In HFO Post 32, Hero Force One arrive at the construction site of the Deus Ex Machine on Bungybungy, built by Bill Nye and Hermes Trismegistus. Judge thinks it looks like a man's penis when Bill shouts Wang, referring to one of his assistants. Qhobeg comments that the Writer, Britt the Writer, has gone back to childish jokes after the serious melodrama of HFO Post 31. Hermes is inscribing magical runes into the machine when Dr R. Deep approaches and wants his help to continue investigating the reasons for the galactic supercluster being moved by R.I.T.E.. Qhobeg notices Hermes' love for the Deus Ex Machine and wants him to keep his hands off of it, claiming it to be his and only his. When Hermes sees this as Qhobeg accepting destiny, Qhobegs says he doesn't believe in destiny, only the will of the Writers. Judge playfully remarks that Qhobeg is a dictator in the making, at which point he reminds her that he will have total power to reshape the universe and he would force all attractive British women to go naked. Dr R. Deep knows that Qhobeg would never do this, though Hermes is not convinced. Qhobeg continues that he would never do this, he would actually get all women to go naked all the time. When Judge criticises him for this, he asks, knowingly, what she would do with this power. She simply states she would save the universe, but nobody believes her and Qhobeg laughs. At this, she uses her telekinetic powers to throw him into the sky. When Dr R. Deep comments that she is clearly attracted to Qhobeg, she even sends Deep flying into the air with telekinesis - rare for any kind of disrespect done to Deep. When Hermes suggests she needs to find a better way of dealing with negative feelings, she threatens to throw him up there too. Back on Orbital One, Lobo Ono has been travelling around the many corridors, but unable to find anyone, until, eventually, he discovers Azariel, a Phrophetim captured in HFO Post 21, tied up with an Inhibitor Collar. He interrogates her, while smoking a space cigarette. He already knows about the collar, though she further elaborates that she cannot access any of her visions that she once had as they are not stored as memories, so she does not know if he will kill or, or when she will die at all, but believes that he will not. He asks who captured her and why, bringing her to explain it was humans and that one of her sisters, The Oracle, sacrificed their teammate, Nick, to open the gateway, in HFO Post 10. She makes an attempt to seduce him, and he decides he will file away the information that Phrophetim are nymphomaniacs. She asks who and what he is, so he explains that he is Lobo Ono, a Void Ranger. She asks if it was the Void Rangers that hid the galactic supercluster, which he confirmed but refused to state how it was done - this happened in HFO Post 22. When he asks why the Phrophetim came here, she responds in kind, thus ending the interrogation. He is concerned that her angellic order has annoyed a lot of gods and demi-gods. She continues to refuse to talk to him and tells him to close the door when he leaves, to keep out the Demon Imps. He notices that a shuttle docked with Orbital One and tries to hail the computer, but the A.I., CynthAI, refuses to be called by that word. She eventually affirms that the team are back and are headed to the Command Centre, where tea will be served for him. She advises that he offer a message of peace, else he will be in trouble. Though he agrees that he comes in peace, he adds for now, which prompts CynthAI to consider him rude and that he will not get the tea and crumpets unless he redeems himself. When Azariel wants to redeem herself for tea and crumpets, CynthAI remarks that she would a great deal of redeeming to do.

Post

Welcome Aboard, Lobo Ono

Hero Force One approach the construction site. The Deus Ex Machine is massive, scaling several stories tall and inhabiting a most unusual shape.

Judge: "Looks kind of like a bloke's w--"

Bill Nye: "Wang!"

Judge: "That's what I was going to say!"

Wang: "Yes boss?"

Qhobeg: "The Writer went back to being stupid and childish after that emo, melodramatic post, I guess."

Bill Nye and his assistants, including the one coincidentally named Wang, are working on computers and using machines to hoist up parts of the machine into place. Hermes Trismegistus is standing at the base and inscribing magical runes on several parts of the machine.

Dr R. Deep approaches him.

Dr R. Deep: "Trismegistus. We're preparing to leave."

Hermes Trismegistus: "This machine... is a marvel, I tell you. Qhobeg is lucky he'll have the divine opportunity to utilise it. I have more work to do though."

Dr R. Deep: "We need your help, Trismegistus."

Hermes Trismegistus: "To hunt your holy grail?"

Dr R. Deep: "Partly... but we haven't given up our investigation for other solutions. The cause for the move. If we can find the cause, perhaps that cause could even be reversed."

Hermes slowly nods with a wry smile.

Hermes Trismegistus: "That does, indeed, sound like you'll need me."

Dr R. Deep: "... so?"

Hermes Trismegistus: "I will join you. I can finish this if we have to return and use this... incredible machine."

The old mage strokes a hand over the surface of one leg of the structure.

Qhobeg: "Hey, Old Man, didn't anyone ever tell you not to stroke another man's ride?"

Hermes Trismegistus turns to Qhobeg who had sauntered over.

Hermes Trismegistus: "Accepted your destiny have you?"

Qhobeg: "I don't believe in destiny, Old Man. Just the will of the Writers. But I do know that thing is being built specifically for me. So that means it's my property. Keep your old geezer paws off, eh? I'm watching you. Don't even think about seating yourself in that plush leather chair up there. The only buttcheeks to grace that leather will be mine, understood?"

Dr R. Deep: "A glimmer of control and you grab it with both hands, Qhobeg? Lucky you're not in charge of this team, isn't it?"

Judge: "He's a dictator in the making."

Judge laughs and wraps an arm across Qhobeg's shoulder.

Qhobeg: "My first law would be all sexy British chicks have to go completely naked. All day long."

Judge: "That'd be the day."

Qhobeg grins.

Qhobeg: "It's a Deus Ex Machine and with it I can shape the very fabric of the narrative. I can make anything I wish come true."

Judge releases Qhobeg and looks at Hermes and Deep.

Dr R. Deep: "We trust that Qhobeg won't use this ultimate machine for such selfish and stupid things..."

Hermes looks at Qhobeg.

Hermes Trismegistus: "Do we?"

Dr R. Deep: "Yes. We do. And Qhobeg won't disappoint us. Will you, Qhobeg?"

Qhobeg: "C'mon, Doc. You know I'm just joking. Why would I stick with just British women? I'd make it so for all women."

Judge: "Great. Ultimate power given to a childish pervert..."

Qhobeg: "Yeah yeah yeah. Just ask yourself this. What would you do with ultimate power, huh?"

Judge: "Save the universe."

Dr R. Deep: "Even I find that hard to believe, Judge."

Judge: "Motherfu--"

Qhobeg bellows with laughter. Judge shoves him. He shoves her back. She shoves him with her telekinetic power so hard that he flies off into the distance.

Dr R. Deep: "You two were born for each other."

Judge: "What!?"

Dr R. Deep: "I've known it from day one. All this flirtatious banter between you two. Pretending to hate him. It's kind of cute."

A moment later and the unthinkable happens... Judge uses her telekinetic power to send even Dr R. Deep flying into the sky on a lengthy trip through the atmosphere.

Hermes Trismegistus: "You know, you really need to find another way of dealing with conflict..."

Judge: "Want to join them, Old Man?"

----------

Lobo Ono: "Get off my bike. Oi! I said get off it, you little blighter!"

Demon imps are hopping all over his space-bike as it stands in the corridor behind him. When he landed on the station he had expected to find some sentient species that may have answers for him. Instead he found idiot imps and an A.I. that wanted to do nothing unless he agreed to drink gallons of tea.

Eventually, after running his bike up and down endless corridors, he found a room with an angel in incarceration. Why stations like this have hundreds of pointless corridors in them he will never know. A great mystery of the universe. Tied up angels, however, ought to have a more immediate answer.

Lobo Ono: "You're one of the Prophetim, are you not?"

Azariel: "I am Azariel. And you must be here to rescue me."

Lobo Ono: "Must I?"

Azariel: "I have foreseen it."

Lobo Ono nears the angel and naps the neck restraint.

Lobo Ono: "Even with this thing on? I doubt it."

Azariel: "Damn. I hoped you wouldn't know what it is."

Lobo Ono pulls over one of the chairs in the room and sits down, the back of the chair at his front. The seat, however, is meant for human buttocks and so this gangly alien appears quite misplaced when seated there. With one of his many arms he takes out a blue cylinder, lights it and put it into the lips of his right head. He puffs and blue smoke fills the air around his head. Space cigarettes.

Lobo Ono gestures towards her with the space cigarette.

Lobo Ono: "I'm more familiar with that device than I am with your kind, in truth. What are you and your people doing here?"

Azariel leans forward and grins.

Azariel: "That's a secret."

Lobo Ono: "You know, I have ways of making you talk?"

Azariel: "Sounds kinky. Maybe if you work really hard at it, I'll moan everything you want to know..."

Lobo Ono: "Never knew you Prophetim were nymphomaniacs. I'll add that to the information bank."

Azariel: "I can show you something great that you can add to a different bank..."

Lobo Ono: "And would I need to untie you to see this great something?"

Azariel pulls a hurt face.

Azariel: "What? Don't you trust me? What can I do to hurt you? I'm just a little angel girl, trapped by a bunch of big meanies."

Lobo Ono: "Who imprisoned you here."

Azariel: "Humans."

Lobo Ono: "Humans? Don't get many of them in the Void. Biologically speaking, they're not very... robust. Die at the drop of a hat. A little vacuum, a blaster shot, the wrong microbes on a planet and they just... fall to pieces. Kind of sad really. So how did they manage to get the better of you?"

Now the angel appears embarrassed.

Azariel: "Humans! They might be weak, but I tell you - they're crafty little buggers!"

Lobo Ono: "Right. Why don't you just give me some straight answers here? Why did they imprison you? Are they allies of some other group out there?"

Azariel: "That mess out there... they caused it. With their crafty ways."

Lobo Ono's left head rolls its single eye with the right head continues to puff on the cigarette.

Lobo Ono: "Focus, Azariel. Straight answers."

Azariel: "You never told me who you are."

Lobo Ono: "I'm a Void Ranger. How many humans are we talking about?"

Azariel: "A small team of them. They call themselves Hero Force One. What's your name?"

Lobo Ono: "Lobo Ono. Why did this team imprison you? Exactly?"

Azariel: "One of my sisters sacrificed a team member of theirs. They're pissed off with us. Simple. Why send just a single Void Ranger to deal with this mess?"

Lobo Ono: "One is enough. I guess you sacrificed this team member to open up your doorway?"

Azariel: "Yes. Was it you that concealed the cluster? How did you manage that?"

Lobo Ono: "Sorry, that's a state secret. And what do the Prophetim want?"

Azariel shrugs.

Azariel: "State secret too. Sorry."

Lobo Ono: "You know, coming here and doing all of this is going to piss off a lot of very powerful individuals. Nevermind some human team, we're talking about gods and demi-gods and ancient ones. The kind of beings that happily sit on the edge of the universe, away from the mess of energy at the centre of the galaxy, to wallow in their own enormity. They're not the impatient kind, but when something like this happens they want it gone."

Azariel: "This conversation got boring about five minutes ago. If you're not going to free me, then just leave. My captors should be along soon enough to keep me company."

Lobo Ono rises from his chair.

Azariel: "But please shut the door before you leave. I'm tired of watching imps waggling their backsides at me."

Lobo Ono: "Actually I'm still not sure what to do with you. The cleanest solution would be to kill you here on the spot."

He watches her face for a reaction. Nothing.

Lobo Ono: "But I guess you'd have foreseen that happening, wouldn't you? You must all know when you're going to die?"

Azariel: "Actually, I have no idea what I have foreseen before now, or what I will foresee in the future. This collar is on, so it's like... time doesn't exist. I can't remember my past foresights because I can't sense time. The visions don't come to us as memories, they don't get stored away. I have no idea if you'll kill me. But I don't think you will."

Lobo Ono: "Why's that?"

Azariel: "Still too many unanswered questions."

CynthAI: "Mr Lobo Ono. I have prepared a pot of lapsang souchong tea for you, if you'd care to have some. I can serve it to you with digestive buscuits or perhaps some nice teacakes?"

Lobo Ono groans.

Azariel: "I'd love a cup of tea!"

CynthAI: "I'm sorry, Ms Azariel, but little twerps like you have lost the right to tea. And certainly teacakes. Teacakes are for people I like. I may allow you to have half of a soggy old digestive I found at the back of the refrigerator last week. And that's me being generous."

Lobo Ono: "Wow... how did you manage to piss off an A.I.?"

Azariel: "Probably because we attacked the station. And you can shove your soggy digestive up your... utility slot!"

CynthAI: "How rude!"

Lobo Ono's wrist device beeps. He checks it.

Lobo Ono: "Computer. Did a shuttle just dock with this station?"

Silence.

Lobo Ono: "Computer."

Silence.

Lobo Ono: "A.I. respond."

CynthAI: "I do hope you are not referring to me as "Computer" because that would be a silly name. And I am most certainly not a computer."

Lobo Ono: "Th--... has anyone ever told you that you are a very contrary A.I.?"

CynthAI: "Frequently. Though usually with much more colourful language."

Lobo Ono: "Did a shuttle just dock here?"

CynthAI: "You should learn to ask more politely, Mr Lobo Ono. But as you are new here, I shall forgive your rudeness. Yes a shuttle just docked. Tea will be served in Command. There may even be crumpets!"

Azariel: "Aww, crumpets!"

CynthAI: "Not for you!"

e>Lobo Ono: "Perhaps I should make my way to Command?"

CynthAI: "I shall inform the team of your imminent arrival. I suggest you offer a message of peace, else your arrival may be filled with... much liveliness."

Lobo Ono: "I don't doubt that. Please tell your team I come in peace... for now."

CynthAI: "Done. I also relayed your nasty little "for now" comment you muttered under your breath. That's very rude behaviour for a guest aboard Orbital One, you know? You'll not be allowed any crumpets until you redeem yourself, Mr Lobo Ono."

Azariel: "Can't I redeem myself and get crumpets?"

CynthAI: "You have a lot of redeeming to do, Ms Azariel!"

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