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Oct 20, 2020 2:18 AM
matirin would like it noted that he is a better judge of character than seerow and just had fewer options
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<Yes.> He will track down the nearest mage who was supposed to be able to Gate from a picture and show him one and ideally get fifteen Andalites and fifty of the mages sent through to each.

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The compound is complete chaos! Several hundred people have just been dragged out of bed, either here or across the country - at least the ones on the East Coast got slightly more sleep. 

Leareth spies on mind of the host whose Yeerk he thinks was in command, while his other Thoughtsensers and Nayoki pass him summarized reports on the others. What can he figure out, in three minutes, about what happened here and how Elissa's house was targeted? 

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They were directed to stake out the house and verify that the people in it weren't Andalites through two hours of continuous observation. And then to take one, once they ventured out alone, in some fashion that might be attributed to a knock on the head if it turned out to not be safe to infest her or, of course, to infest her if they could determine the Andalites didn't have the capabilities to detect that. The orders came from Visser 3. They do not know why she was suspected of working with Andalites or for that matter why Visser 3 thinks there might be any Andalites.

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Great. Someone is competent with infosec. Always inconvenient, when it's someone on the other side. 

Leareth leaves other people to try to get more out of their new prisoners, and instead checks who's organizing the communications and checking people off as they arrive here, and how many cities that is.

(It's about half of them, so far, but it's only been minutes, and some people on the East Coast might already be up and outside the house, though they've been telling people to Gate anyway even if they're not home, the Yeerks already saw one Gate and if they know about one house they very plausibly know about more.) 

...Leareth wants Farsight coverage on the houses that haven't yet arrived, and the surroundings, get on that, this person is assigned to coordinate. Look for more Yeerk kidnapping teams sneaking up. Not that the information will do much good at preventing it, everyone's already warned, but he wants to know if any of his people are taken. 

He's told it'll take a few minutes to coordinate because everything is madness right now, but they're on it. 

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He paces. 


Maybe shuttles were detectable. If shuttles were detectable what does that mean - it would've pointed the Yeerks towards Alaska, maybe that was enough - or maybe one of the forgeries was detected - or maybe Gates, somehow, despite the shielding - 

He is interrupted a minute later by one of his people who is watching the news.

<What I assume is the aftermath of a Final Strike in Washington, D.C.> he informs Leareth curtly.

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:A team went for them too: He consults his list. Lasvat, he would have been the mage on site. And - who knows how many innocent human bystanders. 

Leareth closes his eyes for three seconds, briefly lets it hurt. 

:Farsight coverage on the area: he snaps out. :I want a dozen people on it. Find out what make of car they had, look for it: Most likely Lasvat's paired Healer is dead, it was recommended they not split up for - well, exactly this reason. But he knows his people don't always stick to that rule, it's too annoying to enforce.

...he's not at all sure they can extract her, at this point. But at least he can get confirmation if she's in danger of being taken. 

He checks back on the person recording new arrivals, even though he's probably being irritating. Only a couple are still missing and they're more remote, no significant Yeerk presence. Washington always had the worst odds of getting out. 

:Matirin, how are we on evacuation to backup locations: 

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<All but six of my people are out, and two hundred of yours. We have teams competent in theory to carry out the war independently at three backup locations. I will want to juggle them some once things calm down to get teams that work better together.>

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:Once all the cities have either checked in or - confirmed not - my opinion is that only a skeleton crew should stay here, to - destroy what we cannot transport out if the Yeerks know where we are and are incoming. You should assign me at random to one of the locations, and probably assign yourself to a different one. I will take the Thoughtsensers I recalled last night: thank gods for that, :and attempt to figure out whether we have enough intelligence already for me to Gate to the ship. Can any of the sites do a robot to take photos?: 

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<Not yet. The ship in Velgarth can and they each have someone who can Gate back there.> Tail lash. <By next week we can have that set up.>

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:I think from here we should operate all three facilities as independently as possible. No cross-traffic in between them. We can still communicate, that as far as we know is undetectable although I am not ruling anything out at this point: 

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<I agree. 

Once you take the ships down I do not believe they have a way to destroy Earth if they think they're losing. Right now they absolutely have that.>

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:Then I will do it as quickly as possible. Today, if I can: 

The last of the cities check in. Leareth sends some people to pack his notes. He's ready; he's taking four of the new prisoners with him and all the recalled Thoughtsensers. Plus a lot more urgently recalled Thoughtsensers who may have snippets once they're all thrown headfirst at this project.

:Tell me which Gate to go through: Leareth says to Matirin. 

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Matirin flicks his tail in the direction of one of them. <Good luck> he says, and then ducks through another.

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Leareth nods to him, and goes through. He can't help picking up a spatial sense of how the Gate carves around and back into Earth's material plane, but he doesn't pay it a lot of attention; he's distracted, his mind racing ahead. 

It's a lot less, uh, equipped than the previous one. They've dragged over as much as possible but it still feels like an abandoned mine that happens to now be full of people, not a cozy underground base. 

He snaps out orders in Mindspeech to the recalled Thoughtsensers, asks them to start organizing groups of the others and he hopes they've had a chance to think about his question last night, it's gotten very very urgent all of a sudden. Then he finds one of the Andalites sent to this location, to ask about the robot manufacture and how much lead time it calls for. 

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The very tiny ones don't take that long to print, six hours for parts and then an hour to assemble them. You could maybe parallelize that slightly.

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:I think we should move on that now, in case my Thoughtsensers are able to put together a target sooner: He checks the list of other Velgarth-Gate-capable mages at this site - one other person, also with a conditional block that should make that knowledge inaccessible to a Yeerk if they're infested, Nayoki finds them obnoxious to do and they take candlemarks but for this it's worth it. He tells the Andalite who to talk to, to arrange that. 

...And while they're at it can they try to get Vanyel from Haven, please. Tell them it's urgent and they might be about to very badly need firepower. But he should go to the third facility, not the one that has either Leareth or Matirin.

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The Andalites get a Gate to Velgarth and start the printer at work on small robots that can take a lot of high resolution pictures and then the one who is stuck as a bird (staying in Velgarth, he won't be much use on Earth) flies to Haven for Vanyel. 

 

<Hey Vanyel> he tries shouting well before he's in range because Vanyel's thoughtspeech range is pretty good he vaguely recalls, and maybe he'll hear him. 

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Vanyel doesn't, he tends to stay shielded, but someone else does. 

:Who is this?: Taver asks. It's an Andalite, he can get that much. :What do you need from Vanyel: 

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<We wanted to invite him to come fight in the war on Earth! It's going badly and we might need him.>

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:Oh. ...I think that probably we can send him, if the need is dire, but I will need a few minutes to confirm that. Should he Gate to the same location where the ship was, and do you want other volunteers if they are willing: 

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<Sure. They have to be able to kill themselves. If they need to. It has come up.> He got a summary from the person who popped through for the Gate.

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In the background he's telling his Chosen and Yfandes and the King's Companion and others. :What happened?: he asks. 

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<We had Thoughtsensers in cities, gathering intel. One group got found out. We evacuated all the others but we don't know how they found out and our base might be compromised and now our forces -> at least all the ones who are not stuck as birds - <are going to be operating independently of one another.>

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:I see: 

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Five minutes later Vanyel is reaching for his mind. :I'm coming. How long do I have before I need to be up there?: 

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