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21 November 2018 @ 08:40 am
Random Scenes from NaNoWriMo 11  

“The last day. Half a day.” Arno muttered.

They spent the morning on the beach, reviewing a few things—mostly control, caution, and practicing on their own once they were back home.

“You are, every single one of you, extremely powerful. You’ve all grasped power, blossomed, early. It’s going to be difficult for you, in your society, to not use many of the things I’ve shown you. Especially those of you who are known to be my kids probably get regularly teased. Showing off will be nearly irresistible.”

“No kidding!” Jay muttered.

“Don’t do anything dangerous. A few illusions. A very careful push. Shield yourself only if no one’s in your personal space. Better yet, don’t show that one at all.”

Arno considered the experiments they done with driftwood, and the many many repetitions about not cutting people’s arms off . . . Yeah.

“All of you have some dimensional ability. There’s not much you can do, right now. As you mature all of your abilities will grow and expand. And like all kids, you won’t what you’re really capable of for decades.

“You boys with the One power gene will fit in best with the other High Oners, take the classes, learn those techniques. They should mesh well with your power type. The dimensional ability won’t affect that. It’s a side talent, so to speak. One I’ll help you develop as far as you are able—if you want. This is something you control, that you can decide for yourself, and if you don’t want to, you can change your mind later. I’m not shutting you out, you can always come back. With no strings. You’re Oners, not Fallen, and I respect your loyalty to the Empire.”

Wow. Yeah, he never did try to recruit any of us. I guess maybe it was respect rather than rejection.

“You girls with the double One power gene will be strong, not just because of your count, but because of all those other genes of the Prophets. The dimensional ability aside, you’ll be magically powerful, and able to do pretty much whatever you wish.

“And again, I’ll teach you as much as I can, when and if you want it. Your choice.”

The man paced down to their end.

“You eight have the extra power genes that I expect will allow you to make bags, corridors and possibly gates. We’ll see. And I’ll see you back soon, and as often as is practical. As you wish. You eight will be getting the most pressure, not just from your government, but others. And businesses will be actively recruiting as soon as they realize your potential.”

The man looked a little worried. “Be careful. Understate what you can do, for now. I suspect you’ll be tested regularly. And I’ll see you back here, whenever you want to come.

“If you have trouble call me. I owe you . . . And now that I know you, I care about you.”

***

"I can't believe how much I can do, now." Ryol hauled her bag out toward the waiting limo. I want to go home and collapse for a month . . . and then come back. I wonder if they'll let me? Us.

Gior nodded. "This has been the most incredible week. I think my head exploded about halfway through."

Lala dragged out, looking woe-be-gone. Then glanced up when Master Xen stepped in front of her. Looked back down at the ground. He knelt.

"Lala? Are you all right? Do those foster parents care about you?"

Lala shook her head. "The clan pays them. No one else wants me."

"I want you. Will you stay here with me."

A flood of tears. The girl flung her arms around the man's neck. Nodding.

Princess Diuc swept up to them. "Don't be ridiculous. Laar is of the One. You can't take her."

"Yes I can." He stared the princess in the eye for a second. And disappeared. Literally. Taking Lala with him.

Izmo stormed off to the Disco building.

Duic cursed, apologized, explained that kidnapping was not going to be permitted.

But she had a satisfied gleam in her eyes.

Oooo! I think she’s plotting something! Or . . . the One is.

***

Arno hated going home. Gave Night a last scratch.

" . . . can't believe they just let those horses roam." Diuc was heading his direction. Stomping.

Arno turned and walked away from the horse. Climbed into the back of the limo. Scowled out the window all the way back to Paris.

Where they wrote up reports on what they'd learned, and turned in their journals. It had been a totally magic ten days. And now he was back in the real world, and needed to get cracking on the school work.

"You look pretty glum." Aunt Rael sat down beside him. "Not what you expected?"

"Well . . . yes and no. I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, learning magic by having sand fights? The horses . . . I didn't expect the horses. They were just incredible. And they do talk. No matter what Ryol says."

"Not everyone can hear them. At least that's what Xen says. I wonder if boys don't have a greater affinity for them or something—although it's usually girls who go horse crazy." She shrugged. "I hear them. Anyhow, we're thinking about getting all the dimensionally talented kids back for another session. There's eight of you. We'll probably do it in a month or two."

She looked at him, eyes worried. “Do you want to go back?”

“I don’t know.” I don’t know that man! But that zap when he touched me, I could feel the connection. I just don’t know if I want to follow up, or let it fade away.

***

Rael sat quietly and listened to all the kids, the chaperones, as they babbled about what a terrific time it had been. All the people who were here to test the kids, study them, and analyze everything were looking skeptical . . . until the kids started showing off.

Ryol was incandescent, showing off minor spells of illusion, misdirection, unnoticeable . . . things that most people never learned unless they went to Princess School. An impressive physical shield. It could easily stop a bullet.

As Xen demonstrated. I don’t believe he did that!

“She's not quite fifteen! How can she do that! A telepathic range of twenty kilometers. Priests can't do that!” One magical researcher looked more horrified than excited.

"Master Xen said stuff like our micro manipulation probably wouldn't blossom until we were older. And he said we'd grow into ways of using even more power, without overloading. And . . . and . . . I feel kind of stretched and strained." Ryol sat back, looking tired and still grinning.

"Not surprising." Rael looked around at the kids who'd returned. "You've all just had lessons that took you in a completely different direction than any training you've had so far. And it was very intensive training."

"Yeah. It was just amazing.” Ryol barely spared a glance for the researcher edging a microphone closer. “They use magic for so many things that we use machines for. They don't even think about it. All those cities of theirs that we hear are so primitive, medieval. They have clean running water, their sewage disposal breaks everything down to the level of three atom-molecules. All done with magic.

“They have corridors everywhere. They just . . . take it all for granted. Magic potions for every disease imaginable, that Joy Juice that can cure practically anything, and an elixir of long life that changes the genes to the most successful of the artificial genes for longevity . . . They just . . . they don't even seem to think about it being odd. They don't really think about it at all."

The other kids were nodding.

One of the older boys, Jay, she'd heard him called, took over. "Like we don't think about sewage treatment, unless you're driving right by the plant. But they don't have plants, they put spells on the pipes. And one way pipes! Those were so strange. And hot spells on pipes. They don't even have hot water heaters in their houses. It's just all built-in magic."

The other large boy snorted. "Most people don't have hot water pipes. But anyplace where a bunch of the magic users live does."

"The fashions were interesting. Those were definitely medieval." Gior sniffed.

"Or Victorian." Voyr looked wistful. "Some of the fabrics were extraordinary."

Foyh nodded. "No synthetics, and apparently they lost cotton. Now they import it from another world."

One boy had been pretty quiet, just following the other kids' babble. Rael shifted over toward him. "Utry, isn't it? What most impressed you?"

"The horses. They can talk, some of them. Vero said they were the descendants of experimental horses that the gods stole when they escaped from Earth."

Ryol rolled her eyes. "They are not telepathic. They do not 'talk.' I think those older kids were kidding you."

"No. I heard Sunshine and Pyrite.” Utry looked stubborn, glanced back at Rael. "He's Master Xen's horse."

Several other kids were nodding. Including Arno.

"Yes, I know Pyrite, and I can hear them. I'll have to check on why only some people can hear them." Rael bit her lip and wondered if Xen would give her a straight answer.

And I'd better talk to Urfa about Laar. Orphaned, the few relatives didn't want to take in a "Native" bastard. The District had to take the Clan to court to get them to accept responsibility and then they just paid some Servaones to keep her. Xen at least accepts some responsibility.

He didn’t try to keep my kids. Didn’t single them out as special.

Dammit. I don’t know how he feels about them.



 
 
 
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2018 05:10 pm (UTC)
Gender
"letting him get near Master Xen" should probably be "letting her get near Master Xen"
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2018 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Gender
Oops. Should have been on yesterday's post not today's.
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2018 07:09 pm (UTC)
Not sure where you are going with Lala. Is Xen going to apply for custody? I would love the circus that would cause. Or have Rustle and Wolf apply as Grandparents. All sorts of opportunities
ekuah on November 21st, 2018 07:43 pm (UTC)
Laar could easily become a new tool for war party's effort to cause trouble.

In that case Rustle and Wolf would be great foster parents.

Just imagine the stand off between those war mongers and the god of war. When those politicians try to challenge him to a duel.
"What? You call that toothpick a 'sword'? You must be kidding. Now this is a SWORD." (pulling his bihänder)
(Anonymous) on November 22nd, 2018 08:15 am (UTC)
Personally I can only see three ways for "The One" compass to benefit from Xen's attachment to & "abduction" of Lala (since I think she's too young to be a spy).

1) It's potentially an additional emotional tie to The Empire of the One, but if Xen gets upset about her treatment that could backfire, *hard*.

2) They might be hoping to manipulate Xen through whatever guilt he might now feel for having failed his Oner children, with Lala being the sharpest knife.

3) There might be some way to play Xen's actions against The War Party, Isolationists, & anyone else who needs a smackdown _in The Emprire_, since he went from "I've never met you" to "Can I try to offer you a real home" in... 10 days? (& wasn't Lala the one who had the gun, that makes his willingness to stand up as a parent perhaps even more remarkable).
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on November 22nd, 2018 12:21 am (UTC)
Lala is in place in Xen Marooned

== front door open, and Lala peeked in, spotted them and slipped in.
"He'll be fine." Lala frowned at them. "Have either of you eaten since breakfast? Honestly!" She bustled around the kitchen, pulling food from cupboards . . . hot and cooked.
Rael blinked. Right. Dimensional bubbles. Ten thousand-to-one time dilation.
Lala plunked three plates down on the table. "Sit. Eat. Rael . . . I felt my parents die. They were a mile away and I was only twelve . . . but I know what it feels like. My biodad did not die this morning. So sit down and eat. You two are going to be busy, and I'm going to help you not have to worry about anything else."
Rael looked over her shoulder at movement in the corner of her eye.
Four more of Xen's kids ...==