MISC: The Girl Who Saved the World Part 64

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Sat Aug 19 19:57:10 PDT 2017

So in 90 days I wrote the first draft of a ca. 130,000 word novel. Not 
this one.  Another one.

Chapter Thirteen
The Invisible Fortress
January 17, 2018

I did wish that Medico and the healing matrix would be a bit faster 
about what they were doing, but I had to be realistic.  I had injuries 
that would have put an ungifted person in the hospital for weeks, or six 
feet under for rather longer..

Thinking back, I’m not quite sure how I managed to reach the Martyr, let 
alone climb the Stairs.  I must be tougher than I thought. I let Medico 
go about its business, assure me that I am not about to die, and tell me 
when to exercise, how much to eat, and when to sleep. GR, I cheat a tiny 
bit on going to sleep if I’m reading something interesting. That’s 
almost every night. I am slowly catching up on studying and homework, 
relative to my lesson plans. I tell myself I am three months behind, so 
I should not be upset if I don’t catch up in three weeks. The weather 
has been good, so the ponies don’t need me mucking out their stalls 
every day.  I still go out to feed and comb them and cuddle the barn cats.

World news is terrible. None of the great powers have started shooting 
at each other yet, but the talking heads think it is only a matter of 
time. Some of those Great Powers will attack me instantly, wherever and 
whenever found.  Others view uninvited foreign armies on their soil as 
declarations of war.  The Federal Congress has done a partial 
mobilization of the Army, not putting people into uniform but making 
sure everything is ready to go on a few hours’ notice, including weapons 
to people’s homes. Across America, second and third line personae are 
practicing timed combined attacks, those being way more deadly than they 
sound.  In other news, Brazil and Argentina are still glowering at each 
other.  They’ve halfway figured out the sky octopus is someone else’s, 
but popular sentiment is lagging behind. That kid who took all the 
photos is a real hero, but each reconstruction of the creature is more 
outre than the last. I thought it was quadridimensional, but six 
dimensions? Really?

I do miss seeing my friends, but travel is just out at the moment. I 
especially wish I could commiserate with poor Teranike. She’s trapped 
here. The gate between our worlds has been closed. Her country is what 
we call Antarctica, except on her world Antarctica is Polaria, a cold 
temperate rainforest, thanks to really different ocean currents, an 
extra continent in the Pacific, and a land bridge between Antarctica and 
South America. In any event, Polaria has been invaded by most of the 
rest of the world, their air defenses were betrayed by their Minister of 
the Skies, and they are fighting back gallantly if not very 
successfully, Apparently the Air Minister had been promised he would 
rule as colonial potentate, took the offer, and got caught. The Polarian 
legal doctrine is ‘treason is a hereditary disease’ so they executed his 
children and grandchildren, too, but they are still losing.

I do track the Persona News Network. My computer scoops up the PNN 
general feed. I worry about my friends.  I just can’t do anything to 
help them, not at the moment. They would get suspicious that I just 
happened to get beaten into the ground, right at the same time Eclipse 
did. I really don’t want them figuring out that Joe and Eclipse are the 
same person. Today, however, Persona News had Vera Durand doing an 
extended interview of several League of Nations ambassadors.  Durand is 
one person I very much want to avoid, she being on the very short list 
of people who actually know what I look like.

Durand’s video studio is calculated to bring out the splendor of persona 
garb. The walls are bone white; a long-strand white shag carpet covers 
the floor. Her chairs are aluminum thrones, mounted on central pedestals 
so they can rotate, with backs soaring well above guests’ heads toward 
an unseen ceiling.  Famously, she interviews each guest for exactly the 
same time, with large timers counting down the seconds. This evening 
she’s wearing a brilliant scarlet ankle-length gown and high-necked long 
cape. Her first guest comes on screen. His persona bodyguards must be 
off camera. They shake hands.  She sits. She knows exactly how to fluff 
her cape so she is free to move once seated.

“Our first guest this evening is Her Brittanic Majesty’s ambassador to 
the League of Nations, Lord Reginald Featherstonehaugh,” Durand said. 
Featherstonehaugh nodded. “Our time is short, so let us move to the 
point.  What is your government’s current position on the search for the 

“Of course,” he answered, “Her Majesty’s government is primarily 
concerned that the Key to Heaven should not fall into the hands of 
persons whose interests do not align with ours.  I am inclined to 
believe that each of my fellow Ambassadors, if not constrained by their 
government to answer elsewise, would say the same thing. Officially, the 
Namestone must be handed over to the League, where its powers will be 
used to benefit all mankind. Unofficially, each Great Power would settle 
for having possession of the Namestone. However, every Great Power has 
its friends, and knows of powers that are not quite so friendly.  In 
some cases, if power A gained the Namestone, there would be powers B 
that would react most extremely vigorously to take it away. It would be 
tactless of me to list powers A and B, but any student of politics would 
have no trouble doing so.”

“Is progress being made toward finding the Namestone, or its Bearer?” 
Durand asked.

“Of course,” he answered, “I am an Ambassador, not a spymaster. 
Nonetheless, I am confident that Her Majesty’s Government is carrying 
out with the utmost vigor searches for this Eclipse person, and for the 
Namestone itself. The world is a large place, and we have no particular 
notion as to where to commence the search, but it can scarcely be 
imagined that the search will in the final instance be other than 

“There were suggestions that Eclipse is English,” Durand said.

“Quite.  Of course, it would be a great matter of national honor, and 
totally appropriate, if the Namestone had been recovered by an 
Englishwoman,” Featherstonehaugh answered. “However, and here I shall 
tip my hat to your next guest and his country’s linguists, it soon 
became apparent that people in different parts of the world heard 
Eclipse speak with different accents, indeed in some cases in different 
languages.  The Maze let each of us see and hear what it chose, as a 
result of which we really have no idea what Eclipse looks like, or what 
language she actually spoke. The collective wisdom is that Eclipse is 
fair-haired, not too tall, slimly proportioned, and fluent in English.  
The latter is not much of a clue, as many people around the world speak 
the one true international language of trade, commerce, art, and culture.”

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