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How far does this ocean go?

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"How far does this ocean go?" wondered Kane to himself, quoting the title of a Yoko Kanno song quite unintentionally as he discarded his fifth triple-layered three-color basket into the cascading goop. He saw the other four gyrating randomly somewhat above him with some thermal-spectro-ipso-duo-vision setting he'd long since forgotten he had, and Mebius below him in a peaceful pose as they all tumbled haplessly through the wall of muck (or floor, perhaps... direction had long ago lost meaning except to some internal gyroscope that endlessly assured him he was not right-side up). Something else was farther down, giving off some readings that most would call impossible, some would call wonky, the Hunter would call gyronamblic for some reason, and Mebius would call "exactly what we're looking for," were his head not encased in his Mutastone as they slipped through layer after endless layer of unlayered, meaningless goo.


Not since Sir Wobblin' of Knocknees had led his Melancholy Men through Firwood Forest completely ineptly had anyone been as bored as the Hunter Kane was now. You see, Sir Wobblin' (formerly taking residence in Da Hood) had attempted to rob the rich and give to the poor, but, leading his men boldly through the forest shouting "All for one and one for all," he gave his position away and was promptly sued by the descendants of Alexandre Dumas for plagiarism. His men, embarrassed by their leader's lack of creativity, went back to being itinerate serfs. In any case, they, as the Melancholy Men, were as bored as the Hunter Kane was now. It all seemed familiar and yet so alien as Kane pondered not actually being Kane.


Then light came into the picture, or rather the story, as it's hard to draw a picture of light using only text. For instance, if this were to be dark:






then would this be light?






Obviously, these are questions that should only be posed in a fixed-width font (and was an equals sign really the best choice for filler? Also, wouldn't it have been more effective had the board background color been an easily defined color, like black?), but that's still just as unrelated to the story as the whole concept of ascii art being introduced was, so we'll get back to the matter at hand. Light. Which there was a lot of.


Mebius slowly withdrew his head from its oxygenating capsule, his eyes adjusting to the light after their long repose enshrouded in God's matter enshrouded in a floor (now a ceiling) of (nearly) endless goo (and baskets). Blinking, he glanced around as Kane landed next to him with a sound somewhere between SSSCHHLOOCK and SSSSSHHHLOOOP.


"Glad that's over. That fancy boomstick of yours still work full of ssschhlockoop?" queried Mebius, indicating the assault rifle that Kane was unslinging from his back, assumedly to verify its functionality even as Mebius was suggesting that action.


"Sure. Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 2147. More commonly known as the AK-2147, or Kalashnikov. It's the solar system's most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine-pound amalgamation of forged durasteel and multi-ply ironwood. It doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It'll shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with ssschhlockoop." explained the bounty hunter, giving far more information than was necessary and paraphrasing a Nicholas Cage movie in the process.


"Sure is bright down here." said Mebius, shielding his eyes from the glare with the Mutastone, now in an ultra-thin form that allowed some light through (but not all of it, thus, allowing him to see. No, not like sunglasses, that's just silly and isn't becoming a mind-malleable object of untold power.). Finally, the light dimmed and a wave of some machine equivalent of methane gas washed over them. "I think my hair is melting." muttered the Oroboro.


"Er, 'SCuSe mE!" wheezed the orchestrator of the robotic belch, thumping himself on the chest for no apparent reason. "hOW faR DoEs ThIS OceAN GO?"


"Sasuke?" thought the Hunter, who promptly recognized the robot and realized that he wasn't sure whether Kane would be able to do that. "Sasuke?" said Kane, who promptly realized that he hadn't yet decided whether he should be able to do that. "Dammit..."


"whO? asked the off-balance droid.


"He's got something in his system, other than robotic hyperdementia." said the Oroboro, wondering whether it was he or one of his other selves that at some point managed to obtain a degree in android psychology.


"Robotic hyperdementia is overrated." replied Kane, wondering whether or not he'd actually obtained a degree in android psychology or had merely come down with, and, subsequently (and ironically) bestowed a moniker identical to that of traditional android psychology to, every single psychological malady that a semi-artificial intelligent life-form was capable of manifesting. "I figure we need to get it out, one way or another. It's either important that we do because we need whatever it is, or it's important that we do because this," he said, indicating Sasuke's dangling eyeball and gyroscoping left arm, "is just not right." "Sorry about this, buddy, but at least it'll hurt you more than it hurts me I mean, it looks like you need it." thought the Hunter, readying his weapon.


"You know this guy?" asked Mebius, ducking under an accidental punch aimed at nothing that struck nothing that Sasuke may or may not have meant to have thrown.


"I have no idea." answered Kane as honestly as he could.


"lET's be PAlS!" exclaimed Sasuke, flinging his rampaging self at his would-be attackers. And so the fight was joined.

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