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gone_byebye wrote in milliways_bar
[OOM: And the battle is finally joined....]

The door opens.

"Oh, this is convenient," says Ray, closing the door carefully behind him as he steps through. He's in his work jumpsuit, of course, and pretty much slimed from head to foot. "Hey, can I get a couple of towels and a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap, please? We've got considerably more ectoplasm at the moment than I can feasibly deal with on my own. Thanks..."

That being said, he makes some effort to detach the proton pack from his back without disturbing Jhalak too much. It'll be easier to get her clean if he can sit down first.

[tinytag: Jhalak (Long-Reach the Jotok), Annabelle Newfield]

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If Annabelle had been born about 60 years farther down the time stream, Ray would probably be getting glomped right now. Someone does not handle having to sit and worry about people well. As it is, she's just going to have a rather worried expression on her face. "What happened?" is immediately followed by "That stuff's not toxic or acidic, is it?"

When you deal with Mad Scientists, you learn to assume that unknown compounds are dangerous until proven otherwise.

"Wh- oh! Hi, Annabelle." Ray beams. "Great to see you again! This is just ectoplasm, standard hazard of the job- it'll dry up eventually. Um, what day is it?"

"December 10th, local time," Annabelle replies, cautiously. Maybe things are going just fine in Ray's world after all? Hahahaha.

"Oof. November fifth, here," Ray says. "We only just barely got out of Halloween alive."

"Does time normally skip like that for you? What happened on Halloween? Did that thing in the ocean wake up?" Annabelle doesn't normally fire off questions like this, but she's been rather worried.

"Not normally, no, but the Bar seems to have closed off access to my world for the month of October to protect itself," Ray says. "Great Cthulhu awoke, all right. And we got treated to the second known coming of Gozer, Sumerian god of the end of the world..."

"...damn." There are no words profane enough to convey the awfulness of that situation.

"Did you drive them off?" she asks, quietly.


Ray steeples his fingers carefully.

"Define 'drive off'."

Ray is getting the Raised Eyebrow of Doom(Tm). "Not roaming about in your dimension causing havoc...."

"Well," says Ray, "Cthulhu isn't manifest any more. Gozer... well, Gozer's not causing havoc, per se..."

The relief that Cthulhu is no longer about vanishes quickly with Ray's last statement.

"If he's not causing havoc, what is he doing? I doubt he's suddenly decided to take up Canasta."

"Ynnnnnnnhghgh okay this is going to take a while to explain," Ray says. "Let's start with this. Gozer can't manifest for long on the prime material plane without a physical form chosen for him by one of his potential victims. Whatever they think of at the moment of his manifesting, that's the shape he takes on- complete with size and power appropriate to the situation. It's happened several times before. With me so far?"

Annabelle nods, "Was that how you ended up with the marshmallow man?

"That would be how," Ray says. "I was trying to think of something as harmless and friendly as possible at the time, and, well, it kinda backfired on us."

"I'm not sure any form you could have come up with would have been harmless with that kind of entity wearing it. I take it something similar happened again?"

"Sort of," Ray says. "This time his form got chosen on purpose. I've gone up against Cthulhu before. You can't really do it without help from another power of similar caliber- not when he's at full strength. So since Cthulhu manifested first, and Gozer was on the way..."

"You decided to use Gozer to take out Cthulhu," Annabelle says with a wry grin. "Not an ideal plan, but in circumstances that dire....well, there are things that are much worse than death."

"What Cthulhu and his kind do is completely unspeakable," Ray says. "Gozer just eats you. We've fought Gozer before and won. I figured that if we lost it would at least be a clean loss, so I chose the form of Unicron, the Planet-Eater, the equivalent of all things evil and destructive in the Cybertronian pantheon, and Gozer leaped at the chance."

Annabelle nods solemnly, Ray made the best of a bad situation. "I'm not surprised that he was willing to take on that kind of form. What happened after that?"

"A fight between two quarter-mile-tall titans that nearly sank an aircraft carrier," Ray says, "which, ultimately, Gozer just barely won. At which point he started yelling about wanting to devour all the remaining subcreatures infesting the planet, so I thought it would be a wise idea to try and reach Milliways for help.... not that that 's what happened, but I tried."

Annabelle winces at the description of the battle. "Milliways would have been helpful, yes. Dare I ask what happened instead?"

"I found the mess hall supplies," Ray says. "Most of which had been replaced by Hostess Twinkies brand snack cakes. And there was this note."

He hands it over. It reads:

Please, accept this gift and use it wisely. We ask that you try not to die. Your exploits, viewed from our part of Time, are too fascinating to pass up.

With great interest,

The Archivists of the Library of Pnakotus, City of the Great Race of Yith
(currently aka Chief Petty Officer Warren McCullough)

"The Great Race of Yith are a race of beings from the universe of Cthulhu and his ilk, last known to be inhabiting Earth in the distant past. They have the ability to jump forward in time hundreds of millions of years pretty much at will and swap their minds into the bodies of the people of whatever time they're trying to reach. I was temporarily subjected to this a while back, but we eventually set things straight and came to an agreement that it wouldn't happen to me again," Ray says. "The agreement didn't cover anyone else on my world, though."

"......the body swapping aliens gave you snack cakes?!"

With a kind of horrified fascination she asks, "Then what happened?"

"Well," says Ray, "aircraft carriers have these built-in steam-powered catapults that can move a forty-five-thousand-pound aircraft from zero to a hundred and sixty-five miles an hour in two seconds. Gozercron was really, really hungry. And we had rooms full of Twinkies... so it was mostly a matter of getting the carrier's audio systems back online, since most of them had been annihilated during the battle of the gods, and petitioning Gozercron to try out a possible substitute for the bodies and souls of every man, woman, and child on Earth. And once he said he was listening, we jury-rigged the catapults to accelerate a different payload altogether."

"And thus the world was saved by Hostess Twinkies. Now we just have to keep sending them to him. Twice a week."

".....................", "..............!?!"

Congratulations Ray! You are one of a handful of people in the multiverse that have ever managed to render Annabelle Newfield completely speechless.

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