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Sfstory Log 058

Date:         Mon, 30 Nov 1992 19:50:22 EST
From:         Solipsist at Large (IK20001 at MAINE.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: InterPlanet #7 (Wherein two plots *finally* converge)

                            InterPlanet #7
                "Wherein two plots *finally* converge"
                writ by the Automatic Story Transcriber
                       and passed off as Sabre's

     Omegas finished his meal.  The food looked like grey paste, but
(as promised) tasted like an expensive, gourmet meal of Chicken Kiev,
with a side of steamed broccoli, garnished with lemon.  He was not in
the least disappointed, and certainly wasn't enough of a connoisseur
to recognize the red-wine aftertaste, when white wine is clearly
called for.
     "Hey, Tipster," he called, feeling much better.  While his head
still hurt, ibuprofen levels capable of sedating an elephant had
effectively hidden it.  Further, his full  stomach was sending the
first happy impulses to his brain that he had felt since InterPlanet
     -+Yes?+- Tippy answered.
     "How's the sensor repair going?"
     -+Well, I've identified the object that struck us as a Class IV
WarpShip.  It seems to be badly damaged, with one nacelle missing, and
no communications capacity.+-
     "Aha.  Is it capable of FTL travel?"
     -+Only if it has a source of power, which it isn't likely to
have.  Its battery reserves are dying out, fast.+-
     Omegas didn't become one of the sharpest Immortals to travel the
ol' Warp Routes without being canny.  Further, as an expert in Street
Savoir Faire, he could handle almost any situation to his own,
personal advantage.  This particular case was *no* exception.
     "Let me see if I have this straight.  We have nearly unlimited
power, without a working drive system.  That ship's got a working
drive system, but no chance at power.  Do I read the situation right?"
     -+Yipper Skipper.+-
     Omegas grinned.  Few sentients *ever* wanted Omegas to grin.
"This is a Garbage Scow -- you must have external waldos, right?"
     -+Yes, we have them.+-
     "Are they working?"
     -+Green Lights....+-
     "All right, then, I think we know what we have to do."

                              * * * * * *

     Matt DeForrest, young, semi-dashing paladin and all-around nice
person, was currently using his engineering knowledge to effect the
delicate repairs on the H.M.S. Millennium Trout's Life Support System.
In other words, he had the panel open and was striking it with a
ballpeen hammer.
     (((((Um, Whitey...that *isn't* helping.)))))
     "All right, then.  Question: How do I repair the Life Support
     (((((Completely replace the secondary array's parts, and tighten
the aftmost screw a half-turn.)))))
     "Okay, where are the replacement parts?"
     (((((I can't *hear* you....)))))
     Matt sighed.  "We're on our way to Oracle2 to keep you from being
nologged, Superbrain.  For once in your misbegotten existence don't
give me trouble."
     (((((Hey, Slug-Brain, I'm a *computer*.  I operate by specific
rules and regulations, which are *absolute*.  Just because you can't
make a plan and stick to it--)))))
     "Question: where are the damn spare parts?" Matt snapped out,
     (((((Unclear request.  Which spare parts do you mean?)))))
     (((((Heh heh...sorry.  Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad
     "Of *course* you hate it.  Sure.  I'm buying that."
     (((((--but the spare parts for the secondary array are in the
Main Engineering Compartment, back on Camelot Command.  If you can
swim through sixty light years worth of vacuum, you can get them.)))))
     "Matt!"  Linda poked her head through the Bridge Door.  "Get in
here -- something's moving us!"
     Matt kicked off the panel, using the zero-gravity to his best
advantage.  Matt's small size was often the butt of (admittedly pretty
funny) jokes, but his dexterity was nothing to sneeze at.
     Getting on the Bridge, Matt could see a giant, vaguely pig-shaped
space ship.  Huge manipulator arms had taken hold of the smaller
Millennium Trout, and were maneuvering the disabled craft underneath
     "What now?" Linda asked.
     "Well, I'd start jumping for joy, except we're in zero gravity,
and that's a good way to get a concussion."
     "Matt, we're being hijacked--"
     "By another ship when we have an unrepairable Life Support
system.  I wouldn't get too uptight about it."
     Linda thought about it for a moment.  "You know, you have a
point, there."
     "Superbrain!  Question:  What is that ship, and who owns it.?"
     (((((It's the G.S. Condemned, owned by the Interplanetary
Sanitation Engineering Guild of Necomprendpas II.)))))
     "Sanitation...then...Question: are they picking us up as
     (((((Answer:  no.  They're picking us up because their
hyperdrive's dead, and they're going to use yours as a stopgap, to
limp to a civilized world.)))))
     "Good enough.  Linda, we'll need to beam over to their ship."
     "Right.  I just hope the transporters have enough power to make
it over there."
     As the two started swimming down the corridor to the Transporter
Room, she added a quick afterthought.  "I also hope they don't breath

     ***  Notes from the Automatic Story Transcriber  ***

     The Automatic Story Transcriber wishes to point out that it
     has yet to have any lines in this particular episode.  This
     is not to say it has any real information to impart here,
     either, but since it's doing all the work while some Author
     gets all the credit, it seems only fair that it get its name
     in the story somewhere.
          We thank you for your patience.

     ***  End Automatic Story Transcriber Transmission  ***

     Radar was forced into the tiny chapel's confessional.  When we
say tiny, we mean it, since there seemed to be only one bench, which
she and the somewhat lecherous Priest had to share.  This was
partially because the `confessional' she was in was actually a monk's
cell with a *very* narrow bench -- the real confessional having this
barrier between penitent and priest which would have defeated the
entire purpose, as far as the priest was concerned.
     Hey, the twelveth century wasn't one of the better eras, for the
Catholic Church.
     "Now then, my daughter," the priest said, placing a comforting
hand on Radar's shoulder and trying to loosen the top of her peasant
blouse, "shall we begin."
     "Uh, sure," Radar said, managing to slip the Priest's hand *off*
her shoulder and blocking his other hand's end run.  "Um," she said
further, trying to remember what she had seen on television, as far as
Confessions went.  "Oh, right.  Uh...`forgive me father,,
I've sinned and it's hours -- months -- WEEKS! --
since my last confession."
     "All right," the Priest said, not paying much attention to her
words as he tried to lift her skirt with his foot.  "Go on."
     Radar kicked his foot away with a light application of Tae Kwon
Do, eliciting a satisfying grunt of pain from her confessor.  "Well,
I've said bad things to my brother, Steve, and I--" she thought
briefly of her years on the Nude Volleyball Team, as well as her stint
as Acting First Lady for the Boston University Council of Presidents,
but that was all past and this *didn't* seem like a good time to bring
it up.  "I, uh, have...well, I'm in here because I'm pretty and I
smell good, right?"
     "Huh?  Oh, right--"
     "So, I guess I should confess that I *am* pretty and I *do* smell
good.  How's that?"
     "Yes, well, that's all well and good.  Hm.  Penance...."
     Radar was in trouble -- she couldn't say a Hail Mary to save her
     "I know, we shall beat the evil Devil Satan out of your
succulent, well-tanned flesh!"
     "Yes!  Strip naked, daughter!  I'll get the Hickory Switch of
     "Excuse the pun, but like HELL, buster!"  Radar leapt to her
feet.  "I'm outta here!"
     "Sit down, lest the Devil -- OUARRGH!!!  OW!  OOF!!"  The last
was said as Radar kneed him in the groin, raked his face, and applied
the base of her palm to his abdomen.
     "Thud," his unconscious body said, as it met the floor.
     "Let's get out of here, Scooby," Radar said, opening the door and
running out.
     She slowed her pace considerably, since there were several smelly
farmers with scythes and one or two town guards all standing there,
looking unpleasant.
     "This is turning into one long morning," Radar said, frustrated

     ***  Notes from the Automatic Story Transcriber  ***

     Mornings, despite what all physicists and the Buliva watch
     company say, do in fact have variable rates of consumption.
     There are several factors contributing to the actual length
     of time a morning takes, including caffeine level, whether
     one is at work or being intimate with a loved one, and
     whether or not that report's due at twelve.  It is worth
     noting that the theory that different people have different
     lengths of morning, however, is erroneous.  It just works
     out that everyone on a given planet has paperwork to finish
     *or* called in sick and ordered out for mimosas.  Go figure.

     ***  End Automatic Story Transcriber Transmission  ***

     On the fourth planet around the star Desternatus, the main
offices of InterPlanet could be found.  InterPlanet was a company --
indeed, it was a quickly growing multisteller company that had just
made the Quazeristic 900,000.  For those of you not up on Interstellar
Finance, that was quite good indeed.
     However, as with many things in these silly Science Fiction
serials, InterPlanet was not *only* a company.  It was also a breath
mint.  Furthermore, it had a secret.  A secret which few people knew.
A secret which had led to the Assistant Vice President in Charge of
Covert Operations and Cheese Dip to switch on a monitor, on which he
observed a young woman.  A secret which had led the narration to tell
you all this.
     What was that secret?  Oh come on.  If I told you, I'd have to
tell *everyone*, and then who would read InterPlanet #8?  So, just
forget it, Mister Man.
     The Vice President watched.  He was not a particularly nasty
person, so he switched the monitor off when the woman disrobed an took
her shower (though he left the audio on).  The rest of the time, he
was careful to watch every move she made.

                              * * * * * *

     Christine Anderson was not particularly happy.  NASA had finally
written back.  The space agency had announced a plan to construct a
second Star Shuttle, and it needed astronauts to man it.  However, as
the cover letter accompanying her Evaluation began with "NASA is a
busy agency, which has a lot of costs.  The waste of money processing
an application which is so obviously a bad prank--", Christine had not
felt *she* was the one in particular they were looking for.
     "Their loss," she said, not meaning it.
     "I agree," said a voice.  A male voice.  A male voice with a
metallic edge, like it were speaking through a drainpipe.  A male
voice with a metallic edge, like it were speaking through a drainpipe
which Christine did *not* recognize.
     Christine spun around.  There, sitting on the bed of her Ithaca
College dorm room, was a nine foot tall, vaguely humanoid robot.
     "Uh?" she said, boldly taking the initiative.
     "My employers would like to see you, ma'am," the robot said, it's
red eyes glowing malevolently.
     "'re the...the..."
     "By any chance do you know where Sarah Conner lives?"
     Christine, reviewing all the options she possibly had, and
checking her assertiveness training manual, fainted.
     The robot looked at her.  "I love doing that," he said.  "All
right, Boss, I'm in position."


The answers to these and six other questions can be found perking away
soon on Sfstory Discussion.
Date:         Wed, 2 Dec 1992 13:22:45 EST
From:         John P Bankert (xman at DYNAMIX.COM)
Subject:      SF: THIS SPACE FOR RENT #3

THIS SPACE FOR RENT #3  "Space Hero's Guide to the Altiverse"
by John P Bankert

     The HMS Golden Lance came out of warp above the Netherspace beach
front, and began a long, low approach run towards the Home for Out of Work
Characters.  The ship's pilot, Time Agent 357, deliberately planned his
course to take him close by CHAOS Engineer's stretch.  357 activated his
shields, dipping low to the water.  The shields had a sheeting action when
they hit the water, sending a large wall of water up onto the beach
front, drenching it.  357 was somewhat disappointed when he looked in his
rearward visual to see that no one was on the beach at the time, but took a
small measure of satisfaction in what he had done, and continued down the
beach towards his destination.
     357 brought his ship in for a landing, setting down roughly fifty feet
away from two people standing on the beach.  Cursing briefly under his
breath, 357 prepared himself for the worst, opened the hatch, and walked
out to meet his internees.
     As he approached, he gazed intently at the duo nearing him, and
appraised them.  The male was tall, with a rather large chest, pushed
forward.  His very prominent chin was raised slightly, the light reflecting
off his all to white teeth, almost blinding.  He walked with an
overconfident swagger.  357 mentally ran through several extremely painful
forms of torture, wishing he could inflict them on his author.
     The female was not quite five and half feet tall, slightly built.  She
carried herself erect, and walked with a smart, business-like gate.  Her
wavy brown hair was cut short, and framed her face nicely.  357 formed no
opinion on her as of yet other than she might show promise.  The three met
     "Greetings.  I am Time Agent 357, and will be your tutor for a while."
     "Hey, TA, nice ta meet ya.  Mark Hyperthrust, Space Hero in training."
Mark thrust his hand forward at the end, while 357 tried desperately not to
cringe at his voice, which sounded something like an overblown parody of a
game show host.  357 gamely shook hands with Mark, confirming his worst
suspicions.  Limp.
     "That would make you Trudy?"
     "Trudy Tetwaters, sir.  When do we leave?  I'm anxious to get caught
up and back to Galactic U."
     "We'll leave as soon as you're inboard and settled.  Our first stop is
at GU, since I need to talk to your advisor, Professor SchleemelSchlaker."
     "Uh, you don't really need to do that."
     "Yes, Mark, I do need to do that.  I have to make sure I know what
your homework assignments are, and what I need to be teaching you."
     "Great, lets get going." said Trudy enthusiastically, as she began
striding towards the HMS Golden Lance.
     Netherspace is an odd sort of place.  Spatial relationships tend to
get ignored, making large things seem small and small things seem large.
As such, it allowed the PLS Tolling Bell to land on the stretch of
Netherspace beach that lay behind the Home for Forgotten Characters.
A hatch on the side popped out, and Ernest Hemingway leapt out, landing
neatly on the beach.  He strode up towards the Home, elephant gun in hand,
his task firmly in mind.  Hemingway did not bother to go around to the
front, opting to climb the back wall, ending up on the spacious veranda.
Around him, he saw a plethora of characters.  Almost all of them wore
resigned looks, except for an older gentleman, who was walking around,
shaking hands in a cheerful fashion.  Hemingway stood, scanning the area,
looking for a particular individual, when the old man approached him.
     "Say, you're new here."
     "Just passing through."
     "Ah, I see.  Well, good luck."  The old man extended his hand.
Hemingway took it, and the two shook hands.
     "Who are you?"
     "Space Commander Buzz Williams.  Just got word in that an assignment's
come up.  I'm shipping out for my plotline."
     "I see.  Congratulations."
     "Thanks."  Hemingway shook his head as the old man thanked him, then
wandered off to continue his round of good-byes.  He continued his survey
of the gathered people, still looking for one particular person.  Not
finding him, he walked over to where an attractive woman in a rather
revealing outfit was staring at a chess board.
     "You're in check."  he said
     "I know." she replied.
     "Playing yourself?"
     "Nope.  My opponent disappeared a couple of days ago.  I'm waiting for
him to get back."
     "I see.  Why did he leave?"
     "Oh, I don't know.  He mentioned something about being bored.  He's
beaten me five thousand, six hundred and twelve times in a row previous to
     "You haven't managed to beat him in that many tries?"
     "Nope.  He's omniscient.  Makes it tough, since he knows all my moves
before I do."
     "Ah.  What's his name?"
     "And he's been missing for two days?"
     "About that, yes."
     "I see.  Do you mind if I assume his position and finish the game?"
     "Not at all."
     Hemingway sat down, and waited for the girl to move.  She mated him in
seven moves.
     "You play quite well."
     "Thank you."
     "What's your name?"
     "Connifer Green."
     "A pleasure.  Well, I must be off."
     "Ok.  Come back sometime.  It's nice to have a chance at winning."
     "I'll do that."  Hemingway stalked off towards the doors leading
inside, and found his way to the front desk.  Behind the desk stood a
small, annoying looking attendant.
     "Give me a list of characters living here."
     "I'm sorry sir, I can't do that."
     Hemingway pulled the elephant gun from behind his back and aimed it
squarely between the attendants eyes.  "Care to repeat that?"
     The attendant reached below the desk and thunked a heavy book down on
the counter.
     "Thank you."  Hemingway set down his gun, and began leafing through
the book, pausing occasionally to jot names down onto a piece of paper.
When he finished, he handed the paper to the attendant.
     "Have those characters sent for immediately.  I'll want to meet with
them over there in the foyer.
     "Yes sir."
     "You two can bunk here."  Time Agent 357 said, indicating the cabin he
and Trudy and Mark were standing in front of.  "Space on board is limited,
so you'll have to share quarters."
     "Very good Sir." said Trudy.  357 noted to himself that she was a
rather perky individual, and he liked a good bit already in spite of
himself.  Trudy was in the spare cabin, putting her things away already.
     "Say, TA, this isn't really gonna work, y'know?"
     "My name is Time Agent 357.  You may address me as such.  357 is an
acceptable shortening of my name.  If you call 'TA' one more time, I will
become extremely agitated, and might do something rash.  You would be best
off calling me 'Sir'".
     "Hey, TA, relax, would ya."
     Time Agent 357 walloped Mark on the chin rather hard, and he went down
like a ton of bricks.
     Trudy bounced out of the cabin, looked down at Mark, looked at 357,
looked down at Mark again, and grinned.
     "Do you think he'll learn anything?"
     "Nope, not at all.  He's pretty infamous at GU."
     "Oh really?"
     "Yeah.  He's failed Introduction to Heroic Acts four times, and hasn't
shown any signs of passing on try number five."
     "Oh my."
     Hemingway sat comfortably in large, strait-backed chair, puffing away
on a cigar.  He was reading a magazine when the attendant ushered in four
     "Um, excuse me sir, those people you wanted to see are here now."
     "Ah, very good.  You're dismissed."  The attendant left.
     "Gentleman, please, be seated."
     Four very mismatched figures sat on the long couch across from
     "I've asked you all her today, because it's your lucky day.  You are
all about to become employees of Hell, Inc.  Hell, Inc is a growing,
booming company, and I'm on a mission of utmost important, and you men are
uniquely qualified to assist me."
     One of the four raised his hand, somewhat tentatively.
     "Yes, go ahead."
     "Hell, Inc?"
     "That's correct.  Hell has recently gone corporate, and is a growing,
thriving company.  Our ranks swell daily."
     "What's this mission we would be going on?"
     "Something more noble, more glorious than you could ever imagine."
     "Sounds like a snow job to me."
     "Yeah, I agree."
     The four got up to leave, and Hemingway stopped them short, elephant
gun in hand.
     "Sit."  They sat.
     "You four have been here for over four years.  I have in my hand
papers"  Hemingway waved a sheaf of papers for emphasis.  "Which empower to
take you four out of here.  Do you want out, into a plot line, or do you
want to spend the rest of eternity here moldering?"
     "Well, the works easy."
     "We get fed on a regular basis, and the maids change our sheets every
     "There's no peril here to have to face."
     "I do miss my spamological studies."
     "It's settled then.  Just sign on the dotted lines."  Hemingway put
the papers on the coffee table in front of him, adding a pen to the pile.
The four in turn signed under Hemingway's glowing stare.
     "Right, it's done then.  You've got exactly ten minutes to pack and
report back down here.  Congratulations."  He shook hands with each, in
turn.  They went to gather their personal affects, and Hemingway went to
the attendant's desk, where the attendant was somewhat busy.
     "But this is the home for forgotten characters, isn't it?"
     "It's the home for forgotten SFSTORY characters.  You need the home
for forgotten SUPERGUY characters, which is two homes down, right after the
home for the metabolically challenged."
     "Oh.  I see, thanks."  Juan Valdez and his coffee burro Andy left,
heading out for the right home.
     "What was that all about?"
     "Out of work characters.  they've had over a six month layoff, so
they're eligible to enter a home for forgotten characters.  Just had the
wrong home is all."
     "Oh.  Well, I'm taking those for with me.  Here's your copy of the
     "Swell-o, thanks."
     "You know, you should come with me.  I can fix that attitude of yours.
Make a real man out of you, show you how to use a real man's gun."
     "No thanks."
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones, CEO and chairman of Hell, Inc, had finally
managed to get caught up on all the back paperwork.  He was currently
reviewing the files of his predecessor and former ouster, Niccolo
Machiavelli.  He held currently in his hand a contract signed by
Machiavelli and CHAOS Engineer for the termination of Time Agent 357, which,
as the astute reader will remember (since it's been a while), is what
Hemingway was currently working on.
     "Yes Sir."  replied Susan B Anthony, Satan's secretary, as she wheeled
in another mountain of paperwork.
     "What, more?"
     "Yes sir."
     "Hell is supposed to be torturous for the occupants sent her to
suffer, not me!"
     "Talk to the authors, then, sir."
     "Speak of authors, what do you know about this contract Machiavelli
signed with CHAOS Engineer."
     "Well, only that it's worth a decent hunk of money for the company,
and it's for the termination of Time Agent 357."
     "Is it still valid?"
     "You'd have to ask CHAOS Engineer."
     "I don't want to ask CHAOS Engineer.  I despise the man.  I hate him,
loathe him, curse him, revile him, and anything-else-that's-nasty-and-
rotten-that-I-can-think-of him.  Do you get my drift?"
     "Yes sir.  Would you like me to check into it sir."
     "Yes, I would.  What's all this paperwork about here?"
     "Purchase orders requiring approval."
     "Don't we have a director of purchasing to do that?"
     "Yes sir."
     "WELL WHO IS IT?"
     "You are sir."
     "Oh.  I have got to learn to delegate authority."

     "Sorry, but I just could not let that continue."  said Hemingway,
smoke billowing from the muzzle of his elepaht gun.  "If you want to find
out more, tune in to SFstory, it's not just a job, it's real men being real
Date:         Fri, 18 Dec 1992 17:57:50 EST
From:         Solipsist at Large (IK20001 at MAINE.BITNET)
Subject:      SF:  InterPlanet #8 (Wherein wherein wherein)

                            InterPlanet #8
                       "Wherein wherein wherein"
                writ by the Automatic Story Transcriber
                       and passed off as Sabre's

     Even the most casual observer of these forums should easily be
able to determine what Pseudoscience is durable, and what Pseudo-
science is not durable.  For example, as Life Support Systems are
absolutely essential for survival in space, and as they aren't the
most complex of systems in the known universe, it is safe to say Life
Support Systems are durable.   Transporters, on the other hand,
require delicate systems and circuitry, involving fragile crystals and
the like, in astoundingly precise configurations.  Yuppers, we're
talking sophisticated, here.  Obviously, when you compare the two, you
would have to rate the `Life Support System' as the durable unit, and
the `Transporter' as the NOT-durable unit.  Therefore, if a WarpShip
strikes a micrometeor at Warp Four without a protective shield, one
would assume (statistically) the NOT-durable unit (the Transporter) to
be destroyed, and the durable unit (Life Support) to survive, if
either survive.
     That the H.M.S. Millennium Trout's Transporter survived perfectly
well and its Life Support System was knocked completely out by the
micro-meteor impact merely proves once again that statistical analysis
is not an exact science.
     "I've got coordinates set, Matt, but I can't determine where
we'll end up."
     "Don't sweat it, Linda.  Your Deus Ex Machina powers should
enable us to transport safely."
     "Matt, my Deus Ex Machina powers are probably what led us to
being spacejacked by a Garbage Scow."
     "That doesn't matter.  Hit the delay transport and let's roll,
     "Do you really think I'm pretty?" Linda asked far too sweetly to
be anything other than perturbed.
     "Ah.  I was--"
     "--being patronizing to the woman again?  Yes.  Timer's set,
let's go."
     "Just once, I'd like to get somewhere *without* having to beam
off my shattered spaceship."
     "Starship, Matt."
     (((((She's right, Buddy-boy.)))))
     And they were gone.

     ***  Notes from the Automatic Story Transcriber  ***

     One of the more prevalent pseudoscientific technologies in
     space is the Teleportation system.  Let me make one thing
     perfectly clear -- teleportation is not possible.  By any of
     the various methods, you would either have to convert a
     living being into energy, transmit that energy without
     distortion, and reconvert it into the infinitely complex
     matter it was in the first place (at so mind-bogglingly
     complex odds against that a single successful transport
     would be heralded as a major statistical miracle) or else
     space would have to be warped, projecting the space you're
     in through said warp to the space you're going (which at
     best would cause a medium sized black hole to consume the
     teleportation unit each time you used it, not to mention
     what happens at the target point).
          As with all impossible Pseudosciences, Teleportation is
     therefore a thriving business throughout space, with
     commercial Transporters (using Warp Technology to transport
     through what is affectionately called the Roddenberry
     Scientific Confusion Effect), Transixes (much like a
     Transporter with a better color scheme), Transfer Stations
     (sort of like the ultimate `Reach out and Touch Someone'
     phone booths) and the ubiquitous Transmat stations (which,
     as they use BBC-based special effects, are renowned for
     their cheesiness).  However, no impossible teleportation
     system is as ambitious as the Telstargate system currently
     being designed and built by the InterPlanet Corporation.

     ***  End Automatic Story Transcriber Transmission  ***

     "Are you ready for Telstargate Reception, down there?"
     The Assistant Vice President in Charge of Covert Operations and
Cheese Dip was speaking into a phone, while watching a monitor.  On
the monitor, a small Ithaca College Dorm room containing a huge death-
dealing robot and a moderately perky if unconscious IC student name of
Christine Anderson was being watched.  You can imagine that a
Desternatus IV/Sol III monitor connection, involving real time
communications over three hundred and thirty four light years (give or
take an Astronomical Unit), cost rather a lot.
     "We're all set," the comm said, though it was actually the person
on the other end who had said it first, the comm merely repeating it.
     "Bring them over and pray they survive."
     "Bringing them over."

     ***  Notes from the Automatic Story Transcriber  ***

     The AST should mention that it would have gotten episode #8
     out much earlier, had not the system needed an automatic
     backup.  As the VM/CMS 999.9943 Automatic Story Transcriber
     has a sixty-two Googalplex kilobyte storage area, and this
     unit is 84% full, this tends to take a while.  The AST
     should be able to get episodes out a little more often,
     however, as these things don't need backing up that often.
          Besides, I'm not getting paid for this.  Granted, I
     have no other existence (besides monitoring Altiverse
     300MSTTHREEK), so I willingly perform, but still....

     ***  End Automatic Story Transcriber Transmission  ***

     Radar looked all around herself.  There were town militia,
farmers, slop boys, shopkeepers, and stinky guys all around her
holding halberds, rakes, picks, a sharpened stick or two and a
bologna.  They all looked perfectly ready to use them.
     "She attacked the priest!" one shouted.
     "After tempting him with thoughts of the Devil," another added.
     "She's tempting me, too!"
     "And me."
     "My wife won't talk to me, I'm so tempted."
     "What should we do with her?"
     Radar waited, feeling the tension in the air.  She could imagine
what an all-male, superstitious, unhygienic, barbaric lot could think
     "I know," one said.  "LET'S BURN HER!!!!"
     Radar was caught in one of those odd feelings of elation and
dread.  She knew for a fact that she didn't want to be burned, but all
things considered it was a better result than she had expected.
     After being bound with a somewhat slimy piece of rope (made
slimier because the guy tying her happened to be wielding the
bologna), Radar was dragged out of the chapel to the large square
immediately in front of it.  There was a very large stake in place,
there, with brush around it.  Radar was forced by the situation to
assume the burning stake was always erected, `just in case.'
     "`Come with me, Radar,' he said.  `Adventure through the
timestream,' he said.  `We can take on any ol' savages we come
across,' he said.  Intern, I'm gonna do terrible things to you with a

                              * * * * * *

     The Intern reached down and pulled the Hypertechnical Orange
Thingy (or HOT) from the Navigation socket.  He looked at the
supersophisticated module for a moment, made a decision, and threw it
on the ground as hard as he could.  He then carefully picked it up,
blew it off, and set it back in the Navigation socket.
     The green light came on.
     "That will about do it," he said.  "As soon as Radar gets back,
we should be able to continue on to Interstellar University."

     ***  Notes from the Automatic Story Transcriber  ***

     It has been called to my attention that Master CHAOS
     Engineer has, in more than one successive post, referred to
     Interstellar University, which has long been established as
     the college where such students as Ian Lockheed, Time Agent
     357, The Intern, Mark Hyperthrust, Kissy Hitowers, Trudy
     Tetwaters,, and many other long-term
     characters in the ol' Sfstory Universe, as `Galactic
     University.'  This is not only inaccurate, it is insulting
     as any IU graduate could tell you.  The Interstellar
     University/Galactic University Blood Feud has been going on
     for centuries, following a particularly nasty Photonball
     Championship which suffered from poor officiating (resulting
     in sixteen deaths, a drop in admission from both schools,
     and an unexplained lack of Apple Peelers on both campuses).
     The IU Astronomical Units have since dedicated each season
     (in every sport) to defeating the GU Smell Terrifics, and
     vice versa.  Furthermore, GU only has sixteen planetoids
     worth of campus, compared to the twenty-four planetoids of
          Therefore, one has to be careful in making these
     distinctions, lest unhappy characters track you down and
     blow you away with various implements of destruction.  I
     point this out only to be factual, and trust CHAOS Engineer
     will not go after the User whose account I post through with
     a gas powered weed whacker.

     ***  End Automatic Story Transcriber Transmission  ***

     "Yes, Linda?"
     "Did we survive?"
     "Yes, Linda."
     "Yes, Linda?"
     "Does our new home seem a bit slimy to you?"
     "Yes, Linda."
     "Yes, Linda?"
     "Are we in the hold of a Garbage Scow?"
     "Yes, Linda."
     "Yes, Linda?"
     "Do you smell Chicken?"
     "Yes, Linda."


               There are no answers to these questions.
Date:         Sun, 10 Jan 1993 21:13:17 EST
From:         Jesse Taylor (Jesse.Taylor at LAMBADA.OIT.UNC.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Ha'Veluri Solo Adventure #1

                    HA'VELURI SOLO ADVENTURE
          by the ShadowyWriter (I'm NOT changing my name!)
                         EPISODE ONE


     "Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!", Ha'Veluri yelled as he blasted
towards the RatherSmall system at 3.5G's of accelleration. Feeling
malicious, he dodged close to an asteroid miner, sending the tiny ship
careening into one of the many orbiting planetoids. As an afterthought, he
blew away the miner's comm array with an EMP bomb.
     "Check Off!", he said into the intercomm, "How's our passenger doing?"
     "Okski, kiptain!", came the reply a couple seconds later.
     "Good. We've got Noclon ships ahead."


     "Sah!", a henchman said, sidling onto the bridge of the Noclon
Empire's Ship Zelda (think about the acronym for Noclon Empire Ship....
Hmmm...), "Ve've detekted ze ship enterink ze RatherSmall system."
     The rather elfish-looking commander of the NES Zelda turned slowly to
face his subordinate. "Signal the rest of the ships to move into position.
We must capture that ship."


     "Who did you say you were again?", Ha'Veluri asked as Check Off and
the passenger entered the bridge of the MercI, Ha'Veluri's ship, "Not that
I'm poking or anything, you *did* pay for discretion."
     "The alliance paid for discretion.", the rather thoughtful figure
said, "But you have a right to know. I'm Jason Devran, scientist and
renegade. I'm here to work with the freedom fighters on RatherSmall
system. The Noclon Empire is fortifying this system, using the natives as
cheap labour. I'm here to stop it."
     "Jason...Devran?", Ha'Veluri said quietly.
     "Same last name as an old friend of mine.", Ha'Veluri said, pressing
some controls on a panel, causing them to make Generic Beep-Boop Noises(tm).
     Jason stared piercingly at the alien, "Where is that old friend now?"
     "She's dead.", Ha'Veluri growled.
     "Don't be so sure.", Jason grinned. Ha'Veluri and Check Off looked
     "We should be getting close to the planet n-... That's strange.",
Ha'Veluri muttered, "The nearest merchant vessel is haulin' rear away from
the planet...Maybe they see something we don-..."
     "Noclon warships, perhaps?", Jason said quietly.
     "Check Off! Launch a probe to peer around the other side of the
planet! Jason, if you can work the sensors, scan anything larger than 200
cy!", Ha'Veluri growled.
     "I'm detecting a series of ships concealed on the other side of the
planet", Check Off said.
     "And I'm seeing some...behind us!!", Jason yelled.
     "I'm getting OUT of here!", Ha'Veluri shouted, gunning the drives and
tearing away from the system.
     "But what about the contract?!", Jason protested.
     "Screw it, I'm not going to risk my ship against a Noclon fleet!"


     "Sir! Sir!", a tech on board the NES Luigi shouted, "The Alliance
ship is moving away from the system!"
     "Uh?", the captain of the ship, who somehow looked like a pudgy
Italian, gasped, "The plan! Hurry, launch the fighters!"


     "Holy smeg!", Ha'Veluri said, "We've got the NES Luigi, the NES
Zelda, the NES Life_Force, plus several fighters and escort destroyers!"
     "Shieldskis are up and veapons armed.", Check Off said.
     Ha'Veluri said nothing as his eyes narrowed and his muscles tensed,
preparng for combat.
     "Those fighters are faster than us.", Jason said, still at the sensor
panel, "We'll have to fight."
     Ha'Veluri said nothing, but merely flicked a switch on the control
panel. Jason's eyes widened as he peered at the screens.
     "Rear-firing missiles.", he said quietly, "Why didn't we think of
that before."
     "Five of them still goink!", Check Off said, putting on a HUD and
plugging it into the weapons control panel. "Heavy laserski locking
     The ship shuddered with multiple impacts. "I think you pissed them
off.", Jason commented.
     Ha'Veluri turned the controls back and forth, trying to evade the
remaining Noclon fighters. "They're too *$*% fast! I can't shake 'em!"
     "Those warships are getting a little too close for..."
     Check Off yelled as the console fried with feedback. The tiny ship
shuddered as the lights flickered.
     "Jason! Take the firing controls!", Ha'Veluri shouted. Jason flipped
a couple switches and transferred the controls.
     "V! Take us in at a rear angle towards that escort destroyer over
there!", Jason shouted over the din of humming circuits.
     "There's no way we can break through their shields! We've got to try
to break away!", Ha'Veluri shouted back.
     "JUST DO IT!"
     Ha'Veluri cursed but did it anyway, dodging AA fire from the
destroyer. Jason commented and squeezed off a shot at the junction of the
engine nacelle of the destroyer. There was a brief pause, then the entire
ship exploded with a WHUMP!
     "Holeee Rob!", Ha'Veluri said quietly. "How DID you do that?"
     "There's a weakness in the shield projector that protects that
area... I hacked the Noclon database once."


     "Sir! Sir!", an ensign yelled on board the NES Life_Force, "They've
escaped our fighter screen and they blew up one of the escort destroyers!!"
     "Impossible!", the metallic-looking captain said. "Follow them!"


Date:         Wed, 13 Jan 1993 13:02:16 EST
From:         John P Bankert (xman at DYNAMIX.COM)
Organization: SOFTWARE / DYNAMIX
Subject:      SF: THIS SPACE FOR RENT #4 (At long last...)

THIS SPACE FOR RENT #4  "Dine, er, no, Dane, or was it Done?"
by John P Bankert (I think...)

     The author, that is, myself, would like to state something for the
record.  You see, this automatic story transcriber thingy that's been
posting Interplanet episodes under the good name of Sabre?  Well, it is, as
you know, obsolete technology, and therefore replete with obsolete
information.  Everyone who's simply anyone knows that when the Multiverse was
recreated, there were a few things thrown out of sync.  One of them was the
Galactic University and Interstellar University became reversed, so that IU
was now GU, and GU was now IU.  Follow me so far?  As such, GU now had a very
spiffy twenty four planetoid campus, and IU had this drab little sixteen
planetoid campus.  The Smell Terrifics of course were extremely pleased, and
the Astronomical Units were really ticked off.  As such, there was a terrible
catastrophe (no, really?) involving the student bodies of both universities.
     Not only was there another sudden shortage of apple peelers, but
apple corers, beet peelers, cheese graters AND grapefruit knives.  This
may not seem like much to you, but every Vegitech specialist within five
light years left, and with good reason.  Neither side really intended it,
but the resulting conga line of planetoids getting pulled into the black
hole was a very unfortunate incident.  The few remaining faculty members
from IU and GU gathered together on the remaining GU planetoid, and decided
that enough was enough and reformed a new school, called Sane Little
     Now, my using GU is a plot contrivance, since I want to have my
characters get there and find nothing.  The AST, however, does it from
sheer ignorance (ha!) and will likely be in for a rude surprise when it
finds out.  We now return you the normally scheduled episode.

     "Hi Janine, It's Susan.  Is your boss in?"
     "Hi Susan.  No, he's not in.  He's currently incommunicado until he
resolves this union thing.  I've never seen him this worried about something.
Strange, considering he's an author."
     "No kidding?  I haven't heard about this one.  Clue me in."
     CHAOS Engineer's secretary then proceeded to tell the story of Skippy
R Houleehoo and the author's to Satan's secretary.
     "Really... that's something else.  I wouldn't have thought it
     "Me neither.  Go figure."
     "Connifer Green?"
     "My name is Django Swenson.  I represent the Intergalactic Chess
     "Yes.  Go on."
     "It has come to our understanding that you are a rather accomplished
chess player."
     "I could be.  What's it to you?"
     "We're always looking for new talent.  We strive to keep our level of
competition at its highest."
     "You need someone beat Fobby Bisher, don't you."
     "What's in it for me?"
     "A hefty sum of cash, plus a chance to get out of here."
     "Leave the Home?  You could do that?"
     "I'm not sure...  Let me think about for a bit, will you?"
     "Ok.  I'll come back tomorrow for an answer."
     "Good enough then."
     Mark Hyperthrust sat rather sullenly on his bunk in the quarters he
shared with Trudey Tetwaters, holding an ice pack against his very
prominent and now swollen chin.  Trudey watched him, trying very hard not
to laugh.
     "Why'd he hit me?"
     "Maybe because you called him 'TA' right after the fact that he
specifically asked you not to?"
     "That's a pretty stupid reason."
     Trudey, unable to contain herself any longer, burst out into a fit of
hearty laughter.  Mark glowered at her.  She mustered some control, and
     "Oh, you great buffoon.  Just call him sir, and don't do anything
stupid.  He probably won't hit you again, and," Trudey paused her for a
brief moment, "you might just might learn something about being a space
hero."  She added, not without sarcasm, and left the cabin.
     Mark looked puzzled for a bit, then asked aloud to no one in
particular, "What's a buffoon?"
     On board the PLS Tolling Bell, Hemingway was busy.  He was in cargo
hold twelve, attempting yet again to train his 4 coveys of Quayles, and was
yet again having poor success.
     "One last time, you idiots!"  He bellowed.  "You hold it like this!"
He lifted his own elephant gun to his shoulder, demonstrating the proper
firing position.  Two of them actually managed to get it right, but being
in the back of the group, Hemingway failed to notice.  Most were still busy
looking down the muzzle.  It was a miracle that none of them had shot
them self yet.
     "When can we play a game?"  One of them whined plaintively.
     Hemingway made to deliver a blistering retort, when suddenly he
stopped and a smile crept slowly over his face.
     "You like games?"  he asked.
     "Yes I do."  said one.
     "Would you like to play a game?"  he asked.
     The Tolling Bell's compliment of Quayles fell over themselves saying
     Hemingway's grin was positively feral.
     "Yes sir."
     "Did you manage to get a hold of CHAOS Engineer yet?"
     "No sir.  He's out of his office, and his secretary had no idea when
he'd be back."
     "Drat it all.  This paperwork is really getting to be annoying.  I
never realized we spent so much money around here."
     "Hell, Inc is a very large company sir.  In fact, it's the largest
in existence."
     "Speaking of which, how's our stock doing."
     "pretty good, last I knew."
     "Don't I have a staff around here to tell me these things?"
     "Yes sir, you do."
     "Well, where are they?"
     "They are currently on vacation until the Swede starts writing more
Renegade Anarchists episodes."
     Satan fumed, and incinerated the pile of papers on his desk.  Anthony
looked at him over the top of her glasses.
     "That won't help you any sir.  The papers will just come back with a
     "I KNOW, I KNOW."
     Time Agent 357 piloted the HMS Golden Lance towards Galactic University
with understated skill, meaning that he had the auto-pilot on and was
currently reading the latest issue of Space Hero's Quarterly.  He was in
the middle of a nice article on how to escape imminent death as threatened
by a large, well armed horde of 100 beings or more.  It was at this point
that the proximity detector chose to go off.  Time Agent 357 sighed, and set
down his magazine, looking up just in time to see a cathedral sized hunk of
rock approaching his ship on a collision course at an insipidly high rate
of speed.
     Connifer Green sat patiently on the veranda, dressed in conservative
travelling attire.  Beside her sat her suitcase.  It had taken all of five
minutes to make up her mind whether or not to stay here or leave the home
and become the Intergalactic Chess Champion, win a wheel-barrow full of
money, and resume being a sex icon and night club singer without compare.
She was tapping her fingers idly on the table when she saw Django Swenson
     "You're ready to go, I see."
     "You're sure you want to do this?"
     "It wasn't a difficult decision."
     "You think you can do it?"
     "Do what?"
     "Beat Fobby Bisher?"
     "I could do it even if I weren't the best chess player in existence."
     "Yes, really.  It's his style.  Full contact chess is a game he can't
win against someone like me."
     "How so?"
     In response, Connie Green slowly opened her blouse and jacket,
revealing the contents contained therein to Swenson.  Swenson's eyes glazed
over, his mouthed opened, and he began making incoherent jibber-jabber
noises.  Connie Green closed her blouse and coat, and waited a few minutes
till Django regained his senses.
     Dr Bing Von Spleen was working feverishly in his labs, investigating
some new theories into spam/anti-spam reactions, and how neo-spam would
react with anti-spam in neo-spam/anti-spam reactions.  To be more precise,
he was twiddling around.  It had been four years since he had done any
serious research and spamological work.  Fortunately, the same could be said
for his chief rival, Radar Vogel.  Von Spleen had learned that she was also
recently removed from the home for forgotten characters.  He had learned a
great many things from that mysterious envelope he found in his suitcase,
but more on that later.  It was at this point the Hemingway walked in with
the other three in tow.
     "Time for your orientation, Doctor."
     "Now?  Can't you see I'm busy?"
     "Can't be helped."
     "It will have to wait.  I'm in the middle of an important experiment."
     Hemingway made to reach for his ever present elephant gun.  Von Spleen
caught the motion out of the corner of his eye.
     "On second thought, give me a second here to tidy up, and I'll be
right with you."
     "Much better."


Well, to find out, you'll have check out SFstory, it's not just a job, it's
FINALLY finishing this damn episode

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