Who Wants to Take Over the World?

by Rhonda Eudaly (reudaly@excite.com)

For the Bad Guy Round Table Challenge

Rating: PG lite - just because of the challenge topic

Fandoms: Farscape, Brimstone, Xena, Pinky and the Brain, Win Ben Stein's Money

Warnings: Danger Will Robinson! Strangeness ahead. Really twisted strangeness ahead - but then it WAS a TRIS challenge.

Archives: TRIS, StoneFic, Whatever Xena people who want it - 'sokay.

Let the insanity begin...

John Crichton, IASA commander, astronaut, and Ph.D. in Theoretical Studies had finally really and totally lost his mind. All the other times he'd thought he'd gone around the bend were just movie previews to this episode. He let D'Argo pick the bar. The guys had decided after all they'd been through in the past cycle, they needed a night to let their hair - or tentacles - down. In a moment of weakness, or perhaps compassion, they'd even invited Rigel along.

The bar was a ramshackle hole in the wall packed with aliens of all kinds. John was, of course, the only human, but as far as he could tell he was one of the two or three which could possibly pass as Sebacean. The drinks were equally unrecognizable. John knew he should run screaming back to Moya. He should've packed it in and gone to find Aeryn and Zahaan. The last thing he should've done was had that first drink, much less the third or fourth. They went down so well; he'd not stopped to think about how it would come back up. By the fifth drink, he was gone. He passed out, vaguely hearing Rigel mutter something derisive about handling his alcohol. Then the images - dreams, really - began. The 60's couldn't have been any wilder.

John found himself on the edge of the stage of the weirdest game show set he'd ever seen. It was all neon gaudy like Jeopardy but with elements of someone's living room. The logo on the back wall read, "Who Wants to Take Over the World?". Before he could do anything to investigate, raucous theme music began, and a crowd he couldn't see for the giant klieg lights began to cheer.

He froze as three men came out and took their places behind podiums. He only recognized one of the three men, but that was enough. Even without the placard bearing his name, Scorpius was someone he'd never mistake or forget, despite the ugly wide tie and white collar against his leather suit, or the almost giddy expression on his skeletal face.

He didn't know who the other two men. Was that second guy actually wearing a SWORD? How'd someone get a weapon through? Didn't Jenny Jones and Jerry Springer teach anyone anything? And the third man was just a plain ordinary human looking guy to him, a little on the small side, if anything. He was at the wrong angle to get a really good view of their name plaques.

Before his mind could catch up, the host of the show appeared over the top of his lectern, responding to a flurry of applause. It took John a moment to realize the host - with his dark suit and conservative tie - was actually standing ON the lectern and not at it. The host, himself, was actually a white, animated lab rat with a gigantic head.

"Thank you, and welcome to this edition of 'Who Wants to Take Over the World', the game show for dictators, war mongers, and evil geniuses. I am your host, The Brain. Now, let's turn to the hole to my donut, Pinky, and find out more about today's contestants."

"Zonk!" crowed another white lab rat. This one was taller, thinner, with a much smaller brain, bigger nose, and a odd British accent. He sat on a box, swinging his legs. "Okey, dokey Brain. They're those guys over there! 'Alo!" He waved vigorously.

The Brain sighed. "Never mind, Pinky, I'll take care of it."

"Okay, Brain, gork, zowie."

Brain just shook his large head. "Our first contestant, from the Uncharted Territories, the half Sebacean, half Scarran; the Peacekeeper grand inquisitor; a power mad expert in mind ripping torture, mind control, and an obsessive in theoretical wormhole technology - Scorpius!"

Scorpius acknowledged the crowd with a happy wave.

Brain went on. "Next we have from Ancient Greek mythology, a man never happier except in the midst of chaos and bloodshed, the god of war himself - Ares!"

The man in black leather waved cheerily John's head began to spin. Of COURSE the perfectly sculpted, tall, dark and handsome man was a Greek god. What else could he be? And they weren't finished!

"Last, but not least! From the very pits of Hell, the prince of darkness, Evil Incarnate himself - The Devil!"

The crowd went wild. The slight man in the perfectly tailored, black and gray pinstriped, vintage gangster suit (complete with black cashmere fedora), took it all in. Even Scorpius and Ares looked a bit awed. John's sensibilities couldn't handle it anymore. He would've collapsed in a dead faint, if something kept him upright.

"Tell our contestants, Pinky, what the winner of today's game will win."

"Okay, Brain," Pinky agreed. "The yummy prizes today are a decade's supply of macaroni and cheese! I wish I could play for that! Wait, there's more. Our winner also wins the home version of our game. And for the really big, gooey prize, the mind and soul of John Crichton!" With his best Vanna White impersonation, Pinky made a sweeping gesture toward John.

John was suddenly bombarded by a spotlight shining straight in his eyes. Even that kind of dazzlement couldn't disguise his comprehension. He flung himself against the barrier. It didn't give in response to his frantic scrabbling, looking very much like a lab right himself.

"Aw, look, Brain, aren't they cute when they do that?" Pinky asked. "Can't we take one home with us?"

"Not this time, Pinky, besides we have a game to play. The questions in this round are worth $50 to a $150. Pinky, what are the categories?"

"Well, Brain, I think they're the things we ask questions about, Brain," Pinky answered.

"Just read the categories, Pinky."

"You mean read these card thingies in the ugly frames, Brain?"

"That's exactly what I mean, Pinky."

"Oh, all right, Brain. That one says: 'Here a War, There a War, Everywhere a War, War;' 'Things William Shatner Never Should Have Done;' 'Monkees You Don't Spank;' 'Women Who are Psycho;' and the last one is 'Daddy's Little Warrior Princess.'"

"Thank you, Pinky. Mr. Devil, please pick a topic."

"I think I'll try 'Thing William Shatner Never Should Have Done.'"

The card slipped away revealing a $100 amount followed by a question, which Brain read aloud. "What was the greatest evil perpetrated by William Shatner during his career?"

The Devil buzzed in first. "That would have to be when I convinced him he had the ability to write science fiction novels."

"That is correct. Please choose again."

"'Daddy Little Warrior Princess."

"For $150, who was responsible for converting Xena to good and what were the consequences?"

Ares was hot off the mark, barely beating out the Devil. "That would be my obnoxious half-brother, Hercules, and the result was losing the best warrior and woman I ever had. Xena and I could've ruled the world!"

"Next time, maybe you shouldn't rely on a woman," the Prince of Darkness sneered.

"Oh, like you can talk after having to use that prig, Stone, to clean up your mess?" Ares shot back.

"Gentlemen, please? We need to continue our game!" Brain cried. Usually the contestants didn't come to blows until the second or third round.

Crichton watched the show go on in a daze. His mind had retreated to the farthest, darkest part of his mind and huddled, gibbering in fear. Music brought him back to reality. The tune was vaguely familiar. He focused once more on the game. The Devil was giving an answer which seemed wrong to him.

"I'm sorry, sir, that is incorrect." The Brain ducked as the Devil's eyes smouldered with very real flame. He thought he could smell brimstone on the air. No lightning struck, so the Brain continued. "Scorpius or Ares?"

Scorpius leaned on his buzzer. "It is the tune I composed to manipulate John Crichton - not CRAIS!" He looked at the Devil with a smile. "I thought you were supposed to be omniscient."

"That is NOT me," he said replied slowly and deliberately. "No god is omniscient, just the One, isn't that right, Ares?"

"Hey, don't drag ME into this. I just came to play the game."

"And why is that?" Scorpius wanted to know. "Why do you care about the mind and soul of John Crichton? He means nothing to you."

"I could always use another good warrior," Ares shrugged. "Besides, I didn't know what the prize was when I got here."

"I am not a WARRIOR!" John Crichton shouted, throwing himself at the energy barrier. "I AM NOT some PRIZE. Let me out of here!"

Of course no one heard him. They were all watching the contestants fighting amongst themselves, and roaring with approval. Even the little, stupid Vanna White rat was cheering them on.

"Isn't it great, Brain? Just like mud wrestling but without the mud."

Brain slapped his frontal lobe. Every single show! How was he supposed to learn how to take over the world if all his contestants kept taking each other out? It never failed. "Gentlemen, please! Don't make me call Security! This isn't the Jerry Springer show!"

That got the contestant's attention. Both Ares and Scorpius said, "Who?" Satan merely smiled. "I always did enjoy his spread of misery and mayhem. He was almost as good as me."

"How good can THAT be?" Ares snorted "You let 113 souls escape. Not even Hades did that!"

"You're bringing this up again?"

"Bring it on!"

"I got them back!"

"By using a MORTAL."

"Look who's talking, Mr. 'I'm so in love with Xena, I'll sacrifice Olympus'!"

"Oh, that's it. It's on now!" Ares snarled, drawing his sword and lunging at the Devil.

Bolts of energy shot back and forth between the two deities as they grappled. The crowd in the stands loved it. Back and forth the battle went with no clear winner, as both bodies were thrown across the stage by the energy bolts. Pinky and Brain took cover behind the lectern. Scorpius watched from a corner with a happy smirk. John Crichton flinched every time an energy bolt came near him, but they sizzled off the energy barrier.

Suddenly Ares and the Devil disappeared, leaving Scorpius behind. After a moment, everyone else came from under cover to see him shaking upraised arms triumphantly and shouting giddily, "I won! I won!"

The two animated lab rats brought Scorpius over to Crichton. "Here's your prize!"

"I will never be your prize, Scorpius," Crichton growled. "Never!"

Pinky and the Brain reached for him. Crichton fought them. Fought the hands reaching for him, shaking him. Then suddenly he came awake. The hands belonged to D'Argo and Rigel. He looked around, carefully. His eyes felt like they were only set loosely in their socket, buoyed by the bile in his stomach.

"Where am I?"

"You're on the transport," D'Argo answered. "We're headed back to Moya."

"What happened?"

"You couldn't hold your liquor!" Rigel snorted. "Disgraceful!"

Crichton struggled briefly to sit up and instantly regret it. He barely made it to a disposal unit before losing the contents of his stomach. He staggered back to sit down and held his head to try to stop the spinning. There wasn't anything he could do about the waves leaving strangely colored lights behind.

"Here, try this," D'Argo said handing him something Crichton downed without even bothering to identify.

The after effects shocked him. "Whoa! What was that?"

"Feel better?"

Crichton took a brief inventory, and said surprisedly. "Yeah, yeah, I do. What happened?"

"You passed out."

"Ah, that explains that."

"Explains what?" D'Argo asked.

"The weird dream I had. I definitely wasn't in Kansas anymore. I think I just want to sleep now and forget this ever happened. And remind me never to get drunk with you again."

"But you were so much fun."

"Why? What did I do?"

D'Argo didn't answer. He merely smiled and walked away. Crichton couldn't stand it. He followed. "D'Argo?!"

The Luxan still didn't answer. Crichton went back to his bunk. "It's all right then, it was just a dream."

"Was it?" Scorpius' voice asked in his head. "Was it really just a dream?"