Log in

No account? Create an account
13 February 2019 @ 12:58 pm
_Guardsman_ part 22  

Ox nodded. “The thing is to be flexible, and not double down when a plan doesn’t work. I’ve spent the last four years officially working for External, but working closely with Internal on police and courts on all the colonies. It’s been fascinating, watching the upper levels think. The Ministries are a bit stiffer, but the Directorates have been a delight.”

Izzo looked over at him. “Do you think there will be a problem with the Ministries over the governors?”

“No. I think they’ve got the worst of it knocked out of their heads. After all the elected Governors on the other worlds have done well enough.” He grinned a little and caught Dave’s eye. “They elected a sixteen-year-old girl on Lucky Number Thirteen. Well, she’s twenty-one now, and still doing a good job.”

“I see . . .” Good Grief, these people are insane!

“So is it officially sixteen colonies?”

“Yep, with three more being actively colonized.” Izzo grinned. “I need to consolidate some of the colonies that don’t really need a subdirector each, to keep an eye on them. Maybe a Subdirector of Evacuation Worlds.”

Rael answered his questioning gaze. “When it looked like there was a possibility of the Helios miniverse hitting us, we started setting up forty worlds for massive evacuations, and long term residency.”

“So now you have forty worlds that are what? All ready for people to move in?”

“Yep. We needed three for various purposes—All the Granite Peak people moved to one, the Helios victims who couldn’t go home to another, and some traitors to yet a third.” Izzo shrugged at Dave raised eyebrows. “We executed the worst. The followers are getting a chance to redeem themselves.”


“Very much so.” Izzo eyed him. “If you have the free time, I’ll show you around.”

Dave hesitated.

Rael giggled. “Go on. It’ll be good for you. I’ll let Nicholas know where you’ve gone.”

Chapter Seven

The Multiverse

Director Izzo had a large car—not quite a limo—and a driver. “One of the punishments for advancement. They start assuming you’re too important to know how to operate a vehicle.”

The chauffeur grinned and held the door for them.

“So . . . have these corridor things destroyed the airplane industry?” Lucky Dave eyed the shorter man. Right. This is the man who killed the head of the assassination plot in a sword fight. Talked Ra’d, Abbas and Isakson out of Makkah when they dared attack Warriors and their families. Don’t underestimate him.

“Not quite, but it’s definitely changed things. Likewise shipping. Shipping . . . by water has become nearly non-existent. Trucks can drive through a few corridors and be within a thousand kilometers of any destination on the World, in a few hours. And loads that can fit through a gate—can go anywhere in the known multiverse just about as quickly.”

“Or an Army? Like the one Jiol spoke of. And . . . she said something about a Combat Gang and the Maze?”

“Yes. You’re going to be picking up on details for years. When the Fallen—which is what we call the people from the world called Comet Fall, because of the comet that hit it a thousand years ago—invented the permanent gates, they didn’t know how to take them down. So when they found us—this was a couple of decades after we’d founded them and two years after we’d tried to invade them—they built a maze of gates and corridors they could use to dissuade pursuit.

“Pretty much unused until it was discovered by Fallen smugglers, who added on to it. And then a criminal gang, mostly composed of Fallen Witches, some of whom could open gates and calling themselves the Hors de Combat.”

Dave snorted.

“Indeed. Led by a marooned Oner Princess who’d taken a sex change potion. Rior.” Izzo sighed. “Most of them have been arrested and are in prison. But the Maze keeps growing. Disco explores, students practice their gate making lessons, the smugglers are still out there . . . From the original thirty-five gates, it’s grown to well over five hundred, and the maps are always out of date.”

Dave blinked. “So . . . they know of five hundred worlds?”

“Or, more than that. That’s just the Maze. All the contacted worlds have multiple worlds we’ve claimed, or just explored. The Catalog is up to sixty-thousand, and I’ll bet the Earth has even more.”

“Okay. I’m officially boggled. I know in theory there are an infinite number of worlds, but when you start putting numbers to it . . . that’s boggling.”

“Yes.” Izzo shrugged. “I just think ‘lots and lots’ and avoid spraining my brain.” He grinned. “I’ll show you the catalog, and try enticing you toward XR.”

“I . . . have a duty to Nicholas. And . . . I’m a really good bodyguard. Period.”

Izzo shrugged. “You did what was most needed at the time. Dave ibn Daiki ibn William? I think you have a lot of untapped potential. I’m perfectly happy to steal you from Urfa and get you into lessons with Xen Wolfson.”

Dave eyed the traffic as it slowed . . . in front of a corridor. “So you’re recruiting? I’m surprised you’re not after Davos.”

“Oh, I’ll get around to it. Unfortunately I haven’t come up with a real need for a prophet, but I’m working on it.”

“I see . . .” The car gave the faintest of lurches as it drove through the gate and on to a road that curved and merged with a four lane highway. No, eight lanes. Four each direction.

Damn. Yet more ‘welcome to the future, Dave’ experiences.

“So . . . these political parties, eight of them?”

Izzo nodded. “The War Party, Isolationists, Strong Federalists, Multitude Supreme, One First, Nativists, Pacifists, and of course, the Modernists.”

“Orde’s a Modernist, right? And you?”

“Modernist.” Izzo sighed. “We’re such a small party, and Urfa’s the only well-known person who could run . . . 1415 is going to be an interesting year, but not in a nice way.”

“I see. About the time I adjust to the future, it will all change.”

(Anonymous) on February 13th, 2019 08:12 pm (UTC)
(Emphasis added)

Dave eyed the traffic as it slowed . . . in front of a corridor. “So you’re recruiting? I’m surprised you’re not after Davos.”

“Oh, I’ll get around to it. Unfortunately I haven’t come up with a real need for a prophet, but I’m working on it.”

Just want to point out the disconnect between "Davos" & "a Prophet", maybe some sort of commentary on how Dave's "Luck" gives him a greater utility than a Prophet (Nicholas) or Warrior (Davos) lacking each.

The problems with saying there's no need for another Warrior are that (1) Izzo is one, & (2) I imagine Lucky Dave is going to be in the running for the certification now (not to mention that'll he'll probably get lots of invites to run seminars relating whatever equivalent of SERE training The One Empire offers, due to the fact that he was good enough at it to rescue Nicholas & Davos along with himself).
Brice Tawzer on February 13th, 2019 09:48 pm (UTC)
I had no idea there was so many worlds.

I think there's militaries happy with the idea of an entire empty worlds as a testing ground for armegadden level weapons.

Another thing I wondered, corridors easily travels a vast distance. Space is much shorter straight up. I'm surprised there's no space programs yet.

(Anonymous) on February 13th, 2019 10:15 pm (UTC)
There are space programs, though mostly unmanned or minimal in scope. The ROI on cross-dimensional exploration and exploitation is generally more appealing.

OTOH, the British Empire world has an Earth-Moon corridor, but the relative motions of the endpoints of the causes gradual degradation. It requires a spaceflight every (IIRC) three months to carry up a replacement. They were also experimenting with a Moon-Mars corridor.

To avoid the degradation on a corridor to space, I imagine you could place the space end at a facility in geosynchronous orbit. Which is great if you do have a major space program, or need zero-g research/activity space. I imagine you could even bootstrap things fairly rapidly. Send up a small module via rocket, with a corridor being attached to the module. Then send additional modules through.

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 13th, 2019 11:24 pm (UTC)
>> British Empire world has an Earth-Moon corridor, but the relative motions of the endpoints of the causes gradual degradation. It requires a spaceflight every (IIRC) three months to carry up a replacement.

No textev for a spaceflight being needed. The replacement corridor can be done using the existing corridor then pop the old one. You still need a spacecraft for emergencies but it could be kept in a bubble.

Edited at 2019-02-13 11:25 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on March 2nd, 2019 10:44 am (UTC)
Xen has demonstrated interstellar gates. Why doesn't a polity that wants a space program hire him to put up a gate from an empty world to the moon or Mars in their universe and a gate back their world?

matapampamuphoff on March 2nd, 2019 03:32 pm (UTC)
He's *looked* at extrasolar planets. He hasn't made a gate. And only the Oners know about it, so far. The differential velocity issues may be hard to overcome.
(Anonymous) on March 10th, 2019 07:30 pm (UTC)
I beg to differ, see chapter nine in Last Merge. Admittedly only Xen and Q know this until the reports are written and declassified.

matapampamuphoff on March 10th, 2019 10:10 pm (UTC)
Ha! I'd actually forgotten that little scene.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 13th, 2019 11:42 pm (UTC)
>>I had no idea there was so many worlds.

See the catalogue numbers from A Tale of Three Interns

Pam rather pulled the increase in the size of the Maze out of her ear, but it's plausible given a few dozen gate-makers.
(Anonymous) on February 13th, 2019 11:07 pm (UTC)
So Izzo doesn't know he's running yet . . . Dave, congrats on being the first person to ever not underestimate Izzo from the first meeting!

Wonder how that'll play out, going from Urfa's the only available Moderate to Izzo.

Just spent half an hour talking thru the extended Rael-centric family tree with Henry. If you ever put up a WotG website, please consider hooking a genealogy software to it with the entire web of relations. It's really cool but fairly confusing.

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 13th, 2019 11:33 pm (UTC)
Both Imperial police and Imperial courts on colony worlds being Internal Directorate doesn't really match Izzo in External Relations just deciding to combine courts and indeed R'ad and Action Team in First Posting relations with local police?
matapampamuphoff on February 14th, 2019 03:55 am (UTC)
Izzo and Ajki worked together on this, with the president's approval. Ox was hired officially by XR since he'd be working in Gate City and going Across frequently.

CoaFG ch 22

"So, this position with Interior Relations is right up my alley. I’ve got a year and a half to go on the External contract, which is right about when Subdirector Isku plans to retire. I talked with Izzo, and neither of us think we’ll need an extension, so long as everything stays smooth. I work with Interior Director Ajki and his people regularly. Good people, the kind of job I like and am good at. So a position there is irresistible."
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 13th, 2019 11:47 pm (UTC)
==Well, she’s twenty-one now, and still doing a good job.”

“I see . . .” Good Grief, these people are insane!==

This being Flu, I take it.

Young Nick the Tyrant is only a little older, wait 'till Dave finds out.
(Anonymous) on February 14th, 2019 12:57 am (UTC)
Izzo's untrained y chromosome is going to give him the same kind of luck as Lucky Dave. Should be interesting.

What if Deary interviewed the old psychic princesses and they leaked all their premonitions about Izzo, including the one where he will be the next president of the Empire before he decides to run? Too funny for words.

Do all the Prophets (men) have the priest y? Was anyone else unusually lucky?
(Anonymous) on February 14th, 2019 01:14 am (UTC)
I wonder about that - Izzo received the hormonal suppressant the people of Homestead used on their livestock.

matapampamuphoff on February 14th, 2019 01:44 am (UTC)
Yes, Izzo's priest gene is fully functional. How lucky that his Dad, in desperation, gave him just what would work.
matapampamuphoff on February 14th, 2019 01:28 am (UTC)
All the male Tellies had a power gene on their Y chromosome. Most of them that we've seen had a version of the Mage gene.

The Orange Team had the priest/wizard gene on their Y chromosome. Quite a few of the other companies tried that gene on the X chromosome. The Tellies were very slow maturing, so the priest/wizard gene was thought to be a moderately strong power gene.

So yes, all the male Prophets had what is now called the priest gene.

Alexander the Traitor may have had the mage Y (as well as the purple gene), as his mother was pregnant when marooned. And that male line may or may not still be around.

:) That will all depend on the needs of the Author.

matapampamuphoff on February 14th, 2019 01:42 am (UTC)
As for luck . . . it's not always that obvious, especially in someone with a One or a Mage gene letting them do all sorts of magic.

Due to the "recruiting" of boys with the priest gene, there aren't many people around with only the priest gene, which is when the lucky tends to be noticeable.

Luck is not the only trait of the priest/wizard gene. They make very convincing actors, diplomats, politicians, spies, con men . . .