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02 May 2018 @ 08:32 am
_Marooned_ part 27  

Still pictures of the surface part of the Transporter mechanism.

A video of Jaejong and AnnaKarina down inside, looking at the mess they’d made of their judge and his guards.

Xen watched them closely. Body language of people used to each other, but no liking. The man arrogant, confident. The woman aped the man’s assurance, but was there a touch of wariness in her movement? In her abruptness?

The delegates were also silent and intent.

The government building. A map. A history timeline. Vids of the tram system, street scenes. The other cities. Friendly city cops in blue, not-friendly cops in black.

“I specifically looked for an army. The cops in black were the closest I found to a government force . . . and they weren’t militarized. Now when Q encountered them, and things escalated, they did bring in some heavy weaponry and six tanks. So I did miss something.

“How much I missed is unknown. I’d love to get a satellite into orbit, as a first move.”

Lon eyed her. “Xen mentioned a population of only fifty million. Does that seem credible to you?”

She flipped back to the map. “Yes. They have ten cities in a wide arc around three sides of the gate, or dimensional apparatus. Lots of smaller towns, stretching outward. Farms, mines, fishing. Fifty million is credible. Unless there are other cities, completely disconnected and unknown to the common people.

“Hence my desire for satellite confirmation.”

There were dozens of questions from the delegates, but Ambassador Ashe put his finger on the most important one. “Why the bloody hell is this tiny world coming here to pick a fight?”

And for that, they had no answer.

Chapter Nineteen

All in all, everyone was unsettled as the meeting broke up.

Rael trailed all the official Disco people out of the assembly room. I’ve been working so closely with these people for five months now . . . but with Xen back . . . well, I guess I'm not really 'in group' anymore. I’d better check in with my boss. Bosses. Whatever. They've had time to skim through the raw data dump I sent..

Xen slowed, looking a bit unfocused. Then he looked over at her. “There are some people here who need to see that vid of Jaejong and AnnaKarina. Let’s grab the conference room. Lon? You’ll probably want to hear this.”

Q moaned. “I don’t!”

Xen caught Rael’s eye and they shared a grin.

Xen and Q’s father was taller than Xen, broader than Xen, trim grey hair and beard, looming down at his daughter.

“Not the way I’d recommend finding your long lost brother.”

“Err, no. I thought, a quick look wouldn’t hurt.” Q squirmed. “And I . . . lost my temper. I lost it.”

“Mind you the results were spectacular.” Xen hugged his mom, got engulfed in hug from his dad. “Sorry that took so long. Nasty magic suppressant they’ve got.”

“So. Gisele called us all in to talk about some old friends and enemies?”

“Right, let’s start with the pictures.” Xen led the way into the big conference room.

Lots of tall people followed him, some she recognized for a trip to Comet Fall, some from pictures . . . She froze in shock. Nicholas One!

The New Prophet of the One True God grinned at her as he sat with the Comet Fall Gods.

Real swallowed and stuck her chip in the room’s display controls.

“That’s a gate mechanism?”

“Mostly underground.” Q put in. “I didn’t go down there, being more interested in finding Xen. The powered rings are laying flat and very large. I think they must have a way to focus the dimensional effect up here and . . . something. I’d really like to see it in operation.”

The old guys nodded.

Then the vid of the pair . . . dead silence, all of them leaning forward staring.

“That really is AK.” Logic sat back frowning. “So they have a ‘mystique of generosity’ but know perfectly well that most of the people they dump are going to die.”

Nicholas drummed his fingers. “That Asian man . . . remember Chairman Chou? He always had a young assistant along.”

Harry nodded. “Or bodyguard or something. But he was never sent away. I remember him giving an opinion once, and Chou took it immediately.”

“And when they were all exiled . . . “Charlie Alpha grinned. “It was the young one who was yelling . . . holy cats! I’d forgotten about that.”

“Yes.” Harry met his gaze. “He was yelling about how he was Jaejong and . . . he said something about just wanting to find his home. I think he was a marooned explorer . . . and that power gene he ‘invented’ was probably just a copy of his own.”

Lady Gisele was tapping a finger on the table gaze unfocused. She sighed and her gaze sharpened. “I don’t like this. If that’s where the powered genes got their start, on Earth . . . it’s turtles all the way down. Where is he from? It that why he’s . . . pecking away at the multiverse? Not building a proper civilization, just using it, again, in an effort to get home? Where is he from?”

Wolf snorted. “And what kind of a fixated idiot is he? We may need to check him for mental modeling when we get our hands on him.” Shrug. “If we do that and don’t just cut them off.”

(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 03:42 pm (UTC)
Nicholas One? Not Emre One?

When did he pop up, thought he died at Fort Rangpur after he double-bubbled Isakson, Ra'd and the wive's & kids.
cnmckenney on May 2nd, 2018 03:56 pm (UTC)
See the unpublished "Girl Trip" for his resurfacing.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 04:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, forgot Lucky Dave had Nick in his bag.
Joe Wojo Jrwojorider on May 2nd, 2018 04:18 pm (UTC)
girl trip link
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 04:35 pm (UTC)
availability of Rael's body cam pictures
Either she regularly uploaded the body cam to her comp or she dropped the body cam into the bubble before she was captured.

(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: availability of Rael's body cam pictures
Dropped it in the bubble. If she had had it on her it would have raised so many questions that she would never have been accepted as a local.
matapampamuphoff on May 2nd, 2018 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: availability of Rael's body cam pictures
Yes. Both quickly pulling a couple out and recording that meeting, then wearing it the rest of the time. I've got her, when she realizes she's going to get caught, getting the bag out to drop the cams in and spotting her pocket flask and thinking, good idea . . .
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 04:58 pm (UTC)
Nicholas One!
Cool! Nicholas probably has by far the best Tellie memories of anyone there, since his brain wasn't shredded escaping from Earth and he spent most of the last 1400 years in a slow bubble.

Rael translated Boozy Jaejong as "Immortal" in chapter sixteen and Xen was present. It seems logical that this would come up in the discussion here.

And Gisele's comment is ... pregnant. Tum, tum, tum. Is this like a fourty-book-long plot arc? More, more!

(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 05:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Nicholas One!
IIRC, Charlie's memories aren't too bad. ISTR the "Old Gods" remember a lot better once they're away from the grip of the collective subconscious, though they've still got a bunch of gaps.

matapampamuphoff on May 2nd, 2018 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Nicholas One!
Charlie and Nicholas were spared the wired into the computer bit, and remember . . . well, if we every get some serious life extension therapy, we'll find out what happens to early memories after centuries of other memories. For story purposes, they have to dredge a bit, but the memories are there, once jogged.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 06:29 pm (UTC)
Tanks and heavy weapons
With their history and size, why do they have tanks and other heavy weapons? I don't see them having ever needed them unless Boozy had to fight his way to the top in a multiple groups situation taking over one from the inside, then conquering the others.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanks and heavy weapons
In either case, they will be at least as incompetent as the Oners in using them, and the Oners are very incompetent.
matapampamuphoff on May 2nd, 2018 06:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanks and heavy weapons
Tyrants always need tanks and heavy weapons.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 08:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanks and heavy weapons
Tanks and heavy weapons don't sleep or get tired. It is a lot easier to control a small group of people with "Magic" and have those people use Tanks and Guns to control the masses than trying to control the masses directly.
(Anonymous) on May 3rd, 2018 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanks and heavy weapons
Tanks and heavy weapons are not really useful to control the masses. They can be used to kill large numbers of them, but if you are at that point you have failed massively anyway. If you want to destroy a city, bring in the heavy guns. If you want to suppress a protest, a general purpose machine gun is about as heavy as you need.
cnmckenney on May 6th, 2018 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: Tanks and heavy weapons
I dunno, tanks seemed to work well at Tiananmen Square.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2018 06:46 pm (UTC)
Much becomes clear
Boozy and his "civilization" are much much less dimensionally able than Disco and their friends. Thus he wants to take over Disco in order to find his home. As he believes in enslaving people, including very powerful people (see gods being wired into gates on his watch on Earth) this is perfectly sensible to him. I wonder what his game plan is once the judges stopped being able to snatch people from Embassy. He, of course, is a god much better than those dour creatures he uses and uses up.
(Anonymous) on May 12th, 2018 05:29 am (UTC)
RE: Much becomes clear
I don't think that you can say that they are less dimensionally able. They steer their gate precisely , can find the same world again without a beacon and have extreme range. Their limitation seems to be power generation.