SW10: April 2011 #1: Britannia Beach

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Apr 10 16:44:16 PDT 2011

April 7, 2011

Where the Fate of the World is at Stake!

Correspondent:  Richard Alston with Noelle LaRue


I'd retired to British Columbia, just up the coastal highway from Vancouver, to 
a town named Britannia Beach.  The name came from imperial days.  The town once 
gave the British Empire most of its copper.  Now the mines are spent.  Britannia 
Beach has one mining museum and about three hundred residents left.  The highway 
only went inland from there - to the next town over, then nowhere.

Someone had thought of developing Britannia Beach as a theme resort with 
time-share condos.  They'd even built the condos.  I'd bought one to live in. 
But when the Earth's orbit changed, those plans were abandoned.  That was fine 
with me.  I took my refund and moved there anyway.

There's still a storefront community church in Britannia Beach, founded when the 
resort was moving in.  I go there.  I sing on a worship team with Terri.  Jane 
plays piano.  But the church is dying.  Most everyone goes 10 km up the road to 
Squamish.  It would be nice if a town with a grand name like Britannia Beach 
could be grander than this.  I think Terri and Jane would like that even more.

My daughter Jen was visiting.  She was singing with me and Terri on Sunday 
morning, with Jane playing.  We were at the end of the service, with people 
walking out as we sang the last song one more time.  The pastor's idea was, we'd 
give them a chance to walk out to the grey cloudy noon so the choir wouldn't 
clog the aisles on the way out.  Ha.

But then there was one more visitor.  He came in with a "pop", from the back of 
the room, where there was no door!  He collapsed on the floor.

He looked up.  "Richard?  Jen?  Where am I?"  I knew him.

I said, "Uh... Welcome to the Community Britannia Beach Church.  We call it 
CBBC.  Everyone, this is my friend Wyatt.  Uh, Wyatt, what brings you here today?"

"I *think* I'm home!  Can you tell me who's President and Vice-President?"

"If you're talking about the U.S., it's Barack Obama and Joe Corrigan."

"Hooray!  ... Not that it's the best of all possible worlds, but it's still my 
home."  He stood up, and talked to Terri and Jane too.  "Hi.  I'm Wyatt Ferguson."

One man was still in the seats.  He came up. "Hi.  I'm Bill.  Terri's husband. 
I have to wonder what brings you here today."

"Oh, it is *definitely* time for me to share.  Richard, would you trust all 
these people with the fate of the universe?"

Wyatt and Jen and I were in the same congregation just before our pastor was 
held prisoner during the Secret Wings controversy.  Wyatt had moved away, but he 
still helped our pastor's wife rescue him. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2007/secretwings.htm)   So I know Wyatt is 
serious about confronting evil on great scale.  I trust him.

Here in Britannia Beach, my friends and I are a faith community.  We're the last 
one here.  That means I trust them too.  And I do.  I knew they and Wyatt would 
get along.  So would I trust them with the fate of the universe?  I said, "Yes, 
I would."

Wyatt said, "Well then.  I've been away.  I'm not sure how to explain it.  But 
where I was, we were fighting over power objects.  People do this every eight 
years or so.  These objects can change history.  They almost changed the Bible 
once. (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/duopol3.htm)  This is the *fourth* time 
I've had to fight for these.

"This time, people tried to control the power objects *during* the fight.  It 
changed history all around us.  It came down to soldiers with swords, with packs 
of dogs.  I hate dogs...  But I had to stay in the fight, because I'm the only 
person *anywhere* these power objects cannot affect. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/1988/me2.htm#sevenways)  I was hacking at one 
chancellor at one point, but he wouldn't fall down..."

Wyatt sat down.  He bowed his head and crossed his arms, with fists clenched.

Terri put her hand on his shoulder.  He looked up and said, "Do you have a tissue?"

Jen handed him one.  He blew his nose.  He held out his hand for more tissues, 
twice.  He wiped his eyes and blew his nose again...

Bill said, "Sounds like a really bad trip."

Wyatt looked up and said, "You might say that..."

I had to join in.  "Bill.  Did you hear about when people fought Satanist robots 
along Interstate 5 in Oregon?  Wyatt *led* that fight.  Jen and I saw him there. 
  He really does help." 

"Thank you, Richard."  Wyatt uncrossed his arms, and sat up straight.  "I've had 
my moments.  But I couldn't have done it without you.  Now I need help again.

"I *won* this war.  Sort of.  The *real* winners were so annoyed with these 
artifacts, they gave them all to *me*.  Then they slammed me out of their 
universe where they'll never see me again.  The same way they did to Jimmy Flamer."

Terri said, "You know Jimmy Flamer?" 

"No, but we have mutual friends.  And mutual enemies.  They'd redesigned their 
costumes for his departure...

"But I digress.  The war is over.  I *won* this war.  I have all the power 
objects everyone fought over.  These can change the Earth's orbit."

Bill said, "Where are they?"

"Inside my body."  His hands and forehead glowed.

Everyone looked at me.  The pastor had gone.  I was Worship Team leader, so I 
guess I was leader right now... "Wyatt, if you have all that power, why haven't 
you just done that?  Saved the Earth?"

"Oh, please.  That's what Ellipsis would do.  I'd like a second opinion."

The U.S. superhero Ellipsis helped save Earth from the asteroid collision that 
changed its orbit.  He also had super-science; he guaranteed sunlight for 
traditional crops afterward.  The sunlight came, but the crops didn't... 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/deathtrap.htm)  Ellipsis might have 
needed a second opinion.

So... "Wyatt.  How does your power work?"

"It's like wishing for anything with a magic lamp.  *I* can't do the wish, 
because I'm the lamp now.  But other people can, if they're touching me."

Terri still had her hand on Wyatt's shoulder.  She said, "So I could..."

He said, "Hey, watch out!"

But then we were inside a cathedral.  Plate glass windows opened on the 
harbor... Britannia Beach didn't *have* a harbor, but it had one now!  Three 
great ships were docked.  The Union Jack was flying all around.  Britannia Beach 
was finally living up to its name.

Wyatt said, "Very pretty.  But do you see what I mean?"

Terri cried, "Sorry!  I blog about Victorians!  I dream about them!  I didn't 
mean to break the world!"

"But you did."  A big black man came in through the cathedral front door, with a 
wild-haired white woman behind him.

Wyatt said, "Adu!  Wenchy!  You're *almost* in time."

"Wyatt?  *You* are involved in the *deeper* slavery of my nation?"

Wyatt crossed his arms again.  "Adu.  Calm.  Focus.  Introduce yourself."

The big man reluctantly crossed his own arms like Wyatt did.  "Wyatt.  You are 
correct.  I am Adu Asantemantse, the Warrior Ashanti.  I come here to free Africa."

"Adu.  I introduce my friends.  Richard.  Jen.  Terri.  Bill.  Jane.  I came to 
them for council.  I ask you for council as well."

"Wyatt.  I introduce my companion.  Wenchy the Witch.  I went to her for 
council.  We sit with you for council."  Adu uncrossed his arms and sat, 
cross-legged on the floor.  The woman with him sat too.

Wyatt uncrossed his arms too, waved at the witch, and sat on the floor.  We sat 
too.  Then Wyatt spoke again...

"Adu.  I've come here from a place of great war and great power.  I still bear 
the power."

The witch with Adu said, "We know of the power.  If you'll excuse me, I need to 
get up and prepare the defenses."

Adu said, "Excused."  Wyatt said, "Excused...  Adu, what do we talk about first?"

"Wyatt.  We must talk of the history of Africa.  Something happened here today 
that kept my nation under foreign dominance."

Terri said, "I'm so sorry!"

Wyatt said, "Adu, my companion speaks true.  Might we make these proceedings 

"Wyatt.  So shall it be."  Adu stood up.  "Now, woman, tell me what you did."

Wyatt stood up too.  "I still stand by my companion.  I *gave* her the power to 
do what she did.  I'm like a wishing lamp now.  She made one unwise wish."

"I see.  How can we correct this?"

"I'm not sure *how* yet, but we can.  Nothing is permanent when people wish it 
through me, unless I wish it too."

"Can you tell me why?"

The woman Wenchy had moved through the cathedral, lighting candles.  She spoke 
back, "There's no time.  The enemies are almost here."

Wyatt said, "Oh...  Good.  There are seven of us, not counting me.  You'd better 
all come lay hands on me now."

Bill asked, "What exactly is going on?"

I said, "We'll get the explanations later.  Just trust me now."  I laid my hands 
on Wyatt. So did Jen, then Terri and Jane.  Then Adu and Wenchy.

The doors of the cathedral blew in.

Bill dashed to join us.  We were seven around Wyatt, for what that was worth.



(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

Only their myths concerned peace and contentment, and that in such a
coercive, sullen package it was obvious that the Earth humans resented
the very idea.

- from "Passing" by Elaine Radford, Aboriginal SF, May/June 1987.

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