The Aeon Interdict
A Tale of the Ringbearers, by Brother Grimace
For eyes of Starfleet Command only
Subject: TALOS IV in third quadrant of vernal galaxy.
Known facts: Detailed information cross referenced with 3XY phagrin level - mass computer.
The only Earthship to visit the planet Talos IV was the U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike with Half-Vulcan Science Officer Spock.
Recommendations: Be it hereby noted that said following instructions be incorporated in Starfleet policy:
NO ONE WILL EVER VISIT TALOS IV.
The following officers have visited Talos IV and recommend that no Human should ever visit it again:
Captain Christopher Pike
Half-Vulcan Science Officer Spock
by order of Robert L. Comsol/Commanding Officer
- from the text of Starfleet Command General Order Seven
(NOTE: This is a follow-up to the Daylight fic A Good Deed Repaid.)
It was fifteen months since the apocalypse known as Zero Hour killed off over five and a half billion human beings.
Claire Defoe, following the advice of the friend who had gifted her with her Defender Ring, wisely remained hidden for the most part, using her 'glamour' to stay unseen while she did good deeds with her powers.
Healing children from under cover (and transforming aspirin and other medicines into 'panacea' – a lower-grade form of healing medicine) to help others, clearing toxins from fields and skies, in one case, replenishing an underground water source...
Claire spent as much time as possible helping people rebuild their communities and their lives - and, or course, avoiding the many superhumans that had popped up, such as the many U.S. Marshals (dodging them was a task) and Arcana - those people who had saved Las Vegas, but also made it into their capital city as they planned to take over what was left of the world. Those people, I stay away from - as far as possible.
It hurt, Claire admitted to herself, to sometimes be on the surface, away from the underground lair where she and her family lived, and look up at the quarry and see Legion Tower standing... the only remaining building of modern design in the United States east of Indiana, where that government academy somehow survived what happened - the academy where the super-kids are... super kids like the Legionnaires. I didn't see that - but apparently, Anthony did.
Claire walked along the left side of the football field-sized garden that she had created a year ago, using her Ring, and her elemental affinity of Air. Creating gentle rains, maintaining a constant, appropriate temperature, infusing the correct minerals into the soil; it was the most beautiful garden she had ever created.
Not to mention that it provides healthy meals for Anthony, she thought, thinking of her husband, also saved from Zero Hour by Vidalia Johanssen - the woman who had given her a Ring. I don't mind letting him have the occasional hamburger or beer - he is a man, after all - but it's better for his health, especially when we someday break containment and let the people know that we're here.
I wish I could see the children now, she said, feeling ashamed as she remembered seeing the battle that took the life of Sandi Griffin, one of the students she remembered from Lawndale High School. I wish that I could let you know what I can do, and help all of you start to rebuild the world...
As she turned away from the massive garden, a sharp wave of grief slashed through Claire as she looked towards the tiny waterfall near the southern end of the garden - and the grave of Angela Li.
I wish that I could see you again, Angela, she thought, and with a thought, used the power of the Ring to dampen her grief. I can't - just like I can't do any more on the surface than I've been doing. I have a family of my own to protect...
Claire laughed as she watched the three small puppies - new residents of the lair, she had rescued them a week before and had yet to name them - as they eagerly gobbled the meal she'd prepared for them.
When the baby is older, she'll have someone to play with- oh.
In all the time she had the ring, she had never received a message through it – which was why the sudden activation of her Ring-shields, and the DRADIS/HUD displays within, startled her.
==Incoming wide-band transmission
==Identity confirmed: Defoe, Claire/Ringbearer of the Line
==Origin/Designation: Earth (D-1111)
==Operational status confirmed: Whisperer surveillance duty
==Area of operations: Earth (D-1111: North America- Eastern/Midwest United States/Eastern Canada)
==Transmission lock from Beacon Terra One CONFIRMED
==LEVEL ONE SECURE TRANSMISSION IN PROCESS
Claire's shield dropped on its own as something she'd never seen before happened: a beam of pure white light erupted from her Ring, and a holographic image of a landmark she'd seen often appeared before her.
That's the Devil's Tower, out in Wyoming, she thought. Why would someone broadcast that through the ring – especially if it's so important that they'd need – or want – to try and get in touch with me?
A voice spoke from the hologram of the Devil's Tower. "I speak for the Ringmasters," the voice rang out, and Claire was shocked as she heard Anthony's vice speaking to her. "At this moment, I speak to all those who wear the Ring, wherever you may be."
Claire glanced down to see that the braided strands of ivy etched upon her Ring that encircled the outside were glowing with a blazing blue light – and as the voice of Anthony continued, she realized that she wasn't actually hearing the words.
Someone's speaking directly to my mind, she thought. Oh, my.
"Effective immediately, an Interdiction Order has been instituted for the reality designated as D-2172," the voice in her head continued. "Under no circumstances are any Ringbearers to enter that universe. In addition - under no circumstances, save that of a declared and confirmed Thanos-level event, are Ringbearers to approach or engage in any form of communications with this universe, or any travelers from this universe."
Over the past year, Claire had been studying much about Ringbearer lore and operations. She had read about the various levels of operations and threats – for example, the D-159 infestation was a Thanos-level threat: a threat that was of such potentially catastrophic potential that beings of other universes and realities were summoned to assist under the realization that all realities were in danger from that threat.
She shuddered as the voice went on. "Should any travelers from this universe be encountered - save under the conditions listed before - the Ringbearers present in this encounter shall use their Rings to immediately return those travelers to their own universe. In the event that Ringbearers are present at such an encounter while in the jurisdiction of The Agency, they will immediately communicate the information and provide assistance if requested. If no such assistance is requested, Ringbearers will immediately recuse themselves from any further action in whatever operations they were engaged in - and vacate the area until such time as the situation has been resolved."
The voice of her husband spoke once more. "Repeating: An Aeon Interdict is now in place for D-2172. Under no circumstances are any Ringbearers to enter that universe."
The image of the Devil's Tower faded – and Claire jumped as she turned away and saw Anthony standing several steps behind her. "Well, that was something," he said, more than used to the incredible things that his common-law wife could do with her Ring. "Why did that woman speak in your voice?"
Claire went into Anthony's arms, the sudden feeling of comfort that always covered her like a blanket as he held her close making her feel better. "What was that all about?"
"It doesn't matter," Claire said, snuggling against him. "I wasn't going there anyway. I have more than enough here to keep me busy."