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Sfstory Log 035

Subject:     Yes, it's true.....I'm still alive!
From:        Beth L Jones (Weredillo) (C465904 at UMCVMB)

     Well, folks, it's been a while since I posted to this discussion.
I can hear the cheers, and the sighs of gratitude--truly!

     Anyhow, as we left our semi-intrepid heroes, Quooth and Floyd
Cobalt, they were stopped in space by a glowing orange cloud.  Floyd
shrieked and Quooth assumed phis "alarmed" body configuration.

     They have been suspended in time for upwards of four weeks.  Let's
join them, shall we?

     "Quooth?  How did this happen?  Why didn't you steer away from
this?"  The viewscreen was now filled with an orange glow.  At times,
the view swirled with red-orange or yellow-orange tendrils that swayed
almost as if alive.  Quite a lovely sight, but not an entirely
comforting one.

     Quooth regarded phis partner and travelling companion serenely.
They were quite different, indeed.  Floyd was such an easily-alarmed
creature.  It seemed like his vocal chords were specifically designed
to shriek at regular intervals.  Rather distressing.  And now he was
raving about this perfectly harmless orange cloud.  "I saw no harm in
this cloud.  None of the ship's instruments sensed high radiation levels
or even solidity.  I don't know why it stopped the ship."

     Floyd frowned, then walked over to where Quooth sat.  Quooth
politely hopped from Floyd's seat and peered over his shoulder as Floyd
scanned the readings on the ship's dials.

     After several moments of flipping switches and mumbling (all of
which Quooth found fascinating), Floyd halted.  He now seemed agitated,
flipping and mumbling at a more rapid pace.  He read a printout from the
ship's computer and blanched, his turtle face turning a fine shade of
sky blue.  Expecting another shriek, Quooth put phis front limbs over
phis aural cavity entrances.  (Did you know that grasshoppers hear and
smell through their rear knee joints?  No?  Well, if not, you can say
you learned something from SFStory.)  Moments later, phe unplugged phis
"ears" and said to Floyd, "Lieutenant Cobalt, what does the printout

     "I had my suspicions, Quooth, but this is worse than I imagined."
Floyd handed the printout to Quooth.  Floyd obviously knew that Quooth
could not read English (from the raspberry yogurt episode of my last
posting), so Quooth thanked Floyd and ate the printout.  The ink had an
odd flavor, but the paper was top-grade.  Floyd considered remarking
on this, changed his mind, shrugged, and continued.

     "My suspicions centered on the cloud's color and glow, and how it
was not truly solid, yet stopped the Terrapin II.  I wondered too, since
this substance has been banned from all civilized galaxies."

     Quooth was curious, as phe was about all of humans' activities.
Phe never quite gathered why humans created dangerous things such as
Lotz-o-deth laser pistols and Spam.  This, obviously, was another
thing to wonder about.  "Why has it been banned?"

     "Because, besides Spam and Hostess filled cakes of any variety,
it is the most powerful, dangerous substance in the universe!"

     "What is it?"

     "Orange Jell-O residue!"

     Quooth had no time to ask further questions, as the claxons on
the bridge came to life.  Red lights flashed, and the glow of the
orange Jell-O residue diminished somewhat.

     "Quooth!  The Terrapin is being swallowed!"


...happy exams, all....

***** Received 10:32:42 on 12/09/88, Posting #    90 *****
Subject:     Beauty{?} and the Beast....
From:        Dr Abigail Ann Young (YOUNG at

     The Doctor slumped against the wall of the supply cupboard
in disgust.  She had been pounding against the door for hours, or
so it seemed.  She had no ale, no SPAM, and soon no batteries for
her pocket torch.  The smell of Javex, with a slight hint of
lemon-scented furniture oil, pervaded the air.  It looked as if
she was stuck in the cupboard and her Author was stuck writing
monologues a little while longer.  She clenched her fist and
brought it down spitefully just above the the catch.  The door
swung open.  The Doctor, slightly red-faced, was carried on by
her forward momentum and landed somewhat shakily in the corridor.

     The atmosphere, pressure, and temperature were, in the Star
Trek tradition, all quite comfortable for her.  The corridor
walls swirled with red, magenta, purple, and yellow.  A tasteful
band of pulsing lights ran along the top of either wall just
below the angle formed with the ceiling.  The floors were grey,
the ceiling black.  The Doctor closed her eyes and wished for a

     A panel opened in the wall next to her hand, revealing a
hatch.  A glass and a bottle of Upper Canada Rebellion sat on
a tray.  Next to them was a plate containing ploughman's lunch.
She picked up the tray, and the panel closed so tightly that it
was no longer possible to see where it had been.  A door opened
at the end of the corridor.

     She walked toward it, balancing the tray precariously on her
left palm while drinking the Rebellion from the bottle in her
right hand.  It was apparently the door to the control room of a
starship.  The loud colour scheme was repeated here, causing her
to take another pull at the beer bottle.  The room had curving
walls all lined with consoles and banks of lights and buttons.
The chairs in front of the consoles seemed intended for
humanoids.  There was a large. pew-like, bench in the centre of
the room facing either a porthole or a monitor screen through
which the vastness of interstellar space could be seen.  The
whole effect was as of the (original) Enterprise control room
painted by the staff of a head shop.  She sat down on the bench,
placed the tray beside her on the seat, and drained the beer.

     Another panel opened, this time in the arm of the bench
nearest her, and another clean glass and Rebellion were presented
to her.  She picked up the beer and placed the empty next to it.
The panel disappeared.  "Thank you," she said.  All the lights on
the consoles around her went on momentarily and then faded.  She
ate her lunch thoughtfully.  She was unsurprised when, after she
set down the tray containing an empty plate, beer bottle, and
glass, another panel opened to receive it.  She got up and began
to explore.

     Several hours later she was back in the control room.  She
had walked along a series of corridors which radiated out from
the various doorways of that room.  She had discovered a number
of cabins, whose doors slid open as she passed: sleeping
quarters, showers, a head, what looked like a recreation area,
and more about whose function she was totally in the dark. All
were empty.  She saw no living beings or even robots.  She also
found no cross-corridors or turbo-lifts.

     She had discovered a little more about the apparent
telepathy of the ship: it responded to clearly focussed desires,
such as 'I want another beer,' but not to less specific ones such
as 'I want something to drink.'  Nor had there been any response
to frivolous wishes like 'I wish I had skates for these long
corridors.'  Either it only heard sharp, specific requests, or it
understood enough about human beings to filter out noise and
ignore it.  Either way she was better off than the characters in
most of the fairy tales about granting wishes she'd ever read.

     She brooded over yet another Rebellion.  "Where are we
going?" she asked.  No reply.  Well, it was a pretty vague
question.....  "Show me a stellar map with the destination and
course of this ship marked."  The forward screen changed from
interstellar space to display a chart.  She was still puzzling
over it when she heard the door panel behind her slide open.  She
wheeled around to see the newcomer.




Tune in to further installments of SFSTORY!

***** Received 08:18:27 on 12/14/88, Posting #    92 *****
Subject:     Ian isn't a morning person
From:        "Andrew Lewis" (LEWIS at ITHACA)

    Janice sat on the bench, picking up stones from the rock garden.  She
aimlessly threw them into the pond, one after another.  She kept at this
for some time.  Plop.  Plop. Swish, swish, plop.  (skimmer stone).  This
eventually lost interest, so she picked up three largeish stones and began
juggling them.  This too grew dull after a few minutes: she wasn't really
in the mood to attempt anything fancy.  "Will you hurry up!" she yelled
at the bathhouse on the near side of the pond.
    "I still don't understand," Ian yelled back from inside the bathhouse.
"Why is this alterverse going to disintigrate in two months?" he asked.
    "If you had been reading the preface to {my-the author} the last posting,
you would know that Zynchrony Alpha and Beta are zillions of miles apart," she
    "So what's so special about that?" Ian asked, unimpressed.
    "They are planets of the same sun, thickhead!  They shouldn't be in diff-
erent solar systems!  Now how do you think they got that way?"
    A stunned silence came from the bathhouse.  Ian walked out of it, wearing
a scuba suit and a dropped jaw.  "You mean,"
    "But then..."
    "I think so,"
    "And that means..."
    "So we should..."
    "Right away! Now come on!" Janice grabbed Ian's hand and they ran off
into the (unaforementioned) sunset towards the hangar containing The Sun.
Janice being the faster (she soon let go of Ian as he shook her hand off in
annoyance) moved ahead of Ian.  Not seeing him in the darkness, she yelled
back, "Still back there?"
    "Walking in your footsteps..."
    "OK,..." they ran on, and soon arrived at the hangar.  They quickly boarded
the ship, and went about the pre-flight checks.
    "Janice, have you flown in this ship?" Ian asked.
    "Actually no, I've never ridden in any of my Griffith-Joyner class ships
before, and so I'm a bit nervous," she confessed.
    "Oh, that's great!  You sell them to the Time Police but you don't test
them!" he asked.
    "No, my servants test them.  C'mon, we've got work to do, get this ship
airborne!"  Ian turned on the hyperradio.  "Please do the honors," he asked
    "Gladly.  Airspace Pendarvis, this is the fox.  Delta Beta code three.
Request clearance for transatmosphere launch window," she ordered.
    The reply came fuzzily and in a tounge unknown to Ian.  No problem, let's
go, he thought.
    "OK, we're clear for takeoff.  Bring on the night!"













***** Received 15:12:37 on 12/21/88, Posting #    94 *****
Subject:     Wherin SABRE RETURNS!!!!!!!!
From:        Eric, Lord Sabre (BURNS at MAINE)

     Deep in the author's altiverse, there was the silence
borne of Christmas Break.  The wind whistled slightly, and the
only figure was that of the much abused and nearly dead convulesing
author, Sabre, whose plotlines lay forgotten.
     Suddenly, a shot rang out!  Swinging in from nowhere was
John Carter of Mars, a Barsoomian in his arms.  He shot the
throat and leapt off the cliffs of insanity to his waiting skiff,
and the lovely Dejiah Thoris!
     Within a few moments, the altiverse was back the way it was.
     |-}-------Ohhhhhhhhhh...what happened?---------{-|
     Sabre suddenly sat bolt upright, very nearly knocking over the
dessert topping on the desk nearby.  He looked from side to side.
     |-}--------Dear God!  I must warn the others!  Cowboy!  Dr. Young!
Pat!  Nathan!  Beth!!!!!---------{-|
     Suddenly, in a flash of realisation and the slight noticing of
the calander, Sabre realised the truth.  |-}----------Christ almighty,
I missed Christmas!!!!!  Everyone's on break!!!!!  Nobody understands!!!!!
And the DVAX5 plotline is still UNRESOLVED!!!!!!!!!----------{-|
     He got a determained look on his face.  |-}----------Well, if I'm
the only author around, I'll just have to save the story myself!  And
if I'm a little out of date, so be it!  Sabre is here!!!!!--------{-|
With that, the overly melodramatic author lept to his terminal, engaged
his automatic story transcriber, and time began to move forward for the
plotlines again....


***** Received 19:46:40 on 01/01/89, Posting #    95 *****
Subject:     Wherin Sabre's Plots get a much needed boost, and some
From:        Eric, Lord Sabre (BURNS at MAINE)

     The T.S. Challenger II sped towards Camelot Command, loaded with the
various members of our valient story--namely Captain Steve Vogel,
slightly effeminente and always confused captain of the NASA space
program, Copilot Lameduck, highly insane, 12000 year old timelord of
gallifrey, Linda Madisen (got that everybody--MADISEN!!!)  only known
female paladin, and one of the only two known paladins, Wilhelm
Natchwald aka Ultranatch--a cyberneticlly enhanced superpowerful
bionoid, Ralph the Giant Space Weasel from Anthrax V, a weaseloid who
liked to play the ukulele, and Lucky, the Ship's Cat who had been
mutated into a giant who stood six feet at the shoulder.  They were
traviling via the ship's faster than time drive, and they had a WORM
disk that contained the operating system for one of Destructionvax5's
satillittes, and the location of said Dvax5.
     They were being followed.
     Back over Earth, a ship came out of Hyperspace.
     "All right, mister Macho Space Hero type, where's the invasion of
     "Hey, listen, would you please get off my back???  I mean, do
I tell you YOUR job?  It isn't my fault we accidently flew through a
Black hole, is it?"
     "Well, you're piloting!  I'm not really certain how we even survived!"
     The two who were speaking were the crew of the HMS White Hat, "On
Loan" from Intersteller University.  They were Mark Hyperthrust, Space
Heroism Major on Probation, and Kitty Hitowers, Space Ingenue major.
     Mark, as usual, was screwing up.  However, by pointing out all of
his bad points, Kitty was performing excellently.
     "So what do we do now, hotshot?" she asked, looking at the
basiclly blue planet that was most emphaticlly NOT being invaded any longer.
     "Hmmmmm...well...let me think."  Mark did this.  Mark should NEVER
take the time to think, as he is lacking in the basic equipment.
     Finally, one of the few working brain cells in his head kicked
another one, causing him to lurch forward and push the "Scan The Area
And Detect Anything Unusual" button his eyes had been focused on for
the last five minutes.
     ))Sir, we detect emissions of a temporal weapon and the usage
of both a temporal drive and a hyperdrive.  Orders?(( said the
ship's computer, who only hoped to get out of all of this alive.
     "Wha...Follow them, Slave!!!!" shouted Mark, who felt in control
of the situation at last.  Mark liked that.  Mark liked anything, actually,
as he hadn't quite mastered the fine art of dislike, yet.  Kitty stared
at him--was it possible he had done something right?
     She giggled a bit and shook her head.  The idea was preposterous.
     Slave engaged the HMS White Hat's Hyperdrive and the ship flew
off...towards disaster.  They quickly passed Disaster and continued
on their way, however.
     Meanwhile...across Space, Time, Dimension, and Fresh Fruit lay
two TARDISes locked together in a temporal bind.  Within these two
TARDISes was another collection of Sfstory characters and therefore,
another Plotline.  Chief among these people was The Intern, a possesor
of both a license and a Master's degree in Space Heroism, Timelord,
and one of a very few who actually knew what he was doing in this story.
Also there--Radar Vogel--twin sister of Steve, one of the greatest
Spamologists in the galaxy, and normally the most sexually active
energy source on Altiverses 1-12.  However, she is now in love with
the Intern and is just trying to deal with that.  Then there was Matt
DeForrest, Paladin at large, beloved of Linda Madisen, and posseser of
a Bomber Jacket with infinate pocket space, a blush that can melt steel,
and an omniscient mental computer account named Superbrain at Oracle2,
who doesn't like Matt one bit.  Then there was Alecision--renegade Time
police agent who possesses an omnidesirous account he was using to
seduce....Trudy Tetwaters--a sophmore at Intersteller University who
was a space Sidekick major--Timelord companion emphisis.  He was trying
to seduce her to convince her to leave school, that she might never
grow up to be...Major Trudy Tetwaters!  Another lisenced Space Heroine,
Major Tetwaters is the product of Trudy's decision to change majors.  As
a Time Police Major, Tetwaters was sent back in time to help destroy
Dvax5--but Dvax5 found out and sent Alecison to alter Trudy's personal
history, causing major Tetwaters to never exist.  She is currently
in the Zero room of the Intern's TARDIS--and will disappear within ten
minutes if Trudy the younger doesn't decide to become a Space Heroine
     The Intern, Radar, and Matt had just burst into the control
room of Alecision, and were preparing to engage him in combat, while
the scantily dressed Trudy was dazed, and under Alec's Omnidesirable
account's spell.
     So, does this catch everyone up on Sabre's Plotlines?  I hope so,
because the plotlines continue...NOW!


     You decide, you be the judge...on SFSTORY!

***** Received 20:06:18 on 01/01/89, Posting #    96 *****
Subject:     The climactic battle for Trudy Tetwaters!!!!!
From:        Eric, Lord Sabre (BURNS at MAINE)

     "All right, Aleciseon, we have got you now!  Hand over Trudy
before I make you wish you had never been regenerated!"
     "Oh shut up, you Communest pig-dog eater of wafers!"
     Matt moved over next to Radar.  "What are they doing?"
     "They're fighting--you see, Timelords have perfected the art
of the silliness duel to lethal proportions."
     ******--Editor's note:  For those of you who did not realise
it, due to the poor documentation at the beginning of this entry,
we have shifted to the combat between Radar, Matt, and The Intern
with Alec for the future of Trudy Tetwaters.  We apologise for the
inconvenyance--we've been having some difficulty with the author
lately.  Still, we do apologise, and we now return you to your regularly
scheduled story.******
     Problems?  PROBLEMS?!!  Look, I don't have to sit here, typing
away for free, and listen to you yahoos insult me!  I mean, I realise
I was tramutised in the events mentioned quite some time ago, but
PROBLEMS?????  Why don't you just eat hot death, you editorial types!
You don't have any power over me!  The only people I fear are proofreaders!
I'll get you--ARRrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

    While the author and the sniviling Editor type wrestled, the activation
stud to Sabre's automatic story transcriber got inexorably flipped to
'On.'  Therefore, the story continued without them, and thank goodness.

     "Guys?  What's going on here?  I'm confused!"
     "Its all right, Trudy!"  shouted Matt, rushing over to the girl,
clad only in her Dr. Who underwear.  "We're here to save you!"
     "Save me from what?  Matt, Alec is a Time Police Agent, we have to
trust him!"  Trudy began to shield her eyes from the glaring light
from Matt's blush, brought on by Trudy's near naked state.
     Radar, in the meanwhile, had shifted around the console on
the center of the room, and was getting ready to assault Alec (now
flapping his arms and hopping up and down like a chicken in his silliness
deul) from behind, when the all too familiar feeling of foolish lust
began to overtake her.
     Of course, she was in love with the Intern, and it was indeed
a passionate love.  So, she fought these unfaithful feelings with
all her strength.
     "Alec, take me now, you passionate love bunny!!!!" Radar shouted,
unzipping the front of her jumpsuit.
     "Radar?"  asked the Intern, who had been making "nooonee-noo" sounds.
     Alec took advantage of the situation, whipped out a knife, and
proceded to leap onto the Intern and attempt to feed the blade to
the Intern without taking all the unnessecary time to shove it down
his throat, but apply it directly to his stomach.  The Intern, needless
to say, attempted to prevent the unnutrisious meal.
     "What's going on?" squealed Trudy, who saw the two men she loved
(one due to artificial means, the other due to puppy-love) trying hard to
make certain only one survived.
     Radar shook her head, the exposure to Alec's Omnidesirability
account mixing her up horrendously.  While Radar is one of the most
intellagent females in this story (which, admittedly, given the rampent
sexism found within the story, is not so unbelievable), her natural
tendency to seduce anything that moves makes it difficult to deal with
her, on occasion.
     Trudy tryed to rush to the two wrestling Timelords, but was bodily
by Matt, who nearly killed himself with embarrisment over tackling
a nearly naked girl, but sometimes, the good thing to do and the proper
thing to do just don't coincide, Jack.
     "Let me go, Matt!!!!  Please!!!!  I have to go to him!!!!"
     "Who?" said Matt, confused as Hell, but holding on really tight.
     "I don't know!  Just leggo!"  Trudy elbowed Matt in a seriously
sensitive spot, but the ol' guy hung on anyway, though in great pain.
Hey, not for nothing was he made a Paladin.
     "Question:"  Matt said, gritting his teeth over the pain in just
the same way almost any male would do, given similar circumstances,
"what the Hell is going on here?"
     Superbrain, Matt's Omniscient computer account, answered }}}}}Hell?*
Now, is that any way for a nice Paladin to talk?  For shame!{{{{{
     "SUPERBRAIN!!!!"  Trudy had almost managed to out-wrestle Matt,
who was being hampered by embarrisment, and an almost neurotic compulsion
to play fair.  Trudy, like any healthy person, was not laboring under
any such restriction.
     The knife inched closer to the Intern's face.  He scowled--he had
no room to bring his hyper-belcho into play.
     }}}}}Ok ok ok...the scoop is:  Alec has an omnidesirous computer
account much like Future Trudy's...he's been using it to seduce Trudy
into dropping out of Intersteller University--therefore preventing
her from ever changing majors, therefore preventing her from ever
becoming a licensed space heroine, therefore preventing her from
ever joining the Time Police, therefore preventing her from insuring
that we beat Dvax5.  Radar's started to fall under that same Omnidesirous
account's spell--which ain't a hard feat, if you know what I mean!  You
got all that, White Boy?{{{{{
     "Oh God!"
     }}}}}No Sh*t!{{{{{
     Matt rolled himself on top of Trudy in a way that Jerry Falwell is
not likely to approve of.  "Trudy, listen to me!  Alec is using an
aphrodesiac computer on you, to make you leave IU!"
     "No, it can't be!  I don' can't...."
     The Intern grunted in pain as the knife entered his shoulder, having
been deflected from his nose, which was a less desirous target, from the
Intern's point of view.
     In the Zero Room, only a few blue wisps of Major Trudy Tetwaters
remained, and even the Orono-like boredom of the room would not hold
the degeneration for more than a few seconds.
     "I don't know what to do!" shouted young Trudy, most fretful.
     Matt thought wildly, and went with the first thought he had.  "Change
your major to Space Heroism!  They'll TEACH you what to do!"
     Radar screamed.  "Intern--you're bleeding!"
     The Intern gruffly managed to blurt out "I was aware of the situation,
     Trudy panacked.  Puppy-love knows no bounds.  "All right, I'll do it!!"
     Major Tetwaters sat bolt upright in the Zero Room.  She was temporally
intact.  She remembered the events going on in the control room, and
ran out of the room, drawing her GODAWFUL from its holster, and setting
it for 'Serious Meltdown.'
     The Intern blindly struck out, losing blood.  "Matt--knock out
Trudy...if she's awake when her future self gets here...."
     Matt looked down.  "Strike a girl?  I can't."
     Radar, her head still clear from her fear of the Intern's death,
ran over and kicked the younger girl in the head, then kicked her again
to check and see if she was awake.  "Well, it was for her own good," she
said, grinning maniaclly, like she had enjoyed every second of it.
     Matt got up, and tryed to see an opening for him to help the
Intern.  However, no opening appeared.
     Major Tetwaters burst into the room and swung her giant, nasty looking
silver GODAWFUL cannon at Alec and said in an even voice "Surrender
now, and it won't be as bad for you, traitor."
     Alec sat up, knife in hand, and said "I have the full authority
of Time Police Chief Logan, Major."
     "Forget it, Aleciseon, if my memory serves, and it always serves,
your dear Logan's already been exposed as a traitor and had nasty things
done to his office--by Time Agent 357!"
     The Intern attempted to throw everything he had into one last punch,
and succeeded in tiring himself to the point of passing out.
     "Well," said Alec, "maybe we can work something out."  With that,
he sety his Omnidesirable account, Adonis at Eroticvm, on 75, being more
than enough to seduce a small town.
     Major Tetwaters's own Omnidesirous account, whose name the
Transcriber cannot remember, protected her fully and Trudy fired the
GODAWFUL, causing fluctuating beams of pure white energy to blast and burn
Alec--blasting him back thirty feet into the Minifridge, causing
Altairian Megagin bottles to land on his head.  Then Trudy shot him
again, just to be sure, and once more, because she felt like it.
     "Wow," said Matt.
     "Matt, gather up my past body, and bring her to the Intern's
quarters.  Lock her in--if she and I should actually see each other
while we're both awake, the shock will drive us both insane.  Radar,
get the Intern into his own Control room and bind his wounds.  I'll
set the TARDIS controls to disengage from Alec's TARDIS and navigate
us to Camelot Command.  Let's go!"  Matt and Radar, inspired by a lass
who scored perfect A's in 'Taking Command 414,' set to their duties,
and the TARDIS headed for Matt's home away from home.


The answers to these and many fewer, unimportant questions can be
found by reading Sfstory, where the imbedded blank is something
we never aprroved of and still resent!!!!!!

***** Received 00:01:14 on 01/03/89, Posting #    97 *****
Subject:     Wherein the Doctor gets a companion
From:        Dr Abigail Ann Young (YOUNG at

As the doctor turned, the door into the oddly-coloured control
room closed with the same soft sound which had attracted her
attention in the first place.  There before the doorway was a
sandy-haired man, medium height, of a fairly undistinguished
appearance, but very familiar to her.  A flood of memories
overcame her.  "Peter Simon?"

     Her cynicism and near hostility towards men had largely been
fostered by two circumstances: post-graduate study and Peter
Simon.  Grad school had been full of men who affected friendship,
or something warmer, for her, some because she was brilliant and
they hoped to pin their careers to her star, some because they
assumed any woman could type, and some because they needed
someone to supply their total ignorance of civilised existence--
how to cope with cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other "women's
work."  Many of them dropped her quickly when they found out that
she couldn't type, wasn't dumb enough to do their work as well as
her own, and had every intention of trying to make her own career
and not somebody else's.  A few were smart enough to see that,
beneath her cynicism about the world in general and men in
particular, she had a wide domestic streak, and was actually
quite kindly disposed to waifs and strays who couldn't fix a
decent meal or wash their own socks.

     But Peter Simon had been different: she had loved Peter
Simon and thought she was loved in return.  And he had
disappeared one day from the university, from Toronto, from her
life, without any warning or explanation.  They had been supposed
to meet at the Ferry Docks down on the harbour and go over to the
Toronto Islands for a picnic and a walk, a popular recreation for
them as two fairly poor graduate students.  He never arrived, and
she hadn't seen him since.  There had been a lot of beer over the
dam since then....

     She tried nonchalance: "Hi.  How's it going, eh?"  It
occurred to her too late that there were better way to affect
nonchalance than sounding like a parody of Bob and Doug
MacKenzie....  "Is this your ship?  The paint job is pretty

     He was obviously as nonplussed as she was.  "How in the
world did you get here?"  He seemed a bit embarassed.

     "I don't know, exactly.  I was trying to use my ABPSARI to
get somewhere safe with a pub, and I ended up in the broom
cupboard on your ship."

     He sat down on the pew-like bench which dominated the
control room.  A hatch opened revealing a bottle of single malt
Scotch, a glass, and a dish of lemon slices.  He put a slice of
lemon in the glass and added whiskey before asking weakly,
"What's an ABPSARI?"

     "It's a gadget which peels vegetables and also allows inter-
dimensional travel.  Runs on SPAM....  ABPSARI stands for
Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-Integrator.  Stop
laughing, eh!  It wasn't my idea...  A chap I knew in grad
school, before I came to Toronto and met you, invented it: he
left one in his lab coat pocket one day.   I was looking for
something to peel carrots with, and looked in his pocket: he was
the sort of fellow who was always inventing gadgets.  I took it
out, used it, put it in my drawer and forgot about it.  Then I
found it again a long time later, discovered what else it did,
and used it.....  I've, well, I've been making a bit of an ass of
myself since.... for the last few years, I mean."

     He wasn't laughing any more.  His eyes were focussed on his
drink and not on her face.  "Tell me about it?"

     She summarised this plot line to date for him, aware of the
somewhat comic figure she made in it.  She also knew perfectly
well that this was not exactly what he wanted her to tell him,
but she was leary of opening wounds that had never quite healed
by talking about the time after he disappeared.  She wound up:
"So, I abandoned my plan and did everything I could think of to
warn people about the more serious threat of MORGANA and DVAX5
but then I hadn't any idea where to go or what to do.  Earth
didn't exactly seem safe with my double running around bent on
heaven only knows what, but I didn't intend to end up here.  I
think I ended up in the cupboard because I ran out of SPAM."  She
paused. "Where is here, anyway?"

     He stopped to mix her a drink and refresh his own before
replying.  She sipped the whiskey cautiously: it was a beverage
she had given up in the years since he had left.  "You shouldn't
be here at all, you know....  My orders don't include passengers.
This is the HMCS Indestructible...."

     She snorted.  "Give me a break!  What's HMCS supposed to
stand for, eh?"

     "_H_yperdriven, _M_ultidimensional, _C_ontraterrene _S_hip."

     "What do you mean, 'contraterrene?'  If it's a contraterrene
ship, why haven't we blown up in an anti-matter/matter reaction?"

     "The hyperdrive uses an anti-SPAM/SPAM reaction, and anti-
SPAM is contraterrene.  Besides, it made a good acronym....
Don't laugh, it wasn't my idea!  I was assigned to patrol duty in
this sector in the Indestructible after I joined the Time Police.
Chief Logan gave me the assignment himself.  At first I thought
it was great to have my own ship and a sector to patrol, but now
I've realised it's the galactic equivalent of being put on
iceberg patrol.  You see, I was in Toronto to do research for my
thesis."  Seeing that she was about to interrupt again, he
continued hurriedly.  "No, I don't mean the thesis you knew
about: being a grad student at UofT was my cover.  I was actually
a grad student at Interstellar U, majoring in Terran Studies,
with a minor in Space Heroics [She snorted again, but voiced no
retort].  After I was forcibly removed from my fieldwork, I
joined the TP, to forget.  Being in an isolated sector of the
major shipping lanes has given me altogether too much time to

     "Why were you removed from your fieldwork?"

     "For getting too personally involved with a subject."

     "Meaning me?"

     "Meaning you."

     "Was I a subject for research in Terran Studies, or Space

     "Don't be angry!  I forgot you were supposed to be just
another statistic in the thesis very quickly: I meant it when I
said I loved you.  But IU frowns on students who get involved
with Terrans, especially in the course of fieldwork.  They
decided to put Terra off-limits to fieldwork, so they sent the
campus cops to repossess my ship (which was IU property).  I was
in it at the time, getting ready to go down to the Ferry Docks to
meet you.  I guess you thought I'd run out on you."

     "What else could I think?  Your story wouldn't be a very
believable one if it weren't for this ship, you know."




The answers to none of these questions will probably appear in
the next exciting installment of .... Sftory!

***** Received 15:08:54 on 01/06/89, Posting #   100 *****
Subject:     the Cowboy returneth
From:        The Cowboy (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

The Cowboy slowly openned his eyes.  He closed them and openned them again.
Still dark.  After a few moments he tried to stand, and failed.  He lay
comatose for a few hours and watched the pretty stars.

Much later he openned his eyes again.  This time it was light.  Looking
about in wonder, he staggered around the room and into his clothes.  By the
time he was finished dressing he had discovered the door.  Cautiously, he
openned the door and strode into the hallway.  He soon came to a bar filled
with patrons in approximately the same condition he was in:  hung over and
looking like two-month old milk.

The Cowboy sat on a bar stool, noticing that his bad knee was no longer
bothering him, but his good knee was hurting more than the bad one ever did.
He was trying to decipher the graffiti carved into the bar before him when
the bartender walked up to him.

"Can I get you something?" he asked with an unidentifiable accent.

"Coffee, black," answered Cowboy.  "And what time is it?"

"A little after two," the bartender said.

"What day?" the Cowboy continued.


"Now for the biggie... What's the date?"

The bartender looked at the Cowboy like he was some kind of maniac, which he
was, but that's beside the point.  "January 15, 1989."

The Cowboy did some quick mental figuring, which caused his head to hurt and
take his mind away from his knee.  "Great, I've been in a drunken stupor for
a month and a half."

The bartender looked shocked.  "That must be some kind of record."

"Not where I come from.  If you will excuse me..."  He stood and
concentrated for a moment, and a rectangular patch of darkness appeared
before him.  Pausing only to throw a few coins to the bartender, he stepped
into the darkness and disappeared, accompanied by a rainbow afterimage.

He quickly reappeared in the Author's Alterverse, and attempted to catch up
with the events that had transpired since his absence.  Luckily, Nathan had
a spare copy of the latest volume of transripts, so he didn't have to muck
around looking for The Book.

"Time to get back to work," he said to himself as he tried to remember where
he'd left his house.




***** Received 23:32:18 on 01/15/89, Posting #   101 *****
Subject:     The Cowboy rides again....
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

The sun was rising in the Author's Alterverse.  At least, *a* sun was rising
above *this* particular spot in the alterverse.  The Cowboy staggered into
view, noticed his cabin in the distance, and staggered onward.  Soon, the
sun began to grow very warm upon his broad shoulders, so he conjured up a
truck and drove the rest of the way.  The Hell with dramatics, he thought.

The Cowboy openned the door to his cabin, expecting it to be in even worse
shape than he remembered.  It was.  The last time he had seen the interior
of the cabin was in the middle of a wild author's party.  Apparently things
had gotten wild after he'd left.

He cautiously made his way through the bottles, cans, glasses, cups, and
various other drinking utensils, not to mention a few sleeping people.  He'd
have to wake one of them up and find out who shaved the bearskin rug, he

Brushing the pretzels away from his terminal, he called up all the postings
that had been made in his absence, preparing to do a public service by
summerizing all the current plotlines.  However, he happened upon a still
unopenned bottle of something blue that smelled strongly of alcohol, and
decided just to press the "summarize plotlines of this author" button


CFW9587 at TNTECH here.  While The Cowboy is getting smashed again I'll give a
quick summary and character sketch of his part of Sfstory....

Time Agent 357  -  Liscenced Space Hero and Champion of Truth, Justice, and
the ability to consume large amounts of Alcoholic Beverages.  This ex-retired
Time Agent comes from an unknown planet where 99% of the people are
immortal, and the other 1% are just damn hard to kill.  He belongs to the
latter group.

HMS Golden Lance  -  Time Agent 357's ship.  Though not technically a
character, her computer, the VAL9000, is.  Both were created by Doctor Bing
Von Spleen in the future and shipped back in time for tax purposes.

St. Peter  -  Doorman to Heaven and keeper of the The Book.  Co-owner of
Club Nympho, located in Netherspace.

Omegas  -  Former and once again immortal.  Served under God, Satan, Jerry
Farwell, Oral Roberts, and several others with delusions of godhood.  He is
currently hatching a plot to remove from power all those who've been pushing
him around all these years.

Doctor Bing Von Spleen  -  The galaxy's foremost and cleanest-complexioned
Spamologist, which is (of course) the study of the four-dimensional aspects
of SPAM (Sickening, Putrid, Artificial Meat).  Co-owner of Club Nympho and
currently head bartender.

The story of the film so far....

Omegas, deciding he's had enough of people telling him what to do, sets out
to take over the multiverse (a generic term meant to descibe ALL the
alterverses, even those not yet covered in Sfstory [give us time!]).
Drawing upon the unlimited (or nearly so) powers of the mini-timetraveller
and the mini-ABPSARI (Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-Integrator,
which, incidentally, runs on Spam and not beets) he has located an
alterverse inhabited by warlike beings that share his hatred of people in
charge.  Together, they plan to take over... as soon as all the other
would-be conquerers get finished.

Time Agent 357, ordered to capture Omegas by Time Central, and St. Peter,
ordered to capture Omegas by God, are travelling through the infinitude of
alterverses looking for him, not knowing that Omegas is tracking them and
stepping out of their way.

Doctor Bing Von Spleen finishes up his stint as head bartender of Club
Nympho, hearing that there is some dire threat to his homeworld, and that
only his knowledge of Spam can save Earth and, more importantly, his
autographed condom collection.

The HMS Golden Lance is currently double-parked in Heaven, awaiting 357's
return or Divine Intervention, whichever comes first.

Is that everything, Cowboy?



only time will tell

***** Received 15:17:42 on 01/31/89, Posting #   103 *****
Subject:     Gosh, I didn't think of that
From:        Lewis at Ithaca (LEWIS at ITHACA)

    |     Wherein Ian and Janice venture to the Zynchrony System and      |
    |     Ian explains in part his unprecedented departure from active    |
    |     service of the Time Police, and a new style of starting off     |
    |     entries based on antiquity.                                     |

    The story so far:  No, I don't think so.  Even though it's been a month
since my last posting, I don't want to recap again, and don't want to fill
up another page just for the sake of doing so.  So here we go.

    The Sun zoomed along at unimaginable speeds through incomprehensible dimen-
sions towards the now-dispersed Zynchrony System in a quick and half-hearted
attempt to set things right there.  (To refresh or at least redefine since I
forgot which one was which: Z Alpha is where the ruling monarch, the teenage
and of the world, is at.  Beta is where Tsecad and the
other slaves are being supressed by the robots.  The two planets are 'many miles
away' from each other.)  Ian was in the foremost seat, busily monitoring the
controls as the ship traveled through godknowswhat-space en route to the
general vicinity of the two planets, and complaining about his lot.  Janice was
in the other seat directly behind him, watching the simulated starfield pro-
jection on the windshield of the ship (godknowswhat-space is far too hideous
to look at for more than a few seconds at a time as it bears a curious
resemblance to SPAM) and half-listening to Ian.

    (Okay I contradicted myself and recaped: it was a week since I wrote that
first paragraph!  Complain...)

    $Stop pandering for imagined reader annoyance and get on with it!!$
    $  -The Big Money-, who we all know is in charge of it all anyway, ask
    Neil Peart $

    "...what really bugs me was the assignments.  I spent six months, six whole
boring SPAM-ridden months watching a star burning out to a black dwarf.  Why?
It was a 'security risk'," Ian sneered.  "Time Central was afraid that someone
might to drag it off and use it for hypermetal alloy.  Big *#&$* deal!  Fancy
that, someone getting the prize before TC could move in and appropriate it for
themselves as a 'state-sanctioned mining operation'..."

    "Really Ian, wake up and smell the espresso," Janice interrupted, as she
traced an outline of an imaginary, impromptu, and somewhat rude constellation
of the windshield projection, "don't you think that anyone else has run into
Imperialism and beauracracy before?"

    Ian leaned back to glare at Janice, and angerily punched a button on his
console.  The ship's quadrophonic sound system cut in with a cool jazz-punk-rock
progression, and Ian started chanting.

    Turned on my APASAR, same one I've had for years
    Reverse polarity, same SPAM I've done for years
    I sit in my own ship, same one I've had for years
    Computer's running down, it ran for years and years

    Turned on my FTL, the static hurts my ears
    Tell me where do I go I ain't done this in years
    Look round Time Central, Same place I been for years
    Low pay no benefits I hate the fools I meet

    When the world...

    "ENOUGH!" Janice whacked his head and set about shutting off the sound.  As
she was the designer of the ship, this didn't take long.  "Where did you get
that dribble anyway?"

    Ian rubbed his head (not entirely for effect).  "I don't know, it just came
to me.  But it's the way I felt!"

    "Ian, this may be news, but the Time Police aren't the only agency that
has had some corruption and decadence," Janice said.  Now she was altering the
refractive and reflective characteristics of a portion of the windshield
projection for minimum transmittance of visible light and maximum reflection.
This done, she took a look at her right earring.  After some small changes,
it was back in place and away from the most sensitive nerves of the ear that
it had been pinching (earrings in this timeline and plotline for those who
wear them or are interested have a sensitive magnetic clamp in place of the
Terran traditional rod through an artificial hole in the flesh of the outer
ear).  [This paragraph was brought to you by the author, desiring to further
muddy his interpretation of the feminist movement in science fiction.  Sorry
it doesn't do much for the libido; it's not one of those days]

[Well, it's later in the evening now, and some new avenues of thought are going
to be developed along the lines of clothing of the future soon...]

    "Well, that may be true," Ian returned, not convinced, "but I expected
better of the organization that protects the whole multiverse from illicit
usage of time travel and acid rain.  It really gets to you after a while..."

    "I have that problem too!" Janice interrupted.  "What do you think we're
being manipulated by The Author {shave and a haircut} TWO BITS, already!
Did you actually understand that one word dialogue from last posting?"

    "You mean..."





     "Come ON!!!"

     "Um, no."  Silence.  "But it sounded convincing enough..."

     Janice put a hand on Ian's shoulder.  "Ian.  Have you been watching
"Cheers" again?  You're acting like Woody or Sam does to Diane!"

     "OF COURSE NOT!!! I NEVER SAW ANYTHING!!!" Ian shrunk away from Janice
as best he could while leaning backwards in his seat.  "Those transmissions
are forbidden even to the Time Police!  Earth's radio broadcasts are routinely
intercepted and absorbed to prevent electromagnetic disruption of that galaxy,
not to mention armed intervention by...."

    "You mean...."


    "...I was... armed intervention by the Media Police!"

    "The Media Police?"

    Ian shuddered.  "Don't even ask.  But I see what you mean.  Zynchrony Alpha
is, or was, running out of the usual non-temporal forms of energy.  Fossil
Fuels, nuclear elements, even water.  So they stole the equipment necessary to
tap the energy of free space, and so far they've sucked enough power out of
spacetime to send Beta millions of miles across their system.  Conditions on
the planet naturally deteriorated due to the drastically reduced solar flux,
so low-grade life-support and robotic guards were brought in to keep the slave
labour force alive and productive as they mine the few remaining useful
materials from the planet.  But there are rumors of some even deeper, more evil
secret lurking at the heart..."

    "Ian," Janice interrupted, "at first I was impressed by your background.
But now I realize that you simply scanned my computer's info on the revolt.
Before I get angry, tell me how you did that."

    Ian sneered kindly.  "Time Police do what Time Police do best."

    "I'm angry."








To end this my first *new* posting of 1989, a thought from a well known
and venerated author:

"De do do do, de da da da, is all I have to say to you"

Happy new semester...

***** Received 21:14:44 on 01/31/89, Posting #   104 *****
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