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In Which There is a Very Big Kaboom

by on May 14, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had become a ghost, only visible to anyone who is not the least bit important to the story. This put a bit of a damper on her communication skills. Meanwhile, Ermingard had just shot a spork-arrow forged from pure woobinite at the story’s new nemesis, Katrina, the evil movie adaptation of Catrina, armed with the Green Sporksaber….

Spork met spork. But of course, these weren’t just any sporks, oh no. As mentioned in the lead-in to this episode (which, by the way, is number forty, so, hooray for that), these were very special and powerful sporks. One, the Spork-Arrow fired off by Princess Ermingard, was made by the long-vanished Qirpysnirket alien species from the mystical element known as woobinite, a substance refined from the Pure Woobie, a concentrated essence of snuggly comfort in times of stress. Powered by the Sporky Force, it never failed to miss its mark, and it looked awfully silly doing so.  The other, the Green Sporksaber, was made not from plasma as originally thought by everyone (including the author), but from a different energy source altogether: lolzma. You may remember from Monsters, Inc. that a child’s laughter is a very powerful energy source, but have you ever wondered what exactly were the physics of that? What element in laughter gave it the ability to power all Monstropolis? The answer, of course, is lolzma. It’s like plasma, but funnier. The trick is, there are different sorts of lolzma based on different kinds of laughter.
The Red Sporksaber, the one that Ermingard should have retrieved from the museum in the 42nd century but didn’t, embodied the particular sort of stunned pause, and then burst of hilarious guffawing, that follows after one has read a particularly clever (or particularly not) pun. But that wasn’t the Sporksaber Katrina was wielding, no, she was wielding the green one. Its lolzmic power came from the kind of snickering laughter that you hear when you’ve done something very very awkward in front of a very very large group of people, like pulling on a door that is only opened when you push on it. The Green Sporksaber was powerful indeed, which was why it had been locked up in the museum all that time.

So: spork met spork, woobinite met lolzma, and the resulting explosion of sporky power was so great that everybody died. The entire planet imploded, taking a good bit of the surrounding solar system with it. And so, the insignificant little blue-green world ninety million miles from the sun, on which Catrina and Ermingard and all the other characters in the Chronicles, was now dead, dead as a doornail used by a dinosaur to etch out a picture of a dodo bird. So, that’s the end of the story, pretty much, thanks for reading, we do hope you enjoyed it, and be sure to tune in next time, except there won’t actually be a next time since, you know, complete character-existence failure. At any rate-

*ksssshzt*

“Hello. This is Catrina. I’m currently a ghost right now, so I wasn’t affected by the rather unfortunate killing off of all the other characters. Which, I may say, was an extraordinarily stupid thing to do. I apologize to the readers, and I just want you to know that the members of the writing staff responsible for that have been sacked. And by sacked, I mean I literally stuffed them into a sack, covered it with bits of colored paper and shiny glitter, and sent it off to be a pinata for the birthday party of a poorly disciplined toddler and his forty-three hyperactive friends.  As such, we’ll be rewinding this whole bit and starting over again. Roll film!”

*kssssszht-fwirp*

Spork met spork, and the resulting explosion did not kill everybody off, but did some other terribly surprising things. Time and space broke apart like they were in a relationship together and time had just asked space whether she was interested and space said no but they could still be friends, and time was like baby, baby, baby, oh, like, baby, baby, baby, no, like baby, baby, baby, no, thought space would always be miiine.

When the smoke cleared, neither Katrina nor Ermingard nor even the magenta-tinged ghost of Catrina could be seen (not that Catrina’s ghost could’ve be seen anyway. But she wasn’t even there invisibly). All that remained was a small crater in the ground. Then there was a thunder of hoofbeats and pawbeats, accompanied by a flurry of wings, and into the clearing came Phoebe the Dryad, riding dramatically upon a deer, her green eyes shining, swarms of unbearably cute woodland animals flocking behind her. “Yeah!” Phoebe yelled happily. “Okay, dudes! I’m here to save….the….” it was then that she realized that no one else was around. “Day?” she finished, her voice trailing off into a question mark.

***

Ermingard’s knee scraped asphalt. She opened her eyes. The sky above her was a confused mixture of black, deep purple, and the occasional flare of red. Strange sounds assaulted her eyes: high-pitched “weeeeeEEEEEEEoooooooo’s” and “wirp-wirp-wirp” and the occasional staccato burst that meant someone was having a very bad night. She looked around; on her left was a grimy brick wall covered over with curious symbols; she had studied hieroglyphics but she couldn’t quite make these out. On her right, past a collection of metal bins overflowing with trash, rose another brick wall, and rose, and rose, and kept on rising, until Ermingard’s neck hurt from the strain. She’d never seen a building that high.

Then she heard a clatter, and spun around, thankful that her Spork-Bow and arrows had survived whatever magical process had learned her here. A man lurched towards her, his eyes wide and bloodshot, reeking of a smell familiar no matter what timeline one was in. Ermingard had occasionally seen people like that around her castle; she was going to ignore him and move away, but then suddenly a peculiar metal device was in his hand, and he didn’t seem quite so inebriated. “Hey,” he said casually, “you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

“Did I ever what with the who in the what now?” Ermingard replied. She’d never before been asked whether she had enjoyed a social function with the incarnation of evil before, no matter what weather it was in.

Her assailant was about to explain that he said that phrase to all his victims just before he killed them, but he didn’t have the chance, for at that moment another figure in purple spandex and Starfleet boots swooped in from the sky and unleashed a ferocious burp that knocked the would-be mugger right back into the Dumpster. The new arrival turned to face the astonished Ermingard. “Hi,” she said. “I’m Gaseous Girl. Welcome to Edison City.”

“Question. What year is this?”

“2016. Why?”

“….oh dear.”

***

Katrina’s knee squelched in mud. She opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was the burnt-out hollow shell of a building, and things got more depressing from there. She didn’t hear any sirens, or even gunfire; what she heard was cold, dead silence. That, and the steady hum of her ignited Sporksaber. Katrina was extremely put out. “Hey!” she yelled, her voice echoing off shattered concrete. “Anyone out there? I’m definitely not a new evil nemesis, I’m just….lost! Accidentally!  ….Anyone?”

Suddenly, from behind a nearby pile of rubble, a scowly, slightly mutated man in a dark uniform emerged, pointing a gun right at her. “Surrender, in the name of the Tiger Blood Prince, whose fists breathe fire and whose very DNA is made from A-”  Katrina, mildly irritated, ran him through with her Sporksaber. “Okay. So I’m in a dystopia now. This could be fun. This could be fun indeed!” She was going to list a host of ways in which a dystopia would be fun for a person of a villainous nature, but then she remembered that it was never a good idea to do a villain monologue, so she simply kept quiet and started looking around for another random minion she could slay.

***

Catrina’s knee didn’t scrape or squelch in anything, as she was still a ghost and therefore insubstantial. She opened her ghostly eyelids, though there wasn’t much point in that as she could still see through them even if they were closed. Then she breathed a sigh of relief (a neat trick, for a member of the spirit world). She knew this place, knew the familiar curving white walls, the comforting low hum, the volebot that trundled down the corridor. She was back on board the Dangling Participle.

She heard a chorus of rising hamster voices from the cockpit of the spaceship, and with a thrill in her, well, not heart anymore, but whatever the ghost-equivalent is, she floated down the corridor to them. Ferdinand Roderick Marshalham Willingsford, the Seventh, was just explaining to Valentina Viktorovna that there couldn’t possibly be an intruder on the ship whatever the sensors said, because the good old D.P. was jolly well impregnable.

“‘Course there’s an intruder!” Catrina said, laughing. “It’s me! It’s….” and then she realized that Ferdinand had carried on the conversation without even looking at her, and V.V. wasn’t taking notice of her either. “Oh…” Catrina said, as her predicament hit her in much the same way as bricks in fact do, “blast.”

Will Catrina ever reenter the ranks of the living? Will her evil movie-adaptation version find happiness in a dystopia dominated by Charlie Sheen? Will Ermingard ever get back to her own proper time period? What’s happened to the Golden Spleen in all this mess? Can the author keep track of all these wildly diverging storylines? 

I don’t know. I was hoping you did. Oh well. Tune in next time for another episode of the Catrina Chronicles as we pick one of the three new plots and go with it, and try to see if we can’t get everyone back together someday. Thanks for reading!

 

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4 Comments
  1. Wise move making your heroine a ghost – they’re very “in” these days – and great work overall!

    • I don’t know how long she’ll stay a ghost, mind you. She’ll probably get resurrected one of these days.

  2. I’m not sure what else I can except “HAHA”. and they do say laughter is the best medicine, so that must mean the C/Katrina Chronicles are the best medicine 😉

    BTW, Catrina in Space is not only on my TBR shelf but it’s been placed prominently in front of most of the other books on my TBR shelf (and by this I mean my literal TBR shelf in my living room), so…nearly there!!!

    • Maybe I can convince doctors to put the Catrina Chronicles in the waiting rooms instead of old issues of sports magazines. 😛

      I shall look forward to your opinion. And so will Catrina, even though she’s on strike from her second novel right now. Whatever will I do with her?

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