MISC: The Girl Who Saved the World Part 68
phillies at 4liberty.net
Thu Jan 18 19:34:04 PST 2018
* * * * *
Brian sat at his desk, trying to concentrate on studying for tomorrow’s
exam. He wasn’t being very successful. Dinner had been a nightmare.
Everything had gone fine for the first five minutes. Then Trisha
announced she’d dropped music for fitness club.She’d even tried to be
nice about it, saying she’d watched the videotape of Mom singing in
Worcester’s Engineer Hall and realized that her singing was not in the
same league. Mom had completely blown her top. Fortunately Dad had been
willing to agree you couldn’t be a good singer unless you wanted to do
the work, and Trisha for the moment didn’t. Brian had repeated what
Archie MacDonald had said to him about Trisha’s running. Making Trisha
look good should have been the right thing to do.Instead, Mom had gone
after him for undercutting her. Trisha hadn’t quite been sent to her
room without eating, but as soon as she was finished she’d been sent
upstairs. Without asking, he’d cleared the table, cleaned the
countertops, and put the dishes into the dishwasher.Janie had fled to
her library. The whole thing was so crazy.
Janie sat at her computer keyboard.She’d just finished notifying the
people in her correspondence games ‘family emergency, three day delay’
which the rules let her use once.Unless things got better, in three days
she’d have to resign her correspondence games.That would be terrible for
her rankings, but these things happened. She couldn’t concentrate enough
to play; she didn’t think anything was about to get better. . It was a
lot easier to be the girl with the spine of steel over the game board
than it was when things came after you in real life. No, games /were/
real life; /family life/ was the problem. She’d just have to work harder
someday to get her rankings back. Worse, if things got bad enough here
to mess up her grades at school, all sorts of terrible things would
happen at home. Grades had to stay good; that was a given if she wanted
to study games. She had a whole pile of homework due tomorrow.She’d
already done some. She’d just have to do the rest of it.
Trisha stood in her Tower Room. Today she’d made mistakes in Editing
English.Those mistakes held her back. She wouldn’t let that happen
again. She always felt terrible after finding she’d made a mistake, and
today was worse. Those mistakes meant she would plod along for another
day. Dinner hadn’t been so bad. You just had to focus on not caring
about the people talking at you, so that it just did not matter what
they were saying.You listened politely, smiled, but you stayed
completely outside the conversation until someone demanded you say
something. Then you said something true, not that it mattered.On the
English test, she had a 98.That was very good, relative to keeping her
A+ record in place; it had been a complete disaster in terms of being
able to advance early to the next level in the online system, at least
before tomorrow. The online class had multiple versions of the same
lecture.This time she’d work through all of them, just to be sure.For a
moment she grinned.She’d remembered a classmate who’d said she’d worked
the same homework problem five times, not five different problems, and
couldn’t understand why the teacher was not impressed. Poor Brian had
tried to be helpful at dinner, quoting Archie saying nice things about
her, but he’d just made things worse. Mom had clearly hoped that she
would stick her head into fitness class, be unable to perform, and flee
back into music.That wasn’t happening. Brian had told Mom the opposite,
namely his sister’s performance had been excellent, and Mom had not
wanted to hear it.
Secure Chamber Alpha
The Palace of Peace
January 19, 2018
“Once again, we are in order,” League Chancellor Holmgren announced. “It
is ten in the morning, local time, everyone has had time for a pleasant
breakfast, and now we are in our next meeting. I have received multiple
complaints that there has not been adequate progress in finding the
bearer.I have received complaints that plans for capturing the Bearer,
once found, are inadequate.I gather that events along the border between
Brazil and the Argentine are continuing. Mindful that the complaints
about the Bearer have all been circulated, and that you have all had
more than adequate time to read them, I propose unless there was
objection to advance to General aus und zu Dreikirch and his report on
The Ambassadors all looked around the table.Experience had shown that
discussing the agenda at best accomplished nothing.In the time needed to
argue which agenda item should appear first, the entire agenda could be
handled.After a few moments, Holmgren saw nothing except nods and smiles.
“In that case,” Holmgren said, “I pass the floor to General aus und zu
“There are many reports that Eclipse has been seen,” Dreikirch said.
“Few of these reports are accompanied by evidence.Not even videophone
photographs, except obviously fake ones, are being reported.It is as
though Eclipse has vanished from the face of the earth. There was a
large-scale effort to reconstruct Eclipse’s original language and
accent.After all, we have all these recordings of Eclipse capturing the
Holy Namestone, may its name be praised unto eternity. The
reconstruction has concluded that Eclipse was actually speaking in
Modern English, her words in other languages being a synthesis by the Maze.
“The League Peace Police are receiving vast numbers of reports from
police and intelligence agencies around the world.Collating this
information is an ongoing project.However, I have had to call to League
Chancellor Holmgren’s attention that some parts of the world have been
far more forthcoming with reports than have others. North America is
especially noteworthy for the paucity of information it has forwarded to
us in Geneva.Perhaps Ambassador Buncombe would care to suggest a reason?
Or perhaps he would need to consult with his government first.”
‘Quite unnecessary,” Buncombe said.“On one hand, most Americans agree
that Eclipse is the proper owner of the Namestone. Those Americans are
not about to assist the Peace Police – nothing personal is meant here,
General – in what they see as obvious efforts to steal the Namestone
from its rightful owner.On the other hand, some attention is being given
in my country to filtering out wrong and obviously absurd reports that
Eclipse has been seen in one place or another.The Americans who believe
that the League is the proper owner of the Namestone – there are only a
few of these – equally believe that we should not waste the time and
resources of the League Peace Police with nonsense reports that cannot
possibly be true. As a result, the few reports that you are receiving
from the American Republic and its citizens actually have some modest
level of credibility. Instead of complaining, you should be wishing that
the people of other nations were as discerning about the accuracy of the
reports you are receiving.For example, the series of reports that
Eclipse is a fifty foot tall woman – that appears to be a media bubble –
possibly did not need to be sent on to Geneva.Or anywhere else.
“Having said that,” Buncombe continued, “I am in agreement with your
conclusion, General, that Eclipse has vanished from the face of the
Earth. There are several obvious alternative interpretations here. The
simplest is that she is a known persona and has retired to her secret
base.Another is that she was mortally wounded in the Maze, retreated to
someplace, and has died, making it impossible to locate her mentalically
because she no longer has a mind. There is also the possibility,
implicit in the /Ode to the Sacred Namestone/, that Eclipse, like the
Martyr, is from another world, so that she came to Earth to recover the
Namestone for her people, and that having done so she has ascended into
the heavens. In all these cases, the search for the bearer approaches
being futile. Would you care to comment, general, before I continue?”
“I find the American attitude on supporting the search to be entirely
unacceptable,” Dreikirch announced.“In this time of crisis, there is a
positive and absolute moral duty on all the people of the world to lend
their vigorous and enthusiastic support to the search for the Bearer.We
cannot be in the position that large numbers of world citizens are
ignoring or obstructing our resolute effort to recover the Holy
Namestone, the Sacred Key to the Gates of Paradise.. There should be
legal repercussions against these people.”
“There are no world citizens,” Buncombe said.‘There are only citizens of
individual nation-states. Also, no one is obstructing your silly
search.They are simply ignoring it.”
“Hear! Hear!” Featherstonehaugh agreed.
“You are wrong,” Holmgren announced.“Dreikirch is right. All people are
world citizens.Those who do not support the World Government, namely us,
in our search for the Holy Namestone are subject to arrest by the League
Peace Police and trial for treason against humanity. I shall be
directing this point to the Popular Assembly for their definitive final
ruling.” The Popular Assembly, Buncombe thought, was a fiction of the
League Political Office, League Chancellor Holmgren in particular.It was
a nonexistent organization in which all nations, not only the Great
Powers, were claimed to vote, each nation having as many votes as it had
“There is no Popular Assembly,” Featherstonehaugh said.“Your bureaucrats
cannot create a new branch of League governance out of whole cloth.”
“Bravo!” Buncombe answered.There were agreeing nods from the Nipponese,
French, and Austro-Hungarian ambassadors. Other Ambassadors shook their
Elizaveta Romanoff covered her eyes with her palms. “Surely most of us
need to discuss this issue with our governments?However, this step
appears to be unwise, not to mention nearly certain to fail.”
“The moment seems inauspicious for this step,” Saigo Shigetoshi whispered.
“Ambassador Smoking Frog,” Holmgren said.
“As Speaker for the First Speaker, the Living Sun, I move that the
League Peace Executive endorse this initiative of the League
Chancellor.” Smoking Frog said. It was obvious to Buncombe that the
charade had been planned out in advance.
“Point of Order! Notice!” Marshall Davout was very fast indeed off the
mark to object. The motion had not had adequate notice.
“Denied!” Holmgren said.
“Appeal!” Davout said.
Buncombe could count noses in advance. The American, British, French,
Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Japanese ambassadors would vote to sustain
the appeal. The IncoAztecan, Brazilian, Prussian, Chinese, Manjukuoan,
Ottoman, and Sikh Ambassadors would vote against the appeal.Holmgren’s
ruling would be sustained. Lord Smoking Frog’s motion would be passed.
Another giant step away from world peace would be taken.
“Might I inquire,” Buncombe said, “Precisely what point we are being
asked to vote to have you take to your mythical Popular Assembly?”
“It is no myth!” Holmgren shrieked. “The Popular Assembly is the logical
outcome of the entirety of treaties founding…”
“Nonetheless, I endorse this question,” Lord Smoking Frog said.
Holmgren’s mouth snapped shut.The IncoAztecans always supported
Holmgren’s positions. “It seems to me to be an entirely reasonable
inquiry, which I anticipate will be asked by the First Speaker, the
Living Sun, as to precisely what motion you are taking to our most
fundamental legislative body, the Popular Assembly.”
“I will need a day to prepare an exact answer,” Holmgren answered.
“In that case, I move to recess until tomorrow evening,” Lord Smoking
“Second!” Ambassador Featherstonehaugh called out. He stared at Lord
Smoking Frog, who stared back. The two men nodded at each other.
Buncombe wondered how many of his fellow ambassadors were thinking ‘most
unlikely political combination of all time’.
“I was actually about to recognize Ambassadrix Masacarenhas da Silva,”
Holmgren said. “You do need recognition to make a motion.”
“I was about to invoke the consultation rule,” she announced.“I believe
at least four of us wish to consult our governments.” Under the rule, a
request for consultations was good for a day’s postponement.
Holmgren tried to hide his frustration. He looked around the room. No
one moved. “Without objection, we have voted to recess, and the
consultation rule has been invoked. In some order,” he announced. The
Ambassadors rose and headed for the elevators.
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