From: (Johnny Mayall)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: (Serial) Second Coming: Hatters
Followup-To: misc.test
Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 09:02:22 -0600
Organization: Eye-OOF!
Lines: 72
Message-ID: <>
Keywords: 2
X-Newsreader: Yet Another NewsWatcher 2.4.0

As a kid, I remember being fascinated with Norse mythology.  The cosmology
was really nifty, and the gods seemed to have more panache than most other
pantheons.  Apparently, I wasn't the only little kid who took more than a
passing interest in Odin and his ilk.  When mythology came to life with the
Second Coming, a good number of these closet-Norseites decided to follow
that pantheon in earnest.  Of course, each god gathered his own following
loyal to himself as well as to the rest of his particular holy host.  Loki
was no exception, although he did seem to attract an odder bunch than most. 
A few years after the Coming, a fringe element appeared within Loki's
Legion.  Calling themselves the Sons of Mimr, one and all they sacrifice
their right eye to said Being.  They still claim allegiance to Loki,
although their actions seem to contradict this occasionally.  The internal
politics of Loki's adherents make the former IRA's look sane in comparison. 
Regardless of what they call themselves, or at whose feet they lay their
allegiance, the rest of the world calls them Hatters.  They claim that
giving up their eye grants them great wisdom.  While there's no denying
that they often have information that they simply should /not/ be able to
know, they are insane down to the last man, woman, and child among them. 
Even the Odinites disparagingly refer to them as Hatters, although it's
easy to see the root of /that/ animosity.  Regardless, they are given a
wide berth by one and all.

And what, one may wonder, does this all have to do with a certain Second
Lieutenant Aleksander of the Guardian Angle Corps?  Well, it all comes back
to Cardinal Tatovsky.  From some reason, the Hatters want the good Cardinal
to follow in John the Baptist's last footsteps.  And it's now my job to not
only protect Tatovsky from their none-too-gentle ministrations, but I am to
also find out why they desire his head on a plate.  Despite how much I may
sympathize with the Sons of Mimr regarding my charge, a job is still a job,
and intentional failure will rate more than another demotion.  Yahweh may
be a loving god, but he does not suffer fools.  Particularly not when he
owns their soul.

And so here I am, in charge of a five man team guarding Tatovsky's
safehouse while I wait to hear from the agent I sent to infilitrate Loki's
Legion and observe the Hatters.  Risky as hell, given their reputation, but
he was a volunteer.  In the meantime, my five mortal subordinates patrol
the grounds of the secluded house while I keep the Cardinal company in the
living room.  The whole setup seems like some bizarre out-take from one of
those old Mafia witness flicks.  As to be expected, this is a less than
pleasant comparison.  As you may recall, they generally found the rat.  To
add insult to injury, I'm also doubling as Tatovsky's sounding board for
his sermons, which are syndicated weekly across United Christiandom.  At
least the pompous dullard doesn't expect me to actually tell the truth when
he asks me for my opinions.

Interrupting my latest attempt to ignore Tatovsky's blathering is a chirp
from my earcomm, followed by Samson's voice.  "Someone's coming in, boss. 

Rising to my feet, I hold up my hand to silence the Cardinal and begin
sub-vocalizing.  "Randal, Emmerson--pull back to the house.  Frick and
Frack, eyes sharp."

Speaking excitedly, Samson's voice comes back, "Boss!  It's Norris!"

Surpressing my own excitement, I leave Tatovsky to his own devices and
unanswered questions to step out onto the porch.  Finally, my plant is
back, although I'm a little worried that he's checking in personally rather
than remotely.  Preceeded by a rustling of leaves and branches, Norris
steps out from the trees in front of the house.  Before I can ask him where
Samson is, he stops at the edge of the clearing and reaches up to brush his
hair back.  I can't say as that I'm terribly surprised to notice that his
right eye is missing.  Clouds float past the moon, and a dozen single eyes
shine in the woods.

It's going to be a long night.


 But the lies we live will always be confessed in the stories that we tell.
                                          -Orson Scott Card