Eldon looked around. “Jeeze, are all the kids at school?”
“Napping. Just the three now, and they’ll start kindergarten next fall.”
Eldon jumped back and forth, shut out of the discussions about the weapons, and finally was close enough to hear the officers’ doubts about what to do with the Cyborgs.
“Ah . . . it’s no big deal, I can just stick them out on an Empty World.”
“No people. Or other intelligent hominids. Not that I’ve ever seen any Neanderthals, but I’ve heard about them. And Elves.” Eldon ignored their disbelieving stares. “I can find a nice world, put them someplace with good weather, and they can live out their lives.”
“But what if we want that world, later?”
“There’s millions of worlds. It’s not a problem. Or I could look for an extreme ice age world, nothing habitable but a strip around the equator. Save problems later, nobody else will want it, and it’s just a couple of Cys, retired and lounging around on a beach with fishing poles in their hands. No women, no children. No trouble down the road.”
They looked thoughtful. The guy with the two stars nodded. “That’s an excellent idea. Find a World like that, and let’s get them out of here.”
“Right.” Eldon nodded politely, then drove off to pick up a whole bunch of stuff the five Cy rebellion was going to need. “Being honest is bloody expensive. Ten years ago we’d have stolen all this stuff.”
Five “mobile homes” and a crated pavilion.
Finding an ice age world was easy enough, and if it wasn’t as extreme as he’d mentioned, who cared? The Mediterranean coast was nice, the wild animals edible, and he bought seeds for anything they might care to grow.
He dropped the stuff off on “Rebel,” and popped back to pick up the three Cys in northern California. “We need to find out how strong a mentalist these can block. Which isn’t going to be easy . . . well, it’ll be easy, it just won’t be safe. I’ve got a weak mentalist bubbled, who can’t get through them, but I don’t know where on the power scale he lies.”
“And . . . what if we don’t do what you want us to do?” Jannon scowled at him.
“Then you don’t do it. The government here doesn’t want any Cyborgs. I told them I could maroon them of a nice world where they could live out their natural lives. And I can do that for you as well. But the other two are hot to fight against the Drei Bunnies.” Eldon eyed them. “Your choice.”
“Yes. Right now, they want to ditch the other three. Would you three like to come along and talk to them?”
They stepped aside, and Eldon walked further, but enhanced his hearing . . .
“. . . only chance we’ve got. If it’s bad, it’s bad. But . . .” Marcus spread his hands.
Jannon nodded. “Horus was with him. I’m inclined to trust him, just on that basis.”
Nods all around. “Eldon?” Jannon raised his voice. “We’re with you.”
So with the three Cys back in a bubble, pinned inside the Suburban, he drove back to the military base, passed the dimensional lab and out to the distant metal building.
Cino was under the scanner again, and Icarus waved him over.
“I was having . . . not exactly headaches, but some weird feelings. The scanner showed new bone growing under the plate, and starting to push it out.” He glanced at his cyber arm. “And maybe some growth under the arm attachments. I . . . might lose it all.”
“Huh.” Eldon looked over to where Cinco was getting back up. “That stuff—we call it the Wine of the Gods—does regrow some amputations. It’s not always perfect, but . . . you just might get back to normal. Eventually.”
“Only if I have a home to get back to. We need to kick the Drei Mächte Bündnis off our world, and free the men they’ve already cyborged.” Icarus frowned down at his arm. “I hope it lasts long enough to do it.”
Cinco stomped over. “Maybe, barely, some changes to the bone around the plate. Nothing else. So . . . perhaps no more Dios Wine until we’re done.”
Eldon nodded. “Right. And . . . what’s going on out there?”
He stalked out the door to see the third of three Hummers zipping out of the gate chain to Roman World . . . Caught a bit of Lyons’ voice on the phone as he reported in.
“. . . half the fortress and an advance unit got through the gate . . .”
“Shit.” Cinco hissed. “They’re in the fortress and got through the gate!”
Eldon spun and looked at them. “So, you two ready to fight?”
“Yeah!” both of them.
Eldon swooped a bubble over them, and headed for the SUV.
“Where are you going.” Colonel Vickers was switching his attention between the Specials, and Eldon.
“Through the gate. I’ll close it from the other side, so the Cy’s can’t find you.”
“Eldon . . . Shit! Be careful!”Eldon grinned. “Not possible.”