Can They Do That?

Summary: In response to the news that Sci Fi is pulling Tracker from the lineup… the gang agonizes about death and fanfic… Read it. Then email the idiots it charge…

Rating: G

Disclaimers: I don't own them, because if I did they'd be much better treated…

Author's Note: This is in response to finding out today that Sci Fi has pulled Tracker from the schedule. It is, technically, a sequel to my fic "After Hours at the Watchfire" : in these fics , the characters are aware of the intervention of writers in their lives.

Spoilers: Minor for "What Lies Beneath" and "Love, Cirronian Style" … like it matters now that they're not showing either.

Feedback: Yes, please. What do you think? Should I email it to the idiots in charge?

Can They Do That?

"Can they do this?" Cole whispered to Mel, staring at her with wide eyes.

"They just have," Mel murmured, looking over the schedule again and shaking her head. "I can't believe this… Jess--"

"Yeah, I've called the others and they're on their way," Jess told Mel, pouring herself another drink. "Bloody 'ell, what's going to happen to us?"

"I don't know," Mel answered apologetically. "I've never been cancelled before. Cole?"

He shook his head. "It wasn't technically a cancellation... Zin or Vic might…"

"Check your email today?" Zin asked, entering the bar with a grin on his face and a sheet of paper in his hand.

"How can you smile when…" Mel trailed off as Zin held up the note for Mel's inspection. "Contact the idiots in charge at…" she read, frowning. "What is this, Zin?"

"One of many. Ten to one the Sci Fi server gets overloaded and crashes in the next hour." His smile widened. "The havoc wreaked could be enormous. Ah, revenge may be a little after the fact, but it can still be sweet…"

"Look, here's a thought," Cole suggested. "How about instead of using this ineffective human technology to send them too much email, you get together what's left of your little army of escapees and…" He shrugged. "I don't know. Sack their headquarters?"

"What's in that coffee?" Mel asked suspiciously. "Not that I don't like the suggestion, but…"

"It doesn't work that way," Zin told them, shrugging. "I mean quite apart from the fact that this Boy-scout has decimated my workforce… It's a simple matter of temporal physics."

"Yeah," Jess contributed, nodding. "He's right. We're in two separate dimensions. You can't very well 'ave an army of Vardians invading an office building in pre-contact New York now, can you?"

"Why not?" Mel demanded, putting her hands on her hips. Cole took a judicious step backwards at the look on his gentle Mel's face. "We have them, I say we use them!"

"Are you going to construct an inter-dimensional wormhole?" Zin scoffed. "The standard kind is difficult enough. Besides, I have my hands full here… now if you hand over the Strada Brac, we might have some leverage with them."

"Yeah, blow up the planet, why don't you?" Vic muttered, shaking his head. "Is that all you ever think about, Zin?"

"Well what do you suggest?" Zin shook his head and rolled his eyes. "You going to wave your badge at them and hope they relent? Maybe get shot a few times to make your point…"

"Hey, gratuitous badge-waving is Cole's department," Vic said, folding his arms over his chest.

"And yours is missing the point," Cole retorted bitterly.

"Children!" a loud voice bellowed. Everyone looked up in shock, startled to see Jonas folding his paper, putting down his drink, and joining the group. "It doesn't matter who did what," he announced firmly, glaring at both Vic and Cole. "What matters is what we do now."

"Well, we are sure as hell not going quietly into that good night," Cole announced, folding his arms over his chest. "What?" he asked when the others started staring. "Mel made me read all the human classics. You think I didn't absorb any of it? I can also quote Douglas Adams chapter and verse."

"Stop it, Blue," Jonas suggested to thin air. "We're trying to think here."

Cole blinked and spent a moment trying to figure out who Douglas Adams was and how towels could possible be amusing or important. Shrugging, he returned his attention to the others. "So what do we do? Can this be stopped?"

"Just tell me that Blue is not our only hope of survival," Mel muttered, crossing her arms over her chest and shivering.

"Well, there are also the voices in her head," Nestov announced, walking into the bar. "No, Mel. The good news is that Blue's not the only one who still watches and is ticked. I think it's fair to say that Fluffy Cat's not too happy that they're not showing 'Love, Cirronian Style'. And Kameka's seen a grand total of three eps… the other Mel's not much going to like it either… she still doesn't have her tapes in order. Tessa and Satinette just started, too… they can't be loving this news. Writers need inspiration. In their case, us."

"Those bastards," Mel muttered. "I can't believe we're not even getting to 'Love, Cirronian Style'. I loved that episode…"

"Hey! I got tortured in that ep," Cole protested.

"Let's not quibble about individual episodes and stories," Jonas suggested mildly. "We need to focus…"

"This is bad," Jess murmured. "Bloody 'ell, this is bad… I can't get cancelled. I have little enough air-time as it is."

"On the upside, you can't possibly have less," Nestov pointed out.

"Mel, where's that pool-cue you keep on hand for Nestov 'ere?" Jess inquired quietly.

Mel pointed wordlessly. "So what do we do? Go down there and start taking life-forces? That should get their attention…"

Cole frowned, wondering when his Mel had gotten so blood-thirsty. Remembering 'What Lies Beneath', he smiled and nodded.

Zin shook his head. "It doesn't work like that… Weren't you listening? I can't send fugitives through a wormhole to New York. Or… not to that New York."

"You saying there's more than one New York City?" Mel asked, frowning.

"Where do you think they come from?" Zin asked. "Fanfic writers are not exactly indigenous here, my dear."

"Don't call me that. I'm having AU flashbacks…"

"They come from this other dimension where we are just figments of someone's imagination. Played by actors and manipulated by writers. And our world lives and dies by the whims of the programming directors."

"So how do they get here long enough to pop in, control us for a few hours, then leave again?"

"Cyberspace," the Vardian whispered ominously.

"The Internet?" Mel repeated dubiously.

"It's not just the Internet." The Vardian shook his head firmly. "It's everywhere. Not just here, either. Serves as a dimensional nexus. From there, you can reach any dimension. But you can't reach one from another. It doesn't work like that."

"So we're buggered?" Jess asked, sighing.

"Worse," Cole told her. "We're screwed." He frowned and looked around. "Hey!" he protested. "You know, with people like this controlling our destiny, maybe oblivion is better…"

"They just can't lay off, can they?" Mel sighed, shaking her head.

"You should remember what we owe them, dear," Jonas suggested. "I've said it before and it's doubly true now… If we get cancelled, we live on in fanfic. Period."

Everyone in the room fell silent, absorbing this alarming piece of information. Mel broke the silence first.

"So, what's that email address again?"

to be continued. hopefully