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14 September 2015 @ 08:31 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 31  

". . . So, when you're not actively heroing, you write reports?"

Ebsa snickered and saved his work. "At the moment I'm trying to put together a series of short vids to show what we were doing and where we found the kids. And especially showing that we didn't have anything to do with either their being in the museum, or the other people being killed by the ants."

Yeahza scrunched up his nose. "Huh?"

Vee bit his lip. "Do you think more elves will come here? To the Museum . . . or to the old beacon?"

"I'm betting on the beacon. And I'd like to start relations with a dimensionally traveling Elf Civilization on a peaceful note." Ebsa tapped the comp. "Hence the show. We rescued two kids in danger. Period."

Yeahza shook his head. "Thinking ahead. That's supposed to be a good quality in a leader. Thank the One I don't do foolish things like that."

Ebsa grinned. "And of course I'm writing up reports. Mostly briefs, with appendixes that will be the scientists' reports on various things."

"Yow. Why?"

"Because I can do it in air conditioned comfort, and then when we get home I can dump it all in Subdirector Ebko's lap and run off for some home leave."

Vee grinned. "Dang. I was hoping if I switched from research to Team, I'd never have to write another report."

"I thought you were an archeologist?" Ebsa stretched and grabbed drinks for from the fridge. "Did you go to the Directorate School?"

"No." Deep flush. "University of Good Hope."

Ah. Draken Clan. Worse than being a bastard Upcommer.

"So you were right on the doorstep of the great anthropological discoveries."

"Yeah. I did stoop labor for some of them, while I was working on my degree. And, well, I applied to the Directorate, and next thing you know, I'm doing stoop labor here." He grinned. "But I think I may try for Teams, now."

Ebsa shook his head. "You'd probably get bored and frustrated, just watching the scientists, and not even doing stoop labor to help with the discoveries."


". . . old Farenheit scale it sounds even worse. Forty is a hundred and four."

Ebsa looked over . . . ah his three gardeners talking about the weather as only scientists, historians, or, in this case, archeologists could.

"Ridiculous. Who would pick thirty two degrees as the freezing point of water?" the tall thin one sniffed.

Paer paused as she passed their table. "Comet Fall still uses it. I heard the exiles were from an odd place, with tons of technical discoveries but mired in a culture that clung to old measuring systems."

"So we've heard. But really!" Tall thin . . . he really did need to find out what their names were . . .

"What would fifty degrees be, then?" Little Pink was frowning.

"Umm, times nine . . . divide by five . . . and add thirty two. A hundred and twenty-two." Short and stout fanned herself. "It can't possibly get that hot."

Ebsa felt like fanning himself, too. He looked over and caught Wxxo's eye. "We may need to move the dining room inside."

Wxxo pointed at the office behind him. "I'm ahead of you for once. We're moving Dr. Illo out and removing the interior walls. Not sure what we can do about your kitchen though."

"So long as it doesn't get too much hotter out, I'll keep working out here. May need a tarp for shade."

Fortunately they had a large supply of tarps.

Once all the spiders and roaches were evicted, Ocho's crew put up pipes and strung the tarps in long slanted strips above the whole cluster of buildings. The shade was welcome, and reduced the strain on the air conditioners. Ebsa kept pots of coffee, cold drinks and snack available in the dining room, and Wxxo encouraged breaks and socializing among the scientists, crew, and teams.

There were rather subdued discussions about how long they'd keep pretending they were a science project and get seriously into survival mode. And the wisdom, or lack thereof, of climbing into a bubble for months at a time.

Only the Astronomer was getting much accomplished. He found his filtered pictures of the Sun in daily demand. Extensive large sunspots and sunspot groups, huge prominences, spectacular arcs, and giant coronal mass ejections.

Ebsa exchanged glances with Wxxo, and Paer's hand found his under the table. "If this is a regular cycle, it may behoove us to bubble up for a few years and see if it dies down. Not that I think we'll be lost for very long. But I'd really hate to miss the rescuers when they show up, you know?"

Pear bit her lip. "We could bubble everything but the crawler, and rotate who keeps watch. At least through the summer. Surely it'll cool down in the fall."

Ocho nodded. "I should build a large concrete shelter at the gate site. Something you could back the crawler into and have some serious protection from the sun, while watching for a gate."

As the snow disappeared from the mountain peaks, the water level started dropping.

And the temperatures kept climbing, not cooling until the early morning hours.


Static flooded the comms. Ebsa dropped his spatula, flipped all switches off and threw off his apron as he bolted down the line of buildings.

Everyone was coming out, hot or not . . . Wxxo's ute swung around the track and jolted to a stop. Ebsa trotted up beside him. Movement at the old beacon. Lots of people . . . short people in unfamiliar clothing.

:: Paer! I think the Elves have arrived. Do one last ear job on the kids if they need it, and then try to get them a glimpse of these guys without being seen themselves. ::

:: Oh. In case these are the Bad Elves. ::

Ebsa looked around. "Vee? Give me that shotgun and go get my comp. It’s show time."

"There's only one shell!"

"I know. It's mostly symbolic. Wxxo? Will you let me handle this?"

"With pleasure. Mind you keep your shields handy."

Ebsa nodded and walked forward. He held the shotgun low, pointed down and away from the elves.

A dozen of them. Heavily armed, half focused on him and half scanning for threats. The man in front, with an elaborately embroidered tunic had a sword at his side, and a some sort of long weapon in hand.

A third of the way there, Ebsa stopped and placed the shotgun on the ground. Stepped away from it.

See? I'm a fighter, a warrior, but I'm not threatening you.

The Elf in the fancy suit looked him over, and handed his weapon to one of the others.

"Ebsa?" Vee sounded worried. "I've got your computer."

"Hold it out in plain sight and bring it to me." And hope they don't have a weapon that shape.

He half-turned and took the comp. Vee retreated.

Ebsa stayed turned away a bit while he turned on all recording functions, then called up his rough vid series. Maxed the size of the holoscreen then turned. Bowed his head infinitesimally to the head Elf as he started the vid. He set the comp down and retreated a few steps.

The lead Elf stepped forward.

Bretbretw on September 14th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
If these might be the bad (kidnapper) elves, is it a good idea to show them the vids with them rescuing the children?
matapampamuphoff on September 14th, 2015 10:32 pm (UTC)
They have only guesses based on very poor communications from children. Ebsa thinks, based on the hopefully correct interpretation of the kids' expressions and body language that there _might_ be Bad Elves. And guessing again, that good Elves might show up. Or some Elves, in any case.

All they can do is show that (1) they didn't kill any Elves, (2) they rescued two children. And then see what happens. Give the kids a peek at them, and see how they react.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 15th, 2015 11:53 am (UTC)
You said ==He toted the old beacon down to the mess tent's slab and set it up.==

This doesn't really match what you have here and that's good since you don't want someone opening a Gate on top of you so I think Ebsa would allow a safety zone.

Perhaps Ebsa sliced a flat spot on a nearby outcrop/ pile of rubble ?

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 15th, 2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
There are two large concrete slabs. That may not have been clear in what I posted here, as I had a second round of describing the camp. One slab was for the Mess Tent. The other is full of the squishy offices/aid station/domiciles for the hundred and twenty four people there.

Ebsa's purpose in putting the old beacon so close--inside the camp wall about a hundred meters from the other slab--is two fold. (1) the beacon may help the Oner gate techs find them, and (2) help the Elves find them, so Ngorei and Zhodan can go home.

He speculates that there maybe something fishy about the kids being here, but all he knows is that the adults associated with the kids are dead. He's working on a deeper understanding of the language than the basic nouns and verbs--and when I rewrite I need to get into this much more deeply--and I may let them get far enough to convey that, and concepts like honor, and that a very big powerful Elf dad will be looking for them and prepared to kill anyone he thinks responsible for kidnapping his children.

In any case the purpose of having the beacon close is to avoid putting some poor schmuck on gate guard duty so far from back up in this very hazardous environment. Now they will know when a gate attaches, without, hopefully, losing any more people.

Edited at 2015-09-15 02:46 pm (UTC)