ASH: ASH #117 - A Fire Afar Off Part 4: Thou Hast Seen Nothing Yet!

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Wed May 2 16:59:17 PDT 2012

On Tue, 1 May 2012 14:01:45 +0000 (UTC), Dave Van Domelen wrote:

>      [The cover shows Don Quixote's sword skewering the Earth, lava spurting
> out from entry and exit wounds and cracks appearing all across the surface.
> Almost lost in the flares of energy is a shadowy hand that seems to be
> wielding the sword.]


>      Glyph hissed in shock, realizing she'd let herself get so engrossed in
> the diary that she hadn't noticed the departure of all the mundanes.  And now
> the container with the diary sank into the floor, no doubt headed for a
> secure vault.
>      Doors on three sides of the room opened to reveal the other four
> superhuman members of the Freedom Alliance.

Oh yes.  We Made Plans.

>      "Bah!" Glyph snarled, extending a wickedly sharp fingernail, almost a
> claw, and sketching a shape into her own palm faster than anyone could
> react.  Then she slammed the bloody hand down on the ground and sank through
> it in a flash of light.

...but she made plans too.

>      "Come on," Brightsword gestured, and the team followed him down a "dead
> end" hallway.  As they approached, the wall opened up to the exterior and
> they jumped out into empty air several stories up.

Ooooooooh.  Nice image.

>      "...but it looks like I got here a little too late," Esmeralda finished
> recounting the events of the past few days.  "At least Glyph only wanted me
> out of the way temporarily, something about the pocket reality of that chess
> trap kept me from starving or dying of thirst while I was stuck in it."

I like your confidence in just throwing the chess trap in there and
trusting the audeince to get it!

> All too often a "clean escape" was a distraction, something Weapons Master
> had succeeded in hammering home in training his teammates.

It's true, and I've only seen this actually used in fiction a couple times.
(Once actually being in the Tenchi Muyo manga.)

> I may have been born too late for the age of the romantic heroes,
> but God saw fit to place me in a time where I might emulate their deeds with
> stakes just as high.

Ahhhhhh, that one's a recurring irony.  Good times.

>      "If the Kingdom of Z was a Jotunheim offshoot, they probably got
> evacuated during the 1980s," Esmeralda pointed out.  "Just ahead of total
> disaster. we actually know that any evacuation happened?

> Heck, your extended contact with the sword might make the energy come
> out through your body if we Anchor the sword."
>      Red Widow edged away from Weapons Master.


>      Good thing, too.  The brainiacs on the ground had gotten a better idea
> how long they had before final detonation, and it wasn't long.  GLADI8R had
> no desire to be stuck on a dying cinder of a planet!

Oh, that wacky amoral AI.

>      Applause and cheering could be heard from the crowd gathered in the park
> outside the building that had become the Freedom Alliance's base.  "I'd like
> to think they're happy we're not going to have a little ice age," Weapons
> Master shrugged, "but they probably just like seeing stuff go boom."

Wait... I'm slightly confused as to what exactly they accomplished there.

>      "Boom can be good too," Brightsword chuckled.  "It's not enough to save
> the world, you need to put on a show, or who'll care?"
>      It was a credit to his acting skills that not even a hint of resentment
> flickered across Weapons Master's face.  So many of his friends had died over
> the decades, saving the world...or at least parts of it...without anyone ever
> knowing.  Brightsword wasn't a bad guy, but Chuck could tell his teammate
> would probably never really be a hero either.


> I came here following omens, Brightsword,
> and I'm not going to ignore my feelings on the matter of working with your
> team long term.  It feels wrong.  Bad omens.  It's probably just wrong for
> ME, however, my path lies elsewhere."

It's not you, it's me!

>      "Welcome to the world," Weapons Master made a sweeping gesture and
> bowed.  "Hope you survive the experience...."

Most people don't, turns out!

>      Yes, Cervantes originated the "you ain't seen nothing yet" phrase.

Oooooh.  I see.

>      I hope no one was expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight scene with
> Glyph.  She's really not the sort, and "run away" contingency plans are a lot
> more reliable.

Nah, that scene worked for me.

>      Simply reaching out over the 2x8 sections would reveal an invisible but
> impenetrable barrier.  In fact, the trap is only the single 12x12 room, with
> the rest of the board being illusory (anything left behind in a square
> remains visible behind you in the illusion, but reappears at your side at the
> end of your move).

Ahhhhhhh, makes sense.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, good times and explosions.

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