A JMS Carol

(Wayland's Ghost)

From:         Wayland's Ghost <terminalwriter@hotmail.com>
Organization: The League of Dead Scienticians
Newsgroups:   alt.fan.tom-servo
Subject:      A JMS Carol
Message-ID:   <3C7E77D9.79030661@hotmail.com>
Date:         Thu, 28 Feb 2002 13:32:57 -0500

Wayland was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. 
Now whether that was permanent was debatable.  But there in the
beginning of this story, Wayland was dead.

Whether JMS knew that or not is also debatable.  Depending on whether or
not you subscribe to the belief that he lurks on alt.fan.tom-servo. 
Wayland, didn't care, because he knew that JMS knew once, but had
forgotten.  Because, you see, Wayland would one day become JMS.  Now how
that came about, no one knew.  Wayland had yet to experience it.  And
again, JMS had forgotten.  

Since JMS would not listen to Wayland when he was alive, Wayland
thought, "Now that I'm dead, maybe I can me to listen to myself."  So he
came up with a plan.

That night as JMS was posting to rec.arts.sf.babylon5.moderated,
Wayland's Ghost possessed JMS' computer.  And as JMS was replying to
adoration from his fans, the screen saver cut on.  Which was odd because
he was in the middle of typing.  And the Marquee that rolled across his
screen said, "Tonight you will be visited by a ghost. (It would have
been three except for budget cuts, you know how it is.)  Without these
visits, you cannot hope to make a decent product again. -JMS"  JMS was
of course terrified.  He yelled, "Get the Hell out of my computer!"  And
all of a sudden the screen saver vanished and he was back to his post.

He closed the post without responding to it and went to bed, thinking,
"I am way too stressed out.  I must be seeing things."

The next morning at the stroke of 1, JMS woke with a start.  He awoke to
hear his television blasting!  There on the TV was an episode of Babylon
5.  He was at first confused.  Then he was extremely upset.  He didn't
know of any station that had the rights to show Bab5 at this time of the
morning, which meant he was getting no royalties for it.  "I'll have to
call my lawyers about this in the morning," he grumbled.  He grabbed his
remote and attempted to turn off the TV, but nothing happened.  He tried
again, but still nothing.  "Stupid dead batteries," he muttered.  He got
up to turn off the TV, but as soon as he pushed the button, he was
sucked inside.

JMS looked around in amazement.  There he was on Babylon 5 in Sheradin's
office.  And there, in Sheradin's chair, was a younger version of
himself.  Except, the younger version of himself was
somewhat....transparent.  "Hello Wayland," the younger JMS.  "My name's
not Wayland, its..."  Wayland quickly interrupted. "I know who you are,
JMS.  I also know you used to be Wayland, before you traveled back in
time.  And of course, you don't remember."  "That's ludicrous," JMS
replied.  "Maybe.  Maybe not," the ghost followed.  "But I have brought
you here to prevent you from wallowing in your own mediocrity!" he

So he sat JMS down and on Sheradin's screen they watched all the good
episodes of Babylon 5.  Then the ghost chimed in, "See, you knew how to
write once!  You started out a little shaky in season 1, but it became
an incredible show.  Some of the best Sci-Fi ever on TV."  JMS beamed
with pride, but didn't say much still very unsure in this situation.

"Now lets see what happened," the ghost continued.  The ghost then
showed him, the teep arc, the last couple B5 movies, all of Crusade and
Legend of the Rangers.  "Look at this," the ghost ranted.  "This is
absolutely horrible!  How could you have gone from that to this?"  JMS
responded with, "Well TNT..."  "You're going on with that TNT bull
again?  Look, if they were producing a flawed product, don't allow them
to put your name on it!"  the ghost retorted.  He came back with, "And
none of that explains Legend of the Rangers, did you really think that a
chick shooting lasers out of her body parts was a good idea?"  "Well..."
JMS paused for thought, then quickly accused, "Why do you care

"Because, I'm not going to let mysel...YOU make such a horrible
product," the ghost yelled.  "Its bad for your reputation and its bad of
the Sci-Fi community!  If you don't work harder on your art, do you know
where you'll be in a few years?"  "Where?" JMS replied indignantly. 

"Writing for the 8th Star Trek series with Berman and Braga producing!"
With that JMS sat upright in bed, sweating.  After realizing where he
was he chuckled and said to himself, "Its a good thing I'm an atheist. 
Otherwise I might have thought that ghost was real and that was more
than a dream."

Wayland's Ghost
 ...and outside the bedroom window you could hear a voice go, "Damn!"

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