As expected, there was a long moment of whatthef%#k silence as Mr. Schmith, the good senshi, the bad senshi, and Niki (who was neither good nor bad, merely indifferent) stared in awe at the empty space where Julie and the portal had been only seconds before. The Big Wheel of Doom had stopped spinning, but it wasn’t pointing to the name of the next senshi to be chucked through the non-existent portal. The names had vanished from the wheel, as had the invisible bonds holding the senshi suspended in the air yet again. They floated safely back down to the ground.
“So what happens now?” Cranberry asked, feeling rather perky and refreshed. Who would have thought getting rid of the leader of the opposition could be so easy? “Does Team Good Guys forfeit?”
Mr. Schmith frowned. “Alas, non. Zee rules have been broken. No one vins – zee game ees over!” He let out a string of angry French words under his foul-smelling breath, which sounded an awful lot like: Oh mon dieu ! Il y a une hache dans ma tête.
Mallory hesitated before speaking up, unsure whether or not she was supposed to be mourning in silence for her fallen princess slash senshi leader. Eh, we’ll do it later. “If the game is over, we’re free to return to Loserville, right?”
Mr. Schmith glared back at her. “Zhis is just like Americans, eh? You are alvays meddling. First zee “freedom fries” and now zhis reality television disaster! Vhat vill I tell zee network, hmm? Air reruns of My Wife, the Chimp? I zhink not!”
“You know, he’s really starting to scare me,” Niki whispered to Valerie. “It’s like a horrible flashback to seventh grade French, only I’m shorter now, and he seems somewhat closer to a mental breakdown.”
“It’s from eating too many pineapples,” Valerie whispered back. “Singing l’ananas are bad for the digestive system. They’ll make you crazy.”
Mallory resolutely squared her shoulders and met the evil French teacher’s glare. She was the senshi leader now, and she refused to spend another second in this reality hell. Leaping forward, she grabbed Mr. Schmith by the collar of his shirt and shook him fiercely. “I DEMAND THAT YOU RELEASE US AT ONCE! SEND US BACK!”
The television studio vanished.
And now the senshi were once again helplessly lost somewhere in the Mists of Time.
“Damn it, Mallory!” Bob cried. “Your first gig as leader and we end up back HERE? Who votes we pick a new leader?” Niki and Valerie both raised their hands slowly before they had a change of heart and smacked Bob over the head instead.
“Enough out of the three of you!” Mallory cried, exasperated. “What’s done is done. Julie sacrificed her life to save ours, and we can’t forget that. Let’s put petty differences aside for once and give her the moment of silence she deserves.”
Somewhat chastened, the senshi all bowed their heads in silence and tried their best to remember their fallen leader …
I’ll just count to ten with my eyes closed. One Mississippi … Two Mississippi …
Oh Julie, you will be missed. Even though you were a b*tch.
Now that you’re dead does that make you an ex … ex-ex-ex-freshman? X to the 4th power F?
I am sorry we only knew each other briefly. It would have been even briefer if your hit and run had been a success. I’m glad I never pressed charges.
The Platinum Nintendo 2064 should make quite a profit on Ebay … although I’d draw less attention selling the Nintendo of the future on the senshi black market …
We won’t foget you, Julie. We’ll get a set of commemorative plates to honor your memory. … Running over Krystina … Finding the a$$ penny … Using Boudreaux’s Butt Paste … The highlights of your career – in porcelain.
I really hope Krystina has a copy of Senshi Leadership for Dummies back at the house. A pause. Have we mourned for long enough yet? I’m really not sure how long this is supposed to last …
I’ll do my best to make dad miserable in your memory, mom. I’m thinking stealing the cokeandpeanut-mobile for a weekend in New Hampshire with my new boyfriend, the bisexual rock musician oughta do it.
A few minutes later, Mallory opened her eyes, blinked in the misty sunlight, and broke the silence. “Do you know where we are?” she asked Eva.
Eva made a face as she looked around. “Well, I see, um, some mist … and some more mist … but no door …so … sorry, but no.”
Even the usually good-natured Vanessa was annoyed. “How many millennia did you spend hanging out in the Mists of Time? One? Two?”
“Long enough to know that there are no distinguishing features when a dimension is composed entirely of mist!” Eva snapped back.
“We’re going to be trapped here forever, aren’t we?” Alexia moaned. “We’re going to have to resort to cannibalism.”
“I vote Bob as the first one to get eaten,” Valerie said.
“Ew, cooties!" Niki cried. “We’d likely die from ingesting too much bleach peroxide.”
“At least it’s better than the alternative, right?” Lisa said. “The Architect said if we lost the game, we’d get sent back to the showdown in the cafeteria and certain doom.”
“That’s true,” Mallory said. “At least we don’t have to face the alien senshi just yet. I wonder where they ended up?”
“Probably some other hell dimension from which there is no escape,” Bob muttered. “So do you think that if we just pick a direction and keep walking we’ll eventually run into something that isn’t just endless mist amidst a background of nothingness?”
“No need to do that!” a familiar voice called cheerfully from the distance. The senshi looked around but couldn’t see who had spoken.
“Special K?” Eva ventured to guess. If anyone could identify mysterious and disembodied voices, she could.
“Yo ho, yo ho, a senshi’s life for me!” Special K sang back in reply. To the astonishment of everyone else, the prow of a great white, black-spotted ship cut through the mist, sailing smoothly towards them, as though it were moving on water. Special K waved from the helm of the ship, steering it to a stop only feet from where the others stood.
“Holy Milk Pail!” Alexia cried, “it’s my mother’s royal ship from the future, the Seafaring Cow! She used to take it out on weekends whenever she wanted to get away from dad.”
“But this ship’s like two hundred years old,” Mallory said. “Why didn’t Julie go yachting on an actual yacht?”
“Family heirloom,” Alexia said. “It had sentimental value.Plus, mom always liked pirates.Or rather, she liked sexy man shirts.”
“Ah yes, sexy man shirts,” Mallory, Niki, and Valerie sighed wistfully in unison. “We know them well.”
“How did the ship get here?” Eva asked. “I’m pretty sure the Mists of Time doesn’t have a port … but I could be wrong.”
Special K shrugged as she threw down a rope ladder for the others to climb up. “I’m not sure what exactly happened. When the television studio went *poof*, I found myself alone in the Mists of Time, apparently quite a distance from where you landed. Well, I wasn’t alone exactly … There were these creepy rocks there, and well, they followed me until I found the ship, and then they kind of pointed me in the right direction …”
“Rocks, you say? Not crackers?” It was possible Valerie still had a thing for Elfyn.
By now all of the senshi had climbed up the rope ladder and were busy exploring the ship. Although none of them had ever sailed an actual pirate ship (Yahoo! Puzzle Pirates really didn’t count), once they made it on deck, they instinctually knew what had to be done, and each girl took up a post on deck. They did wonder briefly if their knack for sailing was because of the sailor senshi legacy. Why else would “sailor” be in the job description?
Mallory frowned as she eyed Special K standing at the captain’s wheel. Why was Special K the one who had found the ship? As the new senshi leader, shouldn’t she be captain? For sure she should! Hands on her hips, she walked up to Special K (who had already donned a captain’s hat) and gestured to the captain’s wheel. “What *are* you doing?”
Special K frowned back. “What are you doing?”
“No, what *are* you doing?”
“What are *you* doing?”
“No, what *are* you doing?”
“When *are* you guys going to grow up so we can sail away from here?” Vanessa asked.
Mallory flushed with embarrassment when she realized that everyone had been watching their little confrontation. She cleared her throat. “Okay, so I guess we’re ready to go. Back to Loserville, then?”
“No, not Loserville,” Lisa said quietly, staring solemnly out into the horizon of mist.
“O-kay,” Mallory said somewhat impatiently. “Where then?”
“To save Julie from where her soul is trapped between life and death,” Lisa replied. “At world’s end!”
As it turns out, neither Mallory nor Special K ended up captaining the ship (Mallory settled for having the more impressive telescope). After explaining to the others how she had deduced that Julie wasn’t really dead, her soul was merely lost (and after a group vote by which the freshman was determined to be sane – though only barely), Lisa took control of the ship.
The senshi rummaged around in the hold and found a mysterious compass and a terribly unhelpful map which Lisa was sure would lead them safely to the end of the earth. Mallory insisted on holding another vote to determine whether or not the earth was really flat (and could thus have an “end”). After several more rounds of voting, the senshi successfully threw out many scientific discoveries made in the last four centuries, including the Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation and the Theory of Relativity – “Complete poppycock,” as Valerie insisted.
For several days, the senshi sailed through the unchanging Mists of Time, able to survive on dry goods and rum that they discovered in the hold, rather than having to resort to cannibalism. The journey was terribly unexciting and everyone likely would have been significantly more agitated were it not for the rum. But after a week of steady drinking, the rum was finally gone, and the crew was getting restless.
“Where are we going again?” Niki asked Captain Meow, who was busy applying extra mascara to give her eyes that piraty look.
“Julie was taken, body and soul, to a place not of death, but punishment.”
“So we ARE going back to Loserville?”
“No,” Lisa said, “we’re going to Davy Jones’ Locker.”
“Oh. Would that be in the boy’s bathroom at Country Club High?”
“Wherever it is, I’m sure it can’t be anywhere around here,” Eva sniffed. “We’ve been sailing through mist for days and haven’t even managed to pass my door, which we could have used to get back to your dimension. We’re lost.”
Lisa gave a deep-throated laugh as she spun the ship in the direction that the compass pointed. Valerie, who was holding the compass, was sure it was pointing north (it wasn’t), but as she had such a notoriously bad sense of direction, she would have gotten the ship lost even if the compass really had been pointing north (but it wasn’t).
“Of course we’re lost!” the freshman crowed as a salty wave of mist splashed up over the port side. “For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can’t be found, elseways everyone would know where it was.”
Mallory groaned in disbelief. “That’s Niki logic. In other words, that’s very, very, BAD logic!”
“Who votes we make the freshman walk the plank and then get a new captain?” Vanessa’s eyes widened as her hands flew to her mouth. “Oh my gosh! I didn’t mean to say that, really!”
“That was an incredibly b*itchy thing to say,” Special K agreed. “Cold … cruel … and even a little calculating.”
“Ohhh, could Vanessa be channeling Julie?” Bob said. “That’s totally something she would have said.”
Lisa nodded and spun the wheel in the other direction. “Aye. We must be getting close!”
Lost somewhere in the roughly Vermont-sized chunk of the Mists of Time known as Davy Jones’ Locker, Julie sat alone on a mist-covered rock, talking to herself. In her mind, there were three Julies, each sitting on misty rocks, facing each other, and attempting to hold a Sailor Senshi Team meeting.
“I still say you did an incredibly stupid thing,” Julie #2 sneered, her arms crossed over her chest. “Selfless self-sacrifice? That was so last year. Saving your own a$$ pennies, that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days.”
“Well, I think it was incredibly noble.” Julie #3 reassured Julie #1. “You couldn’t have known that it would end this badly. Who could have predicted that throwing yourself into a swirling vortex would have caused your soul to be lost for eternity? And that rather than saving your friends, your actions would lead to them being trapped in the Mists of Time as well?”
Julie #1 was surprised. “Are they?”
“Damn it! None of this is working out at all! And why is she here anyway?” Julie glowered in the direction of a fourth non-Julie who sat on her own misty rock, staring back with mysteriously changing eyes.
“Mmmoo mongoose mongrel mouse?” Crazy Girl chirped back.
“I’m guessing she’s here to drive us all insane,” Julie #3 said, lying back against her rock, cradled by a misty tendril of mist.
“Well, it’s working,” Julie #1 sighed.
Meanwhile, somewhere else in the Mists of Time …
On the spotted deck of the Seafaring Cow, the senshi had gathered together in a huddle, trying to keep warm. The further they sailed into the mist, following where the compass pointed, the colder the mist had become, until ice cycles formed, hanging down from the mast and from the sides of the ship. Still they journeyed on, wishing for the first time that their ridiculously short sailor skirts were significantly longer and contained built-in electric heaters.
“Are we there yet?” Bob whined, her teeth chattering.
“Have no fear, we must be getting close!” Mallory reassured her. “The freezing temperatures are but a test of our fortitude. We cannot turn back!”
Valerie was confused, a direct result of the brain freeze that was not a direct result of drinking a Wendy’s frosty too fast. “The freezing temperature is testing our period of fourteen days or two weeks?”
Mallory tried to roll her eyes but her pupils had frozen in a forward-facing position. “No, that’s a fortnight.”
“The temperature is testing our permanent army post?”
“No, that’s a FORT!”
“Will you ex-ex freshmen just stop bickering, already? I swear I don’t know how you dimwits lasted longer than our leader did this season.” Vanessa muttered in an annoyed Julie-ish way.
“Now that we’re out of rum and we can’t exactly go fishing in the non-water that we’re sailing in …” Bob said. “If we DO have to resort to cannibalism, who votes that we eat one of them first? You know … instead of me.”
“No need to eat anyone!” Lisa cried. “We’re here!”
Surprised, the other senshi stood up from their huddle and walked to starboard, peering over the side as Lisa steered the ship to a halt. The temperature was warming up dramatically, and the ice cycles hanging off the ship began to melt as they climbed down the rope ladder.
“Do you see anyone?” Mallory asked Eva as she peered through the mist.
“No, I don’t see anyone!” Eva said, exasperated. “How come every question relating to the Mists of Time gets directed at me? Just because I guarded a Gateway Through Time for a really, really, long time doesn’t mean that I have all the answers! Oh wait … there she is!” Eva pointed to a Julie-shaped figure in the distance.
Ecstatically, the senshi ran to greet their former leader. All except for Mallory who trudged ahead somewhat reluctantly. Guess I won’t be needing Senshi Leadership for Dummies after all.
“Julie! We’re so glad you’re alive!” Vanessa cried cheerfully, no longer channeling the disgruntled senshi leader who stood before her.
Julie looked at Vanessa and the other smiling faces with suspicion. “How do I know you’re really here and that you’re not just a figment of my imagination? You know I’ve been doing that a lot lately? Imagining things. Crrrazy things. Like her.” She pointed to Crazy Girl who was now waving from the deck of the Seafaring Cow, Lisa’s captain’s hat perched on her head.
“She’s not imaginary, she’s real,” Alexia said. “And I really hope she doesn’t run off with our ship ...”
“Besides, if this was all happening in your head, why would I be here?” Bob said.
“You’re right, you wouldn’t. I would have fed you to my pet monkey long ago.” Julie smiled, thinking happy thoughts. “So, you’re all really here then? I guess you came to save me because you missed me?”
“Er … sure, that was why we came,” Mallory said, exchanging a look with the other senshi. “’Cause we missed you. Not because we felt a sense of loyalty to you as our fallen leader.”
“And not because it was the right thing to do,” Valerie said.
“And definitely not because we didn’t have a choice, seeing as how Lisa had commandeered the ship and finding you was the only way to ensure our own escape from this misty hell-hole,” Niki added.
“Rrright,” Special K said. “Now let’s all get back on the boat before that wacky short person really does run off with it! Oh no, I didn’t mean you,” she said quickly to Julie who narrowed her eyes. “Or you …” she said to Niki who merely shrugged in a well-I-get-that-a-lot sort of way.
“Why should I sail with any of you?” Julie said. “Most of you have tried to kill me in the past … Special K … Bob … Niki … Valerie …Mallory …”
Mallory looked shocked by this accusation. “I never tried to … But that was just one time!” Julie raised an eyebrow. “Okay, maybe twice.”
“Regardless, over the years I’ve somewhat lost faith in your ability to not betray me,” Julie sighed. “And when I say “you”, I mean ALL of you. I’ll be taking my meals alone in the captain’s quarters. And I’ll be taking over the ship.”
Shortly after the Seafaring Cow set sail again, Julie called for a senshi meeting below decks. Vanessa, Special K, and Alexia stayed on deck to keep the ship on course, although once they had rescued Julie, they had just been sailing around in circles, unclear as to how they were supposed to get back to their dimension. They knew if they found Eva’s door they could get home, but that was a needle in a very misty haystack.
“Alright, we have a number of issues we need to deal with,” Julie sighed. “First of all, we need to get out of this Mists of Time dimension before we starve to death and/or resort to cannibalism, as has been suggested many times. Secondly, we need to find those ex-band members and give them back their princess. Where is she, by the way?”
“Locked up in the brig,” Niki replied. “She was being REALLY annoying.”
“Those brigs do come in handy,” Julie agreed before continuing. “Lastly, we need to save the world from the evil senshi and their Emperor’s Death Star. Any bright ideas?”
“Well, what about the compass?” Mallory said. “If it led us to Julie, can’t it lead us home?”
“Yeah, I’m not so sure about that,” Valerie said from behind a large, old fashioned sea charting map she was studying. “The compass seems to be on the fritz right now; it doesn’t know where to point, it’s just sort of spinning. And then I keep running into this phrase on the map … it says “up is down”.
“Up is down. That’s just maddingly unhelpful. Why are these things never clear?” Julie complained.
“Hmm,” Mallory mused. “Did you try flipping the map?”
“Brilliant!” Valerie cried. She turned the map upside down and studied it for another minute. “Yeah, that didn’t really help much. Now it says “sundown”. Does that mean we can escape at sundown? Of course, with all of this mist, I wouldn’t really know where the sun is …”
Julie turned to Eva. “Does this make any sense at all to you?”
“Again with the questions!” Eva cried, slapping her hand down on the table. “I honestly don’t know –” her eyes widened and she grinned, “why I didn’t think of this earlier!”
“Oh, oh, I know this one!” Eva jumped up with excitement. “There are no sunsets in the Mists of Time, but there IS one place I’ve heard of where the sun rises in the morning, shining its light here in this dimension before it makes it down to the earth. Supposedly it’s at the eastern side of world’s end, so it must be near where we rescued Julie.”
“And hey,” Niki chimed in, “if we flip the ship over so that down is up, when we watch the sunrise, we’ll really be seeing the sunset down on earth! So, then we’ll be fulfilling all of the requirements, and we’ll be transported home, right?”
“Niki logic is very, very bad logic,” Mallory reminded the others.
Julie made a face. “I know it is, and this plan really sounds terribly complicated, but it’s the only plan we’ve got. So let’s follow the compass back to world’s end and find where the sun also rises. But not the Hemmingway book.”
The others nodded their agreement in synchronization.
“Alright then, on to problem number two.”
The Seafaring Cow’s brig was dark and coated with a layer of condensation from the mist that seeped in through the tiny port holes that ran the length of the ship. The senshi stood in a line in front of the bars behind which Crazy Girl sat on a low stool singing quietly to herself. They were reluctant to come any closer.
“Really, I’m sure she’s perfectly harmless,” Lisa said, sticking her hand through the bars to pat Crazy Girl on the forehead, as though she were a puppy.
“I don’t think we’ve officially ruled out rabies,” Bob warned her. But Crazy Girl didn’t attack, she merely cooed and continued to mutter nonsensical things.
Lisa continued to pat Crazy Girl in a soothing manner. “We need to find your sister and your guardians,” she said, “but we don’t know where to start looking. We need your help.” Crazy Girl smiled and opened her mouth to speak.
“Something sensical, please?” Julie begged. “If that’s at all possible …”
“Wait, Julie, be quiet,” Lisa said. “I think she’s trying to tell us something.” Crazy Girl nodded and sang loudly and clearly enough for the senshi to hear.
“The Prince and the Fairy brought the Messiah from the dead,
And they bound power in her bones.
The earth be ours and by the planets, where we will, we’ll roam.
Yo ho, all together, hold carbonated beverages high.
Heave ho, sailors and guardians, never shall we die.”
“Um, no, I’m pretty sure that’s all still nonsensical,” Julie sighed, once Crazy Girl had finished singing.
Valerie nodded. “And kind of creepy, am I right? Except for the carbonated beverages. I liked that part.”
Lisa shook her head. “No, she was definitely trying to tell us something. That wasn’t all just a bunch of mumbo jumbo, it was –” Lisa fell silent as her body went rigid. Her mouth fell open and when she spoke again, it was with a mystical and disembodied voice that wasn’t her own: “The song has been sung! The senshi court is called!”
A moment later, Lisa’s eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed to the ground.
With some difficulty, the conscious senshi dragged Lisa’s body up to the deck where they laid her down at the base of the captain’s wheel.
“She gets herself knocked out a lot, doesn’t she?” Special K said, looking down at the blue haired freshman.
“Maybe she needs a kiss to wake her up. Do you want to do the honors, Bob?” Niki said, a wicked grin on her face. Bob glared back but as she was busy being genuinely concerned for the freshman, she refrained from insults.
“Okay, now that we’re all together, we need to talk about this new mystery that’s popped up,” Mallory said. “We can dissect the song line by line.”
Julie shot her a look. “I was going to say the same thing.” Cheeky little upstart.
“I remember the first part of the song went like this,” Eva said, “The Prince and the Fairy brought the Messiah from the dead, and they bound power in her bones.”
“Well, the Prince and the Fairy are obviously the Prince Who Likes Coke and Peanuts and Fairy formerly known as Alex,” Vanessa said.
“And the Messiah, well that’s Niki, right?” Mallory said.
“No, it’s not Niki,” Alexia said. “Don’t you remember when the Fairy and I took you back to Nakodish at the beginning of the season and answered a lot of your questions?”
“All I remember is that my question got gypped,” Eva grumbled.
“Yeah, I’m a little fuzzy on the details too,” Julie said. “That was a really, really long time ago.”
“Years, even,” Valerie agreed.
“Well, to sum it up, after the Mistress 13 fiasco, when Niki was reincarnated, some of her power was passed along to a newly called senshi,” Alexia said. “Lisa became the new Messiah.”
“Oh yeah, I remember being told that I wasn’t the most powerful anymore (actually that I was never the most powerful).” Julie sniffed. “It made me sad.”
“So does this mean that the new Messiah has awoken?” Special K said.
“In theory,” Alexia said. “That is, if she ever wakes up.” She nudged the unconscious girl with the toe of her sailor boot.
“But what about that last bit when Lisa went into the trance?” Mallory reminded them. “She said that the song had been sung and the senshi court is called. I get the song part, but what’s the senshi court?”
Julie shrugged. “I guess it means a gathering of senshi. ALL of the senshi. And if we make it back to earth and find our enemies from outer space … then I guess the senshi court will be more than just a gathering. It will be a war.”
Hours passed as the senshi mulled in silence, watching over Lisa’s still unconscious form and staring out into the mist, searching for the place where the sun also rises (but not the book!). It was impossible to tell what time of the day it was or even how many days had passed since their voyage began. There was no day or night in the Mists of Time, only a misty dusk – grey on grey.
Suddenly Special K gave a shout from her position in the crow’s nest. “Ahoy! There be a horizon in the distance!”
As one, the senshi surged to the front of the ship to see the horizon at world’s end (which is somewhat less spectacular than the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, but still pretty nice).
“Aye, it’s a horizon, alright!” Julie confirmed. “And it looks as though the sun is about to rise!”
“Although I’d advise against this course of action, what does Niki logic say we should do next?” Mallory asked.
“Well, we need to flip the ship so that the upside down sunrise becomes a sunset,” Niki said, “and the only logical way of doing that is running together from side to side, forcing the ship to sway unsteadily until it flips completely over.” The other senshi grimaced at the thought. “It’ll work, trust me. I saw it in a movie once.”
Valerie shrugged as the senshi ran to starboard in synchronization, leaned over the edge, and then ran to port. “What do we have to lose?”
“Our lives,” an out-of-shape Bob proclaimed as she huffed and puffed, running from port back to starboard a few steps behind everyone else.
“It’s working!” Vanessa cried as she ship began to rock with their movements. They ran back to port, Lisa’s unconscious body sliding along the deck with them. They repeated the action several more times, the ship tipping a little further with each run.
“I never thought I’d say this, but there’s not enough of us!” Julie yelled over the groaning of the ship as they ran back to starboard. “We need more bodies to tip it over completely!”
Just then, KeyKey’s head popped up over the side of the rocking ship at the top of the rope ladder. “Hey guys, what’s going on?”
“Key! What are you doing here?” Special K cried as she ran back to port.
“The band and I have been here since the reality showdown went *poof*. We’ve managed to survive on the mist berries that grow in this corner of the ‘verse. They’re not terribly filling, but better than having to chew off your own arm.” KeyKey hopped up into the ship, immediately followed by You, Me, I, Elfyn, and most likely Timm, though it was hard to tell.
The band joined in on the run from one side of the ship to the other, causing the Seafaring Cow to tip further and further each direction. “What a wacky coincidence that we should find each other, here of all places, just when you need help the most!” Key said as she ran.
“Yeah, that’s just about as wacky as trying to see an upside down sunrise by flipping a ship,” Eva gasped, out of breath as she made it to starboard one last time. All of the senshi were exhausted as they collapsed against the ship’s railing. Fortunately, they had put in just the right amount of effort to tip the ship in their favor without having to exert extra, unnecessary effort (a true slacker philosophy).
With a resounding groan, the Seafaring Cow turned over on to its side and began a 180 degree flip.
At precisely that same moment, everyone on board the ship let out a collective gasp as they realized the fatal flaw in Niki’s otherwise foolproof plan:
They were sailing on mist, not water, and when the ship flipped, there would be nothing to keep them from falling down, down, down to the bottom of the insubstantial misty dimension.
“Holy Milk Pail!” Julie screamed in horror. “Hold on to something, everyone!” she yelled as she tried to grab a hold of the swinging rope ladder.
But it was too little too late.
As the Seafaring Cow turned over, Julie lost her grip on the ship and began to fall through the mist. One by one, the other senshi and band members slipped and fell as well.
Hmm, it really kind of does look like a sunset, Julie thought, looking at the upside down sunrise, as she fell towards certain doom. She had no idea how far away the ground was, but she was pretty sure it would hurt – a lot – when she found out.
Julie closed her eyes and assumed a spread-eagle position on her back, preparing for the inevitable moment of impact, when something bottle-shaped bounced off her forehead and landed on her stomach. She opened her eyes and to her great surprise, she found herself staring at a bottle of Sierra Mist.
Not just any Sierra Mist. The caffeinated Siera Mist of the future! It must have fallen out of the hold when the ship flipped … we were so preoccupied with drinking rum, we didn’t even think to see if there were any non-alcoholic beverages on board!
Frantically, Julie grabbed the bottle, spun the top, and took a huge gulp, desperate for whatever power the caffeinated beverage could give her, especially if the power could save herself and her friends from the horrible, bloody, grisly fate that awaited them.
Julie was still falling, picking up speed, only now the ground was in sight, a mere thousand feet below. The others were falling at her side, bracing themselves, and trying not to panic.
Here goes nothing. Julie squinched her eyes closed, pointed to the ground, and dredged up as much power as she could feel building inside of her. “MMM SUPER MMMOON PIE – INFLATION!”
A burst of power flew from her hands to the ground where she pointed as a huge moon pie-shaped inflation device opened up directly beneath Julie and the other falling warriors – Just in time.
Julie hit the inflation device and bounced, once, twice. The others landed beside her, some more gently than others.
“Cool, it’s like a space walk!” Niki cried as she bounced back to her feet. Mallory bounced with her. Valerie was unable to enjoy the space walkyness as she was detained by a blonde and purple mass. A moment after she hit the moon pie, Bob had landed on top of her, cradling the still unconscious Lisa in her arms. Needless to say, Valerie was in pain.
“Oh my gosh guys, you’re never going to believe where we landed!” Vanessa exclaimed. “We’re back in Loserville!”
Julie followed her gaze. Sure enough, they were back. I guess Loserville’s better than death. But only barely. “How is that possible?”
Everyone turned and looked expectantly at Eva, their resident misty dimension expert.
Eva just shrugged and smiled with relief. “I have no f%#king clue.”