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 Knowledge of Trouble (All Parts of Three)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Knowledge of Trouble (All Parts of Three)   November 29th 2012, 2:42 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty-Three: Part One
Knowledge of Trouble

I do have a group supporting me. Cannot say that they are my staff, as they do not actually operate with me as their direct superior, although they do have orders to obey my commands. Actually, none of us can give any specific answer about anything like that. As captain, I do have rank, but there are those up the chain of command that relay orders enough that my ability to direct actions is disrupted. I however know that I do have others assigned to my general mission that I can call upon for support.

As is the duty of an officer, I was checking on the squad put together to assimilate the information about the superheroes. Basically, I was admitting to my phone records, my travels, and anything else the enlisted men could find out with a minor amount of checking. The forms were annoying, as I felt that I should be able to simply sign off on certain print outs. I went through the procedures however thinking good thoughts about my next paycheck. It however surprised me when one of the MPs came up and saluted as if recognizing my rank as an officer.

“Sir, Captain, sir, there is a citizen to see you.”

I found that strange, as this was one place I did not tend to frequent. “Were you given a name?”

“He claims to be Wisdom of the Ages, Captain.”

“What?” I looked around at the others in the room to ask, “I thought you people knew all our superheroes.”

I saw activity with some computers, then a sergeant called me over to look at his screen. “First, Wisdom of the Ages is a hands-off, as the Army claims him. Second, he does have a completely separate secret identity as Sergeant Peter Abrams. Third,” he pointed to the screen as he said, “even with our modern technology it is hard to get a picture of Wisdom of the Ages.”

The man sitting in the front room appeared to be two people sitting together. While I felt that I could make out Peter, there was a blur of some Asian guy also being present. I looked at the image, then made a comment about who we had in the front room.

“That should however allow us to conclude that we have the real deal out front.”

“Uh, yes, Captain.”

I turned and strode through the building toward the front. Not being a regular duty person, most lifted their eyes as I passed. I however knew my job, and that I did make enough appearances for most to recognize my place. As expected, I reached the front without any incident.

Holding out my hand as if to shake, I approached someone that I could now clearly recognize. “Ages. I almost have to claim it was your super powers that enabled you to find me here.”

He did rise and shake my hand while saying, “Your humvee is outside, and Peter does have military access. Still, yes, I did use my powers to find you.”

“Okay, why did you bother?”

“I do protect Peter, Sir Soldier. I do not want to go into any details, but dying for me is a real inconvenience. While his pairing with me might seem extremely odd, he actually is a very good partner. When I learned of him and you being targeted, I thus felt a need to take the matter rather seriously.”

Those words had me escort Ages toward a back room. An MP indicated a conference room, but I did not feel that proper. One thing I had enjoyed of my work with the superheroes was that they were a friendly group. Club houses and slogans were not their style. I thus escorted Ages to the common room and offered him something to drink.

Ages took coffee with cream and sugar, then sat down while saying, “The laser technology of Butch Mesaba has been improved and given to another. What they sought still has not been obtained, so again an attempt will be made here in Knoxville. As a misdirection, another laser eye has been made, slightly improved as well, and given to someone to keep you busy. He knows about Peter and you. I cannot see the future, so cannot say which will be targeted.”

Cutting to the chase, I concluded, “Well, for the moment I guess that we have to say that he is targeting me.” Just wanting to assure a train of thought, I supplied some rational reason. “I was the one that went up against Butch each time.” Having been through OCS, I knew that while a train of thought was nice, what I needed to do was take command. “Okay, we have a bad guy. As a Marine, I am out of my jurisdiction. I thus have to call myself Sir Soldier. Okay, where do we go?”

Ages answered, “Not certain. He is right now in a warehouse with about a dozen armed thugs ranting about how they need to make a clear statement while gaining profit. I thus expect a robbery, but cannot tell you the location as of yet.”

I signaled the man away from the common area toward some desks while asking, “How does your power work? Just how far in the past can you see?”

“A few minutes. I always tell those that ask that question that I must wait for the moment in time to set itself into place.”

“Are you watching it now?”

“No – yes. I am mentally locked onto the scene, but your actions and questions take mental work as well.”

“So if we stop and get quiet, you can be checking on them.”

“He’s still ranting, although it seems that he cut a metal drum in two as a demonstration of his power.”

That was not just an answer, but something that got the attention of everyone. Someone dialed the police. I really did not know how Ages managed his abilities. From what little I knew he was not real, but some manifestation of some ancient mystical force. When someone asked me where the incident was occurring, I had to look to Ages for the answer not really certain if he could supply it.

After what appeared to be a moment or two of concentration, he replied, “I believe south of the main railway hub. They are going to be moving rather soon however. They are going to a place with a large parking lot – a hotel? Something about a symbol.”

Ages reached for a notepad. The private at the desk handed the man a pen. Ages actually proved to have some artistic ability. When he showed the notepad to me, I could clearly see what he drew, although could not recognize it.

Sergeant Bealle stated his own recognition of the drawing. “The Descent of Eagles at the Relaxion. I actually like Dover Willis, the sculptor that did the original, which is inside the hotel. The large one outside was reproduced by the architectural college at the university.”

More information than I actually needed to know, although I did appreciate the enlisted man being able to put some credence to his statements and not just voice the usual, ‘I think.’ I however had to pause wondering how to handle someone like Butch with a better laser eye. Larry knew lasers, so could take advantages of weaknesses quickly and easily. He however was in Germany. Sherita was retired, and not really the right person for a job like this. Boom would probably make a bad situation worse. Ghost lady, well, I really did not know her, and Ages, who did, came to me instead. I sorted through the information I had, then looked to the Asian dude to make a conclusion.

“It seems that it is just you, me, and the cops.”

“I do know some martial arts.”

I waved for him to follow me to the door as I asked, “How well in condition are you?”

“Peter stays in very good condition, so I find myself able to perform my katas without any difficulties.”

A better answer than I expected. Feeling a little positive, I saw an MP step out. Realizing that some matters of confidence were needed, I paused to ask a question I heard asked about Ages much too often. I did not know why the military needed to look so deeply for problems, but with the time of service of Ages I felt the answer would not spoil our improving relations.

“Ages, tell me, why are you with us Americans?”

“Peter is American, and, honestly, I like Peter. Of all my hosts over a vast length of time, I have no shame in sharing his life. While he does have desires, they do not overpower him. The same with America itself. While it has bad aspects, they do not overpower the good in the people. I cannot say the same for my country.”

Sounded like a good response to me, so I looked to the MP to ask, “You going with us, or what?”

“Yes, Sir Soldier, as I have weapons. Just in case.”

“No, in case. If you or feel that I need a weapon, let us get it from the police. As Sir Soldier I need to distance myself from military connections.”

Ages looked to me to say, “You do have a uniform.”

I did not doubt that he had the power to learn that piece of information, but I did wonder why he had dug so deep to gain it. Having no idea about the real situation with the superheroes, I did work on an outfit of my own. At the government’s expense, it was a rather nice costume. Actually, I would not be ashamed of being seen in it. The fact however was that I was more than proud to be able to wear my Marine uniform, so kept choosing it. That was the piece of information that I tried to relay to the Asian man.

“Yes, but I like the fact that I am known in this one. There is honor in being a Marine, and in working with the superheroes. Unlike you, I have no problem involving myself in both aspects of my life.”

The MP interjected, “I am still coming, Sir.”

Walking out the door to my humvee, I replied, “You sit in the back.”

Suddenly, a private rushed up to say, “Captain, Sir, there is a media event at the Relaxion. Senator Dixon is going to be making a speech.” Handing me a piece of paper, he added, “The event is however supposed to be in the Rifle Room and not outside near the large sculpture.”

I took the paper while asking, “Well, where do they have the original sculpture?”

It took me by surprise to hear the private actually answer. “In the main lobby. They have an inside fountain and it sits beneath the sculpture from which the water flows.”

His hands worked at helping his words describe some sort of two level affair. I really did not care about that however. I had a general layout of potential targets, and that would hopefully be enough. I thus spoke to help him understand my tactics.

“I have no superpowers, and really no authority in civilian affairs. I would thus like to think that Ages and I will just be helping direct the police. Keep your lines open however, as I might need some intel that the local might not be able to access and Ages might not know how to search for.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Good.” I then turned back to my vehicle, and seeing the other two waiting for me I rushed to get things happening.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


Last edited by TerishD on December 9th 2012, 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Part Two   December 4th 2012, 2:43 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty-Three: Part Two
Knowledge of Trouble

As I pulled out the driveway, Ages said, “They are leaving. They are not however all going the same way.”

“So they will not be easily identified,” I concluded.

Ages turned his head while I simply used the rearview mirror upon hearing the MP in the back repeat our words. Neither one of us said anything, but I felt the Asian guy simply did what I did, which was to note that there was no need to worry about relaying information. I thus looked to my mirrors to assure myself of no strangely moving traffic as I worked at getting to the hotel.

As the MP spoke of arrangements being made with the local authorities, including a SWAT unit, Ages turned to point to a SUV coming onto the road behind us. I checked my mirrors to see the car not speeding or moving erratically. A number of thoughts passed through my head with all saying that my options were not good. I thus lifted my foot off the gas while telling the MP what information to relay to the local authorities.

“I am going to be helping a vehicle that is having troubles.”

As the man looked around, I drew my pistol, undid the safety, then set it on my lap. Ages saw the action, but only responded by sitting calmly in his seat looking forward. As the identified vehicle passed me, I rolled down my window then took my pistol and shot a tire.

The driver had enough experience to maintain control of his vehicle. As he pulled over, I followed behind him. While I was driving a military issued humvee, there was nothing really threatening about my presence. No lights, and most did not get uptight in seeing a military uniform, I however waited and watched to see just how those in the other vehicle were going to respond.

As the driver got out in a seemingly normal fashion, I did as well. He looked at me, then his eyes went to those still in his vehicle as if to ask for orders. Not hearing anything, he drew his gun while attempting to adlib. His hands however went up when the MP came out the door behind me and took an aggressive stance.

“Sir Soldier,” the man asked, “what in the world are you doing?”

“Keeping things peaceful.”

The man put his gun away upon hearing sirens, and said, “I have done nothing wrong.”

“Yes, but I did. While you talk to the cops about my poor behavior, I will be going about my business. I hope that it satisfies your civic pride that I will settle with the authorities later.”

“Listen, if we don’t strike today, we will just strike another day.”

“Yes, well, if you don’t strike today, we win today. On that other day in the future, we will just have to see about that, but we won’t be the ones attempting to make up for a loss.”

We went quiet as the police cars pulled up. The MP went back inside my humvee, although he kept his door open with his rifle beside his legs. The bad guy buttoned his coat before turning to the officers stepping out of their cars.

“Nothing here officers. Sorry for bothering you.”

I was about to say something, but found myself surprised when a police officer spoke for me. “It seems that you have a flat tire.”

“Nothing that we cannot handle. We have a spare.”

“I believe that it is flat as well.”

“What?”

Instead of responding to the man, the police officer looked at me. “You may go on about your business, Sir Soldier. Thank you for your willingness to help this man, but you have other places that you need to be.”

I did not ask questions. There were others in the SUV, but there were a number of police cars that showed up. I thus accepted that the local authorities could handle the situation. Before the situation could change, I got in my humvee and drove away.

As I again got up to highway speed, Ages said, “They were not to arrive all at the same time, so our missing group won’t be immediately noticed.”

I had to ask, “They didn’t call it in?”

“No. That would cause a connection between them and the others. Those having problems at the start thus can sit tight and work from the outside should things go wrong. The call will come out, allowing them to claim to just be friends or previous associates.”

The information had the sound of a plan, but strangely had the tactics of a plan expected to fail. I thus considered what had been done. Everything sounded good to me, although I also had the confidence that the good guys would win. I thus began to consider alternate strategies. As I did so, I began to think about what I knew of the plan.

“Ages, you said that they had a drawing of the sculpture?”

“Yes. My ability gives me what can be described as a rather good visual image with an odd sense of focus. I really cannot read what was on the board, but I can definitely say that the major item on the planning white board was the sculpture.”

“Okay.” The support for the information did help move on with my thoughts, so I found myself asking my next question. “What about helicopters?”

“Helicopters?”

“Yes. Is there any way to check on the flight plans of the local helicopters?”

“Doing things like that take meditation.”

I somehow expected an Asian man would want time sitting in a lotus position and mumbling some chant. It did however make sense that he would not actually know about the various helicopter services. Thinking about it, I did not know if I could easily find out which helicopters had a charter and with whom. I thus mumbled out simple question to hopefully learn something about Wisdom of the Ages.

“Would it help you if you knew about helicopters?”

“Yes, but there is still the problem of checking through the history to find that one meeting, which might be nothing more than a phone call. While all the information from the past is available to me, accessing it takes its time and concentration.”

The point of the moment in time being nothing more than a phone call did make sense to me. Thinking about it, I felt that I would need to develop meditation skills if I were to sift through all the past moments of history. I thus let the Asian man know my concern.

“Whoever the person is setting this thing up, he has to have an escape plan.”

“I would think the primary concern would be not to have people hurt.”

“He could hurt people anywhere. He might indeed plan on hurting people, but there has to be some reason for doing it where he is doing it.” Thinking about what I said, I decided to go ahead and clarify a fact. “It is a ‘he’ that we are dealing with, right?”

“Yes. Barry Cliftson.”

The voice of the MP suddenly could be heard relating the information over his microphone. I felt bad for not asking for the name, although really did not know how that would help me. While it would be nice to simply talk the bad guy out of doing whatever he planned to do, I really gave the idea little chance of being viable. What the MP related agreed with that conclusion.

“Barry Cliftson is considered a mafia hit-man. Truthfully, no priors on him, but his name is in our system. We are being warned to be cautious, as are those of the regular police force. I have been warned that as military I have no jurisdiction, except as your bodyguard, Captain.”

“Listen, I haven’t had any problems working with the local officers. Oh, and if this guy is using a laser eye like Butch, just keep moving and use stuff to get in the way of the beam or disperse it.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The response came in the usual strong fashion for us Marines. I thus stopped worrying about the man on the back seat. The one in my co-pilot seat however was not military, or regular Army at best. I thus wondered about what response I would get from him.

“How much do you know about lasers?”

Ages looked at me as he said, “You should recognize that lasers are now old technology. I fully agree with what you said.”

I had to ask, “You stay up to date on science?”

“With superheroes like Minnow and Ballet Slipper in town, yes. No, that is not my usual interest, but I can adapt to changing times.”

While there was a desire to ask some more questions, I had to focus on my driving as we were arriving at our destination. I really did not see police cars. A couple were parked, but not in any unusual places with none having their lights active. Everyone moving normal had me act normal as well, although I stepped out of my humvee really desiring to speak with someone that could let me know that they were aware of the situation.

An officer approached to say, “A crowd had already developed by the time we got here. I have men attempting to watch the new arrivals, but we really do not know what to look for.”

I replied, “Well, I would be suspicious of anyone wearing glasses, especially those that hide the eye socket.” I looked at him, then asked, “I thought members of your force had experience with our last laser guy.”

“We ran into so many laws on how we were to treat prisoners that it shook most of us up. I hate to say this, but there are probably men on the force that feel it is safer to simply take this new guy out.”

“I didn’t hear that, and the man that does won’t hear me congratulate him. Might find me buying him a drink however.”

The officer smiled as he replied, “I didn’t hear that last line, so we’re even.”

Right then a couple walked up to say, “Sir Soldier!” The lady then approached to ask, “Can I have my picture with you?”

Sounded like a pleasant request. It actually happened a number of times after being identified as working with the superheroes, but quickly fell off. Not having any real superpowers, and not really being active in fighting crimes had me lose some of my appeal. There were still people just now learning about us superheroes, or finding opportunities to come and try to meet one of us, that I did get stopped occasionally. I thus pleasantly agreed to the request, only to find the lady pressing the barrel of a gun into my ribs.

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PostSubject: Part Three   December 9th 2012, 12:37 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Twenty-Three: Part Three
Knowledge of Trouble

Being a Marine, I was trained for deadly situations. This however was not a war zone, and I thought I was dealing with normal civilians. Wondering just how good my medical care would be, I tensed for the pain of internal injuries.

The lady that came next to me suddenly jerked away, and I heard the muffled shots of bullets leaving the barrel of a gun as silently as possible. I found myself pulled away by the MP elected to be my bodyguard. I looked back to where I was to see many more cops than I thought were present. They however quickly moved the couple from the area along with themselves.

Ages walked up near me to say, “I might not be able to see the future, but I can see the past. With only a minor use of my power I saw the two checking their weapons before coming to you.”

“Thanks,” I said while standing back erect. “Anything else you might now be able to see?”

He pointed while answering, “Barry is over in that direction. He is listening to the radio waiting for the senator to start his speech being coming in. He is definitely looking at plans for that large sculpture and not the one inside.”

I looked to the large metalwork while asking, “What could be so special about that thing?”

When the police officer came back over to ask me to move my humvee to a less conspicuous place, I asked him about the location of where the senator was going to speak. Hearing that it would be in a conference room away from this side of the building, I scanned the nearby buildings wondering if one of those held anything of importance. Moving to my humvee, all I could do is relay what Ages had told me.

I found the Asian man to also join me in the humvee. That seemed unnecessary to me, as I only expected to park it. He however gave me instructions about doing something else.

“Barry wants to make a scene, but with you caught off guard. Thinking about it, I believe that we should drive away.” He pointed while saying, “Go that way, park on the far side of the building, then we can walk.”

“Bull,” I replied, “as in that time he can come in and start making his plans.” I began driving off, but instead of truly watching the road I sought for a change of plans. “Listen, at that corner I am going to drop out. You drive it over by that building.”

“I cannot see the present, so I cannot say if that is a good plan or not.”

“Really? Are you telling me that this bad guy is going to call the whole event off if he sees me do this stunt?”

It was the MP that replied, “Captain, Sir, I need to be with you.”

“Bull. You stay with Ages. He might not be a Marine, but does have a military alter-ego. You can thus protect him. That is an order.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The words did not come with the usual Marine crispness or enthusiasm, but I accepted them. At the corner I dropped out with Ages sliding over to drive where he thought the vehicle needed to go. The MP held his seat. Feeing that things could now proceed without the bad guys having a complete advantage, I moved behind cars hoping that the bad guys would accept that it was time to act.

Feeling bored, I pulled out my phone and dialed a number, and spoke when I heard a young man answer. “Larry, have another laser guy. Working with Ages on this one, and he assures me that this new laser guy is targeting the sculpture in front of a hotel. Why in the hell would he do that?”

“Does it move?”

I did not see the importance in that, but did answer the man. “Yes, there are parts that move.”

“I also assume that there are lights to show it off at night.”

“Yes.”

“He wants the power, Sir Soldier. Butch’s eye was dangerous, but it was about at maximum capability. This guy is wanting a source of power for his demonstration.”

Sounded like poor planning to me, so I replied, “Why doesn’t he have his own?”

“Because he would have to pay for it, and because it would be logistics problem. Use the local power source, and things can be quick, simple, and free.”

“He is going to run a large amount of electricity through his eyeball?”

“Hey, you can call back and give me a report later. I could be dead wrong.”

Honestly, I had come to like the young man, and trust him as well. “No. At least you gave me something that I can work with. How are you and Cindy doing?”

“Fine. Trip to the moon about to happen. We can chat later.”

Ending that phone call, I placed another to the police. As I went through their procedures, I saw a vehicle suddenly race forward along with others about the parking lot swerve out of their parking slots. With a statement that things needed to happen fast, I prepared to go into action.

A SUV pulled up next to me. Certain that they were part of the criminal group that stopped simply to allow their leader to first pull into position, I decided to take the initiative. I pulled my gun and sent a bullet through a window. I then rushed the SUV with one hand holding the weapon while the other reached in to open the door.

“Childproof lock, idiot superhero,” the driver said. “Still, we can get out here. You can have it.”

As the locks popped open, the guy on my side of the vehicle said, “I have a gun, too. If I were you, I would thus back off.”

The driver moved to the back of the vehicle while saying, “Aim for the head, as he is probably wearing protection.”

“No. I’ll aim for the leg. Don’t want killing a superhero on my record.”

Trying to regain some control, I said, “Superhero, hell. I’m federal property.”

“Might be worth it then, as I hear the federal prisons are nice places to stay.”

The driver pulled a tool chest from the back, then raced to the sculpture. The guy harassing me took off with him. As I turned to decide who I might need to shoot, I felt the heat from a laser eye. I raced to the back of the vehicle while hearing the new eye guy laugh.

“I am definitely not the loner that Butch was, Sir Soldier. Don’t think that you are going to take me out with scraps and some initiative.”

The guy turned his attention from me. I heard police make exclamations as they felt themselves burnt. So far things were just like they had been, so I looked in the vehicle for something to use in apprehending him. I had to put my attention back on the bad guy however as I heard the voice of the man change to being projected by an amplifier.

“This is more than just a metal helmet to complete my bullet-proof armor. This little piece of headgear ups the game. Like a couple of the local superheroes, I don’t plan on keeping myself limited to this hick town. It however has proven itself as a good starting point. So watch as I make a little demonstration of my power.”

I stepped out to get a good view of the situation. My body stayed tense to move at the first sign of trouble. I however considered a little information was necessary. The helmet had been painted blue and yellow having me think of a west coast football team and not the in-state Titans. Considering the town we were in, I would have expected a strong showing of orange. While I also did not display any local football associations, I proudly stood where I could get a view feeling that my uniform would be cheered by the locals all the same.

The tactics to get power were really simple. They did not cut into any main conduit, but only released the grill over a small spotlight, removed the bulb, then inserted their connection into the slot. Would have worked, except for the fact that someone had cut the power.

Suddenly, the bad guys had no advantage. Without the power, the laser eye was useless behind the mask. By the time he took it off, police were moving in. The guys that had come from the vehicle I was near, suddenly rushed in my direction. Being closer, I easily jumped in the driver’s seat, threw the vehicle in reverse, then smiled as the bad guys stopped with the realization that they were not going to make a get-away.

I heard a number of congratulations as everyone bragged about how well things happened. The sculpture had not been hurt. No good guys were hurt, except for a few with burns. Almost all bad guys were taken into custody. Overall, the results were definitely a clear victory for the good guys.

While I had some authority as a superhero, it all disappeared when the police took charge. I smiled while shaking hands with some, allowed a few to take pictures with me, then left promising to drop off my report later. I saw my humvee waiting for me, although was not surprised to see another superhero driving.

Ages said as I shut the door, “You were correct about the maneuver putting out of the action. Still, you handled it well.”

“You gave me the heads-up, and all your intel was solid. Thanks.”

“Back to the office?” As if he needed justification, he added, “My car is there.”

“Yes. I have to file a report and the MP needs to return to his usual assignment.”

The regular Marine said, “It was an honor, Sir. Who was it that thought to cut the power?”

I lifted my phone while saying, “Larry – the Minnow. Called him while I waited for things to finally happen. I never would have thought that the reason for the location would simply be to have the power to make an effective demonstration. He did not care about the senator, but wanted his own notoriety.”

Ages said, “I find that true for the superheroes as well. They are not attempting to supplant the importance of others, but trying to gain their own recognition.”

I had to ask, “What about Possession?”

“I wished that things were settling as she wanted. Her husband is marked however, and I believe that things will rise again. He really is not attempting to bring attention to himself, but his wife continues to make that part of town safe from certain invading influences.” I saw his eyes dart from the road to me as he clarified, “I don’t however just keep my focus on her. If I find out about another situation needing your influence, Sir Soldier, I will let you know.”

“Like I said, Ages, your intel was solid. Honored to work with you, and glad to have helped to make things come out good. Don’t be afraid to come, or have Peter come, if you need help again.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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