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1985: Screenwriter Simon St. John makes his living writing toy tie-in cartoons and dreams of finally getting his screenplay "People on a Bridge" produced. But one night, when Simon has just come up with his latest creation, a group of time travelling cops known as the Blasters of Forever, a portal opens inside his living room. Out of the portal hop none others than the Blasters of Forever or at any rate, people who look very much like them. The Blasters explain that they are from the future, where Simon is considered not just one of the greatest creative minds of the twentieth century, but also the inspiration for the time travel program that eventually led to the formation of the Blasters of Forever. However, not just the Blasters of Forever are real. The villainous Doctor Chronos, sworn enemy of the Blasters of Forever, is real as well. And so is his cadre of time travelling assassins. This is a short story of 5500 words or approximately 20 print pages.
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Blasters of Forever
by Cora Buhlert
Copyright © 2018 by Cora Buhlert
All rights reserved.
Cover image © by Valeriy Kachaev, Dreamstime
Cover design © by Cora Buhlert
Pegasus Pulp Publications
Blasters of Forever
They burst out of the swirling time vortex to a fanfare of electronic music. The Blasters of Forever.
They were remarkable, sensational, awesome. More awesome than the Magnadragons, more awesome Dana Star and the Dynonoids, more awesome even than Ace Thunder and the Ultrasaurs and those had all been pretty damn awesome indeed. The Blasters of Forever, however, were the most awesome thing ever in the world of toy tie-in cartoons.
They were… plastic. Injection moulded ABS, painted in bright Day-Glo colours, studded with iridescent plastic gems and partly coated with metallic paint that was the latest nano-micro-whatever technology, semi-experimental and pretty damn expensive.
They were truly awesome. Or at least they were supposed to be. Because when Simon lifted them one by one out of the box, the big cardboard box labelled “Design Prototypes! No Unauthorized Handling!”, they looked considerably less than awesome. In fact, they looked like cheap junk. Cheap junk made by forced labour in a squalid factory somewhere in the Far East. And Simon was in charge of turning them into the most awesome thing ever, this year’s must-have Christmas toy.
Simon was good at this, good at turning cheap junk into the most fucking awesome thing ever. He’d started out with Billy Galactic and the Magicdogs, a line of stupid stuffed toy dogs that were, well, magic. All right, so they toy dogs weren’t magic at all, though they had voice chips that said things like “Abracadabra” and “Simsalabim” and broke down after roughly five hundred activations. A lively kid could go through those in two weeks.
Everybody had known that the Magicdogs were kind of naff, even the manufacturer. But Simon had come up with a story about magical dogs from outer space, stranded in an earthly dog pound and fighting crime, the sort of petty crime that didn’t freak out the censors, of course. The resulting cartoon, drawn somewhere in the Far East in an assembly line studio that was probably right next to the toy factory and offered only marginally better working conditions, had been a hit. It hadn’t quite catapulted the Magicdogs into the top 5 of Christmas toys, but it had sold more stuffed toy dogs with voice chips than anybody ever expected. Not bad for a toy everyone in the know had expected to tank.
From then on Simon played in the big leagues. The Magnadragons had been next. They were plastic dragons who changed colour when exposed to hot water. The colour-changing thing had been the hottest toy gimmick three years ago. Everyone had been doing it, even Barbie. The story that Simon had come up with was about prehistoric dragons living inside a volcano, trapped by hot magma (he’d initially misread “magna” as “magma” and by the time he realised his mistake, it was too late to change it), only to emerge in our time and fight crime.
Next came Dana Star And The Dynonoids, one of the rare action toy lines aimed at girls. They were cheap plastic dolls with garish neon-coloured hair and some kind of electric light-up action. Once Simon was done with them, Dana Star was a princess from outer space. When her evil twin Dee Dee Star usurped Dana’s throne, Dana fled to Earth with her girl pals the Dynonoids, who just happened to be cyborgs with special powers, since cyborgisation with a teen rite of passage in Dana’s world, just as a nose job for overprivileged girls was in ours. On Earth, they posed as a pop band. And fought crime, of course.
Dana Star And The Dynonoids had been a huge hit, even in the notoriously difficult girls’ action figure market. And Dana’s success had landed Simon his biggest job to date, Ace Thunder and the Ultrasaurs, last year’s must-have Christmas toy. The Ultrasaurs were dinosaurs that could transform into vehicles for reasons best known to themselves. A total Transformers
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