This was written for a NatPack fanzine, whose name escapes me at the moment, that was set in the strangest of Alternative Universes — it was populated by nothing but NatPackers, and all the gorgeous Guys that they loved so dearly. The 'zine really did have a plot, but again, I'm a little fuzzy on the details. Would that some of the more egregious mistakes I've made in my life could be so blissfully forgotten... GRIN!
I have to admit, in all honesty, that is one of my least favorite stories that I've written. I think it was because I was writing to order, to advance the plot of what was essentially a group story, and so I was never able to really emotionally "hook into" this story. And I think my writing suffered from that inability.
Anyway, here's the story. All you really need to know is that several of the Guys that I had delegated to this OtherVerse were... bad boys. Very bad boys...
"What is going on here?!"
"That's what I'd like to know!"
Lucas watched and listened, trying to size up the situation. Many of the men and... creatures... that were gathered in the large, but increasingly crowded room were talking loudly, and moving from group to group trying to reach a consensus. Lucas moved himself into a corner, watching... and waiting...
"What are we doing here? And where exactly is 'here,' anyway?" the man in the black and silver uniform was asking, trying to find someone to give him some answers, something he was used to doing. "And now that I think about it, how did we get here?"
"Excuse me, uh, sir?" the man in the white spandex suit said.
"Captain. Captain Sheridan," the first one corrected him.
"Captain, if you'll just wait a little while, we'll try to answer all your questions..."
"I'm tired of waiting! I'd like some answers now, if you don't mind!"
Lucas knew that he was going to need some help getting home; he could tell that his powers weren't enough to extricate himself from this situation he found himself in. He briefly considered the obstreperous Captain, then decided that he was probably too much of a military man to be useful to him. He needed someone weaker, more malleable. Maybe the young man clutching at his companion, who kept looking around with a frightened, wide-eyed stare. When the demonic-looking creature walked by, he practically leapt into his friend's arms. No, he'd spend all his time quivering in fright. Lucas sighed, considering the mass of good-looking men gathered in the room. They're all either too strong or too weak, he mused. Why are there no average men here? He resigned himself to waiting. Eventually, something would develop; it always did.
Once in the TARDIS, Lucas started wandering from room to room, checking out the territory, and the men he encountered. Eventually, he headed back to the central hall, entering it in time to hear the man in the white body suit explaining that his computer was to blame for the abductions. Someone dared to kidnap me... and it's a computer? he seethed. This Ziggy is going to pay!
Nearby, one of the seedier looking abductees was nodding, talking to himself. "That's why she felt so frazzled. Nothing like an interdimensional rift to give you a bad day!" he said, then snickered.
"Excuse me, son, but who are you talkin' about?" Lucas asked.
The man in the shiny green suit looked at Lucas. "The, the computer, you know, Ziggy?"
"You could tell she felt frazzled?" Lucas asked, his curiosity piqued.
The other man shrugged. "I guess so."
"And just how did you know that?" Lucas pressed.
"I, I don't know. I just kinda felt it, you know. I can usually tell how someone is feeling, what kind of mood they're in... especially women. Comes in handy." and he smiled knowingly at the other man.
Lucas smiled back, knowing intuitively that he'd found just the partner he needed. He said, in his best good-old-boy style, "Well, that's very interesting. You know, that ability could come in right handy. Yes, sir, very handy indeed. My name is Lucas," he added, holding out his hand, "Lucas Buck — that's Buck, with a 'B'."
"Lenny Nero," the other man said, shaking Lucas' hand, not realizing that he was making a very big mistake, but then, that was nothing new to him.
Lucas opened the front door of the TARDIS, cautiously looking out into the other room. He smiled when he saw that the room was empty. They're all in there, trying to solve the problem by committee. Fools! He motioned Lenny to follow him, and walked out into the waiting room. "Now, exactly where is this Ziggy?"
"Well now, let's see," Lenny said, looking around the room, "I'm not exactly sure." When Lucas' expression started to cloud up, Lenny said, innocently, "What exactly did you say I would get out of this?"
Lenny almost jumped back when Lucas suddenly appeared right in front of him. "Don't mess with me, boy. You try any of your little tricks on me, and you're likely to find yourself in a worse place than you already are. Do we understand each other?"
"Yeah, yeah, no problem!" Lenny said ingratiatingly. "I'm not trying any tricks on you. We're partners, right? We're going to help each other get home, and then everything will be cool."
"Yeah, cool," Lucas agreed. "You just have to tell me where Ziggy is, and then I'll take it from there. And don't try lying to me," he warned, "because I'll know if you are."
"Would I lie?" Lenny asked with a charming smile. Lucas was not charmed, however, and Lenny decided he better see what he could do to find the computer. "Ziggy?" he called out.
"Yes?" the warm contralto of the computer answered, seeming to come from all around them.
Lenny looked up, trying to see where the sound of the voice was coming from. He wanted to keep the computer talking, so he asked, "What can you tell us about this rift? I'm not sure exactly what's wrong..."
"The fabric of the universes is torn," Ziggy replied mechanically.
"But what does that mean, exactly?" Lenny continued, keeping the computer conversing with him as he wandered around the room. He eventually stopped by a panel with multi-colored glowing buttons, which he realized was a different kind of computer keyboard. He laid his hand gently on the board, and could tell he was closer to the heart of the artificial lifeform called Ziggy.
Lucas had been watching him closely, and moved to join him at the keyboard when he stopped. Lucas laid his hand next to Lenny's, and smiled as he realized that this was a conduit to the computer. He closed his eyes, and concentrated his power, feeling it flow through the connections.
"What's happening?" Ziggy said, sounding startled.
"Open up a connection and send me home!" Lucas demanded.
"No! I can't..." Ziggy's voice trailed off, as Lucas sent a renewed blast of power through the terminal. "No... no... stop! Help, help me!" she called, and an alarm started to ring. Lucas paused, waiting for the cavalry to show up. When he realized that they couldn't hear the computer from where they were in the TARDIS, he smiled again. It wasn't a nice smile. He did something, and the alarm stopped.
Ziggy's voice was getting weaker, as she continued to call for help. "Maidez! Help... save me..."
"Too late for salvation, my friend!" Lucas said.
Suddenly, there was a new light in the room. It was like the air itself was glowing. A gentle voice said, "I don't think it's ever too late for salvation."
Lenny turned and looked at the young blond man surrounded by the nimbus of light, and fell to his knees and covered his face. Lucas kicked him, saying, "Get up, you idiot! He can't do anything to you." Lenny just moaned.
The newcomer shook his head sadly. "I don't think we can allow you to behave like this," he said. "You're going to put everyone at risk."
Lucas ignored the angel, and continued trying to exert his will against Ziggy. The angel frowned, and touched the keyboard, and the light seemed to flow into it. Lucas jerked back as if he were burned. He turned to the angel with a scowl, "You're not supposed to interfere!"
Andrew just smiled, well, angelically. "You forget, not everyone here is from your universe. Different universe, different rules." Lucas looked dumbfounded, and Andrew shrugged. "Sorry!" Lucas turned away, disgusted that his plan hadn't worked.
Andrew cleared his throat, and gently suggested, "Maybe we should join the others now." As he was herding the other two men back toward the TARDIS, he said to a thoroughly cowed Lenny, "And maybe you should put a little more thought into whom you associate with..."
Back to Misc. Fic.
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