The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction
Association -- ISSN 0894-5411
Edited by Samuel Lubell email@example.com
Gordon R. Dickson 1923-2001
Capclave 2001 Committee List
Even More Ditzy Than Normal
Colleen Reviews: A Whisper of Wings
Capclave 2001: A Proposal
"Cleopatra 2525: Enigma"
The Usual Blah Blah
Meetings of Others
Edited by Samuel Lubell firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Dickson died at home on January 31. Best known for his Dorsai novels (what he called the Childe Cycle), Dickson published more than 80 novels including Tactics of Mistake, Final Encyclopedia, Lost Dorsai, Necromancer, Soldier Ask Not, Tactics of Mistake, and the Chantry Guild. He is also known for his humorous fiction including The Dragon and the George (which was later used as the source for a series) and his Hoka collaborations with Poul Anderson about alien teddy bears who constantly imitated whatever fiction they encountered.
Born November 1, 1923, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Dickson moved to the U.S. at age 13 and sold his first SF story in 1950 (a collaboration with Poul Anderson), the same year he graduated college. He served as President of SFWA from 1969 to 1971 and was GOH at L.A.con II, the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention. He had won three Hugo awards ("Soldier, Ask Not," 1965; "Last Dorsai," novella, 1981; "The Cloak and the Staff," novelette, 1981), and one Nebula ("Call Him Lord," novelette, 1966). His last book, The Dragon and the Fair Maid of Kent, was published in December 2000. Dickson was 77 years old when he died and had suffered from asthma and poor health for the last decade.
The family asks that those wishing to make contributions in his memory send them to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund, 1436 Altamont Ave., PMB 292, Schenectady NY 12303-2977
Shai Dorsai, Dickson.
WSFA in December: Spent $25 for First Friday, $25 Third Friday, and $45.15 for the WSFA Journal. Total $95.15
We collected: $35.00 from the first book sale, and $50.00 for 2001 Dues. Those who have paid their 2001 dues are Covert, Sam Pierce, Judy (the Prez), Chris Cahill and yours truly.
Thus we took in $85, which brings us just over $1,000 at $1,008.91.
WSFA in January: Spent $25 for 1st Friday and $45.15 for the Journal. Total $70.15
Revenue: Dues collected add up to $190 plus contributions of $1.00 for a total of $191.00
Net Total $1,141.86
Dues collected from Dick & Nicki Lynch, Keith Lynch, Samuel Lubell, Lee & Alexis Gilliland, Lee Strong, John Pomeranz, Kathi Overton, Dave Taylor, George Shaner, Matt Pliton, Brad Lyau, Mike Walsh, Bernie Bell, Rebecca Prather, Walter Miles, Mike Nelson, Elspeth Kovar, and Eric Jablow.
Chair Some Damn Fool named Bob MacIntosh
Programming The ever patient Mike Nelson
Staff Mike and Beth Zipser
Dealers Room Mike Walsh
Home Secretary, Member Services, and Party Tzarina Elspeth Kovar
Treasurer Steve Smith
Registrar Alexis Gilliland
Staff Lee Strong (the morning person)
Publications/PR Sam Lubell
Tech Wizard Kathie Overton (hopefully we'll actually use her)
GOH Liaison Colleen Cahill
Art Exhibit Sam Pierce
Con Suite (step right up and volunteer)
Restaurant Guide (and cake czarina) Erica Ginter
Volunteers (gofers) Peggy Rae Sapienza
Chair's Staff The rest of WSFA (only fair, it is your convention. Do something, if only guard duty or helping at reg or the consuite.)
Hey, not a bad beginning. Also, Dave Taylor is acting as go-between the convention and Goddard. We might have something interesting one of the evenings.
Elspeth adds: WSFA members and associates; it's *our* convention. Do something. There are several departments that still need heading and volunteers are always needed to help at registration, in the consuite, to post and hand out flyers, guard doors, carry supplies, give back rubs etc.
The First Friday 1/5/01 WSFA meeting (first of the Third Millennium), took place at the Gillilands. John got Judy going, saying, "Hey, let's have a meeting." Judy said, "It's 9:17 by my watch." Sam L. said, "Dues are due, and we have the small matter of an election." Judy clarified "Capclave 2002 chair and the remainder of Elspeth's term as trustee." Treasurer Bob reported, "We just crested over $1,000 with $1,030.18." Reacting to this people gave him more money. Judy added, "Dues are $10." Lee Gilliland pointed out "You can't vote if you don't pay." John put in, "But you don't have to vote even if you pay."
Judy said, "Speaking of trustees." Eric, speaking for the trustees, "We're holding elections for the 2002 Capclave chair and a replacement for Elspeth who announced her resignation effective now. Nominee is Nicki Lynch for trustee." Lee Gilliland said, "And me for Capclave chair. Lee on the left, not Lee [Strong] on the right." Judy said, "I have to apologize. I have a cold so am on medicine and even more ditzy than normal." Sam said, "We're gonna quote you on this." <and I just did.>
Alexis for the Entertainment committee said, "We're under the weather and haven't done anything entertaining." Lee said, "There's the white stuff outside." Alexis replied, "I don't take credit for that. That's the department of large and unnecessary expenses." Judy looked at Lee, "Aren't you also another committee?" Lee said, "Yes, WETA, they want 10-15 people Sat and Sun in March, near cheap restaurants. I'll have info next meetings."
Judy, "Other committees?" Sam said, "What about World Fantasy?" Elspeth replied, "I keep forgetting to send hotel information." Bob said, "I get to whip and beat the secretary for not posting the report with the Capclave officers and the BWI SMOFS to foster cooperation. <I put it in this time though, -- editor> I think it is a good idea. The next meeting is the Sunday before the presidents' birthdays, Feb 11. Snow date is a week later." Keith said, "The Capclave information is on the web page." Bob said he had a proposal for comment, but since it didn't appear in the Journal, it could wait.
Elspeth asked if publications had met about web page policy. Sam said, "No, if Judy is up for it, we could meet after the meeting." <But we didn't.>
There was no new business. Announcements. John said, "For the holidays we anted to do something special. After lots of research I found the book I wanted for my mother in law." The club groaned. "Oh, there was another thing," and he held up his finger with a wedding ring. There were visitors from Slovakia. Richard Lynch had DUFF ballots and issue 20 of Mimosa with article about Joe. The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:45.
The meeting was followed by an election. Nicki Lynch was elected trustee. Mike Nelson was elected 2002 Capclave Chair.
Attendance: Pres Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec. Samuel Lubell, Treas and 2001 Chair Bob MacIntosh, Trust Lee Gilliland, Trust. Eric Jablow, Trust. Elspeth Kovar, Matthew Appleton, Covert Beach, Bernard Bell, Alexis Gilliland, Bradford Lyau, Keith Lynch, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Walter Miles, Michael Nelson, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, Sam Scheiner, Lee Strong, Michael Taylor, Michael Walsh, Martina Pilcerova, Harvey Van Buren, Hugh Greentree, Hal 2001, Baby New-Year, and Real Millennium.
by Lee Strong
"Mr. Stamps, when I said `Please sit down', that was not a request. We are going to discuss whether or not you will continue to be a student in this law school, and you do yourself no favor by defiance."
The student sat down sullenly.
The dean held up a reproduced sheet of paper. "Do you recognize this report?"
"And what is it?"
Stamps hesitated a second before answering. "A Virginia Variable Intelligence Profile."
"Is this your signature?"
The student glanced cursorily at the scrawled name. "Yes, sir."
"And what it this?" The dean pointed to a three digit number typed on the report form.
"A score of 111."
The dean sighed. "When were you planning to tell us about this?"
Stamps exploded, "Dammit sir. It's not fair! I have just as much right to attend law school as...."
"No Sir Mister Stamps You Do Not," snapped the dean. "You do not have `just as much right to attend law school' as the ordinary American citizen. And you should realize that without taking up my time reminding you. Right now, you are looking at possible criminal charges not to mention forfeiture of your tuition. Or did you not read the agreement to abide by the National Legal Practices Act when you applied here?"
The student's fire had been quenched by the reality of the law. He sat quietly, wanting to rebel, but hesitant at the brink.
The dean sighed again, and changed tactics. "Son, how old are you?"
"Twenty-four." Stamps looked confused.
"Well, young man. You're not old enough to remember the Nuclear Winter but I am. Do you know what the history books mean when they say `The National Guard mobilized and restored order.'?"
The student was uncertain about the change in conversation, and simply shook his head.
"It meant that the Guard saved this country from disappearing as Canada and a dozen European countries did. The Guard swept the countryside and evacuated millions of people thru snowdrifts measured in feet rather than inches. The Guard moved over a hundred million people from Canada and the northern states south to relative safety. And, on the way, the Guard broke open grocery stores and clothing stores, and made sure that what was available got distributed fairly... according to their point of view.
"It also meant that the Guard didn't appreciate lawyers trying to tell them what was legal and what wasn't. They needed engineers and doctors and nurses and truck drivers and mechanics and other `useful' people. To them, we were troublemakers taking up food and clothing and heat that could have gone to `useful' people. We know that many lawyers who protested too much were shot... or abandoned to survive as best they could.
"Usually they didn't.
"And the postwar government seriously considered abolishing the professional practice of law altogether."
The dean sighed again, and, for a moment, his gaze was very far away.
"Instead, we have the National Legal Practices Act. It isn't so bad. We still have professional lawyers and we still settle disputes in civil courts. A number of European countries can't say that.
"But," the dean paused before resuming, "the Act does impose limitations on the practice of law and on its practitioners. Viewed rationally, those limitations make sense. As a nation, we do need our best and brightest to go into fields like medicine and engineering. And, the 110 limitation insures that laws, regulations and court decisions are easy for the average citizen to understand. More importantly, it also insures that the Guard won't feel intimidated by lawyers ever again. Which, in turn, keeps us safe."
The student tried one last time. "We could fight the Act in court...." His voice trailed off. Ever he wasn't confident about that.
The dean sighed. "Young man, I would like to help you, but you're not going to use this school for a 20th Century-style test case. I've got to consider 99 other students, not just you. If you fight this one, you fight alone."
The dean straightened, sitting upright in his chair. "Mr. Terrance Abernathy Stamps, you will receive your official notification tomorrow, but I have no choice. You are hereby officially terminated from studying law at this school for violation of the National Legal Practices Act. Specifically, you exceed the maximum intelligence allowed for a lawyer."
A Whisper of Wings by Paul Kidd (Flushing, N.Y. : Vision, c1999)
A friend who attended the recent AnthroCon lent me a title he acquired there called A Whisper of Wings. Never having read any anthropomorphic or "furry" literature, I was curious. I must admit that the cover of this work put me off a bit: a female with furred human body, head and tail of a fox, wings and antenna of a butterfly seemed not the stuff of great stories. Paul Kidd, however, has taken these creatures, called Kashra, and made a wonderful tale of power and war, magic and love.
A Whisper of Wings is not a warm and fuzzy book; it is complex and often dark, with intrigue and murder as important to the story as the magic and wonder. The Kashra are old society, with many long standing traditions and blessed with a thousand years of peace. War is scrupulously avoided and to this end a class system was set up. Unfortunately, the system has become hide-bound and is breaking down. The upper classes, defined by their colorful wings, as opposed to the brown wings of the common folk, care more for their rights and privileges than for the people they rule. Famine is a reality as the Katakanii, one clan of the Kashra, have over-hunted their forests without thought. Shadarii, a muted and talented dancer with healing powers, is one of the few Kashra that still communes with the woods. She strongly senses the Ka or spirits around her and she feels more at home in the forest than among her people, who treat her with pity or contempt. Shadarii is loving person but not strong in will and she often shies from conflict, even if it is at her expense. She is the younger daughter of the clan Lord and her older sister, Zhukora, is a different from her as night and day. Zhukora is strong in body and will; she wants the best for her people and is not class conscience. She can, however, be cruel and intolerant of those who do not share her views.
The politics of the Katakanii clan are rigid. The clan Lord is old and has no sons to replace him. He neglects his two daughters, preferring to dream of earlier days. Zhukora sees the hunger of the common folk and rebels against the current system. She judges people on their merit and her companions are the strongest and brightest among the tribe: her closest friend and lover is a commoner. Her leadership is charismatic and her followers are happy to fight or die for her. Initially, she wants only what is good for the clan; more food, protection from enemies and respect for all. But while Zhukora sees the problems of the tribe, she feels only her solutions are viable and does not look at their long term effect. For example, she tries to harvest the entire school of fish heading up stream to mate not considering that next year there maybe no fish to return. She is sees Shadarii as a cripple and scorns her for being weak and useless. The older sister has no moral trouble in caging her younger sibling to hand over to the religious leadership. This group recognized Shadarii's great rapport with the Ka and plan to force her into the priesthood, willing or not. Shadarii initially wants nothing more than to dance the sacred dances of the tribe, but is eventually denied this due to jealousy of another dancer. Meanwhile she finds love with Kotura, a Kashra from another clan and a commoner. Their love is forbidden by tradition, as not only are they from different classes, but the clans avoid contact with each other. Only after Kotura is left for dead and Shadarii escapes from her sister does she learn she has powers she did not know of, and abilities undreamed.
The two sisters move in different paths, gaining powers and experiences that color their choices and through them, effect the lives of all the clans of Kashra. This is not a predictable tale and there is no happy ending. The villains make understandable choices and are not evil incarnate and the heroes have flaws that make them interesting and approachable. For those readers of furry literature, this is one to check out; for those who are curious, this is a good place to start.
There is a new organization in existence. It is called BWSMOFS (Batlimore-Washinton SMoFs). It is a collection of the local convention runners who want to get better relationships with the other conventions in our region (and there are quite a few). The first meeting on December 17th had representation from most of the local convention groups (WSFA was represented by me, Elspeth, Colleen Cahill, Michael Walsh, and Peggy Rae).
There was much preliminary discussions and discoveries among the participants on what we all shared in common and what was clearly unique to the conventions each was holding. The most significant point is that we are talking and have scheduled a meeting in February (I believe it is the 11th (at 1 pm at BSFS clubhouse with a snow date of the 25th). I would urge those WSFAns interested in running conventions to try and attend. There are some good ideas running around out there that we might be able to use for Capclave.
By Ted White
Fanzines are a basic part of science fiction fandom, having been in existence as long as fandom itself - the past 70 years. Fanzines are a reflection of many fans' interest in the printed word and amateur publishing. The publication you are reading this in is a fanzine, but a specialized one. A variety of other fanzines are also available - many of them by request - and this column will cover some of them each issue.
All fanzines are published as a hobby and lose money. Their editors appreciate money to defray their expenses and sometimes list single-copy or subscription prices, but they appreciate even more your written response - a Letter of Comment, or LoC. Feedback - better known in fandom as "egoboo" - is what fanzine publishing is all about.
Check out the fanzines below and broaden your participation in fandom.
ANSIBLE (Dave Langford, 94 London Rd, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AU, United Kingdom; email@example.com; monthly single sheet newsletter; available in the U.S. for a self-addressed, stamped envelope sent to U.S. agent Janice Murray, Box 75684, Seattle, WA 98126-0684)
Ansible has been appearing regularly for 20 years; the December issue is #161. Dave Langford writes and edits Ansible with clarity and wit and has been winning Fan Writer Hugos for it with an almost monotonous consistency for years - if not decades. This is a newsletter with a British accent which covers both fan and pro events, cramming an amazing amount of wordage into its two double-columned pages. There is actually more real news in an issue of Ansible than can be found in most issues of Locus.
Here's an example: "Stephen King suspended publication of his `download free, pay on the honour system' serial The Plant as of 9 November. His assistant Marsha DeFilippo first said this was because only 46% of readers paid up (success beyond the wildest dreams of anyone else publishing in that way); in a later statement she insisted that reader response had nothing to do with it. Some think King grew tired of a project that in his terms never generated more than small change, supposedly around $375,000."
TRASH BARREL (Donald Franson, 6543 Babcock Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91606-2308; available "on request," but a stamped self-addressed envelope wouldn't hurt)
Trash Barrel typically runs only two to four pages of typewriter-typed double-columns, and although it's printed by xerox copying, it has the look and feel of older-fashioned, mimeographed fanzines. This fanzine is devoted to nothing but listings (with a sentence or two of description) of fanzines. They are almost too brief to be called "reviews," and they don't make exciting reading, but the latest issue (dated "Nov. 2000" and unnumbered) has 52 fanzines listed, in alphabetical order - making it a good place to find out about a wide variety of fanzines for anyone wishing to explore this aspect of fandom.
IDEA (Geri Sullivan, Toad Hall, 3444 Blaisdell Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55408-4315; firstname.lastname@example.org; available for Letters of Comment; query about single-copy availability)
Idea falls at the opposite end of the fanzine spectrum from Trash Barrel. The new #12 runs 78 pages and is an ambitious "genzine" or general, unspecialized fanzine. Geri uses a high-tech mimeograph to produce this very attractive fanzine, but the text is all computer-set and looks virtually photo-copied. The front cover (both sides) is produced on a color inkjet printer and presents eight full-color photographs of such notable fans as British TAFF-winner Maureen Kincaid Speller. Inside are articles by American TAFF-winner Ulrika O'Brien, Dave Langford, Martin Hoare (who often accepts Langford's Hugos at Worldcons for him), Rob Hansen, Jeff Schalles and Geri herself - and a 30-page letter column. Discussions fill the letter column and invite your responses (there's nothing like seeing your own letter in print!).
That's all the space I have this issue, but I'll be reviewing more fanzines here in issues to come.
By Bob MacIntosh
Although there is no penalty for not making our room block, the premise behind the offer we got from the hotel was that we were given a break in the rental costs because of the room nights. If we fail to make the block, it could effect future negotiations with the hotel.
In addition, the hotels, as a rule, close off the "access" to the block three to four weeks before the event. Ours is no different. I believe the block closes the day after most of us return from Mil-Phil (the Worldcon).
With that information, I am thinking of a contest, open to the first fifty room renters, in which first prize will be one free night, second through tenth prizes might be winner choice between a Capclave shirt (perhaps a limited edition polo), hat, or signed program book by the GOH.
I desire feedback. We would include the details of such contest in the main hotel flier we are going to be mailing in late March/early April.
Note to the Reader: The following is a nonprofit work of fanfiction that is not intended to infringe on any copyrights/trademarks help by Renaissance Pictures or any other interested parties.
The world of the syndicated TV show Cleopatra 2525 has humanity driven underground where they've constructed multilayered habitats and levels centered around shafts in which people either free-fall or hoist/rocket themselves up if they wish to go from level to level. Humanity has devolved into an anarchic society, where the strong prey on the weak, and bandits organizations (like the Blackwatch) prey on those levels and groups who have technology that they want. Meanwhile, the mysterious Bailies, giant, sentient, flying, alien/robot type things (speculations abound about how they are evolved sentient lawnmowers from the EPA) rule the surface. Betrayers, robotic look-alike constructs, aid the Bailies in their continued suppression of mankind.
The heroes include Cleopatra, a stripper/would be actress and mimic who was cryogenically frozen in 2001, Hel and Sarge (a former member of the Blackwatch) who are part of Voice's forces trying to regain the Surface of the World, and Mauser, a Betrayer who was reprogrammed to help the heroines. Technologies have advanced to the point where holo-projections (for disguise and hiding), blasters, and personal force fields prevail. However, society has degenerated to the degree, where a common medium of exchange is Barter, though if one is part of an organization, they have a Voucher which promises that a set service or materials will be provided in exchange for what is needed. So, as our heroines fight to regain control of the Surface, they also have to fight against the anarchic and violent forces that prey on society in the Underground."
A Gloriosus Production
A Renaissance Picture
FADE IN, CLOSE-UP of a dead man, a small blackened burn scar is in evidence just under his ear, along the jawline, two or more black burn marks adorn his tunic. The body is nudged by a boot-toe.
"Dammit, he was my best tech," said the black-clad leader.
CAMERA PANS up the muscular frame to reveal a handsome, full-lipped face with a neatly trimmed goatee.
He looked up from the body to his companions. "Now, does anyone have any idea who he might be with."
Around him, his gray-clad goons shake their heads, and "No, Valdis," is heard.
"Zorya?" asked Valdis of his petite lieutenant.
She shook her head. "He seemed interested in that module we picked up a couple of weeks ago."
"Hmmm ... what is it?"
"That's just it, we don't know," Zorya answered, running her fingers through her close-cropped hair. "I think he may've had some idea ...."
"And we just killed him," her leader finished for her. "Well, let's pack up and move out, then I suggest we find out just what is we have here. Communication scans on everyone, understand?" Zorya nodded as her chief continued to spell it out for the rest of his men. "See if there are anymore outside agents in our ranks. The last thing we need is someone taking this thing away from us before we can find out how much it's worth."
"Yes, Valdis." The Blackwatch members dispersed to pack up the equipment while Valdis and his lieutenant continued to stare at the body.
Valdis chewed his lip for a moment. "Is there any word on Manon?"
The petite lieutenant shrugged. "It's slow going, but we've narrowed down the sector where she's at, we're just trying to find the level without tipping them off. Shard's handling it, so it's just a matter of time before we have her back."
CUT TO The Laboratory, with the dusky team leader, Hel, standing apart from her compatriots as the young Cleopatra walks in.
"What is it?" Cleo asked quietly.
"Hel is getting an assignment briefing," answered Mauser, noting Hel's lips tightening in disapproval.
"So let me get this straight, you want us to go into a Blackwatch lair, and retrieve this device?" Hel asked, bringing the rest of her team into the picture.
"Yes, Hel," Voice responded, "but this is purely a voluntary mission, I will understand if you wish to refuse it."
"Give us a moment," Hel said, and turned to her companions.
"A Blackwatch lair? She's not asking for much, is she?" commented Sarge sarcastically.
"I know," said Hel, "but apparently they have managed to get their hands on what we think is an intact Bailey Encryption Module."
Mauser nodded, impressed, then seeing Cleo's incomprehension he explained. "With this module we'll be able to intercept and decode Bailey transmissions to each other, and maybe to their Betrayer robots."
"Unfortunately," Hel continued, "the Blackwatch uncovered the deep cover agent Voice had managed to insert into their ranks."
"Great, do we have any idea which lair they're at? Or even which chapter?" Sarge asked, growing more and more disgusted with what was being required.
"Voice?" Hel asked.
"Not precisely, Hel, it could be one of any number of locations that we're aware of, or even one that we're not."
"Voice isn't sure," Hel relayed beginning to share in her Lieutenant's pessimism.
"Then how do we even know about this device?" Cleo asked.
"A member of their group, Manon, was captured by one of our teams, and under interrogation clued us into the object's existence. This was confirmed by our man inside who was killed making his final transmission."
Sarge frowned, "I don't like this, too many variables. The only thing we're certain of is the existence of this module and that the Blackwatch has it."
"So," Hel finally asked, "think we can do it?"
Sarge looked up at her team leader. "The Blackwatch is notoriously paranoid, they've been tipped off as to someone's interest, and I'm known to them as a deserter, so chances are I won't be able to get back into their good graces. I'd say this mission's impossible."
Cleopatra's eyebrows quirk up, her eyes shining as she begins to grin.
(cue Mission: Impossible "Lighting the Fuse" riff) FADE TO BLACK
Cleopatra 2525 Title Sequence:
500 years into the future, she will enter a world where machines rule the Earth. Mankind has been driven underground, and Cleopatra is about to discover: There is no place like home.
Starring: Gina Torres - Hel
Victoria Pratt - Sarge
Jennifer Sky - Cleopatra
Patrick Kake - Mauser
FADE IN on CLOSE UP of Hel and Mauser speaking as subtitles roll.
Charles "Gloriosus" Gilliland
Guest Starring: Angela Dotchin - Manon
Tamara Gorski - Zorya
Michael Hurst - Shard
Kevin Smith - Valdis
"We can electronically map Cleo's face here, but I'll need a map of Manon's as well as extensive Vid-recordings." Mauser was telling Hel.
"I'll transmit them with the rest of the information. But I still think your plan is extremely risky."
Hel smiled, looking her young companion who was being briefed by Sarge, "But it's just crazy enough to work."
CUT TO Cleo and Sarge, as the athletic lieutenant was explaining the basic layouts of the back tunnels to Cleo, so she could better make sense out of the information that was fed into her mind.
"They all follow that pattern, but some levels have their own variations, so keep your eyes open." Sarge squeezed Cleo's shoulder as she looked into the ex-stripper's eyes, "Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked worriedly, "once you're in there, we won't be able to cover you until you get out."
Cleo gave her blond comrade an encouraging smile and gripped her hand, "Hey, no problem. Looks like those classes I took are finally going to pay off, after all."
Sarge returned Cleopatra's smile. "And Hel thinks I'm insane."
Cleo gave a short laugh as a holographic image of Manon's face popped up. Turning to the image, the pair of them began studying the playback.
CUT TO CLOSE UP of Hel.
"Okay, Hel, I'll set things up at this end for you, but I hope your plan works."
"So do I, Voice, so do I."
CUT TO Shot of Corridor, pristine white, with six guards in their White uniforms with red and black trim, carrying heavy weapons.
One of the Guards goes up to the wallpanel, where a light flashes on his eyes as the panel takes a retina scan. "Newkirk, for prison transfer of Manon from cell-block C-640 to cell-block R-168."
The guard enters and comes out with a shackled Manon, who was then surrounded by the Guards who activate their containment shields. She glances up at them as the party made its way down the corridor, two of the guards walked in advance of the party to make sure the path was clear.
CUT TO View from empty side corridor, as the rear-guard just finished passing, the walls of the side corridor waver revealing a group of armed men who had just dropped their holographic cloaks. They wore pale gray fatigues with slate gray tailcoats and matte-black accoutrements, and were mostly equipped with blaster guns, a few had the weapons gauntlets.
With a quick gesture from the leader, the dozen Blackwatch minions charged into the main corridor with the quietness of well-disciplined commandos. Their short leader whipped out a blade from his vambrace, plunging it into one of the guard's neck. As the rest of the guards began to turn around the raiding party let loose with a fusillade of withering fire, causing Manon to drop to the floor with a barely contained shriek. The other three guards were immediately dropped as the advanced two came back at the sounds of the laser fire. They were ultimately too late to reclaim their prisoner and were dropped in their turn, but not before an alarm was sounded.
"C'mon," Shard said, pulling the shackled Manon to her feet.
"What took you guys so long?"
"Had to get a little insurance for our getaway," explained Shard to Manon, as he undid the shackles on her wrists. "Let's get out of here before help arrives!" The raiding party reactivated their cloaks and disappeared down the side corridor with Manon in tow.
CUT TO Mauser in the Lab.
(cue Mission: Impossible "The Plot" theme)
"We have a solid trace on her, their vector indicates Sector Seven, Shaft Three. I'm feeding the telemetry to you, now."
VOICE OVER (Hel) "Sector Seven, Shaft Three, we're on our way."
CUT BACK to the Prison corridor. The guards who were shot, suddenly spring back to life and examine their knifed companion as muffled explosions are heard. One whispers into his collar.
CUT TO Hel and Sarge running through a dingy maintenance corridor.
"I read you, Voice," Hel said as the pair continued running. "Sarge, one of the guards was knifed."
Sarge turned towards her dusky companion, "Probably a ceramic blade, which means Shard is still around."
The two ladies reach a sub-shaft and jump down, plummeting five levels before they snapped off a shot with their web-lines to bring them onto Maintenance Level 37. Hel activated her gauntlet's holo-display which was tracking the Blackwatch raiding party. "Okay, they are three levels down, eight corridors over. Let's move."
CAMERA FOLLOWS the women as they race down the ramp, through the hallway and around the corner disappearing from view.
VOICE OVER (Sarge) "I don't remember this being here."
CUT TO Hel and Sarge looking at a concrete wall. Sarge gives the wall some experimental taps as Hel turns around.
"Voice," Hel demanded, "Why doesn't this wall appear on our schematics?"
"It's apparently a local job, Hel. I suggest you make a note of it for our records and go around."
"Easier said than done," sighed Hel.
"Backtrack?" Sarge asked.
"No choice," Hel said, still eyeing the wall. "Damn, this just keeps getting better and better."
TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT ISSUE
At the 1/19 meeting at the Ginters, in the absence of the President, Vice-President, and Treasurer, Secretary Sam Lubell seized the [imaginary] gavel. <Presiding over a meeting for the first time.> Lee Gilliland kindly volunteered to take notes.
Meeting called to order by Sam at 9:06 PM. Committees: Trustees reported Nicki Lynch elected trustee and Mike Nelson elected Capclave 2002 chair. No treasurer but people should pay dues when he gets back. Capclave chairs weren't here either. Lee got tabled. Publications is putting Joe's 1996 issues on the web. Entertainment committee said Clinton has admitted he's been naughty and Linda Tripp has been fired. Capclave contact info is on the web-page and we now have 20 registrants.
Old business. There are boxes of books for sale at 25 cents in the family room. Any left over will be sent to the local library. There was no new business.
Usual blah blah from secretary <that's what Lee's notes say anyway.> Colleen had sick cards for Chris who was having some sort of replacement and John S is sick but they don't know what. Erica said that Lydia is six, cats to stay inside and leave door open so cats can go too. Keith shrilled for the WSFA Journal. Dick L has extra Mimosas for $2. Mike W has a list of preliminary Nebula ballots and will be reprinting the works of Edgar Pangborn.
Attendance: Sec Samuel Lubell, Trust Lee Gilliland, Trust Eric Jablow, Trust. Nicki Lynch, Covert Beach, Sheri Bell, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Karl Ginter, Elspeth Kovar, Keith Lynch, Richard Lynch, Keith Marshall, Barry and Judy Newton, Steven Smith, Michael Walsh, Pat and Steve Sheets, Steffanie Sheets, William Keaton.
The LCPA What IF... Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum Presents
"Breaking the Rules: Writing Inside and Outside the Fantasy Genre"
Mindy L. Klasky
Author of "The Glasswrights' Apprentice"
February 14, 2001 12:10pm
Library of Congress Madison Building, LM-407
101 Independence Ave. SE
After a hiatus of more than a year, the Life Extension Society, the local cryonics and life extension organization, will be holding an open meeting on Sunday February 4th, at Mark Mugler's house, 990 North Powhatan Street, Arlington Virginia. Everyone interested in life extension is invited.
By Metro: Exit the East Falls Church station on the Orange Line. Walk south on Sycamore Street (which turns into Roosevelt Blvd.) for about 1/3 mile. Turn left on 12th and walk about 1/3 mile. Turn right on Powhatan. By Car: From Route 66 westbound, take Sycamore Street exit, turn left under the overpass. From Route 66 eastbound, exit for Washington Blvd., turn right at 2nd light (Sycamore) under the overpass. Follow Sycamore about 1/3 mile. Take last left before light (11th Road). Turn right at T and take immediate left (still on 11th road). Three short blocks. Right on Powhatan. House is near end of block on right. If you get lost, call 703-534-7277. Web page: http://keithlynch.net/les/