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03 December 2018 @ 09:48 am
Random Scenes from NaNoWriMo 22  

/// day 5///

Rock molding lessons.

And slicing. All the big cubes of rock Master Xen had set down in front of the school were variously manipulated into a broad walkway from the road to the school’s steps.

Arno spotted Gior a little apart from the rest of them. Talking to a trio of men . . . who were maneuvering in between her and the school.

That unnoticeable spell . . .

He circled around the men and closer to Gior. Popped the spell. The men all startled, Gior looked around relief changing to surprise.

Arno grinned. “Thought it would be Master Xen?” He looked at the looming trio. “And you should be glad it’s not him . . . huh. You guys feel like Purps. But you’ve got power. Some Purps are dimensionals, too, you know.”

They glared at him.

“So there’s no reason for you to be pervs and try to carry off women to be your sex slaves.” Arno crossed his arms and frowned back.

“What do you know about it?” One of them glared.

Gior sniffed. “There are two different purple genes. Well, it’s the same gene, just in a different position. One of them was put too close to a gene that’s only active during embryonic development, and turns off before birth. The other one stays turned on.”

Arno nodded. “The Peacock gene—either one—is one of the most important genes for dimensional work. There’s probably five or six more.” He reached out and grabbed a bubble, envisioning it small. Held it in the palm of his hand. “Can any of you see this?”

“What? A soap bubble?” The guy in the center growled.

The other two exchanged puzzled glances.

“You.” Arno poked a finger at the soap bubble man. “Should ask Captain Woldson for magic lessons.”

He reached out and stuck the bubble to the man’s shirt. “And anyone else who can see that.”

He elbowed Gior to the side, and they walked around the puzzled men, all three staring at the one guy’s shirt.

“Thanks, Arno, that was quick thinking.” Gior looked sideways at him. “I don’t know why Ryol always picks on you.”

Arno shrugged. “That’s Ryol. She’s just . . . a verbal emoter.” He eyed the walkway, and headed for the pile of rock. Just a couple more squares, and some long skinny bits to fill in here and there . . .”

***

“Because frankly? Mr. Iron and Mr. Enterprise are very poorly trained, and Enterprise is in competition with Captain Wolfson for number of offspring. In our case, the oldest are just ten years old.”

Ryol looked over from her Danish to the tall distinguished man talking to Yellow, the very misnamed witch, who worked in the pastry shop.

“Really . . . Lord Fidel Iron I’ve heard all about. Enterprise doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Ring a . . . how quaint. Ajay Enterprise.”

“Oh! Ajay. One of the Sea Wolves the Hors de Combat picked up.”

The man’s face went blank. “The . . .”

“Oh, sorry, old joke back home.” Yellow snickered. “The criminal gang . . . Both Western and Veronian witches, plus these . . . well . . . trained assassin prostitutes . . . none of them were great scholars, and when they heard the term . . . they adopted it as their gang name. The Whores de Combat. Then Rior—from the One World—found them and turned them into a really nasty bunch of cross-dimensional criminals. And they’ve been calling themselves the Black Island Gang for a while, but it just doesn’t have the same amusement value.”

The man rubbed his forehead like it was hurting. “In any case, we need to hire someone to train these children properly. If you know of anyone . . .”

“Hmm, what an interesting thought. Certainly, I’ll . . . hmm. I’ll check in Rip Crossing. They’ll be less inclined to kill Lord Iron on sight.”

“Thank you.” The man eyed Ryol. “You’re one of Wolfson’s kids, aren’t you?”

“Yep. And no use recruiting me, I’m just learning myself.” Ryol grinned. “And the only teachers I know are Oners, and they don’t do dimensional stuff. That’s what you’re after, isn’t it?”

“Yes. We’ve got Iron and Enterprise to do it now, but they have only the vaguest idea how to train the children in even beginning magic.”

“Eww! That can be a bit dangerous. I mean, we don’t have very good control when the magic suddenly starts. Even though we get meditation exercises and learn about it, it’s still really hard to deal with for a year or two.” The man looked skeptical, so she dredged up an old and massively stupid comparison. “It’s like puberty for boys. Your voice is all over the place and, umm, physical reactions happen that you can’t control.”

The man blinked. “I . . . see.” He was a little red.

Embarrassed because I mentioned puberty? Surely they teach teenagers what to expect . . . eww. I’m almost fifteen. It’s going to start pretty soon.

Ryol nodded. “So they really need people around who can block any surprises.”

“Thank you. That’s . . . very useful knowledge.” He headed for the road.

Yellow was giggling. “Oh my, I think you shocked the poor man. You are definitely Xen’s kid.”

Ryol eyed her. Red hair . . . Probably another relative. “You know him? Do you . . . I mean . . . never mind. I don’t want to know.”

Yellow laughed. “Don’t worry. Never even kissed him. He’s, oh, about seven years older than I am, so I was one of the teenage witches who had school girl crushes on him. He avoided us whenever possible, and we all got over it. Well. My generation. The Farmer Girls were just a couple years younger than he was, and pursued him relentlessly. Sometimes I wonder if they’re responsible for him joining the Army.”

“The Farmer Girls? With capital letters?”

“Yep . . . Four of them, with two kids each.” Yellow jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “You’ve met them.”

“Oh! I see. I think. Did they, umm, like the Smuggler Sisters . . .”

Yellow nodded.

“And did Q . . .”

“Yep. Purple bunnies, with a trap spell. It was pretty funny . . . now that we’ve got more perspective on it. At the time everyone was pissed that any witch could get away with that, and some people talked to Answer.” Her eyes widened, probably at the memory. “Answer just said ‘Can’t trust that rogue family’ and then she gave this nasty smile and said ‘and in this case those idiots deserved it.’ And everyone slunk off home, and the spells wore off after a couple of months.”

“But . . . what about their babies?”

“Oh, they were a couple years old by then . . . see, Xen had been injured again . . . and they tried to sneak in, again. That’s when Q got them.”

“Eww!”

“Yeah. Idiots.”

***

And another last day, with beach practice on control and Master Xen practically begging them not to accidentally kill anyone. And then they went home again.


/// home again///

Arno and Rael sent off home in a limo . . .

“Aunt Rael didn’t come home with us, again.” Arno looked back. She’s still standing there, watching us go home to . . . our parents.

“She’s a Directorate Analyst, she can’t just take time off whenever she wants to.” Ryol glared at him.

“Yeah. I hope watching the lessons is work, and not vacation.” I hope . . . for world peace and harmony. Or at least a dearth of hitting , screaming, or lawsuits in the family.

Mom, what were you thinking?

 
 
 
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on December 3rd, 2018 04:16 pm (UTC)
Arno and Ryol send off home in a limo...

(I realize how easy it is to mix up the two names, I do it myself all the time and I'm not even the author.)

In addition to the people yesterday, I also advocate the inclusion of Wavelength to the mix... And perhaps a veiled comment about eating your enemies!
matapampamuphoff on December 3rd, 2018 05:12 pm (UTC)
And then they go undercover with a different name . . .

Thank you.
(Anonymous) on December 4th, 2018 12:24 am (UTC)
You've also got "Captain Woldson" above...

And in relation to the genetic engineering question by the other poster below, I was wondering last night why Xen (or someone) doesn't solve the problem of breeding children for Dimensional abilities (which may have a negative impact on the their psyche's when they realise there's a pragmatic/realpolitik "why" to their existence) by creating one or more non-nano potions to just add/tweak the genes *known* to be relevant to dimensional abilities (I mean, it may not have been determined yet exactly which genes do what, but it has been stated that it's been narrowed down to a known set of genes, so potions/spells that give recipients all of the appropriate genes should be doable).
matapampamuphoff on December 4th, 2018 01:26 am (UTC)
This figures into the final bit.
mbarkermbarker on December 4th, 2018 01:39 am (UTC)
Just thinking... Xen might very well give one lecture in here somewhere about passive resistance? I mean, yes, you have the genes, and you may very well be able to do what these people want you to do, but... you have the choice! If you say no, I can't see that, I can't make those, I refuse to do it... no one can force you to do it. I mean, just because you have the genes and even the ability, does not mean you have to do it, right? Hum... and you can always call for the God of Spies, too!
matapampamuphoff on December 4th, 2018 05:32 am (UTC)
Generally only works for government agents of some sort. It'll work for Arno.
matapampamuphoff on December 4th, 2018 05:29 am (UTC)
And, yeah, one of my common typos. Some day I will learn proper touch typing.
(Anonymous) on December 5th, 2018 12:55 am (UTC)
For "Common typos" your word processor might have a "user-defined auto-replace" feature (I haven't really used a Word Processor since having to move away from Word 2000 when it stopped working on Windows XP, so I can't remember the actual function name, & have no idea where it would be on later or other programs), where you have a list of common strings that your word processor replaces with defined alternate strings or symbols (one of the things I used to have to do whenever installing Word 2k was edit all the replacers for things like turning "1/2" into "½" out of the list), so as you identify mistakes you commonly make you can just add them to the list.

Another advantage of the function is that you can create your own "shorthand equivalent" codes so you can reduce the actual typing you need to do.
(Anonymous) on December 3rd, 2018 10:42 pm (UTC)
All those genes that Rustle is adding to Homestead. Will they negotiate for some dimensional genes?
matapampamuphoff on December 4th, 2018 01:26 am (UTC)
Probably.
(Anonymous) on December 6th, 2018 07:34 am (UTC)
Yellow
Isn't Yellow in army intel?

Bryan
matapampamuphoff on December 6th, 2018 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Yellow
:) Yep.