SoFie spoke up. "Shall I consider recording the activity in the honeymoon suite?" "Oui, d'accord, of course SoFie; - er, route the recording directly to my 'cam systems please, after all I am and investigative reporter" Muttley supressed a crude giggle and made sure there was a fresh disk in the camera.
Now to tackle the heavy-lift problem, he thought. Now come on; outside there are two sodding great big robots beating the used engine oil out of each other. We have monsters from the id knocking at the door and asking politely to be let in. There's agents in the attic, vampires in the vestibule and horrors on the holodeck: surely I don't have to drag this fan all the way to the med bay by myself? How would I attract the attention of an ambulance service? dial 999? ring 911?? No, we're fans it would be something cute and obscure.
Turning to the communicator panel, Muttley typed in "THX1138". The terminal made a rude noise. "Oh, not a George Lucas fan, eh?" He tried again; "124C 41+".
The terminal went "BONG" and the words "Emergency medical ambulant activated" scrolled around the screen.
"I could have sworn I said "ambulance"", said Muttley, as the door (and part of the frame) were suddenly displaced as a large silver humanoid robot occupied the space. There was no other word for it; it was just there; and wherever it was, the fabric of the SoF wasn't.
"Aha! I recognise you! Gort. Nodrog baraada nikto!" near-quoted Muttley, proving himself a master of trivia once again.
The robot picked up Nodrog, carefully manouevered him through the now somewhat wider doorway, and set off towards what Muttley fervently hoped was the medlab.
The NORAD Officer of the Day muttered, "This would have to happen on my watch."
The radar operator next to him said, "It's confirmed. Tactical nuclear warhead, exploded in orbit."
"Origin of the attack?"
"We're going to Def-Con 2. Alert Washington."
* * *
In Beijing, the Chinese Premier was briefed...
"The Yankees set off one of their nuclear warheads in space. An obvious gambit for a first strike, sir."
The Premier said, "Then there can be no doubt as to the American's intentions. Ready our missiles for launch. If the Americans launch anything else, destroy their cities starting with Washington."
You might be wondering how Norad could see the explosion, considering that the Earth was surrounded by a 'Pay no attention to the man behind the screen' screen. The answer, of course, is that the alluminum spear from scene 38 had pierced the PNATTMBTS Screen Generator, causing a massive leak in the Epoch's bridge.
Since there was noone currently alive on the Epoch's bridge, they couldn't have heard the Epoch's computer announcing the failure of the PNATTMBTS Screen, even if they could have heard a sound in vacuam.
Outside the Epoch's bridge, pounding on the air-tight doors, was Order, currently in the body of Maxwell Smart, Ensign.
"Computer, who is currently in charge of the Epoch?" Order asked, hoping that person could give him directions.
The Epoch's computer checked it's crew roster against the list of all on-board personel. Then it checked again. Then, after a prayer to the Virgin Motherboard in Silicon Heaven that it's first two checks had been errors, it checked again.
With the closest thing to a whimper the Epoch's computer was programmed to produce, it said, "You are, Max."
"WHAT?!?" said Order, startled.
Epoch's computer announced: "You are the highest ranking person still alive and onboard. You are -cringe- currently in command."
"Excelent!" said Order. With the Epoch, he could easily destroy the forces of Chaos on the SoF. "Lead me to the control tower!"
"We don't have a tower, Sir." said the computer. "Just a bridge."
"Why doesn't someone tell me these things?" asked Order. "Very well, direct me to the auxilary bridge."
A row of lights appeared, leading Order to the auxilary bridge.
Epoch's computer spoke: "In no particular order: 1) We're afraid if we tell you those things, you'll do something stupid. 2) You're not cleared to know these things. 3)..."
Order sighed and followed the arrows, trying to ignore the long list of Smart's failures.
Muttly followed the large robot into the SoF's medbay. Surprisingly, for once, the medbay was at least partially organized.
The EMHP was busy sorting through hypospray vials, trying to alphabetize them. He was currently trying to figure out which came first, Aaaaaarite or àzalÜme.
"Doc," said Muttly, "We got someone injured here... Nodrog apperently..."
The hologram turned to look at Nodrog, then did something which surprised Muttly. The holoprogram leaped and wrapped his hands arround Nodrog's throat. "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!" he snarled, shaking the comatose EB+O Science Officer of the SOF. "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, CREATING AN ARTIFICIALLY SENTIENT PROGRAM BASED ON AN ARTIFICIALLY SENTIENT PROGRAM PLAYED BY ROBERT PICARDO?!? HUH?!? ANSWER ME?!?"
Muttly swallowed, nervously... "SoFie, do you have an emergancy pyshiatric holodeck program? and Klaatu! Vereda! Vereda! Niktieclue!"
The robot reached out and grabbed the doctor, forcing the doctor to stop choking Nodrog.
You know, it's a good thing I was unconcious and didn't feel that...
Meanwhile, inside Nodrog's head...
An empty black stage with a single spotlight, directly above. Nodrog stood, wearing the blue uniform Pichard wore in the "Tapestry" episode.
Nodrog looked at himself and his surroundings and thought, This can't possibly be good. Is this where John deLancie shows up to tell me what a bad boy I've been? I hate those stories.
FPilot was there. He didn't walk into the scene. He didn't magically appear. He was just there. And Death was with him. "I hate those stories too, Nodrog. But the writers have to have at least one of those in each season. Part of the contract."
Nodrog said, "So I'm..."
"No. But I am."
"Kerg Batse was tearing the SoF apart. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
"ARRGH! Don't give me that! I want a reason!"
"How about the fact that I was useless against vampires and immortals? That and readers were getting annoyed with me and my arrogant scene chewing."
"Agreed. But that's not my problem now. In a little while you'll wake up in Sick Bay and perhaps you won't remember this little chat. I don't know. I don't have any control on these things."
"Don't you have a message for me then?"
"No. I don't think I do."
Death led FPilot to a light to one side of the stage. Nodrog could see the forms of Kerg Batse and his Solactor troopers--in slaves' chains, awaiting them.
Kerg shouted "What do you mean I'm your servant for eternity?"
FPilot told him, "It's either that or being reincarnated as a rot grub."
Death whispered something into FPilot's ear. FPilot said back, "Well, we're going to Hell, aren't we?" Death whispered something back. FPilot said, "You mean I died a virgin and a saint? Of all the..."
And the scene vanished away.
Tom the Fanboy
RoboT leaned up against the wall with his large arms crossed. Scowling down at NonMugle and Pi-Rho as they shuttled items out of the brig and into the targetting area of the KCB. Tom was explaining to them the similarities between the NEUTONS and what the FiB did.
"You see, we take the horrible and dangerous aspects of our fandom experiences and secure them here so that we can avoid them and they can't harm us. You guys just grab everything and lock it up!"
"I don't think THAT'S fair....." grumbled NonMugle as he set down a transdimensional clearing house envelope with a holographic, six-headed Ed McMahon on it. "The FiB collects and secures dangers to humanity!"
"Batmon and Bubbly are dangers to humanity? They're heroes!" Tom started up the beam and targetted the offending letter. NonMugle pressed against the wall next to Pi-Rho as the beam shot out and sent the item into the NEUTONS.
"Heroes who disregard laws regarding breaking and entering, assault, and damaging public property! You've seen how those girls destroy their beautiful city!" NonMugle would've continued if Tom hadn't cut off the conversation.
"OK, new topic.........oh, pick up that one last paper and we'll have them all in." except Drewsila of course... Tom thought silently. If only he knew where she was he could send RoboT after her. Her hypnotic effects and..... female persuasions wouldn't work on him. He'd just have to wait and see.
Pi-Rho had carefully set down the piece of paper. It was a sketch of what seemed to be six people, or at least six "shapes" that might've been people. The work was messily signed TC so no one was really sure. Tom had found it tacked to a desk on the SoF command deck when he had first arrived on board and it had made him nauseous.
As Pi-Rho set down the paper he looked up and held his position. Tom had begun starting up the beam as routine and hadn't noticed that Pi hadn't moved out of the target area yet. Non had though, he yelled, "Hey Pi! You nuts? Get out of there so the fanboy doesn't hit you with that beam!"
"Huh?" Tom looked up from his console, Pi was indeed standing right inside the target area as the beam lined up for another shot. "Hey! there's no place for you in the NEUTONS! you're bigger than....the last item that needs to be placed! Who knows what you'd knock out if you went in there!" Pi took three lazy steps towards the corner and continued staring down the adjacent hallway.
"Thats better, now I can fire." Tom activated the target beam and looked down the hall to watch the paper get sucked up. He saw a bit more than he bargained for though.
As the beam was about to fire a figure leapt from arund the corner and tackled Pi-Rho. The two slammed onto the floor with the targetted drawing beneath them. Before anyone could get a good look at the attacker however, the KCB shot out and reduced the both people and the drawing. Tom was so stunned that he didn't think to reverse the transfer between the placement and targetting beams as the compressed matter shot out and struck the NEUTONS. Tom spun around to look at the shimering containment field as it began to wobbled unsafely. Something was not going to fit in there, and that meant something was coming out.....
Tom the Fanboy
"OK you slick dressed undead, you better be ready to help out the SoF. 'Cause if you go and double cross us with your old pals from the FiB there ain't nothin gonn keep my boot outta your skinny white butts." Miller and Sully looked at each other nervously as they followed the Blaxecutor towards docking bay 051. They didn't like the FiB any more than the Fans did but they weren't above siding with them to get off the SoF. This was going to be tricky.
Sully was about to lie to Roboshaft about needing to get aboard the FiB ship to "disable" it when a man jumped around the corner ahead of them.
"By your snappy dress and even step I deduct that you are agents of order if not law as well! Be this true?" BaseballBatMan looked down the length of his bat at them as he struck a pose at the intersection.
"Listen I don't think we got time to play since the docking bay is full of agents and I've gotta make sure these two don't snack on any of the other crew members."
"I told you, it was an accident. If I hadn't been mind controlled I wouldn't have fed on-" Sully was cut off by a glare from Roboshaft.
"I heard your story once and I don't need to hear it again. Just think of me as mind control insurance device." turning back to BBBman he said "Now if you're gonna help the SoF then come with us. If you think that I really need to take you down and beat you till your mama don't recognize you we can do that too. So what's it gonna be Slugger?"
BBBMan was amused at the idea of him having a mother. As a fictional being he only had a creator.
"Ah, I see you truely are friends of order! I shall accompany you in the battle against Chaos!" BBBMan fell to the side of the hall and allowed the others to pass before falling into line behind them.
Great thought Miller Another crazy fanatic to deal with. It'll take even more maneuvering to get Cyber-Thack uploaded now.
In BBBMan's tightly closed glove, the 23-Sider of power surged a little due to the closing proximity with the other parts of the CPU.
BBBMan's 32 (thirty-two) sider glowed as Miller, Sully, BBBMan, and RoboShaft approaced the FIB Scuttlecraft.
Inside the FIB scuttlecraft, Agents Orange and Agent Gorean were staring at a small glowing object inside a styrofoam cooler. "Should it be glowing like that?" asked Gorean.
Orange shrugged. "I'm just worried that it keeps trying to roll itself..."
The EMHD had managed to calm down and was now treating Nodrog. "Brain waves spiking, like he was near death... 'cept he's alive drat it... Ok, I can bring him around. Another brilliant job for the program..."
EMHD looked arround the now deserted holodeck... deserted, that is, if you didn't count the giant robot. "And noone but me and Earth Hold Stiller to brag to."
EMHD shrugged and injected Nodrog a hypospray full of a mild stimulant, marked for reasons known only to Nodrog as 'Mountain Dew'.
Nodrog moaned, rubbing his head. "Oooh... well, at least Death will be too busy to play..."
Nodrog looked arround. "Oh, hi doc..."
The doctor glared at Nodrog. "I *LOATHE* you." he muttered. "Computer, end program."
"Bye doc" said Nodrog as the EMHP vanished. "I realy should program him some company." Nodrog said as he stood up. "Um, SoFie, did you prepare an answer? Could you program a theoretical Chaos Processing Unit?"
SoFie spoke: "Hypotheticly, if I..."
Nodrog waved a hand. "Ok, then no you can't. We'll need to find... Hey wait, what's this?"
Nodrog picked up a canister marked 'WARNING: RATLIFF GAS'.
SoFie said: "Oh, that was placed here when we started running out of space in the NEUTONS."
Nodrog put the canister down carefully. "Um, ok... SoFie, begin searching for any Earth based computer system we can utilize for programming the Chaos Processing Unit."
-elsewhere (but not far elsewhere)-
Mr. Rikk, watching in the ventelation ducts, considered. The large man obviously considered whatever was in the canister to be dangerous. Mr. Rikk watched as the young, overweight man left the room, leaving only the strange humanoid statue guarding the room.
Spyke moaned, motion-sick. He had managed to escape the NEUTONS and grab a potential meal, only for him and the meal to get sucked back in. Before he could begin feeding, however, he found himself back out of the containment area. Next to him was a very confused looking Pickashu and a computer disk marked 'Marissa Picard vs Dr. Thinker'. The compression equipment in the room hummed out of tune. Spyke's finally honed survival instinct and years of experience kicked in. "RUN FOR IT, MATES!" he yelled, and began running.
Tom the Fanboy
As the yellow rodent and the blonde undead scrambled for the blast doors, the shocked few outside held rather still. At least until they realized what was happening.
RoboT barreled forward to take on the brit in combat. Tom climbed over the compression equipment to get to the security controls. NonMugle just stood there in shock. Standing before him was the little electrat that he had seen hundred of times in the FiB containment cells.
How did one get up here? and why do it's stripes look like swooshes he thought.
As RoboT tackled Spyke to the floor inside the brig, Tom slid behind the desk. He was opening up the console when he heard an ominous clicking sound coming from nearby. Looking down he saw a small computer disk "walking" towards the A drive on the console. Tom snatched the disk from the ground and threw it across the hall in the hopes of snapping NonMugle out of his stupor. The disk flew through the air and amazingly enough flew in front of Non's face only 4 inches from the tip of his nose.
Tom was about to curse his bad aim when the disk happened to intercept a lightening bolt that had erupted from the dirty yellow beast that was trying to get Non Mugle out of his way. So much for that little 3 and a half inch terror! Tom chuckled to himself as he began activating the magnetic field. He knew the blast doors would take far to long to slide into position, far longer than it would take the magnetic shield to power up. It had been off so long that the power cells needed to warm up. Setting the shield's activation in motion, Tom once again scrambled over the security desk. Running around the back end of the KCB, he grabbed NonMugle and pulled him down just as another static charge flew from the swooshtikas on the creature's back.
"C'mon man! Snap out of it now!" Tom yelled at NonMugle as the Pockymoan hopped forward slowly. "You're an agent for pete sakes! Do something about that thing!"
"I- I'm just a trainee! I'm not a full time agent. I just work at the FiB during the summer!"
"Whaaaaaaaaaat!?!?" Tom could feel his head expand to twice it's normal size (especially his mouth) and all of his teeth grow into fangs as he let the anime anger flow through him. "You mean to say that this whole time we thought we were dealing with two guys who happened to be temporary deputies are just part time employees who happen to work in fantasmagorical espionage instead of a place with value meals!?!?!?" Tom shook NonMugle by the collar violently and threw him over his shoulder. As NonMugle flew into the distance behind Tom, he slammed into Pikashu, RoboT, Spyke, and the NEUTONS. The now unstable locker couldn't handle any more stress and the contents burst forth to flow like a tidalwave across the brig. However, before the dastardly contents could spread into the hall and engulf Tom (whose head now had only a slight vein buldge) the magnetic field snapped into place and held back the tsunami of sundry items and creatures. Tom turned around and looked at the mess that had filled the other side of the magnetic field to waist level. RoboT had stopped fighting with Spyke, but now had greater problems to worry about. Such as the mass of overly cute cartoons and nasty monsters armed with fanart, "lemons", "limes", Yaoi, low budget hentai, inapropriately liscensed cartoon merchendise, and all manner of things from the darkside of fandom.
Tom blinked and sighed in relief as he looked. He felt really bad that RoboT was going to be fighting off the hoard alone for awhile but there were more urgent things to deal with right now.
"Hmmmm...I wonder what shape my room is in since I was there last." Tom began to walk away from the tightly sealed carnage that was the Brig and strolled towards the residential section where Storage Room 3 was. AKA Tom and Vallie's Room.
As he turned the corner there was a slight wheeze and a scrape as a charred plastic square pulled itself up onto one of its corners.
Blondlot prowled the halls, stopping occasionally to remove grillwork and install one of the numerous small, rectangular devices he was carrying. He passed sensors and cameras undetected, thanks to both his suits ability to bend light around and away from his person and the cube's power, which he had just begun to understand hours ago.
In knowing what connection it had with thought processes, Blondlot had mastered it to a small degree. He assumed that before it had only responded to his subconscious feelings, creating rough estimates of inner turmoil given a form complimentary to his own geeky nature. But now he was controlling his emotions; in focusing much of his mental resources towards the task of using his suit's power he found the cube seemed more apt to respond to his conscious wants, which at the moment were to be totally unseen. Unfortunately, his fervor had blinded him to the insidious workings begun on him by the artifact.
The mentally degenerative effects of using the cube without full understanding of its properties were quickly becoming evident in his demeanor. His eyes bugged and rolled; a maniacal smile spread across his lips as he giggled and jabbered nonsense to himself in the dark, empty halls of the Satellite of FANS. In only a few short hours the cube had reduced him to total insanity; in a few more hours it would begin affecting his physical form. He had strangled his doppelganger to death in the ambulance in a fit of hysteria, having seen Mr. Rikk’s vessel being brought into the ship. It was while still squeezing the very life from his twin that he had formed his insane, reckless plan.
He cocked his head as he installed the last bomb in the long series that wove through the majority of the ship, pleased with the speed at which he had done it all. He activated the sequence on his remote control and began galloping down the hall, screeching curses, victory calls and lamentations in a garbled yowl.
“In five minutes,” he said, “It will all be over. He can't escape our wrath, can he precious?” He said, stroking the artifact “We hatessss him forever”.
“Five minutesss, we give Baggi... er, Mr. Rikk”
Flogman, aka Chaos, was quietly following Blondlot. It was rather easy, actually... apprerently, Blondlot didn't realize the cube he was holding practicly screamed with chaotic energy. It was child's play for Chaos to follow Blondlot the way a mouse might follow the scent of limberger. Or run away from the scent of limberger, one of the two.
As he passed each bomb, Chaos flipped a mental coin. If it landed heads or tails, he disabled the bomb. The several times the coin had landed on the edge, he left the bombs alone. While there was no longer enough working bombs to instantaneously destroy the SOF, there was still more then enough bombs to send the SOF falling and, eventually, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.
So intent was Chaos on following the chaos trail Blondlot was leaking, he didn't even notice the air duct above untill the grate came crashing down on his head. Responding reflexively to the pain, Chaos instantly jumped out of Flogman's body.
Chaos rubbed his now intangible head and watched as his former host saluted the dirty, messy man who had just crawled out of the air duct, dragging a large metal canister.
"Come on!" snarled Mr. Rikk. "We need to find a way to seize control of the station... either that, or contact the Epoch. Do you know if Blondlot or any other minions are on board?"
Chaos shrugged as he watched Flogman obediently follow Mr. Rikk. Flogman had been rather a good host... but now Chaos would just have to find a new one. Chaos pulled a rolodex out of thin air and drew a card out at random. "Aha! A former agent of mine... and he's on board!"
Chaos floated away, leaving the invisible/intangable/existance-doubtful rolodex hanging in mid-air.
Puffy, Willowy-Thin, and Gills rushed down the coridor, bumping by a distracted looking humanoid robot.
"Hey, what's the hurry, pretty ladies?" the robot asked. His body looked liked C3P0s, but C3P0 had never worn such a tacky leisure suit or heavy gold chain necklaces.
"Werewolf" snapped Gills, upset at yet another being assuming he was female. It wasn't his fault he was such an effemenant (?sp?) British librarian.
"Werewolf?" said the robot, surprised.
"There wolf!" said Puffy, pointing. The three quickly dashed down the indicated passageway.
The robot simply shrugged and took a different passageway, not wanting to mess with a wolf.
People worried about me introducing new charachters, however, should not worry. The passageway the robot took led to one of the SOF's many airlocks.
A man ran into the Chinese Premier's office.
"Sir! A metallic object, aproximately six feet tall and three feet wide, has just been launched from the suspected American military station!" he said. Well, actually, what the man said was in Chinese. We'll just pretend he said it in English.
"Could it be some new form of weapon?" wandered one of the Primeir's aids.
"We have no choice!" said the Chinese Primier. "Prepare... IT!" "
That sentient, self moving human hand?" asked one of the Aids.
"No, not It... IT!" said the Chinese Primier. "You know, it in all capitals with an exclamation mark."
The aides all gasped. "No, not IT!!!"
"No, just ONE exclamation mark." insisted the Primier. "I'm not quite ready to use IT!!!."
Nodrog had just managed a theoretical tour de force. No, he had not just completed an imaginary bike race, he'd had a revelation. An inspiration. A picture in his head.
And, currently, a cellphone in his hand.
"That's right, I want a copy of Chaos Plus Plus Programming for Dummies... great, and ship it to the Sattelite of Fans, Geostationary Earth Orbit, Sol system, Unfashionable quarter of the Milky Way, Universe Armstrong - One small step for man, one giant... yeah, that universe... well, same to you pal! I don't go insulting YOUR universe... oh, your universe is THAT one? Well, I guess I do go insulting your universe... Look, just get a copy to me, ok? I promise as soon as I get to Earth I'll put a penny in a compound interest account... you just need an American Express card number? Ok..."
Nodrog fished out an American Express card he had swiped from the pockets of a dead alien the SoFers had found back when the Sattelite was still being run by Dr. T. He promptly read off the number and expiration date, which had been for about two years ago.
"Yeah, deliver it express... thanks!"
Nodrog hung up the cell phone, then blinked as an electronic book materialized in front of him. On the cover was the title "Chaos++ For Dummies" and the words now required (by law) to appear on the cover of all electronic books: "Now Would Be A Good Time To Being Panicking".
Nodrog pounced on the book, turning it on and quickly rifling through the pages. "Yes, it's all here... it's all so simple... it's Here.TestForUniverseMatch(X, pi, Plank's Constant)==a/very/merry/un.Birthday!!!"
It is a widely believed story that if you die without accomplishing your task in life, you're sent back is a ghost. Actually, this only applies if you manage to beat Death at Backgammon, Battleship, Bowling, Checkers, Chess, Clue, Darts, Snakes and Ladders, Thermo-Nuclear Global War, Tic-Tac-Toe, Tiddlywinks, Twister, or any other of a wide variety of traditional challenges.
"I still can't believe I lost in just one round" muttered Death. "I *NEVER* lost in just one round.
"Hey," said FPilot "It's not your fault you only wear that robe. And you did agree to Strip Poker..."
"Yeah yeah." said Death. "Remember the rules... if you manage to accomplish your task as a ghost in 48 hours, you're brought back to what you were before you became living impaired. Fail, and you come with me."
"Right." said FPilot. "Um, what is my task?"
"That's for me (and any omniscient deities) to know" said Death, "And for you to find out. Oh, and I want my robe back!"
Muttley was hurrying to the SoF honeymoon suite. After telling the robot to guard the unconcious Nodrog (mostly from the EMHP), Muttley had checked the view of the Honeymoon suite using his vid camera. What he'd seen had sent him rushing this way, down the SoF corridors.
Muttley stopped outside the door of the SoF honeymoon suite. "Shoot, " he muttered to himself, "Why didn't anyone remember this room doubled as a HOLO-Suite?"
Muttley checked his camera and then pushed the door open button.
'He who complains about getten written out, will soon get written in' Nodrog Skrap, Stand-Up Philosopher.
"Tough. I'm working on a robe collection and yours is the first. You'll get it back when I finish...about 480 seconds from now. Give or take." FPilot vanished away.
Change of scene to Epoch. FPilot emerged at the fusebox and touched one circuit. It exploded.
Instantly, Maxwell Smart, who had been pounding on the doors of the 2ndaryC3 room, fell inside as the doors suddenly opened and a blast of air from the corridor behind him shoved him in. He sprawled very painfully on the floor. The doors shut behind him, wrenching off one of his shoes, which flipped up off the floor, hit the ceiling, and whacked him on his head. It didn't knock him out, but he heard it squawk "We're sorry, but the call cannot be completed as dialed."
Then FPilot came aboard SoF and emerged in that closet of lucite known as SoFie's computer core. He possessed it for only three seconds--enough to program the honor guard robots into seeking the bombs and disposing of them. Then he made SoFie send out trilingual distress calls (English, Chinese and Russian) over as many frequencies as possible.
Vanishing from there, FPilot went to the Brig's NEUTONS zone interface and splattered with ectoplasmic slime as many non-DeathOfRats entities as he could so he could properly identify DeathOfRats. Once he found DOR, he snatched it up in Death's robe and returned instantly to the hereafter.
Death looked at his hourglass. "479.9 seconds."
FPilot handed him his robe. "Traffic is atrocious today. If you need me, I'll be in the Happy Hunting Ground." FPilot vanished away once again.
As he hit the door-open button, Muttley had a sudden thought. "Oh, spit, I hope Nodrog hasn't tried to give Gort any commands. Nodrog's Axi-Gentis is atrocious, he's probably sent it out to revive Klaatu. I hope nobody's running around out here in a silver suit and goldfish-bowl helmet, Gort'll probably plug them into the electricity supply."
The door stayed shut. "I'm getting fed up with this" cried Muttley. There was no handle and pushing the door didn't help. There was a distinct lack of keys, crowbars or light-sabres lying about. Then Muttley remembered that a die-hard StarTec fan had designed this bit, and the door was voice-activated. He leaned close to the door and said "wwwwiiiiiiiiiissssshhhhh"
As the door slid open, Muttley cringed. The combination of a bunch of fans and a state-of-the-art++ holosuite had resulted in the the inevitable. They were playing with it.
Most of them had brought hardware with them, and next to the door a spaghetti of fibre-optic cable connected a heap of laptops, handhelds, HayStations and GameToys to a LAN port in the wall.
Over to the left, a bunch had obviously decided that DoomQwake would be really neat in full-motion 3D. Those left standing were beginning to look seriously worried; around them lay their erstwhile teammates, with blissed-out expressions and little halo's of stars rotating around them. "I think SoFie's bored" muttered Muttley.
Right in front several fans were playing with a fine facsimile of Lieutenant Woof's calisthenics program. It was certainly better than their grasp of Klingon, which sounded more like early morning in a Scottish bronchitis ward. Where the floor wasn't ankle-deep in monster parts, it was suspiciously slimy.
Near the far wall, a small and weedy fan with a huge grin on his face was holding a gatling minigun larger than his leg and shooting at things that Muttley couldn't see until they were hit, at which point they splashed a lot of tomato ketchup and died in uncomfortable positions. He was gradually becoming hidden in a pile of spent cases. SoFie had obviously seen HotShots serie bleu, which was more than the fan had.
In one corner was an unsightly heap which seemed to involve stuffed animals. He gave that one a wide berth
Muttley spoke into his camera "Ready, SoFie? I need this lot's attention fast" Taking a deep breath, he pulled the LAN connector out of the wall. Instantly all the action stopped, and the holo-figures began to fade slowly away. The Qwakers looked relieved, the Klingons angry, and the small and weedy fan began to cry.
"Good enough?" whispered SoFie sweetly in his ear.
"All right you lot, attention please. It will have escaped your notice that we are now in high orbit, and that friends, enemies and things I'm not sure about are wandering in the corridors. I need the Auxiliary Hackers to get your hardware reconfigured to help SoFie run a Chaos code cross-compiler. Use the holosuite processors too, that should be enough. The rest of you, get ready for action; I think we're being invaded."
"Hey, I though wish was in here with you lot? She get bored and wander off?"
The weedy fan, who had subsided into sniffles, spoke up
"No, I think she went into that room. Said something about trying to find out why we were here."
Muttley stared in the direction the fan had indicated, and started towards a door in the far wall.
"Er - I woudn't go in there if I was you?"
[RECAP/LEAD-IN TO NEXT EPISODE...]
Across the globe, the same message came through loud and clear:
"MAYDAY...MAYDAY...This is the Satellite of Fans, currently in geostationary orbit above Billberg USA, Liberian Registry. We have suffered extensive damage as a result of an invasion of vampires, fascist terrorists, renegade Federal government Agents, alien beings, parallel dimension-origin doubles of ourselves, and the criminally deranged mother of one of our members. In addition, we have taken structural damage from a tactical nuclear warhead that had been detonated in our vicinity by one of our crew, who is presumed deceased. We have several breaches in our hull and are losing atmosphere. Our power supply is unstable. Our gravity control system is beginning to fail. Our navigation system is overloaded and my fail at any moment, leaving us adrift in space. We request any and all assistance available.
"Our primary request is a low-interest satellite improvement loan, and bids from at least three independant spacecraft repair contractors. Our secondary request is four hundred kiloliters of breathable air. Our tertiary request is 40 medium pizzas--10 pepperoni, 10 sausage, 10 veggie and 10 supreme with extra cheese, and 40 orders of garlic breadsticks..."
In the Oval Office...
This is the Satellite of Fans, currently in geostationary orbit above Billberg USA, Liberian Registry. (...) In addition, we have taken structural damage from a tactical nuclear warhead that had been detonated in our vicinity by one of our crew, who is presumed deceased.
"How did Muammar Khaddafi get a nuke?"
"They didn't say Libya, they said Liberia, Mr. President."
"Then how did Beirut get a nuke?"
"They didn't say Lebanon, they said Liberia, sir."
"Then what kind of country is it? Are they a nation of female homosexuals?"
"Err...no sir. It's a little country on the Atlantic coast of Africa."
"So how did they get a nuke?"
"Uh...uhn...intelligence is still sketchy."
"They get un-sketchy intelligence! And call up the Liberianovar ambassador or consul or whomever that's here in Washington. I'll be in the movie theater with my girls watching Pearl Harbor."
"Very well, sir."
come on, you used to work for me...
Yeah, but I quit... now shut up...
it'll only hurt your sanity for a little bit...
I'm trying to read! You think it's easy to learn a multi-dimensional reality language?
Give yourself to the chaos side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for...
Ack! No quoting Star Wars, you're scary enough is it is!
Who could be scared of a blue cat with wings?
Anyone who watched the Alladin animated series... or knows you for what you are.
So you will do it?
Sigh... I'll be your avatar IF you first let me use your powers.
Hmmm... since we're on an Aladin theme... three.
Three uses of my power. Then you let me use your body...
Couldn't you use Wish's body? I'd WANT to see that.
SIGH... that's not the usage I meant, and you know it...
All right, all right... it's a deal.
Nodrog's body twitched and shook itself hard. When Nodrog's eyes opened again, they now looked like glowing emeralds. "Three uses..." he muttered to himself. "Ok, use number one..."
The president of the United States of America was escorting his girls to the movie theatre. The head of Norad was heading to have thbe missiles reset for earth orbit detonation. The Chinese Primier was... doing Chinese Primier stuff.
So, it was quite a surprise when all three of themselves discovered themselves teleported, sans clothing, into a hotel bed in Las Vegas. Surrounding the bed were a group of suddenly teleported newsmen, who still had their clothes and cameras. Despite their surprise, they quickly begin taking photographs, recognizing a news photo when they saw one.
Nodrog smiled, hidden in the shadows of the hotel room. "Use number two..."
Mr. Rikk, Floggman, and Dr. Blondlot found themselves on the Epoch. Specificly, they found themselves in the garbage storage chamber on the Epoch's lowest level. "We have to get out of here and to the command deck" said Mr. Rikk. "There, we can figure out what's going on and I can take command of the Epoch..."
Nodrog was whistling to himself as he prepared for use number 3.
In front of Muttley, a powerbook appeared. Not just any powerbook, however, but the one from ID4. A personal laptop computer so powerful it could integrate with even extraterestrial computers. A little sticker on the side chearfully informed anyone who read it that the Powerbook was equipped with 'Plothole Inside'.
Nodrog closed his eyes. He had done what he could... it would be up to someone else now to assemble and program the Chaos Processing Unit.
Chaos opened his eyes and looked around and smiled. "You do excelent work... but it's play time, now..."
Chaos pulled out an imaginary phone. "Hello? Planet Pizza? I'd like 45 medium pizzas... 10 pepperoni, 10 sausage, 10 veggie, 10 supreme with extra cheese, and 5 anchovies delivered to the SoF. And could you make sure it's deliveryman Buzz Lightyear who delivers them? Good..."
Chaos hung up the phone and then turned. "Secretary, take a memo..."
With a burst of chaos energy, Holly Quinn appeared in trade mark tight fitting jumpsuit and jester's cap. "Hey, you're not Mr. J!" she shouted.
"Well, no..." admitted Chaos. "But I'm pretty sure I used to be... hey, where are you going?"
Chaos started running after the rapidly fleeing Holly. "Come back! You don't know where you're going! There's at least one fan down that who's who is obsessed with you... oh, bugger... next time, I pick a host who doesn't get winded walking up a flight of stairs."
Chaos sighed and turned around, then whacked his (Well, Nodrog's) forehead. "Doh! I forgot the breadsticks!"
(Ok, let's make it FUN again! Anyway, I hope someone finds that book I left. If anyone has suggestions for Chaos's next moves, feel free to post Nodrog's/Chaos's action. Since Chaos is fated to win in the end, Chaos is going to either draw this competion out infinately long or, failing that, set it up so that Order in the end wins.)
Buzz Lightyear sighed. After defeating Zerg, Star Command had been bought out in a hostile takeover by an alience between MiB and FIB. Now, he was stuck delivering pizzas, to parts of the galexy where the people probably still thought light was the fastest thing in the universe. His rocket ship docked with the strange station, dodging the large ship nearby. Carrying the huge stack of pizzas, he opened the airlock... only to be knocked down by a frightened looking woman, dressed in a tight fitting red jumpsuit.
Buzz blinked in surprise, reflexes taking over. "Don't worry, ma'am, I'll stop whatever you're running from!"
Buzz put down the stack of pizzas and quickly charged up his arm-laser. "Fortunately, I kept my suit..." he muttered to himself, as he charged the opposite direction Holly was.
Things were not looking good for the small jade Ping vase that lived on the table next to the Better Homes and Country Crafts Department door, and it knew it. The Waterufore Crystal plate that had hung over the lintel was already lying in shards on the floor, along with the remains of several Timeless Preciousness Memories From Heaven figurines. Most of the silver flatware was embedded in the walls. The vase didn't even want to think about what had happened to the pile of adorable and collectable Weenie Babies that once populated the now-destroyed display case on the other side of the room. Although the vase was very concerned for its own safety, it couldn't help but feel a bit miffed.
It's all the fault of that woman. it thought. Doesn't she know that it's just not RIGHT to carry on a fight in a room full of fine breakab--Oh no.. HERE THEY COM-
A delicate jade vase and the tiny wooden table it rested upon crumbled into oblivion as Wish slammed into the wall and hit the floor. "Point to you, Peter," she hissed, glaring up at her foe through a disheveled tangle of dark brown hair, "but we havn't reached the end of this cabbage patch."
The six foot tall rabbit's reply was the dribble of saliva that leaked through its fangs as it emitted a high pitched giggle. A raggety blue jacket hung around its rail-thin shoulders and Wish could clearly see the outline of its ribs underneath. Apparently, this bunny had gone hungry for quite some time and now it was looking to remedy that situation.
Slowly, she pushed herself to her feet, bracing her shoulders against the wall, "Op this, you Bun-Bun wannabe, all I wanted was some new clothes. I don't know who locked you up in that weird metal trunk, but there is chance of none that I'm going to let you take out your unaddressed frustrations on me." Wish made a face, I don't even know how I GOT here, for kerist-sake. I assume this is the SoF, but I only took the short tour once, and it sure as heck did not include any oversized, flesh-devouring Oryctolagus cuniculus. The rabbit flexed its wicked claws, unconcerned by its prey's resistance.
Just then, the door slid open, revealing a rather stunned Muttley, his fingers still wrapped around the unexpected Apple boon granted to him by the timeliness of Chaos Nodrog. Both heads turned, the rabbit's ears swivled, Wish's eyes lit upon the laptop, and the room was thrown into stunned silence.
"Mind if I borrow this for a minute?" Wish asked sweetly, just before relieving Muttely of his prize. Then, still smiling, she spun on one heel, driving all eight pounds of 1994 model right between the unwary Lepus's bulging, bead black eyes.
As the rabbit collapsed, shrieking in pain, Wish, fettered by the creature's thrashing claws, clumsily grabbed the laptop and thrust it back at Muttley. "Thanks muchly. Sorry about the blood and hair. I'll make it up to you by letting you tell me exactly what's been going on while I was out." She stepped out of the room and slapped the 'lock' key on the pannel as the door obligingly hissed closed behind her.
"Oh yes..." Wish mentioned as she wrinkled her nose at the rather... interesting Xena-esque leather contraption she was still strapped into, "..I still need something else to wear. Or a sword. Yes, I could wear this if I had a sword..."
Tom the Fanboy
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh............ It's good to be back in the saddle again." Tom grinned to himself as he placed the last bit of his "armor" on.
His armor consisted of the fashionable elements he'd collected a few years back as part of his stint as a camp counselor and LARPer.
His helm was of a Greek Fisherman's cap.
His sword an Insurance company's umbrella.
His shield a brown leather briefcase.
His greaves wer a pair of baggy jean shorts with 2 liter pockets.
His breast plate was a blue Hawaiian shirt.
Each of these pieces was either incredibly magical or just ordinary. Either way they empowered the fanboy and made him much more confident and charismatic.
Almost as if they gave him a bonus to his his Leadership/intimidate rolls.....
"OK, where was I.... Ah yes, we gotta get everything in order. I'll just check my ICOC archive here...." Opening the briefcase Tom accessed the laptop that fit snugle in the bulletproof lining and began scrolling through his Out-of-Character information programs. "OK, so the bad guys are there. the FiB is here. We need to help nodrog build his toy to send them back and mayyyyybe get Thack somewhere." Tom considerred having Thakk in his briefcase but decided that his players would think it unfair for Mark Dutton to control Thakk so he simply scrolled onward for further information. "Pizzas on their way? Cool! I better go take care of that whenever thay get here so we don't have ANOTHER character wandering around here boggin things down! Geeze! You spend five minutes getting equipped and everything changes just-" Tom was quickly cut off as he read the words "Holly Quinn".
"Guh...." Tom gurgled as he kept scrolling. Tom finished reading and wasn't even phased by the leather clad wish post. His mind was goo. He locked his brief case and began to unbutton his hawaiian overshirt to reval the black Holly Quinn T-Shirt he was wearing. He touched his Queen's face and grinned a little. "Yes Buzz..... do punish him for frightening her. Please do. I shall see to my queen's needs." In a trance like state the Fanboy picked up his briefcase and umbrella and made his way towards the docking bay where the pizzas and his queen were. A tiny corner of his mind did a happy dance because he'd be getting to have first dibs on pizza as well as meeting his first true love in person.
Chaos was wandering the halls of the SoF. Being the sentient embodiment of primordeal chaos had a few drawback. One of those, sadly, was the complete inability to use a map or ask for directions. (Of course, this inability might have been caused by the fact that Chaos was a guy).
"Come on..." he muttered to himself. "The NEUTONS have to be around here somewhere."
Buzz Lightyeer came running down the corridor to find... what appeared to be a man in an eleborate baseball uniform (Baseballbatman), a man and woman in totally black business suits (Miller and Sully), two generic men in suits (FIB agents), and a menacing looking robot (RoboShaft).
"Freeze!" Buzz said, pointing his arm at the robot.
Elsewhere. As much as our limited minds could percieve time and space, it was simply elsewhere. No matter where you went, it was elsewhere. Farther then the farthest visible stars... and closer then the reflection in the mirror. Death had managed to find his spare robe and was pulling it on. He looked mournfully at the chess pieces. Most had been twisted horribly out of shape, or scattered to far corners of the board. A small group of pieces huddled nearby, including a small toy action figure. In the other direction, a red queen turned cartwheels.
And in the center of the board... a yellowish-green queen, with emerald eyes.
Death whimpered, seeing the eyes. "What are you doing here?"
The queen refigured itself, into an attractive woman in a black robe, holding a scyth... and with the same emerald eyes. "Awe... if Death can walk through worlds, why not I?"
"Your FATHER is doing a well enough job is it is." grumbled Death, pointing to the disorganized figures.
"Friends, geniuses, maniacs, fools..." said the Lady, studying the board. "And villians. Wonderful villians... you know what you're missing, don't you?"
"What?" said Death. Being an animate skeleton, Death could not sweat. However, he found himself sweating now.
"Heros." said the Lady. Pulling out a small bag, she chose two figures.
"We have Buzz!" said Death, pointing at the figure.
"And then there were three." said the Lady, adding two figures to the board. "If you don't like it... feel free to take a piece."
Death grumbled. He had tried taking the life of one of the two pieces... several times. While Death had always been punctual, this man had managed to miss the apointment, every time. And the other figure...
"That's Death's (a different Death) domain" said Death, pointing at the other figure. "Those two universes aren't supposed to connect that way!"
Rincewind blinked, and straigtened his hat. One moment, he had been on a ship, for Ankh-Morpork and a position as assistant librarian at the Unseen University. Now, he appeared to be inside a room full of metal, shiny objects... and a very annoyed looking man.
"Look, I reactivate to resume cleaning up the med bay..." The EMHP grumbled as he glared at the man in the dusty red and wierd, pointy hat "and POOF someone pops in, probably to make a mess."
Weaselboy found himself in a small, dark room. Surprisingly, a lot of heros had found themselves locked in a small, dark area. However, most of the times, heros knew WHY they were there, and who had thrown them in there. All Weasel Boy could remember was asking what Owen was doing with Caramel Heap, and then this had happened.
Weaselboy felt around. It felt like a small, wooden room with, for some reason, an awful lot of shoes. Women's shoes. For a moment, Weaselboy wondered if they had been bought at Gary's shoes. A moment later, Weaselboy wondered what Gary's shoes was. Weaselboy tenatively knocked on the ceiling.
The ceiling lifted... revealing that Weaselboy was in some sort of wooden trunk... aboard a corridor that looked suspiciously like one of the corridors in the Supermegatopian laboratory facilities. With a frown, Weaselboy climbed out and looked at the trunk. It was standing several feet in the air. That is to say, it was standing a few inches above the ground... standing on several dozen feet.
"And Lightyear and Holly's universes were?" asked the Lady. "What Daddy can do, I can."
"Aw, Luck..." said Death.
Death smiled, at finding himself alone in the room. He'd probably pay for it, later, getting the Lady to leave that way. But for now... he'd try to figure out some way to clear the board. Of course, he couldn't just take pieces or kill someone directly in the game. But he could... affect pieces.
Death pushed a small pawn accross the board, transmuting it from pawn... through bishop.... night... rook... queen... Space Marine. Complete with Alien/Demon fighting weaponry. "Enjoy..." he whispered.
Ok, a way for someone to start getting rid of some of the driftwood. Just pick a random Auxilary Faans... give him a chain saw and pump gun... and start shooting up the extras. If you want to know about WeaselBoy, visit www.supermegatopia.com. If you want to know more about the luggage and Rincewind, read the books by Terry Pratchett. I plan for Lu... the Lady to show up again, and the best way for that is to have Rincewind around. I figure he can probably help us get a connection with Hex, which should make programming a CPU absolutely no problem. Weaselboy is just to add to the cartoon mania.
Tom the Fanboy
Roboshaft crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow at the spaceman who was aiming at his chest.
"Listen bubble head. We're in kind of a rush right now so if you don't mind getting your big white butt outta our way we'll just be going into that docking bay over there." Roboshaft nodded to a door which Buzz had just passed on his way to intercept the "bad guys".
Buzz narrowed his eyes. These people looked shifty, especially the woman with the eyepatch. He'd have to get some credentials. "I'm Buzz Lightyear of Star-...I mean, of Planet Pizza! My delivery was interupted by a woman in fear. Are you her assailants?"
Roboshaft opened his mouth to retort but he was cut off by Miller moving to his elbow and flashing his badge at Buzz.
"Agent Miller, FBI. My fellow agent and I are going with these two to get some negotiations finished with a government liason who is waiting in that hangar behind you. Now unless you want to be responsible for a stellar political inscident I'd suggest you let us through." The words came out so fast that Buzz didn't even realize that the FBI didn't have any authority in Space or when negotiating with other countries. Buzz lowered his weapon and took a step back, still wary.
"So, you don't know where the perpetrator is?" Buzz asked. BBBman shook his bat in the air and said,
"If we had found such an agent of chaos as the person who has disrupted your schedule I'm sure that we would have known!" Buzz looked confused. Nevertheless, he straightened up and nodded to the group.
"Very well then, move along. Keep an eye out for him. I'll just....look down this way then...." Buzz turned the corner and ran off down a different hallway. Roboshaft looked at the rest of the group.
Well? Y'all ready to get to talking with the FiB suit's that been waitin?" The group silently assented and moved towards the airlock into the bay.
Jones was directing the men carrying the Balanced Acceleration Gyro to be careful as they brought it down off the shuttle. As the housing of the 23-sider of Power it was very important it not break. If the key and the die of Order were indeed on this vessel, it would be most important that the BAG be intact. In addition to the 23-sider, the BAG also held the Diod Energy Envigoration Field Operational Reader. Once they had collected the die of Order the BAG would then become a Device Influxing Energy until the Key was fitted in and it became the vaunted CPU. The FiB hoped to gain all the pieces so that they could flush the interdimensional interlopers away and then take control of their own planet's freaks and mutants.
Jones breathed a sigh of relief as the six men lowered the BAG to the wheeled cart that had been rolled over from the landing bay's small maintenance area.
"OK men, we need to track down the other two pieces and have them put into the bag in order." Jones allowed himself a smirk. The Die of Order would indeed be the first one to go into the bag. After we find the Key we'll be able to use our shuttle's hypercomm to communicate with the FiB supercomputer and get things back to NORMAL."
The agents nodded in agreement and followed Jones as he moved across the bay to the airlock. "I saw a small diagram of the ship earlier. What passes for a bridge is two decks up, knowing these "fans" what we're looking for will probably be one deck down at the far end of the ship."
Jones' wry commentary was cut short by the hiss of the airlock opening and Roboshaft and company walking out. They stood there defiantly in front of the open airlock doors as Jones slowed his agents down to stop 5 feet away.
"Agent Miller, Agent Sully. I was wondering what had happened to you two after Atlanta. Nice to see that you've mades some new friends." Jones smirked at the humerous "superhero" that was with them until it dawned on him that this was one of the imaginary beings that the FiB had attempted to use that very same day. One of the men behind Jones noticed too.
"Baseballbatman? You're still around? I thought you were just a figment of-" Jones quickly cut him off.
"Agent Pink, control yourself!"
"I'm real now! And I am a champion of Order. Your plan to use beings like me ended up in a mess of ideas and characters. A chaotic soup!" BBBman held up the glove and looked within it." For behold, even now the chaos seeths from you!" BBBman revealed the pulsing Die of Order in his glove as it reacted to it's nearness to the BAG.
Jones' jaw dropped, he couldn't believe that one of the FiB's tools had become sentient as well as accomplished their mission.
"Good work Baseballbatman! We are looking to make up for all that mess this morning by assembling this artifact and straightening up the Universe so it will be much more...orderly."
Before BBBman could respond, Sully spoke up.
"Not so fast Jones. My cleeted friend here might be willing to trust you so quickly but we know better. Let us inspect your "bag" there for traps and make sure you don't have any other agents hiding in your shuttle and then we may just cooperate."
Jones scowled and shouted back "How dare you speak to me like that you undead little AWOL agent you! You two of everyone here should understand the importance of our task! This isn't a time to argue and negotiate! This is a time for action."
"Action huh?" Roboshaft piped up. "I think I'm gonna git some action on your face if you don't step back. You're gonna cooperate with these two and you're gonna do it with a smile. Why? Because I don't think you want a coupl-a black eyes to go with that suit of yours."
Jones sized up the android. He was big. Big enough that he could possibly take out most of the agents before going down. Jones decided that there was too much risk of damaging the BAG in combat so he grudgingly accepted. Miller began going over the bag inch by inch as Sully moved off towards the shuttle. Roboshaft's looming presence distracted Jones for a few moments but he eventually noticed something. Usually it was Miller who searched for people while Sully investigated clues. Miller was now looking at the Bag and Sully was searching for backup agents. They were up to something and Jones needed to know what.
BBBman slowly walked around each of the agents, consulting his glove to see whether they were truly an ally or not.
Agent Pink simply stared at BBBman in amazement and pride.
Roboshaft looked intimidating.
Miller looked at the BAG and pretended to take a lot of time.
Sully looked for a communications port in the Shuttle. She did find a computer though, and immediately went about plugging Thakk in.
In another docking bay......
Holly Quinn sat in the cockpit of the gaudy white and yellow Planet Pizza Rocket and pretended to shoot down enemy fighters.
"Chika chika chika........BOOOM! Heh heh heh, this thing'd be more fun if I had the keys. Never had the knack for the gizmos. I'll be Mistah Jay woulda known how to get this rocket roarin and flyin back to Gotham."
Holly sighed and slumped back into the chair and put her feet up on the control console. One of her feet accidentally activate the motion detecting video feed with the ship's exterior. A monitor to her right powered up and showed the exterior of the rocket. After a ping noise sounded, the view moved away from the hull and towards the newly opened airlock door where a young man was now walking out into the bay. Holly didn't see anything too interesting until she noticed his T-shirt. It was her.
Holly spun around in her chari and leaned closer to the screen to get a better look athe image. It was most definitlely a picture of her that was on the boy's T-Shirt. Of course, the artist had drawn her with significantly less curves than she had in real life but the resemblance was undeniable. With brow furrowed and chin outthrust, Holly was intent on getting to the bottom of this.
Outside, Tom was slowly and nervously walking toward the rocketship. He could see the stack of pizzas in front of it's open hatch but the only sign of life in the bay was his shadow and the movement of a small exterior device on top of the ship. Shuffling forward, he rehearsed what he would say to Her if she was there. He tried to think of something that would impress her, show his admiration for her without scaring her off like the Creeper did, and find out whether Holly was at the same point she was in the comic. However, the speed at which Tom's mind raced was unable to come up with something when the object of his devotion pranced out from behind the door and began Her jaunty way towards him. He stopped dead in his tracks, frozen in awe of her beauty and grace as she actually approached him! She was right in front of him, more beautiful than he had ever guessed, proving his long held notion that no mere media could do her justice. She planted her feet right in front of him and put her hands on her hips. Tom lost himself in the large blue eyes that pierced his soul and dropped his items to the floor.
"Well just who are you supposed to be? And why do ya have a picture of me on your shirt huh?" As if hearing Her voice in person wasn't enough She extended her arm towards him and poke him lightly in the chest. It was all too much for the fanboy and fell backward into a warm embrace of unconcious bliss.
The Lady appeared. She looked arround and smiled. It hadn't been easy to breach the barrier walls, but something had recently happened to breach the gaps between universes. This had weakened all the walls, allowing the Lady to travel between words.
The Lady looked down at herself. She had chosen to materialize with bright red hair. A tight fitting green jumpsuit hugged her body, the same color as her eyes. She was in the back of some sort of transport, redolent with the odor of melted chease, peperoni, and P'Beolux. (P'Beolux: A very popular pizza topping in the Gamma Four sector).
"Hey red!" a female voice said behind her.
The Lady turned, surprised. The woman addressing her frowned. "Hey, you're not Ivy!" said the woman.
"I am... The Lady" said the Lady. "Who are you?"
"Holly." said the woman. "And this guy... I don't know. He fainted before he could answer."
"Hmmm..." said the Lady. "A little too much of me, I guess."
Holly frowned. "What do you meen?"
The Lady shrugged and placed a hand on Tom's forehead. "Wakey wakey, little man... I need to find out what my daddy is up to..."
Weaselboy was running. He looked behind him, to see the multi-footed trunk still chasing him. The trunk's lid opened, revealing rows of pointed teath.
Weaselboy eaped and turned at random down a corridor.
The luggage snapped it's lid. It's current master was a MUCH better runner then this anthromorphic weasel. It turned, trying to figure out where it's current owner was.
Rincewind was also running at the moment. The man back there had thrown Rincewind out of the room after making sure Rincewind was perfectly healthy. Then, a large man had stopped him. "Call me... Nodrog. I have a mission for you. It is very perilous, but you must... HEY, where are you... come back! No, not DOWN! Don't run DOWN!"
Rincewind had begun running at the word perilous. In his experience, people who described something as 'perilous' knew what they were talking about. Of course, he hadn't decided whether or not to rub up or down untill the man had said 'not down'. If the man didn't want him to run down... he would.
Chaos sighed, looking at the rapidly descending wizzard. At least he had managed to get the guy pointed in the right direction, by rapid use of reverse psychology. "I have NO idea what my daughter sees in him." Chaos muttered to himself, then shrugged. Chaos began walking upwards, heading to the SOF's command bridge.
"Wish! Am I glad to see you! Not that I'd expected to see quite so much of you . . . " Muttley brought his gaze firmly back to wish's eye level. It had a disturbing tendancy to drift downwards, and that definitely wasn't polite. Fascinating, though . . . "I see you've been rabbitting about - find anything useful?".
"Whats been going on - well let me explain. No, that will take too long, let me sum up. We're on the Satellite of Fans. We appear to be in orbit - certainly I wouldn't recommend opening the windows. Most af the Auxiliaries seem to have been transported into this suite - its the Honeymoon suite, by the way." Muttley found his eyes drifting down again, and sent a strongly-worded message to his face to cancel the leer that was beginning to appear. "The systems seem to have been repaired, and I've been using my camera to link with SoFie, which lets me see and do lots of things all over the ship."
"We've got at least two sets of adversaries. There's a mob in a most unlikely-looking spaceship who appear to be standard-issue evil-overlord-and-cohorts. They are emphatically the lords Not-From-Here,and we need to send them back. For that we need to put together a Chaos Processing Unit, to reinforce the chaos barriers that keep here separated from not-here. Am I clear so far?"
Wish wasn't sure where this was leading, but nodded encouragingly, needing to know more. Muttley, briefly distracted by all the bits that bobbed along with her head, continued.
"Er - well. The other set of bad guys is our old pals the FIB. Jones is on board (SoFie tells me) and he has the parts we need to complete the CPU. It seems that one of the components can manifest imagined items, and Jones and his gang have no imagination for it to work on, so they're looking for an artist. SoFie thinks you are their prime target."
"Here's my idea. Can you persuade Jones, one way or another, to get his bag of bits down here so we can complete the CPU link it into the SoF systems, where the AuxHackers are building a Chaos cross-compiler to program it. His aims and ours are the same in the short term - to get the intruders back where they belong."
"Oh, FP went out in a giant robot mechanoid thingy and had a slugging match with another outside the satellite. There was a blinding flash and a deafening report, and there's nothing left to see now. We'll get drunk for him later."
"Nodrog's about somewhere. He was trying to write the CPU kernel, but never finished it. Got distracted I expect. I reckon we can finish it off ourselves, right guys?" The Auxhackers mumbled vague affirmatives. "Tom went to get something out of the NEUTONS, and I'm sure Blondlot showed up on the cameras, only he wasn't acting normal at all, and no, don't ask me how I could tell."
"As for this thing " Muttley waved the soiled PowerBook " I think somebody knows how much I hate deus ex machina plot resolution and has delivered me a machina ex deus. I'm going to link it into the AuxHackers LAN anyway and see what we can see"
"So, what do you think? Can you do it?"
"By the way, I have to ask - isn't that uncomfortable? I mean - all that leather, and those straps - what are they for, anyway?"
Tom the Fanboy managed to slowly come to, to find himself surrounded by two very attractive ladies, one of which was his goddess... his dream girl... the paragon of phanboy perfection... Holly.
And, next to her, a woman who looked quite a bit like Poison Ivy. Untill you realized her eyes were green. ALL green. No white or black at all.
"Welcome back" said the lady. "What's my dad up to?"
"Your father?" said Tom, puzzled, then turned to stare droolingly at Holly....
The lady muttered something under her breath, grabbed Tom's head, and forced Tom to look at her. "Yes. My father. Chaos. Blue winged cat that flies around... tall scrawny guy in red and white striped shirt and blue pants... or realy long sleaved white coat... or...."
The lady interupted herself with a moment of silence (not as easy as it sounds) and then held out her right hand, palm up. Just above her hand, light particles bounced around, forming into a holographic image of Nodrog.
"You're dad is Nodrog?" said Tom, stunned. Nodrog looked WAY too young to have a daughter this... um, developed.
"No... daddie's just INHABITING Nodrog." said the Lady. She sighed.
"Ok, listen close. I am... a Goddess, level 3 on the deity scale. At the top level, 1, you have the multiverse creator(s). Of course, the existance of any level 1s is a hotly debated topic, even among gods. At level 2, you have multi-versal gods, the personification of multiversal gods. They include Death (of humans), which can go in any universe humans live and die, my dad Chaos, who can go in any universe not totally ruled by order, and Order, who can go in any universe where chaos does not totally rule. At level 3, you have beings like me. We represent a concept, and usually only can travel in one universe. Level 4, you're getting into the petty tricksters, godlings, that sort of thing. Low level concept embodiments."
"Oh, like the goddess of Cats?" said Tom the Fanboy.
"No, actually she's level 2." said the Lady.
"What about Mr. J?" asked Holly. "He's a god to me..."
"Um... mortal. Not on the God Scale at all, unless he's an Author." said the Lady.
"So, what concept are you?" said Tom.
"Can't tell ya." said the Lady. "Just call me the Lady. If someone says my concept, trying to name me by it, I leave."
"Anyway, " the Lady said. "My father is Chaos. He has taken over the body of this 'Nodrog'. I'm curious to see what he's doing here."
"Are you from this universe?" asked Tom suddenly.
"No, my world is the diskworld. Nice place, on top of four elephents on top of a giant turtle. Ever hear of it?" asked the Lady.
"No... how did you get here, then?" asked Tom.
"Someone or something recently breached the chaos barriers that normally protect universes." said the Lady. "As long as the breaches stay open, beings like me can travel between universes. And the longer the breeches stay open, the easier it is to transit."
"Um, what happens if the breaches NEVER get closed?" asked Tom, nervous. Deep within him, something stirred... the urge to do great things. The feeling that now was his moment, to grab destiny by the horns and reshape it like one of those long, thin twisty balloons into a glowing hallmark of fame for him and to use to impress Holly, like other lesser men tried to impress her with a bouquet of squirting flowers.
Somewhere else, Gordon shook his head, firmly reminding himself that he should not be writing while under the influence of metaphors.
"Oh, the multiverse would dissolve into a teathing confusion of a monoverse." said the Lady. "Think Q Squared, only much worse."
Tom stood up, posing heroicly in an effort to impress Holly. "What do we do to stop it?"
"Find out what Daddy is doing." said the Lady. "With any me, that will tell us how we have to stop him."
Tom looked around. "Right, we have to get out of this... pizza truck?... and back on the station. The station's computer will know where Nodrog is."
Nodrog (aka Chaos) panted in relief, walking onto the SoF's command bridge. The SoF's command bridge was, surprisingly, not the bridge/lobby next to the SoF theatre. The command bridge was near the very top of the SoF and was built, surprisingly, on a small wooden bridge. Below the bridge, a large monitor was set that was usually displaying the image of water rushing down a creak.
Nodrog stood on the side of the bridge, hand placed on one of the many keyboards/control panels built into the bridge's hand rails.
"SoFie, recognize user Nodrog, Eating Breathing and Other Science Officer, ID Code 42-007-4077." Nodrog said
"Nodrog recognized" Sofie said.
"Switch main monitor to security play-back in the Honeymoon Suite." ordered Nodrog. Below him, the screen changed from a view of water to a view of Wish and others, as they had been in the honeymoon suite. "Excelent." said Nodrog. "Now, reconfigure all verbal input and output modes to... hmmmm, make it Ankh-Morporkish."
"Done" said SoFie, in the language spoken in the city of Ankh-Morpork on Discworld. Being a god, of course, Chaos could easily speek any language in any universe.
"Now, " said Nodrog. "See if you can find the following pieces: The 23 sider of power, the 32 sider of Rewop, the Reality Disfunction Key, Chaos plus plus for dummies, the 6 sider of absolute ordinarianess, and a realy good hot cup of tea."
"Searching..." said SoFie. After a moment, she reported " All the pieces listed, except for the 6 sider of absolute ordinarianess, are currently aboard the Sattelite of Fans. Shall I display their locations?"
"No" said Nodrog. Switching back to english, the language of his current host, Chaos muttered to himself. "They're going to have to find that 6 sider if they want to make sure their CPU works..."
Nodrog shrugged. "Oh well... Sofie, can I shut off all the brig/NEUTONS security from here? "
Rincewind wondered the SoF. First that weird man who had insisted on waving strange colored things at Rincewind, and then kicking him out of the room (despite the fact that Rincewind couldn't understand a word he said), and then that large guy who Rincewind COULD understand who wanted Rincewind to do something perilous. Now, Rincewind had found himself in what appeared to be a giant basement, complete with big metal pipes and catwalks leeding to various dangerous dropoffs. (If you've seen the MST3K episode Space Mutiny, you know the basement I'm talking about.)
"HELP!" said Rincewind, extremely lost. He spoke, of course, in his native tongue.
"How may I be of assistance?" a voice asked. It was a female voice, seemingly coming all around him.
Rincewind looked around, franticly. "H-hello? Who are you? WHERE are you? How come you speek my language?" asked Rincewind. Unless this was some new part of the Unseen University, Rincewind was sure this wasn't part of Ankh-Morpork.
"I am SoFie" said the voice. "I am the ship's computer aboard the Sattelite of Fans. My primary data core is located roughly in the center of mass for this station. I speek your language because I have been reconfigured to use only this language to communicate in. "
"Um..." said Rincewind. " What did you speek before?"
"I spoke English" said SoFie. "Instructional material for beings who do not speek English can be found in the NITPIC locker, located right behind you."
Rincewind turned, to see a metal cabinet painted red. ON the front, in a strange alphabet, where six charachters Rincewind presumed spelled out nitpick. " NITPIC? " he asked, confused.
"An acronym, for 'Now Isn't That (PartIculary) Convenient'" SoFie explained. "Do you need anything else?"
Rincewind braced himself. It was time to ask the important question. The question he had asked many times before, usualy getting an answer that only added to his disapointment. "Do you have any potatoes?".
The Honor Guard robots succeeded in collecting all the bombs and brought them back to the hangar bay, where they were packed into FPilot's Mercury sedan, the reason being:
1) he didn't need a ride home,
2) the car was paid for, and had no resale value because of 1 billion miles on the odometer,
3) it was unlocked.
Just before the car was set to be sent out the airlock for disposal, the lead Guard robot, on a whim out of nowhere, plucked the fuzzy dice off the rear view mirror and chucked them halfway across the hangar. The car was finally closed up, sealed with duct tape and pushed into the airlock and shot into space by the same catapult that launched the Victory Gunfan on its last mission.
The Guard robots then marched to the SoF's forecastle for their deactivation.
It is sad to say that the SoF does not have any forecastles. It does not even have one castle.
In fact, very little of the Sattelite of Fans matches up to the Sattelite of Fans blueprints.
For example, the area on the Sattelite blueprints marked as 'VIP Quarters for lawyers, evil geniuses, and IRS Auditors' is actually the incenerator. So, what was marked on the SOF blueprints as the forecastle was, in fact, one of the SoF's automaticly opening airlocks.
Little is known about Death of Robots. For one thing, nobody knows who built him or why they fealt a robot needed an arm that had a scythe blade or why it needed to wear an oil-stained gray robe. However, the one thing that is known was that, for the moment, he had set up headquarters under the Sattelite of Fans.
"First that pimpbot, now these..." the Grim Roboticist (aka Death of Robots) said, grabbing the 'souls' (or sparks, if you prefer) of the robots as their metal bodies melted under the intense heat of an uncontrolled reentry.
Gunth was a bit worried. So far, he had been leading his fellow BIF club members (Smith, Muller, and Silly) through the corridors of this apperently active space station and he had yet to see anyone else. They had to find some way to contact Earth, and to make sure that wizard, Talesin, was handling whoever this 'Damian' was and was also working on a way to seel the Chaos Breach.
"Hello!" shouted Silly, for the three hundredth and fourteen time so far. (Smith was, as per Gunth's orders, keeping count).
However, this was the first time that, when they heard 'Hello' back, it wasn't an echo.
"Hello!" shouted Gunth. "We're down this way... can you help us?"
"Just a moment..." called the voice.
Tom the Fanboy
The Lady gestured to an nearby hatch and Tom walked over to look out the round window in it's side. What he saw surprised him. He was still in the same docking bay that he'd met Her in. After a few confused seconds he realized that the pushes of movement he'd been feeling and the hum beneath him qweren't from a rocket engine or stabilizing jets. They were from every cell in his body giggling in joy at the chance to be heroic, adventerous, and impressive all at the same time AND in front her High Holiness of Hilarity Herself! Tom took a deep breath and opened the hatch.
Stepping out of the rocket he nearly tripped on the giant stack of pizzas that had been left sitting outside the door. He was going to shove them quickly to the side and bow as She exited behind him but then he realized he was supposed to be the hero here and that he would have to fight his instinct of servitude to her in order to succeed in the long run. What success would get him was undefined (purposefully) right now but he new it would be good. Warm too. Good and warm.
Turning around "In Character" Tom nodded to the pizzas. "Watch your step there." He managed to say in a neutral but polite tone despite how dry his mouth had suddenly become.
"OK, Tom. Focus!" The lu- the fanboy with whom the Lady now was with thought to himself. "I've gotta locate Nodrog so that Red ...errr... The Lady can find out what Chaos is up to. Which means I need to get onto a computer so she can show him too me." Looking around the bay Tom spied his briefcase and umbrella just where he'd dropped them. Tom ran over to the brief case and slid to the floor, spun to face the two deities that were with him, put the briefcase on his lap and began to unlock it.
"I've got a computer in here, I'll be able to talk to SOFie, the ship computer, and then get her to show me where Nodrog...er, your dad is." Tom smiled at his delivery. He hadn't spent all those years role-playing and acting on stage for nothing!
Keeping the numbers facing him he unlocked the briefcase and powered up the laptop folded within. As his computer finished booting, he bgan opening the network connections that were last set on his ship board briefcase laptop. While the program ran he looked at the two gorgeous women standing patiently across the bay near the large stack of pizzas. The lightbulb glowing in Tom's thought bubble at that point would've permantently blinded anyone scanning him at that moment. Keeping his eyes glued to the flatscreen and trying hard not to smirk he asked a simple question.
"Could you two please bring a few of those pizzas over here. I'm feeling a bit light headed and I think getting something to eat would help my system out." Tom knew he was lying but this was beyond honesty. This was fantasy becoming real and he wasn't gonna ruin his fun by telling the truth or not saying anything at all. As the two nymphs walked over, each holding a pizza box, he switched his computer to silent mode so that none of his soundbites of Holly's beautiful voice would be heard when he opened up various programs. He also didn't want SOFie's voice disturbing his "moment" with his Queen. After a few modifications to the desktop he had all the windows opened that he'd need. He opened up the line to SOFie and waited for a response.
The Lady walked over with the pizza that she had selected and smirked. She had the feeling she was going to be with this young man for a good deal of time longer than usual. Or at least more of her would be. By her estimates (which are pretty close to exact, let me tell you) this young man was getting more of her right now than anyone else in all the multiverses that she dealt with. This is one of the reasons she was surprised when he murmured "Uh-oh" while staring at his computer.
Tom's brows furrowed. He had accessed the link to SOFie and had gotten a text-chat window open for her but for some reason all of the responses she sent were in weird form of ASCII code.
He looked up a the radiant beings that were now standing nearby, the one in green with an eyebrow cocked. "Oh, uh...just set them down there, please." He pointed at the deck just in front of his computer and bit his lip so hard it began to bleed. The pain was enough to keep him from squeeling as both of the goddesses bent over toset down the boxes, and the blood tasted kind of good. Before there eyes turned up to him however he was back on his computer saving the video files the briefcase's hidden cameras had just captured to make sure he'd have that image to refresh his memory with.
However when he re-openned the chat with SOFie he still couldn't understand the code she was garbling. He tried every font he had to translate her speech but none of them worked. He attempted to open an internet connection to Babelfish.com for a translation but for some reason the SOF's sattelite uplink wasn't working.
Holly was getting a little bored. This kid seemed to be doing something important because the lady that looked like Red was paying close attention to him. Holly felt like she ought to be doing something though. Like giving that old yellow rocket a green and purple paint job or maybe just seeing what this place had to offer in valuables yet to be stolen. Holly was eying the umbrella on the floor and remembering how the Puffin had used one of those on puddin' when the guy with her on his shirt pulled the computer out of his briefcase and set it next to him.
Tom had finally given up on figuring SOFie's new code out. He was about to spin the briefcase around and show his lovely companions th text but he remembered how the case must be handled. With supreme secrecy. He disconnected the video cables and set them to record the datd on the internal drive of the case itself. He then removed the laptop and closed, locked, and repositioned the case.
Tom picked up the computer and stood up, stepping over the briefcase and between the pizzas. He turned around again and opened the laptop to show both of the women what he was dealing with. More importantly however, it allowed him to hve both of these beautiful creature peering over/around his shoulder to look at the screen. As he explained the situation, he wondered what roll they would recieve a plus 2 flanking bonus on right now.
"You see, since SOFie's text messages have become unreadable, it will be much harder to locateyour father." Tom tried to look grim and not joyful as Holly glanced up at him. She was merely inches from him now and it took all of his willpower to continue with his explaination and stay "in character".
"What I can do though, is go in and bypass SOFie's AI protocols and access the security cameras and communication stations manually. By setting up a scan protocol we should be able to sift through the video feeds and locate Nodrog on the ship in about 5 minutes." He gave Holly a dashing, confidant smirk like he'd seen so many action heroes do just before they save the day and get the girl.
Holly listened to the fanboy explain all the computer garbage that he'd be doing and decided she was confused. "Crime is easier than computers." She thought.
The Lady listened with half an ear as she read through the dialog in Tom's chat window. It was Ankh-Morporkish, albeit with a slight brooklyn accent that could only be attributed to this computer's translation programs being less advanced then that of the transmitting computer. As the man finished his plan she spoke up.
"That won't be neccesary." said The Lady flatly.
Tom's head whipped over to her, not in the hope that she would help but in the horror that she might make him look bad. The Lady pointed at the garbled message that SOFie had sent last.
"This is a language from my universe. I can read it and speak it fluently, hold this thing up so that I can use it."
"Why doncha just sit down Red?"
"Because unlike your good friend whose image I now possess, I am not accustomed to such mortal fashions or their....downfalls."
"Gotcha." Holly winked. "Wearin the required super skivvies ain't for every-body." she said with a deliberate pause.
Tom turned with a wide grin on his face, he had caught the joke even if the Lady (who was now busy typing away on the computer Tom now supported with his right hand) didn't. Of course he had though, every word that floated out of Her mouth rang like an angelic chorus and a sounded sweeter than the honey of the promised land to him. He couldn't help but listen intently to Her. As he stood there basking in her grin, he remembered the two pizzas that were at his feet. He mustered his acting skills once more to deliver his next line in a casual and calm manner.
"Oh yeah, could you please grab me a slice from that pizza there? I'd do it but...." He gestured with his left hand at the laptop that the Lady was now working on. Holly bent down in a rather unladylike way, flung open the pizza box. When no steam curled out of the box Tom felt as if The Lady had just gotten closer to him even though she still stood about an foot away. A small grunt came from Holly as she stood up and dropped a piece of sausage and cheese pizza back into the box.
"It's all melted together. Grab your slice fanboy." Holly held up two slices whose cheese had been melted together and then cooled to form a thick bond between the two slices. Tom reached out and grabbed the slice the was closest to him and tugged at it, brushing his fingers against Holly's hand as he did so. Tom tasted a tiny bit of blood once again as they tore the slices apart.
The slice that Tom held was ripped off halfway, due to a combination of his small strength, Holly's specially imbued ability, and the strength of the cheese. Thinking quickly, Tom offered, "Go ahead and have that slice. I'll just take the small one."
Holly shrugged and started eating the pizza while she moved back around thethe fanboy to get a good look at the screen. She still couldn't figure out what was going on with the computer, or what language the Lady was typing in.
As Holly moved to peer over Tom's right shoulder, Tom swallowed his first bite of pizza quickly to avoid choking on it. As Holly tried to get a good view she brushed up against Tom several times. This was quite enough to send his pulse racing. He was about to mentally congratulate himself on being the world's luckiest fanboy whe it dawned on him. The Lady...Diskworld....Ankh-Morepork....It was all from those books that he'd borrowed from Steve all those years ago. A whole lot of the puzzle made sense to him now. Not only did it make sense, but it gave him a plan.
"Holly," Tom said quietly. She looked at him with her deep blue eyes and murmured a "hmmm?" through what might've been three mouthfulls of pizza. "Could you please get another slice of pizza for Red here." Holly just blinked and chewed in the only way it was possible for her to do anything, cutely.
"I'm not hungry, and I don't need to eat anyway." The Lady commented as she continued her conversation with SOFie, who had already begun routing her a way to her father.
"Oh I didn't think you would." said Tom confidently smirking. "It's just that I don't want you thinning out on us." Tom inclined his head knowingly at her. She looked at him and smirked as well.
"So he finally figured it out. I was wondering how long it would take. He couldn't have this much of me and not ever figure me out." The Lady thought to herself before returning her view to the screen and responding, "I suppose that's true. People don't like it when I run thin on them. Please do help Holly."
Holly swallowed the last of the slice she was eating. The potion that Ivey had given her a few years back had increased her strength, speed, and stamina; but had also increased he body's metabolism so that while she didn't need to eat much what she did eat was used up perfectly by her body. "OK Red, if you say so." Holly moved around Tom to get another slice of pizza and then reached over him to let the Lady take a bite. "I don't see why you gettin thin'd be a problem. If you was gainin weight though you might have even more trouble with your outfit."
The Lady chewed her bite daintily and shook her head. "Don't worry about that. I have a feeling he won't be getting that much of me today." She said wryly with a glance at Tom.
Holly looked at Tom with that same confused look on her face that made him want to drop to his knees and grovel at her feet. Instead Tom swallowed the last bit of his second slice of pizza for the day. He began to extend his left hand for a hand shake but then cut himself off.
"Wait, you're not a Boy scout...heh heh, of course you're not. You don't act like one and you're not a boy. Oh you're sooooo not a boy..." Tom didn't notice that he had broken his facade of control and confidence but at this point he was lucky to still be concious. He smoothly changed the hand holding up the laptop and squeezed himself between it and his Goddess to keep from crossing his arms. To his delite, Holly just stood there wondering what he was doing so he did brush up against her once more as he changed sides so that he could comfortably hold the laptop for the Lady in his left hand. after Holly had let the Lady have another bite, he offered his right hand.
"My name's Tom." he said to Holly, trying to make a normal introduction before the Lady finished her conversation with SOFie and they'd have to get back to the business of saving the multiverse. To his absolute joy she clasped his hand and shook it firmly. Du to the entity on his left Holly had not happened to have her shock buzzer on today, though by the way his hand tingled Tom might not have been able to notice.
"Ha-Lee Quinn. Pleased to meetcha Tom. I'd probably just knock you out and take your wallet right now but since your a friend of Red's I'll play nice." Holly flashed her prize winning smile and Tom began causing what would eventually be an interesting scar on the inside of his lip. "Ya still haven't told me why you have me on your shirt though. You try to go to that park me an' my puddin' busted up?" Holly changed her position to cross her arms and bend her body sideways abit.
This was the authoritative questioning stance that most characters make when they expect some answers, one hip to the side with that leg straight to support the person's weight. The other leg is bent and the rest of the body arches sideway to keep the center of gravity vertically aligned. The position itself isn't important, what's important is how this posture helps to accentuate a body's natural curves. Which is why it took Tom some concentration to put an answer into words that would make sense.
"Well you see, I got this shirt from a friend." This was true. "She got it from a guy that said he had paid you for the rights." This was false. "When I found out that Jack Happie made that theme park and didn't give you all your dues I was very upset." This was true. "When I found out this shirt came from Jack Happie's company I went out and firebombed that guy's shop." This was false. Tom gave a predatory grin and hoped that Holly bought the story. He wasn't sure if she had but she was getting riled up over the mention of Jack Happie, it showed in the way she was wringing the slice of pizza in her hands. She dropped the slice and changed back to her grinning, happy, usual self and giggled. "Sounds like what my puddin' did to that casino that was named after him."
Tom grinned and was about to make a smooth reply about how his planning of it was similar, in the hopes of drawing more parrelels between himself and the Jokester. Not because he liked the Jokester, he absolutely abhored the way that jerk treated his Queen. However, if he could get Harley to see similarities between him and the man she worshipped, then he would be that much closer to the end goal of warmth and goodness. He never got to say anything else on the subject however because he was interrupted by the Lady grabbing the laptop from his hand.
"Let's go." She said, and the time for talking was finished.
"You bet your sweet shekles it's uncomfortable." Wish grumbled, restlessly crossing her arms, "That's why I was looking for another set of clothes. As for the straps.. well.. there's no need to beat around the bush. I'm a whole lot of woman, Muttley. You don't get this kind of lift and tuck without support, believe me." The woman waved her hand impatiently, "But that's not important. I don't know how I got shoved into this get up or by whom.. The last thing I remember before the Honeymoon Suite was driving out of Bilberg with..." She stopped herself, hit by stunned revelation, "That rat... Oohhh.. when I get done here..." Her curled fist met the palm of her hand with a resounding SMACK! "..it'll be serious payback time." A fierce glower lingered over the woman's expression for a second or two before she made a visible effort to control herself, "But that's not as important as stopping Jones from stopping us stop the invaders."
Her gaze snapped back to Muttley as he tucked the Powerbook under his arm, "Exactly. Oh.. one other thing. With the chaos barrier under attack, there might be any number of assundry other beings who have taken advantage of the breach and moved into our reality. Stay on your toes."
A strong nod, "Affirmative. Can the ship's computer tell me where I can find Jones?"
"SOFie," Muttley corrected sternly.
"Yes, SOFie. Of course." Wish tried to think of her patience in terms of vast swaths of springy, flexible spandex, not the single fraying thread of cheap polyester that it felt like. "Can 'she' tell us where Jones is?"
"Not a problem." Muttley addressed the room at large, "SOFie, can you tell me where designate Jones and his crew are located at this moment?"
The computer's voice filled the room, calm and helpful, "Agent Jones and the bulk of his party are currently moving between Deck 2 and..." Here, the voice changed smoothly from one language to another, transitioning into a thick and rambling sort of dialect that seemed to have a good bit of blunt Brooklyn accent tacked on top, just for sheer confusion's sake. "...eckday eethray. Ostmay offay ethay ompcsayuterpay ompcayantnaysay ollecayivetayvlyiay owknay asay ceay pesay oosay aray ithway emthay. Orrecayiontay. Orrecayiontay. Niayernaltay oaschay reayrorray orreccayiontay. Onsejay enday ewcray reaay illstay ninay ethay raiayocklay. Orrecayiontay."
Wish blinked and stared at Muttley, "Was that.. supposed to happen?"
Muttley returned the blank look, obviously baffled, "Someone's changed SOFie's core language... but who would be crazy enough to do that?"
Wish planted both hands on her hips, "I suppose it doesn't matter now. At least we know he's somewhere around Deck Two. I'll try and head him off. Good luck with your machina ex deus." With a jaunty wink, Wish ducked out of the room and into the unfamiliar hallways of the Satilite before further protest could be voiced.
Now, with Muttley out of the way, Wish felt free to define her own 'to-do' list. Item number one: Find Weapon. Good enough. She was glad that her package hadn't managed come along with her. If it wasn't here, then that meant it still wasn't time to use it. This whole scenario might turn out well after all. The world might actually go on.
Wish almost felt like whistling happily to herself as she started searching rooms for an impliment of Much Hurting. Warfare, leather, and, most importantly, art. How could this day get any better?
Somewhere is the hereafter, the shade of FPilot was in a lengthy conversation with the shade of Pinkerton, who of course was so apologetic about getting everybody into this mess he had proverbially fallen all over himself fifty or sixty times.
FPilot had told him, "It should have been you challenging Death."
"He beat me at Tiddlywinks. It was the very first game I played against him."
"At least Hades is just another bloated bureaucracy like the Federal Government. They won't miss either of us unless somebody does a hand-count audit in the next eon...assuming there IS a next eon."
"My, that sounds pessimistic for a dead man," Pinkerton remarked.
"Force of habit. Besides, with Nodrog's mucking about with realities, I forecast the next eon to end in about twenty-four hours, give or take."
"How do you figure that?"
FPilot and Pinkerton used the various spiritual tools at their disposal to illustrate their various views on the situation on SoF. FPilot eventually drew a 3-D schematic of SoF showing the various transreality fractures and portals and how they related to one another. They were beginning to move toward each other and merge. The various quasi-non-Euclidian graphics would be impossible to conceptualize unless you had read up on irrational hyperspace geometry and Masamune Shirow's cribbnotes from Orion.
Pinkerton asked, "So the hyperTao rotation begins to cancel out eventually?"
"Yes. The other realities will seal themselves off...then the portals will seek out another source and there is only one in all Creation that is compatible."
"The zone of nothingness beyond the confines of our own universe, but within our former reality. The nothingness from which the galaxies spawned, and have continued to expand into since the Big Bang."
"So what happens if the portals access the zone of nothingness?"
"The nothingness will spew into the Satellite of Fans and annihilate it from existance. An hour later, planet Earth will likewise succumb to the nothingness and the solar system will then fall prey to it. It will be like God's rubber eraser...or the coming of the Great White Handkerchief, to use an Adamsic expression. The other realities won't suffer, but it will be as if our own has ceased to be, or never was."
"And what about us?"
"Is this an academic question?"
"Do you like to answer questions with questions, Mr. Bierce?"
"No. But I'm asking if it is an academic question."
"Would it help if I told you that I was just being a double agent for Jones and FiB?"
"No. I had assumed that all along."
"You can't spook a spook," Pinkerton sighed.
"We could reinhabit another reality if we wanted, in a position equal to our preDeath state of karma. Or merge with one of the parallel versions of ourselves in a near reality."
Pinkerton shrugged. "Don't you want to prevent the situation on SoF from reaching the nothingness point?"
FPilot replied, "Unfortunately, I think I've given them all the help they deserve."
Raithwind, his new found book on speaking english clutched in his hands, faced the odd looking foursome. In the lead was a small man, dressed in glasses. Except for being extremely thin and not looking like a tourist, he remindid Raithwind a lot of Twoflowers. Following that guy was two people, one of who had an eye patch. Following those two was an older man, looking around uncertainly.
Raithwind looked in his book. "I am Raithwind. Are you lost / seeking something / helpless / easy food source / in need of spiritual guidance?" he asked, reading from the book.
The woman with the eye patch spoke up first. "Um, yes, yes, somewhat, NO!, don't think so."
Raithwind blinked and frowned at the book. "Who are you and where is this/this thing/this place/this metal dragon/this primitive construct of a race yet to discover intersteller travel/this crude mockup of the temples of Alkazeltzar?"
The four looked at each other and shrugged. The skinny person in the lead spoke. "I'm Gunth, and this is Muller, Silly, and Smith. And we don't know, except it seems to be a space station of some sort."
Raithwind whimpered at the mention of Space, having a nasty flashback to his early traveling days with Twoflowers and coming close to... well, actually, actually falling over the rim of Diskworld. He quickly thumbed through the book. "Are you on a quest/mission of great importance/dangerous assignment/on a mission to save the universe (and/or) the beautiful girl/need my help, Obi-Wan Kenobi/here to rescue the helpless dragon from the evil princess?"
Gunth scratched his head. "Well, yeah, in the sense we're here to try to save this universe from being dissolved in chaos."
Raithwind had previously memorized a phrase near the back of the book. It was the phrase he used now. "Good bye!"
When world-saving is needed, Raithwind is not one to be found wanting. He is not one to be found, period.
"After him!" Gunth said, pointing at the rapidly retreating Raithwind.
The Bif club ran after Raithwind. If there was one thing SNAF had done to them, it was teach them how to be good at running.
The Lady led Tom and Holly through the SOF corridors. Well, she led Holly, and Tom followed Holly the way a starving dog will follow a piece of juicy steak.
"Ok, according to the computer, there's a large group of people in something called the 'Bee Processed Nectar on natural sattelite group of rooms'." said the Lady.
"And that's where your father is?" asked Holly.
"No, he's on the command bridge" said the Lady. "But I don't think it would be safe for you two to come along when I go to see him. Parent/child meetings are NEVER pretty... especially not when both involved parties can warp reality as easily as either of you two could tear a wet tissue."
"Hey, I can handle it." said Tom, trying to impress Holly.
"No. You can't." said the Lady. "Imagine, if you will, two nuclear bombs smacking into each other, each bomb traveling at roughly .9C."
"Um, and that's what your confrontation with your father will be like?" ased Holly.
"No, it's just an impressive mental image to hold." said the Lady. "If me or daddy has to get rowdy... let's just say any member of my family can make reality our bitch."
"Way more then I needed to know." said Tom. "Um, so where is this 'bee processed... whatever room?"
"There" said the Lady, pointing to the doors of the Honeymoon suite.
FPilot and Pinkerton (the postlife editions) had progressed from idle cosmogonic speculation into a game of HyperTao Cranko, a "board" game that also involves a 130-card deck and 25 specially marked dice and 40 "men", 20 on each side. The hyperdimensional board, which can change shape according to the whims of the players, now resembled the SoF.
Pinkerton had made a good move and was smug about it. "Perhaps luck is on my side today."
"Perhaps. Chaos is beginning to dwell on my side, it seems." FPilot drew a card from his stack. He shuffled his hand a little and pulled out two cards to play.
"Only two?" Pinkerton asked.
"I'm rolling three dice."
Pinkerton began to look a little pale.
FPilot set down the two cards: Temptation and Aries. Then he selected three dice from the bag, which was set on the table in a hoop apparatus that made it impossible for the players to see the dice as they were selected. FPilot, without even once trying to see which dice he had, rattled the dice in his hand, and cast them...
Muttley watched wish disappear through the door, which barely got out of the way in time. "I think she's upset about something: I really wouldn't want to be in her way when she finds a weapon. Glad she's on my side - - -" SoFie gabbled something, presumably meaning "does not compute". "Another problem to fix - this is just like being at work" sighed Muttley.
Grabbing keyboards from the stack of hardware by the door, he plugged one into his camera and another into a wallport with an LCD screen attached. The wallport answered all inputs with garbage, but the translators built into his camera made short work of the gobbledegook, the name of which it rendered as "Morporkian". "Somebody's playing games again" grumbled Muttley "we're being distracted from getting the job done." He commanded SoFie to reset the language to English for the Auxiliaries only, trying to reduce the chance of the michief-maker finding out too soon.
"Now then, lets see what this suspiciously convenient laptop can do." Extracting a fibre from the spaghetti around the AuxHackers, he plugged it in and started the boot sequence.
By now the game was getting very involved, with "men" all about...but so far, no mates. Pinkerton was still ahead on points but FPilot was catching up. Pinkerton said, "I wonder what the likelihood of this board being an exact model of the happenings aboard the Satellite of Fans is."
"Astronomically against. Besides, I don't think I've seen either of the crimson 9 cards played yet."
"Oh. Oh ho!"
"By the way, to make this game more interesting, I think I'll up the ante. Death should have checked his robe after he got it back from me." With that, FPilot plopped down Death's hourglass--purposely upon its side--on the table. "You win, I'll use this hourglass to set EVERYTHING right, so this whole tragic farce never happens--you'll live, I'll live, and the SNAF and BIF never invade our continuity. If I win, I just let the nothingness event horizon pass and wipe out everybody elses' existances. And we both stay in the hereafter for all eternity."
"You're evil! I'll take your bet!"
"Very well." FPilot draws a card...and smiles. "My turn..."
Tom the Fanboy
SOFie quicklty shouted a garbled but unmistakedly rude message back to him. However, since his visual systems were still translating he didn't notice that she had not complied, just that "she" was in a bad mood.
As Muttley began working on the hacking of SOfie the dice fell in the realm beyond life. A 12-sided polyhedron, a checkered 10 sider, and what looked like a geodesic conch shell rattled across the table. The blue conch read a 2, the 10-sider an 8, the 12-sider showed showed a 4. Pinkerton worriedly examined his men and how close they were to FPilot's available playing area. FPilot took his two cards and dragged them 4 "spaces" in from the edge of the ship and tapped them onto a room where both Fpilot's and Pinkerton's pieces sat. The cluster of pieces would now be effected by the cards, as well as any that would enter during the effect's duration. Which included 3 of Pinkertons pieces that had been assigned to go to that area. Pinkerton was now unsure what to do and began to chew on his etherial thumbnail.
One of the Aux Hackers that was assisting Muttley suddenly remembered that it had been 1 hour since he'd checked his Roach Motel Sex site for updates. Closing his current script window he logged on and set his computer to porn-view mode. This particular fan had excelled in integrating hardware into his system and, for privacy, had a SEP field activate every time he went to view questionable sites. The Someone Else's Problem field sprang up around the busy hackers and no-one seemed to notice. The field kept the rest of the Fans from noting it and the Hackers were all too engrossed in their programs.
It's good that The Lady was as close as she was, otherwise the 5 foot tall ram (at the shoulder) with sleek black fur that appeared across the room and begin attacking the Aux members would have seen the Hackers too and attacked them. The men and women scrambled from the room to get away from the beast and it chased after them. Luckily, one of them was paying enough attention to grab Shanna's (who was stilled bound and gagged). However, few noticed that in the midst of the running and yelling there was quite a few people copping a feel. Even less noticed was the appearance of a small grave in the corner of the suite that appeared to have been freshly dug, even though it had a worn, granite gravestone with French on it.
Tom had no idea what the Lady meant by "Bee Proccessing", but he did very much recognize the honeymoon suite. He had donated his lava lamp to it after all. As the group came closer, the Lady and Harley looked at the odd scraps of cloth and scuff marks that led away down the hall. Tom looked inside the Suite and gleefully discovered no one there.
Turning back to the ladies he mustered a grim "I'm going to go inside and check things out." With umbrella raised dangerously he moved into the room.
The Lady shrugged and opened Tom's computer once more to see what happened to the people it had showed her earlier. Holly piped up, "So why'd ya want us to go in there anyway?
"So that you wouldn't get caught up in my confrontation with my father." responded the Lady, who had found convienient shelf that had just happened to have been installed across from the suite's doors. Holly waved a finger.
"Ah, ah, ah.... you said that's why weren't going to tha bridge! You never told us why we were coming here instead." Holly grinned as the Lady slowly sighed.
"Allright, I brought you here because by doing so, your little one man fan club might not need me anymore." Holly turned her head sideways and looked at the Lady like a confused puppy.
Inside the suite Tom was brimming with perverse glee. The place was abandonded! He really was with the Lady after all! He'd call the two women into the suite and just talk with them. yeah, that was it. He'd talk to them and be so smooth that he'd be in! He was tempted to just use the steel and leather restraints as a guarantee but he knew that would ruin the moment. As he turned away from the manacle joists, he noticed a patch of dirt in the corner. Approaching it he found a gravestone reading "Marc Lagace, 1930-2001". Tom was very confused until he noticed that the earth was disturbed in front of the stone.
Grabbing a pair of nearby handcuffs he frantically began digging. He new that in all the video games there was something cool to be found on graves. Even if it was a zombie it'd give him a chance to show Holly that he could kick behind with the rest of them. As he got deeper he realised that his chances of getting something cool were even better due to how the Lady had been treating him that day. He heard a clink in the dirt and tossed the handcuffs aside. Reaching into the cool soil he retrieved a pink glass vial with an 8 on the front. Upon examining it closer, he found a small label on the back.
The label read "Formula ARK-1073. For treating paper used in Novel Qui-4433."
Tom thought about things for a second and realized what he held was the key to his plans. The label clearly spelled out (to one as knowledgable about Holly Quinn as Tom was) that this chemical was identical to the one Holly had sprayed the pages of her books with in an attempt to impress the Jokester and get her own bit of infamy. He knew that it wouldn't effect the Lady in her current form and would only be temporary when used on his Queen but he was overjoyed once again. A part of him dared not go ahead with his plan, for he would be found out by his Goddess and punished greatly, or worse; BANISHED FROM HER PRESENCE!!!! The temptation of the vial however, tha chance to have his love and devotion returned to him for the merest of instants was too overwhelming for logic and fear. Tom clutched the vial to his chest like a tiny babe and began looking for a method of transferral for the skin-contact chemical. If this worked he'd be able to die a happy fanboy.
"Gutsy move, Mr. Pinkerton. I'm impressed." FPilot drew the next card...and then played five cards, eschewing chance for this round: Catastrophe, Kindness, Suffering, Treachery and Virgo. Five of his pieces began to surround Pinkerton's...
tick tick tick...
Mr. Rikk turned in the dark, having heard the noise echo off of the high stainless steel walls of the ship's trash compactor. He pricked his ears, trying to listen for anything. The Flogman had wandered off in the direction of the sound some time ago- it was possible that the "beep" was coming from some door he had opened, but it was doubtful.
The sound was far off, but quite audible as an explosion of some great magnitude. A gurgling laughter began to echo all around him in the dark. Rikk froze.
Rikk was struck suddenly with a great weight flung at him from the penumbra, knocking him to the moist, refuse-drowned floor. Grasping for his mini flashlight he pushed the weight off of him. Turning the flashlight on, he was greeted with the distorted face of the Flogman. It appeared that his neck had been squeezed to the point that it could no longer hold the head rigid. The head itself was crushed, as if by some great brute force. Rikk let out an involuntary yelp in spite of himself at the sight of his mutilated underling.
"Who the hell is out there”? Rikk said, drawing his pistol from the holster. His voice was wavering, though he tried to control it. “Speak up, you coward! I-I’m a lord of the multiverse, y-you know!”
boom. the explosion was closer now.
"AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Revenge is ours! We have won!"
“What? Blondlot? How did-”
"WE HAVE WON!"
"Red, you're talkin' in riddles. That ain't like you." Quinn shook her head as she looked around at the drab surroundings.
"Perhaps that's because I'm not Red... I'm just using her as a host to carry out my bidding," The Lady replied with a tone of contempt in her voice.
"Sheesh, you're cranky." Holly mused. "Hey! I know what you need! Some nice bright sunshine. That always makes Red feel better! Although, you're not Red, sorta... maybe I should call ya something else. Like Maroon.. or Magenta!"
"Please stop now. My name is of no importance. I must go to my father. Stay here and take care of the boy. Do Not Move until I return." The Lady quickly turned and walked gracefully towards her destination.
Holly made a face as she watched The Lady walk away. "Hmph.. She's no fun. Maybe when she finds her Daddy he can help her remove the royal stick up her behind." Holly then turned to look at the honeymoon suite. It suddenly occurred to her that Tom had gone in to check things out, but hadn't given a heads up to whether it was safe or not.
Tom looked around the room to find an out of the way place to hide the vial. Against the wall was a desk with a set of drawers. The hopeful fanboy kissed the vial of toxins for luck and then placed it in the drawer.
Suddenlly, the door creaked open a little bit. "Heeeellooooooo?" the beautiful voice of his empress rang out. Tom quickly closed the drawer and stepped protectively in front of the desk trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.
"Hey.. um hi!" Tom replied nervously.
Holly Quinn poked her head in the door. "Safe yet??"
"You bet," he answered back, but then remembered his acting. 'Suave, confident, be impressive,' he reminded himself. 'This is your chance. She'll be putty in my hands'. "Welcome to our luxorious Honeymoon Suite. Everything you'd ever want is in here."
Holly stepped inside and closed the door as she looked around. "Including open graves. Boys sure know how to make a gal feel welcome." Then her eyes traveled to the shackles and she blushed. "Wow. These things take me back. They were Mistah J's favorite toys. He'd say that he'd lock me up and never let me go," she said with a happy reminiscent smile. "Of course, then he'd walk away and I'd still be chained up and he'd sorta forget... Until the babies got hungry enough to bite 'im."
Tom stepped towards her with the idea of putting his arms around her to comfort her, but she quickly turned and shrugged the entire memory off. "Men! Who needs 'em?"
Realizing there was someone missing, Tom took the opportunity to change the subject. "Where'd Red go?"
Holly shrugged. "Went to find her Daddy. No big"
"We have to go with her. She'll need our help! Does she even know where she's going, Holly? We've got to catch up with her!" Tom exclaimed as he walked closer to Holly.
"Hold on a minute Clyde!" Holly replied as she took his feet out from under him and threw him down onto the bed. Pinning him, she then leaned down to look at him as she explained. "Red said we don't budge 'til she comes back. She knows what she's doin' so we're just gonna sit right here, got it hero? Think of resisting, there's chains here and I know how to use them."
Tom gulped. On one hand, interdimensional chaos was about to go down in a nearby room. On the other hand, the object of his every dream had him on the bed, was being rough and forceful, and he was seeing a bit of cleavage. 'Universe be damned,' he thought to himself. 'If the world ends tonight, I'll at least go out a happy man.'
'Of course,' he thought to himself, 'if I *pretend* to resist, she'll use the shackles!'
Holly leaning over him noticed a scent... Something familiar... She got up from the bed and sniffed the air. "You smell somethin'?"
Tom tensed. Had she just now smelled the toxin? Was it having any affect? He quickly became worried... what if she found him out and then hated him forever? "I.. don't smell anything."
"It's.. you. You smell funny." Holly said with a quizical look. "It's familiar but I can't quite place it. Like somethin' Mistah J would have 'round."
"Maybe we wear the same aftershave." Tom added, hopeful that she'd buy the excuse.
"No, that's not it.. You don't smell anything funny?"
"Not at all. Maybe you should just sit down here with me since we'll probably be waiting for Red awhile," Tom said as he patted a spot next to him. Now was as good a time as any to see if the potion was working at all.
"Soo..." Tom was searching for something suave to say to start conversation, but was coming up a bit short. "What's a pretty girl like you doin' in a place like this?"
Holly smiled a bit. "Mistah J had this really swell job all lined up with these big wig gov types right? Somethin' bout nukes 'n lots of loot. Anywho, I'm checkin out the p'rimiter makin sure Batsy ain't lurkin' about or no police setup or somethin... next thing I know! BAM!"
"What? Someone hit you?"
"NO! I'm standin' in some guys office and he's tellin' ME to take a memo. Like, who's he think he is? I've got 5 reasons why I ain't his secretary and all of them were the pop gun pointed at his face! Pow! Pow!"
"You shot him??"
"No, but it's a cool sound effect, huh?"
Tom laughed a little, happily drowning in the sound of her sweet voice.
"Soo... tell me. Why do you have a shirt with me on it?" Holly smiled. "I mean, you told me how ya got it, but why did you keep it?"
Tom could feel himself start to stammer, but decided if he ever had a chance, this was it. "I really admire you. You're beautiful, funny, smart, and sexy."
"You reeeeeally think so?" she asked as she flashed her blue eyes up at him.
"Ab-so-lutely.." Tom managed to say, hypnotised by her eyes.
"Would you do anything for me?"
"Uh-huh," he could barely get out.
"Give me your hand.." She asked sweetly. Gazing deeply into her beautiful blue eyes he offered his hand to her. His heart soared as he realized this might be the moment he'd always waited for. Then he felt the cold metal of shackles around his wrist.
Holly beamed. "Righty then. Sit, stay, good fanboy!" She kissed him on the cheek and then skipped out of the room.
Tom watched her go with a look of complete confusion on his face. He'd thought for sure that she was completely under the spell of the toxins. What had gone wrong?
He sat there waiting, but heard no sign of her returning. Then he realized the fatal flaw of his plan. The "booster" potion that Ives had given Holly to make her faster, was mainly given as an immunization of all toxins so that Holly could live at "Toxic Acres" with Ives. Which meant Holly was completely immune to her own love potion. Tom couldn't believe that he, Holly's biggest fanboy, had forgotten that little bit of info.
Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. He wondered where she ran off to though.
Wish stepped out of the Honeymoon Suite's hidden weapon locker (What can I say? It realy DOES have everything) and blinked at seeing Tom shackled to the bed. Wish frowned at Tom, a look guranteed to make anyone who saw it nervous. Tom, of course, couldn't see Wish's face because of the gas-mask she was currently wearing... in addition to the Blaster-proof vest, various tear/knock-out/black-out gas grenade bandolier, pump gum, EMP Rifle from Eraser, etc.... Behind Wish, where neither Wish or Tom could see him, a man looking suspicously like Nodrog picked up his tools. On the back on his uniform were the words 'Post Event Continuity Repair Service'. On the front was an ID badge, identifying the wearer is 'Gordon, Author'
He snapped his fingers silently and promptly vanished.
The Lady walked over to the elevator shaft running through the center of the SoF. Just as she arrived, an elevator door opened. The waiting elevator was already there, ready to go up. The Lady, used to such events, calmly entered the elevator and pushed the 'Command Bridge' button.
Death walked into the Afterlife Game Room #2823904 and glared angrily at Pinkerton and FPilot. He was now clad in a bright pink robe with the Hilton logo emblazoned on the back. If skulls could be flushed with rage, his was. "AHEM." he said. "CHRONOS JUST REMINDED ME THAT HE HAD LOANED ME HIS HOURGLASS SO I COULD TIME THE OLYMPIA TRIATHALON, AND HE'D LIKE IT BACK. NOW."
FPilot quipped, "Why even bother to hold such an event? Mercury always wins. You'll get it back with shakes to spare. Your turn, Pinkerton."
Pinkerton drew one card--and then played five. He had all five Jokers. Even Death was surprised--too surprised to move. As his pieces moved to new positions on the board, he took a peek back at his remaining hand...which included both Crimson 9s--the Wish cards.
Tom the Fanboy
Tom was reflecting on whether or not he had lipstick on his cheek. None of the comics ever had her lipstick smudge, but she left an imprint on the card when she threw it in the bay..........He was startled out of his nostalgic (as in 5 minutes ago) musings when the closet door slammed open and a heavily armed to the point of androgony figure stepped out. Tom kept grinning sappily and blinked at the person.
A muffled "Tom, what the hell are you doing?!? We've got the world to save."
"Oh yeah, that's today." Tom looked at the ceiling and sighed dreamily, "I got distracted. Mmmmmmm........." Tom started the 457th reply of the last hour when wish walked over and slapped him. Tom shivered and looked at wish with a partially full conciousness. "Oh...uh, Wish? That you?" He allowed himself a silent grin as he noted the black smudge on the hand Wish had slapped him with.
"Yes it's me! Now hold still while I blow those chains loose!" Wish pulled out one of her smaller weapons and let loose with a fully automatic volley.
Tom pinched his eyes shut and used his long practiced technique of holding still, usually reserved for people swiping spiders off of him. After a few seconds the guns stopped and he felt the chains no longer restrained his wrists.
Across the room, all of the Aux Hackers and Muttley looked up from their duties at the person shooting the wall around Tom. Muttley blinked and realized he'd been concentrating harder then he'd thought. Checking the recordings, he just shook his head and wondered how people could get so distracted when they were supposed to be saving the universe. This also shocked the distracted Hacker into shutting down his browser and re-opening his code screen. This allowed the huddle of hackers to be seen once more and allowed the story to proceed.
Tom looked at the smoking link of chain just 4 links away from his hand and nodded to Wish. "Good shooting!"
Wish just nodded and reloaded her weapons. She didn't feel it was necesary to tell him about the 2015 other bullets that had just flown into the wal behind him, some of which going much closer to much more important parts of his body.
Tom looked around for his equipment and found his umbrella and briefcase where he had stowed them when he scouted out the room. Noting the lightness of the briefcase he decided to try and get his laptop back from the Lady.....
"Geeze, I shoulda known it wouldn't have worked as soon as she left...." Tom sighed.
"Oh, nothing Wish. Let's get going." Tom hefted his umbrella again before buttoning up his overshirt again.
"You sure you don't want a weapon, There's plenty that I couldn't carry inside the closet." Wish jerked her helmeted head towards the munitions closet that now held only about 10% of it's previous stores.
"Hmmmm....maybe. I think I may have the perfect replacement for my computer." Tom went into the closet and began searching for a SMG that fit a certain set of qualifications.
Meanwhile, Wish had turned to the door impatiently and had started to check the hall when she noticed the group of Hackers huddled near the doorway, typing silently.
"Seems you got quite the army there Muttley." Wish commented.
"Yeah, just trying to keep on task." Muttley responded, under his breathe he added "...one of the few." and continued working.
Tom came out of the Munitions locker looking exactly the same as when he went in except he seemed to have a harder time carrying the briefcase now.
"Good news Wish! She hasn't left me after all! I found an SMG, a shotgun, AND the housing to make them both fit!" there was a small ca-click as a rectangular square opened up on the side of the briefcase and Tom loosed a spray of 9mm bullets into the already thrashed wall of the suite. One ca-click later there was no sign of the hatch and the briefcxase looked normal again.
"OK, good." Wish rolled her eyes behind the gas mask and turned to Muttley. "OK, where's the biggest TRE for us?"
Suddenly, Pinkerton had sent FPilot's whole game into disarray. Within three rounds, Pinkerton's side had taken twelve of FPilot's "men" and held control over most of the board. FPilot was also running out of good cards to play. To forestall defeat, he was forced to take the powers of the random in hand...and cast five dice...
Tom the Fanboy
Sully walked out of the FiB shuttle calmly. She didn't want anyone toe know that she had just uploaded Thakk into their system. Even Miller, he might react in a way that would give them away.
Jones was still upset.
"There! Happy? Now if you two undead beings are quite done with your little inspection please tell this android that we need to finish filling the BAG before the universe is destroyed!"
Sully walked back over to where Miller and Roboshaft were waiting and allowed RoboShaft to answer.
"I'll tell you what you can do with your BAG. You can just hold onto to it nice and tight until I get some conformation on what he HELL you're doing on my station." Several of the agents cowered back before the intimidating force of Roboshaft but the angry Jones held his ground. Raising a finger to the androids face he shook visibly.
"I'm telling you, get it through your coaxial cable brain that WE are trying to keep all of existance from being destroyed by a trans dimensional tear! I don't care about your orders! Get out of our way so we can get the other pieces and- AGH!" Jones was silenced by a quick jab to the nose. Roboshaft's punch may not have broken his nose but it did silence him and send him a few steps backwards. Roboshaft picked up the BAG and when several of the agents moved forward he just looked at them calmly and grinned.
"You reeeeeally want to take this from me?" The agents backed away and began tending to Jones. Roboshaft turned to Miller and Sully and jerked his head to the wall. "Theres a console in the wall next to the airlock. Open it up and contact SOFie. Hopefully we'll be able to get ahold of the crew and find out what they want done with these penguins."
Miller and sully nodded and slowly walked over to the part of the wall Roboshaft had indicated. Sully gave a small thumbs up to Miller and he allowed himself a grin.
As the two vampires walked away. BBBMan stepped up next to Roboshaft. "My chaos sensor is showing that these are allies friend! We should be helping them to save the universe! They created me after all, they can't truely be of Chaos." mentally he added 'of course, they aren't responsible for my current stabilized existence but if Order is to prevail such things must be overlooked.'
Jones quietly responded in a somewhat more calm tone, "He'th right you gnow. We are ond your thide. You thould helb uth."
"I will help you," said a newly irritated Roboshaft. "Just as soon as I have proof that you ARE an ally more than Babe Ruth's glowing crapshoot here." Roboshaft checked his memory banks for a time where his template had waited for orders before acting and found zero instances. Deep in his processors a quandry began being calculated. On one side was his instruction to wait for orders before proceeding on certain actions while the other argued his programming to emulate a certain black private Richard who was the intercourse machine to all the baby hens.
And then Pinkerton played the Wish cards, along with a Sacrifice card and two Fortune cards...
Tom the Fanboy
Pieces began to be removed from the board....
The shrieking and sometimes giggling mob of Fans^ came hurtling down a hallway. Buzz heard them coming and instantly recognized the sound of panic and fear. Readying his lazer, he jumped around the corner.
"Keep running Citizens, I'll destroy this alien menace!" The creature chasing them didn't seemed to be alien, but as it threw one of the slower fans into the ceiling it did turn out to be a menace.
Buzz fired his laser beam at the Ram's head and ran forward. The beast was cooked instantly by the highpowered beam and fell to the floor with a splut. Buzz manages to get close enough to catch the falling Fan^ before he hit the deck. He set the young man on his feet and said,
"Go and tell your friends that there's no need to be afraid anymore. Thanks to," Buzz struck a heroic pose. "Buzz Lightyeer of Star Comm...er.. Pizza Planet." When Buzz looked back down at the boy he'd already ran off to join the rest of the group. "Well, it looks like my work is done here. Best get back to the ship and...well, get back to work I suppose." Buzz sighed and dragged his feet as he made his way back to the rocket.
The giant steel monster known as Gort stomped (as if he coud help it) down a hallway and turned a corner. It was walking to the brig. Not because it wanted to, it never wanted anything. It was going towards the bridge because the orange it held in its oustratched right arm told it to with the command "Barata, Bra-tartar, Niktoo"
As Gort approached the Brig, a battle continued to rage inside. In one corner, RoboT and the two deputized agents were fending off the villains best they could. In the opposit corner, next to the entry field, Drewsilla and her lover Spyke were being indecent with each other after getting arroused by the carnage.
"Niktoes, Klaatuba, Klatu" Murmured the orange. Gort's other arm raised and the monsters were pushed back fromthe three defenders and shoved bodily into the awaiting cells. RoboT ran up to each cell and actvated the full security system, sealing off every aspect of the rooms including life support. NonMugle and Pi-Rho simply tried to catch their breath. RoboT yelled for the giant steel robot to open the magnetic field but it had already started stomping back the way it came. RoboT leaned up against the wall and waited for something to happen.
Raithwind came around a corner and slammed into a person.
"Agh! Who are you!?" Asked Raithwind.
"Weaselboy. And You?"
"Raithwind of...it doesn't matter. Look, are you interested in saving the world?"
"No! I'm trying to save myself from this big monster box with legs!"
"Good! I'm being chased by some people who want me to save the world. How about you go save the world and I'll see to my luggage."
"Right!" They both said as they ran around the corner barely understanding what had just happened. Raithwind saw the luggage comming forward and smiled. Finally a familiar.... surface. "OK, now that you're here I'm sure I'll recognize someone else around here as well. Let's look for a way to get home."
FPilot was down to his last gambit...all his cards left were Azures. So he played them...
As Buzz Lightyear walked toward the hangar bay, a robotic arm extended itself in front of him with a wad of paper money. It squawked, "Thirty-Five Thousand Zouleks, Mister Lightyear."
"Oh. Thank you." Buzz took the money and resumed his walk to his spacecraft.
Tom the Fanboy
Buzz Lightyeer counted the money one last time before zipping it securely into his payment holding recepticle at his waist. Now that his mission was successful he could return to base and find out what his next mission was. This would have excited him and filled him with pride if he wasn't a mere pizza man. He longed to have the life of heroism and adventure that he had experienced when Star Command still existed.
He walked into the docking bay where hed had parked and looked up at his ship sadly. The bright yellow rocket could easily be returned to Star Command colors and the weapon systems were still intact (though unloaded). If he had his way he'd be blasting off to adventrue in no time.
Buzz noticed that the pizza boxes had been opened and either partially or fully eaten and now layed about the bay in a mess. It only served to remind Buzz of how depressing his current life was. Before he was halfway to his ship something caught his eye.
A man with a scragily beard and a box with feet strolled into the room. The man, who was dressed in robes and a funny hat looked around the room nervously and made eye contact with Buzz. The man froze like a deer in the headlights. Buzz walked over and greeted the man with a firm handshake.
"Greetings. I am Buzz Lightyeer. I just finished my mission here and must be going but it was very nice to-." The man cut him off just then.
"You're leaving? Oh good, can I come with you?"
This was a very unorthodox request. Buzz wasn't sure what Pizza Planet's policy was on giving customers rides.
"I suppose I could give you a ride out of here."
"Excellent!" Raithwind said. "Let's get going. Show me the way out of this castle and I'll be right behind you."
Buzz nodded and grinned. At least he'd get a little bit more adventure out of this trip by helping the stranger get home. He led Raithwind around his rocket and in through te main door. As he sealed the three of them in Raithwind asked,
"By the way, you wouldn't happen to be trying to save the world would you?"
Buzz sat down and chuckled as he began to power up the rocket.
"No. I've already done that." Buzz looked at Raithwind with a cocky grin. Raith wind gulped. "You might want to sit down and buckle up." Buzz added as he returned to piloting.
Raithwind managed to sit down and he rechecked the robe's sash and not suprisingly it had not grown a buckle. He was going to ask what he was supposed to buckle but he was silenced by the roar of the rockets engines as they left the docking bay.
"So, where do you live citizen?"
"The Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork....um, Disckworld?" Raithwind added nervously, hoping that the last part of the directions would be unneccesary.
"Another planet? Fabulous!" Buzz got on the radio to Pizza Planet. "Sorry fella's. I've got an emergency to tend to. Be back as soon as it's finished." Buzz grinned back to Raithwind. "Friend, you've just made an old Space Ranger very happy." Turning back to the controls he flexed his fingers. "Take off for adventure!.........." Raithwind licked his lipps and looked at the luggage. The Luggage just sat the with a rather wooden expression of "what did you expect?" Buzz hit the boosters and headed towards deep space.
"...Too infinity! And Beyond!"
Meanwhile. Holly Quinn was trying to find something to do when she came across a bunch of tired and wandering people. some of them followed her and some of them ignored her as she walked jauntily through their ranks. One however started yelling at her when she came into sight. This one was tied up and carried by to others.
"Hey! You! You're with me! My team! Ya gotta help us! We're losing right now but if we're not carfeul we'll win! Untie me and help me finish my job!" Shanna's mom yelled.
"Don't listen ta her miss, she's crazy." quipped one of the people carrying her.
Harley shrugged and quickly knocked the two porters away with lightning fast strikes. She grabbed Shanna's mom and ripped off the restraints.
"Listen toots, I got no idea what you're talking about but I figure if you're gonna play, ya might as well have someone to play with! You seen a gal with red hair around here? Talks funny, calls herself a Lady?"
Shanna's mom's eyes grew to platters and became cracked. "yeeesssss!" She cooed as she formulated a new plan. Grabbing Holly's hand, she ran off down another corridor. "C'mon! We've got to stop her before it's too late!" Holly followed quickly. She was just as enthusiastic about going even if she didn't know where to. The Aux Fans thought to try and stop them but never tried. They were all tired of running around today and decided to go to the theater to sit down and relax.
RoboT had gotten tired of waiting and had gone into standby mode so that he could divert more poser to his built in relay. At standard power the brig's field would have been too strong to let a message through. RoboT sent a message out to all the SOF robots in the area to come and help him out of his current situation. Even with most of his systems powered down, he could only transmit a foot away from the shield.
For a nanite, a foot is a long long ways. Long enough for thousands of nanites to stand end to end and try not to bump into one another. Several thousand picked up RoboT's message and re-transmitted it until every nanite on the ship knew of his predicament. The nanites began gathering in force on the brig computer's key board and began jumpin on the keys to type out the command code. They had gathered enough weight to press the second button when one of them decided to uplink with the command programs and just open the brig electronically. The nanites stopped jumping.
In the brig, a reactivated RoboT walked through the fading barrier and grinned. behind him, NonMugle and Pi-Rho clutched each others shoulders and jumped up and down saying "We're free! We're Free."
"I wouldn't bet on it turkeys!" laughed RoboT as he hit the shield activation switch and locker the two double agents in the brig's main room."Now you cause any more trouble now and I'll hafta just open up those cage doors, and I ain't gonna start with the cute ones."
Pi-Rho and NonMugle stood very still and nodded a mute affirmative as they looked at Pikachew on one side and the hungry vampire on the other. RoboT smiled and sat down behind the console. now that things were back to normal he told the Nanites to take the KCB back to it's storage area and lock it up. They happily complied.
Since Muttley was monitoring/de configuring SOFie he noticed a small prompt windo had shown up indicating that there was someone on a console in the Foreward docking bay that wished to open communications.
Few have witnessed gods arguing and lived to tell about it. The most obvious reason for this, of course, is that when gods argue they tend to throw lightning bolts, energy blasts, plagues, and other random perks of deity-hood. And, except for a few special cases, most gods are not known for their exceptional aim. The less obvious reason is, that given the type of stuff gods have to throw around, gods over time have learned that arguing usually meens having to go find some new dirt and create new worshippers afterword. That is why what Chaos and the Lady were doing could not QUITE be considered arguing. They were talking. Debating. Perhaps even yelling at each other. But not arguing.
"DANG IT TO HECK, I WANNA 'PLORE!" shouted the Lady, barely resisting the urge to have the structural supports of the SOF command chamber collapse and dropping on top of her father.
"I AM YOUR FATHER, AND IF I WANT TO LOSE TO ORDER, THEN I'M SURE-AS-SHOOTIN' GOING TO LOSE TO ORDER!" yelled Chaos back. Nodrog's vocal cords were going to be sore tommorow.
"OH YEAH?" snarled the Lady. "I DON'T THINK SO... I THINK YOU'RE SIDE IS GOING TO ME OUT!"
"Now, look, squashling..." said Chaos, trying to remember how to be reasonable. It wasn't a skill he had much cause to use.
"THAT'S PUMPKIN!" yelled the Lady. "Um, I meen, that's pumpkin, not squashling. And, anyway, I just want to stabalize those chaos gaps..."
"No, no" said Chaos. "Look, if any of those gaps are left open, all of my energy will rush in and annihilate the universes it's open in. Which would be very bad for Order. Which meens I'd wind up winning, and I don't think either of us want that to happen."
"Well, no." admitted the Lady. Living on Diskworld, the Lady had a faint idea of what living in a universe totally devoted to Chaos would be like. "But I think the barriers can be left down a bit longer..."
Chaos sighed, and reached out with his mind. "To me, my minions... I need your help."
The Lady frowned, sensing an impression of a telepathic summons but not quite able to read the message.
Shanna's mom and Holly stopped and looked at each other. "Upstairs" they said to each other and begin to climb.
Elsewhere, other beings devoted to Chaos attempted to break free, to help their master.
"Oh, shut up!" Snarled Phi-Ro as he heard several of the things in the big trying to pound their way through the ceiling.
Order frowned. A brightly colored ship had just departed from the SoF, if he had managed to decypher the sensor readings correctly. Order pushed several buttons.
"Warning, fleeing ship! This is the Epoch. You have ten minutes to surrender, or I will open fire!" Order said into the micraphone.
Order pushed the button he thought closed communication channels.
A single blaster bolt fired from the Epoch, causing Buzz Lightyear's ship to shake.
"Um, would you believe nine minutes?" said Order into the micraphone.
"You are in control of the board, Bobby." FPilot offered his ethereal hand to Pinkerton's, and they shook. "Good game."
"So I get my satisfaction from you?"
"Of course," FPilot replied.
Death was fuming. Literally...a cloud of sulphurous vapor was wafting from his robe. "WHAT ABOUT ME?! I WANT MY HOURGLASS!"
FPilot snapped his finger. Kerg Batse, now in a uniform based on the Atreides uniform of Dune, but with the Atreides hawk emblem replaced with the twin-dragon crest of the Bierce family coat of arms, appeared in front of Death.
Kerg said, "My master has just ordered me to entertain you..." Kerg brought up a huge club, one that was originally made for Bhima of the Pandava, one that destroyed godling and elephant alike. "You cannot kill something that is already dead. But I wonder if there can be had new meaning for the phrase 'on PAIN of DEATH!'"
As Kerg and Death sparred (Death having summoned his scythe for his defense), FPilot took the hourglass and he and Pinkerton vanished from the hereafter.
As Buzz Lightyear dodged the fire from Epoch, he got help from an unexpected source...Dr. Blondlot's bombs, delivered by the Mercury sedan that the SoF's Honor Guard robots had set adrift. One of the bolts from Epoch's guns split the car open scattering the bombs. They detonated like a string of ladyfinger fireworks, filling the sky with light and shockwaves. Buzz took advantage of the light show to put some distance between Epoch and his ship.
The Lady stamped her foot. "Oh, get out of that ridiculous body" she said and pointed at Chaos/Nodrog. There was a flash of white, and mighty 'heigh-ho, Silverware.'
A roughly four foot tall blue cat, with wings, appeared in front of Nodrog. It slowly seemed to unfold, like some mysterious piece of origami, into a towering humanoid figure twelve feet tall... despite the fact that normally the SOF bridge's ceiling was only ten feet high.
Nodrog looked around and decided to get out while his lu... while the lady was good. With three swift steps, he was at the main console. He pressed a button marked 'Emergancy Random Teleport'. In a moment, where Nodrog's body had been, was a Nodrog shaped mass of glitter that slowly faded away.
Chaos frowned at the vanishing Nodrog. "Now look what you've done!"
"Oh please...." said the Lady, looking up at her father. "Who are you trying to impress? 'Size doesn't matter'.". The lady then snickered. It was traditional, whenever any woman said that phrase, to snicker/giggle/laugh/express amusement in some fashion.
Behind the lady, the elevator door opened, revealing all the agents of Chaos who had managed to find their way to the control bridge. At the front stood Holly and Shanna's mothers, arms linked.
Buzz Lightyear was having a great time. Dodging the fire power of a larger, more menacing ship... it was the sort of thing he lived for. His passenger, an odd looking man in a robe, had curled up and was begging that the universe stop trying to kill him or, at least, sentance him to death-defying situations with obvious maniacs who, when presented with a larger, more menacing situations actually charge straight at it.
"No choice..." said Buzz, dodging another volly and getting his ship closer to the Epoch. "None of my ship's weapon systems are active. We'll have to board them and take that ship out from the inside."
FPilot and Pinkerton's shades made a quick fly-by of SoF and Epoch and Buzz's delivery ship. FPilot said, "Look at the chaotic portals...they're already beginning to lose their vorticity. I estimate five standard minutes to the expulsion of the 'fictive' personalities...and then the nothingness threshhold forming within the next sixty seconds." Pinkerton said, "Then you'd better get a move on."
"I will. Hang on tight!"
With that, FPilot and Pinkerton caught hold of a transnothingness charged vacuum emboitment and receded past the speed of time.
FPilot and Pinkerton, both holding on to Death's hourglass, flew a complex flightpath through the time/space vortex. FPilot opened a momentary wormhole, and the two shades emerged at street level, in Billberg's city limits. Pinkerton was surprised to see himself, and Pi Rho and Non-Mugle, outside the Circle K convenience store. Nodrog was running for the pay phone.
FPilot quipped, "Watch closely."
Just when Nodrog got to the phone, it rang. He picked it up, not expecting to take a call, only to make one. "Hello?" he said.
"Priam's neighbors." he heard Kath say, and then the line disconnected. Nodrog hung up. "Oh," he muttered to himself. "They made it safe and haven't been caught after all." Nodrog walked into the store, forgetting his frantic emergency plan to contact the Auxillary Fans and have them meet at the SoF.
Then Pinkerton met himself. "Wha?" they said in unison. FPilot took the hourglass and held it between Pinkerton and Pinkerton, horizontally, each end pointed at a Pinkerton. The ghost Pinkerton dissolved into a mist and flowed through the hourglass into the live Pinkerton, the two beings merging into one again. Pinkerton looked pale for a moment, and FPilot the ghost thought that maybe Pinky would upchuck, but then Pinky recovered and stood straight.
Pinkerton asked, "So how are you going to prevent the prevention?"
FPilot said, "I'm working on it." He turned back to "see" himself in the distance, watching this whole fantasmagoria from the roof of his hangar. The ghost FPilot told Pinky, "Meet me at the Czech diner. I'll buy you lunch again."
With that, FPilot did for himself what he did for Pinky. He de'etherealized, wafting through the hourglass into his body, and became himself again. With nothing holding the hourglass, it fell--but Death, looking very much the worse for wear after his fight with Kerg Batse, caught it before it would have hit the pavement. Then Death vanished, resuming his nominal duties.
* * *
After a quick kludge-session with 8-Xark-8, FPilot took off in his F-5, destination: Satellite of Fans. Underneath the fighter was slung the method for the paradox's disposal. Inside a standard practice bomb casing (roughly the size and shape of a bowling pin) was a Thermos filled with freshly-made darjeeling tea linked to the logic circuits of a microwave oven, which in turn were being fed by a randomizer whose core was a recipreversexclusionohedron-shaped die. This die was created using Flubber-based plastic, and could randomly change its number of sides constantly as it rolled, anywhere from four sides to zillions of them. The hyperchaotic paraexistensial field generator would arm itself only after it was released from the F-5. 8-Xark-8, driving FPilot's car, drove up to the Satellite of Fans and parked at a safe distance away. As the roar of the jet's engines could begin to be heard there, Xark took out a laser target designator and pointed it dead center in the middle of the half-sunken station. "Just like target practice," FPilot told himself as he brought his plane into the approach dive. The seeker head saw the laser dot on the Satellite's hull and the other devices in the guidance system locked onto the hull's shape and position.
"Bomb away!" FPilot triggered the HPFG's release button with his thumb and the little blue pod dropped from the plane. As it fell toward the Satellite, the field--a ball of blue-gray light, expanded from it. When the pod struck the Satellite, the field reached peak intensity. It swallowed the Satellite, and catapulted it into the time/space vortex, where it would make a random course for all eternities. And with it would go all of SNAF's chaos field portals to this reality--and Kerg Batse and his gang of thugs, forever trapped in the Mount Saint Ellen chaos bubble.
FPilot made a second pass to make sure the Satellite was well and truly gone. Only the impact crater remained. "Mission accomplished, Xark," he said over the radio, "Return to base."
"By your command," he heard back. I've GOT to think up a new line for him. FPilot thought.
* * *
FPilot and the three SHBCPWP celebrated their little triumph over steaks at the Czech diner. Of course, Pi and Non had no idea why the whole mission was over before it began...they didn't know anything about the Blaxecutors or Kerg or Dr. Blondlot or Mr. Rikk. It just seemed like a very unlikely thing to them...Pinkerton and FPilot spending a few days they didn't have together.
"What next?" Pinkerton asked, when they finished eating.
"I want to see Jones." FPilot said.
Miller and Sully turned to him (they were seated in the next booth, eating au jus/ barbecue sandwiches). Miller said, "I doubt that's a good idea now."
* * *
Elsewhere, the confrontation in FiB HQ was reaching its climax. Thack was about to make his cyber-apotheosis--and Jones made his fateful decision, based on Tim Mitts' advice, to clean restart the FiB's systems. Thack's cyberself saw the grid collapsing a nanosecond before it happened, and retreated into the FiB's central coffee maker in the Agent's lounge. Unfortunately for Thack, this coffee maker was soon unplugged for maintenance, before the cyberself could find its way back to the corporeal self, and is still awaiting a replugging...somewhere in a repair shop in the massive underground complex.
* * *
Some time later, when the Fans arrived back at Billberg, FPilot saw Jones' black helicopter alight near his hangar. Jones walked up to FPilot, who had been in the middle of adding oil to the engine of one of his planes. Jones said, "Pinkerton said you wanted a face-to-face with me?"
FPilot said, "Yes." He took out his remote control and activated the elevator to the Doofer Room. They went to the elevator together.
One of the AuxHackers looked up "I think we've done it. We did a test compile on that nonsense you gave us, and got a six-foot-high white rabbit. Er - was that supposed to happen?"
"Yeah, close enough for Government work" snapped Muttley, who was getting impatient for some action. "Your next task, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to get the CPU kernel compiled and piggyback the reset application on top of it. Unless I miss my guess, you'll find them in here"
With that he pushed the machina ex deus across to the lead hacker. "Just don't get distracted by the games, OK? At least, not until after you've got the code ready for the CPU"
The hackers weren't too happy to have more boring work to do, but turned to their keyboards with a will (Huh? Where'd he come from? Oh, I see, tired of being fired at - - -) The team leader looked up with a quizzical expression on his face; "But what about the CPU? When do we get that together?"
"I'm going to see about that right now" growled Muttley. "I think a new character is required for this, Ed Crater just isn't aggressive enough. I think Jon Drake, former DangerMan would be better."
Ditching Ed's raincoat (but keeping the gadgets) Muttley pulled on a black blazer with white edging on the lapels, and a badge with a unicycle behind the number 666. Pausing at the toy cupboard (alright, armoury then) he equipped himself with a worn-looking Glock pistol with target grips and a disreputable rifle that looked as though it belonged in WWI. Checking that they both still had their Hollywood magazines, he hissed at the voice-activated exit.
I am not a number! I am a Free Agent!" Muttley called back, disappearing out through the door.
In the corridor he met Gort, cradling an annoyed orange (use your imagination!) in its hand. "Oh, hi, SoFie, hitched a ride I see" quipped Muttley nervously. The stations supervisory computer was the culmination of a long series of citrus machines. (They had briefly tried Tulips, but had run out of hamster jam) The strain of always being No.2 accounted for SoFie's bilious nature. Probably also explained why you had to smash something blue with a large sledgehammer before you got supervisor privileges.
"We need to make a connection between Jones' BAG and the laptop of the gods." said Muttley. "Got any ideas?" "Well - - " whispered the orange "I have one - frsfwsa sassafriggin nossa - -" (well ? - how do you think I got the handle in the first place?).
Muttley straightened up "Ok, sounds good to me. You're sure the henchmen are all clones, generated out of the Chaos fields? Just to keep the bloodshed to the necessary minimum, you understand? Great, I love it when there's no moral ambiguity - better than target practice!"
Gort stomped off towards the docking bay, with SoFie still in his hand. Muttley checked his guns and followed.
In the docking bay, chaos reigned briefly as a horde of his minions dashed through and off down a corridor. Immediately the sound turned to shrieks with the steady "crack - - - crack" of aimed gunfire beneath it all. The occupants of the bay scuttled for what cover they could find, except for the Blaxecutor, who just backed against a wall and looked mean. He (well, it really) was so busy posing that he didn't notice the large silver hand that carefully dropped an orange into the BAG.
Tom the Fanboy
Tom watched Muttley talk to the Giant robot and then run off down the hallway with his pistol. He looked at Wish and whispered.
"I think he said something about the forward docking bay. Maybe we should go check it out."
Wish shrugged and they hurried to catch up to Muttley. Who'd want to miss a good firefight after all?
Miller closed the communications console and called out to Roboshaft.
"I believe I contacted the person you wanted me to get ahold of."
"Oh yeah? And what'd they say?" Roboshaft glanced over, not wanting to take his attention of the FiB for too long.
"Well, it wasn't too clear, as if I was overhearing his conversation with someone else. He said something about commencing the connection to the BAG." Miller didn't enjoy being a stooge for an android, but it was better by far than being Jones' stooge. Sully had become complacent and just waited patiently for things to pan out, their mission had already succeeded after all. As soon as Jones and the agents got back to base Cyberthakk would worm into their database and delete the pertinent records. All they needed now was a ride home and they'd be fine.
Jones was also happy. Very happy. He'd just been proven right by his enemies boss.
"You thee! You 'aff beend holdink up progress and the.....fighd for Order!" Jones looked towards Baseballbatman and gestured to the BAG "Pudd your die inside and we'll only need one more piede." Jones sniffed, he still had a speach impediment from Roboshaft's punch and it was getting embarrassing.
BBBMan was distraught. His precious Chaos sensor had allowed him to find Chaos' agents and defeat them but now he was supposed to just give it up? If he gave the die to the cause of Order he would be doing his mission.
BBBMan sat in thought for a long while but was interupted by a loud screeching noise as the entryway on the otherside of the docking bay ripped open and agents of chaos streamed out in various forms. Clutching the die tightly he decided that he'd wait until after this battle to decide.
The FiB retreated to a tactical position near their shuttle and fended off some of the monsters. It was hard for them to keep track of all the agents of chaos running around, but they did notice gunfire and who was shooting. Jones blew the arm off an approaching ninja and hoped that the people helping to contain this mess were in charge of this place so they could talk some sense into the stupid android who'd casused so much trouble.
Miller and Sully used the commotion as a chance to hide. Opening a nearby emergency exit they piled into the one man escape pod and slammed the door shut. Had they needed to breath they would have worried about life support when they launched out of the ship. All that they worried about now was what time of day it would be when they opened the hatch.
"So, do you think Jones'll make it out alive?" Miller asked Sully quietly as the G forces of the launch jostled them in the cramped seat.
"I think so. He's a competant man, even if he is a little overzealous sometimes." Sully shifted her weight to bring her face closer to Miller's. Miller grinned.
"I'm pretty competant too you know."
"Mmmm-Hmmmm." Sully nodded and kissed him.
Back in the docking bay, there wasn't any romance going on, there was however a great deal of carnage as minion after minion fell to the hands of the FiB and the 3 Fans^ that had stormed in after them. BBBMan may have been able to take down some more if he hadn't been fighting the Holy Roman Umpire for the entire time. The man had a large padded vest and a black mask but held a bshopric staff in one hand and swung and incense senser in the other. They had found each other at the beginning and BBMan liked to think that if he had been around longer than a day that the Umpire would've been his arch enemy.
In the midst of the conflict Tom managed to get over by Roboshaft and have a conversation with him.
"Good Thomas! It's about time you and the crew got down here. Didn't expect so much company though." Roboshaft punched an approaching minion with enough force to send him sliding towards the opposite wall.
"Yeah, neither did I. I got some answers from Muttley though. He says we've all got to get the pieces of the CPU in the BAG so that we can hack the void holes and save the world." Tom acted like he knew what that meant because Roboshaft didn't seem to understand anything other than the BAG. He did shove the BAG at Tom though.
"Here, the suits over there brought this on board and called it a BAG, they was trying to get slugger over there to drop his ball in, but no dice." Tom set down his umbrella and accepted the BAG from Roboshaft.
"Good job brother! Why don't you go ahead and find out if T is done in the brig. If everything's fine there why don't you two go find some nice oil bath to soak in while we mop up here?" Tom grinned and began digging in his pocket for the key he'd picked up earlier.
Roboshaft surveyed the scene. Despite the large number of chaos agents running around they seemed to be losing to the pinpoint fire of the FiB and the mad barrages that Muttley, Wish, and Tom were loosing upon them. Roboshaft nodded to Tom and walked out of the docking bay.
Tom pulled out the key and slid it carefully into the bag. When nothing happened he shrugged and went back to fighting. He ran up to Muttley and covered him during a reload.
"Hey, I got the key in here and found out that the last piece is with the Baseball guy over there." Tom pointed to the far side of the docking bay near where wish was. She had jumped up onto a pile of crates and was now cllecting an impressive pile of corpses around her.
"That's good. Now if you can just get his then we'll be ready to fire up the CPU and-" Muttley was cut shot because he and Tom both had to jump backwards to avoid the giant mallet that had just slammed down in front of them.
"Sorry boys, nuthin' personal. I just gotta smash y'all inta little bit for the boss." Holly stood over the two and raised up the mallet again. "Sorry fanboy. Lights out!" She began her swing, but before she was halfway through it an FiB lazer beam sliced through her chest. The giant mallet fell from her hands and clonked onto the floor behind her. Tom screamed in rage and sent his briefcase flying 50 feet through the air at the agent who had killed his Queen. It connected with Agent Pink's head and dropped him to the floor. Tom slid forward to catch Holly before she hit the floor and bagan to cry. Holly coughed a little and smirked up at Tom.
"You just can't find a job with decent health care anymore. *cough*" Tom smiled through his tears and hugged Holly tightly.
"NOOO!!!! You can't......I LOVE YOU!!!!" Tom screamed as Holly's body went limp in his arms. Tom stayed there on the floor clutching Holly to him and crying. His mouth mouving like a fish gasping for air, trying to say something that would bring his Queen back to life.
Muttley stood up and quietly picked up the BAG from where Tom had dropped it. He wondered if Tom knew that these were just clones that Chaos had created and not the real people. Something told him now would not be the best time to break the news and he went back to fighting.
"I hope that if I die, and someone does that for me, they have better lines." He said as he lined up his next shot.
Mr. Rikk was furious that the transdimensional travel equipment he had paid billions of rallods for had only succeeded in opening portals to an abandoned satellite that was going nowhere constantly (that is, everywhere it could possibly go was a nowhere, and it cycled between the nowheres through nowhere, and thus never left nowhere). He called all his scientists to his 45th floor office in SNAF Headquarters.
"I'd like a volunteer from you lot," he said.
One stepped forward. Mr. Rikk grabbed him and shoved him out the open window. He watched him fall to the sidewalk with a satsifying SPLAT!
Mr. Rikk then told the rest, "He was the lucky one, because I gave him a little control over his destiny. The rest of you will not have that option because you will not leave this room alive."
With that, Annash and Dr. Blondlot had tremendous fun downsizing Mr. Rikk's science department. It was quick, it was painful, and even a hardened horror movie fan would lose every crumb of his last meal watching it. But Rymu, who was conditioned to this sort of thing, was mildly amused by the inhumanity going on in front of her and even giggled.
Just as the death rattle of the last scientist could be heard, Mr. Rikk's phone rang. Mr. Rikk picked it up and said, "I thought I said no calls were to be routed..."
And then he went pale. He held the phone without saying anything. Then he hung up without saying anything.
Dr. Blondlot asked, "Who was that?"
"Supreme Marshal Tolipf."
Rymu broke out into all-out laughter. And that was the last thing anybody in the building would ever hear because just then an antimatter asteroid came through a chaos portal just above SNAF HQ and made the place ground zero for the Second Big Bang.
Death was busy cleaning up, a broom held in two bony hands, a white frilly apron tied around his black, dusty robes (hey, he's off duty, he's allowed to look non-impressive). There came a hollow rapping upon his chamber door. Reminding himself for the three hundreth and thirty sixth time to see about installing a door bell, Death opened teh door to see a small man with thick glasses looking up at him. (Ok, let's ruin the suspense: It's Guth) "GREETINGS, GUTH..." said Death. "JUST IN TIME FOR OUR WEEKLY CHESS GAME."
Guth nodded and followed Death into Death's house (a small rental in the Foothills of the Gods). Death pulled off his apron, set down the broom (actually, just his scyth with it's blade replaced with one of his scyth's many accessory heads), and pulled out Death's chess set. It was extremely impressive; even the pawns were carved in the forms of individual people. Either that, or the pawns were / had been individual people; Death was a little unsure.
Guth smiled as Death set the board up. "Ah, good... Standerd stakes?"
Death nodded. "If you win, I answer one question of yours, truthfully. And if I win..."
Guth nodded. "I put in a good word with Allisin about you."
They played for what seemed like hours, if time had any meaning. Knight charged across the board upon their fiery steeds, only to be blocked by peasents weilding spears, ready to dislodge the knights and slay them. It was a battle of two minds; one weaned on the infinity of time, the other weaned on the infinity of math. This time, math one.
"Good game" said Death, wiping what would have been sweat (if he could sweat) off what would have been his forehead (if it wasn't just a skull) with what have been a bright red bandanna (if it hadn't been through the washer too many times and was now just a dull pink).
Guth nodded. "Now, for my question: What's happening/happened with F Pilot?"
Death leaned back, relaxing. "Well, I'm not supposed to tell you, but.... when you die, unless a God-level being or higher interferes, you go to whatever you're expecting. FPilot wanted to, in death, defeat me long enough to stop all the chaos. But, sadly, it's only in his head."
Death tapped his skull knowingly, producing a sound much like... well, a finger bone tapping a hollow skull.
Guth nodded. "Ok... next week, same time?"
Death guestured. "Your board or mine?"
Rincewind had done something that, while he had done it before, he wasn't particularly proud of. He'd soiled his robe. (Well, that's not quite accurate. If anything, he more watered then actually soiled.)
Buzz, on the other hand, was grinning the grin only a hero or a confirmed addreniline junkie could grin when assaulting a larger, much better armed ship.
So, it was kind of anticlimactic when Buzz's ship hit the Epoch's landing bay doors... and tore right through.
Rincewind blinked in amazement at discovering (not that he was complaining, mind you) that he was still alive.
Buzz looked in his rear-view monitor to look at the flimsy door they had just crashed through. Already, the blue glow of an atmmospheric forefield revealed that the problem had been noted. However, the blue glow seemed to think the problem (that is, the hole) was on the ceiling.
"Tssk." said Buzz. "That's government contractors for you. Come on, I think I have a spare Star Command space suit in the back that might fit you."
Muttley rested himself on the convenient shape of a fallen Motie and carefully aimed a shot at the cable holding up one end of a walkway above the Holy Roman Umpire. The walkway described a short arc that terminated directly on the spot the Umpire had been standing on. "Guess you could say he's undergone a Reformation", quipped Muttley.
BBBman stalked over to Muttley, glaring at him "How dare you usurp my position as champion of Order! For the first time I felt that I was truly being myself, doing what I was made for!" He raised his bat menacingly. Muttley, by now, was deathly tired and beginning to think that they weren't going to make it out of this one. "We have no time left to argue. SoFie showed me what was happening to the chaos portals; they are moving together and their spin is reducing. You must complete the CPU! If you don't we'll be sucked into the nothingness, the pure chaos between the multiverses, and none of us will be able to work for order again! Chaos will win! Look at the dice if you need any more convincing!"
BBBman opened his glove and was startled by the brightness of the glowing shape in his hand. "I am Convinced: This is a Nexus of Order, and I must Complete the CPU!" he declaimed, in such a way that you could hear the capital letters in his speech. He dropped the glowing dice into the BAG
Muttley, still holding the BAG, whispered to the Orange inside "Now, SoFie!". "About time too", muttered the Orange "almost too late, as usual"
The CPU had powered up as soon as the last piece was in place. Now it received its OS kernel, and the "reset universal partitions" program, suitably modified by the AuxHackers, on top of that.
The temperature of the room suddenly dropped ten degrees and a white mist was everywhere. The artifacts of the chaos fields departed, dissolving into streaks of disturbing colours and being sucked away towards the outside. A strange scream dopplered past them as a partially-insubstantial Weaselboy was sucked back into whatever Universe he had come from.
Outside, the effect was even better. Vortices, visible only as whirlpools of violet light, marked the chaos redistribution nodes. The SNAF Epoch, followed by the BiF fans, went into one, seeming to turn at right angles to everything and disappear into the void. The Pizza Planet delivery ship went into another, losing Raithwind on the way. He spiralled around a group of vortices before disappearing into one, leaving only a faint echo that sounded like "stercus stercus stercus . . . " Jones and the FiB were whisked away to reappear in the Unconscious Collective, with only some bad dreams to remind them of their excursion. One after another the vortices winked shut as the universes were put back into Order. Soon only one was left, surrounding the SoF.
Now the AuxHackers modifications came into play. In the deserted docking bay, Muttley, Wish and Tom faced BaseBallBatMan.
"I suggested some modifications to the AuxHackers and they seem to have come up with the goods", said Muttley. "When Jones went I had to let him take the 23-sider with him - things that powerful have to go back to where they came from. However, I made the BAG create a facsimile, and although it doesn't have enough power to perform another universe-recombining trick, it can still help us. We all get a choice of how and where we get back home. You too" he said, turning to face BaseBallBatMan, "You made the difference, at the end"
BaseBallBatMan looked at them each in turn. He saluted them with his bat and then - was gone.
Muttley turned to Tom and Wish "See you soon. It's been rather more real than I imagined it could be".
And the docking bay was empty.
The SoF, repaired better than new and without all of the chaotic attachments, was now back in its geostationary orbit, posing as a communications satellite, which wasn't too far from the truth. The Chaos portals had stayed with the much-battered and fought-over original satellite, now travelling nowhere fast in its pinched-off bubble of reality.
Muttley looked around. There was a large hole to his left, the remains of the SoF impact crater. The aluminium sheet he had left covering his bike had been dislodged, but the machine was still there, with a few added dents and looking even more dirty than usual.
He got on the bike and pressed the starter. A feeble clicking was all that resulted. "Battery dead. We must have been up there longer than I thought" said Muttley to nobody in particular. Folding out the kickstart, he prodded the engine into life with the first kick. "Good old Bavarian engineering". With a little wheelspin he set off down the street, the BAG, carefully strapped to the carrier behind him.
Nodrog sighed, staring out of the window on the top of the SoF. "SOFfie?" he asked for the three hundredth time. Apperently, whatever had sent the SOF shooting off in this rapidly collapsing bubble had been kind enough to move SOFFIE somewhere else.
Unfortunately, Nodrog had not been so lucky. After the random teleport he had discovered himself having to fight his way out of the SOF styrofoam peanut storage tank (all 3.14 cubic miles of it).
By the time he was out of the peanuts, the SOF seemed to be hurtling swiftly to nowhere in particular, surrounded by a huge number of Chaos portals and a rapidly shrinking bubble of reality.
Nodrog sighed. "Oh well..." he decided. "With any luck, I'll just wake up in my bed."
Nodrog took out a notepad and quickly wrote himself a note. "Note: Next time, take the GREEN pill."
One rather chaotic reality finished collapsing.
On the streets of Billberg, Nodrog walked past a shiny traffic light junction box and saw himself in it...the version of him that faced a reality crunch. In a flash, the two Nodrog's merged. Nodrog briefly moaned at his reflection, "Unpleasantly like being drunk." He looked at his Mountain Dew thirstbuster and decided his needs were greater than the need to be kind to the beverage and took a very large swig.
That done, and feeling quite refreshed, he noticed he had a sheet of paper in his back pocket and he pulled it out. On the one side it read: Note: Next time, take the GREEN pill.
On the other side it read: Only in my head you say? Yeah, right!
Tom the Fanboy
Tom brushed the last coating of wax around the small glass jar he had set upon the desk in front of his computer he wondered about its contents.
If what he remembered had really happened then the care he was taking was well worth it. If it wasn't real the jar would be a curiousity but not nearly as valuable.
He remembered revisiting the SOF and meeting many many new people that he had only read about before. He also remembered meeting the object of his affection and Queen Holly Quinn. That was why he had spent the last 4 hours before sleep preparing the jar.
The 4 inch tall, 3 inch wide jar held the scrap of cloth he had wiped his hands with and the clippings from his fingernails. Both of these items had been soaked in Holly's blood from when she'd been shot. Tom blowed on the cooling wax and smiled to himself. He knew it was gross and that Holly was really just a "clone" but he really didn't care. Up until then he thought she'd been a cartoon.
As Tom put the jar on the top shelf above his bed, where the rest of his HQ merchandise stood, he wondered about the previous day. Had it been real? If so then the memories of his return to Earth were completely gone. If not then why exactly had he woken up so late in the day with someone's blood on his hands.....and whose blood was it?
It was almost 6:30 at night and he had to start packing up for game. Tom decided that it would be better to just remember what he could about his experiences with Holly and not worry about the rest. Once he got a new set of clothes (though he thought he'd lost that shirt last year) and his backpack ready he was out the door. Tonight was going to be a climactic space battle to bring Steve's game to an end and it was sure to be exciting. Tom just hoped that they could get things done quick this time. The last battle he was in had taken way to long........
Notice to REALLY stupid people:
Just to let everyone know that the Rifts and Palladium settings belong to KevinSiembieda and the PalladiumBooks company, Star Wars things belong to George Lucas, and the Vampire settings belong to the White Wolf company, any idea's, character's, etc. belong to me. Any attempt to use these char's for money or self promotion will give I, White Wolf, and the PalladiumBooks company every right to not only sue you but to hunt you down and destory or torture you in the most painful ways imaginable...if such a thing doesn't apply to you then nevermind. That being said thank you for visiting and have a nice day ;)