Quick update from me: yes, I AM still working on stuff over here. It's just going slowly since I'm trying to write something that's a bit more fulfilling to read than my usual off-the-top-of-my-head stream of consciousness style that I've used for almost everything I've released here thus far. :)

Anyway, the following is done by request (just several months late, eep) and chronicles most of the references and obscure points of the Chocolate Oranges series, which definitely has more than its fair share of references and obscure points requiring explanation…

If you've never read this story, and/or aren't interested in it, you can safely skip over this message without worrying about it. Proceeding!

[ Chocolate Oranges: Annotation ]

WARNING: Contains many, many spoilers for the fanfic.

                              Chocolate Oranges
                            a Ranma 1/2 shortfic

Initially, I had no idea where to be going with this thing. One of my early plans was to have some Kasumi-slowly-going-insane shortfic plot(which I think I could have pulled off rather well, actually…some of this went into Mind Stew instead).

So, this chapter, originally a standalone, esentially wrote itself, making itself up as it went. Few obscure references in this one, as I wasn't planning on them, but a few things left to explain, anyway.

Back in Spring of '02, I was down at Oregon State, my only contribution to fanfiction was A Bad Idea was "Kidnap", and I decided that This Shall Not Be. So, one night I decided, "Write something. Write ANYTHING." The first thing that came to mind was a chocolate orange, so right away I had my title. Then I just kept writing and waited to see what happened. And this did. :)

(note: on my Florestica page, Chocolate Oranges 1 has been given the subtitle "Atsuki Chishio Ni", to commemorate the remake of Sakura Taisen 1 on the PS2, which was given the same title)

The trouble of it all was, as she continued her internal debate, that her routine was less so today than other days. There was this occasional thought that she ought to go to school, and that many other people ought to as well, but somehow there didn't seem to be a need. Nor much of a want, for that matter. Moreover, for some bizarre reason, there didn't seem to be a school. Yet these occasional thoughts persisted, and this only served to make Nabiki even more tired, as well as even more alert.

Around this point I was trying to borrow the look-and-feel of the second Urusei Yatsura movie; all seems well, but there's a growing sense that it isn't. One of my favorite anime movies, that it is.

To ease her troubled mind, Genma had remained. Unfortunately, he had quite forgotten his panda form, and, just as Nabiki had gathered enough resolve to go to the kitchen for something to drink, he leaped over the wall of the backyard and pranced about in his newly acquired elk form. It appeared as though he had designed it personally, as his neck was easily a meter long if it was a centimeter.

The Shishigami from Mononoke Hime looked rather bizarre, with his large elk form, but vaguely humanoid face…so I tried a variation on that here; Genma got an elk form, but with a long snakelike neck. Funky. :)

There was plenty of breakfast left over, but she considered that highly suspect, not just for the fact that Akane had prepared it, but for the fact that Akane, Ranma, AND Genma had, and with an inordinant amount of eagerness, as well.

Akane cooking has been overdone, but the three of them cooperating? Hadn't heard of that before. Seems to work.

There was other food about, but it was mostly fit only for an elk.

I have since decided that this is borscht.

Suddenly, she jumped back as if a bell the size of Okinawa had struck. There was something most definately not right about today, she knew that now. Even her tired-yet-alert state hadn't caught on in time, and she felt as if that had been a major mistake.

Um, this was wrap-it-all-up-quickly time. I could have gone on and on, since I didn't have any plot or anything at this point, but I decided to head towards the first arbitrary ending I could think of.

Nabiki, deciding that Thursday wasn't a good day for this, calmly passed out with a fever.

I liked this line, but it gave people the wrong idea. "Oh, so she was hallucinating, then?" Nah. Even if it was little more than a throwaway shortfic, I didn't plan for it to be a dream sequence or anything of that sort. So, after one too many of these comments, I decided to figure out…what was it, then?

It was this. :)

                         Chocolate Oranges II:
                           Peelings Reloaded
                         a Ranma 1/2 sequelfic

Here's where conscious use of both obvious and obscure references started. Matrix Reloaded was announced by this time, but I STILL have yet to watch even the first one….

Genma stopped eating, withdrew his head from the fridge, looked Nabiki in the eyes, and paused. A couple seconds later, he sucked his tongue up into his head and blew a raspberry at her out of both ears in stereo.

This…I dunno where this came from. Interesting mental image, nonetheless.

"IF YOU WANT to help us, hear the words. Check your room. One."

Capitalized words: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. One == first sentence of great significance, given as clues to Nabiki (without alerting anyone who would happen to be monitoring).

It started to flop about to a more comfortable speaking position when, all of a sudden, one of Genma's tongues shot out from his ear, grabbed the fish, and pulled it inside his sizable head. The unexpected infusion of piscatory matter seemed to muddle him somewhat, and he stumbled forward into the open fridge, which closed its door on him and vibrated loudly for a few seconds before shutting off completely.

This scene came out of nowhere, too. Generally, I'm at my most creative when I'm not even trying. :)

In addition, some things that weren't in it before were in it now, such as the large pomegranate tree growing out of her bed. After thinking about it for a minute or two, she decided that that definitely wasn't there the last time she checked.

The pomegranate tree came as a rather useful device in this scene to both set the theme for several additional references, and to provide yet another "Huh?" moment.

It was a rectangular panel with twelve gemstones encrusted in it. The top row glowed with an apparently natural light, curiously detached from any external energy source.

The breastplate of an ephod. Note the significance of the first three gems lit.

With the sound of a hundred rams-horn trumpets blaring forth from behind her closet door,

These are shofars, musical instruments consisting of a ram's horn with the smaller end flattened to form a mouthpiece. I think.

and one linen-muffled quack,

This is Mousse in duck form and wearing (oversized) priestly garb.

Sliding down the street was a colossal black cube, polished and shiny, plowing up the ground as it went.

I know I've seen sci-fi perfectly smooth black cubes somewhere, but offhand I can't remember if I was referencing any one in particular. It's not a Borg cube, though the ominous effect's somewhat the same. Could be some sort of Myst-like bizarre alien object.

With a burst of static, two holes opened up on the front of the cube, and Ranma and Shampoo stuck their heads out to see what there was to be seen.

Vague reference to Flight of the Navigator, except that this ship isn't silver-colored and streamlined.

Shampoo looked Nabiki in the eyes, her expression one of enthusiastic, if slightly blank, joy and excitement, and declared, "It's Airen! He THE REAL THING! Shampoo travel for weeks! Two!"

Capitalized words: 4th, 5th, and 6th. "Shampoo travel for weeks!" is simply random oddness. Two == second sentence of great significance.

With an eerie silence, it slowly started to rise into the air, got about ten meters above the ground, then audibly muttered, "Eh, why bother?" and burst into flames, jumping across the sky and disappearing over the horizon.

"Eh, why bother?" is my line. The exit was inspired by MST3K: the Movie, with the giant flaming hat at the end.

She looked down and noticed that the second row of gemstones on the panel had started glowing.

Direct consequence of the second sentence of great significance.

He noisily stomped across the city, flattening entire houses with each step, and bellowed a masculine screech of defiance.


"Young woman! Do not fear him!"

Six words in this sentence, providing the necessary buffer space to continue the pattern.

Nabiki looked around in confusion to see where that last line had come from, and saw a unfamiliar figure standing upon her house. He wore a judo gi, and as soon as she recognized him, his heroic theme song started.

This is the legendary Segata Sanshiro, spokesman and hero of the Sega Saturn in Japan. Dude's got skillz.

 "DON'T GIVE UP! Your quest        | Asobi no michi ni  tamashii kometa
 shall not be hindered by this     | Hitori no otoko ga  kyou mo yuku
 monster! I shall personally see   | Majime ni asobanu  yatsura ni wa
 to his glorious defeat, for       | Karada de oboesaseru zo!
 great justice! Three!" With       |
 that, he leapt at Happosai and    | SEGATA SANSHIRO! SEGATA SANSHIRO!
 kicked him in the head.           | SEGA SATURN, SHIRO!

Left side, capitalized words: 7th, 8th, and 9th. (continued from his previous line). Three == third sentence of great significance. Right side, the first verse and chorus of the Segata Sanshiro theme song.

His fearsome kick knocked Happosai off-balance, and the ancient master went flying across the country, finally tumbling into the Tokyo Tower, which promptly collapsed.

Tokyo Tower had to fall over at least once in the series. :)

Segata Sanshiro, having saved Nabiki and assisted wholeheartedly in the agreed-upon scheme to restore love and order to the land, walked off towards the setting sun, where he met Shinguuji Sakura, played a short game of hide-and-seek with her, and founded a dynasty of warriors for truth, justice, and quality dramatic adventure sagas to spread around the world.

She's from Sakura Taisen, also by Sega. In fact, one of the Segata Sanshiro commercials is for Sakura Taisen 2, with Sanshiro and Sakura running around thusly.

As for the other events of Segata Sanshiro's reign, all he did, and his military achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Sega? Sanshiro rested with his fathers, the kings of Sega. And Gorokuro his son succeeded him as king.

Adapted almost directly from 2 Kings 14:28-29, NIV. San(3) and Shi(4) boosted by two each to reach Go(5) and Roku(60.

With a majestic and rather unexpected "whop", a rapidly approaching wall, spanning the heavens, materialized and began to draw ever closer to the unassuming Earth.

First direct reference to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Also the point where I decided to stop playing around and begin the endgame.

It was an infinitely wide wall of boiling fire.
It was the End of the World.

It smelled almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a large wet dog.

And this is the second direct reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide series.

Having this new apparition to help focus her resolve, Nabiki hurriedly entered the Neko Hanten. The restaurant, save for the wizened old form of Cologne slowly rotating on a bar stool, was deserted, and many a bowl of gomoku ramen lay uneaten as mute witness to the approaching disaster.

I hadn't decided whether or not to have Cologne be in here, but figured I'd settle for half-and-half. The gomoku ramen's from A Bad Idea was "Kidnap", which was put in there because it's tasty. :)

"Yo, little sister," Cologne greeted Nabiki, remaining on her stool with eyes closed and hands folded, "Perhaps you should go and consult YOUR FACULTY ADVISOR and learn about the matrix."

Capitalized words: 10th, 11th, and 12th. Fourth sentence of great significance. The faculty advisor line is picked up from a the Lucasarts game of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and also from a demo version of one of the Monkey Island games. Guybrush Threepwood had to come up with a phrase or something, but the faclty advisor segment was only half of it. I don't remember for sure, though; it was about a decade ago.

"No!!!" Cologne leaped onto the countertop, visibly indignant. "Not the Matrix! Listen to me!"

This has nothing to do with the Matrix movies, since I haven't seen enough of them to make proper references. This matrix is purely a rectangular, mathematical one. Without any numbers.

                         "No,      no,      no,
                          No,      no,      no,
                          No,      no,      no…"

She stopped yelling for a moment, reached down to detach her left leg, and began to slam it on the counter in time to the final stanza.
"No, no, no!!!
"Do not you understand the mathematical properties here?! Not a Matrix! Just remember to speak the words! matrix!! Honestly, little sisters these days…feh!"

Lowercase, not uppercase, matrix. Just for emphasis. :)

Back at the Nekohanten, Cologne finally looked straight at Nabiki, then reached her hand up to her neck and pinched hard. A musical popping sound emanated from her throat as she pulled up and over her head, revealing her skin to be enclosing a giant zipper, and the withered visage of the Chinese matriarch gave way to the noticeably smoother and gentle face of Kasumi Tendo, age 19.

Taken from episode #6 of Freakazoid, The Chip (pt. 1), where Freakazoid keeps unzipping Dexter's head, while Dexter tries to hold him back. "STOP UNZIPPING MY HEAD!!" Starring Paul Rugg as Freakazoid, Ricardo Montalban as Guitierrez, and Weena Mercator as the Hopping Woman!

Also of interest: if you take all the letters in the Chocolate Oranges trilogy, discard most of them and rearrange the rest, you get, "Emmitt Nervend." Eerie. o_O

"Help us, Nabiki. You're our only hope."

Incredibly subtle Star Wars reference. Gotta toss a few change-ups. :)

"Down here is where your quest ends, and you alone hold the key to halting Pereshte and returning all."

"Pereshte" is a mild tweaking of "pereshite", a Japanese transliteration of "Philistine". Picked mainly since it was the first thing that I decided would fit when I realized the antagonist had no name yet.

She gently picked up Nabiki's fully-glowing gemstone panel, gave it back to her, then forcefully grabbed her by the arm and flung her headfirst down the hole, cheerfully shouting out, "FOUR!" right before the tunnel entrance sealed itself.

A little delayed, but signaling the fourth sentence of great significance.

Upon closer inspection, and determining that it indeed was, she finally noticed the fact that all twelve stones, in four rows and three columns, were now glowing just as the first rows had started to earlier.

All 12 words, offset appropriately, are ready for addition, in some goofy polynomial way which was a whole lot clearer back when I was actively taking these classes…

As they adjusted to the brightness, she saw a dark-suited and helmet-clad figure standing on the far side of the room, smoky fog billowing around it.

Darth Vader! 'Cause it's not the east or the west side! (NO IT'S NOT!) It's not the north or the south side! (NO IT'S NOT!) It's the dark side! (YOU ARE CORRECT!)

The figure tilted its head slightly, in apparent puzzlement, then slowly reached its hands up to remove its helmet, showing her captor to be none other than Akane Tendo.

Briefly I toyed with the idea of this actually BEING Akane…couldn't figure out where to go with it, so I did something else insetad.

Akane tilted her head the other way, then reached down into the fog surrounding her feet to unstrap and step out of her boots, looking back up at Nabiki to continue her soothing monotone, though in a slightly higher tone of voice this time, "I'm your sister. I made our world for us."

I'd love to see this scene filmed. Flavorfully weird. :)

"Okay, fine, I'm not your real sister." Akane looked away dejectedly, before abruptly spinning back around to face Nabiki, eyes wide in shock and hands reaching to grasp her throat, gagging at something climbing up her windpipe. She staggered around, knocking over someone's chair that had been sitting in front of their desk, and collapsed onto it, heaving and twitching.

This idea was vaguely based off the worms from Star Trek II, except with far greater intelligence. The idea of Pereshte using Akane as a host body was a few steps off from that, though I don't think I got this scene expressed anywhere nearly as well as I wanted to.

"I am Pereshte." it stated matter-of-factly, still using the higher- toned version of Akane's voice. "Perhaps you've heard of me?"

Catchphrase of Talespin's Colonel Spigot.

Pereshte settled down on a nearby desk, reached back and snapped off his tail, which quickly morphed into a bamboo drinking straw that he then pointed at Nabiki. With a regally important "foop", it shot forward, extending itself until the far end embedded itself just above the center of Nabiki's chest.

It's like that episode where Crusher's drinking out of Riker's head with a straw and the cellular peptide cake has mint frosting…except not.

Ruby, topaz, beryl. Turquoise, sapphire, emerald. Jacinth, agate, amethyst. Chrysolite, onyx, jasper.

In order, the gems on the breastplate previously mentioned.

                     [    IF       YOU       WANT     ]
                     [    THE      REAL     THING     ]
                     [   DON'T     GIVE       UP      ]
                     [   YOUR    FACULTY   ADVISOR!!! ]

Tried to put this in as much of a matrix format as possible, given the character set available.

He honestly hadn't expected anyone to actually guess his system password, and here this mere child, completely overlooked for days, had somehow, without any apparent slicing skills, managed to crack his code down to the most secure levels.

The term "slicing" borrowed from some Star Wars novels I'd read. Specifically, the X-Wing series.

Immediately following that sqloosh, several million other sounds of various intensities, most of them leaning towards the loud end of the spectrum, flooded into the classroom.

Like what happened to Lum halfway through Urusei Yatsura movie 4.

It wasn't glowing anymore, but now seemed as perfect a time as any to read the inscription she saw earlier, which she subconsciously knew was still there, even an entire reality away from where it had been written. With trembling hands, she tenderly picked it up, turned it over, and read what was written there.


As explained later, having this being read tossed reality into fast rewind. I wanted to toss in a twist on the "Oh, it was all a dream… or WAS it?" by going, "No, that was just the prologue. We're JUST GETTIN' STARTED!!"

"Egnaro Eht Saw Okkay, Egnaro Eht T'nsaw Luap."

Skcals sih ni yenolab s'ereht.

Disclimber: The original author of the first part shall be known in this disclimber as the original author of the first part. The secondary author of the third part of the derivation of the original author of the first party's part's part shall be known in this disclimber as the secondary author of the third part of the derivation of the original author of the first party's part's part.

If you haven't seen A Night at the Opera, the classic Marx Brothers picture, go rent it. This is a fun scene. :)

Thank you for reading, and remember, use only genuine Interociter™ parties.

Another MST3K: the Movie bit.

                        [ Chocolate Oranges ]I[: ]
                        [   A Glass of 2% Time   ]

This, I wrote mainly to aim the series towards closure. I had most of the rest pretty much plotted out, but had to release this part to make sure I'd finish the rest.

"Not again…" thought the Jusenkyo Guide.

The expiring thought of a bowl of petunias.

"Cool," thought a nearby parakeet, secretly very amused by this turn of events.

Well, I picked this up from the Mystery Octagon Theater's riffing done on Curse of the Nightmare, a spectacularly wacky megacrossover SI fic. The original line went something like this:


The team put their heads down,

MMK <narrator: Secretly, the parakeet was very amused when their heads>

made a sound much like coconuts banging together. SVEN <parakeet: Cool.>


This fic can be found at http://www.dimfuture.net/elsewhere/mot.html

"Is okay, sirs!" the guide said, bringing out a teakettle from his emergency hut nearby, "You can, like, return old form with hot water!" He poured the steaming tea on top of the panda, which immediately transformed back into the confused-looking human form of Genma, wearing his classic white gi. Oddly enough, the tea had stained the gi in such a way that it was now colored a somewhat pastel pink.

Surfer dude Jusenkyo guide. Sorta-kinda. o_O

Ah yes, and the pastel pink gi, a tribute to Dan "The Man" Hibiki.

However, a sudden and loud ringing bell approaching interrupted her thoughts, as the weekly train to Nerima announced its arrival at the Jusenkyo Station, its glass doors sliding open.

That's the fun of having a distinctly altered reality; it makes getting your characters from point A to point B in a hurry much more convenient.

As the train started to slide off in the direction of Japan, he jumped into the air, carefully aimed his leg, and made a flying kick at a glass window on the train. He gave a mighty shout: "YA-YA-HIYA!"

Sound effect shouted by the previously referenced fighter Dan "The Man" Hibiki during his Roundhouse Dankuu-Kyaku (QCB+RH).

"Interesting…" Mr. Yotsuya commented to himself as he perused the local newspaper.

If you are not recognizing Mr. Yotsuya, it is because he is from Rumiko Takahashi's earlier series, Maison Ikkoku. He's the mysteriously eccentric and/or eccentrically mysterious neighbor of Godai, and he's in this fic because he fits quite well.

"Very interesting indeed…" he murmured, reading a news article which was continually updating itself through its own mysterious devices, and finally stabilized in the one form he much preferred it didn't stabilize in.

Back to the Future 2, where the shifting timelines cause newspaper headlines to fade in and out on-screen.

And now it's up to me to stop him, Mr. Yotsuya realized.

Copied from Nabiki's line in CO2.

His uniform completed, he beckoned across the room to his suitcase, which telepathically heeded the wishes of its owner and flew neatly into his outstretched hand.

Wise in the ways of the Jedi is he.

"Oh, are you going out now, Mr. Yotsuya?" she asked, drying her hands with a pink towel.

Stained with the same tea as got Genma's gi.

Kasumi followed him down the stairs and as far as the dining room. "Oh, that's okay. I was just coming to invite you down for supper, but if you have to go out, that'll be fine. Can I persuade you to take a sandwich with you, sir?"

Yotsuya got to the pier in the Tendos' backyard, paused next to his rowboat, and calmly called back to Kasumi, "I'll get drive-through."

Dialogue taken almost directly from Batman Forever, between Alfred and Bruce.

Nabiki quickly checked the rest of the stack, which contained, among other things, all the fully-completed homework for the next two months, study notes for all major exams of the school year, and a tentative plan to recruit agents for starting her own private international espionage network, one with connections to all the major intelligence agencies of various governments around the world.
Not that she had any real intention of embarking on such an ambitious and potentially dangerous task on the budget she had, but it was simply something she liked to tinker with in her spare time, just for fun.

Tweaking fanon for fun and non-profit. :)

Nabiki finished sorting the documents into the cabinet, closed it, and suddenly stopped in her tracks, a confused look on her face.
"Wait…where did THAT come from?"

Intentionally ambiguous.

Ranma had watched it leave, her annoyance at life in general continuing onwards unabated.

Genma had watched it leave, his inordinately stubborn hunger continuing, not quite sated.

These lines are symmetrical for no adequately explainable reason.

Ranma looked around. Aside from the sign, the train tracks, and a vast expanse of sun-beaten desert stretching to the horizon in all directions, the only thing visible nearby was a boarded-up okonomiyaki restaurant, which appeared as if it had been abandoned for decades. There was a small mailbox there.

Because they've wandered into a text-based adventure game.

"Just you wait, Ranma. 'Cause Ryoga Hibiki's the best there is at what Ryoga Hibiki does, bub! And what I do is WHAAAAAYRG?!?"

Starts out as a classic Wolverine quote, then sorta gets sidetracked.

A casual observer would deduce that this wasn't quite what he had intended to say here. They would be correct, since Ryoga was rudely interrupted by a three-legged eagle with the face of a man and the tail of an ox, attracted to his relatively loud outburst, who had swooped in and grabbed him by the hair before flying off towards some unknown destination.

It flew out of one of King Nebuchadnezzar's dreams, or something.

"…but not a single one of them could ever hope to BEGIN to compare to Naga the Serpent!!!"

Slayers OAVs and movies, not the TV series. Also in Slayers Royal, which is, I think, the only place where Naga meets Gourry.

Pereshte boldly hid in plain sight, holding a cup of hot tea and silently chuckling at his own cleverness. They all said it was daft to write an insurance policy in the spot where he did, but he did it anyway! It sank into the swamp.

Yet another Incredibly Subtle Reference, this time to Monty Python. The insurance policy which he wrote is the "THE BEGINNING" that undid his squashing.

Or, rather, won't make a second one. No need for it in the future, he reminded himself, since when he did(wioll haven done) he remained(willan on-remain) exactly where he would be, WITH what he would have been having(mayan havian on-been), whenever he'd need(waten haven on-need) it, and that was all that mattered(and will have mattered, previously on) for the moment.

All the goofiness of tenses adapted from the Hitchhiker's Guide series.

His tea abruptly gained sentience, leapt from its cup, and burrowed into the earth. Once thoroughly entrenched, it began an aggressive xenocidal campaign against several indigenous species of insect and bacterial life already present in the area, slowed only slightly by the distracting dance of a trio of amorous rabbits prancing about on the ground overhead.

bump bomp rustle CRASH swi-swish

If you don't get this reference, don't feel too bad. Neither do I. :)


Well, I've never plucked a rooster, and I'm not too good at ping-pong, and I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall, and I've never kissed a chipmunk, and I've never gotten head lice, and I've never been to Boston in the fall!

As mentioned in the Disclaimer, these are lyrics sung by Larry the Cucumber in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

The Sony Playstation is not a webshooter.

Acts of Gord.

Share and Enjoy!

This is, of course, the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division of the Hitchhiker's Guide series.

Space is big.

These three words are also, likewise, directly borrowed from same.

In fact, space is really, REALLY big.

Hereafter, though, the direct copy ends and I start tweaking things.

"There he is, right where I predicted. And you thought I couldn't do it!" the Vry'cian graduate scientist triumphantly remarked to her partner. "Every single one of my formulae running at, oh, what was that capacity again?" She smugly turned to the schematic readout diagrams on the display behind her.

I got this idea after reading Akane 1/2 by John Biles and other fics starting out with mysterious robed figures watching over realities and manipulating events…wanted to try out my own slant on the idea. :)

"Your budget allocation has been diverted onto a rider bill by Senator Chaloria, and she is currently running a twelve-day filibuster attempt to keep it from being passed."

There are very few filibusters in fanfics these days, I notice….

These facts can be safely revealed without ruining suspense, since they have absolutely nothing to do with Ranma, Nabiki, nor anyone else in this saga.

Another reference to HHGTTG.

And now, the conclusion….

To be spoken in a Majel Barrett voice.

             /             Chocolate Oranges Pi:            \
             \ The Self-Serve Deli at the End of the Galaxy /

There is a thin veil over this reference. I tried to shape it in the form of a frisbee.

"There is no hotel around here. It will be dark soon. There is no hotel around here."

<Torgo tHeRe Is No WaY oUt Of HeRe. It WiLl Be DaRk SoOn. ThErE iS nO wAy OuT oF hErE.>
<Crow iT wIlL bE dArK sOoN.>

(if you've never seen Manos: The Hands of Fate, go rent it. It's…um, memorable. :)

"Well, my son, we're in luck!" Genma jumped back to his feet, completely re-energized by roast chicken.

The complete reenergizing by chicken could be a videogame reference, but I didn't have any particular one in mind.

A flock of mice watched silently from across the landscape.

From "The train rolled silently across the landscape." in the last chapter. The flock of mice are relatives of Benji mouse and Frankie mouse, Trillian's white mice.

His name was Idaten, and he was no mere mortal.

While writing this chapter, I was wondering how to get Segata Sanshiro fighting side-by-side with Mr. Yotsuya. Brian Randall suggested that I have Idaten tell him. Seems to have worked.

"Se…Segata Sanshiro!!"

The judo master stood there unmoved, a scowl on his face and his arms folded. With a single practiced motion, he raised both fists into the air and charged at the diety.

Almost exactly what happens in many of the Segata Sanshiro commercials.

Initially, Segata Sanshiro merely tossed Idaten into some trees, but, seeing as he was not quite convinced of the benefits of playing Sega's fine quality video games, he kicked him towards Mt. Fuji, bounced him off of it, then kicked him into the mountain again.

He does that. Appease him by playing Sega games, because you wouldn't like him when he's angry.

His wife walked up to him, holding a lengthy printout. "Welcome back, Sanshiro! Oh, and I think I've finally tracked down that bug in the new game…you know, the one where it freezes on the Sega logo? We've got to INITIALIZE the memory after allocating it to each thread."

Sakura's a programmer here. That's all the explanation you're going to get, because it is all the explanation that I managed to get. :)

"What if…what if we used a variation on my Ouka Houshin technique

Haja Kensei: Ouka Houshin is Sakura's original super attack, from the first game in Sakura Taisen. Also shows up in some of the anime.

"Let's begin."

The Whistle Song from DDR Max2.

Shipping traffic was down, the nation's economy was in a general malaise,

I like the world "malaise". It's almost like a sandwich.

The cannon fire died down, and Happosai pulled an especially large herring from a nearby ammunition pile. Exerting all his martial arts skill, he leapt from mast to mast while swinging the herring around in circles above his head. With the speed he was twirling it, bits of sparkling dust began to emit from the fish and float down to the deck, which itself began to glow.

This is how various and sundry boats manage to fly: fish dust.

Nabiki Tendo was irritated to be continually interrupted by the sound of Nabiki Tendo.

Adapted from a similar line in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

Nabiki herself was a bit unnerved by the idea of having two of her inside her head, so she decided, instead, to imagine that her other self was talking to her through her teacup.

<Glinn Gusat Makes sense.>

"Uh, hello? Something seems to be happening…."

A favorite Arthur Dent quote.

Nabiki, however, was momentarily distracted by something. "Wait a minute, Mr. Yotsuya…why is your coat all wet?"
The smile disappeared, and his usual neutral face returned. "I've been training. For the time being, that's all that needs to be said about that."

I had an idea of Yotsuya doing some DBZ-style training, which would enable his trenchcoat and fedora, in battle, to glow yellow while he himself remained unchanged…it didn't make the cut.

Yotsuya raised his other eyebrow. "'Now that I'm here?' I'm sorry to disappoint you, but at the moment, I am most definitely not here." He smiled enigmatically.

The cows are not what they seem.

In her role as the supreme ruler of what was perhaps the greatest interstellar federation ever to appear on the galactic stage, Kasumi was, all things considered, doing a pretty good job.

This is, of course, the Empire of Jurai from Tenchi Muyo.

Her hair was dyed.

Dyed a light blue.

Kasumi, her hair neatly tucked into a ten-gallon cowboy hat,


Several hands went up in the private press box nearby, and she pointed at one by the edge. "Yes, Mr. Todain?"

Todain's a name I found somewhere…just went on a search of something Tenchi Muyo while writing this, and this was just the first thing I came across.

The first was a fairly handsome and rugged prince from one of the more rural worlds out towards the Northern Quadrant of the galaxy. She had met him some months earlier at a state dinner, she recalled, where he had proven himself to be quite an intelligent and thoughtful statesman.

This is nobody in particular, just a generic option.

The second was a dark-haired youth, wearing a much less ornate robe and wielding a wooden practice sword. Kasumi raised her eyebrows, also remembering him attending the same state dinner, although he had gotten a crowd to gather around him primarily for his ability to converse with everybody at once for over eighty minutes without taking a breath.

Indeed, this is Tatewaki Kuno, ported almost directly from A Bad Idea was "Kidnap".

The profile of a third suitor popped on screen, and Kasumi stopped in confusion. It was a red-haired girl, wearing some strange outfit of a red shirt and black pants, and yelling indignantly at her through the monitor, despite its lack of an audio speaker.
"HEY!! I'm a GUY!!"

And Ranma.

At that instant, the figure in the back of the crowd tossed off his cloak, leapt into the air, and flew directly at Kasumi.

A gravity elemental. His sole purpose is to represent Kasumi falling out of her hammock and waking up.

Several of the Royal Guard, their powered staffs at the ready,

I briefly considered using "staves", but feared this might be construed as an attempt to bewilder people and make them jump out of windows.

"And Kuno…actually KNOWS HOW to play tennis?!"

Yup, Kuno is now Shun Mitaka.

"…he found us… …I don't know how, but he found us…RUN FOR IT, SAOTOME!!"

Because quoting Back to the Future is entertaining.


As I mentioned replying to a C&C at the time, not enough time in the scene to put in, "I'm Mike Wallace, I'm Morley Safer, and I'm Ed Bradley! All this and Andy Rooney tonight on 60 Minutes!"


Yotsuya looked up in alarm. His proximity detectors back at the Tendo household were blaring at him, almost halfway around the world.

Mr. Yotsuya is training over here in Antarctica. Kept the DBZ-style training in weird places element, at least.


And the DBZ Fusion Dance. :)

"BEHOLD…!!" He turned to the left, facing in the direction he had booted Genma over the horizon. "THE PELVIC GYRATIONS…!!" He spun on one heel in a 180-degree turn, looking off towards Soun's landing spot. "OF MY VICTORY BOOGIE!!"

The Victory Boogie is taken almost directly from Space Ghost, but the spinning around while saying different things is a reference to Megane 6.7's MSTing of Sometimes, which itself used this as a reference to Xenogear.

and at least two roofs in the neighborhood flew straight off their houses, inverted themselves, and landed again, making great messes in the process.

Not unlike the surface of Kakrafoon.

Something was not quite right here; he felt a lack of a presence, one he hadn't felt since….

Since he hadn't been watching Star Wars.

"Last time was an illusion. This time doubly so. You cannot win."

And there's Ford Prefect.

Yotsuya ran as fast as physically possible, trying to catch up with him before he reached his target and became a threat that not even his complete wardrobe would be able to contain.

Classic DBZ formula. Antagonist shows up, slaps around the heroes, reinforcements arrive, beat up on the enemy a bit, enemy goes off and powers up, another reversal. Continue for 10 weeks of anime or 15 minutes of manga, whichever comes first.

With an ethereal female shout | Aoi oozora shiroi ukigumo of, "HAJA KENSEI…OUKA HOUSHIN!!" | Makka ni tagiru asobi no chi a bolt of energy burst through the | rift, tearing it open. Happosai | Mattaku betsu na jikuu ni wa dodged it, but he was nowhere near | Katana ni todokesaseru zo!

 quick enough to dodge Segata        |
 Sanshiro, who ran through and       | SEGATA SAKURA!  SEGATA SAKURA!

grabbed him in a painful headlock. | SEGA SATURN, SHIRO!

I don't claim to know Japanese well, but I did just enough tweaking on the right-hand side to make the middle section be original. Top and bottom segments are from the fourth verse of Segata Sanshiro's theme song.

He walked over and knocked on her shelter, which was little more than a large overturned cardboard box with the words "Nabiki's House" scribbled on one side.

'Tis a borrowed redecorating of Akari's House from Battle Athletes.

Yotsuya, however, trailed off, his Gerbil Sense tingling.

Because Yotsuya isn't Spider-Man. That would be silly.

Nabiki, still sitting in Nabiki's House with the top open, watched him leave, remaining fully confused while tenderly holding the single most powerful destructive device in the galaxy.

Like the Krikkit supernova bomb, but not.

With a remarkable leap for such a small rodent, Pereshte shot out of his hiding spot in the neighbor's front yard, flew straight at the airborne Happosai, and skewered him with his bamboo drinking straw.

<Yotsuya: It's a Cellular Pervert Cake!!> <Pereshte: Wwth mrft frnstmg!>

Pereshte, now several times larger and significantly more powerful after absorbing Happosai,

He's borrowing a little trick from Cell of DBZ.

She needed no further persuasion. Hefting the Orange high above her head, she brought it down onto the surface of the water with a rather satisfying WHACK. The Orange did not submerge, however, but merely melted off its outer covering, separated into twenty brilliantly glowing wedge-shaped segments, and promptly detonated.

The Chocolate Orange is triggered by hot water. Or, more appropriately, encouraged.

A certain prominent interdimensional researcher, when asked about this coincidence, gave this comment: "They're just weird that way."

This is the same scientist from earlier.

Nabiki, incorrectly assuming that she had directly caused the extinction of the entire human race, calmly passed out with a fever.

Leaving the action the same way as she did back in the first one. :)


Basically an Interdictor Cruiser, from the X-Wing and TIE Fighter series. Why it's in the shape of a square guitar, I dunno, aside from the fact that it looks good that way.


"Rouko Mekkyaku" is the phrase that prefixes all of Ichiro Ohgami's attacks in Sakura Taisen. Ohgami is the player's character, so his supers are, on average, the most powerful before modifiers.

"Touch your index and pinky fingers to Kasumi's and repeat, 'There's no place like somewhere else! There's no place like somewhere else!'

Half fusion dance, half Wizard of Oz.

"Let's begin."

The Whistle Song strikes back! o_O


Another Ohgami moment. He yells "Ore ga SEIGI da!!!" right before delivering the Shinten Douchi super.


Right on cue.

Sanshiro, having done what he came to do, vanished completely, being snapped back to his home dimension.

The snapback from Marvel vs. Capcom 2, oddly enough.

Tsunami, First Tree of Jurai, the most powerful ship of her own and many other universes,

For those of you in Rio Linda, this is Tsunami from Tenchi Muyo. :)

When the smoke cleared, though, what he saw was Mr. Yotsuya, standing in front of Tsunami, holding up his glowing Briefcase of the Light Hawk, which had completely absorbed the main brunt of the blast.

The reason he didn't use the Light Hawk effects of the briefcase before this is that he required Tsunami's presence to utilize it.

Kasumi walked over to Tsunami, no simple feat with the increasingly irregular motion of the ground under her feet, and the two promptly vanished.

As it was destined to be.

The ship spun erratically through quasispace,

Star Control 2!

He stomped in frustration. It felt refreshing, so he did it again.

Kind of like Zaphod Beeblebrox stomping around the Heart of Gold.

A couple more stomps and, to his surprise, a fridge popped out of the ground nearby. Curiously, he walked over and, his paws calm and not trembling in the slightest, he carefully opened the door and looked inside.

It was filled with Snapple and Jell-O.

From the original Chocolate Oranges, rolling it full-circle.

"Well," he mused, a little more contentedly, "the consolation meal's not too bad…."

This line, however, is a reference to Amber Mojiri-Jou of Bad Idea was "Kidnap".

Segata Sanshiro materialized several feet above the ground, which cheerfully rushed up to meet him.

Sakura couldn't distract him in time for him to miss the ground and fly.

Nabiki rushed down the stairs, wearing her school uniform and ready to head out. On her way by it, she picked up the phone. "Hello? Oh, hi, Mr. Kobuchizawa!

A reference to the Kobuchizawa family from Genma's Daughter.

Chocolate Oranges endtheme:


Vocals: Hiroshi Fujioka
Music: Ichirou Tomita
Composed by: Fumio Okui
Released by: Warner Music Japan, 1998 (WPDV-7138)

Requested by fans the world over, I transcribed the entire thing using the original Japanese lyrics and a good kanji dictionary.

I had to work from 6PM past midnight on New Years Eve '02-'03, so I raced to complete this and post it to the FFML so it could be eligible for the Chickenball Awards which I'd helped with the previous year… only to find out that they weren't being HELD this year. Ah well. :)

Months passed, nothing happened, so I wrote one more chapter. This time, however, of backstory!

Herein lies backstory to the Chocolate Oranges saga. If this makes very little sense to you, point your favourite webbrowser over towards http://www.rakhal.com/florestica/rylan-hilman/, put on a Paul Harvey broadcast, and read……the REST of the story.
Good day!

Yup, Paul Harvey. Heard five times a day on your local source for news, weather, and traffic together: 1190 KEX!

             /            Chocolate Oranges Zero:           \
             \         Young Pereshte Cracks a Safe         /

Another thinly-veiled reference, this time to the prequel short story of the HHGTTG series, Young Zaphod Plays it Safe.

The occupants of the leaf waited patiently as their pilot, a young gerbil who was a middle-ranked lieutenant of the Order of Order, brought them in towards their headquarters in this reality; the one nexus point where they could safeguard the very lynchpin of all sense and logic for the world they alone were charged with keeping.

I got this almost directly from the Secret of NIMH. Actually, I picture this pilot here as being dressed pretty much just like Justin.

"'Tis fine, 'tis fine," Pereshte chuckled, grinning cryptically, "I rather like…bumpiness." He looked out the window, away from his teacher, who merely nodded again, cheerfully enthusiastic to begin teaching his new apprentice the ways of their order. It was unfortunate for the world at large that he was never awarded a decoration for great foresight.

Obi-Wan and Anakin, in a compact travel size!

Timelines are fascinating things. Even beyond the fact that, since they usually possess both beginning and ending points, they should be more accurately referred to as time line segments,

Given that science cannot prove or disprove this either way, I'm going to assume that, for this multiverse, this is the way things work. Think of the Big Bag Cafe and the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Time before and time afterwards simply doesn't exist, so we arbitrarily say that realities in this series only hold the illusion of infinite time; they're so long that most everybody just ASSUMES they don't begin or end. In most cases.

When one sits in front of a timestream, watching the twin flashes of a group of matter particles bursting out of the continuity then crashing back in at a different point, two things spring to mind. First, they can

For this, picture the universe as a network cable (doesn't matter if it really is or isn't, but it helps with the visualization) covered with a plastic outer shell. In this model, distance along the cable equals time, and a cross-section made at any point contains all the details about the XYZ coordinates of every particle of matter in the universe. For people inside the network cable, they experience a smoothly continuous journey from one cross-section to the next, and thus we have time.

Now, to time-travel under this theory, one merely has to break through the plastic outer coating and travel in a sort of quasi-time backwards or forwards along the wire, then break back in. This causes the ripple effects mentioned later, and appears (from a neutral 3rd-person external viewpoint) instantaneous.

I made a few other comments about metatime or whatnot in here, but they require unhinging of a few things and confused people anyway, so they can be skipped for the time being. :)

In fact, the entire purpose of the establishment of the Order of Order was to attempt to prevent such temporal tsunamis from wrecking the lunch breaks of visiting dignitaries to this particular dimension.

Because they are the Gerbils in Black.

"You believe that this young recruit is THAT reasonable?" the oldest gerbil of them all, Yanne, questioned of the young captain who stood before him in the middle of the chamber.

Yanne's a completely made-up name, though it could have some roots in Wunna-Pekke.

Captain Moba,

This, too…Moba*Moga, perhaps?

"And, if you'll forgive the interruption, his energy level for that mind of his IS extreme; I ran the QQM test on his bloodstream, and it came back reading 67,000!"

Qui-gon's Quaint Midochlorian test.

"All that means," he spoke in a trembling voice, "is that he drinks at least FIVE cans of Jolt a day!

An alternate explanation for Darth Vader's power level.

The clerk of the Order, bowing in respect of Yanne's authority, approached the council timidly. "Well, it's hard to say, exactly, but I DID see him heading off towards the basement with a pickaxe in his--"

This clerk's from the courtroom in Life, The Universe, And Everything, but he speaks the lines of Tom Servo from MST3K: The Movie.

Kasumi walked by Nabiki's room, carrying a basket of laundry from the bathroom. A faint reverberation from a distant future, triggered by both the smell of the clothes and the power of the ancient gerbil racing through the floor beneath her, triggered for an instant an absolutely clear picture of what was eventually to be. She saw, with photographic clarity, her great-granddaughter, saving not only the entire physical cosmos, but preserving the lives of an almost infinite number of people throughout every possible reality in existence itself.

This is foreshadowing, but for a chapter I haven't written yet. :)

"Oh! Oh, well, that's all right, then," she said to herself cheerfully, continuing onwards to the laundry area.

Quote from Fenchurch in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

"You know, I've gone right off this timestream."

Swap "timestream" with "towel" and it's a Zaphod quote.

The most troubling occurance of all was when Lieutenant Frungy,

Frungy! Developed by the Zoq-Fot-Piq in Star Control 2, Frungy is, of course, The Sport of Kings.

Yanne entered the hall, and the gerbils who were not still floating around managed to stand at attention to hear what their respected elder had to say regarding the Pereshte situation. He reached his chair, sighed deeply and spoke, "My friends, I am afraid that our mission has failed."

"WHAT?!" the crowd shouted back at him.

Oh yay, 'tis Stone Cold Yanne Austin. Perhaps this ref DID go on a bit long. And I don't even WATCH wrestling, either; you can blame the guys over at Mystery Octagon Theater almost entirely for this one, too.


Vegeta: We're gettin' married today! Everybody: WHAT?

TBS <Vegeta: We're gettin' married!>
ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta: Today!>
ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta: Matrimony!>
ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta: Before sundown!>
ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta: I said before sundown!>
ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta, staring at camera: I said before sundown.> ALL <Crowd: WHAT?>
TBS <Vegeta: And that's the bottom line!>


(same link as earlier, The Dave and Dyne Saga, ep. 113)

And that's about it for Chocolate Oranges, for now. Still got another chapter to write, but it's inordinately complex and takes a while to think up…that and it's going to be peculiarly odd. Heheh. :)

I also want to try doing something more dramatic and quality with this next part, too. Mind Stew's about the closest I've come so far, but I've got to learn how to craft a story with some actual emotional POWAH behind it, de gozaru. Something of that sort, anyway. Harder than it looks.