Archaeological Thingamobobical Part 3:
The World That Time Forgot

In the last episode of the RAU Gallery, Professor Nucleo McRaven and Image Arcane were still searching diligently for any sign of their colleague, Dr. Honen Calzoun, inside the strange world of the ancient hard drive they were trapped within. Meanwhile, the injured Honen has troubles of his own, as he and a mysterious Oni child named Cirrus desperately flee for their lives from a lizardman warrior...

Honen: *HUFF!* *HUFF!* I appreciate zis... *HUFF!* *HUFF!* You are far more trouble then you are worth... *HUFF!* *WHEEZE!* Ugh!!

Cirrus: ...
Honen: I cannot go on anymore. I suggest you keep...running...

Cirrus: ...
Honen: You enfant stupidé! Why you not go? Dat lizardman will catch up to us and...*cough* *hack*

I feel... so tired... *huff*...




???: I think that's him. Over there!
???: Or what's left of him...Is he dead?
???: No. He's got a pulse. Honen? Dr. Calzoun!! Wake up.
Honen: Uh...wha?

Honen: ...Professor McRaven?? Iz dat you? I mean...iz dat really you? Ze same one I know from 2010?
Nucleo: Of course it is, my friend, although my palette is way off. Honen, I'm so glad we found you alive. You had us really worried. Are you allright?
Honen: Well, I'm injured from ze rocket and been through terrible nightmare, but all things considered...
Nucleo: You have a kid stuck to your back.
Honen: Gee, thanks for pointing dat out, Professor. Otherwise, I may never have noticed.
Cirrus: ...
Image: An Oni child? We'd better take her back to her parents. She can't go with us.
Honen: I am suspicious her parents were killed by a Lizardman warrior. She was running away from one when I found her.
Nucleo: That's a really nasty burn you have there. We better get that taken care of.
Honen: Iz okay, Professor, do not worry about it. We have bigger problems here. There are older versions of ourselves stored on zis hard drive.
Nucleo: What? Are you serious, Honen?
Honen: Aye. Dead serious. I've already crossed paths with Deuce Koma and...myself...But they think iz still 1995. They're still fighting each other.
Nucleo: That's not good. We'd better be cautious and do our best to steer clear of them.
Honen: Agreed, Professor. Especially my past self...if we do see him, avoid giving him any information about ze future with extreme prejudice. I know myself well enough to know dat if he learns of ze disease you cured from me, he might take precautions to never get infected with it, which could have severe repercussions on ze timeline.
Image: Yeah, and if they see me alive before they know I am still alive... Well, that probably won't be too good, so I should keep a low profile. But, how are we going to get out of here?
Nucleo: Hey! Be quiet for a moment... I think I hear something coming.

???: *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!*
Image: Nuclee, what is that...?
Nucleo: SHHHH! Quiet, everyone. Don't say anything and don't move. It's an anti-virus.
Honen: But we aren't viruses.
Nucleo: It might mistake us for one. Stay still and be quiet.
Anti-Virus: *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!*
Image: ....
Honen: ... Professor, it's getting closer...
Nucleo: Stay calm, Honen.
Anti-Virus: *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!* *BEEP!*




Honen: Professor!!!
Nucleo: Im! Attack it! Now!... Whoah...what the???

Honen: Aye caramba!! I am sick of getting shot at, and... !! Sacrebleu!
???: ...
Image: Nucleo, who is...?
Honen: Iz ze Lizardman warrior dat was chasing after me earlier!! You will not spill one more drop of Oni blood, you vile beast!!
Nucleo: ...
???: ...a creature whose soul is enveloped in darkness as pure as nonexistence, and another whose spirit burns feverishly with the light of a thousand fires...
Nucleo: ... ? W-what? Are you talking about me...and my wife?
???: Mm-hm. It's very...fascinating... Souls as pure as yours could only have been forged by the gods of Darkness and Fire themselves.
Image: Yeah, well, we were both captured and turned into mindless monsters by them. It wasn't a very pleasant experience. But what nonsense is this? You can't just see into people's souls. Don't try to flatter us just because you can identify our race.
???: My apologies, ma'am. I did not mean to offend you. But I have seen many other mountaindevils and demon-elves in my time and none have been as luminous as you two are.
Nucleo: We'd probably be less luminous if the system wasn't left running in Safe Mode. Anyway, thank you for saving us from that anti-virus. But what business do you have with Dr. Calzoun?
???: Is he Cirrus's father?
Honen: Do I look like family man to you, dinosaur?!
???: Brother, uncle, cousin? Any relation, then?
Honen: What? You think we all look alike?
???: ... Is he always this impossible?
Image: Pretty much.
Honen: Be quiet, fireball!
Nucleo: They're both Snow Mountain Onis, but it doesn't seem like they're related.
???: I see. I found Cirrus a long time ago. She doesn't talk much, but I'm sometimes capable of reading her thoughts. I've been hoping to find some trace of her family. I thought by her fascination with and resemblance to Dr. Calzoun that I had succeeded...
Honen: You are such liar! If dat's true, then why waz she running from you earlier?
???: It wasn't me she was running from, it was the Anti-Virus. I was fighting one and had instructed her to run to safety. I tried to explain that to you, but you ran off before I had a chance. The system's gone haywire. It's been sending them out more frequently lately, and they zap anything they suspect of being a virus, even if it isn't.
Image: Great. So there might be more coming. Do you know of any way we can get out of here, mister?
???: Only through the internet, but this drive was disconnected from it long ago.
Nucleo: Until now. We have it hooked up to our portable which has a wireless connection to the Grimmora University.
???: Then maybe I can show you the way out, but Dr. Calzoun's injuries must be tended to. Come with me to my place.

Cirrus! The doctor is hurt and it's not good to be a burden to him right now.

Cirrus: ...

Honen: Hmm... Maybe you really are telling ze truth... But dat doesn't mean I'll let you put one claw on my hide. *cough*
Nucleo: He's right, Honen. C'mon. Image and I will be with you.
Honen: *soupir*
Nucleo: Do you have a name, sir?
???: You can call me Loro.

Image: Wow. You have a pretty large collection of...junk here.
Loro: Please forgive my home's disarray. I used to collect all kinds of interesting items from the internet before we were cut off from it. Unfortunately, with only 4 gigs total on this hard drive, there's not a whole lot of space for everything.
Honen: Ouch!! Just watch what you're doing, scalehead!
Loro: My apologies, but this ointment is going to sting a little. You don't want your injuries to get infected.

Honen: *soupir* Can I go now?
Cirrus: ...
Loro: Cirrus really likes you. Are you sure you're not related?
Honen: I don't know. I waz abandoned by my family, if she waz distant relative, I'd have no way of knowing. Your kind probably killed her parents along with mine.
Loro: They may have been lizardmen, but they were not "my kind", okay?
Honen: My, touchy.
Loro: As if you haven't been. There's something I want to show you. When I found Cirrus, there was this sword with her.

I could never identify it...but it bears a striking resemblance to your own sword, perhaps confirming my suspicions that it was owned by Cirrus's parents.

Honen: Sacrebleu~! Iz authentic Danté Razeena sword! There are not too many of zees in ze world. My own sword iz one.
Image: What's a Danté Razeena sword?
Honen: Danté Razeena waz ze most famous Oni swordsman and swordsmith who ever lived. His swords and skills were ze finest and sharpest in ze world. But... one day he stopped making swords and then short while later, he just packed up and left ze Oni Village. I suppose he wanted to retire and waz only way to keep people from bothering him anymore...
Loro: So, then do you think Danté Razeena could be Cirrus's father?
Honen: Perhaps. Or at least someone who owned one of his swords. He waz not married nor had a girlfriend when he left, so ze mother would still remain mystery.
Loro: One lead is better than none.
Nucleo: My friends, may I have a word with you all, please?
Image: What is it, Nuclee?

Nucleo: This is a map of the entire hard drive. Each red light represents a quadrant that has been seized by the Anti-Virus program.
Honen: Holy crap! Iz spreading like wildfire.
Nucleo: Right. This world and everyone in it is doomed unless we can find a way to the control panel and uninstall it.
Honen: Or just find ze way out of here before it gets to us!
Nucleo: Honen, we can't do that. Everyone who still lives here will die.
Loro: And you won't be able to leave since it's already spread into the Netscape Navigator folder.
Honen: So?
Loro: Netscape Navigator is the only way out of here.
Honen: What about Internet Explorer?
Loro: It was uninstalled years ago.
Honen: Aye caramba. *smacks forehead*
Image: *sigh* Nothing's ever easy.
Nucleo: We'd better get moving. There isn't a lot of time left.




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