She turned to survey the surroundings . . . which lacked pretty much anything else she recognized . . . not that there was much.
Besides a short guy getting between her and the gate. Gior was above average height for a Oner Woman, but hardly remarkable. This guy was a few cems shorter, broad shoulders, short sleeved shirt showing really nice muscles . . . Good looking, with intelligence and curiosity showing in his eyes.
"Did you say something about blowing up the Capital Building?" The guy tossed a glance over his shoulder. "And what is that?"
"It's a dimensional gate, and I'm apparently in a parallel One World that's been experiencing time at a slower rate than my home. Umm . . . What year is it?"
"Twenty-four ninety." The man grinned. "I love a puzzle and your expression is . . . really interesting."
Oh, the old calendar. Gior did the math. "Oh dear . . . do you mean, umm, three seventy-five Year of the Prophets?"
"Yes." His voice a soft sexy purr. "And what year is it where you come from?"
"Fourteen twenty-three." She looked around glumly. "I'm having a bit of trouble getting home. This is at least a split, so maybe if I just concentrate on this direction . . ."
"Oh, don't go so soon, we haven't even introduced ourselves. I'm Furkan One."
"The Prophet?" Gior heard her voice squeak.
"He sure is."
Gior glanced back to where a big rough guy was stepping up to frown through the gate.
"Well . . . I'm Gior Withione Tallin." She glance nervously at the big man, and eased closer to the cute guy. Oh my One, he's, well only about four hundred years old. And I shouldn't hink about a Prophet as cute. Even though he is.
"Don't worry about Mikel, he killed someone yesterday, so his appetite is sated."
The Warrior Mikel the Eye gave the Prophet the finger. "So who are your friends?"
"They . . . well . . . see . . . this other world attacked us, so we're scouting them out, and we keep rescuing people . . ."
"And what is that!" Furkan pointed.
"I don't know, I can't see through the energy of the gate. I just make them." She looked at the white tornado. "Umm if it's Cyborg, he's a friend, escaping from the Mentalists of the Drei Mächte Bündnis Mentalists, who are almost all really nasty people."
The cure little guy eyed her. "So how come you can make gates?"
"Oh! Well, my, um, paternal grandfather is Wolfgang Oldham."
That got their attention.
"We reinvented dimensional gates and found the world thirteen Tellies had been exiled to. Um, there are five Exile worlds. Earth dumped everyone with genetic engineering on them. Um, well, we're mostly friendly now."
The two men exchanged glances. Furkan shook his head. "I'd really love to hear all about what massive stupidity we committed so that we're only mostly friendly now with the Wolf."
Gior squirmed. "Well, you were both dead by then . . . I wonder when the split was? It usually takes something really big. Big meteor or a war. Umm, have you conquered both the Imperial Chinese and the South American Alliance?"
"All right. High points . . . Ohhhh." She eyed them. "The Fall of Rangpur? Right and then the Defense of Kolkata? When the Great Compass shielded the whole city from a nuclear blast?"
The men swapped looks. "No. Mikel sabotaged their missile site. There was no nuclear explosion."
"Oh. Well. I'll bet that's the split point." Gior thought that over. "Did you sabotage it before or after the Fall of Rangpur?"
"The day after. Why does it matter? We lost some good friends that day."
"On my World, as the fort was about to be over run, Commander Nicholas ordered Isakson to turtle up with the civilians, and his son Ra'd. That he'd look for other survivors then return." Gior certainly had their attention.
"Lucky Dave found his brother, badly injured, and got him into their father's bag. Started to exfiltrate, and found the Prophet Nicholas unconscious, and got him in the bag, then was shot and injured, and climbed into turtle up with them."
Furkan grabbed her shoulder and turned her to face him. "Girl . . ."
"I don't know! The split may have been earlier. But I'm a dimensional. I can find the bags, if they are there."
The two men exchanged glances.
Furkan looked up at her. "How long can you hold that gate open?"
"It will stay open until I close it." Gior looked from the gate to the Prophet. Was I just thinking about advancing? "Let me tell my friends I'll be gone for a few days, er, weeks? I know you don't have corridors, but planes?"
"Tell them one week. In fact, Mikel, let's go meet these people."
Mikel scared the heck out of them, Furkan chatted with them, and kept a very close eye on Gior. More people came to study the Cyborgs and interview the kids and Yuri and find out all about the Drei Mächte Bündnis.
Then Furkan got a message and aimed Gior back toward the gate. "I have arranged fast transport to Rangpur. Well, fast as far as Calcutta, from there we'll drive."
"Excellent, let me grab the Joy Juice and some Boost and maybe some Totalmeal, because unless things have changed, those three are in really bad shape, and probably ought to stay in the bubble until they get to a hospital."
Furkan was frowning now. "I don't think you should be giving the Prophet some unknown substance . . . "
"Oh. Good. Grief! I will be a sacrificial taste tester. And you will just have to deal with the results, in a healthy individual."
Now or never, girl! Gior grabbed a bubble and tossed it about halfway to the gate. Opened it. Stepped in and opened the other side. Furkan followed her and she popped the corridor. His eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"What results?" A near growl as she hefted the wine bottle.
"It's a powerful aphrodisiac." Gior smiled, as she pulled the cork. "Brace yourself."