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11 November 2018 @ 07:47 am
_Children of a Foreign God_ part 2  

Chapter Two

Morning sparring.

Xen cooled down as he walked back toward the Disco building, and his home behind it. All the kids were scampering to get to school before the bell . . .

That’s a lot of kids . . . too many for a single teacher. We need more space and at least one more . . .

Schools on Disco aren’t the job of the Dimension Cops. Or shouldn’t be. But we don’t have anything resembling a city government. It’s every embassy for itself. We just do the roads and sell the plots, where they can do anything they wish.

All right, we run a pipe from the nearest main . . .

Dammit. Legally I own the whole world. I can give land for building schools. Rope in some friends to build them. Leave it to other people to staff them . . . I hope. Am I going to have to form a school board or something?

Sheesh. I’d rather go fight Cyborgs. Again. Ouch.

Xen Wolfson took a deep breath . . . released it, and sniffed. Oh. Dear.

Chapter Three

"Endi Dewolfe, or Xen Wolfson, if you prefer, is the biological father of all of you." The Princess talking was absolutely gorgeous. Brown hair framed a beautiful face, contrasted with big blue eyes. "If you looked at the genetic records in your folder, those are the results of the usual childhood registry tests. Four of you boys tested as having the Priest gene, but in actuality you have a power gene very similar to the One gene in the position of the Priest gene. A few of you who live in Paris got more detailed testing, and a small percentage of you tested with an aberration on one of your X chromosomes. Instead of the One gene, you have two power collecting genes on the chromosome you inherited from Mr. Wolfson. One of those genes is very similar to the Priest gene, and in boys, requires hormone suppression to completely manifest. The second power gene is the one that their witches and gods possess. We will speak further about possible methods of utilizing it." Her eyes drifted across the huddle of teenagers, and Arno swore they stopped briefly on him.

"The pregnancies were enabled by a multi-spell potion variously called the Wine of the Gods, Havwee Temple Water, or Joy Juice. Among the things it does is pick the most magical chromosomes available, for the fetus. As I said, some of you, who live here in Paris, have had detailed genetic exams already. The results are interesting. One boy here, for instance, has inherited both X and Y from Wolfson—which means he has no One gene at all. Three other boys had 'irregularities' noted on their birth scans; they may also have Wolfson's X."

Oh . . .

"Several children whose mothers did not have a single complete set, got doubled chromosomes from Wolfson, so the children have complete double sets. Not perfect, mind you, because three of the genes of the prophets, located on three different inserts, are not found on Comet Fall. The Joy Juice did not seem to take that into account when choosing chromosomes. However, the majority of you boys have the Oner X and a completely ordinary Y. Most of the Girls, the usual two Oner X-chromosomes. Apparently Wolfson, or someone in his espionage group, was able to manipulate his genes."

"Now, when I said that the potion chooses the most magical gene combinations possible, it doesn't limit itself to a single ova-and-sperm combination. It can actually swap in a chromosome from a different sperm to replace a less powerful chromosome from either ova or the main sperm. But since your mothers are all strong Withiones or Neartuones, there hasn't been much of that with you. But if you prefer to think that you have some of your father's genes, well, some of you do."

She smiled a bit ruefully. "Now the part that . . . isn't exactly secret, but no one really pushes telling people about it. The Prophets, and the Comet Fall Old Gods, also had unusual alleles of the ordinary genes, outside the insertions. Literally billions of them. These genes were diluted in the genes of the multitude, starting with a fifty percent reduction in the Prophets' children and then less in grand-children and great grandchildren . . . except for inbreeding. The Prophets were long lived, and married each other's daughters and granddaughters. Those children were the Warriors of the One, and the first Princesses. Incredibly strong magicians, who conquered the world. And then married into the Multitude. When the One organized into the clans and sought to concentrate the magic genes again, they only concentrated the insertions, not those other genes." She shifted a bit. "The One now averages five to ten percent of those genes. That may be why many of the abilities of the Warriors of the One aren't with us any longer. Xen Wolfson's father is one of their Old Gods. His mother has several others in her recent blood line. Wolfson has more of those genes than we've seen since the Warriors of the One. Which may be the reason why he is so incredibly strong, magically. All of you probably have large counts of those genes."

She gestured toward the back of the room. "The more detailed genetic analyses will show us exactly what genes you do and don't have. We'll be discussing them with you, starting tomorrow. And we'll run exercises, to try and determine what talents the various combinations confer. Tonight, please just get to know each other. And drop by the medic station to give us a DNA sample. Why don't the boys, starting with A, go now, and everyone else hit the buffet. We'll call in other groups, or you can just wander by on your own if you see that there's no line."

"I'll be circulating, if you have any questions." She waved a casual dismissal.

Arno looked at the medic's station.

Do I want to know?


I already do. I have never felt the One. Always felt apart.

Ryol plowed through the crowd. "Well, aren't you going to go? Isn't this exciting!" She bounced on her toes and scanned the room. With only twenty-seven kids, it looked pretty empty. She dropped her voice. "Which boys do you think aren't even Oners?" She sounded deliciously horrified.

Arno stiffened his shoulders and raised his nose. Not that he'd ever managed to carry off an attitude. He opened his mouth to say it . . .

"Hey, it's my two favorite brats." Cheerful, breezy and familiar tones.

"Aunt Rael! " Ryol squeaked and threw herself on the speaker for a hug.

Saved! Arno got swept into a hug as well. And got the usual big zing of a close relative not touched for some time.

"So, you guys are getting some special training, eh?"

"Or studied like bugs under a lens." Arno couldn't help but relax. His aunt was a hair above average in height, a bit on the skinny side, but with muscles. Short red hair gelled up into spikes. And a happy twinkle in her eyes. And a reputation that took second place to none. She was the Rael Withione. And wearing her uniform. She must have come straight from work.

"Ha! They must not have said it yet. They hope you lot can make magic gates and teleport. Of course, they haven't the faintest idea how to even start training you. I may have to make the ultimate sacrifice and go bat my eyelashes at Xen and ask him to work with you guys." She grinned.

Every kid within hearing shut up suddenly. Lots of wide-eyed gawps.

Ryol gawped. "Magic gates! Like Endi made? Makes? I mean, Xen. I mean . . . Captain Wolfson? Is that really his rank? Why?"

Rael snickered. "That's his rank in the Army of the West. Disco doesn't bother much with rank. He says 'Master of the Mulitverse' and only about half the people listening laugh at him. They kept switching Directors, until everyone realized that Xen and Q just want someone to do the paperwork and argue with diplomats while they have fun exploring new worlds and beating up armies. Neither one of them takes orders worth beans, but wave a challenge in their faces and you can't stop them."

"Whoa! Do you see him often?" Ryol's eye widened.

"Oh, maybe once or twice a year. I'm mostly busy with other stuff."

Arno eyed her. "Does the External Directorate pull you in when they want Captain Wolfson distracted?"

Her toothy grin widened. "Why, Arno, how could you think such a thing?"

"That's what every one says."

"What do you mean, everyone. You live halfway around the world from anyone involved with any of that stuff."

Ryol rolled her eyes. "We chat on the grid all the time. And everyone knows we're your family so we hear all the gossip about you. And half of it involves him."

"Oh, One! There goes my reputation." All bubbly and silly—fifteen years ago, she'd thrown herself between the President and an assassin and nearly died. She still worked for the Presidential Directorate, and Arno'd seen a vid where she’d jumped out of an aircar in mid-air, and glided down to kill dozens of those Helaos cannibals that had attacked the One World.

Of course, what she was really famous for was the rumored romance with Endi . . . Xen Wolfson. A real romance, not the seduction-as-a-Game-Play.

They laughed at her, and steered her over to get drinks—all non-alcoholic but she didn't seem to mind. And munchies.

Various of the staff wandered by to meet or greet Rael. About half of them seemed to know her. Arno drifted apart to the boys he'd met, who were suitably impressed.

Arno finally sidled up to the medic's station for a cheek scraping, and a quick scan. Why were they so interested in his neck? Ryol followed.

"You two look pretty unenthusiastic. Why don't you walk me out to my car?" Rael led them out a side door. "Actually, you look a bit overwhelmed."

Arno sighed. "Mom never told us. I mean, we knew Dad was our stepfather, no zing, you know?" He eyed her . . . should he ask?

"Ask what?" Rael grinned. "Your thoughts are starting to get really loud. I'll have to come by and give you some shielding lessons. So, ask. Get it out of your system."

Arno swallowed. "I do realize that it's variable, and weakens with regular repeats and all that . . . but I've always gotten a bigger zing from you than from Mom. Are you our biomom?"

(Anonymous) on November 11th, 2018 02:32 pm (UTC)
Reading the stories, it always feels that children of Oners would always be Oners. But that would only be the case if all Oner woman have two X Chromosomes with the one gene, otherwise half their sons would be missing the One gene and could not gather power. So do they need that as well as one complete set to be a Withione?

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on November 11th, 2018 03:04 pm (UTC)
Recall that Comet Fall females are only wizards if both their X chromosomes are magic. IE both Xwiz or Xwiz and Xwitch.

In the same way a One World female has to have both Xone to be a Oner and is a Halfer if she has one non-magic X.

Hence in Empire the Oners think Deep Night, a CF witch with only one magic X, an Xwitch, is a Halfer.

Edited at 2018-11-11 03:10 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on November 11th, 2018 04:13 pm (UTC)
Right. The Wizard and the One power genes are both recessive on the X chromosome. Women must have two to consciously have power. There are some low level effects, similar to the Comet Fall natural wizards.

A woman could have double complete sets, but if she only has a single One gene--she's a Halfer.

Which is why there are Upcommers like Ebsa.

So, Xen has an unusual X with both witch and wizard genes on it, and the combination Ryol Gior Voyr and Lala have, with the the Xo from their mothers and the Xwz from Xen seems to work well enough that it hasn't been noticed as "There's something wrong with Ryol's blossoming." Or any of the others. The One has sort of clandestinely spot checked all the kids.
matapampamuphoff on November 11th, 2018 04:25 pm (UTC)
When the New Prophets of the One True God married into the Islamic Union's political power structure, their children had very little power, as the boys had only the Priest gene (and no idea how it activated) and their daughters had only a single One gene. And they all had one each of the insertions.

The next generation, as their children married each other, and the Prophets married each other's daughters, they started having girls with two One genes and boys with the One gene and the Priest gene. Or just the One gene. And random mixes of the insertions, and the non-insertion genes.
(Anonymous) on November 11th, 2018 04:43 pm (UTC)
Since Rael's a significant percentage Fallen-don't know if any more of what the wine did was hashed out beyond two One Xs because Bran hadn't any power X-then Arno is probably genetically similar to Xen's Fallen kids with any women (the Farmer Girls?) descended from Bran. He'd never work as a spy-the X-witch-wizard is a dead giveaway he's Q's or Xen's, but he's probably a real hot commodity. And I could see a situation if the One turned nasty as a group where "He's not a Oner, these genes in this concentration are only in Fallen" could be used as in a diplomatic or custody matter.

matapampamuphoff on November 11th, 2018 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that the standard gene analyzers were updated to recognize all of the Fallen-specific genes, both power and insertions, as well as a quick run of the "normal" genes to check for the radiation damage typical of Oners.

But, what with design, bidding, construction, installation and training . . . all of Xen's kids would have been registered with the results from the old machines--noting the Priest genes and the "abnormal" One genes.

_Now_ such results would be red flagged for Internal Relations to check out as a possible indicator of another Fallen infiltration. And then updated again for Purps. And Arrival/Arbolians.

Right now, with a friendly President, there's not a problem. but that can change. I don't really have specific plans for Arno and Ryol, other than Ryol opting for the Directorate School instead of the Princess School. Arno's hard into the sciences and will go to the Directorate School. I suspect both of them will be with the Exploration Subdirectorate, opening permanent gates and corridors.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on November 11th, 2018 02:55 pm (UTC)
"... Are you our biomom?"

This is the right place to put this in since otherwise Raod would have to lie (she has never met Endi/Xen even, so wouldn't do it well either).

Edited at 2018-11-11 03:06 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on November 11th, 2018 04:15 pm (UTC)
Answers in upcoming snippets . . .
matapampamuphoff on November 11th, 2018 07:14 pm (UTC)
From _Dancer_

“Sis, it's none of my business, who the babies' father is. Really. But . . . well, those eyes . . . "

Raod stiffened. The baby squirmed as she was hugged more tightly.

Rael sighed. "Look, I know how irresistible that infuriating man was. Endi comes from a world with magic very like the Oner magic. Their lifespans are much less consistent than ours, with their average about a hundred and twenty, but some people regularly living four or five hundred years. I couldn't find anything on their average baby development, but all of Endi Dewulfe's children are growing more slowly than is average for Oners."

"Rael." Raod's voice was high and tight, the baby clutched to her shoulder.

"Fine. You don't want to admit anything, tell anyone your lover's name. Fine. I just wanted to point out two things. One, it's pretty obvious, with those practically black eyes. Two, there's nothing wrong with your kids. This is apparently normal, for their kind of . . . magicians."

"Oh." Raod closer her eyes and nuzzled the baby's fine hair. "I . . . thought you were going to say something else."

"Like, how dare you fall prey to my boyfriend? Hardly. He was a very well trained covert operative, and any members of the War Party he could undermine by getting their wives pregnant . . . he did. I suppose you were with friends, whose husbands were important party members?"

Raod's lips tightened. "It is none of anyone's business."

Rael nodded. "It's not my business. And I hope you didn't fall in love with him, because he screwed any woman with War Party connection, cold bloodedly and with no compunctions.
ekuah on November 13th, 2018 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hi Pam.
You wrote 'Four of you boys tested as having the Priest gene'

That would mean that the other ~8 boys have a normal Y-Gene.
Now my problem:
Where does that gene come from?

It can't come from the mother. They have two X-Genes.
It can't come from Xen. He only has one Y-Gene and that is a Yp'-Gene.
There are no males with two Y-Genes. Those children are just non-viable.
There are no females with one Y-Gene. Those are males with klinefelter syndrome.

So where does it comes from?

Same as in:
"One boy here, for instance, has inherited both X and Y from Wolfson—which means he has no One gene at all. Three other boys had 'irregularities' noted on their birth scans; they may also have Wolfson's X."

Since the boys are males, they must have Y-Gene. That Y-Gene can only come from Xen. (I can't remember anything about an orgy with other males)
So those three other boys would also have 'inherited both X and Y from Wolfson'

Edited at 2018-11-13 03:07 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on November 13th, 2018 03:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Y-Gene
Xen changed the genes on the relevant parts of his body so he tested as a Halfer with no power, and then elsewhere when he realized that perhaps the children he was engendering would prefer to be normal Oners. Not to mention, not spreading new power genes around.

In the end that didn't much matter. But eight kids have his power genes, 19 have normal Xo and plain old vanilla Y chromosomes.
ekuah on November 13th, 2018 03:18 pm (UTC)
Mother genomes:
"Several children whose mothers did not have a single complete set, got doubled chromosomes from Wolfson,..."
"But since your mothers are all strong Withiones or Neartuones,..."

Those two conditions are not compatible.
Withiones= complete first set, complete or nearly complete second set
Neartuones= complete first set, incomplete second set
incomplete first set = Clostuone
(Anonymous) on November 20th, 2018 12:16 am (UTC)
Don't forget kids can have more than one father because of that wine.that can add in Oner Y.