Bonus Scene Three
"Oooo! Gior! You're advancing!"
Gior jerked around. "Ryol! Did they withdraw your team?" Oh One. That's Paer with her.
"Yeah, they want to hear what happened to you and Ice, before we start up again. You wouldn't believe the way the Bunnies are panicking!" Ryol's grin faded suddenly as she got closer. "You've been crying. It wasn't rape, was it?"
Gior shook her head, tears flowing again. "He was so wonderful, so powerful. How could I resist? But he's married and . . ."
"What? No! Furkan . . . I found another One World split . . ."
"The Prophet? You snogged a prophet?"
Gior glared. "Don't be crude." She took a deep breath. "It was my fault. I should never have crossed the gate. The Teamers were amusing themselves harassing me, and I just needed some peace and quiet . . . "
She kept talking, because this might be staged like a friendly encounter, but it was really a report. " . . . I got the gate closed then one of them knocked my head on the pavement and they hauled me off to this hospital place. I'd been pretending to be woozier than I actually was, and when they stripped my clothes off and came at me with needles . . . well . . . I panicked and fought like a girl. I should have sliced them all into bloody gobs."
Princess Paer nodded, a corner of her mouth drawn back. "The first time you really fight . . . I don't think men realize how girls are raised . . . and we get sent to these exclusive schools where we learn how to verbally stab the other girl students in the back. But that first physical fight for your life . . . and all that Directorate School training goes down the tubes and you trip over your own feet and can't think . . ."
Goir gulped. "You too?"
"Yeah. I was pathetic. And a decade later, still mad at myself." Paer shook her head. "So, you were wrestling with . . . Men or Cyborgs?"
"Two of each, with another Cyborg standing by. Then they started dropping . . . the standing by Cyborg said something about me being a mentalist . . . then he bashed the last Cyborg over the head and said he wanted to escape."
Do I have to admit I was stark naked? Well . . .
"So Ice unwarped and said, sure, c'mon and we headed down these stairs . . ."
Ha! You're looking sympathetic now, but wait till I get to the good part . . .
They blinked at her and Ice hunting for home and dropping off the gene editors at every opportunity.
Winced when they were discovered and she had to close the gate before Ice and Bob could get back.
Gawped at her finding the other One World, then going to Rangpur to rescue the survivors.
"Three Ra'ds and two Isaksons. Does the Multiverse deserve this?" Paer shook her head.
Yeah, they both boggled when she got to the dinosaurs, setting up a hub world for scientific studies . . . a network of worlds where they could trade gold and buy anything they wanted . . . dropping the gene editors on every DMB world they found . . .
And finally finding Ice and Bob, with three more refugees . . .
Then she told them about the triad-in-a-compass that found a Drei World that Furkan and Mikel tried to talk to . . . and then learning to teleport. And another big group search that found the Wolf World Road.
Gior shrugged. "So I sent Furkan off with the Elixir of long life for his wife. And prepared to be reamed."
Paer shook her head. "I think you've more than redeemed yourself, with that recovery. That was amazing . . . And Ebsa says your mother has arrived . . .
"Oh One! Can't you arrest me and haul me off somewhere? Far?"
Lady Giog was a handsome matron, a terror in the background of Paris politics. Having he late husband, Gior's father of record, Minister Opri executed for treason had only temporarily interrupted her manipulations,, then having inherited all of his considerable wealth, she's been back in the scrum before Gior was old enough to remember her not wheeling and dealing, bribing and occasionally slipping in the verbal knife. As needed for The Party. And her own career. She been the Councilor for Zurich District for thirteen years, now.
She swept into the room and swooped down on her daughter. "Oh my darling! You're alive! I was so worried." A big engulfing hug. "And pregnant! How horrible! That Ice fellow? Pretty enough to play with, and if you handle it right you could end up owning that incredible house!"
"No! Not Ice! Why does everyone think I'd have anything to do with that snob?"
"Well . . . If you're not going to go for the house, it looks like you're still early enough for an abortion. I'll call my personal physician . . ."
"No. I am going to have the Prophet Furkan's twins."
First time she'd ever boggled her mother.
"I discovered another split from the One World. The Prophet Furkan is alive and well. And seven other Prophets as well. The diplomats are no doubt springing into action as we speak."
Time to stop fighting like a little girl. This is a political knife fight.
Gior straightened and raised her brows. "And how have you been, Mother?"