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A Chance Encounter

VC: "A Chance Encounter"
Jason — 2 Sep 1999, 6:42 PM

(This story takes place shortly after "The Best Defence...", picking up after the Equinox's crew found cover from attack. The story picks up directly from there, although it doesn't really deal with the plight of the caravan or its crew.)

Later, the Equinox had found cover in a heavily wooded area. The crew had found that this provided a sufficient amount of cover from the aliens. With this sense of temporary security, Ransom sent his crew out to search for more supplies to replace what had been lost in the last attack. The crew set out in a pattern. Ransom and Max went together. Max's arm was in a sling but had stopped bleeding as much as it had been, thanks to some herbs that the Ankhari had provided to them.

Marla stayed close to the caravan, keeping an eye on it, picking fruit and collecting firewood nearby.

Her arms full, she returned to the Equinox, bringing her supplies into the caravan, barely watching where she was going. Placing her supplies down, in the corner of her eye she saw the figure of a woman, dressed in black leather. Thinking for a second that someone had found a mirror and for some reason put it in the caravan, she straightened herself and turned, intending to admire the reflection. Instead of a mirror, the image standing parallel to her was not her reflection-but rather the image of a real, living woman, who was also in the Equinox with Marla.

Marla gasped, jarred for a second as she found herself standing across from an intruder. She must have unknowingly caught her in the act when she returned with her supplies. But now as opposed to the war they had been fighting with the Ankhari spirits, it was Marla who was unprepared and the intruder who had the advantage.

She froze for an instant. Looking at the woman in front of her, she saw someone much like herself, covered head to two in black leather. The woman had pale skin with some sort of marking, tribal perhaps, on the side of her face. Her hair was dark and closely cropped, but instead of being as stunned by her counterpart's presence as Marla was, she was already holding a gun on her.

At that moment, however, Marla let loose an ironic chuckle, despite looking at the barrel of a weapon. Something had struck her, and she let her thought loose to the woman who stood in front of her. "Don't tell me," she said. "You're the Antelope Woman."

"Qui no koos chek na' ah!" the Antelope Woman exclaimed, motioning Marla with her gun. Marla looked over to what the Antelope Woman was referring to.

Marla put her hands up in the air in front of her. "Uh, okay...." She said, trying to reason with the Antelope Woman. "You want those? You can take those supplies."

She eased out of the way.

"Just don't shoot, please." The Antelope Woman seemed uncertain as to what Marla was trying to do. She clearly didn't speak English, or at least, didn't speak it well. Marla motioned toward the supplies, and the Antelope Woman jumped forward and took what she wanted, still holding the gun on Marla.

"Take them. ...It's our offering to you... take them with our blessings... ah, Antelope... woman." Marla said. "Just don't shoot."

The Antelope Woman took what interested her, and then without another word eased out of the caravan, leaving Marla with the distinct impression that she had just been mugged.

VC: "A Chance Encounter" (The Big Payoff!)
Jason — 3 Sep 1999, 12:41 AM

"A Chance Encounter, Part Two"
aka "A Fistful of Follicles"
aka "The Long Awaited Mud Wrestling Extravaganza"*


Marla was damned if she was going to take this sitting down.

Perhaps the old Marla - the docile Marla who wore the dress and the corset might have allowed the intruder to get away with their haul, but the new Marla couldn't. Somehow, her leather called out to her, prodding her to take quick action.

Marla put her hands on her knees, slowly sliding them up her upper leg, feeling the smooth, tight black leather around her legs. Yes, she knew what she had to do. But there was plenty of time to rub the tight leather surrounding her body later!

The leather continued to call out to her: it was time to take matters in to her own hands.

Marla looked around the caravan quickly for a weapon. She found none. She extended her hands outward, shaking them, frustrated at not being able to grab something to take with her to skin that damn Antelope Woman.

Skin the Antelope Woman? That's when it occurred to her! She looked at her hands again, taking special notice of her long, pointy fingernails, truly a girl's best friend.

Smiling at the sudden recognition of her own inner warlordess, Marla sprung from the caravan in pursuit of the Antelope Woman. She thought it might be a difficult chase, or at least a little bit harder than just looking outside the caravan, but luckily for her, the Antelope Woman hadn't gotten very far at all. (Her stolen goods seemed to be weighing her down and her leather pants seemed to be chafing which further decreased the haste of her get-away.)

The Antelope Woman looked back and saw Marla emerge with the look of Hell on her face and quickly picked up the pace of her escape, carelessly dropping some of the goods she had just procured from the Equinox. Marla sprung in to action, with a spring in her jump and a hiss deep in her throat, Marla leaped forward off the caravan, on to the ground. Making a quick rebound (despite her heels, which only served to dig deep in to the dirt upon impact and steady her), she continued the chase on the ground, her nimble legs propelling her toward the intruder at sprinting speeds.

There was something to be said about the Antelope Woman's expression as, while looking back at Marla behind her, her bug eyes almost bulged out at Marla's pursuit. The Antelope Woman threw up all of the supplies she'd stolen, realizing this heist hadn't gone the way she'd quite expected.

The Antelope Woman made a run for it in a respectable sprint herself: one that Marla could more than match. Still, the Antelope Woman was quite ingenious in her evasion of Marla-obviously she knew these woods well. Marla had almost lost her until she pushed her way some brush and saw the Antelope Woman race through a small clearing in the woods. She was heading toward a long, thick fallen tree crossing a pit. She obviously intended to run over the trunk to make her getaway to the other side. As Marla closed in, she discovered that the Antelope Woman would be passing by a mud-pit.

This would be perfect.

Marla ran out on to the clearing from the other side of the brush, heading toward the Antelope Woman who at this time was beginning to notice that Marla was well positioned to make it to the trunk at about the same time she was. 'Damn, my heels', Marla imagined the Antelope Woman must be saying right about now. (Editor's Note: In her native Antelopian tongue, this would probably have been something like 'Tung'a zan ta qua dos!").

*(Eric Fox in no way contributed to the writing of this story.)

VC: "A Chance Encounter" Part Two
Jason — 3 Sep 1999, 12:44 AM

As she heaved closer to the trunk herself, heart racing, arms thrusting her forward, Marla let out a jungle woman scream and threw herself forward over on to the Antelope Woman, throwing both of their bodies off the narrow trunk and into the pit below, filled with mud. Both women let loose a scream as they went over the edge, at the same time trying to scratch the hell out of each other and holding each other for support at the same time.


Both women struck the mud at the same time, completely submerging for a moment while a wave of mud splattered everywhere. When they emerged, they were deep into it: neither was willing to yield this fight. Yet none could find the advantage! They both desperately tried to get a firm grip on the other, but every time their hands kept sliding off their opponent. The Antelope Woman ducked low, trying to grab Marla from beneath and flip her over. Marla tried to take advantage of her momentarily vulnerability but instead both lost their bearings and went for another under-mud tussle. When they finally emerged a moment later, both women were screaming at each other. And the Antelope Woman, despite her apparent inability to speak english nonetheless seemed to have a few choice words for Marla.

Marla had just about had enough of this. Fun and games were one thing but the mud was actually starting to seep *inside* the leather! She could feel her spiritual connection to her garment slipping away as the direct contact between her skin and the fabric was being interrupted by the mud. Marla ducked low, trying to grab the Antelope Woman's legs to flip her over. She did get her knees to buckle and over the Antelope Woman went.

However! Her feet went flying in the air and so did those sharp heels on her boots. Marla ducked in order to avoid being poked by them. She had no idea that heels were lethal weapons. (Surely her leather garment was going to mention this to her sooner or later, she reasoned.) As the Antelope Woman went head first back in to the mud, that gave her an idea.
As the Antelope Woman was about to come up, she positioned her boot to strike her.


As Marla went flying backwards, hitting the mud. Damn that Antelope Woman! She had slithered behind her after she had fallen in and taken her from behind. It was anyone's game now, as they both grasped, wrestled, slithered and slided along each other's filthy (but strangely appealing nonetheless) bodies.

It was about this time that Marla discovered an advantage that the Antelope Woman had that she did not: her long, golden hair proved to be a vulnerability as the Antelope Woman took a handful and pulled her head back. Marla tried to reciprocate the assault but alas, the Antelope Woman had a very practical short haircut that prevented anyone from grabbing a fistful of follicles.

VC: Still More Slippin' an' Slidin' Mud Pit Action
Jason — 3 Sep 1999, 12:44 AM

Jab! Marla's shoulder reeled backwards into the Antelope Woman's stomach! The Antelope Woman cried out with one of those English phrases again, and Marla dove on her, pushing them both deep in to the cool and slimy mud. Again, neither could get a firm grip, and both were rapidly losing breath.

Simultaneously, they both rose up, still holding on to each other and opened their mouths to take in some air once they had broken through the surface. But before they could go back into the mud for another round, they paused, looking up.

Something had changed.

Someone was looking down at them.

Trying to clear the mud out of their eyes, they soon were able to tell the figure standing in front of them on the edge of the pit.

"Hello," the man said softly. Marla and the Antelope Woman were frozen for a moment, still holding each other in their muddy arms, but watching the man in front of them. He was wearing a long robe and he had long, reddish hair. He almost looked like a monk.

He continued. "Perhaps you are in need of my services. I represent a small group of people. We wander the area, looking to offer our services to anyone who may need them."

Marla and the Antelope Woman didn't quite know WHAT to make of this figure, or how he had suddenly just appeared.

"We solve problems," he continued. "For a price. You have a problem, my friends," the man said. "I am the solution."

Marla and the Antelope Woman were in no mood for a sales call and without another moment's hesitation Marla took a deep breath and put her hand over the Antelope Woman's head and forced her down back in to the mud, where they wrestled, strangled and straddled each other for awhile.

When they finally re-emerged (it seemed like on the other side of the pit) a figure was still standing over them.

He was still there? They wondered. Can't these guys take a hint?

"Are you done yet?" the voice asked.

As they looked up, they saw Doc Savage looking down on them.

VC: The Finale of "A Chance Encounter"
Jason — 3 Sep 1999, 8:27 PM

Doc Savage looked down at the two muddy women in the pit together.

"It's not what it looks like." Marla said.

"A shame," Doc Savage said. "What it 'looks' like seems as if it would be much more fun."

He turned his attention to Marla's mud-buddy.

"And what's your story?" he asked her.

"Ki' y' tana mak soka vo a'!" the Antelope Woman exclaimed.

"Really?" the Doctor asked. "I think that's a bit uncalled for."

"You understand what she's saying?" Marla asked.

"It's a simple language, really." the Doctor replied.

"I didn't know you spoke other languages!" Marla exclaimed.

"Yes, well I'm sure there's a lot that you don't know about me, not that you ever bothered to take the time to ask." The Doc said.

"Quito to yoto va klores!" the Antelope Woman exclaimed to the Doctor.

"Quiva nas heida tas kleetek." The Doctor replied.

At the same time, both he and the Antelope Woman (who was still in Marla's firm grasp) started laughing. Marla couldn't help but think that they were having a good laugh at her own expense.

"What is she saying?" Marla sniped.

"Oh, you really wouldn't want to know," Doc Savage replied. "It's not very flattering."

Grrr, thought Marla. I bet it was another one of those choice English phrases the Antelope Woman knew, but worse! So with that, Marla dunked the Antelope Woman in the mud again and proceeded to walk out of the pit, her inner warlordess satisfied for the day.

After a few minutes of talking with Doc Savage, the Antelope Woman still had not emerged from the bottom.

"What have you done with her?" Doc Savage said.

"I don't know! She should have come up by now!" Marla said anxiously.

"Well I hope you didn't kill her," Doc Savage said testily.

"Who are you to talk!" exclaimed Marla. "I bet your medical certificate says that you have sworn to uphold the Hippocritical Oath!"

"Nonsense," Doc Savage said. "I've never hurt a hippo in my life."

"Okay, fine! Hypocritical Oath! Whatever!"

Her leather was beginning to call out to her, to take action against the Doctor but she tried to ignore the prodding of her garment. (She was beginning to think it was possessed!)

A moment later, they saw the muddy figure of the Antelope Woman on the other side of the pit, running at full speed back in to the forest.

"Easy come," Marla said, "easy go."

"I don't think so," Doc Savage said knowingly, as if with some insight to the ways of the world that Marla didn't possess, "I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of the Antelope Woman in the future." His cryptic comment somehow seemed to suggest that there was much more to come from this unusual woman.

At the very thought, Marla rolled her eyes. "Well the least anyone could do is give the woman a name," she said, turning her back to the Doc and starting off back towards the caravan.