Changing Channels Ch. 01byMaguppy Puppy©
"Peter! Get the hell in here!"
Peter Johnson looked up from his cubicle. "Aw, I wonder what the dragon lady wants now," he said as he walked past his cubicle neighbor's desk.
"From the tone of her voice, I'm guessing she wants your balls on the end of a sharp stick," his neighbor, Roger, joked.
Peter threw him an annoyed look. "Very funny. If I'm not back in an hour, you'd better call the police."
"You got it, bud."
"Peter!" Veronica's voice boomed from her office. "In here! Now!"
Peter headed towards his supervisor's office, though it was the last place that he wanted to be. He had gotten his customer service job at Globo Vision Cable over a year ago, and he had not once seen Veronica in a good mood. It was even worse for him since he had once made the mistake of calling her Ronnie. He and his co-workers had all sorts of nicknames for her; Dragon Lady, Beelze-Babe and the Castrator were just a few of them. She was actually pretty hot looking for a women in her mid thirties, but her personality was pure B-I-T-C-H.
Peter peeked his head into the doorway, hoping that it wouldn't get bitten off. "You wanted to see me, Veronica?"
"Of course I wanted to see you! Do you think I enjoy yelling for no reason?"
Peter decided that it would be best to keep his answer to himself. "What did you want?"
"The storm has been knocking down tree branches around town and our signal just went out. I think that a branch may have fallen onto our satellite dish on the edge of town and knocked it out."
Pete didn't know what any of this had to do with him, besides a tidal wave of calls from cable starved customers. "And you called me in here because... why?"
"Because, Peter," Veronica said, "I need you to drive out there and see if you can get the signal back."
"What?! I'm customer service. You want a technician to fix something like that. Besides, it's practically hurricane weather out there. Nobody's going to climb up to the dish!"
"Well, I know that you went to school for that technical crap..."
"Computer repair," Peter corrected her.
"And I would think that you'd rather get rained on a little instead of hearing all our customers yelling in your ear all night about how they can't order their pay-per-view porn."
Pete hated to admit it, but Veronica was probably right. It was prime time right now and he could already hear the phones ringing off the hook out on the floor. The last thing he wanted to do was hear every viewer in town demanding a refund. Pete sighed as he realized it was a no-win situation. "What exactly do I have to do?"
"Just drive out to the dish and check it out. If you see something wrong, fix it. And to show you how thankful I am, if you can get the signal back on, you can have the rest of the night off."
"And if I can't, I get to come back here sopping wet and listen to the customers bitch, right?"
"That's what we managers like to call incentive to achieve," Veronica said with a devilish grin. "Just fix the damn dish and you're home free."
Peter could see the rain coming down in sheets outside, but there wasn't really much of a choice. "Okay, I'll do it," he said, "but I'm taking one of the tech's vans."
"I don't care. Just get that signal back." Veronica tossed a set of keys to Peter.
Peter slipped out the building's back door and ran through the rain to the only tech van still on the lot. His clothes were already already soaked after a ten second run to the van. He started up the van and left the parking lot. He headed out towards the edge of town, but he stopped at the Whatta Burger and picked up a combo meal before he went to the dish site.
He had to get out and unlock the gate of the fence surrounding the massive satellite dish the cable company used. There were no lights around the dish, but when the lightning flashed, he could make out the shape of something sitting in the dish from the van. He sat in the van and finished his burger before he grabbed a flashlight, got out and approached the dish's ladder. At least when he was directly under the bowl of the dish, he wasn't getting quite as wet.
He started his way up the ladder and his feet slipped on the wet rungs several times before he reached the hatch onto the dish. Then he held onto the ladder tightly with one arm and tossed the hatch open, only to have water from the dish pour down on him. He clambered up onto the surface of the dish and slid a little as a strong gust of wind blew past him. As he felt the freezing rain pelt him, he gritted his teeth and pulled the flashlight out of his pocket. He pointed the beam at the shape on the dish and found that it was a deflated kiddy swimming pool. "Wind must've blown it up here," he said to himself. He carefully moved over to the deflated pile of plastic and saw the little cartoon characters printed on the side of the pool. "Fucking Yu-Gi-Oh... I hate that show." He gripped the plastic and swung it out over the edge of the dish. "Mission complete, Mister Johnson," he joked, "Let's head home and take a nice hot shower." Peter slowly made his way back towards the hatch.
Just before he reached the hole, the wind gusted again and caught him, blowing him across the smooth, slick with rain surface of the dish. He almost fell on his ass, but grabbed on to the spire in the center of the dish just in time. "Next time Veronica has a special job for me," he said as he used the spire to steady himself, "I'm going to tell her she can kiss my aaaaaAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHH!"
Lightning flashed and struck the spire Peter was gripping. An incredibly bright white light blinded him and the electricity burnt through his body, feeling like a thousand red hot pins.
The lightning, which only lasted a split second, disappeared and so did Peter. All that was left was a melted flashlight and a stream of smoke coming off of the dish's spire.
Back at Globo Vision, the cable came back on in Veronica's office.
"Hmmph, maybe Peter isn't a total fuck up after all..."
"Uuuuuggghhh..." Peter moaned. "That sucked."
Peter opened his eyes to see that it was bright out. Very bright. Probably past noon, judging from the sun. He looked around him and saw that he was no longer at the dish site. He was lying in an alley way, just off of a busy street. "What the hell happened to me," he said as he sat up. He patted himself down as he looked himself over. "No broken bones. no unsightly electricity burns. Hmmm. I seem to be fine. Which is odd, considering the last thing I remember is straight lining a gigawatt of electricity through my body..." He was still wearing the same clothes from last night, but they too, were dry and undamaged. He climbed to his feet and walked out of the alley. Looking up and down the street, he realized that he didn't recognize a single building on it. "Where am I?"
Just then he saw a trolley car go cross the intersection a couple blocks away. It took a couple seconds for it to click. "San Francisco? How did I end up in San Francisco?" He pinched himself to make sure that he wasn't dreaming. "Ow! Well, I'm not dreaming. I'm not sure if that's good or not. Maybe I'm in a coma..." He started walking down the street as he tried to make sense of his current situation. "Wait a second! Maybe this is all after the night up on the dish. Maybe I went out drinking last night, got totally wasted and this is just a result of the black out..." He grinned as another thought hit him. "Ha! Maybe I got laid."
An elderly couple steered clear of Peter as they watched him talk to himself as he walked down the sidewalk.
"But that still doesn't explain how I ended up halfway across the country, in a city I've never been to, lying in an alley." He tried to factor that into his explanation, when he saw a strangely familiar site.
"Cool," he said as he walked up to the doorway. "I didn't know that there was really a restaurant here like this." The building was covered in ivy and the sign hanging over the doorway said 'Quake'. It was a concrete slab cracked in half, with the 'Qua' on one half and the 'ke' on the other side. It looked just like the restaurant in the first season of Charmed. Maybe they built it after the show started, he thought to himself. He tried to catch a peek inside when the hostess spoke to him.
"Would you like a table, Sir," the pretty young blonde asked him.
"Oh!" Peter hadn't been paying attention to her. He patted his pants pocket and was glad that he found the familiar lump of his wallet still in them. "Uh, yes. I would like a table. I'll be eating alone."
The hostess grabbed a menu from the rack. "Table of one? Right this way then, Sir." She lead him into the dining room and found him a table near the bar.
As he sat down, he was amazed by the detail that they had put into the decorating of the place. It was exactly like it looked on the show. After taking the whole place in, he picked up his menu and began looking it over. "Yoiks," he said as he checked out the prices. "This place is spendy." He was trying to decide between soup or a salad (the two cheapest items on the menu) when he heard a familiar voice.
"No. That's no good. You're going to have to make sure that it's medium rare this time."
Peter recognized the voice right away. He turned to see Holly Marie Combs coming out of the kitchen. She was looking pretty frazzled and he didn't want to bother her, but he couldn't pass up a chance to talk to a real television star. She was walking towards his table so he took his chance.
"Miss Combs," he said as he waved to her, "I just wanted to tell you that I'm a big fan."
The lovely brunette stopped and gave him a puzzled look. "I'm sorry. What was that?"
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm a big fan of your show, Holly. Can I call you Holly?"
She looked totally bewildered now. "I'm sorry. You must have confused with someone else. My name's Piper. Piper Halliwell."
"On the show," Pete said.
"What?" Now Pete was confused. "Okay. You play Piper on the show. You know? Your show? Charmed? Right?"
Her eyes bugged out when she heard the word 'Charmed'. "What are you talking about? and what do you know about 'Charmed'?
Peter was almost certain that he was dreaming now. This was just feeling to surreal. "You, Holly Marie Combs, play Piper Halliwell on Charmed, the show about the three witch sisters. Your character can stop time. Sound familiar at all?"
She got a very worried look on her face and raised her hands. When she put her hands down she leaned over towards Peter. "Are you some sort of Warlock? Because I know that you're not a good witch, because you just froze when I stopped time."
Peter didn't know how to respond. "Well, I'm definitely not a warlock," he said. He decided to go with the flow and went along with the act, pretending he was actually on the show. "I stopped when you 'froze time' probably because I'm a human, and your spell stop humans, right?"
"Yes, but--" said the flustered woman before she realized that their conversation was attracting attention. "Here, follow me. We need to talk about this in private." She motioned for him to follow and then lead him back into the restaurant's stock room. She closed the door and turned to face him. "Now who are you and how do you know about me and my sisters? And who is Holly?"
"I'm Peter," he said slowly. "Peter Johnson. I know so much about your family because I watch your show. Charmed. And I'm really confused right now because the last thing I can remember is being struck by lightning and then I woke up outside of this restaurant, a couple thousand miles from home." He took a deep breath. "Now can I ask a question?"
"You just did, but, sure. Go ahead," Piper said.
"Why the Hell-- I mean, why do you keep saying that you're Piper?"
"Because I am. I am Piper Halliwell. I'm a witch. Just like you keep telling me. You said yourself that I can stop time."
"On the show," Peter said.
"No. No show. For real, Peter." She had an idea. "Here watch this can."
Peter looked at the large can of tapioca pudding she pointed to and then Piper raised her hands. The can disappeared from the shelf and reappeared at his feet. "Holy crap!"
"You already told me I could do that and now you're amazed when I actually do it? Do you have some sort of brain damage?"
"I'm beginning to think so," he said as he picked up the can, making sure that it really real. "But you're not really a witch..."
"We already went over this. I can only assure that I really am a witch." She could see that Peter was having trouble with all of this. "You really don't know what's going on. Do you?"
"No. I don't. All I know is that I watch you on T.V. every week and now I'm on your show. Or you're in reality. Or I've gone fucking looney tunes. I'm not sure." Peter suddenly felt very tired and slide down against the wall until he was sitting on the floor of the stockroom.
Piper knelt down beside him. "Maybe someone cast some sort of spell on you," she said as she placed her hand on Peter's knee. "If that's it, my sisters and I are going to help you out with this. All right?"
"I guess," Pete said, not sounding very sure at all.
"Good. I'm going to take you back to the house so we can try to figure this out." Piper helped Peter to his feet and took him out of the stockroom.
Piper drove them to the Halliwell house, and called her sister, Prue, at the auction house, to let her know what was happening.
When Peter and Piper entered the house, the sound of a workout video was coming from the living room. "One and two and three and four..." They entered the room to find the youngest, and bustiest, Halliwell sister, Phoebe, clad in pink spandex, on all fours, stretching like the woman on the T.V.. Peter had a great view of her pink heart shaped ass pointed in the air.
"Phoebe," Piper said. "We have company."
"Oh!" She turned around, surprised. "Thanks for the warning, Piper." She stood up and walked over to them. "So who's your friend?"
"This is Peter. He's not from around here. We think. He has a problem that we might be able to help him with."
Peter was barely hearing any of this as his attention was directed towards Phoebe's sweaty pink spandex halter top. The fabric was stretched tight across her large breasts and her nipples were pushing out against the top.
"He says that he's been watching us for quite a while," Piper continued. "On his television. I already called Prue and she's on her way over now."
Phoebe looked at the normal looking Peter. "You see us on T.V.?"
"Yeah, I think," Peter said. "It's all kind of confusing right now."
"Well, tell me something about me, then. Something you saw on T.V.."
Peter thought about it for a moment. "Okay. Your special magic is getting visions." He could see that she wasn't impressed. "And in high school, when you were caught making out with a guy under the gymnasium bleachers, all the guys gave you the nickname 'Freebie'."
Her jaw dropped a little. "That's not true," Phoebe said.
"Yes it is," Piper said. "I already quizzed him on the ride over and he can tell us pretty much every thing that happened to us in the last year. He seems to be telling the truth. I thought that we could check the Book of Shadows and if there's anything about--"
Piper stopped as the door opened and Prue, the oldest sister, came inside. She was wearing a low cut green blouse with a short black skirt.
"Is this the guy," she asked as she set her purse on the table.
"Yes," Phoebe said. "Come on, tell Prue something about herself."
"Um... Okay. Once, she split her self into three Prues to fight an evil war demon."
Before Prue could respond, there was a knock at the door. Prue turned around and opened the door to see a delivery man standing there.
"Hello," the man said. "I have a package here for the Halliwell sisters..." The man looked into the house to see the sisters inside. "Oh good. You're all here. That will save me some time." He held the package up in front of him and lifted the lid.
Three small lights, the size of fireflies, flew up out of the box and hovered above it for a moment. One was dark green, one was light green, and one was a fierce red. They made a quick swirl around each other and they flew into the house, each one headed for a different sister. The dark green one hit Prue in the chest and disappeared, the light green did the same to Piper, and the red light ran into Phoebe. Each of the sisters glowed for a moment, their entire bodies turning the color of the light that hit them. Then the lights faded.
Prue looked down at her cleavage where the light hit her. "What the hell was that?" She looked up at the delivery man, but he no longer looked like a delivery man. In his place was a much older and thinner man in a set of dark robes. His teeth were yellow and so were his eyes.
"Hahahahahaha," the man cackled. "I hope that you enjoy my gift, Charmed Ones!" He lifted his hands and as he did, flames enveloped him but didn't burn him. When the flames fell, there was no trace left of the man.
"That kind of thing is never good," Phoebe said as she closed the door after glancing up and down the street. "I wonder what those lights were all about."
"I don't know," Piper said, "but I don't feel any different."
"Well," Prue added, "I'm pretty sure that he didn't just want to give us a light show. It looks like we've got another thing to check in the Book of Shadows. I'm glad I came home, so I could be attacked, Piper."
"I didn't know that was going to happen!" She protested, "I just called to tell you about Peter here."
"Well, what if he's connected to the warlock?"
"Woah," Peter said. "I've never seen that guy before in my life! I'm not working with him on anything."
"But maybe he cast a spell on you to bring us together."
"There's no point in arguing about all that now," Phoebe said. "There doesn't seem to be any effect from the lights right now, so why don't you and Piper go back to your jobs. I'll stay here with Peter and look through the Book of Shadows."
"Okay. As soon as you find something," Prue said, "or if any of us notices anything strange, we call each other."
Piper nodded her head. "Sounds like a plan. I should get back to Quake and make sure things are all right there." She walked to the door with Prue. "Good luck, Phoebe."
"Thanks." She closed the door behind her sisters and then turned to face Peter. "We'd better get to work. Let's head up to the attic." She lead the way up the stairs, giving Peter another great view of her ass.
When they got to the attic, the air was warm and musty. A large window let in a big beam of sunlight that shined down on the Book of Shadows. Peter walked up to the book in a little bit of awe.
"This is really the Book of Shadows," he said as he ran his hand over the cover. "Wow."
"Yeah," Phoebe said as she opened the book. "This book has saved our butts more times than I can count." It fell open to random page and she sighed. "The only problem is the thing is frickin' huge and it takes forever to look through it. We've been trying to create an index of it, but I don't remember anything about little colored lights." As she said this, the pages of the book began flipping by themselves. "Ooh," Phoebe exclaimed. "That's usually a good thing."
Peter leaned over the book to get a better look and Phoebe did the same, causing her large left breast to push up against Peter's arm. Peter didn't no if she had noticed this but he certainly had.
When the pages stopped flipping, they fell open to a page with with seven colored circles drawn in an arc. The two of them began reading the page.
"It says here that each of the lights represent one of the seven deadly sins..." Phoebe said. "Whoever is struck by one of the lights will become overpowered by that trait." She looked at the drawings of the lights and traced them with her finger. "Let's see, Prue was hit by the dark green light. It says that was avarice or greed. Piper got the light green one... envy. And I was hit by the red one, and that was... lust." She bit her lower lip softly. "I guess that that explains that then..."