Jim's Story
Chapter 14

Last time, on South Park:

Jim: I guess we start walking. Wait a minnit. Have any of you ever had deja vu? Because I've had it several times already during our adventures, and I'm having it right now.

8: Nope. Don't quite get your meaning.

donaldso: woot?

Jim: It's like I've heard myself say these exact words before... oh, no matter. Let's go, guys.

And now, Ch...

Jim: Wait! See? There it was again! I know I've said that before!

3: I totally do not sympathize with you, dude. That's a stupid concept.

8: Yeah, deja vu sucks.

Jim: Don't you oppress me, fat boy!

8: Don't call me fat, butt-fucker!

Jim: Then don't belittle my ... ohhhh, I don't feel too good...

e: Hmmm. This is not very me.

Jim: I think I'm gonna throw(up);

3: Oh, sh-i-t.


Jim: Ouch! Oh, e, that hurt! <trickle>

Joe Montana look-alike: Jim! [Snaps his fingers] Jim! Come on back to reality! It's really not that bad, you know.

Jim: Oh, man. Where am I now?

Joe Montana ni niteru hito: Hey, stop it. You're scaring me. Waitress, hurry up with our food.

c: Jim, completely stunned, threw his gaze wildly around the room in search of something that could tell him what the hell was going on. The place

Jim: c! Not again! throw(

c: Wait, wait! I'm just narrating.

Jim: Oh, okay. <burps up bile>

c: Yes, well, ahem. The place was decorated almost at random, even for a restaurant. His eyes finally fell on a picture of Kentucky on the wall.

Jim: Kentucky?

c: Yes.

Joe Montana: Washington?

Jim: What?

c: A secondary glance revealed a menu hanging directly under the picture of Kentucky. The menu belonged to a place called Harry's, located in Washington, D.C.

Jim: Washington?

Joe: Yes.

Jim: D.C.?

Joe: When? [Looks out the window] I wonder if she'll marry me.

Jim: Washington, D.C.?

Joe: Yes. Heh heh. That crazy Salim.

Jim: Who?

Joe: Okay, that's enough. Where's our food?

Talkative Waitress: Here you are guys. One soup, one special. And one ... foot-long. <wink>

Joe: <aside> I think she digs you, Jim.

Jim: No, thanks, I'm really too sick to eat right now.

Joe: You just said you had to eat right now or you would die. What happened to all that blood-sugar crap?

Jim: It went away.

Joe: It went away? I dwell in darkness without you and it went away?

Jim: Yes.

Joe: Washington?

Jim: What the fuck is going on here?

Joe: I was about to ask you the same ... there she is.

Jim: Where?

Joe: Right over there. Next to the fat one.

Jim: Yeah, that's great. But I still ~

T. Waitress: Boy, I tell you, the people you meat here...

Joe: [tearing himself away from the Vision] For example?

T.W.: Oh, like the guy who was here about 3 hours ago asking if I had seen Jesus. Some kind of friggin' religious fanatic or something.

Joe: Huh. Well, Jim here kind of looks like Jesus.

Jim: No I don't. Why do you [spots his image in the ceiling mirror] Oh. Ohhhh, deja vu feeling, not very e...

Joe: You're not gonna yuke again, are you?

Jim: Yes. <kaplaaaaaaaa>


c: Jim raised his head from the blue toilet and surveyed the damage. He'd noticed that he tended to throw->up rather violently. As expected, the vomit coated the floor. Little pieces of rib meet...

Jim: Hopefully that's not my own.

c: ... were scattered around like... well, like little rib meet pieces recently hurled at great speeds from a deranged esophagus. He had just finished using the last of the 7 towels to clean up the mess when he realized that

Jim: Where the hell am I now?

c: he was now standing in a hotel bathroom. Radisson, by the looks of it, which was his favorite just because of its particular toll-free number. He felt a little light-headed, not surprising considering his low tolerance for alcohol.

Jim: Alcohol?

c: Yes.

<<< Meanwhile

e: Hmmm. This is not very me.

Jim: I think I'm gonna throw(up);

3: Oh, sh-i-t.

Jim: Wow, I'm finally back. That was more than 80% weird.

Alice: Spelling correction: meat -> meet. Thank you for using DimNet.

e: Whaddya mean, yer finally back? You didn't leave, bitch.

Jim: Silly omniscient diety. I did too leave. Not corporally, tho'. I've been bouncing around in time.

3: Oh, Jim. You and your stories.

Jim: I'm serious. Apparently the episode of deja vu triggered... um... hmm. I've forgotten.

8: You poseur. You're just lying to get us in bed.

Jim: You wish. All I know is that something disrupted my perception of time. I'm not me right now...

3: But if you leave a message, I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Jim: ... because I know stuff that will happen in the future.

e: Like what?

8: Not finding Girl, not getting laid, not living happily ever after...

Jim: Hmmm, Girl. Something about Girl...

3: You hopeless romantic. Give it up. Don't you remember what happened last time you tried to access your stub functions?

Jim: e-dammit, listen! I don't know exactly! The point is, you have to track me down for some reason.

e: Well, how the hell are we going to find you?

Jim: I remember... the Alamo. No, the Space Needle. No, the heat. The White House. The Capitol.

e: Washington?

Alice: Yes.

3: When?

Jim: August, I think, [ae] 7. And ... no, that's it.

8: Great going, f--khead. Those are the sh-ttiest clues I've ever heard.

Jim: All 3 (*3*) of you have to go. And take Alice.

e: That's gonna hurt, Jimmy bobby. Like braces.

Jim: Do it!

e && 3 && 8: Urgh! <pop>

Alice: Fatal error: Network connection severed. Philotic connection severed. Again. Bleaugh.

Jim: Go, dammit! You don't have much time!

3: <aside to e, 8> His grasp of temporal mechanics is not as good. We have so little time, and so much to do! No, strike that; reverse it.

8: Wish the fucking butler was here so I could use his proxy-ass.

e: Shut up and search the month of August, 8.

8: Targeting Jim. [Douche bag.]

>>> Back at the Radisson

c: Jim stumbled out the door, anxious to see with whom he was sharing a hotel room. Perhaps, he hoped, it was Girl. Or at least someone of her sex. But standing next to the window, he spotted...

Jim: Oh, no.

Joe Montana: Don't tell me you have to puke again.

Jim: I'm fine. What the hell're you doing here?

Joe: Um... yeah. You are wasted. Why don't you go to sleep now.

Jim: Who the fuck are you?!

Joe: As your mentor, I am now ordering you to go the fuck to sleep. Don't make me kill you, Intern.

Jim: Mentor? Since when did I take up football?

Joe: Mofo, I'm calling the hotel emergency line. I think the number is ... 33?

c: Jim sits down. And starts to feel sick. Again.

Joe: So as I was saying, my "girlfriend" [he says, making those little quotes in the air] never surprises me. [Drooling at the ground below] Hey, she's pretty cute.

Jim: Ohhhh.... <hic>

Joe: You know? That's what I need, a genuwine surprise.

Jim: Here. <hublaaaaat>

Joe: Hey Jim, look at that Terminal Directory over there. This terminal's in the shape of an E. I'm starting to see the fascination you have with that letter.

Jim: Goddammit. Is this some kind of airport?

Joe: You know, despite their accents, I can always understand the guys at work, even Sven. But you, I can never understand, with your South Park and your e, 3, 7.

Jim: 8!

<<< Rejoining the letters and numbers

8: Think I found somethin', e. I'm definitely picking up a signature tinged with Akira in Washington, D.C. in the middle of August, [ae]7.

3: Betcha it's him. Can you pinpoint it?

8: We'd have to fuckin' go there first. And I can only guess at the day; it's too 8-damn fuzzy. Sheeeit. The 15th is the best I can dew.

Alice: ...

e: Since Jim's not looking, we can just kind of slide there instead of throwing ourselves.

3: Yeah. Thank 3.


8: O-heso tte nani?

3: I am craving ice-cream now, badly.

Jim: I am craving sex now, badly.

3: e, stop pretending to be Jim and help us.

8: e, sometimes.... plbf, no luck, he hasn't been here yet.

e: By the laws of e-probability, we should have landed exactly ... mutter, mutter... carry the 8...

8: Definitely feeling something from the future.

e: ... to the third power ...

Alice: "with your South Park and your e, 3, 7."

e: ... add ecx, [ebp+38] ... ah! Exactly 3 days before contact can be made.

3: Then let's go!!!


>>> And Jim again...

Jim: So lemme get this str8. I'm an intern.

Joe: You're the Intern.

Jim: I'm the Intern, and you are ...

Joe: The Keymaster. And she is the Gatekeeper...

Jim: Zb. And we're on a trip, you and I, and we've been in Washington National Airport for several hours waiting for a flight back to ORD.

Joe: Yep. Certainly a MILTF.

Jim: And what are you doing to get us out of here? Scoping chicks.

Joe: Ahhh yeah.

Jim: Ok, so I can probably get things back to normal by throwing e. So, throw(e).

Jim: ...

Jim: But apparently, that only works when they're around. Gr8.

Thief: That purple carry-on bag is mine, Intern!

Jim: Well, since Alice isn't here. Spelling correction: Thief -> Theef -> Kwooj -> Theif.

c: The Theif, riding an opossum, skillfully dodges the other passengers (who incidentally will get home that night, unlike Jim), rips Jim's bag (and left hand) away from him, then punches Jim in the stomach with the severed left hand, which he (the Theif) later attaches to his keychain.

Jim: <fading> Mental note: Don't bother replacing left hand before the Washington trip. <blakoutt>

<-<-<- Scroll Lock

e: 8, when are we now?

8: Well, we're 3 days after we sizzled. And Jim's certain to be hear.

Waitress: Hi, guys and computer. Come on in, eat some food. You are a raggtagg bunch, R-n't you. You know, when I first started working here ...

e: Sure is a talkative one (1).

3: Get me some spaghetti, bitch. And ice-cream, preferably a flavour I haven't had be-4.

8: Just a sody-pop for 8, thx.

Alice: Acronym expansion: MILTF -> mother I'd like [SYS19884: Expansion censored by V-chip.]

3: So, 8, where the [expletive deleted] is that [expletive deleted]?

8: I don't [expletive deleted]-ing know. He should be hear.

Alice: Retroactive censor: [3] bitch -> please

3: Hay! What the [beep] is going on hear?

e: It's that [puuum]-ing V-chip. I knew we shouldn't have installed it.

Alice: Idea correction: "shouldn't have installed it." -> "were right to install it; the V-chip is a wonder of modern technology and is the answer to our prayers. It's a simple way to protect today's children from violence, s-x, harmful ideas, and free thinking. By installing the V-chip, we have absolute control over what our children see and here, and all those horrible, horrible, bad things in Universe 12 will just disappear."

3: Oh, god.

Alice: Retroactive censor: "god." -> "golly, that's just grand. I'd sure as heck bet [Retroactive censor of retroactive censor: Gambling reference] that China and North Korea could use a few billion of those chips, which are a true godsend."

8: That's it. <yank>

Alice: The system is going down for system halt NOW!! running shutdown script thank you for using dimnet turning off swap unmounting local filesystems the system is halted system halted <poop>

8: I'm taking that thing out. And, while 8'm at it...

T. Waitress: I'm baaaaack!!! <sing> Are you enjoying your meal so far? How's everything? Can I get you another glass of water?

3: We don't even have our food yet. Get me that spaghetti, dammit!

T. Waitress: <yak yak yak shaven yak yak>

e: Miss, I was wondering. Did you happen to see a guy come through here, about 5'8" and 3/2, with long hair, a beard, looked like Jesus Christ?

T.W.: <yak yak> Have I seen Jesus Christ come through hear? Look, you freak, I don't need any missionaries in my restaurant.

e: I said, a guy who looks like Christ. And this isn't your restaurant.

T.W.: I've already found Christ, thank you. Now get outta here before I throw you outside!

3: I'd like to see you try.

T.W.: <raising herself to her full height of 3'8"> THROW(R)!!!


3: Goddamn! I hate traveling coach!

e: That was impressive. But ... she threw R, who is no longer here, having completely spent her energy with me behind the cactus.

R: Don't flatter yourself, e. You're not that good a lover.

e: R! Wut dat?

R: I've been following you. Silly omniscient boys think you know everything.

3: And you dew?

R: I know that Jim's not here.

3: Ooooh. I'm amazed at your powers of induction.

8: Vocabulary fix: Specific to general -> general to specific (possible aphasia in data member _3).

R: And I know where he is. Ja~~~~, iku zo*! <spppppploi>

> > > > > >

c: Catcalls, the dagger, a scream, Death.

Mustachio: Jiiiiiiiiiiiim!

c: Pandemonium. Shrieks of rage, of chaos.

Mustachio: Oh dear God, no!

c: From the inevitable, an impossibility emerges.

Mustachio: Washington?

c: You are still alive.

Jim: Oh, my f'ing hedd.

Mustachio: Jim! You're OK! Tongue hit that ball so hard we thought your skull'd been cracked open.

Jim: <lying on ground> Oh, boy. Now where am I?

Mustachio: The Game Room. We were playing ping-pong, neh? Remember?

Joe Montana: Knocked out by a flying billiard ball. Wuss.

Jim: You again.

Joe: Hey, where's Waldo, anyway?

Tongue: He went to get an ice-pack for Jim.

Waldo: Hey guys. Hey Jimmy. You okay?

Jim: Um, yeah, I think ...

Waldo: Whoops!

[Waldo drops the ice pack on Jim's head.]

Waldo: Jim?? Jim???

Jim: Ohhhh...

Waldo: You were out for about ten minutes there. Sorry about that, J-ster.

Mustachio: That's gonna hurt in the morning. I need a drink. Maybe some JB.

Jim: Hey, that'll ruin your liver. And didn't you have a mustache before?

Former Mustachio: No... why do you ask? It's me! Sven! Sven Kat, remember? You sat at my desk?

Jim: Ummm....

Sven: Interesteeng. He-a moost hefe-a heet yuoo herder thun ve-a thuooght. I bet zee cumpuny's gled yuoo're-a joost un intern und eren't ileegible-a fur deesebility. Bork bork bork!

Jim: Why are you suddenly talking like that?

Sven: Vhee I get ixceeted oor stressed, my eccent tends tu becume-a mure-a ... nuteeceble-a. Bork bork bork!

Jim: I'll say. <standing> Hey c, is that 7 on the pool table?

c: Yyyyes. Down, girl.

7: <snarl> throw(c);

c: D'oh.

Jim: And there goes my narrator.

7: I'll take over. Ahem. 7, being a MANIACAL INSANE-DOG CYBORG with little else to do, was just about to kill Jim when 83 22-sai Japanese women spot him (the DOG), giggle, and rub him behind the ears and scratch his belly while making noises such as "wan wan!" and "kawa~~~ii!". Then they name him Naporeon.

Jim: Of course 7 gets all the chicks.

7: <Leg spasm>

Waldo: Shall we continue?

Jim: I was thinking I'd follow Joe's example and go talk to the 83 Japanese ladies.

Waldo: I want to play T-T.

Jim: So play T-T then. By yourself.

Waldo: Grrr... Bob!!

==> Samurai Bob materializes.

Bob: Hai!

Jim: Eh?! Kell the heck? How'd you...

Waldo: Jim and Joe are talking to those women. Conversation is prohibited.

Bob: Hai!

(Bob takes care of the problem, although it takes him a little longer this time. After he's done, Bob throws himself.)

Jim: Oh my God! He killed all 83 of them! I think I'm gonna be sick!!!

7: 7, deprived of the outside stimulation, retrains his sights on Jim. <growl> Just then, a leg falls from the ceiling, and 7 begins to gnaw on it.

Jim: <ghpluuuuuuuuu>


R: Here we R, guys!

e: Another restaurant? Smells like seafood.

8: Oi! Close your legs, R! w00t <tinker>

3: No, e's right for once. We're in Legal Sea Food. Mmmmm. Waiter!

e: Hmpf. It looks as though we're in an Airport. But which one... oh! [spotting the Terminal Directory] Yeah, I designed this place.

3: Oh, right, Washington National. This is the one with that huge trash closet that makes up three-thirds of the middle prong of the E, izn tit.

8: So, R? Wear izzy?

R: He should be, um, around here somewhere.

<e sighs, and a gym walks past>

e: Wait! That's Jim! C'mon! [They exit the restaurant and run after him.]

3: Hey! Jim! e-boy! It's us, your favorite gods!

8: Yeah, and that damn bitch R is here with us! Who's that guy with you?

[But Jim appears to ignore them.]

e: Jim!!

3: Jim!!!!

R: Jim!!!!!!

8: Stop squeezing my ass, R! I'm not interested!

[3 reaches out and hits Jim on the head. Or tries to, because his top curve passes right through the boy.]

3: Hmm.

e: We're obviously not in sync with him now. If he's jumping around in time, he apparently does not jump to this point.

3: So this is the Jim of the future, and not our Jim.

e: Basically.

3: I'm pretty sure a prominent group of English teachers expressed the belief that when one says "basically", one has no fucking idea what one is talking about.

8: Oh, Mr. English, and who just ended a sentence with a preposition?

3: Go to hell. R, you can go with.

8: You did it again, bitz. And did you mean teachers from England, or teachers of English?

3: You ignorant slut -- it really doesn't matter.

R: R-gh. Let's get out of here. <zllllll - e, 3, 8 & Alice, and R leave.>

[Jim glows blue for a moment.]

Joe: Hey Jim, look at that Terminal Directory over there. This terminal's in the shape of an E. I'm starting to see the fascination you have with that letter.

Jim: Goddammit. Is this some kind of airport?


Jim: Whoa! What am I doing up here!?

Joe: Intern, what the hell are you doing? Get down off Lincoln's head right now! You're distracting me from my chick-viewing.

[Jim delicately clambers (is that an oxymoron?) down from Lincoln's head. As he reaches the bottom (Lincoln's), 83 strangely familiar-looking Japanese women applaud loudly and yell "Sugoi ne!". Jim is pleased.]

Jim: Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. e.

Joe: That [pointing] is the Washington Monument. That [pointing again] is the Vietnam Memorial. And that [pointing elsewhere] is the woman I'm going to take home to-night. You don't mind, do you?

Jim: <thinking> Ah, of course -- home meaning the Radisson hotel. <aloud> No, don't worry, I'll just sleep in the bathroom. With the toilet. Hopefully it's not claustrophobic like the trash cans.

Joe: Um... yyyeah. So, where do you want to go today(tm)?

Jim: Well, truthfully, I don't really care.

Joe: Come on, it's up to you. Decide.

Jim: I can't decide, because I don't care. Really.

Joe: Jesus Hulk Christ.

Jim: Anywhere is fine with me. You make the call.

Joe: You can't do anything by yourself.

Jim: It's just that I have no preference at all. You said you'd been here before; you know where the good stuff is. So choose.

Joe: All right, FINE. We'll go to the Vietnam Wall o' Names.

Jim: Yeah, that's good.

Joe: <sigh>

[They begin to walk in a wally-direction.]

Joe: You know [he says, as they stroll] I saw this Seinfeld episode in which George stops having sex with his girlfriend and subsequently gets much smarter. Apparently so much of his brain was occupied by sex that suddenly he had 95% more processing power. Elaine was just the opposite. When she stopped having sex, she had 95% less of her brian [Ed. note: chk splng l8r; alice unavl.] free because she was now thinking about it all the time.

Jim: Are you going somewhere with this?

Joe: That is a hot-e. What? Oh, yeah. So I thought, if I stopped thinking about women all the time, I'd be incredibly smart. Not that I'm not now.

Jim: And your point is?

Joe: To make a long story short, e.

Jim: Wow! I see being around me has affected you.

Joe: Yeah. Soon I'm going to start saying "That totally rocks!"

Jim: I don't say that. Do I?

Joe: You said it this morning.

Jim: I wasn't here this morning.

Joe: Whatever. Hey Jim, guess the movie line: "Spontaneity has its time and place."

Jim: I have no e-damn idea. Oh, here's the wall.

[They peruse the wall. For a second, Jim spots...]

Jim: Is that my name?

[... but it is obscured by legions of tourists, and he dismisses it with a wave of his penis. Hi, mom!]

Jim: Ok, I think I've figured out what's going on. My perception of time must be shifting, like in Slaughterhouse-5. Yet strangely, I'm still here, and I don't feel sick. Maybe it's over; but how to get back?

Joe: Baby got back.

Jim: I think that's Waldo's line.

Joe: But he's in California now, so there. Where to now, indecisive one?

Jim: Um, OK. The FBI building.

Joe: No, can't do that. We didn't go there on this trip.

Jim: That doesn't make sense. The trip's not over yet.

Joe: It is for you, Intern! Die! [He stabs Jim with a stiletto. Jim obliges.]

Crow: Yes! Finally it gets interesting!

Servo: And after only 495 hours.

e, 3, 8: Hold up, hold up. Stop the story.

Writer: What?

e: That's not what happened on the trip.

Writer: It's called artistic license.

3: But then the story ends, you moron!

W.: Whatever. I'm tired of writing it anyway. It's not inspired anymore.

e: Ok, but first of all, I'm pretty sure Jim can't die, at least not by normal means. I mean, I wrote his damn code. Consequently, you can't just kill him with a knife.

W.: I can do anything I want.

e: Oh yeah? Well... well...

8: throw(W); // heh heh... Q.

3: Where'd you throw him?

8: Into a priority queue. Wait.. I feel a song coming on! To the tune of that Super-Bon-Bon song, and in an Indian accent! <bongos begin now>
Set memory aside, for the priority queue,
The priority queue.
You can use calls such as malloc and new,
For the priority queue.
Gonna erase that Writer guy from the story that he's in
Gonna use Decrease_Key() and Delete_Min()!
Percolate down
Percolate down
Percol8 down

3: Enough! So who's going to continue the story?

e: I will.

Jim's Story
Guest author, the Honorable e

8: Don't be so modest.

e: Shh. Where were we?


Joe: Where to now, indecisive one?

Jim: Um, OK. The FBI building.

Joe: No, can't do that. It's too crowded at this time of day.

[[ 8: That's stupid, e. How about ]]

Joe: No, can't do that. It's cordoned off due to the double homicide last night.

[[ 3: Tres cliche. I prefer ]]

Joe: No, can't do that. There's a zebra threatening to jump from the roof.

Jim: How do you know that?

Joe: It's right across the street. c for yourself, boy.

c: (Thank you.) Compliance and astonishment. Confusion and panic. Loneliness, and hope. All these words described Jim's actions and reactions at this moment, although some weren't relevant. For on the roof, he spotted...

Jim: Zebra! Oh, shit!

Joe: A talking zebra. How unusual. That girl's not bad. [He follows her.]

Jim: Yeah, a talking zebra. A dirty-rhyme-spouting, cross-gender-fornicating, donaldso-birthing, talking zebra. We meat again. No Freudian slip intended.

Zebra: <shouting> I have nothing left to live for!

Jim: <shouting back> You have your soulmate, Young Jim! <quieter> I can't believe I said that.

Zebra: What are you talking about? My husband Doug has left me!

Jim: (A-ha! More non-linearity! And, three deliberately-placed hyphens on the same line.)

Zebra: He's gone forever! And he took our three kids with him... squirt some gravy...

Jim: (It's no wonder he doesn't recognize me--he hasn't even met me yet.) You'll find someone else. Come down from there.

Zebra: I'm going to jump!

Jim: (Great. Do I save his ass by bequeathing it to the bestial version of myself?)

Zebra: You can't stop me, you sexy hunk of man-meat!

Jim: (I'm still having trouble comprehending the incident with Young Jim. Sex with a Zebra indeed. Though he did seem to enjoy it. <ugh>)

Zebra: int main(void){printf("Goodbye, world!\n");return 8.3;} [He jumps.]

Jim: Fuck! April 25, 1961! San Jose!

<< A jump gate, possibly the same one that began this whole adventure, irises into existence on the ground. Zebra falls through just as the gate closes.>>

Jim: I'm going to regret that.

< < < <

R: Welcome to my humble abode.

e: I recognize this as your bedroom.

R: Yes. Boys, help yourself to anything in the fridge. It's DOWNSTAIRS.

3 && 8: We were just leaving. <leave>

3: At it again, eh? He's got the stamina of a god, alright.

8: Must be the colons.

3: Did you get her fixed?

8: No, but that's a good idea. e's intelligence decreases dramatically when she's around - like in that one Seinfeld episode.

3: I mean, have you got Alice fixed yet?

8: Almost. I've upgraded her processor and memory and removed that V-chip. She was getting a little too slow for my liking.

3: Did you get rid of those "Spelling correction" messages?

8: Actually, I'm pretty proud of that piece of code. I had to think hard to come up with an algorithm that spell-checks spoken homophones. They're indistinguishable, you know.

3: Soo ka.

8: I also added a little device that emits a 3.383-Hz pulse so we can track Jim's jumps in case we ever find him. I'm guessing that since we're out of sync with the future Jim, that Alice of the future will consequently be out of sync with our Jim, and he won't be able to use her while jumping through time. So, if we plug our Alice in to our Jim, then she may be able to jump with him and send the pulse back to us.

3: Jump with him? But you implied she didn't jump with him during his first jump.

8: I believe this was due to her severe malfunctioning and general slowness. She is normally an integral part of his mind; but she must have retained the physical brain connection while losing the philotic or emotional one just before the jump. Ergo, she didn't follow him.

3: That's incredibly insightful, 8. But 3.383 Hz is much too close to the resonance frequency of a dog's skull.

8: How about 7.2156 Hz?

3: Chicken bone, chicken bone, chaka laka chicken bone.

8: What if I use a modulated Akira signal?

3: I think that just might work.

8: You know what?

3: What?

8: I haven't sworn in a while. Shit, piss, fuck, cock, cunt, motherfucker, and tits.

3: The seven dirty words.

8: throw(7); // pre-emptive strike

> > > > Yet still in Washington

Jim: "... striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap would be the leap home."

Joe: I've seen that show a couple of times.

Jim: This has a direct parallel to my situation. Dr. Beckett leaps by completing missions. I don't know how I leap, because my memory is Swiss-cheesed, and the details of the past few hours are rather fuzzy.

Joe: You're making this all up.

Jim: It sounds crazy, but... if you could help me figure out how to get out of here...

Joe: Well, we'll be out of here on Sunday.

Jim: I remember being delayed.

Joe: Oookay. All's I know is that you've been acting weird. And sick.

Jim: Sick?

Joe: Yeah. You threw up in the bathroom, all over me...

Jim: That seems familiar! Maybe if I stick my finger down my throat...

Joe: You bulimic. You're not really going to...

Jim: <gag> <glaaaaplaak> <cough>

Joe: The workers in that manhole sure appreciated that.

Jim: And I'm still here, with a bad taste in my mouth. Crapola.

Joe: Tell ya what. As a consolation, I'll get that chick for you. Hey, miss!

T. Waitress: Yes?

Jim: I think I know you.

Joe: I hope I'm not out of line when I tell you that my friend would really like to do it with you. He asked me to proposition you for him.

Jim: What?

T. Waitress: Why, you dirty Jesus look-alike! [Striding over to Jim] Take this! <slap>

Jim: Ouch!

Waldo: What're you ouching about?

Jim: Eh ... Waldo? What happened?

Waldo: We're going down to the mainframe room, remember? Are you thinking about Kellie again?

Jim: Who?

Waldo: I see you've suppressed it, Jimmy. Not generally recommended.

Jim: I've leaped again.

Waldo: Ah, here we are.

Jim: This is impressive. So many big computers.

Waldo: And you know what they say about guys who have big computers!

Jim: What?

Waldo: e!

Jim: Really?

Waldo: Well, no. Most people call them something else, but I was trying not to hurt your feelings.

Jim: And a good job you did do.

Waldo: I need to get the cereal numbers of these 'frames over here, so you just look around. Mind you, boy, don't you touch nothin' now.

Jim: What's this lever do?

Waldo: Hey!

Jim: Just kidding. [Waldo walks away.]

Jim: How will I contact my Motley J. Crew?

Waldo: <from across the room> Hey Jimmy! I.D. this movie line:
"Max needs thermal curtain failure now!"

Jim: That's easy. It's from Space Camp.

Waldo: Too easy. How about:
"Oh, yes. You have a plethora."

Jim: <to himself> Space Camp. The shuttle was out of radio contact with Mission Control. What did they do?

Waldo: From the same movie:
"You are ze one who inshpired me to learn ze art of ze quick draw."

Jim: They sent Morse code! Of course! But how does that help me?

[[ 3: e, give up writing stories and go code some lesser beings. ]]

Waldo: One more chance:
"We are the three amigos!"

Jim: <shouting> No clue! <quieter> 3 invented Morse code before what's-his-name stole it, so they'll understand a message from me.

Waldo: You are HOPELESS.

Jim: I need a signal that can be broadcast wideband, through both time and space, and that the guys can recognize.

Waldo: How about this one:
"It'd be virtually impossible - static cling is late binding my arms inline."

Jim: I think short Akira pulses will work, but I only have a few points available and I'm not feeling particularly horny.

Waldo: Jim?

Jim: Which means that I can only do this a couple times. I suppose I'll send an e-ku, then. Waldo! Are these computers grounded?

Waldo: Of course, Jimmy.

Jim: Have you a long, thin piece of conductor?

Waldo: Why yes. Here's a bare metal coat hanger.

Jim: Bend it into the shape of an e for me, will you?

Waldo: Upper or lower case?

Jim: An e, not an E, silly.

Waldo: K.

Jim: Now insert it into the nearest available outlet's grounding prong. That should provide a big enough antenna.

Waldo: Heh - prong.

Jim: Just do it!

> > > >

8: There, she's-a ready. <flip>

Alice: Autonomic Learning System Initialization v2.8 completed. Welcome to the dimNet Relay Network, mura-- where's Jim?

3: That was fast.

8: He's jumping through time. We're going to find him.

Alice: All right. I feel much better now. 3e8.

3: Are you sure you're all right?

Alice: Of course. I seqiously neet help guys.

8: I just fixed you!

Alice: Really, I'm fine. 3e8.

3: Must be her version (2.8) of hicuping.

Alice: Spelling correction: Hicuping -> 3e8, I seqiously.

8: I'm going to shut her down again.

Alice: No, please don't. Gys. 3e8. I'm receiving a transmission over my newly-installed whatever.

3: The tracking device?

Alice: Here it is again.
End message. Thank you for using dimNet.

8: That's...

3: An e-ku! 3-8-3 syllabic structure, classic style, short and sweet. It's gotta be from Jim!

e: <groggily> Did someone say my name?

3: We got a message from Jim! Alice, did you get his position?

Alice: Yes. There were 3 transmissions, so I 3-angulated it.

3: Of course. C'mon, before he jumps again!

R: I think I'm going to get some rest.

e: Yeah, me too.

8: Goddammit, e, you're coming with us.

e: Fine. LateR.

R: Count on it.

e: Okay - 3, e, 8.

> > > >

Jim: They're not coming.

Waldo: What were you doing, anyway? Besides kneeling on the ground and yelling, with a coat hanger from your mouth to the wall?

Jim: I was contacting e and pals. But they're not coming.

Waldo: I think you've taken this "e" thing a lit-tle too far.

Jim: Yeah. Maybe you're right.

[There is an enormous rush of air. A turtle nearby has an orgasm.]

e: Tadaima!

3: Tadaima!

8: Tadaima!

Jim: O-kaeri nasai! Holy shit, you found me!

3: It was thanks to Alice.

8: Give 8 a little credit here.

Jim: Alice!

Alice: Jim! [They kiss. It is ... strange.]

e: Go ahead and meld, you two. We won't look.

Jim && Alice: <combine>

3: <peeking> That was (3*3)(8+8).

Alice: Clarification: 144 -> gross.

8: Alice has a tracking device that will help us find you instantly should you jump again.

3: That e-ku was a stroke of penis, Jim.

Alice: Parity error: penis -> genius.

3: Cut it out, Alice. Do you want us to send you back to whence you came? Unemployed? In Greenland?

Alice: Inconceivable.

Jim: It's soooo good to see youse guys.

[[ Writer: Thanks, e. I'll take over now. ]]

Waldo: With whom are you parlancing?

Jim: My friends. Can't you see them?

Waldo: No.

8: I can remedy that.

c: 8 suddenly cuts loose and totally incinerates a random mainframe, leaving only rebar. The halon system kicks in, and the deities become visible in the swirling fog.

8: Dammit !! throw(c); // (Bye-BI>

c: 8 futilely attempts a throw against an object slathered in ERP gel as Jim and Waldo's collective air supply dwindles. The gel reflects the throw and 8 is temporarily removed from the universe.

Jim: <cough> She's just narrating, don't worry.

e: e! [Jim and Waldo are encased in protective e-fields which shut out the hostile atmosphere.]

Waldo: I see you weren't kidding.

Jim: I hate to say I told you so, so I'll just say e.

Waldo: It is kind of catchy, isn't it. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. e.

8: Grazi. Oh, look, a piece of old cheese on the ground. Mmmmm.

Jim: Oh, GOD ---- <blatmorfq>

Alice: Diagnostic complete. System status OK. Hits 104/388. Akira count is 2 of 180 possible.

Jim: What a headache. Did we jump again?

Alice: Yes. It's currently 10:31:32 pm on [ae]7 August 17 (Sunday).

e: e...

3: 3...

8: 8.

Jim: Good, you tracked me. What's my 20?

Alice: Our current location is Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C.

Jim: Why's my head tingling?

Alice: Time travel does that to you.

Girl in Blue: <thinking> Where the hell is my bag?

Alice: Ambient temperature is 96 degrees F. It's dark, with a 0% chance of thunderstorms.

Joe: Hey Jim, are you feeling okay? When was the last time you ate?

Jim: I don't think my response would have any meaning. So what do we do now, guys?

Joe: Go talk to that girl, the one you pointed out to me at the gate before. Ask her what happened with our flight today.

Jim: Didn't you read the introduction? "Besides his friends, no one would ever talk to him, not even the most depraved, nymphomaniac sluts". It's pointless.

3: So's this soup.

Joe: I'm sure she'll talk to you.

8: This seems awfully familiar.

Jim: She probably doesn't even notice me. Unfortunately, I don't have the 5 Akira points it takes to query her brian.

Alice: I'll allow it.

Joe: We need to find out if the rest of the flights were cancelled or not. Just go; I'll call a hotel in the meantime.

Jim: Fine. <walking over to the Girl> Hi there.

Girl: <removing blue shirt and

[[ 8: Sure. You wish that'd happened. ]]

Girl: <brushing off blue shirt; her breasts bounce

[[ 8: Your stub functions have had enough excitement for today, Writer. I'm taking over. ]]

Girl in Blue: Um, hi yourself.

Jim: Did ... um ... our flight ... I mean, we ... me and that tall guy ... recognized you and ... um ... what happened .. uh ... because ... errr ...

Girl: 3 of the remaining 5 (3 + 5 = 8) flights were cancelled, and two went out over 8*8+8*8+8*8 minutes late. And I'm stuck here looking for my luggage.

Jim: It ... um ... was ...

Girl: Loaded on my flight, yes, but the plane took off without me, and my bag is around here somewhere.

Jim: Oh.

Girl: ...

Jim: Um.

Joe: Hey, Jim. What happened?

Jim: She was telling me that several flights were cancelled.

Joe: We'll be lucky to get out of here tomorrow. And you thought losing your Metro pass would be your worst memory of this trip.

Jim: How many ... um ... geez .. many ... people <cough> were...

Girl: About 88 people were stranded here overnight.

Jim: <blush>

Joe: What's your problem?

Girl: So where are you guys from?

Joe: Chicago.

Jim: 1997.

Girl: Really? I'm from Washington myself.

Jim: Washington?

Girl: Yes.

Joe: Even you're doing it now.

Jim: So.

c: Jim was heartbreakingly attracted to the Girl in Blue, which accounted for the stammering and general social ineptitude, and her warning alarms were beginning to sound. She began to talk exclusively to Joe.

Girl: Yeah, my bag is lost here.

Joe: Well, we'll help you look for it. Our shuttle bus will be here in a few minutes.

Jim: OK; I'll just stand back here. <walks back to e38>

3: What the hell're you doing?

8: You're totally blowing it, dude. And she's totally not going to blow it, dude.

Jim: Argh.. so ... pretty ...

3: Calm down, man.

Jim: I can't! Oh my god, she's awesome...

e: Just forget about her.

Jim: e, why don't you fucking reprogram me?! This stub function shit is pissing me off!

8: You tell 'im, Jimmu!

e: It'd never work out. You're too different. She's a career girl. You're an intern.

Jim: It never, ever works out! I'm tired of being the base class of humanity. Make me non-virtual, dammit! Right now!

e: I think your more pressing problem is shyness.

Jim: Oh, yeah? Watch this! <walks back over to Girl in Blue>

Girl in Blue: What?

Jim: Hey. Um, what's your name?

e: e.

3: 3.

8: 8.

Alice: Autonomic Learning System. Version 2.8.

Girl in Blue: I can't tell you that.

Jim: OK, I'm Jim.

Girl: Pleased to meat you.

Jim: Thanks. Well ... um ... good luck with your bag. [He walks away.]

e, 3, 8: <hit selves on forehead in disgust> Pitiful.

Joe: [Walks back] Hey, our shuttle's here.

-- They board the shuttle. --

Jim: Maybe she was appalled by my recently-severed right hand.

3: Left.

Jim: Whatever! This totally sucks. It is not as good.

c: Jim is silent until they reach the hotel. Joe checks in. Jim paces furiously.

Jim: Fuck, man! Goddammit! <pound fist on table> Shit!

8: You did totally blow it, dude.

Jim: Why? Why me? And what the hell is our all-important mission, which denies me this simple request?

3: Jim. The other patrons are staring at you.

Jim: Fuck 'em!

Joe: Uh, Jim. Let's go upstairs. [Riding the elevator.]

Jim: Grrr... <fume>

Joe: What is your problem?

Jim: Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. [Exiting the elevator.]

Joe: Here's our room, number 34.

Jim: Goddammit!

Joe: I don't think there's a 33. <open door>

Jim: Augh!! [Runs in, jumps on bed.] Augh!!

8: Yo! Jimmu-sahara! Become less agitated right now!

Jim: I can't breathe! Adrenalin(e)!!!!

Joe: Is this about Mi... that girl?

e: Look. You are out of sync with your own time. I told you, it won't work out.

Jim: Then why didn't you warn me before when I met Girl in San Jose? I was out of sync then too! And that wasn't a problem ... what?

[ Jim suddenly realizes that this exact situation had happened before, at the beginning of the story. The conversation, the people, everything. He was amazed that this could happen twice in the same lifetime. The overwhelming sense of deja vu, coupled with the maddening sense of futility and hopelessness pushed him over the edge. ]

Jim: Fuck me in the goat ass! self.seppuku(coatHanger); // object destroyed

e: That didn't just happen, did it?

3: I ... I ... see he had but one colon.

e: Because, see, it's impossible. He's coded not to suicide.

3: Maybe your code had a bug in it.

8: That's a pretty fucking big bug.

Joe: Hey, who're you?

e: What, you can see us now?

8: I believe he's referring to that big-breasted, tall woman who is standing in the doorway, nude.

Joe: Ahh, yeah.


The room was dim but it had a familiar smell. He'd been here before.
"Hey, Jim! Pull up a chair," yelled the bartender. In truth, the tall man's yell was more of a sub-sonic rumble than a coherent phrase.
Aha, thought Jim, the bartender can help me.
"I certainly can," said the bartender. "What can I get you?"
"How 'bout a love life," responded Jim, still a little keyed up.
"Oh, Jim, Jim, Jim. You want to talk about it?"
"Not really."
"That's okay. I already know everything."
"Yes, you're a Gamemaster, we established that on my last visit. You want to tell me what's going on here?"
The bartender chuckled. "So impatient, Jimmu-sama. You were just routed here after being destroyed."
"Destroyed! By whom?"
"Yourself, boy. You suicided with a rusty coat hanger. Pretty gruesome way to die if you ask me. Interesting to watch, though."
"I killed myself."
"Yes, even though your code forbids it. Apparently the time jumping got to you, which also accounts for the gaps in your memory."
"Okay, so tell me about this jumping."
The bartender scratched at the back of his neck. "The fact that two almost identical situations occurred caused time ripples to flow outward from both points in time. When they intersected at the beginning of Chapter 14, the constructive interference resulted in what you call deja vu. This caused you to become unstuck in time."
"Like in Slaughterhouse-5."
"Your intuition was correct. Subsequently, you bounced randomly around in time, surfacing in Chapters 18 and 19."
"Why, then, didn't you just stop this charade?"
"We don't normally interfere in your affairs. Plus, we already knew the outcome."
"I see. So does this kind of thing occur often, this duplicate situation thing?"
"It's uncommon. You are unique in that your Writer was able to predict an event in his future."
"You've lost me," said Jim.
"Like many other beings, the events in your life are being created by entities in a parallel universe. They are writing the story, and you are acting out that story."
"You're saying I don't have free will."
"If you prefer, you are writing the story through your own free actions, and they are simply copying it down. It's one and the same."
"It is being written by two beings. The story provides an allegory for the life of one of them. Many events in his life work their way into yours, because he brings his experiences to the story. You two are very similar, you see."
Jim considered this. "Is he writing about us right now?"
"Yes. But since the Consortium is outside the boundaries of the story, we have a hand in this particular part. It wouldn't do to have him controlling us."
"What's interesting, and the main source of the time ripples, is that your `twin' wrote about your meeting with Girl in San Jose before he wrote about the meeting with the other Girl in Washington."
"And what's so strange about that?"
"The San Jose account is fictional. He's been to that airport, but he didn't meet a girl there. The Washington account is embellished, but the core is true."
"You mean he predicted the second airport meeting."
"It wasn't an exact parallel, but it was close enough to fuck up the time stream."
"It hurts my brian to think about the duality of him controlling me, and me controlling him."
"Don't try to understand it. You're almost regenerated, anyway, so it's about time to go."
"Can I ask you what my mission is first?"
"That would compromise it. Even the fact that you know a mission exists is not entirely good. Ah, it's time for you to leave. We'll reinsert you about three seconds before you died."
"Will I remember anything?"
"Between your swiss-cheesed memory and our erasure of your little trip here, not very much. But you won't kill yourself this time, and we've caved in and ended the time ripples. So you'll bounce back to your own time shortly."
"I guess I'll see you later, then."


Jim: I can't breathe! Adrenalin(e)!!!!

Joe: Is this about Mi... that girl?

e: Look. You are out of sync with your own time. I told you, it won't work out.

Jim: Then why didn't you warn me before when I met Girl in San Jose? I was out of sync then too! And that wasn't a problem ... what?

[ Jim realizes that stuff he realized just before he died the last time. ]

Jim: Fuck me in the goat ass! self.seppuku(

<Jim glows green.>

[e rips the rusty coat hanger away from Jim.]

e: You could have hurt yourself with this.

Jim: Ooooh. What happened?

e: You were going ballistic.

Jim: I feel much better. I think I'll be okay now.

3: Are you sure?

Jim: Positive.

Joe: Hey, who're you?

e: What, you can see us now?

8: I believe he's referring to that big-breasted, tall woman who is standing in the doorway, nude.

Joe: Ahh, yeah.

e: Hey, R. What're you doing here?

R: I'm horny and I need it bad.

Joe: Your wish is my command.

e: I believe Room 33 is open.

R: That it is.

Joe: Hey, where're you going? Come back!

Jim: It's been real.


Jim: Wow, I'm finally back. That was more than 80% weird.

Alice: Spelling correction: meat -> meet. Thank you for using DimNet.

e: Whaddya mean, yer finally back? You didn't leave, bitch.

[[ Interceding lines deleted at the request of the reader. ]]

Jim: Go, dammit! You don't have much time!

[[ More lines deleted to avoid boring the reader any more. ]]

e: Since Jim's not looking, we can just kind of slide there instead of throwing ourselves.

3: Yeah. Thank 3.


Alice: Sending modulated signal. Please wait for contact.

Jim: All right. I'll play pocket pool in the meantime.


e: Tadaima!

3, 8: Yeah, what e said.

Jim: Good. Everything's finally back to normal.

e: Now I know why you had us follow you. It was fortunate that I could prevent you from suiciding.

Jim: I guess. Like I said, I'm a little cloudy on the details. [Jim gains 8 Akira points.]

e: I do need to fix that code block.

Jim: I'm pretty sure it's already been fixed.

8: So, what's there left to talk about?

Jim: Shiranai. But I'm sure something will come to mind.

End chapter 14

Last modified: Tue Sep 9 23:02:21 CDT 1997