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|Bulk of page written: Spring 2000|
THE LAUNCHING OF THE COSMIC EXPRESS SERIALS
-- Chapter-by-chapter Synopses of 'The Trigregos Gambit' --
5. The Trigregos Gambit: "The Smiling Fiend"
Both Centauri Island and the War of the Apocalyptics got underway with The Launching of the Cosmic Express. The Trigregos Gambit didn't. Didn't, that is, until now. Bugger the PREGAME Show then. Let's boot out the GAME-Ball, start booing the Bad Guys, and get to hammering out the real deal!
There's no question that Daemonicus is the mastermind behind the destruction of the Cosmic Express. But who is the mastermind behind Daemonicus? Answer's of course our titular character, -- let's call him Smiler and leave it at that. (You'll never remember any of his other names anyhow.)
This Smiler isn't working alone. Two of his greatest allies (probably his only allies) are the Thanatoids of Lathakra. They'd be the twelve-foot tall, thickly-bearded, blue-skinned devagod of Fire Kings and Intuits and his six-inch tall, red-skinned wife mentioned last time up.
(Unless, Heaven forfend and Hell for fiends, they're the ten-foot tall, matronly devic queen of Fire Kings and Intuits and her six-inch tall husband not mentioned last time up.)
And who exactly are Tantal and Methandra Thanatos besides King Cold and the Scarlet Seeress? For one thing they're the devic parents of the first fourth generation devils ever born. Namely: Night and Day, the Four Elements, the Four Seasons, and one other, -- the yellow-skinned artist who won't show up for a few chapters yet.
For another, but for the artist and a solitary azura or Spirit Being, they're also the ex-parents of the first fourth generation devils ever born. How so? Well, we won't get into that right now either but, their right now being Sunday November 30, 1980 on the Outer Earth, they're hoping the 'ex' prefix is soon to become non-operable.
One warning. This chapter whips by rather rapidly; is no more than a dozen or so pages and encompasses action both on Centauri Island as well as Damnation Island. The assumption is that you've already read at least the opening chapters both Centauri Island and the War of the Apocalyptics. (If you haven't, and they're no longer on the Web by the time you get to this, you might want to have a gander at their story synopses before carrying on.)
6. The Trigregos Gambit: "Death, Delirium, and Desperation"
Bad things're dead things. At least they're bad things on Sedon's Head. That's because, particularly in the Land of Hadd, the dead get up and walk, and talk, and even kill. Whereupon those they kill promptly get up and kill some more. Mind you, it's not the dead themselves. It's their bodies.
Can't ambulate unless you animate, I always say. Are animated, make that. Possessed, -- by Haddazurs; spirit beings engendered by the two male Nergalids and the lone female Nergalid. We've met them before. In the PREGAME Section of Trigregos. Names? You got them. Ask and you shall receive and all that. So long as you don't ask for money, that is.
Zuvem Nergalis, Devil Doom or Gravedigger; Yama Nergal, the devic Grim Reaper; and Nergal Vetala, the Vampire Queen of the Dead; that'd be their names. And it's Vetala who takes centre stage this time up, -- her and her Greek-born, Vietnam-vet of a soldier. If you can call him that. Me, I call him doomed!
But there's also the warrior-priest Thartarre Sraddha Holgatson, a human son of one of Vetala's former shells; Fangfingers, who was featured earlier on in Trigregos and bears a strong resemblance to a certain silver-haired supra who appeared in Moloch; and even more Cosmicompanions, ones who have somehow made it to Sedon's Head from the Cosmic Express.
So how did they come to ground inside the Cathonic Zone? Believe me, they'd like to know how they did it too. For now though, they're happy to be alive and still functional. By the end of the chapter, at least three of them can probably forget the happiness half of that equation. Still might be functional though.
Albeit in a different way!
7. The Trigregos Gambit: "The Three Guinea Pigs Bluff"
Been accumulating a fair number of characters so far in the GAME Section of Gambit. On the devil front we've got Smiler, the Thanatoids of Lathakra, and Vetala. On the semi-human front we've Jordan Tethys, the Legendary 30-Year Man, he who told Alpha Centauri the story of the Disunition of the Unities; Thartarre, the High Priest of Sraddha, whose mother was an earlier vestibule-cum-incarnation of Vetala; and, also as of last chapter, Vetala's sad excuse for a soldier.
I suspect we're overdue for a hero, -- a supranormal along the lines of the ten members of the Damnation Brigade, Doc Defiance, and the Indescribable Mr. No Name. So, does the name Annulis ring a bell? How about Zeross? Both should, if you've read The Moloch Manoeuvres, but we're talking 5980 now. Not 1938. We're also talking one person, not two.
While we're at it, how about the names Maxwell and Doubleman? Better go back and reread Centauri Island because, in these three characters, we finally have our link back to it. Which is why Island's being started up again, -- and this time it won't stop till it's over.
Yep, it's Thursday on the Outer Earth. Then it's Lazam on Sedon's Head. And, by the end of the chapter, it'll be Devauray or Saturday, -- the day The War of the Apocalyptics ended and the Damnation Brigade ended as well. Ended, as in their lives ended.
For the second time. The first being back in December of '55, -- when they were abandoned to the tender mercies of the Magnificent Psycho on Damnation Isle by a then 12 year old supra code-named Ringleader. Who also just happens to be our designated hero. [I had to have a reason for describing the original incarnations of PHANTACEA as Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated, didn't I?]
Now that we know who our resident protagonist is going to be, let's get on with the Three Guinea Pigs Bluff. And, who are these devilish, triplicate prigs? As Tethys (who's back again) tee-tee tail-tells it, they're three lowborn, third generational or Master Devas who, 2000 years after the Moloch Sedon raised the Dome to protect the Head against the Great Flood, become the first female devils to gain solidity.
Back then these three, who came to be called Krinsom, Susal, and Ama-Terra, made the mistake of challenging the Thrygragos Brothers for Headworld hegemony. Very nearly succeeded in replacing the God Kings with Goddess Queens, themselves, as well. Came so close because Tvasitar Smithmonger, the devic craftsman, fashioned them each of them a Brainrock power focus.
Except, perversely enough, he dedicated them not to the Cousins, as 30-Years refers to Crinsom, Susal, and Ama-Tera, but to the Master Devas' long lost mothers, the second generational Trigregos Sisters. A.k.a. the Three Great Goddesses.
These foci are, not wanting to belabour the bleeding obvious, the Trigregos Talismans. Namely: the Crimson Corona, the Susasword, and the Amateramirror. Longtime readers will recognize the first as the ruby-red tiara used by Kronokronos Akbar's wife, the Lady Takeda, in the Forties and Fifties. When last seen, over in Apocalyptics, it was in the possession of Wilderwitch.
As recounted in the PREGAME Disunition Section of Trigregos, the Susasword is the weapon that drove Unholy Abaddon insane and effectively launched the First War Between the Living and the Dead. As for the mirror, we saw what it did to Thartarre's Summoning Child of a mother last time up.
Last time also we met three ill-fated Cosmicompanions: Elvis Elfin, Felix Dee, and Gereint Plantagenet. Given the first letters of their given names it makes some degree of sense that, when we meet the final three Cosmicompanions initially aboard the same Cosmicar this chapter, their first names begin with A, B, & C: Angelica Zeross, her brother, Baalbek, and another woman, Carmine Carmichael.
And guess who they're possessed by? Need another guess as to what they're looking for? Didn't think so.
Zeross? That's Harry's name. Ang and Baal are his niece and nephew, the daughter and son of the late Demonites Zeross, who we'll get around to when we get around to Helios on the Moon, and Hiliarti Schroff Zeross, whom we sort of met in Moloch. And, if there's an A, B, & C, as well as an E, F, & G, shouldn't there be a D?
Didn't I read somewhere that, as Trigregos progresses, you'll find that there's a character named in this chapter whom you may think never turns up again? So I did. And so did you if you've read this page from top to bottom.
8. The Trigregos Gambit: "Amateramirror"
Bluff called by 30-Beers, Jordan Tethys, exit the Three Guinea Pig Devils. They won't be the ones who find the Three Sacred Objects. Not unless they don't get out of the Cathonic Zone again very soon. Which they won't. But they're hardly the only ones after the Trigregos Talismans. Ringleader, Son of Ringkeeper's one; so, we learn this chapter, are two of Jordy's daughters from a previous incarnation; and so is Vetala.
Lined up against them are the likes of Tethys himself, the Black Death (remember him from Moloch?), and the formidable triple alliance of Smiler and the two Thanatoids of Lathakra. King Cold and the Scarlet Empress are more concerned about retrieving their recently decathonitized children however. Demon Land, from over in Apocalyptics, is one of them but three more might just be ... Well, here's a hint.
Heat and Cold had ten devic children between 5919 & 5923. They were born in pairs, a year apart, and have already been listed. Two of the four elements are Earth (Antaeor) and Fire. What are the other two? And where might they be? As for Day, funny thing, she had rainbow hair. Ever come across anyone else with rainbow hair?
Given the chapter's title, one might suspect someone gets hold of the Soul of Devaura. If so, then one might suspect rightly. But who? Remember that character you may have thought would never turn up again? I said you might suspect rightly then too, -- but that I somehow doubted it.
Should always pay attention to the writer.
The Trigregos Gambit, PREGAME, Chapters 1-4
The Trigregos Gambit, GAME, Chapters 5-8
The Trigregos Gambit, GAME, Chapters 9-13
The Trigregos Gambit, ENDGAME, Chapters 14-17
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