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Sfstory Log 036

Subject:     cloud of smoke and all that
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Time Agent 357 and St. Peter appeared in Heaven in a flash of smoke, rainbow
afterimage, Star Trek beam-in, and a montage of other bad special effects.
They looked rather worse for wear.  Actually, St. Peter only had a few
smudges on his robe, but for a saint that was very bad.  357 was nursing a
scalp wound, fractured clavicle, two missing teeth, and a score of cuts and
bruises.  And besides, it was a Monday.

"Well, 357, old boy," mumbled St. Peter as he brushed off his robes.  "I've
got to get back to my job as Doorman of Heaven."  He gestured to the long
line of souls waiting to be admitted to the Pearly Gates.  "Wow," he said.
"It's just great to see them again."  He walked (or floated or skimmed or
whateverthehell [*rumble*] er-hevean you do over clouds) over to where
Archangel Gabriel was falling hopelessy behind in his temporary duties.

"WHAT!?!" shouted 357.  "All I've been through and all I get is a 'well,
357'?"  He started towards St. Peter, but stopped as a pillar of smoke
appeared before him.  His eyes bugged out in a very comical way as the Big
Guy himself materialized in a montage of *good* special effects.

He spoke to 357, who was too busy watching the words materialize in puffs of
flame to actualy understand what was being said.  "I understand your
difficulties, 357.  You wish to continuew your pursuit of Omegas, which has
already taken you through countless alterverses and subjected you to endless
troubles and strifes that were never chronicled in Sfstory."

"Uh, yeah," said 357, who was slowly getting over the shock of meeting God
first-hand and still alive.

"Fear not, for you shall have your chance at Omegas soon enough.  But Peter
is needed here.  Return to Time Central and prepare your defences.  Omegas
shall come to you sooner than you believe possible.  Now go kick ass."

The Big Guy dematerialized, leaving 357 slightly bumfuddled, which isn't a
word found in my dictionary but does describe how you feel sometimes, y'know?
He watched without comment as a nearby cloudbank rolled away to reveal his
ship, the HMS Golden Lance.  He was quickly TTT'd aboard by the Temporal
Teleporter Terminal.

"Honey, I'm home!" shouted 357 as he strode to the control room.

=I know that, silly!= answered the highly feminine and slightly nasal voice
of the ship's VAL9000 computer.  =I TTT'd you aboard, remember?=

"Don't start on me, Val."

=Don't worry.  It's a light month.  Set course for Time Central?=

"Yes.  And don't spare the Spam..."  Where's my beer? he added silently.


In another part of the multiverse, Doctor Bing Von Spleen, the galaxy's
foremost Spamologist, was visiting an old friend, an acclaimed physicist in
normal realms of physics who had several Noble Prizes to his name, the name
being unimportant for the moment, about some very disturbing news about his
homeworld, a rather dull place with censorship and sexist remarks, which is
supposedly heating up do to the so-called "greenhouse effect", which affects
any system which emits less energy than it collects, and anything else to
make this the longest sentence in this posting.

"So what you're saying, Carl," said Spleen between handfuls of pills, "is
that the Earth is heating up at an ever increasing rate."

"Right," said Carl, smiling.  "Not only is the temperature increasing, but the
rate of increasing is increasing at an increasing rate."

"Any idea as to the cause of this--" started Spleen, who was cut off by a
loud beeping from the computer to his left.

"Sorry about that," said Carl, smiling.  He reached past Spleen and turned
off the computer, then grabbed a double handful of pills.  "I set it running
last year to find the secret message hidden in pi and forgot to shut it off."

"Shouldn't you have least read it before you shut it off?"

"Naw," said Carl, smiling.  "Probably just another advertisement."


for the answers to these and other questions, tune into Sfstory, where I'm
going to keep posting until ANDY at MAINE shuts me down...

***** Received 02:37:11 on 02/02/89, Posting #   105 *****
Subject:     this grave danger to earth thingy...
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Doctor Bing Von Spleen, the galaxy's foremost Spamologist (mainly because he
killed the other threemost) sat in the den of his famous physicist friend,
who had summoned him from his private research and job as head bartender of
the Club Nympho to help combat some as yet unrevealed threat to the future
of the planet earth and I'm hyper tonight which is why I'm typing this entry
at midnight and using a lot of run-on sentences.

"Now what's this about the end of the world?" asked Dr. Spleen.

"Well, not right away," said Carl, smiling.  "But if something isn't done
soon, the problem will eventually grow out of proportion.  And what's worse
is that I can't even warn the public.  They'd laugh at me."

Spleen was beginning to get nervous, and not even repeated doses of MD 20/20
seemed to help.  "And what do you expect me to do?"

"Warn the public, of course!" shouted Carl, smiling.  "They'd laugh at you,
of course.  But the scientific community is still smarting from your work
with Spam, giving us access to billions and billions of alternate realities.
The conventional scientists will, of course, pour billions and billions of
dollars into proving you wrong.  One they realize you're right, they'll
solve the problem in nothing flat.  The world will be saved."

Doctor Spleen considered this for a while.  If the problem was as ridiculous
as Carl was leading him to believe, then if a respected scientist stated it
as such it would be considered a joke.  But if a crackpot like himself was
to present the problem, every respectable scientist on the globe would bust
his ass to prove him wrong.

"Well," said Carl, smiling.

Doctor Bing Von Spleen stood, swaying slightly in the wind and alcoholic
haze, considered all the world had done for him, and made his reply.  "No."

"But you haven't even heard the problem yet!"

Spleen sat again.  Not by choice mind you, but because someone was tilting
the room on him again.  "Okay, what's the problem."

Carl stood before a blackboard, which Spleen could have sworn was not there
a few moments before.  "Well, as you know, the number one contributor to the
greenhouse effect which is heating the globe is carbon dioxide.  But there
are already billions and billions of dollars going into research in that
area.  That's not the problem."

Carl turned to blackboard, scribbled a little here and there, then
continued.  "But the number two contributor, methane, is being ignored.  And
the number one producer of mehtane gas is in fact being increased by current
plans.  This is disastrous!"

Spleen could contain himself no longer.  He rose and looked into the nearby
videocamera and said dramatically, "Where's the john?"

"Cattle!" shouted Carl, smiling.  "Cattle belch, on the average, every
minute and a half.  These burps dispense methan gas; up to 400 liters a day
from each of the world's millions and millions of cows.  That's billions and
billions of liters a day, adding up every day we allow cattle to walk on the
face of the earth!"

"First of all," said Spleen upon returning from outside, as Carl had never
told him where the toilet was (besides, the cat will get over it), "where
did you get these statistics?  And secondly, what can be done?  It's not
like we can just go out and shoot the damn things."

"Why not?" asked Carl, smiling.  "The survival of billions and billions of
human beings depends upon it."

Spleen threw up his arms in frustration.  "Nobody is going to stand idly by
while you gun down ol' Bossy.  Even the vegetarians like cattle, if only for
the milk and cheese.  Can't be done, I say!"

"That's why you have to state the problem to world, so that all the world's
scientists and researchers will unite against you, and discover the solution
in trying to prove there isn't a problem to begin with!"

Spleen considered this for a moment.  "That's a pretty bizzare plan," he
admitted.  "But not quite bizarre enough for Sfstory.  Let me go back to
Netherspace and pick up some supplies and get some help."

With that, he activated his mini-ABPSARI and disappeared, leaving behind a
puzzled Carl, still smiling.


oh, if only you knew...

***** Received 02:32:57 on 02/04/89, Posting #   106 *****
Subject:     Bobby McFerrin for Drug Czar
From:        Lewis at Ithaca (LEWIS at ITHACA)

                have you kissed a rock today?

                      well why not?  Neither have I

| I had a quickie joke based on the title, but didn't want the censorship to  |
| cut it out, so don't worry, it wasn't wonderful, be happy                   |
| Wherein The Sun arrives in the Zynchrony System and Ian and Janice begin to |
| solve the problem so they can get back to Time Central and confront Ian's   |
| mindinvaders and vacation in California afterwards, since Ian's membership  |
| to Club Nympho was revoked after he AWOLed                                  |

Ian Lockheed here: remember, users and losers and losers are users and never
the twain shall Omegas I getting paid for this?

   |  The preceeding was a public service announcement|
   |  from the Brazilian government which is sick and |
   |  tired of seeing Columbia get all of the foreign |
   |  money in South America and wants some CDplayers |

George Carlin for President!

   | That one's straight from the author so blame him |

[Well, I'm a might uncreative, so I'll just notify all fans of this plotline
that I'm going on a temporary sabbatical until I get a clue as to what
happens next.  I should be back within a month or so.  And remember, unless
it came from me (regarding Ian and Janice) it ain't the real McCoy and should
be ruthlessly purged and a virus sent to the pretender responsible!]

That's all {for now} folks!

***** Received 14:16:49 on 02/08/89, Posting #   108 *****
Subject:     The Cowboy rambles again...
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Time Agent 357 travelled through Time And Space in his ship, the HMS Golden
Lance, piloted by the VAL9000 superdupercomputer and powered by SPAM
(Sickening, Putrid, Artificial Meat), a three-dimensional vector of a four-
dimensional hypersubstance.  Shortcutting through various alterverses to
shorten their travel time, 357 and Val hoped to arrive at Time Central about
halfway through the next posting.  However, one does not always receive what
one hopes, does one?

357 was lounging in his command chair when the communications console lit up
and beeped quietly.  He failed to notice this, as his eyes were closed and
his snoring was drowning out most of the sounds around him.  Val, feeling
left out of the story lately, decided to answer to call herself.

=This is the HMS Golden Lance,= she radioed in a feminine, nasal voice.

Doctor Bing Von Spleen's face appeared upon the console.  Or rather, an
image of Spleen's face appeared on the console.  "Hello, Val.  What's up?"

=That's highly classified information, Doctor.=

"357's sleeping again, I see."  Spleen paused to consider a moment, rubbing
his chin thoughtfully and inconspicuously looking about for his Pink Floyd
CD.  "Well, when he comes to, ask him to call me in Netherspace.  There's a
little problem on Earth I have to clear up.  I may need his help.  Spleen out."

Val filed this information and continued pilotting the ship.


Omegas stood and looked around him.  The powerful immortal was surrounded by
hoards of larger, more dangerous looking beings armed and legged with Spam-
powered devices of varying degrees of destructive power.  This was his army,
his legion, his back-scratcher.  This was the force that was to liberate the
multiverse.  Naturally, like all such people in this situation, he felt the
sudden urge to make a speech and expound upon the obvious for the benefit of
the reading audience.

"Fellow exiles, now is the time for our revenge," he began.  "We shall throw
off the chains of those who wish to control our lives, our actions, our
thinking, and our vidoegames.  We shall strike out and destroy the rulers
and the rules... the regulators and the regulations... the administrators
and the administration!"

Omegas paused while his followers cheered, clapped, and vaproized each other
in showing appreciation of the speech.  "We shall begin our conquest very
soon.  In the meantime, let's throw one bitching party!"  He donned his
ray-bans and loud shirt and began dancing.

[Some time later...]

Omegas staggered into his chambers, nearly overcome by the power of the
alcohol he had consumed without bothering to neutralize.  Reeling down the
hall, he decided to do so, and was almost sober by the time he reached his
planning session.

"All rise in t'e pressence o' our Supreme Leader," mumbled Maldor, Omegas'
second in command and chief flunkey.

"Sit down," hissed Omegas as he threw himself on the couch.  "What's the
first order of business?"

Balror, sitting at the foot of the table, stopped shapening her claws long
enough to read the schedule.  "Group sex...  Oops!  That was last week..."

"I believe we were going to decide on our strategy for capturing Time
Central and as many Time Agents as we could get our hands on," rumbled a
bass voice so low that the floor shook in resonance.  Zangor belched softly
and continued.  "After all, TC is and the TA are our biggest threats."

"Yes, yes," muttered Omegas.  "We had planned that, but I have it on good
authority that Time Central will be attacked soon.  If we capture it, we
will have to turn right around and defend it from the mindinvaders."

After much discussion, combined with the group sex Balror had suggested, a
decision was reached.  "Okay," said Omegas.  "Here's what we'll do.  Since
St. Peter is busy in Heaven right now, we'll secretly sneak in and take over
the Netherspace Nympho Beach and Club Nympho.  Since Netherspace is a
cross-roads of interdimensional travel, we'll be able to slow travel between
the alterverses and prevent reinforcements from arriving to any alterverse
we happen to be attacking."

He turned to a chart on the wall.  "As you can see, our Spam-powered devices
generate considerably more power in Netherspace, so we should be able to
withstand nearly any attack, even one of Biblical proportions.  Once we've
secured Netherspace, we'll send out scouts to secure the alterverses
surrounding Time Central, cutting them off from reinforcements.  By then the
mindinvaders should have made their attempt."

Omegas turned back towards the group.  "If the mindinvaders attempt is
successful, then they'll be weak from the effort and we should be able to
kick them out easily.  If unsuccessful, they should weaken Time Central
enough so that we can capture it.  Once we comtrol Time Central, controlling
the rest of Time and Space shall be easy!"

And as the sun sets on this happy gathering, so comes the end of another
entry in the exciting world of Sfstory.

***** Received 22:15:19 on 02/08/89, Posting #   109 *****
From:        (LEWIS at ITHACA)

                        Synchronicity: With one breath....

|  OK OK, I lied....I'm back in here.... |  The story so far: Ian and Janice  |
|  Cowboy's stuff just was too tempting  |  are about to reenter normal space |
|  to ignore and I don't want to do any  |  and sort out the problems of the  |
|  reading or homework, so here we go.   |  Zynchrony system.  Meanwhile, in  |
|________________________________________|  the alterverse containing Time    |
                                         |  Central, absolutely nothing is    |
                                         |  being done to prepare for the     |
                                         |  long-awaited assult of first Omegas
                                         |  and then the mysterious and       |
                                         |  largely undescribed mindinvaders  |
                                         |  as Sean Landorian hasn't even     |
                                         |  begun to fill out his tax returns,|
                                         |  357 is still en route from Heaven,|
                                         |  and no one else knows what's up.  |
     Janice hit the 'gravity torture' control in front of her, and Ian was
squashed against the windshield in front of him as the artificial gravity
vectors of his half of the cabin were twisted about.  He slumped back into his
seat with some bruises and a sore nose.  "NO ONE looks at my private data
files," [the rest of her sentance makes no literal sense unless one studies
Insult Theory for several years, in which case they would find her comments
intensely painful.  Ian of course was forced into the subject during his Time
Police Training as insults are often mightier than laser beams for rendering
criminals harmless.]

     Ian was more than a bit ticked now.  But before he could think of a suit-
able response, the Sun returned to normal space.  Zynchrony Alpha lay dead

     "Wait!  We're not supposed to be here!" Janice noticed, looking at the
controls with dismay.  "We were headed for Beta, not Alpha!"

     Ian made a painful grin.  "I wanted to see this teenage Countess first.
To see if she really knows what's going on, if she's responsible for the
displacement of Beta."

     Janice was angrier.  "But I thought..."

Ian, finally finding a suitable outlet for his frustrations.

     "And it's MY ship, and..."

     "WRONG!  You sold it to us!"

     "So what!  I built it, so it's mine!"

     "Oh yeah?"


     This debate between the most intellegent woman in several alterverses and
on of the Time Police's brightest young Captains continued for several minutes.
Meanwhile, several ships from Alpha had appeared unbeknownst to the two
belligerants (who should have been paying attention) and manouvered into a
tractor beam formation.  By the time Ian finally noticed the small, green
spaceships surrounding The Sun, and said "Hey look at..." the tractor beam had
been activated.

    "Well, now it's settled!" Ian said after they silently observed their
dilemma in embarassment.  "We're going to Alpha."

    "Beta!  Look at our heading!"

    "No, Alpha!  Get a brain you frigid..."

PREPARE TO BE BOARDED!!" buzzed the stereo loudly.

    "Beta, see?" Janice hissed.  Ian made a 'shut the *#*( up' motion with
his hand over Janice's mouth.  "I'm sorry, but there isn't room on our
ship for any boarding party," he replied.


    "We surrender, that's not the point!"

    One of the green ships broke out of the tractor beam network to shoot
a small anti-SPAM missile at The Sun, which caused little damage but
massive internal electrical arcing of a most pyrotechnical nature.

    "Don't talk back, scum!!  Prepare to be boarded!" yelled a hysterical
but (this time) humanoid voice.

    "OK, fine, go ahead," Ian shrugged.  Let 'em try, he thought.

    "This is all your fault!" Janice hissed.

    "Oh shut up Janice!  You always say that, and it's almost never true,"
Ian muttered.

    After a few more tense moments, the humanoid from one of the Zynchroniac
ships spoke again.  "You are piloting an illegal vessel with a nonstandard
design.  There is no room for a boarding party.  That qualifies you for a
heavy fine!"

    "Galacta bank, unlimited credit..." Ian drawled grumpily.

    "We don't take Galacta Bank.  Only VISA card!"

    "What?" Ian asked with disbelief.  Everyone took Galacta bank!

    "This year, the Zynchrony Games don't take Galacta, and they DON'T take
American Express either!" the humanoid informed Ian huffily.

    "Ian," Janice whispered, "it's a beauracrat!  Let me handle this!!"

    Ian nodded, having no other options in mind.  Janice cleared her throat,
and spoke with a classic upper-crust London accent.  "I'm terribly sorry, but
as an agent of the Media Police, I only carry GalactaBank credit.  As I'm
sure you know..."  the humanoid was making stunned, sputtering noises, "...
GalactaBank is the only bank we recognize.  Now you wouldn't want a media
boycott on your head, would you?"

   "Janice, if MP find out...." Janice put a choke hold on Ian and continued.

   "Please accept our most abject apologies for the mistake.  Also accept our
offer of full remittance via. GalactaBank, and we'll be on our way."

   "...I, uh...of course, madam!  Absolutely!  GalactaBank,...never doubted
for a second..." similiar stammered apologies ensued, and the transfer was
quickly made.  "But I'm afraid that I still must impound your vehicle pending
further study, and arrest you both for trespassing!" the newly emboldened beaua-
crat decreed.  The tractor beams did not relent, and The Sun continued in it's
journey to Zynchrony Beta.

   Janice was stunned.  "The MP will not stand for this! I'm on assignment..."

   Just then, Ian felt....IT....again.

   "I'll have a complete blackout on this sector of the galaxy!  No more prime
time, ever!"

   Ian was quickly overcome this time.  He slowly turned in his seat to face

   "I....Ian?  Ian?!?!?"






***** Received 20:33:18 on 02/09/89, Posting #   110 *****
Subject:     Subplots in Netherspace
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Doctor Bing Von Spleen closed for the night and ejected the  various  drinking,
sleeping, and  copulating  patrons  from  Club  Nympho.   This  made  him  very
unpopular, mainly because it was only 4 AM and the Club  seldom  closed  before
dawn.  But Spleen had more  important  things  on  his  mind  than  saving  his
business.  Namely, saving his ass.

He worriedly pulled out his mini-ABPSARI and took a  reading.   Not  good.   It
showed that a large number of SPAM-powered devices were closing on  Netherspace
at  incredible  speeds.   As  very  few  people  with  good  intentions   owned
SPAM-powered devices (Spleen included) he felt  justified  in  his  panic.   He
decided the hell with the Club, and prepared to teleport away.

Just then his mini-ABPSARI shorted out,  frying  all  the  SPAM  it  contained.
Grabbing a screwdriver, and drinking it quickly, Spleen looked about for a SPAM
substitute,  as  everyone  knew  that  fried  SPAM  exhibited   none   of   the
characteristics of regular SPAM and was worthless as a  power  source.   Seeing
nothing that would probably work, Doctor Spleen walked  to  the  communications
room and bravely called for help.

Luckily, the HMS Golden Lance, piloted by the VAL9000 computer and captained by
the snoring Time Agent  357,  was  nearby,  relatively  speaking.   Of  course,
everything is relative.  Which reminds me, I'll have  to  clean  the  place  up
before my mother comes to visit.  The HMS Golden Lance, not  being  sidetracked
by the author's ramblings, landed near the Club Nympho somewhere near  the  end
of the last sentence.  Doctor Von Spleen dashed aboard and began to explain.

"It's like this, 357," said Spleen.  "My mini-ABPSARI picked up a large  number
of SPAM-powered devices coming this way.  So many, in  fact,  that  my  ABPSARI
shorted out from the overload of SPAM radiation."

357 pondered on this, and had Val project a few readings onto the  wall,  which
illuminated nicely  the  pictures  from  his  25th  anniversary  issue  of  Sex
Illustrated he had pasted there.  "These SPAM-powered devices  must  have  some
special shielding to allow that many to be operated together at once.  Can  you
rig up something like that for us?"

Spleen considered this.  "Given sufficient time, perhaps.  But  I  barely  have
time to get stoned before whoever it is gets here."  Saying this, Spleen pulled
out a nondescript bottle of some greenish liquid  and  began  sipping  quickly,
occasionally stopping long enough to swallow a pill or two of random type.

That man has a definite substance abuse  problem,  thought  357  as  he  opened
another beer.  "Val, can our ABPSARI operate correctly in battle with all those
SPAM-powered devices?"

"Are you kidding?" whined Val in a irritating voice.   "I'm  on  backup  fusion
power right now.  And what's this 'we' shit?  You're not SPAM-powered."

357 thought this over.  Possible battle with thousands of SPAM-powered  devices
of unknown power without the protection of the Golden Lance  Energy  Shield  or
the Energy Beam.  He began to wonder if it was too late to retire from the Time
Police again.  That's it! he screamed silently.

"Val, put me in touch with Time Central.  We're going to call for  backup,"  he
said in a commanding voice.

"Dailing," said Val.  "They're ringing..."

"Hi, this is Time Captain Sean Landorian.  I'm  not  here  right  now,  but  if
you'll leave your name and number, I'll get back to you as soon as I  can  find
the phone.  BEEP!"

"Needlewarp!" shouted 357!  "Just what we need!"

Val cleared her electronic throat.  "We're receiving a transmission.   Shall  I

357 jumped to his command chair.  "Yes!  It might be Landorian."

It wasn't.

Slowly, byte by byte, the image of a face appeared on the main screen.  A  dark
face peered out at them, seeming even darker by contrast with his  very  bright
multi-colored shirt.  Lights from the instrument  panel  before  him  reflected
evilly from his Ray-bans.  "Surrender or die," hissed Omegas.


for the answers to these, and other, questions blah blah blah....

***** Received 19:52:31 on 02/11/89, Posting #   111 *****
Subject:     and now....what you've all been waiting for!
From:        (C465904 at UMCVMB)

     Summary:  Well, folks, if we're talking "epic" here, not bloody
much has happened in my particular continuum.  We had a little bit
in Time Central and a few episodes in space with Quooth and Floyd
Cobalt.  They're STILL on the way to Quooth's home planet.  As I've
been steeped in homework, they've been playing cribbage in limbo...

     "I win again!" chirped Quooth triumphantly, moving his peg into
the finishing hole of the board.

     Lieutenant Floyd Cobalt sighed.  "That's 1,427 for you, 986 for
me.  Shall we play again?"

     "Oh yes.  I rather enjoy this form of competition with pieces of
paper and wood."

     Floyd shuffled the cards and began to deal them.  He then noticed
that this posting had begun.  "Quooth!  I can't believe it--we're
saved!  Our author's come back!"

     "Can it be?" Quooth gasped.  Unfortunately, insects and reptiles
cannot show the signs of aging that humans can, such as razor stubble,
long grey hair and wrinkles, though if they could they probably would.
All they had to account for the eons of time they'd spent waiting was
a greater knowledge of the tactics of cribbage than anyone in seven

     --Thus endeth my attempt at metafiction--

     "I've tried everything, even the laser cannon and torpedoes, to
get the A.S. Terrapin II out of this orange jell-O residue," Floyd
remarked, partially to Quooth but mostly to the readers to remind
them of just where we are.

     The Terrapin seemed to escape the murk and come to the outside
edge of the jell-O residue.  It looked as though they were now at the
top, since they looked through the portal of the ship at a large room
on the inside of another ship much larger than the Terrapin.

     A crackle came from the communication set of the ship.  "Hailing
the ... ah ... A.S. Terrapin II.  Are you receiving?"

     Floyd dashed to the communication console.  "Yes.  What is your
message.  What's going on here?"

     "There's been a mistake.  An awful, horrible mistake.  Oh dear.
Oh dear.  If you'd be willing to come out of your ship and talk, I can
most likely explain it better face to face."

     "Should we trust this guy?" Floyd asked Quooth (while pushing the
"mute" button of the console).

     "Trust is the basis of good friendship, if not good business"
was all Quooth had to say.

     Floyd looked heavenward (or bulkheadward, as the case may be).
"What else can we do?"  He opened the hatch that faced upwards.  As he
and Quooth emerged, mechanical arms reached down and put radiation
suits onto them.  Floyd's fit his frame pretty well, but Quooth's was
meant for an anthropoid and consequently two of phis back legs were
scrunched up in phis suit.  Phe tried, and failed, to stand several
times, piping "The Shadow of your Smile" in disgust.  Phe put the Holy
Harmonica to phis air vent and soon "Just like Heaven" echoed through
the chamber.  Apparently The Cure, played with a Holy Harmonica,
creates antigravity capabilities in said instrument.  Quooth floated
an inch above the floor.  Floyd, assessing the situation immediately,
grabbed a foreleg and dragged Quooth behind him as they approached the
door of the control room chamber.

     The control room overlooked the chamber via a window, but Floyd
could not see through it to the snivelling creature beyond.  They held
their breaths as the door opened.

     Beyond the door a pair of terrified eyes gazed at them.
Surrounding the eyes was a rat face, and under the rat face was a rat
body, complete with tail, covered in a blue striped uniform.

     "I must apologize again.  There's been a horrible mistake, and you
two are its unfortunate victims."


Don't let the suspense kill you!

***** Received 20:42:09 on 02/14/89, Posting #   113 *****
Subject:     Further Adventures of the Indestructible
From:        Dr Abigail Ann Young (YOUNG at

HMCS Indestructible ploughed sturdily through the reaches of the
interstellar void.  Her guidance systems were, fortunately, in
good working order, because neither of the people on board were
paying the slightest attention to their course or destination.


Peter Simon stretched, rose quietly, and put on the robe which
appeared as if by magic in precisely the spot where he reached
for it.  He left the Doctor asleep in their cabin and returned to
the control room.  [[If you people think I'm going to compose the
details of their reconciliation for your delectation, you're
crazy!!  Besides, UMNEWS is a family network.]]  His wonted calm
was somewhat troubled and he needed to think.

She was back!  He had never expected that, having been forcibly
removed from his fieldwork (and degree programmes) on Earth, he
would ever see her again.  Not only back, but she still loved and
trusted him despite the apparent evidence of his betrayal.  It
almost made him feel warmly toward Chief Logan, whom he had not
exactly thanked for this assignment.  Having sole command of a
Time Police ship on secondment to its prestige unit, the RCMP
(_R_omantically _C_ostumed _Multi-dimensional _P_atrol, never to
be confused with CSIS, _C_ompletely _S_ecret _I_ncompetence Squad),
[[NOTE: this is a Canadian joke; despite free trade, Americans are
advised not to try to understand it, or laugh at it]]
had stopped seeming exciting as soon as he scanned a galactic
chart showing his sector.  (Of course, there weren't many charts
that showed his sector so he remained in happy ignorance for a
bit.)  He recalled what the Doctor had told him about Logan and
the TP -- it made sense of some of the garbled communications he
had been receiving about 357 and Landorian taking over.  But what
about his sealed orders?

He'd been ordered to unseal them on arrival at the co-ordinates
which defined the centre of his sector.  They simply ordered him
to patrol the perimeter of a gaseous cloud nearby and allow no
ships or probes to approach the asteroid-like hunk of rock at the
centre of the cloud.  So far, it had been easy: no ships or
probes seemed interested in it.  But why was it important?
Should he inform HQ about it?  He was tempted to go in and
investigate for himself....  He didn't know 357 or Landorian at
all, they weren't in the RCMP and hadn't been at IU at the same
time as he was: he had no reason to trust them.  If Logan turned
out to have been a traitor, anyone else could too.

They could explore the planetoid together....  She would enjoy
that.  Love's young dream gave way to efficiency: "Computer?"

A voice spoke from a concealed speaker above the viewscreen.
"Yes, Peter Simon?"

"Calculate a course for the planetoid we're supposed to be
guarding and lay it in.  We're going to go in and see for
ourselves what's so important about it."

"My scanners won't operate reliably within the cloud, Peter
Simon.  Not only won't I be able to scan the area where we are, I
doubt I'll be able to continue monitoring the space buoys we set
up on the perimeter of the sector and the cloud. I might get
their signals and I might not."

"Since no-one's been interested enough to snoop about for the last
18 months, I'm not too worried about that, but set the buoys to
transmit to TP HQ as well as to us if the perimeter of the sector
is breached.  Wake me when we are in parking orbit around the
planetoid: I'll be in my -- I mean our -- cabin. (he blushed
[[It is entirely possible that Peter Simon is related in some way
to Matt]] and then compensated in his best Space Heroic manner)
If your scanners are going to be unreliable, I think I should
take us down on manual."

"Peter Simon, try to remember that you never finished your Space
Heroics degree," the computer responded in faintly amused tones.

He flushed.  "I know enough for a manual landing!"  He started
back toward his, no, their cabin.  Making a decision about their
future course of action had restored his equanimity: now he
wanted to discuss it with the Doctor.

A quiet comment from the computer followed him out the control
room door: "Captain knows best, eh?"  He was going to have to
reprogram that interface.....





For answers to none of these questions.........

***** Received 15:42:37 on 02/15/89, Posting #   114 *****
Subject:     a conflict in Netherspace
From:        (CFW9587 at TNTECH)

Time Agent 357 slapped Doctor Bing Von Spleen around until he regained his
senses.  "Doctor, now is not the time to panic!"

"Isn't the time to panic?" wailed Spleen.  "Omegas, perhaps the most dangerous
being in Sfstory, is coming here will 500 soldiers armed with Spam-powered
weapons, our own Spam-powered devices are shorting out, he intends to kick our
asses, and I've lost my favorite bottle of pills!  What would be a better time
to panic?"

=Report from outside,= came the voice of the VAL9000 computer.  =Omegas has
arrived.  He's brought 100 of his soldiers with him.=

357 looked down at Spleen.  "Now _is_ the time to panic, Doctor," he admitted.

Outside, Omegas' ship, the HMS Liberator (Hey!  Does Omegas rate an Heroically
Manned Ship?  Read on.) set down beside the HMS Golden Lance, drawfing her.
100 rather large beings materialized in strategic places around the beach, not
using ships, but instead relying on the ABPSARI-powered battle suits they wore.

357 strode from his headquarters (also known as Club Nympho) just as Omegas,
adjusting his sunglasses, sauntered down the ramp of the Liberator.  "Hey.
Dude!" he shouted.  "You gonna surrender or not?"

357 was rather taken aback by this approach.  "No," he finally said.  "I
will not surrender to you or anyone like you."

Omegas looked amused.  "Too bad.  You know, of course, that your little army
cannot stop me, let alone my troops."  He gestered to the surrounding
hillsides, where virtually every inhabitant of the Netherspace Nympho Beach
was gathered, most armed with nothing more deadly than a used condom.

"Maybe not," 357 admitted.  "But we're going to try."

Omegas chuckled.  "Then perhaps you'd like to avoid a little bloodshed.  How
about a duel, just you and me?  Winner gets Netherspace.  Loser gets killed."

"That won't work.  You're immortal," declared the aging Time Agent.

"True," said Omegas, modestly bowing.  "But the Spam-powered weapons my
troopers are carrying could permantly disintegrate this body."  He turned to
one of the smaller troopers.  "Karg, loan 357 your battle armor."

"Yes, m'lord," replied the midget creature, who towered head-and-shoulders
over 357.  Luckily, the armor was easily adjusted.

After clearing the area of both Nymphos and Troopers, 357 and Omegas went at
it.  357 struck the first blow firing several blasts with the shoulder-mounted
DIESCUM blasters, as this was the weapon he was most familiar with.  Omegas
merely sidestepped the blasts, and levitated over the resulting craters.  357
then tried several homing rockets.  Omegas detonated them with a gigavolt
electric discharge in the form of a gigantic penis.

Deciding that conventional tactics would not work, 357 utilized his suit's
inherent powers of teleportation to place himself directly behind Omegas and
backhanded him in the back of the head with his spiked glove.  This got Omegas'
full attention, and he turned just in time to receive the next blow full to the
face, which broke his sunglasses and bloodied his nose.  Blood dripped down
onto his shirt, which was so wildly colored that it didn't show.

"Tell me, 357," said Omegas as he blocked the next blow.  "Why do you serve
the Time Police?"

"Well, Omegas," said 357 as he launched his full battery of thermonuclear
weapons.  "I've always wanted to be a force for good in the multiverse.  The
Time Police, with their mission to prevent tampering with the timelines, is
the best way I've found to do this."

Omegas considered this as he blasted the ground beneath 357's feet.  "Why
not tamper with the timelines?"

357 activated the suit's flight pods, and noted with disgust that the nuclear
weapons had not so much as ruffled Omegas' hair.  "Because every intelligent
being should have the right to choose his own course of actions, and not have
his life run for him."

"And isn't that what I'm fighting for?" asked Omegas.

"Duh," said 357, cancelling his order for the Hertz Rent-a-Disaster.  "You
mean you're fighting for the liberation of the multiverse, as opposed to the
domination of same?  I'd better start reading back issues more carefully."

"Exactly," replied Omegas as he helped 357 out of his armor.  "Now, can you
guess what the biggest threat to free will is in the multiverse?"

"Uh, Time Central?"

"Good answer!  Good answer!" shouted Omegas' Troopers, who were beginning to
mingle with the resident Nymphos... Nymphoes?  Nymphi?

"Well, 357, will you join us in our attempt to capture Time Central?"


and why can't I think up a decent tag line...

***** Received 22:08:07 on 02/20/89, Posting #   115 *****
Subject:     Wherin the plotline hits the home strech!
From:        Eric, Lord Sabre (B45J at CORNELLA)

     In the space around Camelot Command, an object fluxed out of
Suprarealspace and into realspace.  It made motions as if to dock to the
large artificial sattilite.
     "Docking code entered," said Linda Madisen, who as longtime readers
already know, is a paladin of not inconsiderable power.
     "Thank you, Linda," said Captain Steve Vogel, a slightly confused,
slightly effeminiete USAF officer, and commander of the T.S. Challenger II
which the crew were now sitting in.
     "I'm hungry," said Ralph, the Giant Space Weasel from Anthrax V,
who missed the ukulele he broke on Earth.
     "You're always hungry," said Wilhelm 'Ultranatch' Natchwald, a bioniod
supercybernetic warrior.
     "Can you whippersnappers pipe down, we're...heh...about to dock
with Camelot Command!" said Lameduck, the Senile Timelord of Gallifrey.
     "Miaou," said Lucky, the Giant Mutant Ship's Cat.
     Now that all the members of the crew had had a chance to say
something in this posting (as required by the union), the ship was
attacked by magnapressorbeams, holding it in place.  Considering the
length of time since the last posting, they were in trouble awfully fast.

     The Intergalactic Tribunal of Hypernormal beings has often debated
at length the reason why, in adventure serials, heros are attacked
almost immediatly after a long period of time between postings.
Grimios, the mutinational colorforce bearer of Prism IV maintains that
without these sudden, unjustified attacks, the heros would soon lose their
sense of purpose.  Tannenbaum, the Totally Titular Typhoon Toying Tyke
of TTTTTTTTTT The Third counters that it is probably all part of some
elaborate union contract on the part of the Villains of Space Operas
local 139, while ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZzzak of ZZZZZzzzzzZZzzok simply
assumes it is all the result of an Astral Deva of sixteen hit dice mating
with a large oak tree.
     The authors of Sfstory (written properly here, with no imbedded blank)
have kept off of the record, but unoffically hint that its just more damn
exciting this way.
     This is all, of course, irrelevant to the fact that the Challenger II
has just been attack and held fast--see above.
     On board the HyD Lets_Kill_Matt_DeForrest, Muck-Luck, ex-enlightend
being, was cackling with glee.  After a while, glee got tired, though, and
Muck-Luck instead cackled with Mordred, the shipboard computer.
     "Well, Mordred, we finally have them!  We can at destroy them at
our leisure!!"
     &&Well, why don't we, then?&&
     "Simple, Matt DeForrest is not on board the Challenger II, but
Linda Madisen is--remember her divine ability of Deus Ex Machina--which
prevents her from ever being destroyed without the authors getting her
out of the jam?"
     "Well, we have to make certain it causes DeForrest to come to the
rescue, rather that simply finding a way to destroy us!  We have to be
careful, if we want to wipe out DeForrest once and for all!"
     &&Oh--wow, you are smart, Muck-Luck!&&
     "That's why Dvax5 put me in charge--hand me a Pina Colada, would you?"
     &&Yes SIR!&&
     Back on the Challenger II, bodily refuse was striking the air
recirculation system.
     "Fire the manuvering jets!" shouted Steve.
     "I'm sorry, but we have to let you go," said Lameduck to the now
unemployed jets, who slunk away to the Unemployment office.
     "Sir, the FTT drive has been fired up to full, but if we engage
it, it'll plow us right through Camelot Command at fifteen times the speed
of time!!" shouted Linda, who didn't like bad endings at all.
     "If we shoot the TIMEKILLER, it'll wipe out CamCom just as much!"
shouted Ralph, who came close to soiling his chair.
     "Lemme out there!  I'll blow that HyperDreadnaught to Kingdom
Come!"  shouted Ultranatch.
     "Where?" asked Lameduck.
     "If we let you out, the magnagravity will shatter the ship" shouted
     "Miaou," said Lucky, who wished all of these silly humans would
stop shouting and do something important, like feed him.
     Back on the Letskill, Muck-Luck was imputing information into the
     &&Let me get this straight--you want me to set a pyrobeam to slow
burn and train it on the crew compartment of the Challenger II?&&
     "You betchum, Red Rider," said Muck-Luck.
     "Because that will cause a slow hole to form over a set period of
time--the only dramatic recourse the authors will have is to send someone
to save them!"
     &&And that someone will be DeForrest?&&
     "Right!"  Muck-Luck then set to laughing again.

     Back on the Challenger II.....
     "Sonny, we have a problem," said Lameduck.
     "What now?"  asked Steve.
     "What now what?" said Lameduck, apparently confused again.
     "What's the problem?"
     "LAMEDUCK!!!!!!!!" shouted the entire crew, joined this time
by Lucky, who still wanted to get fed.
     "Oh, yeah...well, um...there's this heat, um, is trained
on the port side of the the control cabin...should burn through in, oh,
six, seven minutes...."
     "Oh great!  Break out the space suits!"
     "What Spacesuits?"  asked Linda.
     "Oh yeah--we really should get some of those."
     "It wouldn't matter if we did have them," said Ultranatch, "
when the hole appeared, the outer skin integrity would be lost and the
magnatomic pressors would rip the ship apart--I'd be the only survivor,
and that would be a serious bummer!."
     "Damn it, we MUST do something!" said Steve.
     "Very good, Steve," said Ralph, "you're sounding more like a space
hero every day."
     "Thanks, I've been practicing--I have my entrance boards in three
     "Really?  Wow, well, hey, good luck!"
     The Command Crew of the Enterprise, they weren't.

     Meanwhile, back a few dozen lightyear, the HMS White Hat, following
the trail of the Challenger II, hung dead in space.
     "We have a WHAT???" shrieked Kitty Hitowers.
     "Hey, look, it isn't my fault," said Mark Hyperthrust.
     "How can we possibly have a FLAT!!!!!!?????"
     "I don't know--look, I've got Slave working on it--"
     "I don't believe this...."

     Back on the Challenger II, the crew was dealing with imminent
death in an enlightend manner.
     "Straight Flush," said Ralph.
     "Damn," said Steve, "I knew I should have folded!"
     "Well guys," said Linda, "We have ten seconds to destruction.
So long...."
     About then, as per the terms of Linda's Deus Ex Machina ability,
something happened.
     Something damn good.


The answers to these and many other questions will be found on the
very next edition of Yo, MTV Raps!

***** Received 11:42:35 on 02/24/89, Posting #   116 *****
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