Sunday, August 23, 2015
Crossover of the Week
THE NEXT OMEGA
An old man seeking a younger fellow who claims to be Doctor Omega remarks, “A Morlock would feel right at home in this neighborhood.” The older man, who is also known as Doctor Omega, carries a robot head in a hatbox that he acquired in the future, in the city of Metropolis. His companion Fred is mentioned. The two Doctors’ carriage is driven by Eugene Papillon. The duo discovers a card bearing the name Maupertuis. The older Omega refers to Lecoq and “that Marple woman.” The Omegas find themselves pursued by robed men that appear to be followers of the Ubasti. The elder Omega tells the younger how a wave of radioactive turbulence separated him and his traveling companions, and asks if he has been to Quinnis in the fourth universe. The apparent Ubasti cultists work for Baron Oscar Maupertuis. Omega refers to a suppressed account by Watson. They are attacked by the robed men, who turn out to actually be Red Lectroids. The younger Omega shows his elder namesake a crystal, which the latter identifies as from Metebelis-Three. The young Omega regains his memory of traveling to the Moon, where he met one of the Lunian Immortals, and realizes that he is really balloonist Antoine Gerpré. Omega recognizes Maupertuis as Ozer, one of many immortals claiming to be the Wandering Jew. Omega departs with Helvetius, his fellow traveler in space and time.
Short story by Travis Hiltz in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 10: Esprit de Corps, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2013; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 16), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2015. Doctor Omega is from Arnould Galopin’s novel of the same name, as are Fred and Helvetius. The Lofficiers’ translation and adaptation of Galopin’s book implied that the Doctor was the Crossover Universe counterpart of the time and-space-traveling Doctor from the television series Doctor Who. Quinnis in the fourth universe is mentioned in the Doctor Who serial “The Edge of Destruction,” while Metebelis-Three is from the serials “The Green Death” and “Planet of the Spiders.” The Morlocks are from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. The robot and the city of Metropolis are from Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. Doctor Omega visited Metropolis in Hiltz’s story “The Robots of Metropolis” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 7: Femmes Fatales, 2011.) Lecoq is Emile Gaboriau’s sleuth. Eugene Papillon is from Gaboriau’s novel Monsieur Lecoq. Baron Maupertuis is mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Reigate Squire”; here, he is conflated with Ozer from Paul Féval’s novel The Wandering Jew’s Daughter. “That Marple woman” is Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Jane Marple. The Cult of Ubasti is from the serial The Return of Chandu, and has also appeared in Hiltz’s stories “The Treasure of the Ubasti” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol, 2009) and “In the Caves of the Serpent” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 8: Agents Provocateurs, 2011.) The serial was based on the radio series Chandu the Magician, which spawned a spin-off, Omar the Mystic. After being separated from Omega, Fred found himself in the year 1776, where he also encountered Red Lectroids, as seen in Hiltz’s tale “What Lurks in Romney Marsh?” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie En Noir, 2012.) The Lunian Immortals and Antoine Gerpré are from Alfred Driou’s book The Adventures of a Parisian Aeronaut in the Unknown Worlds, which has been translated by Brian Stableford for Black Coat Press.