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Maybe It's Not Too Late After All

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by RedPiggy, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 1
    (Summer, 2000 AD)

    Deep in the blackness of space, as stars shined all around, gaseous nebulas shifting and shimmering in all kinds of different colors, a ship moved slowly through the infinite expanse. It resembled the abdomen of a wasp, a rounded cone ending in a sharp tip. It was silver, though a long spike out of the tip, like a wasp’s stinger, was black as the night sky. Four large dark golden solar sails, each the length of the ship, unfurled into an X-like shape. Cosmic winds helped the vessel pick up speed.

    It was important for the leader of the very small band to ensure the ship never had to deal with such creatures again. Inside the ship, a sapphire blue light permeated the ship. The walls gently curved, suggesting the interior of an oval, coming to a rounded tip at the ceiling. The walls were like rough-hewn unpolished marble, with rows of brown stalagmite-like structures following the gentle curves of the floor layout. Several of the larger structures had green diodes on them that blinked off and on, revealing the status of ship functions, such as environmental control and hull stability.

    The lead creature slowly ambled toward the command center, which included steel-framed staircases and a large black pedestal that projected a large rectangular hologram. Sections of the walls looked like the inside of a carcass … red and white mottled walls with curved ribs arching upward.

    Yoz was a Halosian. She resembled a black-headed vulture in shape, though the constant exposure to the blue light had significantly degraded her form. The tip of her beak was yellow with a black point. Her eye ridges were highly pronounced. Sharp black quills ran along the midline of her skull toward the back of her neck. Her skin was highly wrinkled, though around the jaw, there were a few metal screws to which were attached some artificial tendons, as her cheeks had been completely decomposed. Her lower jaw had no bottom and could be seen through from below. The edges of her beak were lined with jagged yellow-brown teeth. She had large black wings that seemed far too frail and diseased to carry her large body, which was cloaked in black robes.

    She inched toward the holographic screen, mindful of every step. Due to the physical degradation caused by the blue lighting, she could barely see. While her sense of smell was keen, she could only see objects that were within a couple of nanometras beyond her beak. A furry creature skitted across the hard floor. She felt the vibrations in her feet and bent over quickly, snatching up the creature in her beak and quickly gulping it down hole. Without a tongue or a bottom to her jaw, she could not afford to savor her food.

    The screen showed multiple images of her kind loading the carcasses of the dead into airlocks. Thirty members of her crew had been killed recently in a provoked attack, the legacy of their former leader, a male Halosian named Tak. A large body count would lead to a promotion, or “evolution”, for Halosians valued supreme political power. Their Code demanded the destruction of many hostiles in order to obtain each evolution.

    Tak had been a complete drad. Yoz was right to kill him. Now she was evolved one step higher, the commander of her own vessel, the Halos-1. Still, thoughts nagged at her.

    Yoz slowly approached the chanting blue creature who stood chained to the metal staircase leading to the upper deck in the command center. It was a bald female in blue clothes with a large heavy golden collar draped over her shoulders. She stopped as soon as the speckled blue alien was in proper focus. Suddenly, the alien stopped chanting peacefully, opening her eyes and staring warmly at Yoz. “I believe,” Yoz told her, in a deep female voice that was punctuated by labored inhalation, as her voice had be generated solely in her larynx like a bird, “I believe … that your Moya … peaceful.”

    The alien nodded, smiling knowingly. “So he will attack when he searches the ship?” she asked casually.

    Yoz nodded, shrugging slightly. “Perhaps.”

    That creature, that alien who scented nothing like a normal warm-blooded beast, had enlightened Yoz to a foreign concept: selflessness. The alien had clearly been powerful, however. For all the talk of peace, the alien had easily overpowered her, knocking her unconscious. Had the chanting been a spell for enhanced strength? Halosians were not unschooled in mysticism. Though the emperors and their followers had a long tradition of smiting enemies physically, several of their dwindling group practiced the Spiting Arts, where discord and confusion and aggression were enhanced in enemies to force them to fight each other and allow the practitioners to escape unharmed. In some circles, killing enemies with the Spiting Arts was far nobler, as it resulted in no harm to the perpetrator.

    After several arns, Yoz found a small corner in which to sleep. Each Halosian had separate sleeping quarters, but her recent upheaval left her less willing to trust a mere door to keep her safe. No, she would rest out in the open, so that any who tried to kill her could be dealt with.

    Her eyes closed, she began to dream, with blurry images combined with strong smells and sounds. Again she found herself standing near the blue alien.

    “You know this is wrong!” hissed the blue alien as Yoz tried to walk past her.

    Yoz stopped, glancing at her. “Can do nothing,” she replied, inhaling deeply. “Our code forbid me --.”

    Frell your code!” retorted the alien. She nodded toward Tak, who had begun to order the attack on the Leviathan ship Moya. “Stop him!”

    Yoz moved in closer. While her face could not emote very well, a hint of curiosity shown in her brown eyes. “Am fascinated … by your code … those on Moya … not your race … yet … you worry.”

    The alien appeared disgusted. “Yes, of course!”

    Yoz shrugged. “We worry … about nothing … but ourselves.”

    “That’s hard to swallow,” noted a smarmy male voice. Yoz turned and saw a pale pink creature dressed in black robes with a frilly black collar surrounding his neck. He appeared to be bald aside from gray tufts of fur over his rounded external ears. He smiled cheerfully, his yellow eyes glistening green in the blue light. “My deepest apologies for intruding, but how can you say you’re interested in yourself when you clearly have no real ambition?”

    Yoz glared at him, tilting her head slightly. “Real … ambition?”

    The stranger nodded. “Over sixty million cycles ago, there was a planet of interest to you with the key to unlimited power.” He sighed and turned his back on her. “Of course, if by being evolved you simply mean achieving meaningless ranks within your ship, a creature such as you would never be interested in the power to manipulate the universe to your whim.”

    Yoz scoffed. “Halosians … have power,” she noted, pointing an arthritic bony finger at him. “You … nothing.”

    The man turned to glare at her. “Yoz, Yoz – you are a species trapped within the confines of the mere physical. Have you no sense of your species’ beginnings? For millions of cycles, the legends talk of a powerful race of energy beings, beings with the power to alter reality as they chose. They had the gift of life and death at their long fingertips. Yet they damaged the key to their power, and as a result they split into two subspecies: the mammalian Mystics and the avian Skekses. The Mystics could create harmony with just their voices, while the Skekses could introduce chaos and destruction.”

    Yoz shrugged. “Halosian … mystics practice … Spiting Arts,” she told him frankly. “We hear … also … of species … forcing … peace … to avoid … danger.” She approached him, surprised this aged creature seemed to view her without fear or disgust, which most Sebaceans would do if they were unfortunate enough to meet a Halosian, the hypocrites. Nothing was uglier than the Sebacean species. “So what?” she asked him pointedly. “Sebacean offer … useless.”

    He growled. “I am nothing like Sebaceans!” he protested angrily. She could hear his pulse in his neck. “I am omnipotent. I merely require the means to influence the universe!”

    Yoz chuckled and turned from him. “Potent … with no … power,” she retorted. “Funny.”

    The male creature smirked. “Be that as it may. If you truly desire to evolve, to rid yourself of this decomposing state in which you happen to find yourself, I suggest the planet Thra. On its surface is a large crystal, roughly twice your height, floating above a fiery abyss in the depths of the remains of a long-dead ruin.” He shrugged. “Or you can fall apart at the seams, unable to stop the ravages of the radiation killing your species slowly. How many of you are there, Yoz? Twenty? Ten? Five? Can you really decline my offer? Think about it,” he told her before disappearing as she slowly awoke, the coordinates of the planet embedded in her consciousness.

    <><><>

    Somewhere distant, there is a glistening castle, sitting atop a floating rock held by chains to the shores of a gigantic lake. All was fine greenery around the castle, for the waters were pure. Deep within the throne room of the castle, a thin woman sobbed as she sat on her snow-covered throne.

    A brief flash of bluish-green caught her eye. She looked up and noted a peacock fluttering about the throne room, shaking its tailfeathers around clunky bronze robots. The woman stood, stifling her tears, clenching her jaw. “Reveal,” she hissed under her breath.

    A torrent of mist swirled around the peacock, which grew into a six-foot-tall woman with chocolate skin and shoulder-length turquoise hair. The visitor smiled warmly, brushing away the mist from her thin sea-green dress. Her folding fan headpiece glistened with frozen dew. “Goodness, Mizumi – your welcome could have been warmer.”

    “What do you want?” Mizumi asked bitterly, glaring at the woman. “You will find nothing to scavenge here in Moraine.”

    “Well, there’s your pride,” the woman noted with a playful smile, clasping her hands behind her back. She rocked side to side and blew Mizumi a kiss. “You’ve thrown that away.”

    “If you don’t want the entire Trash Kingdom washed away, I suggest you return there immediately, Eshe, for I have no time for you,” Mizumi retorted, returning to her thrown and staring at a distant frosted window.

    Eshe sighed, shrugging. “It’s been a year, Mizumi. He beat you. Get over it.”

    Mizumi refused to afford her a glance. “So you can obtain him on the rebound? Hardly.”

    Eshe crossed her arms, frowning. “You know very well he’s still pining over that, what is she now? You know, that school teacher, S—.”

    “Your survival requires never saying that name in my presence.”

    Eshe laughed. “He spurned us both, Mizumi. He’s tossed us away.”

    Mizumi’s lips quivered. “You fail to be inspiring, my dear.”

    Eshe approached. “You fail to understand, dear Queen of Cups. He threw that woman away as well. He let her get away from him.”

    “She chose the life of a servant,” Mizumi noted with a tinge of bitterness and admiration. “She might as well have slapped him in the face.”

    “I thought Jareth was into the whole ‘appreciate the different’ thing,” Eshe offered.

    Mizumi chuckled, glancing at Eshe. “If that were true, he would have chosen you. Indeed, he still does not seem to know what he wants.” She paused, letting acid drip into her next words. “And the Labyrinth cannot function so long as his heart is conflicted.”

    Eshe nodded tenderly. “Neither can Moraine.” She sat on her knees in front of the throne, the frigid temperatures giving her goosebumps. “My dear Mizumi, Ruler of pristine Moraine, a heart divided cannot beat well.” She took a small mirror from her dress and held it out. An image of a thin athletic girl with long black pigtails and a scar over her left eye appeared, as did the image of a rotund girl with short black pigtails and dark freckles covering her cheeks. “Release your daughters, Milady.”

    “You would have me without hope?” Mizumi asked sadly, her tears streaking down her cheeks and freezing before they can fall from her chin.

    Eshe shrugged. “You’d also be without regret.” She put the mirror up. “They don’t have to be bound within your heart to support your soul.”

    Mizumi growled at her, angrily jabbing a finger. “How dare you burst into my castle and attempt a coup?”

    “Pardon?” Eshe asked, seemingly shocked as she stood quickly, stepping back a few paces, placing a hand over her chest. “What gives you the right to accuse me?”

    Mizumi grinned darkly. “I am not Jareth. Yes, I am distraught with lost opportunities, but you are no peacock, but a vulture, soaring in arcs around our destinies. You can’t wait to swoop in and take advantage of the situation.”

    “Hello? I am trying to salvage your relationship,” Eshe protested in an offended tone, tilting her hip slightly as she crossed her arms. “That human wouldn’t marry Jareth if the fate of the universe depended on it. You’ve got a much better chance than she does!”

    “You will never get Jareth,” Mizumi replied in a deadly tone, her eyes filled with loathing. “On the other hand, if you help me try to win his heart once more, you are certainly assuming my attempt will fail, allowing you to succeed me as his latest conquest.”

    Eshe chortled. “Conquest? Hardly! Jareth isn’t the only one who knows his way around destiny, Mizumi. I give life to the lifeless.” She glared at Mizumi with a dark grin. “And nothing is more lifeless than his love for you.”

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: See season 2 of Farscape, the episode titled “Out of Their Minds”, for the appearance of the Skekses-like Halosians. Also, Mizumi is from the comic, “Return to Labyrinth” by Jake Forbes. Eshe is my name for Sesame Street’s Queen of Trash from Elmo in Grouchland. I have only seen one or two clips on youtube, so I’m just sorta winging her characterization. This is one of those crossover fics. In other words, I like writing as though all the Henson or Henson/Disney projects occur in one universe. You won’t need to read my other fics, hopefully, to enjoy this one, as the continuity of my ficverse is going to be messed with soon. Still, if you’ve been a reader of mine, it could be enriching to know how the “original universe” of mine went to appreciate some of the details of this one. Like I said, though, this is pretty much it’s own story. I’m not going to write it in acts this time, as it’s just one story instead of several stories linked together. I hope you enjoy. I can’t help but be excited to have my Muppet muse return to me after so long of not really having one.
  2. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Well-Known Member

    I didn't know who the Queen of Trash was before I read this fic, (never saw EiG, bad Ailie) but I looked her up on Muppet Wiki and well, she's...yummeh. :confused: Now aside from that comment, I do like the characterization you've given her as well as the other charries.

    In the words of the great......Adam West, 'Oh no, she di'int! D<'

    This is really a great beginning and I'm psyched to read moar. Epic job, Kels. :halo:
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 2
    (Summer, 2000AD)

    The Halos-1 slowed as it approached the blue-green planet of Thra. The solar sails bent toward the ship, so that they were seen to be coverings for the hull.

    The lights within the ship were now a greenish color, as the gold of the sails mixed with the blue of the lights. Yoz stared at the holographic screen, which showed the planet’s surface. She pressed a few buttons, and the image zoomed in, enlarging the surface until a massive stone structure could be seen, heavily degraded and almost completely rubble.

    That was fine. Her sense of smell would be of more use to her, anyway. She looked around. Perhaps the sleep vision was false. Perhaps the creature had lied to her.

    Still …

    … there was this fascinating planet, after all.

    <><><>

    Mizumi approached the large fountain in the central courtyard of her castle. At its center was a quartz statue of herself, with a goblet in each hand from which streamed hot, steamy water.

    Eshe slowly clapped in an exaggerated fashion. “My congratulations, Your Excellency,” she noted with a smirk. “No one could ever accuse you of narcissism.”

    Mizumi sat at the water’s edge. “You need not be so sarcastic, Eshe,” she replied quietly. “My daughter Moulin had this commissioned for my birthday. She said she saw this in a vision. I felt very honored.”

    “She engaged in hydromancy, did she not?”

    Mizumi nodded wistfully as she thought of her daughter. “The past, the present, the future … all revealed itself to her in the water’s surface.”

    “Pity you got rid of her.”

    “I did no such thing,” Mizumi retorted bitterly, glaring at Eshe.

    “Word is, you stabbed her,” pressed Eshe like a cat eyeing a mouse.

    “I returned for my beloved daughter,” Mizumi replied sadly. “Moulin was barely alive. Still, by then I had acquired hope.”

    “By killing Drumlin,” Eshe confirmed. “You throw away family so easily.”

    “You sound like Jareth.”

    Someone has to,” Eshe snapped back.

    Mizumi fought against the urge to shove a blast of water down Eshe’s throat. Whatever destiny had in store for Mizumi, Eshe was clearly a part, so for now Mizumi would see what part this frustrating dung beetle had to play. She placed an index finger onto the water’s surface, watching as the ripples altered the visible reflection. The forms shifted, and soon a pile of rubble appeared.

    Eshe bent over. “Oh, look,” she said, grinning, “what a wonderful palace!”

    Mizumi chuckled despite herself. “It is certainly to your taste.”

    Suddenly, a balding aged male with bright yellow eyes lashed out at her from nowhere, wearing a black robe and a frilly collar. Mizumi gasped and froze the water before the hand could reach her throat. She fell with a loud thump onto the ground.

    Eshe snorted. “That was different.”

    “Maldis,” Mizumi whispered.

    “Who?”

    Mizumi picked herself up and dusted off her shimmering white robes. She stared at the frozen angry form of the being. “Jareth and I have known each other for a long, indeed, very long time. We lived entire lifetimes together.” She nodded toward the being, who seemed to be struggling against the ice now. “One of the kingdoms we ruled was a place called the Royal Planet.”

    “Original,” Eshe commented, giggling briefly.

    Mizumi slowly approached the icy statue, noting tiny cracks as she continued. “It was a kingdom not unlike Moraine, save for the lack of water. The citizens were called Peacekeepers, a race bred solely for combat. However, eventually a group of them split off and formed a colony on that planet. Jareth and I manipulated our way into their royal system until we became bored and left them to their fate.” She paused, in deep thought. “I wonder what they’ve been up to since then.”

    “Do you ask yourself about the goblins?”

    Mizumi smirked. “Point taken, dear Eshe.”

    Eshe approached the icy statue, shuddering at the larger cracks forming in the ice. She could see him glaring at them both, his face in a forced scowl. “And how is a mere vision trying to kill us?”

    Mizumi sighed. “Because of where we are … and what he is. Even in that distant time, the universe spoke of Maldis. He was similar to us in many ways. What he consumed, however, could not easily be accomplished in a corporeal form, so he cast away his body, living only in thoughts and dreams.”

    Eshe rolled her eyes and turned away. “Great, so he’s a human’s horror movie monster.”

    Mizumi kept her gaze locked on Maldis’ eyes. “Have you forgotten the nature of the Underground, dear Eshe? It feeds off of the hearts and dreams of others.” She caressed Maldis’ face tenderly, slightly amused at his attempts to scream at her in indignation. “Yet where his powers are strictly predatory, ours our symbiotic. He has been given form by my powers.” She paused, her tone lowering. “I am one to rectify my errors.” She waved her hand and the icy statue shattered into multiple pieces, splashing back into the waters and disappearing, with only the real reflections returning on the water surface after the haphazard ripples subsided.

    <><><>

    Yoz found herself in a small circular space. A dark ring could be seen encircling a large pit at a distance of a few nanometras. She heard a slight rumbling in the rubble and turned, shocked that anything might live here. Perhaps it could be eaten, she thought with what had to pass as a smile.

    The pink alien she saw in her sleep visions appeared, struggling to break free of the stone. She stepped back, slightly alarmed.

    “You … not real,” she exclaimed.

    He groaned as he stood, his flesh slowly adhering to his body piece by piece in a disgusting display of reformation. “I am,” he told her. “I am Maldis.”

    Yoz reached down and picked up a stone and threw it at him. She watched as he stumbled back, dazed, a gash forming on his shoulder. “Real. Humph.”

    “Have you … found … the crystal?” he asked, barely able to stand back up. He winced with every move. How long had it been since his pain had been real?

    Yoz shook her head. “Scans say … this … has residue. Crystal … gone.”

    Maldis shook his head. “That’s not true.”

    “Find it … you,” she retorted. “Yoz … end of … search … now.”

    Maldis looked around. He saw the pit. Wobbling over, he peered into the abyss, which used to be an active volcanic vent, from the looks of things.

    Yoz found a large sword and lifted it up effortlessly, bringing it down over Maldis’ head.

    He stepped aside, dodging it, and pushed out with his arm. She stumbled back. He roared with fury. She should have found herself metras away! With a new body, his powers had clearly been nearly drained. This would have to be rectified. Still, the name he heard ....

    He had an idea.

    Summoning the last of his strength a wave of purplish white light blast through the area.

    And Yoz and Maldis were nowhere to be seen.
  4. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 3
    (Summer, 2000 AD)

    Eshe groaned as she fell to the floor, grasping her throbbing head with both hands. Tears flowed freely from her face, forming a small puddle on the ground beneath her.

    Mizumi stared at the fountain, frowning. Her body ached as though it had been put on the rack. She felt her life draining away. She glanced at the now screaming Eshe. “What is it?” she asked, feeling as though she were about to throw up.

    Eshe could barely reply through the screams. “Un … done!” She writhed in agony, contorting her body this way and that, almost breaking bones with the violent seizures. “Mal … dis ….”

    <><><>
    (10,000 BC)

    Yoz groaned as she awoke. Looking around, she noted the ruins were in far better repair, though still the suns shone brightly through gaping holes in the walls. She could see Maldis lying on the far side of the room, groaning.

    She could see him. Yoz stood, amazed at how fresh her joints had become. She took her bony black fingers and ran them across her face, shocked to feel a thin layer of flesh forming cheeks and a chin, which grew thicker with every passing microt.

    Eventually, nay, inevitably, her eyes wandered toward the gigantic blackish-purple crystal, hovering above the pit, the smell of magma wafting up to her beak from below. It shattered the light of the suns, sending caustic beams that seemed to burn anything in its path … except it was shining right at her, and instead of death, she found rejuvenation.

    Footsteps alarmed her. She turned and saw a figure, roughly the same size as Maldis, cloaked in a brown robe. She could not determine the creature’s shape, but it smelled of malehood.

    “Am I never to be alone?” asked the male voice in a pained yet suave tone.

    Yoz stood erect, flapping her wings with renewed vigor. “Yoz … I … Yoz … I evolve … here … now … behold … Halosian glory!”

    The robed figure thrust out an arm and sent Yoz flying into a broken wall, knocking her unconscious. He glanced in the direction of the other being who lay among the rubble. With a snap of his fingers, Maldis awoke.

    Groaning, Maldis shook rubble off of his clothing, finding himself stronger and able to stand without wobbling. He glanced around and spotted the robed figure. His yellow eyes flashed in glee, a smile creepily spreading across his face. “I hope I haven’t inconvenienced you, Jareth.”

    The robed figure removed the hood. His face was thin, his hair a matted golden brown.

    Maldis chuckled. “I had thought the rumored ‘King of the Universe’ better looking, to be perfectly frank.”

    “I fail to see why I should acknowledge your presence,” Jareth commented, frowning.

    Maldis nodded as he strafed the Crystal, keeping his eyes glued on Jareth. “It occurred to me, Your Majesty, that the one known as Jareth was fond of hiding from asinine spectators.” He bowed slightly. “I intend you no harm. I merely wish to take your crown.”

    Jareth raised an eyebrow. “You do?” he asked curiously. He ran his right hand through his hair. “And to what crown would you be referring? For surely such an imposition is yours … if you can take it.”

    Maldis huffed. “Take care, Your Highness, not to find me foolish. Deep in the most ancient corners of my memories, I hear whispers of the King who threw away his crown.” He laughed. “I know very well it rests with you. Of course,” he continued, “since you seem so fond of abandoning your power, and I so greatly covet it, perhaps a trade is in order.”

    “A trade is only valid if you have anything of value,” Jareth noted with a smirk. “I see only a tired old man.”

    “Sixty million years ago, the universe was torn asunder. Light and dark separated. Good and evil found themselves on opposite ends of the playing field.”

    “Sixty million years ago, a bright light shone forth and illuminated the universe,” Jareth offered instead as he walked in the opposite direction as Maldis, matching his visitor’s every move. “Once again were wishes made and wishes granted. Once again there was … what did that land-locked bird just call it? Ah, yes … evolution.”

    Maldis nodded toward the Crystal. “And yet here walk you and I, facing each other across a dying portal to the heart of this world, an injured crystal floating perilously between us.” He chuckled, shrugging. “It makes one wonder why there’s so much trouble over such a little thing, don’t you agree?” He waved his arms around, surveying the area. “Look around you, Jareth … this planet is in shambles. This crystal is dying. Planets everywhere are groaning … and you want a day off. It’s understandable. The universe knows its King will soon leave it completely helpless.” He laughed. “No one can blame you, Jareth, for running away.”

    Jareth glanced at the crystal. “Such amusing things, crystals. How would you like to spend your life in one?”

    Maldis huffed and looked away. “Been there, done that.” What little hair on Maldis’ head stood on end. His heart, however blackened it was, palpitated.

    Both Jareth and Maldis contorted to face one another and burst forth an energy wave from each, causing the ruins to rumble and crumble into small piles of shattered stone and glass. A bright white flash blinded them both, sending them each to opposite ends of the room, tumbling over the remains of the walls as easily as dolls in a tornado.

    Jareth and Maldis, cringing, sat up, feeling broken and bruised. As their vision returned, as the light faded, the Dark Crystal had vanished, specks of nearly invisible pieces floating up into the sky, just as the three suns joined above them, the light incredibly painful to their weary bodies.

    Jareth felt his heart sink.

    Maldis lay back down on the ground, laughing as he watched the crystal fragments erupt into the atmosphere, glinting in the conjoined sunlight. “I leave, Jareth,” he announced, unable to stop laughing. “You don’t. The universe dissolves and you with it. Except for your life force. Your essence. Whatever you call it.” He laughed some more as Jareth wobbled as he walked off, ignoring Maldis’ ranting. “Frell the appetizer … this truly is the main course!”

    <><><>
    (Summer, 2000 AD)

    Mizumi, fighting vertigo and a heightened sense of panic, stumbled toward Eshe and fell to her knees, cringing in agony. “Wh … wh … where is Maldis?” she asked strenuously.

    Eshe, sobbing, replied through gasping breaths, “P … P … P … past ….” She lunged at Mizumi, grabbing her by the chin, making Mizumi’s eyes grow wide in surprise. “Th … this … I … I … assure you,” she gasped, “st … strictly … business.”

    Eshe planted her sparkling lips on Mizumi’s ice cold lips, the latter gasping in protest, as they shuddered under the torrential winds caused by a universe dying, while they instead were linked together with a soft golden glow.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Okay, so I've read this story both here and with the additions at fanfic.net, and I like where the story's headed, at least regarding Esh's past dealings where Jareth tried to reclaim his fears. And though I know this is taking place after RTL finished, there's a certain cattyness between the two queens towards each other that I'm not sure I follow at times. Are they both fighting over who gets the same one guy? Is Mizumi defending herself like prey from a predator? But I'm excited to read whatever's next as soon as it gets posted.

    So... More please?
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I will note to other readers that the "Eshe's past" deal is fleshed out more over on fanfiction.net, where I can edit stories.

    Both Mizumi and Eshe are after Jareth. In RTL, Mizumi felt she deserved Jareth because her will was as strong as his. However, due to my Comeback characterization of both, it is clear they are certainly not equal. Jareth, in Comeback, is the former King of the Universe. It is arguable that he can control destiny, as he always seems to be several steps ahead of everyone else. Mizumi, meanwhile, is "just" an elemental. Sure, she's mega-powerful, but Jareth is used to thinking about things she could never even imagine. Since I've decided to focus more on the female characters in this story, we're going to see just why Mizumi and Eshe differ. Actually, with a little thought, one could probably figure out why Eshe feels she's more than a match for Jareth. *cackles evilly*
  7. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 4
    (190PK … 190 years after Sebacean contact on Earth)

    Eshe coughed as she sat up. Wisps of gold dissipated from her, thick and sticky like cosmic honey. She wiped her mouth and looked around, feeling as though her body had just been tossed into a garbage truck. All around her was a small, gritty, destitute neighborhood. She thought the layout looked familiar, but it was … wrong. There was supposed to be a pile of trash over there on the right, in front of some haphazardly put up doors. Over there, far in front of her … wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of storefront?

    And where were all the apartments and shops and such things, instead of long-gutted husks of huts and cottages? Why was the street made of dirt instead of asphalt?

    She groaned, hobbling over to where a trash can used to be. It was special, a link to her own kingdom in the Underground, which was a magical dimension that transcended time and space. She glanced here and there, all over the ground.

    But, there was nothing there.

    Just cold stones.

    Well, and a small burlap sack with a dark reddish-brown hue.

    Eshe laughed briefly, a sign of quick emotional relief. She opened the sack and stumbled backwards as a frail old man with a large nose and large ears and short curly gray hair spilled out of the sack. He hurriedly shrieked and grabbed Eshe by the shoulders, panicking, his eyes filled with dread. His voice was gravelly and scratchy, a testament to innumerable seasons passing him by.

    “Please! Put me back! Put me back into the sack!” he cried out, shaking her.

    Eshe stared at him, wide-eyed, her jaw slack. “Wh-who are you?”

    He shook his head. “Nevermind. Dare I not say my own name. Just order me back.” He started to sob, slumping back onto his rump as he let her go, his eyes closed as tears started to stream forth. “Just put me back.”

    Eshe sat up straight, still wary of him. “You’re free now, old man,” she told him. “There’s nothing to fear.”

    The old man chuckled as he sobbed. “Fear is being outside the sack, my lady.” He nodded toward the sack. “Death became vindictive after I died. He threatened to bring me back, so all the pain, all the suffering, all the fear would be mine again.” He looked up and pointed to a small young woman with short brown hair and plastic frames and broken lenses, her clothes dirty and torn. She had a small towel, nearly decomposed entirely with years of scrubbing. “Look at her,” he told Eshe. “The girl once had a name. It was Kelly. Her family quarreled and fought and argued and abandoned and there was never any rest. Like so many others, there was nothing to do. Hmph! Now she, like all those here in Dead Slum, works at meaningless tasks, just so their meaningless spirits have something to do.”

    Eshe felt like she was going to throw up. She grunted as she stood, aching all over, and walked over to the young woman, who rubbed the ground with her towel to clean it, though it was left just the same as before. “Can’t you cross over into the Light?”

    Kelly had an emotionless face. “No such thing.”

    “Yes, there is!” Eshe protested.

    Kelly kept her eyes on her task, pointless as it was. “You act like Deadly is the monster, but he is kind. He keeps us busy. There’s no point in wasting away looking for a Light that doesn’t exist when there’s work to be done.” She finally stood, looking up at Eshe, holding out her filthy, blood-tinged rags. Eshe could just make out pale red lines stretching from her wrists to her elbows. “You look as though you need something to do.” Eshe began to take the rags from her, but Kelly jerked back her hand, cradling the remnants of towel. “No,” she said in a low, serious tone, “it’s mine. Dusting is my job. Go get one of your own. Go --.” Before she could say any more, she suddenly turned silent, any trace of anger leaving her as though it had never appeared, and walked away, wiping off the ever-present dirt on random items as she walked.

    The old man stood, nervously looking around, his voice somewhat more tender. He held the sack in his hand as he approached Eshe from behind. “No one suffers here in Dead Slum. Uncle Deadly ensures that.”

    Eshe turned and glanced at him. “Then why don’t you want to leave that sack?”

    The old man finally smiled and shrugged sheepishly. “There came a time I wanted to die, to have my sufferings end. I tried to trap and enslave the monsters that roamed the world, but they soon stole my sack and ordered me into it. Death came and freed me from the sack, but I, stupid man that I was, ordered Death into the sack. This caused no end to suffering, so I freed it again. It took me as I had wished, but soon it changed its mind and threatened me with eternal life, so my suffering would never end. I wished myself in that sack, only to come out in the Light, but of course, there is none.”

    “You’re out now,” Eshe noted quietly.

    The old man shrugged. “Can’t say as I know all the parts to the story, of course.” He sniffled, holding out the sack to her. “Only put me back in, I beg you. Uncle Deadly is a powerful benefactor, but even he cannot prevent Death from bringing me back. To hide from Death’s revocation of its gift, I must be returned to that sack.”

    Eshe placed her hand on the old man’s tired and weary face, worn as it was with many years of suffering. “Into the sack, then, old man.” His form quickly disappeared into the sack, a warm smile upon his lips. Eshe turned, sniffling herself as she began to search, search for the one called Uncle Deadly.

    She soon spotted a small bluish gray dragon with glowing eyes staring at a small monitor. “Uncle Deadly?” she asked quietly.

    He didn’t look at her, his tone curt. “Leave me alone. I’m getting a new admission soon.”

    “Allow the souls to cross over,” Eshe told him just as curtly. “You have no right --.”

    Uncle Deadly turned quickly and glared at her. “You have no right to criticize me! You have somewhere they can go – show them the way! Otherwise, don’t get yer britches in a wad as I try to give their restlessness what little purpose there is in this dreary existence!”

    Eshe frowned. Her sorrow and grief at what she had seen now turned to anger. She tilted her hip and crossed her arms. “There is always a Light, a Dream, a Hope --,” she began.

    Uncle Deadly scoffed, shaking his head. “Just got to this planet, didn’t you, pumpkin?” Eshe closed her mouth and he nodded. “Yes, must be new to this world. Well, I hear rumors of some flashy little messenger of the gods about to show up and show us all the Light, but I’ll trust her as far as I can throw her. You her?”

    Eshe shook her head. “I’m from this world originally,” she told him, still not believing him. “I was just a desert rat, spending years picking up --.”

    “’Years’, huh?” Uncle Deadly asked, suddenly more interested, twirling his long tentacle-like beard in his scaly fingers. “You can’t be from Outer Space. Those folk all use the world ‘cycles’. Where are you from?”

    “The Underground, specifically,” Eshe replied in a matter-of-fact tone.

    Deadly chuckled, shrugging, turning back toward his monitor. “The only thing under the ground is more dirt,” he told her with a toothy grin.

    “There is no Underground?”

    “Like I said, only thing under the ground is more dirt.” Deadly’s eyes widened and he shushed her. “Quiet now – it’s finally on.”

    “What is?”

    “The one who’s coming soon.” He cackled as he rubbed his hands together joyfully. “I’ve been planning such things for this one.”

    On the video screen, deep in an area rather industrial in tone, like a warehouse district. Stark white banners fluttered in the breeze. They had a sharp red triangle, like a spearhead, pointing toward a black lower right corner. From a certain point of view, it looked like a silhouette of a mouth opening wide and a red wedge of cheese coming straight for it, Eshe thought.

    “Figures,” Uncle Deadly noted, bored. “The Peacekeepers keep Dead Slum busy.” He bent down and took a small cup and supped from it.

    A group of human-looking males charged down a small street, waving guns in their hands, as a pig, roughly three feet in height and wearing golden brown hair that curled softly to her shoulders, her thin blouse barely covering her top, ran screaming just in front of them.

    Finally, they cornered her in a dead end alley.

    “Yggip, Yggip, Ereh,” they mocked, making kissing gestures.

    Eshe stared at the imagery, confused. “What did they just say?”

    Deadly shrugged. “You can’t even understand them? Whoo boy, are you out of the loop. Here,” he told her, handing her a small vial. “Drink this. You won’t have to have me repeat everything to you. Believe me, that gets old real fast.”

    Eshe drank from the vial. Soon, he could hear them chanting, “Here, Piggy, Piggy.”

    Piggy, as they called her, had a rounded face, made even puffier with bruising and swelling. She trembled, crying. “P-p-p-please,” she whispered, “don’t k-k-kill me.”

    Eshe spotted a pig-shaped shadow above them. She bent down to take a closer look. “Isn’t there any way to see what that is?” she asked, pointing to the shadow.

    Deadly shook his head. “I don’t care who it is. The one with the long hair is --.” He fell silent as the throng set upon the pig, pistol whipping her as she screamed a blood-curdling scream.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” a male voice screamed.

    The Peacekeepers looked up. A large male pig jumped down on top of them, punching and kicking them. He managed to knock away every weapon about to be used on him with a speed that impressed the viewers watching in Dead Slum.

    Soon, Deadly and Eshe heard whimpering behind them. The pig stood, barely clothed. Deadly stood and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Now, now, my dear child,” he began, handing her a spoon with holes in it, “I need you to fix us up a pot of stew. Be quick about it.” Piggy nodded, sniffling briefly, before becoming emotionless and turning and walking away.

    Eshe glanced at the monitor. “That was her husband or something?”

    Deadly glanced back for a moment and shrugged. “Nah. Her brother. I don’t care much about him.” He took out a small pocketwatch. “Unless he’s moving here, I don’t keep up to date on the social scene much.” He disappeared in a puff of smoke.

    This world, Eshe mused with a somber frown, was a changed place. What had Maldis done?

    Still, she concluded with a smirk, as long as the Right of the King of the Universe was within her, thrown away long ago by Jareth, there was a chance even this lifeless scene could be livened up.

    It all boiled down to one’s point of view ….
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    :scary: :sing:
    Stagnant days.
    Wiping the dirt away.
    On our way to where the air is glum.
    Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Dead Slum?

    And then there's the Soldier from the Soldier and Death and his magical sack that anyone has to get in it once ordered.

    And the spoon with holes Deadly gave Piggy to make some stew... At least it's not for draining the pond again.

    The thing I came away with from this chapter was a sort of, well, how to put it into words. Have you seen the movie Spirited Away? You know how there are spirits or ghostly entities in Japanese culture—called yokai—who were all given specific tasks fitting into the bathhouse staff? That's sort of what spoke to me from this, which demonstrates major impressiveness to me on your part Kells.

    But yesh, I loves the dark beauty of this chapter. *Pats it tenderly. More please?

    BTW: Changed your sig huh? You might get cave madness from being marooned down there in the dirt.
  9. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    You know, the weird thing is, I always kinda figured (being able to watch the Storyteller on Netflix now) that the Soldier was the Storyteller. I mean, I realize the Storyteller tends to have props from his stories, but what little we know of him, the Storyteller has been around awhile, and the Soldier has to since no death is available to him (though in this story his problem is the exact opposite). Anyway, in my mind, they're the same character.

    And LOL, I didn't realize when I put that spoon in Piggy's hand I was implying a Storyteller plot.

    Speaking of not realizing things ... I'm a huge fan of Spirited Away, but the similarities weren't conscious. I realize you have a point, though.

    I consider Muppets, specifically the Dream, to be what got me through my childhood without ending up like this (though, a part of me was about to write myself as having a desk job, but considering I'm not as pretty as that blue-skinned beauty-pageant chick from BJ, I picked something a little more "me", LOL).
  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh, you mean Miss Argentina.

    Actually, the Storyteller himself was in one of the stories, the one titled A Story Short as a cook who has to tell the king a story that's rully out there. I've not seen the episode myself, but it's in the collected DVD and was discussed in one of Toughpigs' articles if you go searching through their archives.
    Also, The Soldier and Death holds a special place for me... It was the one episode I saw on NBC when JHH was airing that noone knew what the heck it was.

    The echoes of Spirited Away are definitely present. UD reminds me a bit of Zinaba, efficiently running his realm. Yes, it seemed somewhat harsh by outsiders, but a shelter and employment was provided, giving the souls there a purpose even if it's embedded in tedium. Your in-story appearance reminded me of Ren, the older female worker who becomes like a sister to Sen. The Peacekeepers are the mob running around when the river-god caused a riot... And Piggy could be considered as a substitute for Sen.
    Then again, I have been going through Japanese spirits lately so I could have that on my brain, especially since Power Rangers Samurai (Season 18) starts up on February 7.

    Again, thanks and hope more gets posted.
    PS: Please forgive if I got SA's character names wrong.
  11. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I've been watching Storyteller on Netflix, and actually so far I've seen him present in at least two stories.

    I would tend to agree with most of your assessments regarding Spirited Away, though I didn't really intend any sort of relationships to be had in my tale. The trapped ghosts are barely able to acknowledge the presence of someone else. Kelly only acknowledges the fact that Uncle Deadly exists and that Eshe is speaking to her. Piggy only acknowledges Uncle Deadly for sure. If we were to analyze the Dead Slum, it seems only those with power can snap the ghosts out of their mundane service. Otherwise, it would be like they are completely invisible. Deadly is in charge of the situation for reasons I didn't get into and Eshe is coasting on the power of the King of the Universe, the power of lifegiving, that Jareth threw away in my version of his backstory.

    I can also see the similarities with the mob scene, though technically the Peacekeepers were in a location other than Dead Slum. And everyone was alive up until they killed Piggy.

    Actually, the brief conscious homage I had was in the naming of Dead Slum. It is an homage to Net Slum, which was a dumping ground where the hacker Helba of the Dot Hack franchise salvaged damaged codes or avatars. They have a similar existence of broken existence, mostly completely unaware of their identities, though there can be times they seem to have flashes of personality back.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Mmm, interesting. Didn't realize the way Piggy got into Dead Slum was because she died, as have almost all the other residents there.
    Never got into Net Hack Slash. I know it aired on Cartoon Network on Saturdays, back when Adult Swim wasn't on every night and CN aired anime into the wee hours of the morning. Gosh I miss Knights of the Zodiac, Zatch Bell, YuYuhakushu (SP?) and Ravemaster. Makes me appreciate Deltora Quest which I'm now watching on The Hub.

    Rully digging the story Kells. Hope more gets posted as it helps explain more of your envisionment of these worlds.
  13. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 5
    (190PK … 190 years after Sebacean contact on Earth)

    On a far away world, far from prying eyes, a large gray curved pyramid loomed on the horizon, at the edge of a glistening ocean, surrounded by multiple ponds and lakes that sent ribbons of light wavering all over the pyramidal palace. Boxy aircraft flew in single file high in the atmosphere.

    On such a peaceful day, a small gondola drifted under the bright sunny light blue sky. A thin Caucasian-like skinned man with short brown hair in a Caesar-style haircut rowed with ornately carved wooden oars. Across from him was a white-skinned woman with dirty blonde hair tied up in a curly bun. Her tight white dress, simply cut, was covered with a heavy white long-sleeved jacket. A black oval medallion hung from her neck on a golden chain, a golden X-like symbol at an angle covering the top right of the oval.

    The man glanced past the woman.

    “What is it, Elkar?” asked the woman in a passionless voice.

    Elkar, a counselor to the Royal family, clenched his jaw. “There is a female with a crown, staring at us, Your Highness.”

    The woman set her jaw, angrily glancing at the tall woman with long white hair that glistened in the sun. “How dare she wear a crown?” the woman hissed.

    Eventually, the gondola gently touched the shore of the small lake east of the pyramidal palace. The royal woman daintily stood, stepping off the boat without rocking it even slightly.

    The white-haired one smirked, standing her ground, clasping her hands gently in front of her. Both women had faces that glinted in the sunlight, thanks to glittery white makeup with red eyeshadow on the blonde-haired one and blue eyeshadow on the white-haired one.

    “What is the meaning of this?” the first woman asked icily, glaring at the glistening spiked crown that resembled pale coral. “Who dares mock the Empress Novia with a crown?”

    “Prime Empress Mizumi,” replied the latter woman in a matching cold tone.

    Empress Novia stumbled back a couple of steps as though hit with a blaster rifle. Her face grew even paler, accentuating the white makeup. “Th-th-that’s impossible.”

    Mizumi looked around, admiring the scenery with a hint of ennui. “Impossibilities trouble only those with no imagination.” She glanced at Novia. “Where is my husband, the Emperor Jareth?”

    Novia and Elkar lay prostate on the emerald green grass underneath them. Novia raised her head barely enough to speak. “Milady, it has been over 1800 cycles since your reign!” she informed Mizumi in a panicked and sobbing tone. “The Royal Planet has no data on what happened to Emperor Jareth after --.”

    “—after condemning me to suspended animation,” Mizumi noted testily. Turning her back on the Empress and her counsel, she stared at the light blue sky, so welcoming and expansive. Her heart fluttered. Conflicting memories swirled about in her mind….

    Jareth smiled as the last Sebacean walked off the plank of the transport pod. He stood motionless, admiring the throng of Sebaceans as they cheered their successful arrival. The only movement was a trio of small crystal balls, gently swirling around each other in the air just above his right shoulder.

    Mizumi playfully plucked a crystal ball from the air as she stood behind her lover. A thin cool mist enveloped the ball. She held it out just inches from his face. “Shall we not gain power here, Jareth, my love?”

    Jareth smiled.

    Mizumi gasped silently as the ball dashed away from her mist and returned to its spinning position just over his shoulder.

    He glanced at her mockingly. “Do you plan to stay here, Mizumi?”

    Mizumi smiled, nodding. “I will gladly be wherever you are, my love,” she replied, cooing in his ear.

    Mizumi’s stomach turned as the Empress and her counsel stood, quizzically glancing at each other.

    Mizumi approached Jareth in the temporary throne room. “I missed you today,” she told him coldly.

    Jareth stared at the floor, sitting in the windowsill, moping. “My heart will always belong to you, Milady.”

    Mizumi’s hair bristled on the back of her neck. “How DARE you address me in such a manner? Is it not I who rescued you from that slave pen on Thra? Was it not I who suggested more … APPROPRIATE … planets for the Halosians to consume? Have I not given you EVERYTHING your heart demanded of me?”

    Jareth stared at her like a beaten negnik. “I sit before you in humble appreciation, Your Majesty.”

    Mizumi scoffed, turning her back on him. “I want neither your heart nor your gratitude, Jareth,” she grumbled, walking away.

    “What does my empress demand of me?” he asked in a low tone.

    Just as Mizumi was about to exit the room, she paused. “I want your power,” she replied quietly as she left.

    Jareth whispered back, looking out the window, “I give all but what I do not have, Milady.”

    Mizumi gasped, turning toward the current empress. “Take me to the Royal Jewel,” she asked in a tense voice. “It still exists on this world, does it not?”

    Empress Novia shuddered.

    Mizumi thrust out an arm.

    A thin mist swirled around her hand and reached out toward the empress, but only for a few seconds before dissipating.

    Mizumi stared at her hand as she lowered it. She looked around at the multitude of lakes in the area. This planet … had there been this much water here during their reign? Why did her memories seem so conflicting?

    Jareth had the answer.

    That much she knew without doubt.

    Empress Novia stepped forward, bowing her head, her hands in a placating gesture. “Prime Empress, the Royal Jewel is in the palace.”

    “It shouldn’t be,” Mizumi noted quietly.

    “Pardon?”

    Mizumi shook her head, sighing. “Never mind, Empress Novia. Take me to the Royal Jewel at once. It is a link to my husband.”

    “Like a Life Disc?” Elkar asked.

    Mizumi shot a deadly glance at him. “You speak above your station, boy,” she hissed. She glared at the empress. “Control the mouths of your citizens more thoroughly, Novia.”

    Novia bowed her head. “Your Majesty.”

    A couple of arns later, Novia personally opened the door to a small vault. Bright blue lasers danced around the room. Pressing a numerical code, the lasers ended their dance.

    Without pause nor permission, Mizumi strode into the vault and stared at a sphere which could rest comfortably in the hand, sitting on an upholstered pedestal. It seemed to be made of solid white quartz. Mizumi turned toward the Empress. “Do you take me for a fool?”

    “Your Majesty?”

    Mizumi growled, angrily jabbing an index finger at the orb. “The Royal Jewel is a pyrope garnet. It is formed from the boiling hot blood of a planet’s core. It is black … not white.”

    Novia glanced at Elkar, who backed up a step or two. “Milady, the Jewel has been this color since your reign. It has never altered.”

    Mizumi spun around and grabbed the Royal Jewel tightly in her fist, squeezing it ineffectively. She screamed and dropped it.

    “Are you well, Your Highness?”

    Mizumi nearly vomited. Attempting to recover, she steadied herself on the pedestal. “Take me to Earth,” she told the empress.

    “Pardon?”

    “The planet … Earth … where the human species --.”

    “The Origin Colony?” asked Empress Novia. “It truly exists?”

    Mizumi stared at them in confusion. “I care not what you may call it, Empress Novia. That planet has significance to my husband. I will not rest until I find him.”

    “Milady, forgive me, but even Sebaceans cannot live so --.”

    Mizumi grabbed Novia’s chin, a mist forming around her face. Novia crumbled to the ground, sobbing tearlessly as the moisture of her eyes joined the mist. Mizumi pulled her closer. “You live here on this planet by my grace alone,” she hissed at the empress. “Do not think for one single microt that the Peacekeepers are more frightening than me.”

    Novia nodded as Mizumi let go. Gasping for breath, Novia whispered, “Earth. A ship shall be called immediately.”

    Mizumi smirked. “My undying gratitude, Your Highness.”
  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oh man... Mizumi's PO'd. *Hides in personal oubliette.
    BTW: I have to chuckle a little at the rulers' names. Novia means "girlfriend", and Elkar... Well,Ima thinking it's a variation of the name given to a green algae-covered mutant, nephew to the piratical villainess from Inqueria, a planet in the PR franchise.
  15. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't know about their names. I just thought that the inhabitants of Farscape's Royal Planet dressed similarly to the citizens of Moraine, what with all the white an' stuff.
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 6
    (200 PK)

    Mizumi stared at her mirror as she sat brushing her long white hair. Her quarters were small but well decorated with golden ornaments and colored bottles and vials of every shape and size. She placed the brush gently on the vanity before her and gasped as another figure appeared beside her. The dainty young woman was clothed in a blue girdle, lined with gold, under a black long-sleeved jacket. Her hair was long, tied into two pigtails at the top of her head. Her left eye had a long red scar running vertically across it.

    The young woman, apparently in her early twenties, nodded.

    Mizumi turned, but saw no one there. As she turned back toward the mirror, the young woman stood silently in the reflection.

    You’ve been rather industrious, Mother,” the woman noted quietly in a reverberating whisper. “Attacking the Labyrinth was inconsequential compared to destroying the universe.

    Mizumi shuddered. “You aren’t here.” She shook her head and stood, turning her back on the mirror. “My daughter – as Jareth never became Goblin King, he never chose his kingdom over me. I had no regrets,” she continued, the tension in her voice rising as tears started to trickle out of her eyes and down her pale cheeks. “I never split my heart. You don’t exist.”

    And, even then, here I am, Mother.”

    “Impossible,” hissed Mizumi, cradling herself.

    Her daughter chuckled, leaning against the reflection of the vanity. “Mother, Eshe, Queen of the Trash Kingdom – she did something to you. As Moya, this fantastic sentient ship, sails through the cosmos toward Earth, you feel a great connection to what you used to be.

    Mizumi sighed, staring at the floor. “Jareth will be on Earth. I’m certain of it, Moulin. There must be something that draws me there beside Jareth.”

    Moulin nodded. “Power,” she replied. “With the Light gone, dreams cannot boost your powers. The Underground is nothing but invisible memories to taunt lifeforms with what they cannot have.

    Mizumi twirled toward the mirror and slammed her fist on the vanity. “What does some giant sparkling rock on a distant planet have to do with the Underground?”

    Really, Mother, have you no imagination? The Legend of Thra is quite clear that when UrSkeks, a race of creator beings some called divine, shattered the crystal with the fracturing of a single shard, the entire planet became a dark nightmare from which they could not awaken. Their benevolence and their cruelty were split into opposing incarnations. If a single shard can damage gods and threaten an entire planet, what can reducing the entire thing to dust accomplish?

    Mizumi fell to the floor. She covered her face in horror. “J-Jareth,” she whispered. “Jareth … have you been touched by this as well?”

    Moulin placed an arm gently on the shoulder of Mizumi’s reflection, causing Mizumi to feel her touch momentarily like a cool breeze. “Mother, what was sundered and undone, can be whole, returned to one.” Moulin backed away and faded from the reflection, leaving Mizumi feeling cold and lifeless.

    Meanwhile, in the command center of Moya, an athletic woman with long black hair woven to form intricate patterns before ending in a ponytail stood at attention, watching the viewscreen with her hands firmly clasped behind her back. She wore a black leather long-sleeved jacket with red trim. There was a small scar on her chin.

    An athletic, somewhat older man with short black hair and a well-trimmed goatee, appeared next to her and bowed. “Captain Sun,” he whispered.

    “What is it, Officer Crais?” she asked in a harsh tone without looking at him.

    “We shall arrive on the Original Colony within the arn.”

    Captain Sun, pronounced “soon”, nodded once. “Good … another cycle listening to our guests will drive me completely fahrbot.”

    Officer Crais, dressed in a black shirt and pants, smirked, looking away.

    “Officer Crais … you will be taking command once our guests and I leave Moya.”

    Officer Crais gawked at her in shock. “M-me?” He scoffed, blushing. “Captain, I … I … I am not ready --.”

    Captain Sun smiled and turned, slapping him on his shoulder. “You have made our guests extremely satisfied with their transport to this planet, Officer Crais.” She chuckled and leaned in closer. “In my eyes, that alone should give you the right to command your own fleet.”

    Crais smiled sheepishly as Captain Sun left the command center to meet with her guests. As soon as she was in a long hallway, appearing like most areas to be flesh-colored metal over organic framework, a gangly pale man with multiple scars along his cheeks, dressed in a head-to-toe black leather body suit with a strange circular device on one side of his head, walked alongside her.

    “Scorpius, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Captain Sun offered, not looking at him. “Is your neurochip in need of maintenance?”

    Scorpius shrugged slightly as he walked, clasping his hands behind him and matching her firm stride. “On the contrary, Captain Sun. The neurochip appears to be functioning within parameters. I’ve never felt better. Your mind is a very lovely place.”

    “May you continue to be blessed with longevity,” Sun offered.

    Scorpius bowed his head slightly. “For ten long cycles Moya has repeatedly used starbursts to reach this particular system. I trust the priestess is ready for her assignment?”

    “Of course.”

    “Humans seem to have so little going for them,” mused the hallucination with a smirk. “On the other hand, as the species is the origin of Sebacean and other races, I find myself intrigued.”

    “Don’t be,” Sun told him, ignoring the brief strange looks of fellow Peacekeepers as she seemed to be talking to thin air. “Humans are only useful for genetic experimentation, nothing more.”

    “Is that what you think happened to this Prime Empress, Captain Sun?”

    The woman stopped. She glanced at him with a distrusting expression. “What do you mean?”

    Scorpius nodded in the direction of Mizumi’s quarters. “She appears Sebacean, founded a Sebacean colony in the Uncharted Territories long ago, and yet she has lived far beyond the lifespan of even the healthiest Sebacean, as well as having limited water-manipulation abilities.” He blocked her from continuing her walk. “Captain Sun – she seems out of place, does she not? And she mysteriously demands to go to Earth, as they call it, as though drawn to it compulsively, even though for the Uncharted Territories, Earth is little more than a long-forgotten fable of questionable relevance. While our priestess goes about her mission for us, we must not forget a possible complication brought on by this bizarre variation.”

    Captain Sun’s voice became a whisper as she glared at him. “You feel she is going to this backwater planet for power.”

    Scorpius smirked. “Just as we will support the Delvian’s message, let’s, at least for the moment, support the Prime Empress’ quest, just to see where it goes, shall we?” he asked as he vanished from her sight.

    <><><>

    As the sun set on the northeast coast of a large Peacekeeper-run city, a stocky male pig with pronounced eyebrows leaned against the bars of his cage, sighing.

    In a cage beside him, a fat lavender creature with tangled brown hair, his eyelids so puffy they were nearly permanently shut, tapped on his bars with a small wooden spoon. “I told you not to get involved,” he noted in a high-pitched voice.

    “Farko,” the pig mumbled. “I couldn’t stand by and let my sister get killed.”

    “Yeah, but – it happened anyway.”

    The pig buried his large head in his hands.

    “When’re they gonna kill you?” asked the lavender creature.

    “Does it matter?” he mumbled back.

    The creature shrugged. “I wonder what happens when you die, Robert.”

    Robert the pig looked up at the ceiling of his cage. “I hope it’s better than here, Marv. My sister had a dream, a dream where Peacekeepers didn’t harass us all and act like we were all livestock.” His voice wavered. “That’s … that’s all she wanted.” He glanced at Marv. “You got a dream, Marv?”

    Marv glanced back, but shrugged. “Maybe, back when we Fraggles lived under the ground, back before the Freeze started, I might have had some,” he replied softly. “But … Fraggles haven’t lived down there for a long time now. I can’t even count that many cycles. All I know is … whatever’s stuck in our heads is gonna stay there. And when these Peacekeepers crush our little skulls … well, I guess it won’t matter then, huh?”

    They saw boots standing in front of their cages. They hadn’t the hearts to look up and see who it was. A booming male voice barked, “The general has decreed you will meet your fate in three arns.”

    “Just kill us already and get it over with, like you did with my sister.”

    The male voice chuckled. “And risk having to take a jilnak so I end up grissing all over myself, you frelling grolack?” The male soon turned and started walking away. “Not frelling likely.”

    <><><>

    A young blonde-haired woman, obviously never having picked up a pulse rifle in her entire life, approached the tube-shaped transport pod as the level risers descended in puffs of white steam, a strong white light making her glance away briefly. “Captain Sun?” she called out.

    Captain Sun descended the level risers with a smile. On her left was a tall blue-skinned bald female with light blue specks covering her face like freckles. She wore a long, narrow poncho made of shimmering purple fabric with red and gold floral designes embroidered all over, which barely covered what most species would consider intimate areas of anatomy. The back and front of the fabric were held together only with a small braided golden rope belt. On Sun’s right was Mizumi, her makeup pronounced, glittering in the light of various lighting posts surrounding the landing pad. She did not wear her customary crown, but a simple thin silver tiara. Her dress involved multiple layers of white and pale blue, evoking crashing waves as they fluttered in the breeze.

    Captain Sun nodded at the young female, glancing just behind her as a highly athletic-looking male with stubble on his chin appeared behind her. He wore a red vest over a black shirt, as well as cargo pants and bulky black boots. The female, meanwhile, was dressed similarly, though her vest was tailored better for a female frame.

    The woman bowed her head slightly, smiling briefly as she caught sight of the male who suddenly stood beside her. “Welcome to Seashore City,” announced the woman. “I am Specialist Gilina.” She nodded at the male, who was nearly drooling as he gawked at the white-haired woman. “Forgive the exuberance of my fiancé, Captain. Both John and I are to guide you toward the General’s quarters.”

    Mizumi snorted in disgust. “I merely want information on my husband. I’m not interested in any tour.”

    The blue female stared at her in shock. Her voice was smooth but slightly panicked. “The Goddess grants you welcome on this world and all you can do is insult it?”

    Mizumi cut her a dirty glance. “You may have need of turning public opinion toward your cult, Zhaan, but I do not share this requirement.”

    Zhaan gasped, touching her chest in surprise. “How dare you!” she yelled angrily. “The Goddess wants all to come to her nurturing bosom! This world has for too long been without a deity who cared for it with all the love the Goddess can provide.”

    Mizumi scoffed. “Go preach to the negniks, priestess. Anyone with any real strength has no need of imaginary friends.”

    As Zhaan growled in fury, Captain Sun angrily placed a hand on each woman’s chest to keep them apart. “Ladies, ladies – let’s enjoy land while we’re here, shall we? You two have been cooped up for ten cycles. Don’t say things you’ll regret.”

    Mizumi muttered under her breath, rolling her eyes. “I never regret.”

    May oblivion destroy whatever ice cold pneuma you may have!” screamed Zhaan.

    “Oh, go dayside and flop about in the sun’s rays like a good little blue turnip, priestess,” Mizumi shot back.

    “Perhaps the good priestess will accompany me on a tour of the facilities,” John interjected loudly. “The planet has a lot of drell to clean up and she needs to get started if she wants to fix us all in her lifetime.”

    Zhaan quieted and glanced at the male, bowing her head slightly. “Of course, John. Forgive my anger.”

    He must forgive you?” Mizumi screeched incredulously.

    John glanced back at the blonde-haired woman. “You take the white chick, Gilina.”

    “John!” gasped his fiancée. “Show some respect!”

    Captain Sun smirked. “Perhaps splitting up will help us all calm down. I will be following the Prime Empress of the Royal Planet.”

    Mizumi glanced at her sharply. “I need no sitter, Captain.”

    Captain Sun nodded. “Maybe not, Your Highness, but another arn with that Delvian and my head will explode,” she added with a smirk.

    Mizumi snorted as she defiantly started her tour without her companion and her guide, forcing them to sprint to catch up.

    <><><>

    John couldn’t help but stare at the blue lady walking beside him. “So, forgive my curiosity, Priestess --.”

    “I am a Delvian,” Zhaan told him with a smile. “Unlike you, I am a plant-based life form.”

    John laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck as it tingled. “Well, that’s nice an’ all, but I was really going to ask how your Goddess is going to help. I mean, the Peacekeepers haven’t exactly been acknowledging planetary native rights, you know. They’ve even gone ta eating sentient non-humans, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting.”

    Zhaan stopped, her eyes widening. “You aren’t a Peacekeeper?”

    John shook his head. “I’m a simple farmer, Priestess,” he admitted. “Until the Peacekeepers killed my parents, I was happy just going around with a watering bag, making sure my little garden bore fruit.”

    Zhaan chuckled. “You have much in common with the Goddess, John. She is a mother who nurtures us. That is why I chose Moya as my primary transport. Like the Goddess, Moya is a mother who nurtures all within her ample embrace.” She glanced at him. “You are human, then? How did you join the Peacekeepers, John?”

    John sighed, shrugging. “I could either stick with the family farm, poking at the dirt with sticks and simple blades, or I could join one of the Peacekeeper farming factions and get my hands on tools that could make my job better.” He paused, thinking of the fires that consumed his small hovel when he was only fifteen cycles old. “I chose life.”

    “And Gilina, I suppose, helped you with your decision?” she asked with a playful smile.

    John grinned at her. “Yeah, well, what can you say? We were meant to be together. Even destiny can’t break us apart.”

    Zhaan, however, had noticed several heads posted on the walls of a dark hallway within the General’s compound. Each had Peacekeeper notation, describing all as “monsters”. One seemed to be incomplete, however, as the triangular purple head with large bulging eyes were joined by thin wiry antennae on the side. She frowned. “What are ‘monsters’, John? What was this creature?”

    John moved in closer to look. “Oh, him? Well, about 50 cycles or so, a bunch of creatures called monsters rebelled against Peacekeeper rulers. They demanded to be treated as more than just livestock. The General grew up during the Monster Rebellion and formed a rather unflattering picture of monsters. She joined the Peacekeepers in hunting them down when she was old enough to carry a pulse rifle. This one was a paranoid little guy who supposedly had these antennae that Peacekeeper brass said could theoretically let the monsters spy on Peacekeeper communications. He was one of the last of the monsters the Peacekeepers found. She severed his antennae from his head. I hear he got even more neurotic and finally he was put down.”

    Zhaan shook her head and sighed. “Had these creatures known of the Goddess, they would have lived.”

    John stared at her with a slack jaw. “How so?”

    Zhaan shrugged and smiled at him gently. “To acknowledge the Goddess is to embrace life, John. To deny Her is to invite ruin.”

    “Yeah, I get that, but how?”

    Zhaan stared at him in confusion. “I don’t know what you mean, John. I am here to spread knowledge of the Goddess. Each being who acknowledges her need fear no longer.”

    John chuckled. “What is she going to do – zap the Peacekeepers?”

    Zhaan frowned, her tone curt. “Don’t mock the Goddess, John. Even as a member of a primitive species, to anger the Goddess is to invite ruin.”

    John nodded, sighing. “Yeah, you mentioned that. So, if I just say I acknowledge the Goddess, what then? What happens next?”

    Zhaan smiled and kissed him on the forehead before he could react. “I accept your acknowledgement, John. Know that this simple task is all you need to protect you from harm.”

    John stared at her in shock. “Th-that’s it?”

    Zhaan nodded, shrugging. “I have medallions in the transport pod. I shall have one brought to you. With it, you can publicize your acknowledgement. I pray to the Goddess that the rest of the planet will accept her as easily as you.”

    John nodded slowly as she started walking toward the door leading to the General’s chambers, marked heavily in red symbols. It felt as though worms were crawling under his skin. What kind of creature was this? His heart palpitated. He tried to shove the thought deep into the dark pits of his mind, but he just couldn’t shake the feeling his destiny would be better under the General than this strange blue creature.

    As they entered, they joined Captain Sun, Mizumi, and Gilina, who had already arrived.

    Mizumi crossed her arms. “I demand to see this General at once so that my solar day is not completely wasted.”

    A knee-high figure in a black jumpsuit with red shoulder pads entered from a side door, walking across the room. Everywhere there seemed to be objects screaming of the General’s accomplishments, be they heads, trophies, weapons, etcetera. As the General sat at a small desk, the whole apparatus rose into the air, hovering without a single wobble, until the General and the desk were chest-high to the visitors.

    The General, with her dull golden skin, old claw marks scraped across her muzzle, and a tuft of short fiery red hair bursting from the top of her head, glanced around at her visitors. She scowled. “Don’t take up too much of my time,” she barked gruffly. “My name is General Red, leader of Seashore City, and I have things to do.”
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you, needed an update.

    So, is the lavender creature's name Farko or Marv (Large Marvin)?
    Loved Moulin's cameo and the words of advice she had for her mother.
    Zhaan does show some of the naivety of a devout priestess... John: Okay, say I accept your goddess... What happens next? Zhaan: I accept your acceptance of the goddess.
    Wait, it's just that simple? Er, you do have an answer for what exactly the goddess will do right? I'm not invoking her anger or inviting ruin, I just want to know what will "actually happen" to make life here better after I say I accept your goddess.
    Who was the "monster" that had its antenni cut off? A purple sproinger?
    General Red? Oh gosh nooooooo! :excited:

    Please... Post more?
    Yeah, I'm just filled with nothing but ?'s tonight. :p
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Farko is one of those Farscape slang words. I'm having a LOT of fun with the slang page on the Farscape wiki, LOL. The lavender creature is Large Marvin.

    The reason Zhaan's explanation is a little shallow and lame is that this version is more of a televangelist than a mystical priestess. See, without the universe having access to powerful magic or spiritual energy, any religions throughout the universe are more of a shallow emotional chain yanking than anything deep and meaningful. This will change as we shall see, for the goal of this fic is to fix the broken universe. Until then, however, the dead have no spiritual afterlife to go to, magic can't be accessed at all except just barely by magical creatures like Mizumi and Eshe and such, Fraggle Rock couldn't exist and froze over, etc. For now, until Zhaan can connect to mysticism, her knowledge of the Goddess is purely, well, lacking.

    I'm so evil for saying this, but Telly Monster, LOL. From what I've read on Muppet Wiki, his early version included antennae and obsession with television. If he could pick up signals, like Digit, or something ... then the Peacekeepers might see him as a potential threat.

    And, finally, General Red Fraggle. The idea is that, while in the normal universe, Red had dreams of living out her favorite warrior princess Gwenalot, in this universe, she actually did slay monsters and rise up the ranks. Or, at least, her reputation is that she slayed monsters.
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hah, yes, it all makes sense now.
    See, because "Farko" was capitalized and it was at the beginning of a line of dialogue, I thought it was a character name.
    Yes... Telly was originally that, a television-obsessed monster. Guess they got the inspiration from the British, where "telly" is short/slang for the brain-deteroriating device.
    *Loves story, more please?
  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Chapter 7
    (200PK)

    Captain Aeryn Sun watched as the others finally left the General’s room.

    “Captain Sun?” asked General Red in a firm tone. For years, the Peacekeepers found Fraggles to be somewhat silly and inconsequential. Before she was born, at some time in the distant past, Fraggles had moved to the geological surface, chased out of their subterranean lives by some dark calamity.

    At least, that’s what the Fraggle they called the “World’s Oldest” had said. He should know, shouldn’t he? He was there, after all. General Red didn’t know why in particular Fraggles had to evacuate, but escaping Fraggle Rock had not been the great thing they had all been expecting. The Peacekeepers saw them as vermin to be shot at, or to be cooked slowly over a blazing fire. There were few Fraggles left: only the strongest and most agile and quickest survived.

    “Red, be serious,” he told her, his eyes bulging out of his head as he watched her pack her bags.

    “What makes you think I’m not serious?” she asked him. She slung a full bag of small weaponry on her shoulder and walked out of the small hut near a farm owned by a family of humans. Her long firey red hair spilled down her thin red tank top, her tail twitching with irritation. “They don’t believe Fraggles are worth anything, Gobo. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?”

    The captain nodded, clasping her hands behind her back. “Sir.”

    “Have you spoken to Scorpius about your little tag-alongs?”

    The captain shook her head. “I’ve only spoken to the avatar within the neural chip, General. I’m due to upload the report seven solar days from now. With subspace beacons, it should reach Scorpius within less than a cycle.”

    “What are your impressions of the Delvian, Captain Sun?” General Red asked, floating toward the Sebacean woman.

    “I don’t understand,” she replied.

    General Red shook her head, scoffing. “Don’t act like you need new translator microbes, Sun. Doesn’t this mission bother you at all?”

    “I’m not getting paid to be bothered, General.”

    General Red smirked. “Of course not – but you are being paid to be an effective Peacekeeper. You didn’t get your post on Moya by being a dunderheaded lummox.”

    “I take it, then, that you are questioning Scorpius’ commands?” Sun asked with a smirk. Questioning Scorpius’ commands was a good way to find yourself floating helplessly in the vacuum of space until your blood boiled.

    General Red glared at her, fully aware of her implications. “What purpose does she serve? The Peacekeepers found and conquered this planet ages ago. This isn’t an instance of First Contact, Captain. Her devotion is meaningless drivel best left for old coots who drool on their pillows at night.” She turned away, her expression turning to deep thought.

    “And yet?”

    “And yet there’s something bothering me about her.”

    “You mean, something else?”


    General Red nodded. “Why devote yourself to something like that? If this Goddess is truly that powerful, you’d think she’d do more than spout off a few hand-picked slogans. There must be something to it, don’t you agree?”

    “Not particularly, no, General.” Sun continued after sighing, “As I’ve noted previously, I’m not paid to believe her. I’m paid to transport her to this world to begin her work.”

    “Considering how shallow she is, it shouldn’t be too long,” General Red muttered. She sighed. “Still … that other female, the Prime Empress Whatever … that one seems to think the Delvian is practically clorium, destined to lull everyone to sleep.”

    “Speaking openly, General, those two did not get along well on Moya,” Captain Sun noted with a chuckle. “The Prime Empress is completely stuck on herself, believing herself to be a superior version of a Sebacean because she can make some water jiggle in a cup. If you were to ask her, she is Queen of the entire frelling universe. The Priestess, meanwhile, considers the Prime Empress a heretic unworthy of the Goddess. She feels the Goddess will smite the Prime Empress out of jealousy.”

    General Red thoughtfully raised a finger. “Ah, but jealousy implies there is some truth that there is a real threat.”

    Captain Sun smiled and postured herself more casually. “Or she’s completely fahrbot.”

    General Red smirked. “Which one?”

    “Which one?” the Peacekeeper male bellowed as Red shook, holding the pulse blaster in the direction of the two Fraggle males slumped on the ash-covered ground before her. The entire area was burning, with ash falling down like black snow. He kicked her. “Pick one or I shoot them both.”

    “D-d-d-don’t do this,” Gobo stuttered, holding an elderly Fraggle with a long white mustache in his arms. “Y-you’re a Fraggle, l-l-like us.”

    Red heard the click behind her. Setting her jaw and ignoring the tears mixing with the ash, she pulled the trigger. The elderly Fraggle fell to the ground, lying on the stunned and bleeding form of his only relative. Red turned to the Peacekeeper and looked up. “Blessed are the Peacekeepers,” she told him without even a whimper.

    “B-b-but, why?” bawled the elderly Fraggle as he cradled his dead nephew. “H-how c-c-could y-you?”

    The Peacekeeper male smiled and nodded at the young female Fraggle. “Prepare for training. You will join the front lines against these so-called ‘monsters’ within a cycle … or the rest of your kind will be trampled back into the dirt from which you come.”

    <><><>

    Aeryn found herself in a small cantina in Seashore City, drinking heavily at the bar.

    The form of Scorpius sat next to her, demanding the barkeep keep ‘em coming, and barking obscenities as, of course, the barkeep failed to hear him. He sighed and elbowed her. “Spunky little thing, isn’t she?”

    “The General?” she asked her glass.

    “Indeed,” he replied. He clasped his hands together on the bar and leaned back, sighing. “So much trouble from such a little thing.”


    “Her record speaks for itself.”

    Scorpius glanced at her sharply. “Defending the hired help, are we, Captain? The good General has doubts about my leadership.” His tone turned deadly. “Rectify that immediately.”

    Sun scoffed. “Is your ego so fragile that you would lose a war just to hear empty platitudes?” She glanced at him briefly and took another gulp of “beer”. “You believe the Prime Empress is looking for power. General Red believes the Priestess is hinting at power she is unable to fathom. Rather than killing her, how’s about we continue to follow the lead, shall we?”

    “You had a bit much, didn’t you?” asked a tremendously old and feeble male voice.

    Aeryn turned to find a deeply wrinkled gray creature like General Red. Fraggles, were they called? He had a long white beard and a thick gnarled walking stick and dressed in shabby gray robes. “You’re lucky I’m too drunk to care what some … Fraggle … thinks,” she sniped back.

    “Pretty big talk from someone who never saw the good General in action,” boasted the Fraggle. “Besides, we may not live in the Rock anymore, but I can still hold my own.” He swung at her leg with his walking stick.

    “Oooowwww!”

    “Serves ya right, young’un!” he taunted. “Nobody disrespects the World’s Oldest Fraggle! I’ve been around a lot longer than yer gramma … and she said, ‘hi’, by the way.” He chuckled. “Ol’ gal sure does know how ta keep an ol’ Fraggle warm.”

    Aeryn pulled a pulse blaster and held it firmly in front of his face. “I think it’s highly unlikely the General will care much if I shoot some old codger.”

    The World’s Oldest scoffed, smirking. “You got a fire inside ya, honey. I like that in a female. Reminds me of the Ditzies.”

    She nudged his nuzzle with the muzzle of her gun. “Are you calling me stupid?”

    The World’s Oldest shook his head. “Of course not! Don’t be stupid!” He whacked her leg again, making her grunt. “Legend had it that the Ditzies gave life and warmth to Fraggle Rock. Yup – sure kept th’ ol’ place hoppin’. Songs, dancin’, laughs ….” He sighed wistfully. “Those were the days.”

    Aeryn stared at him. “You’re saying these are creatures who give life to an entire planet?”

    He nodded. “Darn tootin’! I was jus’ a wee little thing, but I remember it like it was yesterday! The Ditzies lived in crystals lining the walls of Fraggle Rock. Guess they died out or somethin’, can’t really recall, but we Fraggles had to dig our way out of a whole metra of rock-hard dirt.” He nudged her leg gently with his walking stick. “You doin’ anything tonight, toots?”

    Aeryn scoffed and poured her “beer” over his head and stormed off.

    Just as she exited the cantina, the image of Scorpius appeared before her. “Curious proposal, don’t you think?”

    Aeryn gagged. “I’m think I’m going to need an entire bottle of nashtin cleansing pills, to be honest.”

    Scorpius shook his head. “No, no, no – not that bizarre and sick little episode in the bar. I mean a lifeform that can wield the power of life and death for entire planets. This is really something you should upload to me as soon as possible.”


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