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Sfstory Log 114
Date: Sun May 28 13:05:00 2006
From: thc2005 at cheek.org (Troy H. Cheek)
To: superguy at lists.eyrie.org
Subject: SF: HMS Golden Lance #37 - Alpha and Omegas
SF: HMS Golden Lance #37 - Alpha and Omegas
The HMS Golden Lance settled gently on a well-kept lawn, somehow managing to
squeeze its landing gear between the white picket fences. A hatch opened and a
group of people climbed out. They were, in no particular order, Time Agent 357
(Champion of Truth, Justice, and the Ability to Consume Large Amounts of Alcohol
in a Single Sitting), Diana Dark (sweet, innocent girl from Chicago, or at least
as sweet and innocent as any girl from Chicago can be), Ralph the Giant Space
Weasel of Anthrax V (actually a friendly, easy-going weaseloid from Leibowitz IV
and an accomplished ukulele player in his own right), Doctor Bing Von Spleen
(the galaxy's foremost Spamological Engineer because he personally killed the
other threemost), Omegas (former streetwise servant of Heaven), and Valerie
McSteel (robotic avatar of the VAL 9000 computer which was the heart, soul, and
lower intestine of the HMS Golden Lance for which this serial is named).
Also with them was 357's mother Mildred. "So, 357, will you and your friends be
staying long this time? I think I have space in the guest rooms for everyone."
"Not this time, Mom," 357 answered. "We've got a few minor plot points to wrap
up before we can call this adventure finished. In fact, we need to be going now.
Load up, everybody!"
Grumbling that they had just unloaded, the group made their goodbyes to Mildred.
"Remember to write," Mildred chided 357. "I do worry so when you're gone."
"Don't worry, Mother. I may venture far and wide, but I will always find my way
back home." With that, he entered the HMS Golden Lance and warped away.
A short time later, in a universe far, far away, the HMS Golden Lance
materialized out of Netherspace into normal space. In the ship's dining area,
the wrap party was in full swing. Evil had been defeated. The ABPSARII had been
recovered. Large amounts of beer were being consumed, streamers were being hung,
music was being played, food was being eaten, and passive verb tenses were being
Ralph was strumming his ukulele like he'd never strummed one before. Diana
climbed on top of a table and began a dance which would have been illegal on her
home planet. 357 listened to Doctor Bing Von Spleen tell the story of how he'd
saved a planet that one time by recycling his own bodily waste. It was the third
such telling of said story, but 357 didn't mind. Valerie McSteel had adjusted
her internal processes and had the android equivalent of a good buzz. Even
Omegas seemed to be enjoying himself, sticking in close to the crowd instead of
staggering off to drink on his own as he was wont to do.
Everything was going so well that Time Agent 357 almost didn't notice when
Omegas, who had been drifting aimlessly through the group, suddenly shoved
Doctor Spleen aside and grabbed something off the table behind him.
"Look out!" 357 shouted. "Omegas has the ABPSARII!"
Omegas. No one knew the origin of Omegas. He appeared to be a male humanoid of
unknown species, but hinted that he was much more. Most knew he had once been a
servant of Heaven, yet he was not mentioned in the classical literature. As a
servant of Heaven, he commanded awesome powers. Back then, if one wanted to list
the Top Ten Most Powerful Beings in all of Creation, one would have to put
Omegas way up there. But his powers had since been stripped, drained, taken,
given, and duplicated many times. No matter how hard and how many times he had
tried, he had never been able to regain his former power levels. He just didn't
have the means.
ABPSARII stands for Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-integrator Mark II.
Created by Doctor Bing Von Spleen, the original ABPSARI was designed to... Well,
even Spleen doesn't remember anymore. But he discovered, thanks to sabotage by
rival scientist and hot piece of tail Rader Vogel, that when fueled by SPAM
(Sickening, Putrid, Artificial Meat) the ABPSARI could alter reality at the most
basic levels. SPAM-powered interdimensional, time-travelling ships soon became
readily available. Entire new industries sprung up overnight. Nobody could top
such an invention.
Doctor Bing Von Spleen tried anyway. He combined his ABPSARI with an advanced
search engine and the computer processing power of a small planet. The resulting
ABPSARII (note the II) could take a request for any place, person, thing, or
condition, then search all possible alternative universes (alterverses for
short) and all possible times, find that place, person, whatever, and make it a
reality for the person who held the ABPSARII.
That's a great deal of power. Power best left in the hands of someone who would
use it wisely.
Power currently in the hands of Omegas.
Time Agent 357 quickly drew his favorite sidearm from the holster at his side.
The telechronal displacement pistol fired beams of pure chronatic enery, capable
of sending individual atoms of a target into the future or past up to 10,000
years, effectively shredding said target.
Diana Dark did a triple backflip off the table and extended her unbreakable
staff towards Omegas. She carefully aimed the blow at a (presumed) nerve cluster
in his (apparently) well-muscled arm.
Valerie McSteel might have been running the operating system of a peaceful time
exploration vessel, but that didn't change the fact that her hardware was the
latest and last production model of the famous NEKKID (Networked Electronic
Killing and Kamikaze Infiltration Device) series 69 battle androids. The
electron blast from her hand was sufficient to crater a small moon, though she
had dialed it back just a bit to keep from holing the hull.
The VAL 9000 computer, known to her friends as Val, activated internal defense
Doctor Bing Von Spleen and Ralph the Giant Space Weasel of Anthrax V, true to
their characters, dove for cover. Spleen began a desperate struggle to save all
the beer. He figured the safest way to transport it would be inside his own
stomach. Ralph, knowing that he could not affect the battle one way or another,
settled down to read the newspaper.
Omegas scattered their attacks with a wave of his hand. He had apparently been
holding back lately, and had already regained a much greater fraction of his
original power than anyone had suspected. Still, that would not be enough to
protect him forever from the combined forces arrayed against him.
Omegas didn't need forever. He was a fast typist. Before his protective force
bubble could batted aside, a new one shimmered into existance, summoned by the
ABPSARII itself. Omegas cackled maniacally as he continued to type.
=357!= shouted the overhead speakers.
"What?" 357 answered, recognizing the sultry yet annoying voice of the VAL 9000
=I'm registering massive energy flows. Omegas is sucking power from the very
fabric of reality itself. Long before he regains his former Heavenly power
levels, this whole region of space will be unstable. Omegas may destroy this
entire alterverse. We have to stop him!=
"Tell me something I don't know!" shouted 357.
"That's not Omegas!" came a voice from under the table.
"What?" 357 dove under the table. Luckily, his fall was broken by Doctor Spleen.
"Ralph! What are you talking about?"
"I just downloaded the latest news," Ralph explained, rattling the highly
advanced newsreading technology in his hand, which resembled nothing more than a
newspaper from 20th century Earth. "It confirms that Omegas is currently in use
by a different author in a different storyline."
"Could it be an Omegas from the future or past, just as I've encountered Doctor
Spleen here-" 357 paused to indicate the moaning form of Doctor Bing Von Spleen
beneath him "-at different points in his life?"
"Omegas is a timeless immortal being. It doesn't work like that for him. Ditto
on alternate versions from other universes. They're all the same him."
"How did you get to be such an expert on multidimensional manifestations all of
"Well, there's this cute little sidebar to the article here..."
357 left Ralph to his mutterings and confronted Omegas with the news. "You're
not Omegas! Who are you?"
"I am Omegas," said the being claiming to be Omegas. "Or, at least, a part of him."
"You must be Sagemo!" Diana shouted as she rattled her staff off the force
bubble yet again. "His evil twin!"
"Omegas has an evil twin?" 357 sputtered in disbelief.
"Not exactly. Omegas was at one point stripped of the majority of his powers and
the evil temptations they caused. Without them, Omegas became weak and
ineffective, like the 'good' Kirk in that Star Trek episode, while the powers
and evil formed an identical being who took the name Sagemo. They tried to fight
it out, but were transported into the heart of a supernova and had to rejoin in
order to keep from being destroyed."
357 fired another round at the force bubble. "If they rejoined, then why are
there still two of them?"
"That was only one time of many," Omegas said almost conversationally, pausing
in his typing. "The two halves were incomplete, but both learned something from
the experience. Eventually, I learned to split myself into two complete
semi-powerful halves, like the 'twinning' episode of Farscape. The plan was that
each half would adventure in the multiverse until he could regain his powers.
Once that was done, they would rejoin into a being with twice the power of the
original Omegas. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually, I would be the most powerful
being of all, more powerful than my former bosses, and could overthrow them.
However, thanks to you and this ABPSARII, I can take a shortcut."
"It'll never work!" 357 exclaimed. "We'll find a way to stop you."
"Oh, I have no doubt that you will," Omegas admitted. "That's why I've been
programming something very special into the ABPSARII. As your mechanical friends
have mentioned, reality itself is becoming unstable due to the amount of power
I'm absorbing into myself. I've shaped that instability into a trap for you. A
trap that you will never be able to escape!"
Outside the ship, an anomaly grew from nothing to something slightly larger than
the size of Rhode Island, which exists only so long as people continually
compare it's size against other things. As it grew, the anomaly changed from
brightest white to darkest black. Had Doctor Bing Von Spleen had the time to
look at it, he would have thought that it looked somewhat familiar.
357 did have time to look at it and did think that it looked somewhat familiar.
He suddenly knew what he had to do. He pulled Diana close for a kiss. Time
seemed to slow around them as the kiss lingered.
"Wow, what was that for?" Diana said dreamily. "Hey, why has time slowed around us?"
"Standard Time Agent trick," 357 said. "It's an old dramatic convention that
allows heroes to say goodbye in situations where not enough time actually exists."
"Don't say goodbye, 357. We'll get through this somehow. We always do."
"We will this time, too. Just not together. Goodbye, my love!"
Time Agent 357 shoved Diana Dark aside and slapped a button on his belt buckle.
As the flow of time returned to normal, he shouted at the ship computer, the VAL
9000, and launched himself at Omegas. "Val, execute escape plan 9 immediately!"
Compelled by programming directives she could not ignore, the VAL 9000 executed
the order. In the next few microseconds, sensors and scanners were completely
burned out as they searched for a safe haven for the crew. Nanoseconds later,
teleportation crystals were shattered as they attempted to teleport the crew
twice as far in normal space as had ever been previously attempted. A picosecond
after that, the main engines overloaded.
Time Agent 357 felt, rather than saw, all his friends teleported to safety.
Diana Dark, Doctor Bing Von Spleen, Ralph the Giant Space Weasel of Anthrax V,
and even the android known as Valerie McSteel, were teleported to places unknown
but assumed safe. As he knew they would, the teleporter circuits fried
themselves before they could get a lock on him through the force field he'd just
Omegas, though by no means in full possession of his former Heavenly power,
nonetheless sensed the overload in the engines and exerted his will to stop it.
This took a considerable amount of his attention away from directing the
ABPSARII on how to best maintain his force bubble.
Intentionally or otherwise, the ABPSARII's force bubble was based on the same
basic technology as the electrochonatic force field which 357 used. The two
fields flexed and partially merged when they met. The sources of both fields
realized that this was a bad thing and adjusted themselves to rectify the
situation. The two fields repelled each other and snapped back to their former
selves with a smack that sounded like twin guillotines.
"Ha!" shouted Omegas, who had just successfully suppressed, shunted, and
otherwise dispersed the energy from the overloaded engines which should have
been turning the ship into something resembling a nova just about then. "You
should have known that even if you penetrated my force bubble, you couldn't hurt
me when I'm at this power level!"
"I wasn't trying for you," 357 stated calmly. He held up his hand to show Omegas
what he was holding.
One half of the ABPSARII, rapidly disintegrating into nothingness.
Omegas stared down at the other half in his own hands, trying to will it not to
dissolve away. But his will was shaken, his powers in disarray, and his
underwear bunched up in the back. Faster than it takes to tell, the Automatic
Beet Peeler and Sub-Atomic Re-integrator Mark II was no more.
With a scream of primal rage, Omegas was on 357, battering his way through the
force fields. "I may have lost the ABPSARII, but I still have enough power to
"That may be," 357 answered as he adjusted his force field to accomodate both
Omegas and himself. "But you don't have enough power to escape this field before
this ship is trapped forever."
"What do you mean?"
"That anomaly you just created? When you suppressed all the power to the HMS
Golden Lance's engines, you also suppressed the thrusters keeping us from being
sucked into it!"
Diana Dark, Doctor Bing Von Spleen, Ralph, and Valerie McSteel materialized in a
tangled heap on the bridge of the HMS Dentless, Captain David Morgen commanding.
Well, Captain Morgen was doing something. Currently, he was running around in
circles shouting something about an intruder alert.
Fim, first mate and chief alien flunky, his skin currently a lovely shade of
pink, blinked the 87 eyes he had that day and greeted them. "Please excuse the
Captain. You interrupted his nap. We detected your ship and were approaching to
see if you required assistance."
Diana looked about her. "Hell(tm), yeah, we require assistance. Time Agent 357
is trapped aboard that ship with a repowered Omegas. We have to get back there
to help him."
"Too late!" an anonymous Ensign shouted.
On the main viewing screen, the HMS Golden Lance was just disappearing into the
"After them!" Diana ordered.
The anomaly fizzled out of existence.
"No!" Diana cried. Valerie McSteel caught her as she collapsed.
"Look!" someone shouted.
The anomaly had returned. Something had emerged.
The "something" appeared to be a ship, or rather what one could call a ship if
one were legally blind and in a charitable mood. It tumbled end over end in a
stately if somewhat nauseating ballet, sailing quickly away from the anomaly but
moving more slowly every second. One part of the hull, a cyan-ish blue in color,
sported the name "HMS Golden Lance." This was perhaps the largest and best
preserved part of the hull. Another part said "HMS As Yet Unnamed." A third
could possibly have read "USS Challenger II," if one squinted and looked at it
sideways. Several other identifiers were simply unreadable, hence they did not
even qualify as identifiers. It was obvious, even before the reaction chambers
split, the engines shook loose from their mountings, and the warranties expired,
that the ship could not escape on its own.
"Close on that ship!" ordered Diana, back on her feet. "Prepare to grapple!
Ready the teleporters!"
"We can't get a lock," Fim reported. "There's some kind of temporal exclusion
effect. We literally can't do anything that would affect their passage through
A research vessel appeared, well within the temporal exclusion zone, which towed
the battered remains of the HMS Golden Lance away from the anomaly. The anomaly
fizzled out again.
The research vessel and the HMS Golden Lance shimmered out of existence.
As those about the HMS Dentless watched wordlessly, the HMS Golden Lance
shimmered back into existence and was sucked into the anomaly again, only to be
rescued once again by the research vessel.
And once again.
Doctor Bing Von Spleen, who had just finished yet another beer, explained. "It's
obviously a time loop. Time Agent 357 and Omegas are returning to the anomaly
from which I rescued them in my research ship. There they will spend 150 years
together until they forget why they're fighting and combine their efforts to
escape, starting the whole loop all over again."
Ralph tottered up to Spleen. "Time loop? You mean we're going to have to go
through that all over again?"
"No, Ralph. We've already been through it and are out. 357 and Omegas, however,
are stuck inside. They will relive this adventure over and over."
"I refuse to accept that!" Diana shouted. "We're breaking 357 out of that loop!"
"Can't be done," Valerie told her. "And even if we could, that would break
Omegas out of the loop as well. As powerful as Omegas is, the time loop is the
only way to hold him."
Spleen patted Diana on the back. "With Omegas, or rather this aspect of Omegas,
trapped in the loop, he can never become an all-powerful threat to all of
reality. Time Agent 357 knew this would happen when he had all of us teleported
to safety. He sacrificed himself to protect all of us."
"But it's not fair! He deserves better than that!"
"Look at it this way," Valerie whispered. "In the loop, he will meet you, get to
know you, and fall in love with you, over and over again. Doesn't that make it
"Well, maybe," Diana admitted between sniffles. "But that doesn't mean I'm ever
going to stop trying to figure out a way to rescue him without releasing
Omegas!" she added fiercely.
Valerie hugged her tight. "In that case, I'll likewise dedicate my life to
helping rescue 357. Doctor Spleen, are you with us?"
Spleen belched politely. "I'm too old for adventures in time and space. I'm
going to try retiring again. But I do have a nice little timeship I can sell you
"Thanks, we'll take you up on that. How about you, Ralph?"
Ralph buffed his claws against his pelt. "Sorry, but I've been away from home
too long as it is. But do feel free to visit anytime."
The HMS Dentless blasted away into another universe, leaving behind a simple
"Warning! Temporal anomaly! Do not approach!"
"Atencionay! Piso Mojado! Nay trespassiona!"
"Warning! Temporal anomaly! Do not approach!"
Doctor Bing Von Spleen went on to retire and lived a long, productive life. He
died peacefully in bed at the age of 143 in the arms of a 19 year old redhead,
shot by her jealous husband. His friends and family turned his funeral into a
six week long drug-induced orgy. His former professional rival Rader Vogel was
quoted as saying "He would have wanted it that way. Pass the KY."
Ralph returned home and never ventured into space again except for vacations and
the occasional zero gravity 2nd honeymoon with his 500 wives. He turned over the
mantle of Giant Space Weasel of Anthrax V to his oldest son, Ralph Jr.
Captain David Morgen and Fim of the HMS Dentless had many further adventures,
some of which may some day be chronicled in these pages.
Diana Dark and Valerie McSteel will return in TIME DETECTIVES.
Time Agent 357 never did find his way back home.
Date: Mon Oct 22 11:37:41 2007
From: swede3000 at earthlink.net (swede3000 at earthlink.net)
To: superguy at lists.eyrie.org
Subject: AD/SF: The Sfstory Archives New Home
Just a note to let everyone know that the Sfstory archives are once
again available after a lengthy absence. The archives have been made
web-ready (all html, instead of ftp), and are now in a subdomain of
their own on my novitious.com site:
The old site at http://home.earthlink.net/~swede3000/sfstory.html has
been replaced with pages pointing to this new site.
Gary W. Olson,
Your Sfstory Archive Maintainer and Guy Who Will Someday Finish the
'Universal Solvents' Series, He Promises
P.S. I missed Sfstory's 20th Anniversary by a mere... um... eight
months. Or so. Dohw!
Date: Sat Nov 24 08:08:26 2007
From: swede3000 at earthlink.net (swede3000 at earthlink.net)
To: superguy at lists.eyrie.org
Subject: SF: Universal Solvents #19 (1/2)
THE STORY SO FAR:
It all started with Slithis and Gham of the _Universal Solvent_
finding his spaceship drifting around, and there were these dead guys
floating around in it, only they turned out to be zombies, but that was
later. And there was this talking bagel on the ship that wanted to go to
this one planet to take revenge or something, only these other guys came
around and screwed it up, so he had to go to the Planet of Casinos, and
his ship blew up, but he got rescued, and so did the people on the ship,
and they were threatened by a yak. And there was something about a
Chosen One, like that ever works out, and there were these completely
different people who were trying to get to this other planet past these
aliens with big eyebrows so they could get transported to the same planet
the talking bagel wanted to get to, where this big police officer guy was
blowing stuff up, and there was this wannabe space villain dude who was
talking to the ghost of his grandfather and...
Never mind. I'm just going to start the episode.
(a Tale of Sfstory!)
Gary W. Olson,
hailing Sfstory's 20th anniversary,
only nine months late!
((Zeta Ricola Beta (The Temple of the Ancients)))
The Ancients were watching. This fact gave Quooth Thiiksi a slight
chill, which in a human would be expressed by a shiver and the hairs on
his or her neck standing on end. Since Quooth was a Wzaxtil, phe
expressed the slight chill in a way common to Wzaxtils: by twitching phis
antennae incessantly while humming something that sounded to Earth humans
like the theme from 'Petticoat Junction.' The Ancients, if they
recognized the tune, gave no indication.
Bagelos, surrounded by the ghostly Ancients (who looked rather like
the monks that Quooth and Bagelos had spent no small amount of time
running away from in the past three days, save for the green aura and
partial transparancy) as he was, gave no indication of being creeped out
or even mildly perturbed. He appeared focused, to a degree Quooth had
never witnessed in the failed entrepreneur and would-be space villain he
called a friend, on completing the ceremony the Ancients had given him as
a task. His hands were sure, his movements quick and sharp. A few
times, he let out a murmur of satisfaction, which was soon echoed by the
Ancients. Whatever he was doing, Quooth could tell he was doing it to
Quooth was unsure as to why they were satisfied. To phim, it
appeared that Bagelos was doing nothing except waving his hands around
in empty air. Quooth was forced to conclude that either Bagelos was
doing something on a plane of existence that Quooth could not currently
perceive, or that ghosts are just plain easily amused.
"Excuse me, friend Bagelos," said Quooth. "Could you describe what
"Done!" Bagelos exclaimed. "Who would like the first one?"
The murmuring of the Ancients soon became the hubbub of the
Ancients. Bagelos made a gesture as if handing something to one of them.
The Ancient looked down at the nothing in his hand, smiled, and walked
away. The space villain repeated his gesture again and again, and each
time, another ghost left.
"Friend Bagelos!" Quooth repeated. "What is going on?"
"Haven't you been paying attention?" Bagelos asked, as he handed
another imaginary something to another ghost. "I, Bagelos, was told to
perform an extraordinary ceremony, one not performed since my
grandfather, the space villain Baconos, last walked this planet! It is a
ceremony that shall ensure my ability to manipulate the Proofs that
control the energy stolen by my grandfather from the Cosmic Pancake that
was the entirety of existence before the Big Bang which triggered the
Breaking of the Fast at the Dawn of the Universe!"
"Yes," said Quooth, suppressing phis awe at Bagelos's space-
villainous prowess in barking out heavily over-qualified run-on
sentences. "But what are you *doing*?"
"I, Bagelos, am preparing the pancakes!" Bagelos replied. "And
"The ceremony is the Ritual of the Serving of the Pancake
"I... do not understand, Friend Bagelos."
"It's just this thing," said Bagelos. "I, Bagelos, do not quite
understand it either. My grandfather's ghost told me generally what the
ceremony involves, but not how to do it. And yet... my movements are
sure. It is as though I, Bagelos, was born to do this!"
The ghost of Baconos, which was hovering not far away, frowned and
"I, Baconos, told you before, boy," said Baconos, "I, Baconos, am
not a ghost. None of us are. We're all shades... copies, I, Baconos,
guess you could say... captured by the energy that drenches this planet.
If you were to identify all of us, you'd find none of us who died any
earlier than forty years ago. I, Baconos, should know! I, Baconos, was
"But, Friend Baconos," said Quooth, "did you not leave this planet,
so that later on, you were able to instruct your grandson on the story of
the Breaking of the Fast at the Dawn of the Universe, and how you nearly
achieved universal domination?"
"That is so," said Bagelos. Now that he was done serving imaginary
pancakes, he was at a loss for what to do. He settled on holding an
imaginary pancake and taking imaginary bites.
"I, Baconos, told him all my tales, yes," said Baconos, "but not the
last. Not the one where I, Baconos, came back to this world one more
"That must be a stirring tale!" Quooth exclaimed.
The elderly ghost shrugged. "It lasted less than five minutes. No
sooner was I, Baconos, off the ship and headed with my secret ally for
where the Proofs are stored than some guy runs past me and into my ship.
Seconds later, it takes off, stranding me! Five seconds after that, I,
Baconos, get bitten by an asp and die."
Quooth was puzzled. "I thought there were no poisonous snakes on
"There aren't!" Baconos replied. "Just like there are supposedly no
ship thieves." He shrugged. "But there you are. I, Baconos, died, and
the energy soaking this planet made an impression of me. Kind of like
play-dough. There's actually a highly scientific explanation for it, but
you'd have to be a Spamologist to understand. I, Baconos, just float
through the walls and utter fortune cookies to the living now and again.
The tale inspired feelings of sorrow in Quooth. He attempted to
cheer phimself and Baconos up by playing a jaunty tune on phis Holy
Harmonica. Baconos shrieked and flew away. Bagelos shrieked and dropped
his imaginary pancake.
"I, Bagelos, wish you would not do that," said Bagelos. "Very soon,
the Champion of the ur-Bagel Shoon-Ma shall appear, and I, Bagelos, must
be in place at the controls of the Proofs. I, Bagelos, at last
understand my destiny in this strange and forbidding universe! I,
Bagelos, at last have a plan to conquer said universe that does not
require me to raise large amounts of ready cash first! I, Bagelos--"
"--are under arrest."
Bagelos sputtered and turned to the door. Quooth turned as well, in
time to see a grey gnome with Freddie-Prinze-Jr-like features saunter in.
Behind him was Zark Flyby, who Quooth had thought was already in the
room, having pursued phimself and Bagelos there only to suddenly run out
of cosmic destruction power before he could administer the final blast.
Behind Zark was the red, floating, heavily-armed robot known as Megabot,
which Quooth had last seen on the _W.S. Universal Solvent._
"Friend Zark!" Quooth called, as there was a good fifty meters
between the front entrance of the Temple of the Ancients and the
cafeteria window that phe and Bagelos were near. "Friend Megabot!
Friend Sark! Over here!"
Megabot floated toward them. Zark, still lacking the munchy-crunchy
cosmic energy that had been pouring from him earlier, stomped over. Sark
seemed to hobble, a condition caused by the fact that his robe was
bunched up and twisted about, as though an extremely localized tornado
had passed between his stumpy legs.
"Your robot," said Sark Flyby, after he caught up to Megabot and
Zark and stood before Bagelos and Quooth, "now obeys *my* orders." He
frowned, noting that Bagelos was having to fight to keep from giggling.
"It's not funny! It attacked me! I could have been hurt!"
"What did it do to you?" asked Quooth. "I see no laser burns or
blade gouges or melted flesh upon your person."
"He... swizzled me."
A swizzle stick popped out of Megabot's chest cavity, spun about a
few times, then zipped back in.
"Anyway, once the medical monks got to me and were able to use the
jaws of life to de-wedgie me, my programmer monks reprogrammed him to
serve-- I said stop laughing!"
Bagelos managed to get his giggling under control. Quooth was
concerned, as Bagelos had never giggled in phis presence before. Phe had
been around enough enough humans to form some opinions, and one of phis
opinions was that Bagelos was not a giggler.
"Now," said Sark, trying to assert something resembling authority
whilst simultaneously finishing a half-done job of extracting a wool
robe from a place where wool robes were not, at least by any humans
Quooth knew, welcome. "You'll come with us quietly back to your cells,
"No," said Bagelos. "You need us."
Sark stopped picking at his robe.
"Why is that?" he asked.
"Because, thirty-seven years ago, my grandfather, Baconos, tried to
open a circuit between himself and the raw power that existed in the
universe prior to the Breaking of the Fast at the Dawn of the Universe.
He tried to steal the energy with which he could build an armada to
conquer the universe."
"And he succeeded," said Sark. "As you will note by the existence
of our space armada, our heavily armed soldier monks, and the force
shield that effectively prevents all who we do not wish to come to our
solar system from doing so."
Bagelos shook his head.
"No," said Bagelos. "My grandfather failed. He told me so. I
thought perhaps he succeeded on his final trip here, but he died within
five minutes of landing."
Quooth marveled at how Sark's face, already pale from having his
robe almost permanently swizzled into a wedgie, grew almost completely
"How did you--"
"He never conspired with Shoon-Ma the ur-Bagel," said Bagelos. "He
never double-crossed the ur-Bagel, thus setting up, here, millennia
later, the meeting between your Chosen One and his Champion that will
surely decimate this world.
"That is MY destiny."
Quooth shivered with concern again. Sark winced.
"Stop it!" he yelled. "I hated that show!" He got his annoyance
under control and looked up at Bagelos. Quooth saw a calculating gleam
in his eyes. Bagelos seemed too busy with his gloating to notice. "Very
well, Space Villain. You win. We will take you and your companion to
the Proofs at on-- Zark! Stop trying to knock down that wall with your
"Oh," Zark grumbled, as he staggered back. Quooth could see he had
made good headway (no pun intended) with the wall, seeing as it was the
less dense of the two objects that had been violently meeting. "Okay."
As the group headed for the door, Quooth glanced behind phim, and
saw the green shade of Baconos and the other 'Ancients,' all watching
with grim faces only slightly stained with ghostly 'Aunt Jemima' syrup.
Phe turned back and looked up at Bagelos, who was following Sark and
Friend Bagelos had fallen for some kind of trap, Quooth decided.
But until the nature of the trap became apparent, phe could not
intervene. Phe wrapped phis feelers around phis Holy Harmonica. All phe
could do was be watchful.
Sooner or later, phe would see phis opportunity, and would know what
((Mydrus (Tamask Citadel)))
The alliance between the Goornashk Authority and the monks of Zeta
Ricola Beta is not one well-known by the universe in general; if it was,
it would be considered highly inexplicable. The Mydrus system and the
Zeta Ricola Beta system are nowhere near one another, and even
considering that access to overly-hyped space has made mere distance less
of a consideration than it used to be, most civilizations would think it
more trouble than its worth.
As in many cases where things seem inexplicable, Gham reflected, it
helped to know the history.
"Wait," said Ronald Hastings, as he fiddled with the circuitry of
his personal nuker. "You're saying the monks of Zeta Ricola Beta came
from this sector?"
"They used to live on this world," replied Toni Williams, as she
worked at putting on her Goornashkan disguise. "Thousands of years ago,
when the Goornashkans conquered this world and made it part of their
Authority, the people here became the chief video game suppliers to the
entire Goornashk race. Then, the High Priest of Enlightenment and Fully
Destructible Environments had a revelation concerning the Breaking of the
Fast at the Dawn of the Universe, and declared that his people had to go
to a planet called Zeta Ricola Beta, where they would create The Game to
End All Games."
Gham did not like where this was going. Too many words were being
spoken in Capital Letters for No Good Reason. She looked over at
Jerriphrrt, her Calican husband, who was busy figuring out how to work
an omni-camera he had swiped from the shelf in the janitor's room. He
noticed the look and blew her a kiss.
"The Goornashkans didn't like it, of course," said Toni. "But
without the game makers, there would be no video games. Plus, with the
game makers on another, far away world, it would be much easier to import
consumer electronics from other star systems without having to suffer
being sneered at and poo-pooed by the game makers."
"What?" asked Ronald.
Toni shrugged. "That's just what I found out. The Goornashkans set
up the game-maker monks on Zeta Ricola Beta and kept them busy with game
requests. Then, forty or so years ago, everything changed.
"The space villain Baconos got through to Zeta Ricola Beta. He'd
heard of their tech and their religion and thought that they might have
access to a power that would let him conquer the universe. Unfortunately
for him, he was right."
Gham had heard the rest of the story, though it was somewhat
fragmented. Forty years ago, through a conspiracy between Shoon-Ma the
ur-Bagel and an unknown party (and the subsequent betrayal of Shoon-Ma by
that unknown party), Zeta Ricola Beta gained a great deal of power. The
monks upgraded their planetary defense shields to a hyper-mumbo-jumbo-
energy-tesseract and set things up so that the only way in and out (for
non-Zeta Ricola Betans) was the hyperdimensional tele-transport system
controlled from Tamask Citadel on planet Mydrus. The Goornashkans--while
not particularly happy about the change in the balance of power--were no
fools, and knew that the power of the new Zeta Ricola Beta would shield
their increasingly dodgy Authority from uprisings, rebellions, and so
"Once that was done, the Zeta Ricola Betans gave up their native
tradition of video game creation," Toni continued as she zipped her
Goornashkan costume into place. Immediately her voice became more
masculine and raspy and Sylvia Browne-like. "And then, for forty years,
"Just waited?" Jerriphrrt asked.
"And did monk things," Toni said. "You know. Monking around."
"But they've got these prophecies," said Toni, "and we're getting
close to when the events in 'em are supposed to kick off. Pretty
standard stuff--a champion versus a chosen one, whack stuff happening to
the fabric of space and time, entire planets being overrun with Hilton
sisters--but these things have to be checked out. Especially after a
Nega-Cell and Nega-Transporter got stolen. 'Dad'... I mean, Buzz
Williams... was busy foiling a plan by the Chrono-Meks of Negaverse
Dimension 110 to take over our universe by causing various weak
civilization to crumble via exposure to a show called 'Spammymon Z,' so I
ended up taking the assignment.
"'Spammymon Z?'" asked Gham. "Captain Vogel said that back on
Earth, the entire planet was overrun with that show. He'd been sent out
to find a way to free Earth from the horror."
"Well, he can relax," said Toni. "The last communication I got from
Buzz said that he and his companions succeeded, and he crossed that off
his 'to-do' list. The Chrono-Meks made it look as though Dr. Bing Von
Spleen was responsible, and the Doc probably believes it himself, which
was why he fled Earth. Buzz said he'd see if he could get me some backup
for finishing this operation, but I never got the chance to update him on
how thoroughly the situation has been foo-barred."
Ronald grimaced and turned away. Gham felt for him--as a former
Renegade Anarchist, she was no stranger to inadvertantly foo-barring
others, or being foo-barred in turn. As far as she was concerned, if you
were going to gallivant around in space and mess with Space Prophecy, you
had to expect Foo-Bar to happen.
Toni's explanation of what she had been doing over the past year,
while pretending to be a captive of the henchmen of Kalvin Certain, had
been terse but complete. She let Kalvin believe that it was his pudding
price-inflation scheme that she was investigating, and that it was the
theft of the Nega-Cell and Nega-Transporter by Kalvin's agents that had
drawn her to Dirk's Space Swap-o-Rama and Grill. Toni soon learned it
was Sark Flyby of Zeta Ricola Beta who was stringing Kalvin along. Sark
was trying to help his planet's prophecy toward completion by getting
Shoon-Ma the ur-Bagel out into the open, and by bringing his son, Zark
Flyby--the commandant of the Time Police--back to Zeta Ricola Beta,
because he was either a Champion or a Chosen One or something like that.
Toni opined that, regardless of how goofy something like Shoon-Ma
sounded, any prophecy of destruction was made much more likely to come to
pass if Zark was involved.
Since the tech that let Sark tele-transport between Zeta Ricola Beta
and Alpha Rio VI was highly advanced, beyond even Toni's ability to
crack, and the only other way to Zeta Ricola Beta was via Tamask Citadel,
i.e. here, that was where she focused her efforts. Since time within the
Nega-Cell where Team E (Kalvin's aforementioned henchmen) kept her
'captive' passed faster than time on the outside, what seemed like the
work of a few weeks to set up a Nega-Transporter link to planet Mydrus
seemed like over a year to everyone else. Then someone at Time Central--
probably Zark's secretary, Toni opined--decided to be pro-active and
'delight the customer'--the customer being himself--and send Zark away
with an assignment to give to a couple seniors at Interstellar University
who were looking for a creative topic for their Senior Project, and now
they were all stuck on Mydrus.
"I think I'm ready to go," Ronald said. He brandished his nuker
with one hand while doing the Vulcan hand-sign thing with the other.
Gham guessed it was a hard skill to master, or quite possibly a sign of
advanced insanity and/or Space Heroism.
Jerri's camera was set, and Toni was back in her disguise as General
Varsoome. Gham checked her sound equipment and nodded.
"Okay," said Toni. "Everyone set? All exposition and plot-hole-
"Right. Let's go."
(continued in part two, following...)
Date: Sat Nov 24 08:11:41 2007
From: swede3000 at earthlink.net (swede3000 at earthlink.net)
To: superguy at lists.eyrie.org
Subject: SF: Universal Solvents #19 (2/2)
(continued from part one, preceding...)
The door to the surprisingly well-stocked janitor's room opened.
Outside, Major Lalan--a Goornashkan they had corrupted with promises of
weaponry and pudding--snapped to attention. Kissy Hitowers--the Space
Ingenue hired by Ronald for her ability to be kidnapped and menaced by
Space Villains--blew on her fingernails and gave Ronald a glare.
"It's about time you got ready," she said. "I was thinking of
getting kidnapped just to pass the time."
Ronald nodded. That was why they had told Lalan to keep an eye on
"Time passing's... over," he said, lapsing into his Shatner
impersonation. "The show... is... on."
"Glad something is," Kissy said, before stalking down the corridor.
Ronald looked at Lalan, shook his head, and followed. Lalan seemed
"Not bad," said Toni. "Kissy's a professional, I can tell, but
Ronald struck me as being a bit green behind the ears. Plus, the
Shatner impersonation is kind of lame, even by Shatner-impersonation
standards. Is that a thing with him or something?"
"I think so," she said. "Him and his friend Norman, who's not here.
The last time I met them, they were really into 'Star Trek.'"
"Huh," said Toni. "I knew a boy like that, when I was growing up
on Earth. He... wait, was that what he was talking about three days
ago?" She looked thoughtful for a few minutes, then shook her head and
followed the others.
Having offloaded just about all the exposition and plot-hole-
filling the author had larded them down with, the group made excellent
time to the entrance to the control chamber for both the planetary
security grid and the hyperdimensional tele-transport (which Gham had
earlier erroneously referred to as a 'transmat'). It was convenient
that both were located in the same chamber, as they would have to shut
down the planetary security grid before the _Challenger III_-- the ship
that Gham, Jerriphrrt, and Lalan had come in on--could approach the
planet and get tele-transported to Zeta Ricola Beta orbit. But that
was about the only bit of luck Gham could see in their favor.
The chamber, Lalan had assured them, held over twenty armed-to-
the-large-bushy-eyebrows Goornashkan marines, in addition to the dozen
console operators that controlled the flow of traffic to and from
Zeta Ricola Beta. The chamber was monitored by outside security with
access to dozens more marines. A direct assault had a very low
probability of succeeding.
But there were other ways.
"Excellent," said Gham, as soon as the doors swished open to reveal
three Goornashkan marines. "But somewhat obvious. What if there were
only two here, plus one just on that side of the door there waiting in
"We'll have to make this look darker in the game," said Jerriphrrt
as he swung his camera around. The light made the marines look like
startled tanks. "Should those pipes be oozing noxious chemicals?
Bright green and all that?"
"I refuse to be menaced by bright green chemicals," Kissy snapped
at them as she stalked past the marines. "It makes me look grotty.
I look more vulnerable against red or violet."
"So I dash in here to save you," said Ronald. "But... come on,
the layout of this place is all wrong. I mean, maybe on the super-
difficult setting, sure, but you've got to give me some cover in the
lesser settings. A console here I can hide behind, maybe...."
"What's going on here?" a Goornashkan finally asked. He was the
only Goornashkan in the room in a command uniform (you could tell
because it had lots of medals and clinky shiny bits), so Gham guessed
he was the Commander Vilif that Lalan had told them to expect. "Who
"They are here on my authority," said 'General Varsoome.' "Our
Citadel has been accorded a great honor--it will be level eighteen in
the currently-in-development Final Vengeance of the Death Stalkers
IV! These people are here to evaluate our command center as the sight
of this level's Boss Fight, and---"
"Four?" asked a tech seated next to where Commander Vilif stood.
"They haven't even released three yet!"
"And how can it be the 'final vengeance' if it's their fourth go-
round?" a marine asked. Another marine slapped him on the back of his
head. "What? I've been wondering that since two..."
"--this will not do," said 'Varsoome.' "The game players will
expect a decent environment for a boss fight, but this... *this*...
THIS... would not even inconvenience Super Needlewarping Mario!"
Both soldiers and technicians flinched at this scathing
"...acoustics are probably all wrong for a 'terrified princess'
scream..." Kissy muttered. "My agent will be furious...."
"It's all right," Jerriphrrt said, with an airy wave of his hand
and a dismissive swish of his tail. "What I'm concerned about is the
"Would it happen to be," said the Commander, "'the party must
shut down the planetary defense grid, reprogram the tele-transport
system, and then tele-transport back to their ship and get to where
they're going before the enemy gets wise?'"
Gham blinked. Jerriphrrt blinked. Lalan blinked. Ronald
blinked. Kissy screamed and blinked. 'Varsoome' did not blink,
because the suit was not built that way. The marines did not blink,
because they raised their weapons. The techs did not blink, but they
did snigger. Commander Vilif did not blink, but he did smirk.
"Captured human ship _Challenger III_ has been brought into
orbit under guard," a tech reported to Vilif. "Awaiting your orders."
"Tele-transport the prisoners... including the so-called 'General
Varsoome'... to this _Challenger III_. Once they are there... destroy
The techs applauded this as the marines herded the group to the
tele-transporter, after forcing Toni to remove her Varsoome costume, and
after disarming Ronald and taking Jerriphrrt and Gham's computer
"Was this part of the plan?" Ronald asked.
"No," said Toni, "but don't worry, there's always a chance, if we
can break away before they trans---"
She did not finish her sentence, as she and Ronald, Gham,
Jerriphrrt, Lalan, and Kissy were tele-transported away.
((Alpha Rio VI - The Planet of Casinos (Vino's House of Merriment
Shoon-Ma's explanation of the Breaking of the Fast at the Dawn of
the Universe was succinct, if a bit one-sided, Dr. Bing Von Spleen
thought. Since it was something like the twentieth attempt since this
story began to make sense of a legend about the theft of the power of
breakfast food from before the universe was created, Von Spleen tuned it
out and instead focused on the only thing in the universe that interested
him more than getting loaded: getting his ass out of danger, and the
rest of him with it.
Though Vino had not specified which of his humble establishments
that Von Spleen and the rest of the group on the once-derelict (and now
destroyed) black alien vessel were now in, Von Spleen at once identified
it as Vino's House of Merriment and Extortion--specifically, the 24-hour
buffet on the north side of the high rollers sector. He had spent about
six months a few years back as a 'security consultant' paid by Vino to
use his spamological knowledge to shore up casino security, though what
Von Spleen had done for most of that time was shore up his levels of
pharmaceutical consumption. He recognized the buffet room because he
had spent incalculable time on its carpet, staring at its complicated
and faded patterns and wondering if he had become some form of aardvark.
The cushy gig had ended abruptly when Icthor--the Marauding Goat
with a Thousand Whining Teenage Goat-Young--broke through the fabric of
time and space and demanded to know just who it was that was getting
around forty of her goat-young corrupted by the fast-paced, high-living,
booze-intensive Lifestyle Of Today. Had Vino been around, he would have
handled the situation--even though it was the very kind of situation that
Vino was paying Von Spleen to prevent. Von Spleen--his chemical-dosed
mind already unhinged by the alarming visage of a being whose mere
presence shattered rational thought, and whose pearl necklaces and
pancake makeup somehow put him in mind of Minnie Pearl--could not
control his thoughts. Across his mind's eye flashed an image of Vino's
sons, Frankie and Artaud, giving martinis and a bunch of pills in an
Altoids box to a group of forty or so teenage goats. Icthor saw the
image, shrieked, and disappeared. When Frankie and Artaud later went
missing, Von Spleen knew it was time for him to disappear as well.
It had been a minor relief to learn, after convoluted circumstances
brought him back into Vino's clutches, that Vino did not know who had
inadvertantly tipped Icthor off. Von Spleen knew that, had Vino known,
he would already be dead, and possibly part of one of Vino's casino
shows (Vino was one of the pioneers in the small but profitable field
of zombie musical shows and chorus-line revues). Vino, unknowing, was
focused on the main power-broker of Von Spleen's group--Shoon-Ma, the
"Now that I have told you of the Breaking of the Fast at the Dawn
of the Universe, and why I yearn for revenge by pitting my Chosen One
against Zeta Ricola Beta's Champion--"
"I thought it was the other way around," said Benjen (a native of
the planet Hottentot who had become one of Shoon-Ma's prisoners when
his company, _Universal Solvents_, tried to salvage the apparently-
derelict ship Shoon-Ma had been on).
"Hush," Shoon-Ma replied. "Vino, I would ask of you... how have
you suppressed most of my cosmic abilities? I can float and I can talk,
but as for the rest---"
"This world is more than just a planet-sized gob of Las Vegas
cliches," Vino interrupted. One of the Yak's three heads removed a
cigar and spat on the carpet. "My Science Yaks are pioneers in the
field of chance manipulation. We developed luck-suppressing
technology, and once bioengineered... well, never mind that. The
point is you're not the first cosmic being to come down here, throwing
his weight around, acting like a big shot, and not giving proper
respect to your betters. Hell, planet Aragan's God of Luck and
Fortune and Free Drinks dropped in on another of my casinos just last
week, thinkin' he was the biz. But now his luck is gone and he's
working off his debts as a bouncer in one of my entertainment houses in
Shoon-Ma, Von Spleen noted, was a quicker study than was to be
expected from an ur-powerful talking bagel. He bobbed in what Von
Spleen guessed was an approximation of a bow. "No disrespect is meant,
sir. I have always been a friend of---"
"Sir," said one of the armed Assassin Yaks next to Vino. "We've
got the live feed from Mr. Certain's office ready."
"Right," said another of Vino's heads. "Light it up, boys."
The giant screen over the buffet, which had earlier shown the
explosive destruction of the ship that Von Spleen and the others had come
in on, lit up with a display of a battle going on in an office. It was
initially very hard to make sense of what was going on, a fact that
Von Spleen blamed on his current incurable sobriety.
"Hey, there's Slithis," said Benjen, pointing at a green-scaled
humanoid who was busy ducking a sharp pincer wielded by some kind of
android that was half-terminator-style-arachnoid, half-Wayne-Newton.
(Von Spleen was not sure which half he found more frightening.) "And
Kalvin... what happened to his eye?... and a guy in a velour shirt,
and... hey, that's Shadebeam! What's she doing in this altiverse?"
Though he had only met her once, thanks to an ABPSARI-related
accident that had transported her to his ship, Von Spleen recognized
Shadebeam at once. She, along with Slithis and Sajon, had been on
Shoon-Ma's ship until *another* ABPSARI-related accident teleported
them away. Shoon-Ma had tracked them with his cosmic abilities to
Alpha Rio VI. But where was Sajon, the former assistant that Von Spleen
had been charged with turning into Shoon-Ma's Champion...?
There he was. On the floor of the office on the screen, with the
ABPSARI next to him. Judging from the welt on Sajon's head, the APBSARI
had re-entered time and space directly above him and knocked him out.
Despite himself, Von Spleen felt a chill. He had *known* it would
happen this way, ever since the robot TH1K1 had unlocked his perceptions
three days before. The events of today, both in this room and in
Kalvin's office, were so spam-saturated they defied time itself and
projected into the past. How TH1K1 had known was something Von Spleen
could not fathom--could the tiny toy-like robot be spam-powered?--but
it had known, and it had overridden the homicidal furies that were its
ordinary motivation for any action in order to adjust Von Spleen so *he*
Kalvin, Slithis, Shadebeam, and the velour-shirted guy were
fighting a losing battle. One of the... the...
"Hey," said Von Spleen. "What are those half-arachnoid, half-
"Arachno-Newtons," Vino replied, deep satisfaction causing his
voice to boom. "I have instructed them to put on a good show for us.
That is why they have not yet gone for the kill."
"Ah," said Von Spleen, and returned to his thought. One of the
Arachno-Newtons had battered Slithis pretty hard, and the velour-shirted
guy was clutching at his ears. Because Vino had the sound turned down,
the cause of his distress was not immediately apparent, but it appeared
that the Newtons were singing something--which would have explained the
distress even if their lower halves were not mechanical arachnids with
Von Spleen saw TH1K1 hovering over the buffet, apparently watching
the battle. The velour-shirted zombies that had been tele-transported
from the ship with them had stopped milling around and now appeared to
be filling out employment applications. Shoon-Ma was hovering over
the swedish meatballs, no doubt trying to figure out how to free himself
from Vino's cosmic-power-suppression field. Benjen had a plate of bacon
and hors d'ouvres in one hand, and a honey dijon mustard squeeze bottle
in the other....
Suddenly and without warning---
"Look out!" Shoon-Ma exclaimed.
Suddenly and with warning, Benjen heaved the bacon and hors d'ouvres
plate into the air, exclaimed "pull," and squeezed the mustard bottle. A
stream of mustard shot out, hit the plate, and deflected onto one of the
zombies. Von Spleen was unsure of what Benjen hoped to accomplish with
this culinary maneuver, until he saw Vino's Assassin Yaks surge forward.
Benjen was creating a distraction. No doubt he expected Von Spleen
to make full use of it.
The platform that Vino had used to showily rise into the room was
slightly elevated, and Von Spleen saw a gap between its edge and the
floor. Vino was regarding the melee Benjen started with a bemused
disdain, and was making some no-doubt-cutting remarks to the Yak on his
left. Some zombies stumbled past, trying to pick up the pencils the
combat had caused them to drop, along with the hands that had been
clutching said pencils. Von Spleen used the zombies as cover until he
reached the platform edge, and dove into the gap.
He landed on the Tech Yaks that were beneath the platform doing
something inscrutable with an allen wrench and a diagnostic tool. Von
Spleen snatched up both as he disentangled himself from them, then
sprinted down the badly-lit corridor. Soon he was in the audio room from
which Vino had spoken to them before making his appearance.
His TH1K1-powered visions had left this part out. Von Spleen knew
he would have to disable Vino's suppression field before those visions
came to pass. Though Von Spleen did not doubt that Vino held the
controls himself, the actual generators had to be accessible to the Tech
Yaks that actually knew what was what down here.
"Over here, Doctor," he heard TH1K1 gleep (a noise that Von Spleen
could translate in his head to English only because the volume of
pharmaceuticals he had abused through the years had altered his mind
enough to make it possible). Von Spleen turned and saw TH1K1 hovering
over a set of controls. "Hook the diagnostic tool here. You can
overload the suppression field relay circuits with ease."
"Why are you helping me?" Von Spleen asked, even as he sidled to the
controls TH1K1 indicated.
"Why do you think?" TH1K1 gleeped. "You, with cosmic power? Should
be good enough to finish off several star systems, at least. Maybe a
galaxy or two, if I can get Zark Flyby to fight with you instead of
Von Spleen gulped. It was as he feared. TH1K1 was playing him like
a spam-powered accordion. The only honorable thing to do at this point
would be to refuse to do anything further that would serve the tiny
homicidal robot's grandiose (and thus far ineffectual) dreams of
"He went down this way!" The cry came from far back in the
"Bring him to Vino at once!"
Well, okay, thought Von Spleen, as he plugged the diagnostic tool
into the controls. Maybe just *one* more thing to help the grandiose
dreams of slaughter along. Honor could wait.
It was the work of moments to locate the suppression circuits and
overload them. Suitable, since Von Spleen had only moments before
several armed Hench Yaks burst into the room and applied a yak-style
smackdown. As they dragged Von Spleen back out of the chamber, he
wondered if exclamations such as 'I am BeoYak!' were typical of yak-style
smackdowns, or if his was a special case.
The Hench Yaks pulled him through the gap between Vino's platform
and the floor, then dropped him. Von Spleen knew, even before he
struggled to his feet, the reason for their sudden lack of interest.
Shoon-Ma had wasted no time in setting things more to his liking
once his cosmic abilities were restored. The Assassin Yaks were on the
ceiling, pinned with their own weaponry and kept silent with stale bread
rolls. Vino's three heads were knocking against one another in what
looked to be a rather painful example of a perpetual-energy
demonstration. Benjen was hiding under the table with a plate of sliced
ham. TH1K1 floated over to Benjen and pretended to cower as well. The
zombies seemed annoyed by the gratuitous blue lighting that shot from
Shoon-Ma at odd moments, since it usually meant damage to them and a
need to get a non-bloodsmeared copy of the application.
"You have done well, Doctor!" Shoon-Ma roared. "Once Sajon, my
Chosen One, has defeated the Champion of Zeta Ricola Beta, you shall be
"I didn't do it for you," said Von Spleen. His eyes were on the
viewscreen behind Shoon-Ma, where it appeared that the Arachno-Newtons
were finally getting down to the business of the slaughter. One held
the velour-shirted guy and was prepared to rip his throat open with its
impossibly shiny teeth. Kalvin Certain was sprawled on his desk, either
unconscious or dead. Sajon was still a lump on the floor, and Shadebeam
was cutting a lock of hair from his head.
A moment later, as an Arachno-Newton loomed over her, she fed the
lock into the ABPSARI.
Von Spleen smiled without mirth, as the ABPSARI came to life. Her
choice of fuel for the ABPSARI was clearly not random, though he wondered
if she had worked out the full extent to which Sajon's luck was
intertwined with this particular ABPSARI's manipulations of space and
Then he wondered no more, as space and time gave him a smackdown
that even BeoYak would envy.
WHAT FUNKY THING IS HAPPENING TO VON SPLEEN NOW?
WILL IT AFFECT THE EMPLOYMENT CHANCES OF THE ZOMBIES?
WILL GHAM AND COMPANY EVER MAKE IT TO ZETA RICOLA BETA?
WILL THEY BREATHE EASIER NOW THAT THE AUTHOR HAS GOTTEN THROUGH HIS FIT
HOW WAS BAGELOS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON ZETA RICOLA BETA
FORTY YEARS AGO?
HOW IS THE AUTHOR RESPONSIBLE FOR DROPPING THIS SERIES FOR TWO YEARS,
THEN TRYING TO RE-START IT AT A VERY AWKWARD TRANSITIONAL STAGE OF THE
SFSTORY has the answers you seek. Good luck getting them.
Main Sfstory Page
Index for Logs 091-117