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200 Years my attempt at writing :D

#26 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 09:59 AM

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 4 2009, 03:56 AM, said:

Lol, so what's the difference between fangirl and regular fan/liking something?

View Postthis, on Oct 3 2009, 11:49 AM, said:

OHYESOHESOHYES!!!! ^^ I can't WAIIIIIIIITTT!!!!
Please post some moooooaaarrrr! :) The suspence is killing me!

:D
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#27 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

Quote

:D

I'm still waiting for a better explanation...
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#28 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 11:31 AM

He's comparing your reaction to everyone else's. Because yours was literally screaming for the story to continue, you're a fangirl. :D
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#29 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 11:37 AM

The best I can put it is a fangirl... gushes... about something. For example, my reaction when I found out about the Myst movie was along the lines of
Click to reveal hidden content
OMGIcan'twait*twitchspazfallsoutofchairlaughingwildly*


Yup.
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#30 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 11:38 AM

Lol, OK, I'm not a fangirl- of anything, really! :D
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#31 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 03:32 PM

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 4 2009, 01:38 PM, said:

Lol, OK, I'm not a fangirl- of anything, really! :)

O rly? :)

Allatwan, on Oct 3 2009, 11:49 AM, said:

OHYESOHESOHYES!!!! ^^ I can't WAIIIIIIIITTT!!!!
Please post some moooooaaarrrr! The suspence is killing me

View PostAllatwan, on Sep 19 2009, 04:52 PM, said:

MEMEMEMEMEMEMMEMMEMEMEMEMEMEMMEEEEE!!!!!:raises hand excitedly!:Loved it and agreed with the author (well, in SOME parts only :D)

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 4 2009, 06:59 AM, said:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


@LT

View PostLostthyme, on Oct 4 2009, 01:37 PM, said:

The best I can put it is a fangirl... gushes... about something. For example, my reaction when I found out about the Myst movie was along the lines of
Click to reveal hidden content
OMGIcan'twait*twitchspazfallsoutofchairlaughingwildly*


Yup.

Haha. I think I remember that.
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#32 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 04:14 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 4 2009, 09:59 AM, said:

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 4 2009, 03:56 AM, said:

Lol, so what's the difference between fangirl and regular fan/liking something?

View Postthis, on Oct 3 2009, 11:49 AM, said:

OHYESOHESOHYES!!!! ^^ I can't WAIIIIIIIITTT!!!!
Please post some moooooaaarrrr! :blink: The suspence is killing me!

:D

:)
[Titanic captain mode]
Ladies and gentlemen! This is your captain speaking! Please remain calm, as we are experiencing difficulties resulting from factors beyond our control. There is no need to panic! I repeat, there is no need to panic! Women and children first!
[/Titanic captain mode]

I think that it's a law of nature that MYSTCommunity threads will ALWAYS go off topic. Not that I mind of course. :)

Anyway, next update should be by next Monday, I promise, or you all can come over to my house and throw tomatoes at me. :tomato:

EDIT: I just realized people are going to think this is an update because it'll say I've posted in the thread, and then it won't be an update. Oh dear... :D
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#33 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 06:15 PM

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 5 2009, 05:14 PM, said:

EDIT: I just realized people are going to think this is an update because it'll say I've posted in the thread, and then it won't be an update. Oh dear... :D


Let me just say that I'm disappointed. Extremely disappointed.

Click to reveal hidden content
Just kidding. We forgive you. :)

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#34 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:10 AM

Yeah, I guess we can forgive you.... captain! XD
@ everyone: That's right, this has gone way off topic! And no Zenoc2, it's just that "sometimes"- OK, I'll admit it- a lot of times- I get over excited over stuff. You should see me offline- it's WORSE. ^^ Let's just say I'm the stereotypical Southener- speak with the hands, get over exited over tiny things and go WAYYYY off into crazy off-topic commentaries. Plz stop me when I do that! It's bad enough I'm like that in real-life, you don't want me to be like that HERE! ^^
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#35 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 11:21 AM

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 6 2009, 03:10 AM, said:

I get over excited over stuff... speak with the hands, get over exited over tiny things and go WAYYYY off into crazy off-topic commentaries...

Yeah, that's sort of the definition of a fangirl. :D :)

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 5 2009, 03:14 PM, said:

EDIT: I just realized people are going to think this is an update because it'll say I've posted in the thread, and then it won't be an update. Oh dear... :)

Yep. That's always so annoying (from both perspectives), because it's always "An update! OOoooh-Nooooo!" There needs to be some way to have the topic note when the story actually gets updated, and when there's just more conversation (or talking about updates and such). Maybe some way to mark a post as "story" (only the first post could do this, maybe? But what about cooperative things?)... anyway, we forgive you.
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#36 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:50 PM

Five

"D'NI-...the discovery of what are now believed to be human remains during the course of expansion projects in the mid 1950's CE (9570's DE) only fueled the D'ni interest in the surface. Despite the several thousand years of isolationist government policy implemented after the Pento War (see above), by 1981 CE (9606 DE) work on a tunnel to the surface began, the official break through occurring on..."
-Encyclopedia Britannica, 2210 edition

Everything was now complete, preparations had been made, only the fateful plunge into the unknown had to be taken. Guildsman Me'erta pondered this as the transport made its way through the tunnel. He, with four others, were to take the fateful plunge; the first of the D'ni to step onto the surface. He, of course, had not been expecting to be one of the four. The Surveyors were not the ones usually called in for exploration. However, because it had been the Surveyors who had built the tunnel, the Council had decided to allow the Surveyors to contribute to the expedition. And so Me'erta had been chosen, along with another Surveyor, Guild Captain Gadren, Sirreh of the Linguists, and Ulam of the Maintainers. They were not to be the first D'ni to see the surface, but that did not matter. As Grand Master Aitrus had said in his speech at the Completion Ceremony, their names would become part of D'ni legend. Me'erta felt slightly sick at the thought.

He glanced around the cabin. Ulam was sitting closest to the door, smoking his pipe. Sirreh was sitting next to Me'erta, fiddling with his communicator. Across from Me'erta was Gadren, who seemed to be the only one who was relaxed. To give him credit, Gadren was the oldest of the four, and the unofficial group leader. He smiled at Me'erta and said, noticing Me'erta's worried look, "Nearly there, I'm sure. Nothing to worry about, we are to just go up, get a sense of the surrounding terrain, and come back as soon as possible."

"What about natives?" Me'erta asked, thinking about the bones in the City Museum. "What are we to do if we meet any?"

"Well, the immediate surrounding area seems to be fairly barren, but if do meet some natives, we have Sirreh, and if all else fails, Ulam can help us out. Besides, I doubt that they would be remotely advanced, so they will probably run away from us or worship us as gods."

Gadren chuckled to himself, and then settled back into his reclining position.

The transport slowed down, and stopped. The four guildsmen stood, slung their packs over their shoulders, exited the cabin.

Guild Master Efanis, grey with age and flanked by Maintainer guards, waited by the pressure door leading to the outside. In the event that the inhabitants of the surface proved to be hostile, large doors had been built into the tunnels, that could all be shut within a minute of any sign of trouble. This door was quite small, despite being the last one before the surface.

Efanis gave a final briefing, reminding the four of their mission, and to use their communicators if they ran into problems. Efanis then turned to one of the guards, who turned a wheel. There was a hiss of hydraulics, and the door split and slid back, revealing the staircase. "At your discretion, men," said Efanis.

Gadren entered the passage first, followed by Me'erta and Sirreh, with Ulam taking up the rear. The staircase went up for about one hundred feet, then ended in a volcanic tube. The tube, of course, had been reinforced with Nara beams and lit with fire-marbles, but it was still much different than the constructed D'ni tunnels. The group turned left and walked uphill towards the end of the tube. Another pressure door had been built over the end of the tube. Gadren placed the hand wearing his communicator in an alcove beside the door. A blue icon glowed above the alcove, and the door hissed open. They exited.

A large white moon lit the surrounding landscape. They were standing in volcanic crater, its sides sloping away from them on all sides. Me'erta stared at the moon. He, of course, had seen moons on other Ages, but never one so large or bright. Gadren called to him; the group was now scaling the side of the crater.

The scrubby desert landscape, blue in the moonlight, stretched out beneath them. Me'erta scanned the horizon, looking for any distinguishing features. He then saw it.

"Captain, look, over there," he said, pointing out what he saw to Gadren.

In the distance there was a group of lights, shining out in the night.
***
Justin lay awake in his tent, unable to sleep. The scans had shown the tunnel was extremely close to the surface now, but they could not figure as to where it would surface. A few days ago, it had entered an area of dense volcanic rock that reflected back the scans, preventing them from finding the tunnel anywhere near it. Still, they could guess where it might come out, but their guesses covered several square miles of land. There was the volcano, of course, but Hutton and Standsky had said that because the volcano was still partially active, it would be dangerous to build a tunnel. Loftin, in a fit of impatience, had argued that a entity unfamiliar with American safety protocols, might build wherever it damn well pleases. Justin, the technical head of the project now that the military had taken charge, reminded them both that he only had five soldiers, two geologists, an archaeologist, himself, Zandi, Phil, and Jens to work with, he couldn't spread them out over many square miles with any sort of practicality. Neither could he have them spend twenty-four hours a day guarding a volcano that was two miles from camp. He had decided to wait until Colonel Moss arrived in two days. Besides, by their estimates, the tunnel would reach the surface in about a week.

Justin shifted positions in his bed, trying to get comfortable. It was no use. He sat up and put on his uniform shirt. There were still too many issues rolling around his mind to allow him to sleep. A walk might help him relax.
***
The four guildsmen walked across the desert towards the group of lights, now growing closer. Gadren had decided against contacting the others about the lights, as it probably would have meant the four would have been recalled while the Council deliberated about what to do. Only Sirreh had protested at this course of action, but when Gadren had offered a chance for him to go back alone, Sirreh meekly obliged to go along.

So they walked towards the lights. After about four tahvotee, they could distinguish what looked like buildings. They could also see that the lights were on tall metal poles.

Me'erta caught up with Gadren. "You still say that they're primitive." He pointed at the lights. "They are clearly capable of producing fire-marbles."

"Fire-marbles do not buzz," Gadren said with a slight touch of disdain.

They were nearing the group of buildings now. Sirreh put on his goggles, a bit prematurely, as Gadren did not lead the group directly into the group of buildings. They walked around the buildings, still somewhat distant, though the buzzing Gadren had complained about could be heard distinctly.

The buildings, from what they could see, were made of a heavy canvas material. Most of them were a dark green, but some, near the centre of the group, were a more brown colour. On one edge of the building group, there was a collection of what Me'erta supposed were vehicles. The had wheels, no doubt, but they were much different than any other vehicle he had ever seen. There was a boxy, shoddy appearance about them, as if they had been built without much care. The larger ones had canvas coverings similar to the tents, and there were several smaller vehicles without roofs.

Gadren started walking towards one of the smaller vehicles. Sirreh shouted out at him, "Are you sure that is wise?"

Gadren stared at the Linguist. "We are tasked with exploring the surface. I intend to do that. I am sure, though, that your shouting will wake up whoever is in that camp."

Sirreh pulled his goggles off his eyes and sulked at Gadren, but said nothing.

Gadren continued his walk towards one of the smaller vehicles, shining his fire-marble lantern over its body.
***
Corporal Vicente Ramos made his rounds around the camp, gun in hand. As he was walking towards the motor pool, he saw Lieutenant Maneris emerge from one of the tents. Ramos saluted. Justin raised his hand slightly, more of a wave than a salute, and then started walking off in a random direction. Strange man, Ramos thought to himself. He resumed his march towards the motor pool.

Halfway to the motor pool, Ramos, heard a shout and indistinct voices. He could not make out what they said, but all he knew that someone was trespassing. Cursing the soldiers who had been tasked with keeping people away from the general area, he broke out into a run. Ramos emerged from the group of tents at the edge of the motor pool. He could see four figures standing around one of the jeeps. He shouted at them.
***
Me'erta saw the man first. The first thing Me'erta noticed was how similar he and the man were. The next thing he noticed was the object in the man's hand. Somehow, Me'erta realized that it was a gun. The other three must have realized this, as they all reacted more or less at the same time. Sirreh started to run away, back towards the volcano. The man stopped running, shouted, pointed his weapon into air, and discharged it. A loud report sounded off in the night. Sirreh tripped at the sound of the blast, falling over onto his back. Gadren crouched down behind the protective cover of the vehicle. Me'erta followed his example. Ulam raised his gun and pointed it at the man. He shouted at him "We do not mean any harm. We will leave and not return if you wish it so."

Obviously, the man had not understood Ulam. He advanced slowly, pointing his weapon at Ullam, shouting in his strange, harsh language. From his viewpoint, Me'erta could still see the other man, more clearly now. He was wearing dark green clothing, the same as the tents, and a strange black hat that was folded over to one side.

Ulam tensed up, looking unsure of himself. Me'erta could hear multiple footsteps coming from the direction of the tents. Things were not going well.
***
Justin had begun to run when he had heard Ramos shout something, his pace quickened after the gunshots. He now heard the sounds of waking people from the other tents, but he did not care. He had instructed the soldiers not to discharge their weapons unless they encountered armed trespassers.

He emerged on the edge of the tent complex, near the motor pool. From his vantage point, he could see four men around one of the jeeps. One was lying down on the ground a short distance away from the jeep, two more were lying next to the jeep. The fourth was pointing some sort of weapon at Ramos. Justin shouted at the man.

The man turned towards Justin. Unfortunately, Ramos overreacted to this. He fired his gun. The man fell backwards, discharging his gun as he fell. Justin then felt a sharp pain in his shoulder, stumbled and fell down.

A creeping blackness overcame his senses. He heard footsteps around him as he passed out.
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#37 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:58 PM

This, kids, is why you explore unknown Ages during the daytime when people won't get really really nervous if you frighten them. Also, why you don't point your gun at someone while trying to convince them (in a language they don't understand) that you are peaceful.

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Awesome chapter. Nice little meeting of peoples we have here.

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#38 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 06:02 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 8 2009, 06:58 PM, said:

This, kids, is why you explore unknown Ages during the daytime when people won't get really really nervous if you frighten them. Also, why you don't point your gun at someone while trying to convince them (in a language they don't understand) that you are peaceful.

Click to reveal hidden content
Awesome chapter. Nice little meeting of peoples we have here.

Actually, it was at night. I'm sure I mentioned that...
Too bad the Maintainers (and the US Army) don't teach First Contact procedure. :evil:
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#39 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 05:37 AM

LMAO! Pure awesomeness! Go, Shinkansen, write up some more chapters! Honestly, this is great. I was so stressed, thinking "OMG, what's going to happen next? WHAT are they going to do?" Really cool! And yes, still impatient... ^^ But it's a good thing: I'm only impatient when I like people's stuff!
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#40 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:20 PM

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 8 2009, 08:02 PM, said:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 8 2009, 06:58 PM, said:

This, kids, is why you explore unknown Ages during the daytime when people won't get really really nervous if you frighten them. Also, why you don't point your gun at someone while trying to convince them (in a language they don't understand) that you are peaceful.

Click to reveal hidden content
Awesome chapter. Nice little meeting of peoples we have here.

Actually, it was at night. I'm sure I mentioned that...
Too bad the Maintainers (and the US Army) don't teach First Contact procedure. :evil:

I think that's what Gloa was implying. :rotflol:

So, things are not going well. What made it so fortunate that this group of people and not any other met the four D'ni, I wonder? Things have to get better, if that's the case. Another awesome chapter, Shinkansen. :miw:
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#41 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 04:45 PM

Six

I wish they'd let me sleep in peace, Justin thought to himself. He was surprised that he had been able to sleep at all, with the incessant humming of overlapping voices. The events of the previous night then returned to him, and he sat up, feeling the bandages and sling on his shoulder.

"Ah, you're awake, good," said Jens, Loftin's assistant, seeing Justin sit himself up. "You gave us quite a scare passing out like that."

"Yeah, about that...what happened?" Justin asked, wondering how a simple bullet would on the shoulder could knock him out.

"Uh, well, we're still not sure, but we are thinking that there was a sort of tranquilizer coating the bullet, you know. It was a very unusual gun design, eh?"

"Where are those men now?"

"In the mess tent, under a guard."

"Have you got any information from them?"

"Er, well, they don't speak much English. None, actually."

"Ah."

Justin stood up, and seeing his bloodied shirt lying at the foot of his bed, walked over to his footlocker. "I can get up and move around?" Justin asked, pointing to the bandages on his shoulder. Jens shrugged his shoulders in a noncommittal sort of way. "Yeah, sure, just don't do anything funny, ok. I'm no doctor, so be careful about the bandages, ok?" Jens left the tent.

Heeding Jens' suggestion, Justin put on his uniform jacket, instead of his tighter fitting shirt, not caring how odd he looked. He then exited his tent, walking in the direction of the mess tent.
***
The tent had two armed guards standing before the entrance flap. They saluted Justin, ignoring his strange dress. A canvas partition had been set up in the middle of the tent, presumably to provide their "guests" privacy. A table had been set up on this side of the partition. Loftin and Carl were sitting at one end of the table, examining several objects. Justin guessed that they the effects of the intruders. There was another soldier standing at the passage between the two halves of the tent, preventing the inmates from exiting. Justin noticed that it was Corporal Ramos, looking weary and on-edge.

Carl looked up as Justin entered, and muttered a greeting. He had obviously been up all night. Loftin, however, continued to be absorbed by the object he was examining. Carl stood up and yawned. "Well, now that you're here, I'm off to bed. I can't make any sense from these things here. Hope you two have better luck." He then lumbered out the door.

Justin sat down where Carl had been. "Found out anything yet?" he asked Lofitn.

"Well, they're not from around here."

"Their lack of English skills kind of suggests that," Justin said sarcastically.

"When I mean not from around here, I really mean that. This stuff is not like any technology I've ever seen. Here, take a look at this." Loftin handed Justin the item he had been examining.

The item was about the size of a large wristwatch, metallic and grey, connected to a black elastic band. There was an engraved symbol on what Justin presumed was the back of the item.

"Kay-aye...?" Justin sounded out, interpreting the symbol.

"Yeah, that's what we're calling them. We think they might be communicators of some sort. Here, watch this." Loftin picked up another one of the "Kais", pushed a few buttons, and started speaking into it. The Kai that Justin was holding started beeping. Loftin reached over and pushed a button on the Justin's Kai. Loftin's words sounded out from the little device, replayed clearly and exactly.

"Watch this," said Loftin, now clearly enjoying himself. He pointed the Kai at Justin, and pushed a different button. It beeped, and then a sort of screen materialized above the Kai, Justin looking back at his own face.

"So it's a camera," said Justin in amazement. He then remembered why he had wanted to see the intruders. "What are we going to do with them. One of them is injured, how's he doing?"

"Oh, he's fine," said Loftin, still examining the items, "He's no more injured than you are. Really lucky, that one. The other three are just a little disoriented. I don't really blame them." Loftin set down the Kai, and picked up what appeared to be a marble. He shook it. A brilliant light filled the tent. "Whoa, that's bright," Loftin exclaimed.

"Give me that," Justin snapped, grabbing the glowing object. "Stop playing with things before you set something off."
***

Me'erta sat on his pad, listening to the conversation of the surface dwellers in the other part of the tent. Obviously, he couldn't understand a word they were saying, but he could tell that they were excited about something. Probably about the equipment they had taken from the D'ni expedition. A bright light then emanated from where the surface dwellers were. One of them had obviously activated a fire-marble.

Despite their bumbling, the surface dwellers were advanced in their own way, Me'erta thought to himself. The lamps lighting the tent and their weapons attested that. Hopefully, their technological advancement was accompanied by mental and social advancement. Me'erta took the fact that they were not dead as evidence towards that. The biggest problem now was the communication barrier.

Sirreh was not doing much towards overcoming that barrier. The events of the previous night and the subsequent capture had not done well to him. He was lying the pad the surface dwellers had provided, sleeping restlessly.

Gadren was also sitting on his pad, writing in a journal that he had somehow hidden from the surface dwellers. Ulam had the only real bed between the four of them, most likely due to his injury. White bandages were wrapped around his head and shoulder, and his arm was in a sling.

Me'erta heard a shuffling at the passage between the two halves of the tent. One of the surface dwellers was entering. He was also wearing a green costume, like rest of them, but his clothing seemed more formal than the others. There were silver buttons and coloured ribbons decorating the man's jacket. The man's arm was in a sling, and his careful movements suggested his shoulder was also injured. The man was carrying a glowing fire-marble in his hands, presumably the one that had set off.

The man walked over to Me'erta and dropped the marble on the ground next to Me'erta. He said something in his language, looked around the tent, and then left. The guard stepped back into position, blocking the exit. Me'erta picked up the still glowing marble and put it in a glass of water that had been provided, dousing it.

"What was that about?" Gadren asked, not looking up from his journal. "He seemed a bit irritated."

"Do you blame him? Ulam shot him. That's enough to wound anyone's pride."

"I do not see why that should be. They shot me, and I hold no animosity towards them," Ulam said stiffly. Ulam seemed to be taking this all rather well. The seizure of his pipe had shaken him more than being shot or captured.

"I think that man might blame himself for that. He did distract you by shouting at us," Gadren said. "Of course, if you had not reacted to his outbursts, we would not be in this situation."

"That is not..." Ulam began angrily, but Me'erta cut in.

"The last thing we need to do is squabble with each other. These surface dwellers have not done anything to harm us."

"Yet," said Ulam darkly.
***

Justin stormed his way across the camp, Loftin following him closely.

"Justin wait up! What's wrong?"

"What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong, John! I got shot in the arm, I got four people from God only knows where sitting in my mess hall, I'm way over my head, I don't know what the hell to do because my lousy commander can't be bothered to get out of his cushy office to help in a crisis! I..." Justin took a few deep breaths, calming himself. "I would appreciate any input that you might have. Get Hutton and Standsky. We need to sort things out."
***

Justin sat behind the desk in Loftin's tent, the closest thing to an office in the whole camp. Loftin was sitting on his bed, Hutton and Standsky on chairs that had been taken from the mess tent. Zandi hovered moth-like around the tent entrance, clearly fearful of Justin's wrath. The college student, Phil Henderson, had attended the meeting, too. Justin was past the point of caring about either one of them. They all, of course, were in this together.

Justin spoke, "My superior, Colonel Moss, is arriving in two days. He has very little idea of the situation going on here. I do not want to be the one to tell him that we think giant Soviet mole rats are digging there way to the surface.

"First, it seems very likely that our four intruders are related to the tunnel that we've been monitoring. Now, I was told that the tunnel would reach the surface some time next week. If our friends came through that tunnel, how did they get through all that rock so quickly?"

Carl and Frank started talking at the same time, protesting the working conditions, the equipment available, the inexactness of guessing where the tunnel was, and so on.

Justin nodded and raised his uninjured hand, silencing the two geologists. He said, "Of course, you were working on the assumption that they would avoid the volcanic understructure, so you told me. As I recall, Dr. Loftin said there was no reason why we should discount the volcano as a potential exit."

"That's right," said Frank, "but I still don't think..."

"I still say you have no real comprehension of the situation, Mister Hutton," Lofitn cut in, stressing Frank's lack of a doctorate.

"I resent that! Just because you have your precious degree in archaeology does not..."

"QUIET!" Justin found himself yelling for the second time that morning. "The last thing we need is to argue with each other, ok?"

The five men sat in silence, Frank staring at Loftin unblinkingly.

Phil finally broke the silence. "Why don't we just ask them where they are from?"

"Well my dear boy," Loftin said, "if you hadn't noticed, they don't speak English."

"Please!" Justin interjected, raising his uninjured hand. "Just...just please everybody stay calm and polite." he said, stressing each syllable. "If Mr. Henderson wants to try and talk to them, I'll let him do that." He sighed. "Could everybody leave now. Loftin, stay here for moment, will you?"

The three men, Zandi having left after Frank's outburst, stood up and exited the tent. Loftin remained in his chair, arms folded defiantly. Justin waited until the others were out of earshot.

"Dr. Loftin, what's between you and Frank? That's the second time in three days you've lashed out at him like that."

"He's interfering," stated Loftin simply. "This was my dig, until he showed up."

"Now, if I recall correctly, you called him up and asked him to come out here. If anyone should be unhappy with the situation, it'd be him."

"Perhaps."

"I think," said Justin, choosing his words carefully, "that you resent me coming here and taking charge, but are afraid of standing up to me directly. In the future, if there is a perceived problem with the way things are going, tell me. You, Dr. Loftin, are not in the military, and are not subject to discipline if you contradict or disagree with me. But remember that until Colonel Moss arrives here, I am in charge."

Loftin said nothing, his face a study in hatred.

"You may go, Dr. Lofitn."

"It's my tent, Lieutenant."

Justin said nothing, stood up, and exited. He rubbed his temples with uninjured hand. Colonel Moss could not arrive soon enough.
***
The five old men filed into room and sat about the table in the centre. The room was large enough to hold over three hundred men, but now, the room was empty save for them. Due to the delicate nature of the situation, it had been decided not to hold full Council.

After they were all seated, the man in the pale blue robe spoke first. "I am sure that you are all aware of the situation, but for formality, I shall repeat it.

"The survey team we sent onto the surface has failed to report back at the scheduled time. They have either forgotten the check-in, which is unlikely, or they have become injured, separated, or otherwise incapable of communication. I feel that the best course of action would be to send a search party in order to locate the survey team."

There were mumbles around the table. One man, in a dark red robe, laughed at the suggestion.

"It is obvious," he said, "what has happened. The creatures inhabiting the surface, whom Master Aitrus holds to be 'civilized', have either killed or captured our survey team. This is just evidence of what I have said all along. The entire undertaking has been folly from the very beginning. We should abandon the team to their fate and seal the tunnel, and put this whole event behind us."

There were shouts of disapproval from all around the table, a man in a burgundy robe actually stood up and shouted "One of my men is up there, Lord Veovis! I will not abandon him, as you would so readily would!"

The leader of the men pounded a gavel on the table, calling for order. "Let us vote on this. Against?"

The man in red raised his hand. He scowled at the four others, but no more hands went up.

"For?"

Four hands rose into the air.

The man in red now stood up and shouted, "Aitrus has poisoned your minds with his honeyed words of 'exploration' and 'advancement'! You would destroy our nation by chasing after dreams and empty promises! We have betrayed our people!"

"You will be seated, Master Veovis, or I shall have you removed from this chamber!" the leader shouted.

The man in red sat back down, not looking at anybody.

"Let it be noted," said the leader, "that the Five Lords of D'ni have decided in favour of a rescue of the missing survey team. Grand Master Veovis of the Writer's Guild will be officially censured for personal attacks against another of the Five."
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#42 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 05:00 PM

Getting more and more complicated, this situation is. Smoothing it out should be very interesting, since our friends are separated by language. :evil:
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#43 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 02:52 AM

I agree with master Yoda! XD

Quote

"Well, they're not from around here."

"Their lack of English skills kind of suggests that," Justin said sarcastically.

:evil: :miw: :rotflol: OMG, that just reminded me of an AWESOME inside joke in English and History class (where practically all the inside jokes are- hey, Thestranger has Spanish class, I have History, Philosophy and English class! Mostly English class though), but that would be off-topic.
Anyway, awesome! My FAVOURITE chapter yet! XD
I love Veovis' "Aitrus has poisonned your minds!"
That one too has an inside joke for me... but I'll post it on deviant so as not to go far from the subject! XD Keep writing!!!!
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#44 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:38 AM

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 13 2009, 03:45 PM, said:

"It is obvious," he said, "what has happened. The creatures inhabiting the surface, whom Master Aitrus holds to be 'civilized', have either killed or captured our survey team...

Because it's so obvious that they haven't been eaten by animals or killed by falling rocks or poisonous fumes. This Veovis-Aitrus argument should be interesting (much like all the other threads slowly forming in the story). :evil:
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#45 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:59 AM

Yeah, I love how they all argue! ^^ It's pretty realistic- ppl argue too much when they're disoriented or confused, instead of taking time to think and weight the others' point of views/ ideas.
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#46 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:08 PM

Oooo... Veovis and Aitrus? :evil:

The events in these past two chapters were like watching two trains heading for each other: crashing is inevitable, it's thrilling, and horribly fascinating. I thought for sure the D'ni would be killed on sight.
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#47 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 01:02 PM

Seven


"MOSS: Yes, in retrospect, what I did was probably not the best course of action, but-
PROSECUTION: Your actions while in command were reckless and ill-conceived, Colonel. If your orders had been carried out, you would have further antagonized an entity of unknown nature and intentions.
MOSS: I did what I thought was necessary. It's cowards like you who have never been in a tight situation who don't understand-
JUDGE: We will have order. The defendant will refrain from personally attacking the prosecution..."
- excerpt from the court-martial of Colonel Eric Moss

It was the morning of the second day of their imprisonment. They will have sent a rescue party by now, Me'erta thought as he ate the provided breakfast. That, or they think us dead. He pushed the idea out of his head quickly, wanting to remain optimistic. Two and a half days stuck in a canvas prison were enough to make anyone depressed.

Still, the other three were holding up surprisingly well, given the circumstances. Sirreh fretted and worried, Gadren was short tempered, and Ulam still sulked, but they all seemed to realize that they could do not much to change the situation save escape, which Ulam's injured condition made nearly impossible. The four sat in a sullen silence for most of the time.

The only real interruptions in the silence had been the surface dwellers' attempts to teach their language to the D'ni. It had not been going well, in Me'erta's opinion. About the only thing he had learned from their teacher, a long-haired man barely out of childhood, was the names of the various surface dwellers in the camp. Me'erta could only remember two of them; their teacher was "Fil", and the man with the injured arm was "Lutenent Manerus". Sirreh, of course, had fallen on the task with reserved enthusiasm. Though the use of mostly sign language, and some of their words, he had succeeded in having some of their personal belongings returned, but not their communicators, or Ulam's gun.

Their communicators had become a point of contention among some of the surface dwellers. One of them, an older man with a head of amazingly white hair, had wanted the communicators for himself, for study, Me'erta presumed. The injured man had taken the communicators, along with Ulam's gun and the fire-marble lanterns, and hidden them somewhere. As to why, Me'erta could not guess.

A noise at the entrance broke Me'erta from his reverie. Their language "teacher", Fil, was standing at the door, a book of sorts in his hand. He said a greeting to them, and then went over to where Sirreh was.

Me'erta watched for a few minutes, Fil would point to a picture in the book and say the word for it, and Sirreh would repeat. Me'erta soon lost interest, briefly wondering why Sirreh wasn't trying to teach the surface dweller D'ni.
***
"So, how's it going Phil?" Frank asked later, at lunch.

"Oh...not so bad actually," Phil replied. "The one I've been teaching, Cera, I think his name is, is catching on pretty quick. He's the one who asked for their stuff back," he added proudly.

"Have you asked him how they got here?"

"No...we haven't gotten to that point yet. All they told me was they were from some place called 'Dunny'."

"Dunny?"

"Yeah, that's what he said. Anyway, why can't we just check out the volcano for ourselves, just to see, you know?"

"I don't know," Frank said, biting his lip. "I don't know. I'll go ask, ask Maneris..." Frank stood up, and exited the tent.

Justin's tent was on the edge of the camp, under constant guard now. The two guards stood aside and let Frank enter. Well, at least he's not totally paranoid, Frank thought as he entered.

Justin was sitting at a folding table, examining one of the devices that Loftin had termed "Kais".

"What'cha doing?" Frank asked.

Justin looked up. There were dark circles under his eyes and two days worth of stubble on his face.
"Uhh...oh, I was trying to see if those guys took any pictures with these things, you know, so we can, uh, we...can see where they came from, yeah..." Justin stared off into space.

"Justin, have you been up all night looking at those things?"

"Uhh...I...my arm hurt..."

"You didn't stay up looking at those things. If there is a possibility of them coming from the volcano, over there, we could go and check it out ourselves."

"Yeah, we could do that. Let's do it now." Justin stood up and started shuffling towards the door. Frank noticed that he was still in his uniform pants and coat, now dirty and wrinkled.

"Justin," Frank said, with a bit more force, "you're a wreck."

"Eh?"

"Go to sleep, we'll go and look around tomorrow."

"Ok... " Justin shuffled back to the bed and sat down. "Moss is arriving tomorrow, so we can go before he gets..." he fell asleep sitting up

Frank walked out of the tent, shaking his head.
***
Veovis, Grand Master of the Writer's Guild, walked up the staircase. He mood called for storming up the stairs, but Veovis' aged body did not allow that. So Veovis walked, catching his breath at every landing.

He emerged, finally, in a large courtyard, where burgundy-clad guildsmen walked this way and that. Veovis spotted a group of men in the far corner.

"Ri'anis!" he shouted, walking as quickly as he could.

One of the men in the group looked up. He separated himself from the others, and walked towards Veovis. "Yes, what can I do for you, Veovis?"

"What was the meaning of your outburst yesterday, at the meeting of the Lords?"

Ri'anis looked at Veovis quizzically. "I could ask the very same of you, Veovis."

"Look, Ri'anis," Veovis snapped, "you know what I mean. You have always supported me in the past, but yesterday...yesterday you betrayed me. You have gone over to Aitrus' camp. Of all the men in D'ni, you were-"

Rianis cut him off. "Do not be so dramatic, Veovis. I can assure you, that I still do not agree with the Council's decision to build the tunnel, but now that the deed is done, there is little point in trying to resist. I am not going to try to stop the rescue of the survey team. Men like me and you are becoming a minority, my friend."

"That is where you are wrong," said Veovis, turning away.
***
A piercing light came in through a seam in the tent's canvas, creating a stabbing pain in Justin's temples. He covered his face, trying to block the sunlight. He slowly sat up, his arm still paining him. He checked his watch. It was nine-thirty in the morning.

Remembering Frank mentioning something about going to the volcano, he made the movements of getting up, and trying to get dressed, then realizing he was already in his uniform. He exited the tent in the direction of the new mess tent, hoping everyone else would be eating breakfast at this point.

There was no one at the mess tent. Rather, a note had been taped to the entrance flap. Justin grabbed it and read:

Lieutenant Maneris-

I know that Frank had talked about going out the volcano this morning; we're still going to do that, but it's now 7:30 and we want to get off before it gets too hot. Besides, we think you need the extra sleep, given what you've been through. We're bringing the camera, and we'll take pictures for you.

-Loftin


Justin sighed, expecting nothing different. Loftin would of course take matters into his own hands as soon as the moment arrived. He decided to eat breakfast before checking on the guards posted at various points around camp. He entered the tent and prepared a meal of soggy oatmeal.

When he finished eating, Justin heard a vehicle pull up outside. He did not get up, expecting the others to come into the tent. However, no one entered the tent. Justin could hear voices outside. He was sure he recognized them. It was Colonel Moss, and his adjutant, Captain Pritcher.

Justin stood up and exited the tent quickly. The colonel and the captain were standing next to a jeep on the edge of the camp. He shouted out to get their attention. They turned, and Justin saluted.

Moss spoke first. "Ah, Lieutenant, what's the...your arm!"

"Yeah, it's a long story, sir."

Pritcher spoke next, "How long, Lieutenant?"

"Uh...long enough, Captain."
***
Lord Ri'anis sat in his office, going over the final plan for the rescue, when there was a knock at the door. "Enter," he said, looking up as the door opened.

Grand Master Aitrus of the Surveyors was standing at the door, holding his hands behind his back.

"What do you need of me, Aitrus?" asked Ri'anis, somewhat surprised.

"Have the Maintainers left for the surface yet?" Aitrus asked in response.

"They are going to leave in the morning, and it will take several hours for them to arrive at the surface." Ri'anis paused, "Why do you ask?" he added, still curious about Aitrus' unexpected visit.

"I wanted to know what their exact orders were. What are they to do if they encounter "resistance", as Lord Veovis might put it."

"I see...do not worry Aitrus. I am not Veovis. I might disagree with you, but I will not try to sabotage the situation by ordering my men to shoot everything that moves."

Aitrus smiled and nodded, but did not leave. "How do you feel about this situation?"

Ri'anis stared, surprised by this question. "You know I opposed the building of the tunnel, but I," he paused, "I feel that I may have been blinded by my own fear, in making that decision. I do not know what is up there, Aitrus. I am afraid because of that."

"The first man to Write was afraid of his own creation, I'm sure," Aitrus said, and then exited.
***
"So, you're saying, Lieutenant, that the disturbance you talked to me about two weeks ago was caused by people, under the ground, building a tunnel up to New Mexico, and that you captured four of those people, who were intruding on the camp."

"That's right, sir."

Moss took off his hat, and run his fingers through his silver hair, exhaling deeply. "And they don't speak English, so we can't question them. This is just..." he shook his head.

Pritcher spoke finally, "Lieutenant, where are the others? In your call, you mentioned there was an archaeological dig here, helping you out."

"They're at the volcano, checking to see if the tunnel mouth is there."

Pritcher cut in impatiently, "You've been here a week, and haven't started an investigation until today? That's-"

"If I may explain, Captain," Justin interjected, "we did not know the tunnel had reached the surface until the four intruders were standing in front of our faces. There was some, ah, controversy as to when and where the tunnel would surface, sirs."

"So, what had you planed on doing now, Lieutenant?" Moss asked.

"Now that you're here, sir, I'll let you decide."

"Yes, that would be prudent, I suppose. We'll need a linguist, so, Lieutenant, go radio for one, it's in the back of the jeep."

"Sir, I'm not sure who I could get at such short notice-"

"Just do it, Lieutenant."

"Yes, sir."

Justin saluted, and exited the tent.

"He's seems a bit...arrogant," Pritcher said, making sure Justin was well out of earshot. "No wonder he's still only a lieutenant,"

"Now, captain, getting shot in the shoulder is enough to irritate anyone. Still, I'll have to keep my eye on him. He seems like a potential head-butter."
***
Justin was on the field radio, trying to convince some corporal at some Army base to connect him to the nearest university's language department. After some five minutes of finagling, ordering, and threatening, he was finally put through. He was in the process of talking to some doctoral student at the University of New Mexico named Richard Watson, when the jeep carrying the others pulled up.

"Hey, Justin, what're you doing?" Carl asked.

Justin tried waving at Carl to keep him quiet, but as both his arms were occupied, he had to settle for silently mouthing "I'm on the phone!". Carl apparently understood, and backed off.

Watson eventually agreed to coming out, despite the short notice, and said he'd try to be there tomorrow morning at the earliest. Justin turned the radio off, and turned to Carl. "So, was there anything there?"

"Yeah, take a look at these," Carl said, handing Justin some Polaroids.

The photos had been taken inside the crater of the volcano. In each photo was a door that had been built into the crater wall. The door was solid and grey, clearly built for security and durability.

Justin reentered the tent where Moss and Pritcher were. He handed the photos to Moss, mentioning that the others had gotten back from the volcano.

Moss and Pritcher studied the photos for a second. Moss said after a few moments, and said, "How long do we have before they come looking for their friends, Lieutenant?"

"Not long, sir, if they are anything like us," Justin replied quietly.
***
More surface dwellers were arriving. A sliver-haired man in green clothing, who seemed to be a leader of the other men in green, had arrived yesterday. Also, a younger man whom Me'erta supposed to be a servant of the silver-haired man, had also arrived.

About a day after, a bearded younger man had accompanied Fil in the language lesson. He had mostly stood in the corner, taking notes. He had annoyingly eavesdropped on any conversations that took place, holding a small device in his hand, probably a sound recorder.

The most irritating thing was that Sirreh did not seem to be bothered by this. He had taken up to trying to talk with the surface dwellers, in halting phrases of their language. He had even borrowed a device from Fil that turned out to be a sound player. Me'erta had listened to a pounding, screeching dissonance that could be considered music, but hardly. Despite this, Sirreh listened to the device whenever he wasn't "talking" with Fil or the bearded man.

The surface dwellers were becoming tense, Me'erta could tell. He could only assume that they had discovered the tunnel entrance. If a rescue team had been sent, and the surface dwellers had meet them...

Given the reaction the survey team had received, Me'erta did not really want to think how the surface dwellers would react to an armed group of Maintainers.

Rather than dwell on this grim thought, Me'erta focused his attention on Gadren and Ulam, who were conversing quietly to each other, pointing discreetly at the walls of the tent.

Me'erta stood up and went over to the two, and said "You're not planning on escape, are you?"

Gadren looked up disdainfully, "We have been imprisoned here for four days, Guildsman, and there is no sign of that changing. Now, if you are like Sirreh over there, you can stay here and wait for death, but I am not willing to accept that."

"You will get shot before you make it out of the camp," Sirreh said, sitting back down on his pad. Me'erta then saw the injured man standing at the entrance, looking at Ulam and Gadren suspiciously. He then exited.
***
A new tent, serving as an office and sleeping quarters had been set up for Colonel Moss and Captain Pritcher. Justin entered the tent, and went into the office half, Moss was talking on a walkie-talkie to someone, but paused when Justin entered.

Justin saluted. "Sir, I was wondering what is to be done with the prisoners."

"Why do you ask, Lieutenant?" Moss replied.

"Well, sir, they seem to be getting...restless. I think some of them might be contemplating escape."

"We don't have to worry about that, the tent is too heavily guarded for them to get far. Besides, one of them is injured."

"But, sir, what if friends of theirs come looking around here? How do you think they'll react if we tell them we shot their men in an escape attempt?"

"Lieutenant, it doesn't concern you. The prisoners are to be kept until further notice, as a bargaining chip, so to say."

Justin looked at Moss. "Bargaining chip, sir?"

"I was just on the radio with Corporal Ramos. He reports that another group of men, dressed similarly to our prisoners."

Justin ran out of the tent, forgetting to salute or anything, wanting to find Loftin and Watson quickly. Left in Moss' hands, things could quickly spin out of control.


(The train wreck cometh, though it may be different than expected...)
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#48 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:23 PM

AHHHH!!!! Restless? What will they do NOW? Suspence, suspence... ^^ Love it!
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#49 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:28 PM

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 23 2009, 12:02 PM, said:

Seven


"MOSS: Yes, in retrospect, what I did was probably not the best course of action, but-
PROSECUTION: Your actions while in command were reckless and ill-conceived, Colonel. If your orders had been carried out, you would have further antagonized an entity of unknown nature and intentions.
MOSS: I did what I thought was necessary. It's cowards like you who have never been in a tight situation who don't understand-
JUDGE: We will have order. The defendant will refrain from personally attacking the prosecution..."
- excerpt from the court-martial of Colonel Eric Moss

Ah, a classic example of the "encyclopedic hindsight blurbs" that manage to say everything about the situation happening without giving away anything about how it actually happened.

Quote

I am not going to try to stop the rescue of the survey team. Men like me and you are becoming a minority, my friend."

"That is where you are wrong," said Veovis, turning away.

Because Veovis thinks abandoning people up there is a good idea? Rather than just rescuing them violently or something?

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 23 2009, 01:23 PM, said:

AHHHH!!!! Restless? What will they do NOW? Suspence, suspence... ^^ Love it!

Obviously they are going to take a nap, and then they'll not be restless. :miw: Then Moss will be antagonistic by not offering them cake on their birthdays, but eventually someone will give them it and they'll be happy. :evil:
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#50 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:44 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 23 2009, 02:28 PM, said:

View PostShinkansen, on Oct 23 2009, 12:02 PM, said:

Seven


"MOSS: Yes, in retrospect, what I did was probably not the best course of action, but-
PROSECUTION: Your actions while in command were reckless and ill-conceived, Colonel. If your orders had been carried out, you would have further antagonized an entity of unknown nature and intentions.
MOSS: I did what I thought was necessary. It's cowards like you who have never been in a tight situation who don't understand-
JUDGE: We will have order. The defendant will refrain from personally attacking the prosecution..."
- excerpt from the court-martial of Colonel Eric Moss

Ah, a classic example of the "encyclopedic hindsight blurbs" that manage to say everything about the situation happening without giving away anything about how it actually happened.

Yeah, I stole that from Foundation. Don't tell anybody, OK?

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 23 2009, 02:28 PM, said:

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 23 2009, 01:23 PM, said:

AHHHH!!!! Restless? What will they do NOW? Suspence, suspence... ^^ Love it!

Obviously they are going to take a nap, and then they'll not be restless. :miw: Then Moss will be antagonistic by not offering them cake on their birthdays, but eventually someone will give them it and they'll be happy. :evil:

That comment is certainly made of Tin and Possum :evil: .
Obviously, what's going to happen is Yeesha is going to show up and yell at the D'ni because they are supposed to have died two hundred years ago, and then she'll turn Justin into a yak, and make him give rides to children. :rotflol:
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