Journey to New Europa
Chapter 24, Back to Faerie
We have parted company with Lorelei, Nick, and Ashleigh, as they head off to rescue Chris, and now make our way through chaos, by witch-path, to Vinyagarond. The party now includes Morrolan, a London druid, a large robot going by the name "Robbie," and Katrina, Mithriel, Kate, Dafnord, Cailin, Z, and Tom.
We appear in Faerie quite close to Vinyagarond, which is a sprawl of whitewashed thatch-roofed buildings, featuring a geodesic dome containing an arboretum. We find Daewen, perform introductions, and de-brief. "A geas, Tom? Really!" is her only comment when we explain we have to go back.
We mean to go shopping for new supplies on Helene. Before we do, we leave the druid behind, happily touring the trees in the arboretum and surrounding countryside, and Morrolan, afire to investigate the magical properties of Old Faerie. (He is also curious about Mithriel's sister, whom Mithriel mischievously introduces as "Mirien of the Five Bloods." That takes a lot of explaining.) Katrina, on the other hand, comes with us, wanting to see as much real estate on this trip as possible.
She is, perhaps, a little surprised, as Robbie may be, when we begin our journey by going down a hallway and entering a parlor. There, we signal through a paperweight (or perhaps a crystal ball) and walk through a mirror into a very similar parlor. This one, however, is on the planet Helene, on the Co-Dominion timeline. The mirror and parlor are in a well-to-do farmstead, and there is always a member of the household there to receive traffic.
We quickly cross through another magic mirror to another homestead on another Helene on the Homeline, thoroughly confusing our guests. Once there, we take an aircar to the Cybernate. On both timelines, Helene is dominated by a colorful mix of ethnic groups scattered over various islands. The Cybernate is an island chain settled by sentient robots. We are taking Robbie there for a new body, since his current one is very conspicuous and clumsy -- heavily armored for the adventure he was sent on.
We look up a good body shop, and let Robbie do the rest. He selects a Sim body -- very humanoid, albeit gray-skinned and hairless, but they are routinely used with cosmetic accessories. The robot running the body shop quickly perceives that Robbie is very foreign in design and clearly very curious, but politely declines to ask where he was made.
Because Robbie's brain does not use the local standard interfaces, it will take three weeks to customize his body. While we wait, we continue shopping and do some training.
We get six psi-openers, stun-guns for everyone, a field autodoc as a partial replacement for the loss of Lorelei's medical skills, and a "goop-gun" that shoots entangling glue, a la Spiderman (tm) for Dafnord.
Mithriel teaches Tom the basics of Second Order Glamour, Tom teaches Second Sight to Kate, and Mithriel gives stealth lessons to Kate, Dafnord, and Katrina.
Once the parts come in and Robbie is fitted with his new body, we re-trace our route into Faerie, where, oddly enough, about three weeks have passed. Morrolan thinks he has almost got the hang of magic with no string attached, so we linger another week to let him burrow into it a little harder. It seems to help.
During this last week, a high elven lord from Elvencrown shows up -- a courier from Alvirin. He chats quietly with Morrolan and leaves before the week is up, apparently with a favorable report for King Alvirin.
As we prepare to leave, Daewen gives Morrolan a ring of three metals -- silver, gold, and electrum -- that will let him get back here; she received permission from Alvirin, via that elf lord, to do so. So diplomatic relation are humming along nicely.
We then hang around for a fourth week until the pantope Fast Times fades in from wherever its been, and we have it deposit us directly on the lawn of Auberon's country house, moments after we left. Auberon compliments us on our promptness, and Morrolan is hugely anxious to tell him all about his adventures.
Copyright © 2003, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.