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19 October 2015 @ 05:27 am
_Sneak a Peek_ the raggedy end  
 

There was a long thoughtful silence from that direction.

Then more running kid-feet and new voices. Victoria and Rich, the youngest of Bee’s siblings, under-aged and still attending school. Jeff shook his head. In this family it was hard to tell where one generation ended and the next started. Rich was just two years older than Peter, and the family resemblance was strong.

The three of them had a grand time, and made a horrible mess of the kitchen, fed people until they stopped coming, and filled up “sampling” things as they cooked.

Jeff had taken the smallest bedroom, and set it up as an office, with the bed as an after thought. He’d caught on quickly to the computer and compiled news articles, science, opinion pieces that seemed to match what he heard on the street, and always, the digests of government activity. They had a President of the World and a World Council. A Department of Multidimensional Affairs. Several parallel police and military organizations, from neighborhood patrols to the multidimensional Army and the Gate Authority. He loaded everything on a chip and dropped it through the gate to Indigo and Dusty every morning as he headed for the Public Works garage.

And in the evenings, he helped the kids with homework.

"Stop that! Stop doing that!" Ellen was glaring at Peter.

"I didn't mean to!" Peter was patting at his paper. That was smoking.

Jeff reached out mentally and pulled the heat out of it. "Peter? Do I need to take some matches away from you?"

"I don't have any." He sounded frightened.

Across the room, Victoria laughed. "Yeah, like we believe you and your magic tricks."

Old gods! The Purples have magic, don't they? Jeff closed his eyes. The boy bubbled and frothed with power. No more discipline mentally than he's ever had physically. I'd better teach him some before he burns the place down. I'd better teach them all. Somehow.

Late Fall 1394 (November 20, 3611ce) – Comet fall Agents to Earth

Winter 1395 (February 05, 3612) – Earth reconnects with Purple. Major clash, as back log of deportees resists deportation. Jeff argues with authorities about it, about how to ruin relationships from the start, and about how to reconnect like civilized beings.

Xen travels to his location and alters his skin/hair/mucous membrane genetics enough to pass him as 100% Earther. Then Xen travels back, buys alcohol and is found in a park, semi-conscious, by True.

The Mafia closes in on Xen. He spots them when he’s running, and then while he’s working in the yard.

He tells True, and they leave, planning on meeting Martin and being taken to a new safe house, while the police set a trap at True’s.

Ambushed, car chase, crash, shoot out. Xen, slightly injured, gets True, badly injured, away. Administers wine, usual results. “Oh my head. I did not do that!” “Ohhh. I think we did though.” “Get away from me. Where are my clothes.” “Over there with mine.” They stagger around, find a phone, call for help. Martin comes, grinning. They caught or killed tons of muscle, and also nabbed their radio contact car, in which a big wig was riding along for the thrill and/or credit for dealing with the problem in person.

On the way to wherever, their car is crashed, Xen dragged out and away. He makes sure True and Martin are all right, then lets the Bad Guys take him. He leaves a trail of dead or stunned bad guys all the way to the tidal rip. Then he jumps away, leaving everyone to assume he is dead.

///Jeff, meanwhile, still supporting half the Purple population on Earth, points out that if they really do have genetic engineering like the One World, then wouldn't they make excellent spies? "So, like, you really need them to be loyal, to be members of your society. You need to make the whole Purple World feel like they are valuable trading partners. Treat them like equals. Make up some good sounding alliance, and add a couple of the more advanced worlds to it, you know?"

The agent sat back, frowning. "I hadn't thought about that possibility." He looked over at the kids, wiggly and poking each other, ready to break into another round of wrestling at any second. He winced and looked away.

Jeff snickered. "Peter, Victoria and Rich. Aged fifteen to eighteen. Victoria will be graduating from high school next month, not sure what she wants to do with her life. I'll get her to send in an application. Think about it. Get her a clerk's job or some such in your office, and steer her toward spying. I dunno about training those magic talents."

"We've got some purps who work for us already. Hadn't thought about siccing them on the One. But a young attractive woman . . . tempting."

"I'll make sure the others get plenty of exposure to spy stories. Work on their accents and grammar a bit . . . " Jeff shrugged. "Can't hurt, can it?"

Shirley eyed him suspiciously, and as soon as they were out on the street, maneuvered so only the oldest kids could overhear. "That's what you are, isn't it? A spy. A spy from One World."

Peter's eyes went wide.

"Nope. A spy from Comet Fall." He noted their blank looks. "It's a world your Gate Authority discovered thirty years ago, and auctioned off to the highest bidder, as if our existence didn't matter a bit. We kicked you off, and now I'm spying to see if you're going to attack us again."

"You're a spy!" Victoria looked horrified.

"Actually, all I do is read the newspaper and pass the relevant news back home. Real spying just isn't much like they show it in the movies." Unless your name is Xen Wolfson.

"Xen who?"

"A spy who went to One World and did stuff worthy of a vid hero. I'm going to have to watch my mental shields around you lot. Because we have magic, too. I think some of you guys need lessons."

"So we can spy on you?"

"Oh, you're already doing that. There's not a whole lot of magical people on Comet Fall. Not enough to spot an Earther on sight. Now the Empire of the One? We've had all sorts of trouble with them, too. I've heard that something like ten percent of their population is magic, and so Earthers are really obvious, like walking around with a mental sign that says 'I'm a spy from Earth' or something. Helping Earth spy on them? Lovely!"

"And all you had to do was kill Ace Worley."

Jeff sniffed. "Ace is in something akin to suspended animation. When I get recalled, I'll send him back. Heck, I'll even cure him of his addictions." Jeff scratched his chin. "And I'll sign the building over to you guys before I leave. What happens then is up to you guys."

"Oh." Shirley's voice was suddenly subdued. "Of course you'll leave."

"It'll be years from now. Decades, maybe." He shrugged. "Or maybe you'll leave, and be inventing new hairstyles that are all the rage in the One World."

 
 
 
matapampamuphoff on October 19th, 2015 10:31 am (UTC)
The point of all this being that in ten years, when Ra'd is on Embassy and suspected of leaking info, the leak could be all the Oner female staff chatting with that excellent hair stylist who's come from Paris to open a shop.
matapampamuphoff on October 19th, 2015 12:50 pm (UTC)
Whoops, had this stuck down under my lists of things:



“Xen.” Jeff squirmed. “I’m not sure I’m the right person for this job. I . . . like these people too much.”

Xen nodded. “Good. See, all the stealing of secrets, the assassinations, the nasty stuff? That’s for the books and movies. Mostly. What we want is a mole. Someone to sit here peacefully, to like people, to be liked, to belong. We need an honest assessment of what is happening here, so we can, if necessary, cut off a war before it happens.”

“That sounds like the movies.”

“It's what we managed in the Empire of the One. Hopefully we won’t have another mad scramble like that ever again. Because spying really is useful.” Xen shifted uncertainly. “The most useful Moles I know of are the Earthers that live in Karista. Without them constantly reporting what’s going on, what the Oners were doing there, how our government wasn’t getting cozy with them, I think Earth would have been tempted to wipe out everything and everyone there.”

“You know about Earth spies in Karista?”

“Oh yeah. Damn nice people. Well . . . two out of three of them. Captain Andrei Andrews, Sergeant Damien Malder, Corporal Max Lovett.”

Jeff choked.

Xen grinned. “Like I say, a good spy fits in, likes people and is liked by them. Your step-father and his buddies have even been known to drop us an anonymous note of warning when they find out the One is doing something underhanded.”

“Dad’s a spy? An Earther? And Uncle Damien and Aunt Andrei?” The man sounded a bit faint.

“That’s one of the reasons you were chosen for this. You’ve got a few turns of phrase and so forth that fit here. And we didn’t tell you earlier because I was afraid you wouldn’t understand that your family really does love you, and really does love where they live, and really do want peace. Even though their loyalty is to Earth, and unshakeable. And that’s your job here. Let us know when things look like they’ll go off into the ditch, and we’ll do our damnedest, hopefully just diplomatically, to get our relations back on the road. Don’t you worry about the kids being Earthers, just love them, and raise them right.”

Jeff got his boggling under control. “Like Uncle Damien collecting kids? How long have you known about them?”

“Let’s just say that Bert Howard who lives across the street is one of the King’s Own, and was delighted when an alternative to retirement was offered.”

“Oh. My. God.”


Edited at 2015-10-19 12:52 pm (UTC)