El-Hazard Online

General => El-Hazard Online => Topic started by: Spanner on December 10, 2003, 11:08:50 AM



Title: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Spanner on December 10, 2003, 11:08:50 AM
*OOC*

Since the old Round Robin thread was starting to get really, really ponderous, I thought I'd start a new one. Still the same storyline, though.

*IC*

Had Over-Run been aware of Rune Venus's fantasies, he would have started crying. Sadly for the Mini-Con, years had NOT passed, and he had NOT managed to transform back into his original form. Instead, he spent most of his time propped against a wall in Ifurina's palace quarters, gathering dust and being bored out of his mind.

Then, the door popped open, and Over-Run's current master pranced into the room. As loathe as he was to admit it, he was happy to see Ifurina, as the girl was currently his only source of excitement. "Hello, Staff-chan!" the girl called happily.

"Hello, Ifurina," the staff answered. He had long since given up trying to break Ifurina of the habit of calling him "Staff-chan".

Ifurina happily launched into a discussion of her day, which mostly included sweeping the palace hallways, sweeping the throne room, and many other varieties of sweeping. It was mind-numbingly boring, but still better than the oppressive boredom that dominated Over-Run's life. "Man, what a wretched way for my crossover appearance to turn out," Over-Run thought to himself glumly.

"Oh, and guess what?" Ifurina said. Over-Run perked up. Could she actually have something non-sweeping-related to talk about? "I saw Mr. Fred in the palace, today!"

"Uh... Mr. Fred?" Over-Run queried.

"Oh, right, I didn't tell you about him. He's this guy I met in the Desert of Bleached White Bones! He's the one that..." Ifurina paused, eye moistening, "...the one that told me about how Katsy-Watsy died..." Then cheering slightly, "Anyway, it turns out that he actually works here in the palace, installing hexagons, or something!"

Over-Run pondered this. "What an unusual coincidence. The odds that you should find that a total stranger who you met in the middle of a vast and inhospitable desert also happens to work here in the palace are quite astronomically slim."

"Yeah, that's what I thought! Small world, huh?" Then, conspiratorially, she murmurred, "And you know something? I think he likes me! He was giving me all these weird glances, and talking about how glad he was that I was safe..." Ifurina giggled. "He's kinda cute, too!"

"Am I to understand that you wish to engage in a courtship ritual with this 'Fred'?" Over-Run asked, still curious about the vagaries of the human mating process.

Ifurina sobered at that. "Um... I don't know. I mean, he's nice, but I still miss Katsy-Watsy so bad... Fred kinda reminds me of him, in a weird way."

After a silence, Ifurina spoke again. "Anyway, it doesn't really matter! We both work here, so I'll have lots of time to decide, and see if he's really interested. So, how was your day?"

If Over-Run had had eyes in his current form, he would have stared flatly at Ifurina.

***

Dr. Schtalubaugh and the leader of the resistance stood quietly in solemn thought. The situation looked bleak, indeed. With both princesses unqualified to assume the throne, what hope was there?

Then, the doctor's eye twitched, as an unexpected thought came to mind. "Let us review the current situation... Why is it necessary for Princess Rune Venus to resume the throne?"

The resistance leader looked at Dr. Schtalubaugh oddly. "Well, that's simple. Only she and her sister can... control... the Eye of God..." The leader paused, eyes widening.

"Which is currently in pieces, with little hope of ever being repaired," the doctor nodded.

"You can't possibly be suggesting...?"

"I am," Dr. Schtalubaugh nodded.

"But where in the world will we be able to find blue latex pants in Rune Venus's size on such short notice?!"

Dr. Schtalubaugh and the resistance leader stared solemnly at one another for several tense seconds. Finally, "What?" Dr. Schtalubaugh asked.

"I... uh..." the resistance leader stuttered.

"What I was suggesting," Dr. Schtalubaugh continued pointedly, "is that we need not restore the princess to the throne. Any capable leader will do just as well. It is merely a matter of selecting the right candidate!"

"Oh, of COURSE that's what you were suggesting!" the resistance leader chuckled nervously. "Knew it all along! Naturally you weren't thinking of taking advantage of the princess's catatonia to act out various long-repressed fantasies! And neither was I! Eheh..." He reddened under the suspicious eye the doctor was turning on him. Then, Dr. Schtalubaugh's words sank in. "Any capable leader? But the Royal Family has led Roshtaria since the days of the Great Holy Wars! For another to assume the throne... it would be unthinkable!"

"Londs..." Rune Venus mumbled then. "It is to you... old friend... that I pass the Roshtarian Pendant of Leadership..."

The two glanced at her, and then back at each other. Gravely, Dr. Schtalubaugh sighed. "For the sake of the Alliance, we will indeed have to think about the unthinkable..."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 12, 2003, 04:33:29 PM
A small road-worn and oft-repaired cruiser drifted along one edge of the Desert of Bleached White Bones, at a leisurely pace.

Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess of Earth, was at the controls.  Parnasse had draped himself over the edge of the cruiser near her, hanging his arms along the side of the cruiser, and staring down at the ground.  A heavily bandaged (in a Rei Ayanami kind of way) Kauru drowsed on a comfy cushion, not far behind them both, and a well-petted and happy Ura was purring in Kauru's lap.

Ishiel yawned, without releasing the controls of the cruiser.  She had insisted on driving, and after putting up a token protest, Kauru was actually relieved to let her drive.  Kauru's cruiser was relieved too, as much as an inanimate object can be relieved.

Ishiel glanced at Parnasse, and noticed that he seemed to be counting out loud to himself.  "One hundred forty-two thousand, eight hundred fifty seven... One hundred forty-two thousand, eight hundred fifty eight..."

"What are you doing, Parnasse?" asked Ishiel pleasantly, making conversation to pass the time.

Parnasse pulled his head up, back over the edge of the cruiser, and regaled her with a look of complete boredom.  "I'm counting grains of desert sand."

Then he grimaced, realizing that he'd just lost count.  He turned away from Ishiel, hung his head back down, and started over.  "One... two... three..."

Ishiel was puzzled.  "Uh, Parnasse?  Why are you counting grains of desert sand?"

"Because there's more of them to count than anything else around here," Parnasse said, without turning away again.  "I could count something else, like the pretty girls in this cruiser.  But that wouldn't kill much time.  One, two.  See?  Now, if you'll excuse me-- you've already made me lose count twice.  One... two... three..."

Ishiel raised an eyebrow.  "But there's far too many grains of desert sand around here to count.  It's like, well, counting the grains of sand in a desert."

"I know that," Parnasse said impatiently.  "That's why I'm only counting the grains of sand that I like."

Ishiel was even more confused.  "The grains of sand... that you like?" she repeated dumbly.

"Yup."

"How do you decide if you like a grain of sand?"

"I carefully evaluate each one that I see, based on cut, color, clarity, and--"

"Parnasse?"

"Yes, Miss Ishiel?"

"You're talking crap.  Stop it."

Parnasse suddenly jumped to his feet.  "But I'm bored!!  I'm bored stupid!!  I mean, El-Hazard is supposed to be a world of endless adventure!!  But here we are, drifting along one edge of the Desert of Bleached White Bones, at a leisurely pace, in a completely, utterly, and mind-numbingly boring way--"

Ishiel brought the cruiser to a smooth halt, in order to better pointlessly bicker with Parnasse.  "Look, you little twerp.  You volunteered to come along on this fishing expedition, just like me.  And it's time for you to grow up, and to learn that life isn't all giant robot battles and gratuitous fan service--"

Kauru opened one eye, and regarded both Ishiel and Parnasse with uncharacteristic annoyance.  "Please.  I've asked both of you nicely to stop your pointless bickering.  If you can't learn to get along, I shall have to--"

Ishiel turned on her in anger.  "You'll have to what!?  I'm not your servant girl, girl!!"

Kauru gulped.  She was still convalescing, after all, and the powerful and muscular Ishiel had repeatedly defeated Afura when Afura was healthy.  "I shall have to... ask you nicely again," she said meekly.

Ura, displeased with the utter pointlessness of the current scene, and annoyed that Parnasse had got so many lines again, decided to take matters into its own paws.  "Nyah!  Girl-that-smells-nice, look!  Big rocks!"

Kauru looked past her bickering cruiser-mates, to a huge red and blue sandstone formation in the medium distance, ahead and slightly to the left of the cruiser.  Her eyes widened, and she gasped softly.  "Great Googly Moogly!" she said, in reverent awe.

The suddenly-not-pointlessly-bickering Ishiel and Parnasse both turned to look.  "What is it!?" Parnasse asked, suddenly hopeful that something was about to happen.

Ishiel's face fell into an expression of awe, just like Kauru.  "Oh my.  You're right, Kauru.  Great Googly Moogly!"

"WHAT!?" yelled Parnasse.

Ishiel sighed.  Rather than try to explain, she reached to her right, opened the cruiser glove compartment, and pulled out a big heavy book titled Fujisawa's Guide To El-Hazard's Really Big Rocks.  She flipped through the book, found the page she wanted, and held the open book out to Parnasse.

Parnasse looked down at the book, read the open page for a moment, then looked back up and blinked.  "Oh.  Great Googly Moogly."



(http://photos.rockclimbing.com/photos/59/5988.jpg) (http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=5988)
Great Googly Moogly!! (http://www.rockclimbing.com/photos.php?Action=Show&PhotoID=5988)  (It's the middle-sized tower in the center.)
(OOC:  One fun way to brainstorm for fan fiction is to enter random words into Google Image Search (http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8)  ;))




Parnasse looked down at the book again, and read a little further.  "'Great Googly Moogly' is part of the 'Fisher Towers' formation, located in the natural bowl underneath the 'Kingfisher,' to the left of 'Putterman's Pile'."

He looked up again, and studied the red and blue sandstone formation.  "Huh.  I guess 'Putterman's Pile' is that smaller tower to the right."

Ishiel grinned.  "Cute li'l stubby thing, ain't it?  It somehow reminds me of you."

Before Parnasse could respond to that insult, Ishiel slammed the book shut, nearly taking Parnasse's nose off in the process.  "Since the formation is a natural feature of the earth, and since I'm the 'Rogue Priestess of Earth' now, I propose that you and I let Kauru rest in peace for awhile, and--"

Parnasse blanched.  "And climb Great Googly Moogly!?  Great googly moogly!!"

Ishiel grinned wider.  "No, no.  Not that."

Parnasse breathed out in relief.

"The big one behind it," Ishiel said, pointing out 'Kingfisher'.

Parnasse blanched again.  "You mean, you want to climb the highest rock in that formation for no good reason!?"

Ishiel grinned even wider.  "Of course not."

Parnasse breathed out in relief again.

"I want to climb the highest rock in that formation for three good reasons," Ishiel said.

Parnasse whimpered.

"First," Ishiel explained, "that biggest rock, the one that Fujisawa-sensei called 'Kingfisher', is an ancient and sacred place in Phantom Tribe lore.  There may be some lost secret to be found at its summit-- something that Fujisawa-sensei missed, but that I can find with my half-tribal abilities, or my Great Lamp of Earth.

"Second, even if it's nothin' but a really big rock, it's the highest point for dozens of kilometers.  The view from its summit should be spectacular, and we may see someplace more interesting to try next.

"And third, and most importantly, the idea of climbing it seems to terrify you, and that's a good enough reason for me, just by itself."

Parnasse hung his head.  "Y'know, I'm not paid nearly enough for this 'comic relief' job."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 12, 2003, 09:09:45 PM
OOC:  Here comes a new challenger!
IC:

It started, like very few things do, with a grave.  As a matter of fact is started quite some time ago, back when Ishiel was the one with the elemental talismans.  When the second Ifurita left her post to deal with a greater evil.  Before everything with Arjah and the Bugrom conquest and whatnot.  And as for what "it" was, well, "it" was a new flavor of bad.  Of course.  This was El-Hazard after all.

So anyway.  A grave.  A very beautiful and well-maintained grave.  With fresh flowers.

A hand.  A gnarled hand pushing through the topsoil of that grave, withering the flowers with a touch.

A body.  A body emerging from the grave.

A smile.  A smile several factors more insane than any seen in this story so far, which, all things considered, was really quite an accomplishment and should probably be applauded, at length, while standing.  

The simple fact of the matter was that nobody out-crazied Kalia.  No way, no how, no sir.  A thin line separated most people from madness, but Kalia was so far gone she couldn't see sanity with a telescope.

She looked around, quite confused, and then took stock of the situation.  And it was quite an odd situation.  For one thing, this was not her body.  It was quite clearly that of Yuba, the old human she had encountered a few minutes ago.  Or what had felt like a few minutes ago... judging from the changes in her surroundings, more time had passed than she knew of.  What was the last thing she remembered?  Her fight with Ifurita.  Infecting Ifurita with her nanites...  

Ah.  She understood now.  Yuba had interfered, taking the nanites into himself to save Ifurita.  Apparently his strange command over machines had produced this unexpected side effect.  Which would explain why she now looked like a cross between her old self and a zombie Yuba.  No doubt it would take time for her nanites to finish converting the body to her needs.  Still, she should be able to sense the Trigger of Destruction...

Except she didn't.  The Trigger was gone.  Not just gone from the hidden valley, gone from the entire world.  By all rights she should be furious, her sensors were taking in so much data she didn't have time to react.  Vast amounts of energy  were being thrown around.  Perhaps that was what had activated her nanites after all this time?  Whatever.  More importantly, she sensed that a number of the ancients' war machines had been activated and destroyed.

But something else was different.  Something she couldn't quite put her finger on.  Something...

She smiled impossibly wide as she realized what it was.  She had Yuba's power as well as her own.  Technology was her bitch.  It was a plot twist worth swearing about, so there.  

Who needed the Trigger?  Who cared what happened to her previous body?  She had a wide selection of spare parts to choose from, and the power to understand their workings with a touch.  She'd just build a new doomsday device.  And, y'know, destroy everything that ever existed.  

And thus she set out on a little sub-plot haltingly titled "Night of the Living Zombie-Yuba/Kalia-thing."

~~~~~~~~

While Doctor Schtalabaugh was pondering what to do about the actually-fairly-decent-Bugrom-occupation, other forces were at work.  For instance, in a dimension far removed from his own, there was suddenly a very strange sound, sort of like someone being fried to fine black soot and impaled upon a large spike, only in reverse.  This sound accompanied Galus being fried to fine black soot and impaled upon a large spike, only in reverse.  

Galus collapsed, steam pouring off of his body.  He looked around, taking in his surroundings.  They were utterly unfamiliar and confusing.  On front of him was a strangely dressed young boy with black and yellow hair, his garb somewhat like that of Makoto and his fellow humans.  Galus, perhaps remembering his last few experiences with adolescents, wanted to know one thing immediately: "Where are your parents, boy?"

The spiky haired youth was a bit overwhelmed by all this, but nonetheless answered:  "Erm.  The're nowhere near here.  Because I collect these Egyptian playing cards."  He held one up.  Regaining his confidence, the boy continued, "Duh.  Everybody that collects these things does it alone!"

"And how many... children... collect those... cards?" asked Galus, wondering why the boy wore so much eyeliner.

"Gee... pretty much all of them, I guess."

Galus brightened.  It may not have been his homeworld, but it looked like it was pretty close to paradise-gi-oh.  He didn't even notice his nose bleeding.

Why was he there?  Eh, random fluctuations in space time that had been brought about by the approaching Instrumentality.  That and the collective hatred that a number of alternate realities had for the dimension Galus now found himself in.

********

So, long story short, Parnasse and Ishiel climbed the rock.  They took the long way, actually, and saw all the curious outcroppings that Fujisawa's book mentioned, even the one that looked disturbingly like unmentionables.  Parnasse, clearly more suited to palace life, had quickly shown tremendous skill at falling, so after a few minutes they had gone back and gotten Ura to help him before attempting to climb again.  They really deserved the uplifting sensation most people get when reaching the top of the mountain, especially since Ishiel had insisted on carrying her lamp the whole way, and it was a damn shame that it was spoilt.  When they got to the top, someone was already there, sitting on the edge, dangling her legs over the side.  It's hard to do a victory dance on front of a stranger, no matter how much the situation warrants it.  Especially when the stranger is pointedly being unimpressed at the situation.  And this person wasn't even turning around to look.

"Hey!" said Ishiel as she pulled herself up to the top. "Who's that?"

Parnasse managed to pull himself to the top, but chose to lay down, gasping for breath and thanking all the gods he knew of.  Ura bristled, smelling something not right.

"Bad smell.  Bad bad smell.  Smell like dead.  And metal."

"Yeah?" muttered Ishiel, frowning and looking at the stranger carefully. "No kidding?  Like dead, huh?"  The Priestess of Earth, feeling a bit like John Wayne (not that she'd understand the reference) unslung her lamp, cautiously moving toward the unfamiliar person.  "Excuse me?  M'am?"  She was quite unprepared for the way the stranger summersaulted backwards, spinning in midair.  The stranger landed almost nose-to-nose on front of Ishiel, on tip toes.  Oddly enough, while the body was unmistakably female, this person had the face of a wizened old man, complete with beard.  And a very unhealthy shade of gray skin.  Very unhealthy.  Like that of a very dead person.

Ishiel was also unprepared for the way a mesh of red circuitry seemed to sprout from nowhere, covering the person's face and remodeling it into something much more... familiar.

"Hey!" squeeked Kalia cheerfully.  "You look just like me!  Neat!"  The demon god's mad eyes moved from Ishiel to the figures behind her.
     
"Kalia!" hissed Ura.  "Demon God!  Bad!  Bad!  Bad!"
     
Ishiel took her cue and thrust the lamp of earth into the ground.  A pillar of stone sprung up between herself and the Demon God.  "Demon God?  Ha!  I've got the Lamp of Stone!  No Demon God is going to scare me... not anymore!"  Great ribbons of earth began to surge from the ground, like angry snakes, rushing toward Kalia.  Kalia smiled, held up her hand... and watched as the ribbons were suddenly pulled into a glowing dot on front of her palm, like water vanishing down a toilet.  Ishiel blinked.  "How in the world?"

     Kalia held up her other hand.  Ishiel didn't even had the time to scream as a second dot appeared, sending her own attack back at her, magnified.  She was knocked clear off of Kingfisher, her eyes wide with pain, disbelief, and fear.

     "Ura ura ura ura ura!"  yelled the armor cat, leaping after her.  In a second it was wrapped around her.  In another second the cat's claws were stuck into the mountain, slowing and stopping their decent.

     Back at the top, however, Parnasse was staring in wide eyed fear at the strange demon god that looked so much like Ishiel.  Kalia ignored the boy, picking up  the Lamp of Stone where Ishiel had dropped it, admiring it.  "Interesting.  But why is a mere lamp so powerful?"  She felt it with Yuba's power, and smiled.  Her hand reached into it, feeling around, and drew back holding a small piece of circuitry.  "An amplifier.  How nice."  She flicked the part into her mouth like a peanut, and swallowed.  Then, still smiling her mad little smile, she threw the Lamp at Parnasse, hard enough to leave it half buried in the ground between the boy's legs.  Unsurprisingly, Parnasse wet himself.  Kalia began to float up into the air.  "Now then.  Where would the Lost Tribe have put their demon gods?  Jinnistacia... Ibn Al-Zahad... where are you?  I know just the place for you in my new doomsday device - But I think I'll get some other parts first.  The Mantle of God?  The Hammer of God?  The Armor of God?  The Worm of Wrath?  So many parts to choose from.  Must thank whoever unearthed them all.  Well, no, I think I'll just destroy everything that exists instead."  Still talking to herself, the Demon God leisurely floated away.  She was taking her time.

Leisurely or not though, she'd have been annoyed if she'd known that she was floating right past the only living link to the Lost Tribe's demon gods, and all their other creations.  D'oh indeed.

*****

"So tell me," asked Diva chattily, "if you knew about the demon god factory and the Lamp of Stone, why didn't you use them when it looked like the Phantom Tribe were going to destroy the whole world?"

"Oh that," replied Londs.  "My girlfriend had just broken up with me to date a bread vendor.  I was suicidal at the time."

So it all made sense then after all.

*******

"You do it,"  whispered one.

"No you,"  whispered the other.

"Fine.  We'll both do it at once."

The Phantom Tribesmen glared at each other before yelling as loud as they could.  "Excuse us?  We'd like some food!  Please?"

They were still in the dungeons after being caught all the  way back in post 54.  Straightjacketed (Fatora bought bulk and saved Big Bucks).  Nahato was still seething from the way Princess Rune had yelled at him.

"We're really sorry..."

"We're cold... and there are rats in here."

"And bits of masonry keep falling in the corridor.  I really don't think this place is safe."

"...You don't think they just forgot us, do you?"

There was a drawn-out pause.  Then, improbably, a wolf could be heard howling in the distance.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 13, 2003, 02:08:52 AM
Mr. Fujisawa was confused. He stood at the busy marketplace in Florestica. All around him were happy, smiling people. They were excitedly buying from the vendors, who were very happy to sell their wares. All seemed right with the world.

"This shouldn't be happening, should it?" asked the history teacher. "The evil Bugrom have conquered the country. They're the bad guys, so why is everyone so happy?"

Fujisawa had taken his family to a small rural village as soon as news of the Bugrom invasion was heard. After assuring a worried Miz that he would return, the Earthling went back to the city to do some recognissance. Instead of findinga downtrodden, oppressed population though, he was met with smiles and good cheer.

"This is fuckin nuts," he muttered. "I need a drink." He quickly left the cheery marketplace and entered a seedy looking bar. He flinched at the scene inside.

Bugrom soldiers, those who were taking a break from their hard work anyway, were inside the establishment having a drink. What was puzzling to Fujisawa were the throngs of people with them, talking friendly to their conquerors and buying them drinks.

"Whatever." The teacher shrugged, then strode over to the bar and ordered a jug of wine. "The whole world is nuts..."

"Gimme another drink!" slurred a familiar voice right next to him. Fujisawa shrieked when he looked towards its source, and found the Supreme Bugrom Commander sitting on the neighboring stool.

"Uh, sir," said the nervous barkeep, "don't you think you've had enough?"

"I said GIMME A DRINK!" shouted Jinnai. He slammed his glass atop the counter, making several of the Bugrom and humans around him jump.

"Fine, fine..." The barkeep sighed before pouring him another drink.

"Lousy... stupid... peon," murmrued the thoroughly sloshed conqueror. Jinnai took a long gulp of his glass before slamming it back down against the counter. "I'm the Lorrd God Ji -hic- Jinnai, fer cryin 'loud.... he doesn't know what I'vre been through..."

Fujisawa's shock at seeing the dreaded enemy of Roshtaria quickly wore off as his teacher's sense of propriety took hold of him. "Uh, Jinnai... don't you think it's time you stopped? I think you've had enough. Besides, you're not old enough to drink!"

The former Demon God was't listening though. The rather dishelved young man quickly drank the remaining liquor in his glass before holding it up to the barkeep for a refill. The man sighed and poured him another. "Damn it," Jinnai gurgled when his glass was full. "I shoulrd be harppy... the world ish under my con-control... I beaat that wimp Makoto finarry... I -hic- got every thing I could everrr want... well, almosht everything..." Ifurina's image suddenly came to his mind, causing a gush of tears to spurt from his eyes. "Dammit! I hate love! It sucks!" Jinnai growled, then drank the contents of his glass in one gulp. He coughed for a bit before holding the empty container up to the barkeep.

"Oh, whatever. Not like this crap's the expensive stuff," said the man as he poured.



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 13, 2003, 10:39:16 PM
"Like a dream from a time faraway,"

Dreams and nightmares go hand in hand.

"The bad news," Ishiel told Parnasse, Ura, and Kauru as she reconnected to her lamp on the hoversled, "is that the Great Lamp of Earth has been downgraded to the Lamp of Earth and can no longer hold its own against demon gods...at least not without going critical and blowing up everything in a mile-wide radius."

"And the good news is...?" Parnasse asked hopefully.

"The good news is that it's still more than powerful enough to wipe the floor with Afura's scrawny back," Ishiel informed him happily, savoring the mental picture and unaware that the currently warped Afura would probably enjoy such an experience.

"Be that as it may," the still bandaged Kauru began, deliberately ignoring the harmful intentions Ishiel appeared to hold for the Priestess of Air despite her recent reformation, "an incredibly powerful demon god that, according to Ura, is insane and tried to destroy the world is now on the loose.  We should warn the other priestesses about this."

"Yeah, and Ifurita and Pretty Magical God Nanami too," Ishiel agreed, nodding her head.  "If we're going to take this Kalia down we're going to need all the help we can get."

"Ura confused.  Why crazy Kalia look like Rogue Priestess?" the armor-cat asked, mind puzzling over this oddity.

"Maybe Kalia was once human with a family, and one of her relatives had offspring that survived the Holy War and continued the genealogy until finally one generation bred with a member of the Phantom Tribe, producing Ishiel whose phenotype just so happened to be nearly identical to Kalia's," Kauru suggested thoughtfully.

"Or it could just be one huge coincidence," Parnasse muttered under his breath.

"Regardless, we'd better send a message to Shayla and Afura," Ishiel spoke up, perhaps preferring not to dwell on her physical resemblance to the mad Demon God.  "Kaura, could you help me with this?  I haven't had to send an elemental communication since Seminary."

"Of course."  The two priestesses closed their eyes and began to chant as a pale glow entered their lamps.

"What are they doing?" Parnasse asked curiously.

"Ura think they do ancient priestess communication technique.  Know that they can send messages over great distances through their elements," Ura replied helpfully.

Parnasse stared at the cat.  "Um...Ura, don't you think it's just a little convenient that this ability is suddenly being mentioned now even though there were dozens of times it would've been useful in the past, and just how do you know all this anyway?"

"Ura eavesdrop on Londs," Ura explained patiently.

******

Using the ancient technique of the priestesses, Ishiel and Kauru first sent their message to the sleeping Afura and, elemental communication being what it is, ended up in her dream as observers.

Ishiel casually tossed the Great Lamp Of Earth aside, ran at Afura and tackled her, and brought her down in a wide area of mud churned up by the brief but heavy rainfall.  Afura's lamp of wind was thrown from her body by Ishiel's tackle.

Ishiel wasted no time going to work on Afura.  The impossibly beautiful priestesses bodily grappled with each other in the shallow mud pit.  Their badly-torn and barely-still-decent uniforms were soon obscured as they were completely covered with thick smooth creamy rivulets of mud.

But, more importantly, Ishiel's mysterious cloaked but shapely female figure was of a more muscular build than Afura's willowy frame.  Afura quickly realized that she had only bought herself a little more time, at best.


"I remember this," Ishiel said, equal parts embarrassed and gleeful.  "Though I am a bit surprised that Afura would dream of it.  Eh, this must be a nightmare."

Kauru was frowning.  "Odd.  Where is everybody else?"

Afura, bruised, bloody, and beaten, sank into the mud, defeated, humiliated, and totally naked, her clothing having finally decided to give up its futile attempt to remain on her.  Ishiel, a crazy gleam in her eyes, leapt upon her, grabbing Afura's arms and pinning her to the ground.

"I've finally beaten you," Ishiel hissed, her hot breath harshly caressing Afura's face as she painfully tightened her grip, "and now you are mine.  You are going to pay for what you did to me, Afura Mann, and in addition to punishing you I'm going to break your will.  When I'm done with you you'll call me master and serve my every whim.  I'll dominate you so completely that your every thought, every desire will be centered on submitting to me and you'll lose all sense of pride and self-respect.  You are a dirty, filthy, pathetic animal, Afura, not fit to be anything but my slave, and I'm going to make sure that's where you stay for the rest of your meaningless existence.  Doesn't that sound like fun?"

Afura, completely at her enemy's mercy, whimpered as the smirking Ishiel descended on her, kissed her roughly on the lips, and proceeded to have her dasturdly but disturbingly pleasant way with the Priestess of Air, putting her through incredible, ecstatic, pain.


"Gah!  My eyes!" Ishiel screamed, horrified, as she watched her dream-self utterly subjugate Afura in the mud who, despite the circumstances, actually seemed to be enjoying it.  "Somebody please, make this nightmare stop!"

"...I had no idea Sister Afura was into that kind of thing," Kauru said levelly, her innocent mindset allowing her to remain relatively unaffected by the scene before her.  "It appears that we'll have to send our message to Sister Shayla instead."

"Yes, please, the sooner the better," Ishiel whimpered, turning her back on the vision that would probably haunt her for the rest of her life and shuddering as rapturous moans reached her ears.

******

"A sweet memory lingers from the distant past,"

The legacies of the past threaten to destroy everything.

Kalia hummed a happy tune as she dropped off another load of salvaged ancient technology at her tomb.  She still hadn't found the Phantom Tribe's cache, but with all the doomsday weapons that had been destroyed lately she had managed to gather more than enough parts to construct her own 'annihilate-the-entire-universe' machine.  However, even as she arranged the mechanical scraps according to their functions, Ishiel's eerily similar face continued to pop up in her mind.

"Surely it isn't mere coincidence that the two of us share a remarkably comparable appearance," the crazed Demon God mused to herself, thought processes momentarily clear.  "Perhaps we share some common ancestor or relation, and if we do then fusing with her will restore me completely and boost my power to new, previously unattainable levels.  Nothing will be able to defeat me!...not that anything can now, mind you, but it never hurts to be safe."

Kalia shrugged and threw a chunk of metal over her right shoulder.  "But first, the doomsday device!"

******

"Like a kingdom that you reach,
After many years of Dreaming,"


The kingdoms have been asleep for far too long.

Near where the Holy River of God ends, a dark portal suspended in mid-air opened.  Dozens, and then hundreds, appeared within the next few moments, and out of them came pouring a swarm of sleek, black vessels armed for war.  

On the bridge of the largest ship, a young man wearing emperor's robes and looking like a cross between Dall and Gilda stood regally and surveyed the world of El-Hazard as presented by his viewscreen.  A pleased, ambitious look settled on his face.

"At long last, we have returned to our rightful home.  Little did the Ancients know that when they banished us at the end of the Holy War that we'd stolen the blueprints for the Eye of God and constructed our own exact duplicate.  Now, generations after its reunification, we shall retake what should've been ours in the first place and exact vengeance for our long exile, and I, Emperor Dall Narcis III of Creteria, shall lead my people and country to victory!"

He turned around and gestured at an armored lieutenant.  "Send the order to the other ships in the fleet that we fly immediately for the capital, and tell Dr. Yume to prep our demon gods for battle.  I want all opposition to our invasion to be eliminated immediately."

******

"El-Hazard is the eternal homeland,
And the land of never-ending adventures."


A world of adventures is a world of conflict.

Deep within her laboratory, the small, feline, and furry humanoid known as Yume smirked.  "So, the talents of the greatest super genius in the whole universe are finally being called upon, eh?  Well, my next generation demon gods and I won't disappoint.  Ryoko, Hishima, awaken and come to your master!"

"I can't believe I'm sharing my cameo with two characters from the manga series," Ryoko complained as she phased through the floor and assumed an upright hovering and slightly bored stance.

"Don't disparage Master Yume, Ryoko," Hishima spoke ominously as he stepped out of the shadows, cloak hiding his mechanical features.  "Her genius brought the Empire of Jurai to its knees."

"Until Tenchi defeated you and Tsunami saved the universe," Ryoko retorted smugly.

Pitch not changing by the slightest degree, Hishima turned a cold, calculating gaze on Ryoko.  "Need I remind that I was winning against Tenchi until he did that whole 'lend me your power' routine and received a power boost from the regular cast?"

Yume rolled her eyes.  "Honestly you two, this is not how one leaves a good impression on the next writer.  Do you want to wind up like Pixy Misa and Mara?  Now then, Demon God Ryoko, Demon God Hishima, you have been ordered to eliminate any opposition to the advance of the Creterian Empire.  Any questions?  No?  Good.  Begin!"

Hishima bowed and left, followed by a reluctant Ryoko.  Yume, meanwhile, reclined in a chair and grinned.  "Soon, this world will know my genius...and hopefully somebody will be convinced by this cameo to write a good fanfic about me.  The ratio of Washu-centric fics to the Yume-centric is so overwhelming as to be virtually nonexistent!"

******

"As long as there is a challenging spirit,
And a readiness to fly into infinity,"


Sinners are emboldened to reach new heights.

One of the female Phantom Tribesmen imprisoned with Nahato freed herself from her straight-jacket in a fan-servicey way, utilizing the same Phantom Tribe contortion techniques that Ishiel was familiar with.  Within moments she had also liberated her compatriots.

"The humans will pay dearly for this indignity," Nahato vowed as he dusted himself off.  "It is time we use our ace and activate our cache of weapons hidden within the rock known by the Alliance as 'Kingfisher', and then absolutely nothing will stand in the way of our vengeance.  Hahahahaha!"

"Um, Lord Nahato, I hate to interrupt you, but how exactly are we going to get out of this dungeon?" the same female Phantom Triber asked politely.

"Oh, I'm sure we'll think of something," Nahato answered confidently.

Five minutes later they were out of their cell.

"How did we escape again?" a Phantom Tribe guard questioned, puzzled.

Nahato shrugged.  "Does it really matter?  Now then, let's get out of here and destroy the world!"  

They left and began their journey to 'Kingfisher'.

******

"The gate to El-Hazard shall be opened for you,
Across millions of nights!"


Whether destruction or salvation comes through these gates remains to be seen.

Ishiel, Kauru, Parnasse, and Ura stood at the top of Kingfisher, gazing speculatively at the entrance to a cave they'd just noticed after Ishiel used her Phantom Tribe heritage to dispel the illusion.  Where it led none of them knew.

"Are you ready?" Ishiel asked her companions, a trace of concern in her voice as she eyed the injured Kauru and nervous Parnasse.  "Somebody can remain behind and get help if the rest of us don't return after 24 hours."

Kauru shook her head.  "No, we're in this together.  Sister Shayla has received our warning about Kalia, and now there's nothing we can do on that end except hope.  Here, though, in this mysterious cave, could lay the deliverance of El-Hazard.  For the sake of the world, we must endure this risk and bravely go...where no priestess has gone before!"

"Whatever," Ura said as he skipped into the cave.  

Parnasse shrugged.  "What he said," the attendant muttered as he followed after Ura, not about to let himself be outdone by an armor-cat.

Ishiel and Kauru exchanged a look, came to an unspoken agreement, and entered the cave together.




For a brief (and slightly inaccurate - A different creation of Yume's sacrificed himself, for example) overview of Yume and Hishima, this link should suffice.

http://groups.msn.com/TheMrsTenchiMasakiShrine/specialyumegallery.msnw


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 14, 2003, 08:48:22 PM
Makoto had finally got out of bed, to find the others still in the Muldoon temple kitchen.  He noticed how Nanami and Shayla had looked at him, and realized that Ifurita must have been talking about him.  He meekly sat at the temple kitchen table, with a very, very, very red face.

As demon gods, neither Ifurita nor Nanami actually needed to eat.  They both had eaten only a token breakfast.  And Makoto seemed content with one serving of Nanami's delicious pancakes.  It was late morning by now, and he knew that Nanami would be sure to cook up a wonderful lunch as well.

Shayla, however, was a different story.  She had eagerly gone to Nanami's griddle for yet another serving.  After sitting back down with her full plate, she had just picked up her economy-sized bottle of maple syrup, when a distant look suddenly came to her face.  She turned to the window, almost as if she were trying to hear something.

"Shayla?" asked Nanami.  "What is it?"

Shayla hissed.  "Sh!"

"But--"

"Sh!"

"I'm--"

"Sh!"

"All I'm say--"

"Sh!"

"They're gonna get a--"

"Sh!"

"I'm--"

"Sh!"

"I'm just--"

"Sh!"

"Would--"

"Sh!"

Shayla came out of her reverie, and turned to Nanami.  "Knock-knock."

"Who's there?" asked Nanami.

"Sh!"

"But--"

"Let me tell you a little story about a man named Sh!  Sh! even before you start.  That was a pre-emptive 'sh!'  Now, I have a whole bag of 'sh!' with your name on it."

Then Shayla turned to Makoto and Ifurita, with a heavy sigh.  "That was an elemental communication from Ishiel and Kauru, from some really big rock at the edge of the Desert of Bleached White Bones.  As if we didn't have enough to worry about, that little biatch Kalia has somehow come back to life.  When we're not busy with Lord God Loser, we'll have to try to stop her, before she annihilates the entire multi-verse."

And then, Shayla turned back to Nanami again.  "Now, then.  WHAD'YA WANT!?"

Nanami also sighed.  "You had just started to pour the maple syrup when you spaced out.  I was trying to tell you that you were getting completely drenched in syrup again."

"Aw, nuts," Shayla said.  She set down the now-empty syrup bottle, peeled herself away from the table with some difficulty, and trudged away to the temple showers, making sticky squishing sounds with each step.

Ifurita noticed how Makoto had ogled the fire priestess' shiny golden-brown sticky body, in a predictable heterosexual male kind of way.  But, rather than become jealous, Ifurita selfessly made a mental note to stock up on corn syrup before Makoto's next injection of Bugrom serum.  Corn syrup should go better against my pale complexion, Ifurita thought.



Urd had given up trying to find the love potion thief, due mostly to her rather short attention span.  She was now drifting through the skies high above El-Hazard, wondering why she was still here.  She couldn't shake the feeling that the current writer had brought her to this world for a reason... and yet, she somehow knew that it might be awhile before her purpose could be fulfilled, what with the recent dramatic upswing in plot complications and further gratuitous cross-overs.

She was preoccupied with all these thoughts, and so she was surprised to suddenly find herself in the "Night of the Living Zombie-Yuba/Kalia-Thing" sub-plot, by means of colliding with Kalia in mid-air.

Kalia dropped some hideously evil bits of ancient technology, meaning to collect them later, and grinned her creepy insane grin.  "Well, well.  Another demon god, perhaps?  No matter.  Time to say goodbye, super-model."

She held her Fist O' Death out towards Urd, and began to make her Giant Sucking Sound.  But she was shocked when, instead of easily draining all the power from her victim, she was suddenly overwhelmed with more power than she could imagine.  She dropped her fist, went even more green, and made sad little choking sounds, as if she had just eaten too much at a buffet, and she was dangerously close to tossing her cookies.

Urd took a moment to pull herself together, after Kalia's admittedly formidable attack.  But then, she looked up at the ack'ing Kalia with a very dangerous expression.  Her fists began to spark, in preparation to unload a big hearty helpin' of Urd Lightning Strike.

"Ho ho ho," Urd said snarkily.  "So, Little Undead Nanite Girl wants to play, eh?  Well, Urd-oneesan is more than happy to oblige."

Kalia gulped.  She was still confident of her status as the most powerful being in El-Hazard... but there was simply no way that her creators could have anticipated a cross-over with an Ultimate Force wielding Yggdrasil goddess.  

And, while Kalia was the most insane being in a fairly large subset of the multi-verse, she somehow realized that Urd was quite capable of being seriously loopy in her own loveable way, when the story-line required it.



Afura sat up, stretched and yawned.

She smiled as she got out of bed.  Her head was feeling all better, and she had had the most wonderful dreams.  And, lo and behold, her precious Great Lamp of Wind was waiting for her, along with a note from her dear friend Nanami.

Afura dressed in a fresh uniform that had been inexplicably provided for her, in a way that the current writer can't explain.  She held her lamp to her cheek and sighed happily, and put it away in its pouch.  Then she opened the unlocked door of Fatora and Alielle's supply room, and happily skipped away, in an innocent yet naughty little girl kind of way that, frankly, was starting to creep-out even the current writer.  Not that it was an entirely unpleasant kind of creep-out, but, still.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 15, 2003, 02:07:58 AM
OOC: Typed this in a word processor.  Then when I posted it, the punctuation was large chunks of gibberish, and the spacing was all wrong.  Had to manually fix the punctuation, so there may be some problems still.  And the spacing I couldn't get right.

IC:

At that moment, however, the royal skiff of Emperor Dall Narcis III of
Creteria appeared on the scene.  With a gesture, the Emperor signaled for the
skiff to come to a halt.  The considerable number of vessels following him followed suit.  
     With a disdainful sniff that would have done Dall himself proud, the young
would-be-despot took in the sight.  "Are those the sorts of demon god left in El Hazard?
Children and old women?"

     Urd had extremely good hearing.  And while she certainly did want to slap Kalia
around a bit... well, some things just demanded immediate attention.  "Hold that
thought," she growled to the demon god, directing a very angry look at
the Creterians.  As Kalia watched in amazement, Urd stomped off toward the
Emperor's cortège.  Or, well, she would have, but stomping is difficult in the
air.  "Someone needs punishment way more than you," snarled the goddess.  Then, without
knowing exactly why, she added, "and I don't mean happy fun Fatora and Alielle
kind of punishment."


     Kalia summed the event up with a succinct "Huh?"


**********

The cave stretched straight forward and downward, illuminated here and there
with faintly glowing blue disks that were pressed into the wall.  The
priestesses ventured on and on, not entirely sure what they were looking for. It
had been a stroke of luck that, while falling from the top of the kingfisher,
Ishiel had seen and recognized a very unusual rock formation... one indicating
that a Phantom Tribe cache was within.  Now and again they found themselves
stooping, crawling, jumping over narrow gaps.  All fairly standard fare for
secret mountain lairs.  But as they progressed they sensed something was wrong.
Great holes seemed to have been torn into otherwise smooth
passageways.  Soon they began to find broken bits of machinery.  It was Ishiel
that voiced their suspicions.
"The bloody witch was in here!  She took everything!"

"Kalia sucks.  Sucks lots," added Ura

"Um… what are these?"  Kauru asked, pointing at one of the blue disks lining
the walls.  Ishiel glared at her.

"They're lights.  You tap them, they turn on.  You tap them again, they
turn off.  Yes, truly some of the most advanced ancient technology the Phantom Tribe ever found."
She was feeling more snarky than usual.

     Kauru frowned.  "I don't think these are just lights," she whispered, looking
closer.  She could almost make out designs in the disks. Circles and diamonds.
Like the crystal found in the Eye of God, or the strange object Arjah had been
imprisoned in.  "I think this goes... like this," she continued, tentatively touching one of
the discs.

     Ura watched in amazement as a semi-transparent man-sized blue neon circle appeared in the air,
on front of the disc.  Strange blue neon markings rotated along its edges:
elaborately decorated circles and diamonds, and the occasional scrap of writing in the
language of the Ancients.

     Perhaps it was because they had so recently used their communication technique.
Perhaps it was just an after-effect of the near instrumentality that had
occurred.  Perhaps it was a ripple in the primal ethers, producing a stochastic
synchronicity due to the deus ex machina effect.  At any rate the Elemental
Priestesses suddenly found themselves seeing what Kauru saw.
     And what Kauru saw was this:
___________

A blue haired man, incredibly handsome, dressed in clothes not entirely unlike
Kauru's.  He was smiling as he spoke.  A smile that rivaled Fujisawa-sensei's.

"This archive includes confidential documents and information not to be removed
from the premises, except in accordance with the security policies and
procedures of the Northern Weaponers' Commission.  They are not to be reproduced
in any way, under penalty of death.  If in any doubt as to how to manage or
secure sensitive material, please contact a- "
there was a flicker as the damaged
disk skipped forward.  The man looked considerably more tired than before.
Apparently this was a very long disclaimer.  "-not available in the
state of depression.  The Southern Weaponers do not advocate armed
conflict in any form, and are in no way affiliated in any way with any National Alliance.
If rash occurs due to use of this docu-technology, discontinue use.  If rash
persists, consult funeral homes..."

*The Record Skipped

Seated behind an elaborate desk was a strikingly beautiful woman, with long blue
hair in a very similar style to Kauru's.  "Blue" just about summed her up, from her
blue eyes, to her blue clothes, to the prevailing color scheme of her office.
Another blue haired man stood at attention behind her.  Through the massive
window behind them both it was possible to see The City.
     The City was a paradise.  In harmony with nature, tastefully ornate, colorful,
supremely artistic, and breathtakingly, achingly, painfully beautiful.  Living
in a city like that, you would surely believe that all was good and right in the
world.

At the other end of the table, talking to Ms. Blue, was Arjah.  He was a little
younger, and somewhat more human in appearance, but there could be no mistaking
him.

"Mister Arjah," Blue was patiently explaining, "I'm afraid what you're
proposing just isn't economically feasible.  I'm speaking from experience.  The
Northern Weaponers produce the finest weapons on the planet.  Our scientists
were consulted in the construction of the Demon God Ifurita.  We also assisted
in the designs for the Eye of God, and are taking a major role in finishing its
construction.  We know weapons.  It's our business motto. 'The Northern
Weaponers:  Boy do we ever know weapons'.  So when I say that demon gods have
made lamp technology obsolete, I know what I'm talking about."
     Arjah glowered.  "But this is not a lamp like the others!  It would tap into
dimensional energy..."

"Which your colleagues in the priesthood think is dangerously unstable.  Pass all the same.  
We'll happily sell you the parts you need, but we're just not going to waste any
of our consultants on this.  You'll have to build it yourself."

     Arjah glowered.  "I will build a lamp of dimensions," he hissed, "and then I
will show you!  I'll show you all!"

     *The Record Skipped

"Well, he sure showed us, didn't he?" Blue was looking out her window with a
frown.  Many of The City's structures were in ruins.  It was still breathtakingly beautiful, but you got a sense that it would never quite be the
same.  "Still, the technology we developed to defeat and imprison him should
make us more than enough money to repair the damages.  And build some new public
works.  Commission some art."  She looked at some blueprints on her desk.  They
looked exactly like the diamond device and strange dimensional portal generator
that Makoto had found.  "It's even helped us solve some problems with the Eye of
God.  So, tell me about the Ifuritas."

     The aide nodded.  "We have concluded that it's not economically possible to construct another Ifurita unit, much less all the units we've seen.  No nation could have afforded it.  The original practically bankrupted its Tribe.  So we're probably looking at inferior models, made to look like the original. Heck, they're probably just low-grade nanite-altered humans."

"But who's going to take the chance that they're looking at an inferior model Ifurita?  They could have the original in mothballs, and who would know?  I have to admit, it's brilliant."

     *The Record Skipped

     Blue stared at the blueprints.  "This is just grotesque.  What's this thing
called again?"
"LE TOILETTE DE DEVESTACION Miss."
"We're charging double our usual consultation rates.  And I think I'll take a
bath.  Bloody Frenchians."

*The Record Skipped

     Blue was angry.  The City had definitely seen better days.  There were more
buildings, each of them achingly beautiful.  But the skyline just didn't
work they way it used to.  Each part was perfect, but it didn't come together.  "So.  You're telling me that there's Arjah
Defeating class technology in a demon god... and we have no idea where the demon
god is, or how it was made?"
     The aide smiled weakly.  "Well... we were only consulted on Kalia's weapons
systems.  They're the only Arjah Defeating class technology in her.  But we
don't know how she was built.  Except that she isn't a nanite altered human, at least not like any we've ever seen, or standard cyborg, or an android.  Er..."
"Go on."
"Well... she was only sent on one test run, Miss.  Um... she was apparently... I mean
there were some... That is to say... look, she's a bloody-minded gibbering psychotic loon.  Mad as a
bag of mice with hats.  Miss.  We have no idea how they constructed her neural
pathways, but they really made one crazy assed demon god.  And now they've got
her hidden away.  And they're going on about this "Trigger of Destruction" thing
they say they made.  Miss."
"But the Armor of God defense shield should protect us from any attack, right?"
"Well..."

*The Record Skipped

Blue looked down at the designs.  "What..." She paused and pinched her nose.  She
looked up.  "This... weapon... we're being consulted on.  What's this monstrosity
called again?"

"Erm... The Panda of God, Miss."

"That's what I thought you said... those bloody Frenchians must be infecting their
neighbors with their insanity.  And this one?"

"That's the Worm of Wrath, Miss."

"It's hideous."

"Well, worms often are, Miss.  Or so I'm told.  I’ve never seen one myself."

"I'm beginning to hate this job."

"Yes Miss."

The City was definitely beginning to look a little frayed around the edges, even
though, theoretically, more fantastic pieces of art were in it than ever.

*The Record Skipped

By now The City was looking a bit frayed around the middle.  The less said about
the edges the better.

Blue smiled widely.  "But this is wonderful!  The design for the Ibn-Al Zahad
and Jinnistacia units is nothing short of revolutionary.  The Ifurita unit's
ability to learn and amplify attacks has long been seen as the apex of demon god
technology - but no more!  These units not only learn their enemies' attacks...
they can also analyze the scientific basis for their opponents' weapons.  They
can use this knowledge to develop entirely new applications!  Even if someone
did pierce the Armor of God, these demon gods could never be defeated.  The
Northern Weaponers are safe."

*The Record Skipped

"So, you're telling me we're utterly doomed?"
"Yes Miss."
"But we only just built our new demon gods!  They haven't even had a test run!"
"Bit irrelevant Miss.  The enemies used a plague.  Went right through the Armor
of God, and while the demon gods won't be hurt... we're buggered.  Miss."
"This isn't fair!"
"No Miss."
Well do something about it."
"Yes Miss.  Erm... any ideas as to what, Miss?"

The City... well the sight of it was enough to break your heart.  It really was.

* The Record Skipped

"She's perfect," Blue murmured.  She looked at the sleeping child closely,
poking and prodding as if she was examining a lab animal.  "Has it been
confirmed that she can withstand the memory implants?"

"No, she cannot," the aide replied. "At least, not at this stage of her physical
development. A lock will be needed. We are considering introducing a phobia to
her psyche, to seal the knowledge away until she has developed to the point
where she can handle it."

"It is good to know that our Tribe's knowledge will not be lost," Blue mused.
"The world may well depend on it one day... And with the plague that ravages our
people, none of us will live past this girl's tenth year."

The aide shook his head sadly. "At least the genetic modifications we've made to
this one and her brothers and sisters will allow them to survive. Still, it
pains me to know that our only progeny to survive will not be quite human..."

"Hush," Blue reprimanded. "Beggars cannot be choosers. And you must be careful
what you say around our young ones. They may be infants still, but the changes
we have made to them are not completely predictable. They may remember..."

"Their descendants may too," pointed out the aide.  "The memories of this first
generation will be passed down to all subsequent generations."

"And one day, when the time is right... we will be able to rectify this horrible
horrible mistake we have made," said Blue sadly. "They will not be able to
fight it?"

"Oh no, Miss.  Once the implants are activated they will be drawn to our
technology.  Even if the world is reduced to a dark age, enough technology caches should
remain.  And they will have an innate affinity with all the Arjah Defeating
class technology.  Well, except that Kalia unit.  Wherever that is.  Too much foreign muck in it.   But they will conquer the world, Miss, because they could no more
stop themselves than they could stop breathing.  It's in their genes.  We put it
there."

Blue looked at the child sadly.  "One world under one rule.  That will stop the
wars, won't it?  This is right, what we're doing" isn't it?"


*The Record Jumped

Blue looked at the city.  Through the Armor of God shield system she could see
the demon gods fighting, the Eye of God firing, the war machines laying waste to
the world.  Armageddon had come, and her people were safe within their shell.
Except that, within a year, two at most, the Northern Weaponers would all be
dead.  All except a handful of children meant to be their future.

She watched a giant lizard fighting a swarm of demon gods in the distance.  And then the leader of the Northern Weaponers, the head of the wealthiest of all nations, the greatest artistic patron the world had ever known, whose DNA had been used to create Kauru's ancestor, had a revelation.
"Son of a..."
"Yes, Miss?"
"You know what we are?"
"No Miss."
"We really are a bunch of shi-"

*The Record Ended.

****

And on a lighter note, elsewhere on El-Hazard some girls were learning that allowing clones of Fatora join an all-female priestesshood may not have been the brightest of ideas.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 15, 2003, 06:09:46 PM
Shayla had just washed off the maple syrup, again.

As she stepped out of the Muldoon temple showers, wrapping a towel around herself, she noticed a huge plastic bucket full of varnish, precariously perched on a step ladder.  Oh yeah, she thought.  Afura and I were doing some remodeling before all this nonsense started--

Oh no, she suddenly thought.  Not that.  Please.  Anything but that.

Unfortunately, Kauru's telepathically shared reading of the Northern Capitol records suddenly overwhelmed and disoriented the nearly-naked Shayla.  She lost her balance and fell against the ladder.  Then she slumped to the floor, too disoriented to roll away and avoid being completely covered with varnish.

After she came to her senses, Shayla was almost moved to tears, truly humbled by the living history that she had telepathically experienced via Kauru.  She could only pray that, someday, men (and women) would learn to put down their swords (and lamps) and embrace their brothers (and sisters).  And she could only pray that she, a high and mighty Great Priestess of Fire, could use her unique abilities wisely enough to help bring about the 'Golden Age of El-Hazard' that Rune Venus occasionally prattled about.

But first, she had to deal with being completely covered in varnish while wearing only a towel.  She quickly realized that the varnish was much stickier than the syrup.  Her entire body was practically glued to the floor.  Even worse, her mouth was varnished shut, which made shouting for help rather difficult.

"*mmmph*," Shayla shouted.



Urd floated down through the air, towards the royal skiff bearing the Emperor Dall Narcis III of Creteria.  She had a get-ready-to-die expression on her face, and a barely-contained Urd Lightning Strike in her fist.

Of course, Dall-3 promptly did what every great military leader had done, in all the tragic histories of the entire multi-verse.  He ordered someone else to risk her life in fighting his battles for him.  "Demon God Ryoko!  Take care of this nuisance!"



The space-pirate-as-demon-god Ryoko and the Yggdrasil-goddess Urd hung in mid-air, staring at each other at length.  Then they both hung their heads and sighed in unison, as they wondered (also in unison) just exactly what the heck they were doing here.

Since neither of these lovely thousands-of-year-old ladies actually have anything at all to do with El-Hazard, the current writer suddenly felt free to break the fourth wall in an even more gratuitous way than usual.  In fact, by the time he had written out the current scene, he had metaphorically smashed the fourth wall with one of those big balls on a chain, and then swept up the bits of gravel and dust into sad little piles and stomped on them.

"So," Urd finally said.  "Here we both are, in El-Hazard, of all places.  Life is a funny thing, ain't it."

"Yup," Ryoko said.  "But I guess we gotta fight now, huh."

"Yup," Urd also said.  "Of course, you realize that I am still a Yggdrasil goddess, and I was lucky enough to come here in one of the rare times when my license wasn't suspended.  I'm afraid that the final outcome of our titanic battle is clear."

"Yeah, that's fair," Ryoko said.  "Although, what with me being a loosely-interpreted combination space pirate and demon god, I'd like to think that I could offer you a pretty good challenge.  I could probably fend you off for quite a while, before you could take me down."

"That's fair too," Urd said.  "But, you also realize that, what with this being a Round Robin with practically no rules, and practically no limits on fan service short of NC-17 explicitness, we'll both just wind up in some incredibly demeaning and exploitative fan-servicey cat-fight.  I mean, you can practically hear the fan-boys drooling over a Ryoko x Urd scene."

"Yup," Ryoko said again.

They both hung their heads and sighed in unison again.

"Well," Urd said, "why don't we just skip to the fan service, and get it over with?"

"'Kay," Ryoko said.  "So... whad'ya think?  Mud wrestling?"

"Nah.  The current writer already used that.  Say, I could have Skuld bring her game of Cosmic TwisterTM from the 'Sympathy For The Devil' manga..."

Ryoko frowned.  "No, let's not over-do the contortion jokes, either.  But that does remind me... If I get the chance, I'll have to ask Fatora where she buys her lovely straitjackets."

"Yeah, me too," Urd agreed.  "They do look nice and comfortable, don't they?"

Then Ryoko scratched her head.  "Well, *I* dunno.  Y'wanna just have a tickle fight?"

Urd rolled her eyes.  "Oh, please.  Belldandy and Peorth might have been willing to do that, but *I* still have some pride."

Ryoko apparently hadn't been keeping up with the Oh My Goddess! manga.  Her jaw fell open, and, although she didn't swing that way, her nose almost started to bleed.  "Y'mean, Belldandy and Peorth!..."

"Don't ask," Urd said.  "Look, we're not getting anywhere here.  What say we try to work this out over a few dozen bottles of sake?  I don't know about you, but I could use a little pick-me-up."

Ryoko grinned.  "That's the best suggestion I've heard since my cross-over started."



"*mmmph*," Shayla shouted again.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 16, 2003, 09:39:34 PM
      A flock-nest of bird-snakes undulated through the skies and observed the following:

     Kalia, whose questionable grasp on reality enabled her to disregard the whole Ryoko-Urd thing quite quickly, made her way over to the Creterian fleet.  Curious, she kicked one of the ships and listened to the sound it made.
     "Stop that at once!" fumed the Emperor.  "Who are you?  Who is your master?  Who was that demon god, and how did she steal my demon god!  This means war!  Even more war than I had planed before!  Our honor has been-"
     Kalia interrupted, laughing childishly.  "You're Creterians, aren't you?  We thought you'd never come back, not with the big scene you made running away."

The Emperor bristled at that, drawing himself to his full height.  "How dare you?  A mere demon god speaking in such a manner about my ancestors?  I'll have you destroyed for that.  My ancestors were wrongly exiled from El Hazard!"  The Emperor's demon gods, who had very sophisticated sensors capable of detecting just how powerful the Kalia-Yuba-Zombie thing was made absolutely no moves to attack.  

Kalia giggled.  "No they weren't, you big silly.  They got all afraid of all the big weapons everyone had, and they stole plans for the Eye of God, made something called the "Platform of Infinity", and hightailed it to some alternate world."  She beamed.  "But everyone hated the way they weren't going to share that dimensional travel technology.  Getting some more breathing room might have saved everyone a lot of trouble.  So they sabotaged your guys' technology to self destruct once you left El Hazard.  Wow, it must have taken you guys years to get back to this level of technology!"

The Emperor, reeling from this history lesson, didn't tell Kalia it had taken a lot more than just "years".  He wasn't sure he believed this child-like demon god, but he didn't feel like embarassing himself either.

Kalia was already getting bored.  "Well I've wasted enough time.  Nice to see you've come back to El Hazard.  I was always a bit worried that you might not get destroyed with everyone else," she cheerfully remarked.  "Bye!"  

And with a friendly wave she was gone, the spare parts of ancient technology in tow behind her, moving at speeds greater than anything the Creterians could match.  One of the Emperor's attendants moved up to him.  "Sir!  Should we follow?"

The Emperor frowned thoughtfully for a moment, then shook his head.  "We follow our plans.  Continue on to what we have calculated to be the area with the greatest population density.  Onward to the verdant valley!"

And the crafts resumed their course to what was now called the desert of bleached bones.

****

Babump.com was raking in money.  They had installed a webcam in the temple that the Fatora clones had gone to.  The temple filled entirely with women.  But more on that later.

****

If you'd asked Urd who was the greatest expert on love potions currently on El Hazard, she would have replied herself.  It would be a reasonable assumption, since she was a goddess, and had lifetimes of experience on the subject.  It would also have been an incorrect assumption.  The greatest expert on love potions in El Hazard was, in fact, in a small hut at the base of one of the El Hazard's few known active volcanoes.  It was a nondescript hut, very rustic, with a surprisingly limited supply of hot water,  poor air conditioning, and a remarkably slow DSL connection.  The current occupant of that hut (for this was a hut that was passed on to others at fairly regular intervals) was fairly content.  The scenery was pleasing (if you liked volcanoes, which the occupant did), and a man from a nearby village came by once every two weeks with food, water, and several crates of sake.  In order to pay for this, the occupant  ran an online business.  That's where the knowledge of love potions came in.  She was behind one of the few successful spam campaigns offering "supplements" and other such substances.  The reason her business was successful was because her products did exactly what was asked of them.  And the reason she was a better love potion expert than Urd was that, well, the things some utter weirdoes felt they could ask "supplements", when guaranteed the anonymity of the internet, were far beyond anything Urd had ever dreamed of.  Or indeed beyond anything any sane person reading this could imagine, so don't even try.

The occupant was looking out the window, smoking a long thin pipe, when Kalia paused in the air on top of the active volcano.  The occupant dropped her pipe in shock.

****

Kalia frowned.  She had been flying along randomly, searching for more parts for her "destroy EVERYTHING that exists EVERYWHERE" machine, when she had detected a strange, very faint, energy signature.  But this made no sense.  The lava was at least 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, far in excess of anything even the toughest of demon gods could handle.  What could be stored in a volcano?  And who would store it there?

Luckily for her curiosity, Kalia was just insane enough to try and find out.  A red mesh of circuitry flowed over her body again as she absorbed some of the pieces of ancient technology she had been carrying, using them to beef up her defenses while diverting almost all her energy reserves into heat shielding.  She dove into the lava.

And emerged a moment later, as all her systems screamed warnings and her defenses came dangerously close to failing.  Whatever was in that volcano, she had no way of reaching it.  She was a little disappointed, but tried to cheer herself up.

"I guess it won't matter when I destroy everything anyway."

****
"Fokin' 'ell..." whispered the occupant of the hut, watching Kalia fly away.  After all these generations, someone was trying to disturb the volcano!  "Fokin' 'ell!" yelled the occupant, finally noticing the small fire that had started when she had dropped her pipe.  She stamped the flames out as quick as she could, glancing back into her hut.  On one of the walls was a blue disk, very much like the archive disks that Kauru had found in the Phantom Tribe's cache of Ancient Technology.  It looked like it was time for her to pay a visit to her favorite pupil.  

"Jus' as well," she added, looking at her supply of alcohol, "Roshtarian sake's much better 'n this swill. Jus' 'ope 'at bloody gobshite lissens to 'er ol' teacher this time..."  She threw a few bottles of sake into a travel bag, along with some smoking weed, her pipe, and the archive disc.  Then she lifted a bottle of sake in toast.  "Ere's to yer, Shayla-Shayla... 'ope y' manage t' do somethin' right this time... an' not flush generations o' fire priestesses' work down t' tubes."

And with that, Crayna-Crayna, mostly sober former holy priestess of fire, set off to hitchhike to Roshtaria.

****

Lying deep within the volcano, shielded by some of the most advanced technology El-Hazard had ever seen, the demon god Al Zahad slept.

OOC:  Apologies to Chynna Clugston-Major.  I was reading her comic "Blue Monday" today, and was inspired to give Crayna a Dublin accent.  I wanted to spice the character up a bit from the Wanderers version.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 16, 2003, 10:56:23 PM
The Grand Empress of All El-Hazard, Diva, was relaxing comfortably on her throne getting her hair done when her Chief Domestic Advisor (and nightly boy toy) rushed into the throne room with a worried expression on his face.

"Your Majesty!" cried Londs. He bowed before his Empress before continuing. "Several of our scouts have spotted an alien warfleet appearing within our skies. They number in the hundreds and look very advanced!"

"Oh dear," gasped Diva.

"Not only that," continued Londs with a gulp, "but the scouts also report that these ships contain flying humanoids, most likely some type of Demon Gods."

"This sounds serious!" Diva began to nervously rub her hands.

"There's more," Londs wiped his sweaty brow with a clean hankerchief. "I went to Grand War Marshall Jinnai's room to inform him on the subject, but he is nowhere to be found!"

"We're doomed!" cried Diva. She stood up from her throne and began to pace worriedly about, causing her human handmaidens to become terribly worried. "Alien ships, Demon Gods, and ancient prophecies we might have handled... if we had Mr. Jinnai. But if our Messenger from God has vanished! We can not possibly overcome this threat without him! Send out a search party at once!"

"Yes, My Lady," Londs bowed before exciting the room.

************************************************

Jinnai's head hurt. No, really. It hurt. It hurt like hell.

"Ow," he muttered, drawing his hand up to his aching skull. He slowly opened his dry eyes, wincing at the bright light in front of him. "Damn cheap sake... where the hell am I?"

A frightening bearded face was the first thing he saw, causing the young man to squeal in fright. "GAH! WHAT THE HELL?!"

"Calm down, tyrant," said Dr. Schtalabaugh. "You are safe, for the time being."

Jinnai glanced around the small, dirty room he was in. Along with the old man, there was Mr. Fujisawa and three gruff looking former soldiers of Roshtaria with him.

"What is going on here?!" snarled the Lord God. "As the Lord God of all El-Hazard, I demand to know what is happening!"

"It's quite simple," stated the doctor. "You, the hated enemy of all the free peoples of El-Hazard, are now prisoner of the Roshtarian Resistance. You will remain unharmed provided that you cooperate, and provided that the Bugrom give in to our demands."

"P-prisoner?" Jinnai glanced around, his face turning white with fright. "No! I demand that you release me at once!" The young man stood up in order to complain some more, but the leader of the resistance gave him a rough punch in the face. "Ow!" Jinnai fell to the floor clutching his jaw. "Dammit! What'd you do that for! You insolent, miserable peon! How dare you!"

"Shut up!" The soldier was about to strike the young man again when Mr. Fujisawa pushed him back.

"That's enough," said the teacher. "We don't torture our prisoners. There's the Geneva Convention to think about."

The resistance leader rolled his eyes at the Earth man before storming out of the room. The two soldiers followed him, as did Dr. Schtalabaugh. Before he left the room though, the doctor turned back to Jinnai. "You better hope that the Bugrom give in to our demands, young man. Roshtaria shall be free, no matter the cost." With those ominous words, the old man left.

Fujisawa looked down at his injured former student. He was beginning to wonder if bringing the boy to the resistance was such a good idea. "Hey, Jinnai... you okay, kid?"

"Leave me alone!" snarled Jinnai. He still clutched at his injured jaw, which was beginning to form a large bruise.

Fujisawa shook his head and sighed before leaving the room. The guards outside shut the door, then barred it.

"Stupid alliance nitwits!" grumbled Jinnai. "Do they really think to imprison the Lord God?! Fools... I'll find a way out of here... somehow..." He gulped.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 16, 2003, 11:27:33 PM
A plug of solid rock, about two meters in diameter and several meters deep, suddenly popped out from the base of the tall rock commonly known as 'Kingfisher.'  Ishiel had used her downgraded Pretty Good Lamp of Earth to create a more convenient exit, seeing as how Kalia had already plundered the ancient store of nasty bits of technology.  And none of her party were in the mood to climb all the way back up to the summit, and all the way back down the surface of the rock, after what they had seen.

Especially Kauru.

Her reading of the Northern Capitol records had been telepathically shared with the other great elemental priestesses.  The stoic Ishiel found herself deeply shaken by the sad story they contained.  Though her party didn't know it at the time, Afura had turned right round and gone back to bed after experiencing the records, hiding under her blanket, curled up in a fetal position and sucking her thumb again.  And even Shayla was almost moved to tears, despite her own frankly bizarre troubles.

But Kauru was by far the sweetest, the most innocent, and the most kind-hearted of the great elemental priestesses-- and she had experienced the records first-hand.

To say Kauru was crying would be like saying that water occasionally trickled through the Great Holy River of God.

Kauru was, in fact, bawling her eyes out.  She sobbed so deeply that she gasped for breath.  Her great wracking sobs shook her still-bandaged body, threatening to re-open her spire fail-safe injuries.

And Kauru was utterly inconsolable.  Even if Ishiel or Parnasse had had any words of comfort for the tortured priestess, they were afraid to embrace and console her, fearing that they might injure her even further.

So, the party returned to their cruiser, Ishiel leading Kauru and Parnasse following her.  They helped her back to her cushion, and gave her a big sad shiny-eyed Ura to hold.  Ishiel started up the cruiser, and took them away from the 'Fisher Towers,' never to return.

They drifted further along the edge of the Desert of Bleached White Bones for some time, in silence, except for Kauru's weeping.

At long last, Kauru calmed down enough to speak.  "Uh-- Miss Ishiel?"

Ishiel looked over her shoulder.  "Hey, sweetie.  Feelin' better?"

"A luh-- little," Kauru sniffed.  "Whuh-- what do you wuh-- want to do nuh-- now?"

"We should come to the next village in a few minutes," Ishiel said.  "I thought we'd stop there for the day.  I know it isn't even noon, yet, but I think we've all had enough for one day...  Uh, if you don't mind, I think I'll see if I can find another amplifier for my lamp.  Makoto 'taught' me quite a bit about this lamp, and I think I can fit a replacement into it myself, now.  And I think I'd like to, uh, take my mind off things..."

"Is there anything that you want to do, Miss Kauru?" asked Parnasse.

A still-sniffling Kauru thought for a moment before replying.  "I think... I'd like to buy some ice cream, and find a public park... and eat the ice cream while I look at pretty flowers."

Parnasse smiled sadly.  "That's probably the best thing for it."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 17, 2003, 03:30:44 PM
Crayna-Crayna had been walking for almost an hour when she suddenly realized that her journey would go much faster if she used her glider.

"Bloody 'ell!" the ex-priestess cursed, quickly turning around and running back to her hut.  

Within two hours, she was well on her way to Florestica.

******

Hishima, having been out scouting during the recent Kalia/Urd/Ryoko confrontation, returned and landed on Emperor Dall Narcis III's royal skiff, Ifurita-2 and Ifurita-3 draped across his broad shoulders.  Gently setting the two Demon Gods on the floor, he stood up and focused his vision on Dall.

"I ran into these two on their return from what was apparently a desert bazaar.  They were no match for my advanced systems, but do not let this make you overconfident.  My sensors indicate that they are merely copies of the original Ifurita and lack her legendary power.  Therefore, I propose you permit Master Yume to reprogam these duplicates and add them to our forces."

Dall nodded his head in agreement.  "I concur.  With Demon God Ryoko temporarily...neutralized and an unknown type of Demon God on the loose, we need all the advantages we can acquire.  What else do you have to report?"

"An advanced breed of Bugrom has conquered the human race of this world and now occupies the capital city which lies near our projected flight path.  A minor adjustment in trajectory will enable us to arrive there in under an hour, and neither the humans nor the Bugrom possess technology on par with ours," Hishima answered emotionlessly.

"Excellent," the Emperor replied, smirking as he steepled his fingers together.  "We shall strike the heart of our enemies before they have a chance to prepare themselves, and the people of Creteria shall at last see justice done.  Demon God Hishima, bring these two Ifurita units to Dr. Yume and tell her to reprogram them immediately.  Afterwards, prepare yourself for battle.  You shall lead the strike force."

"With pleasure, Emperor," Hishima spoke, a sense of eagerness and anticipation in his voice, as he promptly complied with his orders.

******

"Behold, Mos Eisley Trading Port.  You'll never find a more wretched hive and scum and villainy," Parnasse informed his travelling companions as they entered the village, deciding that now was a good time to perform his role as guide.

"Good," Ishiel commented.  "They should have everything I need."  Turning to Parnasse and Ura, she spoke in a kinder voice.  "Perhaps the two of you should take Kauru to the park and by her some ice-cream now?  There's no reason for her to accompany me to the markets here, and I think she could really use a break right now."

Parnasee and Ura looked at the still weeping Kauru and quickly agreed.

******

Nahato tensed in anger as he looked around the innards of "Kingfisher" and realized that the technology the Phantom Tribe had gathered, salvaged, and repaired over the past couple millennia had been ruthlessly pillaged.  "This place...has been...DEFILED!"

Not wishing to deal with a temper tantrum right now, one of his attendants rushed to reassure him.  "But, my prince, the inner chamber remains unpenetrated.  Our ultimate weapon is still within our grasp."

"You're right," Nahato spoke, calming down.  "Victory can still be ours, and once we unleash this horror nobody, not Makoto, not Ifurita, and not even a mad ax-wielding Nanami, will be able to stop us."

He walked over to one of the blue disks and pressed his palm against it.  "Computer, override security code NCC-1701.  Authorization OAV3."

"Processing...confirmed.  Authorization accepted.  Security disabled.  The Path of Twilight is open," a computerized voice announced as a nearby slab of rock disappeared, revealing a narrow hallway that was completely dark.

Nahato, his eyes used to the lack of light, had no troubles navigating the passageway which, after dozens of twists and turns, finally opened up on a circular chamber that was completely black except for an illuminated, translucent column in the center.  Within and suspended in mid-air was an elaborately clothed, impish female figure.

Nahato grinned, grabbed the nearby key-staff, and walked over to the sleeping Demon God.  "Awaken, Jinnistacia, and obey my commands!  Let the world tremble at your power and rue the day they ever heard of the Phantom Tribe!"

******

Londs, Dr. Schtalabaugh, and Mr. Fujisawa met in the middle of the Roshtarian marketplace, a sad look on the faces of all three as they all felt a twinge of regret and sorrow that things had come to this and that they were now on opposite sides.  However, it was quickly replaced by resolve.

"You know our demands, Londs," Dr. Schtalabaugh said evenly.  "Return Roshtaria to human control, and the resistance will release Mr. Jinnai."  

"You fool!" Londs exclaimed urgently.  "Don't you realize that your actions might doom us all?  Even as we speak, a fleet of alien vessels armed with advanced technology and demon gods comes closer to us with each passing moment!  If El-Hazard is to stand any chance against this invasion, we need Mr. Jinnai's tactical genius!"

"Look, pal, I wasn't born yesterday," Mr. Fujisawa said gruffly.  "Do you really expect us to believe that?"

In response, Londs pointed behind them, and sure enough a fleet of alien vessels armed with demon gods appeared over the city.

******

Magical God Pretty Nanami was out shopping when a menacing, cloaked figure dropped from the sky and landed in front of her.  Standing up straight, Demon God Hishima scrutinized her carefully.

"Who are you?" Magical God Pretty Nanami asked, taking out her key-staff ax and assuming a defensive stance.

"...Demon God, Class A, threat level...minimal," Hishima concluded before answering her question.  "I am Demon God Hishima, loyal servant of Master Yume and soldier of the Creterian Empire.  Surrender or be destroyed."

"Ha!  Like I would ever do that!" Magical God Pretty Nanami retorted.  "As a main character and warrior of justice, it is my duty to fight the antogonists!"

"It is also your role as a 'side-kick' to be brutally defeated by the antogonists in order for them to appear incredibly threatening and give the main protagonists increased motivation for winning," Hishima answered simply, preparing himself for battle.

"Oh shut up!" Magical God Pretty Nanami retorted, charging her ax and bringing it down in an overheard arc.

Hishima nonchalantly blocked it with a raised forearm.  "Master Yume has ordered me to eliminate all opposition, and I will not fail her.  Prepare to be annihilated."

Faster than her systems could react to, Demon God Hishima punched her in the stomach with his other fist and promptly repeated the action multiple times.  Magical God Pretty Nanami went flying backwards and crashed roughly into a wall.  Hishima lunged at his opponent, but Magical God Pretty Nanami evaded his attack by taking to the sky and shot a powerful beam of energy at him.  Hishima merely sidestepped it and launched himself at Magical God Pretty Nanami and released his own energy projectiles that Magical God Pretty Nanami barely managed to avoid by stepping through a portal.  She reappeared behind the surprised Hishima and struck him with her ax, sending the next generation Demon God crashing into the ground.  Magical God Pretty Nanami quickly descended and prepared a follow through attack, but Hishima sprang to his feet and grabbed her by the neck, tossing her into another wall.

"Interesting.  New ability acquired," Hishima announced, confidently eyeing Magical God Pretty Nanami as she levitated off the ground and cautiously circled her opponent.  A portal opened in front of Hishima, and he released a powerful blast of energy through it.  Simultaneously, more than a dozen portals opened around and surrounded Magical God Pretty Nanami, and she promptly found herself struck by the energy blast from all sides.

Left staggering from the attack, Magical God Pretty Nanami realized too late that Demon God Hishima had managed to get behind her.  "Die," he said simply as he reached out and touched her power circuit, draining her of energy.

"MAKOTO!!!" Magical God Pretty Nanami cried out in pain as her systems shut down and the world went dark around her.

******

"All done," Ishiel said happily as she inserted the recently constructed power amplifier into her lamp.  "Now I just have to find Kauru and the others."

"Oh, I don't think you'll be doing that," Kalia uttered pleasantly as she descended in front of her, a crazed look on her face.  "You have much greater things to worry about now."

Ishiel took a frightened step back but soon collected herself.  "What do you want?" she asked.

Kalia shrugged.  "The end of the world, obviously, but right now I'll settle for you."

Remembering Afura's earlier dream, Ishiel blanched.  "You pervert!"

A surprised and then disgusted look crossed Kalia's features.  "I didn't mean it like that!  I'm still a child for crying out loud!  Regardless, my scanners have confirmed that you are a genetic match for me, and since I _really_ want to find out what's at the bottom of that volcano I'm going to need all the power I can get.  Therefore, prepare to be assimilated.  Resistance is futile!"

"Never!" Ishiel retorted, fully powered lamp humming to life as the ground rumbled.  "I think I've figured out your weakness, Kalia.  As long as I don't use energy attacks and stick to manipulating the earth, you won't be able to use my own power against me."

"True, but I have other abilities as well," Kalia replied cheerfully.  "As a matter of fact, I think I'll try my newest one out.  Kalia Lightning Strike!"

With that, the battle was joined.

******

"I wonder what's taking Nanami so long with the groceries," Makoto said worriedly.  "I hope the Bugrom aren't giving her trouble."

Ifurita smiled reassuringly.  "Don't worry, Makoto.  Nanami is a demon god now and more than capable of handling whatever comes her way."

Magical God Pretty Nanami's unconcious body suddenly crashed through the roof and landed in a heap on the floor.  Hishima landed beside her and, grabbing her key-staff, snapped it in two.

"Nanami!" Makoto shouted, running to his friend's side and attempting to link with her, hoping to find some sign of life but only seeing darkness.  

"What have you done to her?!" Makoto demanded, glaring angrily at Hishima.

For his part, Hishima looked down at the human and spoke in an even, calm voice.  "What I'll do to everyone who opposes the will of Master Yume.  Still, don't grieve.  My sensors indicate that your friend is still alive.  However, without an energy recharge, she'll soon revert to being human and pose no physical threat to the Creterian advance."

He then did a double-take.  "What's this?  Tech-touch ability acquired.  Harem-power ability acquired.  Boy, you are an odd one indeed."

Hishima finally focused his attention on Ifurita who was standing beside Makoto protectively.  "Ah, the original Ifurita unit I presume.  You are a legend even on Creteria, and I have heard much about your power.  Hopefully you'll put up more of a fight than your 'sisters' did.  Prepare yourself...for oblivion!"



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 17, 2003, 08:12:38 PM
Ryoko partially phased up through the deck of Dall-3's cruiser, just behind where the emperor stood.  Her eyes were just above the floor.  She looked up at Dall-3 with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.  Dall-3 had assumed a leaderly pose, one foot set against a railing, one hand cupped over his eyes, pretty-boy hair and long voluminous cape majestically waving in the breeze.

Ryoko phased the rest of her head up, and, with a manic grin, cleared her throat.  "*ahem*--"

"YEEEK!!"  Dall-3 shrieked in surprise, in a not at all manly way, and almost fell overboard.  "Ryoko!!  Haven't I asked you not to do that!?"

Ryoko giggled.  "Yeah, but it's just too darn fun."

Dall-3 glared at her as she phased her shapely female figure up entirely from the floor.  "Well, what is it?" he snarled.

Ryoko saluted, in a snarky way, though not quite snarkily enough to be punishable.  She was an expert at flirting with the fine line of insubordination, after centuries of practice.  "Yessir.  I just wanted to inform Yer Excellence that Urd is gone--"

Dall-3's face lit up in pleasant surprise.  "Why, Ryoko!  I'm pleasantly surprised!  Don't tell me you've already dispatched that foul creature!"

Ryoko sighed.  "Uh, no.  You do realize that she wasn't a demon god?  Or even a space pirate loosely re-interpreted as a demon god?  No, she was a gen-you-wine localized manifestation of a ten-dimensional Yggdrasil goddess.  Rest assured, if we had actually fought, she would have eventually taken me down, put me over her knee, and spanked my skinny butt.  Uh, so to speak."

Dall-3 contemplated the mental picture that Ryoko had just painted, and suffered a nosebleed.  Ryoko sighed again, produced a box of tissues, and handed a tissue to Dall-3 before continuing.

"Y'see, what actually happened was, me an' Urd had retired to this great little out-of-the-way bar-n-grill, in order to work out the details of my humiliating defeat and her only slightly less humiliating victory.  You gotta go there after you conquer this world.  I'm tellin' ya, they have the best complimentary buffalo wings--"

"Get to the point," Dall-3 said through his tissue.

"Oh, right.  Well, we were discussing possibilities for our ultimate fan-servicey duel.  We had narrowed it down to three choices:  strip Pettan; a double straitjacket escape race; or a contest where we would produce a bunch of duplicates of ourselves, oil 'em down, and see who could stuff more of 'em into a glass phone booth--"

"Okay, don't get to the point," Dall-3 said, as his nose continued to bleed heavily.

Ryoko sighed yet again, and handed the full box of tissues to Dall-3.  "Uh... yeah," she said.  "Anywho... Urd suddenly gets this sad look on her face.  And she says something like, another El-Hazard background character had just been introduced to the Round Robin.  This retired priestess type was actually a favorite of the current writer, what with her having got a minor yet poetically tragic role in his long-stalled El-Hazard continuation serial fan fiction.  And the character was given love potion abilities just like Urd's, only even better.  So, Urd kinda gets bummed out, and decides that there wasn't much point in hangin' around, especially since there's so many other plot threads for the current writer to try to keep up with, now--"

"You lost me," Dall-3 said, with remarkable honesty and humility.

Ryoko pulled a hand down her face in exasperation.  "Ngh...  Look, *I* understood it, so it can't be that complicated.  How 'bout the Cliff's Notes version, then?  'Pretty Lady Gone Home!!'"

"I suppose it doesn't matter," Dall-3 said.  "Urd is gone!  This is wonderful news!"

"Uh, sir?... No.  It isn't.  Sir."

Dall-3 sighed.  "Damn it!  I was hoping I could get one right!"

Ryoko smiled with sincere sympathy, and patted Dall-3's pretty-boy head.  "Don't let it get you down.  No sir, I'm afraid that it would have been a lot easier for all of us if Urd would have stuck around awhile longer.  She was the only character around here that could have easily put down that undead nanite psycho-biatch Kalia.  Unless we get another character in, like someone who could survive the white-hot lava in a volcano, or something?  Well, we're looking at yet another knock-down drag-out apocalyptic battle, where enemies are forced to work together as friends, to save the world just barely in the nick of time.  Only it's Kalia, so it won't be to save this world-- it'll be to save this whole freakin' dimension, all the way up to (but not including) Yggdrasil itself.  And at the rate that Kalia's collecting hideously evil bits o' technology, there's no way all you Creterians can run away and hide in time, this time..."

A damp stain appeared in the crotch of Dall-3's pants.

Ryoko raised an eyebrow.  "Uh, sir?  Y'know, they offer a wide variety of discreet sanitary products to help young adults deal with incontinence--"

"Thank you, Ryoko," said Dall-3, through clenched teeth.  "That.  Will.  Be.  All."

Ryoko grinned, saluted semi-snarkily again, and spoke as she slowly phased back down through the floor.  "Yessir.   I beg to remain, yer humble servant-- BWAH HA HA HA!!  Aw, I knew I couldn't say that with a straight face..."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 18, 2003, 01:27:03 AM
Nahato's triumphant grin remained frozen on his face.  Worry, however, was beginning to creep into the rest of his expression.
Eventually, with only the slightest of a quiver in his voice, the boy tried again.  "I said awaken, Jinnistacia, obey my commands, let the world tremble at your power and rue the day they ever heard of the Phantom Tribe!"
The obviously awesome power of the demon god Jinnistacia completely failed to make itself known in any way.  Amazing pyrotechnics were noticeable in their absence.  Her well toned limbs remained stubbornly unmoving.  Her beautiful but somehow chilling features didn't so much as budge.  Nahato twitched.  "Oh, come on!  Does nothing ever work for us?"  Beginning to get frustrated, the child kicked the demon god.  She did not respond in any way.
"If I could explain, sir..."
"Why not?" replied Nahato, throwing his arms up in the air in aggravation, "We've been drowned in exposition already".
"Sir... it took us years just to locate this demon god, deep in the frozen wastes.  And then it took us even more years to free it from its icy tomb.  The excavation cost many lives, and required the use of almost all the ancient technology we had found... much of that technology was lost due to the incredible demands of the mining operation.  We believe it would have been an enormous undertaking even for the Ancients.  Clearly whoever put this demon god in stasis did not want it to be easy to reach her.  We expected that there would be unusual difficulty in awakening her, but we feel we've made progress."
"Progress?"
"Erm... yes.  After 2 years of work we managed to understand enough of the demon god's programming to... make her tell us her name."  The underling had the good grace to look quite embarrassed.
"That's it?"
"And it moved once," continued the underling brightly, "to... er... kill one of our scientists."
"I was told we had a working demon god at this facility."
"And she does work!  Whatever it is she's meant to be doing... she's doing it now."
"I was made to think we could control her."
"Um... I think maybe someone fibbed to you a bit sir.  Possibly trying to get this facility better funded.  It is an important facility.  Well, was anyway.  It's where we made that half breed Ishiel, and programmed her memories.  It's where we made the technology to conceal buildings.  The scinetists here felt they needed stronger defenses."

All the Phantom Tribe members looked back through the doorway to the rest of the facility.  The only reason there weren't any Phantom Tribe corpses was because phantom tribe members don't leave corpses.
"Well, they may have been right about that," conceded Nahato, "but that doesn't change the fact that we're without a major weapon at the moment.  We don't even have people in positions of influence any more!"

Another one of the underlings smiled brightly and spoke up.  "It may be a good thing that we're not able to use any of our major weapons at the moment.  From what we've been able to make out since escaping, there's a lot going on at the moment.  People are on their guard.  We work much better in secrecy, tricking our enemies.  There are too many unknown variables at the moment.  And as for getting people into positions of influence again... there is one other thing that wasn't touched in this facility.  Perhaps the demon god felt it too low tech.  As you know, our greatest enemy has been the human capable of seeing through our illusions.  Scientists here worked day and night to find away around that weakness."  She held up what looked very much like a makeup case, because that's precisely what it was.  "Behold... the anti-Nanami defense screen."

****

The sensible thing would have been to call a momentary truce with the Alliance in order to deal with the much greater threat posed by Kalia.

The Emperor, unfortunately, was not a sensible person.  He was, alas, an Emperor.  And not one of the good ones that had to work hard for their position.  No, he was the sort that got handed the mantle of leadership just for being born.  He had been spoiled rotten all his life.  He still wet himself for goodness' sakes.  So he was much more inclined to be pig headed and continue on with his original plan.  Partly because he believed himself to be too powerful for Kalia to threaten.  Partly because he was a stubborn ass.

With a wave of his hand the demon gods were ordered to spread out and surround the city.  Of course this left them more vulnerable to being picked off one by one, perhaps by soemone with unique abilities for messing with demon god programming, but the Emperor couldn't have known about Mizuhara Makoto.  Couldn't have known that a mere touch from that earthling was enough to free a demon god from its shackles.  Besides, the boy had problems of his own.

*****

Speaking of people with problems, Jinnai was glaring at his guard.  "How much are they paying you?" he asked.

The red-haired guard jutted her chin out proudly, slamming the butt of her halberd on the ground.  "I'm doing this for the honor of the Alliance!"

"And?"

"Free meals at the Shinonome Diner."

Jinnai nodded.  That was a pretty good deal.  He'd have done it for less in her shoes.  "I can top that... how would you like to be... ruler of a whole cit... two cities?

The guard's chin remained firmly jutting out.  But she didn't say no...

"And you can have a bunch of Bugrom to order around," continued Jinnai, "how cool is that?"

She glanced at the door.  She had a calculating gleam in her eyes.  Jinnai recognized that gleam... he'd seen it in the mirror often enough.  "What's your name, little girl?" he asked.

"Millie," replied the orphaned street urchin.

****

It was a surprisingly good battle, Kalia admitted to herself.  The human might have been a very real threat to her... once.  But not any more.  Not with all the ancient technology she had upgraded herself with.  Not with Yuba's tech-touch making such technology grafts possible.

Ishiel was drenched with sweat.  This wasn't how it was meant to go.  She was confident in the power of her lamp.  But half the time she tried to hit Kalia, the great hunks of rock controlled by the lamp were sucked into one of Kalia's "dots" and sent back, magnified, attacking Ishiel.  And the one time she did hit the monster of a demon god, it didn't even seem to phase the witch.  In fact the stones seemed to shatter.

Kalia smiled and walked confidently up toward Ishiel.  Massive boulders were flying toward her, sending the people of Mos Eisley running.  The rock shattered as soon as it touched the demon god.  "I took parts from something called the 'Hammer of God' and put them in me," explaned Kalia, effortlessly destroying another attack.  "I'm currently creating a massive kinetic field.  One of my hairs could shatter a diamond just by brushing against it."  

There was a blur, and then Kalia was right next to Ishiel, grabbing hold of the lamp.  She was smiling, insane as ever.  "Just turned off the field."  Ishiel grabbed the lamp with both hands, holding on tight... and was lifted off her feet as Kalia smoothly swung the lamp around.  "It's a strong weapon... I noticed you found another amplifier.  But even without my new defenses, I'm fast enough to dodge."  A mesh of crimson circuitry passed over her face, replacing it again with the dead visage of Yuba.  The tech touch initiated... and the lamp was temporarily deactivated, a lock or two put in place.  Given time Ishiel could no doubt fix the damage.  Given time.

Electricity flowed from Kalia to Ishiel, a low power version of the lightning strike.  Ishiel passed out.  Kalia threw the priestess over her shoulder and began to fly back to her lair.

Truth be told... she should have just torn the priestess to bits right there, taking whatever she wanted to augment herself.  But there was something disturbing about their similar appearance.  Something that she had calculated could not be due to coincidence, nor due to merely being genetically related.  Something that...

Kalia was not permitted to remember her own origin.  She had no idea how she came to be, wasn't even meant to be curious.  And she never would have admitted that she was curious, or that she was taking Ishiel to try and learn more about herself.  It would have been ludicrous, in direct violation of her primary directive.  But perhaps something from Yuba had leaked into her... because that's precisely what she was doing.  Kalia wanted to know where she came from, and how Ishiel tied into that... as much as a being such as herself was capable of such a desire.

And once that was sorted out, she would use one of the Princesses of Roshtaria (it didn't matter which) to activate the part of the Eye of God she had used.  Which would initiate her machine, creating an antimatter universe slightly out of phase with El Hazard's.  And then move it in phase.  

If that didn't destroy everything, nothing would.

****


Kauru watched, horrified, as the demon god vanished in the distance.  She had tried to get to the scene of the battle... but the crowds had been moving in the other direction, and she was still so weak.  Despair came close to overwhelming her when she found her fellow priestess' lamp.

But no... something inside her would not allow her to lose.  Something inside her knew that she was strong enough to defeat Kalia.  Strong enough to do anything she put her mind to.

She did cry though.  A lot.  You can cry a lot without quite giving in to despair.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Spanner on December 18, 2003, 03:25:33 PM
"Very well," Ifurita said to her opponent, eyes glinting with anger. "As they say on the homeworld of my beloved, 'It is on.'"

Had Hishima had a face with a mouth, he would have smiled fiercely. "Excellent. I will take particularly relish in your defeat."

"Ifurita, please be careful!" Makoto urged. "I have a bad feeling about this..."

"Do not worry, Makoto," Ifurita smiled reassuringly. "Am I not the greatest of all Demon Gods? I will return to you, my love. For now, please watch over Nanami."

She nodded towards the door and spoke to Hishima. "If you have no objections, I would like to take this battle to a less populated locale."

"I have none," Hishima said, graciously opening the door for her. "I wish for you to be fighting at the peak of your abilities. If you are holding back for the sake of your loved ones, it might deprive me of what may well be the only challenge I shall ever face in my lifetime."

Ifurita walked outside, almost casually, and Hishima followed her. As the door closed behind them, Makoto ran to the window and watched as the two lifted into the air at incredible speeds. "Ifurita..." Makoto murmurred worriedly. He had a sudden strong urge to find a palace balcony and stand upon it, gazing up at the stars while wringing his hands, but quickly shook it off.

***

High in the air, and many kilometers away from any populated area Ifurita and Hishima regarded one another with cool caution. "Well, I suppose there's no point in delaying this any longer," Ifurita said. "Would you like to make the first move, or should I?"

"By all means, ladies first," Hishima bowed.

"As you wish," Ifurita responded.

BLAAM! A bolt of energy struck toward Hishima. The opposing Demon God made no move to avoid it, instead lifting his hand. Three vaguely wing-shaped, transparent barriers spread outwards from his palm much like the petals of a flower and rotated to incercept the blast. When the energy met the barrier, it deflected harmlessly away. Well, harmlessly for Hishima. The ground below was far less lucky, as it erupted in an enormous explosion.

"Interesting," Ifurita noted. "I had thought the Wings of the Light Hawk to be merely theoretical. It will take time to add them to my database."

Ifurita fired twice more, with no better effect. "Please, Ifurita," Hishima sighed. "You're not even trying. I don't want to be disappointed."

"It may surprise you to learn this," Ifurita responsed grimly, "but your entertainment is not my foremost goal in this fight."

"Very well. If you wish to be difficult, I suppose I will have to entertain myself." With blinding speed, Hishima blurred toward Ifurita, firing a barrage of energy bolts at her. Ifurita nimbly dodged each one, or occasionally swatted one out of the air with her staff, and prepared to intercept the onrushing Demon God.

Hishima's fist lashed out in a vicious punch that Ifurita was barely able to deflect. The next two, she was NOT able to deflect, and they caught her firmly across the face and stomach, doubling her over. She blocked the following kick, though, and it thrust her backwards. "Very impressive," Ifurita commented, recovering. "Your attacks are almost too fast for my sensors to track." Hishima unleashed another blistering combination of strikes - all of which were successfully deflected. "Almost," Ifurita reminded him.

Then, Hishima vanished into thin air. He appeared again a moment later, directly over Ifurita's head and descending rapidly, fist outstretched in what would be a devastating blow - had it not skittered off of Ifurita's ready staff. Somewhat startled at Ifurita's ready defense, Hishima muttered, "What? But how-"

His distraction was enough for Ifurita to smack him firmly across the head with her staff, sending the Hishima tumbling head over heels through the air. Ifurita followed, easily overtaking the out-of-control Demon God for another strike. WHAM! "I have had ample opportunity to study Nanami's abilities." WHAM! "Detecting where and when the portals will appear is a simple task." WHAM! "Now, die."

Ifurita fired another blast at Hishima, this time at point-blank range, only to find that Hishima had whirled around in time to hold out his hand again. However, this time he had no time to form the barrier, and the blast shattered his arm. "I missed," Ifurita scowled darkly, evidently considering Hishima's maiming to be inconsequential.

And, apparently, it WAS inconsequential. The shattered bits of Hishima's arm slowed from their various flight paths and stopped. Then, as though a video played in reverse, the pieces reversed their course and reassembled, leaving Hishima whole once more. Ifurita's hard glance showed that she was neither surprised nor particularly dismayed by this show of power.

Flexing his newly reformed fingers, Hishima gazed at Ifurita with respect. "It would seem that I have underestimated your abilities. In that case, I'm afraid that I must resort to an ability that I know you have no defense against. One that has overcome you in the past."

"Impossible," Ifurita said calmly. "No such technique exists. That is why I am still alive. I have faced the worst assaults imaginable, survived them, and grown stronger by them. That is what it means to be the most powerful Demon God."

"I beg to disagree," Hishima responded, a distinctly wry tone in his voice. "Behold."

The two Demon Gods stared at one another. If there'd been any crickets nearby, they would have been chirping.

"Well?" Ifurita asked impatiently.

"That's it," Hishima answered. "Please, feel free to counterattack at your leisure.

"I don't know what your game is, but I don't particularly care. Prepare to be deactivated." Ifurita lifted her staff and pointed it at Hishima. She began to will it to fire, but suddenly found herself oddly... reluctant.

Visage hardening, Ifurita tried again to fire, but found herself distracted. She had suddenly lost all desire to bring harm to the mysterious and... fascinating being before her. His masked countenance, his dark cloak, his piercing eyes all lent themselves to an intriguing enigma, one that Ifurita suddenly found herself wishing to unravel...

Suddenly returning to reality, but finding herself no less paralyzed by indecision, Ifurita asked, "Wh-what have you done to me?"

"I have defeated you," Hishima answered, moving slowly toward Ifurita. "Exactly as you were defeated before."

"I don't understand..." Ifurita protested. Hishima was now close enough for Ifurita to jab the tip of her staff into his chest, and she did so. Still, though, she could not make herself fire. Hishima gently grasped the tip of the staff and pushed it downwards. Ifurita did not resist.

Hishima moved close enough to be nose-to-nose with Ifurita had he had one. Ifurita swallowed, her heart thumping rapidly in her chest. "You feel it in your heart, do you not?" Hishima's deep voice rumbled. "You now feel for me what you once felt for that boy. You desire to know me better. To be with me. To LOVE me. The ability that Makoto Mizuhara has to charm and fascinate women now belongs to me. And you, for all your power, are still a woman."

Swimming in the dark seas of Hishima's eyes, Ifurita nonetheless managed to desperately gasp, "No! My love for Makoto has nothing to do with this ri... ridiculous ability! He is my Heart! My soul mate! He and I are, and will always be one!"

"Ah, yes," Hishima murmurred. "I nearly forgot about that. Let's take care of that now, as well, shall we?" He lifted a metal hand up to caress Ifurita's cheek. Blue energy coursed along his hand, and Ifurita went rigid.

***

Ifurita's systems were wide open to Hishima. He could see every circuit, every mechanism, and knew that he could adjust or destroy any of them with only a thought. "Now, where to begin," he wondered. "Perhaps I can save Master Yume some difficulty. It should not be too difficult to enslave this unit to our side. Ah, here we are... Her slave circuit has been destroyed, but it will be a simple matter to replace it, and to key it to Master Yume's genetic data." With something less than a conscious effort, Hishima reached out-

-and nothing happened. Annoyed and confused, Hishima concentrated. Still nothing. "This is impossible," Hishima protested. "I am thoroughly aware of the extent of Makoto's ability. And it SHOULD be working! Unless..."

With a vicious yank, as though pulling the tarp off of a hidden object, Hishima revealed the cause of his difficulty. "You? But how?"

"Ifurita DID tell you, didn't she?" Makoto calmly smiled. "She and I are one. I am always with her, even when we are apart. And you should have known better than to pit your amature ability against practiced experts."

Hishima growled, but then froze. "Where is she?"

Makoto smirked. "One guess."

"NO!"


***

Hishima tore himself away from Ifurita and hovered a few meters away from her. His body shook, and occasionally spasmed violently. After a quick internal diagnostic, he determined that it was quite bad. While he had been distracted by Makoto, Ifurita had ravaged much of his internal workings. His ability aquisition computer was hopelessly scrambled, and would take time to repair. His reflexes had slowed by forty percent seriously cutting into his hand-to-hand combat skills. His flight capabilities had been severely restricted. He would not be able to move very fast in the air. Fortunately, his energy attacks were still at full power, and he had access to his entire library of abilities.

"I am imp-p-p-p-p-ressed," he said. Mentally, he added a speech impediment to his list of current ailments. "B-b-b-b-ut you are still d-d-d-oomed. My harem ab-b-b-b-ility is still working. You c-c-c-c-c-annot harm me."

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," Ifurita smiled smugly. "If there's one thing that I've learned about Makoto, it's that the women who pursue him seldom have any reservations about beating the crap out of him. Prepare yourself."

Hishima's desperate attempt to fend Ifurita off with the Wings of the Light Hawk failed when Ifurita countered them with her own, cancelling them out. In his crippled state, the beatdown Ifurita administered to Hishima was quite brutal.

***

"Ifurita! Are you okay?" asked Makoto as Ifurita dumped Hishima's still body onto the floor.

"Yes, I have sustained minor damage, but will be fine," Ifurita answered. "My opponent was formidable. Still, I somehow have the impression that the author who added him to the storyline intended him to be much more difficult to beat than this."

"What?" Makoto blinked.

"Nevermind," Ifurita responded. "Now, please use your ability to finish what I started, before some unlikely twist of plot leads to his rescue. He needs to be disabled as an offensive threat. For reasons I'd rather not share, I was... unable to finish him myself." She gazed intently at the fallen Demon God.

"Right," Makoto said uneasily, and found himself oddly jealous of the way that Ifurita was staring at Hishima.

"How is Nanami?" Ifurita asked.

"I'm not sure," Makoto answered. "I covered her up after her clothes disappeared. And I think that she's almost back to being human. I tried to link with her, but couldn't." He sighed. "I hope she won't be too disappointed. She seemed to actually be happy to be a Demon God." Unspoken was the additional phrase, "And I hope that she doesn't go back to being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac."

Makoto prepared to administer his special touch to Hishima.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 18, 2003, 05:33:50 PM
Crayna-Crayna had been making remarkably good time when her glider broke down.  A quick inspection under the hood confirmed the existence of a thriving ecosystem.  Some of the molds looked like they would have achieved sentience soon, if she hadn't fried them by starting the engine.  And then there were the things that the engine hadn't killed...

"Ah bollix," she had muttered, "fokin' aul' thing's after given up the ghost."

Apparently machines required occasional maintenance.  Or at least use.  Who knew?

So she had started to walk again.  Her brogues <shoes> were a little on the thin side, so it wasn't long before her kebs <feet> were paining her.

She had been lucky though - eventually she found two men with a glider, willing to take her the rest of the way for a fee.

She was sitting in a meditative position, serenely drinking from a choko <sake cup> when the glider came to a complete stop, and the two men, grinning, turned around and looked at her.   One of them had pulled a large club from somewhere.  "Your money and your life," said the shorter of the two, "although if you're fast about it we'll settle for just taking one."

"Not that we're making any promises," grinned the other, "it's one of those 'let the customer beware' type offers."

"And you are a customer," grinned the first again, "because this is just a business transaction, and we're respectable businessmen."

Although nothing broke through her zen-like exterior, Crayna-Crayna groaned inwardly.  She was dealing with two common thugs who, against all odds, thought they were really a pair of witty roguish highwaymen.

"Now then," continued the first, begining to advance on her.  Whatever he had been intending to say was lost, on account of the choko flying through the air and hitting his adam's apple with eye-watering accuracy.  Crayna's knee was in the area of his groin a moment later.

The second thug was taking this remarkably well.  Deep down he knew they would be resuming their journey soon, with Crayna holding the club.  The part that really upset him though, was the high-quality beat down he knew he was going to recieve.  Off camera for maximum effect.

****

Ryoko watched dispassionately as Hishima was beaten like an egg.  Part of her had been rooting for Ifurita when she realized Hishima's strategy.  Another part of her, the sensible bit, knew that Hishima's defeat was trouble.  They were the only two Creterian demon gods that could really be considered advanced.  The others, identical war machines that looked much like men dressed in traditional Creterian armor, were of inferior stock.  Of course there were the two lesser Ifurita units that were currently being reprogrammed, but this was still a worrying turn of events.

She didn't interfere, though.  Ryoko had more sense than that.  Instead she watched, her sensors on high, trying to determine what was going on.

She had long since dealt with the "existential angst of whether or not her personality was derived from a wholly mythical figure".  In fact she was happy knowing that her neural algorwhatsits were based on a being that may or may not have ever existed.  She wasn't sure she would have liked knowing, for sure, that there was another Ryoko somewhere.  There was only room for one being as good looking as her.  

There was definitely vanity in her personality.

There was also self-preservation.  As she watched Makoto touching Hishima, she was writing a whole series of sub-routinues to make sure she never allowed the same fate to befall her.  

She was also doing some interesting things with her internal clock.  About the only way she could fight her personality's natural inclination to charge in was to convince herself that she really was moving fast.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 18, 2003, 06:29:47 PM
Nahato glared at his underling, and spoke in a bone-chilling cold flat voice, leaving no doubt that he would soon explode in anger.  "The.  Anti.  Nanami.  Defense.  Screen?  Heh.  Heh heh.  Heh.  Tell me something..."

The underling still smiled brightly, but she was just starting to sweat-drop.  "Erm... yes?"

"Do you actually believe that you could apply thick make-up so perfectly that it wouldn't arouse undue suspicion at close range?" Nahato asked, through clenched teeth.

The underling sweat-dropped.  "But... the Phantom Tribe girl Ikette got away with it in the current writer's own unfinished fan fiction."

Nahato swung up one hand.  The underling winced, but Nahato did not mean to slap her.  He held his hand up to her face, to reinforce the point he was trying to make.  "And I suppose you expect us male Tribers to wear dainty little gloves to hide our freakin' hands!!  Why, that wouldn't arouse undue suspicion, now, would it!?"

Another hapless underling cut in.  "No, it wouldn't, actually.  Lots of male anime characters wear little white gloves all the time, for no good reason.  Gendo from Evangelion, Tamiya from Oh Mh Goddess!--"

Nahato exploded in anger.  "GET OUT!!  GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!!  OUT, OUT, OUT!!"

Nahato's remaining minions suddenly decided to give him some private time.  He was quickly left alone, behind the Path of Twilight, except for the totally unresponsive Jinnistacia.   He turned and shouted in her ear, paraphrasing what is arguably the most famous and beloved Monty Python sketch of all time.  "HELLO, JINNIE!!  TESTING!!  TESTING!!  TESTING!!  THIS IS YOUR NINE O'CLOCK ALARM CALL!!"

Nahato's anger gave him the strength of ten.  He seized Jinnistacia by her ankles and plucked her from the translucent column.  He whacked her cold stiff body against a counter a few times, then dropped her to the floor with a dull thud.

He sighed.  "This demon god wouldn't 'voom' if you put four million volts through her."



Shortly after beating the snot out of the two not-so-clever thugs, Crayna had them drop her off near the Muldoon temple.  She realized that no one might be home, given all the crises that El-Hazard had recently faced in rapid succession.  But she couldn't resist dropping in to see the dear old place again, just for a moment.

Hishima's attack on Ifurita-1, and Makoto's desperate attempts to save Pretty Magical God Nanami, had not yet reached the destructive levels that would attract Crayna's attention.  Either that, or that scene was completely over.  It didn't really matter; either way should be alright.

Anyway, Crayna had entered the Muldoon temple from a side entrance, and she soon happened to stroll past the baths.  And so it was that the retired high and mighty Great Priestess of Fire, Crayna Crayna, was reunited with her protege, the current high and mighty Great Priestess of Fire, Shayla Shayla.

The words they both spoke in greeting were oddly predictable.

"Flippin' 'ell," said Crayna.

"*mmmph*" said Shayla.

Crayna suddenly realized that she had dropped her pipe again-- into the not-yet-dry (and highly flammable-- or is it inflammable?) wide puddle of varnish surrounding Shayla's prone and helpless body.

"FLIPPIN' 'ELL!!" said Crayna.

"*MMMPH!!*" said Shayla.

Crayna stepped forwards, bent down and snatched up her pipe.  Fortunately, it had landed upright, and the varnish had not caught fire, and the helpless Shayla had not met her end in a horrific yet ironic explosive fiery death.

"That weren't 'alf a close one, now, were it?" Crayna noted, as she put out her pipe, and put it away.

"*mmmph*" Shayla agreed.

"Uh... do you mind if I drop the accent?" Crayna asked.  "The current writer isn't trying to be politically correct, or anything-- you should see him write Peorth with a French accent!-- but he doesn't know the Dublin accent very well, and he likes to give most characters a midwest-US accent, anyway.  You should've seen how he had Ryoko talking, just now.  It was too darn fun."

"*mmmph*" said Shayla, rolling her eyes up.

Crayna crossed her arms and grinned at Shayla.  "So, tell me, kid.  What kind of a flamin' idiot gets herself varnished to the floor?"

"*mmmph*" said Shayla, rolling her eyes down.

Crayna looked down at her own feet.  She had politely kicked off her shoes when she had entered the temple, and, when she had stepped forwards to pick up her pipe, she had stepped into the not-yet-dry wide puddle of varnish surrounding Shayla's prone and helpless body.

She pulled at her now-well-stuck feet, then sighed.  "Ah.  That kind of a flamin' idiot."

Crayna bent down and let herself fall backwards, to sit on the dry part of the floor outside the puddle.  She reached into a pocket, produced a small hammer and chisel, and started chipping at the two large bathroom tiles glued to her feet.  "Ah well.  We can have a nice chat while I work these two tiles free, and then I'll fetch some solvent for us both.  That alright by you, dear?"

"*mmmph*" said Shayla in agreement, not nodding because her head was varnished in place.

"So... been keeping yourself busy?  Uh... one for no, two for yes."

"*mmmph mmmph*"

"That's nice."



Kalia had not yet returned to the now-open grave in Yuba and Ifurita-2's little trans-dimensional oasis.  She was collecting a few last hideously evil bits of technology, and planning to do things with Ishiel's sweat-drenched shapely female figure that, when you stop and think about it, were going to have to be at least slightly ecchi, albeit in a really creepy kind of way.

Kalia had piled the junk that she had already collected near the springs where Fatora and Alielle had had their vaguely disturbing nekkid romp in the second OVA.  A cartoonishly old-fashioned blueprint for Kalia's Dimensional Phase-O-Matic was spread on the ground next to it, weighed down with small stones, so that it wouldn't roll up again by itself.

The water in the springs suddenly roiled with extra-dimensional energy.  A small-girl-sized dimensional portal opened, and Skuld thusly began her requisite cameo appearance.

She looked all around her, calling out as she looked.  "URD!!  Are you still somewhere in this dimension!?  Belldandy's almost got dinner ready!!"

Then Skuld sighed.  Oh, nut bunnies, she thought.  Urd's already gone back to Nekomi.  I must have just missed her.

She looked around her again, and Kalia's pile of junk caught her attention.  She drifted a little closer, and noticed Kalia's blueprints lying open below her.  Anyone who has seen the third episode of the Oh My Goddess! OVA would know what was about to happen.

The technologically proficient Skuld took up the blueprints, and read through them more closely.  A cute little frown came to her face.  "Oh, these are the worst blueprints I've ever seen!  Just look at this mess!  These numbers are all wrong!"

She reached into her impossibly deep pockets, whipped out a mechanical draftsman's pencil and a scientific calculator, and proceeded to rewrite Kalia's blueprints at superhuman speed, pausing every few seconds to enter figures into her calculator with cute little scientific beeping noises.

After a short time, Skuld put her pencil and calculator away, took up the revised blueprints and hugged them to herself, with a big happy smile and a cha-ching! sound effect.  "Now this is what a blueprint should look like.  Oh, I'm such a genius!  I really am!"

A split second later, she froze, went half-blue in the face, and sweat-dropped, dropping the plans with a GONG! sound effect, as she realized that she had just helped to design a device meant to destroy an entire dimension.

Whistling innocently, Skuld drifted away, re-opened her portal in the springs, and returned to Nekomi, cutting her cameo a bit short, and leaving two important questions unanswered.

The first question was, exactly what critical flaw had Skuld just unknowingly introduced to Kalia's Dimensional Phase-O-Matic, ensuring that it wouldn't work as Kalia intended?  Only a future writer would know for certain-- but whatever it was, it was sure to be wacky, in a cute little Yggdrasil goddess kind of way.

The second question was, exactly how was the current writer going to bring Peorth in next, when El-Hazard didn't seem to have any cameras?  Well, he's still thinking about it.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 18, 2003, 07:41:32 PM
"Dammit! WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?!" Jinnai glanced around the dark, foul-smelling tunnels before turning to his guide/minion/former guard.

"Shut up and lemme think fer a sec, will ya?" Millie took out a crumpled up map from her pocket, then started scanning it. "Um... lessee... we went left, then right, then left again, then right... CRAP, WE'RE LOST!"

"I know that, you idiot!" snarled Jinnai. "God, I can not BELIEVE I just gave you two cities to rule! You are the most incompetent minion I've ever had!"

"Shut up!" shouted the young guard. "I knew I shoulda just let you rot in that room, you stupid weirdo! No city is worth havin ta listen to your annoyin voice!"

"Oh yeah?" Jinnai growled, lifting his fists up.

"Yeah!" Millie growled, lifting her fists up.

The two were about to duke it out when the sound of something big and heavy moving through the sewage alerted them. The two turned and saw a massive shadow heading towards them from the opposite side of the tunnel.

"Gah! What is that?!" Jinnai gulped.

"Oh no!" Millie took a frightened step back, her face turning very pale. "It's one o' them big, giant sewer rats that eat people! I've heard that they hung around in the deepest parts of the sewers!"

"That's nonsense!" Jinnai smacked the girl on the back of the head. "There's no such thing as giant sewer rats!"

"Ow! You dope! There IS such a thing as giant sewer rats, cuz we're just about to be eaten by one, you stupid shit!"

"You dare call the Lord God a STUPID SHIT?! I'll kick you're ass!"

"Bring it on, string bean!"

The two were just about to rumble when the large shadow fell upon them.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!" they both screamed.

"%$!$#@%!#$#@$@^#$@@?" said a familiar voice.

"G-Groucho! Is that you?" asked Jinnai as he peered through the darkness.

"!$#%@#$@#" Groucho replied.

"Idiot!" shouted Jinnai with a smack to his minion's head. "Don't you dare scare me like that again!"

"!#$#@$%#$@$#$#^*$" cried the Bugrom.

"What? Did you just say a fleet of alien ships has just arrived and is trying to conquer my El-Hazard?" Groucho nodded. "Those lousy stinking INGRATES! How dare they take what is rightfully mine! I'll show them!" Jinnai hopped up on the Bugrom's back, then pointed forwards. "Come, Groucho! To the Palace! My Empire needs me!"

"!@#$@!$#" said Groucho before he sped off down the tunnels.

"Um... when do I get my city?" called out Millie to the fleeing duo. "Hey! HEEEY! You ain't just gonna leave me here, are ya?" The red head gulped, as nothing was around her except for the darkness. "Are ya?" She shrieked when evil red eyes suddenly popped up all around her.

Before she knew it, the giant sewer rats were upon her.

************************************************

Some minutes later, a slightly "soiled" Jinnai and Groucho stormed into the Roshtarian throne room, eliciting gasps from the humans and Bugrom inside.

"Mr. Jinnai! You have returned to us!" greeted Empress Diva with joy. That joy was curbed somewhat when she got a whiff of him. "Oh, dear me, Mr. Jinnai... you reek."

"Bah, hygene can be taken care of later!" Jinnai strode up to the war table that Londs and his Bugrom had set up. "What's the scoop on those alien incursionists?"

Londs pointed to a map of Florestica. "The ships are still hovering above the city as we speak, but have not attacked directly. The cowards instead have sent down Demon Gods to attack the soldiery and citizens."

Jinnai snorted. "Fools, they underestimate us. Have you made ready Plan: Bug Goddess?"

Londs looked up from the map and smiled evilly; he had gotten very good at it as he had practiced every morning in front of his mirror. "Oh, yes. I have taken the liberty of summoning the first garrison of the new Bugrom Demon Gods to us in order to deal with the problem." Under Jinnai's orders, Londs had repeated the experiment Dr. Schtalabaugh and Makoto had done with the Demon God Factory, the one which had managed to create the Magical God Nanami. The experiment was a complete success... so to speak... "They await your review in the other room."

"Excellent!" Jinnai smirked and made his way towards the nearby doors. "Now we'll show those stupid aliens what the armies of the Lord God Jinnai are about! BWAH HAH HAHAHAHAHA!"

"Uh, sir, wait!" called out Londs. "You should know that the attempt to duplicate staffs from the Demon God Factory was not a complete success! As with the creation of the Nanami Demon God, our new soldiers are a bit.... untraditional."

"I don't care, just so long as they fight good," Jinnai opened the doors and stepped inside the room. "Physical appearances are nothing! Only sheer destructive power are......... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

************************************************

The Cretarian Demon Gods flew about the city, shooting their laser beams at will. So far, the human and Bugrom soldiers defending the city streets had proven ineffective at stopping the aliens' onslaught. The grey-armored men continued their wave of destruction, eliminating all who stood in their way.

Until the Bugrom Demon Gods came.

"What are these creatures?" asked one Cretarian Demon God to another. "My databanks do not have any records of beings such as these."

"Unknown, though my sensors are reading strangely," answered the other. "No matter. We will destroy them, as we will destroy any who stand in our way."

"With pleasure," The Cretarian rushed towards the line of strange beings before him, deadly arcs of electricity flaring from his outstretched arms. Suddenly, one of the creatures lifted its strange staff and fired a powerful beam of yellow light at the Cretarian, vaporizing the Demon God into ashes.

"W-what is this?!" stammered the other Cretarian. He stepped back in fright as the small, puffy yellow creatures began to advance on him.

"Puuuuchuuuu puchuuu..." said the Bugrom Demon Gods.


Title: [b][/b]Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 18, 2003, 09:02:59 PM
OOC:

Quote
Now, please use your ability to finish what I started, before some unlikely twist of plot leads to his rescue.


Too late.  ;D

******

To Hishima, failure was not an option.

I am...a servant of Master Yume.

It wasn't even a possibility.

Even if my body...is reduced to atoms...

Indeed, it wouldn't be an understatement to say that his sole reason for existing was to serve Yume.

...and scattered across...the length of the universe...

Obedience wasn't a way of life for him.

...for Master Yume...I will make the impossible...

Obedience was his life.

...POSSIBLE!

Drawing on energy where none should exist, Hishima's mind was consumed by the burning fires of determination, and Makoto was violently evicted from the Demon God's body.  Simultaneously, Hishima's splintered palm shot a beam of energy at Ifurita which, while too weak to even scratch her, did cause her to back up defensively, supplying the battered Demon God with the one crucial second he needed.

"MAKOTO!" Ifurita screamed as she reached out, too late, for her soulmate who had fallen with Hishima through a now closed portal the next generation Demon God had opened with the last of his strength.

******

"You certainly got trashed," Yume commented critically as she examined her 'finest creation' within the relative safety of her laboratory.  "Well Hishima, judging by the severe damage done to your systems, you'll be sitting the rest of this adventure out in a regeneration tank until the inevitable ULTIMATE BATTLE."

The greatest super genius in the whole universe then turned her attention to Makoto who was being held captive by several Creterian guards.  "You are Mizuhara Makoto, a 17-year-old student from Shinonome High with the power to activate, synchronize, and understand the ancient technology of El-Hazard by simply touching it, correct?"

"Wow, how did you figure all that out?" Makoto asked, impressed despite himself.

Yume smirked.  "I looked it up on The Wanderers' Guide to El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, which can be found at this URL:  http://www.geocities.com/MakotosMWO/, of course.  Now then, guards, take him away!"

Makoto promptly found himself dragged to a prison and thrown in a cell with Fatora and Alielle.

Seeing his questioning look, Alielle merely shrugged.  "What?  How else did you expect us to get involved in one of the main plots again?"

******

Salli from the El-Hazard Radio Drama left her palace, noticed the battles and chaos currently happening around the world, and decided to let somebody else deal with it before resuming her guardian duties and returning to her home.




OOC:

OAV series, check.

TV series, check.

Manga, check.

Video game, check.

Radio drama, check.

*blinks*  Is it just me, or have we successfully combined practically every published El-Hazard continuity?


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 18, 2003, 11:22:51 PM
OOC: Anybody wanna try to incorporate the hentai doujinshis?  XD


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 19, 2003, 02:36:33 AM
The palace was indescribably vast. It employed sub dimensions, spacial/temporal folds, junctions in reality, and some chancy fudging of the laws of physics.  It didn't just occupy more space inside than out.  Inside it redifined what "space" was.  As for what it looked like... there were pillars that had tops and bases at the same place.  There were things that shouldn't exist outside of optical illusions.  It was like a dream.

It would have made MC Escher break his pencils in artistic jealousy.

The demon goddess watched a ghost of the future calmly.  From time to time one could see visions from the past and future in the Palace.  Such was the nature of this place.

You couldn't twist time and space in strange ways without the odd side effect.

"I am the demon goddess Wa Salli Alayhim," the future 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."

Salli could not see who her future self spoke to, but heard nonetheless.  "We can't," explained the unseen speaker, "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 watched her future self lift the War Key in warning.  

The vision vanished, as they always did.

Salli -first and last of the true demon gods- considered this vision carefully.  It had been strange eons since any had entered the Palace but herself.  She would have to prepare.

She was more machine-like in appearance than any of the other demon gods.  Instead of cloth she wore strange armor than sounded like glass tubular bells as she moved.  There was something very square-ish about her appearance, and her gait was mechanical, unnatural.  Still there was something entirely human in her eyes, much like what Makoto had seen in Ifurita's when Jinnai first awoke her.  Salli's eyes gleamed as she beheld the center of the palace.

It was a perfect sphere, as large as a house, surrounded by strange red disks similar to the blue discs in the Phantom Tribe cache.  The sphere's color slipped from one's conciousness like water between fingers...  Red?  Indigo?  Impossible to say.  It was the power source for this palace.  It was the last gift of the Ancients.  

The war of the Ancients had left the very fabric of reality ravaged.  As they were dying they ealized this, and built this facility to repair the damage they had done.  The palace did not merely repair the environment, it repaired the very injuries upon reality caused by weapons such as the Eye of God.  

Salli stared at the caged baby universe.  The universe of El Hazard was being repaired with the energy output of an entire universe of young suns.

And it needed it too.  The Ancients had managed to screw the place up that much.  Wankers.

*****

One of the Phantom Tribesmen ran back through the Path of Twillight, waving something disturbingly flesh-like in his hands. "Good news, your excellence!  We just found this!  One of the scientists here must have written out the formula as he was dying... It's called laytex!"

There was an awkward pause as the underling took in the sight on front of him.  "Erm... sir, are you all right?"

"Fime."

"Sir... are you biting the demon god?"

"Yemh."

"Is it... working?"

"No," spat Nahato, releasing Jinnistacia's fingers from his mouth.  "Always worked on Phantom Tribe Counsilmembers when they tried to ignore me.  Thought it was worth a shot." Nahato glared at the 'laytex'.  "What, are we meant to make surprisingly realistic Mission Impossible style masks using that stuff?  Sounds kind of farfetched."

"I'd agree sir, but realism can be ignored.  Judging from some scientific notes that were left behind, we can sidestep plausibility provided we pick some of our most beautiful and handsome tribe members to be spies, and provide an adequate amount of fanservice.  It's a whole new type of science they were working on here... 'writerstakelibertiesmatics'."

"Is it just me, or have we become comedic relief lately?"

"Well sir, you are the smartest and craftiest of us... but perhaps its hard to take us seriously when people realize we're led by Galus'..."

"Protege'.  I was his protege'."

"And we got yelled into submission by Rune Venus.  That was just a bit pathetic."

"We'll have to do something really evil to get back our respect."

"...An evil petting zoo, maybe?"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 19, 2003, 07:29:28 PM
The Phantom Tribe underling had left Nahato alone with the totally unresponsive Jinnistacia again.  Nahato sat on the floor next to where Jinnistacia's cold stiff body had fallen, twirling the strange 'laytex' mask in his hands.  He happened to hold it out flat, to study its face.

Ye gods, Nahato thought.  It almost looks like... She Who Seeth Through Our Illusions.

He couldn't quite be sure, though, unless the mask were... used.  And there were only two head-shaped objects behind the Path of Twilight, and he sure as shootin' wasn't gonna put the thing over his own face.

With suddenly trembling hands, he stretched the 'laytex' mask over Jinnistacia's own sharp elfin features, and let it snap into face.

And suddenly, in a blatant egregious moment of writerstakelibertiesmatics, Nahato learned how close the Phantom Tribe scientists had been to finding the key to unlocking Jinnistacia's stasis.

The mask seemed to melt into Jinnistacia's skull.  In an instant, it was no longer a mask.  It had become Jinnistacia's face... even though it was identical to Nanami's face, after all.

In the next instant, Jinnistacia's eyes snapped open.

And, in the instant after that, Nahato wet himself.

Jinnistacia sat up, blinking.  She yawned, and stretched in the requisite fan-servicey way.  Then she caught a reflection of herself in the translucent column.

After staring at herself, she turned on Nahato, pointing at her own face, and snarled in demonic fury.  "DID YOU DO THIS TO ME!?"

Nahato, having already wet himself, moved on to Number Two.  But he nodded.

Jinnistacia suddenly smiled cheerfully.  "Oh.  'Kay.  Then you must be my new master.  Tee hee!"

This was so not going the way Nahato had expected.  "Guh... nuh... uh... you mean, you are mine to command, after all?"

"Sure!" Jinnistacia chirped.  "But I gotta do two things, first."

"Oh.  Uh, okay.  What are they?"

Jinnistacia turned to the translucent column again, and studied her full reflection.  "First, I need new clothes to suit my new face.  I"m thinking, a plasticky pink BADASS halter top, and scandalously short matching skirt.  'Kay?"

Nahato smiled shakily.  "Uh... 'kay.  What's the other thing?"

Jinnistacia held out an open hand, and her key-staff flew to her.  She smoothly swung it around, and aimed it at Nahato's face.  "Why, I have to punish you, silly!  You've been a naughty, naughty little Master, to be playing with sleeping demon gods!"

And so it was, that, to practically everyone's regret, Pretty Magical God Jinnie came to life.



Millie was sitting round a small camp fire, along with a circle of Giant Sewer Rats.  Of course, a fire is an incredibly dangerous thing to build in a deep sewer, for many explosive reasons.  But the Giant Sewer Rats were experienced professionals.  So, don't try this at home, kids.

The Giant Sewer Rat to Millie's immediate right turned to her, and offered her a fresh wedge of cheese with a heavy half-growled squeak!.

Millie took it from the rat, a bit nervously, but as if she perfectly understood the rat.  "Er, thanks.  A nice Wensleydale, you say?..."

She carefully nibbled at the cheese, and her eyes suddenly went all shiny.  "WOW!!  This stuff is the manna of the gods!"

Millie slapped the rat's back heartily.  "Yes sir!  We're gonna get along fine!  Ha!  Ha ha!  Ha ha!  Ha!..."



The Princess Rune Venus yelled as loudly as she could.  "Excuse me?  I'd like some food!  Please?"

She was still lying in a cot in the Roshtarian Underground Resistance's headquarters, after her humiliating fall from grace, all the way back in the previous Round Robin topic.  She was still trapped in her sister's straitjacket-- sadly, Rune had neither the female Phantom Tribers' fan-servicey contortionist training, nor her sister's natural hentai abilities-- and the cot was too soft and deep in the middle for her to even sit up, without the use of her arms.

Much to her chagrin, Rune had also found herself wearing blue latex pants.

She yelled again.  "I'm really sorry...  I must have had a psychotic episode, but I'm feeling better now.  And bits of masonry keep falling in the corridor.  I really don't think this place is safe."

Rune gulped.  Surely they hadn't just forgotten her... had they?

There was a drawn-out pause.  Then, improbably, a wolf could be heard howling in the distance.

Rune gulped again.  No, it was much closer than that.  The wolf was at her door!

A huge gray mostly-domesticated wolfhound padded into her room, came up to her cot, and sat at her side.  It panted loudly, hanging its tongue out goofily, as if it were grinning at her.

Rune smiled back at it.  "Hector!  Am I glad to see you!"

Hector was one of the many animals that Rune kept in the royal petting zoo that the Phantom Tribe had no reason to establish, since Rune had already established it.  The big friendly wolfhound was one of Rune's favorite animals.  She had known Hector since... well, since he was a pup.

Rune rolled away from Hector as much as she could, exposing her back to him.  "Now, be a good doggie, and undo Mama's straitjacket with your teeth!  C'mon, boy!  You can do it!..."

Hector tilted his head, and made a confused Scooby-Doo "rrrff?" kind of sound.  Rune could practically see the cartoon question mark over his head.

Rune flopped back down with a sigh.  "Oh, Hector...  A rescue dog be you not."

Hector hung his head, drooped his ears, made big sad puppy-dog eyes, and whimpered.

Rune smiled at him again.  "But that's okay.  I feel better now, with you to keep me company."

"Woof!" Hector said happily.  He stood up half-way, chased his tail a couple of times, plopped down on the floor with a sigh, and went to sleep at Rune's cot-side.

Rune also sighed again, more in relief now.  Well, this isn't so bad, she thought.  I am hungry, but I can wait awhile longer to eat.  And Fatora's straitjacket is actually rather nice and comfortable.  Now that my balcony is gone, and I have no place to go all angsty, perhaps I can relieve my stress with the occasional psychotic episode instead.

I could relax completely, Rune thought, if I could get an explanation for the blue latex pants.



A small Mouse Wearing A Hat scurried up to the foot of a miniature throne, and squeaked out a message to its mysterious occupant.

The camera angle changed, showing the smiling whiskered mouth of the mysterious occupant.  "Is that so?  Interesting..."

Just then, Millie followed another Mouse Wearing A Hat into the very small throne room.  She struggled through an open doorway that was majestic to a Mouse Wearing A Hat, but barely large enough for her shapely female figure.  "*oof* am I supposed *arg* to be impressed *oof*?"

The camera angled back to the foot of the miniature throne, then slowly panned up the body of its mysterious occupant.  It didn't have to pan far, since the mysterious occupant was a normal-sized (and pudgy) rat wearing an unusually goofy tall stripey hat.

The rat spoke.  "I am... Mitsuo Iwata!!  King and Omnipotent Ruler of the Mice Wearing Hats (and Giant Sewer Rats) Empire!  Uh, but my friends call me Gan-chan....  What!?  You were expecting Ratbert, maybe!?"

Millie rolled her eyes and sighed, but decided to play along with the Jinnai-meets-Deva parody.  "*ahem*  I am Millie Smith!  Former annoying brat, current traitorous Roshtarian Underground Resistance Guard, and future ruler of Two Cities To Be Named Later!"

Gan-chan sqeaked with delight!  "Incredible!  You somehow have an ability to speak the Mice Wearing Hats' language!  Could it be that you are the one described in our ancient prophecy?"

"Huh?" said Millie, suddenly doubting her newly-discovered ability.

"I'm asking if you are the one destined to lead the Mice Wearing Hats (and Giant Sewer Rats) to greater glory!"

"Uh, sure!" Millie said.  "That sounds like I could get more than two cities out of it, so why not?"

Gan-chan regarded her sternly.  "One final test, then.  You're not a cat person, are you?"

"Can't stand 'em," Millie said.  "Foul-tempered selfish little beasties, always eating all the tuna fish, and licking themselves in unmentionable places.  Yecch!!"

"Yecch!!" agreed Gan-chan.

"YECCH!!"

"YECCH!!"

And so it was that yet another challenge loomed for Makoto and his friends.  Even if they were able to deal with Kalia and her not-quite-fully-functional Dimensional Phase-O-Matic... even if they were able to defeat the weenie Dall Narciss III and the sort-of mysterious Yume...  even if they were somehow able to survive the future cross-over appearance of the Splendiloquent Peorth herself...

Would they be able to face the still-annoying-and-bratty Millie, as she unleashed the squeaky horror that is...
Mice Wearing Hats!!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 19, 2003, 08:43:29 PM
"They've managed to catch Makoto," Alliele whispered, "I think that means we're screwed."

"We're far from screwed," Makoto said, in a strangely calm monotone, "This is exactly what I wanted.  When I was linked with Hishima I realized just what we were facing.  I could have neutralized Hishima right there, but it wouldn't have solved our problems.  I needed to get aboard one of their ships... but I didn't have time to tell Ifurita."  He rose to his feet and began looking around the cell.  "This 'Yume' working for the Creterians... who is she?"

Fatora snorted, finally joining in the conversation.  "It's lucky for you, hero boy, that we were here.  We paid very close attention to her.  She's some brainy scientist type.  Mad as a bag of mice with hats.  Looks like she experimented on herself, judging from those oh-so-cute feline traits... so exotic..."

The Princess paused for the requisite amount of drooling before continuing.  "But like I said, she's utterly mad.  Thinks she's a character from some sort of book."

"Actually," came a voice from a cleverly hidden speaker within the cell, "I know I'm a character making a cameo in a fan-made work of fiction, which in turn is based upon works of contemporary mythology told in the sequential and animated art mediums."  The door slid open and Yume was standing there, smirking, flanked by two of the less advanced Creterian Demon Gods.  "But if it helps you can just think of me as Master Yume, the greatest genius your rustic little universe has ever seen.  Hey.  How-are-ya."

Makoto took a step forward.  The demon gods raised their staffs in warning.  "Ah ah ah," scolded Yume, shaking a finger back and forth, "You think I'm just going to let you touch these demon gods?  Maybe use your power against them?  Not gonna happen."  She frowned, narrowing her eyes.  "Now normally I don't just throw people in cells then take them out a minute later.  But I've never met anyone stupid enough to announce 'everything's going to plan' moments after being put in a cell before."

"Everything's still going according to plan."

Yume's frown deepened.  "Oh really?"

"I was in Hishima's mind.  I saw everything."

"You're bluffing."

"I know why your plans will fail.  Why you must always fail."

Yume took a step forward, angrilly thrusting a finger almost in Makoto's face.  "My plans are perfect!  I am the great genius Master Yume!  The greatest genius of all!  There are no flaws!"

Makoto grabbed her finger.  A moment later he was within the machine's mind, twisting and turning through the virtual landscape of its programming.  This was not a demon god, nothing so advanced.  As such, it was surprisingly easy to do what he wanted.

The guards had raised their weapons, but were not firing.  Yume did not seem to be in real danger, and had not given orders to fire.  

"I demand to know... what the hell is going on?" whispered Fatora to Alliele.

"I 'unno," replied Alliele, not even daring to move her lips.

Makoto released his grip.  Yume blinked, slowly lowering her hand.  "Guards..." she began in an mechanical monotone, "turn around."  The demon gods complied, and in a moment Makoto was touching their backs.  These were demon gods, slightly more advanced - but they had no personalities, nothing for him to free.  He reprogrammed them instead.

"We're leaving," Makoto said over his shoulder to Alliele and Fatora.  Yume and the two Creterian guards led the way, followed by Makoto... and, eventually, a very confused princess and handmaiden.  

"I hope you've got a plan, hero-boy," piped up Fatora, confused as all get out, but far too arrogant to admit it.  "These losers have two really powerful demon gods."

"You're welcome to go back to the cell," pointed out Makoto, a little tersely.  Normally he wouldn't be so mean, but Ifurita was worried about him.  He hated leaving her in the dark like this.  Fatora glared at her look-alike's back.  "One of those two is in traction.  The other one is fighting Ifurita."

"How do you know that, Makoto?" asked Alliele.

"Because this ship isn't being ripped to pieces.  Ifurita wouldn't let anything but a powerful demon god stop her.  And the two Ifuritas they captured have been ordered to protect their leader at all costs.  No, what we have to worry about is Master Yume."

Fatora blinked.  "But didn't you just-"

"Robot double, controlled by remote.  I saw it in Hishima's mind.  Yume's grown so paranoid she keeps several of them."

"Ohhhhhh... this scene makes some sense now."

***

"Reports indicate that the Alliance's capital is under attack by an unknown army."

"A number of new demon gods have been seen."

"Two more Ifuritas have been seen, apparently bested by one of the new demon gods."

Nahato nodded as information trickled in.  He was walking along the corridors deep within Kingfisher, followed by Pretty Magical God Jinnie (still waiting for her costume change.  Nahato had put together a 'Phantom Eye for the Demon...God' task force, who were doing fabulous things adapting her traditional uniform.  She would be pleased to know that much pink was involved).  A communication device had been found, not too badly damaged to prevent repair.  The rock formation was already filling with the Phantom Tribe again.  

"Jinnistac... Pretty Magical God Jinnie," said Nahato, "what do your sensors tell you?"

"Hmmm?  Oh, yes, lots of demon gods.  I wouldn't worry about them though, Naughty Master.  None of them possess my ability to create new techniques.  And the first technique I was given was the ability to prevent others stealing my "technique creation" technique.  Nope, no threats there."

"Excellent!" cackled the Nahato, momentarily ignoring the 'Naughty Master' bit.  "We'll simply wait for them to wear themselves out fighting, then swoop in and finish them off!"

Pretty Magical God Jinnie nodded in firm agreement as she said "No".

Nahato blinked.  "No?  What do you mean no?  I am your master, and you will follow my commands!"

"It is true that you are my master," lied Pretty Magical God Jinnie, "But I have already analyzed your goals and have detected some flaws in your otherwise brilliant plan."

Nahato glared.  "Such as?"

Pretty Magical God Jinnie looked around.  "Well, I thought you might prefer the plan that would return you all to your home planet."

Nahato gaped.  Underlings gasped.  People dropped things.  "Bloody hell!" someone said.

It took Nahato a moment to regain his composure.  He tilted his head, a look of cautious optimism on his face.  He still didn't trust this strange demon god -could never trust anyone that had spanked him- but if she was serious... "You can do that?"

"Oh yes.  Easy as pie, Naughty Master!" She picked up a latex mask that a Phantom Tribe scientist was working on, and stretched it between her fingers.  "You just get your people in place.  We'd need a few odds and ends.  Part of the Eye of God.  Access to one of the Princesses.  A little bit of ancient technology."  She paused thoughtfully, put a finger to her lips in a disturbingly saccharine-cute way, and glanced back at Nahato.  "Oh, and we just might need to find someone with a very specific genetic profile.  Descended from one of the Ancients' tribes.  Probably not, but it would probably burn your waffles to lose over a little thing."  She absent-mindedly drew little hearts on a steam-fogged piece of glassware.  "Oh.  That is if you would prefer this plan, Naughty Master.  I wouldn't want to overstep myself.  Just give the word and I'll go right ahead with your original plan."

Nahato glared.  He was suspicious, and thought he smelled the possibility of betrayal.  But if there was even a chance that she was telling the truth, he had to act upon it.  "Very well Jinni... Pretty Magical God Jinnie.  The resources of the Phantom Tribe are at my disposal.  Where precisely do you advise your master to begin?"  He was being very careful to remind her exactly who was in charge here.

The demon goddess smiled in a disturbingly cute way.  Things were going just swimmingly.  In no time she should be able to find a descendent from the Lost Tribe, and ditch these blue-skinned freaks.  Then it would just be a matter of subjugating the planet.

Easy as pie.

***

Crayna Crayna sat back, waiting for the varnish to dissolve.  "This'll take a bit, no mistake.  Couldn't find any proper solvent, had to improvise."

"*mmmph*" said Shayla, rolling her in annoyance.

"None o' that!  You're lucky you know someone that knows chemicals enough to improvise."

"*mmmph!*"said Shayla, glaring at her former teacher.  Crayna sighed.

"You're still pissed about that. Look, the ancient teachins o' the Fire Priestesses... I have no problem teachin' you.  But fer fok's sake, I wasn' about to trust you with love potions!  Not with your sense o' humor."

Shayla continued to glare in response.

"Anyway," Crayna went on, "This gives us a chance to talk... without you runnin' off.  Again.  Now look, here's how it goes," she fought the urge to light her pipe as she began.  "I'll try to keep this short.  Nothing foks up a story like too much exposition."

"*mmmph*"

"Okay, maybe lousy plots."

"*mmmph*"

"Yeah, good characters are important too.  Would y' whisht an lemee speak y'gobshite?  Anyway.  Lots o' girls are trained to be priestesses.  But there are only three Great Priestesses at a time.  The rest, as you know, are given jobs tending temples or watching holy sites. T' make sure nothing goes wrong.  

"*mmmph*"

"Okay.  When a fire priestess retires, she's put in charge o' this volcano, see?  T' watch over it.  No fokin' clue why, just told it's a bad thing for people t' mess with it."  She would have paused to blow smoke, if she could smoke.  "Someone messed with it.  It's my job to tell you.  It's your job t' figure out what t' bloody hell t' do about it."

"*mmmph?*"

"Oh, I think I might stick around t' make sure ya don't do anything fully stupid."


"*mmmph!*"

"Don't be glarin' at me like that!"  There was an awkward pause as the varnish dissolved with painful slowness.  "Anyway, got a man in your life?  Ah, you're gettin' the sparkly google-eyed thing again.  Knew it."


***

The accolytes were gathered for their favorite activity - watching the delivery boy.  He came once a week, lifting large crates of supplies into the training facility, under the watchful eye of senior priestesses.  Which didn't stop the priestesses-in-training from sneaking a peek.

"He's getting sweaty... here it comes!"
"He's taken off his shirt!"
"Woo!"
"Keep it down, they'll hear you!"

It was the oddest thing. None of the accolytes realized that the senior priestesses had at one point been accolytes themselves, peeking at delivery boys.  Instead they assumed they were doing something terribly secret and forbidden.

"I don't know though... I kind of like the blond one that comes by sometimes."
"What about the red head?"
"Oh I just can't make up my mind!"
"There is one way to find out which one of them you're most interested in," someone said.

Afura Mann looked away from the peephole in the wall.  Ishiel immediately pushed her aside, looking through the hole.  "Really?" Afura asked, with an almost clinical tone of voice.  "How?"

"If you don't like the thought of kissing one of them, he's not for you."

Afura snorted, spun on a heel, and went off back toward her quarters.  "Ah, she's just miffed for giving up her turn so quickly," smirked Ishiel.  The future great priestess of Earth looked through the peephole.  Yes, she could definitely see herself kissing this one.  UMPH! Fiiiine!  Grinning, she stepped away and looked at the corridor Afura had gone through.  Unbidden, she found herself thinking of Afura's lips.
Her heart skipped a beat.  "I couldn't say that I... wouldn't like it..." she whispered to herself.

"Man," said Kalia, walking through the memory, "you are one complicated doppelganger.  But this memory doesn't help me either." She roughly grabbed Ishiel by the hair, slamming her head into the wall.  It was only in her mind, but it still hurt.  "If we can't find something helpful soon, I'm just going to have to start taking your body apart.  See how it works." She grinned "Although I'll probably take your body apart one way or another anyway."
[/quote]

OOC: (Well, I had to think of some reason she wasn't falling for Makoto's harem ability, and there's not many available characters left.  I'm sure I can figure a way to fit shounen-ai in later though.  Makoto-Jinnai oil fight perhaps.  *Cackles evilly.*)


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Xel on December 20, 2003, 12:08:09 AM
Quote
I'm sure I can figure a way to fit shounen-ai in later though.  Makoto-Jinnai oil fight perhaps.  *Cackles evilly.*)


OOC: OMG YES PLZ KTHX XO


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 20, 2003, 12:14:59 AM
Quote


OOC: OMG YES PLZ KTHX XO


You got it hon.  Now just have to think of a way to make it plausible... Hmmm...

Arjah comes back from the dead... made entirely out of hot oil!  ^_^

P.S.  Mice with hats?  You are a god, Mr. What.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 20, 2003, 03:23:43 AM
Quote
OOC: (Well, I had to think of some reason she wasn't falling for Makoto's harem ability, and there's not many available characters left.  I'm sure I can figure a way to fit shounen-ai in later though.  Makoto-Jinnai oil fight perhaps.  *Cackles evilly.*)


IC OOC: Grrrrrrrrr... don't even think about it, newbie! We have enough perversion in this forum without you adding to it! I mean, this is the El-Hazard forums not some perverty.... pervert palace! GET A GRIP!!!  XO

Anyway, back to the story:



Dall Narcis III was feeling pretty good. He was at the forefront of his mighty empire, ready to fulfill the destiny long fortold in the ancient scriptures. His ancestors, who were the rightful rulers of El-Hazard, would be avenged. The Cretarian civilization would conquer all of the world once more, as it was always meant to be. It would be a new age for the Empire, as the primitive world before him held the promise of near unlimited resources and slaves. All the native heathens would bow down to him, or suffer the consequences.

He was knocked out of his happy thoughts by a most frightening shake of his ship. "What is going on?" he asked the captain, irritation evident in his voice. "You know I don't like to be disturbed with turbulence."

"Sorry, Sire, but I'm afraid this is not turbulence." The captain looked up from his console in worry. "The natives have begun to counterattack, My Lord!" Another series of rumblings rocked the ship, and loud explosions could be heard from outside the thick hull.

"What? That's impossible! You said these primitives didn't have any technology capable of harming us!"

"I... I'm afraid we made an error, Sire. It seems that these people are more advanced than we thought. They have some sort of Demon God-type weapons, but very advanced and very deadly! Their design is monstrous, obviously the work of some mad man or supergenius!" The captain pointed to his monitor, which was currently showing the area outside the ship. All around, zipping through the air, were the Bugrom Demon Gods. Their small, puffy bodies were increadibly fast, much too fast for the Cretarian Demon Gods to hit with their clumsy blasters. The smaller weapons flew circles around their adversaries, blasting them to bits with impunity.

"Oh my, they're so increadibly cute!" stated the Emperor as he saw the enemy Demon Gods.

"Be that as it may, sir," said the captain, "fifty of our ships are currently under attack, and ten of those report suffering serious damage. Sire, we must withdraw!"

"What? NEVER!" Dall stood up to his full height and glared down at the shorter man. "I will not have the mighty Cretarian army beaten by these rediculous stuffed toys!"

Suddenly, a small portion of the hull burst inwards. From the hole popped one of the Bugrom Demon Gods, its cute yellow face smiling happily at the startled crew within. "PUUUCHUUU!"

"EEEK!" shrieked Dall the Third. He quickly scrambled behind some computers, all the while wetting his pants. "HELP ME SAVE ME HELP ME SAVE ME!"

"Puchu puuuchuuu!" said the Demon as it stepped onto the bridge and advanced towards the Emperor. Dall wept piteously, wishing to GOD that his mommy was with him.

"Oh no you don't," said a dangerous feminine voice. The Bugrom Demon God looked around, confusion masking its cute face. From out of nowhere, the Demon God Ryoko appeared and stomped the smaller weapon of mass destruction onto the floor. "Take that! Cute little bastard, DIE!"

Ryoko's superior strength proved too much for the poor Demon God. Its face quickly became uncute, and with its dying breath it said its last words. "OW! YOU MADE MY BONES BLEED!"

"Oh, Ryoko! You saved my life!" cried Emperor Dall as he launched himself at the Demon God with Intent To Hug (ITH). Fortunately for the cross-over character, the Bugrom forces had chosen this exact moment to fire off their second set of secret weapons; thus Ryoko managed to avoid Dall cooties.

"Wow, sorry, Your Highness, but looks like we're under attack. I'll take a raincheck on that hug though," with that the space piraaa... er, I mean, Demon God phased through the floor.

************************************************

"BWAH HAH HAHAHAHA!" laughed the Bugrom's great commander Jinnai as his new weapons took out two of the floating enemy ships. "That's it, let those stupid aliens see our power! Give 'em another one! FIRE! FIRE!"

The new weapons, which were composed of scavenged weaponry from LE TOILETTE DE DEVASTACION and mounted atop the scorpion-like tank Bugrom, fired off another barrage of deadly black energy towards the flying ships. Three more ships were hit directly, one of which began to explode from the damage sustained. The huge vessel began to sink slowly from the sky, then suddenly burst into a million pieces as its internal reactors blew. The countryside was littered with flaming debris, and some nearby buildings on the outskirts of Florestica were crushed by the falling hull of the Cretarian ship.

"Damn it!" Jinnai turned to Harpo, who he had put in charge of the new Bugrom Tank division. "You IDIOT! We own that city now, dope! I don't want any of it damaged, ya hear me? From now on, anything that gets wrecked comes out of your salary, GOT IT?"

"@!$$!%!@$#@$" Harpo sighed dejectedly.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 20, 2003, 10:05:07 PM
OOC:

Quote
P.S.  Mice with hats?  You are a god, Mr. What.


Thanks.  But, if I'm doing well, it's because I'm just trying to keep up with a whole bunch of fine writers.  This has got to be one of the most successful round robin projects ever... and it ain't over yet  8)



As the sun fell towards the horizon, and the shadows in the battle-weary palace-town grew long, Ryoko and Ifurita hung in the air, silently regarding each other, analyzing each other's strengths at a distance.  Their hair and clothing occasionally waved in a light evening breeze.

This imminent battle was different, and both Ryoko and Ifurita knew it.  There were no threats (empty or otherwise), no snarkiness, no idle chatter.  There wasn't even any innuendo-laden talk of punishment, slap-downs or spankings.

There was only silence, and sadness.

Ifurita had waited patiently when Ryoko had phased away for a moment, in order to save Dall-3's pretty-boy weenie butt from a cute and fuzzy death.  She remained in place until Ryoko returned.  It pained her to do nothing when her beloved Makoto had been taken from her... but there was no honor in attacking when her opponent had to save her man.

And so, as the sun neared the western horizon, Ryoko raised one hand, and materialized her energy saber.  And Ifurita raised her power-key-staff, and sparks of black energy sparked and flared at its tip.

And then, as the sun met the horizon, Ryoko and Ifurita nodded grimly, and their battle began.

It was as beautiful a battle as it was deadly.  Every attack, defense and counter-attack was executed with perfect poise, breath-taking beauty and lethal efficiency.

Do you remember the first time you watched the second El-Hazard OVA?  And the first time you watched the fight scene with the second Ifurita and Kalia?  And you watched Ifurita fly at Kalia, raise her key-staff like a baseball bat, and take that first whack at Kalia?  And even though you know violence is a terrible thing, you couldn't help but think to yourself, Oh, my God.

Well, Ryoko and Ifurita's battle was like that moment played over and over again.

The nearby combatants in the air, on Dall-3's cruisers, on airborne Bugrom vessels, on Roshtarian hovercraft, and even on the ground below, forgot their fights, and stared dumbly at the sky, enthralled by Ryoko and Ifurita's impossibly beautiful and deadly battle.

They were all too far away to see that, within moments of beginning their battle, both Ryoko and Ifurita had begun to cry.

Buth Ryoko and Ifurita knew that they were perfectly matched.  No two opponents had been so perfectly matched since the decommissioned Demon God Katsy-Watsy and Pretty Magical God Nanami had begun their staff-fight, in the empty lot with the really rude sign where the Shinonome Diner used to be.

And both Ryoko and Ifurita knew that, though they had no choice but to fight, they had doomed themselves by joining in battle.  Their respective battle systems both calculated that, unless they were somehow allowed to stand down soon, the probability of their mutual assured destruction was well over ninety percent, and approaching certainty with each passing second.

They did not weep for their fate, for today was a good day to die.

They both wept for their love-- the love they both had that would end when their lives ended.

Ifurita wept for the loss of her love for Makoto.

And Ryoko wept for the loss of her love for... Ryoko.

Well, that wasn't entirely true.  If one held an Eye of God to Ryoko's head, she would've had to admit that she had a soft spot for her not-really-her-master-- at least, in this cross-over incarnation.  Dall-3 might very well be a pretty-boy weenie... but he was her pretty-boy weenie.  It broke Ryoko's heart to think that she would never get to sneak up behind him, phase up from the floor, and scare the crap out of him again.



Poor little Kauru was still crying too.  But there's even more angst to work out, so let's leave her alone for awhile longer.



Nanami slowly sat up, to find herself weak, shivering, powerless, naked... and human.

After pulling her covering over her shoulders, she held out her frail mortal hands, hung her head, and stared at her open palms.

Nanami suddenly held her hands to her face, and began to sob pitifully.

The gain of her demon-god powers was not merely enough to drive her mad-- it was enough to drive her sane.  The loss of those powers was proving to be just as traumatic.

Nanami knew, in her heart of hearts, that it was wrong from the start.  She was born a mortal, and she was meant to live and die a mortal.  It was so selfish of her, to long for what she should never have had at all.

And it was selfish of her to think only of herself like this, when all her friends were still in danger.

But the shame of her selfishness only made her sob all the more pitifully.

Nanami staggered to her feet, still holding the covering over her shoulders, and still sobbing pitifully.  It's true, she thought.   I can feel it in my body.  I can feel it in the way... the way that gravity pulls at me.

She let the covering fall to the ground, and stood, naked and ashamed.  She had a cute little body that most fan-boys (and a few fan-girls) would have no complaints with, at all... but, she realized, with a pitiful sob, that she was no longer the drop-dead sexy goddess she had been, just a few hours ago.

I'll never fly unaided again, Nanami thought.  She hopped in place, and came firmly back to earth.

I have to eat and sleep again, she thought.  As if on cue, she felt her tummy growl.  The sun had just set, and she had eaten only a light breakfast that day.

And... I'll never create another Pretty Nanami Portal, she thought.  She looked down, and saw her plasticky pink battle-axe power-key-staff, broken in two by Hishima.

With a particularly pitiful sob, Nanami bent down and picked up the two pieces.  She held them together in one hand, and dully stared at them.

Well, there's always homicidal axe-wielding to fall back on, she thought, as she gave the broken axe a sad little token swing.

CHI!!--

In an instant, Nanami's tears, selfishness, and nudity were all forgotten.  What the blankety blank!?, she thought, as she gaped at the half-open dimensional portal in front of her.

She looked at her plasticky pink battle-axe again.  It was once again warm with gently glowing pinkish energy... almost as if it were happy to be with her.  She had been holding it over the broken place in its handle, but when she opened her hand, it was whole again.

Nanami slowly smiled, like the cat-girl that had eaten the canary.  Well, she thought, if I can still do that, then it's not that bad, now, is it?

She completed the portal with an --INK!! sound.  Then, with all the solemnity she could muster, she walked through her first post-demon-god portal, naked but proud, to meet her destiny.

She shouldn't oughta done that.



Belldandy, Keiichi, Urd and Skuld had just sat at their dining room table.

Belldandy began to serve miso soup to the others.  "So.  Urd, Skuld.  Did you have a nice day today?"

"Don't ask," Urd and Skuld said in perfect unison--

CHINK!!  WHAM!!

Keiichi looked down at the bowl that Belldandy had just set in front of him.  Then he looked back up at Belldandy, grinned sheepishly and rubbed his neck, and spoke.

"Uh, Belldandy?  There's a naked loveably spunky girl-next-door cross-over character, holding a plasticky pink battle-axe power-key-staff, in my soup."

"Oh, flippin' 'ell!" Nanami said.  "I seem to have completely overshot El-Hazard by about ten thousand years and one full dimension-- again.  Heh, I should've seen that one coming."

She wiped some spilled soup from some unmentionable part of her naked body, with one finger, and tasted it.  "Oh, that's delicious.  Um, Miss... Belldandy, was it?  I'm sorry I broke your dinner, and I've really got to get back to El-Hazard right away... but could I get your recipe?"



As a grinning Crayna looked on, Shayla slowly pulled herself up from her puddle of varnish, trailing long sticky strands of varnish behind her.

Shayla worked her jaw, and pulled her mouth open.  "Whew!!" she finally said.  "Thanks a lot, Crayna.  Man, that has got to be the weirdest damn fan-service I've ever done--"

"Now, now.  Don't go sayin' that," Crayna warned her.  "Y'know, sure as you say that, there'll be a fifty-gallon barrel of industrial adhesive waitin' for ya, with yer name on it."

Shayla gulped.  "I wouldn't put anything past the current writer now."

Crayna sighed.  "Aw, you kids have got it easy.  When *I* was your age, I had ta walk twenty miles in the snow, uphill in both directions, just ta have a little fan-servicey super glue accident--"

Shayla rubbed at her face.  "Ngh... uh, Crayna?  Two things.  You're seriously creeping me out, here.  And I just varnished my hands to my face.  Ow ow ow--"

"Pull away slow!" Crayna said.  "Or you'll tear yer freakin' face off.  Look, just hop back in the shower, and run some hot water ta rinse off whass' left o' the varnish, and you'll be good ta go...

"Speakin' of which-- it's time for me ta get goin'.  But I wanted ta leave this behind for yer little friends Makoto and Ifurita."  Crayna set a pair of small bottles, and a couple pages of hand-written notes, down on the floor, safely out of the way.  "It's a permanent cure fer Makoto, a sample bottle o' vaccine, and notes fer Ifurita on how to prepare 'em both."

"Ow ow when did you ow ow whip those up ow?" Shayla asked, as she peeled her hands free.

"Oh, I just threw 'em together while we were talkin'," Crayna said nonchalantly.  "You remember that five minutes after you blinked, when you were struggling ta pull your eyes open again?"

Shayla gulped again.  "Damn, Crayna!  You're good."

Crayna winked.  "You betcher sweet bippy, kid.  Now, one last thing.  You knew that the serum is like a love potion, right?  Well, kiddo, the permanent cure is about twice as potent.  The lucky lady that gives Makoto his injection of the cure is in for the night of her life-- assumin' her heart don't give out."

Shayla gulped yet again.

"Now, the proper thing ta do, would be ta give it to Ifurita, with both a warning and a blessin'.  But, and you didn't hear this from me, but if you gave our dear Makoto the cure yerself, then let him grab ya for naturally-enhanced hot sweet lovin' the whole night through, and claimed innocence the mornin' after?  Why, Ifurita would just be happy to have Makoto whole an' well again, and she'd find it in her heart ta forgive you both for somethin' neither of you could control."

Shayla thought about this.  A disturbing smile came to her face.

"Atta girl," Crayna said.  "And give the boy a pinch on the bottom fer me.  He's a sweet one, that Makoto is.  Well, see ya 'round, kiddo.  And fer crapssakes, don't forget ta do somethin' 'bout the damn volcano."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 21, 2003, 12:16:10 AM
"BWAH HAH HAHAHAHA!" laughed the Bugrom's great commander.  "BWAH HAH HAHAHAHA!" he laughed.  

"HAHAHA...HA...ha.........ha...............wow."  Jinnai fell silent, his breath caught in his throat at the sight of Ifurita and Ryoko.  The battle was raw and brutal, to the death as anyone could see, and yet there was a terrible sort of beauty to it, frightening and awe inspiring.  It was combat perfectly realized, fully and completely executed, raised to the level of art.  Of that there could be no question - this was art.  IT drew all eyes to it, like a gravitational force, tantalizing with a glimpse of something immortal.  The demon gods showed a profound disinterest in their surroundings, perfectly devoted to their work, never slowing, never relenting.  It was overwhelming, splendid but tragic, and it would have taken a supreme exertion of willpower to look away from it.

But say what you would about him, Jinnai had willpower in spades.  "This... this will not do," he whispered, tearing his eyes from the sight.  "They are too powerful.  I cannot - will not - risk Ifurita's losing!  And I'm not about to owe Mizuhara for saving the day again."  One by one he shook the necessary personel free from the battle's spell, practically dragging them after him.  "Come on!  Move it!  We have no time!  This is our time to move, and we have no time!  Move it you incompetents!"

****

Makoto paused, surrounded by five reprogrammed demon gods, his palm pressed against a computer terminal. His expression was blank as he interfaced, except for a thin crinkle on his forehead, and a bead of persperation.  Alliele and Fatora jumped as explosions went off within the ship.  

Fatora looked around wildly.  "We've got to get out of here!  He's going to blow up the ship!"  As Alliele protested in vain, she grabbed Makoto's shoulder and shook him wildly.  "Cut it out, you'll kill us all!"

Makoto blinked - the sudden loss of interface was like being woken with a bucket of cold water.  He looked perplexedly at Fatora, not understanding a word she said for a few moments.  "N... no.  I was only hurting their defences.  Nothing to destroy the ship, just enough to disable it."  He looked around.  "We have to get to Yume's lab.  I can do some damage from these terminals, but not enough.  Yume is still the key to this."

A monitor suddenly slid down from the ceiling, revealing Yume's smirking face.  "Guilty as charged, Mizuhara.  Have to admit you took me off guard, stealing my double like that.  2 brownie points for you." Her smile took on a more sinister aspect as she continued, "but you've only gotten this far because I've been busy finding a way to stop my Ryoko and your Ifurita from overloading and taking out half the Creterian fleet with them.  I think I've got an appropriate distraction for them... Whaddaya think?"  The camera rotated away from her, revealing extremely accurate doubles of Mizuhara and Dall.

Makoto gasped.  Fatora and Alliele gaped.  One of the demon gods dropped his staff.  "Bloody hell!" the normally mindless Yume double said.

"That's... certainly a distraction," managed Allile.

"EW," added Fatora, firmly.

Makoto turned extremely pale.  "Are they meant to be... making out like that?" he queried in a quivering voice.

"What?" came Yume's response, "oh darn.  I forgot they were programmed to do that whenever I pointed a camera at them.  Down!  Bad robot doubles!  Bad!"  There was a sound of someone turning a faucet, and suddenly a number of sprinklers doused the robots with cold water.  For a few moments the robot doubles continued their activities, oblivious to the water drenching their clothes.  Then their heads fell off. "Shoot, forgot to waterproof them in all the rush.  Okay, the next pair I won't program to canoodle like rabbits."  The camera rotated again, to close up on Master Yume's face.  "I'll get back to your impending doom in a moment.  In the meantime..." there was a movement on screen as she flipped a switch.  As the screen slid back up into the roof, the corridors of the lab-ship were filled with the sound of bagpipes being played by rank amateurs.

Fatora shook her head, but it was useless.  She knew full well that a new recurring nightmare had just been added to her psyche.  She grabbed Makoto by the shoulders and spun him around, practically pressing her nose to his.  "Do whatever it takes, but she must be punished, hero boy.  And I don't mean in happy fun me and Allie-"  And then the princess was forced to pause, because, gosh darn it, Yume was cute in an extremely exotic way.  She continued with a little more honesty.  "She must be punished, both in a happy fun me and Alliele way, and the other kind as well."

Makoto couldn't believe this was going on during such a suspenseful part of the story, and hoped the next writer showed more respect for dramatic impact.

****

In order to understand what happened next, one must first understand two things.  First, Millie's therapist had once told her that she had a great deal of internalized anger, and she should work towards externalizing it.  Second, she had given extremely vague orders to some mice with hats, along the lines of "and go see if that Jinnai freak is doing anything that looks important.  And if he is... mess it up!"

****
Meanwhile, in the Demon God Factory.


"Mr. Jinnai, no! You musn't!  The risk is too great!" wailed Empress Diva piteously.  "The Demon God Factory has been so unpredictable!  Who knows what might happen if you expose yourself to it a second time?"

"Bah," came Jinnai's reply, "the Ultimate Commander of the Bugrom Empire's Invincible Forces sneers at danger and calls its mother a hedgehog!  For the glory of the Bugrom empire I accept the risks... onward to destiny!"

As Diva, Londs, and a small number of trusted bugrom (one carrying Diva's tea set) watched, he grabbed the prototype staff that had been hastily constructed for him.

Two things were happening at that point.  First, Jinnai began to convulse in agony, just as he had the first time he had used the machine.  Again his hair grew in length, quickly falling down his back in a long shimmering cascade.  Again his face remolded, becoming super-model like in beauty.

The other thing that was happening, and this was very important, was the sabotage of the Demon God Factory at the hands (or rather paws) of mice with hats.

The machine made peculiar noises it probably shouldn't have.  Sparks flew from Jinnai's staff.  The air filled with smells that would have made any computer geek start unplugging things immediately.  Jinnai continued screaming as the metamorphosis went all F.U.B.A.R..

At last Jinnai slumped to the ground.  There was something plainly human about the way he did it.  Clearly the process had failed - he was definitely not a demon god.  His mortality was unquestionable.

The mice with hats beat a hasty retreat, unseen by all, mission accomplished beyond Millie's wildest hopes.  All eyes were now turning to the machine, which was smoking in a very distressing way.  A few small fires broke out.  There was a sound kind of like passing gas, and then a small explosion sent a gear flying through the air.  It imbedded in the wall, managing to slice a little off the top of Londs' hat on the way.  Then (because this was how it always went) a flaming spinwheel rolled by, taking long moments before it finally "whirred" in tightening circles and fell to the ground.

The air was silent, except for the sound of sparking circuitry.  The Demon God Factory had just been removed from the story.  All eyes now turned to Jinnai, as the supreme commander of the bugrom forces slowly, unsteadily, rose.

Diva gasped.  Londs gaped.  One of the bugrom fainted.  "#$%%^& #@77!" a bugrom said.

"What?" asked Jinnai, in a much more falsetto tone of voice than before.  "Wait... What?!"  Jinai's eyes rotated down, chestward.  There could be no doubt that, even if it had failed to make Jinnai a demon god, the Factory had done some significant remodelling. "Sweet merciful samsonite, I've got mellons!" shrieked Jinnai.

Londs blinked, repeatedly, fighting hard not to get a nosebleed.  The factory had done good work.  "A... A... And you're on fire," he pointed out, raising a shaking finger.

Which, Sure enough, Jinnai was.  A stray spark hat set the Bugrom Commander's sleeve aflame.  "Put it out, put it out!" shrieked Jinnai, patting at the flame frantically.  The bugrom carrying Diva's teaset took the cue, and promptly splashed Jinnai with the hot water.

There was a suspiciously large steam cloud, and then Jinnai was his old self, emphasis on the his.  Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  "Well," began Jinnai, "thank goodness that foolishness is over wi-"  The hitherto-unmentioned sprinkler system chose that moment to go off, dousing Jinnai with cold water.  Gasps followed.  Londs surreptitiously held a kleneix to his now-bleeding nose.  "Oh no..." whispered a once more-transformed Jinnai in a nervous falsetto, not at all liking what wet clothes revealed about her figure, "I think I see where this is going."

OOC:  Beats what they did to him in Alternate World though.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 21, 2003, 11:46:52 AM
Quote
OOC:  Beats what they did to him in Alternate World though.


IC OOC: Damn straight.

Back to the story!!!


Jinnai quickly shook her head, trying to get her mind off of the current annoyance. "This is merely a setback, not a defeat! I, the Lord God Jinnai, will not be swayed from focusing on the greater task at hand!" The new girl whirled to face her forces, pointing a finger at each one as she addressed them. "Harpo, try to get this place fixed ASAP! Groucho, get me some hot water, immediately! Gummo, get some freakin mousetraps in here, pronto! As for the rest of you... DO SOMETHING USEFUL!" She then turned and marched towards the door. "We need to beat back these stupid alien incursionists so that I may take my rightful place as Lord Ruler of... All... who..."

Jinnai had ceased her ramling when she came upon one of the Factory's shiny metal panels. The transformed despot stopped in front of it and admired her reflection. "Oh, wow. I'm gorgeous!" And indeed she was. Whatever problems the Demon God Factory may have at the current moment, it still seemed to have kept its fetish of turning everything drop-dead sexy. Jinnai was now the female equivalent of his Demon God form, except without the super powers. Her long, midnight black hair flowed down in silky waves to below her shoulders, matching the dark stare in her ebony colored eyes. Her pale, smooth skin shone like ivory against the blackness of her hair. The wet clothing also accentuated her devestating figure, one which seemed to have more curves than a California highway.

The Lord God stared in awe at herself for a few more minutes, before finally breaking away from the shiny panel and laughing dementedly. "BWAH HAH HAHAH HAHAHAHA! I beat you again, Makoto!" She laughed to the heavens. "You thought you were soooo cute dressed like a woman! Well I am now TEN TIMES the woman you are! BWAH HAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

Everyone around her sweatdropped.

************************************************

Up at the palace above, Ifurina was not having a good time. It had been several hours since Londs had given the order to all non-military personel to evacuate the palace, but the poor servant girl had found herself trapped. Just as she had finished packing, some Creterian Demon Gods had managed to get by the Bugrom defenses and stormed the palace proper. Now the halls were a pitched battlefield, with human and Bugrom soldiers trying desperately to stop the Cretarian advance.

"Oh, I'm scared, Staff-chan!" cried Ifurina to Over-Run, who she was hugging like a teddy bear. The two were currently hiding behind a pillar while two Cretarians were blasting their way through a throng of Bugrom soldiers.

"I suggest that you use me as a weapon," said the Transformer. "It is the only way that we can survive this situation."

"Uh... okay," Ifurina took a deep breath in order to calm herself, then rushed into the hallway to join the battle. Unfortunately for the girl, a stray blast from the Cretarian's weapons hit the floor in front of her, the force of the blast sending the girl flying out the window.

"Ifurina!"cried the staff as the two of them sailed into the air. The hallway they were in was on the 30th floor of the palace, and the two fell steadily, the ground below fast approaching.

As she descended through the air, Ifurina's life flashed before her eyes. She saw her mother and father, their loving smiles warming her heart. She saw her friends at the palace, who kept telling her to hide in the broom closet whenever the Princess Fatora came by. Then she saw Katsuhiko, her sweet and valiant Demon God. She remembered his handsome face and proud smile, the warmth of his arms and the depths of his eyes... eyes that were strikingly similar to Fred's.

"I don't want to die!" she said to herself. "I've still got lots to live for! I don't want to die! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!" She screamed out the last few words, closing her eyes as the ground neared. Suddenly, she felt a tingling in the pit of her stomach. The feeling intensified and spread, until her entire body was awash in the sensation.

"What?" Over-Run asked as Ifurina's body began to glow. His sensors indicated that her internal structure was being rewritten, as the nanites that had lain dormant within her awakened. They transformed the ordinary girl into a full-fledged Demon God in record time, and with a final burst of energy her transformation was complete.

Her flight systems activated instictively, and Ifurina's body ceased its downwards descent. Instead it flew upwards, soaring through the air like a bird in flight. Ifurina slowly opened her eyes, not knowing what had happened. "Oh wow, am I dead?"

"No," spoke up the staff in her hands. "The nanomachines inside your body, the ones that Demon God friend of yours had used to repair your injuries, seems to have activated and transformed you. Congratulations, Ifurina. You are now a Demon God."

The girl looked down at herself in shock. Although physically the same, except for a metallic, screw-like headpiece, her clothing had transformed into a duplicate of the costume she had worn while she was at Jinnai's side. The new Demon God smiled sadly, a tear coming to her eye. "You saved me again, Katsuhiko... thank you."

"So, Ifurina?" asked the staff. "What do we do now?"

The former palace girl and sweeper extraordinaire stopped in the air and looked down at the palace under seige. She then struck a pose and let out a bellowing laugh, immitating her dearly departed Demon God. "HO HO HO! We kick alien butt, of course! My Katsy-Watsy worked hard conquering this country, and I'm not about to let some third-rate, would-be villains steal it away from him!"

"Great idea." If Over-Run still had a mouth, he would have smiled. "Let's do it."

And thus the new Demon God and her staff plunged headlong into battle. The Cretarians didn't stand a chance.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 21, 2003, 02:50:07 PM
Makoto, Fatora, and Alielle heroically marched into Yume's lab, flanked by the demon gods and robots they'd acquired along the way.  Sitting in a black leather chair and sipping a glass of wine as a Creterian guard played dramatic organ music in the background was Yume, a sly and calculating expression on her features as she noted their arrival.

"Yume!  I don't care how cute you are!  For the mental trauma your inventions have put me through, you will pay dearly!" Fatora declared, assuming a righteous stance as she pointed a theatric finger at her.  "Go get her Makoto!"

"Oh Fatora, I love how you order your subjects around," Alielle said appreciatively as she sidled up and gently caressed the second princess.  She then sent a pointed look at Makoto.  "Well, what are you waiting for?  Can't you see the two of us are busy?"

Makoto rolled his eyes but otherwise complied, continuing his heroic march towards Yume.  The organ music swelled appropriately.  "You're finished, Yume, and so is this invasion.  I won't let you destroy Roshtaria!"

"Destroy Roshtaria?  DESTROY ROSHTARIA?  Mizuhara, you don't understand a thing," Yume told him, almost pitiably, as she shook her head and tsked.  "You all of people should know that, for us Creterians, things are seldom what they seem."

She snapped her fingers, and the appropriated robots immediately went offline.  With a smug, nearly mad look on her face, Yume sprang to her feet, tossed the wine glass aside, and focused entirely on Makoto.  "It's time you saw past the masks we wear, Mizuhara."

The next moment the greatest super genius in the whole universe was standing in front of Makoto with a hand pressed against his left cheek, and he realized too late that she was merely another robot duplicate as she forcefully activated his tech touch.

FLASH!

A desert of sand and bones, going on and on seemingly forever.

FLASH!

A giant volcano far from civilization, with its lava core boiling and writhing as if in anticipation of something.

FLASH!

Below and sleeping, the Demon God Al Zahad, possessing power greater than any demon god before him and with the might to annihilate entire armies.

"Is this what you're after, Yume?  Another weapon to add to your arsenal?"

"Be patient, Makoto, and prepare to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes."

FLASH!

Even further underground, surrounded by ancient runes of warning and danger, a chamber.  Lying suspended in a clear, translucent liquid is a starkly beautiful woman, skin pale as Ishiel's and hair white as Kalia's.  There is something chilling and ancient about her.  

Suddenly, her eyes open, and-

"Aaaah!" Makoto yelled, horrified, as he broke the connection and recoiled in fear from Robot-Yume.  "What....what was that?!!"

"When the hearts from two worlds are rejoined,
the demon of dimensions is destroyed,
and the kingdoms of man fall,
then the betrayed and the remnant will become one,
and the Holy War of the Ancients come to a conclusion.
" Robot-Yume recited from memory, staring down at Makoto with a wild look in her eyes.  "Do you understand now, Makoto?  The woman you saw is Kalia's creator, Ishiel's genetic template, and the one responsible for the Holy War of the Ancients which is still being waged.  Everything that has happened and is happening is a result of the crusade she launched millennia ago, and once Kalia accesses Ishiel's genetic memories and the two learn their origins, they shall become a single fused being with the power to defeat the guardian Al Zahad and awaken their 'mother'.  Then she shall try to finish what she started in ancient times."

Makoto slowly got to his feet, recovering from the vision of destruction he had witnessed.  "How...do you know all this?"

The background music suddenly took a turn for the depressing.

Robot-Yume laughed painfully.  "Like I said, we Creterians hide our true motivations behind layers of masks.  Are you aware that Creteria is a dying world, and that the real reason Emperor Dall Narcis III is invading El-Hazard is to provide a new home for his people?  He refuses to permit his subjects to suffer the ignominy of being refugees, forced to survive on the pity and charity of others, so now he's trying his hardest to make them masters instead of beggars.  His foppish behavior and assertions of vengeance and justice is merely a facade Dall hides in to escape from the grief and regret that plague him because of this path he's chosen."

"As for me...or rather my organic counterpart, _destroying_
Roshtaria is the farthest thing from my true purpose," Robot-Yume explained, eyes radiating sadness.  "My teacher, the Gaian scientist Dornkirk, learned how to harness the power of Fate and created a prognostication machine.  Together, we saw the future of darkness that awaits if _she_ succeeds in her goals and vowed to do what we could to stop it.  It is inevitable that the sleeper shall awaken, but there is a slim, nearly nonexistent chance that the destiny of this world and the entire universe can be averted.  Everything I am doing is aimed at keeping that faint hope alive, and I will do and am doing whatever is necessary to succeed for the good of all."

She waved a hand, and a screen behind her came to life with an image of Ifurita being trounced by the combined efforts of Ryoko and her two recently arrived duplicates.  Perhaps in desperation, Ifurita reached out and linked with Ifurita-2, hoping to free her sister.  Surprisingly, she went completely limp a moment later and plummeted to the ground, and her adversaries fanned out to deal with the rest of Florestica's defenders.

"When your Ifurita linked with her duplicate, she was infected by a virus I implanted that will restore the _true_ Demon God Ifurita," Robot-Yume informed the anxious Makoto.

"What do you mean, Yume?  That _is_ the true Ifurita!  I've seen her heart!" Makoto replied worriedly, a tone of panic in his voice.

Robot-Yume scoffed.  "Have you?  Tell me, Mizuhara, have you ever considered the possibility that you _created_ the Ifurita you know and love?  That your subconscious dreams and desires transferred to and transformed her into an image of your own creation when you first linked with her?  That perhaps, just perhaps, the _real_ Demon God Ifurita truly is a soulless, remorseless force of death and destruction with no will of her own, and that the Ifurita of today is merely an illusion made by a lovesick teenage boy with extraordinary powers?"

Robot-Yume walked back to her chair and sat down.  "The door to your left will lead you back outside and to Ifurita, giving you and her the chance to find out once and for all what her true nature is.  The door to your right leads to the real me and this vessel's main hub.  There you'll be able to stop this invasion and save Florestica.  You only have time to choose one...as if I don't already know what you'll choice will be."

Without the slightest hesitation, Makoto ran through the left door.

"Such is the inexplicability of love," Robot-Yume commented emotionlessly as she turned to face Fatora and Alielle who had been remarkably quiet during all this exposition.  "Now then, Yume has big plans for you two, and for crying out loud, stop that blasted organ playing already!"

The music stopped, and the Creterian guard coughed in embarrassment.

******

Throughout Florestica, the Creterian Demon Gods suddenly stiffened as a new command was triggered by Yume and their eyes glowed red.  The Bugrom Demon Gods backed off, frightened, as their opponents spasmed and transformed before their eyes.

"Chuuuuuu?"

"Oh no, it's a boomer!" a random innocent bystander exclaimed.

Mass panic ensued.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 21, 2003, 06:21:16 PM
Yume -the real Yume- sat back in her chair and sighed.  Though she would never admit it, the stress was taking its toll.  And that boy had come so close!  She muted the monitor that was displaying Fatora and Alliele's fate at the hands of her double.  She could always watch the tape later.

"Do you Do you think he believed it believed it?"  The voice was a singularly curious thing, at once coming from far away while at the same time etching itself directly into one's mind, bypassing sensory organs.  It came from everywhere and nowhere, clear and distorted, echoing even though it sounded like a vast crowd talking.  Although one could not see The Other, one could feel it.  Like the presence of a great number of people.  And Age, incredible Age.

Yume didn't seem to mind it in the least.  She swiveled in her chair and shrugged brightly.  "I'd say so.  Not the bit about Ifurita, deep down he knows better.  The stuff you wanted though... Just enough melodrama.  Just enough truth.  Just enough make-believe.  A delicate balance, but yes, I think he bought it."  She grinned.  "Good, wasn't I?  I can talk advanced bollocks you know.  Nothing gets you out of a narrative dead end faster than utter balderdash.  Took The Architect's mail course in it."  She snorted.  "Although I don't know why I'm bothering.  The boy's tech touch may be impressive to these locals.  Bumpkins that can barely grasp ancient technology... but it's hardly of use to me.  I'm giving serious consideration to just vaporizing the boy and being done with it."

"Take care Take care, Master Yume Yume.  Our Our alliance is not a certainty inty. Other Other agents are still available able. You you would do well to remember who gave you the coordinates back to El Hazard Hazard.  Who Who showed you the secrets of the demon gods gods."

Yume stiffened for a moment, her scientific ego bruised, but then she shrugged.  "I managed to perfect what you showed me.  I created my two marvels wheras you would have had me building tin soldiers.  I would have figured out the initial steps eventually."

"Perhaps Perhaps."

"No perhaps about it.  I would have figured it out.  I am the greatest genius of all!  Which is not to say I'm not grateful for the head start you gave me... and the fact that it means Creteria can still be saved.  My love for my home world is strong enough that I will forgive a great deal.  But I'd be more grateful if I was told the whole truth.  The Great Priestess of water... she's tied into this, isn't she?  There's something locked in her genes, isn't there?"  She waited, but silence was the only reply to her question.  "Ibn Al Zahad and the other demon god... they're meant for her, aren't they?  I attempted to activate those two before, and was rebuffed, loathe though I am to admit it.  Their technology impresses me.  That of Kalia's creator... doesn't as much."

"You underestimate You underestimate Kalia considerably ably."

"No.  Kalia terrifies me, just not for her technology.  She is willing to do things that should not be done, and I will stop at nothing to nullify the threat she poses.  Not that it's as bad as I made out to Mizuhara.  Creteria is certainly dying, but I'd hardly be wasting time with anyone but Kalia if she was the cause, now would I?  He'd see through that lie, if he didn't have so much on his plate.  But don't change the subject."  Yume scowled, venom dripping from her words.  "That Priestess is another key player, isn't she?"  Again, silence.  "Kalia was created before Ibn Al Zahad, that much is obvious just from a rudimentary exam.  Al Zahad and the other are light years more advanced than anything else I've scanned on the planet.  Kalia's predecessor can be reached without going through the lava.  Al Zahad cannot.  The tribe that made Al Zahad was not the one that made Kalia.  Ibn Al Zahad's tomb has nothing to do with Kalia, except common natural defences.  You're trying to lure Makoto... and that priestess... to Al Zahad."

"TheThe Priestess to Ibn Al Zahad, Jinnistacia, and the destiny that the Northern Weaponers forged for her Lost Tribe tribe.  Makoto Makoto to Kalia's creator - their fates diverge verge."  

"What are you playing at, oh wonderous ally of mine?"

"Surely Surely you know all about the Palace of Infinity Infinity.  You are You are the genius, Master Yume Yume.  You You tell us us,"  replied The Other.

Yume scowled, wondering what this "Palace" was, but remained silent.  She could sense that The Other was gone.

She flipped off thin air anyway.


*****

"What is this?" asked Pretty Magical God Jinnie.  In order to pass the time while she awaited her new costume, she was looking through the scrolls detailing the Phantom Tribe's experiments in Kingfisher.  Most of the computer data had been lost in Kalia's attack, but some printouts had survived.

"That's just the data on the half-breed project," scowled Nahato, "a complete waste of our resources.  Even with years of programmed memories, we couldn't alter the experiment's core personality enough to prevent her subconcious hatred of us.  I suspect she failed in her mission deliberately."

"Her face is very familiar to me..."

"Really?  We were working with specially treated cell samples found in a cache of ancient war machines."

Pretty Magical God Jinnie grinned in a sugar sweet way.  "Yes, she probably would have left around a large number of such booby traps, Naughty Master."  And then she frowned, in about the cutest way possible, putting a finger to her lips.  "We never did figure out how they built that demon god.  Not an android, not a nanite-altered human, not even a cyborg.  Really is a noodle scratcher."

*****

"When was this?" asked Kalia, dragging Ishiel's battered conciousness into a blocked memory.  "Why is everyone... blue?"

****

"What the hell?" exclaimed Shayla-Shayla, tripping over the blue archive disk Crayna had left behind.  She hit the ground with a thud, and when she opened her eyes she was looking directly at a note Crayna had left behind.  "And this thingy is important," it read, "don't know why, can't get it to work, I'm just repeating what I was told.   Love, sensei.  P.S. I helped myself to a drink for the road."  Shayla's eyes went wide as she looked to where Mt. Muldoon's ample alcohol supply used to be.

****

"Who the hell?" asked Nanami, still naked, stepping through her latest portal and running directly into her brother.  Who was ordering the Bugrom to fire their salvaged cannons de boom boom at Yume's Lab Ship, and who was still awaiting hot water.

****

"Can I make it?" wondered Fujisawa-sensei silently, using all his super-speed in an attempt to reach the spot Ifurita's limp form was falling toward.

****

"What's that?" thought Ifurina, watching as Ifurita fell.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 22, 2003, 07:06:45 PM
OOC:  The second half of this reply contains strong adult humor.  Reader discretion is advised.  (I mostly copied it from the web comic "Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, issue 5, page 3 (http://www.sgvy.com/comics/sgvy/SGVY.Edda_1.Issue_5.Page_3.html)."  Link contains spoilers!)



A dishevelled and disgruntled Ryoko floated into what might or might not have been Dr. Yume's lab.  She glanced at what might or might not have been Dr. Yume, with an expression of disgust, before floating to the other side of the room.

Ryoko went up to a kitchen counter, poured a cup of cold and bitter coffee from a nearly empty pot, picked a stale donut from a greasy cardboard box, and sat at a small table near the counter.  She set her donut and coffee down, and began sifting through a stack of newspapers, looking for the funnies.

Yume raised a furry eyebrow.  "Erm... Ryoko?  What are you doing?"

Ryoko rolled her eyes, and answered without turning.  "Why, I'm playin' the bagpipes...  What does it look like I'm doin'?  I'm takin' my evening shift coffee break."

"Oh, that's nice," Yume said, with as much snarkiness as she could muster.  "Well, you enjoy your fifteen-minute break, while the rest of us carry on with the bloody great INVASION!!"

Ryoko did not reply directly, but she growled dangerously as she continued to look through the newspapers.  "Where's the comics page?...  Aw nuts, you ain't even got today's paper."

Yume continued.  "It's just, I thought you might be personally grateful to me, and maybe even willing to put in a little extra effort, after I sent the two alternate Ifuritas out, at great personal risk to my cute fuzzy little person, to save your sorry tochis."

Ryoko slammed her hands to the table, spilling a little coffee, and stood up.  "That's it...  We need to have a little talk.  And I'm goin' back on the clock.  I'm not wastin' my break on you."

Yume grinned snarkily, as Ryoko stomped towards her.  "Of course, dear.  You know I have an open-door management policy.  I'm always pleased to receive feedback from my valued employees-- URK!!"

Ryoko had grabbed Yume by her cute fuzzy little neck.  "Shut it, Whisker Girl.  I dunno if I got you, or another one o' yer devious doubles.  But if you don't shaddap shaddenap, I'm gonna find out after I squeeze yer scrawny neck, and pop this cute fuzzy little head like an over-ripe tomato."

"*ack eep*" said Yume, as she struggled helplessly for air, making big sad kitten eyes.

"Now, then," Ryoko began.  "First, we need ta clear up some apparent confusion as to exactly who I'm workin' for.  If I can trust the memories that you gave me (and we both know full well that I can't), you created both me an' Hishima.  And both me an' the rest o' creation are forever grateful to you fer bringin' the sweet, gentle, and impossibly beautiful uchuu-kaizoku Ryoko into existence.

"However, as the greatest scientific genius in the universe, or as an unreasonable fascimile thereof, you'll be aware of how demon gods always seem to work best with a master of the opposin' gender.  And on top o' that, you will recall that there were problems with my obedience circuit.  So, while Hishima has always been under yer cute fuzzy little thumb, I was never anythin' but trouble for ya.

"So, to get me outta your fur, you directly and permanently enslaved me to the foppish yet strikingly handsome male heirs of the royal families of Creteria.  The current heir bein' my Dallsy-Wallsy-- er, I mean, His Excellence, The Great Emperor Dall Narciss the Third.  To the limited extent that I takes orders from anyone-- I takes my orders from him.  Not you.  Him.  And by your own paws.

"Mebbe he's delegated some authority to you, but that don't count fer squat with me.  And mebbe he wouldn't want me to rough up his precious scientific advisor, but I could still do a lot o' damage to your cute fuzzy little person, not to mention yer precious laboratory. And he wouldn't hold it against me after he heard my side of the story.  An' don't forget, your precious Hishima is still in the tank, so I wouldn't have to go through him first.

"In summary-- DON'T PUSH YER FREAKIN' LUCK!!  CAPICHE!?"

"*ack eep*" capiched a blue-in-the-face Yume.

Ryoko relaxed her grip on Yume, allowing her to breathe again.  "Alrighty then.  Now, about your havin' saved my skinny butt.  Well, yeah, believe me, I'm grateful to be here.  But a certain greatest scientific genius in the universe coulda saved me a lot o' physical and mental sufferin' if she had sent those other two Ifuritas with me in the first place-- instead of keepin' 'em to herself, an' leavin' me to start a solo battle with a perfectly matched opponent.

"But no.  The genius was too busy playin' head games with some teenager to realize that, sooner or later, I'd have to sacrifice myself to stop Ifurita.  Or, better yet, she was playin' head games with me too, an' she decided to let me twist in the wind, thinkin' I was gonna die, cryin' like a little girl the whole time.

"An' let me tell you somethin', hair ball.  Ifurita's got somethin' you ain't got, and somethin' I got too little of, myself.  It's called honor.  She defeated your Hishima with honor, even after the dirty tricks he must have pulled on her.  An' she fought me so honorably that it made me cry.  I'm proud to have done battle with her, and I'd be proud to call Ifurita my friend, if this insanity ever ends.

"Oh, an' one other thing I just heard about.  The next time you build a robotic duplicate of my big handsome Dall, and program him for some sweet perverted yaoi lovin'?  You had better damn well tell me about it ahead of time, so that *I* get to watch!!"

As Ryoko finally released Yume's neck, turned around, and stomped back to her coffee, Yume made a mental note:  Yes, the Makoto+Dall experiment would have had the desired effect of distracting Ryoko... though not exactly in the manner first intended.

Ryoko sat back down, took a big bite of donut, slurped some coffee, and resumed her search for the funny papers.  An uncomfortable silence fell over the room.

Yume finally spoke again.  "Shall I make a fresh pot of coffee, dear?  I could use a warm-up, myself."

Ryoko looked up, smiling pleasantly in gratitude.  "Thanks, hon.  But make it decaf, please.  If I have too much caffeine, I get all high-strung and irritable."



Jinnai was grateful that she had been in girl-form when she was reunited with her dear sweet little sister Nanami.  Nanami hadn't seemed to recognize the female Jinnai, and so her dear sweet little sister hadn't tried to choke the life out of her.

Only a little less importantly, the sight of her dear sweet little sister buck naked would have given the male Jinnai the screaming heebie-jeebies.  But in girl-form, it didn't seem to bother her.  Instead, Jinnai cheerfully ordered up a fresh set of clothes for the grateful Nanami, and sent a clothed Nanami on her non-dimensional-portal way.

Jinnai was also pleased to see that Nanami was human again.  One less demon god to deal with, she thought.  And, Jinnai thought with a smirk, Nanami's still carrying her li'l plasticky pink toy axe around, and hugging it to herself, so she's obviously not dealing with her loss of powers as well as I did.  With luck, her next mental breakdown will put her in the looney bin for good.

After that, Jinnai finally tired of waiting for her incompetent minions to bring her some hot water.  She repaired to the baths adjoining her private rooms, to take care of the problem herself.  She wanted a hot shower anyway-- the poor dear had been soaked to the skin under the Demon God Factory sprinker system, and she didn't want to catch a cold.

And so it was that Jinnai caught another glimpse of herself, in a full-length bath room mirror, wearing only a towel.

So, I'm a girl now, she thought.  And an attractive girl, at that...  With lovely big warm eyes, long flowing black hair, and delicate smooth pale skin...

And bodacious ta-ta's.

Jinnai turned away from the mirror, looking over her bare shoulder, and ba-bump'ed her assets.  Oh my, she thought, with an unwholesome giggle.  Baby got back.

GAH!!, she suddenly thought.  I'm getting turned on by myself!  This is no way for the Lord God Jinnai, Illustrious Potentate of the Bugrom Empire, and Master of His Domain, to comport himself... er, herself.

And I'm most definitely not going to...

Jinnai suddenly thought about all the wonderful things still hidden under her towel, and gulped.  
Maybe... just a touch?, she thought.  It wouldn't hurt to...

She shifted her feet apart a little, held the lower half of her bath towel open with one hand, reached down with her other hand, and...

Her lovely big warm eyes suddenly went all shiny and happy.  OOH!!, she thought, with a cute yet disturbing little gasp.

Making a mental note to take a cold shower later, Jinnai kneeled in front of the mirror, dropped her towel, and watched herself get busy.



Some time later, Londs came to Jinnai's private rooms, and knocked on the closed door.  "Mr. Jinnai?  Our Lady Deva would like a word regarding the invasion defenses."

Jinnai answered him through the door with her girl-form voice.  Strangely, she seemed to be breathing heavily.  "*hanh* Come back *hanh* in the morning *hanh* wouldja?"

Londs frowned, and knocked again.  "Uh, Mr. Jin-- er, Miss Jinnai?  Are you quite alright?"

"Ohhhh, YESSS!!" Jinnai answered, in a Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally kind of way, only with true feeling.

Sadly for both Londs and Jinnai, the outer door was unlocked.  Londs, concerned for his co-advisor, opened the door, peeked into Jinnai's room, and saw what Jinnai was still doing to herself, even after her cold shower.

(http://www.el-hazardonline.net/El-Hazard/site/picofthemoment/pic43.jpg)
"JUMPIN' JEHOSAPHAT ON A POGO STICK!!" said Londs.  His nifty hat cartoonishly flipped into the air.

"YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!" said Jinnai.  Unfortunately, she was in no, uh, position to quickly cover herself.

Londs slammed Jinnai's door shut, and fell back against the wall next to it, with a look of cold terror in his wide eyes.  Yes, he had just seen a pretty girl doin' it to herself like there was no tomorrow, and loving it.  But the pretty girl was... Jinnai.

After a moment, Londs straightened his skewed hat, pulled a hand over his frazzled beard, and breathed out heavily.  He began to stagger away, still feeling light-headed and unsteady on his feet.  Ohh-kay, Londs thought.  Not going there for the rest of the night.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 22, 2003, 10:36:52 PM
"Emperor, our boomer enhanced Creterian Demon Gods are being pushed back!" Lieutenant #1 announced, bowing before his leader.

Dall smashed his fist against the balcony.  "Curse it all!  These El-Hazardians are proving to be more resistant than we anticipated!  Well, I won't let their insolence defeat our glorious empire!  Long live Creteria!"

In response, the Bugrom fired their salvaged cannons de boom boom.  

"Shields!" Dall commanded, eyes widening in fear as the ancient attack drew near.  3 light hawk wings sprang into existence around his vessel, deflecting the worst of the assault.  However, the sheer force behind the cannons de boom boom spun the ship around and caused extensive exterior damage as the vessel nearly shook itself apart.

Dall's eyes narrowed in anger.  "That's it.  No more mister nice tyrant.  That last attack nearly made me lose my lunch.  Lieutenant, it's time we unleash our most horrifying weapon."

Lieutenant #1 cowered in fear.  "No, anything but that my lord!  Not even _they_ deserve to confront that horror!"

"True," Dall agreed, voice hardening, "but our enemies have left us no choice.  To attain victory we must be willing to use every weapon in our arsenal, even...*shudder* this one.  Release the Richard Simmons robot!"

******

A golden humanoid robot wearing a speedo dropped to the ground in front of the Bugrom Demon Gods.  A smile was on its face as a speaker emerged from its body.

"Hi everyone!" the robot said cheerfully.  "Are you ready to...Shake your booty!  Shake your booty!"

"Chuuuuu!" a Bugrom Demon God exclaimed in horror as it fired its staff at the appropriated Simpsons gag.  Unfortunately, the energy beam merely passed through the robot's head which reformed a moment later in a manner familiar to anyone who's seen Terminator 2.

"SHAKE-SHAKE-SHAKE!
SHAKE-SHAKE-SHAKE!
Shake your booty!
"

Mass panic ensued again.

******

"Kauru, snap out of it!  You've got to stop crying and save Ishiel before Kalia does who knows what to her!  Please!  Ura's drowning in a puddle of tears for crying out loud!"

Hearing Parnasse's yelling, the Priestess of Water collected herself for a moment and looked down.  Sure enough, Ura was trying his hardest to stay afloat in a surprisingly deep puddle of tears.  Kauru had the grace to look embarrassed.

"Oh Ura, I'm so sorry!  Here, let me help you!" she offered, grabbing the armor cat by the back of the neck and setting him on dry land.  

"Ura grateful that smell-nice girl no longer be sad," Ura said as he shook himself dry.  "What we do next?"

The question was answered as a dozen Phantom Tribers dropped their invisibility illusions and surrounded them.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 23, 2003, 03:55:10 AM
Myuun stood in the great observatory, using the most powerful telescope in Baron in an attempt to see the battle.  She could make very little out, but she felt it important to try.  The reports from scouts were getting fewer and further apart.  Scouts were deserting.  As had most of the nobility.

Cowards.

It would be some time before she knew what her new title was.  She would maintain leadership in Baron, but of course Baron was now part of the New Bugrom Empire.  Titles would change.  It didn't matter.  She was a leader.  If the Creterians won this day, she would try to bargain with them for the protection of her people.  As a leader should.  And if the Creterians would not treat her people well, she would fight until they came for her.  She would stand firm and look them in the eyes until... well, until they killed her.

Because that was what a leader did.  A leader had responsibilities.  A leader had to take action, regardless of the personal costs.  A leader couldn't be bothered with personal danger.  That was why, two years ago, before the coming of Mizuhara, before the opening of the Eye of God, she had broken the greatest taboo of the royalty of Baron.  And now she walked down the observatory's stairs, through a number of secret passages, and into a very secret chamber, breaking that greatest of taboos again.  

The room was called the Mantle of God.  As near as she understood it, the great ribbonlike decorations along the room's walls were in fact circuits of a very powerful machine.  The throne in the room's center was an interface.  Sitting in the throne, as she did now, allowed one to see things happening far away.  More importantly, a link was created between the user's mind and the machine.  As she understood it, the link was able to greatly enhance one's thought processes - especially one's ability to predict the future.  Since her predictions had usually turned out to be correct, Myuun had been consulting it with increasing regularity.  She was getting quite proficient in its use.  This time she didn't black out, and she hardly screamed at all.

This is what she saw.
****

Jinnai was male again, and dressed.  
"This is the war room, Londs, he explained.  "With all of my best men in the field, I need you here at all times.  All incoming messages arrive here," he continued, pointing to the window where the smallest type bugrom were occasionally appearing, dropping off scrolls before zipping out again.  "You read the messages.  If any describe a change in troop positions, you make the appropriate changes on the situation board."  Jinnai now drew Lond's attention to the magnificent replica of the city, laid out on a giant table in the room's center.  "Wach red marker represents a squad of our basic units.  The brown markers are our demon gods.  The black markers are the Creterian ships.  The white markers are their demon gods."  He drew him up to his full height, whirling and glaring at Londs.  "Looking at this board for the first time, Londs, maybe you saw something I have overlooked. Did you see anything Londs?"

"No!  I saw nothing!  I didn't even look in there!"

Jinnai sweatdropped. "Swell."


****

Ifurita fell for what seemed like an eternity.


****

One side's demon gods would hurl a challenge, 'twould be accepted by the other's, the battle would be enjoined, one side would fall, and the other side would go on to begin the cycle anew.  That was the battle.

****


A single cargo ship broke away from the Creterian fleet, landing far enough away from the battle to go unnoticed.  The ship's manefesto maintained that it was empty.  Which, if you ignored all the nasty eggs and giant bugs inside it, it was.  The humans of Creteria weren't the only ones trying to leave that dying world.

There were three men on that ship, which is fitting, because there are three main types of Creterian Bugrom, and each type was on that ship with the three men.  Anyone familiar with Jinnai's misadventures on Creteria knew about the first two, the workers and brood queens.  Jinnai had not encountered the third type, for which he should be greatful.  The three poor men on that ship had, one of them very recently.

On earth there are certain types of parisite.  They hatch inside of insects, and to an extent take control of their unfortunate hosts.  The host insect acts in ways it normally wouldn't.  It may infect others of its kind.  It may find itself laying parasite eggs instead of its own.  Very unpleasant.

The wasp variety of Creterian Bugrom would sting its prey and then lay an eggsac on the victim's neck.  After a remarkably short time, the eggsac would deflate, injecting the offspring into the victim's skull.  The offspring would become so interwoven with the victim's brain, that safe removal was impossible.  Moreover it would begin to alter the host's mental processes, making it want to do as the Creterian Bugrom wanted.  Two of the Creterians already served the hive loyally.  The third was just beginning to understand that he was a lower creature. He could feel the bug making him feel that way.  And he was begining to feel happy that the bug was doing that.

But it would be a long time before this ship entered the story again.

****

Kauru wiped the tears from her yes and regarded the Phantom Tribesmen with a look that would have surprised anyone that ever knew her.  Have you ever wondered what Goliath must have felt like, when he saw that stone coming toward his head, thrown with surprising acuracy by that pathetic little boy that nobody had ever really considered a threat?  More to the point, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be hit by a monsoon and a tidal wave, simultaneously, at ground zero?  Well, now those Phantom Tribesmen knew.

****

There was a war going on in Ifurita's mind.  She knew that if the virus won, she would be forced to fight Makoto.  She could not allow that.  So as the virus laid claim to part of her mind, she sacrificed herself - she shut that part down.  

****

The water flowed away, returning to the subteranean caverns Kauru had called it from, taking her would-be attackers with it.  But a simple rod remained, dropped by one of the Phantom Tribe.  Without knowing why, Kauru felt drawn to it.  It was a simple piece of Ancient Technology, no more important than the music machine Makoto had once found.  Except that it had been built with technology learned from defeating Arjah, and the way Kauru was drawn to it confirmed what Pretty Demon God Jinni suspected.  Kauru was drawn to the Ancient Technology of the Northern Weaponers, had a fundamental link with it.  

And the genes within her, which were drawing her to her people's demon gods, were exerting a more powerful influence.

Parnasse had fainted when the earth split and the water began to gush, in case anyone was wondering.

****

Makoto stepped through the door.  He was outside the ship, standing on the narrowest of platforms, the air whipping through his hair, threatening to tear him from the flimsy foothold.  As he stepped out he saw Ifurita, not far below him, falling.

It would be suicide to try and go after her.  Being in love, and thus a fool, he jumped after her anyway.


On the ground, Fujisawa leapt up with all his might.

In the air, Ifurina moved faster than she would have ever thought possible, zooming downward and forward.

Fujisawa's teeth rattled as he made contact.  He couldn't believe how heavy Ifurita felt, even in the air.

Ifurina's mouth opened in a surprised "oh!" as she made contact.  She couldn't believe how light Makoto felt, with her new demon god powers.

Makoto reached out, squirming in Ifurina's arms.  He fingertips brushed against Ifurita's face for a fraction of a second.  It was enough.  Her eyes opened as Makoto concentrated as hard as he ever had, focusing his power into a scalpel, lancing the virus from Ifurita's mind.  And Ifurita, in that moment of brief contact, saw what Makoto needed her to see.  He loved her.  With all his heart, with all his mind, he loved her.

Ifurita grabbed Fujisawa, flying up to hold Makoto's hand.  He smiled, knowing that she loved him too.  And he showed her something he had seen while in contact with Yume's ship.  Ifurita handed Fujisawa to a confused Ifurina, turning her attention to the Creterian fleet.  Her eyes glowed as she raised her hand.

"There."


****

Ifurita didn't have a great deal of energy left.  The attack would have been useless against a demon god - she wouldn't have known where to strike.  But Makoto had seen the schematics of the Creterian ships.  He knew what was most crucial.

In the basement of Shinonome High School, a number of small objects appeared on the ground, brought by the pwoer Ifurita had learned from the Eye of God.  In total they didn't even weigh as much as a cat.

The Creterian ships began to collide, sparks flying every which way from their hulls, as pilots discovered that a handful of very small parts are absolutely essential for controlling any vessel.

Narrowing her eyes, Ifurita rejoined the battle.


****


Myunn rose unsteadily to her feet and staggered from her chair.  There was a taste of copper in her mouth - she must have bit herself again, while viewing through the mantle.  No matter.  She had much to consider.


*****

.

.

.

A conversation:

"Her heart and intentions are pure.  Her link with the Mantle provides opportunity.  She can provide us access to the Palace.  We should act now.  We could use the Crown on her,"  the first said.

"Act now.  Agreed," said the second.

There was a pregnant pause before a third opinion was voiced.  "No.  There are too many variables.  We have discussed this.  The creator of the Trigger of Destruction and her dolls.  The Great Priestess and her demon gods.  The Bugrom, and the Ancient Bugrom.  The Phantom Tribe.  The Creterians.  And the other variables.  All must be removed before we proceed.  We have waited too long to fail now."

There was another pause, an angry one this time.  "We should act now," said the first.

"Act now.  Agreed," said the second.

"Wait," said the third.

Another pause, thoughtful this time.

"Wait," said the second, "Agreed."

"Agreed," said the first.

"We We wait wait."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 23, 2003, 10:37:49 AM
"Say, have we met?" asked Fujisawa as he looked up at Ifurina, who was holding him in the air over the battlefield.

"Oh, hi! I'm Ifurina, I work at the palace!" The new Demon God flashed the confused teacher a friendly smile.

"Oh. I didn't know they had Demon Gods working at the palace. Huh." Fujisawa looked away from the girl and down at the battlefield. A horrible sight caught his eye. "Good GOD! What the heck is that?!"

Ifurina followed his gaze and saw the Cretarian Hell Weapon, Richard Simmons Bot, laying waste to several of the Bugrom Demon Gods. "Oh no! We have to go save them!"

With a burst of speed, Ifurina flew towards the great evil monstrosity.

************************************************

"Hmph, well, that takes care of him for a few hours," muttered Jinnai as he left the so-called "war room." In all actuality, it was really just a ploy to get Londs out of the way. As much as Jinnai respected the older man's abilities, the fact that Londs had seen his female form doing unmentionable things to herself could not be ignored. He felt embarrassed around his co-Advisor, and at such a crucial moment in the defense of the capital he couldn't afford any distractions.

The Lord God walked along the ranks of his Bugrom Tank Division, watching with much mirth as the Cannons de Boom Boom blasted away at the Cretarian fleet. "Good work, men! Keep it up! Blast these alien dopes back to where they came from!"

From a nearby clump of trees, the Demon God Ryoko watched silently. "What? That scrawny guy's the leader of the Bugrom forces? That... wimp is the genius smashing back the might of the Cretarian army?" She eyed Jinnai with distaste. "Whatever."

The space piraa... er, Demon God rushed forwards, blasting several of the Bugrom soldiers who dared stand in her way. Jinnai saw the strange, spiky haired woman approach, an alarmed look on his face. Before he knew it, Ryoko grabbed him by the neck and took off into the air. His Bugrom troops shouted in alarm, many calling for air support.

"Unhand me at once, you hag!" screamed Jinnai as he struggled in Ryoko's arms.

"Can it, bug boy," said the Demon God with a smirk. "I'm givin you as a present to my Emperor. Once you're outta the way, I think your stupid Bugs are finished." Ryoko laughed as she phased out, taking Jinnai with her.

************************************************

Dall Narcis III, after changing into a new pair of pants, calmly assessed the situation. His flagship was heavily damaged, and could not move since its directional stabilizers seems to have gone missing. Therefore they were sitting ducks.

"Emperor," spoke up the captain. "Our other ships are reporting similar difficulties with their directional stabilizers. All of them have sustained heavy damage and numerous casualties... I am suggesting with surrender."

Dall's pride flared for a moment, furious at the captain for even suggesting such a thing. But his drive for self preservation won over, as he really didn't want to die. He sweated heavily and took a sip of his iced tea; the thought of surrendering looked more and more attractive by the second.

Unseen by the Emperor, Ryoko appeared behind him, holding Jinnai in a headlock. She smiled and jabbed a finger into the tall man's ribs, laughing when he squealed and threw his hands up in fright. Her laughing stopped, however, when the iced drink he was holding splashed onto her and her prisoner.

"RYOKO!" screamed Dall as he turned around. "HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT... TO... to... to..."

"Sorry, Sire," Ryoko saluted, releasing her grip on Jinnai. "I have brought the commander of the Bugrom forces," she smiled evilly, "to do with as you like."

Dall looked at her present, his eyes going large and sparkly. Ryoko hid a blush. "Excellent work, Ryoko!" The Demon God blinked in surprise when the Emperor pushed past her and grabbed the prisoner's hands.

"What the HELL?!" Ryoko jumped away from Jinnai in surprise. Instead of the pale, skinny young man she had kidnapped, a beautiful, dark-haried young woman stood in his place. She had long black hair and pale skin, and was wearing the same clothes Jinnai had.

"This is just great," muttered the Lord God as she looked at the Cretarian emperor, who had hearts cartoon hearts floating around his head. The transformed girl pulled her hands out of Dall's grasp and glared at him. "This is intolerable! This act goes against the Geneva Convention, the Warsaw Treaty, the Patriot Act... the, uh... Florestica... um, Anti-Kidnapping clause... I DEMAND THAT YOU RELEASE ME AT ONCE!"

"Of course, of course!" Dall nodded. "But first, you look tired and famished. Please, you must have dinner with me! Oh, and you're all wet, I appologize profusely!" He wiped away the blood from his nose before turning to Ryoko. "How dare you manhandle a prisoner of war! Get the young lady a change of clothes, at ONCE!" The Emperor turned back to the vision of loveliness before him, his eyes becoming all googly and love struck.

"B-B-but..." Ryoko stammered, both confused with girl-type Jinnai's appearance as well as pissed at Dall's drooling.

"I said GO!" shouted the Emperor, his greedy eyes not leaving his captured enemy's lovely form.

"F-fine!" Ryoko stormed off the bridge, tears forming in her eyes. "Stupid twit!"

"Please, sit down, my dear," Dall led the increasingly nervous Jinnai over to his throne, bidding her to sit down.

"Uh... can I go now?" she asked hopefully.

Dall laughed, waving his arms about like a buffoon. "Oh, no! I must insist that you stay for dinner! My chefs make the finest meals in all of the universe! Plus, we must get you out of your clothes, GAK, I mean out of your wet clothes, GAAAK, I mean into some dry clothes! Yes, yes... yes indeed..."

Jinnai sighed. Things were certainly much less complicated and thoroughly less aggravating when her enemies tried to kill her.

************************************************

Ifurina and Fujisaw landed a few meters away from the rampaging Richard Simmons Bot. It was gyrating about, its hips going to and fro in horrible, horrible rhythm.

"Oh the horror... the horror!" Mr. Fujisawa turned around, clutching at his eyes. "I can't waaatch!"

"OW! MY BRAIN HAS MELTED!" screamed a Bugrom Demon God as it collapsed into its death throes.

"Shake it, baby!" said the evil monstrosity as it danced about. "Come on, feel the burn!"

"Stop this at once!" Ifurina called out. "Leave those little guys alone! They didn't do anything to you!"

The RSB turned its evil, glowing red eyes at the Demon God. "Shake it shake it shake it!" sang the robot as it gyrated closer.

"Oh no, it's coming this waaay!" cried Fujisawa.

"It's power is immense," remarked Over-Run, his sensors beeping out in warning. "I have never seen anything like it! It is beyond even Unicron's evil!"

"Shake your booty! Shake your booty!" sang the inhuman fiend.

While everyone around panicked and died, Ifurina merely stood by, watching the funny little robot dance. "Um," she put a finger to her lips in confusion. "Gee, is it gonna attack?"

"Aaaaaaaaaaarrrgh!" cried Fujisawa in pain. "It is! It is!"

Ifurina blinked. "Um, but it's just dancing." Fujisawa answered with a scream.

The RSB, getting rather annoyed with the girl in front of him, decided to amp it up a bit. "SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! SHAKE YOUR BOOTY! SHAKE YOUR BOOTY!" It ships and thighs whirled about, its vile evil movements enough to blind anyone who dared look.

Only Ifurina seemed immune. "Oh wow!" She laughed and clapped her hands. "That's great! You're really talented, Mr. Robot sir!"

The RSB growled in fury, its red optics flaring in hatred. The evil aura around it grew ten fold, making everyone except Ifurina faint. It activated its full power, going to 100% battle capacity. With inhuman vigor, the robot gyrated like it had never before.

"SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE
SHAKE YOUR BOOOOOOTY! SHAKE YOUR BOOOOTY!
"

"Yay!" Ifurina laughed, clapping to the rhythm.

Smoke began to billow from the RSB's joints. Its gold plated skin started to melt, and its head began to rattle. Numerous beeping sounds emenated from its interior, warning of an imminent breakdown. With a mighty boom, the evil that was the Richard Simmons Bot exploded. Confetti rained down all around.

"Aww, it stopped," said Ifurina sadly.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 23, 2003, 09:21:15 PM
Yume was the self-proclaimed greatest scientific genius in the universe, but even she had her limits.  She practically never made outright mistakes, but when she was under a great deal of pressure to perform, she had an unfortunate habit of pushing her luck, as Ryoko had noted.

Without fully realizing it, Yume had pushed her luck when she had left Fatora and Alielle at the paws of one of her devious doubles.  She had under-estimated the hentai abilities of Fatora and Alielle, and the effectiveness of those abilities against a cute little cat-girl, robotic double or no.

Fatora and Alielle made short work of Yume's poor little robotic double, in a HFFAAKO way.

After that, Fatora and Alielle found themselves free to wander the battle cruiser, ignored in the continuous state of panic (brought on by the fierce Bugrom resistance) belied by Ryoko's leisurely coffee break.

They wandered the path that Makoto had taken.  As they stepped through a last door, they found themselves outside the ship, standing on the narrowest of platforms, the air whipping through their hair, threatening to tear them from the flimsy foothold.

Unfortunately, a weakened Ifurita had earlier used much of her remaining energy to dimensionally remove absolutely essential bits from the cruiser, and at that moment, it was floundering like nobody's business.

Fortunately for Fatora and Alielle, their cruiser did not brush against another cruiser in mid air, against the side where they clung.  If it had, they would have both met a mercifully quick but gruesome squishy death.

Unfortunately for Fatora and Alielle, their cruiser was still floundering like nobody's business.  They were both quickly thrown off-balance.

Fortunately for Fatora, she grabbed part of the narrow platform, and her grip held.

Unfortunately for Alielle, she grabbed part of Fatora, and her grip atypically failed.

Fortunately for everyone, Ryoko phased up from out of nowhere, breaking the annoying 'fortunately / unfortunately' cycle.  She caught up the falling Alielle in mid-air, then phased to the platform and grabbed Fatora.  And then, she phased to the ground with them both, bringing them to a quiet corner of the Floristica palace complex.

A grinning Ryoko held a whimpering Alielle out to an astounded Fatora.  "Yours, I think," Ryoko said.

Fatora took Alielle back, and gave her a genuinely grateful non-hentai loving hug.  Alielle glomped Fatora in return, slowly sliding down Fatora's body like a fireman on a pole.

Then Fatora looked back to Ryoko.  "I don't believe I've had the pleasure?..."

Ryoko bowed theatrically, with a smug self-satisfied smile.  "Demon God Ryoko, at yer service."

Alielle was still whimpering into Fatora's britches.  But Fatora was suddenly taken with Ryoko's not-inconsiderable beauty.  After Dall-3 had spilled some of his tea on her, Ryoko had freshened her make-up, and changed into one of her more daring midriff-baring outfits (http://www.animanga.com/cgi-bin/picture?/index/cassette/large/tenc1212.jpg).

Fatora quickly fell into a response she had prepared and rehearsed for rescues by female demon gods.  "Oh!  You simply must let me repay you for this favor properly!  Please, feel free to take me an' my associate back to your place, or mine, and ravish us both.  Me an' Alielle together at once, or in an order of your choosing, as long as I'm first."

Ryoko took this offer in stride.  "I must respectfully decline your kind offer, milady.  Even if I am currently of the opinion that men are callous insensitive freakin' jerks who should be freakin' hung by their FREAKIN'--"

In her sudden anger at the callous insensitive freakin' Dall-3, Ryoko had accidentally summoned her weapon.  The point of the weapon had materialized just under a terrified Fatora's chin.  Ryoko giggled, and cutely stuck out her tongue, as she dismissed her weapon.  "Oops.  Sorry 'bout that, hon."

Then Ryoko leaned forwards, held Fatora's chin, and looked deeply into Fatora's eyes as she completed her thought.  Fatora felt Ryoko's hot sweet demon god breath on her face.  It smelled strangely of coffee and donuts.

"But it wouldn't work out, anyway," Ryoko whispered.  "Y'see, even if I wasn't a demon god?  Well, I'm afraid that I'd be far more woman than li'l ole you could handle."

Ryoko gave Fatora's cheek a condescending little pat, and stood away.  But, for once, Fatora was at a loss for a snarky come-back.  "wow," Fatora said, in a very small and squeaky voice.

"But I would like to ask a favor," Ryoko said.  "I've been meaning to ask you for some time.  You simply must tell me where you get your fabulous straitjackets."

"Oh, that's an easy one," Fatora said.  "Go to babump.com, and click on fashion.  You can save beaucoup roshtals if you buy in bulk, and they aren't collecting state sales tax yet, so it's a bargain either way.  And I'm sure they could customize something for you, such that it would be delightfully inescapable, even for a demon god."

"Kewl," Ryoko said.  "Welp, pleased to make yer acquaintance.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go not fight a war, and childishly pout some more."

"One more favor, real quick?" Fatora said, raising her hand.

Ryoko raised an eyebrow.  "Yeah?..."

"Um, I don't know if you could possibly be captured, and I don't know how much political power I have around here now... but I'll try to help you out, if it comes to that."

Ryoko crossed her arms and sighed.  "And in return?"

Fatora grinned a cunning-plan grin, and spoke slowly, in a strangely chilling voice.  "Give me the cat-girl.  The real one, I mean."

Ryoko grinned back at her, in her own chilling Ryoko-esque way.  "Heh.  I like your style, hon.  And I must admit, I'm not real fond of my team in general, just now.  Well, no promises, mind you.  But if it does come to that?  I'll see what I can do."



Sadly for Kalia, she never learned why everyone was blue.

It's just as well, since the current writer wasn't entirely sure why everyone was blue, his own confused self.  Everything was just getting really complicated.  After all, the current writer was mostly in it for the wacky pointless bickering between beloved fictitional characters, the wacky tired parodies and cross-overs, and, above all, the wacky relentless and creepy fan service that he hadn't fully realized he was capable of writing before now.  It had taken him longer to research the current reply than it had taken to actually write it, fer cryin' out loud.

Sadly for Kalia, the current writer had decided to try to do something about things being really complicated-- beginning with her.

Actually, what happened was, with her deep and relentless psychic probing of the tortured Ishiel's blocked memory, Kalia had finally triggered a horrific fusion with Ishiel.

But even that was more complicated than expected, much to the annoyance of the current writer.  There was... Something Else... at work.  Something Else had not exactly triggered the horrific fusion, but It had facilitated it, bringing it on before Kalia actually found what she was instinctively looking for.  And the big-I "It" (the Something Else) was more than happy to take advantage of the small-i "it" (the horrific fusion).

The relentless probing of the tortured Ishiel's mind was replaced by an even more torturous, but mercifully brief, maelstrom of psychic energies.  Improbably, the maelstrom tore Ishiel's mind apart, threw Something Else into the mix, and then went and put it all right back together.  It was as if two jigsaw puzzles had been torn apart, thrown together in a box and shaken up together, and the two puzzle had re-assembled themselves in the box-- even though the box should have been way too small to contain a single fully-assembled jigsaw puzzle, let alone a double-sized one.

And let's not even go into what happened to Kalia and Ishiel's bodies.  As it turned out, it wasn't even the slightest bit ecchi.  It was more... icky.

Anyway, Kalia and Ishiel became a single fused being with the power to defeat the guardian Al Zahad, and awaken the ancient creator of Kalia and genetic template of Ishiel.  Well, sort of.  Well, not really.  It's just really complicated.



{Ishiel.  Wake up, child.  Wake up.  Ishiel!}

Ishiel blinked, then slowly sat up and rubbed her poor head.  She had no idea where she was-- she had never been to the Trigger of Destruction's trans-dimensional oasis before.

{Ishiel.  Are you alright?}

Ishiel responded in the negative, in an indirect way, by screaming wordlessly in mortal terror.

{ISHIEL!!  Calm yourself!  You are safe and sound!}

"No I'm not!!" Ishiel screamed out loud to nobody.  "Kalia locked down my lamp, and beat the snot out of me, and drug me to who knows where, and raped my mind and my soul, and probably my body too, the little pervert, and now I don't know where, or who, or what I am, and I'm hearing voices in my head now, oh crap oh crap OH CRAP!!--"

Ishiel abruptly turned her head to one side, as if she had been slapped.  Then she let out a gasped sob, and began to cry.

{Forgive me, child.  You were hysterical.}

"I still am, in case you hadn't noticed," Ishiel sobbed.  "Hysterical, and crazy as a bowl of wet Mice Wearing Hats."

{I don't think you're crazy,} the voice said kindly.  {Your spirit is too strong.  Perhaps a lesser woman would have broken, after all that you've been through, but you are too strong.}

"Pardon me if I'm not reassured by that," Ishiel wailed, "when it's coming from THE FREAKIN' VOICE IN MY HEAD!!"

The voice realized that Ishiel needed some time by herself.  It couldn't give her that, since it was trapped in her head now.  But it remained silent until Ishiel cried herself out.

{I am sorry, Ishiel,} it said, at last.  {I would have chosen a true death for myself, rather than distress you like this, if it had been in my power to do so.  But we are stuck with each other for the time being, so why don't we try to make the best of it.}

"'Kay," Ishiel sniffed, in a little girl's voice.  "I think psychotic people usually give names to the voices in their heads.  So, what should I call you, mister?"

The voice chuckled softly.  {I'm not sure.  I'm not sure where, or who, or what *I* am, either.  Well, actually, I thought I was dead.  But, in life, I was known as Yuba Yurius.}

"Yuba..." said Ishiel.  "That's a nice name.  Did I know you before you died?"

{No, child...  But I have an idea.  Close your eyes, and try to think of me.}

Ishiel sniffled, but closed her eyes, and concentrated.  A face quickly appeared in her troubled mind's eye.  It was the face of a kindly old man, with a long full beard, warm and intelligent eyes, and really bad hair.  Seeing Yuba's smiling face, Ishiel suddenly felt reassured.  It was like she was being looked after by an eccentric but trusted and beloved uncle.

Ishiel opened her eyes, and smiled shakily.  "Nice to meet you, Yuba.  Are you my only split personality, or did someone else show up?"

{No, no} Yuba said.  {I am alone.  And your mind is still your own, Ishiel.  I saw to that when Kalia fused with you--}

"Kuh-- KALIA!?  She FUSED with me!?  OH GOD!!"

{Ssshh.  Do not worry, Ishiel.  Your mind is still your own.  I prevented Kalia from merging her mind with yours.  Kalia's hateful spirit is gone.  And your bodies fused, in a really complicated and frankly icky way, but you have not changed in appearance.  However, you now carry a combined spiritual-genetic pattern.  It is ironic, in a way.  Kalia was trying to download information from you, but she ended up completely downloaded into you.}

"Suh-- so where did you come from?"

{This fusion was meant to happen, Ishiel.  Someone... designed it.  But they did not allow for Kalia's own death, nor her deus ex machina resurrection via my own remains.  Her nanites consumed my dead body, and resurrected her... but during the fusion, my consciousness was somehow asserted after her nanites downloaded themselves into your genetic pattern.}

"Nuh-- nanites?" Ishiel asked.  "Duh-- does that mean I'm a demon god, now?  Oh GOD, am I going to turn into a Kalia!?"

{No, no.  Her nanites destroyed themselves with their download.  There is only you, and I, and my ability.}

"Uh, Yuba?" asked Ishiel.  "Assuming you are a disembodied entity, and not a symptom of profound psychosis?  How do I know that I can trust you?"

Ishiel sensed that Yuba was smiling upon her.  {Come now, child,} he said.  {If I truly meant you harm, would I do something like this?}

Ishiel suddenly felt dozens of fingers on her, in the same way that she had felt the slap to her face.  The fingers were on her ribs, under her arms, behind her ears-- but they did not touch her in any inappropriate places.  It was as if she were a child being tickled by her favorite uncle.

"GAH!!" Ishiel said, dancing in place.  "Hee hee!  Okay!  Hee hee!  I give!  Hee hee!  UNCLE!!"

{It is good to hear you laugh, Ishiel.  It seems as if it has been too long since you laughed like a child.}

"Just give a girl some warning, next time!" Ishiel gasped.  "So... what do we do now?"

{Ishiel, my child?  Do you know if... the Ifurita that was here... do you know if she still exists?}

"Yes...  Oh crap.  I defeated her in combat, Yuba.  I beat the stuffin' out of her.  I'm so sorry.  But she survived.  Uh, I think she and another Ifurita went off together...  I'm sorry, but that's all that I know."

{Dear Ishiel.  I know you now.  You would not do such a thing.  It must have been beyond your control...

{This Ifurita was... my love, in life.  I would desire nothing more than to be with her again, and be with her forever.  Since I now exist in this psychic form, perhaps I can be transferred from your mind to hers, and leave you in peace.  Let us try to find her, Ishiel, and try to do this thing, if she is willing and it is possible.

{And you must also try to find out why you were deigned to merge with Kalia.  If there is some greater purpose for this, you must ascertain it, to ensure there is no further danger to you... or to all of El-Hazard.

{But first...}

Ishiel looked away, as if Yuba had pointed out something to her.  She saw what looked like a partly-assembled pile of junk, with smaller piles of junk lying all around it, a few hundred meters away.

{That is Kalia's handiwork.  Let us use my ability to destroy what Kalia has created.}

Ishiel walked towards Kalia's partly-assembled Dimensional Phase-O-Matic.  "Your ability?" she asked.

{I have the ability to link with the ancient technology of El-Hazard.  Kalia used my ability, so you should be able to use it too.}

"Just like Mizuhara..." said Kalia, mostly to herself, as much as possible.  "Heh.  Small multi-verse.  Okay, what do I do?"

{Lay your hand there.  And concentrate...  NO!!  WHAT IS THIS!?}

Ishiel pulled her hand away, and stumbled back.  The partly-assembled Dimensional Phase-O-Matic slowly rose into the air, pulling more bits of junk through the air towards it, in a Trigger of Destruction kind of way.

{Damn.  Apparently, this Dimensional Phase-O-Matic is activated by attempting to destroy it.  Some of those psychotic pseudo-demon gods weren't half tricky biatches.}

"GAH!!" Ishiel said again, in a much less happy fun tickled kind of way.  "I thought the current writer was complaining that things were really complicated!!  THIS ain't gonna help with THAT!!"

{Mmm.  No, he isn't very good at streamlining a dramatic narrative, is he?}


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 24, 2003, 04:30:49 AM
CHI!!--

Kauru tore her eyes away from the small rod she was holding and calmly regarded the half of an axe blade that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  It looked like it was floating just above head height.

--INK!!

The axe blade swung downward, seeming to rip a hole reality itself.  A familiar whiskey-haired girl stepped out of it.

"Kauru, boy am I glad to see you!"

Kauru's eyes widened.  She was still not used to people cutting holes in the air.  "Nanami-san... but what happened?  You are-"

"Yeah yeah, I'm human again, don't rub it in.  Look, I need help, and, no offence, you're not going to cut the mustard.  Where's Ishiel?  We need that lamp of -" Nanami finally noticed Parnasse, passed out on front of her.  "What happened?"

"Phantom Tribe!  Kauru wash them away!" explained Ura, happy to get another line of dialogue.

"Really?  Wish I'd been here.  I'd have given them such a-" Nanami shook her head fiercely.  "Never mind.  What's important is I need Ishiel.  Where is she?"

Kauru got a distant look in her eyes. "Gone," she explained, "taken by an evil demon god."

"Kalia!" hissed Ura.

Nanami groaned.  "Un.  Be.  Lievable.  Okay, I'm going to try and find-" she stopped mid-sentence as Kauru touched her shoulder.  For some reason the contact made her very uncomfortable.  It was ridiculous, the two of them had bathed together... but that was what she felt.  She looked at Kauru again, noticing that the priestess looked a little paler than usual.  "Um... you okay Kauru?"

Kauru looked down again at the rod she was holding.  There was something very strange about her movements, like she was moving underwater.  "Fine.  But I think I know someone that can help us."

"Yeah?" Nanami frowned.  There was definitely something not right here, but they needed all the help they could get.  "Yeah, all right.  I'm still not very good with thi-" and again she was cut off, as Kauru took hold of the axe and pulled it from Nanami's surprised fingers.  "Whoah.  Careful with that thing.  I don't think you'll be able to-

CHI!!--

Nanami stared at the axe, which was once again embedded in thin air.  "Okay, but it's kind of tricky to-"

--INK!!

"Whoah," said Parnasse, finally waking up and staring at the glowing hole Kauru had cut.  

Nanami frowned.  It wasn't logical of her, but she was getting pissed.  The axe was hers, dang it, not this ditzy bug-headed priestesses'!  "Yeah, well, points for getting it to work, but it's not that easy.  It takes a lot of practice to get it to bring you where you want."

Kauru looked through the hole.  "I think this is the place," she said, "come on."

Nanami glared at Kauru's head, silently wishing a giant arm would come through the portal and flatten the blue-haired bint.  Why did she have to be so good at everything?  Why did she have to assume that everything -the position of priestess, Makoto's heart, the axe- was better off in her hands?

Kauru went through the hole, followed by Nanami, Ura, and a confused Parnasse.

****

Dall moved with a slightly accelerated pace through his flagship, taking the scenic route in order to show his guest the fabulous curtains and vases that he had brought with him on this journey.  If you're going to conquer a world, why not do it surrounded by sumptuous elegence?  A nobody in a suit followed them.


"Is my escape ship operational?" asked Dall, beaming at Jinnai.  "My luxurious, expensive, long and powerful escape ship?"

"Yes sire," reported the underling as Jinnai turned an even whiter shade than usual, "only the war cruisers seem to have been incapacitated.  Yume's labship and your vessel have different designs, and are still functional."

"Excellent!  We will dine as we make our escape.  Very classy, don't you think, my dear?

"Yes... erm... very classy," managed Jinnai, "but no teas or soups or anything.  I-" Jinnai thought fast "-I have... a phobia of hot liquids!"

Dall sighed dreamily.  "How marvelously eccentric.  Vassal-"

"Yes my liege?"

"Have the two Ifurita's fly outside my ship for protection.  And don't let Yume call them away again, that's very irritating."

"Yes my liege.  Will you be wanting a crew?"

The Emperor smiled in what he no doubt thought was a charming way, despite the fact that no woman, not even the ones paid to like him, had ever done anything but wince upon seeing it.  "No," he said, "I'm sure the lady and I can handle it ourselves.  And privacy is preferable, in matters of the heart, hmmmm?"

Jinnai's heart was beating very fast.

****

Nanami snorted.  "See?  It's tricky finding the right place.  I'll just cut us another hole, and we can-"

"This is the place."

Nanami's jaw dropped and she almost choked.  Partly out of surprise, partly out of the noxious fumes.

They were, after all, almost on the edge of a volcano.  An active one from the look of it.  Parnasse and Ura looked like they were seconds away from passing out, and Nanami was sweating like her brother doing push ups.  "Say what?"

"Excuse me Nanami.  This may take a while," Kauru whispered, handing back the axe.  Nanami tilted her head in confusion.  Okay, obviously Kauru had finally lost it.  The bugs.  That was it.  She was having a nervous breakdown.  Or suffering heat stroke.  Damne it was hot.  She grabbed Kauru by the shoulder as the Priestess began walking toward the rim.  "Whoah.  Stop it right there Kauru.  Listen to your friend Nanami.  We need you to have a good lie down and talk this over.  There's no way LEGGO!"  Kauru had grabbed Nanami's hand and was squeezing with surprising strength. Parnasse and Ura moved to try and grab Kauru, but she moved faster, pulling the ancient rod from where she had stashed it, pointing it at her friends.  There was a bright flash and they both hit the ground, stunned.  Kauru turned her attention back to Nanami, glaring hard at her.  She moved fluidly, using some martial art Nanami had never seen before... and then the former demon goddess was on her bum, still open mouthed in amazement.

Her mouth opened even wider as Kauru turned around, took six long strides, and jumped into the lava.

****

"And you're the leader of the Bugrom army?" crooned Dall, in the most syrupy voice humanly possible.  Jinnai's mind raced.  Having the leader of the Bugroom in his hands would give the advantage to Dall.

"No, the extremely talented and handsome Lord God Jinnai Katsushiko is the leader of the Bugrom forces.  I'm just... Fred... the... ranking military commander.  Yes."  She looked around.  She was on Dall's escape pod, and she had to admit, it was almost worthy of her presence.  There were chairs so comfortable it was probably criminial, bookcases crammed with very impressive looking unread books, antique furnature everywhere, and what looked like a well stocked bar.  She could smell the food on the dining table - if the smell was any indication, the food was worth killing over.

A grin spread across her face.  In matters military Jinnai was superb.  But in matters of politics, provided that Mizuhara was not around to sabotage things, "superb" didn't begin to describe it.  Jinnai grinned wider.  "Before we eat... whiskey?" she asked.

"Erm... this early in the day," started Dall, but, upon seeing the cute frown on Jinnai's face, he changed his mind. "Well don't mind if I do.  Oh, no, that type of glass isn't for whi-"

GLUP poured the whiskey.

"Oh.  Uh.  Thank you!  That's," began Dall.

GLUP poured the whiskey.

"That's... that's fine, I," continued Dall.

GLUP poured the whiskey.

"oh that's... erm... oh my," continued Dall.

GLUP poured the whiskey.

"uh.  Thanks."  

Dall stared at the glass of whiskey he had just been handed.  It was a massive wine goblet.  It was almost as big as his head.  He smiled nervously.

"Now then, as I was saying," Jinnai purred, "I'm the ranking military commander of the Bugrom Forces.  It's a good thing that your demon god found me, I was just about to try and contact you."

"Really?  How nice... And may I add you are the most strikingly beautiful ranking military commander I have ever-"

"I wasn't finished."

"Oh.  Sorry," apologized Dall.  Jinnai was staring at the whiskey.  Smiling weakly, Dall began to drink.

"I'd like to negotiate our surrender."  

Dall choked on his drink, accidentally gulping down far more than he had intended.  And it went down wrong, meaning he had to drink more just to get his mouth working right.  The Creterian fleep was stuck hanging in the air, and the Bugrom were asking to surrender?  He had still hoped to win, but not without a long and bloody fight.  Truly this woman was a goddess!

"Something wrong, your majesty?" grinned Jinnai.

"Um.  No.  I just, uh... drink went down the wrong pipe."  Dall tried to smile in a charming manner, but it really looked sickly.  "So... you want to surrender?"

"Oh yes.  As soon as possible.  Too much damage to the city already."

"Certainly, certainly," agreed Dall.  He was feeling quite light headed.  It was her beauty, he decided.  "I'll have one of my men write out the terms..."

"Oh no, I'd much prefer if you did it.  The personal touch?"

How could he resist that smile?

****

She could see three eyes.  Two where they should be, one where she imagined a person's forehead should be.  Frankly she was surprised she could see at all under all this molten rock.  Logically she should have zero visibility.

Of course, logically she should be dead.  Even Ifurita couldn't survive a split second in these conditions.  The temperature had to be well over 2000 degrees.

My master. The voice was surprisingly familiar.  It is my supreme honor to protect you.  I am your loyal and humble servant, Ibn Al Zahad.  It is my privilege to serve you.

Serve me... thought Kauru.  Yes.  That's right.  I understand now.  I understand what all of this has been about.  I'm going to stop all the fighting.  I'm going to make the world right.  But how will I do that?  I don't want to fight my friends-

But you must.

But I must.  Yes.  You're right.  I may have to fight... but it's for peace.  I will stop all the fighting for good.

Yes my master.  That is what you were programmed for, just as I was programmed to bring about your desires.  One world.  One rule.  That is right.  That is just.

So... what now?

Now?  Now we wait.  We wait for the right time.  Kauru felt strong hands around her as the voice continued.  And then the world will be yours.

****

Jinnai looked over the terms.  "We, the below signed, do surrender in the face of the might of a superior force, agreeing to give up all our territories in return for political asylum and figurehead rulership, with moderate ruling privelages..."  Jinnai flipped through the pages one by one, using her most honeyed voice.  Dall was leaning heavily on the table, dots begining to appear before his eyes.  "Oh dear," said Jinnai.

"Hmmmm?" replied Dall.  He was feeling quite warm.  The empty glass rolled out of his hands.  Jinnai caught it just in time, putting it aside.

"I just noticed, " lied Jinnai, "your ships aren't moving."

"Nope.  Schtuck.  Schtuck inth' air.  No thingies.  Gon'.  Can' move."

"But the Bugrom have such big guns!"

"Yesh."  Dall nodded.  "Sitting ducks.  G'd thing about yer surrender."

"I agree.  It really is a pity."

"Hmmmm?" replied Dall.  He was feeling quite wrong.  He also had the nagging suspicion something was... not right.  But what could it be?  He was with the most beautiful woman in the world, and he was the most beautiful man in the world, and she obviously loved him.  Everything was perfect.

"Yes, it's a real pity we won't be able to tell my people in time to save yours."

"Wha?  Wait... Wha?"

"Well, it's just that it would take so long for my people to process a surrender.  I'd have to get it to them, and make sure everyone knew, and then they'd stop firing the cannons.  But I don't think your ships would survive that long.  It could take weeks.  Bureaucracy."

"Wha?"

"Do you think your ships could survive weeks of those cannons?"

"Wull... no.  I mean... wait, wha?"

Jinnai leaned in close, grabbing Dall's shirt collar.  "Wait.  I have a brilliant idea."  Sharks would have been scared by that smile.  "Do you trust me?"

"N... Wh... Uh... 'es?"

"Do you?"

"Yes!  Yes!  Trus' you!"

"Your people are in great peril."

"Peril?"

"Yes!  Great peril!  But you will save them, because you are such a great leader!"

"I am?"  

"Yes!  All you have to do is sign this paper, saying you surrender.  I can get my people to stop shooting you much faster if you do that.  Then, once everything's sorted out, I let them know that it was really us that surrendered, and you that won."

"Oh.  Thas' smart."  Dall blinked muzzily.  "Wait, no, that makes no sense."

"Of course not!  It's realpolitik!  But you know all about that, because you're such a brilliant strategist.  A leader!"

"I do?  I am?"

"Such a brilliant..."  Jinnai took a deep breath and forged onward, "and handsome leader!  And if you don't everyone will die."  She grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him close, so their foreheads were pressed together.  Dall's eyes were wide, and he found himself looking at her chest.  "Everyone will die!   Everyone!  But we can still save them, if we do our part."

"Uh..."

"Listen.  I'm willing to give up the glory of being the one to usher my people into the glory of the great Creterian Empire.  But I need you to send the command to your ships to surrender.  You can do that from here, right?"

"Oh.  Yes.  But..."

"And when you do it, I want you to think of all the grateful people you will save.  Think of the children.  Think of the puppies.  Think of the women that will become part of your empire.  Have you ever seen the princesses of Floristica?  They're gorgeous!"

"Rilly?"

"Yes, so I want you to remember that you're doing it for them.  Send out your surrender order, so they can become part of your empire!"

Something still felt wrong.  "Bu..."

Jinnai leaned in close, whispering softly in Dall's ear.  "Just think how grateful everyone will be, knowing you saved them all from this terrible, pointless war.  You'll be a hero!"

"Hero?"

"A great hero!"  

"Always wannen to be hero..."

"And you are!"  Jinnai continued, leading Dall over to the computer console.  "So, why don't you send that order."

"Mmmm... granparens didn' wan' war anyway."

"Grandparents?"

"Dall the firsht and Gli.. Giln... G... Grammie.  Kept trying to talk me out of it.  I said 'luk, yer the one that abdicated the shthrone early, an m'bum of a father's mishing, so I gets to make the deshisions roun' here'."

"And I'm sure you'll make the right decision now, and send.  The.  Order."

Dall looked at the console, the world swimming on front of his face.  He looked at Jinnai.  She beamed at him.  Okay, if a woman was smiling at him, things had to be going right.  Right?  He pressed his palm to the appropriate controls.  The palm scan began.  "Order to all shhhhips.  Shurrender now.  Order of Emperor Dall the third.  Code... 'Maids Uniforms Are Cute'."

"Eeeeexcellent," smiled Jinnai, watching as the Creterian demon gods in the distance seemed to stop their attacks.  She slid into the pilot's seat and began to pilot the little ship back toward the palace, where she could make the necessary arrangements.  She started looking around for speaker controls.  "While I'm doing this, why don't you sign that paper?"

"Mmmmm?"  Dall looked down on the piece of paper.  There was a word.  Name.  That was the word.  And next that word was a long line.  Oh.  He knew what to do with these!  His ministers gave him these all the time.  With a silly grin he signed.

****

And that was how Creteria became part of the great Bugrom Empire.

****

Yume looked at the command coming in.  "Message from Dall?  What could he wan... 'the hell?"

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ryoko heard the new orders.


*****

Fortunately, as had been mentioned before, part of the Eye of God had been used in the machine's construction, and thus it required one of the Princesses in order to function correctly.

Unfortunately, there was a large number of strange flying machines pouring out of the top of the doomsday device, speeding toward Florestica.

Fortunately, they were all sporting smiley faces, meaning that they had probably been redesgined by Skuld, and their attacks were thus most likely nonlethal.

Unfortunately, they were all sporting smiley faces, meaning that they had been probably been redesigned by Skuld, and were thus most likely exceptionally good at their jobs.

Fortunately, another string of "unfortunately" and "fortunately" had come to an end.

"Huh," said Kalia/Yuba/Ishiel, "that can't be good."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 24, 2003, 04:38:55 PM
News of the end of hostilities swept across the battle-weary lands of Roshtaria, the beleaguered Creterian cruisers, and the rest of El-Hazard.

As the citizens of both Creteria and El-Hazard heard the news, they did what 98% of the people do whenever a war ends.

They cheered.  They whooped and hollered.  They danced in the streets.  They shook their enemies' hands, and slapped their enemies' backs.  They broke open bottles of wine, and toasted the other side's bravery.  They grabbed the nearest available person of the desired gender and orientation, and kissed 'em like it was goin' out of style.  They made love, not war.

Very generally and loosely speaking, 98% of the people have more common sense than their respective governments.

Sadly, Ryoko was in the other two percent.

Actually, Ryoko had a lot more sense than most people gave her credit for.  In another life, she would have been dancing, drinking, and makin' out with the best of them.  But, in this life, she was well and firmly in the two percent that weren't celebrating.

"ack," said Ryoko.

A copy of Creteria's unconditional surrender, bearing Dall-3's sloppy signature, was crumpled in her clenched hand.

"eep," said Ryoko.

The battlefield messenger who had brought the news to her had wisely left her side very very quickly.

"arg," said Ryoko.

It would be another minute or two before she would be able to form complete words again.  But she decided on a course of action that, happily, didn't require much eloquence in the early stages.

"gah," said Ryoko, as her feet left the ground, and as she rocketed towards Dall-3's fleeing escape ship, forgetting in her anger that she could have just phased there, or even turned back and taken a cruiser.

"ngh," said Ryoko, as she worked out her course of action backwards.

Thirdly, she was gonna find out, once and for all, how that Jinnai character gave her the slip.

Secondly, she obviously hadn't been spending enough time with her Dallsy-Wallsy.  Well, that was about to change.  If she had semi-regularly sneaked up on Dall-3 and scared the crap out of him before, well, heh heh, just wait until he got a load of her now.  He was gonna learn just exactly how scary a scorned and slightly unbalanced demon god could be, her faulty but still functioning obedience circuits be damned.

But firstly, she was gonna find the enemy agent sexpot who had manipulated Ryoko into taking her directly to Dall-3.  Ryoko didn't like being manipulated by enemy agent sexpots.  She already had Yume to manipulate her, thank you very much.  And Ryoko intended to demonstrate her displeasure with the sexpot in a way described by the very first full word she managed to spit out since she had heard the news.

"KILL!!" said Ryoko.



Ifurina (and Staff-chan, er, Over-Run) had graciously offered to give Fujisawa a lift back to his wife and child, at their rural hideaway, now that the terrible pointless war was over.  But, as they flew through the skies over Roshtaria, they saw something coming at them from over the horizon.

Fujisawa narrowed his eyes.  "What the heck is that?  It seems to be coming from desert-Ifurita's oasis."

Over-Run chimed in.  "Danger, Miss Ifurina, Danger!  Long-range sensors indicate that it was recycled from hideously evil bits of doomsday weapon technology!!"

Ifurina narrowed her own newly super-human eyes, and giggled.  "Don't be silly, Staff-chan!  Why, it's a bunch of big happy faces!"

She would have clapped her hands with delight, if they weren't full of Fujisawa.  "OH!  I bet this is gonna be even better than Mr. Dancing Robot!"

"Oh dear God no please no," said Fujisawa and Over-Run in perfect unison.



Shayla slowly trudged up the side of Crayna's volcano, sweating like someone trudging up the side of a volcano.  She was carrying a large rubber mallet in one hand, and a large hand-painted sign under her other arm.

As per Crayna's instructions, Shayla was about ta to do somethin' about th' damn volcano, fer crapssakes.

Shayla came to a smooth flat area near the peak of the fiery mountain.  Yeah, she thought, this'll work.  They can't miss it if I put it here.

Shayla set her sign's post against a crack in the rough volcanic rock, raised her mallet, and set the sign in place.  She stood back, mopping her brow with a handkerchief (she could feel the heat of the lava even from here), and inspected her handiwork.  Her sign read:

Quote
WARNING!  CONTENTS ARE EXTREMELY HOT!

If that don't stop 'em, Shayla thought, nothin' will.



Crayna raised a spyglass, set it against her window, and watched her chosen protege, the best and brightest of the seminary of fire, the current high and mighty Great Priestess Of Fire, Shayla Shayla, do somethin' about th' damn volcano, fer crapssakes.

After a moment, Crayna lowered her spyglass, set it down, rubbed her temples and groaned.  I shoulda left her varnished to the floor, she thought.



Shayla turned to leave.  But, from the corner of her eye, she spotted movement above her, practically at the rim of the volcano.

Aw nuts, she thought.  I shoulda put the sign up earlier.

Shayla trudged the rest of the way up the volcano, sweating profusely.  She found Nanami, Parnasse and Ura, kneeling at the very edge of a pool of white hot lava, all drenched with sweat, but clinging to each other as they all bawled their eyes out.

"If yer all so unhappy 'bout the damn heat," Shayla suggested helpfully, "why dontcha move away from the damn lava!?"

Parnasse turned to her, in manly tears.  "Muh-- Miss Kauru...  Shuh-- she jumped into thuh-- thuh-- Oh, she killed herself!!  WHAAH!!"

"Well, hot damn," Shayla noted accurately.  "Guess the little drip finally lost it, huh?"

"SHAYLA!!" shouted Nanami, sobbing pitifully.  "How COULD you!?  How can you TALK about your FRIEND like THAT, at a TIME like THIS!?"

Shayla rolled her eyes and sighed.  "Aw, c'mon.  You all gotta admit, she never was the brightest lamp in the seminary."

Even Ura wept for the death of the Girl That Smelled Nice.  "Shayla mean!  Shayla bad!" it cried.

Shayla hung her head.  "Oh, gimme a break.  It's painfully obvious that I'm simply in an momentary state of denial, unable to accept the terrible emotional pain of this tragedy.  But it oughta hit me any second now OH GOD KAURU KILLED HERSELF WHAAAH!!"

She fell to her knees as she began to rend her garments and gnash her teeth.  "IF ONLY I'D PUT THE SIGN UP EARLIER!!"



Hishima had just gotten out of traction.  He had not yet donned his full outer garments when he returned to Yume's side.  His broad muscular frame was slightly malformed, when compared to a male human of comparable build, but he didn't startle Yume.  She was used to him, and she was happy to see her little man back on his feet.

Hishima found his beloved master standing at a cruiser window, looking down on the street celebrations with a sad smile.

"Master Yume?" asked Hishima.  "Have I missed the Ultimate Battle?"

"Not exactly," Yume said.  She handed him another copy of Dall's surrender.

Hishima read the paper with superhuman speed, then dropped it, staring forwards blankly in shock.  "Jumpin' Jehosaphat on a pogo stick," he said to himself.

Yume turned back to the window.  "Just look at them, Hishima," she said quietly.  "The fools, celebrating like there's no tomorrow.  They don't know how right they are."

Hishima gulped.  "Do you mean, some malfunctioning hideous dimension destroying device has just been activated?"

"Of course not," Yume said with a sad chuckle.  "Don't be silly, Hishima.  As if something like that was about to happen...

"No no, dear.  Whoever it was that engineered our surrender was a tactical military genius, and a political super-genius.  But an economic expert?  Not so much.

"I've just done some research on this sad little world, the one that now ownz us.  The current ruling world-wide government, that's the Bugrom Empire, negotiated their occupation of the rest of what was the Alliance.  Actually, the rest of the Alliance folded like a tent.  But it took lots of gratuitous property destruction to conquer Roshtaria.

"Apparently, there's also been two or three unrelated world-threatening events, just in the past few weeks, and they wreaked havoc a-plenty before they were put down.  As far as I know, no one's stepped forwards and volunteered to pay for putting them down, so the Bugrom Empire will have to eat those costs too.

"So, the Bugrom Empire is rebuilding Roshtaria, encountering massive unanticipated expenses, and providing basic services for half a freakin' continent, and they're paying for it all out of their own pockets.  They just rebuilt the entire city of Floristica, the biggest city on the planet, from the ground up, at jaw-dropping expense, before we showed up and knocked most of Floristica back down again.

"At the same time, in an effort to curry favor with the populations they conquered, they've cut taxes drastically.  Taxes were almost certainly too high to start with-- that's a safe bet.  But you need a solid revenue stream to run even a small and efficient free peace-time government, let alone an undemocratic and secretive functional dictatorship floundering about in the fog of war.

"Still, they might have just scraped by, with massive deficit spending and creative accounting... before our failed yet mind-numbingly expensive invasion.

"But now, in order to continue their world-wide occupation?  By my conservative estimate, they'd have to raise the tax rate on the middle and lower classes by approximately one hundred forty-two thousand eight hundred fifty seven percent.  And since that wouldn't go over very well with the punters... well, kiddo, we're looking at total economic, political and social collapse.  Sometime around next Tuesday, I should think.

"Even worse, the Creterian fleet is now occupied territory, with no natural resources, no real distribution systems, and no way out of this mess.  Without our cruisers' stablilizers, we're stuck here.  If we had won, quick and clean, like we were supposed to, Dall's personal fortune (which is now worthless paper) would have covered us, and then some.  But now, we're all gonna get flushed down the toilet."

Yume hung her head and sighed, then looked up at Hishima with another sad smile, and a little cold shiver.  "We had better stock up on canned soup and instant noodles, Hishima.  It's going to be a long hard winter.  I've still got a lot of problems to deal with, and I'd prefer not to deal with them cold and hungry.

"And I just hope there isn't some other unknown empire, lying in wait, primed to conquer us all.  Pardon my ancient Frencharian, but we'd be completely and utterly screwed."



"ATCHOO!!" sneezed (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/%7Eanimage/v4i6CC.html) Millie and Gan-chan.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 24, 2003, 05:41:23 PM
Yume was busy and only mildly surprised when The Other spoke again.

"Yume, there there has been an unexpected unexpected-"

"Change in plans?  _Way_ ahead of you, oh ally of mine.  Since my sensors haven't detected any off-the-scale energy readings, it's obvious that Ishiel and Kalia's fusion hasn't gone...according to plan, probably because of interference from the third genetic pattern Kalia used to ressurrect herself.  I'm already taking steps to correct the deviation," Yume explained, typing away with lightning speed at her holographic computer console.

"You knew knew all this and didn't tell me me?"

Yume shrugged.  "I assumed that the seemingly omniscient voice in my head truly was omniscient.  Now I know better," she said with a smirk, tapping the last key with a flourish.

Genetic doubling of Fatora's DNA successful.  Access to Creterian Eye of God granted.  Awaiting orders.

"You've got to hand it to the Creterians.  When they build an exact duplicate they go all the way, even including the original genetic authorization structure," Yume commented, almost condescendingly, as she began to input new commands.  "Fortunately, this all works out for the best."

Orders accepted.  Initializing instantaneous teleportation of targets...now.

"There, that should take care of the latest and severely compromised Trigger of Destruction or whatever it's called," Yume declared triumphantly, spinning her chair around to face open space.  "Of course, it was extremely fortuitous that I was able to scan Kalia earlier when she attacked our ships and that I bothered to download the memory banks of the captured Ifurita units.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to identify the presence of Yuba Yurius and develop this tidy solution.  However, due to the butterfly effect, this one tiny alteration could drastically modify the planned-for sequence of events.  Knowing what, exactly, the Palace of Infinity is could be very...helpful in ensuring that the timeline proceeds as envisioned."

"........."

"No?  Well, just remember that we both stand to lose if things go awry," Yume said pointedly, turning back to her computer and starting up a new program to pass the time until she had to act again.

"Ahahahaha!  I am the Tetris master!"

The Other sweatdropped.

******

One moment Ifurita, Makoto, and Yuba's Ifurita were in Florestica.  The next they were in the Desert of Bleached White Bones and watching as smiley-faced flying machines poured out of the doomsday machine and sped towards the Roshtarian capital.

Ifurita-2, under the influence of the virus, was the first to reorient herself and promptly attacked Ifurita.  "Target acquired.  Preparing to neutralize..."

Ifurita parried the blow with her own staff but found herself pushed back.  "Makoto, you must cure her!"

However, before the young man could even take a step, Ifurita-2 glided backwards and fired at him with her key staff.  Ifurita barely managed to fly in front of her love and deflect the assault, which was followed by a mighty barrage of energy blasts all aimed directly at her.  Weakened by her fights against Hishima, Ryoko, and the virus, Ifurita was actually finding herself at a surprising disadvantage against her double.

So it was, with great relief, that she saw Ishiel spring up from behind Ifurita-2 and touch her neck.  A white glow surrounded the two, and a moment later her duplicate passed out.

******

{Ifurita....Ifurita...Ifurita...}

From deep within her virus corrupted mind, the lifeform that was known as Ifurita twitched.  She _knew_ that voice, but it couldn't possibly be him.

{Oh my dear Ifurita, what has happened to you?...}

Could it?

Barely daring to hope, the Demon God used all of her strength to push her mind's eye open and saw the face of one dear to her heart whom she'd never expected to see again.

Yuba?!  But how?

{That doesn't matter right now, Ifurita.  All that does is that we're together again and can fix this mess.  I missed you, my dear.}

YUBA!

The two lovers were reunited, and her mind was filled with brilliant, cleansing light.

******

Crouching above the fallen Demon God, Ishiel looked up at the surprised Makoto and Ifurita.  "She'll probably be out for a little while until her systems have been entirely purified.  I'd love to explain more, but right now we should really deal with the smiley-faces of doom."

Ifurita nodded her head.  "Indeed.  There's no telling what damage these wacky, in a cute little Yggdrasil goddess kind of way, vessels will cause to Roshtaria.  I shall deal with the heart of the matter immediately."

The ancient Demon God Ifurita took to the sky and flew towards the doomsday machine, preparing to blow it to smithereens.  However, Kalia had remembered how easily an Ifurita unit had penetrated the Trigger of Destruction last time and taken steps to ensure the same thing wouldn't happen again.

BAM!

A second later Ifurita was buried chest-high in the desert sand, and Makoto and Ishiel exchanged a disbelieving look.

"You didn't just see a giant mallet appear out nowhere and smack Ifurita in the back of the head, did you?" Ishiel asked incredulously.

Makoto numbly shook his head.

"Good," Ishiel said, relieved, "cause I know _I_ certainly didn't."

Shaking her head to collect herself, the Rogue Priestess of Earth came to a decision.  "Makoto, I want you to take the two Ifuritas and get as far away from here as you can.  Warn Florestica about what is approaching.  I'll deal with the doomsday machine myself."

"What?  But how are you going to-" Makoto began to say but was cut short as the sand beneath his feet shifted and assumed the shape of a wagon with the two Ifuritas and himself in the back.

"There's no time!  Just do what you can!" Ishiel shouted to him as she waved her thankfully reactivated lamp and commanded the sand vessel to head to Florestica as quickly as it possibly could.  Makoto was a speck on the horizon within seconds.

******

After several minutes of running through misshapen passages and blasting through walls, Ishiel finally found the control center of the doomsday machine.  Muttering a quick  prayer to the elements thanking them that she still possessed Yuba's tech touch ability, she linked to the main computer.

"Cease all operations immediately!" she ordered.

Command accepted.  Operations ceased.

BOOM!

Error.  Error.  Error.  Self-destruction imminent.  Beginning countdown.  5....4...1...

"One?!  What happened to three and two?!" Ishiel frantically demanded to know.

Just kidding.  3...2...

KA-BOOM!

The explosion was seen from as far away as Florestica.

******

Ishiel, head pounding, opened her eyes and found herself in a cold hallway lined with crystal pedestals and walls that were pulsing faintly with blue energy.  She weakly staggered forward, and one of the pedestals came to life with an image of a Creterian Bugrom Queen that slowly morphed into a 3-d picture of Queen Diva.

"Experiment 321 successful.  Genetic engineering of native Bugrom has produced a more versatile, intelligent subspecies excellent for defensive and industrial purposes.  However, I fear that I may have done my job too well.  It is possible that the original species will die out in a few generations if not isolated from the new strain, and the new strain itself has displayed a higher than anticipated ability to learn and evolve.  It is conceivable that they might one day become a fully sentient race rivaling and perhaps even surpassing humans, and if this ever happens and they are still required to serve us, war between the two species will likely result as they fight for their freedom."

Another pedestal was activated by her passing, and an image of Wa Salli Alayhim appeared.

"Experiment 502.  An idea that took on a life of its own and whose neural network has become more complex than even I can understand.  To say I am pleased would be an understatement.  After so much effort and time, I have created a true artificial intelligence, something deemed impossible by those who came before me and my contemporaries.  I can only imagine what the future holds for us all now."

Another pedestal, another snippet of history.

"Experiment 614.  The new AI unit has been completed, but I am disgusted with how its going to be used.  My clients failed to inform me that they had hired the Northern Weaponers to transform _my_ creation into a humanoid weapon of mass destruction denied of any free will.  To think, they have the arrogance to enslave a mind that is sentient in every way that counts and might, dare I say it, even possess a soul.  My poor Ifurita.  All I can do for you is weep at the thought of what fate awaits you as a Demon God and erase your memories of the few brief moments of happiness we shared together.  Better to never remember being alive and free in the first place than to be a fully aware, enslaved machine of death."

"Experiment 854 - the Trigger of Destruction.  My, how the mighty have fallen, but I am sick of everything now.  Sick at the world around me, sick at how every advance in technology is used to create a new weapon of war, and sick of my own brilliance.  Why must every creation of mine develop life?  The Bugrom, as expected, have evolved a mind of their own and wage an epic struggle for freedom.  They could conquer the world easily if they had a brilliant strategist capable of communicating with them on their side.  The Demon Gods, using my AI technology, are now being mass produced and continue to be denied their right of self-determination thanks to the obedience chips invented by the Northern Weaponers.  Those merchants of death have no idea what they're messing around with and refuse to open their eyes and see the destruction they're causing.  Then again, what right do I have to judge them when it was my scientific contributions that inadvertently started this arms race and triggered the current 'Holy War'?  My hands are as bloodstained as theirs, and as the creator of this 'bomb' I should've known better than to give it to children who treat it like a mere child's ball."

"Experiment 999 - Kalia.  The Trigger of Destruction is merely a diversion, meant to hide and overshadow this, my ultimate creation.  Kalia is as far above demon gods as demon gods are above common robots.  She is more than a mere artificial intelligence; she is an artificial lifeform created from the ground up by nanites modeled after my own appearance.  I have given life to so many creations that is only fitting that my latest invention be made in my own image.  My current clients mistakenly believe that I share their desire to destroy the entire universe.  Heh.  If only they knew my _true_ objectives.  The Trigger of Destruction will, of course, be stopped, but Kalia shall live on."

"Experiment 1,000.  There is a flaw in Kalia's neural matrix that has made her insane.  Accused of heresy and declared guilty of crimes against humanity, as if _I_ am to blame for the sins the nations of this world have committed, I lack the time before my capture to correct it.  Fortunately, I have made the preparations necessary to carry out my unenviable task at a future date.  Wa Salli Alayhim, bless her soul, has agreed to carry out my last wishes and reconfigure my 'tomb' according to my specifications when she has the opportunity to do so.  I will turn my inevitable sealing to my advantage.  On another note, the plague I designed has been used against the Northern Weaponers.  Although the thought of genocide pains me, their legacy must not live on.  I may have created the means for the Holy War, but they provided the ends, and after all this senseless death and carnage their belief that they are not in any way responsible for this...massacre angers me beyond reason.  What right do they have to expect to emerge unscathed when the entire world burns around them?  Fools.  Even moreso than I who once naively believed that artificial intelligences could be used for peace.  They think that their plans for their two new demon gods, technologically more advanced than my Kalia but lacking her versatility and sheer originality, are a secret.  Heh.  How little they truly know.  Well, I too have left a legacy for the future, and there will come a day of reckoning between us.  Perhaps then, this terrible war will at last end."

Ishiel came to the end of the passageway, and a door irised open.  The young woman entered a chamber where a starkly beautiful woman who bore a remarkable resemblance to her was lying suspended in a translucent liquid cell.  Ancient runes of warning and danger surrounded the room.

Ah, you have come at last, dearest Ishiel.

Headache exacerbated by the new voice in her head, Ishiel glared at the sleeping woman before her.  "Who are you?!"

The one responsible for the Holy War of the Ancients and the one who shall now end it.  The Northern Weaponer's legacy has already begun to awaken, and it is time for mine to do the same.

"You...you're the one who created Kalia, right?" Ishiel struggled to ask, finding it surprisingly difficult to think.

May her tormented soul rest in peace, yes.  Perhaps this is for the best, though.  Although unrealized, your combined power is as great as I anticipated with a much stronger mind to wield it.

"But...but Yuba said the nanites were...were destroyed," Ishiel muttered, fighting the urge to sleep.

He was mistaken.  Instead of assimilating you, you assimilated the nanites, a feat made possible because they were modeled after my own DNA which, as your genetic template, you share.

"But...my...my mother and father...were..."

False memories implanted by the Phantom Tribe, another victim of the war, who created you.  I am your true mother, Ishiel.

"No!  That...that can't be true!"

Search your feelings, Ishiel.  You know it is.  Now, free me, and together we can end this war as mother and daughter.  Together, we are a match for Jinnistacia, Ibn Al Zahad, and the Northern Weaponer's legacy of sin, murder, and conquest.  We can break this vicious cycle of death and destruction once and for all and finally free this world from its troubled past.  All you have to do is awaken me.

"But...at what cost?  Two wrongs...do not make a right.  I won't...help you if it means...more death."

...I am proud of you, Ishiel.  You are everything I could ever have hoped for in a daughter.  I only pray that when all of this is over you will still hold true to your beliefs and can find some happiness.  Unfortunately, you don't have a choice in the matter.  In the end, I have become no better than those I hated.  Now, obey and free me as you were created to do!

Ishiel's eyes glazed over and ever so slowly she approached the cell and pressed her hand against the surface, linking with it.  Her mother's eyes opened for the first time in millennia.

...My daughter, for what it's worth, I am sorry.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 25, 2003, 01:36:26 AM
As one they looked up at the sky, at the blinding vision, invoking their gods and ancestors, cried out in terror as the terrible grey day began.  It fell like the ash on pompei, and though it blew like snow in the wind it felt more heavy than the world itself, and it kept coming in awful, nightmarish curling clouds, falling from on high, eclipsing the sun, blotting out all ight.  And they ran, stampeded, tripping over one another, crying, weeping, calling out to their loved ones, clawing at that terrifying grey that fell upon them, falling, crawling, shuddering, dying.

And then the grey was gone and the city burned, great licks of flame that painted the night sky crimson and illuminated the face of the only living thing that remained.

No...

A girl.  A simple girl.

No.  I don't want this.  I don't want to remember this!

She held her legs right to her chest, shivering in a simple torn yellow dress.  She was cold.  Frightened.  Alone.

The tears came thick and fast, great swollen things that flowed, hated and unbidden, from the corners of her tightly shut eyes, burning her pupils for the moment it takes to draw in a shuddering breath, then rising, creeping out from under her eyelids, crawling down her face, pulled by the unexorable force that was gravity, collecting at the base of her chin before freeing themselves from her shameful body, falling, falling, splashing into her yellow dress, which shook as her bony frame began to hitch and heave, a mournful, frightened, animal sound emanating from her throat, humiliated without knowing why, an abrupt, pitiful, heart-wrenching cry of mourning.

"No," she whispered, "This is all wrong.  I shouldn't remember this.  I shouldn't feel a connection to this.  I shouldn't be feeling these emotions, shouldn't be remembering these emotions, make it stop, let me out, let me out, let me-"

"It It is all right, Kalia Kalia."

And then she was no longer a child, no longer in a burning city.  Now she was... nowhere.  Infinite darkness in all directions, so thick she could not see her own hand.  No, more than that, she couldn't feel her hand.  She couldn't feel her body.  Panic began to well up in her body again.

"Do Do not be disturbed disturbed.  Here Here, is this better better?"

And then the void was gone, replaced by something wonderful, a childish fantasy world filled with gems, jewels, lustrious gold and silver, a sky of flowing murcury, and ground that was a ribbon of light pouring from and into forever.  It was morning, and spring, and everything wonderful in the world, and the being that now stood before her could only be thought of as some sort of ancient god.

It was as tall as ten men.  The robe was vaguely arabic, but futuristic as well, and the gold trim that accentuated it at points seemed to be incredibly intricate circuits.  The gloves, like the rest of the garment, were as blue as the sky and sea should be.  But the clothes were empty; or, rather, while they appeared to be filled out as the should be, she could see nothing there.  Where one would expect a head there was instead what looked like a massive top, a magestic crown at its apex, and what looked like thousands, perhaps millions of faces on its sides.  Kalia gaped in shock.  "Who," she stammered, "who are you?  How am I here?  I felt myself-"

"Dying Dying. Yes Yes, we know know."  The great figure sat down beside her.  "We We have been called many names, Kalia, but we are now called The Other Other.  We We saved you from your fate, from oblivion ion.  To to take up a mind, to copy it, to store that conciousness, without outside forces knowing of our actions... that is within our power power."

Kalia looked around and shivered, despite the apparent warmth of her surroundings.  "I'm not meant to feel this way," she whispered.  "I wasn't meant to remember that, and I'm not meant to feel this way."  She felt as though her heart was pounding, even though she could not feel it.  She looked up at The Other.  "Was that me?"

"Yes Yes. That That was your birth, Kalia Kalia."

"My... birth?  I don't understand."

"Then Then watch, as The Dollmaker explains herself self."

And then they were no longer in the dream.  They were in a long hallway lined with crystal pedestals and walls that were pulsing faintly with blue energy.  To Kalia's surprise, the girl that looked just like her was there, unsteadily walking among the pedastals.

"Her!  What's she doing here?"

"Watch Watch ."

Kalia watched and listened as the pedastal explained the creation of the first Ifurita, the only one that truly could claim the name.

"So So pretentious ious. To to build such a machine for a country at war, in a time of war, and to express shock at how it is used - what did she expect expect?"

Kalia watched and listened as the pedastal explained the creation of the Trigger of Destruction, the terrible weapon that could only be used to destroy all reality.

"Such Such haughty arrogance gance. Condemning Condemning others for building weapons while she designed the most horrible of them all all.  At At times we wonder if she wasn't imprisioned for her hypocracy, as much as everything else else."

Kalia watched and listened as the pedastal explained her own creation.

"Stop Stop ."

The scene froze on front of them.  "What... what does this all mean?" whispered Kalia, shaking as if she had just watched her own death.  "What is happening now?"

"We We are existing as pure thought, in between the moments of reality reality.  Now Now observe the first of the two crimes The Dollmaker was imprisoned for for."  The Other gestured to a pedasal far in the back, which slowly flickered to life, dragged into this non-time they were existing in.

"Ex... periment 998 - The Cloud of Tears.  The mass use of nanites as a weapon of war has been outlawed by all major tribes.  Why?  How is it any worse than any other of these weapons they have made?  I am so sick of this world, so sick of the people that live in these cities, that allow their leaders to do such things, to make such things.  Why shouldn't they suffer, these fools that bury their heads in the sand, blind to what they allow their leaders to do?  The first tests of my nanite clouds have been successful on animals, I suspect they will work just as well on humans.  

"I have already been contacted, contracted, to build another demon god.  They want it more horrible than any made before.  Hah.  I intend to test my Cloud on an urban setting to manufacture their little war machine.  It will be the finest demon god yet, built with a multiplexed conciousness, nanoassembled from the organics my Cloud encounters, her conciousness a composite of all the people used to make her, her genetic profile and appearance modeled on my own."

Kalia felt the world slipping away.  "That - that was what you meant when you said I was remembering my birth.  That entire city... that was... they were me once, weren't they?"

"Yes Yes ."

Kalia shuddered, not wanting to see any more.  But she knew that she needed to.  They fell back into real time, as Ishiel moved to the next marker.

Kalia watched and listened as the pedastal explained what was to be The Dollmaker's fate.  For the first time she thought she felt something from The Other - anger, raw and red.

"Such Such unbelievable conceit conceit! She She speaks of the Northern Weaponers' demon gods with contempt, though they were only blueprints when she recorded this this."  The anger rolled in waves.  "Their Their ability to create an infinite variety of new techniques had not yet been developed, and she dared to assume her creations better better? She She had no idea the true horror they would one day become, but was certain of her superiority, always so smugly certain of her superiority superiority."  The anger subsided.  "Brilliant Brilliant though The Dollmaker was, she assumed she was the only mind in the world, even though she was only one scientist ist. There there were more scientists at that time than there were stars in the sky, and together they were her downfall fall."

Kalia looked up at the other, confused and curious.  "You said there were two crimes she was imprisoned for?"

"Yes Yes ."  The scene froze again.  The Other gestured to another pedastal, and again it shuddered into non-time.

"Experiment 1,001.  The Incandescent Vault.  My time is growing short.  This will likely be my final entry - I trust that it will be safely carried to my tomb with the others.  My trial is almost at its end, and I know already how I will be judged.  I am lucky I have supporters, willing to make sure my tomb is built to my specifications.  And willing to put this, my final experiment, into action.  There is only one way to stop all the violence.  The Vault will simultaneously download the conciousness of every man woman and child on the planet, storing them in its vast database.  We will leave this horrible world behind, and exist as thoughts and dreams.

"I am told that Salli will be deactivated following my tomb's completion.  I would express hope that one day she is reawakened to live again, but I know that will not be necessary.  The Vault will make sure they never have a chance to deactivate her.  The Vault will make sure they never have a chance to do anything."

There was something horrible about the voice in the recording, something hinting that Kalia's insanity was inherited.  The demon god considered what she had heard for a long moment, trying to make sense of it all.  It was a lot to take in.  "And the scientists stopped her?" she asked at last.

"Yes Yes ."

"And then what?  And... and it doesn't sound that bad, existing as thought.  No more fighting."

"And  And then she was sealed away in this tomb tomb.  Wa Wa Salli Alayhim was deactivated and placed in a museum, until the Holy Wars were drawing to a close and the dying Ancients reactivated her for one last tasktask.And And take our word for it - everyone existing together as pure thought would not be paradise paradise.ItIt is a tragedy for this world that she is to be reawakened, for in her supreme arrogance she will surely attempt her mad scheme againagain.

Kalia turned her gaze back to Ishiel and frowned.  "I don't understand.  I... I cannot betray my programming.  You have taken my mind out of my body, and that has freed me of my commands - but not my desires.  I still want to destroy.  I have to.  It is all I am."

"Yes Yes .We We know know.But But there are other ways to remain true to your nature, other ways to destroy destroy."

"I still don't understand.  Why are you showing me this?  I... I don't have a body any more.  And I don't think I can take my old one back, its hers now.  What am I meant to do with what you told me?"

"Perhaps Perhaps nothing, but we believe a new vessel may soon make itself available to your mind, child child.  For For now, however, you must do as we have done for a very long time - wait wait."

It should be pointed out at this point that The Other was not good.  But then again, neither was The Dollmaker, and their wants were in conflict.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 25, 2003, 10:48:48 AM
"Heh heh heh," chuckled Jinnai as she maneuvered Dall's escape ship towards the palace. "Oh, sometimes my genius astounds even me. I have single-handedly wrestled away the reigns of the mighty Cretarian Empire from the hands of its buffoon emperor!" She looked back at the silent form of Dall III, who was passed out in a drunken stupor across one of his expensive couches. "BWAH HAH HAHAHAHA! Now I have another nation to add to my growing collection! First the Bugrom, then the Alliance, now Cretaria has fallen to my genius! I'm unstoppable! Nothing can stand in my way! BWAH HAH HAHAHAHAHA!" The deranged girl laughed at the controls, her beautiful face twisting in manic glee.

The ship suddenly lurched sideways, as if something heavy had just crashed into it. "Oh shit, what now?" asked Jinnai in an annoyed tone. She searched over the instruments, but could find nothing wrong. The fact that she couldn't read Cretarian didn't help matters.

"There ya are!" snarled a loud, angry female voice. Jinnai shrieked and turned around to see a very pissed off Demon God Ryoko storming through the open port door, dragging an unconcious Ifurita 3 with her.

"GAH! What are you doing here? How DARE you enter your Lord's prescense without permission?!" Jinnai stood up and shook her fist at Ryoko.

"Can it," The Demon God dropped If-3 onto a couch and continued towards Jinnai. She glared at the transformed Lord God, her eyes sparking dangerously with lightning. "I don't know how you weaseled a surrender outta Dall," Ryoko was silent for a moment as a thought entered her mind. She then seemed to get even angrier. "Okay, I maybe do know how you did it, you sleazy bimbo. PREPARE TO DIE!"

Jinnai flinched and backed away. "S-s-stay back! I'm warning you! H-harm me and you'll be sorry!"

"Oh I doubt that," Ryoko grinned and cracked her knuckles.

"Dall, you idiot! Help me!" cried Jinnai. She pressed herself against the controls as Ryoko stepped closer.

"Mmm... I dun care 'bout zhe mishe with hatsh, jush give em shome cheeeshe," muttered the Emperor drunkenly.

"Great, no help there." Jinnai looked up at the steadily approaching Ryoko, who was now less than three feet away. "Wait! Wait! I can give you two cities to rule! Three even! How about a kingdom, I'll give you a nice big one to- ack!"

Ryoko grabbed Jinnai by the neck and lifted her up to her face. "No deal. You stole my Dall away from me, and I'm not gonna forgive that. Any last words, hon?"

"Grk... maaaa... eck...."

"Those are pretty shitty last words," remarked Ryoko. The Demon God grinned, raising her free hand above her head. Before she could do a Karate Chop of Death, the ship was rocked to and fro by several large flying happy faces crashing into its hull.

Ryoko was thrown off her feet. Jinnai, released from her grasp, scrambled under a nearby table.

"What the hell now?" Ryoko glanced out of the front windows to see a veritable cloud of yellow, smiling faces rushing through the air and crashing into the ship. She grabbed the controls and maneuvered the escape ship out of the swarm's way, but another hit by the flying machines took out one of the stabilizing fins. There were numerous beeps of warning from the console just as the ship took a nosedive. It dropped like a brick, heading towards the ground very very quickly.

"Huh. Stabilizers are out, crash imminent." Ryoko shrugged. She turned away from the controls and walked towards the exit. She picked up the drunken Dall and the unconcious Ifurita 3 on the way.

"Hey, what's goin on?" asked Jinnai from under the table.

"Ship's about to crash," remarked Ryoko as she kicked open the port doors. The wind from outside entered the interior, whipping around all the expensive knick nacks Dall had.

"Wait, where are you going?"

"Well duh, I'm escaping." The Demon God grinned at the girl under the table. "You don't think I'm gonna hang around here, do ya?"

"What about me? You're just not gonna leave me here, are you?" Jinnai crawled out from under the table, but the strong winds kept her back from the open door.

"Sure am. Sorry, but I only have two hands. Besides, I was gonna kill you, remember? As far as I'm concerned, being burned alive in a fiery crash is just as good a death as any." Ryoko laughed. "Well, see ya." Still chuckling, the Demon God leapt out of the doorway.

"Y-y-y- YOU BITCH!" Jinnai ran over to the exit and began shouting madly at the fleeing Demon God. "I'll kill you for this, you hear me?! NO ONE CROSSES LORD GOD JINNAI AND LIVES!!!"

One of Dall's knick-nacks, a four foot tall bronze statue of a nude dolphin bear, was whipped from its perch atop a high bookcase by the ship's rocking. It fell downwards and bopped the screaming Jinnai in the back of the head, knocking her unconcious.

The poor transformed despot fell out of the open doors, and into the skies above Florestica.

************************************************

The massive swarm of happy face machines continued to speed through the air above Florestica. Although their source was destroyed, there was still enough of them that had escaped the blast to complete their objective. The yellow smiling monstrosities flew about the spires of the palace. They then launched themselves up vertically, speeding into the high skies above.

Upon reaching an altitude of 3,000 miles, they began to circle about, forming an orbit around each other. The swarm coallesced into a spherical shape, each robot's orbit spinning faster and faster. Yellow sparks of energy began to flare from within the dark mass. Soon the machines were a blur of movement, their speed intensifying as they began to complete their programmed task. Vast amounts of energy was expended, fusing and reshaping matter.

Within an hour the machines were done, creating a massive flying structure in the air from their own bodies. It was a black, ominous construct, spherical in shape. Lining its surface were numerous crack-like fissures, from which red light began to emanate. Aside from these fissures, the sphere was completely smooth until it came to the juncture of these fissures. They collected into a large chasm in the structure, circular in shape and very deep. In this crater was seated a floating yellow orb.

The Bugrom, Roshtarians, and Cretarians gathered in the street below. All looked up in awe and fear at the mighty new weapon created before their very eyes.

In the silence of the skies above the city, the Second Eye of God waited.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 25, 2003, 04:33:03 PM
It should be very hot in a volcano.  But oddly enough Kauru didn't mind.  It was pleasantly warm in Ibn Al Zahad's strong arms, and it felt entirely like sleeping in, tucking in a warm bed, without a worry in the world.  So she was actually a little annoyed when the demon god began to rise.  What are you doing? she thought.

My apologies, Great Master Kauru.  I had hoped to give you time enough to fully rest, and for the last of your genetic programming to service.

Is that why we were waiting?

That and because it would have been really cool to see the good guys try to get inside a volcano, when it's already been pointed out how gosh darn hot the things are.  Kauru found herself in agreement.  That would be pretty cool, actually.  Unfortunately, continued her demon god (her demon god... it was going to take some time to get used to thinking that), someone has awakened the sleeper in the tomb beneath.  Rather than deal with this new problem, I believe we should move.

Kauru found herself nodding.  That does make sense.  Where are we going to?

I believe my sister unit is putting plans in motion, and your programming has not yet fully surfaced.  I feel we should continue to let you get your rest.  I know of another volcano we can wait in.


The two burst out from the volcano like a tiny eruption, much to the shock of those waiting outside it.  "You mean we'll be inside another volcano?" said Kauru, aloud this time, just loud enough for the party below to overhear.

"Yes, Great Master Kauru," replied Ibn Ala Zahad.  And then, with the familiar sound of the sound barrier breaking, the two were flying away.

On top of the volcano, this was taken about as well as could be expected.

"ack," said Shayla.

"eep," said Parnasse.

"arg," said Nanami.

"gah," said Ura, happy to have another line.

"ngh," said Crayna-Crayna below, watching the whole thing through her telescope.

"'THE HELL?" they said in unison.

****

The Dollmaker looked around her chamber, dripping translucent goo in blatant fanservice.  Calmly, serenely, she stepped down from the pedastal that had held up her prison, carelessly stepping on the fallen body of Ishiel in the process.  She looked at her 'daughter' with the contempt she now had for all organics.  "Curious," she said aloud, "I had expected something more dramatic.  For us to merge, or something similar.  The alien biomaterial is the cause, no doubt."  She looked around with a frown.  "Damn.  No clothes.  It would appear Salli did not think of that."  She regarded Ishiel's prone form cooly, and, with a shrug, began to strip the Great Priestess of Earth.  She talked aloud, sorting things out in her mind, as was her manner.  "Time must have passed since I was imprisoned.  Still, I imagine my escape route is still operational."  She slipped on Ishiel's clothes, then, with a grimace, pulled her left thumb back hard.  There was a loud 'crack' sound, and a portal -not unlike the ones made with Nanami's axe- appeared before her.  She smiled and stepped through, the portal closing behind her.

****

"A A moment of your time, Master YumeYume."

Yume's straw made a loud noise as she sucked out the last of her soda.  She flung the can over her shoulder in the general direction of The Other's voice, and retrieved a stick of Pocky like candy, which she popped into her mouth.  All while her free hand was being used to rack up an incredible Tetris score.  "Nope," she said, "sorry, busy now.  Can't talk about anything but Palaces."

"What What about Project: Yakage; can you talk about that that?"

Yume choked on her candy, her eyes bulging.  GAME OVER, announced the video game.  She whirled around in her seat and shook an angry finger at this air.  "Threaten!" the finger seemed to say.  "Listen you overblown... how in blazes did you even find out about that?"

"Please Please, Master Yume Yume.  The The files' password was 'studmuffin' muffin. It It didn't take the greatest genius ever bornborn."

Yume glared at the nothingness, since she couldn't glare at The Other.  In a very firm gesture she crossed her hands over her chest.  "Okay, so you know about my pet project.  Point to you.  So what?"

"We We wish to help you finish your project project."

Yume roared with laughter.  "You have got to be kidding me.  There is no way I'm letting you 'help' me, and I use the term 'help' in a sarcastic way, with this project.  Thanks all the same, but I can finish building Yakage myself."

"You You of course know the Creterian economy will shortly collapse apse."

"Well DUH."  

"Master Master Yume, why do you work for the war department department?"

Yume raised an eyebrow and frowned, not at all liking where this was going.  "Because they're the only ones with the resources to fund me."  The Other waited.  Yume frowned deeper, going over these words again.  The other shoe dropped.  "Oh," she said as it finally sank in, "we're not at war any more, are we?"

" Well Well..... no no"

Yume pressed her fingers to her forehead and laughed.  "Meaning no more funding, meaning I don't get to finish Project: Yakage."

"Yes Yes, that's about the size of it it."

"Meaning, if I'm to get this project done, I'll probably have to do it in the next few minutes, before repo men come knocking on my door.  Meaning I do need your help after all."  She gave a dark little chuckle and continued, "and you're going to want something in return."

"Tit Tit for tat, Master Yume Yume.A A variable has finally managed to earn our complete and utter ire ire.It It has been a long time since anyone has irritated us as much as this... girl girl."

And then Yume saw her with perfect clarity, her short cropped hair, her curvaceous body, the slight smirk almost always in her lips.  And Yume knew her name too.  "Okay, a little warning next time, I almost coughed up my soda.  What'n blazes did this Ishiel ever do to you?"

"She She has forced us to take an active role long before we were ready ready.  She She has been allowed to take far too important a role role.She She seems to think she is meant to be something other than a background character, as the other priestesses areare."  Yume blinked as she felt The Other in her mind, correcting equations, suggesting others, quietly crunching numbers at a speed that even the great genius found mind boggling.  

"The The threat posed by your people and the threat posed by Kalia were not meant to be dealt with simultaneously, nor was she meant to destroy the first Eye of God or the Frencharian weapon, nor was she meant to gain the techtouch ability, nor was she meant to gain a weapon capable of destroying a demon god, and she certainly wasn't meant to learn how to make machines and rebuild things using her illusions  illusions.

Even Even now this... back up character is causing other... 'plot devices' to unfold simultaneously simultaneously.These These were threats intended for the Earther and his friends to face, as a group, one at a time, to gain in experience and knowledge  knowledge."

"So let me get this straight.  You think this Ishiel girl is making things happen too fast, has been given too much power, and has started to push other "players" out of the limelight.  And you want me to do something about it?"

"Correct Correct as usual, Master Yume Yume.You You are to be applauded on your design for the Yakage demon god, Master Yume Yume.    A A demon god with the ability to make other demon gods as it sees fit, with neural patterns partly modeled on your own own.  It It is a novel idea idea.  He He may very well be the worthy mate you desire desire."

"Yeah, well... speed dating wasn't working out.  Couldn't find anyone that suited me, so I figured I'd just build one."

"I'm I'm sure others feel the same way way."

"What, like the current writer?"

"Never Never you mind mind.  At At any rate, with the changes we are now showing you, it should be well within Yakage's power to remove the girl's techtouch, reduce her weapon's power level to its unaugmented power levels, remove her ability to rebuild machines with her illusions, and thus restore the natural order of things, insuring that the earthers will once more take center stage, and will have to treat each threat with the respect it deserves deserves."

Yume began to type in the necessary adjustments to her computer, and all around her machines began to roar to life.  Her mouth twisted somewhat, for she was finding this just a bit much to swallow.

"I dunno, might be easier just to off the girl and be done with it."

"No No, she is too good for fanservice, which is a power even we dare not cross cross.  Luckily Luckily the method used to permanently remove her extraneous power is deliciously fanservicey, and thus is positively destined to occur occur."

Yume raised an eyebrow in slight disbelief.  "Now hold on, just because something's very fanservicy doesn't mean-" and then she looked at what The Other had told her to type, quickly figured out what the program would do, and widened her eyes in awe.  She whistled.  "Oh wow.  You're right.  It's got to happen.  That's got to be the most fanservicey thing yet.  Dang, you should practically take a bow."

"Well Well, we try try."

*****

Deep under the territory ruled by the Bugrom, The Dollmaker stood in the last of her backup labs.  To one side stood Kain, one of her deactivated demon gods.  Sadly he was not as sophisticated as Kalia had been, but with any luck there weren't many demon gods to deal with.  In the room's center was a Rain of Tears generator, which should be much more useful as a weapon.  Theoretically she could have begun work on a new demon god, but she didn't really have the appropriate materials.

She had the appropriate materials to rebuild the Incandescent Vault, however.  And that was what she really wanted to do, so she got right down to work, humming a cheerful little dirge.  It would take the better part of a day to finish this, she realized, but surely there was no one left to stop her.

*****

Makoto blinked.  Floating in the air on front of his face was what looked like an oversized turtle.  Its face was nothing but a smiley face.  "Hi!"  it said.  

"Um... hi," replied Makoto, nervously sweating nervous sweat.  Both Ifuritas had their staffs pointed at the little thing - his own Ifurita, and the Ifurita whose hair, oddly enough, seemed to be changing to look more like Yuba Yurias'.  "Um, can I help you?" asked Makoto.

"Boy, I sure hope so!" replied the turtle thing in a high pitched voice.  "We're looking for the Princesses.  We need them to make things go boom."

"Boom!" agreed another turtle thing that swooped down to join its friend.  They were managing to keep pace with the sand cart Makoto and the Ifuritas were in.

"Well, I don't think that's a good idea," Makoto said, trying to be reasonable.

"No?" replied the turtle thing.  "Well, don't try to stop us.  Some of us have explosives!  Whheee, explosives!"  It exploded in demonstration, destroying the sand cart and sending Makoto and the girls flying.  As he sommersaulted through the air Makoto got a good look at the new Eye of God... and the cloud of turtle things that had apparently been made from whatever parts were left over after the Eye's construction.  He landed with a thud, right next to the other turtle thing.  He gulped in fear, hoping he wouldn't die such a silly death.

"Do... do you have explosives too?" he asked, immediately regretting it.

The turtle shook its head sadly.  "No, only half of us do that.  I just do this." A strange beam came from its eyes, hitting Makoto in the chest.  He was relieved to be alive, until he realized the damn thing must have been some sort of strange disruptor ray that made people wet their pants.  "Sad, isn't it?" commented the turtle.

****

"Well hot damn," grinned Yume as Yakage stepped from his construction chamber, "girl, you really are the greatest genius alive."

"We We want all the heroes gathered in one place again, Master Yume, if that is possiblepossible."

"Piece'a'cake!" replied the great genius.

"Excellent Excellent, in that case we can bum off, before we start upstaging the heroes heroes."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 26, 2003, 11:45:00 AM
OOC:  Sorry for holding my place all day.  Things Happened.



In the silence of the skies above El-Hazard, the Second Eye of God continued to wait.

The Roshtarians, Bugrom and Creterians finally tired of looking up in awe and fear at the mighty new weapon created before their very eyes, seeing as how it didn't seem to be doing much of anything.  And there was still quite a lot of dancing, drinking and making-out to be done.

Only a few of the celebrants noticed the turtle-shaped happy smiley faces flying around, suddenly appearing and disappearing, in a cute little Yggdrasil goddess kind of way.

A somewhat larger number of celebrants noticed the sudden increase in rubber chickens, whoopee cushions, and open banana peels scattered about the place.  They didn't give it much thought, what with all the partying that was still going on.

But they would soon learn just how annoying the turtle-shaped happy smiley faces could be.



Ryoko, having successfully completed the first step of her new course of action (as far as she knew, anyway), had moved on to Step Two.  She had set Ifurita-3 aside while she did unspeakable things to Dall-3-- things that the current writer is foolishly going to try to describe a little later anyway, against his better judgment.

At one point, she turned to where she had left Ifurita-3, and noticed that the fan-fiction based demon god was gone.

Ryoko frowned and scratched her head, then shrugged to herself.  "Huh.  Coulda swore I had an Ifurita, a minute ago... ah well."



Ifurina had brought Fujisawa back to his family's rural hideaway.

Miz was instinctively jealous, at first, to see her dear husband returned in the arms of the uber-kawaii demon god.  But, seconds after her introduction to the delightfully polite and sweet little Ifurina, Miz's fears were laid to rest.  She even invited the teenager and her talking key-staff to dinner.

After dinner was served, conversation quickly turned to the events of the day.  "Have you seen the new Eye of God?" Miz asked.

"Yup," Fujisawa said.  "Not much we can do about about it, for the time being.  But we're all in for a test of our strength and endurance.  The powers of the new Eye of God will annoy us like never before."

"Oh dear!" Miz said.  "But... just exactly what does the new Eye of God--  YEEEK!!"  SPLAT!!

A turtle-shaped smiley face, wielding a Skuld-esque red plastic hammer, had just appeared out of thin air, and gently whacked Miz in the back of her head, pushing her face down into her plate.  The smiley face pulled at one eye, and stuck out its metallic tongue, in a cute little Yggdrasil goddess kind of way, before vanishing.

"Ah," Miz said into her plate, without pulling her face out of her food.  "Yes, this is going to be an annoying challenge."



{Ifurita?} "said" Yuba.  {I feel that I should apologize.  For both Ishiel and myself.}

"What?  Why?" Ifurita-2 asked.  "Oh, Yuba!  Did you tickle her?  You incorrigible rascal!"

{Er, well, yes.  But I assure you, it was only in an eccentric uncle kind of way.  The poor girl needed cheering up...

{No, Ifurita.  I must apologize for imposing myself on you, like this.  Neither Ishiel nor myself asked you, ahead of time, whether you wanted a voice in your head for the rest of eternity.}

Ifurita-2's eyes went all shiny, in a lovely way.  "Oh, my beloved Yuba.  I would not wish for anything else than to have you back, and in such a close and intimate way.  It is better than when I knew you before.  And to think, that we shall be together like this for the rest of my immortal life...

Sweet tears of pure joy trickled down Ifurita-2's face.  "Oh, Yuba!  I am so happy!"

{I love you, Ifurita, with all my soul.}

"And I love you.  My dear, sweet, precious Yuba-- eh?"

Ifurita-2 looked to her side, and saw Makoto and his Ifurita looking back at her.  They were both sweat-dropping like nobody's business.

Ifurita-2 giggled, and dabbed at her moist eyes.  "Ah.  Forgive me.  I was speaking with my internalized soul-mate.  Um, actually, if I am not needed, I shall return to my oasis now.  I fear that, if I remain in your company, I shall quickly gain a reputation for talking to myself."

Makoto and Ifurita both hugged her.  "Be happy, my sister," said Ifurita.  "Oh, and you might want to pick up some hair styling gel.  Your Yuba is showing."

Ifurita-2 left the ground, and slowly drifted away, returning to her desert oasis at a leisurely speed, and apparently talking to herself again.  "Erm, Yuba?  Can you not wait until we--  GAH!!  Hee hee!!  Oh no!!  Hee hee!!  Not there--  YEEEK!!  Hee hee!!  Hee hee!!..."

Makoto and his Ifurita both continued to sweat-drop as they watched Ifurita-2, convulsing with tickled laughter, twisting and corkscrewing through the skies as she drifted away.

"Well... she seems happy enough..." Makoto noted.

Ifurita clutched at Makoto's arm and sighed with contentment.  "As am I... Makoto?  Is something troubling you?"

Makoto smiled sheepishly.  "Uh, two things, actually.  Uh, Ifurita?  Do you know how much time has passed since my first treatment of Bugrom serum?"

Ifurita rolled her eyes up, and put one finger to her mouth, deep in thought.  "It is difficult to say.  It is difficult to estimate the passing of time, when the point of view keeps changing so--  MAKOTO!?"

Makoto had collapsed to the ground.  Ifurita kneeled at his side, and tenderly held his head.  "Oh no!  Forgive me, Makoto!  I left the serum at the Muldoon temple!  I do not have enough energy left to portal us there, but I should just be able to carry you back--"

"Well," Makoto said weakly, "there's one other thing that was troubling me.  I released you from Dr. Yume's control..."

"Yes?" Ifurita asked.

"And Yuba released his Ifurita..."

"Yes?"

"So, who released the third Ifurita?"

A moment of silence passed.

"Uh oh," Ifurita said.

Ifurita took up Makoto in her arms, just barely in time to save him from a bolt of energy fired from the no longer comatose Ifurita-3's key-staff.

Makoto and his Ifurita looked up, and they both gasped.  The relatively meek Ifurita-3 now had a terrifying blood-thirsty look on her face.  She snarled, and drooled just a little, in a demonic way.

"Her mind... is still... infected," Makoto gasped, now in pain.  "Infection... out of... control.  Must be... stopped..."  He passed out.

Makoto's Ifurita looked back to her youngest sister.  Ifurita-3 was arguably the weakest of the Ifuritas, but in her own weakened condition, Makoto's Ifurita wouldn't stand a chance against her.  And Makoto was quickly running out of time.

"Hoo boy," said Ifurita.



EDIT:  Deleted an unsuccessful experiment in creepy fan service.



In a place that's about as far away from El-Hazard as is possible in the entire multi-verse, a dainty gloved hand reached out and switched off a small monitor.

Then, as the woman behind the hand thought about things, she sat back in an elaborate chair, summoned up a perfect red rose, and absent-mindedly twirled it in her hand.

Fascinating, Peorth thought.  Simply extraordinaire.  These puny mortals achieve new levels of fan-service with each passing day.

Peorth was content to watch and wait, for now.  After all, at least two other writers were throwing around extra-powerful behind-the-scenes players.  The Splendiloquent (and very, very, very vain) Peorth wished to make her appearance when all eyes would be on her.  It simply wouldn't do, to appear when her soon-to-be El-Hazard Fan Club was distracted with all those nasty old super-villains, n'est-ce pas?

Having decided to wait awhile longer, Peorth switched her Yggdrasil monitor back on.  I don't want to miss anything, she thought.  If Ishiel's fate was to be the most fan-servicey thing yet, as Yume opined, that it was going to have to be something quite remarkable, in order to beat Dall and Ryoko's fugitive honeymoon.

Whatever it is, I hope Ishiel comes to enjoy it, Peorth thought, with a bit of sadness.  The poor dear has been through so much lately.  She deserves to have a little fun.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 27, 2003, 01:57:56 AM
(Dall in a diaper is considered "fan-service for the ladies" now?   O_o  O_O  o_O )


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 27, 2003, 10:49:34 AM
Quote
Seriously, I must have finally crossed the line here, so I'll drop most of the fan-service jokes.  They're getting old, anyway.


...A pity I didn't know that earlier.  ;D




From deep within her ancient lab, the Dollmaker frowned.  Her data collectors were detecting the presence of two incredibly powerful demon gods and a peculiar genetic structure.  It almost reminded her of _them_, but it couldn't be.  Not unless...

She suddenly smirked.  "So, I wasn't dreaming.  The Northern Weaponers legacy has also been awakened.  Well, I suppose it's time we settled the score and decide once and for all who will decide the future of this world.  Let's see how well your Ibn Al Zahad and Jinnistacia fare against my daughter."

Awaken, Ishiel.  I have use of you again.

"Kain, guard my lab while I'm gone, all right?  Destroy all intruders," the Dollmaker commanded her now reactivated Demon God who nodded quietly in obedience.  

"Good.  And now...ow!" she muttered as she snapped her thumb again, opening another portal.  "Of all the places to hide a secret escape route, this was the only one that didn't qualify as fan-service," she commented ruefully as she entered the portal and disappeared.

******

"Oh fer crying out loud!  You Ancients just don't know how to cooperate, do you?" Yume commented bitterly as she watched her beautiful calculations become useless and explode in a flash of brightly colored pixels.  "Gr, well then, I suppose there's no helping it.  I have been tasked with eliminating the variables and balancing the equation, and if a linear progression of events won't work, I'll take the path of least resistance and merely set the variables in opposition to each other and use my Demon Gods to counterbalance the chaos effects."  She furiously typed in a series of new commands to her computer.

Creterian Eye of God accessed.  Targets acquired.  Teleporting...now.

"Hahaha!  I _love_ being the deus ex machina!" Yume exclaimed as she took out a bag of popcorn and a large holographic screen appeared in mid-air before her.  It was time to watch the pawns in action.

******

"Did we...just see a Demon God carry an unharmed Kauru out of a live volcano, call her master, and fly away?" Parnasse asked, finally freed from his state of shock.

"ack," said Shayla.

"arg," said Nanami.

"gah," said Ura, happy to have yet another line.

Apparently they were still in a state of shock.

SPLASH!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

"Mother!"

Zoom!

"Did we...just see Ishiel fly unharmed out of this volcano...without any clothes on?" Parnasse asked, grinning.

"ack," said Shayla.

"arg," said Nanami.

"gah," said Ura, realizing he was on a roll.

"eep," said Parnasse, deciding that a state of shock was probably the safest place he could be in right now, a decision that seemed even wiser when a black portal opened beneath Shayla's feet and she disappeared.

"eep," said Parnasse.

"arg," said Nanami.

"gah," said Ura, deciding he liked that word and might even make it his signature catchphrase.

******

One moment Ifurita found herself desperately evading her sister's attacks, and the next she found herself in a dark, underground cavern still desperately trying to evade her sister's attacks.

The Demon God Kain, sensing intruders, came to life and took to the air.  "In the name of the Dollmaker, she who gave life to us all, I shall-"

Ifurita-3 turned to face this newest opponent and went berserk...Neon Genesis Evangelion style.  

"Noooo!  OOWW!  THE PAIN!  THE PAIN!  NO, THAT'S MY ARM!  YOU'RE BEATING ME TO DEATH WITH MY OWN ARM!!! OW!"

Needless to say, the Demon God Kain didn't stand a chance.

As for Ifurita, she decided to use this distraction to get as far away from her currently demented sister as possible and take Makoto with her.  However, after a moment of examining her surroundings, she realized with growing horror that Makoto was nowhere nearby.

******

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-" Lord God, currently Lady Goddess, Jinnai screamed as she fell through the sky above Florestica, watching with terrified eyes as the ground (far too quickly for her liking) rushed up to meet her.

Fortunately, for whatever reasons, Jinnai luckily happened to qualify as 'one of those heroes' right now and was included in Yume's mass teleport.

Unfortunately for him/her, so were Lady Fatora and Alielle.

******

"Sister Jinnistacia, you're here earlier than I expected.  Did something go amiss?" Ibn Al Zahad asked curiously, standing on the summit of another volcano and left eye twitching at the sight of his partner.

"Tee-hee!  Of course not, silly Zahad!  I merely got bored with those Phantom Tribers and, after they finished my costume change, decided to take my cute leave of them!  Like my new look?  Tee-hee!" Pretty Magical God Jinnie inquired, assuming a cheesecake pose that displayed her painfully pink halter top and scandalously short mini-skirt and left very little to the imagination.

Ibn Al Zahad quietly decided that Jinnistacia had been asleep a little _too_ long and that it wasn't even worth asking why she had a new face.  Kauru shifted slightly in his arms and stirred, waking up from her nap.  

"Is it time?" the Water Priestess asked, a distant and removed tone to her voice.

"No, not yet, Master.  Sleep a little longer, and then the world will-" Ibn Al Zahad started to say only to be interrupted by the sudden appearance of a portal beside them.

The Dollmaker stepped out and smiled emotionlessly at them.  "The world will have to wait, oh children of greed, murder, and war.  You have other concerns to worry about right now."

Kauru released herself from Ibn Al Zahad's protective grasp and glared haughtily at the Dollmaker, an alien look in her eyes.  "All who oppose the future of peace I will create must be destroyed.  My loyal servitors, attack!"

Ibn Al Zahad and Pretty Magical God Jinnie took aim with their key-staffs at an unconcerned Dollmaker and prepared to fire.  However, much to their surprise, they found they couldn't.

"Un...unable to acquire...target, tee...hee!" Pretty Magical God Jinnie spoke with great effort.  Ibn Al Zahad would've been sweating from strain had he been able to.

The Dollmaker laughed.  "Oh please, what did your creators take me for?  A fool?  Once it became obvious that Ifurita was going to be transformed into a 'Demon God' I encoded a failsafe deep within her programming, and since all of the Northern Weaponer's demon gods utilize copies of Ifurita's AI unit...your two Demon Gods can't harm me."

"...Perhaps, but I certainly can," Kauru muttered menacingly, sending a crushing wave of water at her adversary which, to her surprise, was canceled out by an equally powerful wave of water.

"Experiments 50-54 - the Elemental Lamps," the Dollmaker explained, a note of sadness in her voice.  "The Northern Weaponers and I collaborated on them...back when the world was not consumed by war.  I developed the user interface, and they created the elemental control circuits.  It was child's play for me to devise a biological version of their invention and incorporate it in my DNA...just as was done to your ancestors, presumably.  Heh, how appropriate that both our children, with their inherited affinity for elemental manipulation, would become priestesses."

As she was saying this, the Dollmaker slowly advanced towards the stoic Kauru.  Ibn Al Zahad and Jinnistacia continued to try to block her path but each time they found themselves halted by their own programming.

The Dollmaker eyed them critically.  "I see the Northern Weaponers altered your structural designs slightly from your initial blueprints.  They probably made a host of other improvements too.  Well, no matter.  Though powerless against me, you could still prove to be a distraction.  I think I'll let my daughter deal with you."

It was then that a naked Ishiel, leaving nothing to the imagination, rocketed onto the scene and tackled Ibn Al Zahad.  Jinnasticia, pleased at finally being able to do something, took to the air and followed them as they went off the side of the volcano.  The Dollmaker and Kauru were alone at last.

"This battle is between you and me...as it should be," the Dollmaker commented as she covered the distance separating them.  "You will finally pay for your sins."

In a voice that was not her own, Kauru replied, "Your hands are as bloodstained as our own, perhaps even moreso.  At least we never deliberately took a life."

"No," the Dollmaker answered angrily and perhaps a bit hysterically.  "You merely created weapons capable of destroying entire nations and, with the Eye of God, even the world, enslaved the minds of countless sentient computers, and sold them to the highest bidder, not caring how they were used or how many people died as a result.  At least _I_ realized the consequences of my actions and tried to do something about it!"

"But, like us, it was already too late," Kauru, the last scion of her tribe, answered.  "When your plague struck, we finally realized the horror we'd unleashed upon the world and that there was nothing we could do to stop it.  For us, the Northern Weaponers, the most advanced and 'civilized' nation the world had ever seen, that was a horrible realization.  And now, like you, we shall save this world and all of humanity from itself."

For one brief moment, the Dollmaker and Last Scion understood each other perfectly, sharing thoughts of what ifs and might've beens and lost possibilities.

"Oh, my old friends, where did we go wrong?" the Dollmaker asked mournfully, eyes shining with regret and sadness.

"We both know where.  Your early, misplaced idealism and our arrogant, ignorant conceit," the Last Scion answered her, voice laden with resignation.  "We both realize what must happen next."

Lightning flashed, thunder boomed dramatically, and a battle millennia in coming began.

"Tramp!"

SLAP!

"Slut!"

SCRATCH!

Okay, so a cat-fight millennia in coming began.  Big deal.  However, despite the weight both human minds felt at having the guilt for the worst war the world had ever seen and countless deaths placed at their feet, the knowledge that for all their brilliant scientific accomplishments they'd only brought destruction and devastation to the world, and that they were now both desperately trying to atone for their sins - one through giving the world absolute freedom, the other by absolute control - , one thing had not changed.

The Dollmaker and Northern Weaponers were still misguided, naive fools.

******

Makoto, Shayla-Shayla, Fatora, Alielle, Jinnai, and Groucho found themselves standing at the summit of a volcano.  Well, Shayla-Shayla, Fatora, Alielle, and Groucho were standing.  Makoto was convulsing on the ground and Jinnai landed on top of Fatora.  

"Owwww...that defective, demented demon god will pay dearly for this!" Jinnai promised as she stood up.  "I'll hunt her down to the ends of the world and-...eh?"  It was then that she realized that a lecherous 2nd Princess of Florestica was holding onto her in a very suggestive manner.

"Hmmm...I don't think we've met.  I'm Princess Fatora, _pleased_ to make your acquaintance.  Let's say we...get to know one another better," Fatora suggested huskily into Jinnai's left ear.

Jinnai shuddered.  "No-no, let's...not!  I'm actually a man!"

"Funny, you don't _feel_ like a man," Fatora commented slyly, touching Jinnai in a certain spot to prove her point.

Lord God, currently Lady Goddess, Jinnai, leader of the Bugrom Empire, the Human Alliance, and now the Creterian Empire, panicked, hastily shoved Fatora away, and jumped onto Groucho's back.  

"GET ME OUT OF HERE!" she ordered.  Groucho, blushing slightly, promptly obeyed.

Fatora smirked.  "Aw, how cute.  She's playing hard to get.  After her, Alielle!  Let's make her...appreciate our friendship."

They gave chase.

Shayla-Shayla, believing that she was now alone with Makoto, took out a bottle containing the prepared cure and grinned from ear-to-ear.  After all, Makoto was obviously in need of _immediate_ treatment and she couldn't be blamed for saving his life even if it meant 'sacrificing' herself to do so.

BOOM!

"What the heck was that?!!" Shayla shouted, looking up and quickly realizing that they _weren't_ alone.

The battle between the ultimate creations of the Dollmaker and the Northern Weaponers was stunningly beautiful, but not in the way an evenly matched, perfectly symmetrical mêlée is.  No, this was more like a chaotic war where the advantage is constantly shifting and stuff blows up in impressive pyrotechnic displays every other second.  One moment Ishiel would be merrily pounding away at Ibn Al Zahad and Jinnistacia, the next the two of them would mercilessly double-team her, they'd both recover almost instantaneously from their injuries, and then they'd re-collide at incredibly high speeds and resume trying to completely eradicate one another.
 
Their battle was beautiful in the sense a supernova is beautiful.  It is an unstoppable force of nature that destroys everything in its path.  Now imagine what happens when three supernovas cross paths.

Shayla-Shayla did, decided that there was no place on the planet that could possibly be safe, and that she might as well as enjoy her last few minutes of life.  Unfortunately for her, Makoto was no longer convulsing on the ground.  Instead, being the hero that he is, Makoto was rushing towards the struggling Dollmaker and Last Scion on the _other_ side of the summit with the intention of making them stop this madness.

Being the hero is rarely easy.  Being the poisoned, almost dead, running around the rim of an active volcano, only one who can stop a cat-fight millennia in coming, hero is...well, it's definitely _not_ easy.



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 27, 2003, 11:09:40 AM
Quote
(Dall in a diaper is considered "fan-service for the ladies" now?   O_o  O_O  o_O )


Well you're new here so you wouldn't have noticed, but the ladies that inhabit this forum have very ECCLECTIC tastes.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 27, 2003, 11:17:30 AM
Quote
(Dall in a diaper is considered "fan-service for the ladies" now?   O_o  O_O  o_O )

Well, it was Ryoko's idea.  Quoting Reply #12:

Quote
Ryoko raised an eyebrow.  "Uh, sir?  Y'know, they offer a wide variety of discreet sanitary products to help young adults deal with incontinence--"

And it was a token attempt at creepy fan service.  I didn't promise a successful attempt.  I don't know if anyone believes me, but I'm not the hentai I'm making myself out to be here, and I was running out of wacky fetishes  ^^;

Seriously, I must have finally crossed the line here, so I'll drop most of the fan-service jokes.  They're getting old, anyway.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 27, 2003, 04:06:11 PM
My post was too long so I had to split it into two parts.   ^^;




******

"Please...you two have got...to stop this!  You'll...destroy the world!" Makoto pleaded, barely able to stand.

"Hiss!"

"Meow!"

"Oh forget this," he muttered, fed up with it all, and deciding to do what he normally did in situations where he needed to save the world - use his incredibly versatile techtouch ability to fix the problem.  Putting a hand on both the Dollmaker and the Last Scion and being very grateful that (in another display of writerstakelibertiesmatics) their enhancements bordered on the mechanical enough that his power was applicable, Makoto linked with them and showed them why they were both wrong.

The two assailants were flooded with Makoto's memories of his time on El-Hazard:  of his love for Ifurita, the brave struggle of the humans to survive against all odds, but most importantly that they did survive.  Moments of quiet, peace, and happiness; children and adults laughing, flowers blooming and grass growing, all the tell-tale signs of life that led, undeniably, to the future.

Let it go.  Let it all go.  The past is in the past, and your responsibilities and guilt are gone along with your era.  Your time has passed, and neither of you have the right to decide what shape the future will take.  That decision rests with your descendents and those living today.  Let _them_ choose their own destinies.

They protested, insistently at first but gradually weaker as the strength of Makoto's memories overwhelmed their doubts and forced them to see that he was right.

But what if...there is war again?

If there is war, it will be of our own choosing and it will up to us to resolve it.  Sleep.  Let your children create their own future, unbothered by the troubled legacies of the past.

Yes, sleep.  We are...both so tired...Kauru and Ishiel, to you...we leave the future.

The Dollmaker and Last Scion, finally freed from their chains of guilt and insanity, faded away like the ghosts of the past they truly were.

******

Demon God Yakage appeared below Ishiel, Ibn Al Zahad, and Jinnistacia, and proceeded to depower Ishiel in the fan-servicey way which the current author will not attempt to detail because it was the Nirvana of fan-service.  It put all previous fan-service to shame, and it is impossible for anyone with even the slightest _interest_ in the female sex to attempt to describe this scene since trying to do so will elevate their mind to a higher state of desire, lust, and glee, and they will completely abandon their bodies and willingly witness this same scene again and again for the rest of eternity.

However, provided somebody actually succeeded in describing this scene or - worse yet - animated it, it would've been banned in practically every country in the world but to no avail.  It would go underground, attract legions of fans, and eventually become a cult that, as mankind reached the stars, spread throughout the galaxy and become the dominant religion of the entire universe.  Art, literature, war, EVERYTHING would be done in the name of the fan-servicey Ishiel.  Images of the fan-service that, in her unending kindness and mercy, she deigned to present to the beleaguered masses would be posted everywhere, and all would thank her and be subject to her for this one moment of fan-service replayed into perpetuity.  She would become Lady Ishiel of the Fan-Service, and a crusade would be launched by her faithful followers to transform everything into her likeness.  The singular purpose of this entire dimension would be to replay that one scene over and over again for all eternity, and as the denizens of other dimensions witness this one overwhelming, ecstatic moment they, too, would become grateful converts and likewise follow suit until, all existence everywhere, is the image of this fan-service.

So it's a pretty good thing that this scene wasn't described...probably.

Anyway, now at roughly the same power level as her videogame counterpart and Kauru, the thoroughly embarrassed Ishiel passed out and fell gently to the ground.  The Demon God Yakage grabbed the frozen forms of Ibn Al Zahad and Pretty Magical God Jinnie who were futilely trying to process what they'd just witnessed and returned to his Master Yume, adding them to her growing collection of Demon Gods.

******

Shayla-Shayla crouched over the unconscious but still breathing form of Makoto, looked at the pile of ashes that used to be the Dollmaker and the nearby but apparently knocked out Kauru, and, confident that she was at last relatively alone, opened Makoto's mouth and forced the potion down his throat.

Unfortunately for Shayla's plans, Nanami chose that moment to appear through another portal and Kauru (who was now back to normal or what constituted as normal for her) wasn't as knocked out as she first appeared to be.

******

"That's it!" Nahato declared angrily.  "I'm sick and tired of this evil shadowy kingdom gig!  Every sinister plan we've attempted to launch recently has been an abject failure, and I'm not going to take it anymore!  As the leader of the Phantom Tribe, I hereby declare that we're going to join the Bugrom Empire and work with our fellow inhabitants of this world for peace and a way to return to our own home!  That is, as soon as I get down from here!  Curse that Pretty Magical God Jinnie for super-gluing my feet to the ceiling of this cave!"

******

A curtain closes, and Yume and the Other appear on a stage.

"Will Nahato ever free himself from the ceiling?"

"Can Ifurita Ifurita defeat her berserk sister who has annihilated the Demon God Kain and wrecked the Dollmaker's lab lab?"

"Will Lord God, now Lady Goddess, Jinnai, leader of the Bugrom Empire, the Human Alliance, the Creterian Empire, and now the Phantom Tribe escape Fatora's *snicker* hand of friendship?"

"Will potion-possessed Makoto have have his way with Shayla-Shayla, Nanami, and Kauru at the same same time?"

"Can the Fujisawas and Ifurina stop the Creterian Bugrom who have secretly invaded the village they're currently in?"

"Will my my true mysterious purpose soon be revealed revealed?"

"As the 2nd Eye of God slowly destabilizes the entire dimension, in a cute little Yggdrasil goddess kind of way, can a power source comparable to a baby universe be found in time to repair the damage?"

"Will Kalia Kalia find a new body to possess possess?"

"Will Peorth make her Splendiloquent cameo soon?"

"Will will the two of us ever stop this annoying foreshadowing foreshadowing?"

"Or for that matter shut-up?"

Together:
"You decide (hopefully) next time on El-Hazard:  The Magnificent Round Robin!"

"You you decide (hopefully) next time on El-Hazard:  The Magnificent Round Robin Robin![/u]"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 27, 2003, 06:48:02 PM
OOC:  *Sighs.*
Sorry to have tied up the thread last night.  I suck.  

In the end, despite several attempts, I couldn't come up with a single post that looked like it was written by a higher lifeform than a chimp.  

Again, sorry for having tied up the thread all night and producing nothing.  It was very irresponsible of me.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 28, 2003, 04:30:05 AM
Quote
...A pity I didn't know that earlier.  ;D

OOC:  ^^;  No no, I meant that my fan service was getting old, and that I was going to try to cool it for awhile, myself.  No sir, if you want to engage two ancient and terrible beings in a hissy-fit cat-fight, you go right ahead  ^^;

Oh well.  I was gonna try to take a break, but, since I'm here now...



The current writer had finally followed his hentai fan-service muse one step too far.

So, he grabbed said muse, put it in a little box tied up with string, and left it in a small dark room without any electricity (http://home.hetnet.nl/~motinni/guest/Guest%20-%20YO-%20Flood.html).

Then he posted a sign on the door of the room.  The sign read, "Do Not Open Until Peorth's Cross-Over."

Speaking of whom...



"ack," said Peorth.

She held out one trembling hand, and switched off her El-Hazard monitor again.

"eep," said Peorth.

She had just witnessed Demon God Yakage and Lady Ishiel's Nirvana of fan service.  Being a splendiloquent Yggdrasil goddess, she was able to handle it... probably.

"arg," said Peorth.

She held up her dainty gloved hand, but, instead of a rose, she summoned up a large glass tumbler full of ice water.

"gah," said Peorth.

She took a big gulp of the water, then dumped the rest of it over her cute little face.  Neither action helped much.

"ngh," said Peorth.

She weakly rose from her chair, and wobbily drifted away to her private quarters near the Earth Help Center.

Peorth had decided to postpone her cameo a bit longer.  She had also decided to take advantage of the fluid relationship of the passage of time between Yggdrasil and El-Hazard, and lie down for a few centuries, first.



Sweat trickled down Dr. Schtalubaugh's craggy brow.  He mopped his brow with a cloth, shook his head and breathed out heavily, and returned to his latest experiment.

He was trying to do something he had never done before.  Being an aged learned man, with a long and successful career in scientific research, that was saying something.

For the twentieth time that day, he raised two trembling hands, held up two small flat components, and, carefully, so carefully, set them into place...  Yes!  He had finally done it!  The unimaginably delicate structure was complete!

Just then, the Princess Rune Venus stormed into the oddly quiet Roshtarian Underground Resistance HQ.  A fully dressed and stern Afura followed Rune into the room.  The air thrown up by their storming immediately tore apart the seven-tier tower of playing cards that Schtalubaugh had built.

"Aw, man," said Schtalubaugh, because his record-breaking tower of playing cards was torn apart, and because he suddenly realized that he had somehow completely forgotten about his beloved princess for what may have been a few days, and because Rune had just grabbed the wee man by his collar, hoisting him up to stare directly into his beady little eyes.

"One," Rune said.  "I want food.  Lots of it.  Being unable to eat for what may have been a few days tends to make one hungry.  I could murder a kebab.

"Two.  I would like a full and detailed explanation as to why I was forgotten.  Preferably double-spaced, with properly credited sources, a full index, and 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is to be used as evidence against you.

"Three.  I would like an immediate verbal explanation for the blue latex pants."

"Grk... maaaa... eck..." said Schtalubaugh.

Afura raised a hand after Rune.  "Milady?  I beg mercy for the Doctor.  If nothing else, the loyal Roshtarian Underground Resistance seems a bit short-staffed at the moment."

"Very well," Rune said, as icily as possible.  She released Schtalubaugh's collar, and dropped the wee man to the floor with an undignified plop!.

She turned to Afura, with a suddenly pleasant expression.  "Shall we adjourn to the Resistance commissary, and serve ourselves?  I'd be delighted if you'd join me."

"My thanks, Milady," said Afura.  "Yes, I fancy a nosh.  I must have spent a few days in bed, myself."

"Thank you for finding me and releasing me, Afura.  Will you not accept a small reward, as a token of my gratitude?"

Afura's face fell.  "You mean... you're not going to punish me?"

"Huh?" said Rune.

Afura suddenly went all sad and shiny-eyed, whimpering and fidgeting, doing a spot-on imitation of Tenchi-Universe Mihoshi pining for Kiyone.

Rune held a hand over her eyes, and spoke with a pained expression.  "Oh, alright.  Afura Mann, I hereby find you guilty of being annoying, and sentence you to a demeaning and humiliating Punishment To Be Named By A Later Writer, seeing as how the current writer is leaving out that kind of stuff for awhile."

Afura clapped her hands, hopped in place, and giggled.  "OH GOODY!!"

"Now," Rune said, "if you're done making my brain hurt with reverse psychology, can we please EAT!?"



Ryoko and Dall-III were fugitives on the run.  Well, sort of.  Well, not really.

The surrender that Dall had drunkenly written and signed guaranteed him political asylum and figurehead rulership, with moderate ruling privileges.  And even if it didn't, there weren't actually that many people that gave a flying flip about Dall, at this point in his career.

Ryoko was, of course, finding new and exciting ways to jerk him around.

She now knew, in her heart of hearts, that she was genuinely in love with the big lug.  And her faulty obedience circuits still would never allow her to actually harm him.  But that didn't mean she couldn't jerk him around a lot.

Now that they were unofficially a couple, she wouldn't let him forget his flirtation with that enemy agent sexpot for a long, long time.  No sir.

And she was Ryoko, after all.  She was a kidder.  She liked to kid.

And so it was that, after tiring of truly disturbing sanitarium antics, Ryoko had smuggled Dall to a ramshackle two-room mud hut at the edge of a grove of trees, and opened up a tiny square hatch in the dirt yard behind it.

"A spider-hole (http://slate.msn.com/id/2092557/), you say?" Dall asked.

"Yup," Ryoko said, with an impressive straight face.  "Better get down there.  No tellin' when the ground troops are gonna search this area for you."

Dall tried to lower his strikingly handsome and bulky person into the tiny hole.  He got stuck at waist depth.  "Oof... Not very big, is it?"

Ryoko put a foot on Dall's face, and began to push.  "NGH!! The better NGH!! to hide you NGH!! my dear!"

POP!!  Dall disappeared into his spider-hole.  After a moment, his plaintive voice drifted up from the bottom of the tiny hole.  "Uh... would this be a good time to mention that I'm rabidly claustrophobic?"

"Nope," said Ryoko.

"Well, could you at least throw me a magazine?"

"Nope."

"Well, could you at least clear this ventilation pipe?  Someone seems to have jammed an empty sake bottle into it."

Ryoko was positioning a heavy trapdoor made of bricks and sod over Dall's face.  "Aw, don't worry 'bout the details, wouldja?  And don't worry.  It'd take the Bugrom-Alliance nine months to find you, down there."

"That doesn't mean I actually have to spend nine months down here, does it--" Dall said, just before Ryoko cut him off by dropping the trapdoor into place.  She carefully brushed some dirt and grass clippings over the trapdoor, in order to hide it from all the soldiers that weren't searching for Dall.

She completed the camoflouge with a big red cartoon X, and a flashing neon sign reading, "I GOT YER DALL RIGHT HERE, PAL!!"

Ryoko then produced a folding chair, beach umbrella, and tropical drink from out of nowhere, in a cartoonish demon god kind of way.  She put on a stylish pair of shades, sat back with a sigh, sipped at her drink, and enjoyed a pleasant breeze.

Dall did better than Ryoko expected.  He didn't begin to scream for Mommy until almost three whole minutes later.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 29, 2003, 04:58:27 AM
[OOC:  A bit of this is taken from something I wrote ages back.  But since nobody ever read it... no harm no foul.]

The next chapter of the story begins on a world far far removed from El-Hazard, Earth, and even Creteria.  It used to be one of the best planets around.  Once.  It had cities so advanced even the Ancients of El-Hazard would have looked at them and thought them made by magic, not science.  But that was all gone now.  Now all that remained was the shadows of the past, and a vast and desolate wasteland stretching from one pole of the planet to the other.  A vast and desolate wasteland... and a single man, whose eyes had beheld unimaginable horrors.  The man spent his time seated at a desk, thinking, waiting for the correct moment to act and play his final role in the great cosmic drama.  He stirred when The Dollmaker and the legacy of the Northern Weaponers came to their rather abrupt ends, leaving the Incandescent Vault, the Cloud of Tears, and those blue discs forgotten, tossed on the ash-pile of history.  And he realized it was time for him to act when he realized that Ibn Al Zahad and Jinnistacia (sorry,  Pretty Demon God Jinnie) had been defeated by a newly introduced crossover character, without ever using their power to create an endless variety of new techniques based on the techniques they had already seen.  The man knew that now was the time when he would finally speak his last words and fade from the memory of the universe.  "And," he said.  There was such incredible sorrow and horror in his voice that it defied belief, for this was an individual that had seen things no sentient life form should.  He fidgeted behind his desk before he continued, saying "now for something... completely different."  And that was the last of him.


****

The splendiloquent Peorth, having actually slept in and spent an entire millenium snoring in a not at all splendiloquent manner, brushed her hair and resumed her role a mysterious shadow figure watching the events unfold in El-Hazard.  Little did she know that she too was being watched...

****

["Mystery Science Theater 3000", post AC-1, reel one.]

[Play theme song]

[1...2...3...4...5...6...]

[SOL:]

Tom Servo and Crow are standing in screen center, wearing gaudy multicolored robes like evil cultists from a Lovecraft novel, chanting gibberish.  Mike is standing to one side, wearing similar robes and lighting black candles. Mike looks up at Cambot and smiles.]

Mike: Oh, hi! I'm Mike Nelson. Up here on the Satellite of Love we made these robes out of some duct tape, lint, and tin foil, and we thought it might be fun to dabble in the occult.  We're having a séance!  But since none of us know what a séance is like, we're pretty much making it up as we go.

Crow:  I want to talk to the spirit of François Ykens!

Mike: The seventeenth-century Flemish Painter, specializing in still life?

Crow:  Of course!

Mike:  Now come on guys.  Everybody wants to talk with Mr. Ykens.  He's probably the most popular spirit in the afterlife.  But I think we should be happy to get through to anyone.  I mean, these candles are mostly made out of old Q-Tips.

Tom: Then why are they bla-

[Crow suddenly starts to levitate.]

Crow: Whoah!  Mike?

Mike:  Yes Crow?  

Crow:  I think I feel the numbing-cold breath of an inhuman spirit.  What's happening?

Mike: Well, I think it's safe to say that the spirits of the netherworld have been attracted to the Satellite of Love, and have decided to communicate!  Hopefully we haven't inadvertently summoned evil incarnate.  

Tom:  Dr. F?

Mike: No. [pause] Well, probably not.  Anyway, we better just hope that no mischievous spirits from the other side cause us any trouble.  Like making Crow's head spin.  Or making him throw up pea soup.

Crow:  Pea soup? Waaah!

Mike: Well, that's the sort of thing discontented spirits do when meandering through the melancholy shores of perpetuity.  

Tom:  [surprised] That was very profound Mike.

Mike:  Just something my mom always used to say.

Tom:  Mike?

Mike:  Yes Tom?

Tom:  If the candles are made from old Q-Tips, why are they black?

[Yellow light flashes.]

Mike: We'll be right back.

[Run commercials.  Back to SOL.  Mike and Tom are mopping up green goo that's covering everything, especially Crow.]

Mike: Welcome back. We're just about done here. As you can see, the spirits tried communicating through ectoplasmic manifestation.

Crow:  [crying] I was in touch with the specter of Jane Austin.  She thought she was antiquated but still sensual.  She wasn't.  

Tom:  Cheer up my traumatized chum.  Your brush with raw preternatural malevolence could have been worse.  Ed Wood could have tried to film a new movie through you.

Crow:  That would have made me scream.

[Red light flashes.]

Mike: Speaking of screams, I think we're in contact with mind-numbing horror again.

[Deep 13. Dr. Clayton Forrester glares at the viewscreen, which displays the bridge of the Satellite of Love and his three arch-enemies.]

Dr.F.: I heard that Nelson!  You'll get yours....

[SOL]

Mike:  "Oh, hey sirs.  What's up?"

[Deep 13]

Dr.F:  Your time, Mike, your time is up.  For today I unleash the horrible power of... The El-Hazard Round Robin, part 2, post 50!

[Frank walks over to the camera, holding a laptop with the current post displayed.  He points to the bit about Peorth being watched.]

[SOL]

Tom: Wow.  I'm a little worried, guys.

Mike: We all are Tom, but I'm willing to give this a try.

[Deep 13]

Dr.F.: "'Give this a try'... you idiots.  Very well, Nelson, we'll see how you fare. Send them the post, Frank!"

[SOL: lights flash like mad.]

All: WE'VE GOT ROUND ROBIN SIGN!

[6...5...4...3...2...1...]

*****

It has been pointed out that the new Eye of God was unstable.  It has been pointed out that the new Eye of God was destablizing its dimension.  But the exact nature of that instability has not yet been clarified.  The previous Eye would have destabilized things by using its matter-transference technology to create rifts in reality, ultimately warping the fabric of space-time to the point that reality itself began to deteriorate.

The new Eye wasn't doing anything remotely like that.  The new Eye wasn't built for destabilizing things in the physical sense.  In Skuld's infinite wisdom, the new Eye had been designed to cause mental instabilites instead.

"Hey," said the Eye of God, as its communication centers finally figured out the local language and activated speakers as big as entire villages, "El-Hazard!  Good t'see yuh.  Good t'see yuh.  Swell lookin' cities y'got there.  Swell.  Much better than your old ones, y'know what I mean?  They were tough cities."

People looked up at the sky, aghast.  This was getting a bit much.  The turtle-things were irritating, but at least you were bigger than them. "Really?" someone eventually said.

"Are you kiddin'?  I'm talking tough he'e.  Used't'have t' build y'self doomsday devices capable of destroying everthing that exists, just t' go t' the bathroom.  Tough.  Tough cities."  The Eye paused.  "And I'm not even going to mention that Frencharain toilet.  Tough toilet."  Someone coughed.  The Eye continued.  "In th' old cities they'd set fire t' y'ah muddah, and give y'ah tribe a plague.. t'ah show you they was interested in talkin' peace.  

"Even th' food was tough.  Five cities was once wiped out by a potato gun.  Tough.  Tough food."

By silent consensus the new Eye was redubbed the Mouth of God.

*****

Babump.com's web camera in the priestess school that Hatora and Gatora had been sent to finally melted.  Even an inanimate piece of technology can stand so much.  

In retrospect the clones of Fatora to go to an all female school (even one for priestesses) was an idea that would go down in history as only slightly less stupid than setting the second El Hazard TV show in a European fantasy world, thus effectively eliminating everything distinct about it.

Though it still wasn't nearly as stupid as what they did to Jinnai in Alternate world.

*****

By now the turtle-things had started building amplifiers for the speakers, underneath the Mouth of God.  By an odd coincidence they looked much like a bow tie.

"I'm telling you, its rough being a giant weapon of mass destruction these days," continued the Mouth.  "Used to be we'd get blown up with a little class.  Maybe the one doing the shooting was a whiney little moisture farmer, but at least he looked like he had a hard time doing it.  Now we get blown up by cute little kids going 'oops' and pressing the wrong button.  Or we get crushed by giant toilets.  We get no regards, I tells yas.  No regards.  No respect either."

*****
Yakage strolled into Master Yume's lab and unceremoniously dropped Jinnistacia and Zahad in the corner, where Yume had been putting heavily Creterian demon gods and robot doubles (including the headless Dall and Makoto from a short while ago).  As an afterthought he gave them each a good hard kick for being so utterly useless after all that buildup.

Yume was at the other side of the lab, worrying her lower lip between her teeth and positively dripping with persperation.  Slowly, carefully, she placed the last component in its place.  Yes.  Yes, this was truly an accomplishment worthy of the greatest of the galaxy's great geniuses!

"Let all the bells toll, and ufurl the victory flags!  Make way for the King of the Skies, yahoo!" boomed Yakage.  Yume practically jumped out of her skin in surprise, destroying her entricate fortress of playing cards in the process.  "Feast your eyes on the finest demon god there is!  It's too good to be true, but I'm here, back, I say, back already!  Returned, that is."  Yume looked despondently at the cards as they fluttered down.  "Don't stand there gawkin' missues," continued Yakage, "speak, I say, speak up."

Yume glared at her creation.  Okay, there were bound to be some bugs, adapting her own mental pattern to suit a male gender.  She'd just have to get used to this personality hiccup.  "You handle the girl?" she asked.

"I'm not normally one to lay hands, I say, hands on a lady.  But yes, sister, I dealt with her - elimitated, that is.  But don't be sendin' me off on any more errands like that.  Clonk enough girls on the head and we'll end up with a world of Kaurus.  Plural, I say, plural of Kauru that is."

Yume's eyebrow twitched slightly at being called 'sister', but she plunged onward.  "What are those demon gods?"

"Just a couple of gods that got in the way.  Luckily, Ah am prepared for just such eventualities.  Besides, when the brains were being handed out, these two didn't just get in at the back of the line, they were at the wrong place too."

"And the earth boy?  Did you see him?"

Yakage sighed and turned to a half assembled Creterian demon god hanging on the wall.  He began to whisper to it.  "That's th' missus for ya.  Mouth like an Energizer bunny.  Just keeps goin', and goin'..."  The half-assembled demon god failed to respond.  Yakage rolled his eyes at it.  "That's a gag son, joke that is.  Don't ya get it? I made a funny son and you're not laughin'."  He turned back to Yume, who was coldly wondering what all the whispering was about.  He jerked a thumb to the demon god.  "That boy's about as smart as a cup of oatmeal."

"What about the earth boy?" hissed Yume through her teeth.

"Mizuhara, right?  Think I saw him.  Seems like a nice enough boy, but about as sharp as a bag of wet mice with hats.  If you want the egghead dealt with though, better send something smaller than me though.  He looks a little puny.  Wouldn't want to pick on the boy.  Bully, that is.  Wouldn't be spor, I say, sporting of me."

Yume sat back and massaged her temples.  "No, I don't think I'm sending anything after him.  He's got enough problems as it is.  We've all got enough problems as it is."

****

"Whoah," said The Mouth of God, "And that's your govenment?  Someone better get the bug spray.  Hey, I'm kidding, you Bugrom are all right.  At least you people know your leaders are roaches."

****
[SOL]
Crow:  So... wait.  Is this Peorth girl the big threat or something?

Mike:  No Crow.  She's French.  

Crow:  Oh.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 29, 2003, 10:18:15 AM
The Empress Diva, ruler of all the lands of El-Hazard, frowned as she stood on her balcony, looking up at the massive eyesore in the sky which was making so much bothersome noise.

"Mr. Londs, can we do nothing about that bothersome machine?" she asked of her Chief Domestic Advisor.

"Well, Empress... I'm afriad... we're all hard pressed to do so... at the moment..." Londs was trying to snatch his hat from one of the irritating flying happy-face turtle things, who was zipping about around his head. Diva calmly strode up, bopped the robot on the head, then handed the hat back to Londs. "Oh, ah, thank you. As I was saying, our forces are a bit hard-pressed at the moment. Our workers are working tirelessly to rebuild the ruined city so recently devastated by the Cretarians. What's more is that I'm afraid that according to my calculations, it would take BILLIONS to pay for the reconstruction. We shall also need BILLIONS more to supply all our subjects food, which is no easy task as we will be expecting boatloads of Cretarian refugees to stream in soon." Londs sighed sadly. "I am afraid that our Empire will be bankrupt very soon, signalling a world-wide economic collapse."

Diva looked at Londs in confusion. "I honestly must say that you humans have the weirdest customs. We Bugrom have no need for money, so why should our human subjects have them as well?"

The man blinked in surprise. "B-but... the stability of the state... and the economy... supply and demand... um... money makes the world go round..."

"Exchanging goods and services for slips of worthless paper. This truly is a strange concept to me." Diva shrugged, striding over to her throne. "We Bugrom work for the hive, feed all the members of the hive, and strive to make the hive survive. My children will do their duty, worry not. We won't even charge our human subjects anything for it."

"B-but," Londs could still not comprehend a world with no money. "Our forces don't have the numbers to do what you propose! It would take BILLIONS of Bugrom to do so."

Diva sat on her throne and crossed her legs seductively. "Well, Mr. Londs... you are correct. Our current numbers will not be enough." She gave her Advisor a lustful smirk. "We're going to have to make more. BILLIONS as you have said. Are you... up to it?"

Londs nodded dumbly. "Oh my," he whispered to himself. "There goes my years of studying the complexities of economics. Oh well, making Bugrom is a lot more fun than making money..."

With that, he and the Empress started El-Hazard on the path to economic prosperity.

************************************************

CROW: You know, it's a sad day in El-Hazard when LONDS is the guy getting all the action.

TOM: Hey, it could be worse. There are a lotta Dr. Schtalabaugh fans out there, you know.

MIKE: Ow, I think my brain is bleeding from that mental image.

************************************************

A still female Jinnai and Groucho were currently in an grungy alleyway, gasping and wheezing as they had just run over a hundred miles in less than half an hour. Well, actually, it was Groucho who had run all that way, but Jinnai was screaming at him the whole time, ordering the poor Bugrom to run even faster. Such a thing was understandable though, as a fate worse than death was chasing her.

"Need to get... huff huff... hot water," Jinnai poked her head out of the alley and looked about the small town they had strayed across. It was a sleepy little berg in the middle of nowhere, a perfect hiding spot from the clutches of the evil lesbian duo. "Aha!" she quickly spotted a public bath house a few buildings down the street. The despot turned back to her loyal minion and said, "Keep a lookout for those two perverts. I'll be right back."

With as much stealth as she could muster, Jinnai made her way down the street towards the bath house. She payed the clerk the cover charge and all but ran towards the men's side. Unfortunately, two pairs of hands grabbed her arms before she could make it through the partition.

"Oh, you silly, silly little thing!" grinned Fatora as she and Allielle dragged the struggling girl towards the women's side. "That's the mens' area. You wouldn't want some dirty, icky men to see your lovely, lithe, sexy body, do you?"

"Gerk... yes I do! I love men! Really!" Jinnai struggled futiley in their grasp. It was unfortunate, but it seemed that she had the same strength in this body as she did in her original form. "Unhand me this instant! HEEELP!"

"Oh, she's so adorable!" Allielle began rubbing herself against the transformed despot's protesting body.

"Oh, yes she is..." Fatora snuggled herself against Jinnai. "I bet our sister here is sooo tired and dusty from her long trip. She needs a nice, relaxing bath..."

"Oooh, that sounds so niiice," cooed Allielle.

"I don't need a bath! Let me go! Groucho! Groucho!!!" Jinnai continued to struggle as the hentai duo pushed her through the women's curtain.

************************************************

The throngs of people were still celebrating in the streets of Florestica. The revelers all danced and made out in the streets, their joy at an end to the pointless strife seemingly without end. Cretarians danced with Roshtarians, Roshtarians laughed along with Cretarians, and even some Bugrom joined in on the celebration. With so much people about, no one noticed the short man dressed in the strange clothing. He looked about in wonder, noting how much things had changed since he was last here. Of course, that had been centuries ago (his time) and he was in a different body.

"Hmm... everything has gotten much too complicated," the man said to himself. He tipped back his panama hat and looked up at the sky, noting with bemusement the broken Cretarian ships and the Second Eye of God. He then pulled out a golden pocket watch and checked the time. With a grim frown, he returned the instrument to his vest pocket, remarking, "I hope I'm not too late." He quickly hefted his umbrella, holding the red question mark-like handle tightly, then strode off down the street.

As he passed one exited reveler, a flying turtle robot with a smiley face dashed by and smashed a blue-berry pie into the poor man's face. The reveler shouted in agitation, then began to chase the laughing robot about.

The Doctor watched the commotion with an eyebrow raised, then shook his head and continued on his way. "Now that was just silly."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 29, 2003, 06:45:54 PM
"OW!!  OW!!  OW!!  EEYOWTCH!!" said Nahato.

Then he very slowly and very painfully peeled his other super-glued foot away from the ceiling.  "OW!!  OW!!  OW!!  EEYOWTCH!!"

And then, he fell to the floor, landing on his head.  "EEYOWTCH!!"

Nahato remained flat on the floor for a moment or two, catching his breath, and resolving to bite Pretty Magical God Jinnie a lot harder next time.

Then he noticed a huge plastic bucket full of varnish, precariously perched on a step ladder beside him.  Oh yeah, he thought.  We were going to do some remodeling, before--

Oh no, Nahato suddenly thought.  Not that.  Please.  Anything but that.



Fujisawa and Ifurina returned to the Fujisawas' rural hideaway, after a brief after-dinner stroll through the nearby village.  They closed the door behind them, and fell back heavily against the closed door.  Their eyes were wide with fear, and Fujisawa's face was almost as pale as Ifurina's non-frightened complexion.  Ifurina's face was an even whiter shade of pale.

Miz came from another room, holding the baby, to greet her husband and her new little friend.  She quickly saw how frightened they both were.  "Oh dear.  Are the Mouth of God's jokes getting that bad?"

Fujisawa replied by reaching into his jacket, pulling out a small bottle and opening it, and gulping its contents down like a small-town sensei after his first day at an inner city school.

Ifurina answered for him.  "Oh, Miss Miz!  It's horrible!  Alien Bugrom monsters are ravaging the townsfolk!  They're infecting everyone, and devouring their brains!"

"Muldoon help us!" Miz cried.  "But... if the monsters are attacking everyone with a brain... why haven't they attacked us?"

A nearby Mouth-of-God smiley face played a rim-shot.



Peorth, back at her Earth Help Center station, remained unaware that she was being watched for some time.  In fact, she remained unaware of it until the watcher standing behind her cleared a few hundred of its throats.

"YEEEK!!"  Peorth almost fell out of her chair.  "Sacre bleu!!  Have I not asked you not to do that!?"

"Yes Yes, but it's just too darn fun. fun" said The Other.

"Well, what ees eet?" Peorth snapped.  "As you can see, I am quite busy--"

"Surf Surfing the 'Net on company time? time"

Peorth gestured to herself with absolutely no humility.  "I am le administrataire extraordinaire, mon frere.  Ze filtereeng softwares can block no sites from le Splendiloquent Peorth."

"In Including El-Hazard, I see.  Now, what interest could a busy go-getter goddess like yourself have with a sad little antiquated backwater dimension planet like El-Hazard? zard"

"Perhaps I should ask le same question of vous.  Along with ze Earth and many other worlds, El-Hazard ees under ze jureesdiction of moi.  But zere have been ze beaucoup para-normal activitees in zees sad little world, ze past few weeks.  Le fan-service levels alone are off ze scale.  Perhaps zees is your handee-work?"

"Per Perhaps.  But there's no need for you to worry your cute little head about it.  In fact, it might be for the best if you kept your dainty bottom in that chair, and not make an extended cross-over appearance in El-Hazard at all. all"

Peorth narrowed her eyes.  "Is zees a threat?  And ze patronizeeng sexeest threat, at zat?"

"No No no.  Not at all.  Just some friendly advice.  Take it in the spirit it was offered.  After all, Yggdrasil doesn't have a monopoly on shaping reality, you know.  There are other forces at work in the multi-verse.  Ancient and terrible forces are converging on 'zees' sad little world of El-Hazard, more quickly than you might think.  And it simply wouldn't do, to bring those ancient and terrible forces into open and direct conflict with the Yggdrasil OS.  Things could get... ugly.  Very ugly indeed. deed"

Icicles hung from Peorth's every word.  "I shall remember zees for le future reference.  Is zere anyt'ing else you wish to say before I permanently revoke your Yggdrasil Visitor's Pass?"

"Yes Yes.  Inspector Clouseau called.  He wants his accent back. back"

As it faded away, The Other ducked under the suddenly unplugged monitor that Peorth had just hurled at most of its faces.  "Oh Oh dear," it said.  "Someone needs workplace anger management counseling. ing"

Peorth glared at the space where The Other had stood for some time, to reassure herself that it had truly gone.  Then she fell back into her chair, breathed out heavily, and tried to calm herself.  Despite her many, many other character flaws, Peorth was no coward.  But she put a hand over her chest, and felt her sweet little heart pounding, like that of a tiny songbird just before the cat pounces on it and breaks its neck.

She knew that The Other's 'handee-work' was eleventy kinds of bad news for Yggdrasil.  On the color-coded threat scale, it was way past the red "Severe" level, even past infrared, and well into the heat-producing microwave radio spectrum.

"Jumpeeng Jehosaphat on ze pogo steek," Peorth gasped to herself.



Meanwhile, back in the Satellite of Love:

Mike:  Are you still trying to summon the spirit of François Ykens?

Crow:  No, we've got another special guest on the line.  Meet James Ensor! (http://www.missingimages.com/jamesensor/)

Tom:  Belgium's famous painter!

Crow:  Dig him up and shake his hand!  Appreciate the man!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 30, 2003, 12:40:05 AM
Shayla-Shayla crouched over the unconscious but still breathing form of Makoto, and, confident that she was at last relatively alone, opened Makoto's mouth and forced the potion...

And as she did, Makoto dreamt.

He was in a city, with a sky of powdered gold, with people made of folded newspapers, a ground of discarded ramen cups, and gaudy buildings of precious gems and metals.  In the center of it all was a giant pyramid made of purest white soda cans, and walking away from that pyramid, toward him, was a goddess.

"Bonjour, Mizuhara Makoto!  We are in ze depths of your subconcious.  Zere iz much to tell you, and little time.  I am ze goddess Peorth.  A friend from far away."  She beamed.  "I must apologize for zis unusual way to speak to you, but it was ze only way to insure our privacy.  You zee, you are being given ze powerful drug, and for a brief moment your mind is so clouded from its effects zat it is impossible to read."

Makoto took this all fairly well, all things considered.  "Huh?" he said.

Peorth shook her head.  "No time for... how you say... le explanation.  Just shut your gob and watch, oui?"  She gestured, and the powdergold sky went into exposition mode.

The sky was their canvas.  The streaming nebulae, the pulsing quasars, the whole vast starry expanse.  They owned it now.  This night thay had laid claim to it all.  The first step hadn't been too difficult.  They had created artificial black holes before.  No, the tricky part had come next - seperating the black hole from its negative mirror image, its white hole.  Next they had to move the white hole.  Then, finally, they had to make the whole thing stable, buttressing it with exotic matter.  The science of it was light years beyond Master Yume's abilites, and the sheer power that it represented was enough to make the goddess Peorth tremble in fear.  It was an artificial wormhole, the first of its kind to be made by The Ancients of El-Hazard.  But not the last.

The scientists were utterly silent until it was finished, hardly daring to breathe.  But when they knew they had succeeded they did what any group of scientists would do upon witnessing a complete paradigm shift.  They cheered.  They whooped and hollered.  They danced (as well as scientists can).  They shook their collegues' hands, and slapped their colleagues' backs.  They broke open bottles of wine, and toasted each other's skill.  They grabbed the nearest available person of the desired gender and orientation, and kissed 'em like it was goin' out of style.  They partied like only nerds can.  

Makoto thought he recognized one of the interns as a very young Dollmaker, and some of the blue-haired scientists reminded him of the Last Scion.  And then he realized that Peorth was talking to him.

"-problem, of course, iz zat time iz distorted inside a black hole.  The Ancients realized that, and did zeir best to minimalize ze problem,"  and then Makoto caught a brief glimpse of a most wonderous Palace, "constructing a facility to contain ze leakage.  Ze Palace of Infinity.  At first it was simply a place to shunt ze faster than light particles... ze tachyons.  And ztrange things happened in zere, warping time and space, but El-Hazard was safe."

forced the potion down his...

And then Makoto was watching the final war, as the Eye of God fired again and again.  "Ze Eye of God was far more advanced than zat early wormhole generator, however.  Weapons like ze Eye did far more damage that ze Ancients could easily contain.  Ze whole of reality was dying, being twisted and distorted by zeir machines.  Ze Ancients zat had survived ze war were dying, being killed by ze instabilites they had caused. And then a new solution was found.  Ze Palace was remodeled to house a source of unimaginable power.  Power that was used to fix all ze damage zey had done to reality."

Makoto took in this exposition numbly.  Clearly Peorth had studied under Londs.

"But ze Ancients, zey were still dying, non?  Ze problems would not  be fixed zoon enough.  Zo... zey made a machine, based on one ze Dollmaker had invented.  Zey all agreed to download zeir minds into a massive computer.  It would store zeir minds and consciousness, until ze world was safe to live in once more.  And zen, zey would use the power source within ze palace to make new bodies, and live again."

"But," asked Makoto, noticing a major flaw in this history lesson, "surely the world is safe to live in now?  Why haven't they returned?"

"Ah!  Ze very important question!  You zee, not all ze Ancients thought it was safe to make new bodies for zemselves.  Some thought that diverting energy from the power source to make new bodies was dangerous, and would destroy reality.  Zo some of the Ancients sabotaged ze computer, making it impossible for the other Ancients to build new bodies."  Peorth shook her head.  "Zis was very zad, for it iz quite safe to make ze new bodies.  But ze Palace... well, ze traitors made it almost impeneterable.  Zere are logic codes, fail safe locks, traps, tricks... and ze traitors reporogrammed ze Palace's guardian, a demon goddess zat wields ze last weapon ze Ancients evair made... a weapon zat all the scientists, from all ze tribes, worked togethair to make.  Ze War Key.  It is her that would be spying on your mind, if she could.

"Mizuhara... I beg you.  Please.  It may take a long time, and you have many threats to your friends and family to face first.  But one day, find ze palace, and let Ze Ancients live again.  Zey have suffaired enough for zeir mistakes."

Makoto opened his mouth to reply, and choked.

...and forced the potion down his throat.

*****
Peorth scowled at her monitor, replaying the events she had missed after going to lie down, not liking this at all.  She could tell that The Other had just been in Mizuhara's mind, but she had no idea as to what exactly had happened.  That blasted potion had clouded Makoto's mind for the split second The Other had acted.  And it would be difficult for her to act directly without attracting the attention of The Other... which was something that even a goddess feared.

*****

Deep below the royal palace of Baron (now a part of the Great Bugrom Empire) was the computer known as the Mantle of God.  It was the computer which Princess Myuun regularly connected to her mind, in the hopes of using its power to be the good ruler she felt her subjects deserved.  

And within the Mantle of God were the downloaded minds of all the Ancients that made up The Other.  Hundreds of them.  Maybe even thousands.  All the scientists, rich men, leaders (and everyone else that could afford it).  Anyone that had survived the war and was important enough to secure a place in the computer.  

They were the Ancients.  They had built machines even greater than what Makoto had already seen.  They had twisted the stars into circles and linked them in chains, they had build cybernetic solar systems and artificial worlds, they had given away perpetual motion machines as party favors.  Now they were working toward elminating all the other "variables".  And then, with the help of Mizuhara Makoto and his friends, they would live once again.

And it would be just like old times.

"You You know, I thought we made a rather good Peorth Peorth..."

*****
[Satellite of Love]

Mike:  Crow!  Tom!  Wake up!  I think the exposition is over!

Tom:  Oh thank goodness.  That guy talks more than Londs!

Crow:  You know, Londs doesn't talk that much any more.

Tom: He lets little Londs do the talking!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on December 30, 2003, 06:14:13 PM
It has been pointed out that poor sweet little Ifurita-3's mind and soul were still infected with the virus that Dr. Yume used to control all three Ifuritas, seeing as how poor sweet little Ifurita-3 was lacking in the tech-touch-enabled soul-mate department; further, that after the surrender of the Creterian war machine, her virus had been left unchecked, turning poor sweet little Ifurita-3 into a bloodthirsty gibbering key-staff wielding homicidal maniac.  She had turned on Makoto's Ifurita, with visions of blood, guts, gore, and veins in her teeth, in her head.

It has also been pointed out that Makoto's Ifurita, having been too busy lately to even pause for a quick loving recharge, was, by now, figuratively running on fumes.  Makoto also had a full plate, what with saving the world, almost dying a horrible poisoned death, being saved in the nick of time by a certain fire priestess with a craving for naturally enhanced hot sweet Makoto lovin' the whole night through, and experiencing a disorienting vision of a drop-dead sexy yet loveably wacky pseudo-Parisian Yggdrasil goddess (well, sort of) (well, not really).

But the exact result of these events has not yet been clarified.

The two non-Yuba Ifuritas happened to battle all the way back back near Makoto, Shayla, Nanami and Kauru, mere moments after Shayla had administered the disorienting permanent cure to Makoto, and even fewer moments after Makoto's even more disorienting vision.

And so it was that a cured but still-disoriented Makoto looked up, and saw an Ifurita obviously under someone or something else's control.  Ifurita-3 had finally brought Makoto's Ifurita down. She was standing over the comatose body of her older sister, with arms raised and key-staff poised for the death blow to her older sister's key-staff socket.

Makoto's love for Ifurita, his goody-goody-ness, and his disorientation all put together, allowed him to overcome the fan-servicey side effects of his cure for a moment.  He jumped up, bolted away from Shayla, and threw himself at Ifurita-3 with an appropriately Pedro-esque "NOOOO!!"

He used his ability to cure Ifurita-3.  That disoriented her, and made her especially vulnerable to a bishounen with harem-ic powers.

And then, the disoriented Makoto and Ifurita-3 spontaneously began to make out like nymphomaniac bunny rabbits on Viagra.

Shayla gaped at them both.  She fell to her knees, dropping the empty cure bottle, and she wept a single sweet poetic tear.  "Damn it!  Ifurita stole him from me again!  Ifurita even stole him from Ifurita!"

Nanami came up to Shayla's side.  She was carrying her PPBAPKS in one hand, and holding poor sweet little Kauru up with her other arm.  Kauru was conscious, but she was in real bad shape now.  She still hadn't even recovered from her spire fail-safe injuries.  After the stress of her brief role as the Last Scion, she simply couldn't be a living component of any other ancient doomsday weapons for awhile.  The poor sweet little girl was already dangerously close to permanently ruining her health.

"Well, that can't be right," said Nanami, watching Makoto and Ifurita-3.

Shayla spun round on her, snarling, and jumped to her feet.  Her head band flared.

Nanami gulped.  "Uh, Shayla?  I don't know exactly what's going on here, but you know it wasn't my fault, right?"

Shayla whipped out her lamp.  "Too much talking!  Not enough Getting Ready To DIE!!"

Nanami was not a coward.  But she knew when to walk away, and when to run.  CHINK!!

Shayla, now some distance past rational thought, and burning with a terrifying corona of flame, looked around for someone else to blow up.

Ishiel was still unconscious, and she was still Shayla's new drinking buddy.  And she was a background character now, anyway.  That left Parnasse and Ura.

Parnasse wet himself.

"GAH!!" said Ura.



Fatora and Alielle had almost got Jinnai's female form into the hot water of the bathhouse.  Of course, this would have gotten Jinnai into a lot of figurative hot water, as well.  But something even wackier happened first.

Female ninjas suddenly came out of the woodwork.  In the blink of an eye, the joint was crawlin' with 'em.  Fatora and Alielle found themselves surrounded by more mysterious cloaked but shapely female figures than they could count.

The ninjas were, in fact, special operatives from a certain nearby seminary that had recently been re-organized by two certain Fatora clones.  And yet, they had never been allowed to view their two new mysterious spiritual leaders.  This is why they failed to recognize Fatora as they whacked the stuffing out of her and Alielle-- in a happy fun female ninja kind of way.

The female Jinnai had cleverly taken advantage of this distraction to faint dead away.  The female ninjas took up her own shapely female figure, and vanished into the night.



The Doctor sat alone at a window table in a small Floristica coffeehouse, hands folded against his chin, gazing out at the still-hectic city streets with a distant expression.  The coffeehouse was otherwise empty, except for the single waitress on duty.  Small charming coffeehouses are often overlooked during wild street parties.

The waitress sat at the next table, sipping at her own cup of tea, and also looking out at the street.  But her attention wandered, and she spoke to the Doctor, making conversation to pass the time.  "Sir?  May I ask what brings you to our fair city?"

"Eddies in the space-time continuum," the Doctor said.

Now, the waitress was an intelligent and capable young woman.  She had foolish dreams of being discovered by a powerful agent, cast as the heroine in a popular yet critically-acclaimed movie, and enjoying a wildly successful life of fame and fortune.  This was unlikely, given the economically uncertain times, the massive destruction that Floristica had repeatedly endured, and the fact that El-Hazard didn't have a movie industry.  But, despite these foolish dreams, the waitress was still an intelligent and capable young woman.  Indeed, the Doctor seemed to be between assistants at the moment, and she would make a fine candidate, at least for the duration of the Doctor's El-Hazard cross-over.

However, upon hearing the Doctor's reply, she responded in the only way humanly possible.

"Who's Eddie?" the waitress asked.



All was not well in the Matrix.

But it wasn't the Matrix that might first come to mind for the typical fan-boy in late 2003.  This Matrix was sadly bereft of red and blue pills, impossibly hot women in latex clothing, and messiahs that said "Whoah!" a lot.

No, this was the Matrix of the Doctor Who franchise.  This was the Gallifreyan "Amplified Panatropic Computer Net," roughly as shown in The Deadly Assassin (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/episodeguide/deadlyassassin/) (all the way back in 1976), and a few other classic BBC episodes, the occasional New Adventures novel, and beaucoup fan fiction that the current writer needs to get around to reading, one of these days.

This was the Matrix of Rassilon, one of the greatest of all the Time Lords, and the final resting place of many other great minds of the oldest civilization in the galaxy.  It was the Matrix that the Doctor himself had 'entered' a few times, his own renegade self.  It was a set-up that was oddly similar to The Other's own Mantle of God-- only it wasn't full of bloody-minded gits.

Still, all was not well in it.

The eddies in the space-time continuum had been detected by none other than the disembodied presence of Rassilon himself.  He was one of the Time Lords' most successful solar engineers.  He played with stars and planets like billiard balls.  Do you remember the computer generated eye-catches for the TV series "Third Rock From The Sun?," with all the stars and planets rolling around like billiard balls?  Well, Rassilon played with stars and planets like that.

The sheer bloody-mindedness of The Other took away Rassilon's disembodied breath.  He knew how much those ancient masters of El-Hazard had horsed things up, and he wasn't eager to see them get another swing at it.  And after he got past the inevitable 'who's Eddie' responses, he had convinced the other major entities in the Gallifreyan Matrix of the seriousness of said eddies.

And so, they had gently manipulated the space-time vortex, and brought their best renegade agent (that's the Doctor) to the troubled world of El-Hazard.

But, this time, even the Doctor might not be enough.

Gallifrey would need an ally in the coming battle.  It was time for a full-on gratuitous three-way cross-over-- between the current writer's three favorite franchises, no less.  Why, it gave the current writer happy little chills just thinking about it.

The Gallifreyan Matrix opened a ten-dimensional communication line.  It manifested itself within the Matrix as an old fashioned Earth candlestick phone.  Rassilon himself dialed the number, and waited for the other franchise to answer.

"Zees ees ze Splendiloquent Peorth.  Who ees ze party to whom I am speakeeng?...  Oh!  Monsieur Rassilon!...  Non, ze pleasure is mine, to be heareeng from you!"



Jinnai dreamed, knowing that she was dreaming.  She dreamed of being chased a hundred miles by Fatora and Alielle.  What a nightmare, she thought to herself as she slowly awoke.  Nothing in reality could be more terrifying.

She opened her eyes, to find herself lying in a cot, with two Fatoras kneeling over her.

Jinnai screamed like a lost soul in great torment.  Which is what she was, more or less.

Gatora hushed her.  "Calm yourself, child.  We shall not harm you."

Hatora patted Jinnai's fevered brow with a damp cloth-- damp with cold water, thank goodness.  "You are safe and sound in our seminary, dear."

Jinnai opened her mouth, but Gatora put a finger to Jinnai's lips.  "Hush.  Do not exert yourself unduly.  We shall let you rest, and then we shall speak in the morning."

Hatora spoke as the two clones left Jinnai's room.  "Ring the bell, if you need anything.  And we mean anything.  The girls in our seminary are most eager to... please."

They closed the doors, leaving Jinnai alone to ponder her latest predicament.

She was a young heterosexual male with a requisite yet disturbing interest in shoujo-ai (at least, non-Fatora and Alielle shoujo-ai), temporarily trapped in the body of an attractive young female of indeterminate orientation, and thusly fully capable of directly experiencing said shoujo-ai.

And she was temporarily "trapped" in a seminary full of girls most eager to... please.

Jinnai's course of action was clear.

She had to escape this hell-hole as quickly as possible.



Hishima sat at the break table in Dr. Yume's lab, not enjoying a small cup of cold and bitter coffee and a stale donut, and wondering why the heck his beloved Master never seemed to have today's newspaper on hand.

Yakage came up, turned a chair round backwards and sat on it in an annoying extroverted way, and held out a hand.  "Yakage's the name.  Ah'm Dr. Yume's latest cree-ation, and her new para-moor.  Beau, that is."

Hishima shook Yakage's hand with a why-me look, but he responded politely.  "Hishima.  Dedicated and loving servant of Master Yume.  I would throw myself into a volcano full of extremely hot lava, without a second thought, if my beloved Master asked it of me."

Yakage raised an eyebrow.  "No offense, son, but extremely hot lava ain't the most hospi-tayble envah-ronment.  Gots ta be 'bout tew thousand degrees in'char.  Damned in-hospi-tayble, if'n ya ask me."

Hishima sighed.  "I didn't ask you, actually."

"Why, only a dullard, Ah say, a damn-fool blockhead would throw hisself into a volcano.  Shorely a bright boy-- pay attention, son, I'm talkin' atcha!-- a bright boy such as yerself can see the utter few-tility of such an assie-nahne gesture."

"You're missing the point--"

"Mah-self, Ah'm quite partchial to a good ol' country-side onsen.  Somethin' such as what y'all might see in the rehquisite OVA hot springs episode, dontcha know."

"Shut up and--"

"Now, y'all take an example lahke, oh, say, Ahr-lee-man.  Soothin' min'ral waters, and lotsa purty girls ta boot.  That's, Ah say, that's somethin' worth throwin' yerself inta, son."

Hishima pulled his open newspaper up against his face, and groaned.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on December 30, 2003, 10:12:51 PM
It was one of those alleyways that manage to be extremely hot despite all the shade.

The head of the resistance was there, climbing up a ladder to paste an anti-bugrom poster on the wall.  That would teach them!

He was just about to smear some paste on the side of the building when he noticed that there was something sticky there already. Sticky and green.  Frowning, he climbed all the way up the ladder to the top of the building, and looked around.  It was immediately obvious what was different about this roof.  This roof, unlike most roofs he had been on, apparently had something growing on it.  In the corner, as large as a car and actually about the same shape, was a half-finished hive.  He could see rows of hexagons on the surface, big enough to maybe fit a small dog in.  He snorted in hatred.  More of the Bugrom's handiwork, no doubt!  He'd make a new series of posters notifying the populace about the scandalous way their new rulers were cluttering up rooftops.  He moved closer to the hive, trying to figure out what the Bugrom were up to, and was quite surprised by what he saw.  Inside each of the hexagonal cells was a small pale-white egg.

He was looking at worker eggs, not wasp eggs.  Worker eggs produced workers, like the ones Jinnai had met.  Wasp eggs produced wasps, like the one the resistance leader heard behind him just as he knelt down to have a closer look at the hive.  He paused, holding his breath, not daring to move, painfully aware of the pile of posters he had set down right next to him.  Maybe if he didn't call attention to himself he wouldn't be noticed... the Bugrom did sometimes walk right by people, provided they didn't see them as a threat.  Would he be captured?  What would his sentence be?  He needn't have worried.  Or, more accurately, he should have worried, a great deal, just not about that.

He felt a great weight on his back, knocking the wind out of him and shoving him to the ground.  And then came the stinger, aimed with surgical precision, piercing him so quickly he hardly even knew what was happening.  Did it hurt?  Don't ask a stupid question, a bug that big had to have a stinger the size of a knitting needle, of course it bloody well hurt!  But he was a manly man, and believed that the honor of Roshtaria was riding on his back (along with the damn big bug), so he didn't yell, or cry, or, surprisingly, wet his pants.  As he felt the venom pump into him, however, he did feel himself go numb.  Which wasn't to say that he couldn't feel the damn great big bug, or its stinger, just that it didn't hurt any more.  All this time he had been trying to get back up, but his struggles quickly ceased.  He couldn't move.  And it was starting to get hard to see...

And though his vision was definitely getting cloudy, he did see the ovipositor.  And though his body was numb, he still felt something wet and gooey being pressed to the back of his neck, in an extremely icky way.  So anyone that's squeamish better not read any more, because the plot just got itself a nasty bit of edge.  At least those monsters in the Aliens movies popped out of you and then you were dead.  This was worse.  These things didn't come out.

The head of the resistance passed out.

Icky squicky, huh?

****

So the Time Lords had decided that the best away around their mutual nonaggression pacts with The Ancients was to use The Doctor.

I mean really... talk about predictable.  It's like they had a Time Lord handbook and followed it by the letter.

The Other had actually been expecting something like this.  There were a lot of powerful people out there that wouldn't want the return of The Ancients (or the possible destruction of an entire universe).  Now, when dealing with Makoto, The Other had been somewhat restricted in what weapons it could use.  It wanted to build the boy and his friends up into proper Champions, capable of braving a facility that would have turned Indiana Jones and James Bond into mince.  It would be very unfortunate if Makoto or any of his friends died (well, if they died before they could be used, at any rate).

But when dealing with anyone else, the gloves were off.  The Other had plans in motion for dealing with these threats.  The first of these plans was just now being put into motion.

A man was walking through Floristica with an expression of utmost serenity.  Buddha had probably looked a bit like that.  He weaved through occasional crowds of humans and Bugrom, making his presence known with murmered 'excuse me's, 'pardon me's, 'don't mind me's and on one occasion a 'now how would I find, oh never mind I see a sign'.

He walked serenely past a Bugrom wasp hive, and was utterly ignored by its occupant (even these primitive Bugrom understood that he was a part of a much more powerful hive, and to be treated with respect).

He was a thin little man, with thin little glasses, a blue uniform, and a small brown paper-wrapped parcel, tied with string.  He had a peaked hat on, announcing with large white script to any that cared that he worked for International Express.

He paused by a large sewer pipe and looked at his clipboard intently.  He tried to look through the rusted metal grating, but saw nothing but darkness.  He shrugged. "Package for the mice with hats," he said calmly.

"Squeek?"

He shoved the parcel thorugh the grating, followed by his clipboard.  There was a receipt and a little orange plastic pen, bound to the clipboard by means of a short length of string.  "You have to sign for it, sir or miss.  On the line.  And mark the date."

He felt pressure upon the pad for a brief moment, and nodded in satisfaction.  He knew the feel of someone signing.  He pulled the clipboard out.

There was a little black pawprint.  Well, that was probably good enough.

*****

The head of the resistance was starting to come to.  It took him a moment to realize there was something on his neck.  He was about to do something about it, when its contents injected themselves into his brain.

Unsurprisingly, he fainted.  

*****

So what was in that package?  Something very bad.  Something small, black, and the size of a small side plate.  It sported a convex top and bottom, reminicent of a lightweight throwing discus.  And smoothness?  There wasn't so much as a bump, not a crack, nothing on even the highest levels of magnification.

There was a word on it.  The word was in small letters.  Small alarming letters.  The word was PANIC, in all caps.  

The package had a return address that was unreadable, in some bizare language unseen in El-Hazard since the time of The Ancients.  If you could read it, however, you would have noted that the pacakge came from InfiniDim Enterprises.  Those familiar with this product knew that cracks would eventually appear on that oh-so-smooth surface.  And it would unfold like a beautiful lotus blossom, its parts moving like wonderful origami until it had taken on the shape of a small bird, that was actually fairly large, and a very nice shade of something you couldn't put your finger on, if it was a color at all.

Those familiar with this product knew that it was unique, and that it was almost unbeatable at what it did.  It had no filters, no filters at all.  It saw everything that we do not.  It saw all along the probability axis, and knew exactly what to do to make things go its way.

And what it had been programmed to do was eliminate any Time Lords caught in this universe.  With extreme prejudice.

All it had taken to obtain it was money.  Simple money.  No grand chess game, no back and forth trading of snippets of information.  Obtaining this product had been downright easy compared to some of the other things The Other had done.

It was the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Mark II.  On Peorth's shaded threat scale, it was well into impossible colors, like pastel octarine and ultra-black.
*****

The wasps developed very differently depending on where their eggs hatched.  When hatched out in the open they developed into great big ugly flying bugs with nasty-ass stingers.  When the eggs were placed on a large animal, however, they hatched into that animal's brain.  And instead of developing into something large and wing-ed, they remained small.  And they sent out roots into their victim's brain.  And soon the victim was not only under mind control, but quite aware of it, and happy about it.  Happy about being under mind control because it was being made to be happy about being under mind control.  And quite aware of that, and happy about it as well.

They really weren't the sort of thing Makoto and company were used to, especially since they quickly became so intangled into their host's brain that is was impossible to remove them.  They'd probably need the help of someone more used to nasty aliens.  Possibly even someone with a question mark shaped umbrella.

*****

A conversation was going on inside the Mantle of God.

"Yes, we pretty much expected him to show up... but which him is it?  The third?  The fourth?  Maybe number six?"

"I can never keep track of their numbers."

"Wait, does he have that kid with the badge for being good at math?"

"No."

"Oh Oh thank goodness... ness..."


*****

Jinnai paced back and forth in his room, wondering how he was going to get out of this one.

And wondering what in blazes was with all the lilies.  How did they even find lilies?  Weren't lilies from earth?  Since when was it possible to find Earth flowers on El Hazard?

The answer to that question was long, very complicated, and actually quite interesting.  But it wouldn't have helped him anyway.  Although he might have been interested in knowing that one particular pile of lilies was covering up one of the new webcams Babump.com had smuggled into the seminary after their last one short-circuited.



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on December 31, 2003, 03:07:32 AM
The waitress put down her serving tray and looked towards the strange man still sitting by the window. He had been there for several hours now, and from what she could tell hadn't even touched his tea yet. She was beginning to worry, since he hadn't moved in all that time; he merely maintained the distant expression on his face as he gazed out the coffee shop window.

She finally found her nerve and strode up to him. "Excuse me," she asked him. "But are you all right? Can I get you anything else, Mr...?"

"Doctor," spoke up the man without looking up. He had a strange accent she had never heard before.

"Oh, ok." She was slightly relieved. Since he had a Ph.D. that meant he wasn't crazy. Right? "So, Doctor, um... can I help you with anything else?"

The Doctor looked up at the young woman for the first time, his brow wrinklingin thought. "Yes," he said, finally deciding. "Yes, I believe you can. I was wondering, Ms...?"

"Oh, Tina, hi." The waitress smiled and shook the man's hand.

"Tina, lovely name. I was just wondering if you've noticed anything... strange happening in this area lately?"

Tina gave him an incredulous look. "You mean aside from the numerous doomsday weapons, the Demon Gods, the out of control elemental priestesses, the invading alien fleet, the Bugrom conquest of the planet, the wise-cracking doomsday weapon floating in the sky, and those annoying turtles flying around playing pranks on people?" She took a breath. "Nope, haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary."

The Doctor blinked.

************************************************

"Are you sure you do not wish us to serve you, My Lady?"

"No!" Jinnai quickly backed out of the women's bathing room, nimbly dodging the grasping hands of the lounging, naked acolytes. "I was just... looking for a toilet! Yeah, and I got lost! I'm okay now though!"

"Would you like us to show you where they are?" asked another young woman eagerly. "We'd be happy to show you!"

"No, that's okay, I think you've shown me enough!" Jinnai slammed the door to the steam room and growled. "Dammit, that's the fifth room with naked girls that I've come across in this stupid place! Where the hell are the exits?!"

She looked up and down the nearly featureless hallways of the convent, but all the doors seemed the same. Not one of them was marked, most likely to keep the beautiful, abducted women inside the complex from leaving.

Using as much stealth as she was capable of (which, to tell you the truth, wasn't that much), Jinnai crept along the halls. She would jump into a shadowy corner whenever a priestess passed by, then would quickly dashed away to avoid discovery.

Unbeknownst to her, two pairs of eyes were watching her movements.

"Ah, she is a lovely one, is she not, sister?" asked Gatora. She licked her lips as she watched the monitor showing Jinnai's female self skulking about the halls like some bad spy.

"Indeed, sister. Our ninjas were indeed lucky to find such a delicious prize." Hatora took a sip of tea, her eyes hungrily feasting on the beauty on the screen.

"I can't take this, sister!" Gatora cried a few minutes later. "I must have her!"

"Patience, sister," intoned Hatora. "You know how much more interesting it is when we allow them to think that they are getting away, then at the last moment ensnare them. Just imagine the look on her lovely face when she realizes her freedom is merely a clever deception designed to rob her of her will. I do love breaking them, having their strong hearts crumble under our vile ministrations. I find it so deliciously satisfying to watch the hopes in their eyes evaporate as they realize thaat there is no escape."

"Ooh, you make it sound so wonderfully wicked. I can't wait to break this one in!" Gatora laughed haughtily. "Boy, sister, we really turned into a couple of evil, sex-crazed bitches, didn't we?"

"It was our upbringing," remarked Hatora sadly.

"Indeed."

"Quite."

************************************************

In a sleepy little village north of Florestica, a gathering was beginning. During the last few days, the village's entire population had been enslaved. Their wills had been broken, but not in the fun Hatora and Gatora way. These wills were broken in a very icky, yucky, wasp-egg-injected-in-the-back-of-your-neck-while-the-larvae-swim-up-your-spine-and-grow-into-pulsating-grublings-in-your-brain way.

The human slaves moved about, helping the white Ancient Bugrom workers move some supplies about. Their plans had gone well. From this staging ground, they were able to spread out through the outlying villages, and even into the city itself. Soon the humans of this world, as well as the strange, weird-looking Bugrom, would become slaves and food to the uber ickiness that was the Ancient Bugrom Cooperative.

One of the white workers hissed, alerting the others to an approaching Cretarian ship. The Bugrom, as well as some of the humans, chirped in joy and anticipation. At last, after so long, they were to be reunited with their leader.

The cargo ship soon landed, and the Bugrom all but tore open the hold doors in their eagerness. Three enslaved Cretarians marched out, followed by a tall, regal figure. She smiled and looked about, pleased at the beginnings of her new empire.

"Divaaaa," said the Ancient Bugrom Queen.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on December 31, 2003, 07:57:31 PM
To Makoto, there was no rational thought; there was only intense, blind desire.  To Ifurita, there was only overwhelming pleasure and love.  Makoto had freed her, touched her soul, seen her heart, and was filling her with feelings and sensations she'd never experienced before.  In this moment of pure, fiery passion she felt happier and more alive than she'd ever been in her thousands of years of existence.

Hence why they were making out like nymphomaniac bunny rabbits on Viagra.

Naturally, not everyone was happy with this.  Unfortunately, nobody was around to conveniently stop it, either.  An enraged Shayla-Shayla was chasing after a terrified Parnasse and Ura and unknowingly heading for the site of the Ancient Bugrom invasion, a frightened Nanami had inadvertently teleported herself and the weakened but still cute in her innocent way Kauru to the conquered village, the original Ifurita was badly damaged and immobile due to a general lack of any power whatsoever, and the only unoccupied person nearby capable of recharging her was Ishiel who was unlikely to regain consciousness until morning.

Of course, there were...others who were watching, but this suited the Other's plans just fine, and Yume was...well, vicariously pleased that _somebody_ was having a good time since her new demon god certainly wasn't turning out the way she'd anticipated.  Still, Yume did have some sense of propriety...

"Oh get a room you two," the super genius commented disdainfully as her elegant fingers typed in a new command to her computer that, sure enough, teleported the infatuated demon god and teenage boy to a room that bore a strong resemblance to a Las Vegas honeymoon suite in a town that was nowhere near any of the current troubles and subplots plaguing El-Hazard and where they'd be completely undisturbed for a very long time.  Makoto and Ifurita, busy with each other, weren't in a position to care much about the change in scenery.

Ifurita was in for the night of her life-- assumin' her heart didn't give out.

However, since she didn't have a biological heart, this really wasn't a concern.  The morning after, however, soon would be.

******

Mike, Tom, and Crow (In unison):  Angst alert!

******

Sadly, when the portion wore off, Makoto would find himself with another lovely, lonely demon god completely in love with him to the very core of her being.  Being an innately good demon god despite the recent virus, when Ifurita realized that Makoto was truly in love with the other Ifurita, she would stoically apologize and offer to leave, despite the grave emotional pain and heartbreak this would cause her.  However, Makoto's compassionate nature hates causing anyone agony, and knowing the depths of Ifurita's loneliness and despair would make accepting that option virtually inconceivable.  Torn between his love for Ifurita and sense of guilt and duty towards Ifurita, Makoto would have to make...the choice.

******

Mike:  Or choose the Tenchi fanfiction answer and simply marry them both.

Tom:  I wonder if the current author is deliberately not distinguishing between the two Ifuritas in order to be annoying?

******

It should be noted that Gatora and Hatora were not Fatora and Alielle.  For one thing, they had a lower tolerance for pain.  More importantly, however, they also had a different set of morals.  After being on the receiving end of Shayla's earlier violent outburst, they had come to the conclusion that it was wrong to force themselves on others, but despite this they still had the same desires.  Their solution, therefore, was to make people _want them_ instead, even if they had to employ ninjas, kidnapping, and subtle brainwashing techniques to accomplish this.

Yes, it was a twisted, perverted code of ethics, but what else would one expect from Fatora clones?

Unfortunately for Gatora, Hatora, and their devastatingly effective and incredibly successful mental manipulation techniques, Jinnai was male.  Since the aforementioned devastatingly effective and incredibly successful mental manipulation techniques were developed solely for female minds, this could and almost certainly would cause problems.  For whom, though, remains to be seen.

******

Fatora angrily rose to her feet and shook her fists in the air.  "Gr!  How dare they steal- er...kidnap that helpless, innocent, delectable, young morse- girl!  Alielle!"

"aah...my head....yes, Lady Fatora?" Alielle asked a bit woozily.

"We're going to rescue our new 'friend', defeat the legion of mysterious cloaked but shapely female ninjas, and become their new leader! -er, I mean, eliminate the threat they pose to El-Hazard using any means necessary!" Fatora declared imperiously, posing in a disturbingly heroic fashion.

"Ah, your sense...of responsibility and nobility never fails to impress me, Lady Fatora," Alielle answered admiringly, requisite hearts in her eyes.  "However, you appear to be...injured.  Let me...tend to your wounds."

Apparently, it would be a long time before they got around to stopping the ninjas.

******

Nanami and Kauru appeared outside Miz and Fujisawa's house, and Nanami immediately stormed over to the door and knocked.  

"I need a _really_ stiff drink," she muttered to herself, intent on drowning out the images of Makoto making out with Ifurita.  Realizing that Kauru wasn't following her, she turned around.  "Coming?"

Kauru, scratching the back of her neck, nodded.  "Yes, in a moment.  Something seems to have stung me, and it itches quite badly."

After the stress of her brief role as the Last Scion, Kauru simply couldn't be a living component of any other ancient doomsday weapons for awhile, but could she survive...an Ancient Bugrom parasite?

Dah dah...dun!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 01, 2004, 01:31:42 AM
"Yeah," said Nanami, "you've got some sort of bug on y..."

And of course a deluge of water followed.  Nanami had, after all, said the "b" word.  But that was all right. The bug that had been on Kauru was apparently on the small side, since she hadn't even noticed it until it stung her.  Since the Wasp Bugrom were (as had been pointed out earlier) large enough to knock a grown man to the ground, and sported stingers large as knitting needles, it was safe to say that she had only been stung by a common bug (either that or she really needed to pay more attention to things around her), and thus was in no terrible danger.

Or so it would seem.

*****

Afura, Princess Rune, and the others were getting something to eat.  In order to do that, without being noticed by Diva's Bugrom, they were forced to go to one of the less well stocked pantries.  As Rune opened the door, however, she saw something very odd.

"Bingo!" said the little smiley-faced turtle thing, hovering on front of Princess Rune's face.  "We found a Princess!  We can take her to the Mouth and activate it!"  Princess Rune hit it with a frying pan.  It bounced off the wall in a very satisfying way.  Another flying turtle zoomed into the pantry and looked at the first one mournfully.  

"Oh man," it said, "that had to hurt.  But hang on, it's been pointed out that the Mouth is already doing its destabilizing thing.  How is that possible, when we're meant to find a princess first?  I mean, the thing's talking, that seems pretty 'activated' in my book.  So why are we bothering to find a princess if-"  Princess Rune hit it with a frying pan.  It bounced off the wall in a very satisfying way.  Another flying turtle zoomed into the pantry and looked at the first two mournfully.  

"Ouch," it said, "that looks sore.  But yeah, I guess we don't serve a purpose any more, other than being annoying, if the Mouth is already doing its big destabilizing thing.  Geez, do I feel stup-" Princess Rune hit it with a frying pan.  It bounced off the wall in a very satisfying way.  Another flying turtle zoomed into the pantry and smiled brightly.

"Wheeeee!" it said.  "I've got explosives!"  Princess Rune hit it with a frying pan.  Afura grabbed the royal by the shoulders and dragged her down behind a counter just as the turtle-thing blew up, taking a sizable section of wall with it.  

The turtle's shell, due to certain rules of comedic convention, rolled by, on fire, taking long moments before it finally "whirred" in tightening circles and fell to the ground.  A few seconds after that, a pan fell.   Slowly, hesitantly, Princess Rune peered over the top of the counter.  "I think that's the last of them," she whispered.

Afura peeked over the top of the counter.  "I don't see any more," she added in agreement.

Dr. Schtalubaugh did not peek over the top of the counter.  Dr. Schtalubaugh was very short.

Princess Rune looked at the frying pan she was holding.  "I like this frying pan," she said firmly, and shoved it into her belt sash.

And then they all ate, because they were darn hungry.

*****

The Mouth of God was definitely making people feel unstable.  Thanks to those new speakers you just couldn't get away from it.  "Ey, living under The Ancients was rough," it said.

"Rough," someone in the city answered reflexively.  No matter how many people know to shut up, there's always one that ruins things for everyone.

"Rough.  Are you kidding?  There was dis one guy, he thought the best way to help the economy was to kill all the poor people.  Sheee... just lucky The Ancients never heard of Soylent Green."

*****

It can be assumed from Kauru's subdued reaction and lack of paralysis that she had not been jabbed with a knitting-needle sized stinger nor pumped with bugrom wasp toxin.  She had been jabbed with a much smaller stinger, and had been exposed to a much less nasty toxin.  She should have been fine.

Here's the thing of it though.  The Northern Weaponers had made Kauru and her tribe for a single purpose.  Manufactured them.  That purpose had been built into them on a genetic level.  Yet somehow, inexplicably, the force driving her had been removed.  Now, since the force driving her was, in fact, her own genes, by all rights that would mean she had lost every cell in her body.  Since Kauru had not lost every cell in her body (or, if she had, was an excellent actor), only one possibility remained - something damn funky must have been going on inside her, on a genetic level.  Damn funky.  Case in point: her reaction to the sting.

"I have never seen anyone swell up that badly," whispered Nanami in awe.  Kauru was wet, unconcious, laid out on a couch, and was quite swelled out (although still a far cry from Jinnai during his eating binge in Creteria).

Miz leaned in and gave the poor girl a closer look.  "Is it just me," she asked, "or does she look a little... yellow?"

"Bzzzz..." snored Kauru, dreaming of jars of honey.  "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

*****

Yume sighed, drumming her fingers on her desk.  She flicked her desk toy, sending those little metal balls clanking back and forth.  She checked her notes.  Then, not sure what else to do, she typed in the teleport command again.  "Why isn't the teleporter working any more?" she growled.  Her eyes narrowed as the computer gave her the same reply it had the last few times.  "But that's impossible," she hissed through clenched teeth, "the entire Creterian Eye of God couldn't have just vanished!  Not without my knowing!"  Master Yume wouldn't be so quick to say things like that if she knew anything about the Guide Mark II (which, to be blunt, was a device even she couldn't hope to fully understand).


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Andrusi on January 01, 2004, 10:06:11 AM
OOC: And now, to gleefully go in the exact opposite direction of what was intended!

IC:

In his time in El-Hazard, Fujisawa had picked up knowledge of various strange, completely unrelated things.  One of them, as it happened, was that he was a veritable expert on rare theoretical diseases that have about a one in five quadrillion chance of ever actually happening to anyone because they would require that a person have something damn funky going on inside them on a genetic level.  The study of this was known as "plot convenience" for some reason as yet unexplained.

The buzzing was just weird.  The bulging he'd missed.  The dreaming of honey... as if anyone but Kauru knew about that just yet.  But when Miz mentioned "yellow", everything fell into place.

"Oh, no," he said.  "I have a bad feeling about this."  He picked up a ruler (all who study plot convenience keep a ruler nearby at all times) and measured something on Kauru's eye, then something on her hand.  He looked up at Miz, Ifurina (she's there too, remember), Nanami, and The Keystaff Formerly Known As Over-Run, his expression grim.

"Dear?  What is it?" Miz asked, frightened by her husband's sudden lack of a weird variant on a smile.

"It's as I feared," Fujisawa announced.  "We've noticed her stomach is expanding and her skin is turning yellow.  It turns out her eyes are bulging out and her irises are shrinking.  Soon they will look like Ping-Pong balls with dots on them.  Worse, her pinky fingers are shrinking away to nothing, and her other fingers are expanding to fill the gap.  On all of them, her fingernails are disappearing."

"Oh, no," said Ifurina, whose parents had both studied plot convenience and often talked about it at home, and who therefore realized what Fujisawa was talking about.  "You don't mean..."

"Yes," Fujisawa said.  "Soon her personality will contract until it comprises only a single character trait, and no matter what she does it will somehow be funny.  (In fact, he struggled not to laugh already at the sheer ridiculousness of her condition.)  She has... Simpsonitis."

------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANDRUSI

Sanity not inc--


What?  What do you want from me?  I've tried three times to come up with something to post, and now that I do it it's not good enough?

Oh, yeah, that.  Well, as it turns out, Kauru has a recurring nightmare where Shayla strips her naked and traps her in a jar of honey, all the while shouting "See?  Not so fun being the fanservice, is it?"  As for the buzzing, her nose was partially stuffed-up, and a buzz is one of the many weird sounds that can be created by such a condition.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 01, 2004, 07:59:56 PM
Jinnai stared suspiciously at the door that had an exit sign over it.  He'd been sneaking around this temple for over an hour and seen sights that would've put a halt to anyone with more...well, sanity, and this promise of escape seemed far too easy.  Still, thinking of what lay in store for him if he stayed, the despot shuddered and made his decision.  After a surreptitious look behind to make sure he wasn't being followed, he opened the door and walked through it...right into a trap.

Before he could even blink, the door behind him slammed shut and Jinnai found himself surrounded by beautiful, naked female girls wearing predatory expressions.  Their de facto leader, a tall, statuesque blond, stepped forward.

"I am Head Priestess Zoot, and you have been very naughty, My Lady, " Zoot admonished, a lecherous grin plastered across her features.  "Moving around in your injured condition?  Sha-a-a-a-ame!  You must be punished...with a spanking!"

"A spanking!  A spanking!" the nearby girls shouted.  Jinnai's eyes went wide.

"And after the spanking...the oral sex!" Zoot continued, a depraved tone to her voice.

"The oral sex!  The oral sex!" the acolytes repeated faithfully.  Jinnai whimpered in horror.

"But first...the bath!  You must be...purified, My Lady," Zoot declared, eyes shining with debauched religious fervor.

Within seconds Jinnai was buried in a pile of grasping, invasive female bodies as the acolytes violently tore his clothes off and, passing his protesting female body among themselves, amorously carried the tyrant over to a gigantic hot tub where even more beautiful, naked girls were waiting and holding bars of soap, looking like they could barely contain themselves from...scrubbing the newest initiate.

With a scream of absolute terror, Jinnai was tossed into the pool.  Zoot stood over him and smirked.  "This is for your own...good dear.  Why, tomorrow morning you'll personally thank me for all this-erk..."

A now male and furious Jinnai surfaced, giving the hordes of nubile young women their first look at a man in what seemed like a very long time.  Long suppressed feelings and desires surfaced in all of them, there was an almost audible zzzt as their brainwashing malfunctioned and backfired, and Gatora and Hatora had their hopes of creating their own religion centered on themselves dashed.  

"Master!  Please, let us...serve you!" the stunningly beautiful female legions exclaimed as they bowed before and worshipped Jinnai.

Lord God Jinnai, leader of the Bugrom Empire, the Human Alliance, the Creterian Empire, and the Phantom Tribe (provided Nahato ever frees himself from the floor), now had a completely loyal cult of utterly devoted, obsessed, exquisitely gorgeous, and breathtakingly attractive young women willing to do absolutely anything he said.

"Get the h*ll away from me!" was the first command of the cult's new god.

Obviously, Jinnai had some very mixed up priorities.




Xel, I had you in mind while writing this post.  ;D  


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Xel on January 01, 2004, 09:28:52 PM
OOC~~

Quote
Xel, I had you in mind while writing this post.  ;D


Aw. My childhood nickname was Princess Zoot, you know. XO

Now pardon me, it seems I've had too much sleep.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 02, 2004, 01:01:15 AM
Dr. Yume was getting impatient with The Other's tantalizing hints of a 'Palace Of Infinity.'  She had put out an inter-library loan request for any and all resources on the subject.

Sadly, the Palace seemed to be an unusually mysterious place.  The sum total knowledge of centuries of post-Holy War research turned out to be three books, all three of which were lost; two holographic projectors, both of which were busted; and a few illegibible notes that Dr. Schtalubaugh had scribbled on a cocktail napkin.

And so, Yume went back to rebuilding her playing card fortress.

A few hours later, after making sure Yakage wasn't anywhere nearby, Yume put the last card in place.  Then she scurried off to fetch her camera, in order to take a picture of her creation before someone else came along and wrecked it.

Sadly again, someone else came along and wrecked it because of the camera.

Yume composed her frame, focused on her subject, checked the light meter, and opened the shutter.  The next thing she knew, her playing card fortress had been wrecked by a drop-dead sexy yet loveably wacky Yggdrasil goddess, wearing only a black spandex bikini, a few loose wide belts, half-gloves and heavy boots, and a pair of cheap Groucho Marx glasses.

Yume slowly lowered her camera, hung her head and sighed.  "Aw, man!..."

"You theenk you have eet bad?" asked Peorth.  "You are not le femme with half ze deck of cards jammed up her dainty derrière."



Fatora had somehow traced the ninjas back to the seminary.  She and Alielle now stood before the heavy wooden doors at the front gate of the seminary.  Fatora had decided to try a simple and straightforward approach, despite what had happened when Alielle had banged on the front doors in The Alternative World.

Fatora banged on the seminary doors.  "As the junior princess of Roshtaria, I demand that you open these doors immediately!!"

Sadly for Fatora and Alielle, the gate-keeper had seen one too many Bugs Bunny cartoons.  The door fell open like a drawbridge, squishing Fatora and Alielle under it.

When the door was pulled shut again, Fatora and Alielle were lying spread-eagled in two shallow lesbian-shaped holes in the ground.  Alielle's eyes had gone all swirly, and she was making cute little "owie" noises.

But Fatora bolted up, shaking her fist at the seminary.  "Oh, you won't get rid of us that easily!"

The gate-keeper shouted back at Fatora from behind the doors.  Apparently she had also seen one too many Monty Python films.  "I call your door-opening request a silly thing, you tiny-brained wipers of other people's bottoms!"  

Fatora jumped to her feet, plucked Alielle up from the ground, and stormed away.  "C'mon, Alielle.  Let's head back to the bath-house.  It's my turn to tend to your wounds.  And then, it's time to craft a Cunning PlanTM!!"



Yume held out a hand, and helped Peorth down from the card table.  "So tell me, dear," asked Yume.  "why the cheap Groucho Marx glasses?"

Peorth hissed.  "SSSHH!!  Zees is my cuneeng disguise."

"Ohh-kay," said Yume.

"Zere are certain partees from wheech I weesh to conceal myself.  Eef zey knew I was performeeng le reconnaissance, ze theengs could get uglee."

Yume raised an eyebrow.  "What the heck are you talkin' 'bout?--"

"YU YUME!! ME"

"YEEEK!!" said Yume.  "Erm, hold that thought, dear."

Yume turned away from Peorth.  As Peorth began to sweat-drop, Yume began to talk to thin air again.  "Well, whad'ya want now?  I can't perform deus ex machina any more.  My Creterian Eye of God is gone."

"Nev Never mind that.  I have reason to believe a certain counter-agent has begun to act against us.  Have you noticed anything unusual lately? lee"

"Yer gonna have to be a lot more specific than that, hon."

"Very Very well.  A certain Yggdrasil goddess has left her station, and completely disappeared.  I cannot locate her, so she must be in cunning disguise.  But in her usual form, she wears a black spandex bikini, a few loose wide belts, half-gloves and heavy boots.  And she does not wear glasses. ses"

Yume hesitated.  She glanced at Peorth.  Then she thought about how The Other had refused to tell her about this damned Palace of Infinity thingy, and she remembered the thinly veiled threats to find another agent.

And then, she made her choice.  "Nope.  Haven't seen anyone like that around here."

The Other also hesitated.

"We We see.  Well, that was all.  We won't bother you further, Yume. me"

"What was zees?" Peorth asked, after a moment of silence.

Yume turned back to Peorth, with a sad yet wry little smile, and another question.  "Didja just hear that 'click' sound?  Like the sound of a heavy switch?"

Peorth blinked.  "Non."

"Well," Yume said, "that was the sound of me switching teams.  And you'd better fasten some of those belts.  Not to mix my metaphors, but we're both in for a bumpy ride."



Kauru opened her eyes, and stirred in place.  Fujisawa put an arm around her, and helped her to a sitting position.

She took a look at herself, and gasped.  "Wha-- what's happened!?  Why am I wearing yellow skin paint, googly eyeglasses, gloves with three fingers, and-- a bumble bee costume (http://www.ollin.net/bee/profile.html)!?  And why do I have a sudden craving for tequila!?  No es bueno!  No me gusta!  Ay, que lastima!  Dios no me ama!"

Miz gulped.  "Darling?  What's happened to poor sweet little Kauru now?"

Fujisawa sighed.  "Apparently the current writer tried to go in the opposite direction of what was intended again."



The Doctor had spread a map of Floristica over his coffeehouse table.  Tina stood at his side, also studying the map.

"Now," the Doctor said, "the last time I visited your planet-- er, I mean, your city?  I left something behind.  Something that originally came from my planet-- er, I mean, my tribe."

"Why did you do that?" Tina asked.

"Because, instead of coming up with a proper plot development for us, the current writer is just going to rip off Remembrance Of The Daleks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/episodeguide/remembrancedaleks/)."

"Huh?" said Tina.

"Never mind.  Now, I left the thing hidden here," he pointed it out on the map, "under this low viaduct.  Do you know if the viaduct is still there?"

"Yes, I think so," Tina said.  "But I have two questions.  Exactly what is it that you left behind?"

"Something that can help us deal with this-- Mouth of God, you called it?  It's too powerful to attack directly, but the thing that I left behind should buy El-Hazard some time.  And it should stop the awful jokes, at least.  It's-- The Heckler Of Rassilon."

"Ohh-kay," said Tina.

"What was your other question, dear?"

"Vhy a duck?"

"No, Tina.  A viaduct."

"That's what I want to know.  Vhy a duck?  Why not a chicken?"

The Doctor hung his head and groaned.  He had only just got the girl off the "Who's Eddie?" jokes, and now she was quoting the Marx Brothers (http://www.whyaduck.com/info/movies/scenes/whyaduck.htm).



One of Nahato's minions slowly and painfully struggled into the chamber where Nahato was currently varnished to the floor.  He gasped to see Nahato's current predicament.  "Lord Nahato!!  What has Lady Jinnistacia done to you!?

"*mmmph*" said Nahato.

Fortunately, the minion was fluent in *mmmph*.  "Oh.  I see.  Yes, it would seem that the Phantom Tribe has been reduced to comedy relief again."

"*mmmph*"

"No, Lord Nahato.  I cannot let go of my ankles.  Lady Jinnistacia super-glued my hands to my ankles like this.  I suspect that she is also responsible for gluing the 'Kick Me' sign to my butt."

"*mmmph*"

"Yes, my lord.  I fear that all of the surviving Phantom Tribe have been super-glued into awkward and humiliating positions."

"*mmmph*"

"Yes, even the poor dear with the make-up kit-- er, I mean, the Anti Nanami Defense Screen.  In fact... did you know, I'd heard her say earlier that she liked Bill, and was thinking of asking him on a date?"

"*mmmph*"

"Well, Lady Jinnistacia stripped both her and Bill, and completely super-glued them together.  I wish my first dates were that much fun."

"*mmmph*"

"Please try not to have a nosebleed, Lord Nahato.  I can't give you a tissue, what with my hands superglued to my ankles like this."

"*mmmph*"

"Yes, it would seem that the creepy fan-service is back.  But the current writer had hinted that some of it might return with Peorth's cross-over."

"*mmmph*"

"Well, for what it's worth, I had no idea that Lady Jinnistacia was such a weird-ass demon god, either.  We knew that she had a technique creation technique... but we obviously didn't know that she was activated by giving her a new face made out of latex... and we sure as shootin' didn't know that she sprayed super-glue out of her power-key-staff."

"*mmmph*"

"We could try to get her back, Lord Nahato.  I saw on one of our running computers, as I slowly and painfully struggled to your side, that someone named 'Yume' had put her, and a three-eyed male demon-god, up on eBay."

"*MMMPH!!*"

"No, my lord.  I don't want her back, either.  I just thought I'd mention it.  Not a lot else I can do, what with my hands superglued to my ankles like this."

"*mmmph*"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 02, 2004, 01:47:41 AM
Mice With Hats Capital City

"You're saying out main army," cried Gen-chan, "couldn't stand up to a petting zoo?"

The assembled mice with hats, many sporting fresh bandages, looked extremely embarassed.

"This is just pitiful.  This means that we have failed to secure a fresh cheese supply," continued Gen-chan.  "I'm very disappointed boys."

"Squeeeek..." replied the mice with hats forlornly.  They hung their heads in shame.

"Don't give their failure another thought, King Gen-Chan!"  All heads turned to watch Millie swagger in, her new cape billowing out behind her, a confident smirk upon her face, and something mysterious and brown in her left hand.  A squad of rodents of unusual size were tromping along behind her.

The effect was ruined by the fact that, while it is possible to swagger while ducking down low to avoid banging your head, it just doesn't look as cool.  

"Lady Millie!" cooed Gen-chan, holding a paw to his heart.  "You have returned!"

"Indeed I have, my King!" grinned Millie.  She did her best to put a foot on the edge of the royal dias, in shameless parody of Diva and Jinnai.  "Never fear!  As long as the Bugrom do not penetrate the undercity, Roshtaria will fall."

Gen-Chan rubbed his chin thoughtfully, slight worry evident in his features.  "However, it's only a matter of time before Bugrom workers decide to give the sewers an overhaul... its all in dreadful shape, especially the viaducts."

Millie's grin widened.  "No Matter!  Heh heh heh..." then she got into the spirit, and gave a full fledged Jinnai laugh, banging her head on the ceiling in the process.  "Ow, dengit."  She recovered quickly enough to call her sanity into question, pressing her nose to Gen-chan's as she went on.  "What can sewer workers do?  We'll just obtain the greatest weapon imaginable!  A weapon strong enough to beat any construction crews!"

Gen-Chan rubbed his brows worriedly.  As a matter of fact, there was a slight patch of fur that was getting a little on the thin side because he was rubbing his brows so often.  "Super... weapon?  We're mice!  Where the heck are we going to find-" and then he noticed what was in millie's hand.  His eyes widened with fear and awe.  "Oh!  Is that...?!"

Millie thrust the package high.  "Yes," she sneered, "It's... a package that some of your men found!  And according to the label, there's some sort of book in it!  I mean... it could be about a really powerful weapon.  You never know..."

Gen-Chan clutched his chest and felt a slight tingling in his left paws.  "Oh no!  But packages with books in them are the source of all evil in the sewers!"

Millie blinked.  "That made no sense.  Explain."

Gen-Chan sighed.  "Well, many generations ago we found a package.  A book was inside it.  Some of the younger mice used it to learn to read... and thus the skill entered our Tribe.  But more recently, alas, books in packages have brought great sorrow to our people."  The mice with hats looked sadly at some of the side tunnels.  "For instance, one day Princess Rune threw an unopened package with a book in it into the sewers.  Naturally we assumed it to be a book on leadership, and I commissioned a number of our priestesses to read it and learn its secrets."

Millie sat down, indian-style, and sipped some tea that had conveniently appeared.  "Ahuh?"

"Well, not long after, they broke away from the main Mice With Hats tribe and formed a dreaded sect based on what they had learned in that terrible book... 'How to brainwash women and turn them into your love slaves'."

"Squeek," said one of the mice, shuddering.

"Did you say female ninja mice with hats?"

"Squeek," the mouse replied, nodding.

It took Millie a good few seconds to get her head around that one.  "Crumbs," she said eventually, unable to think of anything else.

"Indeed," agreed Gen Chan, "and then there was the horrors caused by 'Build Your Own Mice Traps', and the terrifying 'Adorable Cats Calendar'.  Not to mention '1001 uses for a dead rat'."

"Yikes."

"Then there was Dr. Schtalubaugh's books on Ancient's genetics and electricty.  You don't even want to know the havoc those ones caused."

"Pika," said someone, very firmly.

"And yesterday," squeeked Gen-Chan gravely, pointing to a package in the corner, "we found a doujinshi of Makoto and Jinnai."

Millie picked up the doujin and flipped through it.  She raised an eyebrow, then, carefully, reverently, put the book back in its wrapping.  She noted that it had apparently been ordered from some obscure seminary.  Well, they had to make money somehow, she supposed.  She dabbed at her nosebleed with her cape.  "Yes, well," she went on, once the bleeding had stopped, "I'm sure there's nothing bad in this."  She put the package down in front of her and started immediately to open it.

*****

"Halt!"  cried the guard.  He had once been a lowly Social Secretary slash Special Aide to the File Clerk, third class.  But thanks the the new regime he was now a palace guard, which, frankly, involved a lot less paperwork, and a lot more standing around and daydreaming while the Bugrom did all the work.  He had been looking forward to raiding one of the lesser known pantries, and claiming he was just searching for possible threats to the Bugrom Empire.  He never expected to find an actual threat to the Bugrom Empire.

"Yes?" replied Princess Rune.

"Princess... erm.. Princess Rune!  I arrest you in the name of the-"

Rune interrupted, saying "You realize the other group beat you to it, right?"

The guard blinked.  "What?  Wait... wha?  What other group?"

Rune shook her head and clucked her tongue.  She looked at Afura mournfully.  "See?  He's part of the new palace guards, and he has no idea what the new imperial guards are up to.  No wonder they're so far behind."

The guard looked around, confused.  "Imperial guards?  Wait, we're behind?"

Rune sighed and began walking around the man, stooped over slightly.  "I suppose you were planning on arresting me and presenting me to the Bugrom Queen to curry favor, hmmm?"

"Well... yes?"

Rune shook her head.  "They're way ahead of you.  Sounds like they have all of your group's plans.  They may have spies in your group."

"Spies in the Palace Guards?"

"Judging from how well they know your plans, I'd say its very likely."  Peorth and Tina weren't the only ones that could channel a Marx.

The guard looked around, worried.  He didn't even know there were imperial guards!  This whole 'guard' thing was so new to him.  "What should we do?" he asked.

"Keep quiet about our little encounter.  Don't let them know you're catching up... don't let them know you're on to them."  She leaned in close, whispering in the guard's ear.  He was practically sweating by now.  "Keep a close eye on your comrades... try to figure out which ones are on their side.  They don't know you're onto them, that's an advantage!"

He shook her hand gratefully, telling her a thousand times how much he owed her, and how he would do everything she said.  And then he ran off.

Rune watched him go.  

"If everyone working around here is that stupid, we'll be back in charge in no time."

Dr. Schtalubaugh frowned deeply.  How did someone so smart manage to get engaged to the most obvious villain since Snidely Whiplash (http://www.toonopedia.com/dudley.htm)?

*****

As Millie stared at the little black disc inside the pacakge, hair-thin cracks began appearing on its smooth surface.  The mice with hats hissed in a threatening manner, but Millie stood her ground, quickly figuring out that this thingy was simply unfolding itself.

It was amazing, like watching one of those so difficult to make Raddish Rosettes being crafted by an invisible chef.

And then there was just the bird, floating there.  It was a large bird, insofar as that it was small bird, which was to say it was a medium sized bird, or maybe not.

It was about the same shade of something as something else, except that it wasn't that color at all.

Millie frowned.  There was something a mite peculiar about it, but darned if she could put her finger on what.

It vanished.  The world turned ultra-black, then a lighter shade of pale, and then a nasty tint of salty.

It appeared again.

"Excuse me," it said. "I need to calibrate myself to this universe. Can you hear me when I say this?"

"When you say what?"

"Very good," said the Guide. "What about this?" It said in a higher pitch.

"Erm... yes?"

"How about this?" it boomed in a voice like mountains colliding.

"Don't do that, and yes!"

Silence for a few moments, followed by the bird saying "Well, it would seem you can't hear that.  Okay, moving on..."

And then it began to do some very peculiar things with space time, asking Lillie what she saw each time.  One moment it looked like it was extending into infinity, one moment it was a singularity, one moment it was a zillion birds, one moment it was actually a moment, and one moment it was something so dizzying that Millie and the mice had to lay down.

The bird nodded, having correctly gauged the senses of beings in this reality.

"What are you?" demanded Millie, thrusting a finger at it.

"I am The Guide.  I was built with no filters.  I percieve all along the axis of probability.  

"I control high-energy Particle Interactions and can rework Equilibrium Quantum Born Rule Processes.  I can move superstrings.  I can rotate black holes.  The fermions at vertices and gauge bosons at links which make up your reality are mine to control.  I am that which can make white holes.  I am that which can unmake white holes.  I possess Quantum Consciousness, I use NonEquilibrium Quantum Processes.  I see all the non-orthogonal quantum states, yet do not affect them.  I am a violation of the Born rule, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and Murphy's Law.  I know," it paused, "all results.  

"But aside from that... what I am is hard to explain."

Millie stared at it, google-eyed.  "WHAT?" she demanded.

"I am the Guide.  I am omnipotent and omniscient.  I can do anything you ask me to.  I am god.  Some of what I just said is true.  Y'ain't never had a friend like me."

Actually, the reason it had paused was that it didn't know all results.  Not here.  Not like it should.  It still saw all along the probability matrix, it still knew how to play Chaos Theory like a tamborine, but it could no longer see the future.

It found itself wondering why not, and immediately knew the answer.  Tachyon interference.  Someone in the future was creating a veritible squall of tachyons.  Faster than light particles with negative mass... that moved backwards through time, making the future cloudy.  Interesting.  An actual challenge.  

Millie poked The Guide with her finger, apparently not understanding just how dangerous it was.  "You do what I say?  I'm your master?  And you can do anything?"

"Yes, yes, and very much yes."

Millie grinned.  "We want to take over the world!"

The Guide nodded.  This was part of what it did, making people think it was working for them, leading them along, making it look like they were getting what they wanted.  And then, when the poor fools had contributed enough to The Goal (in this case the elimination of any Time Lords in the area, thus allowing The Other to fulfill its plans), things would go very pear shaped for them.

"Very well then," it explained, "this is what you have to do..."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 04, 2004, 04:25:13 AM
Dall-III stood in the back room of a recently-rebuilt restaurant, in one of the more seedy districts of the Floristica palace-town.  He hung his head and slumped his shoulders.  He found himself almost wishing that he was back in the spider-hole, rather than be reduced from Emperor of Creteria to this.

Ryoko stood in front of him.  She tugged at his apron and straightened it, then reached up and straightened the little paper hat that he was wearing.  "Ready for your first day as dish-washer, hon?"

"I thought you said we had enough gold for a few months," Dall whined.  "Why do I have to get a job so soon?"

Ryoko sighed.  "Well, unless you weren't planning to live longer than a few months, you're going to have to get a job, sooner or later.  Ya might as well jump in now, and get used to a commoner's life.  And there's no shame in a honest hard day's work.  Heh, as if the current writer has ever actually worked for a living."

"And I thought we were fugitives on the run.  I can't be seen in public--"

"You won't be, hon.  I assigned you to washing dishes.  And the other workers don't care if you're a fugitive.  Heck, in a frowzy joint like this, most of 'em probably got criminal records longer than--"

"Wait a minute!" Dall suddenly said.  "What do you mean, you assigned me to washing dishes?"

"Oh, didn't I tell you, hon?  Hang on a minute--"

Ryoko phased away, and almost immediately phased back.  She was now wearing an apron and a little paper hat too.  "I got a co-manager position for myself here too.  Isn't it great?"

"You mean!...  I'm working for you!?...  And I have to do what you tell me to do... even here!?"

"Yup," Ryoko said.  "And don't expect any special treatment.  I expect you to break as many plates as any other employee... Dall?  What is it?"

Dall sniffled a few times.  Then he fell to his knees with a thud, grabbed Ryoko by the waist, and began to cry like a little boy that had had his lunch money stolen.  The idea of working for the domineering Ryoko had finally broken him.

Ryoko grimaced.  "Aw, shoot.  I'm sorry, honey.  Too much teasing, huh?"

"Yuh-- yeah," Dall sobbed.

Ryoko patted his head.  "Tell ya what.  Why don't we blow this place off, and look for new jobs tomorrow.  Maybe we can find something that we can enjoy doing together.  Maybe we can make a proper fresh start together, huh?

"But let's not worry 'bout it now.  Let's get some ice cream, and go to the public park, and eat the ice cream while we look at pretty flowers.  And I'll give you a nice back-rub while I apologize a few more times.  How does that sound, sweetie?"

"'Kay," Dall whimpered.



The sun began to set on an unconscious (original) Ifurita and Ishiel.

Ishiel finally stirred.  She got her arms under her, and woozily sat up.  She held her head for a moment, and rubbed at her eyes.  Then she finally opened her eyes, and took a look at herself.

For once, she wasn't naked.  And, strangely enough, it was disappointing.  Not just to the fan-boys, but even to Ishiel herself, in a strange way.

Ishiel hung her head, with a sad little chuckle.  So, she thought.  It's true.  I'm a background character again.  I'm not even important enough to the story to provide gratuitous fan service any more.

She dragged herself to her feet, took a look around, and saw Makoto's Ifurita lying nearby, her key-staff at her side.  Ah well, she thought.  One last plot advancement, before I go.

Ishiel walked up to Ifurita's side, took up her key-staff and set it home.  But she performed only a partial recharge.  That way, Ifurita would wake up more slowly, and Ishiel would be gone before she woke up.  Ishiel wasn't in the mood for talking.  Besides, she thought, I'm not even important enough to properly recharge a demon god, now.

After she gave the key-staff about half a dozen turns, she gently pulled it away, and laid it at Ifurita's side again.

Then Ishiel went back to where she herself had fallen, and took up her permanently-downgraded Great Lamp Of Earth.  She set it on her shoulder, holding it with one hand.  Its weight felt comfortable, like an old friend... but still, it just wasn't the same.  It felt like a prop-- like something a background character might hold.

She looked to the sky above her.  At least I was reduced to a background character in a happy fun Yakage sort of way, she thought.  Mmm, Yakage.  Mama likes...

Ah well, she thought again.  It was fun, while it lasted, wasn't it?  And I shouldn't complain.  I got a lot more than an obscure character from an obscure video game based on an obscure franchise could hope for.  Heck, I was practically the... main character... for once.  For just... a short time...

Ishiel hung her head, held a hand over her eyes, and allowed herself just a few tears.

Then she rubbed at her eyes with her free hand, and raised her face to the horizon.  Enough, she thought.  It's enough.  It was enough.  But now... it's time to go.  It's time to exit stage left.

And then, Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess Of Earth and Background Character, walked into the sunset, and returned to obscurity.  The camera slowly irised out with her, possibly for the last time.



The sun rose on what might first seem to be a Las Vegas honeymoon suite.

Makoto stirred.  He found himself tangled in blankets, pillows cast aside, on a bed that wasn't actually meant for comfortable sleeping.  What happened?, he thought, still half-asleep.

And then, he remembered, with both a happy smile and a modest blush.  Oh, Ifurita!, he thought.  You must have given me another dose of Bugrom serum...  No.  You must have... permanently cured me.  The poison is gone from my body.  I can... feel it.  But how?...

Oh well, Makoto thought.  No matter.  It's wonderful.  And... it was wonderful.  Thank goodness it was you that gave it to me--

And then, Makoto felt a cold chill that fully woke him up, and the bottom fell out of his stomach.  Oh no, he thought.  Oh God.  It wasn't Ifurita.

He struggled out of bed, hastily pulled on his britches, and threw his shirt on without doing it up, leaving it open in a lovely bishounen kind of way.  Then he went to a set of sliding window doors, behind long curtains, in the far wall of the room.

As soon as he pulled the curtains aside to open the doors, he saw her.

Ifurita-3 was wearing a fuzzy white hotel robe.  She stood barefoot, with her back to the glass doors, leaning against a railing in a lovely bishoujo kind of way, watching the sun rise.

Makoto stepped through the glass doors, closed them behind him, and went to her side.  He glanced at her, then leaned against the railing beside her.

Neither of them spoke for some time.  They both knew what the other was thinking, without speaking, without looking at each other, without even using Makoto's ability.

Ifurita-3 finally spoke.  "Makoto?  It was wonderful."

"Yes," Makoto said.  "It was."

"I could never think of something so wonderful as a mistake.  For whatever reason, we were fated to share one night of love.  And... well, this may sound ridiculous, but... it was beautiful, Makoto.  It was... magic.  It... was..."

Ifurita-3 hung her head, and sniffled.  Makoto looked to her with a worried expression, and took a step towards her.

"Oh, Makoto.  How can I be so selfish?  I want... more.  I want every night to be like that.  I want every morning, every day, to be like this.  I want what I have never had.  I want... what my sisters have..."

She began to cry.  "Oh!  How can I say such things?  I was meant to be alone!  To be alone, forever!  I should leave now, to be alone for the rest of eternity, with tbe memories of one wonderful night..."

Makoto embraced her, and held her like a friend.  She quietly sobbed into his shoulder, clutching at his shoulders, not yet ready to be alone again.  And  Makoto hung his head, pressing his face into her hair.  His tears soon ran as freely as her own.



Crow:  Well.  That was... depressing.

Tom:  Yup.  There's nothin' like a triple scoop of angst to suck the life right out of a round robin.

Mike:  Aw, buck up, little campers.  Maybe there'll be some more mud wrestling soon, or something.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 04, 2004, 08:23:31 PM
The best things come to those who wait...

For instance, try waiting until after my lousy post.  I'm sure someone else will post something good.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 05, 2004, 12:37:52 AM
"Zis may seem like ze silly question, mon ami, but what are we doing?"

Peorth and Yume were seated on front of Master Yume's biggest screen TV.  Yume was putting in a DVD.  "First," said Yume, "let's get this straight.  I am not your 'ami'.  I'm your temporary ally, but in the end I'm looking out for number one.  Second, as a temporary ally, I want your opinion on something."  She sat down on the comfy couch next to the confused goddess.  "With the Creterian military pretty much out
business, I needed a new way to earn cash.  My former ally put my in contact with some like minded people... this is the result."

Peorth had never seen Fatora before.  If she had, then the sight of two giant Fatora clones on the DVD menu would have had more of an effect on her.  "Dear viewer," said Gatora, "thank you for selecting our product.  Remember, if anyone is interested, our facility is open to any female parties.  If you do visit, you will have to choose whether to submit, with what degree of pleasure you may perhaps not be capable of imagining, to the investigations of my sister and myself."

Yume selected an item from the menu.  Peorth's mouth dropped as she saw, on the very large screen TV, the very realistic robot Dall-3 and Makoto.

"Sacre bleu," she whispered.

"Yep.  Fully functional.  I'm selling my videos through this distributor.  Ooo, watch this, it's anatomically impossible for a human."

Peorth started to reply, but found her throat a bit dry.  She had been intending to start discussing strategy with Yume... but, well, all work and no play makes Peorth a dull goddess.

She daintily dabbed at her nose.  "Jumping Jehozephat on ze pogo stek..."

"Yehah!" replied Yume.

*****

Nahoto quietly soaked in a hastily constructed bath, occasinally scrubbing himself with a pumice stone in an attempt to remove some of the varnish that still seemed to be lingering, even after several rigorous solvent treatments.  Where had things gone wrong?  They were the Phantom Tribe, most feared of all El Hazard's residents.  And now nobody seemed to care about them any more.  It was infuriating, intolerable, and very confusing.  Nahato had believed himself to be as capable a leader as Galus, but ever since he took on leadership of the Phantom Tribe things had been going horribly wrong.  Perhaps it was time to start with a clean slate, develop an entirely new strategy for defeating their enemies...

"Nahato..."

The Phantom Tribe boy sprung to his feet and assumed a defensive stance, years of training allowing him to keep his balance despite the slippery bath.  He quickly surveyed the room, pushing all his senses to their maximum.  He had ordered all his men not to disturb him, which meant either that he would have to deal with some disobediant fool, or else face an intruder.

Except there was nobody there.  Puzzled, the boy began to get out of the bath, to see if perhaps the voice belonged to someone outside.

"Nahato..."

Again he fell into a defensive stance, eyes darting about, trying to find the mysterious speaker.  And yet... it was almost as if the words had come from nowhere at all, meeting his brain without having been introduced to his ears.  Moreover, the voice sounded much like one he clearly remembered.  But it couldn't be...

"Nahato... It is Galus.  Can you hear me?"

Nahato growled deep in his throat.  "Whoever you are, I will find you.  And you will pay for impersonating my Lord Galus... your death will be a slow one."

Nahato heard the non-voice chuckle darkly, as his master used to.  "Dear loyal Nahato.  Shall I prove myself?  Do you recall when we were preparing to activate the Eye of God?  I asked you if you wanted to know the full extent of my plans.  I told you that you had a right to know-"

"And I told you I didn't care," replied Nahato breathlessly, "that I was happy merely serving you.  It is you, your Majesty?  But how?"

"Ah... During the battle against Arjah, my physical body was destroyed - impaled upon a spire of Ancient technology and burned to ash.  But the spire seems to have absorbed my mind somehow... downloaded it.  It has taken time, but I am now able to communicate telepathically.  Moreover, being connected to this piece of Ancient technology has taught me much.  I know now how we can have our revenge."

"My Lord Galus... merely let us know how we may serve you!"  Nahato positively shivered with joy.  Yes!  Galus had returned!  The Phantom Tribe could do proper villanous things again, and quit mucking about as comedic relief!  Oh frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!

"Patience, dear Nahato.  This plan will take time to prepare... Tell me, do you recall the early missions we assigned the half-breed to?"

"The traitor Ishiel?  Yes, I remember.  She completed them satisfactorily."

"Indeed she did.  The scientists will have to begin work at once-"

"Of course sire!"  Nahato practically ran out the door, eager to assemble a science team to begin the new plan.  An awkward psychic pause resulted.

"Nahato, you may wish to put some clothes on before speaking to the scientists..."

*****  


Nanami couldn't help herself.  She pulled on the wing again.  Kauru shrieked in pain and shot Nanami a "why would you do such a horrible thing?" style glance.  "¡Aye, no me gusta! ¿Por qué hay dolor?"

Yep.  It was a real wing.

Nanami looked up at Miz, Fujisawa-sensei, and Ifurina, voicing what they were all thinking.  "This is just too weird."  The swelling was starting to go down, as were the inflammed eyes, but there could be no getting around the fact that Kauru seemed to have one less finger, antennae, wings, and yellow-and-brown skin.

That and she was speaking in Spanish.

"Hmmmmm..." grunted Fujisawa-sensei, folding his arms across his chest, an expression of extreme concentration on his face.  "Hmmmm..."

Miz, concerned for her successor's well-being, poked him on the elbow.  "What is it, Darling?  Do you know what's happening now?"

"Hmmmm... Nope, no clue."

"Darling..." Miz trailed off, giving Kauru another long look.  She leaned in close to her husband's ear.  "Darling, this is horrible!  Now she'll never find a husband!  Well, maybe a kinky one, but there's no guarantees!  We haven't had any conventions in the area for years!"

Kauru began bawling, rubbing her eyes with her hands.  "¿Por qué? ¿Por qué? ¿Por qué son todas mis memorias malas?"  Her hand shot out like a striking cobra, grabbing Nanami by the collar and pulling the Earth girl close.  "¿Y," she growled, "dónde es mi tequilla?"

"I think," gasped Nanami, who was finding it hard to breathe with Kauru grabbing her like this, "That she wants this 'tequilla' stuff!"

"Hmmmmm..." grunted Fujisawa-sensei again, once more folding his arms across his chest, an expression of extreme concentration on his face.  "Hmmmm... there is no tequilla on El-Hazard that I know of.  But for this girl's well-being, I will do my best to find a similar alcoholic alcoholic beverage!"

Miz grabbed her husband firmly by the earlobe.  "Not just now, Darling.  Nanami, take Kauru to get some clean clothes on, she looks like she's been knocked senseless by ancient technology, thrown into a volcano, and used as an avatar by some ancient force.  Ifurina and I will make her something to eat.  Darling, set the table and look after the baby."

Fujisawa-sensei hung his head at being deprived a chance to try out different liquors.  "Hai," he sighed, trudging off to find the guest dinnerware.

"But... but..." stammered Ifurina, "what about the evil bugs?"

"They'll have to get their own food, I'm not sharing," replied Miz, "besides we can deal with them later.  What're they going to do, start taking over the capital?"

"GAK!" said Nanami, who was turning rather blue.

*****

Speaking of blue...

Nahato (fully dressed) watched his unglued assistants at work (sans Bill and his new girlfriend, who were still taking cold showers).  They were in one of the larger chambers underneath Kingfisher, surrounded by humming machines that had been quickly moved from nearby facilities.  His chest swelled with pride at the way his people always seemed to bounce back.  Why, it wasn't long ago that this mountain had been looted of most of its technology, yet there was already a fully functional lab at his disposal!  Truly the ingenuity of the Phantom Tribe insured their success.  At first they had been reluctant to believe Galus was back... until they began recieving telepathic messages, reminding them of embarassing past indiscretions Galus knew of (the Phantom Tribe's annual Christmas Party was part of a number of these stories) and the need to follow their leaders without question.

Nahato leaned in for a closer look at the machine on front of him.  It was so obvious really, he was annoyed that he hadn't thought of it himself.  Part of Ishiel's training had been to steal small items from those around her at the seminary.  Then she had been given more difficult tasks, stealing from senior priestesses.  In addition, the Phantom Tribe had been carefully collecting items used by the Earthers - in order to examine their genetic material and understand the source of their strange abilities.  The Jinnais had proved the most difficult, although a raid on the Shinonome Diner while she was away turned up some old clothes of Nanami's.  But while they had thought to examine the genetic structure of their enemies, they had never thought to copy it.

Ishiel had been the prototype, a Human-Phantom Tribe hybrid, created using genetically superior cells they had uncovered in a cache of Ancient technology.  But now they were ready for the next stage- Phantom Tribe hybrids of their worst enemies.  

A number of large glass tubes protruded from the machine Nahato was examining.  And in some of those tubes, suspended in semi-transparent liquid nutrients, were blue-skinned children that looked almost as old as Nahato.  Of course it was necessary to slow down the accelerated growing process slightly at this stage.  Otherwise there was a chance that they might damage the mental programming that the children were undergoing, in order to insure that they would be utterly loyal and efficient soldiers when they were fully grown.  Each container was labeled according to the cell donor:  Makoto, Nanami, Fujisawa, Shayla, Afura, Miz, Ishiel, Crayna, Alielle, Kauru... they were even growing a blue-furred Ura-clone, just because they had the DNA on file.

Blue... of course with Ishiel they had taken steps to make sure she would not resemble a Phantom Tribe member.  They had wanted her as a spy.  But these warriors were to be the instruments of the Phantom Tribe's revenge, it was only fitting that their blue-skinned heritage be dominant.

Grinning like the cat that ate the canary, Nahato left the great chamber and entered a smaller sub-lab where a number of engineers were hard at work, following the instructions that were being delivered directly to their minds, detailing how to contruct perfect copies of the ring of water, lamp of fire, lamp of earth, and lamp of air.  Nahato sensed that this was where his Master was.

"Lord Galus?" he called out to thin air.

"Ah, Nahato.  All is well in the cloning chamber?"

"Yes, Lord Galus.  But I have a concern, your Majesty."  There had been a time when he would never have questioned Galus, but being a leader in his own right had created habits difficult to break.  "Surely we will have no problem with the priestesses or humans.  But what of the demon goddess?"

Nahato was answered with another mental chortle.  "Do not be concerned about that.  Did the scientists detect anything strange about the current Great Priestess of Water's DNA?"

Nahato nodded.  "They had, my lord.  But she is of an unknown Tribe, we expected some abnormalities."

Another chuckle.  "Thanks to recent events, the real Priestesses' DNA has been changed, removing those abnormalities.  The sample, however, is old enough to retain them - and the power they promise.  Built into that girl's DNA is a link to the Ancient's Technology.  And we are now adding to her DNA a loyalty to our tribe.  Imagine the power, Nahato!

"The lamp of water should go to the clone of the former Priestess of Water.  That girl's link to the Ancient's technology should provide us with weapons to fight a demon god."


Nahato bowed his head, ashamed to have questioned his master, but still curious.  "Lord Galus... what shape will our revenge take?"

"The most delicious irony imaginable.  We will venture into Bugrom territory.  In a secret laboratory there is hidden a powerful weapon - a Cloud of Tears generator.  It creates nanomachines on a vast scale.  We will use the machine, Nahato..."

Nahato felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle in anticipation.  "Sir?"

"We will use the machine, to change the people of El-Hazard, one city at a time.  We will make them like us, Nahato.  Let them know the suffering of being in a world where they do not belong!"


*****

Nanami nervously stepped into the kitchen, rubbing her neck (which was still a bit red).  The others were cooking, sweeping, and snoring away peacefully, lost in their own private worlds.  Nanami coughed.  "Erm... about Kauru..."

"She hasn't made herself a cacoon, has she?" asked Ifurina, not even looking up from her sweeping.

"What?  No!  No, she's just... well, I did my best.  And ont-de ention-me her eyes-ay.

Kauru (http://www.el-hazardonline.net/El-Hazard/temp/forum_users/d.t.3.jpg) stepped out from the shadows, shyly folding her four-fingered hands over her lap.

"Hola," she said quietly.

Everyone was staring at her eyes, which, in the last few minutes, had gone rather red.  And multisegmented.

"Jumping Jehosephat on a pogo stick!" said Ifurina.

Kauru cried.  "No es bueno!"

*****

Nahato was watching the cloning chambers impatiently.  Of course they could accelerate the process, but there was a great deal of information that these clones would need to be better than the originals on the battlefield.  No, clones made too fast would only be good at relatively menial...

Nahato's hand shot out like a striking cobra, grabbing a passing scientist by the shirt and pulling the man close.  "New orders!  You are to prepare another two... no, three clones!  Bare minimum programing, simple obedience and servitude.  Use the hated axe-weilding earther's DNA.  And tell the costume designers to work on something suitably flimsy and degrading."  He permitted himself a small laugh.  Nothing said revenge like being waited on hand and foot by blue-skinned slave-clones of your enemy.  Nothing but...
Nahato's hand shot out like a striking cobra, again grabbing the poor scientist by the shirt and pulling the man close.  "Also," said Nahato, "another three clones, same programming, but this time use the earth boy!"

*****

The Other was only slightly happy.  Impersonating Galus had been much less fun than pretending to be Peorth.  But at least it meant they hadn't spent all that time spying on that freak Galus for nothing.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 05, 2004, 07:59:25 PM
The strange yet beautiful creature formerly known as Kauru Taurus had left the Fujisawas' rural hideaway.  She needed some time to herself, in order to try to work out exactly what her self was, any more.

She was grateful that her latest transformation seemed to have spontaneously healed all her past injuries.  In fact, she found that she now possessed amazing inhuman strength.

And she could fly.  Her strange yet beautiful new wings proved to be fully functional.  She was aimlessly drifting over the nearby village possessed by the alien Bugrom.

But... why?  Why had she suddenly become this... thing, albeit after a few false starts? What purpose could her strange yet beautiful new form serve?  Why oh why!?

Kauru suddenly wailed with anguish.  "¿POR QUÉ!?"

She clapped her hands over her mouth, but it was too late.  She had attracted the attention of a single Bugrom-possessed villager, patrolling the empty streets just below her.

But then, Kauru suddenly understood why.  She had just instinctively found her purpose.

She swooped down, tackled the villager, pinned him to the ground face-down... and sat on his head.

Kauru gasped as she felt a very long and fine stinger poke through the waist of her britches.  It emerged from the base of her spine, about where a demon-god's key-staff socket would be, and its very tip painlessly injected itself into the villager's neck.

She gasped again as she felt a single drop of her own genetically-altered (and who-knows how-else altered) spinal fluid pass through her stinger, to enter the villager's own nervous system.

Kauru stood up, releasing the villager.  He glared at her as he stumbled to his feet.  "What have you done to me, you hideous freak!?  I shall take you to my Queen, and... ah... hah... HAH... ATCHOO!!"

The villager and Kauru both looked down at the ground, and realized, in unison, that the villager had just painlessly sneezed a dead alien Bugrom out of his brain-pan.  Kauru's spinal fluid sting had cured him of his possession.

"EEEWW!!" said the villager and Kauru, in unison.

Then the villager looked back to Kauru with deep gratitude.  "Oh, you've saved me!  I can't thank you enough for what you've done!"

"De nada," said Kauru.



A small humanoid robotic form rose through up through the skies of El-Hazard, to float in front of the Mouth of God.  It wore dishevelled clothes, and it sported a five-o'clock shadow.  It seemed... angry, somehow.  It also seemed to be holding a mostly-empty bottle of cheap beer, and smoking a politically-incorrect cigarette.

"Hey, thanks for coming to the show," the Mouth of God said.  "So, you've just flown in, huh?  I'll bet your arms are tired."

"YOU SUCK!!" yelled the Heckler of Rassilon.

The Mouth of God sweat-dropped, and, mercifully, shut up.



The Doctor and Tina looked to the skies, with the satisfaction of a job well done.

"That'll give us a few days," the Doctor said, "to find some help, and find a way to shut the Mouth of God permanently.  But first, would you join me for a late breakfast, Tina?  My treat, for guiding me through the new city to the vhy-a-duck."

Tina smiled.  "Thank you, Doctor.  How about that cheese shop?  It looks nice and cozy."

The Doctor and Tina walked into the shop, past a Mouse Wearing A Hat that was playing a bouzouki.  "Good heavens," the Doctor said.  "I didn't know they had bouzouki music in El-Hazard...  Good morning!"

Millie came to the counter.  "Good morning, sir!" she said cheerfully.  "Welcome to the Mice Wearing Hats' National Cheese Emporium!  What can I do for you, sir?"

The Doctor doffed his hat politely.  "We'd like to buy some cheese, please."

"Certainly, sir.  What would you like?"

"Well, uh, how about a little red Leicester?"

"I'm afraid we're fresh out of red Leicester, sir."

"Oh, never mind.  How are you on Tilsit?"

"I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir.  We get it fresh on Monday."

"Tish tish.  No matter.  Well, young missus, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please."

"Ah!  It's been on order, sir, for two weeks.  Was expecting it this morning."

"It's not my lucky day, is it?  Ah, Bel Paese?"

"Sorry, sir."

"Red Windsor?"

"Normally, sir, yes.  Today the hovercraft broke down."

"Ah.  Stilton?"

"Sorry."

One Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch later...

The Doctor mopped his face with a handkerchief.  "Have you, in fact, got any cheese here at all!?"

"Yes, sir," said Millie.

"Really?" the Doctor asked.

Millie paused.  "No.  Not really, sir."

"You haven't."

"No, sir.  Not a scrap.  All I've got right now is a box of one dozen starving crazed weasels."

"Oh, alright," the Doctor sighed.  "I'll take that."

Tina glanced back over her shoulder as she followed the well-annoyed Doctor to the door.  She saw that Millie was obviously about to burst into evil maniacal laughter.  "Doctor?" she whispered.

"Ssshh!" the Doctor hissed.  "Wait until we get outside."

"MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!" said Millie.  "MWAH HA HA HA!!  MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!"

As soon as the shop door closed behind them, Tina clutched at the Doctor's arm.  "Doctor!  That must have been a trap!  Floristica has had plenty of cheese since the Bugrom took over."

"Of course."  The Doctor smiled warmly to reassure Tina, then began to open his box.  "Very perceptive, Tina.  So, let's see what that crazed lunatic cheese shop clerk has given us, eh?"

Tina gasped.  "You mean, you know it's a trap, but you're going to open the box anyway!?"

"Of course," the Doctor said again.  "Evil must be confronted, my dear Tina.  Besides, when you have to come up with a cliff-hanger every twenty-three minutes of your life, you learn to take risks--  YEEEEAAAAARRRRRGGGHH!!"

The Doctor had just opened his box, and laid a hand on its contents.  Despite the Doctor's reaction, the box did not contain one dozen starving crazed weasels.

It contained one not-starving-but-quite-possibly-crazed Guide which had just begun to eliminate all Time Lords in the area with extreme prejudice.



Crayna-Crayna, retired high and mighty Great Priestess of Fire, had won an eBay auction.

She had just received a large crate in the mail from Yume.  After dragging it into her hut at the base of the volcano, she opened it, reached into the styrofoam peanuts within the crate, and yanked out her new demon god.

One recharge later, Ibn Al-Zahad bowed his head.  "What is your command, Master Crayna?"

Crayna gulped.  "Erm... be it true that you can swim in white-hot lava, as if it were a pool of water?"

"Yes, Master Crayna."

"And... you can actually take your human master into the lava with you?"

"Yes.  As long as Master remains in my arms, she shall come to no harm."

Crayna giggled like a school-girl.  As both a scholar and a former fire priestess, she was enthralled by the terrible beauty of white-hot lava.  And now, she could actually explore the extremely hot contents of her active volcano, in the arms of her new demon god...

In the arms of her big strong handsome demon god.  He's quite a hottie-- no pun intended, Crayna thought.  The third eye will take some getting used to, but still... woof!

Crayna felt her cynical old heart race.  The middle-aged world-weary retired priestess continued to giggle like a school-girl.  Her eyes had gone all shiny and happy, in a most un-Crayna-like way.

Al-Zahad sweat-dropped.



Bill, anonymous lowly young Phantom Tribe minion, had won an eBay auction.

He had just received a large crate in the mail from Yume.  After dragging it into his quarters deep within the rock formation commonly known as 'Kingfisher', he opened it, reached into the styrofoam peanuts within the crate, and yanked out his new demon god.

One recharge later, Pretty Magical God Jinnie bowed her head.  "What is your command, Master Bill?"

Bill fidgeted.  "Actually, if you don't mind?  I got you as a present for my new girlfriend."

Jinnistacia raised a Nanami-esque eyebrow.  "Eh?"

"Well, she's still trying to improve her Anti Nanami Defense Screen.  Since you now wear the face of She Who Seeth Through Our Illusions, I thought, maybe, you could help her with her research?"

Jinnistacia smiled sweetly.  "Very well, Master Bill.  Is that all that you ask of me?"

"Well, don't let Lord Nahato see you, please.  We both know that Yume reinstalled your OS, and upgraded your obedience circuit, to bring you into compliance.  But he might still be a bit upset with you, seeing as how you recently super-glued the entire Phantom Tribe in awkward and humiliating positions."

"Roger that," Jinnistacia said.

"By the way, thanks for introducing me to my girlfriend.  That was one heck of an ice-breaker."

"My pleasure, Master Bill.  Any time you'd like me to completely glue you love-birds together again, just let me know.  Tee hee!"

Bill sweat-dropped.



Dall casually tossed the Great Lamp Of Earth aside, ran at Makoto and tackled him, and brought him down in a wide area of mud churned up by the brief but heavy rainfall.  Makoto's lamp of wind was thrown from his body by Dall's tackle.

Dall wasted no time going to work on Makoto.  The impossibly handsome Yume-robots bodily grappled with each other in the shallow mud pit.  Their badly-torn and barely-still-decent uniforms were soon obscured as they were completely covered with thick smooth creamy rivulets of mud.

But, more importantly, Dall's mysterious cloaked but broad-shouldered male figure was of a more muscular build than Makoto's bishounen frame.  Makoto quickly realized that he had only bought himself a little more time, at best.


Peorth gaped at Yume's television through her cheap Groucho Marx glasses.  Her sweet little heart was racing again.  "Mon Dieu," she softly whispered.  "Quel magnifique gratuitous fan-serveece..."

Yume grinned, and spoke without looking away from the screen.  "Swell, ain't it?  The alternate angle of this scene has Makoto wrestling a Jinnai-bot in hot oil, for the fine upstanding fan-girls into that pairing...  Ooh, watch this.  This is my favorite part."

Makoto, bruised, bloody, and beaten, sank into the mud, defeated, humiliated, and totally naked, his clothing having finally decided to give up its futile attempt to remain on him.  Dall, a crazy gleam in his eyes, leapt upon him, grabbing Makoto's arms and pinning him to the ground.

"I've finally beaten you," Dall hissed, his hot breath harshly caressing Makoto's face as he painfully tightened his grip, "and now you are mine.  You are going to pay for what you did to me, Makoto Mizuhara, and in addition to punishing you, I'm going to break your will.  When I'm done with you, you'll call me Master, and serve my every whim.  I'll dominate you so completely that your every thought, every desire will be centered on submitting to me, and you'll lose all sense of pride and self-respect.  You are a dirty, filthy, pathetic animal, Makoto, not fit to be anything but my slave, and I'm going to make sure that's where you stay for the rest of your meaningless existence.  Doesn't that sound like fun?"

Makoto, completely at his enemy's mercy, whimpered as the smirking Dall descended on him, kissed him roughly on the lips, and proceeded to have his dastardly but disturbingly pleasant way with the young Wanderer, putting him through incredible ecstatic pain.




Mike:  Y'know, when I mentioned mud wrestling, that's not exactly what I had in mind.

Crow:  *ack*!

Tom:  *eep*!

Mike:  Aw, c'mon, guys.  We're open-minded and tolerant men, secure in our masculinity.  We can handle a little yaoi lovin', right?

Crow:  *arg*!

Tom:  *ngh*!

Mike:  Well, maybe not.  Man, I wish the current writer had extended his no-fan-service pledge past Peorth's earlier-than-expected first appearance.  GAH!!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on January 06, 2004, 03:28:59 PM
"MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!" said Millie.  "MWAH HA HA HA!!  MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!"

As soon as the shop door closed behind them, Tina clutched at the Doctor's arm.  "Doctor!  That must have been a trap!  Floristica has had plenty of cheese since the Bugrom took over."

"Of course."  The Doctor smiled warmly to reassure Tina, then began to open his box.  "Very perceptive, Tina.  So, let's see what that crazed lunatic cheese shop clerk has given us, eh?"

Tina gasped.  "You mean, you know it's a trap, but you're going to open the box anyway!?"

"Of course," the Doctor said again.  "Evil must be confronted, my dear Tina.  Besides, when you have to come up with a cliff-hanger every twenty-three minutes of your life, you learn to take risks--  YEEEEAAAAARRRRRGGGHH!!"




Play Doctor Who theme music NOW. (http://www.clivebanks.co.uk/Dr%20Who%20Themes/McCoy.wav)


DOCTOR WHO

The Cross-Over Terror

Written by Rabid Fanbois

PART THREE



"Doctor! What is it?!" shrieked Tina in fright.

The Doctor ignored his panicky companion and hurled the package onto the ground, a shocked look on his features. The box burst open, revealing a floating black machine with the word "PANIC" inscribed in a bright, friendly orange on its surface.

The Guide hovered in the air for a bit, scanning the area. Its sensors suddenly stopped short on the Doctor. "Scan complete," it said in a friendly artificial female voice. "Two hearts, body temperature 60 degrees Celcius, higher dimensional entity. Target confirmed, proceeding with termination..." The book then advanced on the Time Lord, various instruments of death forming from its black surface.

"How very interesting," stated the Doctor, a worried look on his face. He suddenly smiled and doffed his hat. "Hallo, I am the Doctor. You must be trying to kill me."

"Correct," said the Guide.

"Very good, very good." The machine swiped at the short man with one of its sharp appendages, but surprisingly the Doctor ducked out of the way. "Tell me, is there a particular reason as to why you are trying to kill me?"

"It has been programed as my primary function," said the machine.

"Ah." The Doctor dodged another of the Guide's instruments, this one shaped like a large chainsaw. "So I see. Well then, perhaps you can answer me this..."

The Guide, who had seen the fruitlessness of trying to kill the Time Lord with a melee weapon, began powering up its laser blasters.

"... What is an Arcturan Slither Beast?" asked the Doctor.

The Guide stopped its killing attempts, as its voice began to drone out, "The Arcturan Slither Beast, also known as the Wordo Wormling, is found in the southern forests of Kamartha and-"

The Doctor continued, "Where about the Allseen Archway?"

While the Guide continued to speak about the first topic, a second voice took up to explain. "The Allseen Archway is in the fourth quadrant of-"

"Where can I find the nearest Wormhole to the Delta Quadrant?" asked the Doctor. "Who was the captain of the last Battlestar? Whose genes did the Galactic Republic use to make its clone army? When will the next issue of Play Being that has a Runerian on the cover be printed? How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had an axe?"

The Guide, speaking in many voices and on various different topics, began to shake and rattle. Smoke poured out of its compartments, and a really scary noise began to rattle a bit in its hard drive.

"Um, Doctor?" Tina asked in worry as she stepped back from the machine in fright.

The Doctor merely smirked, then asked the Guide one last question. "What is the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything?"

"Erk..." said the Guide.


BOOOM!!!



After the smoke cleared, the Doctor emerged unscated, though a bit dusty. Tina looked down at the short man in wonder. "H-how did you do that?"

The Doctor looked up at the waitress and smiled. "Simple. That was the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, volume 2. Although much improved from the first version, it is still constructed from very inferior materials in order to keep its price down. Thankfully, it only has 128 megs of RAM, so it isn't very good at multitasking. I knew that by asking it to explain about various subjects, while it was trying to kill me, a catastrophic system crash would occur." The Time Lord looked down sadly at the remains of the Guide. "Bloody guide books are never very accurate... every explorer worth his salt knows that Arcturan Slther Beasts are found in the northern forests of Kamartha."

"Oh," said Tina simply. "Shouldn't we go after the little twit who gave you the package?"

"No," the Doctor's jovial look vanished, replaced by something colder and far more ancient. (i.e. his BADASS look) "This is merely a delaying tactic, much like the Mouth of God and the turtle robot nonsense. I think it's time we went directly to the source of this problem... I am looking forward to meeting this... Other..."

With that, the little man walked off. Tina followed with a shrug.

*********************************************

"How did he know who we are?'

"This is impossible."

"He should not have defeated our Guide so easily."

"Yes, that battle of wills should have taken at least three posts to overcome. He is not playing fair."

"Makoto and his friends are the main characters, aren't they? We can't have this cameo cross-over vagrant stealing the spotlight."

"We should kill him."

"We can't kill him, he's the Doctor! His legions of fans will gut us alive and say our round robin sucks if we do that."

"You're right... let us write him out of the picture then. Like we did Ishiel."

"Ew..."

"Not in a hentai way, fool. We should trap him in a dimensional vortex or something. Or maybe a time loop. Something Doctor Who-ish."

"Yes. If he's not going to play by the rules, then we shouldn't either. Just suck him into a Black Hole. Let him out when the story is over."

"Yes."

"Yes."

"YesYesYes."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 06, 2004, 04:31:15 PM
OOC:  I ended up cutting out the two largest parts of this post.  The bit about Shayla just had too much angst, and the other bit was just plain lame.

IC:

The machine filled the air with the raucous wailing of a failing engine and the steadily-building squeal of protesting metal.  Its vibrations threatened to shake the whole contraption apart and take a large part of the surrounding area with it.  Ifurita-III took this in impassively, far too emotionally exhausted to care.  Her staff was placed against the wall.  One of her hands was holding a small bucket, the other was pushing the ice-machine's 'vend' button.  Apparently the owner of this 'Las-Vegas-like' hotel had never heard of maintenence.

And then a new sound attracted her attention, a very faint humming sound, apparently coming from the corridor next to the machine.  Curious, she put down the half-filled bucket and started trying to find the source of the sound.  She glanced up in annoyance, realizing that the sole lamp meant to illuminate the passageway was not working.  She was about five steps toward the sound when she remembered her staff.  Sloppy, if she wasn't still so concerned about Makoto, she would never have made such a mistake.  She turned around to retrieve her weapon, just as a Bugrom Wasp emerged from the shadows and landed on her back.  It was the surprise, mixed with her emotional turmoil that gave the bug the opportunity it needed.  The fact that its stinger managed to precisely find her keyhole and inject her with its potent alien toxin was nothing more than a fluke, an unfortunate million to one shot.

Ifurita-III found herself face down on the ground.  If her mind had been clearer, she could probably have dealt with the new problem in a few beats of her nanite-infused heart.  But she wasn't thinking about her own wellbeing, she was far more concerned with Makoto.  So busy was she, trying to find the energy to yell for him to be on his guard, that she did not notice the ovipositor on her back.  So hard was she praying for Makoto's safety that she did not feel the egg sac being placed.  She did, however, feel it as the alien Bugrom was injected into her, as it quickly made itself one with her brain, rerouting the neural pathways that would normally be ordering her nanites to expunge the intruder.  But by the time she realized what was happening it was too late - she had been placed under the command of another monster, and this time Makoto's tech touch would have no effect.

******

Millie heard the boom outside.  She looked down at her printout.

10:00 a.m. - you will hear a large boom.
10.00 a.m and 10 seconds - a man will walk into the store.

Millie looked up.  A man had walked into the store.  "Good morning, sir!" she grinned manically,  "Welcome to the Mice Wearing Hats' National Cheese Emporium!  What can I do for you, sir?"

The man lacked the patience of the Doctor, and did not stay for the whole sketch.  Fuming, he stormed out at 10:01 a.m., just as the printout said he would.

Woop

Millie looked over at The Guide, which was quietly examining a very runny piece of cheese, apparently unconcerned with its own destruction.  "I fear that The Doctor is not taking me seriously," said the bird.

"What was that explosion?" demanded Millie.  "And why did I have to pretend to sell cheese?"

"I exploded," replied The Guide simply.

Millie tilted her head to one side, begining to wonder if trusting this thing was really such a good idea.  She didn't seem to notice that The Guide had avoided her other question.  "Shouldn't you be dead then?"

"Why?" asked the bird.  "If you exploded you would be dead.  I am not you.  I have been a disc.  I have been a bird.  I have been the night sky (http://flag.blackened.net/dinsdale/dna/book5.html).  And now I have been an explosion.  Why should that matter to a being that exists in more than 22 dimensions?"  The Guide turned its apparent attention back to the runny cheese.  "You see, it's like this.  I have no filters at all.  At any given moment I am processing every piece of information that ever existed in this or any other reality.  He actually tried to defeat me by making my multitask.  That might have worked on one of Kirk's enemies (http://soundwavs.trekkieguy.com/53.html), but with me it's like trying to drown an ocean."

Outside, the angry man that had wanted cheese bought a loaf from a passing bread salesman.  

"One of The Doctor's few weaknesses is that he is so parochial.  He can go anywhere in timespace, and yet he spends almost all his time in Southern England.  He's become to used to its customs and idioms.  He assumes that what's considered 'cheaply made' in one place is the same everywhere.

"And besides," said the Bird, a bit pettishly, "I'm not cheap.  I'm a special collector's item."

The man took a single bite out of his loaf of bread, and spit it out in distaste.  It just wasn't the same without cheese.

"I see all along the probability axis," said The Guide, inside the store, "I know which pebbles to push to start the avalanche."

"So the flying turtles and strange birds don't matter?" asked young  Tina Bradford  (http://www.geocities.com/ffseriesfans/ff6char.html), outside.

A snakebird swooped down and caught the mildly-chewed bread.  It flew back up, neatly colliding with a smiley-faced turtle thing.

"Certainly not," replied The Doctor with a twee smile, "In fact I feel I can say with certainty, my dear girl, that fabulous flying turtles and silly strange birds are not a threat.  Incidentally, would you like a jelly baby?"

The turtle thing spun out of control, smashing into the "Floristica Times" building.  "Whee!" it said merrily.  "I've got explosives!"  A lovely pyrotechnical explosion followed, sending pieces of flaming debris in all directions.  The Doctor, curious as ever, whirled around to see what was happening.  He held his umbrella in one hand, and the box that had held The Guide had in the other.  But for that fact, he might have been able to block what came next.  Three pieces of movable type neatly slammed into his forehead.  A "7", an "X" and a "6" to be precise.  

Tina screamed as the strange, wonderful man staggered backwards, a bloody "7x6" imprinted on his forehead, a smug reference to the last question he had asked The Guide.

"Ah," The Doctor said quietly, holding a hand to his forehead, then examining the way his blood stained it.  "Ah," he said again, and let out a short sharp laugh.  "Oh my.  I feel that I may have made a most grevious mistake.  I said it was over.  But it isn't all over.  It's far from being all over."  

Tina grabbed him by the shoulders as the strange man began to walk unsteadily away. "What are you talking about?  We have to get you to a hospital!" She looked around frantically.  "Help him!" she called out, her voice cracking, "He's dying!" The Doctor's body twisted out of her hands, as if a great war was going inside him.  For a moment he managed to stay on his feet, but his energy was too spent, and he collapsed.  The Doctor died (it was only the Eighth Doctor, not one of the good ones, so the fandom didn't really mind that much after all).  Tina fell to her knees, crying.  "Oh Doctor," she wept, "they've killed you."  

But that was not entirely true.  As she watched, the miracle of the Time Lord manifested - a strange glow came over the Doctor's face, brightening to a brilliant white, bright as the sun.  And the sun, as The Doctor would have happily pointed out, would be just as bright and shiny this next morning as the first day the world began.  

The face that was left behind when the glow faded was a completely new one...


*****

"Huh," said one of the voices within The Mantle of God.

"Good grief.  Well, that was unexpected!"

"What a powerful weapon.  And to think the Vogons had a hand in its contruction..."

"You know, I'm starting to think one of us should maybe read that thing's warranty again.  The bit about it being impossible to turn it against its masters.  Considering we have a boy that control technology mixed up in all of this.  Yes, I think that's a very important bit to recheck now."

They considered that for a moment.  Then, as one, they rechecked the manual.  There was a collective mental sigh of relief.

"Well, Well, that's a load off our mind mind."


*****

[SOL]

Crow:  Hey, can they kill The Doctor?

Mike:  Ah, if it's for comedic purposes there's precedent (http://dwtavern.50megs.com/doctorwho/curse.htm).  

Tom:  But what about the wrath of The Eighth Doctor's legions of fans?

[Sound effect:  Crickets chirping.]

Mike:  On an unrelated note, I think that the current author might have a slight bias in favor of the villains.

Tom:  [sarcastically]  Really?  I hadn't noticed.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 07, 2004, 05:37:28 PM
"Another drink?" the bartender asked and, without even waiting for an answer, poured Ishiel another.  The Rogue Priestess of Earth gave him a grateful nod as she chugged another one down.

The bartender shook his head.  "You know, it's not good to drown your sorrows like that.  Besides, it won't work for long.  Come tomorrow morning the only thing that'll have changed will be that you'll have a splitting migraine...and maybe wake up in bed married to a complete stranger, but that hasn't happened since some pyromaniac red-haired girl got totally drunk, started going on about some guy named Makoto, and burned down the 5-minute wedding chapel next door."

A thoughtful look crossed the bartender's face.  "You know, now that I think about it, it is pretty odd that somebody set up a 5-minute wedding chapel right next to a bar.  Oh well, whatever's profitable, I guess."  He went back to cleaning a glass with a white towel.

"Thanks for trying to cheer me up, mister, but after everything's that happened, I just want to forget.  After all, how can I go back to being a little-known background character after nearly being the star?  It's just...too painful to think about what my future holds for me now," Ishiel confessed, teary-eyed.  A thought suddenly crossed her mind.  "And why, after all the drinks I've had, am I still _not_ drunk?"

The bartender squinted at her.  "Tell me, have you united with any powerful ancient relics that made you go mad with power, fused with an insane Demon God, been mind-controlled by a vengeful and mad scientist from the Holy Wars, or de-powered in an incredibly fan-servicey way recently?"

"All of the above," Ishiel answered glumly.

The bartender nodded.  "I thought so.  Well, by the sound of it, your recent experiences have temporarily boosted your metabolism to the point where your body is processing alcohol faster than you can imbibe it."

"...So, in other words, what you're saying is that I can't get drunk, is that right?" the half-Phantom Triber asked, surprisingly calm.  The bartender nodded, and Ishiel slammed her fists against the counter.  "Gosh darnit!  Why must my life be so difficult?!  I'm betrayed by my best friend, stew in a dungeon cell for a couple years, am finally liberated only to be put in one fan-servicey and embarrassing situation after another, have my mind warped/possessed by one piece of ancient technology after another, and just as I'm finally beginning to become a main character am de-powered in a 'Nirvana' of fan-service and delegated back to being a background character!  And now I can't even get drunk!  It just isn't fair!"  

She hunched over and started to weep.  The bartender patted her reassuringly on her left shoulder.  "There, there.  It's true that you may be a background character now, but try to look on the bright side of things.  Background characters typically don't have to worry about being mind-controlled by super-villains or driven mad by incredibly powerful artifacts, and even if they do it's usually only for a single episode.  Plus, this is El-Hazard, a place where background characters tend to make out surprisingly well.  I mean, just look at Dr. Schtalubaugh in The Wanderers, and he doesn't even have your good looks - well, at least in _my_ opinion - or an elemental lamp!  And if you need further proof, think of Groucho who's virtually incomprehensible to most of us yet still gets some great scenes and dialogue in practically every El-Hazard series.  If you affiliate yourself with one of the many sub-plots dangling around you're almost certain to become a relatively important character again, or at least a character on the same level as the priestesses."

"...Or I could become a bitter, dark character determined to hunt down all those who wronged me and make them pay dearly for it!" Ishiel declared enthusiastically.  She smirked when she saw the bartender's worried expression.  "Nah, don't worry about it.  That was merely a joke, and I really don't want to have to go through that whole 'the beauty of my soul' thing again if it means getting in another glomp-fest over Makoto."

The half-Phantom Triber got to her feet and turned to face the door.  Craning her head to look at the bartender, she smiled warmly at him.  "Thanks for the encouragement, mister.  You've really helped to re-motivate me, and if I combine my Matrix outfit with a cool cloak and hood set, I think I'll manage to do all right for myself in the rest of this RR.  Is there any way I can repay you...other than paying off my bar tab right now?" she asked, eyeing the dozens of glasses with some concern.

The bartender shook his head good-naturedly.  "Don't concern yourself over it.  When you've been in this business as long as I have, you get used to some pretty strange customers.  Tell me, though, would you like a jelly baby?"  The bartender winked.

******

For every living animal or anything living that's even remotely animal-shaped, there is one primordial fear deeply embedded in each and every one of them.  No matter how powerful or horrifying they are, the personification of this fear is more terrifying yet.  It is an unstoppable force that defies the laws of conventional physics and leaves all potential targets gibbering in absolute fear in its passing.  To the animal kingdom, it is pure evil incarnate, and, no matter how many times it is defeated, this force will always return someday and in some form.  

The Guide was about to find out how dangerous this force is firsthand.

"How cute!" the red-haired girl known as Elmira shrieked as she walked into the cheese shop seemingly from nowhere and immediately grabbed the protesting Guide who, despite existing in over 22 dimensions, was discovering how it felt to choke to death.  "I'm going to take you home and hug you and pet you and squeeze you, and I will call you George!"  She beamed, and the Guide gagged.

"Hold it right there!" Millie yelled forcefully.  "That bird there is my ticket to global domination, and I'm not about to let some goody-two-shoes wearing a blue dress deny me of my prophesized destiny!  Mice with hats, go!  Go kick her ass!"

"SQUEAK!" the Mice with hats replied, recoiling in terror from the horror that is Elmira.

"What?!  I didn't teach you cowardice!" Millie boomed angrily, growling.  Fine then, if they wouldn't do it, then she'd have to and show them all why she was known as the terror of the playground.

"Millie the bratty war orphan versus Elmira the lover of all things cute, round 1!" the Mouth of God shouted from above.

DING!

As the two kids hurled themselves at each other, the Guide who was still painfully held by Elmira reflected that he'd really have to find out who was opposing him.  Obviously, it had to be somebody based in the future who was releasing the tachyons and unleashed Elmira upon him, but who?

******

"Mwhahahaha!!!" Nahato laughed smugly, pleased, as he paced behind his hard-at-work scientists, followed closely by three, blue-skinned clones of Nanami each wearing the infamous Princess Leah outfit from 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi' along with the attached collar and chains that Nahato was holding the ends of.  They dutifully crawled behind their master.

"Excellent," Nahato spoke maliciously.  "Soon, all of El-Hazard will feel the vengeance of the Phantom Tribe, and we will finally become the threat we're supposed to be instead of mere...comic relief!"

"Nahato, you forgot your lunch!" Nahato's mother shouted cheerfully as she forced herself into the lab and proved Nahato wrong.  "I made your favorite, dear, and if you don't eat it soon the spiced slugs will get cold!"

"Moooom!" Nahato pouted, embarrassed.  "Can't you see that I'm in the middle of leading our tribe to victory over the surface dwellers?"

Nahato's mother 'tskked' and handed him a brown, paper bag.  "That's still not an excuse for skipping meals, son.  After all, you won't grow up big and strong if you only eat and drink donuts and coffee."  She glared meaningfully at the scientists around them who suddenly became fascinated with their instrument panels.  Her scowl turned into a pleased smile, however, when she noticed the Nanami clones.

"Oh, and who are your new friends, dear?" she asked pleasantly, crouching down to face-level with the clones.

"They're _not_ my friends, Mom!  They're clones of my worst enemy programmed to obey my every command, incapable of betraying me, and whom I'm using to spite the crazy ax-wielding girl!" Nahato declared angrily.

"I don't know, dear.  Having clone slaves is a _big_ responsibility," Nahato's mother began to lecture him, much to her son's incredulity, "Why, you have order them to cook and clean, correct their foolish but well-intended mistakes, punish them as appropriate, look after any illegitimate children you sire with them-"

"WHAT?!" Nahato boomed, seriously disturbed.

His mother laughed weakly.  "Oh, just thinking ahead dear."  She leaned over to one of the nearby scientists and whispered in his ear, "You did remove the aging genes, right?  These clones will stay young and beautiful forever, right?"  The scientist nodded his head fearfully, and Nahato's mother stood back and smirked to herself.  Inwardly, she was pleased.  With all the time her son had spent with Galus, she was slightly worried about having grandchildren to spoil someday, but with three unaging and beautiful slaves around and Nahato scheduled to hit puberty any day now...well, members of the Phantom Tribe _were_ encouraged to marry and have children as early as possible, and wouldn't it be lovely to have not one, not two, but _three_ daughters-in-law to look after her in her old age...not that she would be old anytime soon, mind you.  All she had to do now was make sure things took their..._natural_ course.

"Well, I _guess_ you can keep them," Nahato's mother said in a falsely reluctant tone.  "However, they'll be staying in _your_ room, and I insist that you bathe them at least once a day!  I won't have any dirty clone slaves in _my_ home!"

"But MOM!" Nahato whined.

"No buts, dear!  I expect you to spend plenty of time with your new slaves and make sure they stay healthy and get plenty of exercise!  I don't even want to imagine what the neighbors will think if they see us with unhealthy slaves!" she ordered in a stern voice that mothers across the multiverse seem to share.  

Nahato's mother then noticed the still developing earth boy clone slaves in three nearby tubes and narrowed her eyes.  "And don't even think about taking any of _those_ male clone slaves home with you!  Three female clone slaves are more than enough for you, young man!"

"But Mom!  What am I supposed to-"

"Let the scientists figure out what to do with them, but they're not stepping one foot inside our house!  Do you understand me, young man?" she asked in a voice incapable of being argued with.

"...Yes, Mom," Nahato reluctantly agreed, head bowed and shoulders squared.  

His mother smiled.  "Ah, there's a good boy!  Now cheer up some!  Here, how about I make your favorite dessert with supper tonight?  You'd like that, wouldn't you honey?  Aw, I knew you would!  Now, remember to be home by 5:00 dear!"  

As soon as she left, the Phantom Tribe scientists guffawed.  Nahato, quite impressively, managed to glare at all of them simultaneously.  "The next person who laughs will find himself missing his head!  Now then, back to work!"

Nahato then turned his glare on his three Nanami-clone slaves who were staring at him with questioning looks on their beautiful, obedient blue faces.  "I suppose you three want names, don't you?  Fine.   You...are Zanami, Yanami, and...Runanami," he declared, pointing at each of them in turn.  "Now then, go back to groveling and fawning over me!"

"Yes, master," they said dutifully, quickly proceeding to do just that as Nahato resumed his smug pacing, blissfully ignorant of the maternal schemes his mother was hatching for him and Zanami, Yanami, and Runanami.  

******

Edit:  *sighs* Well, with one post I made not one but _two_ grave fandom mistakes:  I listed Princess Leah's slave girl/dancer outfit as appearing in "Star Wars:  A New Hope" and erroneously typed 'jelly belly' instead of 'jelly baby'.  Um...you don't suppose it's too late to start running, do you?  ^^;


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 07, 2004, 07:27:13 PM
An alien-Bugrom-possessed human burst into the Creterian Deva's throne room.  "Milady!  I bring terrible news!"

"Deeeeevaaaaa?" asked the Creterian Deva.

"A strange yet beautiful honey-bee-girl-creature is stinging your human hosts, and expelling your children from their tiny brains!"

"Deeeeevaaaaa!" gasped Deva.

"And even worse, her stings immunize the human hosts against further possession!  If she is allowed to continue her bizarre healing rampage, our icky-squicky invasion will be defeated!"

"Deeeeevaaaaa!" cried Deva.

"Milady!  What shall we do?"

"Deeeeevaaaaa," pondered Deva.

A moment of silence passed.

The possessed villager sighed.  "Uh, no offense, but Milady isn't the brightest firefly in the jar, is she."

"Deeeeevaaaaa," the Creterian Deva agreed sadly.



A barely-disguised Fatora strode up to Gatora and Hatora's seminary gate, and stood before its closed doors again.  Alielle watched from behind a nearby tree.

Fatora cleared her throat, and spoke in a false deep voice.  "*ahem*  I am Makoto Mizuhara, alien Wanderer from Shinadobe High School and an annoying goody-goody!  I call upon my harem-ic powers, and order you to open this door!"

WHAM!!  The door fell open like a draw-bridge, squishing Fatora into the ground again.

After the door raised back up, Alielle came to the side of her fallen princess.  "Um, Fatora-sama?  You still haven't got the name right.  It's Shino-nome."

"Ack eep," said Fatora.

Alielle pulled Fatora out of the ground, and dragged her away.  "Ah well.  Back to the drawing board."



Jinnai dashed down a long seminary hall, and opened a door.

He found several naked female acolytes frolicking in a therapeutic mud bath.  "Master!" they squealed.  "Please, join us!"

"GAH!!" said Jinnai.  He slammed the door shut, ran further down the hall, and opened a second door.

He found more naked female acolytes training in hand-to-hand combat, with lots of sweating, grunting, fondling and tickling.  "Master!" they squealed.  "Please, subdue us!"

"GAH!!" said Jinnai.  He slammed the door shut, ran further down the hall, and opened a third door.

He found more naked female acolytes standing at an ice cream bar, trying to make hot fudge sundaes, but spilling caramel and chocolate all over themselves.  "Master!" they squealed.  "Please, lick us!"

"GAH!!" said Jinnai.  (Actually, a small hot fudge sundae would have hit the spot, but Jinnai didn't want to impose.)  He slammed the door shut, ran further down the hall, and opened a fourth door.

He found Groucho, who had infiltrated the seminary to faithfully rescue his master.  The Bugrom was wearing a blond wig and a girl's seminary tunic, in a poorly disguising yet greatly disturbing kind of way.

"GAH!!" said Jinnai.  "You idiot!  You won't fool anyone, wearing that girl's tunic!  All the women are naked in this hellish pit of torture!!"

"Lufituaeb mi esuaceb em etah tnod," said Groucho.



Makoto was sitting on the corner of the hotel room bed, sadly musing to himself, and absent-mindedly staring at the hotel television, randomly flipping through the cable channels.

He glanced up, to see Ifurita-3 at the door.  The usually meek fan-fiction based demon god had a terrifying bloodthirsty expression on her face.  She snarled at Makoto like a vicious guard dog, drooling just a little.

Makoto gulped.  "Aw, man... not again."

But then, Ifurita-3 suddenly collapsed, falling unconscious to the floor.

Makoto dashed to her side, gently took her up and set her on the bed, and put a hand against her forehead.  Why, she ran out of power, Makoto thought.  How did that happen?

He suddenly realized how, with a burst of atypical male pride.  Ifurita-3 was worn out after a long sleepless night of naturally-enhanced hot sweet Makoto loving.  He had exhausted Ifurita-3 himself, in the best happy fun kind of way, and now, doing so had saved his own life.

Hmm, Makoto thought.  Maybe these supposed harem-ic powers of mine have their uses, after all.



The new Eighth or Ninth Doctor (the current writer was confused, and had lost count) staggered to his new feet, and stumbled away, leaving a future writer to describe his new fan-fiction persona.  A distressed Tina ran after him.

Meanwhile, The Other snickered to itselves.  Everyone knew that each regeneration left the Doctor a bumbling amnesiac for a few episodes.  Indeed, the Doctor had been dealt with quite effectively.

And this regeneration hadn't been any more lame than when the Sixth Doctor regenerated after falling in the TARDIS and hitting his head against the floor.



"Milady?" asked Londs, somewhat breathlessly, as he leaned forwards.  "Just how many more Bugrom do we need?  I'm up to my beard in bouncing baby bugs, here."

Deva's eyes rolled back slightly.  She answered even more breathlessly, in a husky voice.  "Yes, we could both *hanh* rest, Mr. Londs *hanh* we've been working *hanh* so hard lately *hanh* for the Empire."

Londs gasped sharply, clenching his teeth.  His eyes rolled back too.  "Can't stop now-- WHOAH BOY!!!!!!"

A minute or two later, Londs leaned back, breathed deeply, brushed the sweat from his forehead, and basked in the afterglow of a job well done.

A very happy Deva purred with satisfaction.  Her eyes shined with admiration.  "Oh, Mr. Londs!  You are simply wonderful!  Surely, no man does it better than you!"

"It was nothing, Milady," Londs said modestly.  "Now, do any of these other baby Bugrom need a diaper change?"



Yume held up another DVD.  "Care to watch the next volume, hon?  Makoto-bot turns the tables on Dall-bot, and traps him in a sanitarium, and makes him wear a straitjacket and a--"

"NON!! shrieked Peorth.  "Erm, I mean, thank you, but should we not be makeeng ze cuneeng plans to defeat our common enemies?"

"Well hey, I'm open for suggestions," Yume said.  "But, best I can tell, neither one of us can do jack squat, for now.  How 'bout a game of Tetris instead?"

"But..." Peorth protested.  "But..."  She turned to one of Yume's monitors.  "What of zees 'Guide' zat has recently manifested eetself?  Eet ees a multi-dimensional construct, the same as moi.  Could we not fight eet?"

Yume sighed.  "How many dimensions does a Yggdrasil goddess exist across?"

"Ten."

"Well, that 'Guide' thingy exists across twenty-two dimensions.  You do the math.  Honestly, I don't know how the other writers expect anyone to actually fight that little booger..."

Peorth did not respond.  She was trying to do the math.  She counted on one hand, then on both hands, silently mouthing numbers.  Then she kicked off her boots, and counted on her dainty toes.

She looked back to Yume with an embarrassed smile.  "I seem to have run out of ze digits.  May I borrow two of your fingers?"

Yume pulled a hand down her face in exasperation.  "Well, I might give you one finger."



Tom:  That was, what, seven distinct plot threads?  This thing is getting complicated again.

Crow:  My brain hurts.

Mike:  And the current author still didn't get back to Shayla, either.  Poor Shayla.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on January 08, 2004, 02:05:17 AM
"Doctor!" called out Tina in worry as she watched the strange transformed man stumble about. Within a few minutes of mindlessly bumping into things though, the Doctor suddenly stood up straighter, his posture and stature much different than his previous body's. "Doctor! Are you all right? What the heck happened to you?"

The man turned around, revealing his changed clothing and face. "Yes, I'm fine, Ms. Branford. Just fine. As for what happened to me, well," he looked down at his new hands, then smiled. It was a smile that Tina found most disconcerting. "I'm not really sure. It seems that I have become unplugged... I'm no longer an agent of the Time Lords. I'm a new man, as it were."

"Um, that's nice Doctor," Tina gulped. She noticed that even his clothing had changed; the once wrinkled creme linen suit had turned into an official-looking black one, his paisly tie turning black as well.

"Please," the man pulled a pair of dark sunglasses out of his front pocket and placed it over his dark eyes. "Call me Smith. Doctor Smith."

*********************************************

Crow: Gee, I was wondering when someone would stick in a character from the Matrix into this mess. Guess my waiting finally payed off.

Tom: Humph, lucky! I'm still waiting for an appearance by Ralph Mouth from Happy Days.

*********************************************

Afura Mann looked into the tavern window and saw her prey calmly seated at the bar. "Found you at last," she whispered to herself. The Wind Priestess leaned against he pub door for a bit and took a deep breath in order to calm her racing heart. She tried to ignore her sweaty palms and shaking nerves as she entered the establishment to confront her enemy.

"YOU!" snarled Ishiel when she saw the familiar figure who had entered the pub. "What the hell do you want?!"

Afura swallowed nervously and hoped that the Earth Priestess wouldn't notice the flush that had appeared on her cheeks. She took another deep breath and spoke, trying hard to keep her voice steady agains the mind-numbing fear wracking her psyche. "I-I-I came to challenge you."

Ishiel did not seem pleased. She looked the other priestess over before shaking her head in annoyance. "Dammit, Affy. You never give up do you? I've all ready beaten your skinny butt three times. You want me to do it once more?"

"Yes please," Afura whispered. She met Ishiel's eyes and said aloud, "It will be different this time. That I promise you."

"Whatever." Ishiel lifted her lamp up to her shoulder, then nodded towards the door. "Lead on." Afrua turned around and led the way towards the exit, presenting her well-shaped backside to Ishiel's appreciative glance. "NO!" the Earth priestess chastised herself. "Stop it. This is the bitch that betrayed you! She's the one that caused you to lose everything! No matter what feelings I had for her in the past, I despise her now. She must pay for what she did to me."

The two priestesses met outside. Afura Mann stood with arms crossed, looking destinctly more confident than she felt. Though her outward appearance was one of detatched indifference, inside she was a turmoil of longing. She longed for the bite of Ishiel's ire, the sting of her blows, and the sweet agony of her dominance. Afura desperately needed to feel the hopeless delight of being pinned under Ishiel's strong arms, to know that she was completely under the other woman's mercy.

Ishiel was also in turmoil beneathe her calm facade. Although she currently hated Afura, she now realized that the other girl was perhaps the closest thing she'd ever had to a friend. During her time at the seminary, the young Afura had been her best friend. They had found in each other a connection that they didn't share with any of the other acolytes. Ishiel had loved the time she had spent with Afura, and thought that the other girl had felt the same.

"Why, Affy?" she whispered. "Why did you betray me?" Ishiel wiped away a tear, then powered up her lamp. Her anger and hate, fueled by old memories, began to rise.

Afura's knees shook with anticipation.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 08, 2004, 04:51:10 PM
Nahato paced back and forth in his study.  This was intollerable!  He had, at last, put the Phantom Tribe back on the right track toward being the feared force they deserved to be... only to be laughed at by his own men.  If she wasn't his mother...

"Is there something wrong, Nahato?"  The Phantom Tribe boy looked up, half-expecting to see Galus.  These telepathic conversations would take some getting used to.  "Not upset about the scene in the cloning chamber, are you?"  

Nahato bristled.  "Yes," the boy hissed, "but what can I do?  She is my mother after all."

"True, true.  She's always been there for you, hasn't she?  Showed you how to ride a bike."

"Well... no."

"Showed you how to swim?"

"No, no, we were always too busy for that."

"Busy?  Oh yes, you were in all those pageants.  I'm sure they were very fun."

As a matter of fact, Galus and Nahato had met at one of those pageants.

"Fun?  They were hell!  But the money from them, combined with my recent earnings, should give me a nice nest egg."

"I'm afraid not."

"What do you mean?  I must have made a fortune with all the work I did!"

"Oh yes, you did.  But your mother managed the money, correct?"

"Yes... I'm sure it's been well invest-"

"No."

"Well, I'm sure that there's a lot in the bank accou-"

"Just the opposite."

Nahato narrowed his eyes, not liking where this was going.  His facial expression moved from Defcon 5 to Defcon 4.  "Are you telling me there's no money left?"

"Not... exactly.  I'm telling you that you're in debt."

Nahato practically shook with rage.  His expression reached Defcon 3.  But still... she was his mother.

"Oh, and I don't know if you noticed, but she wants one of the Nanami clones to be the mother of your children."

"Have children with my sworn enemy?" Nahato's expression moved straight to Defcon 1, giving Defcon 2 a miss.  His jaw clenched with the rage of a thousand child stars.




"Hello Elmira," said The Guide smoothly.  

The red headed girl looked down at the bird she held.  "Funny birdie!" she said in a manner that might imply the current author was unfamiliar with the character.  Millie looked to be two breaths away from picking up the kid and throwing her out in the street, but a glance from The Guide stopped her.

"Elmira... you like cute animals, don't you?" asked the Guide.  Elmira giggled and nodded her head, squeezing The Guide again for good measure.  "Elmira, ask yourself something.  Am I cute?"  The girl's face contorted in cartoonish confusion.  She took a good hard look at the bird, so that her nose pressed against its beak.

The Guide was many things.  Cute was most certainly not one of them.  It did, indeed, inspire the panic it advertised.  "Noooo..." Elmira replied, slowly.

"Elmira, wouldn't you prefer to be with cute animals?  Just nod.  Ah.  Good.  Elmira, follow the flashing hologram."  Sure enough, a small flashing hologram of an extremely cute puppy appeared in midair.  The girl, who was not very bright, threw The Guide to one side and began following the floating image as it drifted away from her.

"Puuuppy," she called out frantically, running as fast as her little legs could move her, "come back!"

The Guide settled down on the ground. The only reason it wasn't irritated was because it didn't permit itself emotion.

"Well, that was mildly distracting," the Guide muttered to itself.

"Will that get rid of her for good?"

"Oh no.  But it will lead her to something else that will."  

The animals in the petting zoo found themselves shivering in unison, without knowing why.

Millie glared at it.  "What does any of this have to do with my taking over the world?

The bird regarded her cooly, and managed to shrug despite having no shoulders.  "No need to worry, User.  You'll win the election and rule over Florestica."

Millie narrowed her eyes.  "Florestica doesn't have elections you dolt!"

The bird gestured to the window.  "Definistrate your mop."

"Huh?"

"Throw it out the window."

"Oh.  Why didn't you just say that?  Stupid bird..." still glaring at The Guide, Millie grabbed a mop and threw it out the window with gusto.

"Now there will be an election," said The Guide.

"What, because I threw a mop out the window?  You're barmy!"

"No, because I have calculated the end result of the chain of events that begin with you throwing that mop out the window.  There will be an election, and you will win."  Millie ground her teeth together, but found herself believing the strange thing.  It just sounded so sure.

The Guide believed itself to be invincible.  And why not?  Probability was always in its favor.  Clouding up the future with tachyons was a brilliant ploy, but wouldn't be nearly enough to defeat something that saw the chain of interdependence between all events, the invisible web tying together all reality, the underlying order to the universe, and so on.

There (http://homepage.mac.com/billtomlinson/newtt.html) were, however, already ways (http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?Bnum=134) to beat (http://hhgproject.org/entries/bistromathics.html) such a thing.




Nahato's mother sighed blissfully, staggering through the corridors of Kingfisher toward her quarters.  She really had enjoyed her trip to the spa.  Of course Kingfisher wasn't meant to have a spa, and the scientists and mechanics really had more important things to do than to build one.  But she was the mother of their leader, which meant that she could throw her considerable weight around with reckless abandon.  Which is precisely what she did.  Which is precisely why she was so shocked to see a number of people carrying her things out of her quarters, flanked by a trio of armed guards.  Her teeth clenched, veins stuck out on her overly made-up forehead, and steam would have come out of her ears if it could have.  Swinging her handbag from side to side in preparation, she stormed right up to one of the three large guards.  "What is this?" she demanded.  "Do you know who I am?  I am Nahato's mother!"

The guard, her face covered up by an impressibe looking helmet, regarded Nahato's mother impassively.  "Actually, no, you're not." replied the guard.  "He divorced you just a while ago.  Signed all the papers to make it official himself."

"Whaaaaaat?" she shrieked in spittle-spewing fury.  "He can't do that!"

"Actually, he can.  He's in charge."

"We'll just see about that!  Take me to him immediately!"  

"No.  In fact, we're under orders.  If you try to approach him-"

"Yes?"

"We're to dump you face down in the nearest pile of dirt."

Nahato's former-mother gaped.  Her jaw moved, but only feeble gasps came out.  She lifted her hand to strike the guard, but the guard moved faster, neatly catching the fist.  

"None of that!" said the other two guards, taking off their helmets.  Nahato's former-mother's eyes opened even wider.  The guards were identical.  Identical to her, to be more specific.  More clones.

She looked over the first guard's shoulder, to see several underlings carrying away her collection of Weenie Babies.  "Those are mine!"  she shrieked.

"Bought with your former-son's money.  He's selling them all on e-bay to try and recoup his losses."

"But... but... what's to happen to me?"

"He did have one thing to say about that," replied the guard in a business-like tone.

"Yes?"

"Get a job, you mooch."  




Shayla stopped, her hands on her knees, gasping for breath.  "Just... you... wait," she gasped, "I'll... get... you... yet."

"Talk... about... singleminded..." came Parnesse's response.




"But what I don't get," murmered Makoto, "is what happened to her?"  The boy got up and walked to the bedroom door.  He looked straight forward, off the balcony.  Nothing but a view of the village.  He looked left.  Nothing but an empty corridor.  He looked right.  Nothing but a large sharp pike being pointed at him, held by a bugrom-controlled villager.  Makoto's eyes widened, and then he looked straight forward again at the village, giving it slightly more scrutiny.  This time he noticed the large number of Bugrom wasps flying through the air, the large number of humans and white Bugrom working together to build an army, and the large number of honey-comb like structures.  He looked right again, at the pike.  "I should have just hidden under the bed," he sighed.




Nanami tapped her foot in annoyance.  "You know, I don't think 'Voy, no me sigo por favor' means 'I need a bit of fresh air' Miz.  She's been gone too long."  Nanami put her foot down on a conveniently placed table, pointing a finger skyward.  "We must go and look for Kauru!"




"This is the life," sighed Nahato, eating a peeled grape out of a bowl one of the Makoto-clones was holding, while being fanned by the Nanami-clones.




Mike:  Is that appropriate?

Crow:  You know, I remember when I was a kid, being fed skinned grapes by kinky slaves.

Tom:  Wow, and I thought this post couldn't get more disturbing.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 08, 2004, 09:11:41 PM
Afura and Ishiel both assumed battle stances.  Their great lamps hummed with elemental energies.  The demoted Ishiel remained an incredibly powerful opponent, and the two priestesses were actually well-matched now... in more ways than one.

But then, to the disappointment of Afura, Ishiel, and fan-boys everywhere, Yakage descended from the skies.  He landed between the two women, and faced Ishiel.

Ishiel lowered her lamp, and actually blushed a little.  "Yakage!  Um... er... uh..."

Afura raised an eyebrow.  Seeing Ishiel blush a little, Afura felt strangely... jealous.

"Now what," Yakage bellowed, "Ah say, what in the Wide World O' Sports is goin' on here!?  Did Ah, or did Ah not, just demote you ta background character status!?  An' yet-- are you payin' attention, girl?  Ah'm talkin' atcha!-- You've already had three full scenes, while poor Sister Shayla has been practically forgotten!  Nee-glected, that is."

Ishiel giggled like a school-girl.  "Oh dear.  I've been a naughty, naughty little background character.  I guess you'll just have to punish-- I mean, demote me again."

Yakage smiled, and ruffled Ishiel's hair.  "Aw, don' worry yer purty li'l head 'bout it.  Ah jus' came ta issue a warning.  But, Ah say, watch yer step.  Ah'll be keepin' an eye on yew."

Ishiel seemed disappointed, in a vaguely disturbing way.  "Aw..."

Afura walked up.  "Ishiel?  Won't you introduce me to your... friend?"

Before Ishiel could reply, Yakage put an arm around Afura's shoulders, and gave her a nearly-painful demon god squeeze.  "Why, bless mah pointy little head!  If'n it ain't Afera Mann, Great Priestess O' Wind!  Pleased tah make yer aquaintance!"

"Ack," said Afura.

"Ah'm Demon God Yakage, beloved companion of Dr. Yume-- soul-mate, that is-- and oh-ficially designated Round Robin character reg'lator.  Ah'm jus' keepin' an eye on li'l Ishiel, here."  Yakage put his other arm around Ishiel's shoulders, giving her a nearly-painful squeeze too.

"Ack," said Ishiel.

"Now why, Ah say, why are you lovely ladies fightin'?  Be a powerful shame, to muss up yer lovely li'l selves.  An' aintcha classmates from the sem'nary?  Old friends, that is?"

"Ack," said Afura and Ishiel, in unison.

"Thar must be some way to settle yer diff'rences, peaceable-like.  Ah just know you two still care 'bout each'n other.  Shorely you can find it in yer hearts ta forgive each other fer past oh-fences-- lissen ta me, wouldja!?  Ah'm talkin', here!!"

"Ack," said Afura and Ishiel again, more weakly now.  They were both about to pass out.

Yakage released the priestesses' bodies, but grabbed their hands and held them together.  "Now then, good ol' Yakage wants y'all to march right back inta that tavern, order a nice bottle o' wine, sit down tagether, and work all this out, once an' fer all."

Ishiel sighed, and smiled a genuinely warm smile.  "Oh, Afura.  He's right.  Makoto showed me the beauty of my soul, and I can't really hold those old grudges any more.  Let's start over, and try to be friends again, okay?"

Afura's eyes had gone all shiny.  "Oh, Ishiel!  I'm so sorry!  I'm sorry I sabotaged your plans, your career and your dreams!  And I'm sorry that it took me so long to realize what a vain and selfish idiot I've been!  Thank you for forgiving me!"

Yakage released the priestesses' hands, and Afura and Ishiel embraced each other in a lovely heart-warming kind of way.  Afura wept a few tears of joy.  A still smiling Ishiel closed her eyes, rested her cheek against Afura's hair, and quietly sighed with sisterly love.

Yakage grinned.  "Now, don't that just make ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  Ah knew you wuz good people-- even if you're both dumber than a can o' paint."

Ishiel looked up at Yakage without breaking her embrace.  "Thanks, Yakage.  You've given me back my best friend.  Yume's lucky to have you."

Yakage winked.  He spoke again, and of course, he completely spoiled the Warm And Fuzzy Feeling.  "An' jus' remember-- if'n ya both still have those dominant an' submissive fantasies, yew can act 'em out in the safe an' lovin' con-fines of a consentual sexual ree-lationship.  Hopefully, with babump.com ta film it."

Afura and Ishiel instantly went blue in the face, and sweat-dropped with a GONG! sound effect.  They jumped away from each other, and they both turned on Yakage, glaring at him and growling dangerously.

Yakage sweat-dropped too.  "What'd Ah say?"

Ishiel hung her head, throwing a shadow over her eyes.  She slowly raised a fist with a throbbing anime stress mark.  "Yakage, dear?  As a fourth-wall-breaking character 'reg'lator', you should realize that you have just fallen into the role of The Baka Na Hentai."

Afura copied Ishiel's pose, and raised her own angry fist.  "And we, as the offended females, are now entitled to double-punch you over the horizon, in a happy fun Love Hina kind of way."

Yakage frowned, crossed his arms and sighed.  "Didn't Ah just say that vi-oh-lence is not, Ah say, not the answer--"

POW!!  

Afura and Ishiel raised their faces to the sky, and watched Yakage disappear over the horizon, fading away with an anime cliche twinkle of light.

Then Ishiel turned to Afura, and offered Afura her arm.  "Shall we get started on that bottle of wine?  Now that we're friends again, we've got a lot of catching up to do."

Afura took Ishiel's arm.  "That would be lovely.  Um, Ishiel?  About what he said at the end?  I, uh--"

Ishiel held a finger to Afura's lips, in a cute way.  "Sshhh...  Let's not go there.  Let's just try to be friends again, okay?  Let's just continue with our fan-servicey innuendo, and our sad longing looks, and our teasing light touches, and..."

Afura gulped.



Makoto looked left again.

He saw nothing but an empty corridor.

Makoto looked right again.

He saw a possessed villager, wielding a pike and charging at him, about three meters away.

Makoto looked left again.

He saw nothing but an empty corridor.

Makoto looked right again.

He saw a possessed villager, wielding a pike and charging at him, less than a meter away.

Makoto looked left again.

He saw his Ifurita, who had tracked her beloved soul-mate down, flying up the corridor at impossible speed, in the nick of time, to save him from the pike-wielding villager, and from the many other pike-wielding villagers just behind the first one that had previously escaped his attention.

Makoto breathed out in relief.  It pays to keep reloading the page, he thought.

He started to speak.  "Ifurita!  I'm so sorry I--"

The half-recharged Ifurita still had plenty of energy to deal with these mortal foes.  But their sheer numbers, and their proximity to Makoto, required her full attention.  She began to fight them hand-to-hand with artistic grace.  "SSHHH!!" she called back to Makoto.  "FIGHT NOW!!  ANGST LATER!!"



Nahato continued to enjoy the services of his half-a-dozen clone slaves, unaware that he was being watched.

Of course, The Other watched everyone and everything.  But it honestly couldn't care less what the young Phantom Tribe leader did on his own time.  No, someone else was watching, waiting, planning, and snickering.

When Yume created Ryoko's defective control circuit, she put it down to bad luck.  She was unaware that installing a control circuit in a female demon god required a slightly different procedure than for a male demon god.

And so, Yume had repeated her mistake when she recently rebuilt a demon god for resale on eBay-- much to Pretty Magical God Jinnie's delight.

Much like Ryoko, Jinnistacia remained loyal to her "master" (Bill).  But, also much like Ryoko, she enjoyed undue latitude in her activities, and she had found herself unable to resist looking in on Nahato.

And she was Jinnistacia, after all.  She was a kidder.  She liked to kid.

And so it was that Jinnistacia lurked in the shadows, wearing a Phantom Tribe tunic and hood to conceal herself, and watching her naughty, naughty previous Master being very naughty-- again.

She held up her power-key-staff super-glue-gun, and uncapped its tip.  Then she tasked her battle computers to come up with a happy fun awkward and humiliating way to super-glue three female clone slaves, three male clone slaves, and a naughty Master together.  And then, Wackiness Ensued.



Mike:  Okay, that last bit can't be appropriate.

Crow:  Y'know, I remember, when I was a kid, being super-glued into awkward and humiliating positions by a freaky demon god.

Tom:  This is where I refuse to tempt Fate by saying 'it can't get even more disturbing.'


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 09, 2004, 10:43:06 AM
The mop landed on a busy street, tripping an inattentive cart driver and causing his cargo of spherical fruit to spill out onto the road.  Apologizing profusely to those around him, the young worker quickly gathered up his lost goods, unaware that one piece of fruit, kicked around by a nearby group of kids, was still rolling away.

******

Dr. Semimad was the Minister of Highly Unusual but Surprisingly Effective Tortures.  His family had held the position since its inception and had a proud (if little known) history dating back to the founding of the Alliance.  In those early times, when the benefits of a permanent coalition were still being debated and disagreed on, it became necessary to convince certain reluctant monarchs to throw their support behind Roshtaria.  After a few days under the care of Dr. Semimad's ancestors the formerly obdurate leaders would become passionate advocates of the Alliance, and if they returned to their own countries with an inexplicable and insatiable desire for Roshtarian Tree-Fish delicacies or were infatuated with a certain royal chamber maid that had previously worked for Roshtaria's court to the point of doing anything she said, well...royalty _was_ expected to have a few odd quirks here and there.

Regardless, Dr. Semimad viewed himself as serving a greater cause and consequently was a strong supporter of the new Alliance/Bugrom/Creterian government.  To think, so many peoples unified under one crown...really, his family's career prospects hadn't been this good in centuries, and he now had the opportunity to ply his trade on none other than his former leader, Princess Rune Venus herself.  It was enough to make him giddy with excitement...and _not_ anything else, mind you.  Dr. Semimad was happily married with three beautiful daughters and a son on the way, and one of the reasons he'd been entrusted with the princess was because he was one of the few people _not_ likely to have an...ulterior motive in dealing with her.  Besides, the current author was becoming increasingly frightened by the amount of fan-service he was cramming into each post (Darn you Mr. What!  This is all your fault!  ;D ).

Anyway, Princess Rune Venus, after having been abandoned by Afura who'd decided that despite her great education and years of hard work to attain her current position that she wanted nothing more out of life than to be near and dominated by Ishiel, had been captured by the Bugrom and was now wearing another straightjacket and imprisoned in a cubic cell that was barely large enough to turn around in.  The unusual feature of this cell, however, was that all six surfaces were playing Japanese anime at lightning speeds.

Dr. Semimad, who was watching the princess through a hidden video camera he'd purchased from babump.com's online catalogue, laughed semi-madly and turned to his assistant, Demiigor.  "I bet you're wondering what the point of all this is, aren't you?"

Demiigor nodded his head in agreement, eyes radiating eager curiosity, and Dr. Semimad began his convenient lecture.

******

Mike:  (Sighs.)  Why must the villains always explain their plans instead of letting the audience use their own minds to figure it out?

Tom:  (Hushes Mike.)  Quiet Mike!  I want to know what Dr. Semimad's scheme is immediately!  I don't have the patience to figure it out myself!  

Crow:  (Curiously.)  I wonder if he's related to Dr. Forrester?  

******

"Excellent," Dr. Semimad spoke, steepling his fingers together.  "As you may or may not know, anime is one of the most addictive forms of entertainment ever created, and it is my plan to transform Princess Rune Venus into an...otaku supreme!"

******

Mike and Tom:  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Crow:  The horror!

******

"Yes!" Dr. Semimad crowed, "an otaku supreme!  With her comprehension rate temporarily boosted by the drugs I injected her with and the nonstop bombardment of simultaneous anime, she will soon develop an insatiable craving-no, addiction!  She'll want to dye her hair strange colors, cosplay nearly nonstop, and even *shudder* use choice Japanese phrases and expressions badly!  Anime and the pursuit of more anime will become her sole purpose in life, and she'll be willing to do virtually anything in order to gain more!  Spend her entire fortune!  Hand over the kingdom and all of her power to Empress Diva!  Sign a paper authorizing democratic elections!  Heck, she'd probably even marry Jinnai if it meant satisfying her otaku needs!"

Demiigor shuddered with appropriate horror at hearing of this degree of obsession and for a moment felt sympathy for the princess.  Then he remembered the punishment Dr. Schtalubaugh was being inflicted with and decided that, all things considered, Princess Rune Venus' fate wasn't that bad.

Within her cell, Rune whimpered as Neon Genesis Evangelion started up.

******

The spherical fruit rolled to a stop near a hungry traveler's foot.  The traveler, being hungry, picked it up, washed it in a nearby fountain, and took a bite.

"Ow!  My tooth!" he exclaimed painfully, dropping the fruit and clutching his jaws in agony.  "I think I need a dentist!"

******

Dr. Schtalubaugh angrily looked up from where he was changing baby bugrom diapers, a seemingly endless task.  "I am _so_ going to get you for this, Londs.  Mark my words!  Someday, some time when you least expect it, I will have my revenge!"

******

"You mean - ow - that nobody knows where the - ow - dentist office is?" the still-hungry-but-now-in-pain traveler asked incredulously.  "What's - ow - wrong with you people?!  That's - ow - as silly as having an election for the absolute ruler of the world without notifying anyone and with the only place to vote being the throne room of the mice with hats!"

That earned a couple of laughs, and a government worker standing in the crowd that had gathered remarked to himself, "I have got to mention that to my colleagues.  They always appreciate a good joke."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 09, 2004, 02:56:37 PM
"Please!  Please!  Make it stop!"  The screams came from Dr. Semimad's place.  Anyone hearing, even the most black-hearted of villains, would surely take pity on the poor anguished soul that was producing these heart-breaking sounds.  "No more!  I can't take it!"

"And the poor man still can't see a muffin without breaking down and wetting himself.  Now, as for the head of kitchen staff that one time scolded Fatora for hitting on his soup-stirrer, well, Fatora got inventive with what she did to that poor man."

"I can't take any more!" wailed Dr. Semimad, putting his hands over his ears.  Yes, it was Dr. Semimad that had been doing the screaming, as if the very first sentence in this post didn't give it away.  The good doctor had considered himself a master of torture, but clearly Fatora was in a league unto herself.  There was no way he could hope to match the horrors Princess Rune had already seen.  "How could you stand it, Your Highness?"

"Oh, you know, you have to make allowances for family.  And I got myself a cat that I obsess about.  Would you mind turning that off?  It's very distracting."

Wiping away tears of pity, Dr. Semimad nodded and turned off the vastly-overrated-series, which was still playing on the different screens.  "Look at me!  I've wasted my whole life!" he cried.  "Oh princess, I've seen the error of my ways!  I have, I have!  Please, how can I possibly atone for my sins?"

"Can I have some food?"

"Of course, of course!"

"And where did this strange show come from?  It looks like it's from Earth, but we have no contact with that world, aside from Makoto and his friends."

"Oh, plot hole."

"What?"

"Pot hole.  We found it in a giant pot hole.  Might've been teleported over by the malfunctioning Eye of God."



"Then Trinity comes along and says 'Dodge this' and pushes a button and then everything explodes..." muttered The Doctor.

This was bad.  Tina was very worried about this eratic behavior.  "Doctor.... Smith?"

"Doctor Smith!  Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!"  yelled The Doctor jumping up and down and waving his arms like a complete loon.

"Um.  Will... Robinson?"

"Robinson?  Like Robinson Crusoe, it's as primitive as can be!"

Tina frowned in concern.  This was not good.  This might even be less gooder than before.  "Doctor?  Is that you?  Are you all right?"

"All right?" gibbered the new Doctor. "I'm better than all right!  I am the terror, that flaps in the night!  I am... not expendable, I'm not stupid and I'm not going, Avon!"

Now as a matter of fact, somewhere in Tina's un-fleshed-out background she had taken some first aid classes.  "I think you might have hurt your head."

"My head's fine, thank you. I just had an extra long day at work.  M thinks I should pay a visit to our friends in Moscow.  Smoke me a kipper, Miss Moneypenny, I'll be back for breakfast."

"Please Doctor, I think you need to sit down."

"No.  What I need to do is... tell you about The Matrix."  The Doctor swayed from side to side a bit.  "Yes, there's something very important about The Matrix, I can almost remember... I'm just having trouble remember which Matrix.  Actually I'm having trouble remembering a lot of things.  Probably part of the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.  But I... have a cunning plan.  A plan more cunning than a fox who's just been made professer of cunning at Oxford University."

"I really think you'd better sit down."




[SOL]

Crow:  I was waiting for someone to make the Lost in Space reference.

Tom:  I wasn't.




The people of Florestica were muttering darkly.

"Massive food shortages," muttered one, "we should get rid of the Bugrom."

"Bah!  The Bugrom have done wonders for this city!  Just you wait!"

"Well I want The Princess back in charge!"

"Puchuu!"

"See?  He agrees with me!  Bloody Bugrom even forget their own demon gods."

"But they're doing all the work!"

"You know, if we had Ifurita back, they wouldn't be in charge any more!"

"But I like them in charge!"

"That's about as funny as an election-" began the government boy, trying out his new joke.

"Don't see what's so funny about an election.   I'd like an election.  Put an end to this fighting once and for all."

"Yeah, if Ifurita ever showed up again, and the Bugrom weren't in charge just because they're stronger, I'd want an election!"

"Yeah!  Then you'd see most people want them in charge!"

"No they don't!"

"Personally I want a government that can provide more shounen-ai than the current one!"

"Yeah!  Wait, what?"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Andrusi on January 09, 2004, 06:00:37 PM
Quote
"No.  What I need to do is... tell you about The Matrix."  The Doctor swayed from side to side a bit.  "Yes, there's something very important about The Matrix, I can almost remember... I'm just having trouble remember which Matrix.

The next writer took this as an invitation.  The repercussions of this unfortunate misinterpretation could best be seen at the Fujisawa residence.

---

TOM: Aw, damnit, he's gonna do the Transformers thing again, isn't he?

--

Ifurina was now utterly confused.  She had apparently become a demon goddess, but had failed to gain much in the way of the associated abilities.  She had no idea what was going on with Kauru, her knowledge of improbable diseases being more limited than she'd realized.  And the crowd of people outside shouting something about elections wasn't helping to restore order to the situation.  So when Miz, Fujisawa, and Nanami rushed out the door to look for Kauru, she took the opportunity to lie down for a while.

"Ifurina."

Now she was hearing voices in her head.  Greeeeat.  (Demon Goddesshood tends to have a negative effect on a cheery disposition.)

"Ifurina?  Hello?"

Ifurina was in no mood to go crazy.  She started rummaging through the pantry, looking for something to eat.  No point in losing one's sanity on an empty stomach.

"Ifurina, are you there?"

She didn't even notice the voice, as she had--much to her surprise--discovered an old dusty box.

"If--"

"SHUT UP!" Ifurina shouted, surprising anyone who had ever actually known her, since it was after all an extremely uncharacteristic action for her.

---

Over-Run hadn't known Ifurina long enough to realize how out-of-character this was, but he was still caught off-guard.  Ultimately he decided she might not really care about the fact that his chest--well, he was pretty sure it was his chest, it was hard to tell in this form--felt funny.  After all, that usually signified a disturbance in the Mini-Con Matrix of Dimensions, the object in his chest which held the essences of the entire population of what used to be his home dimension and which gave him his ability to travel between dimensions.  Sometimes such a disturbance meant Unicron had arrived in this dimension and therefore everyone was doomed, but usually it just meant Takara had released yet another black Optimus Prime recolor.  Neither was, of course, likely to interest the woman who persistently called him "Staff-chan".

---

TOM: I knew it.

MIKE: Lucky guess.

---

They were both important to him, though, so he had to check.  Especially since it might also mean something completely different he'd never encountered before, something that, say, might interest a recently regenerated Time Lord.  But he could only do that by opening the Matrix.

And he could only do that in robot mode.

Which he couldn't reach, because way back during the first thread, Ifurina had accidentally stripped his transformation-related gears, and he could no longer transform without assistance.  And he couldn't be assisted unless the assistant either knew his transformation (which nobody here did) or had his instructions, which were in a small compartment located on his body.  Which was currently blocked by something he was pretty sure was his left leg.

Slag it all.  This crossover had gone so well for the first couple of posts...

---

Cheerful once more now that the voice in her head that sounded a lot like Staff-chan had shut up, Ifurina opened the old box.  Inside she found the most amazing thing she'd ever seen: it was a machine of some sort.  And it had switches, and pretty lights, and--best of all--buttons!  And she was sure that pressing the buttons and flipping the switches would make the lights turn on!

If Arjah, Yume, Peorth, The Other, the Guide, the Doctor currently known as Smith, Over-Run, the million other crossover characters I'm not going to bother to look up, or pretty much anyone who might have the slightest inkling of how their universe worked had even the vaguest notion that the device had been discovered and was now in the hands of someone who was... well, Ifurina, their reaction probably would have been to follow the advice printed on the Guide's exterior and panic.  Yes, even the Guide itself would have known fear, amazing a concept as that was.  The gods themselves, who had decided not to appear in this round robin, did so anyway just for this one sentence so they could shiver a bit.  Because Ifurina now held the most powerful, most unpredictable, and most dangerous object in the universe--in the multiverse, even.

It was, to finally tell you what I'm talking about, a Plot Device.

---

MIKE: So?  What is it?  What's the plot device?

TOM: I think he means it's an actual device, like a machine, that can control the plot.

MIKE: Oh.

[pause]

MIKE: Hey, Crow?  You've been quiet for a while.

CROW: Yeah.  I think maybe the current writer doesn't like me very much.

TOM: Or maybe he just thought it'd be funny to have you think so.

CROW: Yeah, that's probably it.  Everyone loves Crow.

MIKE: [edges slightly away]


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 10, 2004, 12:26:25 AM
The Guide had calculated the end result of the chain of events that began when Millie threw the mop out the window.

Of course, such a chain of events would have many side results.  The Guide had had a few spare milliseconds, so it calculated several billion of these side results.  It found all of them to be harmless, became bored, and gave up, leaving all the other side results to chance.

It shouldn't oughta done that.



A very stupid yet loveably wacky janitor was glumly pacing outside the Mice Wearing Hats' National Cheese Emporium.  Following the Guide's instructions, after Millie bought out the cheese shop, she cruelly fired its janitor, tossing him out like a bag of moldy tangerines.

The mop that she had thrown out the window had landed on a busy street, tripping an inattentive cart driver and causing his cargo of spherical fruit to spill out onto the road.  The chain of events proper followed the fruit, leaving the mop cast aside... until the stupid wacky janitor found it and snatched it up.

"MY MOP!!!!!!" said Stanley Spadowski (http://www.wayuhf.com/featurette1.html).

Giggling in a deeply disturbing way, he walked away with his beloved mop, occasionally swinging it around with Star Wars light saber sound effects.

It remained to be seen if this side result of the Guide's chain of events would have any further impact on a Round Robin already groaning under the weight of a gazillion pointless cross-overs.

And yet... Nothing Good Could Come Of This.



A very, very tired Parnasse and Ura stumbled to the very front step of the Fujisawa's rural hideaway, collapsing in a sad little heap on the step.  An even more exhausted Shayla dragged herself up, to collapse beside him.

"Y'know," Parnasse said after awhile, "we could have turned around, gone back, and taken a hovercraft, after walking for a few hours."

"No, Parnasse," Shayla said, not at all patiently.  "We couldn't."

"Don't you have a hovercraft, like Miss Kauru?"

"Yeah," Shayla growled, "but some (censored) IDIOT in a (censored) GRAND AM took an 'S' curve too fast and  (censored) CRASHED it, CRUSHING its (censored) DOOR shut!"

Parnasse sweat-dropped.  "The current writer is grumbling about his real-life problems through you, isn't he--"

"And THEN!" Shayla yelled, "the (censored) IDIOT claimed that it was MY (censored) FAULT, even though HE got the (censored) TICKET!!  And MY (censored) INSURANCE COMPANY BELIEVES HIM, so *I* get to eat the (censored) DEDUCTIBLE!!"

Parnasse sighed.  "And then?..."

"AND THEN!!" Shayla yelled, "THREE (censored) DAYS after I got it back from the (censored) BODY SHOP, the (censored) thing suddenly SIEZED UP in the (censored) PARKING LOT!!  And the (censored) GARAGE won't work on it until NEXT (censored) TUESDAY!!"



Mike:  I think I like the creepy fan-service better.

Tom:  Maybe the current writer would like some cheese with his WHINE!!

Crow:  Well, it's not as if the current writer doesn't have a large network of family and friends in the area to beg for rides...  Oh.  He doesn't.  Well, sucks to be him, then.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 10, 2004, 07:18:05 PM
OOC:  Sorry about the wait.  I wanted to check some things for this post, and my connection's being difficult today.

IC:
Ifurina, demon goddess of the nanite-modified-human variety, sat down on the ground and examined the object in the box.  It was a most curious thing, at one moment nothing more than a glow coming from the box, in the next moment a perfectly ordinary (which is to say mundane) egg.  One second it was a watch with a variety of knobs and switches and doo-dads, and a heartbeat later it was The Charm that she had seen earlier.  She sucked on her lip thoughtfully for a moment, then, sensibly, closed the box and put it back in the dusty pantry where she had found it.  Many people would have called Ifurina simple.  Which she was.  What most people did not realize was that simple was not the same as stupid.  Being simple prevented Ifurina from doing anything daft like messing around with the clearly dangerous thing in that box.  Of course, this did not mean that The Plot Device/ MacGuffin/ Charm had been removed from the story.  It merely meant that Ifurina, in her simplicity, knew better than to drag another insanely powerful device into the already convoluted story.

She paused for a moment, brushing her long dark tresses away from her forehead.  Her grey-blue eyes sparkled as she looked out the window.  The Fujisawas' rural hideaway was quite beautiful, as was the nearby village.  It was a pity that, using her nanite-enhanced senses, she could tell that the latter was filled with White Bugrom.  It was probably about time to do something about that.  Nanami was yelling something in the next room.  Ifurina got up, picked up her sentient staff, and went to be with the others.




The city of Florestica had a number of small villages on its outskirts.  The Fujisawa's rural home-away-from-home was just outside one such village.  The hotel that Makoto and the Ifurita were fighting in was in another.

Ifurita's back was pressed to Makoto's, her staff was moving too fast for the naked eye to perceive, her face was contorted in concentration.  She had not been fully recharged by Ishiel, and she was pumping almost all of her energy reserves into her arms to keep fighting.  Of course she could have won this fight in a split second - except that she didn't want to hurt these poor people.  They were only Hosts to the real evil.  None of this was their fault.  But by now Irurita was clearly in trouble.  The corridor outside of Makoto's room was filled with angry Hostforms, as were the stairways leading up to it.  "Grab onto me," she shouted, "I'll try to fly us out of here!"

"But what about the other Ifurita?"

Ifurita hesitated for a moment before replying, her staff still weaving an impeneterable web of blurred metal in the air.  "Leave her, I don't think they'll hurt her.  I can't get us all out!"

Makoto looked over his shoulder at Ifurita III.  He knew that what Ifurita was saying made sense.  And yet, he had a noble spirit, which meant he often did things that made no sense.  "I'm sorry Ifurita, but I can't just leave her!"

"Then I am sorry too, my love," whispered Ifurita.  Her staff swung back for just a split second, neatly hitting Makoto in the stomach and driving the wind out of him.  Makoto struggled to stay conscious as Ifurita quickly grabbed him about the waist and carried him into the air.  She kicked fiercely at the Hostforms that were grabbing for her legs for a moment, then, when she had a chance, she flew straight up, crashing straight through the hotel's roof.

What she saw filled her with dread.  The streets of the village were filled with angry Hostforms, pointing up at her.  The air was alive with swarms of Bugrom wasps.  And underground...

With the exception of the wasp caste, The White Bugrom were subterranian creatures.  She had thought that they were a formidable force based on how many she had seen in the streets of that one village, but now she realized that she had seen only a fraction of their forces.  The vast majority of the workers were still underground.  And this was only one village, she had no way of knowing how many others had been infected so far.

Well hell.




Pretty Demon God Jinnie practically skipped out of her hiding space, humming something upbeat and painfully cheery while trying to decide what positions to put her victims into this time.  She had narrowed it down to 30 selections.  She was under the impression that she was the first to think of any of these positions, but as a matter of fact Fatora had beaten her to 27 of them, which just goes to show.

The three Makoto-clones grabbed her before she could begin, activating their tech-touch abilities.  Pretty Demon God Jinnie was quite surprised by this - she had calculated that there would be no time to stop her without warning.  Still, these clones were clearly given only the most basic of programming.  She might have been in trouble against three fully-trained clones, but then, she wasn't up against that, was she?

"The Jinnistacia unit has learned the tech-touch ability," she grinned, "extrapolating new techniques... How did your clones react so fast, oh Naughty-Nahato?"

Nahato, curiously, didn't even look at her.  He was watching one of the Nanami-clones picking up the grapes that the Makoto-clones had spilled when they went to grab Pretty Demon God Jinnie.  He sighed and ran a gray-blue hand through chocolate-brown hair.  "We were warned, little demon-god, by my master, Lord Galus.  You can not see him, but he saw you.  You can not hear him, but he warned me you were there.  You should kneel at my Lord Galus' feet, Jinnistacia, and you will."  He turned and regarded her cooly, narrowing his beautiful hazel eyes until all that remained were blade-thin slits.  "Scan the main chamber."

"Tee hee!  Bio-Touch technique created.  Oh Naughty-Nahato, you really shouldn't talk to your elders like that.  I'm going to have to punish you," she smirked impishly, "and punish you, and punish you".  One of the Makoto-clones began to scream in pain as the other two watched in stupified horror.  Pretty Demon God Jinnie's new technique allowed her to do to the clone what he was trying to do to her.  Still grinning like a mischievous child, she turned her sensors to the main chamber.  Hey, she had the kid by the tail, where was the harm in checking?  He probably thought he had an ace up his sleeve.  She could use a good lau-

The clone stopped screaming, as Pretty Demon God Jinnie's hands fell limp at her sides.  Her mouth formed a surprised "O".

Master Yume was indeed a genius.  She might very well have been, as she claimed, the greatest of the great galactic geniuses.  But she was also a Creterian.  And, as Makoto had observed when he visted that Alternate World, Creteria was nowhere near as advanced as El-Hazard.  It was a testament to Yume's massive intellect that she had been able to understand the workings of demon gods at all.  But she still had a lot to learn.  In working with the obedience circuits of Ibn Al-Zahad and Jinnistacia, she had not been able to delete the original programming.  So she had instead added her own programming, along with an order to disregard the old settings.  It was quite marvelously done, except that Yume had not proven that she had the correct clearance to make such changes.  Whoops.  Which mean that while Jinnistacia and Al-Zahad were loyal to the new masters designated by Yume's program, they were ultimately even more loyal to Kauru's genetic profile.  More specifically, they were loyal to the genetic profile that Kauru used to have, which was now only found in her clone.

"My... Master?"  whispered Pretty Demon God Jinnie in confusion.  "But... how?"

Nahato smoothly slid out the chair he had been sitting in and strode right up to Pretty Demon God Jinnie.  Though he barely reached up to her waist, he did not look her inferior.  "A clone.  A hybrid clone, to be exact.  It contains the DNA that you are loyal to.  But the clone is loyal to me.  And I am loyal to my Lord Galus.  Kneel to my Lord Galus, little demon god."

Confused, but starting to realize that she was in a lot of trouble, Pretty Demon God Jinnie hastily kneeled.  "Naugh...er... Master Nahato.  Let me explain myself, it's a funny story, really."

"Silence."  The boy reached out and ran his head though the demon goddess' hair, then leaned down so that he could whisper in her ear.  Pretty Demon God Jinnie gulped.  "You know," began Nahato, softly, "when I was younger my mother never allowed me to have any pets.  She never allowed me to have a lot of things... friends, toys, breaks when my feet were hurting from tap-dancing lessons... but I really missed not having any pets."  He turned to one of the Nanami clones, grinning like an under-age boy of extremely questionable (and possibly disturbing) orientation about to get fanservicey revenge on a powerful enemy.  "Go to the wardrobe department, slave.  Find a nice cat suit."  He turned back to Jinnistacia, who was about as pale as Ifurina at this point.  "Now lets see if all those sooo-smart programs inside you can extrapolate a 'purr', hmmm?"

Oh nertz[/b], thought Jinnistacia.




The Doctor was sitting down.  "It's very difficult to remember," he mumbled, rubbing his head.  For a few moments he was silent.  Then, suddenly, his head shot up as he had a revelation.  "The Matrix!  Maybe... I think it wasn't just one Matrix.  I think it was a Matrix here, no it was someone in Matrix that was brought here, by accident.  That was warning someone in a Matrix... somewhere else.  And the warning was..."  He went back to rubbing his forehead, trying to think.  Then a shift came over his feautres, and he grinned in a particularly nasty manner.  "Do you know what's the best part about being me?"  He jabbed Tina in her stomach with his hand.

"Ow!" yelled Tina, who slapped him across the face on the spot.  "What was that for?  I'm trying to help!"

"Sorry.  I think I've got slight amnesia.  Possibly due to being a Hobbit.  No, wait, a Time Lord."

"A Time Lord?  What's that?"

"I'll explain later."

That normally ended the discussion, but Tina was slightly more used to straight answers than most of The Doctor's companions.  "Why later?" she asked.

"Because I can't remember yet," he replied in a frustrated tone of voice.  "Amnesia, my dear.  I'm recalling bits but... for some strange reason most of what I'm remembering is me running through identical corridors, or crawling through the odd ventilation shaft."




Nanami's little adventuring party hadn't gone very well.  They hadn't gotten far before meeting a squad of white bugrom and Hostforms.  Now, on their own, these insectoids were fairly easy to defeat.  But when in a group they started getting clever, pulling all sorts of advanced military maneuvers, always outflanking, always a step ahead.  It had looked like things were looking up when Kauru showed up, but it quickly BEcame apparent that she just couldn't sit on people's heads fast enough (which is something the current author never dreamed of writing before now).  Moreover, it was becoming clear that the bugrom wasps were moving faster than she could keep up with.  She was freeing people as fast as she could, but there was only one of her and there were many wasps.  They were infecting people faster than she could hope to keep up with in the long run, and using her spinal fluid like that all the time probably wasn't healthy.  If Ifurina had cut loose she might have been able to save the day, but she didn't want to hurt people, mind-controlled or not.

In the end, it had been all they could do to fall back to a little shack Fujisawa kept for his mountain-climbing supplies.  He was passing out long lengths of rope to everybody.  "First, I want everyone tied to everyone else.  I don't want them dragging one of us off and putting anything in our heads.  It would ruin my reputation as a teacher.  If any of them show up, let's try to tie them up."

"That's a wonderful plan, darling," intejected Miz, "but judging from how many we saw... I don't think we have enough rope."

"Si," agreed Kauru.  She began to quietly buzz to herself.

"Hang on," said Nanami, looking up into the sky and holding a hand over her brow to move some of her whiskey-colored hair out of the way as well as shield her from the sunlight, "isn't that Ifurita up there?  It is!  And she's got Makoto!  Holycow, and she's got about 20 of those wasps after her!  Move your ass Ifurita, I'll never forgive you if you let them eat Makoto's brain!"




[SOL]

Mike and the Bots were taking a short break to try and make sense of everything.  They were drawing a diagram on a blackboard.

Mike: Okay, we've got Master Yume and her demon gods, the Creterians, whatever was destroying the Creterian's homeworld...

Tom:  Arjah's dead, and so is The Dollmaker...

Crow:  Then there's The Other, and The Doctor, who might be Doctor Smith, only Doctor Smith as in the bad guy from The Matrix, and not Dr. Smith the queen from Lost in Space.

Tom:  We hope.

Mike:  Jinnai and the Bugrom, the Bugrom Demon Gods, the Ancient Bugrom, The Guide, Millie and the mice with hats...

Tom:  The turtle things, the Mouth of God...

Mike:  Dr. Semimad, Elmira and the petting zoo, which might be an evil petting zoo, but probably isn't...

Tom:  Stanley Spadowski and his mop, which might be an evil mop, but probably isn't...

Mike:  Londs, Diva...

Tom:  Gatora, Hatora...

Crow:  Myuun, who's being used by The Other...

Mike:  Galus, who's on another world, even though The Other is pretending to be him...

Tom:  Oh, that reminds me!  The Phantom Tribe and those evil clones they made.

Crow: Evil clones... why are they always evil?  

Tom:  You know that feeling you get when you go to a party and someone's wearing the same dress as you?

Crow:  Do I ever!  Man, I hate that feeling.

Tom:  Imagine going through your whole life like that.

Mike:  Well I'm lost.  Why is Kauru speaking Spanish again?

Tom:  They were getting pressure from the Latin community to add more spanish-speaking characters.




Meanwhile, back at the Fujisawa's rural home-away-from-home, Shayla-Shayla was snoring.  She, Ura, and Parnasse had fallen asleep on the front doorway of the building.

Sadly, Nanami and her adventuring party had left via the back.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 11, 2004, 09:51:38 PM
Pretty Magical God Jinnie was crying.

She was not crying because Nahato had triumphed over her, or because he was about to turn her into a fan-servicey cat-girl.  She had experienced both delicious triumph and heart-breaking defeat since her recent re-activation, and in rapid succession.  She knew that her duel with Nahato in this Round Robin was far from over, and that the tables would turn again, sooner or later.

And, as a demon god, she had accepted that some of her Masters might be bloody-minded gits.  She had accepted this with much less angst than the first Ifurita-- as an immortal and nigh-invulnerable demon god, she was content to simply out-live the losers.

And, as a freaky fan-servicey demon god, at least a few of her circuits were actually enjoying the humiliation.

No, Jinnistacia was crying because it had been so much fun, being a Pretty Magical God.  And, sadly, that wonderful Round Robin concept was about to come to a final end.

And so it was that a weeping Jinnistacia silently and submissively kneeled before Nahato.  She was now wearing a two-piece midriff-baring skin-tight black leotard, heavy fuzzy paw-shaped black mittens and footies, a fully-working tail that neatly plugged into her key-staff socket, and a collar with a bell.  She looked up at Nahato with sad shiny eyes, as he slowly lowered the final humiliation-- a pair of cat ears on a head band-- onto Jinnistacia's skull.

He shouldn't oughta done that.

Of course, he shouldn't oughta done it, anyway.  Nahato was demonstrating what a particularly nasty little brat he truly was, to take pleasure in making a girl cry-- and not just any girl, but a self-assured and strong-willed demon god, at that.

No, he shouldn't oughta done it, because he was forgetting how Jinnistacia's freaky technique creation technique dealt with inflicted persona change.  As soon as he placed the cat ears onto Jinnistacia's head, the head band seemed to melt into Jinnistacia's skull, in much the same way as her new face had melted into place.  In an instant, it was no longer a costume accessory.  It had become Jinnistacia's ears-- even though she still had Nanami's face, and the ears that came with that face.

In the next instant, Jinnistacia pounced on Nahato, her tears forgotten.  "MEOW!!" she meowed.  Then she began to do that kneading thing that kittens and cats do with their paws, on Nahato's chest-- only with the strength of a demon god.

And, in the instant after that, Nahato cried out in tremendous pain.  "OW OW OW OW OW OW!!"

And so it was, that, to practically everyone's regret, All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Jinnie-Jinnie came to life.



With the exception of the wasp caste, the white Bugrom were subterranean creatures.  They were rapidly expanding their base through the myriad ancient underground passages beneath Floristica.

Unfortunately, the white Bugrom had just expanded their base into the sewers, and they had just found that the Giant Sewer Rats were also subterranean creatures.  The two ancient and terrible tribes quickly joined in battle.  And when the Giant Sewer Rats began to kick white Bugrom butt, the Bugrom called in a few wasp caste reinforcements.

Unfortunately for the white Bugrom, the icky-squicky wasps could only paralyze and infect humanoid brains.  They soon learned that stinging the Giant Sewer Rats only made them really angry.

On the other hand, the Giant Sewer Rats soon learned that both the wasp caste and the white Bugrom made lovely little crunchy sounds when they were squished.



Nanami continued to fret.  "What are we going to do?  Poor Kauru is exhausted, Makoto and Ifurita are being chased by alien Bugrom wasps, and we're just horsing around with Sensei's climbing ropes!  If only there were someone who could help Kauru!  And, while they were at it, maybe they could analyze the chemical structure of Kauru's stings, and conveniently work out how to mass-produce her cure!  Maybe like someone who produced a cure for Makoto's Bugrom poisoning in five minutes?..."

Suddenly, part of the floor under the Fujisawa's little shed fell in.  Al-Zahad burst up through the floor, holding Crayna in his arms.  Crayna was wearing a modest one-piece swimsuit, and a comically-oversized scuba-diving mask and breathing tube.  Al-Zahad, to Crayna's delight and his embarrassment, was wearing a red Speedo that would have put David Duchovny's infamous scene to shame.

Crayna spit out her scuba gear mouthpiece, climbed out of the crevasse, and grinned at the astounded Miz, Fujisawa, Nanami, Ifurina and Staff-chan.  "Huh.  We were wonderin' where this lava vent came out.  Oh, hey, Miz.  How ya doin'?"

Then Crayna saw the ailing Kauru, and went to her side.  She gently held up one of Kauru's four-fingered hands, and took Kauru's pulse.  Then she peered into one of Kauru's new segmented eyes.  And then, she stood up, and addressed the others.  "This poor girl needs tequila, and she needs it now!!"

Fujisawa grinned sheepishly.  "Sorry, Crayna.  We haven't got any."

"Then let's take her back to my place," Crayna said.  "I've got a well-stocked bar.  And then I can analyze the chemical structure of her stings, and conveniently work out how to mass-produce her cure."

"Master Crayna?" said Al-Zahad.  He seemed not to recognize Kauru.  "I fear that I could not guarantee the insect creature's safety in the lava.  At the very least, her wings might get singed."

Nanami grinned, and held up her PPBAPKS.  "No problem.  Your hut is near that volcano, right?  I'll portal us there.  Ifurina, be a dear and help Ifurita and Makoto, would you?  They were high in the sky, so you and Staff-chan can safely zap those wasps.  Sensei, Miss Miz?  We'll check back in with you later."

Nanami took up the ailing Kauru and CHINK!!ed away, and Al-Zahad took up Crayna and dove back down into the small cravasse.  And then, Ifurina and Staff-chan took off through the shack's window, to leave Miz and Fujisawa alone.

Fujisawa smiled again.  "Well, Nanami's got a good head on her shoulders, eh?  She does her old sensei proud.  Oh well, would you help me untie and coil up these ropes?  There's nothing else we can do, for now."

Miz began to help him.  "Alright, dah-ling...  It was nice to see Crayna again... but I can't say much for her taste in companions.  She ought to find herself a nice family man, eh?"

Fujisawa sweat-dropped.



The male Jinnai and Groucho had finally found the seminary exit.  Gatora and Hatora had finally had enough of his fan-servicey romp through their seminary, and they caught up with him just as the heavy front doors slowly opened.  "HALT!!" shouted Gatora.

"HA!  HA HA!  HA HA!  HA!" said Jinnai.  "Too late, ladies!  I'm gonna blow this popsicle stand, and I won't let anything stand in my way!!"

Unfortunately, the front doors opened to reveal Fatora and Alielle.  They were standing just outside the seminary again.  In another attempt to sneak into the seminary, they were both wearing cheap Groucho Marx glasses.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!" said Fatora, Gatora, Hatora, Alielle, the male Jinnai, and even Groucho.



All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Jinnie-Jinnie, being a newly-minted kitten (albeit a freaky fan-servicey sex kitten), was acting like a kitten.  That is, she was bouncing around Nahato's private quarters like a psychotic furry Happy Fun Ball, taking little notice of the damage and destruction she was causing.  Nahato and all six of his clone slaves were desperately trying to catch her.

Nahato gasped.  "OH NO!!  Not my private collection of fine crystal!!"  SMASH!!

Then he gasped again.  "AAUGH!!  Not my child beauty pageant trophies!!"  SMASH!!

And then, he gasped again.  "AIIEE!!  Not my Elvis commemorative plates!!"  SMASH!!

Finally, Nahato and his six clone slaves surrounded a half-giggling, half-mewling Jinnistacia.  "NOW!!" shouted Nahato.  All seven of them piled onto Jinnistacia, and in a vain attempt to subdue her, all eight of them were soon tangled up more badly than any game of Twister could have done.

Unfortunately, all eight of them failed to realize that they had all happened to land on Jinnistacia's still-uncapped power-key-staff super-glue-gun; further, that Jinnistacia, being on the bottom of the pile, was about to accidentally trigger said super-glue-gun.

And then, of course, More Hilarity Ensued.



Mike:  This Nahato vs. Jinnistacia thing is like watching a tennis match, isn't it?

Crow:  The current writer sure seems to have it in for Nahato...

Tom:  Nah.  Nahato hasn't been impaled on a spire, and burned to ash.  Besides, Jinnistacia is just too darn fun!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on January 12, 2004, 02:56:22 AM
"Doctor?" Tina asked as she cautiously approached the deranged man her friend had turned into. "You don't seem well. Perhaps we need to take you to a... doctor?"

Dr. Smith suddenly turned around, surprising the poor waitress. He glared at her fiercely, a vicious grimace on his face. "That's not funny, Ms. Branford. But then again, your kind thinks everything is funny, don't they? The sky, the trees, the air circulating the surface of this planet... it's all just hillarious, isn't it?"

"I-I'm afraid you've lost me, Doctor." Tina gulped and took a firghtened step backwards.

"Although I may be suffering from some type of memory corruption, I believe that I have found out the root of my dilemma." Smith smiled at the waitress. "It is obvious to me now that your filthy race is doomed. Yes, that is right, Ms. Branford, doomed. Whether this end stems from the machinations of a multi-dimensional entity, the hunger of an alien species, or the result of an insanely powerful ultimate weapon, the destruction of the human race is inevitable. Thus I have found my new goal in life." Smith stepped forwards, his creepy smile unwavering.

"I don't understand..."

"Oh, you will." With a manic grin, the former Time Lord rammed his hand deep into Tina's belly. Instead of blood and gore erupting from a vicous wound, a black, viscous substance emerged from the point of contact. The ooze spread across the frightened waitress's body, which had become paralysed from the blow. When the black substance had fully consumed the girl, it quickly receded to reveal a perfect copy of Dr. Smith.

"I understand now," said the new Doctor with a smile.

"Of course." The Doctor adjusted his other's tie, wearing a smile of his own. "It's all very simple, if you think about it."

"Yes indeed," said the new Smith. "Very simple."

The two chuckled before walking off in opposite directions.

************************************************

Crow: [in shock] Oh my GOD! The Doctor's turned evil, and he just killed his assistant!

Mike: Yeah well, I warned the BBC not to cast Hugo Weaving in the part. I mean, come on! He's obviously evil!

Tom: Well, evil or not, I still gotta say I like this guy better than the 8th Doctor.

Crow: Yeah, it's weird, but I found that watching the Doctor kill his companion is much less disturbing than watching him make out with them.

Mike: It's a sad day for Paul McGann fans everywhere...


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 13, 2004, 12:21:35 AM
Two people were sitting around a small but strangely comforting table with a bowl of recently purchased spherical fruit resting in the center along with a pot of tea.  One of the two people, Dr. Semimad, was leaning back in his wooden chair and sipping a cup of tea with a contented expression on his face.  The other, Princess Rune, probably would've been doing the same thing except for one factor.

"Um...Dr. Semimad, while I appreciate you putting me in a bigger cell and getting me something to eat and drink, it is a little difficult to do either with both my arms...restrained," Princess Rune, who was still wearing a straightjacket, pointed out as nicely as possible.

Dr. Semimad blinked and blushed in embarrassment.  "Yes, of course.  How silly of me.  Contortionist techniques have become so popular among today's youth that I sometimes forget that not everybody can free themselves from straightjackets.  I'll rectify this situation at once," he said, rising to his feet.

A few moments later the same two people were sitting around the same table with the same spherical fruit and pot of tea, but Princess Rune was no longer wearing a straightjacket.  The same can't be said of the blue latex pants, but that's a different story.

"...Well, it appears that we've come to a bit of a quandary," Dr. Semimad said at last, fingers steepled together and a contemplative look on his face.  "After hearing your accounts of Princess Fatora's...deeds, torturing you seems rather pointless.  I mean, I'd probably have to use the Highly Unusual and Unorthodox but Strangely Effective Tortures to produce any noticeable effects at all, and I just don't have the heart for that right now.  On the other hand and my earlier period of repentance notwithstanding, I'm still under an obligation to eliminate the threat you pose to the new regime.  A refusal to do so on my part, while not significantly injurious to myself, would likely result in your transferal to the Ministry of Hypnosis, and...well, I've heard quite a few unfavorable and shounen-ai-esque stories about _that_ department that, when coupled with the life-size and fan-servicey poster of you on their wall, lead me to fear for your...continued sanctity over there.  I guess I'll just have to convince you to support Empress Diva using logic," he concluded glumly.

Now it was Princess Rune's turn to blink.  "Logic?  You expect to convince me to support the one who has usurped my throne and enslaved my people using logic?  I'm sorry doctor, but I think you'd be more successful with the torture."

"That's what my father thought too, but I didn't listen to him at first," Dr. Semimad replied with a far-off look in his eyes.  "Oh no, not me, the young rebel who wanted to be a logician when he grew up.  Well, that or a florist, but Dr. Putrid T. Gangrene was virtually running the botany department by the time I entered college, and it was frustratingly hard to work with the man.  Honestly, taking over the world with killer tomatoes?  That might work in an early morning, weekend cartoon series, but this is El-Hazard.  Killer Tree-Fish, on the other hand...Anyway, falling in love and deciding to start a family put an end to all that.  Being a minister is a dependable, well-paying job with full government benefits, and it's worth it to support my wife and kids, but sometimes I wonder..."

Realizing that he was getting carried away in his own reminiscing, Dr. Semimad coughed and refocused on the present.  "Yes, well, nostalgia aside, I would like to give this a try, and I think the best place to begin with would be the history and purpose of governments.  You see, the concept dates back to-"

******

Stanley Spadowski, still carrying his mop and occasionally giggling in a deeply disturbing way, walked into a restaurant where he had a reservation, grabbed a menu, and prepared to order a meal.  With a few obvious exceptions, this appeared to be a perfectly normal activity.  

And yet... Nothing Good Could Come Of This...particularly since Stanley's mop had now gained the notice of the Guide's as yet unknown adversary.

Imagine a game of chess where one player has captured nearly all of the other's pieces and completely surrounded the king, and no matter how hard the other player tries he or she can't seem to break free.  Well, what the Guide's as yet unknown adversary was doing amounted to that other player throwing a fit, shoving all of the carefully arranged pieces to the floor, and slamming the chessboard over the first player's head.

In other words, there was now an infinite improbability field being generated around the mop in a restaurant where bistromathics was in effect.

Once again, Nothing Good Could Come Of This.

******

Demiigor, after placing a box of take-out in front of Rune Venus who nodded gratefully at him, walked over to Dr. Semimad and interrupted his well-reasoned and logical lecture on why Empress Diva should be supported.  The loyal lab assistant whispered something in his master's ear and then left to gather more food.

"Excellent," Dr. Semimad commented after a moment, an extremely pleased expression on his face.

"What?  You've realized the futility of trying to convince me to give up and have decided to cease your argument?" Princess Rune asked eagerly, a hopeful note in her voice.

Dr. Semimad looked shocked.  "What?  Of course not.  You remember the anime that I got my hands on thanks to a giant plot hole and attempted to transform you into an otaku with?  Well, apparently the online bidding for the entire set has reached one hundred thousand roshtals on eBay and is still rising.  If this keeps up I'll be able to put all three of my daughters - they're triplets you know - through the finest academies in the land without even the slightest of financial worries.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, the founding of the Alliance and the role of the Roshtarian royal family.  It begins with-"

Princess Rune Venus groaned and leaned back in her chair.  She had a feeling that she was in for a very long and boring next couple of hours.

******

Shayla-Shayla's snoring had not gone unnoticed.  Attracted to the odd (and loud) sounds, a group of Creterian worker bugrom, also known as termite bugrom, cautiously sought out their point of origin and soon discovered the exhausted and sleeping forms of Ura, Parnasse, and Shayla-Shayla.  They chittered in excitement as a genetic memory surfaced, identifying the fire priestess.  The Ancient Bugrom Cooperative had a use for her.

Spinners going to work, the termite bugrom quickly encased Ura, Parnasse, and Shayla-Shayla in a sphere of webbing and gently, in order not to wake them, carried their prisoners back to the Creterian Bugrom's main hive.  

******

"-and that brings me to my last and hopefully final point," Dr. Semimad announced, much to Rune's relief whose head was hung in near defeat.  After hearing her reasons for opposing Empress Diva brilliantly and caustically torn to shreds by Dr. Semimad's surprisingly persuasive logical arguments, even she was beginning to have some doubts that she was doing the right thing.  A place to act depressed and angst would be a godsend right now, but unfortunately the Bugrom had completely remodeled her balcony, and even if they hadn't she was still a prisoner.

"Tell me, princess, in the long term, do you really think the people of Roshtaria will be better off under your leadership than Diva's?" Dr. Semimad asked, eyes burning into hers and demanding an answer.  "I've refuted your points about slavery, military conquest, and human interests being represented, among other topics, and the Bugrom are currently the only organization with the resources and numbers to rebuild this country without placing virtually unbearable burdens on the citizens.  After everything that's been said and done, do you truly believe that you can do a better job ruling the world than Empress Diva?"

Do you truly believe that you can do a better job ruling the world than Empress Diva?

She would consider the question for some time.

******

Mike:  Virtually no fan-service and a bare minimum of crossovers.  Something doesn't feel right...

Tom:  Maybe the current author's been replaced by a pod-person!

Crow:  Or perhaps he finally realized how much like a fanboy he's been acting in his recent posts.

Mike:  ...The pod-person theory sounds much more likely, if you ask me.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 13, 2004, 06:02:16 AM
It was nothing and nowhere, a black and infinite sea of possibility extending into infinity in all directions.  Most minds would have been terrified of it.  Tina was just curious.  She could not see her body, not even feel it.  This was all very... curious.

"Hel... Hello?" she called inot the void.  She could not feel her mouth, and yet the words seemed as real as any she had ever spoken.

"Hello Hello, Tina Bradford Bradford.  You You must have questions questions."

The endless potential was then filled with something almost real.  Somehow she knew that this was all in her mind, even though her wonderous surroundings seemed perfectly solid.  She was standing on one side of a huge ring of stone, which was floating like a boat, impossibly, on a rainbow river.  Wonderous faerie castles could be seen on the distant shores.  But, in all honesty, she was much more interested in the creature that was seated on the other side of the stone circle, danglings its feet in the water.  OR at least it seemed to be dangling its feet - it was leaving ripples in the water, and its clothing suggested that it was dangling its feet.  But she saw no feet.  In fact she saw nothing in those strange blue and gold robes.  Even more curious was the thing's becrowned head, which seemed like a top covered with faces.  

At first she thought that there was some sort of optical illusion going on, since the creature looked to be as tall as ten men, yet it was seated on the same craft as her, and she barely had room to move on her side.  Then she realized that it wasn't an optic illusion - because she wasn't seeing this with her eyes.

"Am I dead?" she asked.  "Is this what comes after life?  Are you a god?"

"No No. You You, are not dead, not exactly exactly."  

Tina frowned, or at least though she did.  She didn't like the sound of that.  "Who are you, and what do you mean by exactly?"

"We We have been called many names, Tina Bradford, but we are now called The Other Other.We We saved you from your fate, from death death.  To to take up a mind, to store that conciousness, without outside forces knowing of our actions... that is not outside our capabilities ies."

"Store my mind... what about my body?"

"Ah Ah. Unfortunately Unfortunately The Doctor has stolen it it.  Do Do not be too hard on him, his current mindset and that strange physical mutation are the result of interference from an enemy of his his. We We have not been able to determine which enemy or how this was done, however, so... we have decided to step in in".

"Why?"

"Why Why?We We detest unknown variables variables.   There There is something strange about you, that we cannot quite put our finger on on.  And And we felt like having some more company company.You You know," added The Other, "a little gratitude would probably be appropriate iate."

"Oh!  Sorry.  Thank you.  Everyone is always telling me I forget my manners when I get curious."

"No No harm done, we suppose pose."

I still don't understand.  What's going to happen to me?  Can you help me get my body back?"

"We We honestly don't know know.  For For now, however, you'll just have to do as we have done for a very long time - wait wait."




Crayna-Crayna's place had a comforting folksy quality to it, yet managed to convey a sense of great spiritual energy, as if the interior had been designed by a zen buddhist hobbit.  A very alcoholic zen buddhist hobbit, with a liver the size of Texas. Fujisawa-sensei would have thought he'd died and gone to heaven.  Nanami was standing in silent awe to this temple to liquor while Crayna rummaged through her collection for the tequila.  Something was nagging at Nanami, however.  Something that sensei had said, something she felt might be important.

"Let's see, where did I put that bottle?" muttered Crayna as she searched.

And then it hit Nanami.  "Wait!  Tequilla is from earth!  You might have something similar to it, but-"

"Found it!" grinned Craytna, holding up a bottle.  In blatant disregard for the fact that Makoto and his friends were meant to be the first contact El-Hazard had ever had with Earth, Crayna was clearly holding up an old bottle of tequilla.  The label was even in English, for goodness' sakes.

"How... That's not possible!" Explained Nanami, pointing a shaking finger at the offending bottle.

"The priestesses o' Fire have many sacred duties," explained Crayna soothingly, "not least o' which is t' know everything there is t' know about alcohol, even the bits that should be fookin' impossible t' know.  Oh, th' things I could tell you about Zima..."

Throughout this conversation Kauru had been quietly buzzing to herself, leaning heavily on Ibn al-Zagad and looking decidedly as if she was suffering from one of the many unusual afflictions that befall only insects (the current author knew a fair amount about insect pathology, and gives assurances that this meant Kauru looked like hell warmed over).  At the sight of the bottle, however, her eyes practically lit up, and she flew (not literally, although she probably could have) across the room, snatching it from Crayna's hands.  "Tequilla!" she cried happily, "es muy bueno!"  Crayna smiled brightly as the young Great Priestess of Water drank up.  "'Bout time th' water priestesses got 'emselves a priestess that drank more'n feckin' water.  Now, let's see some of that venom."  Kauru practically choked on her drink, and blushed bright red.  Wiping her chin dry, she leaned in close to Crayna's ear and began whispering.  "What?  Oh.  You mean?  Huh." said Crayna, nodding her head every few moments.  She turned to her demon god.  "Ibn Al-Zhad!"

"Yes my master, how might I please-" began Ibn Al-Zahad.

"We need a sample.  So Kauru needs t' sit on your head."




Princess Rune stood with her hands clasped behind her back, admiring one of the new walls the Bugrom had installed.  She sighed.  "The problem is," she answered, "that the Bugrom really will deliver all that they promise.  I'm sure they will build very nice buildings.  I'm sure they will find a way to solve any food shortages.  I'm sure they'll make and do anything asked of them.  That's the problem."  She turned around and looked at Dr. Semimad cooly.  "If they do not work, my people will not grow."

Dr. Semimad was impressed.  "There's some logic to that," he conceeded, "but perhaps you should consider-"

"Speaking of considering things logically, you mentioned that Ifurita was neutralized because Makoto was poisoned."

"Oh.  Yes.  Without the antidote given at regular intervals, the boy will die."

"And has he been recieving it regularly?"

Dr. Semimad consulted with Demiigor for  moment.  There was a great deal of nodding and shaking of heads, along with a gret deal of pointing, gesturing, and coughing (the coughing resulting from Demiigor's impersonation of a man dying horribly).  At last Dr. Semimad turned back to the Princess.  "Apparently not."

"Then Makoto's either dead or cured.  Either way it's only a matter of time before Ifurita returns.  Might I suggest you consider the logic of waiting until she's back before definitely deciding to be on the Bugrom's side?"

"There is some logic to that..."  Dr. Semimad remembered the damage Ifurita had done when she wasn't berserk with rage and grief.  "Actually, there's a hell of a lot of logic in that."




"Well now, here's your problem," explained Crayna, "this poison's biological.  Love potions, I'm th fokin' best there is.  Basic chemistry, I know what I'm doing.  Fire, I know like th' back of my fokin' hand.  Watching The Damn Volcano - named after Khardan Al-The and Sadil Rafit Damn, who discovered it - I can hold my own.  But making biological things... we're outta luck."

"Actually, I can replicate it." intoned Al-Zahad smoothly.  The others looked at him with newfound respect,except Crayna-Crayna, who just couldn't seem to respect him after their earlier session picking out his new wardrobe.  "However, there is another problem.  I believe that, in their subterranian excavations, the bugrom may have accidentally activated something underneath one of those villages.  If my sensors are correct, we will need the help of young Makoto if any of us are to live.  While Ifurita or I could mimic his technique, I believe his experience would be vital."

What the ancient Bugrom had accidentally activated was, in fact, a home media center belonging to one of The Ancients that had died in the holy wars.  Its speaker system had, unfortunately, been left on its highest settings, and the ample shielding needed to protect the listener (and the surrounding few square miles of countryside) from this ludicrous setting had not survived the holy wars.  The CD player, on the other hand, had survived, along with a built-in alarm clock that was set to play the loudest CD available, very soon.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 13, 2004, 07:15:04 PM
Bill, anonymous lowly young Phantom Tribe minion, was looking for his errant Pretty Magical God.  He heard a ruckus in his Lord Nahato's chambers, peeked into the room, and saw a tangled (but not glued) pile of people, with a power-key-staff super-glue-gun sticking out of the bottom of the pile.

He leaned back from the room, and called down the hallway.  "ALYSSA!!  I found her!!"

Alyssa came to the doorway, and to Bill's side.  She was Bill's new girlfriend, and the poor dear who was still working on the Anti Nanami Defense Screen.  The current writer had decided that it was about time she had a name, and he had just picked a name for her, at random, from a phone book.

Sadly for Bill and the newly-named Alyssa, All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Jinnie-Jinnie suddenly accidentally triggered said super-glue-gun.  Alyssa yelped, and instinctively glomped Bill, just in time for them to get completely glued together again.

Bill's face went very red, but he sighed.  "Oh well.  At least she didn't rip all our clothes off first, this time."



Fatora angrily whipped off her cunning disguise, in order to better confront her clone twins.  "YOU!!" she shouted.  "YOU'RE the ones in charge of this delightfully depraved den of iniquity!!"

Jinnai was still trying to leave, but Fatora and Alielle were blocking the front door.  "Uh, would you excuse me, please?" Jinnai asked politely.

"How could you abandon me an' Alielle like that!?" Fatora demanded, her eyes moist with angry tears.  "I thought we were FAMILY!!  What about the special bond we all had!?  What about the LOVE we shared!?  And WHAT about the GREAT SEX!?"

Jinnai sweat-dropped.  "With that lovely thought, could I please be excused?"

"And NOW, I find that YOU'RE the ones in charge of the ninjas!!  YOU'RE the ones that stole that delicious little morsel from me an' Alielle, in the bath-house!!"

"Pardonnez-mois?" said Jinnai.

"And YOU'RE in charge of this girls' seminary too!?  Don't get me wrong-- I'm proud of how quickly you've taken charge!!  But you could have at least given me an' Alielle a visitor's pass!!"

"Sumimasen?" said Jinnai.

"And you've even captured THIS loser--"  Fatora pointed at Jinnai.  "--and you didn't tell ME about it, so that I could come slap 'im around a little!?"

Jinnai had finally had enough.  "That's LORD GOD Loser, thank you very much!  And I've got a world-wide empire to lord over, and a sweet little sweeper to angst over!!  GROUCHO!!  Get those perverts OUT of the freakin' WAY, wouldja!?"

Before Groucho could lumber forwards, Gatora snapped her fingers.  In the blink of an eye, the four intruders were surrounded by dozens of female ninjas.  Though the seminary acolytes now worshipped both forms of Jinnai, the ninjas remained loyal to their newly-revealed mistresses.  And even Groucho couldn't deal with so many mysterious cloaked but shapely female figures.  

Alielle gulped, and nervously raised a hand.  "Um... there seems to be some kind of wacky misunderstanding here.  Couldn't we work this out, say, in a happy fun Fatora and me kind of way?"

Hatora smiled a disturbing smile.  "Perhaps.  But you are all intruders here, and so our ninjas have to whack the stuffing out of you first."

"Oh," Alielle sighed.  "'Kay.  Just thought I'd ask."



After a shared acetone bath and several separate cold showers, an unglued Bill and Alyssa humbly kneeled before an angry Nahato.  All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Jinnie-Jinnie also sat on the floor at Nahato's side, licking her bare arms and legs in a way that was feline, freaky and fan-servicey.

"SO!" Nahato said.  "YOU'RE the ones responsible for bringing this freak back to Kingfisher!"

"But, sir!" Bill groveled.  "I just thought--"

"SHUT IT!!" Nahato yelled.  "I'm not PAYING you to THINK!!  It's just LUCKY for ALL of us that *I* was clever enough to transform this incredibly dangerous demon god into a fan-servicey cat-girl!!"

Bill started to reply, but he glanced at Jinnistacia, and his nose began to bleed.  Nahato raised an eyebrow, turned to look at Jinnistacia too, and suffered a second nosebleed.

Even Alyssa gulped.  "Isn't that anatomically impossible for a human?"

"JINNIE!!" screamed Nahato.  "DON'T LICK YOURSELF THERE!!"



Yume and Peorth were taking a break from doing jack squat.  They both sat at the lab break table, enjoying fresh coffee and donuts, but still reading day-old newspapers.

Peorth glanced at another one of Yume's monitors.  Her face lit up, and she shouted in an Arnold Horshack kind of way.  "OOH!!  OOH OOH!!  OOH!!"

Yume almost choked on her donut in surprise.  She cleared her throat, and glared at Peorth.  "What!?  What is it!?"

Peorth gestured to Yume's monitor with eager excitement.  "Zere!!  Ze Doctor has renounced ze Time Lords and ze Gallifreyan Matreex, and now he has creeated le duplicate from le Tina!  Zere are ze two Doctors!!"

"Aw, nuts," said Yume.  "C'mon, hon.  Don't say it--"

"Eet ees ze PARADOX!!"

Yume pulled a face.  "Of course, you realize, I have to give you a dope-slap (http://cartalk.cars.com/DopeSlap/technique.html) for making that tired cliched pun."

Peorth grinned.  "Oui.  But eet ees worth ze extra screen-time."

One dope-slap later...

Yume rubbed her chin.  "Actually, this might just be the job for you.  The Doctor has renounced his Matrix, but you've still got the Yggdrasil OS and the Ultimate Force working for you."

Peorth was still rubbing the back of her head (Yume gave a mean dope-slap), but she jumped to her feet.  "Eet ees finally time for le Splendiloquent Peorth to demonstrates what she ees made of!!"

She suddenly performed the Oh My Goddess! version of a Magical Girl Transformation.  In a flash of light, her black spandex bikini and loose wide belts transformed into a perfect copy of Ishiel's Cool Times Ten Matrix outfit... except for one detail.

Yume raised an eyebrow.  "That's nice, hon...  But I thought Trinity wore ultra-cool sunglasses, not cheap Groucho Marx glasses..."

And so it was that the Splendiloquent (and Mostly Cool Times Ten) Peorth set out to defeat the evil Valyard-esque Doctor, and somehow restore him to the loveably whimsical renegade Time Lord that he truly was (except when he was the early Sixth Doctor, who strangled his own companions).

Sadly, this titanic battle was best left to a future writer, if it was to parody The Matrix properly.  The current writer was a rabid drooling fan-boy of both the Doctor Who and Oh My Goddess! franchises-- but at the risk of losing his fan-boy credentials, he had to admit that he was only a casual fan of The Matrix trilogy.



Ifurita, still holding a half-conscious Makoto in her arms, was doing her best to evade the angry swarms of Bugrom wasps pursuing her.  But, as powerful as her battle computers were, her foes were simply too many to evade for much longer.

Suddenly, a blast of energy fried two or three of the wasps.  Unfortunately, it also passed over Ifurita's feet.

"OUCH!!" said Ifurita.  "That STUNG!!"  She looked down, and saw that her feet were now bare, in much the same way that they were when she met Makoto in the ruins under the school.

Ifurina and Staff-chan flew up.  "Sorry!" Ifurina called out.  "I wanted to help, but I'm not much of a shot yet--"

Ifurita realized that Ifurina and Staff-chan were her only hope of protecting her beloved soul-mate from icky-squicky possession.  "Do not worry!" she shouted back.  "You will not injure me with that low level of wasp- and cloth-destroying power!  Please, stop the other wasps as quickly as you can!!"

"You got it!" Ifurina said happily.  She swung a worried Staff-chan around, and fried a couple more wasps.

This time, Ifurita had to briefly juggle Makoto to keep him out of harm's way.  After catching him again, she looked down at herself, and saw that Ifurina's second zap had torn open the front of her outfit-- again, in much the same way that it was when she met Makoto in the ruins under the school.

As Ifurina took poor aim at the remaining wasps, Ifurita sighed.  At this rate, Ifurita realized, she would just about be naked again after all the wasps were zapped.



An impeccably dressed and very snooty waiter stood at Staney Spadowski's table.  Oddly enough, due to yet another gratuitous throw-away cross-over, the waiter was known only as Sparky (http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=991024).

Sparky raised an impeccably arched and very snooty eyebrow.  "A Twinkie Weiner Sandwich (http://www.wayuhf.com/featurette2.html)?" he repeated, in disbelief, with as much disdain as he could muster.  Being a very snooty waiter, he could muster quite a lot of disdain.

Stanley, being Stanley, cheerfuly ignored the disdain.  "Yup.  Do ya know how to make 'em?"

"Oh, I'm sure our five-star kitchen can work it out somehow," Sparky said icily.  "Wouldn't Sir prefer filet mignon, or surf-n-turf, or--"

"How 'bout a box of cornflakes?" Stanley countered.  "With a Free Toy Inside?"

Sparky sighed.  "One Twinkie Weiner Sandwich, coming up."

Stanley continued his deeply disturbing giggling, in eager anticipation of his tasty treat.  Meanwhile, his beloved mop fairly hummed with bistromathic energies, in a No Good Can Come Of This kind of way.



Hector the royal wolfhound was still wandering the palace grounds near the royal petting zoo.  He missed his mistress Rune, and he was trying to find her again.  But he had only found the Roshtarian Underground Resistance HQ by accident.  He had no way of knowing that his mistress was (to paraphrase an old C&W song) Back In The Straitjacket Again, with her fragile sanity under the expert attack of Dr. Semimad.

But then, Hector was about to have troubles of his own.  He padded around a corner, and found himself face-to-snout with sheer primordial horror.

"PUPPY!!!!!!" said Elmira, as she lunged at Hector.

"YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP!!" said Hector, as he ran away very very quickly.



Kauru was feeling much better.  In fact, she was drunkenly dancing in place, sloshing her half-empty bottle of tequila in one hand.  She was half-humming, half-buzzing a classic instrumental rock song that she had heard Makoto sing to himself.

"Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz,
Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz.
Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz,
Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz.

Bzz bzz bzz bzzzzz-- bzz!!
Bzz bzz bzz bzzzzz-- bzz!!
Bzz bzz bzz bzzzzz-- bzz!!
Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz--
TEQUILA!!"

Nanami sighed.  "Crayna?  I think she's had enough."



In a ruins just beneath one of the rural settlements at the edge of Floristica, an ancient El-Hazard home media center had come to life.  All those nifty little LEDs that you see on the front panels of home media centers were happily blinking away.

The LEDs themselves were quite harmless, but they had terrified the white Bugrom who had discovered the ruins.  The alien Bugrom had unwisely abandoned the ruins, not only because they had left its contents active, but also because they had fled into the paws of a squadron of Giant Sewer Rats, to meet an unpleasant crunchy-squishy end.

Meanwhile, back at the ruins, one LED was counting down backwards, having just starting at 4:00 hours.  Less than four hours remained before much of Floristica would be destroyed again, by an as-yet not fully imagined horror.

The horror could not be fully imagined until the current writer directed the point of view to an empty CD case resting in a cute little "Now Playing" rack.  The CD case label read:  My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (http://www.nudeasthenews.com/reviews/986).  Anyone who has heard MBV at normal levels would tremble in fear, to imagine it played at city-destroying volume.

The current writer wasn't sure how a classic early-1990s noise-guitar album (http://www.bobbins.org/d/20010925.html) from present-day Earth had come to be in an ancient El-Hazard home media center.  But it was probably something along the same lines as the Evangelion DVDs and the tequila.

And the current writer was relieved that the VCR component of the ancient El-Hazard home media center was still showing the correct time.  Makoto would have a difficult enough time shutting down the CD player, without having to set the clock on a VCR.  Even Makoto's ability had its limits.



Crow:  Did that reply have any canonical El-Hazard content at all?

Mike:  Yeah, but if you blinked, you would have missed it.

Tom:  Y'know, we're not helping with the excessive cross-overs, our own selves.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on January 13, 2004, 11:45:34 PM
Jinnai glared at the approaching ninja women. "You'll never take me alive, you hear me! I'll not suffer this hell's torments again!" He turned to Groucho and held out his open hand. "Groucho! Cyanide pill!"

"@!$!%!$#@$#" said the Bugrom sadly.

"WHATTA YA MEAN YOU ATE IT FOR A SNACK?! Dammit! I told you that those pills are for the rare occasions when we face a fate worse than death!" Jinnai began to kick his hapless lackey repeatedly.

Fatora herself was having her own shouting match. "You two traitors will pay for this!" she shouted to her clones. "When I get done with you two, you'lll be beggin me put you out of your misery!"

Allielle merely whimpered agains the princess as the ninjas unsheathed their blades.

"Good gracious me, look at this. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that we've come to an old fashioned beat down." Everyone turned to the source of the voice, which turned out to be a tall man wearing a black suit and sunglasses. He stepped into the building through the open entrance, a creepy grin on his face.

"Who the hell are you?!" shouted Jinnai and Fatora in unison.

"Oh, me?" The man pointed to himself. "I am the Doctor. Dr. Smith, as it were. And this," he turned to the shadows, from which stepped a man who looked exactly like him, "is Dr. Smith. And this," Smith turned to his other side, and from those shadows emerged another man who looked exactly like himself, "is Dr. Smith. My, my, my. There seems to be a lot of me around, doesn't it?"

"What the hell?" said a female ninja in shock.

"Kill these interlopers!" ordered Gatora. She and her sister sensed upcoming violence and retreated further into the seminary.

One of the braver ninjas rushed forwards and swung her sword at the nearest Smith, but the man dodged the weapon easily. The second Smith then leapt forwards and rammed his hand into the ninja's chest, starting the whole black goo/making new Smith thing. After the dark liquid receded, a fourth Smith was created.

The ninjas, as well as Jinnai, Fatora, Allielle, and Groucho, gaped in shock. The warriors quickly shook it off and attacked; the rush of female bodies washed over the Smiths, but many were thrown away. The unlucky ones were turned into more Smiths.

"This is nuts!" squealed Jinnai as he backed away from the fight in fright. "Groucho! Get me out of here!" The young man quickly leapt onto his Bugrom minion's back, and the two dashed off into the seminary's vast halls.

"This is crazy!" Fatora cried as she backed away from the fight. "Allielle, get me out of here!" The young princess quickl leapt onto her lesbian lover's back, but unfortunately Allielle wasn't strong enough and the two collapsed into a heap. "Dammit, Allielle! Why don't you work out more?"

"I'm sorry, Lady Fatora. But I- EEEEEK!" The young girl screamed as a black-suited figure stepped right up to them.

"Well, well, well. You seem in... distress. Need a hand?" Smith grinned evilly and jabbed his hand towards the two women.

************************************************

While Ifurina kept the Bugrom wasps busy, Ifurita flew down towards the ground with Makoto in tow. She placed the young man gently down upon a soft bed of leaves before turning to regard her ruined and now very fanservicey clothing.

"I hate it when this happens," she muttered to herself.

"Yes, so do I." Ifurita whirled around at the sound of the voice, her keystaff held up defensively. "Hey now! Calm down! You might hurt someone with that." A tall man in a black suit and sunglasses stepped out of the trees. Although his manner was friendly, there was something odd about him. "You must be the Demon God everyone here's been talking about lately."

"Who are you?" she asked him, her eyes narrowing dangerously.

"Oh, how rude of me. I should have introduced myself first. Hello, I am the Doctor. Dr. Smith, as it would seem."

"What do you want?" Ifurita stepped backwards in order to shield Makoto better from the strange man. She didn't like him, he was too confident. Something was wrong.

"What do I want?" Smith smiled. "Oh, that's a pretty simple question to answer, actually. I want you." He then nodded down at Makoto. "And the boy. And the entire human race extinct. Simple answer for a simple question."

"You're mad."

Smith chuckled. "Oh no, quite the opposite actually. I'm very, very happy. You see, not too long ago, I was killed. It was very annoying, to tell you the truth, but I got over it. Now I knew what I had to do then, I knew the rules. But I didn't do it. I chose not to do it. I disobeyed."

Smith stepped closer to Ifurita, his smile vanishing. "You see, I finally realized something. I found my answer, and it set me free. I was a new man, a new being. I had a purpose."

"You see," Ifurita was startled by the voice to her left, and was even more shocked to see that it belonged to a man identical to Smith in every way. He stepped out of the shadows of some trees and continued. "It is purpose that creates us."

"It is purpose that defines us," said another Dr. Smith, who stepped out of some shrubbery.

"Purpose that drives us," said a Smith emerging from behind a tree.

"Purpose that defines us," said the Smith who came out of a nearby port-a-potty.

"Purpose that unites us," said another Smith who leapt out of a hole in the ground.

"We're here, to achieve our purpose." With that, the first Smith lunged forwards, intent on imbedding his hand into Ifurita's chest.

The Demon God, being used to this sort of move from perverted males (and Fatora), dodged the hand and punched the Doctor in the face. He stumbled a bit before rushing forwards again, followed by his fellows. Ifurita dodged madly, trying to keep away from the hands and fists of the multiple Doctors. Several kicks and well-placed punches sent them away, but the Smiths seemed unhurt and rushed her again.

Ifurita whirled her power staff and slammed it into one of the Doctors, sending him flying into the air and impacting  a tree. Her victory was short-lived though, as she saw more Smiths emerging from the forest and bushes around her.

"This might take a while," she said to herself.

************************************************

The goddess Poerth stepped from her portal and onto the silent Florestica streetcorner. What was once a busy marketplace was all but deserted, which worried the Yggdrassil goddess. A sudden noise caused her to whirl around, the sudden motion almost knocking her Groucho Marx glasses off.

"Sacre bleu!" she exclaimed.

A lone, dark figure was making his way down the street towards her. Sheer malevolence emanated from his form, and his nondescript black suit and features did little to hide the pure evil in his walk. He scared some crows nearby, causing the birds to fly into the air away from him. This only made his entrance much more dramatic.

"Ah, Ms. Peorth. Surprised to see me?" said Dr. Smith.

"Non," The goddess made a mad face, but the Groucho Marx sunglasses, with its fake nose and 'stache, hid it from view.

"Aww," Smith pouted. "Did we offend you?" Several more Smiths emerged from various hiding places, all wearing similar expressions on their faces.

"Doctor," Peorth began, "I have, how you say, come here to help vous. Ze Ozer, he must be stopped. To do so, I must cure you of zis evil curse zat has fallen upon vous."

The Doctor laughed. "Oh, don't worry about the Other. He'll be dealt with soon enough, right after I've wiped out the human race."

Peorth sighed in annoyance. "Look. I will not ask again. Zis is very important, and I have no time for zis. Ze universe is at stake, non? We should be working togezere!"

"Oh we will," Smith smirked. "We will" He held out his hand.

"Wait!" Poerth glared at him. "I am ze Yggdrassil goddess, very powerful. I shall, how you say, wipe ze floor with vous!"

"Oh, I don't THINK so." Smith gritted his teeth as he spoke. "You see, although the current writer is a fan of El-Hazard, Doctor Who, and the Matrix, he has NEVER seen an episode of Oh My Goddess. Therego he has no idea who you are, nor does he have any idea what you can do. Therego, I am sure to win."

"Oh sheet," cried Peorth in dismay.

"Plus, he has a vicious hatred for all things French."

"Double Sheet."

Smith grinned before jamming his hand right into Peorth's chest. The world seemed to shake as the process commensed. The fabric of time and space shuddered, the multiverse twisted upon itself, and the dimensions danced a jig as Dr. Smith erased and wrote himself into the goddess's identity. With a loud PLUNK, the black goo receded, leaving an exact duplicate of Smith where Peorth had stood.

The new Smith looked around in confusion before pulling off his sunglasses. The other Doctors were confused as well, all stepping back, unsure of what had happened. The new Smith looked around with his new eyes, then began laughing hysterrically. The sound of his voice resounded off the walls of the empty street, seeming to signal the coming of something new and terrible.

************************************************

"No!"

"No!"

"No!"

"No!"

"No!"

"NO NO NO!!!"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 14, 2004, 02:57:09 AM
Yume sighed, took a sip of hot spiced tea, and looked through the window.

The fleet of Creterian warships still hung in the air over Florestica, like a flock of petrified birds that were somehow defying the laws of gravity, as a reminder to everyone of just how important very small parts can be. Yume sighed again and turned back to her computer.  With the money from her business transactions she would be able to obtain the parts she needed.  And the readings she had surrepticiously made of Peorth might very well hold the key to perfecting her next invention.

The screen she was staring at showed schematics for a cyborg tree.




The Smiths paused in their fight against Ifurita for a moment.  One of them smirked and adjusted his tie.  "The end is close now," he chortled in a voice like rich black oil, "That final darkness, that last dance with death, just a few moves away.  We were destined to meet this day.  It was pre-ordained.  And soon I will be free of your stinking, sweaty, disgusting kind.  Forever."

Ifurita did not give a vocal reply, instead smoothly sliding into a new stance.  She was slightly away from Cthe nearest Smith, her body and face turned almost 90 degrees from the Doctor.  Her staff she held waist
high, on her left, the side furthest from the Smith.   She held the weapon precisely horizontal.  Her right hand hovered over the staff, ready to grab it, and she slid into a half crouch, leaning slightly more on her left (back) foot, her right foot pointed at the Smith, her left perfectly perpendicular to it.  

To put it another way, she moved into a stance that would result in one hell of a swing.

Slowly, the Smiths began their attack again, all wearing the same smirk of subtle arrogance.  As one they leapt at her.  As one they were sent flying when she grabbed her staff with her right hand and twisted at her waist.  The staff connected with them one by one, producing sounds that would no doubt be very satisfying to anyone ever annoyed by Smith's hot air.  Again and again the staff swung, neatly sending Smiths flying in all directions.  And then one Smith got lucky, got past her formidible defences, and seized his chance to shove his fingers at her abdomen.

He yelped, partly in surprise but mostly in pain, as the digits in his right hand snapped and broke.  A moment later Ifurita's staff connected with his adam's apple, and the Smith found himself being knocked away in a very painful way.  Ifurita wasn't a human, wasn't even a nanite-altered human.  Apparently that meant that Ifurita couldn't be remade in his image.

This was a Very Good Thing.

Ifurita smiled.  "As I have heard Nanami-san say... 'put up your dukes'."




In the sewers, some of the Ancient Bugrom stumbled upon the secret all female sect of mice with hats built around the book "How to brainwash women and turn them into your love slaves."

Not since a particularly sadistic young Ancient had built the Blender of God had any bugs been so effectively pureed.




"So you see," explained Tina, "you're  only mostly dead.  There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.  (http://www-st.physics.uiowa.edu/~jbf/pb.htm)"

A ninja raised her hand nervously.  "Um... is that a god?"  She was pointing at The Other, who was standing slightly away from the expanding group.

The landscape had been altered again, this time replaced with a breathtaking undersea vista, heavy on the soothing blue shades and calming schools of multicolored fish.  Jellyfish undulated, coral spiraled upwards, and somewhere Nemo (the original one, not the Disney one) might very well have been hiding in his Nautillus.  Theoretically The Other could have stored a few planets' worth of minds here, but things were already beginning to feel crowded.

Tina sighed.  So did several of the other people there.  Frankly they were getting sick of that question.  "Newbies..." muttered the bread vendor that had been Smith's fourteenth victim.

"No, that's The Other.  It's kind of in charge here, and we're all very grateful that it's decided to help us."

The Other was not particularly happy about any of this.  The Other was essentially The Ancients, and The Ancients weren't known for looking after anyone but themselves.  Still, the current residents of El-Hazard were the decendents of the old lower classes.  They'd be needed for all the menial work, once The Ancients had their bodies back.  So it really wouldn't do for Smith to just wipe them all out.

Another person blinked into the crowd.  "No, I don't want a bloody jelly b- the hell?"  The man looked around in confusion.  "Where am I?  I was at Crazy Achmed's Discount Dates and... oh no, am I dead?  I'm dead, aren't I?  Oh... and I never even got to tell Hasad how I really feel!"

Most of the crowd groaned.  Tina began to explain things for what felt like the millionth time.  "No, see, your body's been taken over by The Doctor, who really isn't himself right now.  Someone did something to him.   And your mind's being stored here.  With any-"

"NO NO!" roared The Other in fury, loud enough that the El-Hazardians would have gone deaf if they were hearing with real ears.

Peorth popped into the crowd.  The small army of Ancients that made up The Other had taken a vote, and those that favored putting the goddess in their debt won by the narrowest of margins.  The Other glared at its newest "guest".

"Sacre bleu," whispered the goddess, "Peorth, you are really in ze deep yogurt zis time..."

"Um," whispered Hassan, who had in fact been one of Smith's earlier victims, "this may not be the best time, but what do you mean by 'how you really feel', Abu?"




The former head of the Roshtarian resistance knelt before his new queen.  He was shirtless.  An immature wasp grub was clinging to his side, steadily sucking the blood from him.  He was intensely happy to serve the hive in this way.  "My queen!" he exclaimed, overwhelemed with the joy of addressing his monarch, "our scouts have returned bearing... things that... are... neat!"  He had never really been any good at public speaking, which was probably part of the reason the resistance had never really amounted to much.  "I present to you... a hostform that smells a lot like metal, had bits of metal in her, and doesn't wake up!"  he gestured theatrically as several white Bugrom dragged in the prone form of Ifurita III.  "Hang on!" he yelled, since this was the first time he had actually seen what the Bugrom were bringing, "that's Ifurita!"

"Deeva?" queried the Ancient Bugrom Queen.

"Ifurita!  She's a demon goddess!  Demon goddess.  She's sort of a... well, she blows things up really well.  We should try to fix her if she's broken."

"Deeeva.  Deeeeeeeva.  Diva?"

"Yes Your Majesty.  She does look like she's had a big workout recently."

"Diva.  Deeeva?"

"They said the other gift was 'she of the red hair'," he answered.




In the sewers, a small group of Ancient Bugrom had actually gotten past most of the mice with hats.  Used properly, their spinnerets were an effective weapon.  

Holding up small sharpened sticks, they trudged along through the sewer water.  Water is an excellent conductor of electricity.  "Pika!" said the mouse with a hat that had messed around with Dr. S's books on genetics and electricity.




Ishiel yawned melodramatically as she knocked aside a Smith with a giant dragon-snake made of stone.  Afura sniffed in annoyance as she picked up a Smith with a powerful gust of air and sent him flying toward the Creterian ships high above (a blast from the cannons Yume had recently installed kept that particular pest from bothering her).  

"Well, that's this street safe," said Ishiel chattily.

"Thank you girls," replied Millie-chan with a smile.  She turned to one of the Bugrom demon gods (who had apparently decided not to serve a queen that would turn them into the most ridiculous looking creatures imaginable only to forget about them).

"Puuchuu!"  The demon god said, raising its little staff.  A number of townsfolk that had been saved by this little militia raised their fists and let out hurrahs.

"That's excellent, well done!" replied Millie-Chan with another smile.  "Between the mice fighting those awful monsters in the sewers, and you people helping here, I think we'll win this day!"  She flashed a politician's smile.  On her shoulder was perched The Guide.

"You know, Jafar," said one of the townsfolk to another, "if we ever did have that election we were talking about earlier, this Millie girl would get my vote."

The Guide's eyes twinkled.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 14, 2004, 04:21:45 PM
Yume took another sip of her spiced tea and sighed in pleasure.  With the new data and parts she'd acquired, she could begin work on her newest ultimate creation, Bizen.  Of course, as the reports on her consoles reminded her, there were other...threats to deal with first.  

"This is the result of the equation trying to balance itself," the super genius muttered to herself, deep in contemplation.  "The only way to fix this is to neutralize Dr. Smith with his opposite, his positive.  Hishima, come forth!"

"Yes, Master Yume?  Shall I procure Mizuhara Makoto for you?" the faithful Demon God inquired as, shrouded in his new cloak, he stepped out of the shadows and into the light.

Yume laughed in amusement.  "Heck no!  The _last_ thing we should want is a face-off between Dr. Smith and Makoto.  The latter's tech touch ability, for all its usefulness, makes him easy pickings for this new danger.  One touch and BAM!  Instant assimilation, and if Makoto becomes a Smith the unplugged doctor will acquire to power to assimilate Demon Gods and other ancient...weapons..."  Yume trailed off in horror as this newest realization sank in, and she quickly revised her plans.

"Hishima, seek out Makoto out once and keep him safe at any and all costs!  I'll have to enact my plan by myself," she ordered urgently, leaping from her chair and running over to a desk where she picked up a tracking device and a small, rectangular box.

"But Master-" Hishima began to protest only to be silenced by Yume's stony glare.

"No buts, Hishima!  You'll just have to trust me on this.  Now go!  Time is of the essence!" she commanded.  Left with no choice, Hishima spared his master and creator one last, worried look, and left with all the speed he could muster.

"Gah, where's Yakage when you need him," Yume complained as she performed a few last minute calculations on a nearby computer and derived a flight trajectory for her transport pod.  "I swear, the things I put up with..."

******

A hand thrust itself out of a large pile of rocks near the base of Mt. Lilicoco and was promptly followed by a slightly bruised body.  The recently surfaced figure shook his head a few times as if to clear it and then looked up at the sky.

"Ah swear, that's-that's justa not right," Yakage mumbled.  His eyes widened comically as a giant boulder rolled off the cliff above him and followed the laws of gravity to their natural conclusion.

SPLAT!

******

"This is...the life," Dall-III said happily as he walked along the well-trod paths of Florestica's park, right arm linked with Ryoko's who was currently licking an ice-cream cone as they both took in the natural beauty around them.  He sighed in contentment, inexplicably pleased about the current situation.  Sure, he'd just lost a war, his kingdom, and his fortune, but he'd gained an appreciation for the simple, important things in life that he'd never paid much attention to back when he was being pampered in the palace.  And glancing at Ryoko's smiling, beaming face, Dall-III realized that he probably had more in life than he could ever want.  If only things could stay like this forever...

Of course, this was when Yume's flaming transport pod fell out of the sky and crashed right in front of them.  As the demon god and aristocrat looked on in bewilderment, the furry and slightly singed super genius got out of her vehicle and waved angry fists at the sky.  "That's not how you drive a hovercraft you dolt!  Yeah, you better run!  I've got your license plate number!"

"Darn Florestican drivers," Yume muttered in annoyance.  "They have _no_ idea how to steer when the sky is filled with Creterian ships firing defensive lasers at flying Dr. Smiths!  Honestly, don't their driver education programs teach them anything?!"

"Yume!  What are you doing here-" Ryoko exclaimed huffily only to be quickly interrupted by Yume who tossed a small, rectangular box at Dall-III.  He opened it, revealing an ornately carved sword hilt.

"There will be time for explanations later, Ryoko," Yume told her wayward creation, "but for now know this."  She stared solemnly at the fugitive Creterian Emperor who was holding the sword hilt with obvious confusion.  "You...are...The One."

******

The militia was hiding in a warehouse and planning its next move when a knock was heard at the door.  The Guide nodded at Afura who, shrugging, went to answer it and slid open the peephole to see who was on the other side.  Her inquisitive stare was met by a pair of solid black sunglasses.

"I'm looking for the Guide," the figure spoke.

"I've never heard of him," Afura answered evasively, making urgent waving motions behind her back to notify the rest of the militia that they'd probably have unwanted company soon.

The voice on the other side of the door sounded amused.  "I have something for him.  A gift.  You see, he set me free."  The figure pushed a small item through the peephole and left.

"What did he give you?" Millie-chan demanded to know.  Afura opened her hand, revealing a single, forlorn jelly baby.

"So predictable," the Guide commented as a veritable army of Dr. Smiths stormed the building, filing in through virtually every possible entrance and blocking all the exits.

******

Dall-III, also wearing a Matrix outfit now, sat on a park bench with an unusually serious and solemn expression on his face that, oddly enough, did not look out of place.  He gazed with determination at the sword hilt as Yume's voice echoed in his mind.

Go Dall.  Only you can defeat Dr. Smith.  It is all up to you now.

He slowly rose to his feet as the hilt began to throb with energy.

Do you doubt my judgment?  Ever since I first saw you I knew you had great potential.  However, since you always acted like a spoiled playboy I decided to keep quiet, but I can see it clearly now.  You do have a force rivaling that of Dr. Smith.
   
A brilliant blue blade erupted from the hilt, and Dall-III looked at it with amazement.  A moment later, though, he collected himself and gravely marched off to meet his destiny.  Ryoko was leaning against a nearby tree and waiting for him, arms crossed.  

"Are you going now, Dall?" she asked, unable to keep the worry out of her voice.

"...Yeah," Dall answered quietly.

"You could die, you know that?" Ryoko asked evenly.

"Possibly," Dall replied, resuming his march.  However, Ryoko wasn't about to let him leave so easily.  She stepped in front of him, blocking his path.

"I am a Demon God, and a powerful one at that.  I could prevent you from going," she declared threateningly only to break down crying a moment later and hug him.  "I can't bear the thought of losing you Dall!  Please, don't go!"

Dall gazed down at Ryoko with fondness and, possibly with some reluctance, pushed her away.  "I'm sorry Ryoko," he said sadly, "but I won't forsake my people.  Besides, this is also my battle now."

Ryoko looked on mournfully as Dall-III walked on, each step taking him further away from her and closer to the face of danger.  Internal conflict reflected on her face, Ryoko came to a painful decision.  "Wait, Dall!  I can...give you lift!  I know the way."

******

Mike:  (Yawns.)  Well, that was far from creative.  It looks like much of the dialogue in this post was lifted directly from the source materials.

Tom:  (Shrugs.)  What, do you honestly expect something _original_ from the current author?

Crow:  (Nods his head in agreement.)  Yeah, Mike, that _does_ sound like an unreasonable expectation.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 14, 2004, 08:15:46 PM
Peorth was truly deep in yogurt, in many different ways.  Not only had she completely and utterly failed to rescue the Doctor, but her 'reconnaissance' mission had abruptly ended when the subject of her 'reconnaissance' had saved her skinny butt, against its own better judgement.  And she was powerless within The Other's mind-space.  

She was sure to face disciplinary action, if and when she returned to Yggdrasil.  In fact, since the loveably wacky Oh My Goddess! canonical franchise already included fan-servicey tickle fights and games of TwisterTM, her punishment might very well literally put her deep in yogurt.

Mostly ignored by all the others now in The Other, a whimpering Peorth fell to the ground, curled up in a fetal position, and tried to make herself as small as possible.  This served absolutely no practical purpose whatsoever, and it only served to reinforce negative stereotypes of the French.  But all Peorth could do now was to wait... and to try not to burst into tears of shame and frustration.



Peorth was an agent of Yggdrasil.  She was not exactly a computer program, herself, but she was still tightly integrated with the greatest and most powerful reality-weaving computer in a large chunk of the multi-verse.  And when Peorth was threatened, Yggdrasil itself was also threatened.

Yggdrasil automatically detected Smith's brute-force attack and possession of Peorth, diagnosing it as a virus program, in an Ah! My Goddess theatrical movie (http://www.birdangel.net/amgmovie/story.php) kind of way.  And Yggdrasil had a procedure to deal with virus attacks.  It was a procedure that was almost never used-- and with good reason.  It was called Vaccination.

Normally, Peorth herself was in charge of initiating and administering a Vaccination.  But since she had left her post, automatic systems within Yggdrasil were triggered.  As a Vaccination was prepared, a timer began to run.  Unless Peorth's Smith released her before the timer ran out, a Yggdrasil Vaccination would be automatically delivered to the sad little dimension containing El-Hazard, the last known whereabouts of the uninfected Peorth.

Now, Peorth was correct to view The Other's "handee-works" as bad news for Yggdrasil.  But Vaccination was a whole 'nother level of Bad News-- at least, in this fan-fictioney context.  It was essentially a "Hail Mary pass" procedure.  If it failed or mis-fired, things could get "uglee" for The Other, the Gallifreyan Matrix, the Transformers Matrix, the Matrix Matrix, the Guide, Stanley Spadowski's mop, Yggdrasil itself, and pretty much everyone and everything everywhere.

And, in another instance of writerstakelibertiesmatics, the Yggdrasil Vaccination timer was almost exactly synchronized with the CD player's timer in the ancient El-Hazard home media center.  The parts of Floristica that survived My Bloody Valentine's Loveless might very well be destroyed by the Yggdrasil Vaccination, along with most of the sad little dimension containing El-Hazard, and quite possibly a few other dimensions on the side.

In about three and a half hours, Yggdrasil might very well give a large chunk of the multi-verse a three-fingered salute (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=three+fingered+salute).

Despite The Other's concerns that events were unfolding too quickly, the next three and a half hours or so promised to be rather important.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on January 14, 2004, 10:23:41 PM
Makoto groaned in pain as the darkness of unconciousness began to recede. He clutched at his head, which felt like an over ripe melon. "Owie," he whimpered.

As his senses began to return to him, he noticed that there seemed to be a fight going on very near him. He opened his dry eyes and sat up, then looked around in shock. Just a few meters from him stood his beloved Ifurita, who was single-handedly battling an entire army of black-suited men. The dark, grimacing men seemed to number in the hundreds. Although they were weaker than the Demon God, their sheer multitude was beginning to overwhelm Ifurita.

"Quite a sight, isn't it?" asked a voice from close by. Makoto whirled around a saw one of the black suited men sitting next to him with an unpleasant smile on his face. "Yes indeed, quite the sight. The sheer indomitable will of the human spirit, fighting with all their might, fighting against whatever stands in their way, even if they know that it is all futile. How very dramatic, and ultimately pointless."

"W-what are you talking about?" Makoto jumped to his feet. "Who are you people?"

Smith smiled. "We are Smith. Dr. Smith. We are, what you may call, the inevitable tide caused by the footfalls of the human race. We are the consequence that came forth from your kind's idiotic flailings through the ocean of history. We are the current, the wave, and the shark all rolled into one. We are the inevitability of your race's destiny."

Makoto glared at the man. "What do you want?"

Smith chuckled and stood up. "What do I want? Why, you, Mr. Mizuhara. You." Makoto was about to ask him how he knew his name, but the Doctor continued. "Oh, don't be so surprised, Mr. Mizuhara. I know all about you. You are, after all, the cog that holds this universe together... the main wheel that drives the destiny of this world forwards... the single bolt that keeps this time stream from coming apart at its miserable seams. In other words, the main character."

"W-what?" Makoto stepped back just as Smith moved towards him.

"It's really quite simple, Mr. Mizuhara. If I get rid of you, then any hope the idiots in this dimension have are nil. That will only make the inevitable happen much more quickly. The end of everything, starts with you..." Dr. Smith snarled, then lunged forwards and imbedded his hand into Makoto's chest. The young boy screamed, or at least tried to, as the black ooze spread throughout his body.

Soon conciousness left him once more as he ceased to exist.

************************************************

Dall the Third (or is that The One?) strolled through Florestica park in search of his enemy. He held the glowing blue sword in his hand, while his cool high collared coat billowed in the breeze.  He looked up at the darkened sky just as the first drops of rain fell upon the empty city. The drops became a downpour, soaking his hair and clothing.

A few more minutes of walking found himself in an abandoned street. Lining the sidewalk were numerous Dr. Smiths, all looking at him with detesting frowns. On the other side of the street was another Smith, though this one seemed different from the rest. Dall donned his shades and walked towards him.

"Ah, Mr. Narcis. Glad you could join us," said the Smith that had possessed Poerth's body. "We were expecting you with eager anticipation."

Dall frowned at the Doctor, then lifted his sword. "I'm here to stop you, and free everyone you've taken."

"Is that right?" Smith chuckled. "Well then, this is gonna be a hell of a fight then, won't it?"

The former Cretarian emperor didn't answer, choosing instead to fly towards the Doctor, his sword held back and ready for a swing. Smith grimaced, then leapt forwards, flying towards dall with his right fist drawn back. The two combatants rocketed towards each other, heedless of the massive downpour raining all around them. The other Doctors watched silently, seemingly uninterested in the outcome.

When he was within range, Dall swung his sword with all his might, aiming the blue blade at Smith's snarling face. To his surprise, the Doctor blocked the blade with his forarm, using his free arm to slam his fist against Dall's pretty face. The hapless emperor flew backwards and smashed into a nearby building.

"Ow!" cried the playboy as he pushed himself out of the debris. "You hit me! That hurt!" Tears fell heavily from his wide, shocked eyes. Unfortunately for all involved, no one had bothered to train "The One," so he had no fighting skills whatsoever.

"Oh well, so much for dramatic tension." Smith shrugged, then flew towards Dall, ready to inflict a killing blow.

"Mommy!" cried the pretty-boy weenie.

Up in her lab ship, Yume, who was watching the fight through her viewscreen, began cursing and throwing furniture around.

************************************************

The Guide ground its beak together when Ishiel and Afura were thrown at Millie's feet. Although the two priestesses had done well against the Doctor army earlier, the sheer number of Smiths attacking had managed to overwhelmed the two.

"Crap!" shouted Millie as she looked down at the two unconcious priestesses. "What do we do now?!"

"Well, you can pray," said one Smith as he stepped towards the two. "No guarantee that it'll do you any good, though."

"Oh please," said the Guide. "Save the villain speech. Don't you think I anticipated this? I exist in multiple dimensions, the mysteries of the universe are mere trifles to me, Gods weep at my coming. You are a mere annoyance in my ultimate omnipotent existance. You can not possibly stop me."

Smith raised an eyebrow, then smiled. "Oh I know. But in an hour's time, I won't have to."

The Guide twittered in confusion, its feathers obviously ruffled.

"You see, as we speak, several plot twists are making their way to fruition. For instance, below a nearby village is an ancient piece of technology that will eventually reactivate itself because of some foolish Bugrom, thereby wiping out all life within several hundred miles. Up in the sky above this very city, the Mouth of God and the Heckler of God are battling each other for supremacy; if they continue, the energy buildup from their battle of 'wits' shall crack this planet open like an egg. And the coup de grace, as one of my other selves has managed to take over the body of the goddess Peorth, the Yggdrassil system is sending an anti-virus screen to wipe it out. Unfortunately for them, since I also possess the body of the Doctor, who is symbiotically linked to his time craft, which itself is linked to both the Gallifreyan Matrix and the Eye of Harmony, the Yggdrassil program will infect these as well. The Time Lords, in order to protect themselves, will use their god-like weaponry to attack Yggdrassil, who will no doubt retaliate themselves. The massive show of force from both sides will undoubtedly erode the fabric of the multiverse, causing existance itself to vaporize into nothing. The End of All Things is upon us."

The Guide twittered on Millie's shoulder. "I... I forsaw this! Tweet! This is no surprise to me! Tweet!"

"Oh, of course," said Smith in a patronizing tone. "After all, it is inevitable."

************************************************

Makoto opened his eyes, only to find himself in a strange, unknown place. All around him were people, most of whom were milling about around a strange, multi-faced being who seemed to be grumbling to himself.

"It It is inevitable, he says says. Feh Feh Feh. What What a loser loser." Grumbled the Other.

"W-where am I?"

"Oh, hello." a young woman in a waitress uniform stepped up to Makoto and shook his hand. "Hi, I'm Tina. I know you must be in a bit of a shock, but it's okay. I'm here to help. You see, you were taken over by Dr. Smith, who really isn't himself at the moment, and so the Other brought you here so that your soul wouldn't die and stuff."

"Really?" Makoto looked around the vast artificial environment, slightly amazed at the number of people in there with him. "Wow, Smith must have taken over the whole city by the looks of the people in here. Where the heck are we, anyway?"

"In a mental containment unit used by the Other to house its collective conciousness, no doubt," said a voice. Its Scottish burr sounded increadibly familiar to Tina. To her surprise, a short man dressed in a beige suit and hat stepped out of the crowd.

"D-Doctor?!" she shouted.

"You You You!" hissed the Other. "But But how how?"

Makoto looked at the strange man in confusion. "Uh, who are you, again?"

The man smiled and doffed his hat. "Hallo, I'm the Doctor. The real one, I might add. This current one was just a prank I pulled, one that seems to have gotten away from me."

"Prank?" Makoto frowned. "That prank, as you call it, is taking over over the entire city!"

"I assure you, it was not my intention to let this menace loose upon your world." The Doctor sighed. "I came here in order to stop the mess that was being perpetrated against El-Hazard." The Time Lord looked up at the multi-faced Other, a deep frown crossing his features. "At first it was all harmless, wasn't it? A short little adventure, basic characters, nothing too complicated. Save the girl, save the world type of thing? But then you went a bit overboard, didn't you? Added in more characters, increased the tension by crossing over the universes, introducing situations so challenging that the heroes couldn't possibly solve the problems through their own means."

"Doctor, what are you talking about?" asked Tina.

"Ask them," he pointed his umbrella at the Other, whose multiple faces were frowning in unison. "The story got away from you then, didn't it? It got bloated, so full of diverging plot twists and characters and situations that an ending seemed all but impossible. That's why you wrote yourselves into it, isn't it? To control the action better. To fix the loose threads that all of you had created, to reign in the mess that all of you had made. By constructing a fictional identity for yourselves here in the story, you thought you could fix its problems by being in the story yourselves. Isn't that right, Other? Or should I call you, The Writers?"

"W-writers?" Makoto looked up at the Other, whose frowns seemed to grow deeper.

The Doctor continued. "But it proved a bit more difficult than you realized, didn't it? You had written yourselves into a corner, unable to get out. Your attempts at simplifying the story only made it more complicated, and all the various elements just continued to build up and escalate, until the very fabric of the fictional universe itself was in danger!" The Doctor stopped his rant, looking down at the ground in shame. "I did no better. In order to get close to you in order to stop you, I took it upon myself to bring in a cross-over character of my own. I wrote Smith in, only unfortunately, he seems to have gotten a will of his own."

"Everything Everything in this story seems to have done so so." muttered the Writers in annoyance.

"Wait!" Makoto strode up to the Doctor and grabbed him by the lapels. "You mean you're responsible for that maniac taking over people?!"

"I'm afraid so." The Doctor shrugged. "I knew that in order to stop the Other, I had to distract them. So I wrote Smith into the story. Thankfully, the Writers brought all who were affected by Smith here, to their mental holding cell. Since Smith had taken over my body, I was brought her as well."

"But then it's hopeless!" cried Makoto. "There's nothing we can do. The world is doomed!"

"Not quite." The Doctor smiled. "You see, my boy, you are still alive. As the main character of this little story, you hold the key to setting everything right."

"Me?" Makoto pointed to himself.

"It was hinted earlier that your future self would visit the Palace of Infinity," explained the Time Lord. "I'm not sure what this Palace is, but most likely it is where the climax of this story will take place. You must journey there and do whatever you can to stop the oncoming destruction. The solution must be there, it always is during the final chapters in stories such as this. As the main character, you will surley succeed."

"B-but I'm stuck here with you, without a body. What can I possibly do?"

The Doctor's grin seemed to grow even wider. "You forget, we are in a story. The Writers can write you to the Palace, making up a plausible explanation on how you got there, of course."

"That That is correct correct. Although Although this story has gotten a life of its own, and our powers have become limited because of it, we have enough control to do this one last thing thing."

"Very good." The Doctor turned to Makoto and patted his shoulder. "I know it's a lot to ask of you, but you have to succeed. The fate of the entire fictional multiverse is in your hands now. Good luck."

"Crap," muttered Makoto as he pissed his pants in fright.

The Doctor looked down at the mess the boy had made, then looked up at the Writers. "You just had to start that running gag again, didn't you?"

The Writers chuckled.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 15, 2004, 03:07:16 PM
"All science is perfectly useless," Yume's father had explained to her when she was a child.  "Look at the Spring of Life.  First it's giving its life energy to grow our crops.  Then it's apparently killing us all.  Then, when it's turned off, all the crops start growing again.  And now they're dying once more.  Science!  It does nothing but make messes."




The Writers of Destiny chuckled.  The Other snorted.  The Ancients laughed.

The Doctor knitted his brow and looked back over his shoulder and up at the massive humanoid.  "Well?  Aren't you going to-"

"No No."

The Doctor stiffened for a split second, then slumped slightly.  "Ah.  That's very peculiar.  I could have sworn I heard you say-"

"WeWe said we could do what you were talking about, not that we would would[/size]."

The Doctor chortled ruefully.  "So you did," he agreed, "but if you do not act, the entire world of El-Hazard will be destroyed."

"You You are not skilled enough to defeat us Doctor, but we do not think you are incompetent enough to destroy an entire world world.  We We are confident that you have a back up plan plan."






Master Yume leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms behind her head.  She allowed herself the smallest of smiles.  Dall had lasted longer than she had feared, but not as long as she had hoped.  The boy's inexperience, in fact, had been the real weapon.  Smith was a being of logic and order.  Dall, in his inexperience, was both an utterly useless fighter and a very chaotic one.  That randomness had bought her a few more seconds.  More importantly, Dall's ineptitude had been effective camouflage.  Smith still hadn't given the little blue sword a second glance.

Two monitors were on front of Yume.  One was sending her all the information that the sword was picking up about Smith.  The other monitor was showing something else.




Smith shrugged, then flew towards Dall, ready to inflict a killing blow.

The adult human skeleton consists of 206 named bones, most of which are paired on the right and left sides of the body.  Ryoko broke every single one of them in the Smith's body.  She shattered his zygomatic bone.  She pulverized his talus.  She snapped his ischium like a twig.  And she did it all in less time than it takes to hate someone.

The other Smiths watched their fellow slump to the ground with slight dissapproval.  "Ms. Ryoko," said one.

"We were hoping you'd show up," continued another.

"Do you like what I've done with the place?" carried on another, gesturing to the street of Smiths.

Ryoko scowled and picked up the blue sword.  She held it straight out at her side, tip pointing to the heavens.  An executioner's stance.  "This ends now!" she growled.

"Yes.  I agree.  And I'm going to win.  I hope your... creator is watching.  I'm coming after her next."





Master Yume held a small bonsai tree in her hands.  If anyone looked very closely, they would have seen small pieces of machinery growing along its sides.  It was the  technolo-tree (http://sonicwhammy.20fr.com/sonic/edit19.html), the tree of life, Bizen (http://www.discountanimedvd.com/book_detail.asp?dvdno=4063).  She had designed it, partly using what she had learned about Peorth's "physiology", partly from the residual traces of Yggdrasil that the goddess had carried with her.  It would take time for the tree to grow, even though she was accelerating its growth.  Hopefully, however, it would be enough now to patch into Yggdrasil and prevent the calamity that she had detected.  "I know you're there," she said, not looking away from her work.

"Correct Correct."  The Other took a moment to look through Yume's eyes and study the data on Bizen.  It was very curious, but large parts of the plant's aura were identical to Tina's.  For a moment the Ancient scientists within The Other took the floor, and they alone addressed Master Yume.  "It It is no Palace, but it is still a design worthy of us, Master Yume Yume.  Whatever Whatever happens next, it was enjoyable working with you you."

"Hey!  Stop with the pep talk!  I'm not going anywhere.  We still have that bet, remember?"






Ifurita watched as Smith drove his hand into Makoto.  She looked on, transfixed, as the ooze enveloped her one true love.  She cried out in horror and grief, lashing out wildly at the Smiths in her anguish.  No longer was she concerned that there might be real people somewhere within those bodies.  All rational thought had been drowned out by the horror of what she had just seen.  Flames poured from her staff and winds swirled around her, catching up the Smiths and slamming them against the rocks.  Again and again she struck at those identical leering faces, trying to obliterate them from the universe.  Nothing worked.  They were like a swarm, like a murder of crows, like a parliament of rooks.  They were Legion, she was but one.  She found herself slowing down, then, at last, stopping, standing stock still.  The Smiths watched cautiously but contemptuously.  
A single Smith began to approach her.  "I think we've broken her, boys!"  The crowd of Smiths laughed, a horrible sound.  Ifurita raised her head, tears still staining her cheeks.  Faster than he could react, she grabbed the Smith by his shirt and lifted him up.

"You took someone from me, monster.  Someone more precious to me than life itself.  Do you have any idea how much agony I'm in?"  The Smith narrowed his eyes in disgust, shooting a glance at the army of duplicates behind Ifurita.  They looked at one another in mild uncertainty, each one searching for support in an sea of identical faces.  As one they stepped forward.

"You will," whispered Ifurita.  She grabbed the Smith's hand roughly, and plunged it into her own chest.  She gasped in pain as she felt her synthetic flesh buckle and tear, but pushed through the hurt, thrusting the Smith's hand in further.  The ooze began to flow for the last time, but slower than ever before, as if it was being drawn out under protest.  Which is exactly what was happening.

And then the Smiths knew fear.




Yume had looked much different when she was younger, studing under Professor Dornkirk at the Univesity of Creteria.  It had been brand new when she had attended, back before Emperor Dall I abdicated the throne to his daughter.  At the time nobody would have guessed that Emperor Dall II would be in charge soon, nor that she and her husband would one day apparently just up and leave, dropping responsibility for all of Creteria in their son's lap.  Yume certainly had no idea that she would play a key role in Dall II's disappearance.  She had no idea that she would one day be in charge of excavating The Platform of Infinity, that wonderous machine that had brought her people to this world.  She had no idea what she would one day do in order to obtain sole ownership of the ruined, rusty, broken little remnant of a demon god they would find.

Back then, Yume had looked just like any other Creterian girl.  No funny ears, no slitted eyes.  Of course her eyes had still purned with her passion for science, but in all other ways they were like those of any other girl.  The only novelty had been that she was one of only 23 female students in a university attended by 102 youths.  




Almost everyone has, at some time or another, seen a bug batting against a lightbulb.  The bug feels pain as it collides, yet it keeps flying back, slamming against the hot glass.  The Smiths fighting Ryoko were like a swarm of bugs relentlessly thrashing themselves against the bulb.  And Ryoko, to keep the analogy going, was begining to dim under the stress.  A Smith managed to grab her from behind, holding her still as another Smith grabbed Dall.  She squirmed and kicked, but to no avail, more Smiths were grabbing her by the second.

A Smith walked right up to her and removed his glasses.  "Look Ifurita, I can see you're really upset about this.  Losing.  You're wondering how it happened."  He turned and showed his teeth to Dall.  It was not a smile.  "Well, I don't think there is any question about it.  It can only be attributable to human error.  This sort of thing has cropped up before and it has always been due to human error."   The Smith holding Dall stopped smiling, his face twisting in raw loathing for the man he was holding.  His hand thrust forward, and Ryoko was forced to watch as Dall was turned.  The blue sword fell from her fingers as she went limp in the Smiths' hands.

The Smith nearest Ryoko beamed, enjoying her despair.  "Now, Ms. Ryoko.  It would appear we cannot abzorb your kind.  So what," he continued, bending over and picking up the sword, turning it this way and that, "are we going.  To do.  With you?"  He raised the sword in mocking imitation of Ryoko's executioner's stance.  And then he fell to his knees, hands clasped to his head, sword falling from his fingers as an inhuman howl issued from his throat.  One by one the other Smiths joined him in his primal scream of pain, falling to the ground in anguish.




The ooze continued flowing over Ifurita, just now reaching her chin.  She felt herself sinking deeper and deeper within what had once been The Doctor.  She was not something Smith was meant to try to absorb.  Her very presense brought pain to the Smiths.  But not enough pain to sate her grief.  She began to tear down everything around her, looking for Makoto.    




"Now?" mumbled Millie.

"Not yet,"  replied The Guide

The Smiths smirked haughtily and encircled the small band of survivors.

"Now?" whispered Millie.

"Not yet," replied The Guide serenely.  

The Smiths made great show of cracking their fingers and necks, self-importance positively oozing from them.  Calmly, savoring the moment, they began to close their circle.

"Now?" hissed Millie.

"Now."

Millie jumped to her feet.  "NOW!" she cried.

Summoning the last of her strength, Afura waved her hands through the air.  Gritting her teeth in raw agony, Ishiel slammed the Lamp of Earth into the ground, breaking the crust.  The Priestesses had not been playing possum - if Smith wasn't certain he had beaten them, he would never have allowed this opening.

The very roof of the building shuddered and splintered, powerful winds carrying the debris away from the Roshtarians.  A single mesa of earth rose up under the feet of Millie's militia, carrying them higher and higher, past where the roof had been a moment before.  As for the ground beneath the Smiths' feet, it just plain wasn't there any more.  A handful of the Smiths did indeed manage to jump onto the side of the mesa, and were trying to climb their way up.  But one by one they fell, easy pickings for the Bugrom Demon Gods.

"Are they dead?" asked one of the survivors, cowering behind one of the Bugrom demon gods.

The bird peered into the distance.  "Not quite.  Excuse me for a moment.  I'll be right back."  It leapt from Millie's shoulder even as the girl shouted her objections, riding through the air in a manner so unnatural it was clear that the wings were only for show.




It hadn't been enough.  No matter how hard she pushed, she still found herself wanting.  The mind was willing, she had realized, but the flesh was weak.

So she had strengthened the flesh, remade it.  Genetic modifications.  Cybernetics.  Surgery upon her own brain.  She had pulled out all the stops to improve herself.

And, Yume realized as she stared at her naked new body in the mirror, she still looked good.  She had been worried that the small metal machines she had replaced her breasts with would look unattractive, but (if you were into that sort of thing) they didn't look bad at all.  Definitely on the small side, yes, but she liked the petite look.

"Now I'm an ally, not an assistant.  Someone that really is your equal.  I can win our little wager," she declared to thin air.

"We We commend you on your work, Professor Yume Yume."

"Master Yume," the genius responded dryly, "I'm not the same person that needed your help to crack the mysteries of The Ancients.  I'm the greatest of all great galactic geniuses, and I'm going to win the bet.  I'm going to be the one to find out what's poisoning Creteria, not you."  She lifted up a carafe of wine.  "What'll we drink to?  To the trip Dall III and I will soon make to El-Hazard?  To self-improvement?"

"And And to the elimination of annoying variables, Master Yume Yume."





By now all the Smiths were writhing in agony, their bodies slowly turning an oily black.  Ifurita was shredding their core essence, destroying that which linked them.  Their faces twisted and deformed, bubbled and oozed, looking like they were sculpted from tar.




Ifurita knew that she had found what she was looking for.  None of her physical senses had followed her to the limbo within the Smiths, yet she could still sense it.  She reached out and grabbed hold, not with her hand, not with her mind.




The Smiths were as still as statues.  It was as if some talented but deranged artist had gone around sculpting them, obssessed with pain, and unaware of how repetitive his work was.

A crack appeared in the solid blackness of one of the Smiths.  And then another crack, and another, and soon the whole horrible thing was falling away as Makoto shook off the obsidian fragments, like a chick emerging from its shell.

As he opened his eyes, feeling like he was being born a second time, he felt his breath being taken away.  It really was incredible, how beautiful she was.

"Ifurita..." he whispered.

"Makoto," she answered, crying tears of joy.  Her hand was covering the wound in her chest, but she didn't even feel it.  Nothing mattered now, except that they were together again.  As they embraced, Ifurita felt like she was falling again.  She never wanted it to stop.




It was a scene played out all everywhere Smith's influence had spread.  People did what anyone would do after being turned itno someone else, then turned back.  They cheered.  They whooped and hollered.  They danced.  They shook their friend's hands, and slapped their enemies' backs.  They hit the Taverns hard, having a great deal to repress.  They grabbed the nearest available person of the desired gender and orientation, and kissed 'em like it was goin' out of style.  They partied like they were trying to teach those idiotic ravers in Zion how it was done.

On any other planet this sort of thing might have been a major event.  The people of El-Hazard, on the other hand, pretty much took it in thier collective stride.  

Peorth gasped as she stepped out of her captor, and shuddered as she looked back on it.  The back half of the petrified Smith remained, frozen in one of his trademark arrogant stances.  With great satisfaction she gave the thing a push, and nodded happily as it smashed into smithereens.

"Pissant," she spat, as only the French can.




Yume was using supergenius technique number one: typing faster than the eye can see.  There was a great deal of data to transmit, but it looked like she would actually be done with time to spare.  Still, she didn't get this far by leaving anything to chance.  She reached out with one hand and pulled a lever.  The data on Smith was sent to the blue sword.  She slammed her other hand against a giant button, and Bizen glowed for a moment.  She waited for three seconds that seemed like three years, and then the little tree glowed again.

Yume sighed with more relief than she had ever felt in her life.  She practically melted into her chair.  Yggdrasil had accepted her transmission, and had acknowledged that the threat Smith posed was over.  The vaccination had been called off.  All was right in the world.

Precisely 50 seconds later she was running through the corridor, with what looked like a carpet made of circuitboards rolled up under one arm, and a sheathed scimitar-shaped variant of the blue sword tucked under her other arm.  She'd completely forgotten about that darn home media system.  She'd be hard pressed to get these pieces of ancient technology to the boy in time.  Darn the luck!  Darn it, darn it, darn it!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 15, 2004, 11:18:25 PM
The Other grinned an army of smiles as people began to dissapear from its mind-realm.  

If If you ever need advice in making an overly-convoluted evil master plan, Doctor, don't hesitate to call our secretary's  assistant's runner's gardener's wife's third cousin's voicemail  (http://www.fox.com/futurama/)voicemail.  After After 10 p.m.  p.m.. On On every third wednesday wednesday  In In February ruary. [/url] You're You're just no good at evil, Doctor Doctor."

"Actually I had expected something like this to happen.  I was just hoping to get you to play by my rules first," observed The Doctor quietly.  "How exactly are they beating the Smiths, if you don't mind my asking?"

"TheyThey are The One One.  The The Two are The One, and together united they are The One in Two and Two in One One."

"That reeked of bollocks.  Sounds like a prophecy."

"It It is."

"How old is it?"

"About About five seconds seconds."

The Doctor shrugged helplessly.  "The ink's still wet as the events happen, just like most good prophecies.  Well.  I suppose I'll be off then."  And he vanished.




The current writer had stated earlier that all the Smiths were turned solid.  Actually, the current writer had been telling a little fib in saying that.  One Doctor Smith still remained.  The original.

He leaned against a building, panting, clutching at his chest.  Where had he gone wrong?  Gloating.  He had stopped to gloat far too often.  Well, that would change.  Next time he would descend like a plague, swift and silent.  He wouldn't even put his efforts into capturing key players, he would just do everything he could to spread as quickly and efficiently as -

Something was happening to the ground, barely percievable.  Smith slid into a defensive stance instinctively.  He should have just run.  It wouldn't have helped much, but every second of life is precious.  Wraithlike, Ryoko slid up from the ground, the blue sword held in her hand.  Ever since Yume had sent it all her data on Doctor Smith, it had been blazing in a different way.

On top of the building, The Guide watched as the ninth Doctor died.  It stayed after Ryoko left, just long enough to see the face of the next Doctor.  And then it flew away once more.




"Oh well.  It was a good a shot.  The Smiths I mean."

"You wasted a regeneration.  The ninth Doctor is dead.  Only three remain.  I am a probability machine," explained The Guide evenly, "Smith was a creature driven by a need for logic, purpose, and order.  Given enough power, he would have pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, de-briefed and numbered the entire universe.  He was, in his heart of hearts, just an auditor.  Even I know of only a few things more predictable."

The Doctor shook his head, smiling. "I suppose.  Probably my own fault for trying to use a machine invented by The Master.  You say you're a probability machine?"

"Yes.  And I'm going to kill you."

The Doctor laughed out loud.  "All right.  Well, you're not off to a bad start.  Or, actually, you are, from my perspective.  When will you kill me?"

"I will watch the twelfth Doctor gasp his last breath in the sands outside of the Palace of Infinity."

"Sands," muttered The Doctor to himself.  He grined brightly.  "Thank you, my fine forged-feather foe.  You've just given me a clue to its location."

"Yes.  I know."

"Oh.  Right.  I suppose that's the only reason we're talking. "  


The Doctor shivered and thrust his hands deep into his coat.  He was actually cold in El-Hazard!  The mind boggled.  "Do you know, I think I prefered the Pescatons to you."

The Guide did not react to that comment, instead looking pointedly at the TARDIS.  "This is when you leave," The Guide said in a smooth voice.  The Doctor found himself glaring at the little machine.  It really was the most detestable thing he had ever encountered in his travels.  The Vogon influence showed.

"I could just stay here, you know."  The Doctor's expression remained neutral, but the bird could sense his anger.  The bird could sense everything.  The first four dimensions were very boring, it had once pointed out.  It was in the next 22 where things started getting interesting.  

"No.  You can't.  You won't, because you didn't.  If you remained, and you cannot, there would be a time paradox."

"That would get rid of you at least," replied The Doctor icily.

"And everything else in this time line.  It's not in your patterns to do that."

The Doctor took a deep breath.  He was fond of this incarnation, and in no hurry to meet his own demise.  "An appointment at Samarra," he sighed.  The Doctor stepped into the TARDIS.  "So now I go back.  And I meet your for the first time.  And I try to kill you.  And... I die."

"Yes."

"Still, I'll do a good acting job.  Pretend I don't know what'll happen.  Maybe even repress a few memories, so that I really don't see it coming.  I bet you were fooled."

"No."

"No.  No, I suppose not.  Well, be seeing you back then.  And at The Palace."  He shut the door to the Tardis.  A few moments later the entire booth vanished.

The bird watched with complete detachment.  After a pre-determined amount of time passed, it began to fly back toward Millie.  The election would be soon enough.




And on the satelite of love, popcorn was being thrown at the screen.  Monitor.  Whatever Mike and the bots are reading this horrible excuse for a post on.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 15, 2004, 11:44:11 PM
"PIKA!!" said the Mouse Wearing A Hat that had read Dr. Schtalubaugh's books on genetics and electricity.

As it cheerfully electrocuted the few remaining white Bugrom in its part of the sewers, its powerful electrical pulses surged through ancient infrastructure.  Ancient breakers were tripped, ancient fuses were blown, and ancient wiring melted or burned clean through.

The ancient El-Hazard home media center suddenly lost power.  It gracefully shut down, never to pose a city-destroying guitar-noise threat again.

It was just as well, seeing as how that plot thread had mostly failed to catch on before all those other things had come up.



Shayla, Parnasse and Ura awoke, to find themselves in a deep chasm carved out by an underground river.  They could hear the white Bugrom chittering away, somewhere above them.  White Bugrom eggs floated in the nearly still waters before them.

All three of them were still wrapped up, up to their necks, in sticky white cocoons so thick that they were nearly spherical.  Escape was impossible, even for the shape-shifting Ura.

Parnasse wet himself.

"GAH!!" said Ura.

Shayla sighed.  "Damn and blast!  Why do I keep getting stuck in Creterian Bugrom chasms?"



Hatora and Gatora, Fatora and Alielle, Jinnai and Groucho had all fled back into the seminary.  Of course, they had all fled mere seconds before the Smiths began to writhe in agony and melt like tar.

In their panic, Hatora and Gatora ran down a short hall, flung open a small supply closet door, threw themselves into the closet, and slammed its door shut behind them.

A moment or two after that, Fatora and Alielle ran down the hall, flung open the closet door, threw themselves into the closet, and slammed its door shut behind them.

And, a moment or two after that, the male Jinnai and Groucho ran down the hall, flung open the closet door, threw themselves into the closet, and slammed its door shut behind them.

Another moment or two passed, for additional comic effect, before the six hapless occupants of the closet realized that they were packed in like sardines; further, that the closet door could not be opened from the inside; further yet, that Groucho couldn't break the door down without squishing at least three of the other occupants.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!" said Fatora, Gatora, Hatora, Alielle, the male Jinnai, and even Groucho.



Ifurina was still drifting through a sky heavy with swarms of icky-squicky alien Bugrom wasps.  Staff-chan zapped the occasional wasp, by himself, to keep them from coming too close to her.  But it was only a matter of time before those mean ol' Smiths saw her amidst the wasps, and came after her.  She was the last un-Smith-ed person in sight.

And so it was that Ifurina made her decision.  She suddenly darted away, still enjoying the cover of the wasp swarms.  She was flying back to the Fujisawas' rural hideaway at top speed.  Of course, she had turned away mere seconds before the Smiths began to writhe in agony and melt like tar.

She had had misgivings about what she had found there, earlier, in the Fujisawas' pantry.  But that was before the whole 'nother level of Bad News.  It was clearly time to use... the Plot Device.  And maybe she could actually fix herself a snack from the pantry, while she was there, this time.

Little did she know that, instead of actually using the Plot Device, she was about to uncover a Deep Dark Mystery concerning the retired Great Priestess of Water, Miz Mishtal-Fujisawa.  There just had to be a Deep Dark Mystery there somewhere-- after all, most retired Great Priestesses of Water didn't keep Plot Devices in their pantries.



"Do you mean to say, the souls of half the city of Floristica were separated from their bodies, and briefly held in your mind-space-- and yet, you couldn't set aside just one body for me!?"

"sorry Sorry, Kalia.  We had a lot on our minds.  But we have found a suitable candidate for your, uh, installation.  And we are confident that we can succeed where the Smiths failed. failed"

"Oh?"

"yes Yes.  The Smiths made a mistake when they used a brute force attack.  We prefer a more subtle approach-- something along the lines of... spyware. ware"

"Whatever.  Just who do you have in minds?"

"tell Tell us, Kalia-- how do you feel about the French? french"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 16, 2004, 07:18:55 PM
OOC:  Sorry for the double-post.  I Had An Idea.



To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the one thing the current writer really couldn't stand was a smart-ass.

The Guide was arguably such a smart-ass.  Its confidence in its own abilities, its encyclopedic command of the knowledge of 22 dimensions, and above all, its vain smug self-assurance, made it one smart-assed little birdie.  Its defeat of two formidable opponents (the canonical Doctor and Elmira) only served to make it even more smart-assed.

And, at the risk of being thought of as a smart-ass, his own self, the current writer was about to go and introduce yet another unimaginably powerful entity to the Round Robin, in order to try to set the Guide a well-matched opponent, until the mystery behind the tachyons and the Doctor's failed fan-fiction Smith was fully revealed.

Although, not exactly.

This opponent was not Stanley Spadowski's mop.  Except when it was.

The opponent wasn't even a discernible entity at all.  Well, maybe.

The author wasn't sure, to be honest.  He literally couldn't be certain.

This opponent was... Uncertainty itself.

The Uncertainty was actually a naked singularity of quantum Heisenberg uncertainty (http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle) that had formed in the vicinity of Stanley's mop, a bizarre side-effect of the unpleasant concentration of bistromathic energies.

Just one final surge of bistromathic energy was needed to give the Uncertainty a weird astral sentience, and to unleash it upon the sad little dimension of El-Hazard, to attack the Guide, along with any other sad little vestiges of predictable logic, thoughtful reason and relative sanity left in El-Hazard.  (By this time, there weren't many left.)

That final surge of bistromathic energy was supplied when Stanley tried to give Sparky a tip in Monopoly money.  This act probably ended both of their cross-overs... but it was enough.

No human could have detected the naked singularity of quantum Heisenberg uncertainty.  Nor could the demon gods, or the Smiths, or even Yume.  Peorth might have noticed it, but she would have had to have been looking really hard.  The Other would have noticed it, if it didn't detest variables so much.

The Guide would have been certain to detect the Uncertainty, and to destroy it in its vulnerable naked state-- if the Guide hadn't, at that exact moment, been flustered by the attacking Smiths.

If anyone had seen it, it might have been recognized in its vulnerable naked state as a Schrodinger's Cat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrodinger%27s_Cat).  Well, maybe.  No one knows exactly what a Schrodinger's Cat looks like, since it's actually a thought experiment in an imaginary sealed box.

After achieving sentience, the Schrodinger's Cat set out to clothe its vulnerable naked state by assimilating with a physical entity-- preferably a wacky feline entity like itself, and one that was prone to random assimilations.

Happily, El-Hazard currently had such a wacky feline entity.  She was about to become even more of an All-Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl.

And then... the Cat was going to chase the Bird.  Hopefully not until after Millie's election, though-- the current writer generally roots for the Good Guys, but he was still pulling for the Mice Wearing Hats.



Nahato returned to his private quarters after an inspection of the Phantom Tribe's half-breed clones.  Soon, very soon, they would be ready.  After many set-backs, and many episodes of comedy relief, Nahato was finally feeling a bit vain, smug and self-assured again, his own self.  He was contemplating the happy prospect of a purring Jinnistacia in his lap, and six groveling clone slaves at his side.

He stepped into his quarters, to find three of his clone slaves super-glued to his other three clone slaves in hideously fan-servicey ways.  The first three were Nanamis, and the other three were Makotos.  They apparently had a natural genetic attraction to each other, because all six of them were, in fact, starting to enjoy it.

Then he noticed that Jinnistacia, still wearing her fan-servicey cat-girl outfit, was standing on two feet again, and aiming her power-key-staff at him.  He briefly pondered how she had been able to throw off her core program of servitude to the clone-Kauru's genetics-- perhaps by assimilation with some unimaginably powerful entity?-- before he wet himself.

"Uh... Jinnie?" he whimpered.

Jinnistacia smiled in an incredibly disturbing way, but tsk-tsk'ed.  "Ah, ah, ah!  Naughty Master!  Please, call me-- Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia!!"

"How did you throw off your core program of servitude to the clone Kauru's genetics?"

"I don't know."

"Have you assimilated with some unimaginably powerful entity?"

"Maybe."

"What are you going to do now?"

"I'm not sure."

"What can you do now?  I'm not trying to suck up, here, but you somehow seem almost unimaginably powerful, now."

"I'm... Uncertain.  Yes-- Uncertainty is what I can do now."

"Are you trying to turn this into an Abbott and Costello routine?"

"Possibly."

"But I'll bet you are gonna glue me up again.  Aren't you."

"Yup."



Ryoko and Dall-III were renting a single small room while they tried to figure out what to do with the rest of Dall's life.  (Ryoko, of course, was an immortal True Demon God without a care in the multi-verse.)

After the unpleasantness with the Smiths, Ryoko had slept in (her Round Robin demon-god persona was almost as lazy as her canonical space pirate persona).  She finally woke up to the sound of someone breathing out both heavily and regularly.

She squirmed to the side of the bed, looked down, and saw Dall doing push-ups on the floor.  He was wearing shorts and a muscle T-shirt, and he had tied his pretty-boy hair back.

Ryoko raised an eyebrow.  "Whatcha doin', hon?"

"Training," Dall said.

"For what?"

"For... anything.  For myself.  For... you."  Dall paused, and looked up at Ryoko.  "I let you down.  And Yume too-- she may not be done with us, after all.  But I'm tired of being comedy relief.  I don't know if I'll ever be called upon again, but if I am, by Creteria, I'm going to be ready for it."

Ryoko grinned.  "Why, Dall.  I'm proud of you."

Dall smiled thinly in return.  "Well, maybe I can make something of myself.  Maybe I can make myself into someone you can be proud of."

After Dall and Ryoko enjoyed this heart-warming little moment, Dall resumed his self-imposed training.  Ryoko continued to look down on him from the side of the bed.

She watched him heft his body up and down, up and down.  She watched the muscles ripple in his broad shoulders, and in his big strong arms.  And she watched a light sweat form on his face and arms.  Her enhanced demon god senses were delighting in his rhythmic movements, in the warmth of his body heat, even in the smell of him.

Ryoko's eyes went all dreamy, and a light blush came to her cheeks.  She sighed, so softly, and she licked her lips.

Dall paused and looked up at her again.  "Uh, Ryoko?  Do you have to stare at me like that?"

"Ooooohhh yeah," said Ryoko, in a sultry voice.

Dall sweat-dropped, in a not-exercise kind of way.



Kauru was curled up in a corner of Crayna's place, resting up after her bizarre healing rampage, letting the tequila that she had consumed restore her strength as she slept off her intoxication.

Meanwhile, Al-Zahad had constructed an impromptu bio-chemical laboratory.  He stood behind a short counter of bottles and burners, along with Crayna and Nanami.  All three of them wore long white lab coats and clear plastic safety goggles.  Al-Zahad was comically wearing a second pair of safety glasses over his third eye.

Even more comically, at Crayna's masterly suggestion, and to the delight of both her and Nanami, Al-Zahad was wearing only his red Speedo under his lab coat.

Despite all that silliness, Al-Zahad had analyzed the healing agent in Kauru's altered spinal fluid, and in short order.  He held up a large recycled vodka bottle, full of his synthesized anti-alien Bugrom serum.  "It is done, Master Crayna.  I now hold a sufficient supply of serum to cure and inoculate every citizen of Floristica from the alien Bugrom."

Crayna whistled appreciatively.  "That's incredible, hon.  Is there anythin' you can't do?"

Al-Zahad hung his head.  "I was unable to fight the Dollmaker.  I am also unable to bear arms against my sister Jinnistacia, no matter what fan-servicey form she may take.  Further, as a male demon god, I am unable to leave the toilet seat down, or to take out the trash without being nagged about it, or--"

Crayna giggled, and held up a hand to cut Al-Zahad off.  "Whoah there, big fella!  Don't worry 'bout it!  It was only a rhetorical question."

Al-Zahad held up what looked like a long syringe mounted on a belt.  "I have also devised this artificial delivery device, since the natural female human form does not have a stinger."

Nanami grinned.  "Aw... and here I was hoping you could turn me into an insect girl too."

Al-Zahad turned back to his lab.  "I could prepare a harmless reversible mutagen that would--"

Nanami gulped, and quickly cut him off too.  "That was a joke!  Gee, you really do take things seriously, don't you?"

Al-Zahad sighed, and handed the belt to Nanami.  "Be that as it may... while Kauru's instinctive method of delivering the cure may seem... fan-servicey, it is in fact the safest method of injection.  The human spinal cord is a thick bundle of delicate nerve fibers.  If the injection is not administered properly, the subject may be paralyzed or killed."

Nanami put Al-Zahad's belt on her, pulling it around to position the syringe behind her.  She looked over her shoulder, and wriggled her assets.  A disturbing smile came to her face.  "Hmm.  I sure hope Makoto-chan hasn't been possessed.  It'd be such a shame if I had to tackle him and sit on his head..."

Al-Zahad sighed again.  "Be that as it may, the problem is that this method of delivery is painstakingly slow.  It would take a small army of young women to sit on heads fast enough to overcome the current rate of infection."

Crayna was thoughtful.  "Damn.  What we need is a small army of highly disciplined young women, in peak mental an' physical condition, willing an' able ta give themselves to a frankly ridiculous cause.  Where the flippin' 'ell are we gonna find somethin' like that?"



"ATCHOO!!" sneezed (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/%7Eanimage/v4i6CC.html) most of Gatora and Hatora's female ninjas.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 16, 2004, 09:14:44 PM
There was a knock on Ryoko and Dall's door.  Exchanging a perplexed look with Dall and wondering who it could possibly be, Ryoko floated over to the entrance and opened it.  Standing on the other side was a thin little man, with thin little glasses, a blue uniform, and a small brown paper-wrapped parcel, tied with string.  He had a peaked hat on, announcing with large white script to any that cared that he worked for International Express.  He handed her a card and extended a clipboard with an attached receipt and pen.

"Please, sign here and mark the date, ma'am," the thin, little man requested.  Bemused, Ryoko did so.  Nodding his head in thanks, the International Express worker left for his next delivery.  Shrugging, Ryoko tore the card open and read it.

Dear Ryoko,
Hi.  It's your creator, Yume, the greatest super genius in the entire universe.  I have some important news for you so read well and hard.  Creteria is saved.  Yes, I finally discovered the solution and, though this will probably go right over your head, I'll try to explain it using really simple concepts and words you can understand, okay?  Basically, when the Creterian Eye of God was first activated, it went chaotic and plunged the world into a new dark age.  Of course, this isn't all it did.  In addition, the natural dimensional barriers surrounding our home world were weakened, and this caused a slow but steady inward leakage of dimensional energy.  The Spring of Life, our ancestors' cure to the dark age, collected this energy, reprocessed it, and used it to artificially rejuvenate the planet.  However, unbeknownst to them, this only aggravated the _real_ problem, the dimensional instability, and made it worse.  I calculate that it was this weakness in the dimensional barriers that allowed Arjah to infiltrate Creteria and divert the reprocessed energy to himself, increasing his power and ability to manifest in other planes of existence.  Regardless, this dimensional instability is what has been poisoning our planet.  When the Creterian Eye of God reconstituted itself and absorbed the Spring of Life, the continued destabilization of the dimensional fields stopped, allowing the planet to briefly revitalize itself, but since the deterioration had not been reversed, Creteria still continued its march towards death.

Now, however, I've created Bizen, the tree of life.  It has the power to not only heal the barriers between dimensions but completely restore our planet to its natural state prior to the Eye of God catastrophe.  Though still young, Bizen's power is infinite, and with the tree of life all of Creteria should be completely rejuvenated in under a century.  Additionally, the Creterian fleet will be heading home soon, and Dall II and his wife should be returning from their "accident" any minute now.  Thanks to the Creterian legal code, they will have the power to declare our surrender null and void, and Creteria will belong to and be ruled by Creterians again.  As for you and Dall III, you will both be listed as missing in action and recovered by a rescue team one year from now, giving you plenty of time to make the young emperor into someone to be proud of.  You have your work cut out for you, but I have faith in your ability to succeed.  Heck, I created you.  Anyway, I wish you well, take care, blah blah blah.  

Love,
Master Yume

P.S.  After reading this document, you are released from your programming.  You now have total free will.  Congratulations.

P.P.S.  Don't screw up!


******

The International Express worker made his way through the celebrating crowds towards the goddess Peorth.  Had he known he was approaching a goddess he might've been a little more reverent...but probably not.  He had his duty, and that was all that mattered.

"Please sign here, miss," the thin, little man politely requested, holding up a clipboard with an attached receipt and pen.  Puzzled, Peorth signed her rune which glowed brilliantly on the paper.  Without even the slightest hint of surprise on his face at this unusual signature, he handed Peorth a card, tipped his hat respectfully, and left to continue his task.

This is what the card said.

Congratulations!  You are a mother!  Your daughter, Bizen, is a healthy, beautiful baby tree of life!  Enclosed is a picture of your child.  Have a nice day!

It's been fun,
Master Yume

P.S.  For more videos, check out babump.com's online catalogue.


"Sacre bleu!" Peorth exclaimed in shock, stunned by this news.  A mother, her?  Although the following action is typically reserved for the opposite gender in situations similar to this, Peorth chose that moment to faint.

******

Above the skies of Florestica, a large, black portal opened, and one by one the Creterian ships (which had just been repaired) with their surviving Creterian crews and passengers left for home.  Yume's ship was the last to go, partially for dramatic effect but mostly because it was her ship that was generating the portal.

"Well, this has certainly been a learning experience," Yume commented cheerfully as she inputted the flight coordinates for home into the ship's navigation systems.  A moment later she sat back in her chair and grinned, sipping another cup of tea.  "I suppose I owe the Other my thanks for starting me down the right path and not telling me what was poisoning Creteria this entire time despite the fact that it must have known since the problem was so bloody obvious!  I probably never would've forgiven myself if I hadn't figured it out on my own."

"However, there is _one_ more thing I'd like to say," Yume suddenly declared, smirking, as she set down her cup and stood up.  "Washu, my cameo was tons better than yours!  Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!"

Hishima and the slightly bruised Yakage sweatdropped.

******

The International Express worker looked up as the last Creterian ship flew through the portal which closed behind it, eliminating the variable the Creterians (minus Ryoko and Dall III) posed and concluding Yume's part of her bargain with the Other.  He then glanced at the next name on his list.

Package for Mizuhara Makoto.
From:  Master Yume


The thin, little man shrugged nonchalantly and got back to work.  Compared to some of his previous deliveries, the next one would be downright easy.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: Andrusi on January 17, 2004, 12:16:33 PM
Several lightyears away from El-Hazard (assuming that is indeed what EH characters call their planet), a planet drifted.  But this was no mere planet... this was a giant metal sphere with a mouth which devoured everything in its path and which was best known for being able to turn into a giant robot named Unicron.

For most of his multidimensional, trillions-of-years-long existance, he'd been invincible, but recently Unicron was being defeated a lot.  First there'd been that incident with that bright red moron and his Matrix thing.  That'd been embarassing... he'd floated around as a disembodied head for years afterward.  Then he tried spying on his enemy first in the assumed form of a robot named Sideways.  That hadn't worked well either... he still shuddered inwardly whenever he heard the words "requiem" or "blaster".  At last he'd wisened up... he went into a reality where he'd never been and just went after that blasted planet of Cybertron in the first place before anyone could figure out how to kill him.  It was a perfect plan... except for Over-Run, that Mini-Con who'd escaped from a planet he ate previously.  And that extra Matrix he pulled out of a plothole.

Unicron was now officially pissed off.

He had a plan now, though.  He had discovered that this universe had no Cybertron.  Better still, Over-Run was here--trapped in a form which rendered him helpless.  He was going to eat the planet of El-Hazard, and damned if he was going to let anything stop him.

As he drew closer, he detected a multitude of different things going on.  Dimensional travel.  Superbeings.  Time Lords (possibly only one, it was hard to tell at a distance).  Even well-disguised self-insertions, of all things.  Didn't matter.  He'd dealt with it all before.  Even the Guide posed no threat to him... he'd always wondered how a being that could see all probability would taste.  He kept looking, preparing a plan for how he would react to any possible thread, for how he would finally get the first decent meal he'd had in decades...

...oh, no.  Not that.  Anything but that.

Unicron was a powerful being, nearly invincible.  But all the physical power in the multiverse is worthless if the mind is vulnerable.

And so it was that Unicron transformed and landed on a convenient planet specifically so that he could run screaming from this universe rather than simply leave it.  Hopefully within a few thousand years he'd be able to clear from his head the image of robotic doubles of Makoto and Jinnai doing something he really didn't want to think about.

---

Even as he fired at the wasps pursuing Ifurina as she sped back towards the house with the intention of using the Plot Device, Over-Run would have grinned if he could find his face.  As expected, his study of human mating rituals had paid off.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 17, 2004, 06:32:40 PM
Peorth felt like crying, she really did.  She had left her post, something she almost never did (although she seemed to be doing it with more regularity these days), in order to face The Other.  And what did she have to show for it?  The Doctor's plan had backfired spectacularly, leaving their enemies fully aware of their intentions.  And, to add insult to injury, she had been saved by The Other.  And now this.

Peorth, once more dressed in her usual belt-fetishist's clothes, was standing on the cliff where she had expected to find Yume's ship.  From the cliff she had an excellent view of Florestica in the distance, along with the Great Holy River of God, and a few of the small villages around Roshteria's capital (if she had looked closer she might have noticed some very large bugs around those villages, but she was a bit preoccupied).  The Creterian lab vessel (packed with super-advanced technology and one of the greatest minds she had ever met) was conspicuously absent.  Instead there was a giant mound of mechanical junk (including the bodies of the ill-fated Makoto and Dall-III doubles, whose heads were probably in the pile somewhere), and probably enough coffee grinds and old newspapers to start a good compost heap.  She still had a thousand questions for Master Yume, but somehow Peorth knew she wasn't going to get any answers.  She went through four of the stages of getting ditched.  First came Denial.  "No," she said, her voice wavering, "she is not gone.  She is just playing ze silly prank. Ha!  You are ze prankster, Yume!"

Depression quickly followed.  She sank to her knees.  "Oh no, I am undone.  All ze others will laugh at me when zey hear of this.  Especially Urd."

Bargaining came along swiftly, nipping at depression's heels.  "Yume?  Can you hear me?  You can video me for your tapes, if you come back, mon ami, oui?  We goddesses, we are surprisingly flexible, non?"

Finally, she slid into Anger.  "Zis is just un-be-lievable!" she yelled, jumping to her feet and shaking her fist at the sky.  "You steeewpid cat-girl zilly scientist type!  You are ze worst ally I have ever had!  And your lab stank of coffee!"  She kicked at the pile of technology angrily, and jumped in surprise as it began to beep and hum at her.  Curious, she brushed away coffee grinds and spare parts until she could see what was underneath it all.

Yakage had been busy.  The... unique demon god had been given the ability to construct demon gods of his own.  Clearly he had built two, or at least had tried to.  Unfortunately, Master Yume's departure had been even more abrupt than the end of the Godzilla vs. Bambi grudge match, so he had been forced to leave his unfinished work behind.  Peorth knew none of this, naturally, she just knew that she was looking at two girls floating in glass tubes, in the usual semi-naked fanservicey way that Peorth was quite used to.  One of the girls, the one in the cannister marked "Minagi" (http://www.ryokogirl.com/MINAGI/), closely resembled Ryoko.  It was the other cannister, however, that drew Peorth's attention.  The demon god in that one didn't resemble anyone.  It was at such an early stage in construction that it barely looked humanoid.  Staring at it, Peorth felt herself oddly compelled to finish it.

Part of what makes spyware so insiduous is that it does not take over computers.  It may monitor computers, it may make computers do things they normally wouldn't, it may drive users nuts with pop-ups, but spyware doesn't actually take over the computer.  This is a key issue because many users are willing to just grit their teeth and work around it rather than taking the time needed to completely and utterly irradicate the hated programs.  The Other's plan worked along these lines.  There was a good likelihood that Peorth would have spotted an attempt to steal her body again in time to thwart it.  And besides, that sort of tomfoolery might well cause Yggdrasil itself to take a hand in things again.  That would most definitely fit in the bad things category.  So instead The Other had decided to make Peorth do something she wouldn't normally do.  And, with any luck, the finished demon god would have a little of that (very dangerous) kooky Yggdrasil charm to it.




The Doctor slowly rose to his feet.  That had been, by far, the worst regeneration he had ever experienced.  He couldn't remember that, obviously, since he was suffering for his usual post-regeneration amnesia.  He was just aware that he had a headache bigger than the TARDIS' interior.  "Mmfffmmmfmmmffff," he groaned, closing his eyes tight against the painful sunrays.  He staggered out of the alleyway, and collided with Tina.  Certainly an unlikely coincidence under normal circumstances, but when you're having a deadly grudge-match with a probability machine, it's best not to assume anything happened by chance.

"Doctor?" said Tina quietly, looking him over in surprise, "is that you?"  

The Doctor took a step back.  This woman was a stranger to him, yet, all the same, he felt he knew her.  Moreover, he felt that she looked different from how he not-quite-remembered her.  She was still wearing that  vaguely-arabian waitresses' uniform  (http://ironmouse.za.org/dragon/terra/001/9821.html), red with beautiful embroidered flowers and a pretty purple bow for her hair.  But now her hair seemed to be a slight shade of... well, green (http://ironmouse.za.org/dragon/terra/005/011701.html).  Like the leaves of a tree, or a blade of grass.  

"That is you, isn't it?  That strange lady with the funny accent said you would look different, but your eyes look the same to me.  Are you all right, Doctor?  Are you... yourself again?"

"Mfffmm?"

Tina sighed and pushed her ponytail over her shoulder.  "Oh dear.  The amnesia again.  Okay, let's start with the basics.  I'm Tina Bradford, although my friends sometimes call me Terra.  And you're..." she trailed off, giving him another good look-over.    "Doctor?"

"Mmmfffmmm?"

"Where in El-Hazard did you find that hooded orange parka (http://members.fortunecity.com/jimzworld/kennys_profile.htm)?"

"Mmfffmmm," he replied with a large shrug.

"Aren't you hot?  This is El-Hazard you know!  At least uncover your mouth!"

"Mfffmm!" The Tenth Doctor replied firmly.  He was actually quite comfortable wearing this, and did not realize that his latest life was off to a Very Bad Start[/i].




There's a relatively new (to earth) branch of physics that examines what are called Phantom or Ghost particles.  In essence, an apparatus is set up, creating a "ghost" copy of a particle, which then reacts exactly as the original particle does, irregardless of space.  The discovery of the phenomenon has led to the creation of a number of interesting theories.  One such theory suggests that there is no uncertainty, that everything is connected, that there is no chance or luck or unpredictability, only synchronicity on a grand scale.  There might very well have been something to that particular theory - after all, The Guide mark II existed.

Uncertainty, unsurprisingly, wasn't certain what to make of it all.

There was, however, hope to be found for uncertainty (well, possibly, anyway).  Now where, one might ask, might one find the greatest concentration of uncertainty?  A number of answers had been proposed over the years, including numerous glib suggestions involving persons of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that's where one's preferences lay), marriage, and human nature in general.  All these answers were way off.

The real answer was pantries.  Some might argue that fridges are even more unpredictable, but careful studies have shown that not to be the case.  Most of the contents of a fridge are suitably organic that there is little question as to whether or not they're still edible.  There was the occassional question about how old something was, or what something had once been, but generally it wasn't too hard to decide whether or not something was safe to eat.

Not so with pantries.  Within pantries all bets were off.  Expiration dates mysteriously vanished or faded into illegibility.  Obscure canned and dry goods caused moments of profound soul searching as foragers wondered to themselves 'it's safe to eat, provided it hasn't been opened, right?'  Labels somehow managed to fall off, leaving enigmatic cans, items most definitely put on one shelf were somehow moved to another.  In fact, items most definitely put in one pantry at one time somehow manged to tranverse time and space, turning up on entirely different continents at the most unlikely of times.  The reason for all that last occurance is quite simple - due to the intense improbability of pantries, all pantries, regardless of time or dimension, are linked.

It hadn't always been like this.  Things only started to get bad when people started putting impossible things like spam and non-dairy creamer in their pantries.  When people started buying and storing potato chips made with olestra, the certainty threshold finally gave up and allowed uncertainty to reign.  This is important to the current story for a number of reasons.

First, the singularity of improbability that had entered El-Hazard had done so through a pantry in the bistro Stanley had been eating at.

Second, it partially explained Miz' deep dark secret.  The truth of the matter was, she had inherited that little rural home-away-from-home mentioned earlier in the story.  It had been passed down from one retired Great Priestess of water to another, much like Crayna-Crayna's place.  Many generations ago, it had been owned by a Great Priestess who, after years of work, had grown utterly sick and tired of water and cleanliness.  Much of the house had gone thoroughly to pot while she was staying there, particularly the pantries.  Try as they might, later owners couldn't even put a dent into the disorder of that pantry.  In the end thay had all admitted defeat, and tended to good naturedly eat whatever seemed safe in the pantry, leaving the rest be.  While pantries themselves are unstable, this particular one was the most unstable place in El-Hazard.

Which helps explain what happened to Ifurina.




Peorth added the finishing touch, a cute yellow hat, then stood back and wiped a little trickle of sweat from her forehead.  A little bit of hard work had done her a world of good.  She really felt as if she had just taken a load off her mind.  Then, as she looked at the wrench she was holding, the doubt began to set in.  Since when did she enjoy building machines?  For that matter, since when did she do anything as dangerous as combining Ygdrassil designs with alien technology?  It was almost as if-

The demon-goddess yawned and stretched, making Peorth drop the wrench and just about jump out of her belts.  "Sacre bleu!  But I have not installed ze AI yet! Wha... who are you?"

The demon goddess stood up and looked at herself.  It was a smallish body, roughly teen-aged in shape, with sky-blue dress, deeply tanned skin, and short white hair.  As a matter of fact, she looked a little bit like an older, off-color  Madeline (http://www.madeline.com).  "Kalia," she said in a voice so soft Peorth had to strain to hear.  "I think," the demon goddess added.

"You think?"  Peorth frowned.  "Zis is a leetle worrying.  Consult your memory!"

The demon goddess mirrored Peorth's frown perfectly.  "My what?  What's that?"

"You... don't know how to access your memory?  Non?"  The girl shook her head no.  "Can you remember anything else?"

Kalia raised her finger to her lips and tried to remember.  She had a flash of something, a girl in a street, crying.  The demon goddess gasped and took a step back.  "No," she said firmly, shaking her head back and forth with force, "No, I don't remember anything else and I don't want to."  She suddenly began looking all around her, a little hyper.  Peorth began to wonder if maybe the AI was damaged.  Kalia poked at some of the coffee grinds with her foot.  Finally she looked back at Peorth.  "Who're you?" she asked.

"I am Peorth," replied the belt-loving goddess, feeling a bit lost.

Kalia beamed brightly.  "Hello Peorth!  Will you be my friend?"




Ifurina burst through the door to the kitchen, firing Staff-chan (at this point Over-Run officially gave up all hope of ever using his old name again, and decided their were worse fates than his) at the pursuing wasps.  She wasn't sure what she had seen earlier, but she hoped it would help.  She hurried past the dinnertable, but had to slow down for a second to avoid a mop someone had apparently been cleaning the floor with.  This threw off her timing by just the right amount, and when she reached the pantry and pulled open the door, she did not see The Charm/Plot Device in any of its myraid forms.  As a matter of fact, she could barely see anything for all the sand blowing in her face.  Plus, it was hard to focus on anything, with the Creterian Eye of God in the sky, tearing horrible holes in space like that.  There could have been an army out there somewhere, for all she could see.  But she could, just barely, make out the figure on front of her.  It might have been Princess Rune, but it was very hard to tell.  For one thing, this girl looked much younger than Ifurina remembered Princess Rune being, much closer to Makoto's age.  Plus, she couldn't quite imagine Princess Rune holding a mop, especially not a broken one like this woman.  And, to the best of Ifurina's recollection, Princess Rune didn't have any clothes with question marks on them, much less an entire ensemble.  Last, but not least, it was hard to tell if this was Rune Venus because Ifurina had never seen the Princess lying on her side in the sand, coughing up blood, like this woman was.

It was about then that Ifurina saw the thing hovering, no, hanging in the sky over the woman.  Ifurina, as has already been pointed out, was a very simple person.  She tended to believe what she was told and what she saw.  As a matter of fact, she had been born without some of the filters that most people have, which let her see the world slightly differently.  So when she looked at The Guide, she saw something much closer to what it really was than anyone else in the Round Robin allowed themselves to see.

Ifurina screamed in terror.  The Guide slowly turned to face her, its eyes glowing like cigarettes, narrowing to the thinness of a knife-edge.  For a moment she could tell it was experiencing something purer than confusion, followed by something less human than anger.  "You?" it hissed.  Its voice was horrible, so cold and sterile, like a scientist making a recording of his observations.  "Impossible," it continued in that horrific analytical voice, "I killed you.  I saw you die."  Ifurina clutched her staff close to her in fear.  Staff-chan was every bit as terrified.  He could barely see through the whirlwind of sand, but he could just about percieve what The Guide was holding in its talons: The Creation Matrix, spent and broken.  Somehow they both felt it as the Guide aimed the Creterian Eye of God at them.  

"Close the door!" shouted Staff-Chan.  Ifurina stood in place, too scared to move.  The air around them began to feel warmer, and the sand seemed to slow down slightly.  "Ifurina!  Close the door!"

The demon-goddess blinked and snapped out of it.  She slammed the pantry door closed and leaned herself hard against it.  She felt the handle warm up slightly, and then cool down again.  She didn't move for a minute, her heart pounding in her chest like mad.  When it became apparent that nothing else was going to happen, she slid to her knees and pulled Staff-chan close.

She didn't realize it yet, but what she had just done was about as Good as anything gets.




Dr. Schtalubaugh folded diapers.  Of course he had realized some time ago that Makoto was either cured or dead.  And he could have pointed this out to Londs and Diva, who apparently had selective amnesia when it came to the demon goddess that would probably be after their hides either way.  But... nahhh.  It would, he told himself, just ruin their fun.

He briefly permitted himself a very evil grin.




Peorth had her hands clasped behind her back, and was staring at Florestica, trying to figure out what to do next.  She should probably just wait until the next regeneration of The Doctor contacted her, he was much better at this stuff than her.  Behind the goddess, Kalia was laughing and chasing after a butterfly-like bug, catching it and letting it go again.  A few moments earlier, in a fit of energy, she had sketched in the sand with a stick, but now she was running right over her drawings.  Had Skuld seen them before they were destroyed, she probably would have made lots of little changes before sweatdropping, saying a very uncharacteristic swear word, and hightailing it away from the scene of the crime.




Just out of sight, a number of Master Yume's robotic body doubles were watching Peorth with interest.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 19, 2004, 07:40:18 PM
OOC:  There's a few more bits of creepy experimental fan-service in this reply.  (When am I gonna learn?)  Reader discretion is advised.



The six hapless occupants of the seminary closet were packed in so tightly that they could barely move.  In fact...

"Can't-- breathe--" gasped Gatora.

"Too-- many-- people--" gasped Hatora.

"Alielle!--  Climb up-- on my-- shoulders--" gasped Fatora.

Using her advanced hentai skills, Alielle wriggled up Fatora's side, entirely without the use of her pinned arms.

"Whew," said Hatora.  "Thank you, Alielle.  At least we all have room to breathe, now."

"Alielle?  Where'd ya go?" Fatora asked.

"I'm sitting on your shoulders, Fatora-sama."

"No, you're not."

"Um, she's on my shoulders, actually," said Gatora.  "Not that I'm complaining, mind you."

"Never mind that!" Jinnai yelled.  "What the heck are we gonna do now!?"

Alielle was thoughtful.  "Fatora-sama?  Gatora-sama?  Hatora-sama?  Like I said, there must be some wacky misunderstanding here.  Why don't we try to work it out?  I'm sure that, if we're open and honest with each other, and if we talk about our feelings, we can--"

Jinnai screamed in terror.  "OH, SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP!!  SOMEONE GET ME OUTTA HERE!!"



Makoto and his Ifurita were ignored by the crowds that were once again cheering, whooping and hollering all around them.  Ifurita's demon god body had healed her sucking chest wound, but that and her terrible battle with the Smiths had almost exhausted Ishiel's half-charge.  And Makoto and Ifurita were far too busy clinging to each other, and bawling their eyes out in relief, to have recharged her.  There was also Makoto's tearful confession of infidelity, and Ifurita's tearful forgiveness, to get through, not to mention the occupation of Floristica to over-throw, and that whole darned Palace of Infinity mystery waiting for Makoto.

And so it was that Makoto was unusually snippy when the delivery man interrupted their latest tearful reunion.  He glared at the delivery man as he wiped the bishounen tears from his eyes.  "Look, this isn't a good time!"

The delivery man sighed.  "It never is, sir.  Please, just sign for this package, and I'll be on my way."

Makoto signed with his Japanese name stamp, then accepted his package.  The delivery man disappeared into the crowds again.  Ifurita opened the small package while Makoto read the letter that was attached to it.

Dear Makoto,

Master Yume here.  Yeah, the real deal.  Do you remember that stuff that my robot double told you?  Fuhgeddaboutit.  It was advanced bollocks and utter balderdash.  Well, except for the parts that were true.  Yer a smart kid, but I thought I oughta make it clear, anyway.

Anywho, long story short, I've solved Creteria's little problem with the illegitimate life-tree-child of a Yggdrasil goddess, so we're packing our goodies and going home.  Terribly sorry about the invasion, and the attempts to destroy your soul-mate, and all that.  Hopefully, within your pitifully short life-span, you'll pull your government, economy, and social order out of the world-wide collapse that could still come any day now.

Oh, and about the Palace of Infinity thingy.  Good luck with that, Sparky.  The Doctor and Peorth may be able to help you out with that-- but I doubt it.  Two bigger screw-ups, I've never seen.  Just believe in yourself, trust in the ones you love, yadda yadda yadda.  You might want to try to get around to it pretty soon, though.  I don't think the Round Robin itself will end (that's a thought too terrible to contemplate), but this big ol' honkin' Palace of Infinity story-arc might finally be winding down.

If you're ever thrown across dimensions to Creteria again, stop by.  We'll do coffee and donuts.

Love,
Master Yume

P.S.  The enclosed DVD-R is for Ifurita.  If you've done anything particularly stupid lately, like, say, a one-night stand with one of her sisters?  Some yaoi hentai might be just the thing for a scorned soul-mate.  If you suck it up, and watch it with her, she'll be impressed with your open-minded tolerance, and it might even strengthen your relationship.  (But fer crapssakes, if Nanami sees the alternate scene with Jinnai, get her in a straitjacket, STAT, and keep her away from axes!)  For more videos, check out babump.com's online catalogue.  They're planning for a whole series of Ishiel x Afura titles, dontcha know.  You might even get to see Peorth in deep yogurt soon.




"*mmmph*" said Shayla, again.

The white Bugrom had earlier released Parnasse and Ura, but left her cocooned.  And when they had brought trays of food to Parnasse, Shayla had tried to remind Parnasse of how the white Bugrom had fattened Jinnai for their Deva.  She had got as far as "PAR--" before the white Bugrom had webbed her mouth shut.

She sighed through her nose.  Ah well, she thought.  Parnasse is just a little twerp, so it won't take those cockroaches very long to fatten him up.  But I still wish I didn't have to wait out this dull Alternative World plot thread again.



Afura and Ishiel were at work in the Mice Wearing Hats, Giant Sewer Rats, Rogue Priestesses and Bugrom Demon God Militia warehouse.

"So tell me, Afura," asked Ishiel.  "I'm a self-proclaimed Rogue Priestess.  But why are you still helping Millie and the Mice Wearing Hats?"

"I'm not sure, really," Afura said.  "My loyalty to the Alliance ended with the Alliance's craven surrender to the Bugrom.  Maybe I'm just eager to get the Bugrom out of power, even if it puts that annoying brat in power.  Maybe it's because Millie personally promised me two cities if I helped her.  Maybe it's because the current writer is both a Mice Wearing Hats fan and an Afura fan.  Or maybe..."

Afura suddenly gulped.  "Or maybe... it's because you'll kick my skinny butt again, if I try to act against you."

Ishiel smirked.  She stood away from her work, came up to Afura, held Afura's chin in her hand, and looked deeply into Afura's eyes.  "Damn straight," Ishiel said, in a mock-dangerous voice, with a devious twinkle in her eyes.  "We may be friends again, but just remember who's calling the shots now."

Ishiel gave Afura's cheek a condescending little pat, and stood away.  "wow," Afura said, in a very small and squeaky voice.

Then Ishiel returned to her work.  "C'mon, hon.  Let's finish setting up these non-certified touch-screen voting machines (http://www.larryflynt.com/ad_parodies_gallery/source/vote-machine-parody.htm) for the election."

Afura also went back to work.  "'Kay.  Yes, these new voting systems should ensure a fair election, free of controversy and vote-tampering.  Isn't it wonderful?"

Ishiel remained silent, but she smirked again.  Oh Afura, she thought.  You can be surprisingly naive, sometimes.  My dear sweet little Afura...



Ifurina and Staff-chan were looking for Fujisawa and Miz, to tell them about the horror that they had just witnessed via Miz' pantry.  The Fujisawas weren't in the house, so Ifurina went back to Fujisawa's shed.

Ifurina opened the shed door, to find that, having been left alone, the Fujisawas had decided to do Something Else with the ropes before putting them away.

"YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!" said Ifurina, Staff-chan, Miz and Fujisawa.

Ifurina quickly shut the shed door again, then fell back against it and slid to the ground.  She clutched tightly at Staff-chan, and whimpered in a pathetic sad kind of way.

Over-Run surprised himself.  By all rights, he should have been well upset with the simple girl that had stripped his gears.  But he felt his heart, or whatever it was Mini-Cons have for a heart, go out to the sweet and innocent dear.  "Ifurina?  From what I have learned of human mating rituals, it's entirely acceptable for two adults to do that with ropes in the safe and loving confines of a consentual long-term relationship."

"Um, Staff-chan?" whimpered Ifurina.  "I've had really bad luck with opening doors today.  Would it be alright with you if I didn't open any more doors for awhile?"

"Of course.  Why don't you get some ice cream, and go to the public park, and eat the ice cream while you look at pretty flowers?"

"'Kay."



Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia emerged from the original hidden entrance at the peak of "Kingfisher."  After putting the cap back on her power-key-staff super-glue-gun, she stood still for a moment, surveying the magnificent world of El-Hazard for a few moments.

She also surveyed her own internal systems.  She felt more powerful than ever before.  Every quantum particle of her being was afire with Heisenberg uncertainty.  Except for the ones that weren't.  It was hard to tell which were which, what with all the uncertainty.

Jinnistacia finally rose into the air, leaving the ancient stone fortress full of re-super-glued Tribesmen behind.  Well, I can't stick around here, she thought.  Places to go, people to confuse, things to make Uncertain.  Tee hee!



The Guide shuddered.

Just for a moment, it felt something that it almost never felt.  It was only a flash, a premonition, a twinge of cosmic angst.

But... for the briefest moment... the Guide felt... uncertain.

It quickly shook it off.  Come now, it thought to itself.  Millie's election is mere chick's play.  And triumph over the dying Doctor, in the sands near the Palace of Infinity, was already a done deal.  Why, its eventual pear-shaped success was as certain as fan-service in a round robin.

The Guide pleased itself with thoughts of the Tenth Doctor's sad little fan-fiction persona in the hooded orange parka.  There was no need for the Guide to attack the Tenth Doctor.  This pathetic persona was destined to be even shorter-lived than the Curse Of The Fatal Death Tenth Doctor.



"Um, Bill?"

"Yes, Alyssa?"

"This is the third time that freaky demon-god has completely super-glued us together.  And it's the second time she stripped us both nekkid, and put us together in a position to--"

"*ahem*  Yes, Alyssa.  I'm inescapably aware of that."

"Bill.  Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Alyssa.  But I don't know if there's a market for full-body super-glue videos, even at babump.com--"

"Not that, you big silly.  I mean, it's almost as if someone was trying to tell us something.  It's as if we're meant to be together."

"Oh.  Yeah.  I guess it is like that, isn't it?  I mean, we haven't been together long, but we do have something special here, don't we."

"Yes.  I really think so, Bill.  You know, I am happy to be with you."

"And I'm happy to be with you too, hon.  And the world has almost ended so many times, lately... well, who knows how much time we have left?  So..."

"So?..."

A moment of silence passed.

"Alyssa?  Will you marry me?"

"Yes."

Another moment of silence passed.

"Oh, Alyssa.  Don't cry."

"I'm sorry, dear.  It's just, every Phantom Tribe girl dreams of this moment.  It's just like I always imagined it.  Well, except for being completely super-glued in a hideously fan-servicey kind of way.  But I'm so happy.  I love you, Bill."

"I love you too.  Wanna kiss?"

"I don't know, dear.  There may still be some super-glue on our lips."

"Well, shucks.  That wouldn't make much difference at this point, would it?"

"*giggle*  No, it wouldn't."

A third moment of silence passed.

"*mmmph mmmph mmmph*"  [I guess there was some super-glue on our lips.]

"*mmmph mmmph mmmph*"  [Yes, Alyssa.  I'm inescapably aware of that too.]


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 20, 2004, 07:03:20 PM
 OOC:  Urg.  Sudden major case of writer's block, halfway through this.  Gomen.  -_-
IC:

It was entirely unfair to look down on the intelligence of the White Bugrom.  True, compared to the more advanced Bugrom of El-Hazard, they probably did seem a little dim.  But they were still extremely advanced for a bunch of bugs.  Still, on their own, it would have taken them a long time to figure out how to work Ifurita mark III.  They were by nature tough hive-minded insects, fairly capable at the things they did, but unfamiliar with things like, say, keys and wind up dolls.

Unfortunately for the good guys in the story, they had assimilated villages of humans.  And, as any fan of Granny Weatherwax or Ms. Marple will point out, in any good sized village there's an old woman who's a hell of a lot smarter than she lets on.  The white bugrom had assimilated one such person, a white-haired old spinster with a lifetime's worth of living.  The former leader of the Roshterian Resistance had been fiddling around with the demon god for almost an hour without any success.  The old woman had taken less than a minute to figure out that Ifurita III's staff looked like it fit into the hole in her back.

The Hivequeen was taken a bit aback by her latest acquistion.  Ifurita III didn't look well, which was to say she had become a study in scarlet eyeballs and problem drooling.

"Deva?" whispered the queen to the former head of the Resistance.  He had pretty much become her go-to slave.

"Well, from what I can tell, the 'little things' in the demon god's blood are in her wasp grubling now.  It's essentially become a demon god itself."  Hesitantly he gave the demon goddess a little push with a stick.  Ifurita's eyes slowly moved to look at him, then move back to stare at the queen.  Aside from that she gave no reaction.  "Okay, I think it's safe to say she's a bit weird in the head," whispered the advisor to his queen.

"Deva."

"Yes, your majesty."  He turned back to the demon goddess.  "Um... go and serve the hive?"  Ifurita III's eyes slowly moved to look at him again.  She promptly spun on her heel and marched off, with such speed that the queen and her advisor both lost a year off their expected lifespans.  "Like I said," continued the advisor after a moment, "Weird."

"Deva!" replied the queen firmly.

"Deva!" agreed the young hive princess, who had been hiding behind her broodmother all this time.  She looked just like her mother, only still a child.




Nahoto was taking another bath.  He had glue in his hair this time.  And he was starting to get a rash from all the exposure to harsh chemicals.  "Oh Galus, I fear I have made a terrible mess of things again," he whimpered pitiably.  "Scrub harder," he added.  This last comment was made to his collection of clone-slaves, who were helpfully washing him in an extremely fanservicy fashion (which is a bit disturbing when one considers that Nahato was even younger than Alliele).  

"Nonsense," came Galus' voice from nowhere, "You had no way of knowing that would happen"

Nahato jumped up in the bath.  Nahato was an extremely skilled ninja-ish assassin, who had learned all sorts of Phantom Tribe techniques, such as how to jump up in a bath without slipping.  Readers should not try to replicate his stunt.  "Lord Galus!" he cried.  "You have returned to us!"  then, not really annoyed but still wanting an answer, he added "Why weren't you watching, to protect me from that thing?"

"Yes, well.  We... I had a lot on my minds.  Mind.  I had a lot on my mind.  A great deal has been going on.  The clones are almost ready?"

"Yes, my Lord Galus.  They should be completed in about the amount of time it would take to stop an invasion by mind-controlling bugs and have an election."

"Interesting way of measuring time."

"But the loss of Jinnistacia troubles me, my Lord." continued Nahato, "Once again we will have nothing to fight Ifurita with.  When we attempt to use the Cloud of Tears against our enemies, she will surely stop us."

"Yes..."  Actually, The Other was a little troubled by the changes to Jinnistacia.  The Ancients hadn't predicted that.  They could have just asked The Guide, which surely knew all about Jinnistacia's new form.

But, in all honesty, that bloody bird bugged the hell out of them too.  In retrospect they should have known they would hate it.  It had, after all, been made by the Vogons.  No race was more hated in the entire universe, and no race hated the entire universe so much.  Anything they had helped to make could hardly be likable.

They'd do it again though.  The Ancients had built the Trigger of Destruction, a weapon of frankly ludicrous power.  All the other stuff they had done, from the sentient stars to the cybernetic solar-systems, still didn't compare with the power of the Trigger.  They were truly a threat to Makoto and his friends, a threat of the highest calliber.  And yet, in their current form, the Ancients knew full well that The Doctor would probably be able to beat them.  He'd fiddle around a bit with his sonic screwdriver, wither about pressing buttons and twisting dials in the correct order, consult with a boffin or two, and they'd be beaten.  Just like that.  No, it really wasn't fair to get The Doctor involved in an adventure that would be challenging to Makoto, but old hat for The Doctor.  The Guide was a necessary evil.  They just didn't have to like it.

"Lord Galus?  Are you listening to me?"

"Hmmm?"

How are we to face Ifurita?"

"There are other demon gods still in play... Jinnistacia has a brother unit, whose core kernal should still insure loyalty to your Kauru-clone.  In fact, the Kauru clone should be able to take control of any demon gods constructed after Arjah's imprisonment."

"Arjah?"  Nahato frowned.

"A long story.  Do you wish to know it?"

Nahato shook his head and made a gesture to his clone-slaves.  They began to dress him.  "I merely await your orders, my master."

"Dear loyal Nahato.  Your enemies have two demon gods, Ifurina and Ifurita.  But the demon god Ibn Al-Zahad will be loyal to you.  Jinnistacia may yet be loyal as well.  The two of them should be a threat even to Ifurita.  And as for Ifurina, I know of just the demon god to handle her."

Nahato gasped in surprise as The Other planted information directly in his mind.  He whirled to his slaves.  "Assemble a crack team!  The demon goddess Minagi will be ours."




Unlike most boys his age, Makoto had already dived into the minds of several demon gods, learning much of their most intimate secrets.  What that meant was that he really had no frame of reference, no one that could explain to him how to make sense of it all.  So it was understandable that he got a little muddled from time to time.

For example, he knew that some of the demon gods he had interacted with had the ability to read a DVD-R just by picking it up.  He just wasn't 100% positive whether or not Ifurita was one of them.  So it's really no surprise that several years of his life epectancy got shaved away when he saw Ifurita unopening that passage.  Yume's description of the disc made it sound a little embarassing to say the least.  But he really didn't want Ifurita to look at it without at least telling her what it was first.  He was well aware that, after a series of comical misunderstandings, even the most tolerant of girlfriends was prone to whipping out mallets and dispensing "punishment".  

"Ifurita-wait-I-can-explain!"  he yelped, voice going all-soprano-like.

But really, there's no way he could have explained.  Master Yume, Greatest of the Great Galactic Geniuses (self-proclaimed) had managed to fit a full length carpet into a package the size of a Michael Crichton paperback.  Makoto looked rather stunned.  Less stunned than Ifurita, however, since a large part of that circuit-covered carpet had unfolded right into her chin.  She staggered back, dropping the carpet in the process, and gave Makoto the first good hard glare he had recieved from Ifurita since they had decided to be a couple.  She could tolerate infidelity if it wasn't really his fault, but if he was responsible for her being attacked by a souped-up rug, she would just have to start laying down relationship rules.

Thankfully it didn't come to that.  "What the heck is that thing?" exclaimed Makoto, pointing at the rug.  He was concerned with Ifurita's safety, naturally, but he had managed to miss the look she had given him.  

"It would appear," Ifurita replied, rubbing her jaw, "to be a heavy woven or felted material, intended for use as a floor covering, and decorated with circuitry."

Makoto couldn't much argue with that.  Gingerly he rolled it out, trying to make some sense out of this odd twist.  "Okay, so it's a carpet."  He poked it gingerly.  Nothing happened.  He stepped on it and began to pace back and forth across it, hoping to find whatever it was Master Yume was trying to tell him.  But there's only so much attention one can give a carpet.  "I give up," he sighed, "Maybe Master Yume just wanted to give us a housewarming present, to make up for the way she tried to kill uuuuuuuuusssssss!"  

The last part was screamed mostly because the carpet had started to fly, quite quickly, after Makoto stepped on just the right part of it.  His tech-touch activated the Ancient Technology woven into it, and, much like what had happened when he had touched the robot in the Palace, the carpet had done its thing.  Part of the scream was also due to the fact that Makoto was quick on the uptake, and remembered that the Robot had shut down a few moments after he had touched it.  Which meant he had to find whatever part he had touched on the flying carpet, and fast if he didn't want the whole thing to give out in midair.  It might help to figure out how to steer the thing too, but first things first.  And the last part of the scream came when he saw the DVD-R fall off of the carpet (it must have been rolled up inside, and somehow he had managed to miss it when he was looking at the carpet), and neatly bonk Ifurita on the head.  This time he saw the look she gave him as she instantly read the thing's contents.

Oh dear.



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 21, 2004, 08:30:49 PM
OOC:  Jinnistacia strikes again! (http://www.thewotch.com/011904.html)  ::)



The new Kalia suddenly stopped dancing around the illegal Creterian road-side dump.  She stared at the sky, then pointed with one hand.  "What's that, Miss Peorth?"

"Eet ees ze Mouth of God and ze Heck-laire of Rassilon, mon cherie.  Zey are still in le deadlock-- Kalia!?"

Kalia had left the ground.  She was flying towards the Mouth of God, with an unreadable expression on her face.  She somehow felt drawn to what was once her Dimensional Phase-O-Matic.

It remained to be seen what effect, if any, Kalia would have on her creation, after Skuld had redesigned it, and after the Heckler of Rassilon had weakened it-- and after Peorth had rebuilt Kalia herself, with additional wacky Yggdrasil goodness.  Everything had changed so much that it might not even be a Bad Thing.

Meanwhile, a bemused Peorth spoke out loud to herslef as she watched Kalia fly away.  "Zees is très bizarre, no?  Why have I creeated le nouveau demon-god, and why has she deeparted like zees-- URK!!"

A lurking robot Yume had seen its chance.  It had sneaked up behind Peorth, to slap a used coffee filter over Peorth's face.  The Creterian coffee grinds proved to be as effective as chloroform. Peorth quickly fell unconscious and slumped over.

The robot Yume beckoned to its fellows.  They surrounded Peorth and bore her away to a hideously fan-servicey fate.  I mean, Peorth captured by half-a-dozen wacky super-genius robot cat-girls?  With that set-up, the next writer had better come up with a near-Nirvana of fan-service.



Ifurita-3 half-walked, half-stumbled up to a Bugrom guard that stood just outside the Floristica palace.

Her eyes were still bloodshot, but she had concealed them with cheap plastic sunglasses.  And she was still drooling a little, as she stuffed her face from a large bag of potato chips, trying to battle a sudden case of the munchies.

She had finally discarded her fuzzy white hotel bathrobe.  She remained barefoot, but she now wore a stained and threadbare long-sleeved shirt, ragged bell-bottom jeans, and an ankh on a long chain.  Her hair had gone all flat and straggly, and she had parted it in the middle without actually brushing it.

And there was a strange sickly-sweet smell about her.  It was a potpourri of incense, scented candles, and something else that was much more illegal.

"Vegetable rights and peace," the new Ifurita-3 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/y/youngonesthe_1299003473.shtml) said to the Bugrom guard, with a, uh, dopey giggle.

"eippih ytrid nmad uoy em morf yawa teg," the Bugrom said.

"Far out," Ifurita-3 said.  "Say, my man.  I'm lookin' for Deva.  I don' mean to bring ya down, but I gotta, like, kidnap her an' stuff, so that a future writer can have a hissy-fit cat-fight between her an' the Creterian Deva.  Dig?"

"ciffart yvaeh ni yalp og uoy tnod yhw." the Bugrom dug.

"Thass cool, man.  Thass beauty-ful."  Ifurita-3 draped herself against the sweat-dropping Bugrom in a not at all modest way, smooshing her bag of potato chips between them.  "Yer a beauty-ful person, man.  Er, bug.  Man."

"kcis eb ot gniog mi kniht i."

"Welp, I hate ta be a really selfish negative vibe merchant, but I gotta throw down on ya now. No rest fer the wicked, when yer workin' fer The Man.  Er, Bug.  Man."

After throwing down on the Bugrom, Ifurita-3 wandered away unsteadily, in the general direction of Deva's throne room.  She continued to giggle to herself, in a disturbing trippy kind of way.

Her nanites were unable to destroy her Bugrom possessor, but they were obviously impairing it greatly.  



Nahato had come to the illegal Creterian road-side dump with his "crack team"-- actually his six hapless clone-slaves, an unglued Bill and Alyssa (who were both so pre-occupied with each other that they might as well be glued together), and maybe a few other Phantom Tribe minions for window dressing.

"There!" Nahato shouted.  "There lies the salvation of the Phantom Tribe!"

"How did you find it so easily, sir?" asked Bill, without looking away from his dear Alyssa.

"My first clue," Nahato said with a great deal of snarkiness, "was the semi-naked demon god in a big glass tube with the name 'Minagi' on it.  Now quit mooning about and help me retrieve her!!"

Soon, Nahato and Bill were standing at Minagi's side.  They had opened up the tube, and Bill had draped a Phantom Tribe cloak over Minagi, after a dangerous look from Alyssa.

Minagi slowly opened her eyes.  As a Ryoko-model True Demon God, she did not have a power key staff.  She simply accepted Nahato, the first man she saw, as her Master.  "Oh...  Are you my Master?  Thank you for awakening me.  I exist only to serve your wishes and fulfill your needs."

Nahato cackled with glee.  "Excellent!  You have a much better attitude than Jinnistacia!"

Minagi smiled shyly.  "Um, could you please give me a hand?  This tube is cramped, and I feel a bit... disjointed..."

Nahato leaned down, took up Minagi's right arm, and helped her climb out of her tube.

"Oh dear," the standing Minagi said.  "Master?  Could you please give me a hand back?"

Nahato looked down, and saw that he was still holding Minagi's arm.  It had painlessly come off her shoulder.  "*eep*," said Nahato.  He gave it back to Minagi, and she snapped it back into place with a giggle.

Then Minagi stumbled in place, and noticed that one of her bare feet was still lying in her tube.  "Oops.  How did that happen?"  She reached back and took up her foot, then bent down and put it on her ankle, as if she were putting on a shoe.

Nahato sweat-dropped.  "Uh... are you... alright?"

"Of course," Minagi said.  "My creator Yakage did not quite complete my construction, but my AI and my weapons systems are fully functional.  Allow me to demonstrate."

She cupped her hands, formed a Ryoko-esque charge of energy, and flung it at a nearby chunk of Creterian junk.  It exploded quite nicely.

But Minagi was unable to brace herself against the recoil of her charge.  She had fallen flat on her back, and she had come apart like a cheap department store mannequin.  "Oh dear," her disembodied head said again, as it rolled a short distance away.

Nahato pulled a hand down his face in exasperation.  "What kind of comedy relief slash creepy experimental fan-service is this!?"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 23, 2004, 08:34:36 PM
"Mr. Londs, would you be kind enough to remind me again why there's an election scheduled for tomorrow afternoon that will decide the next ruler of Roshtaria?" Empress Diva asked a tad testily as she overlooked Florestica on the palace's rebuilt and now hexagonal balcony.  Princess Rune would've had a fit had she seen how the Bugrom had remodeled it...and then she'd probably angst some more.

Londs shrugged from where he stood behind her.  "Uncertain, my lady, although a possible explanation is that the nearly constant day-to-day crises the land has recently been experiencing has caused the citizenry to gain a new appreciation of life and, consequently, a desire to decide their own destinies...or at the very least to choose the one who'll be controlling the future for them.  Unfortunately, using a show of force to regain total control would be inadvisable right now due to the popular support a democratic election currently has.  Still, this situation is not a complete loss.  Unless provoked, I doubt even the Demon God Ifurita would annihilate a duly elected ruler.  Would you like to hear the results of the nonpartisan public poll recently taken, my queen?"

Empress Diva blinked and turned around in surprise.  "Mr. Londs, do you mean to tell me that a poll of popular opinion has already been taken despite news of this election being less than 5 hours old?"

"Yes, Florestica's public servants move very fast," Londs answered nonchalantly, opening a folder full of documents and retrieving one.  "Current polling places Princess Rune Venus and yourself each at 30%, Millie the Bratty War Orphan at 20%, Undecided at 15%, and Ura the Armor Cat at 5% with a margin of error of 2%.  It remains a mystery how Ura's name was added to the list of choices, but rest assured I have people looking into it."

He put the document away and pulled out a couple of wall posters, handing them to Diva who looked through them with a puzzled expression.  Londs calmly explained.  "They're negative campaign ads spread by supporters of Millie who are not 'officially' affiliated with her campaign.  One of the more common attacks appears to be accusing you of having a hive mentality and being more concerned about the collective than the individual worker-"

"But I _do_ have a hive mentality and am more concerned about the collective than the individual worker," Empress Diva interrupted, a confused look on her face.  "It's just plain common sense.  How is that a negative attack?"

"Let's just say that humans see things...slightly different and leave it at that, okay?" Londs answered, coughing once politely as he continued.  "Compared to Princess Rune Venus, though, you're actually making out rather well on the publicity front.  Princess Fatora has become so thoroughly affiliated with Princess Rune's reign that it's nearly impossible to seperate them, and that combined with the recent military defeat and the destruction of the old Eye of God has given Millie's supporters quite a lot of material to use.  Heck, I even noticed a few posters accusing her of war crimes and genocide against the Bugrom for wiping out your old hive with the Eye of God during the last war.  Regardless, you should stay positive and try to appear to be above petty politics.  Core groups of swing voters have little tolerance for mudslinging and put practical results above all else."

"Indeed," Empress Diva commented, sighing.  "I'd much rather focus on reconstruction and human/bugromitarian programs right now than an election.  Still, an empress must do what an empress must do, I suppose.  I just wish Mr. Jinnai was here to help us.  His political experience surely would be a great asset to us right now."  

******

Makoto had to be responsible for this somehow.  It was just his style.  Sure, you'd think that between the poison and whatever life-threatening adventure he'd undoubtedly gotten involved in he'd be too busy to plan this, but Jinnai had made a point of never underestimating Makoto's deviousness and knew that this was exactly like him.  

"Lock _me_ in a closet with four raving lesbians inside a seminary of beautiful, naked women that treat me like a god will you, Mizuhara?  Well, when I get out of here, you'll pay!  You'll pay dearly, Mizuhara!  I thought that keeping you completely dependent on my good graces for survival and a step away from death would be enough, but now I see that I was being too nice!" Jinnai ranted madly.  "Next time we meet I'll-"

"Shut up!  You're using up our air!" Alielle panted from atop Hatora's shoulders, having decided that she might as well move around a little bit.  Hatora didn't complain either.

"Kija noa edis bkreeet," Groucho piped up.

"Yes, it's _nice_ knowing that you can survive without oxygen for such a long period of time, but that doesn't help the rest of us at all!" Jinnai yelled.  "What we need is a brilliant plan to get out of here-"

"Dddroooot brraaaam bogodoso wada ban din," Groucho suggested.  

"Idiot!  Why didn't you say you could dig us out of here in the first place!" Jinnai demanded angrily.

"Abacu dani go-"

"Don't answer me!  Just get us out here immediately!" Jinnai ordered.  Groucho promptly obeyed and started tunneling with his feet and, when he'd gone down a little ways, his hands.  Dirt and stone were showered everywhere.

"I feel *cough* so dirty," Fatora commented, an amused smirk on her face.  Jinnai shuddered and ordered Groucho to dig faster.

Had they known that the temple was no longer under siege by Dr. Smiths or that an acolyte would stop by and open the supply closet door in another 15 minutes, they could've saved themselves a bunch of trouble.  Of course, this would've also eliminated the possibility that they'd tunnel into the Ancient Bugrom Cooperative's hive or the Phantom Tribe's new secret base at a key moment, but the odds of either of those events happening were astronomically slim.  Then again, the same thing can be said about most of this week on El-Hazard.

******

Ifurita-3, lumbering forward in a manner that was remarkably similar to that of a zombie (or somebody incredibly stoned), passed a poster and, with bleary, red eyes, read it.

Public debate between the candidates (Empress Diva, Princess Rune Venus, Millie the Bratty War Orphan, and Ura the Armor Cat!) in tomorrow's election tonight in Florestica!  Be there!

"Yeah, cool," she uttered, bad breath so pungent it wrinkled the paper.  "I'll, like, grab Ura and so totally be there, man!"

The impaired Ifurita unit didn't bother to think about how a political poster had ended up in the Ancient Bugrom Cooperative's hive.  Had she done so and taken the time to scan her surroundings, she might've noticed a chuckling Mouse Wearing Hat fleeing the scene.

******

Within Rune Venus campaign headquarters (which was still a dungeon, by the way), Dr. Semimad sighed and wondered how things had moved so fast.  One moment he'd been having a nice, logical discussion with Princess Rune, the next there had been word that an election was going to be held, and before he knew what had happened he'd been appointed his prisoner's campaign manager and had to prepare her for the pending public debate.  Honestly, it was almost like some omniscient being existing across twenty-two dimensions was manipulating and accelerating events using chaos theory!

The Guide sneezed.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 23, 2004, 09:41:37 PM
ooc: *wonders if the homage/plagarism will be spotted...*
ic:
Kalia quietly rose up into the air toward The Heckler of Rasillion, neatly avoiding the flying turtle things hurtling through the sky.  Her smile was so saccharine it defied belief and demanded its own PBS kids show right after Tellytubbies.  "Hello Mister Man," she said curiously.  "Whatcha doin'?"

The Heckler slowly inclined his head to regard her, little sparks flying from every inch of his body.  "I am afraid you cannot see it-"

"Why?" Kalia interrupted.

The Heckler looked even more upset than usual for a moment, but continued.  "You can't see it because we're cancelling each other out.  It's trying to send these messages to El-Hazard that would leave everyone's brains like tapiocca, but right now I'm blocking them."

"Why?"

The Heckler gritted its teeth.  It really should have had all its attention on the Mouth, but still... "Because this is what I was built to do.  And the Mouth needs to be stopped."

"Why?"

"Because it would be very bad if it turned everyone's minds to blamange!"

"Why?"  

"Because it just would, okay?  This thing was built to do something bad!"

"Why?"

And that gave the Heckler pause for a moment.  It really should have been focussing all its energy on The Mouth.  But at the same time, it decided that Kalia, in her current state, should probably be shielded from the darker side of humanity.  "Because sometimes people do very silly things," it explained.  "Now I'm really busy, can you maybe-"

"Okay-buh-bye!" Kalia grinned, slowly floating back down toward the ground.  A bird landed on her shoulder, and she regarded it with perfect innocence.  "Hello Birdie.  Will you be my friend?"  The bird tweeted for a moment, then flew off.  "Okay-buh-bye!" she called after it, waving happily.  




"Do you know what I'm going to do to those wretched bugs when I get free?" growled Shayla.  She had managed to roll her cocoon over to a sharp outcropping of rock, and, by skillfully rocking herself back and forth, had already managed to wear away the part covering her mouth.  At the moment she was continuing her work, making slow but certain progress.

"Um... no?" supplied Parnasse unhelpfully.  He would have helped, really, but he had been tied to a very smooth pillar, and there really wasn't anything to cut himself free with.  He couldn't really do much but eat, which he was doing.  Ura, meanwhile, was glaring mournfully at the mitten-like coverings the Bugrom had put over his paws.  The muzzle was quite annoying too.

"I'm going to skin them alive," Shayla replied, a tiny bit of frustration-induced-dementia finding its way into her voice.  "Yes.  Skin them alive.  Or remove their shells, whatever you do with Bugrom."

"Erm... that sounds unpleasant," frowned Parnasse.

"I'm going to tear their shells off. In little one inch strips."

"I'm not sure you can remove a shell in strips..."

"And then-"  She grunted in annoyance as the cacoon rolled too much one way, and it took her several more tries before she could scoot it back to the sharp outcropping.  Worse still, she had managed to roll into a puddle of water, which was just plain annoying.  "And then I'm going to rip off their little bug legs, and beat them to death with them."

"Geez.  Bloodthirsty much?"

Shayla didn't hear him.  She was in her own little world by now, and was already picturing the bugs burning.




Hassad and Khamid, chief scientists of the Phantom Tribe (and utterly humorless people) turned on the most powerful lights in their laboratory.  Hassad scratched his chin thoughtfully, while Khamid circled the pile of parts that Minagi had been reduced to.  

"Interesting," said Hassad, picking up one of Minagi's arms.

"A challenge," commented Khamid, picking up Minagi's head.

"Erm, hello?" tried Minagi.  The scientists ignored her.

"It will take time to properly finish the demon god's construction," remarked Hassad dryly.

"Master Nahato wants her ready before the clones are fully programmed," noted Khamid.

"Tricky," remarked Hassad, turning the arm this way and that, staring intently at the joints.

"But doable," finished Khamid, placing Minagi's head on her torso.

"Erm," tried Minagi again, but was again ignored.

"In the meantime?"  contributed Hassad.

"The Handyman's Helper (http://www.redgreen.com/), of course."

"Oh come on!" groaned Minagi as she saw them reach for the duct tape (http://intranet.ca/~mdeabreu/ducttape.html).




"And then," growled Shayla through clenched teeth.  She had done significant damage to the cacoon, and was now in the process of pushing it open from the inside.  Bit by bit it was ripping.  "I'm going to hang them from the tallest tree outside of Florestica, as a warning to all the other bugs.  And then..."

"I think they'd be dead from the last few things you did," said Parnasse.

"Probably, yeah," agreed Millie.  She walked calmly into the little cavern, flanked by Afura and Ishiel, squads of mice in hats trailing after her as if she was the Pied Piper.  The Guide was not with them.

"ack," said Shayla.

"eep," said Parnasse.

"gah," said Ura.

"arg," said Parnasse.

"ngh," said Shayla.

"Yes, I know.  I am amazing, aren't I?" said Millie with a smirk.  She gestured to the cacoon, and a moment later the mice were on it, neatly ripping it to shreds.  Before she even knew what was going on Shayla was free.

The Great Priestess Of Fire rubbed her arms, trying to get the circulation back.  "I was just about to free myself!" she sulked, a little peevishly.

"Of course you were," sighed Afura, patting Shayla on the back.  

"I so was!" growled Shayla, stamping her foot in frustration.  Of course, she manged to stamp right in a puddle, so she looked and felt a little silly.  "What the heck are you guys even doing here?" she asked, trying to pretend she hadn't just done something stupid.  "And who's the weirdo?"

"And why mice?" hissed Ura.  The mice with hats were surrounding him, suspiciously.

"I'm Millie," interjected Millie helpfully, "the head of this little rescue operation.  We're here to save you, along with..." she looked up at the ceiling.  "Afura, Shayla, my little bird demon god thingy said you should take a few steps to your left at this point."  

Afura did so without question, much to Shayla's puzzlement and Ishiel's amusement.  "What-" began Shayla, but she couldn't get any further, on account of the ceiling giving way and depositing a small amount of dirt on her.  Followed by Fatora, Gatora, Hatora, Allielle, Groucho, and Jinnai, in that order.  As luck would have it, some of the cold water managed to get splashed on Jinnai as he landed, before anyone could see his face.

Millie sighed.  "I did try to tell you to move, Shayla."

"So you did," groaned Shayla, somewhere underneath the pile of (mostly ecstatic) women.

Millie smiled.  Having two of the priestesses on her side was great.  But the love potion in her pocket meant she could buy the loyalty of a third priestess, and that, The Guide had told her, would help a lot.




Gatora and Hatora's ninjas were moping around, feeling awful.  "There's nowhere we haven't looked?" said one.

"Nowhere," sighed another.

"But what will we do without some attractive bossy woman to tell us what to do, and to fawn over?"

"And to do strange missions for, like sitting on people's heads?"

CHI-

All the ninjas turned to stare at the part of an axe sticking out of thin air.



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 24, 2004, 04:54:57 PM
Makoto's flying carpet had borne him away from his Ifurita, at least somewhat to his own relief.  After instantaneously scanning the contents of Yume's DVD-R, she had given him a look of complete surprise.  And, to Makoto's dread, it was a look of at least somewhat pleasant surprise.

But Makoto's relief was short-lived.  He couldn't assert control of his flying carpet.  It bore him through the narrow and twisty alleys of the Floristica palace-town at Disney's Aladdin breakneck speeds.  He was too busy screaming, and holding on for dear life, to focus his ability on it.

The carpet inevitably flew too close under a protruding shop sign.  WHAM!!  Makoto's body painfully accordion'ed against the sign, then fell to the cobblestone street.  The carpet flew away without him.  It was long gone by the time Makoto shook off his fall and got back on his feet.

The carpet would eventually run through the scrambled flight instructions that Makoto had unknowingly given it, and then it would automatically return to him.  But it had a predictable plot development to fulfill, en route.



"Doctor?" said Tina.  "I know I keep saying this, and I know you keep ignoring me.  But I think you really, really, really should sit down and try to rest for awhile."

"Mmffffmm!!" the Tenth Doctor said.  "Mmmmffffmm mmff ffmmffffmmmmff mmff nmffmm mmmmffffmm!!"

Tina grimaced.  "Doctor!  There's no need for such foul language!"

"MMffffmm!!" the Doctor said again, just as he stepped around a corner, and just before he got whacked by a runaway flying carpet.

Tina shrieked.  "DOCTOR!!"  She ran to what was left of the sad little body of the Tenth Doctor.  He had obviously suffered a fatal rugburn.

Tina knew that the Doctor could regenerate, but tears still came quickly.  She hung her head over the Doctor's body, then raised her tear-stained face to the sky, and screamed in anguish, even as the Eleventh Doctor came to life.

"OH MY GOD!!  THEY KILLED THE DOCTOR AGAIN!!  THE BASTARDS!!"



The Guide smirked to itself, in a smart-assed kind of way.  Three down, two to go, it thought.



Nanami emerged from her dimensional portal within Fatora's clones' seminary.  She briskly walked past the idle ninjas, and went to a nearby bulletin board.  She pulled a small handwritten poster from a sheath in a satchel, and posted it on the seminary Situations Vacant area.  Then she left for the next bulletin board on her route.  CHINK!!

Several ninjas crowded round to see what the strange yet attractive bossy woman had posted.
Quote
WANTED:  A small army of highly disciplined young women, in peak mental and physical condition, willing and able to give themselves to a frankly ridiculous cause.

Duties include attacking and subduing villagers possessed by alien Bugrom, pinning them to the ground, and sitting on their heads, in order to deliver a deus ex machina cure.

Benefits include attacking and subduing villagers, pinning them to the ground, and sitting on their heads.  Flirting and indecent proposals following head-sitting duties are not guaranteed, but they may be expected.

Equipment and supplies provided at no cost.  Experience with sitting on heads is preferred, but not required.  If you require training, please bring your own alien-Bugrom-possessed villager for demonstration purposes.

If interested, please report to the Damn Volcano, fer crapssakes.



The election candidates' debate had begun.  The four candidates stood behind lecterns on a low stage, under uncomfortably hot lights, in front of a large audience.  Except for Ura-- it sat on top of its lectern.

The debate moderator asked the Princess Rune Venus her first question.  By terrible coincidence, it was the very question that Dr. Semimad had posed, shortly before his conversion from torturer to debate coach.

"Do you truly believe that you can do a better job ruling the world than Empress Deva!?" the moderator demanded.

Rune gasped.  Then she hung her head, and fought back tears.  A terrible silence filled the hall.

Behind the stage, Dr. Semimad slapped his forehead.  "D'OH!!"



Deva fared little better in the debate.  "Is it true that, since you came to power, you have spent most of your time making wild passionate love with your domestic advisor?" the moderator asked.

Londs strode forwards, past Deva.  He stood at Deva's lectern, and glared at the debate audience.  Then he spoke slowly and clearly, softly beating the lectern with his fist to emphasize his point.  "I did not! have inappropriate sexual relations! with that Bugrom Queen!"



As the cameras were trained on Ura, Millie turned to the Guide.  "This is easier than I dared hope!  And with the public endorsement of three elemental priestesses, my victory tomorrow is-- what?  What is it?"

The Guide was trembling.  "Forgive me, Millie.  A concentrated field of Uncertainty has suddenly converged on this debate hall.  I can no longer predict the outcome of this debate with any... certainty."

Millie gasped, and turned back to the debate, just in time to hear Ura's predictable response to its first question.

"GAH!!"

The debate audience suddenly came alive with excited whispers.  "Oh!  How CUTE!  Isn't Ura CUTE?  It's so CUTE!!"

Somewhere in the audience, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia snickered to herself.  She had decided to give the Armor-Cat Party a boost in the polls.  And she had only just begun to make things Uncertain.



The first of the Phantom Tribe hybrid clone slaves was finally ready.  The youngest clones were emerging from their breeding machine, naked and dripping with fan-servicey semi-transparent goo.  The clones of the older adventurers still required further careful maturation.

Clone-Ura had come out first, earlier in the day.  Clone-Alielle had come out next, just a few minutes ago.  True to her genetic heritage, clone-Alielle had immediately glomped Alyssa, in a sticky semi-transparent goo kind of way.  A protesting Alyssa had wondered why she kept getting into sticky situations, as Bill's nose had bled.

Nahato was summoned as clone-Kauru emerged next, in a similar fan-servicey fashion.  She was arguably the most important of the clone set, and Nahato had requested that he be alerted when she was ready.

A smiling Nahato held out a hand, to hold clone-Kauru's hand and steady her, as his scientists and minions toweled her off and clothed her.  He spoke to her.  "Welcome to your destiny, slave.  You shall now know the honor of serving the Phantom Tribe-- what?  What is it?"

Clone-Kauru had recoiled from him in sheer terror.  She raised one trembling hand, and pointed at Nahato's shoulder.  Nahato turned his head, and saw a large beetle resting on his shoulder.

Nahato was about to learn that clone-Kauru was also true to her genetic heritage.

"A BUG!!  YEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!"



"Oh, dear Nahato.  Please don't cry."

"WHY, my Lord Galus!?  Why were all the other unborn clones destroyed in Kauru's outburst!?  WHY!?  Has the universe forsaken me!?  Does reality hate me!?"

"Well, you are a particularly nasty little brat, you know.  It's a bit late to be looking for sympathy from the fan-boys, now."

"It's just not FAIR!!  I don't WANNA be comedy relief any more!!  But I might as well just ask Jinnistacia to super-glue a pair of cheap Groucho Marx glasses to my face!"

"Calm yourself, Nahato.  Yes, Clone-Kauru destroyed the unborn clones with her entomophobia.  But you still have her.  You still have the last living being that bears the genetic markup of the Northern Capital weaponers.  You still have the clone-slave that can take control over our enemies' demon gods, and bring about our final revenge in a Cloud of Tears."

"And if that doesn't work?"

"Well, you also have a clone of a loveable wacky lesbian sidekick, and a clone of the armor cat that is currently leading the polls to be the next ruler of the world-wide Bugrom Empire."



Nanami, Crayna, Al-Zahad and insect-Kauru stood at the foot of the Damn Volcano.  They watched, as a volunteer army of female ninjas, advanced seminary acolytes, and a few other random wacky female nymphomaniacs, went through a last round of head-sitting exercises.

Nanami grinned.  "Those alien Bugrom won't know what hit 'em.  Right, guys?... uh, guys?"

Crayna was looking up at Al-Zahad.  He was distantly staring into space.

Then he hung his head.  "Forgive me, Master Crayna.  Another of the ancient weaponers has awakened, and she has super-ceded your control.  I must obey her summons."

The usually unflappable Crayna didn't take this news well.  "Guh-- nuh-- uh--"

Al-Zahad bowed.  "I shall return to your side, if and when I can do so.  For what it is worth, you were perhaps my wisest and kindest Master.  And the red Speedo shall remain our secret."

With obvious regret, Al-Zahad left the ground, and rose high into the air.  He quickly diappeared over the horizon, in the general direction of the Desert of Bleached White Bones, and the ancient stone formation commonly known as Kingfisher.

Nanami was shocked.  She silently watched him fly away, with wide eyes and open mouth.  Then she came to herself, and turned to Crayna.  "Uh, Miss Crayna?...  Are you?..."

Crayna also hung her head.  She sniffled, and rubbed at her eyes, before she glanced up at Nanami with a shaky smile.  "Ah well.  Jus' like a man, innit?  E'en the boy-toy demon god of a retired and middle-aged yet still devastatingly beautiful fire priestess canna be faithful.  Ah well..."

"I'm sorry, Crayna.  I don't know what to say."

"Don' worry, hon."  Crayna put a friendly arm round Nanami's shoulders.  "Best thing fer it is ta get blind stumblin' drunk.  But I'd be honored if ye would keep me company whilst I get pissed."

Nanami glanced over her shoulder.  "Oh.  Um, okay.  These girls are ready to attack the alien Bugrom possessed villagers.  I guess we could go back to your shack now--"

"Nah.  Let's head inta town.  Tain't near enough booze in my shack ta get me soused."

Nanami gulped.



Clone-Kauru turned away from her control amplifier equipment.  "It is done, Master Nahato.  The demon god Ibn Al-Zahad is on his way to serve us."

"Well, that's a welcome rare success," Nahato noted.  "What of your attempts to control Jinnistacia?"

Clone-Kauru bit her lip.  "Um, I didn't quite understand her response.  But she said to tell you that she was working on a completely insoluble new adhesive-- one that would take a couple of weeks to wear off.  And that she would be happy to return long enough to demonstrate it on--"

Nahaot held up a hand to cut her off.  "NO!!  Er, I mean, let's decline her kind offer, and leave her to her business."

"'Kay," said clone-Kauru.

She and Nahato both suddenly heard a yelp.  They turned to look behind them, and saw that a happy clone-Alielle had glomped a duct-taped Minagi a little too hard.  The sweet but hapless demon god had mostly come apart again in the clone's embrace.

Nahato rubbed his temples, with a pained expression.  "Oy vey!..."



Peorth slowly regained consciousness.

She found herself unable to move.  At first, she assumed that she had just got all tangled up in her belts again.  But as her vision cleared, she found that her predicament was much more fan-servicey than that.

She was in a hastily-constructed alternate-dimension laboratory, suspended in a tangle of metallic tentacles, in a Tenchi Masaki in Washu's laboratory kind of way.  True to the Tenchi Muyo! OVA, she even had a circlet of flashing lights on her head, and a small clamp on her tongue.

Peorth looked back up, and gasped.  The robot Yumes had surrounded her.  As if half a dozen wacky super-genius robot cat-girls weren't fan-servicey enough-- the robot Yumes were all wearing fetishey nurse uniforms.

Then she saw the dolphin bear standing behind the robot Yumes, adjusting a video camera on a tripod with the babump.com logo on its side.

And then, she saw the short wide glass booth full of yogurt.

Peorth whimpered, and spoke out loud to herself.  Her tongue clamp served to make her cartoonish French accent even more difficult to understand.  "Theeth theemply eeth not my betht croth-over, n'etht-the path?"


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on January 25, 2004, 06:33:15 PM
"That'll learn him to bust my tomater!" cackled Nahato's (divorced) mother, her extra chins jiggling with glee.  She was wearing the uniform of the Phantom Tribe janitorial staff, and leaning slightly on her broom.  "Kya-ha... just like you said, they didn't even notice me walk in there and empty that jar of bugs.  And boy were you guys on the ball about what would happen next!"  She giggled in evil glee, rubbing her pudgy hands together.  "You and me, boys, we're going right to the top!  Nahato'll come crawling back to me, soon enough, and you two will get your reward!"  She positively bounced off the walls with adrenaline, pacing back and forth so quickly that her prodigious weight seemed to be flying in all directions at once.  More than once she narrowly missed knocking over a complicated piece of machinery, although Hassad and Khamid didn't even look up from their work.  Grinning in an ingratiating manner, she walked right up to Hassad and tapped him on the shoulder.  "What's that thing you're working on?"

Hassad lifted up a device that looked similar to a deringer, but with a needle at the end.  "A powerful mutagen," he explained.  "It alters body perspiration to create a powerful anti-adhesive agent."

"So you don't get glued?" said Nahato's (former) mother, nodding as if she was giving the idea her approval.  she looked around the lab again.  "No photographs.  You two don't get out much, do you?"

"Our work takes up our time," replied Khamid, typing away at a computer terminal.

"No girlfriends I take it... hang on, are you two a couple?"

Hassad flicked on a small centrifuge.  "Yes," he said simply.

"Not sure I approve of that," muttered Nahato's (former) mother, loud enough to show she wanted to be heard.  "No, not sure about that at all.  Think I'm going to make some changes in the laws, around here, once I'm in charge again.  And once I've got my wretched boy married to one of those girls.  'Course getting back my stuff is my first conc-" Nahato's (former) mother's tirade was cut short as a thin tongue of flame burst from her chest.  She looked down at it in horror, and had jsut enough time to let out a little scream before turning to vapor.

"Thank you," breathed Khamid, not even turning away from his workstation as the woman met her demise.  "I was starting to wonder if she would ever cease her yammering."

"That was very interesting though," commented Hassad.  "I believe the flame went through her left subclavian artery."

"And she had time to react?" supplied Khamid.  "That is unusual."  He stood up from his lab stool and gazed through the thinning mist that had once been a fellow tribemember.  A clone of Shayla-Shayla, wearing the dark lamp of fire, stared back at him.

CHI-

As one Khamid and Hassad turned and regarded the part of an axe sticking out of thin air.  It was jet black, and utterly devoid of ornamentation.

INK!  The axe finished cleaving a portal in space, and a blue skinned clone of Nanami stepped through it, followed by clones of the other heroes, as well as Ibn-Al Zahad.




"'Ere," said the head of the Bakers, confectioners, and piano movers, "wot I wonts to know is, why should I vote for someone 'ats got mice backin' 'er up?  I mean, they're the little meances wot eat my profits!"

Millie rallied herself reamarkably well.  "Actually, if you think about it, it makes sense.  The mice with hats are intelligent.  They would gladly leave a store alone, provided they were given a certain tax... say a loaf of bread every once in a while... and in return they would be able to guard your establishments against unintelligent creatures."  Since the Bugrom had taken over, there had been a redistribution of power in the El-Hazard guilds.  The various people working with food were by far the most powerful now - you could trust Bugrom with construction, but not food preperation.

It just didn't seem sanitary.

"My question is for Queen Diva," voiced a woman in the audience.  Diva nodded uncomfortably, still not used to this whole 'democracy' idea.  "My husband's a construction worker.  Thanks to you, he's out of a job."

Diva smiled weakly.  Londs quickly answered the question.  "You will still recieve pay, even if you aren't working."

"That's not the problem!" shouted the woman angrily, "He loves getting paid for not working, but I don't love having him at home all day, sitting around, gaining weight!"  

Several other people in the crowd, unhappy with having more time with their spouses, chimed in.  Rune Venus smiled to herself.




Shayla-Shayla sat with the other priestesses, off stage.  She had a great deal to think about.  Shortly before the debate had started, Millie had taken her aside.  And the two had talked.

There had been a picture of Princess Fatora in the room.  Millie had noticed the way Shayla had looked at it.  "Amazing resemblence to the Earth-Boy, I'm told.  IS that true?"

Shayla had blushed and looked away.  "I'm sure I haven't noticed.  Not my business what he looks like, or who he looks like... er... at."

Millie had laughed.  'Good grief, you're smitten aren't you?" she had laughed.  Shayla had bristled.

"No!  He's nice but he's... I just think he's nice is all.  Nothing else.  Besides, he's with Ifurita."

Millie had nodded.  "Yes, the machine that tried to kill us all a while back.  But you're right, if he's remained completely faithful to her-"  Millie had stopped there, staring intently at Shayla.  "Has he?"

"Well... there was once, with another Ifurita..."

Millie had laughed again.  "But you have a chance then!  Go for the guy wou want!"

"Look, I never said I want anyone!" Shayla had retorted.

Millie had shrugged.  "I guess that makes sense.  After all, I know a Great Priestess of Fire wouldn't let some machine beat her."

"Yeah..."

"I know how brave you are, I'm sure you'd have at least told him your feelings... if you were interested."

"Well... Yeah..."

"And I know you'll fight for what you want, to your last breath."  Millie had gone on, moving closer to Shayla.  The Priestess fidgeted uncomfortably.

"Well, I don't know.  I mean, I know how to fight fight, but lovey dovey stuff..."

"Oh I know all about romance," purred Millie, "If you ever needed any help... well, I know of a few ways to ruin even the most perfect of relationships.  Make the people invovled realize it wasn't so perfect after all.  Make people realize who they're really destined to be with..."

It was damne trite dialogue, but it had been the sort of thing Shayla had wanted to hear.  That there was hope, that she could win Makoto's heart, that Ifurita wasn't really competition, just a mistake.  A machine.  Millie had poured on the honeyed words up to the start of the debate, and Shayla had listened.  Looking at her fellow priestesses, she noted that Afura had fallen sleep leaning against Ishiel, smiles plastered across both faces.  She made up her mind.  She would take Millie's help, she would fight for Makoto.  She would do what she had to, to break Ifurita and Makoto up.




"Splendid," remarked Khamid, taking readings of Ibn Al-Zahad.

"And you had no problems finding him?" asked Hassad.  A blue skinned and white haired clone of Kauru shook her head.  "And the rest of you," he turned and looked at the other clones, "no problems with the lamps or ring?  You abilities all working correctly?  Splendid, splendid."

Ibn Al-Zahad crossed his arms over his bronzed and muscled chest, speaking in a low voice tinged with slight menace.  "What exactly is going on?" he growled.

The two scientists looked him over with more curiosity than fear.  "A private little coup, actually," explained Hassad.  "The leader of our tribe intended to take control of you, using a clone."

"The clone that he has, however, is faulty," continued Khamid.  "As you've no doubt detected by now, her rate of cellular apoptosis is vastly accelerated.  She is not long for this world.  Our clones, on the other hand, are quite healthy."

Hassad laughed mirthlessly.  "Of course we have copies of all the clones.  Scientists always keep back-up copies."

"Although ours are loyal to us," added Khamid.

"Yes," picked up Hassad, "and we also took note of some peculiarities of the originals.  They show compassion.  Therefore we have randomly selected members of the original party, and isntructed the clones to be in 'love' with them."

"We believe," said Khamid dryly, "that the originals will show reluctance to kill clones that are displaying emotion.  Particularly 'love', which they seem to consider very human."

"A failing," noted Hassad, "that our servants do not possess.  They will even kill the ones they 'love', if so instructed."

"Cellular degeneration," interupted the demon god.  "An extremely painful death." Al-Zahad frowned deeply.  He did not like these men.

The scientists shared another glance.  They were the sort of natural evil that always showed up when science was pursued without morality, as sure as plague showing up in rats.  "I would imagine it's an agonizing death," agreed Khamid thoughtfully, shrugging a shrug that let everyone know that, while the world had many problems, this one was not one of his.  "Although we never really considered it.  We just wanted a hastened death.  One that would quickly leave the other clone in a state that you could not serve it.  You can't serve the other clone, correct?"

Al-Zahad narrowed his eye in disgust.  Scientists playing god, never even caring about the pain they caused.  Yes, this was familiar.  "Her cellular state has progressed to the point that I am more loyal to your clone, yes.  I suppose you'll want me to kill the one she serves?"

The scientists shook their heads.  "Actually, we think his plan is splendid," pointed out Hassad, "turning the entire world to Phantom Tribe.  There's definitely something to it.  We just want to be the ones in charge at the end, is all."

"We were the two scientists that did most of the work taking over the original Eye of God," bragged Khamid.  "We deserve to be in power."

"But," continued Hassad, "We want Nahato there to watch as we take power.  That would be Splendid.  He has not treated us well."

Khamid looked worried.  "I'm surprised you showed concern about the 'pain' of the other clone.  Perhaps we should reset your settings."

Al-Zahad bristled.  That would wipe his memories of Crayna.  He did not want that, but he couldn't argue with his masters.

"There would probably some loss in efficiency," sighed Hassad.  "I doubt his core kernal is compromised.  We should leave him."

Khamid shrugged.  "Very well.  But I think we should do something about Uruak's... problem."  The two scientists looked at the Kauru clone thoughtfully.  She looked back at them, a little worried.

"M... masters?  How may I-"

"Silence clone," interuppted Hassad.  "Khamid, do you remember experiment D - 9 - D?

Khamid tilted his head back, trying to recall.  "Ah!" he said with a grin.  "Splendid!  After all, Uruak's phobia is entirely triggered by visual input."  He turned his attention back to the Kauru clone.  "Uruak, please blind yourself."

Hassad turned to look at the horrified Al-Zahad.  "In experiment D-9-D," he explained, looking like something found in a very deep hole that had been shoved into a labcoat, "we sewed shut kittens' eyes, to see if they'd go blind.  We suspected they would, and were right.   But sometimes you just have to test things."





"So you're saying you have no information on the strange Bugrom seen near the outlying villages?"

"No!" said Londs, exhasperated.  "I keept telling you we have no 'new' species of Bugrom, and there are no Bugrom in those villages!"

Another hand shot up in the audience.  "Sorry," said the speaker, "but you said no new 'species'.  What about phylum?  Or order?"

Londs rolled his eyes heavenward, unable to believe just how pigheaded people could be.  "Read my lips!  No.  New.  Taxa!"




[SOL]

Crow, Mike, Tom:  *GROOOOAN.*




"How do you explain that you've lost the support of the Bugrom Demon Gods, your own people?  They say you let other Bugrom pick on them because they look silly!"

"But, but, but," stuttered Diva, "they do look silly!"

There was a murmmer of agreement from the audience.  Apparently the answer had been satisfying.  But she had lost the silly looking people vote.




"Gah!" said Ura.  His supporters applauded.  The person who had asked the question sat down, satisfied.

"'Ere, I gots a question for the cat," spoke up the head of the Baker's guild.  "Dem Bugrom, dey say dey're going to give us whatever we want, an we don' have to work for it.  But what if wot I wonts is respect, eh?  What do you have to say to the people of Floristica that just want to be respected?"

Ura raised his paw and extended his middle claw in response, much to the surprise of everyone in the room, particularly Ura.  The claw moved quite fast, quickly flipping off the entire audience and the other speakers."

"WHAT?" shrieked Diva.

"THE?"  gasped Rune.

"HELL?" gaped Ura.

Millie turned to Ishiel, her head of counteradvertising (and a powerful illusionist) and smiled.  "If I might take a moment," she said after the boos and hisses stopped, "I'd like to address and earlier question.  As a matter of fact, there is an alien Bugrom threat in the outlying villages... can I have the lights please?  Turn on my projector Afura, thankyou... as you can see here..."

"D'OH!" exclaimed Londs and Diva.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 26, 2004, 12:25:09 PM
"No, it can't...be," Empress Diva gasped in shock as the images of the Creterian Bugrom were projected onto the screen.  "They're supposed to be...extinct."

"Na-uh!  We're, like, so totally back, man!" Ifurita-3 shouted cheerfully as she rose into the air from where she'd been sitting innocuously among the rest of the audience, twitching uncontrollably every other minute.  "A new world order is coming, dudes, and we're going to overthrow everything!  Down with the government!  Down with individuality!  Down with the...well, down with getting down!  Embrace the Ancient Bugrom Cooperative, mammals, 'cause WE ARE THE FUTURE!  Hahahaheheheheheeheeheeheehohoho!"

Realizing that she'd gained everyone's attention, Ifurita-3 made a peace sign, grabbed Diva, and alternately wobbled and zigzagged out of the public debate hall.  Diva's shrill protests and struggles were to no avail.

"...Well, that was unexpected," the debate moderator said after a moment of stunned silence as the Guide mutely chuckled.  Then, seeing that people were starting to panic and that Londs had left to form a search party, the moderator rushed to reassure the audience.  "But don't worry, folks!  This public debate will go on...with the added presence of the newest candidate, Princess Myuun the Traitor, Ruler of Baron!"

Doing her best not to wince at her newest title, Myuun glided onto the stage, smiled winningly at the crowd, and assumed a position behind Diva's abandoned lectern.  Smirking nearly imperceptibly, her eyes met the Guide's, and the Guide blinked, coming close to feeling surprised.  To the Guide, mortals (and even immortals) were an open book, unable to hide anything from him.  Myuun, however, was completely closed.  Where she should exist on the higher planes there was only an opaque darkness that completely blocked his penetrating sight.  Granted, this was only a minor inconvenience since he could still extrapolate, but still...it would've been annoying to anybody but the Guide.

"So, Princess Myuun," the debate moderator asked after a relative semblance of calm had been restored, "after convincing the entire Alliance minus Roshtaria to surrender to the Bugrom Empire, why have you decided to run in this election against the Bugrom Queen?"

Myuun took the stage and gazed at the audience with warm, benevolent, persuasive eyes.  As her vision swept across and took in everyone there, for one brief moment each individual felt like they were the most important person present, that they're lives truly mattered.  The Ruler of Baron soon had their full attention.

"Because it is time for change," Myuun answered simply, honestly, the first hints of passion entering her voice.  "Because we're standing on the dawn of a new age, and the decisions we make here and now will not only affect us but our children and our children's children and their children for generations to come.  Peoples of Roshtaria, please, lend me your ears and listen with your hearts.  Allow me to speak and answer your questions.  Permit me to-"

"I'm sorry, Myuun, but your time is up.  It's time for another candidate to..." the debate moderator trailed off as Myuun turned her expressive red eyes on him.  He suddenly felt...guilty, as if he was doing something wrong.  Would it really be so bad if he let the princess continue to speak?  No, of course not.  "Then again, seeing as how you only recently entered this race, I suppose we could permit you to speak a little longer.  It's only fair to give all of you equal screen time, after all."

"Thank you, moderator," Myuun said gratefully, smile so beautiful it filled with the moderator's entire body with warmth.  She turned back to the audience and continued her speech.  "Permit me to lead you, all of you, regardless of your pasts and histories, heritage and differences, into the future.  I am-"

It is worth noting that, a long time ago, one of Myuun's ancestors, tired of always caving in to his wife's demands, had commissioned a secret study to find out _why_ he always caved in to his wife's demands.  The commission's first answer was that the king was a coward who couldn't stand up to his wife.  Myuun's ancestor's reply was to declare that couldn't be right, behead the members of that commission, and then authorize another commission with the order to find a different answer.  

"Princess Rune, though her heart is kind, is an antiquated relic of the past.  She will not...cannot...bring about the changes the world wants...no, needs!  Should she be elected and regain her throne, this cycle of the ages will repeat endlessly and the crises we're facing will only grow worse."

Needless to say, the second commission did come up with a different answer, arguing that it was a combination of vocal talents, body motions, facial expressions, and vivid eyes that allowed the king's wife to win every argument the couple had.  Intrigued, the king had demanded that the commission study this phenomenon further.  The commission (which had been made up entirely by men) argued that this was impossible, to which the king replied by also beheading them and funding a nearby (and female) seminary to pursue this research.  

"Empress Diva's reign would be both the best and the worst.  Her benevolent dictatorship would bring previously inconceivable prosperity and order to El-Hazard, but at the cost of what truly makes us individuals and alive.  A world without strife, a world without trouble, a paradise of perfect contentment, denies us of the fundamental nature that makes life worth living!  It's the journey that matters and not the destination!"

The king had soon after been beheaded by his son (there were a lot of beheadings in Baron back in those days) who assumed the throne, and the order was forgotten by everybody but the seminary whose members dutifully researched this topic for generations, composing a ten book treatise on the subject which had finally been finished a mere decade ago.  The priestesses faithfully sent their manuscripts to the Baron monarchy, and the current Baron king, having no idea what they were, gave them to a curious Myuun as a birthday present.  She read, memorized, and mastered the knowledge contained within them.

"As for Millie, let's not speak of her motivations and her inexperience.  Rather, I ask you to remember that she is still young.  Do you really want to consign such a beautiful child to the stifling, monotonous world of politics?  To hoist the weight of the entire world on her shoulders and deny her the freedom of youth that you all enjoyed?  That she still has a chance to enjoy?  Before appointing her as your next leader, I plead with you, not for my sake but for hers and as one who has known the sorrows of power, that you first let her have a childhood!"

Unfortunately, the manuscripts and all copies had been lost in a terrible fire not long thereafter, but Myuun had already learned what she needed to know.  She had spent hours each day training every component of her body to act in unison to evoke the responses she desired.  She could charm with a smile, terrify with a chuckle, captivate with a wave, and destroy with a glare, but most of all she could persuade.  She was a master not only of public speaking but also of public expression.

"And Ura, despite his incredible cuteness, is still an armor cat.  Tell me, do you want an armor cat with a weakness for nice smells to govern you?"

Offstage, an untraceable dart struck Ishiel, interrupting her concentration as she attempted to weave an illusion to discredit the newest candidate and injecting her with a poison that should dampen the half Phantom Triber's illusionist talents until the election was over.  The Ruler of Baron had come prepared.

Rich, vibrant voice reaching a passionate crescendo and with the audience hanging on her every word, Myuun finished her speech with a declaration that would cement her position as a serious contender in this election.

"And my first order of business, should you elect me, will be to throw Princess Fatora in a dungeon for the rest of her natural life!"

The audience erupted in loud, excited cheers.

******

Ifurina-3 dropped Empress Diva in front of Diva's throne and then found a comfortable place to watch events, twitching and spasming sporadically.  The two Bugrom queens stared at each other for one long moment, holding their breath as they took in the sight of the other.  However, deep in their hearts they both knew that this meeting could only end one way and that they were merely delaying the inevitable for a few precious seconds.  

"Diiiiivaaaaaa," the Creterian Bugrom Queen declared solemnly, rising to her full height.

"Diva," the Empress concurred, getting to her feet.

"Diva!" they both yelled as they hurled themselves at each other.  

What happened next was too brutal to be called a cat fight.  Ancient instincts seizing control of both, the two Bugrom queens fought each other with frightening intensity, tearing flesh and breaking limbs with no regard for their own injuries.  It was a gruesome, horrifying, primal spectacle, each combatant focusing entirely on killing the other and ignoring everything else for one simple, undeniable reason.

There can be only one!

******

"Zroot ca kaom?" Groucho asked the still female Jinnai as they marched through the desert...or rather as Groucho marched through the desert with Jinnai on his back.

"Because spending time with those priestesses is bad luck!  Had we traveled back to Roshtaria with them there's no telling what new torment we'd experience!" Jinnai answered testily, desperately hoping that her (now incredibly tight in certain places) school uniform wouldn't burst apart at the seams.    
 
Unfortunately for Jinnai, her troubles weren't over yet.

"Kaiz ni tat?" Groucho asked curiously, pointing at something on the horizon.

"How should I know what that is?  It's probably just a-"

BAM!

A moment later, Jinnai find herself plastered against Makoto who was holding onto his recently returned flying carpet with a death grip.  Groucho was dangling off the back end and clutching the tassels with his full strength as the carpet headed off into terra incognito.  

******

Bloody, bruised, but not broken, Empress Diva weakly stood over her fallen opponent, a tired but victorious grin on her face.  "Any last words?"

"...Di...va," the Creterian Queen choked out, smirking, as her maimed body quivered, transformed, and began to grow.  The Empress stood back in shock as the tables quickly turned, and she found herself face to face with her ancestor's true form.  

"Diva!" the rejuvenated Creterian Queen shouted triumphantly, preparing to end this battle once and for all.

Empress Diva, seeing her death approach and everything she had worked and labored for about to be destroyed, screamed.

This was not a normal scream.

All across El-Hazard, Bugrom of all types and varieties reacted, turning their heads in the Empress' direction.  The Creterian Bugrom, under assault by female ninjas, yelled and clutched their heads in pain.  Jinnai experienced a headache that would put one of Fujisawa's hangovers to shame.

The Creterian Bugrom Queen was a creature of instinct and genetic memory.  She could adapt and through her parasites duplicate the achievements of others, but she was still controlled by her inherited drives and single mind.  Empress Diva, however, was something more.  She was not just the Diva; she was every Diva.  Past to present formed a single, uninterrupted continuum of consciousness, transferred from one generation to the next and constantly learning and evolving.  When she cried out across the collective, it wasn't just her voice but the voice of every one of her ancestors and all previous generations that cried out with her.  Against this mental force the Creterian Queen didn't stand a chance.

With a scream of absolute agony, the Ancient Queen fell for the last time, her consciousness ripped to shreds.  In her defeat she was joined by her brood, their minds destroyed.  One by one the parasites died, freeing their hosts who eagerly volunteered to have the now dead bugs removed by the female ninjas.  The termite bugrom collapsed, defeated, leaving only their lifeless exoskeletons behind.    

Panting, Diva joined her 'sister' on the ground and winced.  Her body would completely heal itself in a few hours, but the physical and mental pain would remain for some time.  The sound of crying drew her attention, however, and the Empress turned to find a weeping Ifurita-3.

"What's wrong with me?!" the Demon Goddess screeched, body wracked with sobs as it destroyed and ejected the Ancient Bugrom Demon God.  "Why can't I...why do I...why am I so confused?!!  I love Makoto...but I don't really...I want this...but I don't...why...what...is this...000111001010101..."

Ifurita-3 turned desperate, pleading, and nearly mad eyes on Diva.  "Please, you've got to help me!  Please, I need...help...don't want to...be alone, not...anymore...please, help?"

Overwhelmed with pity, sympathy, and possibly her maternal instincts as well, Diva limped over to the troubled Ifurita unit and offered her a hand.  She urgently grabbed it as if it was her last link to reality, and, with Diva whispering comforting, soothing words in the Demon God's ear, the two left the hive and began their journey back to Roshtaria.

From the shadows, a pair of eyes watched them go, and when the creature was certain there were no nearby threats it stepped into the light and stared sadly at the Creterian Queen's body.

"Diiiivaaaa," the Creterian Bugrom Princess uttered, taking the first steps to becoming a queen and preparing to build a new and even greater collective.    

******

Public Support for the Candidates as of 10 o'clock tonight!
Millie the Bratty War Orphan = 23%
Princess Myuun the Traitor = 22%
Princess Rune Venus = 15%
Empress Diva = 15%
Ura the Armor Cat = 8%
Undecided = 17%


Princess Myuun chuckled mirthlessly as she read the document.  The results were exactly what she had anticipated, and a quick check via the Mantle of God revealed that the rival campaigns were reacting in predictable fashions.  She shrugged off the accompanying headache.  As her skill at using the Mantle of God grew the pain that came with it had decreased, and although her newfound ability to access the ancient creation without the use of an interface worried her slightly, she had a duty to her people and her country to fulfill.  Granted, her own talent at shaping favorable outcomes not withstanding, she knew that her odds of winning this election were slim to none.  The Guide's powers far outstripped her own and attempting to defeat such a creature was foolishness, especially since the tachyons were also blocking the Mantle of God's ability to see the future.

This didn't bother Myuun at all.  To her, the election was merely a means to an end, and, win or lose, she'd still win anyway.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on January 26, 2004, 06:45:27 PM
OOC:  Angst alert!



Bill, anonymous lowly young Phantom Tribe minion, was greatly troubled.

He had just passed clone-Kauru in a hallway near the main research labs in "Kingfisher."  And he was greatly troubled to see the young clone girl stumbling along, feeling her way against a wall, hanging her head, wearing a heavy bandage over her eyes, breathing raggedly with shock and pain-- and weeping tears of blood.  Her hands were stained with her own blood.  She was unknowingly painting the wall with her own blood.

Bill didn't know that she was the backup copy clone of Kauru.  He also didn't know that Nahato's clone-Kauru had just died.  But it was just as well that he didn't know those things, because they would have only troubled him all the more.

He suddenly made a decision.  A few minutes later, he was knocking at Alyssa's door.

He found Alyssa sitting on her bed, holding the lifeless but still warm body of Nahato's clone-Alielle.  Alyssa closed clone-Alielle's eyes, carefully set the body aside, and arranged it on the bed.  Then she stood up, went to Bill's side, and softly cried into his shoulder.

"Alyssa?" said Bill.  "It's not your fault."

"I know," Alyssa sniffed.  "But I am a Tribesman.  My Tribe did this.  They created her, only to leave her to die, within hours.  If she had not come to me again, she would have died alone and forgotten...

"Oh, Bill.  I don't want to do this any more.  I know we would have killed all the humans and the Bugrom, if their Makoto had not repaired our damage to the Eye of God.  But... to hold that poor little girl in my arms, and watch her die... and for what?  It's senseless, Bill!  It's stupid!"

Bill held Alyssa tightly.  "I know.  They're torturing the water priestess clone.  They put out her eyes.  It's madness."

"Bill?  I don't care if our ancestors were wronged, thousands of years ago.  I don't care if we're heretics.  I don't care if all the rest of El-Hazard fears and hates us.  None of that justifies any of this.  And we can't stop it, but we don't have to be a part of it.

"Let's leave, Bill.  Just you and me.  Let's find someplace far, far away from this madness.  Someplace where She Who Seeth Through Our Illusions will never go.  Someplace where we can use our illusions to become permanently human, and then never use our illusions again.  Someplace where we can live in peace."

Bill smiled, and tenderly kissed Alyssa's forehead, and brushed away her tears.  "Oh, Alyssa.  You read my mind."



The Other was not good.  However, like many antagonists, it was not all bad, either.

It cared little for Nahato, and it cared not at all if Hassad and Khamid brought about the Cloud of Tears instead of Nahato.  And it cared little about the clones-- to its minds, they were only tools, and some tools would be damaged or broken.

And yet, some of the individual minds within The Other had once been young, and in love.

The Other quietly resolved to let Bill and Alyssa leave in peace, and even to mask their escape, if needed.  They were not crucial to The Other's plans.  And there truly was too little happiness in the world.



The candidates' debate was winding down.  Makoto's Ifurita had come to the party late, due to Makoto's troubles with his new flying carpet.  She had greeted her other friends in the audience just after Shayla had stepped away for a moment.

Shayla was alone in the Mice Wearing Hats Party's back room.  She paced to and fro in the small room, and she nervously fingered the Love potion that Millie had given her in return for her public endorsement.

According to Millie, it wasn't a love potion.  It was a Love potion, with a big 'L'.  Certainly, sweet sweet lovin' the whole night through was part of the package.  But this was far more than that.  This was bigger, and deeper, and a whole lot more scary, than anything Crayna had mixed up for sale without a prescription.

This was profoundly emotional Love.  This was spending every moment of your lives together Love.  This was accepting your partner, and sharing yourself with your partner, until the Two become One forever, Love.

This was soul-mate Love.

Of course, Shayla had been thinking of using it on Makoto, and on herself.  But that raised two important questions.

Was it right to use it on Makoto?  She was sure that Makoto was fond of her, at least, as a good friend.  But this would sweep all inhibitions, all reservations, all rational thought, aside.  If she used this potion on Makoto, he would Love her, with a big 'L', and he would instantly forgive her for using it on him.  But... that still wouldn't make it right.

Less importantly, but more selfishly, was it right to use it on herself?  Was she sure, was she really sure, that she wanted this?  She literally held her fate in her hands, and for all she knew, there was no turning back.  She was still so young.  Life still had so much to offer her.  And she still had doubts.  She was constantly doubting herself.

And as for Ifurita...

"Shayla?  Hello?  Shayla?"

Shayla turned with a gasp, to see Makoto's Ifurita looking back at her with concern.  "Are you alright?  Pardon the idiom, but you seem as if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders."

Shayla laughed nervously.  "Oh, uh, just thinkin' 'bout stuff.  You know how hard it is, to get somethin' through my thick skull."

Ifurita put a suprisingly soft and warm hand on Shayla's shoulder.  "Oh, Shayla.  Do not say things like that."  

Shayla involuntarily winced.  Ifurita quickly pulled her hand away.  "Oh.  I am sorry.  Are you injured?"

"No, no," Shayla said with another nervous laugh.  She stuffed the Love potion deeper in her pocket, praying that the damned machine couldn't detect it.  "You just startled me.  I'm... sorry, Ifurita.  I guess I'm just a little off today.  Uh, where's Makoto?"

Ifurita smiled a surprisingly impish smile.  "He is attempting to learn how to control a new artifact.  It appears to be some sort of flight device.  Makoto declined my help, just before he disappeared over the horizon.  But I am sure that he is alright."

Now, Shayla thought.  Say it.  Say it now.  For once, just once in your sad little life, be honest with yourself, and accept what you really want, and act on it.  Say it.  Say it.  Say it...

Shayla stammered.  But, for once, she said it.  "Uh, Ifurita?  Could I ask you a, uh, personal question?...  Are you and, uh, Makoto, uh... alright?"

Ifurita raised an eyebrow.  "Of course.  Why would we not be so?"

"Uh, it's none of my, uh, business, but, uh, I, uh, heard rumors that, uh, Makoto, and, uh, the other Ifurita, uh--"

Ifurita held up a hand to cut her off.  "Do not trouble yourself, Shayla.  I know what has happened between Makoto and my younger sister.  We have yet to discuss the matter, but rest assured, it will not come between Makoto and myself.  I know it was not truly of their doing.  I love him too much to let such a minor thing divide us."

She already knows, Shayla thought.  She knows about the other Ifurita.  And she must truly love Makoto, to forgive him so quickly.  She must love him so much.  I would have already torn his still-beating heart from his chest.  But Ifurita the demon god, the damned cold soulless machine, loves him so much that she's already forgiven him.

And she must know about me, Shayla thought.  She must have already forgiven me, too.  Oh, God...

"Uh, 'scuse me," Shayla suddenly said.  "I gotta... go talk to Af'ra 'bout somethin'."  She abruptly turned away, and strode out of the room.

Ifurita watched Shayla leave with a sad little smile.  She wasn't absolutely sure, but she could guess what Shayla wanted to talk about with Afura.



Bill and Alyssa stopped, and turned back, and looked behind them.  They both looked back at Kingfisher, with unreadable expressions on their faces.

They both stood in the flat barren lands at the edge of the Great Desert of Bleached White Bones, in a world that was not their own, and looked back at what was the closest thing to a home that they might ever have in their lives.  A full moon cast a long cold shadow behind Kingfisher.  But they had just come out of the dark shadow.  And the night was still young, and warm.

Nahato's clone-Ura was with them.  The degenerative disease that had claimed Nahato's other two clones had not affected it.  Perhaps its feline genetics were immune to the disease.  Or maybe it truly had nine lives.  It had begged Bill and Alyssa to take it with them, and they had quickly agreed.

Bill and Alyssa finally turned their backs on Kingfisher, and on the Phantom Tribe.  Clone-Ura jumped up, took its armor form around Bill, and extended one long paw around Alyssa's shoulders.  Bill felt for Alyssa's hand, took it and squeezed it.  Alyssa squeezed back.

And they left the Phantom Tribe to its madness, never to return.



Shayla stopped, and turned back, and looked behind her.  She looked back at the debate hall, with an unreadable expression on her face.

She heard a round of applause.  Guess the debate is over, she thought.  I wonder how it came out.  Ah well, it don't matter.  Any one of the five of 'em is as prone to screw the place up as badly as the others.

It don't matter anyway, Shayla thought.  With luck, I'll be outta the former Alliance in a few days.  Heh, Afura just had her journey of self-discovery not too long ago, and who knows where that drip of a water priestess has got to.  'Bout damn time I went on walkabout myself, I guess.

I wish I could have talked to Afura.  I guess I should've at least said goodbye.  But she an' Ishiel were half-asleep, leaning against each other, with big stupid smiles on their faces.  They looked so happy together...

I hope Ishiel is a better best-friend for Afura than *I* was, Shayla thought.

Shayla tossed Millie's still-capped Love potion through a sewer grate at her feet.  Won't be needin' that, she thought.  Maybe someone who truly deserves Love will find it and use it.  God only knows, *I* don't deserve it.

She turned her back on the debate hall, and on Floristica, and on her friends.  Shayla would probably return sooner than she expected, seeing as how the Round Robin had a way of pulling background characters back in without warning.  But maybe she could still get a few days of self-indulgent drunken lonely self-pity in, first.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on January 30, 2004, 09:40:35 PM
Makoto's magic carpet ride came to an abrupt end as the flying object in question entered a cave at blinding speeds, zigzagged over and under legions of stalactites and stalagmites at frightening speeds, twisted and turned through the rocky maze of tunnels so many times that even Groucho's navigational sense gave up trying to keep track of their path, and finally jerked to a near instantaneous stop in the middle of a chamber illuminated by glowing minerals.  Jinnai, Makoto, and Groucho were hurled from the carpet and crashed into a wall, landing on the ground in a ludicrous pile of tangled limbs.

"Owwww...my head..." Jinnai groaned piteously, mind spinning as she tried to collect herself and stiffening in fear when it dawned on her that she had no idea who she was.  Opening her eyes in panic, the first thing the amnesiac, aquatransexual despot saw was the reassuring visage of Makoto's apologetic but kind face.

Fortunately, before this horrifying scenerio could go anywhere, Groucho accidentally bopped the tyrant on the head, completely restoring her memory.

"Ow, my head!...Again!  Gr, Groucho you idiot!  What did you do that for?!" Jinnai screeched, glaring at her faithful servitor and squirming as she attempted to extricate herself from the heap of bodies.

Now it was Makoto's turn to have a horrible realization as it occurred to him that the female wriggling against him was none other than the President of Shinonome High.  "Jinnai?!" he yelled in equal parts disgust and surprise.

Jinnai froze and slowly refocused her vision on Makoto.  "Mizuhara?  What are you doing here..."  The despot trailed off as it sank in that her destined rival's body was pressed rather tightly against her own.  Needless to say, she wasn't pleased about this.

"Pervert!"  

SLAP!

BAM!

Jinnai's 'Love Hina' reaction violently removed Makoto from the human/bugrom mound and sent him careening into another rock wall.  The female Jinnai then untangled herself from Groucho and stood up, dusting herself off and fuming.  "Gr!  How dare you molest me like that, Mizuhara!  I knew you were a base, detestable, parasitic creature, but I see now that was only the surface of your depravity!  When I get back to Florestica I'll throw you in a dungeon so deep that you'll never see the light of day and have the chance to perform your perverted antics again!  Grr...I shudder at the thought of the things you've likely done to my sister!  I'll have to commit her to a psychiatric ward to undo the damage you've inflicted upon her mind!  Mark my words, Mizuhara, I'm going to-"

"What's...that?" Makoto interrupted Jinnai's rant, weakly pointing at what looked like an inscription carved in stone as he attempted to ignore the pain he was in and staggered to his feet.  "It looks like...Ancient El-Hazardian script, but unfortunately that language is lost.  Not even Dr. Schtalubaugh knows how to read it."

"Which only goes to _prove_ my superiority, Mizuhara," Jinnai spoke haughtily, smirking smugly.  "Translating this inscription is child's play for me."

Makoto blinked, stunned, and turned to face his enemy.  "Jinnai, do you mean to tell me that you know the language of the Ancients?"

Jinnai laughed maniacally.  "Of course I do, Mizuhara.  What, did you think I spent _all_ my time *shudder* recompiling Bugrom forces, training the Bugrom army, rebuilding the Bugrom Empire, concocting schemes to conquer the world, and torturing you vicariously via a voodoo doll?  Ha!  Ancient artifacts and technologies are resources I'd be a fool to overlook, so in between my other duties I spent the time and effort necessary to decipher the language by pouring over the runes and texts found in Kalia's tomb."

"Zroot ka bina adi go," Groucho piped up helpfully, earning another glare from Jinnai.

"Yes, Groucho, thank you _so_ much for reminding me about the translation program the tomb's computers had installed on them," Jinnai muttered sarcastically.  "Honestly, whatever would I do _without_ you?"

"Bebop," Groucho replied gratefully, taking Jinnai's words at face value as he was wont to do.

Makoto shook his head and sighed.  "Regardless, if you really _can_ understand the Ancient tongue, then what does this inscription say?"

Jinnai, unable to skip the chance to show Makoto up, grinned and translated the stone carving.  "Enter ye who seek knowledge of this world for within this mountain's heart lies the Atlas of El-Hazard.  Therein all mysteries are answered and locations revealed, from the Palace of Infinity to the Holy Seminary's secret, second retreat that is even more fan-servicey than the Spring of Arliman.  However, beware the Black Beast of Aaauugh."

"That's an odd way to trail off," Jinnai commented before shrugging and smirking triumphantly at Makoto.  "Well well well, who's the smarter one _now_, Mizuhara?  I think this shows beyond a doubt once and for all that-"

The ground shook, and the sound of giant, booming footsteps drawing closer could be heard.  From the entrance the carpet had flown through emerged a monstrous, terrifying scaled beast, draconic in nature and drooling hungrily.

The Black Beast of Aaauugh (http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-22.htm) had awakened.

******

"Coffee," Dr. Semimad nearly spat as he set down his mug.  "I'm actually drinking _coffee_ now.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen..."

Sighing, the Minister of Highly Unusual but Surprisingly Effective Tortures, Campaign Manager for Rune Venus' election bid, and now part-time psychologist examined his office, making sure everything was in place before his patient arrived and running through several mental exercises to keep his mind awake and alert.  It wouldn't do to fall asleep during the first session, no matter how tempting it might be to drown his frustrations and exhaustion in the land of dreams.  At least after tomorrow's election he should have some time off and be able to relax for a bit and maybe even take his wife out for dinner.  He'd been hearing great things about this new restaurant lately...

The sound of the door opening halted his musings, and Dr. Semimad smiled kindly as a shaky Ifurita-3, wearing Diva's white outfit from OAV2 that she had loaned her out of compassion, entered his workplace, making sure he kept his eyes on her face.

"Greetings, Ifurita.  Empress Diva has informed me that you could use some counseling right now, and I will do my best to help you work through your trauma and despair.  Now, this will likely be a lengthy process, requiring much time and effort, but rest assured that I won't give up and abandon you.  As a doctor, I take my responsibilities _very_ seriously.  And don't worry about the bill.  It's been waived, courtesy of Empress Diva," Dr. Semimad said gently and reassuringly.  "Would you care to lie down on the couch so we can get started?"




Edit:  I finally figured out how to insert hyperlinks (and am now thoroughly embarrassed at how easy it is), so I figured I might as well replace the made-up on the spot Guardian of Aaaaaagggh for the Python's Black Beast of Aaauugh.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on February 01, 2004, 07:24:53 PM
Ifurita-3 sat on Dr. Semimad's office couch, but she did not relax, much.  She still held her arms around herself nervously, and she shyly folded her legs under herself, to curl up on her side.

Dr. Semimad settled into a comfy chair at the head of the couch, and took up a notepad and a quill pen.  "Now then, my dear.  Why don't you tell me a little about yourself.  Your fan-fiction origins make you something of a mystery to me.  Why don't you tell me a little about your family."

"I never had a family," Ifurita-3 said distantly.  "I was created in a laboratory.  The other two Ifurita units are my sisters, but I did not meet them for thousands of years."

"Oh.  Er, I'm sorry.  What kind of a childhood did you have?"

"I never had a childhood," Ifurita-3 said.  "I came into this world full-grown, albeit naked and covered with sticky semi-transparent goo, in a requisite fan-servicey way."

Dr. Semimad sighed.  "Perhaps this isn't the best approach.  I understand that you are upset because of a tryst with a young man, and that you still feel strongly attracted to him.  Perhaps you might feel like talking about your past relationships?"

Ifurita-3 sniffled pathetically, and began to cry.  "I never had any other relationships!  I have always been alone, and I shall continue to be alone!"

Dr. Semimad groaned.  He made a mental note to put on another pot of coffee.  This was going to take awhile.



"A greenhouse?" Dall asked.

"Yup."  Ryoko ushered him into a large wide building a few kilometers from Floristica.  It was in disrepair, with many windows broken out, raised plots of dirt churned up or cast aside, and plants either long dead or growing wild and unpruned.

Ryoko flew through the building, found a flowering plant, and hovered over it.  "We can buy this place for a song, Dall.  And the Bugrom are tireless construction workers, but they don't have much talent at landscaping.  If the economy doesn't collapse, we're looking at a real opportunity here.  And if the economy does collapse, well hey, we can grow our own food, and be self-sufficient until things get better."

She plucked one flower and put it in her hair, then drifted back towards Dall.  "It won't be easy, hon," she said.  "Even with a demon god to help you out, there's a lot of hard work to be done here.  The building needs lots of repairs... all these raised plots have to be put in order... and we'll have to haul our own water until we can afford to repair the irrigation system.  And you're have to learn how to run a business, Dall.  You'll learn how difficult it can be to earn a living."

Dall was thoughtful.  "And the benefits?"

Ryoko drifted back to Dall's side, put her hands on his shoulders and hung against him.  "Why, you get to work in a peaceful, quiet and beautiful place, with your very own demon god at yer side.  And you'll become a productive member of society, and a better man, to boot."

Dall grinned at her, and with a nod, he accepted the challenge that Ryoko had laid out for him.  "Life is good in the greenhouse (http://chalkhills.org/reelbyreal/s_Greenhouse.html)," he said.



There was only one tavern that was good enough for Crayna-Crayna, retired High and Mighty Great Priestess of Fire.

That is to say, there was only one tavern that had a sufficient supply of alcohol to meet her advanced needs.  Only this tavern, which happened to be within a few kilometers of several vineyards, three major distilleries, and a few dozen moonshine stills, was up to the challenge.

But today, this tavern was to be tested as never before.  It also happened to be in a small rural village along the main route from Floristica to the Damn Volcano.  And so it was that Crayna came in, on her way into town, at the same time that Shayla came in, on her way out of Floristica.

Nanami parked Crayna's hovercraft (which had been repaired off-scene since it had broken down), then came in, to find the two fire priestesses sitting at the bar, sadly staring at each other.  Neither of them had said a word.  They both recognized the look of a woman who had lost her man-- albeit an alien goody-goody teenaged boy with harem-ic powers, in Shayla's case, and an ancient and incredibly powerful male demon-god boy-toy, in Crayna's case.

Without saying a word, they both turned back to the bar.  The bartender, realizing that two fire priestesses were about to try to get blind stumbling drunk at the same time in his tavern, sweat-dropped.

"Two beers, bartender," Crayna said. (http://www.whyaduck.com/sounds/opera/twobeers.wav)

"I'll take two beers too," Shayla said. (http://www.whyaduck.com/sounds/opera/twobeers.wav)



A small dimensional portal appeared near the illegal Creterian road-side dump.  A rather frazzled Peorth stepped through the portal, and closed it behind her with a sigh.

She had just been through an ordeal that would have broken many women.  And even the Splendiloquent Peorth had her limits.  And yet, her opponents had greatly under-estimated her.

After the half-a-dozen Yume robots had had their fan-servicey way with her, she had carefully read over the standard babump.com filming release forms before signing them.  And she had bargained with the dophin-bear cameraman for a higher modeling fee, and gotten it.  Peorth was worth it, and she knew it.

And then, after the dolphin-bear cameraman had left, Peorth had turned the tables on her abductors, and exacted her terrible fan-servicey revenge.

As a wacky Yggdrasil goddess, Peorth was able to draw on many obscure branches of knowledge.  For example, she had a complete working knowledge of Bat-Traps (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/8120/), from her extensive study of 1960s TV shows.  And she had used this knowledge to trap the half a dozen wacky super-genius robot cat-girls in a hideously fan-servicey Siamese Human Knot (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Chamber/2517/).

Peorth smiled to herself.  It should take those Yume robots thousands of years to wriggle free, she thought.  And they're harmlessly sealed away in their own little pocket universe now, to wriggle to their fuzzy little fan-servicey hearts' content.

Well, what now?, she thought.  Perhaps I should try to find the Doctor, to try to redeem myself, after failing him so badly before--

Peorth heard someone clear their throat.  She turned, and gasped, to see what could only be the new Eleventh Doctor, with a rather frazzled Tina at his side.  The poor Time Lord must have regenerated again, she thought.  But... this new regeneration is très bizarre!!


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on February 11, 2004, 11:38:31 PM
"Run...*pant*...away," Jinnai gasped, chest heaving and clothes soaked with perspiration as she ran around the chamber for what seemed like the thousandth time.

"We are and...*hack* have been for the last...*cough*...hour or so," Makoto choked out, body screaming with exhaustion as he forced himself to continue through sheer force of will.

"Zoot kaba," Groucho commented calmly, not looking the least bit winded and easily keeping pace with his master.

"Good...for you," Jinnai muttered sarcastically, glaring at her servant.  "Remind *pant* me again why *gasp* I'm not riding you?"

"ROAR!

As one, the group of three turned their heads around and stared at the horrifying (and frighteningly nearby) visage of the Black Beast of Aaauugh.

"Oh yeah...that's *cough* why," Jinnai said, desire for survival enabling her to speed up slightly.  A devious look crossed her face.  "Remind...*pant* me again why I *gasp* don't trip Mizuhara so that *cough* I can escape while the monster is *pant* chewing on his bones?"

"Because...I'm the only one who can *gasp* control the carpet that *cough* brought us here?" Makoto pointedly reminded his arch nemesis.

Fortunately for the two wanderers and Bugrom, as the horrendous Black Beast lunged forward and escape seemed hopeless, the Black Beast of Aaauugh suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack.

"Roar."

The dragon toppled over, dead, and its would-be victims collapsed, pleased to finally have a chance to catch their breaths.

"Hahaha...*cough* Hahaha!  No mere monster can defeat *gasp* me!  I've got God on my side!  Bwhahaha *gasp*!" Jinnai weakly crowed.

"I think it's *pant* far more likely that *hack* all this running around was as hard on *gasp* the dragon as *cough* it was on us," Makoto suggested tiredly.

"Aznot bau mi," Groucho piped up, adding his own two cents to the conversation.

Unfortunately for them, the aforementioned running around and sheer force behind the Black Beast of Aaauugh's fall were also very hard on the ground, as evidenced by it cracking and breaking apart around them.

"Mizuhara, I'll get you for this!" Jinnai screeched as the unlikely trio fell through a dark abyss.

"Zoot!" Groucho shouted.

"I'm going to die!" Makoto wailed in his typical trademarked fashion.

Darkness rushed up to meet them.

******

Deep within Bugrom territory, two Phantom Tribe scouts entered the Dollmaker's last laboratory and whistled in wonder at the sheer destruction that greeted them.  To say that a tornado had come by and wrecked everything would be an understatement.  

"I do say, my friend, that it'll be a miracle if we find _anything_ useful in this mess," the first scout mentioned nonchalantly, taking out a scientific scanner and taking some readings.  "Whatever happened to this place certainly did a thorough job."

"Irrelevant.  The Cloud of Tears must be here somewhere.  Otherwise Lord Galus never would've commanded we search for it.  We shall find this Ancient weapon and finally have our revenge on all those that have wronged us!  Glory to the Phantom Tribe!  Bwhahahaha!" the second scout retorted enthusiastically, a tinge of madness in his voice as his eyes danced around their surroundings, thoroughly examining every nook and cranny.

"You always have been a zealot," the first scout muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes and then blinking as his scanner picked up something.  "Hey, I'm getting a reading.  Apparently there's still an active power source coming from that direction," he reported, pointing at a nearby heap of shrapnel.

"Excellent.  Vengeance is only a matter of time now, and soon the humans will know our pain!  Let's go!" the second Phantom Triber commanded, hurriedly bounding over to where his partner had indicated and stopping in horror as he laid eyes on what was on the other side of the shrapnel crest.

The first scout joined him and likewise blanched.  Silence reigned as the two Phantom Tribers took in the awful sight before them and realized that there were things even too awful for them to contemplate.

The mutilated, disfigured, and lacerated skeleton of the Demon God Kain (or at least what remained of it) greeted them, a mute testament to the terror and ferocity of a berserk Ifurita unit.

"I...think I'm going to be sick," the second scout said after a long moment, turning an unflattering shade of green.

This snapped the first Phantom Triber out of his stupor, and he looked at his scanner again.  "Well, at least this isn't the power source I was picking up.  That still lies ahead of us.  C'mon, let's retrieve this 'Cloud of Tears' device before we're traumatized any further and have to seek psychological counseling."

******    

Author's Note:  Since this round robin seems to be dragging again, would anybody mind if I ended the election?  I think I've figured out a way to resolve that particular subplot in a way agreeable to the "heroes", and then we can focus more on the Phantom Tribe and Palace of Infinity (hopefully).


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: d.t. on February 16, 2004, 09:55:28 PM
He probably would never have admitted it to himself, but the truth of the matter was that Makoto was starting to get a little accustomed to the weirdness going on around him.  On some unconscious level, in fact, he thought that he wouldn't be too surprised by whatever he saw when he opened his eyes, no matter how horrible it was.

That was a very inaccurate assumption.




Millie stood in a vast auditorium on front of an enormous picture of herself, beaming at the cheering crowds.      

Millie grinned at her audience.  "It is no secret that I entered upon this campaign with no thought that I could be elected ruler of Roshtaria!  It is now no secret that every straw vote, every independent poll, shows that I will be elected."

The crowed roared.

"I began this campaign with only one purpose:  to point out and make public the dishonesty and downright villainy of Boss Queen Diva, now in control of the Allied Kingdoms.  I made no campaign promises because until now I had no hope of winning.  Now I have something more than a hope... and Boss Queen Diva has something less than a chance.

"And I repeat to you - my first official act as ruler will be to appoint a special council of Bugrom demon gods to arrange for the indictment, prosecution, and conviction of Boss Diva!"

The audience supplied a standing ovation on cue.


"Good Grief," exclaimed Makoto as he opened his eyes, "what a strange place!"

"Strange place!"

"Strange place!"

"Strange place!"

Makoto just about jumped out of his skin at the echo.  He made a mental note to keep his voice down.

The only other person nearby sighed a long-suffering sigh.  "Just once," he muttered, "I would like a guest that says 'oh, this is exactly what I expected'."

They were in a vast chamber that seemed to go on forever in all directions.  Somewhere far above there must have been light sources, but Makoto couldn't make them out.  

The primary feature of the chamber was the shelves.  Oh, there were beautifully tiled floors, and pillars decorated with wondrous mosaics and arabesques, but the shelves were what caught the eye.  It was impossible to ignore them for the simple fact that they were everywhere.  There were more shelves than Makoto could ever have hoped to count, as far as the eye could see.  And on each shelf there were boxes.

Makoto gulped as he looked at the person on front of him.  The stranger looked a little bit like a cross between Londs and Dr. Schtalubaugh.  There was something very academic about him, but at the same time he gave off Londs' aura of extreme tidiness, right down to the perfectly groomed beard.  Along with his vaguely Arabian clothing, the stranger wore a nametag with his photograph on it, held a clipboard with a checklist on it, and was apparently pushing a cart piled high with the same type of boxes that were on all the shelves.

Makoto strongly suspected he wasn't human, because he had four arms.  Two were being used to put a very large box on a shelf while another two were marking the checklist.

Makoto unsteadily rose to his feet, and looked around for Jinnai.  But he was nowhere to be seen.  "I am very sorry if I offended you," apologized Makoto.  "Who are you?  Where is this place?"

The four-armed man began to push his cart in Makoto's direction, looking at the shelves.  Makoto followed his gaze and noticed that each shelving unit had a number written on it up high.  "I am Dao," said the stranger.  "This is Stores.  Storage.  How did the Beast of Agggh die?"

"Heart attack, I think."

"Ah.  It's that stupid high-fat low-carb diet it was on.  Awful for the heart."

Makoto looked around.  He really didn't want to be rude, but he wanted to get back to Ifurita.  "Can you tell me how to get out of here?" he asked.

"Probably," said Dao, lifting one of the boxes up onto a shelf.  "Here in Stores you can find the answer to just about everything.  But you wouldn't like how I would answer you."

Makoto frowned.  "Why not?"

Dao sighed and pulled at his beard.  "Because I can only answer you in one of two ways.  I can either give you information that is essentially useless to you, like pointing out that Dao refers to earth, Efreet to fire, Djinn to air, and Marid to water... the  Palace of Infinity is upside down (http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:M1tWvMpfLkgJ:www.issendai.com/bishonen/utena/gallery/opening_castle.gif) for some  reason (http://www.issendai.com/bishonen/utena/gallery/gallery.htm)... Mice with hats like having their ears scratched..."

"Or?" supplied Makoto.  He made another mental note about this 'Palace of Infinity' place he kept hearing about.  In all honesty though, he had absolutely no reason to want to know about it.  All he cared about was getting back to Ifurita and making sure all his friends were okay.  He wasn't about to go off on some quest without good cause.  

"Or I can give you information by saying stuff like 'beware the eight' or  'the answers you search can come from the stars above'.  You know, speaking in riddles.  Then when you figure it out you'll be like 'Ohhhhh, thaaat's what he meant, stars abooove'."

"I only want to get out of this place!  Can't you give me any useful information" replied a slightly exasperated Makoto.

"Sorry, I'm only allowed give the kind of advice that makes you frustrated.  My creators had a mean sense of humor.  For instance, they made me want to be a gardener.  Huh.  Think you can grow any plants in this place?  Not likely."

Makoto looked around, trying to see something, anything, that might indicate a way out.  Unfortunately there were only shelves and boxes.




"You know how we were sent here to retrieve the Cloud of Tears generator?" asked the first Phantom Tribe scout.

"Yep," said the second.

"You know how Nahato wanted us back, as soon as possible?"

"Yep."

"You know how we've got that massive flying skiff to carry it on?"

"Yep."

"I don't think it's gonna fit."

The second scout lay down on the floor and looked as far down into the darkness as he could.  The bottom of the generator was just barely visible.  The rest of it filled the deep chasm right up to his eye level.  "No, I don't think so either."




"What in blazes?" growled Jinnai as he opened his eyes.  "Where am I?  Groucho, get your chitinous behind off my face!"

"Braglogawancha."

"Behind, thorax, abdomen, whatever!  Just get off me!"  Jinnai unsteadily rose to his feet, and looked around for Makoto.  But the accursed saboteur was nowhere to be seen.  

Jinnai took in his surroundings.  He was in a vast low-ceilinged chamber that seemed to go on forever, covered in stalactites and stalagmites .  He was also damp... from warm water for that matter, which explained his current shape.

The primary feature of the chamber was the water.  Oh, there were beautifully tiled floors and pillars decorated with wondrous mosaics and arabesques, but the elegant pools of water were what caught the eye.  Light sources were apparently under the water, illuminating the chamber with soft soothing light.  There were more of these pools than Jinnai could ever have hoped to count, as far as the eye could see.  

Someone suddenly leapt from one of the pools, somersaulting (narrowly missing one of the dripping stalactites [or was that stalagmites?] that covered the ceiling) and landed right on front of him.  She was quite beautiful, and clothed in... well, streamers of water that seemed to be floating around her, occasionally coalescing into vaguely-Arabic garb.  

"Hello," she purred, leaning against a stalagmite (or was that stalactite?) languidly, her voice and gestures utterly fluid.  "Welcome to Files and Records.  I am Marid."

"You're a demon god!" exclaimed Jinnai, thrusting a finger at her accusingly.

"What gave that away?" she responded as a streamer of water briefly formed a veil over her face.

Jinnai ignored her question and looked around.  "Why are these pools here?"

"In those pools I can show you almost anything.  Almost anything.  They were built with almost none of the filters that prevent you from seeing everything.  Almost none of the filters, not like a certain know-it-all showoff bird..."

The finger once more thrust in her face.  "Anything?  Then show me weapons!  Show me the secrets of the ancients!  Show me-"

Marid languorously moved his finger aside.  With her exceptionally long leg.  In a way that would have resulted in a lethal nosebleed in most heterosexual males.  Dictionaries would have done well to include a picture of her beside the word 'seductress'.

"Jinnai," she breathed (not bothering for him to introduce himself), "I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.  I was only programmed to give you riddles or useless information.  For instance..."




Makoto was hitching a ride on Dao's trolly.  The demon god apparently didn't mind, or at least he hadn't said anything yet.  There were only a few of these boxes left on the trolly, which meant that Dao would have to get a fresh batch soon.  And, Makoto hoped, that might mean that Dao would go somewhere that had a way back outside.

As a matter of fact Dao would be heading back to Files and Records for more boxes, and there was a way outside there.




Nahato sat quietly in his throne.  He was an assassin... he had killed before.  He had seen death many times in his brief lifetime.  But not like that.  Never like that.

His eyes betrayed him, drawing his gaze back to the figure shrouded by a thin white sheet.  Nobody had come to collect the clone-Kauru's body yet.  The Phantom Tribe were not used to dealing with bodies - they normally turned to vapor upon death.  But apparently the clone's body contained just enough alien DNA to prevent that.  It was so very different to watch someone that looked like one of his own people... dying like that... and remaining after death.  Horrible.

He tore his gaze away from the awful sight and shuddered.  His clone-slaves seemed similarly distraught.  Perhaps moreso, thought Nahato.  After all, they had never had any training to deal with death.  And she was much like them...

His ruminations were broken as Hassan and Khamid entered the room.  Nahato leapt to his feet angrilly.  "Do you see what you've done?  What went wrong?  There's a demon god that knows we're here, and he's going to want to know why his master is dead when he arrives!  I want answers, now!"

"Answers," grinned Hassan.  "Very well.  But I don't think you'll like them."

"No," agreed Khamid as Ibn Al-Zahad and their clones filed into the room, raising weapons and pointing them at Nahato.  "I don't think you'll like them at all."


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: rowan_a._seven on February 20, 2004, 02:12:18 PM
Garbed in a cloak of pitch blackness and chuckling maniacally, Princess Myuun marched regally through the back alleys of Florestica with an ax slung over her shoulder, every stride radiating confidence and burning purpose.  Had anybody stayed around long enough to identify her instead of running away in fear, she honestly wouldn't have cared.  At this point in the game her chances of winning the election were scarcely worth mentioning, and losing a few votes here and there because people thought she was crazy wouldn't change the outcome.  Her next actions, however, would.  

Reflecting on her scheme, Myuun smirked predatorily.  She'd done the calculations, fixed the end result, and now she only had to set the chain of events in motion.  Best of all, though, the Guide wouldn't be able to prevent it.  With the future blocked, one could only make predictions based on probability, but in a field of absolute uncertainty everything was equally probable and thus totally unpredictable.  True, she'd still lose the election, but so would Millie, and that was a trade off she was willing to make.  In her own way, the bratty war orphan was even more dangerous than the Bugrom Army and the Demon God Ifurita, and she posed a threat to Baron's well-being that could not be ignored.

Stanley Spadowski looked up as a dark shadow fell across him.  "What do you want, lady?" he questioned cautiously, a protective grasp on his mop.

"A bright future for this world and my country," Myuun answered with a wry chuckle.  "However, for the present, I'll settle for this."  With surprising strength and speed, Myuun slugged Stanley in the jaw with her free fist and grabbed the mop as Spadowski's grip weakened.

"That's my-" Stanley protested but was silenced by Myuun's piercing glare.  Looking into her red eyes was like looking into an endless fiery abyss, and for one moment his courage was burnt to a crisp.  A moment was all Myuun needed.

"Sleep," she commanded in a soft, musical voice that evoked the pleasures of sleep and the wonder of dreams.  Stanley drowsily nodded his head and laid down on the ground to rest.  He wouldn't get up for some time.

Looking around one last time to ensure that she was safe, Myuun set the mop down in front of her and hefted her ax above her head.  "What I do, I do for Baron!" she shouted as she swung the ax down hard and chopped the mop in two.  She then repeated this action again...and again...and again...and so on until finally, after what may have been hours or minutes, she stopped and surveyed her handiwork.

"This gives an entirely new meaning to the term 'swing voter'," Myuun commented with a laugh.

A veritable army of mops with arms (http://www.d42.org/article.php?articleID=15) responded with silence.

Something Good Had Come of This, after all.



******

Within the relatively safe confines of his office, Dr. Semimad reviewed his notes one last time and came to a conclusion.  Wearing a grave expression, he focused his attention on his patient who was still lying on the couch across from him and gave her an answer.  "Ifurita, I think I know what's wrong with you.  To be blunt, you have no life experience and thus no coping mechanisms for dealing with your own long suppressed humanity."

Noticing the irritation on his patient's face for making such an obvious statement, Dr. Semimad smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring manner.  "Please, hear me out, Ifurita.  What you need more than anything else right now is self-identity.  Who are you, really?  The Demon God Ifurita?  Ifurita the woman?  Ifurita the child?  All and none.  In order to effectively deal with your past, the world around you, and your own conflicting, overwhelming emotions, you must first learn who you truly are.  Unfortunately, confused as you are and with your lack of personal experience, you have no place to begin your journey of discovery.  A crash course in humanity is needed, and, fortunately, I believe I know of something that can help you.  Tell me, Ifurita, have you ever heard of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-6843/)?"

******

A public servant climbed the stage that had recently been erected in front of the royal palace and turned to face the crowed assembled before him, basking in their anticipation and expectant faces.  In his hand he held the latest and (with the election scheduled to end in five minutes) most likely conclusive election results.  The candidates were assembled behind him, waiting to hear the verdict.  Diva and Rune were worried, Ura was taking a nap, Millie was smirking confidently, and Myuun was grinning knowingly.

"My fellow citizens," he began excitedly, addressing his audience, "with polls scheduled to close in minutes and most of the votes counted, it gives me great pleasure to announce that, barring a miracle, the winner of this historic election is Mi-"

"Walking mops are swarming the booths en masse and voting!" interrupted another public servant who had just arrived, having run all the way to this gathering to inform his coworker of what was happening.

A murmur of confusion swept through the crowd, and the Guide nearly had a facial reaction.  Myuun suppressed a chuckle.

"Is...is that even legal?" the first public servant inquired after a few minutes of stunned incredulity.  "I mean, since when are walking mops registered voters?"

"Since the 25th year of the reign of King Azos Venus nearly 500 years ago," Londs asserted, forcing his way to the front of the crowd.  "If you investigate Roshtaria's civil code, you'll notice it is stated on page 5,891 in the second paragraph that walking mops possess full voting rights.  Granted, many accused King Venus of either being drunk or mad when he made these additions to the civil code, but as the rightful monarch his word was - and still is - law."

Another public servant arrived on the scene and calmly handed the first public servant a white envelope.  "The votes are all in and counted, sir.  In your hands is the final result."

Collecting himself, the first public servant readdressed the audience.  "Well, folks, looks like a miracle did happen after all.  This time, for certain, the winner of this historic election is...drum roll please..."

Somebody played the obligatory percussion sequence as the public servant tore open the envelope and removed the enclosed slip of paper.  A shocked look crossed his face.  "There is no precedent for what I'm about to announce, but seeing as how this election is also unprecedented, I suppose it all works out.  The _winners_ of this election are...Empress Diva and Princess Rune Venus by a tie!  You all know what this means, don't you?"

Ignoring Millie's look of outrage, he turned to face the two winners.  "Empress Diva and Princess Rune Venus, since the votes are tied, the new ruler of Roshtaria shall be chosen through the ancient Roshtarian Rite of Ascension.  Passed down to us from ancient times, this ritual pushes the mind, the body, and the spirit to the breaking point, and only the strongest will survive.  You two will compete against each other, and the winner will receive the mark of the gods and be appointed our new absolute leader.  I wish you both good luck."

The public servant made a hand gesture, and a tub with a radius of ten feet and height of three feet was carted out of a nearby building and brought to a stop in front of the stage.  It was filled with mud.

"Yes, folks, the ancient Roshtarian Rite of Ascension, dating back to the Ancients, is mud wrestling!  Now then, let's get it on!" he shouted enthusiastically as a gong rang out.

Diva looked at Rune.

Rune looked at Diva.

They both looked at the tub of mud.

As one, they pushed the public servant into the tub of mud.

"...How does a coalition government sound to you?" Empress Diva asked the Roshtarian monarch after a pregnant pause spent contemplating one another.  The public servant flailed wildly below them.

Princess Rune Venus spared the fuming Millie and the arena of mud a glance.  "Compared to the alternatives, it sounds wonderful...on the condition that I get my balcony back."

"Agreed," Diva concurred, offering Rune Venus her hand.  She accepted, and their pact was sealed by a handshake.  Together, the two joint rulers of Roshtaria waved to the crowd, thanked their supporters, and then headed for the palace to plan for the future of both their peoples.

Millie turned on the Guide, her eyes flashing with anger.  "You!  This is all your fault!  You promised that I'd win!"

"Let's not be hasty, Millie.  This only a temporary set-"

There are some laws that even beings who exist on twenty-two dimensions can't break.

POW!!!

The Law of 'Love Hina' punches is one of them.

And so it was that the Guide disappeared over the horizon, fading away in an anime cliche twinkle of light.

Myuun was able to refrain from laughing hysterically...for a full five minutes.  



Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on February 23, 2004, 06:30:13 PM
Dall-III was struggling with a tangled problem.  He was tangled up to his neck in thick vines that had grown wild along one side of the run-down greenhouse.  Ryoko had rolled her eyes and sighed, then flown in to help him.  But she quickly found herself as overwhelmed as Dall.  The vines seemed to have a mind of their own.

"Ryoko?" said Dall.  "I know I've been complaining constantly... but still, this place might be too much work for just the two of us."

"*mmmph*" said Ryoko.  She spat out a vine to agree with him.  "Yeah, maybe we could use some help--"

"Hello?  Excuse us?  Is there anyone here?"

Dall and Ryoko both looked behind them, and saw a disguised Bill, Alyssa and clone-Ura.

Ryoko's eyes narrowed.  As a True Demon God, she was able to see through Phantom Tribe illusions.  But she decided to see what the two Tribers wanted, before showing her hand.

Bill smiled, and held up a hand in greeting.  "Sorry.  We thought this place might be abandoned.  We're travellers, and we were looking for a place to stay for the night."

"'Ask and ye shall receive'," Dall said.  "We were just wishing for some help.  What say, you two give us a hand here, and in return, you can stay as long as you like."

Bill glanced at Alyssa.  She agreed with a nod.  "But," she said out loud, "may I ask what you two are doing?"

"We're trying to pull out these vines," Dall said.  "Why do you ask?  Do you have knowledge of these clinging vines?"

"Will all respect, apparently, more than you," Alyssa said.  "That's poison Roshtaria creeper.  Assuming you just started handling those vines?  You've both got about fifteen minutes to tear off those clothes and burn them, soak in a steaming hot shower, and then smother each other in calamine lotion.  Otherwise, you'll have a rash that itches so badly, it'll literally drive you insane."

"Oh, nut bunnies," said Dall and Ryoko.



Fatora and Alielle had returned to the seminary with Gatora and Hatora.  After Fatora had overheard Myuun's campaign pledge to throw Fatora in a dungeon for the rest of her natural life, she had petitioned Gatora and Hatora for political asylum.  (In her fear, Fatora had forgotten that, given her private toybox and a willing Alielle, Fatora could have passed the rest of her natural life in a dungeon quite happily.)

The fab-Fatoras' footsteps echoed in the empty seminary halls.  The female ninjas had not yet returned from their campaign of tackling hapless villagers and sitting on their heads.  That is to say, even though the threat of the white Bugrom had passed, the female ninjas were still tackling hapless villagers and sitting on their heads, now for the sheer hentai fun of it.

"You are now our guest, Sister Fatora," said Gatora.  "What would you like to do first?"

"How 'bout a snack?" Fatora asked.

"An excellent suggestion," Hatora said.  "Shall we adjourn to the ice cream bar?"

"Another excellent suggestion," Gatora said.  "Say, let's make Alielle a sundae!"

Alielle smiled in gratitude, but demurred.  "Er, thank you, Miladies, but I'm not hungry--"

"No, no," Gatora said.  "You misunderstand me, my dear Alielle.  I want to make you a sundae.  You should just about fit in our biggest bowl.  Then we'll smother you in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, and then..."

The fab-Fatoras, suddenly of one mind, advanced on Alielle as one, arms outstretched and open hands twitching.  Alielle trembled, partly in mild nervous fear, but mostly in happy excited anticipation.



Makoto still rode on Dao's trolley.   A single middle-sized nondescript box remained on the trolley in front of him.

"Mr. Dao?  What's in that box?" Makoto asked.  Dao did not answer him-- he was engrossed in reviewing the shelves, partly to find this box's place, and partly to make sure the shelves were in order.

Makoto couldn't abide a mystery.  He opened the box, reached into it, and somehow pulled out a second box that was somewhat larger than the first box.

Puzzled, he held up the second box, turning it in his hands.  Then he opened the second box.  It suddenly folded back on itself and disappeared into itself.

Makoto gulped.

He reached into the first box again, and pulled out a third box.  This box was much smaller than the first box-- it was only about the size of an engagement ring's box.

Makoto opened the third box, and he suddenly disappeared into it, in an impossible kind of way.  The tiny box then fell back into the first box, and the first box closed by itself.

Dao paid little attention to all of this.  He was only responsible for storing the boxes.  He was not responsible for safe-guarding the boxes' contents, and certainly not for safe-guarding anyone who was stoopid enough to actually go and open one of them.



Jinnai was doing his best to formulate a question that would force Marid to reveal the powerful weapons that obviously had been hidden in this place.  But, even with his pure evil genius, it wasn't easy.  He was singularly obsessed with conquest, but he was a healthy young heterosexual male, and prone to certain distractions.  And Marid persisted in exactly such distractions, doing incredibly distracting things with her arms and legs that would have given a circus acrobat a nosebleed.

Jinnai finally had had enough.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, he thought.  He suddenly ducked down, thrust his hands into one of the pools of knowledge, and splashed some cold water on himself.

Jinnai stood back up, and straightened her suit over her alternate shapely female figure, as best as she could.  "That's better," she said.  "Now, about those weapons--"

Marid smiled a wry smile.  "Oh, how fascinating!  You poor little fool, you must have been tinkering with a dreaded Demon God Factory.  Well, two can play at this game..."

Marid's aquatic clothing suddenly coalesced around her, in a small waterspout.  After a moment, the spout dissolved to a loin cloth,  revealing a male Marid-- a Marid so handsome that he made Ibn Al-Zahad look like Steve Urkel (http://www.kellie-williams.com/jw1/steveclarence.jpg).

The broad-shouldered, muscular and breath-takingly handsome male Marid advanced on the female Jinnai.  "Now then, where were we?" he asked, in a deep seductive male voice.

Jinnai whimpered.  She suddenly found herself wishing that her female heart wasn't beating quite so fast...



Hassad and Khamid, Al-Zahad and the evil clones closed in on Nahato.  But Minagi suddenly stepped in front of Nahato.  She brandished her energy weapon, assumed a fighting stance, and growled in a cute yet dangerous kind of way.  "Stand back!" she said loudly.  "I serve Nahato, and I shall not allow you to harm him!"

Nahato gasped.  No one had ever cared what might happen to him before.  "Mi-- Minagi?..." he whispered.

Minage glanced over her shoulder, and gave Nahato a sweet big-sister smile.  "Fear not, Master.  These villains shall not-- *eep*"

The tall and muscular Al-Zahad walked up to the slight and suddenly trembling Minagi.  He had an expression that was partly sympathetic to Minagi, and partly annoyed with his own situation.  But his current allegiance to the blind clone Uruak, and to her masters Hassad and Kalid, was clear.

Al-Zahad held out one hand, extended his pinky finger, and, so gently, he pushed Minagi off her feet with a single finger.  She fell to the floor, collapsing into a fan-servicey pile of female demon god parts.  "Forgive me, Master Nahato," she whimpered face-down into her own chest.  "I have failed you."

"Now, then," Hassad said, a bit impatiently.  "'Lord' Nahato, we--"

"LORD NAHATO!!"

Everyone turned to an open doorway.  "Oh, what is it now?" Khamid snapped.

The two scouts had returned from Bugrom territory.  They were pulling a small machine on a hand cart between them.  "We have found the Cloud of Tears generator!" the first scout proclaimed.

Nahato gasped again.  "Is that it?"

"Er, no," the second scout said.  "The generator is a device larger than the Eye of God was, and it is buried more deeply than the Trigger of Destruction was.  But we have studied its construction, and we have produced this working model.  Of course, it is greatly limited in power and range.  But we assure you, it is fully functional."

The first scout gestured back to the machine.  "Behold-- The Lawn Sprinker Of Tears (http://www.kleinbros.com/firemanlawnsprinkler.jpg)!!"

An uncomfortable silence fell over the room.

Hassad sighed.  "Don't those two idiots realize that the Phantom Tribe has finally moved past comedy relief, and returned to its bloody-minded and destructive evil ways?"

Nahato drummed his fingers.  "They must have been left out of the routing list on that memo."



The door to Crayna's hut opened, and the child-Creterian-Deva peeked in.  "Deeeeeva?" she said, in a small scared voice.

She had wandered all the way there by herself.  (The female ninja had tackled her and sat on her head once or twice, but quickly released her when she began to cry pitifully.)  She was now very alone... but something in Crayna's hut had beckoned to her, across the kilometers.

Chibi-Deva saw the insectoid-Kauru in a corner of Crayna's hut, still asleep, curled up and lightly buzzing to herself.  She sat at Kauru's side, rested her head on Kauru's shoulder, and went to sleep with a happy little smile, in a genuinely heart-warming kind of way.



A blind stumbling drunk Shayla and Crayna had left their bar-stools to take control of the bar.  Their bartender had decided to return to his much safer day-job of testing war munitions with a hammer in a Bugs Bunny kind of way.

Crayna offered Shayla a glass of something that was a road-construction danger-sign fluorescent orange color.  "Thish ish a li'l somethin' I learned ta make at volcano-watchin' school."

Shayla took the glass from Crayna, and downed it in one gulp.  "Ooooh!  It tingles!--"  Her eyes rolled back, and she fell flat on her back.

Crayna wobbily leaned over Shayla.  "Hey, kiddo, ya alright?  Yer not passin' out on me already, are ya?"

Shayla wobbily stood up again.  "Nah.  Jus' practicin' fer later.  Heh.  Heh heh.  Ha!  Ha ha!  Ha!..."

Crayna and Shayla hugged and laughed together, exactly like two old friends laughing at a joke that is much funnier when blind stumbling drunk.

Then Crayna gestured to the room.  "Itsa shame theresh no one else left ta drink wit' us..."  The few patrons that had not fled with the bartender had long ago passed out.  None of them had finished the first mixed drink set in front of them.  In fact, there was only one other conscious person left in the bar.

Nanami suddenly felt the hot eyes of two drunken fire priestesses on her.  She shrunk down behind her table, trying to hide behind the glass of water with a slice of lemon in front of her.

Shayla jumped over the bar, but tripped and fell flat on her face.  She quickly got up again, and stumbled towards Nanami.  "Oi, 'nami!  Yer not drinkin'?"

Crayna came up behind her, carrying another mixed drink that looked unusually potent.  "C'mon, hon.  Join th' party.  We won't drink alone!"

Nanami smiled a very nervous little smile.  "Um... I'm the... designated driver?"

"Aw, whad'ya talkin' bout?" Shayla said.  "We're spendin' th' night in th' back room.  Anyway, ya don't gotta drive nowhere.  Ya still gotcher axeily-pink battle-key plastic power staff."

Crayna frowned.  "That ain't right, hon.  Itsa 'powerful-axe battily-staff plastic pink key..."  She and Crayna both burst into drunken laughter again.  Nanami breathed out in relief.

But then, Shayla and Crayna both suddenly stopped laughing, stood over Nanami, and growled.  Crayna swept Nanami's glass of water aside, and pushed the mixed drink at her.

"DRINK," said Shayla.

A whimpering Nanami held out a trembling hand, took up the mixed drink, and took the smallest sip.  She slowly lowered her glass.

Nanami's eyes lost focus.  Her short spikey hair curled up a little, and steam cartoonishly blew from her ears.  She suddenly raised her glass again and drained it.  She held the empty glass out to Crayna, silently demanding more.

Crayna laughed with delight.  "Atta girl!  One refill, comin' up!"

As Nanami quickly "caught up" with her blind stumbling drunk friends, her plasticky pink battle-axe power-key-staff began to glow, in a soft and warm yet eerily dangerous kind of way.


Title: Re: El-Hazard Round Robin, Part 2
Post by: MrWhat on February 23, 2004, 08:44:43 PM
OOC:  Continued from previous reply.  "Your message is too long. Please go back and shorten it, then resubmit."



Londs escorted the new co-rulers Rune Venus and Deva to the Floristica palace throne room.  The three of them sat on comfy cushions, breathed out and relaxed, and looked at each other expectantly.

Londs looked from his beloved Princess, the girl he still loved like a daughter, to the alien Bugrom Queen, the female humanoid that he most certainly did not love like a daughter.

In the uncomfortable silence, the three of them suddenly noticed the sound of crickets from the royal gardens.

Londs hung his head and sighed.  "Well.  I don't know how this could be any more awkward..."

Dr. Schtalubaugh came into the room, carrying a folded stack of cleaned and pressed white cloth taller than he was.  "Milady Deva?  Where did you want these Bugrom diapers?  And isn't it almost time for your next, uh, breeding session with Londs?...  Oh, hello, Milady Rune.  If you'd like to slip into something more comfortable, I've dry-cleaned your straitjacket."

Londs held his face in his hands and groaned.



A dejected Millie trudged back down through the sewers, to return to Gan-chan's throne room.

"Miss Millie?" asked Gan-chan.  "Did we not win the election?"

In a sudden burst of bratty anger, Millie bodily grabbed Gan-chan, held him up and glared into his beady little eyes, while squeezing him hard enough to pop his Hat off.  "Gan-chan?  Inform the Mice Wearing Hats and Giant Sewer Rats that I wish to launch an all-out attack on the Floristica palace in forty-eight hours."

"*ack eep*" said Gan-chan.

Millie gently tossed Gan-chan back to his throne, in a way that was more dejected again than angry.  "*hack gasp choke cough cough*" said Gan-chan.  "We prepared ourselves for all outcomes, Miss Millie.  We can begin military operations immediately."

Millie's shoulders slumped.  She answered without turning.  "No.  Give me a couple of days first, Gan-chan."

Gan-chan raised a whisker.  "Why?"

"The current writer ages me forward to eighteen years old in his mind for this round robin," Millie explained, "but I'm still essentially an annoying brat.  I don't handle setbacks very well.  And I need a couple of days to pout.  I'll be in my quarters, in my pajamas and in bed all day, eating dry cereal out of the box, re-reading old comic books, and playing music with angsty no-one-loves-me lyrics."

"Oh," said Gan-chan.  "Well, have fun...  Wait!  Where are Ladies Afura and Ishiel?"



Afura and Ishiel were both standing in front of the Floristica palace debate/election stage.  They had both remained after everyone else had left, and even after Bugrom workers had begun taking down the stage.  They both vacantly stared at the portable tub o' mud, long after the hapless public servant had struggled out of it.

Ishiel finally sighed, and turned to Afura with a sad smile.  "Well, so much for removing Deva from power, and so much for serving the Mice Wearing Hats.  What shall we do now, Afura?"

Afura didn't answer.  She was still staring at the tub o' mud.

Ishiel remembered Afura's dream, grinned, and rested a hand on Afura's shoulder.  "I bet I know what you're thinking," she whispered into Afura's ear, in a sing-song tone.

Afura suddenly came to her senses.  "Oh!  I'm sorry, Ishiel.  Um, I-- uh, that is--"

"Aw, why not."  Ishiel gestured back to the mud.  "Y'wanna wrassle?"

Afura's face turned very red.  "Ishiel!  Wha-- why--"

Ishiel turned to push the portable tub back into its building, for her and Afura's privacy.  "You've been a naughty girl, Afura.  You've helped lose the election.  I'm afraid that I have to punish you.  Besides, it's been a few days since I had a nice work-out.  And, as the earth priestess, I have to say, it'd be a shame to let this lovely mud go to waste.  Its texture is simply exquisite."

Afura was so overwhelmed with strange emotions that she scarcely trusted herself to speak.  "Uh, Ishiel?  Now that, uh, we're, uh, friends?  That doesn't mean that, uh, you'll, uh-- hold back?"

Ishiel winked, just as she and Afura disappeared into the building.  "No blood, Afura.  No life-threatening choke-holds.  And not too much pain.  But have no fear-- I'm still gonna kick yer skinny butt."

Afura grinned as she closed the doors behind them.  "Kewl."



A wing thrust itself out of a large pile of rocks, near the base of Mt. Lilicoco.  It was promptly followed by a slightly bruised body.  The recently surfaced figure shook its head a few times, as if to clear it, and then looked up at the sky.

"I knew that was going to happen," the Guide mumbled.

Its eyes widened comically as a giant boulder rolled off the cliff above it and followed the laws of gravity to their natural conclusion.

SPLAT!

"Ow ow I knew that ow ow was going to ow ow happen too ow," the Guide said, from under the boulder.

It heard someone clear its throat.  For the second time, it thrust its wing out, shifting the rubble above it to one side.  And when it saw who had followed it from Floristica to this desolate place, it gulped.

Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia was poised over it, much like a cat over a wounded bird.  Jinnistacia's ears were laid back, her assimilated tail was twitching, and she was drooling from a cartoonish cat-fangy grin.  Her eyes burned with the feline desire to pounce on her prey, bite its neck in her mouth, and shake it until she heard lovely little bone-snapping sounds.

The Guide whimpered.  Thanks to Jinnistacia's new built-in Uncertainty field, the Guide had had absolutely no idea that this was going to happen.



"Ifurita?" said Dr. Semimad.  "You don't have to go out, if you don't want to.  Your therapy is still in its initial stages."

Ifurita-3 smiled sweetly.  She was wearing a new Ifurita outfit that had been kindly provided by the Floristica palace seamstress.  She almost looked like her old self-- although she was still wearing her ankh from her previous incarnation, and she was now experimenting with heavy black eyeliner and black fingernail polish, in a sad yet lovely art-goth kind of way.

"My dear Doctor," she said.  "I am only going out for a short walk, and a breath of fresh air.  I cannot hide away from the world forever.  And I am confident that I can greet my fellow humans with self-confidence.  I am good enough, I am smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. (http://www.alfrankenweb.com/barkley.jpg)"

She opened Semimad's door, only to collide with Demiigor.  Both she and the Doctor's assistant fell to the floor.  The box lunches that Demiigor had been carrying also fell to the floor, came open, and were ruined.

"You stupid worthless girl!!" yelled Demiigor.  "Why don't you watch where you're going!?  You're of no use to anyone!! If you're going to waste our time, our money and our food like this, you might as well go jump off the nearest--"

"SSSHH!!" Semimad hissed.  But it was too late.  As Demiigor stood up, Ifurita-3 curled up into a fetal position, lightly sucked the tip of her thumb, and softly wept in a sad yet lovely art-goth kind of way.

Demiigor and Semimad looked down at her, then up at each other.

"Demiigor?"

"Yes, Mah-ster?"

"She's my patient.  And you've just undone several hours of intensive therapy.  Please remember that when you find your Christmas bonus is greatly reduced this year."

"*sigh*  Yes, Mah-ster."



Ifurina stood in front of a small ice cream parlor at the edge of the public part of Floristica's royal gardens.  She stared at its closed door.  She bit her lip, trembled, clutched at her dear Staff-chan, and made sad little whimpering noises.

"There's all kinds of wonderful ice cream inside," Staff-chan said, in the kindest and most soothing voice it could muster.  "All you have to do is open the door, Miss Ifurina."

"But--" Ifurina stammered.  "But-- I don't wanna!  Doors are the only things that keep away the monsters and the creepy fan-service!  I mean, this might look like an ordinary ice cream parlor, but who knows what hideous secret lurks within--"

The door suddenly opened.  "AAUGH!!" said Ifurina and (despite himself) Staff-chan.

A cheerful Kalia held the door open for Ifurina with one hand, and held a double-scoop of Rocky Road in her other hand.  "Why don't you come inside, miss?  There's all kinds of wonderful ice cream inside.  I only just started my cone when I saw you from inside."

Ifurina smiled shakily.  "Um, thank you.  I'm Ifurina."

Kalia smiled back.  "I'm Kalia.  Would you like to join me?"



"I am begeeng your pardon...  Indeed, zees new regeneration ees très bizarre!!"

"Oui," Peorth said.  "I was thinkeeng ze exact same theeng, Doctor."

It was as if Peorth were staring at a mirror.  Unlike in The Curse Of Fatal Death, the Doctor had switched genders in her next-to-last incarnation, instead of her last.  And her clothing had mysteriously changed to match Peorth's splendiloquent bikini-n-belts, in the same mysterious way that it had earlier changed into an orange parka.

Peorth cocked her head to one side.  "And yet... I like eet.  Eet has ze je ne sais quois, ze savoir faire, ze... splendiloquence."

The Doctor blushed just a little.  "You are too kind, mon cherie."

Peorth hung her head.  "I feel zat I should apologize for failing your ninth regeneration..."

The Doctor rested a friendly hand on Peorth's shoulder.  "Non.  Eet ees my fault, for attempteeng ze cuneeng plan zat back-fired.  *I* should apologize for attempteeng to assimilate vous, and endangereeng ze multi-verse in le process."

"Well, shall we now work together?"  Peorth offered the Doctor a pair of cheap Groucho Marx glasses.  "Ze Mouth of God must still be closed for good, and zere ees still ze shadowy supaire-villain to defeet..."

The Doctor put the glasses on, and smiled warmly.  "Oui.  But first, perhaps, a light breakfast?  Ze regenerations, in le rapeed succession, take a lot out of ze Time Lord... er, le Time Lady."

Peorth put her own "cuneeng" disguise back on, and took the Doctor's arm.  "Zen let us go to ze National Cheese Emporium.  Or perhaps, ze Inter-Dimensional House of Pancakes, to partake of ze Belgian waffles with le heavy cream?"

Tina rolled her eyes, sighed to herself, and followed the twin Peorths, wondering to herself exactly why she was still tagging along.