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BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4

Amos 13 May 00 - 12:55 PM
JenEllen 13 May 00 - 03:09 PM
Peter T. 13 May 00 - 05:30 PM
Amos 13 May 00 - 06:46 PM
Peter T. 13 May 00 - 07:37 PM
Amos 13 May 00 - 08:43 PM
Mbo 13 May 00 - 09:11 PM
Peter T. 13 May 00 - 09:32 PM
Mbo 14 May 00 - 12:16 AM
JenEllen 14 May 00 - 01:56 AM
Caitrin 14 May 00 - 12:00 PM
Amos 14 May 00 - 12:17 PM
Mbo 14 May 00 - 01:01 PM
Amos 14 May 00 - 05:24 PM
Amos 15 May 00 - 03:16 PM
Amos 16 May 00 - 10:27 PM
wysiwyg 16 May 00 - 11:18 PM
wysiwyg 16 May 00 - 11:51 PM
MMario 17 May 00 - 03:25 PM
Peter T. 17 May 00 - 06:00 PM
Amos 17 May 00 - 07:44 PM
Peter T. 19 May 00 - 11:47 AM
Peter T. 19 May 00 - 11:55 AM
Peter T. 19 May 00 - 12:08 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 06:48 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 06:55 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 07:00 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 07:07 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 07:36 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 07:48 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 07:57 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 08:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 May 00 - 08:10 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 08:11 PM
Amos 20 May 00 - 08:22 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 08:24 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 09:50 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 09:55 PM
Amos 21 May 00 - 12:39 AM
wysiwyg 21 May 00 - 12:43 AM
JenEllen 21 May 00 - 03:13 AM
Peter T. 21 May 00 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Peter T. 21 May 00 - 10:11 AM
JenEllen 22 May 00 - 12:38 AM
JenEllen 22 May 00 - 01:57 AM
wysiwyg 22 May 00 - 02:25 PM
Amos 23 May 00 - 01:27 AM
Peter T. 23 May 00 - 09:42 AM
MMario 23 May 00 - 10:52 AM
MMario 23 May 00 - 11:39 AM

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Subject: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 00 - 12:55 PM

This is part four of the incredible tale of the Mudcat Enterprise. Part three can be found over here. The fate of Tern, under assault by Eisnerian waves of dissonant sound from the powerful forces of the Mouse, hangs in the balance....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 May 00 - 03:09 PM

High above the lush green of Tern, Cruella De Villenueva sat noisily drumming her long nails on her platinum directors chair on the bridge of the mothership. The Ternian music left the hairs on the back of her neck standing tall. Irritated more than anything, she had taken out her frustrations on many of the crew, who were nothing now but indeterminate greasy spots on the wall of the ship. The mouse ears full of shapeless songstealers, her minions, hovered patiently in the sky.

Below them, Mandy ran. She finally found the Terran and the Elder, and she fiercely grabbed the old man by the arm.
"That dry riverbed, the one by the log dam, we can use that to trap them."
She quickly drew a plan out on the ground before them. The old man hesitated, until a cold hand rested on his shoulder. The Giant, Farkin, stood behind him, nodding serenly. It could work.

Lieutenant Mbo ran to the ship and got the supplies they needed, as Mandy, Farkin, and the Terran explained to the Terns what they would need to do.

Simply enough, they would lure the songstealers into the mouth of the riverbed, as close to the old dam as possible. By splitting their numbers in half, the Ternians in the canyon could be pulled to safety by those upon it's outer rim, and leaving the SongStealers trapped. Leaving them now, only the simple matter of building a few explosive devices from the nitrogen fertilizer aboard the Enterprise. Two to close the mouth of the canyon, and two to blow the dam. The water would cover the ugliness below, and leave a lake in memory of those who had fallen already.

Lt. Mbo had returned with the supplies, and as the small band worked, a song sprang forth..

Well the first fox being young
And his trials just beginning
He's made straight way for the cover
He's run up the highest hill, and down the lowest rill
Early, just as the day was dawning
Daido, Bendigo, Gentry he was there-o
Traveller he never looked behind him
There was Countess, Rover, BonnyLass, and Jover
These were the hounds that would find him...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:30 PM

In the Minnie Mouse flagship, the Chief of Cartooning turned to Cruella de Villeneuve. "Here's a good one for you, Your Disney, though the sound is not as good as it might be -- they mean to trap the Songstealers by that dry riverbed, the one by the log dam".
,br> She broke out into hysterical laughter. "Oh, this is becoming more fun by the moment."

She paused, musing, a smile coming over her hard face. "Well, we could give them a ship of Songstealers just to cheer them up -- they eat too much anyway." She frowned again. "Oh, Walt. I guess it is time to get on the air. Turn on the planetary range loudspeaker." And the Chief of Cartooning flipped a switch.

"NOW'S THE TIME TO SAY HELLO TO ALL OUR COMPANY!!!!Hi, Birkenstock wearers, Druid droolers, dulcimer suckers, tree huggers and smoochers! Time to Tern in!!! Bet you've heard them all in your time -- Tern Around and you're tiny, Tern around and you're DOOMED!! Great Planet for Puns!!!! Cruella de Villeneuve, Head of Cosmic Disney Productions speaking. Your folkie time is up, campers!! As they say in the funny pictures: Resistance is futile! Doncha just love it??? Here's the deal, dolts: you surrender your pitch pipes and your warm leafy tendrils and your warm fuzzy gloopiness and evenings serenading each other WITH SONGS THAT ARE OUT OF COPYRIGHT and we let you survive. You get to plink away and live in communes and build cute little instruments without electricity and pretend that you are going to save the galaxy with love, and we will ignore you, apart from the ring of silence we intend to quarantine you with, and some selective brainwashing, and also the sacrifice of a few dreary people like Mandy -- what kind of Barry Manilow name is that anyway? Otherwise you are Old Yeller in the final reel, you are el dropped toast, buttered side down. As they said in Margarnagarr: Ouch!!! You have, oh, I don't know, one hour to give me your answer. Don't mess with me: I'm a woman executive, and never got over how long it took me to break through the glass ceiling! DO NOT MESS WITH ME, MUSIC LOVERS!!!!! See You Real Soon!!!!" She shut the microphone off and turned to the Chief of Cartooning. "Turn up the Musicidal volume -- have we any of that Little Mermaid soundtrack around?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 00 - 06:46 PM

The pulses of powerful sonic energy radiated outward on cue from Cruella's Minnie ship, reaching through the tight green harmonies of the counter-sounds generated by the thousands of cooperating platforms of Tern. The vibrations struck the high hills and the towering foliage networks of the ancient forests. For a short while the surface of the planet was washed with the thick, toxic sounds of "Undah De Sea", at a volume high enough to deafen. But the Elders hectic instructions had not been wasted. Deep in the crust, at the Root Directory cavern, the Ternian Cornucopia hummed quietly to himself, the ancient song from an ancient home, of sailors who defended their ships against piracy. WHile he sang he calculated algorithms and tapped instruction lines in at the organic analog messaging board which ran along the central bole of the back wall. From his tapped instructions, small roots vibrated, small cells hummed, and along the messaging channels of every giant tap root of Tern, from underground tree to underground tree, bush to bush, grass to grass, responses hummed to the Ternian agents instructions. Cells throughout the incalculable mass of the Ternian biomass shifted and their operating chemistry modulated, their frequencies tuned slightly higher her, slightly lower there.

In seconds, before the fresh onslaught of the Disney Director's awful juggernaut sounds could do more than mildly stun the Ternians on the surface, a strange shift occurred; the energies pouring from the gigantic ship deadened and were absorbed by the cells of the grasses and foliage and branches and seeds of every living life form in the planet-wide net of connections which met at the Root Directory.

In a few seconds more the batterns of these absorbed vibrations and been read, calculated and their energies used to redouble the strength of the harmonies being emitted by the Plantiarch network. The close harmonies intensified, the basses grew in power and the thin soprano oscillations from the tiny grasses grew to splintering intensity, the altos took on the power of steam rollers, and powered by the very energies used against them, the voices of Tern took on overwhelming force. No more did they merely defend the planet. Rising with the power of their enemy transmogrified from schlock to strength and true music through the vibrant blood-passages of the Ternian forest, the sounds of Tern met higher and higher, rising through the atmosphere.

Cruella de VIlle, smiling snidely to herself as she watched the first waves of her attack seem to disable the Ternians visible on her observation monitor, suddenly beg an to frown. Faint traces of sound began to penetrate the silvery sheened walls of the Minnie Mothership, shaking the very beams and plates of the great Business Class starship. She thought she heard...and then there was no question...

Gradually the power reflection from Tern penetrated the very chambers of the control rom, and she leaped to her feet, fury and agony on her sallow face. She clutched her ears and fled to her makeup room, but the vibrations -- rolling bass, smooth-formed alto, soaring tenor, and above them all the excruciating counterpoint of the high sopranos swept therough every crevice, oscillating her bones, her tissues, her very cells to the overpowering four-part harmonies:

"I asssskkkkked mahhhh Loooooooveeee.....
Tuh tayke a waaaaaahlk.....
Jes' tuh waaaaaaalllllllk.....
Fer a liiiiiidddle waaaaaaayyyy......."

Cruella leaped for the control panel where the Chief Cartoonist was desperately trying to tune the ships sonic deflectors to soften and disperse incoming sonic attacks.

NEVER MIND THAT YOU IDIOT!!!!," she screamed, as the crooning grew stronger and stronger.

"GIVE ME MAXIMUM ATTACK POWER. OBLITERATE THEM!~!!!!. BY GOOFY, I WANT THEM DEAD NOWWW!!!!". With a sweep of her arm she swept her unfortunate aide to the deck and grabbed the large mouse-ear handled lever which controlled the net force of the combined attack. From the giant Minnie vessel and her twin nephew ships the sonic waves redoubled, shifting into the high lethal frequencies which no life form had ever been able to withstand, "WHen You WIsh Upon a Star", as Cruella kicked her executive's trembling form has hard as she could, knocking him unconscious, and swept the lever to full power. Bad mistake.

Again the unstoppable waves reached the atmosphere of Tern and the new heights of energy battered the canopy of the wide and ancient forests. Again a rapid assessment and response occurred along the nodes of the giant green network, and agin, every joule of energy, every Dodd of heart-crushing sappiness, was absorbed, effortlessly and harmlessly by the timneless trees of Tern. Again their harmonies adjusted and the vibrations returning out toward the EIsnerians again redoubled, using all the energies that Disney's forces direct toward them. All three of the forces began oscillating where they never were designed tp oscillate, and one by one the hundreds of Songstealers succumbed as their brains overloaded with multiple waves of harmonies penetrating their every cell, their every nerve with impossiblef freshness, wave upon wave, never ceasing:

"Cockle and muscles! Alive, alive ooohhhhh!........"

"And a ' weepin for her Geordie......."

"He rode and he rode on his milk white steed, til he came to London Town...."
"Once I had a true love, but now, I have none....."
"Georgy's mother came to him, with a basket on her arm......
"It was dirty Robert Ford, that dirty little coward...."
"Feed him eggs and marrow bone....."
"That flute would play only the Protestant Boys!....
"But they didn't take my fists, so I knocked the sentry down..."
"And if that mockngbird don't sing, Momma gonna buy you..."
"Amaazing Grace, how sweet the sound..."
"Gonna buy me a copffee grinder, get the best one I can finnnnd..."
"I hates to see that evening sun go down...."
"Shalom, sha-a-a-lom"
"Goutons voir, oui oui oui, goutons voir...."
"Chiles verdes me perdiste, chiles verdes te dare...."
"Ay , yi, yi yi...in China they do it for Chili..."
"Ah then tell me Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so..."
"Up the narrow strreet he strode, smiling proud and young...."

On and on.... on and on ... never a moment of cess, never the same phrase twice, never an ungenuine note,
never a false sentiment.  The vessels oscillated under the onslaught and ever Eisnerian aboard them gradually sank where they stoodf and rolled on the rich carpetd decks, succumbing to the madness of the too-quickly-opened mind.  THeywent mad each in their own way.  For Cruella, her last awareness was of the time, so long ago, when she had once, barely more than a child, felt a spark of love, and had offered it in vain to a young Disney delivery boy who provided daily comics to the homes in her neighborhood. <p> It had been the turning point of her heart, and the pain of that moment was the last memory she had as the self-reinforcing vibrations from the planet set her vessels very rafters into terminal vibrations that tore their molecular bonds apart, and the DIsney Fleet decomposed in seconds into a cloud of glittering Pixie Dust wafting idly downward on the soft gentle westron wind of Tern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 May 00 - 07:37 PM

He picked up the humming Mousephone, said, "Yes," and waited for the ad to end. When it did, he said quietly: "She said not to be interrupted for any reason." There was a scratchy little voice at the other end of the line that went on for a few seconds. Muplassta sighed. "Allright, allright."

He hung up the Mousephone on its ears, and reached over and gently shook the arm splayed over his torso. "Cruella, Cruella."

"Mmmf, mmmf."

"Cruella. Wake up."

She woke up with a brief look of alarm on her face, and then realized where she was. Trascedaria. Muplassta. She smiled sleepily.

"What's up, mouseykins?"

"The Ternians have destroyed your Cartoon."

She sat bolt upright, not caring about her nakedness.

"WaltDAMN," she said, getting up. "Hand me those Goddamned ears. Do I have to do everything myself in this mousetrapping Empire?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 00 - 08:43 PM

LOL! Peter T, you are outrageous. Underhanded lil debble!!! I love it!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 13 May 00 - 09:11 PM

(Glad to see you back on the threads more, Amos--I've missed you man!)

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 May 00 - 09:32 PM

[You're kidding, Mbo -- He's only been keeping the Universal Bitch Mouse at bay from the last planetary redoubt of Earthsong with the help of a few pitiful Ternians, a Green Man, a Frozen Popsicle, and a chick named Mandy!! Where you been, Mr. Tolkein Space Guy, out hunting hobbit rings???]yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 14 May 00 - 12:16 AM

"Little darling, I see you
You're crying in the sun, I gotta be with you
I'm gonna be there soon, I'll make it all come true
I'm wishing..."

Lt.Mbo's favorite Electric Light Orchestra song EVER was blasting on the Showdown 4000 as it approached the position of Captain Caitrin's cloaked vessel. He brushed a tear from his eye as he deftly sidled his baby along side The Ups & Downs. His tachion field monitor allowed him to "see" the cloaked ship, even though it was invisible. Flying from a schematic on a console was rough going, especially when executing a docking manuever, but his father had taught him well in the field of astrogation...some even purported he had eclipsed his father's skills in many ways. In a twinkling he was docked to the vessel, thanks to the tachion disruptor docking system he had installed himself. Hey, one never knew! The 2 cloaked ships sat connected...

Lt.Mbo blew the hatch and entered the Captain's craft. It was indeed a step higher in technological advancement, but then again, this ship was from 600 years in the future. As he made his way from the rear docking room to the command cockpit, he was sure to take extensive scans with his Mk. IX tricorder, standard issue for Section 31 operatives. Most of Starfleet was still using the Mk.III. 26th Century technology MIGHT be from the future, but it wouldn't stop 31 from using his scans to perfect, learn, and create from them.

Finally he reached the cockpit. Oy, 26th Century sure hadn't made any ergonomic advances in seating! The Showdown 4000 had seating station (including his seat) made from ancient Earth designs he had discovered...something curiously called "Lay-Z-Boy."

All readings on the consoles seemed witin normal parameters. Nothing different from the Voyager's logs of Braxton's ship, the Relativity. But just to be on the safe side, he fired up the ol' Ml.IX...set it to scan for high-frequency sound waves. Hmmmmm....nothing......nothing............nothing..............WAIT! What was that? A .0000000000001th of a nanodecibel sound wave! From---the floor? He swept the floor closer with the tricorder..closer, closer, closer...got it! It appeared like any other part of the floor! But with another quick check to the Mk.IX it showed an obvious difference in polarity from the surrounding floor panelling. Using his phaser on overload cycle, it emitted an EM pulse that reversed the polarity. He touched the floor, et voila a small panel flipped up, showing a console with the blinking words "STASIS CHAMBER ONLINE". So...the source of the high-pitched sound wave! Navigating through the tiny console, he gathered enough information to discover that a stasis chamber was hidden in the loading bay!

Ha ha...holographic wall covering the static chamber was VERY convincing, but it was nothing 31 Tech couldn't handle. With the holo wall down, the sealed chamber door stood in front of him. For the first time aboard the ship, he felt an overwhelming wave's chicane of curiosity, anxiety, mixed with a little fear, wash over him. What could possible be sealed in the stasis chamber, hidden so well....and more frighteningly, WHO could be in there?

Then the ol' 31 spirit came back as he drew himself up and pulled on the manual release. A cloud of coolant and steam billowed out as the stasis chamber slid out from the wall, like a giant filing cabinet drawer...there was a glass dome over the top of the chamber...but it was fogged up, and thus obscuring the content. While a low clunk the drawer reached the fully open position. Bravely he stepped for ward, and with the cuff of his gold engineering uniform, swirled away the fog from the glass. Lt.Mbo's tricorder fell from his hand.

Oh my Lord......it couldn't be? Could it? It had to be, for there was no other....he could tell who, or what, it was right off...those ears, those eyes, that tail...those red shorts with the two big yellow buttons smiling up at him.....

But how could this be? was the only thought left in his mind....

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 14 May 00 - 01:56 AM

Sacrifice given. Play nice, and play on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Caitrin
Date: 14 May 00 - 12:00 PM

"What the hell are you doing!?!" Captain Caitrin shouted as she ran onto the bridge, knocking Lt. Mbo away from the stasis chamber key. "Do you know what you could release by doing this? Goddess, save me from interfering engineers!"
"But...but..." Mbo began.
"No buts! That-" she said, pointing at where the mouse was held in stasis, "is one of the most dangerous creatures in all the universes!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 14 May 00 - 12:17 PM

LOL! And here I thought I'd have to rescue the Universe with saplings!! We have their Primary Icon!!! Wow!!!! And Mickey would never stand for the evil things that have been done in his name. Mickey LOVES jes' singing and dancing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 14 May 00 - 01:01 PM

Lt. Mbo chuckled to himself. "Computer, deactivate Emergency Hologram Progam." He said, and the towering form of Captain Caitrin dissolved into the air, while it's Mobile Holographic Emitter fell from mid air to the floor with a clatter. He picked it up and slipped it into his storage case...Voyager already had one 26th Century Mobile Holographic Emitter...and Section 31 could use one of their very own! Think of the possibilities in holographic espionage! But first they'd have to delete the Emergency Holographic Captain Caitrin program from it.

He was impressed. Adding profanity and religious oath subroutines to the EHP...very clever. For a second there he actually though the bruque collection of phototronic particles actually WAS her! But there was no way a hologram could discern him from a standard Starfleet engineering officer from a Section 31 operative with a flair for engineering, and infiltrating time travelling mouse-nappers. If only the Temporal Police new! Besides, his Mk.IX allowed him to keep locks on certain personnel--not with the standard comm badge location system Starfleet used--but with genetic locks. She was safely installed in her quarter on the Enterprise.

Lt.Mbo, unfolding three transporter field enhancers, placed them around the statis chamber, and transported stastitized mouse to the statis bay in the Showdown 4000. As quickly as he boarded the ship, he made his egress, remembering even to re-polarize the floor panel.

Less than 15 minutes later, his ship was stored once again in the transport buffer on the isolinear data rod. He took it and the Mobile Holographic Emitter back to his quarters. Ha ha...very soon Section 31's autopsy team would have something new to explore....he chuckled again as he headed back to his station in Engineering. Fellow operative Commander Madame LaFarge AND Captain-in-Chief Barky would be receiving their reports shortly...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 14 May 00 - 05:24 PM

The energy released by the destruction of Cruella de Villeneuve's ships was enormous, and it hit the surface of Tern in a wave across the whole spectrum, a flash of light that ran instantly from the lowest infrared to the highest ultraviolet and beyond. But the cells of Tern's Plantiarch network, tuned by the masterful algorithm that the Elders and Cornucopia had evolved, were ready, and they absorbed and stored the energy into their systems without turning a leaf. Newly fed by this abundance, the strength of the network doubled and tripled; new branches emerged, new roots and capillaries spread out under the soil, new leaves uncoiled to the sun. The Ternian network rapidly doubled in capacity even as the last motes of pixie dust settled out from the high atmosphere and drifted slowly to the surface of the Ternian sea.

Deep under the surface in the Root Directory the agent known as Cornucopia sighed and smiled. "Praise to Tern," he said under his breath, "The only planet in the cosmos where analog really works!."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 00 - 03:16 PM

The First Elder stood beneath the sheltering branch of an old but sturdy tree, feeling its timeless breath and slow thoughts in the resonance of his own. It was much like him in many ways -- focused not on the transient moments but on the slower, timeless processes of life itself. But the Elder knew, perhaps as the tree did not, that there are some moments in the Cosmic Unfolding of Life that call for critical actions, however small and precise, to be taken lest the whole be thrown from its harmonious Balance.

He raised an arm and from the shadows around him stepped forward the chosen men and women of the Tern community, the strongest, brightest and quickest of the men, whatever their ages; and of the women those who saw furthest, and felt deepest, and knew the furthest reaches of the heart and the great, unifying feminine Principle of the universe.

To them, he spoke softly and urgently for an hour. And leaving their families in the care of others, one by one, those he had spoken to slipped from the wide clearings of the Community campground into the towering shaded forests, along the ancient trails to the far points of the mighty wooded flanks of the planet.

The Elder's communion with the planet's Plantiarchs had served him well; his messages and his story had found its way not only through the community of grasses, mosses, and roots that crisscrossed the planet, but from them to the very waters and the connected hearts of those who lived as one with the planet's natural systems. From the shadows stepped forth dozens of two- and three-year old lammbrui, the gentle speedy travelers of Tern's forest byways and shores. Like large plump gerbils with the long facial structure of a Terran greyhound, masked and filled out by longhaired silken coats that covered their faces and bodies, they had never been tamed by the first Ternian settlers, because they would not stay penned and could always be counted on to escape no matter what was done to hold them. But although they would not be domesticated, it was learned among the first and second generations of Terrans on Tern that the lammbrui, living in the wild, would come to certain settlers when needed and provide them with transport on their comfortable shoulders, covering in hours what a Ternian human on foot could only traverse in days or weeks. It was never exactly predictable to whom they would offer this assistance, but it was most often the young and most often the young women. Gradually the Ternians learned to accept this help as it was offered, and they built up a cultural reverence for the lammbrui, and those who could call them were afforded high esteem for their internal clarity and virtue.

Tonight, however, the lammbrui, spoken for by the timeless Patriarchs, offered their help to any who needed it; and one by one, the men and women on the Elder's mission were whisked through the darkening forest trails seated on the comfortable silken shoulders of their new allies. Those that were not going far went on foot. However they went, before an hour had passed after the Elder's low-pitched resonant briefing, they had all vanished into the shadowed undergrowth.

Mandy came up to the Elder, who stood where he had been, watching the twin moons of Tern rise to the mark of the eighth hour.

"Thank you for receiving me here," she said simply, but warmly. The Elder nodded; no more was needed.

"Have we not finally won peace, then?" she asked, troubled in her dark eyes.

"No...we have won respite. The depths of the deceptions and desires of these people are as great as the forests of Tern. They have not learned; they are not interested in learning. Perhaps this means they will try to destroy us. Perhaps it means that we merely need to teach them in a different way. Or, perhaps....". He shrugged. She had seen the scintillating flash that had vaporized the Eisnerian fleet and did not need to be told what it meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 16 May 00 - 10:27 PM

In the lengthening evening shadows on the waterfront of the Ternian capitals, darkness stretched on the deep channels that brought the sea into the harbor and painted the ocean rollers into dark purple mysteries glinting under the faint light of the twin moons.

Along the twenty-fathom line, the bottom began shelving rapidly into the depths of the Ternian sea, and in consequence it was there -- only a quarter mile from the lampless waterfront of the silent city -- that the deep ocean moved up into usually gentle waves before spreading out into a gentle wide series of six-inch breakers and gliding smoothly to the shoreline. It was at this depth that the huge starship Enterprise sat quietly in a stasis lock pattern just above the oceans surface, and it was at that point, along the bottom sands, that an unusual and unnoticed event occurred.

The sands stirred and began to suck inward into a rapidly forming depression, which in turn became a small tunnel. And from it, growing faster than even the amazing giant kelp tendril of Terran's fabled seas, a small tendril of Ternian helices Carsonii, began to emerge. Rubbery and freckled with the flavors of Tern's own kelp beds, the tendril of Carson's Coils was tightly spiralled and tubular, finer than a cat's hair in cross-section but so tightly coiled that it appeared as dense as a screen door spring. Spurred by some extrarodinary metabolism, the thin strand grew, divided and grew, along the bottom, and then anchoring itself to a half-buried basalt outcropping, up toward the dark surface where the shadow of the hovering Enterprise lay. As it coiled its way toward the shallower surface, the tendril divided from two, to four, and again to eight and then sixteen until it was within inches of the gentle pattern of waves on the surface. It slowed, and spread into rings and curves; and then, much more slowly, a single thin strand wended its way upward until it broke into the night air, and brushed the sleek durometallic hull of the starship.

No sensors did it disturb, for as an organic plant form it had no motion they would find threatening. Just a slow and gentle flower of a strange distant planet, the tendril extended thinner and thinner along the mighty curves of the lower hull and along it toward the bow until it found the small flushmounted discharge valve used to eject plant wastes into the vacuum during deep space transitions in subluminal passages. Feeling its way slowly and cautiously the tiny tendril, now only a few cells across extended into a slight worn surface crack in the sealing ring, and from there into the drain tubes and interlock valves just below the hull's surface.

Slowly extending a few cells at a time it found a crack here, a worn mating of surfaces there, until it found its smallest tip extending less than a millimeter into the warm light of Mandy's plant nursery; the strange sea-plant paused then, and waited for the next wave of compelling pulses from the far-away Root DIrectory of Tern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:18 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:51 PM

And on a bench in the nursery, a humming begins, softly, among the Roseville Fairs..."just a gentle flower of a small town girl...." but there is no one dancing as the waltz grows in power and sweetness. The plants wait... all humming now... and the waltz shift imperceptibly at first, then again more niticeably, and moves down a key to another gentler tone... and words mysteriously appear within green minds in soft green light....

A tune heard before, the words strangely at home though never sung here before...

She walks in her world as the world turns around,
Turns around quickly and turns once again,
She's dancing, romancing with all she may meet,
In this fashion, many a treasure be found.

And she weaves a cheer gently for love, for her love,
She weaves a cheer gently for love...
And she weaves a cheer gently, so gently for love,
And she weaves a cheer gently for love.

Through the treasures she's found runs a thread of pure gold,
(The) Pure gold refined by the fire she partakes.
And the fire becomes water though it never goes out,
And the coals where it sparkles may never grow old.

And she weaves a cheer gently for love, for her love,
She weaves a cheer gently for love...
And she weaves a cheer gently, so gently for love,
And she weaves a cheer gently for love.

When the Lord calls her name and to her gives His heart,
Gives His heart's promise and wonders to say,
Living water goes forth and it seeks its own place--
It's a cheer heaven sent and she just does her part.

So she weaves a cheer gently for love, for her love,
She weaves a cheer gently for love...
And she weaves a cheer gently, so gently for love,
And she weaves a cheer gently for love.

She's cheering for you, love, for you and your Call,
Your Call from above that you never shall lose,
Onward and upward to all you may be,
Neither stumbling, alone, nor ever to fall.

Yes she weaves the cheer gently for love, for her love,
She weaves the cheer gently for love...
And she weaves the cheer gently... so gently my love,
And she weaves a cheer gently for love.

May you weave a cheer gently for love, for your love,
Weave a cheer gently for love...
May you weave the cheer gently... so gently my love,
Ever weave a cheer gently for love.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: MMario
Date: 17 May 00 - 03:25 PM

Tern strengthened, the Eisnerian fleet pixie dust, the rodential enemy whisked away. Slightly outside the heliopause of the Ternian system, three holographic images shimmer into existance. One the faces of the three figures joy, and a sense of victory. Despite the airlessness of intersteller space, a song echoes between them... ... ...

Snap, what a happy sound
Snap is the happiest sound I found
You may clap, rap, tap,slap, but Snap
makes the world go round

I say it's Crackle, the crispy sound
You gotta have Crackle or the clock's not wound
Geese cackle, feathers tickle, belts buckle, beets pickle, but Crackle
makes the world go round

I insist that Pop's the sound
The best is missed unless Pop's around
You can't stop hoppin' when the cereal's poppin' Pop
makes the world go round

And with a Snap, crackle, pop-- they disappeared, until such time as they are needed again to inspire humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 May 00 - 06:00 PM

One day, shortly thereafter, a part of Boukey's memory came back to him. It happened as he and Mandy and Farkin were walking by a high mountain lake in the woods above one of the towns of Tern. Mandy and Farkin were holding hands, Mandy wearing a woven glove of a protective kind to keep from losing her arm to frostbite, and the late afternoon sun was filtering through the forest. On one side of the lake was a grove of large ancient trees, with very little undercover, and at one moment, in a trick of the light, it seemed to be dawn on another planet, under another grove of trees by an ancient house, on Margarnagarr. And then he remembered.

He only remembered a glimmer of something, but it was enough to hit him hard in his chest. He staggered and crouched down, as if warding off pain.

In a few moments, the two lovers turned to him, and then they saw him.

"Boukey, Boukey," said Mandy, rushing back to him, followed by Farkin, "Are you all right?"

"Sharazade," he whispered. "Sharazade." He got back up, and began to run back the way that they had come. "I have to get to the Elder. I have to get to the Elder."

Without saying another word, the three ran through the forest, branches whipping them, stones tumbling after them as they came down the high trail to the town.

Breathlessly, the trio finally found themselves, at dusk, before the Elder's door. Since it was always unlocked, Boukey and his companions knocked fiercely, and entered. The Elder was just finishing an early dinner with his son. The two rose, as the dusty group entered hastily.

"Sir," said Boukey, "I am sorry to intrude, but I have had a piece of my memory return, and I know that it is of importance. It is not all, but it is something."

The Elder bade them all be seated, and gave them some Ternian wine to drink. He did not hurry, and he waited for Boukey to speak.

"Sir," he said finally. "I believe that, though I can only remember a fragment, a young woman named Sharazade who I was with on the planet Margarnagarr, was your daughter. She was a refugee from Cybania, the slave planet. She spoke to me once about her father, on a Taurid planet she would not name, but which I know now -- from the songs I have heard here in the last week -- to be Tern."

Boukey's eyes filled with tears. The Elder and his son stood up. They both saw the tears. The Elder said, slowly: "Where is she now?"

Boukey shook his head: "I do not remember. I had to protect all those memories from invasion, and they will not come back to me. What I have left is a feeling, a feeling of great grief, as if she were dead. I feel -- I feel -- she is dead." He stopped for a moment, keeping himself barely together. "But what I do remember is that she was what they were after: she was the key to the death of Margarnagarr, and that she was the prize: she was the death of Tern to come. I am sure of it."

There was silence around the warm honeywooded room. Boukey sat back down, his head in his hands, tormented with not remembering, and remembering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 00 - 07:44 PM

Aw, Peter, right in the cyber-points of vulnerability! You sho' is a rascally one. Dang...maybe I can get the Rice Krispy elves to intervene. And don't forget, I have your Mouse!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 May 00 - 11:47 AM

The sun rose smartly over Britannicus Tertius. Around Trafalgar Square the bobbies on their bicycles kept a watchful eye on the flower girls, the costermongers, and the dancing cockneys. On one corner, Noddy, BigEars and Rupert the Bear were in animated conversation with Sir Walter Raleigh and a rosecheeked Mrs. Miniver concerning difficulties with obtaining good servants. Down towards Westminister, a military band was playing sprightly tunes, and the eye caught the glimmer of silver sunlight off their polished cuirasses. Above it all the great clock tower, Big Micky, its gloved hands currently displaying 8:29 in the morning, kept time.

In a room along Whitehall, overlooking this jovial scene, a group of 4 powerful looking men stood around a large mahogany table in an elegant pseudo-Adam room. They were waiting. At 8:30 precisely, Cruella de Villeneuve entered, elegantly tailored as usual

"See you real soon," she greeted them.

"See you real soon, "they replied.

"Please sit down gentlemen." They sat down. She took the head of the table, and opened up her portfolio. She briefly looked at each man in turn. To her left, the Head of Tomorrowland, Nuurdd, who was originally from Regnuoy, the reverse aging planet, so he became younger every year, which somewhat unsettled Cruella (and, it must be confessed, everyone else around the table) every time she saw him; but youth was certainly the only way to keep up with new technical developments. Across from her was a familar face, Schhhluppp, the Drugpin, recently acquired to be the Head of Fantasyland. To her far right, was the stalwart Chief of Cartooning and Replication, known to all as "Chief". And beside her, her right hand man, was Doxadist, Head of Main Street, the dreaded Moustapo.

"Well, gentleman, we are met at a critical moment for Cosmic Disneycorp, and I am sure that Walt is with us. Today, as Walt would say, we have to cut to the cheese. In order to do this, you have to know the whole story; and you also know that the Root of Title forbids this to anyone but me. So, as you know, and I apologise in advance, you have to have this part of the story eliminated from your memories after this meeting. So, and again apologies, please put on your Mouse ears for this portion."

The four men put their Mouse ears on, and there was a brief hum. She continued.

"Well, gentlemen, this is the situation. As you don't know, and will only know for a short time, Cosmic Disney Corp owns and operates the Federation and with some exceptions, was more or less on track to rule the universe. We owe certainly our recent successes to the work of our new head of Fantasyland, who has brought his formidable team into the fold."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 May 00 - 11:55 AM

Schhhluppp smiled, which was a revolting sight any time of the day, but especially at 8:30 in the morning.

"This set of until now reasonably favourable circumstances has been somewhat complicated by a little problem. Well, it began as a little problem, and is now making things more difficult for us. As you know, the basic Root of Title for DisneyCorp stems from our role as the saviour of the Earth remnant centuries ago, as cherished in song and story. As you don't know, this somewhat obscures the real history.

Cruella sighed, paused, and began again. "In the middle of the 21st century, one of Nuurrd's ancestors (not personal ancestors, but an earlier Head of Tomorrowland, you understand), got the idea for a film about Global Warming, to be called "Heart Warming" about how goodness and community and purchasing Disney products would save the planet from environmental destruction. Fine, no problem. But he also decided to take the opportunity to hybridize the computer animation process with work that another part of the Secret Lab had been engaged on for some time on biogenetic engineering of life forms. The idea was to make a superrealistic film in a new process to be called "Live Superanimation". Unfortunately, at the premiere of the film, a range of animogenetically modified organisms leapt off the screen and proceeded to proliferate in unstoppable fashion over the planet, disrupting the carbon cycle, and generating a runaway greenhouse effect. The Disney Lab tried to create countercartoon predators in what was called Project Wile E. Coyote, but by then it was too late. The Earth went over the cliff, and this time did not come back in the next reel. At the last moment, a group of remnant Earthlings were able to escape, and link up with other remnant groups of early explorers that had been left on Mars."

"To deal with this fiasco, the then remnant DisneyCorp, rapidly and through extraordinary inventiveness, and brute force, rounded up all the Earthlings it could find, and gave them a new Root story, wherein everything on Earth, all the nature and the culture and all forces, were rooted in Disney, first, last, and forever. It is this story that is the basis for the Root of Title, and the legitimation for everything we are doing. It is our cover story, but it is more than that, it is our root story."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 May 00 - 12:08 PM

"For the next few centuries, all went well. We slowly, and then more rapidly, took over everything, dedicated churches and planets, and so on. And then one day, a little loose thread appeared. This began under my predecessor and husband, Roy of Blessed Memory, and has extended into my term. It has come to the point where it must be wiped out.

"The President of the Federation, curse him, has an inquisitive son, Boukey, also known as the Green Man, who decided on a whim of some sort to become interested in something harmless, like studying the ancient roots of folk music. Don't laugh, gentlemen, this is serious: it may portend our undoing. In the course of his studies, he became interested in the roots of Earth music, and, initially -- and in full view of the Federation during the Great Hearings -- was more than happy to assert that all the Earthsongs he found showed conclusively that Disney pervaded Earth culture, and that the Root of Title was obviously sound."

"Then as he was engaged in some harmless research on one of the outer planets of the galaxy, one of our not-too-bright Songstealers, from the Moustapo -- not I hasten to add from Doxadist's reconstituted force, but the bunch from the previous bungler, whose name has been erased from Disneymem -- one of these Songstealers who overheard a slip of song from a remnant Earthling colony, proceeded on his own initiative to eliminate the colonists in somewhat overt fashion. This raised suspicions in the mind of Mr. Boukey, and also raised an interesting question in the mind of the then Head of DisneyCorp."

"For the next few years, we tracked, and sometimes lost, the trail of the Green Man, but when we did locate him in his searches, we began to piece together, as he did, the possibility, first, that the original Disneywashing hadn't gone deep enough with some resistors, and showed up in oddly deep places, like childhood memories of songs; and second, that there might be a remnant of Earthlings who had escaped all Disneywashing completely."

"It was on the planet Polgar that the pieces of this puzzle came together, with the finding of an escaped Cybanian slavegirl, who was identified" -- here Cruella omitted the information that it was she herself who had made the identification -- "and discovered to have come from the Planet Tern, home of this possible remnant community. She somehow escaped Polgar after the interrogation, but we followed, and thanks to the efforts of her rescuer, we soon learned that there was a planet Tern, home of the remnants, a mortal threat to CosmicDisney Corp. Happily, we caught up with the two escapees again on Margarnagarr, with the results you know."

She paused. Big Mickey struck 9. Time for morning tea. A butler wheeled a tea tray into the room. "Gentlemen," she said, "You are now up to date. You can take off your Mouse ears. Everything after this you are allowed to remember."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 06:48 PM

The silence in the honeywooded room on Tern was finally broken by the Elder. He said, quietly: "I understand that there are things you are unable to speak about, but are there -- are there things you can remember, that would, well," and here he paused for a few moments,"tell us about her, my daughter."

Boukey looked up. "I am sorry, Sir, I have been so selfish. Yes. I will tell you what I can remember. There are gouges out of my mind, but what I can, I will."

He smiled, weakly. "I suppose I should start by saying, Sir, that I loved your daughter very much. "

The Elder also smiled. "It doesn't take a Ternian Elder to discern that."

Boukey blushed, if a green man can blush. Mandy and Farkin looked at each other. "Well, Sir, the first thing I can remember is that we escaped from Polgar on a cattle transfer vessel, after something -- after something happened to your daughter, which affected her deeply. I think she may have had to do what I did -- that is, shut down her memories to keep the interrogators from finding out important things. But in my case, the memories were intellectual and recent: in her case they included everything important, including everything she knew about Tern. It meant a much worse intrusion, deeper blocking, greater loss."

The young Terran, her brother, interrupted from across the room. "She was fighting to save Tern!"

Boukey nodded quietly. "Yes. And I think, for the time being, she did."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 06:55 PM

He took a deep breath. "Let me go on to something happier. We were sitting in the hold of this cattle vessel, and I told her that what had happened on Polgar and elsewhere made me think that there was something important in the remnant songs, and that they needed to be traced back through their journey outward. Understand, this was long before I knew anything about Disneycorp's role in what was happening. Long before Margarnagarr.

It turned out that this cattleboat was heading for Cassiopeia, and I had always wanted to search for a Calliokeh master; so I suggested that since I had been able to get away with my recorder intact, and some money, she might like to come with me to Calliokeh: otherwise I would send her to my Father for protection. She said she would come with me. So we set out for Calliokeh."

At this point Mandy interrupted and said: "What is a Calliokeh master?"

Boukey replied: "Good question. About 200 years ago, an Earth remnant, on its way to Tern perhaps?" and here he looked at the Elder.

The Elder looked at him sadly. "They were coming here, but never reached us. We know of them only through the recordings, of course, that others brought with them."

Boukey nodded, and went on. "This remnant carried with it a number of famous musicians, who had sustained a very powerful style of playing and singing on traditional stringed instruments, guitars, banjos, etc. This style had been further developed in their progress towards Cassiopeia, so it is known to experts as Cassiopeian style. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:00 PM

He went on.

"Imagine their amazement and delight when they discovered that the people of Calliokeh, a double sunned, double mooned planet in Cassiopeia, had 10 fingers on their left hand, and 10 fingers on their right. Within about 50 years, they had created some of the most extraordinary fingerpicking music in the entire universe. In 2485, about 70 years ago, a Callioken guitarist named CallioPetey Jack was recorded by an earlier folk song historian doing three of the most famous songs in history: "Cosmic Train", "Callioken Blues" and "My Destarlillo Home". These were released by DisneyGolden Records, and were on the market for about a week. Then they were pulled, and the masters destroyed. And that was it -- we had nothing more from Callioken. "

"So," Boukey said, "Sharazade and I set out for Callioken to see if we might find any descendants of CallioPetey Jack."

The Elder rose, and went over to the wall, and pulled out an old nanorecorder. He turned. "We do have some technology here, for really useful purposes. Like playing CallioPetey Jack. Tern has, thanks to a Terran of my acquaintance" -- he looked over at his son, who smiled for the first time in a long time -- "one of the only recordings of "Callioken Blues'" in the cosmos.

He started the machine. Nothing happened. "Oh," said the Elder, "forgot to plug it in." He plugged it in, and started the machine again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:07 PM

[Sorry, I don't seem to be able to post long messages, otherwise this wouldn't be broken up.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:36 PM

Go, Peter, go!!!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:48 PM

Gee, hi, Praise, glad to hear from you (hope you are feeling better!). I thought everyone had lost interest, which wouldn't be surprising given that this turned into a more complexly woven story, I guess. Very hard to give people room to do their own thing, and do your own, and so on, in a "thicker story". I was just going on to see how my little band of weird characters was going to turn out! And of course, the fate of the universe hangs in the balance....yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:57 PM

Peter, and all--

I transferred the first three Enterprise threads to text file and began reading it night before last, in hardcopy form, during resting time. My copy-editor's pencil could not resist the urge to tweak, smooth tenses, etc. Shall I proceed? Trust me to edit? (References available!)

And YOU had all better proceed to keep writing, or I will be very disappointed that there is no clear end!

Where are JenElle's contributions? Come on girlfriend! I wrote a lovesong into the nursery! Did I miss something there or what?

And then I have another idea for y'all! LOL! But I wanna finish THIS get-well book first!! It's a wonderful vacation from everything else I am wrestling with.

What-- you thought this was just fun? Just writing practice??? Hey! Some of us READ this stuff! I can't speak for them all, but I want more!!!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:05 PM

Oh, I am going to keep on, whatever. I sort of like all these weird people, and wait till you see what Cruella is about to get up to! Whew!....yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:10 PM

I reserve the right to up-end your story line at any given time and send your plot into a tailspin by virtue of a completely non-relevant post. Beware.

The Trid


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:11 PM

go go go go!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:22 PM

Stunning, just stunning, Peter!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:24 PM

But of course, LEJ, just remember that Cruella will get you in the end, after Tern is toast.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 09:50 PM

The sound of a 24 string guitar, playing a very sweet tune, filled the room. What made it so powerful was that it was absolutely simple -- nothing anyone with 5 fingers couldn't play -- but had an unEarthly feel to its Earthiness. The blues progression moved along, like every blues progression in the history of things. And the voice was big and sad, with an undertone of harshness. And it sang:



Woke up this morning, suns in my head,
I woke up this morning, suns in my head,
First sun just to get me up out of my bed,
Second for the woman I know is dead.

I sat by the window, trap sprung on my mind,
Sat by the window, trap sprung on my mind,
If I don't get out of this mousehole,
I know I'm going to go blind.

There's blues all over Calliokay,
Blues all over Calliokay,
Blues all over Calliokay (O.K., O.K.)
Woman I love, made her getaway.



There were brief flashes of multifingered brilliance, skeins of infinitely complex sound, and the song ended. The Elder sat back down. Boukey smiled and began again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 00 - 09:55 PM

"Well, the moment we landed on Calliokeh, I thought I had made a serious mistake. We came out of the airport, and almost immediately we saw an old woman with a Cybanian facial slash. Sharazade turned to run, and then we saw another. And then we both realized, of course, that Calliokeh had been a refuge for escaped slaves, throughout its history. These were Cybanian women: but there were others -- escapees from Demenchiadora Central, with their branding; the victors in the slave revolt on Circassix who simply turned their back on the Jaileroid, and left; and many others. And so it turned out that she was more welcome there than I. She was among friends.

I had this idea that there might be some Calliokeh singers somewhere around Destarlillo, given CallioPetey Jack's song, so we got two bus tickets on the Blorghound Express and headed South. Well it was North, really, but it felt like heading South, if you know what I mean. I think she slept all the way there, she was so tired, her head on my shoulder, rocking back and forth." He stopped. "Sorry."

They all just smiled.

"Anyway, we finally got to this town in the back of beyond, hot humid, the dogs sticking to the pavement if they didn't keep moving, and they didn't, as the driver said to us, pulling in to the depot. Now, Sir," said Boukey, "I don't know when you saw your daughter last -- "

The Elder said softly: "She was only a child when they were taken."

Boukey continued: "Well, Sir, she grew up into a beautiful young woman. She had a certain way about her -- she just smiled, and people would do things for her. I think that even in the few hours we had been on Calliokeh, she was getting stronger. I say that because while I was inside the depot, trying to talk to the officials about whether there were any musicians in the town, she had already sweetalked the locals sitting on the porch into directing us to the very home that CallioPetey Jack had sung about 80 years previously! We decided that before we tried to find somewhere to stay for the night, that we would check it out. We walked some distance in the heat, my recorder and other supplies weighing us down. And as we walked, she began to sing -- not an Earth song, or a Ternian song, but some jingle she heard on the bus, I don't remember what it was. That was the moment, Sir, for me. I could have walked down that road forever."

"So we walked, and she sang, and the houses got poorer and poorer, until we ran out of houses, and there were long fields of violet stretching out as far as you could see under the pink sky. Finally we came to a small house, couldn't be bigger than this room, and on the porch leaning up against a sofa with the springs half out was a little old Calliokeh woman, about 3 foot tall, wearing a workhat, and playing a 24 string guitar.

"'Good afternoon, Ma'am', I said. She likened as how that might be correct. 'I am a folk song and blues historian. This is my assistant.' Sharazade smiled that smile. The old lady smiled back.

"I am looking for anyone who might be able to remember anything about CallioPetey Jack, who was recorded here, oh, about 80 years ago or so".

"Sure, I remember him," she said, playing a reasonably complex Calliokan lick.

"You do?" I said, eagerly.

"Well", she said, "My memory isn't what it was. It is pretty foggy. I can remember some things. But my advice to you --" and here she turned her head -- "is to ask him himself. Hey, husband, there's some strangers here to see you. Non-government people!!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 21 May 00 - 12:39 AM

As the Elder sat in his sparse but warm home listening with his heart stretched thin to the vivid images of his daughter being described, the city on the shore slept. But the humming of another series of byways and highways never slackened -- the energetic endless dynamic networth of exchange, exploration, growth, and interaction which filled the soil and oceans of Tern. The ways of animal life, with their bursts of frenzied activity during part of a day's cycles, and their plunge into somnolent quiet for another part, is alien to the thinking of the planet's trees, grasses and plants. For them, all parts of time are living parts, and all the power of their imagination, which in animals is largely reserved for dream-time, is constantly on-call and involved in the moments of their being and growing. Thus the notion of dreams as a way to see beyond the normal realm of spacetime is not known to those forms of life of the Plantiarchs line. Such seeing is as much a part of real living, for them, as the drawing up and releasing of water is.

In the wooded hills a few kilometers back from the river delta, the people of Tern have build a place dedicated to improvng the understanding of this difference and of what the thought forms and cultural ways of the non-fleshed residents of their planet are. These long, polished wooden buildings which cling to the side of the steep foothils of the Ternian mountain range, amongst leaping springs, young waterfalls and stout red native trees, have been the dream and goal of the brightest and the best of young Ternian scholars for centuries. As a result the Insitute of Diverse Life Forms, fueled by the particular economics of Tern's situation and its shortage of metals found abubdantly i other segments of the universe, has become the seat of more wisdom about the dynamics of natural ecological communication and survival networks than could be found anywhere else in the known universe.

Despite the late hour, the lanterns still burned in the Institute's main research wing, where one of the Council of Elders and three of the Insititute's leading scientists pored over a projection in three dimensions in the center of the table. It showed the major and minor threads of the Ternian Plantiarchs networks, the tiny capillaries and grouped hairthin branchings, larger arterial root paths and major trunk channels that joined the seas, the rivers, the plains and the forest of Tern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 May 00 - 12:43 AM

oo! oo!

And next....

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 21 May 00 - 03:13 AM

Silent on the window sill, Mandy shifted, relaxing just a touch in the slight breeze. He had a piece of her heart, to be sure.

She had been worried when Boukey said he wanted to go walking around the mountain lakes, but Farkin had assured her that all would be well, and the fresh air would do them all good. The late afternoon sunshine felt wonderful on her skin. Honest to goodness sunshine, not the solar effect lamps of the Enterprise. She bared her arms and stood still, feeling the heat prickle her, and reveling in the day.

She playfully swatted Farkin with her frostbite mitten, and shouted 'Race Ya' before darting up the hill. Farkin, not being one to ever give chase, gave a frosty chuckle and watched her form disappear in the trees.

Mandy reached the edge of a mountain lake, and climbed an outcropping of rocks to wait for the gentlemen. As she watched them climb the hill, a feeling of sadness began to swell inside her. Farkin plodded along in his fashion, but Boukey....his eyes, once blank, began slowly to change.

She hopped down, and with her mitten on, grabbed Farkin's hand. All the while walking and looking over her shoulder at the approaching storm in a Green Man's eyes. She had read Earth legends of the great tsunami storms that travelled silently along the ocean floor, and broke on the shore with a ferocity that was unrivalled anywhere in the universe. She had a feeling it's rival was about to appear.

She knew the instant it happened, the light returning to his eyes. He doubled over like he'd been kicked, with her name, Sharazade. The threesome ran back to the Elder as fast as their legs would carry them.

That had brought her to this window. She couldn't watch the pain in his face, but she listened with her heart and glared at the burls in the wood of the window frame like they didn't belong there and didn't they know it. She listened intently however, and with each bit of his memory that was restored she found peace and torment entertwined in her soul.

Peace, he'd found his memory and his love again. Torment, the beings responsible for all of this were still out there.

Ach, she needed more air than this window was providing! The Elder, the Tern, and Farkin were still watching the Green Man's story unfold before them. Farkin was looking a bit rounded at the edges, she would take getting him a new nitrogen canister as an excuse to remove herself. Silently, she brought her knees to her chin, spun on the sill, and dropped out of the open window. The seedlings had been singing in the nursery again, and their song stuck with her as she crossed the courtyard..

She's cheering for you, love, for you and your Call, Your Call from above that you never shall lose, Onward and upward to all you may be, Neither stumbling, alone, nor ever to fall.

Yes she weaves the cheer gently for love, for her love, She weaves the cheer gently for love... And she weaves the cheer gently... so gently my love, And she weaves a cheer gently for love.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:14 AM

[Wow]


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 21 May 00 - 10:11 AM

Boukey laughed. "Of course, not only do Calliokan's have double the fingers, they have double the lifetime!! It was CallioPetey Jack himself! You can imagine my feelings. Well, there was a harrumph from inside the house, the distinct sound of a bottle being corked, and then a yelp from a ratty blorghound who preceded his master out of the door. Into the sunslight stepped a figure no bigger than the little old woman still weaving Calliokan tunes on her guitar. He looked at us suspiciously for a moment, then saw Sharazade, with the slash upon her face, and grinned."

"Now there is a pretty woman, don't you think so, Dorf?" he turned to his companion.

"Why the bejezuz are you asking me for -- don't let him start on you, Missy, he may be a hundred and sixty, but don't let him start on you." She strummed a mite angrily on her instrument.

"Now, Dorf. Waal, I suppose we better introduce ourselves, one to the other." He stuck out his hand. "CallioPetey Jack, but call me Jack".

He had 5 fingers on his hand. And 5 on the other.

I stepped back in some shock. Sharazade took his hand, but said nothing.

Then I came forward, and stammered out who we were, and some other nonsense.

"Waal," said Jack, "you had best come out of the suns. Wouldn't want this charming lady to catch her death. There is room there on the sofa, if you two don't mind bunching together, and I don't see why you would." So we sat down, while he swatted his blorghound off his porch chair, and sat down as well.

"I hope you don't mind my asking something, Sir, Jack."

"Shoot".

"I don't mean to doubt who you are or anything, but, um, you don't, well --"

Sharazade chimed in, as if reading my mind. "He wants to know how you can play so beautifully such complex music with only five fingers on each hand. He has been regaling me all through our voyage here with stories about your virtuosity, and the extraordinary capacities of Calliokan guitarists."

Jack smiled, "Isn't she just the sweetest thing, isn't she, Dorf?"

Dorf muttered."Well, my dear, the tragedy of it all is that my dear Mother, rest her soul, was an Earthling by descent, and Papa was a Calliokan. So what do I get: Calliokan height, and Earth fingers! Had a brother, passed on now, Vern, had it the other way around, Earth height and Calliokan fingers. Couldn't play guitar to save himself from hanging. Fast typist though. Why, he was so good that they raced him once against one of those speaking/typing machines, you know where you speak into a microphone and the computer types it out?"

We nodded that we knew of such machines.

"Well, they took Vern and this machine to a farm auctioneers convention up Destarlillo Side Road, and set them to work. At the end of the day Vern won, but the strain was too great -- he died on the spot. Wrote a song about it once -- bout a Key-Driving Man."

The old woman cackled: "He's been telling that whopper for 100 years!! Heavens, once he gets started, we could be here all day. Would you two like some coffee? Key-Driving Man! Holy Hannah!"

We said that we would like some coffee. She went towards the door, and then turned back around: "I only stay with 'im because of his sense of humour. He has a roving eye like all men. Remember, I warned you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 22 May 00 - 12:38 AM

*LOL--Key-Driving Man--priceless*


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 22 May 00 - 01:57 AM

The courtyard was quiet in the twilight, all of Tern seemed to be bedding down for the night. Fathers returning, mothers calling the children in from play, and smells escaping kitchens that told of simple feasts. Mandy walked, warmed by the seedlings' song and the small bit of Ternian wine the Elder had given her.

When she heard the first rumble from the sky, Mandy's heart skipped a beat. Fearing the worst, she turned and looked skyward, her only assailant being a few fat raindrops falling from the fast approaching clouds. It takes a good rain to cleanse a troubled spirit, she could always hope.

She reached the piers just as the waves started to roll, bits of foam clinging to the delicate vines that sprung from the sea to engulf the Enterprise. The vines, motionless in the ever increasing wind, bent their tendrils to allow her aboard.

Yet mindful of her charges, she first went below to the greenhouses. Here, in the warm light, the vine had taken over. Lush foliage covered every surface, every door forced open, and every plant in her nursery had given up their hydroponic moorings in favor of entertwining with the vine. Wide-eyed, she went in search of the Frodis.
"Hullo, Mother Hen!" cried a familiar voice.
She peeked into the opened door of the plant's soundproof room, "Hello?"
The Frodis too had seemingly forsaken it's small pot of earth for the twisting vines. On the floor before them sat a small young man, primitive notebook in hand, scribbling and sketching at every sound the Frodis made.
"That's Tuni," muttered the plant, "He's from the Institute of Diverse Life Forms, lah-tee-dah...He came with the vine.."
This seemed to break the spell the plants had cast on the small Tern, and he jumped up to shake her hand.
"And THIS," said the Frodis, with a flourish of fronds, "...is CARSON!!"
With this grand introduction, a flowery tendril wafted out and encircled her hand.
"P-p-pleased, I'm sure." stammered the maiden. She quickly tried to retrieve her hand, but the vine held her tight."He'd like it if you stayed here, Hen." spoke the Frodis, "He'd really like to talk to YOU, I can't imagine why..."
Frightened nearly to tears, she explained about her mission aboard the Enterpirse, retrieving the nitrogen canister for Farkin, and lying about how she was expected back at the Elder's home any time now.
Carson must have sensed the fear in the young woman's voice. The tendril let loose her wrist, curled back upon itself, and plucked a flower from the quivering vine before slowly extending itself to her.
Almost laughing aloud, she accepted the blossom and tucked in behind her ear with an apology and a farewell.

The vines parted just as gently as she left the ship, but the storm outside had doubled in intensity. She tucked Farkin's canister under her arm, and blindly made her way along the pier, feeling for solid ground at each step. Reaching the shore, she ran for the cover of the trees. There she found herself sharing the canopy with a wet and miserable lammbrui. The poor creature was soaked to the skin. It shook, sending droplets spraying the forest floor. Mandy shook herself, with similar effects, and the two peered out into the storm.
"You little folks are pretty smart, eh?" she asked the creature.
It blinked it's glassy eyes.
"I have to get back to the Elder's libraries, can you help me?"
With this, the creature slid it's head under her hand and led her blind again, into the storm.

She curled her fingers in the creatures hair, and followed it for what seemed an eternity. When she reached the door, she pulled the pin, and squeezed herself and the lammbrui inside before the wind took the door from it's hinges. She turned, expecting to find her friends, but finding only a two small women seated by a roaring fire. The two might not have looked alike in their youth, but age had made veritable twins of them. Identical small wrinkled faces and toothless smiles shone in the light of the fire.
"C'mere dear," the woman patted a cushion, "Sit yourself here and dry a bit..Oh what's that look for? You're in the right place! Your friends are in the library, just through that door. And you little lammbrui, you c'mere too."

The creature sat by the women at the fire, and Mandy took the offered cushion. She rested, drying herself, and listening to the voices in the other room. Boukey was continuing his story amid mutterings from the Elder and the Tern. The young Terran came through for another bottle of wine, and Mandy gave him the canister for Farkin before she returned to the warmth of the fire. One of the women held a large toothed comb, and began to brush the lammbrui, rolling it's long hair in her fingers. With each handful, she passed it to the other, whose shuttle clicked a steady rhythm. Mandy half-interestedly looked at the cloth the women were making. The roll was probably as wide as the length of her arm from elbow to wrist, delicate shades of lammbrui brown. She gasped as she began to unroll their history, panels showing the Enterprise landing on Tern, the fire, the vile mouse covering the sky....ending with the panel of a small five-fingered man making eyes at a lovely young woman with a slash across one cheek.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 May 00 - 02:25 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 00 - 01:27 AM

It just makes me weep for happy to see such fine use made of my little imaginings! This is a very touching business, in ways I had never imagined! I was just gearing up for a battle and all, and you guys come along and make delights like these. Thanks. I am complete tonight!

Now old Vern he said to the office manager,
A man has to grow or burn,
But before that voxwriter shuts me down
Gonna die on that carriage return, Lord, Lord,
Gonna die on that carriage return.

Old Vern he said to his paper boy,
Now, paper boy you better sing,
'Cuz I'm sling twelve pounds every time my hands come down,
JUst listent ot hat line bell ring, lord lord,
Just listen to that line bell ring! Well, the man who invented the VoxWriter
Believed he was sumpn fine
But old Vern filled a foolscap page,
By the time he had done right lines, Lord, Lord
By the time he had done eight lines...



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 May 00 - 09:42 AM

[It is a very interesting form of experimental co-writing -- it seems to work well when you keep to some simple rules and manners for living generally -- for instance, you can borrow other people's characters, but you shouldn't do anything to them that would go against their basic integrity; you need to give the other people some openings for their own imagination to pick up threads in your own pieces; you should give others space (SPACE); and so on -- but with the occasional big surprise thrown in to discombobulate everyone. Then all these nice things Tern up. It seems to be able to survive a wide range of tonal shifts -- dark moods, jokes, parodies -- as long as each shift is linked to a character: the character seems to carry their style with them. And so on.

Hilarious song by the way, and where do I get me some of that lammbrui brown material!?]
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: MMario
Date: 23 May 00 - 10:52 AM

*Deep in intergalactic space, where the Aether-net phases into harmony with the token-packets of Humanity's sub-sub-conscious and the electro-magnetic pulses of underlying reality stuck chords against racial memories and the fruedian particles of subspace ring with delicate chimes, there is a node where ancient beings of pure energy reside, if such insubstantial beings can be said to "reside" in any place. Rather, the node is where they are most likely to manifest. During the time-quanta humans would call "today" three of the oldest of these beings coalesce about the node.*

**The trio of Engrams danced in their holographic forms about the fruedian node. Though there was none there with physical eyes to see, if there had been, they would have seen the holographic forms that were as close to physical form as the Engrams could take, shimmer oddly. Though they primarily took the form of a trio of small humanoids with oddly pointed ears, at times they appeared to be a young maiden, a mature woman and an ancient beldame; at other times a godlike couple clad in egyptian regalia, with a young stripling by their side; at still other times the three were mere flames of holographic light, or winged beings with animal heads, or again pointed eared humanoids, but larger, clad in warlike mien.**


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: MMario
Date: 23 May 00 - 11:39 AM

"We are still bound by the Disnoid images so prevalent the last few generations" the Engrams communicated amongst their/it/him/her/self. "But with the Mouse contained within a shielded stasis chamber, the genetic memories of humanity will soon break free again and join with that of other life forms who have not sufferred so much from the Eisnerian regime.
Even now, lesser engrams which have not been seen for decades begin to manifest. Behold!

***And as the Engram gestured with one limb, indeed, other holographic entities shimmered briefly about the freudian node. A humanoid tiger appeared briefly, metamorphing into a horn-helmeted Viking prototype with war hammer, and again to a muscular demi-god clad in a lions skin; Another Norse appearing figure with flaming hair appeared, to shift into a cartoonish coyote, then briefly to a man with a coyote head. Other brief glimpses flickered about the node, a woman, owl on her shoulder; nine young girls, dancing and singing; more and more, faster and faster.***

"And BEHOLD!" cried the largest Engram...and a vision appears of a young child at a breakfast table...whose mother had just poured the morning portion of bosjuice over his frozztyflakes. With a puzzled look he says, "But they DON'T say "Mickey,Mickey,Minnie" at all! It sounds more like , oh a crackle, snappy, popping sound!"


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