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15 June 2017 @ 09:17 pm
_The Last Merge_ Disco part 3  
I've had people up on my roof making noise all day. Very little writing happened. Here's some updates and a scrap:

Wsca edged over. Shrugged. "I can't see a thing, just rocks popping up here and there. Although those oversized elephants checking them out were interesting."

"Elephants are quite intelligent. Curious. Those sort of Wildebeest things cleared out fast when they started popping up." Q was leaking a bit more glow than usual. "When we take a break it'll be safe to walk out and take a look."

Trying to see of Oners are immune to her archetype?

"Closer up you'll see that the rocks are what is just showing through a gate, not actually there. We're placing them all over the southern hemisphere of Helios, away from their much reduced population."

Xen blinked as the plains rolled in a very different way than the usual winds . . . The ground shivered. "Earthquake. Could be a coincidence."

Q shook her head. "The Inhabited World was having them all over, frequently. All small, but I didn't want to risk causing large ones. Here? Not going to worry about it."

She stepped closer to the two triads . . . a moment later the witches dropped hands and shook themselves a little.

"Take a break, and perhaps we should hike off a couple of miles and spread the gates out more." Q looked around at Wsca. "What to take a closer look? I need to see what's going on, on the other side."

Xen hid a smile as they headed for the nearest gate. Oh Q! I hope that man is really open minded, not to mention resistant to archetype effects.

He grinned at Uxmo and Ixpu, scurrying about to get the witches drinks and sandwiches. Caught Ohhe's speculative glance.

"You might warn your buddies that witches are love'em and leave'em types. They're all Halfmoons, which means that they've given birth. Double powered so they're stronger than hell."

"How about your sister?" Ohhe turned to frown as Wsca walked into a circle of rock and disappeared.

"Hell quivers in terror of the thought of her landing there. Yes, she's a Halfmoon. Destiny is, umm three now? something like that."

"Losing track, with these bags, bubbles, whatever, and you speed them up?"

"Yes. I suppose it sounds odd . . . well, even inside our magic community Q's eccentric, and not just for her child rearing practices."

Ohhe grinned. "Language shift, there. In the Empire eccentric is not a synonym for spooky. Can you just . . . look around and see other worlds?"

"Yes. But I have trouble peeking inside to see what world it is. And finding the same one again. So being able to see them isn't all that special."

They spent four more days of increasingly strong earthquakes placing gates, then gated back to the barren world they were using as a staging ground.

A month later the Helios miniverse cruised past, barely diverted.

A week later a meeting with Exterior's Research Subdirectorate. Dr. Wrla Withione was the usual High Oner snob, but a highly intelligent one, and a good manager of his department.

His staff doing the reporting and presenting their projections were all glowing with relief. "The percent chance that Helios will come close enough to merge with the One World has dropped down to twenty-four point six-four."

Xen eyed Q's dissatisfied expression. "Not enough?"

"It was pretty much what I expected. And it did bend even more toward the dinosaurs. But not enough to guarantee a merge with the Dinosaurs. And if it misses . . . it'll probably deflect toward the Primitive World. It will be close." Q bit her lip.

"We increased the chance it will hit the Dino world. Lessened the chance that it'll close enough for the Helaos to force a merge with the One World. That'll do for now." Xen thumped her shoulder.

"I'll get the gates up this week. The Helaos deserve to merge with dinosaurs."

"And if they miss both of the inhabited Worlds, there are plenty of Empty Worlds we can steer them toward . . . And get rid of this menace forever."

***

Dino world:

"Is it my imagination? I swear I can feel the attraction between the planets."

Xen was looking also, but to him, at this close range, the crumpled-paper membranes were static—moving so slowly they might as well be frozen. Of course they're only separated in non-spacial dimensions, not, not really physically separated . . . kind of. It's just our weird perception that gives us the illusion of . . . Oh, eff it all, leave the explanations to the physicists.

"What do you think? More gates? Maybe spread them out all around both worlds? The worst that will happen is Helios getting a dinosaur invasion, which. all things considered would be fitting."

Q snorted and pulled her perception out of the inbetween, shrugged off the loose mental link they'd been holding.

Xen did the same. Stretched and stood up. The other six witches and the their guards were looking at them. They all looked happy and eager.

Wsca grinned. "So? What continent do you want to start with?"

Q grinned back. "North America, the West Coast's about opposite here, and we can stay away from the Helios there."