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13 September 2017 @ 06:09 pm
_Gate Team_ part 6  
  

She cleared her throat. "I suspect we should not use the word séance when any of them are paying attention."

The guys swapped grins around.

Icks looked innocent. "Unless they need to be insulted."

Bunny snickered. "Nor should we quote Shakespeare. 'Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.' Except we'd have to make that Triad and trouble . . . "

Scar grinned. "Shall I fetch you a fillet of a fenny snake?"

Ux jumped in. "Must be some eye of newt, and toe of . . . "

"Stop!" Ohhe glared around. "Not going to happen. Split up and pretend to be guarding very, very, hard."

They split up, and if there was a bit of snuffling and coughing . . . Rael sighed and walked away as well. Stared over the rolling hills. I wonder where in Spain we are? What city ruins we're camped on? Not that it should bother me, our Paris has made a park out of the ruins of Old Paris.

Movement far out . . . she magnified her vision . . . something hopping like a kangaroo, but . . . the tail was long and the ears rounded . . . Did Europe have a native mouse that hopped? The descendants of zoo escapees? Whatever they were, they weren't getting any closer.

Barracuda paused beside her to stared out at the hopping whatevers.

"I don't think I want to eat anything I can't recognize. I was thinking deer, or, hmm, pheasants, maybe, for dinner?"

"Woof!"

"And I haven't the faintest idea whether Xen was kidding about your brains or not."

Which got her a doggy grin and wagged tail before Barracuda trotted off.

Another survey . . . ten more circles of "not here" standing around. Not too different, just . . . the stones over there are melty looking instead of old and weather.

Rael stepped up beside Q as stood up and grabbed an elbow as she staggered. Steered her around brush and past the witches and her brother and another hundred meters. "All right sit here and we'll start shifting everyone else."

Ux and Icks were all too happy to gently nudge their favorites.

A loud electrical snap and Ux stumbled back and sat down, shaking his hand.

Jacana snorted. "All three of us felt that pinch. You're lucky you're alive."

Ohhe glared. "Ux, get up on the hill and don't come back until I order you down." He switched his glare to Icks.

Who waved both hands. "No pinching. I'll just gently tap Demi's shoulder . . . " as he did so. And soft voiced, "Time to shift over a bit. You gals have ten gates done already."

That group dropped hands and sort of sleep walked past Xen before forming up again.

The other triad sent resentful glances all around, and Jacana looked like she was seriously thinking about kicking Xen as she walked past.

A gate sprang up, way down hill, and then another. Goldfinch hustled her triad and got them back together.

Jacana growled something about stupid men, her glare drifting from Xen to Ux and back.

Rael prowled the new perimeter and ignored them. Another new gate sprung up, this one much closer.

An hour later they'd finished twenty and Rael walked between triads, telling them to quit. Nudged Xen.

He nodded. "Just a few more cones to use up and we'll quit."

Rael looked back to the witches, relaxing, dropping hands, power released. Bunny hustled by with an armful of boost, and Rael headed to the ute to help.

Three more gates far down the hill, and Xen and Q quit as well.

Xen stretched. "Two hours, twenty-three gates. Excellent. A short session this after noon, and then three or four more days should take care it."

 
 
 
mbarkermbarker on September 15th, 2017 12:36 am (UTC)
Thinking about it, this is actually a pretty tricky writing challenge -- how do I write about an extended period of people sitting doing something mental from an external POV, and still keep it interesting? Kind of like the time someone asked me about watching my team of programmers write code -- I suggested that (a) watching them write was not really exciting and (b) it would probably be disruptive to sit there and watch them write. Luckily, I convinced them to give up that notion -- I still think some of my team would have quit if I had to tell them they were going to be observed while they worked. Bravo!
matapampamuphoff on September 15th, 2017 01:57 am (UTC)
Let's watch some paint dry!

Umm, yeah, because the attempt to divert Helios _can't_ be fast, but how much of it can I elide over? and how much can I show without boring the readers to death. You poor, poor guinea pigs. I'll write too much with the idea of tightening it up and cutting bits.

Now the several months they spend tracking and calculating, to see if it worked? That when I'll swap to Eldon's part.

Then back for fun setting up gates among Pleistocene MegaFauna . . . you know . . . they could be on a different part of Eldon's world, give them a bit of linkage early on. Right.

Then the dinosaur world . . . then the last ditch attempt on an inhabited world Xen and Q have to decide to sacrifice, or start evacuating the One World. Upon which we have the last big battle.