A technician caught a glimpse of fangs right in front of his face and raised his arm. Unable to check its forward crush, the technician's heavy sleeve banged into Schleim's mouth.
The reaction of a Tolnep was inevitable. He bit! He bit hard and repeatedly, hissing in rage as he struck!
Because when you think of an alien descended from dinosaurs, you think "venomous spaz."
So one techie clutches his critically-wounded shirt sleeve, the other apologizes frantically and gives the alien his scepter, and the host apologies some more while brushing Schleim off. Then after the alien leaves, the three Chinese men go to the hospital to visit Dr. Allen, who extracts the Tolnep's venom from the fake techie's reinforced sleeve to develop an antivenom. The host shows off the knife and gun he pickpocketed from Schleim. The whole collision was planned, you see.
Aaaaand that's the chapter. Schleim bites someone and we get to see how incredibly three-steps-ahead-of-everyone the humans are. Boy, that sure puts my mind at ease, I though this whole conference might be dangerous or exciting or something, since we spent entire chapters playing up how out of his league Jonnie was. The whole "which moon is your least favorite" plot is going to have to wait a bit longer, too, since next chapter we get to see a Russian try and inject some tension into this story.
Back to Chapter Four