REPOST/SW10/HCC: Superhuman World 1996: The Curse of the Christmas Pirate!

Scott Eiler seiler at
Thu Dec 24 20:01:40 PST 2015

Author's Note, 2015:  Ahem, since reposts are so popular this year, 
here's a Christmas one I just researched for a Wiki entry on...  well, 
I'd best follow through on that before I admit who it is.  The story 
itself is from 2013.  Merry Christmas!


What Has Gone Before:  The year is 1996.  Stephen Wolcott (the 
superhuman Ellipsis) and his wife Julie Wolcott operate the Total 
Conversion Foundation near Nassau in the Bahamas.  They hire enough 
superhuman bodyguards to affect the world balance of power.  The United 
States invaded the Bahamas earlier this year to neutralize that threat. 
  The invasion failed.  President-Elect Hillary Rodham has promised a 
peace treaty.  The Total Conversion team which repelled the invasion is 


"Mary!  Thanks for coming!  Mulled wine and margaritas are over there. 
Welcome to Christmas Eve."

"Well, thank *you*, Julie.  Latisha has to work late at the casino 
tonight.  I'd just be in the way there...  Do you think the others will 
be here?"

"Akibono sends his regrets; he's wrestling at one of the casinos. Arcane 
went to England for the Solstice.  Longbow took the island ferry to go 
hunting.  The Doom Koala might show, but he has to *try* to send Billy 
to bed first.  On Christmas Eve.  So figure the odds.  And he said there 
might always be doom somewhere to look after."

"Got it...  Oh, hi, Jill!"  Another woman walked in.  She nodded and sat 

"Okay...  Hey, Julie, how about Steve?"

"In the lab like always...  He's 'listening.'  He says Hello."

"Uh, Hello Steve."  Mary poured herself a margarita.  "Something for 
you, Julie?"

"Mulled wine, please...  Thanks!  Cheers!"  Mary and Julie clinked 
glasses.  "Please, let's sit."

"okay...  What next?  Do we make small talk?"

"Sort of...  We're all here because we've got nothing better to do on 
Christmas.  We usually just tell stories about why Christmas sucks."

"Oooh, refreshing!  Well, I've mentioned why mine does."

"Okay.  Then there's Jill's story..."  Julie turned to the other woman. 
  "Jill, may I tell it?"

Jill shrugged.

"Okay then.  Short version...  Jill got her powers when she was a girl. 
  Her family except for her died in an earthquake, on Christmas Eve. 
Jill feels responsible, because she got earthquake powers about that 
time.  When her foster relatives found that out *and* she'd developed 
super strength, they gave her to a samurai to raise.  He gave her the 
name Stonewater.  He didn't give her Christmas presents.  But she 
already didn't like Christmas."

Jill emphatically shook her head.

Mary said, "okaay...  Sorry, Jill.  Now Julie, what makes *your* 
Christmas suck?"

"Aw, well, when I was growing up we always had those big family 
Christmases.  My brothers always fought, and my dad encouraged them, and 
my mom couldn't stop it.  I'm kind of glad Christmas is quiet like this 

"okaay..."  Mary shrugged.  "But you promised us a *story*!  That's not 
a story!"  Her face took on a wicked look.  "Tell us a story, Julie!"

Jill looked up, amused.  "Yeah, Julie!  Tell us a story!"


"Story!  Story!  Story!"  Mary and Jill both chanted.

"... Okay, little girls!"  Julie smiled.  "I've got a story for you!"


I must have been four years old.  That makes it...  well, I keep that a 

(Jill coughed.  *cough* "1973" *cough*

(Julie said, "Okay, it's not *that* secret.  But I'm telling a story! 

My family was going to visit my uncle and aunt at Christmas.  They were 
in Bayonne, New Jersey.  We were in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  We went by 
plane.  So we had to go through O'Hare Airport.

Of course it was Chicago at Christmastime.  Of course it was snowing. So 
the planes were delayed.  That's one of the ancient horrors of Christmas.

("How is that ancient?", asked Mary.

("Sssh!  I'm telling a story!  Anyway...")

Pa was stuck somewhere else.  So it was Ma with three of my brothers and 
me.  That was still enough brothers to be loud and raucous.  Just like 
the rest of the airport.  I just had to be quiet and civilized in response.

There was this one little boy across the aisle from me.  He was holding 
his mom's hand with one hand, and a cheap sort of Raggedy Andy doll with 
the other.  His mom looked even more tired than mine, which was weird 
for having just the one quiet boy.

So I went and said Hi.  The kid just flinched away and held up his doll. 
  That's when I noticed how cheap it was.  Its smile had fallen off.

His mom bent down to talk to me.  "Please excuse him.  His Raggyman doll 
is protecting him."

And then...


Julie refilled her wine glass.

"And then what?"  Mary asked.  "Did the terrible Raggyman strike you down?"

"Well, no."

"Did the boy kiss you and turn you into a princess?"


"Did he take you to a magical faraway kingdom?"

"No!  It was just an airport at Christmastime!  I just said Merry 
Christmas and sat back down."

"Well, *that's* a boring story."

"But it's a true one!  It just gave me my very first impression that 
Christmas might suck for other people too.  If you ask me, *people* are 
the ancient horror of Christmas."

"Well then..."   Mary raised her glass.  "Christmas sucks!"

Jill and Julie both responded, "Christmas sucks!"

But then they each got a familiar sort of mental alert from Julie's 
husband Stephen.  "Energy phenomenon rising from the harbor, in this 

"Oh, gee.  Suit up.  Merry Christmas."


"Julie, *we're* the bodyguards.  Should you even be out here with us?"

"It's my Foundation too, Mary."

The Total Conversion Foundation made its home near the south shore of 
New Providence Island, opposite Nassau.  A ghostly glowing sailing ship 
had just sailed *over the island* from Nassau, straight from the north!

 From its bow, a pirate spoke.  "Arr!  I be Charles Vane, Pirate Lord 
Mayor of Nassau!  I see *one man* among ye.  Be you Stephen Wolcott?"

Stephen materialized his blank-faced mask.  Energy crackled from his 
mask and hair.  "I be Ellipsis."

"Arr!  Well, if ye *do* see this Stephen Wolcott, give him this 
present!"  The pirate tossed a rag doll off the deck.

Julie yelled up.  "Present!?"

"Aye!  For my wickedness as a pirate, I am cursed by the mighty Nicholas 
to sail the Earth once a year and *give a gift*!  This year, I salute 
the new ruler of my island!"

Ellipsis spoke mildly.  "I do not rule here."

"You dominate!  You rule as ever a pirate did!"

Julie yelled, "Hey!"  But the pirate captain saluted - as his ghostly 
ship dissolved into mist.

Stephen dissolved his mask.  Then he picked up the old, blank-faced but 
still ragged-haired rag doll...



Author's Notes:

(All links in this section may be found under .)

This story is in response to Rec.Arts.Comics.Creative High Concept 
Challenge, "Ancient Christmas Horror".  A cursed pirate ship should 
qualify.  But I've tried to make another point about the ancient horrors 
of Christmas.

I came up with this story in the 1990s, when I got to see the oldest of 
my nieces and nephews exposed to The Polar Express as a storybook.  As 
often happens, I privately amused myself by trying to improve on the 
story.  I quickly decided this would require a Christmas pirate ship in 
the Bahamas.

I'm glad I waited until the Internet age to write this story... When I 
looked for Christmas Pirate Legend, I saw only invented stuff like 
"Captain Scrooge".  So I continued with my invented Pirate Polar Express 

-  I'd wanted to invent a white-haired black-skinned pirate captain, to 
give the story a Caribbean Christmas touch.  But no such captain is 
known in pirate history.  So I picked the actual pirate Charles Vane. 
(ref:  I picked him because 
(1) he'd once taken over the island Ellipsis was living on, and (2) he 
was Blackbeard's boss's boss!

-  My universe has established the might of one Nicholas.  He does not 
show up for my Christmas stories, because he's busy all year.  I've 
brought him in for Mother's Day (ref: deadphone.htm) and Thanksgiving 
(ref: 2006/egad.htm).

-  I already have three Wyatt Ferguson Christmas stories, though.  They 
have as guest stars Mary of Nazareth (2000 - jehovah.htm), Bugs Bunny 
(2003 - duopol3.htm), and... the Powernaut (2005)!  The Powernaut 
episode might come up in time for next December's holiday story!

I'd expected today's story would be hard to write, because it would be 
an Ellipsis Christmas story.  But it was fun once I got going, because 
it was mostly about his wife!

-  I helped people operate these heroes, and their predecessors, in 
superhero campaigns of the 1990s.  Julie Wolcott was the primary 
Non-Player Character.  Her husband Stephen worked out best as a Plot 
Element.  He still does.  As for Julie, this story explains why she 
works so well as a character in a superhuman story, even when she 
doesn't have the powers.  She's just great at the social stuff.  She 
even draws Jill out of her shell.

-  I had to figure out what year was best for the story, and which 
heroes would be on the team, and which ones would come to Julie's party. 
  This combination worked out well, because Julie loves Girls' Night Out.

Merry Christmas!

(signed)  Scott Eiler, 23 December 2013.



-  Mary O'Hanrahan / Red Dragon (ref: 2010/cauldron8.htm) and Akibono 
(ref: november.rtf) are characters of Darryl Hunt.

-  Little Billy (ref: 2009/desiration.htm#month) and the Doom Koala of 
Speed (ref: 2010/newlook.htm) are characters of Vaughn Gross.

-  Arcane (ref: sanitarium.htm) and Longbow (ref: 
2008/commentQ1.htm#oakland) are characters of Adam Johnson.

-  Jill Stern / Stonewater , Stephen Wolcott / Ellipsis, Julie Wolcott, 
and all other characters in this fiction are copyright 2013 by Eiler 
Technical Enterprises.  Ho ho ho.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- ---------

When you *are* the leader... whatever goes wrong... whether you did it
or not... *you* are held responsible. - Barack Obama

I know. - Archie Andrews

- from Archie #617, March 2011, scripted by Alex Simmons.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- ---------

When you *are* the leader... whatever goes wrong... whether you did it
or not... *you* are held responsible. - Barack Obama

I know. - Archie Andrews

- from Archie #617, March 2011, scripted by Alex Simmons.

More information about the racc mailing list