Yogi of High Hopes
"A Journey to the Center of the Earth Story"
Rush gazed at the cyclopic stones that hemmed them in on their journey to salvation or damnation. Beside him sat Everett, looking as worn and beat-up as he probably did. Ahead and to the side stood Rowlf.
Our original mission to find the source of the The Big One, a gigantic earthquake that killed billions and uprooted our civilization forever. One that had devastated most of the upper earth, sending it to hell in a hand basket, handing us a lot of sour grapes to eat.
We had pried a hot rock from the lava river before us and slid it back into the curve away from all the dreaded heat, allowing ourselves a few minutes, maybe hours of warm comfort to while away time, which we seemed to have more than our share of as we sought a way back home, or at least to the source of the destruction. We were hoping at that time to at the very least get home, but as the miles wore on and the days and nights, our hope began to falter, so we took times like these to bolster our courage and give us enough stamina to face another day deep beneath the earth we once lived upon.
So I had begun a short story about my younger, more reckless days.
I was young then, maybe even younger than my years, or perhaps older. You tell me. I looked out at my friends through bloodshot eyes, and they looked back at me with the same. We were getting loaded. High on pot. It was the sixties. All my college friends were trying it, except for a few who didn't inhale.
I had Beatle length hair and a John Lennon beard that made me look like something out of the Yellow Submarine, a popular cult film that the Beatles lent songs to. "We all love a Yellow Submarine."
Love, not live.
I propped myself up on my elbow and looked at my friends there, all zoned out, listening to the Rolling Stones and "I can't get no satisfaction."
Neither could I, but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Then like a might god of the past a very tall friend of ours stepped into our living room, his face blazing with a smile that told us he was stoned. But as it turns out, he wasn't.
I've just met this crazy guru." He told us.
He sat down and enthralled us with a tale of a fat old man with long gray hair who closed his eyes and floated about three feet off the carpet he had been seated on in a lotus position.
"No freaking way!" My best friend, Henry, snapped.
He didn't disbelieve him; he just didn't think it was possible to be that cool.
We all got up and said to our friend, whose name was Dig. "Show us the way, brother."
He took us in his psychedelic van to a home on the fringes of Sacramento, hidden by tall Walnut trees and spreading acres of brush and flowers. We were all excited. Not one of us was stoned then. Dig had told us it wasn't cool to learn the mediation this man taught if we were stoned, so we figured it made him high, what did we have to lose, and it cost nothing. Or so we thought at the time.
"Here we are!" Dig announced as he damped his headlights, and got out.
We all piled out and followed him to a door with a huge OM symbol on it.
"Cool." Henry cooed.
I didn't know. Why did he have to advertise that way?
I followed Dig inside and we walked into a huge room with an older man, a long gray beard and dreadlocks, seated in a lotus position speaking to a rapt crowd of Hippies and Straights.
"Within each of us is something so powerful, so simple that if we but acknowledge it, but tap into it, we become like gods."
Then he began to float up off the floor.
Everyone gasped, including me, that is until I saw for a brief moment the pneumatic device that was pushing his body upwards, and then his long white dhoti fell back into place, hiding the metal thrusting him upwards. He smiled at everyone in a benign sort of way as they began putting dollar bills, fives, tens and twenties into a bowl that was in front of where he sat.
He nodded his head, as if doling out blessings to each of them as they did so. "God be with you." He said to each, as they raised, dumped money in, and then headed for the door.
When the last had left, Dig introduced us.
When my turn came he said. "This is Russ. He's an adventurer. I think this is the kind of adventure he needs more than climbing trees and mountains."
I disagreed with those words, but respected him enough to mum myself, even though I was burning like a ticking bomb inside myself about the fraud I had seen.
The old yogi descended to the floor, then nodded to us each to sit in front of him. I remained standing.
"I can see by your faces that all of you seek something greater than yourselves." He told us with a smile that would warm up an iceberg.
I wasn't buying it.
I edged closer to him as he spoke. He didn't notice, he was so caught up in his dialogue.
"We are all divine creatures, waiting but for the right touch to ignite our souls and send us to our flaming glory with God, the Invisible Father."
I didn't disbelieve a word he said, only his motives. I had been aware for some time that the drug scene was a dead end, I just didn't want to admit it to myself yet. I didn't want to lose my friends, which I knew I would. I knew that if I left and came back thirty years later, they would still be smoking grass and saying, "Cool Man."
So I did the only thing a rational young man could do, who was impulsive, sometime hot headed and adventurous.
Rush kicked at the small heated stone in front of him and Everett. Rowlf stood behind them, his insectile eyes hooded by the thick carapace eyelids that veiled them, but listening to the tale as well.
"So what happened next?" Everett asked expectantly. They used their down time to regale each other with tales of their past and both were becoming more and more close as they did so, realizing how much they had both gone through in their struggle to grow up as they saw it into human beings worthy of the status of being human.
"Wried!. Rowlf snapped.
Rush looked at his tall friend, thankful to have the powerful being as a friend. "No. Not died. Exposed."
"Rowlf nots undestand."
"I was a naughty boy. I peeked."
"I plucked the hem of the dhoti and threw it up, exposing the platform the yogi sat on. He was so flustered that I had done so that he accidentally activated it and shot up towards the ceiling even higher than before."
Everett burst into laughter, as did Rowlf."
Rush grinned. "I was exiled by Dig for doing that. None of my friends liked me after that."
"That's kind of harsh." Everett said.
"Yeah. But not because I exposed the yogi, but because I quite doing drugs."
Rush grinned. "I realized on that night that you don't need drugs or alcohol or anything else to be happy."
"Sounds like the end to a Disney fairy tale." Everett pointed out.
"Yeah, except in this case, there were drugs."
"Yeah. There's that."
"Twat shish dwugs?" Rowlf asked, his face turned askance in curiosity.
"You don't want to know." Rush answered.
"Dwo." Rowlf answered.
Rush sighed. "Very well. They are chemicals that people use to make themselves feel like someone else."
Rush gave him a surprised look.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Rowlf fweel wike shomeone else shonely twin say eat him." He said, then laughed again even more so.
Rush smiled. "Then let's hope no one ever does eat you."
Rowlf hiked himself to his full height and pounded his chest. "Eat dem fwirst!"
He laughed and laughed.
Everett and I looked at each other.
All Cats Are Gray
by Andrew North (alias for Andre Norton)
When Alice began her life long career as a writer, women were considered less than equal to men, basically baby factories and child providers, so it's no wonder she head her gender. And of course, it also explains the sensitivity of her writing, which was imbued with a warmth that wasn't always found in her male competitor's works.
Yay for her to have the bravura to go against the waves women had to go against in those days and stand up and be read!
Andre Alice Norton (born Alice Mary Norton, February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005) was an American writer of science fiction and fantasywith some works of historical fiction and contemporary fiction. She wrote primarily under the pen name Andre Norton, but also underAndrew North and Allen Weston. She was the first woman to be Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy, first to be SFWA Grand Master, and first inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
After graduating from high school in 1930, Norton planned to become a teacher and began studying at Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University. However, in 1932 she had to leave because of the Depression and began working for the Cleveland Library System, where she remained for 18 years, latterly in the children's section of the Nottingham Branch Library in Cleveland. In 1934, she legally changed her name to Andre Alice Norton, a pen name she had adopted to increase her marketability since boys were the main audience for fantasy. Her first book was published by D. Appleton–Century Company that year, with illustrations by Kate Seredy, titled The Prince Commands, being sundry adventures of Michael Karl, sometime crown prince & pretender to the throne of Morvania (cataloged by the U.S. Library of Congress as by "André Norton").
During 1940–1941 she worked as a special librarian in the cataloging department of the Library of Congress. She was involved in a project related to alien citizenship which was abruptly terminated upon the American entry into World War II. In 1941 she bought a bookstore called Mystery House in Mount Rainier, Maryland, the eastern neighbor of D.C. The business failed, and she returned to the Cleveland Public Library until 1950 when she retired due to ill health. She began working as a reader for publisher-editor Martin Greenberg[a] at Gnome Press, asmall press in New York City that focused on science fiction. She remained until 1958, when she became a full-time professional writer—with 21 novels published. Kirkus had reviewed 16 of them and awarded four starred reviews.[b]
Norton's first published science fiction was a short novella, "The People of the Crater", which appeared under the name "Andrew North" as pages 4–18 of the inaugural 1947 number ofFantasy Book, a magazine from Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. Her first fantasy novel, Huon of the Horn, published by Harcourt Brace under her own name in 1951, adapted the 13th-century story of Huon, Duke of Bordeaux. Her first science fiction novel, Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D., appeared from Harcourt in 1952. She became a prolific novelist in the 1950s, with many of her books published for the juvenile market, at least in their original hardcover editions.
She wrote more than a dozen speculative fiction series, but her longest, and longest-running project was "Witch World", which began with the novel Witch World in 1963. The first six novels were Ace Books paperback originals published from 1963 to 1968. From the 1970s most of the series was published in hardcover editions. From the 1980s some were written by Norton and a co-author, and others were anthologies of short fiction for which she was editor. (Witch World became a shared universe).[c] There were dozens of books in all.
Norton was twice nominated for the Hugo Award, in 1964 for the novel Witch World and in 1967 for the novelette "Wizard's World". She was nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, winning the award in 1998. Norton won a number of other genre awards and regularly had works appear in the Locus annual "best of year" polls.
She was a founding member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, led by Lin Carter, with entry by fantasy credentials alone. Norton was the only woman among the original eight members. Some works by SAGA members were published in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords! anthologies.
As Norton's health became uncertain, she moved to Winter Park, Florida in November 1966, where she remained until 1997. In 1976, Gary Gygax invited Norton to play Dungeons & Dragons in his Greyhawk world. Norton subsequently wrote Quag Keep, which involved a group of characters who travel from the real world to Greyhawk. It was the first novel to be set, at least partially, in the Greyhawk setting and, according to Alternative Worlds, the first to be based on D&D. Quag Keep was excerpted in Issue 12 of The Dragon (February 1978) just prior to the book's release. She and Jean Rabe were collaborating on the sequel to her 1979 Greyhawk novel Quag Keep when she died. Return to Quag Keep was completed by Rabe and published by Tor Books in January 2006.
She moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1997 and from February 21, 2005, she was under hospice care. She died at home on March 17, 2005, of congestive heart failure.
Her final complete novel, Three Hands for Scorpio, was published on April 1, 2005. Besides Return to Quag Keep, Tor has published two more novels with Norton and Rabe credited as co-authors, Dragon Mage (Nov 2006) and Taste of Magic (Jan 2008).
LegacyOn February 20, 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which had earlier honored her with its Grand Master Award in 1983, announced the creation of the Andre Norton Award, to be given each year for an outstanding work of fantasy or science fiction for the young adult literature market, beginning with 2005 publications. While the Norton Award is not a Nebula Award, it is voted by SFWA members on the Nebula ballot and shares some procedures with the Nebula Awards. Nominally for a young adult book, actually the eligible class is middle grade and young adult novels. Unlike Nebulas, there is a jury whose function is to expand the ballot beyond the six books with most nominations by members.
Often called the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy by biographers such as J. M. Cornwell and organizations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,Publishers Weekly, and Time, Andre Norton wrote novels for over 70 years. She had a profound influence on the entire genre, having over 300 published titles read by at least four generations of science fiction and fantasy readers and writers. Notable authors who cite her influence include Greg Bear, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. J. Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton,Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Joan D. Vinge, David Weber, K. D. Wentworth, and Catherine Asaro.
Recurring motifsThis section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)Norton started out writing juvenile historical fiction and adventure, and then moved into fantasy and finally science fiction. Again and again in her works, alienated outsiders undertake a journey through which they realize their full potential; this emphasis on the rite of passage continued her association in many readers' minds with young adult fiction, although she became a best seller to adults.
In most Norton books, whether science-fiction or fantasy, the plot takes place in the open countryside, with only short episodes in a city environment. Protagonists usually move about singly or in small groups, and in conflict situations they are more often scouts, spies or guerrillas rather than regular soldiers in large military formations.
As could be expected of such characters, they tend to be resourceful and capable of taking independent initiative. In some books, protagonists are introduced already in possession of such characteristics. In others the protagonists (often young) are thrust into situations where they must develop them quickly, and invariably succeed at it.
Many planets in the books are Earth-like places, where humans can live without special protection, and have extensive flora and fauna which are described in considerable detail and often have substantial bearing on the plot. Airless planets and ones with unbreathable atmospheres are sometimes mentioned in passing, but are virtually never the main scene of a Norton book (an exception is Night of Masks). In many of her books, especially her mid-period and later fantasies, such as most of the Witch World series, there are settings described similarly, with ancient stone highways left by unknown civilizations, flanked by half-fallen walls overgrown with vines, and often studded with tall pillars topped by mythical shapes. These vistas are universally presented as almost vibrating with magical power. Another common setting, in both fantasies and science fiction, is of a room filled with alien super-scientific equipment, often where something evil (such as experimentation on humans or other living creatures) has gone or is going on.
A common theme in the books is the presence of sympathetically presented feudal and tribal cultures. In several books Native American tribes and their various analogues are given a chance to be more successful than they were in actual American history. (Norton often told friends that she was proud of her little bit of Native American ancestry.) Nonhuman creatures and cultures are usually presented sympathetically, with human protagonists sometimes supporting them against oppressive human authorities. In contrast, several books present technological and mechanized cultures as negative or even positively evil.
With her 1965 book Year of the Unicorn (third in the High Hallack spinoff of her Witch World series), she used a young woman as the protagonist, which was at the time uncommon for American works of fantasy.
An important role in Norton's books is often given to animals — both ordinary terrestrial ones, such as cats (with whom she had much personal experience — see List of fictional cats#Andre Norton) and exotic fictional ones, whose characteristics are meticulously worked out. Many of Norton's animals are highly intelligent without being anthropomorphic, acting as virtually full partners to the human protagonists and in many books forming telepathic links with them.
Cover of Voodoo Planet by Andrew North, artist Ed Valigursky; half of Ace Double#D-345 (1959)Some background elements, such as the use of "Credits" as a unit of currency and of the lethal "Blasters" and the non-lethal "Stunners" as the main hand-weapons, are common to many of Norton's science fiction books, even when they are not set in precisely the same future.
A fictional board and counter game called "Stars and Comets" appears in many Norton science fiction books. However, only fleeting hints of the rules are revealed. Counters styled as either "stars" or "comets" move across the board taking opponents' pieces. The rules of movement and capture seem to be very complex allowing hidden strategies and sudden reversals of fortune. It may be that there are both elements of skill and chance. Often, it is not the game being played itself which features, but references to it as an analogy of some plot situation. Its use helps to reinforce the alien culture being portrayed, and also gives the reader a sense of continuity between books portraying differing people and places.
Equally, an interstellar refugee camp turned slum of dubious reputation called the Dipple provides the starting point for a number of planet stories, as the number of desperate young people seeking any escape from its poverty is high.
She also developed the concept of traveling through alternate worlds in The Crossroads of Time. In the Time Trader series, she explored Celtic Europe, and Ice Age Baltic region, synthesizing anthropology, archeology, and hard science fiction, and this series must also be seen as a pivotal exploration of time travel, as a method of fictionally exploring lost cultures. The second book in the Time Trader series, Galactic Derelict, features the use of recovered alien technology, to enable human travel to the stars, and this theme is also very recurrent, with definite features developed by Andre Norton.
High Hallack LibraryThe High Hallack Library was a facility that Andre Norton was instrumental in organizing and opening. Designed as a research facility for genre writers, and scholars of “popular” literature (the genres of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, western, romance, gothic, or horror), it was located near Norton’s home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The facility, named after one of the continents in Norton's Witch World series, was home to over 10,000 texts, videos and various other media. Attached to the facility were three guest rooms, allowing authors and scholars the chance to stay on-site to facilitate their research goals.
The facility was opened on February 28, 1999, and operated until March 2004. Most of the collection was sold during the closing days of the facility. The declining health of Andre Norton was one of the leading causes of its closing.
A new batch of fractal designs I made from scratch using 3D and Photoshop.
Baffled and Bedazzled, Murder Yet Again
"A James Moriarity Story."
Same old story. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl eats boy. Period.
James scratched his mop of hair thoughtfully a moment with the tip of his pen, probably adding some ink to the stains already on his scalp, but at that moment he didn't care. A person had died tragically and he needed to record it before it slept from his memory.
August 21, an auspicious day for Kenneth Anger, a young man dead set on conquering the world with his cleverness and his ability to swift talk any young woman into his inner sanctum. He prided himself on his looks, his sharp mind, and his nose for smelling out the young pretties that he hoped to carve away from their happy niche in life, and add to his list of conquests. Little did he know at that time that as he was carving one niche, someone else was equally as dead set on carving another kind of niche.
"What a beautiful day!" He exclaimed, casting his thick bedcover, which his grandmother had knit for him as a child and he had kept as his good luck for many years now, not just for warmth. He slipped his slender, well proportioned feet into some handmade slippers that had been imported from the Chinas, then slogged his way into the bathroom of the flat he shared with his Jewish roommate, Naier God, an industrious young man, shy and reclusive, who had never dated a single young woman yet, as he neared the ripe old age of eighteen.
"Naier!" He called out.
"Mister Anger?" Came the return reply from the bathroom.
"I need to avail myself of our potty at once."
"Yes, Mister Anger."
Naier piled out of the bathroom, slipping on his tattered pants, which he had purchased from a second hand street down Augur Way. A tiny shop that specialized on reselling old clothing and other old things.
He and Naier had both found something they desired there. Naier the pants, and he a lucky charm. It was a young woman, the top half of her body emerged from a body of water, the bottom half invisible. Her face had an inviting smile.
"Were I to meet this one, I would surely fall in love." Kenneth had exclaimed as he purchased the charm.
The saleswoman, an elderly woman of cracked face and sharp eyes, had given him a piercing stare. "Be careful what you wish for, young man."
"Oh, I am. I am." He replied tartly, unmindful of the warning tone of her voice.
She had given him another look, then made a sound of disgust, and handed over the charm as he handed over the cash.
He finished scrubbing his body, then emptied himself, slid into his natty suit he had purchased uptown, putting on the top hat that all gentlemen of station wore, and headed for the flat's door.
Naier had followed him. "When will you return?"
"When I'm through shopping."
Naier cringed. He knew what that meant and found it instantly distasteful. So much so, that he didn't hide his feelings about it.
Kenneth clapped him hard on the back, causing Naier to fall back in alarm. "Naier, you really do need to get our more." Then he had clasped the door handle and exited the flat, heading for the docks. He found the women who went there to be easy to talk to, and also...he grinned...more willing.
He reached the docks a bit later than planned, having had to take a more circuitous route to the Wet Bar and Grill, a pub for the locals there, where a young man of his age would be accepted, even if a bit offsetting to the native sailors who frequented the place.
He had settled into his usual corner at that time and noticed an older gentleman seated there. The man was gigantic. He easily towered over all the men in the place, had a strong face, if somewhat rounded, and earnest eyes that seemed to look into a person's soul.
"Good morning, sir." He had greeted the man, settling opposite him.
"And to you, young man." The stranger had replied.
"I hear the breakfast here is to die for." He had told the older man, who looked startled for a moment, then laid aside his mug of tea to rise.
"Pray that not be the case." The older man had told him. The older man had been James, though young Kenneth knew it not at that time and never would.
James went to another booth and sat down there, and began furiously making notes in a small leather book he carried. It appeared well used, stained and cumbersome, but small enough for a man of his side to handle easily enough.
"Drink sir?" The Barkeeper asked, wiping the table where James had been.
"Who is that man?"
"Oh him? He's investigating a murder case."
Kenneth's heart skipped a beat for a moment. "Here?"
The Barkeeper smiled, revealing tobacco stained teeth. "Not likely. But on a nearby merchant vessel, the Queen of the Atlantic."
"Heard of her." Kenneth acknowledged. "Never thought something like that would occur."
"Strange thing too." The Barkeeper said.
"The young sailor who died had been eaten to death."
Kenneth laughed, taking it as a joke. "Speaking of eating. I'll take my usual and a pint of ale."
"Coming right up, young man." The Barkeeper replied, heading for the back.
Kenneth was giving some thought to the conversation when he felt someone sit next to him. How unusual he thought, and then he turned and looked into the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen. They were large and luminous, as if he were gazing into the depths of the depths of the sea. Her eyebrows were a soft brown and her hair was loose and freely hanging, but in a unique style he had never seen before. Other than that, she looked perfectly normal. And lovable.
At that moment he uttered, much to his dismay. "I think I'm falling in love."
She blushed, and then put a hand over his. "I hope I am not intruding upon you, but I am quite hungry and new to this town, and hoped you might be able to help me in two ways."
"Most certainly." He replied, touching his hat in a friendly gesture.
She dimpled, and then smiled coyly at him.
"Perhaps we could grab something to eat here and bring it with us as you showed me the town?"
"What an excellent idea." He proclaimed, feeling the web threading before him to capture this n new denizen of feminine treasure.
They took their food and left the Pub. A moment later James came out as well, his eyes on the two of them. At first he started off in a different direction, and then as they continued into the city, he followed at a discrete distance.
"My name is Amberly." She told Kenneth as he very carefully took her free hand and pressed it with his own. She squeezed back.
"You're a bold one, you are."
"Seize the treasure is my motto."
She smiled. "I like that. We're almost there." She told him slowing.
"Almost where?" He asked in perplexity. He thought they were heading to the park nearby, but instead she guided him back again towards the pier and a lone vessel that was moored there, its flags of an unusual color, laying slack in the lack of a morning breeze.
"What is this way?"
She laughed. "Why our meals of course. I have something wonderful to show you."
He smiled. "Of course." His heart skipped a beat, when he saw something a bit unusual in her smile, but he was so dead set on adding her to his list of trophies, that he ignored his intuition, squashing it flat.
She urged him towards the moored ship. He followed, like a lamb to the slaughter. When they proceeded up its gangplank, he became more nervous. "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"I always know what I'm doing." She told him.
As they reached the main deck a huge man with a dark face and menacing brows stepped from the Captain's Cabin. "I'd like you to meet father. He's eager to eat you."
"You mean meet me, don't you?" He corrected her.
The words no sooner left his lips when a number of other crew members arose from various hiding places and surrounded them. "What's the meaning of this? I'm an important person, you touch me and you'll be punished to the full extent of the law."
The Captain loomed over him, smiling, revealing very sharp teeth, chiseled to points. "Aye, we'll be punished all right, but not by the likes of you, mortal." He laughed, and then lunged forward to grab Kenneth.
Kenneth dodged his grasp and ran to the Captain's Cabin and threw himself inside. He slammed the door shut and bolted it. "I'll just wait out this insanity." He said to himself, his whole body trembling with fear.
"Why, what a pretty young thing we have here." He heard from behind him. He turned and what had been invisible in the shadows of the dark cabin was a beautiful face, even more so than the young woman.
"This is my lucky day." He said out loud, congratulating himself on locking himself inside.
"Come to me, young man, I think we need to talk." The woman ordered him.
He went to her, with fancies of a warm and comfortable dalliance dancing in his heart and mind, but when he got further into the back, she rose slowly higher and higher, revealing that the bottom half of her body had scales like a fish. He cried out in horror as she lunged for him, her mouth open, revealing sharpened teeth.
On the pier James had been following the couple, and saw the altercation. He had come back with Inspector Bloodstone, knowing he couldn't protect the young man by himself. They boarded the ship. The Captain and his crew all leapt from the main deck into the Thames, vanishing into the depths of the waters, with no further sight of them.
The scream came from inside at that moment.
He and the Inspector rushed to the Captain's Door and broke it down. Inside they found a hatch that opened to the waters, open and a large fish's tail slithering through it.
"Bloody Hell!" The Inspector cried out at the sight, then again as he spotted the remains of Kenneth Anger.
James finished his journal entry, and then closed the leather book containing it. He put his hands on his eyes and rubbed them.
He had pieced the tale together from Naier and the young man's propensities from his conquest, his deductive powers and Crystal Palace allowing him to see the entire episode up until the death of the young man.
He had fallen from the Crystal Palace in horror when the young woman's mother had begun eating on young Kenneth, and so now he sat there somberly in the flat that was 221B. Here he shared his work and his companionship with his good friend, John Watson, who had recently lost his best friend, Sherlock Holmes, to a terrible fate.
James rose and looked out on the street below.
"Death come not as a friend to me,
Sheathe thy deadly claws,
Shut thy foul maw
And crawl away.
For you shall bedazzle me, baffle me
And eat my soul no more."
James thought of the elderly poet, Poe, who had written the verses a moment, and then at the sound of Watson coming up the steps, he turned a cheery smile to his companion to greet him. The past was gone, tomorrow was now.
"Watson!" He greeted as his friend entered.
"You look good." Watson noted.
"Fresh sea air will do that for a man." James answered mysteriously.
The Green Hornet TV series will be remembered for Bruce Lee, the indomitable Martial Arts Genius, who revolutionized the action movie scene forever. He played Kato in the series.
I don't think so, but it's fun to consider anyway. Nice setup.
Those American Fools
"A Rocketman Story"
Jet shivered in the hold of the cargo plane, while Harry strapped into his rocket suit. "Not my idea of a vacation, Harry."
"You were expecting Florida, maybe?" Harry asked, as he drew his helmet down to lock onto his shoulder pack. Now he could navigate without his eyes burning out of their sockets from the air friction.
Jet saw he was ready and put on his own goggles, strapping them extra tight. "This is going to be a close one, you know."
"For the Fatherland I would do anything." Harry quipped, a scowl of a smile lighting the eyes behind his rocket suit helmet.
"Yeah. We do go back a ways with father, don't we?" Jet grinned, and then stood up, clutching the parachute strapped to his chest. "Still I don't think hanging from the arms of a flying bomb is such a hot idea either."
Harry ignored him and activated the rear door of the cargo plane, causing the door there to begin lowering. Wind rushed inside, shoving at them. Harry turned around. "Come to Papa."
"You better not drop me." Jet warned.
"That's what parachutes are for." Harry quipped.
"Yeah. That and a two by four over the back of the head. Don't drop me!"
"Ease up, soldier. This is a piece of cake. We jet over to the experimental air carrier; deposit our token of friendship to the Fatherland, then get the hell outta there."
"Roger that, but..." Jet gave Harry a stern look. "Don't drop me!"
Harry crossed his heart with a gauntleted hand. "Swear!"
"Why don't I trust you when you say that word?" Jet asked, turning around for Harry to grab him.
Harry didn't give him a chance to say anything more or move. As soon as Harry turned, he rushed forward, then grabbed him by the shoulder harness there, then threw them both off the back of the plane.
"Don't dropppppppp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Jet cried out as they plummeted towards the rugged mountains below.
Then Harry's jets came to life as he triggered them with his chin and nose controls and they leveled out, then as Harry angled his arms skywards, they shot like a rocket towards the moon high overhead.
Colonel Wilhelm Smitzhkipf, a high ranking Sturmgard in service to the Fuehrer, paced the capacious deck of their experimental carrier, going from one needle nosed jet fighter to the next, first examining their armaments, then the pilots who stood at attention beside them.
Satisfied, he stopped in front of the phalanx of jets and pilots, then gave them a stern look of approval. "The Father will be proud of you."
The pilots all saluted at the same time. "Heil Hitler!"
The Colonel nodded his head and gave them a weak salute in return, and then he struck his small hand whip against the side of his pants and looked towards the rear of the carrier, where the large door was already sliding open for the jets to launch an attack.
"Switzerland has been holding out for neutrality." He explained, his attention barely on the men.
"We shall teach them that there is no such thing as neutrality."
"Heil Hitler!" The pilots said again with a salute.
"Yes. Yes. That too. But now..." He turned to eye them, his face less stern. "You, my children, are the finest of the finest. We have spent years cultivating your abilities. You have been enhanced with sciences the West is not yet aware of, but soon will be. You are the first of our Sturm Drangers...Super Soldiers."
"Heil Hitler!" Even louder this time.
He smiled like a wolf about to eat a lamb.
"You shall teach the meaning of real peace to those fools below, who huddle in their simple cottages and unprotected towns next to their...disgusting lakes and ducks."
The pilots burst into laughter then.
He grinned. It was working. He had then firmly in the grip of his hand. Not one of them was questioning the fact that their jets had only enough fuel to attack, but not to return to the Fatherland.
"Now, prepare to launch."
"Heil Hitler!" The pilots hailed one last time, saluted, then dashed up the small ladders into the cockpits of their jets as flight crew assisted them.
At that same moment something roared through the open area in back to the surprise of the Colonel.
Harry landed in front of him and let Jet go.
"Go, Jet!" Harry commanded.
Jet dashed for the front of the carrier with his small package held tightly in his hands.
"Seize him!" The Colonel ordered and several of the flight crew ran after Jet.
"So." The Colonel said, walking closer to Harry. "I see our friends in the West have been working on a little surprise for us. After we kill your companion, we shall take your suit back to our Fuehrer and make thousands of them!"
"Nice fantasy, Colonel. But I don't think so."
"There is nothing you can do to stop us!" The Colonel said, his face screwed up in anger.
"Uh actually, there is.'
Harry pointed to the back of the plane where another package stood.
The Colonel's eyes widened.
Harry gave the Colonel a three fingered salute, and then launched towards the front of the carrier. He slammed through the flight crew chasing Jet, then grabbed Jet's harness and lifted him off the flooring. He angled put on speed towards the distant cockpit where a wide panel of glass gave a view of the Alps below.
"Harry, please tell me you're not going to do what I think you're going to..."
Harry drew his arms back, allowing Harry to fall below and to the rear so that his helmet and shoulder armor would take the brunt of the crash, then slammed into the glass paneling before the Pilot and Co-Pilot of the Nazi Carrier.
The paneling shattered like a soap bubble, instantly sucking the Pilot and Co-Pilot through the opening to their deaths.
Behind them the Colonel ran towards the package in the rear, his face red with exertion and fear. He reached the package, heard a ticking sound, which stopped.
He grinned. The fool Americans had failed.
He lifted the package. It was heavy. He saw some writing on it.
He read it. "Give my regards to the Devil." It read.
The package exploded.
Behind Harry and Jet the vast Nazi Super Carrier exploded at its tail and the explosion ripped forwards, tearing the vast vehicle into a thousand pieces of flaming debris.
Harry brought Jet forward.
"We're safe now."
Jet looked up at Harry's helmeted face a moment, then down at the Alps below. "I'll believe that when we land. And next time, you run and I fool."
"It's a deal." Harry said, and then executed a sharp angled turn, which plummeted them like a rocket, which he was, towards the secret base below.
"Jets away!" He cried as they shot towards home.
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