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Sfstory Log 076

Date:         Wed, 31 Jan 1996 09:46:52 -0800
From:         the Evil Happy Cheez. Cracker Spread (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW: Analogs #5 (1/2)

        Vicky had a problem. Besides the Evil Author, that is. It
wasn't the current Authorial shenanigans; as far as she could
tell, this sort of thing was normal. It wasn't her job. With the
Evil Author posting from out of continuity, it wasn't at risk.
Even if she lost it, her clone bodies here could always go back
to her home altiverse.
        No, the problem was that she needed a new Pan-Dimensional
Narrator for One Shots. The last Narrator had been killed during
the episode; it was unprecedented. Potential replacements were
asking for HAZARD pay, now.
        I turned the job down, thankyou so very much.
        "Pan, is there some reason you're bothering me?" Vicky
asked. This particular clone was the one reviewing the applying
Narrators. She was sitting in a coffee in Noj York (which had
been transported by the Ultimate Editor from the Noj to
Mitchel 2).
        Hold on. This is important to the Analogs plot (but has
no impact on the current AA plot, so there).
        "What do you mean..." Vicky began.
        "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" asked a waitress in a
blue dress, one of the legions of Authorless Musae who inhabited
Mitchel 2.
        "No, it's... not..." Vicky's voice trailed off when she
recognized the her.
        "Hi, I'm Mary," the Authorless Muse said.
        "Uh, Vicky," the working Muse replied. "And no, the
seat's not taken."
        "Thanks," Mary said as she sat down. "Say, can you help
me get a gimmick?"
        "A gimmick?" Vicky asked. "Why do you want a gimmick?"
        "Well, you need a gimmick to get an Author these days,"
Mary replied. "Oh, someone might get lucky with an Author who
isn't picky, but most Authors want a gimmick and go to other
Altiverses to get their Musae! Like you, for example. We locals
just can't compete."
        "I see," Vicky replied. Mary was really giving her a
guilt complex. Vicky then smiled and leaned forward. "I wouldn't
worry about that, Mary," she told Mary. "I'm sure you already
have a gimmick."
        With that, Vicky got up and left the confused Mary in the
coffee shop.

             Overly Bar-B-Cued Authorial Productions

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                       Episode #5 (1/2)
            "What the Heck(tm pending) is going on?"

                   by Nopporn Wongrassamee
                       the Evil Author

                      with advice from
             Ben Brown, Gary Olson, Todd Perlmutter

        *Laura,* called the Brain unit over a cellular phone
        Dr. Laura Chives of UCLA didn't look up from her reports
as she replied. *Yes, Brainy-poo?* she cooed over the link.
        *An archival data sphere has appeared in your vicinity,"
the Brain told her. *You are the closest Scout unit.*
        *Okey dokey,* Laura replied in her special sickeningly
sweet tone. A thought(gasp) occured to her. *The sphere-thingy
just _appeared_?*
        *That is correct," replied the Brain who was close to
doing the mental equivalent of gagging.
        *Oooh,* Laura cooed back. *Where is the little cutey,
anyways?* The Brain told her. *That's the home of one of my
wittle test subjects. Name of Mary Sinclair.*

        "You are Mary Sinclair?" asked a man wearing what
appeared to be a black spandex costume, cape, and mask.
        Mary looked up from where she had been nursing a virtual
root beer in Gandalf's Virtual Tavern. It was the Illuminati bar
where she had arrived in her first trip into the MageWeb. Mary
had editted her appearance so that she was wearing a green Greco-
Roman toga.
        "Why, yes, I am," Mary replied.
        "That is a lovely form you created for yourself," the man
complemented. "I believe you wished to talk to someone in my area
of expertise."
        "Um, thankyou," Mary replied. "Are you the Night Watchman?"
        "I am called that, yes," he confirmed. "How may I be of
        "I'm looking for information about an anti-paranormal group
that calls themselves the Revolution," she told him.
        The Night Watchman smiled. "I see. That should not be too
difficult. The Revolution is a loose network of militias,
survivalist groups, and even religious cults. They are
effectively the Illuminati's opposite number, but are lacking in
terms of political and financial support. We usually let the
government handle them, but we keep an eye on them on general
        "So, the Revolution's not dangerous?" Mary asked.
        "Oh, they can be," the Watchman replied. "We've linked
them to the Oklahoma bombing and suspect that they supplied guns
to David Koresh."
        "Really?" Mary asked. The Watchman nodded. "Is there
anything else?"
        "Not much unless you want details of their network," the
Watchman replied. He stood up to go and then paused. "Oh, by the
way. There is a general notice posted from high up. High ranking
mages seem to be looking for a silver sphere the size of a marble
that has an extremely high tech-rating. If you find it, you're
supposed to turn it over to them. Or at least, report its
location if you see it."
        "A silver sphere?" asked Mary, startled.
        "Yes, have you seen it?"
        "Um, no, I don't think so," she lied.

        When Mary woke up. This time, she had a headache. Since
she had been clobbered on the head, this was no big surprise. She
found that she couldn't move anything _but_ her head. This was
apparently because someone had decided to encase her up to her
neck in cement.
        Apparently, Sissyphus Jones was taking no chances this
        Judging from the thrumming in the background, she was on
a ship. It was a metal room bare of any decoration except her
and Hank Soil. Hank was encased in a cement block just like Mary
        "Hi," he said.
        "Um, I can understand why I'm like this," Mary began,
"but why are you wearing a cement block?"
        "Apparently, there was this clause in the contract that
if you assaulted Jones in any way, I forfeited my immortal soul,"
Hank told her.
        "And you signed that?" Mary asked incredulously.
        "It was written in disappearing ink," commented Jones as
he walked in. The devil's brother was followed by someone in
green and brown armor. "Congratulations, Soil," Jones began. "I
have sold your soul to Bobby Fetch here." He indicated the
armored man. "Looks like you won't be going to Heck."
        "Say, Soil," Fetch began, "looks like we'll be seeing
Jawbreaker de Nut real soon."
        "Wait!" Hank protested as Fetch attached an antigravity
clamp to his block. "Sissy, please, keep my soul! Don't let
Jawbreaker get me!"
        "Sorry, but the deal's done," Jones replied, "and don't
call me Sissy!" He turned to Mary as Fetch hauled Soil away.
        "Is there any reason you went to all this trouble to
kidnap me?" Mary asked.
        "Why, yes," he replied. "You're my key to total takeover
of the Multiverse! Muahahahaha(ackcoughcough)... I really got to
work on that laugh."
        "Huh?" Mary said brilliantly.
        "Let me spell it out to you, girl" Jones said. "There are
indications that the multiverse revolves around five forces
which in order are Creation, Destruction, Order, Chaos, and
        "What's this got to do with me?" Mary asked.
        "You, my dear, are the focus of one of those forces,"
Jones explained. "You have four other counterparts in four other
Altiverses who also happen to be foci for the other four forces.
The five of you are interconnected. If I control you, I will
eventually control the others. And if I control the five of you,
I control the Multiverse!"
        "You're saying I'm some kind of cosmic linchpin?" Mary
        "That's right," Jones answered, grinning badly (it wasn't
impressive enough to call "evil").
        "You're crazy," Mary told him. Jones scowled.
        There was a three bell tone. "Well, in a moment, we'll
be in Heck," Jones said, "so it won't matter what you believe.
So there!"
        The Heck cruiser was, in fact, a JumpingShip bought cheap
from one of the myriad FA$A groups scattered across the
Multiverse. The jump drive had been modified for travel across
altiversal barriers. So, when the ship jumped to Heck (located in
666NOTTHATNASTY), it took everyone and everything on board with
        Except Mary.
        From Mary's point of view, the ship, Jones, even the
cement block that encased her, all disappeared. This left her
floating naked in a vacuum.
        This did not exactly do much to extend her life span.

        "Hi, how are you doing?" Mrs. Sinclair asked.
        "I'm okay," Mary replied as she rooted through her
mother's magical gear.
        "You want to talk about it?"
        "Oh, where to start," Mary sighed. "I killed a guy. He
was shooting fireballs at me, but that's not much of an excuse. I
could have easily disabled the guy with the powers I've got." She
began to cry.
        "There, there," Mrs. Sinclair comforted as she embraced
her daughter. "It wasn't your fault. You didn't realize your own
        "I should have," Mary sobbed. "Time seemed to slow down
for me, when he shot at me. I should have..." Mary suddenly
gasped and jerked away from her mother.
        "Mary? Are you all right?" Mrs. Sinclair asked concerned.
        "No. Yes. Yes, I'm fine," Mary replied, shaking her head
to clear it. "For a moment there, I had the feeling I couldn't
breathe. It's gone now."
        Mrs. Sinclair did a quick scan of Mary. "There doesn't
seem to be anything wrong with you," she told her daughter,
"aside from those things in your system. I think that may be
where your new powers are coming from."
        "Mom, has anyone ever told you that you have a gift for
stating the obvious?" Mary asked as she restarted digging through
her mother's magical gear.
        "What are you looking for?"
        "Oh, something that a mage burglar might have wanted,"
Mary replied. "What's this thing?" Mary pulled out a small silver
        "I have no idea," a baffled Mrs. Sinclair told Mary.
"I've never seen it before. It doesn't seem to be magic."
        Mary shrugged and put it into her pocket. "Maybe this is
what the poor guy was looking for," she suggested.

        "She's GONE!" raved Sissyphus U. Lucky Jones. "Where did
she go?!"
        "Your Meaniness?" quivered a nerdy looking demon. "All
the sensors say that she's still in 000SFSTORY."
        "Then let's go back and get her!" Jones cried.
        "We, er, have to wait a week for the jump drive to
recharge," the nerdy demon told Jones.
        For once, Sissy...
        "Don't call me Sissy!"
        Er, for once, Sissyphus managed a curse impressive enough
to be unprintable. No one but him really knew about Mary's
importance to the multiversal structure. It was sheer luck that
he had stumbled across the fragmentary record in the first place.
If someone important like, say, Satan found out, Sissyphus would
get shoved aside and lose his chance at multiversal domination.
        Of course, he forgot that a fragmentary record isn't the
WHOLE record.

        "Can I help you gentlemen?" Mrs. Sinclair asked.
        "Yes," answered one of the two men in business suits. "We
tracked something of ours to this location. It is a small, silver
sphere the size of a marble. Have you seen it?"
        "Why, no." Mrs. Sinclair. "Is there anything else?"
        "Why, yes," replied the first man. "There is." Before
Mrs. Sinclair could react, he reached out with one hand and
grabbed her. With a twist and squeeze of his fingers, the man
snapped Mrs. Sinclair's neck.
        *Why did you kill the human?* asked the second "man" as
he watched his companion carry the corpse to the bathroom. *The
archival data sphere is not here.*
        *The sphere stopped transmitting from this location,*
answered the first in the same language. *There is no indication
that it was destroyed. This human told us the truth. Records say
that this apartment was inhabited by two humans. The one not
present must therefore know what has happened to the sphere.*
        *I see. Then we will wait here for the other to return.*

        Mary didn't expect to wake up. She woke up anyway, and
had found she was covered with bruises.
        She looked around. Mary was in the Century Songbird,
apparently on a medical pad. The medbot looked her over and
seemed satisfied that Mary would live.
        She still hurt all over, but exposure to vacuum will
do that. Mary wondered at the Medbot's definition of "live".
        Chewgumma came over and grunted at her.
        "Thanks for saving me," she told him. "Can you take me
home now?"
        He grunted some more.
        "Help you rescue Hank Soil?" Mary asked. "Why the
Hell(tm) would you want that loser?"
        Chewgumma hooted a few words.
        "Oh, he owns the Songbird," Mary echoed. "Okay, we rescue
him and THEN you'll take me home?"
        Chewgumma woofed agreement.
        "Alright, I'll help," Mary relented as she got up. "Where
are we going?"
        Chewgumma spat his well-chewed and now tasteless gum into
the trash. "Lady, we're headin' te da Plan't D'spens'r," he told
Mary as he searched himself for another stick of gum. "Tha's
were Jawbrikker de Nut hangs oot."
        "Planet Dispenser?" Mary mused as she pulled on a baggy,
yellow jumpsuit Chewgumma provided. "Well, I've heard of stranger
names for places. Bakersfield, for instance..."

        Bane sat on bench directly across from a Fong's
restaurant. His attention appeared to be completely absorbed by
the intricately carved staff in his hand. Or rather, the purple-
tinted glass jewel on the staff's tip.
        In truth, Bane was using the newly-made staff to
magically listen in on a conversation taking place inside the
        "Listen, we got papers saying you should let us through!"
claimed one voice. "It's signed by Jones himself!"
        "It's signed by _Sissyphus_ Jones!" replied the second.
"I've never heard of him."
        "Hey, it's legit!" protested the first voice. "Just go
and check it with your superiors."
        "Why should I waste my time doing so?"
        "Cuz I got a Heckfire rifle here that says you should."
        "HECKfire? Bwahahahaha...!"
        "I'll go check right away," the second voice said
        Bane got up and walked across the street to the entrance
of the Fong's. As he arrived, four pot-bellied demons dressed
like thirties gangsters complete with violin cases strolled out
of the restaurant.
        "Greetings, infernal ones," Bane began. "I am the Grand
Master Bane. I will be your new master."
        "What?" said the demon from Heck (who had to literally
pass through Hell(tm) to get to 000SUPERGUY). "Why should you be
our master?"
        Bane gestured with his staff. There was a flash of light
and the incredulous demon was blown to pieces. The survivors
looked at the confetti size remains and decided to do what they
did best.
        They groveled.
        "Great Master!" said the first. "I, Moe(no relation), am
yours to command."
        "Larry(no relation), that's me, is ready for your orders
Dread Lord!" cried the second.
        "Whatever you say, I, Curly(no relation), will do!" the
third proclaimed.
        Larry(no relation), Moe(no relation), and Curly(no
relation), mused Bane. How ironic. "Now," Bane began, "unless I'm
mistaken, you're interested in a girl by the name of Mary

        "Can I help you?" Mrs. Sinclair asked the woman at the
        "Why, yeeeessss, I'm Dr. Laura Chives," the woman said in
a cute, high pitched voice . "I heard about the awful burglar and
since your wittle girl is one of my test subjects..."
        "Oh, so you're the one who fed Mary the... whatever-they-
ares," Mrs. Sinclair said coldly. "What the Hell(tm) do you
        "I'd like to talky-walky to wittle Mary privately," Dr.
Chives told her. "It's about her and my wittle experiment."
        "Why should I let you?" Mrs Sinclair asked.
        "Well, I think I'm just the BEST expert to evaluate
Mary's condition," Dr. Chives replied. "Unless you're a real
meanie and don't _want_ an expert oppinion..."
        Mrs. Sinclair hesitated. "Well, all right," she relented.
"But if you hurt her..."
        "Yippee! Don't worry, Mary'll be all fine and dandy,"
Laura reassured.
        They went in. Mary was startled to see Dr. Chives. "Mom,"
she hissed to her mother, "what is SHE doing here?"
        "She's here to check on your condition," Mrs. Sinclair
replied. "That's what she claims at least. Will you let her?"
        "I guess so," Mary said reluctantly. She grinned. "If she
tries anything, I could always beat the stuffing out of her."
        Mrs. Sinclair nodded and left the room.
        "All right, Doc," Mary began. "What do you want?"
        Dr. Chives glanced back the way Mrs. Sinclair had gone
and nodded to herself. Then she turned back to Mary and produced
a rapid series of musical notes that a computer would recognize
as binary code.
        Mary stiffened and went into a trance. "Authorization
code accepted," she said woodenly. "Greetings, Scout unit Laura."
        Laura nodded again. "Hi, Mary-pie. What does your mommy
know about your wittle enhancements?"
        "Nanotech injection and phisiological modifications
detected," Mary replied woodenly. "Her friend, Dr. Stanning
correctly suspects nanotechnology."
        "Okey doke," Laura replied cutely. "And what adorable
wittle powers have you manifested?"
        "Sensory, strength, speed, and durability enhancements
within project parameters," Mary told the doctor woodenly. "A
pre-existing talent for magic. And a mysterious manifestation of
skills and knowledge with no apparent source."
        "Have you found just the cutest wittle archival data
sphere around here? If you have, give the adorble thingy to me."
        "Yes," Mary replied woodenly. She reached into the
pocket of her black jacket and withdrew the sphere.
        Taking the sphere, a few strands of Laura's hair snaked
around her head, apparently of their own volition. When the tips
of the strands touched the sphere, they lit up. Laura's eyes
stared off into the distance as she downloaded its contents. Her
eyes widened in shock. "Oh, poo. This is bad..." she whispered.

        Something was wrong.
        Mary stood at the door to her apartment. Her mother
should be in, but Mary's magical senses didn't register her
presence. There was, however, the aura of something having just
recently died at the door. Mary didn't want to think about the
implications of that.
        Cautiously, she entered the apartment. Mary discovered
two men in business suits waiting. They had the same feeling of
tech as the thing from the alley.
        "We've been waiting for you," the first told her.
        "Where is the sphere?" asked the second.
        "Where's my mother?" Mary retorted, readying a shield
        The first man seemed to sigh as he reached for her. Mary
ducked out of the way, and sent a spinning kick into his belly.
She was suddenly glad that she knew martial arts inspite of the
fact that she had never taken a lesson in her life.
        Unfortunately, the man didn't seem at all bothered by the
kick. He grabbed her extended leg and tossed her like a rag doll
into the bathroom door. The door splintered; Mary's shield spell
kept that from hurting her too much.
        "The sphere," repeated the second man.
        As she stood up, Mary noticed that the aura of death was
strong in here. Then she saw what was in the tub.

To be continued in part 2...
Date:         Wed, 31 Jan 1996 09:48:21 -0800
From:         the Evil Happy Cheez. Cracker Spread (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW: Analogs #5 (2/2)

                              * ANALOGS *
                             Episode #5 (2/2)
                  "What the Heck(tm pending) is going on?"

Continued from part 1

        The Century Songbird streaked through Overly-Hyped Space, going
faster than it ever had before. The new engine modifications Mary had
made when she looked it over were doing surprisingly well, especially
considering that she had never seen an Overly-Hyped Stardrive before.
        Chewgumma barked a question at her.
        "What did I do to the engines?" Mary repeated as she reassembled
the medbot she had taken taken apart. "Well, first I removed the..."
(insert technobabble) "...and then I..." (insert technobabble) "...and
voila! More efficient engines. Does that satisfy your curiosity?"
        A sound resembling snoring came from the cockpit.
        "Chewgumma?" Mary called as she replaced the last panel on the
medbot. Getting no reply, she headed to the cockpit. She found Chewgumma
leaning back in his seat with one leg up on a panel. He was apparently
        The panel beeped, startling Chewgumma awake. He checked the panel
and quickly started fiddling with the controls.
        "Did you fall asleep on me?" Mary asked, annoyed.
        Chewgumma woofed a quick denial as the Songbird dropped back into
normal space.
        "Un huh, right," Mary replied, not believing him for an instant.
        "Incoming vessel, this is the Planet Dispenser Patrol boat
_Denial_," came a bored voice from the radio. "Identify yourself and your
        "Can you get us past them?" Mary asked.
        Chewgumma nodded and reached for the radio...
        ...only to vanish as a random, inconveniently placed space-time
rip opened up and swallowed him. Mary was suddenly all alone on the
        "This could be trouble," she muttered to herself.
        "Incoming vessel!" the radio spoke, the voice now somewhat less
bored. "Identify yourself immediately or be fired upon!"
        "Oh, Hell(tm)."

        "So how are you?" Mrs. Sinclair asked concerned.
        "Dr. Chives said I'll be fine," Mary replied. "She did want me to
come in for regular checkups, though."
        "Will you?" her mother asked.
        "I don't know," Mary said. "I'm not sure I quite trust her."
        "Considering what she did to you, that's not surprising," Mrs.
Sinclair commented. "What are you doing now?"
        "Well, since I'm a superguy now, I thought I'd give heroing a
try," Mary replied as she assembled an all black outfit on the bed. There
was quite a bit of spandex there.
        "What brought this on?" asked Mrs. Sinclair.
        "Guilt, I think," Mary answered. "What better way to learn how to
control my new powers than to go heroing? I don't want to kill anyone by
accident again."
        "I think your logic's slightly flawed," Mrs. Sinclair commented.
"But do you mind if I give you some advice? I've had experience at this
sort of thing."
        "Mom, the Industrial Revolution hardly qualifies as superguy
experience," Mary replied.
        A distant groaning goes unnoticed by mother and daughter.
        "No, I'm not talking about... that," Mrs. Sinclair told her. "I
used to try my hand at heroing when I was your age."
        "You? A superguy?" Mary asked disbelievingly. "What happened?"
        "I got married."
        "I was never very famous," Mary's mother explained. "Just stopped
a crook here and there. I was doing pretty well, too, until I ran into a
this guy with a magic ring. I only beat him because of a freak accident,
and even then, I burned most of my magic out doing so."
        "What happened to the ring?" Mary asked.
        "It was lost," Mrs. Sinclair replied. "I never heard about it
again. But enough about me. What are you going to call yourself?"
        "I thought so," Mrs. Sinclair replied. "While you're thinking
about that, you also might want to wait until night to go out." She
indicated the sunlight streaming in the window.
        Impulsively, Mary hugged her mother.
        "Uh, what was that for?" Mrs. Sinclair asked surprised.
        "I'm not sure," Mary replied. "I just realized how much I love
you. And how much I don't want to lose you."

        "You killed my Mom!" Mary accused.
        "Your mother is irrelevant," replied the first "man" as he
approached. "Where is the sphere?"
        "It's where you'll never be able to find it!" Mary spat. She
gathered her magic together to blast him. In Paul's lessons and in her
laptop's database, it was highly recommended that if you wanted to shoot
someone to go buy a gun. Straight out attack spells, while easy to cast,
simply cost too much in terms of energy. But Mary didn't have a gun, and
she was too grief stricken to try a subtler spell.
        Lightning leapt from her fingers and struck the "man". His skin
burned away, revealing metal underneath. Crackling and smoking as his
circuitry overloaded, the android collapsed to the ground, inert.
        Mary fell to her knees, exhausted.
        The second android stepped over the remains of his fallen
companion. He rolled up a sleeve, and somekind of weapon emerged from his
forearm. "Impressive," he commented. He pointed the weapon at her. "But
you don't seem to be up for a repeat performance. Now, where is the
        Staring down the weapon's barrel, Mary cast the only spell she
could think of. It was the incredibly dangerous and unpredictable Spell
of Random Help. While low powered, the spell could be very powerful. It
worked by using random events to bring the caster help. Of course,
Murphy's law applied; the help was sometimes more dangerous than the foe
it was summoned to beat. Paul had told her horror stories about side
affects of the Spell, the most extreme example involving a mage in
Hiroshima, Japan and an atom bomb.
       But Mary didn't have much choice.
       A random rift in space-time opened, depositing a large, furry
being in the room behind the android. The android spun around surprised.
He evaluated this possible foe: just over two meters tall; shaggy fur;
a belt with shoulder strap holding unfamiliar equipment...
       The android did not consider Mary a threat at the moment. She had
apparently fainted. He did assume this new being was a threat, though. He
leveled his blaster at the being and fired.
       And missed as Chewgumma dodged and drew his blaster. Chewgumma was
disoriented, but not so disoriented as to not notice some guy shooting at
him. Chewgumma shot the android. The android staggered as a hole was
blown through his belly, but seemed otherwise unaffected. As the android
raised its gun again, Chewgumma blazed away at it, blowing holes in the
arms, legs, head, and torso.
       When he satisfied that the android wouldn't get up again,
Chewgumma spotted Mary sprawled on the bathroom floor. Ignoring the
corpse in the tub, he checked Mary's pulse. He paid no attention to
little inconsistancies like her longer hair and change of clothing.
       Mary stirred and opened her eyes. She looked straight at Chewgumma
and asked wearily, "Have I met you somewhere before?" Then she fainted

       "Incoming vessel, this is your last chance," warned the officer
on the Denial. "Identify yourself or be fired upon." He sounded gleeful
at the prospect of using his ship's weaponry.
       "This is Mary Sinclair of the Century Songbird," she replied,
having finally figured out the radio's controls. They were in drastic
need of simplification. "I'm, ah, on my way to Dispenser to deliver, er,
someone's private property." It was the truth, more or less.
       "Sinclair, the ship you're in is registered to one Hank Soil, who
also happens to be the Songbird's captain. Can we speak to him?"
       "Er, no," Mary answered. "He's on Dispenser at the moment."
       "You mean the Captain isn't with his ship?"
       "Hey, I said I was delivering private property," Mary said
defensively. "It just happens to be the Songbird."
       "And how did you come to possess Soil's ship?"
       "Well, it started when I left home the other day..." Mary began.
She launched into a longwinded story about how Soil had kidnapped her.
She also thoughfully included lots of little digressions and side notes
that extended the story well beyond anything that might be regarded as a
reasonable length. When she was done, the radio was silent.
       Well, not silent. She could swear that she was hearing snoring
from the other end. Taking this as permission to land, she turned to the
Songbird's controls and proceded to puzzle out what all the blinking
buttons were for.

       Mary leapt across the alley. She hit the other rooftop and rolled
to her feet. Looking back, she judged the gap to be at least 20 feet
across with this roof about level with the other. Mary had jumped the
span perfectly.
       She wasn't even breathing hard.
       Mary glanced down at herself; her clothing was intact if a little
scuffed. Mary was wearing a black spandex body suit that showed off her
figure, a black leather jacket that also hugged her body, black boots,
black gloves, and black shades which didn't affect her enhanced senses in
the slightest. Her waist length hair was tied back.
       Now all she needed was a name.
       "Beautiful," said a voice. Mary turned to see who spoke and smiled
at the figure.
       "Hi, Paul," she greeted shyly.
       Paul was casually sitting on a ledge, staring at her. He wore a
long purple robe and leaned against a carved staff with a glowing gem in
the tip. "Yes," he continued, "a lovely silhouette against the background
of city lights. Hello, Mary."
       "Silhouette," Mary mused thoughtfully as she walked over to him.
"I like it. That's what I'll call myself. So what brings you here?"
       "Practicing my new magic powers," he told her as they embraced. "I
saw you leaping rooftops and dropped by to say hello."
       "I'm glad you did," Mary murmured as she leaned forward for a
       Then she heard a scream for help.
       "Nuts!" Mary exclaimed. "I suppose I'll have to go answer that."
       "Go ahead," Paul replied. "I understand. I'm not going anywhere."
He watched her go. "I understand more about you than you do," he added,
casting a silence spell so that she wouldn't accidently overhear him.

       Detective Smith looked around the shambles of the apartment. Holes
were burned into the walls. The bathroom door was smashed in. There was a
corpse in the bath tub. The remains of two... things were lying on the
floor. Oddly enough, there were no signs of a breakin.
       It was paranormals; he was sure of it.
       "Thankyou, Sherlock," his partner, Knight, said sarcastically.
"Now that you've concluded that, could you help the rest of us figure out
the details?" Knight didn't share Smith's dim view of paranormals. Smith
must have spoken the last thought aloud.
       "Excuse me," said a man in a suit accompanied by more men in
suits. "I'm Agent Delaney of the NSA. We'll be taking over here."
       "What?" Smith exclaimed. "Why are you doing that?"
       "National security," the agent replied. "If you would be so kind
as to remove your men from the premises..."
       "Like Hell..." Smith began.
       Knight restrained him. "Smith, c'mon! These guys aren't worth it,"
Knight told his partner. "We'll go talk to the Captain about it."
       Growling agreement, Smith followed him out. He remained silent
until they got all the police out of the apartment and they were on their
way back to the precinct.
       "I don't believe it," he groused. "How dare they..." He trailed
       "How dare they what, Smith?" Knight asked as he drove. "Smith?" He
turned to see Smith in a trance. Knight was familiar with this and knew
what came next.
       "Greetings, Detective," came a voice from the rear seat.
       "Uh, hi," Knight replied. "I suppose you're wondering what I saw
in that apartment."
       "Yes, you are correct, Detective."
       "Right," Knight said. He proceeded to describe the apartment in
detail; his eidetic memory helped considerably.
       "Thank you," replied the Night Watchman. Then he vanished, letting
Smith continue his tirade from where he left off.

       Any landing you can walk away from is a good one, was the cliche
running through Mary's mind as she looked around. She had managed to
figure out the controls enough to land the Songbird in one piece. Mary
had guided the ship into and through the atmosphere well enough. She even
managed to land the ship in one piece... more or less.
       It might have been nice to land in a spaceport, though.
       Shouldering the survival pack she had put together, Mary opened
the airlock and stepped out into the hot desert sands.
       "We're saved!" cried a high, tinny voice. Mary saw that the
speaker was a silver-polished humanoid droid. Accompanying him was a
droid that bore a resemblance to a domed trashcan with legs.
       The trashcan bleeped something.
       "Nonsense, the ship is in perfectly good condition," disagreed the
humanoid droid.
       "Actually, it's just scrap now," Mary told him.
       "I knew it!" the humanoid droid exclaimed. The trashcan just
sighed. "Oh, pardon my manners. I'm Cheerio; this is my sidekick AreNot."
Cheerio extended a hand.
       AreNot squealed a protest.
       "Mary," she replied. She started to take his hand but hesitated.
       "What's wrong?" Cheerio asked offended. "Droids not good enough
for you?"
       "Uh, it's not that," Mary demurred. "I just had a... feeling is
       "Suuurrre you did," Cheerio sneered.
       "Anyway," she said loudly, hoping to change the subject. "Do you
know the direction the nearest civilization is?"
       "Sure, that way," Cheerio replied, pointing in a seemingly random
direction. AreNot extended a probe and pointed elsewhere.
       "Oh, wonderful," muttered Mary under her breath.

       Mary hit the punk in the jaw with a flying kick as she jumped out
of the shadows. It was only a glancing blow; while the punk would live,
he was out cold for the fight. He collapsed next to his would-be victim.
       "So, you want to give up, or what?" Mary asked his surprised
       "Who the (deleted) are you?" asked one of the three remaining
punks. They slowly spread out to surround her, apparently going for the
option "what".
       "Whoa, mama!" exclaimed another. "What a bodacious bod you got..."
(SMACK!) He went too down, now unconscious from one of Mary's kicks.
       "The name's Silhouette," she told the two remaining punks.
       The punks glance at each other and drew guns from their jackets.
Time slowed. As they aimed them at her, Mary dove forward and sweeped the
punk on her right off his feet with a scything kick. The other punk fired
and missed as Mary dodged to the side with the first's gun. She could
swear that she saw the bullet pass her. Bringing up the gun, she had all
the time in the world to aim and shoot the punk's gun out of his hand.
Idly, she wondered where she had ever learned to use guns, having never
touched one in her life.
       Time returned to normal.
       The punk she had sweeped off his feet began to get up. A well
placed kick to the head convinced him to stay down. The other punk
glanced at his fallen friends, then at Mary, and then ran screaming off
into the night.
       Mary decided to let them go. "Are you...?" she began to ask the
would-be victim, only to notice that she had sensibly run off. Oh well,
Mary hadn't gotten into the hero biz for the thanks anyway. The three
punks down, no fatalities, no serious injuries... all things considered,
it was a pretty successful night.
       Suddenly, three figures dressed like gangsters from the 1930s
stepped out of the shadows. And those weren't Tommy guns they were
leveling at her.

       The girl ran through night, her mind clouded with fear. She didn't
know if her rescuer had put down her attackers. She didn't know if the
vigilante who had come to her rescue had won or lost. She just had to
       She ran into the end of Bane's staff, impaling herself. Bane
grinned as his staff drained the life from the girl. There wasn't much
power to be had in her, but every little bit helps.

       "Is the scan complete?"
       "Yes, Master. The Sinclair girl apparently used the Spell of
Cross-Altiversal Cache to hide the sphere."
       "I see. Can you trace the sphere across Altiverses?"
       "I believe so. She apparently didn't know enough to shield the
Spell from tracing."
       "Not surprising considering that she's a mere novice."
       "Shall we send an agent to retrieve the sphere?"
       "Yes. Get the time and location of its arrival. The agent will be
sent back in time to arrive before the sphere does. That should simplify
       "Yes, Master. What about Sinclair? She IS Illuminati after all."
       "Hmm. Tell the Night Watchman and our other agents to be on the
look out for her. If they are not preoccupied, they will actively search
for her."
       "Yes, Master. What about the Council?"
       "Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

       Far off the galactic disk, well away from any scanners that might
detect it, a rift in space form. The rift grew, finally depositing a
huge, black starship. It was so black, in fact, that an observer could
only tell it was there by light it blocked with its irregular bulk. Its
exact shape was impossible to determine in these conditions.
       The rift closed with a brief flash of light. Spacetime smoothed
out as if it had never been.
       Aboard the ship's bridge, the Intruder nodded to himself. Jones
had failed to capture Mary Sinclair of 000SFSTORY as expected; the seeds
of self-knowledge, and hence, power had been planted in her mind. The
Mary of 000SUPERGUY had been unwittingly compromised by FA$A, with Bane
in place to take advantage. The other Marys were as yet untouched, but
that wouldn't last.
       The Intruder chuckled. He could feel the Multiverse within his










Find out in the next episode of Analogs, only on...

This is a multiple choice test. Choose the most...(THWACK!)

Copy Right Notice:
This story is (C)opyright by Nopporn Wongrassamee in 1996. All rights
The Pentad of forces is apparently the property of Eric Alfred Burns and
 used with his permission (I think).

Send feedback to:                    | "Hey, guys, I'm high!" "You're not
      a00076 at     | high! You're obnoxious!"
Date:         Mon, 5 Feb 1996 10:39:54 -0800
From:         the Evil Happy Cracker Cheez Spread (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW: Analogs #6

{000SUPERGUY, the past}
        The Illuminati agent materialized just outside an open air
apartment complex at night. In one of the apartments, a silver sphere
would soon materialize. He had the precise coordinates with an error
margin of less than a foot.
        The agent had been sent to this altiverse to get the sphere as
soon as it arrived. No one from his altiverse had ever been to this one
before, so he was urged to be cautious. His magical senses detected no
threats so he boldly walked to the apartment the sphere would arrive in.
        Zapping the lock, he snuck into the apartment silently. The
sphere would be arriving right about now. Looking around the dark
apartment, he found the sphere's arrival point. It was a desk loaded with
what appeared to be medieval magical gear. The agent swore to himself in
silence; all this junk could effectively mask the sphere's presence if it
had already arrived. He began rooting through it.
        "What the Hell(tm) do you think you're doing?" a voice demanded.
        Startled that anyone could sneak up on him, he looked up and saw
a slim girl standing in a doorway off to the side. With no time to be
subtle, he quickly summoned up his magic and threw a fireball at her. He
        The girl dove impossibly fast forward and under the fireball. She
tucked into a roll and uncurled in front of him. Before the agent could
react, the girl used her momentum to drive her fist into his chest. The
impact threw him several feet into the wall.
        The last thing he saw was the girl standing over him, eyes wide
in shock. Then he saw nothing at all.

                  Overly Bar-B-Cued Authorial Productions

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                                Episode #6
                         "Isn't she a knockout?"

                         by Nopporn Wongrassamee
                             the Evil Author

                          with error checking by
                                Gary Olson

{000SUPERGUY, the present}
        "Now, little lady, if you'll just come with us, things won't get
messy," the middle "gangster" told her, gesturing with his strange rifle.
        Three men dressed like thirties gangsters surrounded her in a
triangle pattern. They had strange rifles that Mary found familiar but
didn't quite recognize. Three unconscious punks littered the alley, but
they weren't important.
        Mary flexed her legs, lowering herself toward the ground. "Now
don't try anything funny," warned the second man.
        Mary uncoiled, jumping almost straight upwards. At the top of her
arc, she grabbed a fire escape and pulled herself onto it. Then she
started running up towards the roof.
        In the meantime, the "gangsters" opened fire on her. Cheap
special effects blazed from their rifles, hitting almost everything BUT
Mary. The fire escape ahead of her made it through fairly intact, too.
        "After her, boys!" As one, the three men morphed into winged,
pot-bellied demons. They started climbing the building. Seeing this from
the roof, Mary decided that she needed a plan.
        The first demon was just pulling himself over the ledge when he
recieved a foot in the face. As he fell to the alley below, Mary turned
and struck the next demon in the neck, sending him to a similar fate. She
turned to confront the third only to find him on the roof already. He
lashed out and wrapped the fingers of one hand tightly around her neck,
hauling Mary off her feet.
        "Nyuk, nyuk, I gotcha!" the third demon chuckled.

        "Is this desert made out of sugar?" Mary asked, tasting some of
the white particles that made up the desert.
        "Yes, it is" answered the humanoid droid, Cheerio. "It's one of
the major reasons that Planet Dispenser became one of the leading candy
suppliers in the galaxy."
        "Oh, I see," Mary said. "So, ready to go?"
        Cheerio dubiously eyed the speeder Mary had cobbled together from
the remains of the Century Songbird. It looked ready to fall apart at any
moment. "Are you sure it's safe?" he asked.
        "Of course it is," Mary blithely replied as she climbed in.
"Would AreNot drive it if it wasn't?"
        There was a series of beeps and bloops from inside the speeder.
        "Don't you dare leave me here, AreNot!" Cheerio said as he
quickly climbed in.
        "Glad you decided to join us, Cheerio," Mary laughed. "Alright,
we are outta here! Let's go, Arenot!"
        The speeder powered up, rose above the desert floor, and shot off
in a random direction at high speed.

        Paul Baines opened his front door. "Mary! Thank God you're all
right!" he exclaimed as Mary barged in, followed by Chewgumma. "Er, who's
your friend?"
        "I have no idea, I can't understand a word he says," Mary told
him. She embraced Paul and broke down sobbing. "Paul, my mother's dead!"
        "I heard," Paul replied as he tried to comfort her. "The entire
Illuminati has been looking for you. What happened?"
        "I went home and found my mother had been killed by these
androids that looked like something straight out of a movie," Mary said
in between sobs. "I summoned him" she indicated Chewgumma "with the Spell
of Random Help."
        "I see," Paul said thoughtfully. "What were these androids after,
Mary?" Mary remained silent. "Mary?" he prompted.
        "They... they wanted a small silvery sphere," she answered. "One
with a strong tech aura."
        "Did you have that?"
        Mary nodded miserably. "I hid it in another altiverse."
        "Christ! Why didn't you hand it over to the Illuminati?" Paul
asked. "They've been looking for it."
        "I know," Mary said. "But the android who gave it to me told me
to keep it safe from them. Immediately after, some guy with Spellbreakers
assaulted me, wanting the sphere. I think he was an Illuminati agent."
        "Mary, Mary, Mary," said Paul sadly. "The Illuminati's not here
to threaten you. We're here to protect paranormals, especially our own."
        "Oh, Paul, what am I going to do?" Mary asked, tears beginning to
flow with renewed vigor.
        "Shh, don't worry," Paul soothed. "I'll take care of you." He
noticed Chewgumma watching TV. "Your friend certainly doesn't seem to be

        The Take-on raiders were trekking across the desert. They were
survivors, not needing any fancy offplanet technology to make a living in
the sugary wastes of Dispenser. They were the meanest dudes around.
        So the caravan took it in stride when a speeder zoomed past them,
throwing up huge gouts of sugar on them and leaving a sonic boom behind.
The speeder was gone in an instant. Shaking sugar out of their clothing,
the Take-ons shrugged and continued on.

        Mary brought up her legs, striking her knees against the demon's
arm. The demon instantly dropped her, howling in pain. Mary spun and
sweeped him off his feet. As the demon fell on his back, Mary was already
on her feet again and driving her open palm into the demon's face.
        The roofing tar cracked under the demon's head. Shaking her
aching hand, Mary noticed that the demon was only unconscious. She was
startled when two beams of cheap special affects shot past her and
obliterated a chimney and an air vent.
        The other two demons had made it back to the roof top. This time,
they had remembered to bring their weapons along.
        Mary ran across the roof, evading the poorly aimed shots from the
demons. In responce, Mary threw a general Spell of Gremlinism, causing
the demon's rifles to short out. In the back of her mind, Mary wondered
where she the spell had come from; it wasn't one her mother had taught
        Tossing their now useless weapons aside, the demons leapt at Mary
in unison. This resulted in them colliding in midair as Mary dodged.
Unfortunately, one of them bounced in Mary's direction, landing on top of
her and bowling her to the ground.
        "Now I got you," the demon told her. Mary was lying face down,
pinned by the demon's sheer bulk. If she could get some leverage...
        There was a blinding flash of purple light. The demons on the
roof screamed for an instant before disintegrating. Mary's eyes cleared
and looked up at her savior.
        "Oh, hi Paul," Mary said as she unsteadily stood up.
        "Hello, Mary," Bane greeted, the gem on the tip of his staff
glowing faintly. "Hope you don't mind my butting in."
        "Not at all," Mary said, smiling. "Do you have any idea what
these things wanted?"
        "No idea," Bane replied innocently.

        "There's a town!" Cheerio declared, pointing.
        "I see it," Mary confirmed. "Take us in AreNot."
        The speeder turned and streaked towards the town. Their speed did
not slacken as they approached.
        "Uh, you can slow down now, AreNot," Mary suggested.
        There was a series of whoops and gleeps.
        "What do you mean there aren't any brakes?" Cheerio yelped.
        "Dowh!" Mary exclaimed, slapping her forehead. "I knew I forgot
        The speeder hit town, literally.

        Chewgumma was beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. Here he was
watching this drivel called "television" while Mary's friend Paul helped
Mary. To top it off, Chewgumma couldn't be understood by either one of
them; his speech was just too unintelligible.
        Mary was asleep on the couch. Now, she was a puzzle. From eaves-
dropping, he had figured that he was no longer in his altiverse. Mary had
apparently teleported him accidently from the Songbird, leaving her
counterpart on the Songbird alone to face a deadly Dispenser Patrol boat.
He hoped that his Mary was all right.
        Paul sat down across from Chewgumma, careful not to awaken the
slumbering Mary. "I'd ask you what your story was," Paul told him, "if I
thought I could understand anything you said."
        Chewgumma spat his now tasteless gum into a convenient waste-
basket. "Dat's awrite," he replied as he searched himself for another
stick of gum. "Ah unnerstind."
        "You can talk!" Paul exclaimed.
        "Huh? What?" Mary said, awakening.
        "Uv curse Ah kin tak," Chewgumma said. "Wat dya tik me fer?"
        "Uh, right," Mary mumbled, not sure what was going on. "What's
your name?"
        "Chewgumma," he told them, pronouncing clearly for once.
        "How appropriate," Paul commented dryly, glancing at the waste-
        "So, where did you come from?" Mary asked, as Chewgumma popped a
fresh stick of gum into his mouth.
        The reply was unintelligible.
        "Oh, wonderful," Mary grumbled, finally catching on.
        The doorbell rang. "I'll get it," Paul said. "It's probably the
Illuminati agent I sent for."
        "The WHAT?!" Mary exclaimed. "Paul, I told you..."
        "Mary, relax," Paul told her. "You're being paranoid. I told you
that the Illuminati doesn't do that sort of thing." The doorbell rang
        "What about the guy with the Spellbreakers?" Mary asked
        "Spellbreakers have been known to fall into the hands of mundanes
before, you know," Paul said patiently. "Now, c'mon. Let us help you."
        "Like Hell, Paul," Mary growled. The doorbell rang again.
        "Mary, please," Paul pleaded. "You're being irrational about
        Mary's retort was frozen on her lips when she saw a dark, shadowy
figure phased through Paul's front door. Chewgumma yelped in surprise.
        "I hope I am not interupting anything," the Night Watchman told
them. "But since no one was answering the door, I decided to let myself
in. I believe you sent for me?"

        "Don't worry," Mary told the droids as she crawled out of the
wreckage of the speeder. "I think we're all right."
        Dozens of weapons clacked as they were all cocked simultaneously.
They also happened to all be pointing at her. Their wielders did not look
        "Um, hi," she said.

        *Hannah,* called a Brain.
        *Yo,* Hannah Chives acknowledged without looking away from an old
issue of the Weekly World Schmooze.
        *We have finished analyzing the data downloaded from the sphere
by Laura," the Brain told her.
        *Took you long enough,* Hannah remarked. *What about it?*
        *The scout unit it had belonged to had apparently arrived in an
altiverse by herself,* the Brain explained. *There, she encountered what
appeared to be a more hostile version of ourselves. She had determined
that they had originated from an altiverse similar to ours. They tried to
destroy her and apparently succeeded.*
        *Just who are "they"?* Hannah asked.
        *They call themselves the General and Ultimate Reich of Powerful
        *They call themselves GURPS?"

        "Here, let me take a look at that," Bane said as he examined
Mary's sore hand. "It seems fine now."
        "I know," Mary replied, smirking. "You didn't have to take me
back to your apartment to tell me that."
        "Well, maybe I _did_ have an ulterior motive for bringing you
here," Paul said softly, drawing her close.
        "And what would that be?" Mary asked innocently.
        In reply, Bane kissed her deeply. As he did, he maneuvered Mary
towards his bed. What followed was several hours of mutual pleasure that
shall go undescribed.
        Eventually, Mary drifted off to sleep. Bane remained awake,
preparing to enter her dreams again. Before he did, he sensed a gathering
of magical forces about Mary's clothes, which were lying on the floor.
Investigating, he found a small silver sphere in a pocket. Someone was
about to teleport it away. Annoyed at the distraction, Bane cast a spell
of his own on the sphere. As the sphere was whisked away, he smiled. Who-
ever did that was about to get a nasty surprise.
        Bane turned back to the sleeping Mary.

        "You're saying that these GURPS android guys are a big threat to
humanity as a whole?" Mary asked in disbelief.
        The Night Watchman nodded. "You are correct. The Illuminati has
been fighting a shadow war with them for the past decade since they
appeared. We have since been attempting to learn what we can about them.
It may have made us a little... rude in our means of getting the informa-
        "Like shooting at me?" Mary asked.
        The Watchman nodded. "Please accept my apologies for that, Miss
Sinclair," he said smoothly. "Aside from its technical value, the sphere
you obtained holds the most complete information on the GURPS androids to
date. We believe that the android that gave it to you belonged to another
organization altogether."
        "GURPS," Paul mused. "Is that any relation to the roleplaying
        "No, we believe that to be a coincidence," the Watchman replied.
"Miss Sinclair, we need the sphere's information. Will you retrieve it
from your cache altiverse?"
        Mary thought hard about it. The Night Watchman's story certainly
explained everything that had happened to her before. It explained who
the android that gave her the sphere wanted to keep it from. It explained
the androids who killed her mother.
        It told her how to get everyone off her back.
        "All right, I'll do it," Mary conceded. "Paul, can you get the
spell from your computer? I left my laptop at... home."
        "Sure, Mary," Paul replied, moving to comply.
        "You're doing the right thing, Miss Sinclair," the Night Watchman
assured her.
        "Oh, shut up," she muttered.
        Paul handed her a printout of the spell. Mary glanced at it,
nodded, and casted the retrieval part of it. "Something's wrong," she
said absently as she concentrated. "It's resisting me. Oh, wait, here it
comes..." The Night Watchman suddenly bolted upright.
        "Miss Sinclair, stop!" he ordered too late. The sphere materia-
lized in Mary's hand and let loose with a lethal telepathic blast.

        "This is not good," Mary muttered to herself as she examined the
dank dungeon the guards had stuck her in.
        "Oh, really?" asked the other prisoner replied. The little fellow
called himself Yoga. "And what other gems of wisdom do you offer, hmm?"
        Mary examined the chains binding her wrists. "Well..." Mary began
to elaborate when she suddenly clutched her head in pain and collapsed.

        Mary discretely watched the Elmo and Ergh set up their concession
stand from a distance. She debated with herself whether or not to go up
and ask if either of them needed a Muse. On the other hand, it would be
extremely humiliating if they both had Musae already...
        The point became moot when she suddenly clutched her head in pain
and collapsed unconscious.

{the Multiverse}
        From five anchor points, ripples spread out. These were small
ripples, unnoticeable to most everyone. It was the equivalent of a
Richter 2 earthquake. Not at all noticeable unless one used specialized
detection equipment.
        But there were effects.
        Ripples intersected at points, passing through one another,
amplifying each other in certain locations. In 666NASTYNASTYNASTY, the
power flickered for an instant. In 000SUPERGUN, weaponry was momentarily
ineffective. In 567RANDOMALTIVERSE, every stars stopped burning for five
minutes. In 911RESCUE, the infallible AI telephone operator mishandled
every call for a day. In 000NORMALGUY, a CSUB student suddenly manifested
super powers and was then obliterated when the altiverse's ground rules
suddenly reasserted themselves.
        The ripples eventually dissipated, going largely unnoticed by the
multiverse at large.

        The Intruder...
        Excuse me?
        "Call me the Interloper. I like it better."
        But you were called "the Intruder" last episode.
        "Yeah, but I've done some research since then. Seems the name is
already taken."
        Oh. Well, anyway...
        The Interloper leaned back in his chair and smiled. What he had
just done wouldn't have been possible without the rippling effect set off
unwittingly by Bane.
        On the screen in front of him was printed: "You have successfully
subscribed to the Superguy Listserv..."






Find out in future episodes of Analogs, only on...


Copyright Notice:
This story is (C)opyright by Nopporn Wongrassamee in 1996. All rights
                                    |"We've scanned Mitchel 2."
Send feedback to:                   |"Any signs of intelligent life?"
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