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Author Topic: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin  (Read 11268 times)
MrWhat
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« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2004, 12:00:29 AM »

Millie had just taken a break from her training under Master Splinter-- that is, she was taking a break from getting whacked over the head with Splinter's staff.  She had, in fact, begun to find splinters (with a small "s") in her hair, leading Master Splinter to fear for the soundness of his ancient staff-- and, of course, the thickness of Millie's skull.

She came into Gan-chan's throne room, to behold a terrible sight.  Dozens of Mice Wearing Hats were stumbling round the throne room, bumping into the walls and each other.  They couldn't see where they were going because their Hats were pulled down over their eyes.

Millie slowly made her way to Gan-chan's throne, trying not to tread on the randomly-wandering mice beneath her feet.  *SQUEEK!*  "Oops, sorry--"  *SQUEEK!*  "Sorry!"  *SQUEEK!* "SORRY!!"

At long last, she made it to Gan-chan's side.  "Uh, sir?  What's going on?"

Gan-chan fumed.  "Just look at them, Miss Millie!  My loyal subjects, unable to see where they're going because their Hats are pulled down over their eyes!"

Millie pulled a face.  "This begs the obvious question... why don't they just pull their Hats up?  I mean, besides the fact that they don't have opposable thumbs."

"They can't, Miss Millie," Gan-chan said darkly.  "The cat-girl demon-god has glued their hats down over their eyes!"

Millie gasped.  "By the cheese!  Why-- it's almost as if she's playing with us!!"

"Well, yeah," Gan-chan replied, not at all patiently.  "She's a cat.  We're mice.  That's what cats do with mice, when they catch them, dontcha know.  They play with them!"

Millie frowned.  "But-- what can we do?  My training goes well-- Master Splinter only whacked me about eight times today-- but I don't yet feel ready to BOOT TO THE HEAD of a demon god with weapons of mass de-stuck-tion..."



Mike, Tom and Crow:  GAH!!



"Fear not, Miss Millie," Gan-chan said, even more darkly.  "You are a fine military advisor... but in matters such as these... the Mice Wearing Hats are fully prepared to employ their own Secret Weapons."

Millie gasped again.  "You don't mean--"

Instead of answering Millie directly, Gan-chan called out to his non-glued lackeys.  "Break out the Nepeta cataria!!"



A nervous Doctors Schtalubaugh and Semimad stood before Princess Rune, Queen Deva, Londs and Jinnai.  After the Mice Wearing Hats' ambassador (Ura) had delivered its cliched ultimatum, the pair-o'-docs had been summoned to report on the progress of Ifurita-3's therapy.

"Well... um... uh..." Schtalubaugh said unhelpfully.  "Ah... that is... well..."

Semimad cut in.  "We have good news... and bad news."

Jinnai held his face in his hands and groaned.  "Aw, crap!"

"What is the good news, Doctors?" Rune asked patiently.

"The demon god has progressed past the sleep-deprived, no time for anybody or anything college student stage, more quickly than we anticipated."

Jinnai suddenly perked up.  "Really?  That's good!  That's excellent!!  Is she--"

Londs cut in.  "The bad news, Doctors?"

"Instead of completing her studies, and graduating from the College of Evil," Semimad said, "she has opted to drop out of school, join a counter-culture movement, and become a broadly-drawn and mildly offensive stereotype of an alternative lifestyle."

And then, Ifurita-3 stumbled into the room, once again bell-bottomed and barefoot, wearing her cheap plastic sunglasses and ankh on a chain, and munching on potato chips.  She had obviously just come Full Circle.

The once-again-hippie Ifurita-3 giggled, but she remembered her manners... sort of.  "Greetings, Milady Rune.  Greetings, Milady Deva.  How's it goin', Royal Ugly Dudes?"

"D'OH!!" said Rune, Deva, Londs and Jinnai.

After an awkward pause, Jinnai sighed.  "Well, at least we still have the cat-girl demon god," he said.  "By the way, where is she?"

As if on cue, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia stumbled into the room... with peacenik clothing and demeanor that matched Ifurita-3 almost perfectly.  She had obviously succombed to the hallucinogenic effects of the Mice Wearing Hats' Secret Weapon.

Ifurita-3 giggled with delight.  "Nice one, man!"  The two hippie demon-gods hugged each other warmly.

"GAH!!" said Rune, Deva, Londs, Jinnai, Schtalubaugh and Semimad.

Ifurita gestured to the others with her thumb.  "Heavy."

Jinnistacia agreed.  "Bummer."

"Guh!-- nuh!-- uh!--" Jinnai said.  "Jinnistacia!  This is dereliction of duty!  Obey your Master, and defend us from the-- URK!!"

The Mice Wearing Hats' Secret Weapon had apparently allowed Jinnistacia to temporarily disregard Ayeka's re-programmed control circuit.  She swung up her key-staff, and let loose with a volley of adhesive that neatly glued Jinnai against Rune and Deva in a nicely awkward and humiliating position.

As Jinnistacia capped her glue-gun, Ifurita-3 spoke.  "Like, whad'ya wanna do now?  This war is, like, such a downer."

Jinnistacia put on her own pair of glasses-- clear yellow marksman's glasses that oddly suited her new hippie cat-girl persona.  "F*** it, dude.  Let's go bowling."

Ifurita-3 grinned, and flashed a peace sign.  "The Dude Abides."

The two hippie demon gods left the throne room, arm in arm.  Yet another awkward silence fell over the room.

Jinnai finally cleared his throat and spoke again.  His voice was a bit higher-pitched and nervous than normal, seeing as how he was trying not to think about where his right hand was glued to Rune, and where his left hand was glued to Deva.  "Uh... Londs... some solvent, please?"
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MrWhat
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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2004, 12:05:28 AM »

Ifurita slowly came to her senses.  She found herself lying face-down on the rough desert valley floor.

She looked over her shoulder, and saw a key-staff that was not her own, plugged into her socket (without even asking first), and turning itself in place.

"Please don't move," Staff-chan said.  "I am manually recharging you, and accelerating your self-repair--"

Ifurita shrieked, and passed out again.



Ifurita slowly came to her senses again.  She found herself still lying face-down on the rough desert valley floor.

She looked to one side, and saw the talking key-staff lying at her side, with an embarrassed look on what had been folded into place of its face.

"Pardon me, Miss Ifurita," said Staff-chan.  "But if I had not acted, you might not have recovered in time to Save The World."

"Understood," Ifurita said, "and thank you...  Hmm.  Perhaps I can return the favor."  She reached for Staff-chan.

"Hey, what are you doing?"  Staff-chan protested, as Ifurita jerked various bits of its person around, and began to undo its long narrow key-staff form.  "OW!  No, that doesn't go there!  Ack!  Help!"

A remarkably unpleasant but mercifully brief moment later, Ifurita set a restored Over-Run down.  "There, now," she said soothingly.  "Isn't that better?"

Over-Run flexed its arms and legs for the first time in a very long time indeed.  "How-- how did you know how to do that!?"

Ifurita smiled sadly.  "I have experienced the horrors of the ancient Holy Wars of El-Hazard.  Among other things, I participated in the examination of captured enemy demon-gods.  And we demon-gods are quite flexible, ourselves.  Why, I once helped some particularly perverted scientists fold up another demon-god until she fit in a small briefcase--"

Over-Run cut Ifurita off, for fear of suffering a Mini-Con nosebleed.  "Er, well, no need to explain further.  But I'm eternally grateful to you for freeing me from my own stripped gears."

"Then will you remain with me," Ifurita asked, "to avenge your fallen mistress, and defeat our common foes, and solve the mystery of the Palace of Infinity, once and for all?"

"Heck no," Over-Run said.  "I'm outta here."  And with this rather out-of-character remark, Over-Run left the dimension of El-Hazard, ending the longest and most successful Round Robin cross-over-- which gives you an idea of how badly all the other Round Robin cross-overs have gone.



Makoto was awakened by a gentle pat on his cheek, from a soft warm familiar demon-god hand.

He groaned, stirred, and opened his eyes-- and found himself still bound hand and foot to a large crystal, clad only in his underpants.  His beloved soul-mate Ifurita stood before him, eyeing him with a sly smile.  The not-too-bright and now-possibly-crazed Priestess of the Ancients had fainted to one side.

Ifurita purred with mischievous delight.  "Makoto, if you enjoy this kind of thing, you have only to ask me, and I shall gladly do it to you myself, with all my love.  But our To-Do list is already quite long.  I have not yet done all my hentai cos-play for you, nor have I had the chance to drench myself in warm corn syrup for you."

Makoto pulled a face.  "Uh, Ifurita?  Palace of Infinity first.  Innuendo-laden teasing later."



After Ifurita released Makoto; after they had a proper reunion, with a tearful romantic embrace; and after Makoto put his clothes back on-- they both studied the Glyph of Infinity.

"Do you recognize this artifact, Ifurita?" asked Makoto.

"No."  Ifurita reached out to touch the Glyph with one hand.  "It appears to predate my creation--  YEEEK!!"

The instant Ifurita touched the Glyph, another one of them beams o' light erupted from the Glyph.   Ifurita and Makoto squeezed their eyes shut.  Their hair was blown straight back by the force of the beam.  And, while Makoto and Ifurita were not exactly hentai type characters, they weren't really sweet-and-innocent type characters either, and so their clothing took a lot of damage, in a fan-servicey way.

Ifurita took her hand away almost instantly, but it was too late.  Both her and Makoto's clothing hung in barely-decent tatters.

"Oops," said Ifurita.

Makoto sighed.  "Perhaps *I* had better try it instead."

He rested a hand against the Glyph, closed his eyes, and activated his Tech Touch.  The Glyph began to glow with multi-colored lights, as it had done for Ifurina-- but then, text began to marquee across its face.

"Fascinating," Ifurita said softly.  "It appears to be an ancient El-Hazard script-- but it is not part of my programming.  Can you interpret it, Makoto?"

Makoto frowned with a slight effort.  "Yes.  Uh...  Oh, crap!!"

Ifurita turned to Makoto sharply.  "What is wrong!?"

"No, Ifurita.  That's the first part of the message.  'Oh, crap!!  Someone's come along who can actually read this.'"

"Oh.  Sorry," Ifurita said.  "Please, go on."

"Uh... 'Well, since you idiots won't leave well enough alone, be warned-- here lies the gateway from this world to the pocket dimension containing the PALACE (ace ace) OF (of of) INFINITY!! (inity inity)'"

Ifurita raised an eyebrow.  But Makoto shrugged.  "That's what it says.  Apparently this ancient language has dramatic echoes built into its grammar."

Ifurita sighed.  "Those ancient masters of El-Hazard truly were a bunch of wankers."

"Mmm," said Makoto.  "Well, at least we know where the gosh-darned thing *is*, now.  And there's more.  'Only two who act as one may open the gateway, and ride the Platform of Infinity to meet their destiny.'  Well, that sounds promising."

"Yes, that suits us nicely," Ifurita noted.  "Is there anything else?"

"One last warning...  'The Glyph will make lots of pretty swirly colors when mere mortals or nano-tech enhanced demon gods touch it, but most True Demon Gods who touch it will have their clothing blasted away in a gratuitous fan-servicey way.'"

"Now they tell us," Ifurita said sadly.

Makoto took his hand away, and turned to Ifurita.  "Well, shall we?  We've come this far together..."

"If you are ready, then so am I," said Ifurita.  "Let us now face the ultimate final very-last we-really-mean-it-this-time challenge of the Round Robin."

Makoto and Ifurita smiled at each other in a sweet soul-mate kind of way.  And then, as one, they reached out and touched the Glyph together.

But, somewhere deep in the recesses of Makoto's mind, Kalia's consciousness thought to itself, oh no you DON'T!

Makoto and Ifurita disappeared from El-Hazard.  But then, things went horribly, horribly wrong.



Makoto and Ifurita opened their eyes, and found themselves in a horrible, horrible place.  They instinctively clutched at each other as they looked around.

"Is this... Creteria!?" asked Ifurita.  "I have seen it in your memories... but I did not imagine it could be this horrible..."

"No," Makoto said quickly.  "This looks like some kind of industrial city... but even Creteria wasn't this dark, and cold, and dirty, and run-down..."

Ifurita pointed.  "There is a sign, Makoto.  Can you read it?"

"Uh...  why, it's in English!  Are we back on Earth!?...  well, let's see if I can remember how to read...  Oh no.  Please.  No!  Dear God, please, NO!..."

Makoto clutched at Ifurita tightly, buried his face in her barely-decently clad shoulder, and trembled in fear.

Ifurita comforted him the best she could, but she felt a cold dread in her own heart.  She knew that her Makoto was no coward, and she wondered what could terrify him so.

Little did Ifurita know that the sign that Makoto had read had but four words... but they were four words that would strike sheer terror in the heart of any sentient being in the multi-verse.

The four horrible, horrible words were:
Quote
Welcome to Decatur, Illinois!



OOC:  What!?  Well, anyone who lives in central Illinois, but outside Decatur, is required by federal law to make fun of Decatur whenever possible.  If you've never been to Decatur, just imagine the Creteria palace-town, only much more so.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2004, 12:06:45 AM by mrwhat » Logged
MrWhat
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« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2004, 12:11:41 AM »

The straight-line path that the Guide flew, from the boulder-laden badlands to the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, happened to pass through the kingdom of Baron, and directly over the ancient observatory that housed the Mantle of God.

Of course, this was all part of the Guide's Cunning Plan.  And while it was important to the Guide to go to the Glyph of Infinity soon, it had more than enough time for a stop along the way.

The Guide sailed down the observatory's stairs, through a number of secret passages, and into a very secret chamber.   It lit in the throne set in the room's center, and quickly interfaced with the Mantle of God itself.

But the Guide had no need of the Mantle's secondary function, since it saw along all axes of probability with the precision and clarity of a 600-mexapixel digital camera.

As usual, its true intentions were much more pear-shaped.



Ifurina and The Other had been having a suprisingly delightful conversation within The Other's minds-space, when Something Else suddenly manifested itself on the direct opposite side of The Other.

The Other had no need to turn around, since it had several hundred faces on all sides of what passed for its head.  The faces that faced away from Ifurina glared at the Guide.  "well Well, what is it!?" The Other said impatiently.  "We did not summon you here. here"

The Guide regared The Other with insufferable smug self-assured evil, its eyes glowing like cigarettes narrowed to the thinness of a knife-edge.  "No.  You didn't.  But I don't need you any longer, and I've decided to take a few seconds out of my busy schedule to destroy you."

The Other laughed a bizarre disembodied laugh, like the sound of a sit-com laugh-track played at the wrong speed.  "you You DARE!?  Have you forgotten that *WE* summoned YOU here, under the guise of serving the Mice Wearing Hats, to destroy the meddling Time Lord!?  And yet, the Time Lord still lives!! lives"

"Check my warranty again," the Guide said, in a voice that hung heavy with sheer malevolence.  "Section six point eight seven five, regarding singularities of Heisenberg uncertainty."

The Other sweat-dropped.  With suddenly trembling hands, it produced the Guide's warranty, and flipped through the long fan-folded document, until it found the relevant text.

"sect Section Six Point Eight Seven Five:  In the event that the User is stoopid enough to allow the Guide to be exposed to a singularity of Heisenberg uncertainty, the mechanisms that prevent the Guide from turning on its masters will be effectively disabled by the singularity's Uncertainty field.  The User should then take three steps:  (1) consider this Warranty null and void, (2) make peace with its Maker; and (3) kiss whatever it uses for a butt good-bye. bye"

The Other lowered the warranty, and gulped.  "we We don't suppose that this was merely an academic point? point"

"Nope," said the Guide.

"oh Oh, nut bunniesssssssss..." said all the minds of the ancient masters of El-Hazard that made up The Other, as the Guide eliminated them with extreme prejudice. *



"Um, hello?"  Ifurina's disembodied mind called out into a suddenly dark and empty mind-space.  "Hello!?  Mr. The Other!?  Where did you go!?"

The Guide had left the Mantle of God, even before The Other had faded away completely, and so it had failed to notice that Ifurina had been standing directly behind The Other.  And, while the Guide could see through twenty-two real dimensions of probability, its range did not automatically extend into any mind-spaces that happened to be lying about.

And so, the Guide had unwittingly left Ifurina alone in The Other's minds-space.

Depending on one's point of view, Nothing Good Could Come Of This... or All Kinds Of Good Could Come Of This.

As has been pointed out, Ifurina was a simple girl, and she did not view the world through the same filters that most people have.  Her simple unfiltered mind was now the only mind in an ancient and unimaginably powerful mind-space computer.  99.99999999+% of the Mantle of God's computer's memory and processing power was suddenly freed, and all this raw computational power was at the disposal of one single unfiltered simple mind.

And while the mind-space computer had effectively imprisoned the brilliant-yet-filtered minds that made up The Other, Ifurina's unfiltered simple mind would prove to be free of such restrictions.

It remained to be seen exactly what effect all this would have on the Guide's plans.  However, three minor side-effects quickly manifested themselves.



Ifurina manifested the first side-effect herself.  "Oh!" she thought out loud to herself.  "It's so dark and lonely here, since Mr. The Other went away.  I wish this was a nicer place--"

Suddenly, her surroundings changed.  She found herself standing in a gently-rolling pastoral landscape, under a clear blue sky.  Trees rustled in a gentle summer breeze, and treefish rustled in the leaves.  The occasional dolphin-bear ba-bumped past Ifurina, on its way to its next adult video shoot.

Ifurina clapped her hands with delight.  "Oh!" she said again.  "If I only had some ice cream, this would be perfect!"

An impossibly delicious double-scoop ice cream cone promptly appeared in Ifurina's hand.

Ifurina's eyes widened, as she realized that she was now capable of altering her surroundings to her slightest whim.  Why, it was almost like as if that plot twist with The Charm, way back in the first Round Robin topic, had worked out more like the current writer had hoped.



The second side-effect was visible only within the secret chamber that held the real-world portion of the Mantle Of God... for now.

As Ifurina began to re-shape the mind-space more to her liking, the interior of the secret chamber began to blur... in a twenty-three dimensional kind of way.



The third side-effect became known to exactly two other people.

Princess Myuun's hand-maiden entered her guest room in the Floristica palace, and found the inscrutable art-goth-babe holding her head in her hands.

"Milady?" asked the servant.  "Is something wrong?"

Myuun looked up at her hand-maiden, and smiled thinly.  "Pardon me, dear.  It's just, I've suddenly got such a headache!..."



* OOC:  Apologies to d.t., if he's still reading, for doing away with The Other... but it's been clear to the current writer, for some time, that the Guide is the true villain of the piece.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2004, 12:12:09 AM by mrwhat » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2004, 12:15:39 AM »

Peorth and the Doctor had become so badly entangled in each other's loose belts that they had fallen to the Floristica alleyway pavement.  The two impossibly beautiful women were almost inextricably bound together in a big ol' ball of creepy experimental fan-servicey goodness.

A few passersby had approached the two women, in order to aid them.  But each of the passersby, male or female, had suffered a massive nosebleed when they came too close, and they were forced to withdraw, leaving Peorth and the Doctor to their plight.

"Doctor?" said Peorth.  "I am goeeng to move ze left elbow a centimetaire to ze right..."

"*ggghhaaugh*" said the Doctor, as a belt tightened around her neck.

"Ah," said Peorth.  "Well, let me try to wreegle ze right beeg toe..."

"*ggghhaaugh*" the Doctor said again, more weakly this time.

"Oh dear," Peorth said.  "Well, I am not knoweeng how we shall escape zees predicaments.  Zere ees my automateec recall to Yggdrasil, but eet will not activates until le reconnaisance mission ees compleete--"

Just then, the Guide destroyed The Other, rendering Peorth's reconnaisance mission irrelevant.  The Yggdrasil OS's main event-handler interpreted this event as Mission 'Compleete', and it initiated the automatic recall... unfortunately for the Doctor.

As a recall tractor beam appeared from the heavens above, and as Peorth was violently wrenched away from the Doctor (and El-Hazard), the Doctor collapsed, and her final regeneration began.



Peorth re-appeared in the Yggrasil Earth Help Center, in a most undignified sad small heap on the floor.  Even without the Doctor, she was still tangled up in her own belts, and it took her a minute or two to struggle to her feet.

She stood, catching her breath and clutching at her poor cute little head.  She found Urd standing before her, arms crossed, with a smug smile on her face.  "Welcome back, Peorth.  Although, you may soon wish that you hadn't been recalled..."

Peorth took off her cheap Groucho Marx glasses, and tossed them aside.  "Why ees zees?" she asked, a bit crossly.  "And why are you here in Yggdrasil, Urd?"

"You've been a naughty, naughty little goddess," said Urd, with a maniacal gleam in her eye.  "You've broken Yggdrasil protocol in so many ways that it makes even Skuld's head swim.  I'm afraid that Yggdrasil is going to have to punish you.  And I jumped at the chance to-- *ahem* I mean, I reluctantly volunteered to perform this necessary duty myself."

Peorth hung her head and whimpered.  "I am in ze deep yogurt?  But-- I 'ave already been in ze deep yogurt, non?"

"True," said Urd.  "And kudos for the babump.com video, by the way.  Urd-sama gives it two thumbs up.  Keiichi, uh, enjoyed it too.  Hee hee."

Peorth smiled weakly.  "Merci, mon ami.  But now zat I about to be written out of ze Round Robin-- ze deep yogurt ees not my final creepy experimental fan-servicey punishment... ees it?"

Urd held up a marble between two fingers.  "Not at all, dear.  No, you get to play-- Find The Marble In The Oatmeal!!"

Peorth blinked.  Then she sighed.  And then, she slid off her belts and kicked off her boots, to stand in all her bikini'ed glory.  "Well, zees should not take too long.  Where ees ze oatmeels?"

Urd snapped the fingers of her other hand, and everything around her and Peorth changed.

The two goddessess found themselves floating in mid-air, in a spare Yggdrasil dimension-- hovering about a meter above a pit filled with oatmeal that stretched from horizon to horizon in every direction.  The sky above and the oatmeal below were both utterly featureless, denying Peorth even the advantage of a starting mark.

Peorth's jaw fell open with a cash-register sound effect.

Urd flung the marble far into the distance.  And then, she turned back to Peorth, grabbed the unfortunate goddess, and spun her in place three times, to disorient her completely.

"Don't worry," Urd said kindly.  "You're on paid leave for the next millenium, and this is ten-dimensional oatmeal that will never spoil.  You've got plenty of time to find the marble.  And I tell ya what-- I'll change into a swimsuit and dive in for a visit, every twenty or thirty years, so that you don't get too lonely...  Welp, better get started, hon."

As Urd faded away, she gave Peorth a friendly clap on the shoulder-- and revoked Peorth's power of flight, as the final part of Peorth's punishment.  The still-dizzy Peorth fell into the oatmeal below her, spread-eagled and face-first, with a wet SPLAT!!

Peorth floated on the surface of the oatmeal for a moment.  And then, she slowly sank into the oatmeal, and out of sight, disappearing from the Round Robin in an excruciatingly humiliating creepy experimental fan-servicey way.  Peorth was so depressed that she imagined she might just lie motionless, one-and-a-half meters deep in oatmeal, for a decade or two, before she got started on the task at hand.



A brilliant flash of light filled the Floristica alleyway, signaling the end of the Doctor's final regeneration.

The light faded to reveal... a fair young woman with a more-than-passing resemblance to a younger Rune Venus, wearing black priestess' robes emblazoned with the Doctor's trademark question marks in white.  Oddly enough, the regeneration had also produced a mop in her left hand.

The final Doctor struggled to her feet.  "Oh no...  Regenerated again...  I think.  Yes, I think that's what's happened.  But... Oh dear.  I've lost my memory... again?"

She suddenly wailed in despair.  "Who... who am I!?"

A passing palace guard, who had been assigned to search for Rune's recently-disclosed second sister, suddenly gestured to the Doctor and shouted.  "MILADY PARVSYS!!"

The Doctor smiled sweetly.  "Oh!  Okay!  Thank you!"
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MrWhat
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« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2004, 12:19:23 AM »

OOC:  This is the last of SEVEN replies that I've just posted.  (I slammed these out at top speed, so please forgive any spelling, grammar and continuity errors.)  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.  



Shortly after Londs had unglued Jinnai's hands from the embarrassing places on Rune and Deva-- Ishiel and Afura dashed into the room, holding hands, and carrying their lamps in their free hands.

Londs noticed the looks of panic on the two priestesses' faces.  "What's the matter, Ladies?"

"RATS!!" shrieked Afura, as they ran past.

Londs frowned.  "Yes, I can see you're both upset, but what's the problem?"

"RATS!!" yelled Ishiel, as they left the throne room, apparently headed for the palace siege shelters.

Londs sighed.  "What's the darn problem!?"

And then, Rune and Deva (and, despite himself, Jinnai) shrieked in unison.  "OH, RATS!!"

"WHAT!?" Londs shouted, in exasperation.

He turned, looked behind him-- and saw a large group of invading Giant Sewer Rats.

Londs sighed again.  "Oh.  Well.  Yes.  Rats."



In the general confusion of the Mice Wearing Hats and Giant Sewer Rats' final invasion of the Floristica palace, Nahato and Minagi went unnoticed.  Of course, Nahato was using his Phantom Tribe sk1lz, and She Who Seeth Through Nahato's Illusions wasn't anywhere near the Floristica palace at the moment.

Nahato and Minagi had slowly and painstakingly made their way into Rune's closet of feminine unmentionables, down the "Emergency Palace Escape Route Containing Spare Clothes And Also A Toilet," and through the ancient-robot-and-dolphin-bear-filled cave shortcut.  They had at last come to the mysterious chamber now known to practially everyone as the dreaded Demon God Factory.

"Master Nahato?  I don't know about this," Minagi said.  "This machine looks as if it is in an advanced state of disrepair.  In fact, it looks well and truly busted."

"No matter!" Nahato shouted.  "As the last known survivor of the Phantom Tribe, I am prepared to take any chance!  Minagi, I, uh, thank you for your concern-- but I order you to active the machine, and aid me in my ascent to immortality and unimaginable power, and revenge in the name of my fallen Tribe!!"

Minagi sighed, and shook her head sadly-- although she didn't shake it very hard, for fear of shaking it off her neck.  As Nahato stood in the middle of what was left of the dreaded Demon God Factory, and assumed a dramatic pose, with arms spread wide, Minagi threw the main power switch.

The dreaded Demon God Factory improbably came back to life.  Nahato screamed and screamed, and screamed some more.  His body shook, then spasmed violently-- and then, it seemed to disappear as it transformed.

With a cry of fear for her beloved master, Minagi shut the badly-malfunctioning Demon God Factory down, and then flew towards where Nahato had stood.  "MASTER!!  Where are you!?  Are you alright!?"

She looked down.  And she slowly smiled.

Nahato stood up.  He grasped his new power-key-staff in both hands, taking little notice of how his hands had... changed.  And then, he looked up... and up, and up... at Minagi.

"MASTER!!"  Minagi cried again, but now in delight.  "You're so CYUUUTE!!"

"WHAT!?"  Nahato looked back down, and examined his new demon god body.  "OH CRAP!!  I'M A MOUSE WEARING A HAT!!"

"But you are a Demon God Mouse Wearing A Hat!" Minagi said, as she reached down to pick up her Master.  "And you're just so darn cute--  EEP!!"

Minagi's disembodied hand had just fallen off her wrist-- and on top of Nahato.

Minagi kneeled on the floor, picked up her loose hand and put it back "on", and then gently cradled the squished Demon God Mouse Wearing A Hat to her breast.  "Master Nahato!  I am so sorry!  Are you alright!?"

"*ack eep*" said the squished (and not very powerful) Last-Of-The-Phantom-Tribe Mouse-Wearing-A-Hat Demon-God Nahato.



The four palace royals and the two priestesses had barricaded themselves deep in the palace siege shelters.  But it was clear that the final defenses would not last long under the terrible wrath of the Giant Sewer Rats.

"Afura!!  Ishiel!!  Do something!!" Jinnai yelled helpfully.

"No can do, LGJ."  Ishiel held up her glued hand.  "Jinnistacia did a number on us, and I need two hands to operate my Pretty Good Lamp Of Earth."

"And my effectiveness in battle is greatly reduced with only one hand free," Afura added.  "About all I can do is dispel annoying daylight-fireflies."

Londs held up his bottle of solvent.  "Then let me--"

Ishiel shook her head.  "Sorry, Big Guy.  This is a sample of the new insoluble stuff.  We're stuck solid, for a good week."

"Well, that's just peachy!!" Jinnai yelled.  "You two finally learn to work together, and now you're telling me that you can't work together!?"

Ishiel's and Afura's faces both lit up, at once, as they both suddenly had the same idea.

"Ishiel?  You don't suppose-- we could--" Afura said.

"I don't know," Ishiel said.  "But we've got nothing to lose."

Ishiel held up the Great Lamp Of Earth, and Afura began to set the Great Lamp of Wind into its indentation on top of the earth lamp.

"STOP!!" Londs bellowed.  "Do you REALIZE what you're DOING!?  You're about to re-assemble two components of the Fearsome Lamp Of The Four Elements!!"

Ishiel turned on Londs in exasperation, yanking Afura along with her.  "Look, pal!  If you've got a better idea, I'd love to hear it!  But we can't wield our lamps separately!  So we've got to work together, and wield them together!"

Afura also spoke.  "The Lamp Of The Four Elements overwhelmed each single user that wielded it.  But we shall wield it together.  Our two spirits, working together in sympathy, and harmony, and... love... should be able to overcome the psychotic side-effects of the two parts of the combined lamp."

Ishiel gasped as Afura dropped the "L" bomb.  "Afura!...  You!...  We!..."  She blushed furiously, and squeezed Afura's stuck hand.

And then, a raised Giant-Sewer-Rat-paw-shaped dent appeared in the heavy steel shelter doors, with an ominous CLANG!!

"Why don't you two go ahead and give it a try," Rune said mildly.

Ishiel and Afura exchanged a look that spoke volumes.  And then, Ishiel held up her lamp again, and Afura set her lamp in place with a fateful CLICK!

And everything did not change forever.  But still, it wasn't quite like anything that had happened before.

For one thing, Ishiel and Afura's clothing wasn't immediately completely blasted away, in a gratuitous fan-servicey way.  That didn't happen until at least a minute or two later.
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rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2004, 09:41:44 PM »

It's official - I can't keep my own round robin deadlines.  *sighs*  Sorry about the delay.  It took me longer than anticipated to find appropriate websites to link to, and when I tried to post what I'd written yesterday the forum went down.  ^^;  Anyway, here's the next installment of the irregularly scheduled El-Hazard Round Robin.  I hope all of you who are still sticking with this tale enjoy it.

******

A catchy, lively melody played by a full quartet of string instruments and accompanied by an electronic synthesizer started up (Apparently the Elemental Lamps came equipped with stereo systems), and the illumination within the basement that the defenders of Florestica had retreated to grew dim just as the Giant Sewer Rats broke down the door and charged forward.  The darkness was suddenly broken by an otherworldly light that surrounded the linked Ishiel and Afura, stopping the advancing rats in the tracks, and, in a brilliant effusion of colors and sound that would forever be burned into the memories of those who witnessed it, the most closely kept secret of the Ancients was finally revealed.

The Ancients were magical girl fans.

In a transformation sequence that had all of the flashiness and magical pyrotechnics of a Sailor Moon power-up, the lesbian overtones of the Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series, the gratuitous fan-service of a Devil Hunter Yohko episode, and the acrobatic routines that magical girls are famed for, Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess of Earth, and Afura Mann, Priestess of Wind, changed into...

"I am Incredible Ishy!" Ishiel declared, now wearing a Sailor Mercury uniform and standing back-to-back with Afura who was dressed as Sailor Jupiter.

"And I-" Afura began as she and her partner pirouetted in perfect unison, "am Astounding Affy!"

With a series of effusive hand gestures and dramatic poses, the two continued their self-righteous speech.  "And in the name of Earth, Wind, and Love, we shall punish you!" they finished, pointing determinedly at the Giant Sewer Rats.

The silence that greeted this announcement was only equaled by the giant sweatdrops that followed.  

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), before Ishiel and Afura could further embarrass themselves or cast potentially hilariously named magical attacks, Matthew walked by outside with a dancing Demon God Ryoko and growing number of Mice Wearing Hats following along behind him.  The Giant Sewer Rats, also susceptible to the pied pipe's hypnotic powers, turned around and joined the march, and a moment later so did Incredible Ishy and Astounding Affy with a glazed over sheen to their eyes, cheerfully performing further outstanding feats of magical girl acrobatics and agility that, sadly, trampled additional numbers of Mice Wearing Hats.

Jinnai finally recovered his voice and in an unusually subdued tone asked a question.  "So...got an explanation for _this_, Londs?"

In reply, the longtime royal advisor whose family had stood by the side of Roshtaria's ruling family through generations and numerous crises fainted.

"...Guess not," Lord God Jinnai commented after a moment, turning to Princess Rune Venus and Empress Diva.  "How about you two?"

The sounds of two more bodies fainting and striking the ground were his only responses.

Sighing, the demented youth faced the one creature left standing.  "Well, Groucho, do _you_ know anything about this?"

"Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot," Groucho answered.

Jinnai shook his head in frustration.  "That's your answer for everything, isn't it?"

******

The Past...

A badly damaged Florestican hovercraft finally shuddered to a stop, and the royal guard piloting the vehicle and propped against the navigation panel forced himself to focus past his agony and looked around in wonder.  Everywhere the eye could see laid glittering, glowing crystals of all shapes and sizes jutting out of the earth.  It was unlike any sight he'd ever seen before, and if he concentrated just right it almost seemed like the gems were...humming?

The sound of wailing and feel of his blood-soaked uniform against his chest snapped the soldier out of his musings, and he took a moment to gaze down at his young charge and mourn her fate.  As a member of Roshtaria's military he'd long ago accepted that he might one day lose his life in the line of duty, but this child deserved better than to perish in this beautiful but forgotten place, far from her family and with only a dying old man for company.  

Gasping as he felt his insides heave, the guard clenched his fists and cursed the Bugrom for attacking his convoy, the Phantom Tribe for leading them to the Bugrom, and himself for not detecting the subterfuge and seeing past the illusions earlier.  It was a miracle he'd managed to escape with the toddler in the first place, but, judging by how hopelessly lost and far from civilization he must be, it seemed his flight had done little to change the inevitable outcome.  If only...

The sound of footsteps approaching over the rocky ground became audible, and the guard suddenly found himself seized by the faint visages of hope.  Struggling to overcome his pain, the soldier concentrated and turned to face the nearing figure.  Bleary eyes managing to make out a cloaked, hooded, but definitely humanoid figure, he felt his lips curl upwards in the slightest of smiles.  The child might live after all...

"Please," he rasped out, spewing blood and spittle, "look after the infant.  She...*gasp*...must...survive...plea-aaargh..."

The shrouded woman watched dispassionately as the royal guard breathed his last, the only flicker of emotion passing through her being a slight feeling of relief that she wouldn't be obligated to terminate the intruder herself.  Despite the rarity of someone stumbling across this valley forgotten by time, over the millennia it had happened occasionally, and her orders concerning such an occurrence were clear:  No outsider must ever learn of this place and leave to tell about it.  Callous, perhaps, but considering all that was at stake-

"Waah!"

Reminded by this cry that another trespasser still existed, the individual underneath the cloak unhurriedly walked over to the hovercraft and scanned its topside.  Carefully placed on the floor next to the steering console was a basket, and inside it and wrapped in blankets was an infant girl with golden hair and diamond blue eyes.  A well-crafted dragon hand puppet was laid beside her.  Left hand rising to eliminate this intruder, the guardian paused, mesmerized by the crying and finding it hard to justify the murder of a baby to protect this secret.  It's not as if her target could tell anyone where she was, and so long as this infant didn't later leave the valley the rules technically wouldn't be violated...

Striding over to and kneeling in front of the basket, the guardian pulled down her hood and gazed at the baby girl.  Sensing the presence of somebody nearby, the child stopped her bawling and looked up...meeting the ancient but strangely human eyes of Wa Salli Alayhim.

******

The Present...

Deep within the Palace of Infinity, the Priestess of the Ancients groaned as she regained consciousness and slowly opened her eyes.  Much to her surprise, a very familiar pair of orbs was looking back at her.

"Master!" the priestess shouted happily, rising to her feet and rushing over to hug her beloved teacher.  Tears of joy streaming down her face, the young woman wrapped her arms around the demon goddess and sobbed into her chest.  "Master, I'm so happy to see you!  But...where have you been all this time?  I thought you died!"

Salli smiled down kindly at her former pupil and tentatively returned the hug, the unfamiliar but not entirely unwelcome feelings this child always produced in her stirring again.  "There were certain...obligations that I had to tend to that made your belief in my demise necessary...or at least that's what I thought at the time.  Now..."

Salli closed her eyes and shook her head.  "Now, who knows what was right and wrong.  For the first time since its sealing, the Glyph of Infinity has been opened by outsiders and the doorway to the palace is open."

"I'm sorry," the priestess fervently apologized, sorrow and guilt replacing her earlier gladness as she remembered her failure.  She clung onto her teacher even tighter for support.  "Things just...happened so fast once those first trespassers showed up.  They seemed nice enough, and even if I'd wanted to I doubt I could've eliminated them since they were demon gods, after all.  But now, the inviolate has been violated.  You must be so disappointed in me, master."

The demon goddess patted the priestess on the back reassuringly and gazed down at her with eyes that were filled with pride.  "Don't even say such a thing.  You successfully guarded and cared for the valley forgotten by time for ten full years and have grown into a lovely, dutiful young woman.  Don't blame yourself for what has happened...and what is yet to come.  In truth, this intrusion was inevitable and would've occurred no matter what you did so don't despair over it.  You have discharged your duties admirably, and now it is time for you to find your own place in the world.  I will take care of the trespassers."

"I...don't understand," the Priestess of the Ancients replied, tears replaced by hope and uncertainty.  "You want me to...go?  Go where?  This is and always has been my home!"

"Yes, and I will always cherish the time you spent in the valley," Salli answered, fondly brushing her right hand through her student's hair, almost as if she was trying to memorize every detail.  "However, things change, and if you are ever to reach your full potential you must expand your horizons and discover yourself, two things you won't accomplish by remaining in this forsaken land."

"From this day forth," the demon goddess continued, words coming with unusual difficulty for her, "you are no longer the Priestess of the Ancients.  You are now...Parvsys Alayhim.  You carry my name, something that no one has done in thousands of years, and all I ask in return is that you grow and find some happiness in this world. There is clothing, currency, supplies, and transportation to the nearest town in the next room.  Use them well, and please...take care of yourself, my child."

There was a heartfelt silence as the young woman took this all in, but, gazing into her master's eyes and seeing the sincerity and emotion in those artificial but still captivatingly human orbs, she pulled herself together and grinned beatifically.  "Thank you...mother."

Parvsys stepped up on tiptoes and kissed the demon goddess on the check as a daughter would kiss a parent.  Hugging her stunned teacher one last time, she finally, reluctantly, let her arms drop, turned, and walked away into her new future.

Collecting herself, Salli also pivoted to walk away...but hesitated.  Craning her neck to take one last look at her student, the demon goddess believed she'd finally found the answer as to why she'd spared the child so many years ago and created the fabrication of Priestess of the Ancients to raise her as well as why she'd eventually abandoned the girl and left her to her own means.  Parvsys almost made her feel...human, and even though she wasn't sure whether this was a good thing or not, she decided that she wouldn't trade these feelings for anything, no matter what tomorrow might bring...particularly considering that there might not be a tomorrow.

"Look after her," she requested of the shadows, "or else...you'll find out firsthand if it's true that all dogs go to heaven."

"Ruff!" Hector the royal wolfhound agreed nervously, leaping out of the shadows and running after Parvsys.

Salli exited the room and, walking a path only she knew, soon returned to the inner chamber of the Palace of Infinity where space and time were folded like a deck of cards by a hustler.  Refracted and inverted pillars and columns that almost but never quite seemed to touch the ceiling or reach the floor somehow remained upright or whatever crazy angle they were tilted at, and gemstones of all shapes and sizes floated in empty space, glowing with power from an unknown source and giving the impression of possessing infinite facets.  In the center of the chamber was a perfect sphere the size of a house around which everything revolved.  Red disks surrounded it.  Stairways that appeared to be made of rainbows and prisms twisted in every direction, crisscrossing at highly distorted junctions.  

Taking sure, confident steps born of experience and seemingly unbothered by the fact that for every movement forward made she appeared to rotate around an invisible x-axis, the demon goddess continued her journey.  A wave of her left hand summoned her War Key to her side, and a shake of that formed a moving holographic screen that showed those who dared violate the sanctity of this palace and endanger the entire world.  

"So...that must be the Mizuhara Makoto I addressed in my vision," Salli commented coldly as she scrutinized the cowering young man who was being comforted by-

Salli blinked, a mimicry of human behavior indicating surprise that her original creator had taught her.  There could be no mistaking who stood beside the human's side.  

"Ifurita..." the demon goddess muttered so silently that the echo that followed it defied probability.  "You I was not expecting to see ever again."

If she had been human, Salli would've felt a chill run down her spine.  The last time she'd talked with Ifurita had been to say good-bye before the Dollmaker erased her memory, a process made more complicated by the need to keep Ifurita's AI system fully intact and functional.  It had taken her creator most of the night to complete the odious task, and the strain of effectively murdering her own creation - arguably a daughter in the Dollmaker's eyes - had taken its toll.  When the brilliant scientist returned to the housing they shared, there had been a haunted, pained look to her eyes that shone with the first hints of the madness that would eventually consume her.

Judging by the concern on Ifurita's face and the manner in which she was holding Mizuhara, though, it appeared that she'd regained a semblance of her former self and freedom.  Salli noted this calmly, briefly wondering if her "sister" had recovered the memories of her past life as well before banishing such thoughts.  Unfortunately, none of that mattered now.  

"I will protect the future of this world even if it means I must fight you or-" Salli declared dispassionately, eyes narrowing as she focused on the human again, "-take away your happiness.  I sense a...darkness hidden deep within this Mizuhara Makoto that gives me reason to fear for us all if he should reach the caged universe contained within the sphere."

Traversing the great distance separating her from the heart of the palace with her next warped step, she stopped in front of the perfect sphere and gazed at it, remembering her duty and thinking of the horror that could result if she failed.  Although it was inevitable that Mizuhara would reach this place, she would be ready for-

A thought suddenly entered Salli's mind.  If it was inevitable that the human would reach this inner sanctum, then why delay destiny?  She could easily summon him to her presence and deal with him alone and then decide what to do about Ifurita later when the potential doom of the world no longer hanged over everyone's heads.  Such a plan of action might just be for the best...

Decision made, Salli opened her mind to the palace and extended her consciousness throughout its many layers, searching for the determined human.  Once Mizuhara was located within the palace's first defense, the demon goddess gave a mental command to the security system and opened her eyes.  It wouldn't be long now.  One way or another, this crisis would end.  

******
« Last Edit: August 10, 2004, 09:57:11 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2004, 09:50:05 PM »

One moment Makoto was filled with dread and horror, quaking in front of the sign proclaiming the name of this forsaken town for all to know and fear, and in the next he found himself in grand but warped chamber of indiscernible size and filled with architectural wonders that surrealists would've given an arm and a leg for to paint.  Standing before him was what appeared to be a demon god, although she looked far more artificial than any he had yet seen.  Behind her was a perfect sphere of indefinite color that virtually radiated power.  He had a feeling that was where his adventure would end.  The demon god gazed coldly at him and spoke, letting the vision play itself it out.  

"I am the demon goddess Wa Salli Alayhim," Salli announced, a strange and impressive echo in her voice, "I was first.  I was the first demon god ever constructed, the prototype, the singular template from which all others of my kind were wrought.  I was last, taken offline as demon god technology progressed, only to be rebuilt and made anew by the dying Ancients.  I am the guardian of this palace.  I am one with this palace.  I know what you wish... but you have brought evil to this holy place.  You must leave, Mizuhara Makoto."

Makoto blinked incredulously.  Leave?  Simply walk away after so many trials and tribulations and leave the many questions remaining unanswered?  No, not after all he'd seen and done.  "We can't," he tried to explain, briefly wondering where Ifurita was and hoping that she was safe, "not after going through so much.  Not after all we've been through.  Arjah, The Creterians, Kalia, the Phantom Tribe, the Ancient Bugroms... Kauru and her demon gods... You just have to let us through."

Salli, first and last of the demon gods, raised her War Key in warning, fulfilling the dictates of fate and entering the unknown.  "None shall pass," she declared, the utter seriousness of her voice removing any humor from her choice of words.  Her key crackled with deadly energy.

In response, Makoto tensed and prepared to lunge, hoping he could link with and either persuade or overcome this demon god before she obliterated him.  Seeing the birth of a familiar tear in reality, though, he realized this wouldn't be necessary.

Sensing the same dimensional disruption, Salli inclined her head slightly just in time to spot Ifurita, having used her link with Makoto to find him, soar out of the tear and fly straight at her.  Whether from surprise at this unexpected occurrence or hesitation to attack her former friend, the ancient demon goddess paused for a single moment that was long enough for Makoto to leap at and touch the sphere.

"NO!" Salli shouted in dismay as Ifurita slammed into her, eyes wide as Makoto's tech-touch ability sprang into action and initiated contact with the baby universe's cage.  As she tumbled backwards, the demon goddess took aim with her War Key and, faster than Ifurita could react, fired.

In less than a second, Makoto's body was completely vaporized, and Ifurita's tormented, heartbroken wail reverberated clearly throughout every layer and dimension of the palace.

It should once again be noted that Wa Salli Alayhim was the first of her kind - the first artificial intelligence to gain true sentience on El-Hazard - and although the AI matrixes for all other demon gods were built using Ifurita's model, Ifurita's mind was based on Salli's.  Additionally and unlike Ifurita, Salli had been awake and active for millennia, giving her programming time to improve and evolve in ways that Ifurita couldn't hope to match.  The first and the last demon god had also been fully upgraded with the latest technology of the Ancients before assuming her duties as guardian of the Palace of Infinity.

These were the only reasons why Wa Salli Alayhim wasn't totally annihilated by Ifurita's brutal, grief-stricken assault.

Unnoticed as the bereaved Ifurita went beyond reason and Wa Salli Alayhim fought for her very survival, the sphere that served as the heart of the Palace of Infinity and the power source for El-Hazard's rejuvenation began to darken.

******

"Hmh..." Dr. Schtalubaugh commented from where he was sitting in the royal library, scratching his beard and with a contemplative look on his face.  In front of him Jinnai and Groucho had just finished relating their recent experience concerning Matthew and the pied pipe.  

"We need more than a 'hmh', doctor!  With Londs unconscious you're the next best source to turn to for plot explications!  Now, do you know anything about this pipe or not?" Jinnai demanded, eyes gleaming with the dislike he felt at not knowing what was going on.

As if on cue, Dr. Schtalubaugh sat up, walked over to a nearby bookshelf, grabbed a book, and turned to a page that had a sketch of the described pipe printed on it.  He turned to regard Jinnai and Groucho with a triumphant look on his face.  "Allow me to present to you...the Pandimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom!"

******

"The Pandimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom?" Millie, Parnasse, and Ura all repeated as they sat around King Gan-chan's throne, also discussing the cause of the sudden desertion of most of their forces.  Demon Ninja Master Splinter stood silently in a corner, a serious, wise air about him.

"Yes," King Gan-chan replied gravely, "the Pandimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom, the next generation of the scourge of my people dating back to ancient times.  You see, we were not always the Mice Wearing Hats.  Long, long ago we were known as the Mice Wielding Clubs."

*cue flashback*

A legion of furry, white mice wielding clubs are running rampant and raiding a cheese factory, using their primitive weapons to bash everything in their way.  However, since many of these obstacles happen to be powerful, guardian robots, this strategy of the Mice Wielding Clubs is proving to be rather ineffective, and the mice are soon rounded up by the emotionless automatons and placed in a giant cage and sent to a laboratory for research.

There, they and many other creatures are the subjects of bizarre and unusual experiments that endow them with unusually keen intellects.  This promptly leads to problems.

"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?" a tall, lanky white mouse walking on his hind legs asks his shorter companion.  

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky," the mouse replies with an evil chuckle.  "Try to take over the world!"

"Bah!  Cease your futile ambitions, mice," a black monkey with a large, ovoid brain covered by a translucent helmet jutting out of his head retorts from a nearby cage.  "It is I, Mojo Jojo, who shall conquer this world.  You mice won't succeed because by the time your plans are ready the world will already be ruled by me, Mojo Jojo, and there is nothing you can do to stop me because I am Mojo Jojo, and it is only a matter of time before the planet bows before my simian might!"

"Excuse me, but could you try to keep it down over there?  Some of us are trying to create a new and flourishing civilization," an intelligent, well-mannered rat politely requests from a cage on the other side of the room.  A placard with the words "Rats of Nimh" written on it is attached to the bars.
   
"Squeak squeak!" the Mice Wielding Clubs complain, fed up with this racket.  Desiring peace and quiet, they use their newfound intelligence to escape from their cages and seek out a new home for themselves.  They don traveling hats during their journey, thus becoming the Mice Wearing Hats.

Finally, after an arduous, difficult trek that lasts all of five hours, the newly named Mice Wearing Hats set up shop in the abandoned warehouse next door.  They quickly prosper and multiply but at the expense of their human neighbors as their population soars.  Soon the Mice Wearing Hats are virtually everywhere in the city, and no cheese supply is safe from their hungry, covetous claws.  The humans try everything from mouse traps to mutant cats to eliminate the Mice Wearing Hats but to no avail.  

When it seems that all hope is lost, however, a wanderer with a pipe slung over his shoulder comes to town and makes the human residents an offer they can't refuse.  The next day, a hapless robot marches through the streets playing the pipe the wanderer came with.  The Mice Wearing Hats find that they can't resist the melody and mindlessly follow the automaton, and once the robot and Mice Wearing Hats are out of sight of the town, the pipe explodes.  The few surviving mice go underground where they slowly rebuild their civilization and wait for the day the one spoken of in prophecy will lead them to new conquests.

*end flashback*

******

"Let me guess," Jinnai said with a roll of his eyes.  "The townspeople reneged on the deal, and in revenge the wanderer created a new pipe that would steal their children from them."

Dr. Schtalubaugh raised a puzzled eyebrow.  "Where would you ever get that idea?  The townspeople were so impressed by the effectiveness of the pipe that they hired the wanderer to make new and more powerful versions to protect them from the other dangers of the world back then.  Pipes capable of luring wielders of holy artifacts and demon gods were soon created, and the town thrived.  When the War of the Ancients shifted into high gear and virtually every nation was building a doomsday weapon of some kind, though, the townspeople turned to the wanderer and funded the creation of his ultimate invention – the Pandimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom, armed with a song potent enough to mesmerize all previous pipe targets near enough to threaten it and with power of such magnitude as to erase the world of El-Hazard in every dimension."

Jinnai frowned.  "So, let me get this straight.  Unless stopped, the pipe that Groucho found and I threw out a window will completely destroy every El-Hazard in existence?  Am I the only one who sees how utterly ridiculous this is?"

******

"Ridiculous it may be, Krayola Point By Numbers, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous," Demon Ninja Master Splinter spoke, moving to stand in front of his disciples.  "Those ensnared by the instrument's hypnotic tune will defend its player to the death, and once the last note is released we will all cease to exist."
 
Demon Ninja Master Splinter gazed sternly at each of his non-Mice Wearing Hats students in turn, hoping to impart the direness of this situation.  "Krayola Paint By Numbers, Rembrant, and Andy Warhol, you have all learned much under my tutelage, and now it is time to put those skills to use.  It falls unto you to save this and every El-Hazard from destruction.  Are you up to the task before you?"

******

"Great, just great.  I just know Mizuhara is responsible for this somehow," Jinnai grumbled as he stalked out of the library, Groucho following close behind him.  "Well, I'll show him and the save the world myself!  Groucho, assemble Zeppo, Harpo, Margaret, Chico, and Gummo!  We're going to stop this blasted pipe playing even if it's the second to last thing we do!"

"Zut ga mingda?" Groucho asked, a curious note in his virtually indecipherable voice.

"One-up and proof my superiority over Mizuhara, of course!" Jinnai retorted.  "Even if the world might end any minute, I'm not going to let my lifelong rival die falsely believing he's better than me!  Now, stop wasting time!  We have to save every version of El-Hazard in existence!"

******

Makoto clutched his head in agony as he slowly stood up and surveyed his new surroundings.  He was in, to put it simply, a paradise.  Green, verdant grass waved in the gentle breeze as movingly beautiful flowers opened their petals and tried to touch the sun.  Ancient, rich trees grew to stunning heights, and in their many branches nested innumerable species of birds of amazing color and variety.  The peaceful, soothing sound of a nearby brook teeming with fish could be clearly heard, and all around him were cute, friendly animals unbothered by his presence and playing with each other.

"I think...I've died and gone to heaven," Makoto spoke, stunned by the incredible loveliness of this scene.  He chuckled weakly, still not quite sure what to think, the painful memory of his body being vaporized still clear as day.

"Hi!  You're Makoto, right?  I'm Ifurina, remember?  We met at that temple when Arjah was trying to conquer the world!"

Makoto slowly turned to face the owner of the chipper, female voice, and, sure enough, there was the young woman he remembered seeing with Jinnai standing before him.  She handed him an ice cream cone with a friendly grin on her face.

"Wh-wh-what are you doing here?" Makoto asked in astonishment, accepting the cone on autopilot.

Ifurina shrugged good-naturedly.  "I died...but the Other brought my mind back."  A sad note crept into her voice.  "I wish I'd thanked them before that-" She shuddered. "-scary bird eliminated them.  I didn't even get the chance to ask why they rescued me."

It was our original original plan to use use you as a hostage to force force Mizuhara to link with the Palace of Infinity Infinity.  It appears that doing so so, though, was unnecessaryary.

Makoto and Ifurita both looked around in surprise, trying in vain to locate the source of the weak but smug voice.

You have our thanks thanks, Mizuhara.  By linking with the palace's power power source, you have reactivated its servers and consequently consequently brought it back online with the rest of the palace palace.

The two humans stepped back in shock as a dark whirlwind of mud and dirt rose up before them and reshaped itself into a figure as tall as ten men with thousands if not millions of faces that were all grinning in triumph.

And now now, our minds are free from this detestable cage cage!  With the Palace of Infinity under our direct control control, we shall create new bodies for ourselves and be as gods on earth!  The Guide Guide will pay dearly for his betrayal betrayal, and all who oppose us shall be utterly destroyed destroyed!

The Other gazed down at Makoto and Ifurita with contempt.  "We are the Ancients Ancients, and there is nothing nothing you can do to stop us us!"

"Perhaps," spoke a new, childish voice tinged with madness from behind the two humans as the sky darkened above them, "but there is something that I can do."

"Kalia Kalia?" the Other uttered in surprise as the demon goddess approached in her torn and tattered rags, eyes gleaming with insanity.  Unnoticed, the grass decayed as animals hurriedly scurried for their lives.  "We thought you were dead dead."

Kalia laughed darkly as the brook ran dry.  "I hitched a ride in Makoto's mind, knowing that you would do everything within your power to ensure that he reached the Palace of Infinity."  She smiled madly at the appalled young man.  "Thanks, Makoto.  I owe you one!"

"Be that as it may may, what do you hope to accomplish accomplish?" the Other questioned, confident and sure of themselves.  "We both know that you lack lack the power to stop us us."  The flowers died, and their petals dropped to the ground.

For once, Kalia spoke with total seriousness as thunder boomed in the distance and the first drops of a hard, cold rain began to fall.  "I don't need power to destroy you and this world.  Life has already given me something far more...dangerous."

Kalia, the Dollmaker's last and most advanced demon god, opened her mouth and, with thousands of voices that were and were not her own, screamed.

The Other fell as it was forced to confront and experience Kalia's unending pain and suffering firsthand.  Try as they might, its many minds could not deal with let alone block this excruciating, maddening torment that only seemed to grow and grow.  Agony of a kind none of them had ever before felt flooded their joint consciousness, and the Other's many faces all turned to Kalia, tortured expressions pleading and begging for mercy and release.  Kalia, with unforgiving eyes through which thousands united in their hatred and misery looked, met the many gazes, and the Other was forced to make a horrible realization.  No pity would be given and, really, did they even deserve any?

"By the gods," the Other's many voices spoke as one, the horrible truth of their own responsibility for the tragedies of the past finally dawning on them, "what have we done?"

With that, the Other shattered, and the minds of the Ancients, now completely exposed to Kalia's suffering, were utterly extinguished, destroyed by the victims of their own war.  The voices were not satisfied, however, and screamed even louder for vengeance and the escape of oblivion.  The landscape, hearing their cries, responded by collapsing as the sky was swallowed by darkness and harsh, icy gales ripped everything to pieces.

Outside, in El-Hazard, the entire planet quaked and tears in the fabric of reality opened as the dimension's very stability began to unravel.  It was, once again, the end of the world.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2004, 10:06:02 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2004, 09:54:24 PM »

******

As the priestesses and Nanami finally arrived in the valley forgotten by time, the Guide swooped down and perched atop one of the many crystals.  If he weren't beyond feeling such petty emotions, he'd be quite smug right now.  Everything was going according to plan.  Peorth's sensors had been deceived by his attack on the Other, not distinguishing destruction from death and consequently sending the Yggdrasil goddess soaring back to her own dimension where she would be of no threat to him.  Kalia had finished the job he'd started with the pretentious Other and was close to obliterating this entire pathetic dimension if the rapidly increasing instability of this plane was anything to judge by.  Concurrently, the Pandimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom would detonate very soon, destroying this planet across the dimensional axes.  If he'd calculated correctly - and he knew he had - the combination of El-Hazard exploding in every dimension and the implosion of this universe would create a chain reaction ending in the collapse of all existence.  And even if, despite the tremendous odds against it, one or both scenarios failed, this planet was still doomed.

Above, the sky rippled and vibrated as the Creterian Eye of God punched through the dimensional barriers and appeared in this world.  For a brief moment, all was silent.  Then there was a loud boom, and the duplicate ancient weapon went haywire, crackling with energy and opening voids that threatened to engulf all of El-Hazard.  It was, once again, the end of the world.

******

Seated on the Mantle of God and body racked with agony, Princess Myuun of Baron compelled herself to concentrate past her torment and accomplish her task.  With her direct link to the Palace of Infinity she could hear Kalia's anguished screams but, ironically enough, the very device that enabled this connection and allowed her to experience the insane demon god's misery was also shielding her from its full force.  While this didn't change the fact that, as an outsider, she was unable to materialize within the Palace of Infinity and attempt to stop Kalia herself, she could with great difficulty extend this shielding to the other two minds she sensed within the ancient construct.  She only hoped that they would be able to save this world from destruction and that she'd be able to hold out long enough to give them the time they needed to do so.  Already she could feel the pressure build up within her head and chest and knew that her death was assured if she kept this up for much longer.  

"Heh, who would've thought that...I'd ever willingly save your life...Fatora," Myuun rasped through gritted teeth, straining from the effort of dampening Kalia's tortured cries and feeling the copper taste of blood in her mouth.  With nothing else to do while she focused, the princess waited for either the end or salvation to come and prayed.

******

The guards escorting the Doctor ran for cover as the ground beneath their feet quaked and split open.  They then pointed in terror as the crackling Creterian Eye of God appeared in the sky and hundreds of thousands of portals and dimensional rifts opened above them.

"I've got to do something about this, but what?" the Doctor asked out loud, a nagging feeling that she somehow knew how to fix this bothering her.  "Oh, if only I was over there where the Eye of God is!"

"You, like, want to see the ultimate doomsday weapon close-up, girl?  Rad, man.  Totally rad," the drugged Jinnistacia commented, standing up from the corner where she and Ifurita-3 were lighting 'incense' and taking turns strumming a guitar to earn money.

The demon god grabbed the disorientated Time Lord and gave Ifurita-3 a thumbs up.  "Yo, be back in five!  Keep the incense burning for when I return, kay girlfriend?"  Seeing her fellow demon god nod, Jinnistacia took to the air and flew toward the Eye of God, missing Matthew and his growing troupe of Mice Wearing Hats, Giant Sewer Rats, magical girls, and demon gods as they entered the block.  Ifurita-3, despite herself, joined their ranks, and more Mice Wearing Hats were sadly squashed as the hypnotic melody filled the streets, announcing that it was, once again, the end of the world.

Unaware of the meaning of this portent, a group of dolphin-bears took out their camcorders and followed the strange assembly, playing it safe in case the situation turned into something their clientele would pay to see.  And if not...well, they were contemplating expanding into the children's market anyway, and this might be a good place to start.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2004, 10:07:37 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2004, 07:57:06 PM »

Mr. What's final replies are under construction.  Rowan, I'll try to mostly wrap things up, but still leave enough openings for you to write the last replies overall, if you'd like to do so.

ETA is within the next El Sobrante fortnight.
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« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2004, 09:57:13 PM »

Write as much as you want. *chuckles weakly* Truth be told, with the exception of some ideas for an epilogue, I don't know how to end this round robin and sincerely hope you've figured out a way to credibly defeat the Guide.  Regardless, I'll try to wrap up whatever you leave me, but I'm hoping that with the end in sight some of the other past contributors will decide to pen another post or two.
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« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2004, 12:43:09 PM »

::cheers for the dolphin-bears::
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« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2004, 01:33:46 AM »

OOC:  I honestly meant to drop this plot twist, with the previous reply... but, unfortunately, I Had Another Idea.



Peorth had followed the example set by Gan-chan (in that really creepy episode of Adventures Of The Mini-Goddess, when the hapless rat had been trapped in a pot of miso paste).  She had carefully sculpted a comfortable easy-chair and coffee table entirely out of oatmeal.

The completely-oatmeal-covered Yggdrasil goddess sat in a lotus position in her fake easy-chair, deep in meditation.  It was partly a fruitless effort to telepathically locate the marble, and also an effort to clear her mind and calm herself, so that she didn't lose her marbles.  But Peorth suddenly thought of something, and her eyes snapped open.

"Hey!!" she yelled out loud to nobody.  "Why ees eet zat, after appearing in ze Round Robin, le two wacky anime villainesses get ze nice vacation in Ze Next Dimension!?  But moi, le fine upstandeeng heroeene of ze story, ees condemned to le fan-servicey deep oatmeal, merely for exceeding le authoritees!?  Zees ees not fair!!"

Apparently, the Ultimate Force of Yggdrasil heard Peorth's complaint, considered it, and found it valid.  In order to make things more fair to Peorth (but mostly to gratuitously torture the other two characters some more), Pixy Misa and Mara were summarily yanked away from The Next Dimension.  They both suddenly appeared above Peorth, from out of thin air.

With a surprised shriek, Mara fell on top of Peorth, destroying Peorth's fragile easy-chair and coffee table, and submerging them both.  However, Misa hung in mid-air, blinking in disoriented confusion.

A moment later, Mara and Peorth stood back up, breaking the surface of the shoulder-deep oatmeal, and gasping for breath (even though neither Yggdrasil goddesses nor Nifelheim demons need to breathe).  "YOU!!" Mara spluttered.  "This is all your fault, isn't it!?  Well, thanks a lot!!"

Peorth smiled an apology for her sworn enemy.  "Actually, *I* was hopeeng to be sent to Ze Next Dimension.  But yes, een le retrospects, given ze current writer, zees opposite result was more likely."

"And you!!"  Mara pointed at Misa, who was still floating in mid-air.  "Why did *I* lose my power of flight, to get dunked, while you get to stay high and dry?  Since when can you even fly at all!?"

The floating Misa raised a pinky-finger to her mouth, in a cute Dr. Evil kind of way, and laughed haughtily.  "Oh ho ho ho!!  I am le under-aged character!  Ze current writer cannot do such things to my cute little person!  No, mon amis, le creepy experimental fan serveece ees only for le old women!!  Oh ho ho ho!!"

Mara held her oatmeal-covered face in her hands and whimpered.  I don't know which is worse, she thought-- being summoned to help Flower-Girl search for a marble in deep oatmeal... or being trapped in an empty Yggdrasil dimension with two fruitcakes with painfully fake French accents.



Dall had set out to find Ryoko, and rescue her, if need be, in a romantic damsel-in-distress kind of way.

Fortunately for Ryoko (and the current writer, who was having a heck of a time trying to work out the sequence and timing of events), he had walked for much less than five hours, when he suddenly realized that he could just turn back and take a hovercraft.

An even shorter time than that, he suddenly remembered that, no, he and Ryoko didn't have a hovercraft.

Dall kicked at a pebble in the path, in a childish way.  Well, nuts, he thought.  What the heck am I gonna do now?  It's too far to walk to Floristica, let alone anywhere else.  If Ryoko is in trouble, it'll be too late by the time I get there.

Just then, Ura-Ohki ran up to Dall.  "NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!" it said.

Dall kneeled down, picked up Ura-Ohki, and held it in his arms.  "Ura-Ohki!  Do you know where Ryoko is?"

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

"Slow down!!  Okay, something about a rude cheese vendor?  But-- aren't all cheese vendors rude?"

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

"One hundred roshtals for some cheddar!?  That's highway robbery!!"

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

"Pan pipes?  You lost me.  Ryoko doesn't even like new-age music."

Ura-Ohki gave up, and took matters into its own paws.  It did this by biting Dall's finger.

"OUCH!!"  Dall gently tossed Ura-Ohki into the air, thus allowing it to do the whole armor-cat / battle-ship transformation thang.  Then a tractor beam fired down on Dall, and yanked him up into the armor-cat battle-ship.  "WHOAH!!"

And then, Dall found himself on the bridge of the battle-ship, with dozens of diamond-shaped crystals floating in mid-air all around him.  "I appreciate the thought," he said, a bit irritably, "but I don't know how to drive a cat!!"

A few of the closest cat-crystals responded by repeatedly poking Dall with their pointy bits.

"OUCH!!  OUCH!!  OUCH!!"  Dall waved his arms about madly.  "ALRIGHT!!  Just engage the auto-pilot, or something!!  Uh, onward to the verdant valley!!"

And so it was that Dall and Ura-Ohki set out on a course to what was now called the Desert of Bleached White Bones.  Which was actually a good thing, since their desert course was much closer to Matthew's Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade than any verdant valleys.
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« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2004, 01:38:44 AM »

After hearing Gan-chan and Master Splinter's exposition, Millie had returned to her private room.  She was formerly a spoiled brat and a traitorous Roshtarian Underground Resistance guard, and currently a power-mad military advisor... but she was also a young woman who took pride in her appearance.  She wanted a moment to freshen up in the powder room, in order to look her best when she threw away her life in a futile attempt to Save The World.

Parnasse knocked at the jamb of her open door, and peeked into her room.  "Miss Millie?" he said.  "Are you ready to Boot some Head yet?"

"Just a minute!!" Millie called out, from the next room.  "And fer crapssakes, don't touch anything!!"

Parnasse, being Parnasse, completely ignored this order.  He came into the room, and glanced across a crowded table at the side of Millie's bed.  He craned his neck to read the titles of several textbooks on military history and political strategery, and he raised an eyebrow as he noticed a few of Millie's yaoi doujinshi.

Then he spied a small vial containing a liquid that seemed to glow with a wonderfully warm golden light.  He held it up in front of him, just as a freshly-powdered Millie came into the room.

"GAH!!" said Millie.  She lunged at Parnasse in anger.  "What part of 'Don't Touch Anything!' don't you understand!?"

But then, of course, Millie stumbled as she rushed forwards.  She fell against Parnasse with a half-glomp, in an anime-cliche kind of way.  The vial came open between them, and its contents soaked right through their clothing.

"OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP!!"  Millie forgot all about Parnasse, as she frantically began to pull her potion-soaked blouse up over her head.

Parnasse gaped at Millie for a moment.  Then he tugged at his own damp tunic, in order to air it out a little.  "Don't worry, Miss Millie.  Whatever that was, it probably won't leave a stain--"

"NO, you idiot!!"  In her haste, Millie had got tangled up in her own blouse.  She writhed in place like a belly-dancer, trying to pull it over her head, and shouting from under it.  "That was a Love potion!!  With a capital 'L'!!  And it just spilled all over BOTH of us, undiluted and at full strength!!  We've got about thirty seconds to wash it off, before we fall deeply in love with each other, forever an' ever!!"

"WHAT!?" Parnasse yelled.  "What the heck were you doing with something like THAT!?  That sounds more like something Miss Shayla would try to use on Master Mako--"

"NEVER MIND!!" Millie shrieked.  "Just take off your clothes, and take a hot shower with me, before we end up taking off our clothes and taking a hot shower together-- YEEEK!!"

Millie had finally thrown her blouse off, but she lost her balance in the process.  She fell backwards onto her bed-- but at the same time, she flailed her arms wildly, grabbed at Parnasse, and pulled him down on the bed with her, and on top of her, in an anime-cliche kind of way.

Parnasse looked down at Millie.  She was freshly made-up, now clad only in her underwear, and breathing heavily.  "Uh, Miss Millie?" he whimpered.  "This isn't helping with the whole 'trying not to fall in love' thing."

Millie struggled under Parnasse's weight.  (Fortunately for Parnasse, she was too panicked to do what women usually do in situations like that-- namely, bring one knee up fast between the man's legs.)  "GET OFF ME, YOU MORON!!  This is all YOUR FAULT!!  If you weren't such a DUMB little TWERP, we wouldn't be IN this fix!!"

"HEY!!" Parnasse said.  "You can insult my intelligence all you like, but leave my height out of it!  I KNOW I'm short!  I'm so extremely short that I can't even get a girlfriend!  You know what I mean!?  After all, you're a slight girl, about my height... and you are cute, in a psychotic tomboy kind of way.  Actually, I was attracted to you, the first time we met... even though you tried to kill me..."

Millie blinked.  "Ruh-- really?...  Gee, Parnasse, I-- AIEEE!!  It's kicking in!!  We've only got a few seconds of free will left!!  GET OFF ME GET OFF ME GET OFF ME!!"

"FINE!!"  Parnasse began to struggle away from her.  "Only an idiot would fall in love with a crazy weirdo freak like you, anyway!!"

"INSUFFERABLE JERK!!" yelled Millie.

"FOUL-TEMPERED PSYCHO!!" yelled Parnasse.

"BUMBLING COMEDY RELIEF!!" yelled Millie.

"ONE-DIMENSIONAL BACKGROUND CHARACTER!!" yelled Parnasse.

"I love you," Millie whispered shyly.

"I love you too," Parnasse said gently.



Master Splinter knocked at the jamb of Millie's open door.  "Krayola-Paint-By-Numbers?  Are you ready to throw away your life in a futile attempt to Save The World?"

Then he peeked into her room, and he saw Krayola and Rembrant, still together on Krayola's bed...

But they were sitting up, side by side, against the head-board of the still-made bed.  They held one arm around each other's shoulders, and innocently toyed with each other's free hands in their laps.  Millie had put her now-dry blouse back on... although she had left an extra two or three of its clasps undone and open, in a most un-Millie kind of way, just to be more comfortable and at ease with her new friend.

They had been quietly talking, and laughing, with each other, as they got to know each other better.  Either they had succombed to the Love potion entirely... or they had decided that its irreversible effect wasn't that bad, and they might as well go with the flow.

As they looked up to the door together, Splinter held up a paw.  "Ah.  Forgive me for interrupting."  He backed away, and pulled Millie's door closed.

Splinter sighed, but with a smile.  Perhaps they are both more intelligent than I first thought, Splinter thought.  If I was young, and the world was about to end, I'd certainly prefer to spend what little time was left to me in good company, instead of throwing my life away in a cliched futile gesture.

Then he clasped his hands behind his back, and walked away.  Hmm, he thought.  Perhaps there is a lesson in this for me to learn.  This world has survived uncountable crises for thousands of years, without my intervention.  Perhaps it will survive a bit longer.  And... whether it survives or not... perhaps Hopper and Andy would be interested in sharing a bottle of sake and a friendly chat, instead of throwing their lives away.
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« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2004, 01:43:48 AM »

Nanami, Shayla, Kauru and chibi-Deva struggled forwards through the drifting sands at the edge of the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, slowly making their way towards the Glyph of Infinity.  Shayla provided an apt summary of their situation.  "HOLY CENSORED CENSORED ON A CENSORED!!"

Kauru barely had time to clap her hands over chibi-Deva's ears.  "Miss Shayla!!  Please!!  Children are present!!"

Shayla spun back to Kauru, but gestured to the sky above them.  "THAT'S the CENSORED CRETERIAN EYE OF GOD!!  WHAT THE CENSORED can WE do about THAT!?"

Kauru (and chibi-Deva) didn't answer, since they were on the verge of being mangled and torn apart in a horrific way by a nearby tear in the fabric of space and time.

UNCHINK!!  Nanami leapt to their defense, just in time.  She swung her beloved PPBAPKS backwards, and closed the void before it could consume her friends.

"Thank you, Miss Nanami," Kauru gasped.  "Miss Shayla, may I suggest that, first of all, we try to avoid being mangled and torn apart by eddies in the space-time continuum."

"WHO the CENSORED is EDDIE!?" yelled Shayla.



Another one of them tears in the fabric of space and time opened up, not too far from the Glyph of Infinity.  Nahato and Minagi fell through it, mostly unharmed, after it had yanked them away from the dreaded Demon God Factory.

The void had not mangled and torn apart Nahato, since he was now a Demon God Mouse Wearing A Hat, and since Minagi had instinctively shielded his small furry person.  The void had mangled and torn apart Minagi, but that didn't really matter, since she was mangled and torn apart so easily.

Nahato scurried up to Minagi's disembodied head, where it lay in a scattered pile of wriggling Minagi parts.  "Minagi!?  What's going on!?"

A single poetic tear trickled down the kind-hearted Minagi's cheek.  "It is... the end of the world, Master Nahato.  And not only of this world, but of all worlds.  That... thing... is the Eye of God, but it is from my world-- or, at least, from the world of my creators.  Its appearance in this world is a portent of doom.

"Forgive me, Master Nahato.  We shall both die soon, along with all the other beings in all of Creation.  But, for what it is worth, I am glad that I shall not die alone--"

Nahato was far too furious to share a final tender moment with his demon god.  He impotently stomped about, and kicked at the shifting sands with his mouse feet.  "NO!!  THAT'S NOT FAIR!!  *I* was supposed to get to destroy El-Hazard with the Eye of God!!  ME!!  The Phantom Tribe guy!!"



A smallish hole opened up in the floor of the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, next to the Glyph of Infinity.  It went unnoticed, in the desolation of the forgotten valley, and in the sands that were blowing in a dry wind, and in the company of all the other holes that the Creterian Eye of God was tearing open, all over the place.  It also went unnoticed because there was no one nearby to notice it.

A powerfully naked Crayna and Al-Zahad popped up from a lava flow in the deep hole.  "Yow!!" Crayna said, as Al-Zahad set her down.  "Bit of a storm blew up, eh?--  YEEEK!!"

Crayna had just inadvertently backed into the Glyph, and touched it with her bare, uh, assets.  It promptly enveloped her and Al-Zahad in a brilliant flash of light.  But it didn't destroy their clothes in a fan-servicey way.  (For one thing, they were both already nekkid.)

However, the Guide had reversed the polarity of its neutron flow, and various other side-effects of the horrible ancient technology were also reversed.

The light faded, and the wind also subsided for a moment.  Crayna looked down at herself, and found herself wearing an elegant strapless gown, elbow-length satin gloves, a long pearl necklace, and stylish yet sensible high heels.

Meanwhile, Al-Zahad was wearing a coat with tails and a carnation on its lapel, slacks and spats, white gloves, and a top hat.  He was dressed up like a million-dollar trooper, trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super-duper!).

"Hmm," Al-Zahad said.  "I believe that this device is designed to emit a cliched beam of cloth-destroying energy-- but the polarity of its neutron flow has apparently been reversed."

"So, wha' happens if we touch it again?"  Before Al-Zahad could stop her, Crayna backed into it again.  Another brilliant flash of light enveloped them both.

Crayna suddenly found herself wearing a skin-tight black rubber scuba-diving wet-suit, roller skates, a grass hula skirt, a strangely-familiar twenty-foot multi-colored scarf, and a live duck on her head.

Meanwhile, Al-Zahad was wearing Crayna's elegant strapless gown.  It was deeply disturbing, and at the same time, it somehow looked pretty good on him.  "Master Crayna?" he said, with a pained expression.  "You should have stopped while we were ahead."

"*quack*" said the duck on Crayna's head.



The laid-back hippie Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia flew into the sandstorm in the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, carrying a completely confused and disoriented Doctor under her.

Although their visibility was greatly reduced by the sandstorm that now raged in the valley, Jinnistacia's enhanced demon-god senses allowed her to neatly dodge all those nasty tears in the fabric of space and time.  They also allowed her to sense her One True Nemesis, the Guide, long before it became visible to the Doctor.

Jinnistacia's cat-ears suddenly laid back, and her tail fuzzed out.  "NEGATIVE VIBE MERCHANT!!" she hissed, in an inhuman feline demon god kind of way.

"What!?" the Doctor asked.  "Please, whoever you are, could you just let go of me--  YEEEK!!  NOT NOW!!"

In her sudden rage, Jinnistacia released the Doctor-- at a considerable height.  And, as all Doctor Who fans know, Time Lords are highly susceptible to mortal injury when they fall from great heights-- especially when all of Creation is falling apart, all around them.

Jinnistacia streaked towards the Guide, just as the Creation Matrix appeared in its talons.  But the Doctor fell to the valley floor with a sickening THUD!!  She lay on her side in the sand, her limbs splayed out around her, and her head twisted forwards in a way that wasn't quite right.

She weakly clutched at the pieces of her mop.  Its handle had broken under her.  It was a sad, but apt, metaphor for her own broken body.

The Doctor was in too much pain to cry out, or to cry.  She only trembled, and began to cough up blood, as she began to die-- for the last time.



Myuun sat within the interface of the Mantle of God.  She had squeezed her eyes shut with her exertions, some time ago.  But she felt tears run down her face.  And she felt them mix with the blood that was trickling from the corner of her mouth, in a Hyatt kind of way.

Please, she prayed.  I can't keep this up much longer.  And it's not just Kalia's attack that's doing this to me.

The Mantle of God is going haywire.  I can feel it.  It's in resonance with the foreign Eye of God, now.  And reality is coming apart, in this chamber, in a twenty-three dimensional kind of way.  I can feel feel it melting away, like a stale cracker in hot soup.

And it's taking me with it, Myuun thought.  I can feel myself... changing...

I may already be mutated beyond all recognition.  I may already be mortally wounded.  I may be drawing my final breaths.

As the tears ran from her closed eyes, and the pressures in her head and her body grew stronger by the second, Myuun prayed.

Please, she prayed.  Somebody stop this.  Stop it soon.  Before I die.
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MrWhat
Demon God(ess)
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Posts: 485

He's so excitingly bold!

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« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2004, 01:50:26 AM »

In the darkness that was once The Other's mind-space, Makoto and Ifurina kneeled, and clutched at each other, as they tried not to succomb to Kalia's terrible attack.

"Someone's protecting us!" Makoto shouted.  "Kalia would have already destroyed us, if she could have done.  We've still got a chance to stop her."

"But how?" Ifurina said.  "How can we stop her, without hurting her?  I don't want to hurt her.  I don't care what she is... and I don't even care if she um, killed me.  She was my friend..."

Makoto sighed, with a sad smile for his kind-hearted friend.  "Well... I'm beginning to think Kalia simply can't be destroyed.  I mean, she's been resurrected so many times, and in so many ridiculous deus ex machina kinds of ways.  But maybe we can seal her away.  If only we had administrative rights to a nearly-empty minds-space computer!..."

Ifurina's eyes widened.  "Um, Mr. Makoto?  When Mr. The Other went away, I was left all alone in here.  And I was suddenly able to make tree-fish, and dolphin-bears, and ice-cream cones, and--"

"Of course!"  Makoto said.  "Ifurina!  You can do it!  You have the ability to seal Kalia's hateful spirit away forever, without harming her!  You can save the entire multi-verse!!"

Ifurina gulped.  "Me!?  But-- how!?  I wouldn't know how to do something like that--"

Makoto grinned.  "Well, that's where *I* come in.  Ifurina?  Will you trust me, and let me help you?"

"Um, okay," Ifurina said.  "But-- how are we going to seal Kalia, without sealing ourselves along with her?"

Makoto explained.  "Let me give you a quick course on how 'firewalls' work..."



Tom:  But what about the Pan Dimensional Pipes Of Doom?

The Current Writer:  Hang on, I'll get to that later...



The Guide slowly rose into the air, pulling up the crystal that it had been sitting on.  As it did so, the crystal shimmered, and seemed to melt away like an ice cube under a blow-torch.  As the Guide had planned, its crystal structure had also fallen into resonance with all of the trans-dimensional unpleasantness that was going on all over the place.  Something Else was trans-dimensionally taking shape, in its place.

Soon, the Guide held the very Creation Matrix in its talons.

Now, it thought.  Nothing can stop me now.  The end of the multi-verse is certain.  The only thing that could even possibly stop it would be a concentrated field of Uncertainty--

Just then, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia flew at the Guide, with her Uncertainty field cranked up to 110%.  She began to bite and claw at the Guide in a savage animalistic kind of way.

Huh, the Guide thought, as it completely ignored Jinnistacia's physical bites and scratches.  Well, that's alright.  I entered her Uncertainty field with such a high probability of success, that the chances of failure are too pathetically miniscule to even consider.  For one thing, it'll take more than one ancient and unimaginably powerful demon-god to stop me--

Just then, a cross-dressed Ibn Al-Zahad flew up, and joined his sister in battle.

Oh dear, the Guide thought, as it still pretty much ignored its attackers.  Well, still, those two ancient and unimaginably powerful demon-gods won't be able to break past my outer defenses.  It'd take the power of a single blow of highly-focused quantum energy, working in tandem with the Uncertainty field, to break through them--

Just then, Fujisawa came flying through the air towards the Guide, shouting his attack move.  "QUANTUM HYPER FUJISAWA KICK!!"  WHAM!!

Well, the Guide thought.  This just isn't my day, is it?  So, they've just broken through my outer defenses.  But I've got a second level of defenses, too.  I've set up an inpenetrable ten-dimensional shield, with the power of the Creation Matrix.  Only a device that can cut through time and space could defeat that--

Just then, CHINK!!  Nanami appeared above the Guide and its previous attackers, falling from one of her own Pretty Nanami Portals.  As she fell through mid-air, past the Guide, she performed a remarkably acrobatic flip, and dealt the Guide's inner defenses a crushing blow with her PPBAPKS.  Then she opened another portal beneath her, and safely returned to earth.

Great googly moogly, the Guide thought.  Well, all my defenses may have been broached.  But the Creation Matrix is still active.  The only way to stop *it* now is to over-charge it, and burn it out, with a blast of elemental energy.  And the only force in El-Hazard that could provide such an over-charge, is the simultaneous blast of two elemental lamps.  And I've guided events such that Afura and Ishiel are preoccupied--

Just then, the Guide and its Creation Matrix were blasted from below, by the simultaneous blast of Shayla and Kauru's lamps of fire and water.

Jumpin' Jehosaphat on a pogo stick!, the Guide thought.  Don't these people know when to quit!?  Well, they've just damaged the Creation Matrix, and bought themselves a few more seconds of life.  But I can repair this damage, before the Creation Matrix burns itself out, even under this Uncertainty field, and under Al-Zahad and Jinnistacia's continued attacks.  The only way to stop me from repairing the Creation Matrix within the next few seconds is to Boot me in the Head.  And I've guided events such that Splinter and his pupils are preoccupied--

Just then, a furious Last-Of-The-Phantom-Tribe Demon-God Mouse-Wearing-A-Hat Nahato flew towards the Guide, at top speed.  He shouted his attack move-- "BOOT TO THE HEAD!!"-- and brandished one of Minagi's disembodied feet.

Oh, nut bunnies, the Guide thought.

BOOM!!



The mysterious being behind those damned tachyons smiled to itself.  Well, it thought, that should just about do it.

It had made this possibly-final appearance in the Round Robin, and yet, it still hadn't revealed itself.  This, of course, was because the current writer didn't have a clue who it was.

But that's okay.  If the Round Robin continued, a future writer could name it-- or it could fade into legend unnamed.  After all, the best stories always leave a few questions unanswered.



Crayna stood, with one arm around chibi-Deva's shoulder, as they watched their friends work together to defeat the Guide and save the multi-verse.

"Ah," Crayna sighed.  "Does my old heart good, to see 'em workin' together like that."

Chibi-Deva looked up at Crayna, and giggled again at the sight of the oddly-dressed retired priestess.  "Deeeeeva!!"

With a maternal smile, Crayna ruffled chibi-Deva's hair.  "Yer a cute one, aintcha?"

"*quack*" said the duck on Crayna's head.



Crow:  But what about the Pan Dimensional Pipes Of Doom!?

The Current Writer:  Alright already!!  I'm workin' on it!!
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