Back in Yu-Shan, and quite oblivious to the supernatural warfare on Earth, Charles was still involved with the poles of Yu-Shan. He had to determine what their links with Creation actually did if he was going to replace those inputs! And that… mostly involved going there and finding out.
Four of them were linked a very long ways out indeed – in the far ranges of Creation – but the two central poles of Adamant and Spirit… were linked within the Oort cloud, on opposite sides of the Earth. By current standards that was pretty nearby!
He headed for the Adamant Pole Link first since there was a convenient Yu-Shan portal there. The gods of the Spacedocks were warily pleased to see him; they knew that he’d traveled into interstellar space himself. The primary local god came to greet Charles in person; he was a man of pure ice, with eyes shimmering with the light of the stars beyond and black, frost-rimed robes (Myriad Vigilant Stones, God of the Oort Cloud).
(Charles) “Hello! I’m just tracing some energy-flows!”
(MVS) “Charles! Helping out your grandfather, are you? Or doing more local geomancy?”
(Charles) “A little of both! I’m tracing the interactions of the Yu-Shan – Creation energy flows!”
(MVS) “I see… (he expanded space a bit to obscure hearing) Come to think of it, there’s been some disruptions in the topside reaches. Some of my friends experimenting with their ships reported lighting. In space! Perhaps if we were in one of those nebula things-but they reported nothing of the sort.”
(Charles) “That is odd! Things may be breaking down a bit faster than I thought…”
(MVS) “Something else wrong up there? I fear I quit Heaven a long time ago. The deiphages, you see.”
Nonetheless, his expression went somewhat nostalgic for a while.
(Charles) “Well… the details are sort of secret, but I need to do a fair amount of repairs!”
(MVS) “You’re welcome to look – oh, by the way, were you intending to put a gate here? One of the artificers saw your advertising when he visited Earth.”
(Charles) “Well, there’s already a gate here. There will be some on the Yu-Shan side of course, in between the existing gates.”
(MVS) “Hmm… some of the people here will insist on non-gate stardrives, of course. I might have to risk coming up and study those gates when you build them.”
Myriad Vigilant Stones was more than happy to show off the stardock. He was building a ship himself! Charles… was still pushing the time, but it was easy enough to multitrack and look at the essence flows at the same time!
(Charles) “Well, non-gate starships are a lot more free!”
Hm… it looked like the Pole of Adamant was at the “top” of the Oort cloud, while the Pole of Spirit is at the “bottom.” – or at least at the other end! It took several hours (quite enough for a good tour) to trace and analyze the flows – but it looked like both of those poles were connected to the Elemental Pole of Earth; the energies from the Pole of Adamant functioned as a focus, scattering the Pole of Earth’s life energies across the universe. The Pole of Spirit was enhancing those, extending the range and mildly increasing the chances of those within range going to Lethe. The arrangement was oddly reminiscent of a source of light (the Earth) focused through a slit (Spirit) and diffused through a four way prism (Adamant). Gaia had evidently focused her central pole through Yu-Shan’s two, thus enhancing her own pole’s ability to inhibit the formation of Shadowlands across immense areas of the current universe… Gaia must have tweaked it during the reshaping! That was going to be tricky! Fortunately… it was enough out that a manse effect built in the old metric might cover enough area. So those… stabilized the cycle of life and death. It looked like that became MUCH less effective outside of the Solar System though… That was probably why the Blessed Isle had remained free of shadowlands even in the Age of Sorrows – and why there were so few on Earth today. It was just harder to make them near the Elemental Pole of Earth.
To substitute for that… he’d need a super-extended zone of influence (in the old metric), Wyld Revocation (to work there), Wyld Revocation (self-maintaining), Wyld Revocation (to duplicate the lens/slit effect), Immutable, Indestructible… and an AI function to handle fine adjustments! It would be pretty awkward to do it that way though… a circle of manses would be better! He’d need to be building demesnes anyway!
It looked like… the Oort cloud was pretty much the border of the Earth-Spirit-Adamant triad and it would be most auspicious to have six manses – one near each pole, and one in each of the cardinal directions. Oh dear! Had Plato been RIGHT with his “Nested Ideal Solids” model? He’d be defining the vertexes of an octohedron after all – and he’d need to move asteroids and planetoids and engineer the demesnes first!
He got to work on designing those – and started responding to Myriad Vigilant Stones again, since he had gone sort of blank in his concentration!
(MVS) “Charles? Are you all right?… Just like Richof…”
(Charles) “Oh, sorry! Just figuring out what I’ve got to do…”
(MVS) “So what’s the problem with the lightning?”
Oh! That was probably him! It was coming from about where the Pole of Adamant was anchored Creation. The gods testing spacecraft in the area had reported strikes of pale blue lightning, sensor failures and disruptions, and glimpses of who was ahead in the Games of Divinity. Now adamant occasionally gave off electrical discharges when charged with energy – which might indicate accelerating failure – but it was probably just because he’d been feeding so much essence into the central reservior and other critical locations. The extra waste energy would have to go somewhere!
(Charles, thoughtfully) “Well, at one time… I think the power flows were a LOT greater – and now there are flickers of something beyond the minimal emergency baseline. That should stabilize, then stop, in about two months!”
(MVS) “Richof said something about that once. Something about the adaptations to make Yu-Shan habitable, right?”
(Charles) “Well, yes! But the system needs a lot of work!”
(MVS, with a twinkle in his eyes) “So… what are you going to do about it?”
Oops! Another Direct Question!
(Charles) ”Well… I’ll have to fix it!”
(MVS) “And how are you going to do that? If it’s causing problems out here, you’ll have to do some of the work here, right?”
(Charles) “Well, yes!”
(MVS) “I’ll have to know what you’ll be doing, then. It might interfere with some of the test flights – not that the lightning hasn’t been.”
(Charles) “Erm… Well, I’ll have to ask you to promise to keep it secret for the next two months… willl that be OK?”
(MVS) “Is it really that severe? What’s happening up there?”
(Charles) “Well, that’s part of what the promise would cover!”
(MVS, promising) “Very well, then! If nothing else… I want to keep traffic at a minimum around here! Do you know how many gods in the Solar System want to keep track of the Games from Creation?”
(Charles) “Well, a lot I suppose… It is pretty big for gossip isn’t it?”
(MVS) “Incredibly so-and if there’s an entire FLEET of gods up here, how would we be able to test spacecraft without annoying someone? Thus… please, tell me!”
Charles threw up perfect privacy wards and an illusion of doing something else outside of that – and explain the usual “Well, Yu-Shan is headed for geomantic collapse, which will…”.
(Charles) “So I’m going to need to put up some specialized manses near where the links to Yu-Shan are!”
(MVS) “I see… that’s a lot to swallow. But if the excess energy from your operations is leaking out here, you NEED to do something about it. Just don’t touch any of the adamant asteroids. Those are mine to play with!”
And, from the view outside the spacedock… arrange into various lovely patterns.
(Charles) “OK! I shouldn’t need to!”
Myriad Vigilant Stones, of course, assumed that Charles could produce a shuttle… Charles’s infrastructure was getting to be fairly well-known in Heaven by now. Of course… he was assuming that “two months” was for constructing this set of manses, not for the entire project. He still wanted to watch Charles’s manse-building technique though; even at two months it would fulfill his reputation for it being insanely fast!
He got the point when Charles went ahead and put them in place though. Charles went for the classic “monolith” design from 2001, albeit with the proper geomantic arrangements of ice-asteroids and transmuted materials around each one to suit the direction.