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21 September 2017 @ 11:01 am
_Gate Team_ part 10  

The Empire of the One

Directorate of External Relations

17 Rajab 1405 px is Ebsa and Ra'd report to Directors

Mid-Yusef for the Dino close encounter would be good

Months later the Helios miniverse cruised slowly past the Paleogene World, diverted a few degrees.

Xen eyed Q's dissatisfied expression. "Not enough?"

"It was pretty much what I expected. And it did bend even more toward the Dinosaur World. But probably not enough for me to successfully force a merge with the Dinosaurs. And if it misses . . . it'll deflect toward the Primitive World. It will be close." Q bit her lip.

"We increased the chance it will hit the Dino world. Lessened the chance that it'll close enough for the Helaos to force a merge with the One World. That'll do for now." Xen thumped her shoulder.

"I'll start getting the gates up next week. The Helaos deserve to merge with dinosaurs."

"And if they miss both of the inhabited Worlds, there are plenty of Empty Worlds we can steer them toward . . . And get rid of this menace forever."


Presidential Dirtector Urfa sat in on the meeting at the Exterior's Research Subdirectorate.

Dr. Wrla Withione was the Subdirector of Research. The usual High Oner snob, but a highly intelligent one, and a good manager of his department, from everything he'd heard.

His staff doing the reporting and presenting their projections were all glowing with relief. "After two close and one distant encounter, the course of the Helios multiverse should carry it comfortably out of spontaneous merge distance, and probably out of forced merge range. We're calculating that the percent chance that Helios will come close enough to merge with the One World has dropped down to twenty-four point six-four."

The Subdirector of Intel nodded. "The Helaos are definitely discussing the pros and cons of merging with the Dinosaur World. But they don't seem worried that they might spontaneously merge. So that gives us something to go by, in assessing our own risk."

Wrla nodded. "Oh yes. We're well out of the spontaneous merge range. What we don't know is from how far away they can force a merge. That they've dropped us from consideration is a very good sign."

"The Dinosaur World will be the next close encounter. We will be monitoring constantly to see how it's course changes as they near, and with-or-without Qs work, the miniverse should be deflected further from our world."

Director of External Relations Ajki Withione Black Point spoke for the first time. "If the Helaos do not force a merge with the Dino World. It will deflect toward Primitive World 65480.

The Intel subdirector nodded. "As I reported last winter, we've gotten bugs into some critical areas, and are now monitoring their scientists' results. The Helios scientists' conclusion, that their world will miss the Dino World and hit the sparsely inhabited Primitive World remains unchanged, as of our last intercept of a report to their Archelaos. We are monitoring around the clock."

Urfa, the head of the Presidential Directorate, shifted. "The Helaos know there are enough humans there on the Primitive World to merge with them. The question is, will they be satisfied with the natives or give it a pass.

"Or move. We know they have a working gate. If they can move to another world, no problem, so long as it isn't ours. But we need to also consider worse options. That rather than move to a wilderness, they'll pick a world with an existing civilization they can take over."

Ajki sighed, as, of course, his brilliant and talented nephew leaped to field that one.

"Given their small surviving population, a small colony world of ours or Earth's would be ideal. Powered high tech infrastructure, but a small population they can easily dominate. We need to keep an eye out for that."

A nod from the President. "Have you discussed that with Disco?"

Ajki nodded. "Yes. Q says she can see where powered gates go . . . if it happens when she's watching. And she said she's watching regularly. She said she'd put her understudies to work putting up all the gates to the Dinosaur World. From there, she said she ought to notice their gates even when she's busy. With an unfortunate lack of communication between Intel and Exploration, we've got a science expedition on the Dinosaur World. We'll give them a month, then evacuate them well ahead of any possible merge. We'll let them return after the encounter."


Two days later Urfa's comm buzzed. He snatched it, so few people had this number . . . Ra'd? "He's never called before. No matter what."

"Ra'd? Problem?"

"Yes, sir. While guarding a scientific mission on a Dinosaur World . . . "

Oh shit! That one?

". . . we encountered Helaos. They were holding a dozen kidnapped Oner students for future merging. They. Raided. The. Home World." An edge of fury shown though Ra'd's business-like tones at the last. "Colleges in Caracus and Alcairo. We need to return and get our scientists out of there."

"Where are you now?"

"Embassy. We've dropped off the students."

"Good. I'll get things moving here. Do what you need to do."

"Yes, sir." Click.

Urfa was cursing as he hit Major Eppa's code. "Ep? We may need your fast response group, get'em ready while I talk to Ajki . . . "

And Xen . . . Oops, first call Orde, must let the President know . . .

Chapter Dino

"Is it my imagination? I swear I can feel the attraction between the planets."

Xen was looking also, but to him, at this close range, the crumpled-paper membranes were static—moving so slowly they might as well be frozen. Of course they're only separated in non-spacial dimensions, not, not really physically separated . . . kind of. It's just our weird perception that gives us the illusion of . . . Oh, eff it all, leave the explanations to the physicists.

"What do you think? More gates? Maybe spread them out all around both worlds? The worst that will happen is Helios getting a dinosaur invasion, which. all things considered would be fitting."

Q snorted and pulled her perception out of the inbetween, shrugged off the loose mental link they'd been holding.

Xen did the same. Stretched and stood up. The other six witches and the their guards were looking at them. They all looked happy and eager.

Wsca grinned. "So? What continent do you want to move to?"

Q grinned back. "North America, the West Coast's about opposite here, and we can stay away from the Helios there."


"That's not a pterodactyl."

"Good. Last thing we'd need is another aerial attack . . . " Xen followed Wsca's gaze, zoomed in his vision. "Oh, that's a plane . . . or one of your antigravity aircars with a bit of wing . . . Unmanned surveyor? I'm not feeling anyone . . . oh shit, I think there's Helao in there . . . there's a second one . . . "

He broke off check the witches—oblivious in their triads—and Ohhe diving into the ute and grabbing the radio.

Xen threw an illusion over the entire area. Probably too far away even if it would work on their squirrely brains. I need a physical effect, light warps . . .

"Q, wake up. We've got a problem."

"I'm not asleep . . . oh crap! Did they detect the gates? Ha! I'll bet they think their own people have found them. What shall we do to them?"

Wsca shot a glance her way. "You mean with them?"

"Not really. But I suppose I shouldn't be too nasty."

matapampamuphoff on September 21st, 2017 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'll need to put some extra stuff in before the dinosaur encounter.

The President making a speech about Helios' close approach and now them raiding. Saying that the Home world was far enough out of their path that they were _now_ confident that they were safe, and yes, that was why the suburb worlds got fast tracked, just in case, and yes there were other worlds that had been prepped, and yes they'd be open to colonization fairly soon.

But first, we'll deal with Helios.
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on September 21st, 2017 09:51 pm (UTC)
Yes... that. Best way to trigger collective subconscious "god" episodes is to reveal the dangers globally. Get EVERYONE thinking about it.
ekuah on September 21st, 2017 10:25 pm (UTC)
Maybe Orde should...
... also mention that Disco and witches from Cometfall played a essential role in diverting the cannibalworld away from the homeworld.

This would dimm the fires of the War party even further.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on September 22nd, 2017 04:48 am (UTC)
Yeah! Ra'd and Ebsa and Xen and Q!
matapampamuphoff on September 22nd, 2017 12:04 pm (UTC)
I was originally going to have Rescue Mission/Shadow Zone as a third part of this. But they never actually get together so I decided to pull their part out and publish it separately.

But it's all happening at the same time, so mention of the events in _Surveillance_ and _Fort Dinosaur_ need to be mentioned as they are pertinent to this one.