Original by Andrew Vincent

MiSTing by Kelly (Kielle) and Greg (Doc Nuke) Newcomb




KIELLE: Hello and welcome to the Satellite of Love. I'm your gracious host, and...well...okay, so I'm not on the the Satellite of Love. I'm nowhere NEAR the Satellite of Love. In fact, the Satellite doesn't even exist! There! I said it! What more do you WANT from me?! {sob} I type my fingers to bloody rags for you ungrateful little snots and what do I get? SARCASM! {Tim Curry mode on} Well, babies {Tim Curry mode off}, I'll have you know that for the next however-many-pages-this monster-takes-up-on-your-computer the sarcasm is MY job, so get it out of your system now! Right?! OKAY?!? Okay.

Now, where were we before I had a psychotic episode? Oh yes, I'm your generally-gracious host, Kelly "I'm Really A Very Nice Person" Newcomb, alternatively known as Kielle. Yes, it's pronounced "KEE-elle," and that's the only time I'm going to remind you tonight! This is an excursion into the fringes of the dark side of my sense of humor. Previously this was ONLY distributed to friends and on request, but after a few months to chew on it I finally decided to...well, all right, the truth is that my co-writer/husband found out that I hadn't posted it publically, and after the work he put into it, welllllll...here it is. In its glorious entirely. Ouch.

Be forewarned: this story is heinously insulting to a tender young fanfic writer. Be it known here and now that I bear absolutely NO ill will towards Andrew Vincent -- it's the characters speaking through me, I swear! If anyone wants to do the same to my own work, I don't mind at all. Any way, I'll give Vincent this much: in ways he's better than Gibby. ;-)

Oh yes, and I'd better give credit where credit is due: my beloved husband Greg "I Am NOT A MSTie Fanboy!" Newcomb contributed his time and talent to create the opening, the "Rogue" host segment, and the ending. He also helped me to thrash out a few recalcitrant jokes. Thanks, honey. You're the greatest.

Right! {rubbing hands together briskly} Enough apologies and dire threats and mushy stuff. Let's meet the cast, huh? Some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about (yes, I can see you perfectly well in the back, Guthrie -- sit down!) but I'm sure some of you are scratching your heads in bemusement. I'll take questions now. "How much money did I blow at the MST3K Con"? Too much. Okay, you in the back. "How many hours of MST3K have I watched"? Uh...that's a bit personal. Next question please? "Is it true that you were once seduced in a bedroom lit only by the flickering light of the original 'Gamera'?" Eng?!? How on EARTH did you..? Oh. Dang it, Greg, I told you to wait outside while I did this. THANK you dear. Someone bar the door behind him.

Now -- where were we? Ah! "What is Mystery Science Theater 3000?" he asks. Thanks for the blatant set-up, Abyss honey; yes, I'll get that 10 bucks to you after the show. The concept is simple: humble temp Mike Nelson is trapped in space aboard a satellite...Mike, take a bow.

{Over the podium a wide-screen TV crackles into life. On screen, a deceivingly normal-looking fella with light blond-brown hair waves cheerfully at the audience.}

KIELLE: There was another guy before Mike but it's bad form to discuss him on a Mike episode. 'Kay. Anyway, poor Mike is at the mercy of a mad scientist who forces him to watch the Worst Movies Ever in order to test the breaking point of the human mind. Luckily, Mike and his robot buddies are armed with a good sense of humor and, to quote a great man, "general wackiness ensues." Our favorite mad scientists are none other than Dr. Clayton Forrester -- you'll meet him later, great guy, chock full of home-brewed evil -- and his assistant, the seductive TV's Frank. Uh.. oh dear. There seems to be a towel draped over their side of the video feed, so...
MIKE: No wait, it's okay, Frank sent up a picture.

{He holds a dog-eared Polaroid up to the "camera." On it are two guys on a beach on 20's-style full-torso bathing suits. The one in the Wince-Green togs is tall and bespectacled with the kind of hairstyle you can only get from either a good hefty bolt of lightning or from drinking a vat of Jolt! Cola. There's a clipboard stuffed in the crook of his arm -- even at the beach he's busily scribbling away at it.}

{The other "Mad" is a slightly rotund fellow with a friendly smile, a black bathing suit with "Deep Thirteen" emblazoned on it above his heart, prematurely gray hair, and a spit curl to die for. He's holding up a fishing pole with an extremely pissy-looking seagull hanging from the hook.}

MIKE: Dr. F's the green one.
KIELLE: Quite. Thanks, Mike. Looks like the audience is getting restless, so let's get onto this. Also stuck up on the SOL is the lovely Gypsy, the one who really runs the ship...

{A...well, she's...well, suffice it to say that if you cut a small rectangular trash can in half, painted it purple, stuck it back together, added lips and a hefty flashlight "eye," and put the whole lot on top of a length of flexible pipe, you've have Gypsy. She ducks briefly into frame, says "HI!" in a high-pitched voice, and sways off again.}

KIELLE: And Cambot of course. Everyone else forgets Cambot but not us, right Camby?

{The camera angle of Mike bobs and tilts rakishly before levelling back out.}

KIELLE: And last but not least, there's the two brave bots who actually sally forth into the theater with "Guinea Pig" Nelson: Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo! Let's give a big round of applause for...uhhh...hey Mike, where are...?
MIKE: Last I heard, they were headed for the other end of the SOL to take turns flushing each other out of an airlock. Crow says that it's quite a rush and I should try it, but...well, I guess explosive decompression really just isn't my thing.
KIELLE: Ouch. Good call. Well, guys and girls, you'll meet them soon. Tom's the little red gumball machine which the lovely singing voice, and Crow's the gold bot with the loud mouth...saaaay, you ever notice how much he sounds like Dr. Forrester...?
MIKE: {disapprovingly} We don't go there, young lady.
KIELLE: Oh. Uh. Sorry. Anyhow...any further questions? Yes back there? No, I didn't feel like writing Pearl Forrester. So sue me! I MISS FRANK!!! BITE ME!!! Ahem. Well then, on with the show! There ARE a few ACFF injokes in here, you know me...but really, not too many, I swear. I just couldn't resist dropping in a few, knowing who was going to be reading this. Drop me an e-note if you want anything explained -- I just LOOOOVE explaining weird stuff! Now, turn down your lights where applicable...

{The lights go down and the text starts scrolling}

MIKE: {whispered} What IS this, Newcomb? You gave the bots all the good jokes!
KIELLE: {whispered back} Gimme a break! I did not! You're imagining things! I tried really hard! You got lots of lines!
MIKE: Yeah, sure, but most of them involve telling Crow to shut up! Couldn't you have been a little more original?
KIELLE: What can I do? There are conventions, you know. So next time I'll write it all bizarre artsy Bergman/Kafka-esque, okay? Anyhow, I dare you to check his lines and tell me you wouldn't have done it anyway.
MIKE: Weeeelllllll...
KIELLE: I'll make it up to you later. I cook a mean mac-&-cheese-- Shhh! It's starting!
MIKE: Mac-&-cheese AND chocolate chip cookies.
KIELLE: Ye gods, we're starting to sound like Brucha and Sinister. All right, all right, you're on. C'mon, man, get to your mark!

{Mike dashes out of frame and Kielle slouches down into a front seat. Faint thudding sounds are heard at the back of the theater as Greg attempts to gain access, but no dice.}


{We open on the Satellite of Love, of course -- you expected maybe the Oval Office? Crow and Tom are sitting around the desk playing "Magic." Fans of cards are pasted to inoperable hands.}

CROW: Your turn, Tommy.
TOM: Right! Upkeep -- untap -- draw. Okay, Crow, I don't care for that "Island Fish" you've got there, so I'll cast "Fireball" at it.
CROW: You sure you want to do that?
TOM: Oh yeah. Let me just tap ten "Mountains" here. I'M the God of Hellfire!!
CROW: I counter it.
TOM: What? Damn! Okay, I'll tap another "Mountain" and "Red Elemental Blast" it! HA HA! Taste my mettle!
CROW: Okey dokey, I counter that too.
TOM: Huh? How many of those "Counterspells" do you have?
CROW: {carelessly} Oh, I don't know. Four or so.
TOM: Well, I'm almost tapped out, so let me at least summon an "Atog."
CROW: Tom, I counter that too.
TOM: {a la Homer Simpson} D'oh!

{Mike enters.}

MIKE: Hey guys, what're you doing?
CROW: Well, Mike, we're playing that card game sensation "Magic: The Gathering!"
TOM: Yes sir, we've graduated to the next level of sophisticated geekiness. No longer do we kowtow to RPG's and funny-shaped dice.
CROW: Absolutely! We can keep our hobby of "reality denial" alive while remaining hip and with the "in crowd."
TOM: Collectible card games are here and now! The fantasy-Tolkienish genre is just the beginning! Soon we'll see games based on sci-fi themes, Gothic horror, and famous wars! Who knows, there could even be a game based on something really obscure like "Highlander."
CROW: Or, heaven forbid, something like "SimCity."
MIKE: Well, I hate to tell you guys, but "Magic" has cooled off. The hype is over.
TOM: What are you saying, Mike?
MIKE: Just that this isn't nerd chic anymore. The new cool is network "Descent" and X-Files conventions.
CROW: Normally I'd say this bites, but I just love those Foglios.. and besides, I'm kicking Servo's butt!
TOM: Fine, I "Channel-Fireball" myself.
CROW: No, I counter that too!
TOM: How many of those things do you have?

{Red lights begin to flash on console.}

MIKE: Guys, Gygax and Garfield are calling.

{We switch to Deep 13, the mad scientists' laboratory. Frank is carrying a large box of "Magic" cards.}

FRANK: Hey, fellas, Dr. F will be with you in a moment. I need to file this box of "Black Lotuses."


TOM: Where in the Sam Hill did you get that many "Black Lotuses"?
CROW: Only the most wonderful, funderful, magicful "Magic" card of them all.
MIKE: They say that Moses brought the original down from the mountain with the Commandments.

{Deep 13}

FRANK: Oh, this is from our new card set: "Deep 13's 'Magic: The Gathering' Devaluation Expansion Set." We've got Moxes, rare artifacts, Lotuses and a few "instant death" cards that were originally rejected.


CROW: Didn't you hear? "Magic" is over.

{Deep 13}

FRANK: Hey, you can't pin "Fallen Empires" on us. We're just trying to profit in evil as always.

{Dr. Forrester enters.}

FORRESTER: Oh, Frank, put those away and go retrieve my latest invention.
FRANK: Okay, Steve.

{Frank exits.}

FORRESTER: Hello, Mike, little robots. Frank and I are ready to unveil our latest and greatest way to spread our unique blend of hot-buttered Evil.
FRANK: Here it is...

{Frank has entered with a large device consisting of a butchered fax/modem/copier, a vivisected word processor, and an eight-pin phone network input.}

FORRESTER: This might just look like a mish-mash of computers, modems and the like, but it is, in fact, the Fan-Fictotron! Deep 13 is branching into Cyber-Hurting! Frank, will you please demonstrate?
FRANK: Sure, Clay. Mike, 'bots, the Internet is a growing community chock full of opportunities for evil.
FORRESTER: Millions of mindless "netheads," surfing the 'net and looking for their particular interest group.
FRANK: So what do they find? Well, after landing on their favorite newsgroup like, let's say "hr_puff_n_stuff.com," they find fan-fics.
FORRESTER: Yea, fan-fics, those little fecal remains from writers who thought that their preferred kink hadn't been completely explored in their favorite TV shows and comic books.

[Calm down, folks -- remember, these men ARE mad. ;) ]


CROW: Hey, some fan-fics are really good!
TOM: Yeah, they're just good writers paying homage to their favorite characters.

{Deep 13}

FRANK: But with our Fan-Fictotron, the good writers will be pushed off the 'net by slash stories, improbable crossovers, over-sexed housewives with their lurid Duchovnian fantasies, and uber-egoed spandex-loving twelve-year-olds.
FORRESTER: Crank up a few examples, Frank.
FRANK: Okay, let's set it to "Slash."

{Machine makes noises, whirs, and releases a print-out.}

FRANK: Here's the beginning of a sixteen-page Cancer Man/Shaggy slash fic.
FORRESTER: Let's dial up a cross-over. {Machine whirs.} Ah, here's the first chapter of a thirty-part "The Gargoyles Meet Herbie The Love Bug: Living One Day At A Time" crossover. Rancid.
FRANK: How about "Middle-Aged Housewife Fantasy"? Set the dial there. {Whirs.} Oh, a double date between Rogue, Gambit, Mulder, and Scully. Huy-yuck-a!
FORRESTER: Frank, set the dial to "Uber-Ego Twelve-Year-Old."
FRANK: Okay, Steve, setting it to Andrew Vincent. {Machine makes sickly whirr.}
FORRESTER: Now, upload it to the 'net.
FRANK: Eh, I would, but, eh...
FORRESTER: What's wrong with the upload?
FRANK: Well, it, hm, Windows 95 has crashed.
FORRESTER: Then use the Mac!
FRANK: It's on fire.
FORRESTER: Well, try to fire up the Atari and I'll beam this Andrew Vincent piece up to the Satellite of Love. Mike, little friends, prepare for the grueling pain of "X"!


{Lights flash and the usual pandemonium ensues}

ALL: We've got Fan-Fic Sign! Ahhh!

{Doors sequence: 1...2...3...4...5...6...and the guys arrive at the SOL theater, taking their regular seats with obvious reluctance.}

:: Hey! Thanks for deciding to read my story!!

{Out of nowhere, Crow screams at the top of his lungs, howling and flailing and thrashing about like a lunatic. An instant later, he stops as if shut off by a switch and lounges back comfortably once more. Needless to say, Mike and Tom are now both staring at him, slack-jawed.}

MIKE: ?!? What the...
CROW: {perfectly cheerful} Hey, come on you two, we've been through this so many times before, we already KNOW it's going to be pure torture. I just thought it might be healthy to get that out of my system RIGHT at the beginning.
TOM: Hmm. Y'know, he might have a point there.
MIKE: Hmmm.

{A thoughtful beat passes. Then:}

MIKE: Whew...! Yeah, that IS kinda cathartic. Good call, Crow.

:: I worked for a while on this one,

TOM: ...having nothing better to do with my life than write about my friends' RPG characters.
CROW: Do you think he went out and paid good cash for those episodes of "X-Men: The Animated Series," or did he waste every Saturday morning for six months getting up early to watch 'em?
TOM: I dunno. Which is more fanboyish?
MIKE: Doing both.
CROW: Oh yeah.

:: but my second story is even better!!

CROW: And how hard was THAT?
MIKE: You know, this really isn't fair of us. I mean, we haven't even gotten into the fan-fic yet.
TOM: Crow peeked ahead.

:: It isn't finished yet, so you kinda have to check back at the fan-fiction section on occasion.

TOM: {sepulchrally} Secreted in an archive deep in the dank bowels of hell...
MIKE: Whoa, back up. Crow, you peeked ahead? You're going through this TWICE?
CROW: What can I say -- I think I've finally learned to sit back and enjoy the pain.
TOM: Masochist.
CROW: Bite me hard.
TOM: See? See?!
MIKE: Don't start. We've got a long way to go.

:: I hope you like them. By the way, below is a bunch of information about the
:: characters that I have made up. Later. Comments? Suggestions? Want to
:: kill me?

MIKE: What do YOU think? We're even ready to battle to the death for the privilege!

:: Write to: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us

CROW: ...p...a...dot...u-s...got it. Ha! Not naming any names, but SOMEone's gonna find his mailbox spammed full of Star Trek: Voyager fanfics.
TOM: {snootily} Oh, aside from Harlan Ellison?

{both bots chortle conspiratorily}

MIKE: THAT'S playing with fire. Don't come crying to ME when he catches you two and renders you down to spare parts.


TOM: Hey, where's the...

{Mike leans over Tom and taps the word "CLASSIFIED" at far right}

TOM: Ah. I would never have thought to look waaaaay over there.
CROW: Get used to it.

[Author's note: Sorry this joke falls flat in the HTML version. Deal with it, pinkboy.]

:: New Files of Weapon X
:: Upgraded from 12-18-81

MIKE: Uh oh. It's not a good sign when the author's been working over the same story since he was eight.

:: Name: Andrew Vincent

MIKE: He's writing about HIMSELF!
TOM: In fanfic terms, that's one of the Signs of the Apocalypse!

:: Code Name: Shadow

TOM: You do realize, of course, that I'm forcibly restraining myself from performing an Orson Welles impression.
MIKE: {consolingly} I'm sure you'll get plenty of chances later, honey.

:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to create plasma balls in his hands. These plasma
:: balls can be of various size and strength.

CROW: In the down side, this means that every single fraggin' year he gets cast as "Glinda The Good Witch" in the school production of "The Wizard Of Oz."

:: Also has the ability to disappear into the shadows.

MIKE: {prim Minnewegan} Oh, yes, that makes sense with his name being "Shadow" and all, doanchaknow.
TOM: Well, he can't really go around calling himself "Plasma Balls," can he?
CROW: *I* might.

:: Wears an armor that contains a highly intelligent computer that has the ability to
:: create holograms. The holograms have been known to have some solidity

TOM: {Riker} So what's a knockout like you doing in a computer-generated gin-joint like this?
MIKE: This kid needs to look up "hologram" in the dictionary.
CROW: That didn't stop Grant Naylor.
MIKE: Or Gene Roddenberry.
TOM: ZING! And the point for "First Gratuitous Great-Bird Flame" goes to Mike Nelson!

:: Personal Status: Last seen in the town of Sewickley, PA.

MIKE: And now that we know WHERE to find Mr. Vincent...

:: Has been registered in the Mutant Registration Program. Is being pursued by the
:: new Sentinel, the Phantalix.

CROW: Ta dah! By Andrew Lloyd Webber!
TOM: No, I don't think so.
CROW: Why not? Everything else is.

:: Is known to be associated with the X-Men, and his own team of mutants from
:: Weapon X. This team includes Chris Vincent, and Rory Browne.

MIKE: It just got a LOT more painful, guys. He's gonna write his best friend AND his brother into it.
CROW: Ten bucks says that this is a roleplaying game and that Andrew is the gamemaster.
TOM: You're on. Wait, look, a musical cue! {singing} "Hold on tight, you know she's a little bit..."

:: Mutant Status: Dangerous

TOM: {still singing} "...she's got what it takes to make..."
CROW: Oh-oh-oh, I can get this one! Ace Of Base?
TOM: {disgusted} NO. Plebian.

:: Name: Rory Browne
:: Code Name: Massacre

MIKE: Code Blue! Code Blue! Incoming teen roleplayer with a severe case of testosterone poisoning!
CROW: Lemme guess: THIS one collects "Wolverine" and "Cable" and thinks that Sabretooth would be muy cool to hang around with.
MIKE: Sabertooth?
CROW: No, SabREtooth. Later.

:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to fire a blast of psychic energy out of his right

CROW: Nipple.
TOM: Eh! Comics Code, buddy! Comics Code!
CROW: What? What? No it isn't! Isn't that one of Lady Death's abilities?
TOM: I think that's out of BOTH...
MIKE: {clears throat loudly} A-HEM!

:: eye.

CROW: Rats.

:: The blasts can range from stun to instantaneous death. {all muffle howls of laughter}

TOM: And even on up to instantaneous netflame!

:: It is also thought that he could develop psychic powers.

CROW: If hit on the head enough times. Hard. VERY hard. Preferably by me.

:: Also has the ability to fly small distances at great speeds.

MIKE: Uh, no, that's called FALLING.

:: Personal Status: Last seen in the town of Ben Avon, PA.

TOM: I'm starting to see a pattern here, guys.
CROW: Yeah. I bet they regularly catch three-eyed fish in the river there, too.

:: Has been registered in the Mutant Registration Program only by picture.

TOM: Y'know, if the government decided that it could use photo IDs to spot mutants, there'd be a LOT of "registered mutants" whose only claim to fame is "glowing red eyes." You out there reading this! Yeah, you! Check your driver's license! You, too, could be Homo superior!
CROW: Whoa-ho, careful with that fourth wall there, buddy. Who do you think you are, She-Hulk?

:: No genetic I.D. has been collected. Is not being pursued by anything because no
:: genetic imprint is available.

MIKE: That won't stop the Spanish Inquisition!

:: Is known to be associated with the X-Men, {all burst into gales of laughter again}
CROW: Oh he wishes! He WISHES!
MIKE: {gasping} I h-hurt...I can't laugh any more...
TOM: One more bio to get through. That Chris kid. Then maybe we'll see some story.
CROW: {smugly} That's what you think.
TOM: Uh oh. Crow, what aren't you telling us...?

:: and he is a member of Shadow's team.
:: Mutant Status: Highly dangerous

TOM: The opposite of "mostly harmless."
MIKE: Rory slipped a twenty to Andrew to get that upgrade to "Highly."

:: Name: Chris Vincent
:: Code Name: Hazard {all start snickering anew}
MIKE: I'd make a cheap "dem Duke boys" quip here but it's JUST TOO EASY! I HAVE my pride, you know!
TOM: I've said it before and I'll say it again. This...is rich.

:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to cloud the mind of the immediate people
:: around him.

CROW: "Immediate"? As opposed to people he'll meet later in the day?
TOM: Now hold on just one cotton-pickin' minute here. The OTHER guy is named "Shadow"...!
MIKE: They're timesharing the power. "Hazard" has it this week.
TOM: Oh...huh?

:: Also has the ability to use and understand any weapon in a matter of seconds.

MIKE: Since when is "figuring out which end of a club to hold" count as a mutant power?

:: Once he understands the weapon, he will use it in devastating and hazardous ways.

TOM: {John Cleese-ian pompous} And thus, redundantly, the character's NAME.

:: Personal Status: Last seen in the town of Sewickley, PA.

CROW: {longingly} One well-placed nuke...

:: Has not been registered in the Mutant Registration Program, because he does
:: not seem

TOM: ...even remotely interesting...

:: dangerous enough, but that is yet to be decided, since there has been no real
:: confrontation with him.

MIKE: Obsessive imaginary conversations and shockingly twisted fantasies don't count, then?

:: Is known to be a member of Shadow's team.

ALL: Bricka-bracka-firecracka-sis-boom-bah! Shadow's-team, Shadow's-team, rah rah rah!
MIKE: What, no snazzy macho teamname like "Vendetta"?
CROW: Shhh, Mike. Don't drag OUR writer's guilty transgressions into this.

:: Mutant Status: Possible threat

MIKE: To OUR sanity, YOUR cats, and the American Way Of Life.
TOM: And now, at last, for your dubious reading pleasure, the Satellite of Love proudly presents...

:: Name: Rafe Judkins

TOM: ...WHAT?!?
MIKE: How many ARE there?
CROW: {kick-back} Ah, pain. Nothin' quite like sharing it with a few of your best buddies.

:: Code Name: Discharge

ALL: EEEEeeeeeewwwww!
CROW: I'm not allowed to say anything for the next whole entry, am I?
MIKE: Not after "Piper Maru" you aren't.
CROW: {sighs heavily but shuts up}

:: Mutant Powers: Has small magnetic powers.

MIKE: His teammates regularly use him to tack the grocery list to the fridge.

:: He uses those powers to create a small magnetic shield that is always with him.
:: One spot is still venerably.

CROW: And the spellchecker hacks up a furball. Ick.
TOM: Hmm. Y'know, Vincent's spelling has been surprisingly good up until now, so maybe this has some deeper Zen meaning...
MIKE: I wish I could believe that.

:: This point is in the center of his stomach. Unfortunately, this spot is heavily
:: armored by his costume.

MIKE: Fortunately for the bad guys, he doesn't wear a helmet OR a cup.

:: Also has the ability to fly by moving the iron in his blood.

MIKE: So he gets dragged around by his blood cells? Owie owie owie!
TOM: {announcer} "The name 'Discharge' actually has nothing to do with mutant powers, originating instead from a tragic yet humorous high-school incident in which young Judkins' belly button became infected and started to ooze y--" Well, I'll just stop myself there before I become Crow.
MIKE: Thank you.
TOM: Any time.
CROW: And *I* get smacked when I say stuff like that.

:: Personal Status: Last seen in Ben Avon, PA. More specifically, Newgate Rd.

TOM: Ah-HAH! Probably the garage where they roleplay on Friday nights. Got that down, Crow?
CROW: Noted and logged. Whoo-boy, we may yet be able to wreak our revenge on these guys.

:: Is working for the Mutant Registration Program.

CROW: Gasp! Double-agent!
BOTH BOTS: Ratboy!!!

:: No genetic imprints have been obtained of him, partially because he is working
:: for the MRP. TOM: Gasp and dismay! Official government toady, no DNA records..? It's a conspiracy!
MIKE: You've both gone into "X-Files" mode now, haven't you?
TOM: Oh yes. Hey, you're the one who brought up "Piper Maru."
CROW: Cue da spooky blue light, Mistah Cartah!!

:: Discharge is under suspicion due to recent activities with Shadow's team,

MIKE: ...I am NOT going there, guys...

:: but no actions have been taken.
:: Mutant Status: Dangerous

TOM: {singing} "...in my silence, deadly to my cause, speak to meEEEE..."
MIKE: Um, okay, my turn to guess: Queen?
TOM: Half right.

:: Name: Landin Judkins

CROW: ...oh lordy help us, there's more than one of 'em...
MIKE: What's scary is that it's probably a real name. Brrr.

:: Code Name: Launch
:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to

CROW: Leap tall buildings in a single bound!
TOM: Keep a straight face at the thought of a pregnant Pamela Anderson Lee!
MIKE: Make British sci-fi a success on American television!

:: shoot high speed fire blasts out of his hands that are short range, and allow him to
:: propel himself through the air.

CROW: Sorta like "The Rocketeer," only sillier.
MIKE: That's a stretch.
CROW: So was Jennifer Connelly's sweater.
TOM: So THAT'S why you watched "Labyrinth" eight times in a row!
CROW: Only the parts without David Bowie in eyeshadow...he confused me...

:: The fire blasts can also be used to defeat any opposition that is close by.

MIKE: {cheesy commercial voice} They can also roast, toast, broast, barbecue, bake, boil, charbroil, and blast marauding bears into scattered ashes -- perfect for all of your camping needs!

:: Also, has the uncanny ability to climb walls that are almost unscalable.

TOM: {dripping with sarcasm} As opposed to everyday ordinary scalable walls.
CROW: Amazing! This guy just managed to rip off the X-Men AND Spider-Man in a single sentence.
MIKE: At least his main power relates to his codename, which is more than I can say for SOME people.

:: Personal Status: Last seen in Ben Avon, PA. Is thought to be a brother to
:: Discharge, but most of those thoughts have been ignored.

MIKE: ...as are ALL of the thoughts contributed to this taskforce by Vice President Gore.
CROW: Duuuh...well heck, there are just DOZENS of "Judkins" in Pennsylvania.

:: This mutant is highly unstable, and is not associated with any team that is known
:: of, except perhaps Excaliber,

MIKE: ...who have filed a restraining order to keep that kook off of their lawn and away from their pets...

:: the British version of the X-Men.

CROW: Huh. I'd think Excaliber would be insulted by that comparison.
TOM: The way the X-Men have been since Claremont left, I think anyone would.
CROW: You LIKED Claremont...?
MIKE: Guys, I'm lost.
CROW: I TRIED to get you to read some of our back issues, Mike, but nooOOOoooo...
MIKE: Look, Fanbot #1 and Fanbot #2, let's try to keep the gags out of the comic store backracks, okay?
BOTH BOTS: {grumbling}

:: Mutant Status: Highly unstable, and should be considered as a Possible Threat.

MIKE: Or perhaps simply a Potential Annoyance-Which-Really-Needs-A-Good-Smacking-Around.

:: Name: Unknown
:: Code Name: Flair

TOM: Oh, no, let me guess: the Token Cute-Bit-Of-Totty.
MIKE: She doesn't even get a NAME?!?
CROW: Vincent hasn't figured out yet that girls HAVE names.

:: Mutant Powers: Extremely gymnastic. She has the ability to outmaneuver almost
:: any human being.

TOM: Can dislocate her own jaw to devour her meals whole.

:: Is instantly talented at anything she trys.

CROW: Saaaayyyy...
MIKE: For once, I'd be tempted to agree with you if she wasn't...ahem...statuatory.

:: She has mastered almost every language, and is extremely talented with
:: computers.

TOM: {disgusted} So she obviously has to leave the rough stuff to the big studly tough men like "Massacre" and "Hazard." Oh brother.
CROW: Put her in a wheelchair and we've got Oracle Mark II.
MIKE: Hey, I know who that is! Wasn't she Batgirl?
TOM: Uh oh. Mike's a DC man.
CROW: {tauntingly} I bet he reads Vertigo titles.
TOM: {suddenly defensive} I'll have you know that the Vertigo line is the most intelligent, well-written...
MIKE: Black card! Stop now! Both of you!

:: Personal Status: Genetic I.D. has been obtained, and the new Sentinel, the
:: Phantalix, is in pursuit of her.

CROW: Hee hee hee! Frisky, ain't it?
{all break into a few bars of the Benny Hill "chase theme"}

:: She is a known member of Shadow's team. Mutant Status: Dangerous

TOM: {muttering} I'll make you read "Sandman" yet, Crow T. Robot.
CROW: {muttering back} Chick comic, chick comic...

:: Name: Dan Cummins
:: Code Name: Cyber Wolf

CROW: Oh! Oh! Wait, um, don't tell me, I can guess this one's powers...

:: Mutant powers: Is able to fuse with any human or animal, it is thought that he feeds
:: of the victims soul. Also has the ability to project thoughts in victims mind.

CROW: ...Whaaat?!
TOM: Give it up, Crow. These guys obviously created their characters by opening the Marvel character-generation manual to a random page and throwing darts at it.

:: Personal Status: Last seen in Cryogenics Testing Lab.

MIKE: ...leaping out of a cold-tube shouting, "I'm Walt Disney, la la la!!!"
TOM: "Leaping"...?
CROW: Kindly can whatever Sam Beckett joke is brewing in that bubble of yours, Tom.

:: His house is located in Ben Avon, Pa more specifically Willson Dr.

TOM: At long last they play right into our hands! Mwah hah hah!
CROW: {Walter Winchell} By this time, J. Edgar Hoover's G-men had already been tipped off and would shortly gun the nefarious Shadow Gang down in cold blood, just like they had J.M. Dillinger, "Pretty-Boy" Floyd, and Nathan Detroit.
MIKE: No more Discovery-channel specials for you, Crow.
CROW: {whining} But Miiiiike, they're educaaaational...!

:: Have reason to believe he is associated with Shadow's team.

MIKE: Well, you know what they say: "Geeks of a feather..."

:: Mutant Status: Highly dangerous and unstable

CROW: Just like the author.
MIKE: Though he'd probably think that was a compliment.

:: Name: Sara Hiland

CROW: {dramatically} There can BE only ONE!
TOM: There SHOULD have been only one.

:: Code Name: Fugue

TOM: Ah! This one's either the only female roleplayer they know OR the girl that two of them have a crush on and who would be horrified to find her name being used in this manner.
MIKE: Female roleplayer...?
TOM: {evasively} I've heard certain rumors as to their existance.

:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to fly. Mentally changes the environment around
:: a certain target to protect herself.

CROW: {Sara} Oh, like, I know -- I'll, like, blanket the area with raw pulsing plasma to protect myself! This'll look, like, SOOOO totally kewl! Oh, uh, no, waitaminute, I'm not invulnerable to plasAIIIIIGHHHH- -!

:: Depending on the environment choose, certain things could affect the health and
:: physical condition of the target.

MIKE: Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a hearty round of applause to Malathion Girl.

:: I.E. A vicious guard dog could attack and cause the person mental anguish and
:: physical pain.

MIKE: Alternatively, she can achieve the same effect by blipverting "The Naked Lunch" right into her opponent's brain.
CROW: Down, Cujo! You'll get Carrie's dress all dirty!

:: Personal Status: No personal status has been obtained by anyone.

TOM: {huffy} Because you just don't ASK a lady those kinds of questions!

:: Mutant Status: Depending on mood she can be highly dangerous and unstable
:: or very calm and subdued.

TOM: This is SO sexist it isn't even funny.
MIKE: But you can't deny the intrinsic truth of that last statement, can you?
TOM: I...uh...I plead the Fifth.

:: Name: Lizzie Grater

CROW: Hmm -- it makes a twisted kind of sense, I guess, what with all of the CHEESE in here.

:: Code Name: Array
:: Mutant Powers: Has the ability to create psionic arrows that can either fry every
:: cerebral nerve, or

MIKE: Force her victims to do the Roger Rabbit until they fall down twitching in humiliated exhaustion.

:: control her victims mind to do her bidding. Also has the ability to fly. {both bots start whimpering}

CROW: MiiIIIiike, I'm actually LOOKING FORWARD to the story...!
MIKE: There, there. I'm sure we're almost through. I thought you read this already?
CROW: {sniffling} Okay, I admit it...only bits and pieces...even *I* can only take so much...

:: Personal Status: Last seen at Avonworth High School.

MIKE: Thoroughly wedgied and stuffed head-first into a trash-can.

:: Is asscosiated {all make gruesome furball-hacking sounds at the typo}

:: with Laura Vincent,

TOM: Ah, the mysterious "Not Appearing In This Fan-Fic" Vincent sibling.
CROW: Lucky her.

:: Rafe Judkins, and Rory Browne.

CROW: It's ZZ Top! {makes "cheering crowd" noise}
MIKE: Uh, no.

:: Mutant Status: Has not yet found out her mutant powers, so is no threat at
:: the time.

TOM: Soooo I guess those other pesky little powers are just the result of being bitten by a radioactive flying archer.

:: Andrew "FaBoO" Vincent

ALL: {singing} "It's time for Annnn-drewmaaaa-niacs! It's a fright how much this lacks!"
MIKE: So Chris is Yakko and Laura is Dot?
CROW: I wish we could lock up the VINCENTS in a water tower.

:: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us

TOM: Hmmm. Lessee. This is coming from a student at a school...
CROW: A private school...
MIKE: A private kindergarten-through-12th-grade school...
TOM: {shudders} I feel a spark of true pity for Mr. Vincent. However, I think this story could form the cornerstone of a compelling new argument in favor of PUBLIC schools, don't you?
CROW: It could at that. Kids at public schools don't get Internet accounts.
MIKE: Amen.

:: Hey!! Thanks for deciding to read my first story. Well, okay......it stinks.

TOM: Then WHY did you uplo...oooOOOO! Never mind.
MIKE: Hey, if all fanficcers took a moment to actually THINK before posting to the net, we'd never have known the sparkling joys of seaQuest prequels, Karen S. Mauldin's entire Red Dwarf run, and those oh-so-delightful Chakotay/Janeway gender-benders.

{All ponder for a long moment and then shudder convulsively}

:: I know. I just really didn't put much time into it,

CROW: {Andrew} Kick me hard! Please! I'm a naughty, naughty boy!
TOM: At least he's honest.

:: but my second story is great!

MIKE: That just means that it's longer than this one.
{both bots whimper}

:: I put this story up so that you would have some idea about who this Shadow
:: guy is.

CROW: Did we ask? I don't remember asking.
MIKE: We already know that he's played by Alec Baldwin...
TOM: Orson Welles, dammit, Orson Welles.

:: This doesn't have any of the other characters that I have created in it, but my next
:: story does,

MIKE: Aw, how sweet -- he's giving us enough warning to flee the blast radius.

:: so before reading it, don't forget to read the upgraded files of Weapon X.

CROW: No...not again...must...get to...crappy fanfic...

:: Enjoy the story!!


:: X

MIKE: Check it: even the title's trying to sneak out of here.

[Author's note: Uh, obviously another joke cruelly slain by the limitations of HTML....]

:: By: Andrew Vincent

CROW: Known to his friends as "The Death Of The Party."

:: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us
:: Copyright 1995

MIKE: Here we go...brace yourselves...
TOM: {Disneyland announcer} For the remainder of the fanfic, please keep your hands and feet inside the car and please, no flash photography.

:: "Freeze! This is the police. Put your hands on your heads where we can see
:: them. Resistance is futile."

CROW: And somewhere in England Douglas Adams stirs uneasily in his sleep.
TOM: Wasn't that "Resistance is useless"?
CROW: I dunno. Ever since the Borg showed up, I've been getting those two gags mixed up.

:: I was having a good day.

MIKE: An extra math lab, a pick-up swing-choir rehearsal, and then eight solid hours of network Descent! Yeah! I am SO cool!

:: After school, I went over to a party at one of my friends house. It seems as though
:: his parents were in a bit of trouble with the law.

TOM: Heh heh heh! Oh, those wacky Mansons!

:: And, since I was at the scene of the crime, I was considered an accomplice.

MIKE: That's his definition of a "good day"?
CROW: Ah, the hazards of befriending one of the Simpson children.
TOM: Oh, please. Dated humor.
MIKE: Tasteless, too. I hope you meant the cartoon Simpsons, Crow?
CROW: I'll let you believe that.

:: "I didn't do it!! I'm innocent! I swere!" I shouted. I was beginning to get a little
:: hysterical.

CROW: Dibs on slapping him.

:: "Tell it to the judge, kid. We're takin' you all in."

MIKE: {gameshow host} Hello and welcome to Mystery Cliche Theater 3000!
TOM: This is what happens when the only cops a writer has ever observed in action are the Goon Squad from "Plan Nine From Outer Space."
MIKE: It's going to get worse, isn't it.
TOM: A-yep.

:: * * *

MIKE: Look! Tribbles playing Follow-The-Leader.

:: I was in a prison cell. Since I was fourteen, they decided that it would be okay
:: to put me in an adult holding cell for the night.

CROW: ...because Big Bubba gets awful cranky without a squeaky chew-toy.

:: It smelt like piss, and the food tasted about the same.

MIKE: {brightly, like an airline hostess} Cream? Sugar? Ham?

:: The police had denied me my one phone call, since I refused to tell them my name
:: and address. My family lost track of me two years ago.

TOM: Hmph. Wander through one lousy ol' magic wardrobe...guess I shoulda left a note.

:: All they do is pay for my education, and I get spending money from my little
:: brother, who smuggles it out of the house.

CROW: {sniggering} Suuuuure. THERE'S an adolescent fantasy for you.
MIKE: I wonder what color the sky is in Andy's world?

:: I watched the wall

TOM: ...insert obligatory Pink Floyd joke here...

:: hoping that someone would try to break me out of this urine soaked hell hole.

TOM: Ooooh, the great Shadow decides to sound tough and worldly!
MIKE: If he didn't, I bet he'd burst into tears.
CROW: {taunting} Mama's boy! Mama's boy! Gonna cry? Betcha gonna cry!

:: The wall started to blur.

MIKE: Yep, that's good weed all right. ...Not that I would know, of course.
CROW: Oh, of course.

:: "Wha-what's goin' on?" I asked, watching carefully. "Officer, come over here."
:: "Shut up freak."

TOM: His mother warned him not to leave the house in his favorite angora sweater and matching pumps, but did he listen? Nooo.

:: Nice officer.

CROW: C & R?

:: Mental note, remember never to vote for police buget raises.

MIKE: But Chief Wiggum NEEDS his doughnuts!
CROW: Hey! I thought you told us "no cheapo cops/doughnuts" gags?
MIKE: I make the rules, I break 'em. You break 'em, I break you. Capiche?
CROW: {Igor} Yeth, maaawth-tuh.

:: I walked towards the blur. It looked like a forest now, like someone had open
:: a door. The air coming from the blur was cool, and refreshing. I

MIKE: Looked full into the multi-faceted eye of Cthulhu and ran away screaming and gibbering, clawing mindlessly at the bars! AHHHHH!

:: touched it. The blur seemed to come alive, and It pulled me into

TOM: ...the sewer grate, ripping my arm off at the shoulder.
TOM: Hey, someone had to follow up on the "It" joke.

:: the forest. I started to walk. It was better than the holding cell. I walked on.

CROW: Just once I'd like to see someone NOT jump blindly through the Mysterious Portal.
TOM: I'd just like to see some kid pop out in deep space or at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
{general evil snickering}

:: * * *

MIKE: Tribble can-can line.
{both bots groan}

:: " Where am I? I've walked for almost five miles, and I haven't seen one sign
:: of civilization.

CROW: Which means that at any second now he'll stumble into a Renaissance Faire.

:: WHAT IS THIS CRAZY PLACE!!??," I said in frustration beyond belief.

MIKE: It's called a FOREST, city-boy. Y'know, "trees"? Sheesh.

:: "Dis is private property, and you be trespassin' on it," said a pure cajun voice
:: from behind me.

CROW: Oh no.

:: "Now, if you don't mind, I be taken you in to see how you got past the security.
:: Unfortunately, I can't let you see de joint, so I must insist that you take a card."

CROW: Oh NO no no PLEASE no...
TOM: Gambit?
CROW: Gambit.
TOM: Oh, that does it. If he and Rogue get within two feet of each other, I'm leaving.
MIKE: Huh? Who? Wha?
CROW: You don't need to know.
MIKE: I KNEW this was a bad idea.
CROW: Oh Mike, we sit through your boring Star Trek stuff, don't we?
MIKE: But Star Trek is part of the American culture! Even the worst Star Trek fanfic has SOME small redeeming...
TOM: John F. Moore III.
CROW: Captain "B-Natural" Picard.
MIKE: I have no further objections, Your Honor.

:: Seeing that the cajun meant business,

CROW: I thought "Cajun" meant "smug conceited person from New Orleans"?
MIKE: No, you're thinking "Anne Rice."
TOM: {scholarly} It's fascinating how the mere mention of "N'Awlins" provokes a spontaneous Pavlovian Anne-Rice joke from the average American adult, even one who's never read a single Anne Rice book.
MIKE: Does "Exit To Eden" count?
MIKE: No, no, I meant the movie, y'know, with Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Ackroyd?

:: I took a card. As soon as I did that, the card, an ace of spades,

MIKE: Should we?
TOM: Close enough.
CROW: Sure.
ALL: {burst out singing} ALL that she wants is another ba-by...

:: blew up in my face, knocking me out.

MIKE: I dunno, guys. I'm liking this Cajun guy already.
TOM: So which one of us gets the points for "First Gratuitous Ratliff Flame"?
MIKE: No points. Too easy.
CROW: So no points for Torgo jokes, either?
MIKE: Nope.
CROW: Darn.

:: I noticed the bright lights above my head


:: and the bald man staring at me. "Who are you, and

CROW: {Monty Pythonesque} WHUT is your qwwwuest?

:: how did you get past security," He sounded like a nice man, but he seemed to have
:: another side to him.

CROW: Harvey Dent!
MIKE: Just so long as Jim Carrey doesn't show up.
TOM: Ahhh-men.

:: "I didn't get past your security. I just... how should I put this?....I just appeared
:: here. I need help.

TOM: The first step IS admitting it.
MIKE: {syrupy} Now don't you worry, young man. Here comes Nurse Ratchet with your happy-happy medication to make all those nasty-bad super hero delusions just bloooow away.

:: Look, I'm just confused. I'm in a place that is unfamiliar to me, and I need help to
:: get back to my home. My life is bad enough.

CROW: But you ASKED to be Embraced, you ungrateful brat!

:: I don't need to add this to my list of problems," I said, telling all of my feelings
:: to the man.

MIKE: {Xavier}: Huh, oh, wha? I'm sorry, I was listening to the ballgame.

:: "I understand,"said the bald man. "I have been stranded in other dimensions for
:: years at a time, but I always got back,

CROW: ...no matter HOW many times my students knocked me over the head and dumped me through Mysterious Portals...

:: so I know how you feel. Maybe we can help. My students possess certain gifts,

TOM: Yeah, I hear that Jean Grey can bite her own toenails.
CROW: Oh, thanks Tom. I'm going to see that in my dreams tonight.

:: and maybe they can help you. My name is Professor Xavier."
:: "You mean that you are the legendary Professor Xavier?

CROW: No, I'm *A* legendary Professor Xavier, didn't you hear that we come in...
ALL: ...six packs?
TOM: Oh, and just WHO was it who was ragging on Vincent for ripping off Douglas Adams?
CROW: {innocently, a la the Mask} It wasn't me, it was the one-armed...
{Mike reaches over with both hands and snaps Crow's beak shut}

:: That means that your students are

CROW: {campy} Barnum & Bailey CLOWNS!

:: ...are the X-Men. " I said in awe. "And the cajun that brought me here was
:: Gambit...?" I said, coming to my senses.

MIKE: No, it's was ANOTHER Cajun. We have an infestation on the grounds this summer -- they breed like mad under the woodpile.

:: "Yes. What is wrong, your mind seems to be in a state of shock."

MIKE: Is that a statement or a question?
TOM: Both and yet neither! The mind boggles.

:: "Gambit...," I said slowly and in awe, "I don't truely know. Maybe if I meet him
:: I'll remember"

TOM: Remember what? Meet him? They already met!
MIKE: {Andrew} It's funny, Professor; every time I think of Gambit my second-degree burns and multiple contusions all start hurting like the dickens again. Weird, huh?

:: "It's worth a try, Andrew."

CROW: {Andrew, a la whiny brat} Nonono! My name is Shadow! Call me SHADOW!
MIKE: {Xavier} Uh...sure, kid. Look, I'll give you a Pez dispenser if you shut up, hmm?


ALL: {solemnly, as if chanting a sacred mantra} Electric Boogaloo.
CROW: Hee hee. I never get tired of that one.

:: "Now what? I've been wandering around this place for hours!," I said with
:: frustration.

TOM: It's becoming apparent that Vincent's a graduate of the Doctor Who School Of Plot Construction.
MIKE: "If you don't quitcher bitching, boy, it's back to the forest with you...to DIE!"

:: "Now, you die!" said Gambit. He had snuck up on me, and now he was ready
:: to kill me!

CROW: Yes! Yes! Yes!
{all begin thrashing up and down like Beavis & Butthead}

:: "Stop!" I said. "I'm with you guys!"
:: "Yeah, and I'm the queen of England," he said, ready to blow my face off with
:: a fully charged card.

TOM: {Robin Williams} But you're not a woman, you're a man.
CROW: {Nathan-Lane campy} YOU BASTARD!

:: "Your Majesty," I said with a bow.
:: "You can't be with us. You don't got no

TOM: {Gambit} ...style, no panache, no cool, no angst...
CROW: {Andrew, still whining} I do too! Stop making fun of me!!! MOM!!!

:: mutant powers, unless you haven't found them yet."

MIKE: Hmm -- have you checked under the bed, where the last fanboy left them?

:: "So you think that I'm going to find that I have a mutant power!?!" I said
:: hopefully.

CROW: {Andrew, now snuffling} It's MY fanfic, of COURSE I'm gonna get powers. So THERE.
TOM: Shyeah, where's he going to get them, out of a Crackerjack box?
CROW: There's been stranger ways. I mean, take Herricane...
TOM: CROW...! Ot-nay in ont-fray of the uman-hay!
CROW: Oh yeah...
MIKE: Don't waste your Pig Latin, boys. Gypsy already found and flushed your stash of Penthouse Comix.

:: "I didn't say that, I said you might."
:: "So I won't get one?" I asked.

CROW: {aside} Shallow grave?
TOM: {back} Shallow grave.

:: "I didn't say dat either," he said, getting more frustrated each time

MIKE: ...his accent flickered randomly in and out of existence.

:: . I could see that this conversation was going no where, so I decided to

CROW: {hopefully} Pull a Milk & Cheese and bludgeon him to death with a baseball bat?

:: switch the subject.

CROW: Oh. Rats.
MIKE: {high nasally fanboy voice} So, uh, um, oh, I know! In like issue #1,276, um, when you were, like, whaling on that robot-monster-zombie thing and you, uh, didn't have your, like, trenchcoat on, uh, where did you, like, keep your bo-staff?
TOM: You know, that's almost as as annoying as the character in the story.
MIKE: Thanks.

:: "I guess that I'll see you later, your majesty," I said with a bow. Whoops! That's
:: the worst way to end a conversation.

CROW: No, the worst way to end a conversation is: "Hey, pal, terribly sorry about your suede boots but I just couldn't find the bathroom in time."

:: I started to run, hoping that I would escape before he started to } chase me.

MIKE: {deep voice} Releeease the hooooounds...!
{both bots start yipping and baying}

:: "I'll hide behind those steel enforced doors that say CAUTION, DO NOT
:: ENTER on them," I said, not realizing what I had said.

TOM: I hate to see what this kid'll do when he runs into the doors marked "CAUTION, DO NOT LICK."

:: As soon as I stepped into the room, the doors closed behind me, and an alarm
:: sounded. I knew that I had stepped into trouble.

TOM: Someone forgot to unlatch Wolverine's doggie-door this morning, I see.
CROW: Young man, you go scrape that off in the grass this instant!

:: I was right. Things started to come to life all around me. The walls seemed to turn
:: into endless landscapes, And things like people, buildings, cars, hills,

MIKE: ...mimes...

:: and sounds came to life around me.

MIKE: It was then I realized that I'd stumbled into a completely different fanfic.
CROW: Yeah -- a GOOD one.
{Tom does a rimshot}

:: It was like a hologram, but I could feel everything.

TOM: {grimly} In other words, it was UTTERLY UNLIKE A HOLOGRAM. Right? Right.

:: The scenery, the cars, everything was real!

CROW: Hmmm! Looks like that kooky Blue Fairy went on a major bender!

:: Then came a sound of cheering, and someone said, "LONG LIVE THE MUTANT
:: EXTERMINATION SQUAD!" What?!? What were they?

CROW: Take a wild guess. It probably involves rocks, rope, pain, and a taxidermist.

:: I didn't stand a chance against them, whoever they are, especially since I didn't
:: have a mutant power. I was doomed!

MIKE: {getting up} That puts me in the mood for some popcorn. You guys coming?
TOM: {sarcastically} No, Mike, I want to stay right here and soak up the radiation.
MIKE: {shrugs} Well, okay.
CROW: Mike? Can I show you what I found now...?
MIKE: Sure, why not?

{Mike and Crow leave the theater. Tom tries to look nonchalant for all of five seconds before he starts vibrating with agitation.}

TOM: Guys? Uh...guys? Hey, this isn't funny -- pardon me for stating the obvious for the benefit of new readers, but you know I kinda CAN'T get out of here on my own. Mike? MIIIIKE! Nel-SOOOOOON!!!

{His cries trail down the corridor sequence.}

{6...5...4...3...2...1...SOL bridge}

{The bridge is, surprisingly, utterly deserted. Then our view begins to shift down as Cambot sinks towards the floor. Just before he hits bottom, all goes black except for a few flickers indicating movement through conduits. Then all is still and dark except for the faint background thrum of the SOL engines.}

{There's a series of faint thudding noises forward and left...followed by a rusty rachetting sound, as if of a giant wheel being turned. Faint light pours in through a suddenly opened hatch -- not enough to make out our surroundings yet. Small clicking noises...then a flashlight beam spears out into the darkness. Eh! One "NBC Mystery Movie" joke out of you and I'll clock you a good one, you hear?}

CROW'S VOICE: See? What did I tell you?
MIKE'S VOICE: I just figured it was another storage room.

{The flashlight flickers over shelves of boxes and a litter of blankets on the floor. Mike steps into the dark room. Crow is right behind him. We can just barely make them out by the backwash of the flashlight, which still gives Trace plenty of latitude to work the puppe...er, uh, scratch that, you didn't hear that. Um. Heh heh heh.}

MIKE: {batting his spare hand in front of his face} Phew! That's pretty stale. Is there a lightswitch?
CROW: How would I know? I guess so.
MIKE: It LOOKS like a storage room. But you say this is...?
CROW: {proudly} The Official SOL Storm Shelter.
MIKE: Uh...huh.
CROW: No, really. It's on the schematics Gypsy has keeps on file. It's the ultimate in "safe"! Nothing can breach this baby! Tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, lightning, vengeful thundergods, dance fads, the "Dime Lady" ad campaign...
MIKE: {patiently} None of which we get up here in space, Crow.
CROW: Oh. Yeah. Except the Dime Lady.
MIKE: Ugh. Don't remind me. {He pokes the flashlight into a box marked "Hamdingers" and sighs under his breath to find that it does, indeed, contain hamdingers.} Rats... Look, that's sweet and all, but this place is just never going to come in useful. Plus, it smells like gym socks and Spam.
CROW: Well, maybe it'll make a good clubhouse, huh?
MIKE: Sure, if you want...
CROW: {a little sulky} Aw, hey, I was just trying to be helpful. I mean, you keep reminding us how you're all...squishy. And how you need weirdo things like oxygen and air pressure. So I just kinda figured that...well...oh, never mind.
MIKE: It's the thought that counts, buddy.
CROW: Awwwww... {brightens} Hey! Is this a Kodak moment?
MIKE: Uh...no.
MIKE: Oh, for cryin' out... {hollering back} TELL HER I'M IN THE SHOWER! C'mon, Crow. [1]



MIKE: Hello and welcome to it. Tom? Crow, do you see Tom anywhere?
CROW: I dunno, but something just grabbed my leg and whimpered.

{Mike ducks down and looks under the seats}

MIKE: Oh, I see. Hey, Servo.

{Mike comes back up with Tom and places him into his seat. Tom is shivering hard enough to make his dome rattle.}

TOM: Don't you ever -- EVER -- do that to me again, Nelson...
MIKE: Shhh, later. The story's back up.

{Tom grumbles under his breath but subsides}

:: "HELP! I'm stuck in the future, and I can't get out!," I screamed.

CROW: Fine! We'll trade! YOU come sit in this theater!

:: It seemed hopeless. I couldn't see the door anymore, and I didn't stand a chance
:: against the M.E.S. without a mutant power.

MIKE: Like a gerbil in a blender.
CROW: Unless it were a gerbil with a mutant power, of course. [2]

:: Yipe, The M.E.S. spotted me! I had to run and find cover. If I didn't, I would be
:: terminated. Me without my powers is not a good sign.

MIKE: Me WITH my powers is not a good sign either, because that spells S-E-Q-U-E-L.

:: I needed help, and I needed it quick. I decided to run into the nearest building.

MIKE: {Andrew} Okay, hang on, I need to get a good running start..
CROW: Look out! He's trying to ram his way in!
MIKE: Or to knock himself out of his misery.

:: Maybe I can hide in there. I heard a shout, "The mutant's got a gun. Let's get him!"

CROW: Gun? Did we miss something? Where'd he get a gun? If he's a mutant, who'd care if he HAD a gun? How can they tell he's a mutant in the first place? My head hurts.
MIKE: We could always amputate.
TOM: {loudly and huffily} I'm still sulking, I'll have you know.

:: I really don't know what happened next. I heard the sound of a deep booming as
:: it echoed through the hall. The the flames got to me,

CROW: Aw-riiight! Our e-mail made it through!

:: and that's all I remembered.

CROW: The end!
MIKE: See, guys? That wasn't so bad.
{all three get up and cheerfully leave the theater}

:: *****
:: "Where am I?," I said. I wasn't in the room with all of the holograms, but I
:: wasn't in an infermerary. I looked around, and a computer voice said, "You are
:: in your new room, Andrew. I will brief you on what has happened if you like." I
:: was amazed. The computer must have artificial intelligence. But it would have to
:: be given a sample of my voice before.

{There's some thumping and banging offstage to the right. Tom's head pokes in, then ducks back out. We hear some muffled shouting, and an equally muffled answer which soars up incredulously on the last syllable. A moment later all three come shuffling sheepishly back into the theater and retake their seats.}

CROW: {coming into earshot} ...honest mistake, Mike. I mean, heck, I jumped the gun too.
TOM: You guys really should have known better -- nothing short of a supernova is gonna do this kid in.
MIKE: {heavy sigh} A man's gotta have a dream.

:: "Where are you located in this mansion," I said with my curiosity growing.
:: "Insufficient data.

CROW: {lewdly} That's not what Tasha said.

:: The Cerebro program is in incorporated throughout the mansions computer system.
:: And the main system is incorporated throughout the walls of the mansion.

TOM: Well, that confirms it. Too much Star Trek DOES turn your synapses into tapioca.
CROW: Don't argue, Mike, you'll just further our cause.

:: That is how I got a sample of your voice. Do you have more questions?," said the
:: computerized voice.

TOM: {Andrew} Yeah! Does Wolverine wear boxers or briefs?

:: I was amazed! The computer must be able to read my immediate thoughts.

CROW: Let's see now, thoughts, thoughts..."X II"...?!?!? EEEEK!!!
TOM: Oh, the humanity! And we thought that OUR circuitry was being abused!
MIKE: Actually, if all Cerebro has to do is read his mind, it must have it pretty cushy.

:: "Yes, I can read your immediate thoughts.

MIKE: Don't make me come over there and wash your skull out with soap, young man.

:: If you would like, I can stop that process," said the computerized voice.
:: "No, I don't mind.

MIKE: {Andrew} You just go RIGHT ahead and stop my thoughts. I do it all the time, myself -- usually when I'm writing. Hey! Wanna see my Shadow powers?
CROW: {Cerebro} No.
MIKE: {Andrew} But they're really cool an' stuff...
CROW: {Cerebro} No.
MIKE: {Andrew} I've got my, uh, character sheet right here, so...
CROW: {Cerebro} No. Last warning.
MIKE: {Andrew} Yeah, but just check out what I can do with my...

{There is a very distinct "ZAP" and an actual spark leaps from Crow to Mike. Mike yelps and falls out of character faster than than Wile E. Coyote off of a cliff..}

MIKE: OW! Crow, that really hurt...!
TOM: Whoa-ho-ho! How'd you do THAT, m'man?
CROW: Been scuffling my feet on the carpet for the last five minutes. Bwah-hah-hah. Beware the Finger Of Death!

:: Could you place thoughts in my mind?" I said.

CROW: Well, there's plenty of room...

:: The answer was very plain and simple. A voice inside my head said, very clearly,

MIKE: "Echo...echo...echooo...hey, this is pretty nifty."

:: {yes}. "Can I design my room to fit my needs?" I asked. Yes, replied a voice
:: inside my head.

TOM: It wasn't Cerebro, but heck, at least this time it wasn't urging me to light my sister on fire.

:: I will show you some possibilities. "Fine," I said. When it came to Gambit's room,
:: I said to stop.

MIKE: Before it made me violently, creatively ill.
CROW: Whoo-ee! Phew! What DIED in there?!? That guy should hose out his body-armor now and then!

:: I told Cerebro to add a more advanced computer that would connect to Cerebro,
:: and to also add a 64 bit video game system, with games from around the galaxy.

MIKE: {as if in pain} Oh mah good lord. I would think that the rest of the galaxy would have evolved beyond the need for "Super Mario Bros"
TOM: {following up on the last line of the story} Including that Shi'ar chartbuster...

{Whatever sly "Interplay" swipe Tom was about to make is interrupted by another "ZAP!" Mike shoots to his feet then sits back down just as quickly, glaring down at Crow. Crow is giggling like mad.}

CROW: {still snickering} I'm sorry, go ahead buddy, what were you saying?
TOM: {stiffly} I don't remember now.

:: "In 1 hour, your room will be ready. Please return then to see your room," said
:: the computerized voice.

MIKE: {Cerebro a la Holly} By the way, did I mention that I have an IQ of 6,000? That's roughly the same amount as the accumulated IQ of 2,000 "test message" posters.

:: I decided to go explore the mansion, and find out who saved my life.

TOM: Yeah, we'd like a few words with that idiot, too. What was he THINKING?!?

:: I had seen everything in the 2nd floor, and I haven't seen a single person, unless
:: you count the robotical maid.

CROW: {rolling his eyes} Uh huh. Must be left over from a really twisted lemon...

:: That's when I came across an elevator. Or at least it seemed like an elevator.

MIKE: Coulda been a broom closet. Or at least an elevator filled with buckets and squeegees.

:: I stepped inside, and pressed the button marked sub-basement.

TOM: The big shiny red one labelled "CAUTION: DO NOT PRESS," knowing this kid.

:: It was very fast, because as I started my decent, I felt myself being sucked up to
:: the ceiling. When it finally stopped,

MIKE: {Andrew} ...they had to clean me out of there with a hose and a spatula.
CROW: Ugh! His mutant power is to Body Transformation: Human Spackle!

:: I was in a very high tech room. That's when a normal human, or at least he looked
:: like one,

MIKE: ...but then again, that also goes for Pat Buchanan...

:: stopped me. "What are you doing here, and how did you get through security?"
:: he asked.

CROW: {Andrew} Batted eyelashes and the promise of a lap-dance.
MIKE: {Cyclops} Ugh. I'm sorry I asked.

:: "Cyclops, do not worry.

TOM: Hey, it's hard NOT to worry when your EYES are constantly exploding!

:: He is the new student that I was telling you about," said the Professor. "This is
:: Andrew Vincent.

ALL: {bored} Hi, Andrew.

:: He is new, and has had a deadly run in with the Danger Room already.

CROW: {Cyclops} Apparently not deadly enough, sir. You want me to drag him back down there for another go?

:: Luckily, Beast was there to save him."
:: "So that's what saved my life."
:: "Not what, who,"


:: came a very calm voice from behind me. "And yes, I am the one who saved
:: your life."

TOM: Would you like a jelly-baby?

:: I turned around to see a huge and hulking beast that was covered with blue fur.

MIKE: Dr. David Bruce Banner, exposed to lethal doses with smurfian radiation...
CROW: Don't go there.

:: I was scared out of my wits.

TOM: But then I remembered that I'd left them safe and sound in a pickle jar under my pillow...
CROW: Sounds like this just became a FOUR-change-of-underwear trip

:: "Y-y-you s-s-s-saved my life, a-a-and di-di-didn't k-k-kill me?," I asked,
:: stuttering because of my state of terror.

MIKE: "W-what's the p-p-problem, K-K-K-Ken? G-gonna k-k-k-kill me?" ...Sorry, sorry, I know, guys, it doesn't exactly fit the situation b ut I couldn't resist.
CROW: Hey, you can quote Kevin Kline any time you want, buddy.
TOM: Uh! As long as you don't break into "Pirate King" again. I don't think we could survive a second run-through.
MIKE: {insincerely} Oh, yeah, sure, all right, I promise.

:: "There is no need to worry, my stuttering friend. I am Hank McCoy, better
:: known as The Beast.

TOM: {campy} Known to my REALLY good friends as "Susan."

:: I am the scientist and genetic researcher in this complex," said Beast. He was
:: begining to worry me, even though he seemed friendly, so I finished the
:: conversation quickley.

MIKE: {Andrew} I pointed straight up, shouted "ALIENS!", wet my pants, and ran away shrieking.
CROW: That's the quick way to end a conversation, all right.
MIKE: Hey, it always worked on my teachers.
{Crow and Tom exchange a glance -- both bots nonchalantly edge away from Mike}

:: "Well, I've got to go. My, um.. my room is probably ready. Bye!" I said. I ran
:: down the hall towards my room.

CROW: {makes noises like a submarine promixity alert} Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Plot hole gaping open off the port bow! Hard to starboard, Mr. Smee!!!
TOM: {starting to vibrate with agitation} Let me get this straight : he's going back to his Uber-Bedroom even though it's only been all of t en MINUTES and he was told to come back in an HOUR...?!?
MIKE: Shhh, hey, calm down. Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in ..breathe out...there, now don't you feel better?
TOM: {coldly} I don't breathe, Mike.
MIKE: Er. Well, maybe that's the problem, then.

:: As I stepped into my room, a hand grabbed my throat.

ALL: {chanting} Tighter! Tighter! Tighter!

:: "Where do you think you're goin' bub?,"said a gruff voice.

MIKE: To the house of stone and light.
BOTH BOTS: Huh--?!

:: The hand had a strangle hold on my neck, and it didn't seem like it was going to
:: let go.

CROW: No, Thing! Bad Thing! Bad! Let go right this instant or it's the MITTEN for you!

:: KILL ME!!!!!," I shouted.

MIKE: Yeah! For cryin' out loud, stop "trying" and start SUCCEEDING!

:: The grip grew tighter.

TOM: He's still narrating! Squeeze harder!

:: "I hate havin' to keep the place secure from geeks like you,"said the voice.

CROW: What, Emo Phillips has been here too?
TOM: AND Carrot-Top. It's been quite an unpleasant week up at the X-Mansion.

:: "Le'go of him Wolverine. He's clean. Xavier agrees, and so does everyone
:: else,"said Gambit in his pure cajun accent.

MIKE: Like this kid would know a Cajun accent if it bit him on the butt.
TOM: Hoo-hah, now THAT'S an unpleasant image.

:: The grip on my throat loosened, and then let go "You findin' you're way around
:: this place okay?" asked Gambit.

MIKE: Yeah, but there's this big creepy furry mirror-waving guy with Robbie Benson's voice who won't let me anywhere NEAR the west wing...

:: "Yeah, I guess so. I think that after a week or so, I'll find my way around just
:: fine," I said.
:: "Seems opitmiscit," growled Wolverine to Gambit.

MIKE: Whoops! Looks like Vincent fell face-first onto the keyboard again.
CROW: I didn't know Wolverine was fluent in Rwandan!

:: I decided that it was time to get revenge on Wolverine, for trying to kill me.
:: "I can see that you're still trying to master talking in complete sentences,"
:: I said.

TOM: {Wolverine, monotone} Oh, oh, alas and alack, you have razzed me but good. You win. I may as well just lie down here and whimper for a bit.

:: I braced myself for the hit.

MIKE: Wooooo! C'mon, dude, hurry up, stop bogarting the bong!

:: Instead, Wolverine chuckled. "He's got guts, too," said Wolverine.

CROW: {doing Wolverine, but sounding more like Jack Palance} I think they'd look quite nice bronzed and nailed up over the main fireplace.

:: "Think he's ready for the team?"
::::"I guess so," said Gambit.

TOM: Man, even the Detroit pitching staff has higher standards than these guys.

:: "Welcome aboard, kid," said Wolverine.
:: "Wha-what do you mean? What team?" I asked.

MIKE: {cutesy falsetto} Why, the Sailor Scouts, of course! Tee hee!

:: I was worried that this was a type of revenge.

CROW: Oh, it is, it is. They're gonna ship him off to join X-Force.

:: "You've just been welcomed to the Blue Strike Force. You're now a member
:: of the X-Men's finest," said Cyclops.

BOTH BOTS: Generation X?!?
CROW: Naaah, they've already got their hands full with Sharp Shot.
MIKE: You guys read waaaay too many fanfics.
CROW: {self-righteously} But Nelson, they're educational you know.
TOM: Mhairie?
CROW: Ayep.

:: I guess that he had been watching from the shadows,

MIKE: ...ah, yes, Leadership Tactic #4...

:: and was seeing how I would react to a life threatening situation.

CROW: Great. The greatest mutant superhero team on Earth is admitting a kid whose most obvious talent to date is the amazing ability to back-sass guys with bad tempers and major butt-kicking superpowers.
MIKE: No, no, it does make a twisted sort of sense -- I mean, they could codename him "Bait."
TOM: And after all, there IS precedent.
TOM: Jason "Robin II" Todd.
{All three fight it for a moment then give up and start giggling anew}

:: I had passed. I was now a true X-Man.

TOM: Tanned, toned, and Licensed To Whine.

:: To be Continued....

CROW: Well NOW I've lost the will to live, thank you so bloody much.

:: Andrew "FaBoO" Vincent
:: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us

TOM: See Wickley. See Wickley run. Run, Wickley, run.

:: Alright. You came back for the second part of the story.

MIKE: Yeah, we're hoping that you'll let your phone number slip this time, too.

:: I know that it's kinda corny, and that it need work, but you can read my second
:: story.

TOM: Only if the Mads tie us to chairs and staple our eyes open.

:: Also, yes I did get a lot of these ideas from some of the already published comics,

CROW: Ta-dah! Obvious Lad strikes again!

:: so just bear with it. Again, my second story is all new!! Al original!! And Much
:: Better!!!!!!

TOM: Packed with 100% natural fiber and plenty of WAAAAAAUGH! power!!!!!!

:: Hope you enjoy the end!

MIKE: Sure! Who doesn't look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel?

:: Later!
:: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us

CROW: Y'know, the only way this could get more painful is if Mark Trenner got into the act.
TOM: SHHHH! Don't give the Mads ideas!!!

:: X, Part II

MIKE: Shhh, calm down lil buddy, it's okay...it's just the second part of this story, not the sequel...
CROW: {suddenly perfectly calm} Oh. Okay.

:: The X-Men hadn't had a single thing to do since I was put on the blue team.

MIKE: Villains of the world quake in their knee-high stilletto-heeled boots at the news that the mighty SHADOW has joined the X-Men!

:: It was two days before Thanksgiving Day, and everyone was busy outside doing
:: yard work.

CROW: {Andrew} The X-Men are like just so kewl! They keep trying to talk me into playing something called "Fit The Fanboy With Cement Booties And Toss Him Into The Lake," but I'm allergic to cement.

:: "Hey, anyone want to play football?" shouted Cyclops.

TOM: No one answered. Humiliated, Cyke slunk off to bawl under his bed that nobody liked him.

:: A lot of anonymous shouts came up, "Me!, I will!, I get to be captain!" and a
:: lot more.

MIKE: "I swear I'll hold my breath until I get a limited series!"
TOM: "I do too have a personality!"
CROW: "Hey, no fair! The artist is drawing her with bigger..."
TOM: !!!
CROW: "...hair than me." What? What did you think I was going to say?

:: I gladly joined the crowd. It got pretty rough,

MIKE: {Andrew} ...luckily, I LIKE it rough...

:: but our team prevailed. That means that the other team owed us the first round at
:: Harry's bar.

CROW: And then, once the winners were well sloshed, the losers would get their revenge by luring them behind the bar and beating the snot out of 'em.

:: "Hey, let's play kill the man with the ball!" shouted someone. Again, a bunch of
:: anonymous cries came up from the crowd.

CROW: "Sure!"
MIKE: "Cool!"
TOM: "Yes!"

:: "Where's the ball? Beats me. I don't know. Like I care. Whoever has it is first
:: target.

CROW: My tights are really chafing.
TOM: If I'm not on the next cover, I'll call my lawyer.
MIKE: HEY! Whose hand was that?!
CROW: Hello, my name is BRAK!

:: " Were statements that came from the crowd.
:: "Uh-oh," said Beast.

MIKE: {Beast} I'm butt-nekkid...!

:: "Oh great," said Jubilee. "We have to tackle him? Good luck doing that! I quit."

CROW: {Jubilee} Ewwww, Beast cooties!
TOM: Don't get too close, kiddies -- he's got fleas the size of your head that'll suck you dry in 2.3 seconds flat.

:: "Get 'im!" shouted Gambit. A herd of people started to run towards him.

{all start bouncing around in their seats emitting mooing and "maaawing" sounds}

:: I was engulfed in the middle. He successfully made the first touchdown, and we
:: decided to use strategy.

TOM: A totally NEW concept to the X-Men.
CROW: Right! You, cut left -- you, cut left -- you, get the explosives -- you, get on the phone and call in Apocalypse to whomp his furry blue butt FOR us!

:: "Listen, everyone that can fly; Rouge, Storm,and Archangel; stay in the air just
:: above us, so that you can catch Beast if he jumps above us.

MIKE: Okay, let's see: Storm and Archangel are on the ball, but we just can't seem to find anyone named "Rouge" on the field.

:: Everyone else, get in a straight line, younger ones at the ends, stronger in the
:: middle. When he comes towards us, circle around him, and

CROW: Join hands and start singing like the Whos in Whoville!
MIKE: Wha-a-a-t?
CROW: C'mon, admit it, it's a great mental image.

:: fliers, create a roof above us," said Forge.

MIKE: What do I look like, Tim Taylor?
TOM: No, you mean "Tim Allen."
MIKE: No, I mean "Tim Taylor."
TOM: Allen.
MIKE: Taylor.
TOM: Allen!
MIKE: Taylor!
CROW: {breaking in} DUCK SEASON!
CROW: BLAM! Hahahahah! Works ev'ry time.

:: "Does anyone wish to explain this game to me?" asked Bishop.

CROW: {Forge} I dunno, Bish -- the concept of "splatter the guy with the ball" might be just a little too complicated for you. I mean, lord knows we still have to explain it to Jubilee every ten minutes, and at least SHE can tie her own shoes.

:: "Bish! We played this last year," said Iceman. I hadn't seen Iceman lately, since
:: he was running around with Rogue. "Just do what I do."

TOM: {Bishop} So...explain again why I'd want to make a complete and utter fool of myself?

:: "Yeah!" I said. "Stand on the sidelines and look like an idiot!" I started to laugh,
:: along with the rest of the group.

TOM: Oh my LORD I made the same joke as the author did...!!!... urgh...can't...arrrrrgh... {sparks fly from Tom's bubble-head)
MIKE: Yow! You okay there, Servo?
TOM: {woozily} Urrrrrggghhhh...so that's what it feels like to mind-meld with a rutabaga...I hope Iceman freezes his tonsils together for that crack...

:: "When I say Get Him!, you all tackle him, OK?" said Forge.

TOM: Get "Him"? Get GOD?! That's a pretty tall order there, Pony tail-Boy.

:: "BREAK!" Said everyone. Beast started to run towards us, and we formed
:: the line.

MIKE: Cha-cha-cha!
CROW: If they start doing the macarena, I am outta here faster than "Space Rangers."

:: He tried to jump out when we started to circle around him, but the fliers made
:: a pretty impressive roof. When we finally tackled him, Beast made a speech.

MIKE: {Beast} Thenkyew, thenkyew, you're all wonderful, I can't say how much fun this has been, so I won't. Hah, hah. Now, would the person who put their foot THROUGH my ribcage please remove it?

:: "I regret that I have to say this, but since I am honor bound, and since no one else
:: will volunteer for the job, I declare that since I was defeated I will

MIKE: ...take Gambit down to the veterinarian on Monday for that useful little operation we were discussing last week.
CROW: Ouch! And you know he'll stick his arms WAAAY out of the crate and yowl the whole way there, too.

:: do the dishes on Thanksgiving Day, no matter how bad they are."

TOM: {carelessly} Of course, seeing as the X-Men usually celebrate the holidays by banding together under the full moon to hunt down and devour their prey raw in the woods, that really won't be much of a chore -- the little cheater.
CROW: Er, you're getting sorta dark and weird and scary there again, Tom...

:: Everyone started cheering. He had made his defeat, in a way, a victory among us.

CROW: This didn't make up for the last three victories he'd turned into crushing public defeats, but it was a sweet gesture nonetheless.
TOM: Hey, guys? I almost kinda liked that last part. Wow! I feel a bit better all of the sudden.
CROW: Enjoy it while you can...

:: * * * * *

MIKE: Tribble family reunion.
{both bots grumble and shift in their seats}
TOM: Uh, Mike, that's a pretty lame running gag...

:: As I entered my room, I had a feeling of being home. It was the first time that
:: I had never had before.

MIKE: Oh...uh...huh?!
TOM: Oh now THAT'S a bit more personal than I'd like.

{Under the next few bits, Mike continues to perplexedly mutter "'It was the first time that I had never had before'...?" in the same tone that Bugs Bunny used to say "Hansel? Han-sel...?"}

:: As I thought that an eerie feeling came over me, a mental chill, like something had
:: changed.

CROW: {weepy maternal voice} Oh Tom...{sniff!}...I think our little Andrew is growing up...

:: It ended with a glow from my hand and a throw that blew up the door.

TOM: Think that'll come out of his allowance?
CROW: Naaaaw, this place gets blown up all the time. He'd have to bring down oh, like the entire girls' dorm for anyone to notice.

:: Chapter 6

CROW: We're not fooled, Vincent. This ISN'T literature.
TOM: Eh? What was that, Mike? You say something?
MIKE: {still slowly mumbling to self as if utterly mystified} "... first time that I had never had before..." {He shakes himself} Ohhh, never mind. ::::

TOM: {consolingly} It's okay, Mike. There are some things that Man is simply not meant to comprehend.
MIKE: Like the fact that there are over 1,000 subject headings in the alt.fan.sailor-moon newsgroup?
TOM: Exactly.
CROW: WHAT?!? Is that supposed to make us feel BETTER?!?
MIKE: Um...
TOM: No.

:: "What was that?!?," said Cyclops. "We lost all

MIKE: {Cyclops} ...credibility in part one!

:: power in section C-4. We need back-up power and an investigation team now!
::::"Roger Cyclops,

TOM: Bill Cyclops' embarrassing younger brother.

:: we have emergency team 2 engaged in inspection of that sector," said Beast, after
:: sounding the alarm.
:: "I can't see a thing through this smoke," said Jubilee.

CROW: {Jubilee} Oh wait, hold on -- okay, okay, NOW my eyes are open...ewww, Bobby, put on a shirt for cryin' out loud!

:: "It's worse than the smoking section at the mall. What do you think caused this
:: explosion, Ice?"

MIKE: Noooo, not usually. Explosions are caused by flammable materials, action-movie directors, and writers in search of exciting plot points.

:: "Beats me Jub, but we need to find out fast," said Iceman. "Why don't we let
:: Sabertooth out. He needs a mission, and he can sniff out the problem," said
:: Jubilee.

CROW: {Iceman} Shyeah, right! You remember what happened the last time? He'll take off like a bat out of hell and we'll find him a hour later in the women's wing looking sheepish under a mountain of panties.

:: "Why let him out when you found the problem, if you can call it that," I said,
:: stepping out of the smoke, in a new costume that resembled Gambit's.

MIKE: But of course only the REAL Gambit has the cajones to look masculine in pink kevlar, so poor Shadow was forced to flee back to his ro om amid howls of laughter.

:: "Let me guess, you found your new mutant power," said Iceman sarcastically.

TOM: No, you blithering buffoon, I've gotten in touch with my feminine side.

:: "You guessed it. I found them, but I don't know how to use them," I said.

MIKE: {Andrew} Ah well, no biggie. Guess I'll just keep blowing things up every time I hiccup.

:: We started to walk down the hall. "So," asked Jubilee, "What are these powers."

MIKE: {Andrew} Hey! Guys! I bet I can breathe underwater now!
CROW: Oh whoop-dee -- let's go test it out...
MIKE: Hey--! {makes gurgling noises}

:: "Beats me, but they're there," I said, not quite knowing what I said.

TOM: Oh brrrother. He just wanders dreamily through life, doesn't he?
MIKE: Don't knock it. Kathy Ireland made a career out of it.

:: "The results are before you." And I knew had to go somewhere.

CROW: No, NO, not in the potted fern! Ick!

:: I didn't know where, but I would leave tonight. I might not even return.

TOM: {solemnly} And thus "Shadow" meandered dazedly out of the X-Men's lives forever, bouncing off of a few doorjambs and tumbling down the front porch steps on the way.
MIKE: I don't know about you guys, but I need a break.
CROW: Yeah, a visit to the little 'bots room sounds pretty exciting at the mo'. Let's go.

{6...5...4...3...2...1...SOL bridge}

{The final doors close. The bridge is dark and deserted.}

MAGIC VOICE: And now, the Peregrinatin' Performin' Troup O' Love presents "Days Of Shadows Yet To Come." Hit it, boys.

{Lights rise. Crow enters dressed as Shadow.}

CROW: God, I love hanging out with these X-Men guys. I feel myself becoming just so powerful and as cool as they are. Probably even more so.

{Gypsy enters wearing a brown jacket, little X-belts hanging around her tubing, and a brown wig with a white tuft in the front.}

GYPSY: Hey Shadow. How are you liking the mansion?
CROW: I'm liking it fine, baby. Hey, want to suck face with my incredibly-mutating self?
GYPSY: No! You cannot touch me, for my powers will destroy you!
CROW: Just a few smooches.
GYPSY: No! No! You do not understand my hidden pain! I cannot feel a loving touch!
CROW: Well, I think my really awesome powers are developing and something tells me that I could kiss you without harming my really cool self.
GYPSY: No! No!

{He moves in and kisses her. Tom enters wearing a pink chestplate and a trenchcoat -- Tom-sized -- and carrying a staff.}

TOM: Ge' away from m'cherie, swamp rat!
CROW: {Stops kissing} Oh, hi Gambit.
TOM: Gambit gonna teach you a little ol' manners lesson, Cajun-style.
CROW: I can't tell you how terrified I am of a guy in pink kevlar.
TOM: Don'chew be mockin' me, chil'. I'll charge my cards an' let d'em fly!
CROW: Go ahead, I don't care.
TOM: You asked for it. C'mere, cherie.
GYPSY: {Goes to him} Oh, Gambit! I can take care of myself.
TOM: Take this!

{Magic cards begin shooting at Crow.}

CROW: Heh, I think my mutant power just made me invulnerable to your powers too.

{Mike enters wearing a bucket with an "M" on it and a red cape.}

MIKE: I am the Mutant Master of Magnetism and I will destroy you all!
CROW: Ah, no, I've mutated again. I'm invulnerable to you now too
TOM: {normal voice} Crow! What fun is it playing "X-Men" if you're just immune to everything?
CROW: But I'm Shadow! My powers are great, and budding, and I get stronger and more invulnerable to stuff by the second!
TOM: Well, great Shadow, since you're so great you can play by yourself. {He starts out.} C'mon, Gypsy, let's go play in another bad fan-fic.
GYPSY: Yeah, this sucks!

{They leave.}

CROW: But what about my great powers? Don't you want to experience more of the awesome Shadow?
MIKE: No, I think we've had enough of the awesome Shadow.

{Mike leaves.}

CROW: But, but my powers are getting cooler by the moment. Soon, I may lead the X-Men! I'll be...I'll...oh, poopie.


{Mike and Tom are already in their places. Crow strays in a few moments later and gets to his seat with much tripping over Mike's feet.}

TOM: I dunno if that was fair, guys. The kid hasn't sunk to THOSE depths yet...that was more Gibby-esque than vintage Vincent, if you ask me...
CROW: Hey, it's only a matter of time. Besides, I was having fun. In fact, I think I'm starting to actually see the appeal of having all those mega-powers. Hah! I AM the Great and Powerful Shadow! Bwah hah hah! Bow down before me!
MIKE: Crow...
CROW: {snottily} Sorry Mike, I'm immune to your reprimands now.

:: Chapter 7
:: I finally had something to do. MIKE: Thankfully, McDonalds is ALWAYS hiring.

:: I had to find out what Mr. Sinister had to do with this Legacy Virus.

TOM: Well, they dated a bit in high school, but now they're just friends. Really.

:: He seemed to be more determined than anyone to find the cure, and I had to
:: find out why. "We have arrived at the coordinates Shadow," said the plane's
:: computer.

CROW: Aw great -- he's using top-of-the-line uber-technology to nip home and toilet-paper Rory "Massacre" Browne's house.

:: "Good," I said. "Land here." As the plane descended, a thought crept into
:: my mind.

TOM: The first one in well over a fortnight, apparently...
MIKE: It'll die of loneliness in there, the poor thing.

:: What if this was a trap? Mr. Sinister had total control over the Savage Land.
:: Did he already know that I was here?

TOM: {Sinister} WHO'S out there? Oh cripes. Maybe if I turn off the lights and sit real still, he'll go away...

:: The plane landed with a dull thunk, as the suspension system absorbed the shock.
:: "Computer, report back to the mansion. If I need you I will call," I said, knowing
:: that I would need the plane again.

CROW: {KITT} Well, all right Michael, if you say so. I've got a hot date with a Porsche tonight, anyway.

:: The computer's response was drowned out by the sound of the jets of the plane.

TOM: {intensely} Of course, you realize that if he NEEDS the jet it'll be hours away...and come to think of it, what the BLAZES does Mr. Sinister have to do with the Savage Land?!?
MIKE: Tom, no -- just leave it alone.
CROW: Yeah, Tom. You KNOW that picking the plot holes outta this sucker is going to give you a nasty case of internal corrosion, and if I have to miss out on tomorrow's overnight hike to the cargo hold because Mike has to spend the next two days reconnecting your hovershirt to your CPU I will be MOST perturbed.
TOM: {acidly} Oh, I feel so loved.

:: As soon as the plane was out of sight, I started through the thick jungle. {Crow starts humming/singing "Tarzan Boy," also known as "That Computer-Animated-Listermint-Commercial Theme That Gets Stuck In Your Head Until You're So Desperate To Dislodge It That You Hurl Yourself Down An Elevator Shaft."}

:: I enter the thick underbrush, and suddenly I was attacked by a mountain lion.

MIKE: {Monty Python-dumb} Ooo! I get t'fight da lion!

:: As it was in the air, coming towards me, my mind was already at work.

CROW: {quick nattering voice} I wonder if like that Flare girl will like go out with me, y'know? And this costume, it looks like mega-cool but kinda like pinches around the butt, like, y'know? And like, maybe I should take like Pre-Calc next semester instead of -- oh whoops, I've been killed by a lion. Bugger.

:: Before the lion attacked me, a plasma blast for med in my hand. All I had to do
:: was throw it, and I would be safe. And throw I did.

CROW: And hurl we did.
TOM: A few paragraphs into this story, actually.

:: The plasma ball flew from my hand towards the lion, and on contact, the lion was
:: brought to the ground. It wasn't dead, but it was suffering.

MIKE: {Super-Chicken} Sorry, Fred, but you knew the job was dangerous when you took it!

:: I had no choice. It was one of the X-Men's codes of honor.

TOM: Right behind the all-important "Good Guys Wear Blue." Think about it, won't you?

:: "Never let a beast suffer."

CROW: Mike, he's gonna put us out of our misery! B-b-but I'm too young to die!!!
TOM: {sits up straight and proud} RIGHT here, buddy. I'll make it easy for ya.

:: I formed another plasma blast in my hand, and let it go.

MIKE: And dropped it right through his foot. Youch!

:: In my mind, I knew that the beast thanked me for that, but I would feel guilty for
:: a long time to come. {All three are seething in their seats with disgust and indignation}

TOM: Arrrgh! Well, THAT does it! Just when I thought I couldn't hate this character more than I already did...!!! If I wasn't stuck up here in space with you two boobs I'd...

{Tom continues his tirade in this vein while...}

CROW: {sniffling} Uh, Miiiike?
MIKE: Shhh, honey. It's okay. The lion's just...sleeping.
CROW: Reeeally?
MIKE: Really.
CROW: Are you sure...?
MIKE: Er...well...

{Crow bursts into tears. Tom is still ranting.}

MIKE: Um. Okay, I know we just did a host segment a few pages ago, but...well, I'm calling an emergency break right now. How's that sound, huh? C'mon -- I've got an idea...

{Mike gets up, stuffs an irritable Tom under his arm, and leads a bawling Crow out of the theater by one "hand"}

{6...5...4...3...2...1...SOL bridge}

{SOL bridge. The room is awash in a murky yellow light --on closer inspection, it becomes apparent that yellow filmwrap has been duct-taped over every available source of light, including the "movie sign" flashers over the theater doors.}

{Crow is festooned with "feathers" made out of black construction paper and tape, marking a new low on the famed MST3K Cheezometer. (It's entirely possible that Jef "Toolmaster" Maynard has been laid low by the Venusian Death Flu this week.) His ping-pong-ball eyes are downcast and his jaw is still quivering with snuffles.}

{Mike is...oh good lord. Mike has slathered his face with white greasepaint, his eyes and mouth demarcated by black paint which was obviously applied in a hurry. Over his standard dull-green jumpsuit, he's wearing a fashionably-battered black leather duster...don't ask how he got one up on the SOL, it's just a show! Tom is nowhere to be seen.}

MIKE: {coaxingly} Aw, come on, Crow. Doesn't this cheer you up, just a little?
CROW: NO. I feel stupid. THIS is stupid.
MIKE: No, no, it isn't. What do your favorite comic book characters do when one of their loved ones bites the big one?
CROW: {sniffle} Uh...th-they get revenge...?
MIKE: Right! So... {He raises his arms and tosses his chin back-and-right dramatically, a la Brandon Lee} This is for the LION! We'll start with Rafe Judkins and work our way up! "Tell him that Mike Nelson sends his regards!" AH hahaHAAAH...! {He pauses then peers down at Crow, hands still outflung} Hey, this takes two to work, you know. Come on, buddy, just one little caw? {He lowers his arms} Oh. You're just not in the mood, are you.
CROW: Aw Mike, I know what you're trying to do. It's sweet, really. {sniff} Y'know, I DO feel a little better. Maybe this "Crow" thing isn't such a bad idea.
MIKE: So, you ready to swoop down upon Andrew Vincent in an unearthly rush of gothic Obarrian vengeance?
CROW: Naw, I just wanna take a crack at Iggy Pop.
MIKE: We could do that too.
CROW: Aw-right! I'm IN!

{At this point Tom wanders into view. He is festooned with wires, and inside his dome is a scattering of loose chips and what looks like an old external modem. He is smoking slightly and none-too-steady on his hovershirt. Mike takes one look and rushes to steady the little red bot, his duster flapping.}

CROW: Servo!
MIKE: Tom, what on earth...take it easy. What did you DO? {He pokes at the wires and realization dawns} You didn't. You did!
CROW: What? Did what?
TOM: Yeah, well, while you two were childishly seeking catharsis through the revenge fantasies of James "HappyJacket" O'Barr, I went gunning for the real thing. Whoo, my head hurts.
MIKE: Tom, this is MY Internet setup...what's left of it. How'm I supposed to play Doom NOW?!
CROW: Shyeah -- not like anyone on Earth is masochistic enough to play against you anymore, anyhow. Tom, spill it! What happened?
TOM: I figured I'd actually hook myself up to the net to protect the world from further work like today's fanfic...
CROW: Like that cybergod guy in "Lawnmower Man"?
TOM: Sure, if you like. Only...I thought I'd mostly just have to smite Star Trek and comic-book fanfics, maybe mass-delete the X-Files creative archives every now and then for a change of pace -- I could have handled that...but there's so much out there, so much evil...the horror...the horror...

{His voice falters and he sways melodramatically. Over his head, Mike exchanges a glance with Crow.}

MIKE: Looks like you ejected just in time, Tom.
TOM: {intensely} Have you been out there? HAVE YOU? My god, if the Mads' Fan-Fictotron works, they'll have access to more darkness than the entire contents of Wes Craven's skull! Horrible...it was horrible...
CROW: {dramatic Shatner-esque} What did you see, Tom? What...did you see...?
TOM: {raspily} _Starsky & Hutch slash._

{lights start flashing in the yellow gloom}

CROW: Hmm! Well, aaaactually, now that I think about it, I suppose...
MIKE: No! Don't think about it! WE'VE GOT FANFIC SIGN!


{The guys careen back into the theater, taking their usual seats}

TOM: So who ARE you supposed to be, Mike? Marcel Marceau?
MIKE: No, I...
CROW: Actually, that would make sense. Marceau and his ilk ARE, after all, the French people's vengeance upon the rest of the world.
MIKE: Shhh! The story's starting back up.

:: I had traveled at least 15 miles, and so far I've seen nothing. {All yelp and jolt forward in their seats, then slam back into them}

MIKE: WHOA! Watch those sudden verb-tense-shifts, buddy! You could'a thrown the engine right out through the hood!

:: It was night, and the sun was setting.

TOM: Noooo! Lewis Carroll makes more coherent sense than this!!!

{Tom starts reciting "Jabberwocky" like a protective mantra. He gets to the word "outgrabe" before Mike baps him on the bubble and he subsides.}

:: I decided to set up camp. From what the briefing said, I was near a river that
:: flows through this rain forest.

MIKE: Hit the deck, guys -- it's a "Fern Gully" crossover!
CROW: {still pondering the end of the last host segment} I dunno -- it's not TOO farfetched. I mean, there was that one time that Starsky g...
TOM: Crow, one more word out of you on that topic and your innards will be the star attraction of the next "Faces Of Death" release. I mean it.
CROW: Sheesh--! All right.

:: I needed to find a quicker way to travel.

CROW: So I strapped myself to a spawning trout and threw myself into the river.

:: "What was that?," I said to myself. I had heard a scream from the sky.

MIKE: Look out, Shadow! Peter Pan's tracked you down, and this time he's packing heat!

:: My question was soon answered by the fact that I was in the air. A giant leathery
:: bird had picked me off the ground, and held me in its claws.

CROW: Oops! Looks like it mistook the poor kid for a National Geographic photographer. The animal kingdom is pretty bitter about that whole deal, ya know.
TOM: Oh sure, yeah, I know what you mean. In fact, I can tell you what that bird's saying right now: "Squawk! Lounge around smoking ciggies and casually snapping pictures of MY babies falling out of the nest and starving to death, will ya...!"

:: Its claws pierced through my shoulders, and I felt warm blood trickle down
:: my arm.

MIKE: Uh, Bucky, I hate to point this out at a time like this, but let's face it: that's not blood, and that's NOT your arm.

:: As I looked up to see if anyone was driving the bird, or if I was going to be dinner,
:: I was dropped from the sky.

TOM: Hang on. Back up. "Driving the bird"...?
CROW: Hey, these things are the Savage Land equivalent of public transit, you know. Some of them even have smelly old bums lurking in their tailfeathers.

:: I let out a scream, just in case somebody were to hear me.

MIKE: You know, it's amazing how few people know that velociraptors have VERY keen hearing.

:: I saw the ground closing in, and wondered how long it would be until someone
:: found my body.

CROW: Depends how well we manage to hide the pieces. Mwah hah hah

:: ******

MIKE: Tribbles in...

{Crow swiftly reaches over and taps Mike's elbow. Sparks fly. *ZAP!!!*}

MIKE: OWWW! Oh now THAT does it...!

{He lunges for Crow and they both tumble forward, out of our line of sight. We hear various grunts, "oooofs," and the violent rattling of Crow's plastic parts, and the next few lines of the story get understandably ignored...}

:: I woke up on a type of beach. My wound had stopped bleeding, and I seemed
:: to have twisted my ankle. This could definitely make my mission more difficult.

{...Mike and Crow are still going at it hammer-&-tongs...}

:: "Where am I?," I asked myself, hoping for a response. And to my surprise, I
:: got one.

{There's a particularly loud "THUD" and Crow starts hollering loud enough to wake the dead or a lesser panda, whichever is less likely to move short of Judgment Day.}

GYPSY: {off-stage} You boys'd better just be "rassling" in there!
CROW: {frantic muffled noises, as if he's being sat on}
MIKE: {calling} Uh, we're just playing, Gypsy...!
GYPSY: Michael J. Nelson, don't make me come in there!

{Grumbling, Mike climbs back into his seat. He's holding a rag to his nose -- probably his ripped-off balled-up sleeve. A moment later Crow's head pops up in his usual spot. His grille is bent askew, but he seems chipper nonetheless.}

CROW: That was fun!
MIKE: {still holding his face} I hab to agree. Getti'g cracked in the node by your bony med'l knee i' FAH betta tha' sitti'g up heah turni'g our synabses i'to toothpaste...
CROW: I bet that "J" in your name stands for "Judas."
MIKE: Ih duz NOT!

:: "Congratulations," boomed a voice from the cliff above me. "You've completed
:: the first part of your mission. Let us see if you can complete the rest of your
:: mission."

TOM: Which will consist of taking on the entire Kilrathi homefleet armed with only a can-opener, a pack of playing cards, and a sock full of gravel.
CROW: Hey, that gives me an idea for a Wing Commander/Top Gun crossover. You on my wavelength, good buddy?
TOM: Yup.
BOTH: {shouting} MAVERICK--!!!

:: It was a dark voice, and I knew that he was

MIKE: {still snuffling a bit but sounding better already} James Earl Jones.

:: evil.

MIKE: See?

:: "Who are you?," I asked.

ALL: Your worst nightmare!

:: "Who were you sent to find?," asked the man "That is your answer." And with
:: that, the man disappeared.

MIKE: Okay, hands up everyone to whom it is perfectly OBVIOUS that Mr. Mysterious is Mr. Sinister. Andrew? Andrew, why aren't you raising your...oh. You really ARE as thick as Grandma's Christmas gravy, aren't you?

:: I decided to go after the man. Maybe it would lead me to the cure to the Legacy
:: virus.

TOM: Of course, it would be verrrrry tricky to follow a man who'd just DISAPPEARED. But why start thinking logically now?

:: As I climbed the cliff, I sighted a camera. "What the heck is a security camera
:: doing around a castle?" I asked myself,

TOM: {Owen Burnett} Mr. Xanatos, surveillance reports that the gargoyles are back, and this time they want severance pay.

:: knowing full well that this was the place that I was looking for. I kept climbing.

CROW: ...and climbing...and climbing...
TOM: THIS is familiar.

:: When I reached the top, I saw a door. It seemed to have one hundred security
:: locks on it.

CROW: {Monty Python "French"} Go away, you silly American knnnigget!
MIKE: {Andrew} I'm not a knight, I'm a mutant!
TOM: {joins Crow in sounding outrrrrageously French} Hah! We can tell that from here, you funny-looking bit of smelly turnip greens!
MIKE: {Andrew} No, no, no! I'm a mutant superhero and, and, and I have powers an' a costume an' everything, so there!
CROW: Guys, I can't really make the sound of boiling oil being poured from the battlements, so you'll have to use your vivid imaginations..

:: "Nothing that a plasma ball can't handle," I said. Again, the warm feeling of power
:: formed in my hands,

MIKE & CROW: Yuck!!!
TOM: What? What?! ...Ah. Oh, you two have sick, sick minds.

:: and I let loose with a throw that could have cleared Lake Erie. The door blew up,
:: and I was blown up against a rock.

CROW: Huh? What? Say what?
MIKE: {"tsking" and shaking his head} And you say WE have sick minds, Servo?

:: A figure emerged, and my eyes flashed green. I knew that my "shadow" power
:: had kicked in.

TOM: {Andrew} Oh -- heh heh heh -- "shadow power," yeah...gee, I conveniently forgot all about that little detail earlier. Heh. Silly me.

:: Whenever I enter a shadow, I become invisible to the human eye.

MIKE: But not to the human ear, or the human nose.
CROW: This has been a blatant plug for "Doctor Who: Synaethesia," which is actually a GOOD fanfic series and was sent up to us by lucky accident last week instead of the intended instrument of torture: the soggy contents of an "X-Files" relationshipper archive.
TOM: Thank you. And now back to the MST3K in progress:

:: And this castle was full of shadows.

MIKE: So THIS is where they breed all those Vincents.
CROW: Oh, yeah, suuure they're cute when they're little, but once they're old enough to reach a computer keyboard and read twenty-sided dice it's time to drive out into the country and abandon 'em in some farmer's pasture.

:: I easily slipped past the guard and got into the castle. This place reeked of rotten
:: eggs, and the scent of death hung thick in the air.

MIKE: So now we know that the one things death DOESN'T smell like is rotten eggs. Oh, VEEERY educational.
CROW: Shut up, Nelson.

:: That smell brought fear into my heart. I wasn't trained for this mission, my ankle
:: wasn't any better, and I wasn't ready to find out what this Mr. Sinister guy was
:: like.

TOM: Whine, whine, whine. Sheesh! Kids these days! Why, in MY day we had to fight Mr. Sinister in the SNOW! Sometimes with missing limbs -- and malaria!

:: I leaned up against the wall to catch my breath. My ankle really hurt. I was
:: willing to cut it off at this point.

CROW: Hey, this STORY really hurts -- why don't you cut IT off?

:: I had to get to a doctor. The wall wasn't a normal and sturdy wall.

TOM: And once again the plot swerves wildly out of control, slewing across the center divider and claiming the lives of a family of four!
MIKE: I guess it was actually an abnormal spongy wall with a tasty cream filling.

:: This wall was either too weak, or I had stumbled onto a secret passage that led
:: to the hideous lair of the mutant boss Mr. Sinister.

MIKE: Or I was about to run into the gang from Scooby-Doo.
TOM: Or I was trapped in a bad AD&D game.
CROW: Or I had wandered into "Young Frankenstein."
MIKE: {Gene Wilder, squished-sounding} Put...ze kendle...BACK!

:: "Just as I thought, the wall was too weak." I had the sensation of falling through air,
:: time, and space.

TOM: And so Dr. Vincent finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap...will be the leap home.
MIKE: Either that, or he's gonna crash down in the Land Of The Lost.
CROW: I hope he lands on Holly.

{All start enthusiastically singing "Marshall, Will, & Holly...on a routine ex-pe-di-tion..."}

:: In my mind, the theme song from The Twilight Zone played over and over in
:: my head,

{Distracted, all start missing notes in the "Land Of The Lost" theme song -- Crow outright switches over to the Twilight Zone tune -- finally they all give up in a jumble of disharmony}

MIKE: Now that just wasn't fair, Vincent...we were actually having fun for a moment there, dammit!

:: that is until my body hit the hard concrete floor of a laboratory. I had done it!
:: I found the lab, and broken my ankle!

{all cheer wildly, kinda like Kermit the Frog}
MIKE: And for an encore, I shall attempt to dislocate my own HEAD!

:: As I tapped into the computer, I realized that this guy needed the cure as much
:: as we did.

TOM: Trust me. Nobody needs the Cure.

:: "Listen Kid," came the voice of Mr. Sinister.

TOM: No, not "Listen Kid" -- he's Obvious Lad.
CROW: I was under the impression that he was Oblivious Boy?
MIKE: {Andrew, fuming mad} NO! It's SHADOW! Why won't anyone use my goshdarn codename?!? WAAAAH!!!

:: "You're never getting out of here." I took the disk from the computer. "You lay
:: that bomb,

TOM: Too late -- we're reading it.
MIKE: Bok-bok-bok-b-gaaack-- BOOOOM!

[That, by the way, was Mike's marvellous impression of a chicken laying a bomb. Sorry, it's a VERY aural joke, folks.]

:: and I will track you down like a fox.

CROW: {sigh} Rats. It's a crying shame we've used up our quota of X-Files jokes already...
MIKE: What about "Gargoyles" gags?
TOM: Check there too, good buddy.
{all sigh heavily}

:: And when I find you, I will tear off your skin, dip you in weak acid, pour salt
:: on your nerves, and then I will start to torture you," cried Mr. Sinister.

MIKE: Ladies and gentlemen: the ONLY good line in this ENTIRE story!
{both bots oooh and ahhhh}

:: The battle would be hard, and I might not be able to make it. I made the best
:: choice that would benefit him the most.

TOM: I signed the divorce papers and released him into the custody of his father.

:: As my plane left the ground, on time as usual,

CROW: Huh?! Waitaminute! Hold on! There's an entire scene missing here... Um. On second thought, it's that much less to get through... uh, heh heh, sorry, ignore me, keep going please.
MIKE: The moral for today is: Sometimes Plot Holes ARE Your Friend

:: I decided that I had never had more fun blowing someone up before. And I even
:: got the disk with the cure.

TOM: I dunno -- I think it'd be more fun to blow up O(+}.
MIKE: What?
CROW: O(+}.
TOM: You know, His Purpleness?
MIKE: Oh, you mean Prince!
CROW: No, I mean O(+}.
MIKE: How DO you do that?
TOM: {smugly} It's a 'bot thing.

:: Chapter 8

MIKE: Three more and this story'll be REALLY bankrupt.

:: As the plane approached the mansion, an alarm went off.

CROW: {groggily} Uh? Wha--?! AAAAH! Football practice!!!
TOM: Just had to pull that one again, didn't you?
CROW: Once per, buddy. Once per. Check my contract.

:: It seemed that Jubilee was on guard again, and she didn't think that it was me. If
:: I had to stay up here much longer, the plane would run out of fuel.

TOM: {Andrew} And although I've never flown a plane before in my freakin' LIFE, I'm faaaairly certain that that'd be a BAD thing.

:: "Jubilee-ee," I said. "Open the stupid hanger door!"

CROW: Yeah, that's this week's codephrase all right! Last week it was "Jubilee-ee, if you're reading comic books in there again I'm going to jam a rabid porcupine between your pillows!"

:: "Spaz out Shadow," said Jubilee. "It was just a case of mistaken identity."

MIKE: Of course, he shouldn't feel too insulted -- these guys probably don't let Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy in without full body-cavity searches, either.

:: "Good," I said sarcastically. "I thought that I didn't belong to the X-Men
:: anymore."

CROW: {Jubilee} You DON'T, stupid. We've already sterilized your room, burned your stuff, and revoked your complimentary immunity to Rogue -- the next interdimensional fanboy is due to show up here at any second, so get lost!

:: I landed the plane perfectly, but I had no fuel left.

MIKE: The next morning Cyclops took 'er up on fumes and died a fiery death thirty seconds later.

:: "So, what's up Jub?," I asked, knowing that nothing had happened.

TOM: {Jubilee, bitingly sarcastic} Oh, the sky, the price of drugs, the opposite of "down"...what's up with YOU, "Sha"?

:: "Nothin'. Are you planning on filling up the planes gas tank?" She asked, not
:: even looking up from her comic book.

CROW: Ironically, she's reading "Gen-13."
TOM: I dunno -- from here it looks like she has a copy of "Bondage Fairies" tucked inside it...
CROW: No way!
{both bots start craning their neck at the screen as if trying to snag a glimpse}

:: I hopped into the high speed monorail, and as it speed through the +3g loop,
:: my face was pushed into the back of the seat.

MIKE: Right through his skull...?
CROW: Don't you hate it when that happens?

:: A blast of cool air rushed through my hair. I had to get to the med-lab to treat
:: my ankle. "Beast, come in Beast," I said through the intercom.

TOM: Beeeep! Hello, you've reached the Perlman residence. I'm not currently in at the moment, so if you'll leave a message I'll get back to you as soon as I can get out of the sewers and ditch Linda Hamilton...

:: "This is Beast. Welcome back Shadow.

TOM: {unable to resist any longer} Who knooows what evil lurks in the heart of the Internet? ANDREW VINCENT KNOWS!
MIKE: {Pinky} Narf! That is a reeeeally super-good Maurice La Marche impression there, Brain.
TOM: Why thank you, I...HEY!

:: Where were you?" Beast voice had a tinge of curiosity in it, like a little boy would
:: have on Christmas Eve.

MIKE: ...after poisoning Santa's milk.

:: "I've been to Sinister's lab. I've got something that could save all of mutant kind
:: from the legacy virus.

ALL: Condoms!

:: Nothing much," I said, knowing that Beast would be waiting at the gate. Maybe he
:: could help me with this ankle.

MIKE: {Beast} Hmmm...does it hurt then I twist it around like THIS?
CROW: {Andrew} Argh! Yes, it DOES!
MIKE: Oh good. It's my professional opinion that this ankle is broken.
CROW: Arrrrghowww! But I needed you to examine my OTHER ankle, you idiot!

:: The monorail slowed down, and then stopped.

TOM: {imitating that Tony-The-Tiger announcer} We have now arrived at the Disneyland Hotel. If you wish to re-enter the park, don't forget to get your hand stamped and to present your passport at the turnstile. If you DO forget, you'll have to work off your bill scooping Clydesdale poop or locked inside the Quasimodo costume...

:: "Beast, I've got to get to the med-lab."
:: "I'll take you there, and while you're being treated, you can tell me all about this
:: little adventure of your's."

MIKE: {Shadow} Heeeey, this isn't just another attempt to get me drugged, naked, and strapped to a table, is it?
TOM: {Beast} Er...why no. Of course not. Now why would you think a thing like that?
MIKE: {Shadow} You're wearing spurs again.
TOM: {Beast} Oooops! Heh heh -- now how did those get there...?

:: * * * * * {*ZAP!!!!* Mike lurches sideways, rubbing his arm indignantly}

MIKE: Oww!!! I wasn't going to SAY anything, you little monster!
CROW: Can't be too sure.
TOM: {smugly} Call it aversion therapy.
MIKE: Watch it, you two. I outweigh you both combined, and *I* can pick up a screwdriver.
CROW: Oh yeah? Well, *I* know where the main life support cable is and *I* can chew through it.
MIKE: {snorts} Uh huh. You'd be fried on the first good chomp.
TOM: Saaaaay, that's right! Go for it, Crow!

:: "Shadow, this isn't a joke, is it," asked Beast.

TOM: No, this is a fanfic.
MIKE: So basically, "yes"?

:: "Wha-no. Do you know where everyone is? I haven't seen a single person
:: since I got in here, excluding you, of course," I said.

CROW: {Andrew} And boy oh boy, do you ever give a whole new meaning to the phrase "bad hair day"! You look like a blue Chia pet!

:: "Andrew, I'm serious. You brought back a disk with photos of the Savage
:: Land, not the cure to the Legacy Virus."

{There's a moment of stunned silence in the theater. Then all three burst into laughter -- REAL honest-to-goodness laughter for the first time in the whole story.}

TOM: {between whoops and giggles} Oh, I love it, I absolutely LOVE it. He grabbed Sinister's vacation slides by accident! Andrew m'lad, you're forgiven all transgressions!

{Crow nudges him and whispers something to him behind Mike's back}

TOM: Oh, right, except for Discharge.

:: "Damn!" I shouted. "I could've sworn that I got the right disk!"

MIKE: How was I supposed to know that you wanted "Harbinger" and not "The Kobayashi Alternative"? I mean, a Star Trek game is a Star Trek game, for pete's sake!
TOM: "The Kobayashi Alt--"? You had a Commodore?!
MIKE: {shrugs} Sure. I was young and foolish once.

:: "Andrew, it's okay," said Beast. Obviously, he was amazed at my outburst.

TOM: And disgruntled by the fact that, as usual, he was the one who would have to fetch a roll of paper towels and clean it all up.

:: I walked out of the room, and stepped into the elevator. When it reached the top
:: floor, I stepped out into the hall.

CROW: And promptly ran smack into Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald.
MIKE: {Kevin} "Brain Candy" was a GOOD movie! WAAAAH!

:: All of the lights were out, and everyone was either asleep, or out at Harry's bar.

MIKE: Those X-Men sure like to drink, don't they?
TOM: Hey, if YOUR daily itinerary consisted of writhing into skintight Spandex, slinging on a layer of unnecessary belts, and bounding merrily off to fight hideously powerful things with names like "Onslaught" and "Apocalypse" whilst under the command of Bold Leaders so indecisive that they break down into hysterical tears when faced with the choice between sausage and bacon at IHOP...well, you'd want to get schnookered as often and as long as possible, too.

:: I couldn't even find Jubilee, who was on gaurd duty.

CROW: Maybe if she'd been on GUARD duty like she was supposed to be, we wouldn't be IN the mess we're about to get shoved into.

:: I heard the door creak open. I jumped, since I was so used to the silence. "H-h-ello,"
my voice trembled. I heard a dull "thump". "B-b-beast?

CROW: Cat? Kryten?
MIKE: Soolin? Dayna?
TOM: Moltar? Zorak?
MIKE: Chief?
CROW: {raspy} McCloud...?

:: Anyone?" I asked. I walked over to the door, using a plasma ball for a light.
:: On the floor was a bloody mass of what I guessed was an X-Man.

MIKE: Hmmm...I never heard of a "Raw-Hamburger-Man."
CROW: Oh, he was probably one of the Defenders or the Champions or something.

:: "Cerebro! Alert all members on the premises that we have a code red!

TOM: {Cerebro} Gasp! "Cartoon Planet" has been pre-empted--?!
CROW: {Andrew} No, you rusty hunk of tin, the OTHER kind of code red!

:: Alert all medical staff! Go to intercom.

TOM: Unscrew grille. Strip wires. Place in mouth. Bite down. Jitter like mad.

:: Code red, I repeat, code red! All X-Men report to the front hall. This is a code red! MIKE: As opposed to a code mauve, repeat, this is NOT a code mauve, so put your pants back on!

:: Off intercom. Prepare the Med-Lab for a critically injured patient," I said calmly.

CROW: In other words, somebody shove all of that dirty laundry and McDonalds debris off of the main medbed. Jeez! Were you raised in a BARN, McCoy?

:: The adrenalin in my blood caused me to remember all of the emergency codes.

TOM: Yes, that all-important "code red" can be a real bitch to remember under stress.
MIKE: TOM! Please! Watch your language!
TOM: Why? We're not on Comedy Central anymore.
CROW: Heeey, that gives me ideas...

:: I looked closer at the bloody figure. It was Jubilee. I looked at the cuts.

CROW: They were MOST painful. The entire storm-shelter sequence had been left on the editing-room floor.
TOM: Oh, the humanity! Damn you, Grammercy Pictures!!!

[NOTE: Only truly rabid MSTies who went to the '96 MST3K Con will get that one, so don't strain your braincells. ;) ]

:: It looked as though giant swords had sliced through her whole body.

CROW: Or else Ash mistook her for one of the Walking Dead.
MIKE: {Ash, deadpan} Groovy.

:: I about half a minute, all of the X-Men where in the front hall. People were rushing
:: around, hooking up I.V.'s,

TOM: ...to anyone and anything that wasn't nailed down...

:: getting extra blood, and crying.

MIKE: {tsk tsk tsk} Boy, that Bishop fella is mi-i-i-ghty tough to look at, but when the heat's really on he breaks down like a vintage Pinto.
TOM: I have this great mental image of at least three large X-dudes sitting on Wolverine's head while they get that "extra blood" from HIM. .
CROW: Me too, only in my mental image they're all sitting on Cyclops.

:: "Who did this?" I asked. The reply I got was," Who's gaurding Sabertooth? "

TOM: Ah! NOW I get it! Jubilee was "gaurding Sabertooth" when she should have been "guarding Sabretooth"!
MIKE: Yes...it's a right shame when bad spelling costs an innocent life.

:: That was all it took. I ran to the garage to get Gambit's Harley.

CROW: {Andrew} And thanks to the confusion I was OUT of there scott-free with a bitchin' set of wheels! Woo-hoo!

:: * * * * *

{Mike reflexively flinches and glares down at Crow. Crow is looking pointedly in the other direction, carelessly whistling something by "They Might Be Giants." Mike relaxes, but warily...}

:: After riding for about three minutes, I approached a lone, dark figure trudging
:: through the snow. {Crow's whistling trails off and his head snaps back to stare at the screen}

CROW: Three minutes?!? But that would mean...but how...
TOM: Why yes, my astute young colleague. It's a scientific fact that in the wild a healthy male Sabretooth can reach a cruising speed of up to 30 miles per hour.
MIKE: Ayep.

:: I knew right away that it was Sabertooth.

MIKE: Although judging solely by its stance and the gutteral animalistic noises it was making deep in its throat, there WAS a slim chance that was Sam Kinison.

:: I killed the Harley's motor, and ditched it in the snow.

CROW: {burst out into sobs} J-j-just like that p-poor lion...!
TOM: Easy there, buddy...just let it go...

:: I walked slowly and silently through the swirling snow. He didn't suspect
:: a thing.

MIKE: He still thinks Richard Simmons is human.

:: I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Avon calling."

CROW: And he's STILL pissed about Gauda Prime!
TOM: Oooo, obscure one.
CROW: Thank you.

:: He turned around. "Huh?" I punched him right across the face. He turned to me,
:: and started to slash at me with his claws.

MIKE: {Freddy Krueger} Every town has an Elm Street! Mwah hah hah hh...!
CROW: Agh! Stop it stop it STOP IT! Mike, you KNOW that scares me!!!

:: They were like hot knives cuting through my skin.

TOM: Watch it there -- Pete Wisdom gets pre-e-etty pissy when you tread on his copyrights.

:: The blood was warm, and it felt almost peaceful in the snow. Things started to get
:: blury. Something was coming for me. I felt myself falling, falling.

MIKE: {thickly, a la Ace Ventura} Startin'...ta get...numb......three darts is TOO MUCH...!

:: Again, the music of the Twilight Zone played through my memory. My last thought
:: was that I had to get Beast to do something about that music.

TOM: {Rod Serling} Witness a young man who would be a hero...if he had the brains of a liver fluke. He's just taken on a killing machine which eats shredded grannies for breakfast and sharpens its claws on ninjas. As this young man sinks into the bloody slush in four separate slices, he realizes that he's just crossed over into...er...into the, uh...eh. Huh. Sorry guys, I really didn't think this joke through to a snappy conclusion.
CROW: Well obviously.

:: * * * {There's a laden silence...then:}

TOM: {brightly} The Three Tribbles of the Apocalypse.
MIKE: HEY! Crow, aren't you going to do anything about that?!
CROW: Don't worry. I know where he lives.

:: "Yo, you okay?" asked a voice that sounded vaguely familiar.

CROW: Van Damme! Perkolator?
TOM: Hush.
MIKE: Whaaat?
BOTH BOTS: {primly, a la Emily Latella} Never mind.

:: Slowly, I stood up. I looked around. There was a thick blanket of pure white
:: snow covering the landscape, but the snow around me was red.

CROW: And the snow under me was yellow.
TOM: Guys, I'm on the verge of a serious Pat Benatar flashback her e...
MIKE: Uh, no, that was "Red Vision," not "Red Snow."
TOM: Oh. Yes, you're right. Whew! Thanks.

:: "W-who are you?" I said, looking around.

MIKE: Hey, this is the audience participation part! C'mon, everyone, all together now:
ALL: {gleefully} I'M *BATMAN*!
MIKE: Too easy.
CROW: But fun!

:: There was no one in sight. "Who said that?" I was getting worried. "S-s-
:: sabertooth?" I said in fear that he was waiting to kill me.

CROW: Poor kid -- if he had to check through a list of people who might be waiting out there to kill him, he'd have to put off his climactic death scene for at least a hour...

:: I looked at the snow under me. It was red with blood, and I was worried that I
:: would die here. At least I would die alone, and without suffering.

TOM: And with the comfort that his death would not go to waste, for, if properly stored, his corpse would feed Sabretooth for a week.

:: I felt my spirit leaving my body.

MIKE: "Whew, that's over MY melodrama limit -- gimme my hat and coat, I am OUTTA here!"

:: "Help me," I cried out, but it sounded like a whisper. I was dead.

MIKE: Fellas, normally I'd be excited, but we've been down this painful road before.
CROW: I hear ya.
TOM: Amen.

:: Chapter 9 {All sigh heavily}
MIKE: Toldjaso.

:: "Awaken Shadow". Huh. What was that? I'm supposed to be dead.


:: If I bled to death in the snow, was I in Heaven? Or even worse,

CROW: rec.arts.marvel.x-comics?

:: Hell? I hope not. "Awaken Shadow, for you are our new Savior."

MIKE: Like Aaron Spelling to the Fox Network.
TOM: Or Barry Schullman to the Best Brains.
MIKE: Oh yes...
CROW: And thus another ugly fissure yawns open in the already-straining fourth wall.

:: Who am I? Is Shadow my name?

TOM: No, your name is Chim-Chim!

:: I wish that I could figure out what was happening.

CROW: It's like being trapped in an episode of "Babylon Five."

:: I opened my eyes. A figure loomed over me. He looked almost royal.

MIKE: Decades of serious inbreeding were painfully apparent.

:: He had a cape of black and gold, and his hair was slicked back into a ponytail.

TOM: As opposed to "tying" it back into a ponytail. It takes a LOT of petroleum products to...
CROW & MIKE: Ewww! Stop there!

:: Suddenly a hand was placed onto my forehead. Memories rushed into my head.
:: Memories of how I had gotten here.

MIKE: Memories of that bitchin' kegger where I lost my favorite pair of leather undershorts...woo!

:: Memories about how I was near death, and Exodus, the leader, found me with the
:: Legacy Virus, and had taken me into his home, Avalon.

{Tom bursts out into a soaring rendition of "Memory" from Cats. He gets up to the word "moon" before Mike claps a hand over his beak}

CROW: Coulda been worse -- he could have broken out into full-blown "Camelot."

:: It was a sacred place for mutants to protect them from the Legacy Virus, and he
:: had brought me here, and I had made a miraculous recovery from the virus.

{Mike releases Tom to gape at the text in utter bewilderment}

MIKE: Wha-a-a-at...? B-but...
TOM: {Andrew} I was now nothing more than a head in a pan, but thus is life.

:: Therefore, I was dubbed a savior. I was the only mutant the could survive the Virus.

{All groan in deep mortal pain}

MIKE: {absolutely baffled} ...B...b...but it was Sabretooth...not the Legacy V-Virus...he...it...I don't...I...ohhh... {Then, to the bots' astonishment, Mike drops his face into his palms and begins to weep open ly.}
CROW: ?!? Oh man. Ummm. C'mon, Mike. Pull yourself together.
TOM: Yeah -- you know you're the strong one, Nelson. If anyone should be shattering like glass right now thanks to that glaring plot hole, it's me. Mike? Mike! Shape up, man, it's almost over.

{Mike sobs something unintelligible into his hands, shoulders shaking}

CROW: Mike...oh, for cryin' out loud. You're embarrassing me. Cut it out!
TOM: {tartly} Oh, such sympathy, Crow. And how many times has he been there for you?!
MIKE: S'okay, guys...{sniff!}...I-I've got it back under control.. I've been through worse, it just hit me blindside, I lost it for a sec there...I'm okay, really...

:: There was another memory in my mind. A memory about true friends, but I could
:: not recall that memory totally.

MIKE: {Andrew} Something about...other mutants...who were supposed to be in this story...Rory? Chris? Rafe? Landin? Ah, ta heck with 'em -- this is MY story! All mine! Mine mine MINE! AH-HAHAH...!

:: That frustrated me. I looked around at my surroundings. There were windows
:: everywhere.

CROW: Well, the FIRST thing he'll have to do as "Savior" is chuck all that crap right out and order some decent PowerMacs.
TOM: {straightens up, insulted} Hey! Crow, you promised not to start another computer flame-war...!
CROW: {sulkily} Oh all right, I take it back... {he mutters unpleasantly under his breath -- the only words we can make out are "evil" and "Bill Gates"}

:: The starscape extended for miles, and there was my planet, Planet Earth. It was
:: more beautiful than all of the pictures that I've ever seen.

MIKE: Except maybe for majorly-fine Miss October 1994. Mrrrrrow!

:: Thus began my adventures with the Acolytes.

MIKE: And thus ended any chance the Acolytes had of being taken seriously by the Big Boys of the hero world.
CROW: {hollering} Hey, Acolytes! I hear you guys got stuck with You-Know-Who! As long as you're accepting, you want we should send up Squirrel Girl and the Purple Man too? You can come pick up Night Thrasher and Speedball while you're at it. Heck, take ALL of the New Warriors, we don't mind! We can throw in some Guthrie pups free of charge! Whaddya say?
TOM: I say that you're gonna get seriously stalked online for that last insult, bubba.

:: Andrew "FaBoO" Vincent
:: avincent@sewickley-acad.pvt.k12.pa.us

ALL: {Warner Brothers} GoodBYYYYYE NURSE! {mwah!}
CROW: We're free! We're free!
TOM: {tiny voice} Uh, g-guys? I just heard over the 'net that a sequel has appeared in the main archive.
CROW: Whaaaat...?!?

{Red lights and klaxons go off in the background. Mike snatches up Tom and dashes across the theater and out to the left, while Crow bolts out the usual way to the right.}

{6...5...4...3...2...1...SOL bridge}

{Doors close -- Mike and the 'bots enter the bridge. There is a set of blister-packed toys sitting on the desk.}

MIKE: Ugh.
TOM: Bleaagh!
MIKE: Coulda been worse.
MIKE: Four words. Marrissa Amber Flores Picard.
TOM: NELSON!!! You KNOW I finally got that name expunged from my CPU just this week! Argh! {he whirls and scoots away to bang his "head" repeatedly against the nearest wall}
CROW: Heh heh! You know, guys, I'm pretty worldly for a 'bot trapped in space, and I must say that this has been one of the worst fan-fics I've ever been tortured with.
TOM: {returning, much calmer} I've got to agree. How sick must someone's mind be to look at the spandex-clad pubescent fantasies of comic book heroes and then say, "Hey, those were pretty cool, but how much better would they be with MY character in them?"
MIKE: Yeah... {Looks down at the toys} Hey Crow, what's this stuff?
CROW: Oh this? It's something Tom and I came up with.
TOM: We've realized the great profit-making potential in this guy's ego.
CROW: Always looking to make a few schekels, we designed the line of "Andrew Vincent's Shadow" action figures.

{Mike looks at the package.}

MIKE: Oh, so it is, and it comes with "Ever-Lovin' Mutatin'" acces sories, I see.
TOM: Of course! Most importantly it has the official "Shadow" costume, consisting of random pieces of spandex, leather, and comically-colored kevlar.
CROW: The Gambit motto being: "Macho Without Being Too Femme."
MIKE: Yeah, pretty cool. He's got a silk cape over a leather jacket, a spandex hood that leaves most of his face uncovered, fingerless biker gloves over leather gloves, and about twenty-seven belts.
TOM: That's called "costume redundancy," Mike.
CROW: An X-Men tradition since Jim Lee.
MIKE: Let's check out his "Ever-Lovin' Mutatin'" accessories. Hmm, Shadow has a full array of casts and bandages for his many injuries.
CROW: Check out those hot-pink kevlar ankle-wraps.
MIKE: Oh yeah, and here's his weaponry. He's got a plastic machete, sword, shuriken, dagger, kris, claymore, AK-47, 10-pound cannon, and an Apache gunship helicopter. That's all in here, huh? {Shakes package}
TOM: Some settling may have occurred in shipping.
MIKE: Ah. Hey, wait a minute! It says here that one of Shadow's accessories is a "dead mountain lion with Realistic Shadow Damage (TM)!"
TOM: That was Crow's.
CROW: Heh! Read the back, Mike, and see what other Shadow figures are available.
MIKE: All right. {Looks at back of package} I see you have "Ninja Shadow," "Cyborg Shadow," "Trenchcoat Shadow," "Malibu Dream House Shadow," "Aqua Shadow," "Iron Shadow," "Crypt Keepin' Shadow," "She-Shadow," "Kylun Shadow," "Mariner Shadow," and...hey, some of these figures look familiar.
CROW: Well, Mike, we didn't have a lot of money to invest in those
TOM: So we bought out some failed action figures from the bargain bin, repainted and repackaged them.
MIKE: Ah, so that's why these figures look like Kevin Costner and Alec Baldwin?
TOM: Keep it under your hat.
MIKE: I see that you list Massacre, Hazard, Discharge, Launch, Cyber Wolf, Fugue, Array, and Flair, but don't show pictures of the figures. Why?
CROW: Hey, Vincent didn't bother to show them, why should we?
MIKE: Good point. It's great you guys are being industrious and all, but who do you really think will buy these?
TOM: Well, Andrew will probably want them.
CROW: And with his ego, we should be able to fleece him for quite a bundle.
MIKE: That may be true, but what are you guys going to do with money anyway?
TOM: Just another way to be superior to you, Nelson.
CROW: {a la a Dalek} We are sup-er-ior, hu-man!
TOM: {ditto} Sup-er-ior!
BOTH BOTS: Ex-Ter-Min-Ate! Ex-Ter-Min-ATE! Ex-TER-MIN-ATE!!! EX-TER-MIN-ATE!!!!

{Tom and Crow begin attacking Mike's shins with giggling glee and Daleky yelling. The red lights flash.}

MIKE: Ow, hey! What did you think, sirs?

{Deep 13. Frank is at the computer desk with the Fan-Fictotron. He has several phones up to his ears; the computers are blinking and beeping and making grinding noises. One of them is on fire.}

FRANK: No, okay, I'll hold. No, okay, sure. Yes, I've got the computer turned on. I'll hold.
FORRESTER: Well, Mike, as you can see, Frank and I are still having a little trouble uploading the evil of the Fan-Fictotron onto the Internet.
FRANK: Hey, Clay, the tech-support guy says this thingy is made to put CD-ROMs in and it's not a cupholder for Big Gulps! Silly us.
FORRESTER: Quiet, Frank! Mike, you had better hope we get this working, booby, or we'll just have to send more fan-fics up to you.


ALL: Aaaarrrrggghhh!!!

{Deep 13}

FORRESTER: Yes, cower before me! {Knock on the door} Excuse me.

{Forrester opens the big Deep 13 door. MST3K staff writer Paul Chaplin walks in wearing a faded X-Men T-shirt, orange shorts, high socks, and carrying a Tiger "Mortal Kombat" LCD game. He is Andrew Vincent.}

FORRESTER: What do you want, Vincent?
ANDREW: I heard you guys had some "Shadow" action figures for sale I'll trade a complete set of TSR's "Spellfire" cards for some.
FORRESTER: Let me see those.

{Forrester takes the box and begins sifting through the "Spellfire" cards}

ANDREW: I made up Shadow, you know.
FORRESTER: I know, shut up.
ANDREW: Oh. {Sees Frank.} Having trouble getting on-line?
FRANK: {to phone} I'll hold. {to Vincent} Yes.
ANDREW: Did you input the proper URL?
FRANK: Yes. {to phone} Oh, I'll hold.
ANDREW: Did you use the proper slashes?
FRANK: Of course! {to phone} I'll hold.
ANDREW: {Picks up the phone cord} Maybe you should plug the modem into a phone jack. {He laughs a snorting laugh.}
FRANK: Oh, that might help...
FORRESTER: Frank, deal with that later. Push the button while I go find a large jar of formaldehyde to put Vincent in.
FRANK: Okay. {He begins reaching across the computer desk towards the control console, the phones still draped around his head and neck} Until next time, guys.

{His finger barely touches the button when the entire computer desk comes crashing down with him on top. {Foosh!} to black. Roll credits and play the Mighty Science Theater end theme.}



[1] To anyone who's not a hardcore MSTie: Yes, the Satellite Of Love has a storm shelter! It was ONLY seen on a sequence cut from the MST3K movie ..which was a crying shame, because it was dramatic, exciting, funny, and HAD REAL SPECIAL EFFECTS. OOooOOooooo. (Yeah, I saw it at The Con.) Plus, I wanted to write a host segment that DIDN'T happen on the SOL bridge or in Deep 13. And I was desperate to wrap this baby up. Woo hoo!

[2] After I wrote this toss-away line, I had a VERY vivid dream about Cyclops actually being a highly-evolved hamster. (!?!) Yes, I did! In this dream, ol' Scotty had fathered an entire litter of hamsters that Professor X had to order destroyed because they would have manifested Daddy's optic blasts and there's just no way to fit a ruby-quartz visor onto a small rodent... {muffled snorting laughter} My one rememberable X-Men-related dream in recent history and it's about bloody mutant GERBILS. ARGH! I just thought you'd like to know how writing this has irrevocably warped my mind.

Hang tight, guys! There's a special treat in store for you after the disclaimers! Check it out!

This MSTing copyright (c) 1996 by Kelly Newcomb -- several segments and spot joke-assistance can be attributed to Greg Newcomb, the true fanatical MSTie in the Newcomb household. Comments, insults, thoughts, gushy praise, and requests can be sent to kielle@aol.com. Remember, somewhere out there, there IS "X II"...

The X-Men characters, situations, logos, and distinctive likenesses are trademarks of Marvel Comics Productions, all rights reserved worldwide. Mystery Science Theater 3000, its characters, situations, logos, and other story elements are the property of Best Brains, Inc. No endorsement by either Marvel Comics or Best Brains is expressed or implied by these statements. All other references are copyright their respective creators or owners, and are only used in the spirit of parody and pop culture. This non-profit MSTing was written for fun and is not intended to cause harm to the abovementioned companies or their products -- I mean, come ON, the harm was already done well before *I* got around to it! {G} Nor is it intended as a personal attack on any of the individuals who contributed or were represented in the original source text.

Speaking of, the original source text is copyright Andrew Vincent, wherever the dear soul may now be. Probably waiting on my doorstep with a jagged brick.

Permission is NOT granted for this document to be redistributed, especially not to any public forums, ie. webpages, 'zines, or newsgroups. Please contact me (again, I'm probably still at kielle@aol.com) and we'll discuss terms. The opinions represented by the MST3K characters in this fan MiSTing are not necessarily those of the authors, though most of them are pretty dang close.

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more (and far better!) MSTies, check out these sites which are in operation as of 11-96:

http://rtt.colorado.edu/~barklage/mst/mst.html (assorted + Ratliff)
http://rrnet.com/~jenkins/fanfic.html (assorted + fanfics)
ftp://ftp.best.com/pub/owls/XMST (MSTied X-Files episodes)
ftp://ftp.ee.pdx.edu:/pub/mst3k/misties (wide assortment)
http://www.tc.umn.edu/nlhome/m622/seav0004/homepage.html (no MSTies but some MOST excellent links)

Note that the Barklage site features the most classic online-MSTie set of all: the "Star Trek: Kids Crew" series by Stephen Ratliff, arguably the WORST writer of all time. Bow down before Marrissa and pay homage, unbeliever!

Special thanks to funny-guy Abyss for beta-reading this puppy. MMmmm-WAH! G'night, folks! Spoil your dinners!


:: As I entered my room, I had a feeling of being home. It was the first time that I
:: had never had before.




"More...?" you say. "But...you've already played the stinger. It's over! Finito! Time for the next three hours of 'Politically Incorrect'! Are you MAD?" YES! Because, o lucky readers, I have a special treat in store for you, fresh off the griddle and dripping with home-churned evil! This is not a test! You are not hallucinating! Hang on to your seats...

* * * * * * * *

:: "Welcome to a new school year," says Mr. Clark. "We hope that this year will
:: be the greatest year that Sewickley Academy has had yet. With our new seventh
:: graders, and our new ninth graders, this year holds quite a bit of potential. And
:: now here's Mr. Zaluski." There is a moment of polite applause from the crowd of
:: students, for none of them are very excited to be back in school.
:: Suddenly, the stage emits a great yellow light from behind the brown curtains. A
:: hush falls over the students. "BUT BEFORE WE GET ON WITH THE
:: YOU!!!," booms a loud voice over the stereo system. The curtains flew open.
:: Exodus stood on center stage. Behind him was the gigantic figure of Delgado.
:: Other Acolytes stood around Exodus. It was truly a sight to behold. "We come
:: here today not to harm you, but to save four of you from certain death But before
:: we begin, let me introduce you all to our savior, SHADOW!"
:: A burst of smoke. A shadow-like figure. An awed silence. A shout.


* * * * * * * *

It's X II.
Coming to a monitor near you. Maybe. But...uhhh...probably not.

Halloween, 1996