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Sfstory Log 077

Date:         Tue, 6 Feb 1996 02:01:40 -0500
From:         jazz in the ravine (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode twelve

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                            IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD
                             (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 12
                                 Gary W. Olson


     Bagelos (or 'Baggy,' as he was known to his friends, or would be
known if he had any) was a very evil man.  He'd be the first to tell you
this, and could cite his entire arrest record, from the most recent
planetary annihilation to his first warning for rebroadcasting the scores
and highlights of Interstellar League Basesphere without express written
permission.  He was an ambitious man, which he could easily demonstrate by
rattling off the details of the ninety-seven foolproof plans he had devised
for taking over the universe.
     He was also a terminally underfunded man, unable to do more than break
even on any capital-raising venture he engaged in.  And since the first
step in all of his ninety-seven foolproof plans for taking over the
universe involved raising large amounts of ready cash, he was a
consistently frustrated man, who often expressed that frustration on his
customers, or, if he were lucky enough to have enough money to employ a
servant, that servant.
     "Sajon!" Bagelos roared.  "Where are you?  I, Bagelos, require you
to watch the counter while I go check my bagel inventory!"
     "Right here, master," Sajon said, as he hurriedly leapt out from the
back room of the bagel booth that bore the prominent neon sign of 'the
Bagelon Ship.'  Bagelos smiled.  Sajon, being a captive hero forced to be
his servant, was even better than the ordinary kind of servant, as he
didn't have to be paid (plus, Bagelos could claim him on his taxes).
     "Very well!" Bagelos exclaimed.  "I, Bagelos, shall ret--er, hello?"
     Sajon regarded the woman who had suddenly caught Bagelos' attention.
The fabric of her dress was thick and rough, revealing very little.  Her
face was sharp and angular, her hair drawn into a bun tight enough to seal
a reactor core.  Despite the coldness of her demeanor, the air around her
shimmered, as though she was radiating intense heat.
     "I understand," she said, letting the words hang in the air, "that you
sell bagels."
     "Um, yes," Bagelos said.  "We... that is, I... um... Bagelos... do.
     "I would like two raisin bagels," she replied.  "With cream cheese.
And a double latte."
     "Yes, yes... Sajon!"
     Sajon jumped.
     "Get the bagels and latte!" he roared.  "I, Bagelos, command you!"
Sajon ducked into the back room to get the bagels.  The woman raised an
eyebrow and watched him depart.
     "You've certainly got a way with your help," she noted.
     "He's actually a captive hero," Bagelos bragged, knowing somehow that
she would understand.  "I've broken his spirit, you see, and am able to
intimidate him into doing my bidding."
     "I was told you had a knack for that sort of thing," she told him.
"My name is Susan.  What's yours?"
     "B-Bagelos," Bagelos replied.  "But my friends would... er, do call me
     "Well, Baggy," Susan B. Anthony said, "would you care to discuss a
business proposition?"
     The fabric of space twisted for a split-second, but neither noticed.


     "This is all quite irregular," Professor Parsasentence protested
     "Nothing you can do about that, though, is there?" Slacks said,
smiling serendipitously.
     "Will you turn Coffee Command over to us?" Quirk questioned.
     "Never!" Parsasentence promised.
     "I think you should reconsider," Slacks suggested, sincerely.
     "And think it over while you do," Quirk quipped.
     "Please stop the alliteration!" Parsasentence pleaded, plaintively.
"I surrender!  I surrender!"
     "That's better," Slacks said, switching off the alliteration submodule
on her Altiversal Translator.  "Now, in exchange for signing Coffee Command
over to us, we'll give you some information on the whereabouts of your
friend Sajon...."
     "Oh, Sajon," Parsasentence sighed.  "He's over at Bagelos's, right?"
     "Yeah," Quirk said.  "How'd you know?  He wanted..."
     "He wanted you to get a message to me, right?" Parsasentence asked.
"The only reason he's over there is because he enjoys being dominated.  He
won't admit it, though, so he gets passing customers to send messages to
me, and then I go rescue him, and a couple days he goes right back and gets
captured.  Well, I've had it, I tell you!  This time, he can just stay and
     "Great!" Quirk exclaimed.  "Then let's get down to bus..."
     "On the other hand," Parsasentence interrupted.  "He *does* have the
title to Coffee Command with him.  Also the key to the safe.  And the
credit chit for ordering supplies.  And the plunger for the restroom.
     "We get the point," Slacks said.  "We'll have to rescue him."
     "I guess," Parsasentence replied.  "Say, aren't you two supposed to be
good guys?"
     "Um... not as such, no," Quirk told him.
     "But you came in on DePenn's ship," Parsasentence said.  "You, Lt.
Slacks, were an officer on Near Space Three, formerly of the BIG Alliance,
which basically consists of beings on the side of good."
     "Ehrm, yes," Slacks said.  "It's just... when we saw you, we got this
urge to bully you into submission."
     "Oh, I see," Parsasentence replied.  "It must have been my OmniWimp
account (parsasentence at  It tends to encourage
people to bully me."
     "Why would you want such an account?" Quirk asked.
     "I don't," Parsasentence said.  "Bagelos forced it on me a long time
ago.  I would have gotten back at him, but the account has rendered me
completely spineless to even moderate pressure."
     "In that case... you're going to help us rescue Sajon," Slacks said,
waving at him in a vaguely threatening manner.
     "Okay," Parsasentence said quickly.
     The fabric of space twisted for a split-second, but nobody noticed.


     The bridge of Meester's ship was silent, just the way Meester liked
it.  He gazed out at the endless grey of overly-hyped space while his crew
went about the delicate business of navigation.
     He heard a footstep behind him and almost turned, but was stopped by
the barrel of a U-RIP-Death-Blaster that was pressed into his side.  A
delicate, female voice snickered.
     "Let's go for a walk," it suggested.
     Meester nodded and casually sauntered towards his office.  Since he
was on an elevated platform, and since his crew knew better than to look up
at him when they were supposed to be working, nobody stopped him or his
assailant.  The office door closed behind him and his assailant walked
around to sit behind his desk.
     "Nice to see you again, Meester," she said.
     "Um... hello, Miss Bonet," Meester replied.  "What can I--"
     "I'm not Lisa Bonet, moron," she cut him off.  "You used to know me.
Couple years back, before you got assigned to spam smuggling duty."
     "I was working in the Surgery Ward on the main flagship of Hell(tm)
then," Meester said.  "Mostly, I was in charge of telling patients they
would get anaesthetic then cruelly withholding it at the last moment."
     "Yes," she said.  "I remember that quite well.  I was a repeat patient
in the lobotomy room you were assigned to."
     "There was only one... Logan?"
     "Bingo," Logan said.
     "But how... why..."
     "The how is not important," Logan said.  "Suffice it to say that I've
spent enough time in this undamaged mind for the earlier damage to be
undone.  My mind is whole again, and I'm ready to make my bid for retaking
Time Central... but without Sajanseel Boudoir's controls.  You're going to
help me."
     "Okay," Meester said, his eye on Logan's blaster.  "How?"
     "Take this," Logan said, turning the blaster around and handing it,
handle first, to Meester.  Meester lunged to grab the blaster, surprised at
Logan's lunatic move but eager to take advantage of it.  At the same time,
Logan flipped a switch on a small compu-pad on the desk, and Meester's
mind froze.
     In his mind, a thousand stars imploded.  Galaxies went supernova.
Comets streaked around.  Meteors collided.  Cheerleaders bounced.  Planets
exploded.  Moons shattered.  Breasts jiggled.  All in all, it was quite a
happening experience.
     When it was over, he opened his eyes and discovered he was in Lisa
Bonet's body.  He saw his own body, now obviously possessed by Logan,
holding both the blaster and the compu-pad.
     "Ah, much better," Logan said, with obvious satisfaction.  "Thank you
for your help, but I think I can take it from here.  Guards!"
     Two guards, who had somehow managed to miss everything up to that
point, immediately entered the office and stood at attention.  "Take the
prisoner back to her cell!"
     "Yes, sir!" they barked, proceeding to drag Meester away.
     The fabric of space twisted for a split-second, but nobody noticed.


     "Look at it this way," the Swede said, as he slid into the booth and
handed Janice Hoffiser her tray, "it could have been worse."
     "What could be worse than being stranded in 729SFSTORY?"
     "Well, there is 421SFSTORY."
     "What's that?"
     "An entire altiverse comprised of theaters showing Bruce Willis
     "S'right," the Swede said, taking a large bite of his Big Mac.  "So
being stranded in the Sfstory altiverse that's comprised entirely of fast
food restaurants isn't so bad after all."
     "I suppose not," Janice sighed, munching on some fries.  "That reminds
me.  A few episodes ago, you said that 001SFSTORY was the main sfstory
altiverse, instead of 000SFSTORY.  Why's that?"
     "History," the Swede replied.  "See, it used to be that Sfstory
existed in its own reality.  The main universe, or realspace, was called
'Altiverse #1,' or 'Altiverse 001.'  Later, when the whole thing was
retconned into the Superguy multiverse following the shift from NICBBS to
UCF1VM, Altiverse 001 became 001SFSTORY."
     "So how did 000SFSTORY come into being?"
     "Dictated by the structural system of the multiverse.  It's partially
a mirror of 001SFSTORY, with some bits from the altiverses above #999
shoved in because there was nowhere else to put them.  See, the ___SFSTORY
altiverses are a lot more flexible than the other altiversal groupings.
Earth only exists in three or four of the altiverses, and some of the
altiverses bear virtually no resemblance to 001SFSTORY, which only makes
sense because Sfstory was originally a multiverse of its own prior to being
made part of--"
     The fabric of space twisted for a split-second.  Janice didn't notice,
but the Swede did.
     "Oh, hell(tm)," he cursed.
     "What?" Janice asked.
     "Someone's used The Plot," he said.  Quickly, he grabbed his
dimensional door opener, which greatly resembled a stuffed toy shark, and
gave it a squeeze.  Nothing happened.  "Great.  This is just bloody great."
     "It's gotta be Sajanseel Boudoir.  He's the only one who would do
     "Do *what?*"
     "Bring back the embedded blank."
     Janice considered this.
     "Huh?" she asked.
     "The embedded blank," the Swede explained.  "We're now in Sf_Story,
and as long as that blank is there, we can't escape."


Find out next time, only on...SF_STORY!!!!
Date:         Fri, 9 Feb 1996 10:06:26 -0800
From:         the Evil Marketing Ploy (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW: Analogs #7(1/2)

        The Grand Master Bane hovered over the sleeping Mary, pausing to
admire her naked beauty. Mary was frowning, as if she were having a bad
dream. Bane touched the gem in his hand to Mary's forehead. With a flash,
Bane was projected by the gem into her dreams...
        ...and was immediately swept into a storm.

        Yoga examined his cellmate. The Semi Master had detected poten-
tial in this Mary to become a great Semi Knights ever. But a burst of
pain from an unknown source had knocked her out. At the same time Mary
passed out, Yoga felt...something wash over him. In any case, the uncon-
scious Mary was still in pain. Yoga decided to enter Mary's head; it was
the only way he knew of to help her. He extended a telepathic probe into
Mary's psyche...
        ...and was immediately swept into a storm.

        "What happened?" Paul Baines groaned as he staggered to his feet.
        "Someone apparently boobytrapped the sphere in Miss Sinclair's
cache altiverse," the Night Watchman replied, having recovered first. He
picked up the sphere. "Whoever kept it apparently did not wish to let it
go easily."
        "Mary!" Paul exclaimed, noticing the unconscious Mary lying on
the floor. He cradled her head in his lap. "Mary, are you all right?
C'mon, talk to me."
        "My apologies, Mr. Baines, but I am afraid Mary cannot hear you,"
the Watchman said sympathetically. "She bore the full brunt of the tele-
pathic blast. I seriously doubt that Miss Sinclair is anything more than
a vegetable, now."
        "Dammit, no!" Paul cried. "I'm still getting brainwaves from her.
Mary's in pain. We've got to help her."
        "That would require entering her mind," the Watchman told him.
"Doing so is very risky, Mr. Baines."
        "I don't care," Paul insisted. "Let's go!"
        "I'm afraid I cannot join you," the Watchman told him regret-
fully. He raised a hand to forestall Paul's next question. "I must safe-
guard the sphere before the GURPS androids come."
        Speechless with anger, Paul turned away from the Night Watchman
and began setting up a mindlink. The spell he was using was normally used
for projecting his mind into the MageNet. Now, he was jury-rigging it to
project him into Mary's mind. When he was ready, he casted the projection
        ...and was immediately swept into a storm.

                  Overly Bar-B-Cued Authorial Productions

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                               Episode #7(1/2)
                          "A meeting of the minds"

                          by Nopporn Wongrassamee
                          the Evil Marketing Ploy

                              with advice from
                           Gary "the Swede" Olson
                           Bill "Pickle" Dickson

{The Dreamscape, Bane}
        Forces buffeted him, tossing him about. Bane's shields barely
held up against the chaos. Through the black winds, he spied a flash of
gold. He diverted some power to nudge himself towards it and found him-
self hurled at high speed into a blue corridor.
        Feeling bruised, he picked himself off the floor. Behind him, the
corridor ended and the chaotic winds blew. A golden glow seperated the
two, leaving behind walls, floor, and ceiling as it probed into the
        Shrugging this off as unimportant, Bane turned and strode quickly
down the corridor. He came upon the silvery T1000 he had encountered in
his earlier venture into Mary's dreams. It glanced at Bane momentarily,
and apparently decided that he wasn't important. The feeling was mutual.
        The two continued together down the corridor, seeing nothing but
featureless blue.

{The Dreamscape, Yoga}
        The black storm tossed Yoga about. Yoga made no effort to resist;
the Semi Master let the winds carry him wherever it willed, certain he
would reach his destination eventually.
        He spotted a passing I-beam and grabbed  hold of it. Now that he
was anchored, Yoga saw that the I-beam was solid gold. It was part of a
building that was in a stage of partial construction. He could make out
other golden structures, all in a similar state.
        Seeing no other way to go, Yoga climbed down the network of I-
beams until he reached the entrance to a featureless blue corridor. The
Semi Master entered and strolled down it, confident that he was heading
in the right direction.

{The Dreamscape, Paul}
        As the chaotic storm slammed Paul into a green sand dune, he felt
the winds slack off a little. When he tried to stand, the wind picked up
again, causing him to drop back to the ground. Apparently, the winds were
less intense close to the ground.
        Crawling along in a random direction, he came upon a giant emer-
ald statue of Mary in the classic "thinker" pose. As he approached, the
winds calmed even more, allowing him to eventually stand up. Paul began
to make out other details of the statue; it was full of cracks, as if
someone had applied a sledgehammer to random locations. The pedestal on
which the statue sat had an open doorway in it, leading into an intermi-
nably long blue corridor.
        Paul entered and walked down the corridor. Something about this
place was naggingly familiar, but he couldn't say what for sure.
        "Make way! Make way! Injured patient coming through!"
        His musings were interupted when a hospital gurney and four
attending medics rushed past him. Paul stared. The medics were dressed in
different colors. The one leading the way was dressed in red. To either
the right and left of the gurney, the medics were in gold and blue re-
spectively. The medic pushing the gurney was wearing black. The patient
was in green. But that wasn't why he stared.
        All five of them were Mary.
        As he stood there gaping, the five Marys disappeared down the
corridor. Closing his mouth, he ran after them.

{000METAWORLD, the past}
        "So, Paul," Mary began, "what IS magic?"
        "Depends on who you ask," Paul replied.
        "Well, I happen to be asking you," Mary said, grinning. "How do
you define magic?"
        "Well, I suppose I should tell you," Paul mused. "I did agree to
teach you and all."
        "Yeah, you did," Mary said dryly.
        "Okay, okay," Paul laughed. "Mary, we live in a structured uni-
verse. This structure is largely defined by the the observers living in
it: us. Mundanes, the non-mages, have to live with the structure as it
is. Mages, on the other hand, aren't so tightly restricted; we can manip-
ulate the structure to our advantage."
        "Wouldn't that make you extremely powerful?" Mary asked. "I mean,
you could do anything you wanted."
        "Not really," Paul answered. "Mages are part of the structure,
too. While we can set up a structure that lets us do some outrageous
things, we can't step outside of it. Plus, there seem to be a few things
we find pretty constant."
       "Like what?"
       "When we do magic, we have to work with five fundamental elements,
our building blocks if you will," Paul explained. "For simplicity's sake,
we'll call them Making, Breaking, Order, Disorder, and Coordination. We
can't do any really advanced magic without them."
       "Advanced magic?" Mary said, puzzled.
       "You know, the sophisticated stuff," Paul said, "like magical
computer systems."
       "What about witches in the woods, dancing around a kettle pot full
of wierd ingredients?" Mary asked.
       "That's what refer to as medieval or stone age magic," Paul told
her. "A medieval mage is to a modern one as a medieval weaponsmith is to
a modern weapons engineer. The first can get along without the math, but
the second can make far more effective hardware. A shaman can get around
that by having spirits do all the hard work, but he sacrifices fine con-
trol in the process."
       "I see," Mary said slowly. "Let's backup a moment. How do you tell
the five forces apart?"
       "When you learn to see magic," Paul said, "you'll be able to tell.
Your own instincts will be able to decipher which is which."

{The Dreamscape, Bane}
       At last, they came to a door. It parted automatically to admit
Bane and the T1000. They stepped into a five sided operating room. Each
wall held a door, each a different color. The one he had stepped through
was ebony. Going clockwise, the other doors were emerald, ruby, gold,
and saphire. In the center, four color coded doctors who happened to be
Mary operated on the patient who was also Mary. They were apparently
trying to reassemble her.
      Good, Bane thought, they are all here. He held up his staff, the
purple gem glowing. The spell he was about to cast would enslave the
five Marys to his will. He had one Mary, mind and body. Now he will take
her soul as well: all five pieces of it.
      Ignoring his doppelganger who walked in through the emerald door
and dwarf who came through the gold one, Bane cast his spell. At that
moment, the red Mary stepped away from the others. Bane's spell touched
her and immediately ceased to exist.
      Red. The aspect of annihlation.
      "This is a closed operation," the red Mary told them. Bane suddenly
found his twin and the dwarf was standing next to him so that Mary was
addressing them all. "You should not be here. Get out."
      "Make me," snarled Bane, irritated that his spell was so easily
      "If you insist," the black Mary replied nonchalantly as she stepped
away from the operating table. Blackness erupted from her eyes and ex-
tended hands and washed over Bane, the T1000, Yoga, and Paul.
      The blackness cleared. The six of them were standing on an Los
Angelas rooftop. There were three suns in the sky. Two beings could be
seen battling in the distance, firing blinding energy blasts at one
      "What the hell?" Bane's duplicate muttered.
      "Hell(tm)," black Mary corrected. She was wearing the Silhouette
costume now. "They went corporate sometime back."
      "Why brought us here have you?" asked the dwarf, indicating their
      Black Mary shrugged. "Why not?" she asked. "This is as nice a wait-
ing room as any..."
      "...and the fireworks are going to be spectacular," finished red
Mary, grinning. She was wearing some kind of crimson armor now.
      A memory, Bane surmised correctly as he watched the distant battle.
At any moment, the Rad and the Dar would turn back into just Rad and Dar.
Then something Mary said registered. "Did you say 'going to be'?" Bane
demanded. "As in future tense?"
      At that moment, one of the combatants exploded, unleashing enough
energy to level what was left of Los Angelas.

{000SUPERGUY, the past}
      "Okay, the party is trapped in the temple of the sun god Ra-Mehn,"
Paul was saying. "Through the only exit - the front door - you can see
hoards of Apemen waiting. They don't approach because they have a super-
stitious fear of the temple. What do you do?"
      It was a game night. The five of them had gathered at Paul's place
for a session of roleplaying. Paul was the Game Master for the current
campaign and enjoying every minute.
      "I draw my sword and go out to do glorious battle," Rhonda said,
getting into the spirit of the game.
      "I try to talk her out of it," Elizabeth interjected. "Now, Rhonda,
you may have the most munchkin character, but if you you go out there
against those kinds of odds, you'll be so much dogfood."
      "But Paul didn't specify how many Apemen there are," Rhonda pro-
      "He said 'hoards'," Mary put in. She looked at Paul. "I assume that
means they outnumber us?"
      "By more than ten to one," Paul confirmed, nodding. He smirked.
"Since Rhonda wants to go out and bash heads, and Liz wants to stop her,
I'll make it an IQ vs. Fast-talk roll." He rolled the dice. "Too bad,
Liz. You failed. Rhonda's going out. Anyone care to join her?"
      "I'll stay in the temple, thankyou very much," Elizabeth told them.
      "Okay," Paul said, still smirking. "Mary?"
      "I'll, er, provide fire support from the temple entrance," Mary
      "Whatever you say," Paul said. His smirk grew into a full-fledged
grin. "Rhonda, you go out and had a glorious battle. In the end, you
were knocked out and carried off to the Apemen's stew pots."
      "What? Don't I get to roll dice for the battle?" Rhonda asked.
      "Nope," Paul answered, laughing. "If you want to know, you managed
to take 12 of the apemen with you. Mary blasted another dozen. The out-
come is still the same. You're Apeman food, and there are still hordes of
them out there."

{The Dreamscape, Yoga}
      The shockwave washed over them in an instant. Yoga fought to keep
his psionic shields from collapsing under the blast. And then it was
over. The two men picked themselves off the ground. The silvery being
morphed back into a humanoid shape. The two Marys seem unaffected.
      "Leave. Now," commanded red Mary.
      "Or I'll do something really nasty to you," added black Mary. "In
fact, I'll do it anyway."
      Suddenly, they were on an empty street at night. In the distance,
a truly gigantic mouth harp stood; a glow could be seen at its distant
top of it. The ground began to rumble beneath them.
      "Wait! Negotiate, can we not?" Yoga shouted.
      "No," red Mary replied.
      The harp detatched from ground, lifting into the air. Yoga's Semi
psi senses told him that in truth, the _planet_ was being propelled away
from the harp. They also told him that a truly nasty fate awaited him if
he stayed.
      The man in the purple robe suddenly grabbed black Mary and spun her
around. Pulling her close, the man kissed Mary deeply, his staff flashing
purple. In that instant, time slowed to a halt. The planet stopped moving
away from the harp. The rumbling ceased. The six of them could move
normally, however.
      While the other man watched bug-eyed, the first released black Mary
from their liplock. Black Mary drifted to the ground, a vacant smile on
her face. Red Mary seemed to be momentarily stunned.
      "You," said the man without the staff. "I know you. You're my game
AI, Bane. What are you doing here?"
      "That's Grand Master Bane to you," corrected Bane. "And I'm not
just your game AI any more. I'm all too real, Paul Baines." The gem in
his staff began to glow brighter. "As for what I'm doing here, I'm here
to take Mary Sinclair's soul."
      "What? I can't let you do that!" Paul exclaimed.
      "Agree, I do," Yoga agreed. "Yours she is not."
      "Yes, I knew you'd say that," Bane said. With that, he blew them
away in a purple blash of power.

(to be continued in part 2)

Copyright Notice:
This story is (C)opyright by Nopporn Wongrassamee in 1996. All rights
The Sage and Noj are trademarks of Bill Dickson and used with permission.
Send feedback to:                    | "We've scanned Mitchel 2"
      a00076 at     | "Any signs of intelligent life?"
                                     | "No."
Date:         Fri, 9 Feb 1996 10:08:05 -0800
From:         the Evil Marketing Ploy (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW: Analogs #7(2/2)

                  Overly Bar-B-Cued Authorial Productions
                          Analogs Episode #7 (2/2)
                           "Dream a little dream"

                          by Nopporn Wongrassamee
                          the Evil Marketing Ploy

{666NOTTHATNASTY, the past}
      "What's this?" Sissyphus U. Lucky Jones asked as he examined the
      "Package for you in the mail," answered his secretary, a rather
old and decrepit looking succubus.
      "I can see that," Sissyphus snapped irritably. He unwrapped the
brown wrapping paper. The contents consisted of some ancient parchment
covered in unreadable hieroglyphs and a handbook titled "Reading Unread-
able Hieroglyphs Written on Ancient Parchment in Ten Easy Steps".
      "You want me to throw these in the furnace, boss?" his secretary
asked. For some reason, he could never remember her name. It probably
wasn't important anyway.
      "No, I think I'll work on these," Sissyphus told her. "It's been a
slow day anyway. Now get out."
      When she was gone, Sissyphus proceeded to translate the hiero-
glyphs. When he was done, he read the translation. He reread it. He
double-checked his work. There was no mistake. It read:

                   Prophecy of the Great Five

      Five are the aspects that make up the Multiverse:
              the Write
              the Delete
              the Copy
              the Random
              the Select
      Five are the altiverses to which they are bound:
              the SF
              the ## [Hieroglyphs are scratched out here]
              the MW
              the SG
              the AA
      Five are the counterparts to which they are rooted:
              the Engineer
              the Warrior
              the Mage
              the Heroine
              the Muse
      Five are the Ones who would conquer through them:
              the Bane
              the Darned
              the Machined
              the Ring
              the Interloper
      Five are the Ones who would stop them:
              the Mother
              the Mage
              the Master
              the Many
              the Evil

{The Dreamscape, Paul}
      Paul picked himself up from the remains of the house he had been
blown through. His shields had just barely held up against Bane's attack.
Luckily, Bane had decided not to finish Paul off.
      "Yech! This gunk what is?" Paul turned to see the Star Wars reject
climb out of an upturned refrigerator. Paul picked up an intact aluminum
can and examined the label.
      "It's something called bl00penbrau," Paul told him, tossing the can
aside. "Hello, I'm Paul."
      "Yes, know I. Ears I have," the little guy snapped. "Yoga my name
is. Help Mary, your wish is too?"
      "That's right," Paul confirmed. What an imagination Mary has, Paul
mused. "Do you have any idea how to go about it? Bane's a pretty mean
customer. I should know; I designed him."
      "Matters not Bane's power," Yoga told him. "Prevail we must or lost
Mary will be."
      "Let her go!" came Bane's voice. "She's mine!"
      Looking around the wreckage of the house, Paul and Yoga spotted
Bane annd the T1000 fighting over black Mary; specifically, they had each
grabbed an arm and were playing tug of war. Bane would blast the T1000 to
no effect; it would morph every hole close. He apparently didn't use any-
thing more powerful for fear of damaging her.
      Red Mary was nowhere to be seen.
      Black Mary shook her head groggily. The ground began to tremble.
The mouth harp started pulling away. Light began to shimmer along the
entire horizon. Time was starting up again.
      "Something soon we must do," Yoga said, "or toast we shall be."
      Paul watched the tug of war. The participants seemed to be com-
pletely absorbed in it. Paul turned back to Yoga. "Listen, I've got an

{The Sage's Space Station, the past}
      "Greetings, Sage, I am..."
      "Yes, yes, yes, I know who you are and why you're here," the Sage
said. "Just ask your question, Sissy."
      "Don't call me Sissy!" Sissyphus objected. "Now, I want to know..."
      "Who the current five foci for the different Multiversal aspects
are," finished the Sage. "That'll be twenty dollars."
      "Can we negotiate the price?" Sissyphus asked.
      "Nope," the Sage replied.
      "But twenty dollars for one little question?" Sissyphus whined.
"Why don't I go somewhere else to get answer the answer I'll need?"
      "I'll tell you for twenty dollars." Sissyphus absently forked over
twenty. "Because, you don't know who else to ask Sissy..."
      "Don't call me Sissy!"
      "...and if you did, they wouldn't tell you," the Sage concluded,
ignoring the interuption.
      "What about the foci?" Sissyphus asked. "Why didn't you tell me
about them?" The Sage held out a hand in which Sissyphus placed another
      "Because you asked more than one question," the Sage told him.
      "I did?"
      The Sage held out his hand again and Sissyphus gave him yet another
      This continued for quite some time.

{The Dreamscape, now}
      Black Mary was in pain. On the one arm, the T1000 pulled at her,
trying to absorb her into itself. On the other, Bane pulled with equal
fervor, trying to enslave her to his will. The dichotomy was tearing her
apart, sending out little rippling waves of chaos outward to interact
with the Multiverse at large.
      Out of nowhere, twin bolts of mental force shot out and struck Bane
and the T1000. The sheer surprise knocked them loose of Mary and away
from her. As Mary collapsed, Paul and Yoga appeared, scooping her up and
teleporting her away to another location in the Mary's Dreamscape.
      Left behind, Bane and the T1000 were caught as the first planet
Mitchel was propelled by the Noj into a neutron star.

      They landed back in the operating room. As Paul got up, he suddenly
found himself staring down the barrel of a gun held by red Mary. "Don't
move," she said evenly. The Mary now wearing a lemon yellow jumpsuit
wrapped Yoga in a golden rope.
      The Mary in the light blue toga brushed past them and put a hand on
black Mary's shoulder. Black Mary shook her head and stood. The Mary in
the green dress just stood back and just watched dispassionately, appa-
rently fine now.
      "You do not belong here," blue Mary declared, addressing Paul and
Yoga. "You will leave this place. Now."
      "Came to help I did," Yoga said. "Help you appeared to need."
      "Ditto," Paul chimed.
      "It doesn't matter," replied blue Mary. "You do not belong. You
will leave, now..."
      "...or I will be forced to destroy you," finished red Mary.
      Before either Paul or Yoga could respond, the ceiling collapsed in-
ward. A somewhat singed Bane floated down through the hole, his staff's
gem bathing them in a purple light. The T1000 followed, quickly dropping
to the floor.
      "Hello, Mary," Bane greeted. "I've come for you."
       "You do not belong here," blue Mary repeated to Bane and the
T1000. "You will leave. Now."
        "I've stood up to everything you've tossed at me, Mary," Bane
said, smiling humorourlessly. "How do you intend to enforce your order?"
        Blue Mary shook her head like a schoolteacher exasperated with a
particularly dull student. Red Mary leveled a huge gun that she didn't
have a moment ago at Bane and opened fire. Bane was blown through the
wall. The T1000 started forward, but a touch from green Mary froze it in
crystaline jade. It winked out a moment later, apparently leaving the
        Finding himself ignored, Paul crept over to Yoga and untied him.
"So, do we stay and try to help," Paul asked, "or do we leave like Mary
told us to?"
        "Help we must," Yoga insisted as Bane charged back into the room.
        Suddenly, a black hurricane hit the room imploding onto Bane in
spherical compression waves. Bolt after bolt after bolt of crimson light-
ning struck him in rapid succession. Golden anvils dropped out of the sky
to pound Bane's shielding like bullets from a machine gun. Jade crystals
encased his feet, keeping him from evading the punishment. With Mary's
full attention now brought against him, Bane decided to cut his losses
while he was still intact, and left the dream; he winked out in a
purple flash.
        "Strong word 'must' is," Yoga added as the storm died as quickly
as it appeared. "Leave perhaps we should."
        "Go," blue Mary ordered again. She didn't sound like she would
give them a second chance to comply.
        They left. Fast.

        "Morning, lover," Mary greeted, kissing Bane on the cheek. She
was wearing one of his shirts. Being just a shade too large, it barely
covered all the essentials. "Last night was wonderful."
        "Yeah, right, whatever," Bane muttered as he rubbed his temples.
        "Headache?" Mary asked, setting a steaming mug of coffee down in
front of him.
        "Yes and thanks for the coffee," Bane replied shortly, sipping
the coffee. "Who are you calling?" he asked when he noticed that she had
picked up his cellular phone.
        "My mom," Mary said as she dialed. "I should have been home way
before now." She indicated the daylight streaming in the window. "Paul,
is something wrong?"
        "No, just a bad dream I had," Paul said quickly.
        "Oh. Nothing about the future is it?" Mary asked.
        "Not at all," Paul replied truthfully. "How were your dreams?"
        "Haven't a clue; I never remember my dreams," Mary answered. "Hi,
Mom? It's me, Mary..."

        When Mary woke up, the first thing she saw was Hank Soil. He was
still encased in cement. "Hey, kid. Have any sweet dreams?"
        "I wouldn't know," Mary replied grogily. "I never remember my
        "Thank goodness you're all right, Mistress Sinclair," exclaimed
Cheerio. AreNot bleeped in agreement. Mary frowned; in the short time she
had known him, Cheerio had never been this obsequious.
        Then she noticed what she was wearing.
        "Ick! What a tacky outfit!" she exclaimed. Mary was wearing only
a gold plated chainlink bikini and a collar around her neck. A similarly
gold plated chain led from the collar to the base of a throne. On the
throne sat...
        Mary blinked.
        "Akchally, I kinda like it," said the Mr. Peanut lookalike. That
is, he would have looked like a Mr. Peanut if Mr. Peanut dressed like Al
Capone. He tugged on the chain, drawing Mary closer to him than she real-
ly wanted to get. "I'm Jawbreaker de Nut. Maybe you've hearda' me?"

        "Steady there," Paul cautioned as Chewgumma helped Mary into the
chair. He handed her a steaming mug of coffee. "You just recovered from a
serious mind blast."
        "Just how bad was it?" Mary asked as she sipped the coffee.
        "All things considered, you should be a vegetable," Paul told
her. "You would have been, too, if you had a normal psyche."
        "I'm abnormal?" Mary asked, puzzled.
        "Try schitzophrenic," Paul said. "Well, maybe not that bad. How
much do you remember about your dreams?"
        "I never remember my dreams," Mary answered.
        "Well, in that case..." Paul began. He related everything that
had happened in the Dreamscape.
        "How did you all survive getting nuked and thrown into a star and
stuff?" Mary asked.
        "We were in your dreams," Paul answered. "Those threats you cre-
ated only had as much power as your mental defenses could gather up. You
know, Mary, I think you've got a special relationship with the five
aspects of magic. But that's geting into theoretical realms that are WAY
out of my league."
        "Maybe I'm a focus for those aspects," Mary speculated, "a kind
of cosmic linchpin."
        "What makes you say that?"
        Mary looked up, blinking in confusion. "I have no idea," she said
slowly. "The idea just popped into my head."

        The Interloper finished reading Renegade Anarchists IV #12. He
was particularly interested in the Swede's explanation about the nature
of the SFSTORY milliverse. Confident now that he wouldn't upset any run-
ning plots, he called the ship's captain.
        A VERY attractive female form covered only in soap suds materia-
lized in front of him. She squeaked in embarassment. He leered back. The
captain had apparently been in the shower.
        "Much as I'd like to stare at you all day, Captain," the Inter-
loper began, "but I still have a multiverse to go conquer. Set a round-
about course for Planet Dispenser. We have a 'guest' to pick up, but I'm
in no great hurry."
        Nodding, the embarassed Captain beamed back to her quarters to
get dressed. The Interloper leaned back in his chair and smiled. There
were certain advantages to having an all female crew.
        Sometime later, the massive engines of the Symphony o' Doom roar-
ed to life, slowly pushing the black silhouette of an immense grand piano
towards an unsuspecting galaxy.





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

"Aargh! It's Superguy!! SUPERGUY!!!"

Copyright Notice:
This story is (C)opyright by Nopporn Wongrassamee in 1996. All rights
The Sage and Noj are trademarks of Bill Dickson and used with permission.
Send feedback to:                    | "We've scanned Mitchel 2"
      a00076 at     | "Any signs of intelligent life?"
                                     | "No."
Date:         Tue, 13 Feb 1996 22:47:18 -0500
From:         jazz in the ravine (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode thirteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                                 IN TEARY ORE
                             (a Tale of Sf_story!)
                                  Episode 13
                                 Gary W. Olson


     Making an alteration to the structure of an altiverse, or even an
altiversal set, is not as difficult as one might think.  All it requires
is a crafty mind, a device with which to make such an adjustment, a
blitheringly massive amount of energy, and an open-minded attitude towards
the consequences of such an action, which may run the gamut between
altiversal inversion, molecular disruption, and the sudden imposition of
the flat tax.
     Altiverse 223DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY contains a permanent structural
alteration, represented in the designation in the form of an apostrophe,
which keeps non-Authors from entering the altiverse.  There are various
ways of getting around it, of course, as any system that relies on the
Authors for competent screening procedures is bound to be buggy.  In
general, however, it works, at least for the Author's altiverse.  No other
altiverse has possessed such an alteration -- until now.
     The embedded blank rippled through the sf_story altiverses, changing
the nature of space and time.  As can be expected with such a drastic
cosmological change, intense disruptions occurred.  Eight thousand stars in
008SF_STORY went nova.  In 444SF_STORY, Galaxy M-1 was instantly
transformed into an enormous wiener dog.  The occupants of 901SF_STORY
annexed 902SF_STORY for closet space.  People actually started to find spam
     Okay, I made up the last one.  That was too far-fetched, even for
Sf_story.  But you get the idea -- some very intensely weird things were
happening as a consequence of this single action, which was probably why it
went almost totally unnoticed.
     The beings who lived in Sf_story were no strangers to weird
happenings.  If you showed them a small device that, if it were aimed at
their planet and activated, would turn the planet into cottage cheese,
they'd yawn and say their Uncle Zbwognik had given them six at the last
Zweeglefest.  If you used time travel to set up an impossible paradox,
they'd set up a theme park around it.  If you showed up on their doorstep
and started randomly blithering technical-sounding stuff, they'd write it
up and send it to Paramount as a Voyager spec script.
     Hence, when the interior of the Shadow Puppet's domain, which
generally resembled a dank cave decorated in Early Rotting Decrepitude,
suddenly was revamped to resemble a swank discotheque merged with a sort of
strict Victorian roller derby concept, neither the Shadow Puppets nor their
captives made much mention of it, aside from the startled yelps when it
actually happened.
     "Yelp!" they exclaimed.
     "Watch out!" the Victorian roller derby folk exclaimed as they cruised
     "Well," Jerriphrrt commented.  "Does this happen often?"
     "Not that we've noticed," one of the Shadow Puppets, the one that
resembled a hawk, answered.  "But then, we just work here, so we don't
know.  You'd have to ask our masters."
     "And your masters are..."
     "The Shadoes!"
     "No!" Floyd exclaimed.  "You don't mean--"
     "Yes!" a booming voice replied.  "That's exactly what we mean!"
     Jerriphrrt and Floyd turned to see six Shadoe Stevens advancing on
them in what was, despite their best efforts, a less than menacing fashion.
The Shadow Puppets, however, seemed very impressed, and bowed repeatedly,
inasmuch as a shadow of a hawk or Abe Lincoln could be made to look as
though it were bowing.
     "And now," they said in unison, "we shall reveal our Master Plan!"
     "We were promised that in the last scene we were in," Floyd replied.
"Get on with it already!"
     "We can't," they said.  "The scene's over."
     "Oh, Needlewarp..."
     Energy flashed, striking Floyd's shell.
     "Watch your language!"


     BRENDA bounced off the wall and cursed to herself.  Keeping the small
body she was in hovering correctly required no small amount of
concentration, because it was so lightweight, and because it resembled a
cheap windup plastic toy, which inspired passerby to pick her out of the
air and wind her up, which played havoc with the internal motors.
     Her rescuer, TH1K1, patiently waited for her to gain her bearings
before leading her through the Mall Level towards a destination BRENDA saw
was called Coffee Command.  They flew in the open doorway, over the heads
of various customers, towards the counter.  BRENDA recognized some of those
behind the counter.
     "Thicky!" the person she recognized as Professor Parsasentence from
TH1K1's disparaging description exclaimed.  "You're back!  Where've you
been, little buddy?"
     "Get away from me, creep," TH1K1 responded.  Unfortunately, because
all his speech sounded like a speeded up tape loop being played backwards,
the Professor and those near him (Quirk and Lt. Chatsia Slacks)
misinterpreted it as a cute, cheerful squeak.
     "Hey, who's your friend, little guy?" Slacks asked.
     "I saw her first," TH1K1 squeaked, to no avail.
     "My name is BRENDA," BRENDA squeaked.  "Please take me to see Emma.
It's urgent."
     "Aw, isn't that cute," Quirk said.  "It's almost as if they can talk."
     "Argh!" BRENDA and TH1K1 exclaimed.
     "You're just in time," Prof. Parsasentence told them.  "We need your
help to rescue Jason from Bagelos's clutches!"
     "Do it yourself, cheese-brains," TH1K1 growled, which again came out
as a cheerful squeak.  Parsasentence grabbed TH1K1 out of the air and
attached a scientific-looking device that could have easily doubled as a
bowling-alley telescore machine.  TH1K1 strained under the weight, and
BRENDA rushed to aid him.
     "Just carry that over to the Bagelon ship and fly around," Slacks
instructed.  "It will do the rest."
     "You will all die, painfully and slowly," TH1K1 swore, as he and
BRENDA slowly hovered out of Coffee Command.  "Mark my words!  I shall rend
your flesh from your bones!  I shall not rest until I have caused you
exquisite, unheard-of pain!"
     "We love you too, TH1K1!" Parsasentence replied, waving cheerfully.


     "The forces of Hell(tm) have been smuggling Spam to Earth via Fredonia
5 for a little less than a year," Steve Vogel said.  "They have agents
within Para-Core who facilitate this business.  Also, a number of sci-fi
actors are smuggled away from Earth to Fredonia 5 on the same ships.  The
Brotherhood is dedicated to shutting them down."
     "So what does that have to do with us?" Cardinal Hagen asked.  "We
didn't know about any of this until now."
     "Because it is well known that God has ordered Pope Joe Don I to put a
stop to the spam smuggling," Vogel responded.  "As Cardinals, you would be
seen by the agents of Hell(tm) as his direct agents."
     "Joe Don I was killed when the Vatican exploded... wasn't he?" Van
Cleef asked.
     "Doubtful," Vogel said.  "If you guys survived, he probably did, too.
Divine providence and all that."
     "I don't know," Hagen replied.  "This all sounds too pat to me."
     "Then perhaps this will convince you," Vogel said.  He handed them a
compu-pad that had an e-mail message displayed:

    "From: god at heaven.div (the Big Kahuna)
     To: vogel at (Steve Vogel)
     Subject: Cardinal Van Cleef, Cardinal Hagen, this is for you.

     They're telling the truth, so believe them.


     "You could have faked this," Van Cleef said, accusingly.
     "Read the P.S," Vogel answered.  They read the P.S.

    "P.S.  Don't make me reveal what you did with the sheep."

     "Er, okay," Hagen said.  "I guess that's... authentic."
     "Is there anything we can do to help your cause?" Van Cleef asked.
     "As a matter of fact," Vogel said, smiling, "there is."


     "Okay, this secret meeting is called to order," Captain Spaulding
announced.  "I'll have a whiskey.  Anyone else want anything?"
     "Universal peace," Chicobaldi said.
     "I think we're out of that," Spaulding said.  "How about universal
     "I'll take twenty-four of those," Chicobaldi answered.
     "I'll give you a ring when I get them," Spaulding said.  "Now, if
there are no further orders, let's start the reading.  Lt. Zacko, would
you please read the minutes of the last meeting."
     Zacko nodded vigorously, pulled out a clock, and stared at it.  He
tossed it over his shoulder and sat back down.
     "Okay, any new business?" Spaulding asked.  "Any old business?
Any funny business?  If so, cut it out, or at least give me a cut."
     "Quack!" Spaulding's duck quacked.
     "Quiet, you," Spaulding replied.  "Stop egging him on, please."
     "Captain, we have to come up with a plan to deal with the Shadow
Puppets..." DePenn started.
     "It's already taken care of," Spaulding answered.  "The Osmonds are
going to be stopping by for a concert.  The light their teeth generate
should drive out all the shadows."
     "This is serious!" DePenn insisted.
     "We'll discuss how you relate to dogs and their star at another time,"
Spaulding said.  "By the way, what's with the telephone on your forehead?
You trying to proposition Clark Kent?"
     "It's how I stay in contact with my people."
     "Oh, telephonic, eh?  Why don't you come back to my quarters and we
can reverse the charges."
     "Time to be getting on with is," B'Gosh interrupted, determinedly.
     "We still don't understand why we're part of this meeting," Emma
Goldman added.  "Could someone explain that to us?"
     "The Shadow Puppets captured some matterswing technology, and tested
it on your ship and part of your crew," DePenn explained.  "You and James
appeared on our planet, where our Nosy Caste determined that the experience
gave you the ability to detect the influence of the Puppets.  We couldn't
risk revealing it to you before we got here."
     "Do they still have the technology?" James Dean asked.
     "We believe they abandoned it as unsatisfactory, and allowed G.X.P.
Varneyloop to take the blame for their actions.  They are pursuing their
goals by other means."
     "I hope'a those means don'ta include boring us to death," Chicobaldi
said.  "Cuz'a that'd mean'a you the prime suspect."
     "So, kids, detect any agents of the Shadow Puppets here?" Spaulding
asked.  "Better yet, do you detect my agent?  If you do, tell him I want to
get out of this feature, pronto!"
     "There's something," James Dean said, frowning.  "I thought it was bad
fritos, but now that I think about it, it's a sense that someone here, in
this room, is an enemy agent."
     "Great, now you tell us," Spaulding said.  "I did everything but
reveal the combination for the lock on my liquor cabinet."
     "Thirty-two, twenty-seven, fourteen," Chicobaldi said, helpfully.
Spaulding swatted him with his cap.


Find out, eventually, on SFSTORY!  The official parody of the 1996
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