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05 August 2015 @ 06:41 pm
_Exernal Relations_ part 16  
 

Jack climbed out of the truck with a curse, stretching his back. A Oner stomped out of the officer's quarters. Iqne, one of their action team leaders. Arrogant son of a bitch, they think they'll be the leaders, because of their damned magic. Sooner or later we'll find out if Arrow is stronger than they are, or not.

"Driving yourself?" the Oner leered at Arrow as she got down. "I never thought I'd see you without your armored gyp."

"Bad trip, two flats on each vehicle." Jack shrugged, trying for indifference. "And only one spare on the gyp. Someone borrowed the other. I left the lads to deal with it."

"Ha!" The Oner turned and eyed the very few people around. "Ubso, get the forklift. Two pallets of canned and dried goods, one pallet of ammo. We'll be ready." He eyed Arrow. "If you can close the gates."

She smiled smugly. "I closed to gate to Earth and the gate from Earth Town to Embassy just before we left. Tomorrow I'll close to gate to One World. Then we'll just see if we also need to close that gate to Embassy, or if we can negotiate our independence."

***

/// nice getaway fight, Ajha and Fean hide and watch the pursuit pass them by. Follow cautiously and arrive about the same time as everyone else.

***

Part 15 goes here, slight change to the ending:

"The Director crossed over three days ago and hasn't been heard from since and . . . That looks like a rather rowdy crowd. I think I'll just . . . "

Mushy gawped as she walked right through the gate. The infamous Q trotted right through behind her. "Hob, follow them! Quick, she didn't even take a gun!"

Hob gunned it through, turned and stopped on the edge of a rough-looking crowd. Farmers, laborers, not cleaned up from a hard day's works, stirring restlessly.

The guy up on the platform making a speech had his tie loose, his shirt sleeves rolled up. Trying to be one of the hard working fellows? He needs to apply either mud or grease to pull that off.

***

". . . with no interference from the Empire ever again." Governor Arry swept a hand through the space that had formerly held the gate to One World. Wgli stood to his left, and Ebko to his right. The news vids were rolling and everyone, every One on the planet, who wasn't seeing this historic moment live, was watching on his home screens. And popping out of their homes and coming to witness in person.

"We will no longer be held back by the chokehold the Empire used to control our exports. Finally we can trade openly with the other Worlds of the Multiverse. This is the start of the One truly moving into the Multiverse. World-by-World, independent and free."

The Earthers and the Halfers and the Miners would be free as well. Not that they counted.

His Militia, two thousand strong stood by to deal with the few who couldn't see the advantages of an independent World. Wgli had brought his people, two hundred strong, and Ebko had all twenty Action Teams.

"Chokehold? If you had anything to trade, it would come to the One World free of any tariff or barrier."

Arry jerked around at the sound of that irritating, overdone Parisian accent. "Izzo! What are you doing here?" Ha! Fool had his two stupid errand runners at his back. Not a guard in sight.

"Taking look around. Ebko, tell me, what were two of your Action Teams doing, dressing up like Nomads and raiding a farm? Governor, you were bitterly accusing me of incompetence because of my inability to capture the raiders. Well, what a surprise, you were actually sponsoring them. Whipping up support for your little independence movement. Murdering your own people, moving the wives and girls to your rape camp in the south."

Arry shot a look at the vid cams.

Wgli spun a spell out and the broadcast lights dimmed.

"And what are you going to trade for the goodies you want? Grain? Now, I'll blame my predecessors, and most especially the Council for not getting the machinery the Earthers destroyed, fixed. All well and good for them to pursue repatriations from the Earthers, but the money seems to have wound up in the wrong pockets. In fact, a great deal of it seems to have gotten into your pockets, and disappeared."

Arry wiped sweat from his brow. "Great causes need great sacrifices."

"Do they? Do your citizens agree? Or would they rather have repaired their machinery five years ago and got on with reclaiming their fields?"

"Bah. Enough of this." He stepped up and waved at his Militia captains. "Arrest them!"

"Mushy, Whipper, remember what you've learned. I think a few goats will keep them occupied while I finish up, up here. Subdirector Wgli, I remove you from duty until an investigation into your department's financial affairs is completed. Subdirector Ebko . . . "

Arry smiled in anticipation as Ebko whipped a nasty spell at the Director. His smile faltered at the ease with which the Director shrugged it off. Wgli joined the fight, crisp spats of spells flying.