Chapter 305: In Which Our Hero Herds Sheep And Drinks Overly Sweet Wine While Eluding An Angry Scotsman

…although once the Scotsman saw the sheep, he calmed right down

 

TWO blog posts in one day? Thank Sasha for this one.

Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi there, folks! For this entry, I thought that I might FINALLY get around to posting some answers to some of my voluminous reader mail, so here we go.

In an email, Ms. A. C. writes: “Just how big is the inside of the Magic Bus?”

A great question, but one that is not easily answered. See, certain of the rooms adjust their size depending upon how many people are on the bus. The living room is particularly adept at that. Then we have the problem of new rooms (like the Forest Room and the infamous Dungeon) popping in from time to time. And that damned Warehouse just will NOT allow you to get an accurate measurement!

The best ballpark figure I can give you (which does not include the area under the main living areas) is about 3 square miles.

A personal message from Robin asks: “How can you justify creating a nearly indestructible dog with such destructive tendencies, then giving an equally crazed cat a suit of power armor? Have you no morals? No conscience?”

Since that is actually a three part question, I shall answer each part in turn. A: I’m a Mad Scientist. We do not justify what we do, we do it because we can. Also, my sister was dying. B: Being mad means having a more “adaptable moral structure”, to quote my Dad. C: Nope, nope. Not a whole hell of a lot of conscience to speak of.

I hope that cleared things up.

Ms. Bonnie, from Seattle, asks: “Why are so many humans so fucked up?”

Man, talk about a question that could fill several books. Anyway, Bonnie, I think it mostly comes down to religion. When you have an idea that promotes one species above all others as special, then give that species one of the premiere creative brains on the planet, you are asking for trouble. It also doesn’t help that humans, like chimps, are a violent species. When you toss in politics (at least, human politics) and the damned near universal mammalian habit of males thinking with their dicks, you end up with some really bad hairless apes. We can only hope they wise up fast or, barring that, die off in droves.

An email from Justin asks: “Can you tell us about some alternate world Canadas?”

Sure, Justin! I’ll tell you a bit about three of them.

In the first Canada, there is no poutine or hockey. Neither one ever really caught on for some reason. It is a sad place to visit, although the sport of Bear Teasing is kind of fascinating to watch. By the way, 80 years into it, the score is Bears: 39,753 Humans: 0.

In the next Canada, the entire population of the UK and much of Ireland moved there when the British Isles sank into the ocean in 1835 thanks to the machinations of Professor Demonicus. Canada became the jewel of the British Empire, at least until the Empire exploded. Even today, it is the #2 superpower in the world, after the United States. Both nations work together to make sure that never changes.

The third Canada was invaded by Martians in 1950, but these Martians were only 3 feet tall and very friendly. There were only 278,000 of them and the were allowed to settle in the northern parts of Alberta and parts of the southern Northwest Territory. They soon fitted right in and became valued members of Canadian society. It didn’t hurt that their poop contains large quantities of precious metals and rare earths.

Well, folks, that’s all for now.

Until my next rant,


Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

 

Please Don’t Feed The Kraken

…and for goodness sake, do NOT unleash him

 

Sasha Explains It All

You Are Not Alone, Or Even Unique

One of the things that makes humans and a whole bunch of other races interesting and also kind of delusional is this whole idea of you each being totally unique. This belief is a cherished one, especially by self help gurus and fashion designers. And pretty much every consumer product company. Oh, and advertisers. Can’t forget them.

Now, while is is ultimately true that each living thing is unique due to the influences of it’s own life path, outside effects & such, you humans are not so unique as you think. Not even close, really.

Before I go any further with my puncturing of your egos, let me just say that we dogs aren’t exactly bastions of uniqueness either. Just look at a bunch of black labs or bichons or scotties, for goodness sake. They really DO all look alike! Hell, even dogs with some variety of coat colors/patterns look pretty damned similar unless we’ve had some accident. We bassets all have the big snout, long ears, short legs, etc. Same for every breed, really, as well as cats, rabbits, etc.

Now, we DO have other things to help individualize ourselves, including smells, but we aren’t that much more unique than you guys.

So back to why you aren’t unique. In a word: multiverse. See, on average, most folks here on Earth have between 190 and 400 pretty damned near exact duplicates out there on other world’s. These are the ones who aren’t radically different from the Prime. Go out a few more quanta and you can easily quintuple that number and still not be in the really exotic realms.

As an example, let’s take a look at my Auntie Avis. Now, she is a sweet hearted lady who is single (long time divorced), a geek, level headed, over 60, pretty healthy and has worked at her job for over 20 years. She lives in a city in a New England state and has a cat named Leon.

I can show you at least 67 just like her on other worlds. Now, in some she works a different job and in some she has a dog named Leon and in some she was married longer or shorter lengths of time and in some she lives in another city in the same state but fundamentally, she is the same person each time. A great person, but not unique.

Now, there are worlds where Auntie Avis is WAY different, like the one where she is 6 inches taller, has tattoos and is part of a roller derby team when she isn’t working as a police officer. Or the world where she is, essentially, Batman. Or the world where she’s a zombie killing asskicking grandmother. But in the near quanta, she is the wonderful auntie who gives us dogs bellyrubs and sort of balances out Daddy in each universe.

So, like I said, you aren’t really unique. While that might kind of deflate and depress some of you, I think it ought to make you feel good. After all, you are not alone in the multiverse. There are plenty of you.

Except for my human dad. Now, there are tons of him out there, and in the near quanta they are pretty much ordinary guys. Farmers, game designers, writers, cooks, etc. Almost all of them live in California, except a couple who live in Hawaii and one who lives in Seattle. They are all married to some version of Mom, although she does sometimes have different hair color.

The problem is, there are none like the man sitting 15 feet from me right now humming the theme to The Wild Wild West while eating a pb&j and reading a web comic. None driving Magic Buses with mentally jumped up dogs & cats & robot dogs. None who can use a BilTokian gravity glove with ease, but not be able to tell you how and where he learned how to use it.

Maybe there are others like him in the outer quanta, but it’s still a mystery to me how he could be the Prime to so many ordinary dudes. And while I’m at it, there’s something subtly odd about Mom, too, but I’m damned if I can pin it down.

Anyhow, my parents aside, none of us are unique, so get over it.

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD

Three Young Ladies In Search Of Adventure

…or cheap drinks

 

The Doclopedia #1,178
The Truth About Monsters: Hydras

Let’s face it, anything with more or less than one head is scary. Something big and reptilian with SEVEN heads is pretty much guaranteed to terrify you, possibly into soiling yourself.

Enter the creatures known as Hydras. They got the name from that old Greek legend, which managed to bleed over into realities that don’t even have a Greece. People saw a multiheaded dragonish looking thing and it was like, “Holy Shit! A hydra!”.

The big problem is that hydra are not generally aggressive and the vast majority are plant eaters. They really only get aggressive during mating season and during the raising of their young. Or if you decide to attack them, which happens every so often.

In their normal state, hydra have only two heads, both on long flexible necks. This allows then to eat twice as fast or look out for predators while one head eats. Yes, these 8 ton creatures do have predators. You do NOT want to meet one of them.

Anyway, the near instant re-growing of heads & necks is a hell of a survival adaptation. Most hydras can go as high as 7-8 heads, but the Greater Forest Hydra can go up to 12 heads. The GFH also has a poisonous bite, so you’ve been warned.

So, some dumbass adventurers see a hydra, attack it and maybe manage to cut off a head. Two more pop up and pretty soon it’s a meeting of the Dead Adventurers Club.

Afterward, once the hydra is out of danger, all but two of the heads and necks drop off and it goes back to eating plants.

A Pocket Full Of Butter

…oh no, my good pants

The Doclopedia #1,177

The Truth About Monsters: Demons

In the pocket dimension known as “Demarra”, the beings that we call Demons look and act surprisingly like we do. Indeed, if you were transported there safely, you’d fit right in.

The key word there is “safely”. You see, transporting between realities via magic is inherently unsafe and it is doubly so when going from or to most realities and Demarra. The magical energies warp and restructure your body while filling you with great power. When a Demarran arrives here, they look, well, demonic and they are under the control of the summoner. The same thing would happen if we went there, but Demarrans don’t practice magic.

Needless to say, the Demarrans hate being summoned and used for fouls purposes. That’s why they try like hell to kill the mages who summon them, something they do with increasing frequency of late. In fact, the government of Demarra has instituted mandatory “Summoner Eradication” classes for all citizens.

So stop summoning Demons, mages! Go back to making deals with dragons and liches!

Golden Weevils

…I have no idea where that came from

 

The Doclopedia #1,139

Road Signs: Steep Grade

On Smart Earth, where education is mandatory everywhere and most folks have 3-4 degrees, you’ll often see this road sign as you drive the last mile to one of the more exclusive universities. It references the fact that if you have less that a B+ average after the first semester, you’ll probably get kicked out. At the end of the second semester, it better be an A average or they’ll start calling you “the slow student”.

The Doclopedia #1,140

Bad Dogs: Amelia, The Irish Setter

On DogEarth, there are some pretty bad dogs. Amelia O’Barker is one such canine. Born in Ireland, she came to the United States at age 5 and immediately started up a gang of the toughest bitches she could find. Before long, they were deep into extortion, gambling, drugs and a host of other rackets.

Amelia rules with an iron paw and enforces her rule via “The Big Girls”, three Saint Bernard sisters who strike fear into the hearts of everyone they meet. These enforcers are thought to be responsible for several murders and at least a dozen forced neuterings of members of the “West Boston Growlers” gang.

Amelia O’Barker is a 10 year old Irish Setter. Her fur is deep red with blond highlights. She usually wears gray business suits and has a nickel sized notch in her left ear. She has a pronounced Dublin accent.

The Doclopedia #1,141

Bad Dogs: Doctor Petey

Of all the evil masterminds on DogEarth, Doctor Petey is the most feared. A master of planning, he uses his insanely loyal followers and high tech gadgets to take whatever he wants, spreading fear and destruction along the way. He has several secret lairs around the world, with his favorite being the one beneath New York City.

Doctor Petey started out as Petey Wagtail, a genius pup born to poor Staffordshire Terrier parents in San Francisco in 1922. By the age of 4, he had started down the path of evil and was soon gathering up the funds and technology he would need to launch an attack on the law abiding world.

 

The only reason Doctor Petey has not conquered the world by now is that he has been thwarted at every turn by the likes of Mystery Hound, Lois Woofer of the FBI and Agent 333 of Her Majesties Secret Service. These do-gooders and their associates always seem to gain the upper hand at the last moment.

 

Doctor Petey is a 12 year old Staffordshire Terrier with a mostly white coat that has black spots in a few places. He usually dresses in expensive suits and wears a monocle in his left eye. He effects a German accent, but is not German at all. He is often accompanied by his right hand man, Max, a miniature poodle. In his spare time, Doctor Petey enjoys fine food & wines, building deathtraps and dropping enemies into a tank full of sharks.

Belly Up And Half Wasted On A Beach In Oregon

…that never happened. No, really.

Hey, Doclopedia fans, I’m getting together the 10-15 themes I’m going to put in the first Doclopedia ebook and I’d like to know which ones you liked. If you get a chance, cruise through the over 1,100 entries and give me your theme picks. Pretty sure that “Those Furry Little Bastards” and at least one Dog/Cat theme is a done deal. May save all of the “The Rise Of…” entries for a second ebook.

I’ll be revising most entries I use, at least a bit, so if you have suggestions for improvement or expansion, tell me.

Also, I’m going to need to do at least 50 new, ebook only, entries (maybe 7-9 themes), so I’ll post a list here soon that y’all can vote on.

Thanks!

The Cupcake Elves Hate The Yogurt Gnomes

…it goes back decades.

Partly to restart my writing mojo and partly to update everyone who reads my annual DogCon/CatCon reports, here is what is going on at Casa Cross today.

After being on the loose for several weeks, Flash and Lulu are home. The police and FBI dropped them off last night. Harsh warnings were given. Fortunately, when they got up to Washington State, they found that Uncle Ferdie’s Trained Squirrel Review had relocated to Arizona.

(Lulu: The FBI people were pretty nice to me, especially Agent Mulder.)

(Flash: Man, that totally sucks!)

Flash is in lockdown in his apartment and Joe installed an obedience subroutine in Lulu, so she is behaving, if not contrite. Hell, I don’t even know if a cyborg dog CAN be contrite.

(Lulu: I’ll run my guilt subroutine, Daddy.)

Actually, F & L were never beyond our keeping track of them. Lulu has a built in GPS system and it seems Sasha installed a small tracker in Flash, too.

(Flash: The fuck??)

(Sasha: Yeah, I used a Brakellian micro anal probe while he was asleep.)

(Flash: YOU PUT TINY ROBOTS UP MY ASS?!?!?!?)

Abigail and Beatrice are enjoying their last few weeks of living here before they move off to Texas to be part of the All Goat Review in Critter City next year.

(Abby: I’ve been watching old Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly movies. Also, Busby Berkley, because DAMN!)

Speaking of Abby, she has downloaded the recorded antics (Lulu has built in cameras and somethingbytes of storage) of Flash & Lulu on their crime spree and is editing a gag reel. Flash is not amused.

(Sasha: OCTAbytes, Daddy! Jeez!)

(Flash: Fuck that shit! What about my violated rectum?)

Bea has been helping Sasha down in the DocCave. They’ve set up some sort of laboratory. Joe seems impressed with it, but I’m not allowed anywhere near it. Grace has stated that nothing dangerous or strange better come out of that lab.

(Bea: It’s for the best, Daddy.)

(Flash: YO! Victim of anal probing here!)

(Lulu: I can attempt removal, Flash)

(Flash: Ummm…no, sis, that’s ok.)

I’m told that the lab is to help Sasha with her new online courses from some place called Narbonic Labs. Apparently, she wanted to broaden out into biology & genetics.  Graces edict has been suitably strengthened.

(Sasha: Mom will change her tune when I revive the Dodo or the Tasmanian Tiger or the Passenger Pigeon or whatever.)

(Daisy: Oh yeah, nothing bad can come of this.)

(Abby: I’ll try to be prepared when the hordes of Utahraptors head toward Texas.)

(Sasha: You two are a freakin’ riot. NOT!)

So, there’s my update. As you can see, things are pretty normal around here.

(Flash: Except for my butt!)