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04 May 2018 @ 01:08 pm
_Marooned_ part 28  

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.”

Gisele sniffed. “I’m going to go meet these other people Xen collected.”

Q poked her brother, who started awake. “I’m going to get my brother to show me how he did some dimensional work . . . if he can stay awake long enough.”

Xen shook his head. “I have to sleep.”

Wolf nodded. “Three weeks in a fast room. C’mon, Boy.” He glanced at Rael.

She shrugged. “Message from the Boss. Come to a meeting tomorrow morning—which is just six hours from now.”

“This Corridoring about gives me the worst jetlag ever.” Nicholas looked over at her. “May I offer you a ride? I get expedited everything, and I suspect they’ll want to ask me about those two . . . where on this World are we, anyway?”

Wolf snickered. “Pacific coast of Mexico, south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s an Ice Age World, so the climate’s cooler and wetter.” He leaned and shook Xen’s shoulder.

Rael let him manhandle Xen and nipped ahead to open the fast room. Everyone followed.

Not that I blame them for being curious.

“Nice little house.” Nicholas grinned. “I sort of expected a bit more for someone like that.”

Rael giggled and started opening the concealed doors that lined the hallway. “Mountains. Hotsprings. Beach. Castle.”

“Oh . . . well I guess he does live up to his reputation.”

Rael left everyone to explore and checked on Xen.

“Old Gods!” Rustle touched the scar across his chest. “I surprised he’s alive.”

“’m okay . . .”

Rael sighed. “So much for a good bye kiss.”

“Well . . . Wolf, why don’t you go see that Judge person and his guards. Rael? I’ll stay here

tonight. Let me know if you can come back. If not I’ll see about how to insure his privacy.” Rustle cast a glance at her son’s bare chest and shivered. “Food, let me load up on food for him . . .”

Rael helped strip the rest of Xen’s clothing off . . . Dammit, I wonder where those leather pants are? Tucked him in and sighed.

“Two or three weeks in a fast room, and we just might double up if he looks like he’s doing well.”

“He’s even got a little gray at his temples. Laugh lines. He actually looks his age. I suppose by the time I get back, he’ll be back to looking barely twenty.”

Wolf laughed. “You’re much like that yourself. Rael, go take care of business, we’ll make sure he’ll be here when you get back.”

Rustle hustled back in, pinning absolutely nothing to a dozen spots all over the little table. “If he looks all right after a couple of sleep cycles, I’ll make a second speed bubble and then he’ll heal really fast. From our point of view.”

Wolf stepped out and came back with a pair of barbells. “And if he’ll stretch and lift weights a bit, whenever he sort of wakes, he’ll be in good shape when he wakes up all the way.”

Rael looked over the preparations in dismay. “I guess you’ve had enough experience to have it down to a routine.”

“Yes.” Wolf looked down at Xen and shook his head. “I wish he’d stop doing this.”

“Dreaming for a year.”

“Yes. He won’t really notice the passage of time. It’s like getting a good night’s sleep, barely waking up to eat and then going back to bed. You lose track of how many time you’ve done it. And one morning you wake up feeling terrific, and off you go.”

Rael sighed. “How many times have you done this?”

“I haven’t kept count. Once or twice a century, perhaps? This is Xen’s forth critical injury, and he’s only forty-seven.”

And I’m fifty-four. How did that happen?

A quick grin. “One year at a time, unless you’re in a fast room. So I suppose he’s catching up with you, if a few years matters to you. I’m afraid it looks awfully silly from my perspective.”

He turned away and walked out of the room. “And now I’d better see if I can get everyone out of Xen’s worldwide web of . . . backyards.”

***

Both the President and the Presidential Director were with the analysts when she got there. The expressions on everyone’s faces when they realized who’d walked in with her were hysterically funny.

“Breaking news. AnnaKarina is one of the original colonists. Jaejong Chou was, through a web of family, the owner of TransWorld Travel, and possibly a marooned explorer trying to get home. And Commander Nicholas knew them both.”

The Prophet grabbed a chair propped his elbows on the table. “I knew AK moderately well, and Jaejong not at all. He tended to staying the background, acting like an aid, chauffeur, or bodyguard to whichever Board of Directors type person visited.”

Izzo looked boggled, so Rael stepped in to give him a bit more time to adjust.

“Five Comet Fall Gods and Charlie Alpha from Arrival were there as well. They were all quite certain they were the originals, not a chance resemblance.”

Nicholas nodded. “The voices, the body language, it was them. And as Ambassador Ashe said, why is that small world picking on us. I talked to Wolfgang, and we came up with two reasonable scenarios.”

Well, he is Commander Nicholas. Drat. I missed him and the God of War talking tactics and strategy.

“It maybe that they hope that breaking Disco by removing as much of the power and command staff as they can lure in will release the subject empires to attack each other, making them easy pickings, or just removing what they see as a huge threatening coalition of worlds.

“Second scenario, Jaejong and Annakarina are at odds with each other, and one of them sees a low level conflict with Disco as a way to weaken the other.

“We don’t have enough information on the leaders to know how that stands.”

Ox, Rael’s brother-in-law, now the Presidental Director nodded. “And do we have enough time to gather that sort of information, or do we need to move even though we know how much we don’t know.”

Rael cocked her head. “I wonder if a Priest could do anything about the mental modeling? We’ve got the judge and six guards . . .”

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on May 4th, 2018 11:48 pm (UTC)
Seems to me that Wolfgang, at least, ought to have come up with Jaejong would be happy to enslave us again in his scenarios there.

Holly
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 12:09 am (UTC)
They had both Xen and Jiol, and simply dumped them.
mbarker: Me typing?mbarker on May 5th, 2018 01:49 am (UTC)
Does an explanation of how they know someone killed a world belong in here somewhere? Were they monitoring the news somewhere, spying somehow, feeling the vibrations in the inbetween, or... I mean, they came in with an accusation. Based on ???
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out how to introduce them having a spy service.

AK spotted hundreds of odd dimensional phenomena, all going into this single world, so they sent in a team to check that world out. Possibly dropped off in the Maze, and reporting in from there. Possibly arriving right about the time of the Helios War. They've been at least spot checking, since.

Actually, just figured it out. :) When they move to Disco, Jerry or Connor recognize an old classmate.

I might need to foreshadow that. But that's why they call it a rough draft.
ekuah on May 5th, 2018 09:15 am (UTC)
They could have grabbed a stray group of Helios soldiers telling the chain of events from their perspective.

They only know that there was suddenly this guy (Xen) on one of their security cameras.
He did something to one of their magnetic centers, making it going BOOM.
Then the world started to going sideways.
They were send to investigate his origins when suddenly other guys came and started murdering all their their doctors and a hundreds of patients.

From the Helios' point of view all of this is true, so AK can't detect a lie.
She have a look in the direction of Helios and only sees the destruction left behind.
She extracts the direction to Embassy and Xen's image out of the soldiers' mind and 'New China' starts the attack on Disco.

Edited at 2018-05-05 09:17 am (UTC)
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 05:31 am (UTC)
Why do they care that Disco killed a world? (which was on Eldon not Disco). If they spied on it, then they must know Helaos was dangerous and executed, not murdered out of hand.
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 07:12 am (UTC)
Odds are they *don't* care specifically.

Taking action in this case & in this way is probably a combined assertion of their "Multiversal Jurisdiction" & "Appearance of Benevolence".

IOW, it's Politics, designed for use on less advanced societies (aka Barbarians).
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 12:26 pm (UTC)
No, they don't care about Helios.

But they do care that there's an organization that can destroy worlds. I like the idea of them snatching some Helaos "to find out what is happening over there." Then transporting them.

Poor Xen, his pastorial vacation is going to be interrupted by the discovery of some surviving Helaos.
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 05:15 pm (UTC)
Need Sleep
Why does Xen suddenly get sleepy only when he is back on Embassy? He was safe on the exile world for weeks before he returned so safety can't be the trigger.
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 07:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Need Sleep
No, he was in a wilderness with four strangers from the enemy world, two friends, a kid, wolves, bears, and the need to hunt pretty much daily.

(Then a two month gap I'm about to fill in with meeting the Helaos who've been stranded there for eleven years.)

Then added seven dangerous enemies and Rael.

If he had remained alone, and gotten strong enough to barricade himself with a supply of food, he might have slipped into the healing sleep.

But he never felt safe enough, until he got home.
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 07:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Need Sleep
Did Xen also need to recover enough of his magic to enter the healing sleep?

--TheOtherSean
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 08:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Need Sleep
Possibly, plus until he spotted the nerve blockers in Rael, he didn't know what the mechanism that was blocking magic was, and hadn't done anything further about it. His instinctive threat recognition may have keyed in on that as well and kept him alert.
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 07:33 pm (UTC)
RE: Need Sleep
There's safe and there's safe. In terms of being surrounded by potential enemies . . . he very much was not safe. Even with Rael, Jiol, Karl, and Quicksilver, not much bodyguard.

If I recollect correctly, in Exiles and Gods the gods did not do the extended sleep to heal in the normal curl up and sleep for a year sense. I'll have to reread, later . . . three-fourths of the way through Explorers. Has Lon had Elixir of Youth? He has to be about 100.

Holly
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 08:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Need Sleep
I strongly suspect Lon has availed himself of a fair amount of genetic engineering.
matapampamuphoff on May 5th, 2018 08:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Need Sleep
I don't recall, just off hand, when I first had a badly injured god. Now _I'm_ going to have to reread . . .
(Anonymous) on May 6th, 2018 09:17 am (UTC)
RE: Re: Need Sleep
Other than AK and the original Tellies recovering post exile, Harry with the lion attack, etc . . . I think the first actual description of the healing sleep is in Comet Fall.

Yeah, Wolf describes it in the begining, with some regret that he hadn't thought to do it a bit sooner.

Holly
(Anonymous) on May 5th, 2018 11:43 pm (UTC)
So when Xen shows up looking magnificent and sexy in his tight leather, he should also look a bit haggard, tragically wasted about the eyes, displaying hallmarks of pain and making all the girls want to comfort him? World weary, tired of all the drama? The damaged, resilient hero is a powerful archetype. and I guess he wasn't shielding, so the glow was blindingly attractive in his pain.

Tee Hee.

Just trying to balance how he could look so good when he is so tired and damaged.
matapampamuphoff on May 6th, 2018 02:26 am (UTC)
He's not actually tired, the sleepiness is part of the healing coma. And not really haggard. Underfed--because of the high protein diet on top of serious infection--and shaggy. And dangerous.