Eclipse 17

“Miss Eclipse,” Durand started, “what are your plans for…”

“Be still, Durand.  There is important business.” The Screaming Skull’s voice was as chill as a tomb.  His face was as impassive as the stone wall behind him.  Durand found herself frozen in place, unable to move or speak. 

“Where is she, little girl?” Valkyria snapped. “Where is the bearer of the Holy Namestone?”  Kang stared sharply at the video.  How was it that Valkyria didn’t know Eclipse’s name?  For that matter, how was it that Valkyria couldn’t recognize the bearer? And why was Valkyria saying ‘little girl’?

“I’m about twenty feet in front of you,” Eclipse answered calmly. 

“Aren’t you … isn’t the real Bearer a bit taller?” Valkyria asked.  Kang felt increasing confusion.  The bearer appeared to be Valkyria’s height, that being close to six feet. 

“I am tall.  Wait! Isn’t the real Valkyria a bit less … pudgy?”  Eclipse responded.  Valkyria’s nostrils flared.  There was nothing, Kang thought, like a friendly, considerate opening to potentially delicate negotiations. “I mean, how do you keep fitting into that armor?”

“You!”  Valkyria shouted. “Inform the Bearer.  She is to turn the Holy Namestone over to League of Nations Supreme Chancellor Lars Holmgren.  Immediately! That is a direct order!”

“I am the Bearer.  If you wanted the Namestone, you should have walked the Maze before I did, and taken it,” Eclipse answered. 

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

“Give it to you? You and which army?” Eclipse said indifferently. 

“This one.” Valkyria waved her fingers.  Most of the League of Nations Elite Strike Force appeared at her back.  Kang recognized a fair number of them as former special-class students.  Disruptra and Madmind wore the same orange and violet garb, colors reversed from one set of garb to the other, the first shredding mentalic screens and the second attacking with insane nightmares.  Plasmona, Electra, Lord Roentgen, Eks, and Enn had, respectively, a plasma torch, lightning bolts, coherent X-ray blasts, quark beams, and high-energy neutrons as attacks, all in power ranges that would swiftly turn a city to a pillar of fire.  The folks in League paisley with copper-green trim were mentalists; he didn’t know any of them.  Europalord and his team of drains wore identical green uniforms with sigil and trim of yellow, 12-armed sun crosses. 

About George Phillies

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