Lights in the Dark
Heartfelt thanks to Rivka Jacobs for providing encouragement
and furnishing the texts of the blessings and other Hanukkah-related
information. She saved me from making at least one glaring
mistake (by pointing out that the first candle this year is
lit on the evening of the 23rd December, and not the 24th
as I had originally thought).
The Tales of the Twilight Menshevik essentially diverge
from the world of Earth-616 (aka the Mainstream Marvel Universe)
after X-MEN v.2 #3. In other words, everything not written
by Chris Claremont or incorporated by him into his storylines
is subject to change by the author. More obvious differences
to current Marvel continuity include the following: No survivors
of the Age of Apocalypse entered this reality. Madelyne Pryor
is still dead. Magneto regained his memories on Avalon. The
Onslaught Crisis did not result in the apparent death of many
Marvel heroes and the creation of a Heroes Reborn universe.
There was no Operation: Zero Tolerance.
I shall endeavor to keep dead people dead in my stories,
even if I already brought back Magik. But hey! she was in
Limbo. Time works differently there.
I tried to figure out the most realistic ages from the comics
and assigned them to the year 1996, the year in which A
Day's Work is set. However, the Tales of the Twilight
Menshevik happen in 'real time', and therefore most everyone
is about a year older than in the comics now.
There are two notable differences to Earth-616:
In this reality, I stick to the age Chris Claremont gave
to Jubilee and disregard its reduction by Scott Lobdell (even
though I love his GENERATION X). And as the date of Wanda
and Pietro Maximoff is inextricably linked to the biography
of their father, they are noticeably older than in the comics,
namely in the early 40s. We'll have to credit their still
youthful looks to their mutant physiology. Luna, by the way,
is six years old, and Magneto's biological age is somewhere
between 30 and 35.
The opening dialogue is a literal quote from SOVEREIGN SEVEN
#3, where Kitty, Illyana and Lockheed visit Crossroads. Wolverine
was shown to be a patron too in SOVEREIGN SEVEN #2.
The Monorail Song by Jeff Martin, Al Jean, Mike
Reiss, George Meyer, John Vitti, John Swartzwelder, Conan
O'Brien and Frank Mula was first performed in the Simpsons
episode Marge Vs. The Monorail. It is © Twentieth Century
Fox Film Corporation.
One thing that may have rumbled at the back of my mind when
I first plotted this chapter was that episode of Northern
Exposure where Maggie prepares a Passover Seder dinner
The Bamf and Mandy dolls mentioned here can be seen -- drawn
by Paul Smith -- in UNCANNY X-MEN #168 and 174, respectively.
Now all you have to do is imagine what dolls of Rogue and
Mags in that style would look like...
Before World War 2, 165,000 Jews living in Lithuania. They
were known as Litvaks and their culture was in many ways different
from that of Jews e.g. in neighboring Poland. For instance,
Lithuania home to the orthodox Mitnaggedim and the
ascetic Mussar movement, traditional opponents of the
more emotional Polish Hassidim. Before the invasion
began, Stalin had had 25,000 Litvaks deported into the interior
of the USSR. Under German occupation, Germans and their willing
Lithuanian helpers almost totally annihilated the Jewish community.
In the 1960s the Jewish population in the Lithuanian SSR was
estimated at 25,000.
Sources used include:
Naf Avnon and Uri Sella: So eat, my darling. A guide to
the Jewish kitchen. Jerusalem - Tel Aviv - Haifa 1977.
S.Ph.De Vries Mzn.: Jüdische Riten und Symbole. Wiesbaden
Jakob J. Petuchowski: Feiertage des Herrn. Die Welt der
jüdischen Feste und Bräuche. Freiburg - Basel - Wien (1984).
Ruth Sirkis: A Taste of Tradition. The How and Why of Jewish
Gourmet Holiday Cooking. Tel Aviv 1978.
But the biggest help was Rivka Jacobs' painstaking research
and her patient explanations, for the Hanukkah details and
those of Magneto's biography.
It is a German custom to have a wreath made of fir-twigs in
the house in the weeks starting with the four Advent Sundays
(i.e. the last four Sundays before Christmas). If this Adventskranz
is large enough, it is suspended from the ceiling like a chandelier,
otherwise it is simply put on a table or something. There
are four candles on the wreath, and during the week starting
with the first Advent Sunday, one candle is lit, during that
of the second two, and so on. There is a resemblance to the
custom of lighting one more light on each day of Hanukkah,
but I do not know if there was some conscious connection.
As for the lighting of the candles on the Advent-wreath, there
are two schools: one insists on always lighting the same candle
(meaning that the last candle remains unused until the 4th
Advent), while others light different candles on different
days so that all candles become shorter at roughly the same
rate during the three to four weeks before Christmas.
The late Ida Ehre, who escaped the Holocaust, founded the
Kammerspiele in 1945 to perform the plays the Nazis
had banned. Until her death in 1989 she directed one of the
most important of Hamburg's independent theaters. The building
(Hartungstraße 9) originally had been used by a Masonic lodge
and been converted into a Jewish cultural center/theater in
the early phase of Nazi persecution, when German Jews were
barred from 'Aryan' theaters, but still allowed to pursue
their own cultural life. Draussen vor der Tür (Outside
before the door) by Wolfgang Borchert (1921-1947) is perhaps
the most famous German drama of and about the immediate post-war
era. Its (anti-)hero is a soldier returning from captivity
into a home which has become totally alien, where people do
not want to hear about the horrors of the war (especially
those for which they themselves were responsible) and into
whose society he no longer fits. Borchert, whose health had
been irreparably damaged in World War 2, died one day before
the premiere, on 20 November 1947.
Krautwurster does sound a bit like a joke, but at least the
name Krautwurst really exists -- I found it in a dictionary
of family names.
ATS stands for Auxiliary Territorial Service, BFN was the
British Forces Network, the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force
Institutes) is the British equivalent of the PX.
The OSS (Office of Strategic Services, 1942-45) was dissolved
by order of President Truman on 20 September 1945, only to
be replaced in January 1946 by the CIG (Central Intelligence
Group), which became the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
through the National Security Act of 1947.
The secret service/secret police of the Soviet Union went
through several permutations after being founded as the Cheka
in 1917. Before it became the KGB, it had last been renamed
in 1943, when the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs
(NKVD) became a ministry (MVD).
A useful source was:
Philip Knightley: The Second Oldest Profession. The Spy
as Patriot, Bureaucrat, Fantasist and Whore. London 1986.
The two-sentence exchange between Rogue and Gambit is a quote
from X-MEN v.2 #45.
The flesh-to-flesh contact between Rogue (with Carol Danvers
in control) and Psylocke was in UNCANNY X-MEN #239 p.23. According
to reports posted on the Internet, this was deliberate on
Chris Claremont's part, indicating that psychological problems
were the reason Rogue could not control her power.
Rachel found she was unable to give more than temporary relief
to Rogue in UXM #202. Rogue made her peace with the personality
she had absorbed from Carol in UXM #293 (the conflict resurfaced
after the first Genosha storyline, though).
This story is (c) Tilman Stieve (Menshevik @aol.com).
Anya (Magneto's dead daughter), Archangel (Warren Worthington
III), Edmond Atkinson, The Avengers, Bamf, Banshee (Sean Cassidy),
Beast (Henry McCoy), Belasco, Beyonder, Bishop, Blackbird,
Braddock Manor, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Paul Burton (Trish
Tilby's ex-husband), Cable (Nathan Summers), Cannonball (Sam
Guthrie), Colossus (Piotr Nikolaevich Rasputin), Valerie Cooper,
Graydon Creed, Cyclops (Scott Summers), Daily Bugle, Carol
Danvers, Destiny (Irene Adler), Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange
(Stephen Strange), Excalibur, Firestar, Trevor Fitzroy, Forge,
Friends of Humanity, Nick Fury, Gambit (Remy LeBeau), Generation
X, Genosha, Elaine, Jean & John Grey, Gabrielle Haller,
Agatha Harkness, Harry's Hideout, Havok (Alex Summers), Hellfire
Club, Hellions, Cameron Hodge, Howling Commandos, Husk (Paige
Guthrie), Iceman (Robert 'Bobby' Drake), Inner Circle, Mr.
Jardine, Edwin Jarvis, Charlotte, Grandma & Timmy Jones,
Jubilee (Jubilation Lee), 'Kitty's Dragon', Kwannon, Latveria,
Legacy Virus, Lilandra Neramani, Limbo, Lockheed, Edna &
Norton McCoy, Moira MacTaggert, Magda, Magik (Illyana Nikolaevna
Rasputina), Magneto (Magnus), Magneto's family, Marauders,
Massachusetts Academy (Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters),
Meggan, Midnight Runner, Mister Fantastic, Mister Sinister,
Dani Moonstar, Mutant Alpha, Mystique (Raven Darkhölme), Nereel,
Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), New Mutants, N'garai, Onslaught,
Phoenix (Rachel Summers), Percy Pinkerton, Peter (son of Nereel
& Piotr Rasputin), Polaris (Lorna Dane), Professor X (Charles
Xavier), Carmen & Teri Pryde, Samuel Prydeman (Kitty's
grandfather), Madelyne Pryor-Summers (Goblin Queen), Psylocke
(Elizabeth Braddock), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), The Right,
Cody Robbins, Rogue, Chava Rosanoff, Sabretooth, Scarlet Witch
(Wanda Maximoff), Amanda Sefton (Jimaine Szardos), Selene
(Black Queen), Shadowcat (Katherine 'Kitty' Pryde), Siege
Perilous, Starjammers, Storm (Ororo Munroe), Strong Guy (Guido
Carosella), Stryfe, Deborah & Philip Summers, Sunspot
(Roberto da Costa), Synch (Everett Thomas), Margali &
Stefan Szardos, Opal Tanaka, Trish Tilby, Amelia Voght, Warpath,
White Queen (Emma Frost), Peter Wisdom, Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair),
Wolverine (Logan), Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, Xavier
Mansion, X-Factor, X-Factor, Inc., X-Men, Leni Zauber are
TM and (c) Marvel Comics Group.
Batman, Fire, Gotham City, Green Lantern Corps, Guy Gardner,
Justice League, Monarch, Newstime, Robin (Timothy Drake) are
TM and (c) DC Comics.
Crossroads, Cruiser, Reflex, Conal Savoy are TM & (c)
Violet Jones & Pansy Smith are TM & (c) Emma Bull
& Lorraine Garland.
Emma Cooper Andreesen, Ernst, Sarah & Uwe Andreesen, Irene
Cooper, Franz Krautwurster are (c) Tilman Stieve.
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