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by on June 10, 2013

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had unleashed the dragon Niddhog, Ripper of Corpses with the unholy power of the Green Sporky Force, thereby triggering the Norse apocalypse Ragnarok. Oops. We rejoin our apocalypse, already in progress….

The universe was glemmening. Rain poured down from the grey heavens, lashing the surface of an endless sea. Asgard had gone, along with Midgard and a good many other ‘gards. The only sign of life anywhere was a single figure clinging to a makeshift raft, tossed about on the waves as lightly as a potato chip.

Catrina was in a foul mood. It was all Edmund’s fault, of course. He hadn’t told her that freeing the dragon would end the world. That seemed a fairly important detail to leave out. But had he mentioned it? No, he most certainly had not. So when she had freed Niddhog and caused Ragnarok, it had definitely been his fault. Not hers. The worst of it was, it had all been for nothing. When Catrina had finally reached the Asgardian tool shed where the Shovel of Thor was supposed to be, it hadn’t been there. She’d barely had time to pull the tool shed down and make a raft out of it before Asgard and everything else dropped into an eternal sea.

On the bright side, this wasn’t Catrina’s first ride on the apocalypse merry-go-round. She’d survived two Zombie Penguin Apocalypses, plus endless fights with Susan, ex-mistress of Character Hell. She was pretty sure there had to be a way to undo this. There were probably several ways. Time travel. Wormholes. Alternate realities. Maybe it was all just a dream?

Rain lashed Catrina’s face, thoroughly soaking her dress. She was fairly certain this wasn’t a dream. Of course, technically she was a fictional character in a story, so in one sense it really was all a dream, one made up by her author, but it wasn’t her dream as a character. Catrina smacked herself in the forehead. “Quit going meta,” she admonished herself sternly. “It won’t help. You’ve got to figure a way out of this.”

At that moment an elf materialized on her raft, causing it to wobble dangerously. “Oh, good,” Catrina said, instantly recognizing Krystelle, her rogue elf friend who’d saved her from execution by laser rifle. “That was easy. You’ve probably just come from a spaceship, haven’t you? Well, excellent then, we’ll just teleport back up and you can find a wormhole or something like-OW!” *Splash*.

Krystelle, without any warning, had just karate-kicked Catrina very hard in her stomach, sending her flying off the raft and right into the turbulent sea. “Ya idiot!” Krystelle yelled. “Couldn’t try and get here the nice way, no, you had to go the bad way! Had to team up with a freakin’ dragon, didn’t you! Way to go, jerkface!”

Catrina scrambled out of the water, spluttering mad. “I did not team up with the dragon! I made a one-time temporary arrangement that let me get into Asgard so I could find the Shovel of Thor. I didn’t mean to start Ragnarok!”

“Well, ya did anyway!” Krystelle shot back. “You didn’t think maybe you should ask why the big guy was tied up in the first place? Nooooo! You just went and cut him loose! You wouldn’t have been worthy to hold Mlrning even if it had been there! It’s a good thing Connecticut Smith rescued it, otherwise it would’ve been drowned like the rest of Asgard!”

“Wait…” Catrina said. “You have it?”

“Yeah, duh, weren’t you listening?”

Catrina’s eyes lit with sudden hope. “Krystelle! That’s it! I’ve read about the powers of  Mlrning, what it can do. With just one scoop of dirt, the Shovel of Thor can make a new world, or bring back an old one! We can save everything! If you just go and get me the Shovel, I can-”

“Ohhhh no, Princess Tightpants, I’m not going to hand Mlrning over to someone who just caused Ragnarok!”

“I’m not even wearing pants!” Catrina exclaimed. “Well, not in the American sense. In the British sense of course, yes. After all, I’m not going commando here, I am a decent person, but…why has this conversation moved to the topic of my undergarments? Can we get back to Ragnarok and the Shovel of Thor, please?”

Before they could, there was a flurry of blue-ish light, and a trio of dolphins wielding blaster pistols appeared surrounding the raft. “Right,” grunted the main dolphin wearily, “surrender the Shovel of Thor, and be quick about it. We haven’t got all day.”

“There isn’t any day that you haven’t got,” Catrina pointed out very reasonably. “Because we, er, I actually, ended the world. So time’s pretty much gone out on us too, wouldn’t you say? We’re hoping to get the world back, you see, once I get Krystelle here to let me have the Shovel, so…”

“Yeah, that’s the problem, innit?” the dolphin leader said. “We can’t let you bring the world back. We’re part of the Dolphin Expeditionary Reality Preservationists. There’s only one proper timeline, you see, and we make sure it stays that way. None of this time-traveling reset button and all. People can’t just go erasing apocalypses whenever they happen, can they, like a bloomin’ Etch-a-Sketch? It isn’t proper. Ragnarok’s happened, that’s all there is to it, and you’ve got to let it go.  And if you don’t let it go, I’m afraid we’re going to have to confiscate your Shovel and any other methods of time-travel you might have. So, what’s it going to be?”

“I beg your pardon,” Catrina said, trying to hold back a snicker. “But whom did you say you were with?”

“The Dolphin Expeditionary Reality Preservationists.”

“DERP, in other words.”

“Well, yes…”

“DERP,” Catrina repeated, and now she couldn’t quite hold the giggles in. “Ermahgerd! Derphins!”

“Are you…” the dolphin commander growled, leveling his blaster rifle, “mocking me?”

“Oh, no. I wouldn’t dream of it. See, I’m not giggling at you. I’m giggling with you.”

“We are not amused,” the dolphin commander said. “So, Princess Tightpants, you’ve got three seconds to hand over the Shovel of Thor before we blast you into tiny little bits, and then eat the bits like so much krill.”

Again with the Princess Tightpants,” Catrina said, rolling her eyes in supreme irritation. “Honestly. Can’t any of you see that I’m wearing a skirt? A skirt is not pants. Isn’t that plain?”

“One,” said the dolphin commander.

“And what would you do with a shovel anyway? You don’t even have hands!”

“We’d improvise. Two.”

“Improvise how? What would you do, grip it with your flipper?”

“Three. Last chance.”

Catrina drew her Sporksaber. “You want the Shovel? Come and take it, DERP. And, incidentally, you need a better name.”

The blaster rifles powered up, in a thrilling cliffhanger and a wonderful place in which to end this week’s episode.

This has been another exciting adventure in the Catrina Chronicles. Tune in next week as Catrina’s battle with the dolphins continues. Meanwhile, for previous episodes, go here. Thanks for reading!

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  1. “DERP,” Catrina repeated, and now she couldn’t quite hold the giggles in. “Ermahgerd! Derphins!” – BEST!! Seriously, that was hilarious and a reference that 20 years from now someone would still laugh at 😉

    • I know I giggled for minutes on end when I first thought of it, and even more when I wrote it down. So, who knows, maybe they will be laughing at it in 20 years. My legacy is assured. 😀

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