SW10/RACCies: Night of the RACCies!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sat Apr 30 19:56:30 PDT 2011

Chancellor Wyatt called me into his office at Ordered Realities Plaza one 
morning. "Kristi, I've another mission for you.  There's been some god-awful 
power surge from out your old universe."

"Oh, *please* don't say you want me to go back there."

"Of course not.  I won't send *anyone* there.  I cut it off for a reason.  But 
the power's settled in some sort of pocket dimension.  I'm going to shut that 
dimension down, and hopefully trap the power there for good.  You're the only 
backup I trust on this one.  Everyone else here would treat this like a treasure 
hunt...  How soon can you be ready?"

"No time like the present."  I'd packed a travel bag on general principle.

"I like the way you think."  Wyatt pulled out his own bag, and punched a button 
on an intercom.  "Dual insertion from here and now."

We were suddenly in a line of people walking into an auditorium.  Most of them 
were wearing costumes.  And there was a grating voice on a loudspeaker...

"Hey, hey!  Walkin' down the aisle, it's the belle of the &^@%in' ball, 
Spellbinder!  Her head's so swollen they can see it from Mount Olympus!  Let's 
take you in with our sky-cam for a closer look..."

I saw something that *looked* like a duck take to the air.  But I know animals. 
  That was no animal.  More like a machine.

The loudspeaker blared on.  "Holy $#!+, you could hide a *temple* down that 

Then a woman's voice came over the speaker.  "There's something in here for 
smart-ass ducks too."

"Waugh!  *Wok!*  Moving right along..."

I turned to Wyatt.  "What *is* this?"

"Some sort of ingathering.  Could be this same power driving it.  We'd best play 

Inside the auditorium, concierges were meeting people.  "Chancellor Ferguson, 
your table's this way.  Ms. Halsted, you'll be sitting with Nominees."

I said, "Huh?"

Wyatt subvocalized on our vox link, "Play along."  He followed his concierge. 
So I followed mine, to an aisle seat near a stage.  Nell from Alaska looked up 
at me.

"Hey, Kristi, long time no see.  Where you been?"

"I left just like I wanted to.  You know why."

"Uh, yeah...  Kristi, this is my new friend Summer.  And that man-sized koala 
next to her is *the* Doom Koala."

That was no animal.  It was an avatar of the end of my world.  I've *seen* that 
end.  I've fled it *twice* now...  "Nell!  You're sitting with a Doom Creature?"

She shrugged.  "Assigned seating."

Then I heard from Wyatt on vox link.  "Kristi!  They've got Ellipsis *and* 
Anvernacht sitting *next* to each other *at my table!*  Plus a Nazi skinhead 
sitting next to an African prince!  *And The Trillions have someone here!* 
Danger level maximum!"

"Just a *Doom Creature* at this end."

"Dammit!  If it goes wrong, look for the grenade on my belt!  Now I have to go 
play along..."

Nell said, "Hey, Kristi, who you talking to?"

"My date got seated out there somewhere.  Assigned seating..."

"Got it...  Hey, you come here because you opened an envelope like I did?"

I remembered some mail I got last week.  It said "You May Have Won An Award..." 
  I said, "No, I just put that one with the junk mail.  My date brought me..."

The Doom Creature spoke, in a sort of sing-song voice.  "Relax, human.  No doom 
here today."

Nell said, "I'm with him on that...  Summer's ordered a pitcher of margaritas. 
Want a glass?"

Wyatt said on vox link, "I'm having a bourbon on the rocks...  But be ready for 


It was like any award show.  They were reviewing people from my world!  My *old* 
world, that is.  And a bunch of others.

Sometimes the nominees got to go up for the crowd to look.  Summer went up with 
some cat-creature (yes, real cat) and a geek with lots of tech.  The geek won 
the award, though.

Nell went up for a nomination.  They gave her a frying pan, to make her look 
more like a waitress, I suppose.  Uh, I'd have given her a coffee pot.  But the 
pan came in handy... Some man-sized turtle tried to grope her, and she smacked 
him upside the head.  Yay, Nell!

Our Doom Creature went up for nomination too, still munching on eucalyptus 
salad.  The emcee made a pun about eating shoots and leaves...  Just as well the 
pun flopped and the Koala didn't win.

Nell had talked me into a second margarita.  I heard something about Superhuman 
World, my old world.  They'd been talking about it a few times.

Nell said, "Wake up!  You won!"

"Huh?  Me?"

"Yeah!  Someone decided you'd get to accept an award!  Look out, here comes the 
giant robot concierge!"

Nell was right.  The robot was carrying a guy on one shoulder.  It picked me up 
and plopped me on the other shoulder.

Everyone was looking at me.  I didn't know what to think.  I just waved and 
said, "Thank you!  Man, I didn't expect this!"

"Me either," chuckled the guy on the other shoulder. "I mean, I was thinking 
it's an honor just to be nominated--"

"THAT'S it!" Some woman slammed our robot into the orchestra pit with a big pole.

The next thing I knew, Nell was slapping me awake.  "Hey!  Whale Girl!"  I hate 
that name, but it's true.  "Get that big robot off you!"

"Nell?  What's going on?"

"Some kind of spiritual warfare using Christmas carols.  They even got Ellipsis 
and that Satanist mayor to sing together.  *Man.*  Now *move that effing robot!*"

I flexed my whale powers.  It slid off.

Wyatt spoke on the vox link.  "Kristi!  Are you back?"

"... I suppose."

"Do you have the artifact?"

"Uh, what?"

"They gave you an award!  Do you still have it?"

It *was* still in my hand.  But the other guy who'd ridden the robot had a hand 
on it too.  So I said, "Uh, could be a problem.  It's a shared award."

The guy looked up at me.  Nell'd slapped him awake too.  He said, "Sharing's not 
a problem here."  He reached into the award, and pulled out another award! 
"There.  Now we both have one."

Wyatt said, "Good.  Hold on to it.  I'm about to press the button."

I said, "What's that mean?"

But then Wyatt and I were back in his office!  He said, "*That's* what it means."

"Uh, what just happened?"

"We were tracking a power.  It had summoned people from throughout the 
universes, even past our barricades against The Trillions.  I don't think I can 
stop it if it strikes again.  But I've found it's on a yearly schedule, and Doom 
Creatures don't care about it.  When I pressed the button, we went back home... 
but that pocket universe was about to dissolve and send us back home anyway. 
*Only* home for everyone, even The Trillions.  The power lives in that ceremony 
place now.  So it's an annoyance, but harmless."

"So we went through that for something harmless... Well, I had *fun* for once. 
How about you?"

"Well, I have history with Ellipsis.  And *your* Wyatt has history with 
Anvernacht.  *Not* fun.  And the Trillionite wanted to know when we'd let them 
move in.  Uh, never, but I stated it differently.  That's diplomacy."

"What's the award give us?"

"It's a link to the power.  Could be useful."

"Okay..."  Then I looked at the award.  It was like an inverted bronze curve, 
with "SW10" engraved on it.  "Uh, Wyatt, could I hold on to this?"

"But of course.  You're the only one I'd trust to guard it."  So I took it home.

I'd been through the end of the world.  I'd traveled back in time to warn people 
about that.  It didn't work, so I left that world.  But at least people outside 
the world were paying attention.  The award showed me that.


Author's Notes:

I've taken a challenge to keep the RACCies *in continuity* for my story line. 
This is now my second annual "Night of the RACCies" post.  I hope to continue 
that tradition.  I hope to even do it on the same day as the RACCies.  I think 
I'm 2 for 2 now.

I know my universe is "adult", but I tried to put in stuff that wasn't doom and 
gloom and so preserve the spirit of the RACCies.  And I managed to preserve all 
original relevant dialog from the RACCies post!

I've mentioned elsewhere, ultimate power must come from *somewhere*.  I've now 
established that the ultimate power in my continuum resides with the RACCies. 
It's probably nestling in alongside LNH Authorpower now.  Use that power wisely. 

Oh, and thanks for the Rabbit Breeder Award (heh) and a Story Arc Award.  But I 
believe the message of this ceremony is, we need more Spellbinder stories.  8{D>

(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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