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17 February 2019 @ 02:04 pm
_Guardsman_ part 25  

“And Isakson’s going to be pissed at both of us.”

Lucky Dave laughed. “For not killing him? You Warriors can kill anyone you want. I’m a bodyguard, and them carrying a warning back home to not even think about threatening the families makes my job easier. Revenge for killing a priest makes it harder.”

The priests stirred uneasily.

Ra’d looked them over. Shook his head. “Take heed. I understand that the other Isakson and my duplicate slaughtered a quarter of your priests. Don’t give Nick reason to visit Makkah again. Because he won’t be coming alone. As Dave said, build yourselves up with volunteers and do something useful. Be the leaders, not the threat. But then if you were the leader types, you wouldn’t be so desperate for a real leader, would you?”

“Ambassador Ipti?” Everyone turned at the deep voice.

Lucky Dave blinked. He recognized Xen Wolfson from the hospital and from pictures . . . but the man felt like nothing what so ever. Is that an illusion he’s projecting from elsewhere, or really good shields?

“Please contact your government and be sure they actually want to start cross dimensional criminal sprees. I realize that kidnapping children is a way of life for the One. But we really dislike it here.” He eyed Ra’d, then Lucky Dave. “And I thank you both for your restraint today.”

The Ambassador growled. “What about their kidnapping raid?” His glare switched back to Ra’d.”

“Ra’d didn’t, nor Nighthawk. Izzo? Did you order any of your people . . . No? Well, Ambassador, I’ll keep investigating, but the pool of people who could open a gate, pop through and see the Bag of the Prophets and thus retrieve it quickly and quietly is limited and I suspect I’ll run out of suspects quickly.”

“They could have used that gate.” Ambassador Ipti pointed off behind himself and to the right.

“And flown and driven from Paris to Bangledesh, er, India, and back?” Wolfson shrugged. “Possible, and with a really good description of Lucky Dave’s location, wandered around for a few days and found the bag, then travelled all the way back.”

Izzo frowned. “I wonder about your rebel former priests, myself.”

The pyrotechnic priest glared. “It wasn’t Izpo, he went straight back to Tyrant’s Worlds. We watch for that traitor.”

Izzo started faintly. “Izpo? I never actually heard the name of the man who spread the joy juice all over Makkah.”

A snort from Wolfson. “A relative of yours, Izzo?”

“Well, I have two uncles who were taken for priests. Could have been, or just the usual coincidence of these name codes.” Izzo shrugged, but there was a suggestion of a smile on his face.

That had all of the Nuked Oners glaring suspiciously at Izzo. Who just shrugged. “I’ve never met either of them. If there’s any more I can do for you gentlemen? No? Good.”

As they walked away, Dave heard Izzo’s low voiced question to Ra’d. “Did you really have nothing to do with that?”

And Ra’d answer. “I obeyed your orders to the letter.”

“I . . . see.” Izzo dropped back and turned to Ambassador Ashe. “Ashe, let’s have a little chat. Ra’d? Give Lucky Dave the tour.”

“Good idea.” Ra’d gave a razor thin smile. “Want to meet the family?”

***

Nighthawk was a tall elegant woman, beautiful, by her complexion part African, by her nose, Xen Wolfson’s daughter.

“I’m glad to finally meet the legend.” Her eyes twinkled. “Ra’d has been entertaining the kids with tall tales.”

“Umm . . .” Dave glowered at Ra’d.

“Show the poor man around and bring him home for lunch.” Nighthawk snickered. “I, of course, have also heard all about you from my half-sister, Crazy Redhead Number Two. Stealing cars. Dear me!”

“Umm . . . Dave threw his hands up in the air. “Gah. You modern people are all insane.” And Crazy Redhead Number Two . . . could spot a Bag of the Prophets. I wonder if she can open gates?

Ra’d laughed and led him up to the roof of the building to point out the sights.

What had started as a few embassies around a central plaza had grown mostly to the west, toward the ocean on the horizon. “North was assumed to be Oner allies—note the lack of large buildings beyond the embassy. South was Earth allies. Only the Purps came close, and even they stayed a bit west, in what was generally considered neutral territory. Arrival built next to Comet Fall, and nothings been built east of them, nor east or southeast of Disco.”

“It looks like they’re running out of Neutral Territory.”

“Yes, now they’re spreading out north and south, but staying west of the original plaza.” Ra’d pointed. “The pink granite building on the northwest diagonal road is the only large thing anywhere near our embassy. It’s the Comet Fall Hospital. And down the southwest road, the white building with wings all over is the public library. All the worlds send history, culture, government propaganda and whatever, and all the other worlds faithfully copy and analyze it all.”

Dave snickered. “I wonder how many people that keeps employed”

“Tens of thousands. Anyway. We’ve now got housing developments and schools. A fire department, and we’re arguing about a city police force. The current option there being ‘whatever Disco agent shows up, and does whatever he wants to do about it.’ Which is usually kick someone off the planet. We’ve only had one murder, so far, and fortunately the victim and culprit were both from the same world. We sent them home and the killer was tried and executed.”

“You like it here, don’t you?”

“Yes.” Ra’d waved at the view. “This place is fascinating. Mind you, Nighthawk’s a big piece of it, and just growing up. But I really like the size of the Multiverse and the sense that we can all talk and trade and not attack each other.”

“Damn, you have grown up.”

Ra’d laughed. “You think I was fierce before Rangpur? You ought to have seen me after we arrived, crashed head first into the One, and . . . well, the first year was tough. And may I say that I’m delirious with joy that you rescued Dad? I thought I’d abandoned him to die.”

“Huh. Yeah sixteen years of thinking we were dead. Well Jadida married, but not Umaya. How about that other One World? Have you met them?”

“Yes. Heh. A little brother and another sister. Two Umayas. They’re all pioneering a new world, and doing well. I haven’t checked on them lately, they may be ready to return to civilization. I suggested to that Nicholas, that he wait at least a year and make sure he’s on top of his game before he seriously thinks about returning to that One World.” Ra’d grinned. “And I told him to talk to Ebsa, and talk to the government, before he got close to that mess in Makkah.”

 
 
 
matapampamuphoff on February 17th, 2019 08:06 pm (UTC)
*sigh* One piddly little fight amongst all the talking. Boooorrrrring!
cnmckenney on February 17th, 2019 08:31 pm (UTC)
It's something in the atmosphere of Embassy, encourages people to talk not fight. I wonder if this is a deliberate affect created by Xen?
(Anonymous) on February 17th, 2019 11:33 pm (UTC)
So you've already shown a decisive threat to anyone who commits a violent crime. Unless you really need to show the threat being carried out, there isn't a need for more violent encounters, at least on Embassy.

And if the plan for this story is to head for the election, then all this is just character development, not critical path.

darqref
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 03:06 am (UTC)
I'm going to need to cut a lot of this, when I finally get around to the election. Probably.
(Anonymous) on February 19th, 2019 05:30 am (UTC)
When you cut it, maybe release it separately?
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 18th, 2019 12:17 am (UTC)
(Xen) ==I’ll keep investigating, but the pool of people who could open a gate, pop through and see the Bag of the Prophets and thus retrieve it quickly and quietly is limited and I suspect I’ll run out of suspects quickly.”==

There are in fact a fair number.

Eldon, the Combat criminals, the smugglers, Arrow. All Q's better students. And via an existing gate the God of Thieves.

Most are missing a motive or knowledge of One World but can't easily be eliminated from suspicion.

(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 01:21 am (UTC)
Xen only said he'd investigate, he didn't say a word about accurately reporting his findings to the Nuked One Government or Hive Mind...
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 03:05 am (UTC)
It happened within a few days of the fun times at the hospital, so the likelihood of any of the Combat Gang even hearing about it is minimal. Likewise the smugglers. And why would they? And then deliver them to the Comet Fall Hospital on Embassy?

The Comet Fall intel community would know about it quickly, and no doubt briefed the King and Rufi. The gate openers on Comet Fall have very little contact with the One World, to know about where this Rangpur place is and the practical parts about how to get to some small town . . . and again, why would they do it?

It's really just the CF Embassy people and the people on One World in the embassy there who'd be able to jump in so quickly and accurately.

Xen is no doubt wondering who beside Ra'd would talk one of his Oner kids into comeing along to locate the bag, after he or she smuggled them all through the Embassy-to-N1 Paris gate.

He doesn't realize that Arno, aged 16, is so advanced that he's figured out how to find specific worlds. Q, during her lessons, showed him a few worlds, but doesn't realize that for him the Nuked One had a sort of affinity that he could use to find it.
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 07:34 am (UTC)
And Izzo, of course, notes Ra'd's very careful phrasing and if he ever really has a reason to need to know, will ask.
As will Dave.

And has anyone thought to mention to Dave that Ditzy Red #2 has a twin? Since he's almost on the right path?

This reminds me of the scene in Empire when Xen has to mislead Urfa and Orde's group with shields lowered while telling strictly the truth. Does Ra'd come by the skill naturally, or has he had lessons/examples from his father-in-law?

Holly
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 08:20 am (UTC)
"Kidnapping, what kidnapping? Sounds like the responsible party rescued them from deadly danger, then took them to the one place in the multiverse that could save their lives, after which they were free to go wherever they wanted."
"You really should not use kidnapping when you mean theft. And theft implies that they are your property and therefore slaves. We frown on slavery around here. In fact the last time that someone tried it, they ended up with an uprising that threw them out of their comfortable lives and required them to run for an empty world to live however they could."
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 08:23 am (UTC)
After the "God of the Sun" affair, I would have expected Xen to be more than a little peeved at anyone who tried to use Disco to enforce slavery.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 18th, 2019 12:19 am (UTC)
==I thought I’d abandoned him to die=

++I was obeying orders, but I thought I’d abandoned him to die++
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 18th, 2019 12:21 am (UTC)
==heard all about you from my half-sister=

++also heard the tale about you from my half-sister++
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 09:28 am (UTC)
Q's. Daughter
On another topic how old is Q's daughter now? Of course she can be older or younger than her chronological age, but Q grasped power very young. Is her daughter ready for classes and adventures?
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 02:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Q's. Daughter
Destiny is eleven by the calendar and sevenish in experienced time, due to frequent use of bubbles while Q is busy.

Unlike Exzy, she isn't a pushy character, and hasn't insisted on early adventures. I like that girl. Exzy's going to drive me up the wall.
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 07:14 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Q's. Daughter
Given that Exzy speeds up his aging with judicious speed bubble naps, perhaps Destiny's just waiting for a cousin her own age with similar abilities? They might match up around eighteen or twenty.

I foresee much trouble with bubbles and things like voting age, driving age, and age of consent. That last could get squickier than 800 year old goat-wizards.
Holly
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on February 18th, 2019 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Re: Q's. Daughter
It's already come up when I queried whether young Nick was old enough to marry by Oner law.

Of course, The Tyrant could make a ruling.
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Re: Q's. Daughter
Yeah Nick would have been 15 when they left the bags, so by _Scrambled_ he's roughly 19. Or by the N1 calendar 1150.

Exzy . . . is going to drive his parents crazy trying to figure out how old he is. Because they don't realize how often he puts himself in the fast room. Which is fine when he's little and attending Miss Haer's mixed grade elementary for Disco kids. When she recommends send him on to a private academy on One World for the advanced subjects for Fifth Grade when he's, by the calendar, a couple of years too young . . .

Well. I'm sure Rael can find a school that won't be speaking to her about placing him elsewhere--possibly a cage--eventually.
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 08:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Re: Q's. Daughter
I don't think Exzy can make up a 13 year age gap. But Destiny's got four buddies, Elated, Fierce, Extra and Fate, should I ever need another kid pack.
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 09:35 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Re: Q's. Daughter
13 years at his six extra months per year would take 26 years. But she's already subtracted four years from her calendar age, so that would take 18 years. If she loses no more time, and he starts adding at six, they would meet at 24. If she does lose another year, it would be 22. And of course in late teens and early twenties, a year or two of age difference won't matter for friendship or rivalry.

Holly
ekuah on February 18th, 2019 01:17 pm (UTC)
Suggestion:
And Ra’d answer. “I obeyed your orders not only to the letter.
"I also haven't sent anyone there or even suggested it to anyone that there is a prophet to rescue."

(which would be perfectly true, since Exzy suggested it and asked Ra'd to TAKE him there)


Edited at 2019-02-18 01:18 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion:
Nope. Tee Hee. It was Arno who asked Ra'd, not Exzy. Wrong brother in wrong story, although I can quite imagine Exzy doing it, once he is born.

(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2019 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion:
Though perhaps not immediately after birth. ;)

--TheOtherSean
matapampamuphoff on February 18th, 2019 05:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion:
That is probably along the lines of what he told the N1 priests.

To Izzo he was essentially saying "If you really want to know, ask me. But right now you can honestly say you don't know."
(Anonymous) on February 19th, 2019 03:24 am (UTC)
I like how Ra'd's(?, how should that have been typed/formatted) advice is "Talk to Ebsa then the Government"...

Especially seeing as how Lucky Dave has already seen that Emre respects his opinion, regardless of his youth too.
matapampamuphoff on February 19th, 2019 03:45 am (UTC)
Well, Ebsa's been on the ground, worked with the N1ers, the people on Tryant's World and so forth. And President Agni is a reasonable man.
(Anonymous) on February 21st, 2019 06:51 am (UTC)
A fun thought?
It just occurred to me that the next Tyrant's World could be interesting & fun.

Nick running a campaign for Poe & Boot, Poe & Boot running a campaign to elect Nicholas, Nicholas nominating Nick again... (yeah, I know, not likely, but imagine a world where the tradition was to try & stick someone else with the top job).
(Anonymous) on February 22nd, 2019 04:17 am (UTC)
Re: A fun thought?
*next Tyrant's World election
(Anonymous) on March 3rd, 2019 08:50 am (UTC)
Rael told Dave, in Guardian 6 I think, that Ryol is a twin. So he might start wondering if hentwin can make gates.