IBYKS: A RECKLESS RETCON
IBYKS: Here Lies Version One
IBYKS: Space Opera Rerun
IBYKS: Split the Party
IBYKS: Happy Endings
Volume 6: Killing Time
Volume 7: Intertextuality
Volume 8: Loose Ends
SEASON 3: SPACE OPERA, THE RERUN
Silent and cold, as far as you can get from earthly law enforcement. What should
be a vista of frozen red dust, but broken by something incongruous. Out of place
for this lonely planet, but to our readers, distressingly familiar- a sleek
Finishing her arcane symbols the villain steps back and shoots her laser gun into the ground, causing the entire shape to light up in neon flickering colour. A wide circle, inscribed not in runes or magical symbols, but in plain English
'From beyond you it creates.'
Winds swirl up, catching the dust in rainbows of light from the words.
“GET ME OUT OF THIS TWO BIT UNIVERSE!” Buffy yells and stamps her heeled boot.
In the sky above, a portal forms in the midst of a cycling vortex of clouds. Smiling, Buffy starts toward her ship, only to stop short as a bolt of lightning strikes down from the center of the portal, followed a second later by it vanishing as quickly as it appeared.
Buffy sighs and sits down on the steps leading up to her ship. "Fine. FINE."
Resting her chin on her hand she surveys her circle as the dust clear and the
flickers die away. But something's there that wasn't there before, something
sticking out of the ground, gently smoking.
A sword. Its hilt decorated with a small emblem that looks like a yak skull, and its blade wide and curved towards its extremely sharp looking edge.
“This is- not what I was expecting." Buffy muses, "But I can work with it. After all, it's very cutting edge.”
As she laughs at her own joke, blue lightning crackles across the sword.
Season 3 episode 1- Now the Thugs don't work- by Emily
Flibbage stared at the screen.
‘Tell Jay there will be pizza, tell Dee there will be
blood, tell Beansprout not to touch swords but she’s gonna do it anyway...’
Dying is so
Flibbage sighed. "That's great advice benevolent Creatrices, I'll do my best."
training you'll need to face Buffy,
With that, the screen turned into a map, with a pin dropped into the center reading "Towersey Festival". Flibbage tapped the screen to no avail, the map could not be changed or switched off, just continued to gently pulse around the beacon.
Flibbage called the other two into the kitchen and showed the Tablet to them.
"I uh, think you broke your holy relic, Flib." said Yakky, shaking it vigorously.
"I could smash it," added Beansprout, aiming at it with the butt of the gun," I mean, it could be a trap, maybe Buffy's tracking us with it."
"It's a high level Plot Device, Sprout." Flibbage quickly snatched it back from
Yakky, "I don't think that's possible. Look I think we have to follow this
beacon, it's the only lead we've got to finding Buffy."
"Why is that even our job?" Yakky asked, "I appreciate she's awful, but she's still my mum! Maybe she'll just folk off to space and leave us alone."
"Yeah maybe we can all just have tea together and she'll stop trying to murder my entire family line" Beansprout shot back.
Yakky was about to reply, when there came a sound from outside the front door, footsteps were approaching. Beansprout readied her gun and stepped in front of Yakky and Flibbage.
"Agent West. Shoot the lock off." said an authorative voice.
"Can't we just knock, Agent Lee?" came a second.
"We don't tolerate this kind of resistance." the first insisted.
"It's a shut door."
There was a small sign and then the first said "Exactly. Guess I'll have to do this myself."
"No-" The second voice was cut off abruptly as the entire house was vaporised. Flibbage was quick enough to throw up a protective bubble this time, a spell she'd had constantly prepared because of the sheer volume of explosions that seemed to be happening lately.
The three heroes stared across the rubble at the two men standing on the
doorstep. Their immaculate black suits, their shiny shades, the small silver
device rather similar to the last time
they'd been blown up that the older man was holding.
"Are you Beanspout Jones, age nineteen,
spiky haired sarcastic teen with a flair for defeating criminal masterminds?
Plus known associates Yakky-the-yak-boy and Her Royal Highness Princess Flibbage
of the Fey?" demanded the older man.
The younger man grimaced apologetically, and stepped over the threshold. "I'm really sorry about my colleague, he's apparently fought in one too many space wars and needs to chill out. My name is Agent Jay West and I'm here to request your assistance in apprehending Buffy the Space Pirate on behalf of the Non-Gender-Specific-People-in-Black."
"Did you say Jay West?" Flibbage was grinning.
"Agent Jay West, yes."
"I'm so glad you're here. There's going to be pizza!"
Season 3 Episode 2: One Day I’ll Fly Away
“You want to recruit us,” Beansprout said flatly.
“You. The people in suits who blew us up.”
“That wasn’t exactly-”
“Don’t talk about past or ongoing operations with the civilians, Agent West,” Agent Lee said in a warning tone.
“But they’re not civilians, we just told them that we wanted to recruit them…”
“Look, we could spend all day talking about who blew up who,” Flibbage said, tucking the tablet under her arm, “but we really need to get going if we’re going to get this pizza. Oh, and go to the Festival.”
“Festival?” Agent Lee rounded on her, glaring at her with a grim expression. As Flibbage, in her full-sized form, was easily six inches taller than him, the intimidating effect was somewhat lost. “There won’t be any time for festivals. We need to get you trained up and ready to tackle this Buffy character.”
“It’s funny you should say ‘character’,” Flibbage said brightly, “because, you see-”
“We haven’t agreed we’re going to work with you yet,” Beansprout interrupted. “Because of the whole blowing us up thing.”
“I really think-”
“Plus you just dissolved my house!”
Agent Lee opened his mouth, but Jay stepped in front of him and gave Beansprout a very strained, very apologetic smile.
“Look,” he said. “We know that Buffy the Space Pirate has been a big problem for you three, for a long time now.”
“That is my mum you’re talking about,” Yakky said in a wounded voice.
“So…okay, fine, she’s a big problem.”
“And I think we can help each other,” Jay continued smoothly. “What do you say?”
Beansprout, Yakky and Flibbage looked at each other.
Flibbage turned back to Jay and smiled. “When do we leave?”
“It’s so nice that my entire house was just vapourised,” Beansprout muttered as she climbed into the back of the sleek black car that was parked in the road. “It really saves time on packing.”
“Oh, come on,” Flibbage said brightly, as she and Yakky settled in next to Beansprout. “This is going to be fun. We’re off to a festival!”
Yakky frowned. “I thought we were off to train?”
“Sure. Yep. Training.” Flibbage glanced out of the window. Agents West and Lee were approaching the car, Jay in the lead and heading for the passenger door. “Put your seatbelts on, both of you.”
“Because seatbelts save lives.”
“But we’re stationary,” Yakky protested, as Jay climbed into the passenger side of the car. Agent Lee paused, digging around in his pocket.
As Agent Lee pulled out a set of car keys, Flibbage clicked her fingers, and the car doors locked.
“Horseless carts are wond’rous things
Better yet with gifts of wings,”
Flibbage said, and gave a smile and a wave to the furious Agent Lee as the car rocked, bobbed, and then lifted off the ground.
“What the – oh hell no!” Jay turned around in his seat, staring frantically at Flibbage. “What did you do?”
Flibbage grinned. “Sorry, Jay. We’ve got a festival to get to.”
Beansprout stared out of the window, looking at the ground far below. Flying had been fun at first, even with Jay swearing, yelling, and threatening to shoot the car out of the sky. After a long explanation from Flibbage about how plot armour – whatever that was – didn’t work if you actively tried to sabotage yourself, he’d slid down in his chair and stared balefully out of the front windscreen, in one of the deepest sulks that Beansprout had ever seen.
“Can we stop soon?” Yakky asked. The sky was starting to get dark, and he kept glancing nervously out of the window, at the spot where the moon would soon rise.
“We’re nearly there,” Flibbage said airily, moving her hands in the air. “You know, I don’t know why everyone complains about backseat driving – this is a lot more convenient.”
“Why do we need to go to this festival anyway?” Beansprout asked. “Did the tablet say anything else?”
“So why should we listen?”
“What else were we supposed to do?”
“Cool secret agent training?” Jay muttered from the front seat. “It was good enough for me.”
“I’m sure it’s very lovely as far as a backstory goes,” Flibbage said in a soothing voice, and then moved her hands sharply in the air. Everyone else grabbed the handles in the doors as the car dipped and started speeding towards the ground.
“Flibbage, what the hell?” Beansprout protested.
“What? I didn’t want to miss the turning.” Flibbage pointed ahead, towards a field studded with tents and marquees. In the growing dark of the evening, Beansprout could see flashes of flame swirling in the air, tiny points of light that traced patterns in the gloom. “We’re here. Towersey Festival.”
“And what are we doing here, exactly?” Beansprout asked.
There was an answering ping! from the tablet. Still holding one hand out in the air, Flibbage shoved the device over to Beansprout with her other hand.
“New notification. What does it say?”
Beansprout tapped the notification on the screen. Words unfurled from a digital scroll.
Find the contact who will lead you to the Pirate Queen.
Season 3 Episode 3: The Platetrix -by Emily
Into a narrow space between a glamorous yurt filled with people having a midlife
crisis, and some kind of children's wendy house in which 3 shivering teens were
valiantly trying to get high off some "herbs" they'd bought, Flibbage brought
the car to a smooth landing, and turned the engine off.
The sun had set fully now, and lanterns and fairy lights began to glow from
wires above them as they entered to main arena- a wide grassy area surrounded by
performance tents and bars. Strains of music clashed or harmonised as revellers
stumbled from one venue to the next or danced together cheerfully. In the centre
of the area, people were lying on cushions and blankets, chatting and drinking
under the starry sky. Many of them seemed to be actual Fey, in varying qualities
of disguise, but as Flibbage had said, no one seemed to much notice or care. A
very drunk human man, complete with pewter tankard and unkempt beard was trying
to tell one of them a joke.
Leaving Beansprout to rant about how she was the product of a broken home, and
also her actual home had been blown up, Flibbage pulled out the Tablet and
showed it to her mother. "We were supposed to be training with the Non Gender
Specific People In Black, but this thing told us to come here and look for clues
to track down Buffy. Any ideas?"
"I mean we have very good training facilities if we're done here" sulked Jay.
A few minutes later they stood
outside a tent labelled 'Circus Skills'. Outside several children were trying to
spin plates or throw diabolos without much success.
"Hah, what will they think of next," she said to herself, and began to read
aloud "It says 'Introductory special offer, any pizza, buy one get one free at
our newest Pizza Hut Venue! Try the Planet's best (only) dining experience when
you visit our new Martian flagship restaurant.' These festival people are weird.
No wonder the Fey like hanging out here."
"What are you talking about Flib?"
Season 3 Episode 4 - Nightflight to Mars, by Ally
Beansprout had to admit it - Flibbage's magic was pretty impressive. Another flick of her wand (after a brief panic when she'd accidentally used the fireball wand and set one of the nearby portaloos ablaze), and the sleek black tent, which had been a sleek black car, was transformed into a sleek black space shuttle.
"I am going to get so fired," Jay said miserably.
"Of course you're not, Will," Flibbage said, patting him on the shoulder. "Or maybe you are. Plots are tricky things, and if I get too sure about how this one is going to develop, it'll pull a twist on me."
"We're going to bring Buffy to justice," Beansprout said, pushing her new sword into its scabbard and striding towards the shuttle. "They wouldn't dare fire you after that."
Flibbage winced. "Sprout, you really shouldn't have said that, now they'll definitely fire him!"
Yakky rolled his eyes. "Are we getting pizza or not?"
"Right," Beansprout said as she settled into the driver's seat of the car-turned-tent-turned-shuttle. "Does anyone know how to fly this thing?"
"I do," Jay said sulkily from his place in the back. "Because of being a secret government agent who's done more space missions than you've had hot dinners. And, oh, because this is actually my car."
"I wouldn't brag about all of those space missions, Will," Flibbage said, and cracked her knuckles. “All right, space cadets, let’s go!”
A roaring sound cut through the folk music, and revellers looked upwards, many of them spilling their cider as they did so. A black, very car-shaped shuttle was soaring through the air above the campsite, tents collapsing in its wake, before it swooped upwards towards the night sky. Flames erupted from its exhaust pipes, and it shot away towards the stars.
Below, amongst the panicking festivalgoers, a lone blonde girl stood still. She sipped her coffee and stared up at the sky.
“Why are so many things beeping?” Yakky said in a nervous voice. They’d broken Earth’s atmosphere a few minutes ago, and the moon was now a bright glow in their rear-view mirror.
“Shh.” Flibbage waved a hand at him. “It’s fine.”
“It doesn’t sound fine.” Beansprout gripped her sword, staring out of the window. Space loomed back at her, huge and dark and lit with pinpricks of stars. She’d risked a glance back at Earth as they’d left, but the sight had made her stomach churn. Now she just watched the distant stars from the window. They looked almost the same as they did when she had her feet on solid ground, and if she didn’t think about it too hard, she could pretend she was just on an ordinary night drive. At least, that was what she’d been pretending, until the beeping had started.
“It’s not fine,” Jay said. He was slumped in his seat, arms folded, a furious expression on his face.
Flibbage rolled her eyes. “Oh, how would you know?”
“Because, as I’ve already said a million times, this is my car! And one thing cars usually aren’t is ready for space travel!” Jay jabbed a hand towards the dashboard. “If your weird magical dials and controls are anything like real ones, we’re headed for total system failure!”
“What?” Yakky yelped.
“We’re not headed for total system failure,” Flibbage said, just as a large red light began blinking just to the left of the steering wheel. A low, unnerving rumble started to judder through the body of the car. “Oh, folk.”
Yakky lunged forward in his seat. “What’s going on? Are we losing air?”
“We’ll lose it a lot more quickly if you panic!” Beansprout snapped.
“Excuse me for being worried about our impending deaths! Again!”
“That’s it.” Jay reached into his suit pocket and brought out a small silver disc, with a dial in its centre. He twisted it a few clicks clockwise, then a few more anticlockwise.
“What’s that?” Beansprout demanded.
“A distress beacon! Let’s just hope there’s someone within a few light years who can help us!”
“What the folk do you think you’re doing?” Flibbage turned around, making a grab for the distress beacon. “The person who’s likely to be closest is our mortal enemy!”
“Better captured than dead!”
“We can make it to Mars!”
“Not if we miss the folking planet!” Beansprout reached over and wrenched the steering wheel. One of the glowing lights in the sky was getting bigger and redder, and she tried to swerve back towards it while Flibbage tried to snatch the distress beacon out of Jay’s hand.
“Let go, you’ll break it!”
“Switch it off! This is mutiny!”
“You can’t mutiny in a car!”
“Clearly you can!”
Mars was close, but the shuttle was shaking harder now, the windows starting to rattle. Beansprout took a deep breath, and the back of her throat burned. Her eyes widened as she tried to breathe in another lungful of air, and failed.
“Stop fighting-” she began, starting to turn to the others.
A flash of light caught her eye. Beansprout looked back out of the windscreen to see a huge, gunmetal-grey shape stretch and snap into their path. A door opened in the smooth metal side, and the shuttle careened through it, bouncing off the floor until it skidded to a halt.
Beansprout gasped, and almost laughed with relief when she realised that she could breathe again. Flibbage, Jay and Yakky froze, Flibbage with her hand shoved into Jay’s face. The four of them looked around.
The door slid shut behind them. The shuttle-car was sitting in a huge, empty space that looked like an aircraft hangar. It was lit with buzzing fluorescent lights, and the walls and floor were the same smooth gunmetal colour as the outside of the spaceship. Yes, that’s right, Beansprout thought. I’m in a folking spaceship.
Suddenly, a red light blinked in the opposite wall. A line of light shone through the windscreen, scanning down the four of them, before disappearing just as quickly as it had come.
A voice rang out on a loudspeaker that echoed around the hangar. There was something about it that sounded familiar to Beansprout, but she couldn’t quite work out what.
“No what?” Yakky asked in a small voice.
“No. I’m sorry, but you can’t be here.”
The door in the wall behind them began to slide open again.
“You can’t throw us out!” Jay held up the distress beacon. “We’re seeking help under the Galactic Convention!”
“The Galactic Convention doesn’t apply to me.” The voice gave a small sigh. “I really am sorry.”
Flibbage swivelled around in her chair, peering out of the windscreen. “If you send us back out there, our ship will fall apart and we’ll all die!”
“It’s a car,” Jay muttered, while Yakky exclaimed “You said it’d be fine!”
The door paused. The voice sighed again, and, slowly, the door slid closed.
“You stay in the car,” the voice said. “I’ll drop you off at the nearest planet. That’s…let me see…Mars.”
“Fine by us,” Flibbage said.
Beansprout narrowed her eyes. Pulling the car door open, she stepped outside and raised her sword.
“Why are you so keen to get rid of us?” she shouted. “Who are you?”
There was silence for a moment. Then another door, this one on the far side of the hangar, slid open. A man stood behind it. He was wearing black leathers, and an opaque black helmet, like a particularly sinister biker.
“You can call me…Bob,” said the man.
“Bob?” Beansprout said. “Not Buffy, then?”
“Of course not. Why on earth would I be called Buffy?”
“If you’re nothing to do with Buffy, take off your helmet.”
The man flinched. “The helmet stays on.”
folk it does,” Beansprout snarled. She shoved her sword back into its scabbard,
Beansprout surged forward and aimed a flying kick at 'Bob', only to land in a
confused heap on the other side of the loading bay, having apparently passed
straight through him.
"So sometime in the year, 2XXX scientists realised everything was pretty fucked
up. But at least they'd invented superpowered A.I based on brain scans, time
travel, space travel and cloning. Sure, half their A.I inexplicably turned out
to be evil, but that's the power of tropes-"
"Heeeeeey" said Yakky.
"I need a drink" said J.
"I'm royalty, and I feel like this could probably start a war."
" Allow me to introduce my crew, cloned from the DNA store and currently in
cyrosleep. I don't know how they got
your DNA, or why they chose you in particular," said YAK(ky) "- They don't give
me your memories or anything. now do you see why I didn't want you on my ship?"
"Actually out of all the people in the universe, I feel like we should be
more trustworthy to you." said
The Martian Pizza Hut was enclosed in a geodesic dome, a glittery gem in a red expanse, catching the light as Deepwater YAK descended upon it. The parking area was full of ships of different sizes and makes.
"This is the part where you tell us aliens are real." Beansprout said to Jay.
"That's a government secret." Jay muttered.
"Bit late for that mate," said Yakky, "We're about to get pizza on mars from a Pizza hut you insisted didn't exist. Who else is it gonna be there for?"
"This is as far as I'm taking you," Said YAK(ky) "I have an important mission to fulfil!"
"Come have some pizza, YAK(ky), how long has it been since you had some food?"
"Never because I'm a computer."
"Then you should start!"
"Okay fine," he sighed, "but you can't come back on my ship afterwards!"
They touched down on the ground and stepped out, followed by YAK(ky).
"Huh. we can breathe!" Said Yakky.
"You only think you need to breathe, you're fictional and oxygen is meaningless
to you" said Flibbage distractedly, holding the ipad high in the air and shaking
it to see if she could get a signal. without waiting for a reaction, she strode
towards the doors of the dome and flung them open.
So why are you here anyway?" YAK(ky)
asked, "What convinced you to head into space in a rickety spaceship. It
couldn't be quality pizza, because this is not it."
"Our arch nemesis is my mum." Yakky added.
"Shut up Will."
YAK(ky), unused to the constant bickering that passed for conversation amongst our heroes, tried to make conversation. "I actually knew another biocomputer called WILL once, he's really evil, he's the reason they invented apathy modules."
"My name isn't even Will, the faerie just keeps calling me that!" Jay answered back, already on his third slice. The pizza was pretty unremarkable and didn't have any weird alien toppings, which was probably a blessing. Beansprout continued to survey the rest of the customers as they ate, looking for their contact.
Suddenly the ipad pinged. Flibbage looked over and saw a small message in the
middle of the screen.
"Huh. Must mean Incoming message..." she said, wiping her hands on a napkin.
Jay, who was facing the window behind her had gone pale.
Then the roof exploded.
Alien figures scattered to their spaceships as the silver disc of Buffy's ship descended on the parking lot, lazer cannons blazing. Her voice boomed out into the air through a speaker system.
"Beansprout Jones we meet again! Very bold of you to come out into space, which let's face it is my turf! How would you like it if I came and invaded your planet?"
A partially demolished wall gave the heroes some cover, as her cackling laughter
rang in the air around them. Jay levelled his gun at the ship looking for
movement as Beansprout gave an
exasperated sigh and pulled her sword out.
"I don't control the plot, I just facilitate it!" Flibbage wiped dust from the
screen, which luckily was undamaged.
Beansprout threw a small rock at him."Oh my God Yakky, can you quit with the 'she's my mum' business? She's always trying to murder me!"
"Well she is, and I don't see why we can't be the better people..." Yakky trailed off
"If we can just get to the ship, maybe we can get out of here" Jay said, as the door in Buffy's ship slid aside.
"You aren't folking getting back on my ship, I told you! I've got my own mission!" said YAK(ky)
"Ugh you're all so folking annoying! I have a sword and a pirate queen that
needs stabbing." Beansprout got up and began to head out in the open.
"Because she's got a sword too, and hers is glowing."
Season 3 Episode 6 – Slowly Going Forwards
Buffy raised the sword, its ethereal glow making her face look ghostly and terrifying. She smirked, and ran her thumb along the edge of the blade.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” she said. “And it goes so well with my shoes.”
Beansprout shifted her feet into a fighting stance. “And none of that means a damn thing if you don’t know how to use it.”
“I am out of here,” YAK(ky) said, and flickered out of sight.
Buffy chuckled. “Oh, that’s not difficult, Beansprout. You just have to put your heart and soul into it.”
Flibbage blinked. “Hang on, what did you just-”
“Less talking, more fighting!” Beansprout snapped, and sprinted forwards.
“No, wait!” Flibbage scrabbled at the tablet, swiping her fingers frantically across the screen. Deepwater YAK began to make a noise like a jet plane taking off – and then sputtered and stalled.
But Beansprout couldn’t hear her. She was racing forwards, the rest of the planet fading away as her vision narrowed, until all she could see was Buffy, and the pale, strangely compelling glow of the sword.
“I just asked you not to fight my mum!” Yakky ran after Beansprout, wincing as the red Martian dust kicked up by her footsteps billowed into his eyes.
“Oh, for – Will, stop them!”
“How?” Jay protested.
Flibbage snarled at him. “You must have some gadget that would be useful in this situation, otherwise what are you even for?”
Beansprout was inches away from Buffy now. She feinted to the supervillain’s left, before jabbing forward to the right – but Buffy pirouetted away, and brought her own sword down in a slash that Beansprout only just managed to block.
“Will you BOTH PLEASE STOP FIGHTING!” Yakky shouted, clawing at Buffy’s arm. A well-aimed kick from her boot sent him staggering backwards.
“After this is over, son,” Buffy said through gritted teeth, “we really need to talk about where your loyalties lie.”
“JAY!” Flibbage shouted, stabbing at the screen of the tablet. Behind her, Deepwater YAK made a sound like gears grinding, and stalled again.
“All right, all right!” Jay reached into the inside pocket of his jacket, and pulled out a small device, about the size and shape of a pot of lip balm. He clicked a button in the centre and threw it towards the three fighters.
“What’s that supposed to-” Flibbage began, before the breath was knocked out of her as Jay leaped forwards and tackled her to the ground.
There was a sound like someone bouncing a ball in slow-motion, and a sphere of gel exploded out from the device, engulfing Beansprout, Buffy and Yakky.
“Jay!” Flibbage shoved him away and leapt to her feet. “What the hell? Can they even breathe in there?”
“They don’t need to! It’s an oxygen-rich polymer network with a built-in temporal stasis matrix.”
“Oh. In that case, well done,” Flibbage said. “And you probably could have chucked it a bit earlier.”
“To be honest,” Jay said sheepishly, “I get given so many gadgets that I can barely remember what I have.”
“When we get back to Earth and have Buffy properly in custody, you and I are going to have a little chat about equipment lists – what the…?”
Inside the large bubble of gel, Buffy’s stylish boots were beginning to glow. The light became brighter and brighter, and then, suddenly, the supervillain clicked her heels together.
The gel bubble popped. Beansprout and Yakky slammed to the ground, sending up two clouds of red dust.
Buffy, though, stayed hovering in mid-air. She looked at Jay, and a slow smile spread across her face.
“Anti-stasis ankle boots,” she said. “Do you think you’re the only one with useful gadgets? I’m a space pirate, Agent. I’ve stolen more tech than you’ve had hot dinners.”
Jay gave her a steely glare. “I eat my dinners cold.”
Yakky, who was sitting up and looking rather dazed, shot him a puzzled glance. “Why?”
“Because I have a lot of work and very bad time management skills – look, it doesn’t matter, I was just being cool!”
“You really weren’t.”
“Nyargh!” Beansprout leapt towards Buffy, but the space pirate gave a small kick and shot several feet higher in the air. She slid the sword into a scabbard on her belt, and drew a sleek, silvery ray gun.
Jay’s eyes widened. “Oh no.”
“Get down here and fight me, coward!” Beansprout yelled, trying to jump up to Buffy’s level and failing miserably.
“Get on the ship.” Jay grabbed Flibbage’s shoulder and shoved her towards Deepwater YAK, before flailing his arms at Beansprout and Yakky. “Get on the ship, get on the ship, GET ON THE SHIP!”
Beansprout scowled at him. “Not before I-”
“GET ON THE SHIP OR THERE WON’T BE A YOU LEFT!”
Beansprout blinked as she took in the expression on Jay’s face. It was pure certainty, and pure terror.
“For folk’s sake,” she muttered, grabbed Yakky’s arm, and ran towards the spaceship.
Laughing, Buffy pressed a button on her belt, and a glowing forcefield formed around her. She aimed at Beansprout, and pulled the trigger. A small black sphere zipped out of the gun, growing and growing as it spun towards them.
Beansprout felt her legs slow, like she was running in a dream. The air around her felt like it was turning to treacle. Her body was getting heavier and heavier, and Yakky felt like he was made of stone.
She looked around, and bit back a scream.
Rocks were bending towards the black sphere, warping into long, thin tendrils that swirled away into the dark. As her hair whipped behind her, Beansprout saw it stretch until it was much longer than it had ever been, and felt the pull on her roots as it started dragging her back.
“It’s a black hole gun!” Jay yelled from the door of the spaceship. He and Flibbage were clinging onto the door frame, Flibbage’s knuckles white as she kept hold of the tablet. “Get to the ship! It’s the only chance we have!”
Beansprout looked at Yakky, who stared back at her, his eyes wide with fright. They locked arms, and, both gritting their teeth with the effort, hauled themselves towards the door of Deepwater YAK.
Flibbage tucked the tablet under her arm and reached out to them. Her arm stretched until it was impossibly long, and Beansprout grabbed her hand.
“Jay, help me pull them in!” Flibbage started walking backwards, fighting gravity, fighting every spatial dimension as the black hole grew to the size of a tennis ball. Jay hooked an arm around her waist, and they took one step back, then another, pulling Beansprout and Yakky into the cargo hold of Deepwater YAK.
Beansprout stumbled as they crossed the threshold into the spaceship, and the pull of the black hole suddenly lessened. The sudden change in weight made Flibbage stagger back, fighting to keep her balance.
The tablet slipped out from under her arm.
“No!” Flibbage yelled, as the tablet spaghettified out through the doorway and into the black hole. She took a step forwards, but Jay was already at the door, slamming his hand down on the ‘close’ button.
There was a flicker of light, and YAK(ky) appeared.
“What the hell?” he snapped. “I told you you weren’t getting back on this ship, and now there’s a black hole?”
Jay narrowed his eyes at him. “Yes. There is. So you’d better get ready to do some of the best flying of your life.”
“I can’t fly out of range of a black hole! No-one can!”
“I know,” Jay said quietly.
Deepwater YAK lurched. The engines were silent, but the spaceship lifted off the surface of Mars, drawn towards the now basketball-sized black hole. It stretched out like gum, becoming a long, razor-thin slice of metal that spiralled into the black hole and disappeared.
Buffy calmly pulled the trigger again. The black hole whipped back towards the gun, shrinking as it went, and disappeared down the barrel. She touched down on the surface of Mars, the forcefield dissipating around her.
“Apparently death wasn’t out-of-the-way enough to put you,” she said. “But try getting back from this any time soon.”
Episode 7 - It's Just a Step to the Left...
Slowly Beansprout opened
her eyes, and found herself floating weightlessly in the air. Blinking warning
lights dimly illuminated the bridge of Deepwater Yak. Through the cockpit
window, stars spun lazily as the ship rolled rudderless through space.
Hanging a few feet away was Yakky, his eyes closed, a few wisps of hair
escaping from under the brim of his hat which was pushed further up his forehead
than usual. As he drifted towards her, she saw the reason why, there was a large
cut on his forehead, and a few drops of blood
suspended in the air around him.
"Let me look at your
"NO" Yakky pulled the hat
down almost over his eyes.
sighed, " I can heal it in like half a second, but I have to be able to see why
your head is bleeding. Unless you want your hat magically welded to your
"ITS FINE. I'M FINE."
Yakky said, backing up until he almost fell over a bulkhead.
"Look, Callum already
said, but we know what the hat's about, I won't tell them."
"What? No you don't!"
"Yakky. For goodness sake,
you think an elf has never has to wear a hat to stay incognito?"
"I have ears and they're
right on my head like everyone else's."
"Oh that wouldn't kill
me," Flibabge said, "I'm impervious to physics."
YAK(ky)'s eyes flickered
back and forth, to Jay and Beansprout bickering over which wires should be
reconnected to a port, to Yakky, surreptitiously trying to look at his forehead
in a reflective panel. He lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "Listen
I know this is a rewrite- I'm a digital intelligence I have access to all
previous versions of this Plot."
The console next to them lit up, and Beansprout appeared out from underneath with an excited squeak. "No need to thank me, I'm a genius!"
"Actually I did most of
it-" Jay started, then gave up. Yakky headed over to the group and the five of
them peered over the console as the panel lit up and began calibrating the
"You haven't heard the bad news yet," said YAK(ky), "we've been shifted several probabilities away from your original timeline."
"What does that mean?" asked Yakky
"It means we're in a parallel universe," said Jay, looking glum.
"Only slightly. There are
trillions of probability timelines emerging from ours and converging constantly.
It's not like in the movies where you meet your mirror universe evil twin- we
could be in a universe where a coin toss went a different way, or a guy called
Geoff chose a different parking space to park in. You probably won't notice any
whilst the incessant bickering continued, YAK(ky) laid in a course for home, looking forward to dropping off these dangerous adventurers and getting as far away from them as possible. After all this time it couldn't be as bad as...
Once, in a time known as the twenty-first century, Planet Earth was a semi-prosperous choking planet in the backwaters of the Milky Way. Unaware of its neighbour life forms, or indeed many of its own, it toiled out its miserable existence churning forth people, money and weapons of mass destruction.
average citizen didn’t know. Hell, the governments thought they knew, but they
didn’t have a clue. Only a highly secretive organization knew the real reason
for devoting so many billions of lives to drudgery and squalor. This
organization had known the properties the universe could offer for years. They’d
established mines, factories, and delicious pizza franchises on many of their
surrounding planets. Their agents were well equipped and highly trained, and
never asked questions. At their front was a sharply suited leader, and an
elusive 'enemy', always just beyond their reach.
The most stylish, charismatic, ruthless killer history had ever seen. The
perfect excuse to expand their power.
in their way were a group of individuals who, despite knowing nothing, had
thwarted their efforts time and time again. From both sides of the grave they
had struck. The ideal combination of brains, brawn, mortal and supernatural had
made them impossible to get rid of. Until they’d been caught off guard. A moment
of weakness had destroyed them all, and no one had seen hide nor hair of them
for two years. Perhaps ‘Those Meddling Kids’ were gone for good. The Universe
was free to become one giant oppressed empire, every creature its slave.
NeoBuffania was a utopia. At least, that was what the brochures said. In reality, the city’s metal skyscrapers jabbed into the sky like needles, and the sky above them wasn’t the cloudless azure of the propaganda pictures, but a yellow-grey soup of smog. It was so thick that, when a slight shimmer in the air cut through it, no-one on the ground noticed.
“Right,” said YAK(ky), setting the cloaked Deepwater Yak down on one of the few rooftops that wasn’t occupied by gangsters beating up snitches, “here’s your stop. You can all get out here, and then I’m going to get as far away from you and this nightmare planet as I possibly can.”
“What is wrong with you?” Beansprout, who was waiting by the spaceship’s doors, glared at YAK(ky)’s holographic figure. “Don’t you want to help us take Buffy down?”
“How many times do I have to say ‘no’ to you four before it sinks in? I HAVE A MISSION.”
“You might as well stay and help.” Flibbage gave him an all-too-innocent look. “You’ve been around long enough now to be an established character. You’re probably going to end up recurring.”
“Not if I can help it.”
“What are you talking about?” Yakky asked irritably. The cut across his forehead had healed remarkably well – it was just a thin pink line, which was already fading.
“I don’t like the look of things out there,” Jay said, scanning the door with a small penlike device. “I haven’t seen this much surveillance equipment in a city since Planet 101. We’re going to be spotted as soon as we step out of this ship.”
Beansprout scowled. “Flibbage, can’t you do anything magical?”
“As a matter of fact, I can.” Flibbage cracked her knuckles, closed her eyes, and began to speak an incantation.
“As we walk in hostile palces
Let us wear generic faces.”
Beansprout felt a strange numbness spreading across her skin. She looked over at Yakky, and blinked in surprise as she saw just…some guy. He looked a little like Yakky, but also a little like basically any other man she could think of.
She glanced at Jay, and sure enough, he looked the same – like everyone and no-one. She couldn’t have described him to anyone – and now she was looking away from Yakky, she couldn’t really remember what he’d looked like, either.
“All right,” Flibbage said cheerfully, clapping her nondescript hands together. “No-one’s going to recognise us now.”
“Great.” Beansprout tucked her new, exceedingly average hair behind her ears. “Let’s bring Buffy down.”
Beansprout scanned the streets as the four of them walked quickly, heading towards the tallest, shiniest tower that stood in the centre of the city. If Buffy was going to be anywhere, she’d be there.
YAK(ky) had taken off the moment they’d left the spaceship, the faint shimmer disappearing into the smog and out of sight. They’d waved their way down the seemingly neverending stairs of the skyscraper, passing people with hopeless eyes slumped in doorways or crying quietly as they sat on the steps.
“I’m going to kill her for doing this to my planet,” Beansprout said, as they walked by a burned-out nursery school.
“Can we please not kill my mum?” Yakky said. “Prison is fine.”
“It’s going to take more than bringing Buffy to justice to fix this mess,” Jay said, looking down at a scanner he was wearing like a wristwatch. “I’ve been to planets like this before-”
“It’s Earth,” Beansprout pointed out, “of course you’ve been somewhere like this before.”
“-and they’re a breeding ground for all kinds of factions.” Jay tapped at the scanner. “I’m trying to get in touch with the NGSPIB, if they survived the changes they might be able to give us some intel-”
As he was speaking, they reached the plaza in front of the tallest, shiniest building, and several things happened at once.
Beansprout felt her face tingle again, and saw Jay, Flibbage and Yakky shift back into their real selves.
A siren began to blare from the tower, accompanied by a robotic voice repeating “UNDESIRABLES DETECTED.”
And a phalanx of black-clad guards in motorcycle helmets poured from the doors of the building.
Beansprout turned to Jay. “Do you have anything that can take down that many guards?”
“What the hell, man, you have a gadget for everything else!”
“How about we just RUN!” Yakky yelled.
“But this isn’t how it’s meant to go-” Flibbage said, before Beansprout grabbed her arm and hauled her away. The four of them hared back towards the winding labyrinth of streets.
“If we can just get to the sewers-” Jay shouted, staring at a map on his wrist scanner.
Before he could finish, several small black objects arced over their heads and exploded, sending out clouds of thick smoke. Beansprout staggered, coughing, and Flibbage’s arm slipped out of her grasp.
“Flib?” Beansprout looked around, but she couldn’t see anything through the smoke. “Yakky? Jay?”
She was knocked off her feet by another explosion, this one a concussive blast that sent a shockwave juddering through her. Beansprout hit a wall and slid to the ground, gasping for breath. One of the black-clad figures stepped out of the smoke towards her, and then another, and another.
As one, they pressed a button on the sides of their helmets.
The visors slid open.
“What the folk…?” Beansprout whispered.
The three Buffys smiled at her.
“Beansprout,” said the one standing closest. “So lovely to see you again.”
Episode 9: Planet of Mistakes
Yakky stumbled blindly down the alleyway. His eyes were watering from the smoke and his ears were ringing. Disoriented, he felt his way along the wall, headed towards a lighter patch in the haze until something, no, someone blocked it.
The clearing smoke
revealed a tall woman, dressed in dark clothing which offset her silvery blond
hair. On top of her head was a pair of wolflike ears. She dropped into an
aggressive stance and bared a sharp set of perfect teeth. The ears flicked back.
"Sorry, this whole planet
isn't really my territory." Yakky coughed.
"Yeah that was us- it
didn't work out too well to be honest, there were clones and a wormhole and now
I'm here. I need to try and find them. They're almost definitely in danger."
"Of course she's got a
zillion clones of herself," said Beansprout out loud, from inside the tiny
holding cell where she'd been locked "of course she folking does." She kicked a
wall, it seemed disappointingly solid and well built. There were no doors or
windows, just a small air vent near the top corner, much too small for her to
"HI-YAH!" yelled a tiny Flibbage triumphantly, zooming out of the vent.
"And where have you been?" Beansprout demanded.
"Oh just making sure I
escaped long enough to come back and save
your ass. Is that- is that not what you wanted? because I can
leave you here." The faerie made no indication that she actually
intended to go, as she smoothly returned to human size and began to investigate
round the edges of the door. "Do you think Buffy found the Tablet? Because I
really want it back."
Flibbage rolled her eyes. "She never thinks about magic."
"In her defence you are kind of overpowered." Beansprout answered, stepping gingerly through the hole.
"I can't get out of jars though." said Flibbage.
Jay had ducked down into
the sewer as soon as he possibly could, and waited until the tumult above died
down. If only Beansprout and her stupid friends had listened to
him then this never would have happened. They could have been in a
nice secure NGSPIB conclave,
training like sensible people, instead of jaunting about to festivals and pizza
establishments. Thinking about it, here was his chance to get away from these
three clearly deranged people. His higher ups had sent him and Agent Lee to
manage them, but he'd basically been kidnapped, right? He couldn't get in
trouble for that? After all, this world's version of the NGSPIB had to be out
there somewhere, doing secretive things for the good of mankind.
"Burgundy!?" Jay couldn't
"I knew it! I knew you
weren't dead!" the operators bored tone had completely evaporated, and he
suddenly recognised it.
Jay sighed with relief.
Elle had been in his trainee unit, and had a certain disregard for protocol. Her
voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper.
"Listen, Jay. I'm guessing
you somehow got back from whatever happened on Mars. I can't say much, but
burgundy is just the tip of the iceburg. Meet me at these co-ordinates, the
password is 'Blue' "
Dee barked out a laugh,
"That's very funny- were you raised by humans?"
"I'll take it." Yakky answered.
Flibbage looked around and
sighed. "Well the Tablet isn't here, if she had it I'm pretty sure she'd want to
show it off. Mum's gonna be so mad I lost it."
But Beansprout wasn't listening, she was drawn towards the center of the room, where a faint blue light shone down onto a sword. Its blade was curved and looked wickedly sharp, its pommel bore a small engraved yak skull. The plaque underneath read "The Sword of Slayskull- origins unknown."
"That's sword she had on
"I'm gonna steal it. That'll show her."
"I really don't think that's a good-"
Beansprout grabbed it. Flibbage winced, expecting alarms to suddenly start up at this narratively appropriate moment, but also remembering the prophecy about Beansprout and swords, but nothing happened. No sirens, no flashing lights, no arcane sparkles or glowing eyes. She heaved a sigh of relief.
Flibbage rolled her eyes again, and thus missed the brief flicker of blue light up and down the edge of the blade.
"Argh! I mean BLUE! Blue! Jesus get that thing out of my face!" Jay was helped out of the sewer and into a room containing several NGSPIB agents, fronted by Agent Elle. Each one had a blue handkerchief tucked into the pocket of their standard black jackets.
"Agent West, welcome to the NGSPIB(lue)" Elle said shaking his hand warmly. I knew you'd never stand for any of this "burgundy" business."
"Well to be honest I've
been back on this planet about five minutes and that was the first I heard of
it. So I was kind of surprised but..." Said Jay sheepishly.
"Jay." Elle interrupted "Jay.
BURGUNDY. I know you haven't
been around for the last two years, but burgundy was the final straw. Our secret
leader has lost it. He doesn't care about galactic harmony any more, he just
cares about power and fashion! He's joined forces with Buffy! She rules in the
foreground whilst he makes us do her dirty work! It has to stop.
"And we won't wear stupid burgundy!" chimed in another agent.
"Hold on- the NGSPIB are
working for Buffy?" Jay exclaimed
Jay reached into his pocket and pulled out his largest and most ridiculous looking gun. "I'm in. Let's go kill a space pirate."
The NGSPIB(lue) agents sprang into action, as they prepared to storm the tower.
"That's not for us to decide."
"Fine fine. Alive if possible. For stupid Yakky."
"Oh sure, you think he's stupid and he's annoying. That's not a narrative convention that's older than time and just as problematic."
"Can we do the faerie nonsense later?"
"Well well well, if it
isn't my favourite twerp and her faerie stepmom..."
Beansprout raised the sword. "You're coming with us Buffy, we've got your sword, and there's nowhere to run! Don't try any fancy gadgets this time because I'm out of patience and Yakky's not here to stop me!"
As if on cue Yakky came barrelling through the doorway.
"MOTHER FOR FOLK'S SAKE, THE ENTIRE PLANET, REALLY?"
"And here he is, the disappointment himself." Buffy yawned. "Any second now, my guards will-"
"I don't know who your guards are fighting, but they aren't doing so great." Yakky interjected. "And since they're all clones of you because you have to be so folking extra all the time I'm guessing you won't do so great either. So I suggest you do as my friends say!"
Buffy tittered and mockingly put her hands up in the air. "Oh no the Non Gender Specific People in Blue and their stupid splinter cell stormed my building and killed all my clones! Whatever will I do? I guess I better surrender to the daughter of my nemesis, her twee sparklemother and my inept feral child because it's not like I don't' have five different escape routes planned-"
But she didn't get to finish her sentence. Because at that moment Jay burst through the door, and with a yell of "YOU BURGUNDY WEARING SPACE BITCH" opened fire.
Episode 10: The Fork in the Road
“What did you do?” Yakky asked in a quiet voice.
Beansprout stared at the thing on the ground. Thoughts jangled together in her head, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that she couldn’t quite fit together.
It was Buffy’s body. She knew that. But she couldn’t make it mean what it was supposed to mean. It seemed wrong.
It seems wrong because it wasn’t you who killed her. The thought crept into her mind, accompanied by a faint thrumming feeling in her sword hand, like she’d touched an electric wire.
Flibbage was grabbing her hair in both hands. “For folk’s sake, I was hoping we could avoid going through all this again…”
“What did you DO?” Yakky swung around to face Jay. His eyes seemed to flash yellow, and his face was twisted in a snarl.
Jay lowered his gun and stared back at Yakky, a determined expression on his face, although his lip was wobbling slightly. “I’m defending my world, and the organisation that villain has been trying to ruin.”
“That villain is my MOTHER!”
“Yakky, calm down.” Beansprout held out her hands placatingly, although the fact that she was still holding the sword ruined the effect somewhat. “Jay made a mistake-”
“I did NOT.”
“-and Buffy was obviously happy for you to get hurt or killed as well as the rest of us-”
“I don’t care what she was or wasn’t going to do! She was my MUM!”
“Maybe stop trying to mediate,” Flibbage said to Beansprout through the side of her mouth. “I don’t think it’s helping.”
“I hope you’ve still got bullets in that thing,” Yakky said, pacing towards Jay. “Because you’re going to need them.”
Beansprout moved, stepping between Jay and Yakky and bringing the sword up across her body. It felt so easy to slip into a fighting stance. The sword hummed in her hand, like a cat purring contentedly. “Yakky, stop. I’m not going to let you two fight.”
“Step out of the way, Beansprout.”
Jay raised the gun again. “I’ve got no quarrel with you, Yakky, but if you try to attack any of my agents-”
“I’m going to be attacking exactly one agent.”
“That’s enough!” Flibbage zipped up to hover above Beansprout’s head, threw her arms out to either side, and yelled “SECTION BREAK!”
A crackling blue field of energy blossomed out from her hands, spreading until it reached each wall. Yakky and Jay stopped, staring and blinking.
Beansprout looked up at Flibbage. “Uh, what the hell is that?”
“A spell to separate them into two different sections of the story,” Flibbage said through gritted teeth. “I can’t maintain it for long. Hopefully they’ll both – stop – trying to kill – each other.”
Jay shook his head, looking bewildered, and turned to the group of agents who were hovering in the doorway. He said something to them that Beansprout couldn’t hear, and the group disappeared through the doorway, back into the depths of the building.
With a small whimper, Flibbage dropped her hands, and started sinking to the ground. Beansprout caught her before she could hit the floor.
“Where did he go?” Yakky growled. “What did you do, Flib?”
“She stopped you making a stupid mistake,” Beansprout snapped. Her sword hand was itching. She almost wanted him to step forwards, just one step, to take the swing at her that he’d meant for Jay…
Yakky looked at her as if she’d stabbed him.
“You really don’t get it, do you?” he said. He waved a hand at the body on the floor. “I know she was evil. I know what she’s done to this world. She was still my mother.”
He turned and walked away, out of the opposite door.
Beansprout lowered the sword, part of her feeling a little disappointed. She looked down at Flibbage, who was sitting up in her palm, still looking shaken. “So what do we do now, godmother?”
Flibbage shook her head slowly. “I don’t know.”
The two girls left the room, and, for a long while, it was still and silent at the heart of Buffy’s stronghold.
When the quiet had spread through the entire building, when every last person, friend or enemy, had left, a metal panel in the wall slid open.
Buffy stepped out, looked down at her bullet-wounded clone, and smiled.
It was good to be dead, when you were alive to make the most of it.