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by on June 6, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our sporksaber-wielding heroine was charging heroically into battle against an advancing horde of sheep. Before we find out how that ended up for her, though, we’re going to cut back to 2016 where Ermingard is about to encounter some very serious peril…..

“Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.” Ermingard sniffled, and swiped at her eyes with her sleeve. Being from the 12th century (not counting that little trip to the 42nd century, where she hadn’t had time to do much reading what with retrieving the Golden Spleen and all), she had never encountered much in the way of romance novels, and certainly not Pride and Prejudice. Now, she was fairly whelmed over with emotion, and she wanted more. She was sitting in the bookstore coffee shop ensconced in a comfortable recliner, not too far away from the classic literature section; had she been left to her own devices, she might have discovered something really worth reading, like Shakespeare or the novelization of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. But Ermingard wasn’t alone. Oh, no.
A brown-haired girl wearing a coffee-shop t-shirt and a plaid sweater approached, her pale green eyes wide with concern. “Are you alright?” she asked. “Do you need me to get you something?”

“No, no, I’m fine,” Ermingard said, still sniffly. “I was just finishing this book, and it was so….that Mr. Darcy was….I can’t…” she made vague motions with her hands, attempting to express the full Darciness of the character.

“I understand,” the seemingly friendly barista cooed sympathetically. “I admired Mr. Darcy too. But that was before I read about someone even more Darcy-like than Mr. Darcy himself. Someone who redefines romance, who totally cares about you and only you. Who’ll stand by your bed watching you in a way that’s absolutely not creepy at all.”

Now Ermingard’s eyes were wide. “Really? What is this wonderful story?”

The girl smiled. “I just happen to have it with me.” She produced a black-covered book that showed a pair of hands clasping an apple. “You’ll love it. Really.”

Her smile grew wider, more sinister, like a deranged ferret, as Ermingard took the book from her hands and began reading the first page, not even looking up at the girl’s nametag, which read simply, “Susan.”  Had Gaseous Girl been there, she might’ve been able to stop what happened next, but Gaseous Girl was three blocks away saving a traumatized kitten from a tree. By the time she got back to the bookstore, it was too late. Slowly Ermingard read the opening lines of Twilight. “I’d never given much thought to how I would die — though I’d had reason enough in the last few months — but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. ” As she did, her normally brown eyes flashed a bit with an unearthly light, and then turned sparkly, as did the freckles dotting her face.

Susan fairly chortled. Her evil plan was coming together swimmingly. It had been so easy: stealing one of the escape pods from the Dangling Participle, darting out into the wormhole at just the right time to land in the year 2016, and zeroing in on Ermingard as the perfect patsy. She backed off for a few hours to let the Twilight effect really settle in. When she returned, Ermingard was on the last page, reading it over and over and over again, her sparkly eyes blank. “Right, then, my new minion,” Susan said. “To paraphrase a villain that’s been in the movies recently, I am burdened with hilarious purpose. This time I really am going to destroy the world, and I’m not bothering with an expendable alien army either. Oh, no. I’ve got a better plan. But first….wait. Why am I monologuing? You can’t even understand it anyway. Rewind, freeze, start again. I need you to steal something for me. It’s called…” she pulled a piece of notebook paper out of her pocket. “The Something Device? What? Who writes this crap?”

Susan glared out at her author. “Look, I hate to go into a Catrina-like rant about the story, but really. I’m the true villain here, not this Katrina wannabe, we all know this. And as the true villain, who’s just coerced the sidekick into being my hapless minion, I need to steal something impressively named. What kind of lazy writer do you have to be to name it “The Something Device” and call it a day? It can’t be “the Kaboominater”, or the “Big Evil Death-Blaster of Evil”, or “the Smashing Terror Ray”, no, it’s….the Something Device. Jeez.”  She sighed in resignation, and decided to cut short the rest of her villainous instructions to Ermingard. She had a few dramatic lines prepared, but now she just didn’t have the heart for it. “Just go steal this thing, alright?”

“But I must read the sequel,” Ermingard said flatly. “I must read New Moon.”

Susan had anticipated this. “Those people holding the….(oh, god, I have to say it again)…Something Device, they’re the ones keeping you from reading the sequel. They’re on Team Jacob, you see.”

“WHAT?” Ermingard shrieked. “The heartless fiends! How dare they stand between me and my Edward!” And with that, she stormed out of the bookstore, a Spork-arrow already flying to her bow.  Susan broke into wild villainous laughter behind her, confusing the rest of the store’s customers to no end, who had assumed she was really a harmless barista, and had no idea why a barista would be laughing maniacally. They never did find out why.  Susan wasn’t about to share her plan with anyone, especially not minor bit characters. They weren’t even pawns in the grand scheme, they were like cheap plastic Risk infantryman used to replace pawns because said pawns have chewed on by a small child.


The guard at the secret Army base housing the Something Device was a consummate professional. Thus, when a spork-arrow hissed in out of nowhere, slammed into the wall he was standing by, and released a puff of white gas, he did not stand there stupidly breathing it in until he passed out. Instead he backpedaled swiftly and grabbed for his radio to sound the alarm. Unfortunately, he backed right into a second spork-arrow, this one electrified. The guard twitched, and then fell over, completely unconscious. Ermingard paused, looking him over with her sparkle-filled eyes. “Rest well,” she whispered, “and dream of guard women.”

She moved on, casually zinging off spork-arrows into every guard she passed. Once she attempted to pull off that incredibly slick move that Hawkeye did in the Avengers, firing an arrow without even looking at it, but as Ermingard was not an Avenger, she missed the guard she wasn’t looking it. However, unlike Hawkeye, she was powered by the Sporky Force, and so her spork-arrow zoomed around behind a corner and smashed into a fuse box, one that had been designed by extremely short-sighted engineers to power the entire complex’s alarm system. Thus, barely making a fuss at all, Ermingard strolled into the secure facility, walked into one of the many not-quite-secure vaults, and discovered the Something Device. It looked almost exactly like a stuffed toy manatee, for a very good reason: it was a stuffed toy manatee. Its name, according to a tiny white tag near its tail, was Millicent. But, tucked behind each of Millicent’s ears was a small red button. What those buttons did, no one much wanted to find out. No one except Susan, naturally. Ermingard, without hesitation, picked up Millicent and walked out of the facility, just as the fuse box was repaired by a diligent technician. Alarms sprang into wailing hysteria behind her. Purely for effect, Ermingard shot a spork-arrow at a nearby unoccupied Jeep; the arrow exploded into a massive fireball, taking the Jeep with it. Silhouetted in flame, Millicent the manatee tucked under her arm, her eyes sparkly as the vampire she had been tricked into adoring, Ermingard walked out into the night.

This has been episode 44 of the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes, go here. To buy a copy of Catrina in Space for your very own (only 7.99! A bargain!) go here. Thanks for reading!


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  1. I too face an angry horde of enemies on a daily basis, but I am unable to raise a weapon against them!
    Catrina is one lucky gal…

    • Considering what all I’ve put her through, I’m not sure she considers herself lucky. But thanks for the comment, as always.

  2. The lengths to which Susan will go to out-evil her past evils never ceases to astound me! 😉

    • It’s your fault, you know; as I recall you started the whole Susanic trend to begin with. 😛

      • Yep, I revisited one of my evil Susans in my Chrysalis revising the other night. Fun times 😉

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