Volume 1: a Foolish Faerietale

IBYKS: A RECKLESS RETCON "Part One"

IBYKS: Here Lies Version One
"Part Two"

IBYKS : Space Opera

Volume 4: Unconventional

Volume 5: Happy Endings

Volume 6: Killing Time

Volume 7: Intertextuality

Volume 8: Loose Ends

 

The InubuYAKasha companion (or Emily's random musings which no one really wants to hear)

#6 the look of Inubuyakasha

I thought I'd explain the three main characters(I omit J, because he's such a rip-off he needs no explanation), and tell you about why they look like they do, and how we got to them.

It has to be said that the details in the plot are fairly sketchy... Beansprout; lanky, spiky, dark hair. Yakky, blondish, has ears on his head, scruffy. Flibbage, unusually long legs, voluminous red hair, sparkles and wings. Not much to go on really. Their first appearance in the drawing was for series one and that's how I got the basics for how I draw Beansprout's face- rounded, with turned-up nose and rosy cheeks. It was also me who gave her the dungarees and purple T-shirt when I was drawing her as a small child. Alice invented her iconic hairstyle at the beginning a series two. Up until then I'd just been drawing her with loose, spiky hair, like a more untidy version of Red. Her hair was originally black, but it became blue because that was the easiest way to colour it on Photoshop.

Yakky was harder to invent, because he's gone from acne ridden boy-to cute guy-to ghost-to werewolf. it wasn't until he'd finished shape-shifting that I really found a look for him. How he looks now is a sort of sun-tanned Inu-Yasha. As he had Inu-Yasha roots- it goes without saying there be a bit of resemblance facially, although I've always seen him as more dusty yellow than silver. His clothes reflect that look. We tried giving him pointy normal years for a while, but they were just no substitute for cute dog years on his head.

Flibbage began life as a very complicated drawing because of her faerie clothes and mad hairdo that has become simpler just because she was so darn hard to colour. Her facial features come from a large drawing I did in which she had a vaguely shocked expression- so I kept those wide blue eyes (for those who are wondering, Sprout's are hazel with green flecs and Yakky's are golden yellow with cat-like pupils). I gave her face a more oval-shape compared to Beansprout's rounded chin and Yakky's very angular square features. She's an elf so her features are more delicate, hence the smaller nose and mouth. Her hair has been tamed a lot recently, you can only presume because of magic and her ears have gotten larger. Whether her skin is green or normal coloured has always been a debate-Cabbage is green, but Flib, with her wings hidden can pass for human, so perhaps she's just a little tinged about her cheeks.

 

reckless retcon part 2

INUBUYAKASHA Volume #2 Till Death Do Us Part. Here Lies Version One

Episode 1: Different This Time By Ally

 

"It's Raining Men" blasted in Beansprout's headphones as she walked through the park that evening, kicking irritably at the stones that skittered across the path. It hadn't been the best of days, which was a particular shame, as today was her nineteenth birthday. Not that it had been bad, exactly...just boring. Things had been boring for years.

As she often did, Beansprout thought back to that one brief, fleeting time when she'd been nine years old and things hadn't been boring. There had been faeries and magic, yaks and bewildered-looking boys, a prophecy and the promise of adventure...and then nothing. She'd answered the call, and been put on hold. In fact, the time between then and now had been so dull that she could hardly remember any of it.

Beansprout looked ahead, and her footsteps slowed. The path led to a children's playground, which was unsettling enough in the half-dark, but just to add an extra creepy cherry on top of the cake, there was a figure sitting on one of the swings.

She had to walk past the park to get home. Beansprout reached into her pocket and gripped her keys. Luckily, she'd always had a knack for throwing a punch.

She kept walking. As she got closer, the figure stood up. Beansprout saw that it was a young man, about her own age, with scruffy, dark-blond hair poking out from under a beanie.

"Beansprout?"

Beansprout stopped dead.

"Who's asking?"

The man smiled. "I knew it was you!"

"You didn't answer my question." Beansprout pulled the keys out of her pocket. "Who's asking?"

The young man pointed at his hat - or rather, at a logo stitched onto the hat. "Go Chelsea?"

Beansprout blinked. The past rushed back to her, as if the last ten years had never happened.

"Yakky?"

Yakky spread out his arms, getting ready for a hug. Beansprout didn't move, and his face fell.

"Is everything okay?"

"Why are you here?" Beansprout asked.

"Because-"

"Where have you been for the last ten years? What happened to you? And Flibbage? Last thing I remember, we were in that cave-"

"Hang on, hang on - Flibbage isn't with you?"

"Why would Flibbage be with me?"

"Because she wasn't with me!"

"Wow, gosh, it's almost like she's a faerie that can disappear back into her own realm whenever she feels like it," Beansprout said, sneering at him. "And for the second time - why are you here, Yakky?"

"I wanted to see you!" Yakky replied. "Everything's been...I don't know, it's just been really weird since we were in Nepal. So I eventually managed to get away from my mum, and-"

"Did you?" Beansprout demanded. "Or is this a trap? Am I going to be dragged off into another adventure that goes nowhere and includes your mum trying to kill me?"

Yakky scowled at her. "Not on my account. Look, I just wanted to get in touch with old friends, that's all."

Beansprout stared at his face. She couldn't see any sign that he was lying. Sighing, she stepped forwards, and gave him a hug.

"Missed you too, you yak-riding weirdo."

Yakky chuckled. "I haven't seen a yak in years, thank goodness."

"How come? Did Buffy decide it was too much of a gimmick?"

"No, she-"

Before Yakky could finish talking, there was a crackle of static, like the sound of a walkie-talkie. Beansprout spun around, looking in the direction the sound had come, but there was nothing there.

Then a man in an immaculate black suit stepped out from the trees, followed by a similarly-dressed woman. Then another figure, and another, all wearing sharp suits and shades, all staring silently at Beansprout and Yakky.

Beansprout clenched her fist tighter around her keys. "I don't suppose they're with you?" she asked.

Yakky shook his head, baring his teeth in a snarl. "I don't like this."

"I'm not too happy about it, either." Beansprout looked at the man who'd first appeared. "Can I help you?"

The man didn't answer. Instead, he pulled a small, silver device out of his pocket, and pressed a button on its side. Whipping his arm back, he threw it forwards. It landed at Beansprout's feet.

"What-" Beansprout began.

The device exploded.

 

Episode 2: Til Death Doesn't us Part -By Emily

 

"Perfect, absolutely perfect." a smooth voice cut across the smoking crater as Buffy stepped carefully amongst the debris of the playground, her silver boots and jumpsuit catching the moonlight. "Here I was on my way to kill Red's horrid little brat, and it seems the NGSPIB have done my work for me!"
Seeing a body hunched over on the ground, she carefully turned it over with the toe of one immaculate boot and knelt down. "And who's this? Oh dear, if it isn't Yakky..." there was no discernible change in her voice. "Well my boy, looks like you finally did something right."

Buffy stood up, and dusted some mud from her perfect clothes. "Now if I can just get everyone else on my hit list to attend the funeral, we'll wrap this up perfectly!" Laughing gently to herself she walked back to her spaceship and climbed in. Silently it ascended into the sky. 

"Yakky!" squeaked Beansprout out of the corner of her mouth from where she was lying.

"What?"

"Oh thank folk! I thought you were actually dead! Good acting!" Beansprout sat upright and carefully prodded herself all over. Weirdly, nothing particularly hurt, which surprised her greatly.

Yakky sat up as well and dusted himself down, starting with his hat, "I can't believe people are trying to kill us again, literally five minutes after I finally find you. You're a liability."

"Me!? Nothing interesting has happened for the last decade and then conveniently you show your face just as suit-wearing, anonymous bastards start trying to blow me up!"

"I think you'll find-" Yakky began but was interrupted by a bright flash of green sparkles as a portal opened and a hugely tall faerie, mostly legs and hair, fell through it, uttering the last part of a spell;
 "-someone's got to take the helm,

Get me to the mortal realm!"

The fey woman cursed around at the dark and began trying to cram her glowing wings inside a cardigan she pulled from a handbag slung over one arm.

"Flibbage!?" Beansprout said incredulously.

"Oh Beansprout, Yakky! THANK FOLK-" The faerie finished with the cardigan and started trying to arrange her hair over her ears as she hurriedly continued, "Look sorry it took me so long to get here, that damn time-portal spat me out in the Faerie Palace and everyone kept harping on about how terribly unfashionable being small was, and how I was letting the monarchy down- that folking portal took us TEN YEARS INTO THE FUTURE, and everyone's acting like its normal and I've been here the whole time! It's like they never saw a Plot Device before! Look, I've got the feeling Buffy's going to be hot on our heels having had a decade to stew on it so we've got to-"

Beansprout cut her off. "Flibbage where have you been all this time?"

"Well like I said everyone kept moaning at me about how no one will take the Fey seriously if we can't look down on people, and they meant literally, so it took me like half an hour to get away from that as everyone kept bickering about whether 9 feet tall was too much for a princess, and then I had to write a decent location spell so I could find wherever the portal spat you two out and-"

"It's been ten years Flib!"

 Flibbage paused, and peered at her two friends with increasing dismay. "Oh," she said eventually, "they got to you too." She sat down on the ground looking crestfallen, and pulled a familiar looking iPad out of her bag. "I guess the prophecy was right, it's just gonna be me. I was hoping you'd remember this time."

"Have you been carrying that iPad around all this time?" asked Yakky "Haven't you charged it? You know how they work right?"

"That's just it," said Flibbage "all this time is less than an hour ago. But honestly you're mortals, and I don't know what I was expecting so..." she sighed, and then pulled herself together. "Anyway what's been going on here, does the mortal realm usually look this cruddy or is this a special place you like to hang out just the two of you?"

Beansprout shot her best sarcastic look at Yakky, who to his credit pretended he wasn't offended by it.
 "Flib this is a crater, where some men in black suits just tried to blow us up- not the average mortal realm hangout.  Then Buffy came along and thankfully didn't check too carefully that we weren't dead. She's got some plan to kill anyone who comes to my funeral, so we need to warn my parents that we aren't dead and why are you staring past me Flib?"

As she'd sat listening Flibbage had started look at the ground behind Beansprout and Yakky, firstly with confusion and then dawning horror. On the other side of the park approaching sirens could be heard, and flashing lights  began to light up the debris stack up about the place, the twisted swingset, the scorched ground.

"About that" said Flibbage slowly, "Now, I don't want anyone to panic, but I think we might have a slight problem on that front." and she raised a trembling hand to point.

Beansprout and Yakky slowly turned to follow where she was pointing.

On the ground were two bodies.
Their bodies.

 

 

 Episode 3: Putting the Fun in Funeral -By Ally

Beansprout turned to Flibbage. “This is some kind of magic nonsense, isn’t it?”

“I wish it was,” Flibbage said sadly.

“Because I’m right here. Yakky is right here. We’re not dead!”

Flibbage sighed. “Of course you can’t process this. You can’t even deal with a simple time jump, you’d never be able to process this.

“What time jump?” Yakky asked.

Beansprout spun around to face him. “Can you please focus for a second? Flibbage thinks we’re dead!”

“Actually, it’s more that you two think you’re alive...”

Yakky went over and looked down at the bodies on the ground. His face went pale – and, Beansprout noticed through the anger that was flooding her, slightly translucent.

“I think she’s right,” Yakky said in a hoarse voice.

“Then why are we still here? What’s going on? I don’t understand any of this!” Beansprout yelled, kicking at the ground. Her foot passed through the churned-up soil without a whisper.

“Flibbage?” Yakky asked.

“I don’t know!” Flibbage exclaimed. “Magic and parallel worlds, that’s my area of expertise. I don’t know anything about the afterlife!”

“Oh, great,” Beansprout muttered, flopping down to sit on the still-smoking ground of the crater. “So everything’s back to the way it was, except I’m dead.

“Could anyone else in the faerie realm help us?” Yakky asked Flibbage.

“Not at court. Mum banished all the necromancers because they were creeping her out.” Flibbage folded her arms, looking thoughtful. “If we set off on a quest to find someone who could grant wishes, that might work...as long as we stay away from any monkey’s paws...”

Beansprout looked up suddenly. “We don’t have time for that.”

“Oh, sorry, did you have ghost plans?”

“We have funeral plans,” Beansprout said, standing up. “Remember what Buffy said? ‘If I can just get everyone else on my hit list to attend the funeral, I can wrap this up perfectly?’” She clenched her less-than-corporeal fists by her sides. “She’s going to kill my parents!”

 

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...” What a strange group of people, the vicar thought as he read the service. An abnormally tall girl with a mass of red hair dabbing her eyes, occasionally shooting glances into thin air. A man with a giant bushy beard, who looked a lot like Rasputin. The immaculately-dressed woman staring daggers at the bespectacled woman  across the two graves. They didn’t seem like the kind of people who’d know each other.

He finished the service and stepped aside. The immaculately-dressed woman walked forwards, knocking him sharply with her shoulder as she went.

Buffy took her place at the head of the two graves.

“We all know why we’re here,” she said. “To pay our respects to my son Yakky – and that girl – and to say our goodbyes.”

Flibbage sniffed, wiping her eyes, and glanced over to where Beansprout and Yakky were standing. Yakky flopped down in a melodramatic death pose, and Beansprout rolled her eyes at him.

“We’re on a mission!” she hissed.

Yakky pouted. “I was just messing around.”

“Shh, you two,” Flibbage whispered, earning herself another worried look from the vicar.

“But I have another reason for being here today,” Buffy continued. “I have an admission to make. I behaved very badly, a very long time ago, and I realise now that this was wrong.”

“What’s she playing at?” Beansprout muttered, looking at Red, who was staring at Buffy with a bemused expression – not that this was unusual for Beansprout’s mother.

“Red, I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” Buffy wiped a tear from her eye. “I just hope that we can all bury our differences along with my son – and that girl – and that our feud will die a death.”

Yakky looked up sharply. “Oh no.”

“What?” Beansprout asked.

“I recognise that heavily-layered irony. She’s going to-”

Buffy looked up, and the tears were suddenly gone, replaced by a chilling smile.

“See you all in hell,” she said.

Flibbage heard a roar, and felt herself get knocked backwards by a huge wall of energy, before everything went black.

For Beansprout and Yakky, it was different. They saw the coffins explode. They saw the people by the gravesides knocked backwards by the blast. Beansprout reached out to catch Flibbage as she flew towards them, but something was pushing her, too, and Yakky. They were sliding backwards through the air, and the world around them was flickering, turning milky and grey. The graveyard vanished, and Beansprout found herself standing in a blank, pearlescent landscape, with Yakky by her side and Flibbage slumped in her arms.

“Oh, great,” she said, glaring at the featureless white space as if it was personally responsible for everything that had happened today. “Where am I now?

 

Episode 4: I See Dead People -By Emily

Where is everyone!? Are they dead? Did she kill my mum?" Beansprout whirled around looking at the washed out landscape "Why aren't she here?!"

Flibbage rubbed her head and sat up, looking around at the pearly landscape. She could just about see a washed out, transparent version of the graveyard around them. Experimentally she waved her hand at a knocked over gravestone- it passed straight through with no resistance.
"Interesting." she clapped her hands together and was relieved to see a shower of green sparks. "I don't think I'm dead- dead Fey can't perform magic. I think Buffy's separated me from my body somehow- but maybe she couldn't catch my spirit because you two were holding onto me?"

"Oh great. I'm so happy for you," Beansprout snapped, "what about everyone else, Flib?"

Flibbage looked around again. "If you're still here, that would mean anyone else killed would be- hey where's my handbag?"

"Is now really the time to be concerned about your accessories?" said Yakky, "Can you please try and focus? this is serious!"

"All my clothes are here, this stupid tiny cardigan is here, it makes no sense for it to be gone! Unless- OH FOLK, THE TABLET!" Flibbage scrambled to her feet and spun about. "Its not here, that's what Buffy was really after! That must be what those guys in suits wanted too- only you didn't have it!"

"I think you're underestimating Buffy's undying hatred of Beansprout's mum," Yakky said, "maybe she just wanted to blow her up! Sorry-" he added as Sprout let out an anguished squawk.

"No that's what I'm trying to tell you! If they were dead they'd be here- and Buffy's evil but she's not indestructible, she'd have blown herself up! It's an incredibly powerful tool, in the wrong hands it could be used to rewrite our entire universe, and I didn't even try and charge it up yet. Who knows what she could do with it, we have to get it back!" Flibbage paced up and down, struggling back out of the cardigan as she thought.
"Listen. I've got a theory but I need to talk to the Queen."

Beansprout had been busy angrily trying to kick a gravestone, to no effect, but perked up at the mention of a plan "I thought you said she banished all her necromancers?"

"But not everyone who can see ghosts. Luckily there's one she can't get rid of." Her wings finally free, Flibbage began to sketch a green circle in the air with one glittering hand. They  crackles of energy filled the air as she improvised words to break the barrier between planes.

"Of Cabbage's children there are three,
The youngest child reveal to me,
Beyond the veil I'll be the speaker,
to ear and eye of Princess Beaker!"

The circle glittered and grew large enough for them to step through, revealing beyond the familiar green hues of the Faerie royal palace. An Elven youth sat at a writing desk studying; she had similar features to Flibbage, but her hair was straighter and lighter, and her skin was the same mint green as the Queen's. Like Callum, she wore a simple circlet crown on her head, less ornate than Flibbage's, and on one wing was the red 'L' plate that marked her as an unqualified magic user.

"Beaker!" Flibbage called out, and the young elf paused like she'd heard a distant sound. Turning round in her chair she spotted the three heroes and jumped about a foot in the air, her gossamer wings fluttering for balance. One might say it was like she'd seen a ghost.

"Oh, great you're already dead?"she said, furrowing her brow in annoyance, "I told you that if you went flying around all tiny sized then a contender for the throne would come after you! everyone has to be the same size, I said this retro thing wasn't going to work out-"

"Ugh Beaker will you shut up?!" Flibbage cut her off. "Do I look six inches tall? I took your advice and I still got blown up! You need to be more specific about your premonitions. Listen, I need you to get mum. Tell her Buffy stole my body, my sacred iPad, and blew up a funeral- no wait, just tell her Red's missing, that will get her attention."

The elf put down her scroll and rolled her eyes, "FINE! but it's only because I need you alive, I don't want to have to murder Callum and ascend the throne just to keep this place running." Throwing down her papers she stalked out of the room, and disappeared down the hall.

"Do you have any more siblings we should know about? Are they all so... caring?" Yakky asked.

"You try being one of three heirs to a land of infinite magical power," Flibbage sighed. "Beaker's okay, she has second sight, but she just wants to invent scrolls and potions and be left alone. At least she doesn't try and kill me all the time like Callum."

Beansprout paced the room with clenched fists, her agitation at the delay evident, "what's taking her so long? this is important!"

"it's been 5 seconds 'Sprout."

Beansprout didn't answer, just continued pacing, and aiming the occasional ineffective punch at the wall.

Presently, there came the sound of heels clacking on the floor as the queen hurried around the corner, followed by Beaker muttering "-and she says she's in the spirit world!"

"Flibbage what have I told you about messing with the planes of reality!" The monarch angrily addressed the empty air, not even remotely in the right direction. "And what's this about Buffy and Red?"
Through Beaker the three heroes relayed the story to Cabbage, who rubbed her forehead in frustration. "Blasted mortals, well this is a mess. You can't let her keep that ipad, and obviously all of this-" she waved her hand distractedly around the room "-won't do. there's only one way you can get back to the living world, and that's through the Underworld".

"Ah crap." said Flibbage, "I thought that might happen."

"What does she mean?" asked Beansprout.

"We have to go on a symbolic journey through the afterlife, probably face some trials, and then ask whoever's in charge to let us have our bodies back so we can fight Buffy. It's probably going to be really difficult and involve doing lots of nonsensical things."

Beansprout cracked her knuckles, "Finally." she said "Let's go punch some demons."

 

Episode 5: Beansprout’s Inferno- By Ally

The gates stretched high up above them, towards the place where the sky would have been, if there had been a sky. Instead, the air was filled with black smoke and swirling red flames, which lit up the wrought-iron words that ran across the top of the gates – All ye who enter here, you’re folked.

“Hang on,” Beansprout said, looking around. “Weren’t we just in the Faerie palace?”

“Yes,” Flibbage said grimly. “I imagine the creatrices thought a smash cut would work well at this point in the narrative.”

“What?”

Flibbage sighed. “Spooky forces brought us here against our will. Is that better?”

“Makes sense,” Yakky said, in a glum voice. “So, I guess this is hell?”

“Whatever gave you that idea?” Beansprout muttered.

“A pretty poor and derivative version of hell, but yes.” Flibbage walked towards the gates and lifted the heavy iron latch. “Let’s get going. The sooner we get through this, the sooner-”

Her words were interrupted by a loud growl, which somehow seemed to be coming from three directions at once.

Yakky tensed, his mouth twisting into a snarl. “That doesn’t sound good,” he said.

“Folking derivative is what it sounds,” Flibbage said under her breath, as a huge, three-headed dog paced into view. It stalked up to the gate and huffed at them, letting out three rolling breaths that stank of brimstone and rotten meat.

Beansprout stepped forwards and shook the bars, glaring up at the monster. The dog’s hackles rose, and it let out another three growls.

“Don’t think I won’t punch you,” Beansprout said. “I’ve always been more of a cat person, anyway.”

The dog’s growls grew louder. Beansprout began to open the gate, but Yakky stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Wait a second. I’ve got a better idea.”

Reaching inside his hat, he took out a piece of jerky and held it up in front of the dog. The dog froze, staring at the meat, and its tail began to thump against the ground.

Yakky pulled his arm back, and then flung the jerky through the gates, away into the distance. Gravel skittered under the dog’s paws as it chased after it.

“Quickly, through the gates!” Yakky said, motioning to the others.

Beansprout gave him a look as she walked past. “How come you keep jerky in your hat?”

“In case I get hungry.”

“How did you manage to keep jerky in your hat after you were dead?” Flibbage added, as she stepped through the gates.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s part of my spiritual essence or something,” Yakky muttered, pulling the gates shut behind them.

They walked across a rocky plain, dotted with bubbling pits of lava. Away in the distance, they could see the dog’s three heads snapping at each other as they fought over the single strip of jerky.

The three of them walked quickly, following the rocky path through the lava pits, until the air changed from hot to cold. They reached the bank of a wide, chilly river, with drifts of mist hanging low over the water.

“Folk,” Flibbage muttered. “Yakky, I don’t suppose you have any spare change in your hat?”

“Why would I keep spare change in my hat?

“Oh, sorry, what a ridiculous idea.”

A dark shape formed through the mist. As it drew closer, they saw a hooded figure…sitting on a pedalo.

“What,” Beansprout said in a flat voice.

“Greetings,” said the hooded figure, stopping the pedalo by the bank. It bounced off and bobbed a little way off, and the figure made a few quick pedals to get it back to the right point. “Welcome to the Underworld.”

“Oh, are we in the Underworld?” Beansprout exclaimed, rolling her eyes. “I had no idea!”

The hooded figure tilted its head to one side. The effect was ruined slightly by the pedalo drifting away from the bank again. The figure reached out, grabbed the rock, and pulled itself back into place.

“Do you have your fare for the crossing, sarcastic child?”

“Do you even have space for three people on that thing?” Beansprout asked. There was only one spare seat on the pedalo.

“My craft will carry all travellers who need to cross.”

“Excellent,” said Beansprout, and kicked the figure in the spot where its face would have been.

The hooded figure fell back, its robes flying, and crashed into the water. It struggled for a few moments, and then was pulled under with a thick, glooping sound.

Beansprout climbed into the pedalo, and motioned to the other seat.

“Come on, Yakky,” she said. “Flib, are you okay to fly?”

“I suppose,” said Flibbage, fluttering her wings and hovering above the river. “I just hope there aren’t any living-realm consequences for, you know, drowning the ferryman.”

Beansprout started to pedal, with a grim expression on her face.

“If there are,” she said, “then people had better remember that I didn’t ask for any of this.”

TThey pedalled and flew across the river, disappearing into the mist.

Episode 6: She's Buying a Shortcut to Heaven - By Emily

Eerie voices drifted across the river of lost souls. This was entirely normal. What wasn't normal was the sound of bickering that soon overwhelmed them as a pedalo appeared out of the mists approaching the far bank.b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">

"My legs are tired."

"Yakky you're a ghost."

"Its phantom pain."

Beansprout rolled her eyes as they drew close to the edge and scrambled up the bank. On this side of the river the lava pits and flames gave way to a huge stone wall. In front of them was a cavernous entrance framed by classical pillars and lit by torches that glowed with a sickly green light.

They passed into the entrance and continued down a passage, the walls covered in frescos made by people with a shaky grasp of anatomy but an excellent sense of style.
"Lot of humans with animal heads on..." said Flibbage, peering closely at a crocodile god devouring an angular looking man.

"Nothing wrong with that," grumbled Yakky, and tugged on his hat.

"Pre-warned, is pre-armed about animal people I can punch." Beansprout added, inspecting a frieze of a Jackal-headed man, holding a human heart. Yakky peered over her shoulder uncomfortably.

The corridor gradually lightened as they approached a chamber at the end.
"This is just so derivative." Flibbage ground her teeth as she looked around. " Did you know what the Fey consider an afterlife? It's a big library, and you get to talk to the Creatrices about all your best scenes, and they give you a big glass of gin and tell you about how they're gonna give you cameos in all their future works. It's very affirming. If you're evil they high five you for all the great drama you created."

Sand coloured pillars stretched up towards a starry sky overhead. In front of them was a huge, brightly glowing huge portal at the top of a flight of steps. Upon the top step stood the Jackal-headed man from the frieze holding a set of scales.

"BEHOLD!" he intoned, "I AM THE GOD ANUBIS, WEIGHER OF SOULS. COME TO ME AND I SHALL JUDGE YOUR HEART AGAINST A SINGLE FEATHER. IF TIS LIGHTER YOU MAY PASS, BUT SHOULD YOU FAIL IT SHALL BE CONSUMED."

"Where's your crocodile then? I don't see it." Beansprout said.

"LO, IT IS A METAPHOR. DON'T QUESTION IT."

"Sounds derivative." Flibbage added.

"Sounds rigged. A feather's really light." Yakky continued.

"LOOK DO YOU WANT TO PASS THIS GATE OR NOT? I KNOW THE QUEEN SENT YOU."

"Fine fine. Yakky, let the man weigh your heart." Beansprout shoved Yakky to the front.

"But I need my soul! For stuff..."

"Just folking get on with it."

Yakky approached Anubis, and the god touched his chest, pausing for a moment before a scroll appeared in his hand. He placed the scroll in one dish of the scales, and a ghostly feather appeared in the other. The scales seemed to waver for a moment, before the feather sank down.

"YAKKY OF-NO-CLAN, YOU HAVE BEEN A VERY GOOD BOY DESPITE YOUR UPBRINGING. YOUR SOUL IS PURE AND YOUR MOTIVES ARE TRUE. YOU MAY PASS." The god gestured with his hand for Yakky to pass him, and approach the gate.

"That seemed weirdly easy," Flibbage said, as she approached next. Once again, the scroll appeared in Anubis' hand, and he considered it before weighing it against the feather. Once more the feather sank.

"FLIBBAGE, HEIR OF THE VEGETABLE CLAN AND FAERIE GODMOTHER, YOU HAVE CARRIED OUT YOUR CREATRICE'S WISHES WITHOUT QUESTION.YOU HAVE ALWAYS ACTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR RACE'S PHILOSOPHY AND I CAN FIND NO FAULT. YOU MAY PASS." He gestured again, and Flibbage walked past.

"Come on 'Sprout. this seems to be a personal regrets style thing, so as long as you're happy with your actions, you'll be fine."

Beansprout was the last to approach, she seemed grimly confident. "Anyone I've ever fought with was evil." she added, as if pre-empting any criticism. Anubis' face was inscrutable as once again a scroll appeared.

"BEANSPROUT JONES, YOU-
HANG ON, WHY IS THIS PAPERWORK BLANK? WHERE ARE YOUR PERSONAL RECORDS?" He looked down and began unfurling the scroll without weighing it, searching for letters that weren't there. "THIS ISN'T POSSIBLE, THE ONLY WAY YOUR ACTIONS WOULDN'T BE RECORDED IS IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE A S-" He was cut off suddenly as Beansprout's fist collided with his face and she darted past him.

"Sorry, I haven't got time for bureaucracy!" she yelled as she cannoned forward and grabbed her two friends by the elbow, before leaping into the portal.

***

They landed in a field of snow, pristine, pearly white, and cold. Sparkling rainbows refracted the sunshine around them, as they lay on their backs looking at a glorious blue sky.

" I guess now we're in a lazy fascimile of Heaven, this spiritual journey sucks." grumbled Flibbage.

"Well well well, if it isn't the three Musketeers..." a silky voice uttered, as a perfect heeled shoe crunched into the snow by Beansprout's face.

"Oh my god. Buffy is God?!" she exclaimed as her arch nemesis loomed into view.

"-Does that mean I'm Jesus?" asked Yakky.

 Episode 7: Gods and Monsters- by Ally

“Of course you’re not Jesus,” Flibbage told Yakky, a scornful tone in her voice. “Jesus never wore a hat like yours.”o:p>

“He might have done, if there were any decent shops in Bethlehem.”

“He didn’t live in Bethlehem, he was just born there, and if you think that hat of yours came from a decent shop-”

“Can we please focus?!” Beansprout snapped. “Why is Buffy God?!”

Buffy let out a peal of villainous laughter. “Did you really think this was Heaven? I thought the faerie at least was supposed to be intelligent.”

Flibbage drew herself up to her full height, towering over Buffy. “I know things beyond your ken, mortal!”

“Who’s Ken?”

“Shut up, Buffy.” Beansprout curled her hands into fists. “I just punched Anubis and I’ll punch you too, unless you tell us what’s going on.”

“And why you’re in Heaven,” Yakky added. “Unless you’re dead too? I was dead first, by the way. You know, me, your son? The one you weren’t especially sad about being dead?”

“This isn’t Heaven!” Buffy snapped. “Good grief, boy, are you really surprised I didn’t miss you when you’re this obtuse?”

“I am not-”

“This is Nepal! You were born here!”

Yakky blinked, and looked around again, as if seeing the snowy landscape for the first time. “Ohhhhhh. Right. Yes. Nepal. I recognise it now.”

“So, hang on, if this is Nepal…” Beansprout furrowed her brow. “We made it back to the mortal realm? I thought Anubis was going to send us on to Heaven?”

She looked at Flibbage, who shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I wasn’t behind this one.”

“Maybe-” Yakky began.

Beansprout glared at him. “If you’re going to say something ridiculous, don’t.”

“I wasn’t!”

“All right, sorry. Maybe what?”

“Maybe Heaven is a place on Earth,” Yakky said in a small voice.

Beansprout looked at Buffy, who gave her a nod. Turning back, Beansprout kicked Yakky in the shin.

“Thank you,” Buffy said, and then, before Beansprout and Flibbage could react or Yakky could stop wincing in pain, pulled a small, jewelled pistol out of a holster on her belt. “Anyway, I don’t care how the three of you made it back to the land of the living. I’m going to send you straight back to hell where you belong.”

Yakky looked over his shoulder. The portal was still spinning in the air, just behind them. 

“You don’t need to shoot us,” he said quickly. “We could just hop back through the portal. We’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

Beansprout clenched her fists again. “Or we could see how well you can aim with a black eye, Buffy.”

“Or we could calm down and try to be reasonable about this!” Flibbage said, holding up both hands.

Buffy began to squeeze the trigger. “Or we can end this here and now. Properly, not like those sharp-suited incompetents who blew you up in the first place…”

“What?”

But before Buffy could say anything else, the portal began to hum and glow. Three silhouettes faded in from nothing, and Cabbage, Red, and Rasputin stepped out onto the snow. 

“Mum?” Beansprout and Flibbage asked simultaneously. 

“Rasputin?” asked Yakky.

“You three,” Buffy snarled.

Cabbage clicked her fingers. The snow billowed up around Buffy as green shoots burst from beneath it, stretching into vines that wrapped around her, pinning her arm to her side. The gun dropped harmlessly into the snow.

“Mum, what’s going on?” Beansprout exclaimed.

“MUM I HAD IT! I DIDN’T NEED A MOTHER EX MACHINA!” Flibbage yelled.

Cabbage rolled her eyes. “Oh, forgive me for stopping you dying twice in the same reboot.”

Red smiled at Beansprout. So did Rasputin, from behind his now somewhat lopsided-looking beard. “Are you all right, dear?”

“Don’t you ‘dear’ me,” Beansprout said, glaring at him. “Mum, what the hell is going on?”

“Oh, Cabbage hacked the portal,” Red said. 

Cabbage sighed. “Red, I’ve told you before, it is not a hack when a group of heroes goes through the afterlife and comes out the other side, it’s just a convenient narrative loophole.”

Red shrugged. “Sounds like hack work to me.”

Cabbage narrowed her eyes. “Are you being meta? I’ve told you, I will not put up with any self-referential, self-deprecating humour or I really will test the meaning of ‘Death of the Author’.”

“Why is Rasputin here?” Beansprout yelled.

Rasputin blinked, and put a hand to his beard. “Oh good grief, I didn’t realise I was still wearing this thing.” He pulled off the beard, revealing…

“Dad?” Beansprout exclaimed. “Why were you pretending to be a dead Russian monk?”

“To fool Buffy, of course.” Barry looked at the trapped supervillain. “Did it work?”

“I knew who you were from the very beginning,” Buffy snarled.

“Yes, yes, of course you did.” Cabbage turned to Beansprout, Flibbage and Yakky. “Honestly, I did think the three of you would make a better job of the heroing this time around. Still, you made good bait to catch this one.”

“I’ll get you all next ti-” Buffy began, but Cabbage flicked her hands, and a vine wrapped itself around her mouth.

*

A week later, Beansprout, Yakky and Flibbage sat on the swings in the park. The crater caused by the explosion was partially filled in, in a half-hearted attempt by the local council to pretend that nothing had happened. No-one was fooled, but as no-one seemed to do more than grumble, it didn’t really matter.

“I don’t know what I expected from this adventuring destiny stuff,” Beansprout said, kicking gently off the ground and swinging backwards and forwards. “But it wasn’t this.”

“Maybe the next one will be better,” said Flibbage. “Or at least have a more satisfying conclusion.”

“What?”

Flibbage sighed. “Mortals! Nothing, never mind.”

Beansprout’s phone beeped. She took it out of her pocket and frowned at the screen.

“I’ve got a notification from some news site – I didn’t even know I had that switched on…” 

Beansprout opened the message. Her face went pale.

“What’s wrong?” Yakky asked.

Silently, Beansprout held up her phone. Words scrolled across the screen.

‘Breaking news: Notorious supervillain Buffy escapes prison, makes off in giant spaceship. Her whereabouts are currently unknown.’

“Of course you’re not Jesus,” Flibbage told Yakky, a scornful tone in her voice. “Jesus never wore a hat like yours.”

“He might have done, if there were any decent shops in Bethlehem.”

“He didn’t live in Bethlehem, he was just born there, and if you think that hat of yours came from a decent shop-”

“Can we please focus?!” Beansprout snapped. “Why is Buffy God?!”

Buffy let out a peal of villainous laughter. “Did you really think this was Heaven? I thought the faerie at least was supposed to be intelligent.”

Flibbage drew herself up to her full height, towering over Buffy. “I know things beyond your ken, mortal!”

“Who’s Ken?”

“Shut up, Buffy.” Beansprout curled her hands into fists. “I just punched Anubis and I’ll punch you too, unless you tell us what’s going on.”

“And why you’re in Heaven,” Yakky added. “Unless you’re dead too? I was dead first, by the way. You know, me, your son? The one you weren’t especially sad about being dead?”

“This isn’t Heaven!” Buffy snapped. “Good grief, boy, are you really surprised I didn’t miss you when you’re this obtuse?”

“I am not-”

“This is Nepal! You were born here!”

Yakky blinked, and looked around again, as if seeing the snowy landscape for the first time. “Ohhhhhh. Right. Yes. Nepal. I recognise it now.”

“So, hang on, if this is Nepal…” Beansprout furrowed her brow. “We made it back to the mortal realm? I thought Anubis was going to send us on to Heaven?”

She looked at Flibbage, who shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I wasn’t behind this one.”

“Maybe-” Yakky began.

Beansprout glared at him. “If you’re going to say something ridiculous, don’t.”

“I wasn’t!”

“All right, sorry. Maybe what?”

“Maybe Heaven is a place on Earth,” Yakky said in a small voice.

Beansprout looked at Buffy, who gave her a nod. Turning back, Beansprout kicked Yakky in the shin.

“Thank you,” Buffy said, and then, before Beansprout and Flibbage could react or Yakky could stop wincing in pain, pulled a small, jewelled pistol out of a holster on her belt. “Anyway, I don’t care how the three of you made it back to the land of the living. I’m going to send you straight back to hell where you belong.”

Yakky looked over his shoulder. The portal was still spinning in the air, just behind them. 

“You don’t need to shoot us,” he said quickly. “We could just hop back through the portal. We’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

Beansprout clenched her fists again. “Or we could see how well you can aim with a black eye, Buffy.”

“Or we could calm down and try to be reasonable about this!” Flibbage said, holding up both hands.

Buffy began to squeeze the trigger. “Or we can end this here and now. Properly, not like those sharp-suited incompetents who blew you up in the first place…”

“What?”

But before Buffy could say anything else, the portal began to hum and glow. Three silhouettes faded in from nothing, and Cabbage, Red, and Rasputin stepped out onto the snow. 

“Mum?” Beansprout and Flibbage asked simultaneously. 

“Rasputin?” asked Yakky.

“You three,” Buffy snarled.

Cabbage clicked her fingers. The snow billowed up around Buffy as green shoots burst from beneath it, stretching into vines that wrapped around her, pinning her arm to her side. The gun dropped harmlessly into the snow.

“Mum, what’s going on?” Beansprout exclaimed.

“MUM I HAD IT! I DIDN’T NEED A MOTHER EX MACHINA!” Flibbage yelled.

Cabbage rolled her eyes. “Oh, forgive me for stopping you dying twice in the same reboot.”

Red smiled at Beansprout. So did Rasputin, from behind his now somewhat lopsided-looking beard. “Are you all right, dear?”

“Don’t you ‘dear’ me,” Beansprout said, glaring at him. “Mum, what the hell is going on?”

“Oh, Cabbage hacked the portal,” Red said. 

Cabbage sighed. “Red, I’ve told you before, it is not a hack when a group of heroes goes through the afterlife and comes out the other side, it’s just a convenient narrative loophole.”

Red shrugged. “Sounds like hack work to me.”

Cabbage narrowed her eyes. “Are you being meta? I’ve told you, I will not put up with any self-referential, self-deprecating humour or I really will test the meaning of ‘Death of the Author’.”

“Why is Rasputin here?” Beansprout yelled.

Rasputin blinked, and put a hand to his beard. “Oh good grief, I didn’t realise I was still wearing this thing.” He pulled off the beard, revealing…

“Dad?” Beansprout exclaimed. “Why were you pretending to be a dead Russian monk?”

“To fool Buffy, of course.” Barry looked at the trapped supervillain. “Did it work?”

“I knew who you were from the very beginning,” Buffy snarled.

“Yes, yes, of course you did.” Cabbage turned to Beansprout, Flibbage and Yakky. “Honestly, I did think the three of you would make a better job of the heroing this time around. Still, you made good bait to catch this one.”

“I’ll get you all next ti-” Buffy began, but Cabbage flicked her hands, and a vine wrapped itself around her mouth.

*

A week later, Beansprout, Yakky and Flibbage sat on the swings in the park. The crater caused by the explosion was partially filled in, in a half-hearted attempt by the local council to pretend that nothing had happened. No-one was fooled, but as no-one seemed to do more than grumble, it didn’t really matter.

“I don’t know what I expected from this adventuring destiny stuff,” Beansprout said, kicking gently off the ground and swinging backwards and forwards. “But it wasn’t this.”

“Maybe the next one will be better,” said Flibbage. “Or at least have a more satisfying conclusion.”

“What?”

Flibbage sighed. “Mortals! Nothing, never mind.”

Beansprout’s phone beeped. She took it out of her pocket and frowned at the screen.

“I’ve got a notification from some news site – I didn’t even know I had that switched on…” 

Beansprout opened the message. Her face went pale.

“What’s wrong?” Yakky asked.

Silently, Beansprout held up her phone. Words scrolled across the screen.

‘Breaking news: Notorious supervillain Buffy escapes prison, makes off in giant spaceship. Her whereabouts are currently unknown.’