Sunday, March 13, 2016
Crossover of the Week
WOLF AT THE DOOR OF TIME
Doctor Omega, traveling aboard the Cosmos, discovers a derelict time machine and its owner, Doctor Moses Nebogipfel. Omega believes Nebogipfel’s machine is from the Arcadian Hegemony of the 42nd century. Nebogipfel was transporting a masonychid, a proto-wolf, in his conveyance, but the wolf escaped and is now bouncing through time. Annoyed with Nebogipel, Omega thinks he has been lucky in his choice of companions, including Fred, Borel, and Tizairou. In 1643, the masonychid attacks a man named Sir Hugo near the village of Grimpen on Dartmoor. In 1767, Omega convinces Joseph Balsamo to make a special cylinder Jean Chastel can use to destroy the masonychid, now known as the Beast of Gévaudan. In rural France in the 18th century, the wolf convinces a sabot-maker named Thibault it is Satan. Omega tells Nebogipfel masonychids are the ancestors of all land-based whales and dolphins, and his actions have altered the time stream so a race of sky-whales in the far future will never exist, and rather than the deity Zoomashmarta, the remaining humans will worship a wolf that devours human flesh. Thibault asks the masonychid to bring him all the women he has ever desired, including Agnelette, Madame Magloire, and the Comtesse de Mont-Gobert. The Cosmos is almost hit by an ionized meteorite, which will exit the void of time in 1795, and which Omega believes might cause beneficial mutations. Omega travels to the battlefield of Mons in 1916, where he encounters Captain Yeskes of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers, who is wounded by the masonychid. A Nurse Miller treats his wounds, and contemplates writing a book about the story Yeskes tells her of the attack. Omega reveals Nebogipfel is a brainwashed member of the same race to which Omega himself belongs. Omega does not believe Nebogipfel should continue his exile in the 19th or 20th centuries; otherwise, he would drop him off in “that rather lovely Italianate village in North Wales near Penrhyndeudrath.” The Arcadian Hegemony was founded by a starship commander known as Captain Strange, who is at war with the Federation. Omega finally decides to place Nebogipfel in Randgrith Abbey near the Village of Wulnoth in the mid 11th century. In the 20th century, the Nyctalope battles the masonychid, now known as the King Wolf, and his legions at the request of Comrade Frunzoff. After he kills it and Omega takes a sample of its blood, the Nyctalope encounters Captain Gogol of Army Intelligence, who is accompanied by Oktobriana and Avakoum Zahov.
Short story by Martin Gately in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie en Noir, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2012; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 14), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2014. Doctor Omega is from the novel of the same name by Arnould Galopin, as are the Cosmos, Fred, Borel, and Tizairou. The Lofficiers’ translation and adaptation of Galopin’s novel implied Doctor Omega was the CU universe counterpart of the Doctor of Doctor Who fame, a member of the extraterrestrial Time Lords of Gallifrey. Moses Nebogipfel is from H. G. Wells’ story “The Chronic Argonauts,” a precursor to his novel The Time Machine, and is here meant to be a counterpart of the Doctor’s foe the Meddling Monk. Wulnoth, a village headman in the year 1066, appeared in the Doctor Who serial that introduced the Monk, “The Time Meddler.” Arcadia, Captain Strange, and the Federation are from Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip’s song “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.” It is worth noting the song mentions both Flash Gordon and Darth Vader as real people. Sir Hugo Baskerville and the village of Grimpen are from The Hound of the Baskervilles, arguably Sherlock Holmes’ most famous exploit. Joseph Balsamo, Count Cagliostro, is a historical figure who also appears in novels by Alexandre Dumas; Philip José Farmer also identified him as the ancestor of a branch of the Wold Newton Family in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Thibault, Agnelette, Madame Magloire, and the Comtesse de Mont-Gobert are from Dumas’ story “The Wolf-Leader.” The Beast of Gévaudan was a real creature whose exact nature is much debated; Jean Chastel is usually credited as having killed the monster. The sky-dolphins and Zoomashmarta are from Philip José Farmer’s science fiction sequel to Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, The Wind Whales of Ishmael. According to Farmer’s novel A Feast Unknown, the family of the jungle lord Lord Grandrith originally called themselves Randgrith. The Grandrith/Caliban novels take place in an alternate universe to the CU, but perhaps a version of the Randgrith family existed in the CU, one of whose members founded the abbey. However, John Cloamby, Lord Grandrith, himself never existed in the CU. The meteorite will arrive in the village of Wold Newton in 1795, where it will indeed, as Omega theorized, cause beneficial mutations in the offspring and descendants of those exposed to its ionization, as revealed by Farmer in Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. The Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers were a real regiment whose CU equivalent counted Dr. John H. Watson among its numbers. Nurse Miller will later write novels under her married name of Agatha Christie; one of her stories, “The Hound of Death,” was likely inspired by the tale Yeskes told her. The village in North Wales is the Village from the cult-classic television series The Prisoner; the village of Portmeirion, located in Penrhyndeudraeth, was used as the filming location for the Village. The Nyctalope (aka Leo Saint-Clair) is the night-sighted hero of a series of novels by Jean de La Hire. Comrade Frunzoff is Frunzoff Nosh from the Doc Savage novel The Red Spider. Captain Gogol is the future General Anatol Alexis Gogol from the James Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and A View to a Kill. Many of the Bond films are incompatible with the Fleming novels, and thus with the CU; however, despite using the titles of Fleming novels or stories, the five films in which Gogol appears are radically different from the works they are based on, and can be considered separate or sequel incidents for CU purposes. Oktobriana (or Octobriana) was created by Czech artist Petr Sadecký, and, not being under copyright, has appeared in a number of works by different artists and writers. Avakoum Zahov is a Bulgarian secret agent featured in Andrei Gulyashki’s novels The Zahov Mission and Avakoum Zahov versus 07. The year is conjecture based on Doctor Omega’s perspective, which is after the events of Galopin’s novel.