MISC: The Girl Who Saved The World, Part 69

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Sun Feb 11 14:06:50 PST 2018

And I have finally found the overarching plot line.  Eclipse will save 
the world, by destroying the Namestone.  And then she will realize that 
in the process of doing so she has wrecked her friends' family, assisted 
in getting Spindrift (you are about to meet her) killed, and started an 
all-against-all world war. Oh yes, she also summoned all the Invincible 
Star Demons, and almost got the Sun turned into an ultranova  (entire 
mass converted to iron all at once). She has to clean all this up, but 
at least one problem is totally beyond her powers.

Today's Topics:
>     1. LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #48: The Crimes of the
>        Brotherhood the Conclusion (Arthur Spitzer)
Such an excellent reconstruction of villains of the distant past. 
Tricking the information conduit into revealing information was 
particularly amusing. There seem to be a surplus of universe-destroying 
villains, where "any" counts as a surplus.

Lagneto of course acts by emitting lagnons, which are spin 1/3 
particles. Not spin 1/2? No, 1/3, because they spin slowly.

* * * * *

The Large Dining Room at the Japanese consulate could comfortably seat 
50. For the late lunch, it seated a half-dozen. Buncombe sat at one end 
of the table, as far as possible from host Saigo Shigetoshi. 
Shigetoshiwas accompanied by his wife Saigo Nene. Her presence was 
demanded by her role as hostess. Besides, it was well known though never 
stated that she ran the Satsuma Domain’s espionage operations in 
Switzerland, meaning she was better informed about events than anyone 
else in the room. Between the two of them were Reginald 
Featherstonehaugh, Karl-Michael Ferencz, Bernard-Christian Davout, and 
Elizaveta Romanoff.

“Suleiman Pasha sends his regards,” Saigo Nene said. “It appears he was 
aware in advance of the Popular Assembly step, counselled his Emperor 
not to get involved, and was overruled via court politics in Istanbul. 
Also, it seems that this afternoon the Brazilian Prime Minister is 
facing a vote of no confidence, one that he may or may not survive.” 
Buncombe smiled at his hostess. Sometimes he wondered if his Federal 
District superiors were aware that Brazil had a Prime Minister, let 
alone that Brazilian politics were unstable. Certainly they had not 
advised him that he should try to delay Holmgren for another day or two. 
Now Buncombe had new material for his next report. His past reports were 
being confirmed by Nipponese intelligence.

“Alas,” Elizaveta said, “Holmgren will get his vote.The positions of 
those powers on this Assembly may well change, but Holmgren can charge 
forward without restraint.” She paused to sip Shigetoshi’s latest wine.A 
Moscato was a bit sweet for this early in the meal, but then until 
recently Nipponese had had no words for acid or acrid as descriptions of 
wines. Many of her countrymen, she thought, drank with vigorous approval 
any of several Japanese vintages to which ample amounts of honey were 
added after fermentation was complete.

“I noticed Lord Smoking Frog said something to you after the meeting, 
Reginald,” Karl-Michael said.“Surely his boss isn’t trying to revive his 
‘North America is divided into two parts, mine and yours’ scheme?” His 
chopsticks gathered up a few more noodles.

“Hardly,” Feathershonehaugh answered. “It seems that it has occurred to 
First Speaker Golden Buzzard that the rest of the world does not agree 
that he is the Supreme Being’s avatar, and that Holmgren may use the 
Popular Assembly to eliminate theocracy as a legitimate form of 
government. In particular, eliminate the First Speaker’s government.” He 
stabbed with his fork, transfixing another segment of octopus.

“I am reminded of historical events,” Buncombe said. His fellow 
ambassadors paused their eating to look down the table.“My ancestors, 
four and six generations back, held American governmental posts just 
before the Summer War and Crittenden’s War. Afterward they each wrote 
books about their experiences.They emphasize how rapidly matters slipped 
from peace and calm to outright conflict, with each player behaving like 
an actor in some ancient Greek or Atlanticean tragedy.No amount of 
reasoning could convince any of the players that the dominoes were 
toppling, one after the next, with a conflagration as the inevitable 
consequence, until there was actually a conflagration.”

“Holmgren wants his Popular Assembly,” Elizaveta said.“He wants it so 
badly he does not care what else happens, so long as he gets his Assembly.”

“Holmgren is almost as brilliant as Napoleon, the third of his name,” 
Davout said.“After he lost his second war, Napoleon the Third at least 
had the sense to abdicate in favor of his son, without whom France might 
be ruled by a Bourbon or, may God have mercy on the land of the hexagon, 
a President.”

“Austria-Hungary enjoys peace,” Karl-Michael said, “because we have made 
the needed balancing agreements, and because the half-dozen figures at 
the top all view civic tranquility as their primary objective.Holmgren’s 
Popular Assembly could well overturn all that. I spent the last hour 
counting noses, and listening to the advice of our hostess.It appears to 
me that Holmgren’s appeal to the Popular Assembly, no matter how it is 
phrased, is highly likely to pass for a long list of wrong reasons.If 
the British and French colonies in Africa were still counted as parts of 
Britain and France, matters would be different.Perhaps the Queen-Empress 
and the Emperor could claim that they are to be counted. That would at 
least create some confusion and obscure the validity of the vote.I will 
circulate my nose count. ”

“But does anyone here see a way to undo what Holmgren is doing?” Saigo 
Shigetoshi asked.“The situation is not as favorable as could have been 
hoped. He has the votes he needs on the Peace Executive, and once he 
goes to his phony Popular Assembly he will have his bit firmly between 
his teeth. Perhaps a sufficient number of nations can be persuaded that 
they will not like the consequences of voting for Holmgren’s motion, so 
that he loses in the Popular Assembly.”

“Assign his negotiations to expert bureaucrats, with vigorous orders to 
procrastinate,” Davout said.“Holmgren is term-limited, after all.Drag 
things out enough, and he does not get his way.”

“Tell him to bugger off,” Featherstonehaugh said.“He has backers for 
different reasons, but most of them don’t want a war. Too many 
casualties, theirs not his. However, if we show up and vote we are 
conceding that his phony Assembly is legitimate.”

“There is another path here,” Saigo Nene said. “He is threatening to use 
the League Peace Police against us. His Peace Police have some excellent 
personae, but there aren’t very many of them. Few governments will agree 
to lend them people from their National Persona Teams to the Peace 
Police, unless their neighbors do the same. Oddly, the neighbors are 
never agreeable. It would of course be highly unfortunate, and something 
we would of course all work to avoid, if his League Peace Police were to 
blunder into situations in which their numbers became severely depleted. 
After all, we all prefer world peace, and all recognize the great 
positive contribution of the League Peace Police to meeting this 
preference. Surely, then, none of us will be arranging situations in 
which Holmgren’s Peace Police do poorly.”

“Oh, of course not,” Elizaveta Romanoff said blandly.

  Chapter Fourteen

Kniaz Kang’s Marco Polo

North Cosmopolis, Washington

January 23, 2018

“Hello?” The question to Kniaz Kang came from across the counter. “Are 
you open yet, sir? I had met Joe, and will meet his other friends who 
are girls.”

“We are open.Today the young women are in the South Greenhouse. I have 
not seen Joe in some time. You wish to order?” Kang asked, turning 
around to face his new customer. The girl in front of him was dressed 
all in white: boots, trousers, light but opaque blouse, and open 
vest.Despite the blizzard outside, she wore neither coat nor gloves, not 
even a sweater. Emblazoned on her vest were four polychrome sigils.Kang 
stared at them, needing a moment to translate. Then he contemplated 
fleeing for his life.

“I’m a bit short of cash. Will this cover a glass of milk, and one of 
your butterscotch chip cookies?” she asked, setting a stack of change on 
the counter as she flashed a bright smile. “I’m here to meet Joe, except 
he’ll be too late.”

“And a glass of orange juice,” Kang answered. “And a bit more.Surely you 
are the persona who cleared my parking lot?”The girl nodded. “If Joe 
asks for you, what name will he know? Perhaps not the one you wear?Can 
you read those kennings?” And why does she think he’ll be late, if she’s 
already met him? Kang wondered.

“/I am indeed Time’s Dagger,/” she answered in flawless High 
Atlanticean.“But Joe will know me when he has met me as /Spindrift/. And 
he will deny that I am his new friend who is a girl.”

Kang made a shallow bow. “I have not seen Joe in some days.A shame.Do 
not worry about his denials, Spindrift. Young men often deny the 
obvious.” Her laughter was the ringing of tiny silver bells.

“Nonetheless, I will be his girl friend,” Spindrift answered.

“The South Greenhouse,” Kang said, “The north corner.” He pointed the 
way, quietly thanking the gods when Spindrift disappeared from sight.

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