DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING AND NO ONE IN THIS STORY EXCEPT
THE STORY ITSELF.
Ethan Rayne's Costume shop
Xander growled as a kid grabbed the last toy gun from
the bargain bin. "Oh great, there goes my costume."
As he looked through store trying to find something
suitable, he noticed the owner of the store speaking
angrily into the phone.
"Listen, you bloody poof. I'm not paying for these
costumes." The owner was yelling into the phone.
"Why? You bloody well, sent me damaged goods, that's
Sensing the possibility of a bargain, Xander eased
over to take a look at the costumes in question. A
ripped up pile of cloth that Xander first took for a
large pile of animal waste sat next to a very
familiar looking toy gun. The second costume
consisted of a pair of military boots, a badly
stained orange velour shirt with gold trim, a set of
grey slacks and some shiny futuristic doodads.
Thinking it over, Xander figured he could probably
use an off color Startrek shirt he owned to replace
the ruined one. Making his decision, he walked over
to the owner and started talking.
"Uh, I couldn't help over-hearing your problem."
Xander began, "I was just wondering, are those what I
think they are?"
"A Captain Kaff Tagon costume and a Sergeant Schlock
costume." The Owner replied, "Both ruined. I don't
even know who these ponces are."
"Yeah, I noticed." Xander nodded, then he started his
pitch. "Look, I was going to just buy a toy gun and
go as a soldier but I think I might be able to patch
something together with some things I have at home.
I don't have all that much money though."
"You can have the bloody things." The Owner dumped
the packages on the counter. "I don't ever want to
see them again."
Xander didn't question his good luck, he simply
grabbed the costumes and started to leave. He got
about halfway to the door when the owner called him
back. "Young man! Hold on a moment!"
"I knew it was too good to be true." Xander thought
as he turned around.
"You left this behind." The shop owner handed Xander
a small round device.
"According the box, it's... A miniature direct holo
line to the 'Post-Dated Check Loan'? What in hell?"
As the Shop Owner stared incredulously at Xander, the
teenager tried to explain. "Yeah, the PDCL also known
as Petey is name of the ship that... Oh never mind,
it would take to long to explain."
"I see," The Shop owner sighed, "Americans. Well
have a happy Halloween."
As Ethan Rayne finished the spell, something went
wrong. Too much power was being focused through the
bust, draining Ethan totally. The drain was so
significant that Janus actually noticed the spell.
He turned his attention to that particular dimension
in time to see something truly confounding.
Out in space, just beyond the orbit of Jupiter a ship
appeared. Vaguely crescent shaped with four large
rectangular bays, two on each side of the crescent,
drifted along. Inside a very confused AI was
dedicating enormous amounts of processing power to
understand what just happened.
"Whoa!" The AI, Petey as he was known to his crew,
did a quick scan of space and came to several
shocking conclusions. One, he was now positioned
somewhere over Europa instead of being parked in
orbit over Tokyo 3; two, his entire crew was missing
and the only signal detectable belonged to Captain
Tagon; three, Captain Tagon was currently on Earth.
And finally the most shocking conclusion, based on
all starcharts, and planetary evidence, it was now
sometime in the later 20th or 21st century.
"Temporal dislocation is the only remote possible,"
Petey took the AI equivalent of several decades
trying to determine the physics involved. Thirty
real seconds later, Petey decided the math was
possible but so unlikely as to reach the point of
"Would you like to know what's going, little
machine?" A voice sounded from nowhere.
"I didn't hear that." Petey shunted the memory into
the repression command given him by Captain Tagon.
"Oh for the creator's sake." A glowing form appeared
in front of the holographic representation of the AI.
"My name is Janus, search your databases for Terran
"Hmm..." Petey frowned, "That doesn't make sense."
"Look," Janus frowned, "I really don't have time for
this. I'll be brief and let you work the math out
later. You weren't just dislocated temporally, you
were dislocated dimensionally as well."
"I'm not sure that the math for that..."
"Oh for..." Janus send a surge of magic at the AI.
Petey's 'eyes' widened in shock as the spell dumped
information about this Earth and the current
situation into his memory core.
"Whoa!!!" Petey activated his systems at full and
teraported straight to the far-side of the Moon.
Opening a comm. Channel, Petey tried to reach his
"Captain Tagon are you there?"
After several seconds, a unfamiliar voice responded,
"Petey is that you?"
Captain Kaff Tagon did a double take as the wave of
dizziness passed, around him strange small aliens
were running amuck in small primitive town. Reaching
for his Gauss pistol, he discovered Sergeant
Schlock's BH-209 plasma gun there instead. "What's
"Xander!" Tagon whirled around, pointing the plasma
gun at the newcomer. The ominous hum of the gun filled
the air. "hmm, Schlock is right, that is a soothing
"Xander, stop pointing that toy at me!" The newcomer,
a very pretty redhead frowned at him. "Something
weird is going on!"
"I'm sorry, miss but you must have me..." Tagon
stopped as his comm. activated.
"Captain Tagon are you there?"
"Petey is that you?"
"Yes sir," Petey's voice responded, "I'm currently in
a parking orbit on the farside of the moon. "I think
there's something you should know."
"Captain?" Petey asked when he didn't get an
"Um, Xander?" Willow spoke aloud, "Who is that and
why are you doing that weird dance?"
"My name is Petey," Petey manifested himself through
the portable holo. "I'm afraid that's what Captain
Tagon refers to has his 'Happy Dance'."
"You're a fuzzy cute Teddy bear?" Willow asked.
"No, actually, I'm the representation of the AI
controlling the Tauseniggan Battle fortress Post
Dated Check Loan."
"Wait," Willow suddenly remembered those names.
"Those are from the webcomic Shlock Mercenary!"
"That's correct." Petey smiled, "Apparently when your
friend Xander dressed as Captain Tagon, he had a prop
that was supposed to be a direct link to me. Someone
cast a spell that turned everyone into their
"And the only way for Xander to have a direct link to
you, was if you existed?"
"I knew you'd be smart enough get it."
"But if everyone has been turned into their costumes,
Captain Tagon watched in shock as the young girl took
of running. "What's going on?"
"Captain, I suggest you accompany her. I'll fill you
in on the way."
End part 01