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THE EPILOGUE

The sun slowly rose over the barren plain, and the trees cast their shadows onto the sand-like ground. T. G. Taft was busy in his office, planning a marvelous plan. "Yes. I think it will work." He said, as he called all his characters to fly with him to find Iffley.

Iffley was busy working, composing a sweet song to sing to the birdies. Suddenly the door burst open, and a whole bunch of Taft's characters swormed over the surprised Iffley. They immediately took the Sceptre that he was holding, and prepared to kill him: But all of a sudden, from one corner of the room, came Jonathan Pierce. The Taft creatures quickly stormed over him and took his Ring. "Off to Phire Island, my creatures!" Taft cried.

On Phire Island, Blue and Adena were doing something undescribable on the beach. So, not bothering them any, Taft quietly took the Amulet and the Note, which were lying along the shoreline. The belt was lying near Blue and Adena, so Taft quietly snuck up on them. All of a sudden, Adena looked up and saw Taft. "Oh, my dear!" She cried, getting up to hug Taft. Then she kicked sand into Blue's face. "Let's live happily ever after elsewhere, my love." She said, feeling her hand over his whole body.

"Where's the Belt?" Asked Taft.

"Oh, right here, my Ecstasy." She gave him the Belt of Excho and threw herself into his arms.

"Off to Furanose!" He cried, leaving Blue crying in the sand.

When they got to Furanose, Taft put Adena down and took out the Tiara that he had been carrying with him. "I now have all six Keys!" He shrieked. He put them together, a humming noise began and...

Oh, sorry. I was just daydreaming.

BALANCE OF POWER

It all started out one day with Susan Smith I: She was that innocent typist that lived down the lane. Then there was Susan Smith II: She was a normal 20th century girl, she drove with her boyfriend to the Sunny South Seas. Then there was Susan Smith III: More brash, yet she had that scho1arly point of view. She was that type of person that would eat the entire city of New York. Lastly there was Susan Smith IV: A beautiful typist, capable of getting jealous very quickly. You know, when you look through this list of characteristics, you see one important aspect of a female that is missing. In that mood I now write the following story.

Noontime. The tall clock in the center of Taft Square struck twelve times; it was a pleasure to listen to its seemingly innocent tone. The great T. G. Taft himself lay beneath a tree just outside of the great city of Taftville, and he could feel the great freedom that surrounded him. He sat back and thought about the events of the past fortnight. Yes: He had almost, consciously, anyhow, excepted the Ledic marriage, but yet he felt as if... well... he had lost, somehow. Suddenly he wheeled around as he heard the noise of approaching footsteps.

It was Susan Smith III. "What's wrong, T. G.?"

"How do you know anything's wrong?" He replied, eyeing her warily.

"Oh come, now. I've been one of your main characters a long time now, and I know it when something bugging you."

Taft stared at the beautiful woman a while, and stated frankly, "I don't know."

"Can I talk a while? I've been meaning to get this off my chest, and..."

"Yes, go ahead."

"It seems to me that you feel inferior. You like to win: You know that, but you also know that you can't do it to someone that has more power than you. You realize you could form an alliance, but that sort of takes away some of the pleasure, doesn't it? Yes. I personally am not sure if the Ledics mean harm or not, but if they do, alliances will have to be formed. You know, Mr. Taft, a long time ago there used to be what was known as a 'balance of power.' That is, two opposing sides that are equal in strength, each protecting his own land and possessions. Look at the ancient books; before the Plague there were millions of these 'balances; Troy and Athens, France and Spain, France and England, The United States and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Finland and Afghanastan: And they all were defeated by one power replacing another. Back at that time there were many people that believed that a perfect society did exist: And it existed if and only if the 'balance of power' was between three or more countries. That is what we had at one time: We had four, count'em, four, super-powers. Of course, there have been substitutions for those powers, but it has remained four for quite a long time. In fact, it became the powerful five, with the addition of Blue. But, then, that is when the marriage took place: The bonding of three of the keys. This puts our 'utopia' of more than two powers in danger; for there is a good chance that there will be an alliance formed to combat those three combined keys. I totally believe that the Ledic marriage may be the decisive action that causes this world to end its utopia."

Taft glanced up at Susan, realizing that she was right. "I will not form an alliance," he thought to himself. But he did realize that it might become inevitable.

Suddenly, from behind him, on the other side this time, came another voice. "Oh, honey."

He glanced up and noticed the sexy figure of Susan Smith V walking toward him. "How about a little boom-boom?" She said, shaking her hips like pom-poms.

"Oh, great. You're back." He said, nodding approvingly.

She threw herself into his arms. "Yeah. How about you and me going back to your place."

Susan Smith III walked away, obviously embarrased, and Taft shrugged off the beautiful girl holding tightly onto him. He simply said, "Come. Let's go to the Lab."

The girl followed obeyingly, walking behind Taft and whistling every now and again. When they reached the Taft Lab, they noticed a young man standing in the corner of it, studying some new form of drug. Taft walked over to him, with Susan dragging behind him, and began to speak. "Well, how'd it go, 'Doctor?'"

"Perfectly. Adena never expected at thing: And neither did Blue."

"Very good." He turned to look at Susan. "So, how do you feel?"

"I'd feel better if we had a little drinky-poo." She said, winking at Taft.

The man continued. "The drug worked perfectly: Adena actually believed that her husband was sick. But I would like to warn you: There love is very strong. He did not believe, even while he was asleep, that he had had an affair."

"But Susan is" He looked at Susan, who was smiling gingerly.

"Oh yes. And to think: He slept through the whole thing. Makes you wonder. But, again, I would like to point the fact out to you: Their love is very strong. Getting Adena out of the room so that Susan could be with him was hard enough... I finally convinced her, when I told her that I was going to do a minor operation on her husband. I don't think she wanted to see that."

"Then Blue knows nothing at all of this child?"

"No. Are you going to tell him?"

"In due time. In due time."

Susan spoke up. "Hey, just because I got one baking in the oven doesn't mean we can't burn our hands a little!" She looked inbetween the two men, hoping that one of them would take her up on her offer.

Taft spoke first. "Susan, go up to your room. You need your rest." Susan stormed out of the room, obviously disappointed at the two handsome men.

The young man spoke. "You know, that girl is really a..."

Taft stopped him. "No, don't say a thing. I need that girl. She just may be the only one that will keep the whole world safe... the only person that can stop this planet from reverting to a... 'Balance of Power.'"


 © 1984, 

L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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