The TORC Conspiracy

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Postby Vanaladiel » Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:15 pm

<b>Outside the Eldars Estate</b><BR><BR>Vana caught the torch as Tinu threw it to her and ran to Anorasts side. Lalaith and Vana stood between the wraith and Tinu as she helped the poor stricken elf. <BR><BR>Fear gripped her heart but Vana knew that if they did not get the wraith away then all would be lost for them. At first not knowing what to do against so mighty a foe, Vana suddenly had an idea. She set the shrubbery aflame around the Estate yard by tossing in the torch then with a shout she rushed at the wraith with Lalaith in tow. Slowly at first then suddenly a blaze. The yard lit up as the flames took hold in the dried brush. Vana didnt stop to think about the damage of the property only that her friends needed help and this she could do.<BR><BR>The wraith wheeled their horses around as the flames started to engulf the ring of bushes around the yard. The horses became hard to handle as they feared the flames licking at them from all sides. Finding the only break in the ring of flames, being the walkway out of the yard, the horses finally made a dash and sped away, taking their riders with them. Anger heard in their screech as they left the yard.<BR><BR>Vana frozen in time for what seemed an eternity as she listened to hear that the wraith were definately gone. Lalaith at her side.<BR><BR>Slowly Vana then turned to see what she had done and panic struck her heart. <BR><BR>"Oh God the Estate! I cant let everything burn!" Vana shouted as she rushed for a hose at the back by the patio doors. "Quick someone grab another one and stop the fire from reaching the house!" <BR><BR>Lalaith grabbing another hose and started watering down one end of the shrubbery fence by the south side of the house as Vana ran to water the north end. Hoping above all hope to stop the fire from damaging more then the shrubs. <BR><BR>With the wraith gone for the moment Tinu was able to do all she could for Anorast where he lay. When she felt things for him were stable enough, they carried him into the library and laid him upon the leather couch where she could stay near by and tend to his needs.<BR><BR>When the fire finally died down only the shrubs from the beautiful Eldars Garden were badly damaged. A few things were scorched but would recover. <BR><BR>Now to set a guard in case the wraiths returned, Vana thought, as she was forced into the role of being the one in control for the moment, though she didnt want it. Unsure really of what to do, she decided they couldnt remain here where the wraith would soon be returning. <BR><BR><BR>Going up the stairs where she could keep watch out the upper windows to see if anyone should approach, as Vana thought hard. She had helped with the planning of the estates layout some time ago but had they designed anything in for an emergency. Vana could think of none so perhaps they would have to make their own. So she started to work on a plan to get them all out of the Eldars Estate and to a safer place.
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Postby Nessamelda » Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:31 am

<b>By the door to the Eldar's Estate, kneeling beside a very battered elf</b><BR>Susan looked at Tinu in a major state of panic. Which one was Amanita phalloides? Was that the red one with white spots? No that was Amanita muscaria - fly agaric. The death cap was the one that looks uncomfortably close to a field mushroom, but what was the difference, she couldn't remember. Susan deliberately slowed her breathing, trying to control the panic, the insane urge to run away. People here needed help, and she was the one who had to do it.<BR> <BR><BR>"Where will I find them, and what do they look like?" she asked Tinu after a long moment of silence. Looking out at the flames of the burning shrubbery, and the retreating forms of the black wraiths, she added: "Are they out there; in the garden; do I have to face Them to find what you need?"<BR><BR>(edited to add location)
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Postby wisteria » Tue Jan 14, 2003 11:39 am

<BR><b>in TORC Rehab</b><BR><BR>“I'm Wisteria. And judging by your clothes, the ink stains on your fingers and the fact that you’re in Rehab, you must be Scribbles.” <i>Wiste smiled and helped the “half elf” off the floor and onto one of the only slightly more comfortable cots.<BR><BR>Scribbles all but collapsed onto the cot and Wiste stood back, examining her critically. How far had the transformation gone? Certainly the shock of white hair was there, but maybe Scribbles had that in real life. And the eyes that stared back at her were of strange shade of blue – almost violet in color. Again, perhaps contacts? No, she needed conclusive proof: she tried to see her companion’s ears without seeming to be rude. Only that would tell her just how far wrong things were. <BR><BR>Nonchalantly Wiste sat down on the other cot. Better to let Scribbles take some time and get acclimated. </i> “How are things in the threads? Since I’ve been here I haven’t been able to keep track.” <i>She gestured to the blank computer terminals. </i> “Doesn’t seem to be any power to them, except at certain times, when ‘THEY’ give commands. Otherwise they’re just dust catchers.”<BR><BR><i>Scribbles turned her head to look where Wiste indicated and as she did so, her hair parted to reveal a very definite point on the top of her ear. With a heavy sigh and a lump in her throat, Wiste leaned back against the wall. The situation was every bit as bad as she had feared. </i><BR>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Sun Jan 19, 2003 3:57 pm

<b>Just behind the Archer's guildhouse, on the border with the Alliances forum.</b><BR><BR><i>"It seems that Elenath and Bardhwyn wish to pursue the Riders and reclaim the Scribe. A foolhardy venture to say the least."</i><BR><BR> At this last cool comment from the great blonde geezer. Edain/EM quietly fuming stepped forward from the shadow of SB. His eyes were steeled with a dangerous light and the knuckles of his left hand were a whiter shade of pale as they gripped the pommel of his sword. Slowly with a growing energy he started to speak, to those who listened, it seemed if a mock Yorkshire accent was creeping into his voice. Unbeknown to the Listeners, EM was frantically racking his brains for the right words. Then remembering words from an old PJ movie he improvised a speech.<BR><BR><i>“No you can’t do this! Are you Master of the Archers Guild or a bloody, little, mouse?”</i><BR><BR> Wincing at his hasty words EM/Edain Then EM managed to find the right tack and continued.<BR> <BR><i>“Ly - Lysandros you are becoming the villain of the piece. The Nazgul are abroad. They have taken one who must only be a friend. HJ, no! Bardhwyn"</i> (EM corrected) <i>"...and Elenath have launched a brave pursuit forthwidth. Yet still you squabble with us! How can your sense of justice allow you to do so? Does this matter have no worth to you any longer? I wager you,”</i><BR> Edain/EM weighed a imaginary bag of coin in his right hand for empathise, <BR><i>“…to put your mettle were your mouth is, and prove that you can rescue them. What say you to that? Do your deeds walk the road or snivel in the gutter?”</i> <BR><BR>EM/Edain let this sink in as he thought on. He was quickly translating in his mind Modern English into Epic hero speech. After a suitible pause he then spoke again before anyone else could grasp the initiative.<BR><BR><i>“We all know that we probably cannot do this alone, They knew that.”</i> Edain gestured to the picket fence, <i>“Why don’t you help us?”</i><BR><BR>Impatiently waiting for an answer EM/Edain muttered in a breath that SB and perhaps only Leoba could hear.<BR><BR><i>“ ’cause if you don’t. I’m gonna come over there and put you on your arse.”</i>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Wed Feb 12, 2003 2:23 pm

<b>Somewhere in Southern California...</b><BR><BR>"Mulder, WHERE are you going!?"<BR><BR>"The Holiday Inn."<BR><BR>Scully gave Mulder a look that would curdle milk and he, in turn, flashed one of those boyish grins that would melt ice cream in a freezer. Never worked on Scully, though.<BR><BR>"We have a plane to catch in an hour and thirty minutes, Mulder…"<BR><BR>"I can work fast…" He quipped with a chuckle.<BR><BR>"MULDER!"<BR><BR>The rented car tightly pulled into the parking lot, passing a neating landscaped meridian complete with palm trees. Agent Mulder opened the door to his car just before Scully's diatribe began."<BR><BR>"C'mon Scully, let's go, they're waiting for us."<BR><BR>Flustered, yet her hair looking impeccable, Scully burst out of the car.<BR><BR>"<i>Who</i> is waiting for us, Mulder?! Does Skinner know about this?" She called out. Mulder walked towards the hotel's entrance.<BR><BR>Fifth floor, room 536.<BR><BR>Byers opened the door.<BR><BR>"Mulder! Scully! You're late!" He said with a worried smile. Behind him, in front an impressive array of electronic equipment sat Langly, passed out in a chair with a concerned Frohicke hovering over him.<BR><BR>"What happened to Langly?" Mulder asked, pointing to the unconscious hacker. Scully followed behind him, silent and scowling.<BR><BR>"We thought you could tell us. He saw something in the Torc Offices and just passed out. Cold." Byers said.<BR><BR>"He SAW something?!" Scully exclaimed as she watched Frohicke leave Langly's side and help Mulder take his suitcoat off. "What does that mean? Mulder, did you bring them in on this? How long have they been here?"<BR><BR>"Yeah, how long have you guys been here? It looks more like a week, not a day and half." Mulder asked, unbuttoning his shirt. Looking about there were a half dozen empty pizza boxes, left over Chinese food and a pile of empty Diet Pepsi cans in the corner.<BR><BR>"A day and three quarters, actually." Byers replied.<BR><BR>"And you brought all this equipment?" Scully asked incredulously, leaning over Langly while studying the various pieces of equipment. She startled herself upon seeing her image in a television monitor, the image captured from the direction Mulder was standing in.<BR><BR>"Mulder! You were wired!" She exclaimed, spinning about in time to see Frohicke remove the hidden optical camera and microphone Mulder was wearing.<BR><BR>"For sight and sound." Frohicke added, sounding very pleased with himself.<BR><BR>"Did you get a warrant?" Scully asked. Mulder ignored her.<BR><BR>"Mulder! Answer me." <BR><BR>"Now Scully, relax! None of this will be used in the official reports. I just figured to catch these guys… these very smart technological guys….we needed to fight fire with fire." Mulder replied, picking up a piece of cold pizza. <BR><BR>"Mulder, I don't believe you! Do you know how much trouble we will be in if Skinner finds out about this?" <BR><BR>"I told him before we left." Mulder said, waving the cold pizza under Langly's nose. "I phoned him from the airport." <BR><BR>Langly gave a snort, coughed and woke up. "Mulder…" he said, sounding a little surprised. "What are you doing here? What happened? Did I pass out or something."<BR><BR>"Yes." They all said in unison. <BR><BR>"Can you tell us why, Langly? Byers thinks its because you saw something in the Torc offices."<BR><BR>"Saw something!" Langly exclaimed, sitting upright and grabbing the cold pizza. "I'll say!" He looked at the pizza. "Eh, mushrooms!" Langly got of his chair and walked over to another pizza box on the bed. "I can't eat mushrooms… ah.. pepperoni.."<BR><BR>"Tell us what you saw, Langly." Scully demanded.<BR><BR>"Oh! Just an array of equipment that would make a NASA engineer drool. Man, who are those guys? If they have in that room what I THINK they have… that place would have been shut down a looong time ago."<BR><BR>"Shut down?" Mulder asked. <BR><BR>"Why shut down, Langly and by whom?" Scully followed.<BR><BR>Langly quickly swallowed his mouthful of pizza.<BR><BR>"By the Feds, of course. CIA, NSA…by the looks of it, they've managed to do the impossible and believe me, the Feds would love to make sure it stays that way… <i>impossible.</i>"
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Postby Leoba » Thu Feb 13, 2003 1:36 pm

<b><i>Still</i> procrastinating behind the Dale guildhouse</b><BR><BR>Leoba picked herself up off the ground. She spent a good deal of time brushing the dirt off her breeches and tucking her shirttails tidily in again and not looking at anyone. <BR><BR>She had seen her rescuer, felt a surge of overwhelming relief and gratitude intermingled with pleasure and yes, a ‘little’ skip of the heart, that it had been ‘her’ knight the first in there. But that feeling and the smile that accompanied it was rapidly tempered with unease and dissatisfaction and anger that she had failed herself and had needed help. It went against the grain of everything that her upbringing and education had instilled into her about female independence. Always, always that feeling of betrayal by her own heart and mind; wanting so much to be swept off her feet by a ‘knight in shining armour’ but conversely knowing she had, for the sake of her own sanity, to stand and fight on her own two feet and show the world she was the equal (at least) of any man. <BR><BR>An involuntary scowl marred her features. And it was not helped by the quarrelsome tones taken up by the men. Men who were supposed to be playing the part of knights, of nobles, of warriors and who yet seemed incapable of little more than playground banter. And all the while Scribbles had gone they knew not where and Bardhwyn had vanished after her into the ether. <BR><BR>Her heart sank as she listened to Edain; like some character from an early ‘60s Hollywood historical epic he was talking in wildly anachronistic terms and, curse and bless the boy, was doing his damnedest to make her laugh. <BR><BR>“Oh for goodness sakes”, Leoba finally interjected, “don’t just stand there arguing. There isn’t time!”<BR><BR>Lys continued to leer, his expression quite spoiling the handsome visage so that it was quite lost on Leoba what Bardhwyn could see in such an oaf, particularly one as arrogant and up his own arse as he was proving to be upon closer inspection and interaction. <BR><BR>“And yes Lysandros”, she continued, her ire beginning to be aroused, “it is foolhardy no doubt but I for one am not going to stand back and see my friends abducted and not even attempt to do anything! If you cared about Bardhwyn half as much as she does for you perhaps you’d sideline your selfishness and show a little gumption!”<BR><BR>With that she gave SB a look that was supposed to read ‘you are coming?’ but somehow lost the question mark in the translation.<BR><BR>She in turn followed Elenath and Bardhwyn through the gate, with SB and Edain in hot pursuit. The transition back into the main road of Alliances and Guilds was not designed to be taken at full pelt quite like this and Leoba felt the earth quite literally move under her feet as the scenery blurred into an incoherent mass of pixels. She grabbed at Edain’s sleeve, for he was nearest, to try and steady her reeling head and caught her friend off guard, nearly toppling the pair of them into the rosebushes. <BR><BR>Leoba opened her eyes again. The road beneath her was the dusty ochre of the forum’s high street. And the men were there too; SB and Edain. She couldn’t see Lys and quite frankly couldn’t care. Running into the distance were the Elf-maid and the Dale-woman but there was no further sign of the Scribe on the road ahead, not even a flurry of dust. <BR><BR>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:29 pm

<b>On the road inbetween guilds</b><BR><BR>Leoba defused the stand off very well. Before they knew it EM and SB were off following HM, leaving Blond and Gormless, standing alone, postulating.<BR><BR>EM was annoyed, angry with himself for losing his temper but determined not to let this stupid bully get the better of him, oh it wasn't worth it. If Lys was just messing then, fine Edain could handle that, but it was getting beyond the pale. EM had never suffered fools gladly, and although in RL it was no longer acceptable to punch people, and you solved such situations with scathing wit instead, here in Torc he was getting a very really urge to thump some sense into Lynneandos. EM checked the desire by holding on the idea that perhaps Lys was a nice guy in real life. He obviously thought he was somebody on the boards, Guild master must count for something and the others seemed to tolerate him. Why they tolerated him EM didn't know, but EM knew that HM was a reasonable person, and SB seemed like a cool guy so, Listerine must have some redeeming qualities somewhere.<BR><BR>But nevermind EM pushed that to the back of him mind and concentrated on getting on with the job in hand, namely rescuing Scribbles and preventing the others from getting killed. EM felt at home with his Edain persona, (even though it still felt new) but the others, well he didn't know about them, and in the combat previously he had noticed that some people seemed to flip from RL person to Torc person, and EM wasn't sure whether that was a good thing...<BR><BR>But no matter, because now EM was suddenly slipping sideways as an ungainly mass tugged at his sleeve. <i>"Whoa lady where's you goin'?"</i><BR><BR>His arm slipped out deftly around her waist to steady her, then sure that she was upright, just as deftly slipped away. EM grabbed a branch to support himself and got a hand full of thorns.<BR><BR><i>"Oh bundle"</i> he said as he watched the blood well up.<BR><BR>Then sniffing the air, his nose wrinkling with distaste he called to the others.<BR><BR><i>"Ahh I think we may have found something else."</i><BR><BR>He said this having forgotten his wound, as he stooped to the ground looking for tracks and signs of disturbance.<BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Fri Feb 14, 2003 9:49 pm

<b>The High Street, Alliances and Guilds Forum...<BR><BR>...and wicked BAP alert......<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>..........</b><BR><BR>In the heat of the chase the assault on the senses caused by leaving the Bowman's 'thread' didn't affect the Elf and Mortal (- the change in vista can be quite disorientating, moving from the beautiful mountain valley of Erebor to the dusty crowded High Street of the Alliances and Guilds forum!).<BR><BR>Elenath and Bardhwyn kept pace with one another but against the Riders on horseback, they were no match. The horses quickly put distance between themselves and the two on foot, forcing pedestrians off the High Street as they cantered down the length of the Forum.<BR><BR>"Elenath. I will try to drop... the Rider carrying Silverscribe…The horse, it should stop - it is our only hope.." Bardhwyn said, her voice broken by the need to keep breathing. The experience running, for such a distance untiringly, was exhilarating. "You keep going, run for the horse. I will catch up to the Rider."<BR><BR>Elenath nodded in agreement and Bardhwyn stopped. Within moments her bowstring was on and an arrow nocked. She took aim. Bardhwyn could see SilverScribe's form draped over one of the horses cantering ahead in the distance. She aimed and released. Suddenly the horse carrying the Scribe plunged and bucked and the arrow missed, striking another rider square between the shoulders, the force of the impact sending him forward and off his saddle. The Black Rider hit the ground hard, sending up a cloud of dust. His fiendish companions rode on, straight down the lane, heedless that one of their numbers had fallen - its horse trotting about in circles, aimless.<BR><BR>"DAMN!" Bardhwyn bellowed as fascinated passersby stopped, whispering her name and watching as the Dalewoman took aim once again. She released, the arrow dropped just at the feet of the retreating horses. They were now out of range. <BR><BR>Ahead, Elenath kept running for it was clear - SilverScribe had managed to free herself and had fallen to the ground. The Half-Elf was being chased down by a mounted Rider.<BR><BR>Bardhwyn sprinted ahead, using every ounce of speed she could muster. To get to Scribbles was her only thought. On-lookers lined either side of the lane, and ahead Bardhwyn could see their numbers dwindling as the lane gave way to a dusty path cut high out of grassland and lined on either side by a deep ravine. There only a few Guildhouses stood, broad wooden bridges spanning the ravines on either side. <BR><BR>Far in the distance Bardhwyn could see The Scribe dodging a Rider, clearly tiring and Elenath gaining on them both. <BR><BR>Bardhwyn, so focused on Scribbles, paid no heed to the black heap lying in the road just ahead of her. Until it moved. <BR><BR>Grinding her heels in the dirt, Bardhwyn brought herself to a stop. The hushed cry of the crowd was drowned by the high piercing screech the Rider voiced as it stood and hovered menacingly with sword drawn.<BR><BR>Bardhwyn, firmly placed both on her feet and in her being, quickly drew her sword. The Rider wavered and appeared to scrutinize her with eyes unseen. He made no move.<BR><BR>Bardhwyn feinted and the Rider prepared to defend but did not attack. It stood, watching… almost <i>smelling</i> her.<BR><BR>Far ahead Bardhwyn caught sight of Scribbles, bound and being thrown, once again, over a saddle. The Captor had caught its prey and cantered off with Elenath, just ten feet behind, giving up the chase, unable to pursue any longer.<BR><BR>"RG! NO! RG!!!" <BR><BR>The voice that came forth wasn't Bardhwyn's.. it was HJ's. In that shocking moment, a change had occurred within her.<BR><BR>The Rider reacted as if a switch had been tripped. He lunged for the mortal in front of him, registering her as a target. IP 122.433.443. Its gauntleted hand reached out and grabbed a handful of clothing off the shoulder of the woman. <BR><BR>'Detain. Target. Detain.' <BR><BR>The mortal screamed…not out of fear but out of anger and the sound of the voice differed yet again. The target disappeared. Blinked out.<BR><BR>There was a flash of steel and a stabbing pain. A knife plunged into the Rider's left shoulder. Startled, it stumbled backwards. A Torcer had stabbed it. Confused it withdrew and with a shriek summoned its mount.<BR><BR>More flashes of steel and in perceiving them, the Rider back peddled again.<BR> <BR>'No directive. Withdraw. Withdraw'<BR><BR>Stunned, Bardhwyn watched as the Rider scampered onto its mount and cantered off, in the direction of its companions, paying no heed to Elenath as he passed.<BR><BR>"A HORSE! I NEED A HORSE!" She cried out, intending to pursue. The on lookers, jittery enough with what had happened, pulled back, creating a wide circle around the Dalewoman. "SOME ONE, PLEASE! LEND ME A HORSE!" The crowd, at first murmuring among themselves suddenly fell quiet, their eyes fixed on something, or someone.<BR><BR>Bardhwyn turned to face a man in white robes. He had a kindly, youthful face but deep, black eyes filled with age.<BR><BR>"Do not pursue those Riders, Bardhwyn of Dale. Ah, Elenath…" He said. Bardhwyn turned to see that the Elf had returned from her fruitless chase. <BR><BR>The man continued. "If they took SilverScribe they did so for a <i>very good reason. </i>" He said gravely, looking about the crowd with a parental eye. "And if they chose <i>not</i> to take you, it was also for a very good reason, Archer." He added, looking directly at Bardhwyn.<BR><BR>"Nilson. You're Nilson the White, aren't you?" Bardhwyn asked. The Moderator nodded. Bardhwyn couldn't contain herself at that point.<BR><BR>"WHERE ARE THEY TAKING HER!? WHAT IS GOING ON!" She bellowed, her sword pointing in the direction Scribbles had been taken. Slowly Nilson extend a hand and placed it on the Dalewoman's shoulder. Bardhwyn calmed down immediately, such was the effect he had on her. It was a strange sensation of 'forced calm' and she didn't like it one bit.<BR><BR>"Such matters on not your concern, Bardhwyn of Dale." Nilson said in a smooth, calming voice. "Now, return to the Guildhouse along with your friend, Elenath, here and…" Nilson stopped and looked deeply into Bardhwyn's eyes. He took a sharp intake of breath and, with eyes narrowing slightly, continued: "and think nothing more of it. Do you understand?"<BR><BR>Bardhwyn, instead of smiling sweetly and nodding, as any Torcer would when 'managed' so, ( Nils was using little subroutine that DavidM wrote, the 'placating' subroutine he called it.) she looked the Moderator straight in the eye and simply said : 'yes'. <BR><BR>"Good. Go on now, I am sure Lysandros is concerned, wondering where you are." Nils added with a wink. There was a little chuckle among the crowd that gathered round and they parted to allow Nilson to depart. Bardhwyn looked about, surprised. Had she and the Master Archer earned themselves such notoriety?<BR><BR>"Lysandros knows I can take care of myself." Bardhwyn said, causing the crowd to gasp. Nilson turned about, just in time to see more Dalers arrive; SB, Edain, the Lady Leoba and the very man in question following last - Lysandros, his sword casually resting over one shoulder. Odd.<BR><BR>"Nilson!" The Wizard turned to see Rogue, standing a head taller than most of the Allliance and Guild onlookers. A silent communication followed between the two Moderators. Nilson turned to Bardhwyn and with a friendly smile replied: "I am sure he does. Good day."<BR><BR>Without further comment, the Wizard Moderator departed, walking to where Rogue stood and silently the two Moderators made their way down the lane. The crowd dispersed, leaving the newly regrouped 'Dale Contingent' standing in the middle of the dusty lane with the bustle of Guilds and Alliances forum all about them.<BR><BR>"I think Scribbles would want us to go on ahead." Bardhwyn said in a small voice, biting back the tears. "Which way to the Eldar Estate? Does anyone know?"
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Postby SmaugsBane » Sat Feb 15, 2003 8:05 am

<b>In the middle of the High Street of the Alliances</b><BR><BR><BR>"The Eldar Estate?" AW asked, half to himself. He was stunned a little from the transformation of the landscape back into the High Street of the Alliances. AW had spent many days within the confines of the Dale Guildhouse and had nearly forgotten that he was not actually in Middle-earth. <BR><BR>He had been following and thinking hard about what was going on ever since the Black Riders attacked. It was one thing to write bravery and sword-skill into a character, but it was another thing entirely to have to act in such a manner. Truth was, Dirk was just as likely to hurt himself with the enchanted Dragon's Tooth as to dispatch an enemy. <BR><BR>He now stood within the landscape of TORC, among other TORCers - some had dropped in like himself, others were cyber versions, avatars, of someone sitting in a comfy chair and clicking away on a mouse.<BR><BR>Somewhat confused and still very silent, AW found that he was being looked at by his companions.<BR><BR>"I'm sorry, I missed the question. Could someone please repeat it?"<BR><BR>"We are deciding whether to pursue Scribbles, which may be impossible as she is likely in the hands of the Mods, or do we return to the Eldar's, to which Leoba knows the way, to regroup with the others and continue to find a way out of the forums," explained HJ.<BR><BR>At that moment, Lysandros joined the group, at once confused and in perfect understanding, as he had caught the last bit of Bardy's explanation.<BR><BR>"Since I have not experienced the Mods' dungeons, I can only gage my decision on what you have told me. I doubt that we could even find the entrance from the outside."<BR><BR>AW stopped a moment and nearly laughed at Lys' facial expressions - it appeared that he wasn't completely baffled by his surrounding nor by AW's and HJ's words. <BR><BR>"She has escaped before and," he continued, "Among us, she has the most use of her character's skills and knowledge. I am not afraid for Scribbles. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she turns up on the road ahead of us after affecting her escape."<BR><BR>He turned to Lys and extended his hand, "Hello BV, I'm AW and damn glad to meet ya. This is HJ, HM, and EM. I am sorry, I don't think I caught your real name, Elenath." AW guessed that the Lys who stood here was indeed a RL person who had fallen into TORC like himself. If he wasn't, then this cyber character wouldn't understand what was going on anyway and would just be further confused.<BR><BR>Everyone nodded in turn at their introduction to the once-scowl-faced Lys who was now just trying to absorb all that he had just learned. The bearded blond warrior took AW's hand and shook it tentitavely. AW turned to the others.<BR><BR>"So are we in agreement? If so, someone lead the way quick while Nilson and Rogue have their attention diverted." <BR><BR>Each turned and looked at the others. Then without a word, HM/Leoba turned and sped off through the crowd in the direction of the Eldar's Estate, with the rest of the contingent in tow.
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:23 am

<BR><b> ... meanwhile, back in Rehab ... and “massive” BAP alert ... </b><BR><BR><i> Scribbles stared back up at Wisteria blankly for some minutes, trying desperately to orient herself. She watched the other woman take a seat on the next cot, and spent a few more moments putting together the physical person in front of her with the mental image she had always had of the Mistress Weaver. Then a sudden thought hit her like a bucket of cold water. Was this TORC Wisteria, or the RL <b>author</b> of the TORC Wisteria? She realized she was staring but wasn’t Wisteria on the "outside"? Hadn’t she been helping them? If she was now "inside" and in this, this "Rehab", things were desperate indeed.<BR><BR>She blinked owlishly, she had been asked something. Something about "the threads"? Threads? Why the heck was the girl asking her? She had been inside longer than Wisteria, how would she know anything about the Threads? She closed her eyes briefly in frustration, knowing that the last few hours had made a complete jumble of her thoughts.</i><BR><BR>"I’m not all that sure how things are in the threads either, to be honest," <i> she answered, opening her eyes and smiling weakly at Wisteria. Should she venture to ask a few questions herself? Like, ‘who the heck are you really and what in the Seven Halls of Hades are you doing in something called *Rehab*?’<BR><BR>She was distracted however, by Wisteria’s gesture, and turned to look where she was pointing. Right at the two things that some part of her mind had recognized as computer terminals. They bore a striking resemblance to the old mainframe "dumb" terminals of her college days and early career. She shuddered at the sudden clarity of memory. </i><BR><BR>"No power?" <i> she blurted in response to Wisteria’s brief explanation.</i> "And who are ‘THEY’?"<BR><BR><i> Wisteria shrugged.</i> "Nope, not until 'they' decide. And 'they' are just some nameless guys that drone on and on, then wait for me to type in my responses. It’s really repetitive and mindless, you know."<BR><BR><i> Scribbles got up from the cot and shuffled over to one of the terminals, plopping down into one of the cheesy, old-style plastic stacking chairs that stood in front of what she thought was a metal table, but turned out to be an old military style metal desk, on which the screens and keyboards were resting. She leaned forward and put her arms around one of the monitors. In her RL experience, there was no such thing as "no power".<BR><BR>***<BR><BR>Wisteria came over, looking down at her quizzically.</i> “What are you doing?” <i> the weaver asked, her voice dropping to a strained whisper.<BR><BR>Scribbles didn’t even glance up, her sensitive fingers finding two connections, with cords leading directly into the tabletop. She stood, then laid down on the desk, straining to get her face into the minute space that existed between the monitor housing, the wall, and the desktop itself. She slid back and down, ending up in a squat in front of the desk, but for some reason, the expected cords were not hanging down underneath. Instead, she met with a blank metal wall. The bottom of the “desk” met the floor, where heavy metal and evenly spaced brackets bolted it firmly to the grey concrete. The power and data feeds were ‘inside’ the walls of the desk. </i><BR><BR>“Damn, this is gonna be harder than I thought,” <i>she mused, then rose and looked at Wisteria. </i> “If I can get at the connections, I can get their attention by pulling one. Someone will have to investigate, no?”<BR><BR><i> Wisteria grinned, then suddenly hugged herself and shuddered.</i> Oh, but I don’t like to think *WHO* will come to investigate,” <i> she answered. Scribbles grinned.</i> “You just leave that to me,” <i> she shot back, wondering for all the world where the bravado was coming from. <BR><BR>She turned back to the desk and leaned over it again, nearly laying down next to one of the monitors.</i> “Yowzer, they sure jammed these tight,” <i> she grunted, then squinted one eye. Ah, yes, there they were, one thick black plug with a matching black cord, and another, lighter connection and cord. Power and data signal, just like usual. Now, if she could just move the monitor and get at them . . . she sat up and reached for the screen, then stopped, her heart sinking. The base of each monitor was firmly screwed right onto the table. She signed and stretched out once more, snaking one arm into the narrow space left between the desk top, the wall, and the monitor housing. Her fingers found the data plug and with a grunt, she began to work it loose.</i><BR><BR><b>“TODAY’S LESSON WILL BEGIN IN ONE MINUTE.” </b><BR><BR><i> Scribbles yelped in surprise and at the pain the loud announcement caused to her overly sensitive hearing. She slid back off the desk and ended up on her bottom, looking up at Wisteria, who’s face had gone pale.</i><BR><BR>“They’re early,”<i> she whispered.<BR><BR>Scribbles chuckled.</i> “Well good, time we blow this joint.” <i> She sat down in front of the closest monitor while Wisteria took a seat next to her. She leaned over and whispered in the weaver’s ear.</i><BR><BR>“Just act normal, do whatever you usally do and ignore me, okay?”<BR><BR><i> Wisteria nodded with a grin, then as the monitors crackled to life, adopted a bored expression. Scribbles cracked her knuckles and waited . . .<BR><BR>She paid absolutely no attention to the text or graphics that scrolled across her screen. A few keystrokes and she was past the program and into the operating system, hoping against hope that it wasn’t Unix or Linux or some such nonsense. She nearly shouted for relief when the ugly but familiar blank desktop of a naked Windows 2000 workstation greeted her eyes. She began to work furiously, her fingers fairly flying over the keyboard.<BR><BR>Wisteria glanced over a couple of times, wondering what on earth her friend was hoping to accomplish. Suddenly, Scibbles’ workstation began to beep softly.</i><BR><BR>“Okay! We don’t have much time, get ready! <i> Scribbles suddenly blurted, her face grim with concentration as she typed even faster, seeming to race against the now insistent chiming of her workstation. Suddenly a voice boomed overhead . . .</i><BR><BR><b>“ERROR! ERROR!<BR>ILLEGAL OPERATION DETECTED!<BR>DATA INTEGRITY ERRORS HAVE OCCURRED !!<BR>ERROR - RELATIONAL DATA FILE CORRUPTION !!<BR>ABORT PROGRAM !!<BR>DATABASE WILL SHUT DOWN IN 30 SECONDS, SAVE ALL DATA!!”</b><BR><BR>“What the . . ?!” <i> Wiste gasped as the light began to dim in the cell.</i> <BR><BR>“Just . . . a . . . couple . . . more . . . commands . . . okay . . . C’MON, LET’S GO!!”<i> Scribbles suddenly stood up and shouted, grabbing Wisteria’s arm and literally dragging her out of her chair. There, clearly glowing on one blank wall of the cell was a bright blue line of characters, underlined and gently throbbing:</i><BR><BR><u>http:// www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/m ... &threadid= 61868</u><BR><BR>“What the hell is THAT?!” <i> Wisteria yelped, hanging back slightly.</i><BR><BR>“A LINK! C’mon, we have only a few seconds before they find it and shut it down!!” <i> Scribbles had to now nearly shout to be heard, the beeping of her workstation had escalated to a loud clanging and now the soft whoop of an alarm siren could be heard somewhere beyond the walls. Taking a firm grip on Wisteria’s wrist, Scribbles practically dove head first at the wall, Wisteria gasped and screwed her eyes shut, certain that she was about to knock herself out against a solid cement wall . . .</i><BR><BR>****<BR><BR><b> . . . the main hall of the Eldars Estate . . . </b><BR><BR><i> Scribbles tucked and rolled as she dove into the link, hitting the carpet in the Eldars with a thump and pulling Wisteria in right on top of her. The weaver rolled off onto the carpet, then over onto her stomach and propped herself up on her elbows, giving Scribbles a severe look.</i><BR><BR>“Y’know, you really ARE reckless! <i> she admonished, then broke out into soft laughter. Scribbles grinned and got up, then helped Wisteria to her feet.</i><BR><BR>“Yes well, my deepest apologies for handling it so poorly, but time was of the essence. I’m starved, c’mon, the kitchens here are well stocked.”<BR><BR><i> As they moved towards the double doors to the kitchens, Wisteria suddenly put a restraining hand on Scribble’s arm.</i><BR><BR>“I just thought of something! If that is a direct link here, won’t they just follow us and yank us back?” <i> she asked anxiously.<BR><BR>Scribbles turned with a wicked gleam in her eyes. </i> “I don’t think so. First, the link was rigged with a short time limit and a self-erase command and second, I left a little present in its place.”<BR><BR>“A present?”<i> Wisteria echoed.</i><BR><BR>“Yep. A lovely little worm-like virus, sort of a Pac-Man of the ethernet. It will eat its way along any and all interconnected data pathways, knocking out virtual links, IP addresses and the like. It’s not too destructive if caught in time, but it will keep “them” very busy for a few hours anyway. Now, let’s see who is still around here, there was quite the crowd when I left . . .<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Vanaladiel » Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

<b>Upstairs at the Eldars Estates...</b><BR><BR>As Vana watched out the upstairs windows for any movement below she heard a noise going on down stairs in the main living area. She didnt want to leave her post as she knew the others were there to handle things but with Guru injured and still sleeping in the library she figured she better have a look.<BR><BR>Silently and with great care she made her way down the great hall and down the stairway. As she passed her pack she took her sword and crept on into the main foyer. <BR><BR>Suddenly Vana sees two figures in the dark headed for the kitchen door.<BR><BR>"Stop!!! Who are you to disturb the Eldar's Estate?" Vana demanded in a voice of authority that even she didnt recognize. <BR><BR>Slowly Scribbles and Wiste turned to face her. As Vana recognised the Scribe she smiled.<BR><BR>"How the heck did you get in here without my seeing you?" Vana chuckled. "I know you are a crafty one but this takes the cake!"<BR><BR>Then remembering herself she escorted them on into the kitchen where they were able to find nurishment and gather themselves before having to concern themselves with other matters.
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Postby Leoba » Sat Feb 15, 2003 5:50 pm

<b>Still roaming the Alliances and Guilds High Street and back alleys and trying to get back to the Eldars’ Estate</b><BR><BR>Leoba/HM did not hesitate to lead the way; anything in fact to get SB away from Lys before he did even more untold damage in his confusion. Words welled up inside her, she wanted to scream at her friend like never before, anything if only those foolish words of his could be unsaid. But no, not yet, it was not the time to start a grand slanging match in the middle of the high street with a multitude of character onlookers and a thoroughly confused looking Lysandros. And all she heard teeming round and round her mind was “what’s done cannot be undone” over and over, haunted by some long buried memory of learning Lady Macbeth’s lines and a feeling of impending doom.<BR><BR>She half dragged SB by the wrist, hoping it looked vaguely affectionate play-acting to anyone outside their little group but she gave him a look loaded with sharpened knives.<BR><BR>Yes, indeed they had to move quickly, to get out of the bright glare of the sun and of the moderators’ sights. It was simple enough to find their way, there glowering across the road at each other were the twin citadels of light and dark, their tall towers casting long shadows across the road in front of them for all the merry fluttering of gay banners in the breeze. And beyond them lay the Bards’ guildhouse, it’s neat black and white timber framing quite a ridiculous form considering the propensity of the resident dragonharp to spew flame at random intervals. <BR><BR>The group scuttled hastily along the edges of the road, keeping to the cover of the buildings and the entrances to side-alleys. Sure enough, Leoba was leading them in the right direction and towards the clipped hedge and the neat gate behind which the Eldars’ estate sprawled.<BR><BR>Still gripping tight onto SB she caught Bardy’s eye and motioned to the others to stop.<BR><BR>“We can’t go in the front way. I think it’s best the way we came out, through the back gate”.<BR><BR>Elenath took the lead now, turning down the narrow passageway that opened up on their right. The cobblestones gave way swiftly to dirt and dust and the refuse channel running down the side of the alley was a far cry from all that was seemingly fair about this world on the surface. <BR><BR>Suddenly Elenath gave a cry and dashed forward, her keen eyes picking out the recumbent form of one of her kindred – one of her characters’ kindred – lying prone ahead of them. The others were hot on her tail, and Leoba felt her heart sink. Nothing good should die, not in this world, it didn’t happen like that, it was all wrong. It was an Elf, sure enough, shrouded by her abundance of red hair. No not red, how could her hair be red when the claret stain which soaked the earth at her side was so much more vibrant, had so much more life to it. So much blood. And a dark-fletched arrow was sunk deep into her breast. <BR><BR>Elenath was kneeling at the side of the injured woman, feeling for a pulse. And Leoba crouched down to brush aside the hair which covered her face.<BR><BR>A gasp of horror escaped her lips.<BR><BR>“Lindonbayne” she whispered, her voice fading, “oh my god, no, not her. Elenath, is she still alive?” But she knew as soon as she spoke them how futile her words were. Their friend’s skin was pale, paler even than in life and waxen, her eyes wildly staring directly up in upspoken accusation and anguish. <BR><BR>Thoughts came crashing through the numbness. What was she to tell Lindon’s parents? What were they to do now? Leoba looked wildly around for guidance, someone, anyone. <BR><BR>“We have to get to the Eldars’ Estate. Whoever did this may well still be here and watching us; we have to keep moving”, a voice sliced through the alley. It was Edain, for once forgetting to force his sentences into archaic rambling tones. <BR><BR>“But we can’t leave Lindon here,” Leoba’s voice was starting to sound lost.<BR><BR>“We can carry her, she can’t weight much”. And indeed, Edain scooped the slight Elven figure into his arms with barely any trouble. <BR><BR>They half walked, half ran the rest of the way, through the neat little gate in the white picket fence and back through the kitchen door. <BR><BR>***<BR><BR>But Leoba stood in front of SB blocking his way into the guildhouse.<BR><BR>“You’re not going anywhere sweetheart. We need to talk first. Now.” <BR><BR>He was trapped, with his back to the wall and nowhere to run. Just to make sure though she placed a hand against his chest, pinioning him. Anger intermingled with fear and despair and grief gave her strength and set fire to her blood, gave a bright glaze to her eyes as they blazed forth at him. <BR><BR>“Just what the hell do you think you were playing at back there outside Dale?”, she interrogated him, her voice no less strident for its hushed tones. <BR><BR>“Lys is Lys, he’s a TORC character not BV. And if he thinks something is untoward in his little world then heaven knows what he could bring to bear against us.” She gave him no chance to answer before she pressed on, determined to make her point and drive it through his seemingly thick skull, heedless of anything beyond the need to help protect the lot of them. <BR><BR>“First you used that magic ring, now this. Are you trying to get us all killed!” On that last note her voice tremored and Leoba had to swallow hard to fight back the lump in her throat and the tears which threatened to well. She dare not cry for she knew that if she started, she wouldn’t be able to stop. <BR><BR>First Scribbles, now Lindonbayne. Who next.<BR><BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:26 pm

<b> In an undisclosed location...</b><BR><BR>"Ah, David…great to see you!"<BR><BR>A thin, tinny voice crackled over the speakers of a pc and displayed on the LCD was a man, in his mid 30's, wearing a well-tailored Italian suit and a rather smarmy grin.<BR><BR>"I hear you're not well David. I am concerned, really. Tell me, what's wrong? We'll see if we can't get something over to you."<BR><BR>David stared sullenly into the LCD screen. Perched on the edge of the high-res flat screen he saw the optical web cam that transmitted his image out, into the real world.<BR><BR>"David? Are you all right?" The man asked, leaning into this highly polished desk.<BR><BR>A guard nudged David where he sat, the white plastic glove clattering as it whacked the captive on the shoulder.<BR><BR>"Yeah… yeah," David replied, "I am just feeling sick, flu I think."<BR><BR>The suited man grinned and laughed. <BR><BR>"You know, I find this fascinating. There you are, in a virtual universe, your consciousness translated into binary code and you're telling me you've contracted a virus? Amazing!"<BR><BR>There was a long silence that followed, or so it seemed to David. In the excitement of dealing with Katie he'd forgot, momentarily, whom he was dealing with. <BR><BR>Solari. <BR><BR>Malcolm D. Solari, Director of Internet and Gaming Research and Development for the RBSFM Co., Inc. and David's Alpha Alpha Sigma Nu Omega Chi Frat Brother while at MIT.<BR><BR>"It is not out of the range of possibility, Malcolm." David responded, holding back a rising feeling of panic. "There is much to learn about this phenomenon, binary psycho-physical manifestation. I'm telling ya', I am feeling sick and it <i>feels</i> like flu symptoms. Now, it could be some disturbance in the binary neural transmission sequence… I have theorized that…"<BR><BR>"OK, OK, OK David… please, I read that part of your obscure little thesis." <BR><BR>"I'm flattered."<BR><BR>"David, you know what I am going to ask you."<BR><BR>"Yeah, how close am I?"<BR><BR>"Yup. So, how close <i> are</i> you, David?" Solari asked, leaning back in his leather office chair.<BR><BR>David just hung his head, making every effort to appear desperate and hopeless.<BR><BR>"I am stuck, I can't figure out a stable enough equation to.."<BR><BR>"I AM GETTING IMPATIENT, DAVID!" Solari yelled into the web cam. The I&G R&D Director then flung his solid gold Cross pen across the room.<BR><BR>"YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF THERE, DON'T YOU!?"<BR><BR>"Yes, Malcolm… of course.."<BR><BR>"Then you better get crackin' ChugHead, and figure out HOW or you're gonna rot in there!"<BR><BR>David took a long inbreath. Solari had called him ChugHead, the Frat's nickname for him and he'd always hated it.<BR><BR>"Yeah, that's right, I called you 'ChugHead' and don't think I don't know how much you hated that name. Now, look… you and I both know that it is all up to you. You finish writing the program, Chuggy, and you get out. Simple as that. Then we all live happily ever after. Jon and Ted get to carry on playing 'RP Board' and they're not bothered by me, or anyone else and you…you are set free and can go back to your little research lab and tinker with…hehehe, what was that last paper you published, Binary Scripting for Temporal Realigment... when you get close with THAT one, you must call me.."<BR><BR>"And you, Solari, don't forget in exchange I] you</i> get the RP RT Virtual Interface Streamer*."<BR><BR>"No, RBSFMC gets the program and I become CEO. David, I am not greedy man. I just want to see everybody win. You, Jon, Ted, the stockholders and me - oh, and let's not forget our future customers."<BR><BR>Malcolm setted back into his chair and saw the hint of a scowl pass over his old Frat Brother's brow.<BR><BR>"David, David, David… don't you see? I am doing you a FAVOR! If I hadn't sucked you into, albeit, our pirated copy of your fledgling RP RT Interface, you would never have found the motivation to finish it! Now you have every motivation. Finish it and you're free and the product will, mark my words, change the world as we know it. You'll be hailed a genius, I will see to that..<BR><BR>David gave a weak smile at this horrific rationalization for kidnapping and extortion. 'If I live that long'. He thought to himself. This psycho had to be stopped, at all costs.<BR><BR>"Yeah, OK Solari. I will keep working, I will. Just get some painkillers and flu stuff over here, will ya'? And you will leave Ted and Jon alone, right? "<BR><BR>"David, you know me, I wouldn't hurt them. My higher-ups though…" Solari leaned into the little web camera, severely distorting his features. "I can't speak for them, so if I were you, I would get to it and put that little genius thinking cap on…I wouldn't want to see your friend's wedding plans interfered with, she's such a sweet looking girl."<BR><BR>As he was being dragged back to his cell, David's mind was buzzing. He knew full well time was running out, that the RBSFMC techies were constantly attempting to hack into the Torc systems, looking for weaknesses and failing everytime (Jon was the genius in that department)… but they could get lucky. If they found out he was lying and RP RT Virtual Interface was finished and fully operational…David stopped thinking. It was too terrifying.<BR><BR>He then remembered, moments before being tosses back into his cell, he'd left two very important projects unfinished… SmaugsBane and Edain.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>*Role Play Real Time Virtual Interface Streamer
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Postby Lysandros » Sun Feb 16, 2003 1:15 am

<b>Our Hero Hurtles Along to the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR><i>BV had followed along in the wake of the others, for a moment at a loss and carried along, deviceless, with the stream. His furious rage at Edain was for now forgotten as the group trundled along hastily towards the so-called Eldar Estate and he grappled with the bizarre revelation of SB, or AW. The sudden blurting out of everyone’s names had stunned him, but then it all made sense, and he would have laughed out loud. In fact he had tried to, but as soon as he opened his mouth his voice disappeared and instead he had gaped like an idiot. He felt his tongue go numb in his mouth and the wind die from his throat. For some reason he could not reveal himself. It was as if something beyond his control was smoothing over his reactions, masking them and trying to maintain the dazzling façade of Lysandros.<BR><BR>Judging from the looks of SB’s cohorts it seemed they were not pleased in the least that their names had been revealed. Luckily as BV’s mind spun at the implications the lack-wit expression on his face held fast. It might have been easier to carry on the ruse had he not known that he was surrounded by strangers! How was his mind coming up with personas for these people, why was he dreaming that he and other people that he barely knew in real life were inside Tolkien Online??<BR><BR>Before he could give it much more thought they blasted off, and so now BV jogged along, wrestling against the sense of confusion that he knew he had to overcome unless he wanted to be rendered incapable of acting when the time came. To take his mind off it for a moment he tried to take in some of the surroundings. <BR><BR>A ways off in the distance he espied again the two fortresses of the AML and AMMM menacing each other, though perhaps it was a trick of his sight but both towers seemed run down and smaller. A bolt of lightening flashed from the dark tower and in a flickering arc it smashed into the bastion of the AML, leaving a smoldering black mark on the white wall. Soon the rumbling calamity of thunder reached their ears and a few looked off to mark where the noise came from. But to BV the rumble was not a faint stirring far away. With a thunderclap of horror he realized what he had done if SB had told him the truth; he hadn’t kissed Bardhwyn this morning, he had kissed HJ, a ** year old girl from **! A woman he had never met, never actually spoken to. What freak-arsed thing had he eaten before he had fallen asleep? If he was going to be kissing girls in dreams, why couldn’t it be that blonde chick from Last of the Mohicans? Or the French princess from Braveheart? Or both of them at the same time… while sitting front row center at an Iron Maiden concert??<BR><BR>Ruefully bemoaning this state of affairs he realized that the group was now agitated. They were slowing up, and then they stopped.</i><BR><BR>“Lindonbayne,” <i> whispered Leoba. There lying in the dust, dead, was the object of Leoba’s anxiety; a woman’s body. Lindonbayne, BV surmised; a torcer whom he did not know, had never had any contact with, and someone whom he thought had no reasonable place in his dream, dead or alive. He was beginning to get offended by this bewildering dream and its disregard for his enjoyment.<BR><BR>With a few words Edain hoisted up the corpse and the group urged itself on, seemingly afraid that they were still in danger. The dark hedges closed in around them, stifling them beneath threatening shade. But suddenly they burst through a gate into the yard of the Eldar Estate.<BR><BR>Eldar Estate, it must be, thought BV. He himself had never been there, not actually being that old. He assumed it should be a reasonable place if the people who posted on it IRL were all mature adults capable of conducting their escapist fantasies with a bit of decorum. Or maybe it was an actually a guild for Eldar; one of the billions that existed in the TORC constellation and catered to Elves of every imaginable background and field of personal interest. Either way he would have to keep his mouth shut until he found out. He did find it grimly satisfying that, to his eyes at least, the Bowmen Guildhouse was a far statelier structure; which reminded him that when he did awake he was going to go onto TORC and take credit for designing it.<BR><BR>The entire cavalcade breathed a sigh of relief in the open air of the yard and all seemed eager to get themselves inside, except Leoba, who remained behind with a hard-set face to speak to SB; and Bardhwyn, who halted at the bottom of the steps to the back door of the Estate. BV stopped also, sheathing his sword that he suddenly realized he had been holding the entire time. She stared at him inquisitively and BV realized in that instant he would have to make up his mind; what card should he play?<BR><BR>He could play dumb; ignore what SB had said. They might forget about it too…but then he might never figure out what SB meant, or what all these people were hiding. <BR><BR>Or he could try and somehow let them know that he was not Lys, that he was himself, BV. Then what? These people were clearly in some kind of trouble. Black Riders did not just ride around rampant in TORC, at least not in threads posted on by sensible people who knew that there was a proper time and place for that most fearsome of Tolkien’s literary devices. As long as he hid under the guise of Lys, he seemed to be safe and immune from whatever hot water they were treading in.<BR><BR>Or he could stay Lys and try and figure out what was going on. But what would convince them he was still Lys? How could he stave off suspicion, yet still be able to follow them around? <BR><BR>‘Be Lys?<BR><BR>Be Lys. But tone down the pomposity.’ He realized was the answer. ‘If I am going to follow them around I will have to try and forge a workable relationship with people who do not understand what Lys’ character is; a man so obsessed with the perfection of his virtue that he is utterly intolerant of flawed virtue in others. This I might have over-acted a little…this I have to soften….have to be nice, now matter how much I hate it.’ But he knew that his inner subconscious a-hole would chafe mightily at this.<BR>There stood Bardhwyn, and BV returned her gaze. ‘Play Lys,’ he remembered and he put on an embarrassed countenance.</i><BR><BR>“Bardhwyn, such was our rush that I have not had time to see if you were unhurt.”<BR><BR><i>Her face changed from curiosity to slight perplexity. ‘Idiot!’ BV shouted to himself, ‘You should be more worried about all that crap SB spewed back there!’ He recovered,</i><BR><BR>“And there is much going on here I don’t understand and that you haven’t told me; indeed refused to tell me yesterday.”<i> A wounded look artfully flashed across his visage, then was banished by a solicitous look of concern.</i> “But I gather it must wait and we should go inside.”<BR><BR><i>He stepped forward and held out his hand to guide her up the steps. Bardhwyn stared at it uncertainly for a few minutes before yielding hers up. There seemed to be a struggle going on in her. Whether that was a product of the turbulent and painful relationship that Lys and Bardhwyn had shared, where the slightest attention paid by Lys to her seemed an avalanche of emotion thanks to his stuffy nature, or because HJ was recoiling from him because she was a real person uncomfortable with acting out her RP role, he could not begin to guess. Gently BV walked her up, trying to keep his grip from becoming too firm as he wondered this and if he should email HJ the next day when he woke up that he had dreamt about holding her hand…and more!</i><BR>
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Postby wisteria » Sun Feb 16, 2003 8:42 pm

<i> Her head was swimming from the sudden shift in locale. But Wiste was nothing if not a quick thinker. She followed Vana along the passageway to the kitchen as if she really belonged her. But this was TORC! She was actually IN Middle Earth -- or one variant of it anyway. No matter how hard she tried to look serious, a huge grin kept making an appearance.<BR><BR>But just outside the door of the kitchen, she stopped. </i><BR><BR>"What is it?" <i>asked Scribbles.</i><BR><BR><BR>"I just remembered -- I wrote Wiste into the Eldar Estate -- she's here!"<BR><BR><i>Vana shrugged her shoulders. </i><BR> "So? The two of you are separate individuals . . . right?"<BR><BR><i>Scribbles shook her head. </i><BR> "No, this could be a problem. So far, none of us has met our cyber-alter-ego. We don't know what the effects of such a meeting would be. The created meeting the Creator, as it were."<BR><BR>"And no one should see the face of God," <i>Vana answered.</i><BR><BR><BR>"Right."<BR><BR>"You two need to find the cyber Wiste -- she'll be dressed as she usually is, and I'm still in jeans, so even if we look alike, which we really do, well, except for the grey in my hair and a few pounds, we look alike, but anyway . . . you need to go find her and keep her out of the way so I can come in to talk to the others. I have information that they need to know."<BR><BR><i>She looked at the Scribe with trepadation. </i><BR> "Information even you don't know yet."
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Postby SmaugsBane » Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:05 pm

<b>On the front porch of the Eldar Estate...</b><BR><BR>AW stood motionless with his back to the exterior wall of the Eldar's Estate while HM/Leoba's words stung him deep.<BR><BR>He tried to get a word in, to explain, but when he opened his mouth, the words died away and Leoba continued. <BR><BR>Her last few words quivered with the threat of impending tears and that was the last straw. She could no longer stand there with him. HM abruptly broke off her words and rushed inside.<BR><BR>AW hung his head and lingered outside the Eldar's Estate whilst everyone else filed in. <BR><BR>How was it that he had the ability to write SB with such good instincts, despite maintaing the character's youth and bravado? When faced with a situation in which Dirk would probably go climb a tree and think or observe his surroundings from a hidden vantage before making a decision, AW opens his mouth and blurts out what ever comes to mind. <BR><BR>"I wish I was Dirk right now," he whispered almost inaudibly, "the warrior's instincts, the fighting experience and skill, the ability to assess and attack or retreat, as the situation warrants. If I <b>was</b> Dirk instead of just looking like him, then I wouldn't have endangered everyone as I have." <BR><BR>AW inhaled sharply and let out a deep sigh. Looking up, he took in the vista of TORC's High Street of the Alliances and Guilds.<BR><BR>Dirk resolved silently to force himself to keep his mouth shut. He wouldn't be a coward, but he wouldn't open his mouth again, just to shove a mud-covered riding boot into it. Further he vowed to attempt to gain some control over his use of the sword. In this world, <i>Neleg Amlug</i> was no trifle. He would have to try and find some time to practice with the thing, else he could kill someone he didn't intend - like himself. <BR><BR>He steeled himself and launched his body off the wall with mock effort, straightened and entered the land of over-thity-somethings in the hot tub and barbeque ribs.
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:26 pm

<BR><b>... in the front parlor/hall (whatever) of the Eldar's Estate ...</b><BR><BR>"You two need to find the cyber Wiste -- she'll be dressed as she usually is, and I'm still in jeans, so even if we look alike, which we really do, well, except for the grey in my hair and a few pounds, we look alike, but anyway . . . you need to go find her and keep her out of the way so I can come in to talk to the others. I have information that they need to know."<BR><BR><i> Scribbles looked at Vana. </i> “Vana, you have been here all night, where did Wiste go after you were on the deck with RunningDeer? After I left?”<BR><BR><i> Vana closed her eyes for a minute, concentrating. </i><BR><BR>“Well, let’s see, we were all in the front Hall, you bundle off,” <i> here Vana laughed and opened her eyes, mischief and merriment making them twinkle. Scribbles grinned, then laughed as well at the good natured poke. </i> “Right, I bundle off, then what?” <i> she prompted with a wide smile and a saucy wink.<BR><BR>Vana chuckled, then sobered, her brow furrowing.</i> “Well, then I showed various folks to rooms upstairs where they could get some rest. I can’t remember if Wisteria was among them or not.” <i> Vana cocked her head to one side.</i> “It HAS been rather, well, hectic around here this morning . . . “<BR><BR>“Hectic?” <i> Both Scribbles and Wisteria echoed. Scribbles suddenly raised her head and sniffed the air. </i><BR><BR>“Is that smoke I smell? Vana, please don’t tell me someone started the Estate on Fire?! FrodoTook will KILL us! Where are the others? Have Bardy and Leoba and Elenath made it back?”<BR><BR><i> Vana passed one hand over her face wearily.</i> “Woah, woah, slow down! I was going to wait until after you have eaten, then worry about exchanging news.”<BR><BR>“Ah, right,” <i> Scribbles answered, and put one hand on the door to the kitchens. Wiste tugged her arm. </i><BR><BR>“Scribbles! How could you forget so quickly, *what* if Cyber Wiste is in there?!!”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles stopped. She must be finally getting tired, it was over four days TORC time and she had not slept. She sent Wiste a weak, apologetic grin.</i><BR><BR>“Yes, yes, sorry. Okay, somehow, folks lost track of the Cyber Wisteria around the time I left you all here in the front parlor with Running Deer yesterday. How likely is it that Wisteria stayed at the Eldars overnight? Wouldn’t she just have gone back to the Weaver’s Guild last night when you all went off to bed?”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles looked to Wiste. </i> “Well? She’s *your* character. What do you think?”<BR><BR><i> Wiste coloured.</i> “I, I’m not sure. So many people are writing in this thread Scribbles, any one of the posters could have placed her anywhere. I don’t remember writing her out, only in. That’s why we have to be cautious.”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles drew a deep breath, then let it out slowly. </i> “Right. Okay. Wiste, you find a quiet corner to stay out of sight in. Vana, c’mon. You and I are going to check every single guest room upstairs. If either one of us finds the Cyber Wisteria, we wake her up and send her on her way with some fictitious story about being needed desperately back at the Weaver’s Guild. Just make it believable enough so that she will go quickly, okay?”<BR><BR><i> Vana nodded, and followed Scribbles up the stairs two at a time. Without a word, Vana quickly went to the left side of the wide upper hall and cracked open the first door, peeking inside. Closing the door softly, she shook her head and continued to the next door. Scribbles grinned, and began working her side of the hallway. The sixth room down, she hit pay dirt.<BR><BR>Slipping into the room, she licked thumb and forefinger and grasping the wick of the candle by the bed, concentrated briefly then whispered “nuar”. The candle flared to life. ‘Cool, it works,’ she thought to herself, then reached out and gently shook the shoulder of the slumbering woman.</i><BR><BR>“Wiste, wake up, it’s Scribbles.”<BR><BR><i> When the Mistress Weaver turned over and looked up, Scribbles grinned.</i><BR><BR>“Scribbles? What’s the matter?” <i> Wiste asked, her voice still husky with sleep.</i><BR><BR>“Nothing is the matter, but a messenger has come from the Weavers Guildhall. You are needed, apparently a rather large order has come in from some important Elven Prince or another, and he has asked for you specifically.”<BR><BR><i> Wisteria’s eyes widened and she sat up, suddenly awake.</i> “Oh!” <i> she exclaimed, one hand going to her mouth.</i> “He actually came! Oh dear, I must hurry!”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles covered her surprise quickly and tried to appear nonchalant. In her mind, she was thinking that luck must be riding her shoulder today.</i><BR><BR>“He?” <i> she drawled, with what she hoped was Scribbles’ characteristic lazily amused tone.</i> “And what ‘he’ might this be?”<BR><BR><i> Wisteria threw back the coverlets and hurried to the washstand, her long cotton nightdress flapping about her ankles.</i> “Elladan!” <i> she exclaimed, then laughed.</i> “Boy, I never ever thought he would take up my invitation to visit the Weaver’s Guild!”<BR><BR><i> She turned to see the blank look that Scribbles was not fast enough to cover.</i> “You remember, the Long Awaited Birthday Party! I can’t believe you have forgotten, tsk, tsk, tsk Scribbles. I danced with Elladan, and we went for a walk.<i> Suddenly the weaver began to blush. </i> “Yes, um, well, never mind all that. At the end of the evening, I invited him to visit the Weaver’s Guild sometime! I never thought in a million years that he’d actually take me up on it!”<BR><BR>“You danced? Ah, well, if I remember correctly there was an awful lot going on at that Festival,” <i> she mumbled, hoping she sounded even remotely intelligent. Had her character attended? Probably. Ah, but had her character’s author, namely herself, been yanked into TORC before or after the conclusion? Her head began to ache again. Best not to travel that path.<BR><BR>Wisteria laughed lightly, then turned with her hands on her hips.</i> “Tell the others good morning for me, and apologize for my not being at the breakfast table. But I really must dress and fly, you do understand?”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles smiled, not having to fake that at all.</i> “Oh, of course, one shouldn’t keep the Scrummy Elf of Middle Earth waiting, oh no indeed. I’ll tell the others, no problem.”<BR><BR><i> With that, she exited the room and flagged Vana down, who had got to the end of the hall and was already working her way down the right towards Scribbles. She motioned Vana to stop looking and join her. When the other Peredhel came over, she took her aside.</i><BR><BR>“I found her and told her some Elven Prince ordered clothes. She thinks Elladan is at the Weavers Guild!”<BR><BR>“THE Elladan?”<i> Vana asked. Scribbles shrugged. </i> “Beats me, look, we’ll just hide out here behind this big potted whatever this is, and watch that she actually leaves, okay?”<BR><BR><i> Vana nodded. They didn’t have to wait long either, for a short time later the door opened and a freshly washed and primped Wisteria stepped out. Hurrying down the wide stairs, the Mistress Weaver paused by the large, ornate mirror in the front hall, patted a few nonextistent stray hairs into place, then breezed out the main doors. As they shut with a muffled thud, both Scribbles and Vana let out sighs of relief then hurried down the stairs.<BR><BR>Wiste stepped out from the shadows of a large hanging tapestry, depicting the battle of the Last Alliance, grinning.</i><BR><BR>“Whew, that was close! Okay, now what?”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles eyed Wiste critically. </i> “Now you get dressed in suitable clothes and, for the love of Eru, WE EAT!!”<BR><BR><i> Vana giggled.</i> "C’mon Wiste, I know just where we can get you fixed right up."<BR><BR><i>Scribbles laughed, then turned towards the kitchens. </i> “If you will all excuse me, I think I am going to kill something very large and eat it raw.”<BR><BR>“Just don’t make the coffee, Scribbles,” <i> Wiste shot back as Vana began leading her upstairs. Scribbles laughed again, then pushed into the kitchens. Time to eat, collect everyone they could, and get moving. She could only hope and pray that the rest from the Bowmen's Guild House had managed to dodge the Riders and make it here.</i><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Sat Feb 22, 2003 11:24 pm

<b>Outside the Eldar's Estate</b><BR><BR><i>Tinu was growing more nervous by the moment. Nessa had no idea what sort of fungus she was talking about--and that was the one ingredient of the three that was truly necessary. Without Amanita phalloides, the Death Cap, Guru would slip into a coma and eventually become a wraith, or so Tinu understood. These were no ordinary wraiths and they could not be certain of the toxins in their blades, nor the effects upon one sliced by such a weapon.<BR><BR>So, the Noldo anxiously left Guru to be cared for by the others, moving him indoors so that he at least would not catch a chill on top of turning into a wraith. She left specific instructions for Nessa, who now was tending to her little girl, in a note now beside Guru:<BR><BR>"Seep the lemonroot in the boiling hot water for five minutes and dip a towel into the mixture. Place the towel over Guru's mouth and nose, so that he inhales the steam. Keep the mixture warm, as we will add the Death Cap to it--but only half of the mushroom, lest we add too many toxins to his body. We will then make him drink a cup of the mixture (after letting it cool just so it does not burn the throat). Within an hour, his fever should break, and his eyes should clear."<BR><BR>With those instructions, Tinu made her way into the patch of trees beside the Estate, noting the burnt grass from the flames and the trampled greenery from the giant hooved animals. She prayed that nothing of great importance was lost this day to either flame or crushing.<BR><BR>Scouring the ground for the poisonous fungus, Tinu could find nothing other than the occasional edible mushroom. So, she moved closer to the darkness within the trees, watching only the ground, though her ears were listening to the most minute sounds around her--the blowing of leaves, the slight sound of her feet upon the ground. She did not sense the growing darkness in her intent state, nor did she notice that the sun, which had shone brightly earlier, was now hidden in a suspicious cloud. The weather, which she was now afraid to attempt to harness, was no longer a concern--the healer within had taken over. She had to find that mushroom; or else a real person would "die".<BR><BR>After stumbling across a fairy ring, smiling at her luck, Tinu found her quarry. Plucking it from the ground and refraining from inhaling the pungent scent as much as possible, as it smelled like rotting garbage in a Midwestern heatwave, Tinu began her return to the Estate. At this moment, she realized how far she had traveled and how dark it had become. Recalling her fear of walking in the dark, even in familiar places, Lynne began to tremble and walked a little faster, pretending that she was not scared, as she always did in the dark.<BR><BR>However, it was not her imagination as usual--the hoof-beats behind her were very real. Her elven ears caught every muffled beat and in her terrorized state, she believed the pursuer(s) to be closer than they were in actuality, as she was used to her usual human hearing. Her feet grew wings as her heart threatened to jump from her chest, and she clung for dear life to the delicate mushroom, not caring that it stained her gown and made it smell horrible. All that mattered was that she return safely to the Estate.<BR><BR>The beating behind her increased in intensity. They were speeding up behind her. </i><BR><BR>NO!<BR><BR><i>She cried out, her human instinct, which still acutely felt fear, taking over the elven side. Unfortunately, her body had not yet succumbed completely to the elven growing within, though her legs, which should have been exhausted by now, were not even the least bit sore.<BR><BR>Afraid to turn around and see the nightmarish creatures face to face, she kept her face toward the only light--that which emanated in secure yellow hues. Oh to be in there now! Tinu thought miserably.<BR><BR>Soon she had reached the outside of the building and, believing that she was within safety's reach, she slowed a bit, taking deeper breaths.<BR><BR>In that instant, a clawed hand took a firm grip of her slender shoulder. Lynne, terrorized, froze, but Tinu within her took over, flipping herself around despite the agonizing rip into her muscle. Tossing the mushroom toward the door, she made sure that it made it there, the fungus making a sickening THUD against the door--a sound loud enough to be heard within.<BR><BR>With that, Tinu drew the small blade she carried in her belt and slashed at the hand that held her shoulder with her free arm. The creature howled and released her, only to grab her by both arms, the claws digging deep, blood oozing from the wounds. Tinu gasped and tried to struggle free, but to no avail, except further bloodied limbs.<BR><BR>Slinging the slightly defeated elf over his horse, the creature made sure her head contacted the metal horn. The last thought Lynne had before the world went a dizzying onyx was that at least the mushroom would be found and Guru saved.</i>
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Postby Nessamelda » Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:24 pm

<b>Crouched by an unconscious elf, near the doors to the garden</b><BR><BR>Susan stared dumbstruck as Tinu raced away to get the necessary fungus. <i>It should have been me</i>, she could only repeat to herself. <i> It should have been me</i>.<BR><BR>Katie picked up Tinu's written instructions. It was clear that Susan had gone down a notch or two in her daughter's estimation.<BR>"You can cook, can't you Mum? At least you can do this". Susan accepted both the implied criticism and the note, and gave her daughter a quick hug. She then pillowed Guru's head on a cushion, throwing her cloak over him. He was shivering violently in his feverish sleep.<BR><BR>Then the mushroom hit the half open door. No sign of the elf-woman though. <i> It should have been me</i>.<BR><BR>But Katie was right - she could cook, if nothing else; she could at least follow a recipe, so Susan gathered the note and the ingredients, pushed open the kitchen door and made for the large stove. It was wood burning, nothing she had ever used before, but the fire was already well alight, there was a kettle starting to sing on one of the hobs and the pots and pans were familiar enough. <BR><BR>Susan had got as far as pouring the boiling water over the lemonroot, when the sudden sound of the door at the other end of the kitchen opening nearly made her knock over the infusion. She cursed in very un-tolkien like language.
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Postby elfetawen » Sat Mar 22, 2003 10:08 pm

Finally! Everyone was gone! Well okay, they weren't "gone", her mom and brother had gone to bed and her dad was away at work and wouldn't be back 'till around seven am but at least she chould check TORC now without being disturbed. There was one thread that she especially wanted to check, the TORC Conspircy thread. She had finally finished reading it through and wanted to take a last look for any new posts before heading over to the OOC thread and posting a request to join the RP. Some of her best TORC friends were involved and the thought of being able to RP with them was thrilling. Come to think of it though, she hadn't seen any posts from some of them in a long time. A few of them seemed to be posting regularly but some were sporadic or even non-existent.<BR><BR>She chuckled to herself as the moden dialed up. "Maybe Jon and Ted have a program to impersonate the missing posters and it doesn't have enough input for some of them." She chuckled again and thought just how easy it would be to get into the spirit of this RP.<BR><BR>Then the computer was connected and she pulled up five windows, two for TORC, one for Ringbearer, one for Force of Hobbit (might as well check how Rob and Linnet were doing), and a last one for email. It didn't take long to check her regular threads and post a couple comments and she was soon tapping the desk impatiently, waiting for the TORC Conspiracy threads to load. She ran the tip of her tounge over her lips and reached down for her purse, hauling it into her lap to search for her lip moisturizer. Just then the OOC thread finished loading and she scrolled to the bottom of the page and hit the "Reply" button.<BR><BR><< <i>Hey there! I just finished reading your wonderful thread and was wondering if there's space for another RPer in the group <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I have a couple ideas and if it isn't too presumptuous of me I already have a post written up <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> </i> >><BR><BR>She sighed and looked over at the clock. 11:58! "I better finish this up before the hourly reset!" she muttered and went back to her typing.<BR><BR><< <i>Thanks for at least considering me <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I hope that I might join you soon <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> </i> >> <BR><BR>"There! Now to get it through!" she said swinging the mouse coursor across the screen, she clicked the "Done" button...and double-clicked! "Aw shoot! I double posted! No use crying over spilled milk I guess. I'll just have to edit it with an apology..." her voice trailed off as the reply screen was replaced by an image of a rather realistic tunnel.<BR><BR>"Now what in the...Who's idea of a joke is this? I want to go back to TORC, I don't want some picture - wait. That isn't a picture! It's real! Oh my Gooooooood!" she screamed as she was sucked in, clutching her purse to her like a lifeline.<BR><BR>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><BR>Jenn groaned and opened her eyes to a beautiful, brilliant, sunny day. And it was warm! She sat up in surprise and winced at the numerous aches that had accompanied her collision with the ground. "Huh? Collision with the...?!" Her eyes widened as she noticed the trees all around her and heard the clamoring of birds and arboreal creatures in the branches above her. "Where am I?" she asked of no one in particular.<BR><BR><"You are on Tol Uirélokë of course,"> said a voice behind her. <"I must say though that you chose a rather interseting way of getting here. You could have just asked one of us to come and get you after all."><BR><BR>Jenn turned around slowly and looked up, and up, into the eyes of a dragon with an amused look on its - no, his - face. She was dimly aware that her mouth had dropped open and knew that the look on her face was one of total shock, disbelief...and joy. "You're a - a -"<BR><BR><"Dragon. Which shouldn't surprise you since this <i>is</i> the Island of Dragons."><BR><BR>"Island of..." her voice trailed off as what he had said sank in. <i>Wait a sec! I</i> created <i> Tol Uirélokë! I wrote about it for that contest in the Powers of Arda guild, the first one. But how...</i> Suddenly it all fit. This <i>was</i> Tol Uirélokë and it <i>was</i> the Powers of Arda guild. She had been "dropped" into TORC just like in the Conspiracy thread!<BR><BR>With a start she realized that the dragon must think her a numbwit, repeating everything he said. She pasted a smile on her face and looked up at the dragon again. "Sorry. It's just been a long week and I guess I just got confused when I didn't land where I meant to. I was trying for the Library but, as you can see, my aim was a bit off." She chuckled disparagingly and hoped the dragon would come to the right conclusion. He did.<BR><BR><"Why don't I just take you there then. It is not far. Just climb up on my back,"> he said, turning and crouching down so she could use his shoulder to mount up.<BR><BR>Jenn swallowed nervously, then shrugged. Why not? She had always dreamed of riding dragon-back and this was the perfect opportunity. 'Sides which, she had asked for it. And so, with barely suppressed joy bubbling through her, she climbed up the proffered fore-leg, settled herself between the dragon's shoulder blades, and held on as he leaped into the air, beating his wings strongly to get more distance from the treetops. She looked down once then swiftly focused her eyes back on the neck muscels of the dragon beneath her, convulsively tightening her grip on the purse that she had somehow managed to drag along with her.
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Postby wisteria » Sat Mar 29, 2003 8:00 pm

<b>In the kitchen of the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR><i>The three of them, Scribbles, Vana and Wiste must've made a sight as they entered the kitchen, for they very nearly gave Nessamelda a heart attack. The way she squealed when they entered had Wiste sure she'd burned herself, but it was only that they'd startled her. </i><BR><BR>"We had a little trouble with some black riders before and Anorast is hurt. This infusion should work."<BR><BR>"Black riders? REAL black riders?" <i> Wiste's heart beat hard. Those things had scared her even <u>before</u> she saw the movie. </i><BR><BR>"Yes," <i>Vana replied as Scribbles followed Nessamelda and a little girl outside.</i>"That's why I'm on watch duty – we need to move from here – and soon." <BR><BR><BR>"Sooner than you think," <i>Wiste replied. </i> "The mods know you're here – and apparently someone else does, too."<i> She looked around at all the packs, already prepared and ready to go. </i> "Who else is here besides Nessa . . . I mean Susan, and Katie – and Anorast/Guru?"<BR><BR>"We're missing quite a few. Scribbles had gone to find some of the others – did she have any luck?"<BR><BR><i> Wiste looked at her, searching her memory – who was she going to look for? Elnath and Leoba? Or was it Bardy? Or all three? She shook her head. </i>"Sorry, don't know. I"ve spent some time in a rehab center lately and I think I've forgotten some stuff."<BR><BR><i> But before Vana could question her, Nessa and Scribbles reappeared, holding a very limp Anorast between them. Wiste helped them lay him on a nearby bench.<BR><BR>At the sound of heavy boots in the hall, Vana turned, her weapon ready. Scribbles' sword was out and Wiste scampered to Anorast's side. She wasn't a fighter, but she picked up a clean frying pan and held it at the ready.<BR><BR>The door opened and Leoba, Elnath, and Bardy entered, with a few suprise visitors of their own.</i><BR><BR><BR><b>edited to fix Anorast and spacing</b>
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Mar 29, 2003 9:17 pm

<BR><b> In the kitchen of the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR><i> Scribbles smiled as Nessa let off a stream of most un-ladylike cursing. But her humour faded instantly at the news that Guru, or Anorast as he was known, was hurt. She was further alarmed to hear that Black Riders had descended on the Eldars Estate as well. Something was up.<BR><BR>She followed Nessa and Katie outside and helped Nessa get Guru back into the kitchens. Stil unconscious, they carefully laid him onto one of the wide benches to one side. As she straightened, she turned at a noise her keen ears picked up from beyond the kitchen door. Vana’s peredhel hearing caught it too and she tensed, armed and ready. Even Wisteria, picking up a large fry pan, adopted a defensive stance next to Guru.<BR><BR>As Scribbles instinctively and quite smoothly drew her sword, she experienced a flash of annoyance. Where had this instinct been at the Bowmen Guildhouse, when she could have used it? Was it because at the time, she had been thinking less like her character, and more like her real-life self? Did the skills and the instincts only flow freely when she didn’t think about it? <BR><BR>She had no more time to ponder it. As the party from Dale trooped in, she resheathed her sword and blew out a sigh of relief, then gaped as Edain gently laid a limp female form down on another of the benches.</i><BR><BR>“Well thank the Valar for small favours, you guys made it!" <i> Scribbles blurted.<BR><BR>Leoba cried out and Bardhwyn's jaw dropped, then the Archer quickly crossed the floor and grabbed Scribbles in a quick hug. Scribbles stiffened in surprise, then searched the Archer's face when Bardhwyn finally stepped back but still held her at arms length.</i><BR><BR>"You can't imagine how relieved I am to see you here!" <i> Bardwhyn exclaimed.</i> "The last I saw, you were out cold and slung across that Rider's saddle! We tried to follow, Elenath and I, but the Rider had too much of a lead. How did you get here?"<BR><BR><i> Wisteria broke in.</i> "She axe murdered a Rehab program, that's how."<BR><BR><i> Bardhwyn glanced quickly at Wisteria as Scribbles reddened.</i> <BR><BR>"Well, it wasn't exactly murder, more like a poisoned dart. Tipped with a virus, of course," <i> she admitted. Bardhwyn was still eying Wisteria.<BR><BR>Scribbles' attention was drawn once more to the figure Edain had carried in.</i> "But who is that?” <i> she asked, subtly changing the subject and pointing to the ominously still form.<BR><BR>Leoba brushed back a strand of hair.</i> "It's Lindonbayne, we found her and I think she is dead."<BR><BR><i> Scribbles felt her own jaw drop.</i> "Dead?" <i> she echoed, looking around at the rest. Bardhwyn nodded grimly, as did Edain and Elenath. She closed her eyes for a few moments, trying to make some sense of it. No one 'died' in TORC. Not unless it was a character who's author decided to 'write them out' as it were. Is that what Lindonbayne's real life author had done? The alternatives were just too grim, too horrible to even contemplate. Opening her eyes, she scanned the room once more, just as her stomach gave out a hideous growl, accompanied by a rather sharp pain. She had never felt true hunger before, but was fairly certain that she was feeling it now.<BR><BR>She noticed SB/AW was missing. Perhaps he was simply having a look around, but it made her nervous. </i>"I think we need an information exchange something fierce," <i> she said quietly.</i> "But I can't think on a stomach that feels like I have a black hole in my middle. First things first.” <BR><BR><i> Crossing the room, she yanked open a heavy door. Cool air wafted past her, redolent with the scents of smoked meats, ripe cheeses and fresh fruit. She stepped in and gathered an armful of items, then returned to the kitchen proper.<BR><BR>Laying out her choices on the large central oak table, she pulled her cloak off and draped it over a chair, then began pushing up her sleeves. Bardhwyn gave her a sharp look.</i><BR><BR>“What are you doing?” <i> the Archer asked, surprised.<BR><BR>Scribbles shrugged, then began unwrapping a packet of smoked ham. </i> “I thought I’d make us some breakfast.”<BR><BR>"But what about, about Lindon?" <i> someone asked. Scribbles shrugged again, spreading her hands in a gesture of helplessness. </i> "I don't mean to sound callous, but if she is dead, there is nothing we can really do. I mean, I don't understand what is going on, maybe if we put our heads together, we'll come up with something. Right now, the only thing I can do something about, is getting us all a good meal." <i> She looked at Wisteria, then held out a hand.</i> “I could use that pan, Wiste.”<BR><BR><i> Bardhwyn groaned. </i><BR><BR>“Can you really cook, Scribbles?” <i> she asked with a pained look.</i> “I mean if your coffee is anything to go by . . .”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles smiled briefly, then handed the pan back to Wisteria.</i><BR><BR>“Come to think of it, I could very likely just ruin a lot of good food. Here, how about someone else cooks the hot stuff while I slice up the bread, cheese and fruit. I doubt I can ruin that.”<BR><BR><i> Edain stepped forward and dug out the small pouch from his pack, then held it up.</i><BR><BR>“My previous offer still stands. Who wants coffee?” <i> he asked.<BR><BR>Vana and Wiste exchanged sharp glances, then Vana spoke. </i> “I know we need to eat and probably pack some provisions too, but Wisteria also has some news that you all need to hear. We are not safe here anymore, we need to get moving.”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles looked around the room, at the anxious faces, then at the injured Guru. She looked over at Bardhwyn and the rest of the Dale contingent, then cleared her throat.</i><BR><BR>“Right. No reason we can’t do several things in one go. We can exchange news and theories while we eat, then decide what to do about certain, ah, matters and then pack up some provisions and get moving.”<BR><BR><i> She looked over at Nessa, then nodded at the prone Guru. </i> “Will he be able to travel?” <i> she asked softly.</i><BR><BR><BR>(OOC: edited to knock Guru back out. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> And add the 'body'. AND appropriate reactions <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <b>AND</b>remove the SB reference . . . <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>)
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:21 pm

<b>Room 536, The Holiday Inn, somewhere in Southern California...</b><BR><BR><BR>"Langly, please speak ENGLISH." Scully said, crossing her arms in front of her and throwing the long blonde haired, computer hacking geek her infamous 'withering look'. "What is impossible?!"<BR><BR>"This." Byers said, pointing to a computer screen. Mulder was closest and he stepped forward, loosening his tie as he read the document displayed on the computer monitor.<BR><BR>"A thesis… written by David M." He said, his voice trailing off as he became absorbed in the document.<BR><BR>"Yeah," Byers said, sitting on the bed, pushing the pizza boxes aside. "We found it yesterday in the MIT web archives.."<BR><BR>"David M?" Scully asked, "He's one of the TORC website owners."<BR><BR>"Yeah, and by the way, as soon as we picked up that Costa Rica alibi on the mics, we searched the airline booking databases, " Frohicke chirped in, "there was no record of a David M. flying any where in the last eight months."<BR><BR>"He could have used an alias." She replied.<BR><BR>"Or something else could have happened…" Mulder added, standing up and away from the computer screen. "Have you guys read this?" He asked.<BR><BR>The three computer geeks nodded in unison in reply to Mulder's wide-eyed question.<BR><BR>"Why, what does it say?" Scully asked, looking even more incredulous than ever. She leaned close to the screen and read the opening lines of David M's MIT thesis…<BR><BR><i><BR>Real Time Virtual Interface Streaming and Binary Matter Manipulation<BR><BR>By David M.<BR><BR>Is playing your favorite video exhilarating but, once over, leaves you unfulfilled, empty? <BR><BR>In this thesis I will present and defend the premise that it is now possible to 'live' your favorite virtual reality in 'real-time' with virtual interface streaming coupled with binary matter manipulation. <BR><BR>By combining these two emerging nano-centrino technologies, it is possible to physically enter your favorite video game or website and have a complete, conscious experience... </i><BR><BR>"My God." Scully whispered…
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Postby Nessamelda » Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:17 am

<b>In the kitchen of the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR>Scribbles looked over at Nessa, then nodded at the prone Guru. “Will he be able to travel?” she asked softly.<BR><BR>Susan looked at Guru and then back at Scribbles. She shrugged her shoulders helplessly. She knew some basic first aid, but no more.<BR><BR>" You're more elf than I am - you take a guess! If he were back ...home... then I'd say he'd be right as rain after a week in hospital and a couple of weeks convalescence. But here there are no hospitals, he is not a mortal, and the rules are changed. Tinu seemed to think that the brew she concocted would work quickly - the fever went almost instantly, and he sleeps peacefully now. Perhaps when he wakes he will jump up and be fit - and perhaps we will have to carry him. "<BR><BR>Katie looked around nervously at the strangers who had come in. The men seemed very tall and warlike, heavily armed, standing about awkwardly, saying little. And there was Lindonbayne, lying very pale, very still on the bench. All the grown-ups seemed to be avoiding the obvious - talking about other things, breakfast, travel. But the nice lady was dead. <BR><BR>The girl was frightened, sad and curious. She had never seen a body before. She stood next to Lindon, and put out her hand toward the sad figure, then drew it quickly away. <BR><BR>"She's not going to wake up, is she mummy?"<BR><BR>Susan suddenly realised where her daughter was, and drew her gently back.<BR><BR>"No darling, I don't think she is."<BR><BR>"This isn't just a dream or pretend, is it mummy? People get really hurt here and we aren't going to wake up." She stopped, her face sad and solemn, trying to digest the meaning of all this new information and emotion. It was all too much. The grown-ups were probably right.<BR><BR>"I'm hungry, mummy. Could you cook?. You are very good at that".<BR><BR>Susan smiled, as best she could, and took up the frying pan Wiste was holding. Yes that was one thing she could manage. And at least she would be useful. <BR><BR>"Come on Katie, you can help me with the eggs and bacon".
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Postby wisteria » Wed Apr 09, 2003 7:30 pm

<b>In the kitchen of the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR><BR><i>Wiste watched Nessa/Susan as she tried to explain death to her little girl and bowed her head. </i><BR><BR>"That's the whole reason I'm even here," <i>she explained quietly to Bardy, who'd been giving her odd looks. </i> "Yes, Bardy, it's me . . . the real Wiste. For quite a while I was able to monitor your activities inside the threads from the outside, but once LindonBayne died, really died, I got mad and fired off an email to Jon and Ted. This time, ThreadStalker was not put off by my stapler."<BR><BR><i>The others started to prepare a meal; a trace of normalcy they all needed before venturing into the world of TORC once more. Nessa took the pan from Wiste and put it to its proper use. Soon the smells of a delicious meal wafted through the kitchen. Introductions were made and Wiste counted their number: Scribbles and Bardy, Leoba, Nessa and Katie, Vana, Guru – who was out cold, Elnath, Edain, Lalatiel, Lysandros, Tinu – who'd been taken off by the black riders – and of course, Lindonbayne. </i><BR><BR>"Where'd you stash Running Deer?" <i>Wiste inquired, gulping down her eggs. Inside cyberspace or not, the food was certainly real enough and she hadn't had a real meal since before she was captured and kidnapped. Kidnapped! That reminded her . . . . </i><BR><BR>"Running Deer is asleep upstairs – her mind seems to be going, though," <i> Vana told her.<BR><BR>Wiste nodded. </i> "It is – she's getting confused because her nature and her duties as a Mod are in conflict. She was sent in here to track you all and take you back to the dungeons – where you were supposed to go." <i> She paused, putting down her fork. It was time she told them – time they heard it all. </i><BR><BR>"In fact, you were never supposed to leave the dungeons. And I was at fault there. If you had stayed, Jon intended for you all to be returned home after only a short stay. But then you escaped and went to the Scriptorium. If you'd stopped there, the Mods would've rounded you up, sent you back to the dungeons and then on home. I didn't know at that time just how far this conspiracy went, though, so I wrote you a way out of there and into the Guilds and Alliances. Jon told me I was partly responsible for Lindonbayne's death – and he's right."<BR><BR><i>The others sat in shocked silence, then Elnath put her hand on the weaver's arm.</i>"You didn't know – none of us knew. Each of us had only a piece of the puzzle and you did what you thought was best – we all did."<BR><BR><i>Wiste nodded. </i>"Most of me knows that. There's more though. When I was with Jon, he said something curious. He told me, <i> 'There are more lives at stake than just those people stuck in Torc, believe me. I wish I could say more but I can't.' </i> I don't know what he was talking about, but something is going on at the very top levels of TolkienOnline."
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Apr 09, 2003 9:16 pm

<BR><b> In the kitchens of the Eldar's Estate . . . </b><BR><BR>" You're more elf than I am - you take a guess!”<BR><BR><i> The statement stopped Scribbles cold, and she found herself blinking stupidly at Susan/Nessa for a moment. </i><BR><BR>“Tinu seemed to think that the brew she concocted would work quickly - the fever went almost instantly, and he sleeps peacefully now,”<i> the woman concluded.<BR><BR>Scribbles blinked a few more times, then with an effort, she kicked her brain into gear. Brew?</i><BR><BR>“What brew?” <i> she asked, then mentally kicked herself. Could she possibly sound any more stupid and clueless? Yes, she thought, she could and she had, many times. Okay, like the sword skills and other things, she had to simply stop thinking with the Real Life, or logical, side of her brain. ‘Just go back to being the peredhel’ she thought, then closed her eyes and took a deep, deep breath. Reaching back into her memory, she hauled up every fact, every figure, every single mote of information that she had so painstakingly created for her character. Even though the TORC character of Scribbles was as yet incomplete, the essential elements of what and who she was were done and committed to electronic files, both at home and aboard TORC. All she had to do, was ‘be’ Scribbles.</i><BR><BR>“Tinu told me how to brew an infusion for him with a particular mushroom that she managed to leave us,” <i> Susan/Nessa answered softly.<BR><BR>Scribbles opened her eyes and went to kneel next to Guru. She laid a hand briefly on his forehead, sure enough, he was not feverish. His breathing was deep and regular, and there was no sign of strain or stress on the sleeping features. Something told her that his body was healing, but she was unsure how or why. Sighing, she rose and smiled at Susan/Nessa. </i><BR><BR>“I think Tinu is right, he isn’t feverish and seems to be doing just fine.” <i> A soft snore puntuated her words, and she chuckled. Just then Katie spoke up and Susan/Nessa excused herself to hurry over to her daughter. Scribbles went back to the table and as promised, cut up breads and fruit and cheeses while Susan, Katie, Vana and a few others busied themselves with preparing the hot foods. Still others had filled pitchers with water and juices and set them on table, along with glasses, plates and cutlery. Bardy and Edain had made coffee and Scribbles snagged a cup of that right away, then sat down with everyone else to eat and catch up on the ‘news’.<BR><BR>She did not speak, but listened intently, nodding her agreement at the truth and plain good sense in Elenath’s words of comfort. Poor Wisteria, how could she have known? She made a mental note that Jon was a great prat for making Wisteria feel responsible. But it seemed so out of character, any contact she had ever had with one of the Ubermen of TORC had always been one of polite kindness, he had responded very nicely to any login problems she had had. Hmmmmm. There were indeed some strange things going on at Tolkien Online.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Guruthostirn » Thu Apr 10, 2003 4:27 pm

<i>With a start, RLM sat up. Then just as quick laid back down with a groan. The pain was incredible. He had known what to expect, but waking so abruptly had made him forget. The dreams he'd been having were strange, very strange. He shook his head. There was too much to tell, and now was not the time. After a bit, perhaps, but he'd made his promise. Now was definitely not the time.<BR><BR>Looking around, he saw a few people, though none were looking at him. Feeling down on his chest, he felt the bandages upon his wounds, which, while responding nicely, were still far from healed. At least he would be able to walk. And he'd need to.</i><BR><BR>"Uhh, is there any food around here? I'm rather hungry..."
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Postby Vanaladiel » Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:03 pm

<b>In the Eldar's Estate Kitchen</b><BR><BR>As they sat all gathered around the oak table in the center of the room and started to fill their plates with the breakfast offerings a sudden groan came from Anorast on the bench. His sudden sitting up about scared them to death. <BR><BR>Little Katie about cried cause several gasped at the sudden sound.<BR><BR>Vana jumped about 3 feet from the sudden groan and turned to face him. As Anorast lay back she started to move in his direction when he requested food. Without hesitation Vana took her plate over to him and was willing to assist him if she had to.<BR><BR>He gladly received the food. Eggs with bacon, fresh fruit and toast were some of the offerings Vana had on her plate. As he ate Vana went to the table and got him a glass of juice to wash it down with.<BR><BR>Nerves were already on edge, half listening for the black riders to return and then also with the intense plans being made for their moving on.<BR><BR>If he was able to move on his own that would be a help but who knew for sure if he would be strong enough for that on his own.
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:59 am

<b>Pondering in the Eldar Estate Kitchen</b><BR><BR>Wordlessly EM had moved through the automatic motions of making coffee the "proper" way. Near boiling water from a black iron kettle to warm the jug, then the precious ground beans were added. The familiar comforting aroma raising the spirits of those around. Topped up with water Edain stirred it with a wooden spoon that was close at hand. He was preoccupied and hardly noticed those around him at this moment in time. Even so, through the fog of gloom that lay upon him he could sense the eagerness of the others for a hot drink.<BR><BR><i>"Hang on, hang on"</i> he grumbled, irritated at being disturbed. He found a piece of muslin cloth and used it to sieve the coffee grounds from the rich silky Italianesque liquid into the mugs that were clamouring. He was about to look for the milk and sugar (or would honey do?) to find that Bardhwyn had already thought of it. Meeting her eye, Edain/EM gave a silent thank you, and couldn't help giving a charactistic half smile, and raising his eyebrows.<BR><BR>Glancing at the table he surveyed his lost friend. Now the human mind is a curious creature, already EM's/Edain's thought processes was translating a unusual and unsettling incident into memory, scabbing over fresh raw sorrow, and disbelief at the loss of a friend. His head bowed in solumn meloncoly he had concentrated on brewing a perfect coffee as if that could make everything "alright".<BR><BR>The wounded warrior attempted to sit up suddenly and EM moved quickly to lay him down and make sure that he wasn't pulling his wounds open from the hasty actions. From EM's untutored eye he seemed to be okay, no fresh blood.
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Postby SmaugsBane » Sun Apr 13, 2003 6:01 pm

AW followed cautiously. He heard voices in the front parlor and stopped short of rounding the corner. He was once a member of this guild, and was sure that he would be welcomed. But that wasn't the problem. What troubled him was Leoba's words and his own incompetence. The resolve of moments earlier melted away and AW slunk off towards the front door. Once back outside, he crawled behind a tall hedge and wrapped his cloak about his shoulders.<BR><BR>"I won't be a liability to my friends." He stated aloud, "I'll just watch and follow them out. <i>If</i> they find a way out."
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