The young woman already had a presence that higher Professionals with higher potential scores didn’t even match. The added ineffable benefit of authority, presumably, thought Zacharias.
Calculating Tactician Charlotte Augusta Wales, second in line to the British crown, watched over the gathering crowd. She finally climbed on a raised podium.
With this simple phrase, the hubbub of the Professionals talking died nearly instantaneously. Even the various tier 5 and the one mostly tier 6 team fell silent.
“The Gate is still inoperative, and we’re still cut from London. At this time, there’s no way to predict when it will reopen. If it does.”
There was a fresh surge of muttering. She did not wait until it ended.
“Yes, if it does. I don’t remember a time when the Gate wasn’t there, but some of you do. And if it wasn’t there at some point, it might not remain there forever.”
She cut off the Massive Aethershaper next to her who had looked like he was going to add something.
“But despite everything, we are still British subjects. We still belong to the greatest Empire our world has ever seen, and there’s no reason it won’t be the same in the Labyrinth.”
“But before we start thinking about the British Labyrinthine Empire, we do need to check what really happened. And that pretty much means one thing: going through another Gate to get news from home.”
Zacharias could see the wince on most of his fellow Professionals around him.
“Obviously, the one from the French Ogre is a non-starter. Notably, since there’s strong evidence this is the result of a nefarious French plot. Which leaves only one option.”
“Not those!” went from behind Zacharias.
“Yes. There’s only one place where we can get proper news, and that’s the Colonial Gate. So I need a tier 4 or higher team ready to head into the United States of America’s sectors. We’re officially at peace again, after their short war on Canada ten years ago. I intend that we make use of that official peace to get information if they have any, or go make a round trip to England from their own Gate port.”
“I’d go, but I think it is better if I stay at the Gate, to keep abreast of any development. Hopefully, we will soon be reunited with the main Empire, but if nothing else, we’ll endure.”
She looked over the crowd of fantastically overpowered Professionals gathered at Gatepost.
“If nothing else, the British Empire will endure.”
Zacharias wondered for a moment who would jump, but wasn’t surprised to see the Louisa Grey team come out to join the Princess on stage. The firstborn of Lord Charles Grey was of the Princess’ age, and they had both adventured together for a while before the King selected a specific team to accompany his heir in the deep Labyrinth. Besides, there were barely enough Professional nobles around, and that was counting peerage. Louisa was going for an unusual tier 5 build, but she and her teammates had strong synergies and they were good candidates for going deep into USA’s zones. At least the best zone path was known.
Required: 85 PRE, 36 INT
+10 health/+18 endurance/+5 mind/+7 aether per level
+1 Milestone/12 levels
Calculating Tactician: +9 PRE, +5 DEX, +4 FOR, +3 CON, +1 FOC, 1% aether conservation
Skill set: Environment / Control
Vincent Archer wrote his first story around age 11. On a mechanical typewriter, with carbon paper for a mimeograph to distribute in class. His teacher knew enough to make vague encouraging noises rather than really tell him what she thought. He wrote more stories afterward, but Time has thankfully managed to erase every trace of them.
Now that his career has settled in a mix of routine and insanity and that he's figured out that herding cats would probably be easier, he's finally started to write stories again on a media rather than inside his brain. Some of those are even potentially good enough to show to other people.
Silvergates is his first attempt to finish one rather than admit defeat against the usual writer's block.