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07 May 2018 @ 01:53 pm
_Marooned_ part 29  

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


One Ytry eyed Rael thoughtfully. “Mental modeling. Interesting.” The old man’s eyes unfocused for a moment.

Then sharpened. “Right, we’ll come.”


“Eight of us, just in case we need a compass.”

Rael eyed him . . . then pulled out her comm and called Ajha. He promised a crawler and escort immediately.

A teenaged girl trotted up and handed Ytry a pack.

Rael raised her eyebrows.

“She’s new, very strong. Just walked off the train one day and joined the One. She’s scarier than you.”

“I never had an avocation to join the One.”

“We noticed. Was it your mother or father who is Emre’s child?”

Rael froze . . . “My mother’s birth certificate lists her father as One of Mahkah.”

Ytry nodded. “Emre One. Nicholas has declined to contribute to the next generation in any way except with his legal wife.”

“At the Princess School, we told ourselves scary stories about what happened to women who flunked out.”

That got her an amused snort. “Girls being sent off are given the opportunity to have the baby of the Prophet or one of the very oldest and strongest priests, with the usual stipend and so forth. Two or three accept every year.”

“Oh, are some of the priests so old they predate . . .”

“Castrating youngsters? Yes. Rechecking our records, we find that the more Prophet’s genes a man has, the later puberty begins, the longer before the critical parts of the brain complete their growth. We believe that’s why the Prophets were so powerful. And some of the fourth generation or so of sons had high concentrations of those genes and were very powerful.” Ytry nodded as another man walked in.

The priest was dark of complexion, black haired, hawk-nosed. A former Philosopher of the One. Rael had always suspected that his apparent forty or fifty years of age was considerably shy of the truth.

“Jeb ibn Oliver ibn Joseph ibn Byram, for instance. How old are you? Thirteen centuries and change?”

But I hadn’t realized he was that old!


“He shows up on birth certificates as Ojby. Not often, he tend to frighten the young ladies.”

“Says the six hundred year old man who’s just survived puberty.”

Ytry shook his head. “The hormones!” His gaze drifted to Rael.

“It was not my fault you got dosed.” Rael primmed her lips. “An orgy at your age! I’m just shocked by such behavior.”

“My ass.”

“Tsk! So how many of those eight babies were yours?”

“None of your business, Miss Gossip.” Ytry nodded at the other men entering. “And you’ve started an interesting trend.”

“Not. My. Fault.”

Five hundred or so eunuch priests dosing themselves with the joy juice to regrowth their testicles. Experiencing puberty, loss of virginity, parenthood. Getting stronger as they cross the thresholds of several major life changing events they had thought beyond their grasp.

And the women priests as well, giving birth is apparently such a transformative experience for the extremely powerful that they all want it. They hadn’t thought they were capable of getting pregnant, so high their count. But the joy juice . . . Dammit, I really do need to find the time to seduce Xen.

Ytry jabbed his fingers at the new priests. “Epoxy, Whinny, Ooze, Hummer, Work and Gamble. Yes, they have proper Oner names. Nobody cares. C’mon. I want to meet this judge.”

Which involved the train to Dimashq, then limos through two corridors. Ajha had two brand new Crawlers waiting, four utes for escorts.

Jeb snorted. “Overkill, don’t you think, Philosopher?”

“Not at all. I have no idea what the One has planned, how long it will take, nor whether some of your group will stay while others return. Philosopher.”

Ytry cackled. “Covering all bases. Well, let’s go find out what we’ve got. C’mon Rael, you can wave to your boyfriend as we drive past.”

“Won’t do any good. He won’t be paying any attention yet.” Rael stepped on board the lead crawler, and half the priests followed her.

And Ajha, who climbed into the driver’s seat.

“Ooo! Subdirector Ajha! Are you escaping?” Rael promptly nabbed the navigator’s seat. What about the Fiend?”

“She’s driving the other crawler. I suspect Exploration will fail entirely to fall apart in our absence.”

“I probably ought to have called Info about this, but I figured you had the equipment. Plus I haven’t met the new subdirector.”

“He’s arguing with Ajki about how he needs to get out there himself. I know better.”

Jeb chuckled. “You simply grabbed vehicles and are leaving.”


Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on May 7th, 2018 09:48 pm (UTC)
“I probably ought to have called Info about this, but I figured you had the equipment. Plus I haven’t met the new subdirector.”

“He’s arguing with Ajki about how he needs to get out there himself. I know better.”

Change Ajki to "the Director" for now.
(Anonymous) on May 7th, 2018 10:35 pm (UTC)
Unless Pam plans for Ajki moved back to External in the Izzo administration.

matapampamuphoff on May 7th, 2018 10:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, Izzo's shifted a few top people around. Akji's back at Exterior--he and Izzo coordinated well when Izzo was XR Director. Not sure who he's put in as Director at Interior, And Ox as Presidential Director.
(Anonymous) on May 8th, 2018 02:20 am (UTC)
Something that hasn't been mentioned in a while. Male Dragon children. You'd think they would all vanish off planet, everything considered. Or apply for... sex based racial asylum? What kind of asylum do you ask for in that situation? Someone must have asked by now.
matapampamuphoff on May 8th, 2018 02:49 am (UTC)
I sort of dropped the dragon thread. They flew to Asia to stay away from humans. Later, I suspect Rustle opened a gate to an empty world for them. That first generation of dragon girls had no need to mate again, so Primo and his brothers were probably large enough to not be at risk.

Of course, those half Oner dragon girls will have the recessive One power gene. But a few generations down the road, the dragons will regain the ability to do their own shape changing.

I'll have to have Xen drop in on them and find out if they've built a civilization, or just decided to be savage hunters.
ekuah on May 8th, 2018 09:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know if...
... this Idea would fit into your type of stories,
but what about a short story of wavelength getting accidentally lost in a regular 20th century world.
A world with no magic, no dragons and unaware of the multiverse.
Her trying to keep under the radar, being bewildered of the technology.
And her acquaintances puzzled about her extreme dedication to "LARP".
At least it appears to them like that, with her talking about dragons and magic as if it would be real things.

I would see it as a welcome change from your godlike characters.
Someone young, unsure and magically weak (compared to Eldon and Xen)

Edited at 2018-05-08 09:39 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on May 8th, 2018 10:47 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't know if...
Actually, Wavelength is going to get kidnapped by Space Aliens.

I may even get around to writing it sometime. :D
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2018 12:02 am (UTC)
RE: Re: I don't know if...
And Zodiac? You did a short piece on him. Does he ever find his inner dragon?
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2018 12:00 am (UTC)
Who is that scary teenaged girl joining the One? Will she join adventures?
matapampamuphoff on May 9th, 2018 12:21 am (UTC)
I don't know. She just showed up.

This is usually a bad sign.

Kinda like Izzo's bodyguard in XR. He just showed up again in Marooned. At least he seems satisfied with bit parts, so far.
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2018 12:11 am (UTC)
All these things people put in bubbles and lose. Do they wind up somewhere? Showers of diapers, weeds and mouldy carpet, and vans with rapists, rainy down somewhere like that huge polluted island of plastic waste comes together in our ocean.

Is anyone championing a clean interdimensional environment?
matapampamuphoff on May 9th, 2018 12:30 am (UTC)
Nope. They just float around until someone grabs them and opens them up for their own purposes. Surprise!
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2018 01:06 am (UTC)
Please can I see that? Soooo funny.
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2018 02:23 am (UTC)
(Anonymous) on May 12th, 2018 05:03 am (UTC)
Have we seen Yrty before?
matapampamuphoff on May 12th, 2018 11:40 am (UTC)
Yes. He's Rael's old magic teacher back when she was getting Dancer training. He was the Priest who called her with orders in _No Confidence_ and was in the scene at the end of _No Flying_ when she turned in her Dancer papers.

He's also in _Children of a Foreign God_ although I may not have snippeted that far.