So I haven't finished Dog and Zizi's wedding.
Nor even started the scene where Dog is arrested for spying.
Ice helped him escape, so Dog and Zizi are living in Ash.
The first machine burst hit in front of him as the gunner swung his weapon around. The firing stopped abruptly. He heard a few isolated shots, different weapons.
Running feet, hopefully the Guards.
Then he was lifted off his feet and thrown, the explosion more felt than heard. Dust billowing, the walls leaning . . . the doors way too far. Ice stumbled over Afgu, trying to get to his feet and hauled him up against the thick weight bearing wall of the rotunda and just around the corner of a corridor before it all fell.
Spring 1419 px
Dog was laughing at his most recent two nieces outstanding attempt to paint each other with mud when Uncle Xen snapped to attention.
"Dammit, more trouble on One! Can't they have a peaceful election or whatever?" His eyes defocused and Dog lunged to grab him and was pulled into the teleport. Stumbled on the Tavern's brick paved yard. Aunt Q nodded and dived back through the gate to Embassy.
"Mars, Dog, you shouldn't . . ."
"I'll stay back and watch." Dog bit his lip.
A snort from Uncle Xen. "Yeah, me too. C'mon."
Dog followed him through the gate, into the prairie above Disco HQ. Xen touched his shoulder and they stepped into Xen's living room. They ran down the hall and through the gate to Oner Paris.
Dog grabbed the controls for the screen on the apartment wall. No need to search, the first screen was filled with a view of the front of Government House, people being dragged out the main doors, Black Horse charging the doors, machine gun fire, a retreat . . .
"There's Rael." Xen heaved a relieved breath.
Dog snorted as Ajki held the Professor under the spray of a fire hose. "I wonder what they've gotten on them?"
"They feel like they've been dosed with methalformaline." Xen relaxed suddenly, as Rael was force fed something and got her feet under her, staggering and supported.
"Heh. The wine strikes again." Dog bit his lip. "I don't see Ice. Let me find Noon's broadcast . . ."
" . . . hostages are all safe, but the Warrior Ice is still in there. And judging from the gunfire, still fighting."
Dog glared. "Old Gods! That idiot better not get himself killed."
"We'll switch back to a replay of the start of this appalling attack and interrupt as soon as we have anything new. We left the vid cams running and uploading, on Afgu's command, and got out of there. He only wanted the high value hostages.
"It started when One Izmo stepped up to offer a prayer . . ."
Uncle Xen frowned. "Government House has hundreds of guards. They must have been taking them out quietly? Maybe a gas?"
Dog watched in disbelief. "Not a single alarm? But then Ehfa was the Presidential Director. He could turn it all off. And too damn much of the surveillance was electronic."
"Damn good thing this was a Saturday, and most workers at home, although I suppose they'd have sent them off anyway . . ."
Dog nodded, "Practically everyone gets the day off for things like this."
"Those troops in the khaki are something new . . . I see a lot of acting in concert, as if a single person was controlling multiple soldiers. If there just weren't so damn many of them, the Drei Mächte Bündnis would be the stupidest, most incompetent . . . but when you can mine a thousand worlds for cannon fodder . . ."
Dog chewed fingernails. "As Great-grandad says, quantity has a quality all it's own . . . and here comes quality." He shut up as as Ice walked into sight. And drawled and sneered and held everyone's attention as the hostages slipped out . . . poked Afgu and got every gun in the place pointed at him.
Then someone finally noticed and it all went to hell.
Dog caught one glimpse of Ice throwing Afgu off the top riser and going with him, then the cams were all hit with machinegun fire . . .
The screen shifted back to Noon. "And now we wait. The Black Horse and some heavily armed IR squads are . . . where did those shots come from?" The scene on the screen joggled around to show a trio of women, Rael . . . "That's Ajki's Princess, Fuyl, and the lady with the gun is Ice's girlfriend, Keiq."
"Rael said she could feel their mentalists. There must be some outside the building. God knows why." Xen paced circles around the sparse furniture of the apartment.
Dog flopped down on the dusty sofa . . . Guess Xen hasn't been back since I used the apartment to escape.
He chewed his fingernails. Dammit, I should be there, helping. I'd have been one of the people going in under lightwarps to rescue the hostages. Damn, damn, damn!
Then a deep, rolling boom. It looked almost like the center dome rose . . . before it all fell.