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BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4

Amos 27 May 00 - 11:57 PM
Mbo 27 May 00 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 27 May 00 - 04:30 PM
JenEllen 27 May 00 - 02:39 PM
wysiwyg 27 May 00 - 10:59 AM
wysiwyg 27 May 00 - 10:56 AM
Amos 26 May 00 - 03:37 PM
Mbo 26 May 00 - 01:28 PM
wysiwyg 26 May 00 - 01:12 PM
wysiwyg 26 May 00 - 01:01 PM
JenEllen 26 May 00 - 03:41 AM
wysiwyg 26 May 00 - 03:28 AM
Lonesome EJ 26 May 00 - 03:24 AM
Lonesome EJ 26 May 00 - 02:58 AM
JenEllen 26 May 00 - 02:55 AM
wysiwyg 26 May 00 - 02:22 AM
Amos 25 May 00 - 09:54 PM
JenEllen 25 May 00 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 25 May 00 - 06:25 PM
JenEllen 25 May 00 - 05:46 PM
JenEllen 25 May 00 - 05:26 PM
MMario 25 May 00 - 03:24 PM
Amos 25 May 00 - 11:18 AM
JenEllen 25 May 00 - 03:36 AM
MMario 24 May 00 - 03:28 PM
Mbo 24 May 00 - 12:02 PM
Amos 24 May 00 - 11:28 AM
Amos 24 May 00 - 01:33 AM
MMario 23 May 00 - 11:39 AM
MMario 23 May 00 - 10:52 AM
Peter T. 23 May 00 - 09:42 AM
Amos 23 May 00 - 01:27 AM
wysiwyg 22 May 00 - 02:25 PM
JenEllen 22 May 00 - 01:57 AM
JenEllen 22 May 00 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Peter T. 21 May 00 - 10:11 AM
Peter T. 21 May 00 - 09:14 AM
JenEllen 21 May 00 - 03:13 AM
wysiwyg 21 May 00 - 12:43 AM
Amos 21 May 00 - 12:39 AM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 09:55 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 09:50 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 08:24 PM
Amos 20 May 00 - 08:22 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 08:11 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 May 00 - 08:10 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 08:05 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 07:57 PM
Peter T. 20 May 00 - 07:48 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 07:36 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 27 May 00 - 11:57 PM

This concludes Part Four and leads to Part Five of this amazing story.  Part Five is over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 27 May 00 - 10:49 PM

Amos, Lt.Mbo works for Section 31, a top secret and unsanctioned organization attached to Starfleet. Up until recently, it was a complete secret. But they have been around since the beginning of Starfleet. No one has any control over what they do, kinda like the CIA with an attitude!
Oh no, the Sugah Dog! Alternate timelines are beginning to crop up in subspace!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 27 May 00 - 04:30 PM

Late in the afternoon, after the excitement had died down, Boukey sat down once more with the Elder and his son, the Terran. He said, apologetically:

"I am sorry this is so fragmentary. I am driven to tell it more and more as more and more of it comes back to me. Because I think there is something at work behind this that is coming toward you."

The Elder nodded. "Yes, the first attack was a feint, or a miscalculation. Everything you have said so far, and what we know ourselves suggest that there is a deep subtlety at work behind the overt activities of a crew of clumsy minions. It was far too obvious, far too brutal. "

Boukey looked at him. "What do you think then?"

The Elder weighed the situation, and then said, "I think that you discovered on at least Borhgillai or by the time you reached Margarnagarr that the whole Cosmic Disney Corp empire rested, not on the Root of Title, but on an Original Lie that they seeded into the minds and culture of the Earth remnant, and made it look as if they saved the Earth, when really they doomed it. And that if that were discovered, the whole enterprise would collapse. And the little shards and threads of evidence you gleaned from the remnants were enough to convince you, and lead you to us."

""Yes," said Boukey, "That is what I found."

The Elder said. "What puzzles me is why they have not struck again. What are they waiting for?"

"Well," Boukey replied. "One thing. Should anything happen to me, all I know will be made available to my Father, the Federation President, by a prearranged signal. That is what I did, the last thing before setting out for Tern on the Enterprise. And I sent a copy of that threat to Her Disney Herself, Cruella de Villeneuve. I believe that is why she has held off simply destroying this planet, given that they have the physical power to do so. "

The Elder frowned and said: "No, it cannot be as easy as that. I don't mean physically, you are right there: after all they simply have to arrange for the Neezian sun to go supernova. Any idiot can use brute force to wipe out beautiful subtlety. You can always toss acid on a Rembrandt. They have some other game in mind: I assume, for instance, that if they knew about our new discovery, they would create a Terminator process that would exhaust songseeds after a few plays, so the song would die forever unless you paid royalties to Cosmic Disney Corp. And so on. "

Boukey said, "It is clear that they were learning all the time. When I reached Borhgillai, the Library Planet, all the references to Earthsong material had been wiped out of the retrieval system. If it hadn't been for the fact that some librarian in 2300 had done a card catalogue by hand during a one year sunstorm that interfered with all the computer systems, I would not have found anything. As it was, all I found were tantalizing hints about the links of a remnant group to the founding of Holy Demershinnia. It was there that I intended to go next. I did what I could to hide my tracks and traces, and was I believe successful. It helped that Demershinnia was a shrine space -- extremely difficult to do any damage there. Well, I applied for entry, and like all applicants, I was shepherded onto the Anteluna, cleansed and recloaked in pilgrim's garb. After a week, I and many others moved into the pilgrim ships, full of Dermershinnian hymns and psalms, and hope, and descended to the desert planet."

The Elder said: "I have always wished to go there: but Tern is a holy place in its own way too. Like people, a place is known by the quality of its enemies."

Boukey looked around, and replied: "Yes, there are similarities: songs everywhere, but silence as a kind of song too."

They were all silent for a moment, listening to Tern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 27 May 00 - 02:39 PM

The Elder's kitchen overflowed with excited chatter. The Elder sat at the head of the table, with the rest gathered around him. Rosetta and Tuni explained their magnificent discovery to all in attendance.

The Elder looked up just as Farkin filled the doorway, the entire doorway.
"He's gone..." he grumbled to Mandy.

Farkin told her how he had returned to the ship, passing Trid in the hallway. Trid gave him an exaggerated salute and a "Melt ya later, Good Humor Man..." before he turned the corner. Farkin's cabin had been ransacked, and his Ternian travel guides were missing. He had searched the ship and ran the scanners, but Trid and the models were no longer on board.

"That's impossible," cried Tuni, "Carson would never have let him off the ship..."

"Impossible or no, he's not on the ship, he's loose on Tern. I'm going to find him." Farkin grumbled.

At this, Mandy scooted from her seat on the counter. "I'm going with you."

The concerned faces at the table had no Ternly idea....The one and only mission that Farkin and Mandy had with the Federation was in a Mail Order Lingerie Model scam that Trid had dreamed up. Trid had escaped, and Mandy still cringed to think about the thongs....

The twosome walked the streets of Lower Gnagu, the seediest city of Tern. Wharf rats the size of lammbrui covered the piers. The two made the rounds of the taverns, and finally Farkin pointed, "There." Lola's. The tavern was decorated of Lola in her younger days, feathers in her hair, dress cut down to there, she'd been a showgirl.

Trid dozed at a corner, fuggerfruit drool cascading down his chin. The lingerie models scattered at the first sight of the pair. Mandy took a deep breath, and pressed up behind Trid. She exhaled in a throaty growl.
"Trid baby.." she purred as she ran her long fingers up the length of his schleeber, "Long time no see..."

Trid woke with a smile that froze on his face as soon as he turned. Instant sobriety.
"Aw fugggggg..if it ain't the Hydroponic Harlot and her pet Sno-Cone..."

The three sat in stony silence, Trid glaring at the pair across from him. Farkin Finally spoke. "What do you think you're doing Trid, you know you can't get off the planet without us.."
Mandy broke in impatiently, "And just where is Catspaw? You two are nothing but trouble. You might as well tell us, you aren't leaving.."
"And who is working with you? Captain Caitrin would love to know, I'm sure..."

Trid laughed, not a trace of fear. These two were nothing to him. They had no Federation to protect them, and all that resided on Tern were old folks and half-wits. He started to smoke, offering to both Mandy and Farkin. Farkin only crossed his arms and glared. Mandy took the offered 'rillo and lit it. She puffed lazily, sizing up Trid through the smoke.

With this simple gesture, the first trace of concern crossed Trid's face. Mandy twirled the table knife in her free hand.
"You could hold him, Farkin, a little slice and tuck and that schleeber would be a door-stop..."

Trid paled, something told him that she'd have no trouble doing him bodily harm. He should have killed them years ago when he'd had the chance. He watched the two leave his table, and finally Lola's bar. They were protecting something, he knew it, but what? Time for him to call in some favors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 May 00 - 10:59 AM

sorry, this lapopt can't spiel two gude cuz the screen so faint


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 May 00 - 10:56 AM

Sugar Dog woke with a start. Still no Trid. She ran her thoughts back down their pathways, looking for a reason he had not yet appeared.... back... back... oh yes... she had been napping at the Tavern 2... and dreamed a fabulous dream, of cabbages and kings, and a ship called the Enterprise...

"Thass it!" she yelped. "Ah reckon Ah fergot tuh tell dat Tridster Ah had dreamed him uh all-new ship! Ah fergot dem peeples ain't always plugged intuh dem alternate realities!" She yippled in glee, rolling on the floor and shaking with amusement until her sweet Sugar Dog ass nearly dematerialized. "Ole Trid can git back tuh star-trippin' an' doan know it yet! Oh lawd, Lawd, Lawsamussy, but wait till he find out dis ship only kin do certain missions! Ooo, ooo, EE!"

Trit-trotting to tne communications section, she focused her attention on the young agent at the controls. Suddenly Agent Mbo began to tap a message.... to Billy the Trid... as Suagr Dog sat back on her haunches, grinning from ear to silky ear, tail thumping in smug pleasure.

As he pushed SEND, Agent Mbo turned and SAW her, a grin breaking over his features. "Sooz!" he trilled. "Now that we are working together....!"

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 26 May 00 - 03:37 PM

Wow, wow, wow. Jen and Sooze are fire on the mountain, and Leej is dancing on the Aurora Borealis like Fred Astaire in the rain. What a crew. Nice choon, too, Mbo... are you tipping your hand here? Who DO you work for, anyway? *BG*

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:28 PM

There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger
With every move he makes, another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man! Secret agent man!

(They've) given you a number and taken 'way your name
Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
h, be carefull what you say, you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man! Secret agent man!

Swinging on the Enterprise one day
And then laying in the Showdown 4000 next day
Ah, know you let the wrong word slip, while kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret agent man! Secret agent man!

Secret a-a-a agent man!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:12 PM

.... She hummed softly to herself, but thoughtforms with subtitles coould be seen above her golden head:


WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A TRIDSTER PIRATE?

What shall we do with a drunken pirate?
What shall we do with a drunken pirate?
What shall we do with a drunken pirate?
Earl-eye in the evening?
Set him up with babes and blow his socks off!
Set him up with babes and blow his socks off!
Set him up with babes and blow his socks off!
Earl-eye in the evening!

What shall we do with a hungover pirate?
What shall we do with a hungover pirate?
What shall we do with a hungover pirate?
Earl-eye in the morning?

Send him a Sugar Dog to love him up gently...
Send him a Sugar Dog to love him up gently...
Send him a Sugar Dog to love him up gently...
Earl-eye in the morning!

What shall we do if the pirate's not willing?
What shall we do if the pirate's not willing?
What shall we do if the pirate's not willing?
Earl-eye in the morning?

Wrassle and tussle and lick him all over!
Wrassle and tussle and lick him all over!
Wrassle and tussle and lick him all over!
Earl-eye in the morning!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:01 PM

Back on the Trid's ship, an energy emanation shimmered briefly. From its fast-dissipating field stepped a golden, furry creature with twinkling chocolate eyes and a pure sugar-plum, kiss-blowing heart.

Sugar Dog looked around and saw only a skeleton crew keeping watch. No one saw her. "Huh!" she said, "No Sugar Dog Man here! Guess the Trid is off on a toot. Ah reckon Ah better ready up his recovery chamber, won't he be surprised when Sugar Dog be here to welcome his surly ass home, all hung over!" Trotting off to the recliner room, she shook her head in bemused affection, silky ears shimmering could they but have been seen.

After making preparations, she settled down to wait. Would Billy have picked up a terminal case of the red-ass? No matter-- she'd deal with it!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 26 May 00 - 03:41 AM

Welcome back Leej, pull up a spare chair for that wonderous schleeber o'yourn and join the party!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 May 00 - 03:28 AM

Big Guys, may-ay cry-eye-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys... may-ay cry-aye (they may cry)

Mourn their worlds (humankind, to be so cruel)
Mourn their worlds (broken dreams, the hearts of fools)
Mourn their worlds (love submerged beneath the rules)--
Big Guys, with Big-Guy tools!

Big Guys, may-ay cry-eye-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys... may-ay cry-aye (they may cry)

Silly worlds (silly worlds, your songs were gone)
Silly worlds (thought the silence would go on)
Silly worlds (didn't know the day would come)--
Big Guys would plant new songs!

Big Guys, may-ay cry-eye-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys... may-ay cry-aye (they may cry)

Tell the worlds (near and far, they wait to know)
Tell the worlds (stock supplies, and off we'll go)
Tell the worlds (tell them all, it's really so)--
Big Guys' tears their songs will grow!

Big Guys, may-ay cry-eye-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys... may-ay cry-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys, may-ay cry-eye-aye (they may cry)
Big Guys... may-ay cry-aye (they may cry)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 May 00 - 03:24 AM

The Trid had been drinking since he got off the ship...well, actually, since he and Catspaw had finished the third pitcher of Frozen Strawberry Gargleblasters. He was stumbling down a darkened street in a remote section of Tern the wasn't mentioned in the Michelin Guide he had borrowed from Farkin. In fact, he wondered, where the hell did I leave that damn guide...probably at the Saturn-Nail-Ya, the low-life dive that the book had described as "a quaint and immaculate taste of Old Saturn. Try the Mungh Clusters!" Well, he was too loaded to use it now anyway. He stood still at a corner, trying to get his bearings. Suddenly, he was relieved to feel a familiar vibration in his schleeber. At certain times of great inebriety or mental indecision, he found his schleeber possessed nearly flawless navigation instincts, somewhat like a dousing rod. He had long ago discovered that at these times it made no sense to ignore it. Now it led him down a twisting alley toward an illuminated pub called the Jovian Goiter, into which he swept, schleeber forward. His three eyes bugged out in amazement: there at the bar sat a disconsolate Cartoosh, surrounded by five even more inconsoleable lingerie models."Billy!" they shouted in unison.

" Hello Girls!" the Trid laughed, "Daddy's home!" and the models scampered to him. "Oh, Captain," declared the Arachnoid Robot," you are as a lighthouse whose beams, once faint, suddenly spring up and..." The Trid turned to him with a scowl, saying "Shut your snapping mandibles, ye tin tarantula! Spare me yer lame similes and fetch me Fuggerfruit in copious quantities! I'm BACK!!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 May 00 - 02:58 AM

Good God, you people are on fire! I still expect royalties when you sell the rights, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 26 May 00 - 02:55 AM

The morning rose cool and clear through the kitchen window. Smells of baking bread and the humming of the planets. The Gaia and Luna busied themselves with the daily regimen of running the Elder's home, but the peace of the kitchen did little to appease the turmoil in the maiden's mind.

Gazing out the window, she watched the Elder cross the courtyard and follow the trail to the shore road. The past few days had sent his world head over heels, it followed him with all of the tenacity of a SongStealer. Dark shadow with limitless reach. He walked among the lush greenery, but the vision was lost on him. He stared solidly at his feet, willing them to walk, carry him further on, as if his answer were to lay just over the dunes.

Mandy puzzled to herself, she hadn't heard him leave. Where was everyone? She slipped from the kitchen in time to see Farkin pull the pin on the front door. His duties on the Enterprise didn't allow him the luxury of unending shore leave, but he gave the girl a silent nod towards the ladder in the corner of the room before he pulled the door closed behind him.

The Elder's loft sat atop the house, the roof precariously perched on a few slender poles, as garish as any derby day bonnet. Walls non-exhistent, the warming air danced through the structure, whirling a few stray leaves in it's frenzy. Boukey slept peacefully near one of the center poles.
"His color is coming back." Mandy thought to herself as she crept forward. To see his pale being replaced by the greens of spring warmed the maiden's heart.

She knelt at his bedhead and gently touched his shoulder. The Green Man's eyes opened instantly, but it was a few seconds before recognition returned to them.
"They've gone," she whispered, "I saw the Elder walk towards the shore, and Farkin left to check on the ship, but no one has seen the Terran all morning.."

The dreams had left their mark on his memory, and Boukey was eager to find the Elder. The two quickly climbed down the ladder. Boukey, barely patient enough for the water to boil, much less wait for breakfast, grudgingly drank the strong mug of mint tea that the girl forced on him. He started to refuse, but the girl gave him a look that stated simply enough that he'd drink it and like it. She did, however, do a fair job of fending off the two housekeepers, he thought. With his strength returning just a little bit, he smiled.

When he'd finished the concoction down to the leaves, the two started out for the shore. Mandy walked steadily ahead, stopping occasionally to turn and wait for the Green Man. The shadows clung tighter about him than they did the Elder, and he fought his way along the trail as if he were mired in quicksand. Finally, her tending nature won out over her impatience to find the others. She went back along the trail and lightly grasped his hand.

As they reached the top of the first rise, Mandy saw the Terran and the Elder grouped together with a strange round creature and the tall man from the library. Mandy started to wave a hello, but the Terran saw them and ran back along the trail. He met the pair, his arms outstretched, and swept the girl off of her feet.
"It worked! It worked! It WORKED!" he cried as he spun her around. Just as quickly, he grabbed her free hand and pulled the pair up the hill. The round man, a lab researcher as it were, explained to the pair the magnificence of this discovery.

Seeds of Song, the simplicity of it amazed the Mandolan gardener down to her toes. The plants, interconnected, made a matrix unrivaled anywhere, yet each individual plant remained responsible for it's own song. With careful culitvation, each seedling could be transported to any spot in the universe. Tiny planets, marred by the Eisnerian Empire, could once again have song. Her heart raced inside her chest. She gave a gentle squeeze to the Green Man's hand and gazed up at him hopefully, but all around him knew that the shadows lingered with him still.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 May 00 - 02:22 AM

I'll sing you a song,
It won't take too long.
I'll sing it high...
I'll sing it strong.
Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.

Oh I've got a secret
That I now may tell.
I came from heaven
In a split pea shell.
Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.

First star on the left
Early in the morn.
Prettiest sight seen since the day
When love was born.
Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.

For love of the music
I came to be.
For love of the words and thoughts you'll sing
I'm in harmony!
Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.

Now if you're a singer,
And you'd like a song.
Just shed a tear upon this seed--
Grow it high and strong.
Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.

Oh-o-oh, Lordy me,
Didn't we shake, sugareee,
Everything I love, I love in song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 25 May 00 - 09:54 PM

As morning painted the treetops a lighter shade of green on the rolling hills, the Elder rose from his rest and left the house, and walked long along the dappled shore road, smelling salt water and tasting fresh air. The narrow earth road took him along a stretch of road, lined by patches of seasand amidst reddish swaths of time-flattened rocks and traces of drift wood on his left as he walked toward the sunrise. On his right a gentle sloping meadfow gave way to a stand of tall berrybush, and then to a grove of sturdy trees. He paused, reflecting on the beauty of the forest, and the wonderful essences that touched his spirit whenever he bent his mind to the wonderous traceries of the forest network. He felt a tingling and a soft scraping at his boot top and looked down, startled from his revery. A lithe green-leaved vine had extended out from the brush at the forest edge, and growing unnaturally fast was now wrapped firmly around his leg below the knee, unshakeably secured around the high polished brown boot top.

Startled, but only slightly, the Elder tested, gently, and judged he was a secure prisoner, for whatever reason the brush held. He composed himself, in a mode of inner peace and unbounded patience that only those who have touched the minds of the Plantiarch hierarchy can know. And as he knew would occur, in due course the moment reached its fulness, as the young Terran, accompanied by the man known as Cornucopia and a round and short fellow with very large eyes, no hairline and a very wrinkled brow came put from under the branches, following a faint trail that faded off into the woods toward the higher inland hills.

"Sorry for the cellulose page," said the bright-eyed son. Irwin has finally cracked one of our toughest problems. We thought you would want to know immediately. Show him, Irwin!".

The rotund little scientist stepped forward carrying a simple polished hardwood board, and a large wooden planting bowl in which a young plantlet stood sturdily.

Step over here in the sunlight," he said respectfully. The Elder found that he was now unleashed, and untangled his foot to step across toward the sea side of the road, which was now in full light.

"You see, Sir, we knew we had to solve this. And there were many among us who were convinved it was impossible, that the species boundary layer would not possibly adapt to so ideosyncratic a phenomenon as an alphabet. But some of had been trained in post-Neumannian cogntive layers analysis, and we knew that we could find some way across the specietal wall if only we could grok the coding impulse on the other side a little more deeply. Then your son here remembered the girl from the Enterprise nursery and how she had related to the plants in that environment. So we used our tendril-work to penetrate their cellular and metacellular morphemic field structures, and that was the key. After we had them traced it was simply a matter of retrogressing the morphemics back through the chlorophonemic matrices we already hasd, and we had it. I didn't do it all myself, of course. My lab assistant helped me. I couldn't have done it without Rosetta -- in fact most of the important ideas were hers."

The Elder nodded quickly, showing the young scientist that he was not interested in his oral dissertation. The young geek turned to the Terran and recieved from him a parchment, carefully hand-lettered by some long forgotten archivist.

The Elder saw as the roly-poly geek turned back to him that the parchment was none other than the ancient ballad from the Warnerian epoch, just before the first advent of the barbarians had begun, known as Unreconstructed Rebel, and in the way of all Ternians, he was irresistibly swept up for a moment in the memory of a gravelly voice, an ancient hand-made mountain banjo, and the indelible closing phrases:

An' I will not ask for pardon,
Fer what Ah done or am,
...An' I won't be Reconstructed,
An' I DO not give a DAMN."

A faint smile crossed his lined face as his attention returned to the moment and the sweating, enthusiastic young researcher. The youth was holding the finely lettered parchment above the bowl and its sturdy sapling, directly in line with the sunlight and parallel to the ground. As the Elder watched, the plant stirred, its curvaceous branchlets stretching and lengthening in different directions; the leaves of the plant, unlike any the Elder had seen, were broad, flat and oval and crisscrossed with a fine mesh of tiny lines where the cells formed microscopic ridges in long narrow straight grids across the leaf face. Toward, and then touching the ancient papyrus, the leaflets extended on their unfurled branchings and moved slowly, brushing across the paper where the muted glow of Neezian light hitting the upper side made the fine copperplate characters stand out in stark contrast. The brushing and quivering of the leaflets contunued across the whole width and height of the papyrus.

And as suddenly as it had begun, the leaves calmed, the narrow green arms returned to their close-curved configuration around the main stalk if the plant, and all was still. The Elder looked up quizzically, unsure what he had seen, one eyebrow raised imperiously toward the grinning and somewhat fatuously triumphant lab researcher.

"Don't you SEE??" the youth demanded. "Look!! Look!!! Here!!!" And he reached under the junction of the plant's first branch and released a tiny pale lens-shaped seed, smaller than one of his own eyelashes, still moist from the generating processes hidden in the small plant's deepest psyche. "It's HERE!!! The SONG IS HERE!!!!".


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 25 May 00 - 06:47 PM

Nice save Peter, beautiful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 25 May 00 - 06:25 PM

"Waal,"said CallioPetey Jack, after he had set down his cup of coffee, "Suppose you tell me what you'all are doin' down here. I sure hope you are going to end up better than the last fella."

I frowned. "You mean the man who recorded you for DisneyGolden Records?"

"Yeah,"said Jack, picking up his 24 string so he could think better. "Nice enough fella, very strange though. When I come to think of it, I think he was out of his depth."

I looked at Sharazade and then I said: "Yes. His name was Thaddeus Lomax, and from what I can gather, he thought that he had been hired to find original blues and folk people, linked to Earth remnants, such as yourself. And then something happened."

At that exact moment, Sharazade later told me, she thought for a moment that Dorf was inside the house moving around, and then realized that she was mistaken -- Dorf was out among her vegetables, weeding 50 yards away.

"Sure," said Jack, "I mean, none of us ever really expected it would go anywhere. It was kind of fun though. Quite a picture. He rented a room in Destarlillo and sent out word that he was recording local talent for DisneyGolden. Among all the riffraff, there was at one time sitting outside the makeshift recording studio, the whole range of us -- there was the Reverend Clove Cerillas, Betthie "Make it 21 Fingers" Raxxandall, and Toulouse McMcTrelawney. How's that for your hot lineup?"

Boukey smiled wearily: "The Destarlillo Sessions. And you were the cream."

Jack swirled along the frets of his guitar, catscradling unheard of chordal patterns: "Spilt milk, more like it."

Sharazade looked quizzically at me. On an impulse, I took her hand, and held it tightly.

I said: "A week after the records were released, Thaddeus Lomax was dismissed from DisneyGolden Records, the label was disbanded, the masters were destroyed. A year later he was found to have committed suicide on the new planet Trascedaria, when it was still just casinos. Before it closed in completely." Sharazade shuddered as if a cold wind had come over the hot Destarlillo afternoon.

I turned again to Jack, who kept playing. "But nothing happened to you."

"Well," said Jack, "People down here have some experience with government trouble. The sheriff, poker playing buddy of mine -- has a tendency to rub his eyes when he gets a straight or better -- let me know down the vine that some Feds were talking around after me. So I went hunting for about 10 years. That's when I met up with Dorf in the marsh country. It was one evening, when I saw her coming along the road, easily as beautiful as this young peach here. I asked her if she knew of any accommodation, seeing as if it weren't for the alligators, I would have slept out in the woods. "

I smiled and said: "Did she have another lover?"

Jack said, and he looked over at the wizened old creature pottering around: "Oh sure, but I played him out of there pretty fast. If you go to sea and leave a woman like that sitting around, you are askin' for a fast-talkin' Calliokan man to come around. Askin' for it."

"So anyway," he continued, accomanying himself with a little lick or two, somewhat reminiscent of variations on Goedel's Theorem in G, "then we moved back here when the coast was clear, and ain't heard nothing since."

I said: "Well, you should know, Jack, that those 3 records are revered across the cosmos. The few original copies that remain are not only totally illegal, but worth untold sums. I have been told that a copy of "Cosmos Train" was traded for a planetary system in Cygnus some years ago by the President of the Cygnian Province himself."

Jack strummed a few of the simple, but completely impossible opening chords of Cosmos Train, and looked me straight in the face. "Don't quite know what I would do with a planetary system, but....I tell you, Mr. Greenskin, Bouquet of Flowers, or whatever your name is, that I trust you. I don't know why, but I do. Probably the peach beside you has something to do with it. I'll tell you what I think -- don't tell Dorf I told you this, she would kill me, which would be far worse than anything any Federation types could do to me, believe it. I think --"

I thought I saw a shadow stirring in the house. Dog?

"I think it was this. You remember how in Callioken Blues, there is that little piece about the mouse."

"Yes," I said, "Of course. Mousehole."

"Well, I don't mean to be crude, but that was not the original word. Ladies present. He made me change it. Lomax did. And I said why. And he said, because it is obscene. And I said, have you listened to "Cosmos Train"? And Lomax said to me, very quietly, and I quote: 'There has to be some reference to Disney in the song, and this is as close as I can get without wrecking the original.'"

"Now," said Jack, "What do you think of that?"

I sat upright, absolutely still. I said, very quietly: "Do you know any other Earth songs without anything referring to Disney in it?"

And Jack smiled and shook his head: "Hundreds, thousands. I don't know hardly any with Disney in them. Never learned them that way."

At that moment, Jack's blorghound, that had been sitting at our feet, suddenly leapt to its feet and hurled itself past us into the house beyond.

"What the hell --" cried Jack.

And then there was this incredible howling and gnashing of teeth, and the blorghound had something, there was barking and yelling, and we jumped into the darkened house, and saw the dog leap out of a back window after a shapeshifting shadow that plunged into the nearby patch of trees, followed by the blorghound.

Sharazade screamed, and screamed, and I held her in my arms, and Jack and Dorf came around us, and eventually we calmed her down. Dorf sat beside her on a tumbled bed in the backroom, and we left the two of them alone. Jack and I came out front.

"Did you get a look at him?" I said.

Jack shrugged his shoulders. "He looked kinda like a giant muskrat. Or a rat, period. A Mouskrat."

I said: "I am sorry I have brought this to you and your wife. I cannot understand how we were followed down the open road. I am worried for you. "

Jack sat down, and picked up his guitar again. "Son, I wouldn't worry none about Dorf and I. I would worry about that Mouskrat. Once my blorghound gets that taste in his mouth, don't matter what kind of critter it is. He is gone." He strummed a bit. "But you are on to something, ain't you?"

I replied: "You have confirmed something I heard on Polgar. But I don't yet know why there is this discrepancy, and why it is so dangerous. It has something to do with the Earth remnant. I need to get some evidence from another, a different remnant group before I can trace this all the way back. You are at least 250 years from the source."

Jack looked into the house. "Would you like to leave her here with us for a time?"

I had not thought of that. "Could you look after her? She is so troubled after what happened to her on Polgar. Today hasn't helped. There is something after her -- or us, or me."

Jack said: "Well, my wife has taken a liking to her - I can tell, in spite of her fits of grumbling. We're pretty ancient, but we could help her -- hell, she could help us around here."

I paused, thinking. The little old man smiled: "And I swear off playing any hot love songs while she is under our roof. It'll be tough, but I'll do it."

I was so worried, that I didn't know what to do. And then, around a corner, mouth full of something that looked like a chunk of shadow, the blorghound reappeared. He had a sparkle in his eye.

"Well," said Jack, "No more Mouskrat."

And so I decided to leave her on Calliokeh, for a time. I spent the rest of the waning day, and most of the night recording Calliopetey Jack tunes. And in the morning, Sharazade and I sat on the beat up old porch sofa, and I told her that I was going on to Borhghillai, and once I had what I needed, I would come back. She said nothing -- for she had gone back into the silent place. And it worked out well. Jack got her out of herself, fast enough, and no shadows returned. Then. And --" And at this point he stopped, and looked around. It was deep night on Tern. The Elder rose and said: "Let us continue in the morning". The company of listeners, already unaccountably missing Mandy, dispersed to their rooms. Boukey lay in his bed, and it was a long time before he fell asleep, the sounds of a mournful slide guitar in his ears -- a Walking Blues that accompanied him down the road from Jack's guitar, as he began his walk back towards Destarlillo Town from CallioPetey Jack's that distant day, so far away, so long gone. In his mind, he replayed the last sight of the strange threesome, perched in the late morning sun -- Jack, working the slide guitar, Dorf brushing Sharazade's hair, and Sharazade herself, sitting on the edge of the porch, occasionally waving gently at him until he passed out of view. And into sleep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 25 May 00 - 05:46 PM

I'm not kidding.....

I'll do it.....

Glitter, and sunshine, and fluffy kittens with big round eyes.....

Don't make me do it.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 25 May 00 - 05:26 PM

All right fellas....ROTFLMAO...NNgram and skipper of the S.S Meatball....get to writing before I have all of your characters in an intergalactic group hug followed by everyone going out together for slurpees...

~Elle


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: MMario
Date: 25 May 00 - 03:24 PM

*totaly unrelated scenario* Engram in the likeness of Olive Oyl staring at the Ice giant, overdubbed with a soulful rendition of "He's LARGE"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 25 May 00 - 11:18 AM

Ah, Jen, beautiful...ya pulls me heart strings, honest ye does. Argh, argh, argh! Love, Popeye


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 25 May 00 - 03:36 AM

Mandy woke, bathed in a pool of sunshine, oblivious to the Engrams envelopment of the silken threads of universal conscience. The opened window shutters gave free passage to light and wind that had been washed clean in the rain. She rubbed her eyes and gathered herself in the silence of the house, her only company in the small lammbrui who sat solidly by the door. She let the creature out, and marveled for a moment at the activity going on in the courtyard just outside the door. A group of Ternian men gathering nets and heading for the piers.

The Elder's hostel was silent save for the muffled notes of the wooden chimes hanging just outside the door. She walked through the twisted halls, searching the rooms, and stopped briefly outside the furthest door. Entering, she found veritable chaos. All sorts of Ternian scholars swarmed the shelves of recordings. Icteric little people who devoted their lives to the care of the treasures in this room. In the center of the room stood a tall man, apparently perfoming musical triage.

"These go now, those can wait, these now, those..bottom of the pile..." barked a tired Cornucopia. Vigilant, he monitored the Ternians in the library.

Mandy walked to the small 'bottom of the pile' area, and grasped the outermost of the recordings. 'Kaalufa--Live at the Sands', with a red faced blob on the cover. She placed it on the player and gasped at the first strains of supposed melody that escaped.

'And if an old friend I know
Should smile and say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes..'

She pulled it from the player with a look akin to someone sniffing the outdated Niposian Goat milk in the cantina. She wasn't sure what the tall man's criteria for bottom of the pile was before, but she could surely trust his judgement now.

"There you are, dear" came a voice from behind her. She turned to see one of her toothless benefactresses beaming in the doorway.
"Come, come, come." And with gestures more suited to herding chickens, she guided Mandy back out to the center of the Elder's home.

They seated her, and chattering all the while, began to fix her a breakfast of a buttery hot cereal that Mandy devoured gratefully. The two women buzzed about the small kitchen. The larger, a solid Gaia, and the smaller, a timid Luna that revolved around her in a flurry.

The women, ever gracious, allowed Mandy to finish her repast before beginning their maternal assault. Gaia warmed to her, it had been so long since there were any young women in this house. Luna sat perched on a stool shelling vegetable pods, talking while Gaia recovered the albums. Wooden placards, attached with a ring, showed etchings of the Ternians.

Gaia blew the dust off a cracked, ancient looking stack and bade Mandy come closer.

"This was us, you know, on a day just like today. Sun shining, and the men going out to sea. She and I both had husbands that went to the water. Those were the days, dear."

Luna chimed in, "We would sing in the evenings when they came home. They would mend their nets, and us two old women would dance and sing...remember that one they loved? That was their favorite..."

Gaia's eyes sparkled with delight as she simultaneously grabbed a dishtowel from the rack and spun Luna from her stool. Mandy sat in awe at the transformation taking place before her. Tired feet dancing sprightly on the hard wood of the floor and two voices in harmony.

'Some day he'll be a captain bold
With a brave and a gallant crew
Some day he'll be a captain bold
With a sword and spyglass too
And when he has the gallant captain's sword
He'll come home and marry me, marry me
He'll come home and marry me'

The two women collaped in their chairs, giggling like teenagers, until their eyes came to rest on the next set of etchings. The family of the Elder.

"The twins were so lovely," said Gaia, "you'd not know it now, but once this house rang with all of the noise that children make."

The first of the etchings showed a tired looking woman and her midwife, holding two howling babes. The others followed the two children, a boy and a girl, through various stages of toddler-hood, the mother looking tired for entirely different reasons now, and then the etchings stopped.

"She was taken from us, you know." spoke a teary Luna. "Stolen from us. They came, and they took our beautiful girl."

Mandy had seen the same tortured look in the eyes of the Green Man. Their loss was one and the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 03:28 PM

he ended up, for a fleeting second, in this reality from which he luckily rebounded into his purple recliner with no ill effects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 24 May 00 - 12:02 PM

Lt.Mbo let go a sigh of relief. He had finally finished the report on the hidden ship and the stastitived Mouse. He silently wished that Sloan was there to see him now. He had been a kinda of mentor to Mbo, always urged him on when the rest of 31 was against him. How long had it been? Almost a year now since Sloan committed suicide to keep The Dominion from discovering the 31-engineered virus that was killing the Founders. He had died for the cause, but Mbo wished he could have avoided it...this was the kind of mission he'd love.

Suddenly, without warning, the Lieutenant's musidisk player began acting very strangely. Hmmph, crummy replicator needs a good depolarization, he though. His disk holding all 16 ELO albums started skipping around like mad...he tried to shut it off, but it would not comply! It finally stopped on "Fire On High", but started playing backwards.....which of course played the backwards masking forwards...the voice screamed at him "THE MUSIC IS REVERSABLE, BUT TIME IS NOT!!!! TERN BACK TERN BACK TERN BACK....." then it skipped to another track, blasting "Tern to stone, when you are gone, I Tern to stone..." He felt as if someone was trying to tell him something....

Overtop of the music came a sharp hissing, like an open comm channel....he checked his console...yes, someone was trying to get through!

Then a deep voice spoke to him.

Greetings, Lieutenant, or should I say Agent Mbo! You do not know us, but we know you, and we want to help you. It seems you have in your possession, well...a certain Mouse that we require. Don't try to fool us, we know about the data rod, the Showdown 4000 nad the Mouse...don't deny it.

Who are you? The stranger should identify himself, said Mbo.

We do not usually reveal that information, but we have had tabs on you for a long time, and we know you can be trusted. We are the Tern Mousquis. We have been persecuted in the past, but now we are strong, strong. We are committed to saving the universe from the evil influence of that, that, vermin. Speaking to you now is Horace Horsecollar, head of Mousquis Security. With me is my Commander, Peg Leg Pete, and our Weapons Acquisition Officer, Monterrey Jack. We would like to meet with you, at our compound deep below the Ternian sod.

Well, I'd have to clear it with Commander--Agent LaFarge, and Captain-in-Chief Barky first, Mbo said.

Ahh yes. We know of then too, and both can be trusted. Be at the ready, we will initiate a site-to-site transport to our coordinates when the time is right. Bring any and all information you have gleaned from the Mouse, the Ups & Downs and Captains Braxton & Caitrin. We have it from good sources, and we have many, believe us, that Braxton once worked at the Mons Teneris Disney theme park before becoming the commander of the Relativity. Captain Caitrin may have some small part in it too. We understand she attended Starfleet Academy with you? Bring all info on her too. Do it for the safety of the universe, do it for Section 31, do it for Sloan, do it for your Captain. Horsecollar out.

Lt.Mbo sat back in amazement. Better get the report to Captain Barky and LaFarge, and get busy on digging up bones, he thought.

3 hourse later he was sitting on his purple recliner in his quarters on Deck 47. Another so-called "Lay-Z-Boy" design he had discovered. All his information was downloaded into the experimental Mk.X PADD. Loads of memory! He grasped that handle in the hand, while staring lackadazically at his Gold and Grey uniform. One thing the Fleet did have, and that was comfortable fatigues. Quite unlike 31's standard black leather. He waited. And waited. And waited. Suddenly he was aware of a strange change in the air around him, and he felt himself being pulled in a direction he didn't know existed....

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:28 AM

Life encodes.

There is enough information in a small but living cell to generate the entire structural map of the universe's most complex, adaptable and powerful organism: the thinking citizen. There is no system in any of the Galaxies to match it for its capacity to discern the good from the bad, the genuine from the tawdry, and in its best variants, even sort the true from the false. All our greatest decisions, most world-helping designs, our most shattering insights have come from the warm center of this single amazing invention; and all its architecture can be held in a space smaller than the tip of a tendril of a branch of a single morning glory.

As another day of calm came and went, the widely distributed young men and women of Tern were busy. In sites throughout the wild rolling forests, along the pleasant coasts of the great Ternian Sea, and here and there among the fair rolling steps of the Ternian Highlands, they built their stations -- often starting with natural tunnels, or caves, and expanding on them to build large underground spaces.

Across the breadth of the planet's far side, dotted only by farm villages and gentle country roads, fishing villages and an occasional temple of song, or research out post, or artisan's center, and all through the mighty forests, the Ternian human agency was at work building notes to the root network under her verdant surface. As each subterranean site was formed, craftsmen's wagons would arrive to deliver finely formed complex structures of bolewood, with live rootlets emerging from the sides of it, carefully wrapped in moistened sacking. The craft halls across Tern delivered workbenchs and tables and seats, all formed from the hallmark polished dark redwood garnered from the year's fallings in the deep forests. Strangely formed polished wood key-tables, with their own precious root-systems intact and nourished, were brought and planted in each cavernous site. The artisans, guided by scholars from the Institute, carefully placed and nourished the intricately carved bolewood spheres and watched over them as their rootlets found hold in the rich loam, and took place and began stretching cell upon cell, molecule upon molecule into the deep moist soils.

The Root Directory space near the capital had tripled in size since the agent known as Cornucopia had first established his coding office there, and was now lined with a dozen of the beautifully curved and carved living life-stations.

As the nourishing moisture and vitalizing Neezian light came and went upon the surface, so the tendrils and channels connecting these may points grew, hour by hour, finding their way into connections and splitting from their new junctions to form further paths and meetings.

Part by part, celebrating and evolving, the ecosphere of the planet was becoming a single, unified, singing Voice. From the songster bipeds of ancient Earth's blood to the smallest sea-fern in the dark rolling waters of her warm sea, each life-form turning in wisdom to its own natural and most graceful use, the planet Tern was becoming One.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:33 AM

Go, Mario, go! Subvert the Icon! This is inspired counterevolutionary fervor at its best!


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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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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: 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: 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: wysiwyg
Date: 22 May 00 - 02:25 PM


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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: 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: 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: Peter T.
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:14 AM

[Wow]


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 07:36 PM

Go, Peter, go!!!

~S~


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