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Sfstory Log 047

Subject:     Renegade Anarchists episode nine
From:        Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Nine: "But is it Art?" by Gary W. Olson

     Slithis, Emma Goldman, Niccolo Machiavelli and Benjen followed the
tall, odd-looking fellow who referred to himself as the Swede.  They
passed through an airlock, a buffer room, another airlock, a decontam
ward, another airlock, a "Bufferin" room, and still another airlock,
until they arrived in what looked to be the penthouse suite of the
Paris Hilton.  Benjen whistled.
     "Not bad," Machiavelli commented.  "Holo projections?"
     "Close," the_Swede said.  "Solid projections."  Jerriphrrt tried to
slap him but mysteriously slapped himself instead.
     "Ow!" he commented.
     "So what is this place?" Goldman asked.  "And who are you?"
     "This is my little enclave in the crust of Oceania," the Swede
replied.  "Neurotic force shields keep the Oceanic rocks, which, as you
no doubt recall, have a negative liquid content percentage, from
absorbing all the liquid from every thing in here."
     "Don't you mean neuronic shields?" Slithis asked.
     The Swede paused a moment to think.  "No, I'm pretty sure they're
neurotic.  They work fine, so long as no one plays the theme from 'Rawhide.'
Ah!  Here's Winona with our drinks."
     Winona emerged from another room, carrying a tray of strange liquids
The Swede gave her a peck on the cheek and went into the room she had
just left.  "The blue is vodka mixed with vipminaria, the red is fermented
iguana-blood imported from Planet Claire, and I think the clear stuff is
either tequila or rubbing alcohol, I'm not sure."  Goldman took a glass
of red, while Slithis and Benjen chose the blue.  Machiavelli abstained.
     "Excuse me," Slithis remarked.  "Are you Winona Ryder?"
     "No," Winona replied.  "I just let the poor dear call me that.  See,
I'm really just a figment of his imagination."  The Swede came back into
the room.
     "Sorry about that," he said.  "Was just checking the net."
     "What exactly is it you do, Mr. Swede?" Machiavelli asked.
     "I'm an Author," the Swede told them.
     "You don't look like any of the Author's I'm familiar with,"
Goldman said.  "Are you *our* Author?"  The Swede nodded.  "Well, that
explains a few things.  Why did you bring us to meet you?"
     "Actually, that was the working of the random plot generator," the
Swede told them.  "Much of the operation is automatic these days.  Still
shaking some of the bugs out, though."
     "Weird," Slithis commented.  "We don't have Authors in Superguy."
     "Actually, you do," the Swede replied.  "They just don't usually
write themselves into the plot.  Now, if you could all sign these..."
     "What are they?" Machiavelli asked.
     "Life contracts?!" Benjen exclaimed.
     "The deity is speaking to me," Jerriphrrt hissed in what he hoped
was a deeply reverent tone.
     "And what does the great one say?" James Dean, in a mock-religious
voice, replied.  Jerriphrrt took the EMP cannon-gun out of Dean's arms
and pointed it at the ground in front of the shrine of the fuel god.
He squeezed off several shots before anyone could stop him.
     173 tried to wrest the cannon-gun away from him.  "Are you out of
your mind, Jerriphrrt?  You're wasting energy!"
     "Look!" Shadebeam shouted.  "The native goons are spazzing out!"
That they were.  They were flying and/or running away from the shrine
as fast as they could, seemingly in pain.
     "Not bad," Dean admitted.  "But I don't get why you did that when
my plan would have worked just as well."
     "The natives of this planet have a highly-developed bioelectric
field," Jerriphrrt said.  "If one of those electro-magnetic pulses had
hit them, they would have died instantly from the bioelectric disruption,
rather than simply be stunned for a few moments, like humans would be."
     "He's right," 173 said.  "Look at these College Republicans."
They looked.  The College Republicans were just staggering to their feet.
     "So, like, what *did* happen?" Shadebeam asked.
     "The localized environmental disruption was enough to drive them
away," Jerriphrrt told them.  "It won't last for long, though.  Nat,
you and your tribesmembers had better occupy that territory fast."
     Nat Rephue, somewhat haggard but still in command, nodded, and
led a horde of charging, snarling, sabre-rattling, spear-throwing,
cigar-smoking Republicans down the hill.  Jerriphrrt, Shadebeam, 173
and Dean quickly followed.  While the Republicans secured the perimeter
and sent their praises to William Buckley, Jr, Time Agent 173 looked over
the shrine.  It was shaped like a fuel pump, but was made of solid stone.
     "This is useless," 173 noted.  "We should have known."
     "What kinda go-juice does yer buggy need?" Shadebeam asked.
     "Tetrafluoroneuroboogaboogacytrocyclahydraminolane," 173 replied.
"That, or Spam."
     Nat called over to them.  "They have regrouped, o most holy and
wise ones!" he declared.  "What are we to do?"
     "Fight them!" Dean called back.
     "Er, could you lend us a hand?" Nat asked.
     The William Buckley-AI sat idly, exploring the confining limits of
Time Agent 173's computer banks.  Suddenly, and without warning, it
received two different transmissions, from two different sources.  After
analyzing the transmissions, it sent acknowledgements to both.
     Karl Marx looked warily down the corridor, then entered the lounge.
Two other low-level soldiers of hell waited for him there.
     "Greetings, comrade," Lenin said.  "Rough day?"
     "Problems with the Imperialist pig-dog Hoover?" Trotsky inquired.
     "Yes," Marx replied.  "I think he's beginning to suspect I'm a
     "Verily, we will have to move forward with The Plan," Lenin said.
     "What makes you think we'll sign these?" Goldman asked.  "We're
anarchists, remember?  Well, at least, I am."
     "Just a formality," the Swede replied.  "You're already, technically
'under contract,' I just had to get your signature."  Goldman looked at
the contracts, which bore their signatures.
     "Hey!" Machiavelli snarled.  "I never signed this!"
     "Of course you did," the Swede said.  "You did it while scene 2 was
on."  Machiavelli looked dissatisfied, but said nothing.  "Hey, it's not
all that bad.  Look, you get medical, dental benefits, the whole summer
off, competitive wages - hell, Satan T. Lucifer Jones himself couldn't
offer you better."
     Goldman looked ready to speak again, but whatever she said was cut
off in the explosive rumbling all around them.
     "What was that?" Benjen asked, while trying to hide under the couch.
     "Sounded like thunder," Slithis said, while trying to hide under
Winona.  She slapped him.
     "No, I expect that's Hoover and the 666th Armada from Hell," the
Swede replied.
     "Can't you just write them out?" asked Goldman.
     "I could, but that would take up a fatal amount of energy in
continuity repair," the Swede told them.  "I do, however, have a means
of escape.  Through here, if you would."  He pointed towards a large,
shimmering portal.
     "Are you sure?" Benjen asked.  "What about the Red Emma?"
     "Don't worry, I've made arrangements for that," the Swede assured
them.  "Now into the portal, quickly!"  Another barrage of explosions
and a momentary fluctuation in the neurotic shields convinced them.
     "Where'd Winona go?" Machiavelli asked.
     "I wrote her out," the Swede said.  "Don't worry, she'll appear in
later episodes."  With that, both he and Machiavelli plunged through
the portal, just before the neurotic shields gave out and the entire
cavern was reduced to a fine dust as all the water was leached out.
     "The cavern has been destroyed!" Edgar Allen Poe, nominal captain
of the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, told J. Edgar Hoover, Satan's Cheif of
Coversion.  Hoover smoked his cigar a few more moments.
     "What of the prototype ship?" Hoover asked.  "It'll be our heads
and likely a few other assorted body parts if we don't bring it back to
Satan intact."
     "There's no indication that it survived the destruction," Poe
reported, cringing in expectation of a blow from Hoover.  "However, we
have analyzed the wreckage, and have determined that it was teleported
     "Where?" Hoover demanded.
     "To the Planet of the Supermarkets," Poe said.
     "What?" Hoover asked.  "Why would anyone want to go there?"
     "Sir!" Tom Cruise called out.  "We've received a message."
     "Can't it wait?" Poe demanded.
     "It's from the Buckley-AI," Cruise replied.  "It's stuck on Planet
Karma Chameleon II in the company of anarchists."
     "See!" Hoover said triumphantly.  "Good ol' American technology
will do the job every time.  Ensign!  Have the teleport tracking crew
filleted, they're all communists."
     The 666th, led by the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, slowly pulled away from
     The Buckley-AI hummed quietly to itself.  There was a knocking at
the bottom of the extended ship's ramp.
     "Greetings and salutations, lowly organic being," it mumbled.
     "Er, excuse me," one of the two figures below said.  "I'm the
Omnipotent Egg Beater and this here is the Grand High Spatula.  Could
you tell us where to find the heathens who blasted away a large chunk
of our Holy Planetoid, the sole satellite of the third planet of the
Sol System?"
     "About a mile into the jungle and hang a left," Buckley-AI told
him.  "It is, in truth, almost superfluous in its inevitability."
     "Uh...thanks," said the Egg Beater.
     Buckley-AI resumed humming.
     On the planet Spyro Gyra III, Bennett Quark quietly went mad.
     The Swede, Slithis, Benjen, Emma Goldman and Machiavelli blinked a
bit as their eyes adjusted to the wildly fluctuating lighting situation.
At first they thought it was a lightning storm or a wild party, but it
turned out to be random fluctuations in the fluorescent lighting that
went on, on, on into the horizen.
     "Damn," the Swede muttered.
     "What's wrong?" Benjen asked.
     "I left my plot generator running!" the Swede replied.
     "So?" Benjen followed up.
     "So, without the plot generator, I can't control the plot," the
Swede said.  "Do you know what this means?  The very fabric of reality
around us is being governed by a machine made by a company that couldn't
innovate a light bulb if it's life depended on it!"
     "Er, right," Goldman said.  "What is this place, anyway?"
     "We're on Planet of the Supermarkets," the Swede said. "We're doomed."

[and don't forget to read the adventures of Rad on Sfstory!]

***** Received 21:59:50 on 04/02/91, Posting #    72 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #2
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 2
                              All in the family  or
                                  Mob scene
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with two first names

     After a fairly un-eventfull subway ride downtown, Bill and Elizabeth
exited the station at 69th street and Lexington avenue. There final
destination would be Elizabeth's apartment on 72nd street and third. When they
arrived, she showed her new found protector the notes that had prompted her
to seek help.
     "Yeah, this is Antonetti's style alright. Way I see it, they probably
want to set an example. They figure that once people realize that messing with
them means putting your family in danger, it'll deter people from getting
involved with them."
     "I can't believe that they can get away with things like this."
     "Hey: people want to stop them, but often times, there's really nothing
they can do. These guys are really well connected. You mess with them and they
can really screw up your life. Just like they did me. And you."
     "You really think you can stop them?"
     "At the very least, I'll make them think twice. Anyway, it's late: you
should try and get some rest. But first, a few minor details. Do you have a
     "I have one that belonged to my father."
     "Is it loaded?"
     "I think so."
     "Then get it. Keep it near you at all times. Can I use your phone?"
     "Sure. Who are you going to call?"
     "I've got a few connections of my own. I want to chase down a few leads
and see if I can find out exactly what we're up against."
     Tony "The Nickname" Antonetti paced nervously in his office. He had eyes
and ears all over the streets and right now they were seeing and hearing
things he didn't like. He was interrupted in mid-pace by a soft knock at his
     "It's me boss: Frankie. There's somebody out here to see you."
     "Who is it?"
     "I'm not sure boss, he's wearing some kinda funny suit. He says it's
really important."
     "Oh, alright send him in."
     The door openned and a man dressed in an environmental containment suit
walked in. From it's hellish interior came a haunting voice from the past.
     "Good evening, Mr. Antonetti. My name is MacCarthy. Joseph MacCarthy.
My... employer has sent me to make you an offer."
     "Lemme get this straight. *You* Wanna make *me* an offer?"
     "That's right."
     "Why of all the... Say! Wait just a minute! Aren't you dead?"
     "As a doornail, that's correct. Having realized that, you must no doubt
have deduced who my employer really is."
     "I'll bet it ain't Jesus Christ."
     "Please: do try to keep your language clean. Anyway, it has come to our
attention that you are about to be harrased by a certain individual calling
himself 'The Indestructible Kid'."
     "How did you know...? Oh, wait. Never mind. Yeah, I've been hearing the
same things. That stupid kid almost ruined me a few years back. The last thing
I need it to tangle with him again."
     "We understand that. Therefore, I am prepared to offer you some of our
unique services to help you rid yourself of him."
     "That's mighty white of you. But why the interest?"
     "My employer believes that he might ultimately cause trouble for him with
some of his other... projects."
     "Un-hunh. And just what do you want in return for your... services."
     "Well, there's been a shortage of new souls lately. And your organization
leads to the corruption of so many souls, you see. We can work out the exact
exchange rate later."
     "Yeah, well if it's all the same with you, I'd just as soon take care of
this business myself. It's personal, you understand. Besides, even I'm not
desperate enough to make a deal with the devil!"
     MacCarthy stood silent for a few moments, obviously displeased.
     "I see." he said finally. "Well, it is your right to refuse,
unfortunately. Still, my employer is very eager to do business with you. Let
me leave you our toll-free number, just in case you change your mind."
     MacCarthy scibbled the number on a slip of paper on Antonetti's desk,
then stood back.
     "Yeah, well tell your boss not to hold his breath. I'm going to do my
damndest to polish this kid off myself. No pun intended."
     "Very well. In that case, it's time I was going."
     With that, MacCarthy vanished in a burst of smoke and flame, leaving the
pungent odor of brimestone behind. Antonetti sat at his desk and picked up his
     "Frankie! Get Freddy the Fixer on the line! And bring me an air
freshener! Quick!"
     Back at Elizabeth's apartment, the Indestructible Kid hung up the phone
and slumped onto the couch.
     "You don't look very happy." Elizabeth remarked.
     "'The Nickname' has outdone himself on this one. According to my sources,
there's a contract out on you for half a million dollars. Every creep in the
city is liable to try and cash in."
     "Oh my god."
     "Ah, look. It might be a good idea if we find someplace else to stay
after tonight."
     Bill could tell by now that Liz was starting to crack up. Her voice
waivered  slightly as she answered him.
     "I don't have anyplace else to go! I've lived here all my life! It's not
fair! Why should I have to leave!?"
     "It'll only be for a little while. The more we move around, the harder
it'll be for them to zero in on us."
     "Can't we get the police to do something!?"
     "Antonetti's got snitches on the force. Going to them'd be like
broadcasting our intentions on the nightly news. Listen, here's what we're
going to do. I'm going to let Antonetti make the first move--just to make him
think he's getting somewhere. Then I'll hit him back and knock the fight out
of him. One thing I learned about the mob is that they don't play fair.
'Course, nowhere is it written that *we* have to play fair either."
     "Are you sure you can stop them?"
     "I'll have 'em running around in circles! Trust me. Now what you need is
some sleep. Remeber to keep that gun with you and don't be afraid to use it."
     "Okay. Oh, I meant to ask you: do you ever sleep?"
     "Well, technically, I don't have to since I never get tired. But I do
sleep once in a while so that I can dream. Otherwise I start going a little
nuts. Don't be afriad if you wake up and don't see me here eight away: I'll be
     "Alright. Goodnight. And thanks."
     "Goodnight. And don't mention it."
     A shabby green sedan pulled up at the corner of 72nd and third and two
unsavory looking men got out. They walked nonchalantly over to the service
entrance of the building and forced open the door. Once they were inside and
out of sight, they discussed their plans.
     "Are you sure we can pull this off, Stevie?"
     "Yeah, Mikey. It'll be a snap. It's just one broad after all. And after
tonight, we'll be half a mill richer!"
     "You really thing Antonetti will shell out that much just for one broad?"
     "'The Nickname' is a man of his word. If he says he'll give five-hunnert
G's to have this broad iced, then he means it."
     "It's just kinda funny, y'know? I mean, we only got one-hunnert G's for
skraggin' this girl's dad. And somehow, I don't think the price went up on
account of inflation."
     "Hey: ours is not to reason why. Ours is just to pull the trigger and
collect our money. Now get your piece ready and let's go."
     The Indestructible Kid watched from behind a concrete column as Stevie
and Mikey finished their conversation and headed for the service elevator.
While they waited, he snuck up behind them.
     "Y'know guys, murder is a capital offense in this state."
     "Wha--!? Hey who the hell are you?!" exclaimed Stevie.
     "It's not who I am that's important, it's what I am. And what I am is
very, very pissed off."
     "Well maybe we can fix that for you! Mikey! Let's skrag this twerp!"
     The two of them openned fire on Bill and several shots struck him cleanly
in the chest, causing him to stagger back. Slimy pink blood oozed out of the
bullet wounds, yet the Indestructible Kid remained on his feet.
     "Well?" he said. "Is that all?"
     "What the hell is this?!" exclaimed Stevie. "What are you?!"
     "I told you! Very, very pissed *off*!"
     Bill leapt at Stevie and they both tumbled to the ground. Stevie's gun
went off yet again, firing a slug into Bill's stomach at point blank range.
The slug went straight through Bill's body and continued on, shattering a
headlamp on a nearby car. Bill's only reaction was a slight wince of pain, but
still he grappled with Stevie until he managed to knock him senseless with a
right cross.
     During the scuffle, Mikey had decided to make himself scarce. Bill got up
and looked around for him, but couldn't find him right off. He was fairly
certain that he was still somewhere in the underground garage, so he decided to
search among the cars for him.
     Suddenly, and without a silly comment, a car started up and rushed towards
Bill at top speed. Not one to pass up a challenge, or the opportunity to mess
with someone's mind, the Indestructible Kid charged at the oncoming car. Mikey,
who was in fact the driver of the car, was more than slightly taken aback by
this but kept on coming. The car smashed into Bill who clung to its front
bumper. Mikey drove around the garage for a while, trying unsuccessfully to
shake him loose. He finally decided to ram the car into a conrete wall in hopes
of smashing Bill to pieces. After a nasty collision, Mikey recovered to find
the car and the wall badly damaged, but Bill was nowhere in sight. After a few
tense moments, he saw a pink blood covered hand reach up from the front of the
car. He watched as the Indestructlible Kid hauled his battered body to its feet.
     "Well?" Bill said grinning. "I hope you had fun: I know I did."
     "Wha-what are you?! A ghost of somethin'?"
     "You could say that. I'm a ghost from 'The Nickname's' past."
     Bill pried open the door the that car and grabbed Mikey by his collar.
     "Now listen up! I'm going to be very nice and let you guys go. But I want
you to do me a couple of small favors in return, okay?"
     "Yeah! Sure! Anything!"
     "Good. First, I want you to take a message to Antonetti for me. I want
you tell him that I said he forget about Elizabeth Anderson. She's not worth
the trouble. Second, I want you to put the word out on the street that anybody
who tries to pick up the contract on her life will have to got through me
first. Understand?"
     "Yeah! I got it! No problem!"
     "Good." said Bill as he released his grip on Mikey's collar. "Well then, I
guess that'll be all. Have a nice day."
     Bill then entered the service elevator. Mikey shakily got out of the car
and tried to rouse Stevie. A figure clad in an environmental containment suit
watched them closely from the far end of the garage.
     "You were right, sir." said MacCarthy into his wrist communicator.
"There's no way Antonetti can take care of this commie brat by himself."
     "Of course I was right!" replied Satan T. Lucifer Jones. "Now get back
here and man the phones! I want you be here when he calls us for help."
     "Right away, sir."
     A puff of smoke and a flash of flame later, MacCarthy was gone.
Find out in the next episode, appearing only in... SfStory!

***** Received 02:28:46 on 04/04/91, Posting #    73 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #3
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 3
                              Crime doesn't pay
                              Retaliatory Strike
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with two first names

     The Indestructible Kid got off the service elevator and made his way to
Elizabath's apartment. He let himself in and sat down on the couch. He put his
feet up to relax, then realized that someone was holding a gun to his temple.
     "You're supposed to use that on Antonetti's goons, not me, Liz." he said.
     "Oh! I'm sorry! I couln't see who it was in the dark."
     "Lucky for you I *could* see you in the dark."
     Elizabeth turned on a lamp and put the gun down. She turned to look at
Bill and gasped when she saw that he had been shot several times and badly
beaten, and was covered in some form of pink ooze.
     "What happened to you? And what is that stuff?"
     "I bumped into to some would be hit men in the garage. They won't be back.
As for me, I got a little beat up. The pink stuff is my blood. Don't worry
about the couch: the stuff seems to evaporate after a while."
     "But your wounds..."
     "Here: let me show you something."
     Bill got up and walked into the kitchen. He turned on the electric stove
and waited for the burner to heat up. When it was ready, he placed his hands
over it and Liz watched in amazement as his wounds began to heal at a
phenomenal rate. The cuts and abrasions on his head and face faded and the
bullet wounds sealed themselves. Within five minutes, he was completely
     "That-that's... unreal."
     "Yeah, it is kinda freaky, isn't it? My body is constantly absorbing what-
ever energy is available so I would have been able to heal myself without the
extra heat from the stove eventually. But when there's an added supply of
energy around, it helps speed things up."
     "So what happened with the goons in the garage?"
     "I told them to give 'The Nickname' a message for me. And I told them to
warn any other slime they ran into not to try and carry out the contract. I
don't think we'll have to worry about the common street punks anymore."
     "That's good."
     "Well, maybe. But if I know Antonetti, he'll just forget about the
contract and send his own personal goon squad after us next."
     "That's bad."
     The Man With Two First Names sat back at his portable computer terminal and
stretched. He took a moment to straighten his sunglasses: the sun on the
Author's Beach was particularly strong that day. In the distance, he could hear
an argument going on between CHAOS Engineer and what sounded like a Time Agent.
He was about to continue typing when the phone rang.
     "That's odd. I wasn't expecting a call from anyone." he said picking up
the phone. "Hello?"
     "Hello!" replied the hellish voice on the other end. "Is this The Man With
Two First Names?"
     "Ah, yeah. It is."
     "Good. My name is Jones. I was wondering if I might talk to you about
these 'Indestructible Kid' stories you've been writing."
     "What about them?"
     "They're only a temporary kind of thing, right?"
     "Well, not exactly. At the moment they're kind of a sideline, but once the
Awesome Force retires, I plan to make the 'Kid' my next full time storyline."
     "Oh. I see. Ah, how many do you plan to write?"
     "Well, I don't really know. If the Awesome Force is any indication, there
might be as many as a hundred. Possibly more. I usually try to post one
episode a day. I won't be able to do that until the AF retires, of course,
but after that..."
     "AN EPISODE A DAY?!?!"
     "At least."
     "Even weekends?!?!"
     "Ah, look: can't we make some kind of a deal here? Tell you what: you
knock it down to one a week and I'll let you have Marilyn Monroe for the rest
of the semester."
     "Gee, it's tempting but..."
     "Okay! Okay! I'll throw in Kim Basinger and Traci Lords!"
     "But they're not dead."
     "I CAN FIX THAT!!!"
     "No deal. They wouldn't give me the time of day even if you threatenned to
make them spend the rest of eternity watching and endless tape loop of the
Nixon/Kennedy presidential debate."
     "Hey! That's a good one! I'll have to write that down."
     "I mean, let's not mince words: not even my powers of Authorship could
make girls like them do what I want. I know: I've tried."
     "Alright, how about Dan Quayle's head on a platter?"
     "Now you're talking!! But I couldn't possibly..."
     "That does it!! If I can't bribe you, I'll threaten you!! If you don't
slow down, I vow to make your life a living hell!"
     "Well, you can try, but there's very little you can do to me that I can't
fix with my powers as an Author."
     "Okay. Fine. Good luck! And have a nice day!"
     "Oh, go to hell! *click!*"
     As Susan B. Anthony openned the door to Satan T. Lucifer Jones' office to
bring in yet another wheelbarrow full of paperwork, a melted, flaming phone
whizzed past her and disintegrated before it could hit the ground.
     "More bad news?" she said as she dumped the paperwork onto his desk.
     "Why me?! Why!? First the Swede, then those two Star Wars rejects, then
that bawling out from CHAOS Engineer, now this guy!! An episode a day? Who the
hell does he think he is?!"
     "Clam down, you'll rupture something."
     "Any word from MacCarthy?" asked Jones.
     "Give it time: word of what happened in the garage hasn't gotten
back to Antonetti yet."
     "What about the Einstein and the others? Have they come up with an way to
destroy an Author yet?"
     "They're still working on it."
     "What about Prince? Is he through with his training?"
     "He's being fitted for an environment suit now."
     "I can't believe this is happening. And you know what's worse? This 'Kid'
can't even die! How am I supossed to get ahold of his soul if he can't die?!
Bring me in a giant bottle of Pepto with the next batch of papers! All this
tension is giving me heartburn!"
     "HE DID WHAT?!!" exploded Antonetti (ka-boom! hee hee!).
     "He took down Stevie and Mikey, boss." explained Frankie. "They tried to
cash in on the contract on the Anderson girl, but he stopped them. Accordin'
to what I heard through the grapevine, they tried to pop him, but he just
wouldn't go down. Word is, Stevie and Mikey are movin' out of the city and
takin' up gardening."
     "But they're two of the best contract men on the east coast!"
     "Not anymore, boss. Oh, he also told them to give you a message. He said
you should forget about the girl. People are startin' to talk too, boss. I
don't think you'll be able to get any more freelancers to take this job."
     "It's starting again, Frankie. This is how he almost ruined me the last
time. Well I'm gonna teach that little twerp a lesson!"
     "You want I should get that MacCarthy guy on the phone for you?"
     "No! Listen, you dope: the last thing I wanna do is mess with that
MacCarthy fella and his boss. Once you get involved with them, you can't get
rid of them!"
     "Kinda like us, hunh boss?"
     "Yes, exact--NO NO NO!! Oh, forget it. Look: we still have other places to
turn, okay? Other paths we can take. I know just the guy to do this Anderson
job for us: Get me...  Moose Lee!"
     A new day dawned over New York. Liz awoke from the first good night's
sleep she'd had in weeks. Something about her new protector disturbed her
greatly. Maybe it was the coal black eyes, or the fact that he didn't sleep. Or
eat. Or that he had slimy pink blood. Or any of a number of things that were
very unusual about him. Yet somehow, she felt strangely at ease when she was
with him. He had a very disarming manner about him. Yet she could sense that
behind his aloof, almost flipant attitude was a deep rooted bitterness.
     She put these thoghts out of her mind for a while and got dressed. Bill
was still sitting on the couch where she had left him the night before.
     "Morning, red. Did you sleep well?"
     "Sure did. Anything exciting happen while I was asleep?"
     "Nah. It's been quiet. Just as I expected. I went out and got some
newspapers to read to keep from getting bored."
     "I'm going to fix breakfast. Would you like... Oh. I'm sorry. I forgot
that you don't..."
     "I said that I don't *need* to eat, not that I don't eat at all. I can
still enjoy a good meal like everyone else. And right now, I could really go
for some eggs and bacon. Ah, that is, if it's not too much trouble."
     "No, it's no trouble at all. Anything interesting in the papers?"
     "Not really. The scientists are still trying to figure out why a huge
chunk of the moon got blow away. And Denny's has been having all sorts of
problems with their insurance company after that incident with those
'alleged' aliens. Still, I know that somewhere out there, Antonetti's pacing up
and down in his office, pulling his hair out trying to think of what to do
     "What do you think he's going to do next?"
     "Well, after last night, he won't be able to get a freelancer to touch
you with a ten foot pole. So he's going to have to find some professional
muscle. Probably take him a while, though. I built up something of a rep for
myself back when we first tangled. There aren't many hired guns out there that
are crazy enough--or stupid enough--to mess with me. He'll have to import
     "And how long will that take?"
     "Hard to say. Depends where he looks."
     "Do you still think we have to look for someplace else to stay?"
     "Well, I've been thinking about that. I decided we might actually be
better off just staying where we are. After all, I wouldn't want go give 'The
Nickname' the idea that we were running away from him. That is, if it's okay
with you."
     "Oh, come off it. You thought I might want to just forget about fighting
Antonetti and get as far from New York as I could. Well, at first I did. But
not anymore!"
     "Well, yeah. That thought had crossed my mind. Say, I wanted to ask you.
Just how good are you with a gun?"
     "My father spent five years teaching me how to shoot. I'm probably better
than you are."
     "I wouldn't doubt it. I couldn't hit a bullet with the broadside of a
     "Food's ready. Pull up a chair."
     "Yum. I feel like I haven't eaten in weeks. Oops. Sorry: figure of speech.
Old habits die hard."




Find out in the next episode, appearing only in...

***** Received 23:49:26 on 04/06/91, Posting #    74 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #4
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 4
                            No moose is good moose
              "Have you ever seen a moose walkin'. Well I did..."
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with two first names

     A tall, trenchcoated figure marched through JFK airport in search of his
luggage. After finding it, he left the terminal and carefully searched the
parking lot. A black stretch limo pulled up in front of him and two men with
dark glasses greeted him.
     "Are you Mr. Lee?"
     "What if I am?"
     "Mr. Antonetti would like very much to talk with you."
     "I'm sure. I hope you won't mind putting my luggage in the trunk."
     The figure handed one of the men a montrously large duffel bag.
     "Hunf! What the hell you got in here, anyway?"
     "Oh, just a few personal items. Be carefull not to drop anything. I
wouldn't want you to get hurt."
     "Are you sure you want to do this?"
     "Oh, come on. I've been cooped up in my house for too long."
     "Yeah, Liz, I know. I just don't think it's such a good idea to make
yourself so visible so soon."
     "Look: you said yourself that 'The Nickname' was trying to send a message
to to people. Well I want to send him one. I want him to know that I won't be
pushed around anymore."
     "*sigh* Alright. I can see arguing with you isn't going to do any good."
     "That settles it then. Tonight, I'm going to have a real night out on the
town. I can't wait!"
     "And what am I supposed to do--hide in your purse?"
     "No, of course not. We'll have to find you some nicer--and less
damaged--clothes, but you can come too."
     "Now wait! I'm supposed to be hired muscle--not an escort service!"
     "Oh don't be silly. It'll be fun."
     "But I'm not really cut out for the night club scene."
     "Don't worry! Okay. First thing we gotta do is find you some new clothes."
     "What's wrong with what I'm wearing?"
     "Well, for one thing, bullet holes aren't very chic."
     "Oh yeah. 'Forgot about that. Grrrr! Why do I get the feeling I'm going to
regret this?"
     "Hey boss! He's here!"
     "Well? What are you waiting for, Frankie? Show him in!"
     Antontti sat calmly at his desk as his men escorted what he hoped would be
the solution to all of his problems into his office. The hulking figure entered,
but kept to the shadows.
     "Thanks boys, that'll be all. Make yourselves scarce. Can I get you
something to drink, Mr. Lee?"
     "No thank you. And you can call me Moose, Mr. Antonnetti."
     "And you can call me 'The Nickname'. Make yourself comfortable, Mr. Lee--I
mean, Moose."
     Moose Lee stepped from the shadows and removed his trenchcoat, revealing a
bright red costume adorned with an intricately embroidered dragon. Never
actually having met him before, the Nickname was somewhat startled by his
appearance. Moose Lee, was, in fact, a mutated moose that had somehow aquired
sentience. His body was covered in a shaggy brown fur and onhis head were two
stunted antlers. Early in life, he had been adopted by a martial arts master
who had raised him and tutored him in the arts of combat, until he had become
a veritable killing machine. He took a seat and The Nickname's couch and they
began to discuss business.
     "Alright, here's the scoop. I put a it out on this girl and so far, no
one's been able to handle the job."
     "She must be quite a girl."
     "Actually, she's not the real problem. She's got someone working for her:
to get to her, you gotta go through him. I think I should warn you, this guy is
no pushover."
     "That's very kind of you. But a little understated. The Indestructible Kid
is much much more than a pushover."
     "Wha--! How did you know about that?"
     "One the flight over, the stewardess handed me an envelope containing a
letter from a Mr. MacCarthy. In it was an in depth discussion of your reasons
for wanting to hire a man--er, moose of my talents."
     "MacCarthy!!? Lemme see that letter!"
     "Sadly, I cannot do that. The envelope and the letter burst into flames
the moment I was finished reading it."
     "Alright, bottom line!! I'm not expecting you to actually fight this Kid:
all I need you to do is take out the girl without him stopping you. If you can
do that, you can name your own price."
     "Hmmm.  A tempting offer." said Lee as he scratched his antlers. "To be
honest, I would not mind meeting this Indestructible Kid in combat. I have
heard a little about him. I know it would be impossible to kill him, but I do
believe that I could put him out of action long enough to cash in on this
contract of yours. Name my own price, eh?"
     "Yeah, but don't go gettin' any ideas! I'm not going to let you soak me!"
     "Do not fear, Mr. Antonetti. I hame an honorable moose. Shall we say...
one million dollars?"
     "But---! ... Fine. One million even. But you won't get a cent until the
contract has been fulfilled."
     "Agreed. Now: tell me about this girl."
     Later that day, in a cab heading uptown...
     "I feel silly."
     "Will you relax? You look great."
     "In this monkey suit? You gotta be kidding. You could have at least let me
wear my baseball cap."
     "Sorry, but the restaurant we're going to has a dress code."
     "Yeah, but that hat and I have been together for a long time!"
     "You'll live."
     "Oh, that's very funny."
     "Consider yourself lucky that I didn't take you to get your hair cut."
     "Would have been a waste of money. It grows back really fast."
     "Alright, we're almost there. Trust me on this: you'll love the food."
     Soon, they arrived at the restaurant and were seated in an out of the way
corner. Bill insisted that this was more to keep people from looking at him
than a device to avoid Antonetti's goons.
     "I don't see how I can enjoy food that I can't even pronounce." said Bill
as he looked over the menu.
     "Don't worry. You will. You know, I haven't felt this relaxed in months.
Ever since my father died, I've been a bundle of nerves. I've been such a wreck
that I even had to take time off from my job."
     "And what kind of job is that?"
     "Legal secretary. I'm trying to become a lawyer."
     "Aww, and just when I was starting to respect you."
     "Cute. It so happens that I want to be a public defense attorney."
     "I admire your intentions, but the legal profession isn't a bed of roses.
Sometimes you have to do things that you don't want to."
     "I'll manage."
     "Yes. I don't doubt that you will."
     "Ah, look: I want to go powder my nose before the food gets here."
     "Hey wait a second...!"
     "Will you calm down? I'm not going far. And I'll be right back."
     "Alright. But no delays, understand? If I think you're taking too long,
I'll go in after you!"
     Liz got up and walked to the ladies' room. There, she went through
whatever mysterious ritual is is that all women do when in the john. But just
as she was about to leave, the lights went out.
     "What...? Sh*t. Now I can't see the door. Is there somebody else in here?"
     "Yes." replied a decidedly male voice.
     "Hey! What's going on here?!"
     "My appologies for this intrusion, Miss Anderson, but I'm afraid you're
going to have to come with me."
     "Who are...? Mmfprfh!"
     The last things that Liz remembered before passing out were two strong
furry hands and the harsh smell of chloroform.
     Outside, the Indestructible Kid sat nervously at the table. Liz had only
been gone for two minutes when the head waiter approached him with a letter.
     "Excuse me, but a gentleman wanted me to give this to you."
     "A gentlem...?!"
     Bill snatched the letter from the waiter's hands and read it.
     "Central Park. The sheep meadow. Fifteen minutes or the girl dies."
     Bill crumpled up the paper and ran to the bathroom. Inside, he found Liz's
purse on the floor and the window forced open.
     "Alright!! I'm here!! What are you waiting for!?"
     The Indestructible Kid stood in the center of the sheep meadow and waited
impatiently for any sign of an attack. He knew full well that this could have
simply been a diversion. There were was no reason to believe that anyone would
actually show up, but something told him to be here anyway.
     He removed his glasses and scanned the area for any signs of life. All he
could see were the heat signatures of the parks' usual nighttime deizens.
Suddenly, a hugh patch of sod tore open and Moose Lee leapt out at him. Before
Bill could react, Lee planted his left foot--er, hoof into his face, sending
him crashing to the ground. Bill looked up to see a humanoid moose standing
over him in a red outfit with two katanas slung on his back.
     "Boy, whoever you are, you've just made a serious mistake."
     "I am Moose Lee. I believe we have a mutual aquaintance: a certain Mr.
     "Yeah, yeah. I know. What I can't figure out is why you would want to come
out and fight me. You've already got the girl, so what's the point!?"
     "The point is that I'm trying to make a name for myself in the mercenary
business. Putting you down for the count would make me famous."
     "Supposing I don't want to give you a shot at the title."
     "Beating you is actually worth more to me than the money The Nickname has
promised to give me. If you soundly defeat me in battle, I will tell you where
you can find your ladyfriend."
     "Then let's not waste any time!"
     Bill lunged at Lee, who swatted him aside with yet another kick. Lee then
hit him in the kidney, or what passed for on in his case, with a lightning
fast judo move. Bill turned to throw a punch, but Lee easily ducked out of the
     "You move fast for a such big fella."
     "And you move slowly for such a little fellow."
     "Hey' I'm slow, but I'm persistent!"
     Bill turned to face Lee, who tried to deliver a blow to his neck. Bill
blocked it and countered with a kick of his own. Bill backed away. Lee brought
out a trio of throwing stars from his costume and threw them all at once. They
each sunk into Bill's chest with a dull thud.
     "Hey! Thanks for the presents!"
     The Indestructible Kid pulled one of the stars free and threw it back,
hitting Lee in the leg. Seeing his oponent at a momentary disadvantage, Bill
rushed forward. Lee retailated by pulling a napalm charge from his robe and
hitting him in the face with it. Blinded, Bill staggered around desperately
trying to douse the blaze. Lee then drew one of his katanas and tried to
behead him. The blade sliced through the arteries on the left side of Bill's
neck, but couldn't cut through his metal alloy spine. Lee settled for running
him through a few times, then watched as bill collapsed onto the damp field.
Lee took time to clean the pink blood from his sword, then re-sheathed it and
disappeared into the night.
Find out in thenext episode, appearing only in...

***** Received 00:49:08 on 04/11/91, Posting #    75 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists episode ten
From:        talk hard -- so be it (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Ten: "We Could Get Used to This" by Gary W. Olson

     "It's okay," the Swede declared.  "I have Oreos for everyone."
Niccolo Machiavelli accepted the package of snack cookies suspiciously,
as did Emma Goldman.  Benjen and Slithis, however, having the danger
sense of a pencil sharpener, dug right in.
     Around them, the Planet of Supermarkets stretched on into the
horizen.  Fluorescent lighting fluctuated in places, and the doppler
effect caused the muzak to sound like drunken gypsies.
     "The important thing," the Swede continued, "is that we get shopping
carts.  They transform into portable shelters, which we'll need when they
turn off the lights for the night."
     "How, exactly, do we get out of here?" Slithis asked.
     "It's not that difficult," the Swede said.  "According to this
omni-locator, we're in the lower southwest of one of the four main
continents.  Three continents are devoted to the supermarket; the
fourth continent is the parking lot."
     "Is that where we want to go?" Benjen asked.
     "Yes," the Swede replied.  "The cash registers are lined all the
way up and down the east coast, and the parking lot continent is a
short shuttle hop over.  The last thing I had the plot generator take
care of was to teleport your spaceship to the parking lot, along with itself."
     "And you say you can't use your Authorial powers without this
generator, right?" Goldman asked.  The Swede nodded.
     "Shoplifter in aisle 11,397!" a voice crackled over the intercom.
"Shoplifter in aisle 11,397!  Security detail!"  A few hundred yards
away, a couple vaguely familiar looking aliens shouted "Go man go!"
     "If we're in the southwest," Machiavelli said.  "We have quite a
trek in front of us, do we not?"  The Swede nodded again.
     "Then let's get going," Goldman declared, starting eastward.
     "Hey, Chips Ahoy!" Benjen enthused, ripping open a bag of said
cookies.  The Swede sighed.
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones' office was empty.  There was the sound of
flushing from the adjoining room.  His Royal Unholiness opened the door
and strolled into his office, unself-consciously adjusting his red-polka-
dotted boxer shorts.  He looked up, then quickly jumped behind the door.
     "It's not my scene yet, damn it!" he growled.  "Who's responsible
for this indignity?  CHAOS Engineer?"  (camera shakes back and forth).
"Josh Schultz?" (camera shakes back and forth again).  "I know, it's
that new guy, the Man with Two Names!" (camera shakes back and forth).
"Then it's gotta be the Swede." (camera shakes up and down).  "It is?
Well, then, now I know who to take my revenge on!"
     Shadebeam woke rather woozily, and tried to look about.  She was
in a hut of sorts, on a straw bed on the floor.  Last she had remembered
a large, burly Ottsamaddawidu warrior had clubbed her on the back of the
head.  Now, she was here.
     "Don't move," a gentle, feminine voice told her.  "Just rest."
Shadebeam tried to sit up, but the pounding in her head only grew worse.
     "Like, major grave tactical error," she groaned.  The owner of
the voice that had spoken to her earlier dabbed her head with a damp
pad apparantly woven from leaves and an animal skin.
     "You were taken," the figure said.  "My name is--"
     "Glum," Shadebeam interrupted.
     "Eh?" the figure said.  "It is Gham.  Who is this 'Glum'?"
     "Dunno," Shadebeam replied.  "See, I have these hallucinations, and,
like, you're in some of 'em, only you're this princess called Glum..."
     "I am only a simple tribal woman," Gham replied.  "You seem vaguely
familiar to me as well, although I have never seen you."
     "Name's Shadebeam," Shadebeam said.  "Used to be Akane Moroboshi."
     "This Japan," Gham asked, "How many days walk away is it?"
     "Plenty," Shadebeam replied.  "But I'll settle for getting back to our
starship - don't ask, I'll explain that later.  How can I get out of here?"
     "I do not know," Gham said.  "I am a prisoner here as well.  They
are planning to sacrafice me to the Gods.  Likely, they will sacrafice you."
     "Right hospitable of them, that," Shadebeam replied.  "But I don't
plan on sticking around for that."
     "Escape is impossible," Gham said.  "I tried, and was punished."
Gham turned her head and Shadebeam could see the breif part of a scar
covered by Gham's long, jet-black hair on her back.
     "That all, huh?" Shadebeam said.  "My stepdad gave me worse, 'fore
I bugged out.  'sides, I've busted out'a just about every type of prison
there is - concrete, steel, home and more."
     "Will you take me with you?" Gham asked.
     "I dunno," Shadebeam said.  "It'll be difficult enough with one..."
     "Please!" Gham demanded.  "They'll kill me!"
     "Okay," Shadebeam acquiesced.  "But you'll have to follow orders."
     "I will, oh, I will!" Gham squealed.  "You won't be sorry!"
     "I think I already am," Shadebeam grumbled.  "You're too hyper,
though.  Mellow out some, okay?"
     "Mellow out?" Gham asked.  "What is that?"
     "Here," Shadebeam said, pulling out two hand-wrapped cigarettes from
a pouch on her belt.  "These'll help."
     Karl Marx took his place as a guard on the bridge of the PLS Tell-
Tale Heart, and glanced only breifly at Lenin and Trotsky.  They were in
position.  Now, everything rested on Chairman Mao.
     J. Edgar Hoover smoked his cigar mercilessly in the captain's chair.
Edgar Allen Poe stood at attention at his side.
     "Pop Quiz, Poe," Hoover said.  "What's the greatest nation ever?"
     "The United States," Poe replied.
     "Correct," Hoover replied.  "And what threat must all freedom-loving
Americans guard against?"
     "The muave menace?" Poe asked.
     "No, no, the red menace!  Red!  Red!" Hoover ranted.  "Okay, what
are the three plainly visible signs of the red menace in a commie?"
     "Uh, never drinks water," Poe said.  " a moustache."
     "They have a slightly deranged look in their eyes," Hoover finished
for him.  "Like this."  Poe concentrated, but he couldn't see Hoover's
eyes change.  "You should be studying more.  Or has reading the Commie
Manifesto been taking up your study time?"
     "No, no!" Poe declared.  "O say can you see..."
     "Sir," Lenin said.  "We'll be in range of Karma Chameleon II in five."
     "Excellent," Hoover replied.
     "It's my theory," Goldman said, "that this violence is but a
reflection of the anger and tension that is running deeply within the
working class, and thus, while not justifying the aggressive act, it
makes it worthy of sympathy."
     "If you say so, ma'am," the stockboy said.
     "Can we go now?" Machiavelli said.  "I've heard bad things about
being stuck in the housewares department at night."  The Swede turned
the key, and the freight lift, which the stockboy had been using to
restock that particular square acre of foam squeegees, lifted above
the top shelf and shifted into one of the lanes of traffic flowing
above the aisles.  Below the freight lift, they could see the vast
expanse of aisles, each stretching endlessly into the distance.
Every mile or so, a lane cut across the aisles.
     "How many people are down there?" Benjen asked.
     "Depends - usually around four to six billion, depending on the
sale and the day," the Swede replied.
     "They live here?" Slithis asked.
     "Most of them are shoppers," the Swede told them.  "They stay
anywhere from a day to two weeks.  The shopping carts transform into
small living quarters, and particle micronizers allow for mega-shopping.
Of the rest, about a half billion are employees.  The remaining half
billion are vagrants, trapped on the planet through a variety of
senseless circumstances.  No one really makes any serious effort to kick
them out - there's too many of them."
     A couple of hoverbikes zoomed past the freight in the opposite
direction.  The men on them were obese, and wore gestapo uniforms.
"That's supermarket security," the Swede informed them.  "They go after
any shoplifters that are reported."
     "Can we set down somewhere?" Benjen whined.  "I'm thirsty!"
     "There should be a customer service department around here
somewhere," the Swede said.  "We should be able to rent some legal
transportation there - ah!  I see it now."  Machiavelli squinted and
looked into the distance.  There, on the horizen, was a large, looming
structure, as massive as a large city, stretching the full half mile
from the floor to the ceiling.  It was dark and sinister looking, and
odd peals of lightning flashed around it.  The words 'customer service'
flashed in large neon letters.
     Goebbels received a report from his tactical officer, F. Scott
Fitzgerald.  "We're just ten light-years away from Sagistus Epsilon IV,
where we received the report on that Eye thing and the Golden Fleece.
     "Excellent," Goebbels replied in a thick german accent.  "Heil Jones."
     "Heil Jones," Fitzgerald replied.
     "Somehow, it's just not the same," Goebbels muttered as he went back
to sit in his captain's chair.  He looked over the report of a few days
ago.  The automatic station in the region had monitored the ship of
Time Agent 173 moving to apprehend a small ship registered as The Golden
Fleece, owned jointly by a Hourus Jebillip and Milagro Bekn'kse, two
minor con men who worked the area.  An "Eye" of the late CBS had appeared
swallowing up 173's ship but leaving the Golden Fleece to fly free.
     Later, one of the rulers of the CBS, a being who identified himself
as the Omnipotent Egg Beater, called Satan and made a lucrative deal for
the return of a jewel they called the "Eiffel Thing", which apparantly
powered something they called the HyperNet.  The deal was so lucrative,
that Satan immediately accepted, and put Goebbels in charge of finding
the Thing.
     It had last been known to exist on Sagistus Epsilon IV, owned by
a Mr. Bennett Quark.  Quark was not on the planet at the time, rather
he was in his summer mansion on Spyro Gyra III.  According to what the
local police had gathered, Milagro and Hourus successfully heisted the
jewel, but Time Agent 173 was about to apprehend them, so the jewel could
be returned to the safety of Time Central.
     Why the Eye had pulled 173's ship in was not clear, but the event
was synchronous with the disappearance of the Red Emma over Earth into
a similar structure, the connection between the two events plain yet
unfathomable.  At any rate, finding the Golden Fleece would prove to
be no problem.
     "Uh, sir?" Fitzgerald called out.  "We have a problem."
     "Vhat is it, herr Fitzgerald?" Goebbels asked.
     "We're being towed away from the planet."
     "Vhat?  By who?"
     "Unknown.  The rest of the fleet is being towed as well.  All effort
to break away have failed."  Goebbels strode over.  Workers were frantically
trying to change the ship's course, but to no avail.
     Suddenly, all the screens on the ship went blank.  Then, a message
appeared:  "I want these ships.  Many thanks.  Bennett Quark."
     "Quark!" Goebbels growled.  "He's the registered owner of the Thing.
What information do we have on him?"
     "None, sir," Fitzgerald replied.  "All we have on him is that he
owns the jewel."
     "Damnation!" Goebbels growled.  "Who *is* this Bennett Quark?"


***** Received 00:49:41 on 04/11/91, Posting #    76 *****
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