Thread: ATM II RPG
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:51 PM   #151
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Assigned to Mordor
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Celuien has just left Hobbiton.
Grimly determined to have a good time if it killed her, Panakeia sauntered onto Rode-o Drive. Her friends were gone, their block razed to the ground by an out-of-control mountain. Anakron was teetering on the brink of destruction. Love. Despair. Folly. Those words brought a melody from an anakronistic musical work to give her earworm. All, of course, in an equally anakronistic language that would not exist for many thousands of years, but Panakeia's mind translated automatically and easily into the Westron. Or English. Whichever seemed more convenient to her at the moment.

It's madness! It's empty delirium!
A poor, lonely woman
Abandoned in this teeming desert
They call Lost Angles!
What can I hope? What should I do?

Enjoy myself! Plurge into the vortex
Of pleasure and drown there!
Enjoy myself!

Free and aimless I must flutter
From pleasure to pleasure,
Skimming the surface
Of life's primrose path.
As each day dawns,
As each day dies,
Gaily I turn to the new delights
That make my spirit soar.

For indeed, Panakeia left her life empty without Anakron. And the only way around that emptiness, she decided, was to find as many superficial things as she could to force herself into cheerful forgetfulness. Panakeia knew that the endeavor would be as fruitless for her as for the heroine who originally sang the mellifluous (and capriciously difficult) melody in her head, but she went forward with the idea, nevertheless. She browsed the display in the window, and gasped at the image of a ghostly Anakron (or was it Elempi - the hat, cloak, and staff were gone) on the street outside. Oddly enough, he was singing the same melody that resounded in the concert hall of her mind.

Love is the pulse

Oh! (Panakeia joined him in a duet)

... of the whole world ...

Yes! Love!

Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.

And the image wispily curled off into nothingness.

Madness! Follie! Anakron was gone, and certainly not an anakronistic tenor. But she had seen him all the same. It must have been a delusion. All it meant was that Panakeia missed him terribly. If only he did care more for love than the Dweomer. It would have been so much better for the both of them.

"Can I help you?" Panakeia whirled to face a saleswoman. Before she could reply, the store-employee went on to say, "I don't think we can." She looked Panakeia up and down from head to toe. "We only sell designer items here. They're quite pricey." The saleswoman brushed at the sand clinging to Panakeia's gown. "I don't think we'd have anything in your way."

"What are you trying to say to me?" Panakeia thought the woman was quite obnoxious and ignoring the first rule of selling never turn away a customer.

"What I'm trying to say is that we don't take beach-bums here."

"Do you have any idea who I am?" Pankeia yelled.

The saleswoman smiled a falsely sweet smile. "I don't believe I do. And that's just the point. Only people who are known are welcome here. Anyone else spoils our image. I'm sure you can find your way to the door. Good-day!"

Too tired, frustrated, and unhappy to argue, Panakeia left.

A bus ride or two later, Panakeia finally found a place where no one would bother her. She sat in the food court at the Fallen Arch Mall and drowned her sorrows in an orange smoothie as teenaged valley-girls strolled past. Violetta was not her style. But what had the vision meant? Taking another sip of orange slush, Panakeia tried to puzzle it out.
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