The Fractal Rangers: The Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™ Caper

The Fractal Rangers were intubating a transdermal flow to generate an echo as to increase the probability of a favorable event to occur (Perfesser Prof had been unsuccessfully courting a certain high-echelon female British politician he met during an explosive day at a Brighton hotel. With this operation, he hoped to artificially ramp up the local probability of her actually falling into love with him) in some n-level of a minor megaflow when they were accosted by fellow reality-trippers, raiders and plunderers of realities, Barracuda Jones and His Crew of Dirty and Rotten Pirates.

The Fractal Rangers escaped, but Perfesser Prof’s patiently and patently patented Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™ was stolen! The Capacitor was built in a closed loop in Time measuring an exact Earth century; the Perfesser stepped into that door in Time and returned in a blink, but in the loop, a hundred years of labyrinthe mathematics and high technology light years ahead of known norms had passed! It was the only one of its kind, allowing Prof’s astounding craft  to move through hydra-headed time and space with ease.  Barracuda Jones got his grimy hands on the Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™ and disappeared into the folds of  worlds! Leaving Prof’s wonderful craft’s fractal shoaling capabilities severely impaired! The Perfesser jury-rigged a less adequate means of moving through the ether, and the Fractal Rangers spent relative eons searching for the Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™. Their search is now at an end, and this is where our tale begins.

“They’ve invaded a military planet.”
“Everyone’s got guns.”
“And bombs.”
“We’re gonna die!”
“No, Amigo, we are not going to die.” Perfesser Prof placed a liver spotted hand on Archetype Amigo’s shoulder. It was meant to be reassuring, but Amigo trembled nevertheless.
“I don’t wanna die, please don’t make me do it! Prof, please!”
Princess Pop rolled her eyes and said, “Don’t be such a Yossarian!”

Perfesser Prof looked into Amigo’s eyes. “You’re still alive, are not you? After all this time. Your inordinate luck will keep you.” He squeezed the shoulder. Archetype Amigo was the rare individual who was blessed with a sort of eternal luck, balanced with a perpetual bassline of minor bad luck which made him, in simpler terms, accident prone.

Perfesser Prof looked over at the princess. “Pop, you’ll be running interference, as usual, while Amigo does his thing. Due to the circumstances… you’ll be given full rein of the armory.” Princess Pop squealed, fists akimbo in the air, and launched herself at the prof, wrapping her arms around his birdlike neck.

“I’ll be at Communications, standing by for extraction,” continued Perfesser Prof, “and… we’re here. Happy hunting.”

Perfesser Prof’s marvelous ship, in a state of rest, despite its diminished nature, simultaneously occupied several thousand realities, its hull pulsing with vignettes of worlds. Sunlight warmed one patch, while another is abraded with high velocity sandstorms. Rain pattered along starboard, reflecting gliding alien avians. A green lizard scuttled, flickering into a cloud of gnats superimposed over dull grey steel. The ship is a quilt of realities, a throbbing thing of probability.


The force of Princess Pop’s kick embedded the ramp in the asphalt. Radiant light streamed past the silhouette form of Pop. Archetype Amigo lurked fearfully behind. The princess strode down the ramp in her jackboots, clutching in her hands the model Infinity Series no. 2, which housed a miniature teleportation device that fed a diversity of ammo from a planetoid wide warehouse facility several fractal years away. She faced an army of Barracuda Jones’ Dirty and Rotten Pirates. All sorts of technologies. Princess Pop giggled like a schoolgirl who has stumbled into the boys locker room. She fired the first shot.

Always with the guns! Archetype Amigo ran, his hands sheltering his head. As ineffectual as that was, it made him feel a bit more safer. He hurled himself into an alley, going heads over heels across a clatter of garbage cans. He got to his feet blindly and careened from wall to wall. Pretty soon he was running as fast as he could, wrists flapping at his sides. A rotten raider tackled Amigo, and they went down in a tangle of limbs. A mist of blood sprayed Amigo’s face and he was rolling loose across a cratered face, his feet slipping on gore. “Geez, shave that a bit closer, Pop!” he yelled, pumping his legs. Her laughter answered him. That fucking demented kid! He slipped over a wrought iron fence (losing his boxers in the process) into the outdoors sitting area of an abandoned eatery, tripping and stumbling over the tables and chairs before shattering the wall length glass window. Hanging pots and pans banged his head in his mad flight through the gloom of the kitchen. He pushed through an emergency exit and dented the side of a rusted dumpster. Gunfire drummed on the steel box. Amigo coaxed more from his legs, and ran as if he were in free fall. A wooden fence loomed. As he vaulted into the air, hands outstretched, the fence became a wall of napalm, courtesy of his trigger happy partner, and then he was passing through, his eyebrows igniting, his scalp a mane of flame, his eyes widening with horror: there was no ground on the other side.  “Aww, thanks a lot, Pop!”

Pop’s grinning face, smirking pixie nose passed through his field of vision like slow moving train scenery. She was running down the cliff face. She gave him a thumbs up. “Oh, go on, sweetcheeks!” she said and slapped him on his way. She tossed flashbang grenades at the sky and toppled away. Princess Pop had worked with Archetype Amigo long enough to know to let his luck do the work; it would narrow down the available choices, until there was only the inexorable conclusion. She killed a filthy raider from one mile away and gutted another using only the rotten raider’s own pinkie. All the choreography found in action movies was distilled within Princess Pop then executed with ballistic perfection. Besides toting a massive and powerful gun, she also augmented her constantly changing circumstances with agile versatility and acute instincts; she shed spent machine guns, bazookas, samurai swords, handguns, bolos, pocket knives, throwing knives, nunchuks, mini guns, and enough firearms to fill a weapons catalog.  She was an artist of Death and the gates of Hell swelled with sinners.

For the rest of his life, a Proustian moment would visit itself upon Archetype Amigo every time he sat down to void his bowels, filling his nostrils and his gag reflex with an unforgettable violence of odor; as a result he was perpetually constipated. He hit the waste reclamation basin headfirst and then there was a drawn out WHUMMMMP! as Princess Pop bombed the opposite end. Archetype Amigo gasped and snorted, thrashing as he was drawn out of the ruined facility in a logjam of human and alien excrement. The stinking flood churned across the arable land that marked the south border of the city, subjecting our poor protagonist to a lesson in vertigo he would not readily forget. He washed up, a sore sack of shit, against the warm metal hatch of an idling spacecraft. The hatch opened, revealing leather boots. Amigo looked up, tracing the jodphurs on the too short legs to a massive barrel chest of purple spandex draped with a leather vest to a Lenoesque chin under an Elvis hairdo. “What the hell is going on?!” exclaimed purple spandex dude in falsetto, not quite recognizing the foul thing at his feet. A polka dot kerchief was knotted around his sinewy neck. Archetype Amigo drew himself up, a grin sketching itself, white and vehement, on the ubiquitous brown dripping and dropping, his hands curling into toxic claws. “I am having the worst day of my life,” said Archetype Amigo. “But it can’t get any worse. Barracuda Jones, you and I are having words!” With that, Archetype Amigo threw himself murderously at the larger man, and they tumbled into the ship, the hatch slamming after them.

“Pop, is everything all right?” crackled Perfesser Prof’s voice through Pop’s thoughts. “Having  the time of my life!” she exulted, her dainty feet impossibly navigating the 500 RPM rotor of an ornithopter that twisted and weaved through the fractured city, her Infinity Series no. 2 hammering burning tracer fire into battalions of multi-billion dollar war weaponry. The ornithopter, yawing  into the bilious smoke of flaming wreckages, began to climb, and Pop’s feet neared invisibility as she ramped up her speed. In the almost vertical orientation Pop was relentless, slinging the Swiss army knife of guns onto her shoulder and withdrawing a nanothin super carbon alloy wire which she slid into the rotor, before arching backwards into freefall. The ornithopter buckled, couplings tearing apart in a howl of tortured metal. It fell like a stone and Pop followed, her pink transparent raincoat streaming behind like the wings of an angel. She was smiling. The gun lay against her breasts. At the elevation of one thousand feet above sea level, she pointed the muzzle planetwards and fired a single shot.

Archetype Amigo fled, slipping and sliding out of the dirty and rotten pirate ship, clutching something against his belly. “I’ve got it!” his frantic voice echoed across the common thoughtband. He was running and  weaving through the wreckage. The projectile from Pop’s gun rapidly expanded into a bluegreen sphere the size of an elephant. It struck the ground and trembled like a giant upended bowl of Jello. Princess Pop punched into it, its superdense composition absorbing the impact of terminal velocity by spreading the energies outward in effervescent reaction until Pop was kneeling in a halo of surging and twitching foam. She turned and ran easily along Amigo (who was doing his best huffing and puffing impression of a locomotive), skipping and hopping and tumbling and cartwheeling as Perfesser Prof’s fantabulous ship poured itself real, molasses slow, flickering with Lyapunov ball lightning. “Ooh, something stinks!” cried Pop as the ship swallowed them.

As the world folded into itself, Princess Pop had time to see the head of Barracuda Jones extrude from the open hatch of the naughty ship Funtimes Violator and wave his kerchief, “Fanks for the good time, amigo!”
“Hey, what’s all about,” she asked with a pointing thumb.
“Leave me alone.”
“Why are you walking funny?”

Perfesser Prof took the Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™ and inserted it into the recess above the Captain’s seat. He smiled benevolently at his two wards. “Great job, kids! Full fractal ahead!”

“Ka-pow!” Princess Pop flung fingerguns at unfolding eternity.


2 responses to “The Fractal Rangers: The Incrediflummoxular Capacitor™ Caper

  1. There’s such a frantic energy to this piece, I really enjoyed it. Amigo and Pop are both very clearly realised characters, and I like the idea of someone who’s baseline unlucky but never very unlucky and often very lucky. I’m not sure ‘eternal luck’ is the best way to describe that, though.

    I think sometimes you could get a greater effect if you were a bit more sparing with description, but it would be hard to pare it back without losing the energy.

    Finally, I got a bit confused by the dialogue at the end – I think it’s Amigo and Pop speaking, but Amigo never gets identified.

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