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15 June 2019 @ 02:19 pm
_Professor_ part 15  

Xen nodded. “I’ll go check again next week.” He flashed a grin at Rael. “Since there was only one brief magic duel. And you beat up the Teamers.”

Humph! I don’t need a protector.

“Unless I wind up twiddling my thumbs waiting on the city building inspectors.”

Rael snorted and started reading. Nice straightforward mission statement—no wars, reasonable tariffs, reasonable monetary exchange rates, extradition treaties—and then procedural details. Two reps from each polity, choosing one to become the head lion tamer. Voting procedures, powers, titles, working groups . . . “Looks pretty good. So . . . have you started building yet?”

Orde chuckled. “We have a plot of land. We have lots of opinions as to architectural styles. Everything from Cubic Black Basalt to Greek, by way of about six different styles. I’m so tempted to get that batch of sewer builders back and just turn them loose. It would be easier to deal with the lamentations of the offended than deal with the competing proponents.”


In Advanced, she announce that there’d be a quiz Monday. “I need to check that that you’ve all got a grasp through Chapter Thirteen. So. Review. The. Entire. Book. I am not looking at details and numbers. I want to see that you have grasped the principles being taught.”

In Comet Fall Magic . . . She grinned toothily “I’m sure that by Monday you will have all read the first three reports. My lectures are going to assume that you’re reading that supplemental material. Test Friday.”

She clicked to her first slide. “Now. The Mage gene is the most variable of all the genes. Fourteen centuries later, we don’t know if the differences are deliberate experimentation, an artifact of multiple company each developing a slightly different version, or natural mutations.

“The most common version is called the Blood Mage . . .”


“Oh good, you’re early.”

Rael raised her eyebrows, then bent to scoop up the crawler.

“Your parents will be here in a few minutes.”


“And Raod, and the whole entourage.”

“Oh, guards, limos and so forth?”

“Yep. I talked to Icks. They’ve got a hotel block laid on and the whole deal. He says your mother is horrified by the expense.”

Rael snickered. “Oh yes. Although she’s had over a year to adjust to the new reality. I suppose this may be the first time she’s gone traveling with Raod, though. Even when Raod and Ox go home to Montevideo they don’t have to rent a dozen hotel rooms.”

As she spoke, he stepped to the front door and opened it. “Welcome to the construction zone. Come in.”

It really wasn’t that big of a parade. A lead car, a trailing car, the smallish limo in the middle.

And no doubt an outer perimeter and some advanced scouts for this new, unknown, location.

Rael recognized them all and stifled a wave of homesickness. She stepped out of the way, back to the office door and waved in the first four. They spread out, scanning for problems, and like as not leaving a few microbugs behind.

She hugged her mom, with Exzy holding out his arms and diving for her. “Gam!”

“Oh One! You’re talking! Look at the size of you!” He mom shot a panicked glance toward Rael.

“Fast rooms, he’s in the vicinity of ten months old.”

Her dad chuckled, and hugged Rael. “We shouldn’t be surprised, the way you managed a pregnancy in ten days.” He braced himself and stuck out a hand. “Xen, good to see you again.”

“Sir, my pleasure. Umm, would you like a tour of the work-in-progress?” Xen stepped back and the horde shifted inward. “We’re doing it all by the book, apart from the fast room, which is completely removable, and the door to Rael’s office. I had quite a bit of fun and showing off for the Paris house, but as she’s pointed out, it’s pretty much unsalable due to the . . . odd bits and completely lack of permits that were probably required for some of the work.”

Icks snickered. “We’ve all taken the tour. The windows are weird but the instant hot water must be nice. And two more houses on the street are being renovated. It’s no longer borderline slum, and the inspectors are paying attention, now.”

He father nodded. “Most likely they didn’t care what you did, fifteen years ago, so long as it looked good. Now . . . Well, selling it could be interesting.” He looked around. “Which room is going to be Rael’s office, and what’s odd about the door?”

Rael giggled. “Let me show you . . .”

“Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!” Exzy pointed and his grandmother toted him back to the entrance hall.

Rael grinned and crooked a finger at Icks. “You liked the house? You’ll just love this.”

(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2019 11:31 pm (UTC)
Wasn't there supposed to be a Directorate School staff meeting?
matapampamuphoff on June 16th, 2019 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: Meeting?
Yes. Rael's last class is out at 3pm, and she's not checking on Joke and Lenny today.
(Anonymous) on June 15th, 2019 11:52 pm (UTC)
Gam! Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!
Exzy has pretty amazing language skills for someone only 10 months old. Based on this vocabulary my toddler development charts would put him at 18 to 24 months.

And let's see: when Kyol last saw Exzy he was dramatically smaller. If Exzy is currently 10 months old I estimate that means he hasn't seen Kyol since he was say five or six months old. And now he immediately recognizes her? This boggles the mind. Unless perhaps he heard Rael think ::And this is your Grandma Kyol:: which would boggle the mind in a different way.

matapampamuphoff on June 16th, 2019 12:33 am (UTC)
Re: Gam! Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!
Yeah, Xen wasn't walking until he was nearly 2, so they're giving out his age according to physical coordination.

In Dancer, I had Raod upset by the Twins' below average development, but I don't think they were this extreme.
(Anonymous) on June 16th, 2019 05:12 am (UTC)
Re: Gam! Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!
I'd just like to note that in spite of being limited to this text-only medium you're doing an amazing job of projecting Exzy as a "cute baby".
(Anonymous) on June 16th, 2019 08:08 am (UTC)
Re: Gam! Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!
It occurs to me that, being as Xen (& his entire family by now probably) is quite experienced with spending time in fast bubbles, he's probably used to compensating for the potential isolation somewhat.

He also has the experience of being patronized & thought stupid (& I have inferred from his mentions of it, that it still rankles), so he's (over-?)compensating by making sure Exzy is treated as thinking being from the start.

So I'm thinking things like:
- Playing video & audio recordings of family (things like holidays, recordings of video-conference calls, etcetera) as the "white noise" one might use when going to sleep (especially with a baby/toddler), or even just all the time.
- Playing recordings of recent news reports acquired between leaving the last bubble & entering the current one (keeps one up on current affairs, & allows the ability to audit more sources/channels than would normally be possible).
- Reading to Exzy, & entertaining him with photo albums (or whatever is the norm for One culture at the time this all happens) of family & friends (maybe plushie & other types of toys modeled on the people Exzy needs to know).
- Reminiscing about family & friends in Exzy's presence, even if not explicitly to Exzy.
matapampamuphoff on June 16th, 2019 01:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Gam! Bear! Momomkillabearanbigbirds!
Keep in mind that Xen and Rael just moved from Embassy, where Exzy regular saw his half siblings, Aunt Q, and got cooed over in public. Possibly with visits from Rustle and Wolf. His stints in the fast rooms were always with one or both parents, and never more than a day or two(his time)between outings.

So it's just the Oner side of the family that he hasn't (from his POV) seen often and regularly. And since he was expecting his grandparents, who he'd seen "last year" there was a degree of recognition there.
(Anonymous) on June 16th, 2019 08:58 am (UTC)
Comet call magic users
What fun.

Is someone going to notice Rael looks like the ArchMage? 'Yes, that's my grandfather. My other grandfather is Emre One.'

Is Rior a god by now? The lovely hi inWhite witch appearing in the distance. Rior the man would be so pissed to be summoned as a princess.

Is Rael's kind of step brother going to demonstrate bring a Sea King?
matapampamuphoff on June 16th, 2019 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Comet call magic users
The Archmage has removed himself from the story. I'll have to decide whether Bran visits him, or not, once I get the guys back from Scandia.

Rior is currently munching grass and herding sheep on Prairie Coast, under Nil's gaze. He'll escape eventually, but Kevi's doing well as the God of Thieves, so I doubt an archetype will stick to him.
(Anonymous) on June 16th, 2019 03:13 pm (UTC)
Who would be sabbatoging magical training from inside? I keep coming back to who pushed the One to sabbatoge the Orde/Orde election? Rael carried it out, but someone inside the Hive pushed the idea through.

Jed. I'm going with Jed. Maybe Emre, but Jed seemed to hold his mental integrity better, and he has the same era of upbringing as Ra'd does.

matapampamuphoff on June 16th, 2019 06:18 pm (UTC)
Jeb was the Philosopher for Aggressive takeover of the Multiverse.

I think it was the One as a Whole, or the whole of the Collective subconscious not liking a small elite (that wasn't the hive mind!) deciding for itself to pull the Empire into a war with these primitive upstarts who'd beaten them so easily/mysterious gate makers.

Not that they didn't need to be conquered, but it needed to be the One's decision, not a single political party's.