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10 September 2015 @ 05:05 am
_Project Dystopia_ part27  

At oh-four hundred the guards spotted a rat.

Ebsa slipped on his boots—having slept fully dressed—grabbed two guns and . . . all the ammo he had left. Extra shotgun shells for Vee, who'd kept the gun.

Dead bugs of all sizes crunched underfoot as he trotted down the street to the southeast corner.

Iqgu looked around and nodded. "They're out there, eating the dead ones, where we dumped them. We'll leave them to it. Save our ammunition for when they come into camp."

Ebsa nodded. "I've got twenty-one rounds for the 20mm. Out of 12mm. About three hundred rounds of 10mm. Several hundred shotgun shells, all birdshot."

"If they don't open a gate fast, we're screwed."

Ebsa looked out toward the barely seen movement in the predawn and nodded. One more rat mobbing and we'll be down to clubs and magic.

He swept out the kitchen area with a lightweight bulldozer spell and started breakfast.

Pastries, as much to test the oven as because it made little mess to clean up later. He'd salvaged enough plates that he only had to wash the first twenty or so to get through the whole crew, Ngorei and Zhondi included. The elf children drew a lot of attention, which sent Ngorei back to clinging to Paer, and Zhondi maneuvering into Ebsa's vicinity, while looking aloof and unafraid.

Paer transplanted Ngorei into Ebsa arms. "I've got to get to work. And probably take the night shift tonight."

"Yeah. No problem, The kids can help me today."

For some values of "help."

He toted the old beacon down to the mess tent's slab and set it up. Dusted off the square solar cells on top and oriented it so there'd be sun on the cells all day long.

Coffee and Ollie had spotted him and followed.

"What are you trying to do?"

"Well, it was working well enough on what little light it was getting through the holes in the cavern roof for you to detect it. Fully powered, it may be strong enough for the Gate operators to detect it." Ebsa glanced at the kids. "I think those bursts of static we detected might have been powered gates operating."

"Oh." Coffee blinked in thought. "I thought this might be an Elf World. My newest theory was that the cataclysm was a war between the native elves and the colonizing humans."

Professor Olle paced around the beacon. "But if they detected this thing's weak signal and opened a gate to it, that would explain why the only trace of elves we've found was the single group down in the cavern."

"I didn't study the elves in college." Ebsa watched the kids poking at the nearest dead fabricator's guts. "But even so, I think I'd have heard if any with dimensional travel abilities had been discovered."

Two bright grins from the scholars. "Yes."

"Not Archeology." Coffee continued. "But still a ground breaking discovery. And the tools we have for studying ancient civilizations are much the same used for a very different civilization. Plus we can ask questions."

Olle winced at a high shriek from Ngorei. "Once we learn the language."

Ebsa nodded. "I hope the adult's range is a bit deeper than the kids, otherwise we'll have to work out a frequency shifting apparatus so we catch everything they say."

Ebsa stepped over to remove a splitter from the girl's hand and waft a healing spell over it.

Zhondi watched, and gabbled at him. Shut up and stared demandingly at him.

"Umm, are you wondering what I did?" Ebsa eyed the boy. "You held a damn hard shield for hours. Maybe days, for all I know."

He swept a wider area clear of bugs and sat down cross legged. Hands palm up on his knees and took down a couple of layers of his habitual shields.

The boy hesitated a moment, then sat as well. Ngorei bounced over and plunked herself down, bright eyed and eager.

He cupped his hands, capturing the power, the energy of the heat. He could, if he'd wanted, measured and chosen what frequencies he reaped. But he just felt instead, and pulled his hands together, compressing the power into a glowing ball. Then he leaned forward and released the energy into the cement slab.

Zhondi stared at his own hands, laying in the sunlight.

Ebsa put his hands back on his knees. Made a show of cupping them.

Zhondi curled his fingers, cupping light.

Ebsa brought his hands together, concentrating the power.

The boy echoed his moves, the light brightening between his hands.

I do believe he's using a different frequency range. Ebsa suppressed a smile as the boy spread his hands, both palms glowing. Shook them and failed to dislodge any power.

Ebsa again flattened his hands on the concrete and let the power seep away. Zhondi did the same, and huffed out a breath of relief as the power soaked away.

Ngorei giggled, and tried to strangling down light herself. A few little sparks of light danced between her palms. She gave a high pitched "Eep!" of surprise, and shook her hands. The sparks drifted off and faded.

Then she and Zhondi started squeaking away, jumping up and running around and hugging.

"What's that all about?" Coffee watched the kids, an annoyed scowl on his face.

Ebsa grinned. "I think that might have been her first show of power. Obviously just as big a deal as it is for us."

The girl sobered suddenly, put her hand to her injured ear and burst into tears. She staggered over to Ebsa and clung and sobbed.

Ebsa looked from the girl to the boy. He was biting his lip. His hand rose toward his ear . . . then dropped. He braced his shoulders and raised his chin.

"I mislike the matching ear bobs. I don't know what it means to them . . . or if it was done deliberately, for some purpose."

Olle frowned. "Could just be a coincidence. If I were a little girl, I'd cry over a disfiguring scar too."

Ebsa eyed both kids. "C'mon. Let's go talk to Paer about this."

matapampamuphoff on September 10th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
I don't like Zhondi. He needs a different name. Suggestions?
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 10th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yendi Ydouri Ronado Rinindi Shandi

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

matapampamuphoff on September 11th, 2015 12:01 am (UTC)
You are a Bad Man. Do I need to borrow some carp from Sarah?
Bretbretw on September 10th, 2015 11:57 pm (UTC)
As long as it has more than 4 letters, I'm good!!! :-)
matapampamuphoff on September 11th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
I'm trying to toss out as many nicknames as possible. The problem with Zhondi is that it keeps reminding me of Endi. So I want something different.
hollybambolo on September 11th, 2015 12:07 am (UTC)
Ngorei sounds like it could be from the language group around my in-laws place. Try nd, nb, mb, ny, ssi, bah . . . Maybe something like Bandissi?
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 11th, 2015 12:58 am (UTC)
Perhaps a double-barrelled name ?


Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 11th, 2015 03:09 am (UTC)
Zhodan, maybe.
Bretbretw on September 11th, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
I like Zhodan!