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Catrina and the Collapse of Continuity

by on October 6, 2011

And now, another episode in the Catrina Chronicles. Roll film!

Perry watched in awe. Sheer amazed astounded pick-your-adjective awe. Catrina tore through Velicopter-copter after Velociraptor-copter, her lightsaber flying so fast it looked ten lightsabers, and then she snatched a machine gun from one raptor’s cold dead talons and after that things really got interesting. Perry had an odd feeling somewhere inside when he looked at her, hovering over the steeple of St. Bob’s, machine gun in one hand and lightsaber in the other, screaming her theme song to the skies. He had a sudden thought, a thought he’d never quite had before. But no, he dismissed it in an instant. It would never work. Sidekicks were sidekicks and heroines were heroines, and relationships between them never worked out. Maybe if he’d been a half-way competent sidekick, the Ron Stoppable to her Kim Possible, then….wait. Perry froze. How could he know about Kim Possible? Unlike Catrina, he hadn’t traveled to other dimensions like Character Heaven. And, now that he was thinking along that line, it was time to ask the obvious question. Velociraptors in helicopters? WHAT? And then his train of thought ran right off the rails and exploded in a thought-fireball. Catrina was hovering. Since when could Catrina fly?

Perry looked closer. He felt a sudden weight on his belt, looked down, and saw a pair of high-powered binoculars. Once in a while, the complete collapse of the space-time continuum could come in handy, Perry conceded. He snatched the binoculars and peered closer. Catrina had wings. Catrina had wings. When had that happened? “Oh no,” Perry explained for the benefit of the audience, “the nature of reality itself is changing! Anything could conceivably happen now! The rules of normal storytelling logic have gone completely out the window! And-”

His exposition was suddenly interrupted, as a fleet of massive spaceships materialized in the sky. Catrina paused, one boot perched on the smouldering wreck of the latest Velicopter-captor she had just sliced in two, the other boot balancing on thin air. The other Velociraptors stopped too. Everyone took a collective breath.

The spaceships hung ominously in the sunny blue sky, as merry little bluebirds twittered in the distance…then suddenly the bluebirds morphed into slavering bats and the sky turned black with storm clouds. The spaceships were shaped like the unholy love children of a volleyball and a microwave, colored pale green and bristling with gun turrets and random metal….things. Then, on the largest of the hulking battle cruisers, a panel slid open. A screechy alien voice boomed out over Kumquat City.

It said a sentence. Then two. Or it might have been a whole paragraph; no one knew because no one could understand it. “English, please!” Catrina yelled up at the battle cruiser. She felt certain that her plea would be heard; after all, everyone knows that alien species always speak perfect English, or at the very least they have helpful English subtitles. But to Catrina’s shock, the aliens apparently didn’t know English and weren’t about to learn. The panel slid shut with a clang that sounded terribly final.

Catrina flew down to Perry. “We’ve got to do something!” she exclaimed. “We have to find a way to communicate with them; otherwise we could trigger an intergalactic war!”

“This may be the wrong time to point this out,” Perry ventured. “But have you noticed that you’ve grown wings? And also that we’re surrounded by Velociraptors in helicopters and we’re debating how to communicate with a fleet of alien spaceships? Does any of this seem unusual to you?”

“Not now, Perry,” Catrina snapped. “We’ve got bigger problems! I’ve got to talk to the aliens!”

“What’re you going to do, use a flannelgraph?”

“YES! A flannelgraph! The simple and easy way to tell a story! It’s perfect! And, oh, hey, here’s a flannelgraph right here! I repeat, perfect!”

“Indeed,” Perry said. “So, why don’t you go take your flannelgraph and talk to the aliens, and then maybe we can work out whether something’s wrong with this whole scenario.”

Catrina was just flying into the air when she stopped and looked down at him. “We? Since when was there a we? There’s just you, and me, mostly me. I’m the one with the lightsaber, I’m the one who stopped Susan, I’m the one doing all the work here. This is my story arc, not yours, so just…just…”

Her voice trailed off. She hadn’t quite meant to say all that. Perry didn’t say anything. Instead, he walked away, disappearing amidst the wrecks of copters burning on the ground. Catrina thought about going after him, she wanted to go after him, but…she didn’t. She took her flannelgraph and flew back to face the alien fleet, a sick feeling in her heart that wasn’t entirely nervousness about her impending alien encounter.

Catrina flew right up to what she desparately hoped was the alien bridge and flourished the flannelgraph. It bore a tiny figure of herself with a string of black yarn for her hair. “Okay,” she began, “so this is me. It all started back with Charles…” she produced a tiny Charles figure with a little red splotch, “….and then the giant turned into a newt and it got better….” a little green line represented the newt, “…and then…”

She had just cluttered up the flannelgraph with a crowd of penguins with little X’s over their eyes representing their zombification, and was hunting about for a Charlie Sheen paper cutout when she heard a noise from the alien craft. The panel slid open once again, and she heard the last voice she ever wanted to hear. “How very amusing, Catrina. Really. I lol’d.”

Susan”, she hissed. Of course. Her nemesis. She was behind everything! Again! “One question. How?”

“How did I escape the Panda of Unusual Size? Easy. You didn’t think Myronica was my only minion, did you? Like any good villain, I had backups. Your Panda of Unusual Size was not nearly as effective as you might expect, when he’s going against a barrage of cannon fire. Or maybe you want to know how I’m changing everything. Easier. Since you were buried under those legal encyclopedias, you didn’t see that I grabbed Continuityslicer on my way out. Then I just let it go wild. Before very long, this world won’t make a lick of sense at all! Then it’ll collapse, and soon every fictional world will collapse, and reality will be completely destroyed! Insert evil laugh here! Ahaha! Ahaha! Ahahahaha!”

“Wanna bet?” Catrina said, brandishing her lightsaber.

The turrets of a thousand laser cannons swiveled to place her in their sights. “Yes. Yes I do. Let’s see. I have a thousand laser cannons. You have one lightsaber and a flannelgraph. I think I win. You may surrender now, if you’d like.”

Catrina stared down the barrels of the laser cannons, her hands tight round the hilt of her blade. “We’ve been there before. I’ll never surrender to you, how many times do I have to say it?”

Susan, standing on the bridge of her alien battle cruiser, smiled gleefully. “That would be the last time.” She turned to her minion first officer, a round stubbly alien named Splork. “Mr. Splork…fire.”

To be continued.

Note: Yes, I did not post yesterday, so technically I have failed NaBloWriMo. In my defense, yesterday was a Very Bad Day. I was stuck in traffic for nearly two hours. C’est tragique. Also, this story was written with Chrysalis Experiment Prompt Number Thirty-Nine. Thanks for reading!

  1. Another awesome installment!

  2. For some odd reason this made me snort with laughter : “then she snatched a machine gun from one raptor’s cold dead talons”

    “The spaceships were shaped like the unholy love children of a volleyball and a microwave” – but of COURSE… 😉

    Love the part about aliens speaking English… that’s something that irritates me a lot with sci-fi shows/movies 😛

    round stubbly alien called Splork. peerrrfect!

    Just when I think I’ve seen it all, I read another Catrina story. hehehe. loving it!

    • At least some sci-fi shows try to come up with an explanation for the prevalent English, like the Babel Fish in the Hitchhiker’s Guide. 🙂

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