Masters of the Universe
(or so they would think)
by: The Author Who is Feared to be Named
Last time, on Bob Kiwi & Company
D'Gal: You want to pick up where we left off, Dumb-ass?
Newt: * over intercom system * No! I just built that Transdemensional-Transmogrifier! This will have catastrophic consequences!
Squeaks: Here we go again.
Ferdia: Catch ya on the flip side. Wonder what powers I'll have this time?
And well she might ask. As the fight commenced, and the stupid white duck began recklessly shooting everything in sight that could not get out of his way, the others dove for cover as sparks showered down around them, fully aware that they would not be able to escape their fate. Not with this author, anyway.
Death: I HEARD THAT. STICK TO THE STORY.
Long story short, once again the room was filled with such brilliant lights, as to rival the aurora borealis. Our heroes found themselves being pulled through space and time, twisted like taffy, riding the wormhole to another point of existence. Newt was safe within his shielded chamber, but when the power died and the smoke began to clear, he saw all too clearly that his friends were lost once again.
Newt: * over intercom system * Oh, fiddlesticks.
I Don't Have All Eternia
The Evil Sir Ivan Kiwi/ Duncan, Man-at-Arms: Oye. What brick wall landed on me?
Sign Holder/ Prince Adam: Not sure, sir. But at least I landed on something soft this time.
Lita Farlane/ Teela, Captain of the Guards: * slightly muffled * That would be my head.
Sign Holder: Oh. Sorry.
Ivan sat up and looked over his new surroundings. The polished white marble walls gleamed in bright sunlight, accented with tall columns and hanging tapestries. Valuable looking artwork was scattered through the hallway and there was gilding as far as the eye could see.
Ivan: I swear, if it weren't for the lack of pink, this could almost be one of Bobetta's mansions.
Lita: Does that mean I can pocket a few things? Bet no one would notice.
Ivan: Keep that klepto side under wraps for the moment, Farlane. At least until we discover where 'here' is. I'm not optimistic enough to think that screwy invention of Newt's only transported us across town.
Lita: * sighing * Whatever you say, boss.
Sign Holder: Why am I wearing a blond wig this time?
Lita: Actually, that two-ton sword across your back is more questionable than the bleach do you're sporting.
Sign Holder: I could say the same about that cute, little tiara you're wearing.
Lita: I have a staff, and I will whack you into next Tuesday.
Ivan: Children, can we fight nicely? I'm no happier with this overly mechanized suit and helmet. Deal with it and move on.
Lita: So, what's the plan? Do we figure out where we are, or find the others first?
Sign Holder: Mr. Arcadia had that communicator to contact Mr. Newt with.
Ivan: Good point. Probably we should set out and find the space mouse. He tends to be one of the more levelheaded people in these situations, so that will also help.
Lita: With what?
Ivan: Keeping me from shooting those stupid ducks when I find them.
In response to the deadly thought, the gauntlet across Ivan's left arm shifted and metamorphoses into a laser canon. Ivan smiled evilly.
Ivan: Interesting. Maybe this will be more enjoyable than I thought.
Lita: Why does this skirt have to be so short?
Sign Holder: Should we split up to search?
Ivan: No. Not without communicators to keep track of one another. Stay close for now, until we have assessed the possible dangers that this place may pose.
Lita: Well, that's no fun.
So the three wandered off, more impressed with their surrounding with each step. Small droids skirted along the passages, through large bay windows various types of hovercrafts could be seen flying across the open sky, and doors calmly slid open and closed, allowing them access to any portion of the huge building.
Lita: Either these people trust us a lot, or they have really sucky security.
Sign Holder: Maybe you're the princess. You are wearing that crown thing.
Lita: Ugh. I refuse to curtsey, and you better not be my boyfriend. You're too short, for starters.
Sign Holder: I'm not so sure. This sword might mean that I'm a warrior and suppose to protect you.
Ivan: Do not start acting like Bob, kid. I will kick the sense back into you.
Sign Holder: I'm just saying
Lita: Besides, there's no saying royalty lives here. This might be a museum, for all we know.
Sign Holder: I miss my sign. Everything is so much simpler when I have my sign.
Ivan: Where is everyone around here? Surely there must be at least a cleaning staff.
Sign Holder: How about that weirdo in the red robes?
Lita: Floating a foot off the ground? With pointy blue ears?
Ivan: And a beak. I have a bad feeling about this.
Ivan walked over to the strange character that was juggling flowerpots, which would have been fine, if he had actually been using his hands. Instead they spun in the air while surrounded by shimmering lights. Ignoring this, partly since he had recently been a demonic being and had possessed more impressive magic in his pinky, Ivan took a good look at the levitating oddity. Most of his face was covered with an oversized scarf, except for the large orange beak peaking out. Eventually Ivan just calmly tapped him on the shoulder.
Ivan: Excuse me. Can you tell me the way to San Viano?
And instantly regretted doing so.
Ferdie da Birdie/ Orko, the Court Magician: * high-pitched voice * AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!
The flowerpots went flying in various directions, and they all dove for cover as the ceramic containers shattered against several walls. Ivan took a wild guess.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Huh? Oh, Man-at-Arms, it's you. Golly, you scared me half to death, sneaking up on me like that.
Ivan: Like I could sneak in this get up. Wait, what did you just call me?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Uh, Man-at-Arms? Is this a trick question?
Lita: Okay. Are we crazy, or did he fall on his head?
Sign Holder: What's wrong with Ferdie?
Ferdie: * high -pitched voice * Who's Ferdie, Adam?
Lita: Who's Adam?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Are you guys feeling all right?
Ivan: That is a very good question. What the heck is going on?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Is this some sort of joke? It doesn't make much sense.
Ivan grabbed a hold of Ferdie and started to shake him.
Ivan: Ferdie, I know it's you. Stop fooling around and tell me what happened to the others!
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Gaah! Stop it, Man-at-Arms! What's wrong with you?
Lita: I don't think he's kidding, boss. Even Ferdie isn't this stupid.
Ivan: That's debatable; but, for now, I'm forced to agree with you.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Oh, I get it. This is because I made another mess in your lab this morning, isn't it, Man-at-Arms. Let's play a trick on Orko; it'll be funny. Lots of laughs all around, right?
Ivan: Yeah, you got us. Uh
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * So, where're you guys going?
Lita: Oh, nowhere special. Just
around. Checking things out. You know, for security.
Ivan: * through gritted beak * Lita
Ferdie: * high-pitch voice * Oh, no! Skeletor's not planning an attack, is he?
Sign Holder: Skela-who?
Lita: We'll get back to you on that one.
Ferdie: * high-pitch voice * Have you told the king yet?
Sign Holder: King?
Ivan: Yeah, the king. Right. We were just looking for him. Do you know where he is?
Ferdie: * high-pitch voice * Um, I think he's in the throne room with the queen. They're preparing for the ambassador from Avian.
Ivan: Throne room. Got it. Thanks for your help
Ferdie drifted away, muttering something about needed to work on the evening's entertainment. When he was out of earshot, Lita looked back at Ivan.
Lita: I think it's safe to say that this is bad.
Ivan: Gee, ya think?
Sign Holder: Why did he think he was someone else?
Ivan: The best conclusions I can come to are either he is suffering from some sort of amnesia, or that was not actually Ferdie.
Lita: A doppelganger. Cool!
Sign Holder: But last time we knew who we really were. And why wouldn't the three of us be affected, too?
Ivan: Not sure, kid. We may find more answers if we locate some of the others. They can't be too far.
Lita: To the throne room!
Sign Holder: And which way would that be?
Lita: * shrugging * Heck if I know.
Ivan: If this place is anything like home, a throne room would be close to the bottom level and all corridors would lead there. Shouldn't be too hard to find.
Sign Holder: * mock bowing toward Lita * After you, your Majesty.
Lita: Watch it, or I'm going to shove that sword where the sun don't shine.
Ivan: * sighing * Kids.
The trio continued walking, looking for clues, or familiar faces. The building was huge, though, and several times they found themselves passing the same object two or three times. Eventually, they stumbled across a stairwell, and made their way down one floor after another, until they stumbled across what turned out to be a flight hanger.
Lita: Ooh! Look at all the pretty ships. I wonder how fast they can go?
She would have made her way over toward them, probably to see how difficult it would be to hotwire and take off with one. Before she could, though, Ivan snapped her back to the matter at hand.
Ivan: Fly later. Answers first. We can't get distracted by every shiny object we come across. * looks thoughtfully at the high-tech equipment * Though, I wonder how difficult it would be to smuggle some of this stuff home?
They passed by a group of young soldiers, who immediately stopped what they were doing and saluted. One, obviously a ranking officer, stepped forward to address them.
Miscellaneous Lieutenant: Your Highness, Man-at-Arms, Captain. Can we be of assistance?
Ivan: Hmm. Obedient and accommodating. I could get use to this.
Lita: You're not the one getting a breeze up your tail.
Sign Holder: Could we get one of them to lug around this sword for me?
Miscellaneous Lieutenant: I'm just doing drills with these new cadets. Flight simulations, emergency evacuations; anything they might encounter under fire. Do you have any questions, sir?
An idea suddenly formed in Ivan's head. He turned to the line of soldiers and gave them a stern look.
Ivan: All right, men, pop quiz time. The castle's being invaded and the enemy is heading for the throne room. How would you get from here to the king and queen, before they are captured or killed? Anyone?
A cadet in the back saluted.
Cadet: Sir. I would take the left corridor by the hanging gardens, up the gardener's staircase, to the Queen's garden. That is directly adjacent to the throne room, sir.
Ivan: Good. Well done, soldier. You would all do well to follow this young man's example, and always be ready for any possibility. You never know when Skeletor may attack, and your first priority is always the royals' safety. As you were.
They all saluted.
Et al: Sir, yes, sir!
The lieutenant barked orders for the men to return to their training. As the soldiers marched away, Ivan, Lita and the Sign Holder turned and made their way to the hanging gardens.
Ivan: Gotta love the military mentality.
Sign Holder: That was great, sir. But what happens if we get caught in the Queen's garden and we're not supposed to be there?
Ivan: I think it's safe to say that, since they did addressed Lita as 'your highness,' it shouldn't be a big problem.
Lita: I think I would rather be a dragon again.
Ivan: I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
Sign Holder: Does this mean you'll have to follow Lita's orders, sir?
Ivan: Don't start with me, kid.
Following the directions given by the cadet, with only minor incident, they arrived on the upper level and found that the garden did open up to a huge room where two gold thrones were the obvious centerpieces. Currently unoccupied, a couple in expensive robbing stood at a nearby table, talking with a small group courtiers. Ivan and his two wards crossed the room and only had to cough slightly before someone noticed their entrance and made a gesture at the king. He turned to face them.
Bob Kiwi / Randor, King of Eternia: Ah, Duncan! Excellent. We have been waiting for your report on what security measures will be put into place for the ambassador's arrival.
It is difficult to say what was Ivan's strongest reaction. In the end, his gut won out.
Ivan: * under his breath * I think I may need to cleanse my palate.
Bobetta Kiwi / Marlena, Queen of Eternia: We need to finalize these plans so that staff can begin decorating for the reception.
Lita: They're my parents?!?
Bobetta: Did you say something, Captain Teela?
Lita: Captain? Me?
Sign Holder: Then what does that make me?
Bob turned to look at the Sign Holder and a very disappointed look spread over his face.
Bob: Adam. You're an hour late, son. Have you no sense of your princely duties?
Sign Holder: * squeaking * Son?
Lita: Ha! Serves you right.
Ivan: * hissing at them* Enough! * coughing to clear throat * Adam was with me
* gritting his beak again *
your majesty. We were patrolling the grounds, and your
son felt he should join us to see for himself what preparations were being made.
Sign Holder: * squeaking * Son?
Bobetta: Adam, are you feeling well?
uh, good. Glad to see your finally starting to take interest in your responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Lita was practically jumping with joy.
Lita: Heehee! I think I need to go out and help with the training of those cadets! I'm in the mood for a good butt kicking!
Sign Holder: This is so not fair.
Bob: Hah! Take it easy on my boy. We don't need him broken into pieces with foreign dignitaries coming.
Bobetta: Your daughter does seem to be very enthusiastic today, Duncan.
Ivan and Lita: Daughter?!?
It was the Sign Holder's turn to snicker at this revelation.
Bob: You all seem to be acting strange today.
Accident in my lab. Orko was fooling around again. Nearly killed us all, and I think some of the fumes still may be affecting us.
Bob: Ah, yes, that would explain it. Sometimes I do wonder why we keep that Trollan around.
Ivan: I've been asking that for years.
Bobetta: Now, my darling, don't be cruel. Orko is an excellent jester, and has always been a good friend to Adam.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * You're too kind, your majesty.
Ivan: Like a bad penny.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * And you don't have to worry about the entertainment, your highness. I've been practicing.
Lita: Joy. Going to destroy some more innocent planters, are we?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Very funny, Teela. Please, your highness. I promise I won't mess up.
Bob: Very well, Orko. But try not to create a rainstorm in the dining hall this time. Avians do not enjoy getting wet.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Oh, boy! You won't be sorry. I've been working on some new magic, including a summoning spell. Just watch!
Rolling up his sleeves and clearing his throat, Ferdie started to wiggle his fingers in the air and spoke.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Hem. Florkus-mari, zippity-zat; bring to us the cringing cat!
There was a bang, followed by a puff of smoke, which spread and enveloped the Sign Holder. After a second of wondering if he was all right, there was suddenly a loud cry.
Sign Holder: AAAAAAAAHHH!!! Cat monster!
He can charging out of the haze and hid behind Ivan. When the cloud drifted away, a large, rather confused, green tiger was revealed.
Lita: Was that supposed to happen?
Bobetta: Adam, what's the matter? It's just Cringer.
Ivan raised an eyebrow at the tiger. It was not attacking, and it certainly did not seem to be fierce. He pushed the Sign Holder from out behind him, toward the over-sized house cat. The latter immediately started to purr and nuzzle the small brown kiwi. The Sign Holder, for the sake of appearances, reluctantly pat the creature on the head.
Sign Holder: Good kitty.
Bob: You're acting like you don't even recognize him. Are you feeling well, son?
Sign Holder: I
it was him. The smoke and all.
Ivan: I'm more surprised the spell actually worked.
Bob: Hmm, I would have to agree.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Such little faith. But that's only the beginning.
He started to wiggle his fingers again, when the building around them began to shudder.
Bobetta: What sort of trick was that?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Uh, I didn't do that.
Alarms began to screech all around the palace and the sound of flyers scrambling could be heard from the beneath the balcony.
Bob: We're under attack! My love, get to safety! Duncan, we must intercept this threat before the palace sustains damage.
Ivan: * raising his eyes to the heavens * Why me?
Bob: Captain, call out you troops!
Lita: Whoo-hoo! I'm going to the hanger!
Ivan: Hey! Come back here!
They charged off toward the stairs, and the Sign Holder made a move to follow. He only ran two steps before Ferdie caught him by the arm and began to pull him in the opposite direction.
Sign Holder: Huh? What are you
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Adam! Come on! This way!
Sign Holder: Wait! I need to
But his protests were lost in another volley of explosions. They ducked down a corridor as the palace began to shake again, sending artwork off the walls, and Cringer pitifully mewed while trying to hide behind the Sign Holder.
Sign Holder: Oh, like I will really be any kind of protection for someone your size.
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Adam, quick! Skeletor's forces are coming!
Sign Holder: What do you want me to do about it?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Change!
Sign Holder: What? Change how?
Ferdie: * high-pitched voice * Stop fooling around, Adam, and change into He-man before it's too late!!!
Sign Holder: He
Meanwhile, down in the courtyard, soldiers were positioned and returning fire at the attacking sky strikers. Ivan joined them, having lost track of Lita as she dashed off to lead the charge of the castle's jet sleds. Nor did he know what had happened to the kid.
Ivan: * yelling at no one in particular * Next time, I would like to go somewhere where people won't be trying to blow me up.
His words, not mine. As the flyers passed overhead, he saw Lita in the lead, having quickly adjusted to this world's technology and currently opening fire on the enemy. Having turned his one gauntlet into a blaster again, Ivan zigzagged to a barricade where a group of soldiers were firing a large surface-to-air canon.
Ivan: Get me in contact with the Captain. She's up there in the fray.
Random Solider: Yessir!
In no time, a small communication terminal was brought over and tuned into the sled's frequency.
Teela. Be careful up there, and watch what your doing. Don't blow anyone one up who might be
useful later on. You got me?
Lita: * through static * Loud and clear, Dad!
Random Soldier: Is there a problem with the Captain, sir? Should we send up more reinforcements?
Ivan: No, I have a feeling you would only get in the way of her itchy trigger finger.
The battle intensified as more enemy forces arrived and began to land around the palace. The ground troops engaged the charging skeleton warriors, and Ivan began to return fire. Not because he was supposed to be setting an example for those around him, but because it felt good to blast the hell out of something. He was getting frustrated by the situation and decided to take it out on the zombie-like canon fodder making its way toward him.
Random Soldier: Sir! The Captain!
Ivan swore under his breath as he watched Lita being trailed by a fresh group of strikers. He could do nothing but watch while she tried to evade them; but in the end, a stray blast hit her left engine and she started to go down.
Fortunately, Lita bailed out just in time, somersaulted through the air, and landed safely on the ground. The dust bunny began to run as soon as she hit her feet, making a path directly toward Ivan's position.
Lita: That was fun! I need another flyer, though.
Ivan: Not a chance. You're grounded, sister.
Lita: That's 'daughter' to you, Pops.
Ivan: Don't call me that. And we have to stay alive if we ever want to get home.
Lita: What happened to the kid?
Ivan: Not sure. Lost him during the confusion, but he can take care of himself.
Lita: And I can't?
Ivan: Fine! Start by helping me clear out these boneheads!
Their argument paused as a black shadows spread over the area, blotting out the sun.
Ivan: Now what?
Lita: Like it could get any worse?
They both looked up and saw a pair of huge griffin-like creatures swoop down, preparing to land. From the backs of these creatures, two figures vaulted to the ground. Two very familiar forms.
Ivan: You and your big mouth.
Lita: Um, boss, is that
Ivan: Ferdia and Squeaks? Yeah, looks that way to me.
Lita: And they're
Ivan: Attacking the castle we're supposed to be defending? So it would seem.
Ferdia da Birdie / Evil-lyn: Surrender, Masters!
Squeaks Arcadia / Triclops: Or prepare to die!
Ivan: And they appear to be suffering from this whole amnesia thing as well. Just perfect.
Lita: Oh, bad. Bad, bad, bad.
Can Ivan and Lita find a way to save the castle without harming their friends? Will Ivan get fed up, kill Bob, and be arrested for treason? Will Bobetta, in spite of having lost her memory, redecorate the palace in all shades of pink? Will the Sign Holder be able to save the day?
For these, and other answers, stay tuned for Part II!