Meanwhile, back in the Master's TARDIS.....Part 22

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 8260


That is what the word for the day is for four entities in charge of the four foundations of life and existence in the mortal spheres.

An analogous version of Zerm the Unspeakable of Terra Prime, the Dust Mage, is making his tired way to accomplish the fell task assigned him, when his body collapses....and he finds himself in a very bright....and HOT place. The entity charged with "ushoring" in the legions of the damned for final punishment and containment pauses in consternation as he sees the work order on this man. He's seen all the color codes for the major Departments. Some were seen more than others over the eons. However, this is the FIRST time it's ever seen all FOUR colors on the paperwork.....and the LEVEL of the agent is......frightening.

One down.

The demoness, smiling s soft smile as she offered the mage great power, if he'd only sign....suddenly has this terrible pain in her throat. The demons reaches up....or tries to.....when the rest of it's body finally gets the idea that the angel's sword swipe was supposed to do....and the demon/demoness known as RF in some circles drops to the floor. The mage takes one look at the glaring foursome who are gathered around the dead demoness.....and pisses himself before running for the hills!

"This is the one I uncovered via the paper trail he left ignoring the proper channels," the head of Evil chuckles. "I'd have given it a promotions.....if he'd not tried to cut out the Organization......cut me out of the action."

"Yes, that would be a shame," the female angel (the form worn for today) says in a snide voice.

"Knock it off youse guys," the Chaos agent says, chains and leather straps flapping as it shakes it's head. "This is the biggest thing that's eva come down da pike...and ifn we screw around we're....hah....going to not exist to regret it!"

The events surrounding the Dark Tower should have warned them much sooner, but who'd ever put much belief that that pissant Norse deity rep would dare something like this!

Two down.

The Brazen Man's mask leers up at the demon who's claws dispatched him from behind. The Demon (the form for today), licks his claws and savors the blood.

"With just a hint of plague.....I like it," the Demon smiles at his sour looking comrades.

"If it wasn't the fact that the Norms were making a bid for instituting her mythos onto the entire multiverse.....I'd go and lay in your department's corrections handling facility before I'd ever work with the likes of you!" The Elder Rule grinds out, disgusted with the Demon.

The others look at him strangely. A Rule passionate about something? Showing feeling?!

"OH, for crying out.....don't you people read the interoffice paper?" the Rules mutters before they disappear again.....with their trophies.

Bodies are Erased.....something that will be done to the heads of the slain AFTER their whistle stop tour throughout the entirety of the four Offices. Dead though the slain entities are, they can still say much by warning others to NOT do what the heads' owners have done!

Three down.

The scenery disappears around the ghostly Sir Tisbitt.......secret follower of the Norse religion.

Fenris is gone?

The Ygg?

He'd thought he'd finally found the actual Place where he needed to go in the Afterlife. The Norns had called him....and he'd been drawn forth to here! It had been what seemed like a final confirmation of his religion!

"This...shouldn't be!" Tisbitt cries in protest, looking around. His ledger falls to the ground in a ghostly clatter.

He hears a voice......quiet but powerful and tills the ghost with dread!

He looks frantically around, but the grey mist is blocking his view.

"We have a few questions about your dealings with this.....rather dead demoness......" the Voice begins. "And the question is.....are you an idiot? Do you think that your attempt to consolidate Our power under YOU is going to fly with the Higher Ups?"

A trio of high pitch screams....and then gurgling sounds.....then silence......

"You trying to put me and my friendly.....rival out of business?" the Voice asks....remembering how the Deal went. His Department tried to tear down the Universes quicker than the Schedule demanded.....and the Order Department tried to Prolong the Universe well past Schedule demands handed down by the Higher Ups. The net effect was a universe with occasional things happening that were....interesting. Both forces never really accomplished what each ultimately set out for in this "Game" but......That was what the Agent now understood since he had been.....gifted with insight so long ago. All in all, the game was fun where the Chaos Agents tried something new.....

"Oh, and Tisbitt," another voice, calm and quiet, neutral sounding. "Do be assured that all you've seen today with the Norse mythos has been a façade. You shan't see the Truth of the Afterlife until you actually have all your mortal connections to the mortal spheres severed......and not a moment sooner! Do make a journal entry with that insight, comprende?"

Tisbitt turns a lighter shade of pale (hard for a ghost), and nods as he quickly scrawls what has happened today here!

Third goal accomplished....but in retrospect they should have gone for the mortals first.....

The Brazen Man did indeed shake the foundation of quiet a few things....but not in the way he had planned.

"Set a course for Phobos Moon outpost as soon as the drives can be engaged," the commanding officer of the Lizard ships orders the Technician. The bridge is silent as the officer awaits a reply.

The XO of the ship nods, and the Technician does his duty.

The Technician had finally been able to get the communicator on line again, wonderful considering the last beating the ship had with the Alliance. The Humans seemed to get worse and worse as time goes on. But the Emperor be Praised, so forward marched the Race's to match and defeat the vile vermin and showing them Who should be on top.

But then he'd received the message that had been spread throughout the entirety of the Fleet. Somehow, the miraculous Phage that the Royal Researcher had produced and had modified by a local food source was now deadly to them as well as Humans. The fact was sealed by the EMPEROR himself!

His Will is law.

And since the scanners detected the same organism, somehow aboard the ship, the XO had been in the process of informing the Captain.....of the duty he was to levy out. Instead, accidentally, the XO had listened in on the CO's and the Brazen Man's conversation. Believe in that Cult was death. The Emperor was the Way...and all others were feeble copies. Then a computer file was downloaded, and they were quickly scanned by the technician.

One last duty to perform, with much regret for the most part, but two bright spots. One was the fact that the heretic was going to die. The other was the fact was....the Prayers of the Race had been answered. Technician more able than him, more gifted than him had tried for years to do it. The Race had searched for decades after the start of the Alliance/Enemy war for it.

The universe which had something called Star fleet had it. Antimatter warp core engines. With this knowledge, tiberium's usability would be increased by an enormous factor! Instead of consuming the precious mineral in wasteful tiberium reactors....only a faction was needed to channel the power generated by what until now had been the theoretical release from an matter/antimatter reaction.

A button pushed, an unstoppable overload and burn away the danger to the Race the infected ship represented.

Message sent via the most secure channels known to the Race.

One last sentence before dying.

Yellow catlike eyes dilated in anger, the Technician spits on his CO.

"Burn in the hells of Zanadoon, Grand Warlock Ygorl, Master of the Fifth Circle!" the Technician shouts, venom dripping from his words.....right before there is a brilliant flash of light....and darkness.

The Four arrive too late to stop it, for the Orders said to prevent the Spread before this happened.

The upside for them is that the Higher Ups don't erase them. The Downside, for some, is that they failed....and people are going to suffer.....

Being the odd nature of the Brazen Man....he had delivered the message months before the events happening on Terra happened. Much preperation is put into what happens here. Jellico and the others are ignorant of what is happening, but disaster is falling. The only thing that prevents total disaster for the the fact that Elrondir was able to convince Captain Sterndeck (the CO of the Alliance Fleet that won the greatest victory in Military history.....a captain for an admiral is too conspicuous for operations like this....would have ruined the chance of victory and all that) to let slip the iron dogs of war....and have them ram themselves into HIS Enemy's bases and facilities.

But not into the Enemy Fleet.

Net effect, while the Enemy was wickedly smart enough to dump immense tons of Omega into Federation (and other's) space.....causing subspace ruptures that will forever deny all space travel in the galaxy of ordinary warp speed.....the Enemy finds itself without the resources of their Empire. Thus an unprecedented thing must occur. They must capture and occupy industrial planets to build and repair their machines of war.....and to do this effectively, they must use human and other Non-people's labor! This is awkward for the Military, for they could smash these worlds....but they'd be killing their a real sense. The Military finds itself....reluctant to hit the human shield that the captive laborers represent.

Most of the High Command of Star Fleet died in the lightning attack of the Enemy....but Jellico has a few ideas...especially when he gets a dozen desperate plies from what HAD been enemies. The Cardasians and the Dominion have been hurt also. All have had horrible things done to their them. Jellico suddenly has a much clearer understanding of the night the Military calls the Night of Blood. The night that the Enemy attacked them! He and the others want the same thing: REVENGE!

The news of the appearance of another Enemy, along with the appearance of another Military-who'd been able to mend fences with their Company and who'd finally decided that perhaps.....things did need a around Home....amazing what a few deaths in key positions does for the internal chain of authority. With the odds the way they were, the Company battling the Military decided that.....peace was a better plan. A treaty is signed, and the Military grudgingly accepts the idea that the company keeps possession of the 9 remaining Home Earths it has....with "protectorate" worlds. The Military keeps it's worlds and stuff it gained from this war. Not the best, but the fighting and dying form this war is ended.

Forces unite.....forces that would never had considered joining together....until now.

We could follow Jellico and the Voyager's story.....but that is in another plot summary (soon to be updated....)

No, let's just keep with the story of Fred and Terra Prime. There is still much to see here (even if it's on a lessor scale than the first).

Andrea and Astra 8 are filling each other in on events since Astra left Andrea and Frederigo to go off alone. "I still find it difficult to believe that Frederigo could have been an oathbreaker," Astra says. "It will be hard for me to wholly trust his analogs now, I fear. My head tells me that is illogical, but my heart tells me differently, and I can't wholly ignore it. Still, let's think about happier things. Your hidden magical gift is interesting. From what I'm told, there are a lot of mages around here. Perhaps it might be a good idea to see if you could get yourself taken on as an apprentice by one of them, so you could be properly trained?" "Yes, perhaps. I'm not really sure yet just what I want to do. Everything's happened so fast."

Meanwhile, Queen Astra has given her verdict on the dwarves from the Walants 7 universe, based on the AIs' report of their individual interrogations of each dwarf. Lem and one or two of the others who have shown genuine repentance are pardoned, but Tarin, Dokken and most of the others are to be executed.

Fred and Astra 4, their babies, "their" Synizn and the warg are returned by the shuttle craft to their settlement. The elves do not go with them since, though they aren't sure exactly what they want to do now, joining a human settlement in a remote location does not greatly appeal.

Fred and Astra 7 are starting to make plans for their wedding. They have not fixed a date (or indeed a place) yet, but it will need to be within the next couple of months to ensure that the triplets are not born out of wedlock. Rowena will be the chief bridesmaid, of course. "The only sadness is that our parents can't be there," Fred tells her. "Yes. They must think us both dead. If only there was some way to get a message to them."

Fred and Astra 6, Synizn 2 and Sigin 2 haven't yet come to any decisions as to what they will do. Synizn's path will be the same as Fred and Astra's, of course, whatever that might be.

Meanwhile, Trilling Blackfeather...

Is living up to his namesake as he trills softly as he nuzzles his sleeping wives, Morning Song and Evening Star. They both were with child and Trilling, both his Light and Dark side, was gladdened. Dark Trilling was proud to have been able to bring a token into the world to pass on the legacy he'd carve out of Terra.....a kingdom for himself and his offspring. Light Trilling was awed at the thought of being the sire of children....and looked forward with all his leonine/avian heart to raising his little chicks.....showing them the simple pleasures in life....and helping them learn the blessed art of flight!

Dark Trilling then pauses, and smiles to himself......

It had taken some careful thought, balancing his desire for revenge with his desire for staying ALIVE! A too bold move would most likely fail miserably and make him a target for these AI/golem creatures that had taken a shining to these goodies. What was called for was a subtle approach. Finally, he had fallen upon a most elegant solution.

They wanted a unified Terra Prime. This was a dream that had caught fire in their hearts. At odd times even HE felt the beginnings of desire for it. However, imagine the crushing sadness to see something dash these hopes...and throw it in the dirt.

The final meeting between various nations would take place in two weeks. The largest players in this game would be there....along with their ambassadors. If one...or all....should conveniently fall over dead, that would throw suspicion about. The poison that would cause it would be a quick....but painful one. He had already been able to use a similar technique on several occasions to stir hate and discontent between Allaria and other nations at critical diplomatic sessions. Nobody would be able to prove just WHO had killed the Helenas, but all would let old biases loose and fingers would be pointed at old opponents/enemies..... and totally ruin this diplomatic meeting!

This would be a double blow for the goodies. First, someone close in their.....clan.... would have died. Second, it would take a miracle for such a meeting to take place again after something like this....with suspicions running wild. And with that.....with things not so bloody unified.....other plans for vengeance would be easier....perhaps.

Trilling, still suffering from the long journey here to the Military base closes his eyes and sleeps. We then turn our story back to the adventure already in progress....

High Lord Sithe is not a happy orc. First the dwarves who had allied themselves with him had mysteriously transformed into orcs. [7169] Then Balok, or at least someone claiming to be Balok, had returned from his meeting with the other clan leaders similarly transformed and telling a crazy story that Sithe could make no sense of. Ordinarily, Sithe might have welcomed having extra orcs, but he sensed that the bitterness of the ex-dwarves at what had happened to them was a potential cause of trouble. All the more reason then to keep his military venture going, to give them something to think about rather than perhaps plot a rebellion against his own authority.

But that military venture had not been going well. The latest setback had been that his kidnapping party had been tracked down before they could complete their return journey. [7471] Just one orc (previously dwarf) had managed to elude death or capture and to return, and according to him their prisoner had somehow escaped well before they were tracked down. [7283] To make matters worse, Sithe's shaman was dead, though his informant was very reticent as to just how that had occurred.

Sithe turns to his replacement shaman. "Do you not have any ideas as to what we can do now?" he asks with a hint of menace in his voice. The new shaman, young and inexperienced but with a genuine gift for magic, twitches nervously as Sithe glares at him. "Well," he says, "I did have one idea..."

Meanwhile delegates are beginning to gather in Aethiopia for the conference that it is hoped will pave the way for an alliance that some are suggesting could be called the United Nations. Leaders and diplomats from Aethiopia, Aqualaria, the Manimal Nation, Walants and a number of other nations and protectorates will be taking part, as well as representatives from the elves, dwarves and griffins. The Military have been invited to send observers (as have the major religions), though they will not have a vote.

The evening before the conference is due to open, the four Helenas take the opportunity to go out for a meal together and update one another on recent events.

The evening before the conference is due to open, the four Helenas take the opportunity to go out for a meal together and update one another on recent events.

"That would explain MUCH, really." Helena 1, ambassador to the elven nation/clan called McLanden, mutters, rolling her eyes. "With the destruction of that fell Forest entity (re: 7483), the.....vigor of the elves would rebound. I just wish that Ke'lan had remembered to tell somebody before the Night of Melding. I don't know how many fathers and mothers went into shock at the results of those shell shocked mages who magically examined the results for a pregnancy tally!"

"Yes....I think that a new record was set....and it also shocked them into mothballing any future ceremonies, God bless it!" Helena 4, ambassador to Ethiopia, chuckled. "The elves have been on a decline, and the thought of aborting a new elfin life is anathema to them, understandably. Still, even the most enthusiastic of them admits they might be a bit strained with the glut of children on the way! Tell me I'm not having a silly dream!"

"Actually....I had this weird dream about these wolfriding elves on this strange world with two moons in the sky (re: 2958)," Helena 3, Ambassador to the griffins, says quietly. "It involved them being out in this large desert that I first thought was the Calamari....because it had a Fred and Astra, one of the analogs that got teleported out into the desert to die. But it was the humans who were the foreigners.....for the world had two moons! They wolfriding elves were having this strange chat about a book that seemed to show their future....had them thoroughly befuddled and scared.....when they met Fred and Astra. It might have been interesting to see how those analogs got along in that world....but I a had a feeling that the elves may have gotten hostile with Fred and Astra.....for they had bad blood between themselves and that worlds version of humans. However......and I doubt that there was a common language between the two races...."

Helena 3 pauses, looking shaken.

"However, somehow an elf in a far place and time merged two large objects.....and tore the universe to shreds from the resulting paradox and explosion!" she shivered. "It caused all of that universe to collapse in on itself! Fred and Astra were somehow transported to safety....perhaps due to their alien nature to that doomed universe. That alienness also seemed to somehow shield those and several associated groups of elves. I'm not sure what happened....but it seemed to involve.....strained carrots?" (re: 8057)

The other Helenas nod....seeming to remember similar dreams.....

"Actually, I had a strange dream myself," Helena 2, ambassador to the Manimal Nation, sighs. "It involves this large blue box called a.....Tortis....or Tardis.....(re: 7672)."

"Actually, I had a strange dream myself," Helena 2, ambassador to the Manimal Nation, sighs. "It involves this large blue box called a.....Tortis....or Tardis.....(re: 7672)."

Several of the Helenas make warding signs, to advert misfortune. The Tardis of myth with the bringer of.....the Twins! Not something that was desirable at all.

"The dream fades and I remember little....but I saw the images of the Twins of Doom," Helena 2 says softly. "I must remember the old religious drawings of them well, for when I looked upon them.....I knew it was them....and I shuddered."

"I doubt that there is any religion out there without them in it somewhere," Helena 1 nods. "Good thing it is that we have no gift for Second sight, despite our small Talents, no?"

All nod. It was good, else they'd be REALLY worried.

The conversation drifts to things of lighter and darker natures. They talk about the plans that the elves that had accompanied Astra 4. Not feeling like wasting time- though ageless and having little need for haste- E'eysha, Gilmuriel, B'elanna, and Elrondir had practically mobbed the Base chaplains (the Church of Silicon Valley and the Roman Catholic ones)....and had been married on the eve of arriving at the Ethiopian Military Base! That took many humans by surprise, but as one of the more learned Helenas of Elven affairs had pointed out: "Elves do not waste time in the matters of the heart, for they know without doubt when the other is their soul mate."

Tongues had been sent wagging at the shocking news of Ke'lan's conversion to Christianity. With it had come a flood throughout the Elven nation (united...finally) of others who no longer followed the old Elven deities. Some even followed the ways of the DWARVEN gods! Some had protested, but none would stand against Ke'lan....for he was their Ruler by right of Birth (strange circumstances about his new body none withstanding). Ke'lan had shocked the other elves further by empowering the rulers of the Clan McLanden with most of the day to day, major chores of office. Ke'lan was their Emperor, but he had made himself little more than a figurehead. Ke'lan just wanted to go back to enjoying the life he'd grown to love as Grailing....and every once in a while he managed to get away for a bit to do just that.

Fred 6's group was being billeted in the Regent's Palace and little was spared in making them feel at home! As what had become Duke Dredrick D'Honaire custom....he adapted the newest members of his family....and as per usual they all came around to accepting and liking the arrangement. Having even an adopted father made the feeling of displacement much easier for them.

Fred 7's was also getting billeted at the Palace....and after so long on the road...some of them.....they were enjoying the change. Astra 7 was recovering from her emotional ordeals, and it was heart warming to see the Amazon warrior and Fred 7 together....just walking and enjoying the other's company. They had fallen in love with the idea of obtaining the lands next to their "closest" kin of the analogs, Dark Astra's group, because of the similarity of ordeals...and happy outcomes from the disasters and the pain of it all. Queen Astra had smiled and said as soon as they were wed (which was happening a week after the United Nations meeting), she'd grant them their wish.

Andrea had approached several of the mages for apprenticeship, and she'd finally been taken on by Demifox Sigin. Rosepaw and the kits had hit it off well, and thus it was looking good for the relationship. Astra 8 kind of tagged along, having somewhere along the line become something like a big sister to the younger woman....and now and again she'd be visiting.

Astra 8 seemed to be a bit standoffish around the Fred. The Helenas had a feeling that it had something to do with Thoabath (unofficially, Fred 8 had been disowned by all the D'Honaire clan....and now was only called by THAT name when ever mentioned in conversation). Queen Astra had decided that Astra 8 would make a good general as well as duchess of a small spot of now Astra 8 was glad to serve Queen and country.

All seemed well, despite a spot of unexplained severe heartburn at a meal a few days ago.

That's when they heard it as they were walking back towards their Palace quarters. Several delegates were around, already, doing needed things to set up for their show at the meeting. All turned and saw the sign that none thought would ever be seen!

It was blue. It was boxy. It had a flashing light on it and sounded like an asthmatic elephant after a long run. Next to it popped in an object that morphed into a statue (which would have blended in perfectly and secretively....if

Shouting could be heard from within....then......the nightmare opened!!

Inside the Master's TARDIS....

"Quant....." one of the visitors mutters, who looked like Janet Reno, muttered. "So....why are we together again, as if I didn't already know."

"It was that event with the elf who tried to do the impossible," a Bill Gates look alike mutters, cracking his knuckles. "Don't try to tell us you blame THAT on us!"

"No, neither the Celestial Bureau of Order nor the Agents of Chaos blame the death of the unenhanced Rule 4564567 and Unenlightened Agent 456457. It was all a matter of them NOT being able to adapt quickly enough....and nothing more. The charges of that universe have been shepherded to the correct each of your facilities. That's what we do when the other Departments find themselves overwhelmed in such cases."

Neither the Agent of Evil nor Good say a thing on that.

"But the thing of this meeting is THIS," Agent 1 shouts, waving a memo at the the others. "Requesting the Highers for a redistribution of Department responsibilities! Well, we just got back the results of that request."

The Agent of Chaos, dressed as a 20th century gang leader (leather and stud clad jacket and hat...and other bricabrac) smiles over at his grey suited counterpart.

"And the answer," Rule 1 says, tearing up the memo and tossing the pieces at the startled looking faces of the Good and the Evil. "There has always been overlaps between departments in this regard. You can have extreme order with the loss of justice....and good. Witness the Nazis of thousands of client creations. On the same hand, absolute anarchy....sorry Agent usually a undesirable thing.....leads to evil acts even. As for the actions of 179 and such.....just remember that the memo passed your desks....and the whole of it had been displayed in the office newsletter BEFORE this all came down. You have the events of the Dark Tower to thank for all the leeway we Rules have gotten. And as for Devil's department complaint about it not being fair.....when has being fair ever been a concern with your own affairs?"

Reno vanishes in a flash of light. Gates vanishes with the smell of sulfur. Both leave insulted.

"That was fun," Rule 1 chuckled. His counterpart smiled, agreeing. "But what of this business with the Time Lords and their Earth?"

"One, you know that every once in a while I get to go about and have a little fun, right?" Agent 1 smiled. "This conflict was coming up between the Master and the Doctor anyway AND they were the last one's on your list to NOT do a Rayek (re: 8057)....else there's a steep price to pay."

  1. "There's going to be a price to pay by whoever actually gets inside this machine first," Rule 1 predicts. "Either the Doctor of the Master are going to have to pay a price no matter what....."

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