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Welcome to a 'Helioddity' Web-Serial Synopsis Page

- Top of Page Search Engine - Phantacea Publications available in print and digitally - Bottom of Page Ordering Lynx -

Phantacea Publications in Print

- The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

The 'Launch 1980' Story Cycle

The War of the Apocalyptics

Front cover of War Pox, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2009

Published in 2009; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Nuclear Dragons

Nuclear Dragons front cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Helios on the Moon

Front cover for Helios on the Moon, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Published in 2014; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

The 'Launch 1980' story cycle comprises three complete, multi-character mosaic novels, "The War of the Apocalyptics", "Nuclear Dragons" and "Helios on the Moon", as well as parts of two others, "Janna Fangfingers" and "Goddess Gambit". Together they represent creator/writer Jim McPherson's long running, but now concluded, project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series.

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'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Epic Fantasy

Feeling Theocidal

Front Cover for Feel Theo, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

Published in 2008; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The 1000 Days of Disbelief

Front cover of The Thousand Days of Disbelief, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published as three mini-novels, 2010/11; main webpage is here; ordering lynx for individual mini-novels are here

Goddess Gambit

Front cover for Goddess Gambit by Verne Andru, 2012

Published in 2012; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Circa the Year of Dome 2000, Anvil the Artificer, a then otherwise unnamed, highborn Lazaremist later called Tvasitar Smithmonger, dedicated the first three devic talismans, or power foci, that he forged out of molten Brainrock to the Trigregos Sisters.

The long lost, possibly even dead, simultaneous mothers of devakind hated their offspring for abandoning them on the far-off planetary Utopia of New Weir. Not surprisingly, their fearsome talismans could be used to kill Master Devas (devils).

For most of twenty-five hundred years, they belonged to the recurring deviant, Chrysaor Attis, time after time proven a devaslayer. On Thrygragon, Mithramas Day 4376 YD, he turned them over to his Great God of a half-father, Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, to use against his two brothers, Unmoving Byron and Little Star Lazareme, in hopes of usurping their adherents and claiming them as his own.

Hundreds of years later, these selfsame thrice-cursed Godly Glories helped turn the devil-worshippers of Sedon's Head against their seemingly immortal, if not necessarily undying gods. Now, five hundred years after the 1000 Days of Disbelief, they've been relocated.

The highest born, surviving devic goddesses want them for themselves; want to thereby become incarnations of the Trigregos Sisters on the Hidden Continent. An Outer Earthling, one who has literally fallen out of the sky after the launching of the Cosmic Express, gets to them first ...

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The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels

The Death's Head Hellion

- Sedonplay -

Front cover for The Death's Head Hellion, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Contagion Collectors

- Sedon Plague -

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Janna Fangfingers

- Sedon Purge -

Front cover for Janna Fangfingers, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

Published in 2011; two storylines recounted side-by-side, the titular one narrated by the Legendarian in 5980, the other indirectly leading into the 'Launch 1980' story cycle; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

In the Year of the Dome 4825, Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of the Utopian Weirdom of Cabalarkon, seizes control of Primeval Lilith, the ageless, seemingly unkillable Demon Queen of the Night. The eldritch earthborn is the real half-mother of the invariably mortal Sed-sons but, once she has hold of her, aka Lethal Lily, Master Morgan proceeds to trap the Moloch Sedon Himself.

In the midst of the bitter, century-long expansion of the Lathakran Empire, the Hidden Headworld's three tribes of devil-gods are forced to unite in an effort to release their All-Father. Unfortunately for them, they're initially unaware Master Morg, the Death's Head Hellion herself, has also got hold of the Trigregos Talismans, devic power foci that can actually kill devils, and Sedon's thought-father Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian she'll happily slay if they dare attack her Weirdom.

Utopians from Weir have never given up seeking to wipe devils off not just the face of the Inner Earth, but off the planet itself. Their techno and biomages, under the direction of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's extremely long-lived High Illuminary, Quoits Tethys, have determined there is only one sure way to do that -- namely, to infect the devils' Inner Earth worshippers with fatal plagues brought in from the Outer Earth.

Come All-Death Day there are more Dead Things Walking than Living Beings Talking. Believe it or not, that's the good news.

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phantacea Graphic Novels

Forever and Forty Days

- The Genesis of Phantacea -

Front cover of Forever and Forty Days; artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Published in 1990; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The Damnation Brigade

- Phantacea Revisited 1 -

Front cover of The Damnation Brigade, artwork by Ian Bateson, retouching by Chris Chuckry 2012

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Cataclysm Catalyst

- Phantacea Revisited 2 -

Front cover for Cataclysm Catalyst, artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

Published in 2014, main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Kadmon Heliopolis had one life. It ended in October 1968. The Male Entity has had many lives. In his fifth, he and his female counterpart, often known as Miracle Memory, engendered more so than created the Moloch Sedon. They believe him to be the Devil Incarnate. They've been attempting to kill him ever since. Too bad it's invariably he, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise), who gets killed instead.

On the then still Whole Earth circa the Year 4000 BCE, one of their descendants, Xuthros Hor, the tenth patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, puts into action a thought-foolproof, albeit mass murderous, plan to succeed where the Dual Entities have always failed. He unleashes the Genesea. The Devil takes a bath.

Fifty-nine hundred and eighty years later, New Century Enterprises launches the Cosmic Express from Centauri Island. It never reaches Outer Space; not all of it anyhow. As a stunning consequence of its apparent destruction, ten extraordinary supranormals are reunited, bodies, souls and minds, after a quarter century in what they've come to consider Limbo. They name themselves the Damnation Brigade. And so it appears they are -- if perhaps not so much damned as doomed.

At least one person survives the launching of the Cosmic Express. He literally falls out of the sky -- on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. An old lady saves him. Except this old lady lives in a golden pagoda, rides vultures and has a third eye. She also doesn't stay old long. He becomes her willing soldier, acquires the three Sacred Objects and goes on a rampage, against his own people, those that live.

Meanwhile, Centauri Island, the launch site of the Cosmic Express, comes under attack from Hell's Horsemen. Only it's not horses they ride. It's Atomic Firedrakes!

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Alternative pHlogo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2002


-- Story Synopses --




- Double-click to enlarge in a new window -

  1. Jesse Does a Jesus
  2. The Wishing Hell
  3. Re-Enter the Horny Ghost
  4. Culling the Killers
  5. At Last, Magister Mandam
copyright © Jim McPherson (phantacea)
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11. Helioddity: "Jesse Does a Jesus"

Loxus Abraham Ryne ran down the list again, checking off the codenames as he went. "Mnemosyne D'Angelo: Circean; Aires: Airealist; Thalassa: Sea Goddess; Will Tombstone: Kid Cemetery; Jervis Murray: Dervish Furie; Camille Dugas: Moonmaid the Air-Walker; Max Dre'Ath: Magus Maxius; John Sundown: Cheyenne; Hadrian Dis L'Orca: Hypnosis King; Andrew Dulles: Mr Automatic; Immanuel Dark: Mr Brilliant; and Virginia Mannering: Living Agate. That about covers the ones who have demonstrated any supranormal abilities so far. Jesse says he wants the name Warlock, like that pseudo-Elizabethan songwriter who committed suicide in England a few years ago, -- what was his real name, Eden?"

"I know who you mean but I can't think of it offhand."

"He's welcome to it, I suppose. Not that he's shown anything to deserve a codename. Except for an uncanny knack for causing trouble, that is. I had my way I'd call him Bloody Nuisance. Guess that's it. If Brunhild, Tanith, Berchta, Ted Mayhew, Josh Murray, you, me, or anyone else starts suddenly showing spectacular talents we'll come up with more. Well, what do you think?"

"To be frank I think it's supra-silliness. You sound like a dreamy little girl naming her dolls. Try acting your age for once and tell me one thing."


"How are we going to keep any of them alive?"

-- from 'Jesse Does a Jesus', the eleventh chapter of 'Helioddity'

Eden's right. How do you keep a gaggle of mostly teenage supras alive on a luxury yacht full of armed men, and more than a few armed women, most of whom are Normie and Norma Normals and already terrified of what they see these primarily Summoning Children doing on a daily basis? And even if Diomedes Aremar's crewmen and Theodore Mayhew's mercenaries don't start picking them off, how are you going to keep them quiet once Charan's Ark reaches Cairo?

Sounds like a job for an old-time witch, one skilled at redaction or mind-editing. Jesse can use Anthean Agates to get about between-space and access Witch Shelters. Ginny can use them for lots of different purposes, which is why the Great Man codenamed her Living Agate. Unfortunately, neither of them is any good at mind-work and, pretensions aside, none of the older women onboard, not Eden, Berchta, nor even Memory, can claim any old-time talents. (Jerry's step mom, Marea Murray, might but we'll have to wait for that same other book for confirmation.) Other thing is, -- how do you keep them from killing each other?

Gentleman Jervis Murray slipped into Wildman Dervish Furie mode and almost whacked off Air's head. Would have if Aires hadn't gone all airy just in time. Neither Will Tombstone (Kid Cemetery) nor Murray-Furie (also the Werewolf in Shorts) have any love for Jess. Was, for example, Furie who crushed Jesse's casts, with his hands still in them, in Odd-10. If he hadn't Will might have shot him. Truth told no one seems to like Mandam. Not even Thalassa, who's already taken to sleeping on her own again. Which is part of the reason why he's switched his attentions to Tanith von Blut.

Aires D'Angelo dumped Camille Dugas after she went all air-heady on him and took up with Memory, his Afrite of an adoptive aunt. Brunhild's pissed off he didn't take up with her and by now she seems to have recollected she, Burning Hell, once had Torches for Arms. Hadrian apparently talked Tanith into stripping for him, which annoyed Magus Maxius, ex of Memory, all to hell. Oh, and Tombstone, the guy who's so good with bullets, did have that drunken fling with Burning Hell back in Rome, didn't he? Then there's the great killer himself, John Sundown, who hates Germans, even if they aren't card-carrying Nazis, and hasn't much use for their lackeys, the 3-Dees, either. He and Memory ("Codename Circean"), who hates killers, especially hates killers who kill rats she transferred into body and soul, have a verbal go at each other. The topic? More so than anything else, -- what to do about the eagle, unless it's a Griffin, that's still following the Ark.

They aren't the only ones having that conversation. Ginny, reprising her role as General Gemstone even if she's been labelled Living Agate by now, is also trying to get a few of the supras into agreeing what to do about it. Although they're her old comrades from the Shootout in the OK Colosseum, Murray, Tombstone, Aires, Thalassa and Max, they aren't calling themselves the Sorority of Sausages anymore. For some reason they're now going by a different SOS, namely the Society of Saints. Thinking the griffin-eagle Granny Garuda, the solution they come up with involves the unerring Tombstone (aka, also, Kid Killjoy) sleep-darting Granny then having Airealist bring her in so Sundown can finish neutralizing her with his exclusion zone, just as he did Airhead in Odd-10.

First, though, they have to recruit John Sundown, objectionable Codename Cheyenne. Which they might have done had not, as usual, Codename Bloody Nuisance got in the way. Seems Jess has convinced Tanith to go into his cabin. Whereupon, out of an agate, he produces the Treasury of Aesgard, one of the Twin Tantaluses he took off Fisherwoman back in Rome after he shot her and fin-winged Delphi. Not having Ringleader's signet rings, the keys to opening the Tantaluses (among other things), Jesse can't get into it. He hopes Tanith can. And maybe she could, except someone gets into it first. Through between-space.

The Tantalus erupted from the inside, spraying no longer enchantment-shocked glass everywhere, -- what evil spell was on it, if spell it was, obviously did not cover an internal extrusion. Like an flameless phoenix, an aquiline horror arose out of its splintered shards. One swipe of one wing and Tanith was knocked across the cabin. John Sundown burst into the room, went straight for the avian abomination, tackled her, and was leg-flung against the wall for his troubles. The creature in the vague likeness of Granny Garuda was suddenly multiple images of the selfsame, once transformed, now dead, Utopian Griffin as she zipped through the Grey, gathered up Jesus Mandam, then disappeared into it altogether.

Cursing himself for the arrogant ignoramus he was, Sundown was back on his feet. Had his cut-anything blade unsheathed and sniffed the air. Somehow realizing that whatever-it-was he had tried to neutralize with his 'Exclusion Zone' was now long gone, along with Jesse, he hauled Tanith to her feet.

"Thought you could handle anything, Crazy Horse?" she condemned him biliously. "Anything normal or abnormal. And that sure as shit was abnormal!"

"But it was also not supranormal, Miss Nazi. And that was my mistake. I should have just killed it!"

And maybe he should have. Because, to quote Tanith, that's sure as excremental material what Argiope, the bright-faced Garuda, does to Jesse later on that night: Crucifies him in the Ark's rigging!

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12. Helioddity: "The Wishing Hell"

One could be forgiven if you looked at the opening few pages of Odd-12 and thought I'd put up part of the opening chapter of 'The Moloch Manoeuvres' by mistake. Which I did, though not by mistake. What we have here, among the usual other things, is a much fuller version of the adventure some of those on the Ark and Aegean Trigon, among other places, had in the Northeastern Congo two years earlier, late in December 1935, early on in January 1936.

There are a number of reasons why we're revisiting that episode in their lives. One is because it's never been told in this kind of detail. Another is because Barsine Mandam was there then and is now among those lost in the same vicinity. (The Ark is heading to Africa such that, after connecting with other modes of transport, those on it can join the search for Barsine and the ones lost with her.) A third reason, and there's more than just three, is because, well, we'll get to that momentarily.

Barsine's twin, even though they look nothing alike, is Jesus Mandam. As recounted in Odd-11 he's dead. Rather, his corpse has been cut down from the Ark's rigging after he was crucified therein by Argiope "Bright Face" Zeross, who's wearing Granny Garuda's regalia and is presumably still following the Ark, albeit between-space. So how can he not be dead? Why are so many of those on the Ark, John Sundown and Mnemosyne D'Angelo to name just two of them, so adamant Jesse be given a chance to do another Jesus. Here's a snippet of the argument. Abe Ryne, Jesse's uncle, is challenging the others' insistence he doesn't let the ship's doctor do an autopsy on his nephew's body. The first speaker is Memory of the Angels.

"The same way I know we don't dare touch Jesse's body until the day after tomorrow at the earliest."

"And what way's that?" [demanded the Great Man.] Memory wondered how much she dared say in their presence. Sundown had told her that Max, Magus Maxius, and Ginny, Living Agate, had no more been redacted than she had; no more successfully, that is. But that did not necessarily mean either of them recalled anything about soul transference and how Celestine D'Angelo, the Celestial Superior, survived psychically despite the Deadly Druidess known only as Norma, but who had to be Rhea Sangati, physically chopping her up then incinerating her remains on All Hallows Eve 1923. Similarly there was no way to be sure Jesse had pulled the same stunt. Still …

"Women's intuition."

Here's the start of that third reason:

If a renegade witch harmed Sean Dre'Ath, why would she stay away from anyone else? Surely having an agate on Aranyani just invited trouble. Then again, with Berchta, Virginia, Camille, and, as was now clear, Jesse having agates on their persons, what was the point of depriving Aran of any of the protection, real or imagined, they provided? Nonetheless, it was thoroughly unnerving when, later that day, her little girl asked [Eden Nightingale] who Megaera Zeross was and why did she keep speaking into her head, asking her where her mother was and wanting her, Eden, to call her back.

"It's awful small to be a telephone, mommy," observed Aran with the unassailable wisdom of the very young.

"But that's sort of what it is, dear," Eden told her as she nervously detached her daughter's bracelet. Who to see? Who to trust? Who could call Megaera back?

Even though she was no more of an old-time witch than her, Eden chooses Memory. And, lo and behold, who do you think somehow gets the Anthean Agate embedded in Aran's bracelet to work such that she's far-speaking from the Ark to four-fingered Meg, who's on Aegean Trigon, shortly thereafter? Of course Memory's stroking that cat named Bast at the time. Is still stroking the cat, Eden being the only other one in the cabin with them, when Meg comes through the Weird into that selfsame cabin on the Ark. Whereupon we get the rest of the story of what went on in the Northeastern Congo back in January 1936.Which is also when we learn the fullest reason yet as to why no one should be doing anything to Jesse's body until a full three days pass.

Also learn why Cleopatra's Bath, which they were looking for in late '35, very early '36, may not have been just the Lake of Life, the Fountain of Youth, if it was even that; why it may have been as aptly named the Totem Pool or the Wishing Hell. The initial speaker is Eden Nightingale. She's responding to something Megaera born Kinesis now Zeross has just said.

"Wishing Well, lady. I've known Jesse and Barsine virtually from the day they were born. Mary Magdalene, their ever-sickly mother's likely to blame for most of it of course, but it's no stretch of the imagination to say Jesse's probably always had a Messiah complex. You and the rest of your pals in Cleo's Bath may have wished yourself safe and sound but my bet is he wished himself to rise from the dead, -- just like his hero and namesake, Jesus Christ!"

"Run that by me again."

"Makes as much sense as anything else, Meg," offered Memory. "So far it seems a lot of these supranormals, which is Jesse's own word for what some of the Summoning Children have become, only attain their heritage when they're on the verge of being killed. If you're right and she is wearing Granny's panoply, and I've no reason to doubt you, Argiope Zeross beat the living life out of him. Wouldn't surprise me if he let it happen, -- just to see what he would become."

"And Jesus Christ did rise from the Dead," Eden picked up, "Albeit more likely on Easter Monday since Easter Sunday was only two days after his crucifixion." Knowing that, intentionally or unintentionally, Argiope Bright Face had been the one to unduly injure, as good as unto death, Sean Dre'Ath, Megaera considered the ramifications of Eden's assertion.

"Couple more days, you say. Let's hope there's someone left to save by then."

Look out Ark!

Look out Argo!

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13. Helioddity: "Re-Enter the Horny Ghost"

Look out Ark! Look out Argo!

That's how I ended my last synopsis.

'Ghost Ship Ahoy!', -- that's how I'll begin this one.

Let me be perfectly clear from the outset: The Argo came out of the Olympian Tantalus. It's a ship, a trireme with the requisite skeleton crew row, row, rowing their infernal tub not so much out of Hades, though Hades is on it, as between-space from Aegean Trigon. It, repeat, it is not our titular horny ghost.

Neither is Roxanne once Heliopolis now Kinesis ("Hot Rox"), though she has demonstrated her Afrite tendencies as recently as Odd-8 and does have those rather disturbing Living Ghost talents of hers. As for the 're-enter' bit in the title, that might be not quite right. She's been on the Ark for a while. After all Mnemosyne D'Angelo, Memory of the Angels, managed to activate the Anthean Agate she used to far-speak with Megaera born Kinesis become Zeross ("Four-Fingers") in Odd-12 and Memory's no old-time witch.

Huh? Who? How? What, other than just about everything, is so special about her? And why is she called the Horny Ghost? Believe me it's not because she has horns; she doesn't. {Besides, that's been a running gag in 'The Damnation Brigade' story sequences for the longest time and no one likes a self-plagiarist.) It's because she still loves doing what fauns are best at doing! Which is only part of the reason she, I'll call her Cel-Spook, has been hanging out in Memory of the Angels, Lovely Lady Afrite that she is, off and on for the better part of 15 years. Been hanging out in a lot of other people as well. Last we saw of her, toward the end of 'The Moloch Manoeuvres', Cel-Spook was residing within Valfreja Volsung. (Whom we'll get back to in that other book I started referring to awhile ago.)

Not satisfied with all the links I've provided? Want some more? Well, everything you need's in Odd-13; just a matter of reading it, isn't it? Still, say it isn't up anymore, you might find the following, heavily edited excerpt edifying, as in illuminating, in the celestial sense. The conversation is between the Great Man, Loxus Abraham Ryne, and Living Agate, whom he's already realized is somewhat more than just his potential niece, sister or even, heaven forbid, daughter. Who can say for sure, eh? Not her, and that is for sure. At least it is for sure if she was simply Virginia Mannering. Which she isn't!

"Where the hell is the real Virginia?"

"Right here. I'm inside her ... I've made it my mission in what remains of my life to eliminate a certain possessive spook that haunts between-space and preys on some of my sisters."

"Generically speaking ... Does this certain possessive spook have a name?"

"Strife, -- speaking specifically!"

"Didn't think it could be Matilda or Alice or anything semi-normal. And what does this Strife look like, specifically speaking?" He suddenly held up his hand, the one upon which he now wore his wedding ring again after giving that of the Nebuland to his guest the night before. "Let me guess. Anything she damn well pleases."

"'Afraid so."

"How many eyes does she have?"

"Usually none. From what I hear she usually doesn't bother having a face either."

... "Tell me, and try to keep it simple, how you propose to eliminate this Strife."

"Couldn't be simpler. I'm going to make sure I'm the only one, besides her of course, that can travel between-space .... Simply by neutralizing all the witch-stones I come across ... Don't be so hard on yourself, Abe."

"Stop calling me that. It gives you away. Tells people you're not who you purport to be."

"You're right. It's a flaw in my makeup."

"Virginia doesn't wear makeup. And for her sake you better make damn sure it's not a fatal flaw. Will you die if she does?"

"I'd rather not find out. Dying's not a pleasant experience. Especially not if you're being hacked apart in the process."

"Celestine! I knew I'd figure it out eventually."

"It wasn't a game, Abe. I let you figure it out because I knew I'd have to give you that kiss sooner rather than later." Which she did. One and many more as they spent their meal break on, not at, the captain's table.

Just by the by, unless it's bye the bye or buy the buy, the kiss is how she, Cel-Spook, redacts those on the Ark. (Did mention above how the Ark could do with an old-time witch, didn't I? Did indeed!) As should by now be obvious, she didn't just kiss the Great Man. Which, if Ginny is at all related to Ryne, is of course the ultimate 'oh-oh'. Which leads us to the ending of Odd-13.

"What's wrong with you, Mr Ryne? My name's Virginia."

"I know that. Wait a minute! What's happened to your eyes?"

"Don't know, sir. What's happened to them?"

"Miss Mannering, I presume."

"That's my last name. What is it?"

"My eyes! They aren't, you know, all the colours of a rainbow, are they?"

"No, sir. They are a bit bloodshot, though. Not getting enough sleep? Wife keeping you awake?" That was when Eden Nightingale slammed through the door.

"Want a few thousand words with you, Abe," she demanded. "And without her around to interrupt me!"

"Guess I better leave, sir." Mannering got up to go.

"Seems you already have, sweetheart."

So, now you know how Odd-13 both began and ended. What happened betwixt and between? Ah, as to that, well, there's all these Black Rose rogues using talismans from the Olympian Tantalus to upgrade themselves into approximations of gods (devils) or demigods (demons) on the Argo. A bunch of them have third eyes. Unless they don't of course. Most of these last would be the Trinondev Warriors of Weir, who came through the Kore Gap in Odd-9 with Morgianna Somata, the Sarpedon twins and their field leader, Golgotha Nauroz.

(Recall, as established early on in Oddity, Utopians can't be possessed. Another thing about the Trinondevs in particular is their eyeorbs apparently don't trigger automatically out here. PHANTACEA fact of the matter is, so long as Pyrame Silverstar is around, which she is, humanizing the Female Entity, they don't work as devic prison pods unless she lets them; might not work at all, dot-ditto.)

There's also all these guys with guns on Charan's Ark. Even those upgraded to near godhood aren't bullet-proof. Got lots of guns for these guys on the Ark, some of them are real big and most of them fire lots of bullets real fast. Then there's this figure on the prow of the Argo and this particular guy with a gun threatening to blow off Four-Fingers' head on the Ark. The latter'd be the guy with the Ring of the Nebuland on one of his fingers. The figure on the prow? That'd be Djinn-Ghoster. (Which, if you count the Argo Ghost Ship, makes him the 4th ghost in Odd-13. There's also, as already noted, plenty of ghost-makers. Curiously, one of them is not that great killer, John Sundown. Wonder where he went?)

Ghoster's a devil, the Heliodromus of Lazareme in case you've forgotten. Which you probably haven't. Might have forgotten another devil there, though. Most folks do unless he decides to make an appearance. Which, other than as darkness-shrouded Hades, he doesn't. So forget about him! Oh, and did I mention Kid Killjoy and his mind-manoeuvred bullet-pellets, his off-shot witch-stones and who, as opposed to what, they contained? A werewolf in shorts, that sunbeam there, the moonbeam over there, pointy-hatted Magus Maxius beaming brain be-numbing ... Oh, do shut up!

Can't. Not yet; not before mentioning what Hot Rox rammed into the Great Man's mouth (it wasn't hot rocks) and the Sorceror's Apprentice becoming a one-man, one ship, and one passenger quite severely, wrecking crew. Done yet? Megaera's name means grudge. So? I were on the Ark I'd beware of gypsies and Etocretan Extremists bearing grudges. They might come back!

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14. Helioddity: "Culling the Killers"

I were on Aegean Trigon I'd beware of the Argo bearing witch-stoned supras back with it. I wouldn't be quite so worried about what Fish's porpoise-pomp bears within her, though. Make that who, a certain Circean to be precise. Sooth said there could be many a gypsy and Etocretan Extremist in need of Human Memory's moderating influence before Odd-14's over.

That's because it wasn't just Mr Brilliant, Clair du Lune and Pointy Hat whom Kid Cemetery shot from the Ark to the Argo just before Abe Ryne captured Ghoster in the Ring of the Nebuland and Living Agate, taking it from the Great Man, hid it between-space. (Might as well know the passenger wrecked as a result of actions taken by the Persian participating in the Mithrant Taurobolium ceremony back in Rome on the Twelfth-Thirteenth was Angus Dre'ath's youngest Summoning Child.)

So, who were the witch-stoned supras that came to Aegean Trigon on the Argo? The following BLOCKQUOTE should help you figure that out as well as give you some sense as to how well they get along. Which isn't very well at all.

"Wasn't much later she [Memory] came back, with Ginny [Living Agate] all General Gem-Stony in tow, and remarked you sometimes sleep in a bathtub, -- as the damn bathwater --, and that, if anyone ever wanted to harm you, pulling the plug wouldn't do them any good. I could, though. Because you couldn't stay bathwater if I climbed in with you."

Thalassa took exception to the whole notion of having [a bath] with Sundown. "I'd rather bag it with Jesse again and he's dead."

"I'm beginning to think he isn't the only one," said Sundown, [referring to Living Agate]. "Hold the cloud, Aires, or the tsunami, Thalassa, because I'm the one who won't be long. Until then do as you please. Just stay out of my way."

"While you do what, -- start killing everyone in sight until someone finally kills you or Sorciere?"

"Hardly. I'm going to surrender."

"To him? Heliopolis wants you dead. You killed his bloodbrother."

"Finished killing him, Sea, -- if you want to get technical. But so what? At most I owe him a life. Doesn't have to be mine, does it? Could be his, couldn't it?"

Stick all of Oddity's sub-plots into the future file for the nonce, its supra-plotline comes down to the here and now of Odd-14.

First, just to review, we all know John Sundown's a great killer whereas Air (Aires D'Angelo) and Sea (Thalassa D'Angelo), well, they're one-third of the reason Kyprian Somata, the Master of Weir, was on her way out here, via Kore's Hell, when Cruel Plathon, the Bull of Mithras, um, detained her in Odd-8. A second-third was to track down Strife. (Kyprian doesn't realize the Horny Ghost is still around and has taken upon herself the same mission.) The third-third of the reason was she wanted to retrieve Granny Garuda's panoply. Fisherwoman (Scylla Nereid) and Sorciere (Solace Sunrise), Sundown's childhood bride, whom he's come hither to rescue, as nobly or ignobly as he need be, want the same thing, -- Granny has to have her feathers if she's to have any chance of making like a sunbird and pull a phoenix by rising from her own ashes.

They stayed behind on Trigon mostly because they had to be good little witches if they were to have any hope of convincing Argiope Bright Face, should she ever fly by for, say, a change of underwear, assuming Garudas wore underwear, to hand them over voluntarily. They were bad little witches no one, not even Clymene Atreides ("Mystery Might"), who along with Hot Rox brought Granny's body to Master Kyprian in the Weirdom in Odd-3, would help them attain their goal. Of course at the time Fish had Djinn-Ghoster, the Heliodromus of Lazareme, and was willing to assign his services to the Etocretans in exchange for Granny's regalia and, just as importantly, secure Sorciere's free-from-retaliation release. Ghoster, ever accommodating devil that he is, was willing as well.

Only, in order to be at all effective, he needed his protectorate, the Nebuland, what's contained within the Ring of said Nebuland. Which was once Megaera nee Kinesis's wedding ring, which Count Molech bit off her, ringfinger included (hence 4-Fingered Meg) in the same place (Aegean Trigon) the previous autumn, and which Sundown gave Abe Ryne on the Fourteenth. Gave the Great Man still attached to Count Molech's severed hand, you might recall.

Recall as well Pyrame Silverstar, who's been calling herself Miracle Maenad for a good percentage of the century, who's possessing and who's therefore mostly in control of the Female Entity, the Mnemosyne Machine, Miracle Memory, Trans-Time Trigon's innards, once expressed an interest in hiding Heliosophos's presumed parents-to-be within Djinn's devic protectorate. That the Male Entity, Helios called Sophos the Wise, Taurus Ulysses Heliopolis, managed to get away from Bad Rhad long enough to get outside and, murder in mind, go straight for Agenor Heliopolis added a distinct urgency to acquiring it. Hence at least part of the motivation for the assault on the Ark.

Even if the Judge did repossess the Taurus, and is still holding on to him, that doesn't mean Helios won't get away again. Also doesn't mean, should he successfully dispossess himself for a decent length of time, he won't eventually regain complete control of his 3-Thing, Pyrame-Lilith-Memory, she who physically resembles Rhea twice Sangati always Ararat; something, being constantly a devil's shell, he hasn't been able to do this lifetime. (When not humanized, which only happens when she's occupied by a devil, Machine Memory is entirely his to command. When humanized all she's functionally obligated to do, besides obey him in a devilish sort of way, is keep him from dying. He does that, he takes Trans-Time Trigon with him back into the time stream and, since she's its innards, she's just as gone. It's tough, I'm sure you'd agree with her, being an approaching omnipotent Artificial Intelligence absolutely dependent on an otherwise mostly ordinary, ergo mostly dim-witted, mortal prone to getting himself killed over and over again.)

So, all things considered ... Except they lost Ghoster, and the Ring of the Nebuland, during their ill-considered go at those on the Ark. It really should have occurred to them the Great Man's hired guns wouldn't be spooked by a gaggle of Greek Gods popping by for a visit; that said guns had many a gun at hand and that especially Agenor-Zeus wouldn't be bullet-proof. They also had no way of knowing Ryne's witches had somehow managed to take, thanks to Count Molech, four-fingered (albeit only on one hand) Megaera born Kinesis hostage. That he'd shoot her, though, was never in doubt.

Thus their retreat, though not before Ryne's supranormals captured, if they did, if they didn't go over to the Ark full of malice aforethought, Roxanne born Heliopolis and her husband, Alexandros Kinesis, Meg's brother, the Sorceror's Apprentice. Even without Fish, Sorciere or Granny; even without the participation of Sundown and the Elemental Twins; they're an impressive bunch, these supras, far more impressive than they had been in Colosseum. As for Agenor's fiance, well, Garuda Argiope never was spotted. Might she have been captured as well?

Put mildly, Agenor Heliopolis is in a lousy mood. So are the Silver Arrow Assassins, Mystery Might, the Trinondev Warriors of Weir, and those devils not stuck in Angelo Zeross's rings. He's got them quelled again. Their talismans are in a Hellstone stuck in Agenor's pocket, though. Doesn't mean they have to stay there of course. Doesn't mean he, Angie, is going to be able to keep the devils quelled either. Fish and Sorciere are no more happy than anyone else. Only they're more unhappy with each other. Which is probably why Fish has Sorry as good as handcuffed, physically and psychically, with her Brainrock soul-net.

If anyone is happy it's Miracle Maenad, Pyrame-Lilith-Memory, the thereby humanized Miracle Machine. Heliosophos hates it when his Female Entity counterpart, his oft-times unwelcome and very much underappreciated, trans-time companion, is happy. His Milady Memory gets so smug. If only he could find a way to have the Trinondevs suck out her devic possessor, thereby dehumanizing her, then have them suck out his own occupier, whomever that may be, thereby freeing him to kill his father-to-be. Funnily enough, Agenor Heliopolis has much the same thought when it comes to his son-to-be.

Talos Melicertes was beside Agenor while the two Silver Arrow Assassins, guns drawn, were behind him. Between them, hands high, walked John Sundown. "Christ!" swore Pelops Atreides, hauling himself to his uneven feet. "What's he doing here?"

"Don't worry, Pops," said Heliopolis cheerfully. "We've his blade." Agenor did indeed have Sundown's oversized bowie knife in his belt.

"That boy doesn't need weapons. You've seen him in Spain. He's God's unholy Nemesis, that one. Kills with his fingertips."

"He surrendered. Wants to trade his life for Sorciere."

"You bloody fool!" raged Miracle. "He won't be alone. He'll have the Thana ..."

And so Helioddity ends. Rather, so Odd-14 ends, -- with everyone happy.

"Lovely sunset, isn't it, Scylla?" said Angelo Zeross [to Scylla Nereid, Fisherwoma] as the two native Americans embraced.

"Sunfish-sun's already gone down, Angie."

"Has it? Not by the looks of him."

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15. Helioddity: "At Last, Magister Mandam"

Then again Helioddity might well end here. For me it's been a regular coyote of a conundrum as to whether Odd-15 should finish Oddity or whether it should begin that other book I referred to a few times awhile ago. Guess I'm going to have let you, the reader, decide that!

Here's a preview of the next installment of Heliodyssey. It's taken from the end of Odd-15 and serves as Oddity's epilogue.

The huge, blue-skinned, blood-smeared, what?, humanoid had two, only two, incendiary eyeballs. Had shaggy, jet-black hair that fell unwashed and uncombed to his waist. His mostly leathern clothing -- could it be made of tanned human skin? -- must have been extremely expensive when he bought it, if he bought it and hadn't just grown it. Not anymore. It was tattered, hung off him in shreds more so than threads and, it seemed to [Donar] Lancz, the damage wasn't at all recent.

It was not his massive size, nor any other aspect of his awful, as in awe-filling, physical appearance, that was so mind-numbing. It was what he carried, -- what Lancz assumed was a moderately more than man-height, two-handed long sword in a glowing, ochre-coloured sheath that, combined with the blade's hilt, looked to be a weapon in and of itself. The hilt had curved hand-protectors sharpened along the edges that flange-flared into flambeau tips. The central hand-grip tapered into a deadly spearhead. The man who styled himself the Teutonic Terror as much as he did the Teutonic Templar reconsidered his initial identification. It was not so much a long sword in a sheath as a trident with a long sword sheathed inside its pole.

"It has come to my attention," spoke the behemoth almost inaudibly, "That you desire the Aesgardian Tantalus."

That was when Lancz found his tongue. And skewed his nose. The near-giant stank. It was not just from body odour either. "You're piss-drunk."

"Of course I am. I am also Chaos Incarnate. Or incarnadine, as I prefer!"

Want to do some prep work? Here's a good place to start ==>. As for his significance with respect to the Heliodyssey story sequences, we had some indication of that in Odd-3.

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Helioddity: Chapters 1-5

Helioddity: Chapters 6-10

Helioddity: Chapters 11-15


Unless I decide to call it: 'KOREQUEST!' or something entirely else!

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