Then the younger kids galloped in, ten-year-old Raaz, and eight-year-old Oxy, AKA Oxre.///
Also nice kids, asking about Xiaz and Ixto, his five years old twins.
They all crunched mice healthy vegetables while the three women giggled as they finished up dinner prep. Kept the conversation light all through natural roast beef, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and peach cobbler.
Then a tour of the house, with Oxy showing off his basement bedroom with the door to the back garden, courtesy of a dimensional corridor. Much discussion of how dimensional phenomena could change architecture once the price came down.
“Once I get better at it.” Ryol bounced and giggled, in a manner terrifyingly like her biomother. She scowled at her brother. “Arno’s way advanced. But I’ll catch up.”
Izzo looked at the boy. “Think you’ll be able to make gates?”
“Yes, sir. It putting them where I want them that’s the problem. The lessons with Disco have been interesting. I think I can find home reliably, so I could go through a powered gate, and make a permanent gate back. I think.”
“Oh . . . already. I hope you’re planning on the Directorate School. Not that we won’t hire you, if you go freelance.”
Ryol grinned. “It’s on the top of the list for both of us, right now. And we’ve got enough extra high school credits that we can probably graduate in two more years, in the fall of 1415.”
“The University of the Empire in New York has an excellent sciences department.” Arno’s voice squeaked a bit, and he sighed resignedly. Cleared his throat. “So I can take extra science, beyond what the Directorate School offers.”
Izzo eyed the boy. “Don’t answer, if it’s too personal, but you’re not doing the hormone suppressants?”
“I talk to Xen about it. He said it’s a lot less . . . socially weird if I wait until my voice settles, and then suppress it until I’m twenty-two or so.”
Ox sighed. “The world has gotten very strange.”