Those Who Would be Gods, Chapter 25-26

Tim does some research. Jreghug visits the Colonel

Chapter 25.

Beltain

 Tim looked at the book and grinned. He held it up for Tarranth to look at and said, “This is interesting.”

Tarranth looked at it and said, “Very. I don’t think that the idea of Harald having more than one of his devises entered into Haciathra’s and the others’ minds even after the devise had been installed in the Sanctuary. Mana had been on the decline for some time. On the other hand, they have been looking to lock down all the mana sources.”

Tim wrote what he had found in the journal he had been keeping on the Divinity Devise.  “If additional mana use makes the devise unstable, that is a very good thing.”

“Not if the devise goes boom.”

“I think that this says that the fluctuations means that things won’t get that far.”

“I would want some numbers.”

“I’m not sure how to get them.”

“Are you done on the Plateau? We could talk to those advanced physics people that you were pointed at.”

“I haven’t been reassigned as yet. This went on longer than I had expected.”

“That turned out to be a good thing. Somebody is coming and it isn’t Mardi.”
Tarranth disappeared and Captain Bronzerock came around the end of the row of bookshelves. Lieutenant, I am here to collect you, since it seems that you have scared enough of Congress and the Senate.”

Tim laughed. “Yes, sir. I’m glad to get out of here.”

“I hadn’t planned to just leave you, but I wanted you here in case some clowns set their thing off again and you were doing a lot for the war effort.”

“I shouldn’t have had to, sir.”

“I understand that. On the other hand, we have all been in that position. Here’s Mardi, so let’s go to lunch.”

Mardi walked up, smiled and said, “That sounds like a wonderful idea. We can eat at the Residence and pack afterwards. Have there been any leads on those devises?”

“Some. Unfortunately, the FSA has had other priorities.”

“There is a definite market for those things at girls birthday parties here on the Plateau.”

Rob laughed. “Apparently you have not been wasting your time.”

“Not at all. I have been taking advantage of my exotic past and living with Taeren and Tillie to make all sorts of connections. Tim isn’t going to be in the navy forever and I think that he will be back here for various assignments in his career. So we need to be prepared.”

“That is very shrewd. Why do you think that Tim will be back?”

“First of all, he is Old Family, but not a known quantity. Second, he has been places and seen things. He also does well on the grill, something that the admiral will need since he probably doesn’t, or at least he is rather nervous about being on the grill. I think that Admiral Harper was better about it than Admiral Steelshaper.”

“That is very shrewd, not that I disagree with your assessment. How did you come to that conclusion?”

“Ever since the admiral was promoted, he has been spending as far away from the Plateau as he could. Also, the admiral comes from an Industry City background and married into money. So he doesn’t feel comfortable here. Then again, most people don’t.”

Rob laughed. “You picked that up. Let’s go.”

Chapter 26

Oceanside

 Ozzie looked at the letter of introduction from his grandson and the remarkable orc in front of him. “Clanmember Ironhead, a representative of the Champion hardly needs letters of introduction to speak with me.”

Jreghug grinned. “I wasn’t sure, colonel. In any case, I knew Roger and I wanted to brief the Qinvaris on what is going on in the Republic.”

“Very strange goings on.”

“I was there for most of it and they were.”

“Why did the Champion send you there?”

“He sent us mostly to watch Major Tolling’s back and keep an eye for any connections the Project had with the Plateau. Mrs. Steelmaker made contact with us and gave us an update on the situation.”

“Tell me about what went on. The news reports have been rather strange, as the accusations were such that I would have expected arrests.”

“That was part of the problem. After the government was forced to resign, there was nobody to report what was discovered to and the FSA had been fully politicized.”

Jreghug went over what they had seen and discovered. When he was done, The Colonel said, “That was what we had, with some details filled in. Thank you for bringing this to me. That is not your current task, is it?”

“It isn’t. I am supposed to be discovering what my uncle and his friends are doing here in the Fellowship.”

Ozzie frowned. “You are talking about the Protector. I don’t think that he has been here in the Fellowship for decades. Not since his service, in fact.”

“That has changed. He’s someplace in the Fellowship right now.”

“Is he planning to do something in the Fellowship?”

“I think that he is looking at the Qinvaris in one way or another. He’s also been making feelers with the new gods cult.”

“The cult hasn’t been making much progress here.”

“They have been restrained and forced by circumstances to deal with Zirgoccol and its sophistication and the fact that too many people took action against the compulsions so quickly. The big push has always been the Empire in any case.”

“What do you think that your uncle and his friends are up to?”

“I’m not sure yet, which is a bit annoying. He’s being subtle. Most of the time, he was more the rhino in the glass shop.”

“I will provide resources to assist you. Thank you for your report. My wife will want you to stay for dinner.”

“I can do that.”

The Divinity Devise

Arafiel watched as his sister prepared to use the portal and said, “Haciathra, is this necessary?”

“If I hunt here, things could be inconvenient. I will return in three days.”

“Be cautious. Our enemies are looking for a way in and if they discover the portal, we would be in difficulties rather quickly.”

“I am using a locked port, so it can’t be traced and leaving late at night, so the port will not be noticed. In any case, I must go.”

Haciathra went through the portal.

As Arafiel turned to get back to work, Aramis walked up with a message and said, “Blackfire and Mórsairon are concerned about more fusors being activated. They were speaking with Bill and he was hinting that there are more that we didn’t know about.”

“The fact that that manual exists says that there are. How many do Blackfire and Mórsairon think are out there?”

“The two in Desert Howl that we know about, our two, the devise at the estate and the devise under the Sanctuary that we know about for certain. Blackfire and Mórsairon think that there are at least two more that came from the vault and perhaps more someplace in Red Mountain.”

“Red Mountain?”

“Harald lived there before he met Lyrei and they went south. Mórsairon thinks that there may be more devises there and that with assistance from the people from Lain Othrond and the estate, a program could be started to make the devises operable.”

“That should not be a concern at this point. Blackfire and Mórsairon are concerned about mana usage disrupting things. I would not be.”

“What if the other side discovers the possibility and takes advantage?”

“That would take a lot of mana doing a lot of things.”

“Six fusors or more that we do not control, all operating?”

“I doubt that they can make that many operate.”

“I hope not.”

Dumag watched the debris removal and frowned. It had taken longer to remove the debris from the tunnel and stabilize it than they had planned. The task was almost done and they had reached the cracked second set of doors. Dumag was sure that there would be more debris on the other side.

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