I Can't Think of a Stupid Title for This Thing

Paul Beaudoin

Freak_boy71@hotmail.com

It has been 3 years since the terrible battle between the group of young warriors, led by Claude C. Kenni and Rena Lanford, and the 10 Wise Men, led by the mighty Indalecio and Cyril. Many thought that with the destruction of the Wise Men, peace would once again reign throughout the universe.

As usual, they were dead wrong.

*********

A lone ship cruised through the infinite depths of space. If we were to compare this ship to the typical star cruiser, it would be an intergalactic Yugo. The ship is piloted by none other than Claude himself. Inside the cockpit, loud classic rock from 20th century Earth played.

"Some people call me the Space Cowboy, baby. Some call me the Gangster of Love. Some people call me Maurice! WOO-WOOOOOO!" Claude sang along, horribly off-key.

"Hey! Maurice! Shut up!" called a voice from the back. The voice was none other than Rena, now Rena Lanford-Kenni. About 2 years of marriage to Claude had proven that he wasn't all he was cracked up to be, and so she became rather bitter. She came in to the cabin, and turned down the music.

"Oh, come on! Have a little fun now and then!" yelled Claude. Almost immediately, Rena grabbed Claude, opened his mouth, and told him to exhale. No alcohol this time.

"With you, the line between fun and torture is crossed way to often." Rena sighed. "Anyway, how long until we reach Expel?"

"Not too much longer. If we keep up this current pace, then we should reach it in about 5 hours." Claude said, proudly. Rena just sighed again.

"Wai--wait a minute! What's that?" Claude yelled out, pointing outside.

"It's a smudge, idiot."

"No, no, no. THAT!"

*********

 

Inside a stately bedroom, the leader of the 10 Wise Men, Indalecio, sat. He played a haunting tune on his lyre. Suddenly, a string on his lyre broke.

"F*CK!" he yelled out in his deep, rough voice, almost shaking the room. He flung the lyre onto his bed. "Dammit, I don't have any spares left, either..." he said, as he reclined back into the chair he was sitting in.

"Ummm--Indalecio?" called a sinister voice from outside the door.

"Come in, Cyril--" Indalecio said. "What do you need?"

"I have to talk to you," said Cyril.

"I told you before, I'm not joining that punk band that you, Decus, and Vesper are starting. Go ask Ruprecht or Nicolus," Indalecio said.

"It's not about that. I have this feeling that something is going to happen. Very soon." Cyril said.

"Ah, foreshadowing. Gotta love basic literary techniques," said Indalecio.

 

"Ummm--yes--" said Cyril, obviously looking confused.

"Anyway, you were saying?" asked Indalecio.

"Well, I have the feeling we'll have to work with that Kenni child and his friends," said Cyril. He could see Indalecio's anger starting to rise. "What, still mad because they beat you?"

"It was a fluke, I tell you! They never would have beaten me if I were at full power!" Indalecio cried out.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah blah blah, whatever. Some people can take losing gracefully. Just be glad that we're alive again," said Cyril.

Then, both Cyril and Indalecio looked the same way, smiled, and yelled out "Thanks, Paul!" Then, they resumed their conversation.

"Yeah, you'd know how to take losing gracefully. It's all you ever do," said Indalecio.

"You wanna piece of me, you long-haired freak?"

"Anytime, you grey-haired moron!"

"Jerk!"

"Fool!"

"Maggot!"

"Worm!"

"SCUM!"

Indalecio and Cyril both reared back, and formed balls of pure energy in their hands. Cyril formed one colored gray, and Indalecio one of bluish-white. Suddenly, a smoke alarm went off down the hall, and smoke began pouring in the room. Both froze. Soon, Filia came into the room wearing an apron.

"Daddy, Uncle Cyril, I hope you guys like your steaks well done," she said. "Decus decided to cook dinner again."

Both men sighed, and the balls of energy dissipated. They headed off to the dining room, both feeling a little bit of resentment against each other.

***********

Inside the Wise Men's dining room, Filia and all the Wise Men sat at the large table in the middle. All except for the robotic Shigeo, who instead was in the corner, nursing a bottle of 40-weight oil. Decus was busy eating away, and the rest of them were staring at the blackened mess that is their meal. From time to time, Cyril and Indalecio gave each other the evil eye.

Sensing the tension between the two, Vesper picked some of the "food" up in his fork and began eating it. From the crunching he said, "My, Decus. This is an...interesting recipe for string beans..."

"Those aren't the string beans. Those are the mashed potatoes," Decus replied.

"Oh. I don't think I'm hungry..." Decus said.

Another awkward silence. To release the tension, Filia decided to speak up this time.

"So, Uncle Cyril, how is that band you were forming going?"

"Not bad. It'd be better if someone would join us and make it a quartet."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Indalecio replied.

"You heard me. You're too busy playing with that stupid lyre to help us make music that, dare I say it, sounds GOOD!" Cyril said.

"Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps I don't LIKE punk music?" Indalecio said, obviously infuriated.

"What, you've giving up the chance for fame, fortune and hot girls because you don't LIKE playing a particular type of music?"

"Money I don't need, fame I don't want, and she's living proof that I've gotten more women than you have," Indalecio said, pointing to his daughter Filia.

"Why you..."

"Bring it on, Devil-boy!"

"Stop it, both of you! Stop it!" Decus shouted, slamming his hands on the table. "Filia and I slave over a hot stove for 3 hours, and this is how you repay us? By FIGHTING?" He then ran out of the room, tears in his eyes.

Yet another awkward silence.

"Is...anyone up for a game of cards? I could use a hand or two of Rummy," Nicolus said, taking out a deck of cards.


*********

"My God, what is that?" Rena said.

"It looks like a gigantic ship..." Claude said.

Indeed, it was a gigantic ship. And it was armed to the teeth.

"It looks ominous..." Rena said. Claude simply looked confused.

"Ominous, as in bad news" said Rena. "Anyway, what do you think it wants?"

"I think they're going to destroy Expel! And at their current rate, they'll be there in 3 days!"

"Wow, how can you tell?" Rena asked.

"It says right here," said Claude, holding up a loosely held book with the words "Paul's SO2 Fanfic" on the cover.

"Er...whatever..." Rena said.

"Anyway, we need to get to Expel fast!" Claude shouted.

"Argh, not so loud!" Rena said. "I'm right next to you, you know."

"Oops, sorry..." said Claude. "By the way, buckle up," he said, while pushing a lever forward.

"What do you meEEEEAAAAAAAAN?" Rena said, as she was suddenly pushed backwards by the acceleration of the ship.

The small ship, almost immediately, began traveling at a speed of almost twice of what it was before.

"I thought you said this ship couldn't go any faster..." Rena said, crawling to the seat besides Claude.

"I never said that. I said that at the pace we're going, we'll reach Expel in 5 hours. You have to obey basic intergalactic speed limits, you know." said Claude. "But I think the cops'll make an exception in this case, it being an emergency and all." Rena simply sighed and looked upwards.

*********

The ship containing Claude and Rena roared into Expel's atmosphere. They decided to land the ship next to Linga for two reasons. One, it's out of the way, and two, it'd look normal among the other technological junk that's piled up in the city.

As Claude and Rena walk into Precis and Grahf's house, they can see Grahf sitting at the table, enjoying a cup of tea.

"Hello, is Precis home?" Rena asked. Almost immediately after asking that question, there was an explosion from the lab, followed by a piece of flying metal that nearly gored Grahf.

"Umm...you don't have to answer that question..." Claude said, as he and Rena dashed into the laboratory.

Inside the lab, they could see Precis inside, her face blackened from the explosion. Claude and Rena dashed in.

"Precis! We have to talk to you! It's an emergency." yelled Claude. "Do you know how to get the gang together?"

"Sure!" Precis exclaimed. "I have a device upstairs that'll call all the guys together."

"It works, doesn't it?" asked Rena, skeptically.

*********

"Yeah...uh-huh...yeah...gotcha. And be sure to hurry." Precis said, seated in front of a large machine that looks kind of like a ham radio inside her room.

"All right..." she said, turning to Claude and Rena. "That's the last of them. Dias is close, so he should be here in a few minutes, and the rest shouldn't be too much longer. But I warn you, the guys have changed a lot."

"Well, as long as we're waiting, might as well catch up," Claude said. "How long's it been, 2 years? What have you been doing?"

"Well, you know. Just working on my inventions, helping my dad. I have taken up dance as a hobby, though," Precis said.

"Really? How interesting!" Rena exclaimed. "What kind? Ballet? Classical?"

Just then, Precis grabbed the post of her bunk bed, twirled around it, and then hung upside down, clenching it with her legs.

"Exotic."

*********

After several minutes, Dias finally walked inside Precis' room.

"CLAUDE!" he yelled, with an extremely happy tone. "I missed you! How have you been?" he said, giving Claude a handshake and a hearty slap on the back. "And Rena! How's my other little sister?" he said, giving Rena a hug and a quick peck on the cheek. "Is that a wedding ring I see on your finger? You lucky dog," he said, nudging Claude with his elbow. "I always knew you'd make her happy. So, any children yet?"

Claude backed away and drew his sword. "All right," he said. "Who are you and what have you done with Dias?"

Precis rushed in. "No! You don't understand! Dias has been undergoing psychiatric help!"

"She's right. The doctor said I should be more friendly and outgoing. He said it'd help me cope with the loss of my family." Dias said.

Claude and Rena looked at each other, hoping to figure out what exactly just took place.

Just then, Opera walked in, holding a toddler in one arm, and obviously having another "on-board" so to speak.

"Opera? What the?" asked Rena. "I never knew you and Ernest got married."

"We didn't." Opera replied.

"Ummm...I think it's best not to ask about the kids, then...by the way, where is Ernest?" Claude asked.

"AA meeting."

"Oh. Does he teach the class?" Rena asked.

"No. Attending. He got his 3rd DUI in a year last month, and it's a part of his rehab program."

"Oof-da, I think I see what you mean, Precis." Claude said.

"That's nothing," Precis said. "Wait until you see Leon."

Just then, Leon walked in. He was much taller, and was now dressed completely in black, with chains. He wore black makeup, black fingernail polish, and had his hair dyed black. For all extensive purposes, he was a Goth.

"Speak of the devil..." Precis said.

"Umm...hi Leon..." Rena said nervously.

"F*ck you," Leon replied harshly.

"Does Dias' psychiatrist have a need for more clients?" Claude said, pointing at Leon suggestively.

At that moment, Bowman walked in. He, in a word or two, was pimped out. Gold chains, flashy clothing, the whole 9 yards.

"Hey, wassup mah b*tches?" Bowman said, spinning his cane.

"BOWMAN!" Claude and Rena exclaimed in unison. "Bowman, what on earth?" Rena said.

"Bowman, what happened to Nineh?" Claude asked.

"Simple, my man! I threw that b*tch to the curb! Now I gots me all sorts of fine ladies from around the globe!" Bowman said. Claude and Rena just stared at him in disbelief.

Just then, Ashton and Noel walk in, hand in hand. Rena's jaw dropped to the floor, while Claude rubbed his eyes and looked again.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you, didn't I?" Precis said. "Ashton and Noel are practicing an...alternative lifestyle..." she said, laughing nervously. "Really sucks, too. Ashton's kinda cute..."

"I...I...I...I really don't know what to say..." Rena said, stumbling to find the words to express herself. Claude remained speechless.

At that moment, Chisato comes in, and took the stunned duo's picture with a camera equipped with a bright flash. "Valiant Heroes Return to Expel!" Chisato yelled out loud, writing things down on a small notepad she kept in her breast jacket pocket.

"Huh? Chisato, I don't remember you doing this kind of news reporting before..." Claude said.

Precis immediately pulled him aside. "She doesn't do the normal reporting anymore," she whispered. "She joined the Paparazzi for the money, and almost completely forsook the legitimate press."

"I heard that!" Chisato yelled across the room.

"Anyway..." said Claude. "That makes 9 accounted for. Where's Celine?" Claude asked.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you..." Precis said. "She's in prison."

"WHAT? What'd she do?" Rena exclaimed.

"She was caught treasure hunting," Precis said.

"Treasure hunting? Since when is that illegal?" Claude asked.

"Since she was caught doing it in Lacour Palace," Precis said.

**************

"And that's the situation. Any questions?" said Rena, wrapping up her synopsis of the situation.

"Yeah, can I leave?" asked Leon, from the back.

"No. Sit down." Claude said. "Any others?"

"Can I be excused? Ernest Jr. needs changing," Opera asked, from the back.

"*sigh* Yes, Opera, you may be excused," Rena said. "Now, are there any questions concerning the TOPIC AT HAND?"

"Do you know how to stop it?" asked Chisato, from the back of the room.

"No, but I know someone who does. The problem is, he's been dead for hundreds of years." Claude said. "What we need is a way to...STOP WRITING IT DOWN!"

"Sorry..." Chisato said, putting her notepad away.

"Anyway, as I was saying, we need a way to somehow time travel back to the year 2000 to talk with the person who knows how to stop the ship and save Expel..." Claude stopped. He noticed that Noel was looking him over, in an interested fashion. Rena shook her head, and mouthed "No". Noel then looked down, disappointed.

"Anyway, Precis, Leon, do you have anything we could use to teleport back in time to the year 2000?"

"Yeah, right here" Leon said, promptly giving him the bird.

"All right, that's it!" Rena shouted out. "You guys are all insane! I recommend that you all do what Dias did, and seek professional help immediately!" She then stomped out the room, followed by Claude.

Rena then ducked her head back in. "Except for you, Ashton and Noel. I accept your decisions, and applaud you for following your true feelings. But, for the rest of you, F*CK OFF!" She then slammed the door loudly.

"Uh..." Precis said, trying to break the mood. "Anyone want some tea?"

*********

Rena stomped out of Precis' house fuming. Claude followed after her, in a slight jog.

"Christ, I can't believe these people. Precis is a stripper, Opera has a b*stard child and a second one on the way, and Leon is the poster boy for the Goth Teens of Lacour™. Don't even get me started on the rest of them..." Rena shouted out angrily.

"Well, you can't blame them..." Claude said, trying to stick up for their old friends. "I mean, it is their own lives..."

"Yeah, but they're completely WORTHLESS! I mean, we'd have better fighting partners with a scarecrow, a paralyzed guy tied to the back of a horse, and a 8 month old baby!" Rena yelled out, still steaming.

"But they are...were some of the top warriors in the universe. Who are we going to get to replace them?" Claude asked.

"Hmmm..." Rena hummed, contemplating.

*********

"And that is our situation, gentlemen," Rena said. "Any questions?"

A hand went up in the middle of the room. "Yes, what do you think we should do about this situation?"

"Good question, Decus," Claude said. Then, you can see where Claude and Rena are. The Wise Men's living room, with all the Wise Men in the middle of the room. "The person who knows how to stop the ship lives in the year 2000 AD. What we need to do is find a way to time-travel back to the year 2000, find the information, and then stop the ship."

Another hand went up. "Why exactly should we help you?"

"Because, if this ship destroys Expel, then you won't be able to extract your revenge upon us. It hurts, but it's true," Claude replied. "Just be thankful that we're getting a second adventure other than the upcoming Blue Sphere, Indalecio."

Just then, everyone faced forward, smiled, and yelled out "Thanks, Paul!"

"Anyway..." Rena said. "Does anybody have an idea of how to travel to the year 2000?"

"Yes, I believe I do," Ruprecht said. "Perhaps we can modify your ship, and then somehow slingshot around the sun to get to the year 2000."

Rena looks puzzled, and then comes to a realization. "Pass Paul's SO2 Fanfic notes forward, Ruprecht. Right now." Ruprecht obliged, reluctantly.

"Anyway, we'll need a few volunteers to go along with us to meet the person. Any takers?" Claude said.

"Yeah, I'll go, I guess," Indalecio said. "I need to pick up some catgut for my lyre anyways."

"CATGUT DOES NOT COMPUTE! CATGUT DOES NOT COMPUTE!" Shigeo yelled, holding a small kitten close to him. Indalecio sighed.

"Good, that's one. Any other takers?"

Cyril reluctantly raised his hand. "Yeah, I'll go," he said angrily, staring at Indalecio. Indalecio returned the favor.

"Good. That should be enough for this trip" Rena said, yawning. "Man, I'm beat. Mind if we crash here for tonight?"

"Nah, I don't care," Indalecio said. Everyone went off to do their own things.

*********

"Man, this is a pretty nice place you got here," Claude said, walking down the halls of the Wise Men's place.

"Yeah," Indalecio said. "This Eternity Space isn't too bad. Those threats about it being a place were time is frozen and you can't do anything is complete jack. Although 7 billion years IS a long time, and it feels nice to finally get out..."

They walked down to the end of the hall, where Indalecio opened a door. "There's the room for you two," he says. On the other side of the door was a gigantic room, with a wonderful, comfortable looking bed, a television, the works. Claude stared at the room in awe.

"G'night. We leave tomorrow morning," Indalecio said, walking towards his room.

Claude entered the room and closes the door. Indalecio meets Jibril in the hallway.

"So, did you get the room ready for them?" Indalecio asks.

"Yep. Fish in the closet, rotting food in the drawers, the whole works." Jibril said, laughing.

"Excellent!" Indalecio said, also laughing. "This is too classic..."

*********

"Wow...comfortable..." Claude said, as he crawls into large, comfortable looking bed the Wise Men provided them.

"Yeah, I know," Rena replied. She was already in the bed, reading a romance novel.

"Boy, it was nice of them to let us stay here for the...what's that smell?" Claude says, a look of disgust coming from his face.

"What do you mean? I don't...bleah!" Rena says, almost mimicking Claude's actions.

Claude looks at Rena for a moment, then says to himself, "Nah..." He then gets out of the bed, and walks to the closet. His eyes begin watering. "I think we have a winner..." he says.

Rena walks to the dresser. "Same here. On three, open it up," she says. "One, two, three!"

As they open their respective doors/drawers, the stench becomes unbearable. Rena almost vomits into the dresser.

"My God..." Claude says. "It's awful!! Get a bag to put this in!"

Rena quickly obliged, and soon the rotting food was in a brown paper bag. "What do we do with this now?" Rena asked. "It's starting to drip..."

Claude looks around the room, and spies something that might save them from the awful odor of the food. "Throw it out the window!" he said, opening it. Rena did so.

Outside the house, in the small yard contained within the Eternity Space, Marsilio laid on the ground, looking up at the stars. Suddenly, the flying bag hit him square in the face, splattering all over. "Wow..." he said. "I suppose I should go shower now..."

*********

"Cyril, it's time to go..." Indalecio said, knocking on the door to Cyril's room. No response. "Cyril, it's time to get up. We're leaving soon!" Still no response. Indalecio began to open the door.

"Cyril, get up immediately or...WHAT THE F*CK?!?!" Indalecio screamed, with a mixed look of surprise and anger. In Cyril's bed were Filia, who was sleeping, and beside her, Cyril, enjoying a cigarette.

"You little b*stard! I'll tear you limb from f*cking limb!" Indalecio shouted, grabbing Cyril firmly by the neck.

"Daddy! What are you doing?" Filia said, waking. "It's not what you think!"

"Yeah...listen to her..." Cyril squeaked out. Indalecio just choked Cyril harder and begins shaking him.

"Daddy, stop! Cyril and I just had too much to drink last night! Then, eventually..." Filia said, pleading with her father to let go.

"I...don't...care!" Indalecio yelled.

"I...can't...breathe..." Cyril choked out.

"That's the point," Indalecio said.

Just then, Claude and Rena walked by, heading for the ship. They looked to see what the commotion was about. They froze for a moment, staring, then Claude said, "I think it's best we move on quietly..."

Sensing that Indalecio meant business, Cyril thought as quickly as his oxygen-deficient brain will allow him to. He brought back his leg, and then

WHAM!

Indalecio fell to the floor, crouched over in extreme pain. Cyril also fell to the floor, holding his neck and gasping for air. Filia, hoping to avoid further conflict, wrapped herself up in a bedsheet and then ran to her room.

*********

Indalecio and Cyril are sitting in front of a TV screen in the back area of Claude and Rena's ship. Two warriors are on the screen, one an armored knight, the other a martial arts master. The martial artist punches the knight solidly in the face, and the knight goes down.

"2P WINS!"

"****!" Indalecio screamed, throwing his controller down. Cyril merely laughed. "That was just a fluke," Indalecio said, pouting.

"A fluke, yeah," Cyril replied, "Just like the 20 other times."

"Shut up," Indalecio said.

"Attention, this is your captain speaking," Claude said over the intercom, in a cheesy airline pilot's voice. "We will soon be slingshotting around this star, in an attempt to travel back in time. Please buckle up, and put all trays and seats in the upright and locked position."

Indalecio and Cyril did so. The ship rocketed around the star, gaining tremendous momentum. Soon, the ship slowed down.

"Well, it looks like we're in the year 2000. Now we just wait until we get to Earth--" Claude said.

several weeks later

"Are we there yet?" Cyril whines.

"NO! WE ARE NOT THERE YET!" Rena shouted out, infuriated. An awkward silence followed.

"Are we there yet?" Indalecio whined.

"If you say that ONCE more, I am turning this ship around and we are going back!" Claude yelled out.

Suddenly, the planet Earth could be seen in the distance.

"Finally, we're here." Rena said, wiping her brow.

As the small ship began entering Earth's atmosphere, a small trail of smoke started to come from the back end.

"Uh--is that anything to be worried about?" Indalecio asked nervously.

"Nah, happens all the time--" Claude said. Suddenly, a loud backfire could be heard from the back engine.

"Oh sh*t--" Claude says.

The tiny ship began plummeting to Earth. When it touched ground, it slid along the ground for several kilometers before coming to a halt.

"Everybody all right?" Claude called out from inside the cockpit. The only thing he heard were three groans, each having a distinctly different voice.

"Good. We'd better get out and check what the problem is," Claude said.

"Christ, I can't believe you married him--" Cyril called out from underneath the front dashboard.

"Neither can I--" Rena said, sitting awkwardly in her seat.

********

"Can you tell what's wrong?" Rena asked. She was standing behind the back engine of the ship, as Indalecio, Cyril, and Claude worked on it.

"Ergh--arhg--almost--SH*T!" Claude yelled out from underneath.

"You know what's wrong?" Rena asked again.

"Kinda--" Cyril said, coming out from where he was working. "From what we can tell, the matter-antimatter stabilizer is out of whack, and the particle accelerator necessary to generate the antimatter used as fuel for the engines is not performing up to minimum required levels."

"Meaning?" Rena asked, confused.

"We're sh*t out of luck," Indalecio said, still working.

"Great, now what do we do?" Rena asked, frustrated.

"Well, it shouldn't be too far to a major city," Claude said, wiping the grease off his hands. "If we can get there, save up, and then travel to the Midwest where HE lives, HE might know what to do."

"Who's HE?" Cyril asked, confused. Indalecio hit him over the head soundly.

"Anyways, we gotta think up a plan--" Claude said, thinking.

*an hour later*

"You sure about this?" Indalecio asked.

"Can you do better on short notice?" Cyril replied.

"Trust me," Claude said. "All right, now!"

Everyone in the group promptly stuck out their thumbs in a hitchhiker pose, with Rena holding a cardboard sign saying "New York City or Bust". In a few minutes, a car came by, and stopped.

"Hi--" Claude said nervously. "Can you spare us a ride to New York? Our spaceship broke down, and we have no other mode of transportation--"

The driver looked at his passenger. She looked at him and says "Dylan, just keep driving--"

As the car sped off, Indalecio said, "Yeah, nice plan."

"Oh shut up--" Claude said. "What do you want to do? Walk?"

*a couple days later*

"Dammit, who suggested this idiotic idea, anyways?" Claude said, sweating as he trods along the highway.

"Ummm--you--" Rena said, also feeling the heat of the mid-day sun.

"Shut up, both of you! Day in, day out, it's ╬This sucks' and ╬You're an idiot!'" Indalecio yelled out, frustrated. "I'm sick of this!" The others just looked at him funny.

As they crossed an uncommonly sandy hill, they see their goal.

"Holy sh*t!" Cyril said. "We're there!"

As the group ran towards the city, Rena suddenly stopped in her tracks. "What do we do when we get there?" she asked.

*********

The four walked around a somewhat small apartment room. "As you can see," the landlord said, "This apartment offers wonderful accommodations for the person on a budget. As you can see, the bedroom is located right next to the bathroom, in case of emergencies. And the living room/dining room is of high quality for the low, low price that I'm willing to rent it out for."

Claude walked into the aforementioned living/dining room. "Looks kinda run down--" he said.

"It's a fixer-upper. So, do we have a deal?"

The four gathered in a small circle to discuss it. "He's kind of asking a bit much for such a low-quality apartment," Indalecio said.

"Yeah, but this is the cheapest one we've found, and we've been looking all day," Rena replied.

Claude walked up to the landlord. "I guess we'll take it--" he said, reluctantly.

"Excellent! Payment is due on the first of the month!" the landlord said, smiling.

"WHAT?" Cyril yelled out. "That's 3 days away!"

"Hey, not my problem," the landlord said. "Bye!" he yelled out, slamming the door, knocking tile off of the ceiling from the vibrations.

"Argh, where are we going to get $400 for rent in 3 days?" Claude said, sitting down.

"Well, we did get that one job--" Rena said.

"I doubt that burger flipping at a fast-food restaurant is going to pay $400 in 3 days, plus other expenses," Indalecio said.

"Well, I guess all we can do is try raise the money and ask if we can get an extension," Claude said

 

*meanwhile, back on Expel*

The hot springs bubbled, as the mighty dinosaurs roamed the land, much like they did on Earth 65 MYO (Million Years Ago)

*fast forwarding to the time of our heroes*

"Man, they seemed kinda peeved," Opera said, knocking back another cup of sake.

"*hic* Yeah," Ashton said, obviously drunk off his behind.

"I don't understand why," Dias said. "We haven't changed that much, have we?" His only reply is silence.

"Have we?" Dias repeated.

"Dias, quit fooling yourself," Noel said, putting his arm around Dias. Dias promptly removed Noel's arm from his shoulder and retreated hastily. "What?" Noel said, seemingly hurt. Dias just shuddered.

"Well, I can't take it!" Precis yelled, stomping her foot. "I'm going to help them, no matter what! Is anyone with me?" In the distance, a cricket could be heard. "Dammit!" she yelled out, stomping her foot again.

"All right, I'm in," Dias said. "Anything to help my friends."

"We'll stand right behind you!" Noel said, as he and Ashton stood up. Dias shuddered again.

*********

*meanwhile, back on Earth*

The dawn rose on an extremely industrial Earth. The only plant life that can be found was inside the city parks, artificially grown.

"DAMMIT! Stupid timelines!" a voice boomed out across the universe.

*going back to 2000 AD*

"Welcome to O' McJohnson's!" Rena said, dressed in a typical fast food outfit. "May I take your order please?"

As the young man left with his food, Rena said to Claude, "This is humiliating. I mean, we saved the f***ing universe!"

"Yeah, I know. But it's not as if we can say ╬Shower us with riches and praise! We saved the universe!'" Claude said. "It happened far after any of these people will be around. Besides, the guys who tried to destroy it are the ones cooking the food--"

In back, Indalecio was busy cooking the hamburgers, and Cyril was frying--er--fries. "This job sucks!" Cyril yelled out.

"Not so loud!" Indalecio replied. "The manager's coming!"

"Hello, boys!" the manager chimed in, looking a little too enthusiastic for his own good. "How's everything coming?"

"Fine, sir," they replied in unison.

"Good, good--" the manager said. "Work hard, and you might get a pay raise one of these days!" The manager walked over to Indalecio, and grabbed a lock of his hair in his hands. "And for God's sake, man," he said. "Cut this hair."

"Eh, cut this, you b*stard--" Indalecio said under his breath as the manager walked away, giving his back a view of "the finger".

"Argh, I can't think of anything more humiliating--" Cyril said.

"I can, but it doesn't involve anything sanitary or painless--" Indalecio replied.

"Hey! 2 triple quarter pounders with cheese!" Claude yelled from the front counter. "And make it snappy!" The two Wise Men simply sighed and went back to their jobs.

*********

"Argh, one day on the job and I can already say that work sucks," Indalecio said, sitting down on the couch, beer in hand.

"Amen to that," Claude agreed, already sitting down on a nearby recliner. "At least we got free food."

"Yeah. It was free until the manager caught us stealing the goods," Cyril said. "I honestly think we got what we paid for, though."

"Eh, as long as we get paid, I don't care," Claude said, turning on the television set. "Let's see what Earth had to offer in it's primitive days."

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. As Rena opened it up, her jaw dropped. In walked Precis, Dias, Ashton, and Noel.

"What? How did you guys get here?" Claude exclaimed.

Precis stared into space blankly. "I don't know--"

"Well, who cares? Come in already!" Rena shouts out. "Do you want anything to eat?"

"Nah, for some odd reason, we're stuffed," Dias said. "Must be one of those mysteries of fanfiction life."

"Well, how long you staying in town?" Indalecio asked, sipping his brew.

"That's kinda the problem," Ashton replied. "We managed to get here, but now our means of transportation is gone."

"Our ship blew up," Noel said plainly.

"Ergh--well, you can stay with us until we can find a way to get back to Expel," Claude said.

"Oh, no, we wouldn't want to impose on you," Dias said.

"It's no problem," Cyril said. "If you don't mind sleeping in the living room, that is. And if you don't mind helping pay the rent."

"Sounds good, I guess," Ashton said. The dragons growl with agreement.

"By the way," Claude said, taking Ashton aside. "What have Gyoro and Urunrun thought about you and Noel--well--you know." Ashton simply went red in the face and began sweating.

*********

"RISE AND SHINE!" Precis yelled, walking around the apartment. "TIME TO GET UP AND GO TO WORK!"

"Ugh, don't remind me--" Indalecio said, groggily.

"Precis, how much coffee have you had this morning?" Claude said, walking to the bathroom.

"None, why?" she replied, ever so cheerfully.

"Oh, good God, what have I done?" Claude said, exasperated.

 

"Two Cheery Meals, on the double!" Rena yelled out to the back.

"Yeah, I gotcha," Cyril said, putting more frozen potato strips into the deep fat fryer.

"Man, this job is monotonous," Indalecio said. "Put the ╬hamburger' patties on the grill, flip over after a minute or two. Repeat ad nauseum."

"Well, at least you don't have to worry about splattering oil all over yourself," Cyril replied.

"Oh, the mighty Cyril, Master of the Wind, Slayer of Heroes, is scared of a little vegetable oil?" Indalecio said, mockingly.

"I'm still waiting for those Cheery Meals!" Rena yelled, agitated.

"Dammit, this stuff is hot!" Cyril yelled out. "You wanna stick your hand in there?"

"Hell no, do I look stupid to you?" Indalecio replied angrily.

"Dammit, where are those Cheery Meals?" Rena screamed, furiously.

"Yes, you do!" Cyril shouted. "You also look ugly, moronic, and utterly inept!"

"That's it, fool." Indalecio said coldly. "You die."

"Bring it," Cyril said.

"Oh, sh*t, hit the deck!" Claude screamed, diving over the counter. Rena did the same.

Indalecio grabbed a spatula, while Cyril took a deep-fryer basket. They began dueling with the two utensils, while the other workers scrambled out of the kitchen. Cyril eventually knocked the spatula out of Indalecio's hand.

"Haha! Gotcha!" Cyril shouted triumphantly. Not to be outdone, however, Indalecio took one of the sizzling "hamburgers" from the grill and threw it onto Cyril's face. "OW! It burns, it burns! Get this abomination of meat byproducts off my face!" he shouted out, stumbling around. Indalecio, seizing the opportunity, took refuge behind the soda fountain machine behind the counter. As Cyril took the burning mass of "meat" off his face, a visible burn ring could be seen on his face.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are," Cyril said. When he looked in the other direction, Indalecio made a mad dash for the grill. "Ah-hah, gotcha!" he said, grabbing Indalecio's hair. "Let's see how you like it," he said, pressing Indalecio's face into the grill. A hissing noise could be heard, and the smell of burning flesh was evident. Indalecio, knowing his predicament, acted quickly. He brought his elbow back, and--

WHAM!

Cyril fell to the floor, crouched over, tears forming. Indalecio grabbed his arm and dragged him to the deep-fat fryer. "Take this, bitch," he said, plunging Cyril's arm up to the elbow into the boiling grease. Cyril let out a cry of agony, while Indalecio stood back and laughs. Just then, the Manager from Hell appeared.

"Dammit, what the hell is going on here?" he shouted out, looking at the carnage. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't fire all 4 of you!" he screamed at the quartet.

"Umm--because only those two were fighting?" Rena said innocently.

*********

"Only those two were fighting--bah!" Claude shouted, walking down the street to the apartment building, pink slip in hand.

"Well, it's true!" Rena shouted back.

"Dammit, we'd better get paid for those two days of work--" Cyril said. Indalecio just groaned.

*********

As the four walk into their apartment dejected, they can see Noel, Ashton, Dias, and Precis waiting for them. "How'd work go, guys?" Precis asked, cheerfully.

"Not good. We got fired for fighting on the job--" Cyril said, downhearted.

"Well, cheer up! We all got jobs at a fancy restaurant," Dias said, trying to improve their mood. "The pay's great, and we start tomorrow!"

"Good, hopefully that'll pay the bills," Claude said, grabbing a beer from the fridge.

Precis looked at her watch, and suddenly yelled out, "Dear Tria, I'm gonna be late!" She rushed into the bedroom, and grabbed a small duffel bag. "See you guys later!" she said, running out the door.

"What was that all about?" Indalecio asked, sitting down on the couch.

"Ah, yeah--" Noel said, sweating. "Precis got a ╬night job.'" Indalecio and Cyril looked confused, while Claude and Rena looked at each other and shuddered.

*********

Late that night, Precis walked down the apartment hallway waving around large handfuls of crumpled and sweaty-smelling dollar bills. As she was walking, she could be heard singing.

"I'm in the money! I'm in the money, whoo!" she sang off-key as she walked into the door. As she walked into the apartment, her singing suddenly stopped. "Oh my god! Ashton! Noel! That is sick!" she screamed out.

"Huh? Wha?" Dias said, obviously woken up from Precis' clamor. As he saw Ashton and Noel, he shouted out, "Oh God, that is disgusting!"

"What's all the noise about?" Indalecio said, rubbing his eyes and walking into the room. When the couple come into view, he yelled out, "Cut that out! Ugh, I can't believe I saw that--"

"*yawn* What's all the hubbub about?" Cyril said, stumbling into the room. When he sees Ashton and Noel, he suddenly became fully awake. "Dammit, I'm about to throw up--" he said. Soon after, his hand came up over his mouth, and he ran to the bathroom.

"What are you guys yelling about? We need to get some sleep!" Claude shouted out as he came into the room, Rena just after him. As Ashton and Noel come into focus, Rena closed her eyes while Claude merely said, "Go into another room to do that!"

"Eh, heh heh heh--" Ashton laughed nervously. "I guess no one else wants a bite of our peanut butter and horseradish sandwiches?" Everyone else shouted out something along the lines of "no".

*********

At promptly 6 o'clock that morning, Precis went around the house yelling her usual banter of "Get up, time for work!" Claude turned to face Rena in bed beside him.

"I don't remember her being this annoying during our quest, do you?"

*********

As Precis, Dias, Ashton, and Noel walked into the restaurant where they're employed, their headwaiter, a snooty man with a fake French accent so thick you could almost see it, said to them "What took you? It is almost time for your shift!"

"Sorry about that, sir," Ashton said. "We got lost on the way."

"Well, never mind that! Go! Do your duties!" he said.

The four changed into their uniforms. "Argh, I hate these things," Dias said, as he adjusted the cummerbund on his suit.

"You and Precis just have to bring the food--" Noel said, tying his apron. "You don't have to worry about preparing it,"

"I've got you all beat," Ashton said. "I have to clean up for those rich slobs."

"Well, that's a natural job for you," Precis said. "I mean, you have two garbage disposals fused to your shoulders." Luckily for her, the dragons didn't speak English.

"Eh, enough bickering!" Dias said. "Let's just get to work--"

****************

"Hello, my name is Dias, and I'll be your waiter tonight," Dias said.

"Yes, I'll take the sirloin steak, medium rare, and my wife will have the Caesar's salad," said the person at the table, a middle-aged, portly man.

"Yes, sir, would you like anything to drink with that?"

Meanwhile, across the dining room floor, Precis came stumbling out of the kitchen door holding a rather large tray with several meals on it.

"Whoa whoa whoa whoa--" she says, as she tried to regain her balance.

"Need some help with that?" a nearby waiter asked.

"Nah, I got it--ahhhhh!" she shouted out, as she fell to the floor, soon followed by the food.

At the same time, in the kitchen, Noel was staring at a large fish put before him. As he started to cut into it with a knife, it began twitching around. Noel dropped the knife and screamed.

"What's the matter?" a fellow chef asked.

"D-d-d-d-do we have to kill the fish ourselves?" Noel asked, almost whimpering.

"Of course! The customers want the freshest produce available!" the other chef said, chopping the head off the fish in one swipe. Noel fainted at that sight.

While this is going on, Ashton was cleaning one of the tables that has been deserted. As he looks to his right, he shouted out, "Dammit, Gyoro, stop eating the plates!" Gyoro dropped the plate he had in his mouth and begins whimpering.

Back at Dias' table, the man asked Dias, "Did you make sure that it was medium-rare, like I asked for?"

"Oh, sorry sir," Dias said. "I'll check it right now." As he said this, he drew his sword and cut the piece of meat into two. "Yup, looks pink to me," he said, checking. The man was flabbergasted, while his wife collapsed to the floor in shock.

The headwaiter merely shook his head. "Sacre bleu," he muttered to himself. "What clowns I hired--"

*********

*several weeks later*

"Hey, Rena," Claude said. "Where did Indalecio and Cyril go again?"

"Umm, to Chicago," Rena replied. "Said they won a free trip or something."

"I see. Ah well, let's see what's on TV," Claude said, turning on the television. "All right! Springer's on!"

"I can't see how you can watch that trash," Rena said, disgusted. "All it is is just violence and sex."

"Yeah. What's not to like?" Claude said. Suddenly, Jerry Springer is shown on the TV.

"If you're just tuning in, our topic today is ╬I Want to Take Over the Universe, But I'm Fighting With My Partner'," he said. As the camera panned to view the guests, visible are two KKK members, George W. Bush sitting beside Al Gore, and Saddam Hussein sitting beside a jar containing the head of Adolph Hitler, artificially kept alive.

"Let's meet our next guest. He says he wants to destroy the universe, but he and his partner are constantly in disagreement. Let's bring out--Inda-what? Indalecio?"

As Indalecio walked onstage and takes an empty seat, Claude spit the drink he was about to swallow in shock.

"Th-th-th-th-the-they're on Springer!?" he shouted in disbelief.

"Yeah, they belong there--" Rena muttered.

"What's all the fuss about?" Precis called out from the kitchen.

"Everyone! Come look! Cyril and Indalecio are on TV!" Claude shouted. As the other four gathered around the television, Jerry Springer began his "interview".

"So, Mr-- Indalecio, why exactly are you and your partner fighting?" Springer asked.

"Well, the guy is an *beep*. I mean, he constantly insults me, says ╬We should do this!' or ╬We should have done that,' and to top it all off, he slept with my daughter!" he yelled out.

"Well, let's hear it from the other side. Let's bring out--Cyril? Who the hell named you two?" he said.

As Cyril walked on stage, a multitude of "boo"-s came from the crowd. When Cyril took a seat next to Indalecio, they exchanged angry stares.

"So, Cyril, what do you have to say about what your *ahem* friend said about you?" Springer inquired.

"Well, he's an egotistical maniac! All he says is ╬I'm the most powerful person in the universe!' and ╬No one can stand up to me!' It gets very sickening. Plus, about the sleeping with his daughter thing, we just had too much to drink. That's all," Cyril said.

"Bull*beep*!" Indalecio shouted out. "Are you calling me a liar?"

"Yes I am!" Cyril shouted back.

As the two began arguing, the crowd burst into a chant of "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" Back at the apartment, everyone but Rena did the same. Before long, the two Wise Men were out of their chairs and shouting in each other's faces. Not even the security guards could keep the two separated. Soon, Indalecio throws a punch that sends Cyril flying.

After this happened, chaos erupted. The two KKK members began brawling with the Presidential candidates. The crowd members all began fighting each other. Hussein threw a chair across the room. And, in the midst of all this, the severed head of Hitler fell to the floor, broke out of his jar, and rolled out of the studio and into the street while yelling "Nein! Nein! NEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIN!"

Meanwhile, while Jerry took cover, he said, "I'll be back with my closing thoughts after this."

Everyone looked at each other back at the apartment. "Well, it's the best episode I've seen in a while," Claude said.

*********

*approximately one month later*

Cyril looked sadly out the window into the night sky. Indalecio came up behind him and asks, "What are you doing?"

"Eh, I'm just thinking--" Cyril replied.

"About what?"

"Well, you know, about our lives. If what we've been doing is really what was meant for us. I mean, do you ever feel remorse for what we've done? I mean, killing all those people, trying to destroy the universe, that kind of stuff," Cyril said.

"Dammit, you know remorse isn't in our program code," Indalecio said.

"Whatever," Cyril replied. As he looked down into the street, Cyril said, "Hey, doesn't that look like Precis down there?"

Indalecio looked down to where Cyril is pointing. "Yeah, it does look like her. I think it is. What's she doing down there?"

"I don't know, but she doesn't look to be dressed that warm--" Cyril said.

"Look, a car is pulling up next to her," Indalecio said. "Maybe it's one of her friends."

"They seem to be talking about something-- look! She's getting in the car," Cyril said.

"Hmm--they're not driving off, though. Weird," Indalecio said.

*several months later*

Rena sat at a small table, with an accounting calculator. "Hmmmm," she begins contemplating.

"Whatcha doing?" Claude said, grabbing an apple from the fridge.

"Totaling up our funds. We should be able to go to the Midwest to see him with about $500 more--" Rena said, typing more things into the calculator. Just then, Precis burst into the door holding a rather large check.

"Good news! I got paid today!" she yelled out.

"Great!" Claude said. "How much was the check?"

"$500," Precis replied.

"My my my," Rena said. "Will wonders never cease?"

Claude yelled out to the bedrooms, "Hey! Pack your bags! We leave for Minnesota tomorrow!"

"Whoo-hoo! Road trip! Road trip!" Precis sang out, skipping to her room.

"And pack warm! It's cold there this time of year!" Rena shouted out.

*********

A small car pulled into the driveway of a farmhouse in Northern Minnesota. "Ah, finally here--" Claude said, stepping out of the car. "Been a wild ride--"

"Was that before or after Noel threw up in the car?" Precis asked.

When the group goes to the door and rang the doorbell, they're greeted by a middle-aged farmer holding a half-full can of beer in his hands.

"Hello, is Paul here?" Rena asked.

"Uh, yeah--" he said, with a slight country accent. As he showed them to Paul's room, he looked at his beer with a stunned look on his face, and threw it away.

When they opened up the door to his room, they saw a deceptively average looking bedroom. In one corner of the room, a teenage boy with frizzy brownish-blonde hair was typing things on a computer.

"Hey, glad you could make it," he said, with a slightly nasal voice. "I know what you need."

"H-h-h-h-how?" Ashton asked.

The boy turned to face them, and gives them a bit of a devilish smile. "I'm the one that's creating this entire adventure," he said. "Everything that's happened to you, everything you've experienced, even the changes in your personalities that have taken place, are all thanks to me."

"Why you little! I'll kill you!" Rena shouted, rushing towards him.

"Now, now, now, you don't want to do anything rash now. I mean, you want this fanfic to be finished, don't you?" he said.

"Er, I guess so--" Rena said, stopping.

"Anyways, I should introduce myself. Formalities, really, but whatever," he said. "My name is Paul. And as you know, I'm sorta playing God right now. Anything you need, I'll be glad to offer to you."

"Well, what can you tell us about that one ship that's about to destroy Expel?" Rena asked.

"I can give you the floor plans, but that's about it," Paul said. "Plot elements, you know. Can't give those away just yet."

"Well, can you give us the floor plans?" Noel asked.

"Sure, just a second," Paul said. He typed out a few things on his keyboard, and suddenly a stack of papers appeared beside him.

"Wow. Quick--" Claude said.

"Anything else?" Paul asked.

"Uh, yeah, can you fix our ships?" Precis asks.

"Sure thing," he said, then typed out more things on his keyboard. "There, your ships are now completely fixed and ready to make the jump back."

"And can you get me some catgut for my lyre?" Indalecio asked.

"It's called a store, Indy. Try using it," Paul said, almost condescendingly.

"Uh, I have a question," Cyril said. "Does everything you type into that keyboard happen?"

"Of course," Paul said. "After all, right now I am writing this piece of fanfiction."

"All right, can I see it for a second?" Cyril asked, taking the keyboard. As he typed, Indalecio suddenly punched himself in the face. "Cool," Cyril said.

"Hmph--" Indalecio said, taking the keyboard. After typing something out, Cyril took a folding chair and hit himself over the head with it. "This is kinda fun--" Indalecio chuckled.

"Give me that!" Cyril yelled out. As he began typing into the keyboard, Indalecio jumped out of the window onto the yard below.

"Don't worry," Paul said. "The ground hasn't frozen yet." Just after saying this, however, a large tree in the back yard suddenly fell and hit Indalecio.

"I--think you guys had better go now--" Paul said, taking away the keyboard.

*********

In a city approximately half an hour north of Paul's house, the group stopped in front of a small music store. "Thanks for stopping here, guys. I really need to pick up one last thing--" Indalecio said, as he gets out of the car.

"Hi, how can I help you?" asked a young man behind the counter.

"I'm looking for some lyre strings. Do you have any?" Indalecio asked.

"Liar strings--?" the young man asked, confused.

"No, lyre strings," Indalecio said.

"Umm--uh--" the young man stuttered nervously.

"You know, lyre strings," Indalecio says, while pantomiming playing a lyre.

"OH! Harp strings! Yeah, I have some back here," the man said, relieved. He walked into a small storage room in the back. When he came back behind the counter, Indalecio asked, "All right, how much?"

"$5," he said.

As Indalecio reached for his wallet, a look of confusion came over his face. "Dammit, where's my wallet?" he said. He becomes increasingly frustrated as he checked the rest of his pockets, to no avail.

"Sir, if you don't have the money, I can't sell you the strings--" the young man said.

"Dammit, give me the strings and no one gets hurt!" Indalecio yelled out, forming a ball of energy in his hand.

"Eep! They're yours! Don't hurt me!" the young man screamed, ducking behind the counter.

Indalecio rushed out the store and jumped inside the car. "DRIVE! HURRY UP AND DRIVE!" he yelled.

"Why the rush, Indalecio? I mean, it's not as if you robbed the place or anything--" Claude said, pulling out onto the street. Indalecio smiled, a mixed look of insincerity and nervousness on his face.

Before they get out of town, they find a police car following them. "Huh?" Rena said. "Is our tail-light out or something? Better pull over to see what they want."

"Hello, officer, what seems to be the trouble?" Claude said.

"Get out of the car, everyone--" the policeman said. As they do, he took one long look at Indalecio.

*********

"YOU MEAN YOU ACTUALLY ROBBED THAT MUSIC STORE?" Claude yelled out in their jail cell. "For the love of Tria, I cannot believe you! If it's not one thing, it's another with you two, isn't it? Dammit!"

Before long, a policeman came to their cell and let them out. "You're free to go," he said.

"Huh? What the?" Ashton said with a stunned look on his face. Then, from behind the policeman, a familiar face stepped out.

"Thanks. Oh, and here's something for you and the guys--" Paul said, handing the policeman a coupon.

"Wow! A Buy Two-Get One Free deal at Dunkin' Donuts!" he yelled out, running out of the jailhouse soon afterwards.

"What the?" Indalecio said, confused.

"Tsk tsk tsk," Paul said, shaking his head. "You dropped something at my house," he said, holding up Indalecio's wallet.

"So THAT'S where it went!" Indalecio exclaimed.

"Uh--why did you save us?" Cyril asked.

"You know, it would suck to write a story where the main characters spend 30 days in jail," he said. "Imagine how bad it would be for all those people out there reading it."

"Erm--whatever--" Cyril said.

"Anyways, quit wasting time," Paul said. "I wanna get this story finished before too long. The more you screw around, the longer it takes me to write!"

"Ummm--yeah--" Claude said, dumbfounded. "Let's--go--"

*********

Note from author: I would, right now, be describing their trip back to New York City, their experiences in moving out of their apartment, and their struggle to get their deposit back from their landlord, but I didn't want to bore you with such petty details.

Besides, I couldn't think of anything funny. Sue me.

*********

"All right, is everyone ready to go?" Claude called out over the ship's intercom. "Buckle up, and please ignore any turbulence."

The rest of the group complied as Claude started the ship's engines. As the ship began its acceleration to gain the speed necessary to propel them into the future, Cyril whispered to Indalecio, "Watch something go wrong--"

"I heard that!" Claude shouted over the intercom.

The ship gained tremendous speed for a minute or two, and then slowed down. The group realized that they (finally) were in their own time.

"Told ya nothing would go wrong," Claude taunted. "Anyways, our target is officially in sight now. Meeting in the back room."

When they all got into the back room, Rena said "We need a plan to get on there, but how?"

"I have an idea!" Dias exclaimed. "How about we--"

"No, Dias," Rena said. "We are not barging in full-force."

"Damn," he said, downhearted.

"I know," Ashton said. "Why don't we--"

*********

"Are you sure about this?" Noel asked.

"Of course," Ashton said. Everyone in the group was standing outside the enemy ship's entrance disguised as stereotypical Chinese-Americans. They were holding several boxes of take-out Chinese food. As Ashton walked up to the ship's hatch, a sensor appeared beside it. "Lucky Panda Intergalactic Delivery!" he yelled out with an extremely heavy Chinese accent. The group stared in astonishment as the door opened.

"See, told you it would work!" Ashton yelled out.

As the group walked inside, they stopped soon into the ship. Their combined gaze was staring at a massive grouping of creatures in the middle of the room.

"It's horrible--" Rena said in a mixture of fear and shock.

"It's awful!" Precis said, with much the same feeling.

"Oh dear Tria, what are they?" Dias shouted out.

"They're cute, that's what they are!" Noel said, as a small creature looking somewhat like a cross between a cat and a mouse walked up to him and rubbed against his leg. The creature yelled "Nekochu!" as Noel picked it up and began petting it.

"Don't mind them, they're just--OW!" Noel said, dropping the creature. "The b*stard bit me!"

"Nekochu, Nekochu, Neko-chuuuu!" it said, with a smile on his face.

"Whatever they are, they're hostile--" Ashton said, drawing his twin swords. "Claude, you and Rena take the floor plans and try to find the captain. We'll fend these things off."

"Hey, dammit, I'm the leader here!" Claude yelled out.

"Then what do you propose we do?" Ashton said.

"Ummm--Rena and I will try to find the captain. The rest of you fend off these creatures," Claude said.

"Brilliant plan!" Ashton said sarcastically. "Wish I thought of that."

"Shut up--" Claude said, in a sulking manner.

"Dammit, this is no time for an argument!" Rena shouted. "We've got a job to do, remember?"

"Yes ma'am," Claude and Ashton said, hanging their heads.

"That's better," Rena said, as she takes Claude by the hand and runs down a corridor.

"You guys ready?" Indalecio asked, gritting his teeth.

"Sure thing," Precis said, taking a large automatic rifle out of her backpack.

"W-w-w-w-w-what's that?" Noel asked, stuttering.

"It's an AK-47. I picked it up while we were on Earth. Gotta love the NRA," she said, loading it.

As the group fought, they noticed that the creatures didn't bleed, didn't die, and didn't cause any major physical harm. Instead, when defeated, they ran away screaming their names.

"Weird. I could have sworn this was just like a game that was popular back on Earth--" Dias said.

*several hours later*

"Any end to them?" Precis asked. "I'm running out of bullets."

"None that I can see," Dias said, as he "sliced" through another creature.

"Man, this is getting tiring--" Ashton said, wiping his forehead. "Indalecio and Cyril seem to be enjoying themselves, though."

Across the room, Indalecio and Cyril were blasting creatures left and right.

"Got one!" Cyril said.

"No you didn't. That was my kill," Indalecio said.

"It was not! I got him!"

"No, I got him!"

"My kill!"

"MINE!"

As Cyril and Indalecio began chanting their most powerful spells, a large group of creatures formed around them. The rest of the group, knowing what was going to happen, quickly took shelter. When the two finished casting their spells, a massive explosion resulted, rocking the ship. When the smoke cleared, all of the monsters were completely gone.

"Wow, you two did something right for a change," Precis said.

*********

*meanwhile*

A monitor on the ships bridge showed a young Chinese-American man yelling "Lucky Panda Intergalactic Delivery! Come on! The food is getting cold!"

A man sitting in a chair at the far end merely said, "So it was a trick." Just then Rena and Claude burst in.

"Your time is up!" Claude yelled. "Come show yourself!"

As the chair at the far end of the bridge turned, Claude and Rena got a good glimpse of the captain. He was a teenage boy, dressed in blue jeans, a silver-colored shirt, a blue jacket, and a blue and silver hat. Beside him was a teenage girl, dressed in jean-shorts, a blue top, and suspenders.

"What the hell--?" Claude said. "You're just kids!"

"Wrong," the boy said. "My name is Keven. This is my partner, Kristin. We are master Mini-mon trainers."

"Mini-wha?" Rena said, dumbfounded.

"Mini-mon!" Keven said.

"I don't get it--" Claude said.

"Mini-mon! Those little animals you saw at the entrance. They're special creatures with powers that people like me train, so they can fight other mini-mon."

"Sounds like a bad Pokemon ripoff," Rena said.

"Well, yeah, granted, we are," Kristin said.

"So--why are you trying to destroy Expel?" Claude asked.

"Hmmm--let's see if you can understand this. If we destroy Expel, and every other planet where RPGs take place, then we'll be the only RPG game in existence. That way, people will be forced to play our games when they want a gaming challenge!" Keven yelled out as he laughed maniacally.

"And what if people just stop playing RPGs altogether?" Rena asks.

"I--well--er--damn," Keven said.

"You're crazier than the person writing this stupid thing--" Claude said. "Well, better late than never. Your plan comes to an end today!"

Keven rose from his chair and faces Claude. "Who's going to stop us?" he yells out.

"I am, the Warrior of Light!" Claude yelled out, drawing his sword.

Well, sort of. As he pulled his Eternal Sphere out of his sheath, it came apart halfway down the blade. "Stupid mass-produced piece of American junk!" he yelled out, throwing the broken sword on the ground. As he looked up to face Keven, a small silver and blue ball hit him square between the eyes. Claude stumbled around dazed for a few seconds, then fell off a high ledge near one end of the bridge.

"Claude!" Rena yelled out, trying to grab for him.

"You know, maybe we should put a railing on that thing one of these days," Kristin said.

"CLAUDE! CLAUDE! CLLLLLLAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUDDDEEEEE!" Rena screamed, with tears in her eyes.

*********

As Claude regained consciousness, he found himself at the bottom of a gigantic ravine inside the ship. "Hurt less than I thought," he said. "My body feels kinda warm, though--"

Just as he stood up, he saw a beautiful woman dressed in a suit of armor. She had long silvery hair, and a cold, tough expression on her face. "Greetings, brave warrior," she said. "My name is Valkyrie."

"Hey Valkyrie, nice to meet you," Claude said. "You know how to get back up to the bridge?"

"You're not going to be going back," she said. "You are one of the chosen ones. An Einherjar. You are to come with me to Valhalla to fight with Lord Odin in the final battle, Ragnarok."

"Yeah, yeah, nice story," Claude said, spying a small industrial escape ladder. "Listen, talk to me after I defeat this guy, then I'll become an Ayne-hairy-ar or whatever. Right now, I have to go save my friends."

"You don't understand, do you?" Valkyrie said. "You're dead."

"I'm--what?"

"You're dead. You fell off that cliff, and died on impact," Valkyrie said. "Your body is behind you, if you wanna see. Wouldn't recommend it. Kind of gruesome, if I say so myself."

As Claude turned around, he saw his mangled, twisted, and broken body. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" he yelled out in a high pitched scream, jumping into Valkyrie's arms.

"See? Told you," Valkyrie said, dropping him.

"I--I--I can't die yet!" Claude said, clamping onto Valkyrie's leg.

"Too late. You already are," Valkyrie said, almost completely without emotion.

"But--but--but--isn't there anything you can do?" Claude whimpered. "Bring me back to life or anything?"

"By Thor's hammer," Valkyrie said under her breath. "Not even Gandar put up this much of a fight."

"Huh?" Claude said.

"Nothing. Nevermind," Valkyrie said out loud. "Look, one, it's against the laws of Asgard to bring souls back. Second, even if it was possible, it's not in my jurisdiction to do so. So, you can either come with me, or go to Nifleheim."

"Nifleheim? What the hell?" Claude said, with a confused look on his face.

"Interesting choice of words, really," Valkyrie said. "Nifleheim, basically, is Hell. So, you can come with me, or suffer an eternity of torment and agony."

"Aren't there any other options?" Claude asked.

"FOR THE LOVE OF FREYA, NO!" Valkyrie yelled out.

"You seem a bit stressed," Claude said. "What's wrong?"

"Argh, long story," Valkyrie said. "My job was all well and good for a while, brave warriors were coming in left and right. It was busy, but I was happy. Then, the Viking age ended, and the flow of warriors kinda slowed to a trickle, if that. Then, the gods put me to such menial tasks. ╬Lenneth, go pick up the mail', ╬Lenneth, the gods require a jug of milk for their feast tonight', ╬Lenneth, Slepnir's mane needs grooming'. I mean, dammit, why couldn't Loki have done that kinda **** for repentance? Anyway, you're the first suitable warrior I've had in over a thousand years, and I am NOT going to let you slip away, GOT IT?"

Suddenly, another young woman, with long blonde hair, appeared. "Lenneth, what in Jotunheim is taking so long?" she says.

"Nothing, Lady Freya. This one's just being stubborn--" Valkyrie said.

"Ah, another crybaby?" Freya said.

"Yeah. This one wants me to revive him so he can go save his friends," Valkyrie said. At this, Freya burst out laughing.

"Revive him! Oh, that's a good one! Did you hear that, Lord Odin?" Freya yelled out.

At this, a middle-age looking man appeared. He was holding a gigantic spear, and had an eyepatch on one eye. "What's all the commotion about?" he said, with a gruff voice.

Freya, still laughing, puts her shoulder on the man to support her. "Lord Odin, you gotta hear this. This Einherjar--wants us--TO REVIVE HIM!" Immediately after saying this, both Odin and Freya fell to the floor laughing. Before long, a mischievous-looking young man with blue hair appeared. "What's so funny," he said.

All three of the other gods said in unison, "Loki, go away."

"Fine," Loki said. Then, he adds under his breath, "Dammit, wait until I have the Dragon Orb. You'll stop laughing..."

Suddenly, a familiar face walked into the area. "Hey, listen," he yelled out.

"PAUL!" Claude yelled out, rushing to him. "You gotta help me! I fell off this cliff and--"

"Yeah, I know," Paul said. "I'm writing this damn thing, remember?" He walked up to Freya, Odin, and Lenneth, and conversed with them for a short while. Before long, Paul walks back to Claude.

"Good news. You're coming back to life," he said.

Claude immediately bowed down and kissed Paul's feet. "Oh thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!" he said.

"Get up, you look like an idiot," Paul said.

"Well, how did you do it?" Claude asked as he got up.

"I just said that if they brought you back to life, I might write a Valkyrie Profile fanfic one day," he said, with a smirk on his face. Then, he turned to Lenneth. "Hey, Valkyrie, come here," he yelled out. When Lenneth came near, he said, "Give Claude your sword."

"My sword? Why?" Lenneth asks. As Paul winks at her, she says, "Oh, yeah. Here."

"What's this?" Claude asked.

"The demon sword, Levantine. It's to replace your broken one," Paul said. "But beware. The sword is a reflection of your soul. Without total self-control--"

"Cut the prophetic warning crap," Claude said. "Is it strong?"

"Well--yes--" Paul said.

"Is it durable?"

"Yes--"

"Good enough. I'm gone," Claude said, as he laid back to where his body was.

"See you soon," Lenneth said.

*********

As Claude gained consciousness (again), he sat up and said, "Man, that was one freaky dream." Soon after saying this, he discovered his new sword inside its sheath. "Or was it a dream?"

He stood up, and found the industrial ladder. When he got to the top, he saw Rena crying, and Keven and Kristin discussing the merits of putting a railing on the ledge. "Hey. Anybody miss me?" he said, walking forward.

"CLAUDE!" Rena shouted, rushing towards him. "Oh, thank Tria you're alright!" she said, as she collided into him, hugging him.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa--" Claude said, as he teetered on the ledge again. "Maybe we should get some better footing first--"

"Wow, you survived--" Keven said, drawing a sword. "Damn, I guess I'll have to fight you after all--"

As the two men began dueling, the two women began talking.

"Damn, men are such pigs--" Kristin said.

"Yeah, I know," Rena said. "Always fighting and mouthing off."

"Exactly," Kristin replied. "I mean, look at Claude. He was all ╬Oh, I'm gonna defeat you,' and all that. But he's swinging WAY too late."

"Well, at least Claude doesn't drop his guard when attacking," Rena said.

"Well, Keven didn't fall off a damn CLIFF!"

"Claude wasn't so stupid to be fooled by our crappy disguise!"

"At least I didn't get married to a MORON!"

"Slut!"

"Whore!"

"B*TCH!"

Just then, Kristin threw a punch that sent Rena reeling. "That's it," Rena said. "You die--"

The two women got into a classic catfight. Shouting, scratching, pulling each other's hair, tearing at each other's clothes, etc. The men began to notice this, and tried to get them to stop.

"Umm--Rena--you're embarrassing us--" Claude pleaded.

"Kristin, just stop, please--" Keven asked.

After about two minutes of trying to get them to stop, all without avail, the two men just looked at each other and shrugged. "Women--" they said in unison.

*********

"Don't worry! We're coming!" Dias screamed as he and the rest of the group ran down the corridor leading to where the battle was currently taking place.

"You really think they can hear you?" Cyril asked.

"Shut up--" Dias replied.

As the group burst into the bridge room, they saw Claude and Keven sitting in recliners, beer in hand, a bowl of popcorn between them. Meanwhile, Kristin and Rena were still fighting, down to their unmentionable clothing, in a pit of mud that was somehow placed in the room.

"COME ON! LET'S GO!" Claude shouted out after taking a sip of his beer. "Oh, hey," he said, noticing the group. "Join the fun."

"What the hell is happening?" Precis asked.

"Oh," Keven said. "Claude and I were dueling, you know, to the death and stuff. Then, those two got into an argument and then started beating the crap out of each other. We tried to get them to stop, but then we just decided to have a little fun."

"Er--" Precis said, seemingly sick to her stomach. Meanwhile, Cyril, Indalecio, and Dias looked wide-eyed at the two women. Noel looked at the guys staring at the two, and then shook his head.

"I don't understand what you guys see in that, do you, Ashton?," he said, turning to Ashton. "--Ashton?" Meanwhile, beside him, Ashton was shaking uncontrollably.

"W-w-w-w-wom-women i-in m-m-mud f-f-f-f-ight-fighting--" he stuttered. Soon after this, he fell to the floor, going into convulsions.

"Dude, you alright?" Keven said.

"Yeah, he'll be fine," Claude said. "Oooooh, elbow drop!"

*********

Back on Claude's ship, everyone was in the back room except for Ashton, Cyril, and Indalecio. "So you guys decided to become friends?" Rena said, drying her hair.

"Yeah. He decided to get their game popular through mass marketing or some crap like that, not by destroying different gaming worlds--" Claude said. "He wasn't really that bad. Not too bright, though--" At this comment, Rena looked at him funny. "By the way," Claude said, "Where are Indalecio and Cyril?"

"I think they had some business to finish up in the past--" Precis said.

*in the past*

"Welcome to our show, everybody," Jerry Springer said. "Today we have a follow-up to a program we ran a few days ago, ╬I Want to Take Over the Universe, But I'm Fighting With My Partner.' Let's bring out our first returning guests, Indalecio and Cyril!"

Indalecio and Cyril walked onstage and sat down. "So, have you two made any progress?"

"Yeah, actually," Indalecio said. "We've decided that fighting wasn't in the best interests of our friends, and wouldn't help us reach our ultimate goal. We've called truce and are going to try to settle disagreements in a civil manner."

"And what about you, Cyril?" Springer asked.

A long silence followed, then suddenly Cyril said, "I love you, man." As the two Wise Men hugged, Springer said, "Isn't this sweet? We'll be back with Hussein and the decapitated head of Hitler after this."

*in the future*

"Yech," Rena said. "I still have mud in my hair. I'll be back after I shower again," she said, walking out. Just then, Ashton walked into the room. "Hey, guys, I have something to tell you," he said.

"What is it?" Noel asked.

"After some more searching within myself and stuff--well--I found out--uh," Ashton stuttered.

"Spit it out," Precis said.

"I, er, am--actually--bi," he said. Everyone stared at him blankly. "Dammit, it means I like both men and women!" he shouted.

"YAY!" Precis yelled out in an unusually high-pitched voice. She ran to Ashton, hugging him while wearing a smile that threatened to split her face in half. Noel seemed dejected, and looked at Dias with a "pity me" expression, holding out his arms asking for a hug. Dias cringed.

"This has been one wild adventure, hasn't it," Claude said. "It's almost a shame it's over--"

At that moment, Rena walked into the room, holding a small plastic cylinder. "Claude, you're not going to believe this," she said. "I'm pregnant."

*********

Claude sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and Rena got pregnant" he said.

"Don't worry about it," Precis said, snuggling up to him. "Just lay back down and go to sleep."

*********

Claude sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and Rena got pregnant, and then woke up and I was in bed with Precis," he said.

"Hmmm?" Lenneth said lying in bed, turning to look at him.

*********

Claude sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and then Rena got pregnant, and then woke up and I was in bed with Precis, then I woke up again and was next to this one Valkyrie lady," he said.

"What's this about Noel and I?" Ashton said.

"Yeah, what is it?" Noel said.

*********

Claude sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and Rena got pregnant, and then woke up and I was in bed with Precis, then I woke up again and was next to this one Valkyrie lady, and then I woke up next to Noel and Ashton," he said.

"WEIRDEST DREAM DOES NOT COMPUTE!" Shigeo said.

*********

Claude sat up in his bed in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and Rena got pregnant, and then woke up and I was in bed with Precis, then I woke up again and was next to this one Valkyrie lady, and then I woke up next to Noel and Ashton, and then I woke up next to Shigeo, of all people," he said. Beside him was a teenage boy writing things in a notebook.

"Last joke, I promise," Paul said.

*********

Claude woke up in the little meeting room inside the ship. "Man, I just had the weirdest dream. These guys were going to blow up Expel, and then we worked with Indalecio and Cyril, and then we went to Earth and stayed there for about 6 months, and I died but got revived, and Ashton and Noel were gay, and Rena got pregnant, and then woke up and I was in bed with Precis, then I woke up again and was next to this one Valkyrie lady, and then I woke up next to Noel and Ashton, and then I woke up next to Shigeo, of all people, and then I woke up next to the author," he said.

"Umm--Claude," Rena said. "All that stuff did happen, up to the point where you were waking up next to Precis and stuff."

"So we did go to Earth?" Claude said.

"Uh-huh.," Rena said.

"And we did work with Indalecio and Cyril?" Claude said.

"Yup," Rena said.

"And Ashton and Noel are still--"

"Well, Noel is. I personally think Ashton is crazy."

"And you're still--" Claude said.

Rena nodded. "You fainted right after I told you."

"Oh Tria--" Claude said, before fainting.

"Damn," Rena said. "Wait until I tell him we're having twins--"

*********

-Credits-

Written by Paul "Tragician" Beaudoin.

Based upon characters from Star Ocean: The Second Story and Valkyrie Profile, copyright 1999 and 2000 tri-Ace/Enix respectively.

Thanks to:

Weretiger, the first fanfic groupie, and who gave me many good ideas.

The Profound Pchan, for actually replying when I posted it at his ezBoard.

Igtenio, for all the praise and the whip lashings when I didn't feel like working.

Bomberman, for hosting it at his site,www.x-sages.com

Kevin, who "convinced" me to get Star Ocean: The Second Story in the first place. He created a monster, really.

tri-Ace for developing both Star Ocean: the Second Story and Valkyrie Profile, and Enix, for producing/publishing them.

Psycho Kirby, PitViper, Kronon, and anyone else who has given me support but hasn't been listed.

Fritz Fraundorf, whose excellent FF7 fanfic entitled "Mr. Sith Goes to Washington," was my indirect reason for writing this.

You, for reading this entire damned thing.

This fanfic is ©2000-2001 Paul Beaudoin. If you wish to have it hosted on your site, email me at freak_boy71@hotmail.com. It's doubtful I'd say no.

Claude, Rena, Cyril, Indalecio, and all related characters are registered trademarks of tri-Ace/Enix or some crap like that. I hate legal stuff.

*********

It's over. Really.

You can go do something productive now. Like sending me ideas for more SO2 and VP fanfics.

Better yet, write your own.

Seriously. I'm sick of typing. Besides, I'd like to see you come up with one.

You're not going to do it? Figures.

Or you can go play SO2 and VP. Great games (IMO)

You think there's going to be any more than this?

You're just fooling yourself, buddy.

You don't have anything better to do? Like reading a comedy story on your computer screen is so much better?

I bet you killed a few hundred brain cells reading this. I'm not kidding.

Now get off your rear-end and do something. Anything. Go now, before I sic Leon on you.

He's one bad mofo. Trust me.

You're not leaving, are you?

Suits yourself. Dammit, he's busy, can you take a raincheck?

Anyways, move on. Go read another fanfic or something. Or browse the site this is hosted on. They could use the support.

You're like a brick wall. You haven't listened to word I've said, have you?

This is the end. Really. There isn't going to be any more after this.

-The End?-

-Yeah, The End-