On occasion I can select one or two superpowers
from a list, as need be. I've got a new power available this year, but
it has some complications. Featuring:
A Cure for Crusher Joe (17 December). The famous pro wrestler and bodyguard Crusher Joe Corrigan has been reduced to living on goat meat and a huge stockpile of Guinness, on an island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state. He spends his time throwing junk into the air at random. One day, he knocks down a plane. This gets people interested.
The Coming of the Jehovahpower (19 December). One thing about Crusher Joe: he's a real
shit. When he jumped to the mainland from that island of his,
he grabbed the two of us to take with him. And then he fell unconscious,
while still on the way up. Surely, hecan survive a crash landing,
but we can't. What to do?
First among these is Amber Matilda McCain, an Australian dancer, whose
fiancee was on the plane. He'd come to the United States to
get dimples permanently implanted in his cheeks. He was returning home,
when his plane was taken down on its ascent from Seattle-Tacoma Airport.
Amber is with a troop of dancers, who are going on a kayak trip. I'm there
too, sharing her kayak. It's got a vacancy. And we make friends on the train up there,
when she finds out I know Haven the cat-faced dancer.
- We see a lovely sunset on Puget Sound. But I lose
my paddle, so she's thoroughly controlling where this kayak is going. And
she wants to see islands.
To do my part, I get out and pull the kayak to shore. This leads us to
Crusher Joe's island, where he lives on goat meat and Guinness, and wanders
around muttering things like, "What a life to build a goat".
Amber dances to distract him, while I slip him a permanent hangover
cure. Then we make him jump to the mainland, where we arrange
for him to get plenty of water and French bread until he recovers.
St. Mary and the Chaos War (25, 28 December). As mentioned
elsewhere, I have
no shortage of villains this year. One of them has actually
died. Of course, death is no great obstacle around me. And now that I have
holy power, I'm more of a target than ever.
My power for the day often manifests itself when it needs to. And now would be the time.
So it does, and it seems to be "Jehovahpower". A piece of God is riding
around in my head.
But this isn't as good as it sounds.
The power tells me other people's thoughts, but only when they're
about God. I can do miracles, but only when people pray for them. And I
can only do them the way they were done in the Bible. Luckily, with God
in my head, I know the whole document.
So yes, I can save us, but only if my partner Amber prays for it. Fortunately
she's found religion in midair. But still, what to do? I could
maybe resurrect us... except she's praying not to die at all, so
Then I get it. We need to escape Crusher Joe's grip somehow. And, thanks
to the Jehovahpower, I know a Bible verse that says that the believer is
like the wind, going wherever she may. I even know it's the Gospel of John, chapter 3 verse 8!
So, I turn us into wind.
Luckily, I know another Bible verse that says how God can gather the winds (Psalm 135:7!),
so I can put us back together.
The Year After Judgment. Jehovahpower is to superpower as fusion
reactor is to fission reactor. The power levels may start out the same,
but Jehovahpower can go much, much higher; I'd be surprised
if there even are limits to it. And the level of Jehovahpower
that Mary was channelling, was the mystic equivalent of the sun come down
to earth. So, it's no surprise that there are long-lasting aftereffects.
John Valsi, an opponent and ex-roommate of mine, went to the land of Death
earlier this year, the hard way. But it was worth it to him.
He has a line on how to capture and subvert the greatest Chaos mage (or Weirdness Magnet, if you prefer) of all time: Mary of Nazareth. He's going to perform a ceremony on the
day of the True Millennium: Christmas Eve 2000.
- Mr. Valsi, like most modern Chaos mages, doesn't really believe the story of Mary went exactly the way the Bible says. Or even that it happened exactly 2000 years ago, instead of maybe seven years more.
- But we all have to admit, something happened to an unwed teenage pregnant girl then, to turn her into a magnet for people's prayers. When it comes to prayers, the details behind the ritual are unimportant; the ritual is what counts. And prayers are like spells, in that magicians believe they have power. That's the power this mage wants.
Mr. Valsi has no shortage of powerful allies. There are plenty of chaos
mages who hate me, ever since I gave up stuff like
storming Heaven with
them. Besides, the reality shifters Bit and Bug,
the Harvester of Eyes,
and the Candlemaker are all at large.
Meanwhile, my own allies seem to be busy now. Lucianus Autonomus and Vesper (or, depending
on realiy shift, Doctor Strange and Thanos), for instance, are busy keeping
imps out of our world. Which is probably where Bit and Bug come in. (21 December)
- So, I'm by myself in a race against the world's most powerful Chaos mages to save the Mother of God.
Mary is to be found in the Afterlife, in a cavern where all the official
saints are bound like statues of themselves, held stationary to act as
conduits of Jehovahpower. I can float down in, and free Mary by simply
hearing a prayer that she be freed. And surely enough, Mary's praying that herself.
(It's funny. When she was a statue, she looked like any statue you'd see in front of a Catholic church. But when she unfroze, she looked a lot more like a Jewish mother who'd had four or five children, all grown. Go figure.)
Mary points behind me. There are two disembodied eyes floating there.
It seems the Harvester of Eyes is watching us.
And, of course, it's not entirely safe in that chamber. The Will of God comes thundering
out as flame, with a great noise that sounded like "RUAKH". The Harvester's eyes get roasted... but he always has more eyes. I don't. But luckily I am something of a Christian believer, so I'm saved. So to speak.
Then, out of the far end of the chamber, the Candlemaker walks in - fully ablaze with Jehovahpower from the Fire of God. And he speaks with Bob Valsi's voice: "Okay, Wyatt, you found her first. Now what're you gonna do with her?"
Mary herself has the answer. The next thing I see, is a Latin American girl pointing at us, like it was another Virgin sighting. But then her eyes pop even wider open, and she points off to the side. The Candlemaker's followed us.
After that, all hell breaks loose. The Candlemaker is throwing enough mystic
force around to transmute gasoline into sludge in at least five parishes
named after St. Mary. We can flee anywhere in the world that Mary gets prayers from,
but we're having a hard time defending ourselves,
because we both have Jehovahpower, and therefore can't respond to
each other's prayers.
In the end, there's only one thing to do. I lay down my Jehovahpower at
Then she says one word: "RUAKH". According to the story,
Mary has brought the Word Before Creation into the world before, but this
time, the effects are immediate.
I don't even notice the details, because everything goes white as if a bomb's
gone off, only more so. When this level of Jehovahpower is let loose
upon the Earth, there is no room for anything else.
It all disappears, and gets recreated in subtly different ways.
But I know somehow that there is judgment involved. Hole in
the sky and everything, just like I always pictured it.
The city of Little Rock (where we made our last stand) has been renamed
"Mary". The Arkansas state government has declared itself unworthy to stay there
on hallowed ground, and relocated to northeastern Texarkana, which has been renamed
New Little Rock.
(9 January 2001)
There are two Embassies of Heaven open, reportedly operated by angels. One
is in Canterbury, England, in a townhouse owned by the Queen; the other
is in the former Statehouse in Arkansas, in the City of Mary. (11 January 2001)
Of course, most people don't believe in the angels. Those that do, argue
over why the angels set up shop where they did. Some think they were endorsing
the Anglican and Baptist churches; some think they were endorsing female
leadership. (Hilary Clinton, who used to spend some time in the Arkansas Statehouse,
is now U.S. President in this world.)
Of course, there've been lots of Mary sightings. And I'm sure she's out there somewhere... just as I'm sure that nobody who says they've seen her actually has. When she and I parted, she said she was going to break her husband St. Joseph loose, then travel incognito for a while. I think she's earned a vacation.
(Yes, Mary of Nazareth speaks English. She speaks any language that people pray to her in; that's part of the Jehovahpower. I just never prayed toward Mary's direction before Little Rock, so we had a hard time talking at first.)
Me in Comic Books: