Charles… drew heavily on the synergistic overmind portion of his consciousness, initiating multi-tracking and conceptual translation. Full communication with a Primordial was going to involve a lot of secondary channels.
Gauderis Athelstane, Primordial of Security, silently contemplated Charles for long moments – long enough that child-impatience kicked in…
(Charles) “Hello! Is everything all right? Do you need anything?”
(Gauderis) “You… are impersonating a Nascent One. Why? And NO, everything is not all right! Where should I begin?”
(Charles) “Uhm… Wherever you think best? And it’s not impersonating just because I haven’t got it right yet… It’s working well enough to fix a lot of things already!… And some of your guardians mentioned elemental poles… Maybe if I installed some of them it would be another step forward! I might need my own elements to go with my own essence type!”
(Gauderis) “Oh yes… I know.” (counting each point on her fingers.) “My longest-acquainted siblings have been imprisoned someplace where I can’t find them; the lucky ones escaped back here after having their subsidiary selves torn asunder. One of my youngest siblings is trapped in there, someplace I can’t perceive her. One of the others has been in there longer than would be healthy. And… for that matter, the entire place has been in existence much longer than planned!” (Throwing hands up in frustration) “This stop was only supposed to be for a few millennia!”
(Charles) “Uhm… I think they’re in an elsewhere bubble – they call Lord Theon Malfeas now – and they need some helping too! They’ve got some nasty psychological damage, but I’m working on ways to fix that. If you mean Gaia, she’s doing fairly well, but Yu-Shan needs some emergency help, and Autochthon needs some help fairly quickly, and it’s a really big project!”
That produced a great rumbling sigh.
(Gauderis) “And you bear some of the energies of one involved in causing that damage, little one. Richof and Tameris have reported as much to me. He has assured me that you would never do such things, but… why should I trust you?”
(Charles) “Uhm… Because I want to fix things and there isn’t anybody else? It’s WRONG to leave things broken and people hurt and things! Would you like to ask the Great Puffle or some of the refugees or maybe Gaia? I could get a link through to Yu-Shan – which is where she mostly manifests herself these days – if you know something that might attract her attention! If not, I do have a gate to Gnosis! Would that work? I like the Great Puffle! I’m not sure why high-end academies came to his world sometimes though… maybe a treatment for baldness?”
The mention of Gaia got some attention.
(Gauderis) “You have spoken to my youngest sister? She and Gnosis pass through quite frequently. What proof do you have of that?”
(Charles) “She sent me! She said she needed the “Spike of Pole Unbinding” to help me make Yu-Shan better!… Uhm… Call her and ask? I don’t THINK she gave me anything in particular… Oh, wait! I do have a stone of visions; you can look BACK in time with that and since I’m here it should be easy enough to trace me back… will that do?”
Gauderis eyed him suspiciously
(Gauderis) “We shall see, little one…”
She activated a bunch of surveillance Charms to determine whether that really was the Emerald Mother, and whether or not the events had actually happened as Charles handed her the stone.
She took an extensive look at Charles’s activities while she was at it – and found nothing indicating that he wanted to do Creation any harm at all. Even his actions against her siblings’ servants… were either self-defense or just wanting to help.
(Gauderis) “No hatred of Primordials at all? Not even a moment of resentment or annoyance? Your kind were made to kill us.” (Bitterly) “Did Gaia tell you why she turned against her elders?”
(Charles) “Does it matter? Lots of people were getting upset then, and it didn’t work out well at all! Better to fix things so everyone can be happy!… I”ve got to see if I can make friends with the Unshaped while I’m out here… I made some artifacts that they might like that work conditionally on being friendly!”
(Gauderis, putting “her” hand to “her” forehead.) “If only all Exalts were as innocent as you seem to be… then I could relax. What did that Lytek do to you?”
(Charles) “I don’t really know, but I think he asked the Exaltation to look for someone with big dreams instead of whatever it is they normally look for!”
(Gauderis) “That doesn’t really matter to me… I want assurances that no Exalt will come after me, my jarls, their thanes-or even the carls, for that matter. What do you know of the Five Fates?”
(Charles) “Uhm… I don’t know what everyone else will do! I can assign bodyguards and make protections though, and make sure that I don’t tell anyone where you are or anything… But I can’t control them all. I’m sorry!… Ooh, wait! If I make an effect using the Wyld Prince Subversion Artifice… I could fix it so that at least some didn’t exist for you and vice-versa! Would that work?”
(Gauderis, with more interest) “That… would be somewhat problematic. I have a deal with certain Chosen of the Fates. They help me monitor shaped fey traffic into Creation, and in return, I provide them safe haven. That arrangement has been longstanding-and so far, none of them have attempted to harm me or my lesser selves.”
(Charles) “Hrm… I could make it just against the Solar, Lunar, and Dragon-Blooded Exalts I suppose! But I don’t know if you’d still be able to talk to me though!”
(Guaderis) “You’re Haldane’s grandson; surely you could send messages through him.”
(Charles) “Well… It would extend to everyone in your soul-hierarchy that you wanted protected, so it would cover him too! I’d miss grandpa, but if that’s what it takes to keep him safe I could send messages through someone I guess!
(Gauderis) “You’re shockingly pliable. That’s… really quite shameful for someone of my bloodline. Still… your willingness to protect me from those would would do me harm is admirable.”
(Charles) “Aw! But it’s not nice not to make people safe!”
(Gauderis) “It’s also not nice to unravel someone’s jouten until you turn them into a desert of silver sand.”
(Charles) “Oh dear! More fixing!”
(Gauderis) “I know only what Tameris learned when she visited what Theion became. All of us were most displeased.”
Hm! “Demon hag from Hell” might have been quite literal!
Charles showed her his plans for sanity-restoring artifacts.
(Charles) “I was hoping these might work, but they might need to be more powerful!
(Gauderis) “I fear so. Even Tameris was unsure the damage could be reversed in any reasonable amount of time – and an unreasonable amount has already passed. You would also have to persuade their fetiches and subsidiary selves to accept the treatments.” (Leaning her head back) “And Theion… Theion would need another fetich to replace Ruvelia, and making Ligier was an unheard-of event.”
(Charles) “Well… it will never happen if I don’t start! So… LOTS of sanity-restoring artifacts; one per subsidiary soul…”
(Gauderis) “You must also promise me a visit from the three Nascent Ones – I believe you know who they are: Yu-Shan, Autochthon, and Gaia. They need to reach full maturity eventually – and all of us always worried about them.”
(Charles) “Oooh! Is that what’s going on? I’m not sure that so much time with no contact with the Wyld is good for Yu-Shan and Autochthon!”
(Gauderis, looking at him like he’d stated the blatantly obvious.) “No. No, it isn’t. Gaia simply refuses to mature, but the older two are trapped. You should count yourself fortunate that Yu-Shan in particular is comatose.” (She eyed him with that analytical look again.) “And you… your shaped form substitutes somewhat for poles, but if you would truly become a Primordial, making them is inevitable.”
(Charles) “Well, I think healing her is going to require waking her up, if only due to the amount of essence it will require… Will that be bad? If I have to add ways to keep everyone apart so no one gets hurt it will make it more complicated…”
(Gauderis) “She’ll want to move the Low-Hanging Star-which you and the Chosen of the Fates call Heaven – immediately. The way my siblings set up Creation… that won’t be possible as long as it exists. She could certainly occupy a lesser jouten – it’s the only way I expect her to visit without demolishing what you know as reality. And… while I’m not happy that Creation still exists, I still have the responsiblity of observing and containing it.”
(Charles) “Hrm… why will she want to move it? To get back outside of creation? Because it’s suspended in Elsewhere right now, which makes “movement” sort of a matter of perception..”.
(Gauderis) “Yu-Shan never wanted to separate herself from Chaos.” (She shrugged.) “Even Adrian tired of chopping the Shapeless hordes with her river blades… but Yu-Shan was continually fascinated by their activities. I never understood it, but she said she saw patterns and potential within them. As for me… it was enough to stand behind Adrian. I think you’d visualize that as a moat and the wall against it.” (Frowning) “And she’ll never sing again… Yu-Shan won’t be happy about that, either. What were you going to tell her about her brothers and sisters?”
(Charles) “Uhm… Why not sing again? And mostly that things were a terrible mess, but that she’d been the most urgent case!”
(Gauderis) “I believe they call Adrian Adorjan now. She’s completely lost her mind and floats through my brother’s body as a silent, killing wind. Even Tameris was reluctant to go near her. Though… if you could heal her… yes, she may well sing again.”
Well, that was already a part of the “fix all yozi’s” entry on the to-do list!
(Charles) “Hm… So Yu-Shan has been stabilizing the essence flows for creation, but will probably want to remove herself from it when awakened. So… I’ll need some other way to stabilize the essence flows, since currently… Yu-Shan is sharing her enduring aspect – “adamant”, or, in it’s reflection “Jade” or “Earth” – with Creation. To sustain things without her… will require a massive network of manses to add Immutability effects all over the earth and maintain the essence structure. Her other poles… Hm… Obviously Spirit – since that’s the opposite of Adamant – and…”
(Gauderis) “You will promise me that you won’t use this knowledge to murder my sister, or give it to those that would? You seem completely innocent, but…”
(Charles) “I’ll put it in the privacy manse!”
(Guaderis) “Of course you would… Adamant, Spirit, Mind, Matter, Pleasure, and Reason – the Elemental Poles of Yu-Shan. Adamant to endure, Spirit to transcend, Mind to perceive, Matter to act upon existence, Pleasure to make existence worthwhile, and Reason to comprehend that existence. Gaia, of course, has only five… but then that is why she is the-I believe you single-mind entities would call her a baby?”
(Charles) “Oh! That’s why roughly hexagonal in some ways… so six aspects would be better in healing her… Five would have suited Gaia, but that’s why the balance would have been off!”
(Guaderis) “She and the others will need to shed those as they age-and once they have only one, they will become full-fledged Mighty Ones. You would do well to remember that, too – IF you decide to make poles for yourself.”
(Charles) “Hrm… but isn’t having only one aspect kind of limiting? Or is it just that you unify things into a single expression of principles?”
(Gauderis) “You’re unusually perceptive for something with a single mind… And… yes, you would have to decide what the best principle would be as you shed poles. Or so Oramus theorized. Most of us awakened with only one.”
(Charles) “Well, I’ll have to think about it! But… I’ll need to make some more stabilization manses before getting Yu-Shan healed… That’s going to be a real rush job!”
He was already giving directions in Aden. At least the geomantic survey was done, so he could get the Djinn to work! And make sure that the soon-to-be-erected gateway control manses were a part of the stabilizing network!
(Gauderis) “And… I’m under considerable strain as well, little one. When we made Creation, we intended it to be much smaller than it is now. I don’t think it will ever be that size again… but it’s too large for me to contain completely. Even the Exalted rulers didn’t extend it that far. Surely we can shrink it so that I can keep it under better control? I think the Chosen of the Fates I’m working with would appreciate it as well. They’re always complaining about the size.”
(Charles) “Uhm… Well, I suppose we could try to compress the intergalactic spaces… but it is only a superposition… maybe I could make something that creates the boundry in the old metric and merely casts a simulacrum into the new metric? That could be a LOT smaller!”
After all, it was no bigger at the border than it was in the third age; it was just that space was VERY distorted in what used to be the threshold; thus the “still only thirty thousand miles in circumference, but a LONG ways to the center. If you defended it from that level… it was still only 1% the size it was when originally created. From her perspective… was it more a matter of the resolution of existence getting too low for her to spot everything possible on a world-body scale… and complicating the operations of the avatars of her devas that she sent in. At this point… the what with the scale and the Wyld leaking in…. the possibility-space included a LOT of things that she can no longer see or anticipate. As the Primordial of Security it was no wonder that she was upset about that!.
(Gauderis) “You had better do something! Gaia made things murky when she did whatever she did-but then she was always attached to this place.”
(Charles) “Uhm… She created a metric overlay to expand creation by about… ten to the 102’nd power in effective radius, and 10 to the 300’th power in content…”
He showed her the expanded “powers of ten” movie!
(Gauderis) “Hrm! That explains the fogginess, and the Wyld permeation… Impressive, for a Nascent One! I thought she would surely lose control of a shaping that grandiose.”
(Charles) “Well, I think that she used the wyld to add a random factor while mirroring the remaining structure of creation out as a series of ever-more-distorted repetitions… basically a fractal! It probably only started to narrow down… because it got into the area you were watching, and that imposed more and more structure until it tied back into the old metric at the rim of creation! That would be why there are things like the Great Puffle in the “silly zones”!
(Gauderis) “There must be many silly things in there now… Still… do you really think you can fix what took twenty-five of us to build in the first place?”
(Charles) “I don’t know! But it would be wrong not to try! And I don’t think there’s really an exact time limit…”
(Gauderis) “You keep returning to that… perhaps you should construct a Pole of Benevolence for yourself. But… I hope for your sake you can carry through on this. Many, MANY lives are depending on you. So… I believe you mentioned the spike. Forge the protections against the other Exalts for me, bring more of the Fates’ Chosen onto my side, and make Creation clear to me again… and you can have it. It’s only of use to Gaia anyway.”
Charles shared his estimates on Yu-Shan. He wasn’t entirely sure that there was TIME for all that, even if he cheated on it! Maybe if he moved into the Wyld and started using Narrative time? That didn’t exactly correspond to real time at all once you were deep enough.
(Gauderis) “You ARE aspiring to be a Nascent One, yes? Prove to me that you have the power – and, more importantly, the skill – to shape like a Primordial, and I will give you the spike. And besides… I need concrete proof of your skill. Words mean nothing.”
(Charles) “Uhm… Well, is there a way to get in touch fast? Because There are enough things on the list that I may not have time to get back here afterwards!”
(Gauderis) “I am always in mental contact with Richof; he can relay messages between us until you separate me from the non-Fated Exalted.”
Many of his resources had already been mobilized for the project anyway.