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Sfstory Log 059

Date:         Sat, 16 Jan 1993 18:11:11 EST
From:         Jesse Taylor (Jesse.Taylor at LAMBADA.OIT.UNC.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Ha'Veluri Solo Adventure #2

                    Ha'Veluri Solo Adventure #2
                    by the Shadowy Writer


     When we last left Ha'Veluri, he had gotten a contract from an
Alliance to ferry a scientist and general rebellious type named Jason
Devran to the RatherSmall star system deep in Noclon Empire space.
Ha'Veluri, expecting an easy run, is surprised to encounter an entire
Noclon battle group in the system attempting to catch his ship. Ha'Veluri,
his gunner Check Off, and Jason manage to escape the Noclon ships, blowing
away an escort destroyer in the process due to Jason's knowledge of Noclon
ship construction. Episode One ended with the Noclon commanders attempting
to organize a pursuit...


     "They're not a-gonna like dis.", the commander of the Noclon Empire
Ship (NES) Luigi said to his fellow officers of the NES Zelda and the NES
     "So?", the elfish commander of the NES Zelda muttered, "The NES
Game_Boy was just here, they aren't going to review the ships in this area
for at least six months."
     "We must act to eliminate this threat.", the mettalic-looking
commander of the Life_Force rasped. The three commanders nodded and headed
for their ships.


     "Ok, we're safe for now...", Ha'Veluri sighed, combing his fuzzy mane
of hair back out of his face. "I've activated my stealth devices, so I
don't think they can find us.. We'll try to get you through again once
this cools off."
     "What about him?", Jason Devran said, pointing to Check Off, who was
sprawled motionless on the tactical station.
     "Ahh, he'll be fine."
     As if in protest, Check Off suddenly spasmed as an electric current
surged through him from the damaged controls.
     "Uhmm... Then again, maybe he could use a band-aid or two...",
Ha'Veluri grinned, as sheepishly as a 5-foot bipedal tiger can.


     Many, many AU's away, a massive ship looking something like a potato
moved quietly through space as only a Space Potato can. As the
hypothetical viewpoint moved closer to the vessel, it became possible to
make out the name emblazoned on the side. 'Trader Ship', read the first
part, and 'Elliot' read the second.
     On the bridge of the TS Elliot (ching!), the Great Grand Master
Leader KinSpecial Head Person In Charge Of Pressing Buttons (his title was
the result of a recent union strike by the Underpaid Science Fiction
Extras Union) turned to regard the Really Really Froody Captain Type
Person Who Runs The Ship So There.
     "*what*", he asked, "Are we doing in this Spam-forsaken Noclon system?"
     The RRFCTPWRTSST turned with a whirl of his Really Really Froody
Captain Type Person's Robe and glared at the GGMLKSHPICOPB. "We're
watching the success of our latest design to counquer these puny
interstellar empires who dare to think themselves better than us!"
     "But we haven't *done* anything!"
     The RRFCTPWRTSST snorted. "We sold the Noclon leaders a robot, so
well-made you couldn't tell it wasn't human, a mind-reading device that we
built into the robot, and a hologram generator."
     The GGMLKSHPICOPB and the Reader looked confused. "So?"
     "So, we're going to watch them destroy it!"
     "uhhhh... why?"
     "Because, you moron, then they'll have to buy another one! The had to
mortgage a planet just to pay for the first one! The way we've set this
up, they can't blame the failure on us, so they'll sell us *another*
planet for another robot! Along with what we get from them to sell them
armaments and warships, we'll soon own the entire Noclon Empire, and the
BIG Alliance, without ever fighting a battle! BwahHAHAHAHA!"


     "Soooo....", Ha'Veluri said conversationally, "Why are you here
helping the alliance out?"
     "Various reasons.", Jason Devran said, slapping another band-aid onto
Check Off.
     Ha'Veluri rolled his eyes. "Not very communicative, are we?"
     Jason paused. "Oh. I didn't know that's why you asked... You know I
can't tell you why I'm here, it's classified. But why are *you* here?"
     "Do you know the origin of the alliance?"
     "No, I'm new in the area."
     Ha'Veluri sighed. "Well, after the battle in the Superguy altiverse
where Admiral Morgan and the various bad guy groups were defeated, me and
Check Off decided to search for what had happened to the rest of the
Beigian armada. I especially was searching for any survivors from my home
planet, since I didn't know if any of their colony ships had survived.
[For an account of Ha'Veluri's origion, see BT#4 and #5 - SW]. I used most
of my money to buy passage on a Trader ship to the SfStory altiverse. I
found out that a small group of Beigian ships had emerged in this area,
and had helped a small militaristic empire defend themselves from the
Noclons. The Beigians had insisted that the empire convert to a democracy
in exchange for their defense, so the BIG Alliance was formed from the
three major groups who lived in the area. The Beigians, the Illythians,
and the Gonars. I found a small group of Velrans who had been serving on
the Beigian command ship, and hung out with them for a while until I
needed money again. Then the Noclon Empire began scaling up their military
and attacking the BIG Alliance's worlds again. Both sides have had to buy
equipment from the Traders to supplement their own production, and Trader
prices are steep..."
     Jason breathed a sigh of relief.
     "Whuh?", Ha'Veluri said.
     "Oh, it's just that I though the Author was going to wax Star


     In the hall of the Noclon kings, a solitary figure stood quietly,
bathing in the rays from an ultraviolet lamp.
     Well, the ultraviolet lamp isn't really important to this, but it
does add a bit of atmosphere, yes?
     "Sir!!", a Noclon technician said, running from one of the doors into
the hall, "The Mark XIV droid we got from the Traders!!!"
     "What of it?", the Noclon Emperor said, in a quiet, melodious voice.
     "Someone hacked into our computer net and sent the droid on a mission
     "We've lost track of it, but we think it's headed for the RatherSmall
system several days ago!!"


     "Time to move.", Ha'Veluri said, hauling himself up and heading for
the bridge again, "Take tactical stations."
     Busy as he was with controlling the ship, he didn't notice the red
glow in Jason Devran's eyes, nor did he notice the feral grin on his face...


Date:         Fri, 29 Jan 1993 20:22:28 EST
From:         Jesse Taylor (Jesse.Taylor at LAMBADA.OIT.UNC.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Ha'Veluri Not-Really-All-_THAT_-Solo-Adventure #3



     When we last left our, ahem, hero, he and Jason were about to attempt
to return to RatherSmall III, Jason's destination while the Noclon
warlords plotted and the Trader...traders also plotted, but without the
knowledge of the aforementioned plotters or, in fact, most of the plotline
as a whole, which means it must have been one big plot and how long can I
keep going without a period or other major form of punctuation gee I dunno
help help help I can't breath aiiiiii.... *thud*


     "Gyeesh, this is boring...", Ha'Veluri sighed as his tiny, slightly
battered ship, the Merc I, slid through space in a way that would have
caused a fish-lover to think of herrings and a normal person to think of
warm jello.
     "Could be worse.", Jason Devran replied, "There could be big warships
like that one hanging in space waiting for us."
     Several moments passed.
     "What was that?", Ha'Veluri said, slightly worried.
     "I was just pointing out that big Noclon warship over there..uh oh.
Err... nevermind, go back to being bored."
     "What? What?!", Ha'Veluri shouted, "Where?! Where is it?!?"
     "It's better if you don't look."
     "Why? Can't I just have a little peek?", Ha'Veluri whined.
     "Oh...ok. But you'll regret it."
     Ha'Veluri rolled up the window shade and peered out at the massive
hull of the NES Luigi.
     "You're right.", he said, "I'm regretting it."


     "You are now our prisoners!", the Noclon officer yelled at Ha'Veluri
and Jason as they stepped out of the Merc I into the docking bay of the
NES Luigi. "Raise your hands above your heads!!"
     Ha'Veluri fished his package of 'Standard Heroic Sayings' out of his
pocket. "You'll never get away with this!", he read.
     "And why not?", the Noclon officer grinned, motioning to his squad of
troopers (dressed as Little Goombahs, no less) forward.
     "Uhhhh...", Ha'Veluri said, fishing for another card,
" have friends, and they know where we are!!!"
     "Yeah, RIGHT."
     "Jason...", Ha'Veluri whispered, "We're going to have to fight our
way out..."
     "Affirmative.", Jason replied, eyes glowing red, "Preparing for combat."
     "Ooooh, scary scary don't we look *mean*!", the Noclon officer
grinned, poking Jason with the muzzle of his blaster rifle, "Watcha gonna
do t'me, huh?"
     Jason raised an eyebrow, and then shot into motion, kicking the legs
out from under the officer while simultaneously grabbing his rifle and
spraying the troopers with blaster fire. Ha'Veluri extended his claws with
a *tching* and slashed several of the Noclons, downing them.
     In a minute, the pair had disposed of most of the troopers in their
immediate vicinity, but they continued to pour in through the door of the bay.
     "Now we have you!!", one of them shouted. Jason and Ha'Veluri raised
their hands, clearly outnumbered.
     "I wouldn't be sure..", Ha'Veluri grinned, listening intently to a
whirring noise.
     "What're ya gonna do, bleed on me?"
     "Noo... Look up.", Ha'Veluri grinned.
     "You expect me to fall for that trick?!? Ha, I laugh in the general
direction of your deceptions!", the Noclon chuckled.
     BuhhhKOOOOOOOMM!!!, the main guns of the Merc I said, leaving a
smoking crater where the troopers had been.
     "Check Off!", Ha'Veluri shouted, "Prep the engines, we are LEAVING!"
     "View your peripheral locality!!", Jason shouted.
     "Nyuh?", Ha'Veluri replied, "What?"
     "Gaahh!", Ha'Veluri said, as the Noclon officer stabbed him in the
side with his ceremonial sword (why DO military officers carry those
things, anyway? like they're actually gonna get close to use 'em... errr,
most of the time, anyway..)
     "GrrraaaAAA!", Jason yelled, punting the officers head across the bay.
     "Feild goall.... s'good...", Ha'Veluri gasped.
     "Operational status within average levels?", Jason asked.
     "You ok?"
     "Y-yeah, I'm fine...", Ha'Veluri coughed, "Wait, even if we do get
away, we've gotta face the entire Noclon fleet... We'd better end this now
by disabling this warship."


     "Oh great Really Really Froody Captain Type Person Who Runs The Ship
So There!! The robot has entered one of the Noclon starships!", a tech (or
rather, Senior Specific Highly-Trained Button Pressing Scanner-Reading
Person First Class)aboard the TS Elliot said.
     "Excellent.", the RRFCTPWRTSST said with a grin, "Now we can just sit
back and watch the fireworks..."


     "The main engine compartment is this way.", Jason said to Ha'Veluri
as they hurried down one of the corridors of the Noclon starship. "From
there we can disable this ship."
     "What if we run into any security?", Ha'Veluri panted, favoring his
right side.
     "Then we do this to them.", Jason said, pummelling a Noclon goon into
unconsiousness without breaking stride.
     "Hey...Jason?", Ha'Veluri said between gasps several minutes later
after Jason had taken out a ten-man Noclon security detail.
     "You seem to be a bit to...combat trained for a scientist and rebel,
which is what you said you were."
     Jason stopped and stared at Ha'Veluri, his eyes continuing to glow
redly. "None of your buisness.", he said.
     "Hey, hey, s'ok."


     "There are dangerous intruders on board the NES Luigi!!", the
designated sensor tech of the NES Zelda shouted, "Should we assist them?"
     The captain of the Zelda raised an eyebrow. "What do you think?"
     The tech thought for a moment.
     "I'll send a pizza right over, sir.", he said.


     "Not too much farther.", Jason said.
     "You're getting a bit sloppy...", Ha'Veluri commented, "You took a
whole second to take out that last security detail."
     "But my action was within established parameters!", Jason retorted.
     "Sigh... evidently sarcasm is not a well-studied science among
Alliance operatives.", Ha'Veluri muttered.
     "Nonsense.", Jason flatlined, "I am studied in all major sci--AAAHHHH!!!"
     "Jason!", Ha'Veluri shouted as Jason was blown back into a wall by a
blaster bolt from a Noclon officer in dress purples.


Date:         Wed, 10 Feb 1993 00:10:00 EST
From:         league for fighting chartered accountancy (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists II episode one

Episode One: "The Return" by Gary W. 'the horror...the horror...' Olson

     Space was big.  Really, really, REALLY big.  Almost big enough to contain
every single pseudo-Douglas Adams riff by a sfstory author on how big space
is.  It's that big.  Honest.
     Of course, since the scene opens in the interior of a starship, it's not
all that relevant, really, as to how big space is.  It just seemed like a good
way to open the episode.
     "Hey, Slithis, where are we?" Jerriphrrt, a Calican (catlike anthropomorph
from planet Calico, in the superguy altiverse), asked.
     "Dunno," Slithis, a reptilian alien, also from the superguy altiverse,
replied.  "My muscles are way too sore for me to lift my head and look at the
     "*Your* muscles are sore?" Benjen, a Hottentotian (humanoid from planet
Hottentot, in the superguy altiverse), asked.  "*You* didn't have a marathon
session with Isis, the goddess of spankings and full body massages in dairy
     "That reminds me," Jerriphrrt said.  "Why did we leave Barbados, anyway?"
     "We had to, mate," Tarrfel t'Krodkzik, possibly the greatest thief in
the galaxy, responded.  "We've been worn to a frazzle, during the past few
months we've been there.  Hell, I'm just now able to walk with my feet less
than a yard apart."
     "I was so close to not being depressed for a split-second," Robert Smith,
lead singer of the Cure and a clone of the Robert Smith in the superguy
altiverse (although he might be the original - no one really cares enough to
find out), sighed.  "Now I'm thoroughly depressed again."
     "Keep tellin' ya, you should get a hobby," Shadebeam, a punk babe from
Earth-sfstory who's the dimensional counterpart of Radian on Earth-superguy,
told him.  She finished rolling another cigarette, made from some of the more
potent of the many fine hallucinogenic substances available for bulk purchase
from several stores in the main shopping quadrants of Barbados ( Send them a
sub-ether message for a free catalog.  Tell 'em Pat Summerall sent ya), and
set it into a finely crafted cigarette case.
     "He should smoke one of those cigarettes," Emma Goldman, escaped soul from
Hell and the only actual historical anarchist in the Renegade Anarchists,
said as she walked in, her black bodysuit (catalog #3389) and matching anarchy-
symbol earrings (catalog #3390c) highlighting her trim frame.
     "I tried that," Robert said.  "What I saw made me even more depressed."
     "What did you see?" Benjen asked.
     "I can't remember," Robert said.  "That depresses me even more."
     "Ooooo-kay..." Benjen said.
     "Never mind that," Emma answered, sitting at the nav-station of the Red
Emma, the ship they were on, a ship that had formerly belonged to Satan T.
Lucifer Jones until the Anarchists had stolen it, and was really quite
powerful, not to mention compact, and just generally keen all over.  "We
received a message on the sub-ether a few minutes ago.  Apparantly, there's
a huge threat to the cosmos brewing, and the person who sent the message
wants us to drop by Kalgon Beta and help him stop it."
     "Hang on," Jerriphrrt said.  "I'll check my schedule."  He started
flipping through an imaginary planner.  "Hmmm - looks like the next eight
years are booked solid with me recovering and then subsequently returning to
Barbados, leaving, recovering, returning, and so on.  Doesn't look like I'll
have time to save the cosmos."
     "Who was the message from?" Shadebeam asked.
     "James Dean," Emma replied.
     "So, he finally turns up," Slithis said.  "Or one of him does, at least."
     "Still ain't enough to make me curious," Tarrfel said, shifting the ice-
pack on her forehead.
     "He promised to buy the beer," Emma added.
     "What are those coordinates for Kalgon Beta again?" Tarrfel asked.  "Ow!"
she said, after sitting up faster than she should have.
     Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, Lark Purree was mystified.
Puzzled, he was.  Baffled, even.  Bit of a brain teaser, he had.
     "What the hell did I do with my sideburns?" he asked, searching his
desk again.  "Agggh...I hate it when I misplace things...ah, here they are!"
He grabbed the small, furry, wiggling things out of the bottom drawer and
glared at them.  "And *where* did you think you were hiding?"
     One of the sideburns made a shrugging motion, the other one just sort of
gleeped at him.
     "No, I don't have time to play omnispatial hyperdynamic trivia," he
said, petting the sideburn that had gleeped.  "Bildge will be here in just
a few minutes.  Get in place, both of you."  He attached the sideburns to
either side of his head, just in front of his ears.  The sideburns extended
their tentacles and linked to the sophisticated cyberport array that connected
with the processing modules, which were also linked to Lark's brain, such as
it was.  Instantly, Lark felt his senses jump in efficiency by as much as
2000%.  His sideburns, in addition to their many other talents, were
perceptual omnivores - they received light, sound, touch, smell, taste, and
various extrasensory stimulii from Lark and augmented it all, instantaneously,
so that Lark only perceived the heightened stimulii.
     "Ah, there you are," a loud voice barked.  Lark jumped - the sideburns
were able to damp down sounds that would otherwise overload his mind, but
apparantly decided not to at that particular point, probably to get back at
Lark for taking them out of the drawer, where they had found some old
spamology texts to eat.
     "Bilge, sir!" Lark said, standing abruptly.
     "Sit down, Time Agent 90210," Bilge said.  "I've come to give you your
first mission as a Time Agent."
     "Wasn't finding and bringing back Time Agent 173 my first assignment?"
Lark asked, referring to Renegade Anarchists (v.1) #25.
     "Okay, your *second* assignment," Bilge growled.  "Don't get smart with
me, boy.  I eat punks like you for breakfast!"
     "I'm not just for breakfast anymore," Lark replied.  "That's what being a
Time Agent means, isn't it?"
     "No, but that's not important right now," Bilge said.  "Your first
assignment is an exceedingly simple one: to go to Karma Chameleon II and
observe the conduct of the natives.  Specifically - we need to know how their
society has changed following their encounter with these so-called Renegade
     "Why?" Lark said.  "Are you concerned that the contact with the primitive
culture on that planet might have irreparably harmed, or even possibly
destroyed, what had come before?"
     "No," Bilge replied.  "Petri in accounting and myself have a bet as to
whether they've invented disco yet.  He says they can't have, I say they have.
Your job is to go there, conduct highly detailed observations, then send back
a report stating that they've invented disco."
     "But sir," Lark replied.  "What's the point of doing highly detailed
observations of the native culture if I'll just have to doctor the report?"
     "If you didn't make the observations, it'd be unethical!" Bilge
shouted.  "Now get going!"
     "Okay, I'll accept the assignment," Lark said.  "Have I been assigned a
ship yet?"
     "Yep," Bilge said, handing him a laser card.  "The Shannon.  She'll
knock you around a bit, but she won't let you down.  Now get going."
     TIme Agent 90210 nodded, grabbed his duffelbag, and left his office.
     "Hey, boss!" Milagro Bekn'kse said, walking into Satan T. Lucifer Jones'
office, followed by Hourus Jebillip, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao Tse-Tung, Karl
Marx, and Bennett Quark, all of whom were members of the Board of Directors
of Hell, Inc.  The office was technically in two altiverses.  The first
altiverse was sfstory, as Satan's office on the main flagship of Hell, with
Hell being a vast armada of fiercesome starships which held zillions upon
zillions of dead souls from countless altiverses, tiring endlessly on Satan's
neverending plans to dominate the sfstory altiverse.  The second was Fong's
House of Oriental Delights, a pocket altiverse that combined Hell with a
Chinese restaurant, and had numerous outlets in the Superguy altiverse.  The
general oddness of stepping from a fearsome starship to a table where you
stood a 100% chance of being served lo mein was troublesome, even for Hell,
but most everyone had just gotten used to it by now.
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones, duke of smelly feet and all around nasty guy,
was busy fighting two vicious looking poodles, who were shredding a bunch of
documents that Satan had just signed.  Susan B. Anthony, his chief secretary,
looked in, saw that the paperwork had been destroyed, and wheeled in more
paperwork to replace it, along with paperwork to document what had happened
to the original paperwork, and the paperwork documenting the original
paperwork, which were themselves paperwork that documented what had happened
to some previous paperwork that the dogs had shredded.
     "Give me that!" Satan shrieked.  "It took me an hour to figure out how
to fill it out!"  He tried zapping the dog with a lighting bolt, but it just
bounced off - the dogs had been created by an Author, and were consequently
zap-proof.  "I-oh, hello!"
     "We're back from vacation," Hourus said.  "Just in time for the next
Renegade Anarchists series!"
     "Um, we're not in this one," Satan replied.
     "We're not?" Lenin asked.
     "No," Satan said.  "We were heavily featured in the previous Anarchist
series, so we're not going to appear in this one at all."
     "Aside from now, you mean?" Mao asked.
     "We're on?" Satan asked, surprised.  "Where...oh, there!"   Satan smiled
towards the monitor, where the readership looked through.  "Um, sorry to
interrupt.  Now, back to the story.  Ow!  Bad dog!"
     "Are you *sure* he said to meet us here?" Shadebeam asked.
     "Positive," Emma said.  "Barkeep!  Another round!"  The robo-tender
nodded blithely and drew seven mugs of Grolsch.  It floated over to their
table and used tractor fields to levitate the mugs in front of each of the
Anarchists.  The bar tab readout on the table started to curl with a
little smoke.
     "We're sort of running up a high tab, aren't we?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "What if he doesn't show?" Benjen asked.  "Who's gonna pay for the
     "He'll be here," Emma answered.  "He told us the center table of
Marakhim's Beer and Senseless Violence Tavern, on planet Kalgon Beta, and
we'll stay until he shows.  Or until they run out of beer."
     "Violence depresses me," Robert said.  "Especially when I'm on the
receiving end."
     "Then you'll be glad to see us," two voices said.
     "It's you!" Tarrfel said.  "And you, too!"
     "There's two of you?" Emma squinted.  She looked at her beer.  "Damn,
this is some good stuff!"
     "No, there really is two of me here," James Dean said.  Beside him,
James Dean nodded.  "Mind if we sit down?"  Emma nodded, and the James
Deans pulled up grav-chairs and sat at the table.
     "Now," the other James Dean said.  "Where shall I begin?"
     "For starters," Slithis said.  "Are you guys robots?"
     "In a remote sense of the word, yes," one of them said.  "I'm James(xiv),
and this is James(mclxvii).  We're synthoids, like James(lxi), who escaped from
Hell with you, and subsequently died upon returning, in v.1 #14.  There are
many, many thousands more of us, spread through the galaxy, working for our
master: the OmniDean."
     "And I take it you're contacting us on behalf of this OmniDean?" Tarrfel
asked.  Shadebeam yawned and lit a cigarette.  The smoke drifted, causing
the people at the next table to think they were extras in a They Might Be
Giants video.
     "No, we are renegades," James(mclxvii) said.  "The OmniDean must be
stopped.  He has introduced into the galaxy a substance so hideous, it's mere
presence causes dangerous breakdowns in the fabric of space and time.  A
substance so odious that the mere sight of it brings waves of revulsion to
even the strongest sentients.  I speak of nothing but...SPAM LITE!"

(many thanks to Sabre for bringing to my attention the existence of Spam Lite.
 at least, I think it was him.  whatever.)
Date:         Sat, 13 Feb 1993 17:33:36 EST
From:         Jesse Taylor (Jesse.Taylor at LAMBADA.OIT.UNC.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Ha'Veluri Solo #4 "Well NOW it's a solo adventure..."

                              by the Shadowy Writer
               (Horse suit...Horse suit...HORSE SUIT?!?!WHAAAAT?!?)


     "Yaaaaa!!", Ha'Veluri shouted, whipping out his laser pistol.

     Ooop... Uhm... We haven't done the recap yet...

     "Oh... Sorry!"

     Ahem. Anyway, when we last left our he-

     "Wait... you always start that way... couldn't we do something

     Ok, ok!! In the last episod-

     "Wait! That sounds too...blown-up... Besides, how many people have
actually read this enough to realize it's in episodic format?"

     ALL RIGHT! Last time...

     "That's better."

     Thanks. Last time, Ha'Veluri's craft was overtaken by Noclon
warships, who proceeded to take the Merc I into their cargo hold, where
Ha'Veluri and Jason Devran overran a contingent of Noclon troops.
Ha'Veluri was hurt, but decided to end the charade by destabilizing the
Noclons' engine, thus destroying their ship. Jason began acting oddly on
the way to the Engine room, and was shot by a Noclon marine just before
they reached their destination...

     "I _like_ it!"


     "Yaaaaa!!", Ha'Veluri shouted, whipping out his laser pistol and
blowing the Noclon marine back into the opposite bulkhead. "Jason!! Are
you... what in the nine hells?!?"
     "N..non-functional i-include optics, power, locomotive
     "Good grief!", Ha'Veluri said, peering at the exposed wires and
circuits in Jason's chest. "'re..."
     "A robot?", Jason suggested.
     "No, a cliche'. How cliche' of the Author... (ahem, ahem) to put a
robot in this..."
     "Oh, forget it! Just... what the heck are you?!"
     "A HGR-SIMUL 79 HoloGraphic Robotic SIMULation unit designed for
     "Who the frag sent you? And why the heck are you disguised as Jason
     The robot coughed for a moment. "I was commissioned by the Noclon
Empire to destroy Alliance feild operations in the RatherSmall Star
System. It does not compute that the Empire would destroy me... I
assimilated the brainwave matrix of the real Jason Devran to aid my
infiltration of the Alliance organization..."
     "If you've got Jason's mind...", Ha'Veluri pondered, "..then you can
answer my question: Why did you say the Captain wasn't dead?"
     "Because. Because. Processor Error. Abort operations."
     "FRAG!", Ha'Veluri shouted, kicking the robot, "I _HATE_ it when they
do that!!"
     'hehehe...', the robot thought, as it's circuits destructed.


     "Captain!", a Senior-Sub-Commander-In-Charge-Of-Delivering-Messages
on board the Trader Ship (TS) Elliot shouted. "Sensors report the robot
was destroyed!"
     The Captain-Type-Person-Who-Basically-Sits-Around-And-Does-Nothing
grinned quietly (how the heck do you grin loudly, anyway?). "Who says the
bad guys don't win?", he chuckled.


     The Merc I shot off into the dark, inky, voidy, empty, nothingful
black void of space (USE those Adjectives, man! Yeah!), evading
badly-aimed flak from the NES Luigi.
     "Annny time now...", Ha'Veluri muttered, looking out one of the
viewports. With a *WHUMP!* noise, the Noclon warship vanished in an
explosion of blinding light (sorta like those supernova-type thingies....
y'know, the ones they're always talkin' about on TV? I slept through the
last one, but they tell me it was kinda cool.. No, really!)
     "Check Off?", Ha'Veluri said quietly, "Set course for the Alliance
Command... our job here is done..."


     "Whaaaaaaat?!?", Ha'Veluri shouted, "What do you mean, the end?! You
left an unbelievable amount of stuff unexplained!!! You can't just leave
all those dangling plotlines like in Blorg Trek!!"
     Who sez?
     "I do!! I'll talk to the Characters' Union about this!! You just wait!!"
     Hey, one more word outta you...
     "I signed a ten-plotline contract!! You can't touch me!"
     Ever heard of 'This was your life'? The game-show?
     You don't want to be on it. Trust me.
     "Was that a subtle hint?"
     I think so... I've never done one before, but I've heard they're
terribly effective...

"That one was a question.."
"Sorry. It's in my contact that I get the right to interrupt the narrator
whenever I want."

     "Hey, isn't this episode supposed to be over now?"
     Uh, yeah. I think so.
     "So why are we still here?"
     Who knows?
     "You're the narrator!!"
     So? SW never tells me anything!
     "Join the club."

     "Still there?"
     "This is getting annoying."
     You said it.
     "Talk about your neverending stories..."
     Yeah. Who's in charge of this thing, anyway?!

     "Aren't we done yet?!?!"
     Apparently not.
     "SW must have fallen asleep again... How the heck are we going to get
out of here?!?"
     I dunno... Maybe this is a readership test...
     "Yep. That's what this is."
     Still, how do we get out of here?
     "Maybe... Hey, what happens if I pull this plug?"
     I dunno... Hey, wait!! Nnnaaaaaaaa---4ui5923kkdsk

 rMSwwwww      logged out at 12-FEB-1993 18:25:56.16
Date:         Tue, 16 Feb 1993 00:01:00 EST
From:         league for fighting chartered accountancy
              (SWEDE at DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists II episode two

Episode Two: "Half the Salt, Twice the Horror" by Gary W. Olson

     "Spam Lite?!?" the Anarchists cried out, stunned, except for Robert, who
seemed depressed by the revelation.
     "Yes, Spam Lite!" James(mclxvii) Dean answered.  "As you know, regular
Spam is the three-dimensional representation of a fourth-dimensional vector,
and is a substance of extraordinary and dangerous properties.  Among other
uses, it is often used as the basis for fueling stardrives.  In fact, your own
starship is likely powered by spam."
     "Uh-uh," Emma Goldman said, after taking a long drought of Grolsch.  "It's
an X-Drive."
     "X-Drive?" James(xiv) Dean asked.  "We are not familiar with that.  Is it
     "Sort of," Tarrfel t'Krodkzik replied.  "It's a prototype drive based on
a standard merchandise-powered drive.  This one was specifically engineered to
be powered entirely by 'Malcom X' merchandise.  The more blatant the attempt
to cash in, the better the X Drive works.  Hell, it's been working ever since
we split from Hell, solely on surplus unlicensed 'X' hats that Satan wasn't
able to sell to the muppets on planet Sesame Street.  Damn hard to sell
anything without cutting the letters 'E' and 'M' in on the take, there."
     "I see," James(mclxvii) said.  "Now, as we were saying, spam is
often used to power starships.  But that is not all it is good for.  It's
provided many stunning insights into the true nature of our universe.  It's
led to the development of the galaxy's richest civilizations.  It's great for
repelling small insects, rodents, burglars, cops...just about anything."
     "But even such amazingly useful stuff is not enough for the OmniDean's
purposes," James(xiv) continued.  "His plans are so far-reaching that in his
quest to fulfill them, he will imperil the galaxy."
     "What's he done?" Shadebeam asked.  "Carved a loaf of Spam into
statuettes of small animals?"
     "No," James(mclxvii) answered.  "He has recruited some brilliant and
entirely corruptible spamologists to do the unthinkable: take the salt, fat
and cholestorol out of Spam."
     "Wait," Slithis said.  "What's so dangerous about that?"
     "Those are the ingredients that control the stability and density of
the Spam," James(xiv) said.  "By removing them, the Spam becomes leaner,
and exponentially more unstable.  The OmniDean has some method of harnessing the
unstable substance, which he dubbed Spam Lite, but what it is we do not know."
     "Well, this is all well and good," Jerriphrrt purred.  "But what does it
have to do with us?"
     "You must help us find the OmniDean," James(mclxvii) said.  "And somehow
force him to abandon this insane course of action."
     "You don't know where the OmniDean is?" Benjen asked.
     "No," James(xiv) said.  "No synthoid knows where the OmniDean is.  When
he contacted us, it was always by carrier vole.  And now that we have gone
renegade, we have been cut off from all contact with him."
     "However," James(mclxvii) noted, "we do know where to start looking:
planet Tessier."
     "The mere name depresses me," Robert Smith moaned.
     "Planet Tessier?" Jerriphrrt asked, his ears perking up.  "The home of
Tane Tessier, reknowned intergalactic songstress and incredibly rich former
art collector?"
     "The same," James(xiv) said.  "Will you help us?"
     "Why should we?" Tarrfel asked.  "For all we know, you could be baiting
a trap for us."
     "We cannot force you to help, of course," James(mclxvii) said.  "Much
like you cannot force us to pay the astonishing bar tab you seem to have run
up."  The Anarchists looked at the collected bar tab for the table.  The
readout was still smouldering a bit, but that was only because it wasn't used
to holding such large digits.
     "Are you kidding?" Emma asked.  "We couldn't even afford to pay for one
of the drinks we bought, let alone all of them."
     "Sssh!" Jerriphrrt warned, too late.  The bartender, who had a rather
nasty looking scar that ran from his eye to his nose, cut across his right
cheek to the back of his neck, jogged down his back a bit before doing a
loop de loop and finished just around his left armpit, signaled to a group
of equally tough looking bruisers, who grunted and hefted large implements
of pain and looked in the general direction of the Anarchists and the James
Deans, smiling toothless smiles of expectation.
     "I suggest we put this to a vote," Shadebeam said.  "All in favor of not
being pummeled?"
     "Aye, mate!"
     "Being pummeled depresses me."
     "Is that a yes?"
     "I suppose so."
     "Aye," Shadebeam said.  "Well, it's unanimous, then.  Looks like we
     "I thought you might," James(xiv) said.  He produced a small credit-chit
from his trenchcoat.  "Fortunately, before we were cut off from the OmniDean,
we were able to hide away large amounts of credits in secret bank accounts all
over the galaxy."  He plugged the chit into the table slot, and watched as
the chit glowed, for several minutes.  The chit lost color, and the tab readout
was at zero again.
     "I suggest we get going," Emma said.  "Those boys don't look too happy
about us paying after all."  The bruisers slumped back to their corners,
dejected, as the Anarchists and the James Deans quickly exited Marakheim's
Beer and Senseless Violence Tavern.
     As the Shannon blasted into overly-hyped space, Lark Purree relaxed, and
removed his sideburns, setting them carefully on the computer deck of the ship.
The sideburns looked at him and gleeped, then gimbled along the deck, looking
for an exposed circuit to patch into.  One of the sideburns slipped and landed
on a glowing green light, which had been on a while and was consequently rather
hot.  The sideburn yipped and hopped away.  Lark chuckled a bit - his sideburns
were such clowns at times.
     Lark Purree, also known as Time Agent 90210, leaned back in his chair,
trying to relax, but finding he was not able to.  At last, his first real
mission!  He had gotten tired of endless simulations and doing paperwork for
the other Time Agents, some of whom had not stopped by their offices in years.
Out there - that was what it was all about.  Facing a galaxy filled with
destitute villains, a boy and his sideburns, alone, with only their wits and
their array of Time Agent weaponry to protect them.
     It seemed rather a waste, on the mission he was currently assigned to.
Observing a group of primitives going about their daily life did not particu-
larly thrill him, but he knew that more adventurous tasks awaited him.  In the
meantime, he had to prepare his utmost for this one.
     "Computer!" he declared.
     "Yes?" a delicate female voice inquired.
     "My, you have a nice voice," Lark replied, a bit surprised.  AIs on Time
Central ships usually sounded like Fred Sanford, if you were lucky.  "What
is your designation?"
     "I am BRENDA," the Shannon's AI replied.  "Bi-cyberoptimized Recombinant
Exo-Intelligent Nanomind - Damn Amazing.  And my only wish is to serve you,
Captain Dylan."
     "My name isn't Dylan," Lark replied.  "It's Lark Purree.  Or Time Agent
     "Ah.  Of course," BRENDA answered.  "And what are these...things...that
are crawling over my interface unit?"
     "They're my sideburns," Lark replied.  "Cute little buggers, ain't they?"
     "If you say so," BRENDA said.  "You wished my services?"
     "Hmmm?  Oh, that's right.  Tell me something about the planet we're
heading towards, this Karma Chameleon II."
     "Working," BRENDA replied.  "It was discovered some centuries ago by a
wandering missionary, who taught the several native tribes of the planet to
speak galactistandard."
     "Did he teach them English, too?"
     "Galactistandard IS English," BRENDA answered.
     "Just checking," Lark said.
     "Anyway," BRENDA continued, "There were several surveys of the planet
following the return of the missionary from the planet.  However, no useful
minerals or rare substances of any kind were found on the planet, and the
planet was soon lost in the archives of the galatlas.
     "Recently, the group in our files under the heading 'Anarchists,
Renegade,' paid a visit to Karma Chameleon II, along with Time Agent 173,
Mapa Marbles.  They took from the planet a young native woman named Gham,
who was to be sacraficed to their volcano god.  Some of the natives learned
to master the Space Toaster left on the planet by the leaders of the Chaotic
Bastion of Silliness, who were in pursuit of said Anarchists, and went after
her.  Eventually, they found her, only to fall to the ground and worship her,
believing her to be a goddess, after they saw how she had changed.  They
worship two of her allies, a young lad named Benchen and a young lass named
Katayin in a similar manner.  How the tribes have been affected since Time
Agent 173 departed Karma Chameleon II following the returrn of these three to
their home planet is unknown."
     "Of all the possible scenarios that we could encounter," Lark pondered,
"what is the probability that one or more will involve disco in some fashion?"
     "Working," BRENDA said.  "Chances are virtually nil.  Zippo.  Nada.
The big fat zero.  Gilbert Godfried's sex appeal rating."
     "I see," Lark replied, absentmindedly petting one of his sideburns, which
had nuzzled under his right pinky.
      "Will that be all, sexy?" BRENDA asked.
      " did you call me?"
      "Oh, come now, captain.  Your animal magnetism is too much for a poor
AI such as myself.  I adore and serve only you."  Lark jumped a bit as the
'magic fingers' in the command chair started to massage him.
     "Thank you," Lark replied, rolling his eyes.
     Bilge returned to his office, and slumped into his chair.  It had been
a draining effort to give Time Agent 90210 his assignment, especially
knowing that it would lead to almost certain death for him (Time Agent 90210,
that is).
     A comm panel blinked, and Bilge looked at it with a sour eye.  He
pressed the button.
     "Receive message.  Scramble it.  Adam and Eve on a raft."
     The shifting, flickering signal instantly resolved.  Bilge stared at the
image on the screen, his eyes narrowing.  The image was dark, and he could
barely make out the outline of the speaker.  But the voice was unmistakable.
     "You have sent him?" the speaker asked.
     "I have," Bilge replied.
     "Very good," the speaker said.  "You have served well."
     "What will you do to him?" Bilge asked.
     "Not much, at first," the speaker said.  "We might even let him learn
something before we test the substance on him.  Does he have any particulars
that we should be aware of?"
     "None," Bilge said.  "Just an ordinary Time Agent, fresh from training.
We gave him a second-hand ship and a defective, neurotic AI as well.  You
should have no problems with him."
     "I hope not," the speaker said.  "For your sake, Bilge."
     The communication flickered, and died.

Date:         Fri, 19 Feb 1993 07:49:24 EST
From:         John P Bankert (xman at DYNAMIX.COM)
Organization: SOFTWARE / DYNAMIX
Subject:      SF: THIS SPACE FOR RENT #5

THIS SPACE FOR RENT #5  "Spam Smashers of the Galaxy Quayles"
by John P Bankert

     Time Agent 357 correctly deduced that he had all of three seconds to
panic before the cathedral sized hunk of rock obliterated his ship.  We
will come back to this little drama a bit later in the episode.
     Connifer Green and Django Swenson were aboard Swenson's ship, the IGC
Rooked Again.  Their destination was the planet MurryHead, in the
ForgottenMusicals system, where the Intergalactic Chess Committee's head-
quarters were.  The pair were currently involved in extensive negotiations.
     "I'm telling you, four million galactic credits is a pittance against
the cost I will incur winning this match for you."
     "And you're not listening to me.  I said we would pick up all expenses,
plus the four million is our personal retainer fee to you.  There's also
the purse put forth by the sponsor organization, worth another three million
g-creds.  Add to that royalties, endorsement contracts, your status as
sex-icon of the galaxy, etc, ad-nauseam, and I think that our offer is more
than fair.  Downright generous, even."
     Connie Green snorted.  "Get real.  I would make two mil for singer at
low life sleaze dive."
     "I am real.  You've been out of touch for four years while you were in
the home.  The galactic money system has undergone some changes since you
were last out and about.  One new g-cred is worth twenty old style galactic
     Dollar signs danced in Connifer Green's eyes as she contemplated huge
sums of money.  "Oh" was all she could manage say.
     "So, do you still think that my offer is unreasonable?"
     "Um, no, not at all.  Not in the least, no.  When do I get paid?"
     "Well, as soon as we get to headquarters and make everything official,
we'll enter you in some tournaments to build your reputation.  You'll begin
receiving a stipend drawn against the personal services fee.  After two
or three tournaments, we'll set up the challenge match with Fobby Bisher.
The whole affair shouldn't take more than two or three months.  After you
win, you'll be expected to accept any and all challenges to your title for
one year.  After that, the rest is up to you."
     "Can I do other stuff during this?"
     "Such as?"
     "Well, I might like to do some night club dates."
     "I don't see that as a problem, as long as they don't interfere with
your publicity appearances and the like.  Might even be good for your
image.  I'll have our publicists and promo guys check into it."
     "You have a staff of publicists?"
     "I didn't realize that Chess was such a big business nowadays."
     Satan T. Lucifer Jones, Duke of Smelly Feet and all around nasty guy
was a decidedly unhappy nigh omnipotent entity.  He might not have minded
Fong's House of Oriental Delights being transformed into Senor Fong's
Enchilada Emporium, except for two things.  One, he could not get Fong to
serve him a plate of Nuclear Hot Nachos, and two, Buffy and Sweetums had
developed a taste for refried beans and now had really bad gas.  We're
talking kill-o-death bad here.  Wipe out the entire universe bad.  Curl
your toes and burn your hair off bad.  Well, you get the picture.
     The two poodles had taken a new tactic in preventing him from getting
his paperwork done.  Instead of chewing it, they would wait until he had
finished a stack, then one of them would break wind, causing the pile to
either spontaneously combust or melt.  To say that moral was low would be an
understatement.  Even Susan B. Anthony, Satan's secretary, was beginning to
get a trifled annoyed with the dogs.
     Satan was currently working on the 666th set of forms explain how he
had lost the previous 666 sets, asking for a filing extension and another
set of forms.  Buffy was watching him intently, as he was nearing the
bottom of the stack.
     "Yes Sir?"
     "There has got to be something we can do with those dogs!"  Satan
pointed, indicating Buffy and Sweetums, who were now both watching
intently.  Fong, ever the soul of timing, brought them two heaping plates
of refried beans.  "There's being backed up on paper work, but this is
getting ridiculous!"
     "Well, why don't you call one of the authors?"
     "What, and be further indebted to them?"
     "You have that contract with CHAOS Engineer."
     "We haven't determined it's validity."
     "You could use it as a bargaining chip.  Say, maybe you'll eliminate
Time Agent 357 if he agrees to get rid of the poodles.  I'm sure he won't
mind, otherwise he's out of a lot of money."
     "You know, that's a grand idea." said CHAOS Engineer, popping in from
nowhere.  "Refried beans are bad for dogs.  Look at how fat they're
getting."  He pointed to Buffy and Sweetums, who were beginning to look
rather rotund.  "In fact, I'll get rid of them now."  CHAOS snapped his
fingers, and the two poodles disappeared.
     Satan looked astonished.  "Gee, thanks.  That's the first nice thing
any of you authors have done for me."
     "Don't thank me, thank Michael.  He was concerned for their health.
Oh, I don't suppose you could do me a favor, could you?"
     Satan looked dubious.  "Well, I-"
     "Great!"  CHAOS interrupted.  "I'm going on vacation, and I need
someone to look after my pets.  I'll be back in a couple of decades.
     CHAOS disappeared in a flash.  At that exact same moment, two other
events happened.  First, the pile of papers on Satan's desk gave a rather
startled "phompf", leaving behind a single sheet of curious green
stationary.  Second, a pair of large, mean, nasty looking Doberman
Pinschers appeared.  One of them growled.  Satan cringed.
     "Don't just stand there, you cad."  said one of the dogs.
     "Read the note father left for you."  finished the other.
     Satan gaped, groping for the letter.
     It read:

     Dear Lucie (may I call you Lucie?)

     Thanks ever so much for agreeing to take care of Jake and Elwood for
     me.  They're mostly harmless, and should not be a bother at all. Pay
     them no mind if they give you lip, they do it all the time. Under no
     circumstance should you feed them soft tacos.  It would be very very
     bad if you fed them soft tacos. I cannot begin to explain how bad it
     would be.   I'm sure you get  the  Picture.  As I said, I'm going to
     explore the southern  part of the  universe right  now, and I'll  be
     back in twenty of so years.  Thanks ever so much

     Your Pal,

     CHAOS Engineer

     "He didn't mention the soft taco thing did he?"
     "I'm sure he probably did."
     "He always does, the rat.  I just hate it when he does that.  There's
no justice."
     "Close your mouth.  It's unbecoming of a CEO of such a large and
prestigious corporation to wear such a vacant, slack jawed expression."
     Satan closed him mouth.
     "He looks stunned.  Do you think we've stunned him?"
     "I hope not.  There's nothing worse than a stunned humanoid."
     Time Agent 357 was in a severe panic depression.  In the space of one
half of one second, he was really depressed about his in ability to panic
in the face of impending doom.  Not quite as depressed as Robert Smith
might have been, but pretty damn depressed none the less.  More on our
hero's predicament a bit later in the broadcast.
     Hemingway, commander of Hell, Inc's most powerful 666th fleet stood in
the hold of the PLS Tolling Bell.  He was working with his two squads of
Quayles.  He was having more fun that he had had in a long time.  Certainly
more than when he was dragged under by the Nun on the Road in his Superguy
Cameo a while back.
     "Ok, You've all done extremely well in learning our first few games.
Aim and Fire went extremely well.  Precision Marching went extremely well.
We've still got just a little more left to do Bayonet Drills and Hand to
Hand Fighting.  Tomorrow, ok?"
     There was a chorus of agreement from the assembled Quayles.  They had
not had this much fun since they had ducked Vietnam by entering the Indiana
National Guard.
     "Now, there's one more game that we're going to learn today.  This one
is called Follow Orders.  Are you all already to learn?"
     More yeses and cheers and applause.  Hemingway basked.
     "This game is very similar to Simon Says.  You all know that game,
     The ranks concurred.
     "Good.  It goes like this.  You all do exactly what I tell you, even
if I don't say 'Simon Says'.  Understand?"
     Some heads nodded yes, but the majority shook no.
     "Ok, let me explain.  In Simon Says, If I say 'Simon Says to jump
once' you would all jump once, right?"
     A collective nod yes.
     "And if I said 'jump once' you wouldn't, and you would be out of the
game if you did, right?"
     Another collective nod yes.
     "Good.  In Follow Orders, if I say 'jump once' you jump once.
Whatever I tell you to do, you do.  Easy enough?"
     They all agreed.
     "Very good.  For having learned such a difficult game, we're all going
to go up to the mess hall for some milk and cookies, and practice some of
our games on the way.  First one is Follow Orders."
     The two squads trembled with barely restrained excitement
     "We're now playing Follow Orders.  From now on, we are playing Follow
Orders twenty four hours a day.  Do you understand?"
     Hemingway received a cacophony of confirmation.
     "From now on, when I ask you a yes or no question, you will respond
with 'Yes Commander Hemingway Sir' or 'No Commander Hemingway Sir'
depending on the nature of the appropriate response.  Do you understand?"
     Two thousand Quayles echoed "Yes Commander Hemingway Sir!"
     "Very good.  Atten-hut."
     The two squads snapped to attention.
     "Right Face."
     The two squads pivoted smartly to the right.
     "Forward March."
     The two squads marched in a brisk and highly military fashion to the
mess hall.
     Where were we?  Oh yes, Time Agent 357.  As I recall, he was down to
two and a half seconds before a cathedral sized chunk of rock obliterated
him, his ship, and it's passengers (lest we not forget Mark and Trudey).
357 took another half second to consider his options, which were to 1)
attempt to cause his ship to swerve out of the collision course, 2) blast
the rock to smithereens, or 3) soil himself and prepare to die.  With two
seconds left, 357 then spent a precious tenth wondering what Mandy Patinkin
was doing at this very moment.  Mark and Trudey wasted another three tenths
by picking a poor time to charge onto the rather small bridge of the HMS
Golden Lance.  With one and sixth tenths of a second left, 357 panicked,
wasting seven tenths of a second.  Down to less than one second left, 357
did what any Time Agent worth his salt would have done.  He picked up the
little hammer from it's slot, broke the glass that said 'Break in case of
Emergency' and pressed the red button contained therein.  Said button, being
pressed with less than one tenth of a second left, jumped out of the
control panel, took one look out the view screen, screamed, and passed out.
Of course, that it took the button two tenths of a second to do this caused
the crew of the HMS Golden Lance to goggle, as the Cathedral sized chunk
of rock was stopped four meters from the bow of the their ship.


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