Eclipse Part 6

“You!”  Valkyria shouted. “Inform the Bearer.  She must hand the Holy Namestone over to League of Nations.  At once!  As fast as possible! Immediately! That is a direct order! From The League of Nations!”  I could hear her Prussian mindset without reading her mind.  Unless something had gone very wrong, the whole world had watched me do the Maze.  Valkyria should have recognized me. 

“I am the Bearer.  If you wanted the Namestone, you should have walked the Maze first and taken it,” I answered.  I called my gifts as fast as possible, reinforcing my shields, but when you start at absolute zero this takes a while.  I confess I was getting a bit nervous that the Screaming Skull was standing there, politely not saying anything.  No, we haven’t met, but when your mother is a persona, you tend to inherit bits of her gift fine structure, enough that he’d eventually figure out whose daughter I am.  That would for sure not be good. 

“Give it to me! Now! The League has decreed: The Namestone is the property of the world,” she demanded.   

“Give it to you? You and which army?” I asked.  I yawned.  That was an act.  I should have been more polite.  In my own defense, I was thoroughly exhausted, not to mention I’d taken major body damage during the hand-to-hand combat segments.  I expected congratulations, not threats.  After all, people have been trying to thread the Lesser Maze for three thousand years, with no success.  I’d done it.  Old English proverb: Battles are events between inadequate opportunities for rest.  I wasn’t resting.  I was powering up my gifts as fast as possible.  It was even money whether I’d power up fast enough to escape, or whether I beat the Maze and lost to my welcoming committee.  Some people my age would have been terrified.  I was too busy, not to mention too tired, to be frightened. 

“This one?” She waved her fingers.  What had to be the whole League of Nations Elite Strike Force teleported in at her back.  There were several dozen of them, not that I counted them carefully.  Mind you, I don’t know who most of them are, other than really tackily dressed, not at all like my highly stylish and tasteful garb, but the Strike Force is respectably powerful.  The Strike Force began to spread, left and right.

“That’s far enough,” I announced.  They kept spreading. 

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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