Paul Gadzikowski

King Arthur in Time and Space

Knights Band

Guenevere awoke to the sound of a great pounding somewhere near. In the same room. Right next to her head perhaps. Oh wait, in her head. Once that was established, she realized that the room she had been surveying, attempting to pin her hangover symptoms on an external source, wasn't familiar. There was nothing familiar in it, except those quasi-conscious fellow revelers who were fellow Excalibur officers; though there was a general ambiance of some historical period she knew. Guenevere didn't remember how she'd got here. What was the last thing she did remember?

Let's see ... Excalibur had received a time-displaced distress signal from that fellow Perseus, and had time-warped back to the planet Greece's early Space Age. Merlin, now exiled to that time and place by the Avalonians and serving with the Argonauts, had also intercepted the signal. It developed that Perseus and Andromeda had been subdued by an android named Galatea and her engineer friend Pygmalion, only for all to discover that both Perseus and Galatea were agents of the same unnamed benevolent extrahellestials bent on seeing that Greece survived its atomic age.

Then Jason had invited the Excalibur department heads onto the heroes' satellite HQ, Argo, and ... and that's where Guenevere's memory went hazy.

"So we're awake, are we?" came an agonizingly cheerful voice. Guenevere and some of her fellow corpses groaned. Squinting against the piercing pain of normal light levels, Guenevere identified the speaker as Merlin, sitting at a table working on something unidentifiable. They must be in Merlin's lab on Argo, where he worked on bypassing the inhibitions the Avalonians had put on his CAVE.

"What were we drinking last night?" groaned one of the Argonauts scattered around the room. Guenevere hoped his tongue was as fur-covered as hers, as that would mean she would still be able to talk too. His memory was obviously in the same state as hers.

"You don't remember, Daedalus?" Merlin said with mock disbelief. "You got the Excalibur knights to help you with your hyperfermentation process and invent this new liquor you wanted to try. You call it 'ouzo'. A bastardization of my anachronic equipment, it is. I'd have nothing to do with it, and neither would Lancelot."

"Prigs," Gawaine moaned.

"Where's," Guenevere started, then coughed a few times. Daedalus' tongue wasn't as hairy as hers after all. "Where's Arthur?"

"Jason was in here about twenty minutes ago and dragged him off," said Merlin, just as Arthur entered the room.

"Guen! Oh good, you're alive," said Arthur, shading his eyes and supporting himself with a hand to the wall. "We need to gather our people and leave Argo."

"When the Saxon seige is over," Guenevere temporized.

"There are no Saxons in this space," Merlin objected.

"Must be. I hear the war-drums."

"Now," Arthur insisted. "We've worn out our welcome. Jason says none of the other Argonauts are stupid or crazy enough to indulge Daedalus' follies."

"Cursed Greeks don't know how to party," Gawaine whimpered happily.

"We're to get off of this satellite," Arthur concluded, "and no Round Table knight is ever to board it again."

"Banned from Argo?" Merlin asked. "Every one?"

To the exisiting version of Too Many Cooks.

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