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Outside the Ox

Everybody Welcome and Needed! It's 2012!

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Slarty stands in the middle of a big clearing with a big bus with an enormous plastic spider on the top, its legs hanging down between the windows. He is wearing his tin foil helmet again. A couple people stare at it, then walk away, bored of all the stupid spider vehicles.

 

Slarty: Come one, come all! See the amazing Spider Bus!

 

Silence.

 

Slarty: No, really. I've salvaged the Spider Bus from ADoS's 2003 RP in which he drove a bus "around the block" over and over again. I've also outfitted the bus with some temporal implants. I'll be driving this bus INTO THE PAST, Calvin and Hobbes style. Here's to the Past!

 

A pink nephil hops off the bus.

 

Rosycat: Hi, I'm an old cave cow spirit. I'm inhabiting the husk Rosycat left behind when she departed. I'll be dancing around as your guide, as your bus hurtles backwards and forwards through time.

 

Slarty: Come one, come all! We need members on board to power the retrioactivity engine! Everybody Welcome and Needed! Come on board this bus, this RP, and tell us who you are, what you think of it, and where/when you'd like to go!

 

Join in if you wish, there's plenty of room on the bus. There's even a big empty space in the back, big enough for a drakon.

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Slarty: I see this bus ride is off to about as grand a start as its predecessor was.

 

Rosycat pulls out a grenade launcher and blows up the giant, unhappy hard-boiled egg yolk. It flies everywhere.

 

Slarty: Some things never change.

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Oh, Rosycat. What has Slartifer done to you?

 

A small child runs up to the bus from the desolation of a nostalgia-torn General.

 

Drakefyre: Hey, did we have to be in our own skins, because Mommy says that septuagenarian eskimos have more fun!

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A bearded chap in worn, mismatched clothing walks by, then double takes at Slarty's announcement. He edges uncomfortably toward the doors then, when no one stops him, enters and takes the seat behind the driver.

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Another bearded chap approaches the bus, stares at the spider, Slarty, and the pink Nephil. "Why not?" He gets on the bus and breaks out some guacamole. "Does anyone have anything to dip?"

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After the doors open to allow Actaeon and The Ratt on the bus, they fail to close. Slarty messes with the dashboard controls madly and then curses.

 

Slarty: Okay, our first stop isn't going to be back in time after all. I think if we tried to go back with the door open, we'd all be sucked out. But I need someone to fix this stupid programming — they actually removed the "door close" feature of this bus since the last time it was used! I'm driving to Seattle to pick up a programmer. Of course, we'll stop along the way so that other members can get on the bus!

 

Rosycat: Here you go, my pretty! These are perfect for our nostalgia trip.

 

Rosycat hands The Ratt some memory chips. She also sees the small child who has quietly slipped onto the bus and waves to him.

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Arancaytar stumbles, bleary-eyed, onto the clearing holding an odd-shaped device. It buzzes. He presses a few buttons. It beeps. Then it crackles, fizzles, and emits a thin thread of smoke.

 

Arancaytar: What in the-- damn, broken again.

 

He gives it several whacks and it beeps again.

 

Arancaytar: This can't be right. Oof.

 

He has stumbled into the bus and walked right into someone.

 

Arancaytar: Oh, hi, this is my prototype for the new hand-held piperbot; it goes beep when there's stuff. Been working on it for days now, or I think it's been days, I lost track. It keeps glitching for some reason; sees stuff that isn't there, shows a localized retrio-anachronicity monopole right around... he waves the device around, finally taking in his surroundings... er, what?

 

He recognizes a vehicle that he has previously only seen in sketches from his own archives. It looks every bit as weird in reality.

 

Arancaytar: Blimey! Where'd you get this from?

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Tyran sees a spider bus approaching and is intrigued. As it pulls up next to him, he recognizes Spidwebbers. He climbs inside and asks, "Where to?

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Actaeon takes his gaze away from the window and looks at Tyran.

 

"I don't think Slarty's decided yet."

 

pause

 

"Should I store my bow under the bus?"

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Slarty: We're going to Seattle, folks! And after that, we're GOING PLACES. As to where the bus came from, that's one of the things we aim to find out on this expedition!

 

Rosycat: Ignore the insane driver of the bus and have some memory chips.

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Sylae pointedly ignores the peculiar bus, watching as people get on. During a lull in the boarding, she glances around and sneaks on, hoping nobody will notice.

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Iffy notes Slarty's mention of Seattle.

 

Iffy: I hear they have good coffee.

 

Steps in.

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Originally Posted By: Sylae
nobody will notice.


Notices.

Actaeon: Hi, Sylae! We're going to Seattle. Did you hear they have rain in Seattle? It's been a long time since I've seen rain. Not big on coffee, myself. More of a tea man.

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An indistinct figure walks towards the bus, wincing and clutching his ears every so often.

 

???: It's been nearly two decades since -- ow! -- since I've roleplayed as myself, and I've forgotten how bad the feedback is. But maybe if I -- ah! -- if I roleplay as people's perception of me...

 

The figure shimmers a bit, and Dintiradan steps on the bus.

 

Dintiradan: Don't mind me, I -- oh, hi Drakey! That reminds me, I borrowed some things from TGM in case someone had the same idea as you.

 

Dintiradan produces a box out of nowhere and places it next to Drakefyre. Curious, Drakefyre peers inside. It's full of Kiefer Sutherland and Will Smith masks.

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Excalibur saunters down the road on his bike. He's not entirely sure if it's possible to saunter on a bicycle, but he manages. Some hot pink tulips catch his eye so he saunters up to take a big whiff. Except...uh...

 

Excalibur: What the...? Oh well, looks pretty trippy!

 

He loads his bike on the rack, saunters up the steps, and attempts to take a seat next to what appears to be a giant Cordelia doll. The doll promptly gives him a rude gesture so he saunters two rows back.

 

Excalibur: Hey! Sitting over the wheel well is always fun!

 

He dozes off. Impossibly sauntering is rather tiring after all.

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Sylae: *quietly* Hi Actaeon, I don't like coffee either but Seattle is still nice. It has rain and stuff.

 

Sylae sits somewhere in the middle of the bus and looks curiously at one of the legs hanging down.

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Lt. Sullust wakes up in the back of the bus. He is covered in a fine layer of dust, as if he had been asleep for years.

 

Lt. Sullust: Wha--Where are we? Did I miss my stop?

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A tall humanoid figure wearing what appears to be a metallic - yet oddly flexible - robe that covers his entire body walks onto the spider bus. The only gaps in the robe are where his eyes are, and a yellow-orange light shines through them.

 

Roentgenium: I hope you don't mind me coming along for the ride. Oh, and, uh, it's probably safest if nobody sits next to me unless they want to get very sick very fast.

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An indistinct mumbling comes from under the bus. After thirty seconds of building up in volume, Goldenking emerges covered in the ashes from the coal fueling the bus.

 

What in the world just happened?

 

Blinded by the ashes, Goldenking stumbles into the bus trying to clean off.

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Slarty turns back and bellows at the passengers.

 

Slarty: Hey, this is great! Lots of passengers already. I'm going to start the retrioactivity engine so it can start to feed off you all. We won't need it until we go back in time, but we may as well get it revved up first.

 

Tyranicus: SLARTY! LOOK OUT!

 

Slarty turns back and suddenly swerves the bus to the left, narrowly missing a giant family tree. Unfortunately, when the bus swerves it causes one of the tree's lower branches to go right through the bus's open doors. The branch skewers Tyranicus. Tyranicus dies. Again.

 

Slarty: Does anyone have a quest log? This is getting to be a bit much. Pick up members, power retrioactivity engine, go to Seattle, find a programmer, explore the past, find out where the bus came from, take Lt. Sullust to the bus stop he missed nine years ago, and now we have to find a priest and revive Tyranicus too. I don't think he wants to be a bull again. Does anyone know a priest? Or a quest log?

 

Rosycat: Or a driving instructor?

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The Ratt: *whispers* to Actaeon "He said the bus was going to feed off us, do you think it would take memory chips and guacamole instead?

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Dintiradan pulls out a laptop and starts typing.

 

Dintiradan: Gee, Slarty, I'd love to help you with the programming and stuff, but I've really got to work on my dissertation. Just let me know when we get to... wherever we're going.

 

Actaeon glances at Dintiradan's screen.

 

Actaeon: That looks like a webcomic...

 

Dintiradan: Look, I'm just checking for any updates before I start working. Mind your own business.

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Actaeon: (to Dinti) Sheesh. Jus' tryin' to be friendly. (to Slarty) I suppose we could try to find Eph. Unless someone else does the healing these days? (to Ratt) I wouldn't worry too much about it. It probably just runs on souls or something. You'd get into more trouble trying to get chips out of Aran's bots. Nice beard, by the way.

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The arrival of the bus angers one of the bystanders, a green dikiyora wearing a baseball cap and a camera around their neck. The dikiyora shouts at the bus driver, "Hey! You just ruined Dikiyoba's perfect shot! Now the tree is going to be all crooked and bloody!"

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Grabs onto the busses side as it passes, and crawls in through the window.

 

Trenton:(To everyone.) "Whats all this about, then?

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A big man is sitting at home sipping coffee, sadly watching a live broadcast of the bus going to Seattle.

 

He wants to go too, but he suspects that the road to Seattle doesn't go through the Asian subcontinent. Assuming the driver is nice enough to divert the route a little, he gets in happily and takes a seat by the window (he likes window seats).

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Runs up to the front, honks the horn, and yells,

 

Trenton:"ITS GONNA BE A BUMPY RIDE!"

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A man in a black coat, black fedora, black shades was actually hiding in Trenton's bag, hearing the happenings along the way.

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I shouldn't have said that... confused

Nightwatcher: If you throw me out, I'm gonna break a jarate on your bag...

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Whistles and holds on to his bag, not checking it out though. He was strong enough to hold a bag, no matter how heavy. Vampiric strength helped!

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Jewels watches nervously as an odd looking bus full of oddly familiar people pulls up to the gas station across the street for a pit stop. It reminds her of an old Magic School Bus episode and she shakes her head. A huge banner across the side of the bus reads 'SPIDERWEBBERS RIDE FREE!'.

 

Jewels: Nothing good can come of this...

 

Sure of that as she is it only makes it all the more tempting to get on. She argues with herself for a minute before grabbing her backpack and stepping up through the open door. Slarty gives her a little nod.

 

Jewels: This trip better not come up to bite me in the butt... twice. I'll be in back if you need me; doing my homework.

 

A wave of deja vu washes over her as she finds a seat. She has the explicit feeling like she's done this before but can't quite place it.

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Cackles at the scared new-border. What was the worst that could happen? They would crash? Be sucked out of the bus and stuck forever in space and time? Pfft!

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Sylae looks up from her examinations, irritated by the rambunctiousness up front. She opens her mouth to yell, then stops when she sees Jewels get on.

 

Sylae: Hi Jewels, looking forward to the trip?

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Transforms into a "Van Helsing" inside Trenton's bag due to the prolonged sparkles...

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The big man opens the large, brown packet of whoopie pies which ADoS had given to him. To the delight of everyone on board, he begins distributing the pies, one for each.

 

Trenton gets two. And so does Van Helsing (the big man likes people who go around with vampires).

 

Then he borrows Actaeon's silver macintosh and starts playing the latest Avernum game. Escape from the wit, its called. Or fit. Or grit. Somehow, he can't remember what it was.

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Takes the whoopie pie... still hiding at the bag hoping for a food fight

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Iffy waves hello to Jewels and starts up a random conversation with Sylae. Suddenly the bus hits a pothole and sends the startled Iffy's coffee cup flying into the air and onto the seat in front of him, the spilled contents causing a scream. Iffy pulls out another cup from his backpack and continues drinking.

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Eats one pie...Then opens the tinted windows, letting himself sparkle! He throws the other pie at BMA.

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Jewels eyes the pie from BMA and hands it to Sylae.

 

Jewels: Here, I'm not hungry. Have another.

 

Sylae: Thanks! I'm famished. Haven't had a descent meal all week.

 

Jewels: You're mom's been cooking then?

 

Sylae nods and both giggle like school girls.

 

Jewels: Not sure about the trip yet. You know how many things are already on my todo list. But I expect it to be fun.

 

Jewels leans in to whisper to Sylae.

 

Jewels: Tell you the truth, I don't fully trust Slarty to get us home in one piece. I mean how long has it been and Tyranicus is already dead again? Don't suppose we should bring up any of our adventures at the Refuge, eh?

 

Sylae: Yeah. Keep it on the low down or Slarty'll be demanding demonstrations.

 

Jewels had to cover her guffaw to keep it from ringing throughout the whole bus.

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The big man roars like a bull, taurean that he is. He closes the silver macintosh, hands it back to Actaeon, and politely says thank you.

 

He then opens his second bag, and begins to randomly throw the whoopie pies at everyone in the bus.

 

Edit : Except the driver.

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Xelgion noticed some people he knows on a rather particular bus that happens to be in the form of his greatest fear. Xelgion did see Iffy and jJewels, though, whom he had rather high regard for. When Slarty wasn't looking, Xelgion mustered up a shred of courage and scurried onto the bus; to the seat behind Iffy.

 

Xelgion: Hello Iffy.

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The Ratt tries dipping one of the whoopie pies in his guacamole, only to be unsatisfied by the marshmallow-avacado taste.

 

"... I think I'm going to stick to memory chips."

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BJ, who today had a dark-green cloak and, of all things, a longsword strapped to his back, was intrigued by the odd bus parked in front of the gas station. Inside he could see a few people he recognized, but few he really knew.

 

Curious as to this strange sight, BJ poked his head through the open door.

 

BJ: "Hey, has anyone seen a pallid looking man in brown robes run past here? He's one of my arch-villains, and I really need him back."

 

Cautiously, BJ boarded the bus.

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*As the bus pulls into the next stop, there is a lone figure charging at the bus, slightly staggering. He boards the bus, and immediately fills the air in the bus with the stench of booze and tobacco.

 

Mysterious Man: Oh... what the hell!? *staggering drunkenly down the aisle* Did I miss the bus full of strippers and cocaine?! OR DID ONE OF YOU ASSHOLES ROOFIE ME. DON'T SCREW WITH ME, DAMNIT. Oh... gosh... you're pretty....

 

Mysterious Man falls into a seat, his head landing on the female occupying the seat next to him. He's out cold, as a small line of drool begins to dribble down his chin...

 

Mysterious Man: *Loud snoring followed by incoherent mumbling... the words "Strout", "Anama", and "Feranix" being the only things audible during his drunken slumber.*

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*Takes one look at the bus, and has the same reaction as Dantius did*

 

Tirien: Nothing good will come of this. YOU ARE ALL DOOMED, THE BACON LORD SHALL SMITE YOU ALLLL!

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Sticks his body out the bus, grabs onto PDN's 4 all, and pulls him on.

 

Trenton:Don't be such a wimp!

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After peeking into the box, the small boy smiled widely, before pulling the top of his face way, revealing the top of Nikki's head. Once he's sure Dintiradan has seen, he covers up again.

 

Drakefyre: What would be really fun is if we had masks of everybody else, no? Ateast until I find somewhere to plug in this beta version of Ocean Bound 2.

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After many adventures with potholes and tree limbs, the Spiderbus arrives in Seattle. But the bus doesn't go into the city proper, and instead skirts the city, heading for a large hill.

 

Iffy: Where are we going? Aren't we going to pick up the programmer?

 

Slarty: Of course we are. You'll see.

 

As the bus continues to drive up the hill, the hill seems to grow larger and larger until the passengers realize they are on the slope of a large mountain. The sky darkens and the air starts to grow warmer. Several passengers demand an explanation from Slarty.

 

Slarty: We're almost there. Don't worry, there's no danger for any of you. Well, except maybe the little boy. I would not want to be Drakefyre visiting Drake Volcano. Drake might get upset, you see. But we're not here for Drake.

 

The bus drives into a small opening in the side of the mountain. It is cooler in the cave and there are computers everywhere. Slarty bellows "HEY, DECKER!" out the door, and soon enough, a pixelated young man walks up and gets onto the bus. He and Slarty exchange greetings.

 

Jewels: Nice to meet you... wait a minute, you look familiar. Haven't I seen you before?

 

The man nods.

 

Slarty: Hey, Dintiradan!

 

Dintiradan looks up from his webcomic. The pixelated young man also turns and looks at Slarty.

 

Slarty: Remember the Cloning Machine, Dintiradan? Well, the chickens have come home to roost.

 

Rosycat: Hey! You leave the Chicken Gods out of this! Did you know that I retroactively speak Nephilian?

 

Slarty: As you can see, D, the doors are stuck open because they got rid of the "close doors" feature. Can you add it back in?

 

Dintiradan's Clone: Sure.

 

He sits down in the seat opposite Slarty and jacks in to the bus. He makes some odd facial expressions. A minute later, the bus doors whoosh closed.

 

Slarty: Perfect! Thanks, D. While you were doing that, I just remembered where we can find a priest who can help us to revive Tyranicus.

 

Dintiradan's Clone: Tyranicus died? Again?

 

Slarty: Yup. Can anyone guess where we're going now? Not back in time, not just yet...

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