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A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Benjamin A. Oliver

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is owned by Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC.


Chapter 10-2J


Terra Incognito slowly awoke, instantly forgetting over half of the images she'd just dreamed. She opened her eyes to see her mother sitting in a soft chair right by her bed. "Mother? Mother! I had this strange dream, and you weren't there," she pointed at the brown-haired woman, "nor you," she pointed at her plush Sailor V doll, "or you…" She pointed at her Sailor Stylin' doll. She held her head. "My forehead stings some."

Kasumi Incognito leaned down to give her daughter a kiss on the forehead. "But you are most certainly getting better. You've been in and out of consciousness for nearly the whole day."

Terra paused, a glimmer of a memory from her dream peeking through. "Mommy, do you have this month's Discover?"

Kasumi nodded. "Oh, yes. I was just reading it." She reached over to pick up the new magazine from her daughter's nightstand. "Here it is."

Flipping through the scientific journal, Terra was disappointed to only find an article on black holes, another on quarks, and a few more on the theories of robotic prosthetics. "Someday, could there be a real bionic man?" she read an article's title aloud.

Kasumi smiled. "I'm glad to see you've gotten back your interest in the world around you."

Terra sighed, smiling in spite of herself and shaking her head. "Me too." She looked back at her mother. "Have you heard from my friends? Serena, Amy and Raye? Are they okay?"

"They're just fine."

Turned and sat up on the edge of her bed. "I want to go see them."

Kasumi pursed her lips. "I know it's very important, but your father has come home today, just to see you."

Terra's eyes went wide. "Father is coming?"

"In fact, he is already here."

"Can I see him?"

The sweet woman nodded. "Umm-hmm. I'll fetch him for you." She stood and walked out of the room.

"Daddy," Terra whispered to herself, "I've not seen him for months…"

A moment later, Kasumi walked back into the room and again sat down by her daughter.

A man with long silver hair that went halfway down his back walked in. He wore a black outfit that was open at the chest and had a very, very long katana sheathed at his side. Setting aside his weapon, he, too, sat down by the redheaded teenager and put his arm around her. "I understand that you have been through some hardships of late, my daughter."

"Oh, yes, Father," Terra replied with a nod. "But I'm glad you're here with me now. I've missed you so much!"

The man nodded. "I as well have missed you." He paused. "I heard about what happened. Would you like me to skewer anyone for you? I've kept my blade sharp."

"No, no, nothing like that." The girl looked down at her feet. "But I'm worried; I want to see my friends."

"Soon enough, but not today."

"Why not?" the teen asked, almost frowning.

"Because today, your grandmother is coming over to visit, remember?" The girl's father pointed to a calendar on the wall, circled in red and marked in small, alarming letters,  GRANDMA! 

Terra paled. "Grandma?"

Kasumi smiled nervously. "Oh, yes. Her visit will make things very interesting around here for a while."

"She has been anxious to see you again," Terra's father added, looking meaningfully at the girl. "Very anxious."

"She's coming?!"

Terra's mother nodded. "Oh, yes, Terra!"

"How soon?!"

"She'll be here in only a few minutes! You simply must get dressed. Grandma wants to talk to you sooo badly!"

The fourteen-year-old pulled the covers up to her chin, her eyes wide.

"Grandma Jenova…"


While SOMEBODY was too wrapped up in her own flashback to care, Nephrite was trying to escape from an elite youma death squad. Oh yes, he'd done a good enough job of getting Molly out of the trap and getting away at first, but now they had actually managed to block teleportation and were hot on his trail.

The youma general looked down at the unconscious girl he carried and considered the complete insanity of his actions. Why bother risking his career and his neck to help out a girl he'd only met a short time ago? He really did not know.

Molly did look very like someone he'd known before. He couldn't say whom, but for some reason, this familiarity made him feel very, very protective of her.

Dashing around a corner with Molly cradled in his arms like an excessively overdeveloped baby, Nephrite struggled to make his motions as quiet as they could be. Since he was outgunned for the moment, stealth would be his best defense.

Actually, stealth would have worked, except for the racket that the girl he'd just ran into made.

Sailor Moon gasped as she saw with whom she had just collided. "Nephrite!" she exclaimed, her voice echoing throughout the alleyway. "There you are! Sailor Mercury said that you were being attacked by all these monsters and had Molly with you! Good to see you're not all THAT evil at heart!" She gave the general a nice, loud and friendly slap on the shoulder. "Say, how do you think you're gonna make it out of THIS one? You'd think those youma were actually trying to kill you something like that. But naaaaaaaaaaw, you're a big, high and mighty general, aren't you? Come on, they'd never do THAT to YOU—"

Nephrite clapped a hand over Sailor Moon's mouth and spun her around so he could maneuver her under his arm while shifting Molly into a similar quasi-standing position. "SHHHHHHHHHH!!!" He backed up against the wall just as a dozen youma ran by the alleyway entrance, not noticing him or the two teenage girls with him.

"Mrph!" Sailor Moon tried to shout, but stopped when she realized that her mouth was being covered. She pulled the fingers aside and with her brow furrowed in annoyance, she asked, "Hey! What'ja do that for? I'm here to help, you know!"

"Good!" Nephrite breathed as forcefully and silently as he could manage. "Now. BE. QUIET." He paused. "Where are the other three? Earth, Mercury and Mars?"

Sailor Moon put a finger to her chin and whispered. "Well, Sailor Earth was still kinda out of it from the big battle we had a little while ago; she's at home, resting. Let's see, oh! Mercury was having trouble finding exactly where you were— something about a TON of interference, so we split up to cover more ground." She turned to face her unconscious friend. "Molly! Hey there, Mol!" She patted the brunette's shoulder in an attempt to wake her. "Mol? Moll-eeeeeeee!"

Nephrite pulled the sailor-suited blonde against the wall with him again. "Quiet!"

"Woodah-woodah-woodah-woodah!" a purple-skinned youma with leopard-spotted clothes let out a war cry as it sped by the entrance to the alley on a unicycle, popping its hand over its mouth off and on… again failing to spot them.

Sailor Moon frowned and looked down to see where Nephrite was holding her. "Hey! Watch it with the hands, mister!" she broke out of Nephrite's grip and loudly smacked him against the cheek. The slap made a rather nice echo, too. "And I thought you were a gentleman! You better shape up if you're gonna be around my friend Molly much longer."

Nephrite groaned in frustration, a red hand-shaped mark appearing on his face.

A second later, Molly also groaned and opened her eyes.

"Molly!" Sailor Moon exclaimed cheerfully. "Glad to see you're doing okay!"

"Oh boy," Molly muttered to herself and lost consciousness again.

Sailor Moon frowned. "Hey!"

Nephrite gritted his teeth and looked at the pretty sailor suited soldier for love and justice. "Okay, look; as much as I hate to admit it, I'll need your help."

The blonde brightened. "All right!" she shouted, jumping for joy. "Nephrite wants us to help! Nephrite's gonna join us! Yaaay!"

The longhaired general grimaced, thinking of some very creative and unflattering things to call the girl, but in the interest of diplomacy, he refrained from mentioning them. He took a deep breath and pointed at Sailor Moon. "I'm NOT joining you," he whispered in a sharp tone that left no room for doubt, "I just need someone to keep all of Zoicite's goons busy until I can come up with enough power to fight them off."

Sailor Moon blinked a couple of times and smiled. "Oh, okay! We can do that!" She dug around in some unseen pockets on the back of her skirt and pulled out what looked like a small pink calculator. "Hey, I thought I'd left this at home." She shrugged. "Oh well." She pushed a pair of buttons to turn on a signal. "Mars! Mercury! I found 'em! We're a block away from Tokyo Tower, in that one alley, umm, you know—"

"I've traced your signal to your coordinates," Mercury's voice responded in a robotic tone. "We will be there shortly."

"Hah!" Sailor Moon laughed, turning to face Nephrite. "Hear that? We'll take care of your youma problem for you! But you better keep Molly safe, got it?!"

Nephrite nodded slowly.

Sailor Moon ran out of the alleyway and shouted, "OKAY, COME ON OUT HERE, ALL YOU EVIL NASTIES, YOU!" She started waving her hands and fingers around, generating a series of silly poses. "'Cause I am Sailor Moon! I fight for love and justice and you've picked on my good buddy Nephrite, and that's just plain unforgivable!" She took a deep breath and concluded her short speech with, "In the name of the Moon, I'll punish you!"

*PHOOMP!!!* All thirteen youma in the immediate area instantly turned around to face her.

Sailor Moon stood firm with her chin up and her fists on her hips, not flinching as one of the marauding monsters advanced toward her. She took off her tiara and chucked it at the nearest beast, shouting, "Moon Tiara Magic… errr, Action!"

*Ping!* The fake gold tiara pegged a spider-youma in one of her eight eyes. "Ow! Hey, watch it, girl!"

"Yeah!" the big-mouthed youma named Scream added, peering over Serena's shoulder. "Now get out of the way and let us kill Nephrite!"

Sailor Moon's pink communicator crackled to life again. "Sailor Moon!" Mercury's voice called. "Remember, you're using the Luna Pen! Contrary to appearances, your prism is still broken. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT attempt to fight any of the youma by yourself!"

Serena swallowed hard, suddenly remembering about her prism. She snapped her fingers. "Aw, nuts…"

Nephrite closed his eyes, slapped his forehead and groaned, shaking his head.

"I mean it, pretty-girl-that-looks-like-Sailor-Moon-but-doesn't have-any-of-her-powers!" Scream added menacingly.

BoomBoom stepped forward, brandishing a handful of explosive nodules. Llama the WhickerWoman held up her thorned arms. One of her thorns had the name "Maxfield Stanton" engraved on the edge. "Heh heh heh heh!"

Fifteen other monsters also advanced through the shadows, smiling with their fangs gleaming in the moonlight.

"Ready?" Scream asked. "Aim." She got into a wide stance, as did just about everyone else and opened her mouth. "FIRE!!!"

"Yipe!" Serena whispered, and frantically began to dodge.


"Okay, here's the plan," explained the ghostly former King of Earth. "You take this horse here…" He tugged at the reins of the purple polka-dotted pegasus he had with him. "…ride it down INTO the fiery depths of Hell, find that Kakkerotting guy and beat the @#%@ out of 'em. One minute after you win, you'll wake up and start to breathe, totally alive and as you were before you died."

Darien quickly activated his Tuxedo Mask transformation and looked at the man who claimed to be his father in a past life. "I lost badly the first time I fought him," he sighed as he mounted the Mare of a Different Color. "Do you really think I can win this time?"

"Oh yeah," Kull replied with a nod. "I bet'cher soul on it, now get going!" He slapped the rump of the pegasus.

*WHINNYYYY!* The horse-like creature let out a high-pitched whinny, then reared back, almost throwing Tuxedo Mask off, then dove forward, the Gates of Hades wide open to receive them.

Kull the Conqueror shook his head and rolled his eyes. "What a gullible kid he's turned out to be." He looked at the Chinese Valkyrie standing next to him. "He doesn't take after my side of the family, that's for sure."

The woman smiled playfully at her disembodied husband. "Oh?"


Guardian Jadeite awoke to the sound of grinding metal and a sharp ringing in her ears. Her small body felt like it had been put through a meat grinder and used as foam insulation for a cheaply built wood-frame house. She forcefully pushed herself up onto her stinging hands and knees, watching the spinning images on the back of her retinas settle into focus. "UNNNNNNNNNNHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

Apparently, she had broken through that two-foot-thick brick and concrete wall into a metal refinery or foundry of some sort. She was on a high metal catwalk suspended over a shocking scene. Huge pots of boiling red liquids were being carried around by automated equipment and eventually poured into several large, square bins up higher. Jadeite tried to name it and the words "ingot machine" came to her lips.

A few workers on the lower levels had failed to notice her.

WH-WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! General Jadeite asked from within the mental ether.

The Guardian smiled in satisfaction and replied, "I've weakened you. My attacks have damaged you so much that I'm strong enough to take control by something as simple as flexing a muscle."

JANE, THIS IS VERY BAD… the General began, then trailed off. WAIT, YOUR NAME ISN’T JANE, IS IT?

The one in control of the cute little girl's body shook her head. "Why, no, it isn't."

WHO ARE YOU, THEN? ANSWER ME!

Guardian Jadeite struggled to her feet, legs wobbling and getting ready to buckle. "Heh. If," she panted, "if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not telling you, you foul corruption."

The General remained silent for the next few moments.

The Guardian blinked hard, trying to straighten out her vision and gear up for the next and final mental shock to destroy her enemy. "You should remember," she coughed, "that of all Earth's Guardians, Jadeite was the most tested, loyal and successful. That's why he was the first picked by Queen Beryl to be turned."

The General pondered this and added, YES. SO GREAT WAS HIS LOYALTY AND STRENGTH OF WILL THAT ALL ATTEMPTS AT MANIPULATING ME… HIM… FAILED, SO HIS MIND HAD TO BE REPLACED.

The little girl took a deep breath, charging her mind with all the energy she had left. "Unfortunately, the replacement mind was no comparison for Jadeite's real person." she clenched her teeth. "Then he started to fail. His name became soiled, and he ran away for years until Beryl called back her plaything."

A series of memories flooded back to the mind of the being that had poisoned Jadeite's inner being for so eternally long. I… REMEMBER!

"Goodbye, Beryl's minion!" Guardian Jadeite exclaimed and fired up the last available charge.

*Bzrrrrrrrrrr!* An almost electrical white energy laced with pink danced along the girl's body. Her form expanded and contracted with the pulsing of the magical forces, going to that of a four-year-old, and then to a sixteen-year-old, and back again.

At the same time, the General was laughing. OH YES, I REMEMBER! I REMEMBER IT ALL NOW! I REMEMBER HOW I WAS CHOSEN TO TAKE YOUR PLACE, YOU WORN-OUT OLD IMMORTAL COOT! Aloud, through the girl's mouth, he added, "I also remember how I defeated you in the first place! BWA-HAH—!"

*BZZZZZZZZZZRRR!!!* A black spark joined the white magic, jumping around the cute girl's body.

"I have not come this far only to lose!!!" the Guardian shot back, bringing to bear all he could muster, and more.

*BRWZZREOW-REOW-RRRRRRRRRRZZZRRRRRRRRRR!!!*

The magical conflict intensified. Jadeite's body convulsed and fell down flat on her chest on the high catwalk.

The conflicting energies separated themselves from the body, sparkling in the air over to hover as light and shadow in the middle of the cavernous foundry.

The workers looked up to see the light display.

The two powers resolved themselves into two fully-grown men, who were exactly identical one to the other. They had short blond hair, and wore grey uniforms with black boots, and were only distinguishable by the nametags pinned to the jackets of their uniforms. One tag read in black, backed by white:  Guardian Jadeite ; and the other read in white with a black background:  General Jadeite .

"So we meet again, Guardian," General laughed, smiling smugly and folding his arms as he floated in the air. "'Twill be the second such battle we've fought in our lifetime."

"Indeed, General, 'tis," Guardian trilled in reply.

"Last time," General added, "badly lost, you did. Very badly."

Guardian clenched a fist and slapped it into a palm between himself and his opponent. "Lucky you were last time, yes?"

"Lucky?" General looked amused. "Weak you were; strong was I!"

"Weak was I not!" Guardian shouted back. "Jadeite, trustworthy he was, loyal to Earth's kings for over ten generations! Integrity and duty was his nature."

"Integrity? Paranoia, meaneth you: the immortal Jadeite, first Earth Guardian. When nine hundred years he reached, constantly young his body was, but his mind must have slipped after so much time."

"Thy words, strange they are. Translate you must!"

"What meaneth thou?!"

"We are enemies; we have no need to be formal and civil one to another!"

"Ah… Yes, quite right. Ahem, I mean YOU, Jadeite, went senile, you well-preserved old goat!"

Guardian took a deep breath and narrowed his eyes. "Yeah, it's all coming back to me now, too. Yes, I admit it; I was getting careless, spending hours at the bar with the newest guardians… like Nephrite, a mere thirty-five years old. Zoicite and Kunzite were barely twenty. I'd been serving for so long, I—"

"You lost your mind to carelessness," General spat, "and when I came to power, it was a pleasure to see everything that was yours destroyed!"

Guardian's form blurred and crackled for a moment before re-solidifying. "In the war that ended the Silver Millennium, you ruined my reputation and killed or transformed all of my friends and great-grandchildren, you monster!"

General grinned, his eyes focusing deeply on Guardian. "So I did. And in this new lifetime, I fought to destroy the last remaining hope for your pitiful prince and the old regime!"

"Heh. You tried to kill the little Sailor Scout girls, didn't you? And now, their minds are so unfocused. Yes, as I recall, you found out their true identities in this lifetime, too: nothing but a pack of ditzy teenage schoolgirls."

"That's right! I know who they are, and I'll destroy them just after I finish with YOU!"

"Nevertheless," Guardian continued, "even though the Sailor Scouts had so many things counting against them, they kept beating you back, with or without the help of Tuxedo Mask or that 'Tim guy."

General frowned. "But… I… er… they…" he paused, caught off guard. "They got lucky!"

"Oh, really?" Guardian folded his arms. "For three months?!"

"Uhhhhhhhhhh…!"

It was Guardian's turn to grin back. "Who's the weak one now?"

"I am NOT weak!" General protested indignantly.

"In this lifetime, you've lost your edge."

"I have not!"

"You probably can't even beat ME now, you senile old pansy, you!"

General started to turn red with rage, energy crackling around him. "YES I CAN! YOU ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO ME!!!"

Guardian made an obscene, one-fingered gesture and casually motioned with it for the General to come forward, voicing a few similarly offensive taunts. "Pansy! Tum-tum! Squirtle! Jigglypuff!"

General's mouth fell open in shock. "WHY YOU @#^%@#^@#^!!!" He used the colorful term for an illegitimate son of an eight-toed, three-fisted camel with thirty-seven teeth and an overbite.

Guardian merely smiled in response.

*WHOOSH!* With that, General dove forward in the air with a big, nasty punch prepared for his enemy, who barely managed to dodge. Enraged at the lack of a satisfyingly crunchy impact, the Dark Kingdom General pointed at the Guardian with an open palm, gathering together latent elemental energies present in the area.

*RRRRRRRRK-BL-BL-BLAM!* A quick burst of destructive energy shot out at Guardian, who once again managed to sidestep the strike.

The blast continued on, crashing into one of the transport mechanisms for the vats of molten metal. The whole gantry rattled violently from the impact.

The foundry workers looked at each other in surprise as one of the big pots broke free and started to tumble downward. Someone hit the alarm.

*Woop-Woop-Woop!*

The workers ran away and shut the big steel doors behind them.

*KERACK!* The two Jadeites threw themselves at each other, each planting a fist in the others' cheek. They rebounded away, glaring at the other and shaking their stinging hands in pain.

Guardian levitated downward to land on the concrete floor and motioned for the other to do the same.

With barely a moment's hesitation, General landed in front of his counterpart.

"We both know that neither of us is suited to aerial combat," Guardian reminded the General. "So let's do this the old Navy way."

General folded his arms. "Oh? And what might that be?"

"The first guy to die," Guardian continued, leaping forward with a mean, straight-fisted punch, "LOSES!"

*SMACK!* General staggered backward from the impact to the bridge of his nose. Yes, it hurt, but he wasn't going to give his pitifully weak enemy the joy of knowing how much pain that caused. "Is that the best you can do, oh senile one?"

"Takes one to know one, in-service-to-Beryl-for-millennia-boy!"

"Why YOU LITTLE—!!!"

*THWACK!*

*BAM!*

*POW!*

And so the battle was joined.**

(**I hate that phrase; I really do. So let's just say that they went at it, tossing punches like a pair of fighting bowlegged cowboys. Yeah, that's the ticket!)


Tuxedo Mask struggled with the pegasus's reins, trying to get the uncooperative magical beast to stay away from the alternating flaming and rocky walls as he tried to get a grip on what exactly he was supposed to be doing.

While he tried to recall exactly where he was, a giant three-headed dog nipped at his toes, managing to get half a tooth-hold on his shoe, pulling him from his saddle. A part of the shoe ripped free, enabling Tuxedo Mask to hang on and continue with his mount.

Charon and the River Styx loomed ahead. The ancient boatman held out his hand for perhaps a gold piece or two, but the tuxedoed man accidentally kicked him off of his boat into the foul waters below.

Waterskiing off and on in the river alongside his pegasus, Tuxedo Mask struggled to get back on the hairy beast. Finally getting a foot in the stirrup, he pulled himself up, only to find that he was on backwards. "Oh NO!"

The pegasus whined in a high-pitched voice and accelerated even more, blowing the man's cape up over his head. Struggling to get his cape out of his face while trying to remain saddled and keep a hand on the reins, the cavern suddenly opened up wide into a green, grey and red topography with fountains and vegetation, topped by a roof of yellow clouds of smog.

Out in the brightness were several demons planning their dastardly deeds, preparing to destroy the souls of men, getting ready to take over, blah, blah, blah.

Well, actually, they were just doing their laundry. Make no mistake, however. It was all very EVIL laundry. Really.

Mara, a very powerful demoness, hummed a cheery tune as she pinned all her leather and other unholy unmentionables to the clothesline, herself wearing a modest yellow sundress and a black apron with a fanged bunny on it.

*WHINNY!*WHOOSH!* Tuxedo Mask and the pegasus sped by, snapping up all of the demoness' laundry and rapidly becoming tangled up in it. "ACK!!!"

Mara shrieked and shook her fist angrily at the man as he flew off into the distance.

After a bit of Houdini-like contortionism, Tuxedo Mask managed to slip out of the clothesline, losing his mask and top hat in the process. He fumbled around, shifting into the correct position on the saddle just before the pegasus shimmered and vanished in a smattering of magical dust, its whine filling the air.

"WAAAAAAH!" Tuxedo Mask fell down to the sand and skidded into the briny liquid below, knocking over a wooden stand and somebody's drink in the process.

*KA-SPLAAASH!*

"Hey!" Kakkorotto shouted, standing up from his lawn chair. "Watch where you're landing, you tiny little powerless human!" He was wearing Bermuda shorts and had on a pair of sunglasses.

Tuxedo Mask instantly bolted upright, what passed for water dripping from all over his outfit. "Yes sir!"

"Good man," the Sayajin laughed, giving the formally dressed individual a hearty slap on the back, knocking him a few feet deep into a nearby cliff. "Now get outta here!" He kicked at his cup, but scowled when he found it emptied out onto the sand.

Tuxedo Mask stumbled out of the hole that he had made in the jagged rock wall. He patted himself to make sure he was okay. He was, of course, completely and utterly stone dead already, so being hit by a bone-pulverizing backhanded slap wasn't so much of a big deal anymore. What was it going to do? Kill him?

Kakkorotto snapped his fingers, ordering a pair of servant imps to bring him another lemonade. In a wash of flame, the demonlets scrambled to obey their master. A new drink was hastily placed in his hand. "Hey, there we go." Sipping the drink, it poured out straight through his spirity throat and cascaded upon the sand. He paused, looking at what happened. "Yeesh, I hate being dead." He dropped the glass.

It was more or less at this point that Tuxedo Mask remembered the face of the one who had killed him. "You!"

Kakkorotto turned to face the other ghost. "Me?" he asked. "Yeah, I'm me. Who the…" he paused as he remembered where he was, "heaven are you?"

"You killed me, remember?"

"It's possible," Kakkorotto agreed with a nod. "I killed a lot of people. Me and my buddies… I mean, before they ditched me." He paused again. "So, I killed you and you came down here with me, huh? It's not such a bad place. Not anything like what they go on about all the time. Oh, sure, the guys with pitchforks tried to torment me and all that in fire and brimstone, but I fixed 'em up real good!" He the wild-haired alien allowed himself a chuckle.

"I wasn't sent here when I died," Tuxedo Mask corrected the other speaker. "I came here of my own accord!"

"Yeah, well, I guess that's your problem, isn't it?"

Tuxedo Mask pointed at the Sayajin. "You stole my life, and I have come to take it back."

"Oh?" Kakkorotto looked interested. "How do you plan on doing that?"

"The Powers That Be have granted me the chance to go back, if I defeat the one who prematurely ended my mortal existence!"

The Sayajin blinked. "So you want to try and defeat ME?"

Tuxedo Mask nodded.

Kakkorotto laughed. It wasn't one of those malevolent, overconfident laughs. It was a laugh that only occurred when an individual was confronted by a situation so utterly absurd that it failed to consciously resolve itself into a real, actual possibility. It was rather akin to when a brown chipmunk hops up to the feet of a California businessman on a warm Sunday morning and asks in a British accent if it can please, pretty please, borrow the wastebasket so that it can reach the computer at home to type up his weekly weather report for the blue jays. Something like that.

Tuxedo Mask clenched his teeth. "I mean it!"

"Okay," Kakkorotto said, taking several deep breaths to help himself calm down. "Sure. I'll fight you." Something occurred to him. "Hey, if you beat me and get to live again for it, does that mean I get to live again if I beat you?"

Tuxedo Mask's mouth hung open and he didn't know exactly how to respond. The First of the Green ArbyFish fluttered up to perch on the man's shoulder. "Oh, 'e'z roight, ya know," the seal-like creature said. "If yew win, yew gots ta go back ta loife." He pointed at the Sayajin. "If 'E wins, 'E gets ta go back n' blow up th' planet. Fair'z fair, y'know!"

The ArbyFish turned to look at Kakkorotto and saluted. "'Ello, mist'ah!"

Kakkorotto gasped and took a step back. "Not you again!"

Arby leapt on to the sand and hopped a few paces toward his old sparring partner. "'Ow iz yew?"

Kakkorotto looked away, covered his face and took a few steps back. Arby hopped forward like a sparrow to match the change in distance. "Wot???" the 'Fish asked innocently.

*Puff!* A real, live dead White ArbyFish popped into view on Kakkarotto’s shoulder. "Pull yourself together, young man!" the White thing hissed in a refined voice, slapping the Sayajin up the backside of his head with a flipper. "The battle must begin!"

Kakkorotto looked at the thing on his shoulder. It was almost but not quite like the thing that had killed him. He grabbed at it, but it kept fluttering out of his reach before settling back on his shoulder. "HEY! What—"

"I am Bruce," the White ArbyFish said. "I've been chosen as your coach to help you defeat this pitiful little thing." He glared at Tuxedo Mask through glowing red irises.

Arby gave a Green hop up to perch on Tuxedo Mask's shoulder. The man looked at the Green thing, which said to him, "N' Oye getz ta 'elp ya barbeque 'im, Oye doez!"

"YOU?!" Tuxedo Mask asked incredulously.

"I don't need any help!" Kakkorotto protested. "I have the powers of a level ten Super Sayajin! I don't need any help taking this guy out!"

"It is the law!" Bruce announced.

"Wait a sec," Arby said, holding up a flipper and looking at the other ArbyFish. "Oye'z ded, but 'ow'djew get congealed, hmmm?"

Bruce's tiny, whiskered White ArbyFish face scowled. "I was trying to figure out precisely why you decided to die for a bunch of worthless human beings, then I decided to investigate this by way of a white dwarf supernova in the Andromeda Galaxy-"

Arby smiled. "Oh, gots blown up roight noicely, yew did!"

"Indeed," Bruce agreed grimly. "The Yellows and the Blacks made it look so terribly easy…" He looked back at the Honored First One among ArbyFish. "Why did you die for those things, anyway?"

"Well ya see, Oye in'erited me gene'ic material from a li’l black cat named Luna. She wuz gunna train me ta inta'act wit th' rest a' the 'uman world. Oye comple'ed me credits before the semesta' woz up n' desoided ta take a summa' course—"

"So, YOU, of all ArbyFish, did it for LOYALTY, then?!"

Arby shook his head. "No, no, no. That woz just th' cova' story. Oye really just wonted ta barbeque the giblets ova' the broaken foy'ah n' make rheum for the mush, whoile the spits n' the swallows boiled up sum green beanz n' such. 'Twas brillig n' the sloivey toves Arby did say, so he tuttled off ta Greenberg ta whittle it, n' play. The fluffywhigs n' the muffywhigs voted as they may, but diddledogs and polywhogs went whiffling on their way, so we did take a cucumber, short and stout, and borrow it in sleigh. Sleighing the cucumber, we did, so we took 'em out ta shoot the bamboo n' 'ave it fer lunch. In lunching we did launch, and paunching we did paunch, while morrowing n' Pern."

"Yes, that makes a little more sense now, but WHY die?!"

"Oye just explained it, Oye did!" Arby replied cheerfully.

"You mysterious Ancient," Bruce muttered, attempting to decipher the true meaning of his Great Ancestor. Fluffywhigs and muffywhigs were sensible enough, but that Pern reference just plain threw him off.

"Tifflecogs n' pollywhogs," Arby added an additional clue. "Where does one get pollywhogs this toime a' th' weak, anyway? Tifflewogs are fair enough, but pollywhogs are 'ard ta come buy."

"Buy," Bruce repeated, trying to extract the proper meaning from that syllable. He sighed and shook his head. "I see. Then I must ask them myself?"

"Asking pollywhogs? In-deed!"

Tuxedo Mask and Kakkorotto stared.

"Ya see," Arby explained, "ya 'ave ta catch a tifflecog ta lure a pollywhog!"

"Private business," Bruce snapped at the non-ArbyFish present. "Mind your own!"

"Ooooooh-kay," Tuxedo Mask droned. Kakkorotto cringed, all of this bringing back some pretty hot-dang unpleasant memories.

Arby looked between the two humanoid beings and announced, "Whelp, awl that means we gets ta advoise n' judge the contest." He cleared his throat. "'Op tew it, then."

"Fight!" Bruce ordered.

"What are the rules?" Kakkorotto demanded.

Arby thought about that. "Oh, well, ya see…"


"Waaa-AAAH-AAAAH-AAAAH!!!" Serena screamed as she somehow managed to keep dodging all the youma-generated flak coming at her and Nephrite, who kept himself occupied trying to block the numerous strikes with an energy field while sidestepping a few others and protecting Molly under his arm.

"Stop moving and let us kill you!" Llama the WhickerWoman complained loudly.

"Hah!" Nephrite shot back.

YOU'RE ONLY PROLONGING THE INEVITABLE, said Death, who patiently stood beside the doomed general, his scythe gleaming as he waited for the appointed moment. Nephrite gaped at him.

"Source of all power," a distant feminine voice intoned.

All the youma paused to glance around and look for the source of the sound.

"Huh?"

"Hey?"

"Wot?"

"Crimson fire burning bright!"

*BLAM!* Nephrite took advantage of the opening and blasted BoomBoom in the chest, sending her falling to her rump several feet away.

"Hey!" BoomBoom complained.

"Fireball!" the incantation concluded and a huge flaming sphere rocketed on the scene, flickering and hovering in the midst of the assembled youma army.

*KA-BLAAAAAAM!!!* The fireball exploded, sending the assembled hordes flying every which way.

*Rrrr-dah!*Dah-dah-diih-dah-dah!*Dah-dah-dah-di-dah-dah!* Some dramatic music spontaneously sprang into action as Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury rushed onto the scene, posing for any cameramen that might be watching.

"I am Sailor Mars! On behalf of the planet Mars, with my magic and my high-heels, I'll punish you!"

"I am Sailor Mercury! I fight for Love and Justice and Fruitbats," the girl with short blue hair exclaimed, then held her head for a moment and shook it before continuing, "You know what I mean! We will punish you!"

*Snap* A camera-headed youma took a picture for posterity. The rest of the group stood back up. They had been more surprised and stunned than hurt by the fireball.

"Ooooh," Llama the WhickerWoman awed. "I like dem!"

BoomBoom looked at her friends. "Can we kill dem too?"

"Shawre!" agreed Scream.

The entire army took up battle positions. They formed up in teams of various numbers and ran at each of the heroines.

"Stop," Mercury ordered the ones charging her. They obeyed, looking at her quizzically. She pulled out a small, clear quartz crystal. "Totally," she began quietly and the sound of electric guitars boomed in the distance.

*RRRRR-NREW-NREW-NREW-NREOW!*

Mercury struck another, more angular pose, thrusting a hand into the air. The crystal began to glow. "Cosmic!"

*REOW-NREW-NREOW-NREW-NREOW!*

A blue aura sprang up around the girl as she again shifted her pose. "Crystal!"

*REEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!*

Her hair blew upward from the force of the power-up. "POWER!"

*RRRRRRRRRROOOOWWW-WOW-WOW-WOW!!!*

"DUUUUUUUUUUDEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

With heavy metal music playing and the whole of the cosmos swirling behind her, Sailor Mercury's hair and outfit glowed as it changed. Her head became engulfed in a huge, big, puffy and curly blue 'fro and her skirt turned white with a rim of light blue. The bow on the back of her outfit grew to three times its previous size and lightened in color. A set of tri-level shoulder-guards added themselves to her outfit and a tri-pronged Peace sign blinked into place over the gem of her tiara. Her boots turned white, and a blue rhinestone-lined gold belt winked into place around her waist.

The youma attacking the souped-up Sailor Mercury 'ooooohed'. "Dude," Scream agreed with Mercury's last statement.

Super Sailor Mercury held a hand out, backed by the symbols for Mercury and for Peace. Streams of water flowed in to form an electric guitar. She gripped the guitar and ran her fingers along the strings, tuning it while playing Stairway to Heaven. "Mercury Aqua Rock n' Roll!!!" she shouted, sending bolts of water screaming at the beasts surrounding her with every elongated chord.

"WAAAAAH!" Scream screamed, getting blasted back. Several others did likewise.

"Yaaaay! Go Mercury!" Sailor Moon cheered, then paused. "Hey, where'd she get that kind of power from?"

A ball of glowing energy appeared in Sailor Mars's hand. She twirled around and shouted, "Fireball!" before chucking the flaming magic at her attackers.

*BLAAAAM!!!* Half the army was scattered again.

Nephrite's eyes went wide as he saw the dazzling display that the Sailor Scouts were putting on.

*BLAM-BLAM!*WHAAAARSHHH!*RRRN-NRE-NRE-NRE-NRE-NRRREH!!!*

RIGHT. SOD YOU, THEN, Death said, glaring at Nephrite. The embodiment of the cessation of life pointed at a youma that had just gotten hit by a combination of a fireball and one of Mercury's water-blasts, instantly turning the monster into a pile of dust.

It just wasn't the same, though.


"Then the badgers eat the curt'led greenz n' such, boilin' off the residue n' sendin' it back ta roast beef wit th' compu'a for a whoile n' it's done. N' that's 'ow the 'owle thing works," Arby concluded.

"Ah, yes," Bruce commented with a nod, "it makes perfect sense now." He looked at Kakkorotto. "Let's end this quickly. Use your blasting attacks."

The Sayajin shrugged and held out a hand, charging it with huge amounts of high-level Ki.

"Ya shoelace's untoied," Arby told Tuxedo Mask.

*BLAM!* The tuxedoed man instinctively bent over, the energy blast skimming straight over his head. After a moment, he noticed something. "Wait, these things don't have shoelaces!"

"Ground-dwellers!" Bruce cursed under his breath. Aloud, he barked an order to the Sayajin. "Try a physical attack, then!"

Arby blinked at the man whose shoulder he was sitting on. "Oh. Roight." He picked something small off of his fur and tossed it onto the man's outfit. "'Ave sum fleas, then. They're noice n' ravenous!"

"Fleas?!" Tuxedo Mask exclaimed, instantly starting to feel itchy. He dropped down and rolled around, frantically trying to stop the fleas from doing their work. In the process, all of Kakkarotto’s super-speed punches and kicks missed him.

"Great!" Arby cheered. "Now use yer smokin' jacket attack!"

Tuxedo Mask stopped. "My WHAT?!"

"Y'know, that thing n' that otha' thing!" Arby shouted into the man's ear while slapping him with a tiny horsewhip. "Mushrooms, m'boy! Mushrooms!"

*THWACK!* Kakkorotto kicked Tuxedo Mask high up into the air and fired a quick blast at him.

*BLAM!!!* The entirety of Hades was illuminated by the intensity of the explosion.

"Excellent!" Bruce congratulated his fighter.

Several demons and demonesses applauded.

After a few seconds, Tuxedo Mask's limp form slumped back down. In addition to the ground, a realization suddenly hit him: he didn't stand a chance against the man who had killed him with barely an afterthought. In fact, there was literally no way in Hell that he could win an all-out battle to the death!

However, Tuxedo Mask also noticed that he wasn't feeling any pain. That brought up another question: how does one win a battle to the death when one is already dead?

Arby shook his head and narrowed his eyes, still perched on the shoulder of the dead human. "'Ey! Stop that, stop that! Yew'z thinkin' again. Can 'ear those ghostly neurons firin' back n' forth. Yeesh!" He shuddered in disgust.

"Arby," Tuxedo Mask whispered from his prone position on the sand, "how can I kill someone that's already dead?"

"Oh, well, ya can't. 'Least not wi'out sum fungus. 'Soides, th' battle 'snot ta kill 'im. 'S ta d'feat 'em, it is!"

*THWACKKK!!!* Kakkorotto kicked Tuxedo Mask upward again, then flickered into view above him and hit him with a double-handed hammerfist to knock him down again.

"RRRGGGGHH!! Well, how do I do THAT, Arby?!"

Arby thought about that for a second as they fell downward. "Well, Oye does know a tech'nique on 'ow ta defeat 'em in three easy steps."

"Which are?!"

"Step one: taunt 'em a bit."

"Okay…"

*WHAM!* Tuxedo Mask crashed into a jagged rocky crag.

"Step two: get 'em really, REALLY angry."

"AAAAAAAGGHHH! Yeah, Arby, what next?"

"Step three: blow 'em ta bits!"

"Oh, that sounds straightforward enough, but HOW?!"

"Well, ya see…"


*POW-whack-SLAM!* Guardian delivered a three-stage punch to General's chin, forcing him back.

General gripped his mouth, a trail of blue energy-matrix fluid slowly spilling from it.

Guardian shook his hands, which were stinging from the last couple of strikes. "Your powers have grown weak, old youma."

General kept his expression neutral. "Humph."

"When you took over, I was taken by surprise, but now, I have the advantage."

"Only the advantage of cuteness, Jadeite!"

*BAM!* General jabbed his double in the sternum with his knuckles, knocking the wind out of the Guardian.

*Krunch!*Whack!* Guardian twirled in close and jammed his heel against General's toes and followed up with a swift kick in the shins.

"OWWW! OWWW! OWWW!" General yelled, hopping up and down on one foot, holding his leg in both hands. He growled and responded with an elbow to Guardian's forehead.

*WHACK!*

"AAAAAAH!" Guardian yelped, holding his face.

General grabbed Guardian by the belt and collar, swung him back, and tossed him high up into a catwalk above. He folded his arms and levitated upward to land in front of the prone goodie-twoshoes. "Hah!"

*Cruuuuuunch!* General ground his heel into Guardian's well-manicured fingers.

"GAAAAAH!"

General picked up his counterpart by the collar and walked over to dangle him above a cauldron of molten lead. "Heh, it's been fun, little 'guardian'."

*BLAM!* Guardian brought up his hands and nailed his enemy in the face with a bolt of pure energy, knocking the evil one down and allowing the good guy to tumble back onto the catwalk.

General slowly stood up to see Guardian leaping forward with a kick aimed at his neck.

*BAM!* General fell backward, barely managing to hang on to the last bit of the metal catwalk with one hand. Guardian ran forward and started kicking at his fingers.

*WHACK!* General swung back up around and over to knock his opponent down with a razor-kick. As the youma general landed, he took a moment to hunker down and caress his own aching fingers. "Owwww…" After that, he took a couple steps forward and stepped heavily on the Guardian's chest. "You are beaten!" he laughed. "You should know that Evil always triumphs over Good because Good is dumb!"

"I am not!" Guardian denied. He grabbed General's foot and wrenched it aside, knocking over his enemy.

*CLANG!* General's head smacked loudly against the metal railing.

"Gotcha!"

"Grrr!" General growled and kicked hard several times against Guardian's face. *Whack-whack-whack-whack-whack!*

"OWWWW!" Guardian tried to block with his arms but this was only partially effective, as his arms kept slamming into his face. He held his hand out at arms length, a blue spark forming in his palm.

*BLAM!!!* General was sent reeling from the impact, bridging the gap from the present catwalk to another, not too far away from where there lay a small, unconscious blonde girl.

Guardian flew swiftly over to the other catwalk.

General struggled to his feet. He was breathing harshly and roughly, holding his chest with one hand, his eyes bulging and his face lined with the oozing blue energy-matrix fluid that currently served him as blood. Even on his feet, he looked just about ready to keel over.

Guardian, with only a bruised face and a couple of broken teeth, appeared to be in a much better shape than his double. "Okay, General!" he called. "You can't win this one! I've worn you down too much already!"

General bared his teeth and glared through his one working eye. "Issue your ultimatum, already!" he spat impatiently.

"I'd offer to let you live," Guardian said, then shook his head, "but I know you'd always come back to haunt me, possessing my body at every chance."

General smiled a broken-toothed grin. "Heh. You're not as stupid as it looks, it would seem." He paused to spit out a chunk of magical enamel. "You're going to kill me, then?"

Guardian nodded. "Yup!" He held out a hand, charging it with enough power to obliterate what remained of his foe. With little fanfare, the ancient Terran warrior fired off his shot.

General's grin didn't fade. "Then I'll take you with me." He held up a small, blonde, eight-to-nine-year-old girl in a darkened white dress and held her in front of him as a human shield. "I didn't want this stupid body anyway!"

Guardian's eyes went wide and he gasped as he recognized exactly whose body that was. The blast sped uncontested at the motionless girl and the nefarious General.

"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" Guardian shouted, raising his hands and rushing toward them.

General laughed pityingly, certain of his triumph.

*BLAAAAAAM!!!* The energy lit the foundry. Shafts of blue shot out of the windows and the entire building shook from the explosion. The roof and one of the walls caved in, smashing an awful lot of expensive equipment.


In the infirmary located in the gigantic underground base buried beneath 'Tim's Ucchan, the balding Emergency Medical Hologram laughed his head off as he examined the tricorder readings.

"Again," laughed the EMH, "again you come to seek my services!" He ran the scanning instrument around the pink-haired man's chest, which was covered by the medical bed's restraining arm. "I told you the replicated Senzu beans would lose their potency for you if you kept on swallowing them every few hours. So that brings us all back to the basics." He casually frizzed the man's hair with one hand as he pushed a few buttons on the BioBed. "Oh, hoh hoh! We'll just have to rough it."

"Hey," 'Tim complained weakly, "I had to train, didn't I?"

"Finally beat Lina Inverse on maximum difficulty in the holodeck, did you?" the doctor asked, smirking mockingly. "Well, good for you."

"I beat her on medium," 'Tim said, "she needed a few seconds to power up her spells, but on maximum she kept on tossing around these 'Giga Slaves' left and right, and those are kind of rough to try and avoid."

"Heh, you're no Shabranigdo, that's for sure."

"Old Shabby was a wuss!" 'Tim growled, suddenly trying to sit up. He slumped back down in pain.

"Oh, really?"

"But that's not why he's here," Ukkyo cut in, "he was fighting three girls that came in and started insulting him."

"I know. Having absolutely nothing else to do since you disabled my ability to shut myself off, I was watching," the EMH said, not taking his eyes off of his scanning equipment. "So, you were attacked by the Fates, were you?"

"Is that who they were?" 'Tim asked, his voice rough as sandpaper. "I thought they looked familiar, but what would THEY be doing asking for change?"

"Trying to distract you while they worked a spell on you," the EMH continued. "Unfortunately for you, they didn't quite manage to cast it, so you got toasted for your troublesome nature. Attacking Belldandy, of all people? Honestly, you got barely half of what you deserved."

"I don't get along well with Fate."

The doctor stifled another chuckle. "No, I suppose not."

Ukkyo looked at the hologram, her face full of concern. "Is he going to be okay this time?"

The doctor looked at her seriously. "Has he ever been truly 'okay'?" He shook his head. "I've never seen it happen. I don't see why it should come to pass now."

"She means the hole in my chest," 'Tim reminded the physician.

"Oh, be still your vaporized heart," the doctor said with a smile. "Yes, you have a neatly cauterized cylinder drilled straight through your sternum and out the back, taking a generous portion of your spine in the process. I admire your attacker's workmanship."

'Tim groaned in pain.

The doctor slapped the man on the shoulder, not losing his grin as he elicited another agonized noise from his patient. "Don't be such a baby. Besides, that's just the icing on the cake." He punched up an image of the man's brain activity and showed it to him. "Do you see this? It means that you have a terminal, previously undetected ailment which has no cure."

Ukkyo's expression fell. "He has an incurable disease, too?"

The doctor nodded. "Oh yes, they never get over this one before dying, that's for sure. Sometimes, not even afterward."

The woman backed off a little. "Is it contagious?"

"Oh, no. This kind of thing only happens once in a century."

"And there's no cure for it?!" 'Tim asked incredulously.

"No, and not a single case has ever been documented of one so afflicted failing to succumb. A few died before the full effect took place, but it is absolutely, positively incurable." The doctor paused, looking down at the quasi-human. "Can I have all your stuff when you're gone?"

'Tim glared at the only one in the world currently qualified to treat him. "You?! No! When I'm gone, the self-destruct mechanism's going off. After the Robot destroys all key systems, the whole place is going sky-high!"

"That's not funny, 'Tim!" Ukkyo pleaded. "Stop it!"

[But,] the main computer protested in its sweet, echoey feminine voice, [I have so much more life to live; things to contribute to the universe!]

"No buts," 'Tim coughed. "If I can't have you, no one can!"

*HISSSSSSSS!* The doctor injected him with 20ccs of a special painkiller designed for the man's unique physiology.

'Tim motioned for the EMH to continue. "Keep it coming… More… More… Okay, stop. Ooooooh… Uhh, stop, Doctor. Stop. Doctor…?!" He forcefully took the doctor's hypospray off of his neck. "Hey!"

"You're doomed," the doctor reminded him with a cheerful flair. "You've got to enjoy life while it lasts!"

HE'S RIGHT, YOU KNOW, a voice as heavy as the slamming of a thousand stone coffin lids said, its black-robed owner carrying closer His gleaming scythe. ENJOY IT, BECAUSE IT WON'T BE LONG NOW.

"Not NOW, Death!" 'Tim shouted as best he could without a functioning circulatory system. "The whole city block above got blown up in a BEAUTIFUL plume of fire, there's a big hole in my chest, I've got some terminal disease—"

IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT YOU, ISN'T IT? OH, LINA INVERSE BLEW A CHUNK OUT OF MY SKULL, PICCOLO RIPPED OUT MY SPLEEN, SAILOR PLUTO BASHED IN MY HEAD, SAILOR URANUS PUT HER SWORD THROUGH MY CHEST, JADEITE BLEW UP MY CORE BEING. Death shook his head. IT IS ABOUT TIME YOU FACED DEATH LIKE A MAN, AND NOT LIKE THAT GOOF, SIGMA.

"Yeah?!" 'Tim yelled as far as what remained of his lungs allowed him. "Well, it's not just about me anymore!"

ISN'T IT?

"No! A police report came in a few minutes ago: Jade, a CUTE teenage girl I'm taking care of, dropped acid, and she freaked out and hijacked a busload of penguins. So I'm KIND OF in the middle of a family crisis here. Could you come back later? I need to go help her out! And the Sailor Scouts! Them too! They need my help."

Death shook his head.

NO.

"But I have to—"

DICTATE A WILL.

"Look what you did," Ukkyo chided the doctor. "Now you have him seeing things!" She added silently, "And you have him thinking about everything except ME!"

TIME TO GO, "TIM, Death insisted in tones so low and grating that it rattled the nearby and far away glass containers. One actually cracked. Apparently not caring how it happened, the doctor went over to stuff it back into the replicator to get a fresh one. IT WON'T HURT TOO BADLY.

"Gimme a minute, already!" 'Tim screamed at the giant, walking skeleton. To Ukkyo and the doctor he said, "Look, I think my time's gonna be short, so let me get my last wishes out?"

Ukkyo nodded, frowning deeply and a tear going down one cheek. "Okay."

"In the last couple of minutes, I remembered something. I recalled some of my unfinished business in this world."

KEEP IT SHORT. THERE'S A PLAGUE IN CHINA I MUST ATTEND TO.

'Tim looked Death straight in the eye sockets and laughed hoarsely. "I'll keep it short if YOU'LL quit interrupting me!"

Death drew near and grasped the man's neck with his cold, icy fingers.

A chime on the BioBed beeped urgently and the indicators on the overhanging screen dropped, starting to flash red. 'Tim grimaced while the doctor chuckled and injected him with another series of strange and esoteric compounds, allowing the readings to stabilize.

SUCH AN INTERESTING BED. A SIMPLE PUSH OF THIS BUTTON OVER HERE WILL STOP YOUR TEMPORARY HOLOGRAPHIC HEART FROM BEATING, SO EASILY. OR HOW ABOUT ONE OF THESE DEVICES OVER HERE?

'Tim glared at Death, who was standing right beside the advanced stomach pump and the dental equipment. "Okay, okay. I'm hurrying, I'm hurrying!" Under his breath he grumbled, "Darn natural order of things…"

WHAT WAS THAT?

"Nothing," 'Tim replied, then let out an aggravated sigh and turned back toward his physician and his wide-eyed girlfriend. "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale; a tale of a fateful trip, that started from a Martian port aboard a tiny ship. The mate was tiny, wussy-thing, the skipper slightly, too. Eight passengers took off that day for a three-hour tour! A three-hour tour!"

Ukkyo frowned meaningfully at the doctor as her boyfriend's voice went into a trilling singsong of the words.

"The rebels started rising up, the tiny ship was toast! If not for the courage of the fearless king, the Koifish would be lost! The Koifish would be lost!"

Death started scraping his foot to the music, making a sound like the echo of a fading cardiograph.

"The ship crashed on the shore of a Terran isle, with Lord Tranquil-itieee! The Princess, too! The Stardragon, and his Elf! Sailor Mars! Terra's servants and Mary Ann, there at Dee-Point!"

"I'm getting elevated brain activity in the visual cortex," the doctor whispered to Ukkyo. "Would you like to watch?" He pointed at a screen by the head of the bed. "His flashbacks are almost always very interesting to watch."

"Now this is the tell of the castaways, they were there for a short, short time, they had to make the best of things, it was an uphill climb. The Moon King and the Princess too, did do their very best, to help the others survive, in the arctic island waste. No comm, no magic, no shuttle pods, not a single escape route, like Isildur versus Sauron, as helpless as can be. So join us here this once my friends, you're sure to shed a tear, from eight stranded castaways, here on 'Daddy's Last Staaaaaand!'"

The cook gaped at the imaginary physician. She looked over at 'Tim. He kept spouting modified movie and television references.

"It's bound to be more coherent," the EMH offered.

"N' then Oye sed ta the General," 'Tim added in a gruff voice, trusting a finger into the air, "Bam, zoom, straight ta the Moon!"

Ukkyo glanced between the doctor and the pink-haired man. "All right, all right!" she finally said.

 


Continued in Part 10-2K

Chapter 10-2K
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