From: Adrian Tymes ( Subject: [PW!] Minus One, Plus One Newsgroups: Date: 2001-01-04 22:24:42 PST Continue wrote: > As the club manager waved a cheerful, but lifeless, good-bye, the man > noted that this one had no tag on. He contemplated giving the man a > threatening illusion, but decided that it wasn?t worth it. > > The man looked over the crowd as the performance started. "And none > of those here but myself will have any idea what is happening during the > most significant part of the show. I suppose I shouldn?t expect any more > of them." His stream of thought stopped as he looked at the stage. "Save > one, who does know." After a mental chuckle he added "Or two in this > case." Lights. Music. Song. Applause and cheer. To Mimic, having forgotten to get enough rest after the practice, these things began to blend together. He figured someone would snap him out of it if he started losing the beat. As it was, he lost himself in the performance, mental layers much below the conscious taking over and responding to the cues. Drake, in contrast, knew it was exactly ten measures to the end of the final set when Mimic's microphone roughly brushed against his open palm, scraping off the mini-Doppler bound there. He did not have time to react before Mimic and microphone swung away, tossing the bit of protoplasm into the audience. In a dramatic recreation, time might have slowed down. But this was far too real and ordinary to almost all who were there; only Drake knew what was up, though one of the spotlight crew did track Doppler's fragment as it arced through the air, landed on one of a seeming set of twins, and dissolved into that one's flesh. Eyes wide for a second, then the familiar blue flash of an exiting teleport, and Doppler was gone. ****** *** *.* *...* #...# #...they lied to me... own zealots. They tried to replace me What I just was. And their priorities...they have strayed so far from the truth. How could I not have seen them? #Idiot. *Foolish* idiot. You know exactly how, Doppler. You knew they were there, but you ignored them because they *were* your best assets, your best recruiters, your best warriors. Only your reality guided them to sanity. Without you, they will - no, they *are* *acting* to destroy what you wished to build, in a perverted sense of all you held dear. #And there's nothing you can do about it. Confront them, and they'd turn away - and your resistance would be just as dead. Well, maybe there are long term things you can do, but for now damage control is the only real option. #At least you know your advisors were right about one thing. They *said* Minax was not healthy for you. Though they probably weren't expecting to be correct to this degree.# A red flash, and an empty grey cloak looked back at the club's only unlit wall. #Mimic revived my followers, and now he has brought me back to life. At this rate, he will revive my dreams themselves before we're through. The soothsayers of old would say that he is destined to be my hero now, and that nothing I do can possibly be effective until I get him to aid me. #I say, I make my own destiny. Though I should thank him, some day.# ****** Drake waved goodbye to Jason's band. They had a campsite picked out, but the club manager insisted on putting Drake and Mimic up for the night when he heard that they were just strangers covering for the ill band leader. They - and the temporal anomaly, just now passed - had not only saved the show, but brought in money he could bank on having. "Meowwwth..." Drake glanced at his feline companion, then followed Memuyo's worried gaze back to their room. Through the door, he saw Mimic - in his ditto form, for once - polish off the contents of a clear bottle. Mimic ingested the bottle itself for a moment before letting the bottle roll out his side, stripping off the label and any trace of what was inside. Nearby lay a small pile of similar bottles, and no full ones remained; there was no telling if they had been water, fruit juice, or really cheap booze. Drake flexed his empty hand. "Do you think he saw?" "Meowth!" Memuyo frowned at Drake. "Meow meow oewth meth me OWTH!" The dragonite raised his hands defensively, almost as if expecting the relatively small feline to unleash a hyper beam. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! It wasn't my fault! Mimic-" "MEOWTH!" "But he *said* to take Doppler on stage. *Future* Mimic. He knew what was going to happen." "Meowth..." "Ok, maybe hiding behind fate is a weak excuse. But it's true." Mimic's hiccup attracted their attention. One thread of Drake's mind wondered what physiology would make a ditto hiccup; their natural form could dispense with lungs or stomach at will, and who would want to hiccup? The rest of him leaned in close as Mimic began to sing. "Brother, oh my brother, I" Further words, if there were any, were lost behind a sudden round of sobbing. Drake blinked. "He'll be reasonable and willing to forgive in the morning. I hope. Until then, why don't you keep an eye on him? I'll go sleep on the stage." Memuyo nodded, slowly padding towards Mimic to provide a reassuring touch. TBC?