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20 September 2015 @ 09:26 am
A few scraps  
Since I've run out of things ready to show you, I'll hand you a couple of scenes that will eventually get woven into a story. Or two. Possible three.

Chapter One

11 Ramadan 1408 yp

Government House, Paris, One World

" . . . So we bubbled the whole block of buildings and we waited out the next month as the sun got hotter every day. We were about to give up and bubble the crawler when we spotted the gate opening." Paer touched her nose. No more peeling flakes, thank the One!

Her father sighed. "I'm sorry your relationship to me keeps . . . putting you in danger."

"Apart from sweating and sunburn, I was fine. And even the worse burn victims are recovering. Lady Gisele is amazing. My patients were the main reason I couldn't come straight home. And the opportunity to learn medical magic from a Comet Fall God. Goddess."

"I'll bet. I'm only sorry the mess here made you're wait so long."

Paer squirmed, and decided to not mention that a month alone with Ebsa had actually been, well, interesting, in as much as they'd had their first spat, their first make up, their first doubts and serious thinking. We learned how to stay together though the rough patches. We learned that even when we were tired and scared and snappish, we still loved each other. We learned how to respect each other's space. That sometimes solitude is needed to maintain togetherness the rest of the time.

"It was a little stressful, wondering when or if we'd be rescued. That planet is not a place I'd want to be marooned." Even with Ebsa.


It's going to be a scandal. The daughter of the President of the Empire is not supposed to fall in love with a Clostuone, no matter how awesome.

"I'm glad the hunt for us was only delayed a few months. But the delay was good . . . I mean, we had an excellent First Contact with dimensionally travelling Elves. Which an immediate reattachment wouldn't have allowed."

"Indeed. I've had all the reports on the Elves, yours included. But I still wonder what happened to those people, the descendants of the colonists. Maybe their giant rats ate them?" Her father leaned back with a sigh. "And you have to go right back?"

"Yes. Ebsa and I are the only people they've got who can even say 'hi' in elvish. Well, the linguists have all the recordings, but they still want us on tap, in case Disco can trace where they came from."

He shook his head. "Sorry, I don't know whether to be astonished or proud that you've grown up into such an amazing young woman. I think I'm fated to be a footnote in history 'Father of the Famous Explorer Paer Withione.' And proud of it, by-the-way."

Paer squirmed. "I have a long way to go before I get to famous explorer. However, Subdirector Ajha says we'll be assigned here for the next year, but if we want, we can swap to part time training duties. He still thinks I ought to be a doctor."

"I'd agree with him, with the caveat that you've got plenty of time to explore, to . . . be incredible. First. And then go to medical school." He grinned suddenly. "But it'll be nice to not have to worry about you for a year."

She grinned right back, "Oh Dad! You know driving across town is more dangerous than most of the things I do."

"Indeed. Now . . . since you've missed your birthday party . . . again . . . we'll just have to throw a party sometime when you are certain you can be here. How about for the Eid? We'll invite all your old friends from the horse show days . . . "

Paer laughed. "Dad! We've all gone our own way. Well, we chat on grid when I'm in communication, but really . . . "

"Well, there's your college and work friends, any of them who can get away. We'll invite everyone."

"I'm not going to get out of this, am I?"

He sighed. "I hate this. I'm actually using you to get my name out in the public eye. Urfa says that I have to get my name in the papers at least once a month, and not in politics! If I don't get some society coverage I'll lose too much of the women's vote."

Paer bit her lip, but the grin slipped out anyway. "What you need, Dad, is a juicy romance."


"Let's see . . . who can I set you up with? I'm horribly short of women friends enough older than me to avoid scandal . . . I don't suppose Qayg . . ."


"Hmm . . . Let me go talk with Xiat. She's got a bunch of high society friends . . . "

"Paer . . . "

"Just a couple of dates, Dad. It'll do you good to get out and just be friendly."

"I . . . " He paused, forehead wrinkled. "It might actually work . . . but I will find my own dates, thankyouverymuch."

"Humph. You can't kid me. You, Urfa, and Qayg will put your heads together and pick a politically expedient list of potential dates. What you need is a vid star."

"I most assuredly do not!" He paused. "Well, maybe one date."

"Rumor has it that they're staging another picture here. Zhy Azteca as the President, and Pixy Savannah, Queen of Sheeba, and Juicy Oslo as the sexy body guards. Very well known stars. Instead of avoiding them, like you usually do, go out and meet them. Invite them to dinner, so they see how it is in real life."

"Paer . . . One. All right. That's actually a good idea." The President pinched the bridge of his nose. "I might have caught something about them signing Is Dacca to play Endi."

"Oooo!" Issw Neartuone Dacca was the current teen dream boy. Just a hair darker than average, tall and muscular. Vid stars tended to drop their Oner Status names from their screen names, and use a common sounding first name, which fooled no one, but glossed over the fact that most of them were fairly low strength Oners. And, of course, thumbed their noses at the clans that thought them low class and would have preferred they not mention their clan.

"A few movie promotion pix in the paper will work. Especially if you took one of the Ladies out for dinner and dancing." Paer grinned at her dad's horrified expression. "Now I'm going to go ride, and I'll be back for dinner."

He waved that off. "I'll come out to Versalle. Nothing going on tonight, thank the One."

The door of the office opened.

Qayg stuck her head in. "The Minister's here."

"See you tonight, Dad." Paer nodded politely to the Minister as he was ushered in. Then she stared grinning. Looked around and found Qayg grinning as well.

"Brilliant, young lady. That man needs a wife."

Paer sighed. "I always had hopes for you.

"Quite apart from my age? Very flattering through."

"And then they'd send Dad a new Princess and that would be weird." Paer smirked. "But I know where to get Comet Fall Joy Juice. Anytime you feel the need."

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 20th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
==Then she stared grinning. Looked around and found Qayg grinning as well.==

? Then she started grinning. ?


"And you have to go right back?"

Paer squirmed. "I have a long way to go before I get to famous explorer. However, Subdirector Ajha says we'll be assigned here ...==

Not clear where 'here' is.


And on the general strategy, if everyone can live to be a thousand, as introduced in Bad Karma, this will change everything including the future of Qayg and the President and the Kingdom of the West.

King for five hundred years ? twentieth term as president ?

It's a overwhelming change (as Prolong in the Honor Harrington universe and rejuvenation in Elizabeth Moon.)

Do you really want to change to sociology rather than magic ?


Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

matapampamuphoff on September 20th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
And not just the top rank, can you imagine a government bureaucracy with no turn over? On the other hand, you wouldn't get the situation we're in now, with a government whose longest term financial plan is to be out of office and rich enough to be insulated when their decades of irresponsible fiscal policies finally come crashing down.

And fictionally, I can either have them be responsible with term limits, or just kill them.:)
hollybambolo on September 20th, 2015 10:11 pm (UTC)
Michael, she's been writing sociology all along, or what did you think the Ash Witches were?

Anyway, still looking forward to the proposal. Do we ever get a straight up Ra'd and Nighthawk and their families (what his step-mom would make of her mom . . .) or is that likely to just come in as background here and there?

Clever Paer, get the tabloids speculating on Dear Old Dad's romance instead of hers. Maybe that'll get some of the pressure off so Ebsa can propose. (I laughed at the last few lines. Qayg would make a good Mrs. President.)
matapampamuphoff on September 21st, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
Oh yeah. The witches were all "So what would happen if these feminazis actually got what they say they want?" Which is why the witches keep falling in love, to the fury of their elders.

And the Mages were the men who wanted nothing to do with women. Well, other than sex, having babies, raising the kids, cooking, cleaning . . .

The wizards are "more men than women are good at some things, but the women who are good at it are just as good as the guys."

Mind you, I didn't set out to write about it. Ash was my mental escape destination. Until I bragged about the control I had over my writing direction and my Muse was well trained and polite . . . Yeah, the old subconscious took offense and showed me who was boss. By the time it got over pissed, I had the huge monstrosity that I eventually broke up into Black Goats, Explorers. and Spy Wars, and had enough left over for a collection of short stories.

Edited at 2015-09-21 01:41 am (UTC)