Tales of Brave Ulysses

Dreams of Atlantis

Chapter 6

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Far beneath the brine, somewhere off the coast of New Zealand, a large multinational sub was following a gargantuan herd of krill, studying its habits of being eaten by large, boorish, aquatic mammals in frilly hats.

The Krazny Oktyobrfezt stealthily followed the largest herd straight into a coral reefer. Large fish could be seen swimming erratically outside the sub, eyes glazed and red. Several octopi were playing a rather bad game of mutton on the diving fins. The keptin was looking somewhat despondent.

The admiral looked at the keptin resignedly and spoke. "Commander, we are losing the krill rapidly, our net contact disappeared with gryphon, and the crew is beginning to smoke the seawater. Any suggestion?"

"None whatsoever, Admiral. In fact, I think this is your show now. I just haven't been myself since we lost the Seaview to the mermaids in that bridge game. Goodbye."

"What do you mean, goodbye, you big oaf?"

The keptin spoke nary a word, reaching instead for a thin chain hanging over the control board, with a rabbitfish fin dangling from it.


It was too late. With a light tug, a loud gurgle and swoosh, the keptin began swirling around, and suddenly to sink through a hole which had unexpectedly appeared in the floor. The admiral grabbed at him, caught his hand, and gave a mighty tug. Unfortunately, it was too late; they both disappeared. The crew stared in disbelief. Nobody had realized how well the emergency flush system would work.

"Wow, cosmic. Good stuff!" commented the first mate, affectionately patting the bag of sea water he was inhaling. The second mate threw up and swore off sea water altogether. None of them worried for the moment about the fact that none of them knew how to drive the beast, had valid sub licenses, or even knew where the insurance card was.

The krill, happy to have lost the sub, began to drift all out back towards Maui. As the speed increased, the light in the water around shifted to blue in front, and red behind. Speed was of the essence.

Somewhere in an alternate universe, various people were once more on the surface of a green plastic pyramid in the O'Neals' waterbed. Many of the daves were crying, furious at having been removed before the stealth transport had gotten them safely home. Another verbally harangued miles.

"You FIEG! Get us OUT of here!"

"You don't think I want to?", mused miles.

"Well, you did LAST time!"

"I merely reported it. j dot did the work, through her company and several national secret agencies I can't mention."

dave #37 plucked a newt from his pocket and slapped miles with it. A rather large can of Coke [1] appeared from miles' right ear and fizzed all over #37's head.

mr x intervened. "boys, boys, boys..." A large proctologist, glowing faintly chartreuse, appeared between miles and dave #37. He was placing a rubber glove over what was easily a 12 gauge finger.

"Who'll be first?"

Without hesitation, miles and #37 shook hands, apologizing, and the dread apparition disappeared.

Several daves reported sighting Cindy [2] near the waterline, looking musselbound, desolate, and covered with seaweed.

Stevelee was curled in a feral ball, chanting the word "lye" to himself over and over. Thom, growing tired of the repetition, quickly rummaged through his guitar case. Finally, he found his Blue Devil lye, which he poured on Stevelee, who gratefully screamed and shriveled up, steaming. Soon, there was only a dark, greasy spot marking where the famous cybernetic guitar player had been. "If you don't like the brand, just SAY so. Don't run off!", Thom yelled into the distance, looking dazedly about.

He pulled a picture tube out of his Gorilla and handed it to miles. "Will this help?" miles shook his head. His radio was back home. He smiled at the thought of roger half way through the wall. He quit smiling as a large section of brick wall, complete with wailing roger, fell screaming from the sky and smashed him into the jello at his feet. Marshmallows and guts flew everywhere. A couple of the more Jewish daves bowed to the still faintly wailing wall.

A large red monoplane taxied to the spot, and quickly gathered up the remains. They handed 27 pounds, six quid, tuppence and happence to a nearby dave, and sailed off back into the night. Too late it occurred to everyone their ticket home may have just flown the coupe.

A moment later the plane came by again. The pilot hollered down, "no room for passengers. Sorry for the inconvenience!" and the plane roared off again. Several people cringed at the phrase.

"Well," Thom began, "where can I plug in my amp?"

"Will you get real? We have to get OUT of here!"

"Shill do fit, kneel. Tree half Sue, jet pout a beer!", a merry voice yelled playfully from the dark. mr x stuffed marshmallows in his ears, a pained expression on his face, and lay down to sleep.

Nobody spoke, fearing to hear that voice again. Suddenly, it began to rain beans. Pinto beans. Brown, of course, with 1977 engraved on their faces. As they hit one another, they burst briefly into flame, and the voices of thousands of lawyers in ecstacy cried hellishly from the glows. This proved too much for dave #12, who began to boogie furiously.

"WHAT are you doing?", demanded Thom, foolishly.

"Splut bar grue hewing?", the cheerful voice cried.

Dave #12 was now spouting lisp code in all caps. It was the spirit of Elvis, sans Rolls Royce. The other daves buried their heads in the green stuff underneath them.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, mr x and BoB had hooked the remains of the three remaining directors to life salvage systems. Most of the lights were amber or verdant above the bodies of miles and Spass. The lights above Stevelee, however, resembled nothing so much as the LEDs of a 30 band stereo equalizer on acid.

About the time mr x finally got Stevelee stabilized, BoB's pocket pager went off. He opened it and stared thoughtfully at the displays. After a quiet moment, he closed it and sighed. "The perfect end to a perfect day. Guess who's missing?"

Barely moving his eyes from Stevelee's cortex pins as they tried to elude the probes, he tonelessly intoned, "carasso?"

BoB barely held back a shriek of delight - seldom did anyone manage to surprise x so thoroughly. "Blair." His eyes twinkled.

"So? Who cares? Or are we expected to save him, too?"

"According to all indications, he disappeared in a malignant gray cloud, streaked with red lightning."

"The storm gathers her own unto itself..." Faint mumblings accompanied the flickering rainbow that crackled from his eyebrows. Slowly the lights above Stevelee winked out, one by one.

BoB stood silently, his mouth agape. He had never seen mr x fail this way before. No words sprang to his lips, bidden or otherwise. Then, as the life systems pronounced Stevelee dead, he sat up on the table and stretched. He looked slackjawed at mr x for a moment, then brightened, jumped off the table, and disappeared.

"What did you do? Come on, no games today!"

Before mr x could answer, Stevelee reappeared in a leather tutu, with a racing stripe down his left side that said, "Cray ZP-3". The red leather tutu was matched by fluorescent green, fringed, knee-high leather moccasins. A violent violet headband proudly proclaimed "MOOG-powered" in glowing black flames, his white mohawk sticking up like a deadly mushroom above.

"Thanks. I like it! And the microwave links to the NSA system are just too MUCH!"

"Let's try to keep that a secret, ok?" x demanded. Stevelee nodded, and wandered off to find a Creme Twirl or a 3phase outlet; he needed a snack.

"OK. I'm impressed. And Spass and miles are ok, they can wait. I think I know where meesh is. Gypsy I'm not too sure about..."

mr x, a faintly sad but amused look on his face, pointed to one of the plethora of monitors that adorned the room. This monitor was not currently doing anything important, and at a mental command from x it began to show one of the local TV channels. There, on HeeHaw, wearing Oshkosh (B'Gosh) overalls, a straw hat, and a stupid grin, was gypsy. A large T-Bird was crusing slowly past. With a deft kick, Gypsy knocked over a scarecrow, and began flailing at the car with a vintage 57 Les Paul. All the while, the Stranglers sang in the background to banjo music, "the sweet smell of success".

"Look at the eyes." The picture focused in, and Gypsy's left eye filled the screen. There was only white. No pupil, no iris, no nothing. Just white. "Any ideas?"

BoB crumpled to the floor. Never had he felt so dejected. "Yeah, one of two things, and it doesn't matter which. Only two things can do that to such an artist. Being trapped on an elevator for four hours listening to Muzak, or signing a big record contract." He stared at the floor a moment, sighed, and stood back up. "Neither is known to be reversible. I'm going after meesh. I'll be in touch." He turned abruptly and walked away.

mr x sauntered over to the plush red velvet console and sat down. He had some ideas for improving miles as he revived him. First he flipped the verbose switch to off, then arc-welded it in place. A fine start...

The krill herd waited a nanosecond too late to begin braking, and hit the beach at about Mach 2. A few million of them died from the heat of the friction. Others became dessert for vagrant clams. A quadrillion or so had died from the radiation at the head of the herd during the near-lightspeed approach. The water still boiled furiously back along the path from the coral reefer (where the sub was about to be ticketed for dumping waste in an Aussie National Underwater Park).

The krillpokes gathered the remaining few quintillion krill into a group the size of a sperm whale on steroids, and they headed unherringly towards a spot in the sand that was about to erupt with the fury of a rabid SR-71. BoB favored the Blackbird for Search & Rescue missions. It was hard to find good landing spots, but it gave any pursuers hemorrhoids trying to keep up. The krill reached the spot just as BoB was about to thumb the ignition. Suddenly his FLIR screen showed a faint, rippling pattern. Ghostly, living letters clearly formed the word, "plonk", in the sand directly above the launch site. "Now what?", he screamed silently. The letters dissolved and rearranged. They now clearly spelled out, "spam". He was right. He would have meesh home by nightfall. He thumbed the ignitors. The Bird roared upward furiously, scattering krill, sand and opossums as it was catapulted into the sky.

A breeding pair of krill met hours later, having been flung to opposite ends of the island. All the rest had been roasted, overeaten themselves into paranoia, or played lunch to some rogue punk manatees that had lost their way in the Tampa Canal and showed up here. An hour later, the herd was back at peak fighting size. With a moist "giddyap!", the herd thundered back into the ocean and headed towards Japan.

[1] Coke is a trademark of the country of Colombia, South America.
[2] Cindy is a trademark of Cindy [tm].

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Last updated: 29 Jun 1994

Copyright 1989, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514