Friday, April 25, 2014

Tom and the Wizard-04

"So, the big deal here is that the Nazis want the secrets behind the science that you folks mastered, and thus the technology you use. Am I right?" Tom said.

"Well, yes." The Wizard said, interrupting Longfellow.

"My people have been here for thousands of years, fleeing here before the Great Flood on the surface drowned most of the world and that within it." Longfellow said, "Unlike so many survivors, we never degenerated. We retained our civilization and culture, losing only our place in the world. Down here, inside the Earth, we held fast to our new settlement and focused upon peaceful co-existence."

"And, in the process, came to become the keepers of knowledge long ago lost to the surface world." The Wizard said, "Well, most of it."

"However, we haven't been involved in the sort of conflicts that you surface people saw in recent generations." Longfellow said, "Our conflicts are small in scale, and restricted in scope, so we haven't had need of the sort of war-making capacity that your states on the surface do. We've fought well with what we've had, and adapted as fast as we could manage, but this is still a losing war."

"Longfellow Hold endured only so long because the Nazis also lacked serious war-fighting capacity." The Wizard said, "Some of my absences have been spent here buying time for a solution, but that is no longer an option."

"Their air force is much expanded," Longfellow said, "and now their soldiers are easily a match for ours one-for-one. Combined with their superior production capacity-"

"-and you're throwing a Hail Mary pass." Tom said.

"Something that I hear you're experienced at not only attempting, but succeeding at executing, as I hear." Longfellow said.

Tom looked over at the Wizard. "I've told a few anecdotes over a drink or two, after dinner, much like we are now." The Wizard said.

"Well, it's not like I'm in a position to refuse." Tom said, "What do we have to work with?"

"Longfellow, myself, a dozen of his folk, and you."

Tom loaded the blaster shells into his Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver, slowly spinned the cylinder, and then gently closed it back into place with an audible click.

"Well, we are now an army." Tom said.

The Wizard smirked and gave Tom a salute. "Yes, sir, General."

A dozen men, their leader, his old mentor, and himself against easily a hundred-fold their number in Nazi super-soldiers that have armed flying saucers- this comparison made Tom scratch his head.

"Can you tell me who's in charge over there?"

"Indeed." The Wizard, "The man in charge is an individual known only as 'The Demogogue'."

Tom rolled his eyes. "At least it's not Hitler's frozen corpse. Tell me all that you know."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tom and the Wizard-03

After dinner, Longfellow took Tom and the Wizard to his study in the family living quarters.

"So," Tom said, "you're certain that the Nazis perfected a super-soldier augmentation process."

Longfellow handed Tom a set of papers. "See for yourself."

Tom took the papers, and he saw that they were an autopsy report--not worded so, but it was so--of a slain Nazi stormtrooper. Detailed medical drawings, meticulously annotated, showed the medical interventions done by the Nazi doctors to turn this young soldier into a super-human specimen wherein Olympic athletic ability was normative for him.

"As you've now seen, Thomas," The Wizard said, "Longfellow and his people, while not incapable of handling their own affairs, have the same limits on their actions as you do on the surface."

Tom kept scanning the report. "Fantastic stuff." he said, "On the surface, this is all rumored and otherwised disdained as fiction or worse."

"Conspiracy theory," Longfellow said, "is most often heard. We're able to receive surface communications here, especially with the growth in wireless transmissions. Our crystal-based technologies work very well indeed in interfacing with them. Speaking of which-"

Longfellow took the report and handed Tom a small box. "The ammunition that your firearm uses is not the same caliber used by the Nazis, and while we can make it here, we cannot produce it in the quantities that you would require."

Tom opened the box. Inside were six shells, tipped with carefully-crafted crystals and primed with what seemed to be a dop of dust.

"I took the liberty of examining your revolver while you were incapacitated. These shells will allow your revolver to work without needing to reload. Instead of firing projectiles, they will transform the kinetic energy normally generated by igniting gunpowder in a controlled explosion into energy that ignites a quantum of matter into plasma and propels it forward. You'll feel a slight recoil, so your developed skill will directly transfer over."

The Wizard looked over at Tom. "It's a bodge that makes your revolver into a blaster."

Tom nodded. "I like that."

"While I said that we can't make your usual ammunition in quantity, we can make it, and we're almost finished with what we've been able to produce given the time alloted." Longfellow said, "I suspect that there will be instances where purely kinetic energy will be the best way to deal with a target, so I decided that you should have some made ready- just in case."

Tom looked over to The Wizard. "Definitely your friend." Then he looked back at Longfellow. "I assume that you have some captured weapons?"

"We have far, far better." Longfellow said, "Being outnumbered, we must do quality over quantity."

"Well," The Wizard said, "the rest can be left to me. Time to get this damn foolish idealistic crusade started."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tom and The Wizard-02

"Barring any time warping weirdness, these Nazis haven't been down here that long." Tom said as he cinched up his belt, "The war ended in 1945, so they've been on the run from the surface for nearly 70 years now. Any senior leadership should have died off by now of old age, so what's left are aging officers and their offspring."

The Wizard handed Tom a chest rig for his revolver. "True, there's been some funerals over there- and not just from natural causes. However, these Nazis were not only SS, but also tied into the late and post-war networks that incorporated them."

"Odessa, Paperclip, and so on?" Tom said, taking the rig and throwing in on over his shirt.

"Correct, Mister Stone." Longfellow said, "These invaders were the ones responsible for the majority of their technological research and development, and I mean the sort that the surface world conceals from you people."

Tom grabbed the revolver and holstered it. "So, we're talking Thule Society, saucers, ritual magic, and all that stuff."

"Precisely." The Wizard said, handing Tom his hat.

"Wonderful." Tom said with a tone of exasperation, "I need to stretch my legs. Care to walk and talk?"

"Lets." The Wizard said, and he turned to Longfellow, "A tour is in order, I think."

Longfellow nodded, and he led his guests through the door and into the hall, where he then guided the two down a spiral stairway and then out into a well-manicured courtyard from which one could see out well into the distance as if atop a mountain. As if on the surface Tom saw a sky filled with clouds and lit by a sun. In the distance he saw the land curve up and away in all directions. He saw large bodies of water--lakes, rivers--flowing as if on the surface without difficulty, showing him that gravity didn't quite work as he comprehended it here. He saw birds flying, rather large ones at some distance, and then he saw some flying discs in formation- clearly Luftwaffe, late-war.

"Not quite Rivendell," Tom said, "but it'll do."

"Welcome to the Inner World, Mister Stone." Longfellow said, "This is my home, 'Longfellow Hold' is its name in your language, a place of refuge for my people as it has been for many years."

"Thousands, actually." The Wizard said, "His ancestors came here before the Great Flood."

Tom perked up his ears. "Really?" he said, "So, I'm here to safeguard the retreat of a race of Men who disappeared from acknowledged history before the rise of Sumeria from the threat posed by a remnant of the Nazi Occult wing."

"Correct." The Wizard said, "Let's go on to discuss the details while we eat."

Longfellow agreed with a nod, and he led his guests to the hold's dining room. There, waiting, were Mistress Longfellow and most of the Longfellow household. Master Longfellow led them to the head table, indicating two seats to his left for them, and then he said: "Now that The Wizard's friend is with us in truth, our deliverance is nigh. Thanks be to the Creator for our providence, and in the days to come may he guide our hands for victory."

"For victory!" the assembled host said, in unison.

The Wizard leaned towards Tom. "I do hope you know how to win a war."

"Not a problem." Tom said, hiding his apprehension, "No pressure at all."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tom and The Wizard-01

Tom awoke with a start.

"Ah, at last." an old man said, "You're awake."

Tom looked over at the old man, his confusion obvious on his face.

"In ascending order of relevance: it is October 31st, 2012 by your calender; you are in the home of Master Longfellow, an old friend of mine; you are not dead, and this is not the fevered delusion of a man in the process of dying either- this is as real as the firefight I rescued you from; you are, however, nowhere near the life you formerly led, as will soon be apparent."

The old man handed Tom a revolver. Tom took it, and gave it a thorough inspection; it was the same Smith & Wesson Model 19 he inherited from his uncle all right. Then Tom looked around, and he saw his lodging as something out of a European travel ad, one catering to history buffs- and now he saw that he wore a shirt straight out of a Renaissance faire.

"You're not in Kansas anymore, Tom." The old man took the revolver and handed Tom a bowl of broth. "Drink up. You've been asleep for a week straight."

Tom slowly drank the broth. As he did, he took in a look at the old man, wearing a black cossack as if he were a Jesuit priest. He finished his bowl, and put it aside. "This Longfellow friend of yours," Tom said, "does he think you're a priest?"

The old man shook his head. "No, Thomas. This outfit is from the world you know, an outfit I had to appropriate before I could rescue you. I wore it so you wouldn't have too many shocks to absorb at once."

Tom now sat up straight. "You've earned that 'Wizard' nickname out of shocking people, but somehow I get the feeling that this isn't a little lesson on perspective."

The Wizard chuckled. "No, Thomas, it's not a little lesson at all."

Just then, the door opened. In walked a tall, thin young man with long red hair, snow-white skin and blue eyes. He wore a formal-looking green uniform, complete with a cape, with gold trim.

"Master Wizard, Master Longfellow will be with you and your ward presently."

The blue-skinned man then left. Tom picked up the revolver and put it in his lap before he looked up at the Wizard.

"That wasn't someone doing a Space Battleship Yamato cosplay, was it?" Tom said.

The Wizard smiled. "No, Thomas."

"This could be Scotland, but probably isn't, certainly not where I'm most like to be."

"The latter part is correct. The former, not so much." The Wizard said, "That said, we're not on Earth."

Tom gave the Wizard his "Go on." look.

"Not to worry, Thomas. We are not on Earth, that is to say on its surface. We're in it."

"Seriously? Hollow Earth?"

"Indeed, Thomas." The Wizard said, "You see, Master Longfellow is a dear old friend and he came to me asking for help against a bunch of well-organized invaders from the surface. I said that I would help, but the sort of help needed is not my strong suit, so that is why you are here- and a good thing it is! Otherwise, you would have died in that firefight."

"Much appreciated, Wizard." Tom said, "But I find it hard to believe that you need me for this. All those times you've been on my case for 'thinking with my fists' and 'just blowing it up'-"

"-and you've taken my admonishments to heart, though not as I would have hoped, but it is what it is and you are what you are, so I would think that you would also appreciate me respecting you for who and what you are by doing this."

"I'll go with that." Tom said, and just then the door opened. In walked an aged, but fit, man with blue eyes and faded red hair cut short in a fashion suggestive of military practicality.

"Master Longfellow!" The Wizard said, embracing the man, "Well, I assume?"

"Indeed, old man." Longfellow said, and then looked over at Tom, "This is the man you promised?"

The Wizard gestured over to Tom. "Master Longfellow, this is Mister Thomas Stone, one of my many friends from the surface and a long-time companion."

Master Longfellow approached Tom and shook his hand awkwardly. "This is the usual greeting fashion for your people, still?"

Tom nodded. "It is." he said, "Good to meet you. So, what's the problem here, Nazis?"

Longfellow grimaced. "You are a quick study, Mister Stone."

Tom looked over at the Wizard, stunned.

"Well then." The Wizard said, "Let's get started."