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Tatu 1

The Principalities - Episode 3.4 - Clone Wars

Posted on 2009.05.08 at 14:24
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Episode 3.4 – Clone Wars
(see the preface for information)


13th December 2086
Tangle Omega-Epsilon was stood one of the many conversion rooms of the Time Agency. Until a couple of minutes ago he had answered to the name of Yolaris. Stood next to him were Tangle Omega-Delta (formerly Princess Hel) and The Doctor. Everything was so clear now. Epsilon could see that time wasn’t how he had previously believed it to be. It wasn’t some giant jigsaw puzzle where you needed to carefully fit the right pieces into the right holes. It was more resilient than that and the only way to truly fix paradoxes was to eliminate them entirely, by eliminating every single person involved in them. Nevermind that they used to be his friends. Friends are unimportant. Besides people who meddle in time without knowing what they are doing are dangerous and not to be trusted. Epsilon was glad the Doctor had recruited him to the Time Agency and made him see the error of his ways. He looked at Tangle Omega-Delta who was being briefed by the Tanglemind.
The body of Tangle Omega-Delta is scheduled to die in Principality Beta at five minutes past midnight on the 1st of January of the year 2000. This situation is not complicated enough to be classified as a paradox and necessitate the deaths of those involved, therefore the following solution will be implemented: Tangle Omega-Delta will travel to this time/space and allow events to occur according to schedule. The information travelled straight into the minds of the both Tangles and The Doctor. Tangle Omega-Delta walked to a TARDIS and entered it along with a Tangle Mecha. Epsilon and The Doctor waited for instructions of their own. Tangles Mecha-Chi, Mecha-Psi, Omega-Epsilon and The Doctor will travel back to the Lust Paradox. There they will eliminate the following individuals: Clone 315, Princess Jormungandr, Felicita Fortuna, Princess Fenrir, Charity Nächstenliebe, Chastity Pureza, Powergrando the Third (currently referring to himself as Argent) and a number of squid with unpronounceable names.
“Ugh!” moaned The Doctor turning and walking back to the TARDIS. “Not the Lust Paradox again. There’s a massive universe out there you know. Infinite tracts of time and space shooting off in every direction and I keep getting sent to watch a clone drink a lust potion.” Epsilon and The Doctor ducked into his incredibly cramped time machine, the two Mechas floated in behind them. It was different being in the TARDIS this time. It was still smaller on the inside than it was on the outside and the walls were still lined with buttons and switches and levers but now it all made sense. He could see how to work it. Buttons that would take it back in time, levers that would send it forwards, he could even see a switch that would take the top down. The Doctor manipulated some levers and twiddled a couple of dials and when that didn’t seem to have any effect smacked the panel with a hammer.
“It’d be a wonder if we ended up in the right century when you drive like that.” said Epsilon as the TARDIS shuddered unsteadily through time. The Doctor turned his head as far as he could.
“I’m perfectly capable of driving my own TARDIS thank you very much.” said the Doctor. “I was driving this thing before you were even born.” He paused. “Although technically that’s only because I was going back a very long way. Nevermind we’re here now.” He pushed open the door

9th February 1966
and stepped out into the rolling sands. “Okay.” The Doctor conceded. “You may have a point.” He paused and surveyed the desert, presumably making sure that Clone 315’s house wasn’t hiding behind one of the sand dunes, and stepped back inside.
“Why don’t I give it a try?” asked Epsilon.
“Fine, but don’t adjust the seat.” said the Doctor as he squeezed out of the way, allowing Epsilon access to the controls. Epsilon closed the doors and skilfully manipulated the controls. He noticed as he was doing so that his skin had changed. Gone was the normal pinkish colour you’d associate with skin. Now his hands glowed with the purple and black light found everywhere in the Time Agency. “You can use my hammer if she’s not behaving herself.” The Doctor suggested uncertainly. He leaned against the wall and relaxed. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’m trying to go to one time/space and I end up somewhen completely different.”
“We’re there.” said Epsilon.
“Nah, you haven’t even got her moving yet.” said The Doctor. “I’d have felt it. I knew you didn’t really know what you were doing. Move over.” Epsilon opened the door

23rd July 2010
revealing Clone 315s house perfectly framed in the doorway. “Okay.” conceded The Doctor. “That’s impressive.” They looked out as a procession of electric blue squid arrived was being lead to the front door by Princess Jormungandr. Epsilon and The Doctor stepped out into Clone 315’s garden, the Mechas floating after them.
“You two.” the Doctor said addressing the Mechas. “Guard the entrance. Make sure nobody enters this paradox. There’s plenty to kill here as it is.” The Mechas floated off to the edge of the dome, just beyond Clone 315’s front gate. “Before we get started…” said The Doctor. “Combat basics.” He handed a large sword that appeared to be made of purple and black light to Epsilon. “You already have basic swordsmanship skills the good thing about this particular sword is the added extras. There’s a button on the hilt that can shoot a pulse of energy from the sword. There’s also a slider that changes the blade from a normal sharp cutting blade, to a red hot burning blade or a ice cold freezing blade.” The Doctor grinned. “Hand to hand combat skills were uploaded to you when you were added to the Tanglemind, so if you find yourself in hand to hand combat just go with your instincts. And if necessary you can channel energy through your skin by concentrating. That’s sometimes useful on missions where you have to torture someone.” The Doctor paused in thought. “I think that’s it. Lesson over. Let’s go clean up this mess. I’ve got those inside the house. You go and see about those to the side.” Epsilon nodded and they separated. He walked around to the side of the house where as Yolaris he had confronted Tangle Omega-Delta, who at the time had been Princess Hel. In the light of the rising sun he saw Charity, Fenrir and Argent stood near the backdoor into Clone 315’s house. With them were Chastity and a version of Powergrando from while he still referred to himself as such. Epsilon thought quickly. Argent had been the one to engineer his and Hel’s recruitment by the Time Agency. Walking up to them and pretending everything was normal was out of the question. Plus they might be tipped off by his new purple and black skin tone.
He smiled as he heard The Doctor hard at work dispatching the strange electric blue squid. He could hear them gurgling pitifully as they died. Ready to get going he raised his radiance rapier (his mental nickname for his shiny new sword) and charged at those who he had foolishly called friends. As he ran he could feel himself moving faster. His sword arm felt stronger with the weight of what is right on his side. Before he was even half way there his former friends turned and saw him.
He pressed the button to fire a pulse from the radiance rapier when suddenly Argent was on top of him and knocking the blast wide. Epsilon skidded to a halt swinging his rapier at Argent, who was no longer there. A hand, undoubtedly Argent’s, grabbed him from behind and pulled him around, throwing him off balance. Epsilon swung the blade again and Argent vanished again. Less than a second later he was back right in front of Epsilon and he punched him in the face. Argent backed away a couple of steps and Epsilon took a good look at him. Could use another pair of hands over here… he thought as loud as he could.
“Last time we did this you were more chatty Argent.” said Epsilon. “I should have known you were a bad guy when you took away my wife and child. When you tried to turn me against the Time Agency.”
”Last time we did this you were still human.” said Argent. “There was the possibility of convincing you a certain action was wrong. There’s no point trying that now.”
“You’re right.” said Epsilon. “I was so gullible back then. Believing your lies. There’s nothing you can say today that will save the lives of you or your time-meddling friends.”
“Kill me?” asked Argent. “You can’t even scratch me.” Epsilon thrust his blade into the empty air where Argent had been standing. “This is pointless.” Argent continued.
“You’re right.” said Epsilon lowering his sword and turning to look at Argent. “This is pointless, and you know why?” he paused. “Because you still believe that Yolaris is in here. That there’s some way you’ll be able to get the him back. It’s why you’re holding back and it’s why I am going to win.” Epsilon paused. “It’s not a character flaw as such, it’s nice to have hope. But Yolaris is never coming back. Ever.”
”I don’t believe that.” said Argent. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done, allowing you to go through this, but I will find a way to bring the old you back.” Epsilon sighed.
“You don’t get it.” said Epsilon. “Yolaris is dead. Perhaps a little demonstration is in order.” Now. Epsilon thought. Suddenly Argent was engulfed in white light from behind him. He was paralysed. “Thank you Tangle Mecha-Chi.” said Epsilon with a grin. He raised his blade again and walked closer to Argent who was frozen, unable even to speak. He raised the rapier and ran it gently along Argent’s exposed throat, just enough to scratch him. “No.” he said lowering his sword. “Not really the demonstration I was going for.” He turned and sprinted for the back door of the house. Charity and Princess Fenrir were still stood there, apparently lacking any means of escape. Epsilon was there before either of them could react. He grabbed both of them by their arm and attempted to pull them out towards Argent. They struggled to get away from him, to loosen his grip. Epsilon focused his energy on his hands and like The Doctor had promised he could feel them heat up. Charity and Princess Fenrir screeched in pain and their efforts to pull away from him seemed to ebb. He dragged them both over to where Argent was silently paralysed and pushed them down onto their knees in front of him.
“This is your fault Argent.” Epsilon said as he raised his blade over Princess Fenrir. “No Yolaris.” Fenrir pleaded. “Please don’t… I… I love you Charity.” He slammed the blade down into her back and all the way through her. He held it there for a second, not breaking eye contact with Argent and then pulled the blade out. Fenrir collapsed slowly to the ground, blood pouring from the hole in her chest.
“Encore?” asked Epsilon raising his blade over Charity. He quickly slammed the blade down into the spot where Charity had very recently been. She’d flung herself forward out of the path of the descending blade and while Epsilon was reacting to this she rolled onto her back and kicked him in the genatalia. She climbed up from the ground, grabbed Epsilon’s radiance rapier and sliced through the black and purple robot, Tangle Mecha-Chi, that was holding Argent captive. Argent fell forwards unprepared for having to support himself again and Charity rushed to his side. He reached out and touched Princess Fenrir’s body and they all flickered and vanished before Epsilon could compose himself again.
“Nice one.” said The Doctor clapping slowly. “If the Time Agency was your standard job you’d probably be fired by now but I like your style so… nevermind eh?” The Doctor was stood at the back door flanked by Tangle Mecha-Chi. “Incidentally the cost of a new “radiance rapier” is coming out of your salary.” he paused. “And the cost of repairing Tangle Mecha-Chi over there.” Epsilon climbed to his feet.
“Can we track them?” he asked. “I want to finish what I’ve started.”
“And you will, eventually.” said The Doctor. “Time is on your side now you’re in the Agency. We have more pressing issues first.”
“Such as?” asked Epsilon.
“We’ve been tracking people travelling in and out of this paradox and one of the latest excursions from it has led directly into April 16th 1986.” said The Doctor. “That time is rapidly becoming the biggest paradox since… well since now, and we’re being sent to clean it out.” The Doctor grinned and looked at Epsilon as if expecting some kind of reaction.
“Yay?” ventured Epsilon.
“You can muster a little more enthusiasm than that, I hope.” The Doctor responded. “This is the biggest operation in Time Agency history. We’ve got over one hundred targets to eliminate and we’re going in as part of a team of twenty Tangles.” He beamed. “This is going to be an all out war!”
”What are we waiting for then?” asked Epsilon. “Time and tide wait for no man.”
“Except us.” grinned The Doctor as they made their way back to the TARDIS.

16th April 1986
Epsilon was stood on a rooftop opposite the Seven Virtues Health Spa. On top of this otherwise normal rooftop was about fourteen different TARDISes. All of the ones that Epsilon had seen opened looked roomier than The Doctor’s. He was really going to have to look into that. On the street below there was a mass of clones. Epsilon had expected them to be thrashing wildly at the doors of the Health Spa. To be attempting to rip down the heavy metal shutters with their bare hands. He was surprised to see that they were just standing there, silently waiting. It was creepy. Gathered on the rooftop were a group of precisely twenty Tangles, including him and The Doctor. They had naturally formed in the middle of the rooftop waiting for a more detailed briefing. He was stood at the front of the crowd, next to the Doctor and to a Tangle who had the body of a ten year old girl. One of the Tangles, a man with black hair in a black suit walked out in front of the group.
“Hi.” he said with a cheery wave. “I am The Master and I’m here to oversee this operation. Essentially it’s a standard paradox elimination with an extraordinary number of targets. Most of the targets are the clones you can see in the street below but there is also a group of targets in the Seven Virtues Health Spa. To be eliminated in the spa are: Clone 315, Clone 315 (he’s listed twice for some reason), Chastity Pureza, Charity Nächstenliebe, Moderation Madehold, Generosity Givmildhet, Zeal Dedizione, Humility Noyryys, Jennifer Kjarklaus and Powergrando The Third.” he paused. Epsilon snapped to attention as he heard the name Powergrando. He smiled to himself. He’d been disappointed he hadn’t been able to pursue Argent. Perhaps the day wasn’t spoiled just quite yet. Maybe he still had the opportunity for a little revenge.
“Because of the magnitude of this operation we have some of our more senior operatives with us today. There is me of course…” The Master grinned widely at the crowd. “…The Doctor…” he paused to point out the Doctor who smiled and waved. “…The Rani…” The Master pointed out a woman in a labcoat and gasmask. “…The Thief…” another pause to point out a woman in a long red trenchcoat and fedora combination. “…and finally The Unspeakable.” The crowd started whispering amongst themselves at the name, Epsilon was particularly surprised when The Master pointed her out as being the ten year old that he was stood next to. The rest of the nearby Tangles almost seemed to flinch back from her. “So if at any point you’re unsure what you should be doing come and see one of us.” said The Master. “But that probably won’t be necessary. As I said it’s a simple job, just on a large scale.” he stopped to think for a moment. “Guess that’s about it then. Everyone get down there and enjoy yourselves.” The Tangles began to make their way down through the building to ground level. Epsilon walked as he had stood, alongside The Doctor and The Unspeakable. The Master jogged a little to catch up to The Doctor, who he threw an arm around like he was embracing an old friend.
“Long time no see Doc.” said The Master. The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Who’s your new ‘companion’?”
“This is Tangle Omega-Epsilon.” said The Doctor. “He’s just joined us. I think he’s got potential though.”
“The Soldier?” suggested The Master turning to look at Epsilon, who had quite forgotten for the moment that he was still wearing those worn army fatigues.
“More like The Showman.” said The Doctor. “Just the one kill so far but he made it count.” The Master grinned.
“I remember my first kill.” The Unspeakable chimed in. “My English teacher. I snapped his bones one by one, pulled out his teeth and gouged out his eyes with my thumbs. Eventually I hacked off his head with a hacksaw and fucked his dead body.”
“Your English teacher was involved in a paradox?” asked Epsilon puzzled.
“No. He gave me a B.” The Unspeakable clarified cheerfully. “It seems a little petty now, but I wasn’t a Tangle back then.”
“Oh.” said Epsilon and promptly tried to repress the entire exchange. They stepped out onto the street where the Tangles were already getting stuck into the clones. The clones were fighting back and Epsilon could see one Tangle who was down. Other clones were making their way towards an alley that looked like it would lead around the back of the Seven Virtues Health Spa. Epsilon turned back to say he was going to check out the alley when he noticed that the rest of the Tangles had already engaged the nearest clones. Epsilon couldn’t help but notice that The Unspeakable was hung onto the back of a clone garrotting him and tearing one of his ears off with her teeth. Epsilon turned back towards the alley and started running towards it ignoring the clones he was running alongside. He turned into the alley and looked down it. It was chaos. There were a couple of women hanging out of the Health spa windows blasting at clones with assault rifles while a couple of other women, a man (probably Powergrando) and a pair of clones were stood out in the street desperately trying to fight off the clones that had got that far. Epsilon ducked and weaved his way through the clones. All the clones around him were being filled full of bullets but most of them didn’t even seem to be slowing down. He slipped past the women firing from the windows and stepped out from behind a clone to find himself stood in front of Charity, who was holding a shotgun aimed straight at him. He held froze and wondered whether his new Tangle skin was as tough as it was shiny.
“I’m here to save you all!” He announced hopefully. “I’m fighting the clones just like you are.”
“Powergrando!” yelled Charity, “Are you friends with any shiny purple people?”
“Wasn’t when I last checked.” said Powergrando, not turning around from defending the other path down the alley. “But if you see any shiny green people you wave them right through.”
“Hang on.” Said one of the clones glancing over his shoulder. “That’s Yolaris. He’s one of the good guys.” Charity rolled her eyes and waved him past.
“If you’ve got any more friends coming it would be handy if you told us about them before they rock up.” she said. “You know if you like to have your friends live long enough to help us.”
“Nevermind.” said Epsilon with a grin. “I’m here now. Give me a weapon and point me at a clone.”
“Here.” said the version of clone 315 that had previously identified him. “Have mine. I don’t really need it.” he passed the shotgun over to Epsilon as orange fur started to grow all over his face.
“Ahh.” said Epsilon. “You’re that 315.” Alternate 315 dropped to all fours as his limbs and facial features shifted into that of a giant fox. He leapt into the crowd of clones tearing at them with his teeth and his paws.
“What’s with all the purple and black Yolaris?” asked regular 315 glancing over at him.
“I lost a fight with a group of painters and decorators.” said Epsilon dismissively as he glanced around the group. They were all facing out at the clones that were rushing towards him. Nobody was watching him. “You remind me of something…” 315 trailed off. Epsilon slowly raised the shotgun up behind Powergrando’s head. His finger on the trigger, he grinned and pulled. There was a bang and shouting and everyone watched as he crumpled to the floor.
“What the hell just happened?” asked Powergrando. He had turned at the sound of the bang and this person called Yolaris was lying on the floor with a chunk missing from his chest, Clone 315 was stood over him shotgun in hand.
“He tried to kill you.” said 315. “But the gun was out of bullets.” he turned back to the alleyway and fired off a couple more shots at the clones that just kept coming.
“Tried to kill me?” asked Powergrando. “What’s going on? Why does the whole world hate me?”
“There’s no time to explain.” said 315.
“Find time.” insisted Powergrando.
“I’ve seen someone like that before.” said 315. “With the purple and black skin. He was sent from the future to kill everyone involved in a particularly complicated paradox.” he paused. “You know there are some interesting parallels between these clones and the Time Agency…”
“So in short he was a bad guy?” asked Powergrando. 315 nodded. “Is there likely to be any more bad guys on their way?”
“I don’t know.” said 315. “You’d have to ask him.” he glanced over at Yolaris’ dead body to find it had rather unnervingly gone missing. “Erm.” Powergrando glanced over to see the empty space where Yolaris’ body had previously lain.
“Cover us.” he shouted to the Virtues. “We’re going after him.” He grabbed 315 and pulled him through the back door and into the backroom of the Health Spa. As the door banged close behind them the sounds of the gunfight were muffled and suddenly the empty spa felt very eerie. The backroom was a dark storeroom full of crates. Most of the crates appeared to contain beauty products but it wasn’t hard to spot more than a few that contained guns and ammunition. 315 shivered as they made their way slowly through the room, watching the shadows for any hint of his former friend. Well actually thought 315 he was more a former acquaintance. They opened the door to the reception area and made their way inside. They could see Yolaris had been through here as bottles which had previously been neatly arranged on the counters had been knocked onto the floor and a thick purple liquid had been smeared along the counters. The heavy metal shutters outside the window were shaking violently.
“I don’t think that’s a good sign.” said Powergrando. “We really need to find a way out of here.” 315 shot him a look. Powergrando considered something for a second before saying “Okay fine. But I’m taking all the Virtues out of here with us.” He turned to head back out when something leapt on him from behind. Suddenly Epsilon was on top of him with his hands wrapped around Powergrando’s throat. 315 smashed Epsilon over the head with his shotgun, knocking him off Powergrando. Epsilon had pulled off his old and now torn army fatigues and had torn it into makeshift bandages to tie around his wound. 315 took aim and blasted him in the chest again. He then reached down and helped Powergrando up.
“I don’t think we can do any permanent damage.” said Powergrando, he paused and looked down at Epsilon. The door to the backroom opened and they both reacted instantly aiming the guns at the intruder. Chastity raised her hands and smiled a coy smile.
“We have something of a problem.” she said as they lowered their weapons. “But I can see we have problems all around today.”
“Perfect.” said Powergrando with a grin. “Could you tie up this… Yolaris was it?” 315 nodded.
“Happy to.” Chastity said producing another set of handcuffs and snapping them around Yolaris’ shiny purple wrists.
“Take him back to the others.” said Powergrando. “I’m getting everyone together. I have a way out of here.” Chastity nodded, grabbed Epsilon and hauled him out through the back room. Powergrando and 315 ran over to the door that led upstairs and followed the sounds of gunfire into one of the massage rooms. Humility and Generosity were in here firing out of the windows at the clones that had to be coming to an end by now.
“Come on.” said Powergrando. “We’re getting everyone together. We’re getting out of here.”
“Look.” said Humility. Powergrando and 315 rushed to the windows to see that while the number of clones was waning there was a large group of about nine people all with shining purple and black skin starting to make their way down the alley. Powergrando looked down the other alley and was completely unsurprised to find nine other people with the black and purple skin making their way down that alley. “There’s no way out.” Humility concluded. “We fight or we die.”
“I have a way out.” said Powergrando. “I promise you. We all need to get together though.”
“Anything’s got to be better than this.” said Generosity. “Lead the way.” They made their way back down the stairs and back into the reception area. They were almost in the backroom when there was a loud crack and the sound like a tin can being sliced open. They turned to the shutters to see that they had been torn apart and standing in the gap was a little ten year old girl with purple and black skin. Her dress was torn and splattered with blood while her hair was wild and caked in it. She slammed a hand against the window, it shattered and she stepped through.
“Hello.” she smiled sweetly from the other side of the room. “I’m called The Unspeakable. What are your names?”
“Hey PG.” said 315 after a second. “I really think we should get the fuck out of here, right now.”
“Hey!” shouted The Unspeakable. “That’s rude! I asked you a question!” She started to run across the room. They fired shots at the girl but all it did was slow her down and tear her dress more. It didn’t even really slow her down that much.
“Run!” yelled Powergrando. They turned and fled through the backroom and into the alley where the battle raged on. Once they were all out 315 threw himself against the door and fought to keep it closed against The Unspeakable who he could feel was slamming herself against it.
“How are we getting out of here then?” asked Jennifer. “Magic?”
“Erm… kind of.” said Powergrando producing LF from his pocket. “I’m not 100% sure how to use… this.” Alternate 315 who wasn’t being a fox any longer looked about to offer a suggestion when an unusual pulsating noise sounded throughout the alley. They looked around for the source of the noise and all spotted a large purple and black box, about the size and shape of one of those old fashioned police boxes, materialising in the middle of the area they were managing to keep hold of. “Oh shit.” said Powergrando. “This can’t be good.” There was the sound of wood bursting and The Unspeakable had forced her hand clean through the door. “I can’t think!” he yelled. “I can’t use this! I don’t know what I’m doing!” The black and purple police box was solid now. The door creaked open and a man with unkempt blonde hair and a shiny purple and black assault rifle stepped out.
“My name is Zaniel Zeto.” said the man. “Come with me if you want to live.”

Tune in Sunday for the exciting season finale.

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