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Tatu - Julia 3

The Principalities - Episode 1.4 - Send In The Clones

Posted on 2009.05.04 at 18:55
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Episode 1.4 – Send In The Clones
(see the preface for information)


The Story So Far (recap for all .4 episodes):

  • In 1986 Powergrando convinced a young soldier called Puter Von Bullet to kill himself in order that he could escape the purge. Kroenen Von Bullet, Puter’s estranged father attempted to have him cloned, due to a catastrophic mix-up the first batch of clones were all clones of Puter and thanks to the rush in which they were created they were all produced with a pack mind instead of a fully functioning brain. Upon awakening their primary instinct is to hunt down Powergrando and complete the purge.

  • In 1999 Yolaris, Charity, Princess Fenrir, Powergrando, Chastity and a version of Clone 315 from 2012 all faced off against Princess Hel. Due to various tricks and bargains Clone 315 was the only one able to face her thanks to his as yet unexplained ability to turn into a giant fox. When they attempted to return him to his proper time they found that time no longer existed. While passing through 1986 this version of Clone 315 was lost among a crowd of clones.

  • In 2010 Princess Jormungandr decided that she wanted to marry Clone 315 and while he felt no attraction to Jormungandr he agreed in order to secure an item he needed. He later obtained a lust potion designed to make him desire the first person he saw upon waking. On the morning of July 23rd 2010 he returned home, called Jormungandr and drank the potion. He was unaware he was being robbed by Felicita: the queen of the thieves, who had hid under the desk he was now sat at, he was also unaware that Liquid Fox an attractive therapist was on her way over to thank 315 for recommending new patients. The lack of resolution to this situation created a paradox.

  • Powergrando, Chastity, Yolaris, Charity and Princess Fenrir set up in 1886 to try and determine the origin of the Lust Paradox so that they could fix it before time became unstable. They pulled Clone 315 from the paradox and gave him lust potion suppressants that would keep the potion in check until they figured out who Clone 315 was supposed to fall in lust with.

  • Eventually the paradox became complex enough to draw the attention of the Time Agency. An agency from the future dedicated to eliminating paradoxes the only way they know how: by eliminating all the participants in that paradox. The only way to enter the site of the Lust Paradox is now to be there before the barriers were erected by the Time Agency.

  • Yolaris, Charity and Fenrir became trapped in 1671 when a Japanese Baroness stole their time machine, eventually revealing herself to be Princess Hel. She discovered her fate was to be killed in 1999. Unable to change the past directly without creating a paradox she attempted to subtly manipulate those who had killed her into being unable to kill her. Yolaris, Charity, Fenrir and a version of Argent who had gained the power to walk through time followed her through time to foil her schemes. In the end Argent had a clever way to force her to go to her own doom. To let her get captured by the Time Agency. Yolaris unfortunately had to be captured as well. He was taken to Time Agency headquarters in 2086 and brainwashed into becoming one of them.

  • Clone 315, Powergrando and Chastity revisited the Lust Paradox to see why they were completely unaware of Liquid Fox’s involvement in the paradox. Viewing from the upstairs landing they observed that Powergrando and Chastity, when originally bringing Clone 315 back to 1886, had accidentally materialised on top of Liquid Fox and thus expelled her to a void outside of time and space. Powergrando then started to tell Clone 315 the story of how he gained Light Fast (his time machine):

  • In 1986 Powergrando had visions of a woman made of pure energy, which, he was informed by his colleague Siegfried… Smith, weren’t hallucinations but messages from a woman trapped outside of time and space. He explained to Powergrando that people are innately capable of time travel but it takes far longer than a human lifetime to perfect it. Someone who had been trapped in the void outside of time and space would have an eternity to learn to shift temporal energy around. Essentially this woman has the ability to travel through time. Powergrando and Siegfried rushed to the nearest post office and rescued her from the void outside of time and space.

  • In 2086 John Zmith and Zaniel Zeto suspected the Time Agency of being up to no good. They both attempted to infiltrate the Time Agency. John went missing in mysterious circumstances while Zaniel got to the headquarters but confined to a small and not very interesting segment of the island. He and a team of other people with Zs in their name managed to break out of that segment and explore the island proper. Zarah-Jane was accidentally brainwashed and pulled the alarm on them. They stole one of the Time Agency’s time machines and escaped.



July 23rd 2010
“So, let me get this straight.” said Clone 315 slowly. “The woman who I need to fall in lust with has been trapped in the void, which is a place outside of time and space, for what seems to her like an eternity. And now she is a time machine.”
“LF is not a machine.” said Powergrando. “She’s a person who has mastered the art of time travel. Okay she doesn’t much look like a person at the moment.” Powergrando looked at the shiny golden orb that was LF. “This is her disembodied soul.” Powergrando, Clone 315 and Chastity were stood at the top of a flight of stairs in Clone 315’s house in the early morning.
“So I have to fall in lust with a disembodied soul?” asked 315.
“No.” said Powergrando. “You find her a new body first, but that’s not the problem.”
“No?” asked 315. “It sounds rather like the problem.”
“Don’t worry.” said Powergrando. “LF herself can take care of the getting a new body thing. You should be worrying about tying up the loose ends.” Powergrando paused. “It’s bad luck to leave a mass of unresolved paradoxes so we need to get everyone back to their correct timelines. Yolaris, Princess Fenrir and Charity have to go back to 2000. Chastity and I have to go back to… 1986 I suppose. That’s when all this time travelling thing started.”
“It sounds simple enough.” said 315. “Yolaris is outside with Fenrir and Charity, remember? We could go and pick them up. Take everyone back and have this whole paradox sorted out before lunch.”
“If only it were that simple.” said Powergrando. “There is however a complication. The version of you from 2012 was accidentally lost in 1986 amongst a crowd of homicidal clones. We need to go back there so you can infiltrate the clones and find your future self so we can return him to his timeline.”
“Nothing’s ever simple is it?” asked 315.
“Not where time travel is concerned.” said Powergrando. “So here’s the plan. We take you back to 1986 now, then me and Chastity come back here and get Yolaris and the others.”
“Couldn’t you just go and get them first?” asked 315. “I’d prefer to keep the group together. I’d hate to get stranded back in the past for like a year or something.”
“No.” said Powergrando. “Princess Hel is supposed to be dead… and trapped in an infinite black void… and ten and a half years ago. I’m not going out there without knowing what’s going on. That’s asking for trouble.” Powergrando paused. “Plus there’s no way I’d leave anyone stuck in the past for a year. The very idea of it.” Powergrando pulled LF out of his jacket.
“Hi LF.” said 315 awkwardly. Powergrando sighed and the room around them blurred.

16th April 1986
When the world unblurred they were stood in a wrecked restaurant. Tables and chairs were lying in a state of disarray. The door through to the kitchen was lying off it’s hinges and some of the windows in the main area itself were shattered. The only indication that this hadn’t just happened was a man in a suit reading a newspaper and smoking a cigar at a table that had been righted.
“This is where we last saw you.” said Powergrando. He gestured towards the front doors which were miraculously still in tact. “A bunch of clones ran in through here and chased us through the back of the restaurant.” He was now gesturing to the kitchen door hanging off its hinges. “I wouldn’t imagine that he’s still nearby though. I’d suggest searching for some more clones and finding where their headquarters in Fenrir are.”
“Best of luck 315.” said Chastity.
“Where will I meet you guys?” he asked.
“Let us worry about that.” said Powergrando and with that he and Chastity blurred and vanished. The man smoking and reading the newspaper at the only upright table in the building looked towards the vanishing Powergrando and Chastity, sighed to himself and turned back to his newspaper. 315 looked around and headed for the door.
“I don’t suppose you’re here for something to eat are you sir?” asked the suited man. 315 paused and took another look around the room, in case it had actually been restored to a fully functioning restaurant and he hadn’t noticed. “I know I should really have tidied up more, but I thought… what’s the point?” said the man. “We’ve only had one person eat in here in the whole six months we’ve been open. No, it’s clear that the Scrumptious Scarab is going under. This “Attack of the Clones” is just the latest nail in the coffin.”
“The Scrumptious Scarab?” asked 315.
“Yep.” said the suited man. He stood up and walked over to 315. It was at this point 315 noticed that he had a prosthetic hand and a bandage where his ear should have been. He held out his non-prosthetic hand to shake and 315 took it. “I’m Simon Scarab. Owner and proprietor of the Scrumptious Scarab.”
“Have you considered a different name?” asked 315. “People eating here might feel they are going to be served scarab beetles.” 315 paused. “You don’t serve scarab beetles do you?”
“No.” said Scarab chuckling. “Far from it. We serve the tastiest meat in all the world; long pig.”
“It’s something to think about.” said 315. “Change of name and fix the place up and you could be raking in money hand over fist…” 315 choked as he suddenly noticed Scarab’s prosthetic hand again. “Not hand over fist though of course because that’s a stupid phrase…” he spluttered. Scarab appeared to be temporarily lost in thought and was broken out of this state by 315s sudden agitation. “Was it quite rough yesterday when all those clones attacked then?” asked 315 desperately.
“No.” said Scarab. “They ignored me. They were just going after your friend from before.”
“Oh.” said 315 surprised. Scarab looked at him strangely. “Just your ear you see.”
“Oh yeah.” said Scarab. “Thought someone was going to order some food for sure, there were eight people in here after all. Sat at tables and everything.” Scarab paused. “I suppose I should have waited for someone to order before preparing the meat but I was so certain.”
“Pardon.” said 315 puzzled. “I thought I just heard you heavily implying you cut off your own ear to serve to people.”
“You did.” said Scarab. “I don’t know what I was thinking. Even if they had ordered there was eight of them. They’d want an arm or a leg or something. An ear isn’t going to satisfy eight people.” He chuckled. “I think I was a bit delirious, it’d been so long since I served anyone.”
“So…” said 315. “Your hand was?”
“The only person who actually ate here.” said Scarab. “I served it with a delightful apple sauté. He said it was delicious. Unfortunately he was arrested shortly afterwards, which is ridiculous. Honestly, this principality is like a fascist dictatorship. We’re both consenting adults, we should be allowed to eat whatever bits of each other we like. Am I right?” 315, who had been standing with his mouth agape, was thankful that Scarab had been staring off into the middle distance.
“Precisely.” he said, wanting to edge towards the door but finding his legs strangely unwilling.
“It’s not as if I don’t advertise what we sell.” said Scarab. “I was thinking how about The Scrumptious Simon. That doesn’t give the impression of eating disgusting little insects.”
“It sure doesn’t.” said 315. “You’re 100% right there.”
“Thank you very much my friend.” said Scarab, turning to look at 315. “Whatever you want is on the house.”
“Thank you ever so much Simon, but I’m afraid I have to be going.” said 315. “I’m afraid I got a bit sidetracked. I’m supposed to be looking for myself, my friend I mean.”
“Best of luck my friend.” said Scarab. “If you’re ever in the neighbourhood my offer stands.” 315 pulled open the front door and politely waved goodbye to Simon before beating a hasty retreat down the street.

“Okay.” said 315 to himself. “This is it. There’s nobody to bail me out or come to my rescue this time. It’s up to me this time. I can do it. I can come up with an ingenious plan to rescue myself from these evil clones… probably.”

“Stop!” said the clone on gate duty at the clone camp. 315 stopped. The clone didn’t look like other clones that 315 had known. 315 thought actually that wasn’t quite accurate as he looked exactly like every other clone that 315 had known. The difference was subtle. It was the way this clone, 315 noted that he was clone 13, carried himself. He was caked in mud and although he was wearing a standard issue grey overall given to all new clones it was ripped and torn. As 315 studied the clone for a couple of seconds Clone 13 began to growl.
“Hello.” said 315 nervously.
“What are you?” snapped Clone 13.
“Right.” said 315, gathering himself for the next bit of his ingenious plan. “I am a clone from the future. Now I know what you’re thinking, how can I be from the future? Well give me a moment and I will explain all. In the current timeline the purge was never completed. The final person escaped into a place that nobody could follow him, the Great Unknowable Unknown that lies beyond the Principalities. Although he was effectively dead the Jormungandrian people never recovered from his escape from justice and the Principality of Jormungandr suffered accordingly. A visionary by the name of Raziel Razkin theorized that the Principality of Jormungandr could have continued to be great if only that final person had been caught. He began to develop two very top secret pieces of technology. A time machine and a clone specially bred to be the ultimate killing machine. The project was known as Clone 90315. Faster, quicker, sexier, able to turn into a giant fox. Clone 90315 will be able to single-handedly take out the last target of the purge for you. However there was a fault with the time machine. It malfunctioned and wiped Clone 90315’s memories, and also rubbed out the 9 and 0 from his identification number on his arm. When this fault was discovered and rectified I was sent back to find him and recover his memories. We have reason to believe that he found his way into the camp. If you let me in I will find him, bring back his lost memories, and then we will complete the purge for you.” Clone 13 eyed 315 up and down grimly, looking from the soles of his shoes to the peak of his hair. “What are you?” demanded Clone 13.
“Okay, so you don’t have a fully developed brain do you?” asked 315. He paused thoughtfully. “I’m one of you.”
“You are not one of us.” said Clone 13. “I cannot feel you up here.” He pressed his finger to his forehead. Clone 315 took time to note that Clone 13’s fingers were covered in blood. More clones were walking towards the gate now. Clone 315 mentally noted that walking wasn’t the right word. They were stalking towards the gate. They were moving slowly, focused and ready to pounce.
“The pack mind thing.” said Clone 315. “I don’t have that.” He floundered. “But I’ve been specially made. I’m different. I can think differently. I’ll be able to complete the purge.” There was silence and Clone 315 mentally prepared himself to fight off an angry pack of feral clones. It looked like a complex conversation was going on in Clone 13’s head. “Come.” Clone 13 said eventually, his expression unchanged. Clone 13 turned and lead 315 into the camp. 315 followed nervously behind him, his eyes flitting between the suspicious scowls on the harsh faces of the clones. Clone 13 walked up to a tent, pulled the entrance flap aside and gestured for 315 to enter. Nervously 315 ducked through the door and into the darkness. A clone was sat at the other end of the tent. There was something different again about him. He still looked dangerous and fierce like the rest of the clones but 315 noticed that he was spotless. There was no mud or blood caked onto his body. His grey overall wasn’t ripped or torn. He didn’t look like he’d been in a fight since his creation. Somehow that was more worrying.
“Sit down.” suggested the clone. 315 glanced at the clone’s arm as he did so. He wasn’t exactly surprised to see that this was clone 1. The very first clone. If 315 was clear on how this pack mind thing worked then that would explain why he looked so untouched. Clone 1 would be the leader of the pack. If he wanted someone dead he wouldn’t leap at them and tear out their jugular, or whatever the preferred method of killing was, he’d simply think it and all the other clones would come and do it for him. 315 smiled nervously. “You claim you were made specially, to complete a purge we cannot complete.” 315 nodded but it wasn’t a question. “It is true you may think differently and be able to do different things.” One paused. “But you are weak. The pack is strong, a single person will be killed. Your logic is faulty. The pack will complete the purge. You will not interfere unless you want to die.” 315 smiled as an idea formed in his head.
“One on his own is weak.” 315 agreed. “But I am not alone. I have a colleague. Together we will be able to complete the purge.”
“And your colleague…?” asked Clone One.
“He is here already.” said 315 confidently. “If you could direct me towards him we could leave you to attempt to complete the purge without interference.”
“Your colleague would be one like us, but who, like you, we cannot think with?” One asked. 315 nodded emphatically, pleased that he’d managed to navigate this potentially hazardous situation. A large grin spread across One’s face. “Are you aware of how your colleague arrived with us?” There was a pause. 315 noticed that One’s smile was not a friendly smile. It was the smile of a shark looming over it’s prey.
“No…” 315 said eventually.
“We found your colleague protecting the last target of the purge.” said One. “He attempted to fight us off, rather feebly I might add, and now we are torturing him to find out the location of the last target of the purge.” 315 sighed hopelessly.
“Well obviously there’s been some mistake then.” said 315. “I would never associate with traitors like that.” But 315 could tell it was already too late. He felt something hard smack into the back of his head and everything faded to black.

Clone 315 woke up uncomfortably. His head was throbbing where something hard had smacked into it. He tried to reach up and rub at the affected area but his progress was somewhat hampered by the fact that someone had unhelpfully tied him to a chair. He was in a dark room, another tent he guessed.
“Fat lot of good you are.” said a voice from behind him. “This is a terrible idea. Why in the world would they send you to rescue me? No offence but we are rubbish at this kind of thing.” Clone 315 sighed.
“Hello Future Me. Nice to see you too.” he said.
“We don’t happen to have an escape plan do we?” asked Future 315. He was tied to a chair at the back of Present 315 like how people get tied up in movies. “Also would you mind if I was referred to as the normal 315 and you were Past 315?”
“I did have this awesome plan where I bluffed that I was a clone sent from the future to retrieve you.” said 315.
“What an incredible bluff.” said Future 315 sarcastically. “How long did it take you come up with that masterful deception?” Future 315 sighed. “Why you?” he asked plaintively. “Powergrando is an awesome punk rock sorcerer with a machine that can travel through time and space. Rescuing me would be a snap.” Future 315 paused again. “I’d even prefer Yolaris. He’d probably blind the clones with a particularly sparkly belt buckle and off we’d go.” There was a further pause. “Even Chastity would be better than you. I bet those clones have never seen a real woman before…”
“Okay I get it.” snapped 315. “I’m ill equipped to rescue you from the evil clones. Well tough. I’m all that you’ve got.” He paused. “Now how about instead of moaning we work out a plan to get out of here?”
“You’re the boss, boss.” said Future 315 with a grin that, although wasn’t visible from 315’s position, was audible in the words themselves, but with that a flap in the tent opened and clone (number two as indicated by the markings on his arm) stepped through. He looked just as wild as the rest of the pack although his standard issue grey overall was noticeably more covered in blood. It was practically caked with it. Clone Two saw 315 awake and looking at him and grinned. It was quite a disturbing sight. His mouth was full of mismatched teeth. Some of them were gold and some of them even appeared to be children’s teeth. Two stepped into the tent and let the tentflap close behind him.
“They all came from people who wouldn’t tell me what I wanted to know.” said Two, still grinning his horrific grin. “You’ll tell me where the last person to be purged is or I’ll take your teeth.” He paused. “If you don’t tell me where he is I will take every single one of your teeth. As I take them you will snap and you will tell me where he is but I will not stop until you have nothing but gums.” Another pause. “You get one chance. Where is the last target of the purge?” 315 swallowed nervously.
“I don’t know.” he said honestly.
“Wrong answer.” said Two with a grin. He reached into his pockets and removed a large bloodsoaked pair of pliers. He leaned forward over 315 and raised them.
“No listen.” spluttered 315. “I don’t know where he is. I wasn’t told. He’s in the future he’s not here you have to listen to me. I don’t know!” Two ignored the babbling and stuck the pliers into 315’s mouth. 315 felt the cold metal tighten on a molar and unable to pull his head away closed his eyes and braced himself for the pain. There was a second of nothing and then he opened one eye cautiously. Two was still there stood over him but he looked like he was looking into the distance. Like the gate clone had when he had been having a mental conversation.
“You’re lucky for now.” said Two after a second. “The target of the purge has been located at the Seven Virtue’s Health Spa. We’re all being called there to complete this purge once and for all.” He paused. “Don’t worry though, when I’ve finished killing your friend I’ll be back to pull out all your teeth and then kill you both.” Two suddenly noticed he still had the pliers in 315’s mouth and gleefully pulled hard on it. 315 screamed as the tooth was pulled from its socket. “Just a taster for later.” said Two, sliding the pliers into his pocket, turned and left. 315 and Future 315 sat in silence for a couple of minutes. A silence that was occasionally broken by 315 spitting blood onto the floor.
“What do we do next then?” asked 315.
“I don’t know.” said Future 315.
“But you’ve been here before.” said 315. “You’re me from the future. How did we get out of this one?”
“That’s the thing.” said Future 315. “I’m not you from the future. Not any more. I’m you if this whole thing hadn’t happened.”
“So you’ve not been through this before?” asked 315. “You don’t know how we escape.”
“At this point I’m not even sure if we escape.” said Future 315, or Alternate 315 if you prefer.
“We have to escape.” said 315. “If Past Powergrando is hunted down and killed by all of those clones then well I hate to even think of the paradoxical repercussions in that scenario.” There was a pause as they both tried to work that one out.
“I’m hungry.” suggested Alternate 315 eventually.
“That’s not very helpful.” said 315.
“No, but it is accurate.” said Alternate 315. “I wish I’d ordered something in that restaurant yesterday.”
“No.” said 315. “You really don’t.” There was a thoughtful pause before 315 exclaimed: “Hey! You know what they’d do in a movie?” Alternate 315 shook his head. “It’s no good shaking your head.” said 315. “I can’t see you, remember?”
“Oh right.” said Alternate 315. “No what would they do in a movie?”
“They’d scoot the chairs over to a sharp thing sticking out of a wall and use it to cut themselves free.” said 315.
“Yeah but we’re in a tent.” said Alternate 315.
“Good point.” said 315. “Maybe you have a knife stuck in your pocket or your belt or something?” There was no response. “That was something of a longshot.” 315 struggled against the ropes again hoping that perhaps they’d loosened themselves since the last time he tried.
“Maybe we could use your blood as a makeshift lubricant so we could squeeze out of the ropes.” suggested Alternate 315. There was a pause.
“Eww.” said 315 emphatically. “You are sick. I almost hope we don’t get rescued now.” Alternate 315 rolled his eyes. There was another thoughtful pause.
“What was it like?” asked 315. “My life after the lust potion?” There was a pause.
“Eventful.” said Alternate 315.
“That’s it?” asked 315. “What happens with Princess Jormungandr? And with me and Liquid Fox? How do I learn to turn into a giant fox…?” 315 trailed off.
“I can’t tell you.” said Alternate 315. “It’s bad luck to tell details of your past to a past version of yourself. Or something.”
“Turn into a giant fox…” mumbled 315.
“I’m really not going to tell you.” said Alternate 315. “We should focus on getting out of here so you can live those two years of your life yourself.”
“No.” said 315. “Turn into a giant fox. Now.” Alternate 315 looked shocked for a second and then grinned.
“There’s an idea that might just work.” he said. Orange hair grew rapidly from all over his body. A look of pain crossed his face as it shifted into that of a fox and his limbs rearranged themselves. As this happened the chair to which he was tied began to creak and buckle under the strain. Alternate 315 grew a tail and his transformation was complete. The chair creaked loudly and then nothing happened.
“Shit!” yelled 315. “I hate my life.” He thrashed against his bonds angrily and suddenly Alternate 315’s chair shattered into splinters, causing the two to topple into a big pile of rope and chair fragments. 315 lay on the ground amongst the bits of broken chair until Alternate 315 padded into vision and looked at him pointedly. “I hate my life.” he mumbled to himself before climbing up. Alternate 315 was stood at the door of the tent, still as a fox, waiting for him.
“It’s too late.” said 315. “We’ll never get there in time to save Powergrando now.” Alternate 315 shot him a pointed look and waited for 315 to figure it out. “You don’t mean…” he trailed off because it was obvious what Alternate 315 meant. “This is going to be weird.” he said climbing onto the back of his self from an alternate future. Alternate 315 shot through the flap of the tent and out into the clone camp which had now been completely abandoned. 315 desperately held onto the fur on the back of Alternate 315’s neck as they sped up and started running through the streets. This is it thought 315. Time to save the day for once. Time to save a young Powergrando from a massive army of clones hell bent on his destruction. He shuddered and the two clones raced on through the busy Fenrian streets.

To Be Continued...

The next part is up on Wednesday. And if you haven't read 3.3 Killing Time in the last couple of days I would go and do so because it has been pretty heavily edited (where I say edited just imagine I said certain scenes have been completely rewritten).

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