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stories & literature

spacestation #ma

"Part II: Invasion of the #midi Snatchers!"


Note to readers: This story, as was Slam's previous one, jumps back and forth from the people actually hearing the story to the story itself. This time, the text in green is the text about the people hearing the story, and the regular text is the story itself. Enjoy!

Spacestation #MA 2: "Invasion of the #midi Snatchers!"
(The IRC Version of this story is also available!)

SLAM sat on the ground along with grl, Christofori, BardCat, and AcidDose, three of which were eager to hear his new story, this time not out of a talking book, but from the storyteller himself! Finally, SLAM opened his mouth, and the story began...

Part II
Invasion of the #midi Snatchers!
*eerie echo

"How DOES he do that?" Christofori wondered again.

grl wanted to stay and listen to the story, but apparently her dogs were having cows, so she had to take them outside, and then go to bed. Christofori, in the meantime, sang a nice little opening number for SLAM's story, which SLAM thanked him for briefly before continuing with the story.

* * *

...And so it was that SPACESTATION #MA *eerie echo. was in relative peace, even given the upset of the week before. grl, to the relief of Brainwash, and the previously endangered population in general, was now in charge of the Etherdrive of the station, as well as the ships that docked for repairs, and general cleaning of the station on the outside.

This particular night, however, grl had just gone off to take her new ship, the S.S. Dogs, out for a spin, as it was apparently having a cow. The French had left as well, and the station was, in some respect, undermanned, but the small crowd was nice, and there was quiet conversation in the dinner hall from time to time. AcidDose was working on his tracker, which had now reached a whopping 400 pages of code. BardCat was sipping on a martini, his 10th that hour.

* * *

"Drunk bastard!" Christofori laughed over his gin tonic.

* * *

NeZbiE hadn't actually LEFT, per se, but had fallen asleep at a table, right on top of a 5000x5000 pixel map of France that TrenteTrois had sent him. Gammis stood in a corner, pretending to be awake, but really having been taking a snooze for the last three hours. SLAM was cleaning up behind the bar, and having idle chit-chat with Christofori, who had arrived just in time to clean out the paint shaker.

* * *

"Fitting job, considering what happened last time," Christofori commented.
"Ah, yes it was," SLAM replied with a smile.

* * *

For some reason there were no ops present at all. There weren't even any sleeping: and James-Bond could tell. Every time he hit the comm panel to contact the control center, he couldn't hear any snoring. Curious but unconcerned, James-Bond continued sitting at a table, doing and saying absolutely nothing.

Brainwash was walking out about the Windows platform looking out at outer-cyberspace and admiring the view. grl had fixed port 80 once and for all, so they were sure to longer have random troubles with it. As he looked up, he saw a pinprick of light in the Stary sky. He wasn't sure why he thought of the word "Stary," but he had, so we'll just leave it at that. The reason, however, was because the pinprick of light became a portal opening up from Etherspace, and the emerging ship was Stary's speedy little dinghy, the S.S. Stary's-and-Stary's-Alone. It rushed down toward the Windows platform at amazing speed, not bothering to contact the ops for permission to land. He seemed to know what was going on. It blasted through the atmosphere containment field, creating a rush of compressed air that knocked Brainwash off his feet and landed him on his toosh in front of a heavy pile of equipment. Stary pulled up just in time to belly-flop his ship on the deck, and bounce a few times until it came to a halt several inches from Brainwash's astonished face.

* * *

Christofori chuckled with the rest of the group, and gave Stary the new name, "Stary the dangerous."

* * *

Brainwash was so perturbed by this turn of events that his Scottish accent returned as he greeted a hurrying Stary. Stary jumped out of his cockpit, forgetting the ladders, and nearly breaking himself in the fall.

* * *

"Breaking himself," Christofori laughed yet again, "What is he, a bot?"
"Maybe..." SLAM replied, stroking his long beard thoughtfully.

* * *

"Ay, what's yer hurry, laddie?" Brainwash asked, helping Stary up, "You look like you're being chased by a bat out o' 'ell!"
"NO!" Stary yelled, "I'm being chased by something much worse!" Stary grabbed Brainwash's shoulders and shook him desperately, saying, "PLEASE tell me that Port 80 is stable!"
"Ay, laddie, it is, but what's to worry, we've no incoming traffic anticipated for some time," Brainwash replied.
"Oooh, yes we DO!" Stary yelled, then looked up to the sky.
Right on cue, tens...HUNDREDS...of Etherspace portals opened up, revealing hundreds of alien ships with alien markings. They were similar to the #modarchive logos, but far simpler and cruder, and the ships...they were completely different.
"YOU SEE?!? YOU SEE?!?" Stary shouted like a maniac, "I've got to get help!"
Stary ran off, while Brainwash stood there, mouth and eyes wide open in astonishment as the ships began approaching the platforms. Many landed on the Windows platform, many on the Linux platform, some on platforms Brainwash didn't even knew they had, a couple landed on a platform that mysteriously sprouted out of nowhere, and, yes, one or two even landed on the OS/2 platform.
Brainwash, not waiting to see what came out when the hatches opened, dashed inside after Stary, deciding that Stary wasn't crazy after all, and locking all the doors and opening to the station securely."

* * *

"Wait," Christofori interrupted; obviously the only one listening closely to the story, "Stary owns #MA, so, he should have a really good plan. Right?"
"Well...eventually, yes," SLAM explained with a smile, "But as you know, everyone has to look like an idiot before their moment of glory."
"Ah," came the reply.

* * *

"Stary was in the dinner hall when Brainwash got there, and was waving his arms about wildly, yelling to everyone about the danger. SLAM and Christofori seemed to be listening, but didn't stop their bar work. James-Bond just sat there for a while, Gammis was still asleep, along with NeZbiE, who had begun to drool on Paris.
BardCat stood up. "Did you say...on the OS/2 platform too?"
Stary paused, "Yes, on there too, but..."
"Do you think any of them are from my home planet of Quebec?" BardCat asked expectantly.
"Well, it's POSSIBLE," Stary began...
"YAAHHHOOOOOOO!" BardCat yelled, and was out of the dinner hall in a flash. Several seconds later, they heard a dull thud resounding through the bulkheads as he tried to run headlong through the closed door."

* * *

SLAM stopped again when Christofori laughed, and explained it to him. "See? He just looked like an idiot. That means he'll probably do something in this story."

* * *

"The combination of drinks and cranial shock knocked BardCat stone cold on the deck, so at least they didn't have to worry about him trying to break the door down. AcidDose looked away worriedly, then looked back at Stary.
"Okay, boss, so, 400 of them, and only a few of us? What do we do?"
"Well..." Stary said, "I don't know. They've covered the landing platforms completely...except for the OS/2 platform, so unless we come in from above, we have no hope of getting to our ships."
Christofori spoke up next, "OK. How bout I go at them with my 1000-ft lightsabre, set to, let's say, 5 feet? That way, I won't destroy the station, but I'll be able to kill a whole lot of those bastards."
"Well, that's a good idea, Stary said, but there are two problems."
"Aren't there always problems?" asked Christofori.
"First of all," Stary explained importantly, "They'd mow you down before you could hit them. Second...where is your lightsaber anyway?"
Christofori's face sort of melted as he said, "Rats, I left it in my ship." He then proceeded to smack himself in the forehead so hard that he knocked himself out.

* * *

"Damn you!" Christofori paused to say, shaking his fist at SLAM.
"Now you know why I have no faith in the dark side of the force :-p," SLAM replied sticking his tongue out.
Christofori could have SWORN he just had the blasted thing!
"Remember, you just looked stupid. That means you do something important!" SLAM reminded him.
"Ah.. well.. then, I have another idea..." Christofori began.
"BUT, sadly, you can't share it with us, as you're out cold as well," SLAM interrupted him.
"Damn you!" Christofori yelled again.
"Ah ah ah," SLAM said, holding up a finger.

* * *

"SLAM rushed over immediately with a vodka, which he splashed on Christofori's face, in order to revive him.
"Huh! What! Where! Ah!" Christofori yelled.

* * *

"Okay, now you may share your idea," SLAM told Christofori with a smile.
"Ah. Well, then, since I somehow managed to have my lightsabre moments ago, only for it to wind up on my ship..." Christofori began, "I shall use my powers, and," he looked around the room, "Ah. This monitor to retrieve my sabre; all the while killing a few baddies!
"Why have I not been mentioned yet?" BardCat demanded, not caring that he had just interrupted Christofori's brilliant plan.
"BardCat, You have. You're out cold on the floor outside the OS/2 Platform," SLAM informed him.
"Oh. I feel unloved," moaned BardCat.

* * *

"Well..." AcidDose said, wanting to help, "AcidTracker now has 16-bit support, and I'll add 24 support too, probably within the next hundred pages."
James-Bond silently grabbed a glass of vodka, and went downstairs, hoping it would have the same effect on BardCat that it had just had on Christofori.
"Stary, what exactly are these things?" SLAM asked, "You haven't told us what they are or why they're here."

Suddenly, they heard a loud "MRReeeeooooroooowwwwwwww!" from downstairs, followed by a *thud* as James-Bond was thrown back from BardCat's awakening. Stary looked back.
"They were human...once...Like us, musicians and music lovers, but...SLAM....they didn't evolve with the rest of us, they're...they're...they're..."
"Do I even want to hear this?" Christofori asked, not caring much for Stary's dramatic act.
"MIDI artists!" Stary blurted out.
SLAM raised an eyebrow. Christofori faked looking shocked. BardCat walked in and announced "I was nicknamed 'barfcat' on usenet." James-Bond walked in slowly after him, and handed SLAM an empty vodka glass.
"So...we're dealing with MIDI artists..." AcidDose said.
"That's right! Don't you understand?" Stary started up again, "They're going to take over the station! We'll never stop them! Never! It's a secret, ancient art we can never understand! We'll be..."
He was about to keep going, but Christofori threw a glass of vodka on him to sober him up."

* * *

"Yay!" Christofori shouted in joy.
"Yes, your moment of meaning!" SLAM congratulated him.

* * *

"How did they get here?" SLAM asked.
"Ah..." Stary began, thinking back carefully and drying his face, "I was flying past several channels, when all of a sudden, I took a wrong turn, intending to come here. Instead, I found...this horrible place...The station was crumbling, crumbling, I tell you! Like it's been there for many years without service. I turned around, and all of the ships said 'Hey! It's one of the advanced ones!" Another said, 'We will follow him to our new home!' So, I turned around and ran like I was being chased by a bat out of hell," Stary said.
"Ay, laddie, 'tisn't a nice thing, a-stealin' people's catch phrases like that!" Brainwash said, entering the room.
"So, they son't want to attack us," SLAM said, turning on MOD CD 2, Track 3: Decibelter - Arizona Dreaming, "They're just looking for a new home."

"Well, they can't stay here!" Christofori said, slamming his fist down on the table they had all gathered around (except Gammis and NeZbiE, who were still sound asleep).
"I know," said Stary, "These #midi guys...they're old and stubborn. They won't leave if we just ask them."
"What do we doo?" Brainwash demanded, "We've got no ops, and we can't get to our ships!"
BardCat spoke up, "I've got an idea."
"What is it?" They all said at once.
"You can all get aboard my ship, because there's hardly anyone on the OS/2 platform. I can drop you off above your own ships, and we can...take off and do whatever."
"I can't say I like the sound of that..." SLAM said, scratching his head.
"One problem," Christofori said, "They don't know OS/2! Once we get out to the platform, we won't be able to move! Well, except me; as I know a little OS/2..."
"I do too!" AcidDose boasted.
SLAM looked sternly at AcidDose and Chistofori, "One of you is lying, and the other is overconfident."
"Doesn't matter," said BardCat, finishing another martini, "I've got a handcart."

So, everyone, except Gammis, who was now snoring, and NeZbiE, who had now flooded the better part of central France, went down to the door to the OS/2 platform.
"Uh oh..." BardCat said, looking out the door's peephole, "What are we going to do about those two?"
There were two "MIDI artists" standing vigil next to their ships.
"Yes the row-channel format is far superior to the old notation system...but midi isn't a notation system, its a Musical Instrument Digital Interface," AcidDose explained helpfully.
"Not a notation system..." Christofori mused, "We must be able to use that against them somehow..."

Stary tore away a page of AcidDose's AcidTracker code. "Hey!" AcidDose objected, but Stary didn't care. Stary folded the sheet into a paper airplane. He then opened the door and threw it out, straight at one of the "MIDI musicians." It hit him right between the eyes, and in a poof of binary and crummy wavetable sound effects, the MIDI Snatcher was gone!
"Quick, give me another sheet!" Stary yelled, holding his hand out.
"NEVER!" AcidDose yelled, bashed Stary on the head with his stack of code, and then dashed off with his precious code. Everyone was after him in a flash.

AcidDose wouldn't listen to reason though, and kept running. Finally, AcidDose tripped on a deck plate that Brainwash had forgotten to nail down, and the stack of paper went sliding across the floor. The others quickly gathered both objects (AcidDose was now unconscious, of course) and dragged them back to the OS/2 door. Brainwash stopped by the bar to get some vodka to wake AcidDose up with (and, maybe a shot or two for himself) and then got back to the door.

AcidDose was awake in a matter of minutes, but not until every sheet of his precious code had been folded into a paper airplane. AcidDose grabbed the bottle of vodka from Brainwash and drank himself under the bulkhead in despair. The rest planned their attack carefully. Stary opened the door and threw one more paper airplane, taking out the other OS/2 MIDI Snatcher.
BardCat rushed out to his ship and came back with the handcart. He first loaded Stary onto it, and wheeled him to the back of the ship.
"You've got to be kidding me..." Stary said in disbelief as BardCat lifted him into a entrance port below the tail of his ship."

* * *

SLAM had to stop the story until the laughter had died down, most of it coming, oddly enough, from Christofori.

* * *

"No joke," BardCat said seriously, "Anything that goes on my ship goes in the rear end."
The rest of the group stood at the door with their jaws on the floor.
"I'm not going next," SLAM said.
The rest heartily agreed, and decided to reason with BardCat about an alternate method of transportation...ANY alternate form of transportation. Christofori made a note to himself to learn to code in OS/2, just to fix the bug that caused all of their jaws to hit the floor.

BardCat came back with the handcart. The group wanted to get away rather badly, but couldn't as they were standing on the OS/2 platform.
Christofori could move though, and ran. At least he tried to run. He couldn't work in OS/2 too well yet. He made it past the door just as BardCat grabbed his shoulder and threw him onto the handcart. Christofori tried to escape, but the best he could do was kick and scream bloody invalid commands.

SLAM was now hearing Awesome- For a New World still playing the Bar, and was wondering if it was really an appropriate song for the occasion. Before coming back for the others, BardCat grabbed a three-foot-tube-of-lubricant, and applied it to the aft entrance port on his ship. Stary was next, and he slid right in. One after the other, everyone entered the ship, all the while doing their best to ignore the "unpleasant details." Finally, BardCat took off, and hovered of the Windows platform.

"Yech..." he commented, "just hovering over an m$ product makes me nervous. Okay, everyone out!"
" do we GET out?" Christofori's muffled voice came in from the aft "cargo bay."
"Same way you came in," BardCat said.

One after the other, now able to move, they evacuated the vehicle's...cargo quickly as they could, and fell to their ships. Stary almost broke himself in the fall, but managed to climb into his ship with only a pulled muscle.

The MIDI Snatchers tried to clamber onto the ships, but BardCat popped halfway out of the aft port, his favorite part of his beloved ship, and started throwing paper airplanes about wildly. One MIDI Snatcher after the other disappeared. If an airplane didn't connect with one, a MIDI Snatcher would become curious and go to pick it up, in which case...*poof*.

Everyone got their ships started up, and took off as quickly as possible. Some MIDI Snatchers managed to cling to the ships, but they were quickly thrown off by the pilots' fast maneuvers. The pilots loaded their favorite MODs into their cannons (Christofori and SLAM using Awesome's for the most part), and opened fire. It did some damage to the MIDI ships, but the MIDI Snatchers didn't seem to care at all. Suddenly, another Etherspace portal opened. All the ships turned towards it, ready to blow it out of the sky.


Unfortunately, the pilots were all rather jumpy, and this time...jumped the gun, as it were, and pounded batteredbris's ship with MODs
"Doh!" Christofori shouted from inside his cockpit.

While they didn't actually damage the ship, the heavy and erratic beats threw him way off course and made him accidentally boost his thrusters to full. He blasted past the pilots, and careened towards to Windows platform.

Just then, an op arrived! At last! The huge carrier known as the S.S. Notre Dame entered SPACESTATION #MA's *eerie echo. area, to deliver Gargoyle0 to the station! The S.S. Notre Dame loaded its torpedo bays with Drum'n'Bass tunes, and pummeled every platform. The heavy bass shockwaves blasted everything clean off the platforms, except that which was unlucky enough to be slammed against the station walls. One of these was flatbris, who got plastered on the dinner hall window.

BardCat was down to his last paper airplane, and decided to be nice and give it back to AcidDose, who would at least want SOME of his code back. All that was left to do now was clean up, and the job was the responsibility of...

Another portal to Etherspace opened, revealing grl in her ship, the S.S. 32MB.

The first thing she said was, "Oh no, I take my dogs out for two hours, and just LOOK WHAT THESE PEOPLE DO!"
Gargoyle took his station at "Ops" and began cleaning up the floating debris and kicked any remaining MIDI Snatchers. The S.S. Notre Dame patrolled for a while. Everyone landed their ships, and met at the bar for a drink to celebrate their victory. All at once, somehow, all of them turned around at the same time and saw the window...
With splatbris still painted on it.

"Oh my gosh!" Christofori yelled, "They killed kenbris! You bastards!" He shook his fist at the departed MIDI Snatchers.
okaybris was alright though, as he always is. Some say he is related to Kenny. At least they do now.

SLAM, meanwhile, had grabbed one of the Drum'n'Bass tunes that hadn't exploded on impact. He thought it was probably a dud, until he played it at the bar. It was MOD CD 2, Track 14. Petr Mikovec - Spacejunk, an excellent tune to wind down with. It didn't cheer AcidDose up any, but it at least relaxed him, as he started all over again, rewriting his AcidTracker from the last remaining page that BardCat had saved, the first first page of code.

And, as we depart and leave our heroes and friends to celebrate, we see the station, shining in all its glory, the starlight reflecting off vodka glasses, and...yes...there's grl scraping crudbris off the window with a squeegee. And thus ends this adventure at...

SPACESTATION #MA! *eerie echo.

The End!
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