Aug. 7th, 2015 03:16 pm
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Author’s Note: This short story was done as a response to the thread on the Board where Huinesoron introduced Nutmeg Television. It was meant to just be part of the discussion at the time, but I did it in narrative form for fun, but it wound up rather stream of consciousness, and maybe not much fun to read? Also, I think Doc wanting to watch TV is probably OOC for him, but uh . . . chock it up to curiosity? I didn’t really have a beta for this, but Neshomeh helped out with Parwill’s part for the final posting. The original (much worse) version appeared here on the Board.

Protectors of the Plot Continuum was founded by Jay and Acacia, and I write in their universe with permission. Nutmeg Television was created by Huinesoron. Castor Parwill was created by Neshomeh. The Chronicles of Narnia were written by C. S. Lewis, and the quoted lines come from The Silver Chair. Miss Irene, the mini-Bricks and L’Université des Écrivains Misérables belong to Bubonic Woodchuck, lokogato-sama and Zorpisuttle. Gavroche Thénardier was created by Victor Hugo.

* * *

"So, do we actually get television, or is this just for researching games?"

"Oh, no, we get all kinds of stuff! HQ has its own channel: Nutmeg TV!" Vania grabbed the remote control and pressed something. The screen flickered, but displayed the same image.

"Is it . . . stuck?" Doc asked.

"Oh, I was broadcasting a Let's Play. The A/V Division sponsors them. It lets agents show off what they're playing from their RC. And then . . ." She pressed another button on the remote. "There's a separate channel for kids. Nutmint."

"Ugh. Like Nick, Jr. or whatever?"

"Well, this is the PPC, so no. It's much better."

The screen showed a thin-haired man reading from a large book. "'My name's Scrubb, and this is Pole,' said Eustace. 'Would you mind telling us where we are?'"

"Ah, Narnia," said Doc, but then he frowned. "Is that actually Lewis?"

"Yeah," said Vania, smiling.

"But." Doc shut his eyes and shook his head. "But Lewis is—Lewis is—"

"Dead? Maybe on your Earth."

". . . Okay. But that's it? Two channels, and one aimed at kids?"

"Oh, no, no, no! Those are just the two created here, specifically for HQ. We get reception from all different worlds. Here, do some surfing. I gotta pee."

Doc frowned as he took the remote. "Thanks for sharing," he muttered. He tried out an arrow key, and the channel changed again.

A cartoon theme song began playing, with animation of a huge, yellow vehicle covered in rods and pistons and blasting out steam as it twisted in on itself, changing its shape. "♪On the Transformatronic Vocational Transport! Step inside, it's a wondrous, fantastical ride! Ride on the Transformatronic Vocational Transport!♪"

"Okay, wow, yes," Doc murmured.

"What did you find?"

"Cartoon," Doc replied obliviously. He changed the channel again.

A bipedal green lizard was charging at a weird black figurine with red eyes in a circle around its head. A pinkish light suddenly appeared in front of the doll, which the lizard tried to slash through. An announcer's voice called out, "Claydol managed to survive that Leaf Blade thanks to Reflect, but it was still super effective damage! And now it looks like Steven is switching to another Pokémon."

Doc flipped. A girl with long hair was marching jerkily towards the camera with a well in the background.

"Weird," said Doc, and he flipped.

A dark stairwell showed, lit only by a weird emergency light, beginning to sputter, glued to a wall. There was just enough light to see an expressionless, disembodied face floating in midair. It slowly began to glide towards the screen.

Doc huffed. "Weird." He changed it again.

A stone statue of an angel stood in mist, hands covering its face. Hearing the sink running, Doc turned to address Vania as she returned to the main room, and so missed the statue pull its hands away from its face.

"Vania, a lot of these channels are just weird."

"Whatcha got?" she asked, coming around the corner of the screen to see a Weeping Angel advancing towards them. She shrieked and grabbed the remote from Doc, hitting the "Home" button to go back to Nutmeg TV. "Let's just stay in HQ for now, okay?"

Doc's brow was furrowed. "What was that?"

"Something we wouldn't want in HQ."

"But then, we're stuck with just the two channels."

"Well, sort of. But remember, this is the PPC! Time isn’t quite so static, here. Let's see what was on an hour ago." She pressed one end of a long button next to the image of a clock.

The video game footage was replaced with a classroom setting. A little kid in filthy clothing was talking at the head of the classroom. "And seeing as how you students is all having such difficulties in writing about the lives of Paris's poor, Miss Irene informs me that you'll each be having a turn spending a night in the elephant—" he grinned— "with the rats.

The seated students groaned, some beginning to complain before the gibbering of some book-shaped figures silenced them.

"Oooh! OFU lessons! How about an hour from now?"

The screen now showed Nurse Parwill, apparently being interviewed. "It is hard sometimes, you know? I mean, I'm trained to improve people's mental health, and with agents, that's what I do. But with some canons . . . Well, let's get back to Captain Ahab; he's a prime example. He was heavily Sued when we got him, and we had to get rid of all his well-adjusted behaviors and find a way to bring back the monomania."

Vania glanced at Doc mischievously. "Wanna cheat?"

"What do you mean?"

"Let's see what was going on back in Jay's time." She held the back end of the time button down for nearly a full minute. When she stopped, an agent was just setting down a paper. "That concludes our list," she said, folding her fingers together and giving the camera a look somewhere between a smirk and a sneer. "If you have any information on these dangerous rogue agents, do not hesitate to inform the first officer you see. Just look for the sash with the Black Cat." She turned her shoulder to demonstrate the item on her own sleeve.

"Eh. Bad example," Vania said, hitting "Home" again. "Let's try a couple decades in the future?"

It was another news report. A young woman was on the scene of a section of HQ hallway brutalized with scorch marks and slashes in the generic surface. "Several of the agents involved are currently being cared for in Medical," the reporter said into the microphone. "However, one agent present in the confrontation is said to be missing entirely. Internal Affairs is asking for any information regarding the whereabouts of Agent—"

"Meh. I'd rather not know." Vania flipped back to the present. "So anyway, what do you feel like—watching."

Doc was back on his bed, reading. He grunted.

* * *

Author’s Note: Nick Jr. belongs to Viacom. The Magic School Bus was created by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, and the prime multiverse’s version of the theme song was performed by Little Richard. Pokémon, and the characters and moves named here, belong to Satoshi Tajiri of Nintendo. Samara was created by Koji Suzuki; SCP-087 was created by Zaeyde and belongs to the SCP community; Weeping Angels were created by Stephen Moffat. Captain Ahab was created by Herman Melville.


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