Penrys was crouched on one knee, slamming the rysefeol’s recalcitrant wooden joint with the back of her hand by way of a delicate adjustment, when the sudden transition hit.
“Oh, thennur holi,” she said, under her breath, but the oath that started in her well-lit workroom finished in swaying light and strong shadow. Already off balance, she tumbled on her backside. The soft surface took the sting out of it, and her hands, spread wide to break the fall, told her of carpet and, below that, uneven ground. A gust of wind blew smoke in from outside and the walls fluttered.
A tent, she realized, and a very large one.
She saw the people, then, and froze, stifling a sneeze, but they didn’t seem to have noticed her. No, that’s not it. They aren’t moving at all.
Perhaps no one’s moving but someone’s talking. She tilted her head and pinpointed the voice—it came from something like a mirror suspended from a metal stand in front of the nearest tent wall. She was too close alongside the same wall herself to see anything but the edge of the frame.
The flickering light from the glass-enclosed lanterns on the tables and chests in the tent cast moving shadows on the faces of the people. It gave the illusion of life, distracting her for a moment, and then the words from the voice in the mirror penetrated.
“…a field test like this is always useful for a new weapon. I look forward to greeting you in person, when you arrive for a permanent visit.”