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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: (urth) Ozflash Revised, Part 6
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 23:00:24 

The New Improved Wonderful Eyeflash of Oz
Oz References in "The Eyeflash Miracles" Part 6

One of the biologists who had worked in the program mentioned that the same
type of genetic alteration that had been made in the children in the
experiment could happen spontaneously in the population at large. The
government[21] was very concerned over this and decided that any such
naturally-mutated children had to be found.

The biologists hypothesized that a person with paranormal abilities might
possess certain retinal peculiarities, since such people often see things
normal people can't. The government already had a system of retinal
scanners in place, which were used whenever anyone had to be identified for
purposes such as paying out unemployment benefits. The government also used
the scanners as a means of tracking and controlling the population, using a
comprehensive database of retinal patterns. The scanners could emit a flash
bright enough to permanently blind anyone looking into them by destroying
their retinas[22]. This method was used to trap criminals on the run. The
ability to detect the retinas of people with paranormal abilities was added
to the system and, a few weeks later, it was triggered. But, the scheme
back-fired. A blinded criminal became helpless and government agents (who
were automatically alerted by the system) could easily get to the scanner
location and pick the criminal up. But the paranormal individual made no
sign that anything had happened and quietly left the scanner location.
Because his retinas were totally destroyed, he could not be identified by
the scanner method again. Of course, this individual turned out to be
Little Tib. He had been a child in the control group in the experiment. The
whole control group had been brought in with each half of the experimental
group, which was why the phenomena occurred with each half.

The government decided that Little Tib could not possibly be a spontaneous
mutation; his mother must have sensed that something bad would happen to
the experimental children and switched him with one of the controls shortly
after birth[23] to protect him. The government has been hunting for Little
Tib ever since. The man playing Indra is a government agent who is going to
kill Little Tib. But he is not going to do it immediately, he must wait
until Little Tib demonstrates his paranormal abilities. He has a camera
that will transmit the evidence to his superiors who will then authorize
Little Tib's death.

Indra has been talking to Little Tib in Dr. Privithi's converted school bus
(I accidentally referred to it as a trailer in my last posting). Nitty
appears[24] to help Little Tib get to the stage. A thunderstorm is coming
and Dr. Privithi wants to get the pageant going before the rain starts.
Nitty helps Little Tib get up on the stage. As he steps onto it, Little Tib
suddenly can see, apparently. He seems to see an (Asian) Indian village
within an idealized landscape. The sky is full of palaces, heros and gods.

Then he knew that it was only imagination, only a dream; not his dream this
time, but Dr. Prithivi's dream. Perhaps Dr. Prithivi could dream the way he
did, so strongly that the angels came to make the dreams true; perhaps it
was only Dr. Prithivi's dream working through him.

The pageant tells the story of an Indian legend[25]. Little Tib sees all of
the other people in it as they would appear in the legend: Indian
villagers, gods, etc. The pageant continues until Indra appears. He is
wearing his mask and carrying a sword in one hand and a glittering eye in
the other. Little Tib realizes that this eye is the camera that Indra will
use to prove that Little Tib is the one to be killed. Little Tib vows he
will not work any wonders, but realizes that he is not always in control of
whether they happen or not.

Rain starts to fall in torrents and everyone runs for shelter, leaving
Little Tib and Indra alone on the stage. Suddenly a man, made all of metal,
appears. He holds an axe and wears a pointy hat. Indra can see him, as well
as Little Tib. Indra asks the Metal man who he is. The Metal Man then asks
Indra who he is. "I can't see your face behind that wooden mask--but wood
has never stood for long against me." The Metal Man chops at the mask,
which falls off. Little Tib then recognizes his father's face.

"Who are you?", his father said to the Metal Man again.
  "Don't you know me Georgie?", the Metal Man said. "Why we used to be old
friends, once. I have--if I may say so--a very sympathetic heart, and

Little Tib interrupts him by yelling "Daddy!" His father speaks to him
reassuringly and then, very quickly, strikes at him with the sword. The
Metal Man's axe is even quicker and blocks the sword from striking Little
Tib. The Metal Man disappears and Little Tib can no longer see at all, but
his father doesn't try to kill him again.

I have summarized quite a bit of _The Eyeflash Miracles_ in this post,
including many non-Oz parts. I have done this for two reasons: so that
people who don't have access to the story can follow at least the bare
bones of it and to support my conclusion about why Little Tib see Oz
characters he does not recognize.

The Metal Man is the Tin Woodman, named Nick Chopper, who first appears in
_The Wonderful Wizard of Oz_ (as does the Scarecrow, although I neglected
to say so before) and who appears in all or nearly all of Baum's Oz books,
as well as the movie.

The Tin Woodman recognizes Little Tib's father. (Both Little Tib and his
father are named George Tibbs --Little Tib and Big Tib). I take this to
mean that Big Tib read some of the Oz books or at least saw the movie when
he was a child ("Why we used to be old friends, once.") even though he
seems to have forgotten about Oz as an adult. Somehow his father's
(possibly unconscious) memories have been (apparently unconsciously)
absorbed by Little Tib's mind and are providing a template that affects how
he sees the angels who help him or how he portrays them, depending on
whether the things he calls angels originate outside of or inside of his

The fact that Little Tib explains his vision of an Indian village to
himself by saying that it was due to Dr. Privithi's dream of India indicate
that other people's thoughts can affect what Little Tib sees in his visions
upon occasion or at least that Little Tib thinks so.

William Ansley

[21] We learn that the capital of the nation is Niagara. The nation is
never named but it has to be the United States or a portion of it. Either
some cataclysmic events in U.S. history that we are not told about have
happened or Wolfe is describing a alternate U.S. in a "parallel universe."

[22] The primary reason this technique was used, so Little Tib is told, was
that it was very inexpensive to add this ability to the scanners, making
the whole thing seem even more chilling.

[23] Little Tib consistently refuses to believe that the woman he remembers
as his mother is not his real mother, no matter what he is told.

[24] No explanation is given as to why Little Tib doesn't ask Nitty (or
anyone else) for help, even though he has just been told he will be killed
soon. Perhaps he has been on his own so long he doesn't think of it.
Perhaps he is afraid if he tells anyone else they will be in danger, too.

[25] Dr. Prithivi tells Little Tib the story of the pageant.

Krishna is the son of Queen Devaki, and this lady is the sister of the
wicked King Kamsa who kills all her children when the are born. To save
Krishna, the good Queen places him among villagers. He offends Indra, who
comes to destroy him...

The end of the story is not recorded because Little Tib stops listening.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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