[FANFIC] After Avalon: Enter the Disc

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[FANFIC] After Avalon: Enter the Disc

Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:02 pm

Author's Note: All characters are copyright to either Josh Phillips, Terry Pratchett (oh big spoiler there...), or me.

***

After Avalon: Enter The Disctrict

Avalon. A realm famed in legend for its connections to the famous King of the Saxons, Arthur Pendragon. A name used the world over to instil an air of mystery and Olde English charm. From soaps to video games, it is still a familiar word today, even as Arthur’s legends are forgotten.
But in a small district in Canada, the legends are not forgotten, and neither is the town which bears its name. Avalon, built between the two main cities of Canada, Toronto and Ottawa. Avalon, a town built on trade between the two cities and used as a middle-ground for each one. But Toronto and Ottawa are not the only ones it acts as a nexus for…

<Location - Twenty miles South of Avalon, reaching the town in T-minus 21 minutes>
<Time: 23:49, on the third of March 2003>

Along the road to Avalon, a white van travelled a staple of all white vans everywhere. The name, white van, was as connected to it as paper is to trees – it was once white, but is now brown, caked with mud like so many others of its kind. It bears the famous "Clean Me" slogan proudly, and it clatters along at a simple pace of sixty miles per hour. Two of its hubcaps have been stolen, and its driver is one that resonates "Trucker". All in all, it was unidentifiable from every white van at every motorway snack stop and junction.

But other properties of this van made it stand out. A satellite dish on the roof of the van revolved once a second, searching. On the side, the BSkyB logo advertised "$400 service", guaranteeing them safety from curious strangers. But even more unusual was the fact that inside was three ITA agents, a joint project between the CIA and the FBI to investigate those activities that the public should no know about. They searched for weapons to use against Americas enemies, whether they are on this earth, or another.

As they passed a sign saying "Avalon – 18 miles", Matthew Hubbard spotted a lone figure holding up a cardboard sign, reading "Get me out of this Fanfic!" and sighed.

"Hey, shall we pick this guy up?" He remarked, but as if he was psychic the loner ran out of frame to behind a tree. Hesitating, Matthew, muttered "Bloody communists" and pushed down on the accelerator. This would prove to be a long night.

***

OK, it will take a bit of time to get started, so be patient.

Comments Welcome!
[EDIT: Ottawa damnit! Thanks to Markus et al for that.]
Last edited by Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:41 am

<Location: Charleston, Canada.>
<Time: 20:55 on the first of March 2003>

Ceilidh Mcfarlane ran like the demons of hell were on her back, and guessed that that much would be true if she was late for this Art class again. She knew that it was more of a hobby than anything else, but at least it got her out of the house. Something Phoebe could do with she thought, coming to a halt outside the Art class. Unplugging her Minidisc player which was blasting out bagpipes at 100 decibels, she ran her hand through her unmanageable hereditary brown hair. It was the only thing she had gotten from her parents – apart from Maire’s cooking book – and really she was thankful for it. Her full-blown Scottish accent only came through when she was in a flying rage – like now.

“Ach! Ah’m sorry ah’m late, but the bus was late too and - Dammit!” she exclaimed as she composed herself again. Again, in a perfect Canadian accent, she said “Sorry I’m late, but the bus wa-“

“Yes, we realised. There’s still a few others missing, as well as our model, so why don’t you sit next to... Johnny over there. I’m sure you’ll be fine with him. Oh, and by the way…”

“Don’t. Even. Say It.” Ceilidh said, reaching behind her back and removing the dryer sheet from it. I didn’t even use one! Ach! She thought as she wandered over to Jonathan. Straightening her tartan skirt, she removed her fake fur skin coat and placed it on the chair.

“Hi! My name’s Ceilidh. You’re Jonathan, right?” She asked the young man beside her. His jet black hair was punctuated by a white streak that went straight from his fringe to the back of his head, and his blue eyes shone out of his head like diamonds. “Yeah, Kay. Jonathan Kay.” He replied. “Ceilidh, did you say? Isn’t that…” he clicked his fingers thrice, and then exclaimed “Party? Y’know, you don’t look like a party girl…”, as ran his hand through his hair.

“Yeah, my parents were a bit… optimistic when it came to me. My brother Ciaran would be better applied to it, but he does nothing but party…” She paused, and picked out something unnoticeable but obviously there from John’s voice. “You’re Welsh! Ach, sorry, that was as tactful as Phoebe. I mean, you’re Welsh.” She cringed at her mistake.

“Yeah, I’m Welsh, although I’ve lived over here since I was five. That’s about the time my parents died, and if you stutter “Oh, I’m sorry”, I’ll sock you one.” John replied. “I don’t really remember them much but the only thing I got from them is this hair… Ah, and here’s the life model.”

Looking ahead, a young man with curly blond hair and black sideburns walked into the room with a wool dressing-gown. This was quickly disposed of as he took up his position. “Bloody Lothario” John muttered, but all Ceilidh could say was “Iain…”

***

Speeding along, our first glimpse of the Avalon characters, plus a new one.
[EDIT: See above]
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:39 am

<Location: Outskirts of Avalon, beside the River Moira>
<Time: 23:09, on the third of March 2003>

The van was just entering the sleepy town, at that time of the night when
everybody is at least thinking of sleep, and those who don’t want to be noticed
can move about without being noticed. However, one van was very hard to ignore.

“What the hell?” Edward Johns burst out as he was awakened from his slumber. I’d
just gotten to the good part too.
He thought. “Stop the car! Or van, or whatever
this fucking thing is called!” He shouted. The van screeched to a halt on a
lay-by, narrowly missing a calico cat, and then all that could be heard was the
river below, carrying its load of leaves, rocks and the occasional dead squirrel
to the sea.
“We need to take the proper readings before we go any further, you fucking
imbeciles! Why the hell didn’t you wake me up?” He barked, although at 24 years
old he had yet to develop the gruff voice to accompany it.

“Sir, we were told to take readings once we were in town and set-up, so as to
avoid detecti- “Edward’s partner began, but she was cut off as he sighed in
agony. “I didn’t get this job by following orders; I got it by doing what needed
to be done! Orders are just…guidelines. I mean, those aliens in Denver would
have blown us up if it hadn’t been for me shooting the leaders head off! And
they wanted me to talk to them…” He paused for emphasis, and then discovered he had finished. so he asked a question that was at the back of his mind instead.“Look, what are we looking for here?”

“Well, there have been reports of several anomalies over the past few months,
and so far the symptoms are correct – periods of time freeze, people going from
one place to another in the blink of an eye… El Noir wants us to find the source
and take it back to HQ for testing”. She ran her hand through her long brown
hair, and turned to the computer screen in front of her whilst fingering the
Glock in her pocket. “Basically, any reports that’ll help… hey, what is this?”

“Thaumometer. Some kid in Guelph noticed we were travelling up here, so he gave
it to me. I tried to get a patent for it but the kid was too quick.” He paused
again, and turned on a strange machine next to him. After a few whirrs and
beeps, he leaned back, and it produced… “Ah, coffee. The only good thing the
Mexicans gave to us. Next to Shannon Elizabeth of course.” Sipping his coffee,
he started to explain. “The kid tells me that he just wants me to test it, and
give it back when I’m next in Guelph. It detects the nearest outbursts of these
anomalies , as well as the strength and type. So start it up already!”

Turning it on, Grace tapped a few constants into the keyboard, and the whirring
of the satellite on the roof filled the room. “It says that the nearest outburst
that matched our symptoms is… the school.” Edward banged on the wall, and the
van started up. “To the school!” Edward exclaimed, but Grace put a hand up. “No,
wait, now it’s saying downtown… at a Timmy’s? But there’s about fourteen in this
town alone!” The van screeched to a halt again, and Matthew complained about the
brakes. “There’s about five different locations for this… the river, the
suburbs… it’ll take ages to find a pattern!”

“Well, find a hotel, leave this running for a while and by the time HQ calls us
we’ll be ready with the location. Simple!” Edward leaned back and sipped his
coffee again as he shook his golden locks. This would all be over by the
weekend.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:42 am

<Location: Charleston, Canada>
<Time: 21:20 on the first of March 2003>

Looking next to him, John stared at Ceilidh for a moment. “So who’s Iain? You
were just mumbling his name back there…” She paused, and adjusted her tartan
skirt again. “Oh, he was just this Australian kid back home… but I am so over
him. I think.” Ceilidh paused. “Anyway what’s this guy’s name?”

“Lothario. I just said it.” John replied. “He used to be really thin, but he
decided to just conform to what his name conveyed. He’s a lot more popular now. I
mean, you could become a party girl, Ceilidh, wit-.” John started, but she
interrupted him. “Sometimes the name you’re given doesn’t suit the person you
are… sometimes what you’re meant to be isn’t what’s best for you.” Ceilidh
turned back to her painting, and then slammed her paintbrush down. “Ach, I
cannae do the details at all!”

“Ah, never mind, I can never do the borders, or the shading.” John consoled her.
His painting, although detailed to a tee, was a blur around the edges. Taking
his hand, Ceilidh moved his paintbrush to his colours, and picked up a slightly
darker tone. “Just move your hand like…this. See, shading!” She looked at her
own painting. “Swap?” Switching with each other, John nodded to a boy across the
hall with a large brown afro and party animal T-shirt. “It’s not so bad. See
him? He just paints a pear each lesson, and gets away with it for being a
surrealist.”

Ceilidh laughed, and started to add shading to John’s painting. He had already
gotten paint down his shirt, which bore the emblem “Manic Street Preacher's”, and his
jeans was streaked with a black mark down the side. She was about to ask who the "Manic Street Preacher's" were when she noticed a streak of yellow on his cheek. Reaching forward, she wiped it off, and he turned to smile at her. “Thanks. That would have been on
there for ages.” He turned to Ceilidh’s painting where Lothario’s emerald green
eyes already shone out , and began on the nose.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:49 am

<Location: Washington D.C., United States of America.>
<23:11, on the third of March 2003>

Walking along the lead lined corridor, Private Burrows hesitated before typing
in the authorisation code. The bright neon lights shone down on him from above,
and the sounds of ITA Labs testing their latest finds could be heard from the laboratories above.
A small bit of ceiling plaster fell on his head, adding to his already
unmanageable dandruff. Why on earth did I let them take me? I should have just
run. Nobody would have believed me anyway.
He thought. The newly formed Inter-Dimensional
Terrorism Agency, formed to counter the usage of so-called "magical" relics and find out how
to use them against the ever increasing threat of terrorists, had captured Terry
Burrows at the beginning of the year, after he spotted a run-of-the-mill alien
transaction in progress. So far he hadn’t progressed past Private, which he was
thankful for.

“Enter.” buzzed the console, and the lead doors slid open to reveal General
Black or “El Noir” as he had been known, because of his incredibly badly lit
office. Burrows guessed it was more to create fear amongst the ranks. Brushing
plaster from his hair, he stood to attention. “What is the report?” Black boomed.

“Sir, the team have just entered the city." Burrows started, saluting. “They say
they’ve begun taking readings, despite the chance of anomalies due to them
travelling around. This is despite orders to the contrar-” he continued, but he
was interrupted by General Black. “Orders mean nothing to Commander Johns.
That’s why I’ve told him this is a recon mission, and told him to use as little
force is necessary. That means we won’t end up in a thermonuclear war with
Canada.” Black turned his back to Burrows, and the computer screen in front of
him turned on. An aerial map of Avalon appeared, and the van’s current position,
just outside the city, was clearly shown.

“Commander Edward Johns, son of Captain Graham Johns of the Secret Division,
born on 4th February 1976 during the Worthington Incident… joined at age 17
after a hasty attempt at fatherhood, rose to Commander at 25, has commanded
several missions so far. All have relied on orders, and have only just been done
despite his flagrant ignorance of them. He is a good soldier though, so these orders have been tailored to him like a suit.” Captain Black repeated, as the
screen showed a headshot of Edward and a full history of his exploits. The
screen suddenly switched to a pretty brunette girl, and Black began again.

“Soldier Grace Connors, daughter of Captain Robert Connors of the Secret
Division, her “working in the background” tactics mean that she is a fantastic
soldier, but also a pacifist…” He paused. “Putting the two together should be
beneficial for both of them. These orders will mean he’ll actually work instead
of chatting up the locals, and leaving…those amateurs… out of this will mean a
new weapon to use against Saddam…” The ceiling rocked again.
“And hopefully Edward will mould Grace into a fighter, and not just a
pseudo-general.” He turned back to Burrows, and the computer screen winked out
of existence. “I want this report in full by 0700 hours tomorrow. Dismissed.”

Managing a hasty salute, Burrows quick-walked out of the office and brushed more
plaster out of his hair. Walking past his sleeping roommate as he entered his
quarters, he sat down at his computer and got ready for a long night.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:10 pm

<Location: Room 294, Charleston University>
<Time: 22:07 on the first of March 2003>

Pulling a warm blue towel off the towel rack, Phoebe Bradley wrapped herself up
and then grabbed another one for her long head of rust red hair. Even in March,
it was not a good idea to stand around with no clothes on, especially in Guelph,
and especially when she had just taken a shower and was dripping wet.
Walking towards her bed, she stopped as the lock to the door rattled. Hasty
mumblings came from the other side, and then it opened, and Ceilidh Mcfarlane
entered.

“Hey! Sorry I’m late, but John walked me home.” Phoebe arched an eyebrow at the
mention of “John”, but Ceilidh hastily explained. “Oh, give over Phoebe. Even if
you hate everything with a penis doesn’t mean I do. Just… some.” Phoebe smiled,
and sat on the bottom bunk. Ceilidh continued. “The buses aren’t working in this
weather, so he offered to walk me home. He’s Welsh, and I trust him. He’s not
like anyone from Avalon, y’know.”

Phoebe proceeded to start brushing her hair to stop her worrying, but as usual
she just ended up getting the brush stuck in her hair. “I think I’ve inherited
your hair Ceilidh. It’s as unmanageable as yours!” she exclaimed as she
collapsed on the bunk, the hairbrush sticking out at an angle from her hair.

Turning on the computer that laid dormant on the old wooden desk, Ceilidh turned
to face Phoebe and pulled out her latest artistic
efforts from her bag. “Do you think it’s good? Remind of anyone?” she said, looking as
innocent as a serial killer. The piece clearly showed the life model, wearing nothing
but a smile, his diginity saved by some careful crossing of legs. Putting on her
indoor glasses, she squinted and
gruffed “Iain!” before reaching for something to throw. “I’m sorry Ceilidh,
however good it is, a picture of Iain must be attacked with knives.” She winced as she
pulled the brush out of her hair. “Pass the hairspray; I’ll turn it into a
flamethrower.”

“Why don’t you just sue it? You’re the one studying Law, god knows why. All I
can do is publish his sordid tale in the tabloids.” She got up to lock the door,
and noticed a key lying on the corridor floor outside. “Hey, its John’s key! Wait here
whilst I go find his
room!” As Ceilidh ran off into the distance, Phoebe mumbled “Where would I go?”
before she pulled on a black 8-Ball nightshirt that went down to her knees, and sat
down at the laptop. She proceeded to type up her notes for the day, her glasses
sliding down to the end of her still-wet nose.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Mar 21, 2004 4:25 am

<Location: Napoleon Block, Charleston>
<Time: 22:11, on the first of March 2003>
Alan Gunderson was also at his computer, but for a different reason. On his
screen, his download of Final Fantasy VI was stuck on 50% for the third time in
as many days, and Alan was ready to throw his computer out the window. Stroking
his dirty blonde goatee, only as thick as the spring grass outside, he decided
against it. “Throwing a $1000 computer out the window would not be a good idea.”

Why did I even bother coming here to find Ceilidh. I've found nothing so far. Alan mused as the bar inched towards 51%. After the events of last year Alan had decided to try and win back Ceilidh's heart, but several months had passed and he had still not found her.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Looking at the silver clock above his
bunk, he heard John’s shouts from behind it and went to open it. “John you’re
late, and FFVI is slow again. You must die.” He muttered as he opened the door.
However, John was shouting at someone further down the hall.

“Yeah, thanks! Bring it over here!” He shouted at the figure running towards
him. Turning to Alan, he said “Oh, hey. Sorry I’m late, you can lock up now.”,
and turned to someone next to him. “Oh, hey, Ceilidh, have you meet Alan? He’s
my roommate.” Alan choked. Ceilidh! It looks like tonight, luck is my middle name!

“Nice to meet – YOU!” She screamed at him in frustration like a banshee. Alan ran in panic for the window. Yeah, and my first name's Bad!

<Location: Charleston University, Charleston.>
<Time: 22:12 on the first of March 2003>
Looking up from her computer, Phoebe paused as Gaelic curses faintly passed
across the air. Great. Ceilidh is angry. Again. Better go clear the mess up…she
thought as she pulled on a pair of jeans, grabbed some shoes and ran out the
door. Everytime she pursues a boy, it ends in tears... why can't she admit to what I saw in her eyes that night... love?.She was halfway down the corridor when she turned around and rushed back
to lock the door, and then she continued to run in the vicinity of the curses.[/i]
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 01, 2004 10:44 am

Location:Outside Cardiff, United Kingdom>
<Time: 08:21 GMT, on the fourth of March 2003>

General Winston Coburn looked at the computer screen in front of him; his
half-rim glasses perched at the end of his hook nose like a bird on his cliff.
Forming his hands in the shape of a steeple, he rested his head on them and
stared at the rolling numbers in front of him. Although this arm of the Secret
Services had no official name, the logo that came up on these aeon-old computers
was always the flame of the Tories, from when Margaret Thatcher had ruled the
country as Prime Minister. Now, a service which was once used as a measure of
fear and distrust, used to destroy any threats to the British mainland, was
confined to a secret office on the outskirts of Cardiff, with a barely noticeable
budget and aging equipment – and recruits. The only new blood had been captured,
not hired, and he feared that if this continued, “The Flame” would be dead by within a
few years. He doubted even Tony Blair knew the organisation existed – they could have
found the Weapons of Mass Destruction, ones that made H-Bombs look like grenades
– devastating, but on a small scale.

He winced at describing such a terrible force with such softness. The weapons
they hunted down were deadly, but nowadays they worked hand in hand with ITA,
the only good idea to come out of the Bush administration, and even that was
failing. His spies on the inside told him that something big was about to happen
in Canada, and he was awaiting a report from one of them now.

The screen flashed, and a block of text flashed on screen. Not even in code, it
was simply designed to look like an ordinary letter; one that meant nothing
unless you knew what was intended.

To: wcoburn@flame.gov.uk
Cc: rphilbin@flame.gov.uk
From: jchurch@ita.gov
Subject: Trip to Canada

All is well, and my roommate, Terry, has just told me he is to visit Canada. He
is to join his friend Edward and Grace up there, where they will go for some Elk
shooting. Terry has also told me he is a fan of fantasy legends, especially
British ones like King Arthur. He says if there was any place he could go, it
would be King Arthur’s burial ground.

Anyway, the shooting trip could provide a lot of chances for mischief, and Terry
will bring back loads of weird things that he’s shot – although probably no
Elks! Until next time.

Jason Church,

Winston looked at the letter and tried to understand what Jason meant. They were
going to Canada – no, they were already in Canada, and they’ve discovered some
sort of… weapon? That must be what he meant by “elk shooting”. But where?
Pulling out an Atlas, he flipped it on to Canada, and stared blankly. “Not… of
course!” Winston twigged – they were going to Avalon, a place that had reported
anomaly after anomaly. Reaching for his microphone, he clicked it once.

“Teams 96 and 294 to the aircraft bay immediately! I repeat, Teams 96 and 294 to
the aircraft bay immediately, ready for transit by 0900 hours GMT!” he ordered
into the microphone, as sweat beaded up into his blond hair. Opening the door
manually – no automatic doors for this withered arm – he quietly walked to the
bay, washing away the panic in his gut. If ITA, or anyone, gets this weapon, the
consequences could be catastrophic! A weapon that can affect chances… the
possibilities are literally endless!
He thought as sweat beaded down his
wrinkled forehead. He shook his wizened neck, and thought I’m too old for this.
as he ran for the aircraft bay.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:47 am

<Location: Napoleon Block, Charleston>
<Time: 22:13 on the first of March 2003>
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:11 am

<Location: Bay 5, The Flame HQ, Just outside Cardiff>
<Time: 08:50 GMT, on the fourth of March 2003>

Winston looked out on the two Teams in front of him. Team 96, comprised of
Commander Willis, Scientist Gerd and Corporal Binns stood to attention beside
the F-155 aircraft, whilst Team 294 filed in, with Scientist Philbin, straining
to see over the stack of paperwork in his hands, penguin-walking behind
Commander Willis and Corporal Black.
“General! I’ve got all the reports of anomalies in Avalon over the past six
months, and I think this… weapon could be used for good as well as evil. Are you
sure we should be doing this?”

Winston turned to him, and took off his glasses. His Flame-embossed suit rippled
in the spring breeze as the hatch for the aircraft bay opened in front of them.
Several papers were blown off Philbin’s pile, and Winston reached out to catch
one. “Philbin, you’ve been with us for four years. You’re one of our most promising
temporal analysts and you know the rules of this arm of the government off by
heart. Tell me what they are.” He asked the scientist standing in front of him.

“The reason for the Flame’s being is to burn out evil, and bring light to the
darkness. Any weapon that may threaten the British mainland must be destroyed,
lest it be used for evil. No matter how useful it may be, we must find our way
through the darkness using this world’s technologies, and using artefacts that
cannot be used for evil.” Philbin repeated from memory, quoting from the
company’s oath. “Is that your final answer, Regis?” Windsor joked as he always
did when Regis answered a question. Regis Philbin had been cursed with sharing
his name with the famous WWTBAM quizmaster, and had grown accustomed to the
generic quip each time.

“Good answer Regis. If this weapon were to fall into Saddam or Osama’s hands,
the consequences would be horrific. It must therefore be destroyed. Especially
with the wild card Edward Johns on the case for ITA. OK then, we are using the
McDonnell Douglas F-155/MTDs today, so split into twos and get in! You’ll need
to visit the Newfoundland sea base for refuelling, so remember that. We only have twenty
minutes to get out of here before we’re noticed! GO GO GO!” Winston barked as
the two teams rushed to the jets, ready for to get to Avalon, Canada in three
hours. After that, only God could predict the outcome. “And may He be with you,
men. May He be with you.”
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:52 am

<Location: Napoleon Block, Charleston>
<Time: 22:17, on the first of March 2003>

Ryan Aberdeen looked out over the city of Guelph whilst his girlfriend Deirdre Bradley poured out the Cabernet Sauvignon red wine behind him. From this height, the city still looked as busy as an anthill, but the various sounds were filtered out as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite washed over him. The wind blew through his brown hair, and through the flowing locks of Deirdre, who had taken out her braid for the night. "Y’know, we could have just done it anyway. We don’t need all this fancy romantic stuff." Deirdre said as she carried over Ryan’s glass to him. "The dribbly candles, the classical music, the expensive wine... I just want to be with you, that’s all."

"Yeah, I know… but I want our relationship to be more than just sex." He put up a hand to silence Deirdre, and continued. "I want all this stuff, the romance, the music, the dribbly candles, it makes it more special. I do love you Deirdre, but I want to work for your love, okay?" Deirdre sighed, and resigned to what women always do when they fuss over men, and brushed some imaginary lint off his shoulder. "Of course, that’s not to say that the sex isn’t good." He smiled and reached under her neck. Pulling her close, he kissed her full on the lips and let his tongue reach inside her. Bringing his hand under her shirt, he reached for Deirdre’s bra strap and… the doorbell rang.

Damnit! Who could that be? He thought as the doorbell continued, and the angry visitor started to knock. Deirdre ended the kiss, and he took his hand out from under her shirt as walked to the door. "Wait there hon. I’ll just be a minute." Opening the door, he turned back to her. "See, Deirdre, its onl-." He paused, and did a double take that caused Deirdre to start giggling into her glass of wine. "Ceilidh! What the hell are you doing… oh, yeah Alan, you saw Alan downstairs didn’t you … oy, right, you have no angst with me, so why don’t you leave me and Deirdre alone, and maybe we can catch up some other time."

"Oh sorry, did I interrupt you?" Ceilidh said, entering the apartment. She sighed. "Ach, I just cannae be bothered to shout at you. YOU, on the other hand…" she shouted at Alan as he came into view ahead of John. "You can just bugger off! What on earth compelled you to follow me! Just… just… ACH!" she screamed as Alan didn’t even bother to respond.

"Oh leave Alan alone, Ceilidh. He’s not Joe, for heaven’s sake." Deirdre suggested, and walked over to her. "I’m only here for a few days, so why don’t we talk now and Ryan can… get ready." A smile passed across both their faces, a sign that scheming was about to occur. "Come on, I want to talk to you about Phoebe."

<Location: Just outside Napoleon Block, Charleston>
<Time: 22:19 on the first of March 2003>

Running towards the direction of the curses, Phoebe skidded across the March ice that dotted the pavements of Guelph, and silently cursed under her breath. "I’m gonna kill Ceilidh if she isn’t being killed… its fricking freezing!" the cold wind blowing through her shoulder length red hair. As she came to a halt outside the building, Ceilidh’s angry shouts could be heard from an apartment above her. She couldn’t see much from down here, but the dark building was punctuated by a streak of red hair. "If that was braided, I’d swear that was Deirdre… what in the seven levels of Hell is she doing here?" She exclaimed, running for the stairs.

[EDIT: Red Wine...]
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:54 am

<Location: Napoleon Block, Charleston>
<Time: 22:21, on the first of March 2003>

Ryan and Alan watched the two women walk into the distance, as their long hair moved in sync with each other, and their heads moved closer together. "So, Ryan; having any problems in the relationship?" Alan asked promisingly, but he was quickly silenced by Ryan. "No! Don’t you ever learn?"

"Believe me, he doesn’t. Hey, while I’m here, thanks for the book, Ryan." John said, and the two turned to face him in unison. "Speaking of learning, I would like to learn what the hell went on here? I mean, is Ceilidh a lesbian? And who was that? And how on earth did you get her?" John continued in his head, but finished as Alan said "Ah, women. You can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Come on, I’ll tell you back in the apartment."

"What did you just say, Alan Gunderson?" Phoebe Bradley said, standing in the corridor looking undeniably sexy despite the XXL 8-Ball shirt that went down past her knees and scuffed denim jeans. Her hair still moved back and forth from her movements, and her eyebrows were in the V-shape – which translates into "Not getting out alive".

"Er…um… Run, John! RUN!!!" Alan screamed as he made his way to the other end of the corridor. John shrugged and casually walked towards Alan, although not before giving Phoebe a casual "Nice to have met you." before breaking into a jog. Ryan slowly turned to face the red-haired, red-faced women slowly approaching him, and he threw up his hands in protest. "Don’t look at me! I didn’t say anything!" Phoebe came to halt in front of him, and ran her hand through her hair. "Don’t worry, the only guy I want to kick in the balls right now is Joe. And maybe Alan. You’re OK, Ryan, even if you are sleeping with my sister." She rubbed her forehead, and sighed. "Look, why don’t we go to a film, once Deirdre’s gone? It’ll be nice to catch up since…"

"Since Graduation? Yeah, it will." He turned to the figures of Deirdre and Ceilidh walking down, and whispered, "You’d better go - Deirdre was talking to Ceilidh about you." Phoebe quickly ran off, and was unseen by Deirdre by the time she returned. "Where’d the other two go? Left out of common sense?" Ceilidh asked. "I’d better go – Phoebe will be wondering where I am. I’ll leave you guys to your business." And on that note, she turned and left.

***

Alan collapsed on his bunk as John entered the room. Switching on the TV, he sighed, and asked "Remind me never to speak ever again, OK?" Turning to the TV, he paused, and the past conversation passed through his mind. "Hey, what book did you get from Ryan?" John paused as he undressed, and pulled on a pair of boxer shorts. Going towards the bookshelf, he pulled a small paperback off the shelf. "Oh, it’s just the first edition of Colour of Magic. I’ve been looking for it for ages." Putting it back on the shelf, he yawned. "I’m shattered from all this history. You can tell me about the rest tomorrow." Getting into his bunk, he went straight to sleep.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:14 am

<Location: Avalon, Canada>
<Time: 06:59 on the fourth of March 2003>

"God, I hate the night shift" Joseph Page mumbled as he looked at the scene in front of him. The night shift at his mother’s caf
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:47 am

<Location: Charleston, Canada>
<Time: 22:01, on the second of March 2003>

Kieran Temp lent on the counter in front of him as he surveyed the near-empty cinema in front of him. He’d been on this shift for half an hour, and only served one customer, a lone college student who looked like a nervous boy on his first date. He watched as the kid reached for a mobile in his pocket, then recoiled in shock as a burst of light enveloped, removing him from sight. Blinking twice in disbelief he saw only the boy’s wallet fall to the ground, and came out from the counter to pick it up. Reaching downwards, he slipped the black leather wallet into his hand and looked at the name.

"Ryan Aberdeen?"

<Location: Three miles Due North of Charleston, Canada>
<Time: 22:02, on the second of March 2003>

Sarah Tucker’s head drifted off for the second time on this long dark night, and she reached across the car for her coffee mug in its cup holder. Leaning on the wheel, she looked at the Beige Toyota in front of her and sipped on the Mocha Latte in her left hand whilst steering with the right. The red-headed driver in front of her, her long braid moving to a beat, was bopping along like nobody’s business. Turning on her indicator with her left hand, she slipped around the Toyota and glanced across to the driver.

Suddenly, a burst of light flashed across her vision and she slammed down on the brake pedal in panic. Swerving into the lane divider, she smashed the flimsy steel bar down and came to a halt. Her Mocha Latte burned into her lap, the mug broken on the floor. But she could only look in horror as the Toyota also sped out of control and careered into the oncoming traffic behind her.

<Location: Charleston, Canada>
<Time: 22:03, on the second of March 2003>

"Hey sorry I’m late" Alan Gunderson shouted as he ran into the room. Looking around he noticed that, although the door was wide open and unlocked, there was no-one here. Walking across the room, he stepped on the smoking remains of John’s book.

"What on earth happened here?" Suddenly the book exploded into a circle of fire, and Alan winced as the flames engulfed him and then disappeared, taking him with it. The circle contracted, leaving the ashes of the book and a pair of shoes, because some conventions are followed even here.

<Location: Charleston, Canada>
<22:04, on the second of March 2003>
Phoebe Bradley lay on the bunk as she waited for Ceilidh to come back with the shopping. Her rust red hair splayed over the covers, her heaving bosom rose and fell like the waves of an ocean. A burst of light flashed across the room, and she was gone.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:50 am

<Location: N/A>
<Time: N/A>

Blue. All around, there was Blue. Blue to the left. Blue to the right. Blue in front. Blue behind. Ceilidh looked at her hand, and her eyebrows rose up in surprise at the pinkness of her hand. She had never noticed it before, but it shone compared to the drab duck-egg* blue behind it.

Blinking, she started to take in her surroundings. Distance seemed to have no meaning her – she could almost see herself in the distance, her thoughts told her – but were they her thoughts or someone else’s? Time also didn’t see to pass – one second was much like another, but nothing seemed to be the same either. Am I dead? Or am I dreaming?

Suddenly she noticed others. Ahead of her, what she had thought was herself was now Ryan. Behind was Phoebe, and to her left was Alan. She tried to call out, but no sound came. She realised that she hadn’t been breathing since she got here. But how long had passed? How much time would it take for me to breathe? She could only think that, before all thoughts were expelled. Looking to her right, she noticed it. IT. The weapon, although she didn’t know, stood close enough to touch. Although it had no constant form, it seemed to switch between a gun... and a sword. A thought crossed her mind, and whether it was hers or not, she could not decide. Touch it Ceilidh, Daughter of Pol, Son of Farlane. Wield it in your hands. It was built for you. Use it!

NO! I shouldn’t… I can’t, can I? Can I…wield IT? Ceilidh thought, but another thought crossed her mind. Do not think, just do. Ignore all thoughts, and obey only one. This one. Do must you must do, Ceilidh Mcfarlane. Not what he must do. But before she could think of who he was, she convulsed in pain. Her hand thrust out, seemingly of its own accord, to grab the weapon. Ceilidh struggled to seize control, and seized in a small but important place – her fist. It met the weapon full force, and smashed into it’s myriad components.

Then all she knew was darkness.

*or possible eau-de-nil.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:23 am

<Location: N/A>
<Time: N/A>

Ryan looked up. His mobile floated beside him in mid-air, and he reached out to grab it. Punching in his home number, he held it to his ear and listened. "I’m sorry, but there is no available reception in this area. Please try again later." Ryan sighed and threw the mobile about three metres away. Looking around, he saw into the distance and saw several figures. Slowly swimming, trying to do the forward crawl, he tried to reach for the lone figure. Suddenly, darkness exploded forth from one figure, and Ryan recoiled backwards as the darkness washed over him, and he was gone, leaving only his mobile phone.

***

Alan looked around him. Beyond the orange ball of fire that surrounded his vision, the blueness filled all the rest. Sweating from the heat, he tried to reach out to the fire in ignorance, and his mind exploded in a myriad of thoughts. KILL! DESTROY! MAIM! MUST…BREAK…FREE… Alan's face was a contorted mess of emotions as the voices sought to take over, but Alan struggled, and slowly but surely forced them out one by one.

THIS ONE IS STRONG…THE PERFECT VESSEL FOR MY MIND…THE DISC SHALL KNOW MY POWER WHEN I AM FREEE…the voice ended, and Alan screamed in pain before falling unconscious and slumping into the foetal position. He hardly noticed the darkness wash over him.

***

Phoebe looked around. Where, where am I? She thought, spinning onto herself looking for others. She saw others in the distance, and reached out for them, when darkness exploded towards her from one. The darkness washed over her, but she did not disappear. All alone she looked around. What…what’s going on? Let me OUT OF HERE! She tried to scream, letting her vocal box go sore as she silently screamed for help.

We have other plans for you, girl…a voice echoed across her brain, as though it had always been there. Phoebe left, and the darkness left with her.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:25 am

<Location: N/A>
<Time: N/A>

"What is going on, M’Lady? There had better be a good explanation for this matter transportation!" a voice boomed across the nexus, its form unseen to any observer. A lone figure stepped out as if it had always been there. A midnight black shawl covered its entire body, and all that could be seen of its face was two green eyes, that shone like emeralds from the darkness beneath the veil.

"Yes, there is a reason. Do not be so hasty to judge, Azrael, or are you totally ignorant of the world you protect?" "I am not so ignorant, yet I see no dangers either. People die and are born, Empires rise and collapse, the Gods play games with men. Nothing changes, as far as I can see." Still the voice boomed across the scene. "And why bring them, not even born of this world, to here, never mind to a Nexus of chance instead of order? Surely having them pass through one of order would mean they would do their duty and leave?"

"Yes, if their duty would be done once they return. But, alas, no, it may not be over, and things do change regardless. There are now no heroes left, for they are all dead, ruling empires, or wandering regardless. The only reliable one is under the control of my sister, and she would not go as far as to be involved in such a simple, age-old story. I doubt she is even aware of it, the pitiful fool." The figure said; calm rippling through its voice. "Chance must occur for them to learn of this world separately, they must have a separate reason for them to arrive where they are needed… and they are from the same world as he is. They have come to take him home." She sighed, and a small turtle appeared in its hands. On its shell were four elephants, and on their backs was a disc. "Let us watch how they perform, and hope that they succeed. The story will weave them into itself, and we shall see the results. And once they are done, they can go home."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:31 am

<Location: The Discworld>
<Time: The fourth of Grune, 1988>

The Discworld. Star of three computer games, two animated series, countless figurines, twelve theatre productions and it is of course a very successful money-spinner for the people that live there. Of course, unknown to them, it is also the star of nearly forty books, covering everything from the fall of Djelibeybi, The Counterweight Continent, Leshp… you get the idea. The universe which the book describes is almost real, and because it describes a universe filled with almost and nearlys, it is therefore probably real.

Probably.

If it is real, then what if the other real things, the things that were always real, passed through? Not unlike the demons from the Dungeon Dimensions, with their myriad eyes, arms, legs and… other members, they will come, and they will leave, but what of their affect on the world around? Their effect will ripple across whatever they meet, as they face challenges beyond comprehension. They have the power to shape the world, but if they aren’t careful, the world will shape them. Some old stereotypes are about to be revived. Sometimes, fire needs to be fought with fire.

Watch as it comes into view. You can’t miss it – it is a great big turtle supporting a world on its back. Well, that’s a lie – there are four giant elephants to help it. As Great A’Tuin’s head goes to the left of our vision, we can clearly see the two of the four elephants, and the giant disc, with its waters flowing over the oceans. The peak of Cori Celesti, with Dunmanfestin’ at the very top can be seen clearly too, and the smoke rising from Ankh Morpork, the Disc’s biggest city, can only just be seen. Its tiny sun, ninety metres across and travelling faster than its own light, is peaked above the city signalling noon for most, although most of them are asleep.

There are many questions that arise from this, like "How does the disc move on the backs of four elephants?", "Where does the water go?" and "What relevance does this have to the story? Get on with it!", and over the course of the story, hopefully none of these questions will be answered.

But you never know.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:51 am

<Location: The Mended Drum, Ankh-Morpork>

Ryan Aberdeen blinked too at the piercing noon light, and stared at the scene in front of him. The hustle and bustle of Ankh-Morpork continued around him, as trolls and dwarves, men and things he wasn’t quite sure of, continued on their business despite the fact that he had just popped into existence. Where the hell am I? Ryan wondered, spinning on his heels and coming to face the building nearest to him. Ryan stepped back at the sight. Hanging unnoticeably above him, unaware of the fuss it was causing to him was a sign reading "The Mended Drum".

"So I’m on the Discworld? This does not make sense. At all. Of course, neither does going from the cinema to a duck-egg blue space…" Ryan said to himself. He looked down. The physics of cross-universe transportation, which we shall not go into here, had turned his jeans and T-shirt into ragged jeans and T-shirt, which explained why he had not been mugged by the Thieves Guild yet, who knew a worthwhile target when they saw one. "…or possibly eau-de-nil. Maybe this will all make more sense with a few drinks." Ryan muttered, as he walked into the hellish atmosphere that was The Mended Drum. A few drinks would help him think, and if that didn’t work, a few more would stop him from thinking about the situation at all.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:55 am

<Location: Outside Madam’s Garden’s, Ankh Morpork>

Ceilidh kept on wincing, and only started wondering why she wasn’t dead yet after about a minute. Slowly opening her eyes, she staggered back and fell on to the ground, dropping the claymore in her hand in disgust. The sword and body, linked horrible, fell to the ground with a silent thump. She hurriedly wiped the blood off her cheek and hand, and tears flowed down her face. In her haste at defending herself, she had thrust the claymore into the chest of the assassin, and he was now no more than a bleeding husk, his black clothes sodden with blood. The claymore slowly went from perpendicular to parallel to the ground, and slid out of the Assassin’s torso with a sickening snap as one of his ribs broke.

"What… what have I d-done? Oh God oh God oh God…" Ceilidh stuttered as she rose to her feet, her knees knocking beneath her tartan skirt. Her conscience screamed that it had been either him or her, but something else* argued still that it was wrong. She was confused, in a city of thieves and assassins, and she was aching with hunger. She limped out of the alleyway shaking and approached a small man holding a tray full of shiny sausages. "Getcha sausages ona stick! So fresh the pig ‘asn’t noticed they’re gone yet! So cheap I’m cutting me own throat!" he screamed to no-one in particular, and he noticed Ceilidh. Blood was drying on her cheek, and her hand, and her clothes were dirty with whatever had been in the alleyway. Her eyes screamed helplessness and confusion, and he did the only thing he knew.

"Free sample?"

She picked up the sausage warily. Turning it over, she croaked "Pork?", and the man nodded slowly. She ate even more warily, and chewed as only one can chew one of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler’s sausages, and blinked. Her eyes flashed from desperate to the normal angry-Ceilidh as she sought an outlet for the emotions ploughing through her. "These are sheep, not pork! They taste like haggis!" She told Dibbler, crossing her arms under her bosom. Not wanting to argue with a blood stained woman, he turned, and started shouting "Getcha haggis ona stick! So fresh the sheep ‘asn’t noticed they’re gone yet! So cheap I’m cutting me own throat!"

*Her "collective unconscious" according to Alison.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:08 am

<Location: Ankh-Morpork… sort of.>

"Ow. Well, that was dumb. Should of thought of that before jumping her. I guess woman are as good at killin’ as they are as theivin’. Um…" Cenn Macha paused as he looked first at what he was talking, and secondly at where he was talking. "I’m dead?"

"SORT OF. NOT YET ANYWAY." A figure said behind him, and Cenn spun on the spot, his black clothes looking even more cool compared to this…person’s robe. Two tiny pin-pricks of light shown out from the great crevices that could only be called eye-holes, and his face was contorted into a smile the way only a skull could smile. Cenn’s eye wandered towards the figure’s hands. In one was an egg-timer, it’s sand nearly, but not completely gone. In the other, a scythe shone despite the complete absence of light.

"You’re… you’re Death?" Cenn stammered, his eyes fixed on the "Cenn Macha" engraved onto the egg-timer.

"IN THE FLESH. METAPHORICALLY, OF COURSE."

A question floated across his mind. One doesn’t become an Assassin without learning about some of the next man’s tools. "Um… why am I here if I still have sand in my timer?"

"I HONESTLY DON’T KNOW. IT’S QUITE UNEXPECTED, THAT SWORD JUMPING UP AND STABBING YOU." Death placed the life-timer back into the folds of his robes, and looked at the background scene. Totally unseen to the surroundings, Cenn watched as a lone figure took the sword out of his… a body. "HOW STRANGE. IT’S DOING IT AGAIN"

"Doing what? That girl just picked it… up. You can’t see her, can you?" He said, but Death and his surroundings started to fade. He could only hear "DAMN." before he blinked and looked onto the noon light. "Alright I’m AARGH… I’m undead, damnit." He looked around, and made a quick, educated guess.

If I’m supposed to die here, then I should go somewhere else…he thought, before ru-limping to the harbour, trying to ignore the pain in his chest. "By Io, I hate being dead."

***

The scene around Death flickered as he moved from the Discworld to a place not on any map. He had been summoned to a nexus, a feat only done when his superiors needed to talk personally. Normally, the thoughts of great beings such as the Old High Ones take so long time sidles away in embrassment. But here, stripped of time, conversations can have some meanings, and even the great hulk of Azrael can speak in time.

"YOU WILL NOT INTERFERE. THIS IS AN ORDER." Said Azrael.

"They are not from here. They will leave in time. No concern for you... or your granddaughter." said the figure in black next to Death.

"VERY WELL THEN. I DOUBT SHE'D EVEN GO FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS" said Death. As he was cast back, Azrael looked askance at the figure in black.

"I CANNOT FORESEE THEM. THEY ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD."

"Good. I like surprises. Hopefully their... disconnectness will prevent the auditors from locking onto them too." The figure faded, and there was nothing.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:05 pm

<Location: Outside Madam’s Garden’s, Ankh Morpork>


Ceilidh quietly retreated back to the alleyway, hoping to find the assassin had been a dream, part of travelling to… wherever she was. She sighed, and tears flowed down he cheeks. "I’m… sorry. Sorry for not being able to bury you, or know who you are. Rest in peace, Unknown Assassin." It wasn’t much, but it seemed to lift some weight off her shoulders. She still knew that she had done wrong, but something inside her told her she could repay it. She ripped off the bottom half of skirt and wrapped it around her, and tied a hasty knot on the side. Warily picking up the sword as if it was a suspicious sock on a teenager’s bedside dresser, she slipped it into the knot, making it a make-shift sheath. She hated the thing, but knew inside her that it would help her avoid any more thieves.*

Leaving the alleyway, she nervously approached the salesman, his tray now reading "Dibbler’s Haggis on a stick", and decided to ask him for the way to the nearest pub. She desperately needed a drink after that experience, and if she were to find John she had the best chance there. "Excuse me, do you know where the nearest pub is?" she asked him as he finished selling a.... product to the… man in the dented armour.

"Hmm… you’ll want the Mended Drum then" Dibbler pondered, taking in the claymore on her side and blood on her cheek. "Go left up Easy Street and then take a right on the next street, Welcome soap. Then go left at the fork into Filigree Street and the Drum is on yer left, ya can’t miss it." He then remembered himself, and said "Haggis on a stick?"

*In fact, it wouldn’t have helped. The thieves later reported to the Guild of a Llamedos swordswoman who was to be avoided, and after a few days the tale was so big it was applied to all Llamedos visitors in case they had a weapon hidden on their person. No notice reached the Assassins Guild, for obvious reasons.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun May 02, 2004 4:00 am

<Location: Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork (in part)>

It was dark. Well, not dark, as it was punctuated by candles, but still not as light as it had been. So Alan Gunderson closed his eyes, and then opened them again. It was the same scene, only a little lighter as he got used to the scene. He looked up, and there was a ceiling above him. At least, he thought it was a ceiling – if it was a floor he was in serious trouble. But so far so good. He felt the surface of what was probably the floor, although he still wasn’t sure, and found it be made of wood, and he retracted his finger and sucked it when he cut it on a blunt nail.

So, he could see, taste and touch. He could hear too, the crackle of a nearby fire and the bubbling of… things, he decided. Finally, his sense of smell returned and he smelt rotten eggs, like sulphur only worse. It was strangely punctuated by a faint lavender scent. So, in short, he was in a fire lit wooden room with a something that bubbled and an unpleasant smell.

What else? Oh yes. He opened his mouth and screamed and screamed and screamed, with a side order of moaning for his mother and falling backwards on himself. This worried the figures on the other side of the magic circle, who usually expected what they had summoned to be trying to get out of the magic circle by now. "Well, I think it can be said that Demon Summoning is beyond you, E-" The Dean began, but Ponder Stibbons piped up in defence of the cloaked figure next to him.

"Er, well, not exactly. I mean you could say that a teenager is a demon – I’m sure most mothers would agree with me. It could also be a demon inhabiting a human body, or, or, um…" Ponder continued to mumble for a few seconds, and then noticed the silence. The boy had stopped screaming and was looking at them with an expression of fear. The Lecturer for Recent Runes supported him. "Most wizards can’t summon demons very well anyway, Dean. I mean, I remember old Sprizter "Piggy" Garlick. He summoned Dibbler from Sator Square once…"

Oh no, thought Ponder there they go again, talking about old wizards. Better stop them while they’re starting… "And I said, the only things devilish about him is his sausages!" the Lecturer finished. Ponder spoke up. "Anyway, he’s certainly been summoned, so she can do that. Just give the pass mark and you can go for lunch."

Lunch tempted the Dean, and he succumbed. He turned to the figure to his right and said "Very well. Miss Smith, you’ve passed Demon Summoning.", as he glanced again at the figure which was crouched on the wooden floor.

"Please, call me Esk." the young wizard next to him remarked, running her hand through her chestnut-brown hair.
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Mcfarlane Salsa
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu May 06, 2004 10:16 am

<Location: The Mended Drum, Ankh-Morpork>
<Time: Noonish on the fifth of Grune in the fourth year of the Century of Anchovy >

The noise dipped in The Mended Drum as Ceilidh Mcfarlane entered the room. Going from casual noise to quietly listening is a mean feat for a respectable unrespectable place like The Mended Drum. However, it did mean that Ceilidh could clearly hear Ryan Aberdeen bartering the price of a beer from a dollar to half. "Maybe I could make up the difference?"

"Ceilidh? Wha – Ho- Whe- what are you doing here? Well, um, this helps me out but… yeah, what are you doing here?" Ryan blinked at the vast transformation Ceilidh had gone through. A blood-stained sword hung from her side, and her eyes told him she hated the fa
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu May 06, 2004 10:23 am

<Location: Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork (in part)>

Alan Gunderson continued to stare blankly at the duo in front of him. Did she just call herself...Esk? He thought, and looked at the guy in the glasses and robe. That’s got to be Ponder Stibbons, but… how? The surroundings shimmered as Esk rubbed out the circle surrounding him, and he slowly got to his feet. Am I in the Discworld? Or something else? It seems so… and that blue space was definitely weird.
"Come on, we better see what you really are." Esk said, and motioned towards the door. It opened up on to a corridor, although where it led was unknown, knowing Unseen University. As Esk nervously smiled, he had a sudden image of a blonde girl, and shuddered.

"Is… is this the Unseen University? Is this the Discworld?" Alan stuttered, as they walked along the corridor, his bare feet resonating on the wooden floor. The generic noises of spells and simple magical duels filled the air, and the occasional scream floated across the scene. For the most part, it was quiet as the wizards enjoyed their favourite pastime – second helpings.

After a while, they arrived at the building outside the main structure of the University, and Ponder opened the door to reveal its contents. The mass of Hex, then University’s main computer, dominated the room. "Whoa… Hex! Wow!"

"How do you know about Hex?" Ponder asked, turning to face him. "Hex is only known to UU’s students and alumni, not some pie seller off the street." But another thought knocked Ponder’s enquires out of his head. Turning to Esk. "Which rune did you used for the guidance, Esk? G or S?"

"I used G… damn, that’s Generic! It picks up anyone who is on a point of instability." Esk quoted from memory. Twenty years in Unseen University had seen her to the Second Level, but still she couldn’t master her sieve-like memory. "That’s probably why this kid is here – The Discworld is a haven of instabilities. Of course, he could still…" she cut off suddenly, and turned to Alan. But he was crouching over a desk, his fingernails scratching against it. He was panting heavily, and suddenly a voice filled the room, passing to Esk’s brain without bypassing her ears.

"I am much more than a demon who rhymes and squeals… I am the demon master, as well you know, Eskarina Smith." Alan turned, but his eyes told Esk he was not as he seemed. The Alan-thing spoke again, and a tear ran down her face in memory of an old friend. "You have seen my kind before, haven’t you? When the new magic came down upon this building you fought us off… but the sourcerer has reduced your ranks, and you are weaker than ever before. We…Shall… Win…" The Alan-thing finished, and a devilish smile passed across his face for a split second.

It was soon wiped off as Esk threw a fist at the Alan-thing, and he went flying back with a satisfying crack. He collapsed backwards onto a chair, and put his hand to his mouth, and tasted blood. Esk, unlike most wizards whose idea of exercise was walking to the Great Hall instead of Teleportation, was a fit woman with a temper to match Ceilidh. In fact, Alan turned and saw a lot of things in her that he saw in Ceilidh, but then came back to the matter in hand.

"Wfsgfl?"
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