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Sfstory Log 046

Subject:     Renegade Anarchists...episode six
From:        the Earth will shake (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Six: "*&$%!# PSUVM!!" by Gary W. Olson

     Time Agent 173, on her ship, the Fritz, and Milagro Bekn'kse and
Hourus Jebillip, on their ship, the Golden Fleece, watched and listened
in stunned disbelief as the Eye manifested itself above Sagistus Epsilon
IV.  The cry of "This is...CBS" had faded from their comm systems, but
it still echoed in their minds.
     173 was shaken out of her reverie when she noticed that the Golden
Fleece was starting up their ftl-drives.  She was almost in docking
position, however, and they had not withdrawn their docking ports.
     A tremendous burst of light extended from the Eye at that moment,
snarling the two ships in a blaze of cosmic energy both irresistable and
phenomenal.  They found themselves being drawn rapidly towards the
huge, parsec-sized Eye.
     173 fought the pull against her ship.  If she could get to the edge
of the Eye, she might be able to slip away from it's pull.  Those hopes
were dashed when the Golden Fleece cut her off.  The Fritz disappeared
into the Eye, and the cosmic energy withdrew with it.  Milagro and
Hourus gaped as the Eye disappeared again.
     "Scopes show nothing there," Milagro said.  "Hell, we should be
floating inside it by now.  It's like it never existed."
     "Yeah, well I'm not gonna stick around to see if it comes back,"
Hourus said, nervously.  "Not while we've got a fortune to make by
selling this jewel."  He pointed to the jewel on the table, the most
valuable jewel in the galaxy, a jewel that emperors had paid fortunes
just to glimpse out of the corners of their eyes or other visual organs.
     The Golden Fleece left Sagistus Epsilon IV, but not before a
Satanic agent noted their location and sent a message to the fleet.
     J. Edgar Hoover still couldn't figure out just what had happened,
but he was fairly sure the Communists were behind it.  A huge, parsec-
spanning box materialized out of literally nowhere, with a huge "eye"
shape on one plane, and what looked to be a touchpad of one sort on
the side.  The Red Emma vanished, the cry of "This is...CBS" (obviously
an acronym for the Commie Bolshevik Socialists) echoed over every
comm system in the fleet, and the huge thing simply disappeared from
sight and from every scope.  It had not merely become invisible - ships
were flying straight through the area where the thing had been.
     "Can we go home now?" Edgar Allen Poe whined.  Hoover slapped him.
     "We won't let those reds outsmart us, now will we, Edgar?" Hoover
asked menacingly.  Edgar shrunk back, and shook his head no.  "Damn
right we won't.  Those reds will show up sooner or later, and we'll be
there to expunge their menace once and for all!"
     The 666th Satanic Fleet, led by the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, pulled
away from the Earth system, finally disappearing from the system.
     "What's happening?" the Omnipotent Egg Beater demanded loudly.
     "Tremendous energy surge," the Grand High Spatula informed him.
"Something's on the HyperNet."
     "What?" the Egg Beater exclaimed.  "That's ludicrous!  Without
the Eiffel Thing, the HyperNet is useless except as a way to monitor
the decadent and most un-holy galaxy and, of course, the Sacred Planetoid."
     "It's the ship that laid waste to a significant portion of the
Holy Planetoid," the Spatula told him.  "Somehow, it's energies are
powering it's transportation through the HyperNet."
     "What happened?" Emma Goldman demanded.  The Red Emma floated in
a sea of infinite grey.  "Did this ship destroy the whole universe?"
     "Hardly," Machiavelli told them.  "The universe didn't vanish -- we did."
     "Cool," Shadebeam said.  "This is one great trip..."
     "Quiet," Benjen hushed her.  "Just what *did* happen?"
     "Near as Nick and I can figure," Jerriphrrt said.  "We're in an altiverse
other than our usual one.  Flicking that switch put us in here."
     "I've got the instant replay going," James Dean told the assembled
anarchists and allies thereof.  A 3D representation of the view from the
forward recorders appeared above the table.  The PLS Tell-Tale Heart was
leading a Satanic wedgie of ships in attack on the Red Emma.  They heard
their voices, and heard the click as Benjen tried a switch at random from the
"mystery panel" aboard their ship.  The next moment they were in greyspace.
     "Play it back and slow it down," Slithis told them.
     The switch clicked slowly.  At once, the ship was encircled by a
ring of horribly beautiful blue energy, almost cosmically transcendent.
The ship lurched forward, as a huge, parsec-spanning box with an eye
in the center sprang into existance.  They entered the box, the grey
swam over the ship, and there they were.
     "So, what does it mean?" Machiavelli asked.
     "Instruments indicate we're still travelling, at a phenomenal rate,"
Goldman informed them.  "But the chronometer isn't moving at all."
     "Ok, guys, this was fun in the beginning," Shadebeam told them.
"But you've gotta let me off now, 'kay?"
     "Sorry," Goldman replied.  "We're all stuck here."
     Shadebeam glared at Goldman, but said nothing.  Instead, she got
out a suspicious-looking cigarette and lit it.  The smoke reached over
to Slithis, whose eyes started to glaze over.
     "Heeeey," he said, slower than usual.  "What's in that thing, anyway?"
     "Trade secret," Shadebeam replied.
     "Listen," Goldman said.  "I have no objection to mind-altering
substances, but we've got work to do.  There's a lounge in the next room."
     "Geez, whatta grouch," Shadebeam said, toying with her ear-to-nose
silver chain.  "C'mon, geckto, let's see if this tub has any brew."
Shadebeam wandered off into the next room, and, to Jerriphrrt's dismay,
Slithis followed right along.
     "Right," Dean said, as if nothing had happened.  "First things first,
let's try to figure out what this place is."  No sooner had he said this than
the ship was brought to a grinding halt.  Ahead of them, the infinite grey of
space seemed to be twisted into a knot.  The Red Emma was motionless.
     "Great," Jerriphrrt grumbled, trying to ignore the strains of "Light
My Fire" coming from the next room.  "What more could happen?"
     The ship shook, and the surroundings changed.  What had seemed to
be a regular ship's bridge (albeit a bit Hellish) had abruptly acquired
potted plants, another few computer consoles, a clashing color scheme,
and a very bewildered Time Agent.
     "Uh, hi," 173 said tenatively.
     "Hi," James Dean said charmingly.
     "Oh, wow," a voice said from the next room.
     Satan B. Lucifer Jones watched another wheelbarrowful of work being
carted out the door by his secretary Susan B. Anthony.  She was still
having trouble getting a clear line to CHAOS Engineer, which made him
seriously reconsider switching back to AT&T.  A few minutes ago, he
had been told by Rex Reed of the PLS Plan Nine from Outer Space what
he needed to do to cross over to the Superguy digest and that Pickle,
unaware that activities were picking up elsewhere in the universe,
had crossed over there.  Satan passed the information on to those of
his agents that were working on Operation: Superguy and turned back to work.
     He handed a work order to the man named Goebbels.  He had been the
top man in the Gestapo before he died, making him a natural for Satan's
Coversion and Interference Agency.  Satan's number one man, Machiavelli,
had defected with those miserable anarchists, and his replacement,
Hoover, was chasing said anarchists.  Goebbels, being the number two
agent, was next in line for an assignment.
     "Now, Goebbels, no screwups this time, understand?  The jewel has
to be brought back intact.  We could boost our market share in the
Afterlife industry by as much as 80 percent."
     "Yes, mein fuhrer," Goebbels said in a thick german accent.
     "Will you stop that?!" Satan demanded.  "And stop planting those
bugs in my office?"  Goebbels froze, and picked some spy equipment up
and put it back into his pocket.
     "Sorry, mein..."
     "JUST GO!" Satan demanded.  "And take the 666th fleet with you!"
     "Er," Goebbels said.  "Which one?"
     "What do you mean?" Satan asked.
     "They're all the 666th," Goebbels told him.  "Every fleet, every
division calls itself the 666th fleet.  It's very confusing, even for me."
     "I DON'T KNOW!" Satan shouted with all his hellish might.  "JUST
PICK ONE!  ANY ONE!"  Goebbels bowed and left.
     "Who are you?" Emma Goldman demanded, bringing her laser gun to bear.
     "My name is Mapa Marbles, and my designation is Time Agent 173,"
173 told them.  "I was in pursuit of an item of great importance when
I was drawn into an Eye.  Our files must have collided."
     "Slow down," Dean said.  "You know what this is?"
     "Sadly, yes," 173 told them.  "This is the HyperNet, a hyperspatial
transportation matrix engineered by the Chaotic Bastion of Silliness
many, many centuries ago.  They ruled the galaxy with an iron fist, or,
more appropriately, an electric can opener.  It allows instantaneous
transportation anywhere in the galaxy, and allowed the CBS to suppress
insurrections as they started.
     "At it's heart was a jewel that has been known by many, many names
over the centuries.  This jewel governed it's operations, powered it,
and coordinated it's forces.  Then, the greatest thief in the galaxy,
Tarrfel t'Krodkzik, declared she would steal it, and steal it she did,
despite the fact that the Omnipotent Egg Beater, the Ruler of the
Celestial Body of Kitchen Appliances and Utensils, was personally protecting
it.  The only one to make contact with him while he was protecting the jewel
was a clerk who brushed by him in a hallway.  Yet, later that day, he knew
knew that clerk had been Tarrfel, and that she had taken the jewel."
     "So?" Machiavelli asked.  "Any decent pickpocket can do that."
     "The Omnipotent Egg Beater had swallowed the jewel for safekeeping."
     Dean whistled.  "Now that's smooth."
     "Right," 173 agreed.  "Anyway, the galaxy rebelled, and the CBS
faded into the murky recesses of ancient history.  Succeeding wars and
such erased most all records of it's existance, although it's influence
is such that it perpetuates in the racial memories of almost every
planet in the galaxy, so strong was it's power."
     "Forgotten by everyone, that is, except for the Time Agents,"
Machiavelli said.  173 looked at him with an odd stare.
     "Niccolo Machiavelli...the Satanic Cheif of Coversion?"
     "Former cheif, I'm afraid," Machiavelli informed her.  "I was, shall
we say, redeployed to a more independent role."
     "What else do you know about the CBS?" 173 asked.
     "Well, nothing," Machiavelli said.  He looked completely sincere.
     "Anyway," 173 said, never taking her eyes off Machiavelli.  "The
HyperNet is a network that allows instantaneous travel to any point in
the galaxy.  You have noticed on your ship's chronometer that time
has stopped?  That is because here, there is no such thing as time.
It's not so much nonexistant as irrelevant."
     "Then what is that?" Jerriphrrt asked, pointing to the knot in
the fabric of greyspace outside the Red Emma.
     "A link failure," 173 told them.  "Link PSUVM is my guess.  When
you stopped here, I collided with you, and our ships merged."
     "Weird," Benjen muttered.
     "Not really," 173 told them.  "You see, we exist here as electronic
data, not as flesh and steel.  Our files hashed together, and unless we
get out of here soon, we may simply be wiped out entirely."  The bridge
was silent as they digested this bit of information.  The sounds of
Pink Floyd being played sideways came from the next room.


***** Received 21:57:07 on 03/03/91, Posting #    61 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists... episode seven
From:        Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Seven: "Where's my Bagel?" by Gary W. Olson

     "Do you know how you got in here?" 173 asked.  Outside, the grey
knot in hyperspace known as PSUVM firmly refused to let anything past.
     "Well," Emma Goldman replied, "Benjen flicked this switch, and
this Eye appeared, and in we went."  James Dean replayed the video of
their escape from J. Edgar Hoover's satanic fleet, the appearance of
the Eye, and their subsequent entry.
     "This ship apparantly generated the energy that is propelling us
through the HyperNet," Jerriphrrt said.
     "Have you tried any of the other switches?" 173 asked.
     "Are you kidding?" Benjen asked.  "One of those switches blasted a
large chunk of Earth's moon into dust!"
     "So what's your point?" 173 asked.
     "We could try the switch again," Goldman suggested.
     "But this Time Agent's ship is hashed with ours!" Jerriphrrt protested.
"There's no telling what will happen!"  A hot latin beat started to drift
out of the adjoining room, and James Dean mercifully shut the door.
     "We don't have much of a choice at this point, do we?" Niccolo
Machiavelli said.  "I say we try it."
     Goldman nodded.  "Do it," she said.
     "What about Shadebeam and Slithis?" Benjen asked, pointing to the
closed door.  "Should we tell them to get ready?"
     "If you want to, go ahead and tell them," Jerriphrrt said.  Benjen
looked at the door, gulped, and sat down.
     "Now which one was it..." Benjen mused.
     "I think it was that one," Machiavelli said.
     "No, can't be...I think it was the second one from the left..."
     "Choose one," 173 told them.  "We could be erased at any moment."
     Benjen hesitated a second longer, then flicked what looked like the
right switch.  The explosion was instantaneous.
     J. Edgar Hoover stood silently as Satan T. Lucifer Jones cursed him
and reviled him and cast aspirations on his parentage.  It took all of
his will to keep from asking if Satan were, in fact, a communist.
     "Report to me at once, Hoover," Satan said, when he had finished his
tirade.  "I wish to administer your punishment personally."
     "You mean--" Hoover gasped, suddenly terrified.
     "Yes, I'm casting you as 'Meathead' on the 'New All in the Family',
and you must obey Norman Lear unquestioningly!"  Hoover was about to
fall on his knees to beg for forgiveness when Tom Cruise handed him a
sheet of paper.  Hoover read it before it burned up in his hands.
     "My lord Satan," Hoover said evenly.  "We have them, and they cannot
possibly escape!"  Satan's face turned slowly from wrath to a sort of
'here-we-go-again' type of face.
     "Very well," he said.  "Your punishment is suspended, for now.  But
if you continue to fail me..."
     "Oh, I won't, sir, I won't!" Hoover said.  Satan nodded, then cut
transmissions.  Hoover turned to Edgar Allen Poe, who looked less happy
than he had a few moments before.  "Set course for...Oceania!"
     Poe gulped.  Oceania was one of the most water-barren planets in the
galaxy.  Nevertheless, he issued the order at once.
     The blaze of energy caught the Omnipotent Eggbeater and the Grand
High Spatula quite by surprise.  When it was over, they carefully
extricated themselves from the Heavenly Display of Mashed Potatoes and
looked at the HyperNet readouts.
     "PSUVM...I don't believe it..." the Spatula breathed.
     "What?" the Eggbeater demanded.
     "It's open..." the Spatula replied.  "The heretical ship opened it
up for the first time in centuries!"
     "It must be a sign!" the Eggbeater declared.  "The ship must be
captured, for the greater glory of the CBS!  To the Toaster!"
     "The Toaster?" the Spatula said.  "You can't mean..."
     "Yes, old friend," the Eggbeater told him.  "We are going after
them personally.  Where did they exit?"
     "According to the Eyes, they exited in two locales - planet Karma
Chameleon II and Oceania."
     "Hmmm," the Eggbeater said.  "We shall try Karma Chameleon II first."
     When Emma Goldman woke up, she noticed that she was still alive.
Moreover, the ship, the Red Emma, was still intact.  Moreover, the ship
of the Time Agent had unhashed from her ship.
     "What happened?" Benjen asked.
     "Too much power," Machiavelli said.  "We opened up that link in
the HyperNet, but failed to guage how much energy we were using."
     "Where is everyone, anyway?" Goldman asked.  The rest of the bridge
was empty as far as sentient beings were concerned.  Benjen opened the
closed lounge door and Slithis staggered out, holding his head.
     "Ach," Slithis growled.  "I have a headache like you wouldn't believe."
     "You're also naked as an iguana," Machiavelli noted.  Slithis
looked down, yiped, and slammed the door of the lounge.  Minutes later,
he opened it again, wearing his standard space academy flight slacks,
a leather jacket and an orange and khaki ripped t-shirt.
     "You look...original..." Goldman said, trying hard to not laugh.
     "It's not my fault," Slithis protested.  "This was all that was
left.  Part of my clothing disappeared when she did."
     "Odd," Machiavelli said.  "We retained all of our external coverings."
     "That's because we were wearing them," Benjen deduced.  Slithis turned
bright red, a neat trick if you're an essentially green reptilian humanoid.
     "Okay," Goldman said.  "Enough of this.  Let's just figure out where
we are, and where the others are."
     "Our ships seem to have unhashed without error," Machiavelli said,
looking over his scopes.  "However, James, Jerriphrrt and Shadebeam likely
wound up on Time Agent 173's ship.  As it is, we were incredibly lucky."
     "Is her ship anywhere in the area?" Goldman asked.
     "No," Machiavelli replied, looking over the scanners.  "Other than
the Eye, we're the only metallic structure in scanning range.  The
planet below us is Oceania, and is the only known planet in the galaxy
to have a negative percentage of water."
     "What does that mean?" Slithis asked, still holding his head.
     "It means, if you touched the surface, all your precious bodily
fluids would be immediately leached into the rock, where they would
immediately cease to exist."
     "Well, we don't want to crash land there, certainly," Goldman
said.  "Set a course for..."  The ship lurched abruptly towards the
planet.  "What's going on?"
     "Tractor beam!" Benjen yelled.  "We're being pulled down towards
the planet!"
     "Are all sentients in this communal abode in a state of physical
fortitude and envigorating stamina?" a voice mumbled.
     "What...?" James Dean mumbled.  The voice repeated itself.
     "Who all is here?" Time Agent 173 asked.
     "I am," Dean said.
     "Meow?" Jerriphrrt said.
     "Like, hey," Shadebeam said from the hallway.  "Where'd the geckto go?"
     "We have victoriously disengaged our physicalities from the other
spacefaring vessel," the voice mumbled.  "Allow me to effect an introduct
of myself - I am William F. Buckley."
     The lights came on, but Dean, 173, Jerriphrrt and Shadebeam could
only see each other.  Jerriphrrt noticed that Shadebeam was clutching
the top half of Slithis' space academy flight jacket to her chest, but
wisely decided not to inquire further at that point.
     "Where are you?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "I have the distinct displeasure," Buckley's voice droned, "of supplying
my vaunted services as your artificial computerized sentient entity."
     "We have an AI who think's he's William Buckley?" 173 asked.
     "No," the Buckley AI said.  "That is an imprecise definition of
my protagonistic plight.  I was rendered from life and my neuronic
prowess was directly converted into computerized files."
     "So what are you doing on my ship?" 173 inquired further.
     "I was originally esconsed upon the prototype ship you anarchists
so blithely referred to as the Red Emma," Buckley-AI said.  "Had you
displayed any intellectual fibre beyond that of a posthumus platypus,
you would have activated the switch that would allow me to retain my
vocal functions.  As it stands now, I am trapped aboard this hopelessly
inferior and parsimonously garish ship."
     "Wonderful," 173 commented.  "Time Central will love this.  Where
is the Red Emma now?"
     "Unknown," Buckley-AI replied.  "They are not in scanning range.
We are currently in orbit above Karma Chameleon II, a mostly uninhabited
planet occupied by a few nomadic tribes known by quaint, backworlds
names as Bludiell, Yeibazzdert, Ottsamaddawidu, and College Republicans."
     "Ottsamaddawidu?" Jerriphrrt muttered.
     "That's what I'd like to know," Shadebeam said, pulling on Slithis'
space academy flight jacket, ignoring James Dean's gaping stare.
     "No, no," Jerriphrrt said.  He looked at the controls, but they
were unfamiliar.  "Computer, can you project a 2D shot of how the stars
would look from the middle of the main continent below us?"
     "I am invested with that ability," Buckley-AI replied.  Jerriphrrt
waited.  And waited.  And waited.
     "Well, do it!" Jerriphrrt growled loudly.
     "Oh, very well, if you insist," Buckley-AI droned.  The 2D shot
appeared on a large viewscreen.  Jerriphrrt pondered it a long time.
     "No doubt about it," he finally said.  "This is Hottentot."
     "The capital of that interstellar empire of yours over on Superguy?"
Dean asked.  "Hardly seems a likely planet for a galactic empire to be
ruled from."
     "Well, it was," Jerriphrrt replied.  "Can we set down there?"
     "We probably should get out of here before we get yanked back into
that Eye thing," Dean counseled.
     "I wanna get off this tub," Shadebeam said, flicking her ear to
nose chain impatiently.
     "We're out of food supplies, and fuel is low," 173 announced.  "I've
sent a message to Time Central telling them of our situation and my
failure to acquire the Eiffel Thing, but I have no idea when or if they
will receive that message."
     "Eiffel Thing?" Shadebeam asked.
     "That was the name of the most important jewel in the galaxy at the
time it was stolen," 173 said.  "If you hadn't been...otherwise occupied,
you would have heard the full story.
     "Hmmph," Shadebeam said.  "'Scuse me fer livin'..."
     "At any rate, it sounds as if we have little choice but to land,"
173 said.  Dean nodded and started preparing for planetfall.
     Milagro Bekn'kse and Hourus Jebillip, with the aforementioned Eiffel
Thing, continued to cruise through space, away from Sagistus Epsilon IV.
     "Tractor's too strong to fight," Machiavelli announced.  "We're low
on fuel as it is - whatever that switch did drained most of our energy
and our reserves - probably did the same to the other ship."
     "Prepare for a rough landing," Goldman said.  The ship rocketed
towards the ultra-dry surface below.


***** Received 20:19:15 on 03/12/91, Posting #    62 *****
Subject:     Beginnings
From:        (JOSCHULT at MTUS5)

                    The Beginning              by J.S.

         The two figures sat at the bar. Garrick Grant, a tall slender
man was sipping on a red-colored drink. His friend, Sam Jackson was
reading a book and drinking a beer.
         "Well Sam, what are you reading?" asked Garrick.
         "How to Avoid Customs Agents," replied Sam.
         "Yeah. I got it from The Han Solo Smugglers Correspondence
         "Han Solo runs a smuggling school?"
         "Naw. He just lends his name to it so he can get a few bucks."
         "Oh ok. Why are you reading it?"
         "I figure we can be smugglers. Live the life of danger and
         "This sounds like another stupid scheme of yours Sam!"
         "Stupid scheme? ME? When have I had a stupid scheme?"
         "When? How about becoming tribble breeders on Klingon worlds!"
         "Ok,a fluke!"
         "What about selling beachfront property on Tatooine?"
         "That would've worked if the hologram projector didn't break!"
         "Besides, we don't have a ship."
         "'re right."
         Both men returned to their drinks. Sam ordered another round an
continued reading his book. Garrick was ogling a woman at the end of a
bar. The woman quickly got up and left. Garrick sighed.
         A few minutes later, a messenger droid rolled over to the two
        "Excuse me humans," said the robot," are either of you Sam
        "Who wants to know?" asked Garrick. His hand unconsciously went
the blaster under his jacket.
        "I have a special delivery for Samuel Jackson."
        "I'm Sam Jackson" The robot opened a compartment in his chest
and gave Sam a pink piece of paper. The robot bowed and rolled away.
        "Well what is it Sam?" asked Garrick.
        "It's a pink slip for a starship called the Dorian Princess. It
looks like I just inherited a ship!"
        "From who?"
        "My great-uncle Ronjon. Geez, I feel bad. I didn't even know the
guy.Hey! This means we can be smugglers now!"
        "YOU can be a smuggler. I have had enough of your schemes."
        "C'mon Garrick. I need a pilot."  Just then, a police droid
entered the bar. IT announced it was looking for Garrick. Garrick looked
at the robot nervously.
        "You might have a point Sam. Let's get the heck outta here!"
        The two men got up from the bar. Sam left a few credits on the
bar and the two men headed for the spaceport.

***** Received 15:41:30 on 03/15/91, Posting #    63 *****
Subject:     Garrick and Sam
From:        (JOSCHULT at MTUS5)

             The Adventures Begin....             By  J.S.
    Sam and Garrick arrived at the spaceport. Sam paid the  robo-taxi
and the two entered the building. Inside were a variey of ships, ranging
from dilapidated frieghters to sleek military starfighters.  Sam and
Garrick looked around curiously in search of their ship. Finally, Sam
broke down and asked a service droid.
    "Scuse me,  where's  the Dorian Princess?" asked Sam.
    "Bay 13 sir," responded the droid.
    "Oh great, bay 13. The bad luck is starting already!" exclaimed
    "Shut up you superstitious fool. I'll bet it's a great ship," said
Sam as he walked down the aisle. Finally the two got to bay 13.
    "OH  MY  GOD!!!" screamed Garrick as his jaw hit the floor. In front
of the two men stood a rust-colored freighter. It looked like a replica
of the Millenium Falcon, except the cockpit was on the opposite side.
     "She's more  beautiful than I imagined," said Sam as he walked to
his ship.
     "Oh, this thing won't be conspicuous at all. Besides, it probably
can't hold together anyways!"
     "Come on, she's a great ship," said Sam as he patted the ship. A
large hunk of sheet metal fell off nearby. Sam picked it up and replaced
     "Oh yeah, let's get a ship and make some quick money! You and your
damn schemes! Who's dumber?  The guy who goes to the Han Solo School of
Smuggling or the guy who follows him!" exclaimed Garrick.
      A landspeeder pulled into the spaceport. Ten soldiers noisily pour
out of the landspeeder and ran towards the two men. Garrick instinctivel
pulled his blaster and fired. Sam ran up the entry ramp.
      "C'mon Gare, our only chance is up!" screamed Sam.
      "I will NOT get aboard that thing!" shouted Garrick between shots.
      "Suit yourself!" cried Sam as he turned and  entered the ship.
Another landspeeder pulled into the spaceport. Garrick swore to himself
and ran up the ramp.Inside he found Sam clumsily at the pilot's chair.
      "Get the hell outta that chair,you can't fly if  you're life
depended on it!" cried Garrick. Sam obliged and Garrick sat down. He
started flipping switches furiously. The engines started to roar to life
but then faded.
       "One helluva ship Sam."
       "Oh like it's my fault."
       "It is. This smuggler thing is all your idea."
       "Well who has the twenty troopers who.....who are setting up a
PROTON CANNON IN  FRONT OF US!" Garrick peered out the window. Sure
enough, three troopers were mounting a cannon on a tripod. Garrick pound
his fists on the console. The engines roared to life.  With a startled
expression, Garrick lifted the Princess from the bay. The blowback from
the thrust knocked the troopers across the spaceport.
        "Well, where to?" asked Garrick  after they left the atmosphere.
        "Fortune and Glory!" exclaimed Sam.



***** Received 20:28:31 on 03/19/91, Posting #    66 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists... episode eight
From:        Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Eight: "Adventures in Tribal Correctness" by Gary W. Olson

     Time Agent 173's ship, battered from it's trip through the HyperNet,
settled down on the planet Karma Chameleon II.  The landing ramp descende
and four figures walked slowly, warily, down the ramp.
     "Is this Brazil or something?" Shadebeam asked.
     "No," Jerriphrrt said.  "This is Hottentot like it used to be before
civilization arose, at least on Superguy.  In Sfstory, here, it looks
like civilization never rose at all."
     "Charming place," James Dean said.  "Can we find what we need here?"
     "Food shouldn't be a problem," 173 replied.  "Most of the fruit and
plants aren't poisonous, and those that are have big post-it notes on
their sides to the effect that they are poisonous."
     "Weird," Shadebeam muttered.
     "Evolution, I'm told," 173 said.
     "No," Shadebeam said.  "I mean those guys in three-piece double-
breasted dark blue suits bowing to us."  The guys, bowing, seemed to be
worshipping them.  Dean decided to try an experiment.  He wandered around
the ship, behind the worshippers, and played leapfrog over them.  They
paid him no notice.
     "Okay, I give up," Dean said.  "What are you guys doing?"
     "We're worshipping one of our deities," the guy said.  "We have
heard his impressive, multisyllabic words and vaguely incoherent mumbling
and it fills us with ecstacy.  He has come down to save us from the
plague of the tribally correct."
     "Ahem," Buckley-AI said, his voice echoing from inside the ship.
"I do believe that that incredibly perceptive and quite astute gentleman
is indicating of myself."
     "He has spoken!" the guy exclaimed.  "Our master has spoken!  All
praise the master!"
     "Saaay," Jerriphrrt said.  "You guys wouldn't be the College
Republicans, would you?"
     "Yes, that is the name of our tribe," the guy said.  "You know much
about us - you must be the high priests of Bu-er...our deity."
     "Buckley's your deity, eh?" 173 almost laughed.
     "Ach!" the guy said.  "It is blasphemy to say the name of our deity
in open areas, between 2-3:20 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays!"
     "Today's Tuesday," Shadebeam said, thinking quickly.
     "It is?" the guy said.  "Dang!"
     "What's your name?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "My name, lord, is Nat Rephue," the guy said.
     "Well, er, Nat, we've come here to obtain some food and fuel..."
     "Cannot the holy one provide the food and fuel for you?" Nat asked.
     "This is a test," Dean told them.  " is testing you."
     "Oh, okay," Nat said happily.  "Food we got, but fuel will be a problem."
     "Why's that?" Shadebeam asked.
     "The shrine of the fuel god has been captured," Nat said, a shamed
expression on his face.  "The infidels of the tribally correct claim it
is not worthy to fight for, and that it will eventually die one day."
     "Conference time," 173 said.  They pulled back from the adoring look
of the College Republicans.  "What should we do?"
     "They got any grass on this planet?" Shadebeam asked.
     "Now now, Shadebeam, don't you go inflicting needless pain and
suffering on defenseless vegetation," Dean admonished.
     "Can we trust these guys?" Jerriphrrt asked.  "I mean, if they find
us out, they'll kill us.  And we don't even know if this so called 'fuel
god' has the kind of fuel we need."
     "Without fuel, we have nowhere to go," 173 said.
     "Then it's settled," Dean said.  The conference broke up.  "Okay, lead us
to the shrine of the fuel god.  We shall liberate it from your oppressors."
     "What of the deity?" Nat asked.  "Why does he not simply snuff out
the infidels himself?"
     Dean sighed.  He wished Machiavelli were here - despite his distrust
in the man, Dean knew Machiavelli could have them eating out of his hand.
"The deity helps those who helps themselves," he admonished them.
     "The deity is most wise," Nat said.  "Come, let us go at once."
     A large-size toaster, meanwhile, materialized on the edge of the
Karma Chameleon system.  "Bloody 'ell," the Grand High Spatula said.
"It worked."
     "Told you it would, I did," the Omnipotent Egg Beater said.  "Now,
where are the heretics who blasted a large chunk from the Holy Planetoid
and unclogged PSUVM?"
     "They are landed on the second planet from the sun," the Spatula
told him.  "The on-board blender calculates a 96.7% chance they stopped
there because they were low on fuel."
     "Excellent," the Egg Beater replied.  "Set course and speed."
     Milagro Bekn'kse and Hourus Jebillip continued cruising through space.
     "You see a plot, Milagro?" Hourus asked.
     "Nope," Milagro replied.  "Have you, Hourus?"
     "Nope," Hourus said.
     "Damn," Milagro added.
     Slithis, Benjen, Niccolo Machiavelli and Emma Goldman opened their
eyes.  The ship had not crash landed.  It had landed, all right, but there
was no damage to their ship.  In fact, it's landing gear had been extended.
     "Where are we?" Goldman asked.  "Is everyone all right?"
     "We seem to have landed softly," Machiavelli said.  "Whoever wanted
us, wanted us alive.  And now he's got us."
     "We seem to be in a hidden spaceport of some kind," Benjen said.
"Scanners indicate we're miles underground.  There's no rock exposed,
everything, at least in the immediate area, is quite safe.  However, there
is no path to the surface that is apparant."
     "Should we try blasting our way out of here?" Slithis asked.
     "Ship's low on power," Goldman said.  "It must need to recharge
periodically.  We've got to find a power source."
     The landing ramp of the Red Emma snaked down, and Goldman, Machiavelli
Slithis and Benjen walked down.  At the base of the ramp, they met a man.
     "Hello?" Benjen asked.
     "Welcome to my humble abode," the man said, with a curiously quiet
voice.  He was quite tall, and his eyes were hidden with round-wire
shades.  A long black wool coat covered what appeared to be black jeans
and an odd sweatshirt with a triangle in the center.
     "Thank you," Goldman said.  "My name is Emma Goldman, and this is..."
     "I know who you are," he said.
     "You do," Benjen said.
     "Then, you have us at a disadvantage, sir," Machiavelli said.  "If
you don't mind that we inquire, who are you?"
     The guy in the coat considered the question a moment, as though he
was trying to remember his name.  Finally, he said, "You may call me...
the Swede."
     J. Edgar Hoover's fleet materialized on the edge of the Oceania
system.  This displeased him greatly, and he let it be known.
     "What are you people, a bunch of pinko-commie-liberal sympathizers?"
Hoover asked menacingly.  "You!  Lowly private!"  The private snapped to
attention.  "Are you a communist?"
     "Yes, sir!" the private said, loudly.
     "What?" Hoover said, surprised.  "What is your name, private?"
     "Private Karl Marx, sir!" the soldier said.  Hoover stared at the
clean-shaven fellow, and started chuckling softly.
     "You're lucky I'm too busy to deal with you, soldier," Hoover
growled.  "Everyone knows how thoroughly I comb all of Hell to root out
communists.  That's how I rose to be Satan's Cheif of Coversion so
quickly.  Now, back to your duty."
     "Yes sir!" Karl Marx said, and left.  He shook his head and went
back to fermenting revolution and guarding the men's room.  Meanwhile, the
666th Fleet moved closer to the planet of Oceania.
     Goebbels finally settled on a fleet.  It was also called the 666th,
as every armada, fleet, squadron, ship, and division were.  Eventually
he settled on one of the larger ones, and started off for Sagistus
Epsilon IV, the last place that the Golden Fleece had been seen.
     173, James Dean, Shadebeam and Jerriphrrt walked through the jungle
in silence, marveling at the tall trees and the thick canopy above them.
They saw natives flying here and there above them - apparantly, flight
was a native trait here.  Dean was surprised that their escort, Nat
and the College Republicans, hadn't suggested flight, but they seemed
content to walk the distance to the shrine of the fuel god.
     Jerriphrrt noted more people in three-piece double-breasted business
suits standing a ways away.  Immediately, the College Republicans attacked
the others, who immediately shrank back.  After several moments of
intimidation, the College Republicans rejoined Dean and company.
     "There, that showed 'em," Nat said.
     "Who were they?" Shadebeam asked.  "They looked and sounded like you."
you guys?"
     "Are you kidding?" Nat asked.  "Those were our enemies, the Democrats!
We're as different from them as night is from day.  Isn't it obvious?"
     "Er, I guess," Shadebeam said, not at all convinced.  They continued
walking, and eventually came to a small clearing.  They climbed a hill
and peered down.  Below, several natives, this time natives who looked
like proper natives, in that they were wearing animal skins and carried
primitive-looking weapons.  They looked very alert.
     "There are many more hidden," Nat cautioned.  "They have repulsed
even our strongest ambushs."
     "Not to worry," James Dean said confidently.  He hefted an EMP gun he had
taken from the Red Emma. "They're no match for us.  Who are they, anyway?"
     "They are the practicioners of tribal correctness," Nat said, fear
and loathing in his voice.  "They accuse us of being insensitive and
fail to recognize that we constantly win the opinion polls, and, therefore
are a minority who are 'tribally incorrect,' even though we're a majority."
     "Don't look at me," 173 said, when she saw Dean, Jerriphrrt and
Shadebeam looking at her.  "I don't understand them either."
     "The name of their tribe is Ottsamaddawidu," Nat breathed in disgust.
     Jerriphrrt reeled.  "Put down that gun," he told Dean.
     "Why?" Dean said.  "What's the big deal?  A few shots and they go
running.  Simple."
     "Just.  Trust.  Me," Jerriphrrt said.
     "What's your idea, then?" Shadebeam asked.
     "Well, er..." Jerriphrrt said.  He saw Nat looking at him, at them,
suspiciously.  Suddenly, Jerriphrrt feigned a headache, and said, in a
loud voice, "The deity is speaking to me.  He is giving me guidance."
     The College Republicans around ooohed in delight.
     "Well, what does he say?" Nat demanded.
     "Patience," Jerriphrrt said, weakly.  He tried to think of something
anything, that would save the lives of the tribesmembers below, but his
mind stubbornly failed to cooperate.  Nat seemed to grow more anxious.


***** Received 22:36:02 on 03/23/91, Posting #    68 *****
Subject:     hey lah, it's a post
From:        Casey Jones you better watch your speed (JBANKERT at SUNRISE)

     CHAOS Engineer had finally finished catching up on all that
paperwork.  It had taken three straight days, but finished at last.
The plot generator was cranking out at peak efficiency, the sub
plot generators were at optimum levels, and the character
synthesizer had cleared the glitch in it's system and was chugging
away.  All in all, thing could not be better, especially since he
was just getting ready to call Satan T. Lucifer Jones and tear into
him about this apathy ray thing he had used.  terrible, and
totally without authorial clearance.  Utterly intolerable.


     The Challenger II, as fit as a ship could be under the
circumstances (a skeleton crew with no training) made way, leaving
her high earth orbit, heading towards the now diminished moon and
beyond.  The crew, now all speaking a pidgin combination of Russian
and English, were comfortable with each other, communicating well,
and had hashed out a viable albeit half-assed command structure.
The ship's original log showed Alpha-Centauri as the destination of
the shake-down cruise of ninety some odd years from now, and so
they had decided that that was a logical choice for a destination.
Little did they then realize the folly of their choice.


     Time Agent 357 had FINALLY escaped the produce section of the
Planet of the Supermarkets by getting turned around in the rutabaga
area while trying to find the beets.  Instead he ended up by the
apples, tripped into the oranges, and had a giant kiwi fruit fall
on him.  Whilst staggering around blindly trying to scrape kiwi off
his face, he stumbled out into the dairy department.  Not exactly
how a time agent of his caliber should have to do things, but it
worked.  He was, he had decided, going to go directly to his
author's beach in nether space and talk with the author about this.


     CHAOS Engineer could barely suppress a chuckle over the print
out on his desk.  So, 357 was coming for him, eh?  we shall see.
He had just finished talking to Satan, and had laid him out in
spades.  Royally.  Life could be fun when one was an author.


     Back in their own corner of the Multiverse, Han Calrisian and
Lando Solo had received some disturbing news.
     "Despithcable!"  Hey, who invited you you duck.  get outa
here.  "Sheesh.  I get no respect"
     "Look at this Lando.  Look at it.  Someone is ripping off Star
Wars again.  This Dorian Princess thing and the Han Solo school of
smuggling.  He could at least get it right.  It's the Han Calrisian
school of smuggling."
     "What do you mean, the Han Calrisian school of smuggling.
It's more like the Lando Solo school of smuggling."
     While Han and Lando continued to argue about the Joe Schultz
story line, they failed to notice that the Millennium Eggplant's
sensor suite had detected the presence of an Imperious Spam
Destroyer lumbering up on them.


     His High Unholiness, Satan T. Lucifer Jones was fuming.
Literally.  He had just finished talking on the phone with one of
his Authors, CHAOS Engineer, who had without a doubt given him the
severest remonstration he had ever received.  Not even God had
spoken to him thus.  The situation was completely intolerable.
Satan stabbed at a button on his desk intercom and barked out an
     "Send in Einstein, Tesla, Edison, and the rest of my technical
research staff.  AT ONCE!"  Moments later, the summoned technicians
arrived.  "I have instructions for you.  I want you all to work on
a weapon that can destroy an author!"
     "Oh mighty Satan, what you ask is not possible."
     "Bullshit.  Anything is possible.  The authors are not
impervious.  They were affected by the apathy ray.  Use that as a
starting point.  Now GET OUT AND GET TO WORK!!!"
     Satan's technical staff beat a hasty retreat.


     Somewhere, an eye watched impatiently, sensing something
momentous was going to happen soon.


     The HMS Golden Lance touched down on a sunny beach in
Netherspace.  A tall, regal looking figure exited the ship and
strode purposefully up the beach towards a low, block-ish structure
set into the cliff.  The figure opened to door, and walked in past
a secretary, who stood up to protest.
     "Excuse me Sir, but you can't go in their.  You don't have an
     "I can't eh?  Just watch me."  The figure walked into the
office, much to the further protestations of the secretary.  The
secretary slumped back into her chair, wearing a defeated look.
     "Ah, 357, so glad you could make it.  Have a seat."
     "So glad I could make it???  Do you have any idea how long I
was wandering around in that Supermarket produce section?"
     "As a matter of fact I do.  And before you start
pontificating, let me explain.  Did you realize that Satan's on the
loose again?"
     "Well, he is.  About ten months or so ago, he unleashed an
apathy ray on the SFstory topic.  Surprising enough, even the
authors were affected.  Consequently there was NOTHING happening
here for that time period.  No authors were writing, no characters
were doing anything.  No nothing.  Only just now have some of us
authors come around.  Some are still under the affect of the ray.
I don't think that it will be a problem anymore."
     "So that's why I was stuck there for all that time."
     "Yep.  I was too apathetic to do anything except sit here.
It's where I was when the ray hit."




Find out soon on an upcoming SFstory.  It's not just a job, it's
too much Easter candy (ugh)

***** Received 09:49:37 on 04/01/91, Posting #    70 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #1
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

Well, here it is.           The Indestructible Kid
I hope you like it.               Episode 1
I know I do. :)                 Hero for hire
                             Business is business
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with a new storyline

     The time in late 1993. The place is New York City. The New York City of
Earth SfStory. Unlike the New York of Earth Superguy, it is devoid of super
heroes to protect it. Unlike the New York of Earth Author, it is devoid of
decent pizza, David Dinkins and asbestos. It is a New York that has become
infested with crime. The same could be said for many of the other highly
populated cities on Earth SfStory, except for the cities in Texas which was
wiped out in another storyline. But here, the criminal element runs rampant,
unchecked by any force for good. This is mostly because most of the other
important figures of Earth SfStory are all off in space somewhere. Now this
will change. Now Earth SfStory will have someone to watch over it. Someone to
cleanse it of evil. Someone to search for a decent slice of pizza. Never mind
that this someone would rather be doing something else. For this someone is...
The Indestructible Kid.
     A petite redhead made her way cautiously through the delapidated streets of
uptown New York. She was dressed much to well to be walking around such a
neighborhood by herself, yet she was determined not to let the area's
reputation deter her. She finally loacted the address specified by the crumpled
piece of paper that she held in her hand. It was an old three story brownstone
that, until recently, had been little more than a haven for junkies and
narcotics traffickers.
     She slowly climbed the outside stairs and went inside. There was nothing on
the ground floor except debris and dirt. She went up the creaky stariway to the
second floor. It wasn't in much better condition that the first floor, but it
had been cleaned to some degree. There was a door at the end of the hall. It
was the only one still on its hinges. She walked up to it and found it to be
unlocked. Apprehensively, she openned it and went inside.
     What she found was a dimly lit room containign three pieces of furniture:
a desk and two chairs. On one of the chairs sat a man with long black hair
dressed in worn denim. On his head was a well worn baseball cap and he wore
dark glasses despite the lack of light. The man sat motionless with his feet up
on the desk. The girl waited for him to acknoledge her presence.
She eventually grew tired of waiting and spoke.
     "Are you Bill?"
     "Who wants to know?"
     "My name is Elizabeth Anderson. My father, James, was a friend of yours."
     "Yeah. So?"
     "He's dead."
     "...Sorry to hear it. He was a good man. And a good cop."
     "He left me an envelope before he died. He said that if I ever needed any
serious help that I should open it and follow the instructions inside. The
instructions said to find you."
     "Must be serious trouble."
     "It's the people who killed him. I think they're trying to kill me too."
     "What makes you think I can help?"
     "I... I don't know. I just remembered my father talking about you once. He
said that there wasn't anything that could stop you. I have no where else to
turn. I'm willing to pay for your services."
     The girl reached into her purse and brought out a large wad of hundred
dollar bills.
     "It's all that I have. Is it enough?"
     "I don't want your money."
     "Then... what do you want?"
     "Nothing that you've got, trust me. You know, it's not safe to bring that
kind of money into this kind of neighborhood. Have a seat and tell me more
about your father."
     "He was assasinated three weeks ago. His friends on the force told me that
he was investigating the operations of a suspected mobster. They said that he
was probably the one who had him killed. One morning, he went out to start his
car. Next thing I knew the car was all over the street."  Bill sat up.
     "I don't suppose you know the name of the mobster in question."
     "Tony Antony "The Nickname" Antonetti."
     "Well well well. No wonder your father told you to look for me."
     "I don't understand."
     "Your father never explained to you why it is that nothing can stop me?
Or how I know "The Nickname"?"
     "Then I'll explain it to you. Two years ago, I was just a college student.
An engineering major. A friend of mine, Dominic White, asked me to build him a
bug so that he could monitor the goings on in the university president's
office. Dominic was a journalism major and there was a big scandal breaking at
the time. The university was in big money trouble and had gotten involved with
organized crime to stay afloat. Dominic ended up finding out everything using
the bug that I made him, but he got caught. His curiosity cost him his life.
Somehow, the mob found out about me too. They mistakenly thought that I knew
about their operation and tried to make me disappear, just like they did
Dominic. They took me to an illegal toxic waist dump. I knew they were going
to kill me so I tried to escape. Unfortunalely. I couldn't outrun their
bullets. I dimly remember them picking me up and throwing me into this pit. I
found out later that they ended up filling the pit with whatever waste thay
could find in hopes of disolving my body. No body, no murder rap."
     "That's horrible! But, how is it that you're still here?"
     "There was a storm that night. After they left, a bolt of lightning struck
a power line tower and a bunch of high voltage lines ended up crashing into the
pit. The electricity set off some kind of chemical reaction. I'm not sure
exactly how, but the chemicals altered my cellular structure. When I woke up,
it was morning. Most of the chemical waste had evaporated. My body was half
eaten away, but what was left just wouldn't die. When the sunlight hit me, I
started to... regenerate. Within a few minutes, I was good as new."
     "The sun healed you?"
     "My new body healed me. The sun was just a source of energy. I somehow
managed to get to an open road and ended up in a hospital. Everybody was real
interested in me. I can't tell you how many tests they ran on me. Anyway, they
told me that my whole body chemistry had changed. My cells could now absorb
just about any radiated energy and use it to stay alive. My bones have somehow
been transmuted from calcium into some sort of metal alloy that noone can
identify. My healing rate increased. I became immune to disease and poison.
I don't need food. I don't need air. And I stopped aging. For all intents and
purposes, I'm immortal."
     "That's incredible!"
     "Hmmph. I'm glad someone thinks so. I thinks it stinks. I never asked to
live forever. It did help me get back at Antonetti, though. I took apart a lot
of his operation when I got out of the hospital. It was fun for a while, but the
novelty eventually wore off and realization set in. I decided to go into the
protection business to keep from getting bored. It occured to me that there
might be other people out there who could use my special brand of help."
     "People like me."
     "Yes. People like you. Your father was a good friend. He gave me a lot of
inside information on Antonetti and I helped him collar a lot of his goons. You
say that his killers are after you now?"
     "I've been receiving a lot of threatenning phone calls and letters. The
other day I even found a note in my apartment. Why would they want to kill me?
I never did anything to them?"
     "You're Jim's kid. That's enough for them. The mob is funny that way.
Don't worry: from now on, I'm on the job. I'll make them leave you alone."
     "Ah, can I ask you a question?"
     "It's getting dark. Are you wearing those sun glasses to be cool or what?"
     "No, they're not for looks."
     Bill removed his glasses revealing two black eyes. No, I don't mean
shiners, I mean _black_eyes_. Completely black: no irises, no pupils, no
whites, just black. Elizabeth pulled back a little when she saw them.
     "D-don't tell me." she said. "Another little 'change', right?"
     "Yep." Bill put his glasses back on. "But I don't just wear the glasses to
hide them. My eyes don't just see light anymore: they see energy. X-rays, heat,
light, radio waves, gamma rays-you name it. Kinda handy, actually. Trouble is,
they're *very* sensitive. So much so that it's difficult for me to see clearly
in normal light. Especially outside in broad daylight: talk about sensory
overload! The glasses keep that from hapenning. At night, I actually can see in
the dark. Aside from being next to impossible to kill, that's my only super
power. Well, that and a little added strength. But that's just to make up for
the fact that my metal bones are a little heavier than they used to be. I'm a
little stronger than average, but that's about it."
     "Did you consider trying to become a super hero?"
     "I thought about it. I tried to register for membership in the Super
Hero's Guild over on Earth Superguy, but they turned me down. Not heroic
enough, they said. So I decided to set up shop here."
     "Earth Superguy?" repeated Elizabeth quizzically.
     "Ah, yeah. Don't worry about that. It's not important. Anyway, it's time I
started earning my pay, or lack thereof. I think we should go back to your
place and wait for Antonetti to make his next move."
     "Okay. I live in an apartment on the east side."
     "Hmm. Not exactly a very defensible position. Still, we can work
something out: I'm fairly familiar with the mob's methods. C'mon, let's go. And
hide that money."
     Bill and Elizabeth left the building and headed for a nearby subway
station. Along the way, Elizabeth became curious.
     "You know, I just realized that I don't know your full name."
     "That's because I haven't told it to you. And, for the sake of secrecy,
I'm not going to."
     "Don't you trust me?"
     "Oh, of course. It's not you I'm worried about. See, my parents are still
alive and living in the city. I don't want anyone to know who they are. If
Antonetti found out who they were... well, you know what would happen. If I tell
you, and he finds out that you know, he'll stop at nothing to make you talk.
Like I said, he can't hurt me. But he can torture you. Or worse."
     "Oh. I never thought of that."
     "Hey: cheer up! I promise I won't let anything happen to you."
     Somewhere else in the SfStory universe, Susan B. Anthony walked into an
office from which emanated a seemingly endless torrent of obscenities. Satan T.
Lucifer Jones was indeed upset at all of the paperwork foisted upon him since
the Swede moved into the neighborhood.
     "Well?!?!" Satan exploded (not literally). "What is it now?"
     "I just thought you might like to know that there's a new author in the
SfStory universe. He calls himself 'The Man With Two First Names'."
     "WHAT?!" Satan exploded (Hi Gary!). "Do you realize what this means??!
I'll be stuck doing this blasted paperwork until... until..."
     "Until hell freezes over?"
     "Well, frankly, yes. This has got to stop! Obviously, my apathy weapon has
lost its edge. I'll have to see what I can do about this new author. By the
way, what sort of stuff is he writing?"
     "So far it looks like he's only got one character. Somebody called 'The
Indestructible Kid'. Seems pretty harmless."
     "I'll be the judge of that! Bring in his first episode!"
     "But you still have a lot of work to do. You've got to finish up the
problems with Machiavelli and his friends, and the CHAOS Engineer, then there's
the requisitions for trans-topic drive parts for your Superguy invasion..."
     "I DON'T CARE!" You know that goes here. Keep reading. "Just bring it to
me! I'll see to it that this 'Indestructible Kid' doesn't ruin my plans. Or
generate more paperwork. NOW HOP TO IT!!!!"
Find out in the next episode, appearing only in...
Supergu... er, I mean SfStory!

***** Received 11:41:41 on 04/01/91, Posting #    71 *****
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