El-Hazard Online

General => El-Hazard Online => Topic started by: MrWhat on March 21, 2004, 12:37:34 AM



Title: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 21, 2004, 12:37:34 AM
OOC:  Continued from this topic (http://www.el-hazardonline-dl2.net/cgi-bin/ehol/YaBB.pl?board=ehol;action=display;num=1071072530;start=112).  Even if everyone else has had enough, I might try to have some more fun on my own.



Londs turned to address the Princess Rune Venus and the Queen Deva.  He did his best to ignore Dr. Schtalubaugh, who was busy putting a tall stack of folded laundry into an oddly-placed closet in the Floristica palace throne room.

"Allow me to formally offer my congratulations to you both," Londs said to Rune and Deva.  "Now that the leaders of the two great powers of El-Hazard have made their peace, we can finally look forward to a New Golden Age of prosperity, happiness and enlightenment--"

Just then, goth-Ifurita-3 mooned into the room.  The light in the room seemed to dim in her presence.  "Alas!" she cried.  "There is no light; there is but darkness.  There is no warmth; there is but coldness.  There is no love; there is but a heart-numbing soul-crushing eternity of loneliness and despair.  And an immortal demon god such as I shall never taste sweet sweet death.  Truly, I am the Sad Clown of Life."

"Oh dear," a frowning Deva said to herself.  "Dr. Semimad's therapy would not seem to be going well."

Schtalubaugh suddenly spun away from the closet.  "Semimad!?  I beg your pardon, Milady Deva, but has that poor girl been placed in the care of that charlatan Semimad?  My junior classmate at Scientific Advisor School, and my life-long rival and greatest enemy?  We should be grateful that the poor dear hasn't cast herself into the Dimensional Void between worlds!"

"What would you have us do, good Doctor?" asked Rune.

"For a lost soul such as her, there is but one remedy," Schtalubaugh said solemnly.  "She must be made to forget her sorrow.  The music of her laughter must be brought forth, once again.  And the best way to do that is--"

The small and aged man suddenly jumped at Ifurita-3 with surprising agility.  He gently but firmly glomped her, brought her down to the floor, and began to tickle her mercilessly, but in a happy fun ghost-of-Yuba-and-Ishiel kind of way.

"YEEEK!!" said Ifurita-3.  "Hee hee!!  Hee hee!!  Hee hee!!"

Londs, Rune and Deva sweat-dropped.

And then, Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess of Earth, etc., etc., casually strolled into the room.  She walked past Schtalubaugh and Ifurita-3, completely ignoring them, and came to stand before Rune, Deva and Londs.  "Greetings, Milady Rune.  Greetings, Milady Deva.  How's it goin', Royal Ugly Dude?"

Londs scowled.  "Well, well.  If it isn't the back-stabbing little background character.  State your business, woman, before I have you returned to the Floristica dungeons for the rest of your natural life."

A grinning Ishiel held up a hand in protest.  "Whoah, whoah!  Hold on there, Mr. Pants!  I came to volunteer some crucial intelligence, hopefully in exchange for a large sum of money and/or consignment of sakè."

Londs raised an eyebrow.  "Did you just call me Mr. Pants?"

Rune was already becoming annoyed with Londs, the retainer whom she herself had fired recently.  "What news have you, Priestess?" she asked.

Ishiel comically rolled her eyes up, held her hands behind her back, and rocked on her feet.  "Ohhhh, just that the Mice Wearing Hats and the Giant Sewer Rats, having lost the election, will be planning a long and terrible siege of Floristica from underground.  Beginning sometime the day after tomorrow, I should think."

"Oh, nut bunnies," said Rune, Londs and Deva, in unison.

An uncomfortable silence fell over the room, broken only by Ifurita-3's childish giggling and gasping for breath.

"By the way," Rune finally asked, "where is your, um, friend Afura?"

Ishiel smiled a deeply disturbing smile.  "Oh, poor little Afura.  Hee hee.  I decided to have some more fun at her expense-- er, I mean, punish her again.  I mean, it's almost as if she enjoys it...  Anyway, you remember that tub of mud?  Well, we both, uh, borrowed it for awhile--"

Deva cut in.  "May I say, Lady Ishiel, that the mud I've repeatedly seen you wearing, on babump.com, has done wonders for your skin.  It's so clear and smooth."

"Erm, thank you, Milady.  Anyway, before Afura could clean up, I used my Great Lamp of Earth to harmlessly draw all the moisture out of the mud on her, and to crystallize the mud's molecular structure, making it as hard as stone."



Ifurina and her new scary-door-opening friend Kalia were strolling through the reconstructed parts of the Floristica gardens, enjoying their ice cream and looking at all the pretty flowers.

They paused in front of a life-sized stone statue.  "Oh, look!" said Ifurina.  "What a lovely sculpture of Afura Mann!"

"And it's so life-like," the new sweet and innocent Kalia said.  "It's almost as if it's looking back at us, isn't it."

"*mmmph*" the statue said.

"Did you just say something?" Kalia asked.

"Um, no," Ifurina said.

"*mmmph*" the statue said again.

Ifurina and Kalia both looked to Staff-chan.  "It wasn't me," it said.

"*MMMPH*!!" the statue said impatiently.

Ifurina and Kalia gulped in unison, glanced at each other, looked back at the statue, and suddenly ran away screaming.

Afura sighed sadly to herself.  "*mmmmmmmmph*"


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 21, 2004, 12:42:59 AM
Crayna slowly sat up, holding her poor hung-over head in both hands, so that it wouldn't fall off her shoulders.

She found herself lying on perfectly smooth and flat bedrock.  The moonlit landscape was utterly featureless from horizon to horizon.  Nanami's table, along with the bar, the tavern building, and the small town around it, seemed to have disappeared.

Nanami also sat up.  "What the--  What's happened!?"

Crayna rubbed her neck.  "If I didn't know better, I'd guess that... by some random fluke of dimensional energy... we've been instantaneously displaced by a few hundred kilometers."

"But... where are we?" Nanami asked.

Crayna looked up at the clear warm night sky.  "From the visible constellations... and given the time of year... we ought to be in the kingdom of Yusaan.  But it's almost as if the entire kingdom was also cut away by some weird dimensional weapon, down to the topsoil...  Oh, that's right.  That happened way back in the first Round Robin topic."

Cartoon question marks danced around Nanami's head.  "How did we get here?"

"Your doing, I should think."  Crayna gestured to Nanami's Plasticky Pink Battle Axe Power Key Staff, now powered down and lying nearby.  "An alcohol-induced psychic feedback loop, or some such plot hole."

Nanami turned to her power key staff, a little too quickly, and the world swerved around her.  "Ack...  I'm sorry, Crayna.  And I don't think I can CHINK!! us back until this hangover eases up."

"S'alright, hon," Crayna said.  "At least we came through with our clothes.  Us anime women have a tendency to lose our clothes in plot holes like that, dontcha know."

She and Nanami heard a pathetic groan.  They both turned to see a hung-over, and naked, Shayla.  The Great Priestess of Fire struggled to a sitting position, looked down at herself, found that she was wearing nothing but her lamp in its leg-pouch, and sighed.  "Aw, man..."

Crayna moved to Shayla's side, shrugged off her long stylish jacket, and draped it over her protegè's shoulders.  It covered Shayla better than her own tight and skimpy outfit.

Shayla smiled weakly, in hung-over gratitude.  "Thanks, sensei.  Actually, this isn't that bad.  The last time I got that drunk, I woke up alone in the desert, naked as a treefish, and my head had been shaved."

"Aw, that's nothin'," Crayna countered.  "The last time *I* got that drunk, I woke up alone in the desert, naked as a treefish, my head had been shaved, and I had a new body piercing in my--"

Nanami cut in.  "Ohhhh-kay!!  Thanks for sharing!  But, what should we do now?"

Crayna flopped back down to the ground, folding her hands under her head.  "Well, the sun should rise in about an hour.  If yer not up to teleportin' us back, we can rest up for awhile, and then try to find the nearest town after the sun rises."

Nanami followed Crayna's lead, and laid back down too.  "'Kay.  It is a beautiful night sky, out here in the desert, isn't it?  So peaceful and quiet..."

Just then, a small waterspout flew over Crayna, Nanami and Shayla.  The female Jinnai and the male Marid were visible within it, struggling with each other in a cartoonish Tasmanian Devil kind of way.

Shayla gulped.  "Uh... am I hallucinating, or did you just see a drop-dead sexy male demon god, and a drop-dead sexy woman wearing Lord God Loser's uniform, fly by in a waterspout?"

"No, we saw it too," Crayna said.

And then, Makoto's flying carpet flew over them.  Jinnai's faithful Bugrom servant Groucho was riding it, and controlling it with surprising skill, in dogged pursuit of his Master/Mistress.

Shayla gulped again.  "Uh... am I hallucinating now, or did you just see Lord God Loser's pet bug fly by on a carpet?"

"No, we saw that too," Nanami said.

Shayla suddenly yelped, and pointed to thin air.  "Okay, am I hallucinating now, or did you just see two really, really ugly Mice Wearing Hats, one playing a guitar and the other singing 'We Like The Moon' (http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/), fly by?"

Crayna and Nanami glanced at each other.  "Uh... no," Crayna said.  "Sorry, hon.  That one must have been a hallucination."

Shayla grinned.  "Oh well.  Two out of three ain't bad."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 21, 2004, 12:48:58 AM
"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" said Makoto.

Just moments earlier, Makoto had been sitting on Dao's cart, opening a 'Stores' box out of curiousity.  The next thing he knew, he was falling through darkness-- thrown through time and space in a kind of way that wouldn't make a demon god blink, but that was plenty terrifying to a mere mortal.

Brilliant silver light flashed all around him, and he emerged from the darkness, only to find himself still falling.  From the rustling of leaves, and the sting of the branches under them, he realized that he was falling between tall thick trees.

The tree branches parted, and Makoto finally came to earth, landing safely on his back in a pile of something soft and warm.  "OOF!!"

He stared wild-eyed up through the trees, and clutched at whatever it was that was under him, until he got his breath back.  Then he turned his head, to find himself lying in... a huge pile of clean and warm mis-matched socks.

Huh, he thought.  So this is the dimension where all the socks gone missing from the laundry end up.

Makoto stood up, and peeled a few socks off himself, with crackling static-cling sounds.  He noticed a footpath near where he had landed.  He struggled out of the socks, and began to follow the path through the shady grove of trees.

After a minute or two, he came to a clearing in the trees.  He felt a wonderful warm spring breeze, smelled the clean smell of prairie grass after a morning rain, and heard voices.

A small rural guest cottage, made of rough logs and stone, stood in the clearing.  It seemed ancient, but it was in good repair.  The path that Makoto had followed became a stone path that led to the front door of the cottage, then led around its left side to another small clearing behind it.

As Makoto followed the stone path around, it widened to a landing behind the cottage.  A wooden table and chairs sat in the middle of the landing, under a wide sun parasol.  Two women sat at the table, enjoying a fine tea service and idly chatting about pure evil genius.

Makoto didn't know the two women, but when they looked up at him, he thought that they might be sisters.  They both had long wavy blond hair, dark tight clothing, and wacky evil expressions.  The older woman seemed to have fangs.

He also noticed an exotic multi-colored bird and a bishounen imp the size of a soda bottle, sitting in two miniature chairs to one side of the table, enjoying a miniature tea service and idly chatting about their misfortunes as wacky side-kick characters.

"Excuse me," Makoto said, "but where am I, and who are you?"

The younger woman spoke first.  "I am Pixy Misa, and this is my old friend Mara.  Welcome to The Next Dimension."

"Pull up a chair, kid," said Mara.  "So, who blasted ya here?"

Makoto sat down, as Misa poured a third cup of tea for him.  "Uh, no one, actually," he said.

"Eh?"  Mara raised an eyebrow.  "The only other way to end up in The Next Dimension is to open the legendary Box Of AAAIIIEEEEE!! and fall into it.  The last I'd heard, it was safely hidden away in 'Stores' in El-Hazard.  Only a complete moron would go and open it--"

Makoto cleared his throat, and changed the subject.  "*ahem*  Yes, well...  I have to say, this is a pretty nice place for a, um, Next Dimension."

"Isn't it, though?" Misa agreed.  "This is actually a popular spot for us wacky anime villains, to relax and rest up in-between defeats.  And when one is ready to get back into shape, there are many lovely ice-cold waterfalls to sit under, and plenty of wild bears to wrestle...  But you are not a villain, are you?  I beg your pardon, but you seem to be something of a goody-goody."

"Uh, actually, I think I've just begun some kind of inter-dimensional quest," Makoto said.  "I was wondering if you could tell me anything about The Palace of Infinity."

Misa, Mara, Rumiya and Senbei did a four-way spit-take with their tea.

"The Palace Of Infinity!?" Mara yelled.

"Er, yes," Makoto said.

"The Palace Of Infinity!?" Misa yelled, in turn.

"Yes," Makoto sighed.

"The PALACE OF INFINITY!?" Rumiya and Senbei yelled, in unison.

Makoto hung his head, and held the bridge of his nose, with a pained expression.  "Yes," he said, in an annoyed voice.

An awkward silence fell over the landing.

"Never heard of it," Mara finally said.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on March 22, 2004, 07:21:19 PM
Dr. Semimad stuck his head into the throne room, a worried expression on his face.  "Excuse me, Empress, Princess, but have you seen my patient?  I turned my back for one instant to confirm my Ebay transaction and she took off...YOU!" he yelled, aghast, as he spotted Dr. Schtalubaugh and rushed over to Ifurita-3.  "I should've known you were behind this.  Now then, care to explain what you're doing to my patient?"

"Saving her from your...utterly irresponsible and damaging psychological techniques, you charlatan!" Dr. Schtalubaugh retorted hotly as he raised himself to his full but unimpressive height and glared at the Minister of Highly Unusual but Surprisingly Effective Tortures.  On the ground, Ifurita-3 rolled and convulsed with laughter.  "Even an infant knows that plunging a demon god into the depths of despair isn't a good idea!"

Dr. Semimad tsked and shook his head contemptuously.  "And if you could grasp any picture bigger than you are, you'd realize that what she needs now _more_ than fleeting happiness and manufactured joy is emotional maturity and depth!  There's no telling how much your..._interference_ has set back the development of her psyche!"

"Doctors, doctors, I don't think this is the time-" Princess Rune Venus began to say, hoping to calm her long time advisor and her recent campaign manager/guard, but she was interrupted by Ishiel.

"Forget it, Princess.  Those two seem to be in a world of their own right now," the Rogue Priestess of Earth noted matter of factly, easily recognizing the signs of a full-fledged and bitter rivalry when she saw them, although the stereotypical staredown made it fairly obvious anyway.

"Are you _mad_, Dr. Semimad?  Psychological development is a process that takes years - or, in the case of Ifurita-1, a shared memory and true love, but I digress - and having Ifurita-3 attempt to create a totally comprehensive self-identity in a period of days is sheer foolishness!  The possible dangers to the subconscious are too great to risk!" Dr. Schtalubaugh nearly shouted, his voice laced with anger and outrage.

"And for the one hundred ninety-eight thousand, six hundred twenty-fourth time, I am a professional!" Dr. Semimad replied with frustration.  "My ancestors have been...'pioneers' in the various fields involving mental research for generations, and I am employing thoroughly tested and well-documented unorthodox procedures!  My therapies work, Dr. Schtalubaugh, and it's high time you admitted it!"

On the ground, Ifurita-3 froze as she underwent another personality shift.  The light in the room brightened to the point where it was almost painful to look at as the demon god's eyes widened to unnaturally large and amazingly cute proportions and her pupils dilated.  Gothic clothing morphing into a tie-dyed shirt and bell bottom pants, Ifurita-3 slowly stood up with a cheerful and frighteningly perky smile on her face.  

"Yo!" she said in greeting.

Dr. Schtalubaugh folded his arms in triumph.  "_Now_ do you see the peril in rushing things, _Dr. Sillycad_?"

"This is a direct and negative result of _your_ interference, _Dr. Scumbag_," Dr. Semimad retorted through grit teeth.  "If you would just leave my work alone-"

Sighing, the up-till-now unnoticed Demiigor walked over to Ifurita-3 as the two doctors continued their heated and rapidly deteriorating argument and handed her a book.  "Consider it an apology for earlier," he explained, smiling kindly.

Ifurita-3 read the title.  "Being Human for Dummies:  A Reference Guide for the Rest of Us! (http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/)"

******

Somewhere in the desert, the Guide was being chased by Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia and attempting to calculate a way out of its current predicament.  However, the uncertainty field he was currently stuck in made it impossible to be certain of any outcomes.  Uncomfortably close, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia continued to reach for and try to bite his tail.  The dust storm left in their wake served as a mute testament to the intensity of the altered demon god's pursuit of the multi-dimensional avian.

"I don't have time for this," the Guide mumbled with what was almost annoyance.  Coming remarkably close to sighing, he concluded that desperate times called for desperate measures, and although on his grand scale this situation wasn't desperate it was beginning to border on irritating so it might as well be dealt with now rather than later.  Since the uncertainty field was currently hindering his ability to accurately manipulate the physical laws of the universe, he'd simply have to adjust those laws into something a bit more...tractable to his will, something a bit more...looney (http://www.cerbslair.com/ltcc/).

******

"Feed me," the Audrey II (http://www.geocities.com/angrypuppets/puppetshop/audrey2/) whimpered pitifully and imploringly.

Dall III blinked as he gazed at the tiny fly-trap-esque plant.  "Ryoko, dear, this plant is talking to me and hungrily eyeing the cut on my left index finger.  What should I do?"

The crossover demon god floated over to the former Creterian Emperor and critically examined the deceptively innocuous looking plant.  Her eyes narrowed dangerously, and, raising her palm, she released a blast of energy.  The newest cameo was vaporized before it could begin a killing spree or even sing a musical number.

"There, problem solved," Ryoko commented nonchalantly, brushing her hands off.  "I'm going to check on Bill and Alyssa now, but if any more plants start speaking, yell, okay hon?  We have enough problems to deal with without having to worry about pod-people or the like."

Hearing this, one of the many plants in the greenhouse recoiled and did its very best to look invisible and nonthreatening.

******

"So...you want to know more about dis 'Palace of Infinity' eh?" Pixy Misa asked Makoto from where she was sitting, a playful smile on her bright features.

"Yeah, do you know anything about it?" Makoto questioned anxiously, suspecting that he was going to receive frustratingly negative answer.  He wasn't disappointed.

"Nope!" Pixy Misa answered cheerfully, her cunning smirk growing larger as she stood and posed dramatically, "but never fear, mon ami, for your dilemma is now in moi's capable hands."

Grabbing an encyclopedia from somewhere (probably baton space), she tossed it up in the air and shot it with a beam of magic from her cane.  "Calling Mystics!"

In a flash of brilliant light, the encyclopedia grew in size and assumed a vaguely humanoid but definitely female form, growing arms, legs, and a head.  When the transformation was done, a bookish but incredibly cute encyclopedia monster flashed everyone a knowing smile...until she realized that she was standing in mid-air and promptly succumbed to the laws of gravity.

CRASH!

"Love-Love Monster Know-It-All Girl, I, the magical girl of love and ambition, Pixy Misa, order you to tell us everything you know about the Palace of Infinity!" the young villainous ordered her newest creation, seemingly unconcerned about its sprawled and bruised state on the ground.

"Everything, mistress?" Know-It-All Girl repeated as she slowly collected herself and climbed to her feet, readjusting the pink, heart-shaped spectacles adorning her nose.

"Oui, everything!" Pixy Misa reiterated, tapping her left boot's heel against the chair she was standing on impatiently.

"Alright then, mistress," Know-It-All Girl replied obligingly, saluting her master.  "I'll do my best.  Now then, let me see.  About the Palace of Infinity," she muttered to herself, opening her chest and flipping through her internal pages.  "...Castle of Wolfenstein...Fortress of Solitude...Mana Fortress...ah, Palace of Infinity."  

Know-It-All Girl bowed before Pixy Misa.  "Mistress, concerning the Palace of Infinity...I know absolutely nothing about it!" she said sheepishly, only her mighty cuteness sparing her from a blast of Pixy Sexual Fire.

Pixy Misa's sweatdrop could be heard a mile away.

******

Frowning slightly, Khamid withdrew a pistol from his lab coat and calmly shot the two scouts.  With comically shocked expressions on their faces, they crumpled to the ground and vanished in the Phantom Tribe's typical fashion, leaving open the possibility that they were still alive although, considering that the narrative hadn't even bothered to give their names, one could consider such a likelihood improbable.

"Now then, where were we before this...irritating interruption?" Khamid asked as he slowly turned around to face Nahato again, a cruel grin on his features.

"I do believe, my friend, that we were just about to eliminate the Heir to the Throne of Deep Shadows and seize control of the Phantom Tribe for ourselves," Hassad answered calmly, voice tinged with undertones of maliciousness.

"Traitors!  Lord Galus will punish you for this betrayal!  Hear me, my master and lord, and save your faithful servant!" Nahato beseeched empty air, looking upward pleadingly.

Sardonic laughter that only he could hear echoed back.

Poor deluded deluded child.  You have served served our purposes well, but but you are still only a pawn pawn and will now be replaced replaced replaced.

Nahato's eyes widened first in shock and then in fury.  "You...you deceived me!  You're not Lord Galus!"

You deceived yourself yourself, foolish boy.  And now, you will die die.

"While this melodrama is faintly entertaining, it is also pointless," Khamid uttered levelly, aiming his pistol at Nahato.  "I hate wasting time, so...good-bye, my lord.  May you find the eternity of darkness you desire in the afterlife."  

It should be noted that perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses a villain has is the desire to explain one's brilliant plans to the hero/victim before eliminating him or her.  While the Other knew better than to do this, it might've been acting a bit presumptuously in assuming that Nahato's death was imminent and revealing that it wasn't truly Galus.

Unnoticed by all, Minagi's left hand had been stealthily crawling across the floor and had now reached the Lawn Sprinkler of Tears.  With only seconds to spare before Khamid pressed the trigger, the disjointed demon god activated the improvised Ancient artifact.

******

In Crayna's hut and unbothered as of yet by the many subplots and machinations currently brewing throughout the world and in who knows many dimensions, the child-Creterian-Diva and insectoid-Kauru slept together in a mother/daughter, genuinely heart-warming kind of way.

Outside, Groucho sped by on Makoto's flying carpet, doggedly pursuing his master across the length and breadth of El-Hazard which, all things considered, he was getting rather used to.  Elsewhere, Parnasse and Ura stalked the streets of Florestica looking for something to do, the former upset that the story had seemingly forgotten about him again and the latter moping about his recent political misfortunes.

"Gah," Ura commented morosely.

"You and me both, buddy," Parnasse replied forlornly, sighing with frustration.  "You and me both."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Andrusi on March 27, 2004, 02:43:13 PM
At that moment the post ended and a new one began.  This post was being written by someone whose brain was Completely Fried from working for too many consecutive hours on a CSC116 assignment and therefore could barely remember who the characters in the Round Robin were, much less what was going on, and yet he felt the need to make it clear that he had not, in fact, fallen off the face of the earth.  He therefore picked the last characters who had been mentioned, and came up with something completely random to happen to them.

"Hey, what's that?" Parnasse wondered aloud as he spotted something coming up the road at a very high speed.

The question would soon answer itself, as the something practically flew right past their noses and proceeded to collide with a building.  Pieces of something and building flew everywhere, miraculously missing all the people in the vicinity.

When the smoke cleared, Parnasse and Ura stared blankly.  Makoto, Fujisawa, Nanami, or Jinnai might have identified the something as the remains of a car, given enough time and assuming enough pieces could be found.  But that wasn't what they were staring at--oddly enough, high-speed collisions involving vehicles from other dimensions were a very common occurrence in El-Hazard.  They were staring at the two suited things with heads vaguely reminiscent of C-3PO (http://www.state.me.us/dps/Bhs/NETS/vl.htm) that had come out of the building that had been hit.

"Wow, we sure got thrown far in that crash," said the blue one.  "If I was a person and not a crash test dummy, I probably would have broken my neck and died."

Suddenly both looked right at Parnasse and said "Don't you be a dummy.  Buckle your safety belt."  They then walked away like nothing had happened.

Our mostly-forgotten heroes stared for a few seconds more before Parnasse finally broke the silence.  "That was the most useless crossover ever."

"Gah," Ura agreed.  He liked this new catchphrase of his.  It was very versatile.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 29, 2004, 01:04:57 AM
And then, Parnasse and Ura were attacked by stray flying Mouth Of God Happy Faces (remember them?).  Parnasse got a cream pie in the face, while Ura was soaked with a seltzer bottle.

And then, a roving band of vigilante female ninjas tackled Parnasse and Ura, threw them to the ground, and sat on their heads.

And then, before Parnasse and Ura could catch their breath, they were found and abducted by a small team of crack commando Mice Wearing Hats.  Parnasse and Ura were stuffed into sacks and carried away into the night.



Schtalubaugh and Semimad had briefly set aside their differences in order to deal with the increasingly schizophrenic Ifurita-3's latest personality.

"Ifurita, my dear?" said Semimad.  "We've briefly set aside our differences in order to deal with your latest personality."

"This may be a difficult time for you," Schtalubaugh said, in a reassuring voice.  "Not only because of your rapidly changing identity, but also because you've entered a pseudo-pre-teenaged phase of your development.  But if there is anything that either of us can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask."

"'Kay," said the unnervingly perky pseudo-pre-teen Ifurita-3.  "Can I have a pony?"

"No," Semimad said.

"Oh," Ifurita-3 said.  "In that case, can I have a cell phone?"

"I'm afraid not, my dear," Schtalubaugh said.  "Despite our thousands of years of scientific progress, following the Holy Wars, El-Hazard remains entirely devoid of telecommunications infrastructure."

"Oh," Ifurita-3 said again.  "Well, in that case, can I have a pony?"

"No," Schtalubaugh and Semimad said in unison, as they escorted Ifurita-3 from the throne room, along with Demiigor.

"Well..." Rune said slowly.  "That was... nice?  But I hope the poor dear feels better.  She does seem happier, now."

"Indeed," Deva agreed.  "And I find her new persona more pleasing, myself."

Ishiel also agreed.  "That whole art-goth scene is so early-1990s.  I mean, I'm definitely not speaking for the current writer here, but there's nothing more annoying than some art-goth chick mooning about the place.  Thank Muldoon we don't have to put up with that nonsense any more--"

Just then, Makoto's Ifurita mooned into the room.  The light in the room seemed to dim (again) in her presence.  "Alas!" she cried.  "My dear sweet precious beloved soul-mate is lost to me!  I cannot sense his psychic presence anywhere in this dimension!  Am I to be denied even the few short mortal years of love and happiness that we might have shared?  Shall I know only this heart-numbing soul-crushing eternity of loneliness and despair?  And an immortal demon god such as I shall never taste sweet sweet death.  Truly, I am the Sad Clown of Life."

"GAH!!" said Ishiel.



A Giant Sewer Rat knocked at the door to Millie's private quarters.

The door opened slowly.  Millie peered out from the darkened room.  She was wearing her favorite jammies, and holding a blanket around herself for emotional comfort.  From her 'bed-head' of hair, it was obvious that she hadn't got up for hours.

"What.  Is.  It?" she said, in a soft and dull yet dangerous voice.

The Giant Sewer Rat squeaked out its brief report, then held up a small object.  It had found the Love potion that Millie herself had given to Shayla in exchange for her support-- the same Love potion that Shayla had thrown away as she left Floristica.  It had floated back through the sewers, to be found and returned to Millie in a deus ex machina kind of way.

Millie sighed, took the Love potion from the Giant Sewer Rat, and gave the rat an affectionate scritch behind an ear.  "Thanks, hon.  But now, if you don't mind, I still have about 36 hours of bed-ridden angst left to get through."

After the Giant Sewer Rat left, Millie listlessly tossed the Love potion on a table.  Then she crawled back into her bed, to continue reading one of her favorite old comic books by lamplight in the darkened room, while eating dry cereal from the box and listening to mopey music (http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/cd/printer_friendly.asp?aid=13390).

The current writer only thought to mention the Love potion, seeing as how (1) as he previously mentioned, he ages Millie forward to 18 years old for the Round Robin, at least, in his own mind; (B) the crack commando Mice Wearing Hats were bringing Parnasse to her, and he could be about 18 years old by now, too; and (iii) the current writer couldn't remember either Millie or Parnasse having a Love InterestTM in the Round Robin before now.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 29, 2004, 01:12:34 AM
OOC:  Rowan, that was excellent.  You began the next scene that I had in mind for the Phantom Tribe, almost word for word.



Nahato still sat in his throne, even as the two traitorous and murderous scientists, their evil clones and their demon god closed in on him.

He was not an honorable boy, by any stretch of imagination, but he faced his imminent death as honorably as he could.  He did not cower in fear, or beg for his life.  He would not give his enemies that satisfaction.  He simply closed his eyes, hung his head, and waited for the death blow.

He was utterly taken by surprise when Minagi's right hand grabbed him by his collar, and yanked him backwards over his throne, in the blink of an eye.

Nahato fell to the floor head-first, between the back of his throne and the back wall of the room, coming to rest on his shoulders.  He opened his eyes, and found himself staring upside-down into the lovely amber eyes of Minagi's disembodied head.

"Lord Nahato!!" hissed Minagi.  "Forgive me for this!!"

Nahato suddenly felt Minagi's right hand again, behind his head.  She pushed Nahato's mouth against hers, and engaged her master in a disturbingly face-sucking open-mouthed kiss.  Her right hand quickly crawled over Nahato's face, and for good measure, it pinched Nahato's nose shut.

For an instant, Nahato struggled against his demon god's disembodied yet still super-human strength.  He tried to say something along the lines of, "look, I think you're very nice, and I know I've been keeping scantily-clothed clone slaves on a chain, but still, I'm not really old enough for this kind of thing, and besides that, I'm not really your type, seeing as how I'm a bloodthirsty assassin and a particularly nasty little brat, and you seem to be a really nice girl, and--"  But it only came out as "*mmmph*"

But, despite his many shortcomings, Nahato was actually a fairly intelligent nasty little brat.  When he heard the Lawn Sprinkler Of Tears power up, he realized that Minagi was trying to shield him from its nanotechnological effects, by filtering his air and breathing for him.  He closed his eyes again, and he allowed Minagi to push her sweet breath into his mouth.  And, as he heard Hassad, Khamid and all the clone slaves scream in surprise, he prayed.

A minute or two later, the machine powered down, and the surprised screams fell to an excited chatter.  Minagi released her master's face, with a shy little smile.  Nahato struggled out from behind his throne, and got back up on his feet.

He found that Al-Zahad had not been affected by the working model Cloud Of Tears generator.  But as for the two scientists, and all the clone slaves in the room...

They were human.

Nahato was suddenly confused.  He spun back to Minagi, as she painstakingly rolled her head from behind the throne with her right hand.  "Waitaminute!!" he yelled.  "The Cloud of Tears was supposed to take humans and turn them into Tribers!!"

Minagi giggled.  "Yes, Master.  But I turned my sensors on the working model, when your two scouts brought it in, and I realized that they had got their wires crossed.  In fact, they reversed the polarity of the neutron flow (http://tvwiki.sytes.net/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReversePolarity)."

Meanwhile, Hassad and Khalid had worked out what had happened, but they still didn't know why the machine      had activated.  They both strode to the Lawn Sprinkler Of Tears and inspected it.

Minagi's left hand still clung to the machine.  It flipped its middle finger at them, in a disturbingly cute way, before scampering back to the main pile of Minagi by Nahato's throne.

"An unfortunate development," Hassad noted.  "Still, it should take only a minute or two to correct the faulty wiring, reset the machine, and activate it again, to reverse the effect."

Khalid looked up, and gulped.  "That is a minute or two that we do not have."

Hassad also looked up, to find Al-Zahad standing over them.  Poor little blind clone Uruak clung to one of his big strong arms, but he still held his key staff up, with its business end resting against Hassad's now-human chest.

Khalid immediately realized what had happened, but, being an evil scientist, he explained it out loud anyway.  "Ah.  The working model Cloud Of Tears generator must have altered the human half of Uruak's genetic pattern, in order to integrate it with the revised half-Phantom Tribe genetic pattern.  She no longer bears the genetic markup of the Northern Capital weaponers, and so she can no longer control this demon god, or any other."

Hassad felt Al-Zahad's key-staff begin to energize.  "Yes," he said with remarkable restraint, "I just had worked out most of that, myself."

Al-Zahad took himself and his duties quite seriously, as Crayna and Nanami had noted.  Still, he allowed himself a bit of a grim smile, and a joke at the expense of the two truly despicable scientists.  "It would seem that I have temporarily gained free will.  However, before I return to my rightful Master Crayna, there is a small matter of justice, not to mention personal revenge, to be resolved.  And I am sure that Master Crayna would approve.  In fact, she and her friends might preface it with something like this:

"*ahem*  You have been naughty, naughty little evil scientists.  I'm afraid that I'm going to have to punish you.  And let me assure you, when I say punish, I do not mean 'punish' in a happy fun Dee and Ryo (http://www.animeondvd.com/reviews2/disc_reviews/313.php) kind of way."



"gah GAH!! gah" said The Other.

Things like this were precisely why it detested variables so much.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 29, 2004, 01:23:44 AM
The Splendiloquent Peorth, the penultimate Peorthian Doctor, and their little friend Tina sat in the Floristica IHOP, over a huge stack of dishes, the only remains of an enormous Continental breakfast.  Tina was astounded at how the two impossibly beautiful bikini-and-belted goddesses could pack it away like that, and still keep their figures.

"Now then, mon amis," Peorth said.  "Zere ees still le matter of ze Mouth of God to resolve."

"Indeed," the Doctor agreed.  "But... apart from ze Heck-laire of Rassilon... how do we attack eet?"

The two Peorths frowned, crossed their arms, and rubbed their chins, in perfect unison, in a really cute way.  "Hmmmm..." they both said.

Tina rolled her eyes and sighed.  She reached into her purse, dug out a few roshtals, and set them on the counter, for a tip.

Peorth raised an eyebrow, then turned to the Doctor.  "Doctor?  Are vous pondereeng what moi ees pondereeng?"

"I theenk so," the Doctor replied.  "But... ze answer, could eet be so very simple?"

"It ees as they say," Peorth said.  "We must fight le fire with le more fire."

"And we have le waitress Tina to asseest us!" the Doctor said, suddenly becoming excited at the prospect of a resolution to the whole Mouth of God thing that, actually, was pretty weak.  But hey, it had apparently been left to the current writer to come up with it, so don't give him any crap.

Tina, meanwhile, sweat-dropped.  "Um... how, exactly, am I to 'asseest'?"



Peorth and the Doctor rose up through the air, coming to float before the terrible face of the Mouth of God, not far from the Heckler of Rassilon.  (Apparently, the Doctor had gained Peorth's ability to fly with his regeneration.)  They held Tina up between them.

"We are just een time, mon amis," the Doctor whispered.  "Ze Heck-laire, he ees almost ze kaput."

Even Tina realized that this was true.  The Heckler held his head in both hands, obviously truly disgusted with the nonsense he had had to absorb from the Mouth of God.  It was clear that he couldn't bear the heavy load of awful humor for much longer.

"Y'know where animals go when they lose their tails?" the Mouth of God rhetorically asked the Heckler.  "To the re-tail store!"

The Heckler whimpered pitifully.

"Thank you!" the Mouth of God said.  "Two shows a day!  Be sure to tip your waitress!"

"Now!" Peorth said.  "Eet has given us ze perfect opening!"

Peorth and the Doctor brought Tina forwards, between the Mouth of God and the Heckler.  And they gave tips to their waitress.

"Tina?" said the Doctor.  "Do not take ze wooden nickels."

"Always look both ways before le crosseeng of ze street," Peorth said.

"When you are trying to eat ze elephant, take one bite at le time," the Doctor continued.

"Do not try to teach ze pig to sing.  Eet wastes your time, and eet annoys ze pig."

"Try to walk le mile in ze enemy's shoes.  Zat way, you will be a mile away, and you will have ze shoes."

"And when you come to ze fork in le road... take eet!"

A long and painfully uncomfortable silence filled the air.

Finally, the Mouth of God... groaned.  And it quickly began to come apart, dissolving into the swarm of flying Happy Faces from which it had formed.

Peorth and the Doctor breathed out in relief.  (Tina was too terrified of the distance between her and the ground to relax.)  They both turned to the Heckler, expecting praise for finally finishing off the Mouth of God.  But they were sorely disappointed.

"*Man!*," the Heckler said sadly.  "And I thought the Mouth of God sucked!"

"But-- " the Doctor protested.  "But-- we have defeeted eet--"

"And let me tell you, honey," the Heckler said.  "That whole bikini-n-belts thing is so not you.  You'd be laughed right out of the Gallifreyan Panopticon, wearing something like that.  Now, if you were to wear Zoe Herriot's body suit, with that body?  Why, you'd have fan-boys drooling over you left and right."

With a pained sigh, the Doctor produced a small controlling device.  She switched it off, and the Heckler of Rassilon faded away, disappearing from El-Hazard, to return to Gallifrey.

Peorth huffed.  "What ees wrong with ze bikeeni-n-belts?  I have worn eet for millenia!"

"Now, now, mon cherie," the Doctor said kindly.  "Ze criticism was for moi alone.  Eet ees simply splendiloquent on you--"

"GAH!!" said Tina.  "First of all, put me down put me down put me down!!  And second, we've still got more important things to worry about!"

Peorth and the Doctor suddenly realized that, although the Mouth of God was no more, they were now flying through a huge swarm of just-freed and very unhappy Happy Faces.  Hundreds of cream pies and seltzer bottles were now trained on the three exposed and vulnerable women.

"Zees ees not good," Peorth noted.

"Eet might be even less gooder than before," the Doctor added.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on March 29, 2004, 01:39:00 AM
OOC:  This is the last of four!! replies that I've just posted.  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.



Dao had finally returned to "Files and Records" for more boxes.  As had been mentioned by a previous writer, there was in fact a way out from there.

Sighing sadly for the lost boy, Dao glanced at the door that was marked "Emergency 'Stores' Escape Route Containing Spare Clothes And Also A Toilet."



The Next Dimension cottage grounds had become rather crowded with a veritable plethora of strangely deformed, surprisingly useless, yet oddly attractive Love Love Monster Girls.

"Just give me one more chance!" Misa begged.  "I'm sure I can summon up--"

"No offense," Makoto said, "but if Love Love Monster Reference Librarian, Love Love Monster Adventure Travel Planner, and even Love Love Monster ESRI ArcGIS (http://www.esri.com/products.html) Programmer, can't help me find the Palace of Infinity, then I don't know who can."

"Look, kid," said Mara.  "I can tell that, as a goody-goody, you're eager to continue your inter-dimensional quest to save the Universe--"

"Uh, actually, that's not it at all," Makoto said.  "I just wanna get this over with, so that I can return to my loving soul-mate and all my dear friends, and live a nice quiet life in the palace.  Studying in the library... working with Dr. Schtalubaugh's relics... maybe a little bit of light gardening..."

Mara blinked.  "Uh... yeah.  Whatever.  But I do know where you might be able to continue your quest.  There's a cave, here in the Next Dimension, not too far from here."  She pointed to the side of a nearby low mountain.  "It's a place of many legends.  You might find some answers in it--"

Makoto finished his tea, and stood up from the table.  "Then I'd better get going.  Thanks for your hospitality.  For wacky anime villains, you've both been very kind."

"Wait!"  Mara raised a hand after him.  "According to one legend, a demon was sealed in that cave, 700 years ago.  I don't know if you'll find what you're looking for, but if you do find a demon?  Whatever you do, don't disturb it!  I'm an obscure demon-type character as it is, and I don't need the competition."

"Don't worry."  Makoto gave her a Fujisawa-esque thumbs-up.  "I can control my curiousity."

Mara rolled her eyes.  "And who just opened the legendary 'Box Of AAAIIIEEEEE!!'?"

Makoto cast his eyes down and hung his head.  He turned away and left, to continue his quest.  Misa and Mara cheerfully waved him on.  "Bye bye!" they called out.  "Have fun storming the cavern!"

Then Misa turned to Mara.  "Think he'll make it?" she asked.

"It'd take a miracle," Mara said.



Makoto took his first step into the mysterious cave.  "Well," he said to himself, "this isn't so baAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"

He tripped over a pebble, stumbled forwards, and in one fell swoop:  he tore through a hanging paper scroll bearing a suddenly-destroyed sealing script; flailed one arm against an ancient sword, and broke its rusted blade into seventeen pieces; and fell through a steep inclined cavern passage, gracelessly sliding down its smooth damp floor like a nerdy kid at a water park.

Makoto came into a wide subterranean chamber with a low ceiling.  A still and shallow pool of water was set into the center of the chamber, softly glowing with strange energies from within.

Makoto scrabbled at the floor, desperately trying to halt his slide before he ended up in the pool, and he came to a halt at the pool's edge.  He breathed out in relief, and flopped back to the floor-- just in time to let the same pebble that had tripped him, bounce over him and plonk into the pool.

A monstrous cloaked but shapely female figure slowly rose from the pool, with an eerie groaning sound that echoed in the chamber.  Its dead soulless gaze quickly fell on Makoto, who was instantly petrified with fear.  The Monster Woman slowly waded through the water, and came to stand before Makoto.  It reached out and lovingly caressed Makoto's face with a cold clammy hand.

Then it suddenly glomped Makoto.  "Makoto-samaaaaa!!" it whined.  "I knew that you would come for me!  I knew that only a woman of proper upbringing, high morals and fine sensibilities, such as myself, would be suitable for you!  Let us return to Jurai, and be married, to spend the rest of eternity together!  Rest assured, I shall never, never leave your side!!"

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" Makoto said again.

And so it was that Makoto encountered the horrific annoying clingy spoiled-princess Monster Woman known as Aye--



The current writer suddenly heard a pounding at his apartment door.  Annoyed at the interruption of his wildly imaginative and highly entertaining Tenchi Muyo! OVA parody, he stood up from his computer, and went to open his door.

A large group of very angry otaku were crowded around his door.  The leader of the group held out a warrant, and spoke in a stern voice.  "We're here on the authority of the Ayeka Fan Club And Tenchi/Ayeka Pairing Supporters.  We understand that you're writing an unauthorized and unflattering parody of Our Lady Ayeka."

"Yeah, that's right," the current writer said.  "I mean, even though I am a Ryoko fan-boy, and even though it is painfully obvious that Ryoko is the best choice for Tenchi, not to mention the most entertaining (and sexy) girl in the harem, while whats-her-name is mostly a stereotype of a spoiled princess, and a hapless straight-woman for Ryoko?  All that doesn't mean-- AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"

There are many arguments with which a Ryoko fan-boy can safely and effectively defend himself against the AFCATAPS.  That wasn't one of them.

It remained to be seen how quickly the current writer could continue the Round Robin story.   It mostly depended on how quickly his bones knit.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on April 03, 2004, 09:16:38 PM
Two artificial lifeforms were speeding along a highway in the middle of a desert.  What a highway was doing in the middle of a desert remains to be seen, particularly since the world of El-Hazard doesn't seem to have highways.  One could probably blame the Ancients, though, since they appear to be indirectly responsible for just about everything.

Regardless, two artificial lifeforms were speeding along a highway in the middle of a desert, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia in hot pursuit of the Guide as they both moved at ridiculously fast speeds that made their legs and wings look like blurred wheels.  The female, metamorphosed demon god was nearly salivating in anticipation of catching her prey as she narrowed the gap between them.  The Guide continued flapping its wings in a seemingly unconcerned and calm way.  

"Though I dislike condescending to this level, beep beep!" the Guide said without enthusiasm, taking off like a bullet mere microseconds before Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia lunged forward to grab it.  She was left with a comic expression of surprise on her face as the speed and force behind her dive resulted in her rolling along the ground a couple dozen times.

"Miya!"

The hunt, as they say, was on.

******

In space, nobody can hear you scream.  

Fortunately for Makoto, he wasn't in space.

Unfortunately for Makoto, he was in the death-grip of a so-called horrific annoying clingy spoiled-princess Monster Woman known as Aye--  

Fortunately for Makoto, the writer who had put him in this precarious position had been...'violently reprimanded' by AFCATAPS before he could finish that sentence.

Unfortunately for Makoto, the _current_ writer was a fan of the purple-haired female character in question and, consequently, wasn't going to finish it either.

Fortunately, this ends another unfortunately/fortunately sequence.

******

Ifurina and Kalia looked up and saw a swarm of very unhappy faces about to unleash their smiley-faced wrath upon three apparently helpless women, two of whom were wearing bikini-n-belts.  The two demon gods exchanged a look.

"We must help those women but...those smiley faces are soooo cute!" Ifurina pouted cutely, torn between her kind spirit and love for cute things.

"True, but they're Smiley-Faces of Doom!" Kalia replied, grinning adorably.  "As such, they're eeeeevil and must be defeated!"

"I concur with Kalia, Ifurina," Staff-chan piped up calmly.  "My sensors indicate that this swarm of smiley-faces is highly dangerous and poses a serious threat to Roshtaria.  If they're not stopped, there's no telling what new and incredibly wacky horror they'll unleash upon the world-...wait.  Do you hear that?"

The two demon gods cupped their left hands around their left ears and listened closely.  Just barely audible above the din of post-war reconstruction and city life was the sound of...

"Is that a wolf?" Kalia asked after a moment, a puzzled expression on her face.

Ifurina shook her head.  "I don't think so.  Wolves aren't native to this area, they rarely venture into cities, and one should _never_ ask them for directions to Grandmother's house.  Or at least that's what Mom always told me."

Then, improbably, a wolf could be heard howling in the distance.  

A moment later, Rune's loyal wolfhound, Hector, came barreling around the corner with eyes wide in fright and, spying the two demon gods, ran behind them for protection.

"Ruff?" Hector pleaded hopefully, attempting to make himself appear as lovable and unthreatening as lupinely possible.

"Ah, you're a good boy, aren't you?  Good boy!" Ifurina exclaimed happily, getting down on her knees to pet the frightened animal and wearing a huge, delighted smile, her mother's advice about wolves momentarily forgotten.

"Hm, I wonder what could possibly terrify a wolf so badly?" Kalia said aloud, face tightening up in puzzlement, as she pondered the question.  She'd soon have her answer.

"Puppy!  Come back puppy!  I want to take you home and hug you and pet you and squeeze you, and I will call you George!" Elmira shouted as she also rounded the corner, sending tendrils of primordial terror down the spines of every nearby animal.

Hector whimpered.

"There you are puppy!" Elmira cried out happily, eyes lighting up as she spied her prey- *achem* newest would-be pet.

Kalia and Ifurina both took one long look at the red-haired terror known as Elmira, exchanged a meaningful glance, and then stood protectively in front of Hector.  Although they didn't know this girl, they could sense that her intentions toward the wolf were better left unfulfilled.

Fortunately, before Kalia and Ifurina had to face this horror, something else caught her attention.

"Kawaii..." Elmira commented in awe and wonder, having spotted the swarm of smiley-faces in the sky and, her love for everything cute getting the better of her, began to automatically stroll over to the nearest hovercraft.  Her eyes burned with unnaturally cute intensity as she prepared to take to the skies.

Hector let out a sigh of relief and, realizing that all his running around had made him quite hungry, turned sad, puppy-dog eyes on the demon gods.  "Ruff?" he pleaded, right paw raised in supplication.

"Aw, you're so adorable, boy!" Ifurina said cheerfully, laughing softly and, as was her way, completely misinterpreting Hector's request.  "Don't worry!  We'll help you find your lost wolfpack and answer the call of the wild!  It's back to nature without any signs of civilization for miles on end and dangerous, nasty creatures with sharp teeth for you, boy!"

Hector could only sweatdrop and howl in protest as Ifurina picked him up and, with a bemused Kalia following closely behind, made a beeline for the Great Outdoors.

******
 
Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia snickered to herself as she finished painting an image of a tunnel opening on a cliff wall that just so happened to be where the highway ended.  Why a highway in the middle of a desert would lead to a cliff wall also remains unknown, although once again the Ancients can probably be blamed somehow.  

"Beep beep!"

Hearing her prey approach, Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia became instantly alert and dove behind a conveniently placed rock for cover, planning on grabbing the Guide after it crashed into the cliff and then having her painfully playful way with it.  The demon god's plan worked perfectly...up to the crashing into the cliff part.

"Beep beep!" the Guide intoned as unenthusiastically and dryly as possible as it raced onto the scene, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake.  Not pausing in the slightest, it dashed forward and traveled _through_ the false tunnel.  A confused Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia could only scratch her head and puzzle at this recent turn of events.

"Miya!" the feline demon god screeched angrily as she darted forward and crashed into the cliff wall, proving the narrator wrong.  For added comic effect, a white trailer truck came _out_ of the painted tunnel and smashed into her.

What a white trailer truck was doing exiting a painted tunnel entrance/exit on a highway in the middle of a desert in the world of El-Hazard remains unknown although, per the norm, the Ancients could probably be blamed for this in one way or another.

******

Dr. Schtalubaugh and Dr. Semimad, for once working in perfect unison, ran out of the latter's office as if the hounds of the underworld were after them and hurriedly slammed the door.  Panting, they leaned against it and exchanged a look of absolute terror.

"By Mt. Muldoon, this is not good!" Dr. Schtalubaugh exclaimed in a panicked tone of voice, eyes wide with worry and alarm.  "Ifurita's newest phase is...is..."

"The bad-girl, teenage rebel stage," Dr. Semimad finished breathlessly, trembling with fear.  "By the Ancients, doctor, what _have_ we done?!"

"We've created a monster, my old rival, but for the sake of all the peoples of El-Hazard we must see this endeavor through to the end and create a psychologically healthy, mature Ifurita-...or die trying!" Dr. Schtalubaugh spoke passionately, eyes burning with determination and duty.

The Minister of Highly Unusual but Surprisingly Effective Tortures shook his head.  "I'd rather not do the latter, my older nemesis.  I do have a wife, a son-on-the-way, and three daughters to sup-..."  Dr. Semimad trailed off in horror as a terrifying realization dawned on him.  

"By the Ancients, my three daughters are about to become teenagers themselves!" he bellowed, turning pale as a ghost.

For his part, Dr. Schtalubaugh smirked.  "Then consider this practice, and don't worry about dying.  It was only a figure of speech, and you have _so_ much to look forward to that I'm going to do everything in my power to ensure that we both survive this.  Now, let us advance once more unto the breach and do our jobs."

Collecting themselves, the two servants of the new Human/Bugrom government which really needs a proper name so it can be taken seriously turned around and opened the door to Dr. Semimad's office.  Inside and impatiently waiting for them was Ifurita-3...wearing shredded jeans and a black leather biker jacket...with more body piercings than you can shake a stick at...and numerous tattoos.

"Gah!" Dr. Schtalubaugh and Dr. Semimad both exclaimed.

******

Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia had finally cornered the Guide and grinned ferociously at the multi-dimensional avian as she drew closer to it.  For its part, from where it was standing in front of a cliff and watching the feline demon god approach the Guide looked calm and unconcerned.  After all, it had foreseen this...as much as anything can be foreseen in a field of absolute uncertainty, anyway.

"Miya!" Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia screeched victoriously, raising a triumphant claw into the air as she prepared to capture her prey and finally put an end to this chase.

"Beep beep!" the Guide replied levelly and with just a touch of arrogance, narrowing its eyes as it waited patiently to finally be free of this...pest.

He didn't have to wait long.  One second Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia was in mid-pounce and the next she was caught up in a waterspout and struggling against the dueling Marid and Jinnai in a cartoonish Tasmanian
Devil kind of way.  Groucho on Makoto's flying carpet wasn't far behind.

"Heh," the Guide commented once in what could almost be called satisfaction before frowning as it heard a sound that was becoming increasingly familiar to it.  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!

For a change, the Ancients could _not_ be blamed for this...probably.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on April 14, 2004, 07:52:48 PM
Ryoko peeked out from behind one of those conveniently placed bushes that are all over the place in anime.  She watched Bill and Alyssa quietly and efficiently work at a plot of earth within Dall's large old greenhouse.  Their clone-Ura was lying on the ground nearby, half-asleep.

Yeah, Ryoko thought to herself.  Better have a little chat with 'em now.

She floated up from the bush, and casually glided through the air.  "Hey, Bill?  Alyssa?  Got a minute?"

Bill and Alyssa shot a quick worried glance at each other-- a look that Ryoko had noticed before.  "What is it, Miss Ryoko?" asked Alyssa.

"Aw, c'mon.  Just Ryoko.  Well, first, I wanted to say, good job, here.  Looks like you've almost finished this plot--"

"NGH!!  NGH!!  NGH!!"

Ryoko turned to look behind her, and Bill and Alyssa peeked around her.  They all watched Dall, who was working in the next plot.  Dall had leaned down to grab a tiny weed with both hands, then thrown his head back and clenched his teeth.  He was yanking against the stubborn weed for all he was worth.  "NGH!!  NGH!!  NGH!!"

Ryoko, Bill and Alyssa sweat-dropped.

The tiny weed finally came out of the ground, pulling an even tiner clod of dirt up in its roots.  POP!  Dall lost his balance, staggered backwards, and fell into an open closet full of garden tools, with a long cartoonish crash that ended with the sound of an empty bucket falling over.

"Maybe you can work on his plot next?" Ryoko said weakly.

An awakened Clone-Ura trotted up to Ryoko, as she turned back to Bill and Alyssa.  "Anyway..." Ryoko said.  "You seem like good people, so I thought I oughta level with you.  I can see through your illusions.  You're Phantom Tribe, right?"

"*eep*" said Bill and Alyssa.

"No, no.  Don't worry.  Me an' the Victory Gardener there are both heretics from another world, too.  And it's none of my business, but I'm guessin' that you're fugitives on the run, like us.  So, I won't rat on you, if you don't rat on us."

Bill and Alyssa breathed out in relief.  "Deal," said Bill.

"Then we're cool," Ryoko said.  "I'm gonna head for the city later today, and I wanted to clear that up before I left.  I might be gone for a few days--"

Clone-Ura rubbed against Ryoko's ankles.  "Nyah!  Nyah!"

"Well hey, little fella."  Ryoko picked clone-Ura up, held it in her arms, and scratched its chin, then continued talking with Bill and Alyssa.  "I'm gonna pick up some supplies, and find out who's running the kingdom this week.  Y'know, I wish we had a hovercraft, or somethin', to carry the supplies back.  It's gonna take a lot of 'phasing' for me to--"

Clone-Ura suddenly went nuts.  "NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

"WHOAH!!"  Ryoko gently tossed clone-Ura away from her.  "What's gotten into...  yuh...  you..."

Fortunately for the greenhouse, Ryoko had gently tossed clone-Ura towards an open window.  Just as Ura passed through the window, it began to spin in mid-air.  And become larger.  Much larger.  It grew long pointy armored spikes, and a bejeweled cockpit that seemed bigger inside than out.

About ten seconds later, a small but fully functional and powerful battle cruiser hung in the sky over the greenhouse.

"NYAH!!" it said.

Ryoko, Bill and Alyssa sweat-dropped again.

"Uh... I meant to do that?" Ryoko said weakly.  "What did you say that thing was, again?"

"Ura," said Alyssa, without looking away from the heavy armored hovercraft.

"Ohhhh-kay," said Ryoko.

And so it was that the demon god Ryoko discovered her special link with the genetically-altered clone armor cat slash battle cruiser now known as Ura-ohhhh-kay... or Ura-ohki.



Yet again, the Guide struggled up through a pile of desert stone rubble.  It shook off the latest giant boulder's impact with an unusually highly annoyed and smart-assed expression.

Finally, it thought.  Local Uncertainty levels are falling to normal levels-- i.e., zero.  It's time for me to resume my pear-shaped plans, and it's about damn time to investigate the mystery of those damned tachyons--

For once, the Guide was dead wrong.  It wasn't about damn time to investigate the mystery of those damned tachyons.  Yes, the current writer did have vague plans to write out the siege of the Mice Wearing Hats, and then a resolution of the Palace of Infinity story-arc, within this third topic, in order to bring the Round Robin to something vaguely resembling a conclusion (assuming Rowan and Andrusi were OK with this, and no one else jumped back in).

But the current writer figured he could do all that, and still fit in lots more gratuitous violence (and creepy experimental fan service).  And so it was that, in the last vestiges of Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia's Uncertainty field, one last giant boulder rolled off the cliff above the Guide, and followed the laws of gravity to their natural conclusion.  Unfortunately for the Guide, it was the giantest boulder of them all.

The Guide noticed a huge dark cold shadow all around it.  It looked up.  Its eyes bugged out, and its face fell.  And, a moment before impact, it opened and held up a sad little toy umbrella, in a Wile E. Coyote kind of way.

SPLAT!!



The male Marid and the female Jinnai still struggled with each other within Marid's whirlpool.  Only a megalomaniacal psychopath singularly obsessed with victory and conquest would have fought off Marid's fan-servicey teasing for so long and so far-- but hey, that's Jinnai for you.

Neither Marid nor Jinnai noticed that Marid's flying water spout had sucked up Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia.  And neither of them realized that Marid's trans-dimensional scrying pools were about to interact with Jinnistacia's full-strength Uncertainty field-- in a remarkably predictable kind of way.



The pool of water behind Makoto and Ayeka suddenly erupted.  In the blink of an eye, Makoto and Ayeka found themselves at the bottom of a pile of near-nekkid seductress demon god (Marid had reverted to her female form), soggy Lord God Conqueror (the water in Ayeka's pool was just warm enough to cause Jinnai to revert too), and soaking-wet fan-servicey Schrodinger's Cat-Girl.

An instant later, Groucho was thrown up through the water, gracelessly falling from Makoto's flying carpet to the floor of the chamber, next to the pile.

Jinnistacia recovered her wits first.  She slowly crawled off to one side of the chamber, looking very much like the sad bedraggled soaking-wet kitten that she truly was.  She shook herself once or twice, then flopped to the floor of the chamber.  She weakly groomed herself, with sad little mewling sounds.  (Neither Makoto nor Jinnai had noticed that Jinnistacia now wore Nanami's face.)

Jinnai realized that he was lying on something incredibly annoying.  "MIZUHARA!!"  Jinnai jumped to his feet.  "Must you plague me through EVERY DIMENSION in the ENTIRE MULTIVERSE!?"

Then Jinnai saw Ayeka.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" said Jinnai.

Marid picked herself up next.  "Honestly!" she said.  "I've heard of supplicants 'immersing' themselves in a quest for knowledge, but that was ridiculous!"

Then Marid saw Ayeka.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" said Marid.

And then, of course, Groucho picked himself up, and saw Ayeka.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" said Groucho.

Ayeka's lovely eyes went all sad and shiny, and her lip trembled.  "Oh!" she cried.  "The scream of terror might have been funny the first time, but this is just mean!"

Makoto, Jinnai, Marid and Groucho all hung their heads in shame.

"Sorry," Makoto mumbled.



The evil scientists' backup evil clone slaves (less Uruak) had all left Kingfisher.  Due to the reversed Lawn Sprinkler Of Tears, they were no longer evil, nor slaves-- but they were all fully human.  And so they had followed their human genetic programming.

In other words, clone-Makoto fled a bickering clone-Nanami and clone-Shayla; clone-Fujisawa fled a clingy clone-Miz; and clones-Ishiel and Afura also left together, to do things to each other that were best left to the reader's imagination.

That still left the backup evil clone slave Alielle (the one that had not died in Alyssa's arms).  This clone-Alielle, who would soon come to be known as Balielle, found herself instinctively embarking on a journey to a certain all-female seminary, where a certain wacky junior princess and her certain wacky li'l sidekick had recently sought political asylum with two other certain wacky clones.

But that still left Nahato's half-a-dozen clone slaves (three Makotos and three Nanamis), who had also become fully human.  The current writer had become tired of all these clones running around, and so he decided to write Nahato's clones out of the story too.

As Minagi and Al-Zahad watched, Nahato held up the slave-Nanamis' chains in his open hands, and offered the newly-fully-human slaves (who were still wearing skimpy Leia bikinis) their freedom.  "Here.  Now that you're fully human, I fear that I will not be able to keep you.  Due to my genocidal hatred for the natives of El-Hazard, I find your fully-human appearance sickeningly repulsive."

The three ex-slave Nanamis hesitantly took their chains from Nahato.  They held their chains in their own open hands, and stared at them, uncertain what to do next.

But then, the three ex-slave Nanamis turned to the three ex-slave Makotos.  With deeply disturbing sly little smiles, each Nanami offered her chains to a Makoto.

With even more disturbing sly little smiles, the ex-slave Makotos accepted the chains.

Each ex-slave Makoto carefully and lovingly led a consenting re-slave Nanami away.  The three clone couples went on to live long, happy, and deeply disturbing lives that, again, were best left to the reader's imagination.

Nahato, Minagi and Al-Zahad, meanwhile, sweat-dropped like nobody's business.

"Yikes," said Nahato.  "Once a kinky clone slave, always a kinky clone slave."

Minagi frowned.  "I wish the current writer would drop the experiments in creepy fan service.  I mean, we all know how that experiment with Dall and Ryoko in the sanitarium came out--"

Al-Zahad, being a no-nonsense kind of demon god, had had enough of all this nonsense.  "*ahem*  I shall be taking Uruak, and taking my leave, now."

"Oh.  'Kay," Nahato said.  "Uh, thank you for wiping out Hassad and Khalid."

Minagi voiced her additional disapproval of Al-Zahad's methods.  "The hammer and the screwdriver, Al-Zahad?"

"Uh..."

"And that's to say nothing of the whole deal with the tape measure.  I didn't even know it could be used like that!  You have a sick, sick mind, Al-Zahad!"

To Al-Zahad's relief, Nahato silenced his demon god with a stern look.  "Anyway... Al-Zahad, I assure you that the Phantom Tribe won't trouble you again.  The main reason being, after Jinnistacia's repeated glue attacks, the scientists' murderous coup attempt, Tribers with a conscience going renegade, and the Lawn Sprinker of Tears leaking its reversed nanites throughout Kingfisher-- I'm practically the only Triber left."

Al-Zahad nodded.  He turned to Minagi, and took up her hand in parting.  "Thank you, Lady Minagi, for your help with...  Oh.  Uh, sorry 'bout that."

Minagi's hand had come off her arm.  Al-Zahad studied it briefly.  "Minagi?  I could complete your construction, if your master consents.  I can rebuild you.  I have the technology."

Nahato reached out, took Minagi's hand from Al-Zahad, and held it up to make a point.  "Actually, I think I prefer her like this.  You've got to admit-- she came in handy."

Al-Zahad and Minagi groaned.

"You are a Naughty, Naughty Master!" said Minagi.  "I'm afraid that I'm going to have to punish you!  GO GO MINAGI HAND!!"

Her disembodied hand suddenly popped out of Nahato's grip.  It scampered up his arm, plunged down the neck of his tunic, and began to tickle him as only the disembodied hand of a female demon god can do.

"GAH!!" said Nahato.  "Hee hee!!  Hee hee!!"  He fell to the floor, writhing like someone who had the disembodied hand of a female demon god down his tunic.

Al-Zahad had already had enough of all this nonsense, and so this additional nonsense was easily too much nonsense for him.  He took up Uruak in his arms, and took his leave of Kingfisher.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on April 14, 2004, 08:15:44 PM
OOC:  This is the last of two replies that I've just posted.  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.



Uruak shifted in Al-Zahad's big strong arms, and whispered in his ear, as he bore her through the early morning skies of El-Hazard.  "Mr. Al-Zahad, sir?" she asked.  "What is to become of me?  I am grievously wounded, and permanently blinded.  And I have no family and no friends... no knowledge and no skills... no hope..."

Al-Zahad was quick to cut Uruak off before this turned into another one of those angst tangents.  "Fear not, my dear former-master Uruak, for I have a cunning plan..."



As the morning sun rose, Crayna, Shayla and Nanami began to hike across the barren featureless wastelands that were once the kingdom of Yusaan.  (Nanami hadn't got her CHINK!! back yet.)

Five minutes later, all three hung-over women were slowly and weakly crawling on their bellies.

"Sun!-- so hot!--" Nanami gasped.  "And!-- so thirsty!"

"This is why!-- I ne'er climbed!-- th' Damn Volcano!-- when I was!-- hung-over!" Crayna gasped.

Shayla's throat was too dry for her to speak, even in Shatner-ese.  In the heat of the moment, she threw off Crayna's jacket, in order to go naked again.  Her hung-over brains were already too baked to be concerned with sun exposure.

Crayna collapsed.  "O, Al-Zahad!" she wept face-down into the dust.  "Where be you?"

Lying face-down in the dust, she failed to see Al-Zahad walk up.  "I be here, Master Crayna."

Her hangover and her imminent sun-baked death suddenly forgotten, Crayna jumped to her feet with a school-girl's happy squeal.  "AL-ZAHAD!!  OH GOODY!!"

Crayna suddenly froze.  Then she tugged at her blouse, and cleared her throat.  "*ahem*  I mean, how dare you come crawlin' back ta me, y'big strong handsome thing, you!"

Al-Zahad sighed.  "Master Crayna, I had no choice but to answer the summons of the last living bearer of the genetic markup of the Northern Capitol weaponers.  And, as I promised, I have returned to you as quickly as I could.  And, not to make a point of it, but I believe you were the one who was just crawling--"

Crayna glared at the half-conscious Uruak in Al-Zahad's arms.  "Be this the woman who stole you from me?"

"Er, yes, more or less," Al-Zahad said.

Crayna lunged forward, in a bloodthirsty way.  "Excellent!  Let's get started with her torture!  What say we abandon 'er in these wastelands, after we strip 'er naked as a treefish, shave 'er head, and--"

Al-Zahad held Uruak away from Crayna, causing Crayna to face-vault.  "Master Crayna!  Please!  As you can see, the poor girl is grievously wounded.  Worse, her wounds were self-inflicted under duress.  And she has no family and no friends... no knowledge and no skills... no hope..."

Crayna picked herself up for the second time.  "So?" she growled.  "Them's the breaks."

"I have a cunning plan," Al-Zahad explained with infinite patience, "to which Uruak has already agreed, which will allow the formerly evil clone slave to redeem herself.  It will also rescue the original Kauru Taurus from her mutated insectoid condition.  But this plan will test my bio-engineering abilities as never before, and I may need your help."

"My help?" Crayna snarled.  "Wha' reason could I possibly be havin' ta help her!?"

"Well," Al-Zahad explained with more infinite patience, "this plan will also irrevocably destroy the last remnants of the genetic markup of the Northern Capitol weaponers.  This should allow me to remain in your service for the rest of your natural life."

Crayna smiled cheerfully.  "Thass an excellent reason, hon.  Please, take us back ta my shack, so tha' we can get started."



Elmira, admirer and now Princess-Warrior of All Things Cute, was borne through the morning skies of El-Hazard by a huge swarm of Happy Smiley Faces.  As they soared in a majestic progression, you could practically hear "The Flight of the Valkyries" playing in the background.

It has been said before, but... Nothing Good Could Come Of This.



A battle-weary Peorth, Tina and the Doctor returned to the coffeehouse where Tina worked.  They had been spared when Elmira appeared to the Happy Smiley Faces, but they were too tired to give chase to this new threat, for now.  They all collapsed into chairs with heavy sighs.

"Um, Doctor?" said Tina, after a moment.  "It's been, um, fun?  But I think I've had enough of being your companion.  I need to return to my job.  And you've got the Splendiloquent Peorth to help you now.  Not to mention, the current writer is trying to streamline the active cast."

The Doctor smiled sadly.  "Very well, Tina.  Merci beaucoup for all zat you have done.  But yes, ze super-human skills and intelligence of le Yggdrasil goddess will be needed now--"

They both turned to Peorth, and they both sweat-dropped.

Peorth had produced a TV-Jinnai-esque cotton ball on a stick.  She was pushing it disturbingly deeply into her left ear.

She looked back at Tina and the Doctor.  "What!?" she said, even as she used her pinky finger to push the Q-tip all the way in.  "I am still haveeng le yogurt in my ear."

"Um, Peorth, dear?" said Tina.  "You have to stop the Q-tip when there's resistance! (http://www.tvacres.com/images/chair_rosita2a.jpg)"

"Zere ees rezeestance?"  Peorth pushed her Q-tip even further with her extended pinky finger.  She pushed it so far that she was able to carefully pull it out of her right ear with her other hand.

The Doctor turned back to Tina.  "Ah.  Eet ees ze bizarre manifestation of le ten-dimensional Yggdrasil goddess, no?  Ze Time Lord has ze two hearts and le respiratory bypass system, and so le goddess must have le ear-canal bypass system..."

They both turned to Peorth again.  Now holding her Q-tip backwards, Peorth accidentally tickled herself with it.  "YEEEK!!  Hee hee!!"  She fumbled the Q-tip, then fell over backwards in her chair.

Tina shook her head and sighed.  "Assuming that there's something in her head to bypass."



An ordinary average guy was taking an early-morning stroll through the Floristica royal gardens.

Since he was an ordinary average guy-- and since this was El-Hazard, the Magnificent World of an anime with a fair amount of romantic comedy-- he was about to get an impossibly powerful and beautiful girlfriend, for no good reason, in an incredibly contrived kind of way.

The guy tripped over a pebble, stumbled forwards, and fell against a remarkably life-like stone statue of a female warrior.  The statue wobbled to and fro, then fell over and shattered.

"Oh crap oh crap oh crap," said the guy.  But then, he noticed that an impossibly powerful and beautiful woman had been trapped inside the statue.  The woman yawned, and stretched in the requisite fan-servicey way.  Then she turned to the guy, and introduced herself.

"Hi!" she said.  "I'm Bloodberry!  Wanna take me home, and add me to your harem?"

"Uh, okay," said the guy.  He didn't actually have a harem, but he didn't feel it was necessary to make that point, just now.

Bloodberry grabbed the guy, took him up and held him in her arms, and walked away with him, in a way that showed that she wasn't exactly clear on the meaning of "would you take me home."  To be honest, she wasn't the smartest Saber Marionette in the harem.

Meanwhile, just down the path, Afura was still trapped inside her statue.  She sighed another muffled sigh, annoyed with the current writer for leaving her trapped while he dashed off yet another throw-away cross-over (albeit one that was meant to be a one-off joke).  Not to mention, the Saber Marionette franchise didn't seem to be very popular around here, and the few people who might get the joke probably wouldn't like it.

Afura was all the more annoyed, seeing as how her skin itched in fifty-six-- no, fifty-seven places.  Afura hoped that Ishiel would release her soon.  Being utterly paralyzed in a skin-tight stone casing and unable to scratch herself, it was proving difficult to retain her sanity (such as it was), when her skin itched in fifty-seven-- no, fifty-eight places.



The Doctors Schtalubaugh and Semimad were attempting an early-morning dual therapy session with the increasingly rebellious goth-punk Ifurita-3.  However, the current writer was more at ease with art-goth than goth-punk, and he was kinda stumped here, so he decided to just quote one of his favorite bits from The Critic again.

"Ifurita?" said Semimad, gently, and more than a little fearfully.  "Uh, remember, we're here to help you--"

"Don't [CENSORED] with me, pal," said the temporarily not sweet and timid Ifurita-3.

Schtalubaugh winced.  "Do you eat with that mouth?"

"Yeah," Ifurita-3 growled, "and I also [CENSORED], [CENSORED], and [CENSORED] with it."

"EEEEEWWW!!" said Schtalubaugh and Semimad.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on April 17, 2004, 10:18:03 PM
OOC:  The second scene contains... well, I don't know what it is.  Reader discretion is advised.



Millie shuffled into the Mice Wearing Hats' royal kitchen.  She was still wearing her jammies, and she still held a blanket around her shoulders.  She was also wearing a pair of big fuzzy mouse-slippers on her feet.

Completely ignoring Parnasse, who was sitting at her private table and enjoying a picture-perfect breakfast of toast, grapefruit and cereal, Millie stumbled up to a cupboard.  She was nearing the half-way point of her self-imposed angst-athon, and she needed to replentish her supply of dry cereal.

She opened the cupboard, and stared dully into it for at least a full minute.  To be fair, she was having a bad time, and she wasn't firing on all cylinders.  Still, it took her longer than it should have done to realize that Parnasse had already taken the cereal.

Just then, Parnasse, who was also completely ignoring Millie, picked up the large box of cereal.  He opened it, and started to pour a helping of cornflakes into his bowl.  But suddenly, Parnasse realised that he was shaking an empty hand over his bowl.  Someone had just snatched the box away from him.

He turned, and found a disheveled and seething Millie glaring at him.  And so it was that Millie and Parnasse first met.

"Who.  Are.  You," Millie asked, in a soft and dull yet dangerous voice.

"Parnasse Relryle.  Uh, I wasn't done with the cereal--"

"What.  Are.  You.  DOING!?" Millie asked, with icicles hanging from every word.

"Duh!  Eating breakfast," Parnasse said, as he reached for the box of cereal now in Millie's hands.

Millie swung the box away from him, spraying a few cornflakes across the small kitchen table.  "WHY!?" she yelled.

"Duh again!  'Cause it's morning, and I'm hungry.  Well, I guess I'll just fill up on toast and grapefruit--  URK!!"

Millie had cast the cereal box aside, spilling more cornflakes on the table.  She also let her blanket fall to the floor, to free both her hands, so that she could choke the living daylights out of this annoying jerk who was eating her cereal.

She also clarified her previous query.  "WHY!? ARE!? YOU!? HERE!? IN!? MY!? KITCHEN!? EATING!? MY!? CEREAL!?"

"*ack eep*" said Parnasse.  He bounced up and down in his chair, in time with Millie's choking.

"Miss Millie!" a familiar voice squeaked.  "Please, stop that at once!"

Millie released Parnasse, turned away from him, and shrieked.  She found Gan-chan and Ura, standing side by side, both looking up at her in irritation.

"WHAT IN THE ORPHANAGE IS GOING ON!?" Millie yelled.  "THAT'S A FREAKIN' ARMOR CAT!!  YOU'RE FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY!!"

"Gah!" said Ura.  "Mice Wearing Hats military advisor dumb as Jinnai!  New alliances formed!  Socio-political boundaries erased!  Paradigms shifted!"

"Uh, what he said," Gan-chan said.  "But you dismissed the Guide, and we have lost the services of the priestesses.  We will need other allies in the dark days to come.  And who better to aid us than a former enemy who knows us all too well?  Miss Millie, with the Armor Cats on our side, we shall be invincible!!"

But Millie wasn't convinced.  She collapsed into the chair next to Parnasse, crossed her arms on the table in front of her (with crunchy cornflake sounds), dropped her head to her arms, and sobbed.  "O, this is madness!!  Madness, I tell you!!  Armor Cats and Mice Wearing Hats, working together!?  Nothing Good Can Come Of This!!"

Parnasse looked at Millie with concern.  The poor girl seemed genuinely troubled.  And, Parnasse thought, she is kinda cute, in a psychopathic 'bed-head' kind of way.

He gently rested a hand on Millie's shoulder.  "Uh, Miss... Millie, was it?  I'm sorry if--"

Millie turned her head without raising it, and shot him a look that said, get your damn dirty hands off me-- if you want to keep certain vital parts of your anatomy for longer than the next two seconds.

Parnasse pulled his hand back, in well under two seconds.

Parnasse and Millie's relationship was off to a perfect anime-cliche antagonistic start.



Ishiel was taking a mid-morning stroll through the Floristica royal gardens, carrying a light robe over one arm.  She had slept in, and she had not had her breakfast yet.  But she had to release Afura first, so that Afura could have breakfast too.  Ishiel enjoyed punishing Afura-- but Ishiel did not wish to be truly cruel, and keep her little play-mate from having the most important meal of the day.

She walked up to a remarkably life-like stone statue of a female warrior.  "*MMMPH* *MMMPH* *MMMPH* *MMMPH* *MMMPH* *MMMPH*!!" the statue said.

"Hang on, Affy."  Ishiel set the robe aside, and held up a tiny hobbyist's hammer between her finger and thumb.  She drew her other hand down one of Afura's petrified legs, feeling for the weak spot.  "Hmm...  there it is."

Ishiel tapped Afura's knee with the hammer, as if she was a doctor testing Afura's reflexes.  Afura's entire stone casing immediately shattered.

"AAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!" said Afura.

Ishiel staggered back.  "WHOAH!!"

Afura was clad only in the barely-decent tatters of yet another ruined uniform.  She was unhurt, but her entire body was caked with mud, dust and grit, and she was drenched in sweat.  Her matted hair hung down over her face in long tangles.  Her eyes were mostly hidden behind her hair, but that might have been for the best.  Feral madness burned in her eyes.

Afura had gone wild-- and not in a cheesy coeds-on-Spring-Break kind of way.

With an inhuman moan, Afura lunged past Ishiel, and threw herself at the ground.  She began to writhe in the grass, contorting her willowy body in an utterly uninhibited way.  In fact, she was trying to scratch more than one hundred and thirty-six distinct itches, all at once, after several hours of frustration.  (She had lost count at 136, with the onset of temporary insanity.)

Afura flopped on her back, shuddering and rocking from side to side.  She desperately scrabbled at her mostly bare body with both hands.  She kicked at the ground, and scissored her bare legs.  And she continued to make deeply disturbing half-gasping, half-moaning sounds through clenched teeth.  "*hanh* *hanh* *hanh*"

Ishiel, meanwhile, did not sweat-drop.  She was way beyond sweat-dropping.

Afura came back to her senses, but not until after two or three minutes of deeply disturbing writhing.  She sat up, and finally caught her breath, and scratched herself in a few last hard-to-reach places.  "Whew.  Sorry, Ishiel.  But I had such an itch!!"

Ishiel blinked, and shook her head to clear it.  She fetched the robe, kneeled before Afura, and draped it over Afura's shoulders.  Then Ishiel sat back, and breathed out heavily herself.  "wow," she said, in a small squeaky voice.  "Um, Afura?..."

"Mmm?"  Afura looked up, brushing hair from her dirty and sweaty face.

Ishiel fidgeted.  "I don't know exactly how far you're willing to go with, um, exactly whatever it is that we're doing here...  but... wow.  You have got to do that again for me sometime."

Afura giggled.  "You liked that?  Well, let's add some itching powder to the mud, next time.  That'll really drive me insane."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on April 17, 2004, 10:43:42 PM
OOC:  This is the last of two replies that I've just posted.  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.

(By the way, is anyone else still reading this thing, or am I just being weird for my own amusement?)



Meanwhile, in the Next Dimension...

"So," Ayeka said to Makoto, "you're on a quest to find the Palace of Infinity, and prevent the possible destruction of the multi-verse.  Well, that sounds worthwhile.  I'll get back to you in a minute, dear."

She turned to Jinnai.  "What do you want, little man?"

"First," Jinnai said, pointing to Marid, "I want her to reveal--"

"Reveal what!?" Ayeka said in astonishment.  "The woman is practically nekkid, as it is!"

Jinnai held his poor head.  "Ngh...  I want her to reveal the weapons that she's obviously hiding from me!"

Ayeka sighed.  "You sad strange little man.  You have that beautiful nearly-nekkid woman throwing herself at you, and you want weapons.  Oh well.  How about a nice Ultimate Weapon type demon god?"

"Works for me," Jinnai said.  "As long as her control circuit is working-- ouch!!  What the--"

Ayeka had reached up to pluck a single hair from Jinnai's well-combed head.  "I'll need this to reprogram the demon god's control circuit," she explained.  Then she turned to Marid.  "Would you be a dear, and return this little man to your native dimension?  I'll take care of his, heh, Ultimate Weapon request."

"Deal," Marid said.  "I've become bored with this loser, myself."  She took control of the waters in Ayeka's subterranean pool.  Another whirlpool formed, sucking Marid and Jinnai down into it.

"Hey, wait a minute!!--"  Trying to escape the whirlpool, Jinnai grabbed at one of Groucho's legs, and dragged Groucho away with him.  Marid, Jinnai and Groucho disappeared, leaving Makoto's flying carpet behind.

Makoto blinked.  "Whoah.  Well, what--"

"SSSHH!!" Ayeka hissed.  "Not done yet!"  She held out her arm again, and gestured with her open hand-- towards Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia.

Jinnistacia protested, as she rose up from the floor and floated towards Ayeka.  "Meow!?  I mean, what are you--"

"SSSHH!!" Ayeka hissed again.  The sound of her voice seemed to shut Jinnistacia down.  Jinnistacia's eyes went dull, and she slumped, hanging in mid-air before Ayeka.

Ayeka held Jinnai's single hair in her other hand.  She suddenly thrust it into Jinnistacia's chest, in an extra-dimensional kind of way.

"You filthy little beast," Ayeka said, mostly to herself, as she felt her way around Jinnistacia's internal circuits.  "You're practically dripping with Uncertainty.  Well, I'll just reset your control circuit to obey the genetic code in this hair sample... there.  And I'll put a Juraian seal on it, so that your Uncertainty field can't over-ride it.  And... back you go."

Ayeka withdrew her hand from Jinnistacia's body, gestured with her open hand again, and sent Jinnistacia back into the whirlpool, to follow Jinnai and Groucho back to El-Hazard.

"Whoah," Makoto said again.  "I kinda wish you hadn't given Jinnai that demon god... but still, I didn't know you could do all that."

Ayeka drew herself up proudly.  "Well, if the current writer let Mara stop time, *I* can certainly reset a demon god.  Now then, about the Palace of Infinity--"

Makoto's face lit up.  "You mean, you've heard of it!?"

"Of course," Ayeka said, even more smugly.  "The accumulated knowledge of the ancient civilization of Jurai rivals that of even Gallifrey.  You know, when things started to get ugly, Rassilon could have come to us for help, instead of running to those feathers-for-brains at Yggdrasil--"

Makoto impatiently cut her off.  "Could you please send me to the Palace of Infinity?  Right away?"

Ayeka smiled sadly.  "I'm afraid not.  Yes, I've heard of the place... but I haven't got a clue where it is."

"D'OH!!"



Rune, Deva and Londs were glumly reviewing their options in the face of an imminent attack of Mice Wearing Hats.

"Are the troops of the Alliance still ours to command?" Rune said.

"Not exactly," Londs said gently.  "The troops that didn't resign in disgust, when the Alliance folded like a weak hand of Pettan cards, now remain loyal to Princess Myuun of Baron.  And her motives remain unclear, even to the current writer."

"Well, what of the Bugrom troops?" Rune asked, turning to Deva.

"Londs and I have been... um... er... well, there are many new Bugrom.  But they are still young, and they will not be able to defend us from the angry hordes of Giant Sewer Rats."

"The great elemental priestesses?" Rune asked, her heart sinking.

"Kauru Taurus disappeared some time ago," Londs reported.  "She may have been killed by icky-squicky white Bugrom wasps.  Shayla-Shayla has also disappeared...  Ishiel Soel and Afura Mann have returned to us, for the time being.  But I wouldn't trust Ishiel further than I can spit, and Afura?... well, as you know, Afura would cast herself before the first Giant Sewer Rat, and beg for cruel and unusual fan-servicey punishment."

"And the demon gods?" Rune said, in a dull voice devoid of hope.

"The first Ifurita still pines for her soul-mate Makoto.  If Makoto is lost to us (and we could have used his help as well), she will be of no use to us for some few centuries.  Meanwhile, the third Ifurita has locked herself in her room, to blast death-metal albums at plaster-cracking volume.  And the palace servant Ifurina was rumored to have spontaneously gained demon-god powers-- but she was last seen running through the royal gardens, screaming about talking statues."

"Well," Rune said, "pardon me for falling out of character, but I'd say we're well and truly screwed."

Deva fell to one side, dropped her head to her arms, and wept with despair.  "O, Mr. Jinnai?  Where be you?"

Rune smiled thinly.  "Well, I suppose we can't expect help to fall into our laps--"

Jinnai, Groucho and Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia suddenly appeared, out of thin air.  Jinnai fell into Deva's lap, and Jinnistacia fell into Londs' lap.  (Fortunately for Rune, Groucho did not fall into her lap and crush her to death.)

Deva squealed like a happy school-girl, and gave Jinnai a big ol' hug.  "MR. JINNAI!!  OH GOODY!!"

Jinnai clumsily extricated himself from Deva's embrace, with some difficulty, groping a few things that he wouldn't have ordinarily groped in the process.  Then he struck a heroic pose.  "Ha!  Ha ha!  Ha ha!  Ha!  Yes, it is I!  And I have brought a wonderful new weapon!...  Er, Londs?  Would you please pass me the cat-girl?..."

Jinnai reached for Jinnistacia, grabbed her by the nape of her neck, and took her from Londs.  He held her up, to get a good look at her, and saw for the first time that the freaky feline fan-servicey demon god wore his sister's face.

And then, Jinnistacia woke up, and saw the face of her new Master.

"AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" said Jinnai and Jinnistacia.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Andrusi on April 21, 2004, 11:15:42 AM
Quote
For once, the Guide was dead wrong.  It wasn't about damn time to investigate the mystery of those damned tachyons.  Yes, the current writer did have vague plans to write out the siege of the Mice Wearing Hats, and then a resolution of the Palace of Infinity story-arc, within this third topic, in order to bring the Round Robin to something vaguely resembling a conclusion (assuming Rowan and Andrusi were OK with this, and no one else jumped back in).

No problems here.  I can barely keep track of what's going on anymore anyway.  :P


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on April 21, 2004, 08:10:03 PM
Quote
Yes, the current writer did have vague plans to write out the siege of the Mice Wearing Hats, and then a resolution of the Palace of Infinity story-arc, within this third topic, in order to bring the Round Robin to something vaguely resembling a conclusion (assuming Rowan and Andrusi were OK with this, and no one else jumped back in).


It's fine with me too.  I plan on continuing to contribute to this RR till it's over, but I'm really beginning to look forward to the end of this.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on April 27, 2004, 11:17:08 PM
A special thanks to Wayne for telling me how to adjust the Microsoft Word settings so that copy and paste works without producing the occasional jargon.




The Mice Wearing Hats' covert spy network had just reported the recent developments in Florestica and the fact that Jinnai had a new demon god to their superiors.  Their unfortunate messenger had then fled the room in a panic as Millie threw a tantrum at this newest piece of bad news.  She was now thoroughly in the midst of her rant.

"I tell you, it's a battle of brains!" she shouted angrily, pacing back and forth in front of King Gan-chan's throne.  "It's a cold war!  I need some kind of weapon that will completely terrify the Alliance!"

Parnasse, Ura, and Gan-chan exchanged a look, all of them suddenly worried about where this was going.

Unaware of her allies' premonitions, Millie continued her moaning.  "Demon _God_?  If _I_ had a weapon I'd at least call it ninja something or other."

Gan-chan inhaled sharply, and Millie turned to him, an inquiring expression on her face.  "Huh?"

"...It's nothing.  Go on, Miss Millie," the ruler of the Mice Wearing Hats replied anxiously, hoping his military leader would let the subject drop.  Unfortunately, he wasn't that lucky.

"Tell me," Millie ordered, boldly confronting Gan-chan as Parnasse and Ura looked on.  "You've got a weapon, don't you?"

"Yes, but it's too horrid to even think of!" Gan-chan retorted, a note of panic creeping into his voice.

Millie turned the full force of her spoiled brattiness on him.  "Are you siding with the Alliance?!  If you aren't, then say it!  I said say it!  Tell me about the weapon you're hiding from me!"  

******

In this time of peril and fear, Ifurita was standing on Rune's recently reconstructed balcony overlooking Florestica and moping.  An evening breeze lightly caressed her and ruffled her hair, but she remained unmoved.  For the first time in ten thousand years, she had no idea where her soul-mate was.  

"Oh Makoto, is this to be our fate?  Always apart, painfully longing for each other, only to spend a few bittersweet moments of joy together before being separated again?  Alas, I am the sad clown of-"

"You know, for a demon god who's taken more lives and destroyed more cities than I care to think about, you pull off the weepy, angsty look quite well," Princess Myuun commented calmly from the balcony's entrance, walking over to stand next to Ifurita.  

"Ah, I can see why Princess Rune Venus comes here so often.  The aesthetic beauty of this city is astounding, even when the capital is recovering from so many invasions.  It's also a rather...poignant reminder of one's duty, wouldn't you agree, Ifurita?" Myuun asked her, turning to look at the demon god with her cunning, captivating eyes.

Ifurita tensed, wondering why her sensors hadn't detected this woman's approach.  She cautiously tightened her grip on her key staff.  "You appear to have me at a slight...disadvantage.  You seem to know who I am, but you...you are a stranger to me."

Myuun laughed musically.  "Ah yes, I forgot to introduce myself.  How rude on my part.  I guess I've started taking people recognizing me on sight for granted.  I am Princess Myuun of Baron, Ifurita, and I know where Mizuhara Makoto is."

In the blink of an eye Ifurita had the end of her key staff pressed against Myuun's throat and was glaring at the secretive princess.  "If you know what's good for you, Myuun, you'll tell me where I can find Makoto immediately!"

Without showing the least bit of strain, Myuun smirked.  "No."

"Is that your final answer?" Ifurita replied impassively and coldly, charging her key staff as Myuun suddenly found herself staring into the eyes of an ancient, terrible force of destruction.  Despite herself, the Princess of Baron shivered, and for the briefest moment her smile wavered...but only for a moment.

"I won't tell you where Mizuhara is, Ifurita, because it is beyond even _your_ power to go there.  However," she added, raising her hands in a peace-making gesture, "I can tell you where he soon _will_ be.  It will...cost you, though."

Ifurita narrowed her eyes dangerously.  "I won't be a part of your villainous plans, Myuun.  Makoto would be upset if I sacrificed my principles simply to see him again."

"But he would forgive you, of course," Myuun countered persuasively.  "You know deep in your heart that your precious Makoto could never stay angry at you for long, particularly if what he's mad about was done for him.  Besides, who says my plans are villainous?"  

Without saying a word, Ifurita pointedly looked at Myuun's pale alabaster skin, her moonless midnight, lustrous dark hair, her shadowy, spider-silk, and ominously attractive black gown, her sly, sinister red eyes, her-

"All right already, I get the point.  My appearance practically shouts, 'Hey, look at me!  I'm evil!'  Still, that's beside the point, and exteriors can be deceiving...as you should well know, demon god," Myuun replied meaningfully.  "Regardless, your misgivings are misplaced.  I simply want you to owe me a favor, and I promise that, should I ever call it in, it won't be anything you'll find too...questionable."  Hoping to conquer the last of Ifurita's resolve, the princess added, "If it makes your decision any easier, Mizuhara's life and the fate of this entire world are at stake here.  You can either agree to my terms or continue to look depressed and gaze out over Florestica as El-Hazard comes crashing down around you."    

"...Fine," Ifurita agreed tersely, withdrawing her key staff from Myuun's neck.  "I agree to your terms.  However, if I discover you lied to me, Princess Myuun of Baron, I promise that you'll find out firsthand why I am known as the _legendary_ Demon God Ifurita.  Now, where can I find Makoto?"

Myuun smiled darkly.  "Travel east across the Holy River of God.  Deep within the mountains beyond the Bugrom Empire's destroyed hive capital is an arid valley of sand and stone filled with strange crystal formations.  In the heart of this land you'll find what you seek...provided you get there soon enough."

Ifurita rose into the sky and, sending Myuun one last, warning look, took off like a bullet.  She was soon merely a speck on the horizon.

Letting the breeze wash over her, the Princess of Baron leaned over the balcony's railway and sighed, a sound that was equal parts weary and sad.  In the valley forgotten by time, Ifurita's very existence would be threatened and quite possibly eliminated.  If her bond with Mizuhara was a strong enough to breach the dimensions, though, the love of the demon god and human wanderer could reunite and save them both.  If not...well, Myuun preferred not to think about that.  Pawns in this game of chess were too valuable to be sacrificed...yet.

******

"Demon Ninja Master Splinter (http://www.turtlequest.com/tmnt/kakera.html)?" Millie repeated as she walked alongside King Gan-chan who was sitting on a throne being carried (with much difficulty) by dozens of Mice Wearing Hats.  Behind them strode Parnasse and Ura.  The sounds of their progress reverberated throughout the tunnel.    

"Yes," Gan-chan replied solemnly.  "The legend of terror that is equal to the Eye of God."

"If that's true, then how come I've never heard of this Demon Ninja Master Splinter before now?" Parnasse questioned, successfully scoring another line.

Ura gave him a knowledgeable look.  "When Holy Wars ended...much forgotten.  Some things..._purposely_ forgotten."

Parnasse blinked.  "And how, exactly, do you know all this, Ura?  History lessons about ancient times are not something I typically associate with armor cats."

Ura smirked.  "Me smart.  Listen to Londs talk in sleep.  Mustache man say many things."    

"Excuse me, but you two are interrupting the flow of dialogue for this scene," King Gan-chan informed the human boy and armor cat politely before refocusing his attention on Millie and dramatically extending a hand to point out the ruins of a once magnificent city before them.  "The cheese capital of the Ancients in ruins, the grim result of the demon ninja's involvement in the Holy Wars with powers great enough to eliminate a civilization and the lands they lived upon.  One demon ninja brought all this devastation alone, and its name...Master Splinter."

"Nh?" Millie muttered, wondering about the fear and reluctance she sensed in her ally as she turned to face him.

King Gan-chan continued his monologue, caught up in a world of his own terror and turmoil.  "No...it mustn't be used...ever again."

"Why not?" Millie demanded to know, glaring scornfully at Gan-chan and intrigued by the potential for power she saw within her reach.

Almost sounding shocked that even after seeing this grave testament to the demon ninja's power Millie still wanted to continue upon this course of action, the king of the Mice Wearing Hats gave his answer.  "Though the power that it wields is invincible, Master Splinter's strength is born of pure fighting skill and the benefits that come with being an aged Japanese martial artist.  No mortal being could ever control such power!"

In response, Millie walked to the edge of the precipice they were on and swept her gaze across the ruined cheese capital.  Maniacal laughter eerily reminiscent of Jinnai's erupted from her small frame.  "Haha...geriatric fu, a good back-up!  At last, I'm holding the final trump card!  Hahahahahahahaha!!!"
 
******

In a valley forgotten by time, two demon gods and the forlorn wolfhound they carried descended to the arid, stony ground covered by sand and gazed in awe at the beautifully complex, nearly alien crystal formations of all shapes and sizes scattered all around them.  An ominous silence filled the air, hinting at dangers and secrets yet unseen and dire consequences for disturbing the valley's peace.

Paying no heed to this warning, a curious Kalia opened her mouth and began to speak.  One could almost hear nature writhe in shock and dismay.  "Are you sure this is the Great Outdoors, Ifurina?  'Cause shouldn't such a place be full of...well, trees and grass and stuff?"

Ifurina sweatdropped.  "Heh, guess we should've taken that left turn at Albuquerque after all!  Well, this place is kind of nice...in a creepy, ancient-evil-sealed-away kind of way.  What do you think, boy?  Do you want to answer the call of the wild here?" the demon god asked as she crouched down and patted Hector on the head.

"Ruff," the royal wolfhound replied firmly in the negative and in a tone of voice that seemed to ask if the inquirer of the question was completely sane.

"I guess we'll simply have to try again," Kalia commented as she leaned against one of the crystal formations which almost seemed to try to recoil from her presence.  "Any ideas how to get to the Great Outdoors from here?"

"Perhaps that young woman over there can provide assistance?" Over-Run suggested calmly, impressively managing to redirect Ifurina and Kalia's attention slightly to the right using only his voice.

Standing there was a woman who was virtually a mirror image of Princess Rune Venus at a younger age...with the exception that she was wearing black priestess' robes emblazoned with white question marks.  Humming a soft, nearly imperceptible melody, she went about mopping a rectangular slab of stone that was raised a little ways above ground level and miraculously free of sand.  At its center was a translucent crystal dome that was about four feet tall.

"Hey you!  Can you tell us how to get to the Great Outdoors from here?" Ifurina shouted, showing no concern for caution as the party of travelers drew nearer to the dome.

The girl froze and stared at Ifurina, Kalia, and Hector with wide, nearly panicked eyes before finally managing to collect herself.  "H-h-halt, trespassers of this holy land, in the na-na-name of the Priestess of the Ancients and ca-ca-caretaker of this valley!  The pen-penalty for violating the sacredness of this earth is...is...oh no, I forgot the penalty!" the Rune look-alike exclaimed nervously, holding her mop protectively in front of her and adding sheepishly, "You're the first trespassers I've ever seen."  

"Is it death?" Ifurina suggested helpfully as she levitated off the ground and joined the priestess on the stone slab.  "The penalty for breaking a holy seal seems to be death in a lot of cases, although Katsuhiko and I made out okay until he...um, died," she ended on a sad note, tearing up as she remembered her dear, beloved demon god.

"My name is Kalia!  Will you be my friend?" the resurrected demon god asked cheerfully as she took her place beside Ifurina, hands folded behind her back and a beatific smile on her face.

The priestess stared at the two demon gods in confusion.  "You...you want to be friends?  With me?  And not know about the secrets hidden in this valley forgotten by time?"

"Well sure!  That and where the Great Outdoors is!" Ifurina answered, sadness forgotten at the chance of forging a new friendship.  "My name's Ifurina!  The wolfhound um...marking his territory over there is Hector, and the key staff I'm holding in my hand is Staff-chan!  Say hi Staff-chan!"

"Hi," Staff-chan said emotionlessly.

"...Er, pleased to meet you," the priestess replied uncertainty, eyeing the trespassers distrustfully.  "I am known as the Priestess of the Ancients, and unfortunately I can't tell you where the Great Outdoors is.  I've lived here since I was a mere infant taken in by the previous Priestess of the Ancients who found me amidst the wreckage of a destroyed caravan.  She, bless her soul, passed away ten years ago, and I've served as the caretaker of this valley since then."

"That's so sad!" Ifurita exclaimed sympathetically.  "Having no idea who your parents were and then losing the closest thing to family you had!  You must've been so lonely these past couple years!"

"No, not at all," the priestess protested defensively.  "I wasn't alone.  I had my good friend Idel to keep me company!  Isn't that right, Idel?" she asked, raising her right hand on which she wore a cute dragon puppet.  

"Idel and I have been together for longer than I can remember," the Priestess of the Ancients explained, smiling warmly.  The dragon puppet bowed.  "He's the only link to my past that I have."

"Well, that's nice," Kalia said sweetly, drawing closer to the priestess.  "Out of curiosity, what's that dome behind you for?  It stands out quite a bit."

"That?  Oh, that's the Glyph of Infinity, a virtually unsolvable puzzle handed down through the generations and believed to open the path to the Palace of Infinity which I'm not supposed to tell anyone...about...Oops," she finished contritely, realizing that she had just made a big mistake and bowing her head in remorse.  "Oh teacher, I'm so sorry.  Please, forgive your apprentice.  I've never had to keep a secret before in my entire life, and actually talking with strangers is a new experience to me."

Kalia chuckled cheerfully.  "Don't worry, priestess.  We can keep a secret too and could care less about solving the Glyph of Infinity.  Right, Ifurina?"

"Pretty!" Ifurina commented as she pressed her hands against the dome which glowed various colors wherever she touched it.

Kalia and the Priestess of the Ancients sweatdropped.

******

In the heart of an ancient temple on a lost island, a door opened, and light flooded a room that hadn't been entered in ages.  Millie, Parnasse, and Ura cautiously entered the chamber, flanked by a platoon of Mice Wearing Hats.  An eager grin split Millie's features as she saw the demon ninja lying in suspended animation and its key staff which resembled a hard, wooden walking stick.  Laughing diabolically, she seized the staff, watched with pleasure as the demon ninja rose to its feet, and began to wind up her new weapon, blue electricity dancing around her.

"Boy, it sure was awfully convenient that you knew how to find this lost island," Parnasse commented as he watched Millie, a sick feeling in his stomach.

"Gah," Ura agreed as, for the first time in millennia, Demon Ninja Master Splinter awoke.  Millie's mad laughter echoed throughout the chamber.

"Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!"


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Lord God Jinnai on April 28, 2004, 07:44:09 PM
Well, I might as well jump in again. I'm feeling... dangerous.


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

Millie continued her infernal laughter, thoroughly enjoying her Jinnai impersonation. "Arise, Demon Ninja! Arise and DESTROY ALL MY ENEMIES! MWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA- OW!"

Millie's diabolical laughter was quickly cut off when Demon Ninja Master Splinter bopped her over the skull with his staff. The young girl rubbed her aching head for a bit before turning towards the ancient weapon and giving him a death glare. "You stupid rat! Why the hell did ya hit me- OW!"

"Silence!" Splinter turned his snout up in disgust at the girl, then turned away to behold the rest of the group. "Pitiful. Absolutely pitiful."

"What the hell are ya babblin about?!" snarled Millie. She strode up to the ninja master and poked him in the chest. "I am your master, and you will do as I- OW! Sunova-"

"I said, SILENCE!" Splinter's hand shot up, hitting Millie square in the chest and sending her flying backwards onto the floor.

"W-what?" The girl asked, her body stunned.

"Gah, I knew this was a bad idea!" squeeked the King. "We're doomed!"

Ura and Parnasse nodded in agreement.

"Shut up!" snarled Splinter. He narrowed his eyes on the four in front of him, his hands rubbing his furry chin in thought. "Such a pathetic bunch. But, oh well. I do what I must."

"Um, sir, hi... uh," Parnasse strode up to the giant mutant rat and gulped. "Sorry to interrupt, but, what are you talking about?"

"You, of course," said Splinter with a shrug. "Sorry, but you are not the usual caliber of student I am looking for. I usually get top-notch, well-trained, physically-honed warriors. Instead I get two kids, a mouse, and, ech... a cat. I think I rather teach four turtles!" After a bit of a pause, the ninja master suddenly burst out laughing. "Ha ha ha! I made a funny!"

"Uh, right..." Parnasse, as well as the others, sweat-dropped.

"Wait!" Millie shouted, but quickly lowered her volume after a glare from Splinter. "Aren't you an Ultimate Weapon of the Ancients? You're supposed to serve US and kick lotsa ass! What's all this crap about teaching and students?"

Splinter regarded Millie as a passer-by at a park would regard a pile of dog excrement, and sighed. "Stupid girl. You obviously do not know what my true puprose is, yet you yap nonsense about claims which are not true." He glared at the group before continuing. "It is true, that I was created by the Ancients. But, I am no weapon. Instead, I am a teacher."

"Teacher?" asked the King.

"Yes," Splinter smirked. "I teach others how to become  Ultimate Weapons."

"Whoa," Parnasse gasped. "You mean... ?"

"Indeed," Splinter nodded, then pointed his staff at the four. "Under my tutelage, you will become faster, stronger, more powerful than any normal warrior today. You will learn the ancient art of ratninjitsu; mastery of it would put you up to par with any Demon God. You will be unstoppable."

A moment of hushed silence decended upon the cavern. This was summarily broken by Millie, who suddenly shouted in joy. "AHA! At last, my luck is finally changing! No more relying on these stupid minions! I'll get to kick ass from now on! Mwa hahahah- OW!"

"Boy, you are loud, aren't you," muttered Splinter. The rat frowned when he noticed that his staff was getting dents in it. "Anyway, as you four are the ones that have awakened me, so you four I shall teach. First thing I must do is give you names."

"Names?" asked Parnasse. "But, sir, we all ready have names."

Splinter chuckled. "Yes, my young lad. But these names are your ninja names... they will speak truths about you, and having them will allow you to bring forth your true power from within."

"Ahhhh," said Milie as if she understood, which of course she didn't.

"You!" Splinter pointed to Parnasse. "From now on you shall be called... REMBRANT!"

"Um..."

"And you!" Splinter pointed to the King. "You shall be HOPPER!"

"Oh dear..."

"You!" The ninja pointed to Ura. "Let all fear you as ANDY WARHOL!"

"Nyah?"

"And finally, the loudmouth." Splinter turned to Millie. "You shall be..."

"It's gonna be stupid, isn't it?" asked Millie with a sigh.

"You shall be... KRAYOLA PAINT BY NUMBERS!"

"I knew it." Millie's shoulders slumped.

"Okay then," Splinter turned his back on his new pupils, addressing them as if he were addressing retarded children. "Know now that the art of ratninjitsu is a tough art to learn. If you are soft, and stupid, and girly, then you will not succeed."

Millie's shoulders slumped even lower.

"But if you perservere and rough it out, you shall be more powerful than God." He turned once more to face his students. "Now then, give me  ONE THOUSAND PUSH UPS NOW!"

Everyone groaned in agitation before dropping to their hands and knees.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on April 29, 2004, 12:12:59 AM
"Approach, students," Master Splinter said.  "Close the circle at the feet of the Master.  You have come to me, asking that I be your guide along the path of Ti Kwan Leep.  But be warned!  To learn its ways, you must learn the ways of your own soul.  Let us meditate upon this wisdom now. So.  Ommmm..."

"Uh, sir?"  Millie snapped her fingers for attention.  "Sir?  Uh, um, sir?"

Without moving, Splinter opened one eye.  "Who disturbs our meditation, as a pebble disturbs the stillness of the pond?"

"Me!" Millie said.  "'Krayola Paint By Numbers'."

Master Splinter repeated her name, in recognition of her.  "Yes, Krayola Paint By Numbers?"

"Uh, no disrespect or nothin'," Millie asked, "but, like, how long is this gonna take?"

"Ti Kwan Leep is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon."

"So, like, what?  An hour or so?"

"No, no.  We have not even begun upon the path.  Krayola Paint By Numbers, you must learn patience."

Millie snorted.  "Yeah yeah yeah, patience!  How long will that take!?"

"Time has no meaning.  To a true student, a year is as a day."

"A YEAR?!" Millie yelled.  "I wanna beat people up right now!  I got the pajamas!"  This was true-- Millie was still wearing her favorite jammies, after her two angst-filled days in bed.

"Beat... people... up?" Splinter said, in obvious disbelief.

"Yeah, just show me all those nifty moves so I can start trashing Bugrom!  That's all I came here for!"  Millie began to make fake karate moves, in a way that was deeply insulting to the Master. "Yaaah!  Aaaah!  Daaah!  Daaah!  Shaah!  Pretty good, huh?"

"The only use of Ti Kwan Leep is self-defense," Splinter said patiently.  "Do you know who said that?  Kee Lo Nee, the Great Teacher."

"Yeah?" Millie said.  "Well, 'the best defense is a good offense.'  You know who said that?  Kyou, the comedy relief from 'Fruits Basket'."

Splinter blinked.  "Um...  'Ti Kwan Leep is the wine of purity, not the vinegar of hostility.'  Meditate upon this truth with us.  Ommmm..."

"Listen, shrimp!" Millie yelled.  "Are you gonna show me some fancy moves, or am I gonna start wiping the walls with you?"

Splinter sighed sadly.  "Krayola Paint By Numbers, you have failed to grasp Ti Kwan Leep. Approach me, that you might see."

Millie grinned as she stepped forwards.  "Alright!  Finally, some action."

"Observe closely, class...  Boot To The Head!"  WHOMP!!

"OW!!" yelled Millie.  "YOU BOOTED ME IN THE HEAD!!"

"You are lucky, Krayola Paint By Numbers.  Few novices experience so much of Ti Kwan Leep so soon."

Millie didn't feel lucky.  "Ow... ow... ow..."

"Now, we continue," Splinter said.  "Ommmm..."

Millie jumped back to her feet.  "HEY!!  Hey, I wasn't ready!  Come and get me now, shorty, huh?  Come ON!!  Are you CHICKEN!?"

"Boot To The Head!"  WHOMP!!

"OW!!...  Okay, now I'm ready!  Okay, now, come on, try it now--"

"Boot To The Head!"  WHOMP!!

"Mind if I just lie down here for a minute?" Millie asked weakly.

"Now, class, we shall return to our--"

Parnasse held up a hand.  "Master?"

Splinter sighed again.  "It is wrong to tip the vessel of knowledge, Rembrandt."

"Many apologies, Master," said Parnasse.  "But I feel Krayola Paint By Numbers is not wholly wrong."  Millie groaned, in tremendous pain.

"What do you mean?" Splinter asked, completely ignoring Millie.

"I want to boot some head too," Parnasse said.

"Have you learned nothing from the lesson of Krayola Paint By Numbers?"

"Yes, Master," Parnasse said.  "I have learned two things.  First, that anger is a weapon only to one's opponent..."

"Very good."

"...and secondly-- get in the first shot!  Boot To The Head!"  WHOOSH!!

"You missed," Splinter noted.

Parnasse gulped.  "Er, yeah.  Well..."

"You, too, shall be honored to learn a lesson."

"You know, I can leave, you don't have to, you know, I gotta be going--"

"Boot To The Head!"  WHOMP!!

"URRRRGHHHH!!" said Parnasse.

Master Splinter turned to Gan-chan and the Mice Wearing Hats.  "Can anyone tell us what lesson has been learned here?"

"Er, yes, Master," said Gan-chan.  "Not a single one of us could defeat you."

"You gain wisdom, Hopper," said Splinter.

"So we'll have to gang up on you!!  GET HIM, GUYS!!"

"Boot To The Head!"  WHOMP!!  WHOMP!!  WHOMP!!  WHOMP!!  WHOMP!!  WHOMP!!

A minute or two later, Master Splinter stood untouched, in the middle of a deep pile of groaning Mice Wearing Hats.

Splinter turned to Ura, the only other creature left standing in the room.  "And now, Andy, let us rejoin the mind to the body, and gaze into the heart of the candle in meditation."

"GAH!!" said Ura.

Master Splinter smiled benevolently.  "Very good, Andy."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on May 01, 2004, 09:54:29 PM
Ifurina traced her hand across the Glyph Of Infinity, and laughed with delight.  "Oh, Kalia!  You should try this!  It makes such pretty colors when you put your hand against it."

Kalia flew to her friend's side.  "'Kay," she said with a sweet smile.  Before the Priestess of Ancients (or her dragon puppet) could protest, Kalia rested one hand against the Glyph, next to Ifurina's hand.

A narrow but extremely intense beam of pure energy, burning with a light brighter than the sun, erupted from the Glyph.  It thrust directly up into the sky, and shot into deep space with the speed of light.  Almost half of the planet of El-Hazard was illuminated by its sheer power.

Ifurina, Kalia, and the Priestess squeezed their eyes shut.  Their hair was blown straight back by the force of the beam.  If they had not been sweet and innocent type characters, their clothing would have been blasted away in a fan-servicey way.  Staff-chan was temporarily overwhelmed by the beam, and it powered itself down into a stand-by mode.

"Oh, crap," said the Great Priestess of the Ancients.  She didn't understand exactly what was happening-- she was a sweet girl, and wholly devoted to her duties, but she wasn't exactly the brightest crystal in the valley.  However, she quickly realized that this was A Bad Thing.

And she was not alone.



"oh Oh, crap crap," said The Other.

Yes, The Other had manipulated Peorth into bringing Kalia back to life for tasks just like this.  But this had happened too soon.  There were still so many detestable variables.  The Round Robin seemed to have taken a turn for the Uncertain, after the current writer had revived it.  In fact, The Other felt as Uncertain as a Schrodinger's Cat-Girl.



"Oh, crap," said Princess Myuun of Baron.

The intense light from the Glyph cast a dark shadow behind her, as she stood on the Floristica palace balcony.  Her true motives still remained unclear to the current writer.  But, regardless of whether Myuun was a dedicated public servant, doing her best to protect her native kingdom in dangerous times; a Machiavellian mastermind, manipulating others like pieces in a game of chess; a madwoman, brain burned out under the Mantle of God, and doing The Other's bidding in an indirect way; or just another deathly-pale art-goth babe for the current writer to pine after-- this did not please her.



"Oh, crap," said The Guide.

Everything was going according to the Guide's pear-shaped plans.  But the Guide was going to have to let events play out, unGuided, for a little while longer.  Multi-dimensional and nigh-invulnerable as the Guide was, that last and giantest boulder really, really hurt.



"Oh, ze crap," said Peorth and the Doctor.

After leaving Tina's coffeehouse, the two impossibly beautiful goddesses had come too close to each other, and they had somehow got their belts tangled up together.  They were both staggering through a Florestica palace-town alley, struggling with each other's belts, and bodies, in a way best left to the reader's imagination.



"Oh, crap," said Elmira.

She and her swarm of Happy Smiley Faces had been flying through the skies of El-Hazard, not too far from the desert valley.  The intense light from the Glyph destroyed most of them, like moths vaporized by a zap from a demon god's power key staff.



"Oh, crap," said Makoto's Ifurita.

She was now strangely reassured that her precious Makoto was still nowhere to be found in this dimension.  But, as she flew towards the Glyph, she prayed that he was safe and sound, and that the terrible light had nothing to do with his disappearance.  She knew her Makoto well, and she thought of how he would sacrifice himself, without hesitation, if need be, to save El-Hazard.

Ifurita blinked back hot sweet tears, and redoubled her flight speed.



"Oh, [CENSORED]," said goth-punk Ifurita-3.  Life sucked, and everyone was stupid, and no one understood her.  And her current persona was too tough to admit it... but she still wanted a pony.



"OH CRAP!!" said Afura.

One side-effect of Afura's apparently permanent transformation, into a seeker of fan-servicey punishments, was that she was no longer the brave warrior priestess that she once was.  In fact, Afura had become something of a girly nancy girl, as shown by her reaction to the intense light from the Glyph-- she glomped Ishiel in fear, in an Alielle kind of way, and began to cry like a little girl.



"Oh, crap," said Ishiel.

She and Afura had been enjoying a very late breakfast when Kalia triggered the Glyph.  And Afura, bless her heart, had flown across their table, glomped Ishiel in fear, and begun to cry like a little girl.  Yes, Ishiel enjoyed punishing Afura, but it upset her greatly to see her dear friend in genuine distress.

And besides that, Ishiel had been startled by the light herself, and she had spilled her tea.



"Oh, crap," said Ayeka.

Her pool of water, deep within the mysterious caverns in The Next Dimension, had erupted with light, in resonance with the Glyph-- mere seconds after she had lied to Makoto, and convinced him that she had no idea where the Palace of Infinity was.  But now, Ayeka might have to really get her hands dirty.



"Oh, crap," said Makoto.  He had no idea what the heck was going on.



"Oh, crap," said Tenchi Universe Kiyone.

The Round Robin seemed to be winding down, but Kiyone hadn't had a cross-over appearance yet.  Mihoshi, Sasami, Katsuhito and a gazillion other Tenchi Muyo! characters hadn't crossed over, either.  But Kiyone was the current writer's second favorite TM! character, after Ryoko.  And she had hoped to add a brief cross-over to her already-impressive Galaxy Police resume.



"Oh, crap," said one of Fatora, Gatora, or Hatora.

Balielle had just joined them at the seminary.  But there were still only two Alielles for three Fatoras.  Unless another cloning sub-plot produced a Calielle, one Fatora was still going to have to wait her turn.



"Oh, crap," said Jinnai.

Seeing the intense light from the Glyph, Jinnai realized that he had somehow failed to destroy an Ultimate Weapon, back when he was Demon God Katsy-Watsy.  And if there was one thing that burned Jinnai's bacon (besides that detestable Mizuhara), it was when someone besides Jinnai had an Ultimate Weapon.



"Oh, crap," said Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia.

Seeing the intense light from the Glyph, Jinnistacia decided that, if she was going to super-glue anyone around here before the world ended, she had better hurry up and do it.



"*mmmph mmmph*" said the Princess Rune Venus.

Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia had just flown up to Rune, glomped the lightly-dressed princess, pushed her to the polished stone floor, and completely super-glued Rune spread-eagled to the floor, for no good reason... as if there ever was a good reason for doing something like that.



"Oh, crap," said Queen Deva.

She had been absent-mindedly strolling through the palace, not watching her feet.  She had just tripped over Rune's super-glued right arm, to fall flat on her own face.



"Oh, crap," said Fujisawa.

The intense light from the Glyph shined through the window of the small shack behind the Fujisawas' rural hideaway.  It was clear to Fujisawa that the world was in danger once again.  And yet, he and Miz seemed to have been forgotten by the writers.  He and Miz hadn't been used since that throw-away creepy experimental fan-servicey joke with Ifurina and Staff-chan.



"Oh, crap," said Miz.

The intense light from the Glyph shined through the window of the small shack behind the Fujisawas' rural hideaway.  It was clear to Miz that the world was in danger once again.  But she had been enjoying some quality time with Fujisawa, and the current writer was going to stop right there, because this reply already contained too much creepy experimental fan service.



"Oh, crap," Wa Salli Alayhim did not say.  She had been expecting something like this ever since she had had that vision, back around Reply #20 in the second Round Robin topic.  That, and she was an ancient and dignified TRUE-True Demon God, not given to using mild expletives.

Although she probably thought something along the lines of "oh, crap" to herself.



"Rhoah, rhrap," said Hector the wolfhound, in a Scooby Doo kind of way.



"Oh, crap," said the current writer.

Yes, he was trying to bring the Round Robin to a conclusion of the Palace of Infinity story arc, or at least, to a more graceful resting place.  But he hadn't expected something like this to happen until after another couple dozen replies or so.  He decided that he'd better play for time, until the Mice Wearing Hats' long and terrible siege was further along.



"KALIA!!" yelled Ifurina.  "TAKE YOUR HAND AWAY!!"

"Oh, 'kay," Kalia said again.  She took her hand away, and the Glyph powered down.



"*whew*" a lot of people said.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on May 01, 2004, 10:04:18 PM
OOC:  This contains gratuitous girly mushy stuff.  Reader discretion is advised.



Ryoko had returned to the isolated country-side greenhouse, in Ura-ohki's battleship form, after a quicker-than-expected trip to Floristica.  Dall was working elsewhere, but Bill and Alyssa came out of the greenhouse to greet Ryoko and help her unload supplies.

Alyssa noticed an unreadable expression on Ryoko's face.  "What news?" she asked.

Ryoko set down her first armload of supplies, frowned, and rubbed her neck, as she answered.  "Uh... Florestica is battering down to defend itself from another invasion."

Bill had been keeping up with the news of the day.  "Not again!" he cried.  "Who's invading this time?"

"Mice Wearing Hats," Ryoko said flatly.

She, Bill and Alyssa stared at each other, overwhelmed by the sheer silliness of the situation.

Ryoko finally sighed.  "Oh well.  I guess we'd better batter down, ourselves.  We can live off the land here indefinitely... but I was kinda hopin' to make us some roshtals..."

Then she noticed Bill and Alyssa's own disappointed looks.  "Whassup?" she asked.

Alyssa smiled sadly.  "Um... well, actually... we were hoping that we could go into town, sometime soon, and, um... get married.  I suppose it doesn't matter.  I mean, we're renegade Phantom Tribe, and a human marriage holds no real meaning for us.  But still... we're trying to fit into human society now, and it seemed like the right thing to do..."

Ryoko took a step back, crossed her arms, and regarded Bill and Alyssa thoughtfully.  And she slowly grinned.

"So tell me," Ryoko finally said.  "If you two could get hitched right here and now, wouldja do it?"

Bill held Alyssa's hand, in a heart-warming kind of way.  "Well, sure.  But how--"

Ryoko turned, stuck two fingers in her mouth, and whistled for Dall.  Then she turned back, and explained herself.  "The Victory Gardner is royalty, with all the powers and privileges thereof, including the legal authority to perform marriages.  He may be a fugitive, but per the terms of Creteria's negotiated surrender, the Alliance slash Bugrom Empire would have to recognize a marriage certificate with his signature.  We can file a copy of the certificate with Florestica when-- sorry, if things ever get back to normal."

Dall walked up.  "Whassup?"

The good news, for Ryoko and Alyssa, was that Dall had been doing some heavy work.  The big strong young man had pulled his shirt open and rolled up his sleeves, and frankly, he looked hot.  But the bad news, for everyone, was that Dall's heavy work had involved spreading fertilizer.

Ryoko winced and held her nose.  "Ngh... why don't you go down to the creek and wash up, while we lay in these supplies.  Then we'll all break for lunch.  And put yer 'glad rags' on, hon.  After lunch, you got some marryin' to do."



It was a short and simple ceremony.  But, in the midst of the hastily arranged flowering plants, in the quiet of the countryside greenhouse... it was beautiful.  Bill and Alyssa had left Kingfisher with only the clothes on their backs, but Ryoko had brought some fine robes with the supplies, just that morning.  Dall wore his finest emperoring outfit, and Ryoko (who served as witness, bridesmaid and "best man") wore that beautiful white outfit from the end of the second TM! OVA.

After the "you may kiss the bride" part at the end, Bill did just that.  Dall quietly closed his Creterian ceremony book, turned to Ryoko, and, to his great surprise, found that she was crying.

Dall smiled, but he was careful not to mock Ryoko.  "Why, Ryoko!" he said quietly.  "I didn't know that you cried at weddings."  He held one arm around her, and gave her a friendly squeeze.  With his free hand, he reached into his emperor cape, produced the box of tissues that Ryoko had given him for fan-service nosebleeds, and offered it back to her.

Ryoko smiled shakily, took a couple of tissues, and blew her nose.  Then she leaned against Dall, and answered him in a most un-Ryoko-like small sad voice.  "Yeah *sniff* an' if you ever tell anyone else *sniff* I'll punch you right in the mouth."



Later that same afternoon, Dall sat at an old table in an office room off to one side of the greenhouse.  He pored over a couple of textbooks, a pad of old-fashioned spreadsheet paper forms, an worn wooden abacus and an mechanical adding machine.  He was trying to teach himself some basic accounting, for the greenhouse business.

Ryoko drifted into the room.  She had changed again, into that simple long black house dress from the In Tokyo series that the current writer likes on her.  "Hey," she said quietly.

"Hey," Dall said back, without looking up.  "What are Bill and Alyssa doing?"

Ryoko giggled.  "You have to ask?"

Dall blushed heavily.  "Ah.  I withdraw the question."

He returned to his studies.  He heard Ryoko sit at the table, next to him, with a heavy sigh, but he didn't look away.

Then, a moment or two later, he heard Royko sigh again, more loudly, almost theatrically.  He looked up impatiently.  "What!?  Ryoko, I'm trying to--"

Dall cut himself off when he saw that Ryoko was almost in tears again.  "Oh," he said.  "Sorry.  What's wrong?"

Ryoko sniffed.  "Oh, don't mind me, hon.  Just feelin' sorry for myself."

"Why?"

"Dunno, really.  Here I am, an immortal True Demon God, with the power to destroy cities.  An' I got free will now.  But... promise you won't laugh?"

"Of course not."

"Seein' Alyssa, so happy, like that...  It made me jealous, ya know?  'Cause I could never get married, myself."

"Why?" Dall asked again.

Ryoko frowned.  "C'mon, Dall.  Don't tease me.  You know I could never be married, 'cause I'm a demon god."

Dall blinked.  "I'm sorry, Ryoko, but I really don't understand.  Why couldn't you get married, if you wanted to?"

Ryoko stared at him dully.  But then, her eyes began to widen.  "You mean... you wouldn't?... you would!?..."

"*I* don't see why it makes any difference," Dall said.  "And I am the freakin' Emperor in our world, and a fugitive in this world, so if anyone else had a problem with it... well, tough cookies--"

Dall was cut off again, when he was thrown to the floor by a tearfully happy Ryoko glomping.  But he suddenly realized that he might have said more than he wanted to.  "Hey, wait a minute!!  That doesn't mean I want to, uh-- that is, not that I wouldn't want to, sometime-- maybe sometime soon, but-- aw, nuts!..."

A giggling Ryoko stood up, and gave Dall a hand up from the floor.  "Aw, relax.  I'm not ready to go pick out curtains, or anything, myself.  But... every once in awhile, you say exactly the right thing."

Dall sat at the table again with a wry smile.  "Don't worry.  I won't make a habit of it."

"Well, that's enough heavy drama for one day," Ryoko noted.  "Guess I'll go take a walk through the woods, or somethin'.  It's a beautiful afternoon."

"'Kay," Dall said.  He was already engrossed in his studies again.

He gradually realized that Ryoko had not left.  He looked up, and saw her still standing beside him, with her arms crossed.  "Dall, hon...  This is where you say, 'yeah, it is a nice day, and if you don't mind, I'd like to go with you, and spend some time together with you."

Dall pushed his chair back, stood up, and took Ryoko's arm.  "Sorry," he said, as they left together.  "You can't expect me to get everything right."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on May 01, 2004, 10:22:58 PM
OOC:  This is the last of three replies that I've just posted.  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.  (Sorry if this one is a little rough-- I got a pretty bad headache while I was finishing it.)



Nanami, Shayla and child-Creterian-Deva sat in an improvised waiting room, in one corner of Crayna's seemingly bigger-inside-than-outside hut near the Damn Volcano.  Nanami was carefully studying the business section of the Floristica Pantagraph; chibi-Deva was learning an important lesson from "Goofus And Gallant" in the latest issue of Highlights; and Shayla was playing solitaire Pettan.

They had waited patiently all morning while Ibn Al-Zahad and Crayna Crayna performed near-magical acts of mad-science bio-engineering on the Spanish insectoid Kauru and the former evil clone slave Uruak.  Al-Zahad and Crayna's operating theatre was separated from the waiting area by a hastily erected sliding curtain.

Nanami and Shayla were doing their best to ignore the strange and disturbingly unpleasant crunchy noises coming from behind the curtain-- to say nothing of Crayna's nearly steady stream of ancient Frencharian curses.  And so it was that Nanami and Shayla were engrossed in their paper and cards, and they were startled when the operating curtain was suddenly pushed aside.

They looked up, to see Al-Zahad and Crayna standing at the open curtain.  The demon god and the retired priestess were illuminated from behind by intense surgical lights.  They both wore institution-green lab smocks, masks and hats, safety glasses, rubber gloves and plastic booties.  They were both perspiring heavily, and their medical garments were splattered with the requisite sticky semi-transparent goo.  Their safety glasses distorted their eyes, in a terrifying mad-scientist kind of way.

"AIEEE!!" said Nanami and Shayla.  They glomped each other in fright, scattering newspapers and Pettan cards, and squishing chibi-Deva between them.

"*eep urk*" said the squished chibi-Deva.

Crayna took off her glasses, pulled her mask down with an elastic snapping sound, and grinned at her younger friends.  "Sorry, kids.  Been a long mornin'."

Nanami and Shayla glanced at each other, and suddenly jumped away from each other, like electric magnets that had reversed polarity.  They both cleared their throats in embarrassment, while chibi-Deva gasped for breath.

"Was the operation a success?" Nanami asked.

Obviously pleased with herself, Crayna gestured behind her.  "See fer yerself, hon."

A whole, well, and fully-human Kauru Taurus emerged from behind the still-closed part of the curtain.  She wore only a skimpy paper hospital gown, and she was still cleaning some sticky semi-transparent goo from herself with a towel.  However, her elaborate hairdo was already perfectly brushed and primped in place.

"DEEEEVAAAA!!" said chibi-Deva.  With a happy cute little squeal, she ran at Kauru and glomped her in a heart-warming way.

Nanami and Shayla clutched at each other in fright again, expecting a flood of water.  But nothing happened.  In fact, Kauru gave chibi-Deva a loving hug in return, and cooed in her ear.

Al-Zahad explained.  "The operation was a resounding success.  We have taken the two Kaurus and combined them, down to the genetic level, to create the restored being you see before you.  The operation also produced three happy side-effects.

"First, as expected, we were able to eliminate the genetic code of the Northern Capitol weaponers.  Their sad heritage will not trouble Kauru, or any of us, again.

"Secondly, we were also able to eliminate Kauru's frankly ridiculous entomophobia.  As you can see, she no longer fears bugs or Bugrom of any kind, in any form."

"What's the third side-effect?" Shayla asked.

"We did not wish to sacrifice either of the two Kaurus' consciousness," Al-Zahad said.  "We have successfully merged them mentally, as well, allowing them both to continue to exist, as a single fused being.  But doing this effectively doubled Kauru's mental capacity."

Nanami and Shayla gasped.  "You mean--" Nanami said.

Kauru looked up from chibi-Deva, and spoke for herself.  "Quite.  I am no longer the, um, 'drip' that I once was.  My vastly-increased intelligence, in tandem with my advanced hydro-kinetic control techniques, should prove to be insurmountable to all imaginable adversaries."

"Un!-Be!-Lievable!" Nanami said.  "It's the most unlikely and inconceivable incarnation of Kauru Taurus yet!!  She's-- she's--"

"Yup," said Crayna.  "She's-- Kauru The Soopah-Genius!!"

Shayla grinned.  "Y'know, sometimes the jokes just write themselves."

"Indubitably," Kauru agreed.



"Look," Ayeka said to Makoto.  "I was hoping that I wouldn't have to get involved.  In fact, I was hoping that you'd forget this nonsense, and sweep me off my feet, and help me escape this place, and let me take you back to Jurai, where I could smother you with obsessive affection for the rest of eternity.  Why is it that all the good men already have soul-mates?..."

"Say," Makoto cut in.  "If you don't mind my asking... why are you here, in a suspended animation pool in the The Next Dimension?"

Ayeka reached into her robes, and nervously fingered a paper copy of a restraining order that Tenchi-sama had filed against her, in an out-of-character fit of exasperation.  "Yes, well-- never mind that!  Like I said, I don't know, um, exactly where the Palace of Infinity is.  And I can't accompany you on your quest.  But if you'll stand on your little flying carpet there, I can send you to the next wacky stop on your inter-dimensional cross-over quest to save the multi-verse."

Makoto took a few steps back, stood on his carpet, and gulped, as Ayeka began to make signs with her hands.  "Uh, where exactly is this next wacky stop?"

Ayeka winked.  "Can't tell you that, dear.  The current writer hasn't worked it out.  It's for me to know, and the next writer to write out...  Go now.  Be safe.  I know that I can rely on you, Makoto. I will carry you in my thoughts and heart till our paths cross again."

Makoto and his carpet disappeared in a brilliant flash of silver Ifurita-esque light.

Once again alone in her cave, Ayeka sighed.  She waded back to the center of the pool, and prepared herself to resume her indefinite hibernation.  Oh well, she thought.  I didn't get nearly as good a cross-over as Yume, but at least I helped advance the plot a little.



Londs came into the Floristica palace kitchen.  It was lunch-time, and he had just the thing in mind for a delicious and nutritious lunch.  But sadly, it was not to be.

Londs opened his personal larder.  His eyes widened in shock as he saw the large empty plate within it, with only a few scattered crumbs where his lunch had been.

He spun away from the larder, and bellowed out the terrible news to all within earshot.  "SOMEONE'S BEEN AT ME CHEESE!! (http://www.proba.jussieu.fr/pageperso/zhan/wallace.html)"

And so it was that the long and terrible siege of the Mice Wearing Hats had begun.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Andrusi on May 02, 2004, 12:17:26 AM
At that point, a young boy by the name of Matthew was playing with his People Named After Food action figures.  To be specific, The Pizzanator was getting his, er, crust kicked by Captain Bacon.

Although nobody realized it yet, and the method would probably be extemely contrived and unlikely, Matthew was going to Save the World in about an hour.  This was because the current author felt really bad about his inability to contribute anything of value, and was throwing out something bizarre and somewhat vague in an attempt to feel like he'd accomplished something.

It didn't really work, though.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on May 12, 2004, 10:55:56 PM
In the next progression of a chain of events that had started when a cart of spherical fruit tipped over many posts ago, a single butterfly (http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/beffect.html) flapped its wings and flew off.  This action may seem innocent enough but...Nothing Good Could Come of This.

******

Princess Rune Venus of Roshtaria, having finally managed to extricate herself from her superglued position on the floor and realizing that between the siege of the Mice With Hats and whatever the source of that excruciatingly brilliant beam of light was her country was probably in extraordinary peril, did what she normally did in times of crises - angst on her balcony.  This time, however, there was already somebody on her balcony, and instead of angsting, this person was plotting.

"Hello Princess Rune," Princess Myuun greeted as she turned around, her bearing such that it made Rune feel like the intruder here, "Long time no see."

"...I have nothing to say to you, Princess Myuun.  While I can understand your reasons, you still betrayed the Alliance and your allegiance to Roshtaria, and you continue to jeopardize humanity," Rune replied, finding it oddly difficult to concentrate around the Baron monarch's presence.

Outlined by the cityscape of Florestica, Myuun chuckled softly, seemingly amused by Rune's response.  "Yes, you would think that, wouldn't you?  There's no need to fear me, though, Rune.  Other than a tenacious dislike for Princess Fatora, my intentions are pure."

"Then why have you usurped control of the majority of the Alliance forces?  For that matter, what are you even doing here, Myuun?  Surely Baron has its own crises you could be dealing with right now," Princess Rune inquired sternly, gazing evenly at the black-clad specter standing across from her.

Myuun's eyes narrowed in annoyance.  "Roshtaria's crises are Baron's problems as well, Princess Rune, and I'm here because _my_ people and nation require I do more for them than mope on a balcony overlooking a city that has been invaded more times in the past month than I care to think about.  As for why I'm _here_, well, I decided to do you the courtesy of letting you know that your sister is all right."

Rune blinked as Myuun stretched and headed for the palace's interior.  "What do you know about Fatora's whereabouts, Myuun?"

Stopping beside the ruler of Roshtaria, Myuun inclined her head to look at Rune and smirked.  "Plenty, but it was your _other_ sister I was referring to."  Leaning over to whisper in Rune's left ear, the pale princess murmured, "There is..._another_ heir to the Roshtarian throne."

******

*Achoo!* "Welcome to my home," the Priestess of the Ancients told her guests kindly, having decided that if she couldn't get rid of them she might as well lead them as far away as possible from the Glyph of Infinity in order to prevent any more powerful beams of light from shooting into the sky.  "Isn't it nice?" she asked, turning to Ifurina and Kalia and making an expansive gesture with her hands.

"It looks very comfortable...for a cave and all," Kalia answered slowly, looking around the underground chamber she'd spent the last 15 minutes walking to.  It was comfortably small in size with a low, arching ceiling that was remarkably free of stalactites.  The ground wasn't quite so fortunate, though, as the occasional crystalline stalagmite protruded up from out of the floor.  The walls were covered with a faintly glowing, blue moss-like plant that, with the exception of a muted lantern hanging from the center of the ceiling, provided the only illumination to be found.  A hammock was staked across the left-side of the room, and next to it was a plain wooden chest and a bookshelf filled with aging books and scrolls.  On the other side was a table with two benches for sitting, a cabinet, and a cloth map of ancient El-Hazard plastered against the stone wall.  In the very back was a narrow aperture from which the sounds of running water could faintly be heard, evidently indicating the presence of a nearby subterranean river.

"Wow, this is so neat, Miss Priestess of the Ancients!" Ifurina beamed, excitedly investigating every corner intently as the priestess looked on, an accommodating smile on her face.  "I wanted to live in a cave as a kid, but Mom said that I couldn't until I'd learned how to protect myself from cavemen with a giant club.  Unfortunately, the club was so heavy that I wasn't able to pick it up...Now that I think about it, though, doing so ought to be easy with my new demon god strength!  If only I had leopard skin pajamas...anyway, Miss Priestess of the Ancients, do you have a shorter name I could call you by?  Priestess of the Ancients seems rather...long," Ifurita asked, turning to the priestess with a slight frown on her face.

The Rune look-alike shook her head and walked over to the cabinet.  "Sorry, but I'm afraid I don't.  Names are unnecessary for my position, and while I was an apprentice my master simply called me 'apprentice' or 'hey you!'  Now then," she inquired, opening the cupboard, "would you two like anything to eat or drink?  I have a lot of water and some milk around here, and for snacks there's leftover fungi a la mold, mushroom casserole, or desert snake shish-kabob."

"I...um, think I'll pass," Kalia replied politely, trying not to look sick at the thought of eating whatever it was fungi a la mode is.  To her surprise, she found it wasn't.  "So...care to explain a bit more about that light?  It was quite pretty!"

The Priestess of the Ancients shrugged.  "Sorrow, but that information is sacred.  Under no circumstances am I supposed to tell you about its-"

Idel gazed at her pointedly, and the priestess sweatdropped.  "Oopsie.  I definitely don't want to finish that sentence.  Shall we drop this conversation and move onto other issues?"

"Such as?" Ifurina inquired curiously, adding, "Oh, and I'll try some casserole.  It looks good."  Her stomach rumbled, and Over-Run sighed, wondering if it would do any good to remind her that she no longer needed food.  He doubted it.

"Oh, what I should do with you two, for starters," the Priestess of the Ancients commented conversationally as she rifled through her cupboard.  "After everything you've seen, I can't very well let you leave and tell others about this place, now can I?"

"Why not?  Other than the light show and mysterious crystals, it's not like there's a whole lot to see here," Kalia questioned, face a mask of innocence.

The Priestess of the Ancients turned around to face her guests and slowly started counting off reasons on her fingers.  "Well, for starters, it goes against tradition.  This wouldn't be a valley forgotten by time if people hadn't forgotten about it, after all.  Secondly, there are secrets in this valley that must not ever be revealed for the sake of world peace!  Or at least that's what my master told me...Anyway, thirdly, I don't want to run the risk that some mad fanatic going around the world destroying ancient weapons would find this place.  Fourthly, this is holy ground, and it's forbidden that strangers should lay eyes on and defile this hallowed land.  The two of you being here is troubling enough, and I dare not imagine the anger of the Ancients should another stranger enter this valley."

As if on cue, Ifurita chose just that moment to enter the cavern, having detected lifesigns with her sensors.  "Excuse me for intruding, but I am on a desperate search for one Mizuhara Makoto and was told that he could be found here."

"Eek!  A trio of wanderers have pierced the mists of memory and violated the sanctity of this valley forgotten by time!" the Priestess of the Ancients decried dramatically.  "Oh, woe, woe upon us all and this age, that secrets best kept buried must awake!  The wrath of the Ancients shall surely fall upon all of El-Hazard now for this horrid desecration!  Is this-"

"Don't mind her.  She's a priestess," Ifurina informed Ifurita confidentially, apparently thinking it was perfectly natural for one of the holy order to rant and rave melodramatically, as the Priestess of the Ancients continued to do just that behind her.  Beaming, she added, "I don't think I've introduced myself to you yet, so let me do so now.  I am Ifurina, and my friend over there is Kalia.  Say hi, Kalia!"

Ifurita tensed at the mention of that name and cautiously inclined her head to look at the reborn demon god.  Kalia smiled warmly in greeting.

"Hi," she said in bemusement, overcome by a strange sense of déjà vu as she returned Ifurita's inquiring look.  There was something very...familiar about her.  She blinked, and in a flash everything came back to her.  "Welcome," she said again, smile morphing into a demented grin, "to your doom!"

In less than a microsecond, Kalia had taken to the air and charged at Ifurita.  The sheer force of her lunge drove them both through solid stone and outside as the cave collapsed behind them, burying Ifurina and the priestess in a cascade of rock.

******

From the doorstep of their home, Miz watched Fujisawa hoist his backpack on his shoulders and lift a pickaxe.  Slowly, he turned to his wife and delicately, lovingly clasped her hand.  "I'll try to come back soon, love, but first I must make sure my students are all right.  Between all the recent invasions, ancient weapons, and that giant beam of light in the sky, I fear for their safety."

"Take care of yourself, darling.  I'll miss you," Miz requested, gazing at her husband with affection.  "I'll keep a light on every night until you come home!"

Fujisawa smiled and gave his wife a good-bye kiss before embarking on his latest adventure.  Before he left the front yard, though, Miz's voice stopped him.

"Pick up a loaf of bread on your way back again, please?" she asked.  "Oh, and could you purchase a container of milk and a stick of butter too?"

Fujisawa sighed and looked up at the sky in exasperation.  "Honestly, hasn't this gag already been done before?"

******

"Surprised?" Kalia inquired sweetly as she flew around Ifurita's key staff and slugged her in the face.  Falling back, Ifurita reached out to grab Kalia's arm, but the crazed demon god was too fast and already behind her.  Knowing better than to let Kalia connect with her power interface, Ifurita used her downward momentum to accelerate and smashed into her startled opponent.  The demon god of legend followed through with a powerful roundhouse swing of her staff.  

"I'm more interested in how you survived and whether or not you have anymore incarnations," Ifurita replied tersely as the ever cheerful Kalia blocked her next blow with an energy shield and countered with a barrage of energy blasts at nearly pointblank range.  A trio of Light Hawk wings sprang into existence around Ifurita, protecting her from the assault.

Kalia laughed dementedly as the repercussions of her own attack knocked her about.  "The answers won't matter once I destroy this entire dimension!  Can you feel it, Ifurita?  This valley...it's hiding something greater and more dangerous than both of us, and _I'm_ going to find it!"

Screaming to the heavens and with raw power radiating off her in waves, Kalia's eyes burned with the fire of insanity as her own set of Light Hawk wings took shape.  Without so much as a care for safety, she flew straight at her opponent, grinning madly as their Light Hawk wings crossed.

KA-BOOM!

"Come on!  I know you can do better than this!" Kalia complained merrily, dusting herself off as a stunned and singed Ifurita hurtled backwards through the air.  "I want to have fun before I obliterate you!"

Collecting herself, Ifurita stopped in mid-air and assumed a cautious defensive stance.  "Play time is over, Kalia.  You're a ghost of the past that has no place in the present or the future, and when I'm through with you all you'll be is another bad memory."

"We shall see," Kalia said simply and smugly, extending her arm palm up and watching with delight as a sphere of energy formed above it.  "We shall see."

******

Nanami, much to her surprise, reappeared on the other side of the portal she'd just opened and fell flat on her face.  With an embarrassed 'oof,' she rose to her feet, closed the portal with her staff, and turned to the expectant Crayna, Al-Zahad, Shayla, Chibi-Deva, and Kauru.  "Wherever that beam of light originated from, it appears that I can't teleport there."

"As I surmised," Kauru commented, wearing a studious expression.  "Anything that powerful would likely have a defense shield of some sort to block unwanted teleportations.  You'll simply have to open a portal as close as you can to the source, and then we can travel the rest of the way by hover-car."

"Deva!" Chibi-Deva screeched anxiously, looking up with concern and a little bit of fear at Kaura.

"Don't worry," Kauru told the child queen reassuringly, reaching down to pat her on the head.  "I won't leave you behind."

"Are you sure that's wise, Kauru?  There's no telling what dangers await us, and I'd rather not have to worry about a child," Shayla piped up, eyeing Chibi-Deva skeptically.

"Trust me, Shayla, I know the risk," Kauru replied, looking behind her at the fire priestess.  "However, after everything Chibi-Deva has been through, I won't abandon her.  Besides, she's just _so_ adorable!"

Shayla and Nanami sweatdropped, but they were also pleased that at her core Kauru still appeared to be the Kauru they knew despite her new super genius status.

Crayna remained silent, not because she didn't have anything to say but rather because the current writer didn't want to anger any Australians with his horrible attempt at writing an accent.  Beside her, Al-Zahad sighed simply for the sake of sighing and because the current author was trying to end this scene so he could finish this post which was already two days late.

******


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on May 12, 2004, 10:57:24 PM
"Are you all right, priestess?" Ifurina asked as Over-Run vaporized the last of the rock standing between them and sunlight.  She rose into the air, making sure to set the Priestess of the Ancients safely on the ground.  

"I've *cough* survived worse," the Priestess of the Ancients said weakly, frowning in worry.  "Compared to the training my master put me through, this is-aah!" she yelled, dodging out of the way of a deflected sphere of purple destruction.

Ifurina looked up and pursed her lips in concern.  Engaged in an aerial battle almost too fast to see, Ifurita and Kalia were brutally pummeling each other in a fierce exchange of fists, a staff, and energy manipulations.  Granted, it wasn't quite up to par with some of the other epic clashes this round robin had already seen, but it was setting new standards for sheer ugliness.

"Please, stop this!" the raven-haired demon god cried, tossing Over-Run to the Priestess of the Ancients as she took to the sky and stopped in between the two combatants, arms outstretched pleadingly.  "Please, don't hurt each other anymore!"

Ifurita narrowed her eyes.  "Get out of my way, Ifurina.  You don't know who you're defending.  Kalia is a ruthless weapon who brings only pain and suffering to those she meets."

"Kalia is also my friend!" Ifurina replied firmly.  "I don't know what's happened between you two to make you hate each other so much, but I say it's long past time you stop fighting and make up!  Kalia is a good person, I know it!  So please, give her a cha-gah!"

A purple corkscrew of gleaming elemental energy pierced through the bodies of both Ifurina and Ifurita.  Turning around and focusing her wide, innocent eyes on Kalia whose left arm was extended and glowing, Ifurina asked in a raw, betrayed voice, "W-w-why?"

Her only answer was Kalia's demented laughter as her former friend brought her fists together and swung them down in a powerful overhead arc.  Ifurina whimpered as her chest caved in and she collapsed, falling to the ground and landing on top of the Glyph of Infinity.  Unnoticed by those above, it began to glow again.  

"Monster," Ifurita branded, glowering at her opponent as her key-staff flashed with power.  "I vow that she will be the last soul you ever destroy!"

"Don't make promises you can't keep, Ifurita.  It doesn't...suit you," Kalia answered, laughing uncontrollably as what just might've been a tear fell out of her left eye.  "Everything dies.  Such is fate.  Every moment of life merely brings one closer to death, and the only question is where and when.  You can't deny this fact, Ifurita, anymore than I can help being what I am.  Doing so is pointless."

"Then allow me to hasten your demise," Ifurita growled, taking aim and firing her city-destroying attack at Kalia.  The crazed demon god arched an eyebrow as the wave of energy engulfed her but otherwise remained immobile, allowing the assault to wash over and soothe her with its beautiful song of death.

"Pathetic," an unharmed Kalia said as the wave passed, eyes alight with madness.  "Oh Ifurita, Ifurita, how you disappoint me."  In a flash, Kalia was directly in front of her and had seized her by the neck.  "Legend of terror?  Ha!"  She casually grabbed Ifurita's key-staff, wrenched it out of her hand, and tossed it to the ground.  "You should've remained in your crypt, you ancient, out-of-date, relic!"  A hum filled the air as Kalia began draining Ifurita's power.

Leaning over her adversary's writhing, struggling form, Kalia reached out with her other hand and softly placed her fingers on Ifurita's face.  "Embrace oblivion!" she shouted, cackling as she invaded the weakened demon god's mind.  

As the day fades and night covers the world, so did Kalia sweep across Ifurita's mind, ripping, tearing, and engulfing everything she came across.  She was a twilight of darkness that left only nothingness behind.  She was unstoppable, undefeatable, and irresistible, the caress and promise of ultimate, final peace until there was only one lonely, vibrant star still shining.  Inside it, memories of Makoto played endlessly, the solace and comfort Ifurita had used to survive her ten thousand years of loneliness.

^No.^

The darkness paused, confused and wondering what could possibly be left to resist it.

^No.  I won't let you...take Makoto away from me.^

Angry, the night reached out to crush this last mote of light but found it burned too brightly to be reached.

^Even if you...destroy my body and annihilate my mind...even if the entire world ends and there is nothing left...I will _never_ forget Makoto!^

"Ifurita!"

The demon god's mindscape was enveloped in an explosion of pure, white light.

******

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!" Kalia screamed in pain, letting go of Ifurita whose body plummeted to the valley floor.  Recoiling in horror and disgust, her eyes darted in every direction until they finally laid to rest on Makoto who was soaring towards her on his mechanical flying carpet, eyes a portrait of anger and determination and looking like nothing else than an avenging angel.

"You!" the demon god screeched in thousands of voices that were and were not hers.  "I hate you!!!"  Trying desperately to dodge but knowing that it was already too late, Kalia experienced a moment of panic as Makoto drew near and linked with her, his sheer force of will breaking through her defenses to the very core of her mind.  Directly below them, the Glyph of Infinity fired for the second time, cremating Ifurina's remains and rushing up to swallow Makoto and Kalia.

"It's time to end this, Kalia.  I won't let you obtain the vengeance you seek," Makoto said solemnly as he strolled through the alleys of an ancient, destroyed city that at one time could've been beautiful and full of life.  Now its ruins existed only in Kalia's mind.  Entering what remained of the city square, he saw a single, young girl with darkly tanned skin and white hair leaning against the rim of a dried out, crumbling fountain.  

"You are a fool," Kalia replied, voice low as she met Makoto's gaze with her sad, pained eyes that had witnessed more anguish and death than anybody should ever see.  She slowly stood up.  "It...this has never been about revenge."

"Then tell me, where does your wish for destruction come from?  Why do you want to destroy the world?" Makoto demanded to know, closing the gap between them.

"_Why_ do I want to destroy the world, you ask?  You have the impudence to ask me, I who have suffered more than you could possibly comprehend, why I want to destroy the world?"  Kalia threw her head back and laughed darkly, brokenly.  "You _really_ want to know, Makoto?  Fine then, I'll tell you the plain and simple truth.  I merely want...the pain to stop.  That's all.  Nothing more and nothing less.  I simply want to stop hurting."

Makoto's eyes widened in surprise, but before he could respond fire fell from the sky and set the entire city ablaze.  He could barely breath in the inferno Kalia's mind had become, but over the din of the roaring flames Kalia's haunted, hopeless laughter still rang clear as day.

******

When the newest beam emitted by the Glyph of Infinity passed, an unharmed Makoto found himself cradling a nearly destroyed Kalia on his undamaged flying carpet.  She had protected him with her own power and body.

"I...don't understand," Makoto asked, stunned, as he stared at Kalia's broken frame.  "Why did you save me?"

"You'll...find out...soon enough," Kalia promised with the last of her strength, smirking as her charred remains became too hot for Makoto to hold and he dropped them.  Her lifeless body joined Ifurina's ashes atop the Glyph of Infinity.

Unbeknownst to Makoto and buried so deep within his mind that not even the Other could find her, Kalia's consciousness smiled dangerously.

******

With a caw of triumph, the Guide extricated himself from the rubble of what used to be a boulder and glanced up at the sky as the newest beam of light faded away.  Everything was going according to plan.  Soon, the Creterian Eye of God would appear, pulled to this plane by the sheer interdimensional power behind the Glyph of Infinity's bursts and a few careful causal chains he'd initiated.  As a matter of fact, everything should converge in the exact amount of time it would take for him to fly to the valley forgotten by time.

With something less human than a laugh, the Guide spread his wings and flew.  After all, it wouldn't do for him to be late to the climax of his own masterplan.

******

Ifurina yawned, opened her eyes, and gazed up...and up...and up at a figure as tall as ten men and wearing a vaguely arabic robe.  Where its head should be was a crown, and on the crown's sides were what looked like thousands if not millions of faces.

"Greetings Greetings.  Allow Allow us to introduce ourselves ourselves.   We have been been called many names names, Ifurina Ifurina, but we are now now called The Other Other.  We We saved you from your fate, from death death.  To to take up a mind mind, to store that consciousness consciousness, without outside forces knowing knowing of our actions... that is not outside outside our our capabilities ies."

"Eep," Ifurina replied, eyes wide.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on July 18, 2004, 11:16:35 PM
As long as I'm able to contribute to this round robin, it will have an ending even if I have to write the entire conclusion myself...although I certainly hope it doesn't come to that.  ^^;  Please help me out here?  This story is nearly finished...I think, and we've come so far that leaving it as is just doesn't feel right.




Some people say that legends never die.

Mr. Fujisawa paused for a moment and, with an upheld hand shielding his eyes from the sun's piercing glare, surveyed the harsh, rugged desert he found himself traveling through and made a guess at how far he still had to go before reaching the source of that brilliant light that had burst forth from the planet and soared to incalculable heights earlier today.  Deep within his heart, Mr. Fujisawa knew that somehow Mizuhara Makoto, his best student, could be found at the center of this situation, and as his sensei he had a duty to protect him.  Why, just imagine the uproar it would cause at the next Parent Teacher Association meeting if it was learned that Makoto had been seriously injured by a mysterious beam of light on an alien world in an alternate dimension and he, Mr. Fujisawa, hadn't been there to do anything about it!  Granted, it was extremely unlikely that he would ever hear from the Parent Teacher Association again or that they would even learn out about this, but he wouldn't put it past those old codgers to find a way to monitor this world simply to find more things to nettle him about.  Honestly, just because a couple students had gotten slightly wounded the last time he'd led a mountaineering field trip was no reason to threaten to fire him!  Those bones healed in no time, anyway.  And then there was the time-!

What appeared to be a bolt of lightning suddenly struck the superhuman high school teacher, putting an abrupt halt to his mental musings.  Since Mr. Fujisawa is a superhuman high school teacher, though, he remained completely unharmed save for a few hairs on the back of his neck that were standing up.  Mr. Fujisawa frowned.

"That's odd," he commented, lowering his raised hand and squinting at the sky.  "There isn't a cloud in sight!  Well, inexplicable lightning bolt or not, nothing's going to stop me from reaching my students!  Hyper Fujisawa speed!"

Putting his great strength and unusually clean physiological systems to good use, Mr. Fujisawa darted off at superhuman speeds in the direction where the beam of light had last erupted, unaware that it was not lightning that had recently struck him.  Instead, it was the latest ploy by the Guide's unknown adversary who'd been seemingly inactive for quite a while now.  Unbeknownst to Mr. Fujisawa as he picked up momentum and left a trail of dust and sand in his wake, his unique power – granted by traveling through the dimensional barriers to this world – was changing...expanding...and growing stronger.  Soon he'd transcend his present limits and become...

QUANTUM FUJISAWA!!!

======

Instead, legends are reborn and told over and over again, inspiring those who hear them and giving them the power to dream of and reach greatness.

As war waged within the streets of Florestica, Bugrom and human united for the first time in modern history and valiantly resisting the fearsome onslaught of the Mice Wearing Hats, Parnasse gazed evenly at his opponent who was calmly staring back from the opposite end of the city block they found themselves on.

"Do you know," Parnasse began coldly, bitterly, "how it feels to be brushed aside and forgotten?  To be considered insignificant and second rate no matter what you do?  To be forever trapped living in somebody else's shadow no matter how hard you strive and struggle to break free and shine with your own light?"  

The resentful youth threw his head back and laughed inconsolably.  "No, of course not.  How could you?  You, always the popular one, the star in everybody's eyes who could do no wrong no matter how depraved and immoral you became.  Do you have any _idea_ how discouraging this was for me when I was trying to be a responsible, upright young man?  To see you get away with _everything_ and be liked because of it, while my own hard labors went unnoticed and unpraised?  You've always eclipsed me, and I could never bring myself to fall to your level even though later I became desperate enough to try.  Well, no more!  Today is the day when I will _finally_ defeat you and be seen as who I really am rather than a male look-alike of Alielle Ralielle!"

Alielle sighed sadly.  "Oh brother, I had no idea you felt this way.  Words alone can't express how sorry I am.  Normally, I'd suggest we talk about this, maybe schedule an appointment with Dr. Semimad, and resolve these pent-up emotions as a brother and sister should..._but_ since I'm still quite breathless from the recent effort I've put into...'serving' Princess Fatora and her accomplices, I'll simply have to settle for knocking some sense into you the DBZ way."

Closing her eyes, Alielle brought her palms together in front of her and concentrated.  A pink battle aura formed around her and began to grow, crackling with her well-developed hentai powers.

Parnasse shook his head condescendingly.  "You're not the only one who has a battle aura, sis.  With the lessons I've learned from Demon Ninja Master Splinter, you're going down!"  With a look on fervent concentration on his face, Parnasse clenched his fists, pumped his arms, and screamed at the sky.  His purple ki erupted around him, charging the air with his power and determination.

Twelve episodes later they both finished powering up.  ^_^V

With primal screams of grief and anger the two siblings launched themselves at each other, and the force of their meeting shook the city.  Moving faster than the eye could follow and relying on their honed battle senses, the two Ralielle's exchanged flurry upon flurry of blows.  The earth shuddered and split, and they took to the air, the sounds of their fierce, brutal combat drowning out everything else.  Florestica in its entirety became their arena as their battle collapsed buildings, scarred the ground, and permanently altered the face of the planet.  Ki blasts of frightening, devastating power collided and lit up the sky, adding a surreal beauty to the destruction around them.  

Unfortunately for Parnasse, though, he found that even with his recent training he was still no match for his sister.  With a cry of anguish and defeat, he fell to ground with an earsplitting, painful boom.  Alielle descended a moment later and set her feet gently upon the ruined earth, a victorious but tired smile on her face.  Looking up weakly through the agony his world had become, Parnasse saw the pitying, compassionate gaze of his sister who was once again standing triumphant over him, and it filled him with rage.  Rage at her for always outdoing him.  Rage at himself for his inability to outshine her.  Rage that combined with his sheer determination to give him the power and focus needed to launch one last, desperate attack.

"BOOT TO THE HEAD!" Parnasse shouted, flawlessly performing Demon Ninja Master Splinter's infamous technique.  Eyes wide in shock and dismay, Alielle was booted in the head and sent flying into the sky, a la Episode 13 of "The Alternative World".  

Exhausted but finally free from his sister's shadow, the young man fell to the ground.  Around him, humans, Bugrom, and Mice Wearing Hats alike all cheered.  Parnasse grinned victoriously.  He had finally-

SMACK!

"Ow!" Parnasse complained as he woke up from his lotus position on the floor.  "What did you do that for?!"

Demon Ninja Master Splinter tsked and shook his head.  "No sleeping during meditation, young one.  How can you hope to find clarity of spirit when your mind is in dreamland?  Seek not the path of the Sandman but rather pursue the trail of the blue dolphin-bear."

Parnasse blinked in confusion.  "What in Muldoon's name does that mean?!"

Demon Master Splinter gave Parnasse a long, stern look, and then smacked him with his staff again.  Ignoring Parnasse's shout of pain, the ancient weapon answered him thus.  "Meditate on it."

======

And so a new generation is inspired to make their dreams a reality.  Many try, some succeed, and a few live on to become legends in their own right, their stories now inextricably linked to the tales of their childhood that spurred them on in the first place.  Thus, continuity between past and present is established, and the doorway to the future is opened.

Makoto sat up, yawned, rubbed his eyes, and blearily noted that he was back in his laboratory.  Odd, considering that the last thing he remembered was leaning over a frighteningly motionless Ifurita...

"Oh no, don't tell me that it was all a dream!" Makoto exclaimed, eyes widening in horror at the thought that the reunion with his beloved demon god had merely been the creation of his subconscious mind.  Granted, much had occurred in the past week that he'd _like_ to be a dream, but none of that compared to the joy of being with the woman he loved.

Bolting out of his bed, the clearly alarmed and conveniently dressed young man began rummaging through the room in search of something to validate his hypothesis one way or another.  Finding everything where he'd left it before his abduction by Princess Fatora and Alielle which had started this whole mess, Makoto frowned.  It certainly seemed like his recent experiences had been a dream, but the bliss he'd shared with Ifurita...the feelings they'd exchanged...the memories they'd created...surely those _had_ to be real!  Besides, there was absolutely no way his subconscious was unstable enough to form such an insane, bizarre dream.  Only a total wacko would come up with something so demented.

With these reassuring thoughts, Makoto took a deep breath and prepared to do what was necessary to wake up from what had to be a dream world.  Eyes lingering uncomfortably long over the sharp, multi-pronged lab instrument lying on a nearby table, he extended his arm, opened his hand, reached out, and...quickly retracted the aforementioned arm and pinched himself in the side.

"Ow," Makoto muttered groggily, coming to for real this time and noticing with astonishingly little surprise that he was stripped down to his boxers again and firmly fastened to a crystal with rope bindings.  All things considered, he was getting disturbingly used to waking up in such positions.  He only hoped that Fatora wasn't behind this one too.

Fortunately for Makoto, whatever deity looked out for him answered his silent prayer.  Unfortunately, it was soon revealed that his newest abductor was the Priestess of the Ancients, whose eyes were twitching nervously and who appeared to be on the verge of a mental breakdown.  What this said about the previously mentioned deity's sense of humor is best left to the imagination.

"You!  Stay absolutely still, and don't say a word!" the Priestess of the Ancients (who, for simplicity's sake, was going to be referred to as Parvsys – an acronym for Priestess of the Ancients and Rune Venus' Secret Younger Sister – for the rest of this post by the current author and total wacko) ordered, voice shaking tremulously as she eyed her captive.  

Makoto, not being the best at following orders from harried, half-mad women, promptly disobeyed.  "Where is Ifuri-"

"No!  Not a word!" Parvsys repeated urgently, lunging at Makoto and silencing him by covering his mouth with her right hand.  "My master told me _all_ about you men before passing on!  She warned me that you'd speak sweet lies, knock me unconscious when I'm off guard, sling me over your shoulder, carry me off to a cave where we'd live in sinful pleasure for twenty some years, and then cruelly abandon me and our nine hungry children to find _another_ woman to knock unconscious and carry off to a cave!"

"Well, you won't fool me!" the young woman declared, pointing an accusing finger at Makoto with her other hand and, caught up in the heat of the moment, angrily pressing herself against him so she could look him directly in the eyes with as little distance separating them as possible.  "I won't be distracted by your chestnut brown eyes..."  The glare started to soften as Makoto's harem power began to take effect.  "Your soft, wavy hair..."  The beginnings of a dreamy smile crossed her features.  "Your rough, masculine physique..."  The accusatory hand lowered and began to trace gentle patterns across Makoto's chest.  "Your...gah!  Impure thoughts!  Impure thoughts!"

Recoiling as if a tear in the fabric of reality had just appeared before her, Parvsys leapt backwards and made frantic warding gestures at Makoto just as it sank in for the young man what had been pressed firmly against him.  This realization quickly resulted in the typical anime male's nosebleed and the subsequent unconsciousness from massive blood loss.  The sight of blood didn't help Parvsys' mental state any, and she too promptly passed out, finally overwhelmed by the day's events that had shattered her solitude, destroyed her home, and turned her very existence upside down.

"Humans," Over-Run commented from nearby where he was plugged into the still immobile Ifurita and attempting to repair the damage Kalia had done.  "I'm beginning to think I'll never understand them.  Concurrently, I'm beginning to wonder if I even want to."

======



Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on July 18, 2004, 11:17:27 PM
Time passes.  History repeats itself, and the legends of yore are remade and retold, daring another generation and another age to dream.  The circle is complete and begins again.

"What we need," Jinnai plotted out loud, pacing back and forth inside Florestica's throne room as Groucho, Diva, and Londs watched and Jinnistacia playfully boxed with her tail and performed the occasional, obligatory act of gratuitous cat-girl fan service, "is a diabolical doomsday weapon that will halt these Mice Wearing Hats in their very mousesteps and send them fleeing, thus lifting the siege.  So...what do we have for diabolical doomsday weapons right now?" he asked, giving Diva a look that plainly said if there was another legendary weapon of terror she knew about now would be a spectacular time to mention it and don't worry about the consequences because I'm a pure evil genius!

Groucho took out a pied pipe and started playing it.  Jinnai groaned, grabbed the pied pipe, smacked Groucho over the head with it, and threw it out the window.  "No you fool!  There's nothing diabolical and doomsday-ish about a pied pipe!  Now, what _else_ do we have in the way of ultimate weapons?"

It was Londs who answered him first.  "The Holy Priestesses Afura Mann and Ishiel Soel currently appear to be on our side.  _However_," he added before Jinnai could gloat at the opportunity to finally order around the Holy Order, "they were last seen holding hands and strolling through the royal flower gardens, surrounded by sparkles and pastel colors.  As they presently are, I doubt they'll be of much use to us."

"We also have Ifurita-3 in our service," Londs continued, quickly dashing Jinnai's hopes of controlling another demon god with what he said next, "but her mental condition is rather...unstable.  Doctors Schtalubaugh and Semimad have been working around the clock to return her to a functional psychological state, and she is now at the sleep-deprived, no time for anybody or anything college student stage which, although an improvement for her, is unlikely to benefit us during this siege."

Jinnai frowned angrily.  "Well, that's just _great_!  With ancient weapons popping up all over the place and the combined might of two armies, we still don't have anything other than a fan-servicey demon cat-goddess wearing, of all things, my frustrating sister's face to deploy immediately against the Mice Wearing Hats!" he shouted, waving a hand at the now salaciously stretching demon god.  "Honestly, what were you two doing to cause such disorganization in our forces while I was away?"

Seeing their blushes, Jinnai wisely decided he'd rather not know.  "Never mind!  Diva, are there any more legendary weapons of terror within walking distance that you're aware of?"  

Diva shook her head no.  "Alas, Mr. Jinnai, with the disappearance of the feared and terrible Mecha-Sonic two centuries ago and the deliberately lost and horrifyingly dreadful Cute-Girl-Next-Door-Who's-Also-A-Homicidal-Maniac Robot, I do not."

"...Londs?" Jinnai asked hopefully, turning to face the longtime royal advisor and military leader.

Londs scratched the bottom of his chin and thought for a long moment before finally shaking his head.  "Sorry but no.  Were we besieged by dancing pink hippopotamuses it might be a different story, but Mice Wearing Hats?  I can't help you there."

Jinnai growled.  "Darn it, I am _not_ going to let my moment of triumph and glorious destiny be stolen from me by a bunch of mice with hats!  Where's Princess Rune Venus?  Perhaps she knows something I can use to my advantage!"

"It's Mice Wearing Hats, not mice with hats," Diva corrected before answering Jinnai's question.  "As for my co-ruler, I last saw her angsting on her balcony, mumbling something about a long-lost sister and gazing forlornly out at Florestica."

Londs tensed at this, and a troubled expression fell upon his features.  "Is that so?  It might be...prudent for me to have a talk with Princess Rune soon about the past and what it might mean for the future as-"

"Enough with the dramatics!" Jinnai interrupted.  "This is the time to plot ingenious schemes that will eliminate all opposition to us, not soliloquize about hidden relatives!  Now, why don't we-"

A serving girl interrupted Jinnai's ranting by knocking on the throne room's door, opening it, hurriedly but gracefully walking over to where Jinnai, Diva, Groucho, and Diva were, and dutifully bowing before them.  "Pardon me, my lieges and lady, but the Mice Wearing Hats have sent an ambassador to see you and demand our surrender.  Shall I show him in?"

"Surrender?" Jinnai bellowed incredulously, eyes flashing dangerously.  "Never!  I've triumphed over those blasted harpies, conquered the decadent and oppressive Alliance, put my _vexing_ sister in her place, and finally _FINALLY_ bested that villain Mizuhara!  Show that ambassador in so I can tell him what exactly I'll do to his leader once I've overcome this siege!"

"Yes my lord, but-" the serving girl began to say.

"No buts!" Jinnai retorted, a dangerous and brilliant madness gleaming in his eyes.  "Every second is crucial now!"

Not wanting to risk Jinnai's wrath, the serving girl quickly rose, made a curtsy, and returned to the door.  Speaking with a twinge of nervousness and a close eye on her superiors, she spoke gave the Mice Wearing Hats' ambassador permission to enter.  "You may come in now, sir."

Haughtily, Ura boldly strode through the throne room's doors and stopped in front of Jinnai, Diva, Groucho, and Londs.  Standing proudly, the armor cat said seven simple, smug words.

"All your base are belong to us."

To which everybody else replied with, "Gah!"

Outside, a little boy who went by the name of Matthew and was destined to save the world in about an hour walked by, saw the pied pipe, and, after a cautious look around him to make sure nobody was looking for it, grabbed the musical instrument and resumed casually walking away.  Once he was a good block from the palace he took the pipe out and began trying to play it, unaware that as the notes rang out he was attracting a larger and larger following of Mice Wearing Hats behind him.      

======

And thus, we return to the saying that legends never die.  However, what does this mean in relation to this story?  What is the purpose behind this discursive dialogue?

Life in Florestica proceeded much as it normally did, wars and occupations having become so frequent for the populace that they almost felt commonplace now.  Threading through the relentless attacks and counterattacks of the Mice Wearing Hats and the Alliance/Bugrom coalition forces, Roshtarians went about their daily business, going to work, buying groceries, caring for their families, and pointedly ignoring the horrors and rigors of battle all around them.  If the smiles seemed slightly strained every now and then as a building collapsed, a street caved in, or the sounds of surprisingly ferocious humanoid/insectoid/rodentoid combat wafted over, it was only to be expected and was nothing to worry about it.  

The Creterian Demon God Ryoko and cloned armor-cat who through the wonders of science also doubled as a giant battleship Ura-ohki perched on her shoulder, however, were.  

Ryoko wanted to make a special meal celebrating Bill and Alyssa's wedding and the fact that her and Dall's business hadn't imploded just yet.  This, by itself, wasn't a bad idea.  Taking the demon god's utter lack of culinary experience into consideration, though, made the likely outcome of such an endeavor appear very...unpleasant.  Regardless, for whatever reason, there was one important ingredient to her feast that she was missing even after her earlier trip to gather information and stock up on supplies, and the demon god had returned to Florestica in order to acquire it.  Unfortunately for her, the item she desired to procure was in short demand right now.
 
"Got any cheese?" Ryoko asked the merchant whose kiosk she was standing in front of.  The merchant raised his eyebrows and frowned angrily, deeply offended.

"Cheese?  Madame, I am a cheese merchant extraordinaire!  I don't sell cheese.  I sell _cheeses_!" the merchant spoke haughtily, wearing a proud expression.  "My family, they have been in this business since ancient-"

"Yadda yadda yadda," Ryoko returned, obviously uninterested.  "Look, I'll take a pound of...um, tarentaise?"

"We are _out_ of tarentaise," the vendor replied rudely, noticeably less than impressed with his newest customer.

*sigh*  "Fine, how about chevre?" Ryoko inquired with an impatient tone to her voice.

"_Unfortunately_, we are also out of chevre," the merchant answered, giving the snooty French waiter from earlier a run for his money in the sheer amount of contempt he was managing to convey with words.

"Brie?"

"No, madame, there is no brie left."

"Gouda?"

"Sadly, our stocks of that particular delicacy are depleted."

"Provolone?"

"Sorry to disappoint, madame customer, but no."

"Gruyere?"

"Once again, no."

"You've _got_ to have some mozzarella!"

The vendor shook his head in the negative.  "Your assumptions are all distinctly wrong, madame.  I am not currently selling any mozzarella."

Ryoko growled.  "Then what, pray tell, _do_ you have for cheese?"

The merchant rolled his eyes.  "Please, madame.  _Cheeses_.  It's cheeses.  As for your question, we still have a single bar of cheddar remaining.  Would you be interested in purchasing it for...say, one hundred roshtals?"

"One hundred roshtals?" Ryoko shouted, dismayed.  "That's highway robbery!  I refuse to pay!"

"Do as you wish madame," the merchant retorted with an unconcerned shrug, "but would you care to tell me what a highway is?"

"Argh!" Ryoko exclaimed as she stormed off, determined to find another place to buy cheese.  An hour later she returned in defeat, shoulders slumped as she resignedly handed over the one hundred roshtals.  "This had better be the best gosh-darned cheddar I have ever tasted, or I will come back and pasteurize you myself!"

Smirking, the cheese vendor accepted the cash and turned around to acquire the cheddar from his stores.  "Please madame, there's no need for threats.  I'm merely running a business here.  Now, here is your bar of cheddar che-wha?" he mumbled, perplexed, as a Mice Wearing Hat divebombed from the air, grabbed the cheddar bar, and made a run for it.

"Hey, that's mine you little four-legged furry creep!  Give it back!" Ryoko demanded, incensed at having something she'd actually paid money for stolen from her, and, plan for a feast momentarily forgotten, she took to the air and angrily flew after the fleeing Mice Wearing Hat.

Somewhat nonplussed, the merchant took a moment to collect himself.  "Well," he finally said, trying to look on the bright side, "at least she didn't ask for a refund."

"Miya!"

Looking down, the vendor spotted Ura-ohki glaring up at him menacingly and with a very "straightforward" manner about him.

"Oh dear."

======

The answer?  Absolutely nothing.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 20, 2004, 09:54:49 PM
Quote
This story is nearly finished...I think, and we've come so far that leaving it as is just doesn't feel right.

Meanwhile, back at the Satellite of Love...

Crow:  So, 'what' happened to Mr. What?  Pun intended.

Tom:  Yeah!  Why'd he start the third Round Robin topic, and then drop out?

Mike:  Well, you see, he was finally going to work on Hana Ni Arashi--

Tom:  I've heard that one before.

Mike:  Haven't we all.  Anyway, he wrote about half of one part of HNA, last month, and then another time crunch hit him.

Crow:  (winces)  Ouchie.  We all know how painful that can be.

Mike:  So Mr. What got fed up, and he dropped everything for a few weeks.

Tom:  Well, I guess that's understandable...  Hey, wait a minute.  Since we're here, now, does that mean...

Mike:  Yeah...  Even though he's still way too busy, he must have got fed up with being fed up, and--

CHINK!!

(Mike, Tom and Crow turn around, and see former-evil-clone-slave-Nanami's Plasticky Black Battle Axe Power Key Staff appear in mid-air.  The current writer emerges from an evil-clone-slave portal, wearing his politically-incorrect black trench-coat and black fedora.  He wields the black axe in one hand, and holds a can of Coca-Cola [symbol of Free West (http://www.ironworks.com/comedy/youngone/flood2.htm)] laced with Vyvyan's Cure For Not Being An Axe-Wielding Homicidal Maniac in his free hand.)

The Current Writer:  HEEEEERE'S ERIC!!

Mike, Tom and Crow:  AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 26, 2004, 11:50:28 PM
Afura Mann, High And Mighty Great Priestess Of Wind, and Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess Of Earth and Lady Of Fan-Service, were holding hands, and strolling through the royal flower gardens, surrounded by sparkles and pastel colors.

"Um, Afura?" asked Ishiel.  "These rare Floristican daylight-fireflies are incredibly annoying.  Would you mind?..."

"Mmm," Afura said in agreement.  "They're bugging me too.  Hang on..."

Without releasing Ishiel's hand, Afura activated her lamp of wind with her free hand.  She summoned up a light breeze, and gently blew the sparkles and pastel colors away.

"Thanks, dear," said Ishiel.  "And there's one other thing..."

She held up her left hand, also without releasing Afura's right hand.  "Afura?  The next time you volunteer to be punished by Schrodinger's Cat-Girl Jinnistacia, I wish you'd leave me out of it.  Now that she's tested her new insoluble super-glue on our hands, we're going to be stuck together for about a week, until the glue wears off our skin.  We may be stuck for the rest of the Round Robin, seeing as how the passage of time usually isn't clearly demarcated."

Afura bit her lip.  "Oh... but I thought you'd enjoy being punished together with me, for once."

Ishiel went very red, and stammered.  "Yeah-- well-- that's not the point..."

"Anyway, we shouldn't complain," Afura said.  "I'm left-handed, and you're right-handed, and so we both have our best hands free."



As the current writer has previously noted in his stand-alone fan fiction-- the mind of a demon god is a peculiar thing.

However, the mind of Ryoko, an inhuman space pirate loosely re-interpreted as a demon god, with a faulty control circuit (and who knows how many other faulty circuits), and a predilection for coffee and donuts, straitjackets, and big-and-strong yet weenie pretty-boy royalty-- a mind like that is several different new and exciting kinds of peculiar.

As it turned out, one of the new and exciting peculiarities of Ryoko's mind was that Matthew's pied pipes had a peculiar effect on her.  When Ryoko suddenly heard the pipes, she forgot all about the Mouse Wearing A Hat that had swiped her cheese.  (The Mouse Wearing A Hat was also quickly entranced, and it completely forgot about Ryoko in turn.)

As Matthew turned a corner and came into Ryoko's view, followed by a happy squeaky rivulet of gray fur and cute little hats, a strangely happy and innocent expression came to Ryoko's face.  She ran up to Matthew-- and then she began to dance happily around him, in a childish innocent round-the-maypole kind of way.

Fortunately for the Mice Wearing Hats following Matthew, Ryoko was mostly dancing in air, using her demon-god powers of flight.  The mice would have been squished to death if Ryoko had danced on them with her full weight.  Even as it was, each time Ryoko's feet touched ground, a sad little half-squished squeak was heard.



Dall leaned into the main area of his greenhouse, and called out.  "BILL!!  ALYSSA!!  I can't find Ryoko anywhere!  Have you seen..."

He trailed off when he saw Bill and Alyssa.  They were holding hands, and strolling through the flowers in the greenhouse, surrounded by sparkles and pastel colors.

Dall sighed, and returned to his little office room.  Those rare Floristican daylight-fireflies are incredibly annoying, he thought.  And if Bill and Alyssa had come to enjoy being super-glued together, and they were doing it to themselves now, Dall wasn't one to judge-- but the super-glue jokes were really starting to get old.

Well, Dall thought, it isn't like Ryoko to leave me alone like this.  She hasn't phased up through the floor behind me, and scared the crap out of me, all day today.  I hope nothing's wrong...

Although Ryoko had openly declared her love for Dall, the young emperor had yet to sort out his own feelings.  But he was certainly quite fond of her, at the very least, despite how she liked to yank him around.  And he thought of the many times Ryoko had saved his royal pretty-boy butt, and he felt obliged to help her if he could.

And so it was that His Excellence, The Fugitive Great Emperor Dall Narciss the Third of Creteria, set out to find his faithful demon god, servant and guardian, and all-but-in-name love-interest, and rescue her, if need be, in a romantic damsel-in-distress kind of way.

Although Dall didn't know it at the time, Ryoko would, in fact, need rescuing.  And Dall was the only one to do it.

Dall was Ryoko's last, her best, her only hope.

Therefore, Ryoko was, in fact, in deep doo-doo.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 26, 2004, 11:55:45 PM
Nanami portal'ed herself, Shayla, soopah-genius Kauru and chibi-Deva away from Crayna's hut, to take them as close to the Glyph of Infinity as she could do without getting "redirected."

And then, Crayna began to take off her clothes.

"If we enter the Damn Volcano, and travel by white-hot lava," she said to Al-Zahad, "we should come out at the Darn Volcano, not too far from where that beam o' light erupted."

Al-Zahad nodded sternly.  "Very well, Master Crayna.  I shall fetch your swimsuit and my red Speedo--"

A partially-clad Crayna draped herself against Al-Zahad, in a not-at-all modest way. She raised her face up to his, and smiled slyly.  Her eyes had a mischievous twinkle.  "Aw, c'mon, kiddo.  We've been together for awhile now.  We don't really need swimsuits, do we?"

Al-Zahad was just as unflappable as Crayna, and he had become accustomed to his current master's eccentric ways.  But he still raised an eyebrow in mild surprise.  "Master Crayna, we may face another climactic end-of-the-world battle.  I am inhuman and nigh-invulnerable, and I have no real practical need for clothing.  But do you truly wish to face the end of the world nekkid as a treefish?"

Crayna stood back from Al-Zahad, and defended herself.  "Well, look at it this way.  Given the current writer, there's an overwhelmin' probability that our clothes would get blasted away in the battle, in some ridiculously contrived way.  I don't know 'bout you, but I'd prefer to save the time and money of shoppin' for new clothes after the battle.  Besides, yer an impossibly handsome demon-god, and I'm still pretty hot stuff, if'n I do say so myself.  Why should we let the kids get all the fan service?"

Al-Zahad was bemused.  "As much as it pains me to say it, at least some of that makes sense."

Crayna grinned, in a deeply disturbing (and not entirely sane) kind of way.  "An' besides all that... there's nothin' like the thrill of facin' death and destruction... weaponless, naked and vulnerable... with only yer wits to save you.  Powerfully naked-- that's brisk, baby!"

Al-Zahad sighed.  "Forgive my stating the obvious, Master Crayna.  But if you and your friends, as a group, must rely on your wits alone, then El-Hazard is doomed."



Nanami, Shayla, Kauru and chibi-Deva appeared in a small quiet woodsland area just on the other side of a single mountain from the Glyph of Infinity.

Nanami sighed, and slung her Plasticky Pink Battle Axe Power Key Staff over one shoulder.  "Well, this is as close as I can bring us... say, what's that wonderful smell?"

"And that buzzing sound..." Shayla said.  She looked around at several small box-shaped hives thick with swarms of bees.  "Why, I think we're on a beekeeper's farm!"

"Deeeeeva," chibi-Deva agreed.

Meanwhile, Kauru found herself irresistably drawn to a nearby huge jar-shaped container.  With trembling hands, she opened the barrel-sized container.   She found that it was about two-thirds full of honey.

Shayla came up to Kauru's side...  "Whatcha doin', Kauru?...  Oh, I get it.  Flashback to Spanish-insectoid-Kauru, huh?"

"Mmm," said soopah-genius Kauru, a bit nervously.  "Something like that.  Although, I must say..."

Kauru turned to Shayla with a wry soopah-genius smile.  "It might induce a flash-back for you, as well, yes?  Given how you like to be smothered with warm maple syrup, and extra-sticky varnish--"

"WHAT!?"  In an instant, a furious Shayla was on Kauru.  She pinned Kauru to the ground, pulled Kauru's lamp off and tossed it aside-- and in another instant, she had stripped Kauru nekkid.

And then, Shayla dunked Kauru in the jar of honey, all the while shouting.  "SEE!?  NOT SO FUN BEING THE FAN SERVICE, IS IT!?"

"Oh dear," Kauru said to herself, in-between honey-covered splutters and gasps for breath.  "This is almost-- exactly like-- the nightmare I had-- back in the second Round Robin topic--"

A manically cackling Shayla suddenly heard a snarling sound behind her.  Still furious, she spun round, to find a very angry chibi-Deva behind her.  "Whad'ya want, kid!?  Buzz off, before I-- YEEEK!!"

Shayla had just attacked chibi-Deva's substitute mother-figure, and chibi-Deva didn't like it one bit.  Chibi-Deva's eyes had gone demonic-red, and she had brandished long razor-sharp teeth and claws.

In an instant, a snarling chibi-Deva was on Shayla.  She pinned Shayla to the ground, savagely biting and tearing at her, and quickly reducing her priestess uniform to barely-decent tatters.

"FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD!!"  Nanami shouted for attention, to no avail.  "KNOCK IT OFF, WOULDJA!!  WE'VE GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO--"

She froze, as she heard the wail of a hover-craft with a police siren.  "Like defending ourselves agains trespassing and vandalism charges," she said to herself.



Kiyone Mabiki, dedicated Galaxy Police detective in another life, but a mere rural constable in the Round Robin, looked up from her rural jail-house desk, and sighed.

Four obviously insane people looked back at her, from the other side of the desk.  Well, three.  Chibi-Deva had gone all cute and chibi again.  She was humming to herself, and playing cat's-cradle with a loop of yarn.

But the other three...  One of them was holding a giant plastic pink axe to herself.  Another one was clad only in barely-decent red tatters, and muttering darkly to herself about those damned Creterian bugs.  And the third one was buck nekkid and drenched with honey.

Kiyone set down her quill pen and paper forms, and reached for her tea, while complaining out loud.  "Are you people just trying to give me a hard time?  Do you realize the snide remarks I'll have to put up with, when I file this report?--  Oh, drat these budget cut-backs!  There's no sugar left for my tea!"

"Oh," Kauru suddenly said.  "Allow me."  She held up one bare honey-drenched arm, shook it gently, and dripped a generous portion of honey into Kiyone's tea.

Kiyone sweat-dropped.  "Uh... thanks."


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 27, 2004, 12:00:29 AM
Millie had just taken a break from her training under Master Splinter-- that is, she was taking a break from getting whacked over the head with Splinter's staff.  She had, in fact, begun to find splinters (with a small "s") in her hair, leading Master Splinter to fear for the soundness of his ancient staff-- and, of course, the thickness of Millie's skull.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Mike, Tom and Crow:  GAH!!



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

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

Instead of answering Millie directly, Gan-chan called out to his non-glued lackeys.  "Break out the Nepeta cataria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catnip)!!"



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jinnistacia agreed.  "Bummer."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jinnai finally cleared his throat and spoke again.  His voice was a bit higher-pitched and nervous than normal, seeing as how he was trying not to think about where his right hand was glued to Rune, and where his left hand was glued to Deva.  "Uh... Londs... some solvent, please?"


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 27, 2004, 12:05:28 AM
Ifurita slowly came to her senses.  She found herself lying face-down on the rough desert valley floor.

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

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

Ifurita shrieked, and passed out again.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

"Oops," said Ifurita.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Now they tell us," Ifurita said sadly.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



OOC:  What!?  Well, anyone who lives in central Illinois, but outside Decatur, is required by federal law to make fun of Decatur whenever possible.  If you've never been to Decatur, just imagine the Creteria palace-town, only much more so.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 27, 2004, 12:11:41 AM
The straight-line path that the Guide flew, from the boulder-laden badlands to the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, happened to pass through the kingdom of Baron, and directly over the ancient observatory that housed the Mantle of God.

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Nope," said the Guide.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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



* OOC:  Apologies to d.t., if he's still reading, for doing away with The Other... but it's been clear to the current writer, for some time, that the Guide is the true villain of the piece.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 27, 2004, 12:15:39 AM
Peorth and the Doctor had become so badly entangled in each other's loose belts that they had fallen to the Floristica alleyway pavement.  The two impossibly beautiful women were almost inextricably bound together in a big ol' ball of creepy experimental fan-servicey goodness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Urd held up a marble between two fingers.  "Not at all, dear.  No, you get to play-- Find The Marble In The Oatmeal (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0098546/)!!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

The Doctor smiled sweetly.  "Oh!  Okay!  Thank you!"


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on July 27, 2004, 12:19:23 AM
OOC:  This is the last of SEVEN replies that I've just posted.  (I slammed these out at top speed, so please forgive any spelling, grammar and continuity errors.)  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.  



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"WHAT!?" Londs shouted, in exasperation.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She looked down.  And she slowly smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For one thing, Ishiel and Afura's clothing wasn't immediately completely blasted away, in a gratuitous fan-servicey way.  That didn't happen until at least a minute or two later.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on August 10, 2004, 09:41:44 PM
It's official - I can't keep my own round robin deadlines.  *sighs*  Sorry about the delay.  It took me longer than anticipated to find appropriate websites to link to, and when I tried to post what I'd written yesterday the forum went down.  ^^;  Anyway, here's the next installment of the irregularly scheduled El-Hazard Round Robin.  I hope all of you who are still sticking with this tale enjoy it.

******

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

The Ancients were magical girl fans.

In a transformation sequence that had all of the flashiness and magical pyrotechnics of a Sailor Moon power-up (http://www.prose-n-poetry.com/image/Sailor_Moon/39/), the lesbian overtones of the Revolutionary Girl Utena (http://www.hunters-guild.org/utena/) TV series, the gratuitous fan-service of a Devil Hunter Yohko (http://www.animetric.com/def/dhy.html) episode, and the acrobatic routines that magical girls are famed for, Ishiel Soel, Rogue Priestess of Earth, and Afura Mann, Priestess of Wind, changed into...

"I am Incredible Ishy!" Ishiel declared, now wearing a Sailor Mercury uniform (http://www.animegalleries.net/album/24/img/22) and standing back-to-back with Afura who was dressed as Sailor Jupiter (http://www.animegalleries.net/album/search/category/0/img/3).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot," Groucho answered.

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

******

The Past...

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Waah!"

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

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

******

The Present...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

******


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on August 10, 2004, 09:50:05 PM
One moment Makoto was filled with dread and horror, quaking in front of the sign proclaiming the name of this forsaken town for all to know and fear, and in the next he found himself in grand but warped chamber of indiscernible size and filled with architectural wonders that surrealists would've given an arm and a leg for to paint.  Standing before him was what appeared to be a demon god, although she looked far more artificial than any he had yet seen.  Behind her was a perfect sphere of indefinite color that virtually radiated power.  He had a feeling that was where his adventure would end.  The demon god gazed coldly at him and spoke, letting the vision play itself it out.  

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

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

Salli, first and last of the demon gods, raised her War Key in warning, fulfilling the dictates of fate and entering the unknown.  "None shall pass (http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/grail/grail-04.htm)," she declared, the utter seriousness of her voice removing any humor from her choice of words.  Her key crackled with deadly energy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

******

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

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

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

******

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

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

*cue flashback*

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

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

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

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky," the mouse replies with an evil chuckle.  "Try to take over the world! (http://snowball.frogspace.net/labnotes/index.html)"

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

"Excuse me, but could you try to keep it down over there?  Some of us are trying to create a new and flourishing civilization," an intelligent, well-mannered rat politely requests from a cage on the other side of the room.  A placard with the words "Rats of Nimh (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0689710682/102-7814007-7424154?v=glance)" written on it is attached to the bars.
   
"Squeak squeak!" the Mice Wielding Clubs complain, fed up with this racket.  Desiring peace and quiet, they use their newfound intelligence to escape from their cages and seek out a new home for themselves.  They don traveling hats during their journey, thus becoming the Mice Wearing Hats.

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

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

*end flashback*

******

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

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

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

******

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

******

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

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

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

******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outside, in El-Hazard, the entire planet quaked and tears in the fabric of reality opened as the dimension's very stability began to unravel.  It was, once again, the end of the world.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on August 10, 2004, 09:54:24 PM
******

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

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

******

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

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

******

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

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

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

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

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




Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 12, 2004, 07:57:06 PM
Mr. What's final replies are under construction.  Rowan, I'll try to mostly wrap things up, but still leave enough openings for you to write the last replies overall, if you'd like to do so.

ETA is within the next El Sobrante fortnight (http://www.lyricsdownload.com/primus-el-sobrante-fortnight-lyrics.html).


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on August 13, 2004, 09:57:13 PM
Write as much as you want. *chuckles weakly* Truth be told, with the exception of some ideas for an epilogue, I don't know how to end this round robin and sincerely hope you've figured out a way to credibly defeat the Guide.  Regardless, I'll try to wrap up whatever you leave me, but I'm hoping that with the end in sight some of the other past contributors will decide to pen another post or two.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Andrusi on August 17, 2004, 12:43:09 PM
::cheers for the dolphin-bears::


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:33:46 AM
OOC:  I honestly meant to drop this plot twist, with the previous reply... but, unfortunately, I Had Another Idea.



Peorth had followed the example set by Gan-chan (in that really creepy episode of Adventures Of The Mini-Goddess (http://www.animeondvd.com/reviews2/disc_reviews/891.php), when the hapless rat had been trapped in a pot of miso paste).  She had carefully sculpted a comfortable easy-chair and coffee table entirely out of oatmeal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

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

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

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

"NYAH!!  NYAH!!  NYAH!!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so it was that Dall and Ura-Ohki set out on a course to what was now called the Desert of Bleached White Bones.  Which was actually a good thing, since their desert course was much closer to Matthew's Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade than any verdant valleys.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:38:44 AM
After hearing Gan-chan and Master Splinter's exposition, Millie had returned to her private room.  She was formerly a spoiled brat and a traitorous Roshtarian Underground Resistance guard, and currently a power-mad military advisor... but she was also a young woman who took pride in her appearance.  She wanted a moment to freshen up in the powder room, in order to look her best when she threw away her life in a futile attempt to Save The World.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"INSUFFERABLE JERK!!" yelled Millie.

"FOUL-TEMPERED PSYCHO!!" yelled Parnasse.

"BUMBLING COMEDY RELIEF!!" yelled Millie.

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

"I love you," Millie whispered shyly.

"I love you too," Parnasse said gently.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:43:48 AM
Nanami, Shayla, Kauru and chibi-Deva struggled forwards through the drifting sands at the edge of the Crystal Valley Forgotten By Time, slowly making their way towards the Glyph of Infinity.  Shayla provided an apt summary of their situation.  "HOLY CENSORED CENSORED ON A CENSORED!!"

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Al-Zahad was wearing a coat with tails and a carnation on its lapel, slacks and spats, white gloves, and a top hat.  He was dressed up like a million-dollar trooper, trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super-duper!) (http://www.80smusiclyrics.com/artists/taco.htm).

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

In her sudden rage, Jinnistacia released the Doctor-- at a considerable height.  And, as all Doctor Who fans know, Time Lords are highly susceptible to mortal injury when they fall from great heights (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/episodeguide/logopolis/index.shtml)-- especially when all of Creation is falling apart, all around them.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Please, she prayed.  Somebody stop this.  Stop it soon.  Before I die.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:50:26 AM
In the darkness that was once The Other's mind-space, Makoto and Ifurina kneeled, and clutched at each other, as they tried not to succomb to Kalia's terrible attack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, nut bunnies, the Guide thought.

BOOM!!



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:59:25 AM
By now, Matthew had quite a large following of Mice Wearing Hats, Giant Sewer Rats, fan-servicey magical girls and demon gods.  All of them were dancing around him in a happy innocent round-the-maypole kind of way.

It should be noted that Giant Sewer Rats are not the most graceful of dancers-- to say nothing of fan-servicey magical girls who were still super-glued together.  In other words, there was quite a bit of bumping, jostling, and stumbling going on, in-between the happy innocent dancing.

The first effect of this clumsiness was painfully obvious to the entranced Mice Wearing Hats.  They were getting stomped on like never before.

The second effect became known to the still-entranced Ryoko.  She was actually a wonderful dancer, herself, but she finally got shoved off balance.  Sadly for Ryoko, she was shoved off-balance just as the Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade passed a deep, deep chasm.

The entranced Ryoko fell back through an old rotting wooden fence bearing a warning sign, and plummeted into a deep, deep chasm.  She was too entranced (and exhausted from dancing) to fly.  Instead, she harmlessly (being a nigh-invulnerable True Demon God) fell away, in a Wile E. Coyote kind of way, to raise a tiny cloud of dust when she hit bottom.



The third effect became known to everyone when a Giant Sewer Rat stumbled into Matthew himself.  Matthew also stumbled in place-- and dropped his "Captain Bacon" action figure.

If there is an emotional force more powerful than the Pan-Dimensional Pipe Of Ka-Boom, it's the fondness that young otaku have for their action figures.

Matthew kneeled down, scooped up his beloved action figure (before a Giant Sewer Rat stomped on it), and pocketed it.  And then, the still-entranced Matthew raised the pipes to resume his Song O' Death.

But then, he frowned.  "Now let's see-- where was I?" he said to himself.  "I think it was the last verse-- or was it the next-to-last verse?  Or maybe it was that extended solo in the bridge between the sixth and seventh choruses?..."

The fatal flaw of the Pan-Dimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom was, of course, that it was activated with a new-age song.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  If the user of the pipes is distracted, he's almost certain to lose his place, entranced or no.

And so it was that Matthew Zamfir Saved The World-- by saving his own Bacon.



Mike, Tom and Crow:  GAH AGAIN!!



The no-longer entranced Incredible Ishy looked down at her fan-servicey Sailor Mercury uniform, and Astounding Affy looked down at her corresponding fan-servicey Sailor Jupiter uniform.

Then, the two linked magical-girl priestesses looked at each other's costumes.

And then, they both sweat-dropped like nobody's business.

"Um, Afura?" said Ishiel.

"Yes?" said Afura.

"Let's never speak of this again."

"Yes," Afura agreed.  "Let's not."

Ishiel sighed.  "Still, no harm done.  But let's separate our lamps before anything else happens."

She held up the Semi-Fearsome (and unused) Lamp Of The Two Elements, and Afura plucked her wind lamp away from it.  And then, of course, a surge of feedback energy completely destroyed their clothes, leaving them both naked as treefish.

Ishiel sighed.  "Shoulda seen that one coming.  Hang on a minute..."

She frowned with concentration.  An aura of half-Phantom-Tribe energy enveloped the two nekkid women.  And then, when the light faded, they were both wearing really amazingly Cool Times Ten (and perfectly matching) Matrix outfits, courtesy of Ishiel's half-PT illusions.

Afura peeked over her ultra-cool eyeglasses at her special friend.  "Thanks, Ishiel!  So... now that we've survived the final climactic end-of-the-world battle, what should we do next?"

Ishiel winked.  "Let's do what all good little anime girls do at the end of every anime series."

Afura gasped with pleasant surprise.  "You mean--"

Ishiel grinned, and gently pulled at Afura's still-glued hand.  "We're goin' to Arliman!! (http://www.disneyland.com/)"



Makoto and Ifurina stood in a small open "corner" of the minds-space than now imprisoned Kalia.

"Good work, Ifurina," said Makoto.  "We've saved the world again."

Ifurina smiled sadly.  "Thanks.  But what can we do now?  We're both still dead, after all.  Are we going to be trapped in this little corner of this dark empty place forever?"

Makoto smiled warmly.  "No, I don't think so.  You remember that The Other was going to use the power of the Palace Of Infinity to create new bodies for itself, before it found itself trapped here?"

Ifurina blinked.  "Um, yes?"

"Well, we should be able to borrow enough power to create two new bodies.  And we don't have to create them from scratch.  There's a vacant Kalia demon-god body for me, and we should be able to rejuvenate your demon-god body with its dormant nanites."

A sweet tear of pure joy trickled down Ifurina's cheek.  "Oh!" she cried.  "Katsy-Watsy's nanites are going to save me again?  If only he were still alive!"

Makoto pulled a face.  "Uh...  Katsy-Watsy?"

"Yes," Ifurina sniffed.  "Mr. Fred told me that he died."

Makoto raised an eyebrow.  "By any chance, was Mr. Fred wearing a blue suit with a red necktie?"

"Yes," Ifurina sniffed again.  "Do you know him?"

"Hoo boy.  Do I ever," Makoto said.  "But, more importantly, you know him too."

And then, Makoto leaned towards Ifurina, and whispered into her ear, explaining the relationship between Demon God Katsy-Watsy and Mr. Fred.

Ifurina blinked.  "Oh."

Then Ifurina got the picture.  "Oh!"

And then, Ifurina hugged Makoto in joy.  "Oh!  I can't wait to see Mr. Fred again!  But-- what should I say to him?"

Makoto smiled wryly.  "I've got an idea."  And he whispered in Ifurina's ear again.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 01:59:54 AM
The defeated Guide slowly lifted itself up from the ground.  All its enemies had been thrown clear by the blast triggered by Minagi's disembodied Boot To The Head, and they were only just recovering their wits as well.

The Guide's plans to destroy the entire multi-verse had come to naught, and the Creation Matrix was now well and truly busted.  It also found that, to its dismay, a large portion of its own circuitry had been burnt out.  In its currently wounded state, it was only able to see along six or seven axes of probability.

It was forced to confront the humiliation of existing through fewer dimensions than a fan-servicey ten-dimensional Yggdrasil goddess.

However, the Guide still controlled the Creterian Eye of God.  It might not be able to destroy the entire multi-verse, but it might still do a fair job of horsing up this dimension.  And after their amazingly well-coordinated attack, all its enemies were as dazed and confused as the Guide itself.

The Guide briefly paused to watch the dying Doctor gasp her last breath.  Well, at least that's gone according to plan, it thought.

And then, a pantry-shaped door in time and space suddenly opened in front of the Guide and the dying Doctor.  Ifurina, holding the now-departed Staff-chan in her hands, peeked out from the Fujisawas' kitchen.

Past-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.

Past-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!!"

Past-Ifurina closed the door in time and space, an instant before the wounded Guide, holding the spent and broken Creation Matrix, directed the haywire Creterian Eye of God to fire on it.

Past-Ifurina didn't realize it yet, but what she had just done was about as Good as anything gets.

The haywire Creterian Eye Of God fired on a target that was no longer there.  Well, sort of.  Well, not really.

As it turned out, the haywire Creterian Eye Of God had gone so haywire that it couldn't hurt a dolphin-bear flea.  Instead, in a final blatant egregious moment of writerstakelibertiesmaticswriters, it fired a weak beam of seriously haywire energy squarely at the dying Doctor, and flooded her in an aura of warm golden light.

As the Creterian Eye Of God joined the long, long list of well and truly busted ancient technology in El-Hazard, the no-longer dying Doctor staggered to his feet.  His feet.

"*ack*" said the Guide.

The Doctor had become an irascible, brusque, and occasionally condescending and rude old man (http://www.el-hazardonline.net/cgi-bin/ehol/YaBB.pl?board=junk;action=display;num=1060675232;start=0), with long white hair and a piercing glare, in a nondescript black jacket and slacks.

"*eep*" said the Guide.

Oddly enough, the Doctor's broken mop had also regenerated into an unbroken walking stick.

"*arg*" said the Guide.

The Fourteenth Doctor stood up, brushed at his clothing, and held his lapels proudly.  "Well, well.  That blast of energy seems to have somehow given me another set of regenerations.  Quite convenient, that."

"*gah*" said the Guide.

"What!?" the Doctor snapped, in an irascible and brusque kind of way.  "There's precedent (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/episodeguide/fivedoctors/) in the Doctor Who canon for this, you know."

"*ngh*" said the Guide.

"Well, never mind that," the Doctor said.  "It's time to take care of your infernal meddling, once and for all."

"Oh!?" the Guide said, its nearly-infinite machine patience finally at an end.  "And exactly how do you propose to do THAT!?  Wounded and disabled as I am, I am still more than capable of-- OUCH!!"

The Doctor had just begun to whack the Guide with his walking stick.

"HEY!!" the Guide yelled.  "Cut it out!!  That HURTS!!--  OUCH!!  OUCH!!  OUCH!!"

And so it was that the wounded and disabled Guide learned a lesson that Millie, Parnasse and Gan-chan had already learned from Master Splinter--  if there's one law that's even more inescapable than the law of Love Hina Punches, it's the law of Getting Whacked By Some Grouchy Old Fart With A Walking Stick.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 02:07:19 AM
It's over, thought Princess Myuun of Baron.  It's finally over.

She remained motionless and slumped over for some time, alone in the chamber that housed the interface of the Mantle of God.

Only... the interface was gone.  She hadn't yet opened her eyes, but she instinctively knew that it was gone.  The machinery and the circuitry around her had been broken beyond repair.  It was twisted, and in pieces, and deader than a twenty-year-old car battery in North Dakota in February.

And Myuun knew that she had... changed, too.  The twenty-three dimensional energies that had surged all around her, and over her, and through her, had forever changed her, too.

She scarcely dared open her eyes, for fear of finding herself mutated beyond all recognition.  She was thankful that she still lived, and that she still had a solid body, and that she hadn't been reduced to lifeless organic sludge, or burned to fine ash like a pedophile Phantom Triber.

But she felt... smaller.

Finally, after a moment that seemed to last for hours, she forced her eyes open, and held up her hands.  Well, she had to push back her sleeves first.  Her clothing seemed too big for her, now.

Thankfully, her hands were human, and they seemed to be female.  But they were even smaller, and more delicate, than before.  And they were still a bit on the pale side, but they were more pink than before.

She held up a lock of her long flowing hair, and found that it was now purple, instead of black.

She held her face in her hands, and felt a slightly raised diamond-shaped emblem in the center of her forehead.

And then, for some reason, she happened to think of the despicable Princess Fatora-- and her sweet little heart suddenly raced with... longing.

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



Myuun weakly staggered out of the ancient observatory of Baron... and found herself surrounded by wacky female ninjas.  They promptly glomped her, pushed her to the ground, and sat on her head.

But then, they picked her up again, and as one, they gasped.

"At last!" the leading ninja cried.  "We have fulfilled our final quest!  We can return to our mistresses Gatora and Hatora, and our new mistress Fatora!  For, at least, we have found the Third Alielle!  We have found a Calielle for our mistresses!!"

Oh crap!!, Myuun thought.

Although... on second thought...

Myuun slowly smiled to herself.  I still have my self-taught powers of mind control, she thought.  Perhaps I can use them to my advantage... and to my new sisters Alielle and Balielle's advantage, as well.  Perhaps I can repay Fatora for the "favors" she has bestowed upon me in the past.  With my new physiological attraction to Fatora, that possibility sounds quite enjoyable, indeed.

And it would be nice to take a break, she thought, after these past weeks of inscrutable actions to protect my beloved native kingdom of Gannan.  All work and no play makes a former inscrutable art-goth babe, and a current second-clone of a wacky lesbian side-kick, a dull girl.

And so it was that, as the wacky female ninjas bore Myuun/Calielle away, she began to exert her will over them.  Slowly, so slowly, one by one, their minds fell under her inscrutable control.

And when the ninjas brought their trophy to the seminary... well, Fatora, Gatora and Hatora never knew what hit 'em.  But, being the perverts that they all were, everyone enjoyed every minute of it.



Afura and Ishiel sat side-by-side in one of the Arliman baths.  They both sat against one wall of the bath, submerged in therapeutic mineral waters to their chins, staring forwards, with very, very embarrassed expressions on their faces.  They held each other's glued hands under hot water-- water which completely failed to weaken the still-fresh and insoluble glue whatsoever.

Of course, Muldoon priestesses bathed together regularly, both at the seminary, and during breaks from active service.  They cheerfully and innocently scrubbed each other's backs, and brushed each other's hair, without all the hang-ups that plague many other segments of human society, both in El-Hazard and in other worlds.

But, of course, Ishiel and Afura were a special case.  And before they had showered and bathed together, they had done something else together-- something that was even more private and intimate than showering and bathing together.

Ishiel finally breathed out, and relaxed a little.  "Well... that was... just... yikes."

"Yes," said Afura.  "Quite."

"I didn't think there was anything left unsaid or undone between us," said Ishiel.  "After all we've been through... when we were school-aged friends at the seminary... when we became mortal enemies... and then, when we reconciled, and became... uh, whatever it was that we became.  And then, when we wielded the Fairly Fearsome Lamp Of The Two Elements together, and glimpsed each other's souls..."

"Yes," Afura said again.  "But we've been stuck together for several hours now.  We should have realized that, sooner or later, we would both have to help each other go to the bathroom.  After all, they made a point of that in the Oh My Goddess! 'Hand In Hand' manga that the current writer is shamelessly plagiarising, yet again."

After a contemplative moment of silence, Ishiel turned to Afura.  "Well, anyway... there's something else that we need to work out between us.  Um, Afura?  Just before the Giant Sewer Rats attacked... when you said, uh, the 'L' word?  Did you mean it like, as in, uh..."

"Yes," Afura said quietly.  "I'm the only priestess who's immune to Makoto's haremic powers, you know.  I mean, no offense, but even you had a brief make-out session with him.  And the current writer is trying to write a more original alternate love-interest for me, in his stand-alone fan fiction... but, in the Round Robin, he's following the previous writers' lead, and using the usual reason for why I wouldn't be interested in Makoto... or any man..."

And then, Afura turned to Ishiel, in turn.  "So... now that I've confessed... that leaves your feelings.  And I know that you could, um, go either way... but..."

Afura's voice faded to a sad whisper.  "Do you think that you could be happy... with me?..."

Ishiel smiled wryly.  "Well, it's not as if I have a choice, for the next few days.  And you ain't no Demon God Yakage, but I think you might just do."

Afura and Ishiel exchanged another look that spoke volumes.  They squeezed each other's hands, under water, more tightly than ever.  And they began to slide closer together, and to turn to face each other...

And then, nothing happened.  It was partly because, while the current writer obviously enjoys writing innuendo-laden creepy experimental fan service, he also believes that the most private and intimate moments are best left to the imagination.

Nothing also happened because Shayla suddenly walked up, followed by Kauru.  They had both just come from the Arliman showers.  They both wore bath towels and carried little buckets with brushes and soaps.

"Hey!" Shayla said loudly, causing a startled Afura and Ishiel to jump in place.  "Is this bath reserved for Perverts Only, or is there room for a real priestess?"

Soopah-genius-Kauru frowned.  "Miss Shayla, the two states are not mutually exclusive.  It is entirely possible, and quite common in fact, for one to be both a genuine priestess and a genuine pervert-- YEEEK!!"

Kauru (and Shayla) yelped when, as one, Afura and Ishiel reached up with their free hands, grabbed Shayla and Kauru by an ankle each, and unceremoniously dragged them both into the bath.

And then, for the next hour or so, the four women forgot about all their troubles and concerns, as the four great priestesses of the four elements.  They even forgot all the little things that they constantly argued about.  Instead, they chatted about unimportant things, and scrubbed each others' backs, and brushed each others' hair.  They even drank a little sake, on the side.  In other words, they all had a wonderful and well-deserved bath together.

It was quite heart-warming, really.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 02:14:13 AM
Jinnai and his elite Bugrom troops marched along the path of the now-disbanded Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade.  In their haste, they hadn't yet got to the point where they turned back to take a hovercraft.

They came to a halt, in sheer surprise, when Ifurina flew up to meet them.  She shrieked with joy, flew at Jinnai, glomped him and threw him to the ground.

As the Bugrom sweat-dropped, Jinnai stammered.  "Uh-- Miss Ifurina?  I'm, uh, glad to see you whole and well--"

Ifurina held a finger to his lips.  "Ah ah ah!  You've been a naughty, naughty Mr. Fred!  Or, should I say-- Katsy-Watsy?"

Before Jinnai could react to this, Ifurina pulled her finger away from Jinnai's lips-- and planted one on him.

It was the best kiss that Jinnai had hever shared.  Of course, being Jinnai, he hadn't had that many kisses.  But still, as Ifurina kissed him, he felt a wonderful warmth spread through his lips... his face... his whole body.

Ifurina sat up, and winked, in a rather un-Ifurina-like kind of way.  "That is for saving my life.  If you had only told me that it was you, I would have done it before now."

Jinnai staggered to his feet-- and suddenly noticed that he was taller, and that his body had beefed up.  His hair had lengthened, and even his clothing had changed, his jacket now resembling a long-sleeved version of Ifurita's black coat.

"Welcome back, Katsy-Watsy," Ifurina said shyly.  "I just learned how to control those nanites better.  So, I asked them to make a copy of themselves, and I just put the copies back into your body.  I, um, hope that's okay with you--"

"Is that OKAY!?" the once-again bishounen Jinnai shouted.  "It's EXCELLENT!!  Now that we're both demon gods, we can finally conquer this world together!!--"

Jinnai jumped, expecting to take flight-- but instead, he fell flat on his face.

"Um, yeah," Ifurina said.  "About that?  Um, I've only given you immortality and a little extra strength with your drop-dead sexy body.  We've already had so many awful wars.  Let's not go start any more, 'kay?"

Jinnai sighed.  Well, he thought, there was plenty of time to convince the lovely but foolish girl that their destiny lay in victory and conquest.  "Very well, Ifurina.  At least I can take satisfaction in the defeat of Mizuhara--"

Ifurina smiled cheerfully.  "Oh yeah!  Mr. Makoto said to say hello.  He gave me the idea to turn you into my eternal love-slave-- er, I mean, my drop-dead sexy yet mostly-powerless demon-god boyfriend.  Anyway, you can thank him for all this--"

Jinnai raised his face to the sky, took a deep breath, and screamed like the lost and wandering spirit of a hapless South American immigrant construction worker with a sexy wife and adorable son from an experimental quack TV anime series recently released on Region 1 DVDs that, overall, wasn't nearly as good as everyone said it was.

"NOOOOO!!"



Fujisawa returned to Floristica, en route to the house that he shared with Miz and the baby on the far side of town.

The Bugrom were already rebuilding Floristica, yet again.  The failed and forgotten battles with the Mice Wearing Hats (and Giant Sewer Rats) were barely at an end, and yet, much of Floristica was already open for business.

Fujisawa entered a bakery shop, and breathed in deeply.  Oh, he thought.  It smells so good in here.

An attendant greeted him cheerfully.  "May I help you, sir?"

Fujisawa cut to the chase.  "Got a loaf of bread?"

The attendant turned and gestured to a long large shelf, fully stocked with freshly-baked breads of every kind known to El-Hazard.

Fujisawa grinned.  That bread looks, and smells, wonderful, he thought.  And after the fan-servicey welcome-home that Miz gave me last time, I can't wait to see what she'll do when I bring her some of this wonderful bread.



Just outside the Palace of Infinity, Ifurita and Wa Salli Alayhim embraced.

"I am so sorry that I destroyed your soul-mate," Wa Salli Alayhim said tearfully.

Ifurita smiled tearfully in response.  "Thank you... but this more than makes up for that."

Demon-god Makoto stood before them both.  With Kalia's hateful spirit sealed away forever, he had availed himself of the demon-god body that Yakage had begun and Peorth had completed, and that Kalia had briefly used.

As with Demon God Katsy-Watsy, he was a bit taller and beefier, now.  And, following Kalia's use of the demon-god body, Makoto's skin was a bit darker, and his hair had gone platinum-blond.  But he still had the same warm brown eyes, and the same sweet smile, that Ifurita loved so dearly.

"Oh, Salli," said Ifurita, as she brushed away tears of joy.  "Now, Makoto and I can be together forever, as two True Demon Gods."

Salli took Ifurita's hands, then reached out and took Makoto's hands.  She held their hands together.  "Go now.  Be happy.  I shall remain here, to guard the Palace of Infinity, until the damage done by the Ancients is finally repaired.  And then, perhaps I shall have earned my final rest."

And so it was that Makoto and Ifurita took their leave of the Palace of Infinity together.

Once again alone, Salli turned back to the sphere at the heart of the Palace of Infinity.  The darkness was gone from it.  It once again glowed with indescribable warm healing energies.

Perhaps there is such a thing as a happy ending, after all, Salli thought to herself.  At any rate, the current writer has certainly written a fine scene to end with.



Unfortunately, the current writer still had one more scene left.  And any Warm And Fuzzy Feelings from this scene would soon be forgotten.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on August 23, 2004, 02:21:00 AM
OOC:  This is the last of NINE replies that I've just posted.  (Again, I wrote these at top speed, so please forgive any spelling, grammar and continuity errors.)  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.



Ryoko stirred, blinked, pulled herself up to a sitting position, and rubbed at her poor head.

She looked around, and found herself sitting on the rough floor of a narrow chasm, surrounded on all sides by smooth vertical stone walls.  The only sunlight came from a thin crack of open sky, far above her.  The air was cold and clammy, and still as death, like the air sealed in a tomb.

Ryoko shuddered, despite herself.  Where the heck am I?, she thought.

As luck would have it, the warning sign that Ryoko had broken through had fallen into the chasm after her.  It had caught against a rough area on the chasm wall above her.  But at that moment, it swung free-- and bounced off Ryoko's head.  "OUCH!!"

She slowly sat up again, and rubbed at her poor head again, with one hand.  She picked up the sign with her other hand, and narrowed her demon-god eyes to read its message in the darkness.

Quote
DEAUX-DEAUX CHASM
Please do not continue past this sign!
(unless you wish to meet a horrible, horrible fate)
Have A Nice Day!


Swell, Ryoko thought.  I'm in Deaux-Deaux Chasm... and I'm literally in "deep doo-doo."  And what kind of a name is "Deaux-Deaux"!?  That's almost as stupid as naming a natural rock column "Great Googly Moogly"!

Well, she thought, I'm exhausted from all that... dancing?  And from the falling, too.  I don't have enough energy left to fly outta here, or to phase out, or even to climb out.  I'll just have to wait, and rest for an hour or two, until my body recharges itself.

I just hope nothing else happens.  I wouldn't have the energy to put up a fight...

Sadly for Ryoko, something else was about to happen.  This was the current writer's last scene, after all, and he had been saving the worst for last.

In fact, Ryoko was about to face the ultimate in creepy experimental fan service.  All that had gone before-- the contrived gratuitous nudity, the mud-wrestling, the straitjackets, the varnish and the super-glue-- all of that was a walk in a G-rated Disney-fied park, compared to what was in store for Ryoko.  It might very well be the creepiest and experimental-est fan service in all anime fandom.  (At least, the current writer hoped there wasn't anything "worse" out there.)

Ryoko had, in fact, just disturbed one of the most unspeakable horrors still extant in El-Hazard.  It had been crawling towards her, slowly but surely, all this time.  As it revealed itself to Ryoko's demon-god senses, she gasped, and shuddered again.  She fell back against one chasm wall, and fell into shadow.  She clutched at herself in the darkness, and she felt her stout demon-god heart pound.

The horror that now surrounded Ryoko on three sides, and towered over her tall as three men, was known only to a few local adventurous and open-minded women (all of whom were happy, relaxed and... satisfied, in a deeply, deeply disturbing kind of way) as... Squiggly (http://www.el-hazardonline.net/cgi-bin/ehol/YaBB.pl?board=junk;action=display;num=1080975935;start=30).

Its longest tentacles slithered towards the weakened and vulnerable Ryoko.  They steamed with warmth in the clammy chasm air, and dripped with the requisite sticky semi-transparent goo.  They were instinctively positioned to slither all over Ryoko's shapely female figure, in a kind of way that's about as deeply disturbing as is humanly imaginable.

Ryoko hung her head and sighed sadly.  Why me?, she thought.  And why now?  Darn it, the Round Robin had got this far without any tentacle monsters!



OOC:  And with that lovely scene, I'm calling it quits.  Thanks to all for putting up with Teh Creepy Experimental Fan Service, and for letting me spew this pointless nonsense in general, while I was too busy to write anything more involved than drabbles on my own.

If enough people want to start another story-arc, or a whole new Round Robin, in the future, I'll jump back in, if I can.  But now, it's time for me to try to re-launch Hana Ni Arashi for the gazillionth time.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: 0ne_man on September 15, 2004, 04:10:03 PM
HI!
I'm new here and just reading the hole story and is really cool ^_^V
One question is this the end because its just suddenly  interrupted in the midlle of action and I'm waiting for next part, long time. Not seen any reply and just wondering if something will appear  ???  ;)


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: MrWhat on September 18, 2004, 10:34:55 PM
Quote
HI!
I'm new here and just reading the hole story and is really cool ^_^V
One question is this the end because its just suddenly  interrupted in the midlle of action and I'm waiting for next part, long time. Not seen any reply and just wondering if something will appear  ???  ;)

OOC:  As I look at this topic now, the fourth page and the last five replies seem to be "cut off."  But as I type this reply, all nine of my last replies are there, at the bottom of the "Reply" page.  The message board has had problems with its host server; I'll defer to Bob for news on that.

As far as the actual Round Robin, I haven't heard anything privately, from the other writers, so I assume its status is the same as before.  Rowan might post a few "epilogue" replies, but besides that, it's over.

I could come back to it "someday," myself... but that would have to be sometime next year, at the earliest.  I'm desperately trying to work on my own fan fiction projects, and my Real Life is just completely unsettled.  I just don't have time for this, now.

Unrelated Thing #1:  As I type this, the next Hana Ni Arashi update is 50% in the can.  I'll probably "release" parts 14-16 for preview while I work on part 17.  Part 17 is a nearly-continuous 3600-word action sequence, and that's going to be difficult to work out.

Unrelated Thing #2:  "Someday," I plan to recycle "Schrodinger's Cat Girl" from this thing, for an original anime parody.  I'm thinking, a brilliant graduate student suffers a tragic accident involving a finite improbable knowledge generator and a cup of coffee.  She gains amazing powers of Uncertainty, along with a disturbing predilection for fan-servicey cat-girl costumes.

Unrelated Thing #3:  Apparently, I ought to recycle the super-glue jokes too.  There's actually a market (http://www.sticky-site.com/) for that kind of thing.  YIKES!!


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: Andrusi on September 26, 2004, 01:15:19 PM
Thank goodness for the Reply summary.  Otherwise I never would have been able to see the ending.

Which was great, BTW.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: 0ne_man on October 13, 2004, 12:39:11 PM
Quote

OOC:  As I look at this topic now, the fourth page and the last five replies seem to be "cut off."  But as I type this reply, all nine of my last replies are there, at the bottom of the "Reply" page.  The message board has had problems with its host server; I'll defer to Bob for news on that.

As far as the actual Round Robin, I haven't heard anything privately, from the other writers, so I assume its status is the same as before.  Rowan might post a few "epilogue" replies, but besides that, it's over.

I could come back to it "someday," myself... but that would have to be sometime next year, at the earliest.  I'm desperately trying to work on my own fan fiction projects, and my Real Life is just completely unsettled.  I just don't have time for this, now.


OK thx for clarification and YEAH!!! the ending was splendid   8)


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on November 25, 2004, 03:39:31 PM
Darkness.  As far as the eye could see, there was darkness.  Unending, unforgiving, unforgettable darkness.

And then there was light...

Wa Salli Alayhim, surrounded by a nimbus of glowing radiance, descended through the dreamscape, emotionless, cold eyes observing everything as she let her instincts guide her.  The darkness resisted, coagulating into an inky blackness that surrounded and slowed but was unable to stop.  

"Let me pass," the first demon goddess commanded, voice ancient beyond reckoning as her eyes narrowed in warning.  "I have unfinished business here."

Soundlessly, the darkness swirled and spun around Salli, becoming a mute whirlwind of frightening ferocity.  As the silent gusts futilely tried to tear her to shreds, Salli's lips curled downward in the smallest indication of a frown.  Slowly, gracefully, she extended an upraised arm, and a tiny globe of white light sparked into existence above her palm.  A second later it swelled into large, horizontal beam that gradually resolved itself into the shape of a staff.  Its light faded, and the first demon goddess reached out, grabbed the likeness of her War Key, and spun it around so that it stood vertically.  The gems embedded within the staff's frame simultaneously flashed a darkness darker than twilight, and the shadows of the dreamscape shuddered and receded.

Now unimpeded, Salli continued her controlled descent.  Falling for what may have been a short eternity or a sustained second, she eventually reached a body of water that seemed to stretch on endlessly.  Looking down at the ocean of bitter, icy tears, Salli saw a distorted, maddened, wailing reflection of herself.  Undaunted, the demon goddess closed her eyes and plunged feet-first into the liquid depths.  Salli noted without surprise that, although she was surrounded by water as she sank, she did not feel any wetness.

Finally, the demon goddess broke through the other side, and the ocean above her was now a scorched, storm cloud filled sky.  Below, an ancient, ruined city that once could've been a metropolis full of life but was now a dead wasteland awaited.  Her target at last in sight, Salli momentarily hesitated, knowing that this was her last chance to turn back and that she had the rest of her artificial life to deal with this matter.  The touch of a hateful, anguished wind against her frame reminded her why she'd come in the first place, though, and she strengthened her resolve.  Better to resolve this now than let old wounds fester any further.

With a thought, Salli lowered herself and landed unpretentiously within the ruin's main square.  Perched on the crumbling remains of an empty fountain, a dark-skinned, white-haired child wearing tattered rags opened her eyes.  The two figures gazed solemnly at each other, faces impassive, the dead silence broken only by the howling wind.

"Why have you come...sister?" the child finally asked, voice strangely tortured and empty at the same time.  "There's nothing left for you to do here."

Salli remained silent for a moment, calmly watching her youngest 'sibling' with an unreadable expression in her eyes.  Finally, after a pregnant moment, she spoke.  "You are mistaken, Kalia.  The Dollmaker still has a design for you."

"Oh you _must_ be joking!" Kalia exclaimed disbelievingly as she threw her head back and laughed brokenly.  The wind howled and raged.  "_Mother_ took my lives, denied me the peace of death, and turned me into the destructive monster you see before you.  What other torture could she want to put me through?"

"The Dollmaker knew of your suffering, Kalia," Salli explained gravely, unmoved by the shrieking, unforgiving gale that reverberated throughout the ruins, "and, in a moment of fleeting sanity, supplied me with instructions to give you what you deserve should the circumstances ever permit it.  I would not have bypassed the firewall and risked entrapment in here with you were it otherwise."

Kalia's laughter stopped, and a nearly hopeful look crossed her face as she stared at the first demon goddess.  "Are you going to kill me?"

"...No," Salli answered, raising her War Key and aiming it at the tortured soul.  "I'm here to give you life."

"Eh?" Kalia mumbled in confusion from where she was slumped over despondently, eyes widening and arms instinctively rising defensively as Salli's War Key glowed a brilliant white and emitted a single, solitary note that drowned out even the roaring wind and almost sounded like music.  "What do you me-AIEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

Salli bowed her head as Kalia's form dissolved into millions of tiny specks of multi-colored light and rose into the air.  The breeze, now masterless, diminished and disappeared, free at last from the chains of hatred that had endlessly perpetuated it.  Slowly, the ruins crumbled and dissipated, revealing the splendor of a baby universe.    

"May you find happiness in your second life, sister.  I'll be hoping for the best," Wa Salli Alayhim, first and last of the demon gods, said with a smile as she, too, disappeared and returned to her duties as Guardian of the Palace of Infinity.  "Peace be with you."

******

"Honoka, I'm home!" shouted a tall, olive-skinned man with short, neatly cut black hair and a friendly, contagious grin on his face as he entered the music store.  Scorebooks, sheet music, and assorted instruments lay in neatly organized aisles in the small, welcoming shop.  At the counter, a short, slender pink-haired woman looked up from her game of Petten and smiled warmly.

"Ginji (http://tmau.fateback.com/chara/sammy/chara3.html)(WARNING!  Scrolling past Kenji Oyamada will reveal spoilers!)!" Honoka cried happily, jumping over the counter and rushing into her husband's arms.  "How was work today, honey?"

"Marvelous, dear," Ginji replied with a chuckle, holding Honoka tenderly.  "Nobody even knew the secret military convoy drove through town.  How's business been here, by the way?"

"Excellent!" Honoka answered enthusiastically, adding proudly, "I finally sold our stock of El-Hazard OST CDs.  Our profits went up by 5%!"

The two lovers looked deeply into each other's eyes.

"Honoka..."

"Ginji..."

"This calls for a celebration!" the two exclaimed simultaneously with an energetic arm pump.  Stars and fireworks could almost be seen going off behind them.

KNOCK-KNOCK.

With unexpectedly fast reflexes, Ginji inclined his head towards the front door.  "We're open!" he announced, still smiling but with a carefree cautiousness entering his eyes.  Not hearing a response, Ginji strolled toward the entrance.  Honoka followed close behind.  A moment later, Ginji pulled the door open and faced whatever was awaiting him with confidence.  There was nobody on the other side.

"Eh?" the middle-aged man uttered, perplexed, as he stuck his head outside into the streets of the small desert town, noting without surprise that nobody seemed to be around.  There was supposed to be a sandstorm in a few hours, after all.

"Waaah!"

"Ah, how cute!" Honoka commented, peering around her husband's side and looking down at the baby infant that lay wrapped in a white blanket on their doorstep.  She eagerly reached for and picked up the child, playfully cooing at it.  "Do you think we can keep her, Ginji, at least until her guardians claim her?"

Ginji gazed intently at the dark-skinned, young girl.  From behind locks of white hair, intent, innocent eyes stared back.  Ginji found his heart melting.  "Of course, honey.  How could we do otherwise?  You do realize what this means, though, right?"

Honoka nodded her head gravely.  "Yes, dear, I do."

"Honoka..."

"Ginji..."

"This calls for an even _bigger_ celebration!" the married couple declared, closing the door and withdrawing to the housing section of their shop.  The reincarnated Kalia, free at last from her past, giggled and waved her chubby, baby fists joyously.

******

"So...peace has finally come to El-Hazard," Nahato mused darkly from the peak of a rocky mountain overlooking the country of Roshtaria.  In the distance, the gleaming, marble spires of the hastily repaired capital, Florestica, could be seen.  The vengeful youth clenched his right fist, angry eyes narrowing.  "Fools.  Do you think this changes anything?"

The restored Phantom Triber, his acutely embarrassing demon god transformation having worn off when he used the last of his power to perform the incredible Boot to the Head technique, smirked dangerously.  "Though the humans and the Bugrom have ceased their conflict and the nations of this world have united in harmony, the past has not changed.  The millennia are still tainted by the blood of my ostracized race, and their tortured spirits cry out for revenge!  Revenge against those who dragged us into this dimension against our will!  Revenge against those who cast us into the darkness!  Revenge against those who oppressed us for countless centuries!  I, Nahato, Prince of the Throne of Deep Shadows and last of my race, do solemnly swear in the name of the Phantom Tribe and the shadows we've come to cherish that I _will_ avenge my people at any cost!"

The blue-skinned child let loose a fearsome chuckle as dark storm clouds gathered and, the weather of El-Hazard being particularly responsive to theatrics, hurled a bolt of lightning from the heavens that struck the ground behind Nahato, lending the young lord a fearsome and crackling silhouette.  "Enjoy your tranquility while you can, humans.  Mark my words, it won't last."

The sound of clapping interrupted the gravity of the moment, and with a roll of his eyes Nahato turned around to face his last surviving servant, the Demon Goddess Minagi.

"That was...beautiful, Master Nahato.  Simply beautiful," Minagi spoke, tears welling up in her eyes as she slowly and reverently approached the youth.  "And I, although only a lowly servant, pledge to follow you no matter how difficult and dark the road you travel becomes.  From this day until the day I die, I will always be at your si-aaaaiiiiihhhh!"

CRASH!

Nahato sweatdropped as the demon goddess tripped on a rock and fell, breaking into several pieces upon impact with the hard ground.  With a sigh, he walked over to his servitor and began trying to put her back together again.  "Before we do anything else, though, we're first going to find a way to ensure that you can go five minutes without falling part!" the Phantom Triber vowed with a snarl, Minagi's detached head expressing its thanks with a sheepish nod.

******

"Idiots," Yume muttered as she eliminated a particularly irritating loose end through her computer that will be mentioned later, watching a screen showing the determined Nahato marching off into the distance with Minagi's assorted various parts in a rucksack on his back.  "The Secret Ancient Weapon that's so Much More Powerful than the Eye of God it's Terrifying so Take That Roshtaria is to the south_west_, not the southeast!  And for that matter, who comes up with these silly names anyway?  Didn't the Ancients have _any_ taste at all?"

With a disapproving sigh, Yume swiveled her hover chair around and faced her guest.  Behind her, a beautiful tree that almost touched the sky proudly stretched its branches across the land, its marvelous foliage providing a kaleidoscope of color.  Further in the distance, the sun was high in the sky and shining down on a teaming metropolis.  Grass and plants so green it almost hurt to look at them sprouted wherever possible, and numerous birds sang of their happiness as they flew.  Creteria was a healthy, restored world again.

Thinking of this and much more, Yume let her frown turn into a triumphant grin.  "The entire multi-verse is once again safe...well, as safe as a multi-verse can be when dangers from numerous dimensions and sub-dimensions actively threaten its stability on a regular basis, but, regardless, the probability of existence surviving to see another day has risen to a high of 51%!"  She shrugged good-naturedly.  "...Okay, perhaps that isn't the most optimistic news, but on the bright side we didn't have to initiate my all-purpose, ludicrously brilliant, and product of pure super-genius Plan B!"

"Gah," Peorth murmured, eyes wide and pupils dilated as she lay reclined in a matching hover chair, a vacant look on her face.

Yume rolled her eyes.  "Honestly, I expect more enthusiasm from a 9th dimensional entity who just witnessed the universe being saved.  Besides, I'd think you'd be _grateful_ that I was able to persuade Heaven's Personnel Office to send you here to spend some 'quality' time with your daughter, Bizen."

"Gah," Peorth replied dully, mouth seemingly permanently fixed in a silent 'O' of unspeakable trauma.

The furry, cat-like genius leaned back in her chair and chuckled.  "What?  Don't tell me you've spent the last ten thousand years powerless, naked, and searching for a marble in an infinitely vast ocean of chocolate pudding-GAH!"

With terrifying speed, Peorth lurched forward and grabbed Yume by the neck, eyes glowing with holy intensity.  "DON'T GIVE THE AUTHOR MORE IDEAS!!!"

"Gah...sss-sure tha-thing, Pe-ack-orth.  Just...let *wheeze* go of my *cough* n-n-neck first.  You're *hack* cho-choking me!" Yume pleaded, struggling in vain against Peorth's superhuman, frantic strength.  The disappearance of the goddess' French accent made the situation even more worrying in the genius' mind.  "A-all's well that *cough* ends well, ri-*ack*-ight?  Um...Hishima, Yakage, a little *wheeze* help here please!"

As the two demon gods emerged and tried to loosen Peorth's grip, Bizen sweatdropped.  When she'd heard her mother was coming to visit, this really wasn't what she'd expected.  

******


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on November 25, 2004, 03:43:47 PM
Elsewhere, in Creteria's past...

Chabil was going to die.

This simple, irrefutable fact filled the farmer's mind as he fell from the sky, abolishing his fear and replacing it with an eerie calmness.  After all, what difference did his life or death make in the long run?  He was a simple farmer and caretaker of the land.  It would be child's play for Creteria to replace him with an eager, impoverished urban youth, and it's not like he'd be missed.

The seconds stretched into an eternity as his...what?  Livelihood?  Home?  Prison?  ...faded into the distance.  Moments of Chabil's tranquil but still rough life passed before his eyes, and, with an acceptance born of inevitably, he prepared to meet his end.  However, as the young man's descent continued he noticed a golden ray of sunlight, and suddenly a flood of new, joyous memories washed over him, memories that centered on one, important, cherished person.

"...Rune..."

It was so insignificant in the long run.  People died all the time, and countless love stories ended in tragedy.  What reason was there to expect a different, happier outcome for the two of them?  Still, even as these thoughts raced through his mind, Chabil was overcome by the overpowering desire to survive, and the farmer clenched his fists in determination.  Even if death was inevitable, he wasn't going to give up.  Not while there was still something..._anything_ he could do.

"Ancients, hear me!  Please, let me live and see my precious Rune again!" Chabil pleaded with the heavens, voice wracked with sobs, as the ground rose up to swallow him.  "I love her and want to be with her!  Please, if you have any compassion at all, reunite us and let us be together!  Please!"

Fortunately for him, Yume had somehow learned of his plight and, detesting frustrating loose ends that make little sense, had decided to take action.  Her intervention in the future complete, a portal opened below Chabil.  The farmer disappeared within its mysterious, dark depths, and then, as quickly as it appeared, the gateway closed.  Simultaneously, in the world known as El-Hazard where the future of the entire multiverse had just been saved, a portal opened several yards above the ground and released the confused but grateful Creterian.

"Thank you!" Chabil shouted gladly, not knowing what had saved him but just happy to still be alive.  A moment later he landed gently in a body of water.  Rising to the surface, his survivor's grin disappeared as opened his eyes and saw the countenances of four _very_ angry and _very_ naked elemental priestesses and numerous junior priestesses and clergy surrounding him.  Well, all right, the blue-haired one looked more surprised than anything else, but as for the rest...

Chabil's screams of pain echoed throughout the Spring of Arliman, and it wasn't until several long, painful minutes later that he was able to explain himself.  It took him even longer to convince them that he was who he claimed to be, but, finally, Chabil was reunited with Rune Venus, and one of the most irritating mysteries of the El-Hazard series concluded with a happy ending.


******

Faraway, on a planet known as Earth and in a country called Japan, a young girl woke up and was greeted by the silence of a large, empty apartment.  With a disappointed sigh, she forced herself to leave her warm bed, knowing that there would be no loving, motherly smile to welcome her and no strong but gentle fatherly arms to embrace her.  Her mother was too busy with work to spend much time around the house, and her father...she didn't even know where he was.

"I'm lonely," Amano Misao muttered, looking at herself in a full-length mirror and watching her reflection dully stare back at her, surrounded by all the toys and comforts a child could want but which were utterly meaningless without somebody to share them with.  A coughing fit suddenly wracked her body, and it was all the fragile youth could do to hold back the tears that threatened to fall, though whether the cause was physical, emotional, or some combination of the two she could not tell.

"Caw!  Caw!"

With her first true smile of the day, Misao raised her head and searched for the source of the noise.  Her eyes immediately darted to the window where an elegant, purple avian was flapping its wings and gazing meaningfully at her.  The bird's eyes indicated a deep intelligence and hidden sadness that belied its form.

"Birdie...," the child murmured happily, rising and walking over to the window which she opened without hesitation.  Taking this as an invitation, the creature flew into the apartment and perched on Misao's left shoulder, giving the girl's cheek an affectionate rub with its beak.  Misao chuckled softly.

"You always know when I need a friend, don't you birdie?" Misao commented affectionately, adding a moment later in a much quieter, sadder tone, "I don't know what I'd do without you and Sasami."

^Oh Misao...^ the bird thought glumly, overcome with guilt as he watched the raven-haired girl's innocent, unsuspecting face.  ^I wish you...please, forgive me.^

Reluctantly, the purple avian leapt off Misao's shoulder and locked gazes with her.  The child, confused at first by the intensity she saw in the bird's eyes, soon froze as pain flooded her head.  Her scream was cut short as golden light enveloped her, and when the glow faded the blonde-haired, leather clad Pixy Misa stood in Misao's place.

"Je suis de retour, mes amis!" the magical girl exclaimed joyously, striking a pose as she painfully abused the French language.  She winked playfully at the bird.  "Miss me, Rumiya?"

Rumiya landed on the floor and sighed.  "This isn't the time to be so light-hearted, Misa.  My sis is none too pleased after having to bail both of us out of the afterlife."  He whimpered.  "She's making me fill out all the Yggdrasil second chance forms by myself!"

Misa leaned down and smirked in Rumiya's face.  "C'est la vie, Rumiya.  Besides, you _know_ you enjoyed it."

Blushing, Rumiya raised his wings defensively.  "I'm too young for that kind of stuff!  ...Anyway, Ramia wants you to summon a very powerful monster and succeed this time.  Otherwise..."  He let the sentence trail off ominously, knowing full well that that if he returned home after another failure his precious big sister was going to beat him up again.

"Est ce tout?" Misa wondered, cutely tapping her right index finger against her right cheek as she thought up a fiendish, mischievous plan.  It didn't take long.  With a triumphant cry, she marched off determinedly towards the apartment's cupboards.  Flying closely behind her, Rumiya had to dodge several miscellaneous, thrown kitchen items as the magical girl quickly rummaged through assorted purchases.  He paled noticeably when he saw what his mistress was after.

"Oh no, you can't possibly mean to...Even after everything we've been through?" Rumiya asked incredulously, ever the voice of reason in this magical partnership.

"But of course, mon ami!" Misa retorted, turning around with a huge smile on her face and a bag of instant oatmeal in her hands.  Her expression momentarily darkened.  "Za entire world 'alt feel za pain and embarrassment I suffered!  Oh, and I'll make Pretty Sammy bawl like a baby too!" she added as a matter of routine, walking back over to the window that Misao had opened earlier.

"Calling..."

She raised her magical cane above her head and spun it.  Flashy pyrotechnics burst into existence around her as she threw the oatmeal out the window.

"Mystics!"

A brilliant beam of magical light erupted from the baton and zapped the oatmeal as it fell.  For a moment nothing happened, but seconds before the bag landed it was annihilated in an explosion of oatmeal that flooded the street.  Pulsing with unnatural life, the viscous but hearty breakfast food retracted inward and grew in height, expanding until it rivaled the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man.  Slowly, the giant column of oatmeal took shape, first forming arms, then legs, and gradually resolving into a porridge likeness of Mara that probably would've mortified the demoness if she'd been around.  Rumiya sweatdropped.

"Voyez!  Mon masterpiece!" Pixy Misa shouted passionately, eyes burning with wicked delight.  "Soon, my monster shall defeat zat _pest_ Pretty Sammy, and I'll become the new star!  Go, Love-Love Monster Oats-and-Raisons Girl!  Créez le chaos!  Mwhahahaha!  Hohohoho!"

Responding to her master's maniacal but still cute laughter, Love-Love Monster Oats-and-Raisons Girl let loose a terrifying roar that reverberated throughout Tokyo.  Much to her surprise, though, somebody...or rather _something_ answered back.

Reluctantly, Pixy Misa, Rumiya, and Oats-and-Raisons Girl turned and sighted the sleek, harsh visage of a reptilian leviathan approaching them, casually destroying every building and obstacle in its path.  Ancient, angry eyes embodying the fury of desecrated nature and atomic annihilation glared at the magical soldiers.  Godzilla, the nuclear dragon, had accepted their challenge.

"Pourquoi?!!" Misa wailed furiously, seeing her brilliantly evil plans fall apart before her eyes.  Shaking her head, she clenched her fists and glowered.  "Rumiya, remind me what I normally do in situations like this?"

"Run away and read manga," the transformed boy answered honestly, holding up a wing to protect himself against Misa's possible wrath.  Instead, though, the magical girl's attitude did a 180 degree rotation.

"C'est exact!" Misa said with a grin, nonchalantly shutting the window and closing the curtains before cheerfully ambling off to Misao's room to enjoy herself.  Outside, Oats-and-Raisons Girl and Godzilla battled each other, leveling large portions of the city in the process.  Hearing this and seeing his mistress' total lack of concern, Rumiya sweatdropped.

"Some things never change," he mumbled, belatedly flying after Pixy Misa in the weak hope of persuading her to actually do _something_ to save Tokyo while there was still a Tokyo left to save.

******

"Hmm...good work, Kiyone," Chief Rail Claymore (http://ak.buy.com/db_assets/large_images/071/40146071.jpg) complimented the constable as he read her daily report, handsome features marked by a youthful, reassuring smile.  "And don't worry about unknowingly arresting the Muldoon Priestesses.  _Nobody_ is above the law, after all, and I'd have done the same thing in your position.  ...Well, maybe I'd take more photographs for _strictly_ documentary purposes, but that's an unimportant matter," he concluded, reluctantly taking his eyes off the pictures of the jailed priestesses.

"Thank you, sir.  I try my best," Kiyone answered graciously, standing at attention and making a point of ignoring her boss' not so carefully hidden lasciviousness.  It wouldn't do to offend the one person who had the power to send her out of this forsaken backwater of a town, after all.

A contemplative look crossed Rail's face as his eyes studiously examined the officer before him with uncharacteristic seriousness on his part.  Kiyone felt her heartbeat accelerate as she wondered what was going through her superior's mind and desperately hoping it wasn't what she'd come to expect.  For once, she wasn't disappointed.

"...Kiyone, you do more than try your best.  You _are_ the best," Rail finally spoke, expression grave.  "That is why I can think of no one better to perform this next assignment.  Tell me, detective, are you aware of the recent abductions of several young, beautiful women in the local area?"

Eager to display her knowledge, Kiyone nodded her head.  "Yes sir.  In the past two weeks nine women, predominantly teenagers, have disappeared from their homes at night without a trace and with no signs of struggle.  There have been no leads, but it is hoped that the abductees are still alive because no dead bodies have turned up yet.  The fact that no ransom demands have been made, though, is worrying."

"Excellent.  You've made me more certain than ever that you're the right woman for this job," Rail complimented her, slightly disappointed not to see her blush from his praise.  He supposed he'd just have to try harder later...after business, of course.  "Anyway, there has been a 'breakthrough' of sorts in this case.  Through a confidential source-"  Rail silently thanked the blue dolphin-bears and their awareness of anything perverted that people would pay to see.  "-it has been learned that a secret cult is behind the kidnappings, and that its unknown, mysterious leaders are brainwashing these women into becoming totally obedient slaves obsessed with pleasing their 'masters' and lacking any free will whatsoever.  I can only _imagine_ what terrible things the cult's masters have planned."

"I'm sure you can," Kiyone muttered sarcastically under her breath.  Louder, she asked, "That's horrible, sir.  What do you want me to do about it?"

Rail leaned forward in his chair and steepled his fingers together, looking as solemn as he could possibly be.  "It is only because I have such faith in your skills that I'm even contemplating sending you on such a dangerous mission, constable, and I'd understand perfectly if you chose to decline.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the cult, learn its inner workings, and identify its leaders.  After that, either report back to me or arrest them, but whatever you do don't compromise your cover.  It is _imperative_ that the cult doesn't suspect we're on to them and take even greater steps to hide themselves.  You are authorized to use _any_ means necessary to accomplish your tasks."

"I'll do it, sir," Kiyone answered after only a moment's hesitation, fists clenched in determination to succeed, prove her worth, and _finally_ get that promotion she wanted.  "I promise to do whatever I can to rescue the kidnapped girls and bring the cultists to justice."

"Wonderful, Kiyone.  I knew I could count on you," Rail replied happily, leaning back.  "However, because of the importance of this case, you'll need a partner."

"But-" Kiyone complained, face going pale as she remembered the horror of her last partner.

Rail shook his head and interrupted her.  "No buts, detective.  Now, I know you must still be hurting from the mysterious disappearance of Mihoshi-"  Kiyone did her best to look innocent.  "-but on an assignment of this magnitude you'll need all the help you can get."

A knock was heard at the door to Rail's office, and the chief nodded his head.  "That must be her.  Come in!"

The door opened, and a young woman with deep blue eyes and golden blonde hair wearing a form-fitting police uniform entered the room and cheerfully saluted.  A dragon hand puppet covered one hand, and closely following the newcomer was a wolfhound.

"Parvsys Alayhim and Idel reporting for duty, sir!"    

Kiyone shuddered, disturbed by the apparent similarities between Parvsys and Mihoshi.  Seeking confirmation of what she already dreaded as truth, she turned to face Rail.  "She's my new partner?"

"No," Rail answered with a smirk, destroying Kiyone's suddenly soaring hopes with his next statement.  "The dog's your new partner.  She's your trainee."

"Ruff," Hector barked, wagging his tail.

Kiyone screamed silently.

******


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: rowan_a._seven on November 25, 2004, 03:52:07 PM
Dr. Semimad walked casually through the streets of Roshtaria, keeping a polite distance between himself and the assorted passersby and watching with interest as Florestica was repaired -- once again -- at virtually warp speed by dutiful bugrom workers, assisted in some of the more complex, artistic tasks by skilled human civic engineers.  A fascinating fusion of bugrom and human architecture was taking place before his very eyes, and had other matters not required his attention the good doctor would've loved to sit down and take notes.  

His expression grew more serious, though, as he finally found the object of his search.  Standing on the corner of a recently paved street, wearing a tie-dyed shirt and jeans that looked like they'd seen better days, and looking very confused and dazed was Ifurita-3.  Knowing that he only had a short window of time in which to act, Dr. Semimad took a deep, calming breath and approached his patient.  It was time to conclude her therapy.

"Hello, Ifurita.  You look well...well, better than you did when I first met you, at any rate.  Mind telling me what you're up to right now?" Dr. Semimad asked, voice warm and reassuring as he neared the troubled demon goddess.

Ifurita-3 appeared startled as she noticed Dr. Semimad, berating herself for letting her guard down to such a great degree.  "I'm _fine_, doctor," she replied hastily, unconsciously taking a step back and wanting to retreat inside herself to escape this bothersome, frustrating world.

"...No, you're not," Dr. Semimad declared, slowing his advance but not stopping.  He chuckled deprecatingly.  "For millennia, you were a merciless agent of death and destruction.  The number of people who've died at your hands must be incalculable.  After that, utter solitude was your life, with no friends, no family, no one at all.  Finally, you left your isolated sanctuary and fell in love, only to lose your beloved to, essentially, a more mature version of yourself.  Next came infestation at the hands of parasitical insects, and then more personality permutations than I care to count.  No, you're not fine at all."

"S-so?" Ifurita-3 asked nervously, founding the therapist's tone unsettling as he caustically analyzed her painful life.  "None of that matters anymore!  I've decided to live the rest of my life without any cares and troubles and do whatever I want!  I'm going to live day by day and enjoy myself!  So leave me alone!"

Dr. Semimad shook his head as he stopped a few feet in front of the wary demon goddess.  "I can't do that, Ifurita.  Even if I wasn't your psychologist, it would be wrong for me to let you commit such a tremendous mistake."

"A _mistake_?  You're calling this a _mistake_?!  Doctor, thinking I could ever fit in and lead a normal life was the mistake!  Putting up with your and Dr. Schtalubaugh's attempts to 'cure' me was a mistake!  This is _not_ a mistake!  It's my _own_ decision and I won't let anything dissuade me!" Ifurita-3 retorted, a nearly frantic tinge to her voice as she raised her key staff in warning.

"Pathetic," Dr. Semimad countered, unperturbed and unintimidated...or at least pretending not to be.  "What you're doing is giving up and retreating.  You'll never overcome your problems if you don't face them.  More than that, you won't even be a part of this world.  _Look_ around you, Ifurita.  See that family over there?  In the past month their house has been destroyed over five times, and three siblings are still missing in action from the recent spat of wars.  See that married couple there?  Do you have any idea what struggles and tribulations they had to overcome to finally be together?  I can't understand what you've been through, but I do know that you're not the only one who's suffered and suffered terribly at that.  These people, though, have found the strength to deal with their pain, continue on with their lives, and find happiness.  Although the trauma you've suffered is doubtlessly greater than theirs, if give up now you'll never even have a _chance_ of finding the happiness that might be in store for you.  Now, do you want to take a venture and see what the future holds or retreat into your isolation where nothing, neither good nor bad, happy or sad, can possibly reach you?"          

"...You're right, Dr. Semimad," Ifurita-3 spoke, voice overcome with emotion as she lowered her key staff.  "I...I don't want to go back to the way my life used to be, even if it means I wouldn't have to put up with any more sorrow.  I want to find my own happiness in this world.  More than that, I want to help other people find their happiness."

Dr. Semimad, who'd been nodding his head and silently congratulating himself, suddenly froze.  "Wait, Ifurita, remember that healing is a process-"

"Yes, I'm going to help people!" Ifurita-3 decided, eyes blazing with determination and body more animated than it had been since...well, probably her night with Makoto.  "I'm going to work to make sure that nobody else has to experience what I've been through!  More than that, I want to ensure that people can enjoy life as much as possible!  This existence is too short for so many to put up with so much unnecessary grief and trouble!  The smiles and thanks of those I help will be my reward!"

"Ifurita, please, don't do anything drastic!  Remember-"  Dr. Semimad trailed off and politely averted his eyes as Ifurita-3's clothes remade themselves.  When he next looked at her, he was pleasantly surprised to see that she hadn't transformed into a magical girl.

"I'm going to law school to become a civil rights lawyer!" Ifurita-3 announced proudly, now wearing a sharp business suit and carrying a sleek, black briefcase.  "I'll defend the poor and underprivileged in court and strive to protect them against any who would try to take advantage of them!  I'll work for the good and betterment of all creatures!"

"Ifurita, are you about this?  Caution is-"  

Ifurita-3 threw her arms around and hugged Dr. Semimad, silencing him.  "Thank you, doctor, and give Dr. Schtalubaugh's and Empress Diva my thanks too.  I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you three and the concern you showed for me.  Take care of yourself, and remember to enjoy life.  It's such a precious thing."

With that, Ifurita-3 stepped back, waved good-bye, and flew away in search of a law school that would accent a millennia-old demon goddess with no formal education.

Dr. Semimad watched as his former patient grew more distant and continued to look up even when she'd become less than a speck in the sky.  Finally, when he was certain she was gone, he broke forth with maniacal laughter worthy of his ancestors and almost equal to OAV1 Jinnai.        

"And _that_ is why I'm the Minister of Highly Unusual but Strangely Effective Tortures!" he exulted, cackling madly at this success.  Granted, Ifurita-3 still wasn't completely stable, but with a little luck and a lot of determination on her part odds were she'd be fine.

Realizing that people were beginning to stare at him oddly, Dr. Semimad ceased his mad laughter, coughed, dusted himself off, and nonchalantly headed home where his wife and daughters awaited him.  After everything that had happened recently, he wanted nothing more than to be close to his family and tell them how much he loved them.

******

The newly rejuvenated doctor whistled as he opened the door to his TARDIS and prepared to leave this world and time.  Despite a few setbacks here and there, his mission had been a success and he had a new set of regenerations to reward him for his troubles.  It had been an eventful, worthwhile trip, he decided, stepping into his home.

"Meow," Jinnistacia said by way of greeting, stretching as she awoke from her peaceful nap.  The doctor blinked as the demon goddess pranced around his TARDIS, never fully appearing to be somewhere but not quite everywhere either.

"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I must ask you to leave, my dear," Dr. Who apologized as he attempted to grab Jinnistacia and usher her out the door.  "I simply can't-Don't pull that lever!"

Completely ignoring the time lord, Jinnistacia pulled the lever.  In its usual manner, the TARDIS disappeared, and Dr. Who, with a new sidekick in tow, was once again hurtling through time and space.

******

Fortunately for the content rating of this round robin, Dall arrived in Ura-ohki just in the nick of time to save Ryoko from Squiggly's pleasurable tentacles.  

"Hiya!" Dall shouted, heroically leaping off one of the armor cat clone ship's many spires with sword extended.  Squiggly, intelligent enough to know when a fan-servicey insertion had run its length, sidestepped Dall's lunge and crawled away back to its dwelling where, perhaps, other victims awaited for its return, but that's for the reader to decide.

"Ow!  Ryo...Ryoko, de-de-dear, a-a-are you aa...alright?" Dall asked through teeth gritted in pain as he pulled himself up from his harsh landing.  Despite his self-inflicted injuries, he forced himself to crawl over to the also pretty much immobile demon goddess.

"I'm fine, Dall, now that I'm saved from that incredibly embarrassing fate," Ryoko spoke gratefully, summoning the strength to hug her master.  Her expression suddenly became sly.  "Although...I do feel kind of sorry for that squiggly...thing.  Oh, if only there was a lonely, beautiful alien princess to keep it company...an alien princess with purple hair, a snobbish attitude, and-"

The Aeka fanclub sent the current writer a threatening email at this point, and he, remembering what they did to a certain other round robin contributor, wisely decided to abandon this train of thought.

"Anyway, Dall, let's go home," Ryoko suggested, voice weak.  "I need a serious recharge, but _afterwards_ I want to show you just how thankful I _am_."

Dall blushed but soon realized there was a problem.  "Um...Ryoko, now probably isn't the best time to mention this, but..."

"Yes, honey?" Ryoko asked curiously, eyes narrowing as she wondered what dared to potentially ruin her fantasy.

"I...um...think I broke one of my legs," Dall confessed awkwardly, hoping Ryoko wouldn't think any less of him for this.

Much to his relief, the demon goddess smiled in companiable amusement.  "Oh Dall..._whatever_ am I going to _do_ with you?  I suppose I'll just have to _think_ of a few things, now, won't I?" she commented mirthfully.

Ura-ohki, meanwhile, had grown tired of waiting for the demon goddess and alien prince to extricate themselves from the crevice and decided to bring them onboard using a tractor beam.  When that was accomplished, he released a joyful miya and headed home.

And everybody lived happily ever after.

*******

"LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" Mara screamed furiously at the top of her infernal lungs, still trapped in the realm of endless oatmeal.  Unfortunately for her, Urd heard her and had no plans of letting her out anytime soon, probably because she was so busy rolling on the floor laughing.

******

...All right, maybe not everybody.

...
...
...
...

I forgot about Groucho, didn't I?  

******

Groucho, face red and upper left appendage linked with a smiling Kauru's, escorted her to the grand reopening of Nanami's restaurant.  In front of them, a happy Chibi-Deva pranced around, wide eyes taking everything in with wonder.  The purple bugrom warrior still wasn't entirely certain why he'd asked the water priestess out to dinner and was even less sure why she'd agreed, but, looking at her out of the corner of one of his simple eyes, he found himself hoping that she'd agree to a second outing in the near future.

And almost everybody (at least the main characters, at any rate) lived happily ever after.

Probably.




Happy Thanksgiving everybody.  It has been a pleasure working with all of you.


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: d.t. on November 27, 2004, 09:45:58 PM
[SOL]
Crow [making yawning sounds and moving toward exit]:  Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Close though.
Mike:  Um... I don't think it's over.  It's still going, see?
Tom:  Couldn't we just pretend?




The Past

As the portal he and Marid had stepped through closed, Dao examined the small object he held in his hand.  It still astounded him just how long it had taken to collect all the information needed to build it.  All the more reason to get to work, he supposed, looking at the rows and rows of empty shelves that made up Stores.

Of course, before he could start his work he would have to give the deceptively small object to a certain someone.


 



The Present

How the little creatures hated cleaning, hated being whooshed at, attacked by, swept by the broom and mop!  The mop swept the dust and rubble, and scurrying segmented creatures scuttled out of the way and into a corner, hoping they would not be revealed.  The mop swept over the surface of the Mantle of God, raising, falling, swirling in perfect mystic tranquility.  Stanley Spadowski, that stupid, wacky, reemployed janitor cleaned the Mantle. He had cleaned down the stairs of Baron's largest observatory, and had cleaned through a number of secret passages, and into that very secret chamber that held the Mantle called the Mantle of God.  He cleaned the great metal ribbons that lined the room's walls and served as the circuits of the very powerful machine, and he cleaned the throne in the room's center that served as its interface.  So absorbed was he in the act of cleaning, that he completely failed to register the way the Mantle occasionally sparked, or the strange flickering shadows in the room's corners.

For a brief period of time the Mantle had held the personality and drive of Myunn, the knowledge and cunning of The Ancients, and the genocidal madness of Kalia.  And now it was empty, apparently broken after the final battle.  A kind author would suggest that the occasional Myunn-shaped shadows seen in the Mantle's chamber were evidence that it had been badly damaged when Myunn last used it.  Of course, one might also suggest that this indicated Makoto and his company might have more adventures waiting for them in the future.  But it would take a crueler author than this to actually say such a thing.  Better to focus on the image of Stanley, happily mopping away.

     
 



The Past



"Well, worry no more!"  Mara held up a small silver pendant on a short necklace.  "With The Charm[/color], all your problems are solved!"

     
 



The Present

In the swirling sands outside the Palace of Infinity, the shattered vestiges of The Guide glinted malevolently under the scorching sun.  It had been a disc, it had been a bird.  It had been the night sky, it had been an explosion.  It had been shattered into a million fragments.  

A strong wind gusted out of nowhere, neatly scooping up the remnants.  Though the desert had seemed dead before, there was no mistaking that a hush had suddenly come over the landscape, as if reality itself was holding its breath, and the sands themselves had stopped to bear witness to what was happening.

The splintered parts of The Guide hung above the ground, and then it was as if the air bled onto them.  Darkness oozed from nowhere and congealed on the shards of The Guide, piecing the horrible thing together again.  Its eyes were at once the color of burning embers and fresh-spilled blood, and behind them...

Both inside and outside of our dimension, facets of the Guide surveyed the battleground where it had so spectacularly failed.  It maintained the cool bearing of a Grand Chessmaster surveying how the pieces had finally landed in an interesting game.

The Guide had been programmed with but one task: to prevent any Time Lords from entering this dimension.  Its soul purpose was to fulfill its programming and achieve this task.  But the Time Lords could travel through time and space with remarkable skill.  The surest way to eliminate them from the equation was to destroy all realities, all dimensions, all time.  It made sense, if you looked at it just right.  Mistakes had clearly been made, but the ultimate goal of its plan, The Guide decided, was still the best way to fulfill its programming.  It would simply have to change other parts.  The Ancients had been sure that Mizuhara Makoto and the Demon Goddess Ifurita were of supreme importance in this universe.  And sure enough, The Guide calculated that removing those two greatly increased the chances of deleting existence itself.

The Guide was aware of every action they made, was aware or every molecule in their bodies as Wa Salli Alayhim took Ifurita's hands, then reached out and took Makoto's hands.  It felt every quark and meson in them as Makoto and Ifurita took their leave of the Palace of Infinity.  It knew their thoughts as the two embraced, high in the night sky, finally truly together and free from fear.  It understood that this was, in the top ten happiest moments in any reality, a very good candidate for the number one slot.  

The Guide had just decided to kill them when it noticed something lying in the sands that it was not supremely aware of.  It could only see this object, in a mere two dimensions.  This was far more troubling than everything that had come before, or, rather, The Guide somehow knew that everything that had come before was tied into this object.

And then The Guide was aware of something else that had not registered on its sensors until now: a hole was opening in the air behind it, and tachyons all but spewed from it.  A time rift, realized The Guide, like the tears opened by the Eye of God.

The Demon Goddess Ifurita stepped out of the portal, surveying the landscape before locking her gaze on The Guide.  Despite all she had seen in her life (which, this being an Ifurita from the future, was far longer than one might expect), her hand raised to her mouth as if she was nauseous.  The Guide was by far the most bizarre thing she had ever seen in her long life, and also the most evil.  Bleak magnetism poured from it, drowning her senses.  Meeting its gaze was like having a blast of red-hot air lance through her soul.  She was filled with the pure knowledge that something was very, very wrong in the world, and that The Guide was that something.

The Guide felt that the Tachyons were coming from Ifurita, and contemplated the meaning.  "Of course," it said in a voice like sharp crystal, "the Eye is as much time machine as anything else, and you had gained its power.  What was your plan?  To ambush me through time?  To confuse me?  To find me at my weakest?  Such futility.  Cloud my senses.  Destroy me.  Bury me under improbability.  It does not matter.  I am probability, I will not be denied."

"Yes," replied Ifurita with a scowl, "there is no weapon greater than a probability machine."  Sunlight glinted off the object that The Guide had been staring at before Ifurita's arrival, illuminating the writing carved into it.  The fact that nobody had noticed the words carved upon The Charm before might be seen as highly unlikely, even insulting to the reader's intelligence.   But it was not so unlikely as to be impossible.  It was simply a matter of probability.

It was the most soothing handwriting in the history of everything, and it proclaimed, in every language that ever existed: "No Worries At All".

Something Good would come of this.  The Best Thing Ever, in fact.

As The Charm became a magnificent blue Manta Ray, hovering above the ground, the Guide Mark II finally realized what it was looking at.  "The Guide Mark III".

And then two more demon gods stepped from the time portal, each about a head shorter than Ifurita, one male, one female.  The male, it should be noted, had four arms, and was speaking even as he stepped through the portal.  "Correct.  Of course it takes us a very long time to complete the data needed to build another probability machine.  Aunt Ifurita is going to have to transport Marid and me far back in time if we're going to get it all done.  I know it's a paradox, I try not to think about it.  But since we can travel through time, we're also able to go back and build the Mark III before you're built.  You were built with no filters, but we had filters waiting for you.  Everything you saw we wanted you to see.  You were in checkmate before you even existed."

"We owned you," added Ifurita helpfully.

"What now?" asked the Mark II.  It had never felt this uncertain before.

"Now, you end," answered the Mark III.  For a moment the Mark II was whole once more, able to see along all of probability, its perception of the future crystal clear.

The Mark III did something that would take all of math to explain, and then both Guides were no more.  

Jinnai Marid stretched languidly, now disinterested, as the young Dao Narcis adjusted his glasses.  He was looking forward to the millenia of solitude and order needed to sort and stockpile the data for building the third Guide.  But there was something bothering him.  "Did we really need to see this?" he asked, "You're going to have to bring us back through time again now anyway.  Wouldn't it have been safer just to bring us far back into the past, and never have us meet The Guide at all?  We weren't needed here."

"Maybe," replied Ifurita, "But as my husband said-"

"-Sometimes you just have to forget the risks," finished Mizuhara, stepping from the portal with a smile.  In his pocket was The Charm[/color].  He had finished building it only moments earlier, and would soon be dropping it off in the past.  He warmly held Ifurita close, and then the two of them stared up at the night sky.  Far far in the distance, high among the clouds and stars, they could see two much younger lovers embrace.  "Happy anniversary," the older Makoto whispered, squeezing his wife.  Ifurita smiled.  In the top ten happiest moments in any reality, this was another good candidate for first place.


 



And that might be the conclusion, but probably wasn't.  Because some stories end, but others just keep going, and dare you to play along.      


Title: Re: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin
Post by: d.t. on December 25, 2004, 03:37:42 PM
Happy Christmas all!   ^_^V