Priothi couldn't just land in the middle of a forest, whatever Apfen said. First, he brought down individual people, one or two at a time (there were some children, too small for him to get a grip on, and these had to go down in parents' arms). Apfen went, too, and Priothi himself hovered in the air so he could better see what he was doing. He had to rotate the colony compartments on their bars crazily to make it work, but eventually he fitted the whole thing into a gap between trees and got it to the forest floor.
Then he descended himself, the usual controlled drop interrupted abruptly just a couple feet off the ground and then an uncontrolled drop, because he could only perturb so slowly.
"What do we do?" Priothi asked Apfen. "You're in charge here, I just move stuff."
Apfen chewed her lip. "We would have quit for the day in an hour or so anyway. We could turn back, but - I think we should radio for instructions."
"This isn't a diplomatic expedition," protested one of the colonists, a baby in her arms. "We didn't come here expecting to deal with Inland barbarians. We were expecting to find a place to settle, build some houses -"
"Not a militia expedition either, if they're hostile," said a man. "I mean, sure, most of us are in the militia, but we didn't come armed, Priothi's our only psion -"
"No," said the woman with the baby, "Envar's technically a telepath, but he can't do much, touch range only, and Sancio -"
The colonists were soon abuzz with discussions of the expedition's ability to handle Inlander barbarians. Priothi's head spun. He had a background in moving trains. He was on this colony expedition because he wanted to live someplace warm and had underbid the other perturbers to get it. He didn't want to be the first line of defense against Inlanders who decided they were invaders.
Were they -
"We're radioing south for instructions," said Apfen firmly. "Ikthar, get the radio."
"Are the tellurics kind here?" asked Priothi. "I mean, I work fine, but I'm not a radio..."
"If the radio doesn't work, we turn back," Apfen said regretfully.