What the heck, let's kill two TTR series with one stone, or at least leave
them bruised and stunned...
SOME OTHER TIME ROUND:
HELP WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE
While it may be true that the realm of extracontinual existence
known as 'Otherside' is defined largely by its divergence from the
debatable norm represented by what its denizens call 'Lightside' --
the home dimension that includes the pub known as This Time
Round -- there is in fact a high degree of commonality between the
two, as far as general principles go. In other words, certain rules
apply no matter where one goes. Gravity, for instance, is a fact in
both realms. So, too, are most of the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Another law of nature that they share is the old principle that good
help is hard to find...
"Damn these crossover characters!" snarled the large, droopy-
mustached individual who owned the wretched hive of scum,
villainy, and overpriced apperitifs known as Some Other Time
Round -- the Darker and More Sinister Pub Outside Continuity.
His general snarliness at this point was attributable to his having
accidentally stepped in the putrefying remains of his most recent
hire. "I finally -- _finally_ -- solve my labor problems, only to have
some smegging loon from an anime trisect my staff before they
even finish their shift!"
Franz the Ogron gave the Owner a comradely pat on the shoulder.
"Never minding such, ja?" he grunted. "Am thinking that zombie
vaitresses not being so popular anyhow, ja? Vas already having
complaints about smell und zombie-bits falling into beer mugs, so
vould probably not have vork out in end."
But the Owner was not about to be put off his bad mood by
anything as nonsensical as mere logic. He prodded the uniformed
and aproned pile of bones and offal with a boot toe, still scowling.
"I paid good money to Kevin the Part-Time Houngan for those
zombies, Franz, and now I've got nothing to show for it but a half-
dozen worm buffets. Somebody owes me for destroying my
property and I intend to take it out of their hide!" He picked a
butcher knife off the bar and thumbed its edge meaningfully. "And
I mean that literally. Now, which one of those damn Japanimated
freeloaders hacked up my help?"
Franz hid his smirk behind a look downward to straighten one of
his Wehrmacht medals; this should get an amusing reaction. "Vas
Father Anderson, from 'Hellsing'," he said, and waited.
The Owner took a moment to chew on his mustache. "Anderson,"
he repeated. "That wouldn't be the one they call... 'Bayonet
Anderson'... would it?"
"Franz not know," the Ogron replied, playing dumb. "Is Owner
thinking of seven-foot-tall unkillable priest vhat slings around
blades by handfuls, laughs like maniac vhile butchering Undead,
und tends to become homicidal vhen methods questioned? If so,
is thinking of right man. Franz show Owner vhere good Father
vent, ja?" He started around the bar, but the Owner waved him
back. Exactly. As. Expected. Franz grinned at the jackboot-
puppet on his left hand.
"Erm, ah, that is-- You're _sure_ it was Alexander Anderson? It
wasn't, say, one of those scrawny little angst-ridden mech pilots?
Or some big-eyed bint in a skimpy sailor-suit?" The Owner
brightened a little, or appeared to, anyway. "You know, those little
fuzzy Porky-Monster things can be confusing to look at..."
"Nein," Franz cut him off. "Vas definitely huge psycho priest-type
vith glasses und Scottish accent und lots of sharp things for
sticking in heads." He looked down at his jackboot-puppet again.
"Vas so, ja, Herr Vervolf?"
<Ja!> the Ogron falsettoed in 'Herr Vervolf's' voice. <Vas so, loyal
employee Franz. But perhaps crazy bayonet-man putting on
skimpy sailor-suit if Owner ask nicely, if such thing Owner's bag,
"Um, yes... well..." The Owner glumly stuck the knife in his pocket.
"Perhaps... I haven't been sufficiently open to the... um...
_spiritual_ urgings of our clientele..."
<Perhaps,> agreed the puppet. <Or perhaps is just being big vuss,
"Nyssa," said the Owner to his sole remaining non-Ogron, non-
puppet employee as she scrubbed away at the grease caked on the
griddle, "I'm going to have to move you back out to working the
floor." There, he'd said it. Now there was nothing to do but close
his eyes and await the inevitable reaction.
"What?!" The Trakenite leaped for him, hands out and face
already gone the color of fresh-spilled blood...
He raised his own hands, desperate to fend her off, but...
She clutched at the hem of his bar apron, eyes wet with ready-to-
shed tears. "Please don't put me back out front!" she pleaded.
"Anything but that! I'll work twice as hard back here, I promise!"
He sighed and pushed her off as best he could. "Now, none of
that stuff, lass. It can't be helped. I can't keep enough staff on to
keep everything running, so I'll have to cut out meals and move
you back out to barmaid."
"But... but... _He's_ out there!"
The Owner cast an unconscious look over his shoulder, out into
the common room. Of course he was out there. He was always out
there when Nyssa was on, him and his little coterie. There was the
unmistakable catty smirk and tangled blonde tresses of Hel Matear,
sitting beside him. There was that dapper little bastard Jinnai
parked opposite, with that geeky perv-boy Bud Bundy. There was
the red-haired, vacant-eyed slave girl at his feet. And in the middle,
always the center of attention, was that devious little Hellspawn
Damn, but that kid had a Helluva racket set up here.
"I know he's out there, Nyssa," grunted the Owner, "but don't
worry about him." Gad, this comfort-and-sympathy business was
_so_ not his thing, but he couldn't risk alienating and chasing off
one of the few reliable workers he'd ever had.
"Don't _worry_ about him?!" she parroted in disbelief. "He wants
to enslave me and make me his-- his--" She couldn't bring herself
to say it.
So the Owner said it for her. "He wants you for a concubine. Yeah,
we all know that. It's not like he makes any secret of it. Sheesh,
you ought to just shag him and be done with it."
Teary-eyed or not, Nyssa's chin lifted in absolute defiance.
The Owner shrugged. "Well, kill him or something, then.
Whatever, just settle with him somehow so you can do your
smegging job. Besides, I should think you'd be happy about
facing him here, since he can't lay a hand on you while you're on
"I know that," Nyssa sniffled, "but he still _does_ things, _says_
things. And the way he looks at me..." A shiver wracked her slim
"Oh, for the love of..." The Owner threw up his hands. "Look, girl,
this _is_ the darker and more sinister side. Can't you buck up and
be more... _evil_, or something?! For Moloch's sake, if this is what
you're like _here_, I shudder to think what a puny crybaby your
_Lightside_ self must be!"
There was a long, awkward silence, broken only by the distant
rumble of siege artillery; the Muses Saiassyn and Selkirembe were
discussing literary policy again, it seemed.
"I'm sorry I'm not stronger and more evil," Nyssa muttered, staring
at the floor.
"Well don't _apologize_ for it," the Owner snapped. "That just
makes it worse. Being evil means never having to say you're
sorry." That was, in fact, the motto etched above the courthouse
door in the nearby town of Unspeakable. "Nyssa, look here," he
went on in a softer tone, "as soon as I can hire some more help, I'll
move you back to kitchen duty, okay?"
"All right," she said glumly. "When might that be?"
The Owner scratched the back of his balding head, lips twisted
like Otherside psyches under his mustache. "Blowed if I know,"
he said. "I'll put out the old 'help wanted' signs, but finding good,
dependable help where almost everyone is either an evil twin or a
crossover villain is a bloody nightmare. Evil and work ethics don't
exactly go hand-in-hand..."
And so, less than two days after putting up the sign that said,
'Help Wanted: Will hire practically anybody, crossover characters
or whatever, we seriously don't care,' the Owner was interviewing
the first of the new batch of applicants.
"So, Mr. Lupino... it says on your application that you ran a bar of
your own, called the Ragna Rock...?" The Owner tacked a trailing
interrogative tone to the end of that statement, inviting the
applicant to elaborate on it.
"The flesh of FALLEN ANGELS! I am garbed in their very
FLESH!" shrieked the tattooed, shaven-headed man across the
"Rrrriiiight," sighed the Owner. "That's just great. What about
food service? Do you have any experience with that?"
"I consume the FLESH of ANGELS!! The great DEVOURER of
WORLDS, baby! Kali, Cthulhu, Lucifer, daddy's comin' HOME!"
"Wonderful," the Owner agreed. "So, tell me, do you scream out
demented ravings like this _all_ the time?"
"The BEAST has COME!" Lupino howled, pounding a fist on the
Owner's desk. "The BEAST is HERE! THE FENRIS WOLF IS IN
MY SOUL!! End of the WORLD, baby! END! OF! THE!
"Guess that answers that." The publican flipped to the last page
of Jack Lupino's application. "Hmmm... Under 'reason for leaving
last job', you put '97 bullets to chest and abdomen at point-blank
"I'd rather not discuss _that_, if you don't mind," the bald psycho
said rather primly. "It was a difficult time that I'm still not entirely
over. Speaking of which..." He took a deep breath. "I AM THE
DESTROYER! ASMODEUS, BEELZEBUB, HECATE! CHAOS!
CHAOS! SWEET SATAN, let's BURN this world DOWN to THE
"Uh-huh. And do you have any references, Mr. Lupino?"
"Kali! Cthulhu! Asmodeus! The FALLEN ANGELS!"
The Owner smiled with a patience he did not actually have, but had
become excellent at faking. "Generally we prefer references that we
can actually _call_, Mr. Lupino, but it just so happens that I'm
desperate enough that I don't care any more. Consider yourself
"The TIME is at HAND! CHAOS! I AM THE DEVOURER!"
"...just as soon as you take the mandatory drug test, that is..."
"Well, your references are good and I certainly can't fault your
work ethic." The Owner peered at the latest applicant over the top
of his reading glasses. "The only thing that concerns me is your
lack of experience, 716-167K, so that's why I've devised this little
test." He gestured at the tray of empty pint mugs on the bar.
"Deliver those to table 12, while we watch you from here. Think
you can handle that by yourself?"
"I O-BEY," grated Dalek No. 716-167K as it immediately trundled
to the bar and extended its sucker-arm over to the tray. "NO AS-
SIS-TANCE IS RE-QUIRED."
"This will be great," the Owner chuckled to Franz and Nyssa. "A
Dalek waiter will be almost _indestructible_." His expression
darkened a bit. "Um, Catholic priests don't have anything against
Daleks, do they?"
"Not so Franz knowing," the Ogron replied.
Meanwhile, the Dalek in question was pushing the plunger-end of
its arm against the mugs, managing only to slide them around on
the tray a bit.
"I see two flaws in this plan," said Nyssa quietly, "and that is the
"A LIT-TLE AS-SIS-TANCE IS RE-QUIRED," blared 716-167K,
managing to sound the tiniest bit embarrassed, a real feat for a
Nyssa sighed and balanced the tray atop the Dalek's dome.
Smoothly and carefully, so as not to jar the glasses even the least
bit, 716-167K slid over toward the section containing table 12...
which just happened to be in an area raised above the main floor
by a single six-inch step.
"And this is the second one," Nyssa commented.
The Dalek rolled up to the step, bumped into it experimentally a
couple of time, then swivelled back to the Owner. "A MO-TOR-
IZED HOIST SYS-TEM IS RE-QUIRED..."
The Owner had been expecting this, not least because crossover
characters from 'Slayers' made such a habit of getting around in
He found himself looking at a curvaceous figure packed into a
too-tight waitress's outfit that accentuated the pair of D-cup
'assets'. Purple hair fell in squared-off bangs over the concealed
eyes, a faint, half-amused quirk of a smile on the lips beneath.
"No," said the Owner without a second's hesitation. "Absolutely
bloody not." He folded his arms and shook his head.
"Please?" asked the prospective waitress.
"No, Xellos. I'm not putting you on payroll here. I may be
desperate, but I'm not freakin' insane."
"Oh, have an open mind," chided the Trickster Priest. He curtsied
daintily, showing a bit of thigh. "Don't I look _smashing_ in this
"Actually, yeah... I mean, NO! No you don't!" The Owner spat
into his trashcan, as though trying to rid himself of some foul taste.
Xellos tugged at the bodice of his dress, pouting. "Well then,
what? Do I need to get bigger falsies or something?"
"No! You need to go away!"
"Oh, you silly man!" Xellos bopped him lightly on the head with
his order pad and let out a giggle of -- considering the source --
quite sickening girliness. "Where would be the fun in that? Come
on and hire me. I promise that you won't live to regret it."
The Owner pointed to the door. "Take a hike, Mazoku. You can
threaten all you want, but if I don't hire you, I'm just dead, whereas
if I _do_ hire you, I end up dead _and_ annoyed."
"Oh, that's unfair," the Mazoku crossdresser sulked. "I would
_never_ do you harm for any reason that I didn't think was at least
"The door's over there, Xellos."
"Just give me a chance, Mr. Owner," Xellos wheedled, batting his
eyes and thus prompting a renewed round of spitting into the
trashcan. "Let me show you what a great waitress I can be!"
The Owner glared at him and began rummaging around in his desk
drawer, finally coming out with a flat silvery disk which he held up
threateningly. "Don't make me use this, Xellos."
The Trickster Priest merely yawned daintily into the back of his
hand. "And what would _that_ be? A holy talisman of some kind?
Some magic weapon? Please _do_ remember, Mr. Owner--" He
pulled out a file and began to neaten up his nails. "--that no
Mazoku can be defeated by any magical power weaker than itself."
"No magic," grunted the Owner. "Just a CD of Bobby McFerrin
singing 'Don't Worry Be Happy'."
Xellos's lips curled in revulsion. "That's just... sick. Really... sick.
You _know_ I can't stand happy songs."
As the Owner started toward the stereo in the corner, Xellos
launched into one last, frantic appeal. "Look, I'll show you what a
good waitress I am. Hi! Welcome to Some Other Time Round! My
name is Xellos and I'll be your waitress this evening! What would
you like, sir?"
"What's your special today?" the Owner replied, playing along.
"Aha!" Xellos winked and stuck out a finger. "That... is a
For probably the only time in his life, the Owner got a warm and
fuzzy feeling from subsequently listening to 'Don't Worry Be
Happy', although it was technically the sound of anguished and
nauseated Mazoku groaning that he was listening to...
"So, why do you specifically want to be our bartender?"
The fidgetty Mexican ran his tongue through his mustache and
shot the Owner a cocky grin. "Because, man, the bartender always
lives! Nobody ever shoots the _bartender_, man!"
After a statement like that, in this kind of place, it surprised
absolutely no one when a .44 Magnum round punched into the
poor sod's head, smearing most of it across the bar mirror.
"You missed me, Whore of Babbling-On!" Saiassyn the White
Muse taunted her old foe down the bar. "You couldn't hit your
own coffin from the inside!"
"Wasn't aiming at you, snotbitch." Selkirembe spun the revolver
and slid it back into its holster. "I was just following the Laws of
Heads nodded as other guns were holstered all around the common
room. There weren't many laws on the books in Otherside, but the
ones that were, they enforced the Hell out of.
"So, no one yet?" Nyssa asked meekly from the doorway.
The Owner sighed heavily and motioned her on in. "No, nobody
She sat down opposite him, seeming to take a great interest in the
ways in which she could twist her fingers into her apron. Even as
famously obtuse as he was, the Owner could tell that she was
almost completely terrorized.
"Something you need to say?" he demanded bluntly.
"It's just..." She shuddered and choked back a sob. "It's... I don't
know how much longer I can keep doing this. Every time I go out
into that room, I know _he's_ waiting for me. Waiting with his lies
and whispers and little hints of threats. He won't stop until he has
me in his clutches, and I can't keep facing that!" Her chest heaved
raggedly and she wiped her face on her apron hem. "He's always
there, everywhere I go, every time, don't you see? With that slave
girl Ashley at his heels like a warning of what's waiting for me!
And that Hel Matear hissing foul promises and temptations in my
ear! And Jinnai to laugh at me when I try to get away, and Bud
Bundy devising unspeakable things for Adric to do to me once he
has me! I can't go on like this, Mr. Owner! I just _can't_!"
She had risen to her feet in the course of all this and the Owner
waved her back down. "Okay, okay! Easy there, Nyssa! I'll get
you back out of the common room just as quickly as I can, no
sweat. Hell, I'm completely desperate, too. Tell you what, I'll hire
on the very next person to step through that door, no matter who or
what they are--"
The office door started to swing open.
"--as long as it isn't Xellos," he finished.
The door closed again with a muffled snapping of fingers from
outside and a mumble of, "Ah, crud, and I just got these bigger
falsies put in, too!"
"And I mean that, Nyssa," the Owner insisted. "I swear by all
that's unHoly that whoever comes through that door next will be on
staff and you will be safely back in the kitchen, okay?"
"O-okay," she sniffled.
The door swung open again. "Did I just hear someone say they
would hire the next person who came in to help out the Little
Dove? If that's the case, I'm your man."
"No," whispered Nyssa, wide-eyed. "No..."
"Oh yes," smirked Adric, his eyes roaming her body like lecherous
conquistadors. "Oh yes indeed, Little Dove. I'm your new co-
worker, just like the man said."
"And me, sweet thing," Bud smarmed beside him. "I'll be your little
helper, too." He leered and licked his acne-spotted chops.
"Whoohoohahahaha! Even the great Katsuhiko Jinnai will stoop
to manual labor for the cause of conquering such a maiden!" He
straightened his tie before launching into another laughing jag.
"And I have nothing better to do," husked Hel Matear, who had
somehow slid into the room without being noticed, impossible as
that would seem to be for a chiseled blonde beauty in a scarlet
bodysuit. "If nothing else, it will provide a good opportunity to
research the desires of the flesh-based races."
Adric tossed the 'Help Wanted' sign onto the desk, where the
Owner, dumbfounded, could only stare at it. "It would seem that
your problems are over, old man," the Alzarian chuckled, then
turned his poisoned-honey gaze back to Nyssa. "But for _you_,
on the other hand, my Little Dove... Heh heh heh..."
'Doctor Who' is property of the BBC.
'This Time Round' concept created by Tyler Dion.
'Some Other Time Round' concept created by K. M. Wilcox.
Father Alexander Anderson is from the manga/anime 'Hellsing', property of
Hel Matear is from the anime 'Cosmo Warrior Zero', property of Leiji
Katsuhiko Jinnai is from the anime 'El Hazard', property of Pioneer.
Bud Bundy is from the TV series 'Married With Children', property of Fox.
Jack Lupino is from the video game 'Max Payne', property of Rockstar Games.
Xellos the Trickster Priest is from the anime/novel series 'Slayers',
property of Hajime Kanzaka.
The unnamed Mexican bartender is Cheech Marin's character from the movie
Categories: Comedy/Drama; This Time Round; SOTR series; 'Help!' series;
Regular Characters: Nyssa, Adric, Dalek
Synopsis: Good help is hardest to find on evil's home turf.