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25 March 2017 @ 12:42 pm
_Black Point Clan_ new start  
 

Chapter One

4 Safar 1408yp ///This is the new, new date. Change all dates and ages. Jay is 11.///

Limbo Colony, Empire of the One

Ajha Clostuone Abadan Black Point resisted the impulse the drop his comm and stomp on it. "For politics? Don't scare me like that. I thought something happened to my mother! What do you mean I have to go home for an Enclave level vote? I don't really care who . . . "

His uncle—and boss, Director of External relations—talked over his protests.

"Father? Father wants to be the Patriarch of Black Point Clan? That's . . . " Ajha shut his mouth. Political games! What the One Hell Father is up to . . . "I'll be there."

He looked around Limbo. A beautiful broad valley, rolling green hills, the brown of newly plowed fields.

Home to almost all of the people who merged with Helaos.

It had started as a halfway camp, to be sure the Oner personality was dominating, to deal with unwanted physical manifestations . . . They'd realized early that it was going to have to be a permanent home for many.

Because the soldiers were considered untrustworthy, and the women—college students for the most part—were definitely not hot marriage prospects anymore. Employment uncertain. Not welcomed home, the neighbors rejecting the changes in them, and sometimes families, both parents and spouses, as well.

Mostly Oners, but a few of the Merged were from another earth, one raided by the Helaos for merge victims, or just for women.

Some families had joined the merged here, more might come once they'd finished building the basic amenities of a modern civilization. They'd finally formed a real government, where before they'd just taken orders from him and his Team. He'd sent people off to new assignment—well three had retired here—and Fean was starting Grad School.

"And now I have to leave? One! I hope this is quick. I'd really prefer a proper wrap up. Sit around bored while the civvie government takes care of everything." He looked around and spotted the man he needed. "Ebsa? Congratulations. You are about to get some valuable leadership experience . . ."

***

Six months in, Xiat Withione Abadan Black Point was wondering why she'd left Criminal Investigations for Analysis. A couple of years at CI had broadened her experience, but returning to what she was better at had seemed like a good idea.

Until Izzo had been promoted to Subdirector of Analytics.

A strictly professional relation had suddenly become necessary . . . and difficult.

And now her former lover and current boss was worried about this Patriarchal convention. Too many pre-cogs, too many dreams about it. Nothing clear or definite. "He's starting his move" and "the next one" seemed to be the limit of the hard information. Who was moving on what, and whether the 'what' was the same as the 'next one' was typically clouded and uncertain.

Two years until the insanity of a presidential election, but it could be early maneuvers with that as the goal. Or something entirely unrelated.

The Director of Internal Relations had more than once threatened to just shut down the Pre-Cognition and Divination Lab.

Both Director and Subdirector had spoken to her before her departure.

"Two of the three most powerful men in the War Party are Black Point Clan." The Director was the third, of course. "They're using the Patriarchal race as a proxy battle for control of the Party. Beware dirty tricks." His fingers drummed on the table and his eyes were narrowed, thinking of something he wasn't saying.

"And violence." The Subdirector smiled ruefully. "Watch out for Bully Boys on each side. And don't enjoy yourself too much beating them up, if the opportunity arises."

The Director had shaken his head. "If you kill any of them, try to make it look like an accident. If they don't know your training and affiliation, all the better. I'd as soon be invisible in this, however much I'd love to see both Arlw and Axti defeated."

Speaking of presidential aspirations. Surely Efge wasn't planning to run . . . this time. Popular presidents tend to stay in office for twenty years. Four terms. President Orde will probably not run in 1415. I'll bet that's what Efge's aiming for.

But if either Arlw or Axti run and actually defeat Orde in 1410 . . . Efge could kiss a presidential run goodbye for another twenty years.

"Right. I'll see what I can do." Xiat left Efge's office with Izzo.

And since Izzo was her boss, he hadn't kissed her good bye.

Dammit.

I should transfer back into Investigations. Or the Presidential Directorate. This professionalism is . . . frustrating.

***

Two corridors and a train ride later, Xiat eyed the "reception committee" at the Black Point Station. Young men and old. Only about half the number she'd been expecting.

About five of them spoke at once, a babble of obscene suggestions. One leering face, unfortunately familiar. Equally familiar, penetrating voice. "Hey, Xiat, need a place to stay?"

"One! Ewmo, what are you doing here begging for sex?

"I'm not begging. I'm offering hospitality."

"He's worthless, take me instead!" She didn't know that one, but he grabbed her arm, and that was something she was not prepared to allow. A simple hip throw dropped him flat on the platform. She snapped her mental shields down a quarter, and power-punched to his solarplexis. Nothing like a bit of magically enhanced brute force.

Gaping for air, he still reached for the magic. He waved his right hand uselessly. Even at three quarters shield, she easily bounced his attempt at a simple stun spell. She walked past, stomping the hand that tried for a grab. She kept the contact light, no need to break anything. At least perverts weren't as pervasive as they used to be. If the town hadn't been crowded, the Clan called in for the vote, there probably wouldn't have been a single one on the platform. She kept the stranger in the corner of her eye and saw him stagger to his feet. He headed the other direction. Good.

Ewmo was still following. Bad.

"Hey, Xiat. Haven't seen you since we graduated. Hey, I've got a position in the Commerce and Trade Department now, apartment in Paris."

"Get lost Ewmo. I have my own apartment in Paris, and no lack of company much higher than you."

"Hey, I stayed in quarantine, kept all my prophets' genes. I could probably get you pregnant, now."

Xiat made a rude gesture. She was not looking forward to this homecoming. Mainly because of idiots like this one. But this was business, not pleasure.

If Ewmo tried to kiss her, she would kill him. The engineered plague that had removed three pairs of genes from the One had received a very mixed reaction. The genes had affected aggression, especially the identification of the proper targets for aggression. With their removal, rapes had plummeted. Scenes like this one on the rail platform had disappeared except in a few high population areas. Not even a magical plague could infect everyone. But even if some of the effects were welcome, it was still an attack on the One, and struck at the very definition of the One. Which was one reason this election was so important.

If they would just approve the genetic engineering to replace those genes . . . we could have increased rape statistics instead of a war. Or, given our feelings of outrage and vulnerability, both rape and war. One save me!

She towed her luggage down the ramp, and caught the tram up the very aptly named Hill Street.

"I take it you have a place to stay?"

She sighed loudly. Cranked her shields almost closed. Aura and sex appeal being close to the same thing, maybe she'd show the absolute minimum polite amount all week long. Save herself a world of trouble. Maybe. "I'm staying at Aunt Kiaj's."

"Oh yeah, Aunt Kiaj's has got her old buddies back, hasn't she? And Poppy and Phoebe are their kids and I'll bet they invited the rest. All the old Cheer Squad back together, eh?"

Ewmo was not actually stupid.

"Yeah. All us girls, back together again."

They were all of the One, with all that implied in magical abilities, long life, excellent health, miserably low fertility.

"Well, I'll see you around." Ewmo dropped off at Spinnaker Lane.

The tram labored up the steep hill past Jib and then Topgallant, where she dropped off. She pulled her luggage four houses down the street—the lots were large, with lots of privacy afforded by the coastal redwoods growing thickly between homes. There were no fences, just a few enclosed patios.

The houses all had security systems hooked to their computers. She tapped the control on her bracer to turn her implants on. They identified her to the house computer as soon as she turned up the sidewalk toward the building. Women burst from the house. "Xiat! Yay! Now we're all here!" A mixed up chorus from five women. Ten years since she'd seen most of them. Fifty plus years since they'd all palled around. If she hadn't known better she'd have guessed them all still in their early twenties. Bless those artificial genes. She herself had every single one of them, and investigating undercover she'd been known to pass herself off as eighteen.

Judging from the squeals, the other women were going to be acting like they were still eighteen.



Chapter Two

6 Safar 1408 yp

Black Point Enclave, West Coast division, North American region

"Relax, Boss, we've got this."

Ajha sighed as Hob drove the ute through the first gate. A dimensional phenomenon that shifted them to a parallel world with a faint twinge of the innereds and twist of reality.

This one took them to a desert world, nothing here but a wide arc of gates and a small guard contingent. Paranoia. Aimed the right direction, for a change, even if it would be just a minor speed bump to a serious invasion. The guards might manage to send the alarm and trigger the crash gates to give us a little time.

Gates to the One World, Embassy—the Empty World that was used as a diplomatic meeting place—and three other potential colony worlds, none of them currently being developed.

The bored fellow on duty waved them onward. Ajha was well known to everyone who'd spent any time in the field. Hob looped around and took aim at the gate to Gate City.

The flat, open, gate field was warm in the winter sun. Far enough south for beautiful days like this in the middle of winter. Familiar territory, home base for . . . Forty-five years? The largest part of the Directorate of External Relations was here in the city, and still a small part of the sprawling metropolis. They fought their way through traffic to the corridor to the west coast.

­Another new thing. Instant transport across continents and oceans, on the same world.

The traffic in San Francisco was heavy as well, but the depot not far.

The coast curved too much for a bullet train, but Ajha like the slow trip. Spectacular views all along the coast, north to the enclave. A bit over an hour, to relax and unwind from the job—and brace oneself for extended exposure to the family.

Ajha eyed the drunks down on the other end of the train car. But today it looks like I get to "enjoy" the family all the way up the coast.

"The King is dead!"

"Long live the King!"

Drunken laughter. "I mean patty ark. Patry . . . arch! Ha! Got it!"

The drunks tried singing, fortunately breaking off into laughter.

Mushy the Lushy and Whipper. Figures. Distant cousins. Thank the One.

 
 
 
ekuah on March 25th, 2017 08:05 pm (UTC)
Good start.
It leaves more time for Eldon's storyline and tells the experienced reader what is with Ebsa and co.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on March 26th, 2017 06:13 am (UTC)
RE: Good start.
I like how it tucks Ebsa and the rest of his team away. This way you don't wonder why they are not being heard from.