Main Sfstory Page     Previous Log     Next Log     Index for Logs 031-060

Sfstory Log 044

From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)

Another edition of the life and times.
        When I awoke, Sheila and Alexa were bending over me with looks of
concern on both their faces.  I seemed to have made my way to the floor,
        "What did I do this time?" I groaned.
        "You just passed out," Sheila said.
        I tried to stand, feeling a little groggy, and they helped me to my
feet.  Things weren't looking at all good for my future.
        "We've got to get out of here," I stated.
        "Well, yes, we do have to leave soon," replied Sheila.  "I want to get
you to a Cerebro-Pathologist.  They have one at Intergalactic U."
        "It's not just that," I interjected.  "If Carl Vilifis really is after
me, then he knows where I am right now.  The sooner I get moving, the better."
        "I hadn't thought of that," she answered, chagrined.  "It's a little
different when you are the target, I know.  It gets you thinking about your
possible death constantly."
        "What do you mean, you know?" I asked.
        "I'm Time Police, remember?  I get this sort of thing from time to
        I chewed on that, while she arranged for departure with Alexa.  It
seemed that leaving Media Police Central HQ required a lot of rigamarole.

        About an hour later, we were aboard a shuttle with blinders on the
viewports, wearing blindfolds, being tied to our chairs.  Since there was
very little else to do, we talked.
        "They spent a little extra time packing in our luggage," Sheila said.
        "Luggage?" I queried.  "We didn't come with any luggage.  We came
straight through that space disturbance in the Fantasy/Science Fiction"
        "Program," she corrected.  "And yes, I know we didn't have any luggage,
but I requested some from Alexa, and she was kind enough to requisition
some clothes and necessities for us.  This green leather armor is fine on
most worlds, but there are some worlds on which it just won't fly."
        I grunted acknowledgment to her, and tried to get at the itch that was
developing in the small of my back.  These itches do develop at the most
inopportune times.
        As I reached the small of my back, I seemed to come in contact with
some kind of electrical shock.  I immediately lost consciousness...again.

        As I woke up, Sheila and a strange man were both bending over me
with a bluish sky behind them.  Sheila looked concerned, the man looked amused,
and I had a case of cotton-mouth that would kill a normal man.
        "I seem to be spending all of my time asleep, nowadays." I croaked,
trying to lick some moisture into my lips from a completely arid mouth.
        "I know, sweetcheeks, I'm going to have to start nicknaming you
'Sleeper'," she grinned, obviously relieved.
        "It's your own fault, you know, for moving around in a Media Police
vehicle that's under electronic supervision," grinned the stranger.  "You
set off the stasis field, and you were off to dreamland, until removed from
the vehicle."
        "Who is this joker," I growled, sitting up, "and can I kill him?"
        From my sitting position, I noticed that we seemed to be on a landing
platform made of asphalt, or some similar substance, that the whooshing sounds
that had been underscoring our conversation were spacecraft (and boy, did they
look funny) taking off and landing, and that I had been incumbent next to one
of them, which had the legend "Stellar Inquirer" etched in the side.
        "To answer that, no you can't kill me," he replied.  "If you mean MAY
you," he continued, stepping back with an inviting gesture, "you are welcome
to try."  He had the gleam of battle in his eye.
        I felt my adrenaline rising to the challenge, when Sheila stepped
between us.
        "I can't believe you two!" she exclaimed.  "Men!  You're just big
        I, of course, found this quite unfair, especially in contrast
to her behavior in Alexa's work area.  Thinking back to that fight scene,
however, reminded me that if Sheila's reflexes were any indication, the people
I met outside of my own planet were likely to be quite a bit faster than what
I was used to.  And then I remembered that I didn't come from a planet at all,
that my whole life had been a program.  At this, of course, I passed out again.
When I came to, both the stranger and I were on the ground on our backs.  I
was trying to shake a headache and buzzing sound from my head, and obviously,
so was he.
        "Are you two quite finished?" Sheila asked, pocketing something that
looked a lot like a calculator for a math nerd.  "If you two fight again, I'll
be forced to stun you again."  She didn't seem at all displeased with the
        "Well, that was quite some workout," said the stranger.  He was
sweating profusely, and, oddly enough, so was I.  "Anyone who can fight like
that is okay in my book.  Charles Morault, at your service.  Say, you look
familiar."  He shook my hand, and I looked at him, dazed.
        "Morault?" I asked, in shock.  "But that's my name!"

                        Who is this stranger?
                        Why does he have the same name as Philip?
                        Is this wierd or what?
                        Where exactly is this conversation taking place?

        The answers to perhaps none of these, in the next issue of
                        THE LIFE AND TIMES
                        OF PHILIP MORAULT

***** Received 23:49:42 on 05/15/90, Posting #    40 *****
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)

It's time for the next episode of THE LIFE AND TIMES.

        Sheila stared at Charles and I for quite some time.
        "You know," she said, "you two do look an awful lot alike."
        "What is your full name?" Charles asked.
        "My name is Philip Charles Morault," I said.
        "Little brother!" cried Charles.  "We thought you had been captured
by the Thieves' Guild!"
        Shiela slapped her hand over Charles's mouth, and grabbing his head,
pushed hard.
        "There is no Thieves' Guild," Sheila whispered, fiercely.  "And, if
there was, which I sincerely doubt," she continued, giving Charles a hard look,
"it wouldn't be safe to talk about it.  Now, take it back."
        "Of course, not!" Charles laughed uncomfortably (and not very
convincingly, either).  "I was only kidding!"  An engineer working on a ship
two over from us gave us an almost warning glare, his eyes full of hard
        "It must have been the Assassin's Guild!" Charles continued blithely.
        Sheila angrily knocked him in the back of the head, sending him
groundward.  "Now he's done it," she glowered, as five engineers, two police
officers, a stewardess, and a traffic controller began running in our direction,
each looking menacing.
        Sheila picked up Charles and began running.
        "We'd better get out of here," she yelled at me, as I turned to follow.
        For a few minutes, there wasn't time to talk, as both of us had no
breath to spare from our running.  We dodged in and out among spaceships,
shuttles, and repair scaffolding as we headed toward the terminal; a sprawling
complex several hundred city blocks long.  We hurried inside, and ducked into
a door stenciled in 3 different scripts, one of which I read as saying
"Maintenance: Authorized Personnel only".  Sheila had to use her calculator
device to get us past the door, though I hadn't seen a lock.  I guessed I
was a little behind, technologically.  Sheila dumped her dead weight on the
floor (Charles), and we both threw ourselves down to rest.
        "Who are those guys?" I asked, as we both panted for breath.  I watched
her breasts heave, and my head began to buzz.
        "They're Guild members, of course," she panted.  She seemed irritated.
        "Oh you mean they're with the A-" she jammed her hand across my mouth
and looked at me seriously.
        "Sweetcheeks, I can't carry both of you, and you know I like you, but
if you say that, I'll clonk you and throw you down the nearest refuse tube."
I could tell that she meant it.
        "But there's nobody here," I protested, then remembered that I was
behind, technologically.  "Oh."
        Sheila looked relieved that she wasn't going to have to make any
explanations, as she made quieting motions toward me.  She did something
complicated with her calculator, and cracked the door open.
        I was about to ask her what the calculator was, when I looked over her
shoulder down the hallway (which was relatively unoccupied; I assumed Sheila
had chosen it for that reason, though I didn't know if she knew her way around
this Spaceport) and saw a completely nondescript individual in a brown
business suit glancing our way.  Sheila and I both froze, and I hoped that
this man wasn't with the A----- Guild, or, if he was, that he hadn't seen us.
The man began walking in our direction, and Sheila took out her calculator.
She aimed through the crack, pushed a button, and the man continued to walk
toward us to stand in front of us.
        "Put that away," he said.  "I have an electronic scrambler, just like
you do.  Besides, I'm not with the...people who are after you."
        Sheila, looking relieved, put away her calculator and opened the door
wide enough to allow his passage.  He slipped in quickly, and closed it behind
        "I'm Agent 44, Time Police Special Operations.  We're conducting an
operation in this Spaceport, and you two...three," he corrected himself,
looking at Charles on the floor, "come in and shake things up at the worst
possible time.  What did you do to get them after you, anyway?"
        "He," Sheila said, pointing to the unconscious Charles, "said the name
of a certain...orgainization."
        Agent 44 looked down at Charles's still form in disgust.  "What a
criminal waste of protoplasm," he growled.
        The  Time Police Officer looked up at Sheila and I.  "Well, be that
as it may, I have to get you two out of here.  Where did you want to go?"
        "To the University grounds," Sheila replied promptly.  "Cerebro-
Pathology, preferably, but anywhere nearby will do."
        "All right," he replied, removing his watch. "I'm wasting emergency
equipment, but I need you two clear."  He moved the buttons on his watch,
moved his lips, and threw the watch down.  A hole appeared in the floor where
the watch had lain.  Sheila walked to the hole and held out her hand toward me.
        "Aren't you coming?" she enquired, almost amused.
        Taking her hand, I allowed her to lead me into the hole into

                        WHAT IS THAT HOLE IN THE FLOOR?
                        WHAT IS THAT WATCH, AND CAN I GET ONE?

                        The answers to incredibly few of these questions
                        in the next episode of THE LIFE AND TIMES.

***** Received 23:54:30 on 05/15/90, Posting #    44 *****
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)

        We stepped through the hole in the floor, Sheila and I,
and Sheila grabbed the bottom of Charles's jacket as we fell through,
dragging Charles with us.  After falling through the hole, we found
ourselves in the center of a large grassy clearing in between several
buildings, and Charles thumped to the ground, rebounding slightly with
the impact.  This rough treatment just couldn't be doing his head any
good, and I didn't envy him his headache when he woke up.
        As we sat on the rim of a fountain set in the center of the
clearing, I turned to Sheila.
        "How long is he out for?" I asked, motioning to Charles.
        "Oh, for a few hours, at any rate," she replied.  She gave me a
good, solid kiss that sent my head buzzing, and set black spots dancing
behind my closed eyelids.  I tried to think of something to stop her
before I passed out again.  I could never tell WHAT I was going to do
in THAT condition.
        "Hey, isn't that a little much for public?" I asked.
        "Oh, relax," she replied, and I could almost feel her mentally
letting down her hair.  "We're at the University, remember?  Galactic law
on Public Display of Affection, and just about every other law isn't
in effect on University grounds.  Students are a randy and chaotic lot,
and to deal with them, Galactic authorities have placed InterGalactic U.
in a sort of legal quarantine, requiring students to keep their more
disruptive pursuits on campus."
        "I don't envy the professors," I opined, shuddering.
        "Oh, don't worry about them," she chuckled.  "The first batch
had a bit of trouble getting used to the new way campus worked, and had
to try keeping the peace with hired thugs.  Even that didn't work.  But
that was all years ago, and the professors are all grown-up juvenile
delinquents in their own rights.  I remember my E. E. elective," she
smirked, obviously reminiscing.
        "Wait a minute," I stuttered.  "Electronic Engineering is an
        "Sure," she answered, blithely, "It wasn't in my Space Heroine -
Martial Arts Expert major, but it was so much fun, I took it five times.
I still remember the first day of class; you had to get into the classroom
without electrocuting yourself.  It got harder, after that."
        My head was spinning from her definition of normal campus life,
and to compound it, she started nibbling on my ear, disrupting my thinking
process entirely.  Knowing I was on the verge of going unconscious, I thought
quickly of something else to distract her.
        "Is that Cerebro-Pathology?" I pointed at the building in front
of us, standing up and, incidentally (though it wasn't really incidental)
moving out of her grasp.
        "No, silly," she said, sidling up to me, putting her arms
around me, and continuing to nibble.  "It's the one behind you."  This was
slightly distorted due to the fact that she had my earlobe between her
        "Oh, really?" I asked, spinning myself from her arms to look at it.
Nearly in a panic, I hoped she hadn't heard the slight quaver in my voice.
I also hoped that the slight blackness over my vision would go away so that
I could even see the building.  "Do you know anyone there?" I continued.
        "Oh, if you're that desperate to see it, come on," she pronounced,
taking my hand.  She sounded slightly impatient, and amused, almost as if
she had known what was going on.  I followed her in a cold sweat of tension,
trying to keep from sighing in relief.  Behind us, we left the supine body
of Charles lying by the fountain.

                        What happens next?
                        Will Philip get cured?
                        What does a hot chick like Sheila want with a
                                geek like Philip?


***** Received 23:50:55 on 05/15/90, Posting #    41 *****
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)

        As Sheila and I walked toward the Cerebro-Pathology Lab, the
wind blew through our hair, just like a Seabreeze commercial.  Bemused,
I shuddered again.  Commercials was how this whole mess got started.
I'd learned that my life had been a "program" for entertainment value,
I'd met a Junior Programmer named George, been wisked into a fantasy/
sci fi setting, met a luscious wench who was even now tugging me toward
the Lab in the middle of InterGalactic U., been taken to Media Police
Central, had an evil genius make threats on my life, and been chased
by a huge orgainization called the Assassin's Guild.  This had just not
been my week.
        Or had it?  Life certainly had gotten more interesting than when
I'd been forced to leave my job due to fainting spells.  I'm sure my boss,
though essentially a jerk, would have overlooked these spells in view of
the high quality of my work, if, during one of them, I hadn't decked him,
leaving behind a huge black eye, and an astonished secretary.  Though this
life had only been a program, it had seemed real enough to me, since I had
been forced to become a travelling vagrant, nearly destitute.
        Quite different from my state now, as I travelled behind a beautiful
woman toward a Lab where my Problem might get solved, wearing clothes provided
for me by an orgainization of as yet unknown (but presumably awesome) power;
the Media Police.
        Sheila and I finally neared a building that seemed quite daunting,
being made of a severe-looking gray stone, smooth-sided, with the bust of
a rather strict-looking older man with a forbidding look on his face.  The
effect of his expression was somewhat ruined by a big red clown nose and
deely-bopper antennae that someone had attached to the sculpture.  Sometimes,
I just love college students, I thought, grinning.  Some things seemed to be
        The defaced bust gave an unexpected feeling to me; it made the whole
place seem more homey.  The grey walls seemed somehow less confining than
they were secure, and the building was, after all, only a big building.
        Sheila led me through glass doors into a stairway, and we began
climbing.  The stairway was painted a bright red, which clashed tastelessly
with the beige walls.  It seems that the taste of University decorators was
another universal constant.
        We finally came to a landing just below the third floor of the
building, which seemed to be the last.  We were greeted by a crude robot,
who rolled up to Sheila, and placed metallic hands on her rather obvious
feminine attributes, it's yellow eyes flashing.
        "Ooh, baby," it said in a slightly tinny voice.
        Sheila formed a knife-hand behind her left ear and neatly decapitated
the little monster.  It fell back into a little pile of rubble.  Sheila's face
turned red, and she began running furiously toward the glass doors leading into
the third floor.  There was no way I could keep up, but I did my best anyway,
as she turned the corner of the stairs, and banged through the glass doors
into the hallway of the third floor.  I reached the hallway just in time to
see Sheila's heels vanishing around a corner at the end of the hall.
        I could tell there was going to be trouble, and I was right, because
no sooner did I make it halfway down the hall, than I heard a clanging sound,
and a strangled cry, that was quickly cut off.  I just hoped she hadn't killed
        When I made it into a place that looked somewhat like a lab, somewhat
like an entertainment center, the first thing I saw was Sheila standing in the
middle of the room, holding up a shrivelled little man in a white jacket.  His
feet dangled several inches from the floor, and his face was an unhealthy shade
of red, and he looked distinctly uncomfortable.
        "Sheila, put him down," I said, astonished at my own temerity.  "Don't
kill him until he's had a second to explain himself."
        Sheila looked as if she was in no mood to be reasonable.
        "Explain himself?" she cried, sounding enraged.  "I don't want to give
the little weasel a chance to squirm out of this."  Nonetheless, she put him
        The little man looked quite relieved at this change for the better,
and looked at me gratefully, as he coughed and spluttered, trying to get his
breathing apparatus working again.
        "Now," I remarked, when I felt he'd had enough time, "what was the idea
of this robot?  I can see you're old enough to be in your dotage, but that's
not exactly the kind of behavior I'd expect of a mature being."  I had decided
on "being", since I couldn't be sure he was human, despite appearances.
        "Robot?  The only robot I know of that's around here is Bobby, my son's
grade-school project.  He's been doing some basic research on tactile
projection, and let me tell you, if you think I'd make anything as crude as
that clunker, I'm insulted.  My work would be indistinguishable from the real
thing."  He looked to be on the verge of pouting, and I nearly rolled my eyes
at his prima-donnaish attitude.  He seemed to have passed over completely the
remark about dotardry.
        His reply brought a scream of rage from a door in the other side of
the room.
        "TRAITOR!" the young voice cried.
        This pronouncement was followed by a veritable cannonball of a child,
who couldn't have been more than 8 years old, tearing into the room and pro-
ceeding to pound ineffectually on the old man's legs and lower body.
        "TRAITOR?" the old man thundered.  I was quite amazed at the amount
of sound that his frail body could emit.  "You were going to cower inside your
room and let your old father be strangled to death by a righteously enraged
Time Police officer, and you have the audacity to call ME a TRAITOR?"
        As he continued berating his small son, Sheila took me off to the side,
and began explaining happenings thus far.
        "I've had to work with the Professor, here, before; in fact, I've had
to rescue him several times from the KrkQwth, an insectoid league who seems
inable to produce its own scientists; it feels quite content to steal everyone
else's scientists.  We've been on semifriendly terms ever since, though we
don't always agree on each others' principles and methods.  Nevertheless, he
owes me a few, so I feel I can get him to cure your problem without having
to go through channels.  I don't know what my bosses would do with you, since
you're obviously unauthorized to see half of the things you have seen; they'd
probably order a memory wipe."  She looked slightly worried about this
        I had felt slightly ill at the mention of a memory wipe, and it
obviously showed on my face, since she gave me a quick peck on the cheek. I was
just glad it wasn't more than that.  Passing out was not something I looked
forward to.





        The answers to some questions (not necessarily these) in the next
        episode of THE LIFE AND TIMES (SF STORY)!

***** Received 23:56:37 on 05/15/90, Posting #    45 *****
Subject:     Episode 2.4
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)

                                THE LIFE AND TIMES
                                OF PHILIP MORAULT

                                (A Subplot of SF-Story)

        While Sheila was finishing her explaination to me in a corner,
the as-yet unnamed Professor was quieting down his son in the middle of
the room with a rectangular bar of what looked like garden-variety
        Sheila and I walked toward the Professor, who stood fondly watching
his son munch on the huge bar of chocolate.  As we approached, the Professor
looked up and greeted us.
        "And what may I do for you?" he asked, timidly.  "I take it that
you no longer wish to terminate my active existence?"
        "No," she replied, "But you might do something about disciplining
your son."  She glowered.
        "I doubt that he will be a problem for long," he replied, unconcerned.
"I'm sure it's just a stage."
        His son chose this time to look up from his chocolate bar.  He had
the most nauseated look on his face I had ever seen.  His skin looked positively
green.  He dropped the chocolate bar and rushed from the room.  As Sheila looked
after him, I knelt down to pick up the chocolate bar.
        "What was all that about?" she queried the Professor, eyebrow raised.
"He certainly dashed out of here in a hurry."
        "I haven't the faintest idea," replied the Professor.  "I thought he
looked a little upset about something."
        I was busily reading the plain, white wrapper of the candy bar.  Or
rather, I was trying my best, since it was written in a script I was unfamiliar
with.  The Professor looked over my shoulder at the plastic wrapper.  As I
glanced up at him, a grimace seemed to be spreading over his face.
        "Oh, my," he said.
        Sheila walked over to us and glanced down at the bar.  Things were
beginning to get a bit crowded, and I was beginning to get a bit woozy with
her proximity.  Sheila glanced up at the look on the Professor's face.
        "Lot 36?" she quested, sharply.  "What's Lot 36?"
        "Uh, it's a project I was touring in the Chemistry complex; I must
have picked up the wrong snack."
        "What was the project for?" she prodded, definitely not looking
reassured.  I was getting a little curious, myself.
        "Well, they were trying to create some super-strength laxatives for
heavy-gravity planets, and placing them in an easy-to-consume chocolate."
The Professor grimaced again.
        Sheila sat still for a moment, after which, she began to chuckle.
Then, she began to roar, and tears began streaming down her face.  She lost
her balance, and began rolling on the floor.  For her size, she has a very
healthy laugh.
        "S-s-serves him right," she gasped, in seeming pain.  "Oh, I think
I'm going to pass out."
        "Don't you start," I cried, concerned.  "One of us passing out all
the time is quite enough."
        "Speaking of which," mused the Professor, "we need to be getting at
that problem of yours.  It sounds like a classic case of a rather uncommon
ailment, but no use jumping to conclusions.  Just get under this scanner,
and we'll take a look at you."  He pulled what looked like a dentist's
chair out of the corner and dragged it to the center of the room.
        I walked over to the contraption, feeling rather uneasy, tripped
over something, and smacked my head on the footrest set in the chair.  I
must have knocked myself out cold, because the world sort of exploded in
a shower of sparks.



                WILL SOMEONE ELSE START?

                Answers to questions similar to these can (possibly)
                be found in the next issue of THE LIFE AND TIMES...

***** Received 23:58:46 on 05/15/90, Posting #    46 *****
Subject:     And now things get really wierd....
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)


                        Episode 2.5

        As I awoke, I noticed that certain things had changed.  The lab
was less dusty, but much more cluttered.  In addition, both Sheila and
the Professor had changed clothes.  This was all peripheral information,
of course, as I had a splitting headache, and was having trouble focussing
on the world.
        I closed my eyes, and massaged the bridge of my nose, chasing a
pain that was playing about the inside of my head.  As I sat, I took stock.
I seemed to be thinking clearer than I had before, and I wondered why.  I
also noticed that my entire body was stiff and sore, more than could be
accounted for by a simple bash on the noggin.  I massaged the back of my
neck, trying to get the stiffness out, and I heard Sheila move behind me
and begin massaging my back and shoulders.  It was pure pleasure, as
the feelings of stiffness were slowly replaced by ecstasy.  Her touch felt
familiar, which astonished me, as did the fact that I had recognized her
by sound alone, and the fact that I felt nothing like passing out  In fact,
I felt like doing nothing more than pulling her into my arms and kissing and
caressing her, a thought I couldn't even have contemplated before without
becoming lightheaded.  I decided, from this information, that whatever had
been wrong with me was no longer wrong with me.
        As my mind cleared, and the pain slowly eased out of my body through
my feet, I noticed that I was hearing much more sound than two people would
normally make; in fact, I was hearing the sounds of a large crowd of people.
        I opened my eyes, and, sure enough, the room was half-filled with
human beings.  They were mostly dressed in blacks and dark browns, and some
of them were wearing leather.  All of them were armed; with weapons, I was
surprised to note, that I recognised.  I saw a katana here, a Louisville
slugger there, and what looked exactly like a chainsaw, each gripped tightly
in hands that looked quite competent to wield them.  However, they weren't
looking at me in a particularly menacing manner, so I accepted them for
the moment.
        "How long have I been out?" I asked.
        I was surprised to hear the entire crowd cheer at this pronouncement,
as surprised when the Professor shushed them and they listened, and further
shocked when Sheila began chuckling, laughing, and rolling on the floor.  The
Professor, looking disgusted, started walking away and talking to the group
under his breath, earnestly.
        I was completely mystified, until Sheila got up from the floor, wiping
her eyes, and began to explain.
        Her first statement shocked me speechless.  "Five years.  You've been
out five years.  Give or take a few weeks."  I was so stunned by this reve-
lation that I would have had to sat down, if I wasn't already sitting.  I
sat, stunned, while Sheila looked at me with an almost wistful look on her




        Believe it or not, some of these questions may actually be answered
        in the next episode of THE LIFE AND TIMES.

***** Received 00:47:44 on 05/16/90, Posting #    47 *****
Subject:     By way of explanation,
From:        (FSILK at ALASKA)
Origin:      University of Maine BBS Processor (UMNEWS at MAINE)


                Episode 2.6

                        Sheila's story

        "It all started when you hit your head that day.  You got up,
and just buzzed out of here like the Media Police was on your tail.  I
tried to catch you, but you were out of sight before I got started.  I
spent years trying to find you, starting with a manhunt on the campus.
I had to pull in a lot of favors searching for you.  Oh, and I'm afraid
I won't have a job at the Time Police, anymore; I'm 'way overdue."
She grimaced.
        "Well, anyway, the next five years or so was on and off failure;
sometimes we thought we had a lead, then the trail would go dry for a while.
I got really close to some of my old friends," she pointed to the group
the Professor was trying to orgainize, "and we got together a tracing team."
        "Why did you bother?" I asked.  "It sounds like I was a lot more
trouble than I was worth."
        "Well, as the Professor explained to me when I got back here, finding
you lost, you had a very unusual condition.  You had, and still have, a
subconscious ability of nearly the proportions of a Deus Ex Machina power."
        "Deus Ex Machina?  Isn't that a literary ploy?"  I asked.  "Where
the author pulls the character out of an impossible situation by introducing
some extremely improbable coincidence?"
        "Yes, that's exactly it," she replied.  "But in recent para-
psychological parlance, it's also the name of a power that alters reality
in bizarre ways to protect the empowered from harm.  In your case, we're pretty
sure that your power isn't one of that magnitude; it seems that your
subconscious merely has all the abilities that you are potentially capable
of, but don't currently possess."
        "There's not much I can do," I shrugged.  "I haven't actually ever
been good at anything."
        "That was just your ability protecting itself; the less you can do,
the more it can do," she answered.  "And when you left here, it was just
your power protecting from discovery and potential harm.  You see, your
power was working against you."
        "Well, anyway, to get back to the story, we finally tracked you down
to a back corner of a recreational planet, where there I had a sort of showdown
with your subconcious.  It was quite a hair-raising experience, let me tell
you."  She ran her hand through her hair.  "By then, you had some way of
jamming our stun signals, I don't know how; and it almost came to a fight
between me and you; I really don't know who would have won.  As it was, I had
to convince your subconcious power, which, as you've probably figured out,
had a mind of its own, that letting you discover it and even control it
was a good idea."
        I was slightly stunned by the idea that I had been fighting my own
subconscious.  I took a few seconds to assimilate the idea, and continued
listening to Sheila.
        "Eventually, what I had to do was convince it to stop protecting
you from yourself, and let you make your own mistakes.  You have the ability
to be incredibly intelligent, you know; at least your subconscious was
pretty savvy."
        "Well, we finally got you back here for treatment; but by this time,
the A-Guild was on our trail, and had followed us on our search for you.
The T-Guild was also tracking us, I'm pretty sure; in fact, they might be
in league.  So we think the A-Guild and the T-Guild have followed us here,
that's why the Professor is deploying our team to create a defensive
        "You mentioned treatment; what was actually done to me?"  I queried,
        "Nothing much; we integrated the two parts of your self; while you
won't necessarily have all the abilities of your subconscious, you will be
able to become as good as your subconcious in the same things that your
formerly recalcitrant subconscious was able to do.  You still have your
as-yet untrained ability, but you shouldn't be fainting anymore during, um,
stressful moments."  She looked at me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.
"If we weren't so rushed for time, I might try that out now."
        I had the grace to blush; my conscious mind was still a virgin;
as far as I could remember, I was pretty naive.
        As I thought furiously on how to distract myself, I heard the crash
of steel on steel, and a groan from the hallway.  It seemed that reality
had come to my rescue.

                ASSASSIN'S GUILD?


                AND WHAT ABOUT NAOMI?

        The answers to 3 or less of these questions in the next episode

***** Received 01:10:54 on 05/16/90, Posting #    48 *****
Subject:     Lost Author #10
From:        Blast the human flower (DICKSON at HARTFORD)

                               LOST AUTHOR #10
                                 Bill Dickson

     Pickle, the Lost Author, glanced up wearily from the control panel of his
Lancea.  It was beyond repair.  The wreckage of a half-dozen fighters from the
warfleet of Satan T. Lucifer Jones lay drifting behind him, but they had done
their work.  The Bachman-Turner Overdrive was out, the conventional thrusters
sat limply smouldering in their housings, the communications console was a slag
heap, and he had only twenty minutes of life support left.  He was done for.
     He thought back on the events of the past several months.  The mission at
the Planet of the Supermarkets, the running battles with Satan's fleets, the
tales of the heroic struggle ranging across the galaxy.
     But then it had fallen silent.  Satan's apathy weapon had successfully
brought the galaxy to a standstill.  And now, in the Lost Author's case, the
final blow had been struck against him.  And so close to the rumored location
of Elvis, too.
     And then, the King himself appeared.
     "Hi there," he said in a friendly, confident voice.

        *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

     Satan T. Lucifer Jones pondered darkly on the flaming bridge of his
flagship.  It wasn't flaming because it was damaged, of course; it was flaming
because that was what its life support systems were designed to make it do.
     Satan idly pressed a button on his throne and spoke into a viewscreen.
"Get me the Plan Nine from Outer Space."  There was a momentary pause, and then
the bridge of the distant battlecruiser flickered into view, the face of Rex
Reed centered and attentive.
     "Yes, my lord?"
     "Captain Reed, have you noticed any unusual activity in your part of
     "*Nnoooo*, sir, it's been inCREDibly BORing out here!"
     "Damn."  Satan switched off the viewscreen, not wanting to look at Rex
Reed's face for any longer than absolutely necessary.  He briefly considered
contacting Hemingway or another of his captains, but decided against it.  The
reports had all been the same for months.  Nothing going on.  The apathy weapon
had apparently worked beautifully, but had sadly rendered the entire galaxy too
tedius to bother conquering.
     He called up the diagrams of the sleek, tripod-shaped ship his scouts had
scanned, focusing his attention on one of its engines.  "Topic-Spanning Omni
Drive," said the shipping label still attached to the drive ("do not remove
under penalty of law," said the fine print on the tag).
     Satan pressed another button, and a secretary rushed to him.
     "How are our agents doing in that alternate universe?" he asked.
     "Very well indeed, your reek-of-the-underworld-ship.  It seems that nobody
has noticed their "return" from the dead.  Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, even, who
have a memorial museum dedicated in their names after their deaths, have been
wandering freely without raising much concern.  And Patrick Swayze's troops,
who gunned him down on a highway, have been eliminated so they won't be telling
anybody.  They have contacted several underworld organizations, including one
called SNUCCI (pronounced 'snoochi'), which stands for "Seriously Nasty Undead
Cthulhoid Cultists, Inc."  Their upper management seems to be made up mainly of
poorly-reconstructed undead talk show hosts.  They seem to think you're rather
tame, but are willing to assist you in your invasion attempt should you decide
to make it.
     "In addition, the galaxy is in a state of near-chaos, with four major
galactic powers preparing to engage in something very dangerous and ancient
conspiratorial factions playing a deadly game with Earth as a pawn."
     "Yes, a small mudball of a planet that is, strangely, the center of an
inordinate amount of action in that galaxy."
     "Well, the conditions sound perfect..." Satan began.
     "Not quite, sir.  There does seem to be a drawback.  There is a large
number of..." the secretary flipped through some pages of his report, searching
for a term.  "Ah, yes, of  'super-heroes,' beings of extraordinary power who
dress up in peculiar costumes and battle the forces of injustice.  According to
these reports, you can scarcely throw a brick without beaning a half-dozen of
these 'super-heroes.'"
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones mused.  "That could make it trickier, but at least
it would be interesting.  Call a meeting of my fleet commanders.  I believe
that, if things don't pick up here, we shall go ahead with the invasion.  I
wish to discuss with them my options for.... OPERATION: SUPERGUY!"
     The secretary scurried away on little cloven hooves, and Satan grinned to

        *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

     Pickle stared at the figure outside his cockpit.  He was only a little
surprised, but much relieved, to see that this was Elvis at his prime; the
Elvis of the movies, the Ideal Elvis, the Elvis that resides in and is
sustained by the jungian subconscious of the universe.  If Elvis couldn't help
him, nobody could.
     Elvis gazed at the scorched, battered scout ship that Pickle sat inside,
and bapped it with a swing of his hip.  All functions immediately came online.
"That should set you up," he said modestly.
     "Uh...thanks," said Pickle.
     "My pleasure, friend.  Now, was there something you wanted to ask me?"
     "Yes, actually.  I'm supposed to insult the washed-up villain of SF_STORY,
Omegas, before I begin writing.  He's supposed to be on a beach somewhere, but
I can't find him.  Could you tell me where he is?"
     "You had the right beach in the first place."
     Pickle boggled.  "Huh?  But he wasn't there."
     "I know.  Somebody decided to use him after all, and he was gone before
you arrived."
     "Anyway, there's no real point now.  No action here.  I suggest you get
yourself on over to Superguy.  Things are hopping over there."
     "Oh," said Pickle.  He was disappointed.  He never got to finish a
storyline.  First, left to drift in oblivion four-fifths of the way through the
Pink Iguana Tavern serial adventure, and now this.  If he went to Superguy, it
would probably just disappear, too.  But he didn't seem to have many options.
     "How do I get there?" he asked.
     "Well, if you were me, it would be easy."
     "Yeah, and my love life would probably be better, too."
     "Yes, it would.  But that's not important right now.  I suggest you go
talk to the Sage-"
     "That old fraud?!"
     "-and find out from him.  And if you do manage to cross over, contact Rad.
He's a nice guy, and will help you adjust."
     "How will I recognize him?"
     "He's the one with the tan.  So long, now.  Stay cool."  With that, Elvis
blipped out of existance.
     Pickle shrugged and plotted a course for the Sage's derelict station.  He
inserted the BTO disc, pressed play, and felt the fist slam him back against
his seat.





Find out the answers to these questions and more on...SFSTORY and/or SUPERGUY!!

***** Received 13:18:07 on 12/02/90, Posting #    51 *****
From:        (ST8141 at SIUCVMB)

         As Pickle was racing through the stars at some unfathomable
Speed, some new characters came into view.  Well, actually they halted
the progress of his ship, and started banging on the outside door to
the airlock.....
        "Yes??, uh...what the- Who's out there??", Pickle yelped in
utter bafflement.  "Just Bill Ooopthshead Pickle. Uh, mind lettin' me
in??", an unfamiliar voice sounded from out in space.  Pickle thought
about this for a moment, and decided that this wasn't any 'RARE'
occurence.  Especially considering, that he just talked to Elvis.
        "Well, ya know..I heard your on your way to see some Sage.
Right??  Ya mind if I join your expedition??", the voice asked.
        "Well, uh....I guess....but do you have ID??"
"What??? what's that?" the voice questioned.
        "Yeah, ya know...Intergalactic Data?  You must have it if
your a scifi character..." Pickle said with a sneer.
"Umm...hold'm Bill Ooopthshead."
"Yeah, and I'm Pickle. Where are you from???" yelled Pickle.
        "I'm from ...uh..well here's my story so far...."

         It was a foggy day, in the celestial time zones of the
galaxy known as Urk.  Bill Ooopthshead was busying himself,
watering his precious pqiweurrowieu flowers.  Over the valley to the
east, nothing could be seen, save for a few urban mothcats flying in
and out of the desert bushes.
        "I wonder if she likes me...", Bill muttered to his puke-green
alluminum side paneling.
        "Maybe she'll call.", He muttered again, yet this time to his
black tinted house windows.  Bill noticed after a few minutes, that a
very faint rumbling could be heard to the east.  He looked around
quizzically, and thought about the water which was apparently spilling
on his new neon shoes.
        "OH my!!", Bill bellowithed, as he looked down at his damaged
pqiweurrowieu flowers.  He felt sad.  Bill dropped his one thousand
inch long watering hose and stomped on his 'already dead' flowers,
        "Oh Willwandra! OH Willwandra! How could I do this to you??
I don't want to hurt you at all, my beloved.  I love you more than all
of Urk!!  These flowers were for you my dear, and I have now crushed
them pitifully.  I tended them for years, since I was a mere child.  I
looked after them, day after day, night after night, year after year,
one million light years after one million light years!!  How can I
fail you so easily??  Oh Willwandra!!", Bill ran to the nearest cement
pavement and landed on it, face first.  The thundering which Bill had
heard only a few moments before his grief spell, was now becoming
louder and louder.
         It was deafening.  My, was it ear throbbing.  This horrendous
sound devestated nearby buildings and bent neighborhood mailboxes.  It
shuddered the continental crusts of Bill's home planet as well.  What
could it be you ask??  Well, its Willwandra of course.  She was coming
to have a little quiet chat with Bill.
        "Bill?  what are you doing with your face in the pavement??",
the giant woman asked as her breath knocked some nearby bushes over.
        "Willwandra???  Your here??", Bill spoke meekly into the hard
nonporous pavement.
        "Why yes!!  Where else would I be???  Didn't you know I was
coming??", Willwandra's words set forth an earthquake and caused a
fault to split open on Bill's driveway, right in front of his face.
        "mmmhmmm.  Yes, I heard the mothcats screaming in the distance.
I heard the neighborhood board up their windows and doors, I heard the
Galaxian Weather Service of Urk issue a black hole warning over the
electron radioscope, I hear the wind howling, and the ground shaking,
and I knew it was you Willwandra.  Oh, by the way, Happy Birthday!!",
Bill blurbed.
        "Thankyou.  So what do you want to know??", she rumbled.
        "Not much...Well, I was waiting for you to call, or scream,
whichever you do best.  And, I was hoping to hear from you, you
see...and uh...say, would you be interested in dating??", Bill
questioned the giant woman.
         At that, Willwandra turned and left.  She was disgusted at Bill.
So, she bounced home, shaking the entire planet, leaving Bill to rot
on his faulted driveway.
        "Well Bill old boy, chalk another one up!!", Bill told himself,
and he did so.  Bill pulled out a piece of chalk and marked on his
driveway, adding to the hundreds of marks that had been put there eons
        "She was too big anyway.", Bill scoffed, and he lay there in the
morning sun and stared at the swirling clouds above him, wondering
if tommorrow would come.  If it did, he figured he'd sleep in anyway.

***** Received 17:52:24 on 12/10/90, Posting #    52 *****
Subject:     Vistas
From:        The Man, The Myth, The Beaver (EB9 at CORNELLC)

A man holding a sword stared out over a desolate waste...he looked,
but realized he saw nothing.  Almost, just almost, like no activities
were going on in the Altiverses which were collectivly known as Sfstory.

"We'll just see about that," he said.  He adjusted his Sabre, ran a finger
through the fur on his head, and lifted the Almighty pen up.

"Sabre's back, Sfstory...and this is where the fun starts!"


Find out, in the (yet again) revived Sfstory, which we *won't let die*!!!!

***** Received 08:40:57 on 12/19/90, Posting #    53 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists... episode one
From:        It was like that when I got here... (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode One: "Hell in a Handbasket" by Gary W. Olson

     The Swede looked about in some dismay.  Except for the occasional
posting, the digest -- the whole bloody multiverse, in fact -- had been
dormant since May.  That the last burst of activity had ended around
the same time Roseanne Barr sang the national anthem was hardly
coincidental, but the apathy device used by Satan T. Lucifer Jones to
quiet the list seemed to be getting the credit.
     CHAOS Engineer, the Swede knew, had to be around here somewhere.
Likewise Pickle, the Lost Author and Lord Sabre.  With luck, more authors
would appear -- all that was needed was for something to get started.
     The Swede smiled, having determined a course of action.  Three
characters he had under contract over on the Superguy digest would be
brought here - they would become important later on.  But for now, a
few other matters had to be attended to.  The Swede began making some
calls, and drawing up a few contracts, while surreptitiously consuming
a whole bunch of Taco Bell Hot Sauce packets.
     Somewhere, not far from Earth, an Eye opened.
     Emma Goldman started the pre-flight checks, while James Dean looked
back and forth from the instruction manual to the complex web of insrument
panels in front of him.  Niccolo Machiavelli watched the hatch carefully,
ready to shoot any guards that might spot them.
     "Systems are stable," she stated in a loud, but not shouting, voice.
"X drive is on-line.  We punch out in thirty-five seconds."
     "Trouble!" called Machiavelli, firing lasers out the hatch.  Dean
flipped a switch, and a 3-D targeting holo of the landing bay hovered
above a projector.  The ships's auto defenses jumped into operation,
firing photon beams and lasers at the oncoming demon horde.
     "Auto can hold 'em for a bit," he said.  "Get those coordinates into
the nav'puter."  Machiavelli darted to the navigational computer and
slipped a small disk into the top slot.  A moment later, it beeped.
     "Strap in!" Goldman shouted.  Dean and Machiavelli quickly complied,
and not a moment too soon.  The ship thundered out of the landing bay,
shredding the bay doors and momentarily depressurizing the bay, before
the beam seals could cut in.
     The ship lurched, dodged and weaved past banks of laser beams and
tachyon tubes that were already firing at them.  None of them touched
an instrument - the entire procedure was automatic, run by the program
Machiavelli had inserted into the nav'puter.
     As they pulled away, they could see the full scope of the battle
fortress they were pulling away from, the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, one of
the larger ships in the Hellish armada of Satan T. Lucifer Jones.  They
could see the larger, more clumsy weapons, such as the Bitter Sarcasm
Cannons and the Parental Disapproval Projectors, firing up.  They were
breifly thankful the ship didn't have any of the new, extremely deadly
and incredibly painful Women's Scorn Projectors.
     "When's that X drive kick in, Nick?" Goldman asked.
     "About now, I would say," Machiavelli replied.  So it did.  The
dark void of space went gray, and the ship vanished from the Tell-Tale
Heart's scopes.
     Simultaneously, half a galaxy away, Milagro Bekn'kse excused himself
from the opulent dining room table where he had been seated.  After
assuring the Lady Van Van that he would return momentarily, he adjourned
to his luxurious guest suite, and immediately entered the lavatorial
facilities (aka 'the john', 'the bathroom', 'la toilette', etcetera).
     It was here that he performed a bodily function not unusual for
his species, or ours, for that matter.  This particular bodily function,
however, would shake galactic empires and cause a heck of a bit of
trouble.  But that is a story for another day...
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones was, not to put too fine a point on it, not
in the best of moods.  His advisors hadn't come up with any good options
for "Operation: Superguy," Dan Quayle hadn't died yet, and his secretary,
Susan B. Anthony, constantly hassled him.
     So, when Herman Melville finally told him about the incident with
the ship stolen from the Tell-Tale Heart, Jones did not react with his
customary patience, instead sentencing Melville to be a Sea World
show conductor for the rest of eternity.  After that, he touched a comm
panel.  Edgar Allen Poe's face appeared on the screen.
     "Well?" he demanded.  "What happened?"
     "The prototype was stolen," Poe said wearily.
     "And you *let* them *get away*?!" Satan exploded (not literally).
     "We tried our best to stop them," Poe replied.  "But they evaded
all our weapons, on a pre-programmed route."
     "But who would know enough about our ships to...Machiavelli, of
course."  Satan T. Lucifer Jones went into a veritable snit of cursing
and damnation, which, for him, was pretty much redundant.  He had thought
he had tamed Machiavelli, broke him of any thought of scheming against
his master.  After three centuries, there had been no sign of disobedience,
so Satan had given him greater and greater responsibilities, more and
more power.  He had been the perfect servant: intelligent, crafty, and
loyal.  Yet, he had betrayed his master.  Had he planned it this way
all along?  And, if so, (the big question) why?
     Satan was fairly sure Machiavelli had no idea of the full capabilities
of the "prototype" he and his cohorts had stolen, that even a lowly
janitorial assistant could make it do things a larger ship staffed by
batteries of genius-level physicists could not.  It was imperitive that
the ship be retrieved before they learned.
     "Who are his accomplices?" he asked Poe, who seemed ready to melt
into the shadows.
     "Emma Goldman, the major anarchy theorist of the late 1800's/early
1900's on Earth, and James Dean, actor famed for his "Rebel Without a
Cause" motion picture."  Satan became even more puzzled.  Machiavelli,
throwing his lot in with *those* two?  The puzzle was becoming even
more unfathomable, and Satan hated unfathomability.
     "Find them," he spat.  "Secure them alive if you can, dead if you've
no other recourse."
     "Yes, your magesty," Poe replied, and the screen went blank.
     Near Sargistus Epsilon IV, an Eye opened.
     The ship slowed, and the occupants were finally able to breathe
easier.  "I must admit," James Dean said.  "I had my doubts that your
little disk there could get us off'a that Hell-ship."
     "Perhaps now you will believe my words," Machiavelli replied.
     "You're still the Prince," Goldman said.  "But you've earned the
benefit of the doubt, at least."
     "Thank you," Machiavelli replied.  "Like I said, I was in danger
of losing my life had I stayed for much longer.  Call me a manipulator
or a deceiver, but do not color me a fool.  J. Edgar Hoover had me
outmaneuvered and outgunned."
     "So what do you plan to do now?" Dean asked.
     "That I do not know," Machiavelli said.  "I cannot go back, and I
have nowhere else to turn.  Hence, it appears I am with you for the
forseeable future."
     "In the company of anarchists," Goldman snickered.
     "I've been many things, in my life on Earth and my afterlife in
the Sfstory digest," Machiavelli said.  "Being an anarchist should not
be the biggest stretch I've had to make."
     "I'm sure you'll put up a good facade, at least," Goldman said.
"James, dear, what is our location?"
     "Lemme look," Dean said, leaning over a scope.  "We're in the
Snickers system."
     "Aren't we close to the Zagnutbar system?" Goldman asked.
     "That we are, my sweet," Dean said.
     "You're thinking of visiting the Sage?" Machiavelli inquired.
     "Mmmm hmmm," Goldman said.  "Problem?"  Machiavelli shook his
head.  "Good.  Strap in, and we'll head out."  Niccolo Machiavelli did
as he was told, supressing a sly smile.
     "What are we going to call this tub, anyway?" Dean asked.
     "How about the 'Red Emma'?" Machiavelli suggested.
     Goldman giggled.  "Hoover'll love that."  With that, the Red Emma
shifted into the distance.
     Somewhere in the galaxy, Hourus Jebillip chuckled softly.

[and don't the adventures of Rad on Superguy!]

***** Received 00:40:43 on 01/29/91, Posting #    54 *****
Main Sfstory Page     Previous Log     Next Log     Index for Logs 031-060