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Old 11-11-2015, 03:55 PM
RVM45 RVM45 is offline
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Cool Conclusion

Friends,

I put off writing this chapter for several days.

Then I realized that it was time to close it up and I hated to do that because I was really enjoying this. Still any more would wax repetitious.

I'm going to sharpen my pencil and edit for typos, verb agreements as well as smoothing the occasional awkward sentence...

And I'm going to publish this one and "River Bottoms" as a partial prequel on Kindle. Hopefully it will catch on and blaze brightly.

I'm not holding my breath.



Chapter Thirty-One






I don’t follow military affairs much—especially since being put in charge of other Adepts. I remember Jeff Cooper was really impressed by the M-1 Abrams tank. It was expensive and far from simple to make or maintain, but it offered enough positive advantages to make all the high tech stuff worth it in this instance.

I imagine that the M-1 Abrams was way out of date in the modern world but whether the tanks that came after it were as superior to anything else in the field as the Abrams or whether they only increased the complexity where it would give a corresponding large increase in efficacy—that I don’t know—or care much.

Anyway, mere hours away from our enclave opening up to us there came tank after tank after tank from Fort Benning along with platoon after platoon of combat infantry.

They stopped at the black clad trooper’s outer perimeter and raised a huge flag of truce.

I went out to meet with them. As I said—we were hours from being able to jump down the groundhog hole and being able top pull the hole in after us. Every minute that I could gain taking was protein for us. I went in my own original—maybe I should say “Beta” self since this body had once been a big kahuna. I took a platoon of various spawn—even spawn from my former kahunas who’d gone independent.

No sooner had I walked into the tent than a black uniformed major shot me with another pair of silver spikes.

“That doesn’t work on me anymore dumbass, but here’s something for the thought,” I said as I rammed my fist through his hard body armor, the soft body armor that he wore under that and through his torso and out through the two layers of armor in the rear.

I dropped the still beating heart on the ground behind him. The chi shield kept me from even getting any blood on my hand or arm.

Several pistols were drawn along with a couple more of the Taser-like devices.

“Everyone stand down!” A lieutenant general with three silver stars on his desert camo BDUs shouted.

“Now, as the officer in charge of Fort Benning along with both associated and unassociated reserve units, I have decided that this siege and the pogrom against those suspected of being so-called ‘Adepts’ is unconstitutional and I’m ordering you men to lay down your arms. You are under suspicion of treason and may face charges,” the three star general said.

“Dudes, if it was me—I’d rather go down fighting than lay down my arms,” I told the federals.

“Your comment is not helpful,” the general said in irritation.

“No, it may not be helpful to either your or my aims. Nonetheless it is true,” I said.

************* **************** ****************************

“May I speak to you for a moment,” the lieutenant general asked me as we prepared to go back to our compound.

The portals would be opening any moment.

“What do you need?” I asked him when we were alone.

“When this is over, I’d very much like to visit your town. I think that maybe it would be a good place to retire and raise my grandchildren,” the general said.

**************** ******************* ******************************

At the last moment a gate that hadn’t quite stabilized opened outside our barricades among the black clad federals and over eleven hundred of them entered our land.

They immediately raised a flag of truce.

“We wish to apply for political asylum,” the captain that had been selected to represent them told me.

“How do you figure?” I asked somewhat amused at her audacity.

“Isn’t this a sovereign territory? And isn’t whether or not to obey an order or to refuse it largely a matter of politics? Either choice can turn out to be the wrong one—depending on who wins,” she said.

“Surrender your weapons. I hate to say that to anyone—even y’all. You have my word that once the confusion dies down and we can get you some clothing that isn’t an incitement to riot that you will have the run of the place and that I’ll return your weapons,” I said.

************** ********************* ***********************************

Ever hear of an “Arcology”? It’s either a small city or a humongous building depending on how you define it.

I think that the original plan called for a building a mile wide, a mile thick and one hundred stories tall. Hundred story buildings are a fait accompli. There are no problems building it as wide as you’d like—so long as you have the cash on hand.

Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven wrote a novel about an Arcology that was two miles on a side.

An Arcology is fearsomely easy to heat or cool since its surface area is so small compared to its volume. It can house apartments, condominiums, factories and schools. It can even have parks with big oak trees growing—you just have to combine several floors in a few places to allow headroom.

It saves huge amounts of fuel since everything is close to you.

No one will ever build an Arcology in the outside world because it has far too high a start-up cost.

When we entered our new enclave there was a huge Arcology built for us. It is a little over 2.25 miles on a side and one hundred and thirty-seven stories tall—not counting beaucoup levels of basements and a thirty-seven-story extension that went on for more than another mile in every direction.

God knows how a relatively blunt instrument like the enclave building jutsu built something as sophisticated as an Arcology. It almost certainly wouldn’t have come about if I hadn’t been exposed to the concept along with variations.

Lets put this into perspective. 2.25 squared gives just a wee bit more than five square miles. Five square miles multiplied by one hundred and thirty-seven stories gives just a little over six hundred square miles. Rhode Island only has one thousand square miles.

There are bank after bank of full-spectrum lights that never seem to burn out. There are a half a dozen Thorium Reactors with their bases resting on the floor of the lowest sub-basement. One of them would put out more than enough power for three or four Arcologies like ours. They come complete with blueprints and beaucoup operating and maintenance manuals. Scientists and engineers come from all over the world to study our Thorium reactors.

The top few floors are given over to a recreation of our old village. Two and a half square miles would more than suffice, but several stories were needed to accommodate the trees. Also, the village has been expanded a bit—for instance there were more than enough dorms or barracks to house the federal “Political Refugees” and the influx of students determined to learn tradecraft here.

My old room is in a dorm on one of the top floor village simulations—Just as I left it decades ago when I sealed it.

There are trees in the parks that seem to have been growing there for a hundred and fifty—maybe two hundred years or more. There are hydroponic and aereoponic gardens adequate to feed most of the American Southwest housed in our tower.

There is also an arms factory capable of arming the whole world were that ever to become necessary.

There is a second replica of the village beside the tower for people who just can’t cotton to living in a building.

Panic wanted an enclave as big as Indiana or Kentucky. I got carried away a bit. This enclave is as big as Indiana and Kentucky combined and throw in Vermont for good measure. And just like in the tower, the land is filled with huge stands of virgin hardwood timber that would have taken two or three hundred years to stabilize.

I don’t think that there are any other towers or other artifacts in our enclave but who knows?

People flock here. Many of the militia and guardsmen who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us have relocated here. For some reason the enclave is a popular place to immigrate to among the Japanese and the Taiwanese.

And still there are large areas that probably won’t feel the tread of human feet for a generation or two—maybe three.

************ ***************** ***************************

The Montana skinheads with their sacrifices of dogs and their ki-lobotomised motorcycle storm troopers really dragged my beat. I stomped most of them out with an expedition in force.

A few of the ringleaders got away. I expect that we will have to deal with them once more as soon as they recruit and regroup.

Most Montanans aren’t skinheads or demon worshippers of course. I had enough petitions that I opened three enclaves there as well as one in Northern Idaho.

I opened any number of enclaves for allied Adept groups—but none of them were much bigger than—O, say Kentucky and with bit extra—say the size of Vermont or New Hampshire thrown in. The enclaves came with their own long-standing hardwood forests and the Northern ones somehow contrived have a much warmer climate than the outside world that they connected to. None of them had high tech artifacts either—at least, not to the best of my knowledge.

With one notable exception—well two, but we’ll get to the second momentarily.

My grandmother’s people come from the countryside near Huntingburg Indiana. My father liked to tell how he despaired of ever getting out of the river bottoms when he let his (and my grandmother’s) “river-bottom-billy” cousins talk him into going coon-hunting one night.

I outdid myself there. I threw an enclave about ten percent larger than The Outfit’s—and yes, it was chock-full of artifacts.

Interestingly enough, no one asked me for that one. I created it “Just because”. I steered plenty of sympathetic folk there afterward. It was too big and potentially power-balance threatening to leave empty waiting for whoever or whatever to come along.

************** ***************** ******************************

Morgan came to see me. He’d dropped the Snuffy Smith attire and he had a woman with him.

“What do you want Morgan? I’m not exactly filled with the milk of human kindness toward you. You kicked out my people when their asses were hanging in the breeze,” I said.

“Do you remember Wizard’s tale? I am the old man who told Wizard about Pale Ladies. This is my mother. Wizard is my father. Those particular timelines are highly convoluted.

“We had to kick your people out at that particular juncture. The moment was structured that way.

“Macersville has always existed and it always will—but nonetheless it had to be created. That falls to you. It will be a far harder thing than you have ever attempted. We know that you succeed. We do not know if you survive. We rather doubt it.”

“One more thing: you are the first owner of the Claidheamh Soluis. Someday you or your descendants will present it to Nuada Airgetlám. That silver arm of yours will be his one day as well,” Morgan said.

“You are a lying sack of whore’s spit,” I told him. “You told me that The Pale Lady was your cousin.”

“I am his cousin as well as his mother,” The Pale Lady spoke for the first time.

“Isn’t the child of your cousin also your cousin? So if two cousins marry wouldn’t the child be a cousin to his mother via his father? Wizard and I aren’t related but there are many first and second cousin marriages inn my family tree,” The Pale Lady said.

“What about Wizard? You’ve been tormenting him for decades. It isn’t right,” I spat.

“If Wizard hadn’t been to Saturnalia and claimed the Satyr’s penis and testicles how would you have gotten your powers back?” she asked.

“It is vulgar to use Latin names for body parts—unless you’re some sort of health care professional. There are ample euphemisms without dragging Latin into it,” I said although while my comment was true enough I was being querulous.

“I am a doctor with far better understanding and therapeutic modalities at my disposal than your witch doctors could ever begin to understand, but I will honor your distaste for Latin terminology,” she said.

“Wizard will rejoin me in Macersville. He still needs to sire Morgan and his many brothers and sisters in his own timeline. In fact an older Wizard awaits my return. I would have brought him with me but…” She started.

“But this moment isn’t structured that way,” I finished for her.

“Spoil, we know that you will create the enclave for us. The fact that we’re here proves that. It is also hard to imagine even you surviving such a huge outpouring of mana. But never let it be said that we tricked you into doing something. You have mastered your internal chi to the point that you could survive in your prime for centuries. Know what we’re asking you to wager,” The Pale Lady said.

************ ******************** *****************************

I had put a lot of thought into reconciling free will with predestination—at least what the Bible means when it uses the term commonly translated as “Predestination” or “Predestinate”.

In the world of man there are events that are demonstrably deterministic and yet contain far too many variables for man to compute. Presumably God could calculate even the most chaotic deterministic event. His power of calculation should be infinite.

However from man’s worm’s eye view of the subject only some relatively simple deterministic events can be calculated with dead certainty. The fact is though, the only results that men can determine with certainty are deterministic.

Some proponents of “Open Theism”—most notably Jed Smock AKA “Brother Jed” believe that not even God can foretell events that aren’t constrained at some level to necessity.

The circular logic goes around and around:

“If it can be foretold it must needs be predetermined because only predetermined events can be foretold with absolute certainty.”

What if we have free will and are free to chose in many cases but yet God—not limited by mortal limitations—can foretell the end event with perfect fidelity?

Sure it is a contradiction. There are many contradictions inherent in the concept of an Omnipotent Being.

That means that Omnipotence is LOGICALLY impossible…

But who says that God is limited to mortal Logic?

Time travel and/or tangled world lines involve the same sort of conundrums. Someone tells you:

“You will do this because you must do this. My foreknowledge compels you.”

Not necessarily. I have to decide. Your foreknowledge simply lets you predict the unpredictable.

I think that’s one very good reason that the Bible sometimes gives Prophetic warnings but forbids fortune telling on one’s own hook.

I pondered the question of whether or not to create the giant burl in space-time that was the Macersville enclave.

Since it was inevitable that I weave the enclave, why not live long and live well and create the enclave when on my deathbed. If I had chosen that course, if I were that weak and cowardly—perhaps Macersville would never have been.

I wasn’t one to want to carry on with such a weighty task facing me.


Cowards theorize with the goal of surviving firmly in mind.

I went far from the new village in case destructive energies were released.

Just as I was about to begin I found that I’d been followed.

Ladonna had followed me. Albino Gerald was with her along with Cary the rat runner and David the genius. Gina the cat girl was there. James and Chandra, Duncan the Sumo, Saul the hellhound and Norman the super-sonic came. Jae the Korean mind reader came. Even Coach Brown and Coach O’Brian—both very old men now—chose to come. Thomas the Cherokee and Panic the dragon brought up the rear.

“Friends, I’m honored but this is pretty much a suicide mission. I have no great hopes of surviving. If you all perish with me then who is left to mind the village and The Outfit?” I said solemnly.

“You have left a very well organized cadre and the lines of succession are perfectly clear. The Outfit is perfectly capable of carrying on without us,” David said.

“The amount of chi required as well as the limited data processing of the human mind are what makes this jutsu so problematic,” Ladonna said.

She took out a suede drawstring bag and extracted five of the chi-saturated gumdrops. She popped all of them into her mouth at once and gulped them down after a few chews. Then she started chewing three more.

Everyone else was snarfing large quantities of the chi drops. Duncan was throwing softball-sized paper bags full of chi drops into Panic’s open mouth.

They couldn’t survive such a reckless and imprudent act unless some way to discharge the chi came to hand before they exploded. Creating Macersville was the only possible remedy to such a huge chi overdose.

That’s why The Pale Lady and Morgan were almost certain that I’d perish. They couldn’t imagine that over twelve of my closest friends—no that’s wrong—over a dozen of my closest kin would contrive to aid me.

We survived of course or I couldn’t tell the tale. There are no words to describe what it is like to create a hyper-dimensional enclave but the manual telling the procedure is freely available to all. If you’re satisfied with an “E” Book you can download it for free.

Be warned—there isn’t one in a million who can pull it off and survive.

As a fringe benefit everyone who helped me create the Macersville enclave are now perfectly capable of creating small enclaves—say the size of South Carolina. They have been invited all over the world to do just that.

************** ********************* ***************************

“You are well over one hundred years old and you don’t look a day over twenty-four,” Ladonna said. “Have you ever reconsidered asking me for a date?”

“I once told you that would never happen while I had even a small measure of sanity or restraint left to me. Somewhere over the years and after many mind-bending experiences, I seem to have lost both,” I was forced in all honesty to say.

************* **************** *********************

For awhile there was a great many reforms in the American government. There was also a great deal of attention focused on the freshly re-revealed Adepts.

One by one the new legal protections have been amended and rationalized away over the decades.

There is no such thing as “Society”. Society is a pagan god invoked to justify attacks on individuals…

But if there was such a thing as “Society” I’d say that he was trying hard to forget and rationalize away the existence of Adepts and enclaves. That’s all to the good.

Macersville?

Once again, you can’t get there from here. I hope that someday Wizard can contrive to visit.

Maybe he can make it to my two-hundredth birthday party in a couple months.

One more thing puzzles me. Where was the city of Findias where Nuada Airgetlám’s sword came from? Is that an alias for Macersville or The Outfit’s enclave?

What about all the tales of The Tuatha de Danann and the faerie lands where people sometimes disappeared? Maybe The Tuatha de Danann were Adepts. That bit about just spending days only to find out that years or decades had passed in the outside world…

Yeah, enclaves that are very old can get kinda out of sync with the outside timestream without expert maintenance and knob twiddling.

I'm kinda saddened. I'm mayor, king or whatever you want to call it of The Outfit's enclave and I've lived several human lifetimes but somewhere I lost the happy-go-lucky underachiever who liked to wander through the village drinking cokes, sketching scenes and people and just grooving on being fit and free.

I'm still free but I am no longer unencumbered by responsibilities.

I remind myself daily that nothing of lasting value ever results from haste and letting oneself feel under pressure or driven is the root of many evils--and no good.

Its a little harder to walk that walk when you're at the top.





.....RVM45
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