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07 May 2017 @ 06:47 am
_Scrambled_ additions, here and there  
 This is around Day 4

Chapter Thirteen Nuked One

14 Yusef 1410 yp

Agni Withione Gerund Canary, President of the Empire walked out onto what used to be the East Plaza.

Guards spread all around, weapons at hand. Some quite large bore.

"I thought you said they killed all the dinosaurs?"

"Never hurts to be cautious." Axti Withione Black Point was both a good friend and a superb assistant. Not that the Head of the Presidential Directorate was merely an assistant.

If not for the scandal of producing a Clostuone son, Ax might well be the President and I'd be his assistant. His son was twenty, across on Tall Trees Colony when we lost the gate. Estranged or not, he'd been so proud of the boy's accomplishments at the Directorate School . . . so shocked to realize he'd never see him again. So worried about what may have happened to him, over there.

I wasn't estranged . . . just too busy, too distracted . . . But I did love my son . . . I love him still . . . dammit, I wish I knew what happened to him. If only . . .

He shrugged the speculations away. Time to deal with reality.

He walked out to meet the . . . Disco people.

Inso Neartuone Gday Brisbane. I know this man. He died twenty years ago.

"Inso, I cannot over stress my personal gratitude for the help you've given us. And the thanks of my world. Even if I don't understand the odd looks you keep giving me."

The old man cackled. "All we mostly provided was a way for your own people to get to where they needed to be, quickly. You've got this well in hand . . . and on my world you're the most obnoxious, bombastic, arrogant asshole that ever somehow made it into high office. It is very odd, seeing you acting reasonably and speaking sanely."

Agni blinked. "Umm. I see." He glanced at the Ax. "So, I understand our colonies all stuck to your world . . . we need to set up a way for families who were split to get news of our long lost relatives."

Inso grinned impishly. "Even though they don't realize anything happened? I'll mention the issue . . . and I really want to see the look on Ajha Clostuone Abadan Black Point's face when I tell him he's got two fathers. And, perhaps mothers?"

The Ax's hands clenched. "Yes. We're both alive here. He must be doing well, for you to know of him."

Inso's grin widened. "Nearly half a century in XT, said to be the best Exploration Leader ever. A brief stint as an Alternate Philosopher of the One. Currently Subdirector of Exploration. He's one of the best known men in the Empire."

"Oh." The Ax looked blank. "May I hope my . . . alternate had more sense than me?"

"'Fraid not, not until recently, and that was rather too late for . . . much of anything."

"Thank you. Tell him I'm proud of him."

"I will."

Shaken hands all around then Inso was climbing into a tough little vehicle they used for exploring rough terrain and driving away.

Agni sighed. "We're going to have to let go of any claim to the colonies. It's been too long for the people to switch back to us."

"The Council will never agree." The Ax grinned. "Assuming they ever find the rest of them. I'd be happy to run a special election to replace those entrenched old men."

"Indeed." Agni looked around the plaza.

"So, we're missing ninety percent of the Ministry of War and all the various offices that were beyond it. A thin slice of the office buildings along the north side of Yusef, broadening and curving to take out entire apartment towers on the southside. Then that wing took the businesses along Kaito and running south through the Red Zone. No loss there."

Ax winced. "Don't say that where the newsies can hear you. Please?"

"Everyone's thinking that. So, the southernish wing took out mostly suburbs until it hit Versalle. We know all of the Guards got out of the barracks, with a few injuries, and got out of the area of effect with the aircars and heavy equipment."

"Yes, they worked their asses off at search and rescue. Still are. We're going to have to get them a whole new stable though. And horses. They got the horses out of the barn, but not out of the area."

"They've probably all been eaten by dinosaurs by now. Hopefully not the few guards and princesses left behind to hold the fort." Agni turned to survey the ruins to the west. "And slices out of a dozen ministry buildings, most of which collapsed. But the biggest problem is to the north and northwest. The Council Hall is mostly gone. The police building collapsed, Central Courts and the downtown jail gone. A corner of the Interior Directorate build lopped off, and the whole building condemned."

"And every slice that went missing was broken up and spread out to four different worlds. One knows what's happened to all of them."

Agni stared out to the southwest. "Thirty thousand people still missing. Eighteen thousand dead, here. Double that around the world, from the earthquakes."

The Ax looked at him. "And Agzo. I can't believe that effect could cut a car in half."

Agni nodded silently, turned and walked back to his limo.

And the next bit will go in around day 7

Chapter Twenty-one Disco

Late Spring 1408 px

17 Yusef 1410 yp

8 June 3525 ce

Ebsa sat to one side of the podium and listened to Q reporting on the dimensional aspects of the problem.

"The destruction of the working gate is probably what broke the whirlpool. All the trapped membranes were released, zipping off in various directions. I've found no indications that any of the five I've found are in any way bound to the others. I do not expect the displaced arcs to shift again, or return home. What you've got is where we'll go from here."

Ebsa looked down at his minicomp. The picture of Paer with a newborn on each arm. My babies. I should be home helping Paer, not risking my ass, and then getting pulled into the meetings.

"So. We've located that Earth and that One World, and you all heard reports on the . . . earthquake disaster relief. The worst damaged areas were small enough that the locals have now taken over. We have returned the Earthers and Oners to their respective worlds. So we will not belabor that point further.

And we actually managed to do it without hardly anyone getting shot.

"Now we've located the nearest three spin-off worlds. I'll let the teams who explored them take the floor."

Ebsa switched the comp to his presentation and synced it to the room's screens. Stood up to take the lectern. More of a judge's bench, but the name doesn't matter.

He took a quick glance behind him at the screen, just to check and make sure he wasn't showing his baby pictures . . .

"The Water World—I'm sure you've all seen the rocky tide pool places—was about four meters deep, on average. Single story buildings were mostly under water, but both the Nuked Earth and the Nuked One had taller buildings in some of their areas, and with some improvised rafts managed to rescue the people trapped on their roofs and bring them back to the larger buildings."

Another quick glance over his shoulder. Yes the screens were showing the water lapping up against—and through—the buildings, and the people scrambling out windows and down the hatches of the amphibious crawlers.

The placement of the gates had been . . . interesting. On the roofs of houses that slanted down into the water. The balloon types of the crawlers had, thank the One, spread the weight of the crawler enough that Q had only moved the gate twice when the roof showed signs of weakening.

"They managed well enough for the three days until we arrived, but they were getting desperately short of drinking water. We've returned the Earthers to Nuked Earth, the Oners to Nuked One, and everyone else is here and trying to figure out where they want to go."

"The second spin off was a Dinosaur World. We found a few survivors from Earth holed up in an office tower. We searched the rest of the ruins, with no luck."

A stir through the room. Ebsa didn't need to turn and look to know the screen was showing the scattered human remains in one building, the scavengers cleaning up the last bits.

"We collected DNA samples for identification, in the four areas we found . . . something to sample.

"The third world was barren, we got everyone back here for food while we sorted them out . . . I believe all the Nuked Earthers and Nuked Oners are home now?" He glanced at Wolfson, who nodded. "And again, the people who were born on Earth from parents or grandparents who came from a different world are still here, figuring out where they want to go."

Charts now.

"These displaced people are from Purple, Thousand Year War, and High Cliffs. We're up to 382 . . . I'll call them refugees for now. Given their upbringing on Earth, usually in cities, I'm loath to suggest handing them an Empty World to call their own . . . but perhaps with training that would be the best solution to the problem."

"And we've got four more worlds to go. So there will be more refugees as we locate the worlds. I hope."

Director Wolfson stepped up as Ebsa retreated. "Questions?"

One fellow with a very dyspeptic expression demanded to know how it had happened in the first place. "It was a nuclear explosion, it ought to have just collapsed the gate."

Q stepped up again. "Best guess—and forty-seven years later that's all it is—is that the nuke exploded as it transited the gate, that little blink of time . . . possibly pure bad luck, more likely something about the gate transit triggered it. Keep in mind is that nuclear explosions involve quite a bit of energy that is NOT standard EM radiation, and one may easily postulate that the bubbles, cones and (if I recall correctly) cylinders are linked to or affected by the quantum structure of the multiverse. As a nuclear explosion does have some quantum effects, especially with the massive amount of EM created by the explosion, AND adding in the enormous magnetic field used in creating mechanical gates, I would be shocked if there wasn't some serious disturbance of the gate area, if the bomb went off nearby while the gate was up. And as I say, if it was in transit the effect might directly interact with the inbetween and cause a serious . . . disruption. Please do not test this."

She hunched her shoulders. "We do not know if we are approaching something like the creation of the Helios mini-verse, or if perhaps when the various worlds hit the bottom of the whirlpool they might have merged in a fashion similar to the cannibal merges. And yes, I am curious, but I am not going to test the idea. And no one else had better do it either."

Wolfson stepped up and eyed the Oner delegation, and then the Earthers. "Consider that an absolute prohibition. Disco will take action to prevent it." His voice was flat and dead serious. His aura deep and dark. Ebsa was not the only one pressed back in his seat and checking for the nearest exit.

Out in the crowd a hand waved. "Neither of those other worlds has a working gate, right?"

Xen shrugged. "Nuked One is reluctant to test theirs, but in theory, now that they are out of the whirlpool, it should work normally. Nuked Earth lost their gate. I have no idea if that was their only one. There's has been no gate activity from there, other than our temporary gates to return their citizens."

Temporary, because the idiots sent armed troops through the first one.

Wolfson's actually quite good at diplomacy—and enforcing respect for Disco's rules. I think that odd twisted version of the One World will behave. And Nuked Earth has calmed down. Might have something to do with the permanent gates to five really primo Empty Worlds.

I ought to find an excuse to go back to Nuked One and find Nick and his family. Except I think Nick jumped onto an odd patch and disappeared. And didn't return. I wonder which world he's on, and whether he'll even want to return. Maybe his family would want to join him . . . Assuming he's somewhere livable. I wonder what they are doing?

muirecan: Withersmuirecan on May 7th, 2017 10:00 pm (UTC)
Ah this looks like the breadcrumbs you mentioned thinking of adding between random chapters. Nice I like it and find it delightful to watch a confident Ebsa there.
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on May 19th, 2017 10:57 pm (UTC)
>;)> (Big Evil Grin/Wink)

Edited at 2017-05-19 10:58 pm (UTC)