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Sfstory Log 079

Date:         Thu, 29 Feb 1996 11:05:42 -0800
From:         the Evil Marketing Ploy (a00076 at ACADEMIC.CSUBAK.EDU)
Subject:      SG/SF/MW/WW: Analogs #9 (2/2)

Analogs Episode #9 (2/2)
"Split Alternities"
(Continued from part 1)

        The doorbell rang.
        Mary swore in frustration. She had been going over the program,
the hardware, and the calculations, trying to figure out why she hadn't
been transported along with Paul and Chewgumma to 000SUPERGUY. So far,
she hadn't been able to find a thing.
        Sighing, she got up and went to answer the door. Mary sensed a
definite magical presence on the other side of the door. Checking the
eyehole revealed that no one was standing there. Opening the door
cautiously, Mary found a brown and white house cat sitting there.
        "Hazel?" Mary said as she picked the cat up. "What are you doing
here? Where's Grandma?"
        "Oh, she's fine," Hazel replied. "She just sent me to keep an eye
on you and your friend."
        Mary nearly dropped the cat. "You can talk!" Mary exclaimed.
        "Well, duh," Hazel said. "It's kinda obvious, don't you think?"
        "But you haven't spoken to me since I was five," Mary said. "It
was so long ago, I thought I'd imagined it. Why did you stop?"
        "Well, your mother developed this animosity towards magic," Hazel
explained, "and your grandmother and I thought it best to humor her. But
since your mother is dead now..."
        "Oh, please, don't remind me," Mary muttered, throwing herself
onto a couch.
        "Sorry, I..." Hazel paused. "Say, is that normal?"
        "What is?"
        "That." Hazel indicated the smoke billowing up in the pentagram.
It resolved into three demons wearing suits. Each carried a guitar case.
        "Who are you?" Mary asked surprised.
        "I'm Moe(no relation)," answered the first.
        "I'm Larry(no relation)," answered the second.
        "I'm Curly(no relation), nyuk nyuk," answered the third.
        "Since when did demons do comedy?" Hazel asked.
        "Since we came to kidnap Mary here," replied Moe(no relation).
        The trio drew guns from their guitar cases. "Stick 'em up," Larry
(no relation) ordered, pointing his gun at Mary.
        "Nyuk nyuk."

        Mary woke up with a groan. "Where am I?" she mumbled.
        "Local hospital," Paul replied. "How do you feel?"
        "Lousy," Mary groaned. "Feels like someone dropped a whole mecha
on me."
        "Well, actually..." Paul began, embarassed.
        "Ah, Private Sinclair, you're awake," interupted a doctor. "You
were remarkably lucky. If that Martian mecha had been a few feet off
either way, you'd have been crushed in your cockpit."
        Suddenly, Mary recalled her last moments of the battle. She threw
a glare at Paul. "How bad off am I, Doctor...?" She raised an eyebrow.
        "Except for a minor concussion, you're fine," the doctor replied.
"Like I said, you were remarkably lucky. Oh, and I'm Doctor Rebecca
        Mary sat up. "Then can I go?" she asked. "There's still a battle
to be fought."
        "Actually, the battle ended yesterday," Paul told her. "That
Martian we took out was one of the last."
        "I'd like to keep you around another day for observation," Dr.
Stanning said. "Oh, yes. There's someone here to see you." A man walked
        "Hello, I'm Colonel James Wulf," he said.
        Mary and Paul immediately got to their feet and saluted. Mary
swayed slightly. "Sir!"
        "At ease," Colonel Wulf said, returning the salute. Paul sat back
down. Mary plopped back into bed. The Colonel took a seat for himself.
        "So, what brings you here, Colonel?" Paul asked.
        "Well, I saw footage from Private Sinclair's gun camera," he
began, "and I was impressed. Sinclair, you managed to actually take down
three of the Enemy mecha."
        "Had help on the last one," Mary mumbled.
        "Even so, it was an impressive accomplishment," Wulf replied,
"especially considering how inferior our technology still is to the
        "Thanks," Mary said, pleased.
        "Anyway, I'm here to make you two an offer," Wulf told them. "How
would you two like to go to another planet?"

        "What do you MEAN we can't jump back into 000SFSTORY?" Sissyphus
        "Well,, Mr. Jones, sir," began the nerdy technician.
"Somebody in 001SFSTORY inserted an embedded blank and now all they're
SF_STORY altiverses. Until the blank is removed, we can't get in."
        "Why not?"
        "The computer can't handle the blank. We'll heave to do a
complete rewiring of it to get in."
        "Just what kind of computer are we using, anyway?"
        "A UNIVAC."

        "You're saying that this altiverse's Paul Baines has been
possessed by a magical computer program?" Mrs. Sinclair asked
        "That about sums it up," Paul Baines of 000METAWORLD replied.
"It's the only thing I can think of that fits. I have absolutely no idea
how it got FTPed here and all..."
        "Oh, Hell(tm)," Mrs. Sinclair said as she sank into a couch.
", Bane persuaded Mary to move in with him. And since he wants
her soul... I'm just glad Mary's out of town, right now."
        "Well, it certainly keeps him from her," Paul agreed. Then he
recalled something she said. "Why did you add a trademark to the end of
        "Hell(tm) has gone corporate," Mrs. Sinclair told him absently.
        "Strange, that's what the black dream Mary told me," Paul mused.
        "Black dream Mary?" Mrs. Sinclair echoed questioningly.
        "Yeah, we had an accident about a month ago. I projected myself
into Mary's dream to help her," Paul explained. "I ran into five color-
coded versions of Mary. They each wore differebt outfits that were
different colors: blue, yellow, red, black and green. The black Mary had
on black. Black spandex, black boots, black jacket, black spandex, and
black gloves. Uh, why are you staring at me like that?"
        "That's Mary's superhero costume," Mrs. Sinclair said slowly.
        "Super WHAT?!"

        "Dad! Dad!"
        "What is it son?" Shamus said absently as he paged through a mint
condition Krackdown #1 comic book.
        "There's this army comin' to get us!" his son said urgently. "We
gotta go!"
        "Uh huh. Right. Whatever." There was a clatter of metalic
footsteps. This was sufficiently strange to get Shamus' attention. He
looked up from his comic book and saw two droids run by. They were
followed by a slightly green dwarf, a levitating man, and a pretty girl.
The girl stopped and stared at him.
        "You," she stated.
        "Me?" Shamus asked confused.
        "Yes, you," the girl continued. "You've got a ship."
        "I do?"
        Mary pointed to the framed starship deed. It bore Shamus' picture
and a picture of the ship in question.
        "Oh, heh heh," Shamus said sheepishly. "Guess I do."
        "You're going to fly us out of here," the girl told him.
        "I am?" Shamus asked skeptically.
        The dwarf came back. "You will fly us out of here," he commanded.
        "I will fly you out of here," Shamus said woodenly as he got up.

        "Say, can't we talk about this?" Mary asked as she got up slowly.
        "Nah," Moe(no relation) told her.
        "Just step in the pentagram here and we'll be off," Larry(no
relation) said.
        Mary suddenly dove behind the home made fusion reactor.
        "Oh, so that's how it's gonna be, eh?" Curly(no relation) said,
annoyed. "Well, take this!" Curly(no relation) fired his gun in Mary's
general direction.
        Now, pentagrams are for transportation. However, when they were
originally developed, petagrams usually transported demons, spirits, and
other nasty magical entities. As such, pentagrams were also designed to
keep contained such hostile forces.
        So it should come as no surprise that Curly's(no relation's) heck
fire ricocheted all over the inside of the pentagram, ventilating the
three demons in places not meant to be ventilated.
        For an instant, all was still.
        With a puff of sulfurous smoke, two more demons appeared. One
was fat, the other thin.
        "Well, this is another fine mess they've gotten into," said the
fat one.
        "Guess we'll have to take them back, huh?" said the thin one.
        The fat one nodded. The five immediately vanished in another puff
of sulfurous smoke.
        "What happened, Hazel?" Mary asked as she emerged from behind the
        "You wouldn't believe me," Hazel replied, shaking her head. The
quality of demons had seriously gone downhill since her day.

        "So what planet do you think we'll be going to?" Mary asked as
she finished packing her duffel bag.
        "Well, I heard a rumor that we'll be headed toward Venus," Paul
replied as he hefted his own duffel bag. "On the other hand, Mars is also
a distinct possibility from what I've heard."
        Mary snorted. "Gee, you're alot of help," she said scornfully as
she slung her own bag over her shoulder. "I've heard those same rumors
        "Yeah, well, we'll find out at the briefing," Paul said as the
walked out of the barracks. They made their way over to the bus that
would take them to the airport. From there, they would hop a military
transport to Cape Canaverel.
        "Names?" asked the bus attendent, a middle aged but fit woman
with fiery red hair.
        "Private Sinclair and Baines reporting as ordered, ma'am," Mary
stated as they saluting. She spotted the woman's rank insignia. "Ma'am,
isn't Lieutenant Colonel a little high ranking for a bus attendant?"
        The other woman chuckled. "Yes, Private, it is," she answered. "I
just wanted to see the girl that got Wulf's attention. Besides, there
aren't very many recruits from this base heading for Cape Canaverel. Hi,
I'm Natalie Kerins. I'm the exec for this expedition."

        "I suppose you're wondering how I found out about you," Nopporn
the Anonymech said as he leaned back in his chair, propping his feet on
the Interloper's desk.
        "Not really," Nopporn the Interloper replied, irritated. He was
sitting behind the desk. "You probably subscribed to the Superguy just
like I did."
        "Yes, the target is destroyed."
        "That sounds familiar," the Interloper said suspiciously.
        "Paraphrase of a line from the novel, Close Quarters," Anonymech
        "Ah, yes." The Interloper brushed Anonymech's feet off his desk.
"So, why shouldn't I use my Edit to just blow you away."
        "Oh, simple," Anonymech replied. "You only have a limited supply
of Edit that you can't replenish, just like I do. Since we're both parts
of the Evil Author that got squeezed out when he was turned into Cheez,
we both started out with equal amounts of Edit, but I didn't burn off
alot of it creating a giant, space-going piano and populate with an all
female crew. I did get my own army however. Wanna see who actually has
        "Er, no," said the Interloper. "So, why are you visiting me?"
        "Oh, simple," replied Anonymech. "You would have learned of me
soon enough. Just wanted to pay a social call and tell you that you've
got competition, now."
        "To get Mary Sinclair," clarified Anonymech, "and take over the
Multiverse. Ta ta!" With that, he vanished in another Edit flash.







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


And check out the adventures of SG Mary in Moronic Kombat!

Copy Right Notice:
This story is (C)opyright by Nopporn Wongrassamee in 1996. All rights

Send feedback to: a00076 at

"Sir, we've finished scanning Mitchel 2."
"Any sign of intelligent life?"
Date:         Tue, 5 Mar 1996 00:40:47 -0500
From:         hey jupiter (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode sixteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                            IN AND AROUND THE SCENE
                             (a Tale of Sf_story!)
                                  Episode 16
                                 Gary W. Olson


     The dull grey of overly-hyped space evaporated from the windshield,
leaving a spectacular view of the stars.  Ronald Hastings, Captain of the
spacegoing Pinto known (to its occupants) as the AOEDWOSTWHARSUSPWKSS
High_Spock_Is_A_Weenie (a fact not known to the High Spock, who, at the
moment, was in an arcade in New Orleans, playing the Klingon Combat video
game while, outside, a gang of first-graders was beating up his Security
Team), snored loudly, which would have annoyed his Crew, i.e, Norman
Sassafrass, had Norman not also been fast asleep.  Furthermore, the same
general condition of non-awakeness could be said for the passengers as
well -- the sheer boredom of overly-hyped space can get to even the most
easily entertained being if it is watched for too long.  (Though overly-
hyped space is hardly the most boring place in the universe -- that
distinction has long been held, and will continue to be held, by Orono,
     "Roop roop roop," said the imminent collision detection alarm, to no
avail.  Snores continued to prevail on the Pinto -- except from one person.
One person of unusual fortitude and intense inebriation, who had been
kept locked in the trunk ever since the Pinto took off from Earth.  A
person who was now squirming out of the trunk, through the cushions of the
Pinto's back seat (pushing aside Lark Purree and Thelona Wyndingrode),
and into the crowded Control Cabin.
     "Whew," Pope Joe Don I commented.  "Maybe I oughta go on a diet."
     "Roop roop roop," the alarm said, again.
     "Sorry to come up here," Joe Don I addressed the sleeping folk in the
front seat.  "But I ran out of Schlitz.  You got any in the glove
compartment?"  Not getting any answer, he pushed Sajanseel Boudoir aside
and reached in.
     "Roop roop roop," the alarm said, as it always did.
     "Um...hey," Joe Don I said.  "There's a space station, directly ahead.
Hmmmm.  Big one, too.  We're headed straight for it."  He pondered it some
more, shrugged, and started checking the glove compartment again.  In the
process, he bumped Norman, who in turn fell against Ronald, who woke up
and pushed Norman back into Joe Don I, who fell against Boudoir, who woke
up screaming something about L'stretta and Gulano.
     "Roop roop roop," the alarm, sensing its big break, interjected.
     "Hey," Ronald, ever the soul of quick perception (which was why, as he
often said, he was Admiral, while Norman was merely Crew), said, "there's
a space station directly in front of us."
     "Hwuh?" Norman asked.
     "We're on a... um..." Ronald started.
     "Pinto?" Joe Don I asked.
     "Yes, but that's not what I'm looking for," Ronald said.  "Damn, never
can think right away when I wake up.  Um... they had them on Star Trek now
and then..."
     "We're on a collision course!" Boudoir exclaimed.
     "Yes, that's it!" Ronald replied.  "We're on a collision course!"  He
paused.  "A collision course!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!"  He
violently turned the steering wheel, and the Pinto spun out (yes, in space,
it spun out... don't ask me how, it just did) and continued toward the
space station.
     "We'll be destroyed!" Mapa Marbles exclaimed.
     "No we won't," Norman replied, calmly.  "This Pinto is tougher than
a battleship.  We'll just bounce right off... unless we hit with the rear
fender, in which case we'll blow up.
     "Zzzznrrrrk," Greez Hyperiok, who was still asleep, snored.
     "Roop roop roop," the alarm said, just because it hadn't gotten a
line in a while.
     "Give me that," Lark growled, grabbing The Plot away from Sajanseel
Boudoir.  He grabbed the shoelaces and suddenly...
     ...a layer of perception was superimposed upon his eyes, as though the
shoelaces were part of the infinite string of the altiverse, and all he had
to do was pull in a certain direction to bring about a plot contrivance, or
tie a knot in the lace to bring about characterization.  The Plot was a
dangerous thing, he realized, one that had no business bopping around in
     The first thing to do, he saw, was to avert imminent death.  Since a
collision couldn't, at that point, be avoided, he turned the Pinto and its
occupants intangible for a brief second, long enough for it to pass through
the exterior hull, through several layers of steel and various bulkheads,
until it arrived in a cavernous chamber with an enormous swimming pool.
There, the Pinto materialized and splashed into the water.
     "Splash!" said the water.
     "Aieee!" said those in the water.
     "Roop roop rooooobzzztfizzlefizzle," said the alarm.
     Lark swam out of the rear window and up to the surface.  His hands
continued to work The Plot, trying to undo the devastating twist that had
been earlier delivered to space and time by Sajanseel Boudoir several
episodes ago.
     Space and time twisted slightly, as the correction went out.  Lark
relaxed slightly, and instantly regretted it when Greez Hyperiok slugged
him into a row of folding chairs.


     In a seedy dance club/steak house in another Sfstory altiverse, the
Swede noticed the change.  He had almost reached the end of the fifteenth
play of 'Flashdance,' and his legs were feeling tired.  The crowd had been
getting restless, too, even though it had ordered which parts of him it
would have cooked and served some time ago.
     "The embedded blank," the Swede gasped.  "Someone's removed it.  That
means... that means... I can use Edit again!  I can be an Author again!
     With that, he stopped dancing and leapt up onto the table of three
rather toothy-looking carnivorous beasts.  He aimed his hands at them and
shouted, "I edit you into harmless mice!"
     The beastly patrons, who entirely failed to become anything resembling
mice, were bewildered, but the Swede did not stop to notice that his
attempt at Edit had no effect.  He was running to the next table, dodging
waiters and yelling.
     "You can't see me!" he exclaimed, waving his hands in a completely
ineffective manner at the nearest waiter.  "In fact, I'm going to edit
8 zillion pounds of he-man muscle onto myself and beat up everyone in this
room!  And you know why?"
     "Er, why?" the waiter, who was not at all impressed, but made up for
it by being very bewildered at how strangely the main course was acting,
     "Because I'm an Author!" the Swede yelled, giddily.  "I have the
power of Edit!  And I can do all sorts of cool stuff with it.  I can edit
up big guns and blow the wings off of flies -- and don't you think I won't!
I shoot flies all the time!  Ants, too!"
     He leapt up on another table and stole the napkins from the burly
patrons, avoiding the death beams they shot at him less from deft reflexes
than through sheer blissful ignorance.
     "I'm editing these napkins into highly powerful explosives!" he
exclaimed.  "Hoo hah, I'm power tripping now!  I-- oh, hi, Janice!"
     "Shhhh!" Janice, who was in a waitress's outfit, shushed him.  "I'm
trying to get you out of here--"
     "Don't worry, it's covered, now that I've got my power of Edit back!"
the Swede told her.  "Why, just look at the havoc I've wreaked with just
a small fraction of my truly awesome power!"
     "Um... what havoc?"
     "Why, that... havoc?"  The Swede frowned, when he saw that, far from
being beaten, shot, exploded, or converted into rodentia, the restaurant's
ugly, toothy, violent-looking patrons were all looking back at him, saliva
dripping from their jaws, various sharp objects and guns aimed in his
direction.  "Er.  Hoo.  I guess my Edit isn't quite back yet."
     "Let's get out of here," Janice suggested, picking up the Swede by
the waist and running towards the fire exit.
     "Mind you, the embedded blank *is* gone now," the Swede said.  "That,
at least, is going in our favor...."


     "So," Bagelos said.  "Er... you look lovely this evening."
     "It's afternoon," Susan B. Anthony corrected.
     "Yes, yes, of course."
     "And I don't look lovely.  I look Hell(tm)ish."
     "Well... okay," Bagelos said, breaking into a goofy grin, which
immediately disappeared when Susan looked at him.  "So... um..."
     "I asked to meet with you because you're own a business in one of
Fredonia 5's most heavily traversed intersections.  Moreover, you're
connected in most of the shady dealings that go on here, and have
connections that know many things."
     "Yes, I do," Bagelos replied, sensing the date was involving more
business and less pleasure than he had anticipated.  "Anyone you looking
for to have killed?  I can arrange that.  Plus, I only charge fifteen
percent as a standard agent's fee, which is quite reasonable in this day
     "Shut up," Susan ordered, her fingers tightening in a warning flex
over Bagelos's throat.  "I need to know if you've seen this man lately."
She held up a photo of Joe Don I.
     "Hurk," Bagelos answered.
     She released his throat, and he gasped for breath.
     "I... haven't... seen him around," Bagelos gasped.  "I did see some
other people sort of dressed like that, though...."
     "Who were they?" Susan asked.
     "Van Cleef and Hagen, I believe," Bagelos said.  "They were around
earlier today, when we first met, but I haven't seen them since.  Mind you,
they might have simply stopped by for a quick bite to eat."
     "Men such as these do not do such things," Susan told him.  "They--"
     Just then, suddenly and without warning, Van Cleef and Hagen sat down,
letting a trunk-sized, heavy object thump onto the floor between them.
     "Any sign of her?" Van Cleef asked.
     "Negative, Brother Van Cleef," Hagen said.  "I doubt she's even *on*
the station, really.  I mean, what are the chances?"
     "Who's on the station?" Susan inquired.
     "Susan B. Anthony," Van Cleef said.  "See, the Brotherhood learned
that she was sent here to watch for Joe Don I, our leader, who's out to
destroy the spam smuggling operation that goes through this station.  So
they sent us out with this scanning device that lets us know instantly if
anyone we encounter is, in fact, a minion of Hell(tm) who corresponds to
the physical resemblance of Susan B. Anthony.  It's all very complex, but
I'm assured it works...."
     "Yes, Brother?"
     Van Cleef turned around and looked at Susan, who was smiling a smile
that those witnessing it would find very uncomfortable.  He looked at
Hagen, questioningly.
     "That *is* Susan B. Anthony," Hagen said, to clear things up.
     "Oh," Van Cleef said, turning back to look at Susan.  He looked down
at the sensor equipment and thumped it once with his fist.  It instantly
came to life, making loud noises and flashing lights to indicate that Susan
B. Anthony was in the immediate vicinity.
     "Right, that's done," Van Cleef said.  "So we'll just be going now.
Um... bye!"
     They took off down the crowded walkway.  Susan ran after them,
shouting orders to various security personnel who immediately obeyed.
     "Does this mean a second date is out of the question?" Bagelos asked,


The answer to that question is YES, YES, OH, ELVIS, YES.  As for the rest
of them, you'll just have to stay tuned to an upcoming... SFSTORY!
Date:         Tue, 12 Mar 1996 23:17:36 -0500
From:         hey jupiter (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode seventeen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                                  IN THE NEWS
                             (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 17
                                 Gary W. Olson


     The Knife-fight was just beginning.  The combatants circled, sizing
each other up, uttering vicious epithets, looking for a weakness, some
hole in the awareness of the other that would allow for an easy first
strike.  Around them, the crowd cheered and made wagers, waiting for first
     That moment came a second later, when the first Knife roared and swung
his human at the other Knife, who raised his human to block.
     "Whuaarrgh!" the first Knife's human exclaimed.
     "Oooph!" the other Knife's human exclaimed.
     The sentient, nine-foot-tall Knives of Metallurgy IV were one of the
few races in the universe to have evolved from cutlery, though how exactly
that came about is one of the least understood phenomena of our, or their,
time.  Whatever happened, it not only made these steel beings big and
sentient, able to ambulate on their leather handles despite their lack of
legs, but it cheesed them off big time, causing their race to split into
sects that would battle one another in a manner like the one just
     "Owchie!" the first Knife's human yelled, as he again collided with
the other Knife's human.  The other Knife's human emitted a similar
assessment of his current state of pain.
     It's not exactly clear why the Knives feel that fighting using humans
as weapons does anything to resolve the conflict.  The damage is entirely
borne by the humans, since the Knives are too tough for the flesh to dent.
Eventually, the Knives always tended to give up, call a truce, then go to
the nearest kitchen and hop in the dishwasher for a spin.  Most of the
betting revolves around which human will be hurt worse, and whether the
Knives, after their spin in the dishwasher, will retire someplace private
to polish and sharpen one another.
     "Wurgh!" the other Knife's human gurgled, after another impact.
     As fate would have it, the Knife fight would be interrupted that day.
The lift stopped at the floor it was being held, and five people spilled
out into the corridor, knocking the Knives and humans to the ground.
     "Look'a out, comin' troo," Chicobaldi said.
     "We've been separated from the others," Benjen noted.
     "Yeah, issa real washout," Chicobaldi replied.  "I'a don' cotton to it
atta all."
     "Do you suppose the Shadow Puppets followed us?" DePenn asked.
     "Very probably," Kissy Hitowers said.  "I was screaming all the way."
     Just then, a Shadow Puppet of a Thompson's Gazelle and a Shadow Puppet
of a hawk emerged from the elevator shaft and hovered above the group
evilly.  The crowd that had been betting on the Knife-fight scattered, and
were soon followed by the Knives' humans.  The Knives themselves hopped to
their pommels and bounced away, determined to spend the rest of the day
hiding in their sheaths.
     Lt. Zacko honked at the hawk-Puppet, to no avail.
     "I'a don' think they're so scary," Chicobaldi opined.  "I'a mean,
what're they gonna do, shade us?"
     The hawk-Puppet responded by reaching down and flicking Benjen into
the nearest wall.
     "Thump," said the wall.
     "Owch!" said Benjen.
     "Fwump," said the floor, as Benjen fell onto it.
     "Onna second thought, maybe we'a better run away, eh?" Chicobaldi
said, already taking off down the corridor, followed by DePenn.  Kissy,
sensing an opportunity to be captured and menaced, a possibility that would
give her the extra points she needed to finish top of her Space Ingenue
class, did not run away but instead went over to Benjen and tried to lift
him to his feet.
     The Thompson's Gazelle-Puppet lashed out, knocking Kissy to the ground
and sending Benjen flying back into the open lift, which closed and started
descending again.  The Shadow Puppets ignored this, instead choosing to
advance on Kissy, who screamed in a way that would make her instructors,
not to mention her father, proud... until Zacko stepped in, waving his horn
in a menacing fashion.  The Puppets lashed out, but Zacko countered him,
not with the horn itself, but with the shadow of the horn.
     Zacko pressed the advantage his surprise had given them, beating at
the Shadow Puppets with his horn's shadow until they turned tail and fled.
By this time, Kissy had struggled to her feet, ready to curse Zacko out for
not giving the Puppets time to put her in a scientifically implausible yet
utterly deadly trap that a Space Hero could rescue her from.  Then Zacko
turned, and Kissy, sensing how Zacko was looking at her, screamed and took
off down the hallway, in the opposite direction that Chicobaldi and DePenn
had gone.  Zacko honked his horn twice and took off after her.


     "How're we doing?" Cardinal Hagen huffed, as he and Cardinal Van Hagen
ran around a corner and down a main thoroughfare, sending shoppers
scrambling and bystanders byflying.
     "Very good!" Cardinal Van Cleef opined.  "Then again... I haven't...
looked behind me... yet!"
     The two Cardinals, who were to long-distance sprinting what Henry
Kissinger was to 'Baywatch,' glanced behind them and immediately wished they
hadn't, for two reasons.  The first was that a horde of station security
personnel, some with red skin and horns, were in hot pursuit, led by Susan
B. Anthony, and they were a lot closer to the 'what David Hasslehoff is to
Baywatch' paradigm in terms of long-distance sprinting than they were.
The second reason was that, once they stopped watching where they were
going, they ran into a wall.
     "Oof!" was their mutual exclamation.
     "Die!" the demonic guards yelled.
     "Secco!" a completely different group of people yelled, to get the
attention of the Cardinals and their pursuers.  Cardinal Van Cleef,
startled, started looking around to see if they were being attacked by
paintings on dry plaster.  Hagen interrupted this task and got him to look
in the direction of the person who had made the utterance, who turned out
to be Steve Vogel.
     "Hi, Steve!" the Cardinals exclaimed.
     The demonic group was now completely encircled by a group of humming
monks, who glowed with an eerie blue light.  Steve indicated that the
Cardinals should join the circle, which they did, their bodies gaining the
blue light when the circle opened up and they clasped hands with their
     "What is the meaning of this?" Susan asked.
     "Yeah," a demon officer said.  "And why'd you say 'secco,' anyway?"
     "The meaning of this," Steve said, "is that you've fallen for our
trap, and pursued Cardinals Van Cleef and Hagen to where we waited for
you."  Susan glared at the Cardinals, who in turn stuck out their tongues
at her.  "You of course recognize the device on my belt?"
     "A... belt buckle?" Susan asked.
     "No, the other device."
     "The change holder?"
     "Other side."
     "Ah!  Your key holder!"
     "No!" Steve yelled, pointing to the large box held by a clip to his
belt, in between the buckle and the change holder.  "*This* device!"
     "Oh, that," Susan said.  "That's just a model 8000 Hell(tm)-B-Gon
Demon Annihilator Circle Generator, with special D-Vine Rathe...
modulators... er...."
     "Ha ha!" Steve laughed.  "We had to sell every bit of merchandise we
owned, plus ten thousand copies of my sister's movies, in order to pay for
this device.  "We've been waiting for this day for years!  Well, the others
have, anyway.  I just happened along a while ago and fell in with the
cause.  But the point is, now that we've gathered every single agent of
Hell(tm) in one place...."
     "Except for those on the ship that just arrived," Susan noted.
     "Except for those guys," Steve said, "and... um... is someone
     "Harry had the day off," one of the demons said.
     "Right, and Harry," Steve replied.  "We'll get him later.  So, with
those exceptions, we have you where we want you.  And now, you... are...
going... to...."
     "Run away!" a voice shouted.
     Steve frowned.
     "You are most certainly *not*..." he started.  He didn't get the
chance to finish, as James Dean, Emma Goldman, Lenin, B'Gosh, Captain
J. Michael Spaulding and Zeppus Coleslaw barreled into the group, severing
the Demon Annihilator Circle.  James, not looking where he was going, ran
into Steve Vogel and dislodged the Circle Generator from his belt.  It
promptly and predictably crashed to the floor and splintered into lots of
small, shiny pieces, causing the blue glow to leave the monks.
     "Sorry to interrupt the reunion of the Blue Oyster Cult," Spaulding
told them.  "But we're in a hurry, and time is running out.  Buy low,
sell high!  A penny saved is a Lincoln logged!"
     "Get out of our way, petty human," Susan snarled.
     "I beg your pardon, madam!" Spaulding said.  "I'm not petty, I'm
handsome!  I can also be Gretel, but that's a different story."
     "We're trying to get to those monks over there--"
     "And I'm trying to get three of those cocker spaniels in the pet
     "I am Susan B. Anthony, you--"
     "Me?" Spaulding asked.  "I'm J. B. Cleopatra.  Hey, how about that.
You B. Anthony, I B. Cleopatra.  No, wait, that can't be true.  We must be
in denial.  Say, why *did* someone yell 'secco' before?"
     "We thought it'd be keen to work the episode title into the actual
episode," Steve Vogel explained.  "I-- hey, what are those?"
     Spaulding looked at Susan.  "You've never seen a demoness before?"
     "He means those," Susan said, pointing to the Shadow Puppets that
had advanced on the strange assemblage.  "I recognize them.  They are
agents of... the Shadoes.  If they're here..."
     "It'd be a good idea to be somewhere else," Emma noted, pulling James
and Lenin with her as she weaved her way around the demons and monks and
     "Run, all of you," B'Gosh wheezed.  "I shall keep the Shadow Puppets
at bay, by revealing my true self to them."
     "You're that ugly?" Spaulding asked.
     "Ugly isn't how I'd put it," Steve said, as he looked at the pert
tush that was clearly visible through the hole Zacko had cut in B'Gosh's
robes several episodes ago.
     "You do not wish to see me as I am," B'Gosh warned.  "Leave now."
     "Forget it," Spaulding said.  "I'm going to wait and see what you
really look like -- then I'm off to the cinema to find out whatever
happened to Baby Jane."
     "We agents of Hell(tm) do not fear you," Susan stated, coldly.
     "Nor do we agents of Heaven!" Van Cleef added.
     "Hey, why doesn't Heaven have a (tm)?" Hagen asked.
     "Sssh," Van Cleef ssshed him.
     The Shadow Puppets waited for B'Gosh to do his worst, which he did,
the moment he pulled his seashell-like helmet off.
     "Gasp!" the monks exclaimed, frightened.
     "It can't be!" the demons gasped, startled.
     "Oh, bugger," the Shadow Puppets groaned.
     "That does it, I'm outta here," Spaulding said, running after Emma,
James and Lenin.  The monks turned and ran.  The demons turned and ran.
The Shadow Puppets turned and flitted off.  And in the center of the
now empty passage..."
     "I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!" Richard Nixon exclaimed, holding his helmet
aloft.  "Told you I would be."


Date:         Tue, 19 Mar 1996 23:57:00 -0500
From:         hey jupiter (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode eighteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                                  IN POSITION
                             (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 18
                                 Gary W. Olson


     There are just some days when it doesn't mean diddly to be a
shadowy, secret race bent on universal domination with an immense fleet to
back you up.  You can plan for a thousand contingencies, you can make deals
with galactic power brokers, you can even bribe some high-level deities and
cheat on your taxes, but you never see the thing that ultimately gets past
your defenses and stomps your big plans into big gobs of pudding.
     In the case of the Shadoes, the 'thing' was the Giant Burrowing
Chicken that was, at that moment, erupting into their secret base/city/
mall.  Neither the Shadoes or their Shadow Puppets had seen anything like
it, and it seemed capable of shrugging off laser fire with no more than a
few angry clucks in response.  Chaos and devastation were rampant in its
wake.  The only thing that was worse than the Chicken was the Colonel.
     The Colonel, who was Lt. Zark Flyby, in a sort of messiah-with-big-
guns-mowing-down-everything-in-his-path mode, was unleashing an arsenal of
devastation on the base, having recovered said arsenal somewhere between
the scene where he ate the blue-tinted chicken and now.  The chicken (not
the Chicken, mind you, just the chicken) had been placed in Zark's path by
the FriedMen, and had been laced with enough Blue Herbs and Spices to
drive whoever consumed the bucket to be as violent as he could possibly be.
     Floyd Cobalt and Jerriphrrt had both met Zark before.  Thus, they
detected nothing unusual in his behavior.  From their hiding place behind
a slab of debris, they watched Zark leap off the Chicken's neck and charge
into the Shadoes' complex, guns a'blazing, grenades a'exploding, missiles
a'launching, knives a'throwing, etcetera a'etcetaraing.
     "I was wondering when he'd show up," Floyd said.  "While he's keeping
them busy, we can use the Shadoes' dimensional doors to escape this
     "Where to?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "Fredonia 5 seems to be where the final confrontation will be taking
place," Floyd said.  "That's also where Steve the Shadoe said Logan would
be.  We have to stop him before he launches his bid to take over Time
     Carefully, the Lieutenant Time Agent and his Deputized ally moved
forward, toward the shimmering image of a now-empty meeting room.  They
had nearly reached it when they heard a groan.
     "What was that?" Jerriphrrt asked.  "It sounded human."
     "Hrrrrrn," the noise came again.
     "From over here," Floyd said, indicating the left foot of the Giant
Chicken.  Jerriphrrt helped him lift the foot up and tip the Chicken over.
     "Bawk!" the Chicken exclaimed.  Giant Burrowing Chickens, while
they're sensitive to minor disturbances in the soil caused by mining of
the 11 Blue Herbs and Spices, nevertheless have brains the size of a
chick-pea, and tend to fall for the 'tipping' trick a lot.
     "Uhrrrrrr," G.X.P. Varneyloop groaned, as Jerriphrrt peeled him
away from the underside of the Chicken's foot.  "Mom... dad... he
followed me home.  Can I keep him?"
     "Ooog," another person, also firmly affixed to the same foot,
commented.  "Someone peel me off."
     Floyd helped the man, who wobbled unsteadily as soon as he was set
     "I'm Lyle Hitowers," he said.  "This is..."
     "Kissy's father?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "No, I'm Kissy's father," Lyle said.  "This is G.X.P. Varneyloop..."
     "Pfff, we've met him," Jerriphrrt said.  "Did you know you've been
missing for the past ten years?"
     "I was told a bit ago," Lyle noted.  "Where is Kissy now?"
     "On Fredonia 5," Floyd said.  "We were about to go there.  I'd
suggest the two of you accompany us, since this area has become
extremely dangerous, by virtue of Zark Flyby's presence."
     "Can I have a pony?" Varneyloop asked, meekly.
     "Not now," Floyd told him.  "Maybe later."  Varneyloop nodded, and
followed Lyle, Floyd and Jerriphrrt through the dimensional door that
led to the meeting room on Fredonia 5.  Moments later, a micronuke lobbed
by Zark landed in the room, destroying it and most of the eastern half
of the Shadoes' base.


     "Quick!  Squeeze the shark!" the Swede exclaimed.
     "I am *not* going to squeeze the shark until you put your cloak back
on," Janice said, determinedly.
     "Aw, but... I kind of like this outfit..."
     "No buts!" Janice said.  "On!"
     The Swede grumbled, but put on his black Cloak O' Doom over his
thin dancer's outfit.
     "Now will you squeeze the shark?"
     "You squeeze it," Janice said, handing the stuffed toy shark over
to him.  He accepted it and frowned.
     "I'm worried that my lack of Edit will adversely affect what our
destination will be," he said.  "You may have better luck than I."
     "There they are!" a voice yelled.  The Swede and Janice turned to
see a horde of angry diners turn the corner and come barreling down the
street towards them.  Instinctively, the Swede squeezed his shark.  A
dimensional gate opened, swallowing him and Janice up, only to open again
and deposit them...
     "Oof!" they exclaimed.
     ...into a large pool of toxic waste.
     "Agh!" they exclaimed.
     "Sssssss!" said the toxic waste as it began to dissolve their
     "Checking... we're in 001SFSTORY, all right," the Swede noted.  "On
Earth... in New Jersey."
     "I'd guessed that," Janice hissed.  "Um...not to be pedantic or
anything, but this waste is eating into my flesh.  Now would be a good time
to spirit us away."
     "Um..." the Swede said, holding up his stuffed shark, or what little
was left of it after having been dunked in toxic waste.  "I don't think
it's working now..."
     "I see."
     "So... um..."
     "We're going to die."
     "Er.  Yes.  More or less."
     "I have just one thing to say to you, Swede."
     "What's that, Janice?"
     "I quit."
     To punctuate her statement, Janice swung and belted the Swede firmly
in the jaw, then watched as he hydroplaned along the toxic sludge for a
quarter mile or so before sinking.


     Alarms were ringing through the station, but Kalvin paid them no mind,
much like his quarry, who was, at the moment, guiding his prisoners down a
side corridor toward a reserved set of suites.  He moved closer, keeping
his head down, moving stealthily, as he was wont to do.
     "Of course you will be useful," Meester was saying.  "You have
encountered Time Agents, and know some of the secrets concerning procedures
that have been instituted since my untimely demise.  With the knowledge
locked inside your minds, I will be able to devise an undefeatable plan for
retaking what is rightfully mine."
     What *was* Meester talking about, Kalvin wondered.  He watched Logan,
who was glaring at Meester as fiercely as he could make his Lisa Bonet face
glare, and remembered how that face had looked while he (Kalvin, that is)
had been falling into the ship's spam hold.  There was something different,
twisted about the look.  He resolved not to bludgeon Logan with a lead pipe
until he found out what the difference was.
     Quooth seemed to be holding up well.  Phe was toying with phis Holy
Harmonica, though phe didn't seem inclined to play it at the moment.  Next
to phim, Machiavelli/Schlub walked along, not betraying how he felt via his
body language (and not having a head or face to betray his feelings via
facial expression or words with).  Directly in front of Meester was Gham,
who turned and for a moment, seemed to notice Kalvin.  She turned away
again, as naturally as she could.
     They were approaching a set of doors, and Kalvin decided it was now or
never.  Pulling on a cap and a pair of thick glasses he had pilfered from
an unwary passerby, he pushed his way past the captives and stood in front
of Meester.
     "Excuse me, sir," he said, nasally, as he pulled out a blank pad.
"I'm taking a political survey, and if you have a few minutes, I'd like to
ask you some questions...."
     "Get out of my way!" Meester shouted, aiming his ray pistol at Kalvin.
     "Uh, okay, I'll skip the demographic information," Kalvin said.  "Can
you tell me which party you'll be voting for in the next election?"
     "Which election?" Gham asked.
     "The next one," Kalvin said.  "This is just a straw poll, you
understand, which will be completely disregarded by all the candidates,
even though it will prove to be ultimately accurate."
     "Okay, okay," Meester said.  "Make it fast."
     "Which of the five candidates would you be most likely to vote for,"
Kalvin asked, "a) Bill Clinton, b) Bob Dole, c) Darth Vader, d) Richard
Nixon, or e) a large gob of trouser lint that somehow acquired sentience
and got enough signatures to be put on the ballot?"
     Not surprisingly, after all present, including the prisoners,
Meester's minions, and several passerby, had voiced their opinions, the
trouser lint was comfortably in the lead, with Nixon finishing a strong
second.  Kalvin thanked everyone, then, while they basked in the glow of
the illusion that their votes were worth a gob of trouser lint, Kalvin
deftly disarmed Meester, while Quooth lifted up his Harmonica and began
playing an ear-punishing version of 'the Star Spangled banner,' which
caused the walls to start buckling.
     Kalvin grabbed Gham's wrist and fled for the nearest lift, leaving
the Wzaxtil, Logan, and Machiavelli to fend for themselves.  When the lift
doors closed, he finally relaxed, and turned to Gham, only to find her
kneeling, looking over someone who was slumped against the lift wall.
     "It's Benjen!" Gham told him, jogging his memory.  "He's been hurt!"
     "Benjen," Kalvin sighed.  "If he's here, then...."
     "Then Jerri's here!" Gham exclaimed.  Kalvin slapped his forehead.
Some days, it didn't pay to be suave and stealthy.


     Bagelos trudged wearily towards the Bagelon Ship, frowning to see that
it was unstaffed.  Then he remembered that Sajon had once again escaped,
and was more than likely back in Coffee Command, trading spritely quips
with Professor Parsasentence and annoying his little robot, TH1K1.  He
strongly started considering selling his bagel shop, getting enough money
to get his starship out of hock and enough fuel to take a dive into the sun
while broadcasting an image of his middle finger on all channels.
     As luck would have it, his shop exploded before he could reach it.
     "Evasive maneuvers!" Ronald ordered, as he ran as fast as he could
past the wreckage.
     "I'm evading!" Norman yelled, hot on Ronald's heels.  "I'm evading,
     Soon after they passed by, Greez Hyperiok appeared, throwing more
grenades and destroying more shops.  In pausing to satisfy his urge to
destroy, though, he gave Ronald and Norman time to round a corner.  Thus,
Greez was forced to ask for directions.
     "Where'd they go?" he asked Bagelos, menacingly.
     "They went... hmmm..."  Bagelos looked around, and stopped when he saw
a shop that had, so far, been undamaged by Greez's violent barrage.  "In
     "Thanks!" Greez yelled, lobbing a grenade at Bagelos, which Bagelos
swiftly disintegrated with his eyebeam before it could explode.  Greez, not
noticing this, charged toward Coffee Command, guns blazing.  Bagelos,
feeling more cheerful than he had in days, ran in the opposite direction,
whistling a whimsically evil tune.


Who needs a plot, when you can have...SFSTORY!  As used in hospitals.
Date:         Thu, 28 Mar 1996 01:38:25 -0500
From:         hey jupiter (swede at SOJOURN1.SOJOURN.COM)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists IV, episode nineteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS IV:
                                IN CASE OF FIRE
                             (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 19
                                 Gary W. Olson


     "Look out!" Lark Purree, Time Agent 90210, exclaimed.  A demon dressed
in a station security uniform lashed out with his claws at Thelona
Wyndingrode, another Time Agent, who danced back and zapped him with her
Gobz-O-Deth Blaster.  Three more burst through the door to take their
fallen comrade's place, indicative of the odds our heroes faced and the
odds that the legions of Hell(tm) will accept just about anybody who can
keep their horns crazy glued on these days.
     After using The Plot to cause the spacegoing Pinto he and his captors
had taken to Fredonia 5 to become ethereal for the few moments necessary
to pass through bulkheads and appear in the swimming pool chamber (and
for those of you wondering why the Pinto was able to simply land in the
water instead of slamming into something like the diving board or Chad
the Lifeguard at upwards of thousands of miles per hour, seeing as that
was about the speed the Pinto was moving at when it arrived, please keep in
mind that even the laws of physics are superseded by the Rules of the Pool,
and Rule #1 is No Horseplay, which covers these sorts of things), Lark had
been attacked by Greez Hyperiok.  The attack was swiftly averted when Greez
was reminded about Rule #1, so, grudgingly, he went after Ron and Norman,
who fled the pool as fast as their out-of-shape-star-trek-watching-couch-
potato-bodies could carry them.  In the confusion, Sajanseel Boudoir
regained control of The Plot and fled, and was followed by Lark, Thelona,
Mapa Marbles and Pope Joe Don I, who were gratuitously ambushed by a legion
of demonic soldiers who weren't even looking for them but felt like picking
a fight anyway.
     Follow all that?  No?  Good.  Neither did I.
     "I think the turbolift's just down another twenty feet!" Mapa Marbles,
Time Agent 173, exclaimed over the din of battle.
     "There's too many of them!" Joe Don I yelled.  "I see eighty!"
     "There's only forty!" Lark corrected.
     "Oh, right!" Joe Don I responded.  "Forgot how much I'd been drinking.
I-- Van Cleef!  Hagen!"  The Cardinals, who had emerged from the turbolift
that our heroes had been fighting to reach, looked up in surprise, as
they'd rather been hoping to sneak past without attracting the notice of
the demon soldiers.  There was a third person with them who Joe Don I
didn't recognize, though Lark did.
     "Steve!" he exclaimed.  "Steve Vogel!"
     "Bwa-- Lark!" Steve yelled.  "What's happening?"
     "Demon attack!" Lark responded.  "Be with you in a few!"
     "We could use some help here!" Thelona reminded them.
     "She's right!" Joe Don I yelled.  "Van Cleef!  Hagen!  Routine 86!"
     "Not Routine 86!" the demons yelled.
     "What's Routine 86?" Mapa asked.
     To her partial regret, and the demons' complete regret, she found out.


     "So," Chatsia Slacks said, as she poured Greez Hyperiok another latte.
"Why exactly do you call the Rambo trilogy the pinnacle of the eighties'
violent mercenary movie genre?  Why not 'Delta Force,' or 'Red Dawn?'"
     "Feh," Greez said, sipping his drink and adjusting his black beret.
"They are but imitators, unworthy of being mentioned in the same breath as
the epic Rambo trilogy.  Even the early Schwarzenegger movies cannot
compare to the majesty, the scope... the auteur's vision that was
     "Well, you know what we say," Quirk said, "the customer is always
     "Oui," Greez agreed.  "A sensible policy, even in this day and age.
Unfortunately, my brief respite is over, and I must now kill you all."
     "Down!" Professor Parsasentence yelled.  Slacks and Quirk, not having
needed prompting, were already diving out of the way as Greez started
blasting away at the furnishings of Coffee Command.  Sajon, who had already
been sitting on the floor, grimaced when he saw Slacks and Quirk had joined
     "Brilliant plan," Quirk growled.  "'Serve him some latte,' you said.
'It'll bring out the sensitive Bohemian art-type in him,' you said."
     "Well, it almost worked, didn't it?" Sajon whined.
     The cabinets overhead exploded, sending splinters of balsa wood
     "We've got to get out of here," Parsasentence said.  "Where are TH1K1
and his little friend?"
     "I've been keeping them safe, shielding them with my body," Sajon
reported.  He lifted up a bit and TH1K1 and BRENDA drifted out from under
his posterior.
     "I want him dead!" BRENDA yelled.  "I will feed his flesh to the
     "I have already injected a flesh-eating parasite into his left
buttock," TH1K1 replied.  "Let us watch him squirm, shall we?"  Because
both TH1K1 and BRENDA's speech sounded, to everyone other than themselves,
like incoherent squeakings, everyone (except Greez, who was busy mowing
down the stacks of avant-garde books) cheered.
     "You'll save us, won't you, TH1K1?" Parsasentence asked, hopefully.
     "You're next, pink boy," TH1K1 vowed.
     "We'd better get out of here first," BRENDA suggested.  "Follow me."
With that, she floated towards the gaping hole Greez had left in the side
of the wall, and was swiftly followed by TH1K1, Parsasentence, Quirk,
Slacks, and Sajon, who was fighting the persistent urge to scratch his
butt.  Greez, meanwhile, artfully blasted away at everything in front of
him, something that would have kept him occupied for hours had he not
included the floor in that broad definition of 'everything in front of


     Lark Purree watched as the last of the demons fled.  Joe Don I, Van
Cleef and Hagen finished their loud, incoherent singing and bowed.
     "What... was... that..." Thelona asked, after removing her fingers
from her ears.
     "Years ago, we were at a crossroads in our lives," Van Cleef
explained.  "We had a choice of either entering the Church or trying to
make it in show business as an acapella singing ensemble.  That was one of
our best numbers."
     "I can see why you chose the Church," Mapa commented.
     "Hey," Hagen protested.  "I thought it was pretty good.  Mind you, our
strategy was to hypnotize them with our melodic voices, so that you could
sneak up on them and knock them out.  That part could use a little work, I
     "It could use major throat surgery," Lark said.  "But never mind that.
We've got to figure out what's going... on?"
     "Hello," Richard Nixon said, as he drifted down the corridor in his
bulky Close Encounters suit.  "Did you realize I'm a strong second in a
recent Presidential poll?  Pretty good for a dead guy!"
     "Ey, move over," a voice inside the suit said.  Two hands reached up
from the collar, pushing Richard Nixon's head hard to the right to allow
another head, that of John F. Kennedy, to pop up.  "That's better.  Now
what's going on, Dick?  You said I could pilot this thing for a while."
     "Yeah, and what about me?" Marilyn Monroe's voice came from the suit.
"My bikini-clad tush has been feeling a draft, but do you guys ever take a
turn covering that flank?"
     "Marilyn, we don't have time to argue," Kennedy said.  "Ask Martha
Washington to cover for you a while.  Or maybe Millard Fillmore -- I hear
he's been working out with the Buttmaster a while."
     "I have not!" another voice, presumably Millard's, protested.  "That's
     "Ooh, you liar!" Lincoln protested.
     "Sounds like you have a lot of presidents in there," Thelona said.
     "Presidents, wives, pets, mistresses, you bet," Nixon replied.
     "How do you fit them all in that small space?" Steve Vogel asked.
     "Politics!" many, many voices from within the suit exclaimed.
     "I thought Nixon was alive, and had his own day dedicated to him,"
Joe Don I observed.
     "That's in Superguy," Nixon responded.  "I'm the Nixon who died in
001SFSTORY.  Clear?"
     "Not really," Lark said.  "But never mind that.  What's going on on
this space station?  Is it being attacked by Hell(tm)?"
     "No!" Kennedy replied.  "By the Shadow Puppets!"
     "The what?"
     "Those!" Marilyn exclaimed.  Her hand poked out of the suit at a
number of menacing shadowy formations, many of whom resembled common
animals or celebrities, that had been collecting behind our heroes.
     "Hmmm, right," Hagen said.  "This calls for decisive action."
     "Run away!" Joe Don I screamed, bolting in a surprisingly agile manner
in the direction opposite of the Shadow Puppets.
     "Does it for me," Steve Vogel said, chasing after him, followed by
the other characters in the scene, except for B'Gosh/Nixon/JFK/Marilyn/etc/
etc, who turned to face the Shadow Puppets, who carefully went around
him/her/it before entering full-tilt pursuit mode.


     Sajanseel Boudoir stumbled into the room, slapping the button to close
the door before he slumped to the floor.  Running from danger was not his
strong suit, and he hadn't had a chance to manipulate The Plot to remove
the necessity, or even to give himself better stamina.
     After a few minutes of catching his breath, he looked up, and found
himself staring at a duck.
     "Quack!" the duck commented.
     "Um, hi," Boudoir replied.  He started fingering The Plot, wondering
if he could abruptly move to another planet altogether.
     "So you're Boudoir," the duck said.  "I've been waiting to meet you."
     "Huh?" Boudoir asked.  Just then, two people stepped out from behind
a conveniently-placed 'Test-Your-Love' machine.  One of them, a shadowy
blonde guy who looked like he was trying way too hard to look evil, he
didn't recognize.  Come to think of it, he didn't recognize the other one,
either.  It just wasn't his day.  The other one, though, *did* recognize
him, which helped matters.
     "Sajanseel Boudoir," he said.  "I am glad to see you!  I was worried
I would never get a chance to thank the person who freed me!"
     "Er... who are you?" Boudoir asked, clutching The Plot tightly.
     "Of course, you do not recognize me," the man said.  "The name of the
person who's body I am now occupying is Meester, an agent of Satan T.
Lucifer Jones.  However, the person I really am is... Logan."
     "My Chief!" Boudoir exclaimed.  "Is it really you?"
     "Yes!" Logan replied.  "And for making the deal that got me out of
Hell(tm), thus setting me on the path to my eventual conquest of Time
Central, I shall make you my executive officer, second-in-command to myself
once my rule has been established.  What do you say?"
     "Yay!" Boudoir yayed.
     "I'll take that as a 'yes,'" Logan said.  "The other guy you didn't
recognize here is Steve Shadoe, the leader of the Shadoes and the Shadow
Puppets, also the sole survivor of Zark Flyby's attack on the Shadoe's
base on Za'ha'tra'la'la'la'la'etc'etc."
     "Oog," Steve noted.
     "He was a bit more eloquent earlier," the duck noted.  "The drugs must
be kicking in now.  Anyway, we've all joined in a pact that will make us
masters of the universe, with Logan here running Time Central and taking
care of all that fourth dimensional business, while we agents of the
Shadoes take care of the first three.  All that needs be done now is to
conquer Fredonia 5."
     "And how do you plan on doing that?" Boudoir asked.
     The duck triumphantly flipped a switch with its webbed foot.  A screen
lit up, showing an external view of the space station, which was being
rapidly surrounded by thousands of dark, shadowy ships that vaguely
resembled spiders, preying mantises, flies, ladybugs, and in one
particularly baffling instance, Tom Arnold.
     "Our armada," Steve Shadoe said.
     "Ah," Boudoir remarked.  "That'll do it.  Okay, count me in."


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