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March 19, 2006
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A TRAP FOR THE BRINGER OF COLD!
Is This the End for "Ultimate Low C"?
In Houma, Louisiana, "Ultimate Low C" the Bringer of Cold was frozen in place - not by cold, but by hypnosis! His captor droned into a microphone, and his voice came out of speakers. "I have come far to make you this offer."
"So make it!"
"In time. To comprehend, you must know of last summer."
"You serve Gaea the Earth Entity, to bring cold to the world. Last August, you were on leave in San Diego. But wherever you went, it was cold. You could not abide that discomfort.
"You appealed to Gaea to quit your job. She said she expected a replacement. I am that."
"So take over!"
"In time. To comprehend, you must completely know of last summer."
"Almost immediately after your interview with Gaea, you were quickly and forcibly transported from San Diego by superhumans. Perhaps Gaea scheduled that interview to avoid them.
"One superhuman was the Powernaut, who is commonly known. The other simply called herself 'Linda', but had superhuman powers which exceeded the Powernaut's. They wished to use your powers to defuse a hurricane designated 'Katrina', then approaching Mobile, Alabama.
"You were deposited upon the ship of a vigilante. One 'Mister Discipline' of New York City had access to a yacht. And he was motivated by an extradimensional intruder co-habiting his body. This was one 'Batman', who wished to investigate the U.S. Navy. This Batman usually investigates superhumans, but such were scarce here at the time. As were vigilantes, hence Batman settling for Mister Discipline.
"Before the vigilantes could confront the naval patrols, the superhumans placed you on the vigilante ship. They told you to generate as much upward cold as you could. Meanwhile, they would fly anti-cyclonically to create winds that would disperse your cold and defuse the hurricane."
"It is clockwise. Opposite hurricane flow.
"Which is an important point. You are a champion of the weather, yet you know nothing of it. You have been exploited."
"Inside the Navy compound at Mobile, a weather forecaster named Steffi knew of the plan for superhumans to change the hurricane. She felt it insane."
"But Superman does that in the comic books all the time!"
"I know not of that. But even if he does, that is fiction. In reality, those who make a hurricane colder and add more wind to its force, will create a larger, colder storm. Resembling a blizzard.
"Meteorologists know this. Reasonably smart humans can figure it out. You were duped.
"After you altered this Hurricane Katrina, it spread out, reformed, and struck New Orleans. It broke the levees there. Hundreds died. Hundreds of thousands fled."
"Wait a minute! I've heard of Hurricane Katrina! It never went to Mobile!"
"That preceded reality shift. Several happened last year. The hurricane concealed one such. None affected you, for you were sheltered by higher powers. But the remainder of humankind had to deal with them. Following that shift, your hurricane went directly to Louisiana. Where your intervention had diverted it.
"For that reason, I have come to relieve you of your power. Whatever may happen with it, I will at least use it with knowledge."
But then a third voice spoke out - a woman's. As she walked toward the two, she said, "Oh, like you never screwed up with your powers."
Ultimate Low C was confused. "Okay, now I gotta ask... Who are you people?"
The man responded, "You have the honor of speaking with Mistress Norma McMillan of the dance troop 'Body Up'. I serve her as the deejay 'Ellipsis Z'."
Norma continued, "But he also serves himself. This is Stephen Wolcott, once known as just plain Ellipsis."
"Hey, Mr. Wolcott! I used to work for you! Remember me? Stanley T. Levitz? I didn't recognize you dressed like that and with speakers and stuff."
"Yes, he's changed since you met him. And it looks like he used his sound equipment to hypnotize you. Turn it off, Stephen."
"Very well. It has served its purpose." A background hum of sound equipment died out. "However, the offer still stands. Are you prepared to lay down your power?"
"Before he decides, Stephen, maybe you should tell him what kinds of mistakes you've made with your power."
"My own failures are too numerous to mention. Without recourse to news retrospectives which are themselves numerous and readily available, that is."
"Well, maybe you could at least tell this poor guy what role you had in his becoming cursed with cold."
"... Stanley, you went missing in December 2004. Reportedly you returned in January 2005, but ran afoul of our compound's automated defenses and couldn't gain entry."
"Tell him the good part, Stephen. Your compound was in Greenland, and Stan here was left to die in the cold. Apparently he has coldness powers that won't turn off now."
"Aww, it wasn't his fault. I shoulda known better than to be out in the cold that way."
Ellipsis Z smiled. "You have grown. In time, with knowledge, you may become a true champion of nature. However, my offer still stands. Would you lay down your burden?"
"No, sir, I don't think so. Mommy always told me I was made to do the big important stuff. She didn't tell me it'd be this hard. But there's still stuff to be done, and I still gotta do it."
"Indeed... What help can we give you?"
"Oh, I don't know. Just don't hypnotize me the next time you see me."
"Agreed. Anything else?"
"Oh, I'll let you know. Now I gotta go make Florida cold." Ultimate Low C disappeared in a little poof of snow!
Norma said sardonically, "Well, that worked out well for you, Stephen."
"And for you also. As you are fond to remind me, I have owed you service. And you still require a deejay. I would stay on with you."
"Well, yeah, okay, but what's in it for you now?"
"As you can see, great power is overrated. I would continue vacation from it."
Special to the World Journal Monthly by Joyce Darcy
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