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Sfstory Log 030

Subject:     A bit on 357
From:        The Cowboy (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Time Agent 357, Champion of Truth, Justice, and the Ability to Consume Large
Amounts of Alcoholic Beverages, flew through Time and Space in a sleek Spam-
powered timeship.  Time and Space didn't mind this intrusion at all.  As a
matter of fact, they rather liked it, as both were slightly kinky.

Val, the ship's VAL9000 computer and for all intents and purposes the mind and
nervous system of the ship, had finally picked up Omegas' teleportation trace.
Omegas was a very powerful ex-immortal who had stolen a new experimental time
machine and a new experimental miniABPSAR, and then teleported off to Parts
Unknown.  Parts Unknown is a little town in Texas, population of 319.

Anyway, Val was close in her estimate of Omegas' position.  He was in
actuallity currently merged with the atoms of a '78 Pinto in a New Orleans
junkyard, less than 900 miles from Parts Unknown, Texas.  Omegas and his two
assistants (Ron and Norm of the Association of Extremely Dedicated Watchers of
Star Trek Who Dress Like Crew and Pretend We Have Phasers) were at this very
moment preparing to liftoff, as they had successfully converted the '78 Pinto
into a warp-driven craft capable of interstellar voyages.  Or so Omegas said.

But I digress.

=Autopilot programmed,= reported Val in a clear, concise, yet somehow
irritating female voice.

"Very good," remarked 357.  "Heard anything from Quooth or Floyd Cobalt?"

=Floyd called a few paragraphs back and said that he and Quooth were still
waiting for Time Central to loan them a ship.=

"Well, we did offer to give them a lift," 357 mumbled.


"I said, 'We did offer to give them a lift,'" said 357, this time not
mumbling.  "What's our ETA with Earth?"

=Assuming we don't use time travel, 5.23 days,= reported Val.  =Uh, 357?
Are you running the microwave oven?=

357 looked through his mental filing cabinet, cross-referencing 'microwave'
with 'oven' and 'running' and came up blank.  "Not that I remember.  Why?"

=Because my internal scanners are still a little glitched from our battle with
Time Central.  Last night I read an intruder in the galley and it was just the
microwave oven running.=

"But the microwave oven isn't running now," said 357, walking towards the
galley.  "Which means that this has to be a real intruder."

=Or simply an attempt by the author to put some life into an otherwise
boring entry,= quipped Val.


Xerox, the copying demon, had had a bad week.  First, he had botched his
attempt at copying The Book.  He had no idea where it had ended up.  Now, he
had really screwed up.  On direct order from one of the Big Guys, he had been
sent to Earth to perform a very special assignment.  Let me explain...

In addition to being able to copy The Book and other documents, Xerox's
powers also allowed him to copy people.  This was very important for Satan's
recruitement program, in that Xerox could replicate important people, and the
replicas could be subverted into Satan's service.  Afterwards, they could take
the place of the originals and go about subverting others.

Xerox's assignment was very important.  He was to teleport to earth to make a
replica of an important political figure who was to win the next Presidential
election.  Unfortunately, he was still rather badly burned from his brief stay
in Heaven, which caused him to miss his destination by a slim margin, and
incidentally copy the wrong person.

"Needlewarp!" exclaimed Xerox as he realized what he had done.  "I've got to
get rid of him."  So he picked a random spot in space and teleported the person
there, confident that that was the end of his problems.

It wasn't.  You guessed it, he happened to pick the exact location of the HMS
Golden Lance.


357 arrived at the galley, to find a very confused man standing there.


***** Appended 23:27:16 on 10/04/88, Posting #    25 *****
Subject:     In the beginning...
From:        Scott McGuire (89SGM at WILLIAMS)

In the beginning, the multiverse was created.  A speck of energy with no
dimensions suddenly exploded into a large number of dimensions, creating
space and time as we, and the characters of this story, know it.  It also
created an even larger number of altiverses, all with their own concepts of
space and time.  A few even had that most special of multi-dimensional
vectors, Spam, upon which whole sciences and religions have been based.
The most varied alterverse in existence is Alterverse #1, the first one
created, and where the human race happens to exist.  But the human race
could have had the misfortune to develop in another, less varied,
alterverse, such as Alterverse #723.

Alterverse #723, for those who have not visited it (although you surely
have visited some of the many forms which it manifests in our alterverse),
is an alterverse inhabited solely by fast food restaurants.  There the
ideal forms of all fast food restaurants ever known to the multiverse
exist, stretching across the flat plain of Alterverse #723 for as far as
the eye can see.  For those familiar with the Bazaar on Deva, it streches
further than that.


Also in the beginning, there was God and the other inhabitants of Heaven
(angels, cherubim, Muppets, and all other pure and innocent things).
Heaven is a rather nice place up on some clouds overlooking all of the
alterverses, although it is located conveniently close to Alterverse #1
("reality") and Alterverse #223 ("Don'ttryitAuthorsonly," also called
"subjective reality").

God was pleased with the way things were going soon after the Beginning.
The laws of physics and elementary particles were being created in
Alterverse #1, and Joe the Interdimensional Mailman brought the mail on
time each day.  (And there was no junk mail back then).  Unfortunately, one
of the angels was *not* happy.  His name was Lucifer, and he never got any
mail; he didn't like the way the laws of physics were being set out; he
didn't like living next to cute, furry, pure, innocent things like Muppets
(although he has said in interviews that tribbles were the worst); and
generally thought he could do a better job than God.  So he told him so.

God, being the Supreme Being, knew that he was doing the best job possible,
and threw Lucifer out for his heresy.  Lucifer was compensated for his
loss, as God is a compassionate Supreme Being, (Lucifer got his own
alterverse), but he never got over the blow to his ego.  And as is well
documented by modern pop psychology, those who have low self-esteems
frequently turn into bullies.  Lucifer became the biggest and best bully in
all the multiverse, and has plagued almost every intelligent life form

In addition, he now has several nicknames, his favorites being "Satan,"
"the Devil," and "Prince of Darkness."  His least favorite?  "The Duke of
Smelly Feet."  In every interview, he makes it clear that he washes them
carefully everyday, thank you.


So, in the beginning, there was Alterverse #723 and Satan.  This is their


"I shall tear off their ears, bit by bit, first.  Then pull out their hair,
strand by strand, next.  And then..."  Satan paced up and down the aisle of
Really Spiffy Spam Sandwiches, a fast food restaurant that will be opened
sometime in the future in honor of Dr. Bing von Spleen.  Smoke issued forth
from his ears and nostrils as he said this, and his skin glowed a
particularly nasty red.  He would have scared away any patrons of the
restaurant, had there been any, but as far as Satan could tell, he and the
restaurant operators were the only beings in Alterverse #723.  And the
restaurant operators refused to eat at anyone else's restaurant.

"...they will be made to wear a thousand 'Where's the Beef?' T-shirts as
their toes are slowly nibbled off by fiddler crabs..."  The "they" Satan
plotted against was mostly everybody, including the Intern, Time Agent 357,
Matt DeForrest, Quooth, Omegas, Buzz Williams, Bubba Wojahowitz, God, and
an Earth inhabitant known as "the Cowboy."  All of these despicable beings
were responsible for his imprisonment in Alterverse #723 in one way or
another.   When he got out, they were going to pay!

He paused his ranting and raving to order another Spam & Fluff sandwich.

"I'm sorry, we're still out of Spam," the waiter said, whose face was
bright red from scrubbing as he attempted to emulate the complexion of Dr.
Bing von Spleen, the cleanest-complexioned Spamologist ever.

They'd been out of Spam ever since Satan had come to the restaurant.  He
suspected that God or the Cowboy had a hand in this.  For if there were
Spam, Satan could have departed this miserable alterverse long ago by
converting a Dairy Queen Blizzard Machine into an ABPSAR.  But there was no

"Would you care for just a plain Fluff sandwich?" asked the waiter,
reaching for his washcloth and scrubbing some more.

"No," Satan growled, wishing he could summon a bolt of Hellfire to fry the
waiter.  He'd used his last supplies when his Personal Pan Pizza had been
late at Pizza Hut, and they'd refused to give him a free one.  He stormed
out of Spiffy Spam Sandwiches, in search of a new restaurant.

He wandered the streets, kicking the discarded foam burger containers
around, until he saw a restaurant he hadn't seen before.  It was "Vorturian
Variety Lunches."  He walked in.  One waiter was washing the floor, another
was standing behind the counter, waiting to take his order, and a manger
was lounging in the back playing with soggy fries.  Satan scanned the menu.

"I'll have a Hyperlunch," he snarled.  He waited "for just a minute" as his
lunch (inexplicably the only type which had not been prepared yet) was
cooked.  Then the waiter gave it to him, and a little card.  "What's this?"
Satan asked.

"It's your game card," said the waiter.  "For our 'Collect the Universe'

Satan read over the prize list.  "So if I collect game pieces representing
all of the Messier Objects, I win a free bicycle?" he asked.

"Yes," the waiter said brightly.

"Bah," the Prince of Darkness said.  Then he read the front of the card.
It said "Win the Grand Prize -- Free Trip to Netherspace, or 50,000
Hyperlunches."  He slammed his fist down on the table in excitement.

"Are you an instant winner?" asked the waiter politely.

"At last," Satan breathed.  The waiter coughed until the smoke from the
Evil One's breath cleared.  He gave the waiter a burning stare.  "How can I
win the grand prize?"

"Oh, that's easy," the waiter answered.  "All you have to do is collect all
the spiral galaxy game pieces."

"All the spiral galaxies game pieces?  I might as bloody well collect the
whole universe!"

"That's the idea, sir."

Satan belched smoke in frustration until the entire restaurant was filled
and the operators died from asphyxiation.


Meanwhile, in Time Central, a blue-skinned humanoid who had once given out
the name "Bubba the Wanton and Invincible Wanton Death-Merchant from Hell"
was recovering from his injuries.


Will Satan try to collect the whole of the universe?

Might this take him some time?

Will G.X.P. Varnyloop the LXVII awaken and remember that he is a
  Name-Maker, or will he attempt to continue his new career as a Time
  Ensign (an attempt which he would get killed for, it should be noted)?

And what about Brigoni?

Find out in the new adventures of SF_STORY!

By the way, have you submitted your SF_STORY reader's questionnaire yet?
If not, why not?  We want to hear from YOU!  Submit 'em to me, 89SGM at WILLIAMS!

***** Appended 00:17:15 on 10/05/88, Posting #    26 *****
Subject:     The new arrival
From:        The Cowboy (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

The new arrival looked about the galley of the HMS Golden Lance.  He was rather
close to panic.  "Damn," he muttered to himself.  "This had better be a dream."
He pinched himself rather roughly, and succeeded in bruising his arm and
proving that it was not a dream.

"I'm in trouble," he said to the empty galley, which suddenly wasn't empty.

"You certainly are," said 357.  "Keep your hands where I can see them."

"Don't shoot, 357!" said the man.  "Don't you recognize me?"

Time Agent 357 squinted over his gunsight.  "You do look a little familiar.
Didn't you used to host the night spot on ESPN?"

The man huffed and lowered his hands, only to raise them again as 357's finger
tightened on the trigger.  "You know me," he said.  "Look at me real close and
imagine a golden aura all around."

"Why, you're the Cowboy," mumbled 357.  "This can't be right.  You're an
author.  How can you be here while you're righting this entry?"

"That damn demon Xerox made a copy of me, and accidentally injected one of us
into the story.  My original is still on Earth, typing away and believing he's
making this all up as he goes along."  Cowboy looked around and spotted a
comfortable chair, and decided to take the load off his boots.

357 was very intelligent, but still needed a little help.  "Val, what's he
talking about?" he asked of the ship's VAL9000 computer.

=Apparently, one of the authors has been injected into the plot of SFSTORY as
a character, and without his author's powers.=

"You can say that again," said the Cowboy.  "I've been trying to teleport out
of here since I arrived.  No dice."

"Is there any way to regain your powers?" asked 357.

"Only by breaking the Jeff Smith Accord and involving undue divine influence.
'Ceptin, of course, I go back to Earth and kill my original, which is what
Xerox's copies usually do."

357 considered.  "Val, what are our options?"

=We could return him to Earth.=

"I don't think so," said Cowboy.  "Bringing me and my original into close
proximity might cause problems."

=We could just kill him and dump the body,= said Val.

"Ha.  Ha.  Ha," laughed Cowboy sarcastically.  "I have a better idea.  This
ship has multidimensional travel capabilties, right?  Well, just find me an
alterverse where I'm an author.  I can live out my life happily and I'll be out
of everyone's hair.  Besides, I'd be better off it Satan doesn't find me."

"How'd he get into this?" asked 357.

"Well, way back when, I was sorta responsible for having Satan sent to
alterverse 723, which is inhabited solely by fast food places.  I believe he's
out to get me.  And now that I'm a character, I'll be a lot easier to capture."

=Last reports say that Satan is still in alterverse 723.  Don't worry.  Be


Down in Hell, things were getting pretty hot for Xerox.  He lay grovelling on
the floor in front of a much larger demon named Angorax.  Angorax was a refugee
from alterverse 8891, as he was kicked out for being a wimp.  However, the laws
of physics were very different in 8891 when compared to most of the multiverse.
Though Angorax was a librarian in his native alterverse, he was a very powerful
demon most everywhere else.

"You did what?" asked Angorax in his normal conversational tone, which would
shatter windows at two miles and given even an INXS fan a splitting headache.

"I copied the wrong person," said Xerox.  "So I destroyed him."

"Hardly," hissed Angorax as he summoned a portal.  "Look there.  You teleported
him right to the person who could help him the most, Time Agent 357."

"Hey, I'm sor- YEEEOOOWWWW!!!!!!" said Xerox, who suddenly found himself
changed into a giant slinky and walking down the stairs.

Angorax snarled.  "Not half as sorry as you're going to be.  You had one of the
authors in your power and you let him go.  Not just any author, mind you.  You
picked the one author that the Big Dude really has it in for."  Sensing that
Xerox was trying to speak, Angorax released his spell and allowed him to assume
his normal, if somewhat worse for wear, shape.

"But Satan is still trapped in alterverse 723," snivelled Xerox.  "He'll never
know of the opportunity he missed."

"Wrong.  I have it on good authority that Satan will be releasing himself
sometime in the near future.  And he'll know because I'll tell him."  Angorax
was not a nice demon.  He was certain that Satan would send him to capture the
Cowboy.  He would no doubt be tortured to death.  Even death would be no
release, as then his Xeroxed soul would belong to Hell.

Angorax summoned some minor demons to drag Xerox away, and began to formulate
a plan of revenge of his own.


For the answers to these mind-boggling questions, tune into the next
exciting episode of SFSTORY (damn the underline!)!

***** Appended 21:23:32 on 10/05/88, Posting #    27 *****
Subject:     Race to Netherspace
From:        The Cowboy (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

The HMS Golden Lance, which was shaped nothing like a lance and was a nice
shade of blue, sped through the multiverse, traversing all ten dimensions at
once.  Of course, you'd have to be in the non-existant eleventh dimension to
see this, so I guess you'll just have to take our word for it.

Onboard, Time Agent 357 was having an indepth discussion with the Cowboy, a
Xerox clone of one of the authors of SFSTORY.  " the way I figure it,"
finished Cowboy, "is that we'll have to go to Netherspace and see if Doctor
Bing Von Spleen has found a solution yet."

"How does he even know there's a problem?" asked 357.  "Nobody's been in
touch with him."

"Doctor Spleen's been watching ESPN (Extra-Sensory Perception Network), and
last night they had a special on this problem."

"How would you know?"

"Remember, my original is an author, and he was thinking of something like
that just before he was copied."

"Uh, yeah," agreed 357.  "Val, how long to get to Netherspace?"

=About two entries,= answered the ship's computer.

"Good," said the Cowboy.  "We'll have this problem solved before anyone can
try to stop us."


He was wrong.  Angorax whirled his clawed fingers and dismissed the viewing
portal before him.  He was not pleased with this turn of events.  Barking
orders at his various servant demons (who were canoid in form and only
understood barks), he made his way to a secret hanger.  There, he found his
ship, the DMS Oxide.

The Oxide was the ship Angorax had flown to escape alterverse 8891.  There,
ABPSAR was an ancient art, and interdimensional travel was so old as to be
passe.  His sleek, angular ship would easily reach Netherspace before the
Golden Lance.  Although it was barely the size of a greyhound bus, it
contained powerful ionic and matter/antimatter engines in addition to an
ABPSAR (Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-integrator) of a very
advanced design.  Turbo-lasers, jaccuzzi, and a 50,000 year/5 mile drive
train protection plan was also included in the sticker price.

"Angorax to Hell Central," said Angorax as he lowered himself into to
cockpit.  "Clear the runway."

"You don't have clearance," came the reply.  "What's your code?"

Angorax growled as he brought his ship's offensive systems on line.  Within
a heartbeat he had cleared the runway himself, except for occasional pieces
that still drifted down with the wind from time to time.  He casually tossed
his safety helmet out the window and took off, not bothering to close the
window until he was well into deep space.

"Nothing like vacuum to clear the lungs," he laughed.  He then began to
scheme and plan.

"I'll find this Cowboy," he said to himself, as villians are wont to do.
"And then I'll bring him back to Hell and when Satan returns he'll torture
him to death.  Nah, I have a better idea.  I'll bring him under my control,
and then have him kill his original and take his authorly powers."

Angorax chuckled, which filled the ship with fire and smoke.  "I'll have an
author in my complete control!  I'll be master of SFSTORY! AHAHAHAHA!!!"


Good Heavens!  I do believe he means me...

***** Appended 20:11:19 on 10/06/88, Posting #    28 *****
Subject:     Wherein Buzz and the gang are captured...
From:        Patrick McCoy (enldc8c at buacca)

     The Rocket Racer V was lowered into the central court of Sherif
the Mad's palace on Schimitar Prime as three legions of the Schimmitarian
Eliete Shock Troops stood with their  Advanced Heat Assault Rifles at the
ready. Sherif the Mad strode out of his personal chambers onto the balcony
overlooking the courtyard as the stasis beams were removed and his enemy's
ship came to a rest. His own son was lowered from his Command Craft on an
anti-grav platform  and took his place at the head of the shock troops.
     "Give yourselves up!" bellowed the young meglomaniac, "There is no
     Sherif the Mad smiled proudly at his son's words. "He will make
an excellent universal tyrant, shant he?"
     "Yes, your magesty," responded his chief minister happily as his
own son was sure to succeed him in his position as adviser to Sherif
the Madder.

     "What do we do now, Buzz?" asked Bert, the concerned Fungoid Tetrapod
and sidekick of the Space Commander.
     "There's so much hostility..." murmered Toni weakly as she looked
out the window at the meanacing, black-robed shock troops.
     "Give yourselves up!" bellowed Sherif the Madder to identify where
in time this conversation was taking place relative to the last, "There
is no escape!"
     "Buzz," began Tachi, the Enlightened Zen Master of the Sci-Fi Shotgun.
     "I know," said Buzz, "There's no way we can fight them."
     "So what do we do?" asked Tachi.
     "We leave our weapons in the secret compartment in the armory and
go down the gangplank."
     "But won't they expect you to wear some type of weapon?" asked Bert
as they descended the ladder towards the gangplank.
     "Yes," he responded, "but I'm not giving up these weapons. I'll
grab a DIESCUM pistol and vibrosabre. They can take them."
     "Buzz, isn't the DIESCUM more powerful than your Ray Gun?" asked
Tachi who made it a point to know things about weaponry.
     "Yes," Buzz responded with some distain, "but I prefer the Ray Gun.
It feels right."
     "If it feels right, then use it," responded Tachi emphatically.
     "Are both of you crazy?" asked Toni weakly, "If it's a better..."
     "But it isn't better," cut in Buzz as they reached the armory and
he began collecting weapons, "Granted, it's more powerful, carries a
bigger clip, and is more accurate, but the Ray Gun is far more dependable."
     "You can't be serious," responded Toni who was not herself as
she was still suffering from her straining herself psychically.
     "Think of it this way," explained Buzz as he strapped on the other
weapons, "it's like my carrying a Colt Peacekeeper on Earth while most
while most others carry a 9mm Parabellum."
     "Huh?" responded Toni, who didn't know all that much about guns.
     "Never mind," Buzz responded, kissing her on the forehead, "Just
nod your head and say 'OK, Buzz.' Humoring me is easier than figureing
it out."
      "OK, Buzz" she said smiling weakly.
     "I'll go first," Buzz said as he pushed the button to lower the
gangplank, "Just in case."
     "Just in case of what?" asked Bert.
     " case," responded Buzz as he tried to think of something.
     "Just humor him, Bert," Toni said smiling mischeviously, "It's
     Buzz glanced back and threw Toni a dirty look before beginning
down the gangplank.

     The Schimmitarian Shock Troops readied their weapons as Buzz stepped
into the light. He walked down the gangplank as his companions followed.
Sherif the Madder met him at the bottom and took his weapons.
     "At last, you are brought to justice."
     "If that's what you want to call it," responded Buzz in his defiant
heroic tone.
     Sherif the Madder sneered.
     "I can see the resemblance," Buzz said insultingly.
     "Flattery will get you nowhere, Space Commander," Sherif responded,
missing the insult completely. "And who have you brought with you?" he
continued as his eyes fell on the beautifuil young psychic.
     "No one of your concern," responded Bert in as he attempted to place
himself between Toni and the Mad Arab.
     Buzz noded approvingly ad Sherif the Madder walked around to get
a better look at Bert.
     "Where did you find the four-legged mushroom, Space Commander?" Sherif
asked in a condescending tone.
     "At least we fungi live above rocks," retorted Bert who was beginning
to get the hang of things.
     He quickly lost the hang of things, as well as consciousness, when
a Shock Trooper slammed his rifle butt on the back of Bert's head. Toni
started to move to Bert's side, but Sherif caught her chin so as to
look at her.
     "A delacate flower," he said smiling dangerously, "I wonder if she
could bloom in the desert..." his hand moved up Toni's waist and grabbed
her IU Sweatshirt collar as he move to tear it.
     Before he could do so, Tachi struck with a martial art punch at his
head level. Unfortunately for Sherif, Tachi is 3' 2" tall and, thus, the
blow fell somewhat lower.
     "Enough!" bellowed Sherif the Mad with apparent disgust, "Take the
males to the pit in the third court and bring the girl to the harem room.
Son, come to my chambers."
     Sherif the Madder drew a menacing looking dagger. "Let me kill he
who struck me, father!" he screamed in a high, winded voice.
     "No," Sherif the Mad responded, "If I've told you once I've told
you a million times that such behavior is not acceptable public behavior.
You must control yourself and wait until you are alone in your rooms.
Then, you may do with a woman as you wish. Perhaps this will teach you."

          * Garglevanx Oolant's Pocket Guide to Hyperpotent*
          * Beings indicates that the life forms known as  *
          * Authors live in constant dread of attacks on   *
          * their person by beings almost as powerful as   *
          * themselves commonly known as Proofreaders due  *
          * to what is considered sexist writing. Such     *
          * attacks often take the form of dictionaries    *
          * being thrown at the Author's head.
          *     While many of these Authors have been      *
          * labled insensitive (aka The Cowboy) to this and*
          * therefore have been rendered nearly immune to  *
          * such attacks, a survey is currently being      *
          * conducted to determine if there is rampant     *
          * sexism in SFStory. The results of this, however*
          * are still out.                                 *
          *     It also remains to be seen if the addition *
          * of a FEMALE Author will alter the ballance any.*

     Meanwhile, Buzz, Bert, and Tachi had been thrown into a pit and
Toni was dragged off to the harem for re-outfitting.
     "I'm sure you remember this pit, Space Commander," shouted the
aging ruler of Schimmitar Prime, "The sharks have not yet arrived,
but I hope you'll wait for them."
     "I wouldn't want to come this far and not see them again," Buzz
     "I've added a few more people to keep you company while you wait,"
Sherif continued, "It was so rude of me to have only two last time."
     "Think nothing of it," responded Buzz as he helped Bert to his
     "In the meantime," Sherif said smiling, "My son and I must go and
entertain your charming young companion."
     "You lay one hand on her and I won't forget to kill you this time,"
Buzz growled.
     "That's better," Sherif said smiling, "I thought I'd lost my touch."
     "I guess I got carried away, huh?" asked Bert as Sherif swept out
of view.
     "No," responded Buzz as he examined the pit, "You always get clubbed
when you do that."
     "How do we get away this time?" asked Tachi, "There are 20 guards.
I don't think what you did before will work."
     "We'll think of something," responded Buzz with feighned cheerfulness.

     Meanwhile, in Altiverse #233donttryitauthorsonly, Pat McCoy (that's
me) looked about warrily as he skimmed dead leaves off the pool.

     *NI* Hi, Pat! *NI*

     The beforementioned author dove for cover behind a lawn chair.

     *NI* What's wrong, Pat? *NI*
     ++ Dr. Young. I wrote some rather sexist stuff this time in an
attempt to advance my plot so we can end the Dvax5 megaplot and to
try to scare her out of the woodwork. ++
     *NI* Why? *NI*
     ++ I haven't heard from her in some time. ++
     |-}------- Hi, guys! -------{-|

     Pat, again, dove for cover.

     |-}------- Relax. We haven't heard a peep out of Dr. Young, or anyone
else for that matter, in some time. -------{-|
     ++ I know, that's what scares me... ++


If no, why not? It's safe, fast, and easy. So, to quote Martin
Mull, don't you. "It's what you look for in a date, isn't it?"
(If that doesn't get the proofreaders, I don't know what will...)

***** Appended 12:32:32 on 10/07/88, Posting #    29 *****
Subject:     Arrival at Netherspace
From:        The Cowboy (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

The sleek, streamlined form of the HMS Golden Lance raced through the
multiverse towards Netherspace.  With clockwork precision it arrived and set
down in the parking lot of the new Hotel Nympho, right next to a sign:

      *              Come stay at the brand new                      *
      *                                                              *
      *                    H O T E L   N Y M P H O                   *
      *                                                              *
      *      featuring:                                              *
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However, their business was urgent, so they proceeded directly to Club
Nympho.  Pausing only long enough to order a round of drinks from a very
round waitress, they proceeded to the rear of the establishment which
contained, among other things, the offices and labs.

By way of introduction, allow me to mention that 'they' are Time Agent 357
and a Xeroxed copy of an author called the Cowboy, who was accidentally
sucked into the story.  They are looking for 357's longtime friend and
companion, Doctor Bing Von Spleen, founding father of Spamology, and perhaps
the cleanest complexioned man in the known universe.  Spleen, incidentally,
was the reason why a gambling casino and bar would have offices and labs in
the back.

357 leading the way, the pair proceeded to the main lab and walked in
without knocking, which got them shot at by several automated defense
systems.  But since said systems were designed to keep out drunken
nymphomaniacs, and not relatively sober heroes, they quickly disposed of
said systems and proceeded onwards.  Inside, they found Doctor Spleen
conversing with old man in a funny robe.

"St. Peter!  Doctor Spleen!" called out 357, as he was acquainted with both
men.  "How's it going?" he asked St. Peter, shaking his hand.

"Pretty good," answered St. Peter, squinting at the form behind 357.  "Say,
isn't that one of the authors?"

"Dammit, 357!" cursed Spleen.  "Last time you brought in Omegas, and this
time you've gone and brought an author.  What are you trying to do, get me

"Relax, Spleen," said the Cowboy.  "I'm not an author.  I'm a Xerox copy."

"So, Xerox is still at work," mumbled St. Peter.  "We have reason to believe
he attempted to copy The Book a few weeks back."

"That would explain why he was in such bad shape," said Cowboy.  "You'd
expect a demon to be burnt to a crisp after visiting Heaven."

Spleen finished his hissy fit and spoke.  "What are you doing here?"

"We have to get Cowboy out of SFSTORY before Satan can return," explained
357.  "If Satan gets ahold of him, he can get to the author Cowboy, and
eventually control SFSTORY, or at least this part of it."

"Anyway," Cowboy cut in, "we figure that one of your Spam-powered devices
might be able to get me out of here."

"Why not just take him away in the Golden Lance, 357?" asked Peter.

"Because the HMS GL can be tracked as it travels through the multiverse.
Hopefully, Doctor Spleen can rig a device that can't be tracked, like when
we modified the TTT to jump dimensions and bypass Time Central's defensive

"Hmm," Spleen hmmed.  "It just might work.  Actually, I've been toying with
the idea for some time.  Our big lab should hold the HMS Golden Lance very
nicely.  357, have Val fly it in, and we'll hook it up to our main ABPSAR
and start re-wiring the Temporal Teleporter Terminal."

And they began, not knowing how little time they had.


Angorax, flying his ship, the DMS Oxide, appeared in the skies above the
Netherspace Nympho Beach just in time to see the HMS Golden Lance land
inside the main lab.  "They're up to something," he growled.  With a
precisely aimed laserbolt, he silently sealed the docking bay hatch to the
lab, trapping the Golden Lance.  "That will keep her out of the way."

Setting his own ship down several miles from the Club, he climbed out and
began walking towards it.  He was quite sure that with the Golden Lance out
of the way, he could take on everyone in the building with his own powers,
and therefor didn't have to risk messing up his ship's new paint job.
Angorax whistled an ear-splitting tune, which was actually a love song in
his native alterverse.  His twenty foot tall crimson body cast a wicked
winged shadow over the beach as he approached.


We can't help you if you don't help us.

***** Appended 18:47:19 on 10/07/88, Posting #    30 *****
Subject:     Quooth and Cobalt get moving
From:        Beth L Jones (Weredillo) (C465904 at UMCVMB)

Lieutenant Floyd Cobalt wandered the hallways of Time Central, which was
currently in the process of being rebuilt after being seiged.  He was now
officially on vacation, and all he needed now was the word that his
spaceship was prepared to go.  Coincidentally enough, while he was having
this thought, a young Time Police cadet approached him.

"Lieutenant Cobalt?"


"Captain Ian Lockheed has an important message for you."

"He does?  Great!  Where is he?"

"I believe he's still in Administration, tying up a few loose ends."

Floyd hurried (he was pretty speedy for a turtle) to the huge
administrative office of Time Central.  He couldn't see Captain Lockheed
for the pile of paperwork that had accumulated on his desk.  Hmm,
thought Floyd.  A good reason to NOT rise in rank!  "Captain Lockheed?"
he asked, somewhat softly, because he'd feel awfully dumb if there were
no one sitting there.

"Ah, Floyd."  Lockheed's head appeared above the pile.  "I'm glad you
could show up.  I have great news!"  He sifted through some of the top
layers of the pile and yanked out a few stapled pages, thereby causing
a flutter of sheets to rain on Floyd.  "Whoops, sorry," Lockheed said as
he rushed around the desk to pick up the mess.  (Not that there weren't
several reams of administrative garbage on the floor already.)  Said mess
cleared up (somewhat), Lockheed said, "These are the papers to the
spaceship you'll be using to pilot Quooth to Wzaxtil.  I was just sorting
through this stuff here and found them almost by accident.  The ship
comes from Arcturus IV originally, so it needs no adjustment to seating
or console setup, except as regards Quooth, of course."  He handed the
papers to Floyd and leaned against his desk while he read them.

Floyd mumbled as he scanned over the papers.  "A.S. Terrapin II.  Class
43E navigation..." (We will delete the part where Cobalt mumbles,
as it is incredibly boring.   Suffice it to say that the Terrapin II
is a small, fast and agile craft designed for quick travel and evasion if
necessary.  Attack and defense capabilities are limited.)  "Wow," he
said at last.  "Where'd we get this?"

"I dunno.  Apparently it's been stuck in a bay for a long time.
From the papers, though, it seems it's hardly been used.  It's all
fuelled up and ready to go whenever you are."

"I'll go get Quooth then."

A while later, Floyd knocked on Quooth's door.  Getting no answer, he
knocked a bit harder.  "Quooth?  You in there?"  Floyd was worried;
he punched in the override code for the door.

It opened.  Quooth lay unconscious amid a pile of loose, smudged
photocopy pages.  Floyd's eyes popped out.  He replaced them and hurried
to get a glass of water, the only cure for fainting that came to mind.

He splashed the water on Quooth's face, and patted what he assumed to be
phis cheeks.  Moments later, his efforts bore fruit and Quooth wheezed
"Wha....whzzzzz..." as phe struggled to get up from whatever a
grasshopper would consider a prone position.

"Don't worry, Quooth, it's me, Floyd."

"Floyd?  Oh, yes, Lieutenant Floyd Cobalt.  You look rather strange in
that dress, Floyd."

Floyd considered correcting Quooth, but figured it wasn't worth the
trouble.  After all, HE knew he wasn't wearing a dress, and if Quooth
decided he was, well, that was Quooth and there wasn't much else to say.
Little did Floyd know that when a native of Wzaxtil is splashed with
water while unconscious,a pleasant hallucinogenic effect is produced upon
awakening.  That is why, on any given day on the many beaches of Wzaxtil
(which is 80% water), one can see hundreds of glue grasshoppers, sleeping
in anticipation of the incoming tide.  This also neatly explains the
large number of mysterious drownings each year on Wzaxtil.

"Uh...sure... listen, Quooth, our ship is ready to go, so as soon as you
get your things together we can get moving."

"You mean the butterflies?  Don't worry, they're not carnivorous."
Quooth indicated the papers with an antenna.  Then he giggled, which
involved one antenna crooked up, the other bent north by northeast, and
phis whistling a ghastly off-tune rendition of "The Hallelujah Chorus."
Confused and somewhat impatient, Floyd began to gather up the pages
strewn about the room.

All right, folks, let's face it.  Aren't we always curious as to just
what is in our roomie's dresser drawers?  Aren't big brother's record
albums too tempting?  Curiosity is a part of human nature.  And turtle
nature, too, apparently.  Floyd attempted to not peek at the pages he
picked up.  But, of course, he couldn't avoid glancing at a sentence
or two.  What he saw made his face blanch.  "I've gotta see Captain
Lockheed about this!"  He turned to Quooth after he'd picked up the
last page.  "Come on, Quooth, we're going to see the Captain."  Quooth
whistled happily behind Floyd as they made their way back to

Captain Lockheed had no idea what to make of this new development, and
to be honest had no time to make anything of it.  "I'm sure phe came
by it honestly, so there's nothing to worry about," was all he could

"You're a lovely shade of mauve today, Captain," commented Quooth.


An hour or so later, Quooth and Floyd had packed all their things and
were ready to lift off in the A.S. Terrapin II.  Quooth, by now, was
down from his high.  The two shook appendages with Captain Lockheed and
Sean Landorian.  They boarded their spaceship and headed out to Wzaxtil.

What if everyone on his planet is just like phim? Floyd wondered.  He'd
find out soon enough!


If not, why not?  It's relatively painless....

***** Appended 16:44:06 on 10/08/88, Posting #    31 *****
Subject:     Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names...
From:        Scott McGuire (89SGM at WILLIAMS)

In the high-security wing of the Time Central Headquarters hospital, a
blue-skinned humanoid was awakening.  His head was almost bald, except for
a small white fringe, and the blue skin was leathery and slightly creased
all over.  His eyelids shot open - and the blue eyes they revealed scanned
the area.  It wasn't Anthrax V.  It wasn't Latigid.  It looked like a
hospital.  Where the devil was he?

Gorginforx Xipnapoloop Pargarquackylywinks Varnyloop LXVII decided he would
stand up.  He did, and fell right back down again, as his head began to
reel as if it had been stuck in an extended temporary anomaly, or possessed
by an omniscient computer account.  In fact, it had suffered both, and was
now in addition suffering from the particularly hard contact it had just
had with the very sanitary floor of the hospital.

He wondered briefly how his job had brought him to this place.  Finding no
answer stored in his mind, he reconcentrated on how his job could get him
out of this.

An attendant came in.  "Get back in bed, traitor!" he commanded.

"Excuse me?" G.X.P. replied from the floor (he usually went by his
initials, which those who know him well appreciate).

"Get back in bed before you kill yourself," the attendant said, "especially
because we want to do that later."

"I really must beg your pardon," Varnyloop said.  "First, I cannot get back
in bed for I shall just fall back down into this undignified position."
The attendant roughly picked Varnyloop up and tossed him back in bed.
"Thank you.  Second, I see no reason for you to kill me, not at the moment,
really.  And third, would you be kind enough to inform me of my present

"Ha," the attendant said.  "You're in the hospital wing of Time Central
Headquarters, a building whose security you have compromised, a crime which
is hopefully punishable by death."

G.X.P. pursed his mouth, considering.  He had absolutely no recollection of
compromising anything, but he was sure that his special skill could be put
to great use here.  Time travellers had such egos.  Thought travelling in
time was a big deal.  Travellers in the third dimension rarely thought they
were such a big deal.  "What is your name?" he asked.

"Time Ensign Jones, Temporal Medical Services."

Hah!  This was too easy, G.X.P. thought.  "Jones... a rather... common
name, wouldn't you say?"

"Yeah, so?  Varnyloop... a rather... hateful name, wouldn't you say?"

"Don't be ridiculous.  A fine name, made it myself.  Now then... how about
Jones-Tachmar, Medical Personage of the First Degree?" the blue-skinned
being suggested.

"As what?" Jones sneered.

"As your new name," G.X.P. said.

"You can't just go around giving people new names like that," Jones said.
"Anyway, who'd want one from you?"

Varnyloop sat up.  "My dear fellow.  I am G.X.P. Varnyloop the LXVII, the
Name-Maker.  Surely you've heard of me.  And of course I can go around
giving people new names - not only is it my calling, but it's within the
legal definition of reality."


From Gargavix Oolavant's Pocket Guide to the Space-Time Continuum:


It has been said that in the distant past, the planet Epsilon Kolprini was
one of the most villainous planets in the galaxy, a place where it was
possible for one to break even the most basic of laws that are held by
today's civilized worlds, without retribution.  These included murder,
stealing candy from babies, selling of intoxicating but lethal drugs, and
scientific laws.  Criminals walked through walls to rob banks, it is
claimed, because they chose to ignore the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
and many other quantum mechanical laws.  Then they would then fly away with
their loot, violating the law of gravity; and finally, plant their money in
the ground and have trees grow from it, violating that most basic law: "it
just doesn't happen," otherwise known as the law of reality.

It is especially hard to believe this, as today Epsilon Kolprini is the
foremost legal machine of all time; but it may explain how Kolprini lawyers
were actually able to define legal limits of reality, which have now been
adopted by the major institutions of the galaxy, such as the Time Police,
who find them useful for avoiding paradox, and most parents, who must make
their offspring "face up to reality."

The complete definition of these laws will not be described here, as they
contain some nasty mathematical formulae, but suffice it to say that they
insure that reality behaves in a way one would expect it to.  They are lax
in a few respects, however, in that somehow Kolprini lawyers all have money
trees growing in their offices, as if they didn't make enough already.


"No," the attendant said.

"Yes, it is, my dear fellow.  Do you think I would want to run an illegal
business?" G.X.P. declared, trying to sound hurt.

"Yes, you helped the DestructionVax5 take over Time Central!  If it wasn't
for your former partner Time Agent 357, you would have succeeded too.  A
fine way to help your partner!" the attendant railed.

"I am positive that I would not enter into the service with such as you.
Well, we shall see about your name.  For I have decided that you deserve
the new name:  Time Ensign Jones, the Most Incompetent Time Ensign in All

Jones was ready with a scathing reply, when a doctor entered.  "How is our
patient, Ensign Jones?"

"As you can see, he is awake and argumentative," Jones answered.

"I also see that he recently fell on the floor, and is getting a bump on
his head from it.  Since he is just recovering from a concussion, one
should be very careful about such things, Jones," the doctor said, going to
a cabinet to get some anti-swelling gel.

"I, uh, hadn't noticed," Jones stammered.  G.X.P. made a great show of
touching the bump gingerly, looking pained, and holding his head in his
hands.  In fact, he himself had not been aware of the bump.

"Jones, there is no anti-swelling gel in the supplies here.  There are also
no bandages.  Don't you think in a concussion patient's room, there should
be?  Haven't you checked the supplies?"

"Well, I, uh..."

The doctor stared at him.  "Jones, you are a complete incompetent.  Now go
get some, and apply it to his head.  I will be back in five minutes to
check your progress."

Ensign Jones saluted, and waited for the doctor to leave.  Then he left
Varnyloop's room, only to trip over his own feet.  He fumbled at the desk
for leverage, but instead found G.X.P.'s medical records and scattered them
onto the floor.  Finally he got up.

"Time Ensign Jones, the Most Incompetent Time Ensign in All Eternity," the
Name-Maker said, smirking.  Jones looked at him, left the room, and tripped
again.  He began swearing.

G.X.P. had had enough.  He wasn't sure what had happened here, and how he
fit into it, but he didn't want to hang around and find out.  It was time
to high-tail it back to Anthrax V before someone pinned the name "G.X.P.
Varnyloop LXVII, Traitor" to him, and executed him for it.  He found an
Ensign's uniform in the closet.

"I'd call it a... Business Suit."  Somehow the uniform in the closet, while
remaining a uniform, appeared more three-piece business suit-like as it
conformed to the legal reality forced upon it.  Varnyloop put it on, and
strode out of the room.

There he met five Time Agents, all aiming their Telechronal Blasters at

"The bloody traitor's wearing a uniform!" one shouted.

"I'd say it was a Business Suit," Varnyloop said.

"It does kind of look like one," a junior agent agreed.

"Doesn't matter, let's blast him anyway!" said the first.

"No, we have to wait for the Chief.  Someone call Lockheed down here so we
CAN blast him," another said.

Varnyloop looked at their determined faces, their determined blaster
barrels.  He raised his hands into the air.  "So, gentlemen, what are your
names?" he stalled.


Will G.X.P. escape Time Central?
Will his brain explode from having to think of new names?
Will he exceed the legal limits of reality?
And what about Brigoni?

Have you filled out your SF_STORY reader's questionnaire yet?  No?  Have
you lost it (it was posting #17)?  Email me for another copy - or request
SF_STORY VOL00003, where it's stored.  Why?  Well, gee, we're interested
in your opinions and thoughts, that's why.   Come on - it's not very long!

***** Appended 03:39:20 on 10/10/88, Posting #    32 *****
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