First Contact Con. Now that the aliens have won the Saucer War, they're introducing themselves in the human manner - with a convention.
- The United States Cyber-Strike Force has accepted its present relationship with the aliens, and is training for librarian duty at the Encyclopedia Galactica. Wendie Robinson's the senior Earthling librarian -which makes her the Provisional Government of Earth as far as the aliens are concerned. So she's more or less running the project.
- This isn't to say the United States has given up its idea of fighting the aliens. It's just given up on this front for now. Kind of like certain Middle Eastern policemen reported in to the occupiers and said, "Can we help?" - but then people in police uniforms would take hostages.
- This also isn't to say certain militiamen have given up. They're just not attacking the highly protected Wendie Robinson and her entourage. Kind of like certain Middle Eastern factions have given up on attacking well-armed U.S. soldiers, and now fight the nearest unarmed civilians instead.
- And there's some attempt at scandal. A young student supposed to take a math test with a 10-minute time limit, without a calculator. What the hell is the relationship of 26/37 to 2/3, anyway? When grades come back he scores 5/10; average is 5/7. At least he tried more questions. But really, people will be impressed he gets so much private tutoring from his sweet teacher Wendie. Especially when he publishes his webcam photos. (13 Aug)
- Still, as often happens, scandal makes the convention more popular. And Wendie's pretty damn chaste, as far as any casual observer such as myself can tell. So nobody's really believing she plooked a high-school student.
- DuoPolarity of Boston and a large shiny inhuman friend of theirs are in a hotel where people are checking in for a convention - of librarians. Wendie's getting some publicity, and arranged a convention in Houston. (14 Aug)
- This sounds like so much fun, I show up in person. I have to work to get a room not on the first floor, though.
- DuoPolarity's inhuman friend turns out to be the rogue Solarian, Dom-Ra! They made friends with him, and brought him in from North Dakota. He's the alien guest of honor.
- I almost qualify as a guest of honor too... but not quite. The aliens actually know me as a leading citizen of the Galaxy, and thereby an expert on aliens. Humans don't, though. Blame the reality shifts.
- At the convention, an old friend of mine "Aunt Judy" gives a speech on how she met the superhero "Toejam". He then gives her $6000, though he tried to take $10000 from her once. I guess they've both gotten around while I wasn't watching them. And they're both celebrity guests here. (1 Aug)
- It must be noted, Judy has a different history than I do. I'm a superhuman and she isn't, so we went through reality changes in different ways.
- Judy worked for superhumans in Greenland until reality changes of 2005... then she was back in Massachusetts, and always was. But superhumans knew her by reputation, and hired her again.
- Judy knew me from well before reality changes. We broke up once... but that was in Greenland, 2004. Right now, she's wondering whatever happened to me, because I disappeared from Massachusetts in early 2005. I resurfaced in various places, mostly not Massachusetts, and she never caught up with me - because she works in Texas now!
- I tell her, my life of adventure is not for everyone, and I think it might not be for her. (In my history, we broke up over it.) But she says, she can do it, and she'll prove it! Hmm...
- There's a fax machine that transmits across planets. When a blind man goes across it, eight other minds apologize to him in Spanish. (15 Aug)
- The aliens have a version of the Body Hyper-Transmit Protocol that most of the cross-universe travellers use. It seems their flying saucers are for solar system navigation only!
- They give a demo of it at the convention, for one randomly-selected volunteer. It has eight independent telepathic navigation aids, of course. They apologize in advance for any discomfort, in the volunteer's native language.
- A guy named Wally tries to do a stud lap downstairs to donate a kidney, while DuoPolarity's Karen Bodil and I laugh. Just some stupid guy at the convention, who think the aliens want to make him into an inhuman killing machine. The aliens aren't interested, but maybe I can help him. Good thing I've got my Swiss army knife... (15 Aug)
- One seminar says, for any situation, there are eight avenues of approach, eight strategies, and so on. Each city divides into eight quadrants plus the core... But more importantly, someone's wearing my boots. Aliens are heavily into numerology - and appropriate footwear. (17 Aug)
Iggy and the Aliens, or Welcome to the Occupation 2. Even famous performers are getting sucked in to the occupation politics.
- Iggy Pop can only take ferries so far through the Florida Everglades and Keys. He wishes he'd driven. (18 Aug)
- Iggy detaches a big wart and squeezes it out - but it's a menace, and four people arrive in a plane to confront it! They include a pilot, a nun and an alien, and they say, "Let's Rock!" (18 Aug)
- Wendie's team has been tracking Iggy's whereabouts, because he has militia contacts (or at least a Nazi girlfriend!) and superpowers now. His wart comes from superhuman blood, transfused from some other superhuman!
- Ultimately Iggy's not at fault; his girlfriend got him to sail the yacht toward Cuba, thereby attracting lots of Coast Guard attention... while militiamen took small boats across to the Bahamas to get some Ellipsis tech. Ooh, the next stage of the Saucer War could be interesting.
- Wendie's team is like the Fantastic Four, with Hudson Ramo as pilot, the Alien Beast as muscle, and my old friend "Aunt" Judy Kraaco as med staff. There's no rule says Wendie's team all have to be superpowered. The Alien Beast himself is enough to make Mr. Pop very subdued, so Judy can do the medical tests. (18 Aug)
- Judy's on loan from a certain faith-based medical center in Texas: the Christus St. John Hospital of Houston - Nassau Bay. It's got links to the NASA Space Center, and it's Catholic - and I've been there before (when the Gov insisted) - and Monseigneur Lateran supports it! With Lateran involved, the women wear head coverings. Judy was a good Congregationalist when I knew her... but anything for a job.
- Eventually the news cameras come. On TV, Hudson writes a funny note to the Alien Beast, mentioning his mother; only aliens can read it. (19 Aug)
- Wendie's got some big plans, now that she has alien sponsorship. She's asking who can run an orbital colony - even should some malfunctions start. Everyone says, the most obvious candidate would be Ingrid Bodil. For the record, I agree. (22 Aug)
- But the resistance has some big plans too. A militia superhuman with Gov connections hijacks a truck full of fertilizer to blow up whatever's on the other side of the teleport gate - but the planet's about to commit suicide anyway. It's a colony of Greens, who bind to their planet for life - and the sun there is about to go nova. Could be that's why they were chosen to host Earthlings via teleporter. The militiaman barely makes it back. (31 Aug)
Earthfall, or The Hero War. The villains have been teaming up a lot this year. The heroes are finally catching on to this "team-up" concept, with spectacular effect. As often happens, I experience it first, and find out more after. (25 Sep)
- My friend Hudson Ramo has invited me to Harvard, Massachusetts. He says something big is coming down.
- While I'm waiting, I go to a concert by a Christian rock group, and am pleasantly surprised when they have a beer with me afterwards. But soon we hear sirens. And the sky goes dark.
Here's what I found out... That big arena-like thing landing on Earth is the secret human Lunar colony!
- They've been abducting Earth women for years, thereby pissing off superhumans including myself . My own friends were attacked or abducted on three occasions when I was paying attention.
- They've been avoiding scans from Earth because they're on the far side of the Moon, aliens sponsored them, and they have really good jamming equipment. But I've defeated their jammers three times (whenever they've pissed off one of my friends). I'm the only one who ever has. And now they've pissed off their alien allies too.
- A coalition of superhumans and like-minded allies has formed to shut the Lunar colony down. DuoPolarity N.A., the Balance, and Wendie's Wanderers (or whatever we call the New Librarians to the Galaxy) are leading, with Ingrid Bodil in overall command, under the guise of building an orbital station. Guess what, they're going to capture one!
- The Balance is in charge of combat. They've raided the Moon before; I went with them once.
- DuoPolarity is in charge of cleanup, like making sure no outlying warrens get decompressed. They've raided the Moon before too; I went with them twice.
- Wendie's Wanderers are liaisons with the aliens.
- The plan is, the heroes remove the human part of the Lunar base from the Moon, and bring it to Earth! The Bride of the Ultimate Darkness is part of The Balance, so she's signed on to this effort. She's fully capable of moving most anything anywhere. Once this happens, it should be relatively easy to clean the villains out of the colony.
- Finding the Lunar base is easier than it used to be, because I brought the Ultimate Darkness there myself, the last time I went!
- It's 98% full moon now, not new moon like the last time I assaulted the Lunar base. So sun is not a problem on the far side where the base is, and darkness fits right in.
- Aliens will no longer interfere, because DuoPolarity N.A. have found a Solarian and had him talk them out of it! The heroes are only taking the Earthling part of the lunar base; they're leaving the alien part alone.
- The heroes are landing the base at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. They've alerted me to be there and watch, in my role as a web journalist. They promised me an exclusive. But they didn't fill me in. Silly me, I went to a nearby rock concert, not to the base.
- Why am I out of the loop? Well, I am considered something of a loose cannon. When the superhumans get together in their clubhouses, I put in as brief an appearance as possible, and then I go out and write these scalding web commentaries. Serves me right, I suppose.
On that note... how'd it go?
- The Ultimate Darkness can not only move things where it wants, it can make people go to sleep. So sleep came upon most of the Lunar population.
- Karla Melhor (Senhora Valkyrie) of the Balance went in first to get the Lunar resistance going and take over necessary functions such as continued life support. But there are some women there who like the lifestyle. Civil war in the women's locker room!
- Adu Asantemantse (Warrior Ashanti) of the Balance got the "Hornet" miniaturizing battle armor! My brother prototyped that armor, and even he didn't know it still existed. It was tailored to his biometrics... but my brother once spent the night in the Warrior Ashanti headquarters for North America, among many secret sensors. Wow, Asante-Ghana is devious!
- It was therefore Adu's pleasure to intervene in the women's locker room. His miniaturizing battle armor had come through the vents and found a riot in the women's showers.
- Lunar robots (well, more like clockwork Volga Boatmen) were reacting. No sleep from the Darkness for them!
- In response, superhumans were ready. Some such as Walt Rubenstein (Superjew) of Total Conversion took leave from their own teams to volunteer! It seems Mr. Rubenstein knew one of the abductees.
- It was somewhat confusing to have superhumans vs. robots in Ultimate Darkness, because superhumans were more affected than robots were, and Pam Brown (Bride of the Ultimate Darkness) of the Balance couldn't keep up.
- There was one superhuman among the villains also, codenamed "Exterminating Son". He'd been exposed to the Ultimate Darkness before (he's the closest thing Pam has to an arch-enemy), and knew how to cope. So he screwed things up for the heroes too.
- In the end, villains got away. But their colony is now a superstructure in Fort Devens, suitable for a museum. I want to go look, but the Gov's set up barricades, complete with metal detectors. I want to go see it, which will take all day. But I'll have to take off work, and go without a friend who wants to go too. I also want to wear a leather jacket I just bought for Halloween, but that jacket will never make it past the metal detectors.
Villains ran amok earlier this year. Heroes have now responded in similar style. It hasn't become a continuous slugfest yet... but who knows what tomorrow may bring?