MISC: The Girl Who Saved The World Part 44

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Mon Jul 4 15:33:29 PDT 2016

“Finally, the First Speaker, the Living Sun, is most emphatic that the 
Namestone must be recovered as soon as possible and used to bring Heaven 
to Earth. Accordingly, the First Speaker has ordered that the Jaguar 
Knights be immediately ready to attack the Bearer, no matter where on 
earth she is found. The Jaguar Knights are well-equipped with 
teleporters and high power combatants, so there can be no doubt that the 
Bearer will be overwhelmed by their attack. We are in complete agreement 
with Supreme German Warlord that while there is a possibility of 
incidental or collateral damage, that such damage must be recognized as 
a heroic sacrifice on the part of those suffering the damage, for which 
of course they do not need to be compensated. In saying this, we do not 
deny the privilege of the ruler of any of the Great Powers and the other 
powers to reward his citizens for any damage they may have suffered 
while being associated with the heroic act of capturing the Namestone.” 
Buncombe noted that several of his fellow ambassadors were looking 
significantly askance at the remarks of the Speaker for the First 
Speaker. The Speaking Stone was passed to the next ambassador.

Grand Vizier Sulieman Pasha looked around the room. “The Emperor of the 
Ottomans, Defender of the Faithful, Protector of the Three Holy Places, 
may his piety and virtue redound to the heavens, has taken note of the 
failure of the League Strike Team to procure the Namestone. On one hand, 
it is entirely sad that there was no capture. On the other hand, the 
Emperor, may his wisdom increase forever, recalls that this body 
discussed at great length on a regular basis the protocols to be used if 
someone other than us managed to thread the Maze and recover the 
Namestone. His Imperial Wisdom believes that the League Strike Team did 
in fact execute the plan that was applicable. The Leaders of the Corps 
of Janissaries have advised the Emperor: It is unfortunate that the 
agreed-upon plan was not successful, but that is the nature of plans. 
They do not always work.The Emperor therefore does not believe that it 
would be particularly appropriate at this time to transfer command of 
the League Strike Team from its current command staff to the Commandery 
of the Worshipful Hosts of the Pious and Faithful, as the Ambassador of 
the German Warlord has so wisely suggested. In particular, there might 
be some confusion arising from the issue that the League Team includes 
both men and women, the women not serving as camp followers, contrary to 
any reasonable arrangement within a military force.” Buncombe noted that 
the women in the room were all striving not to break out into laughter. 
Fortunately, he considered, they had heard this line before from the 
usual Ottoman Ambassador.  “Also, in all our planning we made no plan 
that allowed for the possibility that a Lord of Eternity would be 
present or would seek to intervene in the recovery of the Holy 
Namestone, so the plans were less than complete.

“Having said that, the Protector of the Three Holy Places has at his 
beck and call what is undoubtedly the most powerful group of personas in 
the entire world. There is therefore no need for foreign groups to enter 
the Lands of Peace in pursuit of the Namestone. Such an entry would 
provoke unfortunate consequences for the intruders, for which the 
Defender of the Faithful could not possibly take responsibility.” 
Buncombe brought to mind several ancient American adages involving the 
concept of the slow train wreck. It seemed more than a bit likely that 
several foreign powers would be perfectly happy to have their persona 
teams invade the territory of other foreign powers with what would be 
claimed to be the best of intentions, do astonishing amounts of 
collateral damage to key industrial facilities, and then leave. The net 
result, he suspected, would not be entirely favorable for world peace or 
local property values, even before the Bearer started resisting the 
persona teams trying to capture her.

“Finally, his Wisdom the Emperor notes the great likelihood that this 
Eclipse person given her demonstrated moral purity is to be numbered 
among the ranks of the Faithful,  in which case it is appropriate for 
Hosts of the Faithful to come to her aid if she is attacked.”  The
Grand Vizier passed the Speaking Stone to Legate Hong.

“Already the Great Khan, the Emperor of Manjukuo and All Mongolia, from 
the center of the world to the Polar Sea, has issued the most 
fundamental of all orders: ‘Men and women of the Horde! To your horses!’ 
All the personae and all the soldiers of all Manjukuo are immediately 
ready to advance against the Bearer, no matter where she is found, so 
soon as she can be located. There is no doubt but that she will be 
overwhelmed and her stolen artifact recovered for all the people of the 
world.” Buncombe steeled himself for the bloviations of the remaining 
ambassadors. The Russians would undoubtedly interpret the German remarks 
as a threat of war. The French and the Austro-Hungarians would speak of 
welcoming the Bearer into their midst, and using tactful means to 
persuade the bearer to use the Namestone as the League requested. It 
seemed unlikely that either Ferencz or Davout would be able to explain 
the concept ‘tact’ to many of their fellow ambassadors. Buncombe 
realized that while he was collecting his thoughts the Speaking Stone 
had moved several more times, so the Sikh Ambassador was speaking.

“Finally,” Ambassador Singh said, “I have have been asked to bring word 
from the Tibetan Lamanate.  While the Dalai Lama is temporarily absent 
awaiting reincarnation, the Sera Lama has extended an open invitation to 
this Miss Eclipse to visit Tibet to meditate with him on the hazard that 
the Holy Namestone creates for her soul, for surely a device that grants 
all worldly desires will distract us all from tranquil meditation. 
Indeed, the Sera Lama counsels us all that we should abandon our 
interest in the purely worldly temptations offered by the Namestone, in 
favor of the celestial awards resulting from renouncing all worldly goods.”

The Speaking Stone eventually reached the American Ambassador. “Mind 
you,” Buncombe said, “I would be remiss in my duties as Ambassador of 
the American Republic if I did not note that most of our citizens have a 
complete lack of sympathy with the League’s assertion that it has a 
claim on the Namestone. The American position for centuries has been 
that the Namestone would belong to he who took it. I agree that most 
Americans would also have preferred that Miss Eclipse simply joined the 
extremely long list of people who bet their lives against the Namestone 
and lost. We do not wish Miss Eclipse ill for performing her heroic 
deed, but the Namestone was better left in the Tomb in the hands of the 
Martyr.” Several of Buncombe’s colleagues glared in his direction.

“Of course, it was two Americans who separately entered the Maze and 
were the only challengers ever to survive, quitting while they were 
ahead.” Some of Buncombe’s colleagues turned beet red.  Four appeared to 
be struggling to avoid breaking into laughter at his tweaking of the 
lion’s tail. The English and Germans had lost the core of their navies 
in a prior attempt.  The English “world chess champion” had declined to 
emulate the challenger he had dodged, when the challenger had visited 
England to play for the world title, by entering the Maze.  “In any 
event, my Republic’s frugal Congress may well take its own good time 
about authorizing any part of our very limited incomes to be spent in 
Eclipse’s pursuit, assuming that our Congress in its wisdom does not 
decide that she is the proper owner. We are a poor but thrifty nation 
and have better uses for our meager resources.”  Buncombe silently 
congratulated himself on saying his final few sentences with a straight 
face. It was hardly a secret that the American Republic was by a very 
considerable margin the wealthiest country in the world.

  “Finally, America is a sovereign nation. Foreign attacks on our 
citizens and residents, including in particular attacks on the 
hypothetical Miss Eclipse if she is an American, would plausibly be acts 
of war and will be treated as such. We have no intent of sending our 
armed forces abroad in pursuits of willow-the-wisps. We will, however, 
consider favorably requests for mutual assistance from countries in the 
Americas that request our assistance. Furthermore, President Daniel 
Oliver Webster has indicated that if the Governors-General of any of the 
Canadian Dominions request emergency aid, then, so long as the 
Queen-Empress and her Ministers do not object, arrangements might 
perhaps be made.  After all, if your neighbor’s house is on fire, you 
break out the hoses first, and consider your minor historical 
disagreements with your neighbor after the fire is extinguished.” From 
the looks on various faces, Buncombe had indeed set several foxes loose 
in neighboring chicken coops.  American foreign policy had for centuries 
been based on total noninvolvement in foreign affairs. Protecting 
southern neighbors from the IncoAztecan Empire was viewed as a domestic 
matter, given the series of wars that had been fought between America 
and the Aztecans. And now, Buncombe thought, he had announced a minor 
change in American foreign policy. Buncombe handed the Speaking Stone to 
Ambassador Featherstonehaugh.

“Curiously,’ Featherstonehaugh said, “the position of Queen Victoria, 
the Third of her Name, and her Ministers is in many respects similar to 
that of the United States. I realize this circumstance may sound 
surprising to some. In particular, Her Majesty’s government is 
disenthused with the notion that foreigners are entitled to appear in 
our country unannounced with the intent of using our lochs and rills to 
fight a war. Her Majesty and Her Government must  categorically and 
absolutely refuse to be responsible for the consequences if such an 
event were to occur. While I could go on at greater length, I am in the 
common position of Final Opening Speaker, namely I believe that we might 
all find it useful to consult with our governments about your 
preliminary remarks, some of which were not what official positions 
would have led us to expect.  Naturally, we are all gentlemen and 
ladies, and do not employ spies,” the room burst into giggles, “so none 
of us have any non-official knowledge before the meeting of what was 
about to be said.  If any of you are curious, my actual prepared 
introductory remarks are in the meeting packet. I will be happy to meet 
privately with any of you who have questions on it. I therefore propose 
a pleasant recess.”

“Does anyone else want to be heard on this matter?” Holmgren asked.
“Manjukuo pledges one hundred tons of gold to the persons who locate and 
catch her, and gain for us the Namestone,” Manjukuoan Legate Hong Sangui 
interrupted.  Holmgren smiled and applauded.  His audience might need a 
little while to realize that this interruption was pre-rehearsed.

“In that case,” Holmgren continued, “I propose that we recess until 
after dinner, so that we may receive instructions. I see several 
objection pyramids on the table.   Those might perhaps be the first 
order of business this evening. Is there objection to a recess? Hearing 
none, we are recessed.” Holmgren wished he had not seen Buncombe and 
Featherstonehaugh exchange knowing glances.  What might that unlikely 
duo be planning? A lack of world peace would be an incredible disaster, 
and that lack might appear rather quickly. This meeting had gone no 
farther than preliminary remarks, and already the latent hostilities 
between the Great Powers were coming to the surface.

INSERT HERE A PRIVATE MEETING Buncombe, Saigo, Romanoff, Ferencz
Isn;t it a bit odd that a Lord of Eternity appeared?
a proper doux champagne

Chapter Seven
The House That Is Forever
January 13, 2018

Around a gold-inlaid teak table waited the Lords of Eternity. An empty 
chair marked Solara’s daughter Corinne, she who lies sleeping until her 
death may die. Prince Mong-ku sat at the table’s head. It was one of 
those centuries, he thought. As had been true for far longer than normal 
mortals suspected, it was again his turn to maintain civility.   Of the 
twelve, only the Screaming Skull wore formal garb.  Solara had donned a 
white silk tabard.  Starsmasher was in another of his seemingly infinite 
supply of vest-and-cardigan sweater combinations.  Plasmatrix, she who 
was indeed Plasmatrix-The-Desolation-Of-The-Goddess, was for a change 
wearing real clothing, not her usual strategically-placed bits of 
incandescent plasma, plasma carefully locked behind force screens so it 
would not burn down whichever building she approached. If the Prince’s 
ruby and bronze silk robe and layered garments underneath somewhat 
resembled garb, it was that his breakfast hour was yet approaching, and 
a housecoat seemed highly appropriate, given the hour in his normal time 

“Having managed to sleep through the whole thing,” Prince Mong-ku 
observed querulously, “it is nonetheless my duty to describe the 
situation that required summoning this meeting.  Why shouldn’t I have 
slept through it?  After all, surely no one in their right mind expected 
an unknown nonentity to solve the Maze.  It’s absurd. Nonetheless, this 
Eclipse person managed to walk the paths of the Maze, beat down every 
obstacle, and remembered that she wanted the Martyr to give her the 
expletive-deleted Namestone.  Then she just stood there while the Europa 
Elite Team hit her with dear me, a truly great deal, not to mention that 
one of us expressed his disapproval of her continued life.”

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