Bozo-Dilloe waited. Fear overwrought his emotions. The Grand Master-Dilloe wanted him thoroughly sauteed in worry. He would wait, then, for the initial flow of adrenalin to subside. The lapse would leave the Bozo-Dilloe listless. He would be more prone to error after he sat awhile.
Of course, a display of power, no matter how arrogant or predictable, only worked if one had actual power.
The Grand Master had power. What he did with the Bozo-Dilloe was not for the Bozo alone. He would take the word to others. The mystique of the Grand Master would extend to all. He knew his Dilloe. Bozo was lightly regarded but he was a voluminous talker. He could not contain himself. He was the type of bumptious Dilloe who could go to a listening session, talk for two hours and then express amazement that no solutions emerged from the listening session. He was often mocked and so very mockable he could hardly be counted a Dilloe at all.
Still, here he was and he could be useful.
After what seemed a long time for the Grand Dilloe and a longer time for the Bozo-Dilloe, the Grand Master cleared his throat. He cleared his throat almost imperceptibly to see how attuned his next interlocutor was to his flimsiest movements. The more trivial the sound or movement, the more interesting the reaction. Some Dilloes stood a bit taller, others craned tiny heads on cue.
Bozo-Dilloe jumped two Dilloes high and twirled in the air.
He landed facing away from the Grand-Master. Briefly, Bozo wondered where the Grand-Master had gone.
"Over here, Brother Dilloe," the Grand Master intoned seriously.
"Oh, yes, I see. So sorry," Bozo replied and turned.
"I fear you are injured. Your shell is creased in several places. Have you been in a fight?" the Master asked.
"Well," Bozo blustered. "Actually, I thought you might have heard. A cadre of us went out on quite a mission"
"Who authorized this action?
Bozo had gone because others had insisted. He assumed some of them wanted his along for fellowship, while others may have wanted one more armed shell in the night. Or, he thought dimly, perhaps they thought he might be lost in the fight and they would not have to mess with him any longer.
None of those thoughts helped Bozo answer the question at hand, Just who had ordered the disastrous action of the previous night?
"I…I…am not certain…." he managed to stammer after a moment.
"Then, do you know who did not order the assault?"
"I….I….am not certain…." he managed to repeat.
"At any rate, sir, we were not entirely successful."
"How successful were you?"
Here Bozo was prepared. He had a series of cliches at his command.
"We acquitted ourselves honorably ," Bozo said.
"To be sure," came the answer.
"We embraced the mission,"
"I am sure."
"We finished the course."
"You failed completely, were whipped by a lone woman and lost thirty dilloes in the bargain," the Grand Master said.
"Well…if you look just at the numbers," Bozo replied.
"Oh, let's do."
"Then, we have high hopes for a renewed assault in the spring."
"It is a peculiar trait of the recently vanquished," the Grand Master said. "They often impose on others the necessity to press more fervently on the course which led them to their defeat."
"I see," said Bozo.
"Do you, really?" asked the Grand Master.
"No, not really," Bozo answered and looked down at the dirt floor of the Great Burrow.
"Here is the lesson," the Grand Master said, almost absently.
"Yes, sir," came the response.
"Never send a score of Ninjadilloes to do the Grand Master's work."
"I will personally address the Finity problem," he said.
"I will go tonight."
The Bozo gasped.