Lightning: What –?

Kara Lynn: My Master has a complicated plan to remember. She doesn’t have time to follow you around Meggido.

Lightning: Your Master is a child! What can she do that mine cannot?

Kara Lynn: She can set up a conditional challenge. Do you even remember what that is?

Lightning: Well, what?

Jany (thinking): So this is Lightning when he’s recovered from just being “sad and scared” all the time. Nice he’s feeling better, at least?

Kara Lynn: It means the Dog has challenged me — on the condition that it starts if I win a fight with you.

Lightning: An instant way to signal the Dog that you’re here . . .

Kara Lynn: Yes. And to explain the exact situation to his allies. Some of those are adults, if that helps.

Lightning: . . . All right. Do what you must.

A hotel, not far off:

Sparrow: Ooh, sausages —

— oh, I guess we’re doing this before breakfast.

Patrick: I could win it, too — right now! — if my Master hadn’t told me to wait.

Sparrow: Yes, Patrick, I know you can count to ten.