SW10, WRIMO: Cauldron, Part 1

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sat Nov 6 18:51:32 PDT 2010

Commentator: Summer Morgan for the United States Insight Battalion.


United States Insight Battalion
Operations Report
Wednesday, November 4, 2010

Last month I was on tour with the dance troop Body Up, when our leader
Norma McMillan got a call. Our entire troop had been offered a job
with the government - and not dancing.

The call was from Yon Schmidt at the United States Insight Battalion.
He wanted us to be spies for them! Well, actually he said "observers".

The Government had been spying on American citizens since 2007, with a
combination of public cameras and, well, "street people". This was
done by a Patriotic Homeland Corps. But the Corps was about as smart
as trained monkeys. Vice-President Corrigan wanted to do things
smarter. So he wanted some special agents to take a more active role.
He'd hired Yon to start hiring others - preferably superpowered.

A bunch of us objected then. We all have enhanced strength and
fitness, but only when we're in a group of us. But Yon had an answer:
"Insight" suits from our old universe where most of us superhumans
came from. They could give us the powers, even one by one. They could
maybe give anyone the same powers, but we were already used to that
stuff. And we all had some training; we work out with kickboxing.

We still weren't interested in going out alone, though. In Body Up our
powers came as being part of a team, and we still wanted to work as a
team. So Yon agreed we could work in teams of two.

Some of us objected to the whole idea of spying on Americans. But Yon
promised we wouldn't be going inside homes to do it. And when people
commit crimes in public, they deserve to be seen and caught.

That's how Body Up signed on with USIB.


Norma split us up into four teams. It didn't much matter to me who I
worked with, since we were all friends. But Norma kept best friends
together. I got to work with Holly, whom I knew from before Body Up.
We were real estate agents together near Seattle. I was senior, so
Holly kind of let me lead the team.

Yon had targets he wanted covered. He said they came from a security
analysis. Then Norma assigned us. Holly and I got Nashville,
Tennessee; apparently no action for us in Washington State. Cherell
and Jenn come from Massachusetts, so they got a little town named
Douglas which is some kind of militia breeding ground. Liz and
Margaret Jean got Lansing, the state capital in Michigan; that's kind
of near Chicago where they come from. And Norma and Tanya took North
Port, Florida, a sort of Gulf Coast slum city; the Russian crime
community gathers there and Tanya speaks Russian.

Yon wanted us all in place by Election Day, because either urban left-
wing gangs or rural right-wing militias were going to be discontent
once the results came in. Survivalist right-wingers were running as
the independent "Tea Party", since the Obama / Corrigan ticket in 2008
proved independents could win.

So Holly and I were in Nashville on Monday before the election. We got
to stay at a fancy hotel, the Maxwell House. It wasn't named after
coffee, coffee was named after it! More importantly to Yon, it was
twelve stories tall, on top of a hill, and made a great vantage point
for the north part of town where state offices, yuppies, rednecks, and
potential rioters all came together. They'd agreed to let up set up on
their roof.

On Tuesday we set up our monitor site, on top of the hotel. It was a
quiet day. Everyone was voting.

On Wednesday the results were in. The Tea Party had pretty much won.
America was now on a three-party system, not counting Obama. Our
briefing said, watch out for rioters. But the first thing we saw was a
nun on a bicycle.

We checked our briefing sheet. The Maxwell House Hotel was across the
street from St. Cecilia's Motherhouse. So yes, there were nuns around.
Holly watched that side, which also faced downtown. I watched
everything else.

Holly saw stuff first. Around 3 pm, there was a puff of smoke coming
up from a corner of the nunnery. She stayed on the telescopes, while I
went down the side of the hotel and ran over to investigate. We had
rappel cables set up. Quicker than elevators!

I was expecting arson. But the smoke didn't continue. Maybe it was
just some leaf-burning.

But then my sound gear gave me an alert. It had heard the keyword
"Ellipsis"! If someone in the nunnery was talking about the world's
most powerful superhuman while they were setting off fires, it was
time to listen in. Probably just some gardeners talking about current
affairs. But I figured, if I was on the street and I could hear it,
that was public enough for me to listen some more.

When I turned my sound gear on the conversation, I heard, "Yes, he is
in hell right now. But wait, I think we have a guest." Uh oh, they
were on to me!

I ran, away from the hotel. I figured I'd disappear before they could
take a second look, run around the block, and get back to the hotel.

I went around the corner and kept running. But my suit gave me an
alarm. Something was chasing me, fast!

Even though my suit had a rear-view display, I instinctively turned to
look. That's where I went wrong. My pursuer was man-sized - and
suddenly he was grabbing my throat!

I tried to break his grip. But he had a suit like mine! And he was
saying, "Young lady, I see you have one of my old suits. But I have
the Legs of Satan and you do not."

But then I heard Holly's voice in my ear - plus a printout in my
goggles. "Summer, look out! I'm shooting now!"

A bazooka blast went off in front of me, behind my captor. I struck
then, and broke free.

I ran for the nearest building. It was a post office. I got inside the
door. People gaped at me as I panted. I'm really fit, but fighting
this guy was hard!

My pursuer showed up outside the door! He gestured - his hand across
his throat! I think he meant my throat. But then he ran off.

Holly was watching. My assailant had run away to a nearby grove of
woods - and disappeared!

I started getting a "phone" icon blinking in my goggle display! I
yelled, "Shut Up!" I was still in the post office. People looked at me

"Holly! Is he really gone?"

"Summer! I can't find him!"

So I had to go out to look. He wasn't nearby.

But a police car showed up. I'd spooked some people at the post
office. But I did have government ID. That was fine for police. And at
last I felt safe - kind of.


When I finally had a chance to respond to that "phone" icon, we
swapped info and learned a lot of stuff.

My assailant was one Russell Anvernacht. He was once the mayor of
Maquoketa, Iowa. He'd connected to militias there. But before that,
he'd come from where most of our superhumans came from. He still had a
suit that gave him superpowers like mine; he ran the company that
invented those suits! But now he has more powers from Satan - or
something like that. His "Legs of Satan" let him run faster than I
could, and they let him disappear without running.

Anvernacht was talking about Ellipsis in hell. We know, Ellipsis went
to fight Anvernacht. And we haven't seen Ellipsis since then. It seems
Anvernacht won. He'd already defeated the world's most powerful
superhuman. And he wanted me dead.

There was some stuff about who Anvernacht was talking to, some kind of
super nun. But I couldn't pay attention to that. I tried to resign.

But Norma said, "Please stay. I know it's hard. We're sending help.
Lansing, Michigan can take care of itself. You're more important."

That night, I tried to get to sleep while thinking of all the people
who'd help protect me. But I hardly slept at all.


Author's Notes:

This is the big story of the year. And this year's storyline is the
big one for the last three years.

I am for once writing the big story as part of National Novel Writing
Month, alongside RACC.

I am accustomed to writing in response to challenges. Sometimes RACC
gives challenges, but I usually issue these challenges to myself, from
dreams. Aside from having to write a novel this month, the challenge
was absent. So I took a recent blog post (http://www.eilertech.com/
world/blog/blog28.htm#militias) of mine as basis, made a list of all
the characters who could conceivably be part of the story, removed all
my main heroes, then rolled the dice until it made sense. I think it's
working out. I'm not sure how it ends yet... but that is common for my

This serial is technically November 2010 #1 through #4. It will
(probably) cover four consecutive days.

I've actually written one story as a serial before, in 2004 at
election time. Before now I haven't published on any sort of schedule.
But RACC gave that challenge, so I'll do it. So I hereby announce, I
intend to publish this story throughout November 2010, weekly on

By the way, there really exist a Maxwell House Hotel and a St.
Cecilia's Motherhouse.

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