The Story So Far:
So, how are people reacting to a mass disappearance - and all the other stuff that goes along with new limitations on reality?
Well, first let me tell you how I react.
Power in the Blood. Seeing as how we have a President-elect who swears to protect God-fearin' Americans against superhumans, and seeing as how I've been superhuman at times, and seeing as how I kind of live in America, I suppose I'd best check in with the Prez's staff.
I knew going in, that when people from certain Southern states with proven rebel tendencies express an undue interest in my blood, there's really nothing good to come of it. But what else am I going to do?
It's not that I hate our Republican President-Elect, at least not the way some people do. But so far, my experience with his supporters has not been good.
So, I can't help a small act of defiance: In my FERG Hotel West in Wisconsin, I take in two new roommates who want to fly a Gay Pride flag. Fine with me, as long as I can fly a Straight Pride flag too. (30 Dec 2004)
So, here we have it. I wish I could come up with a nice clean heroic ending to the Story of 2004... but all I see coming, is a guerrilla war of Minorities and Superhumans vs. Big Government.
Oh well, this is real life, at least for me. When is real life ever clean?
City of the Early Morning Darkness. What happens when dreamers can no longer dream of other universes, because their own universe is under blockade? It isn't pretty. And I know, because I live among the dreamers.
The Domination Cabaret! Oh, let's not have a rebellion, or a bunch of wandering zombies who can't cope with reality. Let's have a party!
Oh well. It's still my kind of inaugural party for the new U.S. administration. (6, 25 Jan 2005)
Meanwhile in Wisconsin. Speaking of our new Republican President... Wisconsin news broadcasts are observing the inauguration of President Hatch, by showing how much of the state proudly voted against him. It was pretty much them, New York, and Massachusetts.
Return of the Turkish Empire. In another land, Turkey's on the brink of taking over New York City. And that's less far-fetched than it sounds, because the Turks have allies in New England... but hey, isn't my universe supposed to be blockaded from all other lands?
We're meeting in my universe, in a beachfront town filled with marinas and sleazy motels. Kind of like Michigan City or the Rhode Island shore, but I think it's actually Oregon.
My mission? Infiltrate the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, and observe, because that's where the Turks are apparently making their move, with logistical support from New England. Naturally, in this universe, Thanksgiving is in the middle of January. I guess every universe needs a mid-January holiday.
Meanwhile, as I distract the Turkish force by being captured, my colleagues foil the Turkish plot. Of course, it involved a hostage situation and a mind control device. Doesn't that just figure.
They say they have another mission (I might find out more later), to go a little bit into the past and keep the Turkish Caliphate from rising in the first place. But before they go, they're kind enough to get me back home. They march me through a portal, and say I shouldn't ask where the portal is. Oh, well, I suppose they wouldn't be secret agents if they didn't have secrets.
Well, maybe I'd better tell my friends at the U.N. there's a way around this universal blockade. I wonder if they'll immediately set up an assault that way - or else be sensible enough to just use it when they need it?
But if the U.N. does set something up... I have a relative whose diary says he's been victimized - by Ellipsis. If there's an assault on, I want in. (7 Jan 2005)
Over the Mountain. Editor's Note, by Calvin L. Ferguson:
This story was found in the North Carolina State Archives last year, among geneaology records from the Revolutionary War era. The source document passes all tests for authenticity, but it was apparently written by the modern-day Wyatt Ferguson... my brother.
A copy of the original document was forwarded to Wyatt's company, the Freedom Engineering Research Group. We all agreed, Wyatt would want this on his web pages, with all his other stories. Wyatt's friends were kind enough to put in cross-references, but they asked me to write the introduction.
I have to be quick with this story, because I write it on paper, and not much.
Two of the men were really women. One was even the infamous Sweet Thing, my mom's cousin. Therefore mother of my missing relative. She'd gone around slutting, and landed with a Scum-Death-themed gang in the Bahamas. (17 Jan 2005)
Then she found out her son was missing, presumed killed by the superhuman Ellipsis. She and her friends were going after the killer. And they were taking me, 'cause they needed a guide.
My main objection: they couldn't beat Ellipsis. But one said, "Hell we can't." He was the original Scum Death - my evil twin with cosmic power! Those others were following him. And I'm pretty sure, Scum Death can go anywhere. So maybe they could beat Ellipsis.
So I told them how Ellipsis now lives in another universe, in Warsaw-St.-Lawrence. It's a long story. I meanwhile typed instant messages on my computer, 'cause I had to tell someone where I was going.
Good thing, 'cause then we went. I thought I'd have to set up a trip through a time machine or a secret portal or something, but then...
Scum Sweetthing said, "He died saying Yopp". Magic word, if you know your Dr. Seuss.
Then other Scums said, "Yoppside Yo' Head!" Magic word enough for them - and it broke us out of our universe!
When we got there, they started busting windows and yelling, "Bring Us Ellipsis!" I slipped away and found some contacts. Who my contacts are, is a long story.
When I got back, Scums were confronting the mercenaries Tyrmj. Tyrmj are the police here, since last I visited: 60 warriors, 60 battle maidens, 60 mages, 80 beasts of burden, and 80 deadly War Beagles. Scums said they'd find out what beagle tasts like.
But then I yelled, "Representation duel!" My contacts Andrea and Gail hold office here, and they said, if we challenged Ellipsis to a duel, the police would lead us straight to him. He's from our universe, so we had the right.
Then, people I know started appearing. Those instant messages I sent, paid off. I didn't get a U.N. intervention on the scale I wanted, but I got Morningstar and the Mighty Tim from there. I also got Julie Wolcott and her bodyguard Jill Stern. How I know them all, is a couple of long stories. And there were some others. Maybe they got enough help to win!
But then I heard a voice in my head: "Wyatt Ferguson. You at least I can be rid of." Ellipsis telepathy!
Then I saw a magic portal coming at me. Ellipsis can do that; he has control of the Siege Perilous! I had just enough time to say, "I already took that challenge! It's your turn!" Another long story. Then...
I'm here with the Over-the-Mountain Men, the rebel militia from what will later become Tennessee. We go into battle tomorrow, at King's Mountain. From what I remember of history, it's the beginning of expelling the British from the South, and eventually from Yorktown and all the United States.
I'm American, so I can hardly refuse to fight for the cause. Besides, I kind of had to join the Tennessee militia to survive, thank you very much Ellipsis. Besides, the future can usually take care of itself, but right now, I have to take care of the past.
So far, I've made out well. The militia loved my Sharpie marker; they marked up all their battle flags with it, then all their uniforms, with their slogan, "Over the Mountain"! They also liked some old plastic grocery bags I keep handy; the commander wears them as socks now. And I got a nice deerskin coat and coonskin cap in barter. Plus enough of the company provisions to keep me alive... except I'm always hungry still. I think they are too. Eating is hard enough here, when you aren't on a long march.
If I survive tomorrow, I can go home with a time traveller I met at the Cumberland Gap. He's with a team from the U.N. of my own time. They're doing a pentahedral time travel exercise, whatever that is, but I gather it involves Ohio and four other destinations.
Once I get back, I'll find out how that Ellipsis stuff went. I hope they kick his ass.
But whether I make it back or not... I think I'm done with that modern political crap. I've again been disposed of, by the Siege Perilous, which is higher than I, even if a rival of mine controls it. And it's put me where just one more fighter might make the difference for all of our history. Where I come from, I've never made the difference, I've just been the bystander.
Maybe reality is trying to tell me, I need to do more struggle alongside the common man - the kind who have to worry about their next meal - and less getting dragged into superhero fights.
God Save the Revolution!
Editor's Note, by Calvin L. Ferguson:
The universal blockade was indeed broken, by a loose coalition of U.N.-sponsored and other dimension travellers, including the Caribbean independent operatives my brother refers to, plus United Nations heroes, plus some strategically-important people closely related to Ellipsis, plus a small group from the Church of the Super Savior, of all places.
All adverse effects of the blockade seem to be reversed now. In particular, wide-scale teleportation is once again operational to United Nations forces. These forces have yet to recover from the previous lack of teleportation, though. There's a movement on to revoke all United Nations peacekeeping, just because of its failures during the teleportation blockade, particularly in Tierra del Fuego.
Reports indicate Ellipsis actually was under malign influence, just like my brother's controversial stage play indicated. This influence has apparently dissipated, but Ellipsis disappeared afterward and is still missing. And so is Wyatt.
Wyatt was apparently pivotal in the organization of the action, and he was there for the start of it. I can say with authority, Wyatt is one of the most valued observers the United Nations has. Even in his report from 225 years ago, he's told us things we couldn't have known otherwise.
I have to mention, the United Nations assessment of this report only gives Wyatt credit for his observations that the U.N. can independently verify. It does not include whatever else he's done in behalf of our world. If we believe his stories, Wyatt's been a major beneficiary to all of humankind, as much so as any independent superhuman operative within United Nations history. And I can say with authority, the United Nations has no reason to blatantly disbelieve Wyatt's stories.
But whatever Wyatt's adventures have been, they're not his best accomplishment. His main gift to humankind, is his stories. Wyatt's legacy to history (so far) is that he gets in the middle of the action, and then tells stories about it, just because he loves to tell stories. And that literally is history in the making. If Wyatt had seen the whole battle against Ellipsis, I'm sure he could have made a great story out of it.
I can tell just from looking at Wyatt's web site, that he was gearing up to bring you lots more stories. Maybe someday he'll come back and tell them.
Wyatt's disappeared before this, and always made it back. But I'm not so sure this time. He mentioned a pentahedral time-travel exercise under U.N. control, but I've never heard of such a thing. Believe me, I'd know if it existed.
Wherever you are, bro, keep that pen working. And please don't make me tell your nephews they'll never see their uncle again.
All characters in this fiction are copyright © 2005 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.