I've owed this chapter for several months now. It will be my last contribution to CC:TNG, however. When tempus fugit and I originally started this collaboration, I kept expecting Stephen van Ham and, particularly, Rob to jump in at any time. They didn't. In fact, it turns out that, somehow, neither of them knew this was even going on. Just missed the posts, I guess. That happens sometimes. So, here I've been writing a story that about Rob's characters without his knowledge. He knows about it now and seems okay with it, but still it feels funny. So, this is me bowing out. Besides I owe chapters on "Collaborative Carnage: The Original Series" as well. (Side note to tempus fugit: You are, of course, free to continue working on this business for as long as you see fit. In which case, I wish you luck. heh-heh)
That said, let's send this baby off with a bang:
Location: Somewhere, Somewhen.
Write me into his nasty little fanfic will he? And as a teenaged RPG'ing nerd, no less. Besides, I hate being called "Dong." It's such a silly name, like Noone. Well, I'll just have to see what what I can do about ol' tempus fugit.
We'll just take a quick look at the AGD Gallery... Hmm. Nothing. The AGD Web Ring? Nope. How about Team AGD over at SETI@home. Nada. This guy's kinda stingy with real-life details.
I'll try a power search on Deja.com. Apparently, he was referred to as a meerkat in a fanfic, but there's not much else I can use. I'll see if I can track down anything through his ISP... Teleport.com certainly has a lot of communities, but he doesn't seem to be in any of them.
That makes it tougher. What do I know about him? For that matter, is tempus fugit even a "him?" Nah, he's got to be. No woman could possibly be so obsessed with the fact that I could have had sex with SilverRaven in high school. Scratch that: Very few women could be so obsessed with the fact that I could have had sex with SilverRaven in high school (Note to self: Do a search on "SilverRaven" and keyword "hot lesbian action.")
What to do. What to do. Guess I'll just make something up.
Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, the part of tempus fugit will be played by a large oatmeal cookie. For my part, I'd better get down to Tristram before things really get out of hand.
Divergence from Prime: -310
Divergence ID: StarFire-1a
Comments: Divergence appears to originate from an alternate future of the StarFire timeline, itself an alternate future of the sealed HellCraft timeline.
Threat to Continuity: Extreme
Local Date: irrelevant
Being knocked out of time and space is not the same as being knocked back in time, and people who call themselves "tempus fugit" really ought to know better. As for Ogden, one innkeeper more or less really didn't make much difference to anyone except for Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil. Following his decapitation, he rematerialized intact, a few yards away from Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil.
Such an affront could not go unanswered, of course. He nailed Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil squarely in the back of the head with a level 99 Lag Burst. Bits of him flew everywhere and morphed into random objects as they landed.
The act had dire consequences. Not for Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil, who had already restarted in town a few yards away, but for Farnham who had been sitting nearby and was so startled that he dropped his jug of ale.
"Curse you!" swore Farnham, suddenly sober. "That was my last bottle!" He stood and donned a now familiar suit of black armor that had materialized out of the Lag Burst. "For that, you must pay the Maximum price!"
Farnham / Maximum Evil hurled a level 99 Fireball at Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil, who teleported out of the way. Instead, the blast decimated Pepin's hut, killing a potted plant.
"You must pay the Maximum price for that!" vowed Pepin / Maximum Evil.
Meanwhile, uncharacteristically concerned by a teenaged Steve's indifference to her advances, SilverRaven also assumed the persona of Maximum Evil. "Snub me, will he?" she declared. She modified the black armor into a black leather halter top and skintight pants. "We'll just see about that."
Elsewhere, the teenaged Steve (who, for the record, was a nerd, but nowhere near as big a nerd as tempus fugit thinks; and would never have ignored such a blatant pass by SilverRaven or most any female) was watching the carnage. "What a bunch of second-raters," he sniffed disdainfully. "I'll show them a black-armored villain!"
"If you try to incorporate Kas Dester into this fanfic, or any other element from your high school D&D campaign, I'll kill you myself," said the adult Steve entering the story just in the nick of time.
"Why?" whined the younger Steve.
"Because people will think you're a big loser," answered the older Steve.
"People already think I'm a big loser," replied the younger Steve, skimming back over the last chapter.
"Tempus fugit doesn't count," said the older Steve, taking the chapter out of his younger counterpart's hands and wadding it up. "At least, not past ten unless he takes his shoes off."
Halfway across the Town Square, SilverRaven / Maximum Evil had encountered Cecilia / Maximum Evil and Farmer Lester / Maximum Evil and had engaged them in battle. The older Steve watched as SilverRaven / Maximum Evil gracefully avoided the level-99 lightning bolts and King's Sword of Haste, her lithe teenaged body covered with a glistening sheen of perspiration.
"Ow!" complained the younger Steve after his older counterpart smacked him in the back of the head. "What was that for?"
"You'll understand when you're older," replied Adult Steve. "Actually, you'll understand a lot of things when you're older. For example, Chris Claremont really isn't the world's greatest writer." He gazed out at the brawl between the multiple Maximum Evils. "Once you realize that, you'll realize that this scene is in desperate need of a little -- no, scratch that -- a lot of editing."
"Oh, and I suppose that adding a giant robot will help," commented Teenaged Steve sarcastically. He was starting to get tired of Adult Steve's knowitall attitude.
"In fact, it will," said Adult Steve. "Besides, it's not a robot, it's a Plot Device. Now, watch and learn."
The newcomer fired a barrage of lag torpedoes at a small crowd of Maximum Evils near the river. "Continuity is served," it noted as the Maximum Evils evaporated in a burst of energy.
Cecilia / Maximum Evil and Farmer Lester / Maximum Evil were the next to explode. The blast knocked SilverRaven on her firm, young rear near the two Steves. She looked up at the two familiar faces with big eyes, her pert bosom still heaving from the exertion of the battle.
"Ow! Quit hitting me," complained the younger Steve. "Geez! Who would've thought I'd grow up to be such a jerk?"
"What happened?" wondered SilverRaven, the blast having freed her from the madness.
"You've been written into a yet another Diablo fanfic," explained Adult Steve. "It's being cleaned up."
SilverRaven looked at Teenaged Steve quizzically. Teenaged Steve just shrugged.
"Continuity is served," stated the Plot Device as Lachdanan / Maximum Evil, Griswold / Maximum Evil, Cow #2 / Maximum Evil, and Snotspill / Maximum Evil vanished from existence.
Although they were absolutely corrupt, Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil and Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil weren't stupid. They knew a true threat when they saw one, and tabled their feud to join forces against the newcomer. Wielding his Strange Obsidian King's Vampire's bastard sword of Hasted Ages of the Heavens, Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil unleashed a barrage of Lag Bursts and charged. From the other side, Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil let loose a level 999 fireball, turned on AutoKill and leaped forward with his King's Obsidain Zodiacal Staff of Infinite Apocalypses.
Seemingly indifferent to the attack of the ersatz Maximum Evils, the Plot Device simply stepped out of their way. Although Shannon Cool / Maximum Evil and Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil really couldn't hurt each other permanently, they did manage to tangle each other up pretty well.
A lag bubble encased the two and swiftly deconstructed them. Fading into non-characterness, Bucky Ogden / Maximum Evil looked piteously at Adult Steve. Adult Steve just shrugged. "I guess Continuity is served," he suggested.
Miraculously unscathed, Teenaged Steve, Adult Steve, and Teenaged SilverRaven watched as the giant armored figure rid Tristram of a few more Maximum Evils. A black-clad figure leaped at them from the smoking wreckage of the Tavern of the Rising Sun.
"Look out!" cried Teenaged Steve.
"Don't worry, I've got it," said Adult Steve, and with that, Mrs. Ogden / Maximum Evil evaporated leaving nothing but a plate of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. "I've been known to do a bit of editing myself," said Adult Steve smugly.
"Obviously not here," commented Teenaged Steve, reading back over the last several paragraphs.
"Show a little respect for your elders," said Adult Steve lightly. "Cookies, anyone?" SilverRaven and the younger Steve each took a cookie.
As SilverRaven brought the cookie to her lips, tempus fugit cried out words that had never been heard before or since: "Oh my God! Please don't eat me, SilverRaven!"
Puzzled, but still hungry, SilverRaven went ahead and took a big bite out of the cookie. "Not bad," she commented, trying to work a little bit of tempus fugit out from under her braces. She took another bite, chewed, and swallowed.
Adult Steve watched as a few stray cookie crumbs fell down SilverRaven's halter top. He turned and slapped the hell out of his younger self.
"Dammit!" swore Teenaged Steve. "If you don't stop hitting me, I swear I'm gonna..." He was unable to finish his sentence, as his head evaporated in a flash of light. SilverRaven screamed.
"Continuity is served."
"Hmm. I wasn't expecting that," admitted Adult Steve.
"Your presence here and in neighboring timelines is a threat to Continuity."
Adult Steve nodded. "No big deal. I hate appearing in fanfics anyway. Sure it's all fun and games at first, but then, next thing you know, you're beeing written as a homosexual cannibal. What about SilverRaven?"
"She is merely a simulacrum based on 20-year old data, and on tempus fugit's feverish -- and, frankly, embarrassing -- fantasies." With that, she vanished.
"All right then," said Adult Steve. "I guess I've got a few seconds before the GFP Error catches up with me." Then a thought occurred to him. "Say, how will this affect the rest of Collaborative Carnage?"
"Events will rewrite themselves as if you had never been there. The changes will be minor."
Steve smiled. "That's what I was hoping you'd say. You'll clean up the rest of this mess?"
"That is my purpose." stated the armored Plot Device.
"Good. I think the temporal backlash is about to catch up with me. See you in the funny papers..." There was a flash of light and Adult Steve was gone. Elsewhen, Rob wondered why there was such a strange taste in his mouth. It was a little like kiwi, but a little like sausage.
The last living being in Tristram surveyed the flaming ruins for a moment and then nodded.
There was an explosion. Wave after wave of raw lag energy radiated out from the center of the blast and swept across the globe.
When it was all over, a lone armored figure floated in space.
Damage to this unit=0%.
Damage to Tristram=100%.
Damage to Sanctuary=100%.
Damage to Divergence, ID: StarFire-1a=100%.
Recommended action: Seal the remains of this timeline from the Battle Net and proceed with mission.
Continuity is served.
E-mail: comments (at) theboojum.com