From: Adrian Tymes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: [PW!] Minus One, Plus One
Date: 2001-01-04 22:24:42 PST
> 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
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...
#...my own zealots. They tried to replace me with...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.
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
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-"
"But he *said* to take Doppler on stage. *Future* Mimic. He knew what
was going to happen."
"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 never...got...to...know...ye..."
Further words, if there were any, were lost behind a sudden round of
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