MISC: Eclipse The Girl Who Saved The World

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Fri May 17 15:23:21 PDT 2019






this is close to the end of the published novel.  You somewhat need it 
to follow the pieces of the new novel Airy Castles All Ablaze, which 
soon will be appearing at least in part here

You flew into the sun?” Comet asked.  I nodded.  She hadn’t heard that 
bit of news yet.  Vera Durand’s program broadcasts tomorrow morning. 
“But you don’t have to ask him any questions because we can do the 
asking and you just have to listen and you don’t have to fly to Mars 
because Professor Lafayette is going to bring him, a projection, into 
our living room to talk to our Mom and Dad and Speaker Ming so you don’t 
have to do something dangerous, except we have to stop at his castle so 
I can pick up a starcompass from him.” Comet’s sentences did rush 
together a bit, I thought, when she was worried.

“The Wizard?” I asked. “Here? And you do the all the talking?”

“Are you all packed and ready to go?” Comet asked.  I hefted my duffel 
bag. “Gold Knight, Silver Knight, you’ll keep a watch on Medford until 
we’re back?” Comet asked again.

“Four minutes,” Silver Knight said. “How much can go wrong in four minutes?”

“Unless it’s forever,” Brian added. “We fail, we die, then the world 
dies.” Sometimes he could be just so optimistic.

“Right.  Exactly.  We’d better get back to the house,” Comet said.

“Your back yard?” I asked. “All good with a teleport?” I waited for 
agreement.  Silver Knight and Gold Knight waved us good-by. There was a 
blue lightning flash, a single chime stilled at once, and we were all in 
the Wells’ back yard.


Chapter Fifty-Five
The Wells Residence
Medford, Massachusetts

For a few moments we stood there.  Trisha, dressed as Comet, took the 
lead, taking us up the back stairs through a large breakfast room and 
well-appointed kitchen. I stayed in the rear of the column. The whole 
front of the house was a big living room. Sitting across one wall were 
Patrick and Abigail Wells, Krystal North, and -- it took me a moment to 
recognize him -- Speaker of the House Ming.  Morgana Lafayette was in 
her other garb, her Morgan Le Fay garb.  I could see what she was 
wearing, including the Orb of Merlin, but Patrick and Abigail Wells 
didn’t seem to notice that the Living Crone was sitting next to them.   
Like any good American, I made a proper bow in the direction of the Speaker.

Abigail Wells surveyed her four new guests and gestured at the couch. 
“Joe found you, Eclipse?” she asked, “And then didn’t come along to be 

“He didn’t come along,” Patrick Wells shouted, “so I can kill him for 
tampering with my daughter!”  He used several very harsh words other 
than ‘him’.

Suddenly I understood why Trisha’s parents were so upset.  They thought 
Joe had been carrying on with Trisha.  They assumed she knew what a 
terrible thing she had done, so they refused to say it out loud.  They 
were even more ashamed that she refused to confess that she had done 
such a thing.  Real Americans always stand behind their deeds. I blushed 
slightly.  Joe had been a convenient alternative persona, but sometimes 
other things were more important than continuing its pretended existence.

”That would be kind of impossible,” I answered. “You only get one of us 
at a time.  Joe and I, we’re the same person.  He’s just a good 
disguise.  For me.  And I’m a girl.  For sure ‘Joe’ did not carry on 
with Trisha.”

“But I spoke with him,” Abigail said.

I dropped into my Joe voice. “You spoke with me.  Didn’t she, Aurora?” 
Janie nodded.

“What was wrong with my daughter that she didn’t deny it?  That’s beyond 
disgraceful!” Patrick shouted.  Trisha looked at the carpet.  I really 
wished Trisha’s parents would have some faith in her, but they didn’t.  
No matter what she did, it was wrong. Even when she was about to go off, 
possibly to her death, they were saying how little they trusted her.


“The world will die?” Brian asked. “Soon?”

“Another wise question.” The Wizard smiled. “Not as much as three months.”

“Dad,” Brian said, “I think we’d better go.  It’s the least bad choice.”

“City of Steel,” Janie said. “If all else fails, mass desperation 
attacks are better than surrendering without trying them.”

“Your logic is impeccable,” Patrick said. “Please come back alive.” He 
glared at Trisha. “Don’t you dare think you get out of being grounded 
afterward, after what you did!”  I asked myself what poor Trisha had 
done, other than revealing that her father was a fool.  He seemed to 
have ignored what I just told him about Joe.

“The four of them have agreed.  We now have four slightly tense 
minutes,” Patrick announced.

  “No. Stop!” Comet stood up. “You’re government agents.” She pointed at 
Krystal and Speaker Ming. “And you,” she pointed at Morgana, “I looked 
up your necklace.  You’re a government all by yourself, aren’t you, Avatar?”

Morgana broke into a broad smile. “You figured it out.  Yes.” Patrick 
Wells’ face was turning ruddier and ruddier.

“Eclipse, I need a champion. Now!  Please?”  Comet was half way between 
belligerent anger and terror.  I jumped to my feet and teleported next 
to her, putting a force wall around the two of us.

“Trisha,” I said, “To do champion right, I sort of need to know what is 
going on.” She took me by the shoulder.  The world outside my force 
field stopped.  She was calling superspeed, with me inside her speed zone.

“No time,” Trisha said. “You need to read my mind, no matter how much it 
hurts me.”  I started reading. Her grip clamped down, hard, but I could 
tell.  She wanted me to keep reading her memories.  It took a while to 
digest, but ten seconds outside was a quarter of an hour for the two of 
us.  Trisha had everything laid out in her mind, what she had gone 
through, what she had tried to do, and how her father had reacted. 
Several of my rules engines actually made useful suggestions. She took a 
deep breath, shook her head to clear her mind, and returned us to normal 

“No!” Trisha shouted. “No!  You didn’t even ask me if I want to go! Why 
should I care what happens?”  She looked at the Wizard of Mars. “Wizard, 
you’ve always been nice to me. You helped Janie and Brian.  I’m not mad 
at you.”

“I know,” the Wizard said. “But if you want a good outcome from this, 
you yourself must now find the path to it.”

“Someone has my two tons of gold,” Trisha said. “I want it. No one 
challenged Eclipse when she said she was an emancipated minor. Isn’t 
that true, Mister Speaker?”

“Indeed.” Speaker Ming answered. “Emancipated de facto, and I gather 
Heinlein Act qualified.  Though I fear it was somewhat less than two 
tons delivered, but still enough that you can live a comfortable life. ”

He looked at Krystal North.  They were exchanging thoughts about something.

“You want me to go on this trip.  I might die.  I want something in 
exchange.” Trisha stared at the Speaker.  At this point I figured out 
where she was going.  She’s smarter than I am, and saw in a few moments 
what would have taken me a week.

“Within reason.” Speaker Ming looked thoughtful. “Actually, based on the 
experiences of several past Speakers over two millennia with the Wizard, 
the future of America is at stake, so very much is reasonable.  What do 
you want?”

“Full-year student status at Atomic Tech Half Moon Bay.” Trisha was very 
clear on what she wanted. “I can pay, once you get me my gold.  A trust 
account for most of it is OK.  A place to live, someplace out there.  It 
doesn’t have to be as nice as my rooms upstairs.”

“So you can carry on with boys again, whenever you want? You…” Abigail 
Wells’ further language was decidedly to the point.

“The Heinlein Act. I want out.” Trisha was now entirely calm. Heinlein 
had been a Navy Admiral turned divorce attorney and later Nobel laureate 
writer.  It would be unusual for a girl as young as Trisha to divorce 
her parents, but it had been done.

“Good,” Patrick said.  “Then our family is no longer shamed.” His wife 
nodded agreement.   Everyone else in the room was shocked.

“You’re sure, Trisha?”  Morgan asked. “It’s very final.”

“Yes.” Trisha stood up, backbone ramrod straight. I felt in her the 
determination of the founders of Massachusetts, people not much older 
than Trisha, the people who two millennia ago crossed the continent from 
Washington to Massachusetts on horseback to create America.

“So be it,” Morgan answered.

Speaker Ming turned to Krystal North. “Captain-General, will you please 
do the mentalic validation?”

“Under the Heinlein Act,” Krystal said, “Mentalic validation of the 
state of affairs is required.  Any party may decline, but the worst 
possible interpretation is then placed on their claims and positions.  
Trisha, Patrick, Abigail, I need your permission to read your minds.”

“I am an innocent and virtuous man,” Patrick Wells said. “Read away.”

“I agree,” Abigail said.

“Please?” Trisha said.

<Eclipse,> Krystal said to me, <As champion, you get to watch over 
Trisha, represent her side, and validate my mentalic report.> I nodded.

Krystal was a very good mentalist.  Little time was required for her to 
extract the information that was legally required.  Unlike my ham-handed 
memory scans, Krystal was very gentle.
“Mister Speaker,” Krystal said, “I find that all parties understand 
correctly the legal issues at stake, that the conditions of the Act are 
entirely well-satisfied, and therefore that you may properly grant what 
is requested.” She followed with a mentalic report that only Speaker 
Ming and I heard.  Heinlein divorces might routinely be done by filing 
paperwork, the way I did, or with a judge’s decree with dueling 
attorneys, but the Speaker is also the Supreme Magistrate of the 
Republic, for all that Speakers of the House almost never used that 

“As Trisha’s Champion, I endorse Captain-General North’s finding,” I 
said. Some people would complain that I was way too young to be standing 
up as Trisha’s champion, but Trisha knew exactly what she wanted, and 
the facts of the matter were dismayingly clear.  I thought I had bad 
relations with Mum, but that was only at the very end.  Trisha was much 
worse off.  I couldn’t understand why, but I didn’t have to.

“As First Speaker of the Republic, I hereby grant this request of 
Jessamine Trishaset no-longer-to-be-Wells, including possession of all 
her personal-use property.”  Speaker Ming was said to be extremely 
decisive; I’d just seen that in action.

“Trisha,” Morgan said, “I have a house a bit south of Half Moon Bay, on 
the beach, that should fit your needs.  It’s vacant, and needs some 
inside work, but you can be moved there when you return.”

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