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When last we gathered here in Wonder City, Tinkermel and Tizemt, with help from Angelica, Simon, Ivy, and the Sparklebutch Posse, had just put in motion the resistance's initial plan to resist the alien invasion of Earth. And now we continue with weekly posting after our slightly-longer-than-we-meant hiatus. Thank you so much for your patience!

Go to Yellow Alert

There was one head of state in Africa who I had a very pleasant conversation with, letting him know just enough to guess that he was under the dictates of an alien invasion fleet (I'm not sure he got to the "alien" part, but he got the "superior firepower" part). He agreed to pull in the reins on some aggressive initiatives his government was considering toward a neighbor. Another became reasonable when I possessed his motor centers so he wrote himself notes, in his own language and handwriting. The notes revealed to him at least the superior firepower part of things, and that the way to avoid "action" was to find a way to create peace in his rather turbulent region. He wasn't sure how to go about it, so I made a few suggestions in terms of intelligent advisors (who I'd done some research on) he could consult, and left him to it, promising that he was being watched.

Two countries down, 60-odd to go. I wondered if I would continue to feel as disgustingly colonialist after every subsequent conversation as I did after those two, or if it wore off, and that's how Western politicians managed.

Apparently, I was using my powers enough, though, to avoid more meetings with Sara West, Mark West, or even Fluffy.

I was working out when the door ping came. I rolled to my feet, mopped my brow, and picked up a kettleweight that was near at hand. Floribunda attempted to compress herself into the space under my easy chair. (Note to self: Get one of the psychic dampeners for her collar to see if that helps her reaction to the aliens.) I gestured to turn down my fast-paced workout music and said, "Come in."

The Hoover rolled in when the door slid aside. There was something odd and reluctant in the motion, I thought. Or maybe hesitant? It was so hard to tell with a vacuum cleaner.

I had, however, learned to spot the markings on the bag (while ignoring the way it seemed to breathe) that indicated that this was probably Joshua.

We waited for the door to shut, and then I said, "What do you want, Joshua?"

It started to speak in the usual stilted monotone, but adjusted on the fly to my preferred speech mode. "I wish to confide in you, Renata Scott."

"Do you?" I said, and I could feel my eyebrows rising right on off my forehead. I bent over to set the weight in its rack.

"Yes," it said, totally missing the tone, which meant it was distracted, because it liked to catch nonverbal meanings. "I wish to tell you… something I have been told I should not."

More and more interesting. "I'm listening," I said, and even turned off the music.

It lowered its vocal volume. "The family in charge of this mission has, as you may have gathered, a militaristic viewpoint."

I nodded.

"Its decisionmakers are also…" Joshua paused. "... short of patience?"

"Okay," I said.

"Our mission is under some considerable pressure from our home fleet to clear the interference out of this region of space," Joshua said.

"Meaning psychic interference that keeps you from moving unimpeded?" I said.

"Yes," it replied. "We have been here for a long time. Several of your planet's years. And the mission is… not moving according to schedule."

"Humans are less tractable and peace-inclined than you'd hoped," I translated.

"I wanted to impart the knowledge that time is short," it replied, and began to roll away from me, toward the door.

"What will they do if they lose patience?" I said.

Joshua stopped rolling for a moment, then went on to the door. "I do not know," it said. "I have never participated in one of these missions before. All that I know is... hearsay." It managed to hint via tone that said hearsay was pretty doomful.

When the door shut, I went and dragged Floribunda out from under the chair and fussed her for a little while, chewing on the news. Then I had a seat (complete with Floribunda lapwarmer) and tightbeamed, We have a deadline now, but I don't know what it is, down to Sophie.

Date: 2014-02-11 09:42 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
I am so glad to see this story back! Renata rocks.


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