Gior suppressed a moan. "All right. Last Triad. Chrissy and Lada. Lada, you're really young, so we're going to be very careful to not do too much."
Damn that man! He's got the whole south side done and ready for fixtures in the houses, and we're still digging ditches!
Lada must have been thinking the same thing. The girl looked across and sniffed. "They have a three day head start. We're doing just fine, here."
"Indeed. Plus all the old guys are trained in magic."
A snicker from Chrissy. "Rafail's eighteen, like us. Yuri, Bob, and Ivan are all in their twenties, and they got early training, even if Bob and Ivan weren't strong enough to present."
Gior walked down to the next section, and held out her hands. Dropped her outer shields. Lada must have been practicing as Gior drilled the previous three Triads. She had a nice inner shield, and even Chrissy wasn't stripping her shields down to nothing.
She pulled power and passed it to Lada, accepted it from Chrissy.
:: Why do I always see these fizzy things when I meditate? :: Lada mentally poked at a bubble. It ignored her.
:: I see things like that in my dreams. :: Chrissy's shiver ran through all of them. :: I feel like I'm drowning.::
Gior swallowed. :: That's the inbetween. The stuff that's inbetween all the universes. And if you ever wind up back in Drei Mächte Bündnis's hands don't let them know. ::
Chrissy was chilling the whole Triad. :: I'd be nothing but a broodmare for their Gatemaker efforts. ::
Gior sent a mental hug. :: We won't let them get you. Now, no more morbid thoughts. Let's dig a ditch. This is slice. Right down this line. Power it and boom! A nice deep cut. Now the other side, angled the other direction and boom! All we have to do now is lift it out. ::
Which they barely managed before the Triad fell apart and they all flopped down in exhaustion.
Gior sucked down a fruity drink that was offered; grabbed another before she walked down the ditch. Just another couple of meters to get it down to the wall, deep enough to go under and we'll be ready to put the pipes in."
Animal trotted down and scowled at the ground.
"You're only eight or nine, Animal. A few more years and you'll be . . ."
The girl collected a storm of power and gestured. Dirt flew, the wall heaved and crashed down. Mostly intact.
The kid wailed and sat down clutching her head. Gior walked up and held out the fruity thing. "Drink this. It'll help your headache."
Ice skidded to a halt and flopped down to gather the child up.
"She decided to not be left out. C'mon, kid. Drink, you need the sugar."
Ice hugged the brat and looked over at her poor ditch, with the bomb crater at the end. Grinned. "Animal? I think you'd better get a lesson every day, starting tomorrow, so you don't accidentally hurt yourself or someone else."
"Scary?" in her tiny little voice.
"Well . . . you scared me. Please drink, it'll give you back the energy you just spent making a big hole."
Animal took the glass, and peered out at everyone gawping at the hole in the ground and the partially displaced fence poles . . . "Oops?"
Ice snickered. "Just this time. Now I'll start teaching you how to do it with a little more control."
Gior looked from the hole to Animal. "Animal, you did a good job. Not just in finishing the trench and tunneling under the wall but in choosing Ice as a stepfather."
Ice started laughing. "What? Think the Wild Thing here might be too much for you to train?"
"I'm sure of it. You have been training the Black Horse Guards in magic, so you know how to deal with the very powerful."
"True. How's your head feeling, Animal? Better? Good. Now sit and watch and don't try to help, because you sort of just over revved your brain."
Gior gritted her teeth and joined in to help as Ice put the sewer pipe under the wall, filled in around it and heaved huge logs around to get the fence back in shape.
Then the irritating man looked around. "I guess we need to organize a bit. I figured two wells, one for each run. Then we'll run the pipes to connect to houses. Ge in the fixtures . . . two drain fields outside the wall, which will put them well down hill of the spring . . . What else?"
Gior looked back at her little house. "We're going to need bigger houses. If I put in a bathroom and even a tiny kitchen . . . "
"Ah. Right. That set up I've got, once I finish it will work well."
Gior nodded. "I'll keep my cabin for a bedroom, attach a bigger one for the bathroom, kitchen and sitting area . . . I'd better talk to people and see what they're going to want, make a list . . . "
She looked over at the cooking area. "And when we put up the pavillion, a modern kitchen there, too. Because so many of us are . . . single . . . and, and . . ."
Dammit, I will not cry in front of that man! I won't!
"He'll be back." A sigh from the man. "The Prophets--I've met Emre and Nicholas--they don't think and react like we do. They have to stay a little detached, otherwise it hurts too much as they lose the people they love, the people they respect."
He looked away. "But it's more than that. Their perspective on civilizations, governments . . . it's all long term. They're like historians who really get into their subjects and talk like they lived through the Nuclear War, and they were there at the Battle for Kulcutta or Peking, or Buenos Aeries . . . Like in three sentences they can span three centuries.
"But for them, they really were there. It's . . . they're just a bit odd. And Furkan? He's 'only' lost a third as many people--lovers, wives, children, grandchildren, friends--as Emre. So it probably still hurts." He eyed her. "Don't demand that he open his heart to you, then shut the door on him. He's been hurt too many times already."
Gior blinked back tears. "I know. The way he looked at Melody, like he was bleeding inside . . . I need to find a way home and get that elixir for her."
She nodded. "And I'm going to do it."