SW10: Superhuman World 2015 Annual: Stonewater Smith - The End!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Thu Oct 29 19:07:57 PDT 2015

In a hospice facing the beach, Fidel Castro faced the end.  He faced it 
every day he woke up.  He'd woken up to *so many days*, mostly for 
fighting one way or another.  Days seemed so cold now...

Today his nurse said, "You have a guest."

A old Negro man walked in.  He seemed from the United States; Fidel 
could tell.  So he spoke in English...  "What brings you to me?"

"Gracias, señor...  And that's the extent of my Spanish.  Do you 
recognize me?"

"Perdóname, señor, I do not know you.  I have met so many.  But I enjoy 
visitors now.  You probably know me.  Please introduce yourself."

"Yes, sir...  I am Matthew Smith.  I've been called Stonewater Smith. 
Do you remember me?"

"I recall some agitator named Stonewater was associated with the old 

"Do you recall anything about a Cigar Commando?"

"That sounds like someone you might have sent from Norteamerica to take 
cigars from Cuba."

"Do you remember anything about rockets?"

"Of course you Norteños were obsessed about rockets then.  We removed 
all of ours."

"But no rockets to Mars?"

"Qué?  We barely afforded to survive and host our Russian benefactors, 
let alone do science fiction!"

"... Okay.  I fought against you back then.  I just wanted to say, goodbye."

Fidel reached up and grasped the stranger's hand.  "I understand. 
Bueno, Mister Matthew Stonewater Smith.  Buena vida para usted."

"And good life to you too... what little we have left."  Señor Smith 
paused, and said, "You seem so calm.  Not like me.  I've done so many 
bad things, and I've *climbed out of Hell* for it.  I'm so afraid I'll 
just fall back in."

Fidel recognized a spiritually wounded warrior.  "So you are like many 
who fought alongside me."

"I guess I must be."

"But you are not alone.  Others healed from war and found their salvation."

"But war isn't the worse thing."  Señor Smith paused.  "I betrayed a 
friend to be with a woman."

"Say no more.  But you are not alone there either."

But even as Fidel spoke, Señor Smith's head turned.  Fidel's gaze 
followed.  Two other men had appeared in the room.  One was in a grey 
tuxedo, top hat, and opera cloak.  His skin appeared sunburned.  His 
hair, curly mustache, and goatee were black and sweaty...  Fidel 
couldn't recall the last time he'd seen anyone sunburned or sweating 
from the heat in Cuba, ever since the weather changed.  The other was 
long-haired, in a trenchcoat with wide-brimmed brown hat - and his face 
was a death's head.  That one said, "That would be *our* cue."


Fidel did not recognize either of the new visitors.  But he was still 
*presumably* under security.  They must have passed it somehow. 
Anything was possible, but only one thing was likely.  And he'd been 
planning this conversation for a long time.

So he said, "Señor Cabeza de Muerte, are you here to bring my death?"

"Sort of..."  The death's head pointed with his bony finger at the 
Yanqui Negro man.  "But we're here for him too."

Señor Smith held out his hands at both the intruders, as if to shield 
from them.  "Yeah, that's Death and the Devil.  Or *a* Death and *a* 
Devil, anyway."

Death and the Devil looked at each other.  The Devil said, "I realize 
you have jurisdiction over these two at the moment, but I request 
permission to address my client."  He then bowed, and handed Death a 
business card.

Death responded, "Fair enough.  Let it never be said I have no 
sympathy."  He smirked, if a death's head can even do that.

Señor Smith looked at Death, as though he suddenly recognized something. 
  "Wait a minute!  Aren't you one of the Hyper-Children of Hypergaard?"

Death responded, "I suppose I was...  I did see the birth of your own 
hyper-son there.  But I'm here as the Deputy Champion of Death."

"... Deputy?"

"Today's Champion is busy with icy apocalypse now.  Cuba may be warm 
enough to grow wheat, but the Icepocalypse hasn't just gone away.  So 
*I'm* here for you.  Still, someone would like to talk to you first..." 
  He nodded at the Devil.

The Devil nodded back, then spoke at the Negro.  "I know what you're 
thinking.  But I'm really more a Devilman than a Devil."  He handed 
Señor Smith a business card, then turned to Fidel.  "Nonetheless, I rule 
the outermost circle of Hell.  I speak for its lower circles now, as 
they deal with matters more important than the fates of you two."  He 
turned back to the Yanqui.  "You were once within a circle of Hell.  You 
were released.  I am here simply to say, released means *released*. 
You're free to go."

Señor Smith said, "Really?"

"Really.  The others considered recruiting you for an army of the 
damned... as though one more soldier will make a difference.  Hell has 
better things to worry about than any one human who already fears it."

"Really??  Is damnation really that easy to escape?"

"You'll have to decide that for yourself.  *Hell* deems your offenses to 
be more like a soap opera."

Señor Smith gaped, and then said, "Thank you!"

The Devil responded, "Thank *him* next."  Then he looked at Death.

Fidel was a leader.  He knew to take the initiative, for what good it 
would do.  "So, Mister Death, what do you desire from us other than the 

The Death's Head responded, "The people I'm working with *do* just want 
the obvious - which is you.  Except you're not quite dead yet, so we 
have some latitude."

"I do not bargain with Death.  Do what you will."

"Thank you..."  The Death's Head turned to the Yanqui.  "Your place is 
ready.  He's going too."

Señor Smith responded, "What place might that be?"

"It's not Hell..."

Fidel coughed, and spoke.  "If you are not blind to what I have seen 
today, Mister Smith, you will go to this place.  I will go also."

Señor Smith coughed too.  Repeatedly.  When he recovered, he said, "I 
could last a bit longer, but I have nothing left.  Take me."

Fidel responded, "I say as he does.  Take me also."

The Devil disappeared.  The world around the other three faded to gray haze.


Out of the haze, a woman appeared.  Like the other man, she wore a 
death's head.

Their own death's head man walked up to her, linked hands with her, and 
said, "Vara.  Delivered."

The death's head woman said, "Wyatt.  Received."  She unlinked.  "You'd 
best come no further."

"Going..."  He ducked away in a cloud!

"I'll be taking you from here," the woman said.  The haze dissipated.

Fidel and Señor Smith appeared outside the door of what looked like a 
high school - surrounded by tall buildings.  The woman's death head had 
dissolved, leaving a Negro face.

She shook Fidel's hand.  "Hello, Mr. Castro.  I'm Vara Hosea from the 
PTA.  Parent-Teacher Association, that is.  The school brings me in to 
greet visitors sometimes...  You must be the new Cuban consul-in-chief. 
  We have transportation to your consulate."  A fictional-type rocket 
car descended from the sky.

Fidel barely maintained his composure as he shook the woman's hand. 
"But of course."  Then he looked to the car - and recognized the driver. 
  "Lucianus, mi amigo!  You look so young still!"

"So do you, Fidel.  Take a look at yourself."

Fidel looked at his hand.  It was young!

He felt his face.  It lacked its old wrinkles!

He looked at his beard.  It was brown again, with just a distinguished 
touch of silver!

Lucianus said, "I know what you're thinking, Fidel.  But it's no heaven, 
and no miracle.  There's just an abundance of retcotheric energy around 

Then the woman said to Señor Smith, "And you must be our new martial 
arts teacher, Mr. Smith.  There's someone who's been waiting to meet you..."

A young Negro man came out the front door of the school and said, "Dad! 
  Is that really you?"

The older Negro man (now not that much older) said, "Ron!"

"It's Kwame now.  Kwame Cannon."  The two embraced.

Two more people had come out of the school:  an Anglo man and woman, in 
matching blue clothes with yellow tunics.  The woman said, "Us next!"

Señor Smith was nearly dumbstruck.  But he choked out the words, "Paula! 

The tunic man said, "That's right.  Welcome home!"

Señor Smith cried openly as they all hugged.  The woman Paula said, 
"Ssh. It's okay."

Fidel turned to Vara.  "Perhaps I should depart for my consulate now."

Vara nodded.  "Perhaps.  But you're welcome to visit our school any 
time.  Welcome to Power City!"


Author's Notes:  I've been trying to save this story for when either 
Bill Cosby or Fidel Castro died.   But it's not waiting for then.  And 
the worlds are going to see some action, so anyone who's jumping between 
them had best jump now.  I considered alluding to that stuff in story, 
but the viewpoint characters had enough urgency to their decisions as it 
was...  Suffice it to say, Power School 2012 will still be around in 
2015 to receive these new immigrants.

This story should help straighten out who's in Power City and who isn't. 
   Anyone whose power is evil or even vaguely apocalyptic (a Devilman, a 
Champion of Death, or a Doom Creature) is probably back on Earth-SW10. 
But Earthlings of good will who have any sort of history with the 
Powernaut are probably there with him.

Cast of characters, and their chronologically most recent appearances as 
viewed from 2015:

-  Fidel Castro as the Cigar Commando, in Powernaut 1962. 

-  Stonewater Smith, in the 2012 RACCies Ceremony.  In this storyline, 
the RACCies count.  It's also important to mention some other 
appearances:  (1) "Predecessors" in 2010 established his history with 
Hell (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/predecessors.htm).  (2) 
Powernaut 1969 established a reason he may have thought he belonged in 
Hell (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/powernaut/1969.htm).

-  The Diabolical Devilman, in the 2012 RACCies Ceremony.  There he 
accepted his award for "To Hell and Hell and Hell...", which was his 
last appearance in the Super Wizard From Space series where he originated.

-  (Bonus)  Other Devils...  The Super-Devil, in "To Hell and Hell and 
Hell..."; the Donors of Satan, in "Satan Wants His Spine Back!", the 
2012 Superhuman World Annual.  It's quite likely the Donors now have 
Super-Devil parts - which they have in turn granted to the Devil Legion, 
and thereby scattered across the LNH's Net.ropolis.  Ain't crossovers grand?

-  Wyatt Ferguson, in the Superhuman World Annual of 2014. 

-  (Bonus)  Ultimate Low C, a.k.a. Ultimate D the Champion of Death, in 
"A Trap for the Bringer of Cold!" from the World Journal Monthly, March 
2006.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2006/journal_d.htm)

-  Vara Hosea, in Powernaut 2011. 

-  Lucianus Autonomus, also in Powernaut 2011.  He was once known as 
Castro's favorite boxer.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/lucianus.htm)

-  Kwame "Ron" Cannon, in the little-known vignette "1-800-Powernaut!". 
  This is the one which didn't quite make it into "The Little Legion of 
Doom!" in Jolt City #19 in 2010.  I think I posted that to 
rec.arts.comics.creative after it was released from consideration, but 
it's pretty secret now.  Still, I kept a copy...  Hey, Mighty Medley! 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/crisis.txt)  Aside from that, 
there's "Heroes of the New Present!", which will eventually be 
republished as the epilogue of Powernaut 2006. 

-  Paula Power and the Powernaut, in Power School 2012. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/powernaut/2012.htm)  They will have 
future appearances before then, though.  Gotta love that Fractal Time 

Retcotheric energy was (to my knowledge) invented by Adrian J. McClure. 
  The Diabolical Devilman and the Super-Devil were created by Wil 
Alambre and are used by permission.  All other concepts and characters 
in this fiction are copyright 2015 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.

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

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.

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