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Sfstory Log 052

Date:         Sun, 26 Jul 1992 22:05:00 EDT
From:         "push the button, frank!" (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Attack of the Space Toaster 2 of 4

#2 (of 4): "How Do You Stop This Crazy Thiiiiiiing?" by Gary W. Olson

     "Look out for that mountain!" Nat Rephue screamed.
     "What mountain?" Ragnuruk asked.  Seconds later, the toaster plowed
into, and through the mountain.  It finally came to a stop on the ground,
with mountain rock raining all around them.
     The toaster, rested, silently, for several minutes.
     "Oh," Ragnuruk finally said.  "*That* mountain.*"
     "Yes, that mountain," Nat told him.  "I *told* you we were low on
brake fluid!"
     "Hey, I thought crashing through that space station on our way down
would slow us enough," Ragnuruk protested.  "Anyway, we've reached Planet
Kookamonga IX, finally.  Let's go see that large female population!"  With
that, the natives of Karma Chameleon II piled out of their space toaster,
to find that they were on the edge of a spaceport.
     "I came close," Ragnuruk muttered as they saw hover-vehicles in the
distance, coming closer.
     "I can't believe we haven't seen a single female yet," Nootgingitch
     "We've been kept in this jail since we arrived," Benchen replied.
"All the women are probably on the beaches or something."
     "I didn't see any beaches on the way down," Viol replied.
     "There aren't any windows on the toaster," Katayin reminded him.
"Except for the two slots at the top of the toaster, and they were pointed
away from the planet."
     "Oh, yeah," Viol said.  Katayin sat back against the wall and started
combing her hair.  She noticed Benchen looking at her out of the corner of
his eye.  When she turned to look at him, he quickly glanced away.
     The jail door opened before she could say anything, and a male
Kookamongan stepped in.  He was humanoid, like the Karma Chameleons, but with
golden-hued skin and wearing a distractingly green jumpsuit.  He looked
the prisoners over with a grim eye, suddenly stopping when he saw Katayin.
     "A...female!" he gasped.  "Can it be...?"  He reached out to touch
her.  Katayin slapped his hand, and would have subsequently removed it from
his arm had he not stepped back.  "Ahem!  Please identify yourself."
     "My name is Katayin," she said, warily.
     "Very well, um, Katayin," he said.  "Please come with me.  The
Prelator Supreme wishes to speak with you.  It is most urgent."
     "Tell him to come here," Katayin growled.  While she had not exactly
enjoyed the company of her fellow natives aboard the cramped space toaster,
she trusted them over this obsequious fellow.
     "You may bring along a companion of your choice," he assured her.
"But choose quickly.  We must not keep the Prelator waiting."
     Katayin looked around the room.  "I choose..."  Ragnuruk was already
standing.  "...Benchen to accompany me."  Both Benchen and Ragnuruk looked
thunderstruck, and speechless, but for different reasons.  Benchen almost
shot out of his seat, and found it difficult to conceal a grin as he, she,
and the fellow in the green jumpsuit exited the jail cell.  It did not
matter that they were being followed by two more fellows in green jumpsuits,
carrying rather sinister looking weapons.
     "Katayin?" he asked, as they marched down the long corridor.
     "Yes?" she asked back.
     "Um...nevermind," he said, flushing a bit.
     "No, tell me," Katayin said.  "What were you going to say?"
     "I was going to ask," Benchen said.  "Why you chose me?  I mean, I
always thought you didn't like me."
     "What gave you that impression?" she asked, concerned.
     "Well, the various disdainful looks you give me, the way you otherwise
totally ignore me, the way you lob coney dogs at my forehead and deliver
karate chops to my shoulders...things like that."
     "Oh, that," Katayin said.  "Don't worry about that - I treat most
everyone like that.  As for why I chose you, you're probably the only guy
on the toaster who hasn't hit on me at one time or another, aside from
Ragnuruk.  And Ragnuruk's too full of himself.  Besides, I think you're..."
     "The Prelator Supreme will see you now!" the guy in the green jumpsuit
(the one without a rather sinister looking weapon) said, a bit too loudly.
Katayin and Benchen gulped.
     In space, a vast armada was forming.  It was a mega-armada, a truly
staggering congolmeration of smaller armadas, uniting for a single, burning
purpose - obtaining the Eiffel Thing, which was (to their limited knowledge),
a truly obscenely valuable emerald gem, formerly possessed by one Bennett
Quark, until it was stolen from it's deeply guarded vault by Milagro Bekn'kse
and Hourus Jebillip, two minor con men.
     If Tane Tessier had his way, though, it would be hers.  Tane was the
wealthiest art collector in the galaxy.  It was she who had totally destroyed
several major star systems in order to find a rare Vorpal painting, narrowly
beating out several other wealthy art collectors.
     In this galaxy, art collecting was a serious, deadly business.
     "Where *are* those Seltzerammians?" she asked, angrily.
     "We've just received a report, my lady," her adjutant, Bob, told her.
"Apparantly, they were completely, irrevocably, and really totally oblit-
erated on their way here."
     "Incredible," Tane replied.  "Who did it?  Was it Satan T. Lucifer Jones?
Was it Omegas?  Who?"
     "It was," Bob said.  "A toaster."
     There was silence on the bridge for a full minute.
     "A toaster?!" Tane asked incredulously.  "A toaster?!?"
     "Well," Bob said.  "It was a big toaster."
     "I don't care how fnordingly big the toaster was, it's still a toaster!"
Tane declared.
     "Our computers have identified it as the Toaster belonging to the ancient
and once feared CBS."
     "The what?"
     "CBS," Bob told her.  "The Chaotic Bastion of Silliness.  They once
ruled the galaxy, but lost control for some reason we don't know.  Anyway, it
was said that their rulers roamed the galaxy in this spacegoing toaster,
spreading fear and grape jelly whereever they went.  The toaster that attacked
and completely obliterized the Seltzeramma armada matches it's specs down to
the last detail."
     "So?  Don't bother me with trivial ancient history!"
     "It's estimated worth is about 7.2238498 jillion credits," Bob told her.
     "Find that toaster!" Tane ordered.
     "But what about the Eiffel Thing?" Bob asked.
     "We've got time to kill," Tane said.  "Episodes of the Renegade Anarchists
don't start up 'till the fall semester starts, and we can't go after the
Eiffel Thing until then."
     "Right," Bob said, sighing, and turned to order the techs to take them
to the planet where the toaster was last known to be heading: Planet
Kookamonga IX.
     In the cell, the natives were getting restless.
     Sorry, I've always wanted to say that.
     Anyway, they were rather put out.
     "I'm rather put out," Ragnuruk grumbled.
     "Oh, who cares?" Nat Rephue chided him.  "She thinks you've got too much
of a swelled head as it is."
     "I do not," Ragnuruk protested.
     "Oh, yes you do!" the rest of the natives said in unison.
     "Oh, no I don't!"
     "Oh, yes you do!"
     "Oh, no I--stop that!" Ragnuruk said.  "Anyway, it likely won't do us any
good.  They did seem rather put out about us destroying their mountain.  You'd
think it was important or something."
     "Don't know about that," Viol said.  "But I do think I know a way out."
     "What?" the other natives asked him.  "How do we get out?"
     "Get someone to open the cell door," Viol replied.  The natives pelted
him with stones and bread crusts.  "No, no!" Viol said, ducking.  "That's not
what I meant.  Listen..."
     The Prelator Supreme was a rather stout man, with wispy white hair
forming a thick mustache and absolutely refusing to take root anywhere else.
His jumpsuit was even greener than everyone elses, which was probably one of
the perks of being Prelator Supreme.  He was seated behind a really big
desk, which seemed to be made entirely of wiggly jello.  Benchen and Katayin
stood before him, apprehensively.  Finally he spoke.
     "A female," he said.  "A real female!"  Katayin glared at the way he
was looking at her.  He noticed the look and immediately became apologetic.
"I'm sorry," he said.  "Forgive my rudeness.  It's simply been so long since
I've seen a regular female."
     "Why are you holding us captive?" Benchen asked.
     "You demolished our space station on the way in," the Prelator said.
     "We were low on brake fluid," Katayin told him.
     "And you demolished a mountain upon landing," he continued.
     "Was it important or something?" Benchen asked.
     "Important?  Important, you ask?" the Prelator shouted angrily.
", come to think of it.  Hmm.  Never thought of it that way
before.  Guess I'd better let you go then."
     "Sir, if I might ask," Katayin said.  "Where are all the females on
this planet?  We heard a broadcast from this planet boasting of a large
female population, so the guys decided to visit here.  Yet we've not seen
a female yet, and you seem rather stunned to see me."
     "Mmmm," the Prelator replied.  "You must have caught an old sub-space
message.  Things have happened since then, although the content of the
message is not entirely inaccurate.  Please, follow me."
     They followed the Prelator down a long corridor, which led to what
the Prelator called a "Bullet Tube", which puzzled Katayin and Benchen a
great deal.  They got into a small pod, and felt a slight accelerational
shift as the pod started.
     "We've made our living as a resort planet," the Prelator said.
"Nothing so grand of reputation as Barbados, Planet of Physical Delights,
I'll admit, but we are much easier to find.  Unfortunately, something
has happened to the females of our planet, something that has rendered
them unable to interact with us, the males of the planet."
     "Was it a disease?" Benchen asked.
     "Did they take the cosmo sex quiz?" Katayin asked.  Benchen flushed.
     "I'm not sure of what you speak, young lady," the Prelator said,
shifting uncomfortably.  "But we've ruled out either of those choices.
In fact, we don't know *what* has caused it.  It has, however, caused
our economy to totally shut down.  We're mostly geared towards those
interested in females, regardless of the gender, species, etc, of those
who are interested and can afford to stay.  Sort of a specialty planet,
as opposed to the more generally-oriented pleasure planets like Barbados.
In fact, I'm really the Assistant Prelator.  The true Prelator was among
the first to be affected."
     "What exactly was it that happened to them?" Benchen asked.
     "You're about to find out," the Prelator said.  The door to the pod
opened, and they climbed out.  As soon as they did, they gasped in awe
at what they saw.
     "Incredible," Benchen gasped.
     "Amazing," Katayin breathed.
     "Sigh," the Prelator sighed.  Towering above them all, the women of
Kookamonga IX stared dreamily into space.  Each of them was at least
two thousand feet tall, and they were all around where the pod had
emerged from the ground, towering above them like huge skyscrapers of
flesh and blood.
     "When you said you had a huge female population, we didn't think
you were being this literal," Benchen said.  Katayin bapped him.
     "You've come at a bad time," the Prelator said.  "The oxygen count
on this planet is dangerously low.  Within ten hours, all the air on this
planet will be depleted...forever."

Date:         Sun, 2 Aug 1992 18:04:00 EDT
From:         more noise please (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Attack of the Space Toaster 3 of 4

#3 (of 4): "The Cost of Inflation" by Gary W. Olson

     "Please, back into the bullet pod," the Prelator said.  "The air here
is not the best to be breathing, particularly since there isn't a whole lot
of oxygen left in it."  Benchen and Katayin followed him into the bullet
pod, which disappeared into the ground again, leaving the two-thousand foot
tall women of Kookamonga IX behind, staring blankly into space.
     "This is incredible," Benchen said.  "Even the gods are not capable of
such truly mind-boggling feats of breaking the laws of physics!"  When the
Prelator expressed some confusion at this sentence, Benchen went on to say
something about the missionary that had visited their planet, Karma Chameleon
II, centuries in the past, also being a physicist, which caused the
Prelator to simply give up on that line of questioning entirely.
     "Can't you escape from this planet?" Katayin asked.
     "We do not have enough ships," the Prelator sighed sadly.  "And the
women are sitting on the ones we *do* have.  The only thing I can do is get
you two back to your toaster, along with the others that came with you, and
get you off planet before the women exhaust the last of the oxygen, which,
as I said, will occur in ten hours from now."
     "But what about you?" Benchen asked.  "The toaster is cramped, but
surely we can find room..."
     "No, no," the Prelator said sadly.  "The men of this planet are agreed -
we will not abandon our women, and will struggle to the death to return them
to regular size.  We also agree that ordering the Olympics Triplecast was
probably not a good idea, since we're too busy dying to watch it, but, well,
such is life, or, rather, death, in this case..."
     The Prelator's waffling statement was cut short by a thunderous crash
that rattled the bullet pod.  The lights went out, and the pod lurched and
spun about unpredictably.
     "What happened?" Katayin called out.
     "Don't know!" the Prelator said.  "It felt like an earthquake!"
     After another round of lurching and a good spate of waggling about, the
pod stopped and the lights came back out.  The Prelator saw Katayin clinging
to Benchen tightly, and cleared his throat.
     "Ahem!" he said.  "We seem to have stopped.  Shall we take a look at
where we are, or shall I leave you here?"
     Katayin smoothly disentangled herself from Benchen, who by this time
was flushed a deep red-blue - red from embarassment, and blue from having his
larnyx constricted by Katayin's arm.  They followed the Prelator out of the
bullet pod and saw something they frankly did not believe.
     Two guards arrived at the Prelator's office and entered.  They saw the
Sub-Prelator and reported to him.
     "The prisoners have escaped!" they shouted in unison.
     "Don't shout," the Sub-Prelator (the same guy who took Katayin and
Benchen out of the cell to see the Prelator in the last episode) said.
     "Yes sir!" they shouted.
     "What is it," the Sub said between clenched teeth.
     "The prisoners have escaped!"
     "What?" the Sub said.  "How?"
     "They lured a guard into the cell with promises that they had another
female in the cell!  They then conked him on the head with a marble bust of
William F. Buckley and escaped from the jail!"
     "I see," the Sub said.  "Tell me.  Who let them bring a marble bust of
whomever this Buckley person is into the cell?"
     "He did!" the guards shouted, pointing at each other.
     "Never mind that!" the Sub said, now shouting as loudly as the guards.
"Find them!"
     "See, I told you it was useful," Nat Rephue told Ragnuruk as the latter
was revving up the toaster for takeoff.
     "Are we going to get Benchen and Viol?" Nootgingitch asked.
     "Oh, I suppose," Ragnuruk sighed.  "Everyone to battle stations, already,
will you?"
     Everyone got to battle stations and the toaster wobbled unsteadily into
the air, clipping the control tower on the way up and toppling it.
     "This time we *meant* to do it!" Ragnuruk growled into the intercom.  "So
there!  Nyah!"
     "Um, Ragnuruk..." Nat Rephue started to say.
     "Not now, Nat," Ragnuruk replied.  "I'm busy being cocky."
     "It's important."
     "Well, alright, what is it?"
     "We're being attacked," Nat told him.
     "So?" Ragnuruk asked.  "We're always being attacked."
     The toaster was rocked by powerful explosions.
     "Then again," Ragnuruk added.  "They never actually hit us before."  He
looked at the scopes and gulped.  It was the most truly staggering armada he
had ever seen.  Bulky battleships and huge warbeasts flooded the star system,
almost filling the volume of it.  Behind him, Viol whistled.
     "Um...this is your captain speaking..." Ragnuruk started.
     Everyone paid the utmost attention to him.
     "Now, it looks like we're facing the ultimate test," Ragnuruk continued,
picking up some steam as he went.  "This is the battle that will answer the
question - are we warriors, or are we just a bunch of primitives who happen
to have a very destructive space toaster?  Now I want each of you to ask
yourselves: am I a man, or am I a mouse?"
     There was silence on the ship.
     "Is that a trick question?" someone asked.
     "I'm a mouse," another said.
     "Oh, me too!"
     "Same for me."
     "Mouse here, too!"  Various other agreements rang forth throughout the
     "Right then!" Ragnuruk said.  "I thusly order...that we run away!"
     There was much cheering.
     "I don't believe it," Katayin said.  "It looks like we're on Karma
Chameleon II again."
     "You're right," Benchen whispered.  "This is where the Circle of Elders
would be for my tribe, the Ottsamaddawiduans.  The huts aren't here, but
the trees are the same, and the placement is the same."
     "We must be in some sort of holographic presentation," the Prelator said.
"According to my instruments, we're still miles underground, even though there
is a clear sky overhead."
     "But, where are we, then?" Katayin asked.  "Why have they made this place
to look like home.  And *our* home at that, instead of yours?"  When the
Prelator didn't answer, Katayin turned around, but the Prelator was gone.
     "I'm here," Benchen said.  "Where's the Prelator?"
     "He's gone!" Katayin said.  "He disappeared into thin air, right in the
middle of a conversation!"
     "What do we do now?" Benchen asked.
     "I -- wait!" Katayin said.  "I see something!  Up, on the lip of the
volcano!"  Benchen looked out at the volcano, the volcano that his tribe used
to conduct sacrafices, and saw something glinting in the sunlight.
     "What is it?" he asked.  "There's nothing like *that* on *our* planet."
     "It must be what has taken the Prelator," Katayin said.  "As well as the
key to this whole mystery."
     "How do you know that?" Benchen asked.
     "Because this miniseries will be over by next episode, so some convenient
plot contrivances are needed to get things going!" Katayin paused.  "I don't
know why I just said that."  Benchen rolled his eyes, and the two started
towards the volcano.  Fortunately, it was only about three hours away, and
Benchen estimated the volcano could be climbed in six hours.
     "Benchen," Katayin said, as they were walking towards the base of the
volcano.  "I'm scared."
     "I'm scared too, Katayin," Benchen said.
     "The way the Prelator disappeared..." Katayin whispered.
     "Well, if it would make you feel better, um...we could...I mean..."
     "We could...hold we don't suddenly disappear, I mean, and..."
Katayin put a finger to his lips to stop his babbling and took his hand, as
they continued their way to the volcano.
     Tane Tessier watched the battle's progression on the viewscopes.  It
had been a wise decision to have only a fraction of her armada actually
enter the system, as the fraction that had entered the system was getting
soundly thrashed by the toaster.
     Once it had become apparant to the occupants of the toaster that
escape was not possible, they had seemingly decided to change their tactics
and attack head on.  Tane would have thought it madness, but the toaster
still existed, while hundreds of her ships did not.  The toaster wobbled
unpredictably through space, frustrating her best weapons officers.  Energy
beams fired at the toaster reflected off of it's polished surface and hit
other ships.  Plus, the armada was so big and so tightly compacted most
of the shots hit each other's ship anyway.
     Still, the armada seemed to be wearing the toaster down, since the
battle had been raging for nearly nine hours now.  Tane predicted it
wouldn't be long until the toaster decided to find somewhere to hide on
the planet below, not that there was any place to hide.  Her science officers
estimated that the planet had only an hours worth of oxygen left, and the
dropping oxygen count was due to the presence of a number of females of
unusually large size that were situated on the planet's largest continent,
staring into space.  Tane wondered if they could be harnessed, made into
a weapon so that she could add still more art to her collection.
     "My lady!" Bob said.  "We have them on the run."
     "Why are we running?" Nat Rephue asked Ragnuruk.  "The ships not even
     "But the crew is!" Ragnuruk growled, pointing back to the bridge and
engine room, where various tribesmembers had been strewn about by the
violent rocking of the ship.  "We have to rest a while, and then we will
be able to get back into the fray.  Scan for a good cave we can hide in
or something."
     "Scanning," Viol said.  "I think I've got something."
     "What is it?" Ragnuruk asked.
     "Some weird mountain ranges on the continent below...they almost look
like huge naked women..."
     "I'm not interested in your private fantasies," Ragnuruk growled.  "Just
find me a cave!"
     "There's one near the top of the nearest mountain," Viol said.  "I'm
piping the location to you now."
     "Okay, I'm flying in," Ragnuruk said.
     "Wish this toaster had windows on it's sides or something," Nat Rephue
muttered.  "And please, don't fly *through* the mountain this time?"
     "It's okay -- looks like someone replentished our brake fluid,"
Ragnuruk said.  The toaster looped once, wobbled a bit, then flew into the
cave.  The woman closed her mouth, and belched.
     "Come on now," Benchen said.  "We're at the top."
     "Incredible," Katayin said.  "I've never been up here before." The view
stretched all around her, a sea of green below her, stretching as far as
the eye could see.  "It's beautiful."
     "Glad you like it," Benchen told her.  "That's why it's such a favorite
of ours for sacrafices.  Now, let's find that glint...mmmmph..."  Benchen
was not quite sure how to react as Katayin kissed him, but he did his best.
     "Welcome," a female voice said.  Startled, Katayin and Benchen parted,
whirling to face the owner of the voice.  Benchen boggled as he recognized
     "Gham?" he asked, extremely confused.
     "Come quickly," Gham said.  "There's not much time left!"

Date:         Sun, 9 Aug 1992 21:39:00 EDT
From:         more noise please (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Attack of the Space Toaster 4 of 4

#4 (of 4): "Not-So-Fantastic Voyage" by Gary W. Olson

     "Gham!" Benchen exclaimed.  "What are you doing here on this planet?
We thought you were with the renegade anarchists!"
     "Follow me," she said, taking Benchen's hand and Katayin's hand,
pulling them towards the lip of the volcano.  "I will explain once you
reach the Nerve Center."
     "Hey!" Katayin exclaimed.  "I may be open-minded, but diving into
molten magma just isn't me, okay?" Gham ignored her and pulled them hard
over the edge of the volcano lip.  Suddenly, all three of them were
plunging towards the boiling lava.
     Benchen closed his eyes, and prepared for sudden, or at least
extremely painful, death.  When it failed to arrive, he opened his eyes.
     "Incredible," he whispered.  Indeed, it was.  Vast arrays of gleaming
metal, with lots of lights blinking on and off and strange "blip-blip-blip"
noises surrounded him.  Gham was nowhere to be seen, but Katayin was nearby,
lying on the ground beside him.  "Katayin!" he hissed, urgently.  "Wake
up!  We've fallen into a plot device!  Wake up!"
     "Hnnnhnnn..." she mumbled.  "Plot device...hmmmnnn..."  She opened her
eyes.  "Benchen!  Where are we?"
     "You are in a plot device, dear," Gham's voice said.  "A plot device
engineered by the ancient and exceedingly wise race known as the Preserves,
who foresaw that one day this planet would be faced with a plot like this."
Katayin sat up, while Benchen looked around for the source of the voice.
Suddenly and without warning, a screen in front of them lit up, and Gham's
face appeared upon it.
     "This is one seriously weird mountain," Viol commented.  Unaware that
the mountain was actually one of the two-thousand foot tall women that the
toaster had flown into in the previous episode, the natives of Karma
Chameleon II were at a loss to explain the long, constricted tunnel they
were flying down.  Now: this.
     "There's an opening below us," Ragnuruk said.  "Nat!  Fire the jets!"
     "Can I fire the New Kids, too?" Nat Rephue asked.
     "No, not *those* Jets!  The jets on this toaster, you twit!"
     "Right," Nat grumbled, firing the jets.  The toaster slowed down, as
it emerged from the constricted tunnel to find...
     "Emptiness," Nootgingitch said.  "The whole mountain is empty!"
     "Down at ground level!" Viol said.  "Scanners are picking up a large
group of people.  They're crying out to us to save them!"
     "We don't have time," Nat said.  "Tell them we'll be back later."
     "But they're the women we came to this planet to find!" Viol exclaimed.
     "Land at once!" Nat ordered, and Ragnuruk hastily concurred.  The
toaster settled down to the ground, and the natives got out.
     "Who are you?" one of the women asked.  Ragnuruk noted that she seemed
to be the one in charge, as was evidenced by the way the other women deferred
to her, the way she walked, and the way the others said "she's in charge."
     "I'm Ragnuruk," Ragnuruk said.  "We came to your planet to sample it's
pleasures, but were most chagrined to be thrown into jail instead.  We
escaped, but encountered a vast space armada which is attacking this planet.
So, we decided to hide in this mountain for a while.  If we might ask, what
are all of you doing here?  We didn't scan any other enterances for this
mountain on the way in."
     "That's because there aren't any," the woman said.  "Let me introduce
myself.  I'm the Prelator Supreme, Xiphria.  A few months ago, something
strange and terrible happened.  A few of us appeared to grow to cataclysmic
proportions, and the rest of us were drawn inside the enlarged bodies.  We
don't know how or why this occured.  But there are over two thousand women
in this body alone.  Moreover, this shape that you flew into is my body -
or at least, a representation of my body.  How this happened, I don't know."
     "So, how do we get out of here?" Nat Rephue asked.
     "We don't know," Xiphria said.  "None of us know."
     "I am Cylla XIVb2ii(a)," the face on the screen said.  "I chose the
form of the being you call 'Gham' because she was strong in your memory,
the center of a goal of some kind.  It also seemed to be tied in with a
volcano, so I decided that it would be best to simulate conditions on your
home planet, taking the details from your mind, in order to draw you here."
     "We were going to sacrafice Gham to the volcano god, yes," Benchen said.
     "Well, that explains that, then," Cylla said.  "The holographic
deception was necessary to bring you here.  The real path you took is one
festooned with bizarre, futuristic machinery, prowling packs of PicWay shoe
salespeople, and various jellys of different flavors.  It was a place created
by the Preserves, to simulate conditions on their ancient home world, and
you would never have found your way here if you had to face this place as it
really was.  The Preserves, as I said, were an ancient race, dedicated to
preserving life.  To that end, Raspberry Preserve, the leader of the Preserves,
ordered that a series of plot devices be constructed in different locations in
the galaxy, to safeguard developing civilizations in the event that they are
menaced by melodrama.  AIs such as myself were left in charge of such places,
ready to defend against cliches, metaphors, analogies, and extended anecdotes.
Now, at long last, a situation has arisen that has woken me from my slumber.
Observe the screen."
     "Wasn't that what we were doing?" Benchen asked.  Katayin bopped him.
     The screen switched from Gham/Cylla's face to a shot of outer space, one
which featured horribly beweaponed ships bearing down on the planet, releasing
incredibly sinister energies and just generally making a real nuisance of
themselves upon major cities.
     "My circuits predicted this many months in advance of this moment," Cylla
said.  "However, the execution of a defense has been a tad...sloppy."
     "You mean, the women growing huge was your fault?" Katayin asked.
     "Yes," Cylla said, her face now on the screen.  "The Preserves instructed
that, should this planet be menaced with plot 12b, the armada of death
scenario, to inflate the womens' strategic skills so that they could devise
a way to destroy the armada.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that they were
sloppy programmers, they cut off part of the code, so instead of inflating
the womens' strategic skills, I just inflated the women.  Moreover, I cannot
stop the program."
     "What can we do?" Katayin asked.
     "There is a subsystem which the Preserves built in case they were
bothered while they came up with the program.  It's not linked with my
cybernetic circuits, so I can't access it.  You must find it and activate it."
     "What will it do?" Benchen asked.
     "I don't know," Cylla said.  "I have no knowledge of it in my memory
banks, other than the fact that it exists.  Yet, it is our only hope at this
point.  The armada is bombing the surface, and planetary defenses cannot hold
out much longer."
     "Why don't you just inflate the mens' strategic skills?" Katayin asked.
     "The inflation, which is basically programmed mutational viruses
engineered for a specific design, from intelligence enhancement to size
increase, was coded into a specific number of hypo-darts, which I sprayed
across the world months ago, per the program.  I have no more darts with
which to rectify the error, even if I knew how.
     "You must find the correct button, and push it.  That will activate the
backup defense system and save the planet."
     "Which button is it?" Benchen asked, confused.  Arrayed around him and
Katayin was a whole massive vast array of buttons, levers, bells, whistles,
icons, so on, and so forth.
     "I'm not sure," Cylla admitted.
     "You're not really all that helpful, for a computer," Katayin said.
     Tane Tessier looked at the screens furiously.  The toaster had disappear-
ed somewhere in that mountain range of two-thousand foot tall women.
     "What shall we do?" Bob asked her.  "We cannot afford to outwait the
toaster, especially while the Eiffel Thing awaits capture."
     Tane considered a bit.  Finally, she gave the order.
     "Destroy the planet!" she ordered.  "We'll sift through the remains for
the toaster."  Bob turned to carry out her orders, but never got five steps
away.  The ship was suddenly rocked with an incredibly violent barrage of
energy.  "Where is that incredibly violent barrage of energy coming from?"
     "It's coming from the planet," Bob said.  "Look at the scopes!  The
planet is shifting even as we speak!"  Indeed, it was doing just that.
Ancient engines hummed to life, deep within the core, shifting tectonic
plates, lifting rock strata in some places, submerging it in others.  They
beheld with horror the final form it presented.
     "The face of Joan Rivers!" they exclaimed, aghast.  "Nooooooo!"  The
grinning face unleashed another barrage of energy, liquidating more of the
armada.  Tane gave the order to retreat, and what was left of the vast armada
retreated into hyperspace, on it's way to rejoin the main armada and just
forget the whole thing ever happened.
     "It worked!" Cylla said.  "They're fleeing!  What did you do?"
     "We just pressed this button," Katayin said, pointing to a button labeled
'push this button to unleash incredibly violent barrages of energy against
attacking mega-armadas'.
     "Thank you so much," Cylla told them.  "Now I will be able to return
to my peaceful slumber, and you will be able to continue your quest."
     "But what about the women?" Benchen asked.  "And the planet being almost
out of air and all that?"
     "Take a look at the screen, dear," Cylla said.  Her face was replaced by
an image of a two-thousand foot tall women.  The scene was still for a moment.
Then, suddenly and without warning, the toaster burst forth, seemingly out
of the stomach of the woman.  Huge gales of air burst forth, as the woman
deflated like a baloon.  The toaster pivoted and fired laser bursts into the
other "women" towering around them, causing each one to deflate and release
vast quantities of oxygen like you just wouldn't believe back into the
atmosphere.  Large swarms of women emerged from the deflated bodies, each one
looking shaken, but unhurt.  Already, the planet was reforming back into a
regular spherical shape, and the men were emerging to greet the women.
     "And so, we, the people of Planet Kookamonga IX, wish to thank you for
saving us from not one, but two catastrophes," Xiphria spoke.  Benchen looked
around at his people, who all seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by the events of
the past 24 hours.  He certainly knew that he was.  Cylla had guided him and
Katayin back to the bullet pod, where they found the assistant Prelator
Supreme, sitting up and nursing a bump on the noggin.  Apparantly, he had
slipped on a banana peel and fallen, hitting his head.  When he went
unconscious, Cylla was no longer able to perceive him, so she had automatic-
ally masked him in holograms, as she had the rest of the Preserves' enclave.
The assistant Prelator vowed to return to study the enclave further, but
subsequent attempts to determine the point that the bullet pod had diverged
from it's regular track to the Preserves' enclave had, fruitless
(sorry).  The women had returned to their homes, the oxygen had returned to
the atmosphere, and the call had gone out again to the surrounding galaxy that
Kookamonga IX was open for business again.  Already, customers were returning.
     Benchen blinked as applause roared, and surmised that the speeches were
over.  Already the pleasure party promised for that evening was beginning.
     "A fine job, Benchen," Ragnuruk said, clasping him on the shoulder.
"Tomorrow, when we leave to resume our quest to locate the Renegade
Anarchists, I will give you the status of a full warrior of the Ottsamadda-
widu, with all the command priveledges and pop tarts that status entails."
     "Thank you, sir," Benchen said.
     "Come on!" Viol called out, from the direction of the garden.  "The
women are giving a display of precision undressing!"
     "Well," Benchen said.  "I sorta had other plans..."
     "Other plans?" Ragnuruk asked, puzzled.  "You were one of the ones who
most wanted to find a planet like this, for reasons like this."  As he
spoke, Katayin took Benchen's hand and started pulling him in the other
direction, towards the private bungalows.  Benchen grinned as the other
natives whistled and made other rude noises in their general direction, until
they disappeared from sight.
     The next morning, the space toaster lifted off, and shot into hyperspace,
continuing it's quest.

Date:         Sun, 30 Aug 1992 18:20:00 EDT
From:         the valley of the fuzz-tone guitar (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      AA/SF: Renegade Anarchists prologue

     The Swede stumbled into his abode, and HAL could see that he had been
partying heavily down at the Author's Pool.  There were lipstick smears
all over his face, a lampshade on his head, and ten and twenty dollar bills
stuffed into his swim trunks.
     "What is it, HAL?" he asked, groggily.  "You didn't have any trouble
sending all the parts of the History of the Superguy Altiverse version 2.0?"
     "No," HAL replied.
     "You sent CalForce #1 and #2, right?"
     "Well, then, what?"
     "The Renegade Anarchists, Dave," HAL told him.  "Today's the day you
were going to get that storyline going again, after a year and a quarter
     "Oh, *that*," the Swede grumbled.  "And don't call me 'Dave'."
     "Yes, Dave."
     "*sigh*  Okay.  Just a sec."  The Swede used his incredible Authorial
powers to (gasp) sober up, and materialize clothing on him, including dark
slacks, a black 'bongwater' t-shirt, dark wire-rimmed glasses, a black hat,
and a black cloak o' doom.  "There, that's better.  Okay, HAL, here I go."
The Swede stepped through his teleportal, and arrived on Satan T. Lucifer
Jones' flagship, the main ship of the fleet that was known as Hell, in the
SfStory altiverse.  He looked around, and found no one was there.
     "That's right, I forgot," he mumbled, and opened a door in the far wall
that had not been there previously, and stepped through into what looked
like a cheap oriental restaurant, the altiverse known as Fong's House of
Oriental Delights.  Satan was busy screaming at the waiters.
     "Dammit!" he cursed (oh no! Satan said a bad word!).  "I said I wanted
the Egg Fu Wong, not the Egg Wu Fong!  And can't I get a goddamn *fork*
around here?  I hate these chopsticks!, hello, don't I know you?"
     "Yes," the Swede said.  "I'm the Swede.  You were in a storyline of
mine a while ago, when SfStory was on NICBBS."
     "Oh yeah, the one about the Eiffel Thing and those Anarchists of yours,"
Satan replied.  "Unfortunately, I don't seem to be in the SfStory altiverse
anymore.  I'm trapped in this moronic altiverse, and can't even get my order
right.  And Stella, my executive secretary, can't stop fighting with Susan B.
Anthony, my head secretary."
     "Well, I *am* a succubus," Stella replied, pouting.  "She's just an
ordinary ol' dead soul."
     "Well, then, where are *you* whenever there's work to be done?" Susan
charged.  "*I'm* the one who's been getting him to do the paperwork like
he should.  What is it that *you* do besides waltzing around like a tart?"
     "Ahem," the Swede said.  "At any rate, I'm starting the story up where
I left off, with you microseconds away from totally slaughtering the Renegade
     "Sounds good," Satan replied.  "But how do I get back to my office?"
     "Through that door," the Swede replied, pointing to the door he had come
     "That door wasn't there before," Susan noted.
     "That's right," the Swede said.  "You ready?"
     "I guess so," Satan said.  "Check, please!"
     Omegas guzzled another bottle of tequila, and ate some more cold pizza.
He had just gotten his grand re-introduction at the end of Renegade Anarchists
#13, and then nothing, for a year and a quarter.  He had heard that CHAOS
Engineer was looking for him, but that was a while ago, and nothing had come
of it.  The 666th fleet of Hell, under command of Goebbels, whom Omegas and
Bennett Quark had placed under their control, lounged around.
     Suddenly and without warning, a ticker-tape shot out of the little slot
in the computer, and landed in Omegas' hand.  Omegas squinted and read it.
A smile started growing on his face.  He reached over and shook Bennett Quark
     "Wake up!" Omegas said.  "The Renegade Anarchists are starting up again!
We're going back to work!"
     "Ohhhh..." Bennett moaned.  "My head..."
     On Satan's flagship, Lenin, Mark, and chairman Mao were hanging out in
the main square, sipping tea with the demons and discussing the new David
Lynch film.
     "I liked it," one of the demons said.
     "But it's not the sort of film for those who haven't seen the Twin Peaks
series," Lenin admonished.  "I...wait, I'm getting a message."  Lenin paused,
listening to his headphones.  "The storylines starting up again!"
     "It is!" the demon replied.  "Great!  I was wondering how the battle was
going to turn out."
     "Okay, places, everybody!" Lenin called out.  "Demons, you take your
attack positions.  Members of the Proletariat, assume revolutionary postures!"
     "Okay, Susan, the Omnipotent Eggbeater, the Grand High Spatula, Edgar
Allen Poe, and J. Edgar Hoover are in the front office, where I left them at
the end of Renegade Anarchists #13," the Swede said.  "The others parts of
my storyline have been alerted that we're going again.  Now all I have to do
is retrieve the Renegade Anarchists themselves."
     Emma Goldman, Niccolo Machiavelli, James Dean, and Time Agent 173
appeared, a little surprised, but not stunned.
     "It's about time," Emma commented.  "Where are the others?"
     "Just a sec," the Swede said.  "They're on Barbados, Planet of Physical
Delights."  The Swede concentrated, and Jerriphrrt, Slithis, Benjen,
Shadebeam, Tarrfel t'Krodkzik, and Gham reappeared.
     "Huh..." Shadebeam said.  "Oh, hi, guys.  We ready to start again?"
There was much giggling.  "What...?  I...eeek!"  She and the others flushed
a deep red when they realized they weren't wearing any clothes.  The Swede
edited clothing upon them, and they relaxed.
     "Okay, places everyone," the Swede said.  "Renegade Anarchists, you were
trembling in fear..."  The Renegade Anarchists got into place and started
trembling.  "Satan, you had transformed yourself into a large black dragon
and were about to slaughter the Anarchists."  Satan grinned and did so,
repositioning his claws inches from where they had been about to rip into
the Anarchists.
     "Now, just hold those positions, while I present capsulized summaries
of the first 13 Renegade Anarchist episodes, so the new readers don't get
totally lost as to what is happening."

Date:         Sun, 30 Aug 1992 18:23:00 EDT
From:         the valley of the fuzz-tone guitar (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists episode summaries 1-13

Episode One: "Hell in a Handbasket"
Emma Goldman, Niccolo Machiavelli, and James Dean escape from the PLS Tell-
Tale Heart, a Hell-ship captained by Edgar Allen Poe, in a prototype ship
they later name 'the Red Emma', after Emma's infamous nickname when she was
alive on Earth.  Satan wonders why Machiavelli, his ex-Cheif of Coversion, has
betrayed him, and orders Poe to locate the ship.  On Sagistus Epsilon IV,
Milagro Bekn'kse excuses himself from his social dinner with the Lady Van Van
to perform a bodily function that will have major repercussions in the galaxy.
Eyes open near Earth and Sagistus Epsilon IV.  The Anarchists decide to go ask
the Sage what to do next.  Hourus Jebillip chuckles softly.

Episode Two: "If You Knew Satan Like I Knew Satan..."
Jerriphrrt, Slithis, and Benjen arrive in the Sage's space station from the
Superguy Altiverse, and join the Renegade Anarchists when they arrive from
the SfStory Altiverse.  Satan sends his current Cheif of Coversion, J. Edgar
Hoover, to take over the efforts to recover the Red Emma.  Milagro makes a
weak excuse to Lady Van Van for having to leave for the evening, and the Lady
Van Van follows him.  An Eye opens over Karma Chameleon II.  Hourus Jebillip
laughs out loud.

Episode Three: "Somewhere to Eat at 3 a.m."
Through a hyperspatial plot inconsistency, the Anarchists leave the station
and find themselves orbiting Earth.  Jerriphrrt flips a switch, and the ship
lets loose a tremendous burst of energy, that blows a large chunk of the Moon
away.  The Lady Van Van follows Milagro to a comedy club, where he joins
Hourus, who was laughing at the performers on stage.  The Anarchists land
in a Denny's parking lot and go inside.  Hoover and Poe follow the Anarchists
through the same plot inconsistency to Earth, bringing their massive 666th
division armada with them.  The Eye over Earth regards the ship that laid
waste to a significant portion of the Holy Planetoid.

Episode Four: "Dead Anarchists Tell Tales"
Slithis, Benjen, and Jerriphrrt tell their life stories, and Goldman, Dean,
and Machiavelli tell how they came to know each other and escape from Hell.
Over Earth, the Eye shifts to regard the 666th.  Over Sagistus Epsilon IV,
the Eye shifts to regard the portion of the continent where Milagro and Hourus
are.  Milagro hands Hourus the Eiffel Thing, which he had stolen earlier and
swallowed for safekeeping, and the two plan on how to resell it.  Lady Van
Van, who reveals that she is really Time Agent 173, shows up to arrest them,
but they escape.  The Grand High Spatula notes that events are moving, and on
Karma Chameleon II, the Ottsamaddawidu tribe has a good hunt.  The Anarchists
leave Denny's only to be arrested by the police for crushing the cars in the
parking lot with their spaceship.

Episode Five: "Jailhouse Rock"
The Anarchists escape from jail with the help of Shadebeam, a surly woman
who Jerriphrrt recognizes as the SfStory version of Akane Moroboshi.  They
escape into space in their ship, only to confront the 666th and Hoover.  By
flipping a switch, they are propelled into the Eye, which lights up breifly.
The Eye also lights up over Sagistus Epsilon IV, and booms out "This is...
CBS!"  The Eggbeater and the Spatula plan to recover the Eiffel Thing, which
is the heart of the Hypernet, and contact Satan to offer him use of the
Hypernet in return for helping them get the Thing back.

Episode Six: "*&$%!# PSUVM!!"
Time Agent 173's ship, the Fritz, is drawn into the Hypernet, through the
Eye over Sagistus Epsilon IV.  It hashs with the Red Emma, and Time Agent 173
meets the Renegade Anarchists, and ponder how to break through PSUVM, a jammed
node in the Hypernet.  The Eggbeater and the Spatula, leaders of the CBS (the
Chaotic Bastion of Silliness) note with alarm that the ship that laid waste
to the holy planet (the Moon) is in their Hypernet.  Hoover's fleet leaves
Earth.  Time Agent 173 tells how, centuries ago, Tarrfel t'Krodkzik, the
galaxy's greates theif, stole the Eiffel Thing from the Egg Beater at the
height of power of the CBS, thus causing the downfall of that empire.  Satan
sends Goebbels with the 666th fleet (a completely different 666th from
Hoover's) out to Sagistus Epsilon IV, to retrieve the Eiffel Thing.

Episode Seven: "Where's My Bagel?"
The Anarchists blast through PSUVM, unhashing the ships.  Goldman, Slithis,
Machiavelli, and Benjen, in the Red Emma, reappear over Oceania, the most
water-barren planet in the galaxy, and the ship is drawn towards the planet by
a powerful tractor beam.  Meanwhile, Time Agent 173, Dean, Shadebeam, and
Jerriphrrt, in Time Agent 173's ship, appear over Karma Chameleon II, and
decide to land, as they are low on fuel.  Hoover learns that the Red Emma
has appeared over Oceania, and orders his armada to go there.  The Eggbeater
and Spatula decide they have to capture the ship that broke through the
legendary PSUVM, and set out in their Space Toaster for Karma Chameleon II.
The William Buckley AI, which had been installed on the Red Emma, is found
to be on Time Agent 173's ship now, and tells them about the planet.

Episode Eight: "Adventures in Tribal Correctness"
On Karma Chameleon II, the Anarchists meet the College Republicans, and agree
to drive the Ottsamaddawidu away from their fuel shrine.  The Toaster arrives
in orbit around Karma Chameleon II and prepares to land.  Hoover chews out
Karl Marx for insubordination, and his armada arrives in orbit around Oceania.
On Oceania, the Anarchists meet the Swede.

Episode Nine: "But is it Art?"
On Oceania, the Swede signs the Anarchists to standard character contracts.
Hoover's fleet starts bombing the planet, and Anarchists, along with the
Swede, escape to the Planet of Supermarkets.  Only after they arrive does
the Swede realize that, while he edited the Red Emma to the parking lot
of the planet, his plot generator is on the ship, and, seperated from the
plot generator, he is without his authorial powers.  On Karma Chameleon II,
the Anarchists battle the Ottsamaddawiduans with the College Republicans.
The William Buckley AI receives two transmissions and replies to them.  One
of the replies is received by Hoover, who orders his fleet to go to Karma
Chameleon II.  The AI also helps the Eggbeater and Spatula when they ask for
directions.  On Hoover's ship, Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky plot.  On planet
Spyro Gyra III, Bennett Quark goes mad, quietly.

Episode Ten: "We Could Get Used to This"
On the Planet of Super Markets, the Anarchists head for the city-sized
Customer Service Department, hoping to find a way out.  Hoover's fleet arrives
in orbit around Karma Chameleon II.  On Karma Chameleon II, Shadebeam, captured
in battle with the Ottsamaddawiduans, meets Gham, who is to be sacraficed to
the volcano god, and agrees to help her escape.  Goebbel's fleet arrives over
Sagistus Epsilon IV, on the trail of Milagro and Hourus, only to be captured by
tractor beam, which Bennett Quark, the guy who had owned the Eiffel Thing,

Episode Eleven: "Go to Hell, Do not pass Go, Do not Collect $200"
The Anarchists escape from Karma Chameleon II, only to be captured by Hoover's
fleet.  Hoover, however, is overthrown by Lenin's plot, and the communists
take over his ship, throwing Hoover and Poe into the brig.  The Eggbeater and
Spatula, who got aboard the Anarchists ship to escape the angry villagers,
are forced to accompany them back to the main fleet of Hell, as Hoover's fleet
is called back.  The Anarchists escape from the Planet of Supermarkets, and
decide to go rescue their freinds, whom they believe to be prisoners of
Hoover.  The Swede retrieves his plot generator and returns to the Author's
Altiverse.  Goebbels fleet is drawn to Spyro Gyra III by Quark, and Satan is
advised that Quark probably has some backing from a major villain.  Satan
also discovers that Machiavelli knows far more about the CBS and the Hypernet
than he previously let on.  The William Buckley AI, after being removed from
Time Agent 173's ship (which was totally dismantled in the process), tells
Time Agent 173 that the other reply he sent out was in response to a query
from Time Central, in which he told them that she had the Eiffel Thing, making
173 into a renegade from temporal justice herself.

Episode Twelve: "There's No Place Like Hell"
The Eggbeater reveals that the Holy Planetoid (The Moon) is so holy because
it is the home of the Cosmic Cuisinart, the heart of the Hypernet and the
source of the CBS power before the Eiffel Thing had been stolen, depowering
it.  Both the Red Emma and Hoover's ship arrive on Satan's flagship
simultaneously, despite Satan's attempts to shoot down the Red Emma.  Hoover
and Poe prepare to escape.  Quark and the mystery villain plot.  The College
Republicans and Ottsamaddawiduans settle their differences and go out after
the Anarchists.

Episode Thirteen: "To Hell..."
Hoover and Poe escape, and make it to Satan's office before either half of the
Anarchists do, thus alerting Satan in time for him to capture both halves,
reuniting the Anarchists at last.  The communists, meanwhile, start the
revolution, calling on the souls in Hell to arise against their oppressors.
On their way to Satan's office, the Anarchists from the Red Emma meet Tarrfel
t'Krodkzik, the theif who had stolen the Eiffel Thing centuries ago, and she
accompanies them to Satan's office.  The natives in their space toaster cause
the Pez and Bohemian armadas to annihilate each other, and enter hyperspace.
Satan confronts the Anarchists, and transforms into a huge black dragon,
slashing his claws down at them, about to kill them.  The mystery villain
working with Quark is revealed to be Omegas.

(also, in the miniseries SPACE TOASTER ATTACK!, which ran this summer, the
natives in the space toaster helped the people of the Planet Kookamonga IX
solve the problem of the inflating women, with the help of Cylla, an AI left
by the Preserves, and repulse a small part of the mega-armada assembled by
Tane Tessier in order to retrieve the Eiffel Thing.  The natives set out
again, still searching for the Renegade Anarchists).

     "Damn, that took long enough," Goldman said.  "Can we move now?  My
arms are starting to ache."
     "Okay, okay..." the Swede said.  "Camera...cue!"  As the Swede
disappeared, the cameras rolled again, and Satan's claws flashed down.

Date:         Sun, 30 Aug 1992 18:37:00 EDT
From:         the valley of the fuzz-tone guitar (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists episode fourteen

Episode Fourteen: "...and Back!" by Gary W. Olson

     Slithis held Shadebeam protectively, while Machiavelli, Benjen,
James Dean, Emma Goldman, Tarrfel t'Krodkzik, Gham, Time Agent 173, and
Jerriphrrt generally trembled, and the lady in the chair slept.
     "Renegade Anarchists," the mighty black dragon roared.  "I pronounce
your sentence as...death!"  With a mighty arc, black, bloodstained claws
came flashing down.  The Anarchists tried to dodge, and most of them
succeeded, save for one.
     "Aaaagh!" James Dean, the one who failed to dodge, screamed, as the
claws tore through him like steel blades through lime jell-o.  The screams
abruptly died as Dean fell apart into pieces on the floor of Satan's
office.  They gasped at what they saw.
     "I don't believe it," Emma breathed.  "He was a...robot!"  The
metallic pieces of what they had thought was James Dean gleamed on the
ground.  Even Satan, still in his black dragon form, looked confused.
     "Quick!" Jerriphrrt exclaimed.  "While he's confused, let's run!"
     "Oh, no you don't," Satan bellowed, trying to slash at the others.
However, since he had transformed himself into a large black dragon, and
since his office was fairly small, he did not have all that much room to
maneuver.  As Slithis stumbled backwards, he accidentally stepped on a
hidden button, and flames jetted up all over the office.  Satan yelped
as his tail got royally singed.  The door to the front office open, and
the Anarchists charged out, knocking over Susan B. Anthony, Edgar Allen Poe,
J. Edgar Hoover, the Grand High Spatula, and the Omnipotent Eggbeater on
their way out.  Susan got up and rushed to help Satan.
     "Push the button!" Satan growled.  "Transform me back!"  Susan found
the correct button on Satan's waistband and pushed it.  Immediately, Satan
T. Lucifer Jones returned to a more humanoid form.  Susan gave him a new
three-piece suit, and Satan put it on, grumbling.
     "Lousy morphing unit," Satan grumbled.  "State of the art transformation
technology my eye."  He looked at Poe and Hoover.  "Don't just stand there,
you morons!  After them!"  Poe and Hoover gulped and rushed after them.
     Lenin frowned - the revolution was not going well.  After falling back
earlier, the demons and the soldiers of Hell were pushing forward.  Mao had
gone to strengthen the forces in the southern sector of Hell, and had not
been heard from in a while.  Trotsky and Marx had fallen to laser blasts
from the cannons of the Warrior Accountants from Stenax IV.
     Suddenly and without warning, the Renegade Anarchists, some of whom he
knew previously from having transported them here to Satan's flagship,
charged through the battle lines, toppling Hell's soldiers and inspiring
the dead souls to overwhelm them.  Lenin tried to call to Emma as she ran
by, but she did not see him.  As the battle raged on, Lenin wished them
good luck, silently, in their journey.
     "We are ready to go," Goebbels said, in a mechanical voice.
     "Excellent," Omegas said, his deep basso voice rumbling in a pleased
fashion.  "Are you ready, my deranged genius friend?"
     "Of course, Omegas," Bennett Quark replied.  "Once we have the Eiffel
Thing and the other thing that is necessary to fully utilize the Hypernet,
we shall rule the galaxy!"
     "Yes,, we, shall," Omegas agreed.  "Very well then.  Goebbels:
set course for Earth's moon.  Full speed."
     "Ya vohl, mein fuhrer," Goebbels saluted and left.
     "Ooooh, stop doing that!" Omegas called out after Goebbels.
     Tane Tessier fumed.  The attempt to capture the space toaster belonging
to the ancient empire of the Chaotic Bastion of Silliness had been a total
abject loss.  Still, she had only lost a fraction of her mega-armada, and
was still well-situated to get the Eiffel Thing, which was what she had
assembled the mega-armada for in the first place.
     "My lady!" her adjutant, Bob, called to her.
     "What do you want?" Tane demanded.  "Can't you see I'm fuming?"  Indeed
she was, so much so that she was setting off fire alarms.
     "We've intercepted a communication," Bob said.  "Bennett Quark is setting
forth for Earth's moon, along with Omegas and the 666th fleet that they
captured a few episodes ago."
     "So?" Tane demanded.
     "Quark is the currently registered owner of the Eiffel Thing," Bob said.
"He must be after it, intent on getting it back."
     "Of course!" Tane said.  "Set course for Earth's moon at once!"
     "Almost there!" Machiavelli called out, turning only to loose another
laser barrage into a group of pursuing demons, which barely fazed them,
although it did tickle a bit.  He clutched some papers in his arm.
     "I've got it open!" Tarrfel announced.  The doors to the docking bay
slid open, and the Anarchists ran to the Red Emma.  Emma Goldman pressed a
button on her remote control, deactivating the defensive laser fire screen
that had protected the ship while they had been gone.
     Jerriphrrt entered the ship first, making a beeline for the refridgerator,
followed closely by Slithis and Benjen.  After a six-pack or so, they decided
to do something about defending the ship.  Jerriphrrt, a Calican (cat-like
anthropomorph), took the top laser turret, while Slithis, a reptilian
anthropomorph, took the bottom turret, and Benjen, an Ottsamaddawiduan (human,
but with rounded conical horns on his head) took a middle turret.  As they
blasted away at the growing mass of demons that were slowly pressing towards
the ship, Goldman, t'Krodkzik, Machiavelli, Shadebeam, Gham, and Time Agent
173 took the opportunity to board the ship and withdraw the boarding plank.
     "Machiavelli!" Goldman called out.  "Get the engines going!"
     "I'm on it!" Machiavelli called back, setting the papers he had been
carrying on a table.  Shadebeam, Gham, Time Agent 173, and t'Krodkzik,
knowing nothing about how to operate the ship, realized it would be best to
just step out of the way.  Time Agent 173 noticed the papers Machiavelli had
set down, and perused them, her eyes growing wider.
     "What'cha lookin' at, lady?" Shadebeam asked.  173 didn't answer, still
reading through the pages with increasing alarm.  "Okay, so don't answer,
then.  Want a cigarette, Gham?"
     "Sure," Gham, who had been taking coolness lessons from Shadebeam on
the way to Hell, replied.  She took a lighter out of the leather jacket she
had taken from the Red Emma's clothing replicator and lit the cigarette.
     "Jerriphrrt, are we secure up there?" Goldman asked.
     "Yeah, but not for long," Jerriphrrt called back.  "The docking bay is
filling up fast!"
     "Machiavelli..." Goldman said.
     "Engines are online!" Machiavelli told her.  The Red Emma rose and
blasted out of the hangar into the depths of space.  J. Edgar Hoover cursed.
     "Dammit!" he growled.  "Poe!  Assemble the crew of the PLS Tell-Tale
Heart!  We're going after those godless commies!"
     "We are?" Poe asked, confused.
     "Yes, I said *we* are!" Hoover bellowed.  "Now go!"  Poe gulped and left.
     Lenin ordered his forces to scatter.  Hopefully, not all of them would
be lost, and a resistance organization could be formed.  Had Emma not
accidentally intervened, not even that would be possible.
     Ducking a laser blast, he dived into a chute, sliding to safety in a
different part of Hell.  He would return to plague Satan another day.
     "What will we do?" the Omnipotent Eggbeater said.  "Whatever shall we
do?  The Renegade Anarchists have escaped, and surely they will be going to
Earth's moon, where the cosmic cuisinart is located!"
     "Then I suggest you go to the PLS Tell-Tale Heart," Satan growled at
them.  "It's preparing to go after the Anarchists even as we speak.  The
two thanked him and left quickly.
     "This is not going well, I take it," the Grand High Spatula said as he
and the Eggbeater ran down the corridors, which were littered with the
corpses of soldiers and burning paper.
     "No, it's not," the Omnipotent Eggbeater replied.  "Our only hope of
keeping control of the Hypernet is to retrieve the Eiffel Thing before they
can, and hope they don't learn about the other thing...ah, we're here."
     "Hey, what are you two goons doin' here?" Hoover growled as they
approached.  "We're about to go out and fry some communists."
     "Your master, Satan T. Lucifer Jones, suggested we accompany you,"
the Grand High Spatula said as diplomatically as he could.
     "Did he now?" Hoover asked.  "Hell.  Okay, come on.  We're lifting off."
     "We have a couple minutes before they come after us in strength,"
Machiavelli asserted.  "I recommend we go to X drive now."
     "What destination?" Slithis asked.  Shadebeam leaned against him, blowing
smoke in his face, but Slithis did not seem to mind.  Benjen sighed.
     "Earth's moon," Time Agent 173 said.  "That's where the action will be."
     "Huh?" the other said.
     "That's where the Cosmic Cuisinart is located," she continued.  "That's
also where the theives who stole the Eiffel Thing from where Bennett Quark had
it stored on Sagistus Epsilon IV, Milagro Bekn'kse and Hourus Jebillip, were
heading.  We've got to get the Eiffel Thing before Satan does."
     "Can't we just run away?" Jerriphrrt whined.
     "Of course not, laddie," Tarrfel t'Krodkzik replied, bapping him over
the head.  "We're the Renegade Anarchists, r'member?  We've got a duty to stand
up against tyrrany."
     "We do?" Gham asked, a bit high now, from the cigarette she smoked.
     "We do," Time Agent 173 continued.  "Besides, if Satan gets his hands on
the Thing, he'll be able to control the Hypernet.  He'll be able to send
armadas anywhere in this galaxy instantaneously.  No one will be able to stop
him.  There will be no place to hide.  The whole galaxy will, in effect,
become a living Hell."
     "Looks like we've got to get it first, then," Machiavelli added, smoothly.
Inwardly he relaxed - Time Agent 173 had not recognized that the handwriting
on the documents was his handwriting, not Satan's.  Time Agent 173 looked at
him suspiciously, but said nothing.
     "Machiavelli's right," Goldman agreed.  "Set course for Earth's moon.
Engage X drive!"  The Red Emma blasted into hyperspace.
     "Blast and hellfire!" Satan spat, watching the Red Emma escape just before
the PLS Tell-Tale Heart could arrive to blasticate them.  "Hoover!"  J. Edgar
Hoover's visage appeared on the screen, with Edgar Allen Poe sort of in a
ready-to-grovel posture in the background.
     "They'll be heading to Earth's moon," Satan growled.  "That's where
Machiavelli sent those two theives who stole the Eiffel Thing.  Don't let them
do that!  That Thing is mine!"
     "I'll need some backup," Hoover said.
     "You'll get it," Satan T. Lucifer Jones assured him.  "The whole armada
of Hell will be following you, including this flagship."  Hoover gulped, and
saluted, signing off.  Satan leaned back in his office chair, gloating.  "We'll
see who has the last laugh yet, Machiavelli."  His eyes widened as Susan B.
Anthony came into the office, wheeling a new batch of paperwork.  "What?
There's no time for that now!  I'm in hot pursuit!"
     "We've got three hours before we arrive in Earth orbit," Susan admonished.
"That's plenty of time for you to get a chunk of paperwork done.  Now, start
signing!"  Satan grumbled, but started signing.
     "Sir!" Viol said to Ragnuruk.  Ragnuruk, the leader of the assorted
natives aboard the space toaster, turned from the pop tarts he was making
for himself and the recently-promoted Benchen to look at Viol.
     "What is it?" he asked, breaking through to the heart of the matter.
     "I've intercepted a transmission," Viol said.  "The Anarchists are being
are being pursued by an armada, headed towards a place called 'Earth's Moon'!"
     "Follow them!" Nat Rephue ordered.
     "But how?" Viol asked.  "We don't know what the coordinates are!"
     "Sector zero zero zero alpha bim skala bim zero," Nat Rephue replied.
"The William Buckley AI told me that when I was conversing with him on our
home planet, Karma Chameleon II."  Viol nodded and punched the coordinates in.
Benchen and Katayin, his fiance, held hands as the toaster entered hyperspace.
     "Here we are," Milagro Bekn'kse told his friend, Hourus Jebillip.  "The
planet Earth.  Backwards primitive planet, haven't even set up a base on
their own Moon.  They don't even know about the abandoned way station that
was constructed on the far side of the moon centuries ago."
     "You sure nobody knows about this hideout of yours?" Jebillip asked.  He
was looking at the 3D representation of the moon, a significant chunk of which
was missing for unknown reasons.
     "Of course not," Milagro said, laughing.  "Who would suspect that we
were on an out of the way little hole in the ground like this?"  Their ship,
the Golden Fleece, pivoted, and slowly headed towards the glowing opening that
had appeared in the solid surface of the Moon.

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