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Sfstory Log 041
Subject: (Sfstory 8) A new plotline, sort of
From: Yes, that's a human ear all right. (DICKSON at HARTFORD)
The sunlight pounded the beach for several hours after Omegas vanished.
Nothing much happened, apart from the waves lapping the shore.
But then, there was a low rumble, and then a scream of extremely powerful
rockets. A tiny silver space interceptor shrieked into view, practially
skimming the waves; it slowed and stopped over the beach, and lowered itself
gently to the ground.
After a moment, the cockpit slid open, and an author stepped out. He was
wearing a red g-suit, with a strange symbol on the shoulder that appeared to
be an inverted red triangle with a silver representation of the planet Earth
inside. The letters "T," "O," and "G" appeared beneath the whole thing. The
author stood next to his cockpit for a second, then leaped off the ship to
stand next to it and stare.
"A Lancea!" he grumbled. "I figured if I died in the Spiculum, especially
during a worthy cause like trying to kill Lord Demion, and then got
reincarnated, I could expect at least an Ictus!" He stared at the tiny fighter
for a minute.
"Oh well," he said, shrugging. "At least it's fast. What do you think,
Omegas?" The author wandered around his ship. "Even though I'm a new author,
even *I* have heard you're a washed up villain. But maybe you know something
about interceptors. What do you think?"
The figure stared at his craft for a while longer. "Quiet one, aren't
you?" he asked. "What are you doing, catching some rays?"
The author turned around to look at Omegas. Where the supervillain had
reportedly been tanning himself, however, there was nothing but a towel. The
author spun wildly around, looking for Omegas.
Failing to find the man, the author scrounged in his pocket for a rumpled
piece of paper. He smoothed it out and squinted at it, then climbed onto his
ship to take a look at the navigational instruments. "I *am* on the right
beach, aren't I?" he asked the sea.
It didn't answer.
"Oh well," said the author, "I probably just missed a turn somewhere.
That beach has to be around this galaxy somewhere." He climbed back into
his cockpit, closed it, and soared off into space in search of the right
WILL THE AUTHOR EVER FIND THE RIGHT BEACH?
WILL THIS SERVE AS A LEAD-IN TO A REAL PLOTLINE, OR WILL IT TURN INTO
A PLOTLINE ITSELF?
IGNORING THE FIRST QUESTION, WHICH WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LOST AUTHOR
HIMSELF, WILL THE AUTHOR EVER REALIZE THAT HE *WAS* ON THE RIGHT BEACH?
DID ANYBODY UNDERSTAND THE REFERENCE TO THE LONG-DEFUNCT PINK IGUANA TAVERN
Find out this and more on SFSTORY!
And for more good reading, check out Superguy Digest, with the forthcoming
extravagent trashing of Akron, Ohio, and the retirement of Dangerousman!
***** Received 23:44:50 on 12/19/89, Posting # 5 *****
Subject: (Sfstory 9) Wherein several plots are sort of ignored, I guess
From: Eric, Lord Sabre (DBURNS at MAINE)
"Who are you?" asked Kris. "Why are you sitting in my room?
The green person scratched his nose with one of his several
tenticle-like hands. "Like, who are any of us? I mean, why is the
universe, in a six-d transendental sense, here anyway?"
Kris stared. "What is this. They don't let just anyone into
a Cornell dorm. What are you doing in my room!"
"Cornell?" The alien stopped stared at the girl, took his
sunglassess off (not an improvement, his three eyes were that
precise green/gold color you don't associate with eyes) "Like,
not *the* Cornell?!! That wild Terran school with the interlinked
"Huh? Oh, yeah...we have a lot of computers...CORNELLA, CORNELLC,
CRNLVAX5, a bunch of others...I never knew why we had to have so many...."
"Good gravy gods of Gozer!!!!! You guys have it! Wow, man,
the freakin' Universal Omnimatrix compucore and you guys think
its a freakin' acvademic video game! Gnarley as hell!!!!"
"Universal what? What are you talking about? Who are you?
What the hell is going on? I demand to know! Where what, why and
how are you, some kind of alien."
"I," he said, "Am Marv the totally desynced. And, like, yes.
I *am* an alien."
Kris stopped and stared at Marv. "You are?"
"As I think I said, yup."
"Wow," Kris said. Then her jaw said "Thump" as it fell open,
and her face said "Whump" as she fainted and it encountered the
floor of her Dorm Room rather violently.
"Wow, man, Earth Girls *are* easy," Said Marv. Marv then shrugged,
picked up Kris with a loose appendage, slung the unconscious
Astronaut wanna-be over the section of his green body that passed
for a shoulder, and began working buttons on a rather odd looking digital
The two faded rather inconspicously, considering they were the
only two in the room.
Sabre sat, staring at the sleek, black Sfstory Mark XXV
autoprocessing systematic omnitrouble-free posting formulator
that passed for his word processor. He never used it for
actually posting anything, as he had a bootleg Automatic Story
Transcriber with a ninty year battery based on an unknown
extract from cheez whiz that did all the hard work for him.
Rather, Sabre used his Mark XXV to watch MTV, read a little at
times, peek in on naughtygoings on in the various Altiverses,
and, very rarly, read other postings from other authors.
Startled suddenly by something he read, he jumped up,
ran across his Author's Bungalow, turned on some water, waited
a few moments for it to get cold, filled a tumbler from his cupboard
with the water, added a cube or two of ice, ran back to his
seat, took a sip, and executed a perfect spit-take, spraying his
plants in the bargin. "Suffering Spam!" he shouted, "What does
Scott think he's doing?"
He picked up his phone and punched in an account. "Scott?
Damn. Yeah, I'll hold....hate telephone musak, have to talk
to the Author's support staff about this...I mean, if we can't
have some decent--Scott! Hi, how are you? Glad to see you're
back posting again!"
"What's up, Sabre," he said, "and make it fast, I've got a
date from the Uninhibited Altiverse coming in a couple of minutes."
"No prob -- what the heck are you doing with Omegas! I
thought he was going to stay retired! He's too dangerous -- not to
mention washed up -- to be used in a storyline."
"Hey, I felt like it. Are you gonna stop me."
"No...but I will have to try and collect him."
"Don't interfere with my storyyline!"
"Not to worry, my man. I won't actually catch him...I'll just
send people looking for him...you know what I mean?"
"Sure, no prob. Have fun!"
Sabre hung up. Then he thought. He thought so hard that
he nipped off to the pool, had a few drinks with a rather cute
elf, swam a bit, read for an hour and played a hand of solitare.
Then, he had an idea. Returning to his Mark XXV, he set up a
plotline that would handle the somewhat ticklish problem.
Meanwhile, the Automatic Story Transcriber aligned itself
onto a different storyline...one that was far more interesting.
Trudy Tetwaters pushed the levers on the Super Univac that
ran the obselete Hypership, the HMS MyHero. She was working
on a major in High Space Adventure, Heroism Concentration, and
was trying to find a classmate. However, a jealous and uncaring
faculty had given her a flying deathtrap and inadaquete equipment.
She said a word that was unladylike, unsportmenslike, unheroic,
and in violation of the UMNEWS posting agreement. She then pushed
another lever, adding more thrust.
She unbuckled from the seat, and stood. Artificial Gravity
did not exist in the obselete wreckage, but the thing was so old
weightless effects were out of its special effects budget. Thus, she
"My first mission and I'm going to die. I should have been a
Succubas like Toni," Trudy muttered, as she went to the galley to eat
the grey paste the ship called food. "What I would give to have the
Intern and his TARDIS here...or Time Agent 357 and the HMS Golden
Lance. Or even Lameduck and the Challenger II. But this wreckage
is beyond hopeless!"
The main console had a big red light. This light went off
when the ship was about to be attacked. What Trudy did not know
was the light had burnt out when a fuse popped back in the Space
Toad Invasion of 1957, and the light bulb had never been fixed.
Behind the HMS MyHero, a ship ominously manuvered into position.
In an unrelated plotline....
In a small blue star system about seven hundred and fifty
light years from Earth sat a huge artificial sattilite. Deep within this
sattilite sat a command deck. In the Very center of the Command Deck
sat a Bridge. In the very center of this bridge sat a raised dais.
In the center of this dias sat a Command Chair that was identical to the
one Captain Kirk used on the Original Star Trek. In this command chair
sat a short, unimposing figure with light brown hair, glasses, a
somewhat scuffed bomber jacket, and a light blush. He wasn't actually
blushing for a reason, he just couldn't shut it off anymore.
A screen lit up. "Matt! Got a job for you."
Matt jumped six feet and spun. This caused him to get dizzy and
land on his head.
"Who, what....this isn't *funny*!" He shouted.
"I'm not laughing," said the voice. For point of referance,
the voice was lying.
Matt DeForrest, young Paladin and Patron Saint of Hot Chocolate,
Apple Cider and other Warm Toasty Drinks, pulled himself together.
"What is going on," he said. "Who are you!"
"Sabre. Your author, remember me?"
"Huh? Hey, Sf_Story got cancelled!"
"Yeah, but Sfstory (with no imbedded blank) is back and better
than ever. Trust me. I have a job for you."
"Oh no you don't. I'm retired! I have a Sattilite to run!
I have Enlighted things to do. I've started tutoring again! I'm
taking Linda out on a date...you're not getting anywhere near us this time!"
Sabre's face smiled on the screen. "Suuuuuuuuure I'm not, Matt."
WILL MATT AND LINDA BE COERCED INTO (WE ASSUME) TRACKING DOWN
WHO IS ABOUT TO ATTACK TRUDY, WHY, AND WITH WHAT?
WHERE HAS THE ALIEN TAKEN POOR KRIS, AND WHY?
I MEAN, DID MARV SEEM LIKE A BAD GUY TO YOU?
WILL SCOTT ME ANGRY THAT I'M SENDING PEOPLE TO TRACK
DOWN OMEGAS, EVEN IF WE DON'T PLAN ON CATCHING HIM?
WHO CANCELLED STAR TREK, IN THE FIRST PLACE?
The answers to these and other questions much like them are to be found
in Sfstory Digest, the People's Discussion!
***** Received 20:57:22 on 12/26/89, Posting # 6 *****
Subject: (Sfstory 11) Wherin we find out just what Marv is doing with Kris
From: Eric, Lord Sabre (DBURNS at MAINE)
Marv, the Green, multi-tenticled alien appeared on a small
Transix platform in a hidden starbase orbiting Barnard's Star.
He stepped off the platform, shook his head, and shifted his grip
on the unconscious Kristan, still slung over his shoulder.
"Whoa, Man. I need some serious amounts of Matus to get
over that!" he said, unceremoniously dropping Kristan on the
deck in front of him. "Like, here she is."
The woman at the Transix control panel glanced down at
Kris. "Best you could do?"
"Hey, like, she's an Astronaut-wannabe, she can drink
a jigger of Drambuie in one shot, she can walk on her hands, and
she has a Cornell account or two -- like, the Big Badster couldn't
The woman snorted, and unfurled her bat wings. "G.X.P.
Varneyloop could have gotten better *and* had them under contract
by now...you've got to do better than this."
"Hey Babe, Varneyloop ain't here, y'know. You want him, I
hear he's in the Time Police. Go get him."
"Be that as it may, Marv, I'll see that your account is
credited." She gave another appasal of the unconscious Cornell
student. "Twenty Kilocredits."
"Twenty?? Whoa -- bad vibes! The Babe's worth eighty, *easy*."
"Let me amend myself -- twenty kilocredits and you aren't set
over a pit of searing, burning hellfire for all eternity, with
demonic laughter echoing all around you and sores festering
and bleeding from every inch of your misbegotted little hippie
"Twenty's cool with me," Marv said, backing back onto the
Transix platform. "Just hit the switch and color me gone!"
Briggita, Succubus First Class, hit the switch. Multicolored
light flowed from the top of the Transix chamber to the bottom. She
heard a faint "Imperialist Pig!" shouted, and Marv was gone.
Brigitta snorted, creating a small smoke cloud. She pressed the
commlink button. "Inform his excellancy that Marv has dropped off
the new slave."
Satan T. Lucifer Jones, Mankind's oldest enemy, Voted most
hated superpowerful being eighteen times running, and Duke of Smelly
Feet, was in the middle of paperwork. He hated paperwork with a
passion, especially the paperwork that stemmed out of Sfstory,
since they required he use a lot of science fiction elements that
ran his budget sky high. However, no matter how hard he tried, no
one would pick his storyline up in Quest, where he could use his
native talent. So, he was approving requisitions for Turbolifts,
Lightsabres, Starcrusiers, Jaccuzzis--
Satan stopped and looked at that last request form again.
"I don't believe it," he said. "Moloch again. That's it, he's
Somewhere, Moloch spontaniously combusted, fires consuming his
entire form. In moments, he was gone.
Satan stampted "rejected" on the request and went on.
His door slid open and a staggeringly beautiful succubus
(actually, as they were demonically made for beauty, all the succubi
were staggeringly beautiful, but I digress) walked in. Her hair
and make-up were conservitive and severe, she wore a very conservitive
business coat, blouse and skirt (all in red saffron and red tweed) and
a pair of red reading glasses on a cord around her neck. She carried
a steno pad and a clipboard. She was Eliza, Satan's personal secretary.
"Your Excellancy," she said, "Brigitta reports Marv has dropped off
the slave for your Universal Takeover plan."
"Which plan?" he asked.
"Number six thousand, two hundred and seven, sir."
"Oh, right. Do me a favor, okay? Reset the next plan to
one, series two -- I'm sick of hearing how many of these things
have failed. Lemme see a biosheet."
Eliza handed the clipboard over to Satan. "Hmmmm...what
a deadbeat. Is there any chance we can get Varneyloop back on
the payroll? These new recruiters are pathetic."
"I'm afraid Varneyloop's in another plotline, though we can
send a field agent out on a fact finding mission, I suppose."
"Do it. Well, I guess she'll have to do. By the way, now that
we're back, is there any sign of the people who beat my last plotline?
After all, I don't want anything going wrong this time!"
"No sign, excellency. Oh, 357 made a cameo, but no one made
anything out of it. But Radar, Steve and the Intern are gone."
"Wonderful!" Satan smiled a devilish grin. "Then nothing can
stop me! Put the girl in prep, and get me a readout on the construction
"Oh, and Eliza? Send a memo down to the people drawing up
the new MegaDreadnought plans...ask them *why* they want a
chapel on board a ship staffed by demons?"
She left. Satan turned back to his work, grumbling.
WHAT WAS SATAN GRUMBLING?
WHAT DOES SATAN WANT WITH KRIS?
IS MARV GONE FROM THE PLOTLINE, OR WILL HE RETURN?
WILL SCOTT WRITE IN A DEMON SHOWING UP TO RECRUIT VARNEYLOOP?
DOES ALL THIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH TRUDY, MARK, KISSY, MATT,
LINDA, AND ANYONE ELSE IN MY PLOTLINES?
DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH *ANY* MASTER PLOTLINE?
The answers to all of these stupid, irrelevent questions will
probably *not* appear in the next episode of Sfstory Digest,
but do us all a favor and read it anyway. I mean, it's hard enough
finding the time to write this...
Oh, Moonroach would be very happy if you read Superguy, too. Thought
I'd make mention, for his sake.
Oh, and if any of you wish to plug your own discussions in here, please
e-mail myself or any one of our helpful, perky authors and we'll
all just be pleased as punch to do so, for only a slight positive
Oh, by the way, the Coca Cola Bottlers in your area have asked me
to ask you if you've paused for a Coke lately. You know, Coke is it
and Coke adds life and you too can Have a Coke and a--
The story you are now reading has shot the author in reaction
to blatent commercialism. Read more Sfstory Digest -- the Discussion
that will not stand for cheap huckstering!
***** Received 22:18:30 on 12/27/89, Posting # 8 *****
Subject: (Sfstory 12) And Now......STETSON TYLER - SPACE COWBOY
From: (WXCY at CRNLVAX5)
And now, right before your very eyes, the first ever SF_STORY posting by the
author to be known as NIGEL SAVAGE, in which heart-wrenching catastrophes
occur, in which great realizations and decisions are made, in which amazing
marketing ploys are begun, in which a truly huge ship is built, in which
ordinary people [like you and me!] do daring deeds that others only dream of
doing, in which a small boy leaves the atmosphere, in which more heart-wrenching
catastrophes occur, and in which a lot of steak is eaten. And now, without
The Adventures of STETSON TYLER, SPACE COWBOY!!!!!
--- ---------- -- ------- ----- ----- -----------
and his sidekick, The Kid
--- --- -------- --- ---
"What in TARNATION is goin' on out there!"
The above line was bellowed by a man whose name describes all - Stetson
Tyler. Stetson Tyler - multi-billionaire Texan oil magnate. Stetson Tyler -
the embodiment of all that's good in "this here Great State of Texas".
Stetson Tyler - the man whose steak dinner was just interrupted by the loudest
noise ever heard in the outskirts of the city of Houston, with the possible
exception of Stetson's bellow.
Stetson pushed back from his table and began marching toward the front
of his mansion, where the offending noise came from. His snake skin boots
clacked on the hardwood mahogany floors as he uttered strings of curses
directed at whatever was probably out on his front lawn. Goddamn they better
not have disturbed any of my cattle, he thought, and then began to run down
the halls. He reached the door, flung it open, and gasped in horror.
Before Stetson's very eyes, and on what was his very lawn, sat the
latest of NASA's space shuttles, the TrailBlazer, and friends and neighbors,
let me tell you, it was in ruins! The dazed and injured astronauts were
climbing out, and began staggering toward Stetson's mansion.
[A "GREAT HORNYTOADS!" Stetson bellowed. "What in Sam Hill are you pardners
doin' dumpin' the TrailBlazer on my front lawn!"
The first astronaut reached Stetson. "I'm Captain Majors, sir. After
re-entry, we began to experience technical difficulties and had to
crash-land on your front lawn, sir."
"Yes sir," said the next astronaut to reach him. She was female, about
5 feet 4 inches, with lots and lots of red hair, a small nose, green, flashing,
expressive eyes, and really big....shoulder blades. A woman Stetson could
appreciate. "Shortly after re-entry, the engine died, and we had to coast down
and land on the first flat surface we saw." she said with a slight Scottish
"Engine died? IMPOSSIBLE, I SAY! Your out of your fool minds. This is
solid American technology! It don't just die! Lemme' take a look under
"Pardon me sir?" the Scottish lass said, wondering why this man would
want to look under her hood.
"Not your's, little lady." At least not just right now, he thought. "The
hood of your machine over yonder!"
Stetson walked over to the TrailBlazer and popped the hood. He tinkered
around for a few minutes, at one point throwing a pastrami sandwich out of his
way, then suddenly gasped in horror. "Well if this just ain't about the end
of the world, then call me a scarecrow and shove a broomstick up my....pardon
me, little lady! But would you all gather 'round here and take a look at this!"
The seven astronauts gathered around Stetson under the hood and looked
at what he was pointing at. The engine block, distributor cap, radiator, and
Sears StarDrive-o-matic were all stamped with one horrid, earth shattering
"Made in Taiwan," Capt. Majors gasped.
"GodDamnitAll!! What in the hell is this here country comin' too?"
"I canna' believe it," the Scottish lass gasped, and sat down hard on the
charred grass and cried.
Four hours later, after the seven astronauts were bathed, dressed, and
fed, Stetson called them all into his library. And when I say library, I
mean Library! It was a room in the east wing of his mansion that was the
sized of what used to be E.S. Bird Library at what used to be Syracuse
University, in what used to be Syracuse, New York, before what the television
and radio announcers called "The Accident". He poured them all glasses of
Scotch [Johnnie Walker Black] and sat down behind his desk.
"I've decided somethin's gotta be done. I ain't gonna' live in this
dead country no more - not now that it doesn't even have the decency to
produce it's own GodDamnitAll space technology and is relyin' on a buncha'
midgets over in Taiwan to make it! And I ain't gonna' go living' in no
other heathen country where no one even has the decency an' common sense
to speak English, so I'm gettin' outta' here! Goin' inta' space is what
I mean to do, boys and girl! Space! That there final fronteer, as that
damned Kirk used ta' say, an' that bald guy says now. Out there in the stars
is where I'm goin'. Gonna build me a spaceships is what I'm gonna do! Now
boys and girl, what I'm askin' ya' is this: who here wants ta' go with me?"
The astronauts looked at each other, confused expressions on their
faces. Silence reined for a full five minutes, and then Capt. Majors spoke
"I'll go with you, Stetson."
The others chimed in agreement one after the other, until just the
Scottish lass, whose named turned out to be Sheena Campbell, was left.
"Well little girl, what's it gonna' be?"
"I...I don't know. I want to go to space, that's been my dream ever since
I first saw a bird take wing and fly up into the sky. As a young lass I'd
sit on the hills of Scotland and gaze at the stars, wondering if the birds
ever visited them, and wondering if I'd ever find a way to visit them myself.
I want to go, but I'll miss my mum....dad's a drunkard and I won't really
miss him, but I'll miss mum...."
"Well then don't worry about it, darlin'. Bring her along! Ain't no reason
to go leaving her behind!
"Now that only leaves me with one thing left to figure out. How to get
the money to build this damned thing. Lord knows I'm a rich man, but I don't
have quite that much money!"
"Sir, there's one man who could probably help out, though Lord knows
what the interest rate'll be." said one of the other astronauts, named
Teddy "Bear" Long.
"Well, don't just sit there with your hands shoved in your mouth and
your tongue playin' dead like a dog, say who it is!"
Two weeks later, Stetson was in the offices of one Donald Trump. The
meeting lasted twelve hours, but in the end Stetson left Trump's offices
with a grin on his face.
Another week later, after 450 interviews with engineers from all walks
of life, Stetson settled on his choie of the man who was going to build him
his ship. A fifteen year old kid named William Tog. William was an avid
war gamer, and his talk of the huge ships in the games he played captured
Stetson's imagination and proclivity toward extravagance. "Great HornyToads!
I live it, Kid! Start production in a week, and GodDamnitAll, Kid, make
it big! DAMNED BIG! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
WILL THE KID MAKE A DAMNED BIG SHIP?
JUST HOW BIG WILL IT BE?
WHAT SORT OF DEAL DID STETSON MAKE WITH DONALD TRUMP?
TOG! GET IT?
THE ANSWERS TO THESE AND MORE QUESTIONS IN THE NEXT POSTING OF **SF STORY**!!!
a division of Donald Trump Entertainment Industries, 1990
***** Received 19:25:23 on 01/02/90, Posting # 9 *****
Subject: (Sfstory 14) Lost Author #2
From: Yes, that's a human ear all right. (DICKSON at HARTFORD)
LOST AUTHOR #2
Pickle yanked hard on the control stick of his Lancea. The light fighter
nosed up and left the gravity well of the planet at tremendous speed. Pickle
ran a quick scan of the system he was in.
"Hmm," he thought. "No other planets in this system conducive to a beach.
So that character I was supposed to meet and wisecrack at can't be in this
system. Damn, I've forgotten his name already."
Pickle considered this for a moment.
"No matter," he thought, "I'll just find the beach, and when I find a
retired-looking immortal guy lying on it, that'll be him. Now, I can't have
missed the system by too much, so I'll check the close ones first."
Pickle ran a computer check on the surrounding area of the galaxy.
"Ahhh," he said aloud, "it must be the Trixoral system! It's only three light
years away, and it's got a planet with beaches! Easy mistake, anybody could
have made it. Especially when being resurrected from another storyline."
He smiled happily, and pointed his tiny ship toward the Trixoral system.
Then he frowned, having remembered something of some importance.
"This ship doesn't have a tachyon drive!" he said to himself. "And
without FTL capability, I'll never *get* to the Trixoral system!"
He moped for a full minute, then ran a system check again on the off
chance that he had missed some FTL-capable fighter carrier.
"Damn," he thought. "Now I'm going to rot here in this backwater system.
I wonder if my compact discs got resurrected with me?" He opened up the glove
compartment in search of the CD collection he had kept in the ship he had flown
before being killed.
There was only one disc, and it was one he had never seen before. "Best
Of BTO," he muttered. "Great. Oldies. Oh well, better than silence."
He removed the disc from its case and slid it into the player, and
selected the one track he was familiar with.
He pressed 'PLAY.'
"Activating navigational computer," said a female, but obviously computer-
generated, voice. "Destination, Trixoral system. Activating Bachman-Turner
The opening notes of "Takin' Care of Business" began to play, and Pickle
was slammed back into his seat. The sun that had been shining to port
disappeared, and the stars became a blur.
"Wow," thought Pickle. The song was less than halfway complete when the
yellow star Trixoral appeared in front of him. "Stupendous. Amazing. That
has to be the silliest piece of technology ever invented."
He considered this.
"Nah. This doesn't touch the alan wrench. Or the bamboo steamer. Or the
Hyundai Excel. Or quadrophonics. Or animal-lovin' Barbie. Or breakfast
cereal that contains marshmallows. Or MS-DOS. Or anything *written* for MS-"
He was interrupted by a beep. He glanced at his scanner and saw that he
was approaching a planet. He made a detailed scan of the planet, and found
that there was a large beach very close to the coordinates he had been given to
meet...Xenon? Gorgala? He really wished he could remember the villain's name.
Oh well. He nosed the ship down and rocketed to the beach.
The landing gear extended and the ventral fin folded up, and the Lancea
settled to the sand. The cockpit slid open, and Pickle jumped out. "Dean
Stockwell!" he cried out, for that is who he imagined this villain must look
like. "I have arrived! And you cannot be in my storyli- Damn. Nobody here
but a palm tree!"
The palm tree turned around and looked at him. It had large eyes and a
rather stunning figure.
"Why, Tina Turner," said Pickle. "I'm sorry. From behind, with your hair
the way it is and all, I thought you were a-"
"Don't worry," she said. "It's been said before, in a song by Christine
"Oh, yeah, I've heard it. Wow, how are you doing, Miss Turner? You must
be, what...three, four hundred years old by now?"
"Six hundred and thirty-eight," she said, then turned completely around.
"What do you think?"
"Wow, you still look great. Not a day older than last time I was alive,
when you were fifty."
"And how old did I look then?"
"I was never able to tell."
She laughed. "Well, thank you. And welcome to the Planet of Incredibly
Old Rock Stars."
"No kidding!" said Pickle. "Who else is here?"
"Well, the Who is around somewhere, and the Moody Blues. Pink Floyd, too;
Gilmour and Waters still go to court on Earth periodically about that."
"What about the Rolling Stones?" Pickle asked. "They finally kick off?"
Tina Turner laughed. "No, no, they're away on tour again. We keep
telling them people will get tired of it, that they should just give it a rest
and settle down, but they insist on going on with it."
"Well, age couldn't really hurt their looks much anyway," commented Pickle.
"True," said Tina Turner. "They are most certainly one of the ugliest
rock bands ever."
"Next to the Pogues, of course."
Pickle was silent for a moment. "Um, Tina," he said, "I'm looking for a
supervillain. About yea tall, immortal, retired? Nobody's said so, but I
imagine he looks kind of like Dean Stockwell."
"Sorry. Nobody like that around here. You try the next planet out?"
Pickle shook his head. "Are there beaches there?"
"Oh, no, it's an ice planet," said Tina Turner.
"Well, I hear he hangs out on beaches," said Pickle. "I guess I'll just
have to try another system."
"Well, good luck," said Tina Turner. "And take care of yourself. Bye
Pickle waved goodbye and climbed back into his ship. He slid the cockpit
shut and took off.
"Damn," he muttered. "Well, it's *gotta* be the next one."
WILL LOST AUTHOR EVER FIND A PLOT?
WILL HE EVER FIND WHAT'S-HIS-NAME?
WILL WHAT'S-HIS-NAME TURN OUT TO LOOK LIKE DEAN STOCKWELL?
DID THE STONES RELEASE A NEW ALBUM BEFORE THIS TOUR?
IS IT ANY GOOD?
COULD IT POSSIBLY BE, WHEN THEY RAN OUT OF NEW IDEAS SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY
YEARS BEFORE THE TOUR TAKES PLACE?
IS THE BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE IDEA FUNNY ENOUGH?
Find out the answers to these questions or not on.....SFSTORY!
***** Received 02:11:08 on 01/05/90, Posting # 10 *****
Subject: Hey La, CHAOS is back!
From: Talk is Cheap (JBANKERT at SUNRISE)
Origin: University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)
The Millenium Eggplant gave a very perturbed lurch. Han Calrisian
uttered a very unprintable oath, got out of bed, put on a robe, and headed
towards the bridge. The Millenium Eggplant gave another very purturbed lurch.
Lando Solo uttered an even more unprintable oath, pulled on some clothes, and
headed towards the bridge. The nearly collided heading towards the bridge.
"What the FUCK is going on Han???"
"DAMNED if I know, LANDO!"
The two continued muttering under their respective breathes until they
reached the bridge. The large ship then bull now again destroyer had them and
the Winebago II in a very powerful tractor beam. A light on the comm panel
blinked insistently that there was a person on the other end of the channel who
did not wish to be further ingnored.
"Calrisian here. What'a ya want?"
"Are you aware that we're locked in a pair of very powerful tractor
beams?" Pierre's query was quite urbane.
"Any bright ideas?"
"Hmmm.... Carrot-Leek drive, right?"
"Veritech Spinach cannon. Blow that destroyer into atoms. Overloads
the Carrot-Leek drive reactors."
"That wouldn't us much good, seeing as how we need the Carrot-Leek
"Besides, that ship is technically in another storyline. We couldn't
blow it up. Best we could do is scratch the paint. Of course, that's all they
could do to us too..."
The debate continued on, seemingly forever, as the pair of ships were
inexorably drawn into waiting docking bays on the PDFOTS Alamo's Revenge.
Time Agent 357 sat down. He was tired, dirty, and covered in
vegitable matter to boot. He had just finished installing a Carrot-Leek drive
in the Golden Lance, much to the dismay of the ship's computer Mildred. The
suspended arguement began anew.
"I can't see why we need that antiquated and ridiculous drive system in
"If I told you once, I told you a million times, you stubbon mass of
silicon, we need a CL drive to find Omegas, which if you'll check your 3 bytes
of memory, is in fact our prime objective at this moment.
Mildred made a very convincing sputtering sound, for a computer, and
retorted: "3 bytes of memory??? Why you pathetic excuse for organic life, I
have 7 terabytes of optical storage memory, and if you told me once, you told
me eighteen times, includ-"
"Oh, SHUT UP!" 357 interupted Mildred with what only could have been
described as a bellow, something 357 rarely did. "Just set a course for those
co-ordinates I gave you."
"Yes, Satan, I know you feel you're not getting enough exposure, but it
isn't time yet." A pause. "I told you, give it time. We need to keep a low
profile for the moment. All the pieces haven't fallen into place." Another
pause, slightly longer. "Look, Satan, I don't care HOW many minions you have,
HOW many souls you own, and certainly not your shoe size. You're just going to
ahve to wait. The party-line needs to work for at least another three months
before we can even begin to think of bringing it out into the open. If you
can't be patient and follow orders, I'll just find another mega-villian to take
your place, OK?" A brief silence. "Ok. I'll talk to you soon. Ciao."
CHAOS Engineer set the phone down with a practiced calm, repressed an
urge to scream at the truculence of Satan, and answered his intercom.
"Sir, I have a dispatch from one of the plot maintenance crew. He
reports that the Winebago II and the Millenium Eggplant have been pulled aboard
the PDFOTS Alamo's Revenge."
"What in TARNATION is Nigel up to?" CHAOS thought aloud.
"Your pardon, sir?"
"Oh? Sorry Janine, just thinking aloud. Set up an appointment for me
with Nigel Savage. Better try and get the Lost Author to attend as well."
The Challenger II rocked in response every time an asteroid struck her.
Luckily, most of the impacts were low velocity, and no serious damage occured.
The dull whine of the ion cannon firing at asteroids echoed through the
empty corridors of the ship at irregular intervals. Behind it, the
Challenger II was oblivious to the disappearance of four of Jupiter's moons.
After several brutal hours, the Challenger II broke through the asteroid belt,
headed towards Mars. About forty-five minutes later, the first signals from
the ship reached several Terran listening stations, shocking most of the crews
and interrupting one.
Aboard the Millenium Eggplant and the Winebago II, the spirited
discussion about what to do about being pulled in toward the large unknown
vessel ahead of them ended when the docking bays they had been towed into
closed with an ominous click, the sound reverberating through the two ships in
violation of a law or two of physics.
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO HAN, LANDO, AND THE MARBLE-ITES???
WILL STETSON SHOOT THEM???
WILL HE INVITE THEM TO DINNER???
OR PERHAPS, TURN THEM INTO ASSORTED FOLIAGE???
CAN ELVIS TELL TIME AGENT 357 WHERE TO FIND OMEGAS???
WHEN WILL SATAN GET MORE PRESS???
Find out sometime soon, in a galaxy close to your own, or if you can't
make it there, try SFstory!!
***** Received 19:20:54 on 02/21/90, Posting # 12 *****
Subject: when neutrinos collide
From: The Tennessee Cowboy (THC8650 at TNTECH)
Origin: University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)
The ship was a dull green, with occasional rust highlights, looking for all
the world like a 1973 Oldsmobile that had seen better days. The drive was
an ABPSAR (Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-integrator) powered by
5000 kilos of the reality-altering substance known as SPAM (Sickening,
Putrid, Artificial Meat). The destination was the system known as Sol, in
alterverse (ALTERnatiVe univERSE) #1. The computer was a revamped Constance
Series V. The pilot was 386, a Time Agent.
Time Agent 386 awoke from his nap. "What's are ETA to Sol V, Connie?" he
asked the ship's computer.
=57 seconds,= came the soothing tones of the artificial intelligence.
"57 seconds! You told me it would take a week to get there from Time
=Well, normally, yes. But you see, this ship is powered by an ABPSAR, which
can move us through almost any altiverse with ease. The navigational
subsystems automatically calculate the shortest route to the destination,
cutting through hundreds of alternate realities to find the shortest route.=
"And this will work with any destination?"
=Almost any. There are some alterverses where SPAM lacks its reality-
altering powers. That's why the archaic Carrot-Leek drive is making a
386 glanced at the ceiling, apparently in deep thought. Actually, he was
looking at the cue card for his next line. "But Carrot-Leek drive has only
limited interdimensional capabilities."
=Yes, but the few alterverses it is capable of travelling to include
Netherspace, Realspace, and every alterverse SPAM is inactive in.= A pause.
=Prepare for entry into alterverse #1. Temporal location, 1990 A.D.
Physical location, proximity of Sol V, which is missing four moons.=
The ship entered Realspace without a hitch. Or so it seemed. Suddenly,
alarms went off all over the ship. "Connie, what's wrong?"
The ship's computer seemed close to panic. =Heavy neutrino flux and Hawking
radiation! It's building up on our outer shields!=
Time Agent 386 lunged for the navigations console, unintentionally sending
the ship into a spin. "Prepare to blow the outer shields. The resulting
electromagnetogravitic distortions will send the neutrinos and radiation out
=Working.= The outer shields, wonders of modern technology which could
never fail, were rigged in such a way that they could be shut down in an
instant should they fail anyway. Rather than absorb the energy of the
collapsing energy net into the ship's power systems, it could instead be
allowed to radiate out into space. Connie did this. =Shields blown.
Approximate heading of the energy pulse is 126 mark 23.=
The alarms stopped bleeping, blaring, and otherwise giving 386 a headache.
"Anything important in its way?"
=Sol III, known locally as Earth, will receive full force of the blast in a
And it did. The neutrino flux passed harmlessly through the planet. The
Hawking radiation, however, caused a subspace rift as it bounced off the
atmosphere over the southeast United States. Two college dorms, 4092
people, a six-pack of beer, and every Boxcar Willie 8-track tape ever made
suddenly vanished without a trace, never to return again. Connie relayed
this result to 386.
"That's terrible!" 386 blurted.
=I agree. The loss of life is a tragic waste. I-=
"What brand of beer was it?"
The resulting argument was long, violent, and not very funny, so we'll skip
to just afterwards.
"What was the cause of that radiation?"
=Only one thing can cause that much Hawking radiation: a miniature black
hole. A black hole would also account for the four missing moons.=
386 thought that over. Made sense. "Meaning whoever it is who's stealing
these moons has a tame black hole. He'd have access to almost unlimited
power." He glanced down at the defensive systems control board. Most of
the weapons were rated in gigatons. "We don't have anywhere enough
firepower to bring him in."
=Correct. We'll have to have at least one more ship, an extra ABPSAR, and
the aid of one or more hyperpowerful immortal beings.=
That gave 386 an idea. "What's the location of my uncle, Time Agent 357?
He has an ABPSAR-powered ship, and when last heard from was trying to locate
Omegas, who often fits into the HPIB category."
=Location of Time Agent 357 is unknown. He's either outside the limits of
our SPAM-powered scanners or he's under the control of a different author.=
"Hmmm. Is there anyone who can tell us where he is?"
=Only the Sage might know.=
386 made a decision. Then he changed his mind. Then he got out a coin and
flipped it several times. Finally, he drew names out of a hat until he
found the answer. "Set course for the Sage, wherever he may be. All
WILL THE SAGE BE ABLE TO TELL 386 WHERE HIS UNCLE IS?
WILL THEY FIND HIM AND OMEGAS?
WILL 386 BE ABLE TO CAPTURE THE GUY WITH THE TAME BLACK HOLE?
Tune in next week, same sftime, same sfchannel!
***** Received 19:34:06 on 02/28/90, Posting # 13 *****
Subject: from the mind of Nigel Savage...
From: (P72J at CRNLVAX5)
Origin: University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)
STETSON TYLER -- SPACE COWBOY
------- ----- ----- ------
Back on Earth, a figure in blue armor with silver highlights had
just smashed into Donald Trump's personal office when an electronic pulse
hit the Earth, causing the disappearance of thousands of people, two
dorm buildings, a sixpack of beer, and sending an odd tingling through
a certain armored figure. The feeling dissapated quickly, leaving the
"Hello," said a slightly nonplussed though recovering Donald Trump.
"You must be..."
"Champion! Defender of the innocent! Bane of the evil! Dancer of the
hundred veils.....oops, sorry. I get carried away sometimes. So, DonnyBaby,
what can I do for you?"
"First off, you can stop calling me DonnyBaby. That slut...I mean, Ivana
used to call me that. Second off, you can sit down. Thirdly, you can tell me
what sort of abilities or skills you have that I could find useful."
"Well," said Champion, "I can fly at incredibly fast speeds, shoot bolts
of energy, destroy really BIG things, and trap bad guys in a magnetic field.
If I'm coming up against someone else who can shoot energy, I can absorb some
of their power and channel it into my strength, which is already pretty hot.
You know, I could probably lift this building!"
"Really? Interesting....anything else?"
"Hhmmmm...let me see....OH YEAH! I can turn invisible, I've got a kind
of passive sonar in a 360 degree radius, and a built in stereo/CD player!"
"I'll say...once I was fighting this guy named Doctor Destroyer, and
I figured a little mood music couldn't hurt, so I popped in the theme from
'Battlestar Galactica', and it really helped alot, 'cause then he...."
"I get the picture, Champ. Well, here's the story. THere is some strange
alien in Atlantic City destroying my casino and harming innocents.."
"Innocents, did you say!?!?"
"Yes, innocents! And the police and National Guard are helpless
to stop him! I'll pay you one million dollars to stop the alien!"
"Money is not necess....well, okay! I'm on my way!"
Champion turned and flew out the window, shattering that entire
wall. Soon, he was gone from he skyline.
From a side door, a woman in a slinky red dress with a front that
was almost low enough to be a back entered the room.
"Donald, you don't seriously plan on hiring that man permanently, do
you?" she breathed.
"No, of course not, dear. I merely wanted to keep him here long enough
so that the scanners could get a complete imprint of his armor's technology.
I figure that by this time next week, I'll have my own suit of armor, and
then no one will be able to stop me!!!!!!!!!!"
Back aboard the PDFOTS Alamo's Revenge, Sheena Campbell was in the
practice room blasting robots while Stetson went to deal with the
ships he had just brought aboard. When she was brought aboard, she had
never held so much as a BB gun, but she was rapidly becoming profficient
with a hand-held blaster. She was feeling confident, loosening her guard
a bit and taking fancier shots, when one of the robots kicked her in the
"YYYYAAAAAIIIIIIII!" she yelled.
"Now lass, what were ya' thinkin' of, hmmm now? You've been workin' out
with that fancy ray gun of yours for all a' two days, an' yer thinkin' that
ya' know all there is, do ya'?"
"Mother, do ya' think ya' can do better?"
The door opened, and in walked Esmerelda O'Scott Montgomery Campbell,
wearing a jumpsuit and carrying a quarterstaff. "Now stand out o' the way,
me daughter, and watch how it's done."
As Sheena [and I just wanna' mention, again, that Sheena is a SERIOUSLY
GORGEOUS red-haired, green-eyed, Scottish lass. This statement has absolutely
nothing to do the scene though....I just thought I'd mention it.] stepped into
the observation booth, "Scotty" activated the robots. In less than a minute,
she had disabled all twenty armed robots with only her quaterstaff [with the
exception of one robot, which she merely stared down].
"Now lassie, when ya' can do that, then ya' can consider yerself a pro.
Now go get a shower an' drag that cowboy inta' bed before I decide to seduce
A very puzzled Sheena watched her mother leave the room.
Down in the docking areas, Stetson, William, and Capt. Majors stood
surveying the three ships.
"Alright now, let's find out what in Tarnation is going on. Hey, you
pardners in the ships! Get on out here and give an accountin' of yourselves!"
OH MY GOD! COULD....COULD IT BE?
POSSIBILITY OF THE PLOT MOVING ON?????
POSSIBILITY OF THERE BE FORWARD MOTION?
BE HERE...NEXT TIME....SF STORY!
WE'RE MORE THAN JUST A HAM SANDWHICH!!!
- YOUR NAME HERE - $5.95 _
_ Offer void on Sol III _
***** Received 20:53:29 on 03/01/90, Posting # 14 *****
Subject: a funny thing happened...
From: The Tennessee Cowboy (THC8650 at TNTECH)
Origin: University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)
Time Agent 386 and his ship blasted their way from one alterverse to the
next, short-cutting across reality. Upon going from alterverse #89 to
alterverse #34, they accidentally crossed paths with a comet. There was no
damage to the ship, but its shields did cut a major chunk out of the comet.
Five years later, the people of Ogore VII were surprised to see that the
famous Shining Face comet was now known as the Illustrious Cleavage comet.
As a result, the sky was boycotted and children under 35 were not allowed
out at night for two years. This caused economic hardship, sagging morale,
and a boom in the sales of X-rated videocassettes to those who could no
longer go out to the movies.
But this does not relate to the story.
The ship was cutting through warpspace when they received the distress call.
=We're receiving a distress call on the Time Police frequency. Shall I
answer it or play John Denver's "Country Roads" for them?=
386 snarled, huffed, gritted his teeth, and finally got the top off his Easy
Open Aspirin Bottle. "Just open a hailing frequency and I'll answer them."
Whose bright idea was it to have intelligent computers on ships?
=Hailing frequencies open,= said the Constance Series V ship computer
through a speaker hidden behind the potted plant. The plant was a lovely
shade of mauve, having evolved under a purple sun, and offset the violet
speaker quite nicely. 386 hated it and planned to have it for a salad later.
386 cleared his throat and began to speak. "This is Time Agent 386, aboard
the HMS -er, uh. Hey Connie! What's the name of this ship?"
=The HMS As Yet Unnamed.=
386 was taken aback. "That's a silly name for a ship."
=Well, it's your job to pick out a new one.=
"Uh, right." Decisions, decisions. "This is Time Agent 386, aboard the HMS
er, uh, As Yet Unnamed, responding to your distress call. What is the
nature of your emergency?"
The main viewer came to life. It showed a ship's cockpit, dimly lit in
reds, with black and chrome consoles. Seated in the command chair was a
humanoid, wearing a massive coat of armor that made him resemble a steel
gorilla with elephantitis. His scarred and not at all handsome face
registered surprise at the viewer. He reached down to pat what looked like
an atomic warhead strapped to one leg for comfort. "What's my emergency?!?"
he asked incredulously. "What's my emergency? You want to know what my
emergency is!?!" His voice rose to a deafening level.
He suddenly paused, rubbing a guantletted hand against his not-too-recently
shaved chin. "Good question. What is my emergence?"
Connie put in her 2c worth. =From the sensor readings, I'd guess your warp
engines are loosing coolant and will overheat in exactly 90 seconds. At
that point, you will have approximately 2 microseconds to EITHER eject the
engines, causing your warpfield to fail and your ship to re-enter normal
space at a real velocity higher than the speed of light, which will cause
you to cease to exist as physicists have proven it is impossible to go
faster than the speed of light, OR attempt a manual shutdown by dumping the
antimatter into the cockpit, causing you to go out in the biggest Bang in
about 20 billion years.=
The armored man's eyes lit up. "Yeah, that's it! Hey, that's a nice trick."
"What is?" said 386.
"Getting that mauve plant to talk. All mine will do is hum."
386 snarled again, and this time he wasn't opening aspirin bottles. "We're
just within TTT range. If you'll alert your crew, we'll beam you aboard
with our Temporal Teleporter Terminal."
"Uh, right. Telewhatzit when ready." The viewer went blank.
There was heavy activity at the science console and Connie scanned the ship
for life signs. =Two lifeforms in the accessway near the cockpit of the
ship. Shall I TTT them?=
386 strapped on his telechronal displacement blaster. "Sure, but hold them
in stasis until I get there. I don't want them wandering about until I've
had a good look at them."
Connie checked her readings again. =You may not want them wandering about
even after you've had a good look at them.=
386 was puzzled. "Now what's that supposed to mean?"
WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
WHO ARE THESE TWO LIFE FORMS?
WHAT WILL 386 DO WITH THEM?
WILL THE HMS AS YET UNNAMED EVER REACH THE SAGE'S SATELLITE?
the answers will have to wait until next week. I have a program due Monday.
***** Received 00:54:57 on 03/02/90, Posting # 15 *****
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Index for Logs 031-060