Derelict Press presents

=========================================================================

                        DERELICT Press Presents

                       The twenty-second issue of

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                            "Strange Nights"

                        A psuedo-Acraphobe title

._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._.'COVER`._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._.

        A two-story house drawn in crayon. It looks like the work of a
child, the straight lines bent and a tiny circle for the doorknob. But
within the windows, as if just out of sight, there is a pale neon green
glow. The name 'Brittany' is clumsily scrawled in black crayon along the
bottom left corner.

)()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()

"When you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."
        -- Nietzsche


        The last hours of night slunk over Net.ropolis like a wounded 
cat, dirty and thin as bones, with a pained look of madness in its eyes.  
The LNHHQ lay quiet and dark, with only a few strange flashing lights in
the windows here and there. It was a big building, and the heating system
didn't work so well, so Paytan's room was ice cold. She was curled into a
fetal position beneath the covers, the way she had been since they'd
gotten home and she had locked herself into her room. Dirmarw lay where
she had thrown him, unnoticed beside her bed. He glowed a pale neon green
in the moonlight.

        Exactly one floor down, Brit lay still on her bed. She hadn't
undressed, hadn't even bothered to get beneath the blankets. But she was
still deep in sleep, brain waves moving into the elongated pattern that
indicated dreaming. And that was all Dirmarw needed. An unearthly wind
ruffled the girl's hair, and for an instant she was wreathed in neon
green light.

        Under normal circumstances the sword had no access to other's
minds unless Paytan used her powers to get him in. But with the link
forged by the blood spilled on his blade, Dirmarw could do anything to
Brittany he wanted. For a second the sword felt unmitigated glee at the
mere opportunity to crush the meddlesome little bitch where she lay.  But
the glee passed. He and Paytan needed power if they were going to
survive, and if that meant sacrificing her best friends then so be it. He
sent a thread of consciousness slinking into Brittany's mind, creeping in
through one of the back doors of her dreams. He had always sensed an odd
sort of power about her, and now was the time to figure out what it was.
And how to get it.

        He was inside her mind within seconds, swept along by the sheer
chaos that passed for the girl's flow of thought. Her dreams were
nonsensical and unimportant, and he passed through them like mist, heading
toward the foundation of her consciousness. Flowers sang at his feet, and
Dirmarw started. He hadn't had feet in thousands of years, not since his
spirit had been thrown into the body of a sword in a failed attempt to
save his people. There was power here, if this girl's mind could give him
a body without him even noticing. Then the foundation rose up before him,
and he turned all his attention to it.

        The foundation of Paytan's mind was a large mountain, split in
two and scarred black by some massive natural phenomenon. There were
trees on it still, but lava flowed from the heart of the mountain and
burned them down most of the time, leaving the air to smell of sulfur and
burnt pine. In comparison, Brittany's mind was something completely
different. A tiny two-story house rose out of a vast plain of wheat,
looking like nothing more than a child's drawing, colored haphazardly
with crayons and markers. The whole structure swayed back and forth in
the wind, and the door stood invitingly open. Dirmarw took the
invitation.

        If it were this easy... Dirmarw smiled as he walked in through
the front entryway. The house was a lot bigger than it looked on the
outside. A foyer lay spread out before him, colored in bright reds and
golds, while off to the side there was an emerald green garden and a
patio. A set of stairs swept away into the upper reaches of the house,
and these looked to be drawn a little more professionally, with colored
pencils and some effort made in the shading. Dirmarw poked around for a
while, then finally headed upstairs. Most people thought of their selves
as the top level of consciousness, so the top floors would be the best
place to look.

        But he searched to no avail. Room after room opened before him, 
full of memories of this and that, or ideas and might have beens. But 
nowhere could he find anything that might be considered a source of 
power, though he upended the furniture and scattered the trinkets. Even 
as the detail grew more intense and realistic, colored pencil giving way 
to paint, and from there to almost photographic quality. Still nothing.  
Where could the silly girl be hiding it? He had known there was something 
false about her the moment he had seen her, and she had proven it beyond 
any doubt only seconds later. Paytan still didn't remember that part. So
finally he turned his attention downstairs, back to the crayons and
markers, down into the basement.

        It was easy enough to get inside, though once he was there 
movement proved a little bit harder. The art had lapsed entirely into 
scribbled crayon, and at times barely discernible items could be seen in 
the scattered lines, while at others there was only mess. It looked to be 
nothing more than a child's scrawls, without any real goal in all the
arty chaos. He leaned against the stair railing for a moment and hung his
head, concentrating.  Where could she be hiding it?

        Then he felt it, and the shock almost sent him from the girl's
mind. The power pulsed everywhere around him, spread into some shape that
he couldn't quite see - it couldn't be the air. He would have noticed
that. But he could sense it right beneath his hand...

       Dirmarw lifted his hand, slowly turning it until he could see the
coal black gook coating his palm. It had rubbed off from the railing, and
the spot where his hand had lain shone a twisted silver. An aching chill
crawled up Dirmarw's spine. If the power he sensed was all around him, if
the whole house was not made of crayon and little drawings but merely
wore them like a coat, or an old jacket...

        He sent a strand of power into the metal, examining it, searching
for its purpose. He leaned forward until his reflection was almost clear,
looking into the surface of the stuff.

        And something looked back.

        His vision disintegrated into a chaotic swirl of washed-out
pastels, pink, yellow, and grey. There was a tone like a dirge and a
slash of heartless electric blue rose from the depths and sent him
hurtling from Brittany's mind.

                      -==-             -==-

        Brittany shot up in bed, sitting frozen as she stared into the
darkness. Her bandaged hands clenched the covers so tightly she could
feel the cuts in her palms reopen and begin to seep again.

        "Hello?"

        No answer. She was alone. She took a slow, deep breath, and lay
back down, gaze tracking across the darkened ceiling. It was going to be
a long night.

                      -==-             -==-

        Paytan awoke with a start, fighting free of the tangle of covers
to sit up and look around the room. A pile of used kleenex covered the
floor to the side of the bed, and Dirmarw, who was glowing a deep neon
green. The carpet beneath him was burnt brown and smoking faintly.

        "What the hell happened to you?" A moment passed.

        "Dirmarw?" Her voice was worried, and a thread of fear began to
coil slowly in her gut. If he wasn't talking to her again, then he was
spinning more protection spells, more desperate attempts to keep them
safe and unsummoned. Which meant Brittany and that JBoNV sorceress were
in danger, if he needed extra power. She prayed he didn't need extra
power.

        She hadn't told Brittany about the greater demons. There had been
enough trouble already, with Dirmarw's little declaration of control
after that last battle. She hadn't known what to say. 'Sorry, this is
probably the last time you'll ever see me alive' wasn't something she
could just blurt out. Dirmarw was strong enough to counteract the magic
of the lesser demonlords, undo their bindings and spells. He could heal
her and sweep the memories of her summoning into the darkest corners of
her mind and cage them there, hidden. And with his spells and cunning,
only the lesser demonlords had known of her existence, had used her for
their benefit.

        But someone had tattled. If one of the great lords knew, one of
the demons Dirmarw's magic couldn't protect her from, couldn't
counteract...

        Paytan slammed her fist into the dresser and pulled the T-shirt
quickly over her head, trying to override the sick feeling in her 
stomach.  She had to talk to Brittany, had to tell her, even if she
couldn't do anything. She deserved to know. Especially if Dirmarw
panicked and decided to use her for energy.

        She was halfway to the door when the space around her began to
heat up, the water in the air vaporizing into a pale smoke until the
humidity was close to nil. She turned and dove for Dirmarw in nearly one
motion, angry as she had ever been, and a little relieved.

        Too late to tell anyone anything, always too late, too slow. But
every moment they were gone was one more moment the sword couldn't take
Brittany's soul from her body.

        Her hand closed around Dirmarw's hilt, and the summoning swept
up, enveloping her. The pulse and the beat of the neon, the sound of
ancient drums burning, burning through the wastes, and with it the dry
heat of a desert so vast that it shamed the stars. Then the room was
empty but for the faint smell of ozone, and she was gone.

        Maybe forever.

                      -==-             -==-

Path: wn3feed!worldnet.att.net!135.173.83.225!attworldnet!newsadm
From: "Erin Tumilty" <Tumilty@worldnet.att.net<
Newsgroups: rec.arts.drwho
Subject: Re: The Death of Sam?
Lines: 30
Message-ID: <6pigdp$iuc@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>

>Susannah Tiller wrote:
>
>> Erm... Adric? Was he as despised when his stories originally aried, or
>> did his bad reputation start after Earthshock.
>>
Earthshock was the first Adric story I saw, and my fourth
Doctor Who story. I quite like him in it,and was a little
depressed when he died. The credits were so sad. Then I saw
the E-Space Trilogy and realized what a complete and utter
git he was. Besides, by then I had started getting really
involved in fandom where hatred of Adric is given as a
universal. It's amazing that this is so true of all the
universal constants of Doctor Who fandom. Mel is the Evil
Entity(tm), and the Pit is the worst book on the slag pile.
I've never seen these things, but hey, they're truths.


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From: "Erin Tumilty" <Tumilty@worldnet.att.net>
Newsgroups: rec.arts.drwho
Subject: Re: The Death of Sam?
Lines: 30
Message-ID: <6pigdp$iuc@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>
 
>Susannah Tiller wrote:
>
>> Erm... Adric? Was he as despised when his stories originally aried, or
>> did his bad reputation start after Earthshock.
>>
Earthshock was the first Adric story I saw, and my fourth
Doctor Who story. I quite like him in it,and was a little
depressed when he died. The credits were so sad. Then I saw
the E-Space Trilogy and realized what a complete and utter
git he was. Besides, by then I had started getting really
involved in fandom where hatred of Adric is given as a
universal. It was like some sort of weird osmosis. I
found myself disparaging Mel, even though I'd never
seen any of her episodes, and slagging off the Pit,
despite the fact I'd never read it. Imagine my surprise
when Paradise Towers shot into my top ten favourites
and I found myself enjoying the first thirty pages of
Penswickian prose.

                      -==-             -==-

        Early morning found Explosion Boy standing uncertainly at the end
of the hallway. The nice secretary had let him in from the cold night,
and even given him the room number that Out-of-It Lass lived in. Now all
he needed was the guts to go up and give the manual to her. He paused,
fumbling with the manual as he tried to keep it from crushing the bouquet
of roses he held in his other hand.

        The book was heavy, and its brown cover looked almost black in
the dim hallway lights. The net.heroines would be glad to have it back,
he was sure. All he had to do was go up, and give it... to her...

        With a sigh, he realized he was still standing at the mouth of
the hallway. He took one cautious step forward, and then another. There,
see, that wasn't so bad, was it?

        He heard the patter of feet a second too late, as something soft
and fuzzy slammed into him from behind, knocking him to the floor and
going directly over him as it headed down the hallway. He looked up
blurrily just in time to see what looked like a giant piece of cloth go
round another corner and disappear. Then something with tiny sharp claws
tore over his back, and he watched in astonishment as a small green kiwi
headed down the hallway after it.

        Sometimes he wondered about these net.heroes.

        He found Out-of-It Lass's door a few minutes later, with a note
taped to the knob. It said:

                Please knock. If I don't answer in ten minutes,
                open the door and see if I'm in. If my eyes are
                open, come in and tap me on the shoulder. If
                they're closed, I'm asleep, and you should come
                back later.

                Thanks,
                Out-of-It Lass
                Savannah Ramey

        So her name was Savannah. Should he tell her his was Bryan? It
was his real name, and that was bad if she should track him, discover
that he was really a sidekick turned villain. But he wanted her to know
him as Bryan. It would feel strange using a pseudonym. It didn't matter,
she probably wasn't in anyway.

        He took a deep, deep breath, and knocked on the door. And waited.
Around him he could hear the building creak, settling on the foundation.
Somewhere beneath him, the hum of giant machinery rose up through the
floor. The ten minute mark came and left.

        Finally he turned the doorknob cautiously and peered inside. Just
in time for a tiny toy Chrysler LeBaron to hit him in the nose. He winced
back, hand protectively covering his face, then looked back inside. The
thrower of the little car stood in the center of the dark room, holding a
shoebox loosely in one hand as she turned to survey her surrounds. She
wore sweatpants and big baggy shirt, and a headband swept back her hair
to keep it out of her face. Bryan waited, breathless, as she turned
slowly to face him. She was beautiful.

        She turned toward him, eyes pale and grey until she was looking
at him dead on, then the grey turned steely and darker, like shadowed
water. He saw them for a second before she jumped and closed her eyes,
muffling a shriek.

        "Sorry! I'm sorry, I didn't know you were there - "

        "No, I should have told you! I knocked, but I mean, I didn't say
anything - I'm sorry." He was on the verge of turning and leaving, face
red with embarrassment. But she smiled, eyes still closed, and moved to
sit down on the bed.

        "No, it's okay, it happens a lot. What do you need?" she smiled
again, shy, and he almost dropped the manual. "Have a seat."

        "I found this, a few blocks from here, and I figured that it, uh,
belonged to you, maybe."

        She opened her eyes again, locking onto his face then dropping
them down slowly to stare at the book he clenched so tightly in his
sweating hands. "Oh! Brittany's manual! She's been wanting that back, I
think. How did you know it was ours?"

        "Oh, well, you know. You see stories in the news. I just saw it
and figured it must belong to Out-of-It Lass, or, um, one of her
friends." He had stashed the roses behind the chair when he came in, and
was excruciatingly aware of their presence behind him. Should he pull
them out? Should he even give them to her? He could feel her gaze settle
on his face, two grey lasers shooting to the center of his soul. Suddenly
he realized that she might be able to tell if he was lying, and froze.

        "What's wrong? You brought back the manual, everything's fine.
There aren't any net.villains after you, are there?" asked Savannah,
unused to being put in the role of comforter. She fidgeted a little, then
smiled again, lighting up her whole face.

        "No, everything's fine," he smiled weakly. "Nothing's wrong."
Just I can't seem to get my heart started up again.

                      -==-             -==-

        Kismet came to roost on the top of one of the few buildings still
standing in central Net.ropolis, sitting on the edge of one of the
gargoyled ledges of the seventeenth floor. She wrapped her wings tightly
around herself, holding out the chill of the breeze.

        Her white summer dress was covered in dirt and blood, torn where
she had used it for bandages. She was little better herself, with her
hair a-tangle and her legs covered with scratches. Her wings shook, the
feathers rattling as she crouched on the ledge and did nothing but
breathe, exhausted. She had not realized there were so many.

        The first tinge of goodwill she had set out with had died
quickly, as soon as she landed among the wounded, in fact. She didn't
think she would ever get over the vast numbers of insect-people this
dimension held, all jammed into one place. Crowded and glared at, she had
nearly fled before one man dragged himself from the crowd, eyes pleading.
In his arms a baby lay, barely breathing and covered in blood.

        And so Kismet had sung, with not one voice but three, throat
pulsing as the song poured out of her and into the air, staunching blood
and knitting muscle back together. Like magic. And she saw as the pain in
the man's face became relief, became strength as the child in his arms
became whole again even before his own legs had healed.

        She saw them all, as she sang and healed them. The amazement and
wonder that crossed through their features, and left just as swiftly. It
was their reactions afterward, though, that drew her attention so much.
Some cried, some laughed uncontrollably. They turned to loved ones, to
check their wallets, or to perfect strangers next to them. They stared in
shock, and one old gentleman walked slowly forward to lay a white
chrysanthemum in her hands, in complete silence.

        And she realized for the first time that the faceless crowds had
faces, that every gear in the whole machine had cares, wants, and needs.

        Everyone in this world seething with people was a person in their
own right, whole and complete.

        And that was even more frightening than before.

                      -==-             -==-

Path: wn3feed!worldnet.att.net!140.142.64.3!news.u.washington.edu!grahams
From: Puccini12@aol.com (Ryan Kohler)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.reviews
Subject: Retrospective: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Lines: 63
Message-ID: <6p3s0b$16cg$1@nntp3.u.washington.edu>

                              "Murder on the Orient Express"

A Review by Ryan Kohler

As my English Composition instructor commented recently, "Agatha
Christie is the coolest mystery writer ever." This is true with her
books; however, in many cases, film adaptions of her books have, in a
word, sucked. An exception is "Murder on the Orient Express," a
luxurious, quick-paced throwback to a different kind of time and place.


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From: Puccini12@aol.com (Ryan Kohler)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.reviews
Subject: Retrospective: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Lines: 63
Message-ID: <6p3s0b$16cg$1@nntp3.u.washington.edu>

                              "Murder on the Orient Express"

A Review by Ryan Kohler

As my English Composition instructor commented recently, "Agatha
Christie is the coolest mystery writer ever." This is true with her
books; however, in many cases, film adaptions of her books have, in a
word, sucked. No exception is "Murder on the Orient Express," a
ludicrous, slack-paced throwup to a different kind of time and place.

                      -==-             -==-

        Censor girl stood in the corner, red cyber-eye flicking blindly
here and there. Kid Camouflage sat crosslegged on the floor, leaning
against a large slab of fallen masonry. The distant wail of sirens echoed
all around them, occasionally growing closer as one ventured into the
wreckage for more of the wounded. KC sighed, and tossed another pebble
at the cyborg woman. It bounced away a centimeter or two short of hitting
her. The cyborg didn't even twitch.

        Around her the rest of Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villians lay
scattered and asleep for the first time since the fight with those
LNHers yesterday. Rebecca had screamed all night long. She said that
there were demons in her head when she closed her eyes, lurking in the
darker corners of her skull. They had bound her wounds, but who knew if
she would get any better. She was asleep now though, after taking a
handful of pills that Mr.Fossavellus had given her.

        KC growled, and threw another stone.

        "That won't do any good you know. She's got a force field."

        KC jumped, then swung around glaring before she realized it was
Mr.Fossavellus. "I know. Nothing better to do on watch, though."

        "Hmmmm," she almost heard him smile. "Is everyone here?"

        "Yeah, they're all asleep," she motioned toward everyone else,
tallying up a mental head count as she did. And came up one short. She
could hear Mr.Fossavellus shift beside her, probably coming to the same
conclusion.

        "Where's Bryan?"

                      -==-             -==-

        "So her code name is Weirdness Girl? Isn't she Kid Kirby's
girlfriend?" he leaned back in his chair, puzzled, as Savannah began to
laugh.

        "Hah! No, no, that's just a rumor. Because they're both avatars
of cosmic powers, and all. Don't tell Brittany you heard that, okay?"

        "Oh, never," promised Bryan, thinking that her smile reminded him
so much of someone... the memory shot through his heart like an iron
spike. Oh God, Jenna. Floatation Girl. Guilt flooded through him.  He
hadn't even thought of her in months. And here he was with this...  this
angel, as if she didn't even deserve to be mourned.

        "Bryan, are you okay?"

        "No. Yes, yes I'm fine. I - " he searched desperately for
something to change the subject to, "I was just thinking about how hard
it must be, you know, having powers and all."

        "Oh." Savannah opened her eyes, staring right into his. Bryan
felt his heart, what was left of it, collapse in sheer exhaustion on top
of his lungs. "It's not that bad, having concentration powers. I mean, I
never feel like I'm participating, but they're not like Paytan's.  I get
by."

        "And anyway," Bryan added, "Concentration is one of the best
talents after all. Rebecca says concentration is the foundation on which
all magic is based." Oops.

        "Rebecca?"

        "A friend of mine. Uh, my sister's friend, actually. She's a
sorceress." Bryan gulped.

        "Oh, have I met her? You know, in the heroing business?"

        "No, no, she's pretty much a homebody." He had to get out of
here. "Look, well, it was really nice meeting you. You have a beautiful
smile." Damn, he hadn't meant to say that last part. Savannah blushed.

        "Thanks," she said. "Will I see you again?"

        "Oh yes, I'm sure. Oh, I mean I'll stop by to visit, you know,
every once in a while, to see how things are going."

        Bryan muttered a few more goodbyes, then crept swiftly out of the
room and nearly ran down the hallway, the thought of Jenna weighing down
his heart. What was he going to do? The original reason he'd had for
joining the Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villains had been to find Jenna's
killer. And her he was, dallying with this... absolutely gorgeous...
LNHer, while his friends guarded some cyber-woman because the job had
turned out to be lucrative. Bryan hung his head on the way down in the
elevator, and didn't look up on his way out past the reception desk.

        Back at her room, Savannah leaned against the doorjamb, eyes
closed. He had been lying, mostly. But his name was Bryan, that was
truth. And the part about knowing a Rebecca. Hmmm...

        She turned back and closed the door behind her, opening her eyes
to begin searching for the tiny toy car. And saw the white roses.

                      -==-             -==-

Path: no-for-mail
From: ayu5565448@aol.com (AYu5565448)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: Post manipulation & post control surveillance system
Lines: 57
Message-ID: <1998072616190000.MAA23512@ladder03.news.aol.com>

Hey, guys. There's been something weird going on on the newsgroups. I've
got an account elsewhere, and I've been comparing posts on the
newsgroups, and there have been changes. Some small, some large, but
definitely changes.

Hey, has anyone else noticed this?


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From: ayu5565448@aol.com (AYu5565448)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: Life manipulation & life control surveillance system
Lines: 557
Message-ID: <1998072616190000.MAA23512@ladder03.news.aol.com>
 
(Part Nine)
 
After life manipulation technique has been used in surveillance system for
two decades, life controllers have been corrupted and will manipulate
people's lives to pursue their own interests


What are the reality of current life control surveillance system and life
controllers (LEO & operatives) in our society?

                      -==-             -==-

        The next morning found Brittany and Savannah sitting on Paytan's
bed, looking worried. They had put down her non-appearance at dinner
yesterday to a random sulk, but when she didn't come down for breakfast
Brittany had become concerned. When no one answered the door Brittany had
ended up kicking it open.

        The whole room stunk of sulfur, and the carpet was melted away in
a huge spot in the center of the room. No one had seen Paytan.  Not even
the computer could pick her up on the intra-building scanners. Which
meant a summoning, but those normally didn't leave such a stench, or any
sign of a struggle.

        "Do you think this is normal?" asked Brittany, watching Savannah
as the girl stared intently at the floor.

        "No. The carpet was flashburned, in an almost instantaneous blast
of power. I don't believe this was a planned burst. It's the kind of burn
someone would make if they were surprised, firing wildly. Doesn't she
normally take summonings pretty well?"

        "'Well' is a relative term. But she generally doesn't pitch
around power blasts." Brittany looked up, concerned. "She seemed strange
when we fighting the JBoNV that last time, too." She brushed her fingers
across the bandages that encompassed both her palms, the two slashes that
had bloomed in her skin after she sent Dirmarw hurtling to Paytan in the
middle of the battle.

        "Maybe we should wait around, see if she comes back," suggested
Savannah.

        "Sometimes that takes days."

        "Sometimes it doesn't."

        Brittany nodded in agreement, and leaned back on the bed. Time
passed. After a while she sat up again and glared at her cousin.

        "How much sleep did you get last night?"

        "Four hours."

        "Well switch places with me and take the bed." Brittany waved a 
plush, rock-filled fish threateningly. "Rest."

        Savannah drifted off slowly, listening to the rhythmic squeak of
the wheely chair as Brit spun round and round. There was no telling how
much time had passed when she felt herself being shaken.

        She opened her eyes to see Brittany crouched by the bedside, air
temperature rising rapidly. The humidity in the air dropped to nothing
and the stench of brimstone and sulfur intensified. The universe tore a
hole in itself and spit out a figure rimmed in neon green light.  But it
wasn't Paytan. Brittany and Savannah watched, stunned, as a demon dropped
into their midst.

        "Savannah, door!" Brit snagged her cousin and gave her
a shove in the right direction, whipping out one of her plush fish and
holding it loosely in her hand, covering the escape route.

        The demon crouched in the center of the floor, ram's horns
curling out of either side of its skull, eyes narrowed and glowing
eerily in the dim room. Leather wings sprang twisted from its back,
arcing almost up to the ceiling. Brittany began to back away, fish raised
in case the demon chose to attack. She almost didn't notice the sword
until it was too late.

        It had Dirmarw clutched in one clawed hand.

        Brittany felt something drag through her, could almost hear the
tearing sound as she fell to her knees, a metallic tang suffusing her
mouth. It felt like her bones had turned to water. She stared, as cords
of pale grey substance flashed into existence between herself and the
sword, and a sickly neon green glow enveloped the demon entirely, pulsing
and shuttering like a bulb about to go out. It cocooned itself around
the wings and tail, adding red until the glow was almost black-violet,
and the wings began to melt away, disintegrating first to bone and
muscle, then to nothing.

        The tail fell thrashing to the floor, blackening and wilting as
Brittany watched. Claws shrunk to nothing, to small curved fingernails.
The hooves cracked in two, leaving new, pink flesh beneath that grew
slowly into feet. The light boomed outward, washing over the room,
dragging through Brittany's hair, over her skin until it faded away,
echoes of faint neon green sparking gently in the corners.

        Leaving only Paytan, the ram's horns still curving out of her
skull and lit by the neon glow from her eyes, curled sobbing on the
floor.

________________________________________________________________________
Binky, Dirmarw, Kismet, Explosion Boy, Out-of-It Lass, Perdition,
Weirdness Girl, copyright Jennifer Whitson, 1995. Censor Girl is Public
Domain.

Next Issue:

        Brace yourselves, 'cause it's gonna be a wild ride.

        But first, the climax of this whole pseudo-crossover thing! Go
        over to issue #19 of Fan.Boy!

========================================================================
Note: The usenet posts used here should in no way be taken as kind of
sign of disrespect towards the owners. They are just posts Jamas grabbed
for the story. They remain the full right of the original posters, and
have been maliciously used completely without permission.
Back to the Index.