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06 September 2018 @ 09:54 am
I'm adding a layer to _Meet the Family_ so as to have something vaguely resembling a plot. Might post a snippet later. Sorry.
06 September 2018 @ 02:46 pm

"According to rumor, Xen Wolfson has either been killed, or seriously wounded." President Orde paused and watched her.

Rael tried to not respond, to not show any reaction beyond polite interest. She suspected she failed miserably.

"Dr. Quicksilver says injured, leave him alone for a year or so and he ought to be fine. I believe her, of course, but we'd like you to go to Comet Fall and ask to see him."

She raised her eyebrows skeptically, and got a grin in return.

"Well, yes as a matter of fact, there are a few other things. Specifically, I suspect you'll need to go to the infamous Village of Ash. So you might just happen to meet the leadership of the Witches, the Mages, and the Wizards. It's . . . for all the importance of the place, it's pretty well opaque, as far as any of their magical organizations and practices. We need to know more about them."

"Right. Nothing to it." Rael considered the Fallen, probably the most irritating people in the Multiverse. "I'll start with their embassy on Embassy. If they won't let me through, I'll see if the horses will show me a back route." She ignored the odd look he gave her.


". . . and a map of Karista. It's probably changed in five years." Subdirector of Exploration Ajha Clostuone drew a finger along one street. "Especially Commerce Street, where they put most of their corridors to other cities. They do them in pairs. Outbound to the various towns on the right side of the road, and inbound on the left. It's a very wide street, to accommodate wagon-and-teams' length and turning radius."

He sighed wistfully. "Look for an arch that says Wallenton. That's the provincial capital. If you leave Wallenton by the Northwest Gate, you'll be on Stink River Road. Just stay on it. Three or four day's hike, or two and a half if you buy or borrow a horse to ride, you'll be in Ash."


The Attaché looked her up and down. "You actually think we're going to issue a visitor's pass to the woman who tried to kill Xen Wolfson?"

"Oh, that was the interim government. We're back with the sane government now." Rael smiled nicely.

Sniff. Sharp smile. "I'll process your request. Come back tomorrow. Late tomorrow."

Rael smiled back. "See you tomorrow."

Next stop, Disco.

Dagger, the black-and-white-haired receptionists glowered at her.

"Good afternoon. Is Q in?"

"No." Glower.

A laugh from above and behind her. "Yes. C'mon up, Rael."

Dagger glared up at Dr. Quail Quicksilver, the foremost dimensional expert in the multiverse. And Xen's sister. "Q! She's a trained assassin!"

Rael giggled. "Actually I'm quite famous in the Empire as the Multiverse's most incompetent assassin."

Q snickered. "Here too. The bridge back there is now a major tourist attraction, with everyone wanting their picture taken in your statue stance."

Rael slapped her forehead. "Oh, One!"

"C'mon up . . . unless you're in a rush, grab a cup of coffee on the way."

"Q!" anguished tones from Dagger.

"He's really all right?" Rael squirmed as Q grinned. "I mean, alive and healing? No brain damage?"

"His brain's as squirrelly as always, his body will heal. In fact when I checked yesterday, he'd persuaded Mom that he wasn't going to die if she took her eyes off him, and put a speed bubble around his bed. Which means he'll be out of that healing coma in a few weeks."

"Umm, but if he's talking . . . "

"Oh, the people who do that wake up every three or four days, hit the lavatory, eat, drink and crash back into bed. And when I say 'wake up' I mean drowsy half asleep on their feet. Mind you, Xen's the only one I've seen do it, but Mom says Dad's just like that." Q eyed Rael questioningly.

Rael shrugged. "The myths of the New Prophets and the Warriors include them sleeping for a year to recover from horrible injuries. Well, Xen's mentioned the healing sleep, and speed bubbles, I just . . . well. I'd like to see him, myself."

"I understand that. I had to see him before I calmed down. Well, not that I got very calm, but . . ." Q sighed. "So do you need help getting there?"

"I'm trying to do it strictly honestly. If that doesn't work . . . I'll be back and beg for the use of one of your back doors." She shrugged. "Bureaucrats. You'd think I'd be used to them by now. At least yours have legitimate security concerns. Mine just like to throw their importance around."