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14 June 2017 @ 04:05 pm
_The Last Merge_ Disco part 2  


"That looks amazingly boring."

Xen grinned and looked over at the men guarding the two triads of witches. He'd asked Urfa for a few guards, and received four men that he suspected were Urfa's best. "Open your shields carefully and check out how much power they're handling."

Uxmo elbowed Ixpu. "I'll bet Demoiselle's group is better than Lapwing's"

"Five rials on Lapwing."

Xen shook his head and looked over at Ohhe. "Do they bet on everything?"

"Yep. They don't actually pay each other. They keep score with various embarrassing consequences when ever either of them gets a hundred rials ahead." Ohhe sighed. "And while spilling a drink on Agni was amusing . . . Well, Urfa put his foot down and told them nothing involving a live person."

Wsca snickered. "Then he added, 'Or dead' so it's mostly been quieter since."

"Other than the clown makeup and wig on the statue of the Prophet Emre?" Ohhe rubbed his arm. "After they washed it off, Isakson, err, the Martial Arts trainer at Versalle, gave them a . . . lesson they remembered at least until the casts were off."

"They still swear it wasn't them. I wondered about Ra'd, myself."

"Nah. It was too funny. Ra'd doesn't do funny."

"He's pretty good at disrespect, though." Wsca broke off to stare at a clump of brush. A touch of magic and brushes shook something large ran away.


Xen raised his eyebrows. Sounds like a lot of changes around Versalle. And it sounds like I should meet this young man of Nighthawk's again, and give him a good look over, over-protective daddy style. "Doesn't do funny" sounds off.

Q stood up and stretched. Walked over to join them. "I removed all the gates to the Inhabited World. The girls caught most of the cones, so the new gates are going up fast."

Girls, Q? You're only two years older than they are, a Half Moon like they are.

She snorted, having caught that. :: Give or take time in speed bubbles? ::

Xen looked out over the rolling plains, spotted with trees and brushy ravines, and bright spots of open gates. "Nice technique, getting the gates to attach away from where you're standing."

Wsca edged over. Shrugged. "I can't see a thing, just rocks popping up here and there."

"When we take a break it'll be safe to walk out and take a look." Q was leaking a bit more glow than usual.

Trying to see of Oners are immune to her archetype?

"Closer up you'll see that the rocks are just showing through a gate, not actually there. We're placing them all over the southern hemisphere of Helios, away from their much reduced population."

Xen blinked as the plains rolled in a very different way than the usual winds . . . The ground shivered. "Earthquake. Could be a coincidence."

Q shook her head. "The Inhabited World was having them all over, frequently. All small, but I didn't want to risk causing large ones. Here? Not going to worry about it."

She stepped closer to the two triads . . . a moment later the witches dropped hands and shook themselves a little.

"Take a break, and perhaps we should hike off a couple of miles and spread the gates out more." Q looked around at Wsca. "What to take a closer look? I need to see what's going on, on the other side."

Xen hid a smile as they headed for the nearest gate. Oh Q! I hope that man is really open minded, not to mention resistant to archetype effects.

He grinned at Uxmo and Ixpu, scurrying about to get the witches drinks and sandwiches. Caught Ohhe's speculative glance.

"You might warn your buddies that witches are love'em and leave'em types. They're all Halfmoons, which means that they've given birth. Double powered so they're stronger than hell."

"How about your sister?" Ohhe turned to frown as Wsca walked into a circle of rock and disappeared.

"Hell quivers in terror of the thought of her landing there. Yes, she's a Halfmoon. Destiny is, umm three now? something like that."

"Losing track, with these bags, bubbles, whatever, and you speed them up?"

"Yes. I suppose it sounds odd . . . well, even inside our magic community Q's eccentric, and not just for her child rearing practices."

Ohhe grinned. "Language shift, there. In the Empire eccentric is not a synonym for spooky. Can you just . . . look around and see other worlds?"

"Yes. But I have trouble peeking inside to see what world it is. And finding the same one again. So being able to see them isn't all that special."

They spent four more days of increasingly strong earthquakes placing gates, then gated back to the barren world they were using as a staging ground.

A month later the Helios miniverse cruised past, barely diverted.

"Well, pretty much what I expected. And it did bend toward the dinosaurs. It will be close." Q bit her lip. "We increased the chance it will merge with the Dino world. "I'll get the gates up this week."

matapampamuphoff on June 14th, 2017 09:06 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, the dino world will be more exciting, and not just because of the dinosaurs.
Zan Lynxzlynx on June 14th, 2017 11:23 pm (UTC)
Do the Elves pop up around this time?

Or did you decide against adding non-humans into everything?
(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2017 01:39 am (UTC)
I think the elves make their first appearance in the unpublished Project Dystopia, which post-dates this story.
matapampamuphoff on June 15th, 2017 01:45 am (UTC)
The Elves won't show up until _Project Dystopia_

Let's see what the schedule looks like . . .

Time Loop and Doors into the Dimensions are almost done and will be published . . . sometime. Honest.

_The Last Merge_ #32 (and #D7!)
_Nowhere Man_ #33
_Black Point Clan_ #D8
_Project Dystopia_ #D9
_External Affairs_ #D10
_Fractured Loyalties_ #D11

Nowhere Man, the Eldon story, doesn't need to be in any particular order, other than after Merge. BPC needs a major continuity edit, Project Dystopia is about ready to go. EXA needs some thought. FL is ready to go.

After that I've got some short stories. Ebsa's son, Ebsa and Paer's wedding, Scrambled and Children of a Foreign God. Then there's Gods and Princesses, if I dare. .
(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2017 03:28 am (UTC)
Please dare!