Escalation: The First Wave
City of Death. Kurt Cobain and someone named
"Vesper" are going into the afterlife business together,
and I'm stuck in one of their hotels, in a basement corner room.
It's supposedly in Manchester, New Hampshire, with IBM sponsorship.
But I know it's the Land of Death, because Mom's there. She's
rightfully dead; I banished her to Death myself, the last time
she tried to mess with my life.
But it seems my sister doesn't
realize that, because she's there too. Oh well, that's her own
Strategos is an ancient Greek
strategist whom alien lizards captured and gave immortality treatments to,
intending for him to give them pointers. He took over a bunch of their planets.
Now, we're forced to play a game with him for the
fate of our world, particularly Grafton and Marlboro, Massachusetts.
- Oh, by the way, Vesper claims to be an immortal being who
(among other things) is responsible for the Israelite slaughter
of the Amalekites, the Asiatic Vespers of Mithradates the Great,
and the ethnic unity of modern-day Poland, as an advisor of Stalin.
He thinks Bosnia needs the same treatment.
Oh, and by the way, he claims to be the literal ancient Hebrew
embodiment of the Evening Star, just like Lucifer was the Morning Star.
- And Vesper knows I've just been to the first annual Carnal
Christian Conference, which is dedicated to those Christians who
feel worldly influences but still try to honor Christ . There
were plenty of scruffy characters and lewd language there. The
rival Promise Keepers Conference has denounced it, of course.
I enjoyed it immensely. Of course, this makes me ritually impure,
which Vesper thinks will make me rightfully part of his domain
once I die. He claims whatever Christians call "lukewarm".
And since I'm stuck between the living and the dead right now,
I'm kind of fair game.
- But some relatively innocent friends of mine are stuck there
with me. They're in a high school church youth group, and I'm
their advisor, so I'm responsible for them. I don't even want
to think about my spiritual responsibilities for them in the afterlife
right now; I just want to get them home.
- So I walk along a nearby river with Vesper, and make a deal:
Let us out, and, well, I don't fight you forever until I
can escape and summon superheroes to come annoy you. Surprisingly,
- Stigmata are to be expected. And so are zombies on the way
out, since we go along a river past the Necropolis of the Dead.
(18 and 20 September 1995)
Vesper Comes to Dinner.
This self-proclaimed Overlord of Death is kind of interested
in me now that he knows I can go to his city at will, so he's
returning my visit.
- The Strategos agrees to the game we know
as "Othello". He agrees because he recognizes it, and
because he apparently wants some kind of justification
for every conquest he makes. We agree because we can tell that
the forces of the United States Government are quite outclassed.
(And one of our employees is an Air Force Major, so she knows.)
- So we start the game. Our team captains get to sit on the
Strategos's ship and get as good a chance to control our players
as the Strategos gets. So my boss and her boss go there.
- But part of the terms are that we have to find people to occupy
the places we want to control. The Strategos has plenty for his
team. My company has to hire them as they're available. So we
get every contractor and former employee we can find.
- The other part of the terms is that we have to occupy locations
at the rate of human power. This allows bicycles, but rules out
cars. This is a good thing from our perspective, since it also
rules out teleportation from spaceships. So I get placed on a
roving bicycle team.
- My team starts in South Grafton. From there (using the strategy
of the game) it is easy to block some movements, but soon we have
to start moving farther and faster.
- This is not commonly known,
but I can fly, only near electrical lines. South Grafton has several.
Technically it is allowed, since I go no faster than a bike. I
help my team block a few maneuvers that way.
- The contest eventually spreads as far as my home town, Douglas.
I call "Aunt Judy" who lives there to get people from
my church there to play this game. They all realize it's serious
whenever they see the opposing players, who are mechanical "Volga
- Other fronts (where my fellow employees can't convince people
that the end of the world is nearly here) are having trouble with
staffing. The policemen are observing these robots, but since
there's no violence yet, there's no great commitment from them.
Since I'm reasonably fit and can go on a bike, I get called to
cover the front away from Douglas. This means Marlboro, where
we work. Fortunately, there are power lines which go there. I
float among them, as I get increasingly tired.
- Another thing not commonly known about me: As I get tired
(for instance, when I sleep), I go to other dimensions. I'm plenty
tired as I go into Marlboro, but I notice a "Marlborough
State University" which doesn't exist where I come from.
And the aliens are still following me.
- And a good "Othello" deployment back home destroys
most of their invading force. The force which followed me "elsewhere"
doesn't count for that. So we win. (28 September 1995)
- But I don't find out until I make it back to Douglas, dressed
as my evil twin "Scum Death", at a church social, with
my two favorite melee weapons. I've had a bit of stress. (3 October
Vesper, the Strategos, and
Tekno-Otelo are copyright © 2002 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.
And all the real people in this document, including
me, are really celebrity impersonators. I'm really a guy named
Wyatt Ferguson. So there.