So That's Why! by Luriko Ysabeth
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"No fair! No fair!" Gel Sadra stomped down the corridor of her base, the very set of her shoulders announcing to the world that she was in a mood familiar to (and dreaded by) every parent who has survived five years of the job. "It's just NOT FAIR!"

The average Galactor goon has an exceedingly low intelligence quotient, "general intelligence factor," capability to respond at a meaningful level to assorted stimuli, or any other measure one wishes to take. Otherwise, they'd never be *in* Galactor, would they? The standard joke at the top echelon was that they were recruited from Planet Spango; of course, knowing Sosai X's capabilities, that might even be true.

Nevertheless, even among them, the Darwin-Wallace principles of natural selection are still in existence. Those that have survived as long as they have have done so, in part, because of their ability to pass and react to certain messages.

For instance: "Gel Sadra-sama's pissed. Get the hell out of the way!"

"WHYYY?!" she shrieked as she stormed into a room which had been hastily vacated moments before. Since there were no handy people about, she threw a chair against the wall. It hit with a satisfying crash. "WHY DO WE ALWAYS LOSE? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYY?!!!!!!" She threw another chair.

The top came off.

"Oops," she muttered quietly, looking around to see if anybody'd seen. Sosai-sama hated for her to damage their property.


Five minutes later, the seat/back unit had been reattached to the leg.

Sort of.

She hoped nobody sat in it until it had been long enough that they couldn't say it was her fault.

Sadra was still in a bad mood, of course, but at least she was no longer about to break things or people. She decided to look in on the computer room. The guys there were smart, and they knew how to sympathize with her.

When she opened the door, it was empty except for one technician, who was yelling at his computer. Wow. She didn't think people could even do some of the things he wanted some unnamed guys to do, and he was using some words she'd never heard before, even from the computer people. She took mental notes.

When he had quieted down, she walked up to it. "What is it, Satoh-kun?"

"Another of these!" Satoh-kun declaimed, pointing grandly at his computer screen. "That's the fifteenth time in as many minutes!"

Sadra peered over his shoulder. "That's one of mine," she said proudly.

Satoh-kun had a weird expression on his face, like Tomas when he ate the junebug.

Wait a moment. Who was Tomas, and why on earth would he eat a junebug?

Sadra put the question aside to worry about later.


"Ah, Sadra-sama," Satoh said carefully, "this is a wonderful way to paralyze the enemy."

His oversized commander seemed to perk up another foot at the praise.

"But," he added nervously, "it might be a good idea to make it so it doesn't hurt us."

There was a pause. Then the blonde beamed. "Yes, it would be, wouldn't it?"

Satoh breathed a sigh of relief.

"Work on it," she ordered as she left.

Satoh's forehead burst out in sweat. He wasn't *that* good a programmer. He could get rid of most unwanted advertising by banning the usual suspects, and he could set up protections to ward off nearly all virids, but that was the extent of his talent. For something like what Sadra-sama was suggesting, you'd need a master-level hacker.

Fortunately, he knew where to find one.

He'd back three of the women who posted to one of his newsgroups against any computer or system in the world, and had every intention of passing the problem on to them.

Not that he'd tell Sadra-sama, of course.

Sadra-sama reacted badly to the mention of *any* woman with more brain than a guppy.

He began composing his message to


Gel Sadra winced as Sosai-sama finished raking her over the coals. Not only was he incensed at how easily the Kagaku Ninjatai had destroyed their latest mecha -- which HE had designed, although she knew better than to point out that little detail -- he was disgusted at her failure to bring back any of the scientist ladies he wanted to work for them.

Once she was out of his sight and away from there, she threw another tantrum. It was not, not, NOT fair for him to blame her for problems that were all *his* fault, anyway. She tried. She tried! She wished Gatchaman's head would explode. Now THAT would be something to see.

Now the scientist ladies -- at least that was genuinely her fault. She hated those scoldings, but she endured them. They were, after all, better than the alternative.

She'd bring Sosai-sama all the scientist men he wanted. But no scientist ladies. She wouldn't let any scientist ladies NEAR him.

For if he had *real* smart ladies, he wouldn't need her, Gel Sadra, anymore. After all, she wasn't really a Smart Grown-Up Lady, not like... like... well, anyway, she wasn't. She was just a pale imitation, with her silly computer, and her silly mask. If Sosai-sama ever got to observe the real ones, whether they were scientist ladies, or doctor ladies, or attorney ladies, or whatever, he'd be sure to like one of them better than her. And then he'd make that lady his special leader and confidant and tell *her* all his plans, and make *her* the ruler of the world, and give *her* all the goodies. And Sadra would be... she would be... well, she wouldn't be anywhere. Because she didn't have anywhere to go.


"Ooh, Oneechan, you're checking *that* group again, aren't you? Aren't you?"

"Jinnnnpeiiiii..." Jun gritted. "I've told you and told you, it's a group for people who like anime and computers and can do lots of stuff with them."

"Ah, yes," the great Tsubakuro no Jinpei-sama said, "but what *kind* of stuff?"

Jun turned her head to look at her little brother. "Jinpei, you want to die, don't you?"

"No...." Jinpei said. But teasing Oneechan was fun. "I still think I ought to tell Aniki the name of your group. He's always looking for ninja tips about where to hide where *nobody* will ever suspect..."

"*Don't you dare.*"

"But it is a wonderful disguise, isn't it?" Jinpei asked with the innocent tone he had long since perfected.

Jun sighed. "All right, what do you want now?"

"I want to be on the computer so I can challenge my friends to Quake. The great Tsubakuro no Jinpei-sama can never be beaten!"

Jun rolled her eyes. "When I finish with this group, okay?"

"Yatta!" Jinpei cheered, hopping up and down. Then a thought occured to him. "This is the one you check last, isn't it?"


"But, oNEEchan..."

"Now *this* is interesting," Jun mused.

"What is it?" Jinpei asked instantly. "Whatwhatwhat?"

"A request to come up with a particular kind of defensive program. You know, recently the ISO's been having the same kind of problm this guy wants the program for..."

"So if you made it and gave it to them, they'd probably be pretty grateful."

"Right. They might even give us a bonus."

"What sort of a bonus, Oneechan?"

"Well, it's been a pretty annoying problem; probably anything we want, within reason."

"Anything we want... like maybe a pet seal!?"

"I *said*, 'within reason.'"


Gel Sadra was finally feeling better.

The fact that she had spent the past hour royally trashing someone who called himself 'Tsubakuro' in a semi-anonymous over-the-Net game of Quake might have had a little to do with it. Just a little.

Now she had called up her e.mail program and begun. The latest step in her wonderful, marvelous, brilliant plan to distract and immobilize the ISO, governments, and other people so they couldn't even notice the solar Shift Plan, much less deal with it.


Really, shouldn't that be Sadra thought about it for a moment, and then continued typing her long lists of people in the 'to' and 'cc' fields.

'..., "Undisclosed.recipients",,,,,,,,,,,'

There. Finished.

Now it needed a name. Every good project should have a name, so that it could go down in history and people would remember it forever.

AHA! This was the perfect name. Just perfect.

'Subject: Good Times'
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