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Sfstory Log 048

Subject:     Indeatructible Kid #5
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 5
                              Payback's a bitch
                             Your moose is cooked
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with two first names

     Sometime around 11 PM, the New York Fire Department responded to Central
Park. The caller simply said that there was a man on fire lying in the middle
of the sheep meadow. This is not exactly a typical call, but the fire
department is obligated to check this sort of thing out. When they arrived,
there was, in fact, somebody lying in the middle of the field with his entire
upper body aflame. They were about to send for the coroner when the body slowly
sat up and looked at them.
     "Well don't just stand there!" he hissed. "Put me out!"
     "Hey boss! He's back!"
     "What are you talking about, Frankie! Who's back?!"
     "That Moose guy!! He just pulled up outside!"
     Seconds later, Moose Lee walked into Tony 'The Nickname' Antonetti's
office carrying the bound form of Liz Anderson over his shoulder.
     "Hey! I asked you to kill her, not bring her back here!"
     "Do not fear, nobody saw me bring here. I thought you might need her
considering that the Kid will probably want your head once he recovers. She
might be your only means of saving yourself."
     "You mean you actually fought him?"
     "Yes. And I beat him. In truth, out battle was somewhat... disappointing."
     "Oh, that's just wonderfull. You had to go and piss him off, didn't you?
And just what the hell am I supposed to do when he gets here?"
     "That is not my concern. I have fulfilled my end of the contract. If you
wish me you do anymore, it will cost you."
     "Why you...! Alright, fine. Keep him off me and you'll get whatever you
     "You are very generous, Mr. Antonetti."
     Moose Lee put Liz down on the couch and left the room. Antonetti sat down
at his desk. Frankie approached him.
     "Boss! You gonna let him walk all over you like that?"
     "I didn't get to be where I am by letting people push me around, Frankie.
If that... that... whatever he is thinks he's gonna soak me, he's got another
thing coming."
     Antonetti than reached into his desk and brought out a single slip of
paper with a telephone number on it.
     "Lessee here: 1-800-666-6666. Hunh. That's easy to remember."
     "Boss! But I thought...!"
     "Shadup! You're not paid to think... Hello? Is this MacCarthy? Yeah. It's
me, Antonetti. I've been thinking about what you said... I think we can do
business after all. Souls? Well, I'll tell you what... I've got one right here
in my office for you..."
     "Not you, you moron! The girl! What? Yes, I'll hold."
     Susan B. Anthony entered Satan T. Lucifer Jones' office smiling.
     "Stop that smiling!" yelled Jones. "It's good for morale!"
     "Sorry. I just wanted you to know that Antonetti called back to ask for
     "Well it's about time! Is he still on the line?"
     "Yes. MacCarthy's talking with him now."
     "Good. Now, he'll undoubtedly want some kind of heavily armed help to deal
with this Kid. I wonder who I should send? Hmmmm... Wait! Yes! That's it!
They'll be perfect for the job! Tell that fop Prince to come to my office right
away! I want to brief him on his new co-workers"
     It didn't take long for bill to find Antonetti. He remembered where most
of his properties were from back when he used to go on what he called 'panty
raids'. These usually involved going into warehouses where the mafia kept their
loot, drugs, or sometimes even large sums of cash hidden from prying eyes,
and wreaking general havoc. Antonetti would always know when Bill was
responsible and not a rival mafia boss when he would find out that large
amounts of cocaine would be replaced with sugar or plaster of paris, or guns
would have their barrels filled with epoxy, or Rolls Royces would end up at
the bottom of the East river with inflatable sex-dolls at their wheels.
Whenever he found cash, Bill would usually replace it with Monopoly money and
that distrubute the real money to the homeless. None of the people assigned
to guard these places ever ended up getting killed, but they were often driven
to quit after having suffered many embarassing nights handcuffed to lamp posts
or set loose in Greewich Village with no clothes on. But I digress.
     Tonight, he found 'The Nickname' holed up in a warehouse in Secaucus.
Since it was dark, he hadn't fully healed yet. Still, he didn't want to waste
any time and he always enjoyed watching the looks on peoples faces when they
saw him. Tonight, only one eye was working properly, but that would be enough.
     He slowly approached the warehouse and decided to knock. Soon, someone
heard him and openend the door.
     "Yeah, what do you... Geesh! What the hell..."
     "Good evening. I'm from the Jehova's Witnesses. Would you care to make a
     "Ghaaaa! Nooo!!! Stay back! Stay back!!"
     "Perhaps you'd like a pamphlet then?"
     "Noooo! Stay away from me!"
     "Gladly. Ah, but first, could you direct me to Mr. Antonetti's office?"
     The frightened thug hesitantly pointed Bill down a corridor.
     "Thank you. Have a nice day."
     Chuckling to himself as best he could, considering his lips hadn't grown
back yet, he followed the corridor until he found himself in a large open room.
     "I see you hiding up there in the rafters, Lee. I hope you weren't stupid
enough to do something rash with Liz."
     "Hardly. I decided to leave that little task up to 'The Nickname'
himself. He asked that the girl be taken off the streets, so that's what I did."
     "Oho, passing the buck. I hope you waited for him to pay you before agreed
to do anything else for him. He's know to doublecross people. And mooses."
     "He wouldn't dare. He needs me to keep you from killing him.
     "Kill him? Me? Never. Maim, perhaps. Castrate, possibly. But kill? No
way. Now, do yourself a favor and stay out of my way, okay?"
     "I'm afraid I can't do that."
     "Oh, come on. Just take your money and blow. Stand up to 'The Nickname'.
Where's your backbone? What are you: a man, or a moose?"
     Moose Lee didn't answer. Instead, he leapt from his perch and landed
softly on the ground in front of Bill.
     "I hate to have to end this conversation, but I do have a job to do."
     "Well, far be it for me to stand in the way of free enterprise. Hey.
What's that? Quick! get down!!"
     "Surely you don't think I'm going to fall for..."
     Bill lunged for Moose Lee in hopes of knocking himto the ground.
Unbeknownst to Lee, Bill's warning was not a ploy, but had in fact been
prompted by his having seen Frankie standinf in the shadows and aiming a rifle
at Lee's back. While Lee managed to stay on his feet, his suddent movement
startled Framkie enough to miss his target and the shot hit Lee in the left
shoulder. Lee responded by hurling a throwing star and Frankie that hit him in
the chest before he could fire again.
     "Don't say I didn't warn you."
     "You were right about 'The Nickname'! How could I have been so blind?"
     "Well, you know how it is: the best laid plans of moose and men..."
     "Will you stop it with the moose jokes, please?!"
     "Sorry. I just can't help myself. He's not dead, you know."
     "I'm aware of that. I only kill when there's money in it."
     "Hmmm... I'll give you a dollar if you help me get Liz back."
     "C'mon, man. This offer won't last forever! Take it or leave it!"
     "You're insane!"
     "And you've got a reputation to think about, remember? 'Sides, you might
get lucky and find some extra payola lying around. 'The Nickname' uses a
wheelbarrow for a wallet, you know."
     "Oh... all right. Fine. But once you get your lady back, I'm taking what I
can find leaving, understand?"
     "Fine by me. Let's go."
     "I'd perfer it if you stayed where you are, gentlemen."
     Antonetti stepped from the shadows and took a puff on a cigar.
     "Just the man we were looking for! This is your lucky day, Tony. If you
reveal to me the location of a certain pretty young redhead who answers to the
name Elizabeth, I'm prepared to offer you such fabulous prizes as life, escape
from serious personal injury and yes, even avoiding any furture visits from
     "I've already taken care of that. The girl isn't my problem anymore."
     "I sense a crisis about to occur." said Moose Lee.
     "I sense a plot twist about to occur." added Bill.
     As if on cue, Joseph MacCarthy materialized next to Antonetti in a burst
of flame and stench holding his briefcase and a slip of paper.
     "What the hell os going on here?!" Lee demanded.
     "Funny you should ask." replied MacCarthy. "Here, Mr. Antonetti. This is
for you."
     "What is it?"
     "A receipt. Please sign at the bottom and your delivery can be completed."
     "Say! I know you!" remarked Bill. "You're dead aren't you?"
     "Quite." MacCarthy replied.
     "You look good."
     "Thank you. Ah, and thank you Mr. Antonetti. Here's your copy. Mr. Jones
wishes me to thank you for your patronage."
     "Hey wait! When do I get my troops!"
     "Why, right now."
     Just then, an entire division of deceased Muuuahahahan
StormUndDrangTroopers appeared just as MacCarthy had. They were only some of
the many troopers who had died in the many battles that the Muuuahahahan
empire had fought over in the Superguy dimension. Their battered armor bore
the evidence of their untimely demises. Unfortunately, as was often the case
with Muuuahahahan troopers, many of them had been accidentally shot by their
fellow soldiers. Satan T. Lucifer Jones had carefully hidden this fact from
Antonetti when he drew up the contract.
     "Who are these guys?" asked Lee.
     "My new hired muscle." said Antonetti. "Say, MacCarthy! I thought you said
there'd be one more!"
     Soon, the troopers were joined by their new leader. Prince: the undead
rock singer who had recently also met his grisly end in the Superguy universe.
Until now, Earth-Sfstory had been spared the indignity of Prince's existance.
     "Greeting, gentlemen." he hissed.
     "Who is that pansy?" asked Lee.
     "Carefull, Lee. These guys play for keeps. Hey Kid! I bet you're wondering
how I swung this little deal."
     "It had crossed my mind."
     "Well, I'll tell ya! I made a real deal with the Devil! I get to use these
guys here for as long as it take to get you permanently out of my hair. And all
it cost me was one soul!"
     "Yours I hope."
     "Nope. Here's a clue: what's cute, has red hair and now suffers the
eternal torments of the damned?"
     "You didn't...! You did. Of course you know, this means war."
     "Couldn't have put it better myself. Okay, fellas! He's all yours!"
     "Excellent." said Prince. "Troopers: fire!!!"
Find out in the next episode, appearing only in...

***** Received 21:37:52 on 04/15/91, Posting #    77 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #6
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 6
                                  Hellbound or
                           Hot time in the old town
                                  Written by
                   Bill Paul----The man with two first names

     The Man With Two First names sat back in his chair on the Author's Beach
and prepared to set up his portable terminal. He was about to begin writing
when his phone rang.
     "Grrr. What is this?? This is supposed to be an unlisted number!"
     He let it ring a few times, then begrudgingly, he picked up the receiver.
     "Hello? Yes, this is he. Who? ELVIS?!?! Ah, yes. Yes it's a pleasure to
talk to you too. I'm a firm believer in... What? The Indestructible Kid? Yes,
he's my character. Oh, you have. You did? Well I'm glad you liked... A Problem?
What problem? Umm hmm. Ah, well, yes, I guess I did say he was virtually
immortal... What do you mean I can't do that? I'm an Author!! I CAN DO ANYTHING
I WANT!!! Wha--no. No, I'm sorry. Yes sir. I'm sorry: I didn't mean to shout. It
won't happen again. But why can't I... Takes the suspense out of the story?
Well, gee... I don't know... Oh. Oh yes. I hadn't thought of that either. I
guess it does make him a little too powerfull. I'm sorry, I never meant to
challenge... Make him mortal? How mortal? Ditch the immortality and replace it
with longevity, hunh? Well, I suppose that would do it, but that would mean
making a major modification to my plot generator!! And I only just got the
thing!! What? You'll take care of the modifications? And pay all of the
expenses? Well, I guess that would be okay then... But what will I do in the
mean time?! Improvise?! That's ridiculous! It would never work! What? *You*
have faith in *me*?? Wow. Ah, okay: I guess I'll have to wing it then. Yes,
I'll get right on it. Ah ha. Sure, always ready to lend a hand. Right. Maybe
we'll talk again sometime. Sure, I'm always around. Say: maybe we could do
lunch! Right: don't push it. Yes sir, alright. Goodbye, Elvis, I mean
Mr. Presely, sir. *click*"
     On Prince's order, the dead Muuuahahahan troopers held up their battered
laser pulse rifles and did just that. They fired like there was no tommorow.
Unfortunately, Prince had neglected to tell them *where* to fire, so they
didn't end up hitting anything important, except themselves. As each one died,
again, he disappeared in a puff of orange smoke and flame.
     "NO NO NO! I meant fire at them, you idiots!!!!"
     "Sorry." "You should have said so." "Really." "What a twit."
     "Boy, whoever these guys are, they're none too bright."  commented Lee.
     "That would explain how they ended up in hell in the first place. Stay
behind me, Moose. Their weapons probably do me any serious harm."
     "Fine, but try to stay in one...
     *PING!* Oh, wondefull."
     "What hapenned?" screamed Antonetti. "Is that it? You can't have gotten
rid of him that fast: you didn't even shoot him!"
     Prince turned to what was left of his troops.
     "Did any of you do that?" he asked.
     "Un-unh." "Weren't me." "Me either." "It was like that when I got there!"
     "Wow." said Prince. "That's really...."
     "Greetings, mah sun."
     Bill suddenly became aware that he was no longer standing in a warehouse
in Secaucus. In fact, he came to realize Secaucus itself was probably a long
way away, which was not completely undesirable. He found himself floating in a
dark featureless void that seemed completely empty except for the strangely
familiar voice that had just spoken.
     "Ah, pardon me, but somehow, you don't sound like my dad. And I'm pretty
sure you're not my mom. So what gives here?"
     A point of light appeared in in front of him and flared brightly. When it
dissipated, Elvis stood in its place in all his bulk. I mean grandeur.
     "I don't believe it! It's Elvis! Boy, I always knew that the tabloids were
right about you."
     "Ah, yes. Well, I'm sure you are wondering why I brought you here."
     "Well, now that you mention it, I was trying to help someone keep from
getting killed. I think it was rather rude of you to snatch me away from him."
     "Do not feah. I have frozen your storyline temporarily. Moose Lee will not
be harmed. The reason I brought you heah is that your Author inadvertently made
you too powafull a character to be left to roam free in the Sfstory continuum.
A mere human can not be allowed to posess the powah of immortality until
humanity evolves further."
     "Watch who you're calling 'mere', buddy! What are you trying to say! You
going to wipe me out of existance before I can even become an established
     "No, I will simply alter your character profile--with your Author's
permision, of course. From now on, you will no longer be immortal! You will
just be... ah, well... really really hard to kill."
     "Does this mean I get to grow old and die like regular charact--I mean
people do?!?"
     "Uf course, mah sun."
     "Well, heck! What are you waiting for! Lemme have it!! Oh, and while
you're at it, could you please fix my face? I don't really want to wait for the
sun to come up."
     The Indestructible Kid watched as the light flared up again and engulfed
him. He could feel the power of Elvis coursing through his body. He began to
feel as if he was being turned inside out. Then he felt as though somebody had
smashed his brains in with a twist of lemon tied to a gold brick. No, wait...
that's a different experience altogether.
     "Hey! You're back!" exclaimed Moose Lee. "Where the hell did you go?"
     "I'll tell you later. Hey, how 'bout that! Elvis fixed my face after all!"
     "Personally, I liked you better before." said Lee.
     "Say!" said Prince. "Now that you've got a face again, you look really
familiar. Aren't you in the Awesome Force?"
     "Awesome Force? Never heard of it."
     "Oh. Funny that. Anyway, now that you're back we can try blasting you
again. Troopers: fire! At *them* this time!"
     The Muuuahahahan troopers did open fire on Bill and Lee this time, only
now Bill was able to deflect their laser bolts before they could do Moose Lee
any harm. During the fracas, Antonetti decided to make good his escape.
     "Hey! That hurt!" said Bill. "That actually hurt! I haven't felt something
actually hurt me in years! This is neat! I really am mortal again!"
     "What the hell are you talking about?" shouted Lee.
     "Ouch! Unh! This pain thing is--ung!--a real bummer! Ah, Lee? I don't
suppose you have any ideas as to how we can--yow!--stop these morons!"
     "When I tell you, rush them."
     "Whenever you're--ow!--ready!"
     Bill ran in close to the troops who were momentarilly startled. Then
Moose Lee flung two handfulls of throwing stars at them and dispatched about
half a dozed soldiers. Then he pulled out his katanas and went after the few
that were left. Bill decided to attack Prince directly.
     "Hey there! Mind telling me how I can go about retrieving an un-lawfully
traded soul?"
     "Only my master, His Unholiness Satan T. Lucifer Jones, can release one
of the damned from their eternal torment. A torment which I will see that you
will soon experience!"
     Prince opened his mouth, revealing his fangs. Prince had, in fact, died as
a vampire and Satan T. Lucifer Jones didn't see any reason why he shouldn't
remain one. Prince tried to make a grab for Bill's neck, but Bill managed to
evade him and ducked behind him. Then he picked up a splintered piece of wood
from the floor of the warehouse and grabbed Prince from behind.
     "Make any funny moves and I'll send you right back where you came from.
Now then, let's talk. I want to know how to get into hell."
     "Are you nuts?!" asked Lee.
     "Look: I promised to keep Liz out of trouble. So far, I haven't done a
very good job. Well? Tell me! How do I get into hell to retreive her soul?!"
     "With this!"
     Prince held up his wrist, revealing a unit strapped to it similar to the
one MacCarthy had used to communicate with Jones in an earlier episode.
     "Once I had finished the contract, I was to press this button here and
that's what would get me back."
     "Hey Kid, listen! If you really are mortal now, and this Jones fellow
really is the devil, then he could have a legitimate crack at *your* soul!"
     "True. But I can't let that stop me. Well? Are you coming with me, Moose?"
     "Wha--? Me?! Why the hell would I want to go with you?"
     "Well, there's still the matter of that one dollar contract, but if you
wanna welch out on me..."
     Moose Lee thought for a moment. The idea was insane. To deliberately enter
hell was nothing short of suicide. Yet, he was curious to find out what hell
looked like and he was never one to pass up an adventure. Besides: if he didn't
go, it would mess up the plot.
     "I don't know why I'm doing this..."
     "Does that mean you'll go?"
     "Well, I guess..."
     "Goody! Alright: will this thing transport all three of us?"
     "I--I don't know! I think so."
     "One way to find out. Grab ahold, Lee. We're outta here!"
     "I... but.... oh, hell!"    *POOOOFFF!*
     The Man With Two First Names watched nervously as two Acme servicemen
hovered over his newly upgraded plot generator. Somehow, he was a little less
than impresed with their work.
     "Did it ever make a noise like that before?" one of them asked.
     "Watch it Sam, I gotta idea."
     "There you go, mack. Purrin' like a kitten."
     "Thanks guys. Let me give you something for your troubles."
     "That's okay: Elvis already paid our gratuities. Here's your receipt. Call
us if you need any more work done."
     "Sure thing. Bye now."
     *POOOOFF!* [Poooff? Great. Now I need a new sound-effects generator too.]
     "Wow." said Bill. "So this is hell."
     The Indestructible Kid and Moose Lee found themselves standing at the
outskirts of a massive city that seemed to stretch as far as the eye could
see. It looked a little like Gotham city in Batman, only much, much more
sinister. The sky overhead was blood red. The ground was scorched and
blackened. The buildings of the city were old and crumbling. Screams of
eternal suffering could be heard everywhere. At the center of the city was a
huge building that towered over all the rest. On it was a huge neon sign that
flashed the message: 'Welcome to Hell. Satan T. Lucifer Jones, proprietor.
No soliciting.'"
     "Y'know: I hate to say this," began Bill, "but hell looks a lot like New
York. Or is it the other way around?"
     Bill and Lee were so overwhelmed by the sight of hell that Prince was able
to turn himself into a bat and escape.
     "Great. He'll probably go straight to Satan and warn him." said Lee. "And
without him, we don't know how to get out of this place! Where exactly do you
think we are, anyway?"
     "I'm not sure. Could be another planet. Or maybe a pocket dimension. Wait:
isn't that a spaceport over there?"
     "Could be. You think we should take a look?"
     "No, not yet. We still have to find Liz. I suppose the best way to do that
is talk to the man in charge, namely Satan himself. And I think I know just
where to look for him."
Find out in the next episode, appearing only in... Sfstory!

***** Received 10:28:43 on 04/16/91, Posting #    78 *****
Subject:     Indestructible Kid #7
From:        Eric the half-bee (PAUL at HARTFORD)

                            The Indestructible Kid
                                  Episode 7
                        We're off to see the devil...
                                 Life in hell
                                  Written by
                                  Bill Paul
                         The man with two first names

     Satan T. Lucifer Jones sat fuming at his desk, as he often did. Before him
sat Prince, the dead undead former rock star from Earth-Superguy who had just
returned to hell after a less than sucessful attempt to dispose of the
Indestructible Kid and his newfound accomplice, Moose Lee. Prince was surprised
by his Unholiness's uncharacteristically calm reaction to the news that not
only had the Muuuahahahan StormUndDrangTroopers that Satan had sent with him
been killed--again, not only had he failed to carry out the contract, but
now Bill and Moose Lee were loose in hell somewhere and looking for him. After
several agonizing minutes of silence, Prince finally worked up the nerve to
speak again.
     "Does this mean you're not mad?"
     "What? Not mad? Why... OF COURSE I'M MAD YOU LACE-COVERED NINNY!!"
     Satan's voice tore through Prince's body like a hail of glass shards. In
truth, Satan had not really been trying to remain calm, it was just that he was
trying to build up the strength he would need for this particularly hellish
     "No! Not that! No! Yahhhh!!! *POOOOFF*"
     Prince vanished from Satan's office in a burst of flame to face the
horrible fate that Satan had inflicted upon him. Satan took a moment to enjoy
the stench of brimstone that resulted, then called his secretary, Susan B.
Anthony, into his office.
     "Well? Did you finish signing that last load of papers?"
     "Never mind that now! Tell me: has there been any news from Reed and
Hemingway yet?"
     "We just got word they're about to make the trans-topic jump."
     "Good. Now, listen! What did you do with that girl that Antonetti traded
to us in return for the troopers?"
     "She's still waiting in purgatory. You know, we've been getting a lot of
calls from Thomas Jefferson in the legal department. He says that because the
contract hasn't been fullfilled yet, you don't have a legal claim to her soul."
     "This is all that lavender scented idiot's fault. The Indestructible Kid
and Moose Lee are here in hell..."
     "I know."
     "What? But how? I only just found out myself!"
     "Didn't you read that memo from Nostradamus?"
     "Er, no. Never mind about that now. We have to find him before he causes
trouble. Have the girl brought here. And get as many troops together as you
can and form patrols to look for them. See if you can get those Muuuahahahan
morons back together and throw in some Ottsamaddawidu troops, and the Civil War
soldiers. I'm sure they wouldn't mind having something to do."
     "Who do you want to lead the partols?"
     "Hmm. Is General Grant free?"
     "I think so."
     "Good. Get him, Napoleon and Gehngis Kahn and have them start as soon as
     "What do you want me to tell MacCarthy?"
     "Tell him to stick close to Antonetti and see if he can drum up any new
business. You know our motto, 'There's always room for one more.'"
     Bill and Lee walked in awe through the streets of hell. Bill had decided
that the best place to check for Satan was the large building with the neon
sign that loomed in the distance. Beads of sweat formed on their brows and they
wondered how it was that anyone could long survive under these hellish
conditions. Then they remembered where they were.
     "This place is really confusing." said Lee. "All of the streets have
really wierd names. 'Torture of a thousand needles Drive', 'Agony of the
flaming corkscrews Street', 'Pain of eternal jungle rot of the genitals Place'.
This place is a madhouse."
     "Yeah, and have you noticed? All of the buildings are numbered 666. I
wonder how people are supposed to know where they're going?"
     "We don't!" said a voice. "It doesn't matter! Once you're in hell,
everywhere's just as bad."
     "Who said that?" demanded Lee.
     "Down here, guys."
     Bill and Lee looked down and found that the voice they heard was coming
from under a metal grating in the street. They knelt down for a closer look,
only to be brushed back by a blast of horribly fetid air. The owner of the
voice stood up to face them.
     "Hi there! My name is Martin Luther! You guys are new around here,
aren't you?"
     "Er, yeah. Sort of." replied Bill. "We don't really plan to stay long."
     "Heh, nobody does. I never really thought I'd end up here myself. I spent
so much of my life trying to convince people that they didn't have to pay
indulgences to the priests to keep from getting sent to hell. Look where it
got me. If I had known that I'd wind up here, I would have just chucked the
whole idea."
     "How long have you been here?" asked Lee.
     "Not that long, really. Only about four hundred years. Or was it five? You
tend to lose track."
     "And you've been stuck down there all this time?"
     "Oh no. Satan only put me in here a few years ago. He got miffed at me
when I nailed a stack of parking tickets to his front door. Some people just
can't take a joke."
     "Say, listen: if you've been here that long, then you must know a lot
about how this place is run, right?" asked Bill.
     "Sure." Luther replied.
     "Well, we want to bust a friend of ours out of here. You wouldn't by any
chance have any ideas as to how we could do that, would you?"
     "Hmm... I might. But you'll have to let me out of here first."
     "He could be trying to trick us." cautioned Lee.
     "Oh, come on. Lighten up, Lee! he looks harmless enough."
     "Oh, alright."
     After a few well placed strokes of Moose Lee's katanas, the grating gave
way and Bill and Lee helped Martin Luther out of the hole.
     "Well?" prodded Bill. "Now what?"
     "Well, if Satan T. Lucifer Jones has a real claim to your friends soul,
then the situation is pretty bad. There's only been three people to ever escape
from hell before, and Satan's hot on their tail as it is now. How exactly did
this friend of your some to be here?"
     "Well, somebody traded her soul to Satan in exchange for services
rendered. Although we did a pretty good job getting rid of those servies, didn't
we Lee?"
     "Wait: you mean that Satan didn't fullfill his end of the contract?"
     "Well, I guess not, now that you mention it." Bill replied.
     "Well, then he's got no claim to her soul in the first place."
     "How 'bout that! Then all we gotta do is find here and escape back to
Earth!" exclaimed Bill.
     "It's not that simple. First, there are forms to be filled out. Then,
there will have to be an investigation. And besides, Satan's the only one who
can authorize transportation out of hell."
     "Well I'm not giving up. If he's not supposed to have her soul, then I'm
gonna see to it that she's released." Bill pronounced. "I take it that Satan's
home offices are in that big building in the middle of town?"
     "You go it." replied Luther.
     "Well then, could you tell us the fastes way to get there?" asked Lee.
     "Sure thing, but don't expect me to go with you. Satan would have a
coniption if he found out you let me out of that hole."
     "Oh, we wouldn't want that to happen now, would we?" said Bill.
     The Man With Two First Names say back and gave his fingers a rest. He
checked his plot generator to make sure that it was still functioning properly,
then got up to go the refreshment stand on the Author's Beach. On his way, he
passed the Swede's usual spot and noticed that it was vacant.
     "Gee. He's been gone for a while. I hope he didn't get carried away with
his work." he mused.
     At the stand, he ordered a cheese burger, then returned to his desk.
     "Boy, that improvising idea that Elvis gave me seems to be working out
great. I should try it more often."
     Meanwhile, back in hell [I've always wanted to say that], Susan B. Anthony
escorted Elizabeth Anderson to Satan T. Lucifer Jones' office. When they
arrived, Satan welcomed her and told her to take a seat.
     "Please make yourself comfortable." said Jones.
     "You're kidding, right?"
     "Heh heh, ah, sorry. Just a little hellish humor. Well? Why are you still
here, Anthony?"
     "I just got a message from Kruzchev in the monitoring department. They
intercepted a phone call between the Man With Two First Names and Elvis
concerning the Indestructible Kid."
     "Really. Do you have a transcript?"
     "Right here."
     Satan grabbed the papers and read them with great interest. When he was
done, they burst into flame in his hands.
     "Well well well! This changes everything!" said Satan. "It seems, Miss
Anderson, that you savior has been through a few changes! Thanks to the powers
that be, he is now mortal! No matter how tough he still is, I now have a chance
to gain control of his soul!"
     "You don't really think he'd be stupid enough to sign a contract with you!"
     "I won't need a contract! He's here in hell now looking for you. If my
troopers get to him before he finds you and they succeed in killing him, his
soul will remain trapped here forever, contract or not!"
     "Then what will happen to me?"
     "Well, then you would be a permanent guest too. But if you play your
cards right, I'm sure we can find some way to make your stay more enjoyable.
After all, I don't have any quarrel with you."
     "I'll have to do something about that, won't I?"
     "Be carefull how you behave, my dear girl. Your petulance might land you
in very HOT water. For now, you will wait here with me until I get word that
your friend had been found. And don't ghet any ideas about running. Nobody
leaves hell without my say-so."
     Bill and Lee had been walking through the streets of hell for hours. The
headquarters building still beckonned in the distance. Martin Luther had told
themthat getting to it would not be easy, but then nothing's easy when you're
in hell.
     "You know, Lee. I've just noticed a funny feeling in my belly."
     "No, hunger. I just remembered: now that I'm mortal again, I need food.
And I haven't eaten in a day or so."
     "Now that you mention it, I could use a bite myself. But where are we
supposed to find food in hell?"
     "What about right over there?"
     Bill pointed to a single story edifice with a horde of vehicles parked
outside. Mounted to it's roof was a giant sign that read: 'Burger Hell'.
     "Hunh. How about that?"
     "Well? What are we waiting for Lee? Let's chow down!"
Find out in the next episode, appearing only in...

***** Received 23:26:51 on 04/16/91, Posting #    79 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists episode eleven part one
From:        talk hard -- so be it (34EPWQL at CMUVM)

Episode Eleven: "Go to Hell, Do not pass Go, Do not Collect $200"
by Gary W. Olson

     In retrospect, James Dean wished he had ignored Jerriphrrt and
simply blasted the Ottsamaddawidu tribal members.  Shadebeam had been
captured, and worse, the College Republicans, after routing the
Ottsamaddawidu tribe, had captured himself, Jerriphrrt, and Time Agent 173.
They were brought back to the primitive Republican camp and tied to barbeque
spits, while witch doctors wearing Nixon masks lit fires underneath them
with flammable liquid and whole stacks of reel-to-reel audio tapes.
     "Hey," 173 had noted while they were being tied up.  "We're representing
your deity, you can't do this to us."
     "I hear the voice of the deity in my mind," Nat Rephue told her.  The
other members of the tribe genuflected in his direction.
     "Great idea, cat," Dean snarled.
     "Hey, it's not my fault he was able to use my idea against us,"
Jerriphrrt whined.  A spark hit his tail and he yelped.
     Suddenly, and without warning, two figures crashed into the camp.
"Gangway!" Shadebeam called out, firing the EMP cannon-gun that the
College Republicans had left on the battlefield.  The conservative
primitives immediately scattered, and the figure who had accompanied
Shadebeam started untying James Dean.
     "Well, hell-lo gorgeous," Dean said to the newcomer.  "Where have
you been all my life?"
     "I do not understand your question," she said.  "My name is Gham."
     "But wait," Jerriphrrt said, as Shadebeam helped him.  "Aren't you...?"
     "No, she isn't," Shadebeam said.  Jerriphrrt looked at Shadebeam,
then Gham, then Shadebeam again.  "Oh," he finally said, not at all
convinced but not willing to take the topic further.  Particularily
since it appeared that the College Republicans were getting ready to attack.
     That they did, but it didn't last for long, as they were surprised
by the Ottsamaddawidu tribal warriors who had pursued Shadebeam and Gham
following their daring, off-camera escape from where they were being held
prisoner.  The Anarchists, accompanied by Time Agent 173 and Gham, took
that opportunity to make their exit.
     "Hey, what are we fighting for?" Nat Rephue suddenly asked.
     "Revenge?" an Ottsamaddawidu warrior pondered.
     "Fun?" a Republican inquired.
     "No, no," Rephue continued.  "The ones we're all after are escaping!
I suggest we band together and recapture them?  What were you planning
to do with them?"
     "Sacrafice them," the cheif Ottsamaddawidu warrior, Ragnaruk, said.
     "And we were going to eat them," Rephue replied.  "I got an idea:
how about we dip them in lava, then serve them up in a big feast?"
     "Will you provide the cranberry sauce?" Ragnaruk asked.
     "Sure!" Rephue said, smiling.
     "Then let's go after them!" Ragnaruk shouted.  Screaming and chanting,
the united tribes spilled out into the forest.
     Billions und billions of light years away, on the Planet of Supermarkets,
a dozen armed soldiers marched past a group of winos in the beer aisle.
The soldiers paid them no heed - there were thousands of them in the
hundred-thousand mile long beer aisle, and they were looking for anarchists
anyway.  When they had past, five of the 'winos' lifted their heads.
     "Whew," Emma Goldman said.  "That was close."
     "It would not have been if you hadn't been identified as an Agent of
Satan," Machiavelli accused.
     "Hey, how was I supposed to know my ex-boss hasn't paid his
$666,666,666,666.66 grocery tab in over 66.6 years?" Goldman asked.  "Its
not like you ever see him nip off to go shopping, you know."
     "Say," Slithis said.  "How come you weren't pegged as a Satanic minion
Nick?  I mean, if the Customer Service Department's computer is outdated
enough to list her as a Satanic agent, surely you'd be in there as well."
     "I erased all my personal records from the Database of Hell,"
Machiavelli revealed.  "I also sent a Virus from Hell out to delete all
references to me from any computer found, except on Earth, where I'm
generally known to be deceased."
     "You did this just before you left?" Benjen asked.
     "Just after I arrived," Machiavelli said.  "A promising start for
my career, I'm sure you'll agree."
     "At any rate," the Swede interjected.  "We're clear for the moment."
They had barely escaped detention at the massive, city-sized Consumer
Services Department, and had managed to hijack several hoverbikes from
the supermarket rent-a-cop legion.  They fought off pursuit at every
turn, swooped through gang wars in the cereal aisle, and generally threw
the whole eastern seaboard into a higgledy-piggledy.  Finally, though,
the cash registers were in sight.
     They loomed like a line of death, stretching out over the curve
of the planet in both directions.  Each register had about 40,000 people
in line, some of whom appeared to have been born in line, with the
general idea being that future generations might make it to the check-
out cashier.  The heroes and our beloved author looked on in dismay.
     "How will we ever get through?" Machiavelli groaned.  "If we try
to blast our way through, we'll be cut down.  It's happened before."
     "I've got an idea," Slithis declared.
     "No, we are *not* going back for more Twinkies," Benjen said firmly.
     "No, not that," Slithis said.  "I need the microphone mounted
conveniently nearby on this pillar."  He picked it up and blew on it -
the sound of him blowing echoed up and down the coastline of cashiers.
"Attention," he said, trying to sound as official as he could.  "The
New Kids on the Block have been spotted in housewares."  Some humanoids
left the line, but most stayed in their places.  "Uh...Elvis has been
sighted in the store."
     "That's nothing new," a woman called out from the crowd.  "He
stops in here every week to buy donuts.  I know.  I saw him lots of times."
     "We need something more universal," Goldman counseled.
     "Something that will cross barriers of race, gender, color, religious
affiliation, species, degree of metaphysical enlightenment, maus factor,
dimensions occupied, cranial capacity, age, wealth, and politics,"
Machiavelli urged.
     "Something no one can resist," Benjen urged.
     Slithis thought for a bit, then returned to the microphone.  "Attention:
the management requests that no one enter the meat department at this
time, as our trained corps of engineers is preparing to blow up some cows."
     The five stood in stunned amazement as people flooded from the
checkouts, with an urgency of almost Biblical proportions, in the direction
of the meat department.  The line of checkouts was empty.  The Swede
dropped a pin, and the sound echoed for miles.
     "Well, let's go," he said.  The anarchists filed through the
checkout, and the Swede left a $20 on the cash register.  After a short
shuttle hop across an ocean, they stood face to face with another
incredible spectacle.  Concrete stretched along into the horizen, and
almost every square inch was covered with some huge spaceship.  Above them,
hovering ships blotted out the sky, waiting for a parking spot to open up.
     "You're sure the Red Emma is out there?" Emma Goldman asked.
     "Oh, it's somewhere on the parking lot continent, all right.  All
we have to do is find it," the Swede said.
     "Susan!" bellowed Satan T. Lucifer Jones.
     "Run out of blood to sign those VR/666.666 forms?" Susan B. Anthony
asked as she walked into the office with another stack of forms.
     "No," Satan replied.  "Have we heard anything back from the PLS
Plan Nine from Outer Space?"  Susan shook her head.  "Has CHAOS Engineer
called to apologize yet?"  Susan shook her head again.  "Has that
Indestructable Kid been found yet?"  Susan sighed and shook her head.  "Are
there any plotlines other than this one that I can obliquely refer to to
give this digest some pretension at continuity?"  Susan again shook her head
and dumped a full load of boiling oil requisition forms on Satan's desk.
     "Well, then, take a memo," Satan ordered.
     "You got it, boss," Susan replied.  She picked up a memo that
Nostradamus had sent earlier that day and walked out with it.  Satan
gritted his teeth and thumped his head onto the desk a few times.
     "Can never get good help these days," he grumbled.  There was a
beeping on his intercom panel.  He pushed the button.  "What, dammit?"
     "Sir," Goebbels said.  "We have a bit of a problem."
     "Now what?" Satan asked calmly.
     "Our entire fleet has been captured," Goebbels replied.
     "By who?" Satan asked in an almost leisurely fashion.
     "A man known as Bennett Quark has claimed responsibility," Goebbels
said.  "Our entire fleet is being controlled by an external force, and
is being brought to his planet of current residence, Spyro Gyra III."
     "Quark!" Satan exclaimed.  "Isn't he the guy who owns the Eiffel
Thing, the Thing that the Omnipotent Egg Beater wants so badly he's
willing to let us use the Hypernet for free in order to get it back?"
     "Yes, mein fuhrer," Goebbels answered.
     "Stop that!" Satan combusted.  He hit another button on his desk.
A wall of flame shot up behind him, making him look like the epitome of
all that is evil and unholy.  "Damn," he muttered.  "Wrong button -- ah!
here it is."  He pressed another button, and Freud's face came up on
another screen.  "Freud!"  Satan growled.  "What do we have on a Bennett
Quark, resident Spyro Gyra III?"
     Freud turned away, punched a few buttons on a computer.  "Let's see,
Freud said.  "He had an Oedipal complex on his mother, a deus ex machina
in the bathtub, and probably dreams of sex involving aquatic mammals."
     "No, no, no," Satan said.  "I want to know if he's capable of externally
controlling a whole fleet of Hell."
     "Hmmm," Freud said.  "He has the scientific knowledge to build such
a system, but he has two strikes against him.  One, he doesn't have the
resources and the vision to construct such a system, and two, he's not
insane."  There were voices off-screen, and Freud was handed a memo, which
started burning in his hands.  "I have an update, m'lord.  A few days ago
Bennett Quark quietly went mad.  That leaves only one strike..."
     "Yes, yes," Satan said.  "Go back to work, you sleazeball."  He turned
off the monitor and turned back to Goebbels.  "You hear that?"
     "Yes,, your unholiness," Goebbels replied.  "It means that
this Bennett Quark is being backed by someone big.  But who?"
     "Find out," Satan ordered, "and report back to me."
     "Ya vohl, mein fuhrer," Goebbels said, and shut off the comm system
before Satan could correct him.  But the Prince of Darkness was otherwise
occupied.  His deal with the CBS would ensure that his organization, Hell
would have instant access to any point in the galaxy, at a trivial expense.
Major moolah would be saved, and Hell's share of the afterlife industry
would expand tremendously, as his agents would be able to get to more
souls faster than agents for, say, Nirvana, or that ripoff setup Dante
was running on Habeus Corpus IX.  All he needed was the Eiffel Thing.
Bennett Quark and whomever was backing him wanted it, possibly for the
same reasons he wanted it.  Time Central would surely be going after it,
due to the danger it presented.  "Well, we'll just see who gets there
first, eh?"  He slammed a fist on his desk in happiness.  A side panel of
the desk fell out.
      "Bloody cheap work," Satan grumbled, picking up the panel.  "Knew
I should have gotten real oak."  He was about to replace the panel when
he saw a manila envelope.  He pulled a sheaf of papers out of it.
     They contained sketches of the Eiffel Thing, and scale representation
of what looked like a kitchen appliance of some sort.  There were extensive
notes on Bennett Quark and his residence on Sagistus Epsilon IV, and
several reputable con men.  The handwriting seemed very familiar...
     "Machiavelli," Satan spat.  "You clever bastard.  You knew all along
But what the Hell are you planning?"


***** Received 00:07:30 on 04/20/91, Posting #    80 *****
Subject:     Renegade Anarchists episode eleven part two
From:        talk hard -- so be it (34EPWQL at CMUVM)


     The Omnipotent Egg Beater and the Grand High Spatula, absolute ruler
of the once-formidable organization that controlled the Hypernet, the CBS
wandered in the forest of Karma Chameleon II.
     "I say," the Spatula said.  "Are you sure he said hang a right?"
     "Of course I'm sure," the Egg Beater replied.
     "Then why is this log we're coming up to the same one we came up
to two hours ago?" the Spatula inquired.
     Before the Egg Beater would admit they were lost, five figures came
crashing through the undergrowth.  "I say!" he said.   "Do any of you
know where one might find the College Republicans?"  The five rushed
past, oblivious to the Egg Beater and the Spatula.  "Well, how about that!"
     "Ssssh!" the Spatula said.  "Listen!"  They heard the sounds of
a large, large group of angry native warriors closing in on them, rapidly
The Spatula took off after the five that had passed them.
     "H-hey!  Wait for me!" the Egg Beater called out, running after the
Spatula.  Behind him, Ottsamaddawidu and College Republican warriors
followed, gaining rapidly.
     After an apparant eternity of running, they came up on a ship, one
that both the Spatula and the Egg Beater recognized as a standard issue
ship for an agent of Time Central.  They both knew that that meant that
Time Central knew that Hell knew that they knew that the Eiffel Thing was out
there, and considered making a break for their own Toaster.  But the sounds
of angry warriors on their heels made up their minds.  They dashed up the ramp
just as it snaked back into the ship, and they felt the ship lifting off.
     "Don't move," James Dean said.  They turned to see him holding the
EMP cannon/gun to their heads.  They didn't move.
     "Damn thing's gotta be around here somewhere," the Swede grumbled.
They had hijacked the shuttle (only the seventh item they had hijacked
that day, not counting food items) and were using it to search the
continent from the air.  It was a tough job, as the ships hovering in
the sky were packed in pretty tight, leaving little margin for error.
"I was sure I had the plot generator take the ship and itself here."
     "Maybe it got ideas of it's own," Machiavelli suggested.
     "If I only had a device that could tell me where it is," the Swede
said.  Instantly, a mechanical representation of a map of the area appeared.
     "Did you see that?" Benjen asked.
     "Yeah," Slithis said.  "We must be getting close to the plot
generator for you to be regaining your authorial powers."  The Swede
grinned and closed his eyes.  Instantly, they were on the ground in
front of the Red Emma.  The shuttle flew on, soon impacting harmlessly
against a Dairy Queen frigate.
     "Well, here you are," the Swede said.  "Good luck with the plot."
     "You're leaving us?" Goldman asked.
     "Yes," the Swede said.  "It's time to retire to the background
again.  There's enough characters to keep track of as it is, and I think
the plot generator has been cooking up a few more while I've been gone.
Fortunately, I've got an idea on what to do with the plot now, so
I'd expect your lives to get a whole lot more hectic."
     "You're going back to Oceania?" Slithis asked.
     "Naw," the Swede said.  "I'm gonna visit the Authors Beach, maybe
get a tan."  Slithis and Benjen started giggling, but no one bothered to
ask why.  "Aloha, renegade anarchists."  With a flash of light and a
peal of buttercups, the Swede edited himself from the scene.
     "Nice exit," Machiavelli admitted.  They boarded the ship, and
found it exactly as they had left it.
     "Now, our only problem is," Goldman said.  "How do we get past all
those ships blocking the way?"
     "Leave that to me," Slithis replied, reaching for one of the switches
on the mysterious, unlabeled control panel of doom.
     The Swede appeared on the Author's Beach, and looked around.  "Not
bad," he said.  "Might not be a bad place to set up shop after all."
He patted his plot generator, which he had rewritten to look like a shoe,
and edited a small hut into existance, along with a palm tree to shade it
After securing the plot generator inside the hut (the inside of which
seemed as ramshackle as the outside, but had the most amazingly gothic
computer console in one corner), he prepared to start writing.  Then
he stopped, and pondered.  There was one more thing to do.  He concentrated.
     "It's about time you edited me back into existance," Winona said.
"That wasn't a nice thing to do at all, you scum-sucking pile of--"
Suddenly, Winona was gone.  In her place was someone else.
     "Who was that?" Mary Elizabeth Mastrimonio [authors note: that's not how
you spell her name, I know - she was in "The Abyss", okay?  Look it up] said.
     "Oh, er, no one," the Swede said.  "Do come in, my dear."
     "Delighted," Mary said, walking forward.  The Swede edited the
door out of existance for the next several hours.
     Before James Dean had a chance to interrogate the Egg Beater or
the Grand High Spatula, Time Agent 173's ship was swallowed up into the
maw of the PLS Tell-Tale Heart.  It had happened suddenly, and without
warning, which made 173 suspicious, as J. Edgar Hoover generally didn't
favor such sneaky tactics.
     173, Jerriphrrt, Shadebeam, James Dean, Gham, the Omnipotent
Egg Beater and the Grand High Spatula were marched uncerimoniously to
the bridge by a squad of demons.  The first persons they saw on the
bridge were J. Edgar Hoover and Edgar Allen Poe.
     "I knew we'd have you at last," Hoover growled.
     "Shut up," Karl Marx ordered.  "Guards!  Take Hoover and Poe to
the brig."  The demon guards, having been fooled earlier into accepting
that Marx had authority from Satan himself to arrest Hoover and Poe
(demons, along with being nasty, evil, and downright mean, are generally
dim creatures as well), took the two to the brig, located about five feet
from the bridge.  That done, they all clambered into the elevator, which
promptly plummeted into the ship.
     "I'm afraid I don't quite understand all of this," Dean said.
     "I am Lenin," Lenin said.  "This is Marx, and this is Trotsky." They
nodded.  "We have just liberated this ship from imperialist aggression."
     "But what of the other ships?" 173 asked.  "Isn't this an armada?"
     "Yes," Trotsky said.  "We have been ordered to return to the main
Hell fleet.  Apparantly, a fleet commanded by a fellow named Goebbels
has been captured by someone called Bennett Quark, who's being backed by some
mysterious heavy dude, and Satan wants some more muscle on standby alert."
     "Hoover has been back and forth across the galaxy trying to capture
you and that prototype ship of yours," Lenin said.  "Just as we were in
the process of doing that...boomski!  Chairman Mao cuts the power and
we take control in the confusion.  We'd spent months on this plan, and
even I'm surprised it worked so well."
     "Hate to tell you," 173 said.  "But that's not the prototype ship
you captured.  That's my standard issue Time Agent ship."
     "But--But--" Marx said.  "We recieved a transmission from the
William Buckley AI telling us that he was located on this jungle planet,
Karma Chameleon II.  We even found traces of one of those Eye things,
so it seemed obvious that you had come here."
     "When the heathen ship entered the Eye of the Hypernet in the Sol
system," the Grand High Spatula said, "it released a tremendous burst
of energy, making every Eye in the galaxy breifly visible.  The only
ship drawn into the Hypernet during this brief time was 173's."
     "The ships hashed, see," Jerriphrrt explained.  "And when we blew
PSUVM out, they unhashed, only half of us were in one ship, and half of
us were in another.  The Buckley AI hashed into 173's ship, a fact he failed
to mention when he lured you to Hottento--er, Karma Chameleon II.
     "Speaking of which," 173 growled.  "I'm gonna get that lying
hunk of scrap circuits..."
     "No need," Trotsky said.  "It has been extracted from your ship's
data bases, and is being brought here to the bridge.  Unfortunately,
your ship dismantled in the process..."
     "WHAT?" 173 exclaimed.  "You did WHAT?"
     "Demons are not known for their subtlety," Trotsky admitted.
"Unfortunately, neither are they known for putting things back together.
I'm afraid you're stuck with us for the time being - no pun intended."
     "We'll see about that," 173 said.  "I'll put in a call to Time
Central, tell 'em my location.  They'll pluck *me* outta here..."
     "Like, chill," Shadebeam said.  "She should mellow out more, right,
Gham?"  Gham nodded, by now quite spaced out.
     "Advising Time Central of your location could be considered unwise,"
they heard William Buckley's voice.  A demon place the large box on the
desk, and dove down the elevator shaft.  "Particularly since I took the
liberty of acknowledging a transmission from Time Central to your craft
with a declaration that you had the Eiffel Thing and were planning to use
it for your own personal power.  Time Central has yet to reply."
     173 growled louder.  She knew that by now, she was already an outlaw
in Time Central's eyes, a renegade from temporal justice.  "I'll rip
you apart, you hunk of scrap--"  James Dean restrained her from tearing
into the box.  Eventually, she calmed down and turned to Lenin.
     "Where you say this tub is going?" she asked.
     "Hell," Lenin replied.  "The main ship, the one Satan T. Lucifer
Jones is on.  We're going to spread the glorious revolution to the
downtrodden masses!"  There was sporadic cheering on the bridge.  "Of
course, if we try to break from the armada, they'll hunt us down and
destroy us into little tiny bits."
     "Look at it this way," Jerriphrrt said.  "How bad can Hell be?"
     "Obviously," James Dean said.  "You've never been there."
     The PLS Tell-Tale Heart, along with the rest of the 666th, shot at
speeds much faster than light through hyperspace.
     The Red Emma cruised peacefully through space for the first time in
ages.  At the helm, Machiavelli played cards with Slithis, while Benjen
and Goldman fiddled with the subspace radio.  Flipping the switch had
punched a kilometer-wide hole from the ground well into space, wiping
out ships, shuttles, and dairy products.  The anarchists sailed into space,
and, for a change, had time to putter.
     "Here, I think it goes like this..." Benjen said, banging it a bit.
     "No, that's obviously wrong," Goldman replied.  "Look here, you're
focusing far too much power into one body."  Benjen shrugged, and zapped
the radio with a mild bolt of electricity.  Suddenly, it chugged to life.
"Or not," Goldman added.
     Benjen listened to the garbled messages coming through, but couldn't
understand it a bit.  Goldman seemed to, however, for her eyes opened wide
in alarm.  She rushed over to Machiavelli, interrupting yet another
winning poker hand on his part.
     "Nick!" she exclaimed.  "James has been captured by Hoover."
     "Pity, that," Machiavelli replied.  "Do tell me when the funeral is."
     "Hey," Slithis said.  "Was Jerriphrrt with him?"
     Goldman nodded.  "They mentioned they had a cat being of sorts, whom
I assume to be Jerriphrrt.  They didn't name the others, but I think two
of them are Time Agent 173 and Shadebeam, some tribal girl and two silly
people with kitchen utensil motifs.  They're being taken to Satan's flagship."
     "We've got to rescue them!" Slithis demanded.  Benjen agreed.
     "Now, wait," Machiavelli said.  "Let's not waste our lives over
those guys.  Our lives are more important, right?"  Goldman, Benjen and
Slithis ignored him, instead choosing to fire up the engines and set a
course for Hell.  "Well, okay, maybe not," he continued.  "But, come on,
what do you think the chances are?  The three of us barely escaped the
first time.  Going back would be suicide."  The other three ignored him,
instead throwing the Red Emma into warp.  Finally, Machiavelli sighed
and strapped himself in.  Next stop: Hell.


***** Received 00:07:52 on 04/20/91, Posting #    81 *****
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