, and I will tolerate her!"