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Oct 20, 2020 3:07 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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<They'll Gate back in six hours when the printer's done with the robot they asked for.>

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:All right. I think you'll probably get a few others, but I'll be there for sure. See you in six hours. Er, anything else I should know for planning purposes, what to pack...?:

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<I think they were just evacuated to some backup locations that aren't well set up with stuff so if you really want anything you shouldn't expect them to have it.>

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:Good to know. Thank you: 

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Back on Earth, Leareth and his recalled spies pore through notes brought back and memories of thoughts read, with the prompt 'Yeerks known to travel to and from space regularly.' 

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Most of the Yeerks on Earth stay on Earth but some important ones go back and forth; one of the president's top advisors is Yeerked by someone who goes to the Blade ship regularly to talk to Visser 3, and there's some transit to the Pool ship by Yeerks who work in engineering anything they haven't yet set up the infrastructure to fully build on Earth.

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Presumably the advisor to the president has been seen by some of his Farseers and read by some Thoughtsensers and there should be television footage of him, yes? He delegates other people to try to get visuals on the others as backup options, but expects less luck there. 

He asks the Andalite to pull anything they can from the human computers on said presidential advisor, and try to determine where he is right now from that. 

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The Andalite will try that. On one screen he has the news up; it is nonstop coverage of the smoldering crater in Dupont Circle, in Washington, D.C. The television commentators are speculating frantically about which terrorist group did it. The President has given a noninformative speech from a bunker mourning the dead and vowing to defend America against all threats. (The President is Yeerked. They confirmed it a while ago.)

 

"...I don't know where he is right now, none of the important people are appearing in public," the Andalite says frustratedly. "Might figure he's with Visser 3 because this is probably an emergency for Visser 3 too?"

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"We have another four hours until the robot is ready so we can try to gather more information until then. If we have not learned more, we might as well gamble at that point. I suspect a Gate attempted to him-in-space would simply fail if he is not in space, rather than reaching him on earth, since part of the targeting involves how deep we are in the gravity well." 

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Acknowledging tail-swish. He pulls up lots more pictures of the guy and eventually finds his emails and his travel schedule but he must not send emails about Yeerk business. At least so far today he has not sent any.

 

An energetic person on the news is blaming a Middle Eastern terror group called Al Qaeda for the attack on Washington, D.C.. There are twelve hundred people dead and another two hundred missing.

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Leareth paces, watches the smoking crater on TV. Memorizes the advisor's face, watches him speak in recordings, joins his Thoughtsenser who read the man in rapport to get the flavour of his aura and thoughts. It's not as good as having met the man but he thinks that plus his guess at the distance from Earth should get him there eventually. 

"How long does the robot need to take pictures and get back across?" he asks.

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"It'll only need a couple of seconds. - honestly we just need a camera on a stick, here, right, we can shove it across and pull it back."

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"It needs to be a high quality picture - ideally one that can be projected in three dimensions - but, yes, I think that ought to do, actually. We may want the robot to infiltrate other places that are less accessible, but I do not think I will want to keep this Gate open any longer than a couple of seconds." 

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"Okay that we can do cannibalizing existing parts without waiting six hours for the robot. For other stuff we might need the robot but - this we could do in ten minutes, if you're ready."

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"- I think I am ready." 

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In that case he's going to spend a little while fussing around and then put twelve cameras on a stick and have them recording video. <Ready.>

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Leareth has been prepping a separate enclosed area with shields and recruiting a dozen other mages to help. "In case they get anything through to attack or attempt to discover our location," he explains. "I think it is highly unlikely they will have time for anything, but I would not wish to be caught unprepared. I will go in alone." The only thing the shields don't block is Farsight. If someone flings a Yeerk at his ear with a couple of seconds' lead time, it'll be really obvious. 

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Here is the camera-stick to push through the Gate and then pull back out.

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It takes a long time to set up for this kind of Gate, getting his mind into just the right state of concentration. Gate to the person, but not anchored on the person. Small, just barely big enough to pass the stick-cameras through. A yard back, and - drop to it, imagine he's staring at the man's knees, he wants it to be less noticeable to human eyes. 

Where the planes are this far apart - he spools out the spell for a while, when it finds nothing he shifts that aspect of the search. It's draining him steadily but it's not an interplanar Gate, he can hold the search-aspect a while. 

- and then he finds something. 

This part he does fast, build the tiny opposite terminus in under a second and shove the camera through the instant it's up. 

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On the Blade ship in orbit around Earth there's a sudden sensor reading of a hyperspace jump here and separately from that the scanners for foreign electronics pick something up and separately from that someone in the room gasps - screams -

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Leareth counts out exactly two seconds and then yanks back the camera and the Gate slams down. 

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His Farseer confirms that they didn't see anything happen to Leareth, but they still rescue the camera with Fetching into a different shielded room to examine it for bugs or traps of some kind, and then wait for Nayoki to arrive so she can read Leareth and confirm that nothing happened to him. 

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She lets him out of the shields. "Good work." 

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Someone brings the camera to the Andalite. "Um, what do we do now, to get the pictures?" 

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<It should be downloading automatically.> And they press some buttons to get the pictures up on the screen.

 

Most of the angles are kind of uninformative  - generic corner of a conference room - but there's a decent shot of the door of the room and a decent shot of some chairs and some screens and equipment.

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