The Jester Is Out

by Rainbow Dragon aka Dave Behr

Some days are just absolutely perfect. The weather is gorgeous, good luck is abundant, there's extra frozen yogurt for dessert, and everything goes precisely according to plan. There are no minor inconveniences, no unexpected occurrences, the complete and utter annihilation of the planet by mutant cinnabons (hey we all know that they're the devil's spawn) is put off for at least another day, and life in general is just peachy-keen.

Unfortunately, Blitz was not having one of those days.

"But mom, I'm nineteen!" she wailed plaintively.

"Well I'm sorry Blitz, the answer is no," rebuked her mother. "Now why don't you go downstairs and play with your friend...what's his name... Worcestershire?"

"Tabasco," Blitz growled. "And he went home three days ago."

"Right. Have a good time." Blitz's mother absent-mindedly indicated that the conversation (well, if you could call it that; it mostly consisted of whining on Blitz's end and "No!" on her mother's end) was over by turning back to her copy of So Your Son Married a Wyvern.

Blitz, wishing that wyverns or even mutant cinnabons would actually descend upon the Weyrmount just so she would have an excuse to leave the family dwelling, stormed out of the family area and shot down the mini-shaft which connected to her personal weyr . Much to her snout's dismay, she shot down a bit too fast and collided with a colorful, blissfully snoring entity that had happened to park itself right inside the weyr. This unexpected assault didn't seem to bother it too much though; it rolled over ( promptly dumping Blitz onto the rock floor), scratched a scaly ear while muttering something about wankel-rotary operators and wildebeests, and kept right on snoring. Apparently it was having a perfect day.

Blitz picked herself up off the floor, rubbing her offended snout, and glared at the unexpected intruder with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. Extending a claw, she poked it none too gently in the stomach. With a snort, the entity opened an eye half-way, saw the look on the somehow scruffy Blitz's face, and hurriedly closed it again, deciding that its dream about timber-rot had far more promise than whatever lay in store in the real world.

"Get up, Rain, you lazy butt." Blitz poked the thing again, this time harder than before. Sighing resignedly and realizing that he had no choice, Rainbow (for that's who he was) opened both eyes, stretched a bit, and sat up.

"Do you always have to wake me up like that?" he asked rather sleepily. "Just once I wouldn't mind being woken up in a more... pleasant... manner."

Blitz shrugged. "Ok. Next time I'll just punch you in the stomach. Shouldn't hurt as much. Besides - if you hadn't decided to take a nap on my doorstep we wouldn't have this problem, now would we?"

"Well I got tired of waiting for you. Literally. Sheesh. You'd think I'd wait around for you forever," Rain rejoined.

"Well see that's your problem. You're always sleeping. It's not like you actually do anything. I mean, some people would kill to get as much sleep as you get." She peered rather intently at him. "What the hell are you doing here anyway?"

"Don't I ever say anything worth remembering? I thought I answered this already," Rain grumbled rather irritably. "I was waiting for you."

"Yes, but why?"

"Oh. Well, I was wondering if you wanted to do something." Still feeling rather sleepy, he poked about the floor, trying to re-situate himself in the comfortable position he'd been in before Blitz fell on him.

"Do you have a plan?" she queried.

"Well, not exactly. I figured we could junx around. Something's bound to come up."

Blitz sighed, but figured it was as good a way to get out of the weyr as any. "Well, I'll have to go clear it with the 'rents. Hey, maybe Cam wants to come with us."

"Oh he went out already," replied Rain. "He said he was going to out with some friends to play some sort of game. I asked him to describe it to me but he was acting typically Cam-ish so I don't have a clue what he was talking about."

"He WHAT?!" cried Blitz. "That's SO not fair! Why does HE get to go and I don't, just because I'm a girl?" She let out a wail. "SONA!"

"Well look at it this way," Rain offered helpfully. "If you had gone out, you wouldn't have had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with me."

"I know," lamented Blitz. "I know. Well, wait here. I'll be right back." She took off up the mini-shaft to once again search out her mother.

While Blitz was gaining her parents' approval to be taken out by the dashing but extremely sleep-laden Rainbow, certain events were unfolding elsewhere in the world which would have a profound effect in ruining his perfect day. Most notable among them w as a round, flat meteorite which fell from the middle of Nowhere and landed in the middle of a field during a game of football. I should mention that it landed on the field only after it struck one of the players on the side of the head, causing said pla yer to turn around in anger at his nearest competitor and give him a vicious kick to the stomach. THAT touched off an all-out brawl, resulting in 5 ejections and several fines. There probably would have been several more ejections but one of the players took it upon himself to knock out the referee, thereby allowing the brawl to rumble on quite happily. It eventually spilled over into a nearby pub, where everyone (minus the five players who had been ejected and the referee, who was lying unconscious on the sideline of the field in a pool of his own blood) settled down and enjoyed a few good pints together. Enjoyed them, that is, until the player who had been kicked in the stomach had one too many and flamed the rear end of one of the opposing players, pro mpting the whole bloody mess to start up again. The meteorite, however, lay in the middle of the football field, quite unnoticed and quite undisturbed.

When Blitz came back to her weyr, she found Rain sprawled out once again and snoring contentedly. Remembering his earlier request, she punched him in the stomach. "Wake up. Did you want to take me out or not?"

Blinking the sleep out of his eyes, Rain stood up. "You got the approval?"

Blitz nodded.

"Well alrighty then. Vamonos."

They took off from her weyr and flew out over the forest surrounding the Weyrmount. Darting and wheeling, they started playing a game of tag, each one trying to make the other crash into something immovable, like a mountain. Blitz, being more dimuniti ve, was able to completely miss most of the obstacles. The somewhat larger Rainbow, who was a bit of a sloth, didn't fare as well. Out of breath, they eventually settled for a rest on the Drakkhein Road.

"I win." Blitz smiled happily.

Rain picked a tree trunk out of his leg and licked the wound. "You enjoy torturing me, don't you?"

"Hai!" Blitz practically beamed at him.

Rain's scowl softened a bit on hearing Blitz's anime voice. "Well, just you wait. One day soon I'm gonna be big and I won't need to avoid your obstacles. I'll just plow right through them."

Blitz regarded him very dubiously and was about to counter this latest remark when a large blue dragon with a silver star on his forehead descended from the sky and settled next to her. Her surprise quickly turned to delight.

"BlueStar!" she whooped, tackling him in a ferocious frenzy.

Rain grinned. "Well, at least someone else is taking the punishment for a change. Watch those claws," he cautioned BlueStar.

BlueStar just laughed, and eventually Blitz tired herself out and got off of him. The three of them settled down by the side of the road and struck up a conversation.

"So, Blue, what's up?" Rain asked.

"Well, not too much," came the reply. "I just had a relaxing afternoon with Skyblade."

"She's cool," Blitz chimed in. "And she bakes nummers cookies, too."

BlueStar grinned. "Well, I'll be sure to tell her you said so. What are you two up to, hmm?" He winked at them evilly.

Blitz giggled. "Well I was just making a fool out of Rain here. That's not very challenging though, and I'm getting kinda bored with it."

"Uh, whatever," Rain shot back. "I believe that you were the one who wanted to play tag to begin with."

"Yeah, so? Doesn't mean I didn't make a fool out of you, or that I'm not getting bored with it."

Rain paused. "Um, yeah. Anyway."

Blitz grinned. "See Blue? Like I said, making a fool out of him isn't a very challenging prospect."

"I suppose not." BlueStar chuckled. "Well maybe you can find something to do that's a bit easier for our friend Rain here?"

Blitz looked at BlueStar with unblinking eyes. "Like what?"

Blue appeared thoughtful for a moment. "Well, there's a game of Ultimate going on a little ways from here."

"Ultimate? Rockin'! Where?"

BlueStar started to give her directions, but Blitz just sort of looked at him with a dumb expression on her face. "Um, maybe you better write 'em down and give 'em to Rain."

BlueStar wrote the directions down (they weren't too long or complicated) and handed them to Rain. Nodding her approval, Blitz nudged him. "Come on. We gotta go play."

"Ultimate, eh?" Rain asked. "That's like football sorta, right?"

"Well, sorta," Blitz answered him.

"I used to play football. Did I ever tell you this? The EFFL. For three years in high school. There was one particular game in a torrential downpour that was just a blast."

Blitz, as usual, was paying Rain no heed. "Thanks Blue." She gave BlueStar a big hug.

"Your welcome. Have fun." He waved, and all three took off. Blitz and Rain headed in the direction of the Ultimate game.

"Yep, the Every Friday Footbal League," Rain continued. "I was too small to block, too weak to qb, and too slow to be a decent receiver. I had no fear when it came to tackling, though..."

Blitz, completely oblivious, nodded her head.

You may remember that meteorite, the one which prompted the regretable brawl, and which supposedly will ruin Rain's perfect day if Blitz hasn't already by the time it actually works its way into the story. Well, it's still rather dull and undiscovered, lying in the middle of the football field. However, you may also remember that it fell from the middle of Nowhere. Nowhere is an exceedingly curious place. There's an infinitely finite amount of it, so of course the fact that this rogue spherical chunk of it should suddenly disappear from the middle of Nowhere and pop up in the midst of Somewhere had all the leading research scientists in Nowhere extremely concerned. Putting their heads together, they determined that if this piece of Nowhere were not put back in its proper place (or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it) in the middle of Nowhere, Nowhere would cease to exist. If Nowhere ceased to exist, that would mean that everything would either be Somewhere or Anywhere, but the distinction be tween Somewhere and Anywhere would become irreversibly blurred, and the entire world would be condemned to the fate of not being able to follow directions to Anywhere, or more importantly to Somewhere, since Anywhere and Somewhere would essentially be the same thing. Obviously, for dragons like Blitz, the change would hardly be noticeable. But for the rest of the world, it would be a catastrophe worse than the invention of Spam.

Now the leading research scientists of Nowhere didn't give a damn about whether or not people from Anywhere could follow directions to Somewhere, since after all they were Nowhere's leading research scientists and not Somewhere's gas station attendants, who incidentally were required to pump your gas since it was a law there, but they certainly did give a damn about the prospect of ceasing to exist. This concern prompted a side debate about whether they would suddenly cease to exist, and if so, when tha t would happen, or whether they would just slowly fade out of existence. That debate eventually subsumed the more important task of actually figuring out how to take the piece of Nowhere from Somewhere and not just fling it Anywhere but actually put it b ack into Nowhere, thus giving our heroes something to do.

An astute observer would point out that the concerns of Nowhere's leading research scientists were misplaced from the start since, Nowhere being Nowhere, they never really existed to begin with, but that observer would be well-advised not to mention that fact to Nowhere's leading research scientists, since it would just turn their world higgledy-piggledy and no doubt incur their wrath.

"Hey, I see it!" Blitz called out excitedly. "And Cam's down there playing with them!" She clapped her small claws together.

"Coolio," responded Rain. "Well let's get down there and play." Blitz and Rain swooped and descended upon the game of Ultimate (scaring a few small woodland creatures in the process). Other than Cam, Rain and Blitz really didn't recognize any of the d ragons that were playing. As the teams were already even up, Blitz went on Cam's team and Rain went on the opposing team. This gave Blitz a great kick, since she'd be able to make a fool out of Rain once again.

The game started back up, with Blitz scampering everywhere and Rain doing a rather lousy job of covering her. Not only was his defense rather poor, but everyone quickly found out why his nickname was "Hands of Stone". Still, he put in an admirable effo rt, and eventually he did catch the durned frisbee: with his mouth, dragon mouths being as large as they are. Plucking it out with a multi-hued claw, and beaming happily, he gave it a whirl. Unfortunately, Rain's frisbee-throwing was as good as his defe nse and only slightly worse than his catching, and the frisbee took off way out of bounds and landed on an adjacent field. This didn't bother him too much though, since he was still wrapped in the protective blanket of his perfect day.

Blitz giggled at Rain's inability to do just about anything and quickly ran to retrieve the errant frisbee. As fate, the gods, or even the author would have it, she came across the meteorite that had fallen from the middle of Nowhere, which, as already mentioned, was disc-shaped, and mistook it for the frisbee.

"Huh. This seems heavier than it did before." Shrugging, she picked it up and rejoined the game. Rain got up in her face and was jumping all around, doing his best to be a nuisance and failing miserably. Blitz spotted Cam racing downfield in the open , and gave the disc a mighty hurl. As it neared Cam, and he seemed assured of catching it for an easy touchdown, Blitz stuck her tongue out at Rain and wagged it. When she turned back to the end zone, Cam had vanished.

"Ohmigosh!" she cried out. "Where'd Cam go?"

Rain blinked. "I dunno. He was just there a second ago."

"Well I know he was just there a second ago. Point is, he's not there now."

"Well how should I know where he is. You were making suggestive gestures at me and my mind wasn't completely on Cam!"

"I did no such thing!" Blitz gave Rain a shocked look.

"Uh huh," Rain replied.

"Nuh uh."

"Uh huh."

"Nuh uh. And besides -- that doesn't change the fact that Cam's not there."

Rain looked thoughtful for a second (but just for a second). "Hmm. I suppose that's true. Well, let's go take a look out there and see if we can find anything."

They ran off to where Cam had been poised on the brink of Ultimate stardom. Not a trace of him was to be found.

"This is not good at all," decided a distraught Blitz.

"Well he couldn't have just completely vanished. Maybe he missed the frisbee and is hiding his face in shame," Rain suggested.

Blitz looked at him dubiously. "This is Cam we're talking about. Not you."

Rain glared at Blitz. "Well it was just a suggestion."

"Hey, what's that?" Blitz asked, pointing to something lying in the grass a few feet away.

Rain walked over to it, bent down, and retrieved the disc from the grass.

"Oh," sighed Blitz. "It's just the frisbee."

"Hmm," mused Rain. "It's awfully heavy for a frisbee. Besides -- wasn't the frisbee white?" The disc in his claw was obsidian. "Not only that, but I think there's something inside of this." He bent to peer at it more closely. "Oh my," he breathed.

"What? Lemme see." Blitz tried to grab the disc from Rain's claw.

"Maybe you shouldn't... it's not that important anyway."

"Lemme see! You don't tell me that there's something in it and then tell me that it's not important! I wanna see!" She growled menacingly at Rain. Sighing, he handed the disk to her. Peering into it, she slapped her forehead. "Oops."

Cam was peering out at them from inside the disc.

"Now what do we do?" she asked Rain pleadingly.

"Well, we could break it open," he offered.

"No!" She clutched the disc to her chest fiercely. "You might break Cam."

"He's broken already," muttered Rain.

"What was that?"

"Hmm? Did you say something?"

Blitz narrowed her eyes at him. "Never mind. We have to figure out how to get Cam out of here."

"Maybe we should figure out what 'here' is first," Rain replied.

While Blitz was figuring out whether Rain had actually had a good suggestion for the first time in his life, we can turn our attention back to the disc from the middle of Nowhere that she was hanging onto so dearly. Cam was indeed inside of Nowhere, a r ather unique experience for someone who's always been from Somewhere and has a tendency to pop up in Anywhere. The middle of Nowhere, upon being thrown to him, went right through him. It displaced his existence Somewhere, because of course he can't be S omewhere and Nowhere at the same time, and so he wound up Nowhere. The fact that he wound up in the exact middle of Nowhere was completely random, and confounded things a great deal. If he had wound up in any other part of Nowhere, Nowhere's leading res earch scientists would have stopped their feuding, would have sent him to Somewhere's gas station attendants, who could have given him directions to Anywhere (although why Cam would want to go to Anywhere when the game of Ultimate was happening Somewhere is beyond me), and then would have figured out how to restore the proper balance between Somewhere, Anywhere, and Nowhere. But of course Cam was stuck in the exact middle of Nowhere, the middle of Nowhere being Somewhere. So Nowhere's leading research scien tists let their debate about whether they would suddenly cease to exist or just slowly fade away merrily continue. In fact, they had formed two factions: the cobainists, who supported the "Big Bang" theory, and the mcflies, who supported the "slowly fade away" theory. But that's not really germane to the story.

Once again, the astute observer who pointed out that Nowhere's leading research scientists never existed to begin with would also point out that when the middle of Nowhere fell from the middle of Nowhere, it hit a football player in the head but did not go through him, thus for a split second allowing Somewhere and Nowhere to co-exist harmoniously, in direct contradiction to all the laws of the Known Universe, and causing quite a stir among several NASA scientists who were working on a new technique of f olding space. The NASA scientists were hastily assured that Somewhere and Nowhere had never, ever coexisted harmoniously together Anywhere, and that they just must have inhaled too much ether. The astute observer, on the other hand, after being admonish ed several times about the "willing suspension of disbelief", was dragged out into the street and shot.

Meanwhile, Rain and Blitz were at an impasse.

"This thing doesn't look like it came from Anywhere," Blitz moaned despondently.

"Are you sure it didn't come from Anywhere?" Rain inquired.

"How should I know! It certainly didn't come from the middle of Nowhere."

"No," Rain agreed, "that'd be too random. It most certainly had to come from Somewhere,"

"You might be right." Blitz nodded her head.

Rain smiled triumphantly. "Definitely right. Maybe if we can learn where in Somewhere it came from --"

"--assuming that it came from Somewhere," Blitz interjected. "I still have this sneaking suspicion that it didn't come from Anywhere."

"I thought we already agreed that it didn't come from Anywhere."

"Well I'm just not sure that it came from Somewhere."

"But you're quite sure that it didn't come from the middle of Nowhere."

"Right," Blitz pensively responded.

"Well if it didn't come from Anywhere, and you're not sure that it came from Somewhere, but it definitely, positively isn't from the middle of Nowhere, where the hell do you think it came from?"

Blitz smacked Rain upside the head. "Shaddap. It might possibly have come from Nowhere, though not the middle of Nowhere. I just said that it's highly unlikely that it came from Anywhere, and I'm unconvinced that it came from Somewhere."

Rain sighed. His perfect day was crumbling rapidly, all because of this stupid disc. "Well the point is, if we can learn where it came from, maybe we'll be able to figure out how to get Cam out."

"Oh right. Cam. I forgot about him," Blitz giggled.

So the two dragons started rooting around, trying to figure out where the disc had come from. They searched both fields (the game of Ultimate having long since broken up, since they were suddenly without a frisbee) but didn't find any clues. They searc hed Anywhere, but came up empty-handed. They searched Somewhere, too, with similar results. They didn't search Everywhere, but that's because they didn't know about Everywhere. After several futile hours, Blitz threw herself upon the ground and started crying.

"We'll never, ever figure out where this stupid disc came from or how to get Cam out," she sobbed.

Rain tried to comfort her. "Never, ever is a long time ya know. I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually."

Blitz raised puffy eyes at Rain. "Eventually? What about my 'rents? They're gonna go through the roof when they find out that Cam's Nowhere!"

Rain groaned. "Well at least it's Cam and not you. If it were you I'm sure they'd have fun guilt tripping me into the next millenium."

Blitz just nodded her agreement and kept sobbing.

"Well let's review what we know," suggested Rain. "It didn't come from Anywhere, since we thoroughly checked there, and it didn't come from Somewhere either, at least not that we can tell."

"So it came from Nowhere?" asked Blitz. "But that doesn't make any sense."

"Hmm. I'm not sure. Maybe we should go see Cheese."

Blitz' eyes lit up. "Of course! If anyone will know, Cheese will." She bolted from the ground and into the air. Rain sighed and followed behind her.

Cheese, being the eclectic and silent type, had a weyr that was far off from everyone else's. It made him seem like some sort of holy man, when in actuality he was just cognizant 95 percent of the time instead of being ignorant, like the rest of the Dra gons. When they got to his weyr, he was sitting at a table reading something called The Cheesy Book of Pagan.

"Um, Cheese?" Blitz began. "We have a problem and we thought maybe you could help."

Cheese motioned for Rain and Blitz to sit opposite from him but didn't say a word. They sat down, and Blitz put the disc on the table.

"We need to know where this came from. Cam's trapped inside it." She pushed the disc across the table in front of Cheese, who put aside his book and began peering intently at it.

"This isn't from Anywhere," Cheese announced. Blitz nodded.

"Yeah we figured that."

"But," added Rain, "we don't think it's from Somewhere either."

Cheese continued to examine the disc carefully. "I would have to agree with you on that."

Rain nodded. "But if it's not from Somewhere and it's not from Anywhere, where the heck is it from?"

Both Blitz and Rain looked expectantly at Cheese. For a long moment there was silence. Finally, he said, "It's the middle of Nowhere."

Blitz blinked. "You mean my bro's trapped in the middle of Nowhere? Gawd, that sounds so cliched."

Rain glanced dubiously at Cheese. "How can you tell it's the middle of Nowhere?"

Cheese appeared unperturbed by Rain's irreverence. "Well, you can see that it's infinitely finite, a sure characteristic of Nowhere. Additionally, it's black, which in Modernist painting is representative of death or a void, both closely associated wit h Nowhere by Golden Age playwrights. Thirdly, the fact that it can entrap someone despite the fact that it is completely solid suggests that it's not real, which scientists have proven Nowhere to be."

Rain and Blitz held Cheese's deductive powers in awe.

"That," he non-chalantly added, "and the fact that chiseled in the back are the words 'Greetings from the middle of Nowhere'."

Blitz turned to Rain. "We never looked at the back."

"Doh!" said Rain.

Ignoring Rain (as everyone else was accustomed to doing) Cheese turned to Blitz. "There is a problem, though. I mean, besides Cam being stuck. If this isn't returned to it's proper place in the middle of Nowhere, life as we know it will be irrevocably changed."

Blitz looked at cheese wide-eyed. "That sounds bad."

"It is. The distinction between Anywhere and Somewhere will become so blurred that no one will be able to give directions to Anywhere, or more importantly Somewhere, worth a frog's butt again," Cheese intoned.

Blitz shrugged. "Oh. That's not too bad. I get along just fine now without a sense of direction."

Rain snorted, and the delicate claw that so obnoxiously woke him up earlier in the day was once again jabbed into his stomach. He growled and shifted his seat a bit closer to Cheese, and asked, "Well how do we get this back to Nowhere and get Cam out?"

Cheese slid the disc back to Blitz, picked his book back up, and fixed Rain a stern look. "From every weyr, --"

"Everywhere?" Rain looked aghast.

"No, not Everywhere, every weyr."

"Oh, every weyr. I thought you said Everywhere. That would have just made things way too confusing." Cheese glared at Rain and he shut up.

"From every weyr,

with hasteful care,

obtain a piece of the mother."

Here Cheese paused, contorting his face into a mask of concentration. Finally, he called out, "Line!" A little imp ran into the room (though it wasn't from Nowhere; most likely just Somewhere) and shrilled, "Balance in lighted lair..."

Cheese nodded and, embarrassed, continued.

"Balance in lighted lair,

perched upon the rack,

And free will be set thine brother."

Blitz blinked. "Hey wait a minute. That doesn't rhyme."

Cheese glance at her surprisedly. "Are you sure?"

Blitz nodded. "Say it to yourself again."

Blitz and Rain watched as Cheese mouthed through the words of his prophecy. "Oh hey. You're right. Hmm. Where'd that little imp go..."

Looking around, Rain declared, "He's gone."

Cheese appeared concerned, but then just shrugged. "Well, that's my prophecy to you. Use it as you see fit." Then he re-opened his book and withdrew into the world of Cheese. Blitz and Rain got up from the table and flew out of the weyr.

"How do you suppose he does it?" Rain asked Blitz.

"Does what?"

"Well, know so much."

"Oh," Blitz answered. "I don't think he does."

"Hmm," hmmed Rain. "Well whatever. What the heck does 'obtain a piece of the mother' mean?"

"I think it means we're supposed to get a rock from each weyr. Ya know, like Mother Earth or somethin'."

"I thought that was Middle Earth, Mother Nature," countered Rain.

"Well it is. But it's also Mother Earth. Trust me." They flew off towards the first weyr.

Everything would be all well and good if Blitz and Rain could just fly to each weyr and get a rock. But of course, spatial physics don't work quite the same when a chunk of Nowhere is missing. It turns out that the mcflies were right -- Nowhere, and ev erything in it, which included Cam, would slowly disappear. In fact, they were starting to. This messed with Anywhere and Somewhere as well, as things which belonged to Somewhere just started popping up Anywhere, greatly confusing our dynamic duo. Even Rainbow's highly touted sense of direction was having problems determining which weyr was where, and the problem only got worse the further they pressed on. But finally, after several hours, a few irate Dragons (they walked in on Mono and Kat, um, "doin g things"), and 14,320 wrong turns, they had collected a rock from every weyr. However, Rainbow, despite his massive strength, was sagging under the load of them all.

Rain, flying ever closer to the ground, asked, "Now what?"

Blitz furrowed her brow. "Well, he said 'lighted lair', right? Maybe that means the Golden Lair of Guy, the Great Gray Goose, and cousin to Babe, the Big Blue Ox?"

Rain tilted his neck at her. "How the hell can a goose and an ox be cousins?"

"Genetic engineering. It's the wave of the future." Blitz grinned.

"Yeah well, whatever. I am NOT going to make it to Guy the Gay Goose's Place. I need a break. Let's head for my place."

"But your place is such a mess," complained Blitz.

"Yeah well there's gonna be a pretty big mess to clean up if I don't get some rest soon because I'm just gonna dump these rocks all over the place," Rain bristled.

Sighing as only a true martyr can, Blitz acquiesced. "Fine."

They banked down around an outcropping of the Weyrmount and descended more towards its base. About a third of the way up was a small grassy glade, situated next to a 500 foot waterfall. Blitz and Rain landed in the glade.

"I hate this part, ya know," sighed Blitz.

"Yeah well, deal," Rain grumbled. The two of them shot straight through the waterfall and into a dry, comfortable weyr that was hidden behind it. Sighing happily that he was finally home, Rain hurled the bag of rocks into a hideous green comfy chair th at was in one corner and collapsed on the floor.

"Oh get up, ya big baby," Blitz chided him. "You've slept all day already."

"Oh please. You didn't lug two tons of rocks back here."

"Hey. I did carry that disc, and that thing's damn heavy. And now that you've thrown the rocks in the chair, where the hell am I supposed to sit?"

Rain rolled away from her, desperately trying to clutch to the last vestiges of his perfect day and failing utterly. "I dunno. What's wrong with the floor?"

Blitz sighed. "Well, I hope you weren't planning on waiting here long. It'll be dark soon, and my 'rents will kill me if I get home too late." She threw the disc into the chair on top of the bag of rocks and flopped down onto the floor.

Now if we hadn't already shot the astute observer three scenes ago, he would point out at this point that Blitz seemed dangerously close to fulfilling the prophecy. And of course he'd be right. As the two of them sat on the floor, and the sun settled c loser and closer to the ground, Blitz suddenly realized that (the spirit of the dead observer told her, I'm sure) and figured out what they were supposed to do. Bolting up, she kicked Rain in his poor, much-maligned stomach.

"Get up, get up! Hurry too," she hissed at him.

He groaned. "Not again..."

She kicked him a second time. "If you don't get up now, I'm never gonna do anything with you again." Blitz grinned cunningly as Rain hurriedly sat up.

"I figured out the prophecy. It doesn't have anything to do with gay grease," she rattled off.

"Gray geese," Rain corrected her.

"Just shut up and help me. Take all the rocks out of the bag and throw them on the chair," she directed him.

Standing up rather groggily, Rain did as he was told.

"No, pile them up as high as you can." Nodding when that was completed, Blitz stepped near the chair and gingerly placed the disc atop the pyramid of rocks. The sun, which hadn't quite set outside yet, shone through the waterfall into the weyr with a h oly brilliance, directly onto the disc. A low humming began, rising in pitch until the disc started shaking and eventually broke into two pieces. Cam suddenly popped into existence in the room. But the disc kept on breaking in half, until eventually mi llions of teeny-tiny pieces of disc were hovering in the air.

"They're Everywhere!" Rain breathed.

"No, they're Nowhere," Blitz corrected him.

Within a few minutes, the pieces of disc were almost too tiny to be seen. Then the sun finally slipped below the horizon, and all the pieces rushed towards the center of the room with a loud whoosh. Rain happened to be standing there, so he ducked and covered his eyes with his claws. There was a snap, and then silence.

Rain uncovered his eyes and looked around. Blitz and Cam were still in his weyr, but the pieces of Nowhere weren't to be seen Anywhere. "What happened?" he asked.

"Well," said Blitz, "I guess they went home, back to Nowhere."

Cam spoke for the first time. "Coolio. Well, thanks guys. I gotta get back to my game." Then he flew out of the weyr.

Rain and Blitz both blinked. "Oh well," Blitz said. "All's well that ends well, or something like that. You know, I think Cheese meant to say comfy chair."

"Eh?" Rain looked at her inquiringly.

"Well you know how his prophecy didn't rhyme. He said 'perched upon the rack'. But I think it was supposed to be 'perched upon the comfy chair'. It fits into the whole torture motiff."

Rain nodded. "That's certainly true. There's no better piece of torturing equipment then the comfy chair."

Blitz grinned. "Well, let's go home.

"I am home," Rain reminded her.

"Oh yeah. Well, you gotta take me home, right?"

Rain grinned. "I suppose I do."

They took off into the night and headed around the Weyrmount for Blitz' family's weyr. Neither one said anything the whole way there. When they finally got there, Blitz' mom, holding a copy of When Your Neighbors Stop Being Neighborly, was waiting outs ide.

"Well it's about time," she snapped. "Get inside now. You and I have some talking to do."

Blitz groaned and turned back towards Rain. "Well, thanks. That was fun."

"Ok. Well, latah." He paused for a second, obviously confused, and then waved and flew off. Blitz mournfully trudged inside to await the tongue-lashing she would no doubt get from her mother for coming home so late. Rain flew the short trip back to h is weyr, mulling over his day with Blitz, when he suddenly realized that he hadn't gotten any dessert. His day was ruined. 

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