The cigar protruded out of his thick lips, covered in fine white hair. His teeth clenched it in a Jonah Jamieson smoke-ringed grimace.
Everyone was watching the smoke ring in front of him as the air gathered tension.
Finally, he sighed. "What do you want me to say? Are you breaking my balls here?"
Andre, the de facto leader of the small band of teens stepped up belligerently. "You could explain where the fuck you've been while the world was going to hell, for one thing."
"Look, kid, I to--"
"Don't bullshit me, I got it, you guys all fucking decided to have a short little nap a few thousand years ago, and then when you woke up you weren't sure how to approach us. I got it. So our climate is fuckered, and you KNEW this. And STILL you chose to take a few decades to watch us, and catch up on Simpsons reruns before you decided to bust in. And now--,"
The unicorn spit the cigar out and made as if to interrupt.
"AND NOW," Andre went on, "now you come waltzing out and think everyone's going to bow down and listen."
"I LOST GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE. Your shithead army just blew up FIVE centaurs. There are only SEVENTEEN in the world! Twelve, now! What the hell is wrong with you humans? We left you a decent planet!"
"Don't you 'you humans' me, asshole! I'm not one of them!"
Darlene stepped forward at the same time as a young dwarf girl did, both holding up their hands and steering their champions away from the heated debate.
"Andre, Horace," she said, "Dorcas and I have been talking while you two have been butting heads. I think we have a solution."
"But," added Dorcas, "Not only are we going to have to work together, you two are going to have to shut up and get out of the way."
The silence spread out into the Glace Bay mining hall. Finally, from the crowd, a man spoke. Darlene thought it was Mr. Jacobs, the pharmacist.
"Can we stop this, girls? Tell us it's not too late."