Chapter 78: In Which Our Hero Finds A Secret Entrance Into The Sultan’s Palace, But Must Pose As A Eunuch Once Inside.

…not his ballsiest performance

Ok, Gentle Readers, as promised, today I’m starting up the third series for After The Change Came. The first series is up on my website, but the second series seems not to be up anywhere right now. I shall try to rectify that.

This series will go up twice a week for the next couple of months. Let me know what you think of it.

 

After The Change Came

Series 3

 

A Day For The Resumption Of Blogging

Well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? You’d think I could get around to doing more posts in under two years, but I’ve been busy. Very busy.

I’d like to thank Sin for taking up the blogging slack last year, especially his coverage of the birth of Will & Gin. By the way, Sin and Babe are now living in a very nice tree house just down the road from us and he is painting his butt off doing portraits of Wizards. I’m told that it’s a money making deal, but you do have to deal with Wizards, which is always a big dose of strange.

In other news…

Will & Gin are just shy of 14 months old and are walking all over the place. Fast. And climbing. I swear, Gin could probably climb a tree and Will would be right behind her. Babyproofing our house is easier with magic, but still never quite finished. Both of them are very healthy, very curious and they love just about everyone.

Lily is doing very well in high school and has a part time job. She and her friend Cassie hire out as a babysitting team and seem to be in big demand. At home, Lily is the favorite hugging recipient of the twins, which makes her purr loud enough to hear across the room.

Grace is still doing her Green Lady thing as well as her Mom/Wife/Lady of the Manor thing. She is also giving piano lessons several times a week to local kids. As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she’s also helping our friends George & Mark turn an empty plot of land into a beautiful garden.

My grandchildren by Roscoe & Gigi (April, May, June & Nick) are 18 months old (about the 3 year old stage compared to humans) and at the “Why” stage. I probably hear “Grandpa, why…” about 40 times a day. Gigi has gone back to teaching kindergarten part time and Roscoe has a day job working for the Department of Nature doing wildlife census taking. It’s a pretty easy job, since he pretty much just goes out and walks around an X square mile grid area with his partner, a human named Paulette. She makes observations and Roscoe sniffs the air & ground and tells her how many of each species are in the area. In the evenings and on weekends, Roscoe has joined with me to form ManDog Game Design, a little company doing mostly QuestWorld modules, but with the odd foray into arcade style games.

Mom and Dad have expanded the farm to 300 acres and are now raising Jersey cattle. It’s mostly a cow/calf operation, but they are looking to breed up a nice line of bulls, too. My gnome siblings are all in high school and on the whole are much better students and teenagers that Rosie, Kelly or I were, as my Mom will cheerfully tell you.

Ben & Annie, our House Elves, had triplets about 16 months ago and they are pretty much growing like weeds. Apparently, House Elves mature quickly, so the kids will leave home by the time they are about 5. In the meantime, they are helping out around the place, which keeps Ben & Annie on their toes.

Avis & Daniel got married 10 months ago, are living in New Hampshire and are just as happy as can be. Auntie Avy pops in to see the twins at least twice a week.

And me? Well, besides my job as dad/grandpa/husband/son/brother/friend/boss and the above mentioned game designer, I’m still a diplomat. My latest assignment is heading up a team of five Mutants (two Speakers, one Flier, one Shapeshifter and a Telepath) that are trying to avert yet another damned war in China. This is made very difficult due to China having a larger number of sentient species than any other country. We are making progress, but very slowly. If only Speaker Xiao would let me be a bit more aggressive in my diplomacy, I could definitely speed things up. As it stands, the Dragon Republic doesn’t want to deal with the Western Federation, the Southern Alliance keeps trying to move into Red Flower territory and the Mongolians aren’t too damned happy with anyone. And I left out about a dozen states, factions, unions, etc. So, I pop off to China about three times a week and try to deal with all of that. At least the food is good.

In broader news, the Wizards had a big meeting 6 months ago and then changed things up for Smart Animals. No longer can a Smart Animal raise a normal animal up to Smart merely by talking to them. In fact, they can only make more Smart Animals by doing it the old fashioned way: having babies. As sort of a payment for the Smarties losing that ability, the Wizards gave them all telekinetic powers, which they call “Hands”. Depending upon size, a Smarty can lift from 3 to 15 pounds or just hang on to something with a good tight grip. Thankfully, this ability only comes about at age three, which is about human mental age of six. Believe me, Roscoe and Gigi are very glad about that.

The number of “Fundietowns” has decreased over the nearly 14 years since the Change and so the Wizards decided to combine some of the remaining ones into larger cities. This not only improved life in those wretched places, but cleared off land for ecosystem repair. The fundies were not terribly amused, but what can they do? Their afraid of the outside world.

One last thing to report before I escort my Sweet Angel and my lovely daughter over to Mom & Dad’s for dinner: the Mars colony went live 10 months ago when 150 people landed at Helium Station. The plan is to expand by about 50 people every 6 months, since it takes that long for the construction bots to build a couple of new domes. My nephew Chris is scheduled to become a Martian in about a year. We are all very proud of him.

Ok, time to go. More bloggage soon!

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