[FANFIC] After Avalon: Enter the Disc

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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun May 09, 2004 6:37 am

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

"Well, lets see – you were possessed by a demon, threatened the end of the world, and then I hit you across the room. That sufficient enough for you?" She paused, and grabbed a simple mirror from under a desk. She then took some of Alan’s blood off the floor with a tissue, and gave it to Ponder. "The demon possessing you must be very strong to be holding a body with a soul, but for you to resist…" She held up the mirror, and asked "What do you see?"

"Well, what I see normally, only I don’t usually have such a dark shadow behind me… especially one with horns and bat wings." Alan paused, and looked behind him. There was nothing there except for the overbearing hulk of Hex. Meanwhile, Ponder was finishing looking at Hex’s results on Alan’s blood. "Well, this is interesting. It seems he isn’t from the Discworld, but Hex is having a hard time finding where he is from… and what’s stranger is that he’s getting the same results coming from the docks. I’ve found Hex has got this device for finding where everything is at one point - a "DPS" - and he picked up something weird, like this guys blood, down at the docks." Ponder finished, and turned to Alan. "So where are you from then?"

Alan considered his audience, and thought up the perfect answer. "Er… Roundworld. Yeah, that’s right." He remembered what he had read, and continued. Telling people they were part of a fabricated world was not a good idea, and something he could never face. "But not the one in Rincewind’s office. It’s like… um… quantum. A different one in another Discworld."

"Hmm, interesting. Well, I’m not sure the Librarian will let you go back – he was very resilient last time." Ponder started, the sheer shock stopping him from asking Alan why he was calling it Roundworld, but Alan distracted him. "I’ve got to go to the docks! Maybe if there are enough of us…" He made a break for the door, and by the time Esk had reached the door herself, he was halfway to the Scholar’s Entry. Breaking into a sprint, she raced to the fence and bounded over it catching sight of Alan at The Monument.

"Stop!" she screamed as she raced down Memorial Street towards the river Ankh. She wrinkled her nose at the putrid smell, and went left down Pleader’s Row, jostling through people to get down to Alan. Pushing aside a piece of Haggis on a stick, she saw where he was running. Flood Walk, empty of people, going directly into the back of the Mended Drum.

"Hah! I’ve got you…now?" she started as she saw the golden locked boy literally bounce into the Ankh. The heat, unusual for even Grune, had caused the river to, well actually resemble a normal English river. That is to say, Alan was now bounding from one piece of discarded junk to next, all the while the river threatened slow acidic death around him. Pushing off of some sort of metal wire basket with tiny wheels*, he landed on Rime Street, on the other side of the Mended Drum.

"What the- Modo’s wheelbarrow?" Esk grinded to a halt at Brass Bridge. "Stuff this for a packet of soldiers, I’m teleporting." She muttered, and winked out of vision as she was replaced by two wooden boxes of "Ankh-Morpork’s Finest Fish", which were quickly snatched up by a passer-by. Let it not be said that Ankh-Morpork’s denizens are left floundering in the face of a free fish head.

*There’s always one.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue May 11, 2004 11:23 am

<Location: Ankh-Morpork Docks, Ankh-Morpork>

Captain Jenkins stared at the mixed rabble that was organised in front of him. Warriors tended not to use boats, and he wondered where on earth such a rag-tag bunch had got a purse of gold… but gold was gold, and a bloodied sword in the hands of a woman was a deal.

"Alan!" Ceilidh exclaimed as a young boy vaulted over to the group. He landed in front of a girl who had just appeared where two boxes of fish guts had been before. The girl looked surprisingly like herself, albeit ten years older . As Alan landed on the wooden decking of the dock, he shook himself and looked up at the group. "Um… hey! Bet you weren’t expecting me to be here?" he panted, as they stared fixedly at him.

"Well, actually yes. Six people were in that blue space so now it’s just Phoebe who would be in this city. You haven’t seen her have?" John asked him, a hint of concern in his voice. Worry marked his face. "Deirdre seems to be halfway to Klatch by now, if Ryan’s theory about distance is right." He motioned to the boat behind him, its captain biting the gold in the leather purse John had thrown him. "Well, I might as well come with you - Esk here says we’re the only ones in the city that Hex can identify."

A young woman, with a night blue robe that was littered with sequins, waved from behind him. Her long brown hair was neatly tucked into her wizard’s hat, and when she smiled you could see the gap in her teeth. Calling her beautiful would be stretching, but she was attractive enough to gain the attentions of the UU students. "Esk… Eskarina Smith?" stuttered Ryan, turning to Alan who was surprised to see her behind him. "You ended up in the University? But… um, of course, we wouldn’t know anything about, that, being from Llamedos, eh, Alan?" Ryan said, nudging Alan in the ribs as they went towards the boat.

"I know you lot are from Roundworld, roundabouts. Why is it everyone seems to know me there?" Esk asked innocently. The group panicked and looked at each other worriedly, then chimed in unison "Coincidence!" and quickly got onto the boat. Alan paused as the rest of them filed on. "I hope you’ll be OK with this… I mean, Ponder won’t be happy that I won’t be there to study." Alan told Esk as she turned to go. Her robes, fitting her like a loose dress, sparkled in the noon sun as she looked over her shoulder at him.

"Well, he’s got your blood to study, and this kind of mad confusion happens to us everyday at UU. Just… come back so we can exorcise that demon, OK? I’m sure you can handle it in the short term, but in the long term… well, you’ve already seen the side effects." She said, and turned her head away from him. "Just come back."

"I will." Alan replied, and turned to the boat. He walked up the wooden walkway, and soon enough they were gone.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri May 14, 2004 11:01 am

<Location: Somewhere in the Circle Sea>

The day passed, and the Great A’Tuin moved through space. The sun continued on its orbit around the Disc, narrowly missing Jerakeen’s right ear as night came onto the disc like a lecherous lover. The night turned the sky into a beautiful black screen, showing that even universes built from anomalies can still look stunning.

The sky reflected onto the waters of the cleverly-named Circle Sea, and the waters moved round a wooden ship that was sailing quietly through the seas. The Furrow’s mainsails were flourished in all their glories, and beneath deck, the sailors slept their troubles away whilst their cargo of a thousand crates of fish heads rested below.

That, and a certain red-headed figure, her clothing frayed and her bosom rising and falling like the Assayrian Empire as she slept through the night. She would remain in the deep sleep that comes to those who travel amongst a thousand crates of "Ankh-Morpork’s Finest Fish" until the ship docked in Klatch.

<Location: A day’s trip behind the Furrow.>

Alan Gunderson looked ponderously upon the open sea. Leaning on the bow of the ship, the light of Ankh-Morpork could just be seen on the horizon, and squids and fishes shot across the waters beneath them as the Milka sailed over them. He could still hear the Demon in his head, taunting him from behind his conscience.

Why? Why me? Since when was I strong-spirited? He thought to himself, and his eyebrows rose as an answer came back.

You are not, compared to the others around you, but you are still special to us, us who are used to the weaklings of this Disc. Your species interests us, young one, and we are stunned by your capacity for evil that even we cannot accomplish. We see your memories, and we see the ability to lie and cheat with the one you... "love". We see images of war and destruction in your world, a world protected from magic yet still capable of atrocities these feeble minded humans could not even imagine, ne'er mind master… came back the answer, as Alan gripped the rail in pain. The words seared across his brain like acid boring themselves into his memory. But Alan felt... something. A feeling that this was an act of desperation, the most it could do. And that it felt... curious?

Who…who are you? Alan answered back.

I am the night. I am dark of your mind. I am the flip-side of the coin to all that is good. I am the only one of the Things with the intelligence to design itself for the outside world. I am their master. But… your kind interests me. Maybe I shall stay with you, and see whether to let you live. On your world, I shall be but another gland in your head, watching until you return. Amuse me, and you shall live through my return… the voice faded into the back of his mind.

"Well then. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t return." Alan whispered to himself as the pain receded, and as the words carried themselves in the wind, he jumped as a hand grabbed his shoulder.

"I think you’ve got some explaining to do, Alan." Ceilidh said, as Alan swivelled round to see her. "Of course, I guess the same is true of me."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue May 18, 2004 12:26 pm

<Location: Somewhere in the Circle Sea>

"So, tell me, John. Where did you get a small bag full of gold?" Ryan remarked, as Alan and Ceilidh talked into the night. Lying on the wooden floor, the smell of fish guts wafting up through the cracks.

"Same place I got these knives, Ryan." John replied, two hilts slipping into his palms as he bent his wrists back. The simple bronze hilts gleamed under the oil lamp above their head, and in a flash John brought his hands back up slipping them into his sleeves. " A couple of thieves were having a bad day, and then they bumped into me." John looked Ryan straight in the eye. "I still don’t understand all this. I mean, the spell just enveloped us - why did you and Deirdre go with us?"

"Someone wants us for a purpose. We seem to have… special qualities, ones that they want to use. Ceilidh’s a fighter, Alan’s a wizard, you’re a thief, and I’m a …a red mage I guess. Although you don’t seem to be very elvish, and Ceilidh seems to be the one with the killing streak…" he paused, allowing the silence to fill the room that demands to be filled. John filled it.

"Well, I did once work in a chip shop" John said. "We’re all changing. Adapting to the story, the narrative. We wouldn’t be out of place in an Role-Playing Game. Someone is trying to make a story, an old story be true. Once we’re in Klatch… who knows when it’ll end?"

"I don’t know. Once we find Deirdre in Klatch, we can go back and try to get home. If anyone’s there, they’ll probably create a bigger impression than Ceilidh…" Ryan sighed. "I don’t like this one bit."

"Neither do I Ryan, neither do I."

***

"So, you’re… what, possessed? This Esk girl tried to summon a demon, they tried to shove their leader there to invade, and you got in the way and stopped it. I’d say you saved the day, sort of." Ceilidh looked at him, as he continued to look scared. A grimace marked his face, showing that he was struggling literally with his inner demons. "Look, I’m sorry for shouting at you. When I went to Guelph, I did so hoping to get a way from my past. But I guess it’s caught up with me now, and I can’t escape it. And now I’ve killed someone too…"

"It’s OK, Ceilidh. What would have happened if you hadn’t thrown up your arms? You’d be dead, and of no use to us now. What if that sword was mea-, I, I mean it’s no use fussing. You think that guy didn’t deserve to die? He’d probably killed many people before, and all of them probably deserved to die too. It’s no use crying over split milk, as my mother says."

"We’ve all got inner demons that we have to fight, Ceilidh. My problem is that one of them is real."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri May 21, 2004 10:02 am

Drip, Drop.

Drip, Drop.

Drop, Drip.

Drop, Drip.

Drip, Drip, Drip, Drop.

The water dripped and dropped from the ceiling to face so faithfully that you could have set your watch by it. That is, if watches here weren’t controlled by demons and would have lost count by the fifth drip.

The water leaked through the cracks in the wood, drip-drip-droping on the figures’s head. Not, that is, a figurehead but the head of a figure. The actual figurehead of the boat is attached outside.

It is here that narrative gives up on deciding the scene, and instead focuses on the speech, which has no double meanings. Unless you’re talking to Nanny Og-

"Well… what do we ‘ave ‘ere then? We ‘ave a stowaway, just a young lass looking for adventure and excitement on the high seas? Well, you’ll get none of that ‘ere"

It is at this point the narrative is dragged back, so it can say that the captain, called down to look upon the stowaway, was like most captains everywhere – white beard, pipe, and fatter than the Hogfather. However, he was unlike most sea captains in that although he’d sell his own grandmother to the slavers, he wouldn’t do that to a young woman. He had a better chance with a young woman than with his grandmother.

Bending down slowly to get closer to the red-headed women in front of him, he put an arm on the figure’s shoulder. Two eyes opened up on her smooth face, and she looked blearly eyed into the face of the captain.

"Wstfgl?"
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue May 25, 2004 11:35 am

<Location: Circle Sea>

John stepped onto the deck of the boat to see Ceilidh and Alan chatting at the back of the boat, whatever it was called. Once Alan was finished talking, he turned around and spotted John. The lights of Ankh-Morpork, burning bright against the night sky, shone like a halo around his dirty blonde head as he walked over to him.

"I see you're finished with Ryan. Try talking to Ceilidh - she needs cheering up, and I reckon you're the man to do it." Alan quipped as he passed him, before entering the room. John looked at Ceilidh against the cool night sky. The wind, blowing the boat along at five knots, whatever that was, made her hair flow towards him like a banner, and it revealed the hilt of the claymore she had found when she arrived here. Not just found - used. He took a deep breath and walked over to her.

"So how'd you get a whole bag of coins, John? You don't exactly find them lying around the place. Of course, you don't find claymores all over the place either..." Ceilidh said as he came up to her from behind.

"Same place as these knives" Two hilts slipped into his palms as he bent them back, before being pushed back up. "A couple of thieves were running away from something, didn't see my foot or my fist, and ran right into them. So I, aha, borrowed their knives and gold. I thought it might be useful."

"Heh. That was probably my fault. They saw me leaning on this and scurried away." She paused to look over the sea. "We've all changed so much over the past few hours, John. We've got demons and swords and missing friends. Why can't anything ever be simple? Why us? When I was in that void, I could see the thing that brought us here... and I destroyed it! We're stuck here with no way back. How are we going to get back?"

"I don't think I can answer that. But I'll just say this - we're here, so we might as well do what we've gotta do. We were brought here on purpose - someone doesn't just leave spells in books - but once we have done what we need to do here, we can go home."

"At least, I hope so..."

***

"So, Ryan... What the hell is going on?"

"Good question. Well, you remember the blue void, right?"

"Vaguely, yes. I was concentrating more on expelling the demons trying to get inside my head than looking at the scenery."

"Heh. Well, the way time was stopped there... what if we've gone to a past Discworld?"

"Hmm... you mean an older book?

"Yes. Notice when you were running no coppers chased you? The Watch... it's complacent. It's relaxing on the calm not before, but after the storm. You've heard of The Fifth Elephant?"

"The Fifth Elephant! We're in Ankh-Morprk during The Fifth Elephant?"

"Not exactly. By now, Vimes will have stopped dealing out punishment for Colon, and so combined with this heat they're as lazy as ever. We're caught between the power-drive of Nightwatch and the end of Fifth Elephant. Jingo still had it's effects, as we're about to see. I think someone needs us to fill in for a story. Once we're done, we should be sent back. We'll get to Klatch, find Deirdre, then come back and fulfil the story."

"Hopefully..."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun May 30, 2004 1:53 am

And so, the night turned into day, and the sun rose and fell.
And it did a second time the next day. What a coincedence...

And eventually, the city of Al Khali appeared on the horizon, it's soft breeze pulling the Milka into it's harbours. The hustle and bustle of the city, like a stone Ankh-Morpork with a better smell, reared it's head like a landmark of the sea.

So Ceilidh, John, Ryan and Alan finally made into the city, hoping to hear some word of Deirdre. Instead all they heard was street sellers, marketing everything from ants to xylophones, sugar rolls to salted relatives.

"No, we do not want to buy any salted ants! Or any salted aunts!"

"Look, how are we going to find Deirdre in this mess?"

"Do what we did in Ankh-Morpork?"

"OK, I'll buy one of those sugar rolls. John, give a dollar."

"You mean go to the nearest inn?"

"Here's your dollar. Works for me, Ceilidh."

"Yeah, OK. Let's go."

"No, that's it! Just the sugar roll! I don't want a warranty on it for heaven's sake, and I don't want to buy your relative!"
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:13 am

The barmaid idly cleaned the beer glasses around her as she tried to remember yesterday. Her memory, with as many patches as a knitted quilt, gave her no clues. Some parts told her she was Deirdre… Bradey? From Ava…ava…lone? That she’d been thrown in here to work for being a stowaway.

Others told her she was Alanna Dani, from Ankh-Morpork, who had run away to seek her fortune, and had stowed away on the wrong ship…

Her memory clouded further, and her vision became foggy. It was as if the world was becoming less real… and yet more real at the same time… She picked up the basket of glasses and started to take into back to the bar. The smells of the tavern washed over her, obscured as she fell deeper into a trance. What was the first name again? Diana?

Suddenly, another smell punctuated her senses. Sugar, and a pastry-bread smell… doughnuts her memory said, but what were they? What were sweet, sweet… doughnuts?

The world shattered as her past life came rushing back, dispelling the story woven around her in a flash. Shards the life that could have flew into the air around her, and the basket of glasses fell to the ground in an almighty crash.

Patrick. Avalon. Ryan. Phoebe. Todd. Ryan. Joe. Ryan. Noelle. Ryan. Sweet, sweet, love of my life… RYAN!

"RYAN!"
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:14 am

"OK, we’re just going in here to get information. What boats are here, any stowaways, and so on. No. Drinking."

"Damn. You’re no fun, John."

"Yes, but I’m the one with the money purse. So listen up, and shut up." John approached the innkeeper warily. An Morporkian look could be dangerous here, so he played it safe. As he approached the Klatchian innkeeper, a man twice as wide as he was tall, and probably twice as dumb as he looked, the air seemed to… shimmer from behind him.

"Uh, hello there. I’m Captain John of merchant ship Kay. We appear to have lost one of our crewmates - a girl, red hair, in a braid. She may have stowed away on the wrong ship by mistake. I was wondering where I could- "

"RYAN!"

"Well that was easy…" John started, but the tanned innkeeper, his bulk taking twice as long to turn as his pin-head, started shouting in Klatchian. As Ryan tried to intervene, John hushed him down.

"Wait. Let’s see how she handles this. Look, she’s apologising in Morporkian… she’ll pay for the glasses and take the visitors- "

"That’s us. Yes thanks, we’ll just follow your barmaid up here. Yes thanks. John, pay the man while I talk to Deirdre." Ryan commanded, tired of taking orders from a sixteen-year old. Ushering Ceilidh and Alan along with him, he espied John taking out a golden Morporkian Dollar before Deirdre pulled him upstairs.

Deirdre closed the door behind her as Alan and Ceilidh entered the room. "What the hell are you doing here? One minute I’m in my Toyota, next I’m awakening in some boat with a lecherous captain then I get thrown into working for this overweight barman, get bombarded with the memories of some Alanna girl, then you pop out of nowhere and save me. Now, I’m not ungrateful but stuff like this doesn’t happen every day. So what the hell is going on?"

"We’re on the Discworld."

"Well, fuck."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:15 am

"Yes, fuck." John said as he entered the room. "I don’t know who that Alanna girl was, but I’m guessing Ryan here has an answer for us. Ryan?"

"Ah, yes. Well, as you know, every person in Discworld plays a part in a story. But, Deirdre didn’t come from the Discworld… so the story is trying to make her into a character. Inventing memories and so on. But we came just in time to remind her of her true life, with I’m guessing this sugar pastry bread." Ryan made up, still reeling from Deirdre’s rant. "Do you still have Alanna’s memory? Only it’d be useful to have some knowledge of what’s going on."

"Yeah, I think so… there’s some sort of coronation of the Seriph in a few days time. Since that war thing, they’ve been waiting for a new ruler, and this is it. Only… not everyone’s happy about it. Although the streets are packed with well-wishers." Deirdre said as she threw her apron to the floor. "This is really strange… back there, I felt as if I was Alanna, but now all I’ve got is what I just told you."

"What I don’t get is why we’re still here. We’ve got Deirdre, so let’s go home. Only I’ve got a Journalism paper to hand in soon, and finals will be here in April…" Ceilidh moaned, sitting on the floor. The room was little more than a bed and a stairwell leading to the roof. She could see Alan heading up it.

"Well… why don’t we relax here for now. This Seriph thing should be good. I’m sure Esk can wait for us." Ryan said, sitting on the hard mattress. "Now that Deirdre’s here, we can just take our time."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:19 am

Great. Now Deirdre’s here, we can finally leave… so why aren’t I happy? Is there something else out there? Something pulling us on? Alan thought to himself, as he looked out upon the city from the roof.

That would be your part in the next piece of the puzzle. Something’s happening, I can feel it. There’s a lot of magic about… ah, and here they come right on cue.

Who? Who’s cominahhhhh! Yoowwww! What the hell is that high…pitched…buzzing. Great. More of you. Why haven’t they invaded yet?

They’re scared

Of what? You?

Yes, me. I’m the first intelligent Thing, and they hold me in fear for that. I’m only their leader because of that… but they seem confused. Why?

Then the voices came. Hundreds of voices condensing into meaningless gibber, but some how some form took hold, of understanding… Masster… we meet again, masster… again you block our passage into this world.

Again? But why are you here to start with?

Another of this kind are being used. Not from this world. Hard to possess. Hard to bend into this world. This one has been here five days, and still it struggles. Even harder than the girl…

What girl? Who’s being used? Alan thought.

The Seriph… is one of yours… The Seriph is being bent to follow the Vizier’s rule…

"Why am I not surprised…stick a turban on a man and call him your advisor, and he snaps, like his neck should under the turban’s weight." Alan sighed. Who’s being used? Hello? Anyone?

They have left. It is over.

I’d better go tell the others! Someone’s in trouble!

No! Don't! You're not listening to me, are you. You're so absorbed in the story... oh me.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:24 am

"…and that’s basically what’s happened since we got here. Of course, now we’ve found you, we can find a way to go back, right Ryan?" Ceilidh concluded, as she finished filling Deirdre in on the past few days.

"Yes. If what Alan tells me is correct, then Uns-" Ryan replied, but he was interrupted as Alan came in from the roof.

"-een University won’t be used for a while Ryan. There’s someone else here. Someone from Earth being controlled by the Vizier up in the palace." Alan announced. "We should go and see if we can help them."

"Help them? What can we do? We’re just a bunch of kid- Oh. I see. Power of the story and all that. Well, I’ll be damned if I’m going." John jumped in, homesickness crawling up his throat.

"I’m going." Said Ceilidh colloquially.

"And me." Said Alan adventurously.

"Count me in too." Said Ryan ruthlessly.

"Oh, bugger. Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t. But how precisely do we get in?" said John jointly.

"Oh, there’s always a back way in, isn’t there Ryan?" Deirdre said as they moved towards the door.

"R-Really? Oh yeah, I guess there is. Heh-heh."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:27 am

So our fearsome five-

Stop that bloody alliteration. It wasn’t funny last time either.

Sorry. So our gang of five made their way towards the stupe- I mean, grand Seriph’s palace. It practically dominated the city, with Creosote’s Garden making up the largest portion of the building. As Deirdre led them through the city, Ryan caught up to her.

"So, what exactly are you going to do?" He asked as they rounded a corner.

"Distract the guards. The back entrance will be guarded anyway, so I’ll draw them to the front.

"WHAT? You can’t do that! You’ll get killed!"

"Not if I run like hell. I’ve probably got a better stamina than them, as you should know." She replied as they rounded another corner

"R-Really? Oh, yeah. Heh-ow!" Ryan exclaimed as he walked right into Ceilidh’s hand. Round the next corner was the back way in, with two guards standing to attention as Ryan mumbled the air blue.

"Wait here. I’ll go do my stuff." Deirdre whispered, disappearing around the corner.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:51 am

(OOC: After a long break, it returns. I haven't got Josh-itus, don't worry.)

<Location: Front Gate.>

"<Stop flipping that bloody coin, Stiles. It’s annoying as hades.>"

"<Well, guarding the gates is boring as hell, so I guess we’re even.>"

"<Look, just- hey who’s that reincarnation of Aphrodite?>"

"<Since when were you Ephebian? It’s just some Morporkian girl who’s flashing her breasts… hey she can’t do that!>"

"<I’m not going to stop her. I’m not, am I?>"

"<By the five moons of Harshem, you are!>"

"<Seven moons, Stiles. Come, let’s get her!>"

<Location: Back gate.>

"<Hey you two. Stiles and Al have gone girl-chasing again.>"

"<What, again? Come on, let’s go.>"

So, as the two guards made their way to the Front gate, our protagonists made their way inside.

"Are we really protagonists, Ryan?" Ceilidh asked.

"Not you. But we are."

"Oh. Damn."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:53 am

"So, um, what next?"

It was half an hour later, and, as far as Ceilidh was concerned, they were no closer to finding the Seriph’s chambers. As they came to the hundredth cross-roads, Ryan finally came to a decision.

"OK, we’re getting nowhere as a group of four. How about… Ceilidh and Alan, you go left that way. Me and John, we’ll go right this way. If anything happens… tough, because we can’t hear you.

"Oh, I’m filled with confidence now." Quipped Ceilidh. "Come on Alan. Let’s find this jock-arse Seriph and save their whiny behind."

"Ooh, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning." Alan replied, following Ceilidh up the corridor. It reminded him of practically nothing he’d seen outside books, except for a crazy golf course gone horribly wrong.

***

"John, don’t whistle."

"Why not?"

"You’ll attract the guards."

"I might be a simple servant carrying washing."

"Whistling Rush? Well, you’re half right anyway."

"Thank- hey! I’m not some… servant!"

"Yeah, right."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:06 am

Cenn Macha slowly clambered along the supports of the ceiling, stalking his prey. Employed by the Assassins in Klatch itself, he had been ordered by them to kill the Seriph, and considered a zombie Assassin the best possible kind. Dressed all in black, partly to look cool and partly to stop his flesh from dropping off onto his target, Cenn slowly made his way down the corridor. He stopped suddenly as two guards reared the corridor.

"<Dumb broad. Shouldn’t have done that.>"

"<You shouldn’t have run so hard. Maybe then you wouldn’t have walked right into her knee.>" The other guard replied, talking in Klatchian so that Cenn could not understand. The guard next to him visibly winced, and that spoke in all languages. He decided to follow.

"<So, whilst we’re chasing a girl, somebody gets in the back way. We’re in for the chopper, you know that? I mean the Grand Vizier is going to kill us. Personally. I mean, I heard she ordered the death of every male in Al Kalin just because they rejected Al Khali’s rule! We are so dead…>"

"<Not if we catch them, we aren’t. Shush, I hear something.>"

Cenn’s breathing stopped as they began to look around. Really, he didn’t need to, and he only did it out of force of habit. Suddenly, whispered filtered down from the hall.

"It’s a bloody dead-end! You’ve led me to your third dead-end! You bloody oyster-brained fool!"

"Hey, do you have a map? No. So stop complaining."

The first voice sounded familiar, and as the guards moved towards them, so did he. And so he saw her. His killer, that blasted Llamedos warrior-women, lay ahead of him. One shot… he slowly took out a knife and scrambled ahead of the guards. The women turned as she noticed the guards, but it was too late. Cenn dropped…

THUNK

…onto Ceilidh’s drawn claymore.

"Not again!"
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:09 am

"It’s a bloody dead-end! You’ve led me to your third dead-end! You bloody oyster-brained fool!" Ceilidh screamed as they stared at the wall again. The palace was like a labyrinth, and Ceilidh was half-surprised not to have found a minotaur yet.

"Hey, do you have a map? No. So stop complaining." Alan replied.

"How about I draw a map on your stomach? No, don’t look like that, you know I wouldn’t. I’m just bloody an…gry." Ceilidh’s voice dropped down to a whisper. "Ssh! Do you hear something?"

"Hear what? I don’t hear anything." Alan replied, in a voice that sounded loud compared to Ceilidh’s. "I don’t hear any- Oh shit." He finished as the guards reared up the corridor, their curved swords unsheathed. Alan was forced back as Ceilidh pushed him, and he watched in awe as Ceilidh unsheathed her claymore…

THUNK

"Holy shit!" Alan exclaimed.

"Not again!" Cenn screamed.

"Aargh!" Ceilidh gasped, throwing her sword down in disgust. Cenn landed awkwardly in front of the guards, with a mutter of "Right in the appendix too. Bloody blast it!". But before she could re-compose herself, the guard had reached the hilt, pulled it out of Cenn and shoved it back into the body with an almighty squelch. She heard another one behind her as Alan retched, and a unpleasant snap as the guard, square-jawed, pulled the claymore from the now definitely-dead Cenn Macha, and attached to his back.

"You. With us. Now." He said in bad Morporkian, and, defenceless and vomit-covered as they were, they followed.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:12 am

"John, will you stop playing with that knife?" Ryan spat as they turned around yet another corner.

"I think we’re going in circles." John replied, still tossing the knife into the air. "I mean, I stuck one of the knifes into the wall a while back, and unless it’s a new interior design fad here, I think we passed it five times."

"Well why don’t we try it with this knife?" Ryan suggested, grabbing the hilt at the top of the arc and throwing it in front of him. The knife spun as it flew towards…

THUNK

…a guard’s arm.

"<Aargh! My arm! It bleeds!>"

"<And all over the new stone paving! That’s the latest fad!>"

"The reason we don’t try it with that knife is because it’s my last one!" John quipped sarcastically.
"So what now?"

By now the guards had unsheathed their swords and were running towards them. John looked nervously at Ryan, who replied "How about… we RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!"

"Hey, works for meeeeeeeeeeee!"
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:14 am

And so, with John and Ryan and the run, Ceilidh and Alan captured, the Grand Vizier mere minutes from having complete control over the Seriph and other really bad stuff happening, we’ll cut back to Earth, where a different drama is unfolding…

<Location: Near the Avalon Peninsula>
<Time: 05:12 on the fourth of March 2003>

"Foxtrot-Whiskey-Bravo, this is Foxtrot-Gerald-Bravo, do you copy?" sparked the two-way radio in front of Corporal James Black. Sitting at the back of the F-155, he had been enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean speeding past at Mach speeds. Moving the receiver to beneath his wood-oak moustache, he gave his reply.

"Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, over? We really don’t need codenames, I mean, who can hear us?" he said into the microphone, a cheeky smile crossing his face. He enjoyed poking fun at the all-too-serious Team 96, and Scientist Gerd was the worst of the lot. With Thomas Windsor flying, he had little to do but wait until they arrived at Avalon.

"How long till we get to Avalon then?" he said, waiting for the reply. Coming back also instantly, the ragged voice of Daniel Gerd coming over the line. "The Town? An hour or two yet." James was about to reply when Tom grabbed the mike from the front without looking at it. "We’ll need to visit the peninsula, too. I guessing we’re all in need of a Pit-Stop.

"A pit-stop, right." Came the familiar Welsh tones of Dai Willis, who usually agreed with any order that wasn’t his. Regis piped in too, adding "we’ll have to be careful - it’s an American refuelling base."

"Right-oh, Regis. Foxtrot-Gerald-Bravo, Foxtrot-Whiskey-Rover, go on ahead and get them to refuel us." Looking out over the clouds below him, he added "Make it done."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:38 pm

<Location: Area 72 Refuelling Base, Avalon Peninsula>
<Time: 05:33, on the fourth of March 2003>

James Black yawned loudly as he clambered out of the decrepit F-155 he had been sat in for what seemed like an Age. The sky was marked the black-red hue of a sky that was near dawn, but still in the dark of night. Stretching to get a crick out of his back, he walked over to the gatepost, where Regis was having an unusually heated argument with the gatesman, who looked as if he wished he were back in bed. I feel the same way, kiddo.

"What do you mean, you don’t know what Phlogiston means! This is a bloody secret Refuelling base, used for refuelling planes on missions akin to ours, and you don’t know the simplest of passwords? What kind of base is this?" Regis shouted, managing to keep a straight accent as his Bristol lineage crept in. The gatesman simply shook his head and answered. "I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll pass it on to the General." He replied, before leaving the post. Regis turned to James, sporting a sour look on his face.

"I can’t believe they haven’t heard of our password. It’s the basic one! We don’t need any other!"
he spat, also suffering from jet-lag. Dai Willis patted him on the back, trying to get him to calm down. "Come on now, laddie. You can’t win everything." James left them to it and instead lent on the cubicle where the gatesman had been. Looking around, it was as decrepit as the plane, with files strewn around. A click on the door made him stand up, and the gatesman returned to his post.

"Nope, he ain’t heard of it either. So, I’m going to have to as-" the gatesman began, but James put his hand up and quickly interrupted him. "What if I were to say "Mah-jongg"?" he stated, his eyebrows arched into a mono-brow and his left eye flitting a wink. The gatesman stopped in his tracks as he glanced at his notes for a second too long before breaking into a smile and pressing a button under his desk. "Well, I’m going have to ask you to step this way whilst we refuel those lovely planes of yours!"

As the six of them walked towards the gate and began following the gatesman into the base, Regis tapped him on the shoulder to grab his attention. "What the hell was that? Since when do you know ITA passwords?" he said calmly, Dai’s sprightly accent doing the trick once more.

"Easy - the idiot had the list of passwords out in full view, the plonker."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:41 pm

<Location: The Seriph’s Chambers, Klatch>

"Ow! Do you have to throw us to the floor, you dumb guard?" Ceilidh spat as she lay on the floor, covered in the dust of the stone paving. Rearranging herself into a comfortable position, she sat cross-legged and stared at the intricately worked doors at the left and right of the room. One of those must be the Seriph’s… but which one? If only I had my sword… No! I’m glad to be rid of it. So why do I suddenly miss it?

"Guess I’m a cut above the rest now, eh, Ceilidh?" Alan quipped, rubbing the gash across his forehead from where the guards had hit him. He had put up the bigger fight, and no surprise with a demon inside him she thought. She had simply followed stoically, whilst Alan had kicked them wherever possible until they’d hit him over the head. "Guess I look pretty gashing, heh."

"Oof!" John grunted as he was tossed into the room, landing near upside-down on the floor. Flipping himself into the correct position, he was then pushed down to the ground by one of the guards whilst another shut the door behind Ryan, who had instead entered calmly and unhurt.

"I don’t know what’s worse - getting thrown head first into this room, or listening to that god-awful pun of Alan’s." John said as the door slammed ominously behind them. Ryan sat crosslegged beside him, saying "Well, if you’d co-operated instead of fighting a useless fight, you wouldn’t have been tossed."

"Heh, at least you can call the guard a toss-Ow! Ceilidh - thanks. Bloody demon." Alan replied as Ceilidh reached to hit him again for good measure. It seemed the demon was as restless as the rest of them, but it had quelled down thanks to Ceilidh’s threat of violence. Ancient Demon Master say: never anger woman with temper.

Yeah, well that covers just about every woman. Including this one! Alan’s thoughts ended abruptly as a tall, dark-skinned woman exited the door on the left. The large beige turban covered her shiny black locks, and her large eyes gave a penetrating stare to each of them. "So… you our intruders from outside… if you are all as weak as you seem, I shall have no trouble crossing the step into your world. I am Cetren, the Grand Vizier to the soon-to-be Seriph of Klatch. Bow down and die."
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:28 am

<Location: Seriph’s Chambers, Klatch.>

"No. Give us our friend." Ceilidh stated, drawing herself up to her full height, matching Cetren inch for inch in height. Her hastily made kilt shifted as the wind from the door blasted her, but she stood strong.

"Ah, so you know. But of course, you have a possessed child in your group. The demons know all, and so do I. You are weak, protected from using magic by a pitiful Thaumic field, but not protected from the use of it. Your world would crumble against the might of Klatch. Just one beast, and it would fall. But I need a link to your world, someone who is both here and there, never in one, always in both. Your friend is prefect for this. After capturing, it was easy to bend your friend to my will. Now, will you be bent into the Discworld by force, or will you do it willingly?" She finished, her hand resting on a partition in her dress that Alan had not noticed. A weapon? But what?

"I’ve seen how people are bent into Discworld," Ceilidh replied "and all it needs is the remembrance of the past to fight it. You shall not have us. Not now…" she spat, and she sprang backwards to the guard behind her and knocked him out in a somersaulted kick. Wrenching her claymore from the back of the unconscious body, she wielded it with force, anger glaring her eyes. "and not ever!"

What am I doing? she thought. I’m protecting my friends… but I don’t know how to fight. I can do the right thing… but at the cost of my life? Who is this acting through me. I can do thi- no! Who are you? She shouted in her mind, time seeming to stop as the Cetren went into another of her boasting rants. I am what ye are, Ceilidh, the guiding force in yer mind. In time, ye’ll merely listen to me, but for now I will force you into actions to save yer life.

Like in that void, when I destroyed that… thing? What was that?

The Seriph’s way into here, came back the reply, and it’s way of destroying our world. I feared it, more than any sword I have ever carried.

I fear my sword too. But too much to use it.

But ye will use it when the time comes to defend yer friends and yer world. Now is one o’ those times. Use it! And the voice was gone.

"I am stronger than you, more skilled than you, and more agile than you. This shall be more fun than Al Kalin." Cetren smiled. "Prepare to die, Ceilidh Mcfarlane."

Who… who are you?

Call me… Agnes.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:30 am

<Location: Seriph’s Chambers, Klatch.>

The Seriph rushed at Ceilidh before she could think, and it was all she could do to listen to the voice Agnes… in her head. Strike meet parry meet strike meet block as she moved her arms unconsciously from move to move, as Cetren drew her sword up, then down, bending on one knee then jumping into the air and striking from above. Slowly but surely she was forced into the wall, and Agnes took hold of her legs and flipped her over, onto the wall and over Cetren. A lucky shot met the curved blade that Cetren held in both hands, and she seamlessly moved to attack again.

Block. Parry. Block. Parry. Yes! Ye are matching her. Now to beat her. She is as relentless as the Dragon of Bognor, but she can be defeated as easily as he. Now strike! Ceilidh saw her opening and struck. The claymore zipped through fabric as the Seriph dodged and barrel-rolled out of the flurry. "You make to obvious a move, Ceilidh Mcfarlane! Guess your grandmother is as weak as you!" She spat, and launched herself backwards, into the wall. Leaping off it, she raised her sword high… and met Ceilidh’s raised and poised to strike. Blow by blow she matched her, sweat beading down her face, her hair criss-crossing her face. "An expected… move…" Ceilidh sweated, their swords clashing and scraping together. "And easily… dealt with."

Again Cetren took up the attack, Ceilidh blocking each strike, going from one to the next but forced backwards once more. She tried to attack, but there were no kinks in Cetren’s armour, no breaks in her relentless attacks. Once more Cetren leaped back, and bounced off the wall, sword lifted high…

…Ceilidh lifted hers, and time seemed to slow. She noticed every detail, the locks of her hair fluttering in the breeze from the balcony behind her, as Cetren rushed towards her…

…with her sword at waist level.

SLICE.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:34 am

<Location: Seriph’s Chambers, Klatch.>

"No!" Alan screamed and he was backed up by both John and Ryan beside him. When Ceilidh had taken up the fight they had simply knelt there in awe. Now their friend stood there, a rip in her shirt becoming slowly red. The room seemed to darken, and other memories filtered in…

Bounding over the green grass, Alan raced his other brothers to the top. Thom always beat him, he was the fastest and strongest of all. But one day Alan would beat them. The seventh son of a seventh son, he knew one day he would do magic. Reaching the top of the hill with his brothers around him, he stared Rimwards at the smoky horizon. From here, at the peak of the Ramtops, you could even see the Unseen University…

Where he had met Esk, an older student, and a friend no less… but also a friend who had helped him when he came from…Roundworld? Who was this person leaning on their claymore? Why is she looki-

Ceilidh. His memories came rushing back, and the room seemed to expand to contain them all. The same expression crossed Ceilidh’s face, before it became a stony face of determination.

Save us. Ceilidh. You’re our only hope.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:19 am

<Location: Seriph
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