Martin Senior was a sound sleeper. He might even have slept through the destruction to come – but that hadn’t been allowed. When Kevin’s Thralls had been forced to temporarily blow up Lord Zero, it had been pretty obvious that everyone nearby – or with the remotest connection to Todd – was going to be in trouble all too soon. Lord Zero would be back, and he wouldn’t be pleased.
Mr Leland and Amarant Solutions had enough power to take care of themselves pretty well, but a wave of Thralls had fanned out across Battling Business World, seeking out anyone with links to Marty Tabard – and, incidentally, anyone they found with a soul and insufficient personal power to stand up to random catastrophes.
They’d been banging on the door of Martin Senior’s modest apartment within twenty minutes of Lord Zero’s defeat. Fortunately for him, he didn’t actually live on Manhattan proper; a retired – well, semi-retired – bookie would have had a hell of a time paying that kind of rent!
At least he would have before Marty Junior had started supplementing his income. He hadn’t moved though; he was used to his old neighborhood. He didn’t exactly have many friends there, but he did know everyone.
He wasn’t all that surprised at the interruption; his own peculiar talents had left him tolerably well informed about Marty’s activities – and he’d been getting the feeling recently that it might be a good idea to get out.
The kids had escorted him to Kadia and then – as Marty’s father – had started setting him up with everything he could possibly want. They’d started with some assistants, upgraded their plans for a betting parlor to a major casino when it became apparent that he’d like that, and had gotten him a quick briefing on what he could offer odds on in Kadia.
Martin, of course, had changed a bit.
Spending so much of his life drunk had never been that much fun even if he was lazy; it had just been necessary for his career. The ability to intuitively know the odds, and to learn about things he had no business knowing while sleeping, had required alcohol – but the power that you inhaled with the very air of Kadia swiftly obviated that limitation, just as it cured his arthritis.
It wasn’t long before he was only drinking socially, even if there was a bar in his rooms.
That would startle Marty later on; he’d always believed that his father drank for the same reason that he did; it was fun!
Far more importantly, a native of Battling Business World was only as old as he or she felt – and Kadia made you feel just fine. Without a haze of alcohol in the way, Martin began taking full advantage of the benefits that Kevin’s Thralls were prepared to offer to Marty’s relatives.
He had always liked being the last man standing, and wolverine genegrafts were great for that.
No matter how much you partied in the evening, there were even fewer consequences in Kadia in the morning than there were in Battling Business World.
There were skilled servants and staff, and pets that took care of themselves, and even plenty of beautiful girls volunteering to be his concubines. The Thralls were more than willing to oblige. They were very eager to try to get closer to Kevin – and, failing working directly for him, working for his family and friends, or for their family and friends, or becoming part of their families, was next best.
There was no Marty-style pussyfooting about it! After a disappointing adult life, Martin jumped straight into enjoying Kadia to the hilt – vacationing, wild parties every night, and a full-scale harem of Thralls and slave-girls. Even Marty would have blanched a bit.
It wasn’t long before there were plenty of children around too. Martin quite liked children (even if he would prefer them past the infant stage; babies were less fun and more nuisance, he didn’t remember Marty’s infancy at all fondly).
That was why – over and above the fact that the kid probably was his; he’d certainly slept with enough women – that he’d taken in and raised Marty when the infant had turned up on his doorstep in a basket.
The Thrall-girls were quite willing to oblige there as well; the earliest stages of motor skill and basic language development could be skipped by easily – at least from Martin’s viewpoint – with fast time contact, accelerated development spells, telepathic bonding and teaching, and other methods – and so the kids could be taken to the “walking, talking, and fun” stage in very short order, just like Kevin’s upcoming dragon-kids. There was nothing inherently wrong with that; it just required a lot of magic.
The kids had souls of course; they were conceived and gestated in a Core overlay zone, had ensouled mothers, and were core-style humans.
Fortunately, their mothers had some skills in parenting – because as far as Martin was concerned, “Free Range Kids” was a bit of an understatement. After all, it wasn’t like they could get killed or something.
Fortunately, Kadia wasn’t bad for that. There wasn’t even any need for them to carry weapons, even if they were still just as welcome to fight duels to the death, jump off buildings, and otherwise do silly things. The pain would teach them better soon enough.
Martin kind of encouraged that sort of thing actually; they needed to keep up with their big brother, who – at least in the eyes of a proud father (even if he would never admit it openly) was getting pretty damn godly these days.
- Federation-Apocalypse Session 137b – The Imperial Debriefing from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Kadian Package Deals from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Federation-Apocalypse Session 136 – Sunheart from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)