Two weeks later they had fourteen houses with hot and cold running water, sewers with purification spells, a paved pavillion with a kitchen and dining space for all, plus guests--the scientists seemed to find them almost as fascinating as the dinosaurs--smoking and BBQ pits outside.
And the rest of the village square mowed, but not looking very lawn-like.
Four out of eight of the women pregnant. Not counting Lada and Animal who were much too young.
This year, mostly. Dear One, how do I deal with a fifteen-year-old looking shyly at the eighteen-year-old boys?
And by a unanimous vote, Ice, as an Agent of the One True God, was authorized to perform marriages. Four of them. With Gior looking wistfully on, and glowering at Furkan when he murmured something in her ear.
Magic practice had gotten interesting, with the addition of Furkan and Mikel to an eight man compass.
On the Algae hub world, well away from everything and everyone . . . other than the spectators . . . Ice warned them to keep a safe distance and keep shields up.
So the damage was minor, and no doubt they all wrote papers on the interesting side effects of the Wine of the Gods.
Fred got a hefty dose as well, with a good case of brain scorch, trying to hold up his part of a powerful Compass.
They decided to try it again, a day later with an apprehensive-looking Greg.
Ice eyed Furkan, and then looked over at Mikel. "So . . . are you limiting exposure to us, or are you lacking strong Warriors?"
That netted him a pair of glares, while he reviewed his history lessons . . . "Ah. On my One World, after we'd won, we reorganized. The three thousand Warriors became the Governors of Regions, all carved out with roughly the same population in each. And they and their children married into the local population, producing a generation with little or no power. Is that where you stand now?"
Mikel shrugged. "Pretty much I'm the last of the Old Warriors, well, Isakson and Ra'd now, thanks to Gior. Every generation, we lost power, abilities. Your Yuri, Ivan, Bob and Rafail would be considered Warrior strength, although they lack Speed."
"And Gior," Furkan shook his head. "A nice little girl, and so incredibly powerful. Even without the dimensional talent."
"So casual and easy with it." Mikel grinned. "We need to find your home, so I can go wife hunting.
Ice grinned. "Just . . . avoid the over-emotional teenagers. That wine? Fertility aid you won't believe. So don't worry about mature women who might be past their peak fertility."
Mikel eyed him. "Like that Tanya, do you?"
"Not particularly, but it's clear she's been hurt and I don't want to pile on more. Besides, my wife likes her. Horse-mad women, you know."
They both grinned. Mikel nodded. "Women and Horses. Insane. So, are you training up these compasses to help you get home?"
"Oh, pretty much, but I'm also trying to get enough of these kids strong enough that they have half a chance of getting away from any Mentalists that try to take them."
Furkan snorted. "I really want to meet some of these Old Mentalists you and Gior are so wary of." He looked over his shoulder at Gior. "Before we got marooned here, we tried a technique, that had three women Telies, surrounded by eight guys. You game to try it?"
Gior grinned. "Well I was just planning on watching, but . . . Lada? Chrissy? Why don't we show the boys how this works?"
The combination was strong enough to scare Ice.
:: This ones going to blow up bigger than the last! ::
Mental laughter from Mikel and Furkan.
:: So let's use the energy for something.:: Gior's mental voice, followed by a wave of fizzy blue. :: Home, or even Disco. ::
Lada mentally poking at something. :: What's that? ::
:: A universe. There are lots of them, if you just sort of pull back and look at the whole sweep of the multiverse. ::
Now Ice could spot the fuzzy little universes, everywhere. :: Some are glowing. Sort of. ::
:: That means there's intelligent life there, the larger the population, or the more magical, the brighter the glow. ::
The merge eyed a noticeably brighter universe
:: Home? :: :: Doesn't feel right :: :: Embassy? Wolfson alone could shine like that :: An impression of rolled eyes. :: There's a cone . . . I'll just . . . ::
They fell into the distant universe galaxies and star whipping past, the bright World . . . the cone leaped and attached.
:: Now another cone . . . not many around . . . they must have powered gates . . . there's one and . . . ::
Ice sent the remaining energy of the compass into the ground, and up into the air, but they'd used a lot of it. A puff of hot air, then Ice turned to look through the gate.
Daylight. Sidewalk. Street. A blank metal wall across the street.
Metal?Who builds steel buildings?
"No people, no vehicles. Everybody stay here while I take a quick look." Ice took a step and jumped through.
Towering glass and metal skyscrapers all around . . . a huge hulk of a building to the right.
He closed his eyes and eased his mental shields to incoming . . .
Drei Mächte Bündnis.
Thousands. Tens of thousands. More. Lots more. Close.
As he turned back to the gate, he spotted a tall bulbous . . . Water tower? And this feels like a major hub . . .
He closed his shields, and eyed the gate. An illusion of the wall to either side. He anchored the illusion hard, then jumped through.
Everyone looked like they were about to follow him.
"Don't! It's a major DMB hub World." He bit his lip. "I . . . would like to check it out. Gior can you stand by to close the gate?"
Furkan and Mikel loomed at him. "We're coming too."
Bob joined. "You'll look more legit with a Cyborg."
Furkan grinned. "And since you probably want to do something bad to them, I should check them out and approve or disapprove. You know, so if we get blamed, it'll be legitimately."
Ice pinched the bridge of his nose. "Maybe we should just close the gate."
"Ha!" Mikel grinned. "No way. We need to see this threat ourselves. Since apparently we're closer to them than your home world is, we need information on this aggressive Drei Mächte Bündnis."
"Exactly." Furkan turned and jumped through the gate.
Mikel grinned and jumped.
Ice cleared his throat and turned to the rest. "Gior. I need you to stay around the back, and ready to close the gate." He pointed across the wasteland. "The gate to Furkan's One World is three kilometers away. Be prepared to close the gate, and if you can't . . . get vicious. Pull power and slice. Very effective against vehicles, tanks. Slice one in transit and it might collapse the gate. Don't wait too long.
"The rest of you? Rotate, the watch. I've put an illusion across the gate on the other side, so they can't see you with their eyes, but cameras and such will.
"And . . . Bloody hell, don't do anything stupid!" Ice popped open a bag, grabbed the coat of his fanciest Russian suit, closed the bars and leaped through the gate.