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Welcome to a 'Helios on the Moon' Web-Serial Synopsis Page

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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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Phantacea Logo


Variation of bw cover for pH3 prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013; original artwork Richard Sandoval, 1978

Helios menaced by Lord Yajur with Miracle Memory in background

Advisement for final, full-length, prose entry in the epic 'Launch 1980' fantasy trilogy; prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014; artwork by Richard Sandoval, 1978



-- The pH-Webworld Serials --





© copyright Jim McPherson, 2003

Helios on the Moon

Figures prepared for back cover of Helmoon, art by Ricardo Saandoval, 2014

The Sun (Helios), All of Incain, the Moon (Mnemosyne), Order (Thunder & Lightning Lord Yajur), Doc Defiance, Mik Starrus, Mr No Name and Miracle Memory humanized by Strife

Figures by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

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Helios on the Moon

- A phantacea Mythos Web Serial -

Helios on the Moon, from the Front Cover of ph-3 as drawn by Richard Sandoval in 1978

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1. Helios on the Moon: "His Stories"

Oddly enough, "Mind Tap" does not begin this, the fourth and last book comprising the Launch Tetralogy. That's because it isn't Saturday, November 29, 1980. It is AD however. 1987 AD to be precise.

What! How can an event that took place some seven years after the events of this book begin Moon? Oddly enough, that's not the 'oddly enough' referred to above. Fact is, that's the oddity. Huh? It's a fact! Supernova 1987A did happen; the rest of Moon didn't. Not that I know about anyhow.Drawing by Reg Klassen of the Visionary of New Weir, from ph-4, 1979

(Mind you, there are those who say Ronald Reagan was President-Elect of the United States in December 1980. I won't argue with them but, speaking personally, I think most of PHANTACEA is a lot more believable than that.)

Which doesn't answer the question of 'how an event that took place some seven years', etc. What does is contained in this inaugural chapter. A better question might have been: What caused Supernova 1987A? Which of course happened a long, very long time ago, -- we just did not see any evidence of it happening until 1987. For our purposes though, an even better question is: Who caused it?

Naturally, the fictional answer's our overall titular character. Not that I'm going to go to into all that again now. I will say that there is a lot of "Mind Tap" that does begin Moon. But that's not because it's Devauray, Maruta 29, 5980 Year of the Dome. Is however the day after, Sunday, November 30, 1980: the date of the launching of the Cosmic Express. Which, as everyone knows by now, was promptly destroyed.

Drawing by Reg Klassen of the Visionary of New Weir, from ph-4, 1979Rather than rehash a whole lot of stuff from the three earlier books comprising Launch, I'll refer you to their synopses or, better yet, this chapter. What is new is New Weirworld. Yes, this home of the original Trinondevs of Weir, (which was last featured in PHANTACEA: 4-Ever & 40 Days, still available), yet exists.

And, yes, it is still home to the Trigregos Sisters, -- the collective mothers of the Master Devas so prominent in every sequence of stories I've featured in PHANTACEA on the Web thus far. (Except, nominally and semi-sort of by design, for Centauri Island.)

To cut quickly to the quick, it seems a certain Utopian Astronomer-Adaptor, Would-Be-Explorer, Want-to-be Warrior of Weir has ... Well, let's listen into his conversation with an apparently very uncertain Visionary of Weir:

"You have found a cosmic interface with a sun system that radiates devic energy from a specific area of its third planet. You seek my approval to go through it, which you have not done as yet. You have a reason for that." The Ubiquitous Uncle Universe from ph-4, 1979

"It is not exactly open yet. There is a spatial membrane in place between our universe and theirs. In symbolic terms it is of a consistency similar to cellophane.

"I have reached into it however and, while it stretches, it shows no sign of weakening or breaking. Clearly more experiments are required."

"This still somewhat sealed opening is not large."

"Presently no larger than a small man or big boy."

Um, did I mention that this Utopian Astronomer-Adaptor, Would-Be-Explorer, Want-to-be Warrior of Weir, has a name? Also has a son no larger than a small man or big boy? No? Did I mention how this spatial membrane in place between New Weir's universe and ours got there? No again?

Darn! Guess that means there's a whole lot more to this chapter than can be covered in a short synopsis. Either that or Helios on the Moon has a whole lot more chapters to go.

Which it does!

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2. Helios on the Moon: "Above, Below, and Beyond"

Because I'm writing this on Remembrance Day here in Canada, I find it difficult not to write: 'Lest we forget'. And nor should we. Also shouldn't forget that, while most of the nations of the Northern Hemisphere are currently at peace, we still manufacture most of the weapons of war that are deployed in southern climes.

In the context of PHANTACEA on the Web, more specifically in terms of 'Helios on the Moon', what should not be forgotten is that 'The War of the Apocalyptics', 'The Trigregos Gambit', and 'Centauri Island' are taking place concurrently with Moon. All of which means no one knows exactly who, let alone what, is on the Moon as yet.

Reluctantly, James Aremar retired to his ready room off the bridge. Two seconds later, he screamed: "Smythe, get the fuck in here!" Black Rose of Anarchy, as drawn by Peter Lynde for ph-3 in 1978

Black Rose of Anarchy, as drawn by Peter Lynde in ph-3, 1978With a half dozen security officers behind him, Doubleman Sean Smythe raced into the cabin.

"What is that?" Aremar pointed to a bouquet of flowers in the centre of the conference table.


"Exactly. Black Roses!"

Thus, by end-chapter, they've a pretty good idea of the who, -- if not altogether the what let alone the how. Isn't possible of course. Kadmon Heliopolis is dead. Has been since '68, hasn't he? Maybe yes, and maybe no.

Of course events are continuing down below: on Centauri and Damnation Islands, Houston Texas, and the UNES Liberty. (Which, truth told, isn't so much down below as sideways.) Once again though, instead of rehashing stuff from the earlier books, I'll refer you to their synopses or, better yet, this chapter.

Heliosophos as the Laird of Laughing Letters, as drawn by Richard Sandoval for ph-3 in 1978

Machine-Memory as drawn by Richard Sandoval for ph-3 by Riichard Sandoval in 1978Whatever is going on elsewhere, the fate of the Cosmic Express commands the attention of a whole lot of folks this chapter. More precisely, what's happening on Cosmicar Two does. And Mik Starrus, the guy who dropped the bomb onto an outcropping of Gypsium atop one of Aegean Trigon's three peaks in 1968 and thereby caused the entire Island to tumble into the timestream, is its Cosmicaptain.

As for who else -- rather, equally so, what else -- is on the Moon, the latter says to the former:

"The Trigon Terminator is going for the Spartae, Kadmon. It's too late to prevent Tiecher from going critical but I might be able to hold it off long enough for him to take them both out at the same time."

"Vengeance is beneath us, Mnemosyne. You know my precepts."

"I have just determined that Mikelangelo Starrus is possessed of Lord Yajur."

PHANTACEA on the Web regulars would be aware that Yajur is the until-that-time long cathonitized Unity of Order. Might not be aware that a Spartae (Spartan?) is a Dragon's Tooth but should recall that the loosely-knit organization led by Kadmon Heliopolis in 1968, like father Agenor thirty years earlier, was called the Black Rose of Anarchy.

So, since anarchy and order are seldom considered the best of buddies, what's that mean in terms of Helios' precepts? Dunno, -- not yet! Which suggests Helios on the Moon has a whole lot more chapters to go. Which I do know.

It does!

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3. Helios on the Moon: "The Smiling Fiend"

First off, even though this chapter has been out here in Cyberia for a year now, I haven't looked at it since around the time it was written, some seven years before I'm writing this. What struck me right away was that this is the third chapter of Moon but it says in the title section that it's FOURTH-Moon.

Bit of mystery, eh wot? Maybe the answer is that, contrary to what I wrote above, Mind Tap really did begin this, the fourth and last book comprising the Launch Tetralogy. More likely though, I combined the first three chapters of Moon (made them into two, that is) when I revised them for PHANTACEA on the Web way back in the Fall of '98.

'Nuff said on that, as Stan Lee used to say in the Sixties. 'Nuff said about my fast-fading recollection of dates and the events that go with them as well. (As I always tell folks, I'm not losing my memory, -- it's full!)

There's information on Young Life, Multivoids, and homonculi this time up. Also a bunch of rather generalized junk on various ways through the Cathonic Dome to the Inner Earth and vice versa, from there to the Outer Earth.

Four of them (the SAG, Nag, Kore, & All ways) are discussed herein and someday I'll have to publish a PHANTACEA Quiz to see how many you can list. Might be as many as ten if you count Rings' teleportals and Machine(s) Memory's methods as one each.

However, as the title suggests, this chapter appears to have more to do with GAME-Gambit, and the devil I kept forgetting to mention when I was doing its synopses, than it does Moon. Know what? Does indeed, -- at least on the non-lunar surface of it! Belongs here too though. That's because Smiler's a significant character throughout the Launch Tetralogy. Wouldn't be one, let alone four, if it wasn't for him, truth told.

[That is to say four novellas as opposed to one huge epic; one that would have been heavy as in mostly its weight and ungainly, unwieldy as in its resultant size. Which was how I initially conceived of (albeit huge as in hugely successful), then composed Launch, this prose, post-Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated aspect of PHANTACEA, way back in the late Seventies, early Eighties.]

So it doesn't seem inappropriate to deva-dedicate most of a chapter to the Smiling Fiend and his two primary devic allies, the Thanatoids of Lathakra: King Cold and his Crimson Queen, the Scarlet Empress or Scarlet Seeress. (Both of whom, as will become increasingly apparent as we progress through Moon, aren't so much antagonists, in the usual sense of the word, as on the side of angels.)

Scarlet Whichever's Illuminary-given name is Methandra and her attribute, like the variations of the colour she always wears, is Heat. Cold's name's Tantal and we get into how devils gained their names this chapter. Goes something like this:

Very much ironically, it was the Utopians of Weir, the devils' equally very much perpetual, -- ever so lengthy Pre-Earth existence included --, enemies who gave them the names they have been saddled with for two-thirds of their time on the Whole Earth. Utopians who followed the Sedonshem on its journey through the cosmos on Millennial Ships were primarily Trinondevs, Warriors of Weir, but their educated class were, and are, the Illuminaries of Weir.

What these Illuminaries did was survey the Outer Earth's old, primarily pre-monotheistic religions then determined which deva best fitted the attribute of each polytheistic god, goddess, or approximate combination thereof. Given the passage of centuries, devils too came to adopt these names for their siblings and cousins. Was, but for wizardry, nice to have a name to call your own. For the most part, though, devas themselves still referred to each other by their attributes and not their Illuminary-allocated names.

There are dozens of devas in this chapter, -- well, maybe not dozens but there's probably twenty of them either mentioned or featured herein. One of them, the Poet, Babbar Ninkuray, has not appeared much in any of PHANTACEA's incarnations. Not even in stories I've written but haven't yet been published.

Sounds like he spouts a knickerbocker gnosis of nonsense but, as interpreted by Sedona Spellbinder and Pretty Parsis, Byron's Beauty, (who make most of their 1980-contributions to Launch in War and Island respectively), he's surprisingly coherent.

It is thanks to Nink that we get to learn most of what we do learn about the former lifetimes of our overall titular character, that fellow on the Moon, this time up. The Dual Entities, Helios and his Milady Memory, do show up though, albeit howsoever briefly, just so you know you haven't accidentally clicked onto a Gambit Webpage.

Mikelangelo and Nidaba Starrus do as well and, for those of you Island hoppers who've been wondering if Colonel Avatar Sol was Tiger Tiecher, wander no further. (Over in Gambit, there's even a hint as to who his parents were.) Mostly it's down to earth stuff this time up. Down to the Inner Earth, that is.

Also over in Gambit there's a bunch more stuff on the, shall we say strained, relationships between the Smiling Fiend and the Frozen Isle's Thanatoids. But, hey, you don't have to go that far to get the gist of it. It's right here:

"No doubt," gurgled King Cold. He finished his beer and called for another keg. A couple of ice statues suddenly became mobile and went off to obey their devic lord.

"With the reemergence of supras, there is potentially very dangerous chemistry at work on the Outer Earth," Smiler said to the Crimson Queen, ignoring, as was his wont, the besotted Emperor of Lathakra. "Mind you, attempting to manipulate Brainrock as we have is always a risk. Of course, we may be able to turn it to our ultimate advantage but, just as likely, we may be forced to destroy Centauri Island. To do that would be to destroy the one reliable link to the Outer Earth we devas have. I am loathe to do so but have already made contingency plans to accomplish just that."

"A point, Smiler," squeaked tiny Methandra. "We have seen one of our children, Earth, decathonitized. Because of him, two more, Air and Water, have presumably been rescued from oblivion. Should we not be attempting to bring them back to the Head before, as you said, we are forced to decide the fate of Centauri's Island?"

Still questioning why this chapter's in Moon? Or even what it has to with Island or War, for that matter? Shouldn't be, -- Heat mentioning Air and Water should tell all you need to know. But, as is partially related herein, what if I tell you that there were seven Fourth Generation Devas born to the Thanatoids of Lathakra in the late Teens and early Twenties of this, the Sixtieth Century of the Dome, who were cathonitized back in '33?

Yeah, yeah, so what? Because, as it happens, there were! So, just to let the calico caterpillar completely out of the squishy ball of earwax, if Mik and Nidaba are now deva-possessed, (Mik, as recounted in FIRST-Moon, by Lord Order), and there are five other Cosmicompanions on Cosmicar Two, well ...

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4. Helios on the Moon: "The Ubiquitous Uncle Universe"

Good little chapter this. Short, succint, and straight forward, -- just the way I don't like them!

For those of you following Moon's plotline from the original series of comic books, we're mostly doing the Gordon Parker material from pH-2 this time up. Very Sci-Fi stuff. (Which is something else I'm not too big on.) Nice description of New Weir and some rather dull, but ever so sincere, dialogue between Lord Yajur and a certain Utopian from FIRST-Moon.

Order also has a good old-fashioned chinwag with the Trigregos Sisters. Turns out the Master Devas' collective mothers, (which is to say his collective mothers as well), aren't very impressed with him. So unimpressed are they in fact, they promptly send him back to where he came from. Which isn't just our Solar System. Nor to Cosmicar Two either. What they do is recathonitize him. Which gives Yajur the opportunity to have yet another significant heart-to-heart; this time with his uncle:

He rocketed out of between-space, blazed into and blasted apart Universe's house. Went through the already reformed SAG Gap, streaked past the Moon and the UNES Liberty, and only regained his senses in another, all-too-familiar dark space.

A huge eye, a star with a mouth, approached him.


"Not grandson, though you are the grandfather of all liars. I have been to Weir, real Weir. I have met the Three Sisters. Your sisters, not your daughters!"


So, you say, having figured out what was so different about Thrygragos Varuna Mithras once compared to the other two 'Great Gods', Byron and Lazareme, way back at the beginning of PREGAME-Gambit, -- tell me something I don't know? Something, unless it's someone, I should be paying particular attention to as I go along? Actually I'd rather let you read FIFTH-Moon and figure it out for yourself.

Will give you a few pointers in the proper direction though. Alert readers may have spotted something odd about the BLOCKQUOTE above. Might well be asking themselves, -- just what in heaven's name the SAG Gap doing in the heavens? And, if you're one of them, congratulations! Then, after you've given yourself a silver star, reconsider this statement: Even if they are devils, Cold and Heat, Tantal and Methandra Thanatos, are not the only ones on the side of angels.

Want some more? Well, Moon-Memory is humanized. Nidaba Starrus is deva-possessed and, along with her five fellow Cosmicompanions, all of whom are featured in FIFTH-Moon, has been transported to Lunar Trigon by now. This Mnemosyne doesn't like whom Nidaba is seemingly possessed of, Herr Hel has a sword, there's a rather orderly Master Deva who also has one, and the Dual Entities are Time Tumblers.

Nothing much to figure out there, sez smartass-you, having read the Gene Day section of pH-4. How about this then? In PHANTACEA: 4-Ever & 40 Days, (still available), we learned how Helios effectively created the Moloch Sedon in his Fifth Lifetime. So, who did Helios create in his third one?

Even though sensitive sorts might quibble with the term 'create', and I have to admit I have trouble with it myself, the answer's found in FIFTH-Moon. It's almost the same as what Dark Sedon destroyed in Helios's Third Lifetime; that is to say, two lifetimes before Helios pretty much single-handedly (as opposed to single-eyedly) 'created' the Grandfather of Devazurkind.

[Oh, and just by the biway, it's Lovely Lady virtually the same answer to a seemingly unrelated question I posed ever so pointedly earlier. And she's what, unless it's who, Eye-Ives all of the above's brain-bean-been pointing toward! {Sorry about the fay-say.}]

If you're cursing me now, I halibut-hope you're doing so much more 'creatively' than James Aremar curses just about everyone but me this time up. That man is positively crude!

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5. Helios on the Moon: "Then Til Tuesday"

A couple of things struck me as soon as I started writing the synopsis for SIXTH-Moon. The first is, as above, this chapter appears to have more to do with GAME-Gambit, Island, and/or War than it does Moon. Second is, as I have to keep reminding myself, the reason for that is Moon not only concludes the four Launch Serials, it ends all of them. As well as itself!

That reiterated, I suppose I should start providing links to the relevantly-occurring, confluent-contemporaneous chapters of Gambit, Island, and War in order to keep all the simultaneous synchronicity in proper, pseudo-historical perspective. Guess what? I'm not going to do that! (Will fay-say some more though, as before and, as it strikes me, any time later on I feel like doing so. Is my Webpage, after all.)

Will also advise you to skip this chapter at your peril. Either that or BOOKMARK it for future reference. Because, herein, we learn virtually all there is know about the Expansion of the Empire of Lathakra circa 12- to 10-Hundred Years pre-5980 YD. (That is to say in 1980 terms, -- which is not only the year it's set but was when I wrote the first draft of this chapter. At least the first draft of it in prose.)

That's the THEN part of the title then. The TUESDAY part of it is mostly to remind readers that Tuesdays on the Outer Earth are Demetrays on the Inner Earth and, in terms of action happening therein, underneath the Cathonic Dome, there is a lot going on. In other words, please consider SIXTH a carrying-on of FOURTH. Or, put yet another way, yet more 59-Deck-8 pump of circumstance. (Aren't sub-plots wonderful?)

About halfway through this chapter (around Page 10 by my counter), we return to the present day and what Smiler's been busy doing. Besides rescuing Djinn Domitian, the Masochist, from some particularly exquisite tortures he had had been far too much enjoying in the dimensional depths of Satanwyck, that is. As, referring to Domitian's physical shape and consequential appearance, Methandra Thanatos, the Crimson Queen of Lathakra, Heat to hubby's Cold, observes:

"Looks like something a snow tiger'd drag in after a polar bear was finished with it."

She tells this to Smiler, who responds in own his inimitable way that it's 'an apple-apt description, Seeress'. Or words to that effect. Whereupon he heads off into the Grey (Samsara, the Universal Substance), then to the Upper Head, and ultimately to Ape-Apple-Apis-Ap-Apt Isle, basically strutting his stuff all the way along until end-chapter. When he bests Byron!

Pretty impressive stuff he has to strut too, I might add. Smiling Fiend not only has two shrunken heads sometimes hung around his neck by a Brainrock chain, the skulls of his two breed brothers in the Moloch Sedon we now know, but he also has three Tvasitar Talismans for power foci: a sash, a syrinx and if not the chain itself then, perhaps, one of the two shrunken skulls. Unless one pupped out of the other!

The fiend reached deep into his pocket and, instead of his pipe whistle, withdrew two shrunken skulls. These he juggled between his hands, chortling mirthfully.

"Hello, V. Hello, M. How are my brothers in Sedon doing today? Not saying much as usual, I see. Not much to say, is there? Like to kiss my feet? No. Oh, good. Glad to hear it." The fiend touched the teeth of one to his left foot, then the other to his right foot. "I do so enjoy it when you indulge my fantasies."

Like much of the Headworld sections found in Gambit and Moon, SIXTH features action based on scripts that, mostly because I was running out of money and therefore couldn't afford to hire artists to draw them, never got as far as the comic books. Action there is aplenty, however, and it isn't just Smiler showing off. There's all sorts of Mithras Spawn going at all sorts of other Mithradites. All sorts of Byron Spawn in the vicinity waiting to mop up after them as well. And not just them!

The Byronics turned as one on the ever-apparent little girl. Tralalorn, the White Dwarf, she of Mithras' Ninth and quite possibly more demon than devil, cuddled herself in the foetal position and defecated in terror. Wallowing in her own stench, Trala began to cry.

"Father," pleaded ever-childless Spellbinder in her own voice, "I am inclined to show leniency to this one." The Byronhead hovered above them. The Great God's fourth-born daughter, APM, Aphropsyche Morningstar, she composed entirely of eyes, wafted out of its third eye. As Smoky Sedona often did, All-Eyes spoke with Unmoving Byron's voice.

"But I am disinclined."

Whew! Stinky bunch of buggers, aren't they? And, at least in terms of devils, aren't Byronics supposed to be the good guys? No wonder, as noted elsewhere, PHANTACEA's quite rightly been decried as 'anheroic fantasy'!

Before I go, I should draw your attention to what OMP, Old Man Power, is doing at the end of most of these chapters. Would, as I'm sure you'll agree, appear to have a lot more to do with War of the Apocalyptics than it does Helios on the Moon.

In Vancouver, Canada, on the Outer Earth, the putative Kronokronos Supreme of Temporis had just sent another Apocalyptic to the Thousand Caverns of Tariqartha.

And, while it does indeed, -- know what? As hopefully comes crystalline (as opposed to Crystallion) next time uP (down?), it belongs here too!

As for our titular character and his distaff better-half, the Dual Entities barely get a mention. Of course, like Smiler is to the Launch Tetralogy, there wouldn't be a PHANTACEA without them.

Well, other than me, that is!

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Helios on the Moon: Chapters 1-5

Helios on the Moon: Chapters 6-10

Helios on the Moon: Chapters 11-16

Helios on the Moon: Chapters 17-21

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Selected images taken from the phantacea comic book series

Drawing by Reg Klassen of the Visionary of New Weir, from ph-4, 1979Drawing by Reg Klassen of the Visionary of New Weir, from ph-4, 1979The Ubiquitous Uncle Universe from ph-4, 1979Black Rose of Anarchy, as drawn by Peter Lynde for ph-3 in 1978Black Rose of Anarchy, as drawn by Peter Lynde in ph-3, 1978Heliosophos as the Laird of Laughing Letters, as drawn by Richard Sandoval for ph-3 in 1978Machine-Memory as drawn by Richard Sandoval for ph-3 by Riichard Sandoval in 1978

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Webpage last updated: Autumn 2014

There may be no cure for aphantasia (defined as 'having a blind or absent mind's eye') but there certainly is for aphantacea ('a'='without', like the 'an' in 'anheroic')

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