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Sfstory Log 039

Subject:     Wherein a short character summary is made
From:        Patrick McCoy (enldc8c at buacca)

here's a brief character summary of my plotlines:

Space Commander Buzz Williams: Professor Emeritus of Interstellar U. who is,
theoretically, doing research on how overspecialization and the relaxation
of core course requirements has weakened the Space Hero. He is in his eighties
and is still using the 1920s-40s style of space heroics as well as the 1920s-
40s equipment. He is the most experienced Space Hero in the story but is
severely limited in his steadfast refusal to modernize. He has several known
civilizations which are out to get him (The Kang T'ung and the Schimmitarians
are just two examples). He was last seen heading towards the Dvax5 Satelitte
with his companions.

Tachi: This 3' 2", cute, furry mauve creature was the first character
introduced in this plotline. He is the Zen Master of the Sci-Fi Shotgun and
is Enlightened (as most Zen Masters are wont to be). He is also a student of
Zen and the Art of Chineese Cooking and makes a mean Peking Duck.

Bert: Bert, the second character introduced, is a rather ordinary Fungoid
Tetrapod who is rather easily impressed. He is studying Space Heroics
Sidekicking and is doing an excellent job of it.

Toni "Williams": Toni is the ex-succubus who was trained as an assassin in
Hell soon after her arrival in this plotline form Lord Sabre's plotline. She
was then returned to humanity but with an unusual twist: she's a rather
powerful psychic. She has been adopted, in spirit, as Buzz's grandaughter with
Tachi and Bert functioning as older and younger brothers respectively. She
origionally sold her soul to become the best cheerleader of her high school
and is good friends with Trudy Tetwaters, who can be seen in Lord Sabre's
postings. She Also appears to have developed a crush on matt deForrest
who also may be seen in Lord Sabre's plotlines (this is just between you
and me, though, as none of the characters in the story have heard about this
development yet...).

Intergalactic Admiral Skip Carson: This Dislexic retired Admiral has a peg leg
due to a drunken bet with a Teaching Assistant at IU that he couldn't escape
from the new High-Tech Ankle Locks. Unfortunately, he bit off the wrong foot.
He was recently discharged from the McCoy medical center at IU where he was
placed by Capt. Ian Lockheed and Lt. Floyd Cobalt following a pitched
battle with some drones sent by the Destructionvax5 sattellite.
He, unlike his longtime friend Buzz, has kept up with modern technology
and has almost completed repairs on the HMS Victory II, his one-man fast

***** Received 23:06:57 on 03/19/89, Posting #   133 *****
Subject:     yet another character summary
From:        Dr Abigail Ann Young (YOUNG at

In imitation of Sabre's good example, here are thumbnail sketches
of the characters in my two plotlines:

AtoM and NtoZed:  they are two animate, self-aware volumes of a
unique set of the microprint edition of the OED.  Formerly the
Doctor's henchmen in a convoluted (not to mention contrived) plot
to take over BitNet/NetNorth/EARN and, through it, North American
academia in a protest against bad grammar and sexism, they went
over to an hypostasised computer account, MORGANA, who is trying
to conceal and protect the complete backup system to the
destructionvax5.  She has taken over the Doctor's appearance as
well as her henchmen and, when last seen on SFSTORY, was cackling
over a glass of rye whiskey with the backup system concealed as a
CD of Sting's _Dream of the Blue Turtles_.

Dar Jeeling: Red-Rose-Tea-ologist extraodinaire and neophyte
SPAM-ologist.  It is a PBEPDB (Powerful but Evil Pan-Dimensional
Being) which/who discovered that a really hot cup of tea will
allow a PBEPDB to be manifested in other altiverses as a computer
account.  After reading (through a coincidence of unbelievable
improbability) Dr von Spleen's thesis, it realised that SPAM and
Red Rose were different projections of the same vector and
decided to corner the market in SPAM and take over the
altiverses.  This mean it had to enter Altiverse #1 and, to do
so, it disguised itself as a sentient computer account,
NOED at WATDOCS, and pretended to be another henchmen of the Doctor.
It returned to the native altiverse of PBEPDBs, where the Doctor
enlisted its support in trying to destroy the CD containing the
Dvax5 backup system.  When last seen in SFSTORY, it was on its
way back to Altiverse #1 to look for MORGANA and the boys and
save the altiverses.

The Doctor:  When first seen on SFSTORY, the Doctor was a mad
plotter whose draught-beer-sodden-and-embittered brain was
entirely taken up with her plot to end bad grammar, poor
spelling, and sexism.  We now know that the pitiable condition of
her once keen intelligence was brought on partly by the sexism of
the North American academic old boy network, of which she has
been (sob) a victim, and partly by her (apparent) betrayal by the
only man she ever loved, Peter Simon.  The fact that she knew von
Spleen in graduate school is probably also a factor: the man's
mere presence is a mind-altering substance by now.  When MORGANA
took over the Doctor's henchmen and her appearance, she sent her
into another altiverse, which turned out to be Dar's.  From
there, the Doctor, who recognised in MORGANA and Dvax5 a danger
even greater than sexism, recruited Dar to return to Altiverse #1
and destroy the CD and sent a series of warnings to the
characters attempting to destroy dvax5.  Because of the stalwart
independence of SFSTORY authors, it is not known whether her note
to the authors or her message to the paladin Linda ever got
through.  Having delivered her warnings, she set out to look for
another source of draught ale.  By another one of those
impossibly improbable coincidences of which SFSTORY is full, she
ended up (because of the loss of a sufficient supply of SPAM in
her mini-ABPSARI [(C) Bing von Spleen]) in the space ship of her
former love, Peter Simon.

Peter Simon: a relatively new character.  He met and fell in love
with the Doctor while doing field work on Terra for a combined
degree in Terran Studies and Space Heroics but left suddenly when
his spaceship was recalled by Interstellar U with him on board.
In disgust at the end of his research and being cut off from all
contact with the woman he loved, he joined the Time Police to
forget.  Chief Logan assigned him to the interstellar equivalent
of iceberg patrol, and he has been guarding a mysterious
planetoid in a psychedelic ship equipped with another SFSTORY
sentient computer.  In our last episode, he was preparing to go
down to the surface of the planetoid with the Doctor to


***** Received 09:01:35 on 03/20/89, Posting #   134 *****
Subject:     Attack of the killer toys, or Keptin, the sky ees full of wessels
From:        Dr Abigail Ann Young (YOUNG at

The HMCS Indestructible shifted her course, and began to cut a
great arc toward the planetoid which lay, like a nut in nougat,
at the centre of the vaporous cloud about which she had been
orbiting for so long.

     At the same time, Peter Simon entered the cabin to find the
Doctor already awake, and engaged in an altercation with the
automatic systems about clothes.  She was reluctant to appear in
bright scarlet with yellow trim, and kept demanding calmer
colours.  "You'll get used to it," Peter Simon said, "And it
looks great with the walls."  She looked at him somewhat sourly,
and began to put on the tunic.  "I just hope there's no hat, eh?"

     He explained about his secret orders and the planetoid.
"So, I thought we'd better go down and investigate:  it all
depends on when Chief Logan began to go to the bad.  What's on
the planetoid could actually be someone or something that
Landorian and Loughheed need for the future safety of Time
Central."  His eyes shone with the enthusiasm of a true Space
Heroics major; the Doctor felt a fearful cynic and about 300 in
the shade when she looked at him.  But that was part of what she
loved in him....  She spoke slowly, "We're going down to the
surface of an unexplored planetoid surrounded by a vaporous cloud
likely to have unpredictable effects on the ship's sensors and
monitors?  What about guidance and life support?"  "They'll be
alright: isn't it exciting?"  There was a long pause in which she
thought about beer and searched for a response, "Incredible,

     Peter Simon took the adjective at face value, and happily
lead the way to the control room along one of the psychedelic
corridors.  The Doctor took one look at the walls and her clothes
and felt faint.  They entered the control room and sat down on
the bench.  Peter Simon spoke: "Computer?"  "Yes, Peter Simon?"
"What's our current position?"  "We'll enter the cloud in 10
minutes, and I've programmes the buoys to send an alert to TP HQ
if anyone enters their perimeter."

     He settled more heroically in his seat and said, "Put the
planetoid onscreen, and give me manual control of navigation and
the landing system."  As the computer and the Doctor simultaneous
began to protest, an INCREDIBLY obnoxious alarm system began to
sound and the day-glo colour strip along the top of the walls
started to flash.  Another voice intoned "We have Red Alert.
Confidence is high. I repeat, confidence is high" over and over.
On the viewscreen, they saw aproximately a gigabyte of small
spaceships resembling the Imperial fighters from Star Wars
reduced to toy size.  There was no visible mother ship.

     Peter Simon's jaw dropped.  "What the devil are those?"  The
Doctor looked around her and decided that she'd had enough of
this nonsense.  "Computer" she said, "turn off that bloody noise
and stop those lights!"  "Aye, aye, Captain!"  Quiet descended.
"Now, open a channel to the lead ship."  "Hailing frequency
open."  The Doctor turned to Peter Simon whose jaw was still
hanging open a bit: it made him look like a sheep, she decided,
but a rather charming sheep.  "Peter Simon, you're supposed to be
in charge here: find out what's going on, eh."

     He closed his mouth, squared his jaw, and tried to look like
Jim Kirk.  "This is the captain of RCMP vessel, the HMCS
Indestructible.  The space around this planetoid is restricted
and you are requested to stand off and identify yourselves."  A
sudden shock shook the ship: Peter Simon and the Doctor lurched
to one side as the ship compensated.  The computer said, "Photon
torpedoes are hitting the shields, Peter Simon, and some of them
are quite powerful.  I'm afraid the shielding is weakening due
to our proximity to the planetoid.  I estimate total loss of
shields in 4.3 minutes if the attack continues."  Another shock
wave shook the ship.





For no answers to any questions, tune into the next exciting
installment of SFSTORY's plotline with a heart, I LOVE PETER

***** Received 09:06:08 on 03/20/89, Posting #   135 *****
Subject:     Wrapped Around Your Finger
From:        (LEWIS at ITHACA)
|  Wherein many things come to pass: such as Ian and Janice manage|
|  to escape capture and the course of Terran history is decided  |
|  by a mindinvader                                               |
| -----------------------------------------------------------------

     Ian and Janice were of course unarmed: all of Janice's tools and instru-
ments had been removed while she was still unconsious.  Ian's more obvious
concealed weapons were also gone; however, he still had a few on his person.
Unfortunately getting any of them into an operational state required a few
minutes time which he didn't have.
     Janice had plans however.  Once the guards (two of them) had bullyed the
pair into the hall, she staggered and cried "oh my! I feel as though I might
faint..." and slumped on the floor.
     "Now cut that out, it won't work!" one of the guards said.  Both guards
clearly expected Ian to jump them while they tended to Janice so they simply
let her fall to the ground.  Fine Janice thought, plan B...she lashed out with
a foot, tripping one of the guards and breaking his lower leg in the process.
The other guard turned to see this, pulled out his blaster and promply joined
his comrade on the floor when Ian simply karated him.
     "Now what?" Janice said, getting up as Ian grabbed the guards blasters.
     "Let's find our stuff and then The Sun...Zynchrony or Time Central we'd
best get out of here first!" he explained hurriedly, tossing her a blaster.
They looked down each end of the corridor and back at each other.  "Follow me!"
each cried, taking a different direction.  They stopped, glared at each other,
and reversed directions, stopped again, reversed, (much like two people trying
to get past each other only in a different direction) and finally Janice grabbed
Ian one move before it occured to him to do this, and off they ran.  After a few
minutes of running down a featureless corridor they encountered two more guards
who fortunately had slower reflexes than Ian, who blasted them.  His gun then
promply pinged.
     "Empty!" he said, throwing it on the floor.  "I hate these captured guns!
I'm going to find The Sun!" he said.
     "Good enough, I'll meet you there within twenty minutes, but leave as
soon as you have to even if I dont make it!" Janice yelled, turning and running
back down the corridor from whence they came.
     "Where are you going?" Ian yelled.  But before Janice could answer, a
loud bang! and bright flash in the corridor stunned Ian.  A large pile of
papers flew down the hall and hit him in the chest, knocking him on his ass.
He picked up a sheet in confusion.  "Sabre?  Pat?  Dr. Young?  *Nathan*?!?!"
He immeadiately recognized the holy names of several of The Authors Who Had
Not Posted For Eons.  He was shocked to the depths of his soul.  "I...I..."
     " must up on the other have
been negligent..."
     Ian looked up at the ceiling (they always look up, what idiots, thought
The Author) with slowing growing comprehension.  "But...we've been busy..."
     "Never too busy to keep abreadst of current now..."
     Ian looked around and found himself in a colorless, soundless, sensation-
less void.  "Not..."
     "No...not the Zone, just a reading room of sorts...while you catch up,
Janice will take The Sun and go back to Time Central to put down the corruption
there and deal with the mindinvaders..."

     Janice didn't know where Ian had dissapeared, but she at last found the
Sun in a nearby hangar, unguarded.  She slipped past the various crude laser
beam defense systems around the small ship, climbed in, sealed up, managed
to hotwire the autocontrols on the hangar doors by remote control, evacute
the hangar without closing the interior doors thus creating havoc in that
part of their prison/defense instillation (hope Ian gets into a secure area,
she thought) and take off.  The strange green ships which had towed them in
initially made another attempt to shoot her down.  "Be still my beating heart,"
she muttered sarcastically, casually evading their fire and causing most of them
to shoot each other.  Once she was far enough away from the mass of the moon on
which the prison was found (otherwise known as Zynchrony Beta) she moved
smoothly into godknowswhatitis space and headed to Time Central.


E) 42

The correct answer is of course, F

Reality is always stranger than fiction but not nearly as wired as SFStory

***** Received 13:50:42 on 03/22/89, Posting #   136 *****
Subject:     DX7 St{r}ing Bass
From:        (LEWIS at ITHACA)
|   Wherein the history of Terra is (really, I'll do it this time) decided    |
|   by a mindinvader and also Janice gets to Time Central and starts in on    |
|   the situation |------------------------------------------------------------

|   Well OK, I didn't get to it this time, but...|
|   wherein the plotline is synopsed at last     |

But first...a word from our Sponsor....

"Hello, this is Colonel Ayatollah Generalissimo Herr Reich President Pon Farr
Gran' ol' Pumpernickel Gool ol' Raisins 'n' Crap Blood 'n' Guns 'n' Roses, the
Honorable Most High Excellence He Who Must Be Kept Amused Divine Providence
Deus Ex Ghost in la Machina...Bill.  I'm a sargent/clerk typist in the Media
Police, and we would just like to say that any references in this plotline to
events taking place on the planet Terra are officially off-limits and forbidden
in both thoughts and actions.  So just forget any mentions of Earth, they're not
allowed.  Just too silly!  I won't have any more silliness...that includes puns.
For those of you who have been enjoying the puns in this plotline, cut it right
out!  That is all."

Now let us breathe a collective sigh of relief that the Media Police are gone.

Good.  Now for my Plotline Synopsis:

Ian Lockheed and plotline precis:
Time Police Captain and former TP Chief, AWOL since last October and the
first posting of this plotline.  Citing boredom, red tape, and "wretchedly
homely secretaries", Ian Lockheed stole a new ship, The Sun (a Janice P. custom
job) while his old ship the HMS Synchronicity III was being rebuilt.  He tried
to find Janice in the Twilight Zone, passed out, was subjected to an Arthurian
dream sequence, and awoke in Janice's (location unknown) abode.  She, with a
little prodding from The Author, persuaded Ian to drop his quest to rid TC of
the next generation of mindinvaders in order to aid a bloody coup on Zynchrony
Beta in order to prevent a Solar System wide explosion (small potatoes compared
to Time Central's growing list of problems).  On arrival in the Zynchrony system
they were captured by the Zynchrony defence force and emprisoned on Beta.  Ian
was momentarily posessed by the mindinvader Peekahrd, but Janice managed to
repel the fearsome foe.  They quickly escaped from their cell and were in the
process of locating The Sun and effecting an escape when Ian was removed from
the plotline temporarily by The Author for briefing and catchup on new posts
while Janice escaped in The Sun.  Ian looks and sounds exactly like Sting, and
his presence in the story has led to numerous puns based on the works of a silly
pop group whose name eludes us at this time.  Alas, the afternoon has gently
passed me by, evening spreads herself across the sky, and that was another one.

Janice P.:  Green hair and extremely attractive is about all that has been
established (about 5'7" also) concerning her appearance.  Her intellect is
unmatched and usually is beyond the ability of even some Authors to properly
portray.  Her profession would be called Aerospace Engineer/Quantum Physicist/
Mathematician/Courtesan by a Terran, but she calls whatever springs to mind.
She built The Sun and most other ships of any value in the multiverses (but
strangely enough not the other famous ships like Golden Lance or HMS 73 Ford
Pinto, which is still floating in Earth orbit along with two rather confused
and anxious Trekkies...but I digress.  Dont mess with her in an arguement or
a fight as she will probably win both at the same time.  But for some as yet
unknown reason, she likes Ian enough to put up with him.  Stay tuned.

Twilight Zone: a region of space near Time Central which Janice uses as a
mailing address (she in fact lives nowhere near this place).  Sanity quickly
departs any who stay in the Zone for long.  It is thought by Ian and a few
others that the mindinvaders either originated in the Zone or are waiting there
to commence their attack on Time Central.

Mindinvaders: Massless, formless entities that take over the personality of
their victims and feed on the psychic energy of those who are confused by the
sudden changed behavior of their hosts.  Since their apparent demise 78 years
ago at the hands of the Media Police they have apparently spawned a new
generation which is prepared to attack Time Central and destroy it to avenge
their forbears.

Media Police: You DON'T mess with them: they alone (even above God and the
Authors) have the power to revoke cable TV and VMS access.  They have placed
a quarantine on Earth and all her broadcasts.  A quote: "Ve hoff vays of finding
out about you and vhat you do..."  They are rumored to be led by a mythical
Phoenix-like leader named The Great Bird or The Wise Bird of the Galaxy or
something like that; no one knows for sure as this individual has not yet
appeared in this or any other plotline.  Probably it's just as well...(shudder)

Zynchrony Alpha: The second planet of the Zynchrony system.  A lush garden
paradise, lots of oceans, mountains, seashore, plains, steppes, deserts, caves,
waterfalls, short Earth without pollution or polluters.  The
planet is ruled by a regency which will be abolished three months after the
heir, Cyrelle, loses her virginity (which happened in December, so it's just
about time now).  The existing government is however a virtual dictatorship
which has used up any and all natural recources of the moon Zynchrony Beta.
Z Beta: Here a new form of energy is being exploited by altering the space/time
around the moon, causing the moon to be displaced many millions of miles from
the original orbit.  The process is controlled from Beta, aided by slave labor,
and is guarded by the same defense base that Janice has just escaped from (and
presumably where Ian would be if he hadn't been removed by The Author for a
couple of posts)  The system-wide explosion will take place within six days
of Janice's escape and Ian's return to the postings unless he can find a
way of stopping it (which he may find difficult as he hasn't a quantum chaos
major like Janice)

Even better.  Now that I've remembered or rewritten all of that, there will be
less confusion for all of us.

***** Received 21:38:33 on 03/23/89, Posting #   137 *****
Subject:     Wherein Skip recieves some troubling news...
From:        Patrick McCoy (enldc8c at buacca)

     Intergalactic Admiral Skip Carson and IU Masters Canidate Dale
Gordon laughed. They had spent the last hour or so catching up on old
times in the Pol Student Center's pub. Neither, unlike most characters
in SFStory, had gotten drunk on large quantities of alcohol nor had
they consumed large doses of mind-altering substances. This, however,
was due more to the idiosyncracies of the characters than any biases
on the part of the author (++ That's me for those of you who have not
been paying close attention. ++).
     At a nearby table, however, several male IU undergrads who make
it a practice of upkeeping the bad reputation that most fraternities
have *had* been consuming Ailliquat and were very messed up.

         * Gargavax Oolavant's Pocket Guide to Drinks      *
         * states that Ailliquat is one of the most potent *
         * drinks avaliable to most humanoids that does not*
         * cause instantanious damage to the body when     *
         * placed in the mouth. It is a cheery aqua color  *
         * with pink bubbles and foam. It, like alcohol,   *
         * defies easy clasification as to what type of    *
         * drug it is as it affects those who drink it in  *
         * vastly different ways. To some it acts as a     *
         * narcotic and others a halucinogen. For the vast *
         * majority of the galaxy, however, it provides a  *
         * sensation similar to that of combining Jameson's*
         * Irish Whiskey , Tequillia, and three hits of LSD*
         * with a medium inhalation of helium. While the   *
         * long term affects of this drink are still being *
         * investigated by the quality control department  *
         * at Club Nympho in Netherspace, its popularity   *
         * has already made it standard fare in many bars  *
         * although many sociologists are attempting to    *
         * determine why it is more readily found in bars  *
         * owned by women than by men.                     *

     One of the drinkers managed to raise himself out of his chair
and approached the table.
     "Hey, baby," he said in a squeaky voice, "Do ja like ta partay?"
     "Photon," grumbled Skip at the recently healed frat member, "don't
you ever give up?"
     "You stay out of this, ol' man," Photon responded as threateningly
as he could with a voice that sounds like Alvin of Alvin and the chipmunks.
     "Let me handle this, Skip," whispered Dale.
     "I didn't know blue cheese mated with cheerioes," added one of
the fraternity members form the table in mid-halucination, "I'll
have to try that possition myself."
     "So whadja say, babe?" continued the annoying undergrad.
     "Sure, I like to party," responded Dale Gordon in a voice not normally
heard unless the individual has an omni-desirable account, "But I only
party with the best. I expect nothing less than the man I'm with to be
able to allow me to touch the infinite. I want exstacy as only seen in
movies. I'm not talking about those cheap, poorly lit pornos most
frat men watch and try to mimic or even the Radar Vogel series. I expect
nothing less than perfection. There are men out there who can deliver
it and I have known some of them. But remember, girls compare notes and
if you can't provide what I'm looking for, every woman on campus will
     "So what's it going to be Photon?"
     Intergalactic Admiral Skip Carson supressed a smile as the Frat
member's face dropped and his Ailliquat-boosted insecurities kicked into
high gear. His face slowly went white and the small portion of his mind
that had managed to remain sober sounded the call to retreat.
     "Uh, OK, babe. I'll givya a call when I'm in better condition.
I can givya what you want."
     "You do that," Dale cooed as she sat down.
     "That was dangerous, you know," Skip said, still trying to repress
a smile.
     "Not really," she responded calmly. "Ailliquat brings out men's
sexual insecurities."
     "It does?" asked Skip with a concerned look on his face.
     "Yes. It targets a certain areas of the medula and the corpus
callosumn and creates a chemical inballance."
     "Why only men?"
     "It has something to do with the Y chromosome. I've got a friend
working on it."
     "Why haven't I heard anything about it?"
     "It's groundbreaking research, Skip. These things are usually kept
quiet. The only reason I know is because Hans Zarkov's niece is working
on it."
     "I've got good friends in all the sciences. They would have told
     "True," Dale responded with a mischevious glint in her eye,"but the
study is being done in the Sociology Department under Womans' Studies."
     Skip's face blanched. "That's truely evil, Dale."
     Dale smiled a coy smile.


For all this and other sundary stuffs, stick around.
There may be more.

Then again, maybe not.

***** Received 22:49:59 on 03/29/89, Posting #   138 *****
Subject:     when The Cowboy comes home again...
From:        (THC8650 at TNTECH)

In the main teleporter room of Time Central a guard slept.  On the teleporter
pad an energy pattern formed.  Out of this pattern Time Agent 357 stepped.
By his two prisoners he was followed.  Unhappy and manacled they were.

"ATTENTION!" shouted 357 as he kicked the chair out from under the guard.
"What kind of outfit are you running here?!?  Who's in charge?!?"

The guard somehow managed to look confused and confident at the same time.
"Nobody's in charge.  The Galactic Council won't meet to appoint a new Time
Chief until they find a way to vote themselves more money.... sir."

357 glanced around, noticing the shabby condition of the place.  "Take these
two prisoners to the SuperMaxi Security wing and put them in seperate, but
equal, cells.  And be sure to lock the door this time!"

As the guard beat a hasty retreat, 357 went to the Time Chief's office.  On
the door, "Sean Landorian" was still wet, and barely covering the "David
Logan" which had been scribbled over "Joanne (Honey) Bare".  He pulled out
an energy gun and fried "357" into the door as he went inside.  He sat at
the plush desk, shuffled around the paperwork, and tried to call up the
current duty roster on the computer.

"Mnph mmmm phuunn," said the computer.

"Hunh?" said 357, squinting at the blank screen.  He scratched his head and
pulled out the quick reference manual for the Time Central mainframe, which
was about the size of your average unabridged dictionary.  He flipped to the
troubleshooting part of the manual, and looked under "When your computer
makes funny noises..."  Scanning the list, he noticed "Remove speaker from
packing crate."  Chuckling, he did so.

"Chief Bare!" shouted the computer, "We have to hurry, there's not much time!"

"There's more time than you think," answered 357.  "And Bare was three
Chiefs ago.  I'm in charge now."

"And who are you?" asked the computer suspiciously.

"Time Agent 357.  I'm in your files, marked as retired."

"By golly you are...  By the way, what's the date?"

"April 2, 1989, Standard Galactic Offset Time."

"Then I suppose it's too late to warn you that Undersecretary Logan is a
Dvax5 plant?"

"By about 6 months.  He made Chief before we caught him," said 357, referring
to happenings that even long-term readers would have trouble remembering.  "As
long as you're operative, get me a summary of all Time Police officers and
their current assignments, the locations and activities of all Time Agents,
living or dead, and discover a way to keep Terran bovines from belching,
relaying the last bit of information to Doctor Bing Von Spleen onboard the
HMS Golden Lance currently on route to Earth.  Got it?"

"Uh, yessir," said the computer.

Assigning several passing officers the task of straightening the office, 357
ambled out into the hall in search of the nearest restroom.

-----            -----             -----            -----              -----

In the Author's Alterverse, The Cowboy was unpacking his bags and listening
to his Blood, Sweat, and Tears album.  His little holiday in Kentucky was
quite exciting, but he was glad to be back.  He paused to glance into the
mirror at his newly clean-shaven face, still trying to decide if he liked it
that way or not.  Deciding that he didn't, he used his last can of shaving
cream to give his bare bear rug a "mad bear" look and threw his razor back
into the drawer, where it would probably sit and rust for another 3 years.

***** Received 22:02:17 on 04/02/89, Posting #   139 *****
Subject:     Wherein Omegas has a bad day
From:        Nathan Irwin (UD140680 at NDSUVM1)

     Omegas swore.  He swore at the recent loss of his
supernatural powers.  He swore at whatever author had ONCE AGAIN
burdened him with a silly plotline.  He also swore at his
Ray-Bans, which of course had nothing to do with his anger, but
were easy to swear at.

     Mostly, however, he swore at the Food Synthesizer in the
galley of the HMS Homeward Bound, which absolutely refused to
synthesize a Venturian Hyperwhiskey for Omegas's consumption.
Omegas had spent the better part of the afternoon attempting to
use his former supernatural powers, and had succeeded only in
conjuring up a few daisies, and giving himself a particularly
nasty headache.  In frustration, Omegas had jettisoned the
daisies into the heart of a nearby supernova, and had gone off in
search of large amounts of alcohol.

     "A Venturian Hyperwhiskey." Omegas snarled at the Food
Synthesizer. "Now.  Or I'll,..... I'll,..... I'll do something

     "*Beep* Request denied.  Have a nice day." responded the
Food Synthesizer.

     "You loathsome son of a TRS-80!" Omegas swore, "I hope they
rip out your essential wiring, and use your memory chips for
automatic manure-spreaders!"

     "*Beep* Not a valid command.  Have a nice day."

     Omegas loudly stomped onto the bridge of the HMS Homeward
Bound, where he saw his shipmates, Bubba Wojohowitz, Sean
Landorian, Billy Guardian, and Louie Stevens.  Omegas was about
to complain about the food processor, and do a great deal of
shouting in the process, when the communications screen lit up.

     On the screen was the image of Time Agent 357, temporary
Chief of the Time Police.  While Omegas snarled, Sean Landorian,
who had recently gone AWOL from the Time Police, hid behind his

     "Time Central to HMS Homeward Bound." said Time Agent 357,
"Please respond.  I have favor to ask of you."

     "Homeward Bound responding," responded Bubba, "What can we
do for you?"

     "We've received reports that the government of the United
States, back on Earth, is in the process of constructing a SPAM-
powered bomb," 357 began, "As you know, SPAM is the most
volatile substance in the universe, and the people of Earth are
simply not ready to use SPAM for offensive purposes.  Therefore,
since you and your crew are native Terrans, I want you to return
to Earth, and persuade the President of the United States not to
conduct any further research in Spamology."

     "No problem at all, 357," said Bubba, "we're on our way."

     "One more thing," said 357, "I know that Sean Landorian is
aboard your ship, and I can see Omegas standing behind you.  Tell
Sean that if he does not return to Time Central, aboard the HMS
Silver Bullet, I will declare him AWOL.  And tell Omegas that his
shirt looks tacky."

     While Omegas gave 357 the Bronx cheer, Sean coweringly stood
up from behind his chair, and addressed the communications

     "Listen HERE, you old has-been," the Billy Dee Williams
lookalike shouted, "It wasn't as if I ever WANTED to be Time
Chief.  I just wanted to be a good Internal Investigations agent.
But then 357 and Ian Lockheed decide that Time Chief Logan is an
agent of the Destructionvax5 computer, and 357 and Ian Lockheed
decide to invade Time Central.  Then, when it comes time to clean
up the mess and do all the paperwork, 357 and Ian Lockheed decide
to go off on some silly adventures, and leave ME to do all the
HARD work.  Well, I've HAD it.  Before I left Time Central, I
decided to give myself a few months of vacation leave, and now
I'm TAKING it.  Understand?"

     357's fingers played with the twenty-five safeties on his
Telechronal Displacement Blaster in a manner which made it
abundantly clear that he wished he could blast Landorian through
his communications screen.  "Fine," he announced finally, "have a
nice vacation.  Time Central out."  As 357's image faded away,
Omegas saluted the Time Agent by inserting his thumbs in his
ears, and sticking out his tongue as he wiggled his eight free
fingers.  Finally, inasmuch as it is possible for a communication
console to beep testily, this is what it did.

     "Setting course for Earth." announced Louie, as Omegas and
Sean gloweringly returned to their quarters.


     A few hours later, Louie parked the HMS Homeward Bound in
geosynchronous orbit over the White House.  Since Omegas and Sean
were still sulking in their quarters, Bubba, Billy, and Louie
decided to transport down to the Oval Office to talk to President

     "Gosh!" exclaimed Billy, five seconds later, "Is this REALLY
the Oval Office?"

     "Er, yes," said the tall man standing behind the large desk,
"Now, how did you DO that?"

     "Mr. President," began Bubba, "we have to talk..."


     And so, half an hour later, the President not only agreed to
halt all testing of SPAM-powered weapons, but also declared a
"War on SPAM," ordering the FBI, the Defense Department, the Food
and Drug Administration, and the Indiana National Guard to seize
and destroy all the SPAM in the country.

     Unfortunately, he put Dan Quayle in charge of the operation.
As a result, vast quantities of fissionable SPAM soon appeared on
the black market, and the NRA began to argue that every American
had the right to arm himself with SPAM-powered weapons.  A week
later, the town of Lidgerwood, North Dakota, was reduced to
rubble when a small band of terrorists detonated a SPAM-powered
bomb.  Thus, Lidgerwood became the first town to be arbitrarily
destroyed by an Author in six months.

     But I digress....







The anwers to these questions will probably NOT appear in my next
posting, as it took me fifteen minutes to just think up the QUESTIONS!

***** Received 02:25:41 on 04/12/89, Posting #   141 *****
Subject:     in orbit about Earth
From:        (THC8650 at TNTECH)

Time Agent 357 cursed mildly.  Nowhere near as bad as Omegas cursed, as 357
was basically a nice guy and Omegas was... well, Omegas wasn't.  Well, he
thought, if Sean Landorian is going to be that way about it, I'll just have
to stay in charge here.  He glanced significantly about the room, which
greatly resembled the Time Police Chief's office of Time Central, mainly
because it *was* the Time Police Chief's office of Time Central.  And, since
ex-chiefs Bare and Logan were dead and ex-acting Chief Landorian was on
Earth, 357 now happened to be the Time Police Chief.  He disdained the
'acting' phrase, as it made him feel like Wesley Crusher.

"Computer," he called.

"Y'know, I have a name, human," answered a synthetic voice.

"I'm no more human than you are, com-  Okay, what _is_ your name?"  357 was
decidely short-tempered around beligerent computers.

"C.H.A.R.L.I.E." answered the computer.  "Certified Human Analogue
Reproduction, Liscenced Interactive Emulator."

357 looked skyward, but only saw the ceiling.  "Okay, Charlie.  Put me in
touch with the HMS Golden Lance."

"I'll have to route through several alternate dimensions to create real-time
conference.  This will cost you."

"Make it so, already!"

"Aye," replied the computer, meekly.

An aging man in a once-white labcoat appeared on the screen.  "HMS Golden
Lance, Doctor Bing Von Spleen, Galaxy's foremost Spamologist speaking."

"357 at Time Central here," said 357.  "How's the methane problem coming

Doctor Spleen smiled.  "I think we've got it licked.  I've been working with
Charlie quite a bit, and we've got a plan in operation even now."

357 was surprised.  Not only was Spleen sober, in and of itself a miracle,
but he had discovered a way to save the Earth from a deadly and unnoticed
threat.  It seems the local bovine mammals were belching millions of liters
of methane into the atmosphere every year.  So much so, in fact, that the
effects were beginning to rival those of excess carbon dioxide, the other
main contributor to the greenhouse effect.  The citizens of Earth were
working to combat the carbon dioxide problem, but had so far ignored the
methane production.  "That's great!" exclaimed 357.  Then a thought struck
him.  "How?" he asked, suspiciously.

"Oh, well, it was Val's idea," mumbled Spleen.

"Well, Val, how'd you do it?" asked 357 of the VAL9000 computer.

=Ah, actually it was based on Charlie's suggestion,= quipped Val.

"Based on Doctor Spleen's readings," put in Charlie quickly.

Spleen retorted "Val did the actual engineering."

357 was getting peeved.  "I hate to break up this little mutual admiration
society, but what did you do to the cattle?!?"

There was a long silence.  Finally, Val spoke.  =We broadcasted a message to
the Moral Majority, explaining how much we really enjoy having cows around.
They should be extinct within the week.  In fact, Jerry Farwell has already
condemned cattle as servants of Satan, and Oral Roberts is preaching against
the sins of beef consumption.  Jim and Tammy Baker are taking up collections
to finance a military assault on all convenience stores still carrying milk.=

357 considered this.  "That should do it.  Anyway, the real reason I called
you is to put some interconnectiveness between the postings of the various
authors.  At least, those that are posting.  The group of terrorists in the
United States has stolen plans to something called the S-bomb.  We have
reason to believe this has something to do with the governments ill-advised
research into a Spam-powered explosive device."

Spleen seemed to remember something.  "Yes, that's what I called it:  the

"You invented the S-bomb?!?" shouted 357.

"Yes, back when I was just getting started in Spam research.  I wrote up a
description and sent it off to the Pentagon, figuring they would classify it
and pay me a fortune to keep it quiet."

"They never did, I take it."

"Nope."  Spleen looked around and found a bottle containing some green
liquid.  "No if you will excuse me, I've been sober for three days and
reality is starting to get on my nerves."

Meanwhile, Val and Charlie were having a conversation on another channel.

=Charlie!= giggled Val.  =You shouldn't say such things!  Your wife might
find out.=

"How did you know I was married?"

Meanwhile, the sun was setting in the Author's Alterverse, and the Cowboy
decided to end the entry without any silly questions, much to the relief of

***** Received 23:00:44 on 04/13/89, Posting #   143 *****
Subject:     and if first your posting doesn't go
From:        Tennessee H. Cowboy (THC8650 at TNTECH)

"Misery only _likes_ company.  It prefers loneliness."  --Solomon Short

It was a dark and stormy sector.  A starship loomed on the horizon.  The
Vulcan screamed!  A-

Time Agent 357 awoke with a start, recognizing immediately that he had
almost slipped into another of The Cowboy's dream sequences.  This did not
bode well, he thought.  The Cowboy must be running out of ideas again.

Deciding to act fast, he scrambled out of his pajamas and into his uniform,
and hustled down to his office.  357 sat behind his desk, the one that said
"Time Chief 357" on it in 3" glowing purple letters.  It had been a big joke
in his academy days to steal people's desks and he was taking no chances.

"Wha-," said Charlie, Time Central's mainframe.

"Good morning!" boomed 357 cheerfully.

"Good?" asked Charlie.  "Do you realize it's 6 fucking-A M?"

"Watch your language," chided 357.  "This is a family digest."

"What do you want?"

"I want you to give me a readout of all Time Police officers that have
applied to become Time Agents.  With me now in administration and Greez
Hyperiok in jail awaiting trail, we're two short."

Charlie's speaker made a sighing noise.  "You're telling me.  I was up half
the night trying to reroute officers into trouble zones normally patrolled
by you and Greez.  I just got to sleep ten minutes ago!"

357 looked puzzled.  "Sleep?  You're a computer!"

"And what's my name?"


"Copyrighted Human Analogue Reproduction blah blah blah.  Meaning that to
emulate a human I have to have a sleep analogue, which YOU are keeping me
from enjoying."  Charlie sounded peeved.

"Sorry, Charlie," mumbled 357.  "But I need that list.  The Cowboy's running
out of story ideas and needs something to work with."

"That's terrible!" moaned Charlie.  "I'll get right on it."  He computed
furiously for a moment, then stopped.  "Who's Cowboy?"

"Never mind.  Just get to work!"

Charlie worked.  It only took a few moments to find the list of applicants,
but several hours were taken to shrink the list down from several thousand
to only two.

Charlie compared QPA's, GPA's, letters of recommendation, past job
experience, extra-curricular activities {and you thought they didn't help!},
and service records with the Time Police so far.  He then factored in age,
experience, piloting skills, and sexual preference.  He threw out twenty or
thirty who were just plain boring.  He threw out two or three hundred who
belonged to the new "Whole Universe" ecology movement and refused to travel
in a ship that did not leave the space it travelled through in substantially
better condition than before.  Finally, he was down to a list of five names,
and sent these to 357 for approval.

357 glanced through the list.  He glanced through all the information
Charlie had already poured through.  He threw out one that he felt was too
boring, in spite of what Charlie thought.  He threw out another who had been
a secretary under Priscilla Fussbonnet's short reign as Empress of Time
Central.  Finally, he flipped coins to throw out the last one.  He was left
with two.

"Charlie, have Lt. Conifer Evergreen and Seargent 386 meet me in briefing
room A in 15 minutes," 357 commanded.  He then walked across the hall to
briefing room A, so as to get comfortable before the new Time Agents arrived.

He didn't.  A young man walked in right behind him, and seated himself at
the table.  Before 357 could ask what was going on, a young woman
materialized at the other end of the table and sat down.  She looked at the
other young person and cursed.

"Needlewarp!" she swore loudly.  "You always beat me, 386.  How did you do it
this time?  I teleported as soon as I got the signal."

"Rather simple, Connie," chuckled 386.  "I tapped into the computer network
and delayed the signal going to you."

357 looked at the two new Time Agents, one of whom was using precision
teleportation as a means of personal conveyance and the other who had made
light work of the most secure computer networks in the known multiverse, and
decided against the usual speech.  He instead assigned them a ship and set
them patrolling at once.

The two new agents boarded the HMS Chrono I, and headed out into space for
the time of their lives, however short that may be.

***** Received 21:15:01 on 04/16/89, Posting #   144 *****
Subject:     Wherein a rather old plotline is restored....
From:        Nathan Irwin (UD140680 at NDSUVM1)

     Meanwhile, somewhere in the Earth's outer atmosphere, a few
hundred miles above Sofia, Bulgaria, a pair of teenaged Star Trek
fans were orbitting the planet in a modified '78 Pinto.

     Ronald and Norman had been members of the Association of
Extremely Dedicated Watchers of Star Trek, Who Dress Like Crew
and Pretend We Have Phasers, or AOEDWOSTWDLCAPWHP, an acronym
which is utterly unpronouncable, yet they insist it makes perfect
sense in Vulcan.  When the AOEDWOSTWDLCAPWHP held a convention in
New Orleans, Ronald and Norman were dispatched by the High Spock
to locate and return with a spaceship, so that the AEOD(etc)
could find the Federation.  However, when they returned with only
a pamphlet, which explained how to build a warp-capable
spacecraft from a '78 Pinto, they were expelled.

     Fortunately for Ronald and Norman, they soon found a '78
Pinto which had had its molecules merged with those of Omegas.
With Omegas's help, the two Trekkies were able to fashion a
spacecraft, which they christened the IMS (Ineptly Manned Ship)
'78 Pinto, and took off.  However, after the Pinto left the
Earth's atmosphere, Omegas had teleported away, leaving Ronald
and Norman in the Pinto, as it slowly began to tumble back to


     "Norman?" whined Ronald, "I'm afraid we're going to run out
of air."

     "Jeez!  That's the seventy-third time you've said that,
dummy!" Norman pointed out.  "We've been orbitting the Earth for
four MONTHS, haven't we?  And we haven't run out of air YET!  So,
OBVIOUSLY, the ship's life support is still running."

     "Yeah, but it could go ANY MINUTE!" persisted Ronald.

     Norman proceeded to beat his First Mate about the head, and
the argument was resolved for the time being.

     After a few minutes of pensive silence, Ronald piped up

     "Um,... Norman?" he whimpered.

     "Oh, WHAT?"

     "Um, if the life support is still running, then do you think
maybe the engines still work, too?"

     "Why didn't you think of that four months ago?" shrieked
Norman, who hadn't thought of that, "What kind of Science Officer
ARE you?  Sheesh!"

     And so, after verbally abusing his Science Officer for a few
minutes, Norman popped the IMS '78 Pinto into first gear and
floored the accelerator.  The Pinto shuddered a bit, then shot
off through the atmosphere, towards...


     Omegas took the seven aspirin tablets the Food Processor had
offered him, and washed them down with a glass of milk.  In the
corner, Sean Landorian was expressing his obvious disgust at the
club sandwich the Food Synthisizer had given him.  Before the
two of them could get into a fight, however, their three
companions transported back aboard the ship, amidst a great deal
of Star-Trek-like special effects.

     "Was that REALLY President Bush?" Billy asked.

     "Oh, shut up." snapped Omegas, who was really getting sick
of Billy.  Actually, he was really getting sick of everyone
aboard, but Billy especially.

     "Hey!" shouted Bubba, "What's that whistling noise?"

     "Look!" yelled Louie, pointing out the window.

     The crew of the HMS Homeward Bound watched helplessly as a
'78 Pinto hurtled through the atmosphere towards them.  It
collided with the HMS Silver Bullet, which the Homeward Bound had
been towing behind it, and the Silver Bullet promptly exploded
into a billion pieces.

     "Blooey." said the HMS Silver Bullet, as it exploded into a
billion pieces.

     "Honk." said the horn of the '78 Pinto.

     "My ship!" gasped Sean Landorian.

     "Louie, there are people aboard that Pinto," ordered Bubba,
"beam them aboard this ship immediately."

     Louie raced over to the ship's transport controls and beamed
them aboard.

     "Hey!" shouted Norman, now aboard the HMS Homeward Bound,
"What are we doing here?"

     "I'll ask the questions." growled Sean, "What are you doing

     "Shit!" exclaimed Omegas, recognizing the two Trekkies.

     "Omegas!" exclaimed Norman.

     "Billy Dee Williams!" exclaimed Ronald, pointing to Sean.

     "Shit!" exclaimed Sean.

     "What's going ON here?" asked Billy Guardian.

     While the occupants of the HMS Homeward Bound attempted to
make sense of the situation, the IMS '78 Pinto fell back to
Earth, where it destroyed the town of Neche, North Dakota, a town
that the Author never liked very much.







For the answers, stay tuned to SF_STORY DIGEST, eat your vegetables,
and look both ways before crossing the street.

***** Received 21:33:14 on 04/16/89, Posting #   145 *****
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