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06 May 2017 @ 10:04 am
_Scrambled_ part 14  

"Right. This had better wear off by tomorrow." She veered away toward the horse's corral.

We need to graze the horses, we're running out of horse feed, and the two sensitives I scared up found a grand total of thirty five live grains. There won't be oats for a long time. And no wheat. Ever.

If we can stop the shooting, we can extend the outer perimeter, fence in several square kilometers . . .

Chapter Twenty

Day 7

Nick applied the water pumping spell to a couple of pipes on his way out, and kept going east until he was clear of the pinwheel. Turned south and trotted for a kilometer before he stopped.

Sat down and tried to collect his scattered thoughts.

I've never fired this gun before.

I've heard of picking up skills from other people like that. But I didn't intend to . . . learn anything from Ebsa.

His mind spun him back to the glorious moment. A world of power in his hands, merged with an man, more experienced, more confident. Balanced, centered, grounded . . . call it what you will.

Nick searched his own sense of self and found nothing new, nothing alien . . . How would I know with this puberty attacking my common sense and these hormonal urges.

Puberty. Loss of virginity. Two of the big kicks to magical advancement, and I've had them both in the last week and a half. On top of an incredible battle merged with an experienced warrior. Nick opened his eyes and stood up. Looked out across rolling hills to the distant mountains. And this transfer to the world of my dreams.

In ten days I've changed. Not beyond recognition, but rather like a flower unfurling. I am becoming a different form of the same thing.

He opened his mind, dropped all his shields.

Glows all around. Small animals, for the most part. Gamer over there, the wives and children, Abbas and Hakim further, the bright glows of various children. Other adults, none as bright as his family, but all warm and human, even the miners, with no magic at all.

To the northwest, a glowing heap of Oners.

Further, at the bare edge of his perception, a vague sense of more people. Earthers.

My people. Every single one of them. It should be all of us, building and living together. Spreading out and building, not clinging to our little groups and fighting with the others.

I won't take this on as my responsibility.

I can't beat sense into thousands of heads.

I won't beat them until they behave.

He turned and looked physically and mentally at the nearest Oner. Close and getting closer. That Princess, on a horse.

He fought down all the suggestions from the new hormones, and watched her approach. Fought down a wave of lust. An urge to pull her off that horse and . . .

I will not be a rapist. I am not one of those Oners.

She slowed the horse, stopped. Wide-eyes and looking spooked.

Oh yes. I guess I was a bit . . . awesome? Or was it terrifying?

He pulled in his senses, closed his shields. "Princess . . . Deep is it?"

"Dee Ee Eye Pee. Dipper, because I'm good a dipping in and out of people's notice."

"Yeah. You've even gotten close to me without my noticing. Twice. That I noticed."

She slid off the horse. "Was that real? Ra'd ibn Nicholas ibn . . . "

"Emre. My grandfather. Ex Elif. My grandmother."

"Grand . . . mother!"

"Yeah, sorry to break the news, but ten of the Prophets were women."

She looked boggled, shrugged it away to eye him. "Were you there when Isakson killed your grandfather?"

"That wasn't my grandfather. Not really. All the important parts were long gone. That was just a shell the hive mind used to maintain itself."

"There must have been something left."

"I'd rather there weren't." Nick met her big brown eyes, and looked away. "What man would castrate his own grandson to add his magical strength to his own? I prefer to not hate the man from my childhood." He swiped angrily at the dampness on his cheeks.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to bring that up."

He waved it off. "It's these damned hormones. Most people have the better part of a decade to learn to deal with them. That healing potion . . . Ebsa said it was what I needed. I didn't realize it could regenerate . . . organs."

"It . . . wait, you mean you . . . and these stupid geldings aren't actually . . . "

"Turning into stallions? I don't know." He walked back to the horse, keeping the horse between them. He bent over to look. "Nothing. I had a seriously large dose, and a couple since then. Maybe he didn't get enough."

He straightened, put his hands on the saddle. Still warm from her body heat.

"When . . . "

"Eight days ago . . . or nine? And three days ago, yay, balls. But I've got this flood of hormones. My temper's edgy , my dreams horrible and urges . . . I haven't had enough time to learn to control any of it. I'm not really safe to be around. Especially for women."

Their eyes met over the horse's back. He could see her swallow.

"The rape genes . . . "

"I have five of the six. A bad combination. I need to just . . . walk away into those mountains for a couple of years and learn to control myself."

"But we need you."

"Debatable, on your side. But my family does. So I'll just have to . . . deal with it. And test my magic, having done puberty and sex so recently. And in these circumstances. I haven't had time to find out what I can do, to stretch my magic and learn and train for more."

She put her hands on his.

A wave of lust. A jumble of stupid pick up lines from stupid movies ran through his mind. So you like to live dangerously. Don't worry, I won't let anything hurt you. Hey Cutie, wanna fuck?

Just grab her wrists and . . .

He jerked his hands away. "Don't. Just . . . just leave me alone." He turned, motion registered, no time for the gun . . . a slice took the beast's head off. Another raptor. Two more turned to run and he sliced them both.

The horse spooked. Dipper grabbed a rein and mostly got out of the animal's way, got a foot down and jerked his head around . . . He stopped, head up and snorting. But the scary creatures were motionless on the ground and he gradually relaxed.

"The Black Horses are very well trained, bomb proof, they call them. But these attack lizards are just totally outside their experience." Dipper was standing with most of her weight on one foot.

"I can load the horse up with meat, but then you'll have to walk."

"Nothing's broken. I'll walk. But I'm already getting tired of meat. I'd kill for fresh bread."

"Send your cooks over to our place. They can exchange recipes with the wives." Nick walked over to the dinosaurs.


"The wives of the Warriors who died at Rangpur. Four of them. And there are other women over there who've been cooking as well." He looked from the dinosaurs to the horse. "Maybe a travois?"

She nodded. "They're all trained to pull things. I'll get poles." She hopped a bit on her good foot and managed to mount with out assistance.

Dammit. He watched her ride eastward, toward the stream, then turned back to the dinosaurs. Gutted them, then used quick slices to remove the unneeded heavy parts, head, lower legs, end third of the tail, the big leg bones. It was a damned big pile of meat.

Dipper returned, dragging poles. He skinned the biggest dinosaur . . .

It took a hard tranquilizer spell to persuade the horse to be loaded, over-loaded, with two dead raptors.

Then the Princess led the horse away—not limping—and Nick made a smaller travois of his own and started dragging the third one home.


"We heard shooting. What was that smoke?"

"The Earthers retaliated." Nick turned the travois over to the men who'd walked out to meet him. "What a mess. We're going to need to be careful, and not draw attention to ourselves. I don't think the Oners would attack us . . . and the Earthers I've met were perfectly nice people. But the Earth's army attacked the One World, and the war seems to have come through with us. I think the problem's at the top, not the bottom. I should go talk to the friendly Earthers, see what the problem is."

Enuf laughed. "They think it's all our fault. They've all been told that Granite Peak was their colony that we attacked, instead of the other way around."

Nick snorted. "I wonder how much our version has been shaded?"

That got him a bunch of glares.

Marco and Kirk laughed.

"That's the spirit." Marco sobered. "That's what we were taught in school. The Evil Empire of the One! The Noble Earthers bring enlightenment to the Multiverse! Well, all of us 'Natives' knew that was bullshit."

Kirk nodded. "Yeah. And by now it hardly matters. Huh. I wonder what's happening back there, on Earth and on One. Do you suppose they're still fighting?"

muirecan: Withersmuirecan on May 6th, 2017 06:07 pm (UTC)
Always knew Ra'd has remarkable discipline. I wonder how much he picked up from Ebsa and how much was Ebsa handing more knowledge to him under cover of the compass.

Edited at 2017-05-06 06:08 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on May 6th, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
Transferral may have been stronger than usual because Ebsa and Ra'd merge so frequently. Ebsa is probably not aware of how many of his skills he improved or picked up from Ra'd. And Nick picked them up so easily because they were Ra'd's.

Ra'd, on the other hand, realized quickly how he was strongly influenced in merges. For the better with Ebsa, and the worse with the other Team Track students.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on May 7th, 2017 02:47 am (UTC)
That explains why he has such a horror about merges with anyone but Ebsa. Or at least merges he can't use Ebsa as a buffer for everyone else.