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Old 04-03-2006, 06:12 PM   #308
Spectre of Capitalism
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Join Date: May 2001
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Gateskeeper, his robes re-whitened by the gracious Yawanna (who graciously forgave him for the unfortunate accident so long ago), watched the matrimonial proceedings with a joy he’d seldom experienced as a second-rate bad-guy. It was a novel experience to be part of a team in which you did not need to watch your teammates with as much acuity as your opposition -- in which advancement was based on accomplishment and not assassination. It was a bit like being exiled from the cast of Dawson’s Creek. But such thoughts occupied the minds of no one except the poor slob transcribing this history. Especially when it’s time to PAR-TAY!!

And you can only imagine the party that can be thrown by almost-all-powerful semi-demigods. The food was all that Pimpiowyn could have ever hoped for, in quality and quantity, and yet as in her Mogul-induced fantasy she gained not a pound. Vogonwe composed and recited poem after poem, but the wines that Yawanna provided not only gave him tolerable talent but gave everyone else the ability to ignore him at will – and best of all, there were no hangovers! Leninia even tried to compose some music to accompany him, but without the Entish Guitar, her heart wasn’t really in it, and she wandered off to a corner table to introspect. Halfemption had to be carried off when he tripped over the light fantastic and sprained an ankle. The Reunified-And-Very-Grateful Ent even took a turn on the dance floor with Merisu, but he had two left roots, and afterwards it was all she could do to hide her limp so as not to make the Ent feel too badly.

As for Gateskeeper, Hal’s toast had given him a marvelous opportunity to catch up on some badly-needed rest. However, once everyone came out of their stupor and the party hit the dance floor, Gateskeeper, remembering the unfortunate accident with Yawanna in ancient times and thus anxious to avoid dancing at all costs, volunteered to deejay with his staff-mounted sound-khaard. Mantoes graciously gave him the gift of unlimited royalty-free access to the complete music vaults of the Lords of Khopy-wight, and thus the hot tunes flowed until the wee hours of the morning – which Manuel was gracious enough to stave off for a few extra hours so that all could party until they dropped. Manuel was a bit unclear, though, on until what dropped, and the sun rather unexpectedly rose when a platter of sushi rolls slipped from Pimpi’s fingers to the dance floor.

But all good things must come to an end, and as the remaining members of the Dance-dance-revolution-ship tottered off for a nap (and the newlyweds for for their nuptuals) Gateskeeper had some time to give thought to his future. Thus the rising sun found Gateskeeper sitting alone on the beach, though why it was looking for him remained a mystery. He was having a difficult time with his own inner conversation, since the second voice which had tormented him for so long was finally gone. It was a pity that Kuruharan had left so early – he had considered recruiting the capsulized capitalist and his fiery friend for the wars against the Eunuchs of the Pea Sea. But being a reformed bad-guy means not only having to say you’re sorry, but rethinking things like absolute power and might-makes-right.

The wars would have to cease, there was no question. The soft wares he created would have to become friendlier to those who used them. But, loathe to give up his high-spending lifestyle, he had to contemplate whether there was a souce of profit that could be as successful as the threatening and extortion with which he had hawked his Great Window. It was time to do a 360 and find new vistas, though he found taking advantage of the hype odd without those impy three players with whom he once associated back at the Networkgaard of Dorktank. But he’d severed all connections with the jobs and the buffets of days gone by, and there was no way to reset his way thru the tangled net of the ether of his past. He would have to shift, to escape, to enter a new line and rid himself of the numb lock that prevented him scrolling to a new page. In short, he would have to delete his past and find the key to getting himself home in CTRL of a new destiny. And then it came to him like a politician to a fundraiser – he could make people happy and make money at the same time by offering music on demand from Mantoes’ gift!

And so, The Gateskeeper was awaiting the assembling adventurous associates, now awakened and arisen from lying awhile abed. Having rid himself of oversupply of the letter ‘a’, the transformed thaumaturge was eager to begin his new life of profiting from good. The new Mr. and Mrs. Gravlox stepped into the new day, and the light of their magnificent coifs rivaled the light of the late-arriving sun. Truly they belonged together. “To the happy couples,” Gateskeeper effused. “I know I’ve not been officially reformed for long, but I’d be honored if you’d accept a token of my gratitude.” He then produced a small, thin box for each of them. “It contains a memento of our adventures together – with a press of this button you will be able to listen to all the songs which we composed, encountered, or mangled in our travels. Unfortunately, it does nothing to improve vocal quality, but perhaps I can do something about that in a later release.” Merisu smiled as she took the musical gift, then leaned in and gave him a quick and perfectly platonic kiss on his boyish cheek. Gravlox shook his hand warmly, thanking him for the gift and for his help in making sure that Merisu accomplished the quest. “And besides,” Gravlox continued, “this will give me some inkling of the things that happened on your noble way. Is there anything that we can do for you to express our gratitude?”

“I could use a ride back to Muddled-Mirth when you go,” Gateskeeper proffered, “and if you could, you know, talk up those little boxes, and let people know where you got them...”

Merisu and Gravlox both rolled their eyes, thinking in unison that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It had indeed been a long and very strange road, but home was awaiting. And who was to say that there were no more adventures to be had…
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
~~ Marcus Aurelius
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