The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages and Webzines in Archive
Volume 6465


Part 4
By R. Johnson

Maureen Birmbaum’s Lunar Adventure
1986 version
   Maureen, as people wish she looked at the 2001 Monolith.  She is attended by Duck Dogers from the 24 ½ century, Marvin the Martian and I don’t know what that creature in the lower right is.

This one is difficult to date as Maureen describes this event both in 1986 and in 1993.  However, later on Maureen mentions that she may be suffering Alzheimers as she has had many more adventures than she describes to Elizabeth and in 1993 she is repeating the 1986 Lunar event as if it had only recently occurred.  Thus, we will assume that the Lunar Adventure happened in 2019 (Elizabeth’s objective time) but by her own life (subjective time), shortly after the Horseclans Adventure to be told to Elizabeth in 1986.  Like Interstellar Travel, Time Travel does mess things up what with this Subjective vs Objective ageing, or as Dr Who stated, “Time is not linear but a big ball of timey-wimey stuff”.

NOTE:  Think of it like this.  You are 16 and leave for another planet or time on 1 January 2020 at noon, spend ten years in space or in the past doing your job, then return to Earth on 1 January 2020 at 12:05pm.  You SUBJECTIVELY worked at your job for ten tears but the payroll office says that you have only been gone for five minutes OBJECTIVELY so they don’t have to pay you for those ten years.  Plus, you are physically ten years older but your Driver’s License says that you are still 16 so you STILL cannot buy a freaking beer in any pub in the US or even vote!

Maureen left Elizabeth in Bermuda in 1986 then whooshed off to find Mars and returned to Elizabeth in NYC two months later describing “…after my wounds healed magically and the battle was over, I decided to whoosh out of the far future…”  This has always been assumed that she is referring to the Horseclans Adventure but I disagree.  Maureen had no serious wounds from the Gettysburgh battle.  Thus, after leaving Bermuda, she must have visited the far future again, become involved in another war, then off to the Moon.  Or perhaps any number of adventures on other worlds, then back to the far future, then to the Moon, then back to Elizabeth.  The point here is that Maureen must have had at least one or more adventures between leaving Bermuda in 1986 and returning to NYC a couple months later.

Note, that as Maureen keeps time-jumping into Elizabeth’s future, and as Maureen’s adventures rarely last more than a couple weeks, often only hours, Maureen may simply still be 16 and ageing normally because she simply hasn’t remained anyplace long enough to actually grow up and age.  After all, consider that by her own time-line, she was 16 when she first left Vermont, spent a few hours on Mars, a couple days in NYC, a couple weeks in Pellucidar, another couple hours in Elizabeth’s home in NYC, a few days in the Horseclans future, an hour in Bermuda, then… you see my point?  Maureen looks 16 because she IS 16!  Her entire subjective life from the time from when she went skiing in Vermont in 1981 at 16 to her return to Elizabeth’s Apartment in 1986 may have covered 6 years Objective calendar time, but by Maureen’s watch, she has only been traveling for a month at the most.  Thus, we know that Maureen is telepathic, immortal and is able to transit through time and space, but as for her being ageless, that remains to be seen.

So Maureen went from Maureen’s Honeymoon in Bermuda in 1986 to any number of adventures, then to the far future where she fought in another war (possibly it was she who, with the Time Traveler,  inspired the Eloi to revolt against the Morlocks and Maureen fought in that war from H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine?), then she visits the Moon on 21 August 2019.

Maureen does mention, while at the lunar cafeteria, that Salisbury Steak was $6.25 and that they did not have salisbery steak among the Horseclans which implies that she ate mostly a vegetarian diet in the Far Future.  She does pay for the meal but does not explain how.  Since she did not take any cash from Elizabeth, she may have pocketed some cash on her most recent adventure, possibly from an ancient bank vault in the future?  Or she still has some money left from that emerald she sold after her Pellucidar adventure.  She may be selling her jewels as needed but I think that she returned to Earth, visited her parents, applied for and received a credit card and carried this card and cash with her, her father selling the occasional gem from her bra-&-bikini to pay the Visa bill.

I would love to have seen that conversation:

“Maureen, what the hell are you wearing?  And where have you been?  You vanished 5 years ago and we thought you were dead, or worse, you ran off with some goya!”

“No daddy, I have been traversing the limits of time and space, defeating evil, defending the poor and downtrodden and being the heroine that I could never be at the Greenberg school!”
“All well and good, young lady, but does it pay well?”

Maureen plucks a ruby from her g-string and tosses it to her father who treats it like a serpent, after all, no father wants to touch anything that has been that close to his daughter’s lady parts.

“It pays very well, daddy.  And by the by, I need a credit card and cash because being an interplanetary warrior woman doesn’t give me much time to visit a bank for traveling expenses.
While on the Moon, she is still wearing her Horseclans outfit and weapons, which no one seems to notice.  This is a curious matter as a small Lunar base where everyone would know each other not staring at a woman, dressed in medieval garb instead of a space suit or lab coat, she wearing a saber and a broadsword.  Is cosplay accepted to avoid mental collapse up there?  She does mention feeling naked without Old Betsy which also implies more adventures than described for how can she feel naked when she has worn them for only a few weeks?  She also mentions that she was wearing her leathers and chain maile and carrying a saber and broadsword.

“Oh and daddy, can I leave my Longsword, spear and dagger here, they clash so terribly with my outfit.  Thanks, daddy, luv ya.”

Or perhaps she lost them in her epic battle with the Morlocks.

Regardless, Maureen destroys a priceless alien artifact then returns to Earth to regale Elizabeth with her frustration over the Lunar Scientists total lack of appreciation for her hard work in cleaning up the Moon.

Now, at the end of this story, Maureen refers to “… those ape-things in the center of the earth” wheras earlier in the story she referred to killing ‘Great Apes’ as if they were different creatures.  I believe that Maureen is establishing a difference between the Sagoth ‘ape-things’ of Pellucidar and the Great Apes of her earlier, unnamed adventure which I still think was rescuing the son of an explorer from the Bolgani from the Palace of Diamonds near Opar.

One curious statement makes me wonder.  Elizabeth states;

“…I put my back against her and shoved her toward the door, and I guess she got annoyed or something cause then I shoved some more but she wasn’t there and I fell on the kitchen floor and she was standing over me with her goddamn sword in her hand…”
Did Elizabeth push Maureen who moved extremely fast as a result of her fighting experiences or did she whoosh from behind her to before her, teleporting a few feet and materializing with her sword in her hand without drawing it?  Is this another talent of these immortals?


Click for full-size promo splash bar


Rick Johnson Feature Articles and Fiction in ERBzine


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2018 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners