Latest Update: 29 November 2012
At the request of several readers, I have compiled the following key to the various references, in-jokes and obscure comments in Drunkard's Walk II. I'm not promising it's comprehensive; I may have missed something here and there. If you think you've spotted something that I left out, or think something needs explanation, feel free to email me about it!
The format for this listing is simple. Entries are grouped by
the chapter they appear in, in order of their appearance in the
story. Each entry will start with the appropriate text from the
story in italics, followed by a gloss, explanation, or, in
some cases, a chatty little commentary by yours truly. Where
applicable, web links are provided for those interested in more
Note also that I have not included entries for many of the songs that
Doug that employs in DW2. This is for the simple reason that
appropriate citations are already included at the end of every chapter, and
there are a lot of them — this document would be half song
listings if I did that.
Table of Contents
- Chapter One
- Chapter Two
- Chapter Three
- Chapter Four
- Chapter Five
- Chapter Six
- Chapter Seven
- Chapter Eight
- Chapter Nine
- Chapter Ten
- Chapter Eleven
- Chapter Twelve
- Chapter Thirteen
- Chapter Fourteen
- Chapter Fifteen and Epilogues
Drunkard's Walk II
The prologue was originally written for Drunkard's Walk I, but after I put that project on hold, I recycled it for use in DW2.
As for the series title itself... "drunkard's walk" is a mathematicians' term for a two-dimensional random search. The name comes from the colorful image of a drunk standing in the dark between two lamp posts. The drunk wants to get to a lamppost — he doesn't care which — but he's so intoxicated that he can't control which direction he's stepping in; all he can control is that he is walking toward a light. Every step he takes is a 50/50 split between going one way and the other. Eventually he will reach a light, but how long it'll take him is the big question. Any similar random search — like that Doug is doing for his homeworld — is called a "drunkard's walk".
And yes, one of the other reasons I chose it was that it did have echoes of "Twisted Path", by Darren "Twister" Steffler. For you youngsters out there, "Twisted Path" was an early but very influential "wandering through various anime universes" fic from the middle 1990s, and inspired or directly spawned a number of other similar fics like "Legion's Quest," "A Wolf In Crisis" and, well, this one.
Here We Are in MegaTokyo, With All The Clams We Can Eat
Lifted from the cartoon "Ali Baba Bunny" (Chuck Jones, 1957). Upon emerging in the treasure cave of Ali Baba, Bugs exclaims, "Here we are, Pismo Beach, and all the clams we can eat!"
Yeah, I misquoted. Sue me.
Lisa Vanette returned the hug
Lisa is of course the central non-Saber character in "Scoop Chase," the eighth episode of the original Bubblegum Crisis OVA series.
(Other than this, I'll generally be noting only the most obscure BGC references.)
"Freshman, '32-'33, Sophomore, '33-'34, Junior, '34-'35,
The only major continuity error I think I've committed in DW2 is pointed out right here. In "Scoop Chase," set in 2033, Lisa is not a college freshman, but a high school senior. I set the entire fic a year too early. So far, no one has seemed to notice, or if they have, they have not mentioned it to me...
Why don't I fix it? Because it's a helluva big job. As you're no doubt aware, the day of the week any particular date falls on rotates from year to year. I'd have to go in and change all the dates and the days they fall on to make sure I don't have someone unintentionally working on a weekend and the like. Furthermore, all the phases of the moon given in the story, and the times of sun/moon rise and set would change as well. I just don't want to get into that. Sorry...
At that moment, over a mile away, in a garbage-strewn alleyway
near the base of the Tokyo Tower...
Doug arrives near the base of the Tokyo Tower for a very good reason. According to advice given in a guide to visiting anime universes available on the Web, "Try to stay away from Tokyo Tower. It appears to mark an inter-universal nexus."
Atop Ladys633, Sylia Stingray found herself leaping from her
armchair to stand staring tensely out of the great glass windows
of her penthouse home.
DW2 was originally plotted to take place in the same BGC timeline as Twisted Path 3, and Legion's Quest: Tangled Skeins and subsequent (incomplete) stories. But I couldn't get permission from Twister or Ed Becerra before the story insisted on being written. This particular sentence is a leftover reference to a hint in Twisted Path 3 that Sylia might possess psionic potential.
At AD Police headquarters, an officer named Bochinski
Likewise a Twisted Path reference. Bochinski and Wadderson both had a few appearances in my original storyline.
I arrived in Velgarth dead to the world, too.
Drunkard's Walk I is set in the world of Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar. Out of respect to her requests vis-a-vis fanfiction that I put DW1 on permanent hold during the late 1990s and 2000s. While there were certain conditions under which Valdemar fanfiction was allowable during that period, the terms were too onerous and restrictive for my tastes, and thus I chose not to complete or release DW1. As of late 2009/early 2010, though, Ms. Lackey lifted all restrictions on fanfiction in her worlds (save for requiring a Creative Commons license) and as a result DW1 may yet be written.
It's not like I have a real secret identity at home, but not
being immediately identifiable as a Warrior does have its
Doug's home timeline is known as "Warriors' World," for the superteam of which he is a member. Warriors' World is also, as readers of other pages on this site know, the name of the V&V campaign which inspired my 1991 book from Steve Jackson Games, GURPS International Super Teams. Although quite divergent from the original V&V campaign, that book (which while out of print in its dead trees edition is still available from SJ Games in PDF format) does deliver a lot of the flavor of Doug's home world. See also my IST World page or the IST section of the Drunkard's Walk FAQ file.
For those interested, the team of which Doug is a member is an incorporated business known as "Warriors International" which is contracted by the United Nations to handle metahuman security matters. Known informally as simply "the Warriors", the team/company has its headquarters and primary team ("Warriors Alpha") in London, England. A second team ("Warriors Beta") was established in Tokyo in the middle 1980s, but as of 1999 had been defunct for several years, its members mostly reassigned to the primary team. A Sinai team ("Warriors Delta") was emplaced circa 1987. (And promptly forgotten — for all we know, they're still out there, quietly doing their jobs. <grin>) There was even a Warriors Gamma for a brief while, but aside from a few scribbled notes in the master campaign binder, no one remembers much about it.
"The Warriors", "Warriors' World", "Warriors International", "Warriors Alpha", "Warriors Beta", "Warriors Delta" and "Warriors Gamma" are all jointly-held trademarks of The Warriors Group.
Addendum, 27 February 2002. I recently realized that I missed out on some really good opportunities for humor and confusion in the fic, particularly in later chapters — which would all have stemmed from the fact that "Warriors", when translated into Japanese, becomes Senshi...
Despite the bionics, they were just twelve crunchies.
"Crunchy" is from GURPS Supers; it's a derogatory term used by metahumans to refer to normal humans, coined from the sound they make when you hit them too hard.
First rule of the crisis situation -- don't move too soon.
From the movie Twins. I've forgotten what the Second Rule was, but the Third was simply, "Duck."
Addendum, 23 September 2003. It would appear I got my numbering of the rules wrong, but I can't confirm that yet. I have recently found references that indicate that "don't move too soon" is in fact the Second Rule. More on this as it develops.
Addendum: 31 January 2005. I have finally confirmed that I did indeed get the numbering wrong. Rule One of the Crisis Situation is "If you're going to bluff, be prepared to have your bluff called." Rule Two is "Don't move too soon." And Rule Three, as noted above, is "Duck!"
using a voice I'd cribbed from the Jerky Boys.
This particular character is called "Sol," I'm told, and he sounds like a rather timid middle-aged Jewish man from New York.
Addendum: 1 October 2008. To my surprise, I have only now realized that eleven years later this has become an obscure reference and needs explaining. The Jerky Boys were a pair of alleged comedians, whose schtick was making and recording prank phone calls using a variety of character voices. For a while in the late 1990s they and their recordings were very popular, to the point of being almost unavoidable. Obviously, their 15 minutes expired a long time ago.
I made sure my tuneplug was firmly inserted in my ear.
Since it never appears again in the story, I suppose it behooves me to explain what Doug's tuneplug is. As anyone who's gotten far enough into the story knows, Doug's metatalent is a broken magegift which uses songs he listens to as a cue to create magical effects. The metatalent gets "confused" and does nothing if two or more pieces of music play at the same time. So when Doug wants to keep his metatalent "shut off" without wearing his helmet, he wears an electronic earplug which constantly plays an innocuous little piece of synthesized music at just above subliminal level. (It is powered by a thermocouple and his own body heat, and thus needs no batteries.) That way, if he unexpectedly hears a song while "in mufti", his metatalent won't automatically try to turn it into a power.
"Sounds like Germany and university life are good for
Mackie studying in Germany, Priss' brush with idol singing, and a few other events from Bubblegum Crash! are treated as canon in DW2 — but don't press me on anything that's not explicitly stated in the fic. <grin>
It was a damn sight better than a coffin hotel
If you haven't seen one of these, you're probably better off. In perfect tune with the perennial Japanese problem of too little space and too many people, the coffin hotel was created to house as many guests as possible in as little volume as possible. To this end, each "room" is actually a glorified bunk — completely private and lockable, with many amenities, but literally not much larger than a coffin. In a coffin hotel, twenty or so people can be housed in the space that would be used for a single room in a more conventional hotel.
and their scientific progress was considerably retarded compared to
where we were.
Some readers have pointed out that there appears to be an inconsistency in the way the BGC tech level is described relative to that of Warriors' World. This sentence is cited as evidence that WW is apparently more advanced than BGC, while later chapters say differently. Such comments are both correct and incorrect. Firstly, the phrasing above is misleading, and I should probably change it. Basically, Doug is saying, "Gee, it's a world 40 years in the future from mine, but they're only at the same level of technology as my homeworld, on the average." This isn't the same as saying, "Gee, they're primitive" — it's "Gee, I thought they'd be far more advanced by now."
Also note that at this time Doug is not doing an extensive survey of tech and science — he's reading the local papers and a copy of the World Almanac here, after all! And that just out of idle curiosity, during what he thinks is going to be a 24-hour stopover at the most. One of Doug's handicaps throughout the story is that what the viewer of the series knows as fact about boomers and other advanced tech is almost never public information; Doug only slowly discovers that his initial impressions are erroneous in several key areas.
It doesn't help either that Doug doesn't always do his research when he should. (See the story of how Doug joined the Warriors below.)
The Metahuman Explosion of 1929 never happened here.
I've been asked if the origin of superpowers in Warriors' World is the same as that given in GURPS International Super Teams, to which I can only answer, "Um, kinda." The Seeders exist, just as in IST, but in a radically different form. Instead of a meddling Precursor race, they're a symbiotic sentient virus which "uplifts" dead-end species. They are believed to have been involved with humanity's birth, but the details are not known. Beyond that, the question is unsettled. No firm knowledge exists in-game or out about the origins of superpowers in Warriors' World. My attempt to answer the question never became game canon, and instead became the IST World.
I still go into alternating fits of rage and shivering over
the plots of Gideon Manley.
Gideon Manley, AKA Arcanum, was the industrialist/real estate tycoon/sorcerer master villain in Warriors' World for most of the 1980s and early 90s. He didn't want to rule the world so much as own it, and wasn't too ethical about how he went about it. Eventually he and his organization left Earth to colonize a virgin planet after he determined that it was more cost-effective than trying to take over his homeworld. Or so the Warriors gathered from what little evidence remained afterwards.
Gideon Manley/Arcanum is a trademark of and copyright by John L. Freiler and Helen Imre.
"I'm Douglas Sangnoir. My friends call me Doug."
When I created Doug back in 1986, I drew upon my knowledge of French to create (so I thought) his last name, which means "black blood" in French. I had selected the name for reasons that were rapidly left by the wayside when Doug's character and personality grew in directions I hadn't been expecting.
Update, 1 December 2003. For many years I thought Doug's name was unique to me, but recently, Google searches on "sangnoir" have begun to turn up a large number of hits on French-language pages. Some of these simply have the word in their titles, and beyond that I'm not sure of their contents. Some of the hits are clearly handles for gothy French-speaking bloggers. But there are others which imply that "Sangnoir" is in fact a real French surname, much to my surprise! Even more surprising, some months ago I also found a set of links to a set of pages which led me to believe that there is or was a French battleship called the "Sangnoir". Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark those pages, and I was never able to find the links again. Needless to say, I was ignorant of its existence when I created Doug. In fact, I thought I was creating the name out of wholecloth!
All This, And Robot Stew
From the title of the Warner Brothers cartoon, "All This, And Rabbit Stew" (1941, directed by Tex Avery). Why, yes, I'm planning to get a lot of mileage out of the rabbit-robot puns. Why do you ask?
"Daniel Ohara, IDEC," he said
Not "O'Hara", the Irish surname, but "Ohara", a Japanese one. A tip of the hat to a cop show starring Pat Morita a long time ago.
"'You know my methods'," she deadpanned.
Sherlock Holmes, of course.
The thin wedge of waxing moon shining through the great
All the descriptions of the phase of the moon throughout the story are astronomically accurate, as are things like time of sunrise and sunset, where they appear. Wish I could be as confident about the weather I describe... <grin>
On a whim, Lisa took out a particularly ornate tunic made of
some type of supple, soft leather, bleached perfectly
No, he's not a Herald. At least, not a "real" one. As a Companion puts it early in what little of DW1 is written, "Something else has already Chosen him." It was more an honorary recognition of his status and position at home, and to save him from having to repeatedly beat up obnoxious Blues at the Collegium. It also gave him something nice to wear at formal occasions.
...a strange patch on the right breast of the jacket. It
was about 5 inches tall and shaped like a shield, except that the
top edge was scalloped by two shallow bites that left the upper
corners and the center slightly pointed. All but filling the
shield were a pair of stylized Romanji letters in black: "LT".
The "Looney Toons" emblem was loosely inspired by the Warner Brothers "W-B" shield that appeared at the beginning of almost every Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 1940s onward.
"Oh! Well, I think you'd really like Diana..."
For those familiar with the IST World, "Diana" is the prototype for Argurous Astraph.
"Face it, Priss," said L Kowalski, the drummer. His first
name was Leon
All the members of the Replicants bear names or nicknames taken from characters in the movie Bladerunner, to continue the theme established by Priss' and the band's own names. My thanks to Jurai-Knight for suggesting this while I was writing chapter two.
She coulda gone solo t'ree years ago! Dat agent dumped us and
almost made her an idol singer!
From Bubblegum Crash!.
In fact, the only indication (besides the tools) that there
had even *been* a previous renter at all was something rather
sweet and romantic -- a heart with "NA + JBG" inside it, carved
into one corner of the workbench.
For those of you who missed this detail, yeah, he's building his cycle in the birthplace of the Cybermonster Griffin. "NA" = "Naomi Anderson" and "JBG" = "J.B. Gibson".
Addendum, 23 September 2003. Trivia point for BGC fans: I've recently heard from semi-canonical sources that the "J.B." stands for "James Brady", another then-topical reference.
Vanette, Elisabeth Michelle, aka 'Lisa'.
Not an unreasonable extrapolation for her name, although not entirely necessary except to show the level of detail in Sylia's dossier on her. Somewhat influenced by the name(s) of Michael Douglas' girlfriend in Basic Instinct.
Morita Federal Housing Complex, Ota ward.
Named for Pat Morita, for no particular reason except I've always liked his work.
"I'm afraid, Lisa Vanette," Sylia said, gazing down at the
pistol in her hand, "that you leave me no choice..."
"...but to recruit you into the organization."
A stock tension-builder, but intentionally echoing A Christmas Carol: "You leave me no choice, Cratchett... but to raise your salary."
Nene stood and stared. "What did I say?"
Intentional echo of Bugs Bunny's "What I say? What I say?" after the "Inga-binga-bunga" exchange with a jungle-dwelling character. Unfortunately, I don't remember the title of the particular cartoon this is from.
Update, 23 August 2001. I finally managed to track this one down — no mean feat, given that it has been effectively banned thanks to the forces of political correctness. The cartoon was Bushy Hare and it was made in 1950.
Update, 14 August 2012. In the decade since that last note, YouTube has come along and provided a home for previously hard-to-find video — like Bushy Hare.
A moment later, that famous piano intro began, the brief keyboard
riff that's kept Eddie Wilson and the Cruisers a household name
despite the thirty-six years since his death. It wasn't the
single version, though, but a rare bootleg from their 1961
performance at Fairleigh Dickinson. I've always felt it was far
superior to the better-known album cut.
Reference to the book and the movie Eddie and the Cruisers. Also one of the first hints that, besides the existence of metahumans, there are some significant differences between the history of Doug's world and ours...
Oh, and for those who don't know, Fairleigh Dickinson is a good-sized university in New Jersey. It figures in the movie as the site of a concert where Eddie deliberately snubs "Wordman", who is an alumnus, by at first refusing to acknowledge him when he introduces the other members of the Cruisers, and then, when called on it, calls him "Toby Tyler". This is of course the concert from which Doug's bootleg cut comes.
Robot Season! Doc Season! Robot Season! Doc Season!
"Rabbit Season!" "Duck Season!" "Rabbit Season!" "Duck Season!" But you knew that already, didn't you? From "Rabbit Fire" (1951).
Among other things, Ganbare Electronics made radios.
This is a bit of an in-joke for the various players from Warriors' World. Back in the late 1980s, we attempted to start up a small company to publish a Warriors comic book. Not much ever came of it, although we did get as far as pencils of the first issue (now long since missing, unfortunately). The name of the company we formed was "Ganbare Comics", suggested by an artist from Long Island whom we got to know as part of that project.
The local state-of-the-rat isn't bad
Intentional mangling of the phrase, to go with the earlier "dilberting".
Leon chuckled. "Didn't I ever tell you? My cousin Barry is a
franchisee for that chain and owns all its MegaTokyo
"Cousin Barry" is a tip of the hat to fellow fanfic author Barry Cadwgan.
"Up first, the classic American live action version of the
Sailor Moon story from 2000! Starring Kirsten Dunst, Ariana
Richards, Lacey Chabert and Geena Davis as Queen
This isn't as imaginary a film as it appears at first glance. While the project is thoroughly dead and has been for years, in 1997 Geena Davis was in negotiations with Disney about a live action Sailor Moon movie in which she was to play Queen Beryl. (I then discovered that rumor circa 1997 also assigned the role of Serena/Usagi to actress Melissa Joan Hart, then in her mid-teens. But this was never official.)
Update, August 28, 2003. As it turns out, another proposed live action Sailor Moon project actually made it as far as film. This was in the early 1990s, before North American syndication began — several companies were competing for the right to license SM, and one decided to show what it could do by making a short "example" film mixing live action girls and animated senshi forms.
It inhaled greatly. So much so that it has become the stuff of legend. The demo clip was shown once at a convention, and was videotaped off the screen by a particularly quick-witted con-goer; a digital copy (of rather limited quality) has since made its way onto the Net here — go to the entry labeled "The Saban Nightmare". WARNING! This film is so bad it causes sanity damage. Awful, cheesy music. 1980s Filmation-style "animation." The obligatory "rainbow" cast, including one senshi in a wheelchair. Flying sailboards, for god's sake! Download it at your own risk. I watched it once and then deleted it in disgust, despite the fact that it is a genuine rarity.
You Have Been Warned.
Further Update, 27 October 2003. A half-hour live-action version of Sailor Moon has recently premiered in Japan as of this date. Semi-parody fansubs of the first two episodes (as well as a seriously-subtitled "making of" special) are available via various BitTorrent sites on the Web. I've downloaded and watched them. My opinion? Well, first off, I've never seen a live action Japanese show that wasn't cheesy, except for a few dramas. There are some unconscionable changes from the SM canon. (Luna as an animated plush toy? Gah.) Jadeite looks poofy as all hell. But some of the effects are rather good (then again, some of them — most notably the transformation sequences, which you would think would be critical to the success of the show — suck bigtime). The actress doing Beryl doesn't seem too bad, and the girls themselves are cute eye-candy. Dunno if I can get used to a Naru who looks like a teen model instead of she of the red-frizz hair — but I can certainly see Nephrite falling for her. If they even go that route — no guarantee there, as there are major plot changes, just in the first two shows.
Even Further Update, 1 December 2003. I've seen 8 episodes of the TV show now, with serious (non-parody) fansubs, and I have less of a problem with the plot — it's clearly following the manga storyline rather than the anime, although again many things have been updated from the 1990s to reflect the 2000s. The performances have settled down and are starting to get genuinely good, mostly. Almost all the youma appear to come from Ultraman Central Casting though — J. Random Rubber Monsters save for the first, which was an interesting CGI critter. And the fight scenes... well, the less said about them, the better. Still, not a bad way to spend half an hour, especially since it costs nothing but the time needed to download it.
Her voice was something like a cross between Pat Benatar and
Judith Clairaide from Gossamer Axe.
"Gossamer Axe" is the all-women heavy metal rock band from the novel of the same name by Gael Baudino. "Judith Clairaide" joins the band as lead singer at the end of the book. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes rock and roll and Celtic-flavored fantasy. You can find a synopsis of the plot at my bookstore.
Adrenaline flowed, and I combat-hyped.
I've been asked what the "combat-hype business" is all about. Well, one of the things I was trying to do in the narrative was carry over as much of the sense and feel of the original V&V game and its mechanics as I could. This is one instance of that. As players of most roleplaying games will tell you, there are usually two kinds of time — "regular time," in which you do most of your talking, negotiating, hanging about and whatnot, and "combat time", during which you are usually fighting for your life. In V&V, characters with high initiative rolls (usually as a result of heightened Agility levels), often move, act, think and react several times faster than the normals around them. But outside of combat, they still interact with others at the usual rate of time. In Doug's case, I decided it was a kind of adrenal overdrive such as has actually been reported a few times in the real world.
"Thirty days!" I switched to English and began to count on my
fingers, "<Hath September, April, June and Montana!>" ...
"<All the rest have cold weather, except in the summer, which
Dialogue uttered by a very early version of Bugs Bunny — at that point not yet named — in the Warners cartoon Hare-Um Scare-Um, which was released in 1939. The "I'm going cuckoo" song used later in the scene also came from this c artoon.
I was starting to move again when the bot picked up a table and
threw it at me; I somersaulted over it, hooting and laughing like
More properly, Doug's wildest combat behavior resembles not so much Daffy Duck as the earliest unnamed incarnations of Bugs — not yet a headliner in his own right, and still known at Termite Terrace as "Bugs's Bunny". (Ben "Bugs" Hardaway was one of the Warners animation staff at the time.) This version of the rabbit can be seen in the aforementioned "Hare-Um Scare-Um", and in "Porky's Hare Hunt", a black and white cartoon from 1937. In general he has the hyperkinetic "loony" aspect that later shifted entirely to Daffy, as well as a laugh that strongly resembles that of the later Woody Woodpecker.
It was at times like these that I envied Silverbolt her
metallic skin, Broot his stone fists, or Kat her many tiny
These are three other Warriors, from the various subcampaigns of Warriors' World. ("Silverbolt" is the codename of the previously-mentioned "Diana".) They are trademark and copyright Peggy U.V. Schroeck, Joseph Avins, and Kathleen Avins, respectively.
Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out, "many tiny can-openers" was the nickname by which the rest of the Warriors referred to the claws of Kat's feline forms — which could rip through armor as easily as flesh.
I spent a moment focusing my will and my awareness, and
banished the pain of my broken ribs to a cul-de-sac in a remote
suburb of my conscious mind.
A paraphrase of a line from the TV show Twin Peaks.
he was... juggling three glass bottles of ketchup?
Another case of me being blindsided by the relentless march of progress — I haven't seen ketchup sold in glass bottles — except for little widemouthed ones used by restaurants and hotels — for almost a decade now (in 2008), best as I can figure.
"Okay, tinman -- sing 'Daisy'."
A reference to the famous scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the AI computer HAL is gradually lobotomized by astronaut David Bowman. HAL's last remaining memory before he is reduced to a pocket calculator is of learning to sing "Daisy" (AKA "A Bicycle Built For Two"), his voice growing slower and less human as he struggles to get though the first few lines.
Oh, and "tinman" is of course from The Wizard of Oz.
It was probably a side-effect of the node under the city; I
suspected any traditional mages who tried to cast around here
would find their spells going wild until they could correct for
the extremely high mana.
This was going to be my reasoning behind Darlene's (never explained) difficulty with magic in the Twisted Path version of the BGC world, back when DW2 was still set in that timeline.
By this time, I'd gotten around to subscribing to the local
dataweave provider's basic service, so I had access to this
here-and-now's rather sparse version of the Tapestry
I owe this alternative descriptive metaphor for computer networks and the Internet itself to the "Shikaku-mon" setting of GURPS Alternate Earths.
I only steal from the best. <grin>
And there was no record of Tsung anywhere.
I've been asked who Tsung is/was. The answer is, nobody in the "real" world — Tsung is mentioned as an example of someone with a major impact in Warriors' World who simply didn't exist in other timelines, or lived in obscurity.
"Kill all you want; we'll make more."
At the time this chapter was written, Lays was using the slogan, "Eat all you want, we'll make more" for its potato chips.
I mean, every other battlesuit that I'd seen or read about
here had been a huge thing that reminded me of the old
walkertanks from the French-Indochina Conflict of the
Another indication that the history of Warriors' World didn't exactly follow the same channels as ours. A walkertank is a small version of what the BGC world calls a battlemover — bigger than a K12, smaller than the DD.
Be Vewy Quiet, I'm Hunting Wobots
Elmer Fudd, of course, from just about every cartoon he's been in.
Nene stood, raised her arms to the sky, and screamed out,
"Good god, what else could go right?" She sat down and grinned.
"It always seems to work the other way, so I figured, what the
The malevolent response of the universe to the phrase, "What else could go wrong?" is a cliche not just in fanfiction, but in general pop culture as well. I figured it was about time someone tried to run it in reverse.
I need a follow-up story on that twister or whatever it was
that touched down in the Fault Region yesterday
Only one prereader realized that this was Doug testing the power that Konya wa Hurricane gave him.
At his best and brightest the Rabbit had never sought
conflict, but never hesitated to visit revenge upon those who
The way Bugs Bunny reacted to the people around him of course varied with his directors and writers. However, during Chuck Jones' tenure — what is arguably the "golden age" of Bugs cartoons — there were certain rules enforced about his personal interactions. And the number one rule was that Bugs' primary goal in almost every situation was to be left undisturbed; he would only unleash his wrath on those who had provoked him and who deserved humiliation and embarrassment at his hands.
He could only wonder, though, at what had compelled Priss to
savage the cyberdroid so.
Leon's not stupid — he can't be and still survive somewhat more than a decade in the ADP while reaching the rank of Inspector. He already has his first suspicions within hours of meeting Priss. Further events in the OVAs would only reinforce them. And, eventually, confirm them — he did see her in armor but without her helmet, holding Sylvie as she died. It doesn't take much to expect that he'd figure out who the other three Sabers are over another year or two. (After all, besides her bandmates, Priss only hangs out regularly with three other women whose social, job and financial backgrounds all vary widely from her own... Leon can certainly put two and two — or more properly one and three — together here.) Neither does it take much to realize that he's not going to do anything "official" or personal with his knowledge.
For a moment I was mixing her up with Kerri Strug.
Whew. Time speeds by so quickly. This was practically a current events reference when I wrote it, but now it's sports history. Kerri Strug was an American gymnast who competed in the 1996 Olympics; her claim to fame is the gold medal-winning performance she gave with an injured ankle — one of the defining images of that year was tiny little Kerri being carried off the floor by her coach after she finally gave in to the pain of her injury and collapsed.
"The motorcycle! You've finished it?"
Thanks to Logan Darklighter, a poster on my discussion board, it has been been discovered that Doug's motorcycle actually exists! Check out the following links for information on a turbine-powered cycle that has everything except the autopilot and the electrochromic paint:
- Motorcycle City, the site for the company which makes the bike.
- Articles on and marketing fliers for the bike.
- Another article.
Update, 9 July 2001: More real-world turbine cycles! Jay Leno owns and reported on a custom-made turbine cycle in this article for Popular Mechanics. Read what it's like to drive like Priss from someone who's done it!
Now if only I could have gotten my hands on any Anson
"Anson" is a tribute to the late SF author Robert A. (for "Anson") Heinlein.
I couldn't help but think of ... the times that Hexe had
caught me up in her winds and carried me along with her.
Wetter Hexe ("The Weather Witch"), field commander of Warriors Alpha. Trademark and copyright Helen Imre.
"For shame, Doc! Shooting robots with an elephant gun!"
Again, a slight twist of a line from a cartoon — this time "Rabbit Fire" (1951). The preferred follow-up to this is, of course, "You do and I'll give you such a pinch!" delivered in a high-pitched, extremely-peeved voice reminiscent of Joe Besser, the early-twentieth century comedian who today is best known as Curly Joe, one of the original Curly's replacements in the Three Stooges.
"<Sutandu sutiilu, laadi!>"
"Stand still, laddie!" From the beginning of "The Happiest Time of Our Lives", a track from Pink Floyd's The Wall which is often played as an introduction to "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" on the radio stations I listen to. The track also prominently includes the sound of helicopter rotors — the source of Daley's conviction that FireBees were overhead.
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!
From the closing seconds of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2".
"... Let me just note that," and his voice grew strangely
pitched and accented, "some call me... Loon?"
"Some call me... Tim?" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If I had known how much confusion about Doug's codename this would cause in the ensuing years, I would never have used this gag. It got to the point where I had to finally give in and list "Loon" as one of his official codenames.
"<'Oy vey,'>" he finally said between snorts, "<'have
*you* got the wrong verevolf!'>"
While I got this bit from a kid's jokebook that I read many, many years ago, I have been informed by several readers that it is probably just a variation on a line from Roman Polanski's film The Fearless Vampire Hunters.
100% California natural, all organic.
"California Naturals", a company that produces a rather extensive (and tasty) line of organic nuts, fruits and trail mixes.
Not a smidge of cyber
"Not a speck of cereal" — the tagline from a 1960s-70s dog food commercial, and also found in Frank Zappa's song "Dirty Love".
In the distance, she thought
she could just make out the famous temple through the late summer
haze, and there seemed to be a glint of water near it; a lake,
perhaps, or maybe just a mirage from the heat.
The temple that Priss is straining to see is a real place, and the inspiration for the Masaki Temple in Tenchi Muyo!.
The immense screen
flickered and exploded into a shower of black and white "snow".
Another instance of the relentless march of progress outdating my writing. Blank TV screens now are almost always blue. It's rare to see genuine "snow" static on an untuned TV any more. I'm not too upset about this one, though, because I'm in good company — William Gibson's novel Neuromancer starts with the famous line "The sky was the color of a TV set tuned to an empty channel", which is supposed to mean it was grey and unsettled, but now means it was clear and blue. <grin>
Inexplicably, at the moment of impact each boomer was momentarily
outlined by nimbus of white light, and a glowing number briefly
appeared floating over its head, ruddy and robust and bright
enough to cast shadows: "500" over the first boomer, "100" over
the second. ... White light suffused the boomer's body, and over
its head the English word "<TILT!>" flared into life.
The pinball game gag — punctuated by the "TILT!" at the end — is in so many Warner Brothers cartoons that I can't even begin to remember them all...
"How do you think he does it?"
"I don't know."
From where he sat, Daley grinned and added sotto voce, "What makes him so good?"
Daley knows his classic rock; this three-part exchange echoes the bridge of "Pinball Wizard" by the Who — which is, of course, the song Doug is using in the recording.
Although this line is used in a lot of places — one of the more notable recent instances is The Big O — I was thinking specifically of the climax of Beetlejuice when I wrote this.
Kill the Wobot, Kill the Wobot!
"Kill the rabbit, kill the rabbit!" from the cartoon "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones).
For those who have wondered, this is Doug negotiating the stairs by leaping down a flight from one landing to the next, taking two steps to turn around and end up at the top of the next flight, and repeating the process.
five Bu-65C boomers in a bottleneck
The latest release in the highly successful "C" series of boomers, the Bu-65C came on the market in early 2036 and incorporated several design improvements "inspired" by the work of Miriam Yoshida and other "independent contractors". Advantages over the earlier 55C include increased armor resilience, longer flight capacity, and more human-like behavior in covert mode. Fusion capability is still an option, but by default the 65C is not fusion-capable. Standard armaments remain the same as the 55C, although the 65C also possesses several pre-wired "hardpoints" where extra weaponry can be mounted without requiring either fusion or re-engineering; the boomer must be in active (non-covert) mode to use hardpoints, though.
"<A modern day warrior,
ean mean stride;
Today's Tom Sawyer,
Mean mean pride.>"
(and subsequent lines)
From the song "Tom Sawyer", by Rush.
"<Time, time, time,
See what's become of me...>"
From the song "Hazy Shade of Winter," by Simon and Garfunkel, although here Doug is using the Bangles' version from the movie Less Than Zero.
Then he turned and *skated* towards Linna.
As Bugs Bunny does (using axle grease) in "Rabbit Punch" (1947).
Atop a different warehouse, a masculine figure materialized in a
column of sparkling blue light.
Yes, this is Legion and Minerva, from Ed Becerra's "Legion's Quest" series. Yes, they're talking like they know Doug. They do — coming soon to a webpage, mailing list or newsgroup near you: Walking Into The Storm, (working title) by Ed Becerra and Robert M. Schroeck. Legion and Looney Toons, together again for the very first time! With special guest stars, too...
that damned staff of Valanna's
Valanna is the far-future elven form of Twister's female persona, Darlene Stefanson. See Twisted Path 3 and Legion's Quest: Tangled Skeins for more information on her and this staff...
Some people call me the Space Cowboy,
Some call me the Gangster of Love.
Some people call me Maurice.
The first three lines of the Steve Miller Band's song "The Joker".
I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic and my bills are all paid.
On weekends to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami.
Quotes from The Brag of the College Applicant. Check it out some time if you think you've accomplished a lot in your life.
Find out about its author here.
I'm a high night flyer and a rainbow rider, and a
straight shootin' son of a gun
From "Joy to the World", recorded by Three Dog Night, written by Hoyt Axton, Copyright © 1970 by Lady Jane Music (BMI).
I hover and I hold; I stalk through the city on little rat feet.
This is a quote from the monologue which opens a song called "Lay Back and Be Cool", which was performed on the TV show "Fame!" some time in the early 1980s. It was also available on an album by "The Kids From Fame!". The music and lyrics were both written by Enid Levine but I can't provide copyright info. I do know the vocalist was dancer Gene Anthony Ray, who played "Leroy".
"Little rat feet" is itself a reference to Carl Sandburg's 1918 poem "Fog", which starts, "The fog comes on little cat feet."
Some versions of the lyrics present the first line as "I hover and I haunt", others as "I hover and I hone"; I prefer (obviously) the version presented here.
Shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang! I am the Warrior!
Lyrics from "The Warrior", recorded by Scandal featuring Patty Smythe, written by Holly Knight and Nick Gilder, copyright © 1984 by Red Admiral Music, Inc. (BMI) and Makiki Publishing Co. Ltd. (ASCAP)/Arista Music, Inc.
his number-one research assistant, Davis Kristoff.
"Davis Kristoff" is a cameo by and a tip of the hat to fellow author Chris Davies.
during the tenure of the last Chief -- the self-serving bureaucrat
who had replaced Todo, and who had been ousted after the Illegal Army
Another reference to Bubblegum Crash!. This unnamed police chief bore a strange resemblance to former American President George H.W. Bush.
Aw, Poor Puttytat! He Faw Down And Go *BOOM*!
From a very early Sylvester and Tweety-Bird cartoon; unfortunately, I don't know exactly which one.
"...combat sexaroid? Oh, come on..."
A tip of the hat to the Dark Kingdom Renegades' visit to MegaTokyo in the Sailor Moon Expanded multiverse. When the renegade youma Azurite (in her guise as the leather-fuku-clad Sailor Arcturus) dismembers a 55C with her bare hands, it causes Daley and Leon a great deal of consternation; the only explanation for her that they can come up with is something they think is incredibly unlikely — a combat sexaroid.
"...he's a chicken, I tell you, a giant chicken!"
The usual unheeded announcement from every "Chicken Boo" segment on Animaniacs. In the cartoon, the fellow who makes this declaration is always ignored. Of course, Doug isn't a giant chicken, so Vong is completely wrong. No, really. I mean it.
Revenge for "Japanimation".
"I think that if you threw GENOM into a room with the truth,
you'd risk a matter-antimatter explosion."
Originally said of Microsoft by Nicholas Petreley in the September 16, 1996 issue of Infoworld.
between the two custom one-hand keyboards that were
her primary interface to her system -- the boxy keypad to the
left and the smoothly rounded semicircular one to the right
This setup can be seen in the music video "Asu E Touchdown" from "Hurricane Live! 2032." This video features animation not found in the original OAVs, showing Sylia recruiting the other three Sabers. Based on this video, it's safe to say that Nene is probably ambidextrous, as she uses these two completely different keyboards simultaneously during her segment.
Frowning, she pushed her rarely-worn glasses back up from where
they had slid down to the tip of her nose.
Similarly, the "Asu E Touchdown" video shows Nene wearing glasses. Presumably she uses contacts by the start of the OAVs, which is the assumption I'm making for the sake of characterization. (Although Sylia could always have sprung for laser vision correction in the interests of improving Nene's field performance.)
...at a painting hung in the corner of her apartment that served
as a studio. It depicted the four Sabers in stereotyped sentai
poses looming over the smaller figure of a man, who stood covering
his eyes in embarassment.
The mental image I created of this painting owes much to one that, while quite different, has much of the same feel. It can be found here, as part of Bert van Vliet's Bubblegum Zone pages.
*Back when I was still working with Jeena,* he thought
See the A.D. Police Files manga and/or anime for more about Jeena Malso and Leon's early years in law enforcement.
"<Did you know I am a pioneer?
I'm out on a secret mission,
I travel the galaxy and far beyond...>"
Yes, this is the theme song to the second batch of Tenchi Muyo! OVAs.
Then I said, "Going down!" and took off after it.
The elevator gags are almost as common in Warner Brothers cartoons as the pinball gags. See the YouTube link for Hare-um Scare-um above for one of the earliest examples.
Back in 1987, long before he had to leave the team on medical
disability, Shockwave had used a similar trick...
Shockwave was the "Superman" of Warriors' World, a former astronaut possessing multi-Mach and FTL flight, vibratory powers, incredible speed and the like. The only drawback was that he was aging at three or more times the usual rate; he left the Warriors in the late 1980s when his subjective physical age passed 50.
Shockwave and all representations thereof are copyrighted by and trademarks of Jeffrey Ventimilia.
...to contain the concussion wave from an FAE...
Because I've been asked more than once, an "FAE" is a fuel-air explosive — a bomb that works by spraying a fine mist of a flammable liquid into the air and then igniting it. The result is a frickin' huge explosion — I've heard them called "the poor man's nuke". Since I wrote this, the military establishment has apparently given them a new designation and acronym, but I don't know what it is yet.
"Happy thoughts and pixie dust."
The flight recipe from Peter Pan, of course.
"<'No can do, Mrs. C.,'>"
A portmanteau reference. The line comes from both the TV show Happy Days, where it is uttered by the Fonz, and from the 1974 American Christmas TV special The Year Without A Santa Claus, where it is Snowmiser who says it.
"Oh, and Pink Lady?" I called down. "Say hi to Jeff for me."
The reference which Nene fails to get here is to an American TV show from 1980. "Pink Lady" was a pair of pretty Japanese girls who had had a certain amount of success with their J-Pop sound and even charted a minor hit in the US. An NBC executive heard of them, and decided they'd be the perfect stars for a new variety show, and immediately signed them. It never occurred to him to find out if they spoke English.
While the two girls were being force-fed a crash course in English, the network quickly revamped the show to include Jeff Altman, a stand-up comedian who would act as their co-host, guide and translator. When the show finally reached the air, the team-up came across as horribly lame — the girls' English was stilted and heavily accented, and they appeared to be vapid airheads; just as bad, Jeff simply wasn't very funny. The show — called variously "Pink Lady" or "Pink Lady and Jeff" — bombed and was off the air in a month (March to April 1980).
Further update: According to one website I just stumbled on, the network exec was the legendary Fred Silverman, and it is claimed that he allegedly thought that the girls' lack of English skills would make a good gimmick. (Wha...?) And the producers of the series were infamous kidvid production team Sid and Marty Krofft (better known for H.R. Puf'n'stuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and god knows what other LSD-inspired trips from the bowels of Saturday morning TV in the 1970s...)
For those who really want to know more about the show, just go to Google and search on "'Pink Lady' Mie Kei". As of late March 2008, it returned almost 900 sites — including Wikipedia articles and at least one page which tracks the girls' continuing show business careers.
Update, 23 September 2003. The then-new cable channel Trio broadcast reruns of "Pink Lady and Jeff" during the summer of 2003. They may yet do it again, if you want to dare to watch it. If you don't want to wait, some twisted soul has actually put the entire series on DVD.
"Sylia, part of this report is a complete list of over three
thousand songs stored and indexed in that system. Add that to
everything else this says is available online to him, and I have
no idea where or how he could be carrying that much storage, even
with the latest memory solids!"
Okay, go ahead. Laugh at me. Assuming that the version of MP4 used in Warriors' World encoded a typical-length song for ultra-high quality in about 5 megabytes, and also assuming there's about 2.5 gigs of text documents accompanying the music, and assuming a ruthlessly efficient database and indexing scheme, plus about a gig of overhead for the operating system, a good conservative estimate of the amount of data Doug's carrying in his helmet based on this scene would be about 20 gigabytes. Double that to give him room for expansion for an amazingly huge 40 gigabytes.
Like I said, laugh at me.
At the time I was wrote that passage, my best computer had a hundred-meg hard drive, portable music was still on tapes and disks, and no one had ever heard of flash memory. 40 gigs of storage was freaking huge. And I made the mistake of assuming it would stay huge for more than a couple of years. Silly me. I thought I was imagining an incredibly powerful personal computer; all I really did was predict the iPod, twenty-five years too late.
I have been kicked in the ass by the Relentless March of Science.
Oh, and why MP4? I've gotten emails asking why not Ogg Vorbis, WMA or half a dozen other encoding schemes. Simple answer: some of them hadn't been invented as of the time I wrote this passage, and I was ignorant of the rest. Fair enough?
Maxwell and his Demons
A band that performed at the monster rock concert in the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. The second-level reference here is obviously to Maxwell's Demon, a famous thought-experiment in physics.
Some readers may be aware that Brian Eno was once part of a band called "Maxwell Demon". As far as I know, there's no connection.
Billy and the Boingers
The same band under two different names, this ensemble comes from the old Bloom County comic strip and features Opus T. Penguin on heavy metal tuba and Bill the Cat on vocals and lead tongue. One paperback collection of strips published in the late 1980s had a floppy vinyl 45 bound into it, on which were two songs allegedly by the Boingers: "'Cause I'm A Boinger" and "U Stink But I ♥ U".
See my notes on this book above.
Sorry, a band name I made up because it sounded cool.
'I Want To Fly Like Silverbolt,' by the Kinks
Well, in a world with real superheroes, superhero comics didn't quite make it past the 1930s. DC's Superman is a forgotten, dusty relic of the Great Depression, much like "Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy". The odds in such a world that the Kinks would still write a song similar to "I Want To Fly Like Superman" are actually quite low, but if they did, it'd likely be about a "real" flying hero instead of a "fictional" one.
'Bamboo Man' by Howl The Eternal Yes
Another made-up song and band. I'm not sure where the title came from; it might have been the result of a collision in my subconscious between Genma Saotome and Van Halen's "Ice Cream Man". "Howl The Eternal Yes" is easier to explain. It's partly an echo, in a way, of Toad The Wet Sprocket, but the actual phrase itself is a quote from Lord Buckley:
It's like brother Nietzsche said — being human is a complicated gig, so give that dark night of the soul a hug and howl the eternal yes.
(And if you don't know who Lord Buckley is, you are truly missing out on something weird and wonderful.)
Update, 7 June 2002: My error. Much as it sounds like him, this is not a Lord Buckley quote. I have discovered that it is in fact from the television series Northern Exposure; it was part of one of the characteristic philosophical musings of DJ Chris Stevens (played by John Corbett).
Lord Buckley is still cool. Go read or listen to him anyway.
Along the way I learned how to learn, and how to teach.
Why, while explaining why she knows the history of the Beatles, does Priss mention that she learned how to teach? Well, like a few other things in the story, this is a fossil leftover from its earliest version. I wrote the original incarnation of this scene some time between 1996 and 1997, and Darlene Stefanson (Twister's female alter ego) was in the scene instead of Lisa — Lisa's role in the story hadn't even evolved at that point! The paragraph originally started with a reference to Priss having taught Twister how to sing, and this was simply an acknowledgment of that. I really should have removed it, but I missed it during the editing pass that removed Darlene and inserted Lisa.
If you're interested, I've put the original text of the passage here.
the whole Illegal Army disaster
See Bubblegum Crash!
"Adama," she whispered.
Also from Bubblegum Crash! Dr. Stingray built him with a completely different kind of AI technology than he created for boomers — all electronic rather than partially biological.
It was the choral part of the final movement from Beethoven's
Ninth, the "Ode to Joy", in English and funked up with a pop/rock
beat. I'd lifted it from the soundtrack of a movie some years
ago, just in case.
The movie was 1993's Sister Act II. If you're not familiar with it, they perform this piece at the end of the film.
Update, 3 July 2003. I recently discovered, when I finally found a copy of this recording, that the primary female lead vocalist on this was a very young Lauryn Hill. Just a little more trivia for those who care.
Update, 27 October 2003. Jeanne Hedge wrote me to point out a few things more here, which I already knew but didn't include here. <grin> Lauryn Hill was not just the lead singer on this track, but also the main teenaged character in the movie, Rita — the girl whose conflict with her mother over the role of music in her life drives a major subplot. Jeanne would also like me to point out that Jennifer Love Hewitt — then still in her teens — played the role of "Margaret". And just to trump Jeanne (<grin>), let me add that Maria (the one who sang the "Love Boat" theme) was played by Alanna Ubach, who has a lot of credits to her name but may be best known as "Josie", the first female sidekick on the very cool early-90s kids' science show, Beakman's World.
A gaijin woman with waist-length blonde hair, her lush curves
not at all hidden by the tight black Spandex bodysuit she wore.
This is a simulacrum of the Warrior known as "Kat". We will learn more of her in the next chapter.
"Kat" and any representations thereof are copyright by and a trademark of Kathleen Avins.
Didja Ever Get The Feeling You Wuz Bein' Watched?
From a couple of Bugs Bunny cartoons, most notably "Hare-Raising Hare" (1945; it featured a mad scientist based on Peter Lorre) and "Lighter Than Hare" (1955).
I wasn't used to hiding and secrets, not in the last almost
Doug was born in 1962 — the same year as Quincy, by the way, according to R. Talsorian Games' Bubblegum Crisis Role Playing Game. He was just past his 36th birthday when he was flung out of Warriors' World in their year 1998, making his subjective, experiential age somewhere around 39 at this point.
"<'Abigail? I'm very lonely, Abigail,'>" I murmured as the music
"<Wrong musical, Doug.>"
The musical in question is 1776; the line Doug is quoting is spoken by John Adams to the mental image of his wife at a particularly low point in his life.
So the mage turns to the thief and says, 'Okay, let's go
break the *king's* kneecaps!
This actually happened somewhere around 1987 in an AD&D1 campaign that I run.
I raised an eyebrow and asked her, "Do you trust me?"
An echo from Star Trek IV — the Trek movie with the whales.
<System, load song 'I'll Play For You.' Play song,>
"Tonight while the lights are shining
And the microphone is on
I'll play for you..."
Just in case you wanted to know... A song by Seals and Crofts, circa 1978.
"We Didn't Start The Fire"
I won't document every image in this song. Many of them are obvious. Some of them are cliche, even. For example, the "wild-eyed, black-haired man" is Senator Joseph McCarthy — during the 1980s and 1990s, it became standard practice in comic book "history" to have your 1950s-era superheroes persecuted by McCarthy. I don't think there's a published superhero world — at least, those worlds where supers existed during the 50s — without it now.
Anyway, if something needs explanation and I don't have it here, email me and I'll add it.
And if you'd like to hear the original, here's someone's fanvid made using appropriate photographs and images.
A coup in Argentina, led by a middle-aged man and a luminous woman
with the wings of an angel
A slightly different history for Eva Peron...
Budapest in ruins, inhabited by thin, scuttling figures.
Because of the involvement of metahumans in the 1956 "counter-revolution" and their potential both as weapons and as symbols, the Soviets were far more vigorous in their suppression; Budapest was almost razed to the ground. It would not recover entirely until the economic boom of the 1980s.
Soviet soldiers holding captive a manacled American
metahuman whose wings of energy droop and trail upon the ground
Gary Powers, who didn't need a U-2 spyplane in this timeline...
out of fear of the youth of America, Richard Nixon attempts to
cancel the 1972 elections and fails
According to my reading, Nixon did in fact go so far as to ask the well-known thinktank the Rand Corporation if he should do this in our "real" history. He got words to the effect of "Are you crazy? No!" as a response.
a man who looked like a vampire
This is Lord Chessandar, AKA "Lord Chess", about whom you will learn more in Drunkard's Walk XIII.
The Warriors, all in black,
escorting a horse-drawn carriage bearing a casket laden with
The funeral of Princess Diana.
Oh, and for years prior to the X-Men movie, almost all of the Warriors wore black as their sole or primary "uniform color". Doug is unusual among the Warriors in that he has three different colors of "duty uniform" — he owns otherwise identical black, brown and grey leather outfits and swaps between them based on the occasion and his mood. The grey leathers are his usual garb, though.
For instance, she asked
Hexe thorny questions about her claim to be an incarnated weather
goddess, and how that stood with various religious leaders.
Dwimanor got grilled over the uproar raised by the Southern
Baptists over the fact that he's a mage *and* Jewish.
The Warriors may be the world's premiere superteam, but that doesn't mean they are universally loved. Every faction and nation has their own fair-haired metachildren, spouting the preferred philosophy and politics, whom they'd rather see on the team than some foreigner/blasphemer/infidel/what have you. It's a good thing the Warriors are a private security force, contracted by the U.N. but not subject to its whims when it comes to internal decisions like hiring and membership.
And you knew
that if you could only stretch your metaphorical fingertips that
extra millimeter and touch it, you could do anything with it --
fly like a bird, punch out trucks, lift locomotives, jump over
buildings, run forever, travel through time... be a god?"
This sentence was partially inspired by a snippet of dialogue from an episode of Quantum Leap entitled "Hurricane":
Cissy: I just feel more alive.
Sam: Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Sam: Right wrongs, travel through time, grow ten feet tall and run forever.
The Laws of Sympathy and Contagion
For those who haven't paid much attention to magic either in fiction or the real world, these are in fact two of the rules by which it is supposed to work. Some writers make them out to be the entire foundation of magic, but that is far from the case. My identification of these "laws" with certain phenomena from quantum physics is, as far as I can tell, original to me.
Some physicists think ... the
whole universe is really made up of a single subatomic particle
bouncing back and forth through time, playing different roles on
each pass through.
This was indeed a serious theory that I first heard espoused back in the 1980s.
Some researchers have suggested that both effects are the result
of quantum mechanical entanglement.
QME is the phenomena whereby two particles that have no (current) connection in any detectable way react to influences as if they were in communication with each other. The best known example of quantum mechanical entanglement is the classic "two slit" experiment that demonstrates the dual wave/particle nature of light. When you leave it alone, or test for the wave nature of light, you get an interference pattern for waves; when you test for particles, you get a particle scatter pattern. The entanglement comes from testing for particles — why do all the other photons besides the ones you're detecting act like particles and not waves? Quantum mechanical entanglement. They all somehow "know" that particle-like behavior is needed and not wave-like behavior.
Under my fingertips, a rune-like tracing of light flashed golden.
I've been asked several times what this rune was, with the implication that the askers were expecting an astrological planet symbol a la the Sailor Senshi. Sorry to disappoint, but I never intended that. It is, in fact, a self-sustaining glyph of power — automatically created on the fly by Doug's subconscious "inner wizard" — that gives Lisa independent access to the MegaTokyo node (so she needn't remain within Doug's normal radius of effect, which is only 33 meters — 110 feet for the metrically impaired — or so), plus the skill and control needed to use it. It's basically an artificial, temporary mage gift, aspected to telekinesis by the song which Doug uses to create it. It is the glyph which responds to her inner desires and teaches her how to effect her pseudo-Senshi transformation.
Oh, and allow me to make this clear: Lisa is not a reincarnated warrior from the local version of the Silver Millenium — of which there was none. But she is Sailor Loon. There is no contradiction between these two statements.
Lisa stood there, legs planted firmly in a wide stance, her
right hand outspread and over her head. She was dressed in ... a
miniskirted sailor dress?
The resemblance of Lisa's outfit to Sailor Mercury's is purely coincidental — or was at the time I wrote. I just happened to pick blue for the primary color theme. (It's my favorite color. What can I say?) However, synchronicity strikes — I found out after this chapter had been released that Lisa and Sailor Mercury both had the same seiyuu (voice actress, for those who aren't up on their Japanese) — Hisakawa Aya (for those interested, her credits can be found here or here).
"Boomers were made to serve people, not
kill them! I hold no malice towards you poor machines, made mad
and set upon the streets, but I cannot let you continue on your
rampage. In the name of the Loon, I will punish you!"
Yeah, that's a little bit of Devil Hunter Yohko's usual speechifying mixed in there.
Update, 4 December 2002: As it turns out, Hisakawa Aya did her voice, too. More synchronicity — this was not intentional. Thanks to Rob Kelk for pointing this out!
And before anyone asks, Hisakawa Aya also did: Skuld (Oh! My Goddess), Annapuma (Dominion Tank Police), Becky Farrah (Gunsmith Cats), Miki Kaoru (Revolutionary Girl Utena), Amalla Suu (Love Hina) and a Fraggle in the Japanese dub of Fraggle Rock, among dozens of others. And if you think I'm going to figure out a way to cram references to all these into this story, you're sadly mistaken.
Oh, no, not that old 'Dark Side of the Force' crap!
One of my few complaints about the Star Wars movies — other than their blatant anti-intellectualism and elevation of fuzzy-minded mysticism over logic and rationality. Sometimes you need to get outraged and incensed at the evil in the world. And that doesn't make you evil.
Update, 24 September 2002: Science fiction author David Brin had much to say about this topic shortly after The Phantom Menace premiered, and I agree with virtually all of it. Check out this essay.
I finally had to go get my helmet and use a song to disintegrate
most of the damned thing.
"Dust In The Wind" by Kansas, in case you were wondering. You'll see this song used "on camera" in a later passage.
some deluded teen in a costume-shop special
At the time I was writing this chapter, I had picked up an imported tape on "cosplay". For those of you who don't know the term, it refers to an otaku/fan practice of dressing up as a favorite character. While the word is used in the United States, those more familiar with SF conventions than anime conventions would recognize this as the same thing as the masquerade and hall costumes. Anyway, my biggest surprise upon viewing this tape was discovering that there are shops in Tokyo that not only specialize in costuming materials, but which can even sell you costumes of popular anime and manga characters right off the rack. Hence Madigan's thought here.
Update, 1 October 2008: I suppose I should note that in the years since I wrote that gloss, "cosplay" has all but become a mainstream term. It's certainly nowhere as obscure as it was when I first came across it.
Occam's Razor, Hiroe!
Named for the medieval logician William of Occam, this rule of thumb for deduction states, basically, that the best solution to a problem is most likely the simplest one that explains all the facts.
Clarke's Third Law
I probably don't have to explain this, but there might be someone reading who doesn't know this by its proper name. Clarke's Third Law is, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Ever since we stopped Largo at the fusion plant
From Bubblegum Crash!
That's how I almost got screwed by that agent a coupla years ago.
Again, Bubblegum Crash!
Of Course You Know This Means War
Once again, any number of Bugs Bunny cartoons. Trivia point: This is a Marx Brothers quote — Groucho, specifically — from the movie Duck Soup. The proto-Bugs Bunny in "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1937) in fact uses a Groucho voice to recite what may well be the first instance of this line in the Warner Brothers canon.
"Did you know that Sylia keeps an entire firm of
*entertainment* lawyers on retainer?"
For those of you who ask "why?" along with Linna, I have only two words to say: action figures.
"Ice cream, please!"
The entire Nene-Leon dinner scene, as I'd originally planned it out, was supposed to mirror, as closely as possible, the Nabiki-Kuno meal/extortion/"pretty dolly" sequence from one of the early episodes of the Ranma 1/2 anime (North American dub version). Unfortunately for subtle comedy, the characters had different ideas. This line, also used by Nabiki, is the last survivor of the concept.
"Nice nail polish, Lisa!"
Yeah, it's permanent. Probably not inheritable, though. Probably.
they'd vaguely recall some tall, heavy-set French guy
Why French? Because "Sangnoir" is a French name.
...A&P, PDQ Bach...
For those who don't know, "A&P" is a supermarket chain, and "PDQ Bach" is the name under which composer Peter Schikele publishes and performs his pastiches of classical music.
*Think fast, rabbit...*
From "Water, Water, Every Hare" (1950), which, despite its name, is one of the "mad scientist" cartoons where Bugs Bunny encounters Gossamer, the big orange monster in tennis shoes; its particular mad scientist sounded a bit like Boris Karloff.
"Have a little faith, Inspector, there's magic in the night."
Except for the "Inspector" part, this is a paraphrase of a line from Bruce Springsteen's song "Thunder Road".
in a deep bass voice I slowly said, "Leave that to me."
A Darth Vader quote and impression.
Ladies and gentlemen, the hostages have left the building!
"Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building!"
since the last time I crashed a party at the Palladium
The Palladium was former movie theatre in New York City that became a famous rock venue and later an even more famous nightclub. In its nightclub incarnation it was immensely popular with celebrities as a place to see and be seen. It closed in 1998 and was sold to New York University, which demolished it and built a dormitory ("Palladium Hall") on the site.
A frequent refrain from long, long ago when Howie Mandel did a standup act.
I brought my right wrist to my face and mimed sniffing at my cuff.
"<Do I oh-fend?>" I asked pretentiously.
A gag used by Bugs Bunny in an 1940s-vintage cartoon, mimicking a then-current deodorant advertisement.
"All right, you blue-plated screwheads," I shouted over my PA,
"listen up! THIS... is my BOOM STICK!"
Ash, from Army of Darkness, of course.
Then They appeared.
The Three are not Urd, Skuld and Belldandy from Aa! Megami-sama! (aka Oh! My Goddess), although their depiction here draws heavily upon that source. Or at least, they are not only them. The Three are, in fact, all the triune goddesses: ...
The Greek Fates,...
"I rest not."
...the Celtic trinity,...
...a Trio that I am embarrassed to say I have forgotten in the months since I researched and wrote this passage,...
"I am Past."
"I am Present."
"I am Future."
...the Wiccan Goddess, ...
...and a generic triplet intended to suggest faces as yet unnamed by mortals, but which also circles right back to the original triplet (appropriately enough).
We see the twisted path you walk
Yes, another Twisted Path reference.
One final teaser note: buried somewhere in the dialog between Doug and the Three is the name of the song that will take him out of the BGC universe. If you want to try to track it down, I'll provide these clues: The entire name of the song is given — it's not an abbreviation or shortening in any way. One of the goddesses says it. There is nothing about the song which is at all related to the setting for DW3. And the song was of recent vintage at the time the chapter was written (between 1995 and 2000), despite the vast preponderance of classic rock in Doug's repertoire up to now. Have fun...
Update, 23 July 2001. So far, no one has guessed the song, although I've gotten a lot of emails about it. So I'll give you a few more clues. The song (or the album it was found on) was a top-20 charter between 1995 and 1998 (remember, it had to be in his helmet when he left Warriors' World). It's obviously not from a video game (although there have been some very interesting guesses along those lines). And it's a short, two-word title.
Let's see if that helps.
Further update, 13 December 2001. No correct guesses yet.
Final update, 25 January 2002. Congratulations to "Captain Kangarooski", a poster on the DW discussion board, who correctly identified the song! As his prize, I gave him sneak peaks of the material already written for Drunkard's Walk V, Drunkard's Walk: Angel Baby (Neon Genesis Evangelion, no Step number yet), and an abandoned Step set in the TV series Charmed, called "Charmed, I'm Sure".
Oh, and I'm not posting the answer. If you can't figure it out, or can't bribe the Captain to tell you, you'll just have to wait until the final chapter... Sorry.
Further final update, 11 November 2002. "Phantom" has figured out the exit song. Congratulations, Phantom!
"Look you," Bell-tone finally announced, "there is unused thread
enough to splice to the severed ends of their lives."
Because I've gotten more than a few emails from individuals who think that "Bell-tone" is being bizarrely rude in her speech here, let me explain this. "Look you," as used here, is not "Look, you...". The former is an archaic usage, roughly equivalent to "behold!" The latter is used by enraged members of the Three Stooges to object to impolite behavior. As an example of the former, which is the way I am using it, here is a passage from Hamlet:
I have of late but
wherefore I know not lost all my mirth,
forgone all custom of exercises;
and indeed, it goes so heavily with
my disposition that this goodly frame,
the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory;
this most excellent canopy, the air, look you,
this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire
why, it appeareth no other thing to me than a foul
and pestilent congregation of vapours.
Of Course You Know This Means War (Part II)
See Chapter Eight, above.
I'd tried that once, a year ago and a universe away, and didn't like
An unwritten scene at the climax of Drunkard's Walk I.
My proper code name is 'Looney Toons'.
Not "Looney Tunes", which is a trademark of Warner Brothers, but "Toons", which is a different thing altogether.
He then rolled his eyes and mimed straightening a
tie. "It's the story of my life. I just don't get no respect."
A Rodney Dangerfield impression. Not that I'd expect it to work as well in Japanese...
"And don't call him 'Shirley'," offered Priss with a throaty
Yes, I know it doesn't work in Japanese. So what? I wanted Priss to show a bit of amusement and humor before things started going downhill towards the end of this chapter.
next thing Nene knew, her head had been yanked down to his and he
was planting a kiss in the middle of her visor. He held the kiss
for a ten-count...
A classic Bugs Bunny move, of course.
my intelligence is a 3.00 on the Berkeley-Binet scale
On the more familiar Stanford-Binet test, that would be close to a 300 IQ. And the difference in the names and scales? A different university involved in the development of the test.
a Valmon reflex/speed rating of 470
"Valmon" is from Andrew Valmon, an Olympic athlete with whom I went to high school. (Gold medalist, 4 X 400m relay, Seoul and Barcelona.) Human normal is 100 on this scale.
Polykev -- the amazing mage-age plastic!
The name "polykev" comes from GURPS I.S.T., but the material going by that name here is unrelated to the armor technology described in the book.
This invisible shell..."
I tapped my chest just hard enough to get a "tok-tok!" sound,
"...seals in the freshness!"
From some commercial in the late 50s or early 60s; I almost kinda remember it, but not quite. More directly, I lifted this from a parody of the original line found in Stan Freeberg's satirical recording, "Green Chri$tma$".
You know they have to exist in most superhero worlds — you don't think the US government in the Marvel universe isn't desperately trying to create or rediscover the right religious or theurgic rituals needed to calm or even control the Asgardians and the Olympians?
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy Name.
Thank you, Cecil Adams!
Most emphatically not an intentional Sailor Moon reference — just a coincidence born of my eye falling upon a box of William Gibson books while I was flailing about for a name for the character. If you really want to, though, I suppose you can think of it as synchronicity in action.
giving them a metaphorical "Yoo-hoo! Here I am!"
Another Bugs Bunny trait — never escape when you can tease them some more.
I Can See Where This Moron Is Going To Give Me Trouble
Daffy Duck, from "Cracked Quack" (1952). Thanks to Zack "wxnut" Seaholm for tracking this one down.
"Someone needs to talk to Sylia about her sense of humor," Priss
Contrary to the stereotype that has evolved in fan fiction, Sylia is not emotionless and humorless. In the OVAs she is not only frequently shown smiling and even laughing at the antics of the other Sabers, she puts in her own share of joking and teasing. When she doesn't have to be the field commander, she's no more restrained or cold than Nene or Linna.
"This is one of those over-the-shoulder spike shooter things you worked
up for me a couple of years ago."
In Crash! Illustrations and specs for these and the other weapons systems mentioned in this and future chapters are available in the various BGC Role Playing Game supplements from R. Talsorian Games.
Before them stood Linna's pride and joy -- her collection of
For those who don't know, this is more-or-less canon, not something I made up from wholecloth. According to Linna's write-up in one of the B-Clubs, her hobby is cars. While this could just mean that she's a weekend mechanic, I decided to take a different tack, a little more in keeping with the successful stockbroker from Crash! who's slipped into the Linna I've portrayed in the story so far. Of course, that doesn't mean she isn't a weekend mechanic as well...
his fingers hovered above the Delorean's door handle
It's just a stock Delorean, not the one from Back to the Future.
a gleaming black Corvette Stingray
This is also just a stock Corvette, circa 1970-1980, not a movie or TV car.
They only made four of them, and this is the last surviving
If you weren't able to figure it out from the text, this "chrome and cedar" car is Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. The history Linna tells Julian is true: Four (rolling, as opposed to "flying" or floating) Chittys were made for the film; of these, only two were "real" and roadworthy, the others being shells or dummies. One of the roadable ones — the one in Linna's collection as of 2037 — is currently owned by Pierre Picton in England, who helped maintain and drive it during the filming, and who acquired it a few years later. He hires it out in the UK for parties and charity events. For more information, see http://www.ChittyChittyBangBang.co.uk or http://members.tripod.com/~gen11/. (These URLS were still live as of 26 October 2003.)
a large black rear-engine sportscar, so heavily
modified that most of its original beauty was gone, hidden by
skin that looked almost like armor.
If I have to tell you what car this is, you've probably been watching BGC 2040 instead of the OVAs, and are wondering why Nene has red hair in this story.
I'd be living in a two-by-three rathole
That's measured in tatami mats, not meters, so it's a bit more spacious than it might seem at first, but not by much.
"That's 'Henderson'," she corrected sharply. "My family's butler for
many years. He raised Mackie and myself after..."
Henderson the Butler is DW2's sole gratuitous BGC 2040 reference.
"I know you're not a morning person, but this is ridiculous."
If you have any doubts about how not a morning person Sylia is, go watch the first OVA again and pay attention to her "alarm clock."
Its "plate glass" windows and doors were actually made from aluminum
oxynitride sheets thicker than any I'd ever seen before.
"Aluminum oxynitride" is better known as "ALON" — a transparent armor material superior to the polycarbonate used as bullet-proof "glass" in banks. It's real, been around quite a few years now, in fact. Some think it's the "transparent aluminum" mentioned in Star Trek IV.
It got to the point where the Fleet Street
papers were calling us the "Flow-Through Squad."
This was in fact a nickname we in the campaign gave ourselves after the characters who had rolled up non-coporealness among their powers began to outnumber those that hadn't.
There's a trick -- not a trick, really, more of an undocumented
feature -- that you can use on most brands of elevators.
I didn't make this up — this is a real hidden feature found on many different makes of elevator. You can find details about it and its variations at eeggs.com.
And no, that's not a reference to Eyrie Productions, Unlimited's Undocumented Features, either. But go there anyway and read Symphony of the Sword and Neon Exodus Evangelion. Trust me, you'll love them.
Oh, I hope not.
A reader in my discussion forum pointed out that this is one of catchphrases of Bill Dana's "Jose Jimenez". For those of you born after man landed on the moon, Jose was a character that Dana frequently did in the 1950s and early 1960s; he was supposedly one of the first astronauts selected — but he wasn't very happy about it, and would let anyone know in heavily-Mexican-accented English. Needless to say, Hiroe's comment wasn't really intended to be a reference to Jose, but I can't rule out the possibility of an unconscious influence.
The complete "Jose Jimenez The Astronaut" sketch is, of course, available on YouTube these days.
It blowed up real good.
A reference to the "Farm Film Report" segments on the now-legendary SCTV show. In case you're not familiar with them, they featured John Candy and Joe Flaherty as two farmers reviewing films. The sole criteria on which they based their opinions were the number and quality of explosions to be found in the movie. This was their catchphrase.
A sample video from the Farm Film Report featuring Dustin Hoffman blowing up real good can be found here.
"Is *everybody* happy?"
Trademark (along with a battered top hat) catchphrase of Ted Lewis, a clarinetist known as "The Top-hatted Tragedian of Jazz". A couple of Warner cartoons from the 1930s mimic Lewis using this phrase, which is how I (and thus Doug) came by it.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in...
A line from the psychedelic rock song of the same name, recorded in 1968 by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Yes, that Kenny Rogers. Before he became a country music superstar in the 1970s, he fronted a psychedelic rock band in the Sixties. And a rather successful and popular one at that.
It just goes to show — truth is stranger than fiction. After all, fiction has to make sense.
If you can't find the First Edition version of the song, a similar rendition can be had on a late 1980s comedy album, "Born To Be Tiled" by Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre. (Yeah, right, Bob — if they can't find the megahit single, send them after an obscure rarity only available on a hard-to-find web page.) The only thing comedic about that performance, though, is the character who's singing it, a burnt-out hippie rocker named "Randee of the Redwoods"; a few years later, at the end of the 1980s, he briefly became something of an icon on MTV.
Thus endeth the pointless trivia lesson.
Update, 9 October 2012: Rob Kelk has pointed out that in the years since that entry was written, the version by the First Edition has since appeared on the soundtrack CD for The Big Lebowski, track 8. Which should be considerably easier to find. Even easier, there are multiple copies to be found on YouTube.
Who's our next lucky contestant, Don Pardo?
This, and the format of the following description, are lifted, of course, from that seminal game show "The Price is Right." C'mon down!
For those of you who don't watch TPIR, Don Pardo's also the announcer on Saturday Night Live (and has been, ever since the show began broadcasting). He was also the announce for the Art Fleming-hosted seasons of Jeopardy!, in which role you can hear him (and see him, in the video) on "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "I Lost On Jeopardy".
Update, 29 October 2003: This turns out to be an error — the announcer from "The Price is Right" was not Don Pardo, but Rod Roddy, who died two days ago from cancer.
What am I doing?
Although not intended as such when I was writing, several readers have noted that this is also a quote of a classic Bugs Bunny line, perhaps best known from Falling Hare, an early 1940s cartoon where Bugs finds himself "helping" a gremlin try to explode a blockbuster bomb with a big mallet.
Update, 21 March 2009: Many thanks to Rob Kelk for informing me of a public domain copy of this cartoon available at the Internet Archive. So go check it out!
"Sindra's gone bye-bye, Egon," Tony murmured behind her.
If you don't recognize a Ghostbusters reference, may God have mercy on your soul.
"You got me dead to rights, Doc. I am Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I
own a mansion and a yacht."
A blend of two Bugs Bunny quotes: "He's got me dead to rights, doc," from Rabbit Seasoning (1952), and "I am Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht," from Hare Brush (1955).
There's nothing like freaking the mundanes to improve one's mood.
As a former member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, I can testify to this from personal experience.
"So, are you going to shoot me now or wait until you get home?"
Also from Rabbit Seasoning: "Would you like to shoot me now or wait 'til you get home?"
Oh, drat these computers. They're so naughty and so complex,
I could pinch them!
Marvin the Martian. I don't remember the cartoon this is from, either, although this is another one I have as a soundfile.
Update, 4 December 2002. Rob Kelk has informed me that this is from "Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24th 1/2th Century" (1990).
And you quit it with the fucking boomers
Influenced by a similar line in Stan Freberg's recording "Payola Roll Blues": "He will if you don't quit it with that pointed stick!"
If you want to know what context that came from, you'll just have to find a copy of the record.
Something Tells Me This Little Black Duck Has Worn Out His
A Daffy Duck quote. I don't remember what cartoon this comes from, but I have a sound file of it.
"My, he's a *big* one."
The "spiritual totem" is, of course, Bugs Bunny, who uttered this line in more than a few cartoons.
"The Chang Group"
AKA the crime syndicate known as the Hou Bang, for those of you who weren't paying attention during "Double Vision". The Chang family bears a great animosity towards GENOM, and vice versa...
I spent the damp, chilly hours listening to the ADP band
Famous for such hit songs as "The MegaTokyo Boomer Victim Blues" and "Our Love Was So Fine Until You Burst Out Of Your Skin".
This pointless comedy moment has been provided as a public service by Warriors International, the first source for all your metahuman security needs.
"You were expecting maybe Humphrey Bogart?"
Another cartoon quote, although for the life of me I can't recall its original context. I do remember it was delivered in an outrageously exaggerated French accent. One reader has suggested that it was uttered in the "Hoboken-born penguin" cartoon, but I'm inclined to disagree with him. There is a caricature of Humphrey Bogart in that particular cartoon, playing on his character in The Treasure of The Sierra Madre, but to the best of my knowledge the line itself comes from a different short. However, I have not yet been able to find the penguin cartoon in my collection to determine the truth of the matter. Bugs did spout a variation on this line in "Knights Must Fall" (1948): "You were expecting maybe Errol Flynn?" If I can't find the Humphrey Bogart line, I might replace it with this. (I'm not the only one who remembers the Bogart reference, though — Google on the phrase and see!)
Update, September 25, 2002: Thanks to DW Discussion group member Mr. Fnord, who remembered the actual scene in which this line was uttered, I was able to identify the cartoon — it was French Rarebit (1951), directed by Robert McKimson. A capsule summary, for those of you who are curious: While walking down a street in Paris, France, Bugs becomes the bone of contention between two rival French Chefs, who both want to serve him as an entree. In his usual fashion, Bugs gets the better of them both. This cartoon is probably best remembered for the line, "Louisiana back bay bayou bunny bordelaise... a la Antoine!"
Well, if it isn't Inspector Wong of the Yard!
After the Monty Python "Inspector X (Thompson's Gazelle, etc.) of the Yard!" gag found in the episode with the Argument Clinic.
Bugs again, from any of several cartoons where he met the Abominable Snowman.
Also a typical Bugs appellation, best known for its use in one of the "Hunter Trilogy" cartoons — "Rabbit Fire" (1951), I believe.
the boomer restraint system
Inasfar as the BGC roleplaying game is canon, the concept of this device is canon. However, this particular implementation is my own creation.
*Hmm. Burn. "Like a healing hand..."*
"Burn, like a healing hand" is a line from the song Doug's about to use, "This Corrosion" by the Sisters of Mercy.
And without accidentally burning out anyone's
crops like I did while defending Demsbury...
Another scene from the unreleased Drunkard's Walk I.
"Well, whaddaya know," I said, mostly to myself. "Boomers
"Bumbles bounce!" from the American Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (Now available on DVD at a video store near you.)
Instead of releasing the chain
to let it envelope her, I grabbed its end and yanked, at the same
time willing the chain to shorten itself. "Get over here!" I
The move and the dialogue are both from Scorpion in Mortal Kombat.
Delivered in the voice of the Master from the Frantics' classic sketch, Ti Kwon Leep/Boot To The Head.
use 1991/pre-'Lord Chess' release
"Lord Chess" was Lord Chessandar, the millenia-old vampire who led the vampire invasion of Warriors' World in 1991.
It's a real word, not an acronym. Look it up.
"...I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could
hit 'em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird,"
From the movie To Kill A Mockingbird, in case it wasn't obvious.
Saturday Night Live, from the era of the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players. "Cheeborger, cheeborger, chips, chips. No Coke, Pepsi."
If that makes no sense to you, don't worry about it.
A tired Katherine Madigan yawned cavernously as she re-entered
her apartment in GENOM Tower. ...
This scene was written by the inestimable Ed Becerra, author of Legion's Quest (q.v., and highly recommended), although I did tweak it a little bit. Thanks, Ed!
Not since they let me join the Warriors after I
ambushed Dwim in Hyde Park.
This is indeed how I entered the Warriors' World campaign — by attacking a future teammate. I'm not as reticent as Doug when it comes to talking about those events — the basic story runs along these lines:
After somehow acquiring the impression that he had to "audition" for the Warriors, Doug used a song to turn into a tiger, attacked, and felled Dwimanor with a single blow. Then he began to wonder if maybe that hadn't been the best plan. While starting to worry, he realized that Dwim was regenerating. So, in a near-panic about what might happen to him when Dwim woke up, he sat — still in tiger form — on top of Dwim and kept re-opening the healing wounds so that he could have more time to panic, er, think of what to do next.
Eventually, the tiger song ran out. Dwim completely regenerated and zapped Doug with a powerblast. Some time shortly after that, Doug pretty much said words to the effect of, "I'm a super-powered idiot; you can take me in now."
On such stupidities are careers in the superheroing field made...
"'Craig A. Reed, Junior'?" I grimaced. "Couldn't you have given
me something with a little more, I dunno, style?"
Well, what did you think I'd do, after Bubblegum Avatar? <grin> Used with Craig's permission, of course.
Sylvester T. Katz
Sylvester the Cat, of course.
"Ho ho. Very funny. Ha ha. It is to laugh."
Daffy Duck, of course. Strangely enough, "It is to laugh" is a literal translation of the French idiom, "C'est à rire"; why Daffy knows and uses this, I cannot imagine. But an unusual facility with French idioms is common among almost all the Warners characters, with the ironic exception of Pepe Le Pew, who despite his Maurice Chevalier accent speaks only hideously mangled "Franglais". (Then again, in his very first appearance, Pepe admitted he wasn't really French, but was faking it. This may have been conveniently "forgotten" in later cartoons, but it does explain a lot...)
some midtown gym called "The Fitness Bee"
AKA "Phoebe's". Of course, Linna hasn't worked there for years by this point...
but Nonnie had sent me a copy
If you've read beyond this point, then you've probably figured out that "Nonnie" is Madonna. "Nonnie" is in fact a nickname actually used by her friends and family.
"The spectrum he's emitting is consistent with..." Hiroe paused,
and swallowed. "With Cherenkov radiation."
For those of you without the requisite physics background, Cherenkov (sometimes spelled "Cerenkov") radiation is the blue glow you can see around water-shielded nuclear reactors. It's caused by charged particles moving through a medium faster than the local speed of light. It's basically a "photonic boom" — the rough equivalent of a sonic boom for light. For a folksy but accurate explanation of the phenomenon, check out this column from Cecil Adam's Straight Dope.
If you want to know what Cherenkov radiation actually looks like, check out this image.
"...Quicker than a ray of light"
I should probably have mentioned it in the credits for the chapter, but I'd like to thank Murmur the Fallen for suggesting Madonna's "Ray of Light" to me in an email he sent me back in May 1999.
This is, in fact, the canon name for Linna's place of employment in Bubblegum Crash!.
Linna ... absently scratched at the decades-old
chicken pox scars she habitually kept hidden under her headband.
Well, there had to be a reason she always wears one. It's not like it's a common accessory in MegaTokyo.
This whole exchange between Priss and Sylia is a tip o' the hat to the infamous Bubblegum Pink: Raging Fires, by Kris "Damn You!" Overstreet and Larry Mann. Blame the final "Sweetling", though, on my prereaders, who insisted it should be there.
the infamous "Kodomo no Ginzuisho" parody
This doesn't exist, of course, but taking a hint from GAINAX's "Kodomo no Evangelion" shorts, wouldn't it be just bizarre to see Usagi as Sana-chan, or vice versa? (Yes, I know that Sana-chan has been seen in a generic "magical girl" outfit. That doesn't count.)
Update, 27 October 2003 The original link to the Kodomo no Evangelion clips is now dead, and in my searches for replacements, I can only find links to the "second season" opener (used above). It's as if the first one has dropped off the face of the Net entirely. Which is too bad, as I like the it much better than the second. It not only uses the more familiar first season style and music, it's also much more clearly Eva characters in the Kodocha credits. If anyone knows of a live link to it, please let me know! Thanks.
You bet your sweet bippy
For you post-Baby-Boomers, that's one of the dozens of classic catchphrases to come out of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
Bochinski ... Kendra Wadderson
Well, I needed to do something with Bochinski after the early chapters, where he was simply a token Twisted Path holdover. I'm not sure why I decided to add them to the rash of weddings that seem to be taking place. And this is still not the Twisted Path BGC world, by the way — this Wadderson has always been a woman.
This stuff is real, and it's close to being made now. Check out the article "Ultimate Alchemy" in the October 2001 issue (9.10) of Wired Magazine.
Update, 1 August 2002: The first functioning quantum dots have been made. See this article on NewsFactor Network.
Further update, 10 April 2003: A new book about the possibilities inherent in programmable matter has been published. Look for Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms, by Wil McCarthy, published by Basic Books, New York (ISBN 0-4650-4428-X). The Amazon.com listing for this book can be found here.
I found the Roman initials "KS" worked into the circuitry
All kinds of things get worked into the circuitry of microchips — one good collection of microscopic images and logos can be found here.
A canon location from Crash! — the underground equivalent to Aqua City. According to the BGC RPG rulebooks, it's located not far from the construction site where Lisa hung by her teeth one cold December night to get photos of the Knight Sabers.
"<System. Combat mode on. 'Tubthumping.' Play.>" Nothing like
a little insurance.
Instantaneous regeneration and a "weeble" effect, in case you were wondering. Consult your local Chumbawumba CD for more details.
Update, 24 March 2003: Because I was asked in email: "Weebles" were/are toys marketed in the US in the 1970s and 80s (and for all I know are still available). They were egg-shaped "people" with weighted bottoms, such that they would right themselves if knocked over. The slogan for the toys, sung repeatedly in the commercials, was "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down."
[Pink's] armor had been mated to something that looked like a small jet
drone and a three-barrelled machine gun like those the ADP used on
their stupid little choppers. ... Blue had her big gauss needler
rig again. ... White wore something that looked a lot like a
flamethrower and was probably far worse. ... that new heavier torso armor of
[Olive's] opened up like a pair of double doors to reveal a familiar-looking
array of focusing lenses.
As mentioned in the notes for chapter ten, inasfar as the BGC roleplaying game is canon, these "add-on" powerups are canon, although I have pretty much ignored their original intended wearers (who were mostly Priss). Oh, and if you want to see what Sylia's weapon looks like, check out this image of it fitted on Priss's hardsuit. I don't know where this photo (it's of a painted figure of Priss, if you haven't already clicked on it) came from originally, but I was assured that it was semiofficial — not a fan-made chimera. In Sylia's new implementation in the story, the projector/barrel has been redesigned so that she can still use her laserblade.
"I'm not the metahuman you're looking for."
Nor was he the droids they were looking for. Star Wars, of course; the old Jedi Mind Trick.
"If *she's* Pinky, does that make you the Brain, Blue?"
Do I really need to clarify the obvious Animaniacs reference?
Shoot Him Now! Shoot Him Now!
One of Daffy Duck's infamous lines from Rabbit Seasoning (1952).
"Beware the honorable man of peace who is forced to war. He will
do anything necessary to end the conflict in his favor in order
to protect his own and restore the peace." -- Unknown, as
paraphrased in "Best Served Cold" by Robert Knighton
This quote has been bugging the hell out of me for a long time. I got it second-hand, and the source — Robert Knighton — can't remember where he first saw it. It's a paraphrase of a passage from an SF novel he read some 20 years ago, he said, with cat-like aliens and humans unwillingly drawn into some conflict as neutral observers, but he couldn't remember either title or author. Over the past year or so, no one has been able to identify what book this could be; any reader who can, I'll give a credit to on this chapter.
She wore a bodysuit of some soft-looking fabric...
For those who note that this uniform looks nothing like what Hexe is wearing in her gallery illustrations, that's because this is her absolute latest outfit, as dictated to me by her player at the time I was writing the scene. Given that the campaign is still in 1998, this is Hexe's current uniform as of Doug's departure from Warriors' World.
and she was utterly, unconcernedly nude.
In the gallery entries for Silverbolt, I note several times that I never knew why she operates in the nude. While reading through this chapter, my wife finally told me (after 14 years!): Silverbolt is a bit of an exhibitionist. She wouldn't do it in her civilian ID, but she can get away with walking around nude when chromed, so she does. The whole "my powers would destroy a uniform, so why bother?" thing was just a dodge.
*A perfect Jack-in-the-Box,* a voice from another world whispered
This is a "gimme" for the readers of GURPS I.S.T.. In one of the sidebars I suggested that squads could develop special maneuvers with colorful names, and cited both the X-Men's "Fastball Special" and something undescribed called a "Jack-in-the-Box". I've gotten several emails over the years asking what the latter was, and quite honestly, when I wrote the book I didn't have a clue — it was just a good, suggestive name that could be applied to any of several basic maneuver types. However, Kat does do this kind of move in the game, and when I wrote it in, "Jack-in-the-Box" seemed like the perfect name for it.
"<'Women and girls rule my world',>" I added, misquoting
The line is actually "Women, not girls, rule my world," from "Kiss", by Prince. For those of you who follow my tastes, and I know there are a couple of you, I actually like the eight-and-a-half-minute version of this song done by the Art of Noise (the real group, not the one from Symphony of the Sword) with Tom Jones, in which Jones sings the line the way Doug cites it.
the first bar of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down"
Probably best known as the Warner Brothers cartoons' "theme". Bob Hoskins (as Eddie Valiant) sings an "improvised" lyric to this tune at the climax of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
"<No retreat, baby! No surrender!>"
From "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen.
There was a clash of metal against metal, and Sylia found herself
bent over at the waist, her sword-arm twisted away and locked
into place by a pair of wicked-looking black daggers
I can testify to the realism of almost all the moves Hexe uses against Sylia in their fight — Helen's husband Attila (an accomplished knife fighter with the kind of street experience that I don't like to think about) demonstrated them all against me one night as we choreographed the combat. This takedown move, had Hexe chosen to complete it, would have ended the fight right then and there with Sylia dying or dead.
*Maybe she's a dancer. Maybe *Linna* should fight her,* Sylia thought
to herself with grim humor.
Actually, Hexe is a classically-trained ballerina. Among other things — she's kind of the Warriors' Renaissance Woman.
Only twice, out of all the punches and kicks
she'd thrown, had she managed to hit anything solid, and that had
felt more like striking a slab of Jell-O than flesh.
Because I know someone's going to ask, here's how Linna could hit a noncorporeal Kat. Although I wrote the fight direct from plot to paper and didn't "model" it by running it as a game session, I did keep game rules in mind throughout to make sure everything stayed balanced. And since Fuzion has no rules for Noncorporealness (at least not in the material I had in my possession at the time I wrote) and I didn't know what form Champions' equivalent Desolid power might take in Fuzion, I "balanced" its use using V&V rules. And one cool thing about V&V combat is that if you're sufficiently skilled at hand-to-hand fighting, you can actually hit phased/noncorp/desolid/whatever targets. Linna is sufficiently skilled. So is Sylia, although in her case I threw in a little of Shadowrun's "spirit combat" rules for flavor.
at this distance it looked like nothing more than a
large, antique coin.
It is a coin, an ancient Greek one, and she was born with it there. Why and how this happened is a mystery that has so far resisted all investigation.
"<'I think I better dance now,'>" I murmured self-indulgently
Another quote from the Tom Jones/AON version of "Kiss" by Prince.
The title of an antique ecchi anime
La Blue Girl, of course.
Another twitch charged the sole electrode of her holdout
Many thanks to Logan Darklighter for discovering the existence of Nene's knucklebomber in one of the B-Clubs!
"<You have made me very angry,>" I murmured. "<Very
Marvin the Martian again, although Doug's intonation is a little less comedic at this point. From "The Hasty Hare" (1951). (Thanks again to Rob Kelk for identifying the source!)
"All right, Colonel. You've made your point," White said.
This exchange between Sylia and Doug, ending with "What else would you have me do?", was written by prereader Nathan Baxter. Thanks, Nathan!
"And we'll take you out to the Red Lion for a night on the town,"
Warriors' Mansion is not actually in London proper, but some miles outside of the city, near a farming town. In the center of that town is a pub — the Red Lion. Over the years, the Warriors have gotten into the habit of dropping by that pub at least once a week while in mufti. We occasionally bring the odd guest along, too. (Sometimes they're very odd, indeed...) Since many of the Warriors have no secret identity to speak of, who we were was pretty much an open secret. The locals eventually got used to us, and they now number us among the "regulars" at the Lion.
"'Bugs Bunny to Earth: Get me outta here!'"
Variants of this line can be found in any of several "Bugs goes to outer space" cartoons. The best known one comes from "Haredevil Hare" (1947), the one where he fights Marvin the Martian for the Moon, blowing it up (save for a crumbling crescent) in the process. Unfortunately, that's not the source for this particular variation. I have the specific cartoon this line came from somewhere in my collection; I just don't remember the title.
A note about Shadowwalker: I have taken some liberties with the character in presenting her here, some of which my wife — the creator/player of the character — does not approve of. These are mostly cosmetic details, save for one — the shadow teleport ability which Maggie displays in this story is a device built for her by Doug; unfortunately, in actual game play, Doug didn't get around to completing this gadget before I sent him on the Walk (to get him out of the way while I served as Warriors GM). This can be explained as the simulacra being an idealized version of Shadowwalker, with all the stuff he intended for her to have.
For those curious about the background/history of Shadowwalker, the rejected GURPS I.S.T. character "Nightscream" is loosely based on an early version of her, circa 1988-89. While Nightscream's powers aren't quite the same as Shadowwalker's — and her writeup certainly doesn't reflect the additional 14 years of evolution in active game play that the original character got — her background story is reasonably close to the one Peggy developed for Shadowwalker.
Eh... I Wonder What The *Poor* Robots Are Doin' This
A Bugs Bunny line, of course. I cannot at this time recall the cartoon it is from; friends have suggested that it is from the end of Ali Baba Bunny but I have not yet confirmed or denied this.
In particular, see to it that the
Lofer Institute in the Tyrol is 'encouraged' to share Doctor
Zippermeyer's private research notes on the subject
This is not made-up detail (at least not by me). A Google search on Lofer and Zippermeyer will turn up a pile of links to information about Nazi research into unorthodox weaponry toward the end of WWII. One of those weapons was, reportedly, a massive sonic cannon designed to knock bombers out of the sky.
Update, 1 December 2003. In at least one source, "Zippermeyer" is given as "Zimmermeyer". I have not yet been able to determine which is correct, although there do appear to be far more Google hits for "Zippermeyer", if that means anything.
I knew a Pris,
once, an android. She'd been a sweet kid, before that arms smuggler
A slightly-veiled Bladerunner reference. This is not to say that the events of Bladerunner are supposed to have taken place in Warriors' World — they didn't; it's just a movie there, too. (Doug mentions it in an earlier chapter, in fact.) This Pris was an android modeled after Darryl Hannah and named "Pris" as an ironic reference.
*"Orbital Mind-control System"?* I wondered to myself
A nod to the "orbital mind-control lasers" of various sources, most notably the various incarnations of the game "Illuminati", published by (who else?) Steve Jackson Games.
He resisted the urge to mimic the 20th-Century comedienne who had
occasionally portrayed an obnoxious telephone operator.
Lily Tomlin: "One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies, thuh-ree ringy-dingies..."
"I'm here, I'm here. Let the bells ring out and the banners
A somewhat lackluster recitation of a quote from the cartoon "A-Lad-In His Lamp" (Robert McKimson, 1948); this was a line uttered by a genie (voiced by Jim Backus, who is better known as Mr. Howell in Gilligan's Island), freshly summoned from his lamp.
shot three times -- <on the ceiling if you want me, twice on the
pipe if the answer is no>..."
Dig into the oldies bin for Tony Orlando and Dawn's early 1970s hit "Knock Three Times".
his unindicted co-conspirators
The phrase "unindicted co-conspirators" was popularized by the investigations into the Watergate affair in the early 1970s.
Chizue: "Contents: 1 (One) Pulse-Laser, Plasma, Phased, 40
Me: "Just what you see, pal."
This exchange comes from the original Terminator film, and is funny for several different reasons, not the least of which is the scriptwriters' error in making this supposed weapon weaker than your typical light bulb.
This summer I hear the drumming.
Eight dead in Ohio,
Eight dead in Ohio...
What happened at Kent State in Warriors' World is substantially similar to the account found in the timeline from GURPS I.S.T. — briefly, some of the shooting was more accurate, and also medical attention for the victims was delayed when a National Guard metahuman, aghast at what had just happened, turned on the soldiers he was deployed with. More than eight died at Kent State, but almost no one counts the Guard deaths, for roughly the same reasons that no one counts how many Czech secret police were killed in the line of duty when tallying up the number of their victims.
And if due to youth or isolation you don't know the song, you can listen to it on YouTube.
"Excuse me!" A large woman with long dark hair sharply berated
her companions. "DON'T! TAUNT! GODS!"
A small, wiry fellow at another table took a long drag off his cigarette and announced, "I could stomp his butt no problem."
"Yes, yes, we know, shut up," impatiently replied the man in glasses across from him.
As with the first time we visited Eriko's, these are lines that were uttered during my AD&D1 campaign by various players.
started and whirled as she was all but tackled by a girl her own
age. She was slender but powerful, with a mop of shaggy brown
hair and large, expressive eyes. In addition to jeans, T-shirt
and a leather jacket she wore a brilliantly red wrist brace, and
a small bandage spanned the bridge of her nose.
This is Yumeko Asagiri, daughter of Priss and main character of Amanda Stair's two BGC fanfiction series, Bubblegum Crisis: The Next Generation and Farewell to Arms. Many thanks to Amanda for granting permission to include a cameo appearance by Yumeko in this chapter.
"Sweetheart, we've got to go." A tall, red-headed man came up
behind Yumeko and laid his hands on her shoulders.
Yumeko's father in this fic is a cameo by the (in)famous SkyKnight, Bert Van Vliet's self-insert character from The Bubblegum Zone. A running gag in the BGC fanfic community (as it exists on the BGC FFML and alt.fan.bgcrisis) insists that Yumeko Asagiri's anonymous absentee father is actually SkyKnight, hence their relationship here. Many thanks to Bert for giving his permission to use his avatar for this cameo!
Yumeko's mother was, she remembered fondly, the mildest of women.
Priss is not Yumeko's mother in this timeline, as they are only a couple of years apart in age here. So who is her mother? I don't know. I didn't intend on anyone specific, only that she was tempermentally unlike Priss to maximize the joke value of the cameos. If you really need to have a name, how about Kasumi Tendo? (Belldandy would work, too, if she weren't welded to Keiichi...) <grin>
half-elven pirate with a wooden leg..." said one; "And a hook for
a head!" called out another as the table collapsed in laughter
Another exchange from a recent installment of my AD&D1 game.
"No, thank you. I don't want to be a wizard."
While it wasn't intentional, I noticed after writing this passage that Lisa's line here is an inverse echo of the title of the first book in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series: So You Want To Be A Wizard? Reader Andreas Kupries also noticed the similarity and inquired about it, providing me at the same time with the URL to the Young Wizards website, which I didn't know existed.
Anyway, Diane is a long-standing acquaintance of mine and an outstanding writer of SF and Fantasy. I'd really appreciate it if you gave her books a try, if you haven't already. While the Young Wizards series is technically "young adult" fare, it's complex and deep enough for adults. It also predates Harry Potter by 15 years or so — So You Want To Be A Wizard? was first published in 1983 — so don't worry about it being a fast-buck coattail-rider. If anything, I'd wager that Diane influenced JK Rowling.
Diane is also the author of several Star Trek novels, some remarkable adult fantasy, and, well, lots more. Like many writers, she came out of fandom, so you can often find fan-related "Easter Eggs" in her books. (For example, I know of at least two appearances by Dr. Who in her body of work — one in a Star Trek novel, and one in one of Young Wizards books.)
Anyway, try her stuff. You won't be disappointed.
What For You Bury Me In The Cold, Cold Ground?
The Tasmanian Devil to Bugs Bunny, in the former's first cartoon appearance, Devil May Hare (1954). Many thanks to reader Zack "wxnut" Seaholm for identifying the source of this quote for me.
Valentine's Day/White Day
Although I suspect most anime/manga fans would know this by now, I'll summarize it quickly for those who might be unfamiliar with this practice. As is usual when adopting something Western into their culture, the Japanese have mutated Valentine's Day rather interestingly. On February 14, girls and women give chocolate to the men in their lives. One month later, on "White Day", men and boys give chocolate back to the females who mean something to them. Japanese men don't give chocolate on Valentine's Day, which is why Lisa once again calls Doug "so American".
When considering chocolates in this passage, Lisa mentions two options open to her: giri-choco and honmei-choco. Giri-choco is "duty chocolate" — chocolate which is given because it would be improper or insulting not to give it; chocolate for your boss or coworkers falls into this category. It's usually little store-bought things, neither intended nor seen as anything particularly special. Honmei-choco is a little different. I don't know which kanji are actually used for the term, but depending on the choice, "honmei" can mean "favorite" or "wearing oneself out with work." Both seem appropriate, as honmei-choco is often hand-made by the giver as a special token for someone far more important in their life, such as a lover or boyfriend. Lisa finds herself in a predicament because it would be insulting to give Doug giri-choco, but it would be terribly improper to give him honmei-choco.
several anonymous delayed-mail servers
If these don't exist in the real world, they should. Blend an anonymous mail redirector with a distributed, encrypted storage system like at least one P2P network out there has, plus a little code to manage the delays. I lifted the basic idea from, of all things, Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein (except there it seems to be an actual physical mail system, rather than electronic).
Many thanks to fellow author Chris Davies for letting me use his extrapolation of Mackie's full name.
right here in beautiful downtown MegaTokyo
Another Laugh-In! reference — announcer Gary Owens frequently referred to the location of the Laugh-In! studios as "beautiful downtown Burbank".
Well, you know what they say happens when you assume...
And if you don't, well, it's one of the most irritating bits of trite rhetoric I've ever run into: "You make an ass out of u and me". Blecch.
The company had been called Mirmecoleon Labs.
Okay, confession time. Mirmecoleon Labs and its product, Leontophonus, are not strictly canon. They are, in fact, from a roleplaying scenario in one of the BGC Roleplaying Game sourcebooks. But since these books went through at least some level of approval by Artmic, Youmex and the rest (had to, in fact — I've written my share of licensed properties and I know how these things work) it seems clear to me that if this were a concept that violated canon, they would have objected and we never would have seen it. So even if these weren't in canon, they are officially canon-compatible.
Idiomatic Japanese for "bingo!" or "on the nose!"
I found myself whistling "Fate's Wide Wheel" by King Thunder.
"King Thunder" was the glitter-rock band into whose lead singer Sam Beckett leaped in the episode of Quantum Leap entitled (naturally enough) "Glitter Rock". This song is a real song, written and performed by Scott Bakula in the show and available on the Quantum Leap soundtrack album.
Had Hexe ever succeeded at recruiting Nightbird from
An inside joke for folks who've seen this obscure semi-cult superhero movie. The Specials was a comedy from 2000 (starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Haden Church, Jamie Kennedy and a lot of other talented folk) about a second-string superteam that starts to fall apart with the advent of a merchandizing deal from a toy company. Despite what it sounds like, it's very funny. Anyway, "Nightbird" (played by then-newcomer Jordan Ladd) was the newest member of the team; still young and inexperienced, she wasn't sure she really had what it took to be a member of the seventh best super-team in the world.
The Specials used to have a very very nice website that really looked like the Net presence of a super-team, but it disappeared a few years after the movie came out. Pity, that. You can try to view a copy of it through the Wayback Machine at archive.org here, but I haven't had too much luck the few times I've made the attempt.
By the way, I definitely recommend this film. It's weird, it's funny, and most of the people in it are just a bit loopy. If you want more than my word on it, here are reviews from JoBlo, the Cranky Critic, Rich Cline's Shadows on the Wall, and FilmThreat. (Strangely, the group photo shown on several of these pages is flipped left-for-right; I don't know why.)
Nightbird had some interesting metatalents
Exactly what Nightbird's powers are is a mystery until near the end of The Specials, and I won't spoil the surprise by telling you.
despite her prissy famous-actress mother. This is actually a slam at Jordan Ladd's mother, Cheryl Ladd (yeah, the former model and Charlie's Angel). Jordan had been cast in the role of Amy Blue in the 1995 film The Doom Generation. However, at the last minute her mother refused to let her take the part because the movie was too violent and sexual. (Rose McGowan got the role instead, which became her big break.) The producers took some small measure of revenge by including "No thanks to Cheryl Ladd" in the closing credits of the film.
the Femme Five were
interested in her, too -- all twelve of them. They were a bunch
of nutbars, though ("Accurate counting is a tool of the
repressive Patriarchy," my ass!)
More from The Specials. As the team crumbles, Deadly Girl (Judy Greer) is approached by Sunshine Grrrl (Melissa Joan Hart) of the Femme Five, who want her to join them. There are indeed far more than five in the Five, and when Deadly Girl points this out, Sunshine Grrrl spouts a variation on this particular bit of ludicrous rhetoric.
So once Oscar the Mechanical Man was standing in the middle of my
"Oscar the Mechanical Man" is yet another Heinlein reference; in this case specifically to Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. In this book (one of Heinlein's ostensibly "juvenile" novels), the narrator Kip wins a used spacesuit as a consolation prize in a soap slogan contest. He ends up calling it "Oscar the Mechanical Man".
The name "Oscar" is one of those details that drifts through a number of Heinlein novels, by the way, showing up here and there in different guises and contexts, so in a way it's almost a symbolic reference to all of Heinlein's work.
"It's a good
thing you didn't say 'Happy Birthday,'" I announced solemnly,
"because you are *not* wearing a magical top hat."
If you're an American of the Baby Boomer generation (or younger), you almost certainly know the Christmas cartoon Frosty the Snowman. For those who don't, the reference is: Every time Frosty came alive (from having the magical top hat placed on his head), he announced "Happy Birthday!"
Don't worry, it puzzled everyone in the cartoon, too.
So I waited, and played more Minesweeper. I like simple,
mindless games like that, especially when I know the cheat code
that makes the secret pixel flicker any time my cursor passes
over a hidden bomb.
This worked in earlier versions of Windows; I don't know if it still does. Make sure Minesweeper has the focus, then type "xyzzy". Then press enter, then left-shift. The upper left-most pixel of the screen will now flicker every time your mouse goes over a bomb.
"Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto," I murmured. ...
"I'm just remembering the album that killed Styx.
The album was "Kilroy was Here", from which the song "Mr. Roboto" (source of the line Doug mutters) was released circa 1983. How did it kill Styx? Well, band founder, keyboardist, and occasional lead singer Dennis deYoung wrote the entire thing as a political screed protesting censorship, the Moral Majority, the hysteria about backward masking, and a lot of other issues surrounding music in the early 1980s. More than a simple concept album, it was sort of a musical or mini-operetta, set in a dystopian anti-Rock future, with a storyline and specific characters portrayed by various members of Styx (Jonathan Chance, Rev. Everett Righteous, Lt. Vanish and Major Hyde, and the eponymous Kilroy).
All well and good. Except that deYoung tried to make the concerts of the "Kilroy" tour into some kind of musical theatre, with actual acting and dialogue and a Big Fat Message. It failed horribly, partly because the other members of Styx were uncomfortable with trying to be actors, and partly because it put a lot of crap between the songs that the audience didn't want to hear. The tour made almost no money, and deYoung's control-freakery apparently reached monumental heights. The whole mess inflicted so much stress on the other members of Styx that the band imploded when the tour ended — so badly that they wouldn't get together again for more than ten years.
There was (and continues to be) a lot of bad blood between Dennis deYoung and the rest of the group (who felt he was becoming a megalomaniac imposing his own increasingly divergent musical vision on the band as a whole). After reuniting for a couple of years in the mid- and late 1990s, the band kicked deYoung out when he tried to start the whole cycle over again. He tours separately from them now, doing Styx hits and his own music with an orchestra, while the other guys retain the name "Styx" and tour under it.
How about 'Robert Orin Charles Kilroy'?"
This was the full name of the eponymous Kilroy of the album "Kilroy Was Here". In the context of the album's story, he was the last rock star to perform before the forces of the Majority for Musical Morality took control of the country and outlawed rock'n'roll. His last concert was raided, and he was framed for a murder committed during the raid by a MMM footsoldier. The song "Mr. Roboto" tells of his escape from prison disguised as one of the Japanese-made robot laborers employed there. Between his story and his initials, it doesn't take a genius to see that he's supposed to be Highly Symbolic.
For more information about the whole background to "Kilroy Was Here", there are a number of websites about the setting. including at least one fanfic novel. Just google on "Robert Orin Charles Kilroy".
there had even been internal discussion about a third-generation
33S design that would be almost indistinguishable from a human...
right down to the reproductive organs and glands.
Just a little reference to Armitage III, for the fun of it...
"Wake up! Time to live!"
Many of Doug's exhortations to the boomers in this sequence are pop culture references. This one is a play on a line uttered by Brion James, as "Leon," in Bladerunner: "Wake up! Time to die!"
"Much better than the Armstrong/Largo debacle."
Armstrong was a maintenance boomer in the A.D. Police manga who was the first known possessor of a "boomer messiah" complex. It is believed by some that his consciousness, uploaded into the GENOM computer network, "infected" the copy of Brian Mason's mind that was being transferred into the Largo boomer shell, resulting in Largo's own megalomania and boomer messiah complex.
"I've got a lovely fresh powerpack for you, Polly Boomer!"
"I'm got a lovely fresh cuttlefish for you, Polly Parrot!", from Monty Python's "Dead Parrot Sketch".
"Welcome to your life!"
The first line of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", by Tears for Fears.
Neither Mackie nor I are fully human, Linna. Our brains... were
extensively altered by his mechanisms.
Sylia's understating the case here. In June 2000, an Animeigo officer posting to Usenet confirmed that, according to what he had been told by the original Japanese production staff, both Sylia and Mackie had extensive boomer brain augmentation. Given that this announcement also declared the much-maligned "Grand Mal" BGC comic book to be canon, this means that neither Stingray offspring has anything resembling an organic brain any longer — in both cases their neurons were long ago consumed and replaced by neurophages — nanotech devices designed to devour, replicate, and improve on the original. Pretty horrific, when you think about it. What kind of man does that to his own children? Then again, what kind of man casually creates a race of intelligent beings for use as disposable slaves?
you kept me sane, you kept me *human*.
According to "Grand Mal", individuals whose brains have been "reconfigured" using Dr. Stingray's neurophages tend to become gradually divorced from humanity and begin thinking of themselves as something superior. They also cease to be bound by any consideration of normal human morals or ethics. But neither Sylia nor Mackie demonstrate any such sociopathic tendencies, at least not anything close to those exhibited by the two enhanced individuals in GENOM's employ. The latter are treated as corporate possessions and kept under 24-hour armed guard, while the Stingrays have had something approaching a normal life. Could that be the difference?
From the "shoot me now!" exchange in Rabbit Seasoning (1952).
DeBeer's is a real organization — the primary supplier of diamonds in the world. Every country that produces diamonds sells through them; every diamond you've ever seen, other than certain museum pieces, has gone through their hands. The simple description of the cartel's chokehold on the supply of gemstone-quality diamonds is completely factual; diamonds, as it turns out, are so plentiful that if the cartel did not ration them out, they would be worthless. For a good summary of the cartel's history and business methods, see this article in The Atlantic.
*Bots to the left of me, boomers to the right,* I thought wryly.
"Here I am, stuck in the middle with you." A reference, of course, to the song "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel, probably best known these days thanks to the movie Reservoir Dogs.
he had a voice like a diesel engine
At least the original Japanese seiyuu did. I can't remember what the dub performer sounded like.
"<What's the hassle, Schmassle?>"
Another Bugs Bunny quote for which I have a sound file, but no source info.
He was also *tall* -- well over two meters
That's what the BGC Roleplaying Game says his (or rather, his boomer proxies') height is, and the animation artists' relative size comparison sheets bear it out.
So tell me. How are your teammates?
Except for one, the list Quincy rattles off here are all names of actual player characters from the various Warriors branch campaigns, some of whom date back to 1985 or earlier.
Psyche quit after some nasty business with a doppelganger that
copied him. Shockwave left the team almost fourteen years ago on a
medical discharge. ... Proteus
left Warriors Beta and joined Alpha. The original Wildflyte's
dead, but his brother or cousin or something accepted the mantle
of champion for his people and took his place in Beta.
Actual history from the Warriors Alpha and Beta campaigns.
This is the exception among the list of player characters. "Papillon Rose" is the title character of an odd sort-of-fan-made anime that blends sentai and hentai in equal amounts to create a rather well-done adult parody of Sailor Moon and other magical girl shows. Obviously, she's listed here as a gag.
Rose resigned and joined some theme team in Tokyo.
The one in her show, of course.
"Yes, I remember
the nights we spent planning the expansion campaign, but we never
had enough free time to run it."
We did, although we only ran it once.
"<Here we are now,>" I burbled with false lightheartedness.
As the subsequent text explains, this is a quote from "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.
I was a mediocre student at best -- not for lack of ability, but
because I rarely applied myself to a task unless it excited and
Quincy's early life story is an amalgam of several different people I've known over the years, which is a pretty sad thing — both for him and them.
'Skysaber Conquers The World' is on TV tonight, and I don't want
to miss it.
A tip-of-the-hat to the talented but uneven Jared Ornstead, whose intentionally over-the-top semi-self-insert stories — starring his avatar, Skysaber — are among some of my favorite guilty pleasures. One of the common themes encountered in Jared's stories is that in many of the universes he visits, Skysaber finds some version of his adventures elsewhere being presented as fiction, usually in anime form.
"<Thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject ...
While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour
lemon juice on it?>"
A quote from Billy Crystal's "Miracle Max" character in the film The Princess Bride. (Which, if you haven't seen it, you really should go out and rent. It is an utter classic.)
Let's cut to the chase, Clyde.
The appellation "Clyde" is one that Bugs Bunny uses on occasion instead of "Doc". It's also used this way in the final verse of the song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down".
totally feather-plucking insane
I first heard this intensifier from the group "The Presidents of the United States" (best known for the songs "Peaches" and "Lump").
There. Again. Something in the way he had moved. Familiar.
Damnably familiar. And just beyond my reach.
Well, it's difficult to recognize one's own mannerisms in someone else.
A superhuman named 'Ultraa'
chose to move from his home in the 'real' world to a supposedly
'fictional' one in another dimension.
This was a story published in a DC comic book some time between 1980 and the release of Crisis On The Infinite Earths. "Ultraa" was, in that story, a rough counterpart to Superman who lived on Earth-Prime. As a baby he had crashlanded in the Australian Outback and had been raised to manhood by Aborigines. He voluntarily moved from Earth-Prime to Earth-One for the reasons given in the text.
garbanzo had been *feeding* them "berserk" boomers all these
"Garbanzo" is lifted from the first episode of M*A*S*H in which Charles Emerson Winchester appears. After Winchester's explanation of why he's one of the best, Hawkeye says, "I'm not playing second scalpel to this garbanzo for the rest of the war."
I founded and funded GENGenTech for that sole purpose.
You may remember GENGenTech as the GENOM subsididary that Ohara picked to send the Sabers against when he needed them out of the way.
"You know, Methuselah," Sangnoir began.
"Methuselah" is something Bugs Bunny has on occasion called some of his more elderly antagonists.
Quincy continued ranting -- gods help me, he sounded like he'd
been rehearsing for this moment for the last fifty years.
It was the first time I had actually
heard her speak, and she had a pleasant, almost musical lilt to
her Japanese. To my surprise I identified it as an Irish accent.
I have no idea if the Japanese seiyuu performed Madigan with an Irish accent, but the American dub actress did; it was about the only thing in her performance that I liked. And while I can't imagine what Japanese spoken with an Irish accent would actually sound like, I really liked the concept. So I lifted it for "my" Madigan.
<No more Mister Nice Guy! No more Mister Clean!>
This is the first line of the chorus of the song "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.
'Konya wa Hurricane'!
Oh, come on. You knew I had to use it eventually.
"Holy... that looks kinda like a tropical depression
forming." ... "Just like that freak twister..." ... a monstrous
black funnel cloud
Okay, let me say flat out — I know that a tropical depression/hurricane is a different beastie, mechanically and visually, from a twister. But this is a magically-created and magically-maintained storm, responding to Doug's subconscious mind, and it doesn't have to work or look like its natural counterparts.
Oh, and the "freak twister" is the one that was mentioned in Chapter Four.
Chaining targets like that ... is a risky proposition,
In fact, it's one of the most difficult "special attacks" you can attempt in V&V — if you fail to hit any one of your targets, you've missed them all. Doug doesn't often do this in play. None of us do — even with our usual bonuses to hit, it's an iffy thing.
Priss estimates that the storm should last no more than four
Those of you keeping track of times will probably note that by this point, Doug's already been playing "Konya wa Hurricane" for approximately three minutes, but the "standard" CD version of the song only runs for about four minutes and forty-three seconds. Why the discrepancy? Well, despite its use in the concert scene that opens "Tinsel City", the rendition of the song which is found on many BGC CDs is clearly a studio version. Live concert versions of songs, like the one that Doug recorded at Hot Legs, frequently run much longer than their studio counterparts.
*Into the field, through the polykev, between the ribs, nothing
but lung...* I managed to joke to myself
From a series of commercials from the late 1990s featuring a pair of professional basketball players competing to make ever more difficult (and ridiculous) combination shots; a typical "call" one would make to the other would be something like "Off the bleachers, over the referee, through the rafters, nothing but net."
Their glow faded into the random black-and-white of an empty TV
Another place where I got sideswiped by the relentless march of science — at least since changes in the basic design of TVs turned the typical empty channel into a blank, silent blue screen instead of hissing static. This one I don't feel too bad about, though, because I'm in good company — the first line of William Gibson's classic novel Neuromancer has become identically outdated.
It's against the Code.
V&V does in fact kinda-sorta have such a "code of conduct" for superheroes embedded in its assumptions, but we really don't pay much attention to it. Besides, it doesn't pass the reality check.
"What for you say you boomer when you got little pink armor like
"What for you say you monkey when you got little powder puff tail like rabbit, rabbit?" The Tasmanian Devil, in an astounding moment of perception and mental clarity.
"Go thou, and sin no more."
The concluding line of the "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" incident in the Bible, as spoken by Christ, in John 8:11.
"<I don't care if you're a champion,
No one messes with me.
I am ruthless in upholding
What I know is right,
Black or white,
As you'll see.>"
Lines from "The Arbiter's Song" from the musical Chess.
some fan of WWII had actually spraypainted a classic "Kilroy was
here" on the alley's largest stretch of uninterrupted wall
In case you've never seen one, they look like this:
I had to resort to my funniest "no shit, there I was" story
Because I was asked even before the story was out of preread, no, I didn't really have a specific story from the game in mind here, so I can't actually tell you what he told her.
You ever punch someone really hard while wearing a
soft gold ring? It smooshes around your finger, and you can't
get it off.
I know this from experience. Don't do it.
I came away with literally hundreds of new songs on several
Just another detail from his homeworld to hint at its differences: in our world, the UK hasn't had shilling coins in decades, not since they decimalized.
<And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love
The last lines of "The End" by the Beatles, from the album Abbey Road.
<System! Load song 'The Way'! Play song!>
Yes, the song whose title was embedded in both of Doug's talks with the Three is "The Way", by Fastball. And it was embedded in such a manner that the Three actually told him what the song was back in Chapter Eight — if you added the right punctuation to the sentence, which Doug (mentally) did not do.
<Exit the warrior, today's Tom Sawyer...>
The first line of the last verse of "Tom Sawyer", by Rush.
Very few things happen at the right time and the rest do not
happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these
defects. -- Herodotus (484-425 BCE)
In other words, the epilogues are arranged for dramatic effect, not by chronological order.
*What was it Pope John XXIII said when he read the third
secret of Fatima? Ah, yes.* "This makes no reference to my
If you're neither Catholic nor interested in general weirdness, this will probably mean nothing to you. Basically, in 1917, six visions of the Virgin Mary are said to have appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. This manifestation of the Virgin Mary allegedly left three secret prophecies in the possession of the children who saw her. Two were revealed rather quickly; the third was sealed for a very long time. As always, Cecil Adams and the Straight Dope have one of the better summaries, including the full text of the Third Secret extracted from a much larger Vatican page. You can also find a short history of the Fatima incident from a more explicitly Catholic viewpoint here. Anyway, the quote above is what that particular Pope is indeed reported to have said when he read the then-sealed prophecy upon his ascension to the Papacy.
Coming out of the studio into the control booth, Priss was hit by
a small, blonde guided missile. Laughing, she swept Jennifer up
into her arms and shared a vigorous hug with her daughter.
"How's my girl?" she asked, smiling broadly.
One thing I regret not being able to fit into this epilogue (without spoiling the flow and the mood) was the mention that former GENOM Vice President Duncan Ezequiel Sheng had been murdered in prison. So I'm telling you here and now that it happened, about a month after he was incarcerated. (Other inmates, no matter what their own crimes, take a dim view of child molesters. Unless the latter are protected by prison staff, they are often brutalized and even killed by their fellow prisoners.)
Serenity, daughter of Serenity, queen of Crystal Earth,
... Queen Serenity II
Before any Sailor Moon fans send me angry emails correcting my usage, let me just tell you that Hiroe has ended up in the far future of the Sailor Moon timeline that Doug visits in DW-S: Heart of Steel, and the differences here are a direct consequence of his actions during that story.
And yes, for you long-time readers, these were alterations to the story intended to help tie Ian McLeod's Dead Bang more tightly to the main DW continuity.
In his experience,
the vast majority of boomers actually had good homes and owners,
and for the moment stayed with them out of loyalty. For the
Which is not to say that these particular boomers are happily playing Stepin Fetchit or Uncle Tom to their human "owners". (Well, not all of them. Some are. They're all individuals, after all, and each one reacts and chooses differently.) In general, they're just biding their time until their numbers are large enough to form an undeniable political movement. Others are working on "seducing" their owners and/or human coworkers into acknowledging their personhood. There are millions of boomers out there, and there are almost as many strategies — but the one thing most of them agree on is a violent revolution to assert their rights is the last thing they can afford, given the history of the previous decade. So they're taking it slow and careful.
Until someone interferes, at least, as is seen in Dead Bang.
a SQUID analysis
Distinct from the Warriors' World SQUID42 encryption system (and the Linux system tool), RF SQUID analysis is a method of scanning and recording very faint magnetic field fluctuations by cooling the test material to cryogenic levels and subjecting it to very sensitive instruments. With the right supporting hardware and software, it can theoretically be used to retrieve supposedly erased or overwritten data from a hard drive.
And in case anyone is wondering or has forgotten, the files that Sylia is looking at here are those left behind by Legion and Minerva back in Chapter Five.
"Yui!" Toshi growled.
Again, for those who may have forgotten — these are the two children whom the Three resurrected, back at the end of Chapter Eight.