MISC: The Girl Who Saved The World, Part 69
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.
> 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
“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,
“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.
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
“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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