A short(ish) reflection.

HF - For Brad, this one... ;-)

It was a slow night, Adric thought, running a tea towel around the rim of
the same glass for the thirteenth time in as many minutes. Which was
probably why Polly, for once, hadn't been too picky about the guest list.

Although so saying, at least one of the 6 inhabitants of the corner table
nearest the pool table had a bye on account of a long-forgotten drabble and
the fact that two of the writers were long time fans, and it was a sure bet
that the tousle-haired reprobate with his feet up on the table and one hand
under the table had appeared in fan-fic at some point over the last 30 or so
years, fanboys being what they were.

Seeing that the whiskey bottles on the table were running dry (for the third
time...) he took the opportunity to wander over to replace them and hover
nearby, wondering just what such disparate desperados might have to talk

'See,' said the smuggler, leaning back in his chair so that it was balanced
precariously on two legs with the back against the wall, 'this is what I
don't get.' His associate - 7 feet of shaggy black-and-tan hair - barked
something unintelligble, to which the smuggler nodded sagely.

'Morphic resonance,' slurred a pile of rags half-hidden by a large,
bullet-riddled hat, slumped in the corner next to a deceptively angelic
looking young man who didn't look entirely human. 'S'easy. Somethings are
just so essential that if we didn't exist, someone would have to invent us.
Which they did.'

'That presupposes the existence of archetypes,' interposed a lean, scarred,
pale-eyed man in battered leather spacer-coveralls. 'And I'm not convinced
that small bespectacled Japanese geniuses who can't hold their drink were
included in Jung's roll-call last time I looked.'

The small pile of rags burped. The angelic looking alien sighed. 'NW's got a

'So who knew the gunfighter had an education?.' This from the youngest of
the more obviously human element around the table - the one that despite his
aimiable good looks (if one discounted a long herring-bone scar across the
left cheek and a large black eyepatch where his right eye should be,
half-hidden by an untidy shock of brown hair) gave Adric the creeps because
of his resemblance to a 'Round regular who Adric REALLY didn't like getting
on the wrong side of. The skull and crossbone motif recurring on every
available surface didn't help.

'Laugh it up, Junior,' smirked the smuggler. 'But look at the evidence -
seems pretty obvious we were someone's idea of a good time... Hell - check
out the parking lot!'

Adric, wiping over a table near the window, did sneak a peak at this.

Three spaceships took up most of the lot - well, one took up most of it - a
400 meter long monster in Britsh racing green with a skull on the front and
enough cannons to make him think long and hard about the Freudian issues its
designer might have. The other two were less impressive, though he'd heard
tell that the little Edsel-class vessel could give the battered freighter
next to her a run for her money.

'So, lean and moody bad-ass outlaws with smart-ass sidekicks and overly
engineered space-going sports utitlty vehicles are some kind of cultural
icon?' The one-eyed pirate reached for the fullest of the whiskey bottles.
'Dream on. I can live with the fact that *my* writer had a hard-on for NW's
adventures. You just can't get your head round the fact that *your* creator
was also just a big fanboy with a thing for pulp fiction.'

The smuggler glared. 'Remind me which of us has a lego action figure again?'

'Who has the better-looking fully-poseable MEDICOM figure coming out in

The gunfighter raised his glass in salute. 'I just went into reprint in both
Japan and America, but hey - I've still got over 40 years on you guys.'

The pile of rags slipped quietly under the table and started snoring. With
what was possibly a hearfelt sigh, the oversized alsation began setting up
the poker chips whilst the cherub began to shuffle the cards - before the
pirate gently removed them from his hand and then two aces from up his

'Bugger the similarities though, NW,' said the cherub, with a "no-hard
feelings" shrug to the pirate, who'd started dealing. 'If we're all a
product of our times and our writers, what the hell does that say about any
of us, hmm? Or them for that matter.'

'Leaving aside the fact that you two were dreamt up by an unmarried, female
bank clerk?' quipped the smuggler. The pirate sniggered. 'What?'

'Nothing, nothing,' murmered the pirate. 'I've just got one word for you:
'Drebble. Maybe we should give Stark a call next week?"

'Now then, children, behave...' boomed a rough voice from the doorway. The
owner of said voice practically filled said doorway, and almost hid the
beatificly psychotic face of his smaller, female companion, who gave Adric a
sly smile. 'Sorry I'm late. Five card stud wasn't it, gentlemen?' The one
eyed giant with a greying pony-tail took one of the spare seats and reached
for the nearest bottle. 'Ante-up, boys... I'm feeling lucky.'

'So are they,' Bella sniggered. 'Any more of this existential pondering and
given the recent slew of Jane Austen and other literary references, they'll
be having to sit down with Darcy, Heathcliffe, Conrad, Rochester and a
rather battered archangel this time next week...' When all of the men put
their cards down on the table looking more than a little nervously at each
other she smiled. 'Oh my - you're *all* folding...?'


Han Solo and Chewbacca property of Lucasfilm
Northwest Smith and Yarol the Venusian from the works of Catherine Moore
Harlock and Tochiro courtesy of Leiji Matsumoto
Kane and Bella belong to BK Willis.
(Eric John Stark was the brainchild of Leigh Brackett.)

Any similarities between any of the above are of course totally deniable by
all concerned... ;-P