SW10: Summer of Discontent #3: The Deal

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Sep 18 17:16:58 PDT 2011

The Summer of Discontent

Part 3:  The Deal


May 25, 2011

Envoys From Our Earth Bargain For Our Future!

Correspondent:  Noelle LaRue


What Has Gone Before:  There's a Plan to defeat the next great winter by 
moving the Earth back to its old orbit.  One part of The Plan is to get 
the Council of Ordered Realities to drop its universal blockade against 
this Earth.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/discontent1.txt )


May 25:


At 2 pm, the famous pianist and singer Vara Hosea walked into a 
Georgetown cafe in the District of Columbia - along with two others. 
They were shown to a private dining room. Two people waited for her 
there. They were big burly superheroes, wearing their outfits.

One was sitting, but Vara could tell he was almost seven feet tall.  He 
wore a metal helmet, and a blue cape which Vara knew concealed more 
armor.  He had a battle staff, propped up against the wall.  He said, 
"Hello, Vara.  Are these others with you?"

"Hello, Mighty Tim."  Vara knew his real name wasn't Tim, but he 
preferred his superhero name.  Most mages had public names and private 
names too.  "Yes, they *are* here for the mission.  This is Wenchy, and 
Finster."  As the woman and the man with her nodded, Vara turned to the 
other hero.  "And you must be the Powernaut."

"I must!"  This one was standing.  He was six and a half feet, and had a 
bright yellow bandana and cape.  "But enough talk!  Can you send us now?"

Vara said aside to Mighty Tim, "Wow.  He really *does* talk like that." 
  Then before the Powernaut could respond, she continued.  "Yes, I think 
we can.  Something made it out through the barrier last Saturday." 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/rapture.txt ) "So it *can* be done."

Vara pointed at a door in the room.  "This is the Sunset Door that Wyatt 
Ferguson went through, when he went where you're going." 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/sunsetdoor.htm )  "So this is 
where we'll try it today.  Mighty Tim, you'll provide your own 
teleportation ability.  Powernaut, you have the power.  My associates 
and I will tie it all together, and try to punch it through that door."

"Let *me* punch through the door!"  The Powernaut cocked his fist.

Vara responded, "No, that won't work yet.  That's how strong the 
blockade is, even now.  It has to be all of us together.  You'll get 
your chance, Powernaut.  But let us set up first."


Within fifteen minutes, ceremonial candles were lit.  A pentacle was 
taped on the floor, next to the closed door.  Vara had the party sit at 
the five points:  Powernaut and Mighty Tim by the door, with packs 
handy; Vara facing it.  Finster held a large skeleton key, Wenchy a 
rope, Vara a dagger.

Vara spoke first.  "Powernaut, Mighty Tim, this is a solemn ritual. 
That's the only way the three of *us* can contribute.  Please just sit 
where you are, and let us tell you when to do what you do best."  The 
heroes nodded.

Then Vara, Wenchy and Finster spoke in unison:  "Hecate, Goddess of 
Doorways, we hold the key of the worlds, the rope of birth and renewal, 
and the dagger to cut through delusion.  We pray you, unlock the door, 
let life through, and break through the delusion that ties us to one world."

A wind rose in the room.  The candles flickered.  But they were 
restaurant candles in glass bowls, so they didn't blow out.

Vara gestured.  The three mages recited the same spell again.  The 
candles flickered again - but then a dim light flickered through the door.

The three recited once more.  The candles were firm - and the light was 
dim but firm too.

Vara said, "Mighty Tim.  Open the door.  Both the physical door, and the 
door that you truly wish."  He stood and opened the door.  Flame spurted 

"I see the mark of your power, Mighty Tim.  Now, Powernaut.  Punch 
through the door.  Both..."

The Powernaut said, "At last!"  He swung his fist as he disappeared 
through the door.

The Mighty Tim said "Thanks", and jumped through behind.

Vara sighed.  "I see the mark of *your* power, Powernaut...  I *think* 
it worked.  It's all up to them now."


May 26:


The Powernaut woke up, under a canvas lean-to in an open field.  He 
said, "Did we make it?"

The Mighty Tim had a fire going.  He grasped the Powernaut's hand and 
pulled him up.  He said, "We made it.  You literally *punched* us all 
the way through."

"I did?"

"You did.  And there's breakfast."

The Mighty Tim watched the Powernaut eat most of their rations right 
there.  But he'd earned it.  Either they'd get help that same day, or 
their mission was in trouble anyway.

After breakfast, Mighty Tim said, "We're just outside Indianapolis, near 
where the last envoy landed.  The next step should be easy.  We're going 
straight to Warsaw-Saint-Lawrence from here.  That's where he went for 
help.  He got stopped on the way.  But I'm going straight there.  You 

"Let's go!"

"All right."  The Mighty Tim teleported them.

He'd been given coordinates and a description for Ordered Realities 
Plaza in Warsaw-Saint-Lawrence.  But they landed somewhere else.  There 
was a sign saying, "Ordered Realities Badge Station, Brantford, 
Ontario".  They'd been stopped on the way!

Behind the sign, a short woman with a Sherlock Holmes outfit faced them. 
  Behind her stood a tall muscular blonde guy in blue tights and 
carrying a war hammer, and an almost-as-tall muscular almost-naked guy 
with slick hair and a loincloth.  The men were probably superhuman, the 
Mighty Tim thought.  The woman was probably the brains, and likely a 
martial artist from the way she stood.

The woman said, "Welcome to Ordered Realities.  Are you here to 
represent your planet?"

The Mighty Tim nodded, pulled out an envelope, and handed it over.  He'd 
been given credentials for this mission.

"In that case, we have a message for you."  She held out a video screen. 
  The Mighty Tim took it.  The screen lit up, and showed Wyatt 
Ferguson's face speaking.

"Greetings, envoy of Earth-SW10.  My name is unimportant, but if you 
want one, you can call me Wyatt.  I'm the Chancellor of Ordered Realities.

"I know you did *not* reset your planet's orbit on the Sixth of May this 
year.  *My* universal blockade would have stopped you if you'd tried. 
It messes with teleportation, as well you know.  Ellipsis once came here 
and put a *much more* severe blockade on your world." 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2004/passover.htm )

"I've already mentioned to your leadership, the blockade is in place to 
prevent The Trillions from swarming other universes.  But now I hear you 
have a plan to restrain The Trillions on your Earth.

"So I have to ask myself:  Shall I lift the blockade to let you shift 
the planet?  And what if I don't?  Probably an incursion.  I know there 
are some of you who can push your powers to the limit and individually 
break through my blockade.  You are getting this message because you've 
*done* that.

"After what Ellipsis did here, we prefer to avoid the people of your 
world.  But despite what you may have heard of us, we have more 
important things to do than to squash your planet's struggle for survival."

"So in the name of the Council of Ordered Realities, I now agree to lift 
the current blockade of Earth-SW10, provided that your Earth show its 
resident Trillions are under control by Earthlings."

The message ended.  The Mighty Tim looked up.  The Sherlock woman said, 
"Is that what you came here for?"

The Mighty Tim said, "I suppose it is."

The Powernaut said, "What?  No fight?"  The people behind the Sherlock 
woman seemed eager for a fight too, and disappointed.

But the Mighty Tim said, "Depends.  Can we go home with this, or is 
there some trick?"

Lady Sherlock said, "No trick.  You're welcome to *try* to go home with 
that.  But the blockade's still on.  When you give up, we can send a 
message home for you."

The Mighty Tim had to think.  "If there's still a blockade, how will you 
send the message back?"

"Messages are easy, at least from our end.  If you want anything more 
than that, you'll need to make an appointment with the Chancellor."

The Powernaut said, "No!  Tim, just point me at where to go!  I'll get 
us there!"

The loincloth man said back, "Lady, let me know when you wished him 
stopped."  The hammer wielder joined in, "And I."

Mighty Tim considered the odds.  "Maybe later, Powernaut."  He turned 
back to the Lady Sherlock.  "For now, just send the message.  The deal 
is on."

She pressed a button, and responded, "Done.  Now please come with us, 

"I think not.  If there's no further business now, I think we'd better 
go the *other* way.  We'll be in touch."  Flame erupted around the 
Mighty Tim and the Powernaut!

The hammer wielder said, "But they cannot teleport from here!"

Lady Sherlock responded, "They're not, Thor Man.  Look!"  The Powernaut 
shot out of the flames, carrying Mighty Tim.

The loincloth man shifted into Subhuman shape and sprinted on his four 
legs.  Thor Man flung his war hammer.  But the Powernaut dodged!  He 
disappeared into the southern sky.

"Fine," Lady Sherlock said.  "I don't think they'll like the rest of our 
world very much."


The Powernaut said to Mighty Tim, "Thank you!  Thank you for not staying 
there another second!"

"My pleasure...  We need to find food somewhere.  But we'll get by.  And 
we'll go back when the right time comes."

"Back there?  Back home?"



See Our Next Stories:

THE MYTH!  RACC High Concept Challenge, Continued! 

THE STRIKE!  The Summer of Discontent, CONCLUDED! 


Author's Notes:

Shit!  Ha ha!

This is the first time I've ever written *dialog* for the Powernaut when 
he had to interact with halfway-normal people.  I *hope* he comes across 
as stereotypical but not loonie.  After all, he *is* part of a major 
superhero organization in this world.  But others lead him, as they do 
in this story.

This is #3 in my Summer of Discontent storyline.  It occurs in parallel 
with two other plot threads:  2014 / 1971, and The War / The Myth.  I 
suppose there might be a follow-on to this episode, but we'll see at the 

I'm intentionally keeping the Ordered Realities team mysterious.  I may 
eventually tell a secret about one of them.  But the SW10 team are all 
returning characters.  Appearance List:


* Vara Hosea:  First in "Champion of Death", 1996, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/wave3.htm#death .  Most recently 
mentioned in Part 1 of this storyline.

* Wenchy:  First in "City of the Dead, Revisited", 1997, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/wave4.htm#death .  Yes, she goes back 
that far.  Most recently active in Part 1 of this storyline.  But you 
probably know that, because Wenchy's getting around this year.

* Finster:  First in "Mage War 2003", 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/magewar03.htm#finster .  Most recently 
in "Panlucida", 2008, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2008/jan.htm#panlucida .  Someday I'll 
tell why Finisterre John Loring and the others of his order take up 
silly nicknames as their magic aliases.  And speaking of silly nicknames...

* Mighty Tim:  He is actually Hero #1 *ahead* of Ellipsis, because he 
dressed up first.  1990, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/1988/balance.rtf .  Yeah, I know the 
link says 1988.  Maybe I'll clean that up some day...  Most recent 
appearance, *after* this story!  "The Coming of the Super-Mage", August 
2011, http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/superwizard.txt .  So I 
guess he survives.  But we have yet to find out how.

* The Powernaut:  First in "Power Patrol", 2005, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2005/powerpatrol1.htm .  Last mentioned 
in "Rednecks from Mars", 2010, 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/rednecks.htm .  If you'd like to 
see what he and the Mighty Tim look like (more or less), the cover at 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2006/newpresent.htm would be good to 
look at.  Also featuring Stonewater!


As far as the Internet knows, that Hecate ritual is plausible. 
http://www.goddessaday.com/greek/hecate/.  They even have an idea how to 
pronounce Hecate.

Thor (and thereby Thor Man) is of course public domain.  Thors are 
pretty easy to find in pop fiction, after all.  All other characters in 
this fiction are copyright 2011, Eiler Technical Enterprises.  All this 
year's stories are online at http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/.

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

Turns out I'm an anally-fixated oedipal paranoid with 
south-of-the-border schizophrenic delusions...  But never mind, I've 
found me the ideal job.  I'm going to run for President!

- Major Honey, scripted by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol #46, August 1991.

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