At last, the long-awaited (kinda) sequel (kinda) to the hit (kind) fan (kinda) fic story, Mac A Tattoo:  PART OF THIS COMPLETE BREAKFAST!

For you clueless spacklefingers unfamiliar with that triumph of fanfiction which has come to be known as MAT, here's the run through.  Go
check out the full thing at Dragon Press and while you're at it, check out all the other fine fanfics stored there!  Some of them are ok, but none can compare with the (ahem!) Mighty MAT!  So here's that runthrough: The Avatar and a few more or less interchangable companions were chatting with a Fellowship dunebuggy in New Magincia when through a juxtaportal  (sort of a rip in space, which to the Avatar appeared to be a golden moongate, due to his prefabricated notions about the nature of teleportation) stepped Volatios, champion of fanfic Earth!  Volatios got the Avatar's help in getting a blackrock transformer to help him get home.  Unfortunately, the Companions left the only such transformer in the game, Rudyom's Wand, in Dungeon Destard.  So they had a few adventures and got to Destard where they met Winter, Canuck, and Atticus, of the Dragons, who convinced the Companions to take them to Britain to learn the source of the cinnamon used in Britannian cinnamon sticks, but...anyway, they got to Cove, and then freed Baby Dwagon, etc. etc. and several chapters later the story ended with history being rewritten so Volatios never came to Britannia (he ended up on Talorus, FYI).  The side effect is that, because Iolo never mentioned the cinnamon sticks to the Dragons, they never left home and never went to Cove, so Baby remained imprisoned (boo!).  Fortunately, the odds favor other Dragons passing through Cove sometime, and so it did happen!  This is the story of:

Part of this Complete Breakfast

by Atticus Dragon aka Addison Godel

 Which now begins....

(Above Cove, several Dragons are in flight: Fox the Writer, Jen the
Artist, and Underworld the Engineer.  They're on a mission: to fly to
Avatar Isle to grab a piece of the now-shattered Black Gate, and use it
to fabricate a device which will help them with their plans to create a
whole new world just for the Dragons, who are being persecuted on
Britannian by clods like the Companions...)

Undy: How much further?
Fox: (checks map) heh..I dunno.  This thing is pretty sketchy.  We got a
lot of ocean to ya doin', Jen?
Jen: *sigh* I'm fine...hold on, do you sense something in that town?
Fox: Yeah, let's check it out...
Undy: But the schedule---there are other questers trying to get to--oh, well.

(The Dragons spiral down in perfect formations, crashing through Rudyom's
roof, sending the senile wizard screaming from the building.)

Jen: Yes, it's a hatchling!
Fox: I'd heard the old coot had a prisoner here a couple hundred years
ago, but I'd no idea he'd still had him...
Baby: Goo!
Jen: He's so cute...we simply have to get him back to the Weyr!
Undy:'re right, of course.  We can't leave him in the
hands of these /humans/.
Fox: The Plan will wait.
Jen: Great!  (Suddenly she looks much brighter and cheerier) Let's go!

(Hours later, at Dragon Valley...)

Wizard Traveller Dragon: Look, I'm telling you, we can't give you any
more cave space!
Captain Goofball Dragon: Aw...just 'cause Firesong and Fox took it all?
That's not fair...
WizT: Look, I keep telling you, I had nothing to do with Fox using all
that space.  I can't figure out how he did it.  I suspect Foodoo magic.
Goofball: Foodoo?
WizT: The magic Fenrys.
Goofball: Oh, right...hey, isn't that Fox up there?
WizT: Couldn't be, he went Jen and Undy to the Isle of the Avatar...
Goofball: No, look, it's Fox, and Jen...Jen's carrying a Hatchling!

(Jen, Fox, and Undy land.)

Jen: Hi.  We came back early.
Undy: Not for good.  We're dropping off this Hatchling we found in Cove.
Fox: Yeah, cause---

(He's cut off as Undy takes the Hatchling out of Jen's claws, drops them
in Goofball's, and teleports his companions out of the Weyrmount valley.
They form up in the sky, and speed off towards Avatar Isle again.)

Goofball: Cute kid.
WizT: I suppose you should take him up to Mom.
Goofball: Can't.  She's visiting with the Dungeon-Dragons.
WizT: Blast.  We have anyone around?
Goofball: Nope...Tempest's building a cave or something...Whisper's in
WizT: Shoot.  Whisper would have been perfect for this one.
Goofball: What about Ser?
WizT: I don't think that's a good idea.  I mean, the things that go on up
in that tower of hers aren't appropriate for a little kid.
Goofball: Oh, like you're so grown up yourself.  I still don't think you
should be running the place.
WizT: Watch your mouth, Goofball, our I'll bon you six ways from
Goofball: *mumble gnarf snoof*

(Over Cove, again)

Fox: Okay!  This time we're gonna go to the Isle of the Ava---wait,
what's that I see down there?
Jen: Huh?

(Fox swoops down towards the Shrine of Compassion, leaving Jen and Undy
flapping their wings and hovering.  Jen looks at Undy, shrugs and sighs.)

Jen: We're never gonna get this project done.
Undy: We HAVE to.  It's our only chance to create a place of safety for
Jen: I KNOW that...
Undy: Yeah, well, some of the readers may not.

(Jen looks at Undy with a puzzled expression as Fox returns carrying a
pretty human girl.)

Fox: Hi, this is Crimsia!
Jen: Very nice.  Now let's get going!
Fox: I don't have time for this project now!  I've got to go show her the
Weyrmount, and my stamp collection, and---
Jen: Fine.  Just leave us.  *snort*
Undy: *sigh*

(Jen and Undy speed off for Avatar Isle, leaving Fox holding Crimsia and
flapping his wings.)

Crimsia: I don't think she likes me...
Fox: She's just mad because I'm not helping on the project any more.
Crimsia: Maybe also cause I'm a human.
Fox: Hm.  That's a thought.  Maybe we shouldn't go back to the Weyr just
Crimsia: Why not?
Fox: They're a bit intolerant of humans, on account of you people have
been slaughtering us left and right.  But there's a group of dragons out
in Destard that are more tolerant...we can go there, and then sort of
step up to the Weyr.
Crimsia: Wherever you go, I go.

(Fox and Crimsia cuddle sweetly for a second, then slowly flap westward.
Let's let them go, and head back to the Weyrmount, where Goofball, Lobos,
and Nightcat are enjoying a drink at the Inn.)

Goofball: Best Pangalactic Gargleblasters in the galaxy.
Nightcat: Indeed.  Put it on the table!
Lobos: (whispering, to Goofball) It looks like the magical cure isn't
working.  He's still nuts.
Nightcat: What was that?
Lobos: Er, am, I was asking Petra for some nuts.  Hurry up, woman!
Petra: I'm sorry, I don't understand that.  Perhaps you'd like to see the
Goofball (whispering, to Lobos) It must be a physical problem.  Don't
worry.  I still have Atticus's Bodiomatic stowed somewhere.  I can make
him a new body.
Lobos: Good plan.

(Lobos stows her copy of The Terminal Man in her backpack, yawns, and

Lobos: I think I'll go, ah, take a nap.
Goofball: Right!  Me too!  Home I go!

(Lobos and Goofball stride out of the Inn, then take off quite quickly
for the Palace of Wonder.)

Nightcat: I'm alone now.  I think, I think we're alone now, la la lala...

(Meanwhile, outside, Lobos and Goofball are stopped in midflight by
Sister Enchy.)

Enchy: Hiya, guys!  Whatcha doin'?
Goofball: Nothing much..heading up to the Palace to go through some of
Atticus's old stuff.
Lobos: Yeah, we need one of his inventions.
Enchy: What, he left all that junk here?  I thought he took it all to
Goofball: He told me there wasn't enough room for it all.
Enchy: Kewl.  Well, I'm gonna go buzz around for a while, gonna see if I
can get a party started, bye bye!

(Enchy flutters off, singing some song about a dodo with nine fingers.
Lobos and Goofball zoom up the Mountain of Ether and stop at the gates to
the Palace of Wonder.)

Goofball: Lemmee unlock it.

(Goofball rustles through his pocket for his keys, but while he's still
looking for them, the door opens and out steps Kunac Dragon.)

Goofball: Kunac!  What are you doing here?
Kunac: Well, since Canuck left and blew up our house, I figured I'd move
in here.  I used Can's keys to get in.  Atticus and him used to hang out
here a lot so I think there's some extra space.
Goofball: Sure, that'd be okay.  I'm staying in Atticus's old bedroom,
but you can have any of the rooms downstairs, or the tower if you want.
But you're furnishing it yourself.
Kunac: The tower's cool.  Oh, hiya, Lobos.  Didn't see you there.
Lobos: Whatever.  We're gonna head downstairs and go through Atticus's stuff.
Kunac: All right.  I'm gonna see about getting some furniture.  Thanks, Goof!
Goofball: No problem, Kun.

(Scene: The High Court of the Wizardly Dragons.)

WizT: Look, the question remains: Who is gonig to take care of this
Firesong: Well, like you said, Whisper and Mom are away and Tempest is
too busy.  Ser and Sting have romantic interests, and Sky is off to
who-knows-where.  That doesn't leave much in the way of available
Sun: Why does it have to be a female?
Firesong: Of course!  We'll get one of the males to take care of him.
Who's available?
Sun: Hm.  Goofball...
WizT: NO.
Sun: ...Kunac...
WizT: NO.
Sun: ...
Firesong: I think we have a problem.
WizT: Maybe we could get another wizard to help us...
Firesong: But the only other wizard is...

(Firesong shudders.)

Firesong: Ice.
Sun: We deactivated him and put him in a coma, but we could revive him.
WizT: What if he turns into Dark Ice and destroys another one of the
Emps's villages?
Firesong: I know, but what are we going to do?  This baby needs a
suitable guardian, and we're out of ideas.  Ice may come up with some.

(The other wizzen nod, and Firesong opens up a closet, where a dragon
stands frozen solid.)

WizT: Quite ingenious, overloading him with his own power.
Sun: Well, of course Winter and Blizzard had to help so he couldn't gain
control of the ice.
Firesong: Okay, Sun, thaw him.

(Sun leaps up, strikes a pose in midair, and glows bright..bright..bright!
The other wizzen cover their eyes as a beam of energy erupts from Sun's
left eye and strikes the icy figure.  Within seconds Ice is defrosted.)

Ice: You guys made a big mistake thawing me out!  I---hey!  My powers are
WizT: That's right, Ice.  We need your advice, but we can't risk you
turning into Dark Ice again.
Ice: Well, maybe I don't want to give my advice!
Firesong: Oh, dear.
Ice: I don't feel like helping.  I'm out of here!

(Ice suddenly leaps out the window and flutters out of the Weyrmount.
Soon he is out of sight, far away to the south.)

WizT: That doesn't look good.
Sun: I think this is going to come back to haunt us.

(Meanwhile, in the basement storage room of the Palace of Wonder...)

Lobos: Boy, there sure is a bunch of stuff in here!
Goofball: Yeah, Atticus was quite a collector..
Lobos: Hey!  What's this?  Xen-Files Tele-orbs?  Why didn't he tell me he
had these?
Goofball: Wait, there's a card.  "To Lobos, happy birthday.  I know how
you love Daniel Anchovy."
Lobos: Oh, how sweet!  He must have been planning to give them to me.
Well, I'm gonna go home and watch these things in super slow-mo.

(Lobos skips out of the room.)

Goofball: *sigh*

(Goofball goes through the piles of stuff silently, whistling a Strange
Angus tune as he goes.  Finally he uncovers a large metal tube, about the
size of a person.)

Goofball: The Bodiomatic.  Shoot, it's depowered.  I have to find a new
lens to recharge it...

(Goofball stumbles off, muttering angrily.  Meanwhile, at Crazy Mark's
Discount Trading Post...)

Kunac: Okay, how much for this puffy chair?
Mark: It's fifty gold.  But can you tell me how I can get a tour of the
new Cinnamon mines?
Kunac: Look, I've told you people this before.  *sigh*  Britannians.
They gave a tour a month ago of the unfinished mine.  It's over.  They'll
have another tour sometime later.  Capice?
Mark: Oh, sure, sure.  Seventy gold.
Kunac: But you just told me it was fifty!
Mark: Cash or check?
Kunac: This is nuts!
Mark: Look, I'm sorry, but I can't go lower than 150 gold.
Kunac: It was fifty a minute ago, and you just now switched it to a hundred.
Mark: Hey, I gotta family to feed, y'know.
Kunac: Liar.  Remember?  Just last week you were moaning about how you'd
never find a wife.
Mark: Well, I found one, and we have three hungry little mouths to feed.
Kunac: You got a wife and three kids in a week?  I disbelieve this.
Mark: Well, it's true.
Kunac: don't want to sell me this cheap, do you?
Mark: Right.
Kunac: And I won't buy it if it's expensive, right?
Mark: Right.
Kunac: Well, then, the only way you're gonna get me to take it is by
giving it to me!
Mark: Makes sense.  Okay, you got yourself a deal!

(Mark and Kunac shake hands, and Kunac walks out with the chair.)

Kunac . o O ( What a dunce.  Well, at least now I have all the furniture
I need to rework the tower.  Should be nice and cozy up there.  Hm.  That
shop over there is called Blaise Iwougo's Pets.  What kind of a name is
Blaise Iwougo?  How do you pronounce that?  I-waggo?  I-woogo?  Huh. )

Mysterious Cloaked Stranger with a hissy voice: Excuse me, sir Dragon.
Kunac: What do you want, Mysterious Cloaked Stranger?
MC Stranger: I'm a DeeJux in a club here in Britain, and I need a live
act to seal a deal.  I want a Dragon group.
Kunac: Isn't that kind of stupid, restricting yourself like that?
MC Stranger: Well, see, it's the club owner who decided it had to be a
dragon group.  Do you know any Dragons who would be good?  I'll pay.
Kunac: How much?
MC Stranger: I don't have much cash...
Kunac: Aha.
MC Stranger: ..but I own a partial share in the new cinnamon mines...
Kunac: OKay!  Well, I'll see if I can rustle up some Dragons! Bye!

(Kunac tears skyward towards the Weyrmount.  Meanwhile, in the lab at the
Palace of Wonder, Goofball is operating a fantastic Kirby machine in some
sort of scientific procedure.  Enchy is watching with interest.)

Enchy: Whatcha doin?
Goofball: Well, I'm examining this cracked lens to see what it's made of,
so I can make a new one.
Enchy: Ah.  What for?
Goofball: I can't recharge the Bodiomatic without a working lens.  And I
need the Bodiomatic to cure Nightcat.
Enchy: Oh.

(Goofball turns back to the machine and continues to run the analyzer.
After a few minutes, he turns it off and sighs.)

Goofball: The lens is made of a material that can't be analyzed by the
spectrobonoscope.  The radio-picture blurs.  It's no good.
Enchy: Well, how many materials do that.
Goofball: Several.  Cadellite, but that's the wrong color.  Blackrock.
Enchy: I've never heard of Etherstone.
Goofball: Atticus developed it, which suggests that the lens might be
made from it.  But it's possible he may have made the Bodiomatic before
he developed Etherstone, in which case the lens would be blackrock.  *sigh*
And Atticus took his diary with him, so I can't check.
Enchy: Why don't you just go ASK him?

(Goofball blinks.)

Goofball: You know, I hadn't thought of that.  I'll go right now.

(Goofball throws a switch, and the ceiling slides open slowly with a dull
mechanical noise.  Goofball nods to Enchy, then swoops out of the
Palace.  Enchy flaps up and hovers above the roof, watching Goofball
until he disappears in the distance.  She continues to float, exercising
her wings, but a noise from inside the Palace distracts her, and she
drops in to investigate.)

Kunac: Goofball?  Are you in here?
Enchy: Nobody in here but us enchantresses.
Kunac: Dang.  Where is he, do you know?
Enchy: Halfway to Destard by now.  Why?  You need him?
Kunac: No, I just wanted to tell him I got the furniture.  I'm moving in
here, you know.  Oh, and also I found a way I can get some cinnamon, but
I need some help.
Enchy: Goof's a bit preoccupied with curing Nightcat's insanity.  But
maybe I can help.  What's the plan?
Kunac: Well, a Deejux down in Britain needs a band of Dragons to perform
at a show.  He'll pay a share of ownership of the cinnamon mine for it.

(Enchy's eyes light up.)

Enchy: It'll be worth performing for humans if we get some cinnamon out
of it.  Count me in, Kun!
Kunac: Great.  What can you play?
Enchy: Well....

I am the music dragon
I come from Weyrmount way
What can you play?
I can play the violin, violin violin
I can play the violin, violin man

I am the music dragon
I come from Weyrmount way
What can you play?
I can play the gi-guitar, gi-guitar, gi-guitar
I can play the gi-guitar, gi-guitar man

I am the music dragon
I come from Weyr...

Kunac: Stop!  Okay, so, WHAT can you play?
Enchy: Guitar, violin, and synth keyboard.  What can YOU play?
Kunac: I play bass mandolin.  So you're in?
Enchy: Yup.  Let's go find someone else!
Kunac: Okay.  Just let me drop this chair off upstairs.

(Bangarang.  The Council of Wizzen.  WizT is pacing the floor nervously,
while Sun and Firesong remain seated at the Table of Wizzen, Firesong
tapping his finger nervously.)

Firesong: Okay, so Ice is loose.  What's the worst that could happen?
WizT: Oh, he could find a source of incredible energy and become Dark Ice
again and oh, say TAKE OVER THE WORLD.  Not that that's a PROBLEM, Mr.
I'm-Sitting-At-The-Table-All-Calm-and-Stuff.  *snort*
Firesong: Look, I'm just trying to be optimistic.
Sun: WizT has a point.  This is a very dire situation.
WizT: Darn right.
Sun: And dire times call for dir---er, desperate measures.
Firesong: You don't mean...
Sun: Yup.  The Matrix.
WizT: Oh, CHRIST.  Not Atticus's weirdo energy repository.
Firesong: Come on, Sun, even if it still carries any power no one knows
how to operate it.  Except Goofball, but I just got a report he left for
Destard.  We don't have time to go get him.
Sun: Well, to be completely honest, Atticus left a blueprint, in case of
serious emergency.  I gave it to Invy, on account of I couldn't make
heads nor tails of the thing.
WizT: You think Invy would have done it?
Sun: It's been a while.  I'd say so, yes.
WizT: Well, then let's go get Invy!

(Sun and WizT rush out of the Council cave for Antre Des Diables Noir,
leaving Firesong alone.)

Firesong: You know, brain, in all the confusion I forgot something.  That
Baby is gone.  Either he snuck off or...oh, crud.

(Firesong rushes out of the cave, too, screaming, "WizT!  Sun!  Wait
up!"  Perhaps he'll reach them.  But let's rejoin another one of our

Crazy Mark: (to Raznor) I just sold a chair to that Dragon who's always
coming to town.
Raznor: Really?  How much?
Mark: For free!  Isn't that a great deal?
Raznor: Of course!  Running a business isn't about making a bunch of
fucking money!  It's about getting stuff out of our fucking store!  Like
that book I gave away last week.  Who would want to READ a book?  And
learn about CHARACTERS, and a STORY?  I mean, COME ON!  If I recall
right, the story wasn't even REAL.
Mark: Boy, you were sure lucky to get rid of that.
Raznor: Yeah, at least I still have my Ultra Fighting Warrior tapes to
CONSOLE me.  Now that's what I call LITERATURE.
Mark: Righto, Raz.

(Antre Des Diables Noir)

Reaxl: Robody getsch inta see da mahstuh!
WizT: Listen, you stupid demon, we need to talk to Invictus.  Now.
Reaxl: Whatshha passwoid?
Sun: Uh oh.
Reaxl: Iffa don't havta passhwor, I keel yu.  Eatch yu.  Mmmmm.
WizT: Uh oh.
Reaxl: I catnlet letcha in widout da pashwyrd.  I no itsnot Sherindippy.
'tried it myzzlf.  I cooldent getin.  So I NO itsnotdat.  Yousherlook tay
WizT: We don't have time for this!  Re Cy Cle!

(WizT's words of power open a dimensional rift inside Reaxl, shredding
his molecules again and again until they aren't there!)

Reaxl: Nooooooo!  You kanno do dad!  You mush no------*arrrrrasdlgkjjjjj*
WizT: Okay.  Inside!

(Sun kicks down the door.  Inside are Invy and Ser)

Ser: No, I love YOU more---hey!  This is OUR tower, you loony wizzen!
Invy: Where's Reaxl?
WizT: Don't you worry about that right now.  We need your help.
Invy: You could have just /called/, for Pete's sake.
WizT: This is an emergency.
Sun: Do you remember, just after Atticus left, I gave you some blueprints
of one of his machines to figure out?
Invy: Yes, of course, but---
Ser: Excuse me...

(Ser goes, "KAZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRK!" and WizT and Sun are knocked by
waves of kinetic energy right through the wall.  Ser watches as they
continue to move through the air for several miles before dropping to the
ground somewhere around Skara Brae.)

Invy: Thank you.
Ser: You're welcome....
Invy: How welcome?

(Invy grins wickedly, but stops as Firesong steps in through the hole in
the wall, looking around puzzled-like.)

Firesong: I take it I missed them?
Invy: Heh.  They broke in, so Ser broke them out.
Ser: Go look for them around Skara Brae.  In fact, I'll help you!

(Ser rears up to cast another dragonly spell.)

Firesong: No!  Wait!  Listen!  This is important!  Ice is baaaaaaaaaaa...

(Firesong's voice trails off as he finds himself moving swiftly through
the air towards Skara Brae.)

Firesong: Down I go.  *sigh*

(Meanwhile, in Dungeon Destard...)

Winter: I could use some more cake.
Canuck: Me too.  Yum!
Atticus: Look, our supplies are kind of limited here.  You two could try
to conserve things a --- hey, who's that?
Goofball: Hi, guys.
Atticus: Goofball!
Canuck: Have a seat!  Have some cake!
Atticus: No!  No more cake!
Goofball: Thanks anyway, but I'm afraid this isn't a pleasure trip.

(Atticus looks puzzled.)

Atticus: Is something wrong?
Goofball: Well, yes.  Nightcat's still insane.
Canuck: I thought you had him cured.
Goofball: So did I.  But apparently it's a physical problem; some sort of
injury to the brain.  I want to grow him a new body with the Bodiomatic.
Atticus: You don't need my permission; I left the inventions to you...
Goofball: No, no.  The battery lens is cracked, and I need to make a new one.
Canuck: Waitasec.  The Bodiomatic?
Winter: You don't remember?  *groan*
Atticus: I originally designed it to cure Krandar, actually.
Canuck: Who's Krandar?
Atticus: Well, it turns out that Deranged and Nightcat are two split
personalities of some sort of ethereal dragon-being.  The third is named
Krandar.  He's sane.  My aim was to integrate the three of them together
using a bodiomatic.
Canuck: I'm not following this.
Atticus: It's quite simple.  I was going to take the brain waves of the
three split personalities and bring them together in Krandar's body.
Canuck: What happened?
Atticus: Krandar got cold feet, or something.  He skipped town and I
haven't seen him since.  Deranged went to live in his Palace of Illusion,
and Nightcat stayed at the Weyr.  None of them except Krandar is aware
that the others exist.
Goofball: So how does this affect me curing Nightcat?
Atticus: It's impossible.  The reason his brain is injured is that his
body is artificially generated from his mental consciousness.  Apparently
he got some mage to create a body for him, when he was just a
free-floating set of brain waves floating about Britannia.  Same with
Deranged, although it's possible he could have made a body for himself.
Winter: Excuse me, I'm gonna go talk to Mom.
Goofball: Oh, that reminds me.  There's a new baby Dragon at the Weyr,
and we need someone to take care of him.
Mom: Oh, whose is it?
Goofball: We actually don't know.  Jen and Fox and Undy found him
imprisoned in Cove.
Mom: Well, I must go home immediately then.  I hope you don't mind...
Canuck: Of course not!  We understand, Mom!

(Everyone hugs Mom, and Mom hugs everyone.)

Mom: Now I must go pack.
Winter: I'll help!

(Winter and Mom head into Mom's cave.)

Goofball: Anyway, so what can I do with Nightcat?
Atticus: The only thing that'll work is getting all three bodies
together, putting the intended host body in the Bodiomatic, and linking
the other two with Psychron collars---you'll find those in the storage
room somewhere---and setting the machine to Transfer In.
Goofball: And that'll cure them?
Atticus: It'll bring the three personalities together, which will prevent
any of the three from going crazy again.  Hopefully.
Goofball: Great.  But I need Krandar.
Atticus: Can't help you there.  You could check the Mail Distribution
Center, though...
Goofball: Righto.  Nice talking to you, bye!

(Goofball zooms out.)

Canuck: Would you mind explaining all that again?
Atticus: Not at all...

(Atticus begins explaining again, but is cut off by the entrance of
another dragon and a human.)

Fox: Hi...
Canuck: Fox!
Atticus: Who's your friend?
Crimsia: I'm Crimsia.
Fox: We met in Cove and we kind of hit it off.
Atticus: That's wonderful!
Fox: Yeah.  I didn't want to take her to the Weyr just yet, because, well...
Canuck: Because she's a human?
Fox: could we stay here a little while, till we figure out what
to do?
Atticus: Well, Winter's in charge.  She's helping Mom pack right now.
You better go ask her.
Fox: Will do!

(Meanwhile, back at the Palace of Wonder.)

Kunac: Okay, right up here is my room.
Lobos: Oh, cool!
Enchy: Highly.

(Kunac ascends the staircase to the tower, followed by Enchy, Lobos, and
Dusty Roads Dragon.  The tower has been recently remodeled by Kunac.
It's circular, cozy but not too small.  The walls are covered with
Insects, Crimson Lloyd, and Quartz Jelly posters.  There's a cot built
into the wall at one place, and a desk at another.  The ceiling is a
dome, which is divided into two halves which apparently are meant to
open.  Kunac gestures around.)

Kunac: What do you think?
Dusty: It's neet.
Enchy: Highly.
Lobos: So you think we could rehearse in here?
Kunac: Right.  What do you think?
Lobos: Let me check.

(Lobos breaks out in a long squeal, the pitch of which she gradually
adjusts.  She carries on for a while, then stops.)

Lobos: Good acoustics.  It'll do fine.
Dusty: Yeah.
Enchy: Highly.
Kunac: Great!  You all brought your instruments?

(Lobos pulls out a set of Minoc drums.  Enchy takes out her guitar.
Dusty yanks out his guitar.)

Kunac: Wonderful.  Let me get my mandolin.

(Kunac opens a compartment in the wall and draws out a mandolin.)

Dusty: Hold on.  Don't we need a name?
Kunac: Oh yeah.  Any suggestions?
Lobos: The Doctor Goops.
Enchy: The Cracks of Doom.
Dusty: The Dusty Roads Band.
Kunac: Pegasus.
Lobos: Pegasus is good.
Enchy: I agree.
Dusty: I like the Dusty Roads Band.
Kunac: You're outvoted.
Dusty: Fair's fair.  Pegasus it is.
Lobos: Enough talk, let's play!
Kunac: Okay!  One, two, three four!

I'm a dragon
(oh yeah)
Yes I'm a humble dragon
Yes I'm a valorous dragon
But I need some food

I'm a dragon
Yes I'm an honest dragon
Yes I'm a just dragon
But I need some cash

If you were a dragon
then you'd have scales!
wings and horns and a big long tail
but would you be a virtuous dragon?

I'm a dragon
(yeah heh)
Yes I'm a sacrificing dragon
Yes I'm a spiritual dragon
But I need some sleep

I'm a dragon
(toodle oo!)
Yes I'm a compassionate dragon
Yes I'm an honourable dragon
But I need some love

If you were a dragon
then you could fly
but you'd never be a dragon why?
cause dragons
come from eggggssssssssss.

(The song finishes; everyone puts down their instruments.)

Kunac: That was really great!
Lobos: Your voice cracked on "valorous dragon."
Kunac: Well, you muffled "compassionate."
Dusty: Come on, don't fight...
Kunac: Right.  I think we're okay.  Now let's go talk to that DeeJux.

(to be continued.)

(There is a place where time and space bend around each other and come
out sort of like a friendship bracelet.  A place where sound waves and
light waves collide and produce planetarium shows.  A place where all
logic breaks down and teachers begin explaining new definitions for the
word include.  I just thought I'd mention that, cause you really should
try to avoid that place.  The place that's relevant to the story now is a
different place.  It is called the Matrix.  Well, I suppose you might not
think of it as a place.  It's a big ol' multifaceted crystal in a giant
machine at the bottom of the Ethereal Shaft in the Mountain of Ether,
around which is built the Palace of Wonder.  The Matrix is a
matter/energy and energy/matter converter, to be exact, and it takes its
energy from another dimension.  That other dimension is the place I
wanted to call your attention to, because that's the place called the
Matrix.  This is possibly the longest caption this story will ever have,
but I'll charge forth in the interest of confusing you.  The Matrix
crystal itself is made of Etherstone, a synthetic alloy of Blackrock and
some unnamed minerals, which was first synthesized by Atticus, who also
hammered a largish chunk of it into the Matrix crystal.  When activated
by a Blackrock transformer (the kind that blows up Blackrock but
energizes Etherstone, not to be confused with an Etherstone transformer,
which blows up Etherstone but turns Blackrock into pots of pinks), the
Matrix develops a powerful charge and acts as a sort of Black Gate to a
dimension made entirely of energy.  Obviously this is not a terribly safe
thing, so around the Matrix are built piles of energy absorbers and
transformers to channel these powerful forces.  The Ethereal Shaft, a
giant, well, shaft cut down into the Mountain of Ether, is a defense
mechanism; if ever something goes wrong with the Matrix, the energy
discharges will not be able to escape the Mountain before the safeguards
kick in and turn the machine off.  Our story begins at the Matrix engine,
where Invictus and Ser stand.)

Ser: Okay, so we found the kooky Kirby machine.  What's the deal?
Invy: When Atticus left the Weyr, Sun brought me these blueprints of this
machine, asking me to figure them out.
Ser: Yeah...?
Invy: Well, I had barely begun to understand them when Sun and WizT came
to Antre Des Diables Noir, asking about the blueprints.
Ser: Yeah...?
Invy: Well, why were they in such a hurry that they would vaporize Reaxl
and break down the door?  Something must be up involving this machine.

(Actually, you readers who had been watching this plot know that the
wizzen wanted the Matrix so they could use its energy to create a
Superdragon, who might just be a secret agent, to use against the newly
awakened Ice.  But Invy doesn't know that!)

Ser: It just looks like a big battery to me.
Invy: You may not be too far off the mark.  The only thing I was able to
figure out from these blueprints was that a lot of energy is involved in
this thing.  Safeguards and buffer fields all over the place.  What's the
Ser: To distract people trying to figure out what the machine is for?
Invy: *groan*
Ser: C'mon, let's go cuddle.
Invy: I'd love to, but we may have an emergency on our hands.
Ser: I guess I kinda overreacted to the wizzen, eh?
Invy: Not so much overreacting, just overreacting the wrong way.  You
could have punted them straight up.
Ser: Well, I was angry..
Invy: It's okay, really.  I can figure this thing out.  If I had a
general clue as to what it was for.
Ser: Why don't you just go ask Atticus?
Invy: No way.  He sold out on the Weyr when he and Winter established
that colony and started socializing with humans.
Ser: No need to be bigoted here...
Invy: *sigh* It's not so much that, as he left so many messes behind.  I
still don't think we've dug up his entire operation--do you hear something?
Ser: Aside from you jabbering?  No.
Invy: No, like someone...
Atticus: That would be me.
Invy ∓ Ser: ATTICUS!
Atticus: I see the Palace isn't as secure as I thought.  Did Goofball
leave one of the roof-holes open again?
Invy: I guess so.  That's how we got in.
Atticus: So what are you doing here?
Invy: After you left, Sun gave me these.

(Invy waves the blueprints at Atticus.)

Invy: Last night he, WizT, and Firesong broke into Antre Des Diables
Noir, asking about this machine.  Ser booted them to Skara Brae before
they could say much...

(Ser grins evilly.)

Invy: ...but their haste makes me think something's up.  How did you get
back so fast?
Atticus: Like you said, no one ever dug up my whole operation.  But
that's not the point.
Invy: That's true.  The point is, why did you come back?
Atticus: No it isn't, but I won't press that now.  I came back because of
something I found out from this fine fellow...

(Atticus snaps his claws, and a dragon whose body is made entirely of
Blackrock appears, in a strange silvery suit of what appears to be armor.)

Ser: Isn't that the rogue?  Unhinged or something?
Invy: Deranged, I believe.
Atticus: You believe correctly.  I finally decided to take down his
Palace of Illusion and found him stark, raving mad.
Ser: Wasn't he always?  I never kept up with that.
Invy: Yes, he was.  But he wasn't made of blackrock when I last saw him.
Deranged: I now live behind a wall of illusion!
Ser: You know, he kind of reminds me of Nightcat.
Atticus: That's not a coincidence, as I was explaining to Goofball
yesterday.  But the point is, I broke into his Palace to find him
cowering in fear of someone who was out to get him.  Someone named Ice.

(Ser and Invy turn pale.  Deranged falls to the floor in tears.)

Ser: I-Ice?
Invy: Of course!  I should have realized!  When you punted Firesong he
said something I could just barely make out.  I thought it was "I kiss
Black," but it must have been "Ice is back!"
Atticus: I presume this explains the urgency of the wizzen.
Ser: Hold on, Invy, I thought you didn't trust this guy.
Invy: That's right, I don't.  And I don't trust Deranged any more.  Tell
me why I should.
Atticus: Because Ice is gathering power.  A lot of power.  And there's
only one way to stop him.
Invy: Nonsense. First of all, Ice's body was rendered unable to absorb
energy.  Second, even if he hadn't, this is a nonlinear world so there
are several ways to stop him.
Atticus: I think further conversation along these lines would be
unproductive.  Please stand aside so I can activate the Matrix.
Ser: You've gotta be kidding me!
Invy: Manda's right.  If you think you're going to j--uurkkkkk.

(Invy falls flat unconscious.)

Ser: If you've hurt him, I swear i-uuurkkk.

(Ser falls flat unconscious.)

Atticus: Yes, most unproductive.

(On that ominous note we depart from the Mountain of Ether and rejoin
another of our characters, Goofball, who is trying rather unsuccessfully
to get into the Mail Distribution Center.)

Goofball: Please, you've got to let me see if there's anything to or from
Housekeeper: Permission denied.
Goofball: This is IMPORTANT, dangit!  I'm trying to stabilize the sanity
of three, er, a dragon!
Housekeeper: Permission denied.
Atticus: Perhaps I can be of service.
Goofball: Atticus!  What are you doing here?  And who's that in that suit?
Atticus: This is Deranged.  I rounded him up for you.  You see, this
situation goes beyond curing the insanity of one, er, three dragons.  Ice
is back, and he's got some powerful friends.  We need to stabilize
Deranged and Nightcat and Krandar.  It's the only way to stop him.
Goofball: Ice?  This is serious.  But how do the three loonies fit in?
And why is Deranged made of blackrock?
Atticus: I honestly don't know the answer to the second question, but his
unique phisology is the answer to your first.  There is no time.  We must
find Krandar as soon as possible.
Goofball: Right, but how do we get passed Lord Lardbutt Bot?
Atticus: Leave Lard Lord Bot Butt to me.

(Atticus's body flares up for a second, and the housekeeper keels over.)

Atticus: I bought us some time.  That metal cankertron will be back on
its feet soon, so let's move.

(Atticus and Goofball run into the Mail Distribution center and begin
searching for letters to or from Krandar.  Now let's jump over to
Britain, and the office of MC Stranger, the DeeJux.)

DeeJux: Okay.  I like your act, and I like your name, and my client will
like your species.  You're hired.

(The members of Pegasus cheer, and MC Stranger hands Kunac a slip of paper.)

DeeJux: There's a quarter of my share in the cinnamon mine.  You perform
tonight and you get the rest.
Lobos: We'll be there!
Dusty: Count on it.
DeeJux: Excellent.  You know the place?
Enchy: I do.  The Blue Bore.
DeeJux: Great.  I need to go arrange a gig in Paws for the Avatars next
week.  Bye!

(Stranger walks out, and the members of Pegasus, after a brief moment of
cranapple-juice flavored celebration, fly to Despise to rest before their
big gig the next night.)

It's been said that this story needs more humor.



(Inside Dungeon Wrong)

Erraticus: You know what?
Doctor Goop: What?
Erraticus: We're in the wrong dungeon!  Nyuk nyuk nyuk!




(Inside Dungeon Covetous)

Darryl Richard Haverdford: Knock knock.
Daniel Anchovy: Who's there?
DRH: Dwayne.
Daniel: Dwayne who?
DRH: Dwayne the lake, I'm dwowning!  Nyuk nyuk nyuk!



Well, that was abysmal.  I hope that teaches a lesson to you folks who
want me to add humor to the story.  This story'll be funny when I have
something to make fun of.  Otherwise its plot will continue as semi-normal.

Thenk you.


(Moonglow.  The Lycaeum.  Atticus and Goofball materialize under cover of
the nighttime.)

Goofball: Huh?  It's nighttime.  But it was daytime when we left.
Atticus: Yes, well, when you jump through space you sometimes jump
through time as well.  It's the Illyana Principle, I'll explain it to you
Goofball: There's a lot more to you than meets the eye...
Atticus: We'll talk about that later.  Right now we need to find more
clues to Krandar's location.
Goofball: The letters were some help..
Atticus: Not really.
Goofball: Okay, so a postcard with "Having a wonderful time!  Wish you
were here!" written on it is not really any help.
Atticus: Well, the return address was.
Goofball: Uh, Atticus?  It didn't have a return address.
Atticus: Precisely.
Goofball: I don't understand.
Atticus: It means Krandar is trying to keep himself unseen.  That tells
us a couple of things.
Goofball: Like what?
Atticus: First off, he's probably staying away from people, or he's found
a way to keep himself from being revealed as a Dragon, or we'd have
plenty reports of sightings.
Goofball: That makes sense.
Atticus: And secondly, it means that we're going to have to use different
methods of tracing him.
Goofball: So why the Lycaeum?
Atticus: There's some powerful ether running through here and if we can
channel it, we can move instantaneously to the Void, where we will use a
very useful document to locate Krandar.
Goofball: The Codex?
Atticus: No, the admission is too expensive.  But a couple doors down is
a slightly less infinite block of infinite wisdom, Larry's Book of Madness.
Goofball: This is all so beyond me.
Atticus: Well, I need you to pull this off.
Goofball: What for?
Atticus: To act as an anchor.  Look, enough talk.  Time for action.
Goofball: I don't know abo

(Goofball's eyes turn solid white.)

Atticus: I'm sorry, but I don't have enough interest to explain this in
detail.  Suffice to say that I have to cast two spells at once, the
actual access spell and a buffer spell so the spacetime warp doesn't get
out of control.  To make sure the spells are perfectly coordinated with
each other I have to possess your body.  Again, I'm sorry. begin.

(At that exact moment, above the Weyrmount.)

WizT: I can't believe it took us this long to fly home.
Sun: Well, Ser's little zap drained a lot of our energy.  And none of us
have done much flying in a long time.
Firesong: Right.  Now what's the plan?  I think we can take it as a given
that Ice has the hatchling in his clutches.
Sun: Yes.  But that doesn't change the fact that we have to put him out
of commission for good.
WizT: I dunno.  I'm having second thoughts about this.  Atticus built the
Matrix.  That means it's trouble.  We can handle Ice ourselves.
Firesong: We can handle Ice, but if he uses his mind control ability...
WizT: Oh, right, I'd forgotten we were unable to take that power from him.
Firesong: ...he can get some powerful allies.

(Suddenly, the night sky turns bright as the sun as a fantastic explosion
shoots skyward from someplace across the ocean to the east.  As the
pyrotechnic show subsides after a second or two, the darkness returns.)

WizT: Holy...
Firesong: Must be a huge amount of energy if it could light up the whole sky.
WizT: Could that be Ice's doin---

(Just as suddenly, a tremdnous wave of force slams into the three wizzen.)

Sun: which way is uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

(The three companions, unable to stay aloft as the air itself bashes them
with the force of a hurricane, careen downward...but meanwhile, in
Dungeon Despise, in those rooms which were the headquarters of that mage,
the members of Pegasus are checking out their temporary digs.)

Enchy: I guess it'll do.
Lobos: Yeah.
Kunac: We're just staying here for the rest of the night.  Our gig at the
Blue Bore is tomorrow, and we can't tire ourselves out by flying all the
way to the Weyrmount and back.  And there's nobody here to charge rent...
Dusty: Awesome!
Kunac: Okay, everybody, let's tuck---

(The complex is suddenly rocked by a fantastic earthquake.  half the
ceiling falls in, half the floor caves in, and half the members of
Pegasus fall into a teleporter in the confusion, leaving Kunac and Dusty
standing in the ruins.)

Dusty: What on Britannia was THAT?
Kunac: I dunno, but we'd better make sure Enchy and Lobos are okay.

(Kunac and Dusty hop onto the same teleporter Lobos and Enchy fell in,
only to find...)

Dusty: We didn't go anywhere.
Kunac: It's not working.  I guess we'll have to wait here and hope they
get back.
Dusty: What, we're not gonna go after them?
Kunac: If we did and they came here, then they wouldn't find us and we'd
never get back together.
Dusty: I guess this puts a crimp into our plans as Pegasus.
Kunac: You bet.  By my estimations, Britain is a pile of broken sticks by
now.  There's not gonna be a Blue Boar to perform at.
Dusty: Oh dear.



<The Castle of Lord British, Subbasement Three.>

British: I am glad that everyone is all right.  Aside from Geoffrey's
head injury, no one was injured in the...the...
Dupre: The accident?
Nystul: Nay, twas no accident.  Moments before the Castle was brought
down I sensed a...detonation...of mystic force in Moonglow.  This was an
attack, or the side effect of a spell of great power.
British: All right.  So it was the result of a spell.  Now that we have
everyone gathered, we must determine what to do about it.  Most of
Britannia must be in ruins like Britain and the Castle.  Now, Dupre,
Iolo, Nystul, Geoffrey, Draxinusom, have you any suggestions?
Drax: Our chief concern must be dealing with the people.  They will be
afraid, angry, and will feel the tragedy of losing their homes and
British: Have you any ideas on how this affects farming?
Drax: Unless the soil itself caves in, no crops on a certain spot should
be lost.
Iolo: I suspect, if you consider it to be farming, that the logging
industry will be both ended and made rich.  Anyone quick enough to gather
up the felled trees will be quite successful, but there will be no
logging for a long time.
Dupre: For breeders of livestock there may be some trouble.  Fences and
pens could have been destroyed, and some animals may have escaped.
British: Not serious casualties, then.  However, the buildings are
another matter.
Nystul: If the blast originated in Moonglow and has managed to level
even Britain, we can assume that it would not be much diminished even by
the time it would reach Yew or Jhelom.  Every city in Britannia must be
naught but twigs by now.
Geoffrey: What about the Castles---Serpent's Hold, Empath Abbey, the rest?
They were built to withstand tremors...
British: So was this Castle.  And the Lycaeum could not be still
standing, if the detonation occured in Moonglow.

(Geoffrey sighs.)

Geoffrey: This is the greatest disaster to ever strike Britannia, I
fear.  Many must be dead, many more injured, and all the people of the
land rendered homeless, and most of their possessions destroyed.
British: We need the Avatar!
Iolo: Yes...yes...where is he?
Dupre: I believe he was making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Justice.
Drax: We shall need his help to calm the people.
British: Indeed!  Someone must go find him!
Iolo: I shall take the moongate east of Britain.
Nystul: No...this shockwave may have disrupted their magicks.  I cannot
say for sure.  But you must not use them.
Iolo: I shall ride, then.  I will take one of the horses who remains, and
find the Avatar!
Dupre: You will not go alone, my friend.  I shall join you!
British: Be careful.  We cannot afford to lose either of you at this
time.  And good luck.

(Iolo and Dupre head up the staircase to the rubble of Castle British to
find horses and outfit their journey.)

British: By all the virtues, I hope the Avatar is all right.



(Now we rejoin two of our characters who we haven't seen in some
time...Jen and Undy, who stand in what was once the Black Gate room in
the Avatar Isle dungeon complex.  The ceiling is missing a few pieces
which now sit on the floor, leaving a nice view of the inside of the
mountain, but this is not the object of these two dragons' attention.
What IS is the contraption which stands where the Black Gate once stood.
A blackrock coil wraps around a tall iron pole, both of which are
attached by wires to a bizarre arrangement of wires, gears, and
mysterious parts.  Jen stands by this piece, and Undy stands by the pole.)

Undy: No damage here.
Jen: None here.  Whatever that shockwave was, it hasn't hurt our machine.
Undy: Right.  Are we ready to go here?
Jen: I think so.  Energy levels look safe...the blackrock object is still
above us, right?
Undy: According to this old scanner, yes.  Perfectly safe range, too.
Jen: Okay, beginning initializtion...

(Cut to the now flat top of the Mountain of Ether, where the wizzen of
the Weyrmount, looking rather bruised stand.)

Sun: Well, it's morning, and there's still no sign of Invy or Ser.
WizT: Everyone else is accounted for, though.
Firesong: I hate to say it, but we may have more important things to deal

(WizT sighs.)

WizT: You're right.  But wasn't there a...building here?
Sun: Atticus's Palace.  It's just plain gone.
Firesong: Maybe it was blown off the mountain by the shockwave?
Sun: Maybe.  Fortunately, the Matrix and all of Atticus's other
inventions are inside the mountain.  Here's the stairway down.  Something
down there, if not the Matrix, will help us beat Ice.
Firesong: Wait a second.  Obviously we have to stop Ice, but not all the
sentient beings on this world live in shockwave-proof caves.
WizT: What, you mean humans?
Firesong: Their cities must be rubble-piles.  We can't do /nothing/...
WizT: Those humans made us leave the low ground.  Now they're gonna have
to live on it.
Sun: You're outvoted.  I'm with Firesong.  This is the perfect chance to
show that Dragons aren't really bad.
WizT: Okay.  Fine.  You and I will go through Atticus's stuff.  Firesong,
you can organize some Dragons to help the humans.
Firesong: Right.
Sun: Right.

(Sun and WizT head down the stairs, while Firesong flies off in search of
assistants.  Meanwhile, in the Chamber of the Book of Madness in the Void...)

Seer: My son, do you seek information?
Atticus: Yes, oh Mystic One.
Seer: I am glad to allow you access to the Book of Madness.  However,
there must be a small fee to cover our costs.  Fifty gold coins, please.
Atticus: Of course.

(Atticus hands the Seer the money, and a little extra.)

Seer: Thank you, my son.  The Book awaits you.

(Atticus steps past the Seer and onto the platform where the Book sits on
a pedestal.  As Atticus approaches, the Book flips open and a column of
light rises from it, connecting with a pentacle carved in the ceiling.  A
face forms in the light.)

Face: I am Nodroz, spirit of the Seer Larry.  What do you wish to know.
Atticus: Oh great and powerful Nodroz, I wish to know where on Britannia
the Dragon known as Krandar can be found.
Face: He is to be found in a ruined palace of black stone, which floats
in the sky above the Isle of the Avatar.
Atticus: The Palace of Illusion.  But why ruined?
Face: Your travel here was not safeguarded properly.  The energy has
escaped, and a shock wave has destroyed much of the surface of your
world, and nearly anything which is in the sky.
Atticus: NO!  Tell me more!  How did this happen?
Face: I have spoken...
Atticus: No...

(Atticus's words are ignored by the Book, which closes, cutting off the
light beam.)

Atticus: No!  This can't be so!  Nodroz is mad!  The Book of Madness too!
And the Seer of the Cult of Larry...

(Meanwhile.  Dungeon Despise.  A short break.)

Lobos: Ewwwwwwwwwwww.  This place is dark and creepy and scary and nasty.
Enchy: I think it's kinda cool.
Lobos: Yeah, I know, but it's also kinda Ewwwwwww.  I hope we find a way
out of here soon.
Enchy: Me too...

(Told you it was short.  Now.  Moonglow.  The pile of ashes that was once
the Lycaeum.  Goofball lies, recovering from unconsciousness, totally
obscured by the ashes, which is a good thing because otherwise the
now-homeless townsfolk who are milling around would probably beat him to
death with the sticks that were once parts of their homes.)

Goofball: urhhhhhhhunnnnnnn.....wha happen...head hur....

(A small pile of ashes is whipped away as a flash of light deposits
Atticus back on Britannia.)

Atticus: By Monomolecular's eyes, it is true.  Curse you, whoever
disrupted the spell.  I'll have your heart.
Goofball: Whasar...At'kus?

(Atticus waves his hand, and he and Goofball disappear.  Let's cut to
where they reappear: The Palace of Illusion.)

Goofball: Humrh?
Atticus: Get to your senses, man!

(Atticus pulls out a small blue orb and tosses it at Goofball, who
immediately regains coherence.)

Goofball: What!  What happened?
Atticus: Someone interfered with the spell I was casting from your body...
Goofball: I'm not too happy with that possession thing, by the way.
Atticus: Look, it was necessary.  The point is, the spell got out of
control and flattened Britannia.
Goofball: Holy---
Atticus: I'm as upset as you are.
Goofball: Buddy, if---
Atticus: I'm on your side on this thing.  I think I know how we can find
the creep who did this and pound a few lessons in Virtue into his head.
Whaddya say?
Goofball: Count me in.  But what are we doing here?
Atticus: The best way to find a creep is ask a creep.  We're gonna go
through with the plan to find and stop Ice, then drag the information out
of him.  Ice must know who did anything like this.
Goofball: What if Ice himself did it?
Atticus: Not his style.  Ice wants to rule the world, not level it.
Goofball: Makes sense.  But it still doesn't explain why we're here.
Atticus: According to the Book of Madness, Krandar is here..somewhere.

(A painfully pained voice echoes through the shattered Dome of the Palace
of Illusion.)

Voice: I am here..
Goofball: Krandar?
Atticus: Crud.
Voice: I have been so alone here...Deranged destroyed me, I felt me die,
but I'm still alive...
Atticus: Not quite.  Your physical body is gone.  Your mind must have
latched on to the Blackrock here and taken up residence here.
Fortuantely your mind is what we need...
Voice: Are you going to give me a body?
Atticus: In a way.

(Atticus whips out a device the size and shape of an ashtray with a
button on top and slams the button with his fist.  There is a blue flash,
and the voice does not speak again.)

Atticus: I've got him.  Krandar's in this device and Nightcat and
Deranged are in similar devices at the Palace of Wonder.
Goofball: Excellent.
Atticus: I don't have the energy to warp us again, we'll have to fly.

(Meanwhile, a short distance below...)

Jen: Initialization complete.  We're ready to roll.
Undy: Then by all means, let's get rockin'!

(Jen throws the switch.  The blackrock coil lights up, and a beam of pure
ethereal energy shoots up from the pole, tearing through the mountain and
letting a steady stream of pulverized rock <dirt> fall into the chamber.
The beam continues to rip upwards...)

Jen: C'mon, come onnnnnn.....

(Meanwhile, above in the Palace, Atticus and Goofball are getting out
food to prepare for their journey, when the entire structure shakes as if
kicked by some giant foot.)

Atticus: What the

(Suddenly, every square inch of Blackrock in the Palace glows blue, and
then the world blacks out for the two lunching Dragons...All is dark.  Then
it's all light.  Then someplace in between.  Then it's dark AND light.  Now
it's in color.  Our scene appears to be just outside the Castle of the White
Dragon, on Serpent Isle.  Our players?  Goofball and Atticus, who are just
now waking up...)

Atticus: Sherrrrpent aill?  Ohhh dear.
Goofball: Ungh.
Atticus: Not 'gain...

(Atticus draws out two more blue orbs, throwing one at Goofball and one
at himself.  Both the Dragons regain coherence.)

Goofball: Where are we?
Atticus: A place called Serpent Isle.  We're not on Britannia anymore.
Goofball: But-but how?
Atticus: Something charged the blackrock of the Palace.  The whole thing
turned into a giant Black Gate, and we fell through another world.
Goofball: I think I understand.  But what do we do now?
Atticus: Why, we go inside this castle and get some help from the Wizard.
Goofball: Waitasec.  You know this place?
Atticus: Remember when you said there's more to me than meets the eye?
Goofball: Yeah...
Atticus: Well, I'd like to introduce Serpent Isle to your eye.

(Meanwhile, cross-space, in Britannia.  The Black Gate room.)

Undy: We've got full charge...
Jen: Active the trans-shape mechanism.
Undy: Time to see if this thing's totally untested....

(Undy opens a cover on part of the machine and flicks a small switch.
The color of the energy beam which is still being projected by the
apparatus shifts slightly down the spectrum to a more purply color.)

Undy: We have visible modulation...

(Far above them, the Palace of Illusion begins its metamorphosis...the
various spires and hallways and domes all begin to meld together like
some great clay sculpture whose creator has grown displeased with,
gradually taking a new shape, that of a great sphere.  But just beside
the sphere are a few new visitors, three to be exact, flying on a magic
carpet and circling around the sphere slowly.  One is a man covered
entirely with plate armor.  Another is a mustached fellow wearing a red
cloak and gold headband.  The third is none other than Ice, the former
wizard of the Weyrmount.)

Ice: This falls perfectly into my plans.
Armored Man: Your plan, lizard?  I am the one in charge here.
Ice: One of these days, Adam---
Madman Adam (for that's who the armored man is): Fool!  No one obeys you
now!  I doubt they ever did.  But you've provided the information I need
to conquer the world, and your mind control powers have proven useful on
Baron Evil.  A shame they have no effect on me.
Ice: Fine.  Fine.  So what are we doing here?
Baron Evil (for that's who the red-cloaked man is): I suggested we come
to Avatar Isle in search of the remains of the Black Gate, which would
come most in handy.  It appears we've come across something far more
Ice: It just looks like a big glowing rock to me.
Baron Evil: You ignoramus!  That "big glowing rock" is a huge orb of
Blackrock, charged nicely!  With that kind of power, we could, dare I say
Madman: You'll never change, will you, Baron.
Ice: There's not much left to rule, anyway.  What happened in Moonglow
Baron Evil: Well, I saw the opportunity to do something EVIL and I just
couldn't resist!
Ice: You imbecile!
Madman: Wait, we've still got a shot here.  This orb, it's large enough
that with the right equipment we could use it to create a duplicate of
Britannia---with data from a week ago!
Ice: Huh?
Madman: We can get the information we need from the Codex.  We'll get a
schematic of all Britannia from a week ago, run it through this device,
and it'll lay it over the world that's here!  We'll turn back the clock a
week so the Baron's little blunder won't happen!
Ice: I'm still lost.
Madman: You always were.  Well, I don't need you anymore, Baron Evil.

(Madman Adam, still steering the carpet around the sphere, reaches over
and shoves the Baron off the carpet.)

Baron: You haven't seen the last of meeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

(The Baron splashes down into the ocean.)

Ice: Well, that's that.  I'm not waiting around for that to happen to me.

(Ice dives off the carpet, spreads his wings, and flies down to the
Shrine of Humility...)

Ice: NO!  NOT HUMILITY!  I can't survive here...tooo....of all the
shrines to ...

(Ice collapses to the ground, muttering painfully.  But let's head back
to the Weyrmount, where WizT and Sun are desperately searching through
Atticus's storage rooms for useful equipment.)

Sun: It's no use.  Anything powerful enough to use against Ice is too
complicated for us to use.  And that includes the Matrix.
WizT: Well, we could at least go look at the Matrix.
Sun: Well, I guess it can't hurt.

(Sun and WizT leap down the Ethereal Shaft and find, to their
astonishment, Deranged, Invy, Ser, and Nightcat, tied by energy bands to
the wall of the shaft, and gagged by similar bands.)

WizT: So that's where they went.
Sun: Wonder why we didn't notice Nightcat was missing.  But isn't that
WizT: Who cares, let's get them untied!

(WizT reaches out to pull off one of the bands but receives a nasty shock.)

WizT: Ow!
Sun: Nasty burn.  Well, we can't pull the bands off of them, so what can
we do?
WizT: Pull the bands out of the wall.

(Sun blinks.)

Sun: That's just crazy enough to work.
WizT: Ow!  Cliche!

(Sun and WizT dig their claws into the metal walls of the Shaft, ripping
big chunks out until the bands fall out and vanish, leaving the four
former prisoners looking relieved.)

Nightcat: Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, goo goo goo joob!
WizT: Oh, shut UP!
Invy ∓ Ser: Thanks.
Deranged: Ice isn't here, is he?  He scares...scares me.
Sun: What is going on?
Invy: Atticus tied us up here when he found us looking at this machine.
Ser: Yeah.  Little punk.
Invy: Is it true that Ice is loose?
WizT: Yeah, and he's been causing some serious trouble.  We thought that
we could use the Matrix's energy against him, but...
Ser: ...but it's too late now, cause I sent you all west...
WizT: Yeah, but it doesn't matter cause the Matrix is way too complicated.
Sun: We couldn't just throw it at him or something, could we?

(WizT blinks.)

WizT: That's, I mean, it's a horrible risk, but well, we've
gotta try something.
Invy: Awesome, but we have to find him first.

(Suddenly all the Dragons collapse in pain.)

WizT: What was that?
Invy: Some fool has started mucking around with a lot of blackrock...we
better scope it out.

(Invy, Ser, WizT and Sun fly out of the shaft, leaving Nightcat and
Deranged babbling to each other.  Meanwhile, in Yew...)

Firesong: That's it, gang, just help them rebuild their houses.
Yew citizen: We're much obliged.  I had you Dragons all wrong.
Bababooey: (hoisting an I-beam) We do what we can.
LordAce: Yeah, just doing our part.
Firesong: Excellent.  I'm gonna go get some more Dragons organized for

(Just then, Iolo and Dupre clop by on a horse, with the Avatar on
another horse a short distance behind them.)

Avatar: Woah there.

(The horses stop.)

Avatar: What are you beasts doing here?
Firesong: We're, um, helping.  Don't see you doing much.
Avatar: I am the Avatar!  I'm on way to Britain to rally the people!
Firesong: I'm Firesong.  I'm on my way to Britain to build the people
homes.  Which do you think will do the most good?
Avatar: You monster barbarians will never leave this town alive.  Dupre!
Iolo!  Combat stance!

(Iolo and Dupre, obedient to the last, turn around and ride away.)

Avatar: *sigh* (drawing his sword) If you want something killed right,
you've got to---


Avatar: Arghhhhhhhhh!

(The Avatar falls to the ground, nearly slain by Tseramed's arrows.)

Tseramed: Sorry, pal, but that was NOT virtuous.
Avatar: neither...urgh...was that...
Tseramed: True.  But then, I don't call myself the Avatar, do I?  (to
Firesong) You better get those Dragons for Britain organized.  And thanks.
Firesong: Same to you, archer.

(Firesong takes off, leaving a sort-of-Avatar dead, and a sort-of-town in
a state of rebuilding.  Meanwhile, back on Serpent Isle, inside the
Castle of the White Dragon...)

Angus: Nobody gets in to see the Wizard!
Atticus: Oh, CRIMINY.  Tell him Atticus is here.
Angus: Oh, FINE.

(Angus pops through a door, and a minute or so later pops out again.)

Angus: The Wizard says it's okay.  Go ahead.
Goofball: Thank you.

(Atticus and Goofball walk through the door to find themselves in a huge
throne room, where a cloaked and masked individual sits upon a giant gold

Atticus: We were wondering if you could send us back to Britannia?
There's kind of a state of emergency...

(Atticus begins outlining his rather short list of reasons while
Goofball, growing rather bored, begins poking around at a curtain which
hangs against one wall...)


(Goofball pulls back the curtain to infinite number of
monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters, who were up until recently
writing speeches for Ronald Reagan but are now writing dialogue for

Atticus: Okay, here's the deal, Rocky.  You send us home, and I don't
blow up your castle.
Atticus: Of cooooourse not.

(WizRocker waves his hand, and Atticus and Goofball disappear.)

WizRocker: I AM BORED.

(The Matrix Chamber.  Deranged and Nightcat are making bubbles with
their spit.  Atticus and Goofball flicker out of nothingness and
into the room.)

Atticus: How convenient.  Teleport must have been drawn to the high
energy level.
Goofball: Is that the Matrix?
Atticus: Yes...I don't know how they got free, but that's not important.
Our quest is done, Goofball!  I'll go get the Bodiomatic.  You wait here!

(Atticus zooms up the shaft, and halfway up bumps head on into WizT, who
along with Invy, Ser, and Sun, is diving down the shaft.  Everyone flaps
their wings and hovers..)

Atticus: Ah, hello.
Invy: heh...hello, he says.  You've got a lot to answer for.
Ser: Like tying us up.
Atticus: Yes, well, I'm supremely sorry for that and I'll make it up to
you someday.  But right now we have a world to save.
Invy: This have anything to do with that big Blackrock ball floating on
the horizon?
Atticus: Probably.  Now Goofball and I just finished with a longish quest
to get the raw materials I need to create the weapon I need to stop Ice's
gang, and if you don't mind I'd like to go grab the machine I need to put
them together.
WizT: Hold on a sec.  DId you have anything to do with the big explosion
last night?
Atticus: I created the energy fields, but it was one of Ice's people who
took out the safeguards, now excuse me.

(Atticus zooms upwards out of the shaft.  The others drop down to the

WizT: Well, if it isn't Atticus's comrade in arms.
Goofball: Look, all I wanted out of this was a cure for Nightcat.
Atticus has been manipulating us all for a long time.  It's for a good
cause.  I think.  It's so confusing.
Sun: You mean HE'S so confusing.
Goofball: That too.  Anyway, all I know is that the Bodiomatic is key to
stopping Ice.
Invy: The Bodiomatic.
Goofball: I used to know what it did, but I can't think.  My head hurts
so much...
Sun: How Arthurdentian.
WizT: Shush.

(Atticus lands, carrying the Bodiomatic.)

Atticus: I hate to order you folks around, but as a matter of safety I
only want me, Deranged, and Nightcat down here.  The Matrix puts out an
enormous amount of background energy and I'd hate to see you go blind or
Sun: Huh.
WizT: Well, what do you think, gang?  What do we do?
Atticus: Might I suggest I send you over to Avatar Isle and see if you
can shut off the Etherstone transformer someone's running down there?  If
Ice's gang gets ahold of it, there could be trouble.
Invy: Sure, I'll go.  I'm in the mood for a mission.
Ser: Me too.  I'm in the mood for a fight.
WizT: Me three, especially if it's with Ice.
Atticus: Excellent.

(Atticus hits a button on the Matrix and WizT, Ser, and Invy vanish.)

Sun: What about me?
Goofball: And me?
Atticus: Sun, you probably should go rustle up some fight-worthy
Dragons.  If my predictions are correct, we're gonna be in one heckuva
brawl before this thing is over.  Get them to gather in the Chamber of
Planning upstairs.
Sun: Ah, the upstairs isn't exactly there anymore.  Got knocked away in
the explosion.
Atticus; That shouldn't have happened; the Palace was reinforced.  Oh
well.  Get them to gather at the Drag'on Inn, then.
Sun: Will do.

(Sun flies up and out.)

Goofball: What about me?
Atticus: You're needed, my friend, in the Abyss.
Goofball: The ABYSS?  But it...blew up.
Atticus: A trick.  Only the first few floors were melted by the volcanic
forces.  Quite a spell.  I'm going to send you to the Chamber of Virtue
at the bottom.  I need you to find me a few talismans of Virtue in there...
Goofball: But those were thrown in the volcano!
Atticus: Tricks, tricks, my dear Goofball.  Believe, me, the talismans
are there, but they are going to be well-guarded.  Good luck!
Goofball: Wait---

(Atticus taps a button, and Goofball is gone.)

Atticus: Excellent.  Now to begin.

(Meanwhile, above Avatar Isle, next to the blackrock orb, Invy, Ser, and
WizT materialize on a previously vacant flying carpet.)

Ser: Oh, cool.
Invy: Atticus was right.  Someone has been running a transformer.  I can
see the beam; it's coming out of the mountain.  We'll fly in.
WizT: Great.  The entrance is around the Shrine, right?

(Invy steers the carpet down to the Shrine of Humility, where Ice is now
wasted away by the purifying power of the Shrine.)

Ice: noo...can't end like this...
WizT: Holy clambake, that's Ice!  I get off here, you two go on.
Invy: Righto.

(WizT leaps off the carpet and lands smoothly on the ground next to the
pedestal, while Invy steers the carpet at top speed into the dungeons.)

WizT: I should have done this to you a long time ago, you worm.
Ice: be hallucinating...
WizT: Hallucinate THIS!  VAS FLAM HUR!
WizT: Like I always  Well, forget it.  You'll never bother us

(The Black Gate Chamber.  Undy and Jen are carefully adjusting their
creation, when suddenly Invy and Ser fly in on the carpet.)

Invy: Jen!
Ser: Undy!
Undy: Invy!
Jen: Ser!
All: What are YOU doing here?
Invy: Atticus sent us to shut down the transformer.
Jen: What?  Why?
Invy: Apparently Ice's gang...
Undy: Ice?  Uh oh...
Invy: Ice's gang could use this setup for evil stuff if they get their
hands on it.  Plus there are some structural instabilties...
Undy: What?
Invy: That sphere you've got up there is resonating wrong.  The system
will break down by the end of the day.
Jen: No...after all this

(Jen falls to the floor in tears.  The others would comfort her, but at
this very moment, a tremendous noise rocks the complex, so intense that
it would knock everyone to the floor if Jen wasn't there already, so it
just knocks Invy, Ser, and Undy there.  Meanwhile, in the Chamber of
Virtue, far below, Goofball is materializing to an unbelievable sight.)

Goofball: Unbelievable!

(It resembles a whirlpool, but instead of being a spiralling seizure of
water, it's a spiralling seizure of space.  Where there was once a lava
pool, there is now a spinning vortex in the fabric of space, which can
only be described as "weird."  Suddenly, a female Dragon steps out of the
whirlpool, a feat which resembles breaking the surface of a stationary
pool of water and then standing on the shore in about .0001 seconds.)

Skyblade: Why, hello there!  I just came topside to check on the
spacewarp...what are you doing here?

Goofball: Well, Atticus---
Skyblade: Sent for you?  I'll fetch him right off!
Goofball: No, no, he sent me here.
(Skyblade pauses for a moment, then breaks into a large grin.)
Skyblade: Oh, you mean the Britannian Atticus.
Goofball: What?
Skyblade: Holdonasec.
(Skyblade plops into the whirlpool, which I won't bother describing, and
a moment later pops back up with Atticus in tow.)
Atticus: So...
Goofball: Atticus?
Atticus: Physically, yes...
Goofball: ?
Skyblade: This is a clone of Atticus that Atticus made a while back.
Atticus: It's rather complicated.
Goofball: I can imagine.
Atticus: Skyblade and her people are from and mine are all the
results of Atticus's meddling with genetics.
Goofball: Most complicated.
Atticus: Well, anyway, what'd he send you for?
Skyblade: You know, I doubt he even knows we've got our setup down here.
Atticus: That's a thought...well, speak up, kid, whatever your name is.
Goofball: It's Goofball.  And he sent me for the Talismans of Virtue.
Atticus: Don't remember anything like that...
Skyblade: No, remember, they were in the bottom of the empty lava pool,
you know, the sword and the shield and the bottle and all that.
Goofball: The sword, the shield, the candle, the book, the wine, the
flag, and I can never remember the other two.
Atticus: Yes, yes, I remember now.  Well, it has to be in Rockwell
somewhere, we never throw anything away.
Goofball: Rockwell?
Skyblade: We built a gateway to another dimension down here..that's what
the whirlpool is.  Hop in, we'll see if we can't find your Talismans.

(Atticus jumps into the whirlpool, followed by Skyblade and a slightly
hesitant Goofball...we'll rejoin them sometime, but now it's off to
Despise where Kunac and Dusty still await the return of Lobos and Enchy.)

Dusty: I'm hungry.
Kunac: Me too.

(A dragon whose body is entirely Blackrock appears out of nowhere.)

Deranged: Aha...
Kunac: Deranged?
Deranged: No, it's Atticus.  I've possessed Deranged's body because it
can hold much more energy...
Kunac: I see...but what are you doing here?
Deranged: Wait one second, will you?

(Deranged snaps his fingers, and Lobos and Enchy appear out of nowhere.)

Lobos: All RIGHT.
Enchy: I was getting tired of that dungeon.  What's going on?
Kunac: That's Atticus in Deranged's body, or something.
Deranged: Correct, but I didn't come here to socialize.  Reveal yourself,
Dusty: Blast!  How did you know it was me?
Deranged: Simple.  There IS no Dusty Dragon living at the Weyrmount.
Kunac: Hey, he's right.
Deranged: What were you doing here, Madman Adam?
Dusty: Things...things which you will never know of!  Bwaahahahahahaahah!

(Dusty poofs out of sight before anyone can react.)

Deranged: Well, I guess this means I'll have to follow up my other guys don't need to be here, though.
Lobos: That's right...
Deranged: I'm going to look for Adam's other three are
going to Jhelom.
Enchy: Jhelom?  But---

(Enchy's protest is cut off as all four of the Dragons disappear.  Cut to
Jhelom, where Kunac, Enchy, and Lobos appear out of nothing.)

Enchy: ---what for?  Oh, we're here.
Kunac: Yeah.  You two okay?
Lobos: Oh, we're just DANDY, wandering around lost in a dungeon for who
knows how---
Firesong: Oh good, more Dragons!
Kunac: Firesong!  What are you doing here?
Firesong: I'm organizing the reconstruction efforts...we already have
enough workers here but if you could go to...(checks clipboard)...hmm,
say, Moonglow, we'd be most obliged.  Damage is pretty heavy there, the
Lycaeum is a pile of ashes or so I hear.
Enchy: Wait, we're supposed to help rebuild?
Firesong: Right, now get going!
Kunac: What do you say, gang?
Lobos: Sounds good to me.
Enchy: And me.  Let's fly!

(The three remaining members of Pegasus take off to the east as we open
on the Shrine of Humility..)

WizT: Owwwwwwwww...what was that noise?

(Deranged/Atticus steps out of nothingness.)
WizT: Deranged?
Deranged: It's Atticus.  What's going on here?
WizT: Well, Ice is toast.  (he points at the pile of ashses.)
Deranged: Good.  But Madman Adam is the real threat.
WizT: and also there was just this huge noise.
Deranged: What sort of noise?
WizT: Like a big explosion, but I didn't see anything blow up.

(Deranged looks up at the sky, where the huge black sphere is still
floating, charged by the power of the transformer inside the dungeon

Deranged: They haven't shut the transformer off, is why.  That thing is
clearly unstable.
WizT: Well, what are you going to do about it?
Deranged: Nothing.  I don't sense Madman Adam around here, and I've got
to find him.  You should see what you can do about the transformer, tho.

(Deranged vanishes.  Meanwhile, In the newly rebuilt, still rather dusty
and disorganized City of Britain, at the now-smaller-and-more-efficient
Castle of Lord British, the king himself is meeting with that most
legendary of the Weyrmount dragons---Monomolecular.)

British: I realize you're a busy ma--er, Dragon, Monomolecular, and that
you're not feeling well...
Mono: Fuzzy bork head.
British: ...but I wanted to see if perhaps your people and mine could
schedule some sort of conference to work out the political and practical
relations between our two races.
Mono: Good.  Conference good.
British: Excellent.
Mono: Can I have someone else work out the details?
British: Oh, of course.  Send someone in whenever you like, I have an
open-door policy.

(Mono grins and shakes hands with Lord British, then stumbles out
mumbling about how his wings make a popping sound when he stretches them.)

British: What an interesting fellow.
Geoffrey: Indeed.  The Dragons are very interesting as a group, at that.
Draxinusom: We may not even need the Avatar when he arrives...the Dragons
have nearly rebuilt every city on Britannia, and the people seem more
motivated than they've been in ages.
British: You know, you've got a point.  Where is the Avatar, though?  He
should have arrived by now.

(Iolo and Dupre enter, breathless.  Iolo holds the Avatar's body in his

British: What has happened?
Iolo: The Avatar has been slain by an archer in Yew!
British: What?  I must resurrect him immediately!

(Lord British casts his spell, and the Avatar steps out of Iolo's arms
and growls.)

Avatar: I'll have the heart of every Dragon on Britannia, I swear it!
British: But, Avatar, according to Iolo it was an archer who did slay thee?
Avatar: Then I'll kill him too.  Anyone who associates with those scummy
lizards deserves death!
Dupre: Avatar, that---
British: Avatar!  What has come over you?  The Dragons are now valuable
allies of the state, and---
Avatar: Traitors!  All of you, traitors!  I was able to take the
Gargoyles but not this!  Those dragons kill and torture our children...
Draxinusom: And rebuild our cities...
Avatar: Shut up, you filthy Balron!
British: Avatar!  How can you---
Avatar: So, even you turn against me, British?  I'm getting out of here.

(The Avatar turns around and stalks out, leaving a stunned group behind.
Meanwhile, over in the Black Gate room on Avatar Isle, everyone is still
recovering from the horrible burst of noise as WizTraveller runs in.)

Invy: WizT!  Where's Ice?
WizT: He's dead.  But why haven't you shut down the projector?
Jen: No...not the projector...after all our work, you can't!
WizT: Ah, I see.
Ser: Are you sure we have to shut it down?
Invy: Absolutely.  If we don't there's gonna be some serious ethereal
damage around here...
WizT: It's already started.  What do you think that noise was?  The
thing's breaking down.
Undy: But how is this possible?  We covered this possibility in our
calculations, and we compensated for the self-reclustering effect...
Invy: Here, let me see the machine.

(Invy steps over to the projector and begins examining it carefully.)

WizT: If it makes you feel any better, with Ice dead and Atticus going
after Madman Adam, we won't have to shut the thingy down if Invy can fix it.)
Invy: Got it!
Undy: What is it?
Invy: It's not self-reclustering, you covered that all right...the
problem is that the energy resonations are not rebounding properly.
Undy: Hmmm...but what's preventing them?  Over-stimulation?
Invy: It's possible...but then there would be more visible effects.  I
think it's something more subtle, something about the very material
itself...where did you get this Blackrock anyway?
Jen: It's Deranged's <sniff> old floating Palace...we reformed it...
Invy: Hold on, let me look at your reformer mechanism.

(Invy walks over to another part of the machine and begins examining it,
while far away in another dimension, Goofball steps out of a space-pool
into a sparsely decorated stone building, joining Skyblade and the
duplicate of Atticus.)

Atticus: Welcome to Rockwell, Goofball.
Goofball: I still don't understand...this is another dimension?
Atticus: Yes.
Skyblade: We discovered it, then made the space-pool for a permanent link
between here and Britannia.
Atticus: This is the Pool Hall, on South Quimby street.
Goofball: Ah...okay...
Atticus: Here, come on outside.

(Atticus escorts Goofball outside, instructing Skyblade to continue her
investigation.  Outside is a nice little cobblestone street running
north/south, and lined with buildings of various shapes, sizes, and
colors.  To the south the street T-junctions with an east/west street
going along the city walls.  But what catches Goofball's immediate eye is
the sky, or lack of one.  Instead of an infinite blueness in the above,
there is a curving silver dome, which contains the entire city within its

Atticus: The sphere takes a little getting used to.
Goofball: What-what is it?
Atticus: It's a security measure.  Energy, like sunlight, and vapors,
like air, and liquids, like rain, can get in, but no solids.  Outside
Rockwell is a very dangerous place at the moment.  The dome contains the
city and its walls and all the farmland we use.
Goofball: What if you want go leave?
Atticus: We can destabilize any section of the dome from inside, allowing
you to pass through it.  Only works from the inside.
Goofball: Wow.  So what are the walls for?

(Atticus shrugs.)

Atticus: We don't use them for anything; they were here when we
discovered the city before we built the dome, and there didn't seem to be
any need to tear them down, and besides if the dome ever fails we'll be
glad to have them.  But anyway.
Goofball: Yes, anyway.
Atticus: The first place we can check is the Museum...that's right along
Curtis Street, I'll take you there.

(Atticus leads Goofball up the street, while far away in another
dimension, the original Atticus in the body of Deranged confronts a
furniture salesman.)

Deranged: Now listen, Mark...
Mark: That's "Crazy Mark"!
Deranged: I don't disbelieve it.  Now...

(Raznor D. Embysile, Mark's longtime friend, walks in.)

Raznor: He---uh oh.
Deranged: ADAM!  I knew I sensed your aura.  You won't get away this time!

(Deranged leaps at Raznor and plunges his energy-charged fists straight
into Raznor's chest.  Both of them vanish.)

Mark: Wow.

(Now.  In a DIFFERENT other dimension, Raznor and Deranged appear.  This
is the Matrix dimension, and it's not terribly comfortable.  In fact,
it's made entirely of energy.  Raznor's body is instantly shredded to a
billion tiny pieces.  Deranged's body, on the other hand, being made
solely of Blackrock, is totally unfazed, and after a few seconds,
teleports itself out to the Matrix Chamber in the Mountain of Ether.)

Deranged: Well, I suppose that's that for Madman Adam...

(Deranged turns and teleports out of the chamber, not noticing a strange
glow around the Bodiomatic which is plugged into the Matrix...he then
phases back into reality at the Drag'on Inn, where Sun has obediently
gathered a large crowd of militiant Dragons...)

Deranged: O excellent!
Sun: Deranged?
Deranged: *sigh* It's me, Atticus, in Deranged's body.
Sun: Oh, right.  Well, I gathered up some fight-worthy Dragons...
Deranged: Wonderful.  We need them, too.
Sun: What for?
Deranged: Let me explain to you in private...Petra, another round of
drinks for everyone!
Petra: Coming right up!

(Deranged and Sun walk out of the Inn.  Dearnged leads Sun to the top of
the Mountain of Ether, which as you know used to be home for a largish
building called the Palace of Wonder.  The mountain is now bare,
flat-topped as if the building was simply pulled off the top.  Here and
there one can see bits of the foundation sticking out of the rock, and at
one place there is a hole in the ground allowing access to a stairway
leading into the mountain.  It's foggy, but one can clearly make out the
forms of Deranged and Sun.)

Deranged: Well, here we are.
Sun: What does your old place have to do with that army, Atticus?
Deranged: The Palace was reinforced not only physically but magically.  That
explosion couldn't have blown it into such tiny bits that there wouldn't
be evidence all over the place.  Someone took advantage of the
distraction and took the Palace away someplace.
Sun: What for?  Nothing much was in the actual building as I remember.
Deranged: Correct.  Just Goofball's bedroom, a little kitchen and dining
room, an empty museum, a near-empty library, and a little tower where I
believe Kunac was staying.  Everything important was in the mountain, and
nothing was taken from there.
Sun: So why take the building?
Deranged: Exactly what I was wondering.  But just after I took over this
body I took a moment and did some calculations based on the residual
energies here from the transport.
Sun: And?
Deranged: I discovered three things.
Sun: What were they?
Deranged: First, that my original hypothesis was apparently incorrect.
The energy signature doesn't match Ice's or Madman Adam's.
Sun: Could have been an accomplice.
Deranged: I suppose, but the other things I discovered seem to obliterate
Sun: Go on.
Deranged: Second, by making some quick guesses, I determined that the
Palace could be in one of three places:  Somewhere under Lock Lake,
somewhere under the Skara Brae Channel, or somewhere under Britanny Bay.
Sun: Huh.
Deranged: Third, I was able to, through a series of tests, make certain
that the teleportation was not done magically.
Sun: What?
Deranged: The removal of the Palace from the mountain was a natural
event.  I don't know how, but it wasn't done by any mage.  That may also
be the cause of the teleportation, but I find it more likely that someone
else helped it on its way.
Sun: But how does that prove that an accomplice of Ice didn't do it?
Deranged: It doesn't.  I was just making sure you paid attention.  Ice
was far, far away when this happened.  His mind-control power doesn't
work over that kind of range, and nobody works for Ice voluntarily.  It
had to be an independant power.
Sun: So what's my army for?
Deranged: Originally I had planned it to march up to the gates of the
palace and force them open.  You need an army to do that.  Now I think
they'd be better suited to exploring the three underwater sites and
trying to find the Palace.  Here are the general coordinates for the
possible drop site in Britanny Bay.
Sun: Okay...
Deranged: Organize your troops into three teams.  Send them out to search.
Sun: Got it.
Deranged: I will be off now...

(Deranged vanishes, and Sun flies down to the Drag'on Inn.  Meanwhile, okay
not really, it's a short time later, but saying Meanwhile is tradition...
On the island of Spektran...)

Avatar: I'll just get rid of that pesky Sultan and stay here for a while
until I figure out what to do.

(The Avatar senses something behind him off the shore and turns to see a
farily nice but apparently unmanned boat approaching shore rapidly.)

Avatar: What on Britannia?  There's no one on board...I better row out
there and see what's going on.

(The Avatar hops into his dinghy and rows out to the boat, which suddenly
stops its movement towards the island.)

Avatar: Curiouser and curiouser.

(Grunting, the Avatar hoists himself up onto the boat after securing his
dinghy to it firmly.  A quick look around confirms that there is nothing
and no one aboard the boat.  The only thing of interest is a mysterious
metal closet, with a door quite thick.  At first glance the Avatar
ignores it, but out of the corner of his eye he catches a metallic glint
from inside the slightly ajar door and steps inside to investigate.
Suddenly the door slams shut and he gets a sudden sinking feeling...)

Avatar: Oh dear.

(BUT JUST THEN far away <convenient how two important things are always
happening at exactly the same time, eh?> in Rockwell's Museum, a rather
nicely decorated building with various display cases of stuff, stand
Atticus's duplicate, Goofball, and a Dragon named Sturmund.)

Sturmund: Ah, velcome to ze Museum, Atticus, and zis iz?
Atticus: Goofball.  He's from Britannia.
Goofball: Pleased to meet you...
Sturmund: Sturmund Dragon.  And I am as vell pleased to make your
acquaintance, Mizter Goofball.  Vat ken I do for you?
Goofball: Well, I vas--er, was--looking for some things called the
Talismans of Virtue.

(Sturmund scrunches up his forehead, looking puzzled.)

Sturmund: Perhapz you could discribe zem.
Goofball: Ah, yes.  Well, it would have been a group of several things, a
sword, a shield, a candle, a book, a bottle, a flag, and I can never
remember the others.
Atticus: They would have been one of the first items here.
Sturmund: Ja, I know of what you zpeak!  We had zuch things here, yes,
but they were taken by ze Ministry of Vour zome time ago.
Atticus: The Ministry of War?  Hm.  Well, we can stop by there and see if
they have them.  Thank you very much, Sturmund.
Goofball: Thanks!
Sturmund: Oh, you are alvays most velcome in the Museum of Rockwill.

(Sturmund bows, and Atticus and Goofball bow back before walking out of
the Museum.)

Atticus: Okay, well, I don't know what the Ministry of War would do with
those Talismans...
Goofball: They have special powers, but I can never remember what they are.
Atticus: Oh, that would help explain it.  Still, we'll head to the
Ministry.  Their office is in the Palace.
Goofball: Palace?

(Atticus points across the city, and for the first time Goofball notices
a tallish stone tower, maybe three stories high, near the center of the

Goofball: I see it...
Atticus: Up in the tower are the living quarters of our most important
officials, and at the base are the offices of the Ministries are at the base.
Goofball: What are these "Ministries" anyway?
Atticus: Well, when we Dragons have a whole space like this to ourselves
we can focus on organizing, so that's what we did.  There are hundreds of
Dragons living here and we needed regulation.  So we created the
Ministries of War and Peace.
Goofball: That's it?  War and Peace?
Atticus: Well, what's excess organization good for?
Goofball: Absolutely nothing!
Atticus: Huh!  So anyway, the Ministry of War handles our militia and
anytime there's need for attack or defense, they handle it.  The Ministry
of Peace handles the laws and budget of the city.  It's all very handy.
Goofball: I can imagine.
Atticus: Now, let's go.  If we keep walking along Curtis Street we'll
reach the Town Square, and the Palace is straight north of there.
Goofball: Great!

(Atticus and Goofball start walking.  Back on Britannia, in the Black
Gate room...)

Invy: All's the problem.
Jen: What?  Can you fix it?
Invy: No.  But if we turn this off and fix some things with the Blackrock
up there, we can turn it back on and it'll work fine.
Undy: Wonderful!  What do we have to fix?
Invy: There's some foreign energy floating around in there.  By carefully
modulating our flame we can squeeze it out, so to speak.

(Another thunderous noise rocks the chamber.)

Invy: And we'd better do it soon.

(Somewhere under the ocean is a gigantic...gizmo.  It looks like a huge
metal egg, about the size of Lord British's castle, before it [the
castle] got knocked down.  All over the egg are protrusions and fins and
cannons and whatever else.  No holes, though.  Well, there are holes in
the cannons, but I mean the egg.  There are no holes in the surface of
the egg.  Anyway, one of the protrusions is a big long rod, which is
pointing in the direction of the surface.  It's slowly sliding into the
egg, though, bringing down the thing that's attached to it, which happens
to be a reasonable facsimile of a boat.  And on board that phony boat, in
a sealed closet, is the fellow we've come to know as the Avatar.  Now
part of the egg around the rod slides open, revealing a water-filled
compartment a little bigger than the boat.  The boat is finally pulled
into the compartment, and the door slides shut.  We see the water
gradually disappear out of the compartment, presumably by pumping, and
the boat sits in a big metal room with no visible door.  The closet
inside the boat opens, and out steps the Avatar, who, after a brief
inspection, realizes he's not off the shores of Spektran anymore...)

Avatar: I'm not off the shores of Spektran anymore!  What is this place?
Some kinda shipwright or something, I bet.

(A seam in the seamless metal walls appears, and a door gradually takes
shape.  It opens, and into the room step Sun and Deranged/Atticus.)

Sun: What's this?
Deranged: Hm, appears we did indeed catch something interesting.

(The Avatar, while a bigot, is no fool, and realizes that since the two
dragons before him appear to be quite in control of the situation, it
would not be the best time to stage an assault on them.)

Avatar: Hello, and who might you be?
Sun: I'm the Dragon's Sun Wizard.
Deranged: I'm Atticus Dragon, in the Blackrock body of Deranged Dragon.
Avatar: Blackrock.  Really?

(The Avatar mentally smiles at the thought of Rudyom's Wand, quite safe
within his backpack.)

Deranged: Yes, I still haven't quite fully pondered the physics yet...
Avatar: Your pardon, but what exactly happened to me?
Deranged: Oh, right, well, this is Schooner Z.  It's a big...underwater
ship.  Y'see, that boat is really just a wooden prop.  There's a rod
attached to it; we can extend it out the roof and move it around the
surface so it looks like it's a real boat moving around.  The only thing
on it is the closet, which seals when someone steps in, then gives the
signal to bring the boat down.
Avatar: Huhm?
Deranged: We're underwater.  This entire structure is an underwater
travel device called Schooner Z.
Sun: We're using it to search for a missing building.
Deranged: We have two others, but they're smaller.
Avatar: Waitasec.  A missing /building/?
Deranged: Yes, it's a long story.  But who are you?
Avatar: I am Eric, the Avatar?

(Sun and Deranged look at each other, then grin.)

Deranged: Not anmore.  Follow me.

(The Avatar, looking puzzled, follows Deranged and Sun out the door and
into a long, twisty, up-and-downy hallway, while meanwhile, at the Castle
of Lord British, the King, several advisors, and several Dragons sit
around a table preparing for a meeting.  Lord British stands, and with
jewelry glinting in the sunlight shining through the windows, officially
begins the conference...)

British: The Dragon/Human relations talks shall now commence.  Nystul,
the roll call?
Nystul: Yes, sir.  Lord British, from the humans.

(British nods his head, then notices that he is still standing and sits
down politely.)

Nystul: Nystul, official secretary *snort* for the humans.

(Nystul nods his own head.)

Nystul: Draxinusom, representative of the Gargoyle portion of Human society.
Geoffrey: That's absurd.
British: It has been decided that Human society is a political alignment,
not a racial one.
Nystul: Note that the Dragons are considered a race, however.  These
talks are to deal with one political alignment of that race, the Dragons
of the Weyrmount, and that any decisions made here do not apply to
deviant societies, such as the Destard Dragons.  In any case, Draxinusom
is not here.
British: I believe he is suffering from some illness.
Geoffrey: He was acting strangely the other night...
Nystul: Yes, yes, indeed.  Geoffrey, military advisor for the Humans.

(Geoffrey nods.)

Nystul: Firesong Dragon, acting head of Weyrmount society, due to the
absence of Traveller Dragon.

(Firesong nods.)

Nystul: Erraticus Dragon, Dragon historian.

(Erraticus nods.)

Nystul: Falliable Dragon, head of Dragon Foreign Relations.
Firesong: Your pardon, but we felt Falliable was too...controversial a
figure among the Dragons.  Any problems which might arise from this
decision would be blamed by most Dragons on him, and not on the true cause.
Nystul: I believe I understand.  Who is the Dragon at the end of the
table, then?
Firesong: Ah, I believe that's Excalibur.
Excalibur: Head of non-Dragonly history among the Dragons.
Nystul: hm, I thought Falliable was that too.
Excalibur: He sold his records to the Lycaeum, making my library the best
in the Weyrmount.
Nystul: All right.  The Committee recognizes this substitute.
British: We may now begin.
Firesong: I would like permisison to speak first.
British: Certainly.

(Firesong stands.)

Firesong: Good people, the Dragons have long been a rather..downtrodden
presence in Britannia.  Since ages past, our kind has been persecuted by
the people of this nation, and we have far too often responded with the
same violence that has been given us.  Now that we have proven ourselves
to be as generous to the Britannian people as the Britannian government
is, we wish our nation of the Weyrmount to gain official recognition as a
foreign power, and furthermore, the protection of the Britannian
government in defending that status.

(Firesong sits down.)

British: I assume the sentiment is shared by all the Dragons present?

(Erraticus and Excalibur nod.)

British: And the humans?

(Nystul and Geoffrey nod.)

British: Since we are in agreement about what must be done, we must now
decide how to do it...

(The talks become more intense, and also a bit more boring.  We'll return
later, but right now it's to the air above Avatar Isle, where Invy, Jen,
Ser, Undy, and WizT have just finished a rather exhausting procedure.)

Invy: There...*pant*...the excess energy is purged.  The projector should
work properly now...

(Undy and Jen speed downwards for the dungeon.)

Invy: Boy, they're excited about this...
WizT: This could be our chance for freedom from the humans.  Why
shouldn't they be?
Ser: It's sorta...running away, really.  Creating a new world and hopping
into it...we should face our problems.
WizT: Same outcome either way, but this is much easier.
Invy: I'm not sure.  But we owe Jen and Undy our help, so let's go.

(The three dragons fly down to join Undy and Jen.  I'm afraid I don't
want to cover this plotline anymore right now, so it's back to another
dimension, in the city of Rockwell, where Atticus of Rockwell and
Goofball are walking into of the office of the Ministry of War in the
Rockwell Palace.)

Dylan Dragon: May I help you, Commander?
Goofball: You're a commander?
Atticus: Technically I should be much more, but I gave up the military to
help build Rockwell's infrastructure.
Goofball: Ah.
Atticus: We're looking for eight magical artifacts which were taken from
the Museum around five months ago.
Dylan: I wasn't working here then, sir, but such things should be fairly
easy to find.

(Dylan hits a button, and a door in the back room opens.  Out steps an
apparently high-ranking Dragon officer with a gruff expression.)

Admirable Admiral Dragon: What can I do for you two?
Atticus: Well, sir, we're trying to locate eight magic Talismans which
the ministry took from the Museum some months ago.
Admirable: Hm.  Could you describe them?
Goofball: It's a cup, a sword, a shield, a bottle of wine, a book, a
ring, a candle, and a flag.  Sir.
Atticus: Ooh, you remembered the other two.
Admiral: Oh yes, I remember those.  We shipped them outside the dome,
to our outposts.  I drank the wine, though.  It wasn't very good.
Goofball: uh oh.  Well, if we can get the others...
Admiral: What do you need them for, anyway?
Atticus: He's on a mission from the original Atticus...
Admiral: He is, is he?
Goofball: Yes, I don't exactly know why, but I need to bring them...
Admiral: Listen to me, kid.  You tell that scraggle of a
Dragon-scientist that he's gonna need a better reason than that to take a
piece of cheesecake from the Ministry of War.  Now I have work to do.

(Admiral steps back into his office and closes the door.)

Goofball: Thank you very much.

(Atticus shrugs.)

Atticus: He's right, though.  You can't just walk in and ask for
something from the Ministry of War and expect to get it.  Why don't you
head back home and get a reason?
Goofball: Well, y'see, he teleported me to the Abyss...I don't exactly
know how to get back...
Atticus: No problem...I've still got some traces of my Dragon-magic.
Let's head for the Pool Hall...

(Atticus and Goofball walk out of the Ministry...but meanwhile, on board
the Schooner Z, the massive underwater craft jointly captained by Atticus
[the original, but in Deranged's body!] and Sun, who have now just revealed
the latest news to Eric...)

Deranged: Fraid not.  Announcement went out today, just before the
Dragon/Human peace talks began.
Eric: But I embodied all the virtues!  How can this be?
Sun: That's the thing.  Lord British revised the Virtues.  You don't
embody the new ones.
Eric: Let me see that announcement...

(Deranged hands Eric a piece of paper, which reads:)

From: Lord British
To: The People of Britannia
Date: <smudge>
Subject: Virtue Revision

Our final order of business before initiating the Dragon/Human talks
today was to revise the system of virtues to make accomadations for our
newly recognized Britannian neighbors.  At particular issue was the
virtue of Valor, which in its literal translation requires all encounters
between Humans and Dragons to end in a dead Dragon and a living Human.
This clause has now been removed from the rules of Virtue, the first
revision since the system was first instated.  As a result, Eric Earther
has been removed from the position of Avatar, due to his militiant
actions towards Dragons, which are now the concern of the Virtues of
Honor and Compassion.  Assuming the political duties of the Avatar, while
not the philosophical status, is Sailor Trammel, already named Champion
of Justice last year.  Trammel is now focusing her energies on becoming
an Avatar in fact as well as name.  Thank you.


(Eric finishes reading.)

Eric: Aw, CRAP.
Deranged: Terribly sorry about the news.
Sun: Especially since it means we're gonna have to throw you in the brig.
Eric: The brig?  What?!
Deranged: Can't have you trying to kill us, can we?
Sun: Besides which, it's for your own protection.  Can't have some of the
more militiant Dragons on board trying to kill you, can we?
Deranged: Especially Nightcat.  He's been acting weird ever since you
came on board.
Eric: Never!  Never will I be imprisoned by you unvirtuous lizards!  Lord
British is wrong!  Valor dictates that I destroy you!  Prepare to die!

(Eric draws out the Hoe of Destruction.)

Deranged: How exactly are we supposed to react to being threatened with a
farming implement?
Eric: You fool, this is the Hoe of Destruction!
Sun: Works for Velvet Jones, it does.
Eric: Enough talk!  Dieeeee!

(Eric lunges at Sun, but is knocked back by an aerial kick from Nightcat.)

Deranged: Nightcat!
Sun: Thanks!
Nightcat: The name's Saijin, and don't thank me cause you're next.  (to
Eric)  Splat!
Eric: Get away from me, you fiend!

(Nightcat draws the mystical saw-edged dagger, which glows furiously.)

Sun: I thought you said you cured him!
Deranged: I thought I did!
Nightcat: Now play nice, little ex-Avatar-boy, or I ram this dagger
through your skull.  And British cancelled your resurrection policy.
Eric: Beast!
Deranged: We can't let him dispense frontier justice like this!
Sun: Then DO something!
Nightcat: I--urkkkkkkkkkkk.

(Nightcat falls flat unconscious.)

Deranged: Man.  I'm repeating myself now.  You okay, Earther?
Eric: Death to Dragons!
Sun: Maybe you SHOULD have let Nightcat dispense frontier justice.
Eric: This looks like a nice weapon...

(Eric flings the Hoe aside and grabs the mystical saw-edged dagger, only
to find that by some quirky enchantment he is quite violently turned into
an Eric-shaped block of metal.)

Sun: Hm.  He dispensed frontier justice to himself.
Deranged: Indeed.  It seems a shame though.  I could probably fix him up,
but I don't care enough.  I'll zap him to Rudyom in Cove, see if there's
enough interest.

(Deranged chants some strange incantation, and away vanishes Eric the

Sun: But what about Nightcat?  He said you were next.
Deranged: Apparently he resents my mucking with his split personalities.
But it let me defeat Madman Adam.  I say we heave him in the brig.
Sun: Well..okay.  Can you take care of that?  I'm gonna head back up to
the wheel and see if we've got any leads on the Palace.
Deranged: Sure, no problem.

(Deranged zaps Nightcat to the brig, then heads up a metail staircase,
while Sun walks down the hallway to the steering wheel.  Meanwhile, at
the Avatar Isle Black Gate Room...)

WizT: Do you think you could like put a door into the mountain so we
could just walk in here from outside?  Gonig through that dungeon every
time is getting tedious.
Jen: Not right now.  We're too close to fruition.
WizT: Was just a joke...
Undy: We're not in a very humorous mood right now.  Initializing...
Jen: Initizializing...
Ser: How long does initialization take?
Jen: With these new modifications, an hour or so.
Undy: Probably less.

(WizT, Invy, and Ser seat themselves on piles of rubble and begin passing
the time by sharing the latest dragonly gossip...)

Invy: Atticus must be one heckuvan inventor.
Ser: Yup.  Quite skilled.
WizT: Before he left with Winter, I was thinking of making him a wizard
to clean some things up.
Invy: Well, why not?
WizT: I'm not sure.  It really depends on how long he stays.  We could
use some new---oh my gosh!
Ser: What?
WizT: I totally forgot!  The baby!

(Ser and Invy look puzzled.)

Ser: What?
WizT: The reason Ice got loose is we were trying to ask his advice on
what to do with an orphan hatchling Undy and Jen and Fox brought to us...

(Jen looks up from her work.)

Jen: Yes, what did you do with him?  Whisper'd be perfect for him.
WizT: Well, um, you see, we haven't seen him since Ice got away.  We
think Ice took him.
Invy: Oh, that's really great.
Ser: Did you look everywhere?  Kids get around.
WizT: Well, no...
Jen: Why don't you?  You aren't exactly helping much here, no offense...

(WizT shrugs.)

WizT: Okay.  See you all.  Good luck.

(WizT wanders out into the dungeon complex, while Invy and Ser share
their emotions and Jen and Undy continue to work on the machine.
Meanwhile, some distance below at the Chamber of the Avatar...)

Atticus: Well, here we are back in Britannia.  I'll send you to anyplace
I can remember.
Goofball: The Palace of Wonder will do.  Since you were created there...
Atticus: Yes, I remember it.  Okay, here goes...
Goofball: Thanks agaaiiiinnnn....

(Goofball slowly fades out of view, and then reappears...inside the
Palace of Wonder's lavish dining room.)

Goofball: Huh?  Thought it was destroyed.  Better have a look around.

(Goofball steps out into the hallway, and is instantly knocked
near-unconscious by a...lightning bolt.  Only half-coherent, he sees a
shadowy caped figure approach, wielding a large axe.)

Figure: Who intrudes into the domain of LEVIATHOR?
Goofball: hurughh...
Leviathor: Hurughh, eh?  Come.

(Leviathor grabs Goofball with one hand, hoists him over his shoulder,
and walks down the hall...)


(The planet?  Ceeria.  The city?  Rockwell.  The place?  The Cinnabon
Bar, founded by Cinnabon Dragon, former citizen of the Weyrmount.  The
date?  <smudge>.  The time?  Late in the evening, and that room is blown
away.  It's prime time at the Cinnabon Bar, and wackiness is all around...)

Cinnabon: (across bar, to customer) Yeah, so we flew out of town to avoid
the jester getting killed...ran into this clone of Atticus on the way
out, said he was founding a new Dragon town on another planet, said my
kind of business was exactly what he needed.
SilverSaber: Yeah?
Cinnabon: Yeah.  So we got everyone out of the bar, and then he used some
kinda spell to move the whole building out of the Weyrmount and into here.

(He shrugs.)

Cinnabon: Is just as well.  The Drag'on Inn was too much competition for
me.  Was lucky to get three customers a night.  Now...

(He gestures around.)

Cinnabon: Place is packed.  Which has its downsides every once in a while...
SilverSaber: mmm.  I think I'll go try my hand at the darts, eh?
Cinnabon: No problem.  (turns to a newly arrived customer) Can I help you?
Atticus: My usual, old pal.
Cinnabon: (yells back to kitchen) Cinnabon, extra cream cheese, no
chocolate, and a small Slash.
Dee: (from kitchen) Coming right up!
Atticus: While it's cooking I think I'll head over to the darts...
Cinnabon: Okay...

(Cinnabon sighs with content as he looks around the bar.  Good money,
always someone to talk to...operating the only late-night eating
establishment in Rockwell was a dream come the same time,
across town at the Pagan Lodge, the members of the Pagan Remembrance
Society, all former citizens of Pagan, are having their weekly meeting.)

Sturmund: Roll call!  Admirable!
Admirable Admiral: Here!
Sturmund: Faelsch!
Faelsch Dragon: Here!
Sturumund: Goop!
Goop Dragon: Here!
Sturmund: Nick Bottom, the weaver!
Nick Bottom Dragon: Here!
Sturmund: Dylan!
Admiral: He's on sentry duty.
Sturmund: Ah, yes, I am recalling this now.  Stylus!
Stylus Dragon: Here!
Sturmund: This is good that everyone but Dylan is attending our
gathering.  We shall now light the Flame of Pyros.

(Faelsch rises solemnly, approaches a small ash-filled altar, and
breathes his fire onto it carefully, until suddenly the ashes burst into

Faelsch: The Flame of Pyros is lit.
All: Pyros, we shall not forget thee.
Sturmund: We shall now mix the Earth of Lithos.

(Nick Bottom stumbles forward, trying his best to maintain the
appropriate respect despite his clumsiness, and pours earth from two
containers into a pot.)

Nick Bottom: The, the earth of Lithos is prepared.
All: Lithos, we shall not forget thee.
Sturmund: We shall---hold.  There is coming a tapping at the door.
Admiral: I hear it.  A tapping, tapping at our lodge door.
Goop: Perhaps it is Dylan, recalled from his duty.
Voice From Outside: This is the Ministry of War, open up!

(The members of the Society look aghast as Sturmund, trembling, walks
over, and unlocks the door of the Lodge.)

Sturmund: It-it is to be un-un-not locked, sir..

(The door opens, and in step three Dragons, masked in black.)

1st Dragon: Heh.  Fell for it.
Sturmund: What is to be going on, sirs?
2nd Dragon: Idiots, we aren't from the ministry!
Admiral: I can see that.  Get out, or I will call upon the Ministry's
Goop: What-what do you want?
3rd Dragon: You'll find out soon enough.  SOY SAUCE!

(The third Dragon raises her fist, and Goop flies into the air, and a
cool spirally effect appears on his chest.  The other members of the
Society attempt to help him, but are all rendered unconscious by the
brute strength of the other two Dragons.  Gradually a small marble
becomes visible in the spiral.  It floats out towards the three
intruders, but is knocked from midair by a pastry thrown from somewhere

ShadowFire Mask: Not so fast, SoySauceIte!  I want that marble!
SoySauceIte: It's that tuxedoed fool, Shadowfire Mask!  Get him, you idiots!
1st and 2nd Dragons: Okay, boss!

(Shadowfire leaps from the rafters to the floor, grabs the marble, and
leaps back up, at the same time kayoing SoySauceIte's thugs with his pogo

ShadowFire: Looks like you've lost your marble, SoySauceIte!
SoySauceIte: Don't be so sure, you granola bar!

(At exactly that moment, Goop Dragon is encircled by a cloud of rose petals,
and a moment later emerges as a...Goopy Dragon.)

Goopy: BBlarrrrghhhh!
ShadowFire: Uh oh.
SoySauceIte: Get him, Goopy!

(At a few moments later, a female human, dressed in a combination sailor
suit and skirt, leaps out of the night, through the door, and into the

Laser-Ray Dragon: Oh no!  Shadowfire Mask is in trouble!  PAGAN PRISM POWER!

(Strange lights appear from nowhere, and Laser-Ray is transformed into

Pagan: I'll trash evil, in all its forms, be it a tiny blade of evil
grass, or a big evil dragon, or a goopy monster, and i'm the chamption of
Pagan, and oh I forget a lot of the rest, and...
ShadowFire: Shut up and help me!
Pagan: Oh, I was getting to that.  PAGAN...POWER...OVERLOAD!

(A wave of sound bursts out of Pagan's fists, which happen to be aimed at
SoySauceIte, who collapses to the floor, leaving ShadowFire trying to
figure out what exactly is so dangerous about a goopy dragon..  But
meanwhile, across town at the Cinnabon Bar, a bit of a disagreement has
escalated into a full scale barroom bar.)

Cinnabon: People, people, please be calm!
Someone in brawling crowd: Cinn, look out!

(Cinnabon looks behind him to see the cream cheese vat burst in his
face.  The resulting release of cream cheese frosting floods the area
behind the bar and knocks Cinnabon over the counter and into the middle
of the fight.)

Cinnabon: What's the fight---ow!---about?
Shodin: Some sort of tit between---arch!---Atticus and Silver!  (bashes
chair into a random Dragon's face)  Maybe you ought to get out of here.
Cinnabon: And lose my bar?  No way.  SECURITY!

(A trapdoor opens in the ceiling and three agile automatons drop down.)

Cinnabon: Security, get customers out of bar!
Automaton 1: Affirmative.

(Each automaton grabs a customer in each hand and flings him or her out
of the as-of-five-minutes-ago destroyed windows, repeating this maneuver
until the brawl has been relocated to the street.)

Cinnabon: Okay.  Thanks, Security.
Automaton 1: Affirmative.

(Cinnabon looks around at the frosty remains of his bar.)

Cinnabon: Fortunately, my policy with MightLife hasn't expired yet.
Security, close bar.
Automaton 1: Affirmative.

(Cinnabon walks through the slightly sticky kitchen and out the back door
of the bar, into an alleyway.  After a while of walking he finds himself
at the door of MightLife Insurance.  He knocks, and after a minute a
well-scaled Dragon escorts him inside.)

Jarvish: Mrs. Blade will see you shortly.
Cinnabon: Fantastic.

(Cinnabon relaxes in a sofa and begins to wait for his hostess...
Meanwhile. Scene: The Wizzen council room of the Weyrmount.  WizTraveller,
looking extremely tired and laggy, flutters in the window.)

WizT: Now, lesse.  Assuming Madman Adam didn't take Baby, then where
would he be?
Voice from the hallway: WizT? Is that you?
WizT: Whisper?

(Whisper steps into the room, holding Baby gently in her arms.)

Whisper: I got a message from Mom that my son had been found, so I flew
in from Jhelom last night.
WizT: He's yours?
Whisper: Yes!  A mage kidnapped him from me a week ago.
WizT: That'd be Rudyom.  So what's the little hatchling's name?
Whisper: I've been thinking of naming him after one of the Avatar's
companions.  Iolo I think.
WizT: It's a wonderful name for him.
Whisper: Thank you.  So what have you been up to?
WizT:'s a long, long story.
Whisper: Ah.  Well I'm gonna go downstairs and get some cocoa.  See ya!

(Whisper walks away, leaving WizT looking...disappointed.)

WizT: How BORING!  I mean, really.

(Precisely, to the millisecond, at that moment, in the now near-empty
command center of the Schooner Z, Atticus <in Deranged's body, REMEMBER?>
is frantically pulling levers and turning wheels, while Goofball looks
dazed and confused, and Sun looks like a fifth wheel.)

Deranged: Don't just stand there, Sun, run the evacuation procedure!
Sun: HOW?
Deranged: There's a help file!  (flips switch)
Sun: It says there is no evacuation procedure!
Deranged: It's out of date!  Pull those switches there!  (points)
Sun: (flips) It wants a password.
Deranged: Computer, Userid Duke, password Camelia.


Deranged: Okay.  That takes care of that.  (adjusts dial)
Goofball: What in the Gothmog is going on here?
Deranged: I just ejected the entire crew in little submersible thingies.
They're made of material our foe hopefully won't be able to muck with.
Goofball: Huh?  I'm sorry, I'm still a bit foggy as to what happened.
Deranged: Sun, fill him in.  Outside the command center.  I need to
concentrate perfectly if we're gonna make this one.

(The Schooner is rocked by some tremendous force.)

Sun: Right.

(Sun and Goofball walk out into the hallway and close the door.)

Sun: Okay.  We were going around the ocean looking for the Palace of
Wonder.  One of the scanners picked up your "energy signature," whatever
that is, in the middle of a cloud.  We drive the Schooner over and
teleport you aboard.  The next instant we crashed into the Palace of
Wonder, which is apparently where you were, and it's now a pile of rubble
on the ocean floor.  So the guy who took the Palace, we think, who was
staying there, who Atticus says is named Leviathor and is some sort of
major-league mage or something, is now majorly mad.  So Atticus had me
eject all the nonessential crew members for their safety, leaving us to
bear straight out for some sort of hidey-hole he has.  Any questions?
Goofball: Yeah.  How come I'm not a nonessential crew member?
Sun: I don't know.  For some reason Atticus wants you aboard.  Any other
Goofball: Well...
Deranged: (on intercom) You two better get back in here.

(Goofball and Sun walk back into the command center, where Deranged is
flippering around even more rapidly than before, making adjustments left
and right.)

Sun: What's up?
Deranged: We've got big problems.  Leviathor is screwing with our
mechanical systems magnetically.
Goofball: So?
Deranged: The Schooner Z is 97% mechanical in its operation.  If he pulls
out the wrong gear that's all for our escape trip.
Sun: Why doesn't he just kill us?
Deranged: (shrugs)  Villain mentality.  Toying with us etc etc.
Goofball: And why don't you just teleport us to your little safe-spot?
Deranged: I can't move a mass as big as the Schooner, yet.  Not enough
practice.  And before you ask, we can't eject.  The equipment onboard the
Schooner is vital to defeating Leviathor.  I just need some time to work
with it.
Sun: So what do we do?
Deranged: Large-scale ejection of sorts.  I can psychokinetically
disconnect the outer armor and weapons systems and cut our mass by about
87%...I won't be able to teleport us, but I will be able to move our unit
directly with my powers.  Leviathor will have less of a target, and we'll
be okay if the mechanisms are ruined.

(The Schooner shudders.)

Deranged: Which is now.  Hold on tight.

(Deranged glows, and there is a huge wrenching and grinding sound.  After
a few seconds, the Schooner begins moving much faster.)

Deranged: Say bye-bye to everything but my labs, the crew quarters, the
command center, and the brig.
Sun: The brig?
Deranged: Nightcat must be brought to justice.  I'm not dumping him on
the ocean floor.
Sun: Good point.  Can we escape now?
Deranged: Absolutely.
Goofball: Where are we going to, anyway?
Deranged: Zail.
Sun: What?
Deranged: The last Britannian dungeon.  Underwater.  It's one of my main
bases.  It's shielded.  Even from elementals.
Goofball: Great.  What's our ETA?
Deranged: Couple minutes at our current speed.

(Around this time, unseen to the three figures at the main control
panels, Nightcat sneaks into the room, wielding the Mystical Saw-Edged
Dagger in his right hand.  Silently, stealthily, he approaches Deranged's
form, raises the dagger, and thrusts the dagger into his target's
shoulder, causing it <the dagger> to sink in like a knife into clay, and
also causing the dagger and Nightcat to disappear a moment later.)

Deranged: Arrrghhhh.....
Sun: Atticus!
Goofball: We are screwed.
Deranged: No...can still make it...on autopilot...must detach crew
quarters and...brig...

(Deranged glows, then sinks to the floor unconscious.)

Sun: Any idea how to turn the autopilot on?
Goofball: None.  Try the help system, I guess.
Sun: Okay...<types>  Here it is.  Flip those switches.

(Following the instructions in the help file, Sun and Goofball manage to
engage autopilot.)

Sun: Okay.
Goofball: What now?
Sun: We wait, I guess.
Goofball: Shouldn't be long.
Sun: We hope.
Goofball: Anything we can do for Atticus?
Sun: I know zip about healing wounds in Blackrock bodies.
Goofball: Me too.  And I'm not sure we have a medlab anymore.
Sun: I'm afraid to open the door and check.
Goofball: Me too.  I hope this Zail place isn't too dangerous...

(Sun and Goofball huddle together in the cold of the small, insignificant
orb that is the remains of Schooner Z as we fade out and fade in at
Avatar Isle.)

Jen: All RIGHT.  We have initialization!
Undy: Firing.

(The projector fires its beam upward, energizing the great blackrock
sphere above.)

Invy: Looks okay.
Ser: Yeah.  As far as purple lights go.

(Suddenly, a pink-armored figure appears.)

Jen: What?!
Figure: Your doom has arrived.
Invy: Really?  It'll have to get past me first.
Jen: And me too.
Undy: Mind introducing yourself?  Or is "your doom" your name?
Figure: I am one of the Horsemen of the Madman!  I am RAZA MCLEAN!
Ser: Okay, well, we aren't impressed.
Raza: You will be.  MA POS!

(A wave of energy bursts forth from Raza's body, shattering the projector
and knocking everyone except Raza into deep comas.)

Raza: At last...I had missed being able to wreak destruction on my own...

(Meanwhile, our sights shift to a large stone structure with no visible
windows or doors.  The chief attraction of this room is what appears to be
a big, dark-watered swimming pool in the center of the floor.  That's all
that's here.  No people.  No furniture.  Trust me.  Suddenly, a large metal
egg, about the size of a small apartment, bobs up to the surface, and floats
over to the edge of the pool.  One side of the egg slides open, and a groggy
pair of Dragons waddles out.)

Sun: Is this Zail?
Goofball: I think so.  What do we do now?
Sun: Well, we're certainly not just sitting in here.  There must be a
door here someplace...

(Sun and Goofball beginning examining the walls of the structure
carefully, searching for some indication of an exit.  Their search is
interrupted by a low, gurgling moan from within the metal egg, which is
of course the remains of the Schooner Z.)

Sun: What was that?
Goofball: I don't know.  You're closer to it, go look.
Sun: Fine...

(Sun walks up to the edge of the pool next to the Schooner Z, and is
startled to find a gooey black substance wrapping itself around him,
covering his body with a skin-tight claylike...covering.)

Sun: (who can't breathe) GACCCCCCCCCCH!
Goofball: Sun!  What the---

(Just as suddenly as it covered Sun, the black ooze uncovers him and
slithers into the egg.  Sun falls to the floor next to the pool, and
Goofball rushes up.)

Goofball: You okay, man?

(The exact same thing happens to Goofball as happened to
covering, uncovering, slithering back into the egg, and all.  Goofball
grabs a deep breath first, though, so he's just fine after the stuff
comes off.)

Goofball: I don't like this...I'm gonna torch that thing.

(Goofball rears up to flame the inside of the egg, but stops as he sees a
black body with the composite form of Sun and himself step out.)

Sunball: Hello there.
Goofball: What in blazes?
Sunball: It's me, Atticus.
Goofball: Huh?  What happened?
Sunball: Near as I can tell, Nightcat's dagger destabilized Deranged's
blackrock body...did what Rudyom's Wand is supposed to do, make it
malleable.  But with a mind in control of it...well, I can shape-shift,
is the point.  I gathered data about both your bodies to make a new body
for myself to get the general balance right.
Goofball: Wow...will Sun be okay?
Sunball: Yeah, he just swallowed a bit of blackrock.  Should be fine, but
he should watch out for spicy foods for a while.
Goofball: Great.  Is this Zail?
Sunball: Not exactly.  This is the entrance chamber, and we're still not
inside the fields that'll protect us from Leviathor's powers.  So let's move.
Goofball: Where?  There's no door.
Sunball: (shouting) I am the Avatar, they are the Avatars, I am Lord
British, In Mani Door!
Voice: Password recognized.
Sunball: Teleport two dragons, one vehicular construct, and one
bioanomaly to Zail Central.
Goofball: Hm?

(A flash of light engulfs Sun, Goofball, Sunball, and the Schooner Z,
spiriting them away and leaving only a small blob of blackrock that was
caught in Sun's throat behind.  Meanwhile, in Castle British...)

British: All right.  It is now time to begin the second session of our
talks.  I believe our roster is the same...Nystul?
Nystul: Yes, with the addition of Sailor Trammel of Yew.
Trammel: Please, just call me Serenia.
Nystul: Serenia of Yew, acting as Avatar.
Erraticus: Pleased to meet you.  Thanks for taking time out of your quest
to be an Avatar in fact as well as name to join us.
Serenia: My pleasure.
Nystul: Good, good, then.  Well, I believe it is now the Dragons' turn to
speak, and Excalibur, you haven't said anything, is there anything you'd
like to say?
Excalibur: Not much I can say that hasn't already been said.

(Excalibur shrugs.)

British: Well then, shall we start drawing up the terms of the agreement?
Voice from behind: No you shan't.
Everyone: Who----?

(The figure, clad in purple armor, steps out of the shadows.)

Figure: I am the destroyer.  Prepare to be destroyed!
Firesong: Do you have a name, "destroyer"?
Figure: I am Raznor Embysile, Second Horseman of the Madman!  Now prepare
to die!
Serenia: Not while I'm around!  TRAMMEL...PRISM...POWER!

(Lights engulf Serenia and transform her into Sailor Trammel!)

Trammel: In the name of Trammel, I will punish you, Horse-face!
Raznor: That's Horseman!  And you don't stand a chance, Sailor Girl!
Erraticus: Maybe not, but we do.  Dragons, attack!
Firesong: (to Lord British) You ought to get your people out of here.
When dragon-flames start flying, there can be trouble.

(Lord British nods and swiftly escorts his company out the back door,
leaving Serenia, Erraticus, Firesong and Excalibur faced off against Raznor.)

Erraticus: All right, Razzy, let's see what you got.
Raznor: More than you can handle.  MA POS!

(A ball of twine appears in Raznor's hand; he throws it at Excalibur, and
it suddenly expands, wrapping around the Dragon's body.)

Excalibur: Thread...expanding...argh...
Erraticus: Time to use my Dragon-power!  THREAD, COLLECT!

(The twine suddenly unravels, shrinks, and flies into Erraticus's hand.)

Raznor: Bah!  I have more powers than that!
Serenia: Too bad we won't get to see them!  You're Trammel dirt, scum!

(Serenia pulls off her bracelet and flings it at Raznor, who falls
backwards into a suit of armor, which comes apart and crashes down on
him.  Seeing an opportunity, Firesong carefully modulates his powerful
fire to melt the suit together, making it a nice snug cocoon for Raznor,
while not burning him at all.)

Firesong: Now.  Mind answering a few questions?
Raznor: Yes, I do mind!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA....

(Raznor gradually fades out of reality, along with his laugh.)

Erraticus: I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him.
Serenia: And I don't think next time is going to be quite as easy.

(Meanwhile, out in the Void someplace, there is a large pavillion, in the
center of which stands a ten-foot-tall human wearing a cloak.  Suddenly
Raza McLean appears.)

Raza: My lord?
Cloaked One: What is it, Horseman?
Raza: I attacked a research station on Avatar Isle, lord.  I destroyed
all the work done there, and brought back the ones doing the research.
Cloaked One: Really?  Let me see them!

(Raza snaps his fingers, and Jen, Undy, Ser, and Invy, all in open black
coffins and all in comas, appear.)

Cloaked One: Dragons?  How wonderful!  This pleases me, Horseman.  But
where are your brothers, I wonder.

(Raznor appears.)

Cloaked One: Ah!  Raznor!  What a surprise!  Raza has brought me
hostages, and destroyed the work of innocents!  What have you done for me?
Raznor: I attacked a peace talk in Britain...
Cloaked One: Yes?
Raznor: But three Dragons and a girl in a sailor costume defeated me.
Cloaked One: You bumbling idiot!  I'll give you one more chance!  Fail me
again, and you will be given the Ultimate Punishment.
Raznor: Yes, my lord.  (vanishes)

(Meanwhile, in a huge underground control room of sorts, Sunball is hard
at work with a huge array of switches, with Goofball standing over his

Sunball: You say Sun went exploring, then?
Goofball: Yep.  Is that okay?
Sunball: Yes, it's fine...
Goofball: Great.  Now would you mind explaining who this Leviathor creep
Sunball: Not at all.  Leviathor is the god of undersea lightning.  He
stole my Palace, then somehow got ahold of you.
Goofball: Oh, that.  Um, your duplicate teleported me there.

(Sunball blinks.)

Sunball: He's still alive?  Interesting.
Goofball: Yes, and he's living in this city in another dimension which is
all Dragons, and some of them are from Britannia and others are from some
other place called Pagan, and the guy in charge said I couldn't get the
Talismans without a good reason.
Sunball: The Talismans!  Blast!  They would be perfect in this
situation.  As it is we're going to have to take more difficutl methods
to defeat Leviathor and rid the seas of his menace forever.
Goofball: Which is?
Sunball: The menace or the methods?
Goofball: Methods.
Sunball: Well, we can't teleport out; he's created some kind of energy
field just outside the Zail perimeter.  We'd be disintegrated by any
attempt to teleport beyond the field.
Goofball: huh.
Sunball: And any attempt to launch a vehicle through the field will mean
he focuses his energy in on the vehicle.
Goofball: Nnn.
Sunball: But.
Goofball: But?
Sunball: There is one other option.
Goofball: Whuzat?
Sunball: I don't know.

(They sigh.)

Sunball: I think we may be down here for a long, long time.

(Some time passes.  The scene is the Void.  The coordinates are...hey,
there AREN'T any coordinates in the Void!  Hmm..anyway, you know how
there's all that different stuff in the void, each with its own sort of
area, like the Codex area, the Book of Madness area, the Pagan Nexus, the
Serpent Sphere, the pavilion where those villains were hanging out, etc etc?
Well, this is another one of those areas.  It
Present are the semi-transparent forms of Atticus, in his shapeshifting
blackrock form, currently a composite of Sun and Goofball which I'm
calling Sunball, Sailor Trammel, SoySauceite, ShadowFire Mask, and a guy
in, um, blue armor.  Everyone's looking kinda apprensive, inasmuch as
ShadowFire Mask and SoySauceite are trying to kill each other and nobody
else has even MET before.  Finally the guy in blue armor decides to break
the ice.)

Guy: uhm

(Everyone, including SoySauceite and ShadowFire Mask, who before you ask
DON'T stop fighting, turn to look at him.)

Guy: shouldnt we lke okkkay

Trammel: Are you feeling okay?
Guy: yeahi go
Trammel: Is this guy for real?
Guy: nnno im lordmiek
SunBall: LordMiek?
LordMiek: yeahheh
Trammel: This is so totally wonked out.
SoySauceite: Enough with your silly chatter!  I want that disc and I'm
gonna get it!  SOYSAUCE!

(Everyone, yes, even ShadowFire Mask, stare at SoySaucite, who has
neglected to do anything, despite her grand incantation.)

Sunball: I don't believe this.  I come to the Void to consult the Book of
Madness, and somehow I end up here with some crazy people...
SoySauceite: My power SHOULD have worked.  SOYSAUCE!

(Again nothing happens.)

LordMiek: mebbe yshould frends
SoySauceite: You!  Take off your helmet!

(LordMiek nods as best he can from inside a suit of armor, then proceeds
to remove his glove, revealing a cloud of little energy ball thingies in
the shape of a hand.)

SoySauceite: Your HELMET!  The thing on your HEAD!
LordMiek: oh okay i thought you nice

(LordMiek throws himself to the floor, gets up, then smashes an ice cream
cone into his helmet.)

Sunball: I get it now!
ShadowFire: Could you explain it to us then?
Sunball: Well, just a second.

(Sunball gestures, and a device not unlike a miniature sickle appears in
Trammel's hands.)

Trammel: What's this thingy?
Sunball: It's called the Mystic Crescendo Wand.
Trammel: WAY cool!  What's it for?
Sunball: No clue, but if you aim it right you could put LordMiek out of
our misery.
Trammel: No way!  Violence is bad, and it hurts people.  If you ever want
to be violent, just try to see the other person's side.  Sailor Trammel
says!  Hehehe!
Sunball: Wait, YOU'RE Sailor Trammel, the new Avatar?
Trammel: Yep!  Could ya die?
Sunball: Actually, I'm beginning to suspect I'm immortal, but that's not
important right now.  What is is that this definitely clinches my theory.
ShadowFire: Could you hurry it up, I'd really like to get back to
clobbering this piece of TalorusTrash.
Sunball: Okay.  This fellow, here, though he's too stupid to remember it,
brought us here, that's plain from the energy residuals.  All of us were
coming to the Void anyway, we just got misdirected.
SoySauceite: That's right!  I was bringing ShadowFire Mask to Talorus
through a nice Void gate...then while I was here I sensed a disc with
great power on the forehead of that Lord Meek.
Sunball: Mmm.
Trammel: And I was trying to find my friends.
Sunball: Anyway, I figure once we get that disc off him we can use it to
get back to where we were going.
Trammel: Leave that, to me.  (to LordMiek) I am Sailor Trammel, Champion
of Justice!  As a representative of Trammel, I will correct errors and
best badness!  And that refers to your personage!  TRAMMEL BRACELET...

(Trammel takes of her bracelet and throws it at LordMiek; it bounces off
his armor with a clang.)

Trammel: Whaaaaaaat?  My powers aren't working!  It's not FAIR!
SoySauceite: Neither are mine and you don't see me whining, Sailor gimp!
Sunball: *ahem*  Perhaps I should offer an explanation.  That same disc
that brought us here is blocking the use of external power, like that
which comes from Talorus or Trammel; it's like a forcefield.  But I carry
my power /inside/.

(Sunball glows, and LordMiek's armor shatters, revealing a cloud of
little energy ball thingies shaped like a person; around the forehead is
a small metal disk with a Vas rune inscribed on it.)

Sunball: *gasp* A Black Disc!  Fiend, where did you get that?
LordMiek: my master saidd iokay
Sunball: It's hopeless...I...what's happening?  Suddenly I feel...weak...
SoySauceite: Me too...
ShadowFire: You're trembling!
SoySauceite: Why do you care?  Besides, you are too...
Sunball: That devil is projecting his stupidity as an energy wave.  It's
draining away our strength!
Trammel: What can we do?
Sunball: The Black Disc isn't an energy source, it's a channeler.  If
we...urg...get that, he won't be able to project his idiocy any more.
Trammel: Leave that!  To me!

(Trammel makes some nice fifty-foot leaps into the Void, the last one
coming down as a kick into LordMiek's airy head.  Since he's intangible,
she goes right through him, but you can't blame her for trying.  Besides,
she got the Disc with one hand while she was going down.  As she touches
it LordMiek vanishes, and SoySauceite teleports herself and ShadowFire
Mask away to Talorus, leaving only Sunball and Sailor Trammel behind.)

Trammel: Woah.  That was major weird.
Sunball: Mmm.  Now, if I could please have that disc...
Trammel: Oh, sure thing.  See ya!

(She hands him the Disc and vanishes.  Sunball grins and teleports
himself the Zail Weapons Facility, where Sun and
Goofball are hanging around.)

Sun: You're back!
Sunball: And look what I brought!
Goofball: A tiny frisbee.
Sunball: No, it's our ticket out of here.  I can pop this baby into this
here cannon, and use it to shatter Leviathor's force field.
Goofball: Great!
Sun: But what happens after that.
Sunball: We go out in one of our submarines and then, oh.  Leviathor
kills us.  It's not such a great plan after all.
Goofball: But what else can we do?
Sunball: Well, we could just throw the disc itself at the force field.
Sun: What would that do?
Sunball: I don't know, but it would sure look neat.
Goofball: What have we got to lose?
Sunball: All righty.  I'll go try it, you guys stay here.

(Sunball teleports out.)

Goofball: What did he mean by stay here?  I mean, he can only get there
by teleportation...
Sun: I guess he didn't want us to leave the Weapons room, maybe he's
gonna do like he did with the Schooner Z and rip it out.
Goofball: Maybe.

(But you, the reader, know that he was just flinging about cliches.
Meanwhile (there's a cliche for ya!), out in the dark, and I mean DARK
ocean, just inside Leviathor's force field, Sunball materializes in the
water.  He throws the Disc at the force field and is instantly vaporized,
along with the rest of Britannia.  Darn it, you really can't trust those
energy channeling devices, can you?  Perhaps thrusting it into an
enormous energy tap wasn't the brightest of ideas after all.  But don't
lose any sleep.  It was only a parallel universe, and at that a deviation
from a deviation of a parallel universe.  In fact, to be totally and
flatly honest, it was a work of fiction!  Silly dingbats!  Now, to fill
up some space, here's an extremely cheesy joke I got the other day after
relating the one about "A Mine is a Terrible Thing To Paste":
Despite heavy advances in technology, many countries in Southeast Asia
have large expanses of dense, uncivilized forests, where primitive
Cro-Magnon-like cultures still exist, untouched by time.  In one such
area, there were two major tribes, the Queenjai and the Sainklar.
Although they lived in the forest they built their homes from grass,
picked miles away outside of the heavy woods, because both tribes
regarded trees as sacred.  Each tribe also had a great golden throne
which was the tribe's most prized possession, for they believed that it
gave those who sat in it magical 'medicine.'  It was inevitable then that
one tribe try to steal another's throne, which the Queenjai did
successfully one night, under cover of darkness and a diversion created
by releasing several wild pigs into the Sainklar village area.  They
snuck the throne home, and the next day many of their warriors sat upon
the throne to gain its powers before going out to hunt.  Of course, the
Sainklar came to look for the throne, but when the Queenjai heard about
it, they stowed the prized seat up in the attic of a common worker's hut,
guessing that the Sainklar priests would never debase themselves by
entering a common man's attic.  When the Sainklar priests arrived they
carefully searched each house, but never the attic, for that would have
been unpriestlike.  Finally they came to the house of the worker, whose
name was Dick, where the throne had been hidden.  Standing inside and
finding nothing, they prepared to apologize and leave when the throne
came crashing down through the ceiling, the carefully cured grass fibers
finally giving way under its weight.  The Sainklar used this as an excuse
to declare all-out war against the Queenjai, and soon both tribes were
nearly destroyed.
Which just goes to show that people who live in grass houses shouldn't
stow thrones.)

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