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27 March 2018 @ 07:25 am
_External Relations_ part 1  

Prologue

10 Jumada 1408 yp

Izzo Withione Alcairo was a spectator today. But rumors of his pending appointment were circulating already, and many eyes turned his way. No doubt some poor slobs were assigned to note his every twitch and nose scratch. He resisted an urge to find a toothpick to chew.

The Assembly room was large enough, barely, for the audience today. Izzo eyed the empty arches in the walls at the height of a second floor. "They're going to have to expand, pretty soon."

His cousin shrugged. Idzo was the Subdirector of Embassy Affairs for the Directorate of External Relations. Izzo thought Spymaster would have sounded better, but the Subdirector of Intelligence might have objected. Omsi was also here today, as his demesnes covered all the non-Empire Worlds, including this one.

The Ambassador to Embassy, a Ministerial Appointment, was a few meters away. No doubt he also had an Intelligence officer.

Overkill, for a World with a population of less than twenty thousand, and many of those daily commuters from elsewhere. Except, of course that most of those people are associated with the embassy of one or another of close to a hundred Worlds, and therefore worth watching.

Down on the floor, representatives of Earth, the Empire of the One, and the World of Granite Peak presented four different views of a sticky situation. When the One World had discovered Granite Peak, it had been the first habitable World they'd discovered, across the dimensions. As such, and in view of their own over-population and periodic famines, they'd claimed ownership, settled it, farmed it. And pretty much ignored the thin population of stone age nomadic hunters and pastoralists.

Fifty-six years later, the Earth had discovered Granite Peak. Izzo had been twenty-three. Not even officially an adult by Oner standards. He remembered the series of shocks vividly. Another world with dimensional abilities. Hostile and aggressive. The unprepared Oners had been overrun, and only closing the gate in the face of the last fleeing settlers had kept the Earthers from attacking the home world through it.

Today, sixty years later, the Earth was arguing for their ownership, the One was pointing out that they had a presence there that predated the Earth's, and the nomadic herders were arguing for not just political independence, but the removal of both warring polities' citizens from their World. Two groups of laborers, brought in from other Worlds to work the mines for Earth, were arguing for redress or at least to not get turned back over to Earth as virtual slave labor. They'd all interbred with the local Nomads and each other, so there were no clear cut lines.

Neither the Oner families with over a hundred years residence, nor Earth families with fifty-five years wanted to leave. The mine workers and all the crossbreeds had no place to go.

". . . where even the youngest of the Earther children have grandparents who were born on Earth, we Oners are on our fourth generation of children who have never seen the One World, children fluent in the Native languages, children born on the plains and in the mountains of Granite Peak. It is our home. We have, despite the Earther's attempted genocide, ten times their population. We comprise almost forty percent of the population of the World, the Earthers, even counting their laborers and their halfbreeds, are less than five percent."

Disco – the Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation had set a time table. Today the first arguments. Then diplomacy. If there was no agreement in one standard Earth Year, Disco would make one, and enforce it.

It was going to be an interesting year.



Chapter One

1 Rajab 1408

Granite Peak

"Hey, Nomad, you dropped something."

Flu ignored the snickers from the children. They'd all gone to school together, but somehow the pure Oners didn't seem to be getting jobs and getting down to work. They were unhappy with the situation they were trapped in . . . just like everyone else. She sniffed. Which is no excuse for suddenly acting like a jerks. Every. Single. Purebred. Idiot. If they can't start college this year, they ought to do something. And if we're going to be so independent, why don't we have at least a tech school here? How are they going to keep the mines open, the farms even marginally productive without any tech training?

She set the stack of reports down on the work table. Unnecessary labor. Maybe the boys were right.

Ahme looked over with a frown. "Well? Did you pick it up?"

"Not yet, Grandfather. I didn't want to drop the whole stack." She turned and walked out. The hallway floor was pristine. Of course. The boys, whatever they'd been doing here—checking out the pretty blonde who worked in the traffic department, probably—had left. She waited long enough for the old man to get distracted then walked back in. Ahme, better known as "Ahem, Cough Cough" was one of the Heroes of Granite Peak. When the Earther's had cut off their retreat through the gate, he'd ripped the power from the Governor who was counseling the people to prepare to join the One, and marched them into the mountains. He'd kept them alive and free, and raided and sabotaged the Earthers for almost twenty years. He'd married a Native crossbreed and raised his daughter to as close to Oner standards as their nomadic, hit-and-run lifestyle had allowed. Most of the unmarried men had taken Nomad wives, during that chaotic period. The next generation of girls married halfbreed boys, or the mine slaves the Resistance had freed.

Until the Earther's gate was destroyed. Then he'd led them to victory, recapturing their towns and farms. The town was named Cough in his honor.

Flu's mother had eschewed marriage, but not celibacy. So Cough Cough was helping to raise Flu. And keeping the Colony records. All the notes and copies of orders and lists of supplies, all on paper, all in boxes.

Fourteen years ago, a new gate from the One World had opened. Flu had been two years old, and oblivious to the huge change that was coming to her world.

After the return of the One, no one, no One would marry the halfbreed girls.

With the trial, the records had suddenly been evidence of their continual occupation of the World, and they'd had to be sorted and available.

Everyone had looked at the boxes in dismay, and no one had questioned the presence of a hundred thousand Oners on Granite Peak for the whole twenty-two year occupation by Earth. Once the gate was open, it had taken couple of more years for the Empire to get control of the Earth colonized areas, a thousand kilometers to the east A dozen years of rebuilding what the Earth had tried to ruin or take over, all with limited movement to the One World. Not even much trade. The Earthers hadn't maintained the robotic farming machinery, they were ruined and rusting and not even paid for. Lawsuits were still circling over the defaulted loans. In the mean time, they were feeding themselves and self sufficient in the basics. Affluent enough for luxuries like imported cloth. Affluent enough for the kids to stay in school most of the year, until they were seventeen or eighteen.

Flu blew out her breath and started scanning the first file. At least I've got a job for the short term. Then what? I get to be a second class citizen of the Empire, an Enemy Alien in Earth Territory or a worthless foreign woman the Nomads won't want either. Maybe I should listen closer to Governor Arry. Maybe there's a fourth way, and maybe I can make a place for myself in it.

***

Jack Hemmingway had everything he wanted out of life except lots of money. He eyed the blonde girl and knew that even that could be his, if he played it right.

A Comet Fall Witch, just released from prison, working a menial job on a foreign world.

Arrow Albdaut. The youngest of the witches jailed here, and so far, the only one released.

"You don't want to be here, you want to find your friends. Good. Because I want to find them too. Not to hurt them. To hire them. So I figured I should start with you. I'm what most people call a mercenary. I hire myself and my people out for various duties, generally involving protecting them from Bad Guys." He couldn't read her emotions, her eyes were opaque.

"Now, you and you buddies are Bad Guys, but generally you just steal things—you aren't in the business of killing people. Some of your guys get carried away, now and then – the robbery at the Senator's manse was funnier than hell."

He shifted. Damn it, what is she thinking? "But what I really want is a World all my own, with a Gate or three to go shopping, to pick up a job here or there. So I need a magical person. You've got two problems, from what I've read. This Chain thing." He leaned forward and touched it. She didn't flinch. "And some genetic changes. Where can you go to get these fixed?"

Still no reaction.

"I've been exploring through some of the backwards, behind times, Earths. Some of your former buddies like them, for their raids. Other people do science on them. And I found a back route to Comet Fall."

She straightened at that. A spark lit in her eyes. "On Comet Fall I can fix the genes. For the Chain – I just need to meet the right person."

"I figured we'd better hurry, in case your friends decided to take down the Gate." He held out a blue uniform jacket with his company log on it, like the one he was wearing.

She stood up and reached for the jacket. "Right. Let's go."

 
 
 
ekuah on March 27th, 2018 11:03 pm (UTC)
A few things:
Pam, please add a list of the Empire of the One's months names.
It's hard to keep track of the time if you don't know the order of the months.

"to prepare to join the One":
This means suicide, right? Maybe you can make that clearer.

Arrow Albdaut:
This is Terri, right?

Edited at 2018-03-27 11:04 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on March 28th, 2018 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: A few things:
Teri is Albatross. This is her daughter, born and raised on Black Island.
matapampamuphoff on March 28th, 2018 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: A few things:
And yeah, I need to put together a standard reference to stick in the back of the Oner books.
mbarkermbarker on March 28th, 2018 04:07 am (UTC)
Re: A few things:
You could always ask your loyal fans to try putting one together? A list of month names, what else would you like? I'll bet someone may already have one, or would enjoy the challenge of combing through the books to make one?
mbarkermbarker on March 28th, 2018 08:25 am (UTC)
Re: A few things:
Hum...

Assuming that they follow roughly the same set, there is a list of the Islamic months over here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_calendar

Muharram
Safar
Rabi al-awal
Rabi ath-thani
Jumada al-ula
Jumada al-akhirah
Rajab
Shaban
Ramadan
Shawwal
Dhu al-Qadah
Dhu al-Hijjah

Huh. Didn't realize there were two of some? So is the Jumada the first one or the second one?
matapampamuphoff on March 28th, 2018 12:57 pm (UTC)
Oner Info
This is my Cheat Sheet. The formatting isn't transferring to LJ very well. Note that I've rearranged and added a few New Prophets:

3274 Clans

Alcairo is the largest @ 3 million people
Draken 2.5
New York 2.2
Tokyo 1.9
Peking 1.7
Aztec 1.6
Montevideo 500 K
Black Point 70 K

50 @ 1 million
500 @ ½ million
2718 remaining average 120 K

Total population of Empire is over 9 billion as of 1400 census

Oner Population:

639 million 7.1% of total

Withione . . . 6 million 0.1%

Neartuone . . . 47 0.5%

Clostuone . . . 190 2.1%

Servaone . . . 396 4.4%

Halfer Population . . . 1.1 billion (counting even a single insertion) 12%

Multitude . . . 5.1 billion 56%

Natives of four colonies: 2.2 billion (1.7 on Homestead) 24%

1 Muharram January +/- Starts first new moon after Winter Solstice
2 Safar February
3 Emre March
4 Jumada April
5 Rajab May
6 Yusef June
7 Nicholas July
8 Shaban August
9 Qadah September
10 Hija October
11 Shawwal November
12 Ramadan December
13 Furkan A “Leap Month” for when Ramadan ends before the Winter Solstice. Roughly every third year.

matapampamuphoff on March 28th, 2018 01:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Oner Info
Number One Kids, inc - 10f, 25m

Orange Team …….......to One World

Ashley, Benjamin, Carl, Diego, Emre, Fatma, Grace, Harry, Ian, Joseph, Kristian, Linnea, Merve, Nicholas, Oliver, Patrick, Rin, Shota, Thomas, Victor, William, Yusuf, Zeynep, Aaron, Byram, Chloe, Daiki, Elif, Furkan, George, Hugo, Isak, Juhani, Kaito, Lukas
1stew1stew on March 29th, 2018 01:21 am (UTC)
Moths
Or the front of the book!

Nice conflicted start! Company Logo.