Log in

No account? Create an account
22 July 2015 @ 09:44 am
_Exterior Relations_ part 12  
Warning! Lots of unwritten scenes ahead. I'll be flying home tomorrow, so maybe a post, or maybe I should write some of these scenes.

/// Needs more about what's going on with GP and Earthers and Jack & Arrow. Arrow opens up a gate to another world? Or perhaps they scout and find Q's gate? This would work well with end.

/// Governor Arry chatting with a couple of the subdirectors, and perhaps a couple of Action Team Leaders?

Chapter Thirteen

"So. The One now has the Wine of the Gods, the Comet Fall Longevity Potion, their puberty delay spell and the Homestead hormone suppressant."

Izzo cocked his head. "And the other matter?"

Fean, more frequently referred to as the Fiend, chuckled. "I went and poked around a bit at the school." She shrugged. "I don't, umm, have many contacts there, having left early after offending nearly everyone. But they were curious enough about the Joy Juice that I got some of the staff talking. I suggested that the two Princesses who'd come in the week before with a grievance were probably both pregnant. Some people who were listening in looked shocked, and slid out. They came back and said the Administration hadn't been aware of that possibility and would look into it. With that as an opening, the story came out. It seemed that the two of them had a sexual rivalry over the assigned official of one of them. The Administration has recommended to the One that both women be replaced, as emotionally unsuitable. They haven't been apprised of any decision. The Princesses are both in solitary meditation."

"Ouch! Sounds like the School is not happy with them."

"Oh yeah. Of course, they aren't locked up or anything. It's just that they go off by themselves to meditate for most of the day, and are left mostly alone during meals." Ajha grinned suddenly. "I asked the One why you'd only finally gotten a Princess, and she so completely incompetent."

Izzo looked over at him. "How many of your bosses have threatened to kill you?"

Fean snickered.

Ajha looked innocent. "Every single one. I’m not sure but that Uncle Ajki didn’t try once. He, they, whatever, said she was least likely to disrupt the experiment."

"Figures. Good grief."

"Of course I asked, 'What experiment?' And they said the one where young priest candidates had their puberty delayed chemically or magically and only joined the priesthood when they wanted to, after education and possibly even extensive outside experience."

Xiat frowned at him. "Don't tell me, let me guess. Your father did something, and that's what you were talking about, the hormone suppressers?"

Izzo nodded. "You have noticed he's not quite . . . balanced on this issue. On Homestead there's these blood flies, they lay eggs in cuts and such, very nasty results. Castrating livestock is a loosing proposition, but they've got this nasty mess of herbs that just sort of stops puberty dead, wears off in a year or two. Fine for most critters – they get eaten long before it's a problem. Horses, if they prove exceptional, are used for breeding afterwards, so Dad figured it was worth the risk, when I started showing signs of awakening and we were in a Native town where no one could protect themselves from my mistakes or temper tantrums. Where someone might bring me to the attention of the Registrar. Worked." He shrugged, watched her carefully. He had enough mixed feeling about his childhood himself to worry about Xiat's reaction. "He kept renewing it until, well, until I ran away from home and registered myself."

Ajha chuckled. "Your father explained it all to them. He and the One found each other mutually disturbing." He saw their surprised looks. "When I asked him, he took me to Homestead to collect the stuff, and then he decided to go tell the One just what he thought about their policies. Fortunately I didn't need to listen in. I have a hideous feeling he may have threatened the One if they touched his grandson."

Xiat's teeth ground. "Maybe the One won't return him."

Izzo suppressed a smile. "I talked to him yesterday; he was in Paris. Most likely the One was afraid Mom would come get him. So, I'm an experiment, and the One only finally assigned me a Princess when it became obvious that Xiat wasn't my check, and people might start saying things."

Ajha shrugged. "If she's still that bad, you could probably manage to lose her somewhere. A tour of exploration prospects, or some such. Shall I make up a list of failed prospects for you?"

Izzo hesitated, but shook his head. "They'd only send another, and I'd have to start from scratch. She's starting to show signs of competence. Now, for the next problem I have . . . " He drummed his fingers on the table. "Ebko is . . . not being open about the Action and Exploration Team activities. Ajki pooled them all, trying to dilute the worst of the Action Teamers, but all it did was add another ten teams to the total Ebko could use. I need to check on where the Action Teams are going, and what they are doing when they get there."


The Registrar looked from the screen to Flu and back again. "Well. I can't believe your father didn't register you early on. It's not like a politician to be shy about bastards. Not that the Governor has any others, that I know of. I mean, he doesn't have the reputation . . . "

"Umm, you can tell, just by looking . . . ? Wait. You mean Mother seduced Governor Arry? Ogg's my brother?"

He snorted. "The programming automatically searches for family relationships. Well, your dominant letters are A. H. R. Y. So officially you can be Hayr, Hyar, Ryah or Rayh. Unless you want to advertise your singles and shorts." He turned the screen around so she could see them.

I won't be a disease any more. Forget the H ones. Ryah or Rayh would both be fine. Rya or Ray? Too masculine. "Ryah. I will be Ryah." I have a beautiful name.

The man fed her education chips, vaccination records, and birth certificate into his machine. Handed her a single ID card. "There you go. Ryah Withione Cough Granite Peak."

"Withione?" She heard her voice getting high as the world tunneled down and disappeared.


/// Jack takes magic lessons. Arrow opens a Gate, and after experimentation, manages to close it. Makes several tests over a couple of weeks. /// see earlier comment about scouting out Oner town.

"Last thing, how about you leave open a gate that we can use for escape, should it become necessary?"

Arrow cocked her head at him. "Don't think I haven't figured out your plan – I'm glad to see that you've got sense enough to know you're going to need to run away when the Quicksilver witch comes."


Ajha had no trouble finding out where each Team went. The pollen was a dead giveaway. A genetic analysis of the slight differences between what seemed to be identical species would give a probability of which World it was from. Analyze the pollen of a hundred species, and the totality was a unique identifier for every world. So he sent Fean out with sticky tape and picked up some surreptitious samples from their vehicles, their clothes, their offices.

He scowled at Fean. "Why are nineteen of the twenty-four Action Teams going to Granite Peak?"

"Because the Nomads raid the farms. The Militia needs help."

"Why have the Nomads suddenly started raiding? Earthers in disguise, perhaps? I think I need to personally see what's going on, on the other side. Observe the Action Teams, and track these raiders."

"Correction. We need to observe and track various groups on the other side." Fean smiled. "We won't be able to requisition an Off Roader. So why don't I go borrow a couple of horses from a friend?"

Ajha bit his lip. "They'll be conspicuous, unless they're in a bubble."

"One forefend we be conspicuous." She winked at him and trotted off.

Ajha scratched his chin, and decided he didn't need to report until he'd observed the Action Teams across the Gate. Action Teams getting ready for the field were emotionally loud. After his brief stint as a Philosopher, Ajha had trouble locking out those group emotions. He would have at least several hours notice of a Team heading across.

In the mean time, he returned to the latest pointless analysis Subdirector Ebko had him working on. It was rather fun, finding the longest and most obscure adjectives to use, and the widest and silliest spread of possible explanations in the early analysis, before he narrowed the probable causes down to the more likely. And sometimes they didn't narrow. Which was interesting in itself. Take the analysis of Director Izzo's buddy from Homestead. Subdirector Ebko had had a fit when he discovered the man had gone to Comet Fall. He'd claimed he was talking about trade with them, and Ajha'd been able to pick up his honesty. Not a complete answer, but what he said had been honest. His other actions were inclusive – that is, favoring a consolidated Empire. Very unexpected, from a "Native." Because the man was a retired police detective, now hard working businessman from a fast modernizing industrial world. !Tok was rich, owned multiple businesses, large ones. Active in local politics and civil affairs. We need some new terms.

Call it what you will, the Homestead puzzle was very unlike this tangle on Granite Peak, which seemed to be creating chaos. He was certain that hiding behind the deliberate chaos was something purposeful, and it did not have the wellbeing of the Empire as a goal.

Is it only the Nomads that want to be rid of their ties to Earth and One? Could there actually be a plan to free Granite Peak, by the Oners over there? Have they been suborned by Earth? Surely not, High Oners would never take orders from the Multitude Government of Earth. I need a breakthrough. I need an Action Team prepping to go tomorrow or the next day.


"Princess Gewz, this is Obhi. Hob is very good with computers. Hob, the Princess is going to do a stealth audit of the subdirectors."

Hob's eyes widened, then his smile. "Did I just hear permission to crack the Directorate's computers?"

"Yes, but don't get carried away." Izzo gave him a firm look. "Ajha's told me all about you. Princess, start with those six and we'll see what we've got. If the Princesses' have Directorate accounts – most of them work here, after all – you can take a look there as well."

Izzo stepped back across the hall to his own suite. "If you hear noises like Wiz is killing that poor techie, let me know."

"Yes sir." Kiel's lips quivered and he would have sworn she almost smiled.

hollybambolo on July 23rd, 2015 01:44 am (UTC)
First speaker in Chapter 13 is?
Rael sent the Wine to the Princess Potion Mistress back in Empire, so the One has surely had that for quite a while, as well as the winos from Empire, Xiat's source, Interior had it, Inso and Jiol . . . seems like it ought to be one of those things that's illegal but widely available. Ra'd has had the hormone suppression spell for a few years, presumably he shared it with his fellow bubble victims at the very least, I'd have expected that to be out and semi-public.
It's ten paragraphs in before we see that Xiat is present, a roll call of some sort sooner, please, when you flesh this out?

So, Influenza. It's a witch-like name. How'd she come by it? Some cultural background for her maternal grandma's line would be good in the fleshing out stage.
(Anonymous) on July 24th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
Her grandfather Ahme is called Ahem, as in "Cough, cough, Ahem!" All his friends call him Cough Cough. See end of _Empire_ when Inso goes through the gate Xen made. Now why someone thought calling his granddaughter Influenza was cute, I have no idea.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on July 23rd, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
For the record, bloodless castration isn't difficult nor does it require medical training.

Burdizzo has its own Wiki page.

I picked this up from _I Bought a Mountain_ by Thomas Firbank recommended (Canadian/English/Welshman buys Snowdonian sheep farm).

were probably both pregnant. Some people who were listening in looked shocked, and slid out. They came back and said the Administration hadn't been aware of that possibility and would look into it
Possible as in "officially aware" but after 14 years and more and Xiat recently - implausible.

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
(Anonymous) on July 24th, 2015 02:18 am (UTC)
Princesses are not all 216's and even they occasionally get pregnant. The mythos that they _never_ get pregnant is just that.

The 216 genes on the insertions are half just cosmetic, and so the odd match up where the man has more truly effective genes than the woman who has an higher total count can result in a pregnancy. The early random marriages and divorces that are the roots of the modern revolving marriages, started as the only way to find fertile couples, prior to the modernization of medicine and genetics. _Sometimes_ various drugs will interfere with the selection process, but certainly not frequently. The modern tendency of any woman not actively trying to get pregnant to suppress ovulation in order to avoid menses makes unintended pregnancies even more rare than when the mythos got started.

So the authorities aren't really surprised that Izzo, a 216 with a priest genes can, after more than a decade of regular sex with a princess, finally get her pregnant. I suspect that if Xiat, confident that she would never have children, not suppressed her ovulation, they would have had children earlier.

The Wine of the Gods, as almost guaranteeing a pregnancy, is still sneered at as a tall tale. Endi, after all has a very high percentage of the non-insertion packet genes of the Prophets, so really, the lack of the six rape genes was apparently cancelled out.

However, in this particular case, the Princesses did not realize that they'd been dosed with the Joy Juice, plus they were old, plus no exotic spy. Just a cat fight between women who'd been in the same social circle for decades, over a man.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on July 23rd, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
As to magical R&D, how long did it take to reverse engineer Ultra Violet fireballs ?

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on July 24th, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
I'm sure Agni has been working on it since the Assassination Attempt. I shall have to ponder the time table. Whatever, it hasn't trickled down to the Directorate School level yet, not even the Action Team Trainees.