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23 January 2018 @ 01:05 pm
_Last Merge_ Xen end of Ch 6  

Rael looked over her shoulder at the images . . . Just images, not real bodies, even though they really are real dead bodies . . . "Sure. No problem."

He flashed a grin. "Like something to eat? It's almost noon here."

Rael resisted looking at the . . . images, and stepped over to a side wall. Slid down and sat where she could look out a hole in the wall at a cloudy sky. "Umm . . ." her stomach gave warning. "Thanks, but I'm on a diet."

Xen sobered, and folded up to sit beside her, lifted an arm in an invitation to snuggle that she accepted immediately.

"Sorry. It's . . . a reminder of my worst failure. Not that there was much I could have done differently. I talked to some of them. Not these two specifically.

"One man, he was in agony, not wanting to kill someone by merging, but at the mercy of his government and in terror of his family's lives. He saw me doing the water and ashes merge . . . and ran off to try it. I hope he made it."

He leaned his head back against the wall. "The next one just sneered, all arrogance. 'We are Helaos, the Damned. Thrown from the Universe, and thus the Universe is made our prey.' He was immortal and the lives of Damos were of no importance at all. He'd merged five times."

"So they aren't all bad . . . "

"Just most of them, and all of their leaders." Xen nuzzled her hair. "And I suspect I'm going to kill a whole bunch of them. But not today."

"I hope. So . . . do you just teleport in and, what?"

"No . . . I can teleport to places I've never been, but it's not advisable. I'll teleport out, though, so escaping won't be a problem." He made a plucking gesture. "I'll leave a bunch of stuff with you . . . " He patted her arm. "And put some handles on these two . . . Food and dogs."

"Xen . . ."

"Just a precaution. And I'm quite certain I won't need Pyrite in there."

"You've got your horse with you?"

"Yeah. He says when I'm doing something dangerous, I have to have him along, just in case."

Rael eyed him. Is he genuinely concerned about not getting out of there?

"Have you got a rifle in any of these bubbles? Just in case."

***

"They've got the mags running . . . probably just spinning slowly so they don't develop a sag . . . they're big, umm, about double the diameter of your powered gate rings, heavy enough that they can get out of round if they aren't spinning."

Rael nodded, looked out the hole in the wall at the setting sun. "Our gates have . . . never mind. You're too damned easy to talk to, God of Spies."

Xen snickered and leaned out the hole to look at the street. "Looks like the night shift's here. See you later."

He looked down to spot an empty area, warped light and teleported.

A quick study of the men heading into the Magnetics center, then into a bubble, nearly closed . . . fingertip walk out onto the sidewalk and stick the bubble onto a shoe.

He closed the bubble, opened it enought o peek out at a swinging featureless wall. He stuck a finger out to detach the bubble, and skittered on finger tips over to the wall. Stuck the bubble down and took a long slow look at a featureless corridor.

Good thing there's a bunch of people walking along, otherwise just this little hole might catch the eye . . . and the shift change won't last forever, so I'd better see about finding a wall of the ring containment.

Okay, those look like the front doors. And there are two cross corridors . . . this one ends at the second corridor. The rings might be behind that wall? And here comes the afternoon shift, heading home. Let's try the corridor least travelled . . .

He finger walked down the main hallway, trying to not feel like an invisible snail. Stopped the first corridor and peeked both ways. Offices with glass windows on one side of the corridor--toward the front of the building--and on the other side a glass wall looking into a room full of controls and computers.

The last of the day sift departed, so he skittered aross the cross corridor and on down the main hallway to the T intersection at the end.

A careful peek around that corner to his left showed stairs going up and further down the corridor, stairs going down, beneath the upper staircase. Xen maneuvered the bubble around to look down the corridor to the right . . . three men, a bank of monitors.

Guards? I'm surprised they think they need them . . . and who are they monitoring? Their own people? I wonder . . . if they occasionally have problems from merging? Just scrambled brains, or the other personality persisting?

He eyed the men. Talking. Hot drinks. Tossing occasional glances at the monitors. Not expecting trouble. Not alert.

I'll try the stairs.

Flexed his hand. Getting stiff. Ridiulous way to travel. Once I'm around the corner, I'll warp light and get out of the bubble.

Around the corner and off . . . feeling . . . odd, hair on the back of his neck up . . . in fact all of his hair . . . Static? He manuvered awkwardly . . . spotted the cam at the top of the down staircase. If he was across the corridor, right up in that corner, it might not pickup any little blips as he exited the bubble . . .

He finger walked across, toward the backwall, possibly the wall of the ring containment . . .

The bubble popped.

Xen bellyflopped onto the floor. Everything he'd had in bubbles crashed down around--and on--him.

His hands shot out to cushion a two foot long cylendar, while its mate rolled off his back and toward the stairs.

The bombs!

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on January 23rd, 2018 08:21 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this could get quite messy - and exciting!

--TheOtherSean
cnmckenney on January 24th, 2018 12:42 am (UTC)
Shadow zone or magnetics?
Is this a function of the shadow zone or just too close to the creation magnetics?

This would seem to indicate that bubbles are not separate entities but indentations in the fabric of reality since the contents did not vanish but were ejected into the reality with the thinnest local membrane. If the various Embassy entities are sufficiently worried about bubble smuggling then they can install strong enough magnetic machines at the border gates. Assuming that it won't mess with the gates themselves.
matapampamuphoff on January 24th, 2018 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
The shadow zone isn't established yet, this scene is getting slotted in earlier. My problem is that I'll have to handwaveium some reason this facility operation on standby mode can pop a bubble, when powered gates in operation don't.

I may have to shelve this, just to be consistent with my own rules.
(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2018 02:30 am (UTC)
Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
They are similar to but different from gates, so that gives you some room to handwave if needed. But perhaps better to avoid entirely, even though it would be quite the exciting interlude.

--TheOtherSean
ekuah on January 24th, 2018 08:51 am (UTC)
Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
Question:
Does it have to be 'counter rotating magnetic rings' for the magnetic centers.
I mean did you already described this part of the healos machinery in another story?

I mean it could also be a 'supercooled linear coil wobbling in a gimbal like frame'. (you know like that gyroscopes in inertial platforms)
or some other gadgetry.

The rotating rings of a gate machinery punch a controlled hole between the branes and and only in the center of the ring and in direction of the rotational axis.

That helaos magnetic device on the other hand rips local dimensional phenomenons apart when in idle, or slashes away the separating border between helios and it's victim world when on full power.

Have you ever seen the bursting of a soap bubble in slow motion? That's how I imagine the merging happens. (if you would project an extra dimensional process in to the normal 3D world)

Edited at 2018-01-24 04:56 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2018 09:14 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
I don't remember Xen getting bombs. Did he borrow them from his Dad?
Good thing he gave the building to Q!

Holly
matapampamuphoff on January 25th, 2018 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
I added a bit to the previous snippet. Didn't specify where the bombs were from.
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on January 24th, 2018 10:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Shadow zone or magnetics?
Consider the following: The merging process is significantly different from the gate forming process. The gate process is targeted at two seperate books, or pages, forming and interdimensional link between the two. Merge process could be considered more like, "locally increasing the potential for adjacent pages to merge," which could be considered single-page, or single-dimensional, in nature.

Bubbles are a Dimensional phenomenon that are single page specific, not inter-page, like cones, and, as such, are more vulnerable to the effects of single-page directed energies and processes such as the shadow zone field.

The Heilios universe is moving, subjective to the rest of the pages, while most pages are relationally static. Static pages have been observed to be slowly re-merging. The shadow zone effect merely increases this over a localized zone.

Also, consider this possibility: Sufficiently modified, the Heilios merge equipment may have the ability to create "artificial bubbles", by reversing the parameters of the shadow zone generators, causing an artificial "blister" aka "bubble" to form. COntrol of said artificial blisters may be problematic by comet fall magicians, as the process is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, much like the artificial gates are maelstroms of energy, when viewed by the dimensionally able.
Zan Lynxzlynx on January 24th, 2018 03:45 am (UTC)
I just realized that with finger walking bubbles Xen or someone like him could be the Thing from the Addam's Family. Hah!
matapampamuphoff on January 25th, 2018 12:27 am (UTC)
Did you read Lucky Dave? It's not too far back. Poor Rael, caught on vid wrestling with a disembodied hand.